Repercussion: The Clandestine Saga Book 3

BOOK: Repercussion: The Clandestine Saga Book 3
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The Clandestine Saga

Book 3: Repercussion

By ID Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Copyright ID Johnson, 2015. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In memory of friends gone too soon,

especially Alexa and Kale

 

 

Special thanks to The Kursk for allowing me to use their lyrics. Find them at:
https://thekursk.bandcamp.com/music

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

It was a long way down. Glancing past the sheer drop off, she saw the rippling tide smashing against the sharp rocks at least forty feet beneath where she stood. She peered through the darkness using night vision to calculate exactly where she needed to land in order to clear as many of the jagged shards sticking out of the frothy sea where it crested against the shoreline. Noises behind her alerted her that her time was up. Without another thought, she hurled herself out into the darkness, praying that her calculations were correct. In an instant, the frigid water cut through her, but not as deeply as the sharp rock she’d caught with her shin just before the water engulfed her. It took her only a moment to push the pain out of her mind and return her focus on the task at hand, and less than a second later, she heard the splash she had been anticipating.

              Immediately, Cadence emerged from the water, forcing herself up and over to the location where the second ripple of waves still undulated out from the point of impact. She had never attempted to decapitate a Vampire in the water before; this would be a first. But she was confident in her ability to do so.

              The creature in question was not about to make it easy on the Hunter either. Cadence was extremely quick, and she reached her target in a matter of seconds, before the Vampire could even come up for air. She immediately grabbed ahold of the eloquent neck of the ancient Russian Vampire queen. Unlike many of the beasts her team pursued, this one was not the ghastly sort at all. In fact, she was nothing if not resplendent. When Cadence and her teammates, Aurora and Meaghan, had initially spotted Sobieski in her mansion atop the cliff, all of them had gasped, taking in her beauty. Alabaster skin gleamed in the dim light, long black hair pulled straight back into a bun, a flowing white dress, with only the crimson flow from her lips and her pitch black eyes alerting them to her true identity.

              They had been called to Boothsbay, Maine, by a local team that had idly stood by as Sobi tormented the locals for hundreds of years. Though other members of the LIGHTS team, the allegiance of Vampire Hunters and Guardians, had attempted to take Sobi out from time to time, no one had ever been remotely successful. However, when word of Cadence’s domination against similar beings reached the area, they requested her services. And she had gladly accepted the challenge.

              Upon entering the three-story mansion, the girls had immediately been engaged in combat with Sobi’s henchmen, and it had taken quite some time for them to fight their way to the ancient Russian queen. Once they had done so, it became quite evident that there was only one way they were going to be able to take her out once and for all—trap her against the precipice, force her to jump, and anticipate her decision almost instantaneously, so that when she realized she would not be alone in the water, it would be too late.

              Cadence’s plan was working so far—until she reached Sobi in the churning waves, and her razor-sharp claws made contact with Cadence’s face. She shoved the monster back under the water, feeling the blood pouring from her cheeks. Sobi was in a rage now, attempting to get away. She couldn’t drown—only a silver bullet to the heart or a beheading could end her—but she was not pleased at being cornered, and Cadence wasn’t sure how much longer she could contain her.

              Cadence was attempting to drag Sobi back towards the shore so that she could find some sort of sure footing to get the leverage she needed in order to wrench her head from her neck, but each time she pulled her into the shore, using the crashing waves to her benefit, Sobi would find a way to rip her back out to the sea. Eventually, Cadence heard her teammates behind her. Aurora and Meaghan were in the water expeditiously, and it only took a few minutes for them to reach Cadence’s location. “Aurora, grab her left arm,” Cadence commanded.

              The tall red-head did as she was told, and Cadence continued. “I’ve got her right arm, Meaghan. You’re going to have to take her head off,” she instructed.

Sobi was screaming now, attempting to use her fangs to injure the Hunters. She was flailing, and Cadence threw her own legs around the bottom half of the Vampire in an attempt to hold her still.

              Meaghan hesitated but only for a moment. She had never beheaded a Vampire before. With a deep breath, she reached forward, took hold of the sides of Sobi’s face, careful to avoid her teeth, and twisted. Cadence cranked her trunk around in the opposite direction at the same time, and a few seconds later, there was a sickening cracking sound as Meaghan pulled the ligaments free, snapping Sobi’s head from her body.

              Even in the pale moonlight, they could see a small stream of blood start to trickle from the veins in Sobi’s neck. It wasn’t her own blood, however, as Vampires didn’t have any; it was the blood of her most recent victim, the small child she had been feasting on when the team had burst through her door. Also, unlike other Vampires, Sobi did not let out a horrific scream. Instead, she was completely silent, her black eyes shut tight, her red lips pursed. Even the tight black bun on the back of her head was still in pristine condition as her body slowly began to turn to ash, followed shortly by that exquisite face.

              Exiting the ocean without injury from the rocks was not as easy as they had hoped, and by the time they extracted themselves from the furious tide, they had plenty of cuts and gashes to count as battle scars. Unlike their nemeses, Vampire Hunters did bleed, and surveying each other, it was evident they had fully earned the kill that night.

“Way to go, Meaghy,” Cadence said, grasping her friend’s hand in a congratulatory shake. “You were awesome.”

              “Thank you,” Meaghan replied, beaming despite the pain as she dropped down in the small patch of sand between the rocks and the side of the cliff. “Thanks for letting me take the kill.”

              “Sure thing,” Cadence replied, finding a rock to perch on that wasn’t quite as sharp as the others. “You were awesome, too, Aurora,” she added patting her other friend on the arm.

“Thanks. Awesome team effort,” she replied, still not fully able to breathe.

“If only Jamie were here to heal us,” Cadence murmured.

              “No Guardians this time, no Healers. We operate alone,” Meaghan reminded her.

              “Yep, alone,” Cadence agreed. “Just how I like it.”

              Aurora laughed. “Come on. Who knows. Maybe the next team who needs our services won’t be a bunch of chicken shits and they’ll want to work with us.”

              “Maybe,” Cadence considered. “But I think the three of us make a pretty good team without anyone else.”

              “Agreed,” Meaghan said. “Let’s get out of here before we’re swept out to sea”

              “All right,” Cadence replied, pulling herself to her feet, ignoring the sting from the cuts on her leg. “On to the next, ladies. On to the next.”

 

***

              The pain in Laura Comer's right eye was excruciating. Despite the fact that she had been taking prescription strength numbing drops for the last few weeks in a failed attempt to somehow deaden the incessant stinging, it still felt like a sharp object was wedged in the back of her eyeball. Blinking seemed to send a razor blade deep into recesses of her vitreous. Regardless of the fact that Cowboy Sam had assured her that his own eye had healed within a week, she was now convinced that the only way to stop the pain was to have her eyeball removed. She was considering just such a move, drastic as it may seem, and contemplating why she had ever allowed some backwoods Guardian to remove it. At least, without her IAC, or Intelligence Assistance Communicator, a small computer that was implanted into each Guardian or Hunters’ eye, Aaron, the Guardian Leader, could no longer track her movements. She was now free to begin an unauthorized pursuit of her own.

              She had been operating with Cowboy Sam and his team for almost a month now. While they had initially considered tracking down Cadence first, as she had recently set out on her own and might be the easiest to locate, the team of renegades had been hesitant to try it with their IACs still in place. It had been easier to focus on tracking Giovani, whom all of them had reasons to want to eliminate as well. It was the Rogue Vampire who had initiated all of her problems in the first place, so she didn't mind focusing there. Sam had agreed; Giovani had recently murdered the old-timer's niece and her family in their suburban Dallas home. While each of them had their reasons to hate Cadence, Giovani, Aaron, and the whole LIGHTS team, they knew they needed to make smart decisions, to be calculating and act decisively. If they were patient, everything would come together eventually.

They had been tracking Giovani for a couple of weeks when he seemed to suddenly fall off the face of the Earth. He knew they were tracking him; that seemed evident by his sporadic movement. He had hopped from Tucson to Mexico City, to Rio, to Lima. Then one day, the trail grew cold. Of course, there weren't a lot of Hunters or Guardians who were willing to help the band of renegades either, which made it a lot harder to pick up on clues or other information to let them know where Giovani was located. Sam had worked with Flynn and Camilla for years. The hippy and the quiet African American woman were loyal to Sam above else. However, they had also recently had their IACs removed. Without that piece, it was not possible to pick up on chatter that may lead them closer to their mark. Out of desperation, they finally determined to find a Hunter who would be willing to help them without letting his or her loyalty be known to the LIGHTS team. That mission had led them to a small town of Elloree, South Carolina.

              Laura sat on the couch in the home of Sharon O'Braonain hoping that the extreme pain in her eye wasn't apparent on her face. She had no idea why the others didn't seem to have the same reaction to having the IAC removed that she was having, but she was jealous of their composure as they listened to Sharon tell her tale.

              She was a tiny thing, not more than four-foot-ten at most. She looked to be in her sixties, but Laura knew she had to be well over one hundred. While both Hunters and Guardians continued to age after they Transformed, Hunters aged much more rapidly than Guardians. Eventually, Hunters would die of old age, if not at the hand of a Vampire, while Guardians would live forever, so long as a Hunter didn't end them. Sharon was a Hunter, so eventually, she would expire. For now, she sat in a recliner across from Laura and Sam explaining her reasons for potentially helping them and her reservations for doing so. Flynn and Camilla were elsewhere. They had decided not to overwhelm their potential lifeline.

              "My father knew him well. They were best of friends," she was saying. "They had a falling out many, many years ago. I'm not exactly sure what it was about. But Daddy never spoke his name again. Never. My daddy decided to operate as a free agent, and I did for much of my career as well, though there was a time I was a member of the team based out of Miami. But that was before Aaron took over. That was back when Jordon Findley was the Guardian Leader. Now, him, I liked. Him I respected. Even though I have no idea what the beef was with my dad and Aaron, I never could get on board with him, you see?"

"Yes, we do," Sam agreed. They had decided he should do much of the talking. She would most likely relate better to him. After all, they were practically contemporaries, Sam being over one hundred years old himself. "We're not asking much, now," he went on. "We just want you to give us a call if you hear anything interesting on the IAC. We are trying to track down this Rogue Vampire, Giovani, like we said. And we are trying to avoid LIGHTS. It's not that we wish them any harm," he offered, "we just don't want them interfering."

              Sharon stared down at the afghan she had thrown across her lap and smoothed the fringe, her face indicating she was contemplating the proposal. "I suppose I can do that," she finally agreed "I can listen in on the IAC and then give you a call if I hear anything that may of be value to you. That seems harmless enough."

Sam smiled, a look of relief and gratitude spreading across his rugged face, his gray moustache turning up at the corners. "Well, that's right kind of you, Ms. Sharon," he said, extending his hand and taking her frailer one in his. "Thank you. Thank you so much."

              "Sure," she replied, shrugging her narrow shoulders. "What can it hurt?"

              Laura pushed past the pain and dug in her purse to find the iPhone they had purchased for Sharon to use. "Here's a phone you can use to call us directly. Do you know how to use this?"

              Sharon smiled. "I might be old, but I'm not stupid. Of course, I know how to use an iPhone."

"Perfect," Sam said, still smiling. "If you hear anything about a Rogue that could potentially be our guy, give us a call. Also, if you hear anything about Aaron and his team or Cadence Findley tracking us down, you'll need to let us know so that we can take precautions. In fact, any information you can provide about their movements would be greatly appreciated. Sound good?"             

              "Will do," Sharon said. It would be nice to contribute to Vampire Hunting again. She had been retired for years, had no family close by, and spent a lot of time alone. Now, at least she would have someone to chat with. "Hope you get him real soon," she added.

BOOK: Repercussion: The Clandestine Saga Book 3
9.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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