NIGHTFALL: The Final Season

"A Change In Flight Plans"

"Our pilot's gone for a walk," said Trent, gently shaking Roy awake. "Think we should be worried?"

"How far can he go?" asked Roy, still groggy. "Relax. He's probably just wanting to get away from everyone for a little while. We're still on course, aren't we?"

"Yeah. He put it on auto-pilot before he left the cabin, and the others can handle things in flight. Just hope he's okay by the time we're ready to land. Barry and Nigel were our large aircraft pilots, and with them dead…well, let's just say that most of us can handle the flying better than the landing. With this big bastard, any ways."

"How long until we land?" asked Roy, looking back over the rows of seats to see most of the others with them, peacefully sleeping.

"About three hours, now," answered Trent, stepping back so that Roy could get out of his seat. "Should be seeing sunlight in a couple of hours."

"Didn't realize I had been sleeping that long," commented Roy, rising from his seat and heading down the aisle. "Any one look for him yet?"

"Well, most of our quests are on the upper two levels. My team, and half your's, are on the third level."

"Half? Let me guess, Bill and Christine slipped down to the lower level?"

"Uh, no. Actually, it was Diane and Winger."

'Oh', mouthed Roy, only slightly surprised.

"A couple of hours ago, according to Julie," added Trent, as they reached the spiraling staircase to the next level. "Didn't want to disturb them, really. Though I imagine that they're probably asleep by now."

"Hmm," was the only sound Roy made as he descended the stairs.

Dillman smiled as Bear's eyes finally fluttered open, he had been worried that it would take too long for Bear to turn, and that they would be discovered or stuck below after sunrise. Caressing Bear's cheek, Dill leaned down and kissed his forehead, cooing excitedly. They were together again, even death not being able to separate them, and Dillman was happier than he could ever remember being in his human life.

"When?" asked Bear, looking up into Dill's eyes.

"Remember Barstow? When those vamps attacked as we were pulling out of the city? One of them bit me, but Gunther hit her before she drew any blood."

"Gunther died in Barstow," said Bear, setting up.

"She turned and ripped his throat out. I ran away while she drained him. It infected me, and my death triggered it. Now, here we are," beamed Dillman, smiling widely to show off his incisors.

"I feel so…so…"

"Alive?"

"Yes," laughed Bear, thinking of the irony of the word.

"Wait until you've fed," said Dill, softly, seductively.

"Soon?" asked Bear, excitedly. He could already smell the humans—and those not quite human—above him, and it was nearly intoxicating, like a sudden, desperate thirst.

"Our Lord wants us to do something for him," hissed Dillman.

"Bartholomew?"

Dillman nodded.

"You can talk to him?"

"He can command us," explained Dill, effortlessly rising and holding his hand out for Bear. "He is with all of his children."

"He expects us to stop them, doesn't he?" asked Bear, taking Dill's hand and rising.

"I was suppose to do it, on my own, but I couldn't leave you behind," whispered Dill. "I was hoping for a chance, and you came to me. Now, we can end this insane crusade, and be together forever."

"The Preacher's killed Masters, Dill," countered Bear, nervous of the task they had been charged with. "This plane is full of creatures that would see our kind dead."

"Our Lord has passed a great deal of information on to me, secrets that would normally take ages to learn. Trust in me, we can stop them. And we'll do it in a way that they least expect."

"How?"

"From the outside," answered Dill, dropping down into the access chamber he had sprung from to take Bear.

Smiling, believing in Dill as much has he had when he had been human, Bear slipped down into the darkness, pulling the hatch shut behind him.

"Do you feel…edgy?" Bill asked Christine, starring out his side window. "Like something's not right."

"Not really," murmured Christine, trying to return to the slumber that Bill had talkingly been bringing her out of for the last ten minutes. "I'm blocking."

"Why?"

"Too much supernatural ambiance in the air," she answered, purposely being vague to toy with him.

"Huh?"

Christine snuggled deeper into her seat, pulling her blanket around her, and ignored him, smiling to herself. She knew she wasn't going to get back to sleep, she had slept most of the flight away anyhow, and so she figured she might as well have some fun.

"Hey, what are you talking about?" he reiterated, pausing only a second before poking her in the side.

"Okay, okay," she yelped, twisting about in her seat. "Knock it off before we wake the others."

"We? You're the one making all the noise."

"Yeah, well it's because of you," she said, smiling at him.

Bill felt a desire sweep over him, looking into her eyes, and dark images flowed through his mind. He wanted to take her right there and then, and wanted to do it roughly…forcibly…violently. He wanted it to be brutal, fueled by pure desire, and nothing like the gentle and caring encounters that they had had before. He wanted her like a vampire wants another, their bodies shifting and merging in ways that no human could. It was a dark lust devoid of any feelings of tenderness.

"What's wrong?" asked Christine, as he suddenly pulled back from her.

"Nothing," he responded, sounding none too convincing. He changed the subject before she could pursue it further by asking "what did you mean a few minutes ago, when you said there was too much supernatural ambiance?"

"Huh? Oh, that. The energy surrounding us. With all these were-beings on the plane, the air's full of it."

"That's what's making me feel edgy?"

"It can, if you don't strengthen your shields, block it out."

"That's cool, cause I really thought I was sensing vampires," he said, relaxing a little.

Christine looked puzzled at his last statement. She kept turning it over in her head, continually coming up with the same conclusion; he would have been sensing the abundance of energy given off by mystical creatures, but there was no way that he should have confused it with the aura signature of vampires.

Unless…

"Hey, guys," greeted Roy, intruding on her thoughts as he came walking down the right isle. "You haven't seen Bear, have you?"

Christine lowered the shields she had erected long ago, letting her own senses reach out through the mystic ether.

"No," replied Bill. "I thought I heard someone using the crew elevator back there, a couple of hours ago, but nothing since."

Magical energy permeated the air, seeming like a thick fog to those that could sense it; those that could will themselves to see it. It was not easy, peering through that thick veil of energy in search of something that should not be there, but it was not impossible.

"Any reason to think it was Bear?" asked Roy.

There was a presence near by, a dark energy that should not be, and Christine tried to focus on it, hoping to locate it.

"All of Trent's people are here," answered Bill, looking about at the heads of sleeping Alpha Team members. "Figure it'd be him or shit head."

"Timms is up talking with Vivian," stated Roy, frowning at Bill's nickname for the Lieutenant, but understanding completely. Roy considered it a minor miracle that he had been able to convince Bill and Christine to even be on the same plane with the man, after what he had pulled.

Christine could almost center on the dark energy, but she couldn't quite lock it down, thinking that vaguely felt as if it were…

"Are you okay, Christine?" asked Roy, finally noticing her trance-like appearance.

"They're outside of the plane," she whispered.

"Who's outside?" asked Bill.

"Vampires," she said, looking at him, then Roy. "There's vampires on the outside of the plane."

The plane suddenly fell forward, a high pitched whining noise vibrating through the craft as it dove, and oxygen masks dropped from their compartments as warning signs began flashing on and off. Those not buckled in their seats were thrown about roughly, and screams of terror soon cried throughout the craft.

To Be Continued…