Ch .9.

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Iris had to hurry, time was not on their side. The execution was scheduled a week after the blood moon and if she wanted to save Gabriel, she had to move and fast. She couldn't go out and acquire the list of items the witch requested on her own, she would be short on time if she did so, all she could manage was to recruit a few willing individuals to procure the items for her.

Iris recounted the items mentally, Burgmansia poison, Sekhemet or Bashaa's blood, phoenix ashes and blood for her to feed after the ritual. Easy enough right?

All she had to do was recruit a few people first. She let out a sigh as the short and heavily tattooed vampire left the witch's house and made her way towards southeast D.C.

It was a rough neighborhood but what better place to hide an entrance to a paranormal underground city?
The abandoned subway entrance was dim, the walls filled with graffiti and gang signs. The air was heavy with a foul odor , rodents roamed freely between the rails of the abandoned tunnels.

The city had been built ages ago, by the first generation of immortals, those like Bashaa, before the offspring mutations began. Each century a generation would draw back into the underground and let another surface, thus keeping their existence a secret and maintain durability.

Over the centuries the foundations of the city began to crumble, no one had noticed until the damage was irreparable. Between high humidity and natural disasters, most of the city collapsed onto itself; trapping everyone within its walls to starve and perish. What few remnants of the original immortals slowly withered away without their loved ones to keep them company through eternity. The once bright dawn of an everlasting existence turned bitter and penombrous. One at a time those who survived chose to die rather than be alone without their families.

Bashaa was one of the few immortals that survived and had the ability to turn mortals, with a slight twist to their immortality. As the races grew and varied, the newborns decided to rebuild their underground Utopia on top of the crumbling remains of the previous generation's Dystopia.

Now, more than a few millennias later, the city thrived and thrummed with exuberant life. The constant monitoring of the infrastructures and constant supervision insured that this subterranean Elysium wouldn't cave in and bury them under rubble and decay.

Iris skipped down the steps two by two, trying to get into the city before nightfall. She stopped as soon as she got to the landing before the second flight of stairs. She glanced around hastily, time was running out and there was no one in sight and even if there were, who would believe them?

She nodded resolutely more to herself than to anyone else and pulled her backpack tightly against her back, tightening the straps to hold the bag in place and took off in a sprint. The black haired vampire jumped halfway down the staircase and accelerated her speed, the sprint turning to a full on run before flitting at the speed of light.

In no more than a few seconds Iris had left the abandoned tunnels and ventured in to the bowels of the inner city, a maze of winding and unwinding passages greeted her. The maze of solid rock walls and reverberant echoes would surely overwhelm any unwelcomed mortal trespasser, but any paranormal being would be led straight to the city gates like a beacon.

Deeper into the labyrinth of Ulqu Ālu, the tattooed vampire came to a tunnel junction, her brief hesitation caused her to ram shoulder first into the wall juncture. The sheer velocity of her flitting and the violent impact caused the raven haired woman tumble and fall into the rising river tide that was submerging the underpasses.

A loud crash and crack resonated in the emptiness and a anguished moan soon followed. The vampire sat up hesitantly, a sharp pain flaring all along her right side. She'd tried to ease the impact but it didn't do much.

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