Alex Van Helsing Voice of the Undead - By Jason Henderson Page 0,1

of this particular pressure. If he was, he was letting Alex manage it, as though learning to manage his schedule was part of his training. Fine.

He was hoping the ten P.M. curfew would be a little loose tonight—Sid and Paul were planning to join a bunch of the other guys in Aubrey House to watch a DVD in the lounge. With luck he could get back, ditch the motorcycle in the woods across from the main gate, and make it up to his room while the RAs started their rounds on the ground floor. Alex had to change, though; he was covered in ceiling plaster and gunpowder and had an enormous but washable red ink stain on his neck.

Alex felt a burst of static shoot through his brain, a whisper, and he darted his eyes left to catch the fleeting image of a figure in white disappearing behind a tree as he passed.

That was strange. As the bike roared down the road, picking up speed, Alex tapped a button on the side of his helmet and shouted into the microphone in front of his lips. “Sangster, are you there?”

No answer. Sangster must be out of pocket. But Alex knew what he had seen.

The feeling rose again. That feeling, that static behind his eyes, was the chief reason Sangster had taken him under his wing, even though he was only fourteen. The static burst and chopped in a wave through his mind and Alex saw another figure in white, blurring through the trees along the side of the road.

Alex slapped the button again. “Farmhouse, this is Van Helsing.”

After a moment a voice came online. “Farmhouse.”

In his mind, Alex could picture the farmhouse, so called because it was a small, unimpressive white house with a dilapidated metal garage door that sat in a clearing in the middle of the woods. The house was a ruse: The garage door opened to a tunnel that went a half mile underground, where the real farmhouse lived and breathed. It was a vast bunker of men and women and equipment, just one of many homes of the Polidorium.

“I’m seeing hostiles on the road from Secheron Village to Glenarvon Academy. Who is on point today?”

After a moment a female voice came on. “Alex, this is Armstrong, what’s going on?”

Alex felt a moment’s relief as he heard one of the few agents of the Polidorium he knew, or at least had interacted with more than once. “Something’s up. I just saw two vampires by the side of the road, wearing Scholomance colors,” Alex said, not turning back to look again. The Scholomance was a school, sort of; a school and a research facility and a massive organization all rolled into one. It lay below Lake Geneva behind mystical doors that were nearly impossible to find. And now two of its members were watching the road.

Alex headed toward the next big curve in the road, about a mile up. A pair of identical black Mercedes E-Class sedans came into view, rounding the curve, traveling his way in the opposing lane. His own lane clear, Alex sped up.

The second Mercedes drifted into the right lane, Alex’s lane, to pass the first.

Alex eased off the throttle to give the vehicle time to get out of his lane. They were still half a mile away. He watched the passing Mercedes get up ahead of the other car, ready to move back into the opposing lane.

The Mercedes stayed in Alex’s lane. Now they were side by side, two enormous black luxury sedans bearing down on him, blocking the road.

And then Alex felt it again, that hiss and static, rolling toward him like a cold wave.

In the dark of night Alex could not see even a hint of the drivers, but he knew they would be white as bone, and strong and fanged. They intended to kill him.

Four hundred yards. Alex ran down the possibilities. What’s going on? They’re blocking my path. Go into the woods?

No. He needed to stick to the road. He needed to get back before the write-up and the call home.

The cars were about a yard and a half apart from each other. Alex sized up the space and throttled the Ninja again.

I’ve been made, he realized as he hurtled toward the cars. They were watching for him. Alex felt them speeding up as much as observed them.

Now he saw a vampire in white, tall, with black hair, step onto the shoulder, holding a device that at first he thought

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