Her encounter with Freyja happened at a critical juncture. Her eyes had once more been opened to the true nature of this world, and she disliked what she saw.
In her time, she had to contend with vampires, ghouls, werewolves, and all manner of things that went bump in the night. These creatures had always been there, existing in the edges of human awareness, and preyed on both mankind and their fears. Clara had lived through a renaissance of sorts. Ghouls had been dispatched en masse during the Great War, and werewolves were nothing more than an anomaly.
This world showcased a new order that grew from the loss of the Tower. Drusilla may have been stopped before fulfilling her mission to rise above the fray to rule the world with an iron fist, but her legacy of terror lived on. Clara cursed herself for not having killed that bitch earlier.
Clara needed allies, people she could rely on, those who were capable of indoctrinating her in the ways of the present day. Weapons may have remained largely the same, but other technologies advanced by leaps and bounds. She was a relic in fashion, language and know-how and, without assistance, would stick out like a sore thumb.
She knew someone who might help, but that meant abusing her kind nature. For now, it seemed necessary to set aside such concerns. In return, Clara would be sure to shield this woman from harm and, in time, develop a symbiotic relationship.
Clara stayed close to the rooftops in an attempt to avoid drawing unnecessary attention. Fortunately, the streets were deserted for the most part, and she could risk exposure by crossing them. She kept a sharp eye for anything that followed, but luck was on her side.
“Allies,” Clara said.
The Tower had been the nerve centre for their order, but they were also allies to any who fought the forces of evil. Drusilla’s mayhem had stripped the world of an important ally by isolating, but not destroying, the Tower. Clara needed to reconnect with and, hopefully, restore the relevance to her order.
Now there was a conundrum. Without the Terminus, the nexus of gates that linked the Tower to sites around the world, the Tower would be near impossible to reach. Even if she could find a way to the Tower, what would she find once she got there? A tower of ivory that stretched out into the heavens filled with hundreds of hunters itching for a fight? Or a tomb?
The absence of answers confirmed that this plan would be executed over the long term. She needed allies now. Perhaps her thinking was a bit circular, but that was a response to the gravity of the need.
Elizabeth would be her first stop. From there, she did not know. However, Clara theorized that the line between friend and foe would blur, if not disappear altogether. That meant she needed to keep an open mind and sleep with an open eye.
Clara landed on a rooftop, then leaned over the ledge to look down. On the other side, Elizabeth’s building loomed out beyond the curtain of driving rain. Most of the windows were dark, save for one.
Clara closed her eyes and focused on her hearing. Eventually, the sound of applause caused by the rain was filtered out. She continued to focus, visualising the area in her mind, and heard one steady heartbeat within that unit.
There were others in the building which accounted for the neighbours. So far, there were no sounds to indicate the presence of a platoon of soldiers waiting for her. Considering the day she had, that was a good sign.
“Time to have a little faith,” Clara said. “In myself.”
With that thought, Clara leapt from the rooftop and glided over to the emergency escape. Every plan needed objectives, and it was time to see how the foundations of her plan would unfold.
Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!