Saturday, November 14, 2015

Vampire Guardian Angels: Apocalypse, Issue 7

Lia Scott Price's 
 Vampire Guardian AngelsTM 
 Apocalypse (Issue 7)

 Copyright Lia Scott Price

“Apocalypse”  focuses on the coming brutal bloody war for power between the Vampire Guardian Angels, humans, and earth vampires, and why they are specifically after the author, Ms. Price, as they fight among themselves and build their armies. Whoever possesses the “Creator and Healer” - who happens to be Ms. Price - the “most powerful of all relics”, and is of royal blood or marries into royal blood, will become full ruler of all, with Ms. Price as his Queen. It's army vs army, with humans and vampires either bred or eaten, and the author caught in between.

Back in Issue 6, Joseph had invaded Prince Jeromos’s monastery. After imprisoning both Cameron and Gabriel, he spares Detective Costa, who has turned into a Vampire Guardian Angel, but goes after Prince Jeromos, only to find that Jeromos has a piece of Cameron’s sword that he obtained when he and Cameron fought and when Cameron’s sword shattered and a piece fell off (The sword was later retrieved by Costa and obtained by Joseph when he imprisoned him in the crystal coffin along with Gabriel). Jeromos also has Cameron’s blood infused into his own sword, which gives him the power to kill Vampire Guardian Angels since Cameron is considered still the “good” angel. Though Joseph had Cameron’s sword and tried to fight Jeromos, he still was not skilled in using the sword and is disarmed by Jeromos. The sword flies out of his hand and off into a corner of the hallway. Backing off, Joseph tries to use his power of light on Jeromos but he shields himself with Cameron’s sword, deflecting the light. Joseph yells at Jeromos that he will bring down Janos’s army from Heaven and will make them follow him and take over Janos’s reign by taking Janos hostage. Jeromos tells Joseph that it’s too late, Janos is already his prisoner. Joseph realizes Jeromos is too strong for him and Joseph is still an inexperienced fighter, so he retreats and disappears, vowing he will be back with a vengeance.

While Joseph is distracted, Costa, still weak from his transformation, continued to try to find Ms. Price. Cameron finds Costa, and tells him they must leave and come back with reinforcements since they both cannot fight Jeromos, Joseph and Gabriel by themselves.  He also tells Costa he knows Joseph has grown more evil and powerful and that he and Gabriel were imprisoned by him, but freed for some reason by a white marble guardian angel statue. Cameron came upon Jeromos and Joseph, found his sword,  and escaped while they were fighting. He also tells Costa that he is now a good Vampire Guardian Angel, and that he has become the first human to become a Vampire Guardian Angel instantly without dying and going to Heaven, where the transformation takes place. To become a Vampire Guardian Angel, a human or an Earth Vampire has to die, ascend to Heaven, be resurrected and bitten by a Vampire Guardian Angel, and then descend to Earth through a portal. Costa has skipped this process because of his physical relations with the author - they have become one in “body and blood” through intercourse, he was bitten by the Angelorumrabidi, and he drank the potion immediately, so with that rare combination, he was instantly “created”. The only other way a human or an Earth Vampire can become a Vampire Guardian Angel is to forcefully “take” the author and have physical relations with her, be bitten by a Vampire Guardian Angel, and drink the potion. Ms. Price could instantly create a Vampire Guardian Angel with her own body. He tells Costa why Jeromos wants Ms. Price, because she can heal him.  And in order for a Vampire Guardian Angel to become (almost) invincible, they will have to  have physical relations with her and mingle their blood with hers through a blood pact. Costa is angry that Cameron implies that Jeromos forced himself on Ms. Price, and insists on finding her and killing Jeromos. But Cameron warns him that Jeromos now can’t be killed because it would kill Ms. Price too. If one kills the creator, Costa and any of the Angels who have made a blood pact with her die as well. But as long as she’s alive, nothing can kill them as they can instantly heal or be healed by her. Even if she dies, only the angels who had created a blood pact with her will die, and the rest, thousands, will still continue on living and killing. But evil Vampire Guardian Angels can still be killed by an angel who has turned back to good, or is a good angel to begin with, of which there is only one left (vs. thousands). However, Jeromos can’t kill Costa either because he and Ms. Price are now one in “body and blood” due to his previous relations with her. Cameron forcibly makes Costa leave with him. Costa asks why Cameron left his son behind, and Cameron replies that he will deal with him later.

After chasing Joseph away, Jeromos is informed by a soldier that Ms. Price has escaped her crystal coffin. Forgetting to pick up Cameron’s sword, Jeromos searches for her. Ms. Price, looking to escape, comes across the feeding and breeding room, where a Vampire Guardian Angel tries to attack her but is killed by Jeromos. Jeromos takes Ms. Price to a dungeon deep below the monastery, and into an enormous crypt. He shows her a Vampire Guardian Angel in a crystal coffin, unconscious.  It’s King Janos, who has finally descended from Heaven through Prince Jeromos, who has sacrificed much of his own army of Vampire Guardian Angels using the virus, to create a portal large enough to bring Janos down along with a replacement army. However, Janos is secretly taken prisoner by Jeromos, who plans to rule through him. Jeromos takes control of the virus and successfully convinces his Church/Vatican vampire army and his and Janos’s  Vampire Guardian Angel followers that Janos was gravely injured during the descent, and pretends to heal him while keeping him in an indefinite coma.  Jeromos’s reputation as a healer and the fact that he is Janos’s right-hand man, often making decisions on behalf of the King (as well as being Janos’s chosen heir), makes the Vampire Guardian Angels believe Jeromos and they do not question his authority. They pledge to him their full allegiance. Janos’s weakness and reliance on Jeromos proved to be his undoing. Now that he has the author, the King, Cameron and Gabriel, Jeromos feels that nothing can stand in his way. He will proclaim himself King. And then,  all he needs is an heir.

Jeromos takes Ms Price to a bed surrounded by his followers, where he has declared a public consummation of their union. He forces himself on her to seal his position as King. As he does, he reveals to her that she has royal blood, and to be married to a royal gives him unquestionable power. His relationship with her is one of pure lust and control - she knows she is a figurehead and a trophy for him, given her status as their “creator”,  her healing powers, and her own royal blood.  Whoever possesses the author and a royal title, or by marrying a royal and making a blood pact with her, will give an angel full control of any Vampire Guardian Angel army. Jeromos also knows that she refuses to bear him an heir as she can control her own body with her powers, but he says he is patient and she will, in time, do what he wants.  After the ceremony, he presents Ms. Price to his followers as “Queen of the Vampire Guardian Angels”. He then sends his army out to destroy whole cities and to capture humans to bring them back to the monastery to breed and to slaughter for food.

Jeromos goes to check on his new prisoners Gabriel and Cameron, and to his shock, finds their glass coffins shattered and empty. He gets a glimpse of an Angelorum Marmore, a marble guardian angel statue, escaping. Suddenly remembering Cameron’s sword, he goes back to the hallway and finds it missing as well.

The Angelorum Marmore flies back to an abandoned white marble Basilica in Poland with stolen vials of the potion.  It hands the vials to a waiting figure - Gabriel. Gabriel scolds the angel for freeing Cameron but forgives it, saying he needs the angel for more important things. It turns out that Gabriel had been building his own secret army of marble guardian angel statues behind Jeromos’s back. He would send them to a hideout he maintained in a secret location. He used angel statues since he did not trust anyone else living - humans or vampire, and his private army is more for protection- he does not have any desire to rule and does not want power, and part of him does feel that he owes some degree of loyalty to Jeromos for saving his life, so he refuses to take part in the coming “Apocalypse” or war between the Vampire Guardian Angels. In his refuge,  Gabriel continues to build his army, mainly to use them as his “bodyguards” and to bring him humans for food and more vials of the potion from Jeromos's laboratory. Gabriel also happens to be the most powerful and dangerous of all the Vampire Guardian Angels and  since he was the one who turned the angels in Heaven into Vampires, he is also a “creator”. His only goal is to continue on as a serial killer, to stop the voices, the prayers of humans, that continue to torment him.  He realizes that the one thing that can relieve him of his pain and torment happens to be Ms. Price.

After bringing Costa back to Los Angeles,  Cameron points him in the direction of his old police station, saying that his colleagues have barricaded themselves and are hiding out throughout the now apocalyptic landscape of the city, where Vampire Guardian Angels are slaughtering both humans and vampires. Cameron tells Costa that he has decided to leave his son Joseph to his own fate before disappearing again. Costa  argues with Cameron, saying that Cameron is abandoning them and reminding him that he has to help him rescue Ms. Price, but Cameron ignores him and leaves, saying he has decided that he is no longer good, and that Costa will now take his place as protector of humans. But this time Cameron  has now radically changed, for the worse. He's become resentful and sees turning evil as an easier way, and that power is better than " painful and unrewarding sacrifice for ungrateful humans and his own stepson". Cameron no longer regrets killing Christina. He now sees her as weak and whiny, annoyed that her attention was always on Joseph. But his sword can still kill Vampire Guardian Angels since it still has his blood when he was “good”. Cameron finds that he too, wants the author, after discovering her healing powers and what it would mean to possess her, having learned who she is and what she can do, and knowing he will need her to heal him. He also sees her as someone “worthier”. Cameron had a plan all along. He took Costa away from Jeromos’s monastery because he knew Jeromos could not kill him and he didn't want Costa to save Ms. Price. If he brought Costa back to Los Angeles, he knew Costa would be too occupied with saving humans to go back for Ms. Price, and Cameron would have a chance to take the Queen for himself. Realizing he must end up betraying Costa, and tired of constantly feeling defeated through all of his experiences up to his imprisonment by his own stepson, he has given in to wanting power and, like Gabriel, has become tired of defending humans. Cameron has also been greatly affected by Joseph's hatred of him, so he gives up on being a stepfather to him. Like Gabriel, he has decided that instead of helping anyone, he has become resentful, angry, violent, dangerous and vengeful, and feels that he owes it to himself to make himself feel good and do things for his benefit alone. So there are no “good” guardian angels left, other than Costa. Cameron goes off to form a rebel army of Vampire Guardian Angels who fear him more than Jeromos and who are willing to follow him in exchange for being spared the wrath of the “Angel Killer”. He promises that he will take over Jeromos’s rule, control the potion and the virus, and take the Queen.

Joseph, having found refuge in an abandoned warehouse and frustrated that he has lost Cameron’s sword, plots his continued ambition of revenge against Cameron, Gabriel, and Jeromos.  He is still furious at Cameron for killing his mother, and for Cameron’s previous absence while he was growing up - Cameron was too busy saving humans. It was Detective Kirkland, Cameron's old police partner,  who basically raised him in Christina’s place. But when Joseph was old enough to make it on his own, Kirkland was committed in a psych ward, and later saved Joseph from an attack by Gabriel, and died in the process. Joseph lost his second father figure. But Joseph too, is creating an army— a ghost army of Vampire Guardian Angel souls or balls of light—trapped angel souls—that failed to ascend and who were trapped in the astral plane between good and evil and were prevented from ascending, and these souls are now bound to him. He also plans to kidnap the author to hold her ransom in exchange for Cameron and Jeromos, as he knows that their own armies will turn on them once he has their symbol of power, the author, captive, and they will do what he tells them to. But he has no desire for any physical relations with her, because he is still traumatized by the death of his mother Christina, and sees her in every female he encounters, and he believes that every female he is with is cursed, such as the death of Catharina when she saved him from Gabriel. He only needs the creator to bring his army to life, and then he will hold her hostage. Whoever in his army kills Cameron will have her as a reward.

Back in Los Angeles, the Earth vampires and humans, after discovering the author’s research and after finally believing her writings, have also discovered the supernatural power behind them and of her family history as part of the Inquisition and her blood relation to the Spanish royal family and to the original secret Church police, of which she was unaware of,  are now after her to either ransom her to stop Jeromos, or destroy her, thinking that if they did, they also destroy the angels since she is their “creator”. But they don’t realize that she is self-healing and immortal and not evil, so not even the angels can kill her. They know she’s still being held by Jeromos as his Queen. And he will do anything to protect her. Costa finds them, and they at first try to attack him, but old friends of Catharina, his old vampire informant, recognize him.  They also realize he is one of the only good angels left and that he can help them, since Costa tells them Cameron had abandoned them all. Costa warns them that if they kill the author or Jeromos, he dies too. Reluctantly, they agree to try to come up with another plan to stop the angels. Costa eventually forms an earth vampire and human unit of his own, made up of former and current police colleagues and military soldiers, to protect the humans and Earth Vampires and attempt to rescue the author and destroy the other Vampire Guardian Angels. Surprisingly, Costa finds another ally: the Angelorum Marmore who freed Cameron had defected from Gabriel’s army, having feared punishment by Gabriel,  and joined Costa as his spy. Costa just wants his girlfriend back safe with him, and he realizes that if any there angels take her physically, they cannot be killed or she will die as well if they die. So even as a “good angel”, he can’t kill Jeromos.  Costa  realizes his army is too small and he is kept busy defending the city from the Vampire Guardian Angels who are slaughtering anyone who prays to them. Costa also has to deal with the Church who, despite the warnings not to pray, keeps sending out preachers to convince humans to pray even more and to convert non-believers. Costa is unaware that the Church is doing this on purpose since they are working for the now King Jeromos. He is kept busy trying to defend the city's inhabitants against the Vampire Guardian Angels.

Gabriel secretly returns to the monastery and breaks in and kidnaps Ms. Price, as his Angelorum Marmore army successfully holds back Jeromos and his guards. Noticing the scar in Ms. Price’s arm as a sign of the blood pact, he realizes he cannot kill Jeromos, only hold him back. So Gabriel’s army retreats. Gabriel takes the author back to his Basilica and forces himself on her and performs the blood pact and consummates the union before his angel army and a kidnapped priest who marries them and is slaughtered after. The blood pact makes him invincible as well. However, during her captivity, the author sees a vulnerable side to Gabriel  when he talks about his past and he softens when she comforts him, and he falls for her. He pledges his life to her, furthering the strength of the blood pact. However, he cannot stop himself from answering the prayers of desperate humans and continues to slaughter them for food and to “quiet the voices,” as he is still tortured by the "prayers" of human and still seeks to "shut them up for good." But he does try to keep this hidden from Ms. Price, who he keeps as oblivious as possible to his activities  in the Basilica, and who he treats gently and tenderly, in contrast to his brutality of the humans and in contrast to Jeromos’s treatment of the Queen. The Queen soon becomes torn and struggles with her view of faith and reliance on a higher power. She wants people to stop praying because of what angels like Gabriel do to them, but she also begin to sympathize with how humans treated angels as their own slaves as well, and she could see why Gabriel wanted revenge. God made angels suffer to serve humans and forced them to become their protectors and therapists, so she could see why they rebelled and were out for revenge.  She starts to question her role: does she do all she can to save humans when she knows they will continue to hopelessly rely on a higher power and may enslave the angels again, does she try to convince the angels to turn back to good, or does she try to save herself?

Cameron launches a surprise attack on the Basilica and a section of it collapses, burying Gabriel, knocking him out. Cameron watches as the author collapses unconscious as well, and realizes that Gabriel too, has made a blood pact with her. Cameron is enraged that he cannot kill his long-time rival without harming the author, so all he can do is take her and leave as the Angelorum Marmore rush to defend Gabriel. Cameron too, forces himself on Ms. Price and completes the blood pact. Cameron realizes through his psychic powers that Ms. Price and his bitter enemy, Gabriel, have fallen for each other, but he dismisses it as Gabriel having mind control over Ms. Price and manipulating her feelings. Cameron is much more terrifying and more brutal than Jeromos as he too, slaughters human and vampire captives, not for food, but for revenge. And his lust for the author is driven by his intense jealousy that she had been with Gabriel. He tells her that Costa is now a Vampire Guardian Angel but has abandoned her to save the humans back in Los Angeles. The Queen does not believe Cameron and is secretly relieved that Costa is alive and can’t be killed by Cameron, but knows that if she sacrifices herself to destroy Jeromos and Cameron, she risks killing Costa, and Gabriel, who she has developed feelings for.

Costa hears that the author is now Cameron's captive and has performed the blood pact. Costa is enraged that Cameron, now his former friend, would betray him by taking the woman he loved. He is even more enraged when he finds out that Gabriel had taken her as well. Costa vows that he  will do whatever it takes to get her back. He is also frustrated in the fact that his girlfriend is now, in effect, “married” to 3 other Angels and is their “Queen”, although the only legitimate claimant to having her as an anointed queen is Jeromos. But Cameron has proclaimed himself King as well, although the only royal who can “legitimize” him is in fact either Prince Jeromos or King Janos, so he will still have trouble trying to get all the angels to fully follow him. Costa now has to compete with Gabriel and Jeromos to get the author back from Cameron. Although Costa has no desire to become King, he realizes that he would have find a way to lead the Vampire Guardian Angels, which would make it easier to stop their takeover. But he also has to make a choice: protect the Queen from the other angels, or sacrifice her and himself and save humans.

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