The Forsaken

Vampire Huntress Legends (Volume 7)

L. A. Banks

St. Martin's Griffin

Chapter One
 
The Shift
 
The day after Christmas, a horrific tsunami hit Southeast Asia, creating a natural and human disaster of biblical proportions. Disease and destruction lay in the wake of the giant wave, flooding and taking lives in eleven countries to the scale of Noah’s time. But the animals sensed it was coming and were mysteriously saved. Ancient tribesmen, observant of nature’s force, also strangely avoided destruction. But the cities . . . the tourists, all lay in ruins.
 
Humanity is now studying the instinctual nature of the animal kingdom. Tribal elders were asked how they knew, but their simplistic answers baffled scientists until debunked.
 
People in the fishing villages feared to eat the sea’s yield, even while starving . . . so many bodies were in the water, and they reasoned that the fish had feasted upon that which the waters took.
 
Beyond the human suffering of more than a hundred and fifty thousand known dead, thousands missing, and millions left homeless and destitute with food shortages and tainted water, the power of the event actually shifted the planet—the Earth’s poles moved to the east by a full inch, and time stopped for several milliseconds. It moved to the east . . . to the east . . . the east . . . perhaps east of Eden.
 
We do not yet know how this will influence the Earth’s position amongst its planetary brethren. What we do know, however, is that everything in the universe is a fragile balance, like that of an immaculately designed Swiss watch. Move one part and misalign one gear, and then what? Astrologers have yet to weigh in on this matter, nor has the traditional scientific community. They simply have no answers.
 
All this while in the United States, Southern California has been deluged by unrelenting rains and the normally arid region was also covered by a blanket of snow . . . over one hundred and fifty inches has fallen on the Sierra Mountains . . . snow has even covered the desert region—Nevada . . . Texas and the Midwest experienced driving snowstorms . . . the Ohio Valley was covered in ice and floodwaters, forcing evacuations . . . this after four back-to-back hurricanes just devastated Florida’s coast and the Caribbean, then one came that virtually wiped New Orleans off the map. Still there were more hurricanes, floods, tornados . . . forces of nature, also known by insurance companies as acts of God.
 
And, yet the world is still at war. Not even these cataclysmic events were enough to give mankind pause. In the ongoing human conflict, no one seemed to remember that even time stood still. The planet was rocked off its axis for milliseconds, but warring factions around the globe didn’t seem to give a damn. They just kept on fighting, shooting, and blowing each other up. The stern warning is not being heeded.
 
Copyright © 2006 by Leslie Esdaile Banks