November 1st, 2011 | Published in Haventon Chronicles
Chapter Three Part Two
George curled up in the corner whimpering desperately. Ragnar had taken less than a pint but he’d taken his time over it and made sure the fool was thoroughly terrorised. His pleas for mercy he didn’t deserve, and would never receive, amused Ragnar. He knelt down by him and lifted his head by the hair so he could stare into the terror- glazed eyes. George whimpered again and soiled himself.
“You really are a pathetic little traitor, aren’t you?” he said. “If I didn’t need your services so badly, I’d kill you now for betraying you own people so easily.”
“Y-yes, Master,” George said in a despairing tone.
“And yet you’ll do anything I tell you to, no matter how depraved, in order to live a day longer, won’t you?”
“Y-yes, Master. I don’t want to die.”
“And you don’t even feel guilty about that, do you? Sometimes, I think you enjoy your work for me too much. Don’t think I haven’t noticed that you always bring home the same type.”
George was silent in response to that, but Ragnar sensed the sudden surge in his already panicking mind before his internal shields slammed down. He hadn’t realised that the vampire suspected he enjoyed watching the girls succumb to despair.
Ragnar snarled and smashed George’s head against the concrete floor, careful not to knock him out. “You aren’t just pathetic, you’re disgusting!” He kicked him in the ribs and stalked away muttering about finding a replacement as soon as possible. He didn’t want this twisted creature near his prey any longer than necessary.
He grabbed a bottle of pig’s blood and mixed it with some wine in a carafe. Animal blood was tasteless at best, and the sharpness of the anticoagulant made it unbearable without something to mellow it. Then, he headed into his garden to think. It was a lovely clear night and the waxing moon was beautiful. He bowed his head to her, wishing he could remember the rituals his long dead wife would have used, and poured a libation from the carafe. Then he sat down with his own glass and considered what he’d seen of the young hunter in George’s mind.
She was a pretty little thing, but she had a core of inner fire. He could probably use her, but it would take a lot of work. She was neither weak nor tractable and wouldn’t willingly betray her own people like George had, unless she was first poisoned against them. It should be possible. George had detected some emotional instability in her.
He would have to search her mind for levers he could use to turn her against The Order. They must be destroyed before humanity as whole rediscovered the existence of vampires. They had knowledge which would give the humans an edge in the inevitable war. If his kind were to survive, The Order must be destroyed and soon. Only a vampire victory would allow both races to survive. Vampires needed humans, but humans didn’t need them. They’d never tolerate vampires.
But could he use this Anna? He had to check. If she was in range, he should be able to find her via the mental image he taken from George, and he had a very good range.
Ragnar reached out, scanned the area for the girl and located her mind about a mile away. George was right. For how close she was, her signature was surprisingly weak until he homed in on it. How strange.
She was asleep and not dreaming, so he need have no fear of her realising what was happening, but her mind was incredibly hard to read. She didn’t have shields or anything that suggested a latent psychic power. It was more like her mind was somehow on a slightly different frequency to most humans. It was like getting static. George, being human himself, would not have been able to filter it out but Ragnar could and would.
He carefully filtered out the noise, and her mind slowly came into focus. Oh, yes! She would be perfect. How stupid of the Order to punish this fragile girl so harshly for her error. He was glad they hadn’t looked closer at her failure. They would surely have realised George was a procurer if they had, but the stupidity of it offended him. Anna was far too unstable to be forced into a hunting role. Most hunters were… Damn it! The Order made him angry. They hurt everyone. The only tolerable ones were those who hunted the moon-cursed. Once the war with humanity was won, his kind would have to deal with the werewolves once and for all.
As to Anna, revenge would be his lever. They’d alienated her and her conscience was her only restraint. He set to work enflaming her anger and damping down her guilt.
There’s nothing to feel guilty about, dear Anna, he whispered in her mind. You’re right to want revenge for how they’ve hurt you. It’s better than they deserve. They do more damage than to the vampires they claim to fight. Help me destroy them.
Her mind tried to reject his alterations, but he overwhelmed her easily, implanting images of The Order being punished for mistreating her and the certainty that it wasn’t just her. He smiled as he realised that the thought that they had mistreated others was a better lever than their treatment of her. How sweet.
You see, betraying them will be just. Enjoying watching them plead for the mercy of death will be ecstacy. He told her. Again, her subconscious fought him. Again, he forced the change in her mindset.
She was remarkably strong. He would have to reinforce these changes every night until they became permanent. If she survived being his spy with both her life and sanity intact, he would have to turn her. He needed a lieutenant for the coming war, and she had what it took. Especially since, hidden so deep in her mind she would never notice it, was the fantasy that one her victims would overpower and turn her. A nightmare common to hunters; Anna was ambivalent about it instead of sickened. An even better lever!
He pushed the thought closer to the surface and nudged her ambivalence towards desire. Then, he wove her a dream of being seduced and turned into a vampire while those she had betrayed looked on as part of their punishment. She would dream it every night until she sought him out and begged to help him.
As a final precaution he embedded commands to stop her warning anyone what was happening even if she realised, and traps which would contain her mind until he could rewrite it if she did.
She shouldn’t realise that she no longer cared to warn anyone, but it paid to be cautious. Once the mind-work was complete, she’d be grateful for what he’d done to her. It wouldn’t be long before she came to him. He would look forward to it.
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