Part 2Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.The Present, July 10, 2007
The manifested time anomaly deposited Helen and her new companion at-
“Where are we?” the young girl asked, confused. “This is, I mean, this isn’t-“
“This is a Renaissance fair,” Helen replied. “Hopefully, you know what that is, right?”
“Yeah,” the girl said, pouting. “It’s very people dress up as knights and ladies, kings and queens, and play-act it out of Middle Ages, correct?”
“Very good,” Helen nodded, happy that the girl wasn’t a total amnesiac. “This particular Renaissance fair is where I have a stall.”
“My part-time job – I sketch people, draw them, whatever!” Helen shrugged. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to have you hired here as something or other as well.”
“This will provide us with money, food, clothing, shelter – and a base of operations from which we will be able to launch a search for your family,” Helen explained grandly, “plus there are people, or rather a person, who may help you with your amnesia as well.”
“Really?” the girl looked awed. “Who is it? Your friend?”
“Her name is Aker,” Helen replied simply, “lady Aker, and as to if she’s my friend... that’s trickier to answer. But I think that she’ll help you nevertheless.”* * *
Lady Aker, as the girl discovered in less than fifteen minutes, was the fair’s fortune-teller, though with her blonde hair and blue eyes she looked anything but as a gypsy. “Hello, Helen,” she spoke in a cordial, but cool tone of voice as the pair entered her tent, “you’re right on time as always... and who’s your friend?”
“The reason why I am here with you first, unlike the usual,” Helen replied in an equally cordial and cool voice. “My friend here has apparently lost her memory because of some mystical rea-sons, and I was wondering if you’d be able to find her past via your fancy cards.”
“The runes,” the other woman replied in a tone of someone who had argued this argument many, many times, “do not work like that, but never was it said that the house of the sword turned down one in need. Pick a rune, child, any rune.”
The girl frowned. For some reason, she couldn’t help but feel that that tall, polite lady was playing some sort of a trick on her and her friend, so she decided to play one as well. “Fine,” she replied, “I pick the one that you’re wearing on your neck!”
“What?” and lady Aker’s cool facade slipped, even as Helen raised one of her eyebrows in curiosity. “What? But how?”* * *
“Lord Erlin, lord Erlin!” the abbot bowed deeply before the lord of the house of the shield and the founder of the order of Dagon. “I bring you news!”
“And what news are those?” the huge man echoed back, looking curiously at one of his follow-ers. “Good or bad? Had the Beast found the Key or have you succeeded?”
“That is the reason why we’re here!” the abbot replied. “As we were completing the chant, the Beast burst upon us and got trapped in the spell! We know not what happened next, but both it and the Key are gone! We need your wisdom!”
There were few things that could surprise an archon that had lived for millennia and saw countless civilizations rise and fall. The good abbot, however, managed to accomplish that with just few short sentences.
“In its natural state, the Beast isn’t that much different from the Key,” Erlin said slowly, “and if it got caught by the spell, it could’ve – at least in theory – be sent alongside the Key, to-“
“-the Vampire Slayer,” the abbot finished helpfully.
“Ah, yes, the Vampire Slayer. This means the Watchers’ Council in England,” Erlin nodded, still thoughtful. “Both Reka and Aker are there, mind you, so it will be tricky-“
“Begging your pardon, but the current Vampire Slayer resides in America, not England,” the abbot pointed out.
“The America. Dyo was rumoured to flee to America after his alliance with William of Lecce was gone,” Erlin replied, flatly. “This is worse. He still has his rune, as do the rest of us, and if he got the Key in his grasp, he’d rekindle the old feud once more, and will only fifty years gone by, it might be all too easy for him!” He turned to the abbot. “Waclaw, old friend, is there any knowledge that you have of the Slayer in question? Her location in the States, that sort of thing?”
“Yes we have, my lord, and we’re ready to send a messenger there at your command!”
“First show me what you’ve learned, and then we’ll plan.”* * *
“How do you know that I’ve got a rune beneath my clothing?” lady Aker asked, incredulous.
“I... don’t know,” the girl replied. “I know that it sounds lame, but I do, I can almost touch it...” she wiggled her fingers. Immediately, there was a spark of emerald green and a smell rather like that of a pine car freshener in the tent. “Oops!”
“Yup,” Helen spoke for the first time ever since the whole incident with the runes began, “definitely mystical. Aker, your ladyship, think you’re ready now to hear my whole story?”
“Yes, please,” the much older woman recovered slowly from her shock. “Do begin.”
And Helen began to tell the tale as how she had almost lost her mind as well, in the sandy desert of the far-away late Permian...* * *Meanwhile...
Meanwhile in the not as far away Los Angeles prison, Faith, a Vampire Slayer, was slumbering, and slumbering badly – she was having A Dream.
That dream in particular involved a rather lightly built blonde youth, dressed in very old fashioned clothes, clothes that probably gone out of fashion before the Renaissance began, and a pair of very modern sunglasses. Every Vampire Slayer instinct of Faith yelled out, telling her that those dark glasses were a disguise, not a protection, and that whoever that youth had initially been, his humanity had been lost to the ages a long, long time ago.
“Hello,” the youth smiled, and in that smile there was nothing but madness. “My name is William of Lecce, and you are Faith, of Richard Willikins crew?”
Faith merely nodded, as she couldn’t quite count on her voice for the moment to speak.
“That is good,” William of Lecce flashed his insane grin again. “For listen, sweet maiden, for I have an offer that you cannot refuse.”End part 2