}); The Vampire Chad (Part 21) – Blinds-Eye View

The Vampire Chad (Part 21)

I had two more things I had to do before I left though.  First, I had to locate that damn talisman, the one pictured on the front of the Praeter Naturam, which Tash had used to hypnotize me.  Something with that level of power couldn’t be left to burn.  Because that was task #2 on my list.

There was no way to blame Tash’s murder on a simple break or the like.  No mortal possessed the kind of strength to do that kind of damage to his lower spine and head.  With my impending return flight, I didn’t have the time to properly dispose of his body, so an inferno would have to cover up my tracks the best it could.

Ransacking Tash’s apartment, the store, and storeroom for any and all tomes, instruments or artifacts of the occult I felt I could use, I set the rest of the place ablaze.  I fully realized the damage I could be inflicting on the neighborhood with all the buildings in that area being so snug against each other.  All I could do was make an anonymous phone call to the fire department in a little while to help minimize the damage beyond Tash’s building.

It still killed me that more innocents might perish at my hands that night, but there was nothing I could do about that with my current time restraints.  I slung the large duffel bag of treasures I’d collected over my shoulder and headed back to the rental car and airport.

My flight back to New York was totally inconsequential.  With the addition of the duffel bag carry on, it pretty much mirrored my trip here just a few short hours before.  It’s truly amazing what you can accomplish in one night with the right planning.  The flight landed in New York at it’s scheduled time of 4:50 a.m.  I had ample time for a quick “After-Movie Snack,” before heading back to our apartment.  Sneaking into our place and stowing the duffel bag out of sight, I exited and reentered the apartment loudly whistling the Star Trek theme song.  Damn, I was good!

Chrystal was camped out on our bed, lying there naked, doing something I should really have been helping her with.  She smiled at me when I entered the room.

“So, did you enjoy your little geekfest tonight, Captain?” she said, mocking me while the fingers of her right hand were buried between her legs.  “Care to come over here and go where no man has ever gone before?”

I had two roads I could travel with that comment.  Insult her, saying it had 217 years and I couldn’t imagine anywhere someone hadn’t traveled on her body?  That would most likely earn me a nut punch or worse.  Or I could just be snarky and accept the comment on my own terms?  I chose the latter, less nut punchy option.

“Sure, but you’ll have to roll over on your stomach for that, darlin’,” I responded.

That only earned me a stuck-out tongue, a finger from her left hand which was not currently involved.  With a shitty smirk, she rolled over.  (Bad pun acknowledged)

The next several nights, I didn’t really get a chance to inspect the Praeter Naturam or any of the other goodies I had stowed away in the duffel bag.  Since our move to New York, Chrystal had reinitiated our nightly hunts together.  One night we would go after filth of society, which there was no lack of in the Big Apple.

Drug dealers, rapists, murderers, gangs gave us quite the buffet to choose from.  And with the sheer volume of them in the city, and their typical strive for anonymity, the authorities rarely noticed our nightly elimination of one or two.  Unfortunately for the city, there were always more rising up to take their places.

On the other nights of the week, we would hunt the upper epsilon of criminals; Chrystal’s favorites.  Gang leaders, corrupt politicians and authorities, embezzlers, and so forth.  I didn’t have as much of a taste for these people, but fair was fair.  And in the end, we were cleaning up the filth of New York on both ends of the spectrum.  Granted, we weren’t holding our breaths awaiting the award of The Key To The City or anything, but it at least helped justify the killings.

And it was nice, the two of us being close again.  Things had become so distant between us after the “Thomas Murders” in Pittsburgh before he abduction.  Nothing like a good heroic rescue and a move to the Big Apple to revitalize a relationship, right?  Life was good again.

When we weren’t hunting, we were enjoying all that the city had to offer.   Anyone who says life in the big city is boring has obviously never left their home.  Broadway plays and musicals, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ellis Island, The Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center, The Empire State Building, cruises, tours, handsome cab rides, etc..  The list was endless.

The only downside of it all was, most of these events and recreations required attire beyond that of my comfy sweatpants.  Alas, their use was typically confined to the living space of our apartment.  Granted, there were ample times that Chrystal had to rip them off me and drag my hermit ass out of my man cave, but in general, we both loved the city and the entertainment it offered.

There were still times that this nagged at me though.  She was slowly turning me into an appreciator of the fine arts, theater, and all that civilized society had to offer.  This was not the simple Chad Elliot I use to be.  Was she fostering my new interests, or was she forcing them?  The question was still unanswered.   It was time to figure out the truth of the matter.

Finally, on one of those rare nights she wanted to socialize alone, I had the apartment to myself.  Going out early for some “fast food,” I had the rest of the evening to study the Praeter Naturam for the first time.  I sat at my desk, turned on the overhead lamp, and opened the book.  Finally looking down at its worn and yellowed pages, I groaned.  The book wasn’t written in English!  By all appearances, it was scribed in Latin!

I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, given the fact that it was such an ancient tome.  I’d never stopped to entertain the possibility.  Typical western arrogance I could hear Tash chastising.  So, obviously, this wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought.  A quick trip to an all-night bookstore, and the purchase of a Latin-to-English dictionary, and I was back on track.  A very slow going and grueling track of language translation, but progress is progress, regardless of the speed it comes.

It turned out that the Praeter Naturam was a wealth of information on all things preternatural and their supernatural abilities.  As to the credibility of the tome, all I can say is that everything was dead on (pardon the pun) in regard to what I’d experienced up to that point as a vampire.

The tome mentioned our altered physical appearance, our need for the nightly blood, and described our increased strength, speed, and dexterity.  It got it all right.  Furthermore, I found out I had only begun to delve into the vast amount of powers which our kind possess.  And the ability to charm and control others was included in that list.

The tome referred to it as the “anima leporem.”  Loosely translated, it meant “Soul charm.”  It was literally, the supernatural power of the vampire to enthrall their victim’s very will and soul.  The book literally described it as a placating ability for use on a vampire’s prey and indoctrinating and acclimating young Neophytes to the Mixed-Blood.  Right there, in the Latin scrawlings of an ancient gypsy scribe, I had my answer.Chrystal did have the ability to control me.  The only question left?  Was she actively doing so?

Typically, being a dedicated and anal reader, I would never jump chapters or to the end of a book, I was reading.  I needed to find something in particular though and didn’t want to muddle through all that Latin to find it though.  I wanted to know more about the Talisman displayed on the cover; About the talisman, Tash had used against me.  What had he called it?  The Blood Of The First?

The closest thing I could come to that between the tome and my translating dictionary was the term “Primus sanguis,” which translated to “First Blood.”  As I was pretty sure the ancient text wasn’t referring to the 1982 Rambo movie by the same name, I thought I was onto something.  A diagram of the “Primus sanguis” emblem on the same page was a pretty good clue that I was on the right track too.

According to the text, the “Primus sanguis” was a symbol representing the first vampire born to the Mixed-Blood. The heart-shaped gem itself was reputed to be a draught of her actual blood.  That would definitely explain why it had the appearance of liquid to me.

Furthermore, it went on to say that, before the “Primus sanguis” had been laid to rest, she had forged the talisman herself and infused its heart with her blood.  The token was then given to her “primo neophytos,” or “First Neophyte” to represent his leadership of the “mixta sanguis,” or Mixed-Blood.  It would, quite literally, impose her will overall Mixed-Blood.

All theology aside, I could definitely attest to the mind-controlling ability of the little bauble.  Granted, if the theology rang true, you’d think it would have had a more permanent effect on me instead of only lasting a short time.  But then, if the story was actual fact, it did say that it gave her First Neophyte the power.  Maybe it only fully worked for that one particular vampire?  Or maybe it could only be used BY vampires?  As Tash wasn’t a Mixed-Blood, perhaps that’s why the effects were only temporary?

I could think of one vampire in particular that I’d love to try this theory on.  And no, it wasn’t Chrystal.  Oh sure, I wanted the truth from her, and if push came to shove I would use its power to finally squeeze the truth out of her.  But who I REALLY wanted to use it on was our pursuer; None other than Marcus O’Reilly for what he’d done to Chrystal.  Sure, I still had my doubts about her, but she was still my Chrystal.  He would pay for what he had done to her and I.  I had no idea how I was going to pull off that stunt without Chrystal’s knowledge though.

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