As the description says I have discontunied Undead Paladin. The blog hosting it will be deleted within the week. However, if you like my story telling style and what more fiction by me hop onto Miko the Story Teller where new, hopefully better stories will be ready for you.
Course, if you love Undead Paladin and want to reread it I will be moving Undead Paladin to that site as well, so don't fret.
For all the hugs and love:
Watts walked into the unforgiving streets of Toronto, avoiding the checkpoints as much as possible as it would mean that he would get caught by them. In such a large city the vampire population got a foothold as they ran through the densely packed city during the earlier days of the outbreak, before war measure's act was invoked. It didn't help that a small sect of vampire grouped up and hunted the streets. The bloodshed became so vile along the major streets that many Torontoains has entered voluntary curfew policies of their own long before they became mandatory by the government. This explained the checkpoints that littered the streets as well: not that they were unique to Toronto, as other large cities has such things as well.
Now that Watts was on these streets he had to get to the 'safehouse' that Twist was at in order to determine where Twist was at the night he was taken to that place in the outskirts of Orillia. Lilith's network of contacts has verified without question that Toronto is a compromised city, not that it was easy to stay under the radar of the police, whom were highly street-savy and tough before the outbreak went full swing*, and outright paranoid now.
Now, Watts knew the address, but the challenge was to get to the house, thus bypassing several checkpoints along the way, and then finding out what happened to the people in that house. Did this third-party, established from Amanda's insight, come from one of the major drug companies whom where hunting for a cure/treatment/vaccine? Once Watts finds out where those people in the house went, the next step would be to find them and ask them about Twist.
In the dark and dirty streets, this wasn't going to be easy.
“Lilith... Lilith!” Mable from the day shift approached the hostel owner in a haste while in conference with a guest, “its the police. They want to talk to you.”
Lilith quickly turned to Mable. “Continue this for me... its something about bed bugs.” Then waltz down to the foyer where the familiar boys in blue were waiting for her.
“What can I do for you lads?” she asked simply. After all, it wasn't like she, like, didn't do anything.
“Miss, this is in regards to a disturbance a few nights ago,” the one cop started to speak.
“Oh yeah, heard about it... it was a few nights ago,” Lilith responded, “It made such a ruckus dammit, and I have guests that need their beauty sleep... isn't like they could just go out on a night in the town.”
“Miss, a woman was found dead,” the other cop stated, “she was ided and all, but we need to know if you remember anything from that night.”
“Was she killed by a nightcrawler?” Lilith asked with a gulp in her voice.
“No,” the cop replied rather quickly... too quickly.
“Well, I'm afraid I just heard a scuffle and a scream,” Lilith shrugged, “I would have called it in except that, well, you fine boys and girls would already be out and about, with it being midnight and all and I have to have my guests tucked into beddy-bye at that time... you know, cuz of something about curfews, martial law, and gestapo.
The two officers huffed in annoyance and one said to Lilith “alright then... but if you think of anything... I mean, someone's daughter, sister, mother, and possibly wife, died a few nights ago.” The two then turned to leave, but one of them turned back to her.
“Well? What are you waiting for copper?” Lilith said into his eyes, “I have a business to run and you must got shit to do... seeing that last I checked I pay taxes.”
“Ma'am, there is some suspect activity going on here,” the officer simply replied.
“You scared of a few homeless vagrants hiding in a hostel now?” Lilith asked mockingly, “I would think you would have better things to worry about, like, say, for example... vampires?”
“Its daylight at the moment,” the officer merely replied, “so the concern is less on vampires and more on gangs.”
“And you think I have something to do with either?” she replied simply.
“Aside from the... death a few days ago there was a shooting last night,” the officer went on, “do you by chance know a Darryl Jones?”
“Nope,” Lilith replied, “should I?”
“He was found with a gun that was reported stolen,” the officer replied.
“Ok... and this matters how?” Lilith asked, “and make it fast copper: I don't have all day.”
“Ma'am, I know the kind of game you are running,” the officer responded simply, “Best be careful while I run the shop... the shop that never closes.”
With that the police officer left. Lilith shrugged and went back upstairs.
Amanda was at the top of the stairs. “What was that all about?”
“Copper wanted info on a vamp attack and some jerk with a gun,” Lilith shock her head at the thought.
“Didn't the officer say that the girl wasn't killed by a...” Amanda started to ask, only to be cut off with “course he did: he doesn't want to cause panic over an isolated instance.
“Though I'm more worried about that gun,” Lilith went on, “it wouldn't by chance be the one that went missing from the armory, is it?” Lilith asked, looking Amanda in the eyes.
“Uh... how should I know?” Amanda replied, “I... I don't know anything about a missing gun.”
“Ok then,” Lilith replied before heading back upstairs.
*By Canadian Standards, which were just a step above the stereotypical British cop whom, until 9/11, wouldn't even carry a gun.
Watts was on a bus heading to the hot zone known as Toronto. Knowledge that the safe house in Toronto had been seized ran through his mind, so his thirst for vengeance on Twist* was going to be a a difficult and dangerous one to quench. Nevertheless, Watts mind was set on it, and no possibility of being killed by Toronto police or vampire hunters wasn't going to deter him.
Course, getting on the bus was a bit of a challenge: after all, he was going to be searched before boarding by the driver. He obviously didn't get caught, I mean, it was daylight out and Watts was concealed enough to block the sun, but expose enough that no one would look at him and think 'vampire.' With that, he boarded, while smuggling the gun that he was going to use on the people or person responsible for Twist's death.
The ride was calm. The bus wasn't packed like it would have been back in the days where many a Barbarian** flocked to the centre of the universe*** known as Toronto, Ontario with its shining lights and its tall skyscrapers that made it a miniature of New York City, USA. These days, especially now, being in the country or a small town was more advantageous than a larger city. Why? Its simple really: the police can only be in so many places, and larger cities tend to have more police - and vampire hunters – than a smaller location.
Those lucky bastards living in the Yukon, North West Territories, and Nunavut****!
Anyways, there was a plan to get some of the survivors from the 'incident' in Orillia to Toronto, where they could hide in the crowd. However, with the blitzkriegs the police, hunters, and apparently a third bad party, occurred, no smart person is going to dare Toronto unless they were stupid, or had a day job down there... or really liked being harassed by police and waiting in lines at checkpoints.
This was going to be hard, and Watts knew this from the get go. Course, he will need all the help he can get... like where the black market is so he can get more ammo for his illegal handgun.
“Well, well, if it isn't the jail bird...” Lilith's voice trailed when Amanda walked into her hostile, “I got word from the street... you wouldn't have been the only dumbass that got themselves caught out in the middle of the night.”
“Sorry Lilith,” Amanda replied, “I just... well... I needed air... tis all... really.”
“Air?” Lilith replied, “and let me guess: you stepped out for a brief moment and the police were on to you like flies are to honey,” Lilith asked in a mocking tone.
“Yes... yes that's right,” Amanda stuttered.
“Your welcome,” Lilith replied with a cold grin on her face. Amanda stared at her, confused.
“Lilith... I don't think I understand...” a piece of Amanda was panicking. Did Lilith know what Amanda was up to that night on the streets of downtown Barrie?
“Someone had to help you with that garbage story,” she scornfully spat, “I mean, the police, assuming their not challenge on a matter more important, are quick, but they are not as fast as Superman.”
“Are you...” the words died in Amanda's voice when Lilith piped in “yes darling, I am.”
There was a cold and shivering silence. Amanda's cold skin started to sweat as she felt the tension rise. Lilith's serpent-like glare was nailing her deep in her soul.
Finally, the silence broke: “Now, again... cuz no one just steps outside in the middle of the night when there is a country-wide curfew,” Lilith's harsh accusation rang true.
“Lilith, I was outside... I just wanted to feel the air... walk around a little... the sun doesn't feel right anymore, you know?” Amanda's voice shrilled with innocence: innocent she could have had a week ago. Damn them in the lab for making her this way.
“The sun doesn't feel right?” Lilith replied, “really now?
Lilith stepped towards the door of the lobby area they were in. She opened the heavily tinted door that lead from the hostile to the sunny day outside.
It was quick.
Lilith stepped into a beam of sun that shone from the opened door. Her skin started to smoke. It turned red. She screamed in agony.
It was quick.
After what must have been less than five seconds the doors were closed and Lilith approached Amanda. Her exposed skin was red. Parts of it were blistered. Lilith stared wild-eyed at a horrified Amanda.
“Now... quit your bitching Ms Cullen and be thankful you can still walk in the sun,” An angry tone growled from Lilith, “don't walk outside at night unless you must dammit.”
“Mommy, I assure you, I'm alright,” Paula replied to her mom when she was questioned on her cold skin. Paula's tattered clothes, along with the dirt and the sweat that dried on her was a deep indicator of what she had gone through. She sat at the table as her mother prodded her on.
“Honey, what happened?” she asked her.
“Mom... these people... they took me... they did 'things' to me... but I escaped... there were others... like me...” her words were disjointed and stressed. Paula clearly didn't want to talk about what happened, but mommy wouldn't allow for it.
“Sweetheart, where did they take you?” Mom kept going.
“This lab. They stuck needles into me...” her voice trailed off.
“And you say there were others?” Of course mom was worried: suppose something horrible was happening that could affect the household.
“Yes...” Paula went on, “all in this cellblock. I remember some people were having conversations in through the cells...” Paula chuckled, “there was this one woman... she was about Hannah's age I guess, who kept praying... over and over again... the same prayers and everything.”
“What did they do to you,” mom kept at it.
“They stuck me with needles... I don't know what was in the needles.”
“But your so cold.”
“I know... I know! Please, I don't want to talk about it.”
*Would you like a plot hint? Click the link. Your welcome.
**A slang term referring to people from the city of Barrie.
***A nickname given to the city of Toronto, in reference to how the city is covered in Canadian media and the fact that Toronto is known for being a really big city with a high ethnic diversity: facts residents love to brag about.
****Northern territories in Canada, which tend to be sparely populated.
“He created the world in seven days, breathing life into us so we could walk in creation with him. He delivered us from the bonds of slavery in Egypt, and he gave prosperity to us in Israel. Despite this we sinned, and acted ungratefully. He could have smited us, but instead he gave us his son to pay our debt of sin in his blood.
“Now, before you retort with 'but what has he done for you; specifically?' well he has done much for me. For one thing he granted me spiritual guidance through the church and their sacraments. He forgives my sins so that I may go into heaven when judgement comes. He is why I am alive and why I walk the world today.
“God has granted me much... much that a godless person like you can't possibly fathom, though the church doors are always open, and you can learn. Course, God extends his good work as he is the source of goodness, and the light. He is why there is good: and we must combat the evil that is among us. God is forgiving, but he punishes us as a father punishes his children. I know your going to jump on that, but he does reward good behaviour as well, for he is a good father... better than any parent in the world.
“God made me this way for a reason... I'm not sure what it is, though I assume it has something to do with the need to rid the evil before the events in Genesis eighteen sixteen to nineteen twenty-nine*... or worse, Genesis chapters six to nine** repeat themselves in our time. In this, if I can stop the horsemen of the apocalypse from coming, as they have been predicted in Revelations... perhaps that is the best thing God has done for me: made me a vassal for his work on Earth.”
Lilith was still in a bad mood from the missing gun from the makeshift armoury inside her office. Morning had broke and the hostel guests who didn't live there were starting to leave. Matilda, the early morning clerk, who was hired mostly for not being pale nor having shoddy circulation, sat with her eyes in mid-haze as the guests rolled out. Some still remember the days when the night wasn't something to fear, but that was long ago... relatively speaking.
From the dungeon that was the basement emerged a tired and angry Lilith. “Everything alright miss...” Matilda tried to say, only to be cut off with “Nothing is the matter.” Matilda had no part of the events that occurred within the little grouping that Lilith had amassed and Lilith wanted it to stay that way.
Watts followed Lilith shortly thereafter with a piece in his hoodie. Lilith quickly grabbed him. “Should I remind you that Toronto is in a state of shutdown due to events from last week?” she quickly barked at him. The boy was almost a son to her, and she didn't want to lose him.
“Yeah...” Watts replied.
“That the people that killed Twist were thoughtless enough about him that they burned his corpse to despise of the evidence?”
“That those people in Orillia are willing to kill to protect their secrets?”
“Lilith, I'm aware of the dangers,” Watts finally replied before walking out the door, his hoodie up and a pair of shades to guard his eyes as he went down the street.
“Is there a dude hiding in the clouds that treats us as children from the day we are born to the day we die? Is Big Brother really out there beyond the gov bullshit? I'm infected. I'm infected like so many others out there. Where is this dude when Twist died? He did nothing wrong, if you can believe that.
“Its funny... see, my mom died when I was little, and Lilith took me in. Flawed she is, but I can't imagine a better parent out there then her. If God is really a good parent why so many kids in shit skids? Why all the talk of hell and death Amanda?
“God gave me nothing: he is a bastard. Real humans have been nicer to me, and the church is poison. The devil is in vampires. The devil is in heretics. The devil is in the man. The devil is in all of us.
“Now, get your head out of your ass. Messiah you are not... bitch.”
*When God smites Sodom and Gomorrah
**The Noah's Ark story
Leana held a knife out to a random man who had the unfortunate of being caught outside during the night. She pressed him against a brick wall with the illusion of strength that she had as a result of being a vampire. She gave him a longing stare before branding her teeth for the kill.
“Please, I just want to live,” the man plead.
“Food shouldn't talk,” she replied as her fangs readied for a bite.
Not that Leana had much of a chance, for in the corner of her eye she saw the silhouette of a woman shakily holding a gun. She was pointing it at her direction. Leana froze for a moment, but then called out “You gonna shoot yourself or what missy?”
No response was given. Instead a shot rang out. The woman holding the gun jumped at the sound and Leana responded by running down the alleyway. The man sighed and looked at the stranger with the gun and nodded in fear. “Thank you miss...”
At this moment sirens could be heard from the distance. The night patrol heard the gunshots and were on their way to the alley. The man looked to the woman.
“Those police aren't going to like that you have a gun: hear, give it to me. You saved my life, its the least I can do.”
His words rang through her head as she complied and gave him the gun. He then ducked out after Leana as the police came and surrounded the area.
Leana was caught on the other end of the alley while the man was nabbed further out. A routine padding down of his person revealed the gun, still warm from the recent shot that had rang out of it. The other woman, who was in too much shock to run, was peacefully picked up by the police.
“Yeah, I was attacked by that bitch-vampire-thing,” the man could be heard speaking, “so I pulled that beauty out and shot at her... I fucking missed thought... dammit.”
Leana struggled with two officers before being hit on the head with a nightstick and leaned on by the officers as they coiffed her hands and feet.
“Miss, gunshots were heard here,” one cop told the strange woman, “what do you know about them?”
“I heard shots...” she replied simply.
“Ok miss,” the officer replied, “but I still have to take you in for violating the curfew. Do you understand?”
She nodded. As the cop lead her to his car he noticed that her hands were very cold. He turned to her. “Are you a vampire?” he asked.
“... No,” the strange woman replied.
The cop appeared to be in deep thought. “You can shine a UV light on me if you're not sure,” she simply said as though she was being accused of something.
“Easy miss,” the cop responded as he nudged her head into the car, “this must be your first time being picked up at this time of the night: we do the UV test at the station as standard procedure.”
With that the car made its way to the station. The man and the woman were being booked. While the man had to provide his finger prints and have a mug shot done on him as he was being charged with “Possession of a concealed and unregistered firearm” the woman was simply sent to the drunk-tank.
Course, before that, the UV test.
You see, the police have their thick moments, but they are not stupid. They have figured out at the start of the major outbreak in Canada that putting a vampire in a cramped cell with a bunch of non-vampires is an inherently bad idea. So, anyone that tests positive under the UV test will be sent... actually I have no idea where they are sent, just not with the others in the drunk-tank.
So with that, the strange woman was taken to this room with an officer holding a light. They knew the drill: a non-reaction was negative for the rotolamia virus while burning and writhing in pain was positive.
So they were deeply perplex when they held the light under the woman and her skin started to sparkle under it.
“The hell?” one officer exclaimed.
“I'm not a vampire... see, the skin is not burning,” the woman insisted.
“She was cold to the touch,” the arresting officer informed the others.
“I have a poor circulation,” the woman retorted.
“Does she have fangs?” one officer asked.
“None that I can see,” the arresting officer replied.
“Throw her in the drunk-tank with the others,” the one officer finally said.
It was night in the sleeping city of Barrie. The police were on patrol looking for anyone caught outside the curfew. This was the moment that some of the vampires went on hunts, while others just hid in their whatever dwelling they lived in just as terrified as anyone else. The streets are quiet, with the march of policefolk being all that was out – and anyone smart enough to avoid detection.
Not that the police were anything to genuinely be afraid of: if your caught outside and look healthy they would just slap cuffs on you, drag you into the back of a patty-wagon, and drive you to central lock-up, where you would be booked and asked to sit in the affectionately named 'drunk-tank' until dawn. Sure, some of the coppers would be less than nice or outright dicks, you know, using the curfew as an excuse to outright torture people and hide behind the badge and the War-Measures Act, but such is life: the monsters are everywhere. Good news, however, its better than the PMCs who specialize in vampire hunting.
No, you don't want to tango with those fuckers. I mean, the police at least try to screen out those with an absent or screwed moral compass. The PM fucking Cs on the other hand aren't regulated as heavily, and because there have been so many blood-crazy vampires the government got desperate and tried to get more people out hunting the vampires as their numbers grew.
There is good news and bad news across the board. One must tread softly and carefully, and remember that reality is chaos and to expect black and white order is like trying to corral screaming cats.
Watts was standing at the foyer entrance and stared at the door to the place. His stare was bordering the creepy tones of obsession, as though he was awaiting someone to walk through that door any moment. The curfew would make sure such wasn't the case, but in the meantime Lilith never locked the door and had no qualms about dealing with any nightwalker: provided they had the funds for a roof that evening.
An equally restless Amanda walked down from the hostile room she was assigned and noticed Watts standing there. She made an attempt to slip by when Watts muttered “Quiet evening, isn't it?”
“Sure,” Amanda replied as she made her way to the lift that was destined for the basement.
“You need blood?” he asked quickly, “I recommend that you look for a fangbanger and ask them for their blood.”
“I'm alright for now,” she replied, even though the thought was starting to make her crave for such an abhorred delicacy.
“Then where are you going?” he asked again. There was an uncomfortable silence. Watts then asked “your heading for the basement?”
“And if I am?” Amanda replied defensively.
“I don't know if Lilith would approve,” Watts simply replied.
“You worried about that woman?” Amanda replied, “cuz, well... yeah I would worry about her... but for different reasons.”
Watts rolled his eyes at her. “Don't mind her: she jokes like that.
“Still, you wouldn't want to cross her: she manages this operation to keep the vampires protected from the government and the PMCs,” Watts went on.
“Right,” Amanda replied with a simple smirk, “she's a lord: with favours in every disgusting orifice of the underworld.”
“One does what they have to do,” Watts comment was simple and quick.
“Watts, dammit,” Amanda shook her head, “Its one thing if you were offered up to the devil: its another thing entirely to volunteer.”
Watts turned from the door he was staring at and looked Amanda sorely in the eyes. “The devil, huh?” he muttered. He's glance was cold and hard. “You believe in that shit, don't you?”
“Oh, don't give me that,” Amanda replied, “There is an evil force that lingers about, one that is to be fought at all times: a force against all that is good.”
“As if the world worked like that,” Watts responded, “Cuz evil ain't a force.”
“Yes it is,” Amanda went on, “and it comes from the devil: to further our suffering on Earth. I mean, the vampires are part of that army, in how they desecrate...”
“Is it that easy for you?” Watts interrupted in a plume of anger, “that the world is black and white? Black and white and at odds?
“How bout those hand-shaking moments with devils where the 'good' had to make a bargain with the 'evil' to end stalemates?
“Or the basic fact that no one does anything in evil's name... ever? Are you that juvenile in thought?
“Or how about the fact that people where made to suffer... in God's blasted name?”
“Oh no innocent believer was killed in God's name,” Amanda responded quickly, “Only the heretics. God demands that his children obey so they don't fall for the evil...”
“Do you know what we call people who demand that kind of unconditional obedience?” Watts interrupted her. After a brief, uncomfortable, silence he responded: “Tyrants.”
“They're not God...” Amanda stammered.
“You defend a tyrant?” Watts exclaimed, “What has he ever done for you?”
“A weapon is gone?” Lilith paced through her office in her office in the basement.
“Who you think took it,” Batsie asked Lilith.
“I have an idea, and I will be checking it,” Lilith responded, “Now, where did Watts go? Knowing him he's plotting vengeance on the behalf of Twist. Dumb kid.”
“You think he would...”
“Those two were close you know,” Lilith snapped quickly, “course, I'm upset that Watts would do this: I mean I might let him go on this vengeance quest, but I just ask that he get permission for the dam gun just so I know where the thing is and I'm not hunting for thieves in the Barrie area.”
“Right, naturally,” Batsie replied, “though I really don't want him to get hurt.”
“Save your feelings Bat,” Lilith's response was cold, “I doubt he could ever look at him the way you look at him.”
At that point there was a knock on Lilith's office door. She went to open it, and saw Watts standing on the other side of the door.
“Lilith do you have a gun I can use?” he asked her.
“What about the one you already took out of the hold?” she baggered him.
“What?” Watts retorted, “Lilith I wouldn't take a gun without the ok: you mean too much to me.”
After a brief pause Lilith uttered harshly “Oh piss.”
“Anyways, as you might have figured out already, this is a safe house for vampires,” Lilith spoke as she led Amanda to a room in the basement. With a click of the door they were inside this room.
This room with a computer from the early 21st century sitting on an oak desk. This room with a rack filled with various hand gun and rifle hanging on the back wall next to an open box of ammo on the floor. This room, with the trappings of a mastermind everywhere, was seen to further place Lilith as some sort of leader.
“We are organized Amanda,” Lilith merely spoke, “and we must be: the police love locking us up in the drunk tank and the PMCs assigned to vampire hunting are very indiscriminate.”
“We're monsters, what is to be...” Amanda interjected for a stern Lilith to reply “No, we are not monsters. We are not demon spawns, and we are not sent by the devil or god or whatever shit you believe in to 'punish' the innocent – assuming there is even such a thing.”
“We stalk their children, we kill them as they walk, as they sleep,” Amanda rambled on, “we populate to take the world over, and to kill the humans as the holy rapture comes...” “Watts wasn't kidding, was he Ms Cullen?” Lilith quietly uttered under her breath as Amanda continued to ramble on, “...as part of the advancement of evil into the world. These people are just defending themselves from that fate: the faithful will be saved while the rest are to be a feast to the vampires – us – at the end...”
“Your the faithful, right?” Lilith asked in a voice loud enough to grab her attention. The smile she gave Amanda was juicy with villainy – teeth bared in a mocking and cruel fashion. There she waited for the silenced Amanda to search her thoughts for the answer.
“O-f-f course!” Amanda's voice shook, “I am faithful... I...” Pain was in her voice before her thoughts on the night she prayed in the woods, and found herself sparkling under the sunlight. “I am faithful: God saved me! He forgave me!” her voice rang with a sudden confidence, a certainty that she had forgotten and will never forget, “you see it in my skin, in my condition: I don't burn. God has plans for me, I'm more than a monster!”
Lilith's cold look was anything but forgiving as she looked at Amanda with this fervour that she had gained. This Lilith replied with a coldly placed question: “Are you a Jesus Freak or an egotistical bitch?”
“I can't deny what I saw, and you can ask Watts,” Amanda replied under the assumption logic was on her side, “he saw! I'm not a vampire, or at least I'm not a normal one. You can't deny what that makes me?”
Lilith opened her mouth to speak, but whatever words she could spout died in her throat and she sat back in her chair. After a brief moment of thought she turned her glance to Amanda and gave a soft giggle. “I get it,” she chucked, “I get it with you Ms Cullen: its either think your a demon-monster thing, or think yourself as some sort of paladin – a vampiric paladin, an 'undead' paladin.
“May the fibre of reality change for you my sweet, sweet girl.”
“Nox tells me you claimed Twist died,” Watts spoke to a pale, dark-haired, young woman about his age.
“Yea, sorry Wattsie,” the woman replied simply, “I know he meant a lot to you.”
“But how?” Watts replied with anger brewing in his voice.
“As I told Nox, those fuckers in the woods with the fancy shit held this big boom-fire out in the outskirts of Orillia,” she answered in a strange combination of cold anger and colder matter-of-factness, “they were stuffing corpses into the fire and... well, I saw Twist in there as one of those bodies.
“They must have picked him up when he was at the safehouse in Toronto. He was checking on stuff there... Watts?” the woman took note that Watts had wandered a few paces and stared at the door in the closet room on the second floor. She followed. “Again, I'm sorry.”
“Batsie, why?” Watts simple said.
“Watts, I'm,” As Batsie spoke Watts turned to her. “Leave me,” he meekly asked, “Please?”
With that Batsie walked out of the room. Watts sat down and was silent. He was angry that Twist was gone: that he went into those woods looking for him and some sparkling Jesus freak was all he could show for it.
He nodded to himself. Those bastards will get their revenge.
“Blood, blood! I need blood!” Francine shrieked at the top of her lungs, “Please, hurry, hurry.”
“Its coming my dear,” Ronald replied as he eyed the tube stuck in his wrist, “Its coming, please calm down.”
“Look at me dammit!” Francine screamed, “Look at me.”
Indeed it was a sight Ronald wasn't surprised to see. The women before him looked terrible; her eyes had bags under them and they were bloodshot from the Red Bull she chugged down earlier to get her through the day with energy. She was disgustingly pale and starting to turn yellow, her breathing was heavy and labouring; she was slumped over a chair she had plopped in without thought. All this was the signs of anaemia, and he had to act fast to get his blood into her before she went blood crazy and bite him.
“I see you my dear,” Ronald replied simply, “Please Francine, I don't want to go though...”
“Just shut up and get me the blood!” she exclaimed with what energy she could muster. She began to cry at this point.
“Here,” Ronald held a plastic baggy loaded with his blood in it, “All the iron you can use.”
While he removed himself from the rig he watched Francine, greedily bite into the bag and start drinking the precious red liquid that was inside. He slumped into a nearby chair and breathed a little when she was done. He watched her walked into the fridge, fiddle around with a few items and approached him with a juice box and a pre-packaged sandwich.
“It isn't that I don't appreciate what you've done for me,” she merely said as she handed him the snack.
“I know, I know,” Ronald mechanically replied as he stabbed the juice box with the pre-sharpened straw.
“Lilith must be bringing food,” Francine exclaimed as she and Leana waited feverishly while looming over the fangbanger* that they coned into being strapped to a table to draw nourishment from.
“We have food here,” Leana replied simply, “Course, we could use more.”
When the elevator coming down finally stopped the door predictably slide open. Out from the elevator emerged Lilith, that boy Watts, and a third unknown woman. The three approached Francine and Leana, Lilith in the lead and the unknown female at the tail. The women eyed the unknown with hunger in their eyes while they awaited the draining of the current man whom was laying wearily in a dentist chair.
“Oh, ladies,” Lilith spoke to them as she approached, “Nice to see you there, and I see you've found a surrogate... lovely.” Lilith turned her attention further down the corridor past the room they were in.
“When will she be hooked up...” Leana tried to asked, only to be quickly cut with a stern “she's not food... oh eat up and we will talk when you're not blood-crazy.”
“Blood crazy?” the woman following asked in an odd tone.
“That you just saw Amanda,” Lilith replied quickly, “they were thinking of eating you, and they would have if not that poor bloke they likely lured here under promise of sex with a vamp... some things don't change.” Their voices trailed off down the corridor.
“W-what?” the man in the dentist chair struggled as he heard the callous voice of Lilith vibrating into the room. Francine held him down as Leana grabbed the bag with the blood in it and cut the tubes from the bag to his arm.
“Why don't you be thankful that we aren't ravaging your neck and making you an abomination, or just outright killing you?” Francine growled angrily as Leana handed her the bag. The two women bit into the bag and both fought over who got the most of the blood that was in the bag. The man watched over as he struggled to stay awake.
When they were done they turned to the fellow in the dentist chair and started to unstrap him. Once they were done Leana watched him over as he struggled to his feet while Francine briefly walked out of the room. The two eyed each other uneasily before Francine returned with a glass of orange juice and a ham sandwich.
“Here, eat this to get some of your strength back,” Francine requested as the man struggled for the straw.
“You have been such a good sport darling,” Leana spoke, “now, eat up and return to your room. We are feeling much, much better now.”
“What would you rather they do Amanda?” Lilith found herself in a heated argument as she tightly gripped Amanda's arm so she wouldn't race to that room with the two female vampires, “Would you sooner have them break into people's houses and eat them as they sleep? Cuz I've known some that do that... some stop bothering with a little thing called morality when they start to feel blood-crazy.”
“My god, to be in the same room as amoral monsters, the armies of the beast...” Amanda tried to retort, only for a piece of horrifying logic to set in; that she was one of them. Her eyes filled with horror as she looked Lilith in the eyes. “I... am I to become that? Such beasts and monsters?” She looked like she was to cry.
“Depends,” Lilith replied unfazed, “When was the last time you've drank blood?”
“Uh...” Amanda found herself going back to the events of two days ago when she had attacked and bit a farmer's dog out near one of the many family farms and rural villages in central Ontario. Her eyes sank into her feet, as the horror of what she is becoming was flowing over her in stronger waves.
“Have you ever drink blood before?” Lilith asked with an undertone of urgency.
“It was... two nights ago...” Amanda started to cry, “I'm a monster.”
“There isn't the body of some traveller out there, is there?” Lilith asked in a callous tone that is completely uncalled for.
“I found a farm... and...” She began to cry uncontrollably.
“And what Ms...” Watts cut her off with a stern look and a quick hush. He gently turned Amanda to face him and craned himself so that he was staring into her eyes. “What went at the farm?” Watts asked in his quick-tongued manner, “We got you, we ain't turning you to nobody.”
“Well, there were these dogs... they went at me and...” Amanda stuttered as she spoke. Watts cut her off with a quick “You ate a dog?”
Amanda nodded. Watts hugged her while Lilith rolled her eyes and snarled “A dog? You had me for a second, I thought you might have killed someone. Jezz.
“At any rate,” Lilith went on, her voice less cold this time, “the anaemia takes time... about four days to a week, depends on the person, at which point you will be craving blood. So, if you can avoid becoming severely anaemic you will keep your sanity.”
*Fangbanger in the True Blood sense of the term.
The short drive from the county road to Barrie lead to an older building in the centre of the down town, where it had seen better days long before the vampire outbreak. The building the van pulls up to had tarnished faux silver along the side of the grey brick work and was charmingly dubbed in large, tarnished chrome lettering “Roxx”* followed by smaller plastic writing under that reading “Boarding Hostile.” At this point Watts opened the van door and gestured Amanda to follow. The sun was climbing and Watts had pulled his hood further along his face than usual for a sweet spring day would allow. Watts approached the front door with Amanda and her sparkles following close behind, anxious and unsure.
“Where are we?” Amanda asked nervously.
Watts seemed to not notice her speak as he opened the door and gestured Amanda to follow him further. To which she did, and walked into a recently renovated space within. It was plainly done from what Amanda could tell, with this simple grey room acting like a reception of sorts, followed with a stairwell and elevator leading to a second story and basement, if the up and down arrows on the elevator panelling were any indication. There are halls that lead to a row of door that seem way too close to eachother to indicate that the rooms are any larger than closets.
At the small desk in the makeshift reception room was a harsh looking woman shuffling over some papers. Watts gently tapped on the desk, to which the woman lifted her head in response and smiled.
“Watts, my dear, your back,” the woman replied in a half-grin, “and I see you have company. Good job my boy.”
“Thanks ma'am,” Watts replied quickly, “she's from that fenced place near Orillia. Heard from the others?”
“Batsie checked in,” the woman replied, “she found a few lingering from the wood. They escaped the convoy from Toronto. Is she one of those?”
“No ma'am, she isn't,” Watts replied, “she was from the fenced place.”
“Kay-kay then,” the woman turned her attention to Amanda. “Your name, miss?” she simply asked.
“A...Amanda,” she stuttered her answer.
“Tickled pink,” the woman replied sarcastically, “Name's Lilith, and I run the network here in Simcoe and area... when not running the Roxx Boarding Hostile of course. The best in cheap accommodations within the city. Oh has such a market boomed since a little beauty called a curfew. Police suck in so many ways of the word, but whatever – if Watts brought you in you must now be eligible for our little society in the network.”
“The what?” Amanda asked in confusion.
“Poor girl all confuzzled?” Lilith replied in a torturous way, “the 'network' is just what we call the huddling and protection gang for vampires.”
Amanda hung her head. “You are a vampire, right?” Lilith asked quickly, “cuz if you're not, I would have to drain you, and then give Watts a good ol' flogging for being a dumbass.”
“Yeah,” Amanda replied quietly.
“... Can't hear you sweetheart,” Lilith became mocking and cruel.
“She ain't been a vamp long ma'am,” Watts quickly interjected, seeing the cruel eyes Lilith was giving to Amanda. “Besides,” Watts kept going, “her skin does something funny.”
“Oh, really now?” Lilith was intrigued. She held up a fistful of paper from her desk. “So there is some truth to this here leak thingy,” she waved it in Watts' face. She handed it to Watts who quickly scanned it. He looked back up at Lilith.
“Who sent it?” he asked her. “How should I know?” she replied quickly.
“What is it?” Amanda piped in with a look of worry on her face.
“Its a 'note' by Anon Ymous,” Lilith returned, “I found it on my desk in a brown envelope. I wonder if anyone peeked in it before I got in from break relieving Nina the night-girl.
“It's tells of a new breed of vampires: vampires that can walk in the daytime – daywalkers I guess. The papers seem to be from a bunch of scientists and it had this cute note that I guess was written by a guilt ridden Dr. A Ymous. I dismissed it as a joke by either Nina or Batsie or something – I mean it claims that this new breed of vampire sparkles under sunlight, which is fucking retarded Stephanie Meyer dross from the naughties.
“I mean, it can't be true! There can't be any sparkling twilipires roaming the streets of northern Ontario, I mean, it just sounds so...”
Lilith lost coherence when a wave of giggles came over her. Amanda and Watts started at her with absurdity trained upon her until her giggle-fit abruptly broke under the crack of reality.
“This shit is true, isn't it?” Lilith retreated vocally.
Amanda nodded. Lilith shook her head further. Amanda nodded and Lilith shook her head again with Amanda saying “Yeah, its kinda true, and... well, I'm like proof.”
Lilith banged her head against her desk. “I gather you came, Watty boy, to give Ms Cullen here a safe stay for the night and show the ropes of our secret gangy thingy,” she spoke with her face on the desk.
“Yes ma'am,” Watts replied.
“Mad science sucks,” she went on, “We have vampires because someone was being evil and stupid, and we have twilipires because someone else was being evil and stupid. This shit is here because of mad science being stupid and evil.”
“You know, if we just behaved morally and not in disgusting perversion we wouldn't have this problem,” Amanda added on smugly, “we are being punished for...”
“She's one of 'those' people ma'am,” Watts interrupted quickly.
“Ack, no worries Watts,” Lilith waved him off and refocused on Amanda, “I guess we are in disagreement as to whose evil and stupidity caused our problems, but we can agree on one thing: it was someone's evil and stupidity.”
“Do we have company upstairs?” One overly pale anaemic woman spoke to a second, while hovering over a man with a tanned complexion, sitting in an refurbished dentist's chair with tubes from his forearm to a clear bag with a red liquid inside of it.
“Of course she does: their called clients,” the second retorted, “There is enough poverty to fill the dead sea, and enough begging to afford them a closet here at the Roxx.”
“What if they come down here?” the first woman asked.
“They won't,” the second replied, “they will get a closet and sleep or something... or get bounced out for loitering and having no money.”
“Then why do I hear the elevator coming down?” the man asked sheepishly.
“Meh, it's friends likely,” the second woman merely responded.
*For your information, the “Roxx” is a nightclub located in modern day, shit hole, down-town Barrie, Ontario.
A testing facility of Banisters Inc, located north of Orillia, Ontario, was trapped in dull panic as preliminary research went into what the fuck went wrong with the experimental vaccine that was used on the subjects in block C. Dr. Green and his team had been instructed not to release any of their finding to the outside world in fear that their competitors would get a hold of the data and the company would lose government funding, become a public relations three-ring circus, and senior members of the company face jail time for taking the shortcuts. When word gets out that there is now a daywalking brand of vampire, and it will get out sooner or later, efforts must be in place so this mutation doesn't get traced back to them.
In the lab the scientists charged with overseeing the few subjects they still had, as well as the ones who were going over the data that had been collected from the subjects during their stay were being scrutinized heavily. The questions Benton wanted answered asap was if it was a temporary condition and if it can be spread to others through the usual means of transmission. This would help the company CEO determine his next course of action, and more importantly, if anyone needs to be thrown under the bus to protect his hide.
In an information meeting Dr. Green looked over the lab notes lesser scientists in an attempt to figure out just how screwed he was: for he could very well end up being the fall guy in all of this.
“Alright then,” Dr. Green's voice was tense and slow, with his eyes dark and wide from lack of sleep and heavier-than-usual dependance on cocaine. In the meeting room were his lab team, which did include Mansion, his assistant. Each scientist and lab tech looked tense and troubled, each not sure of what was to come and what was going on.
“We shall start with what we know of the subjects and of their conditions,” Dr. Green began, followed by select members of the scientific team droning in technobabble that simply concluded that the physical ailments, or lack thereof, was not responsible for the mutation of the rotolamia virus.
“Doctor,” Mansion points out, “could it be the simple fact that the serum was not only a weakened version of the virus, but an altered one rewriting parts of the genetic coding of the affects that rotolamia writes?”
“That is a possibility,” Dr. Green replies, “after all, RNA does have behaviour that is similar to DNA, and the serum was designed to rewrite human genetic material to make it resistant to rotolamia.” He looked at his shoes nervously. You see, active immunity trials and passive immunity trials have both been done and none of those serums worked: all those subjects simply were turned into vampires. It was hard to figure out how weak the virus had to be, and Banisters Inc was starting to lose their patience. They had to find something and prove to the Canadian Government that they did in fact find something to get extra funding, and in turn beat out the competition.
“From UV tests with the subjects we have found that they now glisten under the light, and, more importantly, are no longer harmed by the light,” Mansion continued onward, “while the sun can no longer harm them this will at least make the vampires more visible, and could improve finding them and such.”
“We already know this,” Dr. Green simply said, “though law enforcement could use that information, though I want to be clear: this stays secret for now, clear?”
There was an ominous and automatic nod from everyone in the room. Dr. Green kept talking. “Now, it is possible that it was caused by a genetic rewrite that was rewritten, and rewritten again, which caused the problems we have now,” he took a deep breath before continuing, “does anyone know what the RNA instructions are telling the cells to do to produce the effect given?”
“Bloodwork was ran on the remaining subjects,” Huey Baniff, a fellow lab technician replied, “there is a strange substance in the blood that does not occur naturally in the body: samples are being analyzed for further readings.”
“I also should note that the test victims appear annoyed with the light, though not in pain, but are not enjoying it...” Mansion piped in before Dr. Green interjected with “Subjects Miss Mansion, subjects.”
“Sorry sir,” Mansion replied with a quick nod, “anyways, there is the possibility that they might not be complete daywalkers: that they may be able to roam in daylight without the threat of horrific death. Other factors, like the unknown substance found in their blood, could mean that something is happening in their body as a defence from the sun that is not simply reversion to traditional state before infection.”
“You're onto something Mel,” Baniff replied, “they still have the anaemia, the thirst for blood, and the illusion of super strength-speed that makes them so dangerous and worth fearing as creatures of the night.”
“Still,” Dr. Green went on, “it likely isn't reversible – like anyone would want it to be reversed, I mean sparkling is better than burning – but we should study this as much as possible. From it we can be closer to a vaccine.”
How many must die, burn, be tortured, and violated? How many, how many? I needed work, and I wanted to rid the world of vampirism. I never signed up to this, and I don't want it. History tells me that actions like this was why we have the vampires in the first place, and this horrible tragedy is proof that this is the wrong way to go. So, enclosed is preliminary findings. I may be fired, burned, and feathered, but I can't do this anymore. Redemption is all this is for.
This was a strange note that was waiting for Lilian Braun, who was sweeping the floor in what use to be an abandoned nightclub from Barrie's days of dead down-town. Now its a room for rent establishment, where the increased dollar, the curfews, and people finding it harder to keep houses can and will end up when the sun sets. Lilian took advantage of this now knowing that people who had a little bit of money but not enough for rent anywhere else would wilfully settle for sleeping in a room about the size of a closet and share a bathroom with at least ten people at any given time. Some people live here while others merely visit.
Course, Lilian housed other secrets. The basement, for example, is where they sleep...
The woods, the strange feel of the sun, and her immense exhaustion all lead to Amanda laying on the ground within the brush, trying as it might to get up and stay quiet – for whatever it was that was wondering the woods was still stalking her. Pieces of the world faded as she laid in wait, and hoped that whatever it was passed her up.
In that moment, under the tingle of the sunlight, something made a grab for her. She had no fight in as her vague memory recorded her being lifted and carried onto a small clearing by the sound of roaring engines.
At around this point someone shoved a bottle at her. “Here, drink,” a male voice speedily spoke shortly afterwards. Amanda made no arguing stance at all as she took a drink of what she hoped was water and looked up at a frail-looking man in a black hoodie and matching sweatpants. “Now, you alright?” he asked after she took a few gulps.
“I dunno, I think so...” Amanda replied, “who're you?”
“Watts,” he simply replied. Amanda sent him a queer glance at the response then took another gulp out of the bottle. It tasted like mineral water, though with the strange changes in her taste-buds that had been going on she couldn't be that sure. She looked back up at Watts. “So, what are you...” she began to ask.
“Waiting for ride,” he simply replied, “we're heading for Barrie.”
“Why?” she asked him again, the hair on her neck standing on end.
“Safe place,” he replied, “From there we head for Newmarket, then Toronto. Safer place.”
“How did you...?” Amanda started speaking again. “Tip off from peps,” was he's quick reply.
“Peps, what...” Amanda tried to get more words in with more cut off: “buds in woods scoped the fence. They sees the escape. We came to get yous out of the forest.”
“Ok then...” Amanda looked at him skeptically.
“But why...?” and again Watts jumped in “We be looking out for our own: the fence takes us and does stuff to us. The fence makes us too.
“By the way,” Watts went on, “what they do to you? Your skin looks funny.”
Amanda was starting to come more into her senses and she realized at the question posed by Watts that she was getting used to the strange tingling sensation that her skin was giving in lieu of the fuzzy warm feeling, or even the burning that she was expecting. “I don't know,” she replied, “They injected me with things and... I don't know anymore.”
“Well, you can't be a vampire now,” he replied, “Vampire skin doesn't do that – I know for fact.”
“Really now,” Amanda replied quietly. She looked at the pavement for some time before looking back up at Watts. “So, who are your... 'peps'?” Amanda asked.
“Oh, they're my friends,” Watts replied simply, “They're secret society of sorts. Times are tough and we must stand up for eachother, must protect eachother. All: the turned and the affected. Though what you are I'm not sure myself. Never seen it before.”
“What am I?” Amanda asked rhetorically. It was clear that Watts knew nothing, so it reaffirmed in her that she was a unique of sorts: an anomaly in the theoretical dice roll, and that she, only she, developed these powers, that she could use in her part of God's plan to deliver humanity from evil and stop it from waltzing into temptation.
“What I am I'm not certain of,” she replied to Watts while he fiddled with an iPhone* that he pulled out of this pocket, “I just know that I'm now a vampire, or so the scientists told me at that... Godless place.” She looked to the road and sighed. “God clearly must have something for me, if only I know what.”
She looked to the road as she spoke further: “I can't be certain of what role I play in his plan and in this system of things, but I doubt he would grant me these powers if...”
“Oh, not a Jesus freak,” Watts uttered under his breath rudely.
“What, with the vampire outbreak, the fall of the government as we know it and injustice everywhere, your going to stand there and mock the one true God that can save us from the manifesting of the devil among us?” Amanda rallied back in high fervour.
“...Yes,” Watts replied in a cold tone, “God's done nothing for me... assuming he-she-it is even real in the first place.”
“He's very real,” Amanda replied, “Look at me!” She pointed to her skin, glistening in the high sunlight.
“I have no idea what the fuck that is, and neither do you,” Watts replied, “For all you know the scientist dudes put sparkles in your blood or something.”
Watts took a deep breath before then speaking matter-of-factly “Our ride will be here shortly. From there, safety.”
Silence loomed over the dark-coloured van as it approached to pick the two up. Nothing but the soft roar of the engine could be heard as it came over on the paved county road they were waiting on. The dark-clothed driver, in wear that was heavily concealing, gestured to Watts before he opened the side door to allow Amanda in the vehicle with him. She hesitated at first, staring at the innocent centre seat of the van, shadowed in a dark van with tinted windows, but this was quickly broken with Watts saying “get use to it: most of us can't be in the sun for any real length of time.”
Once in the van Amanda watched it slide shut behind Watts whom took a seat next to her. In that moment the van then revved and sped down the county road away from the woods that Amanda spent three nights in. She was feeling a little spent, but she was feeling better than she was before.
“Find anyone else Watts?” the vehicle driver asked. “No man,” Watts replied, “As anyone else?”
The driver was quiet for a bit. “Twist didn't make it,” the driver simply said in a voice full of regret.
“You sure, I know I didn't see him but...” Watts was cut off when the driver said “Batsie found his corpse being burned by them fuckers in the woods.”
“Ok,” Watts became quiet as he hanged his head. Who Twist was Amanda couldn't be sure of, she just knew that he was dead and it seemed to make Watts sad for whatever reason. There was a thought of how the living and the dead would be judged when the rapture came and Jesus would return to the world as described in Revelations. The worry came in when one wondered if they would be judged good or evil, and of course, if you follow scripture to the letter then there wasn't a problem: you were good and God will receive you. Course, vampires were undead, walking abominations, so where would that place the newly dead Twist? Even if he wasn't a vampire, which was entirely possible, she's never met the guy before and now never will, but he seemed complicit with people that were – this 'society' that Watts briefly mentioned. After all, blessed is one who does not walk with the wicked**, condemned or the damned, and it is pretty clear that vampirism is punishment from God.
“Our father who art in heaven,” Amanda started up as the thought crossed her mind, the thought that whomever Twist was had to be someone whom would never feel the embrace of God. She somehow needed reassurance. “Hollow be thy name, thy kingdom come...”
“Thy will be done on Earth as it is in freaking heaven,” Watts jumped in smugly, “Give us today our bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against you, lead us not into temp-fucking-tation, but de-LIVER us from the bad shit, a-fucking-man.
“Now shut up you Jesus freak.”
*Apple Inc does not sponsor this site either.
**Psalm 1:1 “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the mockers.” (New International Version)