Feature Writer: TimeWise /
Feature Title: CONVERSION 2 BY TIMEWISE /
Story Codes: Erotic Horroe /
Synopsis: A rescue attempt, and a Sister becomes a vampire /
The hideous corruption of Mother Selcrie had been yesterday… or that was at least Milyn’s guess, considering there was no way to tell time from inside her isolated cell. But some of the ruffians had come by three times to give her food and drink, so she supposed it might have been a day. The constant, dull terror weighed on her mind so heavily she felt it might drive her mad. She kept praying, but it was largely by rote by now. Honestly, she could feel no connection to the One God here. He certainly hadn’t helped Mother Selcrie, but instead let her be twisted into some sort of monster. But then, perhaps her faith just hadn’t been strong enough.
Everything seemed unreal. She hadn’t been able to sleep at all; there was nothing other than the stool in the room, and the stone floor was both hard and cold. Her thin habit was of no use in keeping her warm, and shivers wracked her body constantly. As much as she dreaded the tall man coming and committing whatever dishonors he had planned, at this point she wished he would hurry up and get it over with.
All at once, a tremendous blast of sound shook the cell, shaking the ground so hard that Milyn toppled over on her stool. Shouts and the sounds of running feet came faintly from outside. A few minutes later, the clash of weapons crossing echoes in the corridor outside. Sobbing in sudden, insane hope, she began pounding as hard as she could on the door.
“Help! Help me! I’m locked in here! Help!”
She struck the hard wood until her hands were bruised and bleeding. At last, there was a click from the lock, and the door opened with a grating sound. Milyn smiled through her tears as she saw a warrior in the threshold, his white tabard blazoned with the golden circle of the One God.
“Sister!” The man exclaimed. “My name is Father Hoyt. Please, we must leave at once! Follow me!”
He led her confidently through the maze of passageways, passing the still, bloody forms of bandits and Church soldiers. The sounds of fighting still echoed all around them. In the upper halls, where the ceiling was taller and windows let in the late afternoon light, they came upon a skirmish; two warriors in white battling a man whom Milyn recognized as the Captain of the scoundrels. Broad-shouldered and thick-necked, he fought the ferocious intensity of an enraged bull, wielding a two-handed sword that dripped gore. Even as Father Hoyt hesitated, obviously torn as to whether to get Milyn to safety or to go to the aid of his comrades, the Captain smashed a gauntleted hand into one of his opponent’s faces, sending the man reeling back with a broken nose, then gutted the other, opening him from belly to collarbone.
Father Hoyt seized Milyn’s arm and pulled her through a door, closing and locking it behind them as the last soldier’s death-cry reached their ears. His face had gone very pale. “Hurry Sister! We are nearly out. We must get away! Their forces are stronger than we had thought.”
Milyn did her best to keep up, fear lending the illusion of strength to her limbs. They burst outside, and came upon another contingent of Church Soldiers fighting to keep control of the square. She felt faint as the panorama of blood and death impacted her. A few of the other Sisters were huddled on the steps, their white faces stupefied in terror, and Milyn went to join them.
Father Hoyt grabbed the shoulder of another soldier and pulled him in close. “Sergeant, we have to get out! The rest of the rescue party inside is dead, or as good as. Where are Selsehtiriel and Haephremanoel?”
“They said something about cutting the head off the serpent, and flew up to the top of the manor! Then there was that explosion… haven’t seen them since, sir!”
Father Hoyt grimaced. “Get every soldier and form a wedge! We’ll-”
Another great roar of sound rocked the air, and fighting died down as everyone looked towards the noise. A bay of broken windows on the top floor gaped like the mouth of some great monster, with shards of glass for teeth, and only darkness within. A body was hurled violently from within, arching out into nothingness in a completely uncontrolled tumble. It impacted on the stones of the square with a sickening thud, coming to rest in a broken tangle of arms, legs… and wings?
*Oh dear God*, Milyn realized in a flash. *An angel of the Lord. What could kill an angel?*
A roar of fury issued from above, and Milyn looked back up, and into glory.
Two winged figures had issued from within and were battling in the air above their heads. One was clearly another angel of the One God, a female form radiating golden majesty, held aloft by snowy wings and bearing a sword of pure crystal that bled pure light. The other figure was recognizable as the tall man even at this distance, bourne aloft by wings of black fire. A whip formed of the same black flame flowed from the tip of his rod, and he lashed at the angel with an expression of cruelty fixed on his face.
“Selsehtiriel!” Father Hoyt gasped, looking at the embattled angel.
The angel look as if she were trying to disengage and escape, but the tall man would not let her flee. She dodged desperately to the side to avoid the whip, but it suddenly split into two tongues of flame; one wrapping around her sword, twisting it from her grasp, and hurling it aside. Darting closer, he batted aside her ineffectual strikes and seized her by the throat. Drifting lower over the square, he dragged Selsehtiriel with him as she clawed at his pinioning grip.
“Lay down your arms, men of the Church, or I will snap this harlot’s neck!”
Father Hoyt sneered in response. “Archers, shoot him down!” As a hail of darts arched skyward, forcing the tall man to veer away abruptly, he formed his remaining soldiers into a fighting wedge, the freed Sisters at the center, and drove towards the gate.
Milyn did not go with them. From the top of the steps leading to the manor’s great doors, she could see that they were not going to get through. The gates were closed again, and brigands swarmed in the space between, creating a killing gauntlet under the directions of their lieutenants. There was no point making the attempt, and it was much safer just to stay put. Besides, she couldn’t take her eyes off the tall man. It seemed impossible for him to survive the rain of arrows and bolts directed his way, but somehow he dodged, jinked, and dove around the lethal volleys.
She noticed something else that astonished her; several times, when the captured angel would have been struck by some dart, he would deflect them with his whip, pull her aside, or in one noteworthy instance, take the hit himself instead.
Why in Creation would such an evil man – if man he was – risk his life for a sworn enemy?
A few hours later, Milyn was feeling much better, physically, at least. Seated in a cozy sitting room at a small table, a quiet servant was just clearing away dishes from the sizable meal she had consumed. A fire crackled and snapped in the hearth, spreading warmth across the room. Before she had been taken in to eat, she had been allowed to bathe and was given new clothing; a simple dark skirt and an off-white tunic. The clothes were strange to her; she was so used to the loose concealing habits of the Convent that being dressed in garments that revealed the curves of her body seemed positively indecent.
When the brigand captain and his men had come out of the manor a few minutes after the Church forces had begun their doomed drive for the town’s gate, she had raised her hands to show them she was unarmed and not hostile. They’d been confused and suspicious, but as there were other matters pressing, the captain had simply left one of his men to look after her while he led the charge that caved in the rear-guard of the embattled soldier’s formation. Most of the Church soldiers were slaughtered, but a few were taken captive.
Milyn saw one of the other sisters, Sister Daria, impale herself on a blade rather than be recaptured.
Milyn couldn’t see that as anything but a bad choice. Since Daria committed suicide, she would spend an eternity in Hell, impaling herself again and again without surcease. And if the One God had no sway here, as would seem to be the case considering the ignominious defeat of his angels and soldiers, Daria had no doubt instead consigned herself to an eternity being tortured and used by demonic forces, if they did not consume her soul outright.
The door clicked open, disrupting her thoughts. The tall man walked in, smiling warmly at her when their eyes met. He carried a silver chain in his hand, and trailed the captive angel behind him from a black leather collar around her neck. He seated her at the table with Milyn, then took a chair himself with a sigh of relief. He was wearing a sleeveless tunic that bared his athletic arms, and tight bandage was wrapped around his left bicep where the arrow had wounded him in the fight earlier.
The angel was the most beautiful female Milyn had ever seen. Her shining, dark hair fell in waves around her muscled shoulders, and within her vibrant, deep blue eyes a fire smouldered. Her full, pink lips were sensual, displaying elegant nuances of emotion in their dips and curves and delicate corners. The full, generously rounded orbs of her proud breasts strained out against the tight material of a black dress that molded itself to her body. Her wide hips curved sweetly down into powerful thighs and long, toned legs. Graceful fingers worried at each other in her lap, unable to conform to the impassive expression on their owner’s face. The glorious radiance that had earlier issued from her seemed muted, only a slight, pearly glow surrounded her figure.
With her dull yellow hair and boring muddy eyes, Milyn had never felt plainer.
“So,” the tall man began easily. “Here we all are. Introductions are in order, I think. I am the Lord Susurrus, but… you may know me better as Zaphatoriel, Second Herald of the Evening.”
The name sounded vaguely familiar to Milyn, but she could not remember where she’d heard it before. Judging by the choked off gasp from the angel, she recognized the name instantly. Lord Susurrus cocked an eyebrow. “Care to share with the little one, kinswoman? She must not be caught up on her angelic history.”
The angel’s lips twisted in defiance, but there was now a touch of fear as well as fury in her eyes. “Zaphatoriel…” she began grudgingly. “Zaphatoriel was one of the seraphim, a powerful warrior and revered scholar. He was corrupted long ago by his mentor, Telesariel, who was the first Herald of the Evening, and fought alongside other traitors in the Second Angelic Wars. Do not concern yourself, Sister… this is not he. After Telesariel was slain, Zaphatoriel assumed command of the traitors, and was brought down along with all the rest in the battle at the Plains of Emarius. This is just some jumped up demon, invoking his name to gain some false notoriety.”
The tall man quirked his lips. “You are a young thing, otherwise you would know the taste of my aura, kinswoman. I suppose I could offer proof that even you would be forced to recognize… perhaps a recitation of the words inscribed on the Thirteenth Seal? A rendition of the Lay of Evening, which I led the choir in singing for uncounted years before you were manifest?” He shrugged, chuckling. “It matters not at this juncture, I suppose. We will get to all that later. The young lady seated with us here is Milyn, and I see you have noticed that she is one of the One God’s mortal brides. What is your name?”
The angel sneered at him again. “I will tell you nothing, demon. You may have gained the upper hand using some vile trickery, but once Hae- my comrade and I do not return, a full Flight will be mustered to hunt you down. Your days are numbered. Slay me, and my name will be sung forever in the Chant of the Glorious Martyrs. My honor will be eternal, as will your damnation.”
Milyn shot the angel an incredulous glance. What was it with these people and their foolish acts of defiance? It boiled down to arrogance, she supposed. This angel, like Mother Selcrie, was so used to being in control and on top of things that being forced into any other role was almost unbearable, causing her to lash out in smug righteousness, certain that soon the world would be made right again soon. She wasn’t so sure. If this man said he was Zaphatoriel, she was inclined to believe him. And like he said, it didn’t matter either way, when you got right down to it. He had them in his power, and needlessly angering him was a poor course of action.
To Milyn, all of this still seemed like a puzzle that was missing pieces. While it would certainly be simpler to regard this Lord Susurrus as a vile demon, and dedicate herself to the hope of rescue and the undying faith of a martyr, what she had seen did not fit that theory. He did not seem to be simply bent on the destruction or corruption of everything around him, Mother Selcrie notwithstanding. Or perhaps he was, and he was just very clever and subtle about it, although that was not what her intuition told her.
The sensible thing to do was to deal with what was in front of her, play for time, and gather as much information as she could.
“My Lord,” she interjected as he frowned at the angel. “If I may ask, why are we here, and what do you intend to do with us?”
He refocused on her and gave her a brilliant smile. “Ah… not only beautiful, but level-headed! If I had a hat, it would be off to you.” He leaned back in his chair. “Since you asked so politely, little one, I’ll tell you. You are here because you are prisoners in a war that my colleagues and I, the Council of Lords, are waging on the Empire of the One God.” He shrugged. “Although I’m certain it will drag the elven Commonwealth in as well before we’re done, considering their alliance. Can’t say any of us will mind taking those self-righteous atheists down a notch.”
“Council of Lords? I’ve never – never heard of them.” Milyn glanced at the angel again to see if this was something else she was just ignorant of, but the dark-haired beauty seemed just as lost as her, if more hostile.
He waved a hand dismissively. “Recently formed. Myself, Lord Sanguine, Lord Sinister, and Lord Sequester. As I said, this is war, and an ugly one. The nature of our enemy necessitates actions that would otherwise be arguably immoral and unethical.” He leaned in close, his green eyes blazing. “My friends and I, we intend deicide, and we will take every opportunity and exploit any weakness to triumph.”
Milyn felt the blood leave her face. “That – that isn’t possible,” she managed to get out, her voice stricken.
“The One God cannot die!” the angel added bravely, only a small quaver in her voice. “He is the Eternal, who brought life into the world and fashioned it in His image! Even were it possible, His end would mean the end of Creation itself, and all would perish with Him. You – you are mad!”
Lord Susurrus wrinkled his nose at them. “Eh… propaganda. The One God cares only for himself, and consumes all those who fail to bow to his tyranny. He feeds off slavish devotion, suppresses reason, destroys art… probably kicks puppies too, come to think of it.”
Milyn could not help the short, incredulous laugh that slipped out. Her indignance overcame her caution. “You would have us believe that the One God is evil, and that you are good? You’re the one who has made war on the peaceful, senselessly slaughtered innocents, and twisted a helpless prisoner into a hideous monster!”
He returned her glare full force with his depthless green eyes. “I have killed enemy combatants, little one, and done what I must. And as to your comrade… she made her choice. She was old, inflexible, and arrogant. The best use for her was as a lesson to the rest of you. And you will note that I did not kill her; instead she will live out the rest of her existence with every chance at happiness. You don’t believe me? I’ll arrange a visit. Do you know that once, women competed to gain the chance at transformation? It was considered an honor, a blessing.”
He leaned back again and held up a hand to forestall any further questions and protests. “Moving on to what I intend to do with the two of you! Quite honestly, you are both powerful young women, who could be a great asset to our cause. I think there is a good chance that, given the information to see this conflict for what it is, you might aid of us of your own volition. And please!” he raised his voice slightly to speak over the angel’s fuming protestations. “I do not expect you to take my word for anything. I will explain some things to you, I will show you some other things, we will do some things together, and we will see how you decide to proceed from there.”
He stood from the table slowly, his eyes lingering on the angel. “Perhaps, Selsehtiriel, I can even teach you some manners.”
She gaped at him, and his smile reappeared. “I have arranged rooms for you both… much more comfortable than your last, little one; that was necessary but there is no need for it any longer. Make yourselves at home, regain your energies. I won’t try and tell you not to escape, since you are both determined young ladies, a quality which I admire. Think about what I’ve said, and we will resume our discussion tomorrow. Now please excuse me, as I have a pressing engagement to twist another helpless prisoner into a hideous monster.”
Daria was falling into a hungry void. If she could find her voice, she would have been screaming, but there was no breath in her lungs. She couldn’t feel her body, couldn’t see anything, but she could still sense what was around her. She knew when she reached the bottom, it would mean the end for her. She could feel tendrils of utter obliteration reaching for her, and a vast expanse gaping like a gargantuan maw.
Then, in a flash, she was pulled back and away, smashing through barriers that ripped and tore at her essence. With a last mighty tug, she flew up and out…
…and jerked upright with a scream, clawing at whatever was holding her down with desperate strength. Everything was a blur of color and sound, clashing together and revolving around in a confused jumble. She gasped for breath, fighting against a tight constriction in her chest. Something was very wrong, and in the next instant she realized what it was.
Her heart wasn’t beating.
The world began to resolve itself into definition around her. A strong form was holding her down to a smooth stone slab.
“…you are back. Calm down, Daria. Calm down. Slow your breathing. Slow down. You are back, Daria.”
“…can’t breathe,” she gasped out.
“You can. Slow down. Breathe in… breathe out. Breathe in… breathe out.”
After a minute, her breath started evening out, and her panic began to subside. She realized it was that tall man who was holding her, the one who had destroyed Mother Selcrie’s soul.
She remembered dying to keep herself from being imprisoned again.
That fear didn’t seem as important now. Killing herself, giving in to that sheer terror at the thought of returning to captivity and the wait to be twisted into some horrible monster, had been the worst choice she’d ever made. An involuntary shudder ran through her as she remembered the voracious darkness that awaited beyond the veil of death. The tall man had saved her from that. He had been the one to pull her out. She didn’t understand it, but she knew it to be true. He had saved her.
She looked up at him, and he smiled at her. “There you are, sweetheart.”
“What happened?” she asked him, wincing at the dryness in her throat. Her limbs felt weak now that her panic had past, and her muscles twinged painfully.
“You died,” he said bluntly, if not unkindly. “But I would not willingly let any being go to the fate you were departing for. So I brought you back to offer you a choice.”
Daria sucked in another breath, feeling her lungs expanding reluctantly. Instead of getting stronger, she felt like her life was draining away again every moment. “What choice?”
“Here, stand up.” He helped her off the slab and onto her feet, where she swayed unsteadily until he moved right up against her, steadying her small frame with his large, hard body. Then he nodded to the side, and for the first time she noticed that Mother Elantine was there, gagged and bound to a chair. The older nun’s eyes were wide and terrified. A slender cut on her neck bled sluggishly, dripping thin streams of crimson down to the neck of her habit.
“This is what you need now, to sustain yourself,” he said softly in her ear. “If you want to live, to conquer your fear, to avoid what you saw when you passed on, you must renounce and repuidate the One God.”
She looked up into his eyes, wondering and afraid. In the dimly lit room, his gaze was lost in shadow. “Sustain myself?”
His lips thinned as he pressed them together, but she was unsure what emotion stirred him. “I cannot bring life from death without cost, sweetheart. Balance is required and dictated by the grand design. If you wish to stay in this world, you must feed on the blood of the living. You are a vampire.”
She choked, clutching at his arms, and he tightened his grip on her to prevent her from falling. “Calm! Calm down, Daria. You have surely heard or read lies about the night-walkers, but I assure you, this does not turn you into an unthinking beast. You are in control, and the master of your own destiny. Look within youself, and you will know this to be true.”
Breathing shallowly, she did as he said. She felt strangely empty, and a terrible thirst parched her throat and twisted in her gut, but essentially she was the same she’d ever been. The thought of killing an innocent still filled her with revulsion. She relaxed a bit, panting, as her knees trembled.
“As I said,” the tall man continued. “You have a few options before you, and you must soon make a choice, or have it made for you. You can only exist for so long in this world now without blood.”
She looked up at him again, fighting to keep her eyes open. “So, you want me to kill Mother Elantine, or… or I go back to – back to-”
“No!” he cut her off firmly. “No. Killing her is only one option, sweetheart. If you wish, you can die again. Renounce the One God, and taste a drop of my blood, and you will pass on to your rest without going into… into the Hunger.” He grimaced. “I told you, I would not wish that on anyone, not my even my worst enemies.”
He sighed, and stroked a hand through her dark hair and along her jawline. “But if you want to continue living… yes, you must drink from our enemy there until she is dead. A life for a life. Or, if you still wish to reside with the One God in death… do nothing. The end will not be long in coming.”
Daria swallowed with some difficulty. “Why?” she whispered, her voice too weak to raise any further. “She is not my enemy.”
“But she is,” he returned softly. “She would consign you to that terrible hunger, and consider it a blessing. Give her the chance, and she will live out the rest of her life doing her best to convince others to feed themselves to it, gaining ghoulish satisfaction in the destruction of their souls. She is an enemy of all life. But you do not have to deal with her. If you wish to pass on in peace I wish you all joy.”
He hesitated a moment. “Nevertheless… I would venture to guess, sweetheart, that while you have been alive… you have never really lived. And it would be a shame to die without seeing how glorious life can truly be.”
Daria whimpered and let her head fall forward against his chest. It was hard to think with her mind so muddled with this aching, clutching thirst. The smell of the older nun’s blood filled the air, striking a deep chord of hunger that knotted painfully in her belly.
In the long silence, Daria thought harder than she ever had before. When she finally opened her eyes and looked up at the tall man, her eyes were resolute. “I choose life,” she whispered softly. Conviction rang in her tone.
He helped her over to Mother Elantine, who was breathing heavily in panic, her eyes wild. She wrapped her arms around the Mother’s neck to stay upright. This close, the smell of the other nun’s body was intoxicatingly delicious. Saliva flooded her mouth, and she swallowed convulsively. Her gums and teeth ached.
His hand rested on her back, steadying and reassuring her. Daria took a deep breath, the air rasping in her dry throat, and looked directly into the senior nun’s horrified eyes.
“This might have been a harder decision, but you were always the hardest of the Sisters on us novices,” she said quietly. “The contempt in your face, the hatred in your lectures about the outside world… I don’t even remember how I came to the convent, meaning unlike some of the other girls, I cannot recall having parents or a different home… all I had was you. We all lived in fear of you. I – I lived in fear of you.”
She took another deep breath and closed her eyes, and when she opened them again, her expression was feral. Crimson seeped into her eyes, overwhelming their usual stormy grey.
“No longer!” she cried fiercely. “I renounce the One God!”
With a snarl, she lunged forwards and sank her teeth into the soft skin of the older woman’s neck. Her sharp new canines bit deeply into her flesh. The Mother’s scream was muffled by her gag. Her heels drummed a staccato rhythm on the floor as muscles clenched spastically in agonized protest. Blood sprayed into Daria’s mouth and she gulped it down eagerly, moaning at the back of her throat at the glorious taste. It was so good, rich and warm and utterly nourishing. Strength surged through her in pulsing waves, and the fading world snapped back into sharp clarity once again.
All too soon, the flow of liquid slowed to a trickle, and then stopped altogether. Reluctantly, the newly born vampire loosened her jaws and backed away from the Mother’s corpse. She wiped a few stray drops of blood that clung to her lips, and sucked lightly on her fingers. Every nerve in her body felt alive, and heady excitement coursed through her veins. When the tall man touched her shoulder, it felt so good she almost purred, arching her back. Her already stiff nipples hardened almost to the point of pain, and an answering throb pulsed in her cunt.
She felt his voice in every part of her body, vibrating on her skin, tugging enticingly at her mind. “One of the strength of your new body is its ability to absorb power from the vital essence you consume. The greater the strength of the blood, the more powerful you grow.
He caught her up in his arms, and she instinctively wrapped her legs around his waist, grinding her heated core against the front of his pants with an eager whine. She was half out of her mind with his touch, and wanted more desperately. He looked into her face intently, his eyes shadowed, and stroked her cheek. “My gift to you, sweetheart, so you will have the best chance at surviving this dangerous world. The blood of a Shining One.”
His hands moved to his neck, and one hard nail opened up a shallow cut as she watched avidly. She felt her tongue dart out involuntarily to wet her lips as dark blood beaded and trickled down. Then he was guiding her forward, and the moment after, she tasted eternity.
Mother Elantine’s blood had been delicious, but it was nothing compared to this. Dark, rich waves of thick, heady ambrosia slid across her tongue as she suckled gently at the cut, afraid of pulling any harder lest the sensation destroy her. She could sense the heavy blood spreading relentless through her body, marking and reshaping every inch, every cell. A tendril of that dark fire reached down through her belly and touched her soaking sex, and her world exploded into sparks and splashes of vivid light.
She let out a plaintive, gasping wail, and would have fallen but for the firm support of his strong arms. He was inside her, he was all around her.
He was everything.
THE END OF CHAPTER TWO