Castle Roland

The Prince of House Vladd III

by Arthur


Chapter 2

Published: 15 Sep 16


Copyright © 2011, 2015 by Arthur

Michael was happy too see that his one and only contact in Vladivostok was waiting at the edge of the runway for him to arrive, it had been an uneventful flight and now, as they were chasing the sun westward, Michael needed to find a place to sleep before the new dawn rose in the East.

As they drove to the hide away, Michael asked about the meeting he had arranged with the Chinese Dragon Tong leaders, it was one of the oldest Tongs in China and had been a prominent underworld gang almost from the beginning of the Tongs two thousand years ago, he was hoping the Dragon Tong could fulfil his needs or part of them, he still had one more stop to make in another part of Asia after his meeting.

The place he was taken too was not what he was used to, it looked to have been an old military barracks at some time in the long distant past, very typical of the once great USSR but now left to rot in the last far flung city of old Russia, however Michael was too close to his sleep to be worried about his accommondations, all he wanted was a safe place far from the rays of the rising sun.

Orlov was an old Vampire and had known Michael for many, many years; they had first met during the revolution of 1917 when they had happened to chance upon each other on a battle field during one of the many destructive battles between the Bolsheviks and the White Russian nobles, it had been another time of plenty for their kind.

Orlov's minions were made up mainly of young homeless boys, none of which he had turned but preferred to keep them dependant on his blood by giving them a few dribbles once a week to keep them close by, if he were to die they would soon starve as they would not be able to take another vampires blood, it was in their own interest to look after him when he slept during the day, they were now charged with watching over Michael as well.

Orlov was a giant of a man, a real Russian bear, his broad shoulders told of unknown power and his gruff voice and heavy handed treatment of his boys showed he would brook no disrespect from anyone, the fight between Michael and Orlov on the long ago field of death had finally ended in a mutual respect for each other and the beginnings of a lasting friendship although it was at times a little strained, depending on what was happening at the time.

Orlov noticed Michaels interest in some of his boys, although the American could not take them with him, Orlov decided, in the name of friendship, as well as wanting to have a few spies close to the American, to offer some new boys to Michael, they had as yet not been blooded and could therefore go with the man, it would be something to discuss when the sun sank for the night, for now it was sleeping time.

Peter started from his sleep, there was a presence in his room and it had alerted him enough to wake him, his eyes flashed open and he saw, standing above him, a pair of flashing green eyes, underneath was a soft mouth, pursed in a kiss coming closer, the scent of fresh grass told him instantly whom the lips belonged to and he pursed his own lips as those of Swiftwing pushed hungrily onto his own, it was less than a second before the strong warm arms of both boys were wrapped around each other, it would be more than two hours before both boys resurfaced in the downstairs dining and rec-room.

As the dining room filled with the first of his staff as the sun died, Peter could still feel deep inside him the nagging tension of something not being right, it was not as strong as it had been before but was still there, it was another small worry to keep in mind.

Swiftwing related all that had happened to him, how the meeting had turned into an election of sorts and that he was now part of the First Nations Elders Council, it would mean they could be parted for a few days each month or more if there were some emergency that arose, while Peter never wanted to be too far from Swiftwing, he also knew that their own personal feelings had to be put aside for the betterment of others.

Peter told Swiftwing of the things that he had had too do while the Shaman was away, there was little importing or exporting of goods from the nation now, what little there was looked more like a new nation just starting out, the work on the few operating wharves that remained was mainly taken up by a large number of the Vaga, their strength and speed made them ideal for this type of heavy work.

After ten years the nation had managed to start to rebuild, the interference of a beaurocracy had now been kept to a minimum, never again would the faceless grey suits be able to take control and try to enslave the people with their rules and regulations, many of which they never followed themselves.

One of the first laws to be enacted by the First Nation Elders, was that all children were by right, entitled to a good education, this would no longer be the sole right of the wealthy or privileged, all education would be paid for by the Nation until the student reached his goal, there would no longer be a system of scoring such as the GCSE or SAT, each student would be looked at within his own abilities.

For teachers they selected those who wanted to teach and took on the job for that reason alone, not for the possibility of fame or riches, there would also be a mix of modern and traditional teachings, it was felt that understanding the lessons of the past could make for better decisions in the present or future, slowly the new nation began to work in harmony, the old with the new and the humans with the Folk although still many humans had little knowledge of the Folk and their ways.

Orlov was waiting for Michael when he awoke, beside the large vampire stood three young looking boys, all of them looked underfed and dishevelled, even Michael could see that they had just recently come from the dark streets of Vladivostok, and on the table was a bottle of Stolichnaya Vodka, as everyone knew, it was impossible for a vampire to get drunk, the Vodka was more for tradition than to get drunk as was common among the Russians.

Orlov's voice boomed out as large as he was.

"Ah friend Michael, did you sleep well, come, it is time for some Vodka and a little present for you."

"Good evening Orlov, what's the occasion."

"Why your visit is always an occasion my friend, come, a few good Vodka's and then my gift, do you need to feed?"

"No I am full for the moment, now Orlov what is this all about?"

"My friend Michael, always in a hurry, no wonder your America had its problems, too much rush and hurry, you must take time for the good things in life, good Vodka, good boys and above all, good blood."

Orlov burst into laughter, his arms held wide open in a gesture of encompassing the world around them, his large body shaking with mirth as he pointed to the table for Michael to take up the glass and join him in his private celebration, the three boys stayed quiet and a little fearful as they saw the two men sit down to drink and talk.

The boys were completely ignored by the two vampires as they consumed glass after glass of the fiery Vodka, Orlov's usual boys were attending to the two vampires needs and Michael's older boy was standing behind him waiting for his orders.

The drinking continued until Orlov thought it was time for business, in the Russia of today, nothing was done in a hurry, there were certain protocols to be observed, namely the destruction of the bottle of Stolichnaya, once it was empty and both men sat with hardly any effect from the drink, Orlov began to talk.

"I have arranged your meeting with the upper echelon of the Dragon Tong, I will take you across the border later tonight for the meeting, they are expecting a large gift as is their way, will you need an interpreter? If so I can arrange one for you, they have their own but it is better to keep some things close to your chest as they do, now the next thing is these boys, do you like them? I have selected them especially for you, they have no home and need someone to care for them, they have no English but I am sure you can fix that little problem."

Michael looked the three boys over again, they were a little dirty and scruffy but under the dirt and lack of food were three very attractive boys, the youngest was about fourteen and the other two not much older, perhaps fifteen or sixteen, as Michael looked them over, Orlov spoke rapidly too them in Russian, while Michael had a little knowledge of the language, Orlov spoke too fast for him to get the full meaning and context of the discussion.

"Yes, they are very nice boys but they need a bit of looking after."

"That would not be a problem my friend, I will have them cleaned up and fed for you, when do you wish to blood them, before or after our meeting?"

"After, I think, if all goes well then I will want to celebrate, if not, well then I will have too drown my sorrows."

Orlov laughed in his larger than life way.

"Oh my friend, I can assure you they will take away any sorrows you may have, of this I can be sure."

"Well then Orlov, when do we meet these Tong members?"

"In three hours, it will take us little more than an hour to get too the border, I have one of my men on duty so crossing will be no trouble, the Chinese guards work for the Tong so their side is clear as well, I have been doing business with them for years and have had no trouble, now what do you wish to do until it is time?"

"I think I should get my boy fed, he must be hungry by now and the jet had no food on it, can you arrange something for him?"

"Of course, Dmitri, come here boy,"

A young teen arrived quickly and stood beside Orlov.

"Take this American and get him anything he wants to eat, make sure he has everything he needs or you know what will happen if I am displeased, now go."

Dmitri bowed low and gestured for Michael's boy to follow him, as they left the room, Orlov spoke to the other three waiting new boys, as he finished a rather long speech that seemed almost like a tirade, the three boys looked at Michael with a little fear in their young eyes, once they had seen that Michael made no attempt to also berate them, they moved up beside him and sat on the floor, it seemed the deal had been done as far as they were concerned.

"Thank you my friend Orlov, I will certainly enjoy them, now I have little to offer you as a gift in return for your generosity, however, perhaps we can visit the jet before we go to meet the Tong, I have a little something you may like and may make your life way out here more bearable."

"Why thank you my Friend, however there is no need for gifts for such a small favour, but, as you say, it is always nice to receive them so I will accompany you to the jet to see what you have, it is the least I can do for you."

Both men well knew it was all said as a front, the price for Orlov's help had already been settled on before Michael stepped on the jet, it was well known in vampire circles that the biggest rogue in the vampire world was Orlov and he would not even help an old lady across the street without some form of payment being extracted one way or another.

The crossing of the border went without a problem, the Chinese guards barely looked at the two gwailo as they went through the barrier, on the other side sat a large black sedan with tinted windows, standing outside by the rear passenger door was a small old Chinese man, his wrinkles made his ancient face look like lines drawn in the sand by rough waves.

Orlov and Michael entered the empty sedan and sat back as the old man drove away from the border without a word being spoken, when Michael was about to say something, Orlov lifted a finger to his own lips in a shushing motion, he then indicated by signs that it was best not to speak at this time.

Michael sat back after nodding his understanding and then let his mind work on his presentation to the leaders of the Dragon Tong, he would have to be careful with them, they had not survived as long as they have by being either careless or magnanimous, everything would have to be paid for in one coin or another, it was their way of doing business, nothing was free with the Tongs.

Swiftwing's return had set Peter's mind at rest, at least for the moment, there was still the nagging feeling of something not right in the world and, as before, he could not put his finger on it, it was something that just set his mind on edge, neither of the boys had heard from their two god sons in some time, Peter was sure that, had there been anything really wrong in the world, the two boys would have contacted them at some time to issue a warning.

It had become noticeable to all concerned that now the country had been made to make a new start, there had been a distinct absence of rogue Vampire and folk seen around the states, over seas there were still reports of many new rogues being blooded, but here, in Peters sphere of operations, there had been a marked reduction, those odd ones were soon found by the many Vaga houses and taken in, not only for their protection but for the protection of the folk at large.

Peter had also noticed that there were still those of the humans that wanted to leave the new Republic, at no time were they dissuaded from doing so, those that could not reconcile the fact that it was a new time and everyone had to make changes, were given their freedom to leave, this also made it a little easier to contend with the many facets of creating a new order in the country.

With the new laws introduced, it was becoming a very difficult country to commit crime, the crime rate had been reduced dramatically now that there were those who could find you out with an ease that was almost scary, there were still those who thought a life of crime paid better than hard work, these were systematically hunted down and then disappeared.

The Vampire Council now had an full and final agreement with the Canadian Government for the transfer of violent criminals to the new Republic, there the sentences were final, in this way Peter's people who needed the blood to survive had a supply and they would not have to ravage those humans who were only trying to make ends meet in their daily lives.

With the Canadian experiment going well, it was then seen that the South American countries could also contribute to the needed blood stock for Peter's people, with major cartels and drug gangs causing havoc in the Latin countries, many a politician saw Peter's request as a simple answer to their many crime problems, although they were never told why the criminals were welcome in the new Republic, all that concerned the Latin countries was the fact that they no longer had to provide for the worst of the criminals, if they never returned to their homes, then it was no business of theirs.

For the time being, life settled back into a quiet routine for Peter and Swiftwing, the daily challenges of both their council duties kept them busy most times and then there were the quiet nights together, the Estate ran itself without too much interference by either of the boys, international communications were kept under surveillance and local problems were soon fixed, life had now settled down into a less stressful way, Peter and Swiftwing were finally able to relax and find each other again after all the problems before the troubles.

Michael, along with Orlov, entered the large dining room, at a very spacious round table set for ten people, sat seven Chinese men, one was very young looking and it took Michael no time at all too see by the younger mans aura that he was indeed a very old vampire, the other six were very old men but it could be easily seen that these men were used to total power.

Michael and Orlov were guided to the table by the old driver; both men were surprised to see the old driver take the tenth chair, on the huge lazy-suzy in the centre of the table was a veritable feast of Asian dishes, it appeared that they were expected for a banquet, Michael well knew that in Asia, very little business was done unless it included a special meal, this gave all parties a chance to size each other up before the real business began, much of the time eating was spent in trying to find a weak spot in your opponent.

As neither Michael or Orlov needed to eat, they simply sipped the small cups of green tea and asked or answered what appeared to be inane questions, every word spoken was translated by the old driver for the benefit of the two guests, Michael well knew this form of inquiry, the time it took for the translations to be made only gave the old men time to digest what had been said, Michael was under no illusion that everyone at the table spoke English just as well as he did, it was another small plan within a plan by the Tong members.

When it had gone on long enough, Michael final said.

"Gentlemen, let's dispense with the pretence, I am well aware that we all speak English here, I think your attempt at subterfuge should be put aside so we may get on with our business, unfortunately I have a very limited time to spend here and need to get to the point quickly, if you all agree,"

It was the young man that spoke for the others; Michael had little doubt that they all knew the young man was more than human.

"Mr. Strong, please forgive our bad manners, old habits are hard to break, we are of the understanding that you need something from us, if you would be so kind as to explain what it is and what we would gain from being in partnership with you?"

"Thank you, ahh...Mr.?"

"Oh, I'm sorry; my name is Chen Sin Yu, all negotiations will go through me, now, what is it we can do for you, Mr. Strong?"

"As you are all well aware, the old United States no longer exist, a decade ago I was trying to cement our position in the country but, unfortunately I got beaten to the punch by a young man and his associates, I have been, shall we say, away, for the last ten years and now I wish to take back what was to be mine, Mr. Chen Sin Yu, I am sure we both understand each other as we have many similarities as I am sure you are aware of, what I need is the man power to retake the country and return it to what it was before the unfortunate events of the past."

"I see, Mr. Strong, and what were these men for, did you wish for, ahh, shall we say, special men or just numbers, it will not be an easy task to take back a country that is so broken, when the disasters struck we lost many good assets on the West Coast, we have very few now available for such a task."

"I can fully understand your reluctance under the circumstances however, the main driving power behind the new reformation, is only a single family, it has the main power base and is providing most of the where withal to reform the old ways and traditions, as you are fully aware, all of us lost much when the destruction took place, if you were to offer me the aid I need, then I am sure we can return to you all that was once yours."

Michael watched as the vampire thought over his words, Che Sin Yu took a quick glances at his other compatriots and finally smiled at Michael.

"You are correct on many points, Mr. Strong, there is however, as you may well realise, a matter of the larger Council that protects Mr. Vallison, there could be a lot of repercussions if things went wrong, not only for yourself, but for me as well as all these fine members of the Dragon Tong, the Councils reach is very long as you well know."

"Yes I do, it is for that reason I need to make my strike quickly and make sure it is finished before the Council can take any action, for this I will need a considerable number of special men so we can strike at multiple targets at the same time."

"Yes I can see why you would need to, perhaps it is time for you and I to take this conversation to another room where we can speak alone, if you would be so kind as to follow me, we have a place where we will not be disturbed or over heard, this way, Mr. Strong."

Che Sin Yu stood and gestured for Michael and Orlov to follow him through to another room, once there, they all took a seat and began in earnest.

"So vampire, you wish to retake the states, do you understand that if I help you I will be putting myself in great danger, also another that is within the ranks of the Prince, if you do not succeed, this very Tong, that has stood for many thousands of years, may also be destroyed, what you are asking would come at a very heavy price."

"I fully understand the implications of what I am trying to do, I must also mention that I am to have a meeting with the Yakuza for men as well, I will need as many men as I can raise for this exercise, there would be a lot to divide up once the battle is won for those who take part."

"That is true, but I must also weigh the risks, if the rewards are not worth the risk then it is a doomed escapade, how do you propose to weaken the Prince enough to take back what was lost?"

"With enough men we could eradicate the Vaga houses, we would have to hit them as much as we can, and at the same time so they can not reinforce each other, with his Vaga houses gone, the Prince has very little to fall back on, taking over his house and eliminating him would be easy once his troops of Vaga have been accounted for, if done quickly and with ample men, the Council would not have time to react, the Prince would be dead before they could take action."

"It sounds like a solid plan, Mr. Strong, and getting enough special men would be no trouble for me, as too transporting them to the country, that also would be of little problem, what are your plans for the Yakuza? Would they be in for a share of the new country under your rule?"

"I would have to make concessions to them, yes, they would be entitled to some of the spoils but I am sure you and I could come to an agreement that your share would be larger than theirs if that is what you want."

"It is indeed, I do have one who is in the inner circle of the Prince, although at this stage I am not quite sure of his loyalty to either them or myself, I can only hope that blood is far thicker than water or friendship, we will have to wait and see, now then, for me to achieve the enrolment of men for you, I would have to put something solid on the table for the other members of the Tong, for the likes of you and I, well we can wait longer than those old men out there, so what do you have in mind to sweeten the pot for them?"

"Across the border I have my jet, on that jet are gold bars worth five million dollars in the old coin, it is a gift for the others and yourself if you can let me have the men I need, also you may have, on completion of the take over, all of the land and property on the West coast from the Canadian border to the Mexican Border and stretching two hundred miles inland, you can annex it for your own use as you see fit."

"A very generous offer Mr. Strong, for this I am sure I can raise, let us say, one thousand men of special abilities, when would you want them to arrive in the country?"

"In thirty days, it would be best if they landed where the old San Francisco used to be or in an area close by, my plan is take the entire house Vaga in that area before anyone is the wiser, it will give us a strong base to work from as we spread eastward."

"And the Yakuza, should they join you, what of them?"

"If they join me, then two groups will go in as tourists from the East coast, another third group will enter under cover from Canada, it will be their job to take the Princes house down as soon as they can get there."

"And what numbers are you thinking of using for this?"

"If I can get the Yakuza to agree, I will use about five hundred specials, I have to hit him very hard with no way to escape, it all must be done before the Council can react."

"A good plan Mr. Strong, I only hope for all our sakes it works out as you planned it, if it doesn't then we will all be seeing the sunrise together, very well Mr. Strong, you will have your men in thirty days, one more thing, something that may help you with your plans, when in Japan, ask to meet with Senti Matsumoto, he is one of us and has no lover for the Prince or the Council, he is also very high up in the Yakuza, until we meet in victory, Mr. Strong, I shall bid you good bye and hope to see you when we win."

Michael stood and shook hands with the Asian Vampire, within minutes they were back in the car and being driven towards the border, it was now time to meet with the next people in his plan. Once back in Russian territory, Michael made the needed plans to get the gold to Chen Sin Yu and his people, once done he boarded the jet along with his three newly acquired Russian boys and left Orlov behind.

Having to take an indirect route to Japan, the flight took three hours and he arrived with just enough time left to find a secluded place for the daylight hours, his enquiries had finally traced Senti Matsumoto but they could not meet until the following night, Senti had said he would send a car for him at midnight and they would sit down to discuss his needs at that time.

The drive for Michael was confusing to say the least, he had never set foot in Japan and the streets filled with throngs of fast moving people distracted him from seeing where they went, after half an hour the black limousine pulled to a halt before a towering office block, even at this hour, the streets still moved with a vibrancy that could only happen in Asia.

It appeared to Michaels untrained eyes that this was the time of the young, everywhere he looked were what he considered to be over dressed teens, some in very outlandish dress, he had no knowledge of the youngster's penchant for Manga dress, to his old eyes they were just over the top.

The driver, a very solid figure of a man who stood only an inch less than Michaels six feet but was nearly twice as wide at the shoulders, led him through the automatic glass doors and through the foyer where three men in trim uniforms inspected him from head to toe, it was easy for Michael to see they were carrying hidden firearms under their well made jackets, these were no ordinary security guards although their aura showed they were only humans as was the driver.

It seemed to take no time at all for the elevator to reach the 45th floor, from this height Michael could see nearly all of the Japanese business district, far below him were the bright lights and hustling streets of the Ginza, the centre of the entertainment business and where a large part of the Yakuza money came from.

At the large double wooden doors facing him, Michael saw two more well dressed men, their suits were impeccably made and fitted them with precision, their aura told Michael they were vampires, both men bowed in a strange way, their right hand on their hip holding their jacket open and their left hand facing upward and stretched toward him in a gesture of showing they were not armed and meant him no harm, it was also telling him that he was a guest, their left leg was placed behind them and bent slightly at the knee, it would not be until the end of the night that he would find out all that this meant.

When he was shown into the large room, he caught his breath, he had never seen a room like it, even in the over opulent old USA, this room took up most of the upper floor of the whole building, placed around the room at intervals of five feet were black clad figures with only their eyes showing, from their aura Michael saw they were all vampires, he thought that the Ninja were a myth and yet here they were, they all stood silently and unmoving.

Next Michael took notice of the others in the room, all were seated in low chairs with a black lacquered table in front of each one, two were showing the aura of wolves, they were huge men and would not have looked out of place in a Sumo ring, their suits were barely enough to hold back their large physiques' five others were showing the aura of humans, Michael also noticed that four of them had the little finger missing on their left hands.

The biggest surprise was the lone teen sitting at the head of the group, he looked like a small 5'6" young teen but his aura belied that fact, his shade of blue was very dark, Michael estimated that he must have been well over one thousand years old but he looked no more than perhaps fifteen, he was by far the smallest of the group but the power he exuded told everyone not to try his patience, this was an old vampire of enormous power.

Senti smiled at Michael and indicated a low chair next to his, it was a place of honour and the gesture was not missed by the others in the room, Michael lowered himself slowly down onto the low chair, he noticed that behind Senti was a full suit of Samurai armour, in front of that, on a lacquered table sat a stand holding three swords, all looked to be very old but also well used.

The whole room reeked of tradition and history; the highly polished wooden floors along with the cushions were of a quality never seen in the West, if Senti's idea was to impress Michael, then he had succeeded, this was old opulence that could never be copied in any form by the West.

Once Michael was comfortably seated beside Senti, the young looking vampire reached out his hand and shook Michaels with a strength that belied his youthful looks.

"Welcome to my home, Mr. Strong, my friend Chen said you had a very interesting proposition to make to myself and my compatriots, if it is good as Chen said then I hope we can work together to make your desires come true."

"Thank you for seeing me Mr. Matsumoto, I know you must be a very busy man and too see me on such short notice is greatly appreciated,

"Think nothing of it Mr. Strong and please, call me Senti and I shall call you Michael, agreed?"

"Agreed and thank you for your courtesy, I only hope that we can come too some agreement that will benefit us both."

"I'm sure we can, now first, let us have tea, it is part of our traditions to drink tea as friends before we talk business."

Senti clapped his small slim hands, immediately a young teen appeared with a small lacquered tray with bamboo implements on it, his aura showed him as human, the boy had a definite feminine attitude about him, he began to set up for the Japanese tea ceremony, Michael, never having seen it before was fascinated at the intricate details the boy went through, each of the men present watched the boy like a hawk watching a possible feast.

Finally the ceremony was over and each man had a small cup of the green tea before him, Michael listened to each word Senti said as he explained the ceremony and the reason for each move the boy made, when it was all done, the boy was excused by the slight nod of Senti's head.

After five minutes and when everyone had had time to enjoy their tea, Senti began the negotiations, after asking Michael to detail everything he would need, much as he had told Chen, Senti looked at the other men present, their agreement was barely discernable but it must have been in Michael's favour as Senti smiled at him and then said.

"Then it is agreed, when you win you will cede the South coast along the Gulf of Mexico including all of Florida to us that will leave you with all of the East coast and the centre with Chen in the West, between us we will have a very strong triumvirate that none will try to take from us, for this consideration we will give you the use of five hundred of our best men to use as you see best?"

"Yes, that is it exactly and, as a further assurance of my intent, I have five million in gold on the jet that I wish to offer to you as a gift and to seal our agreement."

"That is most generous of you Michael, thank you, it does show you are serious about taking back your country, we will be glad to accept this gift in the manner it is given, you can expect our men to arrive in one month, and we will let you know what the landing arrangements will be when you are ready. Now let's have a small whiskey to seal the contract."

Again Senti clapped his hands, this time a different young boy appeared carrying a large silver tray, on it were two very decorative bottles and enough glasses for every man, while they were drinking, Senti had what appeared to be young Geisha girls appear and begin to dance and sing, it was nearly an hour later that Michael realised the girls were in fact young boys.

As a further sign that all was well and the contract had ended in an equal partnership, Michael accepted the invitation to stay in the magnificent penthouse as Senti's guest, as the first rays of the sun showed in the East, large metal shutters slid down and closed off the light, the non vampires all retired and left the two men to go too their sleep.

When Peter arose the next evening, he was surprised to see Sin Yu waiting for him, the head of his personal guards looked to be hesitant and a little embarrassed, Peter waited calmly for the young Asian body guard to talk.

"Peter, I have an unusual request to make, normally I would not worry about it but this is something I never thought would happen."

"What is it Sin Yu, you know you can ask anything you want, I and Swiftwing owe you a great deal, just ask and I'm sure we can help you."

"Well, it's my father, he has asked if I could go and visit him, it's been more than ten years and he says he would like to see me once again, it's just that it doesn't feel right, his voice was not as calm and soft as it used to be, it was more of an order than an invitation to a son."

"Well, I would never want to disappoint him or you, where is he going to meet you and for how long?"

"In the old Pyongyang, it was the North Korean capital before the civil war took place five years ago, it's now the second capital of the unified Korean peninsular, he said it would be good to visit for a week and catch up on things over the last ten years, but it still doesn't feel right, it's not like him to be so concerned about others."

"Well, maybe he is starting to feel his old age, he's been a member of the world council for a long time, and perhaps he just wants some familiar faces around him for a while?"

"Yes, perhaps, so when do you think I could go and see him, the others have been told and are ready to take up any extra duties while I am away?"

"Leave whenever you want to Sin Yu, you have well earned a break away from us all, I'll make sure the jet is at your disposal, it can drop you off and then pick you up a week later or when you call for it."

"Ok, thanks Peter, but I still don't feel right about leaving and there is something in my fathers voice that sounds hollow, well I suppose there is only one way to find out what he wants, I will leave at the beginning of next month and then call you when I know something."

Peter agreed it was a good idea, although he could just as easily have read Sin Yu's mind, he had refrained from doing so, it would be a breach of their friendship even though he too could feel the disquiet from his chief guard, there was definitely something in the air but he could not put his finger on all the new feelings coming too him.

Within the hour, Sin Yu had started too make some of the arrangements for next month, the jet to Korea and the meeting with his father would give him a little peace and a small break, for Peter the house would suddenly seem a little less secure with the young Asian gone but Sin Yu well deserved the short break away.

Although his other guards were just as good and in some cases, better at protecting him and Swiftwing but it would still felt empty, for the rest of the night and well into the next morning, Peter worked at his new responsibilities, Swiftwing received his first call to the Elders Council and would now be away for three days, Peter felt alone in the large house, although it had been rebuilt to almost the exact same specifications as before the upheaval, Peter still felt a certain loss.

Finally, at a time close to midday, Peter set aside all the reports he had been reading, he could not face one more piece of paper or read one more email on the vampnet, the loneliness around him with two of his best people gone was now becoming depressing, suddenly a thought hit him and he reached for his phone, with one quick call he had the new number he was looking for and dialled again, the gruff voice that answered was the same as it had been since he had known the man.

"Jake here, what do you want Mr. Prince?"

"I need to get out of the house for a while Jake, everyone is away on other things and I'm going around the bend here alone."

"Aha, so the little Prince wants to joint the big boys again Huh?"

"You guessed it wolf, now where do I find you, before I go nuts out here."

"Well you called at just the right time, that brother of yours just finished a new club and is having the grand opening tonight, should be some real men here for you to ogle at, be at the number 3 house Vaga at seven and I'll pick you up how many you bringing with you so I know how many cars we will need?"

"Just me and the four guards, Swiftwing and Sin Yu are away for a few days, that's why I'm feeling a bit down and need to see some real men, even if they are just scruffy wolves in disguise."

"I'll give you scruffy wolves, pint size, just you wait till I get my scruffy wolf hands on your skinny ass, so seven it is then?"

"Seven it is, scruffy."

Peter heard a loud, hrumph, from the other end before cutting off the call and bursting out laughing; Jake was still his most favourite wolf along with his now larger crew of rat bags, the wonders of reconstruction that Jakes crew had performed after the destruction was astounding, it had also meant that Jake was one of the most well known faces around the re-growing city, where there were once piles of rubble, were now low buildings and what appeared to be new office blocks and shops, not the tall towering monstrosities of before but well developed four and five story blocks, everyone had decided that the days of towering blocks were over, there had to be a place for the sun to shine into the deepest parts of the city as it was rebuilt.

Now that his evening had been planned, Peter looked at his pile of papers with a new light, at least it would take his mind off things and he could get the last of the paper work done, he would then be free to enjoy his short break from his desk and the thought of Jake and his crew made him smile once again, it had been so long since he had been able to go out with a few old friends and forget the worries of his position.

Michael Strong re-entered the new Republic the same way he had left it, in the middle of the night, only this time he had a few more with him, two young Japanese boys still in their Kimono were sitting close to his side, four black clad Ninja with only their dark eyes showing through their masks were sitting opposite him facing backwards as his older servant boy, with the three young Russians, sat in the front seat and drove the large Humvee through the almost non existent border and into the one time USA.

The two Kimono clad boys were more than they seemed, both were human and both spoke English and would interpret for Michael with the young vampire Ninja boys, the four he had with him were to be his own personal protection squad, unknown to Michael was the fact that they were also there to keep an eye on him for their bosses, should he stray from the intended path then his head would fall or, if he attempted to not honour his word as to the distribution of the new land then he would also lose his head, for the Yakuza it was a win either way.

It was a long drive back to the one time Colorado and the security of his hidden silo, he now had a lot of work to do to make ready for the many men coming into the country, he had no doubt he could accommodate all of them in the silo but it would need to be cleaned and readied for their arrival, Michael glanced at the two human boys, both were young and both were available, Matsumoto had made it quite clear that they were both there for Michaels entertainment, it had been a long time since he had bedded anyone, after all he had been in his death sleep for ten years, tonight, when they were safe in the silo he would take them both on a ride they would not forget in a hurry.

As they neared the mountain hide away, Michael watched the look on the faces of the two boys, of his guards faces he could see nothing but the dark eyes so he had no idea what they were thinking or even looking at, all four guards had seemed a little tense but very alert as they entered the new Republic, they had been given their instructions and were expected to carry them out or die trying.

Michael watched as the Humvee pulled to a stop and his servant got out and found the hidden pad, the young man punched in the code and Michael watched the reaction of his new visitors as part of the mountain wall slid upwards to reveal the entrance to his silo, the Humvee drove inside and the door slid shut behind them, when they had left the Humvee behind, Michael led them to where they would be staying, the two boys in Kimono would be with him, the other four would be close by, the three Russian boys would go with his human servant to get fed and cleaned up.

As Michael and the four guards would be in their sleep once the sun rose, it would be the duty of his servant and the five human boys to watch over them and start to prepare the silo for the new influx of visitors, in the meantime, before the sun rose, Michael had other plans for the two Japanese boys, they were going to find it hard work when they were released, Michael had ten years of pent up needs, he quickly ushered them into his private chamber, it took only a few minutes before those left behind heard the loud grunts and simpering groans from behind the closed door.

The four guards looked at each other as though agreeing on something without words, Michaels servant next found himself splayed out on the floor held by two of the guards while the other two took turns, once done they would change over, for the servant it turned out to be one of the best times he had ever had.

Standing against a far wall, the three young Russian boys could only look and watch the energetic performance of the four guards who never seemed to tire, by the time the sun was showing its first rays and the guards were beginning to slow down and seek their bed, the servant, along with the two Kimono boys, were well taken care of, all three of them found it difficult to move very fast but they also felt fulfilled, the three Russian boys could only stand and look in awe at the three that had just been bedded.


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