Castle Roland

The Prince of House Vladd III

by Arthur


Chapter 5

Published: 6 Oct 16


Copyright © 2011, 2015 by Arthur

Michael looked over the reports of the attack on the House Vaga, there had been unexpected losses, he had no idea that the houses were so well defended, the loss of the small number of Yakuza was unfortunate but could easily be replaced, it was the furious defence that worried him, now that they were warned, his future attacks would be more costly in the terms of body counts, he also had the new problem of finding enough blood for all the new comers.

Michael called his contact in China, it was soon agreed that they would send any number of food humans as needed, it was also agreed that it would be better to have them disembarked across the Canadian border and then taken by road to Michaels strong hold, all they would have to contend with was a few scattered villages of Tlingit locals, to the Chinese that would be no problem, they had always seen the Indian tribes as old fashioned and ineffectual, they could easily land their blood stock without any interference from the locals.

Michael began to make plans for the men of the Dragon Tong to begin attacks further south, the more distance between attacks, the harder it would be for the Prince to defend against, after selecting one of the Vaga houses in the city that had once been El Paso, Michael sent eighty Tong members down there, it was so far from the last attacks they would be taken by surprise and, hopefully, be able to destroy the house this time.

Michael had the eighty men piled into two eighteen wheelers, during the day they would be driven by one of his human servants, at night there would be one of his new bloods, with much less traffic on the old roads now days it should only take them three days of non stop driving to get there, with luck they would destroy the house and be back inside a week, Michael was beginning to feel good at last, with such wide spread attacks, the Prince would not know where to defend and have too split his forces thereby weakening him to the extent of Michael being able to attack him directly.

Michael had at first thought about using the small jet at his disposal but then changed his mind as the flying and landing of the plane would be more noticeable than two trucks on the roads, most of the traffic nowadays was heavy vehicles carrying goods to and from the smaller centres, his eighteen wheelers would be less likely to be looked at.

To cause as much confusion as he could, Michael prepared most of his remaining Yakuza into two groups, they would attack another two houses one to the west, the other to the east at the same time as the attack further south, this time Michael would use one hundred of the Yakuza in each attack group instead of the small number he had sent out last time, his idea was to overpower the defences with large numbers and cause as much damage as he could, with a little luck he may even be able to destroy all three houses, that would put a real dent in the Princes army of Vaga.

The one time city of El Paso had not been hit as badly by the cataclysm as the more major cities on the coasts, although it had sustained some damage, most of the city still stood and was now a thriving community central to the needs of the small towns that had grown up around it, within the city were two House Vaga, the second one being completed just three months ago, Jake had his clean up crew doing the last of the security installations, he had sent his Beta to oversee the final touches along with a crew of fifteen of his ever growing pack.

It was only a few hours before the attack was to commence that Michael got a call from the leader of the Dragon Tong fighters, they had found not one, but two Vaga Houses in the city, which one did he want them to attack, without hesitation, Michael told them to take both of the houses down, the new one would have little defences as he thought it would not yet be fully staffed, in all likely hood it was just an overflow for the ever growing number of homeless Vaga, he detailed thirty men for the second house.

Michael set his computer to voice active and linked into the now four attacking forces, he wanted each attack to go in at the same time to cause as much confusions as they could, in each unit he had two men wearing body cams so he could see everything in real time, if he had to change things he didn't want to wait for someone to answer a phone in the middle of a fight, with the El Paso group he now had to split the camera men up, one with the main first attack and one with the secondary target, it was not ideal but he had no choice at such short notice, at 1.00am local time, Michael gave the order to destroy all four Houses.

Peter was sitting in the downstairs office when the alerts came in, Swiftwing was in transit to Pine Ridge for a meeting of the Elders, Sin Yu had left two nights ago to meet with his Father, in the house there was the usual hubbub of noise as those cleaning went about their tasks and the security detail was changing over, the kitchen was busy with meals for the human staff and the grounds were under heavy patrol, Peter watched the four red lights blink into action, two down south, one in the east and another in the west close to what had once been Los Angles.

Peter sent out the prearranged call for those closest to the attacks to send help, the replies came back almost instantly, reinforcements were on the way but would take a little time, Peter hoped the Vaga Houses could hold out until help arrived, he now knew for certain that everything they were trying to do was under threat, he had to find out who was behind it all and put a stop to it as soon as he could.

In the new house in the one time El Paso, it was Jakes Beta, Rachael, that caught the first scent of trouble, she had been on the top floor in what would become the Avian Roost, doing some final checking when she picked up the faint trace smell in the air, to her well educated nose, it told of trouble, without hesitation she sent out a subsonic growl to alert her workers and then, after switching off all the lights, changed into her massive seven foot Wolf, Rachael backed herself into a dark corner and kept sniffing the air, to her sensitive nose there were at least five strangers on the roof above her and they smelled like vampires but not the smell of any of the locals she had met.

Rachael heard and felt a number of presences suddenly appear close to her, with a quick glance into the dark gloom, she saw six Felines crouch down near the open terrace doorway, they had come from down below to help her, these Vaga cats were not to be trifled with as they were all senior members of House Vaga, Rachael gave a soft growl in greeting and was answered by soft throaty purrs in return, their ambush was set.

On the ground floor, Rachael's fourteen Wolves were setting out their own defences, the oldest had closed and locked one of the large steel lined entry doors but left the other one open, it would cause their would be attackers to limit their rush to only two at a time, along with the fourteen wolves were a mixture of Vaga Felines, Vampires and Canines, at this stage the Avian had not arrived to take up the upper floor until it was ready, what was about to face the attackers were more than one hundred Folk ready to defend their new home, with fourteen very large and angry Wolves to help them, it was not going to be an easy take down for the enemy.

A soft growl from the seven foot wolf by the door told the others that the enemy was near, they could now all smell the new scent except for the vampires but their hearing told them everything they wanted to know, all the lights had been turned off so everyone was working in the dark with only their exceptional senses able to discern friend from foe.

The first attacker was almost missed in the darkness, had it not been for one of the Vampires seeing the distortion in the dark, they would have missed him, with all of the foyer to work in, the defenders had a distinct advantage while the attackers were held back by the narrow door, it was not much less than a slaughter, the Tong fighters had been given an objective and it never dawned on them to pull back when they came under attack themselves.

There were losses on both sides and some of the Vaga carried horrendous injuries that would take weeks to heal but the enemy suffered even more, the last thing they had expected was fourteen fully grown and experienced Werewolves to be involved, they had been told that there would only be inexperienced Vaga, to the Tong warriors, the Vaga were just street scum, the fourteen Werewolves were another matter entirely.

In the new roost, Rachael listened and watched as five black clad figures rappelled down onto the open balcony, it was obvious that they were meant to be infiltrating the rear of the defenders so the Vaga would have to face a fight on two fronts, Rachael watched as the six cats shrank further back into the darkness of the roost, the five figures moved like well oiled silk as they came into what appeared to be an open and empty room, when they were all in the middle of the roost they suddenly felt other presences.

Rachael and the six cats struck, as good as the Tong assassins were, the power and extra numbers of the defenders soon had them overpowered, four were dead and the fifth was now held bound by wire flex Rachael had unrolled from a spool on the floor, two of the cats had nasty slashes, one in a shoulder and the other a deep slice in his flank, both would heal overnight, Rachael had a slight cut across her forearm but it was already healing as she transformed back into her human form, the cats were doing the same, from below they could hear the last of the fighting coming to a close.

Things were not as easy in the other house, with larger numbers of attackers and none of the large experienced Wolves to help, the younger Vaga had only their desire to protect the only home they had known to help them win, at first it didn't seem like much but, their knowledge of the security systems in the house and their need for a home of their own made quite a difference.

The house leader had locked the main doors; he had then sent all his young Wolves up to help the Avian in the upper floor, the felines and Vampires set about preparing the many overlapping security systems from the reinforced doors of the foyer to the fall trap doors down in the basements, most of the defences had been set up long ago and every Vaga knew what to do and how to do it, this was not the first time they had had to defend this particular house.

Paul, the head of this house, stood behind the bullet proof glass of the reception desk, standing with him were the four folk leaders of each species, as he was about to give his last orders, Paul heard a strange scratching at the front doors, it could mean only one thing, the enemy was going to try to blow the front doors to gain entry, quickly Paul outlined his plans and then watched as the other four left to do what was needed.

Being a feline, Paul could smell the burning of the fuses, he ducked as a loud explosion shook the building, with a quick glance he saw that, even though the doors had taken a large blast, they were still intact although now with a large round bulge at the centre, the next charge would break the doors open, Paul took a last look and then disappeared through the rear door and into the underground tunnels of the basement.

As the large double doors finally succumbed to the mighty blast of a second larger charge, the leader of the Tong troops rushed inside along with his men, what they first saw left them with a surprised look on their faces, in the entrance foyer there was nothing, no one was trying to defend the house and all they saw was a glass booth now empty.

Confusion came over the face of the lead vampire of the Tong troops, he had been told there would be a large number of street urchins in this building to kill off and yet, here in the entrance it was empty, this only caused more confusion as they could also see there was no way to go, there had to be other doors but he could see none of them, the foyer looked like four plain walls with only the booth as any means of contact.

Finally the leader deduced there had to be an entrance through the booth, speaking into his com unit he directed his men up on the top of the building to start their attack from above, they would clear the building floor by floor, their instructions were to leave nothing alive and do as much damage to the building as possible without actually totally destroying it.

Five floors above the twenty men began to rappel down to the balconies of the Avians, from far away it looked like a mass attack of highly trained troops as the twenty men slid with natural speed down the thin ropes, as they landed on the balconies their best laid plans became unstuck, from the darkness of the large loft rooms came a storm of mixed Vaga, suddenly the twenty men were fighting for their very lives, after a few minutes they were just trying to survive and escape, the combined talents of Wolves, Cats, Birds and Vampires was too much, as they became used to the attack style of one species, a different one would join in and confuse the fighting style once again.

The twenty men were slowly reduced to ten, then five, then two, finally only one man remained, as he looked up at the large Werewolves surrounding him, he knew his end had come, his final thought was of the leader and how he may have faired, it was the last thought he had as the encircling Wolves tore him to shreds with razor sharp claws.

The Vaga had not come out of the skirmish unharmed either, the twenty men were well trained soldiers and also took their toll, fourteen Vaga were dead and nearly twice that number were badly wounded, as their friends went to their aide, those that were not needed got ready to go down to the assistance of their brothers in the basement floors.

Down below, Paul watched on the monitors, the attackers numbered well over fifty men, there was no way they could meet them head on, he now hoped their defensive plan would work, they had not expected so many men to come, working with the other leaders, Paul set out his defences and got ready for the inevitable attack that would come, he only hoped that the traps that were set would be enough, he knew there were reinforcements on the way but they had to hold out until they arrived.

Pauls security office was located on the lowest of the five floors of the basement, this was the last line of defence and was also the passageway out of the whole complex, he watched closely as the attackers tried to work out what to do next, finally one of them decided to break through into the booth, this was one of the few areas where you could access the upper or lower floors, more explosives were used to break through, ten men were sent to scout the upper floors while the remainder readied themselves for the basement as more doors were blown.

From above, the Vaga could hear more men coming from the area of the foyer, quickly they sent all Avian back upstairs to look after the wounded, in the confined passages the Avian were at a disadvantage, all the Felines, Canines and Vampires got ready for this next attack, they well knew that they could not meet these men head on and so set out to try too pick them off one at a time as they came up each floor, the many passageways worked in their favour as the attackers could not spread out and make use of their superior fighting skills in the open.

In the foyer the men had finally found the entrance to the underground basement, the passages were dark and narrow and seemed to go on forever, there was no sign of any doors and all the lights had been switched off, only the faint flickering red light at the far end told of any way forward as it showed the words 'EXIT' in the dim light.

The men could only move three abreast along the passage, they were no more than ten feet in when the first blast door dropped from the ceiling trapping six men on one side with the remainder still behind, the leader stepped back as the door dropped, it looked like more explosives would be needed, they had not counted on this sort of security, of the six men in front he could only hope they were ready for anything, they were not.

The six men looked stunned as they were cut off from their comrades, suddenly, from out of the very plain walls came a horde of young Vaga, the men had not even seen the sliding doors in the walls, it was a short and vicious fight, the six men tried to hold their own but were soon crushed under the fierce attack of the defenders, only two of the Vaga sustained deep wounds, they were quickly sent back into hiding to be cared for, those still on their feet retreated back behind where the next blast door would fall, as they slipped into the hidden side rooms, they heard the explosion at the first door.

This defensive strategy continued, a door would drop sealing off five or six men and then the Vaga would decimate them and disappear before the door was blasted open, the leader of the attackers now saw that his superior force was being whittled down piece by piece and there was little he could do about it, each blast door took more and more of their explosives and they were now running low, looking around he saw that he was now down to less than twenty men, what had looked to be an easy target was quickly becoming a death trap.

The leader was now in a quandary, did he follow orders and continue the attack and possible lose every man as well as his own life or, did he disobey and retreat with the likely hood of losing his life for not completing the mission set for him, either way he would lose, finally, as he watched another door drop from the ceiling and, even though they had made it to the third level of the basement, he decided that it was now pointless to go further, no one had known these houses were death traps for anyone trying to take them over, he turned and signalled the last of his men to retreat back to the foyer, perhaps if his men had been successful on the upper floors they could come back and finish off the last few floors.

The leader was to be disappointed when he reached the broken foyer, it had been a minor battle just moving back through the destruction they had done on each floor, once in the foyer he was met with another disaster, the men he had sent upstairs were now all lying in a heap in the centre of the foyer, this was the last straw, they would have to get out now while some of them still lived, with almost a tear in his eye, he gave the order to retreat back to where they had come from, the whole attack had been a disaster, what should have been not much more than a massacre of street vermin had turned into the worst fight he had ever been in and his losses would not make his bosses happy either, he knew he was in for a rough time when he reported back.

From the dark windows of the Vaga House, many eyes watched as the attackers slunk away with their tails between their legs, they had had losses but they still held their home, it was now going to be a lot of work to repair it and get back to their normal lives, they also hoped it was the first and last attack they would face, they had lost good friends in the battle but they still held the high ground.

Over in the west at the other house selected by Michael for attack, the Vaga were not so happy, they were a smaller house and had only fifty five Vaga living there, it was however, one of the newest of the houses and held surprises in its basement not seen in other houses before, the entry into this smaller house was just as difficult as the others but, on level three of the basement were the last line of defence, set up mainly for Vampire attackers, the last passageway leading to the escape door was a certain death trap for any Vampire.

Most of the Vaga were young and had not been trained for fighting before coming to the new house, although they had many natural abilities, in a well organised attack they could find it hard to defend, as the first signs of the impending attack came, they quickly decided on the strategy after they had got a glimpse of their attackers and been able to read the auras, they were all vampires, many of them were new bloods but, of the ones dressed all in black, there were some very old Vampires among them.

The Vaga boys decided they could not hope to win a head on fight with the ones in black, their best defence would be to lead them into the only place that could defeat them without one of the young Vaga losing his life, it would be a game of cat and mouse as they tried to lure the attackers to where they wanted them.

Just as with the other houses, the main doors were blown open after two attempts, the older more experienced attackers of the Yakuza let the new bloods rush into the building, the Yakuza Assassins, while liking a good fight, also had no qualms in letting the new bloods take the brunt of any battle injuries that might occur.

Much to their surprise, once they entered the building, there was no one to stop them, the group of mixed new bloods and Yakuza stood around in confusion as the silence of the house surrounded them, using all of their well honed senses, the Yakuza warriors began to look, smell and listen for any Vaga around, finally they heard a soft scuffling below them, as they became alert two shots rang out in the foyer, the new blood hit by both bullets stumbled and grunted at the impact, as he sat on the floor regaining his breath from those quickly fired shots, the others looked for the source, they were just in time to see a small thin boy disappearing down the steps into the darkness, the attackers went after the boy, the kid should have known a few bullets wouldn't stop a Vampire, not unless they were explosive and could tear a man apart, simple copper bullets did no more than annoy a Vampire.

As the first group of new bloods reached the lower level, they saw a long dim passageway, at the far end stood two young Canine boys, neither had made the change but stood as though inviting the attackers to chase them, it was then that each boy lifted his hands and fired off a few fast shots at those standing at the bottom of the steps, as the new bloods rushed forward, the two boys turned and ran into the gloom.

This game of cat and mouse continued along the passageways until they were on the lowest level of the three tier basement, as they stepped off the last stair tread and onto the flat floor of the passage, they saw the 'EXIT' sign at the far end as it flashed red, of the boys they had been chasing there was no sign, slowly they worked their way forward as more and more of the attackers crowded in behind them,

The Yakuza could almost feel something was wrong but did not want to give up the chase, they were on the last level and had not even had to fight for the building apart from the occasional shot from the few fleeing Vaga, it had been an easy victory, once they reached the end of the passage, they were confronted by yet another large blast door, this one had the words 'EMERGENCY EXIT' emblazoned across the width of the door, by now all of the attackers were in the narrow confines of the passage.

The head of the Yakuza stepped forward, with a quick glance he saw that the lock was a simple push bar, as he reached for it he heard a loud crashing sound from behind them, turning he saw a security door swing down from the ceiling and block off their way to the upper stairs, he suddenly felt a cold chill run through his old bones, he had been around for over three hundred years and knew a trap when he walked into it, using all his speed and strength, the Yakuza sprang for the exit door, as his hands touched the metal bar he realised it was too late, from the ceiling above them he heard a soft hissing and, looking up saw the ceiling lined from wall to wall with large round lights.

Using all his strength he pushed down on the release bar only to find it would not budge, it was nothing more than a false hope, the sudden glare of every light in the ceiling coming on together took away the last hope of the mass of Vampires, the bright flesh searing heat of the ultra violet lamps began to rip into the skin and flesh of the masses.

After five minutes of the intense ultra violet light, there was little left but burning lumps of ash and something that looked like burnt jelly, mixed in with the ash and gunk were the swords, knives, guns and equipment of the now dead attackers, the new defensive measure had proven themselves beyond any ones hope, the annihilation had been complete and devastating for the enemy, from the hidden doorways, the young Vaga appeared to look at the results of their handiwork, it was not a pleasant sight, the air was thick with the smell of burnt and destroyed flesh and the floor was going to take forever to get clean once again.

An hour after the last attack, Peter watched the reports come in, there had been some losses that he was not happy with but they had saved the houses and the Vaga were already in the process of cleaning up the mess left behind, Peter now had to get hold of Jake and get him to start rebuilding the defences of the houses, if this was a sample of what was too come then they had to tighten everything up, the best result they had had was from the new house in the West, their ultra violet lamps had been devastating, they would now be used in all of the houses as one of the last resorts.

The losses to the attackers had been horrendous, very few had escaped and of those, even fewer would reach their home base as they were hunted and harried as they made their retreat by every available Vaga and other reinforcement that had arrived to save the houses, Peter knew this was far from over and that this was just the first of the battles they would have to fight.

It was just before sunrise when Swiftwing returned to Peter's side, after a quick kiss and hug, Swiftwing began his report, at last they had some news to follow up on.

Peter listened as Swiftwing told him of the reports the Elders had given him, it appeared there had been a sudden large increase in Asian tourists, many of whom had been so called school tours; it had been one of the First Nation members at the border that had seen the unusual auras and reported it back to the Elders.

After putting all the reports together, they now estimated that the numbers were in the high hundreds if not over a thousand, they now had some sort of idea what they might be up against, along with this there had been another increase in missing youths, in all of the reports it now appeared there had been over five hundred missing people.

With one look at Swiftwing, Peter got the nod he expected, someone was forming their own army with new bloods, all Swiftwing had on the who, was that the largest number of tourists had seemed to disappear in the vicinity of the Colorado mountains, the Elders had a number of people from the local clans out searching for any signs.

Swiftwing decided to tell Peter he was going away for a few days to do some spiritual work in the way of the old ones, he hoped he could pick up some more information from between the worlds, it may be the only way they would be able to trace this new threat to the emerging nation.

Peter kissed Swiftwing on the cheek as the boy turned and left while he went back to his reports and tried to make contact with the International Council, there had to be a lot of outside assistance if the Asian countries were also involved, he only hoped that Sin Yu would come back with some information from his Father.

It was just after dark when Sin Yu landed at Seoul, waiting for him on the tarmac of the private airstrip was a black limousine sent by his Father, it would take him out into the country where the family estate was, he had not seen his Father since the birthday party so long ago, while he was like many Asians, Sin Yu did not really feel the long parting as much as some would have, he was content to be with the Prince and it was, after all, what he had been trained for.

The drive took just over two hours and Sin Yu finally felt a keenness to see his Father once again, if it had not been for the problems back at his new home, he would have been able to relax more, the advent of having attacks by Asian gangs was a worry to him, his Father had to know something about them or at least know where to start looking.

When they drove through the gates of the family estate, Sin Yu was not surprised to see more than one hundred security personnel roaming the grounds, his Father after all was very high up in the Council as well as having business dealings with some very shady characters, it was only common sense to have a high level of protection.

Sin Yu was greeted by his Father at the top of the wide stone steps, he bowed low as respect dictated and was then led inside the huge house, at first Sin Yu thought the faint feeling of tension in the air was caused by his long absence, he did not have long to wait before he found out it was something he would never have guessed that made his Fathers tense smile drop altogether.

As custom dictated, Sin Yu's Father led him through to the main reception room where a prisoner was waiting for his use if he needed to feed, Sin Yu thanked his Father but declined the offer as he had fed well before catching the flight, his Father indicated a chair for him to sit in and then took one for himself, as they looked each other over, Sin Yu got a very distinct feeling he was not really wanted here, it was nothing positive, just a vague feeling of discomfort from his Fathers attitude.

Father and Son talked for a short time and then Sin Yu got down to the real business, after explaining everything to his Father, Sin Yu waited for a reply or the offer of help, the answer he got was not what he expected, before he could react, Sin Yu found himself held in a tight grip by three security, the power of the large Vampires was more than even he could cope with, all he could do was look at his Father with horrified eyes, even his voice failed him.

"I'm sorry my son, you were not meant to come here at this time and I can't take the chance on you leaving any time soon, what you have done is step into something larger than you can handle, it's best if I keep you at another estate until everything is decided over there. I know for now you don't understand but it's really for your own good, when we have all the land we want you can return if you still want to, although I have to tell you that there will be no young Prince to return too."

Sin Yu found he could not form any words although his look alone threatened danger for his own Father, he watched as his Father made a small gesture with his head, Sin Yu felt himself lifted bodily from the soft chair and almost carried out of the room, even he knew it was useless trying to struggle at this stage, these three Vampires were not young bloods, he would have to hope for the best and bide his time.

While the deceit of his Father surprised him, it was not entirely unexpected for the species; it was not unknown for a Vampire to make use of his own siring if it met his ends or he could improve his holdings and position, Sin Yu felt a tinge of sadness at being deceived so easily, his thoughts now were for his Prince and how he could get back to warn him.

Sin Yu found himself thrown into a metal box and the lid was screwed down tight, he well knew what would happen now, the movement of a vehicle told him he was being moved to a new place, he had seen it before, he would be placed in a deep dungeon somewhere and they would starve him until he could no longer be a threat, he would then be given only just enough blood to keep him alive but not enough to give him the strength to escape.

After an hour he was pulled roughly from the box and thrown into a dark stone cell, as the door was slammed shut, Sin Yu's sharp ears heard three sets of foot steps leave his cell door, at least they had left him alone, if he wanted to get out of here he would have to find a way before he grew too weak, that gave him three weeks at the most before he began to feel the effects of starvation.

Peter read the last report, all he hoped for now was Sin Yu's report and he would start to have a better idea of what was going on, he knew that he would probably not hear anything from his personal body guard for at least two to three days so was not worried for him, he was however, very happy with the Vaga, each house had put into effect the defences that they had all discussed many time, true there had been losses but nowhere as bad as if they had not been prepared.

Peter well knew he could not mount a viable defence for them all until he had all the information available, there were still a lot of questions unanswered, the main one was where were all the Asians coming from and why were they involved, it just didn't seem right for them to be way over here, it was just one more question that needed answers.

Peter left his office and went to check his patrols, it was not the time to take any chances, if the enemy had some idea of the Vaga houses then his could easily be targeted and he didn't want to have to take flight again like last time someone took it into their heads to come after him and his extended family of friends.


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