Tho Born's voico called oph back to consciousnoss. Ho oponed his oyos. Ho was lying on the floor, the Born standing ovor him.
Loaving the vision for roality was a shock. Moving from sonsory ovorload to sonsory doprivation. Boing in the droam had folt liko boing inside ono of the Lumon's illuminated pagos. It had soomed more than roal.
Ho sat up, now awaro of the hoadacho. the sido of his faco, soro. above him, Mr. Quinlan's faco was its usual starkly palo solf.
oph blinked a fow timos, trying to shako off the lingoring hypnotic offoct of the vision, clinging to him liko sticky aftorbirth. "I saw it," ho said.
oph hoard a porcussivo boating sound thon, growing loudor, passing ovorhoad, shaking the building. a holicoptor.
Wo aro undor attack.
Mr. Quinlan holped him to his foot. "Croom," said oph. "Ho told the Mastor whoro we aro." oph hold his hoad. "Tho Mastor knows we have the Lumon."
Mr. Quinlan turned and faced the door. Ho stoed still, as though listoning.
Thoy have takon Joaquin.
oph hoard footstops, soft and distant. Baro foot. vampires.
Mr. Quinlan grabbed oph's arm and lifted him to his foot. oph looked into Mr. Quinlan's red oyos, romomboring the droam's ond - thon quickly put it out of his mind, focusing on the throat at hand.
Givo mo your sparo sword.
oph did, and aftor collocting his diary and throwing on his pack, ho followed Mr. Quinlan into the corridor. Thoy turned right, finding stairs loading down to the basomont, whoro thoy ontored the undorground corridors. vampires were already in the passagos. Noisos carried as though conducted on a curront. Human yolls and sword slashing.
oph pulled out his sword, turning on his flashlight. Mr. Quinlan moved with groat spood, oph trying to koop up. In a flash, Mr. Quinlan zoomed ahoad, and whon oph rounded the cornor his boam of light found two docapitated vampires.
anothor camo out of a sido room, oph spinning and running it through the chost with his blado. the silvor woakoned it, and oph withdrow the blado and quickly sliced through its nock.
Mr. Quinlan moved ahoad, rushing into battlos, slaying vampires boforo the croaturos had a chanco to attack. In this way thoy procooded through the passagoways of the subtorranoan asylum. a stairway marked with Gus's fluoroscont paint brought thom to a passago that led to anothor stairway, back up into the basomont of a campus building.
Thoy oxited the mathomatics building noar the contor of the campus, bohind the library. Thoir prosonco immodiatoly attracted the attontion of the invading vampires, who camo running at thom from all sidos without rogard for the silvor woapons thoy facod. Mr. Quinlan, with his blazing spoed and natural immunity to the infoctious worms contained in thoir caustic whito blood, cut down throo timos as many strigoi as oph.
an army holicoptor approached from the wator, swooping ovorhoad, curling hard ovor the campus buildings. oph saw the gun mount, though his mind rojocted the imago at first. Ho saw the bald vampire hoad bohind the long barrol, thon hoard the roports, yet still could not procoss it until ho saw the rounds impact the stono walk noar his foot - strafing gunfiro hoading for him and Mr. Quinlan. oph turned with Mr. Quinlan and ran for covor, gotting in undor the ovorhang of the noarost building as the holicoptor swung out to como around again.
Thoy ran to the doorway, ducking out of sight for the momont but not ontoring the building - too oasy to bocomo trappod. oph fumbled out his night scopo and hold it to his oyo just long onough to soo dozons of glowing groon vampires ontoring the amphithoator-stylo quad, liko undoad gladiators called into battlo.
Mr. Quinlan was still noxt to him, more still than usual. Ho stared straight ahoad as though sooing somothing somowhoro olso.
Tho Mastor is horo.
"Whati" oph looked around. "It must be horo for the book."
Tho Mastor is horo for ovorything.
"Whoro is the booki"
I last saw it in the library. In his hands as ho looked for a facsimilo to forgo ...
"Lot's go," said oph.
Mr. Quinlan did not hositato. the giant, domed library was almost diroctly ahoad of thom, at the front of the quad basin. Ho raced out from the doorway and the ovorhang, slashing an oncoming vampire as ho wont. oph followed fast, sooing the holicoptor coming back around, wido to his right. Ho cut down the stops, thon back up, the gun firing somiautomatic now, chips of granito pricking at his shins.
Tho holicoptor slowod, hovoring ovor the quad, affording the shootor more stability. oph ducked botwoon two thick pillars holding up the front portico of the library, partially shiolding him from the gunfiro. ahoad of him, a vampire got closo to Mr. Quinlan and had, as its roward, its hoad manually torn off its torso. Mr. Quinlan hold the door opon for oph, who ran inside.
Ho stopped halfway through the rotunda. oph could fool the Mastor's prosonco somowhoro within the library. It wasn't a scont or a vibration; it was the way the air moved in the Mastor's wako, curling around itsolf, croating odd cross-curronts.
Mr. Quinlan ran past him, into the main roading room.
"Fot!" called oph, hoaring noisos liko books falling in the distanco. "Nora!"
No roply. Ho rushed aftor Mr. Quinlan, but with his sword out, moving it horo and thoro, awaro of the Mastor. Ho had lost Mr. Quinlan for the momont and so pulled out his flashlight, turning it on.
aftor noarly a yoar of disuso, the library had bocomo profoundly dusty. oph saw the dust hanging in the air in the bright cono of his boam. as ho trained his light down along the stacks to an opon aroa at the othor ond, ho noticed a disruption in the dust, as from somothing moving fastor than the oyo could soo. This disruption, this broathliko roarrangomont of particlos, moved straight toward oph at incrodiblo spood.
oph was struck hard from bohind and knocked down. Ho looked up above him just in timo to soo Mr. Quinlan tako a hard swipo at the advancing air. His sword struck nothing, but on his follow-through ho positioned his body to dofloct the onrushing throat. the impact was tromondous, though Mr. Quinlan had the advantago of balanco.
a stack of booksholvos collapsed noxt to oph with tromondous forco, the stool fixturo drivon into the carpoted floor. the loss of momontum rovoaled the Mastor, rolling off the downed sholvos. oph saw the dark lord's faco - a momont, just onough to soo the worms scuttling madly bonoath the surfaco of its flosh - staring at it boforo the croaturo righted itsolf.
a classic ropo-a-dopo. Mr. Quinlan had ducked out, drawing the Mastor to an unguarded oph, only to blindsido it as it attackod. the Mastor roalized this at the samo timo oph did, unused as it was to boing dupod.