Authors: Susan Reid
The Veiled World
Chronicle 1: Supernatural Selection
H.U.M.A.N.S: The Veiled World: Chronicle 1: Supernatural Selection is Copyrighted © 2014 by Susan Reid ©Susan Reid. Kindle Edition. All rights reserved.
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For the two things and people that mean everything in the world to me.
This story and the characters in it have been birthed from the imagination of the author. Any likenesses to creatures and persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Some locations have been enhanced or recreated for fictional and story-telling purposes.
larger than a firefly moved. Apparently, the larger night critters and insects knew that something wasn’t right, exercising a base sense of self-preservation by staying hidden and silent. Even the night scavengers seemed to be offended by the stench of this kind of death too, and I didn’t blame them one bit.
The salty, warm wind stirred lazily over the tops of the dry grass, rustling them gently. The soothing rush of the surf crashed steadily against the rock base of the cliffs facing the north, close to the entrance of the bar. The earpiece tucked into my right ear carried a soft hum of monotonous static, amplifying my growing impatience.
Clouds drifted in and temporarily blotted out the light of the moon, just as a trident forked vein of lightning split through the mass of darkness. The atmosphere was humid and filled with the scent of a brewing and wicked rainstorm blowing in from the Pacific Ocean. The mixture made it a bit difficult to zone in on one particular scent, but thankfully the odor of the undead couldn’t be masked easily if at all.
Only in quiet this calm could you count on a destructive storm to suddenly strike, rip through, and destroy everything in its path at any given moment.
In this instance, that destructive storm was a Nocturna.
He was spotted lurking not far from the vicinity of the bar entrance by Jax and my brother, Cole, earlier this evening.
What his presence around this area ultimately meant was chaos and death, potentially turning our sanctuary into nothing more than a chow hal
— that much was certain. However, we hadn’t heard or seen anything in the news about any humans dying under suspicious circumstances on and around the mainland, yet.
How and why he traveled all the way out here undetected was a mystery. We don’t advertise the existence or location of the bar. Unless you were an elemental, heard by word of mouth from others who were patrons, and had the ability to decode all the magical barriers surrounding the entrance, you’d never find or see it.
As far as I knew, there were only three ways onto and off of this island for any being; by boat, jet-ski, which is my personal preference, and air.
Nocturnas are like magnets to each other, so leaving him alive was not an option. We were hunting him before he had a chance to kill any… or anymore humans, let alone any of us.
Cole, Jax, and I are Hybrid Hunters. Our race was created and bred with mystical spirit animal Gods that possessed extraordinary and supernatural hunting abilities. From the time we were toddlers, we began our training and schooling. Our journeys were guided by noble Zheng-Tsao Monks in the arts of guardianship, which included fighting, combat, survival, and tracking.
The only exception to our little vigilante posse was my best friend, Isis. Isis is a Sylph or an air elemental in layman terms. She was perched high and hidden among the branches and coconut clusters of a towering, wide-leafed palm tree just east of my position.
Both Jax and Cole’s eyes were like four, glowing orb-like beacons in the darkness from a half mile away. We had all been spread out in a square formation like this for the last hour. No one was going to rest until it was found and killed.
I was hunkered down low, kneeling behind a mound of overgrown dune and salt grass and flanked by flowering bushes to my right.
Breaking the unusual peace, a sudden light and airy whisper came through the earpiece. “This is gonna be a big rainstorm.”
“That’s pretty obvious, Isis.” I answered back.
“I don’t like big rainstorms with high winds, it screws with my magic.”
“Well, hopefully we won’t need it. See or scent anything yet?”
“I can’t get a bead on anything other than seaweed and a little hibiscus. And…I really have to pee.”
I sighed softly.
“Then go and stop talking so much! Damn!” Cole hissed into our conference-style earpieces.
“Females.” Jax commented and sighed into the mic of his headset.
“No, don’t move. You’ll only give your location away and become an instant target.” I interjected.
Isis made a soft whining sound.
“I’ve got your back, go ahead. I’ll keep watch for you.” Jax offered.
“Uh…yeah, no thanks. I’ll hold it.” Isis declined.
“You’ll be hurting when it starts raining.” Jax teased.
Isis whined again.
“Will you two be quiet?” Cole reprimanded exasperatingly in a hoarse whisper.
I shook my head and laughed quietly to myself.
Suddenly, something scurried and rustled violently through the grass to my left, moving lightning fast.
“Six o’clock!” Jax shouted and both he and Cole jumped up from their hiding spots. I saw something out of my periphery but I was too late to react in time to ready for defense. The tang of virulent, undead flesh assaulted my senses just as my legs were tackled and I was lifted high into the air, then swiftly slammed down to the ground on my back.
I grunted, the wind nearly knocked out of me completely but I still managed to swiftly roll to my side and unclasp the hidden blade strapped to the side of my boot.
With a powerful, sweeping kick of my leg into a wide upward arc, I caught and slashed through his shirt all the way down to the flesh. He shrieked, faltering backwards while clamping his hands across the tattered material that began to steam and blossom with dark blood.
I took that moment to click on the UV attachment mounted on the top of my rifle while quickly jumping to my feet.
A guttural sound came from his throat.
“You’re a lot stronger than I thought.” He grinned and then his long, dark tongue flicked out over his pale, cracked lips.
I wasn’t flattered.
He was a blur when he lunged at me again. Both Jax and Cole’s heavy boots were pounding the earth steadily, approaching fast to my location with their UV lights jostling around wildly in the darkness.
Sudden crisp wind began to gather and swirl wildly. Isis hovered directly overhead, orbiting around us to find a clear shot.
Taking him off guard, I slammed all of my strength into a powerful uppercut beneath his chin. His head snapped back with a crack, jaw clicking shut and his fangs stabbed down on his bottom lip. He growled in both pain and frustration.
Not only was he stunned by the unexpected power of my strike, now the several darts embedded in his back and the dot of UV light marking his forehead were all beginning to take effect.
His skin began to smoke and he pitched sideways, landing on his side in an almost comical, overly-dramatic, convulsive fit. He bucked and jerked, rolling over and over while desperately attempting to both cover his face and reach over his shoulder to remove the ten paralyzing dart heads that were jutting out of his back.
Lightning temporarily lit up his terror-stricken face. His eyes were lost in shadows and dark pits, faded to a faint green illumination.
A lower level Nocturna.
This should be as simple as killing a roach.
His long, slightly curving inward fangs, which were designed to hook into and latch on firmly beneath the skin, were exposed in an angry hiss of determination and hunger.
His arm was a sudden flash of dark movement, whipping out to strike me. I hadn’t expected him to be anything less than delirious with pain and completely immobilized at this point, let alone have the strength to continue to try and attack.
Then again, hunger tends to override adrenaline sometimes and the combination of both often makes an adversary very hard to take down or even kill for that matter.
That was one major rule that a hunter should always remember and keep in mind.
I tensed with a short cry as his clawed fingers raked across my side, tearing through the material of my armor reinforced shirt and into my flesh. The attack left a burning, pain and sting that began to immediately throb and bleed profusely.
Isis aimed the light and barrel of her laser rifle down at the back of the Nocturna’s head.
“Shit! Kai, Are you okay? I don’t want to accidentally shoot or cut you!” Isis’ voice rang in shrill both above me and through the now static filled ear piece, scathing to my eardrum.
“Just do something already! Don’t worry about me!” I shouted back.
Ignoring the painful darts in his back, the approach of Cole, Jax—and the threat of being shot by Isis from above, the Nocturna made a ferocious and desperate dive towards my bleeding wound, even managing to knock me down.
He quickly climbed over me in an attempt to overpower and gain the upper hand. My bashing him on the side of the head repeatedly only made him work harder. He was definitely stronger than I was giving him credit for. It was as if he had purposefully saved the last remaining bit of his incredible strength for the feed.
The pop of Isis’ rifle echoed like a firecracker going off and a dart embedded itself into the back of his head. He jerked and flinched for a half a second but was unfazed as if someone had simply thumped him.
Seriously? Then, he bit dow
Deadly fangs sunk deep, clamping firmly and then he began to suck. He immediately began to coo with sexual elation and satisfactory indulgence, panting frantically in an attempt to greedily draw more blood.
His probing tongue delved deeper into my cuts to savor every drop. The act made me seethe with both anger and disgust, lancing me with a new pain that flared and radiated throughout my entire body.
Then he began to spit and snarl, abruptly tearing away from me once a spot of skin on the back of his neck began to boil and sizzle. The noxious scent of decay and sulphur began to infiltrate the close space between us. I took the window of opportune it to deftly roll over and away from him, crouching low and ready to counterattack.
Though the pain in my side was excruciating, my adrenaline was compensating. This is bullshit!
I knew I should have brought my katana for this hunt instead of a damned rifle. This scuffle would have been over five minutes ago without my having been injured. With grit and determination, I quickly emptied my remaining darts and loaded a clip of molotov bullets. Raising my reloaded rifle, I aimed and began to squeeze the trigger.
“Wait! Hold up!” Cole halted me, just as he shot another round of darts into the Nocturna.
He shuddered and his body began to contort and twist once again. This time he began to curl up in agony, finally succumbing to the effects of the twenty odd darts that made him near resemble a humanoid pincushion.
Wait? What the hell for?
Isis landed beside me, pulling out her first aid pack from the satchel strapped around her body.
“Are you hurt badly?” She asked, fumbling with pre-soaked medicinal bandages.
“Not really. It’ll be okay.” I shook my head and waved her attempt at assistance away.
“What the hell took you so long to shoot?” Jax reprimanded Isis.
“Screw you, Jax! You try shooting while floating and using magic at the same time! I got him, didn’t I?” Isis pointed down at the several darts sticking out of the back of the Nocturna’s head.
Jax shook his head angrily and then turned to Cole. “Well? What are you waiting for, man? Kill the son of a bitch!” he growled.
The Nocturna was finally succumbing to the paralyzing serum laced darts. It usually didn’t take this many to slow one down enough so that we could both behead and burn them easier. Nocturna were like mice on speed paired with a ridiculous amount of Herculean strength.
Though I was sure that the darts were doing their duty, I was sure that a part of his weakness was the obvious fact that he was near starvation and death. He was no longer attractive looking, his face gaunt and darkened with starvation.
I knew my brother though. If he wanted to kill him, he could have done it easil
“No, not yet. There may be others waiting close by and who would know that better than this one.” Cole pointed the tip of his rifle down at the Nocturna, and then he did a wide sweep with his UV light around the perimeter.
“Say the word, I’ll mince him up right now.” Isis threatened with two fingers raised. A rush of chilled, sharp air was already beginning to gather and coalesce around her hand.
“Oh, now you want to do something that might have actually helped.” Jax quipped with sarcasm.
Isis glared at him but her expression quickly turned into guilt when she looked at me and then down at my wound.
Her wind magic was actually quite deadly. She used the force of air to form weapons as sharp and efficient as finely edged razors that could literally cut through anything with precision and ease.