Bloodwars (Necroscope: Vampire World Trilogy)

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9780812536287: Bloodwars (Necroscope: Vampire World Trilogy)
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The twin sons of Harry Keogh, the Necroscope, have taken very different paths. Nathan as his father's powers--to talk to the dead, to travel instantly through space. Like Harry, this new Necroscope fights evil wherever he finds it.

His twin, Nestor, has become the most horrifying evil imaginable: a shape-shifting, blood sucking Wamphyi Lord! Devoid of human feeling, Nestor and his companion, the beautiful, malevolent Wratha the Risen, hunt without mercy.

The battle between the brothers mirrors the war between vampires and humans. On mankind's side: terrible weapons brought from Earth by Nathan's allies. But the vampires are numerous and powerful, and neither side has a clear advantage...until Nathan and his legions of the dead discover a way to destroy the vampires forever.

In the midst of a titanic battle, Nathan makes a desperate move that forever changes millions of lives and two worlds: the vampire world...and earth.

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About the Author:

Brian Lumley is the author of the bestselling Necroscope series of vampire novels. The first Necroscope, Harry Keogh, also appears in a collection of Lumley's short fiction, Harry Keogh and Other Weird Heroes, along Titus Crow and Henri Laurent de Marigny, from Titus Crow, Volumes One, Two, and Three, and David Hero and Eldin the Wanderer, from the Dreamlands series.

An acknowledged master of Lovecraft-style horror, Brian Lumley has won the British Fantasy Award and been named a Grand Master of Horror. His works have been published in more than a dozen countries and have inspired comic books, role-playing games, and sculpture, and been adapted for television.

When not writing, Lumley can often be found spear-fishing in the Greek islands, gambling in Las Vegas, or attending a convention somewhere in the US. Lumley and his wife live in England.

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Bloodwars
PART ONE:EARTH1Outside, InsideReturning from an early lunch at an Indian restaurant just a five-minute walk away from E-Branch HQ in the heart of London, Ben Trask sweated inside and out. Inside from the curry which was still searing his mouth and throat, outside from the unusually warm May weather. The noonday sun blazed down on him from a sky as vast and blue as the Ionian which he hoped his visitor from another world was enjoying, because Trask sure as hell was not! In fact, ever since Zek Föener and Nathan Kiklu (or Nathan "Keogh," as the Necroscope preferred to be called now) had gone off to the Greek islands a few days ago, Trask had been right out of sorts with himself, and with everyone else in his top-secret ESPionage organization.He thought about the two, worried about them equally ... but for different reasons. About Nathan, because he was probably the most valuable and certainly the most--what, unique?--man in the world; even in two worlds. And about Zek because he loved her. At his age (Trask snorted), finally to have fallen in love! Not that he was ancient, and he certainly wasn't "past it," but ... it complicated matters. And with Zek in the Greek Islands, things seemed even more complicated. That silly old saw that has it "out of sight, out of mind" had it backwards as far as Trask was concerned. She was out of sight, all right, but she'd never been more in his mind than right now ...And even as he thought it, the thought itself was like an invocation:Deep water ... the salt sea ... weeds and sediment obscuring Trask's vision--no, Zek's vision!--and the pain in his/her chest ... heart hammering, vision blurring, lungs screaming for air! Sweet Jesus, she was drowning! And she was letting him know about it in the only way she could ... for Zek was one of the world's finest telepaths.BEN! The word exploded into his mind like a bomb. TRY NOT TO FEEL ... TOO ... BAD ... ABOUT ... IT."Zek!" he yelled out loud, and could actually taste the water flooding into his/ her mouth.GOOD ... ... BYE ... ... BEN ... ... !Trask staggered, whirled, fell, and felt his knees slam down hard on the dusty pavement. But it didn't hurt. Nothing hurt except the fact that Zek's telepathic voice was dead in his mind. And that Zek herself--?Across the road, people were staring. A car's horn blared, and its astonished driver gazed down at Trask where he kneeled half on, half off the road. Then the car swept on by and people came running, questioning. Someone asked if Trask had been hit. He shook his head, got to his feet and staggered again. A young couple grabbed him, held him upright, and the girl asked:"Are you all right?"Numb, he nodded. He was all right, yes. But Zek--?It was mid-May 2006, and under the hot sun Trask was cold. Sweat rivered his face and stuck his shirt to his back, yet he was cold. Cold in his mind, from the feel and the taste of the deep salt water, but far colder from the memory of Zek's telepathic voice, crying there and dying there, in his mind. Cold from the sudden emptiness of ... everything. "Zek!"He shook the young couple off, shouldered people aside, started to walk along the pavement and ended up running, and ran sweating and shivering down the side street to the back of the hotel whose top floor housed E-Branch HQ. He found the private door; after the sunlight it was like night in there; there was only the darkness until he used his pass-card to enter the elevator with its electric ceiling light. And even then it was dark; but that was in his mind, and he knew that the darkness was only the absence of Zek. In which case it might last forever.Then the elevator shuddered to a halt, the doors hissed open and Trask stumbled out into the main corridor ...... Which was--flooded?An inch of water went sluicing into the elevator! Now what the holy ...?There were espers in the corridor. Trask recognized faces without considering the amazement--the relief, the ... what? triumph, jubilation?--written on every one of them. There was a smell of ocean, seaweed, salt. The smell matched the taste of Zek in Trask's mind. So that once again he asked himself: Now what the holy ... ?The tall, cadaverous, usually melancholy figure of the precog, Ian Goodly, loomed into view; but now his eyes were alight with elation. He grabbed Trask's arm, husked: "Ben--he's done it! Nathan's done it!""Done it?" Trask found it hard to gather his thoughts, concentrate his mind. Goodly was wet, splotched; he smelled of sea water just like the entire corridor smelled of it. His trousers were drenched from the knees down and clung to his thin calves. And now David Chung, Branch locator, had arrived on the scene; he, too, was soaked from head to toe, and grinning like an Oriental lunatic. "Done what?" Trask demanded, looking from one to the other of them. "What has Nathan done? And anyway, he's somewhere in the Ionian with ... with Zek." And finally losing it: "Why doesn't someone tell me what the fuck--is--going--on--here!?""They were in the Greek Islands, Ben." Goodly suddenly saw how close Trask was to shock. But he also knew how difficult it would be to shock a man who always knew the truth, a human lie detector like the current Head of E-Branch. And looking at him, Goodly thought to himself: He's improved, hardened with age and time. Oh, Ben has soft, human edges, too, but the man inside--the mind, soul, and personality, the id--is diamond-hard.Trask was about five-ten, just a pound or two overweight, mousey-haired and green-eyed. His broad shoulders sloped just a little, his arms dangled somewhat, and his expression was--what, lugubrious? Or maybe that was as a direct result of his talent; for in a world where the simple truth was increasingly hard to come by, it was no easy thing to possess a mind that could not accept a lie. This was an election year, and Trask's current gripe was with politicians. Watching party political broadcasts, he would frequently burst out: "The trouble with these people is that they never lie! But they never tell the truth, either!"And now he was staring hard at Goodly, asking: "What was that you said? They were in the Ionian? What the hell do you mean?"Goodly knew there was only one way to tell it, and so answered: "They were there, yes, Ben. But just a few minutes ago, Nathan brought them back!"Trask's jaw fell open. Not without an effort, he closed it and said: "He brought them--?""--Brought them back here, yes." Goodly nodded. "Through the Möbius Continuum."And now Trask's jaw dropped open all the way, so that once again he had to close it before gasping: "The ... Continuum?" At which the truth finally dawned on him; if not in regard to Nathan, certainly in respect of Zek. The fact that she was alive! He'd known it was the truth, of course, even as Goodly said the words, but it seemed so far beyond his wildest hopes and dreams that even Trask had held back from letting it register. Just a moment ago he'd known that Zek Föener was dead--he had literally heard and felt her die--and yet now ...As Trask's feet touched earth again, he snapped out of it and demanded to know: "Where are they? Are they okay? And Zek--is she okay?"David Chung answered him. "They're sedated. We've fixed up a couple of beds in the Ops Room. But it was a close thing. They were in the sea. And when they came through ... I thought half of the Mediterranean was coming through with them!"Trask grabbed him, said: "But how did it happen? Don't we know anything about it? Christ, I take an hour off for lunch, everything goes mad!""Nathan said a few words before we put him under," Chung answered. "But we had to put them out of it for a while. They were exhausted and in shock--especially Zek--and it might easily have developed into something worse.""So what exactly did Nathan say?" Trask headed for the Ops Room with the others in tow."It seems it was a party of Tzonov's thugs," Goodly took up the story. "Nathan's Special Branch minders were taken by surprise--and murdered! Nathan and Zek ran for it, into the sea. More of Tzonov's people were waiting for them; they had wet suits and spearguns and were already in the water; for all we know at this stage, the entire operation was launched from the sea. But when the chips were down and there was no other way out, Nathan did his thing. Except ... there was probably a lot more to it than that.""Oh?" Trask glanced at him, and pressed on into the Ops Room, where a small knot of espers was gathered around a pair of six-foot tables.Goodly followed on behind, nodding. "There had been some pretty weird stuff going on here. Stuff that told us these two were in trouble." He gave a shrug. "So we did what we could for them." Goodly was wont to understate things: his British phlegmatism. But the precog's "pretty weird stuff" statement told Trask a lot: namely, that there was still a lot he hadn't been told."All of this in an hour?" he said, as the espers around the tables moved aside to make room for their Head of Branch, and Trask came to a halt between a pair of prone figures apparently asleep in hastily made-up beds."In a lot less than an hour," David Chung put in. "Let me tell you about it ..."Myself, Ian, Geoff Smart, we all got the message at the same time: that something was wrong. With me it was Nathan's earring: the thing came alive in my hand! I can't say what it was for Smart, but he's an empath and he's done a lot of work with Nathan; maybe he sensed the trouble they were in even at that range. And of course Ian reads the future, and apparently he'd 'seen' me plugging in the computer in Harry's room. So we went there, and I plugged it in. Then--"--It was the same as before: the numbers, equations, whatever; I'm no mathematician, so you tell me! But it was all on the screen. Except it wasn't quite the same. For this time the numbers came together, fused, formed into something else. Something that was ... I don't know, solid? Well, almost solid."Trask had taken Zek's wrist; feeling the steady pulse, he issued a sigh of relief. Zek, you spoke to me. When you thought it was all over, I was the one you spoke to! It meant an awful lot to him. Then, as if it were his first breath in a week, he filled his lungs to bursting; and finally, frowning, he looked at Chung. "Something solid, you say? On the computer screen?"Goodly took up the story again. "Do you remember those golden darts, Ben? I mean, when Harry died?""Of course I remember them.""And the one we saw entering into the computer? In fact, the computer showed it to us, right?"Trask nodded, stepped away from the tables and beckoned the others back. "Let them breathe, for Christ's sake!" And to Goodly: "What about it?""The way I see it," Goodly answered, "that dart or whatever it was, it's been waiting in there. Before, the computer seemed to be running off its own power; you'll remember, it wasn't plugged in? Well, whatever it was that powered the display that time--call it a 'ghost,' if you like, or an 'echo' of Harry Keogh--it must have just about burned itself out. But this time it was tapping a legitimate power source, which boosted what was left of it. So ... this is what we saw:"The numbers stopped dead on the screen and, like David said, formed into something solid: a golden dart! Oh, it was faint as a wisp of yellow smoke--pretty insubstantial stuff--but it was real. And then ... it left the screen!""It what?" Trask's frown knotted his forehead."It left the screen," Goodly repeated. "And it passed out through the wall of the room and was gone.""Gone? Gone where?"Geoff Smart the empath had arrived from somewhere. Having heard what had been said, he now put in: "I think that's something you'll have to ask Nathan, when he comes out of it."Trask glanced at the speaker. Smart was something less than six feet tall; sturdily built, red-haired, crew-cut, he looked like a boxer, aggressive, but was in fact mild-mannered. What he lacked in looks found compensation in what Trask called his "withness": his intense ability to relate. His talent was empathy, in which capacity he had worked very closely with Nathan. It was odds on that Smart would be correct in his as yet unspoken estimate of what had occurred. But unspoken or not, Trask read the truth in it anyway."You're telling me that this dart--went looking for him?"Smart nodded. "And found him! That's my bet. I think it's been in there--in the computer--just waiting for him. Which is why none of you ever messed with Harry's room all this time, because you could sense it in there. Why not? You're all espers after all. But when Nathan got here, the thing revealed itself. And given a power source at last, when Chung plugged it in ..."" ... The dart went home." Trask finished it for him. "Went home to Nathan."Again Smart nodded. "That's how I see it, yes.""It finished the job that we had started on him," Trask continued almost to himself, staring in something approaching awe at the young man on the second bed. "It gave him the Mobius Continuum and made him complete. But ... this was his first time ever? And still he was able to find his way back here--and bring Zek with him?"David Chung spoke up. "He wasn't entirely on his own. I mean, I think maybe I had something to do with it. Or rather, that this had something to do with it." He held up Nathan's golden earring in the warped shape of a Mobius loop. "A vampire Lord called Maglore gave this to Nathan before he escaped from Turgosheim. I think Maglore was using it to spy on him. But as a locating device the earring works both ways. Nathan must have homed in on it, and that's how he found his way back here ..."Trask looked at them all standing around him. Looked from face to face, and then at Zek Föener and the Necroscope Nathan Keogh, lying tranquilized in their makeshift beds. Finally he grinned and shook his head in wonder. And to Smart, Goodly, and Chung he said, "So, all three of you had a hand in it, right? God, what would we do without you? What would any of us anywhere do without you?" His steady gaze spread to encompass the rest of his espers. "And I do mean all of you."It was the finest compliment he had ever paid them ... 
The plan was simple:Nathan had revisited Sir Keenan Gormley's resting place to "fix" its coordinates in his mind, and also to tell the ex-Head of Branch that he was experimenting with the Möbius Continuum. Now, having returned to E-Branch HQ, he wouldattempt a Möbius jump to Gormley's Garden of Repose. In the event that something went wrong, David Chung would be ready with Nathan's sigil earring to guide him home. And so that it would be more in keeping as a genuine scientific experiment, other Branch members would be in situ at Gormley's memorial, to time any lapse between Nathan's jump from HQ and his arrival in the Kensington cemetery.All was now in place; it was 9:00 A.M., and the mid-city temperature was already climbing; Nathan, Trask, and a majority of E-Branch agents were in the Ops Room, every single man of them with a film of sweat on his brow despite th...

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