As Marcozia lifted his stake into the air to strike the killing blow, Denika tried to fire another magical blast at the Vampire, but it deflected it as easily as it had done before, though at least this time Denika was able to evade it.
Denika fired different kinds of spells at the Vampire, but Marcozia either dodged them or managed to deflect the magic back at Denika. The magic that Denika used from her adopted world was new to Marcozia, and he could sense it was, so he knew not to try and deflect those attacks.
“Pathetic. You call yourself a Witch?” The Vampire sneered at her. “You’d be the type to get burned at the stake and be too stupid to realise you could just fly away on a broom!”
Whilst the Vampire was taunting her however, the Circus Master grabbed the rug that Marcozia was standing on and pulled it from under him, knocking the Vampire flat on his face.
Using the magic from her world, which Marcozia had no way of deflecting him, Denika engulfed the Vampire in an energy beam. It would be strong enough to vaporise a human in a matter of seconds, but Marcozia’s Vampiric constitution allowed him to survive longer. He fought hard against the beam, but its power was too strong and he collapsed to the floor, apparently beaten. The Vampire let out a scream, which Denika and the Circus Master soon realised was a call for help.
Four different breeds of Vampire came crashing through the doors. A female Vampire with red hair, and green slimy tentacles emerging from various parts of her body (in truth Kelly.) A small Vampire with green skin, horns on its head, 4 eyes, and six arms. A Vampire with blue skin, black eyes like a shark, yellow fangs, and long arms that ended with three clawed fingers. Finally the last Vampire was a large, skinny, deathly pale, blonde creature with spindly arms and completely black eyes. Its mouth was twisted into a hideous grin.
Kelly shot one of her tentacles at Denika, who was forced to place a magical shield around herself for protection. Unfortunately as a result she had to abandon her spell around Marcozia. Marcozia’s flesh was badly burned from her spell and in rage he jumped at Denika tearing through her magical barrier with his strength and knocking her to the ground below. The Circus Master ran to help her, but as he did, Kelly reached out and grabbed him by the leg, pulling the Vandal towards the other three Vampires, who started to scratch, punch and kick the Circus Master furiously.
Marcozia slowly choked the life out of Denika. He wanted to savour her death after what she had put him through. It had been a long time since anyone, apart from his maker, had been able to hurt him.
With her last ounce of strength Denika managed to summon up a small blast using magic created from her adopted universe that threw Marcozia across the room.
Marcozia however quickly jumped back up and ran at Denika. Too weak to summon up powerful magics, and knowing that Marcozia would most likely dodge her attacks, Denika fired a magical blast into the ceiling causing rubble to fall between her and the Vampire.
Getting her strength back, Denika quickly flew into the air and fired another blast at the ceiling above the Vampire, burying him under a mass of rubble.
Denika then flew towards the Vampires attacking the Circus Master. She fired an energy blast at the blue clawed Vampire. It was clearly not as strong as Marcozia as it was vaporized relatively quickly.
The other monsters quickly turned their attention to the Witch and started attacking her, though Denika was able to evade their attacks.
Whilst they were distracted, the Circus Master headed for his his hat containing the weapons.
Kelly was soon able to get a lucky hit at Denika and send her flying towards the upper balcony, before scaling the side of the building with her tentacles in pursuit.
The Circus Master pulled a copper knife from his hat and plunged it into the blonde Vampire’s heart. (He had encountered this breed in the future and knew their weaknesses.)
The smaller green Vampire shoved its hand through the Vandal’s stomach, but the Circus Master finished him by putting his hat over its head and pulling it down. The hat’s magical security system fired various anti Vampire and Demon repellents into the monsters head causing the green Vampire to slump to the floor in agony. Of all the weapons that had been fired into the monsters head, the Circus Master could see that the iron knife had hurt him the most, and so he pulled it out and shoved it straight through the beasts heart.
Kelly meanwhile had managed to ensnare Denika. Clinging to the roof by two of her tentacles, she wrapped one tentacle around Denika’s waist, one around her neck and four around her arms and legs. The only reason Denika was still alive was because the monster couldn’t decide whether it wanted to crush the life out of her, or tear her into five pieces.
The Circus Master jumped up to the ceiling to attack the Vampire, but Kelly quickly batted him away with another tentacle.
Whilst the Circus Master was on the floor, Kelly reached one tentacle down and wrapped it around his legs and started to bash Vandal against the roof and walls of the Church. The Circus Master however held onto his hat and threw two knives into the tentacles the monster used to hold onto the roof, severing them.
Kelly fell to the ground, dropping Denika who then flew out of reach. The Circus Master threw several more knives into the tentacled monster from his hat, distracting her long enough for Denika to catch Kelly in an energy blast, similar to the one she had used on Marcozia. Whilst caught in the blast, the Vampire reached one tentacle out and managed wrap it around Denika’s throat. The Circus Master however jumped across, and again severed the tentacle, this time using his own claws! Within a matter of seconds Kelly was vaporised into nothing.
The two had not known Kelly in life, but they had ultimately done her a bigger favour than anyone who had. They had spared her from an eternity as that monster and put her down before she got a chance to harm her loved ones.
“Quick get them out of her now” the Circus Master said about Marcozia’s prisoners to Denika, whilst he went for the book of the Vampires which he then placed in his hat.
Denika wrapped an energy bubble around herself and the three people Marcozia had held prisoner who she quickly flew out of the church, with the Circus Master following her.
Marcozia meanwhile pulled himself out of the rubble, roaring and hissing. He ran towards the doors of the church, only to see Denika conjuring up a massive energy blast in front. In panic he ran back through the church. Denika’s blast however brought the entire church down though Marcozia was still able to escape just in time by jumping out the back window. The blast still scorched the Vampire and threw him several feet through the air.
“Cursed Witch!” he screamed in pain and anger.
It had been twenty minutes since Brian had last tried to attack Ashlei. She had now become lost in the factory.
Occasionally she heard her monstrous brother cackle. “Why are you hiding.” Ashlei shouted whilst holding her crowbar up. “Then your pain would be over” Brian taunted
Ashlei backed into a wall. She could barely see anything in the pitch black, but she could at least make sure that he couldn’t jump her from behind this way.
Suddenly Ashlei saw a figure dart by at a lightening speed. It looked smaller than Brian. Had he turned another? She couldn’t take this torment for another second.
“You fucking coward. Fight me!” she screamed in panic, only to be greeted by the sound of her Demonic brother screaming. “What kind of trick is this.” She thought.
The screaming didn’t stop. Still holding her crowbar, Ashlei moved forward slightly, getting a glimpse of something in the distance. It was her brother fighting with a smaller Vampire. The Strange Boy!
“Thank God” Ashlei said to herself whilst dropping her crowbar in relief.
The Strange Boy however had almost instantly abandoned his post. Whether this was because of his increasingly unpredictable nature, or even just because a Vandal had asked him, Ashlei had no idea, but he had tracked Ashlei through the factory.
Brian had no chance against the Strange Boy. His breed of Vampire were far more powerful than Brian’s. The fight was over in just a few minutes, with Brian only managing to land a few hits on the Boy, who in turn broke the larger Vampires legs and tore his guts out!
As Brian lay beaten on the floor, the Strange Boy pulled out a copper knife and prepared to strike it into the Vampires heart.
“STOP” Ashlei shouted to both Vampires surprise.
“Let me do it” she said.
Carlene, Florence and Keptis had managed to make their way to what looked like an old prison where the Vampires kept most of the humans for food, or to be turned into new Alpha’s. (Though they also kept people in cages underneath other old buildings when the prison was full.)
The three had evaded the horde of pursuing Vampires by jumping from the tops of buildings (with Florence carrying Keptis.) They had managed to lose the monsters by jumping down a back alley and then sneaking in through a nearby house, after which they then slipped out through a nearby window.
The Vampires were running through the streets tearing up buildings to try and find their enemies. The three time travellers, keeping out of sight crept in through a back window of the prison.
Inside there were very few people. Most had either been turned into monsters or dragged off to be tortured and killed by the Vampires. The prison was dark and dank and limbs and entrails were scattered around the place.
Whilst Carlene and Keptis searched the nearby area for any Vampires, Florence approached the first prisoner they could see, a young man cowering in a near by cell, covered in blood.
Suddenly he ground beneath Florence’s feet began to shake and she was knocked over as something big began to emerge out of the floor.
It was a giant snail’s shell. Carlene quickly shouted at Florence to get out of there. She knew this breed of Vampire from her time only too well.
Before Florence could even get up however, the upper body of a hideous, green, slimy bald, fanged man came out of the shell and grabbed Florence. The monster didn’t even speak. It was completely animalistic.
Carlene tried to attack the Snail Vampire but it smacked her across the room and through the doors of a nearby cell.
Keptis tried to attack the Vampire next with his flaming saw, but the monster deflected the saw onto its shell which it bounced off of!
Florence however grabbed one of the poles from the cell door that Carlene had been thrown through and stabbed it into the Vampires eye. Whilst the Vampire screamed, Keptis saw its hand off with his saw. Carlene then jumped on the Vampires held it down, whilst Keptis sawed the monsters head clean off.
“Snail Vampires were always my least favourite.” Carlene said with revulsion as she wiped the stinging slime from its back off her hands.
The two Vampires and the Martian were able to free all of the captives with Keptis easily slicing its way through the metal bars.
When they reached the bottom floor however, dozens of Vampires came bursting in through the walls from different corners. The three time travellers were completely surrounded, but they made sure to put the prisoners in middle. Fortunately help soon arrived in the form of Denika, who came crashing through from above in a magical bubble along with The Circus Master and Marcozia’s prisoners.
She quickly scooped the other three time travellers up from the ground and flew back through the sky.
Several winged Vampires started to attack the bubble, though most of them simply bounced off of it. Still each time they struck the bubble, Denika was clearly hurt.
One Vampire managed to jump its way through the bubble just like Marcozia had done, but Keptis quickly disposed of it with his flaming saw.
“There are other prisoners, we need to find them” Carlene said.
The Strange Boy handed Ashlei the copper knife whilst he held the Vampire down. The Strange Boy’s behaviour was hard to predict, but he seemed to understand on some small level why Ashlei felt she should do this herself.
Ashlei still hesitated for a few minutes. The Strange Boy didn’t react one way or the other. It just stood there as always with no expression.
“Please Ashlei. Don’t fail me again like you always did.” Brian whimpered. Even when begging for its life a Vampire couldn’t help but be cruel.
After waiting for a few minutes Ashlei finally plunged the knife straight through the Vampires heart. Just before Brian crumbled into nothing, Ashlei said. “I’m doing this for Brian. The real Brian.”
After killing the twisted Demonic caricature of her brother Ashlei simply sat in silence. The danger was over, for her now anyway, but she started to wonder why she had even fought so hard for life. Where could she possibly go from here. The Special Boy as always didn’t speak or acknowledge anything had happened, but he still didn’t leave her side.
The Circus Folk had managed to find a few more survivors scattered about the village, which they were able to trace using Carlene, Florence and the Circus Masters’ advanced sense of smell. Unfortunately the stress of carrying so many people, now up to 20 was weighing heavily on Denika. She almost couldn’t bare it.
“Down there” Carlene shouted, pointing at what looked like a small park.
In the centre of the park were a few people hung upside down from trees, all women, and they all looked as though they had been beaten and scratched.
Denika lowered them to an area just outside the trees. She was forced to temporarily release the bubble when she landed, she was so exhausted. It was a struggle to stay awake.
8 Vampires instantly came jumping down from the trees as the Circus Folk approached the hostages. They were of the same breed as each other and looked relatively human, albeit with reddish skin. They were incredibly fast and agile. Carlene, Keptis, the Circus Master and Florence battled the Vampires. Physically they were very weak, and quite easy for the experience hunters to overpower, but their speed made them a pain.
Whilst the Circus folk were distracted however, the horde caught up with the time travellers and started to attack their prisoners. One of the winged Vampires grabbed a prisoner, a young girl, and threw her to the horde who then tore her apart.
Denika was too weak to even fight back. Seeing what was happened, Carlene quickly grabbed the Circus Masters hat and jumped in front of Denika and the prisoners who all huddled together. She started to throw various knives at the Vampires. As there were so many different breeds, some Vampires were not affected, though she did manage to slay over a dozen or so of the monsters. There were far too many of them however and they soon cornered Carlene and the prisoners.
Denika managed to muster up her strength just in time and send a wave to blast the Vampires back, before placing the bubble around herself, her team mates and the prisoners, who Keptis, Florence and the Circus Master had managed to bring down from the trees.
“We, we have to get out of here.” Denika said weakly as they hovered to sky. “I can’t hold on much longer. We’ve scoured the entire village, there are no more survivors.”
“Yes.” Said the Circus Master. “If only we’d arrived earlier. We’ll need to fly round the village one more time however.” He continued.
“Why!” Denika said barely able to speak she was in so much pain from the struggle.
“We need to burn it down that’s why.” The Circus Master replied as he reached into his hat for several of Denika’s flame bottles. There were 8 in total which he threw all over the village. He couldn’t make the bottles target each individual Vampire. There wouldn’t be enough for that. Instead he directed the magical flames to take the entire village down. The Vampires started to flee, but the flames cut them off as the spread around the entire village. Among the Vampires Carlene caught sight of in the panic was the young urchin boy.
In a matter of minutes the entire village went up in flames and Denika only just made it out before finally fainting in mid flight. She and all of the others she was carrying fell from about 20 feet in the air.
One of the prisoners even broke their leg in the fall. Carlene managed to catch Denika before she hit the ground however, but she couldn’t rouse her.
“Denika, Denika please say something”. She had been pushed too far, not just in carrying the prisoners, but also in levelling the building and conjuring the magics from her world, which took considerably more power.
The sound of the Vampires screaming in the flames was deafening, but not all of the bloodsuckers were consumed in the fire.
4 large grey Vampires came marching out of the fire and Marcozia stood on the largest grey Vampires shoulders above the flames.
Marcozia instantly jumped at the Circus Master, whilst the grey Vampires went for the others. Carlene tried to punch one of the monsters but it simply grabbed her arm which it then broke before throwing her back towards the flames, though Florence managed to divert her in time.
Keptis’ flaming saw was no use. It simply bounced off of the Vampires and when he tried to fight them in hand to hand combat they easily dominated the Martian. Still he didn’t give up.
Marcozia meanwhile after overpowering the Circus Master had stolen the Vandals hat from him. Whenever the Circus Master tried to get it back, Marcoza would easily dodge his attacks and strike him to the floor.
“Without this box of tricks you’re nothing! Tell you what, get on your knees and beg and I’ll give them back and you can try and save your friends.” Marcozia taunted
The Circus Master looked around at Florence and Carlene being hopelessly overpowered by one of the grey Vampires, whilst the other three toyed with Keptis.
“Well do we have a deal.”
The Circus Master got down on his knees much to Marcozia’s delight.
“I honestly thought you’d have more dignity than that, then again you are a Vandal.”
Whilst he was gloating however, the Circus Master dug his long talons into the earth and threw mud in the Vampires eyes. Whilst Marcozia was blinded for just a few seconds, the Circus Master attacked the Vampire and slashed him repeatedly, tearing his guts out, slashing one of his hands off and clawing out one of his eyes, before grabbing the hat.
The Circus Master threw two gold knives to Carlene and Florence. Carlene slashed the Grey Vampire in the throat before burying her knife into its chest, killing it instantly.
Florence meanwhile jumped onto the back of one of the Grey Vampires attacking Keptis’ back and stabbed it through the heart, before flipping over to face the other two. She managed to stab another of the monsters before it could even react, whilst with the final monster she quickly dodged its attack, slashed at its kneecaps, then its chest, and its throat, before finally stabbing it through the heart.
Marcozia quickly grabbed Keptis whilst Florence was busy with the Vampires and held him by the throat.
“Give me the book” he snarled at the Circus Master. “Or I’ll tear this freak’s head off.”
The Circus Master reached into his hat, but rather than the book, he threw a stake to Keptis who caught it and stabbed Marcozia in the shin, before punching him in the face.
Whilst the Vampire was dazed and weakened from the pain, the Circus Master jumped him and lifted Marcozia above his head before throwing him into the flames of the village.
Marcozia’s screams were quickly drowned out those of the other Vampires in the burning village.
“It’s over” the Circus Master said to himself. The Vampires base of operations was destroyed and the book was in their possession. Sadly not all of the Vampires would perish in the flames. The Circus Master and Carlene had encountered many of the ‘new’ breeds in the village in the far future. Clearly some of them would escape the flames and infect others, or at the very least they had infected others around London already.
There was nothing the Circus Folk could do to stop that, but they had succeeded in their mission in preserving the time line.
It would be another 2 months before they could leave Victorian England however. They had to make sure that the 28 people they rescued from the Vampires did not share anything they had learned about the supernatural to preserve the timeline. They also had to make sure that the families of those who didn’t make it, such as Kelly were informed which was always the hardest part of the mission.
The Circus folk also had to make sure than of the surviving Vampires didn’t regroup and to bury the book. The Circus Master couldn’t destroy it, even if he wanted to. It would be discovered again at a later date according to the timeline, so he made sure to bury it in the place it would be found.
At the very least it would be several decades before its horrors would be unleashed upon mankind again.
During this time Carlene looked after the children. Carlene had been the one who found Ashlei in the factory after they returned to the Circus from the village. Carlene was furious that the Strange Boy had abandoned his post, and scolded him. Not that the little Vampire even noticed. Ashlei didn’t even have to tell Carlene what had happened. She couldn’t bring herself to say it. As soon as Carlene arrived Ashlei collapsed into her arms sobbing.
Ashlei always felt she could be herself around Carlene more than anyone. Even with her brothers she had to be the strong one, but with Carlene she could be honest with how she really felt. Even then however Ashlei still found it hard to talk about what happened with Tom and Brian. She didn’t want to admit it happened.
Carlene would wait on the two children every day for 2 months. Fortunately for Daniel they had managed to catch the infection in time, though he still went through hell for a few days until he was sure he wasn’t infected. It was only due to Carlene’s support that both children were able to make it through the darkest periods in their lives.
Sadly however after 2 months. The Circus Folk were ready to go and Carlene wanted to go with them.
Carlene for the first time in a long while felt that she had really belonged among others when she was with the Circus Folk. Fortunately for Carlene they were not only happy for her to come along after she had proven herself in battle, but they needed her to come along to preserve the timeline.
The reason the Circus Master had known who Carlene was in the first place, was because he had learned about his own future where Carlene would be part of the team on one of his many travels.
Ironically had Carlene not wanted to travel with the Circus Folk then that could have posed a serious problem for the timeline!
Telling Ashlei and Daniel that she would be leaving them would be no easy task. Carlene didn’t want to leave either, but she wanted to move on from Victorian London, and the Vampire also felt that if she stayed with the children; she would just make Ashlei and Daniel targets for both the supernatural and the easily frightened citizens of London.
Carlene intended to leave her house and wealth to the two children, but it sadly it wasn’t enough. For Ashlei anyway. Daniel was upset but he understood Carlene’s reasons. Ashlei simply couldn’t bare to lose someone again.
“I’m sorry darling”. Carlene said softly. “I have to go to preserve the timeline . Call it fate or destiny or whatever, but I have to go.”
“In my entire life Carlene, you’ve been the closest thing I’ve ever had to a mother. Now I’m going to lose you too. I don’t think I can.”
Carlene hugged Ashlei. “I wish it could be different Ashlei.”
“Take me with you.” Ashlei said through the tears.
“I’m afraid I can’t.”
“You just want to abandon me like everyone else.”
“You wouldn’t be safe Ashlei.”
“You can protect me. Please, just ask them.”
Carlene thought about it for a second. Deep down she wanted Ashlei to come with her too. She had grown extremely fond of the young girl. Still she’d never forgive herself if anything happened to her. Carlene decided to let Ashlei ask the Circus Master, believing that he would tell her that she couldn’t come to preserve the timeline.
It was cowardly Carlene admitted to herself, to put the task on the Circus Master, but she felt Ashlei would accept it more if it was to preserve the timeline.
Daniel was adamant about not going with them. Whilst he was sad to see both Ashlei and Carlene go, he had had his fill of adventure and monsters for one lifetime. Somehow Ashlei and Daniel both knew this would be the last time they would see one another and wished each other luck.
“Goodbye Ashlei. I hope you can find peace wherever you go.”
“You too Daniel. I’m sorry I said I’d always be there for you.”
“Its okay I understand. Thank you both for everything.”
When Carlene and Ashlei arrived at the Circus, the others except for the Circus Master were surprised to see Ashlei.
“You’re not thinking of bringing her along too?” Keptis said in disbelief.
“Please let me come with you. I’ve got nothing back here. I want” she said as she clutched onto Carlene. “To be with you.”
The Circus Master was silent for a few seconds before letting out a big smile.
“Of course you can come with us.”
The rest of the Circus Folk were shocked.
“Are you taking the piss?” Keptis said
“I don’t make the rules up. You should know that by now. Do you remember in the year 1949 when we took care of that skirmish between the Goblins and the Monsters, the old man who made sure I took his diary with me? Take a look” The Circus Master said as he took the diary out of the book case and tossed it to Keptis.
Keptis flicked through the book for a few seconds before handing it round the others.
“Well that settles that then.” Keptis said somewhat embarrassed.
“I can’t say that a young child with no fighting skills is an ideal choice of companion, but like I said I don’t make the rules up. Miss McKay I hope you do us proud”
Ashlei hugged Carlene who was still unsure about the whole situation. At the very least she didn’t have to break Ashlei’s heart, but she wasn’t sure what kind of a life they could give the young girl. The Circus Master tossed a coin into the fountain which then turned green, before the Circus vanished in a puff of purple smoke, to another time and place.
Whilst Daniel had had his fill of the supernatural, he would go on to use his wealth to fund research into the occult. He lived a long and very happy life thanks to Carlene’s wealth and he never forgot who was responsible for it. Many years later he would repay the favour to Carlene and Ashlei in 1949 when he met a younger version of the Circus Master and gave him his diary, which he assured the Vandal would come in handy one day for both of them.
An Eye for An Eye