The scorching punishment of the Blood Mistress began almost immediately as the iron doors clanged shut behind her two acolytes who watched, anonymous behind black balaclavas, as the ultimate member of their temple began her grim work upon that night that had been planned for so many months and – for her – so many years ago – far before the onset of the presently unfolding event, that living, writhing testament to that which they – those tempters – had sought to offer – and to that which for she, especially, had increasingly represented the turning point in the summoning of the denizens of the Abyss into physical manifestation upon the earth.

Years ago she had, while in the locale of a mountain fastness, engaged in an ordeal of a vampiric nature with two of her kindred. Outside the bleak winds of the Alleghenies blew down from their craggy peaks and thunderstorms, drifting with a sickeningly and intimidating quality, slowly drifted forth from the beyond that presented itself a mere few miles’ distance from the site of their working.

Despite all these atmospheric distractions the three-fold internal unit set about its esoteric task, after a long fifteen-hours of acts forwarding real-world evil in the flesh, one of which involved significant security work alongside a nearly domiciled compatriot – a meeting, swift and soon over – one lounging, attempting to be inconspicuous against the side of a newer-model SUV while the other clandestine organization member went about his business on the inside – deep within a converted basement that had been refurbished for the purpose of certain activities of a less-than-legal trajectory.

As the time slowly passed the man standing guard outside the car and residence stared into the careening mountain passes which presented themselves across the horizons of the myriad posh and modern-living homes which drew down upon the slope of the hillsides surrounding the mountains. He could feel the thickness of the humidity drifting off the mountains, a stark contrast to the dryness which regularly plagued the area much to the chagrin of the local farmers and their crops – the latter which had been a source of great consternation in lieu of the drought that had been ongoing for nigh a decade at the time.

Luke tapped the battery of his cellular telephone – a burner – which he had obtained on his transfer flight over from Washington Dulles Airport. It had been the wee hours of the morning yet he had found one vendor open for business amongst the sprawling concourse, who had sold him both the phone and several hour-long prepaid cards with an advantageous lack of the usual paperwork once Luke had flashed a wad of cash and a few choice bills appropriately set aside to seal the bargain – the middle-aged Indian-American quickly nodding in a look of recognizable acquiescence as he processed the transaction – off the books, as it were.

Standing next to the glistening black SUV, Luke could see that no calls had been forthcoming as of yet. He awaited the one from his clandestine organizational handler, who had proffered the funds that had made the trip to West Virginia possible yet who also had a hidden agenda – often verging in injurious directions – said directions which Luke himself found himself increasingly under the potential outcomes of the same. Would he stay and continue the infiltration without further output from his handler or would he continue and see what transpired amidst the somewhat recalcitrant WV sector who he had been told – or at least, led to believe – were inveigling themselves in some collusive scheme of which the organization needed actionable intelligence on – and fast.

A few bars of connectivity and Luke made an outbound call not to his handlers – who would chaff at the as of then unnecessary contact, but with his mate – some several-hundred miles away – whom was complicit in spirit and act with the course which he had chosen to take in pursuit of the sinister destiny which he, and those of his kindred, expected to fulfill – regardless of the costs.

A fuzzy clip of interference following the somewhat too-fast ring-tones and he was connected – a brief conversation in which he was able to only describe his physical surroundings, giving some sense of the width and breadth of the land while carefully concealing the nature of his current whereabouts – the import of the same and the actions which were presently taking place upon them still vague speculations on his part.

Only a few minutes seemed to pass once on the phone with his consort of some years before he spied, peeking out around the edge of the four-by-four, his local host emerging from the luxurious hard-wood exterior doors. He had a smile on his face. That was good. It intimated that the first phase of their plan, procurement of due funds, was established – the means and methods of which were only best left to speculation.

With a brief nod of affirmation and one reciprocal emanating from his partner, the duo entered back into the SUV and with an intent-fully fast – yet expert maneuvering, as to not draw undue attention – left the housing complex with all modicum of speed.

Back at the regional headquarters, the Blood Mistress sat cross-legged upon a couch of deep leather chanting the names of that black god which was the patron deity of their temple – sibillating the names of overarching deceit, continual espionage and fanatical martial prowess which marked the summum bonum of the rank-and-file of the clandestine organization and even moreso for those who inhabited positions at the helm of the same.

She had been entrusted into a counter-intelligence operation against their recent guest – by unknown but verified higher-ups in the clandestine organization itself. She did not know whether or not the situation was reciprocal – whether or not she would find herself in the position of a double or triple-agent before the espionage at play reached its height – yet she had been given clear directions. Hellish pawns were moving across the chessboard and only the devil might know where the pieces might lie, in that predictably horrific end. – Tempel ov Blood, 2014