This year me and Rebecca have decided to visit her mother, and father in the mystical community of Atlantica, which is on the shore of southern California’s land locked Salton Sea. It’s known to be a haven for outcast mermaids who choose to live among humans. Rebecca’s full mermaid mother, Marina, fell in love with her father Duncan Abernathy and married him. She became permanently human utilizing the magic of the full moon of a Halloween night. Marina was shunned by her family who was in fact mermaid royalty in the under sea city of Atlantis from which she came. As a mermaid princess she must remain vigilante and stay away from the ocean for fear of being kidnapped and facing punishment for her royal desertion. We haven’t seen Rebecca’s parents since March so we’re both looking forward to visiting them in Atlantica. They live on the shore of the Salton Sea although there is also an under sea village portion of Atlantica where those who still take mermaid form may live and flourish within the heavenly healing waters.
Since things have been quiet lately, I decided to invite everyone at Mystic Investigations to come with us. This is as good a time as any for our annual two-week summer vacation office closure. However not everyone could come along. Accompanying us with be Drake Alexander, Julia Hathaway, Ashley Abercrombie, Zack Powers, Hunter Jackson, and Duanna Sargon aka Enheduanna, Drake’s vampire mother. Duanna is still staying with Drake at Alexander Manor helping him to recover his lost memory after the explosion of the alien craft. Since Duanna demands luxury travel, the Mystic RV is out of the question. She instead has chartered a private Learjet for our journey from Colorado to California. The gleaming white jet ablaze with the colors of sunset was fueled and waiting for us at Woodland Springs Airport. Our evening start was for the sake of Drake and Duanna’s aversion to sunlight. We enjoyed cocktails and h’orderves on the two-hour flight as Duanna and Drake retold tales of their centuries old adventures. We landed at the Salton Sea Airport about 11:00 PM Pacific Time and black stretch limo was waiting in the cloak of darkness to take us to Atlantica. This was a very special limo service that knew about the off the maps town of Atlantica.
Within minutes we pulled into the driveway of the Abernathy residence on the shore of the picturesque Salton Sea which was barely visible in the light of the crescent moon and the twinkling stars above. Since Duncan is a professional saltwater fisherman, and Marina a professional witch, they live in a home more modest than Remington Manor. So there’s only enough room for me, Rebecca, Julia Hathaway, and Zack Powers. However Hunter will sleep on the couch before joining Drake and Duanna when they travel to LA. In the meantime they are staying at the exotic 5-star undersea mermaid hotel. Ashley will join them as well since all three of them can stay underwater indefinitely. Drake and Duanna don’t require oxygen as living dead creatures of the night. Ashley is half-zombie and can switch her dead half on for certain periods of time. The trio left after meeting Rebecca’s parents and we had a late night dinner before retiring to bed at about 1:00 AM.
The living dead limo arrived at the Salton Sea shore and all three of them were greeted by a mermaid hostess in the water named Sheila. She directed them to follow her to the underwater hotel. They walked into the water and under the surf into the murky dark depths. Vampires and mermaids have good night vision but Ashley couldn’t see anything but the lights of the undersea city in the distance. Soon they all began swimming and quickly made it to the water filled hotel served by a mermaid only staff. Each had their own room and Ashley checked in to sleep for the night. Drake and Duanna on the other hand sleep during the day and so instead went out for a night on the underwater town. They played games of chance at the casino, and attended a swanky night club, “Suds Under The Sea” before retiring for the morning. Both Drake and Duanna had to call upon great will power to prevent partaking of mermaid blood since it’s of great allure to a vampire and also temporarily turns them into vampire mermaids. Obviously it would be easier to get around underwater in mermaid form, however mermaid culture frowns upon the ingestion of blood and especially loathes mermaid vampires to the point of viciously hunting them down in trident wielding mobs. Mermaids have a don’t ask don’t tell policy so they didn’t know if the duo were in fact vampires, some other type of supernatural creature, or able to access magic in order to live underwater for so long.
Ashley found it difficult to sleep underwater and had a few panic attacks including waking up drowning in the dead of the night when she accidentally started breathing again in her sleep. It probably wasn’t a good idea considering she had no idea how long she could keep her lungs shut down and how long her human half could survive. She was an odd original zombie human hybrid so it was hard to say. As dawn approached she checked out and swam to the surface sunrise hyperventilating for fresh air. Ashley lounged on the beach basking in the early morning sun for a while before heading to the Abernathy’s to join us for breakfast on their sea-side boat dock. The Abernathy’s provided a scrumptious smörgåsbord that covered the long table covered by a white lace table-cloth whose hanging edges swirled in the warm breeze. I suspected some of the selection were magically whipped up by Marina but Rebecca swore her mother didn’t use witchcraft in such a nonchalant manner. I enjoyed the Belgium waffles smothered in chocolate syrup and whipped cream, side of hash browns, buttermilk biscuit, and a glass of orange juice. Rebecca had the French toast while Ashley ate very little as usual, having only a bagel and some grapefruit juice. I guess half-zombies don’t eat much food.
After breakfast we all took a ride on Duncan’s boat. As we slid through the sun and surf, Drake and Duanna slept in their briny lodging below the surface. Despite being immortal and in essence dead, vampires still require sleep although it’s more for mental recharging rather than physical. While within a deep sleep vampires are the most vulnerable to attack. While sleeping beneath the sea there is an even greater vulnerability since sneaking up on them is silently is easier along with being out of their element in water. This is especially true if it’s a band of rogue mermaids with nefarious purposes in mind. Drake slept calmly in his watery bed while Duanna slumbered in the bed next to him. Four mermaids surrounded each bed, and they gently retrained each vampire while a mermaid witch named, Atlacamani placed sacred talismans of the mermaid religion, Poseidonism, around their necks as she began chanting an incantation in the Mermaid language which sounds like an ancient foreign language mixed with dolphin like squeaks and whistles. Duanna was the first to wake up and immediately vamped out exposing her glowing eyes and fangs while shouting,”What is the meaning of this you filthy mermaid witch? Do you have any idea who I am?” This woke Drake up and he shouted something inaudible under water in English since he did not know how to speak mermaid. While under the sea he had communicated psychically with Duanna who translated for him. Vampires with close ties are able to do this.
Both vampires struggled but the witches magic via the talismans were restrained them. The mermaid witch responded to Duanna by sneering at her and saying,”I know you’re disgusting vampires that will fetch me powerful magical connections on the black market.” Duanna responded,”I am vampire royalty you vile fish! This malfeasance will not go unpunished by the Royal Vampirical Court!” Atlacamani laughed and replied,”Your so called vampire court has no jurisdiction or power in the world of mermaids bitch!” She then cackled but it sound like dolphin squeaking. Duanna became deeply enraged which activated even more of her ancient vampire power. She was able to break free from one of the mermaid grip and bit into his arm. She drank of his blood and within seconds she began transforming into a mermaid vampire which gave her even more power under water. The change in her supernatural status interrupted the magic that had tied her down and she broke free and went on a violent rampage. The witch backed off shocked by what was happening as Duanna bit into the mermaid thugs ripping off flesh. Soon the water became clouded with teal colored blood as the witch yelled for the ones holding Drake down to whisk him away. They swam from the room at top speed just as Duanna had finished off the mermaids who floated to the top of the room which was now nothing more than a blood ridden grave.
Duanna swam from the room in hot pursuit utilizing her new mermaid fin. It wasn’t hard to follow them since one of them had been bitten by her and was leaving a trail of blood in the water. She came a broken window and could see the group with Drake swimming away in the distance. She shot out the window and ignored the rays of the sun filtering down to her in the water. The sun felt like a bad sun burn on her skin but luckily things could have been much worse without the water between her and the solar assault. She neared the group quickly as she was able to swim faster than the average mermaid but then the group entered a submarine vehicle and sped away. Duanna however was able to swim ahead and stood in its path with the intention of stopping it. It rammed into her sustaining damage to the metal hull. She was unable to stop it since she had nowhere to gain traction in the middle of the sea. She swam after it hoping to damage it further but it surfaced into the protection of the sun which caused her skin to feel like it was on fire. Rather than smoke rising from her skin, which would be the norm for vampires exposed to sunlight, boiling bubbles rose around her instead. She had no choice but to end her pursuit. As she swam back down to Davy Jones Locker, two mermaid screamed “VAMPIRE!” Shrill clicks and whistles bellowed through the water and a horde of trident wielding mermaids converged upon Duanna. She quickly dove away and was out of their sight within seconds. Luckily she found a case to hide in until her mermaid form faded away or nightfall came.
Meanwhile we were all on Duncan’s boat when we saw the odd-looking surfaced submarine speed past us. I asked Duncan,”What the hell is that thing?” He responded,”It’s a mermaid sub but they rarely employ machinery to traverse the ocean waters. Especially in an ocean this small.” Just then Julia Hathaway had a psychic vision and screamed,”Oh my God! Drake is on that sub and he’s in trouble!” Rebecca then yelled,”Dad follow that sub!” Duncan floored it and we sped after them. The sub had stopped in a cove and some men appeared at the door and took possession of Drake who was covered in a black tarp to protect him from the sun. One of the men peered in at the vampires and said to the witch,”I though you had two vampires for us?” She replied in English,”The bitch was ancient vampire royalty and was too powerful for us to restrain.” The man then replied,”Since you kept only half of your bargain I can only give you this bag of gold. The magical connections you sought will have to wait another time.” Atlacamani then screeched,”I’ll turn you into chum you son of a bitch!” The man then replied,”Mr.Armstrong would not be pleased with that and might be inclined to call upon his magical allies to eradicate you and every mermaid in the Salton Sea. Also I’d be inclined to blast your sub out of the water with that rocket launcher.” The mermaid witch peered over at a truck by the shore and saw a guy pointing a rocket launcher at them.” Atlacamani frowned in silence as the man said,”Take your gold and be gone witch!” The sub door closed as we sped up blocking the sub from getting to deeper water and submerging. I immediately yelled at the men,”Hold it right there you sons of bitch!” while Drake was being loaded in the truck.
The men pulled guns out and opened fire. We ducked down and were mainly protected by the big metal sub in front of us. However Rebecca screamed,”Mystic Sphere” and a pink orb appeared around her as she said,”sursum volare”. Marina ran inside the pink energy orb as it flew above the sub as bullets bounced off the sphere. Only another powerful witch or close relative can enter the sphere uninvited. Rebecca turned to Marina and said,”Glad you could join me mom.” Hunter Jackson pulled out his small Uzi sub-machine gun, waded into the water, and opened fire on the men. Zack Powers leaped over the side of the boat to the shore hoping to run within the cover of the tall reeds and make his way to the truck. I yelled at him to stay in the boat but he ignored me as I pulled out my gun and jumped out the other side of the boat as Hunter did and opened fire as well. Duncan, Julia and Ashley remained crouched down in the boat. Although Duncan pulled out the flare gun fully prepared to defend the women. However he didn’t realize Julia had telekinetic powers, and Ashley was hard to kill. Julia had been debating if she should enter the fray but she knew her powers weren’t enough to stop bullets mid-air Matrix style.
There were at least twelve men as bullets whizzed past my ears into the water causing violent splashing around me and Hunter as well. Marina then screamed,”pilam aqua!” to activate the witch power she was born with just as Rebecca was born with the power of the Mystic Sphere. A water ball appeared in her hand and she lopped it at the nearest man shooting his gun. It hit him and grew to engulf him a clear sticky liquid. He fell to the ground suffocating and the magical waters dissipated as he lost consciousness. Hunter managed to hit a guy and I decided to toss my gun and instead delved into my Ninja throwing stars as I crawled onto shore amid some tall grass. I lopped one at a guy and he went down. Meanwhile the man with the rocket launcher was trying to make his way to a better vantage point to hit our boat behind the submarine full of mermaids peering out at the epic battle. He was in view of the boat and was prepared to launch a rocket when all the sudden Zack leaped out of the grass and tackled the man. Unfortunately his finger pulled the trigger and launched a rocket which coincidentally hit the Mystic Sphere.
Zack knocked the man out cold and bent the steel rocket launcher with his bionic hands. A huge ball of flames burst forth in the air above with a force great enough to knocked the shooting thugs to the ground. When the flames cleared Rebecca and Marina were gone. Me and Hunter took this opportunity to run ashore and advance on the thugs. Julia did so as well. I took on three of the men using my Kung Fu and Ninja skills. Hunter dropped his Uzi and kicked some ass of his own Navy Seal style. Julia waved her hand and knocked two of the men aside as she made her way to the truck. Zack was already there taking on two men but the truck sped away down the dirt road. Zack ran after it at bionic speed.
The rocket launcher blast had apparently been too much for even the great magical Mystic Sphere and the blast had propelled Mother and daughter into the water. Duncan and Ashley helped them on to the shore just as we beat down the last of the armed men. The Submarine began revving up its engines and was pushing the boat out of its way but Rebecca yelled,”Fulgora I call unto thee. Give me the power of your thunderous light to stop this monstrous machine of might!” Blue electric lightning shot from her hands bouncing about the subs hull blowing out the engines. Marina then strolled up to the door and yelled,”Pele da mihi virtutem ignis! Ferus incendia!” A blue flame appeared in her hand and she threw it at the sub door causing it to blast open. Water came out under the release of pressure causing the mermaid to be cast ashore. They flopped around helplessly as the mermaid witch Atlacamani then screeched,”Poseidon I call to you….” Before she could finish Rebecca punched her in the face and yelled,”Shut the hell up bitch!” I then said,”Where’s Drake Alexander?” She then replied,”Who?” Julia had just walked up and said,”The vampire!” The mermaid replied,”I have no idea!” Marina then yelled,”Tell us now or else!” Atlacamani shot back,”I don’t have to answer to you traitor! You smell of mermaid yet you appear human! Shame on you!” Rebecca yelled,”Shut the hell up and tell us what we want to know or I’ll turn you into a frog!” Atlacamani,”I have no idea where they’re taking him. All I know is a call went out on the black market for vampires and I gave the men what they wanted. They work for a man named Mr.Armstrong. He’s a magical man of mystery with a reputation as someone not to trifle with. That’s all I know! Please put us back in the sea! We’re dying here!” Julia used her psychic powers to confirm they were telling the truth and we pushed them back into the sea.
I then asked if anyone had ever heard of this supposedly magical mafia man Mr.Armstrong but nobody had. Just then a female voice said,”I’ve heard of Armstrong”. We all turned and saw Duanna emerging from the water buck naked and everyone just stared in shock. Especially with the full sunlight on her vampire skin. She smiled and said,”Would you believe I ended up in a cave with a water gnome?” Gnomes blood is known to allow vampires to bask in the sun for a short period of time however until now it wasn’t known if the rare water gnome had the same effect. Ashley grabbed a blanket from the boat and covered Duanna with it. Duanna went on to tell us that Armstrong was a powerful Sorcerer who led a supernatural underworld crime syndicate but she wasn’t sure what he wanted with Drake or any vampire in general. Apparently Armando Armstrong works out of New York City so we decided to head back to our jet. Julia then informed us that Zack had went after the truck with Drake on it and she sensed Zack was in trouble. We were unable to find the truck but figured they’d both end up in New York which was supported by another premonition Julia had.
All this time Zack had been chasing the truck. The driver, the man who talked with the mermaid witch, saw the teenager running after his truck which was going 70 mph so he floored it to 100. Zack made a super leap because he realized he was already at his top running speed. He managed to grip the back of the truck with his hands and attempted to stop it but couldn’t gain traction on the dirt road. The truck slowed down as it turned on to the paved roadway and Zack climbed up and opened the back door. Once inside he found Drake lying on the floor in silver shackles. Drake warned him not to touch them but it was too late. Zack touched the magical shackles and an electrical energy surged through Zack shorting out his bionics and knocking him out cold. The truck stopped and the man got out to look in back. He then laughed,”Excellent! I got another supernatural being to join the blood sport.” Drake then inquired,”Blood sport?” He then replied,”Yes vampire you and your buddy will be paranormal gladiators taking on ferocious animals for the amusement of wealthy humans and other beings who lust for this sort of thing. Mr.Armstrong caters to anyone who will pay.” The man then slammed the door shut and the truck sped away.
To Be Continued…