When Sebastian felt satisfied, he wondered how to leave the small room of many doors. There were too many doors to remember which led where. He sat on the sofa in this room and dozed off. Shortly afterwards, Sardok came to this room to start his feeding and Seb asked him. Sardok pointed to a door, and told him telepathically, ''Keep to the right wall.''|
Sure enough, he got through the maze and found himself in the large chamber again. He saw the revolving bookcase, pushed it, and went up the steps leading outside. It was cool with a soft breeze and the full moon could be seen if Seb looked straight up. In the gentle moonlight, he could now see the door opened onto a large-sized atrium. There was room for three trees and benches placed here and there. He was about to sit on one of the benches and enjoy the fresh air when he heard a silky feminine voice speak to him telepathically. ''Shut the door, Seb. You will be able to get back in.'' By the time he had done so, he recognized the voice as Irisena's voice. ''I've been carefully watching and waiting for you to surface so I could communicate with you. I can see everything you see now. You must find a way to lure Sardok out here. Tell him it's romantic in the moonlight, tell him anything, but get him out where you are now. Once he's outside, we will do the rest. And thanks again for your courageous service! Go quickly!''
Sebastian re-entered the dark mansion, and went hunting for Sardok. He wasn't difficult to find, and he was content, having just finishing feeding. Seb sniffed in his ear, playing the romantic, and said, ''The moon is full, honey. Let's go out in the atrium and sit on one of those lovely benches and enjoy it!''
Sardok at first gave him a quizzical look. He'd not ever cared much for nature, having seen enough full moons in his centuries to know what they look like. But he grudgingly humored Sebastian. While resting there, he could explain the tasks he wanted Sebastian to do. The pleasant setting might make him more amenable.
They reached the cool night air and were sitting on the bench which afforded the best moon view. Sebastian draped himself leisurely over Sardok, and breathed deeply. It was a relief to be out of his stuffy mansion, with its black walls that only added to the closed in suffocating feeling. Sebastian had only time to draw a good breath of air, when suddenly a great mass of vampires descended from the heavens. Sebastian was shocked nearly senseless, but not enough to keep from counting them all. Two great Vessels, and fourteen others made sixteen.
They lowered themselves to the ground, surrounding Sardok. All sixteen spoke in unison, in even voices of perfect diction, ''You are wanted for crimes against the Highest Good, Sardok. The real battle is not between the long lived blood drinkers and the short lived meat and plant eaters. The real battle is good versus evil. By your actions, Sardok, you have chosen evil repeatedly over the centuries. We can no longer let this continue. Therefore for the protection of all blood drinkers and meat eaters who follow after good, we must remove you. We do not take joy in this. We sorrow that this must be done. But done, it must be. Say goodbye to the moonlight you have not ever appreciated!''
Sardok looked truly dumbfounded. He had totally underestimated the power of the Council of Elders, and did not even know about the Sacred Vessels. He was in such shock, he did not even plead for himself. Sebastian watched, mouth wide open, as the eyes of the sixteen powerful blood drinkers grew fiery with intensity. He could feel the beams of energy they sent out. Before his amazed eyes, Sardok grow old. His blood beings had been ordered to immolate themselves, and they were obeying. No longer maintaining the body, it aged rapidly. His face grew lined and saggy, his hair grew thin and white, his bulging muscles flattened, and his straight body grew stooped.
Then the body grew red. It was clear he was being burned from within. The flames cooked his flesh to a charcoal black, and then they erupted, and Sardok became a pillar of flame. The flames continued until only a pile of gray ash remained. Chills ran through Sebastian as he realized Sardok's ashen pile sat only scant feet from where the unfortunate would be actresses ashes still remained, for not all had been taken with the wind.
He began shaking uncontrollably, he couldn't help himself. Then one of the sixteen came forward to embrace him. He looked up with tear filled eyes to behold a beautiful black haired woman. ''Giselle! You are one of the Elders?'' He asked in disbelief. She gently replied, ''No, I am not, there are always only thirteen Elders. But as you are my fledgling and I DO care about you, I wanted to be here to lend my energy as well. I'm sorry that I've kept in such poor contact over the years. It's that I lose track of the time. Time passes very differently for one who is nearly five thousand years old. It is my greatest hope that you will endure as I have, and I embrace you, my dear child. I am indeed proud of you.''
With those words, Sebastian burst into sobbing, ''No one has ever been PROUD of me in my whole life!'' And his shoulders shook again. Giselle kissed him on the lips, and said, ''We ALL are proud of you!'' Sebastian beamed for a moment, and then thought quickly, ''There is an innocent in that hideous mansion, an innocent named Celine, short with blonde hair. All she wants to do is go home to her mama. Can one of you take her there?''
Irisena was off for the door with fast feet, and quickly returned with the short, blonde haired girl. She looked amazed, as if she'd seen the hosts of heaven come to earth to save her. Sebastian told Giselle, smiling, ''If she thought I look angelic, she must be certain Irisena is the Holy Mother herself!'' And he cried again for joy, knowing this girl would grow up to live a happy life.