Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Part XII

          Ruben silently stared at Orlando who, after revealing what had happened with Elodie, knelt back down to his grandfather’s side to check on him. His grandfather had been injected with Zombie blood. It meant it was only a matter of time before his grandfather died.
          “Is he going to be okay? What can we do for him?” Orlando asked Fernie.
          Looking directly at Orlando, Fernie said, “There is nothing I can do for him.”
Orlando did not like hearing that. He would not take that as the final word. “Maybe if we get a hold on Maxwell, we can make him give us a cure. He must have one!”
“Dude, I don’t care about your grandfather. My sister is gone! We should be focusing on getting her back. Who knows what Maxwell will do to her?”
Orlando rose back to his feet, “My grandfather is dying.”
Fernie’s gaze traveled between Orlando and Ruben. “How did Maxwell take her out of this room? We did not see them on our way in.”
“There was orange smoke, and then they were gone.” Orlando eyed Ruben cautiously, watching for a reaction. “I thought Maxwell wasn’t a wizard. Ruben, did you know he could move with the smoke?”
Fernie stepped forward. “It’s not Maxwell. He is unable of such magick. It was Elodie.”
“Elodie?” Orlando was surprised by this.
Ruben was quiet. His eyes moved back and forth between Fernie and Orlando. He did not speak.
“Why didn’t you say anything? Why keep it a secret?” Orlando asked.
Fernie had his own question. “Where would Elodie take Maxwell?”
“I’m not sure.”
That was not what Orlando wanted to hear, “We need to find Maxwell. We need to make him give us a cure.”
“I’m not sure where she would take him.”
“You must have a way of contacting each other, so call her.” Orlando took a few aggressive steps forward.
Orlando,” his grandfather called up to him. He tried to sit up but found that he was unable to.
Orlando quickly went to his grandfather’s side and helped him sit up.
“I came over with Elodie,” his grandfather said very quietly.
“What was that grandpa?” Orlando did not quite hear.
“I came over with Elodie. She brought me here with the smoke. She told me that she comes over often, that she has friends here.”
“She told you this?” Orlando questioned. He did not see the guarded look cross Ruben’s face.
“Yes.”
Ruben ran from the room. Orlando hurried after him, his sword in his hand, calling back over his shoulder to Fernie, “Stay here with my grandpa!”
 “Go with him,” his grandfather said to Fernie.
          Orlando caught up with Ruben, who had suddenly come to a halt.
          Maxwell stood before him, Elodie at his side. She had a collar around her neck, the type that was used on the Zombies to keep them under control.
          “Elodie,” Ruben said as he saw her fall to her knees, her hands clasping at the collar.
          Maxwell’s voice revealed his excitement as he spoke. “Things have a way of changing to my favor.” He took a step back from Ruben and Orlando. “I didn’t know, Ruben, that your own sister is a wizard.”
          “Give me the cure for my grandfather,” Orlando demanded.
          “He is full of surprises, Ruben,” Elodie said. Her voice cracked.
          “That’s not all he’s full of,” Ruben said quietly.
          Orlando raised his sword, “Let Elodie go and give me the cure for my grandfather.”
           “What makes you think there is a cure?”
          Orlando did not like hearing that. “There is always a cure!” he shouted in frustration.
          “I finally have myself a wizard. It took me some time, but it finally happened.” Maxwell was very pleased with himself. He seemed to be looking at something over Orlando’s shoulder.
          Orlando heard a movement. He did not turn to look; he didn’t want to turn his gaze from Maxwell.
          There was a grunt that came from behind Orlando, followed by moaning. He looked over his shoulder, “Fernie, what’s wrong?”
          Maxwell answered for him, "The Zombie blood that he has been fighting for so long has finally gotten hold of his system.  He is turning. This is wonderful! A Zombie wizard and you, Orlando, will have the first shot at him. As for you Ruben, you can either continue on as you have, and by that I mean continue hunting down Zombies, or I will have Elodie fight you.”
          “I will not fight her, and I will not hunt for you.” Ruben said.
          “You will not have a choice. As you can see, she wears a collar. There is nothing that I cannot make her do.”
          “Why are you creating Zombies?” Orlando did not understand Maxwell’s true intentions. What his end game was endgame?
          “I am not the only one creating Zombies. There are networks that you do not even know about. We are all competing with one another. If you live past tonight, I just might tell you.”

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