Afternoon faded into evening and Lysanna cursed herself as mirror shards carved glyphs into her sick-pink flesh. Iridescent black fluid oozed from her wounds and cast a glimmer like starlight into the room's darkness.
That bastard and his lonely little war. she thought.
If he hadn't disrupted the parturition none of this would be necessary.
Lysanna wanted revenge against that harrowed fool but there was no time; survival of the Scion was all that mattered. Her life now forfeit; a sacrifice for the childe. She would inflict her wrath upon her sister - punishment for a millennia of diaspora and her betrayal - before joining the others in their exile...
...but not in their failure.
Paul's senses sharpened. The nausea subsided as the fog behind his eyes began to clear. Time and place were lost to him. The van was gone - smells of oil and metal replaced by damp and earth - the glow of the fading sun cast eerie shadows through the room's broken window.
"I'm sorry about all this, Paul."
"Sorry about what? Paul spat as he pushed himself to sitting. "That I've been infected with some parasite or that you've drugged and kidnapped me?" All of Paul's fear and trepidation was replaced with rage and single inexorable goal - escape.
"I can't explain this in any way that you'd understand." she said. "What's important, love...is that you have something we desperately need."
If there was ever a moment to run this was it. He thought. Would Maya be willing to sacrifice him or the creature he was incubating if he tried get away? It was worth the risk.
Maya walked toward Paul as he raised himself on unsteady feet. Something shifted in the hall - a silhouette that Paul couldn't quite make out. Maya glowered as a vicious howl erupted from the gloom and tendrils of shimmering shadows twisted around her.
"Bitch!" it shrieked.
This was his moment.
With all the strength and adrenaline he could summon Paul charged into Maya, sending them both tumbling to the floor. The shadows thickened as their source - a decrepit wisp of a woman with glowing sigils etched into her skin - enveloped Maya in a swirling mass of smoke and ash.
Paul was scrambling to his feet when he felt the syringe beneath his fingers. He clenched the needle in his fist and drove it hard into Maya's leg.
Maya screamed in desperation as Paul sprinted out the door and into darkness.