The Maisling's Tale

 

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SYNOPSIS

The sequel to 'Shades of Grey,' this story will chronicle the adventures of Grey and Forma after the battle in Vikka, but before they meet Sam on the streets of New York. Though this is far from finished, I have taken them through twelve of the one hundred sixty four year span between the battle and meeting Sam. It is quickly dawning on me how monumental this task really is: I have to be familiar with over a century of world history. I need to take Grey and Forma through some fairly monumental historical events. Oy!

 

IDEA DERIVATION

I wanted to know what would happen next. It's as simple as that. I wanted to know where Forma would go after catching up to the newly transformed Grey. I also wanted to take them through the changing world of the 20th century and see how they would react. This is basically an exploratory novel: I'm just as eager as you are to see what's going to happen!

 

EXCERPT

Here is the first chapter. If you have yet to read 'Shades of Grey' I urge you to stop perusing this page immediately and go read that first. Usually that is how things are done" read the first book, then the second, e.t.c...

 

ONE- TO CATCH A VANGUARD

It would be the worst understatement of the century to say that stopping a hungry newborn Vanguard is easier said than done. You, reader, have most likely never had the immense displeasure of doing so; possibly you’ve read exaggerations about the dubious chore in various fantasy novels, but there is nothing that can prepare one for actually having to perform the task, especially after watching the transformation occur firsthand to someone whom you are closest in the entire world.

Grey’s unearthly shrieks of hungry power still hung in the stagnant air of the Elf Council Chamber after she had flown through the window with the speed and precision of a great, wailing bullet, a bullet that I now had to stop...

Maisling Forma,” addressed one of the Elves before I could take flight and follow her. “Please remember this: there are many dark days ahead for the two of you, but be strong, for they will pass. Grey will return and together, you will destroy more Creatures than any Hunter/Maisling pair in history! Do not give up!”

I frowned; having just received something few people in the Hunting world could say they received: actual encouragement from the Elf Council.

“Thank you,” I replied. “I will.”   

“Good,” nodded another Elf as he reached down under the desk and produced a long ampoule filled with a gold liquid. “Take this with you.”

I walked over to the desk and took the ampoule from him, examining the sparkling liquid.

“What is it?” I asked.

“It is the only known way to sedate a newborn vampire.”

My eyes widened. There was a way to sedate a vampire?!

“Why were we not taught this in school?!” I shouted in rage. This information would have come in handy a few hours ago.

“Safety reasons. We could not run the risk of pity staying the Hunter’s hand,” replied a female.

I closed my slack jawed mouth. I suppose that made sense…

“How do I make more?” I asked quickly, Grey’s hungry wails growing fainter and fainter by the passing minute.

“Boil fresh water and four blades of grass before adding it to the ampoule and that will make it multiply. Now hurry! Go after her!”

I leapt into the air and transformed into a Blacklight Dragon, flying as quickly as I could after the viciously fast newborn Vanguard while trying very hard to ignore the immense pain radiating from the numerous lacerations and injuries I had received in Vikka — a feat, reader, that is not easily attainable by commonplace means of willpower.

“Grey, please calm down!” I repeated over and over telepathically, trying desperately to implant the idea in her feral, hungry mind. The only verbal response I could educe were several distant tribal ululations that sounded like a black, twisted version of Nangani. My heart sank.

I caught up to Grey seconds later, watching her powerful eyes scan the horizon as she searched for movement, for something brimming with fresh, warm blood. She then gave a piercingly horrid shriek and began to sharply descend, having spotted a small village ahead. I’m sure I don’t need to describe to you exactly how far this caused my stomach to drop out of my body, for I was the only thing standing between her newly increased power and a city of potential victims.

I roared in protest and matched Grey’s speed as she flew directly into the village, crashing violently into a populated butcher shop and caused the townspeople to flee in a panicked uproar.

“Grey, please listen to me! Listen to yourself!” I continued to shout at her telepathically as I leapt between her and several villagers she had been preparing to attack. She responded with only numerous frustrated growls.

“Please!” I shouted after shifting back into myself, wincing in pain from the Vikka injuries. There were several gasps of amazement from the townspeople as I changed, which I took only a brief moment to enjoy.

 “Please, Grey, think about what you are doing!”

Grey stared at me, her large bat eyes dancing with voracious sarcasm. She then shifted back into herself, which was almost a more painful form to address than the great bat monster. As the bat, I could pretend that I was fighting to wrangle a Creature; but in her natural form, I was facing my best friend: my sick Hunter.

She crouched on the ground, snarling and wailing wildly in her normal state, her stony skin shining in the early morning sun. Her sharp teeth flashed in the rising light, glinting with supernatural whiteness that perfectly offset her black, hungry Vanguard eyes that were larger and farther apart than normal.

 My heart broke as I watched her slowly crawl forward, eager for a chance to attack the people behind me. I stood my ground, fanning my wings out further to signal my refusal to surrender. She understood the message and voiced her intense disapproval with much gusto and ear-splitting fervour.

The townspeople and I clutched our ears in feeble attempts to protect our hearing from Grey’s banshee-like wails. This brief moment of distraction created a collective moment of weakness that Grey’s predatory instincts immediately recognised. She saw that my defences were down and immediately leapt for the villagers; fangs bared and ready to rip into the first citizen she could reach.

I looked up in time to see her leap from the ground with her otherworldly grace, poised for attack. Before she could reach the crowd, however, I changed into a Gargouille and kicked her backwards with my large foot, propelling her across the length of the village and into a small haberdashery. I turned to the villagers as Grey recovered, morphing quickly back into myself to utter instructions.

“Go!” I gasped as pain suddenly flared in a deep wound to my side and in my freshly broken foot. “Run!”

“What about you?” an older woman asked, gesturing to my bleeding abdomen.

“I’ll be fine!” I replied, pulling myself to my feet.

“Are you sure?” a younger man asked, ignoring the fact that the rest of the citizens were racing frantically out of the village.

“Yes! Please go!”

They reluctantly obeyed, which agitated the hungry Grey to say the least. As soon as she had freed herself from the wreckage of the shop, she began to stride towards me, now the only living thing within the city limits (who also happened to be covered in blood) with a gluttonous sneer across her ferociously beautiful face.

“Come on, Grey,” I whispered, mostly to myself. “Snap out of it!”

I knew it was a futile wish. Newborn vampires of any kind took years, decades even, to tame their wild hunger and appear even remotely normal. I sighed as I recalled the words of the male Elf and realised how bleak our immediate future looked.

Grey must have seen my pathetically pondering state, for she ran into me with such strength that she knocked me off my feet and straight back into the butcher shop behind us, crashing straight through the feeble wood structure and directly into a large cold room filled with fresh, bloodied slabs of meat.

There are very few words, reader, to describe the look that crossed into Grey’s wild eyes as we fell into the freezer. She sat crouched over me, fangs ready and prepared to slice into my throat, but the abundance of bloodied meat had drawn her primary attentions and she gave a long, frightening, open-mouthed predatory inhale and leapt past me, scrambling furiously for the meat.

I sat up and tried to bandage my bleeding wounds as best I could while Grey was preoccupied. I then watched in dreaded horror as she tore into the meat with the precision of a lion. I stood very still as I recalled the weeks I had spent with her in Salvo as she re-learned how to fight blind, watching the flaming rubble slice through her eyes after we fought Malehvarei…it seemed so long ago…

I snapped out of my reverie as Grey gave an irritated roar after she had finished with the bloody carcasses and turned slowly to me. She smiled, taking another predatory inhale as she crawled toward me on all fours. It seemed she realised the allure of fresh blood was much more powerful than the taste of just any available blood: her instincts were awakening.

Thinking quickly, I leapt to the air and flew away from the town with Grey immediately behind me in her Graylight dragon form, which had been twisted and deformed to the most horrendous degree due to the presence of the Vanguard virus. I bit my lips in a brief display of despair and tried desperately not to look at her as I flew into the woods outside of the village, leading her away from the people.

I flew for a long while, trying to confuse and disorient her before I made my final attack: one that would knock her unconscious and give me a chance to think and process what my next move would be.

I underestimated her new Vanguard capabilities by an alarming degree. Grey stayed right on my tail, belching hot flames over me with a powerful, ever-present hunger. I gulped and pushed my weakened body to increase its speed, praying that my feeble plan would work.

We flew over a mountain range and entered a more remote part of the forest, crossing paths with an unfortunate, wandering black bear. I flew toward it until the last possible moment, rounding up towards the cold European mountain air, trying not to listen as Grey transformed and ripped into the bear with rapacious desire.

I floated back down to the tree canopy and watched Grey easily rip into the bear with a heavy heart. It would take many months to tame the beast, many months before I would even get to speak with Grey again…it could be years before she could look at me without wanting to rip me apart…

But I’m sure you know by now, reader, that I couldn’t leave her side. Ever. No matter what happened, I had sworn on my life never to do so.

 

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