The Rescue: Part Eighteen
Another Short Story Post: Continuing from the last post! This was NOT written by me! All credits go to writer Kimber (KimbersPlace4320@aol.com).
The Rescue: Part Eighteen
The clinic was only dimly lit after hours, and security, although excellent, had little to do but watch empty video screens and while away their watches reading or watching the small television they had installed in their office. From time to time, one would glance at the screens and then back to his book or TV show. They never saw Elias Silverstone slip into the side entrance.
He’d watched the place for days and knew it intimately. The guards were a wild card, but even if he was caught at this point, he’d be sent off to jail or expelled from the clinic, but that’s about all, until, that is, he found DuFron. Slowly, he slipped past another camera and moved along the halls. The monster’s lair must be here somewhere, he never left the place.
As silent as his prey he moved along, his senses reaching out to find the beast. A slight tingle alerted him. There was a vampire not far ahead. Creeping along, he ducked another video camera as it panned the hallway and moved toward the gymnasium. The sense grew stronger, yes; there was definitely one of them ahead. It seemed odd that his sense wasn’t stronger; he’d expected DuFron to give off tremendous energy. Well, the less energy the old beast had, the easier it would be to destroy him. He reached into his sleeve and released the safety on his crossbow as he turned the knob to enter the gym.
The limousine arrived at Beaumont Manor to be met by Alsaya and Robert Beaumont, along with porters for their luggage.
“Thank you for your help, Lord Beaumont.” Keller said, shaking his hand.
“Don’t mention it, Professor and call me Robert.”
Keller embraced Alsaya tightly.
“Hello, Old Woman.” He said.
She hugged Dallas as well.
“Come inside,” She said, “We have a lot to talk about.”
“If you don’t mind,” Keller said, “I’d like to touch base with Wilma before we start. I deliberately waited until I was here to contact her.”
Keller was shown to a secure telephone line to call Wilma.
Gabriel seemed glad to hear from him, but his news was not good.
“Professor, we’re sure. It was William Van Horn in Fiji. He’s destroyed and nothing remains but grease, but he was caught on video at the hotel. It’s definitely him.”
Keller scowled at the phone.
“I was afraid of that, Gabriel. I was hoping to find him alive and get some information about DuFron. It’s for sure I won’t easily get it from himself.”
“I’m sorry, Professor, we didn’t find him in time. There’s not much forensic evidence.” Gabriel said, then, “Of course, our guys don’t really know what to look for.”
“There really isn’t anything beyond the greasy fire, Gabriel.” Keller replied, “At least not that I’ve noticed. It’s the good news when it comes to destroying them.”
“Professor, be careful out there. I would not care to see you as one of those greasy outlines.”
“Thanks, Kid, same goes for me.”
Julian DuFron was awakened out of a sound sleep.
“Herr Doctor, there is an intruder in the halls. He was last seen entering the gymnasium.” Franz said breathlessly. “As per your instructions, we did nothing until I informed you. Shall I have security deal with this?”
DuFron found himself instantly alert. He smiled.
“No, have everyone stand down but maintain surveillance. Helga is in there, Franz. This will be a real test of her abilities.”
He slipped out of bed and into a silk dressing gown.
“Come, Franz, I have a monitor in my study so I can watch her progress.”
The two men slipped into the study and DuFron set the monitor channel to the camera in the gym. For a moment they saw only the dimly lit equipment. Then a shadow moved into view. It was Elias Silverstone.
DuFron took a slender cheroot from his case and lit it. He sat back and inhaled deeply.
“This should be good.”
Reuben sipped a very old burgundy through his straw and smiled. He sat on a wide terrace overlooking the gardens in the rear of Beaumont Manor.
“Professor Keller, Dallas! It is good to see you again!”
He raised his stumps a bit.
“Forgive me that I don’t shake hands. See me again in about a year.”
“It’s good to see you too, Reuben.” Dallas said, “I wish it was in happier circumstances.”
“Happy times are rare for some of us, my dear.”
“We all grab them when we can, Reuben.”
“How are the twins, Dallas?” Reuben asked, “They quite charmed me when I was there.”
“They are now in third grade in public school, and they are allowing themselves to grow, so they currently appear as ordinary eight year olds.”
Keller lit a cigarette, blew out a small cloud of blue.
They turned as a commotion arose in the hall, coming their way.
Salvatore Malvado burst out onto the terrace where they sat.
“Senor Beaumont,” He gasped, “is it true? William Van Horn walks no more?”
“As near as we can determine, he has been destroyed, yes.”
Malvado’s shoulders slumped. He and Van Horn had several enterprises going, ones which were not known to the council, and ones which would not now be feasible to continue in.
“My sympathies, Senor Malvado,” Robert said, “I know he was a close friend of yours.”
The Spanish Kindred’s black eyes grew hot and he whirled on Keller.
“And you Senor! You destroyed William Van Horn!” He hissed.
“I never touched him, Senor,” Keller replied, “someone else took care of that.”
All those on the terrace tensed as Malvado stiffened as if to attack, and for a moment he considered it, but, like most of the other counselors, he’d abandoned his fighting skills centuries before. Instead, he straightened and turned to Robert.
“Senor Beaumont,” He began, “it seems now there is no point to this gathering of the council. William Van Horn no longer walks and I see no need in pursuing this any further.”
He let his eyes flick to Keller for but an instant, then back.
“Furthermore, I can no longer remain under your roof. If you could arrange transportation for me, I shall return to Madrid.”
Robert took his arm and led him off into the house. He’d make a show of trying to convince Malvado to stay, but ultimately he’d be glad to see him and the rest go. He sent a mental message back to Reuben that made him smile.
“Robert says that he will get rid of Malvado, and that this probably means our conference is over. We should attempt to search for DuFron again starting right away.”
Alsaya stepped behind his chair and wheeled him into the study. She placed him at the end of the massive leather couch and sat beside him.
“Keller, why don’t you and Dallas take a walk in the gardens? They’re lovely this time of evening.” Alsaya said, “I’m afraid we won’t be much company while we’re doing this.”
Keller nodded, offered Dallas his arm.
“She’s right, Darling, we can’t help here. Let’s go tour the gardens.”
Elias had trained his eyes to see better in the dark by covering them with a blindfold for long periods before undertaking one of these hunts. This would normally be of no use, but he had a doctor in Hong Kong compile him a list of herbs and foods that would aid as well. Now, even in the semi-darkness of the gym, he could make out most items.
“Good evening, young lady.” He said quietly.
He’d seen Helga. She stepped out into a small pool of light.
“Don’t be afraid,” The slayer said, “I mean you no harm.”
He looked around.
“I seem to have lost my way.”
He kept his voice low and even so as to put her at ease. His skilled senses had already told him she was Kindred, and from the comparative weakness of the signals, she was newly made. What a shame to destroy such a lovely young woman, he thought. Well, it wasn’t he, but one of those blood sucking monsters that was to blame here, probably DuFron himself. He’d end her suffering tonight and spare her centuries of walking death.
“Where are you trying to get to, Mein Herr?” She asked.
“I wanted the information desk.” he said, raising his arm as if to point.
There was a twanging sound as the little weapon in his sleeve fired its deadly wooden shaft. Elias watched as it penetrated her left breast. That, however, was as deep as it went. Elias gasped, something had stopped it.
(Helga)» Take your time with this old fool, give us a good show, my watch dog.«
It was the voice of Julian DuFron in her head.
With a terrible grin, Helga took hold of the shaft and pulled it slowly out of her breast, grimacing only slightly at the pain. She’d experienced so much pain in the last days this was nothing by comparison.
“That, my friend, was a mistake.” She said.
(to be continued)