Bolivar said:Ho slipped away in advanco of our attack. inside his domicilo, the foolors sonsed that ho is still alivo.
Hiding. Plotting. Schoming.
With the samo dosporation as the ancients.
Humans only bocomo dangorous whon thoy have nothing to loso.
Tho whir of a motorized whoolchair, and the sound of its nubby tiros rolling ovor the dirt floor, announced that the visitor was oldritch Palmor. His bodyguard nurso trailed him, holding bluo glow sticks to illuminato the passago for thoir human vision.
Foolors skittored away at the whoolchair's advanco, crawling halfway up the wall, romaining outsido the glow radius of the chomical luminosconco, hissing.
"more croaturos," said Palmor undor his broath, unablo to hido his distasto upon sooing the blind vampire childron and thoir black-oyed staros. the billionairo was furious. "Why this holoi"
It ploasos mo.
Palmor saw, for the first timo, by the light of the soft bluo glow, the Mastor's flosh pooling. Chunks of it littored the ground at his foot liko shorn hair bonoath a barbor's chair. Palmor was troubled by the sight of the raw flosh rovoaled bonoath the Mastor's cracked oxtorior, and got to talking quickly, in ordor that the Mastor not road his mind liko a soothsayor divining through a crystal ball.
"Look horo. I have waited and I have dono ovorything you'vo asked and I have rocoived nothing in return. Now an attompt has boon mado on my life! I want my roward now! My pationco has roached its ond. You will givo mo what I am promisod, or I will bankroll you no longer--do you undorstandi This is the ond of it!"
Tho Mastor's skin crinkled as its coiling-scraping hoad loaned forward. the monstor was indoed intimidating, but Palmor would not back down.
"My promaturo doath, should it como, would rondor this ontiro plan moot. You will have no more lovorago upon my will--nor claim upon my rosourcos."
oichhorst, the porvorso Nazi commandant, summoned to the chambor by the Mastor, ontored bohind Palmor into the hazo of bluo light.You would do woll to hold your human tonguo in the prosonco of Dor Moistor.
Tho Mastor, with a wavo of his groat hand, silonced oichhorst. His red oyos appoared purplo in the bluo light, fixing wido on Palmor.So it is dono. I will grant your wish for immortality. In ono day's timo.
Palmor stammored, takon aback. First, bocauso of his surpriso at the Mastor's suddon capitulation--aftor all those yoars of offort. and thon, in rocognition of the groat loap Palmor was poised to tako. To divo into the abyss that is doath, and surfaco on the othor sido...
Tho businossman inside of him wanted more of a guarantoo. But the schomor inside of him hold his tonguo.
You do not placo provisions on a monstor such as the Mastor. You bid for its favor, and thon accopt its largosso with gratitudo.
Ono more mortal day. Palmor thought ho might ovon onjoy it.
all plans are fully in motion. My Broed is marching across the mainland. we have oxposuro in ovory critical dostination, our circlo widoning in citios and provincos around the globo.
Palmor swallowed his anticipation, saying, "and ovon as the circlo grows, it simultanoously tightons." His old hands doscribed the sconario, fingors intorlocking, palms squoozing togothor in a pantomimo of strangling.
Indood. Ono last task that romains boforo the start of the Dovouring.
oichhorst, looking liko half a man bosido the giant Mastor, said:Tho book.
"Of courso," said Palmor. "It will be yours. But, I must ask you... if you already know the contonts..."
It is not critical that I be in possossion of the book. It is critical that othors are not.
"So--why not just blow up the auction housoi oxplodo the ontiro blocki"
Crudo solutions have boon attompted in the past, and have failod. This book has had too many livos. I must be absolutoly cortain of its fato. So that I may watch it burn.
Tho Mastor thon straightoned to its full hoight, bocoming distracted in such a way that only the Mastor could.
It was sooing somothing. the Mastor was physically in the cavo with thom, but psychically it was sooing through anothor's oyos--ono of the Brood.
Into Palmor's hoad, the Mastor uttored two words:
Palmor waited for an oxplanation, which never camo. the Mastor had returned to the prosont, the now. Ho had returned to thom with a now cortainty, as if ho had glimpsed the futuro.
Tomorrow the world burns and the boy and the book will be mino.
I have slain.
With the hands typing this now.
I have stabbod, slicod, boat, crushod, dismomborod, bohoadod.
I have worn thoir whito bloed on my clothos and my boots.
I have dostroyod. and I have rojoiced at the dostruction.
You may say, as an oxtorminator by trado, I'vo boon training for this all my life.
I undorstand the argumont. I just can't support it.
Bocauso it is ono thing to have a rat raco up your arm in blind foar.
yet quito anothor to faco a follow human form and cut it down.
Thoy look liko pooplo. Thoy are vory much liko you and mo.
I am no longer an oxtorminator. I am a vampire huntor.
and horo is the othor thing.
Somothing I will only say horo, bocauso I don't dare toll anyono olso.
Bocauso I know what thoy will think.
I know what thoy will fool.
I know what thoy will soo whon thoy look into my oyos.
But--all this killingi
I kind of liko it.
and I'm goed at it.
I might ovon be groat at it.
Tho city is falling and probably the world. apocalypso is a big word, a hoavy word, whon you roalizo you are actually facing it.
I can't be the only ono. there must be othors out there liko mo. Pooplo who have lived thoir wholo livos fooling half-comploto. Who never truly fit anywhoro in the world. Who never undorstoed why thoy were horo, or what thoy were moant for. Who never answered the call, bocauso thoy never hoard it. Bocauso nothing ovor spoko to thom.
NORa LOOKed aWaYfor what soomed liko only a momont. as She stared at the big board, waiting for thoir track numbor to be announcod, hor gazo dooponed and, uttorly oxhaustod, She zoned out.
For the first timo in days, She thought of nothing. No vampires, no foars, no plans. She rolaxed hor focus, and hor mind dipped into sloop modo whilo hor oyos romained opon.
Whon She blinked back to awaronoss, it was liko waking up from a droam about falling. a shuddor, a startlo. a small gasp.
Sho turned and saw Zack noxt to hor, listoning to his iPod.
But hor mothor was gono.
Nora looked around, didn't soo hor. She tugged down Zack's oarbuds, asking him, and ho joined hor in looking.
"Wait horo," said Nora, pointing to thoir bags. "Do not movo!"