Disclaimer: I do not own BTVS/Castlevania/Van Helsing. They are the property of JossWhedon, Konami, and Bram Stoker, Respectively.
Title: Requiem of Ruin
Author: Collaborative Effort- SadJack (Concept) Moonstone (Writer)
Summary: A look at the past.
Note: This Prequel story is actually written by my wife. The concept is mine, however she does not like BTVS what so ever and she opted to do this part as it is only loosely connected to my main story "Requiem Of Ruin- Forgotten Heir".
When traveling through the thick forested land of Romania, one could easily become disoriented about whether it was night or day. There was always a constant cloud cover across the sky, threatening rain. The sun didn’t shine in this depressing place, not once did it peak from its hiding place behind the clouds. Without the sun shining the look of the land becomes barren, and ugly.
The trees were nothing more than dead perches for flying predators. Their dark mangled limbs tangled together, in the patches where they did grow. Casting shadows about, that could easily hide any number of predators. They ground under the horse’s hooves and carriage was cracked, broken, and dry. No grass grew here, nor leaves on any of the trees.
The only sounds to be heard where the scratching of branches against each other as an eerie wind blew across the barren land. The soft clopping of the horse’s hooves, followed by the soft jingle of the tack, and the slow rolling sound of the carriage across the rough ground followed echoing into the pre-dawn.
From deep within the woods the high pitched scream of unlucky prey was heard, then quickly silenced by the predator.
In the predawn light shadows are cast from the trees, as a black carriage travels along the cracked broken path.
Two men sit in the coach seat. From behind, shadows were thrown across from the swinging torches hangings from the poststrewn. A faint glow can be seen from under the shades in the carriage cabin. Soft muffled voice could be heard, but the sounds were quickly carried away by the wind.
At the reins sits a medium build man, who occasionally cracked a whip above the horses. His blue eyes focused on the horses and the trail ahead. Light brown hair escaped the cowboy hat he wore, hanging almost to his shoulders.
In the morning damp, he pulled the collar of his tan duster up around his neck. He wasn’t used to this constant wet. He glanced at the man sitting to his right and hears a sigh brake from the man beside him.
Quincy Morris couldn’t believe he was sitting next to the great Abraham Van Helsing. The man looked as if he was in his early sixties with his whitening hair, and had a look of being worn down as much if not more than himself from the travel.
Quincy shook his head and looked back to the road ahead.
Abraham clears his throat, not knowing where to start.
“It’s a lot to think about, isn’t Mr. Morris?” Abraham asks glancing to the man at his side.
“Yes, sir it is. This last fortnight has been something to think about. I mean first the killing and rising of Mrs. Lucy, then at the Abby Dracula changing into both that man bat, and a werewolf. I thought the legends said that Dracula was afraid of werewolves, or that they could kill him? Then there were those creatures we fought in Budapest. Not to mention the hunt we went on for Dracula himself. To add to my confusion I know that I cannot speak a word of this to anyone, only if to warn them, for fear that they would lock me up in the asylum back in London. Truthfully, I have been barely hanging on through all of this, just taking everything as it comes my way. I’m still unsure of what to make of it all, I’m not sure if I want to think about it. I’m glad that this is finally over, to tell you the truth there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to be here now, faced with seeing the world this way. I mean no disrespect when I say this, but it’s my belief that some men are made for this life and some aren’t,” Quincy turns back to flick the reins and snap the buggy whip over the six horses heads.
The two men stare at the desolate road ahead of them for a time. Abraham out of the corner of his eyes watches Quincy for a moment, and remembered a time when he felt the same way. The uncertainties in this world were a lot for a man to deal with and keep to oneself.
“You’re right in many ways Mr. Morris. It is very true that there is a lot of dark in this world you have been pulled into. Let me give you something to think about. What do you think would have happened if we would have allowed Ms. Lucy to live as an undead? How many lives did we spare by killing the creature she had become? Then, in coming here we were able to save Mrs. Harker from something that is truly evil. Upon saving her you assisted in driving the Dark Lord back and stopping his rise of power. If the Dark Lord were to have risen, what do you think he would have done to this world and its peoples? Yes, this view of the world is ugly, cruel and sometimes very dangerous. But we keep people from living in fear of their own shadows. By keeping evil at bay, great travesties can be avoided. Take some comfort in knowing that we won this time. That good has prevailed; maybe that alone can help to keep the darkest of your dreams from taking a hold of you.” Abraham said looking to his right at Quincy, then pack to the horses ahead of him.
For a long while the only sounds that are heard are the horse’s hooves on the rough cracked ground, and the soft jingle of their tack.
Quincy thought about what Abraham had said. ‘Yes, they had saved innocent lives. But what gave them the right to choose what monsters to kill? Who gave the church this power to kill creatures just because of what they are?’
“Perhaps we have done some good. My one question is what or who gives us the right to take the life of something else? We say that what we did today is for the good. But is our version of good so much better than another being or entities?” Quincy asks Abraham after a few moments.
“That is for you to decide Mr. Morris. What makes something, or someone evil and worth killing. Think of these last few days as self defense, if it helps. You were killing, before being killed,” with that said Abraham tips his hat down to block out the sun from high over head, leaning back in his seat more.
Quincy looks over at Abraham, wondering what to make of what the man had just said. ‘It made sense really; he was really just trying to stay alive these past few days. But now that he knew what was out there, what was he suppose to do? Was he supposed to go on living, or become something similar to Mr. Van Helsing?’ Quincy stares back at the rode lost in his own thoughts.
Next to him Abraham was also lost in his own thoughts.
Quincy may have stated that he was just taking things as they come; if that was so he was very good at adapting to unusual situations. Abraham thinks back to the fights they had been in. ‘From the road, to Castlevania, to fighting Dracula himself, Quincy Morris had held his own. He had a skill with firearms that could and indeed did rival his own. However, the only other weapons that he had carried were a very large bowie knife, and a very unusual dark leather whip.’
In all the fights that had went through, Abraham could only remember Quincy using it to save Mrs. Harker from falling out of a window in the keep and began to wonder if Mr. Morris had any skill with the weapon. The whip itself was very unusual dark braided leather; the handle looked to be made up of mahogany and silver. The whip itself was easily ten feet long, but what struck him the most curiously was the three inch blades on the very end.
‘An odd item for a Texan to carry, it was surely not something used when driving cattle or horses.’
Quincy Morris was more of a mysterious man then, he had once believed.
Abraham started to search his memories for anything about unique whips and could only think of one possibility. It dealt with fighting of the Dark Lord, and other evil entities in his ranks or under his control.
Both his wife Sylia, and the Friar Karl had mentioned something about it. Some vague reference about an ancient Romany clan that had fought against Dracula centuries ago.
The Belmonts, a clan that had been tied to Dracula in some way, until he had betrayed them and a blood feud had been started. After the feud had begun, members of the family had been taught in ways of fighting Dracula. One of their main weapons was a very long battle whip; much like the one Quincy is now carrying. Over time the trained members of the family had become fewer and fewer. The clan started disappearing, and started too dispersed.
Those that could be found were accepted into other Romany Clans, including the Valerious clan. Others were thought to have traveled to Western Europe, and even to his own city of England.
He and his wife had once thought about and discussed the possibilities of him being from this clan. They had both thought it remotely possible due to his lack of memory, and the vague information he received from the Catholic Church during his years with them. In their research Abraham had discovered that physically he really could be a part of the Romany clan. But linguistically he would sound nothing like them due to all of his time with the church and in England. He no longer thought of himself as being from the western countries, yet he had no proof that he was from the eastern countries either.
Getting lost deep into his thoughts, Van thought of all the possibilities.
‘Was the man sitting next to him a descendant of the Belmont’s? If so then the line hadn’t really disappeared at all, the clan itself had to have moved west marrying into influenced Western families; some may have even crossed the ocean to the Americas. The blood feud had not been stopped but had long been forgotten due to the time lapses between the battles of Dracula.’
Abraham looked on ahead; they were coming up on the river now. Hopefully the bridge was in decent shape and they would be able to cross quickly.
To his left Quincy started to slow the horses down, as they rounded the last turn to the bridge. As they came up to the edge of the old scaffolding bridge, Quincy pulled the horses to a stop.
“Whoa, whoa, steady,” Quincy called to the horses.
The horses came to a halt, tossing their dark heads, and stamping their feet nervously. Both men dismounted the driver seat of the carriage. Quincy began checking the rigging, while Abraham went to check out the bridge. After checking the horses over, Quincy went over to stand next to Abraham looking over the vast expanse of the Olt River. The hair on the back of Quincy’s neck stood up when he looked down into the deep ravine. A thick fog crept through the ravine, but the sounds of the river could be heard. Quincy smiled to himself, maybe it was the lack of sleep, but he was beginning to think of this place having an eerie beauty to it.
“Well, Mr. Morris what do you think?” Abraham asked breaking Quincy out of his thoughts.
“I think that’s a long way down, and we may need to take this bridge slow. It’s possible that one of us should scout ahead, while the other leads the horses crossed, just to be safe,” Quincy looked at Abraham than turned to walk back to the horses.
Following him back Abraham said, “I think your right, although this bridge doesn’t look as bad as the first time I crossed it.”
“You’ve been here before?” Quincy asked hooking a lead onto one of the lead horses.
“Yes, it’s been almost 20 years now. I came here in search of my past, and to take care of Dracula. There was once a gypsy family here that pledged themselves to fight Dracula, and until he was dead they all would remain in purgatory. The Valerious families were actually blood relations of Dracula. Though, it’s a long story. Yeah, the last time that I came through on this bridge we were trying to outrun, not only one of Dracula’s werewolves, but two of his brides as well. We barely made it crossed this very bridge. I remember in crumbling beneath the coach wheels.” Abraham shook his head at the very thought of his adventure with Anna, he thought for a brief moment on what could have happened to the monster Frankenstein.
‘Even after all of these years it gave him peace knowing that Anna was with her family.’
Quincy hands Abraham the lead rope hooked to the lead horses, “Give me just a minute I want to let everyone know what’s going on.”
With that Quincy turns and walks to the carriage door and speaks softly to those inside. Coming back to Van, Quincy stretches his right side. The injury he had received in the fight with Dracula hadn’t hurt him much sitting like he had on the coach, but now that he was moving around more it was starting to become more painful, and bleed again. Taking a kerchief out of his pocket he slips it beneath his shirt to cover the wound.
‘That will have to do until they were able to really stop and rest.’
Coming around the horses to Abraham he asks, “Are you ready? Which would you prefer to do lead the horses, or walk ahead, and watch for loose or weak planks?”
“I’ll walk on ahead. You have nothing to worry about with these horses. During my time here I learned they were a breed known as Hucul. They’ve been bred in these mountain ranges since the 1600s. They are a mixed breed horse, but they know these mountains and are steady on their feet. They surely don’t spook easily either,” Abraham runs his hand across the horse’s nose as he talks, before handing the lead rope over to Quincy.
Both men turn and start walking towards the bridge, Quincy leading the horses quietly behind. Abraham moved a few steps ahead, glancing down and the wooden planks of the bridge. Steadily they walked across the bridge only stopping twice, so Van could check the strength of a plank. The dark colored horses stood fast even as the wind picked up as they crossed the ravine swaying the bridge back and forth.
Upon making it across the bridge, Quincy unclipped the lead rope, and grabbed a fresh canteen. Walking behind the coach, he wetted the kerchief with water, and washed the wound on his ribs the best he could. He then opened his pack and found a fresh kerchief, and applied that under his shirt across the wound.
As he came back around to the front of the carriage, he noticed Abraham had already taken up the reins, for the team. Quincy nimbly climbed up onto the driver’s bench to sit on Van’s right side.
“Everything alright?” Abraham asks pulling the horses back onto the trail.
“Yes, I just needed a minute,” Quincy stated as he settled into a comfortable position, in the passenger seat.
For a long time the only sounds to be heard, was the fading sound of the river from behind them, the soft sounds of the horse’s feet, and the small sounds from woods around them. Quincy glanced up and the overcastted sky, and judged by the light that it was just past the noon hour. They would be on the road for many hours before they would stop for a light supper, before getting back on the road again. Quincy knew by just the feeling of these woods that, one shouldn’t spend the night in them. Not without consequences. To his right Abraham smoothly maneuvered the horses over the rough path that made up the trail. Quincy leaned back into the seat closing his eyes. His right side was beginning to burn like fire. He leaned farther back trying to ease the pain more.
Abraham glances to his right, looking at Quincy.
‘The man appeared to be in pain, but had never said anything about being injured. Maybe he was still feeling the effects of the recent days. Something to take his mind of the nightmares might help him, and would give me more insight on who this man really is Abraham thought to himself.’
“Mr. Morris tell me about your family. What kind of people are they? Are they all ranchers such as you, or do they have other ties to England, other than your friendship with Lord Holmwood?” Abraham asked flicking the reins against the horses.
Quincy smiled at the thought of his family and friend.
“Originally, we are from England. My grandfather grew up there and became an educated man by attending the school at Oxford. Right after the Revolutionary war though my grandfather picked up and moved his family to the Americas seeking open lands, and greener pastures. He found these in Texas, were my family has started a free range cattle ranch. That has become a very profitable business. My father was able to attend school in Boston, and New York. Though the schools in America are very good, I chose to come back and attend Oxford like my grandfather had. That’s where I met Arty, and from there England just grew on me. I’ve been working in the family business since, trying to find ties here that would give my family the ability to do business here as well. That’s why I’m here now. Arty wrote me telling me about a business proposal. When I arrived though; it seemed more important to assist in the well being of his fiancé. Miss Lucy’s illness became more important than, the business adventure. Then this mess with Dracula started happening, and well you know the rest.’ Quincy said looking at Abraham.
Abraham felt Quincy tense, and become more solemn as he finished talking.
‘He knew these last days had been hard on the man, but yet he needed answers. His theory was now more clear and unclear at the same time. The only way to clear things up for sure was to ask Quincy about his grandfather.
“Mr. Morris can you tell me more about your grandfather. Were you and he close? Is that why you chose to follow in his footsteps, and come back to England for school? Did your grandfather ever tell you any stories about his time in England? Does he still have family there?” Abraham asked flicking the whip above the horse’s heads.
“His name is James Nathanial Morris. He passed away a little over 20 years ago. I was still very young when he died. During the time I had with him, I guess you could say that I was his favorite. But my grandfather wasn’t really one to show favorites. I was the oldest, and my younger brother hadn’t been born at the time. I remember him telling me that my great- grandmother was a beautiful woman. Very sweet, as well as very spirited, you could see it in his eyes how much he loved her. Her family was a wealthy English family that dealt in fish and books. His father on the other hand, came to England from Scotland. This and the fact that his family came from the northern shores settlers didn’t sit well with my great-grandmother’s family. See the settlers were tied to gypsies. Even with a very free spirited path my great-grandfather was a very stern man, who believed in discipline, and keeping your word. My grandfather told me, he was the type of man who demanded respect by just walking into a room. Although, my great-grandfather worked as hard as he could there were a few things that he couldn’t provide his family with. One of these being an education, so for his hard work; my great-grandmothers parents paid for my grandfather to attend the Oxford school, and for his sisters to attend a ladies college. I am proud to be his blood; he worked for all that he had. That’s all I know, and it’s all I need to know, to understand that I come from good stock.”
Abraham looked towards Quincy. His mind turning at the thought of the gypsy ties that he had mentioned. If only he could uncover a little more information, it would help to explain his theory. If this man was tied to the Belmont line it would explain so much.
“Mr. Morris, umm, Quincy if you don’t mind. I apologize for prying, a man’s history should be kept to himself, but I was wondering if you knew anymore about the gypsy’s that you said your great-grandfather was a descendant from. See, I have a theory about your family line, and any information you can tell me would go to great lengths in answering my quarry,” Abraham said to Quincy, remaining quiet, just looking at the man to his right.
Quincy glances away from Abraham lost in his thoughts for a moment. He stares at the horses for a time before looking back at Abraham.
“There is some, but very little. I was very young when my grandfather told me stories about his father. He told me that his father’s people had never left the northern shores of Scotland, until my great-grandfather left and came to England. After marrying my great-grandmother they returned to stay with my great-grandfather’s people. I remember him telling me that, these gypsies were honest and good, they were very fair in their trades with the local people, and they were very bright in perspective. Compared to some gypsy clans, I assume one would say. When my great-grandmother became pregnant, with my grandfather, they moved back to London, to be closer to her family. After that the only times they returned to his father’s people was a few weddings,” Quincy said as he looked at Abraham questionably.
“You have quite a family, Mr. Morris. One that any man would be proud to have for himself,” Abraham said flicking the reins again, clucking to the horses.
For a moment both men were lost in their own thoughts.
“Wait, wait a moment. There is one other thing. It’s one of the last stories I remember my grandfather telling me. I only heard it the one time when he was on his deathbed. His grandfather had come down from the shores of Scotland. By the way my grandfather told me this story I’m pretty sure they were very close. But his grandfather came down and spent nearly a month with him and his parents. There was apparently one particular day that his grandfather spent with just him. They traveled all over London, doing to parks and libraries. Towards the late afternoon though, they stopped on the London bridge where they through ashes into the river. They were my grandfathers, grandmother’s ashes. Afterwards though, they stood on the bridge for quite some time just watching the water. Just after dusk they began to leave, when his grandfather saw a commotion on the docks below. My grandfather was told to stay where he was and watched as his grandfather walked down to the docks. Through the sides of the bridge, next to the stairs my grandfather watched four men; go from surrounding a young married couple, to surrounding his grandfather. My grandfather ran down the stairs as fast as he could to get to and help his grandfather. But when he got there, two out of the five men were gone. He watched as his grandfather pulled out a sword and a wooden stake. My grandfather seeing this hid behind some boxes and watched the couple, and an odd man were left. The odd man attacked his grandfather. Just as quickly his grandfather, had sliced the man’s head clean off. According to my grandfather instead of the man falling to the ground and bleeding to death, he turned into dust. The couple went to attack, but at the last second the woman pulled the man back, and they ran off.” Quincy quickly finished his story, not sure if he was making any sense, or if he was just sounding crazy.
Abraham smiled. He was sure somehow, someway, that Mr. Quincy Morris was for certain related to the Belmont’s. This was good news, good news indeed.
“My grandfather said that his grandfather pulled out a whip and another wooden stake, and went to go after the couple. He then noticed my grandfather hiding, put everything away, and took my grandfather home. My grandfather said that a few days later he remembered hearing his grandfather and father fighting. But in the morning his grandfather had left. That was the last time he ever saw his grandfather,” Quincy stated turning back to look ahead.
Abraham focused downwards to his hands and thought for a few moments.
‘He wasn’t sure if he should ask Quincy to continue fighting the dark. He wasn’t sure that Quincy was even ready. Only time would tell. He himself had been fighting the dark for so long, ever since he had lost his memory and was found by the church. His sons were taught everything that he knew, but they did not possess the one thing they needed to finish Dracula. The Belmont bloodline. It was his hope that Quincy would be a strong enough man to fight this fight. Abraham looked towards Quincy.
“As I said Mr. Morris you have a very fine family line. I believe everything you’ve said. You have a lot to draw pride from,” Abraham states turning back to the horses.
Out of the corner of his eye Abraham saw Quincy smile. He would wait until they were in Budapest before he would say anything else.