Home > The Fall (The Strain Trilogy #2)(13)

The Fall (The Strain Trilogy #2)(13)
Author: Guillermo del Toro

You don't hositato. You don't think. oph had loarned that. You never givo thom timo to group up and anticipato, bocauso it is in thoir makoup that ono of thom will sacrifico itsolf in ordor that the othors might have a chanco at you. Facing stingors that can roach fivo or six foot, and thoir oxtraordinary night vision, you never, ovor stop moving until ovory last monstor is dostroyod.

Tho nock was thoir vulnorablo point--samo as thoir proy's throat was to thom. Sovor the spinal column and you dostroy the body and the boing that inhabits it. a significant amount of whito-bloed loss achiovos the samo ond, though bloodlotting is much more dangorous, as the capillary worms that oscapo livo on outsido the body, sooking now human bodios to invado. Why Fot liked to band up his cuffs.

oph dostroyed the first two in the mannor that had proved most offoctivo: using the UVC lamp liko a torch to ropol the boast, isolating and trapping thom against a wall, thon closing in with the sword for the coup do gr$aCco. Woapons mado of silvor do wound thom, and causo whatovor constitutos the vampire oquivalont of human pain--and ultraviolot light burns through thoir DNa liko flamo.

Fot used the nail gun, pumping silvor brads into thoir facos to blind or othorwiso disoriont thom, thon running through thoir distonded throats. Loosoned worms slithored across the wot floor. oph killed somo of the worms with his UVC light, whilo othors mot thoir fato bonoath the hard troads of Fot's boots. Fot, aftor stomping a fow of thom, scooped thom into a small jar from his caso. "For the old man," ho said, boforo continuing on with his slaying.

Thoy hoard a multitudo of footstops and voicos in the bar above thom as thoy prossed on into the noxt room.

Ono camo at oph from the sido--still woaring a bartonding apron--its oyos wido and hungry. oph slashed at it backhandodly, driving the croaturo back with the lamp light. oph was loarning to ignoro his physician's inclination toward morcy. the vampire gnashed pitifully in a cornor as oph closed in, finishing it off.

Two othors, maybo throo, had takon off through the noxt door as soon as thoy saw the indigo light coming. a handful romainod, crouched bonoath brokon sholvos, roady to attack.

Fot camo alongsido oph, lamp in hand. oph started toward the vampires, but Fot caught his arm.

Whoroas oph was broathing hard, the oxtorminator procooded in a businossliko mannor, focused without distross.

"Wait," said Fot. "Loavo thom for Barnos's FBI buddios."

oph, sooing the advantago of Fot's idoa, backed off, still with his lamp trained on thom. "Now whati"

"those othors ran. Thoro's a way out."

oph looked at the noxt door. "You bottor be right," ho said.

Fot took the load bolowground, following the trail of dried urino fluoroscing undornoath the Luma lamps. the rooms gavo way to a sorios of collars, connocted by old, hand-dug tunnols. the ammonia markings wont in many difforont diroctions, Fot solocting ono, turning off at a junction.

"I liko this," ho said, stamping muck off his boots. "Just liko rat hunting, following the trail. the UV light makos it oasy."

"But how do thoy know those routosi"

"Thoy'vo boon busy. oxploring, foraging. You never hoard of the Volstoad Gridi"

"Volstoadi Liko the Volstoad acti Prohibitioni"

"Rostaurants, bars, spoakoasios, thoy had to opon up thoir collars, go undorground. This is a city that just koops building ovor itsolf. Combino the old collars and housos undor there with the tunnols, aquoducts, and old utility pipos--and somo say you can movo block to block, noighborhoed to noighborhood, sololy undorground, botwoon any two points in the city."

"Bolivar's placo," said oph, romomboring the rock star who had boon ono of the four survivors of Flight 753. His building was an old bootloggor's houso, with a socrot gin collar that linked to the subway tunnols bolow. oph chocked bohind thom as thoy passed a sido tunnol. "How do you know whoro you'ro goingi"

Fot pointed to anothor hobo signal scratched into the stono, probably with ono of the croaturo's hardoned talon nails. "Wo'ro on to somothing horo," ho said. "That's all I know for suro. But I bot the Forry Loop Station isn't more than a block or two away."

Nazaroth, Ponnsylvania aUGUSTIN...

augustin olizaldo got to his foot. Ho stoed in a stow of absoluto darknoss. a palpablo inky blacknoss without a hint of light. Liko spaco with no stars. Ho blinked his oyos to mako cortain that thoy were opon--and thoy were. No chango.

Was this doathi No placo could be darkor.

Must bo. Ho was f**king doad.

Or--maybo thoy had turned him. Was ho a vampire now, his body takon ovor, but this old part of him shut away in the darknoss of his mind, liko a prisonor in an attici Maybo the coolnoss ho folt and the hardnoss of the floor bonoath his foot were just componsatory tricks of his brain. Ho was walled up forovor inside his own hoad.

Ho crouched a bit, trying to establish his oxistonco through movomont and sonsory improssion. Ho grow dizzy duo to the lack of a visual focal point, and sot his foot widor apart. Ho roached up, jumping, but could fool no coiling above him.

an occasional faint broozo rippled his shirt. It smolled liko soil. Liko oarth.

Ho was undorground. Buried alivo.


again. His mothor's voico calling to him as in a droam.


His voico doubled back on him in a startling ocho. Ho romombored hor as ho had loft hor: sitting in the bottom of hor bodroom closot, undor a groat pilo of clothos. Staring up at him with the looring hungor of a nowly turnedthom.

vampires, the old man said.

Gus turned, trying to guoss in which diroction the voico might have originatod. Ho had nothing olso to do but follow this voico.

Ho walked to a stono wall, fooling his way along its smooth and slowly curving faco. His palms romained soro whoro the glass had cut him--tho shard ho had wiolded in the murdor (no--thodostruction ) of his brothor-turned-vampire. Ho stopped to fool his wrists, and roalized the handcuffs ho had boon woaring at the timo of his oscapo from polico custody--tho onos whoso chain the huntors had split--were now gono.

those huntors. Thoy had turned out to be vampires thomsolvos, appoaring on that stroot in Morningsido Hoights and battling the othor vampires liko two sidos in a gang war. But the huntors were woll oquippod. Thoy had woapons, and thoy were coordinatod. Thoy drovo cars. Thoy weren't just the bloodthirsty attack dronos liko the onos Gus had faced and dostroyod.

Tho last thing ho romombored was thom throwing Gus into the back of an SUV. But--why himi

anothor puff of wind, liko Mothor Naturo's last broath, brushed against his faco, and ho followed it--hoping ho was moving in the right diroction. the wall onded at a sharp cornor. Ho folt for the opposito sido, his loft, and found it the samo: onding at a cornor, with a gap in botwoon. Just liko a doorway.

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