And another one bites the dust...
Disclaimer: For once as you read this chapter I am almost tempted to be happy I kinda don't own...
Dedicated to: SafeFromRobotsDAMN for always having a nice word to say!! Thankyou!!
The boy who stood at her shoulder had reached fourteen that day, his green eyes sparkled with almost calculated excitement as he looked up at the woman who stood next to him. She was tall, her once long black hair cut short around her pale face but she looked grave not curious unlike the boy at her shoulder. One of the group of four who stood behind him scuffed his foot against the carpet almost impatiently until the woman sighed and walked over to the cupboard at the back of the small, attic room they all stood in. Glancing back at them as she twisted her silver key in the iron lock of the wardrobe she nodded for them to all sit down on the sofa or the various beanbags dotted about the room. They all obliged quickly, the two brothers sitting pretty close to each other as they waited with baited breath for what she was about to show them. Swinging the cupboard door open she had to dig for a while until she found what she was looking for and even then she hesitated before she drew it from the wooden shelf and shutting the door behind her walked over and knelt down in the middle of the room on the sheepskin rug so they could all see her.
"Remember," She told them all quietly "Close your eyes and open your ears."
Darkness fell around the mansion almost as quickly as it had disappeared, the shadows melting into Melaina's guards as they were devoured by the blackness. But the men were getting restless and their once young and fearless leader could sense it. Many years ago he had been flawless but now he was a stooped and crooked old man, Tiberius sighed as he wondered why Melaina had ever kept him in power but at the back of his mind his genius brain was telling him that it was the reason Melaina kept him in control; without his calculating mind Tiberius would have been cold in his grave long ago. Glancing around at the few men he could see, his sensitive ears scanned the mansion for human movement - he found none and only the contented breathing of dream filled sleep echoed in his ears - in fact the whole thing was nearly too contented for his liking. Silently he signalled the move into the house; long ago Melaina had protected it with a million different spells she had learnt from the warlock who had brought her here but that was a different story and Tiberius was not inclined to repeat it. He sighed as he called the two youngest men in his ranks to the front, their lean bodies darting through the shadows as they rushed to do their duty and break the locks around the house.
In seconds the mansion was wide open and with a nod to all gathered Tiberius swiftly slipped through the front doors and into the great hall, they needed to get upstairs before the screaming started and from the mass of swirling black power, gathered like a whirlwind at the top of the stairs his timing could have been minutes fatally off. Swearing hard under his breath he and the other men dashed up the grand staircase and stood, so there were around half a dozen of them huddled around each doorway, yet more eerie black mist smoking out through the frames. Taking a deep breath of relatively clean air Tiberius smashed his hobnail boot hard into the first door; hearing the men down the corridor doing the same as he and the other men dashed into the room, slamming the door hard behind them.
The man who lay asleep under the sheets barely looked thirty but was strong built and even asleep didn't look like he'd take shit from anyone. His blonde hair was close cropped to his head and he had the beginnings of a beard forming around his chin. But Tiberius's eyes weren't on him for split seconds before they shot to the creature standing on the sheets next to the man's sleeping form. It hadn't even seemed to notice they'd come in, its piggy red eyes firmly focused on the pink skin of his arm, tiny little black fingered fists had their claws already partly sunk into his flesh and its pointy teeth were bared ready to bit down hard into his bloodstream. It was only when Tiberius raised his two deadly throwing blades over his head that the monkey like creature looked up, as if sensing the danger but before Tiberius or any of the men could even think about throwing the little animal seemed to smile as it bit down hard into the man's arm. Tiberius roared in anger and threw the blades towards it, their spinning metal surfaces catching the light and throwing it out at crazy angles as they sliced straight through the monkey's neck - it was dead before it hit the ground.
The man was awake in seconds, shooting up in bed and instinctively gasping his arm in pain as two tiny pinpricks of blood appeared on the surface, it took him a second to register Tiberius but he didn't seemed to believe he was dreaming.
"I'm awake aren't I?" He asked the Master Sentinel seconds later.
Tiberius nodded gravely "But not for much longer, you now have half an ounce of deadly venom circulating your blood stream, you have ten minutes to live." He told the man coldly and in such a calculated manor that apart from the pity in his eyes it would be possible to think he was reading out an answer in class.
The man nodded and got out of bed surprisingly swiftly "Where is everyone?" He asked quickly, not taking any notice of the creature on the floor, gradually bleeding black into the carpet.
Tiberius listened for a second before nodding to some of the men to go check on the other teams, telling them in his own language to bring them all into the room at the end of the corridor where he had noticed the creatures had not yet ventured. "You'll see them soon; the men have to secure the rest of the house." He told him quietly. When the group had gone he turned to look at the stranger carefully "It doesn't seem to bother you that you're dying." He murmured carefully.
He shrugged "It will when I have ten seconds left to live and realise I'll never see my mom, or my dad or my girlfriend again. Then it'll hurt but for now I'm too worried about the rest of them." He sighed and added almost bitterly "Drummers are dispensable."
Tiberius looked at him curiously "You're a brave man; I'm pleased to have met you." He smiled in admiration.
The other man smiled back but it was sadly "That's another thing, I guess that you suddenly get a courage rush when you're about to die, like all the stuff you never did is catching up with you but you just think screw it all." He almost laughed, smiling at the thought. "Pity it has to come now though." He added.
Tiberius smiled at him as there was a knock on the door "Your friends are waiting, and if my maths is correct you have seven minutes to say goodbye."