Godric – 44 BC – Wraith Lair
The dark scents and earthen smell of the Wraith lair filled my nostrils as I stealthily made my way down tunnel after tunnel in search of Alia. My sister was taken by Titus, whisked away at the midnight hour before the Pythia’s underlings could retrieve her. I was on a dual mission, not only to destroy the Jewel, but also to save the sister of my flesh. I would not make the same mistake as I did in my first life. I would not forsake my sister to the evils of the darkness that surrounded the supernatural world.
I made light footsteps down a tunnel which was dug from the earth and rock in a gnarled and twisted fashion. The air in this evil place seemed to vibrate and the gravity was heavy. I hoped the Pythia was correct. She said that the Wraith would not be able to sense a human as they could a supernatural being. It was the reason I was the prophesized hero from her visions.
I only hoped I could live up to my foretold destiny.
The lair was filled with gloom and dark shadows and my human eyes strained to see. Sweat coated my brow from the thick, heavy air, despite the bone-chilling temperature. My breath was steady, and my heart beat calmly as I pressed my back to a wall when I heard a voice down the tunnel. Two thousand years of pain and death had tamed my nerves and conditioned my mind to remain level-headed in the face of unforeseen danger.
The voice drifted to my ears once again and I recognized it. It was Alia cursing in our native tongue. I peered around the corner of the tunnel to see her struggling with rope bindings and I quickly rushed to her.
“Godric!” she exclaimed. “You have come!”
“Yes, sister. I am here to free you and destroy the Jewel of the Underworld so that the Wraith cannot finish opening the rift from hell.”
“And what of Sookie?” She asked as I bent over her and began untying the rope that bound her wrists.
“Sookie is well. She awaits our return back at the Great Hall. But first we must find the Jewel.”
“No, brother! Sookie is here. I saw her with my own eyes as Titus dragged her down the tunnel mere hours ago.
“What?” I breathed in disbelief. “Sister, you must be mistaken. I left Sookie in the care of the Pythia before I made my journey here. The Oracle would not allow harm to befall her daughter.”
“It is true, brother. Titus attacked the Great Hall with several Wraith followers. When I overheard them talking, I feared you had been slain. Thank the spirits that you are alive, for my heart could not bear such a blow.”
I stared at her in horror, as my teeth ground angrily in my jaw. They had captured my Sookie. My love! My everything! Please do not let it be so. I realized my heart now beat wildly in my chest and it was like a quickening drum that rang in my ears, mocking me, laughing at my weakness. I had not even the strength to rip it from my chest but if anything happened to Sookie that would surely be the end of my beating heart.
Loud laughter drifted down the earthen tunnel and I looked over my shoulder as shadows loomed from a side hall, growing bigger with each passing second.
“Quick brother,” Alia said in a hushed whisper. “Wrap my wrists in the rope and hide over there.” She nodded her head, indicating a stack of large crates on the far wall.
I growled incredulously. I was reduced to hiding in dark corners like a weakling, unable to fight even the weakest of supernaturals. If I survived this mission I knew I must strike a bargain with the Pythia, a bargain to once again rise as a vampire. How ironic that that which I had loathed beyond all measure, that which I viewed as unnatural, was now the very thing which I sought. Only in retrospect, when it was taken away, had I realized how being a vampire had made me who I am, had defined my very being. I had come full circle, and only then was I able to realize what a precious gift I had been given.
I wrapped Alia’s wrists and slid behind the crates as the dark figures approached. It’s funny how I was now a human and yet I was not. I was vampire and always would be. I may no longer be immortal or able to savor blood, but I had the instincts of a vampire. It was like a shadow that danced within my soul, reminding me with every breath of what I am… of who I am.
I could not see them, but the temperature dropped as they drew nearer. Their voices were scratchy and raspy like hissing snakes as they spoke to each other.
It was apparent that they had stopped in front of Alia.
“Do you miss it?” One hissed.
“I do, I miss the blood of humans coursing through my veins. If I were still alive I would feast upon this one and relish her taste.”
“The Jewel of the Underworld will make us so again.”
“Nay, for vampires are never truly alive are they? But we shall be as we once were before our true deaths. This is our second chance to step foot upon the world again, as titans, as immortals… as vampires.” He spoke the last word in worshipful awe.
That is when I realized the Wraith were not a hell-bound species of supernaturals. That is when I realized they were dead vampires, or rather, vampires who had been delivered the true death, vampires who had descended to the deathly pits of hell.
“The fae blood of the girl was useless. We should kill her and this one too.”
I heard a thud and a gasp as if he had kicked Alia and I stifled a growl.
“Nay, we have misinterpreted the prophecy. For it is not her blood that will unlock the Jewel, but the blood of her first born child.”
“Oh, how I wish I was not impotent. I cannot wait for my body to be reborn. I would much enjoy being chosen to lay with her.”
“Has it been so long that you have forgotten yourself, fool? Even after rebirth, you are vampire, you cannot impregnate a human. No, we will have to use one of the human underlings for this task. But for now we will let her suffer, the day is almost upon us, and so close to the realm of Earth we must die for the day as we once did. Tomorrow when we rise, we will set forth completing the task to have her impregnated.”
“Will the fertility magic work that long?”
“Aye, she will be well primed… and desperate by night fall on the morrow.”
The other laughed and I knew not what they meant by primed and desperate but my blood boiled at the thought of another ‘laying’ with my Sookie.
They began walking away and I continued to listen to their conversation.
“It seems the spell has fully unlocked her fae side. Did you see when she opened her mouth? It was quite pathetic but I must admit… very enticing.” Their voices trailed off as they disappeared around the corner.
I cautiously stepped out from behind the crates and looked down the hall.
“Brother, you must go at once! Find Sookie!”
I pursed my lips and sighed heavily through my nose as I bent down to finish untying her ankles. “No sister. I will not leave you here to your fate.”
“I shall come with you and assist in her rescue.” We both stood up once she was free of her rope bindings.
I shook my head. “No. We are not far from the entrance to the lair. I will escort you from this godless place and then I will find Sookie and the Jewel.”
I held my hand up to silence her. “I have made my decision.”
She put her hands on her hips and narrowed her eyes. “Since when, brother, do you make the decisions? I am the elder of us, by five cycles of the sun. I cleaned your backside when you were but a babe.”
I let out a chuckle imagining that I was once a baby. I had not thought about that in at least a thousand years. I had nearly forgotten that I was once born a human. “You forget yourself dear Alia. I am now the eldest of us, two thousand cycles of the Earth older than you. Humans will discover that the Earth circles the Sun, not the other way around.”
“What? That is a twist upon words my brother. Your demon years do not count.”
“I see I have much to teach you, little one. I was a vampire; demons are a completely different race.”
She clenched her teeth and looked at me incredulously. “And I see that your vampire years have grown your ego to an unimaginable size.”
“I am merely stating fact dear sister. I do not have time for this. I have made my decision and you will defer to my judgment.”
She huffed and crossed her arms over her chest. “Have you always gotten your way for the 2000 years that the Earth has circled the Sun?”
“Yes,” I said turning from her and walking back the way I had come.
She stood like an indignant statue behind me as I walked away, but I soon heard the quick pattering of feet coming up behind me as she rushed to catch up. A small smile formed on my lips.
“You, brother, are just as stubborn at two thousand years as you were at seventeen years.”
We walked the rest of the way in silence, so as not to alert any wandering Wraith and we were soon at the entrance to the lair.
“The sun is already rising,” she said peering at the glowing horizon.
“The wind has died down. It will be easier for you to cross this expanse. You must travel east to reach the edge of this barren land. It will take several hours. There is a small village nestled on the other side. Once there, you can procure a coach to Rome and the Pythia will pay your fare once you arrive.”
I looked at her to see her staring back at me with moistened eyes. Her wavy hair wisped down her face, and the druid tattoo’s of our tribe reminded me once again of her high status.
“Godric,” she said sniffing back her tears. “What if I do not see you again? What if you are struck down in this god forsaken place?”
“I make no promises, Alia, but I swear to you that I will do everything in my power to return safely with Sookie at my side.”
She launched herself at me and flung her arms around my neck and I returned her embrace. Closing my eyes, I sighed and held her tight. “Whatever happens,” I whispered, “I am grateful that you will live… that you now have a chance at life.”
“What are you saying, brother?”
“Before…” I hesitated, “the first time, you died dear sister, there was nothing I could do to stop it. I was but a human and I had not the strength to stop Titus in his blood lust. Promise me, Alia, that you will live your life to the fullest.”
She squeezed me tighter. “Only if you can promise me the same.”
She released her hold on me and looked me in the eyes.
“Promise,” she urged.
“I promise,” I said with a small smile.
I watched her walk away, her form becoming smaller and smaller and the thought occurred to me that it might be the last time I see my sister—my last living relative from my human days.
Finally when I could see her no more, I turned and made my way back to the lair, the hellish place that hovered between this world and the underworld.
1984 – Bon Temps Louisiana
Godric and Eric stood in the bushes on the edge of the Stackhouse property and peered through the gloomy night at the run down house.
Eric looked out of the corner of his eyes at his maker’s profile. Godric was intently focused on the house, his body frozen like a statue as his alert eyes darted from dark shadow to dark shadow. His fangs were fully extended and a low growl only audible to vampire ears emanated from his maker, a clear indication of his distress.
“I do not think this wise, Master. The Pythia warned us…”
Godric held his hand up to silence his child. “I will not let events unfold as they did the first time. Besides, I am the Pythia’s elder.”
Eric shook his head in confusion. “Yes, but she is also your maker, and Sookie’s mother.”
Godric narrowed his eyes at Eric. “I will command you, my child, if necessary. I have prepared us both for this moment for millennia and my intention is to see it through.”
Eric respectfully bowed his head to Godric. His maker was so wise and so ancient that no other vampire who had ever walked the Earth could compare, not even Russell Edgington, not even the Ancient Pythoness. His maker was known as ‘the wise one’ though he had once woven a fantastical tale that in another life he was known as ‘death.’ Eric could scarcely imagine Godric killing entire villages of people as he said he once had, in his first life.
“They approach,” Godric whispered in anticipation. “Ready yourself young child. We must retrieve Sookie.”
Eric grumbled at the words young child but he supposed that to Godric, his one thousand years must seem like a youngling. He peered towards the house as the old male fairy walked up the steps of the porch, the newborn baby, Sookie, cradled protectively in his arms.
The soft crack of a tree branch behind them startled the two vampires and they whirled around, ready to fight.
It was the Pythia, her flowing black robes billowing lazily in the Louisiana breeze. Her gray and white hair lay across her shoulders and glowed in the moonlight. Her milky eyes peered at them with wisdom and concern.
“I have warned you, Godric, for two thousand years I have warned you that you cannot intervene with Sookie’s life until she returns from the past.”
Godric growled with rage. “You do not know for sure that she will return. Your visions have not always come to fruition. She may have very well died that day in the Wraith lair.”
“If that is what happens then there is nil we can do to stop it, my child.”
“I will not let the looming hardships befall my mate. Her uncle… Bill Compton… the uncertainty of her return. No, it must be done. I will take her away once the fairy leaves and she will be raised in the safety of my nest.”
“I am her mother, do you think I do not wish for her to be safe? But if you take her then there could be unforeseen consequences. You and she will never be taken to the past, the Jewel will never have been destroyed…” The Pythia shook her head. “The Wraith may well be unleashed upon our world. And there is another matter that you are unaware of… there is another life at stake…”
“The only life that concerns me at the moment is Sookie’s.”
“You would speak in a different manner if you knew of which life I spoke.” Her milky orbs bore into Godric, willing him to understand the consequences of his actions.
He turned his back to her and faced towards the scene unfolding on the Stackhouse porch. The fairy was enchanting the young Stackhouse couple to believe Sookie was their child.
“I have made my decision,” Godric said with the calmest of voices. “I made it long ago.”
“Then I am afraid you leave me no other choice, my child,” the Pythia sighed.
Eric stood by watching, unsure what to do. He was loyal to both his maker and grand-maker and he understood both sides of their argument.
The Pythia reached out and touched Godric on the back of the head, an orb of light flashing as she made contact with him.
“What are you doing, grand-maker?” Eric said, his fangs snapping out as Godric fell to the ground unconscious.
She looked over at Eric regretfully. “Your maker will wake in a few hours with no memory of the events of his second life. He will only remember his first life when he walked these footsteps. You will return him to his nest in Dallas then you will return to Area 5 and wait for events to unfold as they should.”
“This is wrong, grand-maker, you cannot take 2000 years of memories from him. That is half his life.”
“Do not fear, young one. After the events on the roof, your maker will regain his memories, but alas, it will be too late, Sookie will have gone back to the past. He will be consigned to wait for her return and when she does return, he will thank me for what I have done on this night.”
“But if Godric is pulled to the past with Sookie how will he be here to await her return? I do not understand.”
“Just as the Jewel caused Godric to meld with his younger self in the past, it will also break that meld here in the future.”
“Are you saying their will be two Godrics? One here and one in the past?” Eric knelt down and gazed at his makers face. He looked so peaceful with his eyes closed, so different than the vampire who had been plagued with longing and yearning for his mate for the one thousand years that Eric had known him.
“In a manner of speaking, yes. He will essentially be split in two, just as he was melded in the past. When that event occurs, he will be left on the roof with his memories returned to him, and he will need you. He will be very… distraught when he realizes what has happened.”
Eric bowed his head to the Pythia as she turned to leave. When she was gone he carefully gathered Godric in his arms and took to the sky.
Godric – 44 BC – Wraith Lair
I knew I was getting closer as I crept deeper into the lair. I came upon a dome shaped room carved out of the earth and saw a human sleeping in a chair, keys dangling from his belt. I looked over to see a door on the wall, and I was almost sure that Sookie was being held in there. All the Wraith and their Vampire followers had died for the day, leaving only human underlings to patrol the tunnels.
I silently walked up behind the snoozing guard and pressed my hands to his head. His eyes shot open in surprise and he opened his mouth, but I broke his neck before he could utter a sound.
Gathering up the keys, I rushed to the door and unlocked it.
“Sookie!” I said running into the room. She was lying on the ground, lolling her head from side to side and moaning. “What have they done to you?”
She was writhing on the floor and suddenly I realized this had something to do with the dark magic that had been used on her. The Wraith had said she would be primed and desperate.
“We must get you out of here!”
I gathered her in my arms and rushed from the room, but things were not going well. She was moaning loudly and I was sure that we would be discovered any second. I found what looked to be like a small unfinished tunnel carved in the dirt, so small that I had to bend down and walk while I carried her. It opened up into a small room, and I laid her on the ground.
“Sookie, you must be silent if I am to get you out of here!”
She started tugging at my clothes. “Godric, come closer to me.”
“It is time to go, my love.”
“I can’t,” she moaned. “Please don’t let me suffer like this. I need…” She sat up and her face hovered in front of mine as she stared at me with half open eye-lids. “I need you, Godric.”
My eyes widened when her mouth opened, and I had to blink to make sure I was not hallucinating. The tiniest, most petite of fangs extended from her mouth. They were not vampire fangs, but rather something other, something fae in nature. My blood heated, my body ached, my mind became dizzy and I was overwhelmed with arousal as I had never felt.
Then she struck my neck like a beautiful viper, sending me backwards with her on top…