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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
“Oh, that.” I nod. “Yeah, that was my bad. But you gotta understand, I thought you were only killing Lucifent because he was a child vampire. I had no idea he planned to unleash an army of zombies on the human race.” I shrug. “If I had, I promise you, I would have slain him myself when I had the chance.”
That got his attention. “I’m sorry?” he says. “What did you just say?”
“Don’t play coy with me,” I reply. “I know you must know something about Project Z. Otherwise you wouldn’t have issued the slay order against Lucifent.”
“We knew he was planning something. But we didn’t have any concrete details…”
“Okay. Well, now you do. It’s zombies. Lots and lots of creepy, undead, slimy zombies. Lucifent only wants them to impress his boss. He’s a bit shortsighted, that one. But Pyrus is going to take the idea and run with it. Meaning good-bye, Slayer Inc. Good-bye, human race.”
Teifert scratches his head. “And how do you know all of this?”
I pause. That is the question, isn’t it? But I realize I’ve got to come clean to someone. And hey, it may as well be someone who might actually, possibly believe me. “Okay, this is going to sound really weird,” I tell him. “But I’ve come back from the future.”
He raises an eyebrow. “I see.”
From beside me, Spider squeals. “So that’s how you knew everything that was going to be in the next game patch! Oh man! I was so wondering…” Then she frowns. “And how you knew who was going to win the field hockey game. Dude, that’s cheating! I want my five bucks back!”
“Silence,” Teifert commands. He turns to me. “So in this future you speak of, we’re overrun by zombies?”
“Um, well, not exactly.” I give him the shortest version possible (which still ends up being pretty long) about our adventures thus far.
“So I admit, we kind of screwed things up by saving Lucifent,” I finish. “But now we want to help make things right. Get him good and dead before he can present Pyrus with his little project.”
Vice President Teifert pulls a cigar out of his desk drawer and lights it. Then he takes a puff. I consider reminding him about no-smoking laws in the workplace, but then decide my lungs will have to deal. No need to piss him off when we need his help.
“I’m not saying I believe you,” he says at last. “But even if I did, the problem remains the same. Getting Lucifent alone. Thanks to your little Scooby-gang meddling, we’ve lost the element of surprise. He’ll be constantly guarded from here on out.” He flicks ash into a nearby empty whiskey glass on his desk. “Not to mention, we’re currently one trained slayer short, also thanks to your contribution to our cause.”
“No offense, but you didn’t want Bertha on the payroll anyway,” I point out. “She had a ton of blood pressure problems. Not to mention she ends up betraying you and working for Pyrus in the future. And don’t even get me started about her food issues—”
“In any case,” Teifert interrupts, “most of our local operatives are occupied with other cases. And while we’ve started training Spider, and she’s doing very well, she’s certainly not prepared to go up against any kind of major threat by herself.”
“Yeah, she still needs a bit of…fine-tuning,” I agree with a small chuckle, remembering her performance on the porch.
Spider scowls. “I knew we should have done best two out of three,” she mutters.
Teifert taps his desk with his index finger, considering. “I suppose we could call on Riverdale, our sister slayer academy in Europe…”
“Oh no!” I cry quickly. “You don’t want to do that. They turn out to be evil.” Teifert gives me a sharp look. I shrug. “Long story. But we can deal with them later. The zombie apocalypse is a bit more pressing.”
“Agreed. But you’re not listening, Rayne. We don’t have an available slayer to stop them on such short notice. Our hands are tied.”
I smile smugly. “But that’s where you’re wrong. You do have a slayer. You have me. Trained by your very own alternate-future hands. I’ve staked evil vampires. I’ve wrestled werewolves. I’ve even taken on Tinkerbell.” I decide not to bring up the fact that technically I lost that particular battle. Way too embarrassing. “Bottom line, I’m a super-slayer extraordinaire. And with the proper weaponry, I’m sure I could take on a few zombies with one hand tied behind my back.”
“You might want to use both hands,” Teifert replies dryly. “Considering that with zombies, there are hardly ever only a few.”
“Right.” I consider this. “Well, maybe the best thing to do is to go after their queen. I mean, if we can’t get Lucifent himself, we should try to cut him off at the source. No voodoo queen to raise the zombies from the dead? No zombies for Pyrus to play with. And we all live happily ever after.” Not to mention, as an added bonus, I get to get rid of Jareth’s little annoying fake girlfriend. A win for everyone.
Teifert stubs out his cigar, only half smoked. “I suppose that would be the best possible tactic, given the current scenario,” he muses aloud. “Very well. I will provide you with what you need to go on your quest. On one condition.”
I raise an eyebrow. “What’s that?”
“You take Spider here with you. She may not be a fully trained slayer, but she has a lot of potential. She could be useful to you in a pinch.”