Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Another Long Night

Dimitrie Vladimirescu sat in his private study, sipping his first coffee of the day, or more properly the last coffee of the night. He grimaced as the bitter taste filled his mouth, and he longed for a very different sort of drink, but supplies were low and he would have to temper his desires.

He had been up for many hours and soon, as was customary for his kind, he would need to sleep. The world outside was safely hidden from view behind heavy velvet drapes that adorned the windows of his central London townhouse, but he was growing weak as the sun made its effects felt.

The room in which he sat was a relic of a past age; a time of decadence when no expense was spared in the design and d├ęcor of this once magnificent chamber. Now the beautiful rugs were looking threadbare; woodworm had made its mark on the custom-made furniture and those drapes had seen better days.

Dimitrie had passed the night reading the reports that had been flooding in from all over Europe from friends, family and acquaintances, and they had not made for pleasant reading. He had not read of a death toll like this since the days of the Russo-Turkish War. At least then, he thought to himself, he would have had an army to lead into battle, but there were so few of them now – the days of glory and blood were over and he and his kind were clinging to existence.

He stretched, putting the paperwork to one side, and finished his coffee in one gulp. Despite his youthful countenance, his dark hair that hung in loose curls down to his shoulders, and his sharp, clear eyes he was beginning to feel all of his years. Like the room in which he was sat, at first glance he looked to be in the prime of his life, but on closer inspection he bore the signs of a long, long, life.

As he closed the book in which he had been making careful notations of the losses, a trill noise indicated that a message had arrived on his email account marked urgent. The sender was listed as ‘Trojan1442’, an elder of the community based in the Romanian homeland, he was much older than Dimitrie himself and was rumoured to have fought alongside Vlad Tepes in the wars against the Ottoman Empire.

Though it had to be admitted that Dimitrie had never heard of a man of Trojan’s years who had not claimed to have served the infamous Impaler in some capacity.

Dimitrie was about to switch off the infernal machine, he was not sure that he could take yet another account of bloodshed and mayhem, but the subject line made him stop short. It read; Subject: A solution?

Dimitrie read the contents of the email with a look of horror on his face – it was a bold proposition from the aging warrior. Perhaps a few years ago he could have safely deleted this email, written off the suggestion as the ravings of a madman who was now too old and too tired for service, but now things had changed and too many of those who had once walked proudly across the earth were now dead or in hiding.

He quickly sent a message back. It was simple and stark.
To: Trojan1422
From: Vlad1785
Trojan,
This will need discussion. You know what to do.
Vlad.

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