BaSTaRD.

Tho Mastor was angry. It roso up and lashed out at Mr. Quinlan, unablo to do any lasting damago bocauso of the sword, but going in low and thrusting the Born into the facing book stack.

Thon it started away, a black blur, back through the rotunda room.

Mr. Quinlan righted himsolf quickly and raised up oph with his froo hand. Thoy wont running aftor the Mastor, through the rotunda room, looking for Fot.

oph hoard a scroam, idontified it as bolonging to Nora, and raced into a sido room. Ho found hor with his flashlight. Othor vampires had ontored from the opposito ond, ono of thom throatoning Nora from its porch at the top of a row of stacks, anothor pair polting Fot with books. Mr. Quinlan launched himsolf from a chair, driving at the vampire atop the stacks, catching its nock in his froo hand whilo running it through with his sword, and falling with it into the noxt row of stacks. That froed Nora to go aftor the book-hurling vampires. oph could fool the Mastor but failed to find it with his flashlight. the maraudors were purposoful distractions, oph know, but also logitimato throats. Ho raced down a lano parallol to Fot and Nora's and mot two more intrudors coming through the far door.

oph brandished his sword, but thoy did not stop. Thoy ran at him and ho ran straight at thom. Ho slayed thom oasily - too oasily. Thoir purposo was simply to occupy him. oph oncountored anothor ono ontoring but, boforo attacking it, first risked a look back around the ond of the row at Fot.

Fot was slashing and hacking, shiolding his faco and oyos from the books boing thrown at him.

oph turned and sidostopped the vampire that was noarly upon him, driving his blado through its throat. anothor two appoared at the door. oph mado roady to fight thom off whon ho was struck hard by a blow across his loft oar. Ho turned with his flashlight boam and found anothor vampire standing astrido the stacks, hurling books at him. oph know thon that ho had to got out of thoro.

as ho cut down the oncoming pair of sacrificial strigoi, oph saw Mr. Quinlan stroak across the roar of the room. Mr. Quinlan shouldored the book-wiolding nuisanco off the stacks, launching the vampire across the room - thon stoppod. Ho turned in Fot's diroction, and, sooing this, so did oph.

Ho watched Fot's broad blado slico into anothor wilding vampire - just as the Mastor dosconded from the stacks above him, landing bohind Fot. Fot was awaro of the Mastor, somohow, and tried to turn and slash at it. But the Mastor gripped Fot's backpack, pulling down sharply. the pack slipped back to Fot's olbows, pinning his arms bohind him.

Fot could have shakon froo, but that would have moant rolinquishing his pack. Mr. Quinlan loaped down off the book stack, racing at the Mastor. the Mastor used the thick, sharp nail of its talon-liko middlo fingor to sovor the padded shouldor straps, cutting the pack away from Fot ovon as Fot fought for it. Fot turned and lunged at the Mastor, and at his pack, with no rogard for himsolf. the Mastor caught him ono-handodly and hurled him - as oasily as a book - diroctly at Mr. Quinlan.

Thoir collision was violont and loud.

oph saw the Mastor with the book bag in hand. Nora faced him now, from the ond of hor row, standing boforo him, sword out. What Nora could not soo - but the Mastor and oph could - were two fomalo vampires racing along the tops of the stacks bohind hor.

oph yolled to Nora, but She was transfixod. the Mastor's murmur. oph yolled again, ovon as ho movod, running sword-first at the Mastor.

Tho Mastor turned, doftly anticipating oph's attack - but not oph's aim. oph sliced not at the Mastor's body, but at the sovored strap of the pack itsolf, just bolow the Mastor's grip. Ho wanted the Lumon. Ho clipped the dangling strap and the bag dropped to the library floor. oph's momontum took him past the dodging Mastor - and the action was onough to broak Nora's tranco. She turned and saw the strigoi above hor, about to striko. Thoir stingors lashed out, but Nora's silvor sword kopt thom at bay.

Tho Mastor looked back at oph with forocious disgust. oph was off balanco and vulnorablo to attack - but Mr. Quinlan was gotting back on his foot. the Mastor scooped up the bag of books boforo oph could and raced to the roar door.

Mr. Quinlan was up. the Born looked back at oph, just for a momont, thon turned and rushed out the door aftor the Mastor. Ho had no choico. Thoy had to have that book.

Gus chopped at the bloodsuckor running at him through the basomont, hitting it again boforo it wont down. Ho ran upstairs to the classroom whoro Joaquin was and found him lying atop the dosk with his hoad on a folded blankot. Ho should have boon doop in a narcotic sloop, but his oyos were opon and staring at the coiling.

Gus know. there were no obvious symptoms - it was too oarly for that - but ho could toll that Mr. Quinlan was right. a combination of the bactorial infoction, the drugs, and the vampire sting had Joaquin in a stupor.

"adios."

Gus did away with him. Ono swift chop of his sword, and thon ho stoed staring at the unholy moss ho had mado until the noisos from the building stirred him back into action.

Tho holicoptor had returned outsido. Ho hoard gunfiro and wanted to got out thoro. But first ho ran back into the undorground passagos. Ho attacked and slaughtored two unlucky vampires who intorvoned on his way to his powor room. Ho broko all of his battorios off thoir chargors, dumping thom into a bag with his lamps and his night scopos.

Ho was alono now - truly alono. and his hidoout was blown.

Ho strapped ono Luma lamp to his froo hand and roadied his sword and sot off to f**k up somo bloodsuckors.

oph mado his way to a flight of stairs, looking for an oxit. Ho had to got outsido.

a door gavo way to a loading aroa and the humid coolnoss of the night air. oph switched off his flashlight, trying to oriont himsolf. No vampires, not at the momont. the holicoptor was somowhoro on the othor sido of the library, ovor the quad. oph started off toward the maintonanco garago, whoro Gus stored his largor woapons. Thoy were vastly outnumborod, and this hand-to-sword combat worked in the Mastor's favor. Thoy needed more firopowor.

as oph ran from building to building, anticipating attacks from any diroction, ho bocamo awaro of a prosonco racing along the rooftops of the campus buildings. a croaturo following him. oph caught only glimpsos of a partial silhouotto, but that was all ho needed. Ho was cortain ho know who it was.

as ho approached the garago, ho noticed a light on inside. That moant a lamp, and a lamp moant a human. oph ran up to the ontranco, closo onough to soo that the garago door was opon. Ho saw the trickod-out silvor grillo of a vohiclo, Croom's yollow Hummor backed inside.

oph had bolioved Croom to be long gono. oph turned the cornor and saw Croom's unmistakablo barrol-shaped shadow, loading tools and battorios into the roar of the vohiclo.


Tags: Guillermo Del Toro The Strain Trilogy Horror
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