Aria of Sorrow: The second wave of Tears
Done by: Lady Lunar Phoenix
She sat in the room with the phone slumped back on the cradle, and her head slumped on the bedside. It was black as pitch, not even it seemed that not even moonlight was allowed into the room. Then again she knew what she would see if the lights were on, and in a way it was better if she sat in darkness.
“Why did this have to happen to me?” she whispered into the darkness, wishing that there was an answer. In the distance she heard the faint sound of music blaring out of a car before it faded away. Then she heard the distant sound of an airplane heading for the airport.
How long had it been since her son had come home from Japan?
No, it had been three weeks.
But it felt like an eternity since she had seen her boy.
She stood anxiously waiting as plane after plane pulled in. The airport was huge, towering over her head by hundreds feet and distant spans of hallway, large enough for a bus to travel through. She stood on tiptoes trying to see over the heads of strangers for her son’s presence. For two years her son had been living in Japan with distant family as part of an exchange program. But at the end of the last quarter of that program something terrible happened. It wasn’t something that she told her son, she didn’t want him to worry. Yet she had suggested that he spend the rest of the summer in Japan, which he had accepted, staying at the shrine of his friend. Yet his Visa was now expired and he had no choice but to return home. She hadn’t told him what had been happening, and apparently he hadn’t known about it either. So for him this was to be just a happy homecoming after a long stay in a foreign land. A brief sight of something white caught her eyes, and she strained as it happened again. Someone with shoulder length white hair was walking along. Finally she saw him striding out of the terminal and into the main court of the airport. He had stopped and she could see him looking around.
“SOMA!” she called out waving her hand and pulling on her husband’s arm. They hurried over as Soma walked towards them, his eyes apparently having caught sight of them. Brushing up against people, side stepping others, they finally met up again after two years of separation. He dropped his bag to his side when she grabbed a hold of him and pressed her face against his upper chest. He had grown so much over the two years! She thought he had finished but now he was just a few inches taller than his dad.
“Hey mom, dad, long time no see.” He said in a tone that had also changed. He used to be so subdued when he spoke, now there was a hint of something more. There seemed to be a little more life in his voice. Not only that but his voice had deepened a bit.
“Soma look at you! You’ve grown so much!” his father said as he hugged both wife and son.
“You must be hungry, and tired! Let’s get you home and a decent meal into you.” she had said. For a moment she forgot about what had been happening for the past few months, but that moment only lasted till the 11 o’clock news that night…
“Another of the missing teenagers was found today. Police are still attempting to identify the body. This is the tenth victim in the past month bringing the total up to 38 for the past three months.” A reporter was standing outside of the ominous yellow tape that sealed off an area in a darkened field. The image was moved to the side in the upper left hand corner of the screen, showing a somber news caster sitting behind a desk.
“Rachel… I… Is there anything… Anything the police have said about the body? Any clues?”
“No, apparently this person was also found with a disc of possible information. But so far as we know, these are nothing more then recorded images of the torture this poor young man went through.”
“Why? Why now? Those poor kids… And their parents!” She had whispered as she sat there worrying her way through the towel she had been using to dry the dishes.
“Mom?” She had nearly screamed when she heard that subdued voice behind her. Whirling around only to see Soma in a pair of black sweat pants staring at the screen. “What’s been going on?”
“Oh honey… You should go back to bed… it’s late…” She said quickly making her way around the couch to her son. But Soma didn’t move or even seem to acknowledge her hands on his arms.
“Mom… What’s been going on?” He repeated his eyes still on the screen. “38 people dead in the past three months? Would this be the reason you didn’t want me back any sooner then necessary?” He turned to look at her with a somber look on his face.
“Soma the police are on it. You don’t have to worry.” She said weakly.
“Oh I’m not worried. I can take care of myself trust me. I’m more worried about that gaggle of nuts running around.” He had shrugged and slipped into his more casual stance.
“Soma don’t you dare try to play hero!” She began to cry. “One of my friend’s cousins son was one of the first… Soma I don’t want that to happen to you!” But as she thought on it that was probably the most frightening thing of all. Soma had held her and that was all, he never said anything.
“You never answered me Soma… Did you try to stop them? What on earth happened?” She wept. The door opened and the silhouette of a man fell across her.
“Come on Tenshi…” He said softly as he tried to pull her to her feet. “They’ll find him…” She shook his hands off and kept holding on to Soma’s pillow.
“What’s this?” he asked as he picked up what looked to be a page from the memo pad they kept in the kitchen.
“Soma gave it to me. He said if something ever happened to him to call one of the numbers.” She said woodenly.
“And… did someone answer the phone?” He asked kneeling down beside her.
“Yes, he said that he’d be arriving tomorrow around 2o’clock.” She answered softly.
“Why didn’t you give this to the police? They may be able to use this…” he asked.
“No! They’d take it from me! Soma gave it to me! I’m not letting anyone take it!” She said snatching the paper back from him. He shook his head as she sat there and sighed.
“When you feel up to it… come to bed, you shouldn’t stay here all the time.” He said quietly though even his voice held little hope of seeing his son alive again.
She woke up and made her way to the kitchen only to find Soma half dressed, sitting at the table. He had a cup of coffee forgotten in front of him and the newspaper resting beside the cup. He was gazing out the window clearly deep in thought and she stood there just soaking in the image of her baby boy. He was wearing a pair of jeans at the moment; his sneakers already on his feet and his hair hadn’t been brushed yet.
“Is that all your having for breakfast Soma? A cup of coffee?” she asked as she went to the counter. “We have some danishes and other things you know.” She offered.
“Hmm?” He turned his distracted gaze from the outside world to her. “Sorry mom… Was afraid of messing up anything… You’ve redecorated the whole house after all.” He said getting up from the table and following her.
“Yeah well you weren’t here, so we got bored and thought about some renovations.” She said with a slight smile. “Now is there anything you would like to eat for breakfast?”
“I guess I could go for some waffles if there are any here.” He said as he leaned against the counter facing her. She nodded briskly and went about getting the waffles out of the freezer. She put the waffles on the counter she felt his hand drop on her shoulder. “Mom, I’ll be alright.”
“I know… I… I just need more reassurance is all I guess.” She had said looking at the waffles. She remembered his hand leaving her shoulder and watching as he pulled a sheet off the memo pad on the fridge. Tugging out the pen from its holder he began writing something on the counter. She watched him standing there writing. For a moment a glint of sunlight made her think that she saw a very pale scar running down his shoulder and chest. But that couldn’t have been right. He finished writing and held out the sheet to her.
“If something happens to me. Call one of the numbers on this paper. If they ask who you are or anything just tell them that I’m in trouble and I need help.” She stared at him like he had just told her that he had cancer and had three minutes to live. “I’m serious mom. You’ll have a better chance of seeing me again alive if you call one of them… Though leave the last number as a last resort if you will.” She had grabbed him and started crying again as he said that. It was too much. So much like he was saying good-bye that her heart broke again.
“Soma… Don’t say stuff like that it isn’t funny.” She said into his chest as she cried.
“I’m not being funny mom. I’m serious.” He said as he hugged her again. She had to marvel at how strong he felt, his arms more toned and harder then she recalled. “If something happens to me then call them. They’ll come and they’re a *lot* more competent then the police.”
She looked down at the sheet of paper. Well he had been right, the first number she called got her a person who was going to come. Someone who said he would be around the very next day. That couldn’t have been right though, the phone number wasn’t of the local area or even of a place where they could just drive all night from.
“They’ll come and they’re a *lot* more competent then the police.”
That’s what Soma had said… she could only hope that he was right.
The alarm went off at 8:30am startling Mrs. Cruz awake from where she had fallen asleep on the floor of her son’s room. There was no sunlight with the curtains drawn and there was no sound in the house. She gazed up at the clock her eyes refusing to focus at first, before she realized the time. Pushing herself up with her body protesting the position and location she had chosen for her nightly rest. She realized belatedly that Soma must have set it before going to bed the night he was kidnapped. A painful groan sent her to her feet as her body continued protesting at her for any movement. She stumbled along turning off the alarm and stared at the bright numbers for a long dull moment. She had company coming, that stranger that she had called. A part of her questioned their ability to come so suddenly all the way to Spain. Another part of her dully wondered if she should even bother cleaning up the house for a possible houseguest. She felt so listless, like someone had stolen her very soul. A glance at the mirror showed such a haggard woman; her hair was a mess, her face pale from despair and red from crying.
“Oh hell might as well.” She said to the room in general before walking out of Soma’s bedroom.
By 9:25am the living room and hallway were cleaned up for any company that may have come. 9:45am rolled around and she was out of a shower and drying her hair. By 10am Hell decided to remind her that it was still an active place.
“Tenshi! I just heard about Soma!” Her friends had come from all over the city pouring into her house in a group show of sympathy. Three hours of talking among friends normally wouldn’t be so hard. It was therapeutic normally, but not when they brought the mothers of some of the missing boys, and some mothers of the dead boys. Hearing from the mothers of the deceased was like an agony she had already been living out in her head. In her worst nightmares she could see Soma lying cold and dead on some slab in a cold sterile room. But to hear how these children came back unrecognizable, that DNA testing was the only way in some cases that the bodies could be Ided? As they spoke of the videos these monsters had left Tenshi felt more and more sicker as the thought of what her son must have been going through at that moment grew darker.
By 1pm she was an emotional train wreak all over again as the guests left with their supportive words. Many leaving numbers for her to call once the police found the body. They were left on a table a virtual pile of names and numbers, leaving her staring at them. Each letter or number another damning of her chances of ever seeing her son alive again. In a fit of anger she got up carrying all the pieces of paper and proceeded to rip them up and toss them in the trash. One piece of paper after another fluttered down into the trash.
“My son is going to come home alive!” She repeated over and over again as a mantra that she needed to hear. The trash was soon filled with what looked like white confetti by the time she was done.
Alucard walked up the steps to a rather simplistic house, simplistic compared to his father’s castle at any rate. Weaker in the day as they were, he could still feel the dark power Soma possessed emanating from the house. Even though he knew the boy was not home nor had he been home in a short time. Yet there was a prevailing sense that Soma had put up a fight. He could almost smell the scent of Soma’s power radiating from an upper floor. For a moment Alucard stood there and took stock of the situation. By all accounts he could sense the battle was staged on the second floor, yet that meant whoever took him either knew where to find Soma, or was prepared for a long search. He walked up the steps to the house his powers already telling him there was only one person there. A singular female whose whole aura seemed to radiate fear and anxiety, Alucard rather doubted that Soma ever explained any of this to his mother. More then likely the boy had given his mother their numbers to call in case of an emergency. Which meant that she had no clue that she had just asked a dhampire to enter her house and help her find her son. Since if she had known, she should have been somewhere curled up in a corner and rocking herself back and forth from the horror. Or maybe she was used to the feeling of dark power. She *did* raise Soma after all, so she may have developed enough immunity to dark powers.
He knocked on the door and had to only wait a few seconds before she near tumbled out of the door. He then watched as she near tumbled backwards from the sight of him. Apparently she *wasn’t* used to people with dark powers and someone was going to be given training in the dark arts. As soon as Alucard could find someone to do it, because he was dead certain it wouldn’t be him. Pulling off his sunglasses he began putting them up as he gazed down at the nervous woman.
“You were the one who called me as I recall.” He pointed out waiting for her to let him in.
“Ohh… Oh… I’m sorry…” she said as she moved out of the way letting the tall dark stranger into her home.
He carried a small single briefcase and seemed to push any thought from her mind as she watched him. The moment she saw his eyes she couldn’t pull away, it was like being sucked into a dark void. When he walked past her blocking her view of his eyes she finally snapped out of it and began to wonder what kind of friends did Soma make in Japan.
Alucard could smell many human scents that had been the most recent, but there was a faint underlining smell, as well. Not of rug cleaners or of the polish, rather of Chloroform, which would explain how, these cultists could handle a long search. He waited for her to shut the door before speaking to her again.
“My associate won’t be here for another 45 minutes, would you prefer to wait for her or should I begin now?” He asked.
“I… I’m surprised actually… I didn’t think you could get here so fast…” She said swallowing.
“I was in Britain, had I been in Japan at the time that would have taken longer.” He replied calmly watching her start at the news before setting his briefcase on the ground.
“From… I… is your associate from such a distance too? I… I didn’t mean to pull you away so suddenly…” She began stunned by what he said.
“We have our reasons for protecting your son,” was all he said on the matter. Meanwhile his briefcase, lying innocently on the floor, spread its dark power through out the house looking for it’s own target. A laptop hidden with dark spells of concealment for Soma’s own limited uses. There was an instant messaging system set up for Soma so that he could talk to Alucard or Yoko at any time. Yet he had never sent a message out, leaving Alucard hoping that he at least had used it for a type of journal for them. He would have had to if he knew about what had been going on recently in the area.
“Are you hungry? Thirsty? I could put the kettle on for some tea?” She offered realizing that he may not have any anything to eat or drink for a while now.
“Tea would be fine,” he answered. Normally he could stay still for hours, but instead he opted to look about. A part of him, albeit a small part, was curious about Soma’s life here. As she had yet to offer him a seat he walked over to where a series of small pictures rested in frames on a mahogany table. There were pictures lining it everywhere showing the family.
Soma stood out easily in the pictures, not just by his pale features and hair but by his expression as well. He never smiled, or when he did it was a slight one, more like he was being forced to put one on. Putting himself in a human child’s place wasn’t something that Alucard was very skilled at doing. Even if he had not been born as a dhampire, he had been born as an aristocrat and therefore was raised to certain standards. But he had read tons of books on psychology and could see where Soma would be considered intimidating. Just by appearance alone, the problem was the soul of the body. If Soma was born naturally with the dark powers, had that been the trigger factor for his father’s ability to be reborn through him? Ideally that would also explain Soma’s aloof nature towards everyone in the pictures as a child.
Alucard put down one picture and picked up another studying Soma at a younger age. Yet if that were the case then the fact that Soma had dark powers wouldn’t have been such a shock to him in the castle. Soma should have been fully aware of his dark powers, or at the very least that he *had* powers long before the castle. Instead he went through the shrine, through Alucard’s own spells in ignorance, arriving at the castle then going through it learning. Julius, after regaining his memories, had talked to him over the matter while they were in the castle.
“Something isn’t right about him Alucard.” Julius said as he jumped down from a ledge. “How can he have both Dracula’s and his soul in the same body? Isn’t that out of the question?”
“His name *does* mean vessel. Possibly a joke of fate.” He had replied as the monsters backed away from such a powerful force as the Lord’s son and the Belmont.
“True. But his last name means *Cross*. So is he a vessel for Dracula or of holy powers? Yet having dark powers it would go against the holy powers idea.” Julius began scratching at his beard lost in thought for a moment. “Heh… You know I never saw myself with a beard before I lost my memories. Yet I remember why I grew one after I lost them.”
“Dracula’s soul escaped from the sealing from the shrine, perhaps it had been damaged?” Alucard had offered as he walked.
“Possible yet still. When Dracula possesses someone it’s just that a possession. He was driven out of past hosts; it shouldn’t be any different for Soma, can’t we just banish him out of the kid?” That frame of thought had caught Alucard off guard. “I mean, he’s going into a region no one of my family, you, or Yoko’s family has ever gone. We’re expecting a kid who just found out all this stuff to stay sane and destroy a source of power on his own.” Julius reached into an inner pocket and pulled out a wallet opening it. “I got kids and grandkids waiting for me… But to be honest I would rather face Dracula fully returned then have any one of them untrained go and do what we’re asking Soma to do.”
“If I could have done it myself I would have long ago, I tried to stop him from coming here. I just wasn’t strong enough.” Alucard had replied as they walked past more monsters.
“The seal was supposed to purify the castle wasn’t it? Without the evil it was supposed to be just a castle…” Julius had said as they neared the halfway point between the front gates and where they had been. “Alucard?” He had stopped walking. Thus Alucard did as well, turning to face the Belmont. “Is he… is he your father?”
“No.” the single word was the only answer Alucard gave as he turned back yet he didn’t hear Julius walk on so he didn’t either.
“His name implies a vessel and a means of repelling evil. He almost looks like a classic vampire in every aspect down to the way he dresses. We’ve only seen Dracula resurrected, never reincarnated. What if the shrine purified his soul, but because of the weight of his sins in the past he was reincarnated? It’s ironic that the Count would return now, long before the hundred years, but in time to put an end to this himself… If Soma’s powers were merely the ability to absorb souls, or to command monsters we could write it off as just his own born powers. But then how would he know, with such dead certainty that *he* was Dracula? Why didn’t he continue to deny that name after he beat Graham?”
“He isn’t my father.” Alucard said a slight hiss in his voice as his anger caused his fangs to grow.
“He’s not the blood sucking monster that my family has had to face over and over again for countless centuries.” Julius agreed. “It must be tough. Countless centuries fighting your own father for being a hate driven monster, and yet at the same time loving him as a son.” Julius had walked over placing a hand on the dhampire’s shoulder. “If he succeeds then your father will be free of the evil and hate that has plagued all of us for a long time. But he’ll also be an 18-year-old boy, with no memories or feelings for you other then possibly friendship…”
Alucard had snapped back around his eyes red and his fangs showing. “Step careful where you tread Belmont.”
Julius backed down lowering his head in apology as he did so. But he walked over and sat down in one of the chairs in the room. “This is a good place for me to stop. If he succeeds I’ll be already half way to the gate, and if he fails… I’ll be halfway to the Master chambers.”
“If he fails then I’ll kill him myself.” The fangs had yet to return to normal.
“I promised him if he failed I’d kill him. Without his human soul I can do the job even in my age. As before so again I don’t want to make you fight your father. Go down and get things ready for us when the time comes to leave.”
“Don’t presume to order me around Belmont.” Alucard had said threateningly.
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep… But we’ve got promises to keep, and miles to go before we sleep.” Julius turned his gaze to the ceiling. “And miles to go before we sleep.”