81.81% Blood Pool / Chapter 9: Fake Memories

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Chapter 9: Fake Memories

I had managed to get into my room unnoticed. My plan as I described and ordered in the cabin worked perfectly.

I heard hundreds of Punishers move about the walls all night. Leaving us behind.

It was terrifying what I may face in the next few minutes, hours, days. I had hoped that this plan would continue to work the way we thought it would.

If not, it was going to be game over.

So far, the idea was that the Punishers who escaped now before dawn would be transported by the vampires during the day far enough into the woods and forest that they would be able to continue to run to the rendezvous and get them in another carriage to carry then on to the military installations.

Those installations should be far enough away by the following nightfall that the Punishers wouldn't be able to catch up before sunrise. That was the idea. I didn't know where the locations were, for obvious reasons.

In the meantime, Elizabeth and I were going to become double agents. I was worried for Elizabeth, she didn't have any sort of training on how to be an undercover agent-- let alone a double agent.

Just who the Elders trusted I would have no idea. I was hoping that it would be us. The other bodies should be just arriving at the location for burning.

Thanks to Dianna and Elizabeth, the bodies were delivered to the rendezvous rather quickly for the vampires to move the bodies and begin to burn. They were ahead of schedule in that area at least.

I was the biggest gamble of all. No one had been able to determine if I was immune to the blood memories, if it was just with Tankrell, and so forth.

The plan was riding, in great reluctance on many of them, on me. I didn't see Tankrell's memories, however, it may not hold true to the Elder's.

We were hoping I was immune to some degree at least, or completely, where the Elder's wouldn't be able to find anything.

Sure enough, we got called in broad daylight, horse drawn carriages of the darkest silks and covers available to bring us in.

I arrived alone, Elizabeth could be in another room, or dead, or just not have been here yet or had already left. I spent at least thirty minutes with her thinking (she was telepathically talking in my head yesterday) instructing her on interrogation and stories.

There were key elements that professional interrogators look for, including the use of identical words or phrases of the story, tones used at key points in a story, gestures, fidgeting, eye movements, etc. all were very crucial, and giving a cramp course in this didn't settle well with me, but it was the most I was able to do with her.

"So, you remain young little Punisher. How brave you are," Elder Sothe remarked. He sounded like honey, talking mostly to himself than to me.

I bowed deeply, "You honor me Elder," I respond.

"Tut, tut," he told me, a small indication to not bow. I knew he would want to see my face. "Tell me what you know," he ordered.

Show him, my inner thoughts told me, my gut telling me he would ask anyways for my blood. It was also, already part of the plan. Of course, it was supposed to be a last resort, but I felt that putting it off would be detrimental at the present time.

"I will show you, much better than I could explain," I told the Elder. I made my mind blank in order to avoid my fear from taking over. That kind of emotion would seep from my skin and stink the room faster than other emotions. I didn't know if he could sense emotions like us, but when in doubt....

"Close your eyes and use the knife on your right to cut your arm. Be warned, if you open your eyes you will die faster than you could scream," he told me alluringly.

I took a breath closing my eyes, "Yes Elder, I understand. I will comply," I answered. I took the knife and placed it to my skin, my gut burned but my mind played to life the story that we had created.

Vividly, all the the stories made fake memories, which I willed to be released in my drops of blood. I felt cool skin against my arm. It was surprisingly how cold his skin was when he grasped my arm tightly.

It took my hard training to force me to remain calm, steady, to not jump in being startled, or give any indication of such actions away. I was a statue, immobile.

And I allowed the fake memories to flood my mind...

***

' "Elizabeth, you can't be a part of this mission. I haven't told the Elders. If they don't believe me later, or they find out before I tell them, this could be dangerous--" I tried to reason with Elizabeth.

"I'm your mentor, if I'm not here for you, I'm not doing my job. Besides, your still not used to this body. If they have more Punishers on their side, like you've told me, then we need to find out who they are. We have to protect the city," Elizabeth answered.

"Do understand how long this could take?" I asked her urgently.

She shoved me against the wall. "We both have been in the Blood Pool. We both have the same experiences, and the same memories, do not patronize me," she growled.

"We're in this together. I can't trust your loyalty to the Elders, nor can the rebellion. At different levels of trust, we'll both gain different intelligence. They won't suspect our relationship. Mentorships are only known by the Elders, the mentor, and the mentee." She said with finality.

"Fine." I muttered in irritation.

~~

"We're saving them," a vampire said from the shadows. Her voice like bells chiming in a distance.

"Your putting them in more danger," I argued. "How are they being saved? They're only a few kilometers away from the city."

"We'll be moving them soon," she replied nonchalantly. "In the meantime, keep an eye on Elizabeth. I don't think she's fully onboard."

"Yes. Is there anything else?" I asked.

"I want you to come to a meeting next week. Your input has been good. Unlike the others, you tend to focus on multiple angles of a situation. I need that type of clear thinking at the meeting," she told me.

"Do you care to elaborate more than that?" I asked.

"No," she answered. She still wouldn't emerge from the shadows, even with my Punisher sight and senses, I couldn't locate where she was. It irritated me.

"I'll see you next week then," I answered.

~~

"They slaughtered the encampment, I couldn't stop it. I don't know how they found out. Elizabeth wasn't there with the group--I couldn't--" I feigned emotional turmoil, as if the losses affected me. Like I was helpless in the situation.

"I saw it all. I know. I don't think Elizabeth was involved-- otherwise she'd have been with the group," the girls voice said.

"You can't even face me! I've put my life on the line so much tonight, and you still lurk in the shadows!" I cried out.

"You'll see me at the meeting in a few days. Obviously, the topic for the meeting is different, but I still need you there. And, I still need you in the city. I think you can handle the pressures this situation has placed on us back inside those walls. If not, then nothing has been given away unlike some of the others who are there," she replied.

"I'm just your poker chip aren't I!" I yelled.

"No, your a pawn that I am hoping to exchange into a knight," she replied. "I have to go now. There's too much going on, again, I'll see you in a few days. Don't be late," she ordered.'

***

This seemed to please the Elder for my arm gingerly was moved to his lips. Yes, they felt like vampire lips, but colder. They were yet softer than mine, but colder in temperature.

For a moment he let the blood pool into his mouth then he licked the wound shut. When he did that, I could not hide my surprise, startled causing a shiver up my spin. He chuckled at my involuntary response.

"Truth, yet spilled from Elizabeth's mouth. They are both innocent. Seems that this one here had special training...

"I believe that Rafiel had assigned this one her job, before I elected a change," Elder Sothe spoke softly.

I kept my eyes close the entire time they talked. I grasped that Elizabeth had already spoke to them, and that I really had just saved us.

"Open your eyes little one," he ordered.

I opened my eyes to watch their shadows behind the paper doors and their voices discussing this.

"Rafiel, you were right in this one. Remarkable. She will be extremely useful," Elder Sothe had said to Elder Rafiel. Strange, they seemed much more friendlier to one another than they typically displayed in front of us Punishers or vampires.

"Do you you believe she is able for her to become an Unseen?" he asked.

I could see Elder Sothe pacing back and forth, his long slender finger tapping against his chin.

"Perhaps, but not yet." he finally answered Rafiel.

What was an unseen? I wondered.

"I do think we should gift her, for her wondrous work so far," Elder Rafiel told Elder Sothe.

They then were talking in tones too low for me to hear. It continued for a few moments.

They then were continuing as they walked to what seemed to be a doorway in which to the door behind the paper wall shut and nothing could be heard or seen.

I knew I couldn't leave just yet, I had not been dismissed and the urge to move or fidget seemed to overwhelm me for a moment.

I closed my eyes for a second while I inhaled slowly, quietly, and deeply as to not be noticeable while I controlled my irrational nerves and emotional responses to go back to my training mode which was calm and collective and logic.

Upon my slow and quiet exhale I opened my eyes and waited for a while longer until the door behind the paper wall opened up and the two Elders entered to talk with me again.

"Little one, this is experimental so be warned. This has never been given to a Punisher or Unseen before, so we are unsure if it will work. However, we are going to attempt to gift you with the ability to be in sunlight again."

In my training mode I hadn't allowed joy or hope to escape, and I knew that expressing either would be a terrible mistake.

"Thank you Elder, I am honored," I replied. I nodded my head and lowered it in respect to them.

If this was true there was no way to know that whatever they were going to do would work, and testing it would perhaps even kill me. It was truly only meant to be in the case or even that I was put in the spot. Essentially I was a guinea pig.

A glass was slipped under a flap in the wall, often like the envelopes that were often given to kill vampires. The glass was full of blood.

"This is Elder Ariel's blood," Elder Sothe explained to me.

I understood now. This wasn't just a gift to anyone. I would not expect that anyone would ever even be given a drop of Elder blood in the history of the city.

"I have no words Elder," I told him. It felt like the appropriate response. Too eager and it would look strange, denying would be too rude.

"Please, drink," he ushered. "We will do a proper testing next week to ensure that the gift works," he explained to me.

I lowered my head for a minute out of deep respect that they were expecting.

Then, tenderly holding the cup, I slowly tipped it back and drank.


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