We moved during the day and at night, constantly on watch. Wade, Thalia, Saruman and Nymphadora all preformed flying night recon, traveling about 50 to 100 miles from our camp site, getting an idea of what would come.
One night, while they were on patrol, they came back with news. Apparently while they were scouting, they came across a horde of 50 vampires chasing after a panther, who I found out later could talk. The vampires were apparently taking a vial of water to the Colorado Barony, as a bribe or something. I put the water in my bag, waiting until sunlight to figure out what it was.
Unfortunately for me, Nux also wanted to know what is was, and she spent the rest of the night begging me. And when I wouldn’t let her…. She tried using one of the APC’s water cannons on me, which I narrowly avoided. After that though, everyone in the group forced me to go apologize, so I did, explaining to her I was just waiting until morning. She seemed content with that answer.
We traveled for the rest of the night, trying to cover as much ground as possible when Saruman suddenly started sniffing the air and his head whipped around. Apparently there was another dragon around and Saruman was getting ready to fight. Wade stopped the APC and went outside, and physically stopped him… What was with that man? I had a feeling there was more to him then what appeared. But Wade and Saruman were arguing back and forth when Nymphadora cast Carpet of Adhesion and stuck the dragon to the ground. Right as the other dragon appeared. It was a white one, not much bigger than Saruman but really that didn’t matter. She landed and almost immediately launched into a verbal assault.
She witch, salamander, devil woman, half baked lizard. The insults between the two of them were flying back and forth. Then she looked at us and asked us what we wanted. I explained we were looking for my cousin Winslow Thorpe and Nymphadora’s parents. When I mentioned Winslow, her eyes narrowed.
“You’re related to him?” asked the dragon.
I nodded, “Yes. We’re looking for any sort of proof of where they went or what happened to them.”
The white dragon just looked at me and as she opened her mouth to speak, Nux screamed out, “I want one of you scales!” She stopped and looked around and froze when she saw Nux. She leaned towards Saruman. “You have a fairy with you?”
Saruman looked up at her with large eyes, “Save me…” he whimpered.
“Sorry you’re screwed.” She said before looking back at me. “Are you like him?” I nodded as Nux continued to yell about wanting a scale. “I’ll give you information about your cousin if you give me your word that you won’t come near that fort.” She said.
“Why shouldn’t we?” asked Saruman.
Her head spun towards him. “Because I’m living in disguise, and I’m not going to let you ruin that for me. So you swear not to come near and I’ll give you the information.”
Without hesitating, I agreed. Grabbing something from her bag, the white dragon dropped a laptop and took off. “What about my scale?!” cried Nux. As the dragon flew off, a single white scale dropped down next to Nux. She squealed, grabbed the scale and disappeared back into the APC.
I picked up the computer and inspected it. It had a password and unfortunately I didn’t know how to open it. Wade took it from me and closed his eyes for a few seconds before opening them and unlocking the computer.
It had been a computer from the group Winslow was traveling with, full of video recordings. Erin’s group was coming to city, deep in the land of Mexico. What I saw shocked me. There were vampires walking around, leading people on leashes, giants covered in dragon scale armor seemed to be patrolling. The one of the vampires noticed Erin’s group and shouted something. From the shadows, hundreds of wild vampires seemed to just materialize, their eyes full of bloodlust. Someone was yelling at the group to start running. A dragon, a great horned hatching by the looks of it, stayed back saying it would hold off the horde as long as possible for the group to get away.
Everyone else kept running, Globes of Daylight were being cast, holding off the horde as someone was chanting. The camera spun back to the dragon, right as the vampires swarmed it like locust. I could hear its cries of pain from under the mass of bodies. Something went flying from the pile and landed right in front of the camera guy, not five away was a horn from the dragon.
At that moment, someone in the group managed to open a portal. Everyone ran through and began yelling for the mage to close it. They had rifted a few miles from the city and could even now see a horde streaming from the city.
“Get us out of here!”
“Open a rift!”
“I can’t guarantee where the rift will open!”
“It doesn’t matter! Anywhere is better than here!”
The mage started chanting again. Everyone was talking about what they had just seen, the sheer number of vampires, the fact they seemed to have a civilization and weren’t mindless. Then the portal opened as howls could be heard, and everyone made a run for the portal. Winslow, Erin and the mage made it through the portal. Right as the camera guy was about to run through, something ripped him off his feet and sent the camera flying. When it landed what came into view was the image of the man being literally torn apart, his screams filling the air. Muffled by the portal and the screaming, I could just make out, “Close the portal! It’s too late for him!” And the rift seemed to just vanish.
I sat there for a moment in silence, trying to contemplate what I had just seen. My cousin hadn’t died at the hands of the vampires. I let out a long breath as I realized I had feared finding him turned into a monster. He might still be dead but it wasn’t by the hands of vampires.
Marcus laid his hand on my shoulder and whispered, “I’m sorry…”
I took a deep breath and nodded, accepting his condolences. “It’s fine. We now know he’s not in Mexico and that he didn’t die by these monster’s hands… We can now focus on finding Nymphadora’s parents.”
I got up and walked into the APC, filled with mixed feelings. Winslow, you sure as hell better be alive.