the Prequel, the Codex of Innocence
Copyright © 2021 by Kalverya Johansson.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or, if real, used factiously. All statements, activities, stunts, descriptions, information, and material of any other kind contained herein are included for entertainment purposes only and should not be relied on for accuracy or replicated as they may result in injury.
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It laid hidden within the city walls of the ever-cordial Moscow. Much of the Human population was unaware of what kind of bereavement rested at their doors. And the aim of it, was for them to never know. Decreed, by the United Nations of Excelia—Human contact was illegal. And if this law was ever broken; death was the punishment, as it had been for centuries. Where many unexplained deaths caused by the unknown had not yet been seen.
As such, our story begins here; with Cecelia Rusakova who stood, with her fingers interlaced another’s. Ryan Vacaville. On the edge of the pavement, waiting for the traffic-lights to flicker to an acid green. Once changed, they strode along the crossing gliding past many men, women, and children on this casual Saturday afternoon. Both of whom, joked lightly about the popular things and spoke kindly about the trivial things as they sauntered throughout the bustling city.
It was not until Ryan led them down an alleyway and around a bend. Cecelia’s face lit up. She paused before the door of Midnight Keep. “Ryan is this . . .?” she asked, happiness welling within her. He nodded, content. “Thank you!” she beamed and pecked his smooth cheek. Swiftly, Ryan’s eyes darted to the mouth of the alley. “Ryan?” she enquired, taking a few tentative steps back. “Is everything alright?”
“Not exactly.” Cecelia faced the stranger. Within the shadows of the building, lingered a peculiar man on her part. She noticed the thick grey scarf hugging his neck, covering his nose and mouth. Along with thick black round glasses that concealed most of his face. Then her gaze drifted over the dark green buttoned trench coat.
“Cecelia,” Ryan uttered, in his usual smooth voice. His eyes coasted to her with an unsettling gentle smile, “Why don’t you go inside?” She knew his words were rhetorical. Confusion washed over her, as she gazed into those alluring green eyes.
Aware of his stubborn nature, she conceded, “I’ll be inside.” Taking in the stranger with a final glance, she moved to the café, opening the elegant black door, she disappeared within. Into the corner of the café, hidden from most of the world.
Casually, the stranger strolled to Ryan, carefully within the shadows of the buildings. Once Ryan heard the door click shut, tactfully he moved towards the stranger who stood two heads taller than him. Ryan knew what he was, he could sense it. He also knew he could not do anything, just yet. “Vampiere.” Ryan hissed.
“I’m surprised you’re so cold towards me of all people,” uttered the Vampiere with a casual smile, “you enjoy her company.”
Ryan didn’t take the bait, “What do you want?”
The Vampiere’s clothing morphed from a heavy green overcoat to formal white styled shoes, business pants and jacket. His fine tanned features exposed. His thin lips crawled into a sly grin while his dark calculating eyes rested upon Ryan with impeccable intelligence. “You do realise I’m on your side.”
“Since most of my extended life. Don’t want to make them mad if you know what I mean.”
“Again, what do you want?” Ryan pressed.
The stranger’s eyes tightened as he smiled, “Her élanocytes.”
Ryan’s own blood chilled.
The Vampiere conjured a sturdy cane and threw it at Ryan, who easily dodged it. The cane locked into the far partition behind him, causing brick dust to drizzle to the ground. The tip shook and paddled as if it were sealed into place.
“How you Vampieres are still so strong in your transitioned state amazes me,” Ryan complimented with a sly smile of his own while the Vampiere’s eyes tapered on him.
“You’re an accommodator of the Codex of Innocence. You are even strong enough to hunt for those Fragments and yet you choose to be a slayer—why?”
“Family business.” Ryan shrugged, then dropped in time to dodge the bits of earth the Vampiere ripped from the ground and threw at him. Ryan dodged the oncoming bricks and headed down the adjacent alleyway. He noticed the boxes stacked like stairs next to a dumpster and easily climbed it, his quick legs and agile movements, allowed him to avoid the earth tossed at him while the Vampiere pursued.
“A protector of the Humans and a slayer of those unstable Excelians. You are prodigious, indeed. The power of the Codex flows through your veins and yet you’re not a true hybrid. You are but a cockroach that needs to be stepped on!”
Ryan giggled like a giddy child. He found this amusing, and this wound the Vampiere up even tighter with disgust and anger. Ryan rounded another corner before arriving at a barren dead end. The Vampiere cornered him, and Ryan faced his attacker. “Nowhere to run.”
Ryan ran at the inhuman and leapt, bouncing high into the air, his knee struck the Vampiere’s face. The Vampiere stumbled back, when Ryan landed, before the slayer’s foot struck the Vampiere’s jaw. The force threw the Vampiere into the adjacent building wall. Quickly, Ryan rushed towards the Vampiere and punched. The Vampiere avoided the attack in time and Ryan’s fist locked into the brick wall where the Vampiere once stood. He yanked his hand free but not fast enough to avoid the side punch the Vampiere delivered. Throwing Ryan into the furthest wall.
Bricks tumbled around him as he sat hunched on the ground. The Vampiere watched the slayer for a moment longer when he didn’t move the Vampire relaxed. “Now if you don’t mind. I’ll be taking your lady.” The Vampiere turned and headed down the alley towards Midnight Keep. As the Vampiere inched closer to the café, the increasingly unsettled Cecelia became, as she anxiously waited for Ryan’s return.
It wasn’t until the Vampiere’s fingers were inches from the silver handle—he froze. A light gasp escaped his fine lips as blood pooled out of the corner of his gaped mouth. A sterling silver sword inscribed in an ancient language pierced the heart of the Vampiere and through. “No one is going to touch her. Not while I live.” Swiftly, Ryan yanked the gleaming sword from the Vampiere. Blood pooled around the wound and rapidly spread throughout the once clean white suit. Within an instant, the Vampiere crumbled into dust. The sword Ryan held vanished within his grip and he muttered, “Good riddance.”
Moment’s later, the door opened. “There you are.” Cecelia acknowledged before asking, “are you coming inside or not?”
Ryan played along.
“I’m coming in, hold your horses.”
Cecelia frowned, at his sudden attitude. “Don’t start that with me.” Ryan defused the subject before it could fester and smiled at the look on her face. Cecelia relaxed at his smile and returned it. She opened the door wide enough for him to enter and as he did, he took her hand in his, guiding her within.
Hours later, Ryan sat within his car and read the three word text. Haunting him to no end. Words that made his blood cold and his skin prickle in fear. The light of his phone captured his shocked ashen features and apprehensive green eyes that lingered over those words. “That can’t be right,” he whispered.
He found her.
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