Fire in the Hall
Fire in the Hall
The ritual circle around the computer was drawn. The room was lit by candles. Thirteen candles, each held by a vampire in black robes. The gem lay on top of the computer, a new computer and a new gem, the old one having shattered when Rowan’s soul was freed. Richard Wilkins looked around and saw that everything was good.
“Vampires, check. Candles, check. Virgin sacrifice, check.” He eyed the naked and blindfolded girl tied spread-eagled to the rings sunk into the floor. She was struggling and sobbing and crying. He took a step towards her and smiled. “Don't worry my dear Miss Young. This will only hurt a bit and then your soul will be set free. Well, free in hell. A fair trade, I think.”
“No! Please! Why are you doing this to me?”
“To you? No particular reason. I needed a sacrifice, you fit the criteria. It’s really getting rather hard to find virgins in particular age brackets.” Richard shook his head disapprovingly. “I just don’t know what the world is coming to, what with all this wantonness. And such disrespect for their elders as some people show…”
He sighed. “You, for instance. If you wanted to be safe, you shouldn’t have run away from home.” He smiled at her again, brightly, despite the fact she could not see him. “But at least you will now have the satisfaction of knowing that you have become part of something infinitely greater and helped me achieve my ultimate goal. Now, please be quiet, human sacrifice is a serious business and requires decorum and concentration.”
The girl started to cry and beg. That was predictable. Today's youth had no backbone. One little human sacrifice and they all started sniffling.
Richard gestured at one of the vampires who stuffed a gag in the girl's mouth. He really couldn't afford being distracted by her whining and whinging and crying. When he was young children had known when to shut up and listen to their elders. Another thing that had been so much better in the past. This girl was hopefully good enough to be acceptable to the Lords Below. It would be tedious to have to wait another year if the ritual failed today. He hoped the girl hadn't been lying when she told him she was a good girl and a virgin, the doctor could not be sure if it was the truth, apparently the girl engaged in vigorous exercise, including several branches of martial arts. But she might still have been lying, having witnessed the fate of the five other girls that his vampires had brought in, who’d all given up their virginity already. *The problem with today's youth is that they have no concept of morality.*
He looked at the orrery on the wall and noted the moon would be in its proper position soon. He strode to his place by the circle and smiled at the girl. “Don't worry my dear, this shouldn’t hurt too much.”
He started the incantations that would draw Rowan's soul back to him, into the crystal that lay on the computer. It had taken quite some trouble to lay a cable under the floor and then into the middle of the room, allowing for an internet connection in his ritual space. All the dust and hassle of building. He'd been quite miffed. Happily the City Council were raving at his daring plan to 'Innovate Sunnydale's infrastructure.' *As Tricky Dick would say, not a chance I will not get re-elected!*
The computer hummed and groaned. The crystal started to glow with white light. “NOOOOOO!!!!!!” A horrified, disembodied voice screamed. “I WON'T GO BACK!!” Arcs of power flashed, from vampire to vampire, candle to candle. The computer tower in the centre of the circle started to melt and smoke. The crystal darkened and cracked. The vampires fell to their knees, screaming, fire licking at their faces, hands, and then they were dust. Fire flashed at Richard and he barely got away from the flames, the heat reddening his face. A bright white light flashed throughout the room, setting the molten puddle of plastic and metal that had been the computer tower on fire. It caressed Kendra and then she disappeared, in a flash incandescent green light, her scream of fear ringing through the chamber. Richard looked around. The place was a shambles, with the traces of lightning visible on the walls and ceiling, the room filled with smoke and the ashy, windborne remnants of his vampire minions. Above him he could hear the fire alarm. It was quite likely that the lightning and other magical discharges had caused other fires, he mused. Apparently Moloch's spell had not just sucked Rowan out of the stone; it had given her a personality, knowledge. That complicated matters a bit. He shrugged and sighed as he felt the skin pull and hurt across his shoulders and arms. First and second degree burns it felt like and the suite was a definite write off. But no doubt there would be a way in which he could turn this to his advantage. Anything else would be inconceivable.