With surprising speed for such a large number of people, the Convocation stepped through the teleport point one after another as the security teams manned a decreasing defensive circuit. At the end the last four out were Sandi, Diane Trieste, Dan and me. Sandi as head of security operations held until she was sure everyone was clear of Utah. Diane stayed present to keep the escape point open. Dan held on turning back the undead, which decided to enter the hall once it became clear the constructs attacking from the Wedding Convention next door* had been destroyed. And I was there, ready to lay down my last Wall of Force as a barrier while the end of the security detail pulled out.
It is hard to estimate casualties. Any bridal show people who fled into the carpark would have been quickly killed; perhaps those hotel staff and guests who ran upstairs may have been overlooked. But the Academy is clear, and like Gibson and the serving staff who signed on for a bonus pay shift to be sure we got our ham and cheese croissants, we are now standing in Toronto trying to figure out how to get home.
In the aftermath, I understand that New Orleans campus members are trying to contact Randolph Goodman, who left the Convocation in a huff and may have been killed. Also, it was possible to talk with Nina and Rachael. They seem shaken by the experience, but if the Monk could dominate hardheaded veterans like Roundtree, anyone could be dominated. I’m just glad they survived the experience – most don’t. They describe the being that dominated them as a Peter [sic] Usher: ‘a tall, pale, round faced man with curly blond hair’ is the description we have. Usher may be another name for the Monk, or a different Greater Vampire operating on orders, either with or without a change person spell.
Whatever Peter Usher is, we have got a victory on him. The Convocation worked. The Academy seems ready to accept the existance of Greater Vampires and the presence of a powerful force behind Rieker and the New Future Force. More importantly, the Campus heads have met to discuss the strategy required for not only the Academy’s survival, but as has become obvious, the survival of the World as we know it. We don’t know what the ultimate aim is behind the Greater Vampire manoeuvres, but there has to be a reason all possible opposition is being destroyed and it is not in the best interest of humankind.
The Chicago Campus waits for its next mission – we won’t wait long. We are at war.
*Who creepily reminded me of the Autons who kept attacking a London defended by John Pertwee in ‘Spearhead from Space’. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auton