Death Has No Dominion

Death Has No Dominion

Status: In Progress

Genre: Thrillers

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Thrillers

Summary

Hand to sword he serves his king. Brothers in blood and conquest they bend and shape the world to their collective will. From the ashes of a brutal civil war they built an empire, and their hand-picked tyrants, rule without mercy or pity. A kingdom with no borders, it exists within every continent, country, and city across the globe. Hand to sword he stands with his king. Once defenders and protectors, their disillusionment became disdain then hate. They embraced the predator and declared humanity a means to end, chattel to do with as they wish. At war with their ancient enemy they are unaware of the threat that lurks in the shadows. Loyal to the light, their brethren rose from the ashes and swore to defend humanity from the Thirty Tyrants and their world order. A rebellion, pitting evil against evil has raged for over two hundred years. On one fateful night three people are drawn into this world, one from the top, the other from the bottom, and the third as a means to an end. A soldier, a thief, and a librarian set on their paths to a collision with the Thirty Tyrants, their Hand, and his King.

Summary

Hand to sword he serves his king. Brothers in blood and conquest they bend and shape the world to their collective will. From the ashes of a brutal civil war they built an empire, and their hand-picked tyrants, rule without mercy or pity. A kingdom with no borders, it exists within every continent, country, and city across the globe.
Hand to sword he stands with his king. Once defenders and protectors, their disillusionment became disdain then hate. They embraced the predator and declared humanity a means to end, chattel to do with as they wish.
At war with their ancient enemy they are unaware of the threat that lurks in the shadows. Loyal to the light, their brethren rose from the ashes and swore to defend humanity from the Thirty Tyrants and their world order. A rebellion, pitting evil against evil has raged for over two hundred years.
On one fateful night three people are drawn into this world, one from the top, the other from the bottom, and the third as a means to an end. A soldier, a thief, and a librarian set on their paths to a collision with the Thirty Tyrants, their Hand, and his King.

Chapter10 (v.1) - Chapter Ten

Author Chapter Note

“Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.” William Pitt the Elder “There is but one honest limit to the rights of a sentient being; it is where they touch the rights of another sentient being.” Frances Wright

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: December 12, 2016

Reads: 216

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: December 12, 2016

A A A

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The vampire was sitting calmly, his gaze fixed on the wall. His wrists were secured to the table in titanium cuffs. But he sat with such an air of ease, it looked like he preferred it that way. His iron gray hair was brushed back from a weather worn face with deep set, pale blue eyes that gave nothing away.

Mary walked in with Tom, and smiled at them all in greeting. Looking at the screen she studied the vampire closely. “It’s been a long time,” she said finally. “I do love reunions.”

Saul chuckled, and even the corners of Diana’s mouth twitched slightly.

“How long?” Mary asked.

“Forty-five minutes,” Diana replied. “Look at his eyes, he’s ready.” Mary left the observation room, and Ben looked at Diana, one eyebrow raised. “Drugs alone won’t make him talk, he’s too strong,” she explained. “But drugs, coupled with Mary’s skills, will make him much more cooperative.”

“Mary’s skills?”

Saul grinned. “There’s no one better.”

Ben turned his attention back to the screen, and watched Mary enter the room. The vampire’s eyes widened in shock. “You’re dead.”

She smiled and said, “Do you think you’re seeing a ghost Alistair?”

He laughed. “David would start frothing at the mouth if he knew you were alive. He hunted for you for quite a while. So how many others survived the purge?” When she didn’t reply, he shook his head. “Tell me, don’t tell me, either way you’re all on borrowed time and you know it.”

“The purge?” Mary said. “Is that what you’re calling it now?”

“Fitting, don’t you think? Purging the witches from the ranks, and the undesirables who sided with them?”

“Undesirables? Tancred de Hauteville, Tomoe Gozen, Benedict de Spinoza; those are your undesirables. And let’s not forget Darius, and-”

“Darius,” he sneered. “All that honor and nobility were meaningless once David and Alexander got a hold of him. He died screaming, crying out for the other two.”

Mary shook her head. “For you to believe he was the lesser man demonstrates how diseased with apathy and ignorance your society has become.”

“You should have never rebelled against your king Mary. Just think, if you hadn’t, you’d be living openly, things would be different for women.”

“There was no rebellion. Vampires never had a king until Alexander and David decided to declare one. As for the plight of women, that can also be laid at their feet. To win at any cost isn’t winning.”

“Says those who lost,” he replied slyly.

Mary sat back staring at him intently. Suddenly his smile disappeared and he pulled against his cuffs almost panicked. He glared at her, and a thin sheen of sweat appeared on his upper lip. “Witch,” he hissed.

“You know that isn’t true Alistair. There is nothing supernatural or dark about what manifests in some women. It is a natural part of being a vampire. Have you told the lie for so long that you’ve come to believe it?”

“Who do you think you are? I’ve seen the rise and fall of countless empires. I was one of the first to swear fealty to my king. Your king! We decide what is and isn’t the truth, not some child, barely over two hundred. If we say you’re a witch, then you’re a witch!”

“Pheromones are found in species throughout the animal and insect world,” Mary replied calmly. “The beast that crawled out of the caves and bit the first humans, enhanced our emissions of pheromones. I know you know this, and so do David and Alexander. Men manipulate the fight or flight response with their pheromones, terrorizing their prey, making them easier to kill. You all love to emit, what we call, the alpha dog pheromone. It’s a constant struggle over who climbs higher in the pecking order, with Alexander and David at a height others can only dream of. Do I need to go on? What about the sexual pheromones?”

“Women have the same,” he replied pointedly.

“Yes, we can seduce with our scent just as men do, and terrorize our prey. And,” she said with a small smile, “we have the alpha dog pheromone, just not laced with testosterone and challenge. But where women such as myself are concerned, that’s where the similarities end. Our pheromones are a boon to vampires as a whole, not a curse that needs to be wiped out. You corrupted the balance within our race, and vampires are regressing, becoming more bestial and primitive.”

“Primitive! We are the wealthiest men in the world, shining examples of class and sophistication.”

Mary actually stifled a laugh and said, “Shining examples? The atrocities you commit, claim are your right as vampires to commit, make you lesser men, little more than beasts. And all the money, status, and power in the world doesn’t change the fact that you are no more than addicts, feeding your dark impulses and desires.” Alistair’s eyes were full of fury, and he opened his mouth, but Mary cut him off saying, “What’s tragic to me, is many of you were once men I would have respected, admired even. But the desire to feed the beast within became what defined you. It’s very sad. Let’s end the argument with that shall we? For the two of us are not going to change the other’s minds or hearts on this matter.” Alistair stared at her resentfully, and Mary smiled sitting forward. “How did the Order get their hands on one of the Thirty Tyrants?”

Ben’s eyes widened in surprise, and he glanced at Diana who nodded in affirmation.

“They never figured that out,” Alistair replied with a small laugh. “I was never one who ruled openly. I‘m curious to know whose taken my place. You know, I can tell by your face. So who is the newest Tyrant Mary? Humor a condemned man.”

“Salman Royce,” she said softly.

“That must rankle you,” he said smirking. “Well, good for him, he earned it. Our king rewards loyalty.”

“You’ve been presumed dead for a year. In all that time you never gave the Order anything? Other than new vampires to experiment on that is.”

“They tried various drugs,” he replied. “But nothing worked. Without a witch drugs are useless.”

“Eric is missing appendages,” she said, ignoring the dig.

“They tried torture. Even tried bribing us with salvation and forgiveness in the afterlife. But I would not betray Alexander, and from their frustration, neither would the other two.”

“Why would the Blackwood Foundation be wading into war torn countries, and providing aid and inoculations to the poor and destitute? Altruistic, Alexander is not. So what is the goal?”

He sat rigid, refusing to answer, and Mary shook her head, resting a hand on his. He tried to jerk away, straining against the cuffs, but they were too strong.

“Alistair, we know research is being done on berserkers, that they are being altered on a cellular level. Towards what end? That these two actions are related, I have no doubt, but I need you to help me connect the dots.”

“I will not betray my king,” he whispered. He closed his eyes, and once again sweat appeared on his brow.

“How about I tell you my theory and then you let me know if I’m right? Neanderthal DNA isn’t found in humans everywhere. And while you could create berserkers by having a human turned by one, it doesn’t give you the medical data you need. From a scientific stand point, you need pure test subjects for research, uncorrupted blood.” Alistair stared at her, his brows furrowed in anger and she smiled again. “There’s more than that though, isn’t there? Inoculations against diseases are needed desperately in different regions around the world, and as long as they aren’t coming from the U.S. government, they are accepted. Mothers and fathers are grateful. Their children are safe from diseases that should have been wiped out years ago. But they have more in their bodies now than the ability to fight off measles or polio, don’t they? A genetic tag maybe, or a trigger of some kind, or both. Am I close Alistair or completely off the mark?”

Through clenched teeth he said, “Close.”

“Thank you,” she replied warmly. “While I’m certain those testing positive for Neanderthal DNA are being tagged, I’m curious to know what those without those genetic markers are being injected with. My first thought is a virus, or perhaps, knowing the hierarchy as I do, a mutated virus. Something scientists and doctors would have no idea how to combat. So tell me Alistair, what is the Blackwood Foundation infecting people with?”

“I don’t…I can’t...” He shook his head a couple times and then whispered, “Yersinia pestis.”

“What the hell are they doing?” Tom muttered.

Ben looked at him and his face was pale, even Saul looked a little green.

“Towards what end?” Mary asked. “While it once killed millions, we now have the antibiotics to combat it, except for vampires.” She stopped and her eyes filled with understanding. “They’re creating a different strain, and a way to make vampires immune to that strain. So a few are being injected with possibly a genetic firewall, or an inoculation. But there’s more isn’t there Alistair? I can tell by your face.”

“I don’t know what phase they’re on, but they were going to cross it with another,” he said softly, his eyes distant. “Filo…” His eyes snapped into focus, and he glared at Mary.

Ben could see from Mary’s eyes that she knew what he was going to say, and looking to his right, he could see that Tom knew as well.

“What else Alistair?” Mary said, her voice full of command.

“The impossible man,” he mumbled.

“What is the impossible man?”

“Living death.”

Mary sat quietly, looking at Alistair with an intensity that almost made Ben squirm.

“How far into the pit you’ve all fallen,” she said softly. “As for the Order, did they give you any indication what they were doing to the people you turned for them?”

He smiled and said, “This you can have freely Mary. They are working on an antivirus.”

“Again?” she asked, shaking her head.

“From their excitement, they may be on to something this time.”

“And?”

“Look to the wolves,” he said, his eyes going in and out of focus.

“Why Alistair?”

“A few of them reeked of wolf when they’d come, and even though those cell walls were thick, I heard them now and then. They are up to something with wolves, they want to use them.”

“For what?”

“That I didn’t hear.”

“Is there anything else?”

“Not that I know of witch.”

“Thank you for your help Alistair,” she said releasing his hands and standing.

“You won’t be able to stop us,” he cackled. “It’s already too late. There is no man like Alexander. For you to think you could possible interrupt his plans, plans is ridiculous. You’ll fail like you did before, and this time you’ll all die.”

“If history has shown us anything, it’s that tyrannies don’t last. Eventually they all collapse. Alexander may well be the smartest man alive, but like you, he’s blinded by his own megalomania. The abhorrent obscenities will end, I promise you that. I swore to uphold the values my maker fought for, and she fought for what was right.” 

“There is no right or wrong!” he barked, spittle flying from his mouth. “There is only what we want!”

“That is why the Thirty will fall.” She left without another word. Stepping into the observation room she looked at Saul and said, “Contact your people and see if they can verify any of what he said.”

“You don’t think he was lying do you?” Diana asked.

“No he wasn’t lying,” Mary replied. “He tried, but I’m too powerful a witch for that.”

Diana smiled, and Tom harrumphed under his breath.

“Tom call John and have him join us here. Tell him to bring Kabir, Aaliyah, Razia and Sara with him. Alistair said he doesn’t know what phase they’re on. We need to find out how many phases to these experiments there are, before the final plans are implemented. Diana call Smith, Sid and Yoshi, and have them fly in as soon as they can.”

“What about Alistair?” Diana asked. “Will you be speaking with him again?”

“No, he gave me everything he had,” she said looking at the screen. “It truly is tragic, he was a great man once. Give him the honor and dignity befitting the king he was, and let him drift away peacefully.”

She left, and Ben looked at the screen. “The king he was?”

Saul stood up and said, “Once upon a time. But he turned his back on who he used to be, and embraced being a tyrant wholeheartedly. Mary’s right, many of them were men, who at one time we would have admired and respected. Now, they’re no more than sadistic killers.”

 

______________________________

 

David finished reading reports and sat back in his chair. His gaze was drawn to the book on the corner of the desk. With one key stroke he was watching video feed from the room. She was next to the mattress, eyes closed doing yoga. She had gotten quite good at moving without rattling the chain. She refused to accept her fate, she believed she’d get away from him. He had to give her credit, she was strong. He watched her hands glide through the air, and he thought about his plan. Resting a hand on the book, he smiled. It was an unusual move for him to make, but she was different.

********************

 

When David walked into the room, he could see her surprise at how he was dressed. She had just woken up, and was in a grey, long sleeved shirt and pajama bottoms, with thick socks. Her hair still looked a little damp from the shower, but it was down and shining.

“So,” he said in a booming voice, holding his arms out wide, “how do I look?” When she didn’t say anything he laughed. “Oh, come on now. I need that feminine perspective. It’s new, and I’m not sure about the cut. So tell me, what do you think?”

She took a deep breath and said, “You look nice.”

“Nice? That’s it? You can do better than that.”

“It’s a classic tuxedo. They never get old. And,” she said grudgingly, “you wear it well.”

“Now see, that wasn’t so hard.” Smiling broadly, he said, “I have something for you.”

He left the room, and grabbed the book and coat off the chair. Coming back to the mattress, he crouched down next to her. Her eyes widened when she saw the book, and for a split second, she lost control of her heartbeat. He held it out for her, and when she hesitated, he smiled. “Take it. It’s yours.”

Slowly she reached out and grasped the book. She tugged on it, but he held it fast catching her eye. For a brief moment he saw the fear and uncertainty, then the shield went back up. Smiling, he let it go.

“It is a collection of British poetry spanning quite a few hundred years. I know how much you enjoy poetry, so I thought this would be perfect for you.”

She held the book carefully, and with a steady hand, opened the first couple pages, reading over what was featured in the collection. He saw her fight a smile, and silently mouth the name Blake. Of course she likes Blake. Should have seen that coming.

She smiled shyly and said, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Of course you will need a flashlight to read it.” She glanced up at the light, and he shook his head smiling. “No, I’m afraid not, not all the time.” He pulled a flashlight from his jacket pocket. This is what it was about, and he planned it perfectly. “Now, what’s your name?”

Her eyes widened again, and she looked from the book to the flashlight. He had her. He knew she wouldn’t be able to stand her ground when offered the chance, not only to break up the boredom with a book, but to have access to light whenever she wanted. That was too much to pass up. She kept quiet, staring at the flashlight. He could see in her eyes the yearning, and the breaking down of her resolve.

“This is a one-time offer. No? Ok,” he said, shaking his head.

“Serena.”

He held her gaze, searching. But while he knew the admission cost her, she didn‘t show it. He fought a smile at her stubbornness, he’d won, but she refused to let him see it. It had been entertaining for him to let her think she could stand her ground on something. But she knew the truth, he always had the upper hand. “This could have gone a far different way for you, but I chose to do it like this,” he said softly. “Remember that Serena.”

He placed the flashlight in her hand and stood up. “Well, I’m off,” he said brightly putting on his coat. “Big night ahead. Don’t wait up Serena.”

As he shut the door, he saw her clutching the book and flashlight to her chest, her eyes were closed and she was smiling. Turning the light out, he waited quietly, head cocked to the side. A moment later he heard the click of the flashlight being turned on.

********************

 

David opened the door without making a sound. While he could see in the dark, it wasn’t necessary. The flashlight was still on, just as he suspected it would be. Serena, on the other hand, was asleep on her side, with her hand between the pages of the book. He was curious to know what she’d been reading when she fell asleep.

He walked silently over to the mattress, and stood with his hands by his sides watching her. He had planned on a late night snack, the offerings at the party hadn’t appealed to him. Alexander said he was getting too finicky in his old age, he thought of it as being selective. Crouching down next to the mattress, he saw what she’d been reading and shook his head suppressing a laugh. William Blake’s The Tyger. If only she knew. He wanted to touch her hair; it was truly beautiful, especially now, shimmering from being freshly washed. Reaching out, he was just about too, then clasped his hands together. She was sleeping so peacefully, it seemed wrong to disturb her. He shook his head at his own idiocy, and reached out, but once again, he pulled his hand back without touching her. I must be drunk, he thought. He was always nicer when he was drunk, at least that’s what he’d been told. Standing back up, he saw her face when she opened the book. He’d been seeing that smile all evening. He took a deep breath and decided to leave her alone. She didn’t know he was here, so no harm no foul. Leaning back down, he silently turned off the flashlight.

Silently crossing the room, he opened the door, and stopped. She was awake. He could hear the slight change in her heartbeat, and rhythm of her breathing. He stood in the doorway, and turned his head, listening. Serena was silent and kept herself completely still. Her heart betrayed her though, just slightly, but that was enough. He considered turning around and having that snack after all. If he left now, she would think he was softening towards her. He had been too kind of late, and the book and the flashlight should really be enough. But for some reason, he found himself wanting to give her something more. Cooking was having an unusual effect on him this time.

“Sleep well Serena,” he said, shutting the door.

 

 

 

 


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