Ch 30: In Dublin's Fair City
Disclaimer: Xander, Buffy, and anyone or anything else that pertains to BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon. Dracula belongs to the estate of Bram Stoker, or Francis Ford Coppola, or someone I think.
Larry Talbot, the Frankenstein Monster, and some others may belong to Universal Pictures.
NCIS belongs to Belisarius Productions, and CBS.
Ghost rider belongs to Marvel Comics, Dimension Films, Crystal Sky Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, and Sony (Whew!), and was played to perfection by Nicholas Cage!
OCs belong to me, and as always I remain…the man behind the curtain.
Ch 30: In Dublin's Fair City
Sons of the Gael! Men of the Pale!
The long watched day is breaking;
The serried ranks of Inisfail
Shall set the Tyrant quaking.
Our camp fires now are burning low;
See in the east a silv'ry glow,
Out yonder waits the Saxon foe,
So chant a soldier's song.
Song: A Soldiers Song Traditional Irish Folk Song Artist: Unknown
Team Dublin’s members were led by Professor Winifred Burkle, Lord Wesley Wyndam-Price, Brittany Tyler-Gomez, Fergus McCann (leprechaun), Kharis Menkheperreseneb, David Fallon (human P.I.), and three lesser Were-rats (Charlie McGuiness, a Heartsblood editor; Eamon Riley, a retired Naval Officer; and Eddie Wolfe, a Heartsblood recording artist).
At first it seemed strange that the Irish mission team was led by an American, and a British Lord. Winifred’s mother was of Irish descent though, as was Wesley’s grandmother.
Their mission was not one of attack so much as to defend. The Robe of Merlin, the Spearhead of Mordred (supposed to contain the blood of King Arthur) could not be allowed to fall into the hands of Fu Manchu’s agents. They already knew that the two leaders of the opposition assigned to the expected raid on the Trinity College museum were supposed to be two vampire Lords, namely Lord Edmund Ruthven, and Count Rudolf von Orlock. Ruthven was a dapper lordling of the 1800’s, well dressed, and at least outwardly mannerly. The Count von Orlock was exactly the opposite. The German vampire was a snaggle toothed horror with the appearance, and the manners of the rats he commanded. They also knew that where Ruthven went that his vampire lackey, Joseph Varney would accompany him. Varney had, in life, been Ruthven’s valet. He had also been a rapist and murderer. Where von Orlock went he brought his four were-rat followers: Baumann, Gustavus, Stoltz, and Werner. Whatever other troops they brought these seven would be their main adversaries.
It was already decided that Kharis, Wesley, Winifred, and Fergus would remain in the Museum, Brittany would go to the Old Library where the Book of Kells was on permanent display, in case that too was a target, and the three were-rats would go on sentry duty in the areas surrounding both locations. They would have a key to the Museum's rear door. Thankfully the Old Library, and the Museum were quite close together with only the Berkley Library between them.
The first night was quiet, and uneventful. The second night was only broken by a false alarm when two groups of students came back from a night on the town and got into a fight over the results of a rugby football score. Night three was just plain boring.
Night number four started out the same way. Kharis sat in a corner of the room where the robe and spear were being displayed, here he remained hidden in the shadow of a large display case. Fergus sat invisibly, and quietly on the top of a geological display native Irish fossils. Wesley and Fred were secluded in one of the Museum offices ostensibly watching the security monitors. Actually they spent much of the time getting to know one another better. In point of fact Wesley actually kissed her once or twice. Though he still mourned his late wife he was beginning to find himself inexplicably drawn to the cute young professor.
At roughly four a.m. on the fourth night Fergus noticed that one of the doors that led to the building’s basement was slowly opening. He alerted the team with the prearranged danger code of three short clicks of his radio's activation button. The three were-rat sentries converged on the Museum’s back door. Wesley and Fred picked up their weapons and slid quietly out of the office and into prepared hiding places. Kharis stood up, the better to prepare his own attack, and Little Fergus prepared to use his fey magic.
The first ones through the basement door were the four enemy were-rats. These four took up positions on either side of the door looking for trouble. Not noticing the Nighthunter forces, they waved the remainder of their crew into the room. Von Orlock’s hunched form came first. Varney followed him dressed as he always was in the slightly tattered remains of an 19th century servant’s livery. Ruthven came last, wearing an impeccably tailored wine colored Armani suit, and carrying a gold , and teakwood cane. The foppish vampire was trailed by what appeared to be four humans dressed in black paramilitary gear.
The Heartsblood were-rats attacked the enemy from the rear as Kharis sent a cloud of dust and sand whirling from his location into the invaders, essentially blinding them. Fergus’ first spell softened the marble tile floor into a thick soupy bog consistency. They soon found forward motion to be slow and arduous. Fred fired her crossbow into the enemy ranks scoring a lethal hit on the first were-rat’s chest with a silver headed oaken bolt. One of Wesley’s silver bullets caught the second rat in the forehead a second later. His second shot struck one of the humans in the left shoulder, driving that one off his feet into the man behind him. The Nighthunter rats avoided the floor and scrambled forward over the tops of display cases.
Fergus used his second spell to cause the floor to re-harden trapping most of the enemy raiders ankle deep in the surface. Ruthven and Varney managed to avoid being trapped as did two of the black clad humans. Varney attacked Winifred only to be decapitated by a slash from the machete she carried. One of the human troopers threw a fire spell at Kharis, but Fergus was able to shield the mummy in time. Unfortunately the urgency of this action caused him to lose concentration on his invisibility, and another enemy trooper shot the leprechaun in the back.
The Heartsblood rats now attacked the enemy rats with all the fury they could muster. Claws and teeth took their toll on both the Nighthunter, and the enemy team. It was hard to tell which was which after a while.
Ruthven slipped in behind Professor Burkle and quickly sank his teeth into her throat, only to be attacked as if from nowhere by a large red fox. Brittany had used her fey magic to teleport from the Library to the Museum. Shifting to fox form she ravaged the dandy vampire's Armani clad upper body with her vulpine teeth and claws, until Fred’s will came back and she drove an oaken stake into his heart.
The last two human’s were killed rather brutally by the enraged mummy.
Finally von Orlock managed to free himself from the floor by turning into a mist and reforming in front of Wesley. He struck the young lord with a heavy blow, and was about to finish him off. Calmly Wesley looked up through his own blood, and raised the silver cross he wore around his neck. This drove the old vampire back. Soon Fred and Brittany had their crosses out as well. They encircled the monster with salt, this, and their holy symbols held him at bay. They quietly, but vigilantly waited for about an hour and a half. At precisely 6:17 a.m. the first rays of the dawn sun beamed through the museum’s eastern facing windows hit the hunchbacked vampire, and he burst into flames. The flames burned only the vampire, leaving only the barest scorch mark on the marble floor surrounding a small pile of ash and bone fragments.
Now it was time to count the cost of their victory. Kharis held the small corpse of tricky, valiant little Fergus McCann before him, cradling him like one would a child. Two of the three Nighthunter were-rats McGuiness, and Wolfe were dead, and the third Eamon Riley was badly wounded. Fred had a severe vampire bite the left side of her throat that still oozed blood, an Wesley had a gash on the side of his head and face. Wesley, Eamon, and Fred were bandaged as needed, and Eamon was sedated and was transferred to the nearest hospital.
The only survivor of the enemy team was one of the were-rats, the one called Stoltz, and he was unconscious. He would be given first aid and transported under guard to Heartsblood London for interrogation, and incarceration. The College was reimbursed for any and all damage to the Museum by Heartsblood, and was given a large donation as well. It was stated in the Dublin papers the next day that the Museum would be closed for renovations until further notice. Curiously no cause, or explanation was given for the previously unannounced closing.
The Robe of Merlin, and the Spearhead were safe…for now. These two items would be moved. For now it was decided that the Vatican would be the safest place. The agreement was that they and the Book of Kells, which was also moved, would be returned after the current danger was over.
Wesley asked Fred to join him at his family estate for a while, and she happily agreed. Kharis, and Brittany accompanied their prisoner to London.
Authors Note: Next up is Vegas 2. I am saving North Yorkshire for last. That then will be followed by a clean-up chapter, and an epilogue, thus bringing this story but (probably) not the series to an end.