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Submitted on
May 4, 2011
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It had all gone wrong. It had all gone so horribly wrong.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord...

The mission had never had a particularly good chance of success. A three strong team trying to rid the Parisian catacombs of an entire nest of vampires was always going to be tantamount to suicide no matter how well they planned or how experienced they were. And that was before you tried dealing with the language barrier. Henreich spoke no English, Juanita spoke no German, and the one language they did have in common, Spanish, Sinclair only knew the very basics. But it had to be done and a three strong team was better than the solo mission Sinclair would have been attempting otherwise.

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven...

It had gone surprisingly well in the beginning. Despite what he hoped for, Sinclair had been fully expecting to only be able to get to the outer segments of the nest before encountering too much resistance to carry on. But the size of the nest compared to the size of the tunnel network they had to operate in meant these outliers were significantly far enough away from the heart of the nest that no reinforcements came. Their experience and planning enabled them to plough through the small groups like a hot knife through butter. A violent explosion of stakes, blades, and holy water leaving nothing alive (or undead in this case) in their path. Sinclair hadn't even needed to touch his silver bullets yet.

Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end...

None of them knew if it was set up like this deliberately to make invaders like themselves overconfident, or if it was just sheer bad luck, but right around the point where it would have been just as dangerous to start heading back as it was to press on things started getting more difficult. None of them had any particular interest in dying but since death was equally likely whichever way they went at this point they'd all rather die at least attempting to take out the heart rather than while running away.

O my Jesus, have mercy on us...

The fights were getting harder now; they were no longer just able to march through the creature with barely a pause. And worse the creatures were now numerous enough that some of their number had been able to escape with ease to warn the others deeper within the nest. Not that they would have needed a great deal of warning at this point: Sinclair had been forced to resort to his gun and the noise of the shot echoed far down the tunnels. And of course there were the numerous wounds they were all sporting. Vampires were worse than sharks for sniffing out blood. They'd be closing in within minutes.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee...

Their carefully laid out plans all started falling apart. While it had been highly advantageous in the beginning the downside of having highly scattered outer groups meant they'd left quite a lot of vampires between themselves and their exit. They could no longer afford to take a minute to prep before fights with the creatures jumping out at every opportunity and an unknown (but very large sounding) mass of them coming up from behind. The group was being herded and they all knew it. But what choices did they have left to them? 'Theirs but to do and die' Juanita quoted with less than her usual cheer. Sinclair didn't bother translating that one for Henreich. He thought he probably understood the general gist of it at least.

God, our Father, please send us holy priests, all for the sacred and Eucharistic heart of Jesus...

Inexplicably they were herded into their ultimate destination anyway: the heart of the nest. And that was when the blood bath truly got going. Even if it hadn't been removed earlier there was definitely no option for retreat now. Their only chance of survival was to somehow kill the head vampire and hope it would weaken and demoralise the others enough that they'd flee rather than enact revenge. Unfortunately before they could even try that they had to reach the head vampire. Not exactly a simple walk in the park. Outnumbered as badly as they were with only the one hope of survival plans and tactics became meaningless. As one they charged, expending every resource they had left to them to simply dodge and barrel their way through and reach their target.

Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life our sweetness and our hope...

Sinclair didn't see it happen. To be honest Sinclair wasn't entirely sure what happened when they hit the crowd of vampires. He lost sight of the others, his only awareness that they were still around from the blasphemy they were using to turn the air blue and the occasional spray of ice cold blood that he knew he hadn't been responsible for. But suddenly the tide changed; an ear splitting wail echoed throughout the room and the vampires were no longer struggling to get to him but fighting tooth and nail to get past and away. There were still more than enough with the bloodlust to keep fighting so he couldn't take advantage of this mass panic and get away himself.

O God, by the life, death and resurrection of Your only begotten Son, You purchased for us the rewards of eternal life...

His own struggle for survival and the creatures' desperate flight was the last thing he properly recalled. It was always the way with head injuries. With any luck the exact details would return later but as it currently was it seemed to him that he'd gone from that fight to waking up in a strange corridor, half buried under corpses, and covered in blood. And distressingly a good portion of it was his own blood. The dead vampires weren't going to be in very great need of their clothes any time soon so he did have plenty of material to use as bandages, but even these were soaking through quite dramatically by the time he was able to stand up without the room spinning.

Most Holy Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - I adore thee profoundly...

He didn't know where he was. His light source was gone; probably broken and abandoned when he got hit on the head. And worst of all his allies were gone. He hoped they'd found their way out of this place, either on their own terms or carried along with the crowd. If they were dead...No, he wouldn't let himself think about that. If they were dead they were beyond his help and he'd grieve for them later. If they were alive...well, he just had to hope they weren't. Either way they weren't here right now so he'd have to get moving to find his way out by himself.

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You...

Juanita and Henreich being gone apparently weren't the biggest of his problems right now. Their leader dying (or whatever had caused that panic earlier) hadn't been as demoralising as it really should have been. Half an hour of limping along (and a couple of bandage changes) and he could hear what sounded uncomfortably like a hunting party gathering in the tunnels behind him. And he was providing them with one hell of a blood trail to follow. He really didn't have a great deal of options left open to him. Much the same as earlier it was limited to die fighting or die running. And thus he found himself huddling against the catacomb wall, gun in one hand and rosary in the other, alone apart from the sound of his approaching death and the gentle clink of beads.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary that never was it known that anyone who fled to Your protection, implored Your help, or sought Your intercession was left unaided...

"What are you doing with those beads?"

Sinclair almost jumped clean out of his skin at the sudden voice right by his ear. He swivelled in his crouching position but of course couldn't make anything out about the speaker hidden as he was by the total darkness. had he seen that Sinclair had his rosary then? Or had he asked about what he was doing because he knew they were beads but couldn't see what was going on...

Why the hell was he thinking this through? He had far more pressing needs to deal with right now.

"It's a rosary," he said bluntly. "I'm using it to pray before the vampires get here. If you want to live I suggest you get out of here before they arrive." There was a brief pause as a thought made its way past the hope starting to bloom with his chest. "How did you get down here anyway?" he asked. "Do you know a way out?"

"That's one way of putting it," the other man said. "Just a minute..." There was a faint rustling and the sound and spark of a match being struck. His new companion was younger than Sinclair had been expecting. Far too young to be allowed to wander into vampire infested catacombs at the very least. You really should be over a certain age before you were permitted to risk not getting any older. "'re using those beads to talk to someone?"

"That's one way of putting it," Sinclair parroted back, glancing over his shoulder to see if the vampires were approaching yet. "Seriously though, how did you get down here because I'll be damned if I'm going to just give up and die if I'm a stone's throw of escaping." Seeing the flickering of the match's flame would hold the vampires off for a little, but if they started trying to flee it wouldn't give them much of a head start. They had to leave now while the creatures were still wary.
The boy tilted his head to one side. "You don't give up do you...that's a good quality. A quality I need right now. If I get you out of here will you help me?"

"Helping people is what I do," Sinclair said, shooting another furtive glance over his shoulder. He could see careful movement just outside the circle of the light from the match. Then, slow as a snake, a hauntingly pale face with teeth fully extended edged its way into the light towards them. Sinclair raised his gun. Three bullets left out of the small horde he'd brought down here. He'd best make them count. "If you're going to get us out of here you'd best do it quick. If I go down there's nothing to stop them going after you too."

"Don't worry, where we're going they can't follow."

"That is probably the best news I've heard all day," Sinclair said, although since the boy didn't seem to be showing any signs of getting ready to leave he wasn't sure how much faith to put into it. He tightened his grip on the rosary, one last prayer running through his head, and pulled the hammer of the gun back. The vampire leapt at him, the rest of the hunting party surging forwards into the light now the first move had been made. Sinclair pulled the trigger. The boy's small hand clapped down on his shoulder.

And everything went black.
Saffy dear mentioned this OCT a little while ago and while it sounded fairly interesting I didn't peg it as that big a deal because I couldn't think of a character I wanted to enter with. Then it occurred to me yesterday that Sinclair would probably be quite fun to do this with. Hence this!

Just as a note I'm not actually Catholic and don't know any Catholics either. I don't know if the rosary is typically done in anything other than Latin. I got all the information about the various prayers of it from this very handy website here: [link]

Now, here's hoping I remember to get his character sheet all written up and everything submitted properly before the deadline.

And just for a random bit of reference, this would all be taking place in 1880 or thereabouts. I couldn't think of any way of actually getting that bit of into into the piece. Maybe it'll come up later if I get through.
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Second-Person-Point Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
How well did he know Juanita and Henreich, like how good friends were they? Is their uncertain fate going to bother Sinclair later on? :3

I hope you don't mind if I ask you random questions everywhere. @u@;;
Ariskari Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011
Sorry it's taken me a while to get back to these questions. I've been having computer troubles. But now it's all fixed! Yay!

Anyways, he is fairly close to them. He doesn't spend that much time with them since their jobs send them all off to different parts of the world and they rarely get any time to just hang out, but they do probably count as his best friends. Not knowing what's happened to them is going to bother him quite a bit.
Second-Person-Point Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Yay! :dummy: And it's fine! ^^ I'm late at everything! As you can see, I'm replying to this late, aren't I? Oh dear...

Ah, okay. Thank you. OuO Also, I was wondering because did you mention somewhere he's Sinti? But anywho, I was curious as to what he felt about that! I know he wasn't raised like it, and he can't remember anything to be traumatized by, but how much exactly did it affect him and what does he think of gypsies then? OuO

(Sorry to ask this so late! I kind of am really slow with asking these things.)
Ariskari Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011
I did say somewhere that he's Sinti...but I can't remember if its in his official bio or just in the messages I've sent to you.

Hmm...he probably does have some hard feelings towards the gypsies as a result of being abandoned, but it's more directed at his own family (whoever they may be) rather than the community as a whole.
Second-Person-Point Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
I think it was in a message, in the bio it mainly mentions a band of gypsies, I think. ^^

Ah, okay! OuO But also, at the time the general feeling towards gypsies was less than warm, so would he feel distrustful of them like most everyone else, or would he have a particular inclination to them?
Ariskari Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2011
I don't think he'd be particularly distrustful of them. While he wasn't raised by them he knows full well he is one and he considers himself a decent person, and he doesn't think this is entirely down to the church upbringing counteracting any kind of intrinsic bad nature.

I think he wants to get to know more gypsies, try and get some closure about why he was abandoned, but has likely been warned off acting on these feelings due to general public opinion of gypsies.

Sorry, I'm probably not being too helpful here. Work and writing my own entry has fried my brain. I think it's almost finished but who knows where these crazy characters are going to try taking me next. And I'm afraid I think I've written yours painfully out of character. Hell, I think I might have written mine painfully out of character.

Okay...brief summary. He doesn't believe that they're the thieving low lives the general populace considers them to be and is actually interested in connecting with that side of his heritage. But he's standoffish about it and doesn't want to be seen as actively interested.
Second-Person-Point Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Aha, Sinclair, it's okay! We're ~open here~

That makes sense, thank you! ^^ and it's fine, it's kind of frying mine too. Bah, I'm just bad at getting things done in time, and now I am realizing that I need to pick up the pace like a setting a giant pile of rubber toys on fire. That much pace picking!! I'll manage, but good luck with your brain! I hope it's not too deeply fried. And usually it's like that for me too, but in this the characters are kind of more complacent with me for once. I hope that's not too bad a sign. But don't worry! It's probably fine, as long as you put EFFORT INTO IT it shall be a ~learning experience~ and it'll be fine. x)

I hope you'll forgive me on that same account! I sure hope I can get not too far off a semblance of Sinclair, I really like him.
Ariskari Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2011
Setting a giant pile of rubber toys on fire? Interesting metaphor.
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hardcore-introvert Featured By Owner May 14, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think this has already been mentioned, but I loved how you broke up the story with lines of prayer. It added a certan intensity to the story that really made it exciting to read :aww:
Ariskari Featured By Owner May 14, 2011
Thanks :D That's really what I was going for with sticking the Prayers in and I'm really pleased it worked.

And very thank you for the favourite.
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