29. Forgive Yourself

539 61 312

Farid turned his head towards me. "So you want me to tell you everything?"

I nodded.

"I don't know everything," he said. "But if I told you the little bit I do know, we'd probably be talking here for weeks."

"I'm not going anywhere."

He smiled—and the smile lingered for more than a heartbeat. "Okay. Let me start with something you mentioned earlier today. You said it doesn't make sense for them to be here." He gestured at the cave's exit. "Why should the U.N. Peacekeepers send a ship to this forsaken island? But it does make sense. They, and the plane crash, it's all linked."

"Are they looking for survivors?"

He nodded. "In a sense, yes. Do you remember that our flight was delayed?"

"Yes." I had spent hours reading at Hong Kong airport.

"I should have realized it back then. This was all part of their plan. As I told you, I was with a group of people on that plane. All of us were..." He hesitated.

"Vampires?" I tried to add ridicule to the word, but it came out fearful.

"Yes, Vampires if you want to use that word. We had a meeting in Hong Kong with others from all over the world. We were discussing business, and we were forging plans to fight those who are trying to kill us... those that run the soldiers out there. They hold high positions in the U.N. and in some government institutions. They're calling themselves the Syndicate. Anyway, after our meeting, many of us took that plane. Only, the Syndicate knew about it, apparently. They must have delayed the flight and tampered with the plane. As I told you, they're powerful and influential. They'd be able to pull this off. Many of the passengers were booked into other flights. None of our group, though. I should have become suspicious right then. But I didn't." He pressed his lips into a thin line and shook his head.

"Not all other passengers were booked into different flights."

"Right. I guess they didn't do that because it would have made the set-up too obvious. So they sacrificed normal people, too. Anyway, they must have sent someone to sabotage the plane. You remember what Pamela said about the incident? She said that all electronics went dead when the engines stopped and that it was weird."

I nodded.

"That sounds like sabotage, doesn't it? And later, the explosion... what are the chances of the two events hitting the same plane on a single flight? And that bomb went off right where most of us were. Bruna and I had been assigned to new seats, maybe to trim the aircraft, which probably was why we survived."

My head swam in a sea of questions.

"And why didn't they... the people from that Syndicate, arrive right after we crashed, to finish off any survivors?"

"Pamela told us the pilot had changed course during the descent. And it was quite a long glide. They probably had to search a vast area."

I tried to make sense of it all.

Here I was—lying feet over head in a narrow tunnel on a lonely island in the Pacific, next to a man who might be a vampire, hunted by the U.N. Peacekeepers.

I closed my eyes and opened them again. Still stuck here, and so was he.

In spite of it all, I felt calm and lucid.

"What does this Syndicate want?" I asked.

"As far as we know, foremost they want to keep our existence secret. They're in influential positions, rich, probably wealthy beyond measure, and they live for centuries. All of that might change when the world learns of our existence. So they eradicate any of us who's not a member of their group and who hasn't sworn them allegiance."

The Craving - MaroonedRead this story for FREE!