As the demon Lilith, Lucith had seen countless wars. Even in the short-span of Lucy’s 65 years there were nearly constant wars fought across the British Empire. The modern war allowed for the devastation to spread rapidly over a larger area, but humans had always been brutal killers. At one time, the demon in her had reveled in the wanton slaughter. But as the hybrid of Lilith and Lucy, who still retained many of her human memories and emotions, she saw it anew. Ghouls in France and Belgium had suffered grievous losses from their cemeteries being blown up by artillery shells or cut down by machinegun fire when they sought to feed on the corpses in between the lines. Vampires were more difficult to kill, but one had died sleeping in his coffin when it was struck by an artillery barrage and decapitated him and tore his body to shreds.
What Lucy had done to the Germans in revenge in the Great War had not gone unnoticed by the other vampires and after she was found by her mortal friends, the elder vampires called a council. Though she was her queen, she had to sign a compact that vampires would not take part in the wars of mortals ever again. She had agreed readily enough because she had killed to revenge her husband’s death. But she also knew that if she did not, she could face an insurrection. While many vampires did not care about mortal affairs, many others held to their nationality. Count Dracula in particular had been proud of his national heritage. To know their queen had devastated the ranks of their fellow countrymen had galled the German, Austrian, Romanian and Turkish vampires even if her motives were not to directly aid the British Army. As queen, she had to look after all of her people. Her actions in the Great War had risked exposure of all vampires.
Now, with Nazi occultists leading organizations in search of supernatural weapons, it appeared at least some of them were seeking out vampires to either enslave through the use of necromancy such as in the book Seth had tried to steal. Potentially even worse, a captured vampire could be used by the Nazis to create their own army of vampires. This was a threat not only to mortals, but to her subjects. Ideally she would handle the situation herself with Sofia and her coven of vampires. But politically she would have to bring in at least one of the German vampires so that they would understand why she was killing Nazi agents. It would be a tricky situation requiring finesse and diplomacy. She normally preferred to use her aide-de-camp Marlowe for such delicate assignments requiring tact. Plus she did not have her admitted loathing of the Germans, mortal and vampire alike. But Marlowe was in Cairo settling the issue of succession as elder vampire there since the destruction of The Scarlet Lord.
“I need to stop at a telegraph office,” Lucith told Dr. Paine. “I shan’t be a moment.”
Dr. Paine pulled over at one at the airport and she sent off a carefully worded message to Berlin for one of her subjects to meet her in Prague.
Dr. Paine drove his car through the airport gates and parked near the hangar where Wade Clark’s planes were kept.
Wade had already taxied the plane out of the hangar and was talking to a man in coveralls when they walked up.
“The others are on board,” Wade said. “I also have clean American passports for each of you.”
Wade looked at Sofia. “Except for you,” he said.
“That is not a problem,” she said, motioning with her small purse. “I have my papers.”
Onboard the plane, the Chief and a small, gray-haired woman chatting with him rose as Lucith and the others boarded. Lucith embraced the woman and the Chief.
“I did not know you were joining us, Adena,” Lucith said to the older woman.
“Seth is one of the best in my department,” Adena said. “I am glad you are going with us.”
“Any word on where he is being held by the Nazis?” Lucith asked.
“One of our people in Berlin intercepted a communiqué that he was in a German safe house in Prague,” Adena said. “The Germans are sending a specialist to question him.”
Lucith turned to Arthur. “I was going to forbid you coming on this trip, but I shan’t waste my breath.”
“Why should I not?” Lord Godalming said.
“At your age, Arthur?” she said, holding his hand. “You just turned 70. I threw you a party, remember?”
“Of course I remember,” he said. “I’m barely older than you, if you recall.”
“In any event I’ll need your wisdom and guidance,” Lucith said. “This will not be easy.”
The Chief looked at her keenly. “You’re worried about your German subjects.”
“Certainly,” Lucith said. “I just faced one insurrection. I damn well don’t need another.”
“T’sk, t’sk, your language,” Adena said scoldingly.
“Sorry,” Lucith said.
“I don’t know who or what has been the worst influence on her, the demon Lilith or her American friends,” the Chief said. “I suspect the Americans.”
Lucith introduced Adena to the Americans and Sofia. They had taken their seats. Wade closed the hatch and walked up the aisle to the cockpit. A moment later the engines fired up. Minutes later they were taxiing down the runway and were airborne on their way to Prague.