Chapter 53: Harvest Redux
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"You're not so tough." Taylor said, tossing me over a crypt and into a tombstone. I crashed through the tombstone and fell to the ground! Brindi smirked as she licked her lips, "And you're a mentor?" she asked, stalking her prey. I looked over to see my stake a few feet away and I tried to crawl over it, but stopped when a shoe crunched my arm. The heel of her shoe cut into my skin and I groaned. There was a crash and I looked up to see Graham standing over me with his hand outstretched towards me. I grabbed his hands and sighed.
"Rough night?" he asked.
"Don't ask." I groaned.
"So, this story of yours, begin with an owie?" Graham smiled as we walked down the street.
"Yeah, coincidentally, that's also how it ends." I groaned, massaging my arm, "So, the big military mission..."
"Nothing," Graham said, "False Alarm."
"Right." I nodded, "Not evasive at all."
"If I could..."
"I know." I smiled.
There was a silence before he spoke again, "Anything else going on besides vampire-Slayers?" Graham asked.
"Surprisingly, yes." I nodded, "There's a vampire hunter in town. His name's Mal."
"Mal?" Graham asked, "I've heard of him, fierce. The military offered him a place, but he declined. What about our resident vamp?"
"He's super-powerful, but on the other hand, he's going super crazy." I said, "Being that close to The Master broke down some of the spell."
"So, he's been all alone for a while." I said, "And, I don't know how to help him."
"He's older than the Master, right?" Graham asked.
"Honestly, Iono. I'm getting the lure mixed." I said, "Bi, loves art, people and good conversation."
"I take it that's Lestat."
I looked at him oddly, "It could be the Master...he could like...artists. They could be crunchy."
"Eh, it's alright." I said, looking around. We had walked all the way to the hospital already, "Looks like my stop."
"How is Kelly?" Graham asked.
"Comatose." I said, "Showing no signs of change. Not expected to make it through her senior year of college."
"I hope." I said, "Umm, can you check out the local demon bar? Mal's slinking around somewhere and he's not demon compatible."
"Sure thing." Graham smiled, "So, is Mal...ummm..."
I smiled and shook my head, "He's a nice guy, as far as I know, but he's...not my type."
Graham smiled, "See you later." He said, turning and leaving. I walked through the hospital, making my way to Kelly's room. As I entered, I almost tripped over books. Doug and Cale had turned the room into the Arcanum. I hopped over the stack of books and headed over to the guys, who seemed to be into the book so much that they didn't notice me enter.
"Hey." I said.
They jumped and looked up at me, "Hello." They said.
"I see you've got new books." I said, looking all around.
Cale looked around too, "Nope. The regular selection." He said.
"Joke." Doug smiled, "What's up? What happened?"
I looked at my arm, which seemed to be bleeding, "High heel. Slayer Vamp." I said.
"Good lord, are you alright?" Cale asked.
"Sure." I said, adding, "Graham's back."
"Did you two defeat her?" Cale asked hopefully.
"No, she's way tougher than normal." I said, "But unfocused."
"Unfocused is good, right?" Doug asked.
"Yes. There are reports of Slayer turning into Vampires, such as one about a slayer who was turned, locked her friends in a mall and proceeded to attack them. Turns out one of her friends was called to be the next slayer and she was vanquished." Cale explained, "Not a lot of stories, but just enough to know that this has a precedent."
"Maybe we can lock Taylor in a mall and, iono, kick her ass with Barbie's dream car." I suggested.
Doug laughed while Cale sighed impatiently.
"Sorry. It's been a long night." I said, slinking down into a chair, "What about Lestat's curse? Have you found a way to augment it?" I noticed the looks on their faces, "Right. The theory that I should just stake him...moving on. How about Kelly? Are we going to need to call Buffy and ask how she got rid of the hocus pocus?"
"We've all kissed her, and we all love her." Doug sighed.
"You kissed her?" Cale asked.
"Maybe it was the cinnamon." I suggested.
"When did you kiss her?" Cale asked.
"I was thinking maybe Oz would..." Doug started.
"No." I snapped, "I...Oz is doing great. He just needs to be Oz."
"You all kissed her?" Cale asked.
"Cale." I warned.
"Okay, alright, but I do not think Charity will be as easy to dispatch of."
"Duh." I said, "Charity is crazy on a good day. I can practically feel a fight coming."
"I am going to revel in this fight." Doug said. I cast him a dirty look, "What? I missed the first ones."
"Well, it's coming. Something big is going down soon." I said, "I can feel it."
"Right. I thought that was gas." Cale said, "We should continue our research."
"We stopped?" I joked, "How about I just slide out and let you bookworms do your thizzle."
"Huh?" Cale asked.
"He's leaving." Doug said as I left.
Graham ran into the cemetery when he heard gunshots. He ran as fast as he could, wondering what he would do when he got there. Vampires, demons, and screams, he could deal with, but guns and normal criminals are a different subject. He'd been trained to deal with, but not overly. As he stepped around a corner, he stopped short of the man that was tossed his way. The guy had gun holsters and Graham immediately knew who he was.
"Need some help?" Graham said, pulling out a stun gun and aiming at the vampire. Graham shot the stun gun and the vampire disintegrated, "Must have been a weak one."
"Must have." Mal said, standing and extending his hand, "I'm Malcolm Aarons," Mal took a look at the uniform Graham wore, "Who in the Hell are you?"
Graham chuckled, "I'm Graham." He said.
"Graham?" Mal asked, "So you know the Slayer?"
"Yeah." Graham said.
"He told me about you, explains the clothes." Mal said.
"He talks about me?" Graham asked.
"Well, he gave me the rundown on the town and the people." Mal said, "So I see it's not only vampires who have wood for the Slayer."
"Excuse me?" Graham asked.
"Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he's a hot piece but..."
Graham grabbed him and slammed him against a nearby crypt, "Watch what you say." He growled.
Mal chuckled, "Look, soldier, I just meant he's a catch." He said.
Graham eased off, "Don't think about it." He said.
Mal threw his hands up, "I think the vampire has his heart, personally." He said.
"What?" Graham asked, "What, Lestat?"
"The Lestat," Mal said, "And by the way, tell me you know more about this guy than the other people do."
"I do." Graham sighed, "But Austin trusts him."
"The Slayer's thinking with his dick." Mal said, "Just sayin."
"Austin trusts him." Graham said, "Austin's a pretty good judge of character."
"Come on, keep up!" a voice said, causing them both to hide, "Now we're going to the Copper to get the sacrifices, this is a search and find, only one who tastes blood is Charity, got it?" Taylor said
Mal whispered, "A big group...a nest, maybe?" he said.
"Nope." Graham said, "An alliance."
"Against what, humans?" Mal said.
"And the Slayer." Graham said.
"What do we do?" Mal asked.
"Follow and destroy." Graham said.
Mal looked at him, "What about the Slayer?" he asked.
"He's probably already there." Graham said.
As I hit the punching bag, I envisioned it was The Master. I placed a few kicks and punches before I began my punning.
"You like that, fangs?" I asked, spinning around and backhanding the bag, "It wasn't my fault." It is your fault, Austin. You led them al l into a battle, it's all on you, "No!" I said, kicking the bag, "It's not my fault."
"What's not your fault?" A cool, deep voice asked.
I stopped and sighed, "What is it Lestat?" I asked.
"I believe I asked you first." Lestat said.
"Seriously, I'm not in the mood." I said, "And how long you been standing there?"
"A while," Lestat said, "Do you always talk to inanimate objects?"
"A door now and then," I said, "What's the what?"
"You should not blame yourself for Kelly or Gemma." Lestat said.
I groaned, "Get out of my head!" I said angrily, "Why didn't you tell me you can read minds or, Hell, even fly!"
"They are not a problem anymore." Lestat said, "The ancient magics have been disrupted."
"Why didn't you tell me?" I asked.
"Would it have mattered?" Lestat asked, "I did not invade your mind."
"Then how do you know so much." I asked.
"I said I did not invade your mind, I did not say anything about the others." Lestat said, "You have been beating yourself up over this for far too long. They knew what they were in for when they volunteered."
"What's going on?" I asked.
"The Master is on the move, again." Lestat said.
"The Master is moving?" I asked.
"Not him, his group of vampires." Lestat said.
I nodded, "Never a dull moment." I said.
"I'll wait while you change." Lestat said.
I smirked, "Maybe you should go and tell Doug and Cale, and Graham and Mal if you see them." I suggested.
"Is that what you really want?" Lestat asked.
"It's what you should do." I said, watching him leave.
At Copper, Mal and Graham had slipped into the club before the group of vampires could and tried to evacuate, but the club-goers had laughed it off, saying that maybe they should lay off the alcohol. It seemed like no time before the band was interrupted and the vampire, Taylor, and she had all but vamped out on stage.
"Where's this Charity, chick?" Mal asked.
"I'm hoping she doesn't show." Graham said, "She's tough."
"So I've heard," Mal said, "Sounds like a piece of work."
"A real piece of work." Graham said, "We need to find a way to get Austin here."
"We should have done that before we came here." Mal sneered, taking out his mini-crossbow and aiming it.
"What are you doing?" Graham asked.
"Not dying." Mal said, about to pull the trigger, but a hand grabbed the crossbow and he looked up to see a pale woman with pink hair. The woman was beautiful, with beautiful brown eyes.
"Oh, I wouldn't say that just yet." Charity smirked.
At the hospital, Lestat ran into the room to find the books strewn about and Doug and Cale chanting. He stopped and marveled at the oddity for a second, then cleared his throat.
"Lestat." Cale sneered, "What are you doing here?"
"Something's going down, isn't it?" Doug asked.
"How did you know?" Lestat asked.
"That's the only reason you'd even come here; besides, I can just...feel it." Doug said.
"What do you mean?" Lestat asked.
"Somebody has a major hard-on for the mojo." Doug said, "It's strong."
"You should go." Cale said.
Doug nodded, "Don't do the spell without me, without a seasoned witch, things could go wonky." He said.
Cale stared at him, "Go." He said.
With that, Doug and Lestat fled the room. Cale turned back to the book and the chant and paused for only seconds until he was chanting again.
"The Master's plan is to bring our existence into the real world, to make us known." Charity smiled, clutching Mal by the neck, "Blondes aren't the only ones who can change the world."
"What do you want?!" A hysterical woman in the crowd shouted.
"I want what any slayer wants..." she said.
"Slayer?" Came another shout.
"Oh, that's right, you don't know what I mean." Charity smiled, "Don't worry folks; we'll start the dying soon enough."
"Please, just let us go." The hysterical woman shouted, "I have a kid."
Charity jumped off the stage and went for her, but stopped when Mal shouted, "Hey, fang face." And a gunshot rang through the club and screams echoed. Everyone stopped when the bullet hit Charity and she didn't fall, she just smiled.
"Guns," Charity said, pouncing on Mal, "Don't work here."
"Leave him alone!" Graham said, calling attention to him. The two vampires directly behind him grabbed him.
"Relax, relax," she said, patting Mal's head, "I was just gonna give him a big ole' kiss. Look at the Brightside; you're going to be bringing a supreme being back to the surface. And to think, I was on the road to redemption...what was I thinking?" she said, raising her hand to bring it down on Mal's head.
"You were thinking," I said, grabbing her hand, "I wonder what color of skank is in."
"How'd you..." she said, but I punched her and she rolled away from me.
Then I answered my own question, "Fresh answer, whatever you're wearing." I said, standing opposite her, "Doug pulled some strings. This place is getting harder and harder to get into."
"Well, they can't just have anybody coming in." Charity smirked.
"So you thought you'd just bring the Master to the surface and I'd let you?" I asked.
"I'm not done just yet." Charity said
I punched her, causing her to fall backwards and behind me, Graham and Mal began to fight off the vampires.
"No guns." I shouted to Mal.
Mal nodded and grabbed two stakes from holsters just below his gun holsters and staked a vampire. Graham pulled out a taser and two prongs shot out and hit a vampire dead in the chest, electrocuting him to dust. Charity began to try and run, but dove at her and we both fell to the ground. There were people running around and in the confusion, I lost Charity. I looked around and spotted her, but a rush of people went by and she was gone. I felt a hand on my shoulder and looked around to see Graham.
"You okay?" Graham asked.
I nodded, "Anybody hurt?" I asked.
"No." Graham said, "Are you okay?"
I nodded, "I'm good, Graham." I said softly.
We looked at each other, speechless for a second.
"Austin..." Graham started.
"You guys," Mal said, joining us, "Is this place always like this?"
We were silent.
"Are you okay?" Mal asked.
"Yeah, just a little out of it." I said, "Anybody seen Lestat?"
"No." they both said.
"We should..." I stopped when I saw Doug standing a few feet away. I walked over to him and he was holding his head, "What?" I asked.
"Something...Something just happened." Doug said.
"Like the end of the world?" I asked.
"First it was this big thing, now, it's something else." Doug said incoherently.
"What is it?" I asked.
Doug looked at me, "I don't know." He said.
As we made it into the hospital, a nurse was making the bed. I felt the deepest sadness I had ever felt.
"Is she..." I asked, startling the nurse.
"No." Kelly said, walking out from the bathroom, "She's as good as new." She smiled.
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Thank you for reading.