The Angel of Death

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Author: Raziel666

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Some chapters need major editing - it is recommend that first time readers who are also editors to read it in edit mode and fix as they read through.

Chapter 1

The small illumination emanating from the lantern did little to break through the light fog slowly drifting in through the graveyard. Blaze looked back at the ratty mob he called his 'crew'. Four other people that answered to his advert to rid the world of the scum that he was now on the hunt for. He gripped a picture tightly in his left hand, he remembered handing one of these pictures to each of his crew. To come prepared was always the best way to deal with these creatures.

"Blaze?" A thin weedy looking man called out.

"What?" Blaze turned to face Samuel, his second in command if you could call him that. Samuel had worked with Blaze on a couple of missions in the past, usually on mutant hunts, but this hunt was special, it was a vampire they where hunting this time. "How do you know where this guy is?"

"The one who posted the bounty says that tends to reside here, so keep you're wits about you and remember to keep that cross around your neck at all times, it will protect your from him."

Samuel nodded and gripped the silver crucifix tightly, almost praying for its protection.

He glanced around the graveyard, these places gave the frights, the dead should stay dead, Samuel feared them and from his fear brought forth a loathing and hatred - this wasn't natural, you where born, live then die and you don't come back.

He strained his neck to look at the top of the monstrous centuries old stone cathedral, this once belonged to a famous member of the clergy a man by the name of Artoir Van Twooh. It almost saddened Samuel to seen this church in such ruin, the west and south wings has completely collapsed, the stone masonry strewn about the place, the large chunks of rock slightly curved from the decades of wear. The east wing started to show the same degradation as the other two wings; only the north wing remained intact. The three hundred foot high twin spires hidden under the veil of dark cloud.

Samuel wiped the rain from his face and blinked, he could have sworn he saw the shadows move against the north face window.

Pushing it of to an overactive imagination, Samuel reminded himself how he wound up here in the first place.

A slim woman stood in front of Blaze, he couldn't help eyeing her up, from her jet black dress to her blazing dark red hair. Thoughts danced around in his head. Things he would love to do to her. He knew she would love it, all the women he had the past did.

"So you know what I want you to do?" The woman spoke. Her voice carried an heir of authority.

"Yeah love, don't worry about us." Blaze turned his head to three other people standing behind him. They all nodded in agreement. He turned back to her. "These guy are a tough old bunch they help sort out your... your... what problem did you say you needed eradicating I couldn't remember."

"Vampire goes by the name Raziel. However you do not need be alarmed he is a young fledgling. Shouldn't cause you too many hassles."

"Ahh... Vampire, sorry I had in my head it was a succubine or a mutant from the wastelands. Oh then will be a walk in the park then. I've dealt with elder vampires before and came out without a scratch." Blaze was bluffing. He had never even seen a vampire. All he had learnt about them came from vampire handbook. But the money was irresistible.

"Good... Very good. So we agree on the price of fifty thousand logo."

"Yeah, but I need half upfront. We need equipment to deal with these matters. Nothing you need to worry yourself about young lady."

The woman gave a seductive glance. "I'm sure you do. Half now. Half when you return. With Raziel head on a spike."


She threw him a wad of cash, more then Blaze had seen in his lifetime. He had to stay cool. He needed to keep the facade up.

"Samuel!" Blaze kept his gaze of the young lady in front of him. "Tell the men that the jobs on. Make sure you have the necessary equipment. This lady has contracted us to take care of a vampire. Nothing to hard to hassle."

Samuel knowing that Blaze was lying through his teeth played along. "Yes Sir." The fact that the 'men' where only a few feet behind him and heard everything didn't matter. What mattered is that Blaze was seen as being in total control.

As far as Blaze was concerned; this was a done deal and this lady would fall into his hands when this vampire's head was brought to him.

His lips parted and he starred at his embracer, a young woman of no more the eighteen stood in front of him, her long jet black hair and alluring dark brown eyes where enticing. He soft white skin and ruby red lips enraptured him.

She opened her mouth to say something, however the loud music playing over the integrated stereo system was deafening. He couldn't understand her.

She brought her mouth to his ear. "Happy Birthday." And then walked off into the distance.

The young man thought to himself for a quick minute 'Who the hell was that. I'll find her later. She seemed cute enough.' The young man turned from the brown panelled dark corridor back into the living room of his parents’ mansion. They had disappeared for a few days and felt that this was the perfect time to get a few friends over for a drink.

All three hundred and eighty of them. Plus a few gatecrashers a few prostitutes and a few of the local girl models that where always up for a good time.

This wasn't the first party he had thrown nor would it be the last. He father more then happy paid for the parties. Even though he didn’t even know that they where being throw. Wonderful things company credit cards, gets you anything you need. Anytime you want.

"Hey dude, you gotta try this shit." He pushed a flat magazine over to him with a small amount of white powder lined on it. The young man looked at the one pushing the mag. His best mate Dave. He really was a best mate.

The young man snorted the powder through his nose and waited a second for the drug to kick in. His world went for a spin and he fell against down onto a nearby chair.

He looked at his best mate "Fuck me man, that’s good shit."

"The best. Anyhow your bout your present?"

"Fuck yeah."

His mate and walked out the room. A few seconds later he returned with two women dressed in Lingerie. The young man in the chair smiled. A blonde and a brunette. How did his mate know?

"Nice present. This isn't the first time I have two women before though."

"Oh just you wait, what ever you've had these two will blow your mind. Just sit back and enjoy the ride."

The blonde straddled him with her thin frame and her fake breasts were pushed into his face. She slowly lowered them, making sure that he got to taste her delicate skin. She reached over on the side table and picked up a half bottle of Vodka. She poured a little into her mouth and them brought her lips to his. She slipped her tongue into his mouth and allowed the vodka to roll down his thought.

She pulled herself away from his lips and nibbled his earlobe for a minute before whispering to him the things she was going to do. The young man knew these where hookers. Not really his thing. He could bed any one of the female flavours here tonight. At the end of the day he invited them. These hookers however where professionals, not your on the corner variety. His mate would have paid at least thirty maybe even fourth thousand logo for this one night.

The young blonde stood up and wandered carelessly over to the brunette. The young man transfixed onto her arse as it gentle moved up and down with her walking. She turned and looked him straight in the eyes with a seductive, passionate look. The young man could move, those blazing blue eyes had entranced him.

The brunette seeing what the blonde was doing, strode up behind her and ran one of her hands over the blonde's ample fake breasts. The blonde closed her eyes as though her was enjoying being handled in this way. The brunette turned the blonde's head and kissed her intimately.

The young man could feel himself pulsating at the thought of tonight. His mate was right about one thing. He was defiantly going to enjoy tonight.

The brunette separated herself from the blonde and made her way over to the young man, her long fake tanned legs talking one slow step in front of the other. For the young man time slowed and the music subsided into gentle background noise. In reality nothing had changed.

She didn't straddle him like the blonde did. Instead she bent over from the hip, allowing the young man to see down her dark bra. She whispered into his eye. "You ready to have some fun tonight."

The young girl looked him the mirror beside the bed; she was lucky that she couldn't see herself. Couldn't see the scarring and bruising from the man she had know for most of her life. A man she would have called her father. Now she was his pimp.

The young long shorthaired blonde girl closed her eyes and felt the moisture of a tear escape and run down her delicate face. She wanted to be anywhere but her, in this situation that was about to occur.

She felt the heavy breathing of a man she did not know. She could smell his breath. A disgusting putrid smell of alcohol and tobacco. He cheap aftershave he heavily applied. She felt his torn and jagged lips on her velvet skin, his rough tongue sliding down her fragile neck.

Another tear fell. Why did he put her in this hell? She had done nothing wrong. She could still feel the marks where his fist had landed when she first refused to play in this act. Still remembered the cane to her ribs for not calling her father. The kick to the chest for not remembering to thank him for the first to beatings for not remembering that she had to behave.

Another tear fell.

The man was foundling her in a very rough and harsh manner. His large hands pulling and pushing. She tried not to think about it. She looked in the mirror again. The man's face had one of those sick grins. His rough stubble showed that he hadn't shaved for a few days. The lines round his grey eyes showing his middle age.

She looked over to the grey suit jacket and trousers, folded neatly into a pile. His shirt hung tidily on the edge of the mirror obscuring the top left corner. His tie placed neatly over the top of the shirt. A pile of cash on the top of the dresser.

Her 'father' had made a point of telling her how much she was worth. How much someone like her could fetch. She was special and a rarity. Her going price for her inexperience, at least one hundred thousand logo. After tonight she would be worth a lot less. He auctioned her in front of at least fifty people all being for her as the price. She remembered his voice in her ear telling her to smile. She thought she did, but now she wasn't so sure.

There was nothing she could do; her mother was made to watch in the back corner. She saw her radiant blue eyes; similar to the one she had inherited fade and die. Tears and screams echoed through her mind. The pleads her mother called out. The fact that she would do anything to protect her most valuable asset. The young girl still heard her Mother's screeches and wails as she was led away to this bedroom with her winner.

The man in the mirror descended downwards. He whispered sick nothings in her ear. She felt a sharp pain and the bed start to squeak. She felt numb and at the same time sickened and violated. There was nothing she could do. She stopped fighting this man and let herself go limp, perhaps he would finish faster. Perhaps her would get bored and this tormented pain would stop. Perhaps after his was done with her he would show a little mercy and kill her. Put an end to what was to come.

He however showed none of this. The more tears that fell from the young girl the more he enjoyed what he was doing. The more she screamed the more it turned him on. He kept pushing on until with a loud gasp of breath he collapsed on her.

He pulled himself off the bed and looked at her beautiful features. He was won the auction and his prize was more then he could have ever desired. To his she was worth the one hundred and ninety one thousand logo he paid. He would never see her again. She was used. Damaged and no longer of interest. He pulled his clothes back on, threw nearly half the wad of cash on her and then walked out.

The young girl waited until she could near no one around and buried her head in the one and only pillow on the single bed and sobbed. She curled herself in a small ball and continued to rock back and forth. She wanted her Mother. Her strong grasp in her arms gently caring for her.

She finished crying and for once felt empty and alone. It was almost a part of her had died. She picked herself up off of the bed and looked down at where the atrocity had taken place. The white cotton sheets had been partially stained by blood and another substance, one the young girl did not want to know even though she did.

What did she do to deserve this? She had to pay her 'father' back for all the crimes her real father had committed again an organisation only know to her as The Black Hand. For all she knew, she would be her forever.

Her life ended. Her childhood stolen. Never again to see the light of day outside this house of hell. Her being to be vandalised for all eternity and it started four weeks before her sixteenth birthday.

Samuel stood still looking at the darkness on the spire of the old English style church. He really could have sworn he saw something. He didn’t want to say anything though as it may alarm the others and make more confusion then anything else. He always believed that Blaze was indeed a vampire hunter or ghoul hunter or mutant hunter or really what ever kind of hunter you wanted really, his problem came though as the fact he would never let anything go.

Samuel cast his mind back to one of the first job he had done as a hunter. A man he never really got the chance to know gave him the brief history of the vampire hunter codex. A hand guide that gave you everything you needed to know about slaying vampires.

One of the biggest pieces of advice that Samuel was ever given was never lose your crucifix. It's you savour against these damned creatures. Always carry with you a veil of the holiest water blessed by a priest of the holy order. Keep your stakes sharp and make sure that when you strike; you strike with conviction.

The vampire race had been around for centuries and documents of mysterious happening have been noted thought the evolution of man.

Then came the third world war. A heavy nuclear war that tore the human race to pieces. The war itself killed nearly one billion people and the subsequent fallout and nuclear winters killed another three billion over a course of twenty-five years.

From then on the vampire races began to seize its control on the remaining world using their long accumulated knowledge and wealth to take control of some of the biggest corporations on the remaining planet. From these corporations they started to build cities using the previous metropolises as their base grounds.

Vampire hunter emerged should after this. A secret society that was determined to rid the world of the spans of Satan. The Vampiric race was a disease and they saw them self as the cure to the problem. Armed with some of the highest technological armoury stored at the Vatican in Rome, they set about their missions.

What they didn't consider was that one amongst them has already been turned and the vampire race where ready for the invasion. Within two years the Order of Sun had been vanquished.

Most people in the known world had no idea of either the vampire race; nor the impending army from the order of the sun. Most people enjoyed being under a rule of someone that was willing to rebuilt their hopes and futures.

The fact being that most of the Human race was now in one way or another was now enslaved by the vampire race and didn't even realise it allowed the vampires to keep wandering amongst them.

What the vampires didn't realise was the Order of the Sun pushed forth a book. The Sanguine Codex. The codex however has been lost now for nearly two hundred years. What came from it and passed down through the generations has come to be known as the vampire handbook. An all you need to know about the vampire race and how to kill one should you encounter one.

From this handbook and new breed of vampires emerged. These hunters where under the belief that Vampire where not natural. Spawns of Satan send to further the pain and suffering in the modern world.

What the vampires came to discover is that these so called vampire hunter where no better then the witch hunters that many came to know in the medieval times. Most of them had never even seen a vampire in their live didn't deter them from their goals. Vampire hunters tended to attack in pacts known as sects.

Using whatever weaponry they could get their hands on. Most of the time their victims where innocent humans or weak mutants that had wandered in from the wastelands looking for some scraps of food to eat.

Samuel looked back at the photograph of his intended victim. It was old and looked to have been copied a great number of times. The picture showed a tall man shadowed by a large trench coat. This facial image was blurred at best and nearly unrecognisable. Samuel swore after this job he would retire from this life and settle down. The amount of logo on offer would give him a good head start.

The ground in front of Samuel shattered sending dust and debris in all directions. He couldn't see anyone one of the others in the sect. Samuel strained his eyes. There was a figure. Tall with what looked to be a trench coat draped over his shoulders. The figure was huge. It was him. He wanted to call for help but no words came from his open mouth.

The figure lunched towards him with lightning speed. Samuel caught a quick flash of steel followed by a sharp pain and then nothing.

Blaze shouted out to the others. "What the fuck!"

One of the other two screamed, "Shit, what the fuck was that man. I fucking out of here keep you money I don't wanna die!"

The other stayed with Blaze. A young lad of seventeen by the name of Zack. Blaze turned to him

"Where the fuck is Samuel?"

The dust started to settle and Zack could see Samuel standing in front of him, his eyes wide open. A thing red line running down the front of his face.

Zack quickly walked up to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Hey man you ok. That was pretty fucked up eh? Scarred the living shit out of me."

Zack then realised how bad the situation had become. The line down Samuel’s face started to ooze a crimson substance. Blood. The wound running vertically started to open. Zack looked in horror as one half of Samuel’s body started to slide away from the other. Blood freely flowing exposing the brain, internal organs, bone and sinew.

Samuel collapsed to the floor. Zack placed his hand over his mouth to stop himself from throwing up. Blaze called out.

"Hey hurried the fuck up you two. What is this a love parade?"

Zack heard him and opened his mouth to speak. All that came out was vomit. He quickly turned toward the entrance and ran out as fast as his legs would carry him.

Blaze watched, as his team had deserted him. "Fucking bunch of losers. A small amount of debris and they fall to pieces." He shouted out to Samuel and was responded with silence.

Blaze walked over to where the supposed debris had fallen. He saw his old comrade on the floor in a pool of his own blood. Blaze closed his eyes and said a quick prayer and then kissed his crucifix.

"Samuel you poor basterd. I always told you to be careful. Looks like it got the better of you. Sorry my friend. I'll make sure I avenge you and buy you a little plaque."

Blaze turned towards the exit of the graveyard at the other end of the church. There was one way in and another way out. He looked up to the night sky. It was heavily clouded and Blaze started to feel the first droplets of water. The light spatters soon turned to a near torrential down pour.

"Oh just fucking great. I knew this was going to be a shit night. Well I best keep looking for something. There's no vampire here hell probably never was. Seems that young lady was chasing ghosts. Maybe he would at least give hi a hot bath and a bed for the night. Preferably with her in it."

He smiled to himself. Almost happy with the fact that he had gotten away with a free job. His pleasure soon turned to horror as a slim metal blade slid under his neck.

A smooth calm voice spoke to him. "Careful what you say round here. You never know who's listening."

Blaze had found his target. More to the point the target found him. Seemed this wasn't the simple vampire that he was led to believe. He needed to thing fast.

"Foul creature of hell. I am a member of the holy order of the sun. You are demanded by God himself that you return to the ground where you hence came."

The figure reached into the Blaze's pocket and found the photograph of him. Curiosity peaked him. "Where did you get this?"

Blaze really didn’t care who he dropped into it. His life was on the line and that took precedence. "Some broad down the local. Damn pretty lass with fiery red hair. She was offering good money to take some simple vampire out."

"What local?"


"You heard me. Where can I find her?"

" The Axe and Cleaver. It's a little tavern down the black cat alley. She posted an advert for a vampire hunter and their sect."

Thoughts crossed this vampire's mind. He had a good feeling who had set him up. The question was why? He would find out later after he helped the world from another fanatical.

Blaze could almost sense the hesitation. This was not his chance to strike. He reached into his trouser pocket and produced a small flick knife. Opening the blade he spun the knife round and rammed it into his capturers stomach. His opponent whinst in pain.

The vampire hunter took advantage of the surprised vampire and spun a round house into his face. Blood flew from his attackers face. This was followed up with a boot to the mid section that doubled the vampire over.

Blaze pulled he knee into the wound he caused to his perpetrator and threw him onto the floor. Opening his jacket he produced a large wooden stake. He knelt next to the Vampire.

"There was one thing she did say that you had grandeurs that you where actually an angel. Now that’s pretty fucked up. Also she asked me to give you a message. Something along the line of blood wishes and metal kisses. Don’t really have any idea what she meant." He raised the stake above his head. "Anyhow time to die. " And brought the stake onto the Vampire's chest.

The vampire let out a quick howl and lay motionless. Blaze stood up and gave the creature slain by his own hands another kick for good measure. "Cock sucking piece of shit. I banish you to the hell you came from."

Once again he turned for the exit. Thoughts passed his mind 'I wonder what extra reward I'll receive for this. She had better out herself out for this. I don’t put my life on the line for nothing.'

Blaze then remembered that she wanted the head of this vampire. 'Damn it' crossed his mind. He would have to go back and retrieve it. No great hassle it has only just left it. He turned around and was surprised to be greeted with a hand around his neck.

There was no emotion on the mans face. The spun Blaze round in a three hundred and sixty degree circle and released him. He sailed in the air and impacted a large Oak tree more then thirty feet away.

Blood ran down Blaze's face from a gash in the top of his head. It stung his eye and the blood flowed through it running down it cheek and passed his dry lips. He saw the figure in his full height of six foot four inches walking towards him.

Panic spread though Blaze. He grabbed his crucifix and held it in front of him. He repeated the same words over and over again. " You're dead. You're fucking dead."

The quiet man lifted the other man by the throat and lifted him of the ground, legs dangling in the air, this time it was the quiet man smiling, a soft, sickening smile, his eyes red with fury. “I am dead.”

The other man gasping for air chocked “Who are you?”

The quiet man placed the other person back on his feet. “ I am nobody and everybody, I am the saviour, I am your brightest fear and your darkest hope. I am the absolution to all eternity.” He started straight into the other mans eyes and saw the fear “My name is Raziel and I am an Angel.” With that he spun the mans neck a full one hundred eighty degrees. The man fell down dead.

Raziel looked down at the lifeless body “I am an Angel of Death and I have now shown you peace to the end of you pitiful existence.”

Raziel turned, his coat spun in the air behind him and he walked into the distance and disappeared into the murky blackness.

Chapter 2

“Boys, Boys, Boys” a small smile passed her lips “did you find him?” “Yeh, we found him all right, you said nothing about him being 12 feet tall and able to rip people to shreds is one strike you didn’t, he killed Samuel he did, one hit, there was a lot of smoke, stuff flying in the air and the next thing I know, he torn to pieces poor sod, fuck that we said and ran for our lives, only Blaze stayed behind to fight it and well I think he’s dead too you know, must be, you never told us we were trying to kill a monster, love– you said it was a little vampire.” Her smile disappeared and a gleam appeared in her eye “he is only a small pathetic little vampire, why can’t I find any decent help these days” she let a large breathe expel from her body “fine – where’s the money I gave you?” The man looked at the floor and gulped “umm, we don’t ‘ave it” “WHAT!!! – I gave you 25,000 logo, now where is it!!” her face had turn the same deep scarlet as her shoulder length hair. “Blaze had it, he had all of it, insisted you know” The woman calmed down and the smile returned on her face, she smirked “I’ll bet Raziel is having the time of his life right now” she commented under her breath. She flicked her red hair around from one shoulder to the other revealing her pale almost white skin “Nevermind, plenty more where that came from” “If you don’t mind me askin, why do you want him dead?” “That’s none of your business and you would do well to keep quiet before I rip out your tongue and make you eat it” the smile had become crooked, almost sinister “ lets just say there is … “she paused, searching for the right word “… history” “oh I see, you like your and ‘im were like, having it off, like, so I guess he you know, broke your…” his sentence was cut short by a hand around his neck and with unbelievable strength and pushed him down to his knees, she brought her face directly I front of his “you dare finish that sentence and I promise you, you will not see the sun rise this morning, am I clear” she snarled “ I’m sorry miss, I’m really sorry” the man choked she threw him to the ground. A voice in the background piped up “Excuse me miss, there any problems, if there are, then please take it outside, I run a good establishment here and I don’t need it ruined” The woman didn’t even respond, she just threw a bag of Logo at the barman and walked towards the exit, as she reached the door, she turned allowing her long black dress to dance around her “Remember what I said, another word and your dead.” She opened the door and walked out, not a word was said until the ‘slam’ “Crazy fucking bitch” the man exclaimed, the bar tender just nodded and carried about his business.

The woman carried walking down the road, deep in thought ‘why, why when you name pops up my world once again unravels, I’m sure its no big secret that your darkness enthralled me, still does if I’m honest with myself and oh god, do I hate you for it, I would like nothing more then to place a 45 to your chest and pull the trigger’ she could feel the anger once again build up inside her, that fire of hatred and loathing, her breathing was heavier, her chest getting higher and higher with every breathe she took “Fuck it!!!” she blasted, a few bystanders looked at her and continued walking.

Still deep in thought, she looked up ‘did some just call for me’ she thought, shaking her head, she kept walking “Maiden!!!” someone was calling her but who, she looked around, didn’t take long though in the distance she saw someone waving and running towards her, Maiden smiled ‘elfinlied’ she thought to herself. The woman ran up to Maiden and rapped her arms around her giving her a great big kiss on the cheek, nobody would have imagined that these two were good friends, where Maiden was prim, proper and elegant and generally stood out due to her classiness, Elfinlied stood out with her wild spiked hair made up of blues, reds, greens, purples, and oranges, people might have got the impression that a rainbow shun out of her head, her clothes were no different, apart from the canvas trainers in which one shoe was blue and the other pink, her slashed skin tight trousers were chequered with a barrage of colour, she had a skimpy blazing pink top which only just covered her small breasts, contrasting against her very white skin which was very much on display and overtop of that was a sunshine yellow jacket which stopped just above the waist – people could not stop staring at her.

“Hello Elfinlied, you seem happy today, any reason” “Nope, just because I am, you should try it some time, get you out of those moody blues you keep having” “Who said I’m blue” Maiden replied with a slightly contemptuous air about her “Who said I’m blue? You did silly, I mean just look at your face walking down the road and then that outburst, Whoa, lets just say, I’m glad I’m a friend” “Oh you heard that then” “I think the questions should have been, who didn’t hear it, its him again isn’t it, everytime that name is mention you get all uptight and grumpy, forget him, be happy!” A half hearted smile passed Maidens lips “I envy you sometimes, and I loathe at others, you’re just too bloody happy” “Did you want me to be miserable, I can walk around shoulder hunched, sad face, dragging my feet, world on my shoulder type think, look” Elfinlied did her best to look as miserable as possible – for about 3 seconds, then the smile returned “See for at least 3 seconds I was blue, down and out, in the dumps…” “Ok, Ok, I get the picture, I’m a miserable bitch, got it” “Only when you think of him, most of the time you happy and enjoying yourself” “Him…” she paused to reflect upon him name “Why? How? I really don’t know” Elfinlied had her arms behind her back and was swinging side to side, a massive smile on her face “I know, I know and so do you” “Don’t even imply it” Maiden said with a small smile on her face “Oh my god, can it be, no it can’t be, wait…wait… I think it is… I don’t believe it – a smile!!!” Elfinlied jumped up and punched the air “See!!! I knew you could do it” “Oh shut up” she laughed, it was too late for Maiden who now had a beaming smile to accentuate her thin figure. The two turned off the main street and headed for the boardwalk, which was in the eastern section of the city, it was usually quieter in the early hours of the morning, although usually New Los Angeles never really slept, the bright lights of the city shown 24 hours a day, breaking the night sky. The city was divided into 4 sections, North, East, South and West with the Main street running the entire length of North/South sector, this was the street, where all the shops were, clothes, guns, knives, armour, they where there if you were licensed to use them, you also had the pubs and clubs, Techno-Punk Metal being the new ‘in thing’ everybody listen to it, although some described it as screaming cats, and banging garbage cans. The was also the new brothel, you wanted to meet your wildest fantasy, you came here, slut and whores mainly, but there was also the down and out, the young mother trying feed her staving family and if you were a woman with no place to go – you came here, jacked yourself on crystal meth and forgot the reasons why you wanted to live in the first place. Next stop - Western New Los Angeles – oh whoopee, welcome to your biggest nightmare, or your best dream, depending how you looked at. The Governor of the city once described the eastern sector as the diseased arm of a beautiful lady, this was gang land, china town and mafia all rolled into one, home to scum, mutants and low life, however, if you knew the right people, you could have someone disappear for ever and no on would dare say a word, the place constantly reeked of sewage, garbage, blood and shit, the Black market was ripe, want a Uzi with auto reload and laser sight – no worries, if you got the money. Always in perpetual darkness, the west sector, Gregor, the overseer of the west sector once said that the sun it’s self was scared to show it’s light, well that was until Gregor met his untimely death ‘jumping’ off a building, soon replaced next day by Vladivar the unholy, then it was Skag the day after that, well half a day anyway, Skag managed to met the 10.15 bus – at 12.45. Then there was the east sector, this was the nicer end of town, where the rich and famous lived, the street where clean, the people cleaner and managed to live with a roof over their heads – literally. The boardwalk was seen as the highlight attraction, right next to the water, with the murky brown waves crashing against the sand, supposedly the most romantic spot, many a couple where found hand in hand down the boardwalk, anyhow, nothing ever happens here and people have described as plain and boring.

Maiden and Elfinlied arrived at the boardwalk and slowly started walking down “Why did I let you bring me here?” the disgust was clearly evident “What? Is so lovely here, don’t you think, young people just walking around, holding hands, so in love” Elfinlied’s smile was as bright as ever. Maiden lent over the railing and looked down at the murky waters “I think I’m going be sick” “Oh god, was it something you ate, drank, you gonna be ok?” “No its was something you said” with that Maiden started walking on ahead “Hey!!! That’s mean, you big meanie!!” Maiden smiled softly to herself and thought ‘hopefully that will shut her up for a few minutes at least’ Maiden had nothing against people in love and all that mushy crap, it was just that is was all too much at the minute, she looked up at the sky, the stars where obscured by the radiating glow of the city lights, she closed her eyes and let the gentle wind blow slowly though her hair. That name returned, the one she so desperately avoided, the one to cause her fury to burn and made her blood boil, she felt a shiver down her spine, a tingling sensation, an ecstasy and a certain feeling that she would never admit to anybody – all because of a name. A whisper passed her ears again “Your thinking of him again, aren’t you?” Maiden slowly opened her eyes and turned around to look at her friend, she sighed “Yeah, I am, I can’t get him out of my head and I hate it, I really, really hate it.” The expression on her face was one of sadness, Elfinlied look at her, slightly surprised, she had seen her friend in all sorts of moods, but never this one “Hey, hey, hey, no need to look blue, hey come on, lets get you out of here, I know lets go for Ice cream, that always cheers me up” A small smile returned, “I just tried to have him killed” a slight chuckled struck her “hired a group of vampire hunters to kill him” Elfinlied just stood there, unknown what to say, many things passed her mind, but not one felt like the right thing to say “Funny thing is Elfinlied, they failed, He killed two of them, the rest ran, I lost some money, not much, but some, it was almost like he knew, he knew I would try to come for him.” “But you didn’t, you sent someone else to do what you should have, could you have killed him yourself?” The question bit through Maiden worst then a steel blade through the heart “Yeah, of course I would have, no question about it” there was a slight hesitate in it, if Elfinlied realised, then she didn’t say anything “Whoa, I see girl, now I want to know, what did he do, what ever it is, it must have been bad?” “Some things are better left unanswered, perhaps in time I will tell you…” Maiden paused “Elfinlied?” “Yeah?” “Do you think I’m a bad person?” “Hell no, your wonderful not to mention beautiful and elegant and…” Elfinlied paused “What is it?” Maiden question with a puzzled look on her face “Well, sometimes, I wish I could be more like you.” “Thanks, that’s really sweet, but believe me, you do not want to be me at the minute” Maiden again looked up “I don’t feel like a good person, I though if I get rid of what is bothering me, it would go away, and it hasn’t, in fact if anything, its even worse, arrrggghhh!!! What do I do???” Elfinlied still stayed quiet, she knew there was nothing she could say to help “Tell me my friend” Maiden had re-lowered her gaze back to Elfinlied “What do I do?” “I don’t know” Elfinlied tone was quiet, soft, not something she was accustom to, she looked down at her duel coloured trainers for a minute and looked back up to her friend and stood there shocked, She saw something in Maiden she had never seen, fear, but why? Was it fear of the unknown, fear that she was losing her mind or fear of him, she knew one thing though, she had to help her friend before he caused her to go mad and there was only one thing she could do “I’ve got it, Maiden, I’ve got it, then answer to your problem” “What is then” she dejectedly responded “Lets go find him, eh?” “What, are you mad girl” “No, you said the only way you will feel happy is it you kill him personally” “You said that, not me” “But you implied it, now come on, lets go find him The smile return “yeah, let, I have a few things I need to say” Maiden pulled the slit in her skit to one side to reveal a magnificent 2 bladed dagger strapped to her leg. “Yin?” replied Elfinlied “Yeah and yang is strapped to my other leg, I want to show him the same kindness he showed me” “Ohhh, yeah, lets go, come on lets go” Maiden’s arms was being pulled down the boardwalk. “Let go, I’m coming” Maiden though to herself ‘am I a bad girl, oh I certainly hope so, but can I kill you, I just don’t know if I can’ Maiden and Elfinlied walked to the end of the boardwalk, turned left and walked back into the city.

Chapter 3

‘Squeak, squeak, squeak’, the transmission belt was playing up again ‘Bollocks’ thought Flash ‘I just had this damned thing fixed’ he ran his fingers through his short, black scruffy hair “I hate you, you piece of shit!” although screaming at the pick-up wasn’t really going to fix it, it helped to calm the nerves. Flash had just driven in from Arkansaw, well what was left of it anyways, burned out buildings, turned over flaming cars, gangs, rapes, gang rapes, it was all just a days holiday there. Well it was everyday life for Flash, he gripped the steering wheel with his strong muscular arms and followed the freeway into New Los Angeles. He blinked, within that blink he recalled what caused his final departure from that cursed place.

The sum beamed down, what a rarity that was, Flash should feel the cold heat on his face, he closed his eyes and allowed himself to be bathed in the light, a slender hand gripped him round the shoulder “What you thinking about?” the voice was soft, gentle, loving Flash chuckled “Oh, nothing” “You sure?” “Yeah, Yeah, it’s nothing baby.” “O.k. if you say so” Flash turned to face turned to face her, she had a slender face and pale tanned skin, her dark brown hair waived over one of her eyes, flowing down just past her shoulders, she wore short red dress that stopped at the knee and accentuated her slim figure. Flash smiled “Have I told you how lucky I am to have you?” “Not today, honey, but you tell me everyday how lucky you are to have me” she smiled, a smile that always warmed his heart. “I know, I know, I can’t help it, I’m just the luckiest man on earth, that’s all” Flash returned her smile with one of his own. “Honey?” “Yeah baby?” “You coming in for hotdogs, made them fresh.” “Yeah!” came the reply

Flash strolled into the house, it wasn’t much, but it was home, the 2-bed single story bungalow was shadowed by the 2 4-story townhouses either side it, why it was there no one knew, the bars on the windows protected them from harm not to mention the sawn-off Flash concealed by the bed. He stood in the dark hallway, took a deep intake of breath through his nose and admired the smells coming from the kitchen, he smiled again, Hotdogs, his favourite, he liked them with a little burger relish, bit of French mustard and smothered in fried onions and ketchup, Flash’s belly rumbled ‘She had better have those thing ready, man I hungry’ he though to himself.

Continuing up the hallway, trampling his muddy boots into the dark red patterned carpet, he turned left and walked into the kitchen and there it was, a sight nearly as beautiful and the one holding it, a plate full of hotdogs, all of them dripping with ketchup, fried onions flowing over the side and a little bit of relish and mustard – heaven. Flash sat a small round in the kitchen; it was only just big enough for the two of them to sit at. Flash picked up the hotdog and admired it, that work of beauty, he could feel his tongue salivating at the thought of taking the first bite. His partner looked at him with a smile “You gonna eat it, or marry it?” Flash chuckled “I don’t know, perhaps I’ll just have an affair with it first, you know, see how it goes” Flash got punched in the arm, it wasn’t a hard punch, more of a knock and they both started laughing hysterically. Once they both managed to calm down, Flash returned his attention to the hotdogs, realising that one was still in his hand, he opened his mouth a took a large bit out of hit. Ketchup and onions dribbled everywhere, down his hands, arms, shirt, trousers, just everywhere, but he didn’t care and nor did she, this was every Sunday ritual and it always left a mess to clean. She shook her head and thought to herself how much of a big kid he really was and she really didn’t mind one bit.

After the final dog disappeared down Flash’s mouth, she looked at him and the mess he had left, Ketchup and onions had littered the table and his clothes. “Get up get to the bedroom and get yourself cleaned up you!” This was not so much of a request more of a demand and he couldn’t and wouldn’t argue with her, he knew he would lose, as petit as she was, she has a temper like fire. Flash quickly ran out the kitchen, back down the hallway and made a left into the bedroom that was in the front of the house. She followed him in and started unbuttoning his shirt, eventually pulling it off, revealing his massive muscle structure “Now the Jeans – god your hopeless can’t even eat a hotdog without making a mess!” The jeans where pulled off and thrown again then wall, they impacted with a quiet thud Flash just stood there in his black socks and cotton black boxers “Hunny, umm, care to close the curtains first” Flash was having a little moment of self conscience and feeling a little embarrassed standing in a room with a window that faced the busy main street. “What? I can’t believe you turning red, look at you, what the hell have you got to be embarrassed about?!” “I don’t know, I just am, I can’t help it” The response wasn’t so much of a statement but more of a plea “Fine” She smiled at him walked over to the window and closed the curtains. “Happy Now?” She turned around to find Flash standing right in front of her “Yeah!” the look in his eyes was penetrating, he picked her up, arm under the legs, the other supporting the shoulders and threw her on the bed. She looked at him with a smile, however this was not a smile of happiness, no, this was a seductive smile, she got up on her knees and motioned him over with a finger. Flash walked over the edge of the bed and she shuffle on the bed to met him. She put her arms round his neck and brought her face over to met he, their cheeks touched, she slowly rolled her face over so she could whisper in his ear “God I love hotdog days” She pulled her head away and that seductive smile returned, she broke her hold round Flash’s neck and slowly ran her long red nails down his hairy chest, she looked into his eyes, wrapped her arms around his chest, locked them together and with one big tug, pulled him onto the bed and straight on top of her.

Flash awoke that night, hot, sweaty and breathless, he opened his eyes and rubbed them to remove any sleep he just kept thinking to himself that it was only a dream, it was only a dream. “Honey, what wrong” that sweet familiar voice running through him like a choir of angels and he smiled to himself ‘what a crazy dream’. Although the light was dim he could still make out shapes, he felt cold and wet, must have been the nightmare, it happened before, that waking in cold sweet, the feeling of pure terror, a terror that you can do nothing about, a terror of the soul. Flash let his breathing slow, he wiped the liquid off his face and wiped his hands down his chest, covering one hand over his eyes, he went for the lamp switch “I just gonna turn on the light, cover you eyes” “O.k. thanks for the warning” Flash pushed the switch and took his hands away from his eyes. He paused. Then jumped out of the bed screaming, there was blood everywhere, on the walls, the curtains, the floor, he looked at himself, his hands were covered in the thick, gooey red substance, so were is arms and chest, he quickly glanced up in the mirror on the other side of the bed, his face, it was, covered, it was covered in blood, so much blood. “Honey, what are you screaming at” That angelic voice, so soft, so sweet, there was no panic, no terror, he brought his eyes round to her and froze, he open his mouth to scream, but nothing came out, her face, it was covered in blood, her blood, it was oozing from her nose, mouth, ears, her eyes, oh god her eyes, they weren’t there just sockets and blood freely running from them, her left cheek bone was smashed in, when she open her mouth, most of her teeth has been torn out, blood ran from her ruby lips and there was a hole, a hole in the middle of her forehead, a bullet hole. Flash looked at her in disbelief awe and terror, there was the love of his life now staring at him “Honey, what’s wrong” The voice now wavered, scared, Flash just continued to stare at her, however something wasn’t right, he could fell something in his hand, he was… holding something slowly he brought his gaze down to his right hand, there was something there, black with a handle, but his vision was blurred, he couldn’t make it out; he slowly raised his hand, just ever so slightly and concentrated hard, the blurriness started to subside he could see the item more clearly, it had a handle, a handle his hand was wrapped around, there was a long cylindrical metallic piece attached to the handle, it was cold, hard, then there was… Flash’s heart missed a beat, there was a half moon piece between the two and his finger was on it, Flash swallowed, however, there was nothing to swallow, is mouth was as dry as a bone, he knew what this was, it’s was a gun, a berretta to be exact, he had one of these under the pillow, next to the sawn off, he brought himself to look back at his love, he stared directly at the hole in her forehead, it was a bullet hole, a bullet hole made by this gun, then gun that he was now holding, he finger still over the trigger, the trigger he pulled. He dropped the gun, it was like slow motion as it fell towards the floor, it hit the ground and the noise was deafening. That angelic voice was still there, but there was concern “All you alright, please stop it your scarring me” Flash looked at her with pleading eyes, the white sheets now stained a deep maroon colour ‘ this can’t be he thought to himself. “Please let me help you, Please!” There was genuine concern from her bashed in, blood stained mouth. Flash looked down at the floor, the gun, no that won’t do it, the sawn off, ‘yes’ he thought, he walked over to the top of the bed and next to his pillows, her final resting piece. Flash picked up the sawn off and brought it up and pointed it at her “Honey, what are doing” She was scared, terrified, blood ran down out from the side of her eye socket and ran down her face, like she was crying “Please, I beg you don’t do it, what ever I’ve done, I sorry, Please baby, honey, please” She choked on sobs, blood now freely fell from both eye sockets Flash looked at her “I’m sorry” and pulled the trigger.

Flash Screamed, a high pitched terrifying scream and bolted up right in the bed, a light came on next to him “Honey, you o.k?” Flash turned to his head to face the sound, it was her, she was alive and in one piece, eyes, nose, cheeks, it was all a dream, a horrific nightmare. He grabbed her and wrapped his arms around her in a strong embrace. “It was a nightmare, a horrible, horrible nightmare” She returned the embrace with one of her own soft, loving hugs, she ran her fingers through his hair, like you would a child “it’s ok, it was just a dream, just a dream” Flash broke the embrace and just stared at her, he could take his eyes off her and that image came back in his head, her, beaten and broken, blood soaked and stained, he shook his head “Honey, What’s wrong?” He looked up at her, a shocked look on his face, he has been here before, he quickly ran his hands under the pillow and looked for the Berretta, it was still there – he grabbed hold of it and through it across the room, it hit the wall with a load bang. “What the hell was that for” She screamed at him “Sorry baby, it was a really bad nightmare” She stared at him, confused, concerned “You sure your ok?” “Yeah, Promise, sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you” He reached over and kissed her in the centre of the forehead, he wiped his face which was coved in sweat. Flash rolled out of bed and headed out the door, straight across from the bedroom was the bathroom, he crossed the hall walked in, turning toward the basin, Flash turned the cold tap on and let the water flow for a couple of second, he bent over, placed his hands under the water and splashed his face, the water felt refreshing, cooling, he washed the sweat from his face, turned the tap off and reached for the hand towel, it wasn’t there. ‘damn it’ he thought she must have done the washing. Flash shook his hands and then wiped his face and paused, there was silence, he shook his head, he could have swore he just heard something, he paused again, nothing, Flash chuckled, ‘that nightmare really shook me up’ he thought Then it happened. That scream, high pitched and female, Flash recognised immediately – it was her, he ran across out the bathroom, across the hall and into the bedroom and there she was, in her nightgown, pinned up against the wall by one hand by a female, her long jet black hair covered most of the leather jacket she was wearing, his partners legs dangling helplessly by the slashed black trousers the unwanted guest wore. She turned and face Flash, her dark lips and purple eyes looking directly into his, she had a sharp narrow face and strong cheekbones. “So you’re her saviour, are you?” Her voice was quiet, calm, disturbing. “Let her go, please, whatever you want take it, you want money, I have some, just let her go, please” “Let her go” She cackled, a wicked, terrifying cackle “Let her go, fine, but I want something first” “Whatever it is you can have it, take it” “I want… you” Flash stool there stunned “Yes, you will do” you comment was a demand, not a request The choked muffed broke the conversation “NO, he’s mine leave him alone” “Ahh, a woman with fire – tell me do you really love this man” “Yes, with all my heart” “Good” that word was like ice as it came out of her mouth “What do you want with us anyway, we haven’t done anything, please just let us be” “Oh, it’s not your fault, well, yes it actually is, one of those wrong place, wrong time scenarios, I hope you can understand” Flash found his resolve “Let her go – now” his voice was firm, strong The mysterious woman looked at him curiously “Now what have here, a boy trying to be a man? Oh how very cute.” Her face tightened “Now you listen to me, boy, you want to see the night fall again, then you had better…” She smiled, it was a smile that made Flash shiver “behave” She turned her attention back to Flash’s other half “Now where was I… oh yes I remember now” She smiled “I can see just how much you love him, very difficult to find love in this time” she brought her lips to the other woman’s ear “Between you and me, I like you so I’m gonna let you live” She lowered Flash’s partner down so her feet touched the floor and released her grip, she turned to face Flash “You have quite a woman, I can see that you are strong of character and she can see that, against my better nature I’m gonna let you go.” She released her grip on the other young woman who immediately started to run to Flash, arms open, tears in her eyes. Flash didn’t know what happened, but in the blink of an eye the dark haired woman moved across the room and grabbed his woman by the top of her hair, it was as if this dark haired beauty could move with the wind. A sickening smile was on her face, her other hand around the young woman’s chin “I’m gonna let you all go to hell” with that she pulled her arm back and spun Flash’s partner’s neck around, there was a sickening crack and she fell to the floor, dead, her eyes still wide open. Flash stood there silently, there was no sound being made, no screaming this time, no nothing, he just stared at her and her lifeless body, this was no dream. A voice came from behind him “And now my young friend it’s your turn, but I will give you a gift, a new life and you will thank me for this later” Flash didn’t care, nothing mattered anymore, no one mattered anymore. The Dark Haired lady, produced two fangs where he canine’s should have been and plunged them deep into Flash’s neck. His world went black.

Flash opened his eyes, longest blink in history he thought, maybe two or three seconds, Time to settle the score, he reached over to the passenger seat and stroked the berretta, Turning his attention back to the road, he looked up and saw a green sign ‘New Los Angeles City limits 5 miles. He put his foot on the gas pedal and accelerated down the freeway.

Chapter 4

“Ohhh, yeah, let’s go, come on lets go” “Let go, I’m coming” Fregillon turned his head to look at what the fuss was about, he sighed, ‘and they think they have problems’ he watched as the two talked into the distance ‘Fuck sake’ he chuckled, ’what a couple’ both of the girls’ where slim, one was petit, spiky multi-coloured hair with the most awful dress sense, her bright yellow jacket looked something like a homing beacon, the other, Elegant, tall, graceful, she ware a small red dress and her dark hair waved gently in the small breeze. They really where the oddest couple he has seen in a long time and coming from the West End, he has seen some crazy shit. He watched them walk to down the boardwalk for a couple more seconds then turned his head back to the dark murky waters. ‘Why the fuck am I here, doing a skivvies job, I’m a vampire not a delivery man’ the wind blew inland again, Fregillon’s long matted hair, blew up behind him, he closed his blue eyes and felt the breeze run through his black leather trench coat ‘I can’t believe I let him talk me into this’ Fregillon knew this overseer personally, for how much longer he wasn’t sure, the only thing that lived less then a runner in the west end was the leader. Patris had led the west end now for about 3 days – a new record, so he must have been good, there had been 22 attempts on his life already, shootings, bombings, stabbings, attempted hanging, poisonings. Buses, cars and a boat – that was a new one, but nothing seemed to kill him, Fregillon thought it was strange, but hell, in this town, anything’s possible. Patris has asked for Fregillon personally, this was an errand he wanted Fregillon to run and only him, unlike the rest of the west end, Fregillon was clean cut, non-scarred and generally looked in good shape, his short tidy goatee coming to a small point made him took like a French criminal mastermind. This was a drug run, and not just any run, it was for one of the vamp clans. Vamp clans pop up all the time, they tend to leader, either through fear and terror, or required for the protection of a city, they came in all shapes and sizes and every clan keeping to themselves, there was generally no real fighting, unless of course, they were seizing for control territory – that’s when things get nasty and innocent bystanders get hurt, not that Fregillon really gave a shit, he kept himself to himself, ran a few jobs for money, a loner by trade, he had no friend or family. Fregillon kept his hand in his pocket, the small amount of crystal meth he was hold for this clan was worth over two hundred and fifty thousand logo, it was just a few grams, it would be crushed down, mixed with various other crap and resold to the general public, this stuff was only thing that gave you highs, lows and even more highs, it lasted for 3 days, addictive the second to tasted it and gave something to people – the ability to forget the shithole that they now lived in and called their life. ‘How much longer’ Fregillon had been standing there for over 30 minutes so far and he was getting more pissed off by the second, he didn’t wait for anyone, let alone another junked up runner. He heard a car stop behind him, the brakes squealing and whining. Cars where old things, bags of rusted crap on wheels, however, if you have one, you either had money, or you where a very good thief. Most clan lords had one, but that was about it, well that and…Police. Fregillon’s mind started to wander, the police, shit, better not be them, not they could do anything to him, they’re just a pain in the ass, they didn’t care about law enforcement, it was just a group of people with a little power and they abused what little power they had. Beatings and shooting were not uncommon with the police, Fregillon remembered about an old magazine he found in a house once, it was dated before the third world war – real antique, it was about cops in the old days, man someone must have given these vigilantes that book, the cops of old seemed to like nothing better to do then drive someone off the road, blow their brains out and all for nicking a loaf of bread – then going a getting a doughnut with a cup of coffee , it was uncannily similar. Fregillon turned round to face the car, it was black and rusted, kinda of the same for every car, the front windows where missing and the driver was looking nervous, Fregillon smiled, newbie driver – he’ll be toast by the end of the week. The back window opened – a miracle in its self – a fat slightly chubby looking man was in the seat “You Fregillon?” “What of it” Fregillon tone was sharp – unpleasant The chubby man smiled and opened the car door “You have something for me, I presume” “Naa, nothing” He knew he was lying, but he needed to be sure the man was for real The Chubby mans smile vanished “Look pipsqueak, I have been sent here by the Lost Cause, hand over the crystal meth like promised and we will have no problems, got it?!” The Lost Cause was one of the more minuet gangs, a waste of space – why was Patris dealing with these guys “Fine, here” Fregillon reached into his pocket and pulled out a small plastic bag, inside was the crystal meth. “Excellent, Wonderful, Patris has done a brilliant job.” The man reached into his pocket and produced a handgun and pointed it straight at Fregillon’s head “Now, put you hands up where I can see them, you low life piece of shit” “Your fucking me aren’t you, you mother fucking piece of shit!” The anger on Fregillon’s face was quite clearly evident. “Ah, ah, ah, don’t forget who’s holding the gun now, I think I’ll be asking the questions don’t you?” The chubby basterd has a cheshire grin on his face “Right, now questions, nope I have no questions for you” Fregillon had one though “Who put you up to this and why” “Now that would be telling would it, surely thought that would be really clear” Fregillon turned his head slightly ‘Patris, but why, what have I done to him…’ then it dawned on him ‘That little fucking shithead, he stitched me up’ “Ok then, how about this question, why did Patris set me up?” “I have a better question – why don’t you shut the fuck up get in the car and I will take you down the police station for questioning.” “Why don’t you actual go and do some proper police work, might I suggest that you go arrest that doughnut you passed coming here you fat, fucking prick!” The officers face went red with fury “Right you fucking little punk, I’m gonna give you the beating of your life!!!” Fregillon smiled “Come get me pork chop” The officer ran at Fregillon full speed, gun raised above his head looking to rap it around Fregillon skull, Murder of any kind was still illegal and punishable by death, severe beatings however, were not, Fregillon just stood there, waiting, smiling, he had the fat basterd exactly where he wanted him. The officer took a wild swing at him, Fregillon stepped out the way, it was like slow motion to him, another swing and a miss, followed by a large foot, again Fregillon sidestepped “Come on then you fat fuck, thing of this as exercise” Fregillon responded to the series of attempted blow. The officer took anther all mighty swing and this time it connected, the barrel of the gun impacted with Fregillon jaw sending him two feet off the ground, he landed in a crumpled heap, the officer saw his chance and repeatedly landed one blow after the other, contacting with Fregillon face, arms, chest, ribs, Every blow landed caused another crack, another bone broken. Then the beating stopped, Fregillon brought himself to his knees and spat, the spit impacted the ground with a hard splat, it was red, it was blood. “Oh you little shit, you want some more” The officer kicked him in the ribs, Fregillon collapsed back to the ground, pain and agony racked his body “Come on then you little fuck, you think you so tough” another foot landed, another rib cracked, Fregillon coughed and spat out more blood. “Fregillon whatever the fuck you last name is, and I don’t give a rats ass, you’re under arrest for drug smuggling and verbally and physically assaulting a police officer, you do not have to say anything, and anything you do say, no one will really give a shit anyhow.” He laughed “God, I love this job” He reached down and twisted Fregillon arms around his back, a loud pop followed by an agonising scream occurred as the officer pulled Fregillon arm out it’s socket, he slapped cuffs across Fregillon’s wrists, grabbed him by the blood soaked dark blue t-shirt and hauled him to his feet. Fregillon’s head was lowered and he was swaying and staggering, trying to stand under the pain The officer pulled Fregillon forward so he could speak in his ear “Not such a fat fuck now am I sunshine” A smiled passed Fregillon lips “Yeah, you’re right, you now a dumb, dead, fat fuck, asshole” Fregillon muscles flexed and with one heave, he shattered the central chain binding the handcuffs together. He grabbed the officer by the back of his short brown hair and pulled his head sideways, Fregillon canine’s extended and he tore into the officer neck. Screaming followed, a high pitched scream, a scream of agonizing pain, Fregillon ripped himself away, tearing skin and vein from the officer neck, blood spurted everywhere and covered them both. Fregillon picked the officer up the neck with one arm and dangled him in the air. “Bet you really love this job now, don’t you” Fregillon was full of anger and hatred, no one had ever got the better of him and it showed. He looked up at the officer, blood now staining most of his white shirt, a short gurgling noise could be heard from him, Fregillon just stared at him, watching the blood run from the open wound, he smiled, a small sick smile, it was time, time to put this fat basterd to rest, he walked over to the wooden beams protecting people from the long drop into the freezing waters below. “Tell me, how does it feel now that you are one looking to die” Fregillon threw the officer over the railing and held him, legs dangling in the air, the officer’s eyes widened in fear, he grabbed Fregillon jacket around the arms, his grip tight. Fregillon was cool, collected, blood still flowing from his forehead where a previous impact had struck “Tell me, why did he sent you?” The officer just looked at him, wide-eyed, scarred and fearful “TELL ME!!!” “Go fuck yourself” The officer spat Fregillon looked at him, smiled and released his grip, the officer’s hold on Fregillon fell away, he hadn’t the strength to hold on and he fell into the icy waters landing with a large splash. Fregillon smile left him, the car, the other person, he turned around, the car was gone “Bollocks” there was gonna be some shit now, he was wanted, now marked for death, killing a police officer was not a very smart thing. Fregillon shrugged, oh well nothing he could do about that, however, Patris, yes, there was something he could sort out, looking down he saw the officer’s revolver, bending down Fregillon picked it up, opened the chamber and looked at the cartridge, it still had all six rounds in it, good, flicking the gun back the cartridge bay relocked into place, he place the gun behind him, tucking it between his black trousers and black leather belt, time to settle the score, hopefully word about this wouldn’t get around, fat chance, but hey… you never know. Fregillon rested his back on the wooden fencing and winced, it was gonna take time for these wounds to heal, he needed to lay low for a while, but were, he couldn’t go back to the west end, everyone would recognise him. Fregillon walked down the boardwalk, deep in thought, he looked up at the skyline, the rooftops breaking the midnight sky there was something up there, running across the rooftops, he could just make out the outline, following it down, Fregillon kept his eyes firmly on the shadow, all he could make out was that it was male, wearing a long trench coat that was flapping behind him, he seemed to be watching something, following it, Fregillon walked across the road, head still looking up, suddenly there was a loud screeching of breaks followed by a load bang, Fregillon went flying through the air and landed on his face, chin first, rolled 3 times and came lay motionless. Steam was poring out of the truck, a large man over 6 feet tall emerged, he looked at his truck and then back to Fregillon “You stupid asshole, why don’t you look where the fuck you’re going” Fregillon didn’t move, he just laid there The large man shook his head “Shit, I don’t need this crap” he walked over to Fregillon’s body and knelt down “Hey buddy, you ok?” he shook Fregillon There was no sign of breath, no rise and fall of the chest; he rolled Fregillon over onto his back, his eyes where open and the barrel of a revolver was now being pushed into the large man’s throat. The man was stunned “How can you still be alive, your not breathing. Not unless… “ He paused “Not unless you’re a…” he couldn’t bring himself to utter the final word, Fregillon finished for him “Vampire?” “Yeah” The man’s heart sunk and Fregillon could see the sadness in his eyes, this man wasn’t dangerous nor was he human Fregillon lowered his gun “You gonna help me up or something” The man grabbled Fregillon by the arm and hoisted him to his feet” “I know your one of us.” commented Fregillon, there was silence for an answer, the large man turned around and started walking back towards the truck. Fregillon called out after him, but there was no reply, Fregillon needed to be out of here and there was his ticket, and non responsive muscular giant, thinking fast, he ran to the side of the truck “You’re gonna need to get this fixed and I now this city well” The large man just looked at him and nodded “Get in” Fregillon opened the door and jumped in, the truck itself was a disaster area, rubbish scattered the floor, there was no stereo and none of the dials seemed to work, the seat was shredded and foam was poking out all over the place. “Nice Truck” Its was all Fregillon could think to say “Thanks” came the disheartened voice “Fregillon”, Fregillon stuck him hand out, his was greeted with the one of the large mans own, they shook. “Flash, now where do we go?” The truck whined and the wheels started to rolled forward, they moved down the road, next to the Broadway, got to the end of the road, turned left and disappeared into the city.

Chapter 5

After thirty minutes the squeaking in the bed finally stopped, the room they were in was small with only one tiny window and a double bed that squeaked, there was a small table against one of the walls with a large mirror propped up against it, from top to bottom flowed a crack, just one single crack. The reflection showed a young woman, no more then nineteen years old, sitting on the edge of the bed, her long blond hair disappeared past the bottom of the mirror, her hair flowed down past her lifeless, yet radiantly bright blue eyes, drifting near her slender cheeks, red ruby lips and over her left shoulder, it was loose and free falling, her hair flowed down her slender and very pale white body and covered one of her small, but pertly formed breasts. A tear fell from one of her eyes and she was quick to wipe it away.

Viona turned her head round and faced the man that was laying next to her, he was hairy, very hairy, it was running all down his chest, arm and legs, his dark black hair gave way to a few flecks of grey. Deep lines ran under the mans eyelids and his forehead was slightly wrinkled and haggard, his face was chubby, not fat, but this man definitely didn’t bother with his exercise routine, in his withered and dry mouth hung a cigarette, most of the ash was still attached and hadn’t yet fallen off, the corner of his lips bore something that resembled a smile, Viona turned away, disgusted, she was disgusted with the old ugly pig next to her and violently hated herself for doing what she just did. “Come on love, I wasn’t that bad, was I” The dry and cold statement came from the stranger “Please leave” the response was sad and tired “Now why would I want to do that?” “Get out” again the response was quiet and sad “Get out – you already make me feel sick” “Fine – you were a shit shag anyway” The man got up, walked over to a chair in the corner and put on his cloths, Viona kept his back to him. Once the man was dressed he pulled out a wallet “What do I owe you, I can’t remember” like hell he couldn’t, this was just a sick game and not the first time he had played it “Two thousand” The man took the money out of his wallet and threw it on the bed, the notes scattered, some flew off the other side, the rest impacted the small of her back, she flinched. He walked over to her and bent over bringing his head near her ear, she could smell the cigarette smoke on his breath and the grease that emanated from the checked red and blue shirt he wore “Thanks baby, we gonna have to that again and soon” Viona flinched “you maybe shit in the sack, but you are so young and beautiful” he placed a hand on her head and stroked her hair, Viona turned her head away “Don’t touch me!” she spat He glared at her and grabbed her round the jaw with one of his large hands, his grip was vice like and he dragged her head round to face his, his eyes were evil and his face was contorted with anger “I’ll touch you anyway I like, you little whore, don’t forget I pay for your talent!” he threw her head back round. He ugly smiled returned “I’ll see you soon, baby” with that he turned around and walked out the door, slamming it shut behind him. Viona screamed, she had never been so humiliated; she picked up the logo and threw it violently at the door, the cash missed and impacted on the nearby wall. Tears started to fall from her eyes, she place her head in her hand and sobbed violently, why was she here, why did her do this to her. “Father!!! Why!!!” she screamed Her father was one of the members of the order of the black hand, a secret organization born from the demise of the mafia during the third world war, he was well respected and very wealthy, until he was found in bed with the orders’ bosses wife, needless to say things didn’t go well, he was stripped of his title and all asset were taken from him and he was publicly executed, torn apart by four vehicle moving slowly in different directions, he begged for forgiveness and screamed as he was literally torn limb from limb. Viona’s mother suffered immensely as well, she was stripped naked and thrown on the street, she was raped, tortured and went insane, grief and despair overcame her and she went the highest building in New Los Angeles went to the roof and threw herself off the top, the police removed her body five hours later. As for her, she was told that the debt the her father had made had to be repaid and as she was the only one left alive, he would be the one to repay it. That was how she ended up in this whorehouse, this wasn’t the first job, unlike her mother and father, the crime bass new her little secret – she was a vampire and had been for six months, he knew she had heightened speed and strength, come of her ‘tasks’ as he like to put it were, hit man, drug runner, spy and also assassin, however, when told her had to kill her best human friend, she refused, this was nothing more then his sick joke, another way to hurt her. He had her stripped naked and flogged for thirty minutes non-stop, the ear piercing screamed never stopped, he then personally rubbed a mixture of lemon and vinegar in the wound to ‘purify her’ and then threw her in this brothel and make sure she was ‘taken care of’ and here she was, sitting on the edge of the bed, naked and crying, miserable, sad and completely depressed, Viona now started to understand how her mother felt, why she committed suicide. Then came that burning rage, her father, how could he, how could he be so selfish, so inconsiderate, so god damn… there were no words to really describe her true feelings. Viona stood up and walked over to the dresser with the mirror on top, beside them where her clothes, nothing special, her underwear, no bra – he wouldn’t let her wear one, said she looked sexier without one, a tight white t-shirt and a pair of tight blue denim shorts. Once changed she looked around, when could she go home that’s all she wanted, to go home and forget this madness, but… she would never be free, never see the sunlight, never know what hope is, falling against the wall by the dresser, Viona slowly fell to the ground, clutching her knees, she swayed back and forth, tears once again silently falling down her face. Viona looked out the window, she could see the stars and the bright crescent moon, she closed her eyes and remembered a time when all this wasn’t happening, she remembered playing on the grass outside her old home in Atlanta, the large five bedroom two story house in the distance, she was being pushed on the swing by her mother, Viona couldn’t have been anymore then eight, smiling, going back and forth, back and forth, her mother asking her if she wanted to go higher and higher, there was laughter and smiles and no pain.

There was a knock at the door and Viona quickly wiped her eyes, the door opened and he walked in, white suit and shinny black shoes, he was carrying a large cane with a snakes head on the top. “Did you have fun my dear” The voice was sinister and malicious, Viona didn’t respond, he walked over to her and looked down “Did I not make myself clear, did you have fun my dear” Viona fought back the tears, the rage and anger “I won’t dignify that questions with an answer” The man chuckled, a evil was in his eyes, he raised his cane and struck her across the face, Viona collapsed on the floor “You answer will be yes, I did have fun, thank you for being so kind, now lets try again, did you have fun tonight my dear” Viona looked at the floor, “Yes” the words came out softly “I didn’t hear you my dear, what was that?” A single tear fell “Yes, I really enjoyed myself” she choked The man knelt down “Then why don’t I believe you” “Believe what you want” “Well I know that man, a friend of a friend wasn’t too happy and I said you would be fantastic” his words hissed quietly “Looks like you have been a bad girl again…” he paused and stood up “Looks like you need another lesson in politeness” He man once again raised his cane, Viona threw her hands up and he brought in down on her, this time impacting on her wrist. “I give you a roof over your head and food to eat and all I ask if you to do a few favours for me, is that too much to ask” The cane came down a third time, this one connected with her leg, there was a bone shattering snap followed by a silence, she had learned that it was no use screaming, no one came to help. The fourth blow was followed by the fifth, which was followed by the sixth, and seventh, she just waited for it to end, she knew her scars would heal – the physical ones anyway. After the eight blow, he stopped, blood splattered his white suit, he looked at her, her left cheek had been gashed open, her eyes where puffy and showing the first signs of bruising, her mouth ran with blood, there where numerous cuts caused by the cane top to her arms, legs and chest. “Look at my suit, it’s ruined, now apologise for ruining my ten thousand logo suit” Viona stayed silent – if she said anything she would be beaten, if she said nothing she would again be beaten, it was a no win situation. He smirked “Come on Viona, say sorry and all will be forgiven, I want you to apologise for ruining my suit and whilst you at it you can say sorry for forcing to show discipline, I don’t like doing this to you, but I have to you are a very bad girl – you where just like you mother and she was taught the same” Viona’s fists clenched “You left my mother the street gangs, you can keep you mercy, I rather have your beating, at least I know what a self righteous prick you really are!” The man exploded “How dare you!!! You insolent little bitch!!! You… You… Cheap little whore, you are just like you mother, a little fucking whore, a tramp!!!” He raised his cane again, Viona closed her eyes, she could feel her blood racing, something was calling, a hunger, a hunger for blood. She felt powerful, alive, she re-opened her eyes and everything had stopped, nothing moved, no wind, she looked up at the crime boss, he looked frozen in time, she knew what she had to do. Time seemed to speed up slowly, the cane coming down to meet the tip of her skull, this time she would be the one smiling.

“I’ll teach you, you little bitch!!!” The cane came round straight for Viona’s head, this time he was swinging to kill, the cane fell fast and just before it reached her head, an arm appeared and grabbed the snake’s head, the man was stunned, she was smiling, this him the evil smile was on her face, using all her strength she pushed against the snake head and with a load crack, broke it off, she threw it to one side. “Teach me will you” She tone was calm, there were no tear, no emotion, she was neither happy nor angry “Cheap little whore am I” She tore the reminisce of the cane from his hands. “Little Bitch am I!” The first hint on anger was now appearing in her voice “I’ll show you just how much of a ‘little bitch’ I can be” with lightning speed she grabbed him by the throat and threw him over the bed, he slid along the floor and ended with a crash against the wall. “How does it feel to be abused” Viona was losing control of her emotions as six months of slavery was bubbling to the surface, we walked over to where he lay and picked him up again, this time by the front of his shirt “Well!!!” she threw his again and this time he hit the dresser – the mirror smashed into thousands of pieces “Oops, does this mean seven years bad luck” a crooked smile passed her lips “Don’t worry, your bad luck’s about to end” “Your right” the man spat “and so are you” he pulled out a gun from his pocket, it was a berretta and he pointed it straight at her and pulled the trigger. The bullet exited the chamber, spinning as this improved the accuracy, its high velocity round was headed straight for it’s target and impacted perfectly in Viona’s chest, she collapsed to her knees. The man walked over to her, smiling, pleased with himself “Any last words you psychotic bitch” he paused “No… good” he pointed the gun at her head “Say goodbye” he pulled the trigger. She was gone, ‘That can’t be’ he thought to himself ‘no one can move that fast’ A voice called from behind him, it was a quiet, calm voice “Goodbye” He felt her hand touch the side of his face and pull his head sideway, we winced as a sharp pain penetrated his neck and he felt himself getting weaker, weaker, more tired, his eyes were getting heavy, call out? Yes, he tried to, but no sound emerged and everything went black. Viona dropped his lifeless body on the floor, wiping the blood away from her mouth. She had never felt so alive, she looked at his body and there was a piece of paper sticking out of the top, reaching down she picked up the piece of paper, there was only one word ‘Raziel’ “Raziel eh?” she stared at the piece of paper “I think I owe you a little personal time” the small smile returned, she looked around, the gun was next to him, picking it up she thought ‘Might come in handy’ Viona stood up, turned and walked out of the room, making sure to close the door quietly behind her.

Chapter 6

“Don’t you ever shut up, I can’t her myself think” Maiden’s head was pounding, since leaving the boardwalk, Elfinlied had done nothing but talk about what she was going to do to him when they found him, first she was going to slit his skin a thousand time with a rusty razor blade then bath him in a concoction of lemon juice, salt and vinegar, then she was going to slowly stick nails though each of his eyelids, fingers and toes and let him slowly bleed to death, then it was the fiery hot poker up the rectum – Maiden shivered at the thought of that one – not a nice thought, and it continued for neatly an hour, Maiden looked at her watch, check that, it was nearly two hours, no stop, how could anyone talk for two hours non-stop she had trouble trying to keep conversations alive for ten minutes let alone two hours.

The pale moon shown dimly down on the dank alleyway they were walking down, this was one of the side-passages leading to main street, rats scurried into the dark holes in the terrace houses either side of them, the dim glow of the light shinning in the dust stained windows, the smell of old and wet garbage hung in the air, a warm breeze blew threw the alleyway, whipping up Maiden’s hair around her face, she pulled her hair back round her ears “Why would I do that, I mean, come on, you need to join in the fun – stop such a…” Elfinlied paused “Yes?” Came the calm reply “Cold, you’re never happy, I mean when was the last time you where really happy?” Maiden didn’t reply, she just kept looking ahead of her, her eyes full of emptiness, she thought to herself ‘happiness, what a laugh’ she smirked ‘she’s right though, I can’t remember the last time I was truly happy’ Maiden looked up at the moon, it’s pale colour still giving up it’s cold light.

The heat was staggering, must have been at least thirty degrees, maybe even higher, the young girl of eighteen pulled her light green t-shirt up and tied a knot in it, exposing her soft, slightly tanned skin, her thigh length skit blowing lightly in the calm wind, her look up at the bright blue sky and a smile beamed across her face, her long red hair bunched up in a pony tail behind her. “Sarah! Sarah!” A voice called from a far, Sarah looked around, running from across the grass in a large green park ran a young man, his curly short brown hair bounced around with each step, he wore a white shirt, the top two buttons undone showing a small amount of chest hair and a pair of neat black jeans. He was slightly older then her, nearly twenty, he was toned and thin, Sarah had met him back in Colorado when she was sixteen and took an immediate liking to him, she a shy girl and saw him everyday, but did want to talk to him for fear that she might say something stupid or embarrassing or both, this went on for two months, he was working as a mechanic, grease monkey by trade, always in overalls, always with no top on and always covered thick in oil and dirt, his face and arms black with muck, his muscles in a constant state of flex, she always walked by and was him there and the same thing always happened, a shiver would run down her spine, a cold tingle of excitement followed by the harsh reality of something that would never happen, a dream, a nightmare an uncaring false hope, ‘oh why can’t she I like other girl’ she would say to herself, why was she so afraid, she never knew the answer, she only had more questions, everyday she would walk passed the garage, everyday she would see him, everyday the same tingle and everyday the same wanting shattered by her own depressing thoughts. He knew she was there, she just wasn’t good enough to be noticed, she was a nobody, a ghost… a ghost living in a world of unfairness. She lowered her head and let her dark red hair fall down and cover face, hiding from the world, hoping to hide from herself.

“Maiden, Look out!!!” Elfinlied grabbed Maiden round the arm and pulled her off the road, the sound of a car horn echoing in her ears “Jesus, that was close, what the hell were you thinking!!!” Maiden looked round at Elfinlied, her blank expression greeting her friend “What…” Maiden paused to regain her composure “Sorry, I must have drifted somewhere, Sorry” “You ok?” “Yeah, sorry, Yeah I fine” Maiden gave one of her half smiles “Really, I’m fine – I promise” Maiden shook her head slightly; the busy main road was right in front of her, people everywhere, the tall buildings and bright light of the main street strip. She looked up the road and paused… it couldn’t be, no it wasn’t possible, standing in the middle of the road was a man, five foot eleven inches, wearing dark blue overalls, a strong muscular frame, short curly brown hair and dark foreboding brown eyes, he was sad, almost lifeless, his ashen white face staring directly at her. All she could do was stare back, this wasn’t possible, how could this be possible, was this man also a vampire like her, their eyes locked together a bonding stare passed between then, then something caught Maiden’s eye, a light, two lights, a pair of lights on a metal frame – a car? – no a truck, it was heading straight for him, his back was turned from the vehicle, he couldn’t see it, no, it would kill him, no not again, the car came speeding straight for him, why didn’t he move, why couldn’t she move, she was frozen, was this fear, horror, she didn’t know, she had to warn him, but where were the words, a lump, a large lump was stuck in her throat, she strained to call, she felt sick, the lump, it wouldn’t move, goddammit, why couldn’t she call out to him, why couldn’t she save him, the truck, it was nearly on top of him “why don’t you fucking stop you bastard” she screamed – her voice, it was there, she called upon all her strength - “STEPHEN!!!” The truck connected and she turned away, ready to be sick “No, please NO!” A pair of hand grabbed her round the shoulders “Maiden, God sake woman, pull it together, what the hell is wrong with you, who the hell are you yell at, your making more of a scene then I do” Maiden looked up at the road, there was no one there, the road, it was…empty, there were no cars, no trucks, only the bustling of people, no one paid attention to her outburst, it was quite common to see crazy people yelling to themselves – is that what she had become – a crazy woman, she turned to Elfinlied, her eyes wide, she was breathless, taking large intakes of breath, she was shaking “Maiden…” Elfinlied’s voice was quiet, concerned “what just happened?” “Didn’t you see him?” “Who?” “The man in the street” “The was no one” “You must not have seen him” “Honey, there was no one there I promised you” “He was there!” Maiden cried, she could feel herself getting angry, she was she being believed Sensing the tension, Elfinlied decided to quickly ask a different question “Who was this man then?” “Stephen” “And who’s might Stephen be?” “My…” Maiden closed her eyes, she couldn’t tell her, she couldn’t tell her friend the truth “ Just someone who used to make me happy” she sat sown on a nearby bench and her friend sat next to her, Maiden looked down to the ground, saddened, a single tear fell from her eye and rolled down her cheek, it formed into a droplet at the end of her chin and then fell to the floor.

The heavens opened up and the rain poured down, typical, it was the one day Sarah forgot her umbrella, her hair was tangled in knots and stuck to the side of her face, her long black coat was drenched and she could start to feel the water seeping through, she shivered, it was a bleak March, a cold March and she was freezing, water was falling on the top of her head and then falling down her face, it didn’t matter through, at least her should get to feel a little warm, if only for a second, she coming to her favourite spot, the little building, with a large steel shutter, it would be raised and there would be him, greasy, dirty, muscular, handsome, dashing, she shuddered at the though of it, a little warm, if only for a second, it would be all she needed. Sarah turned the corner and could see the top of the buildings, only a short way to go, minding the puddles that had formed on the sidewalk, she passed the final hedge to bring the building into view and for the first time, she stopped, the shop, it was… closed, the large shutters where down a large steel padlock was placed around the door handle and a piece of paper was attacked to a small window, Sarah went to have a closer look – once she was in reading distance she looked at the writing on the paper – closed due to shorted of Logo. Sarah’s heart sank, and a cold shiver descended upon her – and this shiver was not a nice one, it was cold, damp and dreary. She looked through the window, there was nobody there, it was deserted. Sarah was so preoccupied looking through the window and re-reading the note over and over she failed to hear the footsteps behind her. “We’re close, if you have a vehicle booked in I’m afraid we can no longer help you” Sarah Froze, that voice, it was young, sweet, yet rugged, she turned to face the stranger, it was him, he was holding a large umbrella and wore a large duffel jacket that cover this shirt and most of his black jeans. He looked at her “Hey aren’t you that lass that walks past here like every day?” Sarah went a little red, he noticed her, but why, she wasn’t worth noticing, she was a nobody and he was just a fantasy, however, here she was and this fantasy was talking to her “Yeah, but I’m not stalking or anything” she blurted – ‘Oh that was great’ she thought ‘I’m not stalking, god what an idiot I am, can I do anything more stupid’ The man just looked at her “Sorry, I didn’t catch that, did you say you where stalking me?” “No no, nothing like that, I come this way to work every day, I promise, I would never do anything like that” She was shaking, nervous, she did want the first conversation she had with him to be one that scared him off. He smiled “Ok I believe you” he notice just how nervous she was, he looked at her, her matted hair strewn across her face, she resemble something like a drowned rat with clothes. “Here” He handed her his umbrella “No you need it or you’ll get soaked” “You’re already there, take it, come on, lets get you into town, at least you might be able to buy a cup of coffee to warm you up” He had noticed her walking passed everyday, sometimes in shirts and skirts, sometime tank top and jeans, he like her, well, he like her appearance, she was different somehow, not like other girl, he knew she was timed from what other people said about her – sometime she was a bookworm, other times she was the nice quiet girl, then she was the freak – that was from some of the girl’s her age, most people didn’t know her nor did they know she even existed. She took the umbrella, she hands were shaking from the cold “Ok, sounds good, it freezing out here” what was she thinking, she was saying yes to a cup of coffee with a man she had hardly known, but… there was something about him, she could trust him, she didn’t know why, she just knew she could. “Stephen” The man had a radiant smile on him She returned the warm hearted smile with one of her own “Sarah” suddenly, she didn’t feel cold nor sad, she was happy and warm. The two of them walked down the street and out of sight.

“Coffee…” The word was quiet, almost dazed like “What? What are you on about” Exclaimed Elfinlied “Lets go for coffee” she smiled gently “Ok? What’s brought this on” “Oh nothing, just thinking” “About someone other then him” “Him?” “Raziel” “Oh yeah, right, him, no for once its not him, coffee first, I don’t think we will come across Raziel tonight and I will tell you all about it” “Ohhh can’t wait and I want all the details - coffee it is then, hey I know this great place – I’m sure you know it, it a little pub called the Black Flag, great coffee, you need to trust me on that one, best coffee you will ever have, promise you” “Fine, Black Flag it is then” Maiden stood up, she looked back at the road where she thought Stephen had stood ‘I’m defiantly going mad’ the thought echoed in her mind for a few seconds “Ready Elfinlied” “Born Ready, let go, I think a drink will do us both some good” The two girls walked off in down the high street and disappeared into a small brick built house with a little swaying sign attached to it – it read - the Black Flag.

Up on the rooftops a man in a tattered black t-shirt, scruffy black jeans and a black trench coat, rested his back against a dormer window, his arm folded across his chest, his eyes fixed directly on the entrance that the two women entered. He drew in deep breath “For the shadow of death draws near my young one and you too will understand the true meaning of fear” The man walked to the side of the house and jumped off the roof down to in the dark alleyway below.

Chapter 7

The door to the pub flew open and two men walked one was large, stock and muscular, the other tall and thin, they walked over to the bar and sat on the stools, the large man looked around – The place was dusty, look as though the cleaner had packed up and left, most of the tables were battered and the seats in the booths surrounding the outer walls where all torn, ripped or shredded, rubbish was strewn round the place and there were rats in the far corner, scurrying, looking for any food that may be laying around. “What a shit hole” The thin man pointed out “You got a problem with?” A gruff voice called behind him. The thin man looked around, behind the bar was a man at least six and half feet high, and at least that wide, his bald head showed the reflection of the ceiling lights, his one good eye was staring straight at the thin man, the other housed a large scar that flowed from the top of his forehead down to his square jaw. His bulk was enormous, his large leather vest just about came together and the zipper strained from busting out, the man wasn’t fat, he was just extremely large. “No, Nice place you have – I was talking about the last pub we visited” The retort was quick and clean “Wise ass, what will it be” “Two cold beers” “What the hell do you think this place is – the Ritz” He snorted a chuckle and slammed two warm bottles on the table, turning around he walked off into the back. The thin man pass one of the bottles over to the large man, taking his own bottle he place the top to his lips and took a swig, it tasted like warm urine, he winced, this stuff was fucking awful. “What the fuck is this shit, tastes like it came from a werewolves ass” The large man nodded his head in agreement and slammed the bottle down on the counter and grunted “I can’t believe this – you promised me my truck would be fixed” “No – I said that I knew a garage – not my fault it was burned down and the man tied to a cross with a couple of nine inch nails through his head – hey this ain’t my idea of a holiday either buddy” “This is full of shit – I have a damaged truck, stuck in a bar, drinking warm piss for beer and talking to a man who as of two hours ago I run over in my truck causing the damage in the first place” “Your point being?” “My point being that so far my life as a Vampire has been shit, dull and boring, my woman dead, killed by you lot, I have to roam around in the night sucking on rat’s blood just to stay alive, that’s my point.” “Wow, harsh beginnings, but hey afterlife’s not a bed of roses – shit happens – deal with it” “Shut the fuck up – what the hell do you know” “Man, you’re a miserable basterd to hang around with, has anyone else ever told you that” “If you don’t like then there’s the door” Flash’s eyes gleamed with anger “Hey chill out man” “Chill out, you want me to fucking chill out!” Flash stood his bulk of a body up. “Look sit down and shut the fuck up you miserable basterd” Flash look at him, staring, he turned his head towards the door ‘oh easy it would be to just walk away’ he thought to himself, he turned back round to Fregillon who’s hand was re-offering a seat. Flash plonked his arse back down. “Right, few thing you need to learn, firstly, look on the bright side of life – ok so your missus was horribly killed by some Vampire, you got turned and everything you knew has been destroyed…” Fregillon paused and thought quietly as he looked at bar, the stained wood housed numerous beer stains, scratches, knife scars and bullet holes, he faced Flash “Ok, you win, I’ll let you off being a miserable basterd, however, what do you want to do about it? You have no I idea where she is, what’s she’s doing or anything – have you?” “Well…” Flash paused, his face turned from anger to one of sorrow “I suppose not… but…” “But nothing, your revenge will have to wait. “Fine” Flash crossed him arms and leaned back against the chair The two stayed silent for a couple of minutes, just looking round, There was only a few other people in here, one in the corner, a woman, her blonde hair flowing over her saddened face and down her shoulders, draping over her tight white t-shirt, a clear drink was in front of her and her eyes were transfixed to a piece of paper. A burst of laughter came from anther booth, both men turned to look, there were two women, one look almost respectful and elegant, the other something out of a punk rock band. “Hey Flash – any of the ladies interest you – I know, how about the blonde, she looks nearly as miserable as you” “You little fuc…” He was cut short “No, no its in a good way, you’ll have something in common” Fregillon smiled “You really are a sick fucker, aren’t you?” “What?” The smile grew more intense “Come on stop looking so down” “Perhaps that’s how I want to look – ok, just leave it, please” “Fine, Fine whatever you say” Fregillon kept quiet and again looked at the others sitting in the Pub, the two women where still talking, well, the punky looking one did all the talking, the other was solemn, quiet, more a deep in thought kinda of person, she spoke little. He couldn’t understand why, giving the vast contrast between the two people, did these two know each other, why would they want to know each other, it baffled him, it didn’t make sense, where they lovers, friends, perhaps it was business, that would make sense, Perhaps the punk was a runner, a delivery person for important people – Runner’s life span tended to be quick – usually about 1-2 days – if you where lucky, however, there where a few who where very good at what they did, running tended to pay high, if you could get the info to the intended destination and even then there was no guarantee you would walk out alive – that’s how most runners met their fate – looking down the barrel of a gun to the person they just delivered the message to. There was an old saying runners are good for 2 things, deliveries and target practice; actually there was 3 things good about runners – but that only ever applied to the ladies. Fregillon’s turned from the two ladies to the one, she was all alone, for the half hour that he and Flash had chatted, no one came for her, ‘someone that beautiful is never alone, and there is always a reason, either she’s an assassin or has a shit load of baggage’ he thought to himself. Never get involved with baggage, he learnt that one the heard way, but that’s another story. The woman was holding a piece of paper and never took her eyes off of it, it was funny how some people acted, it was like this piece of paper was her life and she was looking back over it, you got it in this town, broken people, you could only pity them, but then again why would you want to, they can’t be bothered to look up at life, take it by the horns and stand up strong, no these pitiful people lost something, sometimes loved one, sometime businesses, sometime both, but they all share a common problem – there where all selfish, they had no ability to do the world a favour to jump off the nearest building, or step in front of that bus, hell, there’s a pier in this city, strap on some extra weight and go for a swim. Fregillon looked her over, he couldn’t put his finger on it, there was something not quite right with this picture, Fregillon loved his fashion, in fact he was wearing his best designers at the minute, they would have been is best were they not ruined by the large dope now sitting in front of him, well the large dope and the bent cop “Fucking faggots” he cursed under his breath “What, you say something?” Flash asked him “What?” Fregillon looked at him and then shook his head “Oh… it’s nothing, sorry, just talking to myself” “Whatever” Flash took another sip of is warm beer Fregillon attention returned to the lone woman, he smiled to himself, that was it, he figured it, she was well groomed, she look after herself, that was obvious, her make-up was nearly applied, only lightly, he glanced down at her legs, she had them neatly folded underneath her chair, she had manners and an elegance, also her legs where cleanly shaven, no cuts, so a good quality razor, no cheap shit, but… her clothes, her t-shirt was two sizes too small, she had no bra – something so self respecting woman would be without, her jean shorts where also far too tight, not that Fregillon minded, she worn no jewellery, not even a small watch, strange. Fregillon kept an eye on this woman, she was fascinating to look at, she had two stories and he wanted to figure them out, he got one of them, but the second, that was a tricky one. The woman pulled her hair back and then quickly let go of it again, it was as if she was covering something up, and she was, however Fregillon quick eyes caught it, and all became clear, a bruise, it was round the back of her neck and a deep purple, he studied her, every time she moved, she gave a very small wince of pain, it was only minor, hardly noticeable, Fregillon presumed that she had been beaten, and quite badly by the looks of it, she covered it well he thought. There was only one person who took personal pride in appearance, yet had to wear cheap tight clothes and the bruises only confirmed this – the was a prostitute, Fregillon shook his head, a slut for hire, pity, she was nice too, there where usually two types of prostitute, the first was the ones that belong there, they started teenage life looking like a whore and finished up as one, these where the druggies, the dropouts and the deadbeats, you got with one of these and never ended up the same again, never knew that they carried, a night with them would either get some horrible sexually transmitted disease or have your head caved in by the bedpost, like I said, you never know what they where carrying. Then there where the other ones, the ones who didn’t belong there, they should be with their parents, provided their parents didn’t sell them for protection, money or drugs, these girls, never had an option in life, it was usually fuck that big fat hairy bloke or this gun with fuck you, this prostitutes usually had a ‘father’, some sick shit who took pleasure in their misery, he would have his fun with her, any backchat or refusal would result in a severe beating, usually with a large implement, a bat, chair leg sometime they would just break their leg, far a the fathers where concerned, she would only have to raise them in the air, and that became their life, getting screwed for a living. Fregillon thought this girl was one of the latter prostitutes, she didn’t have that sluttish look about her, he felt a bit sorry for her, should he offer her some help? He didn’t know, no bout she escaped, it happens sometimes, they are usually found and then found again, in a dumpster. If he did help her and was found out he would be marking his own death sentence, well if he wasn’t already dead that was.

At that moment the door swung open and a man walked in, his figure was strong and slender, his long leather trench coat, flapped forward from the wind coming through the open door, his matted and tangled long brown hair flowing past his jagged chin, his eyes scanned the room, he looked at the beefy bartender, then over to the table where say two men, one thin and ratty the other muscular and tall, his gaze moved over to the young woman over in the corner, she was staring straight at him, then over to the two ladies, well one lady and one something, the elegance woman was staring at him, her eyes where red, red with hate, her hands where clenched in a fist. Then mans expressionless face kept his eyes on her, he smiled slightly from the corner of his mouth. “You…” the lady spat “You…” His smile left “Maiden, it’s been a while” The Punk woman looked up at maiden who was now standing “You know him?” Maiden didn’t respond, her gaze was locked onto his, her mouth formed just one word “Raziel”

Chapter 8

Raziel strolled over to the bar, his face was still sowing a small smile, he looked at the bartender “Beer, and make it a cold one” “One Beer” The barman started Raziel straight in the eyes “Warm” and slammed the bottle on the table Raziel ignore his frivolous comment and picked the bottle up, bringing it slowly to his lips, he paused, his glance moving back to Maiden “No hug?” and took a swig of the beer. Maiden didn’t dignify him with an answer, she just starred, thoughts passed through her mind like wild fire, why are you here, does he know, how did he find her, can I hurt you, can I kill you, can I… Her thoughts where cut shorts as a thin man stood up from the table next to her and turned to face Raziel. “Wow, my luck gets better every day, the notorious Raziel, bounty hunter? – Maybe, mercenary? – most likely, pain in everyone arse – defiantly, lover, killer, assassin, vampire” Fregillon glanced at the floor looking for the right words “All of the above” Fregillon smiled him sly smile “Did I miss anything” “You point being” the response was cold, direct “No real point, just making sure that my…” Again Fregillon paused “Sources are correct” Raziel just looked at him, his sword was by his side, he could just slide over there and remove his head from his shoulders, might be good for a laugh, if nothing else it would keep his stupid little trap shut, a small smile passed his lips. Fregillon just looked at, he wasn’t scarred of him, maybe a little awe struck, but not scarred “They say you’re a cold hearted basterd, but then again aren’t well all” The other in the bar looked at him “I guess I’ll be the one to started the niceties, the names’ Fregillon and this rather large, depressed, suicidal hulk of a man is my pal Flash” “Not surprised he’s suicidal following a lap jockey around” Fregillon’s smile left him; Raziel continued, “Sorry have I hit a nerve, Fregillon…” Raziel Paused “Patris’s lap dog, drug runner I take it, how’s he doing these days, oh yeah, that’s right, tried to have you killed didn’t he, shame he didn’t succeed.” “Hard to kill that’s which is already dead” “How true, I suppose it’s also helps not to send the long flabby arm of the law, bout the only thing more useless then you” Fregillon grit his teeth and let the comment pass. “Oh my god!” a voice came from the left of them “How much testosterone is in this building” The Punk has stood up and was now facing them “I mean boys, boys, boys, there must be an easier solution to all of this, tell you what – pull your cocks out and I’ll measure them – biggest dick wins” Fregillon smiled at the passing comment, Raziel just glared at her and raised his head ever so slightly “Hey look, all the colours of the rainbow, all rolled up in to one fucking misfit” “I know, I know… it’s just terrible I’m a misfit that like to fuck, big deal, whoopee do, so what” A calm voice spoke out “Does everyone want to stop acting like five year olds, Elfinlied, shut up and sit down, you won’t win – he feels nothing… for anyone” “Maiden?” Elfinlied looked slightly concerned for her friend “Just sit down” Elfinlied didn’t answer, she just did what her friend asked Maiden returned her attention to Raziel “You’ve got some nerve showing your face after all you’ve done” “That’s rich” Raziel returned “Wasn’t it you how just tried to kill me?” He took a bag out of his pocket and threw it Maiden, she caught it and a loud jingle followed, it was a bag full of logo “Fifteen thousand in there, I took my time and expenses out of there – call it compensation” Raziel smiled “Oh and next time, try someone more experienced” “Who said I wanted you dead?” “You mean the vampire hunters don’t give that one away.” “Fine, you win, I wanted you dead, can you blame me after what you did” “I did nothing, you took it the wrong way” He voice was still, calm, emotionless “Nothing! Nothing, you did more then fucking nothing you pathetic little bastard!” she screamed back, Maiden had lost all control, her face had turned scarlet, everyone just starred at her. Raziel said nothing, just took another swig of the beer and leaned back against the bar, his arms folded across his chest. The was a rare moment of silence that passed the room, no one was daring to make a sound, it was like a fuse and been lit and the lightest movement would set it off, Maiden’s chest heaved up and down in fury, Elfinlied just continued to look at her, she dared not say a word, she had never seen her this angry, Maiden and her had always talked about Raziel, what they where going to do to him, how much they hate him, but she had never actually seen him, it was strange kind of feeling, he wasn’t was she had pictured, he thought he would be… taller. Flash just sat there once again reflecting on how he was in this predicament, what did he do so wrong to deserve this, why could he be back at home in his little bungalow with the woman he loved, reality followed, his woman was dead, as we he, even though breath still left his lips, his life back in Arkansaw was over and all he had left was anger and resentment towards the world, no… not the world, one person, the one whom had done all of this to him, his suffering torment and eternal agony. Fregillon was glancing at Maiden ‘A woman’s scorn’ he laughed in his mind, this reminded him of the time he was in China, witnessing a Chinese stand-off - now they where fun times, a bunch of people ready to kill each other and no one daring to move, ohhh… how he loved this tension. ‘So this is Raziel…’ Viona’s thoughts darted round her head ‘didn’t think I would find him this fast, and none too popular either, but what was his business with her…’ her mind stopped for a second ‘previous employer’ if they where the right words to use, she thought maybe woman beater or sack of shit might have been a more fitting title, however, the word Fregillon used to describe Raziel puzzled her mercenary… this word stuck in her brain… mercenary… mercenary, well he was cold enough to be one, could he have been hired to kill his mother… no… she was killed by the street gangs Viona was certain on that, there really was something about his demeanour though - the only word that she could place her finger on was honourable. ‘So you didn’t really want me dead… if not dead, then what…’ Raziel couldn’t figure it out, why was Maiden after her after all this time, she there was history between them, but hell… he didn’t think she would take it like this and why after all this time, it had been over a year, two at most… give or take, how long can someone hold a grudge for. Raziel pondered his option, should he just walk out – no that would only incur more of Maiden’s wrath, take her out – no…bad option, she hadn’t done anything wrong really, nothing he couldn’t handle anyways, what to do with her then, Raziel couldn’t decide so he continued to do nothing. ‘I hate you…I really hate you, you ruined my life and now I have you… but, I can’t do it…yes I can, I can do this…but I really can’t, why are you doing this to me, why am I so weak… no, I am strong… no I’m not, I’m pathetic…I’m nothing…I’m…I’m…’ The doubt was beginning to be too much, why did she go after him, she didn’t know, why he followed her, that was too obvious, he tried to kill her, but did she really try, or was it all a façade to get close to him again, she was unsure of what to do. Maiden’s Breathing eased “So what did you want?” “Clarification” “Hold on, you follow me for no other reason then you want to know why?” “Yeah… pretty much” “You are unreal” “Undead actually” Raziel smiled “You know what I mean” Maiden continued “Why did you do it, why did you do it to me” Raziel gave her a puzzled look “What are you talking about?” “Just over a year ago you…” At that point the large frosted glass window shattered as an object flew threw it, Maiden and Elfinlied spun their backs to the window and raised their hands to shield their heads. Flash rolled off his chair, fell on to his knees and like Maiden and Elfinlied, shielded his head from the shards of flying glass, Fregillon was starting straight at the window the it blew, all he could do was bring his hands up in front of his face whilst thousands of shards bit into him, Viona just sat there, she was well out of the blast radius, she watch the shards fly across the room along with an object, however, she wasn’t able to make out what it was, Raziel just stood there, shards of glass tore at his open flesh and ripped his clothes as they darted by, this didn’t concern him, it was the object that flew in with it. The object was small and oval shaped, jagged spikes could been seen protruding from the smooth circular surface, Raziel watched it’s flight as thought it was in slow motion, the object flew over Fregillon head, passed two rows of tables and impacted against the back wall, there was a dull thud followed by clunk as it hit the floor, it bounced it way under the two tables and came to rest by the feet of Fregillon who starred at it for a second, then his eyes widened “Oh shit!!!” he screamed “Firebomb, get out of here, now!!!” Viona jumped over her table and out the window closely followed by Flash, Elfinlied and Maiden, they all scattered in multiple directions, Raziel calmly and quickly walked out the front door, turn right and then stand just in the alleyway, Fregillon threw himself out the broken window when there was an almightily explosion. All the windows shattered outwards from the force of the blast followed by pieces of chair and cloth, a large fireball blew out of the all the exits, the front door was blown off its hinges. The energy of the blast also blew Fregillon mid-flight out of the window and into the side of a large passenger bus, there was a loud thud and he connected, metal bent inwards abound him and he fell to the ground, leaving his imprint behind, the bus chugged off in the distance, the driver not wishing for confrontation. Fregillon lay there, semi-conscious, he could feel nothing but the rack of pain running threw his body, whoever his him with the sledgehammer when he was down – he wanted their name and number. Raziel came round from the alleyway, still showing the cool, calm composure he has always shown, he stood on front of the pub window and look at the destruction caused, the smell of charred wood, singed cloth and something else, something he knew the smell of, just not so flambéed – flesh, he looked across at the bar and there was the barman still standing there, his hand placed on the worktop, he had been burned into place, the right half of his face had deteriorated under the intense blaze, bone and sinew partially showing under the bloody muscle, the other half of his face a black and charred. Raziel thought what a way to go as the barman’s right eye slid out of his socket and fell to the floor. “Lovely” Elfinlied had returned to examine the damage “Well if your gonna go – might as well go with a bang” She giggled Raziel just looked at her and then shook his head. Viona was next to emerge, she stayed silent, her thought raced in her head, whom had done this, were they after her, did they find him, shit they found him and now she was on the hit list, she looked at Raziel and Elfinlied, maybe they could help and she could also find out about that piece of paper, Viona would wait to see who things unfolded. “Maiden, shit look at this, wow you gotta see this guy, I mean talk about loving your establishment – he died with it, hasn’t even moved, cool.” Elfinlied paused to catch her breath “I mean do you think his bar will go with him to wherever he goes, I mean I know people get attached to places but that is kinda of going over the top, don’t you think” “What? Huh? Hmm Yeah, Whatever” Maiden wasn’t paying attention to her, instead her attention turned to Raziel “Looks like I’m not the only one after you?” Her voice was calm, peaceful given the situation “Why do you think they where after me, don’t you think you could have pissed someone off yourself” The response was just as calm, although Maiden expected as much “True, but I’m not the one with a bounty on my head now am I?” Raziel looked at her and smiled, he knew she had her on that one, there where plenty of people he had pissed off in the past, more then likely one of them would have tried to do something like this if they found him. “Nobody help the dying here then!” Fregillon groaned Everyone turned around to look at him; he was on his knees, one hand covering a wound on his side, blood running down from his forehead and over his left eye. “Mother Fucker that hurt, what the fuck happened, one minute I was drinking the next a bloody firebomb appears and blows the shit out of me” “Wow man, you gonna be ok, you look like shit” Elfinlied walked over to him “Here let me help you up, don’t worry well get you stitched up in no time” “I’ll be fine, I’ve suffered worse” Elfinlied let him go, Fregillon groaned at he stood up, he limped over next to Raziel and Maiden, still holding his side, blood was dripping through his fingers “Who the fuck did this?” Raziel just shrugged, Elfinlied joined them “Maiden and I think that they were after Raziel” “Typical” Fregillon laughed and then winced from the pain, he turned his head to face Raziel “Why is it that wherever you go, trouble follows” Fregillon glanced around “Where’s Flash? I saw him jump out the window” “Don’t know, don’t care” came the calm levelled response from Raziel “Shame, I was kinda getting to like him” “You don’t even know him” “Yeah, I know, but hey gotta take a chance once in a while” “Trust no one but yourself, that way your not relying on anyone” “How sad” Maiden piped “You should always have someone you can fall back on” A deep grunting voice came from behind them “Is everyone just gonna stand there so we be targeted again?” Everyone turned around and there was Flash, standing in the middle of the pavement, arms folded, he had managed to escape the blast with a few minor scraps and cuts along his arms. “Where the hell did you get off to?” Fregillon demanded “Oi curb the attitude, I went to find somewhere he could hide” “Hide, you want me to hide?” Raziel tone was one of pure disgust “I hide from no one” “Ok then, gather our thoughts, if you prefer that, or shall we just stand here so someone else can try and blow us to bits” Maiden butted in “It’s not a bad idea, I have to say” “Yeah Raz, you can then think who wants you crispied” Raziel just looked at Elfinlied “Raz?” “Yeah, it sound good” “Whatever” Raziel had never come across anyone like her before he thought to himself ‘how, in this life, can anyone be so happy and carefree’ he had to admire her though, not too many people could have such a positive outlook on life, he certainly didn’t, however what the point of being happy when all there is in the world is suffering and despair. “What make you all so sure that Raziel was the intended target?” Everyone turned around to Face Viona, her blonde hair had been pulled over one shoulder, bruises still covered her neck and a small line could be seen across her cheek, she stood there holding the berretta she had taken earlier. Fregillon looked at her puzzled “What do you mean?” “I mean exactly what I said, what make you so sure that Raziel was the intended target” “Well…” He paused, what Viona made sense, I mean Patris could be looking for revenge on him, he wouldn’t put it past him to try something like this. “Point taken” “So it is possible that they were after you.” Raziel pointed out “Anything’s possible” Viona responded “But then again.” Raziel looked at Fregillon “They could have been after you, I’m not the only one to piss people of.” Fregillon didn’t respond. Raziel continued “Or perhaps it was you they where after Maiden, you’re not exactly an Angel are you?” Viona stepped in “I sure we could all find reasons why people would want us dead, I suggest we take this big man suggestion, disappear out of sight and figure out what to do.” “The name’s Flash, lady” Viona ignored him “Where is this place then?” “This way” Flash responded Flash led them down the road and then turned right down a small alleyway, after about a minute, he stopped and pulled a heat grate from the side of the wall. “In here, it leads to back of an abandoned building” One by one they went through, Raziel first, sword drawn, followed by Viona, then Elfinlied, Maiden disappeared after her, Fregillon looked at Flash and a smile passed his lips “What a day, beaten, run over and blown up.” Once again we winced from the pain “What a day” and with that bent down and slipped threw the grate closely followed by Flash, who pulled the heat grate back into it original position.

Chapter 9

The bullet exited the chamber of the desert eagle as the trigger was squeezed, it flew threw the air, turning due to the grooves inside the barrel, the bullet impacted a surface, it was soft and had no resistance passing through, however the next obstacle was of a stronger material, bone, still the bullet managed to pass through this and enter a gooey substance, the outer shell of the bullet started to separate into small shards which flew off in multiple directions and at high speed, the shards tore through brain, tissue, sinew and then embedded itself in the skull. The main shell continued to pass though the brain and out the other side finally impacting the back of the skull and exploding out of the back of the head, leaving nothing more then a large hole. The man collapsed to the ground, his eyes still showing a surprised expression, his mouth, slightly open, blood flowed out of both holes and pooled across the floor. A large black polished shoe stepped into the pool of blood, and twisted towards the body, a pair of pin stripped tailored trouser hung neatly over the top of he polished shoes, a matching pin stripped tailored suit jacket, tidily met the trousers roughly three quarters of the way up, a desert eagle was being held by a slightly tanned and slightly lined hand, the hand wasn’t old nor was it the hand of someone young, it was somewhere in the middle, the other hand was in the trouser pocket pulling the tidy jacket behind the arm ruffling it slightly. A white collar protruded ever so slightly over the collar of the jacket, the jacket itself was pulled to and fastened by two buttons on the front, it was a double breasted jacket with the jigger done up, a faux pocket on the upper left chest and the notched lapels coming down and stopping just above the top button holes. A plain jet black tie obscured the clean white shirt underneath, the shirt itself was a cuff linked shirt, the cuffs where pinned in place by two platinum skull, the eyes of the skull held a pair of brilliant fiery red rubies. The left hand came out of his pocket and raised it to his pointy chin, he stroked his facial hair that formed part of his goatee, the facial hair followed the heavy stubble round his thin, tight lips and connected together under his sharp and lightly pointed nose. His frameless thin octagonal glasses on top this bridge of his nose, peering from the glasses where his dark brown eyes, they where slightly narrow and full of malice and hatred faint lines where showing underneath exhibiting further signs of his middle age, his forehead was showing signs of wrinkling and his hairline was high but his ebony black hair was still think and voluptuous, it had been pulled back in a ponytail falling shoulder height. The man took another step threw the blood towards the body, this was followed again by another and another, the steps where small, uniformed, he stood over the body and looked at it, almost examining his handy work, the bullet wound, dead centre in the forehead, he raised the Eagle and pulled the trigger again, a further bullet left the grooved chamber and impacted the man in the chest, there was a dull thud and it penetrated the skin and muscle, blood oozed out of the wound, the black jumper slowly absorbing the thick crimson substance. The chamber emptied a second round from it casing and again the bullet found it mark, next to the other bullet just fired and once again this was followed by a dull thud and more blood, the man on the ground was already dead from the first bullet, but there was something pleasing and therapeutic about releasing your vengeance, a smile passed the mans thin lips. He looked up, the room was large at least forty meters in length and twenty meters wide, the walls were made from metal, aluminium profile cladding to be exact held together by a steel frame that was then integrated into standard brick masonry. Steel poles had been erected upto six meters high and connected by more poles running at ten meters lengths, these length were applied every two meters high forming a large frame, poles where inserted across the breadth every three meters as well as vertically, connecting to the horizontal poles on the next level, a hives of rectangles formed once all the poles had been connected and reinforced aluminium mesh was slotted in the rectangles, creating shelves, the shelving units where place four meters apart from each other and ran the entire length of the building, after every ten meters, there where three meters gaps, creating gangways. The man stood in the intersection of two joining gangways, around him where several other people, he turned to one of them, the man was skinny and ratty, he had a very thin face and a sharp pointed nose, his beady eyes starred at the man in fear. “Get this piece of shit out of my sight” “yes…yes sir” came the response He ran over to the body and picked him up by the arms, blood dripped of the ratty man’s fingers as he dragged him off into the distance, a trail of blood followed. The man being dragged off was the unlucky basterd to have to tell this clean, suit man, that they had failed to eliminate the targeted vampire in the pub, it shouldn’t have been that hard, throw the firebomb in and then watch everyone burn, it was too perfect, what he didn’t realise at the time was that there was more then one vampire present in that pub. He thought that maybe he could place the blame on someone or something else and decided to do just that, the result – a bullet in the head, needless to say the suited man was not impressed with the excuses made.

The florescent strip lighting that illuminated the metallic building reflected off the man’s glasses as he looked at the remaining people, he look was menacing, dark, broody. “What do I pay you people for” Silence answered his question, he walked upto one the man, a short stocky fellow, he was no one then five foot seven inches, his t-shirt stretched out of shape around his bulk of a stomach, his breathing was heavy and short, we wheezed after every breath. “Well?” the man looked down on the fat little man now in front of him. “Umm…” He gulped, sweet beaded down his forehead “I’m waiting” “I…umm…I don’t know.” He murmured “I’m sorry, I don’t think I quite heard you” his tone was precise, every accent was pronounced correctly. “I don’t know” the response was a little more assertive “I don’t know” the man walked away, taking slow steps, he kept muttering to him “I don’t know” his voice was getting slower and slower “I…don’t…know” he huffed, his breath being expelled from his nostrils, he turned back to them “I pay you good money to run a few ‘simple’ errands and the response I get is I don’t know.” he kept his voice calm even though his face was turning a slight shade of scarlet “What do you people take me for” his voice grew louder, angrier “a fucking idiot!!!” Another man of the group piped up, his voice was bold, daring “It’s not our fault if they managed to escape – we did our job as you asked” The suited man looked him and looked back at the floor, the pool of blood from earlier on ran just left of his shiny black polished shoes, a small smile passed his lips “You’re right” He nodded his head to agree with his statement “ You know what, you’re quite right you did exactly what I said” he watched as the trails of blood drizzled down a nearby drainage hole, the blood slowly swirled around the corroded iron grate. He turned his head slightly so he could see this man that would question his, he wore a pair of torn jeans which covered his steel toe capped boots, his black t-shirt hung loosely off his small and wiry body “You did exactly what I said, except for one thing.” He raised his right arm up, fully outstretched, clenched in his hand and turned on it side was the chromed desert eagle, he used his index finger to pull the trigger and send another bullet down the chamber, the bullet flew with grace again spinning in the air, and found it mark right in the middle of the man’s forehead, blood splattered in all directions some of it covering his gang mates, most of it fell harmlessly to the floor, creating a splatter pattern as it dispersed upon impact with the concrete. The man fell to his knees and then keeled over, a crumpled heap on the floor, blood flowed from the hole in his head running over his wide-open brown eyes and matting his shaggy hair. The suited man lowered his arm and tugged gently at the bottom of his suit jacket to tidy it up slightly, he was still looked that the man he had just killed “You fucked up” “Excuse me, Lord Patris” A voice called out from behind him, Patris turned around to face where the voice had come from, A man stood in front of him, like Patris he wore a tailored black suit, black tie, white shirt, polished shoes, however, the cufflinks on his shirt where different, he wore two ace of spades. “Ahh… Icon, please tell me you have better news then these misfits” Icon smiled and nodded “Good, good” came the response from Patris “Come let’s get out of here, before I lose my temper again” Icon looked firstly at the body slumped on the floor, the blood still oozing from bullet hole, the thick red substance was edged it was down and then joining with the other trail of blood that headed down towards the grate in the floor. Icon didn’t always agree with the way Patris ran things, he was at the best of times, violently aggressive, highly demanding and could be a down right arsehole when he wanted to be, however, he had respect for him, he kept order and discipline even though it was with an iron fist, using fear and intimidation to get what he wanted but to get things done in the west sector, you had to be that way. Icon looked at his this person now next to him, he had known Patris for nearly fifty years and had come to consider him as a friend the only one Icon had, he distrusted everybody and everything, someone was always out to get you. “Bad day at the office?” Patris shook his head “Bunch of fucking morons, I should have than all killed” “Do that and you will have no one else to do your errands, you know full well if you want something done you should do it yourself” “Yeah and when I return I find some cocksucker think he’s better then me and try to take control of the city” he glanced over to Icon “No… I can’t take that risk” “If you don’t mind me asking, why are you after him so badly” “Knows too much, about me, this operation, everything and is too much of a liability to be left alive” “What do you want me to do about it?” “Get a merc clan in” Icon looked at his friend, slightly amazed, slightly puzzled “You sure about this, there not cheap and they’re unpredictable, you’d be running quite a risk getting them in” Patris didn’t respond; he was lost in thought, there was one clan he could call upon, they owed him a favour back when he part of the clan wars. After a minute of so, he glanced over to Icon “Contact a man known as Grim Tale, get him and clan to help you out…” Patris paused for a moment – “he owes me a favour” Icon just nodded in agreement. The two walked out of the building to a man wearing black suit, black shoes, black tie, white shirt, button cuffed this time and supporting a hard rimmed hat, we was standing in front of a jet black, metallic car, the window where shaded by a pitch black film that covered the windows. The car was over fifteen feet long running on twenty inch chromed alloys. The man walked over to the rear of the limousine and opened the door. “Good evening sirs” Came the reply from the man Patris ignored him and hunching down, disappeared into the vehicle, Icon nodded to him and followed Patris into the Limo. The man closed the door after Icon and walked around the front of the car, opened the drivers door and slide onto the seat, the keys where already in the ignition, he pressed a button on the side of the door and a screen between the front and the back of the car lowered “Where to sir?” Icon responded “L.A. Towers” “Not a problem sir” he pressed the button in the opposite direction and raised the screen. Icon turned to Patris “Everything will be taken care off, don’t worry about that and about tonight, everything is at hand” “Thank you Icon, at least I can rely on you to do thing properly.” The Limo pulled away from the curb and drove down the road and disappeared out of sight. Machine gun sounds could be heard reverberating round inside the warehouse.

Chapter 10

A light wind blew through Raziel’s black shoulder length matted hair. He was sitting on the angled roof of the building they enter a few hours ago, his long black trench coat flowing gently over the terra-cotta clay tiles that overlapped each other; two nails held the tiles in place and stopped them from slipping off the roof. Raziel looked up at the night sky, the clouds had cleared and there was nothing above him except the stars, they shown in their own little light, all together and yet somehow… all alone, each one never being able to be close to the next one, a sorrow light, each sparkle a tear in the universe crying out or someone to notice it. Raziel felt a little like this, at least he use to a long time ago, he had seen too much to nowadays even care about it, he sometimes wondered if he was completely dead both inside and out, perhaps if was a defence mechanism, he had pissed off a few people in his undead lifetime and no doubt there was also a large bounty on his head should any one be brave enough to try. He lowered his gaze at the stars and drifted his attention down to the street below; the streetlamps dimly lighting the main road, the small amount of electricity required to power them giving off a gentle hum, they bathed the people below with something more then light, it gave them a sense of protection, something to scare the evil that lurked in the dark, the shops threw even more light from their window and re-enforcing the glow emanating from the lamps. The people walked around in their own little world, some where looking in the shop windows, other going home to loved ones, some walking down the road with their loved ones, there where people in suits, people in jeans and t-shirts, or dresses or skirts and tops, there were white and black people all wandering together, blissfully unaware of what the world really did hold, Raziel felt that it was better this was, the dark was a horror to behold for those who really knew about it. Raziel looked at his watch, titanium with a perpetual date run by a tri-lithium battery – state of the art, the titanium band rapped tightly around his wrist, just above the bone, it was quite a thin watch, no more then quarter inch thick, 3.35pm, the slender hands pointed to the corresponding numbers. Raziel looked back across the terrace of houses, their chimneys’ black against the faint darkness, given it was mid summer, the sun’s eerie glow started to appear across the horizon, only really another hours or so before sun rise. “Damn the night too short” Raziel whispered under his breath. A voice came out from behind him, it was soft, almost a whisper “Don’t get frazzled now will you” Raziel recognised the voice, Maiden, he smirked and gently shook his head “Yeah and whilst I’m at it, I’ll make sure to cross running water” Maiden returned the smirk with a small smile, Vampires, unlike what the Hunter’s guide tells you, do not burn up on contact with sunlight, their skin is ultra sensitive to the light and burns very easily – on a hot sunny day a vampire’s skin might take only fifteen to twenty seconds before they start to show initial burns, second degree burns occur after about five minutes and first degree burns after roughly seven. No one really knows why this is; one speculation is that as Vampires prefer the cover of night to hunt and generally maintain their secrets, over generations, they have developed a reaction to photosynthesise, making them more susceptible to the ultra-violet radiation that the sun gives off. Given enough time, the hunters guide might become true, however, scientist state that if this where to happen and the likelihood is – it won’t, nothing will happen for at least another twenty to thirty generations. Other comedies from the handbook state that vampires can’t cross running water, a real joke amongst the Vampire culture, as most do prefer to bathe and keep clean. How about garlic – another handbook speciality – this actually does work, but not for the reasons you think – would you want to go near someone who reeks of garlic? Stake to the heart – yeah – this does kill in the same way that ramming a stake through anyone heart would kill, so to do shotguns, knives, swords, bombs, speeding trucks and collapsing masonry. Yes, The handbook does state that Vampires are quick, fast to recover and strong – and this in part is very true, that said, knock a stone gargoyle off a church spire on to the head of a vampire and the effects will be pretty much the same as dropping a stone gargoyle on the head of a human – lots of blood, splintering bone, shattered stone, big gooey mess and one dead vampire. So the next time you get your hand on a copy of the hunters guide to slaying vampires – remember that most of the book is full of shit and what is true kind of follows the basis rules to life. Maiden stepped on to the roof of the building and sat a few feet away from Raziel, she gazed over the rooftops to the horizon line, Raziel didn’t bother looking at her. “You know it always puzzled me” Maiden voice was clam and serene “Which was?” The response was cold and distant “Why you did it” “Did what?” Raziel knew full well what she meant, but he was enjoying this moment “Don’t play those games – I know them all to well, don’t forget I travelled with you for ten years” “Eleven actually” “There you go again, you always have to be right don’t you?” Raziel didn’t respond, he didn’t really want this conversation; the past as far as he was concerned should stay in the past problem was Maiden wasn’t going to let this go, at least not without a fight. Maiden continued to stare at the lightening horizon, it wouldn’t be long now before she ventured back indoors, back to the darkness, her mind wandered, wandered back into the past.

The aroma of the bitter ground coffee was heaven, A slender hand picked up a small white jug, a white thick liquid was inside; cream, she poured a little into her cup, her pink painted fingernail, rapped around the small handle, she watched as the creamed started to turn the almost black substance a lighter brown colour, she placed the jug back down with a gentle care, picked up a small spoon that was next to the white cup, placed in into the coffee and started to slowly spin the spoon round the rim on the cup, she watched as the light cream mixed with the dark brown coffee and turn it even lighter, the swirls slowly started to dissipate and blend, it was transfixing. “Do you always stare at your coffee like this?” “Sorry” The woman shook her head, slightly, coming back into reality “Really sorry, I was a million miles away” “That much was apparent” The man gazed that this red headed beauty with his dark piercing blue eyes, his thick pulsating lips in a constant smile. His large strong hand picked up the small white cup, his fingers rapped around the cup, brought it to his lips and drank the coffee in one. “Sarah, wasn’t it?” “Yeah” she lowered her head just enough to allow her hair to fall over her face and hide her, she wasn’t use to people taking an interest in her, well not in a good way anyhow. It didn’t go unnoticed “You like doing that, don’t you?” “What” “Hiding, if you don’t mind me asking, what are you scared of?” “Nothing” Her response was quick and almost breathless “Sorry, didn’t mean to pry” She looked at him, he looked genuinely concerned for her, but why, he didn’t even know her. “Why do you care so much? I mean you don’t even know me.” A smile broke from the man’s face “I don’t like to see people unhappy, I suppose it just who I am, I always say you should be yourself and don’t let anyone change that.” Sarah paused at that statement, be yourself, she could never be herself, she always had to be someone else in order to fit in somewhere. “What if you can’t be yourself, what then?” The man thought to himself for a minute “Then I would ask, are you changing for you or for someone else” The question caught Sarah unaware, its was a rather bizarre question to ask “umm…” Sarah looked down at her coffee, she hadn’t drunk any and this conversation was starting to make her feel a little uneasy, someone was delving into her psyche, perhaps he was trying to analyse her, she if she was good enough for the world, good enough for him maybe, she wasn’t sure, all she knew was, she didn’t want to be here. “I’ve… I’ve gotta go, I’m sorry, I can’t be here, I’m really sorry, I’m…” Sarah hastily rose out of the chair, banging her knee on the underneath of the table, she winced from the shock of the pain, the coffee spilt over the rim of the cup, flowing onto the red and white chequered tablecloth. Sarah ran out of the front doors, making a left down the main street and quickly turned down a side alley, she leaned up against the wall, exhausted, trying to catch her breath, she wasn’t quite sure what she had just done, she kept thinking to herself ‘ why couldn’t I just give a straight answer’, she always knew she was a bit different, she was used to it, the ridicule, the torments, but was he just trying to be nice, get her to open up, she didn’t know, it scarred her to think that someone would want to her, maybe it was better if he forgot about her, she could fade away into the distance again, no one had to know her again. The pain was still there, her leg was killing her, but she didn’t care, she turned and looked down the alley way, it was full of garbage bags, sunlight lit the alley allowing her to see then end of the passage, she limped down, her knee bursting shots of pain up her body, she managed half way down her thoughts still continuing to haunt her ‘why did he care so much’ or ‘did he have to be so bloody nosy’ the final one caught her though ‘Am I always going to be alone’ this though got stuck in her though, she stopped and leant against the wall ‘I’m always going to be alone… I really really am, who would want me.’ She felt a tear runs from the corner of her eye and down her thin cheek line ‘I’m just a freak and I know that no one will want me’ and with that though she collapsed onto the ground, head in her hands, sobbing. A few minutes passed and Sarah hadn’t moved, in fact she hadn’t stop crying, the thought of being alone was just too much, the fact that a really great looking guy was just trying to be nice was just the icing on the bitter cake she hated it, what she was, why couldn’t she be like anyone else, it would be so much easier.

A shadow cast over Sarah, there was someone there, a mugger, murder or rapist maybe, she didn’t care, perhaps they would do her a favour, a strong masculine hand gently clasped her shoulder “I’m sorry, I didn’t to pry, didn’t mean to hurt you” Sarah didn’t look at him, it was Stephen, the calm voice and strong demeanour, but why was he here, did he follow her, she couldn’t understand why, why would anyone want to follow her. Her voice quivered “It’s wasn’t what you said, it’s what I thought. No one has ever wanted to show an interest in me.” She breathed in, her breath shuddering and her tears still falling, she still refused to show her face to him, she refused to let someone look at her in this vulnerable state. “I’m showing you an interest” Stephen knelt down next to her, she turned her head slightly, still refusing to show her fragility. “Why… Why would you even want to look at someone like me” “Maybe I actually like you, I noticed you walk by the garage everyday and I know you always kept looking at me” “But you are so…” Sarah lost her words again “Go on” The voice was again soft and caring “Good looking, you should be with someone that looks as good as you” “Maybe I have found someone that I think is as good as I am.” Sarah still couldn’t let herself be brought in by this man, he was too perfect, he was handsome and caring, he was to good for her. “Why would you want me?” “Ever since I first saw you pass the garage, there was something about you, you’re different from the other women, you care more about personality then looks” “How do you know that, how do you who what I’m like” “Don’t know really, just a feeling I suppose” Sarah slightly turned her head towards him, she wanted to look at him, hold him, and feel safe and secure, something she had never felt, maybe he really did care about her. She smiled and let slip a little laugh “A feeling? You want to be with me on a feeling?” “Well, I don’t really know you, never really met you, so I have to go on something” He smiled “A feeling it is then” She turned her head to look at him, he was smiling that radiating smile she enjoyed whenever she passed that garage. “Come on, I still owe you that coffee” he looked passed her red swollen eyes and the smeared eye shadow and could see her and her glowing beauty. “I’m sorry I look a mess” “What mess?” “You know what I mean” she knew he was just being nice They both stood back up, he kept his gaze on her the entire way “Come on, lets get out of here” They look a step and Sarah knee gave in, she started to fall and was caught by Stephen’s strong arms “Sorry, I must have really hurt my knee when I smacked it against the table” “Here, let me help” He placed his arm under her arms and allowed her to use him as a support. Together they walked down to the end of the alley was and disappeared out of sight.

Maiden continued to look at the rising sun until the light started to hurt her eyes, she turned to look at Raziel, his black hair slowly blowing in the gentle breeze, he eyes still focused straight ahead. Maiden stood up and walked back towards the open door on the roof, she was just about to walk in when she turned back to Raziel “The past isn’t always as painful as you think, perhaps you would do well to remember your own” Maiden then disappeared into the darkness. Raziel though about her words for a few minutes before standing up himself and walking through the door, the rays of the sun rose to bring is light to the roof of the building, the morning had arrived.

Chapter 11

The pulsating noise started to become irregular, beating faster and faster, trying desperately to cling on to its last moments in life, pulling the blood through its arteries, strong and harder, the blood flow was lessening, it had no knowledge of what was going on, only that its nourishment was being ebbed away at an alarming rate, the veins in the body working overtime to pump the blood into the right atrium, the atrium then pushing the de-saturated blood through the tricuspid valve and into the right ventricle. The ventricle collected the much-needed blood and pushed it through into the lungs. From the lungs the required oxygen was mixed into the blood whist removing the carbon dioxide and purifying the blood, ready to be pushed round the body. The blood entered the veins and immediately began to be pulled upwards, through the main jugular; it was impossible to fight against the pull, the haemoglobin was being sucked up through this main vein, it reached an opening and began to spurt though it at high velocity. The blood breached the skin and poured down a slender neck, flowing down the front of her white cloth shirt, which was now stained a deep crimson, once the blood couldn’t absorb into the fabric any longer, it ran further down the v-necked shape shirt, passed over and in between her ample breasts, down past her stomach and until it reached the bottom of her top, there is formed into a droplet and fell to the ground with a dull splat. Drop after drop fell and formed into a puddle on the floor, her bare feet were kicking and sliding on the blood as she desperately tried to find her footing and wiggle herself free from her attacker. The tips of her blonde hair started turning a dull rusty red and started matting together and the blood started to twine itself in amongst the blonde, she cried, tears flowing from her deep blue eyes, her pale white face being stained black from her mascara as it ran down her slender cheek bones and passing her gentle ruby red lips. She only wanted one thing – to be with her mother, it was her fifteenth birthday today and it was going to be a big party, however, she had a fight, a major fight with her mother over the silliest little thing and she ran out of the house, all she wanted was to be held by her, loved by her, not to be here. The grasper bit down even harder on her neck, she young girl let out a scream of pain, and a smile passed the young mans lips, he was enjoying this, the pain, the suffering, he knew how she felt, he knew the how this would end, he had been there; only he would give her the salvation he wasn’t granted. The salvation he once yearned, the salvation he begged for, the salvation his bitch of a sister wouldn’t give him, the sister who only cared about herself and not wanting to be alone in this world, the sister that would damn him for eternity in this body of undeath. A small amount of blood flowed out of his mouth and ran passed his thin nearly pointed chin, the blood contrasted against his ashen white skin, but then again so did his sapphire blue eyes and short curly blonde hair. There was a further whimper came from the young girl and the young man withdrew his fangs from her neck and she slumped in his arms, exhausted and glad that it was over, maybe now he would let her go, let her back to her mother and never see this nightmare again. “You do know that she is only about fifteen, if you lucky” the voice was soft yet firm “Pure blood is always the best, you taught me that sis.” His reply was cold, calculated, there was a real intelligence about him. “I taught you to survive, not to indulge in your young girl fantasies” He smiled “Do I sense a touch of jealousy from my lovely older sister” he emphised the older, knowing that this would infuriate her, he found it fun to annoy her. “How many more times do I have to say it - we’re twins you idiot, you know that, I was born like minutes before you” her purple eyes were glaring at him. “Still make you older, those – doesn’t it” “Grow up Lestat, I’m tired of this” “I can’t – I’m dead, you made sure of that didn’t you Lys.” “Oh my god, I can not believe you are bringing that up again, its been like what three thousand years ago, what do you expect, I was young, naïve and being chased by the senate, what do you expect” She stopped to gather her thoughts “Look, I didn’t want to leave you alone with no one, don’t forget mama and papa abandoned us and left us for dead, I raised you, looked out for you, got us food and shelter, I worked till my fingers bled for you, and when I was turned into this, I wasn’t going to leave you, no ever, so I brought you with me for eternity.” Lestat looked at his sister “Do you really feel that way sis” “How many times do I have to tell you, you mean more to me then anyone and I will kill anyone that would say otherwise.” For all of Lestat’s mouthy antics he still relied heavily on her, she was right, every since they where in their early teens, she had looked after him and for all the aggravation he gave her, he loved her for it. The twins where born and raised in Rome, which was still under the watchful eye of the great Caesar, the emperor of all of Rome, a powerful and mighty country, Rome looked to conquer all of the known world, Lys was born under the name Lysandra Alexandra Tiberius and Lestat was under the name of Marcius Octavius Tiberius, he changed it in the late twentyth century after a film about vampires, in fact he changed his whole aprearance to minic this Lestat, hair, dress sense, soft speech, he didn’t know what it was, but he like him and all the fun he had. He was going to carry this name forever. The Tiberius family was strong, rich and powerful, a strong name and their father was an even stronger leader, however, we couldn’t risk this strenght bleeding into the ranks of lesser names and everyone according to Octavius Mercius Tiberius was lesser then he, His son who would named after him, his power and his greatness, would one day lead this family so Octavius himself could one day become Caeser, that was until one day his son desided that he didn’t want to fight hoards of men and die for some family honour. Octavius’s proudest possesion shattered in an instant, he tried to presuade the young man to change his mind, but the stubborn youth would have none of it. Octavius beat Mercius over and over again, each time shattering and breaking, Mercius would huddle into the corner, cowering from the rage his father would fly in everytime he saw his useless son, after the beating Lysandra would hold and cuddle him, whist he cried for being so weak, he wanted to be like the other boys, strong and loyal to family, carving a name for himself in the great roman history, but he couldn’t he didn’t want to fight and die. Everyday the same beating and everyday Lysandra would hold him and she herself would shed a tear, Marcius was slowly being beaten to death by his own father and there was nothing she could do about it. This continued until Marcius turned thirteen, his father had stopped the beating two years ago and had now completely ignored his, as far as Octavius was concerned, Marcius ceased to be a part of the family, his mother was taken her own like the previous winter after Octavius lost his postion as head of the guards, forced out of their grand home and into a small squaller, they unded up living like peasents, something his mother could not face. Octavius being a strong proud man, took up work as a blacksmith, he was going to work his way back up the ranks and back into a postion of power. Lysandra had grown into the starting of a beautiful teenanger, her hair was long and black, her hazel eyes escentuated her thin face and narrow cheek bones, she would help around the house, clean, cook and do everything that her mother had taught her, however, like her father she was strong of character and not afraid to answer back, several times being on the back end of her father’s hand. It was during this summertime that thing changed, it was the Lysandra’s birthday and her father was busy getting everything perpared, this was going to be a special day for her. Lys tried to convince her father to hold one for Mercius, however, he would have none of it, he was to spend the day in the cellar, out of sight. The day came and went, her father threw a big party for her and left Mercius with the rats, Lysandra couldn’t help but notice how sad she felt without her brother by her side. The night came and Mercius looked through the bars in the window looking up a the moon, he wished there was a way out of this, he hated it here and he hated his father, he just wished he would drop dead, the olny time he saw anyone was to brng up another keg of beer, no doubt so his father could wash away his memories of him. The moonlight shown on his face and he closed his eyes to listen to the sweet sounds of the night, the owls hooting, bats flying around in the tree, the high pitch scream of fear, panic and despration, that scream, he knew it, it was Lysandra, another high pitched wail emerged, panic and fear filled Mercius and he runsed to the door, he grabbled the handle, it opened, his father obvously forgot to lock it, another scream of pain, he quickly looked around the room, his father’s sword, perhaps he could now show his father what he was really made of, he grabbed it round the leather hilt and rushed up the stairs, the sounds where coming from her room, he ran to the door and could hear another person with her, was she being attacked, he gritted his teeth and kicked the door, the bolt snapped and the wood splintered round the lock, Mercius starred at the sight he saw, Lysandra was lying on the bed, her own father on top of her, Octavius looked surprisinly at his son “Get out, get out of here now!” he bellowed “Mercius, please help me, please” her eyes were filled with tears, her face full of panic “Please….” Mercius drew the sword and pointed it at his father “Get off her you sick bastard” Octavius stood up and brought himself to his full six foot four inches height “You know nothing, you are not apart of this strong family and no one will taint it with scum blood, I warned you to get out, now do it or I will make sure that your sister becomes an only child” The sword shook in Mercius’s hand, he was angry, angrier then he had ever felt, so angry that he, for the first time in his life, wanted to kill “No…” his voice was quiet, yet firm and resolved “No… you will not harm her, you will not harm my sister, you are nothing more then a sick bastard, brazened in a glory that you will never have.” His father laughed “And let me guess, you’re gonna stop me” he burst out laughing “You feeble little shit, give it your best shot, and if you don’t, I will make sure that your sister truly knows what it means to be a woman” Mercius screamed a high pitch wail and charged his father, bringing the sword over his head, he swung with all his might and brought the sword down, it his the stone floor with a clang, his father had just stepped a side, Mercius face was met with a large menacing fist, it knocked him back several feet and he fell to the ground, about him, his father, red faced, was standing over him, a menacing smile was plastered on his face, Mercius reached for the sword he had dropped, it wasn’t there, he had let go on the hilt when his father hat punched him, he had nothing to defend himself with. “I am going to enjoy this, for years you have let me down, the son I never wanted, a weak pathetic feeble little boy I gonna do something I should have done years ago, end your pathetic excuse for a life” Octavius approached Mercius, his fists clenched, murder in his eyes, Mercius shuffled himself backwards, fear in his eyes, panic stricken, he didn’t want to die – not here and not now, then he hit something hard, cold and stone, it was the wall, he wasn’t going anywhere, his father approached slowly and twisted smile across his face, Mercius closed his eyes, waiting for the killer blow, then a loud scream followed by a sharp intake of breath and then a gasping cough, Mercius opened his eyes to find his father on his knees, blood pouring out of his mouth and his stomach, from out of his stomach was a large piece of pointed metal, the blade of a sword, his father’s sword, but how, his father slumped forward onto the stone floor, dead, the hilt of his sword protruding from out of his back, Lysandra standing over top of him, rage and tears filled her eyes, she was shaking from all the hatred she felt for him “Leave my brother alone” she spat at the lifeless corpse. Mercius looked at her, he couldn’t believe when she had just done, he stood up walked over to her and embraced her in a hug, filled with emotions both twin sat back on the bed and cried – they had just killed their father, and it wasn’t tear of sadness, it was tears of joy and release.

Lestat smiled, it was true that Lysandra was always on the lookout for him, sometimes he just didn’t care for it “Say just out of interest where did you disappear the to other night?” Lysandra looked at him for a minute then smiled “No where special, just…” She thought her words carefully “Out to have a little fun” “Out to ruin someone’s life no doubt” “Something like that” Lestat looked at her sister, her jet black and midnight purple hair complementing those deep purple eyes, she still had her slender figure was accentuated by the tight leather corset she wore round her middle, the top of her perfectly formed breasts where pushed together for show, her short leather skirt allowed her to show off her long thin legs, her calf muscles toned and stopping just below the knee where her tight laced up boots. “Lestat” “Yeah?” “You actually gonna let that girl go” The girl smile to herself, she was soon going to go home and forget all this happened “Yeah” Lestat smiled, he lifted her chin by the one hand, grabbed the top of the shoulder with the other and spun her neck around a full one hundred and eighty degrees, she fell in her own pool of blood, the small smile of home still on her face. “That’s not quite what I meant” “I know, but I didn’t want to give her the choice that I had to make all those years ago” Lestat smiled “And besides, we all know humans are just disposable resources” “What do I do with you?” “Praise me, hug me and then let me go and play” Lestat’s voice never deviated from his cool calculated demeanour. “I do that anyways” The both stepped over the body and headed for the front door of the abandoned house, standing at the entrance was a man in a pinstriped suit, he stared at the dead girl for a minute and looked at the twins “Lysandra, Lestat, Patris had requested that you came with me, he requires your help in a matter” “What if we don’t want to help?” Lestat piped up “We’ll help” Lysandra responded ignoring his brother “Very good” came the reply from the suited man, he turned to walk out “Icon.” “What” “Tell Patris, whatever it is, we will be even” Icon nodded his head, with his back still to the twins, he walked out of sight “What was that all about?” asked Lestat “Nothing, just paying back an old debt, care to help?” “Yeah, of course, whatever it is I’m sure the Family of Darkness can help” “Yeah, let go get the rest of the family and tell the, to possible suit up for a fight” Lestat nodded and the two walked out of the front of the house and disappeared into the darkness.

Chapter 12

“You have got to be fucking kidding me” came the blurted expletive out of Fregillon mouth “They could have been after you or anyone else for that matter” “True, true, but I think you are the most likely target, well you and Raziel anyway, I haven’t done anything to piss anyone off” The cool response came from Elfinlied “Elfinlied, we have no real way of knowing who they where after” Flash replied “No, No hold on mate, lets see what else she has to fucking say, she wants to accuse me of nearly getting us all killed, I want to hear what else she had to fucking say” “Look, you where working for a crime boss, and not just anyone, it was the top brass, Raziel said it himself before all this happened, so perhaps you pissed him off of something, I don’t know, you just seem to be the most likely suspect and you always have to….” She cut her sentence short seeing that Fregillon eyes had turned bloodshot with rage. “Always have to what?” His voice you quiet, slow and full of anger “Umm…” she didn’t want to answer him. Flash stepped in “Fregillon, look getting angry won’t solve anything” “No but ripping her little fucking spiky head off her shoulder will do” he curled his lip in a sort of half smile. A voice responded from an entrance way at the back of the room “Lay a finger on her and I will personally make sure that the thing you like to call a manhood is painfully and slowly removed and stuffed down your neck, do I make myself clear” Fregillon looked at the figure in the doorway, he threw his hands up and shrugged his shoulders “Fine, whatever, I don’t really give a shit anymore” Elfinlied bounced over to the figure in the darkness “Thanks Maiden, I owe you one” She rapped her arms around the red headed beauty and gave her a mighty hug. Viona stood up, tugging her tight jeans down a little “Look we are all suspects here as to who the attacker was after, for all we know it could be a couple of people, I mean, you have Raziel, I think most of L.A. is after him for one reason or another, then you have Fregillon, your mouth runs faster then anything I know, Maiden…”She paused for a minute “There is your attitude problem and I pretty sure that Raziel hasn’t been your first target for Vampire Hunters eh?” Maiden clinched her fists but stayed quiet, Viona continued “What about you Flash, what have you done” Fregillon stepped in “Flash has done nothing, he was only turned a short time ago and what about you, your so fucking quick to judge everyone else, they could be after you” Her voice remained calm “Would it surprise you to know that I am no different then Flash, I was turned about six months ago, however my demon are before that time, Flash could be no different” “He’s not like that, are you Flash?” Flash just looked at the ground, Fregillon looked at him “Flash? …” he paused “So what’s you past troubles then?” Flash looked at him “Nothing, I’ve done nothing, it’s just…” He paused, a sadness filled his heart “I just want to know who killed my partner, that’s all I live for now.” Fregillon looked at Flash with concern and turned back to Viona “See, so that rules out Flash and as far as the killer goes, I said I would help him out.” “The facts still haven’t changed, anyone one of us could have been the target, any one of us could have at some point in time pissed off the wrong person” “That’s true Viona, but remember that in the end the light will always purge the darkness” The voice was deep, still calm. Viona turned round to face Raziel. “You really are an enigma rapped in a riddle, covered by a question aren’t you?” Raziel for once had the puzzled look “Pardon?” “It’s nothing, forget I said anything” Viona’s hands where placed in her pockets, fiddling with the piece of paper. Her thought’s started to wander ‘How did he know her captor, he doesn’t seem like the sort of person that would associated with those types of people’ This thought plagued her, he was gonna have to ask, but not know, later, yes, definitely later. “Yo Raz, what did you and Maiden talk about, getting all smoochy up there eh?” “I think not” came the immediate reply from maiden, Raziel smiled to himself. Flash piped up “What about this firebomb, anyone have any more ideas on the where it would come from.” Silence reverberated around the room, no one really had any idea, it could have been any one, too many suspects, too little time to eliminate them all. “One things I still don’t get” Fregillon stepped up “how did someone know we would all be there, I’m mean, we couldn’t have all been followed, could we?” “Eh? Duh, you dip, like we first said, they were only after like one of us.” Elfinlied sarcasticness returned. “Shut the fuck up!” The response was immediate. “Wow, problem much.” Viona stood there with one hand on her forehead, listening to the bickering of the two, the insults, the comments, they where like two little kids, it was enough to give anyone a headache. “Would you two please, please just shut up.” Her voice was calm, steady and quiet, Viona looked at the two of them. They paused and looked back with puzzled expressions on their faces, but they were silent “Right…” Viona Paused “In order to figure anything out, we need to trim down the suspects and to do that we need to retrace our steps. “Literally?” Elfinlied immediately clamped her hands over her mouth and mumbled an apology; Viona ignored her outburst The Blonde haired beauty continued “What Fregillon said might not be as far from the truth as possible, it is foreseeable that one person is behind all of this. We have to eliminate all the people in this room without connections to people who would want us dead.” “Lay a finger on me lady and I’ll rip you fucking head off, ain’t no one eliminating me!” Fregillon blurted at Viona. “You stupid F…” Viona closed her eyes for a moment and breathed in deeply, in nothing else to stop her hit the complete idiot, she composed herself “Not quite what I meant, we need to rule out people that have no connections to say for example crime lords, drug barons, people with power, that sort of thing – you follow.” The response was mainly blank stares with the exception of Maiden and Raziel who looked at each other and smiled. “Well hey look lady, I’m new to this, so I ain’t done nothin’.” Flash piped “Don’t be too sure about that darling” The voice was new in the room. Everyone turned around to see where it came from, standing there was a tall female, at least six feet, her long purple and black hair swirled about her slender body. Her composure was calm, sedate, she worn a tight black leather corset, which met a very short leather skirt, she thighs were toned and muscular, and rippled down to her black knee-high boots. “Who the fuck are you? A jacked up whore on Halloween?” Fregillon snorted The woman ignored him and looked straight at Raziel “Why do you allow yourself to deal with such petty little commoners? You are far above them you know” Her voice was soft, seductive. “Really?” Raziel raised his eyebrows “Oh come on now, I’ve been following you for nearly five hundred years, you don’t think a gal wouldn’t get to know you in that time do you?” Everyone looked at Raziel. “Five hundred years…” Elfinlied mouthed “Five hundred…” she couldn’t believe it Fregillon however has able to finish what she wanted to say “Fuck me man, Five hundred fucking years old, you old basterd, even I didn’t think you where that old” A polite sigh came from the woman “You people really are pathetic and narrow minded aren’t you” she didn’t even bother to raise a tone in her voice, this was now boring her. “I do not believe that everyone has been along for as long as you or Raziel, I believe that it just comes as a shock as you do not look over twenty-five – obviously some of us have a lot to learn.” Viona commented at this dark haired beauty “Finally, someone with some respect…” Raziel stepped in “Ok look cut the crap, what do you want; this conversation crap is staring to bore me.” “What makes you so sure that I want anything.” “Hmm… let me see, Leader of the Family of Darkness, three thousand year old vampire, raised in Rome, if I’m correct, where is your sidekick otherwise known as Le Stat, still out chasing the young girls, that boy needs to grow up.” “Leave Le Stat out of this” She answer through gritted teeth, and then re-changed he demeanour “Other then that, well done on the homework” She smiled Maiden responded in the background “Who are you then? You know so much about us? Yet we know nothing about you?” “No love, I know nothing about most of you, your nothing, brought to this life in a moments passion, left sculling the earth like a parasite, lost and forever roaming, I don’t want to know you. Raziel… not you are different, what is someone once said about you, oh yeah…” the edge of her midnight purple lips curled “A riddle rapped in a puzzle. Quite true if you ask me. Who am I; he knows” She exclaimed nodding her head towards Raziel. Once again everyone turned to face him. “That is…” “The fucking bitch that killed her” The outburst was full of hatred and malice, everyone turned to find Flash, his eyes where bloodshot red, his muscles bulging, the tear mark where appearing in his chequered shirt “Now I’m gonna kill you!!!” He ran towards her fist raised, with in less then a second he had traversed the entire length of the of the room, his fist came down and met squarely against her chest. The Dark haired woman was sent flying through the air and came to a sudden stop impacting the wall, she crumpled to the ground, the stone work behind her caved in and crumbling. Flash didn’t stop, and other loud scream of anger and other charge to attempt to finish her off, his foot came round for a strong kick to her head, however, it never landed, instead it was him that got flung the though the air, impacting one of the stone support pillars, the impact was followed by a loud crack as well as stone dust and debris, as the dust settled, Flash was unconscious, the stone pillar has been completely destroyed. “Touch my sister again, and I’ll kill you.” A boy of no more then sixteen stood in front of the woman on the floor, his blonde hair matted, we wore ruffled clothing that looked to be dated from the nineteenth century, he bend town and carefully helped her up. Blood was dripping from the side of her mouth. “Thanks” she mutter “Lets get out of here.” She turned to Raziel “This isn’t over darling, you just wait and see, I promise you that.” The pair started to walk out the opening of the doorway, she stopped “oh one more thing, keep that thing on a leach next time, play things don’t bite” She gave a quick smile and the pair disappeared.

“Raziel, lets get the fuckers, I ain’t gonna take being pushed around like that, are you?” Fregillon demanded “Leave it Fregillon, it’s not worth it, there will be another time, I suggest you see to Flash, I think he will need you help, and some explanation as to what happened.” Maiden responded Fregillon nodded, he actually for once saw then sense she was making. He rushed over to help his friend. “Raziel, Maiden, I’m confused, I too was only turned no more then six months ago, what happened, I mean Flash seemed to be the really quiet type.” “It’s complicated…”Maiden said “All vampires have a sort of dormant ability, or a power or something, I don’t really know what it is, but it is in our blood when we really need it. It will tend to ‘activate’ when we are at the most extreme of emotion, rage and searing hatred rather then just anger, the deepest depression rather then just sadness, it hard to say exactly what triggers it, Flash’s was trigger by the hatred he felt for that woman, why?, I do not know, I will find out though, Vampire ‘powers’ can be increase strength, toughness, speed and there are others, I know Raziel uses his power to absorb these and use them to his own use, As you learn these ‘powers you will be able to control them more and soon they will become second nature, reason why that little boy could throw Flash forty feet and through a stone pillar.” Viona looked are her “Ok… I think I get it and I think that I have seen something of this power with myself, I felt that I could move faster then the wind itself… but that was only because…” She paused, not wanting to finish the sentence. Elfinlied walked over Raziel, Maiden and Viona “Who where those two, man they had some serious chip on the shoulder issues.” Maiden glanced at Raziel “Who where those two, they seemed to know you rather too well” Raziel glanced back at her and then re-averted his gaze back to the empty door “Too well…indeed” “Well Raziel who where they” He paused and without moving his gaze from the door “Lysandra and Le Stat”

Chapter 13

“God dammit sis, you should have let me have them, I could have taken them.” The frustration on Le Stat’s thin face was clear; his light blue eyes hinted a deep fire, a real yearning for life. “Some of them, but how long before they overpowered you, then you would have been in some hot water.” Her response was calm, collected, then again that was always the way, had been for the past three thousand years. Lysandra had always been the sedate collective type, every action had to be studied, pondered, calculated, she wasn’t a go get them sort of person and had no intention of ever being one. She liked sexiness and wasn’t scared of showing her tight, slender body off to get her own way, not that anyone got the advantage, the rules where always hers and she never lost to anyone. Le Stat on the other hand was different, if there was a fight, it was usually Le Stat that started it and for the most part, it was for no other reason then to cause a bit of chaos in the mundane daily routine of life and more times then not, it was Lysandra that bailed him out, either from taking on too much trouble or from the joke that was the law enforcement. Le Stat pondered his sister’s words carefully, not often he did this, but on the rare occasion it happened “Maybe you’re right, maybe I could have taken them, but if you helped we could have, rather then goggling over Raziel” “Whatever, I’m not getting into that argument again, he fascinates me, how one person can be respected and hated as much as he for keeping himself to himself.” “Yeah yeah – you fancy him” “Do not” “Do to” “Oh you’re infuriating” The frustration showing on her face “Three thousand years and you still fight a discussion with something so childish” Le stat smiled “But it works, you’re so easy to wind up sis, relax, take it easy. Anyhow we need to get back to the rest of them before they start to panic, you know what they’re like, Auriga will pacing back and forth and no doubt remind you of your responsibilities to the clan, Sparx will most likely hit me again for dragging you out so close to the daybreak and Shaza…” He shook his head “Shaza will most likely be in the corner crying thinking I’ve pulled you out into a fight and got us both killed.” Lysandra looked at her brother, a small smile passed her purple coloured lips; it was true that the clan would worry but not to the extend that her brother was over emphasising, such was Le Stat’s over flamboyant nature that everything was over the top, The end of the World is coming he would shout – when actually it was Krakatoa blowing itself apart. The Ice age is upon us was next – when it was just a long winter. Life with Le Stat was never boring. “Sis…you’ve phased out on me again” Le Stat commented Lysandra was always the parent in the brother/sister relationship, she had always taken care of Le Stat and bailed him out of the troubles he put himself into, ‘one day’ she always thought ‘his will grow up and realise that life is real, dead or otherwise. The pair had been around for over three thousand years and unlike Le Stat, she had realised that life was not one big game, she had her fun, but was usually careful with it, however, her latest plaything caught her off guard as she gently nursed the swollen lip injury she sustained from Flash. “Helloooooo…anybody there?” The sarcasticness of her brother’s voice rang loud and clear. She turned and face him “What? I’m here alright” there was a slightly sharp edge to her tone, her brother ignored it, he knew how hot headed she could be. “Nothing… just making sure you where still with me” Lysandra could feel a small amount of rage burning in her; it wasn’t intentional she just couldn’t help it; she just huffed and looked the other way. She peered round at her surroundings the dull grey breeze block walls showing the lifelessness of the empty building which her and Le Stat where hiding in, a building that was not more then three buildings away from Raziel and Co. There where no windows to this place just a door to a concrete staircase with only one direction - up, the walls where musty and damp, large patches of water had stained breezeblock a darker shade of grey, apart from a few chairs and boxes, this place was empty and had been so for a while. Lysandra wasn't happy, she wasn't used to hiding in basements, but it was either that or a slow and painful death at the hands of the sun, under those circumstances - the basement was looking rather nice. She looked at her watch, 10.55am, too long to wait until she sun set, but there was nothing to do except talk to her brother, it had been a while since they both really talked, a proper brother to sister chat, she felt that they had spend too long together, but letting Le Stat go would be like signing his death warrant, he was just to free and easy and it would get him kill in the end. 10:56am - the twenty four carat embroidered pocket watch ebbed the minutes for her, just give it a minute and they will start to go backwards, Lysandra gave a faint smile, she had had this time piece for nearly two hundred and fifty years; given to her saving a governors daughter from kidnappers. Le Stat loved that day, more victims then he knew what to do with. The reward money was also nice, helped her move from England to the United States. 10:58am - 'ohh' she thought another two minutes had passed, she looked over to Le Stat, he was busy pulling his Magnum apart, cleaning it and putting it back together, a ritual he did every night, but as you couldn't sleep on concrete - far too uncomfortable it allowed him to occupy his time - probably for the better. 10:59am - Lysandra looked over at the boxes, brown and cardboard, part of the box had been torn and exposed the corrugated design holding the two boards together, funny stuff cardboard, they were like humans, really weak, but everyone loved them 11:01am - 'Damn' she thought 'Just missed eleven' 11:02am - Lysandra watched a droplet of water fall from a crack in the wall, she studied the crack - nothing else to do with the time - it was small no more then two millimetres in width, but ran have the length of the twelve foot high wall, another droplet fell from the crack, the translucent water drop amplifying everything behind it, only it was distorted, kind of how she felt, see though, only when you looked at her is was all twisted and not in proportion. 11:05am - her long dark purple and black hair blew ever so slightly from a gust of wind, she watched Le Stat, he was sitting on one of the chairs, an office chair, one of those armless ones with a wheel attached to each of the five legs, it's dark and dusty covering through years of neglect hid the racing green fabric. Le Stat was whizzing up and down the room, every time he passed her another gust followed. Again she smiled, sometimes it’s fun to be a child, but this just reminded her why she needed to look after him. 11:11am - watching Le Stat was time comsuming, one one one one, nice time, she flipped the gold watchcase and covered the time face. She looked at the room again - nothing had changed, the crack was still dripping and the boxed hadn't moved - check that - one thing had changed, Le Stat had fallen off the chair after trying to go too fast, she was glad to see that at least the laws of physics hadn't changed. She pulled the watch back out and flipped the case open again 11:13am - The watch was almost like a addiction, when she was bored this single little thing gave her something she lacked - time, knowing she was immortal meant that technically time had no meaning, nice to have something to give some realisation. 11:14am - Nearly twenty minutes had passed 11:16am - Twenty minutes had now passed, Lysandra looked at her boots, the black laces where staring to fray around the eyelets, she made a mental note to purchase some new ones. 11:17am - ' I really should say something to my Brother, but I'm only going to get a retort, I mean he never lets me finish always has to have the last word and tries to finish my battles and never leaves me alone!' She hit her fist against the ground and looked over to her brother, he had stacked the boxes up and was jumping on top of them. 11:19am - 'Well that rant help kill a few minutes' looking back at the watch, the face was an intricate design, she could see all the moving part, the wheels and cog slowing moving the passage of time, this watch had no battery, it had to be wound, turned, it needed someone’s attention to keep working. 11:19am - Le Stat was still busy in the boxes, was he that bored or just being a three thousand year old child, she wasn't sure and if she was perfectly honest, she didn't care. 11:19am - She looked at her watch, man this minute is going slow. 11:19am - Like her - the watch had stopped; frozen in time with nowhere to go, for the first time Lysandra felt old, three thousand years definently qualified you into the hall of fame, but this was the first time she had even thought about it. She tried to wind the watch to get it started again, it wouldn't turn, she swore under her breath - this would have to be fixed, no questions. Maybe she was like this watch, broken. "Sis?" A voice called over to her "Yeah" the return reply was saddened "You ok?" "Yeah" "You sure" "Yeah" The response was a little more uplifting and she gave Le Stat a small smile - it was all a facade - but better that her brother didn't know how she truly felt. "Liar - you can't hid you feelings from me - I know you too well" Le Stat sat down next to her, he bright blue eyes shining in the dim light. "It's nothing" Don't worry about it "Please tell me?" "My watch stopped - that’s all - and I'll need to get it repaired" "OK..." Le Stat just looked at her "Fine - I want to know why we do this." "Do what?" "This, all this hunting and killing, I've done it for three thousand years and I want to know why we do this." "Instinct, we are bred to kill, we are the alpha and omega in this society. Feel better" "Yeah and thanks for the bullshit speech" "You know me" "Yeah - better then anyone" "To be honest Sis, I'm not sure, part of it is to survive, we don't drink - we die, that simple, some of it is for our amusement - remember Japan all those years ago, that was fun." "We slaughtered an entire village for nothing more than amusement purposes, thinking about it - I sound more like a monster then a person." "We were paid well for it though, perhaps you have lost your appetite, maybe your last victim to your amusements has..." he thought about what to say next - but didn't have to finish, Lysandra ended it for him "Let me down... Maybe... perhaps I have lost my touch." "Naa - perhaps deep down he is something that you didn't consider, maybe he managed to fine someone to attach to before you could, maybe you shouldn't have killed his partner - all he has now is a burning rage to kill you. "Maybe" The response was back to the strong cool complexion that Le Stat was used to. The two sat quietly for a few minutes, Le Stat for once actually sitting, contemplating the thoughts that his sister had put forward, why do we do this? Until now the answer had always seemed so simple, but when he truly thought about it even he began to ponder this question. Le Stat finally gave in and turned to his sister "Sis?" "Yeah" "Your question from earlier" "What about it?" "Well..." Le Stat Paused "It's got me thinking." Lysandra looked at him curiously, Le Stat was thinking - that was new "What on your mind?" "I don't know why we do what we do, I mean are we bad people? We've murdered, blackmailed and robbed people, I mean look at Father." That word made Le Stat flinch a little, Father, he had no Dad, that word was reserved for men that cared about his kids well, anyhow, his Father was not one he could be proud of anyway. "That basterd got everything he deserved." Her voice had become stern, angry almost, she was never going to forgive that he tried to do to her. "I know, I know" Le Stat replied hastily, not wishing to further his Sisters wrath "But that’s that I mean, we killed him, we had sure that prick got what he deserved." "We have never done anything to anyone that didn't deserve it..." She stopped and pondered this thought, who didn't deserve it, that was a lie and she didn't have to wait long for the reminder. "What about Dallas, Texas, you where hired to kill that Tycoon for no other reason then the guy that hired you was trying to take over the company, that guy didn't deserve to die? Did he?" Lysandra almost felt remorseful, there really were things in her life or death for that matter that shamed her - that was one of them, though at that time she never considered the consequences of her actions, Flash was indeed a good reminder that things can come back to haunt you. He would have to deal with him sooner rather then later, but that would mean another encounter with Raziel and at the minute she really couldn't be dealing with either him or the attitude that he brought to the table. She looked Le Stat straight in the eyes, he bright blue sapphires still sparkled and for once she felt a little jealous of his lust for life. "No. Le Stat he didn't deserve to die, thinking about it a lot of things we have done, whether good or bad have always been for money and power, if we are anything, we are mercenaries, looks like Father taught us well, maybe a little too well." "He taught us nothing, except that we were useless and pathetic, you never had to take the beatings and be the blunt of his raging attacks!" It was Le Stat this time to become enraged, even now three thousand years on, the mental torture that his Father put him though had never left him. Lysandra was quick to respond "Excuse me, I was always there for you afterwards, who was the one to hold you and cuddle you, who protected you, who killed for you, YOU! Always for you! I have done everything for you, Everything!!!" The burning anger and frustration over eras was finally beginning to crack and Le Stat wasn't backing down either. "Everything for Me! For me!!, did you every try to stop him - NO, you stood there and let me take punch after punch, broken bone after broken bone, you where never starved, left to go thirsty, never shut away, you never had any of it!!!" Le Stats face had turned scarlet, for years he had felt he was in her shadow never allowed to express himself fully and now he was going to let her know what it felt like. "Oh My God!!!" Her voice boomed and echoed in the near empty basement "I was the one he tried to rape, remember that, do you fucking remember that!! Well DO YOU!!!!" She screeched at him, never had she made this feeling known, she didn't now why she had to bring this up, it just sort of blurted out "And how many times have I saved you ass from being wiped out, how many times have I had to finish a fight you started." "Oh well I am so sorry that I'm such a disappointment to you, sorry if I not what you wanted in a brother, I sorry I was even born." "Oh for fuck sake Le Stat, there you go again being all childish, why don't you try growing up for a change." "I told you earlier or maybe you were to deep in thought about you fantasisms over Raziel to listen so let me say it again for you." He squared her straight in the eyes. "You never gave me the chance, you’re turned me." His voice was slow and precise; every syllable was pronounced and clear. Lysandra looked at him shockingly she was almost disgusted with him "You ungrateful little shit!" she brought her hand round and slapped him hard across the face, Le Stat look at her, stunned, she had never hit him before; a tear rolled down her eye "You were dying, I wasn't going to let you die, I didn't want to live life without you, you and I were always one, we... we..." she couldn't finish, she turned her back to him and cried, her love for him felt tarnished, blackened, for once she wished that she had let him rest in peace, she felt selfish that she had dragged Le Stat to the same fate she was left with. A strong pair of arms rapped around her, pressed in a strong embrace "I sorry" Le Stat whimpered, he knew he had gone too far, he has said thing that should never have been said, he was glad we was who he was, he was, if nothing else, thankful for his sister to give him a new chance at life. "I'm Sorry, please forgive me, I don't want you to go, I'm Sorry." He pled was almost childlike. Lysandra placed her hands over his, and squeezed "I'm not going anywhere, and I'm also sorry, we both said some horrible things. It's behind us." The two sat silently for a while, neither knew truly how long. Le Stat broke the silence "Sis? I wanna go, we need to get back to the family, being down here sucks." For once Lysandra had to agree, however, it was still daytime, or so the thought, they would be brunt alive, long before they reached any form of proper shelter. She looked back round basement, Le Stat was still next to her, the boxes Le Stat crushed where over near the back of the room, a couple of chair near the stair, another chair on it's side after Le Stat fell off, and that infernal crack was still dripping... still dripping, Lysandra cursed her stupidity, water had to be flowing from somewhere, she check around and confirmed her suspicions, the mains piped ran along the back wall, it was the opposite end from the crack, therefore water had to be ingressing from the outside her conclusion, it was raining and although the ultra violet radiation could still penetrate the darkened storms clouds, it may give them the time they needed to make a run for it. She jumped up on to her feel, startling Le Stat in the process; he looked at her surprised, complexed "What it is?" "Where getting out of dump, come on." "What about the sun?" "I think we may have a reprieve, I think it's raining, ready to go upstairs and take a chance?" Le Stat smiled "Lets go, I'm sick of this place already, anyway, I'm tired and want a bath and a bed." Lysandra couldn't agree more and with that the two walked to the concrete stairs and ascended towards the world.

Chapter 14

The grogginess started to subside, Flash tried to open his eyes, everything was blurred, unfocused, we wasn't sure how long he'd been out cold for, in fact he wasn't even sure where he was or what had happened for that matter. He re-closed his eyes; the blurriness was making me feel a little sick. He tried to remember, remember what happened, a vision emerged, a sickening vision of death and blood, a smile, a purple lipped smile beaming at him and words and soft evil voice taunting him with those final words "I will give you a gift, a new life."

Was it a dream? That Flash was uncertain of; if it wasn't did he really want to open his eyes? He remember the look on her face, the face of the one he loved, the look of kindness she always showed for him, her delicate smile, she long brown hair and her caring bright eyes... her eyes.

Flashed startled and his eyes shot open, he quickly panned around the room, the grogginess dissipating in an instant, he was in his bedroom, sunlight was encroaching through the tattered slated blinds, the bed was unmade, crumpled, the plain white duvet had been tossed over the edge of the bed. Down beside the foot of the bed was the terror that he did not want to witness, the was her, his love on the floor, laying face down, her head to one side, her eyes wide open; looking at him.

Flash starred at her, he felt numb, uncaring, this wasn't real, none of this was real, soon he would awake from this horrible dream, this nightmare.

Flash wanted to stand, but every time he looked for his footing he couldn't find it, was this real? Flash really couldn't make his mind up. Pulling himself on to his knees he crawled over to her lifeless body, he ran his fingers down her cheek, she was cold, so cold, he wanted to pick her up, just hold her, make sure that everything was going to be ok, he could fix this, he really could fix this, it was his dream and he could change this outcome, again Flash closed his eyes and concentrated as hard as he could, over and over in his head he shouted 'Wake Up! Wake Up!"

He continued this for several minutes, until he had convinced himself that when he opened his eyes, he would be back in bed, next to her and he could forget this horrific nightmare.

His eyes opened, but nothing had changed, she was still there; cold and lifeless and this time Flash had to accept the awful truth - this was reality and she was dead and gone.

He just sat there, his enormous hand running gently through the long thick brown hair, he had already closed her eyes, he wanted to pick her up, but she had gone ridged - Rigor Mortis had already started to set in and so there he sat with his hands through her hair.

What was he to do, he had no idea, he wanted to die, he wanted to be with her, he wanted her back more them anything - he remembered the hotdogs, the smell of the fried onion, the French mustard, the relish. He remembered her loving touch on his skin, her fiery tongue when they argued, a tear fell and ran down his cheek. He opened his mouth, but there where no words. There was so much to say; so much he wanted to do.

His voice managed to find him, his throat was dry, his voice soft and choked "Darling, I'm so sorry..." Another tear fell followed by a shuddered intake of breath "I'm sorry I couldn't save you, we..." Flash paused "We were suppose to be together forever, always." Another tear ran down his cheek "I wasn't going to tell you yet maybe soon, when we where really ready, however, better you know now then never, I wanted you to marry me." Another shuddered breath was taken in. "We where going to go walk in Askwood forest, down to that little lake you loved to walk around, don't you remember, I asked you out round that little lake and I remember the smile on your face, that beautiful radiant smile." Tears started to flow freely as Flash continued to choke his words out "You were so happy that day and I felt the lucky man alive. I remember walking round that lake the first time you said you loved me, and I...I..." Flash swallowed hard, trying to push the lump in his throat down "I said that I loved you as well. I was going to marry you and we were going to have kids and grow old in this stupid little house. Three kids, two girls and a boy, the prettiest little girls you have ever seen, they would look just like you, and... and our young lad, he would be able to take care of them, protect them like I protected you..." Flash stopped for a second "But I couldn't protect you, could I, I couldn't save you I couldn't... I...I..." With that his broke and with it so did Flash, he collapsed over cold body to the one he loved and sobbed, the only repeating words rolling over and over again 'I couldn't save you, I couldn't save you.'

The sobbing subsided and tears finally stopped rolling, Flash half composed himself and looked up over the bed and out the window, the rays of sunlight where still cutting through the darkened room, he questioned to himself on what to do next, he would have to bury her, he alone would do that, he knew her better then anyone, he wouldn't leave her here, but then again she had always wanted to be cremated - that's what Flash decided to do, give her that wish.

But then what? What would he do, where would he go, he couldn't and didn't want to stay here, once again he closed his eyes, searching his brain for the answers that he really didn't want to know. Then it hit him, the answer, what he needed to do, it was that smile, the purple lipped smile, she was the one who ruined him, the anger started to surge deep from his stomach, she was the one who has damned him to this misery, Flash clenched his fist, she was the one that needed to pay for this, his puffed, swollen red eyes narrowed into a slit, he looked down at the lifeless body and issued to her a promise.

"My love, I swear to you now that this bitch will die by my hand, I swear that I will avenge you, I swear to you with all my heart that I will make her pay."

The resolve in Flash was set, he stood up and headed for his side of the bed, the threw his pillows on the floor and look at his object of death, he grabbed it and felt the cold hard metal of the handle, he ran his hand along the cool smooth surface of the barrel, he pulled the clip - it contained a full magazine - and slammed it back into place, locking the clip into the gun. He flipped the gun round in his hands and slid it neatly into the back of his jeans - the icy metal touching his back - this didn't bother Flash one bit, in fact he couldn't feel it.

He spun round and walked to the edge of the bedroom door and took another glace at her, it was funny, he felt nothing except a burning hatred, a fiery desire to kill, a needing for revenge. He spun himself back round and walked out of the room.

The front door was throw open, Flash stood there looking round, the sky was bright blue and a radiant sun beamed down, a panic started deep down in Flash a worrying, he wasn't sure why, but something was bothering him, he glanced over to is pebble dash drive - the truck was there - that was a relief, why he though that bitch would take it he didn't know, where to start, that was a harder question, he cast his mind back to that small conversation they had 'I will give you a gift, a new life' again he pondered on this; 'a new life' that accent on life, he recognised it - it was west coast, the largest city in the West coast was New L.A. - couple of days drive, he'd start there. Flash wasn't even sure if it would get him anywhere - but it was a start.

He threw his truck keys up in his hand and caught them again; he stepped out toward the truck, the intense rays of the sun beaming down on him. Flash whinst in pain, something was wrong, but what, it felt like he was on fire, he looked down, his skin, it was bright red, he was burning, this wasn't possible, he skin started blistering "Shit!" he screamed and darted back to the porch, once under the shade of the house, the burning stopped 'What the Fuck' Flash thought to himself, this wasn't possible, what did that bitch do to him, he looked back at his arm, the blistering had stopped, in fact there was no blistering, the redness had already started subsiding, he could feel his body healing itself, it scarred the shit out of him, what the hell was happening to him.

Flash sat on an old rickety rocking chair he kept out front, he rocked back and forward gently, puzzled, worried, he was deep in thought as a man walked in front of his house.

"Morning Flash, how are things?"

Flash recognized this man as his next door neighbour, a man whom he only knew as Bob, didn't know his last name, in fact really didn't know much at all about him. Bob was about five foot nine inches tall, short and thin, really thin, his white button blue jean t-shirt hung off him like a rag cloth, his dark denim jeans had been tied up by a dark red leather belt, Flash noticed that additional belt holes had been pushed through the leather, that didn't really surprise Flash all that much; what surprised him more was the fact he noticed this over forty feet away.

"Morning Bob" Flash really didn't want the conversation considering the circumstances.

"Nice Day, ain't it"

'Actually pretty shit' came Flash's passing thought "Yep, not bad, nice to see the sun for a change."

Bob look at Flash curiously "Ain't rained for three months, hell, I ain't seen a cloud for days, you on something?"

"Really? Hadn't noticed, been too preoccupied." That was a lie anyhow it allowed him to sidestep the Bob's question.

"You young 'uns, always in door eh?"

"Something like that."

Flash could feel his stomach roar at him, he hadn't eaten since yesterday and he really wanted Bob out of his sight so he could bury his beloved and hunt the bitch down that killed her, but Flash couldn’t take his eyes of the skinny runt in front of him, there was something about him, something almost salivating. It was a un-controlling hunger, this wasn't like wanting a good piece of sirloin, or a think rump drizzled in gravy with a side order of home cooked fries, this was something deeper then that, almost primal.

Flash has remembered seeing Bob walk out of the house with some tool round his belt, maybe a plumber or builder.

"Bob, I need you help with something, if you don't mind of course"

"No, what'ch need."

"I'm having water problems, the tap keeps dripping, something you could do?"

"Well, I'm no plumber, but sounds like the washer's gone."

"Really, I think I have one of those in my tool box indoor, case to give us a hand with it, I injured my wrist the other day." Flash really didn’t know what he was thinking; this felt more like an urge, an addiction.

"Sure thing Flash"

Bob walked causally up to the old wooden porch, opened the front door and walked in the house, Flash followed closely behind.

"Nice Place"

"Thanks" the response was as truthful as the comments from Bob "Bathrooms' at the end of the hall, first door on the right. Another lie, what was he thinking, this wasn't right, but the hunger had taken control, a scary, un-controlling hunger he again thought about the fridge, there was a big juicy steak in there, but this wasn't appealing to him.

"Right, lets have a look at this then" Bob disappeared down the corridor and into the room on the right, he froze, he could see the sight of a dead body on the floor, it was Flash's partner, she was dead. "Oh my god, what ya done, what ya done." panic set in, Bob needed to get out of there and fast, his eyes darted round the room for an exit, the window, his house was small and rickety, he could jump through the window and make a dash for it. He winced and then screamed.

Flash bite him in the neck, instinct had taken over and he had lost all feeling and wanting of control, he could feel his canine elongate and punctuate the rough skin, the warm blood flowing down his throat, his hunger subsiding, he felt a euphoria that he had never experienced, his life-force energizing, for the first time he felt properly alive.

Bob fell to the floor - dead. Flash had, for the first time in his life killed, he'd taken a life in cold blood, this wasn’t survival of the fittest, this was murder... he had murder someone and devoured them of they're blood.

Flash walked aimlessly into the kitchen, sat down on one of the small chair around the table and put his head in his hands, he had to think, what was he, what had become, there was only one person who could give him the answers to that and she had disappeared as quickly as she appeared, all he knew about her was that she has long purple, black hair, purple lips stick, dressed like a corner whore talked with a west accent and was as sick and evil as they came.

Night fell before Flash was able to pull himself off the kitchen chair. He walked back into the bedroom, Bob was near the door, drained of his haemoglobin, Flash's beloved dead and gone of his world "New Los Angles it is then." he muttered to the two dead corpses, that felt weird, talking to the dead, but Flash really didn't seem to find, his revenge burnt deep in his soul.

He gave one last parting glance to his loved one "Please forgive me my love for what I am about to do, all I feel now is grief and hatred, I will avenge you, even if means my own life. Please watch over me and make sure that I do not travel down the path of oblivion."

With his final words, he departed the room, walked down the corridor and out the front door. The starts were out the and full moon shown his dim light, gently illuminating Flash's battered dull red pickup truck, he walked round to the driver's door and threw the berretta on to the passengers side of the tattered bench seat, he pushed the keys into the ignition and turned the key, sparking the engine to like, it let out a deep roar and shot a puff of black smoke out the back of the exhaust. Flash looked in the back, strapped by harnesses was two jerry cans full of petrol, he looked back at the house, no one could know about him, no one could know about the last twenty four hours, he just hoped that she would forgive him for this.

Grabbing one of the Jerry cans, Flash walked back into the house, he started with the living room, he cranked open the lid and began pouring the petrol from the living room, into the kitchen, into the bedroom, he quickly threw some petrol in there, he could bear the though of her voice pushing through his brain 'What are you doing baby?" Flash continued down the hall and back to the entrance, he threw the jerry can back into the house, what ever was left in there would help. Reaching into is chequered shirt pocked, he pulled out a pack of matched, he looked at the front and almost smiled 'Bob's Building Supplies' funny, he had these for nearly three months, what a day to where this particular shirt.

Flash ripped a match from it's tab, flipped the pack over and pressed the match against a rough brown strip, he torn the match across the strip and ignited the red tipped match, a golden flame shot and started burning through the thin cardboard, Flash took another look down the hallway.

"Good Bye."

And dropped the match.

The flame impacted against the petrol soaked carpet and immediately lit, the flames travelled down the hall into the bedroom, kitchen and living room, the blaze rapidly spreading through timber structure, Flash sat in his truck and watch the house burn for a moment, his feeling of love and happiness diminishing, he reached over to the steering column and pulled the gear into R and reversed out of the drive, gave second glace to his house, now a burning shell, pushed the gears into D and speed off down the road.

"Flash, Fuck sake Flash wake up will you." The voice was clear, Fregillon shouting at him. Flash's vision was fussy, he tried opening his eyes, but every thing was a blur, he could just about make out his friend.

"Damn... What the hell happened?"

"What happened, shit you don’t remember, you tried to level that fucking loopy bitch and got you arse kicked by his fucking brother!"

"Shh!!! Keep you voice down, my head's killing me"

"I'm not fucking surprised - you when through this massive stone pillar, it's more then you head, that you be killing you, anyhow you ok" The was genuine concern for his friend.

"Yeah I'm fine" Flash’s vision had started to return to him, he looked at the grey ceiling and over to his friends smiling face "A pillar?"

"Yeah! Look" He pointed nearby to where a pile of rubble now lay, stone and concrete strewn all over the place.

Flash glanced over "Damn." was about all he could say.

Raziel walked slowly over to the two "You ok?"

Flash nodded.

"Good, come on, we have to get out of here, I know a place we can stay, I just hope I don't regret take us there.

Flash looked at him curiously but said nothing; he stood up with the assistance of Fregillon and followed the others out of the room giving one final glance to the stone pillar he cleaved through.

Chapter 15

It was one of the best days all year, the clear blue sky and the bright yellow sun gave the perfect setting for one of the most important days in Sarah's lifetime - she was getting married.

Her and Stephen decided on a beach wedding in the schyelles, she had no real family and Stephen never really spoke to his and neither one was overly religious; so they felt this approriate.

She couldn't wait to feel the slight breeze running through her hair, the soft white sand running between her slender toes, the white wedding dress with it's purple flowered design, she couldn't wait to hold his hand and say those magical words "I do."

Although she had to admit Stephen had to endue at least a month of "I look to fat." and "This will never fit." and "what about in a months' time." But he endued it well, that and the fact that the seamstress had come along for any last minute alterations that needed to be done.

Sarah ran her hands over the stomach, a stomach that was getting larger everyday, she smiled "Not long now darling, I promise, just a few months more." She was nearly seven months pregnant. The two had small agruements about whether or not to find out the sex of the baby, in the end Sarah won, her persistance always won the day - they where having a baby girl, a little girl they had already decided to call Aria Stephanie, there was nothing special about the name, it's wasn't a grandparent or some famous person, Sarah just blurted it out and Stephen like it, and so the name stuck.

She stood at the balcony of their room in the hotel, top floor penthouse suite, Stephen promed her the best and so far, to her amazement - he'd delivered. Sarah knew she was lucky to have him, but his... this was something else, as far as she was aware he had no money, he was a mechanic by trade, well... he WAS a mechanic by trade, but since the shop shut he was struggling to find another job. A recession was booming at the minute, nobody was taking anyone on and people seemed to be always looking around for the best deal, the cheapest quote and it seriously effected the ecconomy, it was a key factor in what closed down Stephen's place of work anyway. He always said to her that he had a little 'stashed' away somewhere, this wasn't a little, this place was alot and she knew Stephen had just about emptied his life savings for her, he really loved her that much.

Sarah gripped her hands around the wrought iron railing that travelled round the edge of the balcony - although this was to stop anyone from falling over the edge, you could easily jump it - provided you where ok with the seven story drop to the hard grey concrete below. She look over to the crystal blue sea, it sparkled in the sunlight like diamonds, diamonds gently lapping the pure white sands of the beach; Sarah let out a contented sigh, for now she would admire this heaven that hey fiance had brought her to.

The phone went off in the room, Stephen was off at the gym located somewhere in the hotel, she wasn't sure where though; being all macho no doubt - it was a man thing she told herself. Spinning round from the railing she walked into the living room of the suite, nothing too austintasious, a couple of two seater brown leather sofas sat on the creamy beige carpet, a fifty inch plasma television in the corner near the patio entrance and on the other side of the room a large bookcase with countless book on all sorts of things, Sarah didn't know what they where, she never had time nor the inclinking to read and at the bottom of the bookcase was an intergrated fridge, it was one of those bar/fridges where if you remove anything you get charged double the cost of your holiday.

The phone rang again, Sarah quickly walked from the living room, throught a set of bouble wood panelled doors into the bedroom, the phone was next to the four poster bed, the cream satin sheets crumpled at one end of the bed, a couple of pillows thrown on the floor.

The phone rang a third time; not wanting to make the person on the other end of the line hold any longer, she sat on the edge of the bed, streched her arm out and grabbed the phone.

"Good Morning Madmoiselle Finch." The voice was male, slightly high pitched and the accent was French, she struggled slightly to understand him, she herself knew quite a bit french from living in Canada for a couple of years, she liked the language and studied it for a while, however, it wasn't what he was saying more the accent to the way he was saying it, she deduded that he was actually from France.

"bonjour, monsieur, comment sont vous?" Her french was defently rusty, but she felt she could muddle through.

"Très bon madmoiselle." There was a hint of happy surprise, it had been a while since this person got to use his French. " ?"

She respoke the phrase in her head 'treatement... ah treatment, that must be my spa treatment, 11:30 - perfect. "Parfait monsieur, Parfait."

"Madmoiselle de merci, je m'assurerai que c'est réservé une chambre pour vous et ils vous verront à 11:30. Si je peux aider d'autre façon, s'il vous plaît faites-moi savoir."

"Non ce ne sera tout le merci."

Sarah hung the phone the phone up and looked at her watch - 10:30am - she only had about fourty minutes for get ready. She bounced herself off the bed and quickly walked into the bathroom.

The bathroom was tiled top to bottom in black and white alternative tiles, the white porceline sink was inset into a black Italian marble surround, the polished stainless steel hand towel holders attached to the chequered wall. Sarah looking the mirror and couldn't help but smile at herself an almost radient glow emminated off her.

She slid the shoulder straps from her red and white polka dotted bikini down her arms and unhocked the claps round the back. The top fell onto the black and white tiled froor. The bottoms soon joined afterwards.

Sarah walked into the walk-in shower, the frosted glass panels protecting her slim naked image from the outside world... well anyone walking into the bathroom anyways. The knob on the shower was easy enough to operate, one knob turned the shower on, the other controlled the temperature, even in this hot climate, Sarah loved a warm shower, Water sprayed from the huge over-hanging shower head, she just had to stand there and let the warm water fall like rain on her head. Steam poured over the top.

She reached for the Shampoo, she hadn't washed her hair for days, she didn't really care that she hadn't, but then again she didn't have an appointment with some strong muscular man waiting to pummel her body into submission. As much as she Loved her fiance, there ws no subsitute for imagination, anyhow, she never minded Stephen looking - as long as it was just looking - Touching would result in some serious pain and a break-up - but looking was fine, meant she could look as well.

She rinced the shampoo off and repeated the process, no other reason then this was something she had done all her life and again rinsed; this followed with the contitioner, however she left this on whilst she grabbed the liquid soap and poured it into a body puff, lathered it up and started rubbing her body down from head to feet, covering herself in a soft, white coating of foam and bubbles. She stood back under the casscade of water and rinsed the lot off.

She grabbed one of the shower knobs, gave it a twist and turned the water off. She walked round the green curved frosted glass and back out into the large bathroom, her bath sheet was hanging on a heated towel rack just to the right of the shower. She grabbed it, pulled it off the rack and rapped it round her. She allowed her shoulder blade length, soaked dark red hair to freely flow around her as she walked back towards the sink. She starred at herself in the mirror, her dark hazel eyes looking back at her, she felt special almost magical something she didn't think she would ever feel and more importantly, she was truely happy.

Sarah looked at the clock on the deep redwood sidetable next to the bed, 11:15, 'great' she thought, she had just enough time to get to the Pavillion that overlooked the Indian Ocean. She had an appointment to meet and did not want to be late. She walked throught the bedroom and back into the livingroom.

"Shit! Where did I put those keys?"

She looked around the room

"God sake Stephen, tell me you didn't take them."

Sarah marched over to the sofa and threw the cushions off the sofas, nothing. She ran back into the bedrrom and started turfing the clothes that had been neatly folded on the chair in the corner, anything that has a pocket got turned inside out, again, nothing. She could feel her tension rising.

"What the hell have you done with them?"

She ran back into the livingroom and glaced over at the bookcase, there where books, sheet of paper, the morning newspaper, the fridge. 'Don't be stupid Sarah, he would not have left them in the fridge'

She stormed over to the bookcase and started throwing the sheets of paper in the air, nothing, the newspaper got it next, picked up whole, she was about to wing that in all, but then she found what she was looking for, the room key, a plastic, credit card size key.

"Bloody Idiot." he had obviously picked up the paper and placed it there not looking what he was doing, she would have to speak to him later. 11:25am, five minutes left, she was going to be late. She grabbed the key and hurried out the door.

11:33am - Sarah arrived at the pavillion, panting, out of breath and worst of all 'perspiring' - she always told Stephen that ladies perspired instead of sweat, shortly followed by the comment you ain't no lady - The pavilion had been specially screened off by a several large white intersection barriers, this allowed privacy whilst still allow her to look out over the sea. A large muscular man stood next to the table, his white trousers and white buttoned shirt contrasted with his short spikey brown hair and dark brown eyes. He was heavilly tanned, being out in thirty plus degree sunny weather tended to do that.

"Miss. Finch I presume?"

"Yeah - sorry I'm late."

"No problem - no one hurries round here." his large lips beamed a smile.

"Thank you"

"Now if you just want to lay down and undo you top and we will get started." He seemed a happy care free sort of chap and the way he spoke to her emphasized this, nothing seemed to be too much trouble.

Sarah walked over the massage bed, a steel framed suppoted the foamed filled mattrace. At one end it came to a pincer - she knew from previous experiance that you placed your head here, what she didn't expect was that the bed also had a large hole in the middle.

"We got told to expect a pregnant lady, so we have made all the appropiate arrangements."

She laid down and placed her head in between the pincers, the spongey foam filling gently gripping her in place. he large lump fitted snuggly in the hole.

The man clapped his hands together "So Miss. Finch, first time here?"

"Yeah, I'm getting married later today."

"Wonderful, oh that's so nice to here." He reached across for a bottle of oil and applied the liquid to his hand.

"I love watching young couples get married." he placed his hands on the lower part of her back, applied a small amount of pressure and started moving his hands up and down her back.

"That's nice" the comment wasn't suppose to sound sarcastic, but it kind of came out that way.

Looking at the floor, she noticed that she could see the sea between the gaps of the oak floor board. she could hear the tide gently brushing against the sand and more importantly she was in excasy over the strong muscular man applying all the right pressures in all the right placed.

"You know... reminds me of when I got married, oh that must have been two years ago, hmm, yes, nearly two years now. Wow how time flies, trust me you time will fly.

"I hope so." Another moment of pure pleaseure crossed her, followed by a shot of pain as the massuse pressed his large fingers into her shoulders, this was followed by another moment of pleasure as she felt the tension ebb.

"Yep, it was nearly two years ago I got married to my husband - best day of my life."

'Husband!' The thought came a bit of a shock, not something she was really expecting, 'oh well' he was still good looking and she could fantasise.

Sarah was allowed to fantasise for about an hour. she had been pushed this way and that and had her mucsles pummled into submission and she felt great for it.

"Feel better Miss Finch?"

"Umm..." there really was nothing else to say to his questions - she was better then umm... but words couldn't describe how she felt.

"Right, I'll leave you too it, when you ready, slip you clothes back on and I'll hopefully see you get married later on the beach. Oh and congratulations."


The massuse walked around the barriers and out of sight, however this now posed a new problem for Sarah and one she was getting more and more frustrated with, how was she going to get up? She has a large lump in the way and that kinda caused problems. Thsi wasn't going to be the most ladylike way of doing things, but she pushed her hands up and pushed her knees up until she was on all fours, and then managed to swing her legs round so she was sitting up. Pregnacy really did come was with it downfalls, however, the end result would be worth it.

Sarah checked the time 12:40, 'Ok, just enought time for something to eat before make-up and hair'. She would need at least four hours to be properly ready, the wedding was at nine; better to leave five hours, just to make sure'.

The path she walked to get to the main food hall would take her past the swimming pool, into the main foyer of the hotel, up a flight of step and finally into the private lunch room. As Stephen had book the top suite, she was entilled to dine here.

Sarah reached the large mahogany double doors, a small pedastal was off to one side, that housed the menu for the day. Once thing Sarah defently liked was the fact that she could have dinner now. She and Stephen both agreed that they would eat early on rather then eat after the wedding, the food was extra and too overpriced for what they could actually afford... Well actually they couldn't really afford this, but Stephen really would have no of it, it was Sarah's compermise.

She looked over at the menu


Ravioli of lobster, langoustine and salmon poached in a light bisque with a lemongrass and chervil velouté

Slow braised pied de cochon pressed then pan-fried with ham knuckle, poached quail’s egg and hollandaise sauce

Butter poached lobster tail with asparagus, morels, wild garlic, spring truffles and herb farfalle

Sautéed foie gras with roasted veal sweetbreads, Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar and almond velouté

Pan-fried sea scallops carpaccio of octopus, gnocchi, sage and parmesan

Pressed foie gras with peppered Madeira jelly, smoked duck, peach and almond crumble

Fillets of red mullet with a marjoram crust, confit fennel, roasted artichokes, pine nuts and sauce vierge

Main courses

Roasted fillet of line caught turbot with langoustines, linguine and wild mushrooms

Roasted monkfish tail with chorizo cous cous, baby squid, artichoke and spiced tomato jus

Pan-fried line caught sea bass with steamed charlotte potatoes, cucumber, oyster beignet and caviar velouté

Oven roasted pigeon from Bresse with grilled polenta, crispy lardons, braised shallots, baby golden beetroot and date sauce

Best end of lamb with confit shoulder, provençale vegetables, baby spinach and thyme jus

Aged beef fillet with fondant potato, fricassée of peas, broad beans, courgettes and confit cherry vine tomatoes

Roasted duck breast with creamed savoy cabbage, beetroot, caramelised shallots and Madeira jus


Granny Smith parfait with blackberry foam, honeycomb and cider sorbet

Caramelised tarte Tatin of apples with vanilla ice cream (for two)

Marinated pineapple ravioli with mango and raspberries

Gianduja chocolate soufflé with milk ice cream

Assiette de l’Aubergine (for two)

A selection of seasonal fruit


Sorbets and ice creams

Bitter chocolate cylinder with coffee granité and ginger mousse

Selection of cheeses from the trolley

Sarah salavated, too many choices, far too many choices of good food, pushed the door to the restaurant open and walked in.

"Bonjour Madame." the short stockly waiter almost looked around her. "Table for one?"

"Oui, merci."

The waiter didn't reply back, he grabbed a menu and showed to a seat for two overlooking the Indian Ocean.

"Your seat Madame."

"Thank you."

He handed her the menu and walked off. She felt that he was a little rude not to offer her any water, but, didn't want to create a comotion.

She re-read the menu, so many choices, there really where far too many choices. The lobster tail looked appealling, but then again so did the Mullet.

The little fat waiter returned

"Would you like a drink Madame?"

She would kill for a glass of while, a nice Sancere would be perfect for this weather, but she promised Stephen she would stay completely Tee Total -shame.

"I'll have a tropical juice please."

"Very good Madame, I'll back shortly to take your order." Again he turned and walked off.

Sarah returned to the menu, she decided on the lobster, next came the main, this choice was an easy one it had to be the beef fillet, she loved red meat and loved it rare, hell she would have it blue they would allow it; she would always crack the joke, just give me a fork and run cow through. but fish and then meat... well why not, you get surf and turf back home.

The waiter returned after about five minutes with her drink.

"Tropical juice Madame."

"Thank you." Sarah watched as the waiter placed the concoction of pineapple, mango and passion fruit on the table.

"Are you ready to order?"

"Yeah, can I start with the Lobster and them I will have the beef fillet please."

"Very good Madame and how would you like that cooked?"

"Rare please"

"Thank you." The menu was picked up


Saragh looked around, there where several other couples and families sitting down for lunch all sitting at square tables, with white cloths drapped over top, red knapkins hung over their laps.

Sarah sat and looked out the window, at the white sand on the beach, the beautiful blue sky and checked her watch, 1:24 pm, only seven and a half hours left.

Starters arrived twelve minutes later followed by the main mean nealy thirtly minutes after that, the food was exusite, worthly of being rated in her top ten of best restaurants she had ever eaten in. Sarah skipped dessert not wanting to feel to bloated, she had a wedding dress to fit into - not that skipping dessert would hide the bludge that she carried.

Sarah needed to be at the beauty salon for 14:30 pm, that woud give the people there plenty of time to doll her up. She made a slow wander over to right hand side of the resort, where the solon was located.

She spent the next four hours being pampered, preened, waxed, pulled, dyed, decorated and finally dressed. She was ready.

8:45 pm - she waited anxiously at the top of the steps that led down to the beach, Stephen would be waiting there, he would be waiting there for her, this was their day and finally they would be come a family.

Stephen looked at the time 8:55pm, he was a little nervous, this was something we was longing to do, but some part of him still asked 'is this what you really want? To give up your frredom?'

The music started, the two of them picked out the most common musincal for getting married, Felix Mendelssohn's The Wedding March. Stephen could remember asking this to be played and recited the opening musin in his head over and over again, those opening beets when his wife to be would emerge. It was now and those openning beat echoed through his mind, swallowing hard he faced the stairs where he newly to be wife would appear.

And there she was, she bare feet slowly step by step taking the walk down each step, her single piece virgin white gown fitted her delicate figure like a glove, a delicate figure with a hugh bulge. Around the bottom of the dress and coming together to meander up the centre of the back where laced african violets. the purple flowers went to the top of the dress, that stopped just underneath the shoulder blades and the flowed under her arms and across the top of the front. The dress stopped midway up her large breasts, Sarah remembered having these altered as she went from a perfect thirty six D cup to an enourmous double F.

Sarah looked at Stephen, she had nothing but love his her eyes, a wanting more then ever to be connected more then she had ever been, she remember being that shy little girl that used to walk past the garage, the first coffee where she ran out on him, their first kiss, their first night of passion and her happiest moment, albiet her most worring one, was the annoucement that she was pregnant.

Stephen stood in a flowered archway over looking the ocean, the large white casa blanca lilies inticated the cast iron framework that held them in place. Evening had set and the sun shown through the archway, it flamming red light casting a perfect aura around her finance. Like her Stephen had no shoes on, they both agreed that shoes and sand just didn't mix. His tuxedo was the standard hired black top and tails with a white shirt and black top hat.

Stephen gazed at her im pure admiration and love, all his fear had now ebbed and he awaited him future bride to stand beside him, her hair was pulled up and done in hundreds and hundred of small loops with a small amount left to trail down her back and stop just below her neck. He followed her movements as she gracefully crossed the sand, the train to her dress flowing softly behind her.

She stood next to him and the music slowly disappated into back ground noice. A well portpotioned black man now stood in front of him, wearing a broad smile, this was one of the ministers loves, getting young people married, and everytime he don his ministers uniform and hooked on his roman collar for this occation he did nothing but look forward to it.

Sarah and Stephen gazed into each other's eyes, the minister spoke in a loud clear slow tone

"Dearly Beloved, we are gathered together here in the sign of God – and in the face of this company – to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony, which is commended to be honorable among all men; and therefore – is not by any – to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly – but reverently, discreetly, advisedly and solemnly. Into this holy estate these two persons present now come to be joined. If any person can show just cause why they may not be joined together – let them speak now or forever hold their peace.

There was no one present at this wedding except the hotel manager to act as witness to the marrage, Sarah, Stephen and the Vicar, as much as this seemed like a daft question, they where warned forehand that the vicar would still have to utter it.

Marriage is the union of husband and wife in heart, body and mind. It is intended for their mutual joy – and for the help and comfort given on another in prosperity and adversity. But more importantly – it is a means through which a stable and loving environment may be attained.

Through marriage, Stephen Joseph Waters and Sarah Racheal Finch make a commitment together to face their disappointments – embrace their dreams – realize their hopes – and accept each other’s failures. Stephen Joseph Waters and Sarah Racheal Finch will promise one another to aspire to these ideals throughout their lives together – through mutual understanding – openness – and sensitivity to each other.

We are here today – before God – because marriage is one of His most sacred wishes – to witness the joining in marriage of Stephen Joseph Waters and Sarah Racheal Finch. This occasion marks the celebration of love and commitment with which this man and this woman begin their life together. And now – through me – He joins you together in one of the holiest bonds.

Sarah knew that this was her turn, her turn to speak her inner most thoughts to her beloved.

"Stephen, since the fist moments I met you, you have surprised my in way I could not comprehend, you have always been there for me, through my grief and sadness to my happest times, you have always done nothing but love me and I, more then anything else on the face of this planet love you." a small tear of happiness fell from her cheek.

"Sarah, I rememeber when we first met, I remember the look in your eye, I knew from that moment that you and where ment to be together, what we have is far more special then anything else in the world, your are not only my lover, but you are by deepest friend and the one I want to spend the rest of my life with."

Do you Stephen Joseph Waters take Sarah Racheal Finch to be your wife – to live together after God’s ordinance – in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy, to cherish and continually bestow upon her your heart’s deepest devotion, forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her as long as you both shall live?

"I will." smile passed his pace as he uttered the words.

Do you Sarah Racheal Finch take Stephen Joseph Waters to be your husband – to live together after God’s ordinance – in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy, to cherish and continually bestow upon him your heart’s deepest devotion, forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto him as long as you both shall live?

"I will." She word where soft , yet resolving.

What token of your love do you offer? Would you place the rings in my hand?

The hotel manager handed the pair of gold wedding bands to the vicar. Stephen has wished his brother was here to watch this, however, he was killed in the war.

May these rings be blessed as the symbol of this affectionate unity. These two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle. Wherever they go – may they always return to one another. May these two find in each other the love for which all men and women year. May they grow in understanding and in compassion. May the home which they establish together be such a place that many will find there a friend. May these rings on their fingers symbolize the touch of the spirit of love in their hearts.

The Vicar handed one of the rings over to Stephen.

Stephen Joseph Waters , in placing this ring on Sarah Racheal Finch's finger, repeat after me: Sarah Racheal Finch, you are now consecrated to me as my wife from this day forward and I give you this ring as the pledge of my love and as the symbol of our unity and with this ring, I thee wed.

Stephen Faultlessly repeated the sermon.

The Vicar then placed the other ring into Sarah's hand.

Sarah Racheal Finch, in placing this ring on Stephen Joseph Waters's finger, repeat after me: Stephen Joseph Waters, you are now consecrate to me as my husband from this day forward and I give you this ring as the pledge of my love and as the symbol of our unity and with this ring, I thee wed.

Like Stephen, Sarah was perfect in her recietment.

May you always share with each other the gifts of love – be one in heart and in mind – may you always create a home together that puts in your hearts – love – generosity and kindness.

In as much as Stephen Joseph Waters and Sarah Racheal Finch have consented together in marriage before this company of friends and family and have pledged their faith – and declared their unity by giving and receiving a ring – are now joined.

You have pronounced yourselves husband and wife but remember to always be each other’s best friend.

What – therefore – God has joined together – let no man put asunder.

And so, by the power vested in me and Almighty God, I now pronounce you man and wife – and may your days be good and long upon the earth.

You may now kiss the bride.

And with that last phrase their lips met each others for the time as Husband and Wife.

Chapter 16

A strong fist slammed on the table causing various items of the solid wood table to jump.

"What do you mean Lysandra and Le Stat couldn't finish them off, I'm asking them to capture him, not rule the city - it's not rocket science?"

"That's what they told me, Raziel has managed to..." he thought his words carefully "obtain friends."

"Obtain Friends... "the voice dropped to almost a whisper "Obtain friends." Icon knew what to expect next, he prepared himself for the explosive nature ofPatris "A few fucking goddam misfit vampires that couldn't scratch their own arse even if they had a mirror 'friends!"

Icon said nothing, he knew that all Patris needed was a bit of time, he looked his red faced friend in directly in the eyes.

Patris turned away from Icon and looked out the large triple glazed window that expanded the length of the wall, from the one hundred and eighth floor of the LA Towers the could seeeverything he wanted to see. The whole city, his city or thats at least what he wanted to believe. In truth , he only ran the West Sector, The tower was built well over one hundred years ago, long before this area became the slums, in fact it had been the business capital of New Los Angeles, millions and millions of logo poured though this area all for the benefit of mankind, now millions and millions of Logo still passed though the West End and this was all for the benefit ofextinguishing mankind. But from up from the top of the LA Towers, Everyone seemed minuet, insufficient, Patris felt all powerful from up here, from here - he could play god.

"Why do I bother to send such misfits?" his eyes never left the gaze of the window.

Again silence answered his question.

"Why do I keep calling on people that I think can actually do as I ask?" He glanced over his shoulder "Well?"

In response Icon just shook his head in slight agreement. To open his mouth could cause another explosive episode.

Patris ran his hands over his goatee. "Well Icon?" he turned to face his friend

'Damn' Icon thought - he had been trapped to answer the question. "I don't really know to be honest, is it possible that Raziel is just one hard son of a bitch?"

"Maybe, maybe I'm just being taken for a fool by the clans, maybe they just don't respect me."

Icon knew that this was a load of crap, Patris had access to at least a dozen clans including some of the hardest hitting in the west sector, Brotherhood of Steel came into mind, shortly followed by Vault Thirteen, both of them has large footholds in the west sector, both of them could kill anyone who crossed them. Rumor had it thatMortis - leader of the Brotherhood - once for no apparent reason stripped the skin off a 'follower' and then kept him alive for three days hanging from alight post - attached to his ankle was a stick and a sign - Hit the Pinata - three goes for a fiver - but then again that was just here-say and rumor; for all anyone knew - it never really happened.

Patris however was responsible for the gang war between the Brotherhood of Steel and The Dark Brotherhood, making sure that money was therefore a constant flow in the west sector through the selling of guns,Patris always took a twenty percent share from any profits - and with the two biggest clans warring each other, Patris made a killing.

"I really don't think that true, I mean you have survived longer then any overseer that has ever lived - take what you want from that."

"True... True..." He pondered Icon's statement and turned back to face the window. It was true that he had ruled the west sector for the longest time, he had power, but it wasn't absolute and that is whatPatris craved for - absolute power.

"Buy the way, due to the fact that no one here seems to be able to take down this son a bitch, I have called in another favour, you will greet this guestdownstairs in about ten minutes."

"Thanks for the early heads up, can I ask whom it is I am meeting?"


"You have gotta be fucking kidding me Patris!" This was the first time Icon has sworn in over ten years, he abstained from using this guttural garbage language and left the swearing to his hot headed boss.

Patris smiled, he knew he had just hit a nerve. "I ain't fucking kidding anyone, He will get the job done - full stop."

"And no doubt take us along with him giving him even more trophies for his cabinet."

"Do not worry worry about him, just go an meet with him, bring him up here. You will find him... Pleasant."

"Your Crazy Patris, of all the people you've associated with and all the clans you have your foot under, why do you need his help."

"He's a Vampire Hunter, a proper one - none of this guidebook shit, he's bagged more vampires in his lifetime then I can count, he's resourceful and he will get me what I want. Besides I've got his measure."

Icon still really didn't approved what Patris was planning, he personally would have sent one of the larger clans after Raziel, but this wasn't his call. Patris was at the end of the day his boss and although he could argue with him so far, he knew when to not cross the line. He left Partis and went to meet with the new 'guest'.

Patris heard the door close and opened the drawer to his desk, he pulled out an item rapped in a soft creamy coloured cloth, slowly unravelling it, it revelled a twin bladed dagger, runes and incantations had been cut along the titanium blade and the ran thelength of the hilt. He admired it, this was a weapon of pure beauty, of enormous power.

No sooner had Patris thought Icon had left, he had returned with another man in tow - Diablo. He was dressed like something out of the movies back in the twenty first century, he's large brown rimmed hat obscured the top of his head and a red scarf covered his nose and mouth, leaving a pair of radiant light blue eyes to stare at Patris - it was a little unnerving.

"Diablo... Thank you for coming." Patris gestured for the light brown leather trenchcoatted man to sit down.

"The man ignore his gesture "What do you want."

"A man to the point. Good. I like that."

The other man let out a quick chortle. "I don't really care what your kind like or don't like, all I care about is that your all dead at my feet."

"Yes well... " Patris waived an almost disconcerting hand. "Each to their own."

The hunter was none too pleased with his host's bravado. "My fee is ten million logo, doubled for having to help someone like yourself. I should be putting a shell through your brain not helping you with your problems."

"Maybe, but then again you always sell to the biggest provider, you may be a good assassin of the vampire race - but you still need to eat."

The two squared each other off, sizing each other up. The hunter back down with a small smirk. Seemed this Vampire knew how to play hardball. "Fine. Who the target."


"Hmm... I've heard of that name before - ok I'll take the job."

"One more thing."


"I want him alive."

"I don't do alive."

"Another ten million will say you do."

'This vampire really does play hardball' The hunter kept his short composure "Fine - Alive it is for thirty million logo and I also want to know why."

"Why - thats easy - he's a pain in the arse and I personally want to kill him. Other then that that all you need to know."


With that the man spun around and reached the door, he stretched out his hand and grabbed the intricate handle. The door opened and called one last demand of Patris. "Once last thing, you will post half of the money into my account, you will already find the details on your desk. I won't help you one iota until that money has been transferred."

Patris looked down and was amazed to find a small square piece of paper with hand written details. "Fine. The money will be deposited before you leave this building."

There was no response from Diablo, he stepped out of the room and closed the door behind him.

Icon looked at Patris "I really hope you know what you are doing."

"Not really, but I have no other options. I need Raziel for my plans."

"Care to share?"

"With you of course, but not with our guest."

Patris revealed the dagger. "Even heard to the Akari Blade?"

"No." Icon marvelled in it's design.

"This Blade holds the key to unlocking one of the most powerful forces on earth. The Psi Sphere. This sphere was used over two thousand years ago by a nation known as the Japanese. A place called the Temple of the Golden Sun housed this item. With it the commanding general was able to harness the earth itself. He could empty seas, createtornadoes and earthquakes, cause draughts and floods, this is a weapon of absolute power and with it no one would be able to stand again me."

"Ok but I still fail to see where Raziel come in on all of this."

"I had a historian look into the Psi Sphere's history and in order to activate it I need the blood of one of the ancients guardians to the sphere."

"Ok Raziel's old - but not that old."

"No I don't need an ancient itself, but I do however need on of the descendants and as luck would have it nearly seven hundred years ago one just so descendant was transformed into one of the night. One of us."

"Ok. I'm following but why do you need him alive, if all you need is his blood then lets just kill him and then take what we need."

"There is more then just his blood - only the guardians held the secret to actually activating the sphere, the Akari Blade has to cause the initial cut from which the blood will flow, these rune activate some sort of secret in Raziel that will cause the Psi Sphere to mix with his blood, if it works then the sphere will turn crimson. Once that is done an incantation will need to be preformed what will draw hislife-force from him and into the Sphere thereby activating it. Raziel will slowly turn to dust and I will have the greatest weapon this planet has ever seen."

"Where is the Sphere though?"

"Hmph. That's the problem - it's still in Japan and sitting in the ruins of the Temple of the Golden Sun."

"I see."

"However I only really need Raziel for his blood, once we drain some of this, we can keep him locked up, The Sphere will draw his life-force out from anywhere in the world. I just don't want him bring a problem."

"So we capture Raziel, drain him of some blood, sail over to Japan find this sphere, drain his life-force and then what?"

"I rule the world and you my friend will be right along side me."

Chapter 17

The sun had finally set over New Los Angeles; the sound of a distant bell chiming nine times gave Raziel the knowledge that it was nine in the evening. He wandered back through the high street, his flat was not far from here, based in the east sector district over looking the shoreline. The party had decided to split up for the time being, after all, from being blown up and then a confrontation from some crazed purple-black haired bitch, wanted to take a breather and then converse back to Raziel's flat. Flash and Fregillon walked off to the west sector to arm up, Maiden and Elfinlied knew a few people and wanted to speak to them to see if they could find anything. Raziel wandered off without saying a word with Viona close behind, this was her chance to speak to this mysterious man - alone. The sewage smells and crap rolling in the street manage to get right up Flash's nose, he had smelt some strange things in his lifetime - but this topped it all off. "Fregillon I hope you know what your doing." "Relax, my friend, this is my backyard and I know a few people..." he cut the sentence short. "A few people. Do I dare ask?" "You know, the guys are cool, don't worry about it. Like I said. Relax." Flash wish he could, but could help thinking that people were watching him, and these people didn’t want to say hi. Flash decided that some quiet conversation was in order "So... Who are we meeting?" "Guy called Mortis, he's cool, in fact he fucking A. I've know this guy for a while now, he's a head honcho runs a city clan know as the Brotherhood of Steel. "Brotherhood of Steel?" "Yeah, been calling the shots around here for some time, like I said Mortis is fucking cool and so his is clan, but don't cross him, he plays a fair game and barters a fair price, but you cross him, shit man, that you fucked for life. I mean there was this time you know, guy tried to buy Mortis's goods with tack..." Flash looked at his friend curiously "Tack? Not a term I've heard of." "Sorry pal forgot you where stuck in the middle of the fucking country, Tack is city term for dodgy money, you know counterfeit, bad shit, anyhow he tried to buy Mortis's goods with the stuff. Damn. Mortis has a good eye for these things ya know, saw it straight off, a few phone calls later and up pops this guys' whole fucking family, wife, mother, father, daughters, two of them if I recall and his three brothers." The pair cut down a back alley that connected to another fog covered, trash laddened street. Fregillon continued "Now Mortis like I said is a fair man, but also a bit of a ladies man too, the daughters well you see they where sixteen and seventeen, pretty fucking lookers as well, Mortis showed a bit of compassion for them and allowed them to work off the debt in the brothels, far as I know, they're still there getting their sweet little asses fucked for fun. The others well they weren’t so lucky Mortis handed the man a rusty hand axe and told to sever the remaining family members piece by piece, started with the legs then the arms then..." "I get the idea." Flash could feel a small lump in his throat, he wasn't sure if it was the screwed up tale of the clan boss they where going to meet or the smell of the putrid air.

Diablo pulled his scarf back up over his face, he examined the white stone of the twelve-story building. The entrance was patrolled by two rent a cops; these fat bloaters stood no chance again him should they wish to start something. Diablo was hoping that they would start something. The block stone paving continued all the way up the revolving doors, Diablo followed it to the entrance. "Excuse me sir, Can I help you?" The dry arid voice returned the question "I'm looking for Raziel, I know he lives here and I have come to seem him. The guard looked at him strangely "I'm sorry sir, but I'm afraid we have no one by that name." "Really?" "I'm afraid so sir. Anything else I can help you with?" "No. I go check myself." Diablo started to walk forward then he heard the sound of a gun being unclipped." "Ahh.. You can put that peashooter away. Colt government issue 1911 A1 I believe. Standard 8 shot magazine. I hope your not planning to use that on me, wouldn't be your best move." The second security guard un-holstered the Colt and pointed it straight for Diablo's chest. "Please sir move away from the property." Diablo glanced at his, his pale blue eyes starting at the officers black uniform, "Now why would I want to do that?" "Sir, if you do not leave the premises we will have no option but to open fire, so please leave." The first officer had un-holstered his gun, the same colt as the first guard. Diablo looked at the pair of them and smiled. "Sorry, but I have a mission to attend to and you two are just fodder." With that Diablo jumped high in the air, at least ten feet off the ground, his body travelling above his head in a back flip, in mid flight Diablo produced two black Uzi nine millimetre guns and opened fire. The spray caught the first guard directly in the chest, a torrent on bullet holes opened on his black uniform, blood spurted from every hole the bullets made. The guard fell backwards hitting the ground hard, he twitched for a few seconds then collapsed - dead. The second guard didn't fare as well, the parade of bullets impacted into his shoulder, ribs and legs, he collapsed on the floor - still breathing, unable to move from the pain. He looked up and saw Diablo towering over him. "Where is Raziel?" The demeanour was calm, composed "I...Don't know who you are taking about..." The guard wheezed from breath. Diablo looked at one of the wounds in his shoulder. "I'll ask again, where is Raziel?" He crouched down and pushed his thumb into the bullet hole - The guard screamed in pain. "I don't know man, I... don't know who you mean, please...Let...Me...Go..." The guard was nearly sobbing, pleading for the pain to end. Diablo wasn't finished yet, not until he had the full answers to his questions, he pushed a two fingers into he bullet would near his lower ribs, Diablo could feel the shattered third rib and started pressing on it. The guard screeched. "Where is he?!" "I...I..." The Guard screamed even louder as Diablo started to pull the rib. "I'm looking for a strange man named Raziel, now where is he." "Strange... man...Floor eleven... never comes... out... during... the day." Diablo removed his fingers and wiped the blood residue off on the Guards' uniform. He stood up. "Thank you, told me that earlier and I could have saved us a whole lot of trouble." Diablo pointed one of his Uzis at the Guard and pulled the trigger.

"So who we gonna meet? Well come on tell me, oh you always leave me in suspense, oh come on pleaaaaseeeee." "I haven't even opened my mouth yet to say anything." Maiden looked at her friend who was hopping up and down on the spot. Being cooped up in a building didn't really agree with Elfinlied who would have rather be out on the town dancing the night away. "You still not telling me though are you, you're no fair." The whine was almost child like. "Would you grow up. I meeting with an old associate of mine, back in the days when Raziel and I wandered the earth together." That thought hurt a little. "Ok." She was nearly staring at Maiden to revel the information. "She goes by the name of Scyanide. Runs a clan out to the south sector known as the Bloody Kingdom." "Never heard of them." "Not surprised, unlike the other major clan who have been around for just about forever. The Bloody Kingdom sprung up from nowhere, there are speculations of course that some of the higher-ranking generals from the head clans in the west sector broke away. But no one can confirm that." "So what’s she like then?" "Who Scyanide? She’s alright, has a flare of temper about her, she is one of these I have to have my own way sort of people. Raziel and Scyanide always seemed to be loggerheads with each other, both as stubborn as each other. It was annoying." The two wandered past the sign noting that they had entered the south sector. The south sector was a little different from the rest of the city, in fact it was debatable whether or not it was actually in the city in the first place. Rural country land spread as far as the eye could see, houses where spiratical at best and the long dusty country roads carelessly meander down the countryside. Elfinlied found this to be a little strange, up until the sign there where rows upon rows of houses, then suddenly, nothing empty, like someone drew a line and said no not cross. "How long until we reach her?" "Half hour maybe forty minutes at most, luckily she doesn't live too far from the edge of town, close enough to be a pain; far enough that no one comes looking. Elfinlied sighed that was still too long.

The long black hair blew across the mans face, covering his one good deep brown eye, the other obtain a long deep gash caused by some edged weapon. The pupil was white, the nerves long ago died. This didn't deter him it was a sign of battle, an insignia to show that he was not afraid of death. His six foot four inch thin frame did nothing to hide his muscular body. Dressed all in black and caring a katana across his back and other two Mpk5's hung of his belt. A further Berretta tucked into the back of his jeans. "Mortis. " Fregillon hung out a strong hand to which Mortis accepted. "How the fuck are ya?" The edge of Mortis's lips cured into a small smile "I'm good Fregillon, now what brings you here? I have matters to attend to so lets make this quick." "Ok as you wish. I need guns, lots of guns." Fregillon paused and looked around "Hmm... Close range weapons as well, daggers, swords that kind of shit." "And that" Flash pointed to a rather evil looking two-handed weapon. Mortis looked at him and grinned "Ahh... That my friend is the Medusa's head. A four headed flail of immense power." He eyed up Flash's powerful frame and nodded "I can see why you want it, but it's not cheap." He turned back to Fregillon. "I'll get you what you want and have it delivered in the normal way, but this comes with two conditions - first, as always, money up front you know my deals, secondly once you leave do not come back until our current overseer has bitten the dust, he has a warrant on your head of two hundred and fifty thousand logo. I not too interested in the cash so don't worry, but there are people here that wouldn't hesitate. "Thanks for the heads up" "Once last thing" "Name it." "The debt to your father has been paid." "Done and here's my card to take the cash." "I haven't even given you a price." "What ever it is, I trust that it will be a fair price, you always have done in the past." "The guns and close range weapons call it a cool two million, for the flail I want three for that alone." Flash's eyes widened "Three million for that, geezes that a lot of cash for a hunk of metal." "And well worth the price for something that is centuries old." "Ya got a fucking deal man, Five Mill it is." Mortis confirmed the transaction "I'll have the stuff delivered within the day or two. Hmm..." Again he looked at Flash. "Tell you what, take the Flail now I'm in a good mood. We just took down three more Vamps from the Dark Brotherhood." "Thanks." Flash reached up and took the Flail in his hands, the weight was staggering. "Damn this is heavy." "Yeah imagine what you will do to someone’s head." Flash smiled at that though, picturing caving in Lysandra's skull with one full swing the look of shock on her face before the four heads hit. "Nice." Mortis threw a package at Fregillon "Here - He'll need this, it a back harness for the Flail." "Thanks." Fregillon opened the package and holstered Flash up. Flash slammed the weapon to his new weapon to his back. The clip locked the weapon in place. The two shook Mortis's hand made their farewells and walked off back toward the east sector.

The Uzi pumped out a dozen more rounds, the intended victim, a thin guard hit the ground face first, a dozen bullet holes oozing blood along the floor. Diablo holstered the still smoking guns. Walking along the corridor of the 11th floor, Diablo realised that Raziel didn't lead a poor life. The security was numerous, even if they where a little ineffective. The floors where shinning granite and marble adorned the lower half of the wall. Raziel defiantly had to lead a prosperous life to be in one of these flats. Diablo heard the click, the sound of the pistol trigger being pulled, he swung and ducked as the bullet harmlessly passed over him, a second click and again the gas chamber pumped out a another projectile. Diablo rose and pirouetted to the left, the bullet passing his mid section. A third and fourth bullet came in quick secession. Diablo jumped and placed his feet along the wall and flipped his legs over his head, both bullets passed underneath him. The pulled a Glock from him leg holster whilst in mid air and landed on his feet. A quick scout told him the bullets came from the elevator, another blood drenched guard, his clothes ripped round his abdomen and upper thigh suggested that he had already encountered this guy. Diablo didn't look for the target he just pulled the trigger and the bullet sailed gracefully in the air and impacted into the guards' gun shoulder. He reeled backwards, Diablo followed his up with another pull of the trigger, another bullet found its mark inches from last wound. He flicked his gun to the left hand crouched and spun a full three sixty. He pulled the trigger whilst at the one hundred and eighty degree mark whilst pulling another Glock from his other leg holster a third hit, Diablo walked forward towards his victim, guns pointing smoke bellowing from the barrels. A fourth shot, followed by a fifth and six all the bullets impacting the chest, the guard convulsing from the impacts, seven eight and nine followed by shots ten eleven and twelve and click, click, the chambers had emptied, the guard slid down the back of the elevator, a trail of blood along the back wall. Diablo hit a button on the side of his guns and popped the magazine from the chamber, they hit the ground with a metallic thud. He jarred in two more mags flipped the catch and re-holstered the guns. As calmly as he arrived he causally walked down the corridor towards Raziel's apartment.

Chapter 18

Viona had to nearly run to keep up with Raziel's long strides, one of the problems being only five foot three inches tall - short legs. Raziel's towering six-foot plus frame meant that the strides he took where huge.

Viona was determined however to keep up with him, she had issues that needed to be resolved. The high street was remarkable quiet for this time of the night, the shops still cased their gentle glow on the sidewalk outside. The air was crisp and a gentle cooling wind blew her golden blonde hair around her face.

Raziel took a sharp left and headed down a back alley, a cut through, to another street. Viona presumed that this lead to his flat.

She took a quick step forward and brought herself in line with him, she was nervous of asking, would he kill her for knowing, would he even care? Viona really didn't know, but she had to ask the question. She plucked up her courage and blurted out the question "How do you know Shade?"

Raziel stopped and looked at her, she had asked the questions so fast and hurried that he had to stop and think for a second, he made out one word Shade. "Sorry? I really didn't understand you."

"How do you know Shade?" This time the question was calm and composed.

"Don't know anyone by that name." He was lying and she knew it.

"Don't lie to me, I found a piece of paper with your name on it."

This puzzled Raziel he hadn't spoken to him in over a year. How on earth would this girl know he had connections. "Fine, I knew him, why do you want to know?"

"He was my..." Viona could only think of one word and that word sickened her "Pimp."

"You were a prostitute?" The surprise almost evident

"Not by choice."

"I see"

"Anyhow Shade got what was coming to him."

This perked Raziel's curiosity "Coming to him?"

"Yeah, earlier when Maiden was talking about the heightened powers that we Vampires possess, I experienced one such power. I killed him with that power, I will be a slave no longer."

"So you trade one life of slavery for another?"

"What do you mean?"

"Think about it, you teamed up with me, I'm not exactly unknown am I, that will mean that anyone watching and me and don't be fooled, they will be watching will know that you are with me, that mean you are a slave to me and anyone else that wants to follow me." A smile passed Raziel's lips

This made Viona shiver, to have to follow Raziel forever for protection, perhaps her was right, she now served a new master, she shook her head "No. You’re wrong, I'm a slave to no one, if I want to walk away I can of my own florision."

"Go for it then, walk away." He was cool, almost ice like in his speech.

Viona loked at him, there really was no emotion, no caring, nothing. "You do care what happens to anyone do you?"

"Care and be disappointed when they stab you in the back." "You're a basterd. A heartless basterd." "I've been called worse." Viona now knew why Maiden never tried to argue with him, it was impossible. Instead she turned back to the situation of Shade. "You never answered me about Shade. Who do you know him." "An acquaintance from over a year ago, I was a bit short of cash and I was bored so I took a job. He needed me to take down a member of the Order of the Back Hand. I took him out collected my pay and left, nothing more or less." Viona felt a rage start to burn inside of her, that was how her capture knew Raziel, he killed her father. She decided to buy her time and take Raziel out. She would have her vengeance. She kept calm "I see. Thank you for telling me the truth." Raziel didn't bother to reply, turned back around he resumed him steps towards the end of the alleyway, Viona once again in tow with a small vicious smile on her face.

"Where the hell did you get all that money from?" Fregillon laughed "Silver spoon mate. Mommy and Daddy where like fucking multi millionaires, when they died I took over the estate along with all of the money and businesses." "Wow, so how rich are you?" "No idea, I just keep spending and when it's all gone, I sell another business for a few billion logo and carry on spending." Flash couldn't believe what he was hearing, he struggled all his life for a small income, wondering how he was going to feed him family for another week and here a man with more money then sense, it baffled him and slightly angered him. Was he jealous, he wasn't sure. What he was sure of was that he needed to change the subject. "How did you become a vampire?" "Shut the fuck up man, where still in the west end and there are bound to be hunters around. Shit man you have to stop and think." "Sorry. " "Ahh don't worry about it, anyhow, it was my own stupidity, one of my flash parties I used to throw at my parents mansion. Man they where good times, sex drugs and women, man you would be up till four in the morning high as a kite, pissed out of your skull with usually one lass on your face and another sucking you off. Good times, really good times." A beaming smile was on his face from those thoughts. He looked at Flash who seemed less amused. "Anyhow, it was at one of those parties then I met this chick, I mean damn you wanted a body, she had it, Blonde hair, blue eyes, huge tits and one hell of a tight ass. I was in my usual state, not really with the land of the living and we just kicked it off, she couldn't resist me, I mean what women could, well that’s what I thought anyway, so we went up to my room, just the two of us, something I didn't usually do, I was accustom to at least two maybe even three broads, but there was just something about her. Well we kicked it off, she literally ripped my clothes off, she was like a caged animal and I loved it, I pulled her dress up and low and behold, she was naked, she went commando, well that was me set up for the night." "Do I really need the graphic details of your sexual exploits?" "Man I tell you a fucking tale and an epic on at that. So where was I.... Oh yeah, we jumped on each other an went at it like rabid dogs, her nails tore into my flesh, that hurt like hell I tell you, but it was kinda kinky and I was high as a kite so it really didn't matter, we both hit a climax and then it happened, she produced her fangs and decided to imbed them into my neck, thing was, she seemed to get even more tuned on by it. a few second later and I was on my back with her on top, she bit me again and kept screwing me at the same time. I remember as she came a felt this sharp pain in my neck, more so then her just chomping down, I learnt later on that it was a venom." Venom?" "Yeah, it sort of secretes from your fangs when you are at your most passionate, for the one who turned me, it was at the height of her orgasm. Anyways, the venom well it sort of kills you, well sort of is the wrong word, more like defiantly, your body changed, it wants and needs change, it requires blood to keep the body working. however small price that, you are gifted with more stamina, strength and speed. Be careful though your not infallible as you found out. Your body can only take so much punishment, take a shotgun blast to the chest and that’s it game over - no second chances." "What happened to the woman?" "No idea, didn’t even catch her name, next night I woke up with not even so much as a note to say what happened, first found out when I tried to step out into the sunshine, tell you what - that was an experience and not a nice one I assure you." "I know I found that out as well." "Anyhow enough about the past, we have a cache of weapon to be delivered to Raziel, I suggest we get there as fast as we can and stop all this chit chat." "Cool."

Raziel knelt down beside the dead guard, he turned him over, his eyes where still open looking into nothingness, bullet holes riddled his chest. He looked up a Viona "Uzi nine millimetre." "Sorry?" "That’s was did this damage, this is a clan weapon, we had best be careful." Raziel pulled his Katana from his back, the white steel blade reflecting light off the nearby street lamp. Viona pulled her berretta from the back of her jeans and pulled the top to load a bullet into the chamber. She looked at the guard who had a second weapon on him it looked like a small square box with two electrical points of them, she picked it up. "What is this?" Showing the device to Raziel "Tazer, it discharges and electrical voltage up to fifty thousand watts, enough to fry most things into twitching convulsing mannequins." "So it's doesn't kill?" "Nope, just stuns." "Good if I come across any human I won’t have to kill them, no need to kill the innocent" 'Innocent' Raziel though, no one was that anymore "If anyone get in my way, I kill them, Innocent or not." The two entered the building, slowly, both of there eyes darting about for the intruders. On the front desk slumped the receptionist, a single bullet hole piercing her forehead, blood covering the paperwork on the wooden desk. "Berretta 951." Raziel walked off towards the elevator. "Viona followed stepping over another guard who had his chest ripped open by a close range shotgun spread. Two more bodies oozed their body contents onto the cold marble floor, the bell hop, a mere fifteen year old lad riddled with Uzi bullets and a guard in the elevator itself with at least twelve bullet holes in him, blood splattered up the back wall. "Looks like an another Uzi for this guy and the guard took a Glock." Viona looked at the Bell Boy "He so young..." "It happens, come on we have to hurry." The elevator groaned as it ascended the floors, eight, nine, ten, the lights on the top of the elevator lit up according to the floor they where on, the steel cage slowed and the light illuminated floor eleven, a loud ting was followed but a light sliding noise and the doors opened. A dead body was there to great them, another guard another life extinguished. Raziel proceeded down towards this flat door, Katana out in front of him, he didn't expect anyone here, but just in case, he would be jumped unarmed. He glanced over to Viona "You need to look down that corridor, if any of clan members are still here kill first ask questions later - got it. "Yeah" Viona trailed off left down another corridor. Raziel stood directly in front of his flat door; it was slightly ajar. Using the tip of his sword he pushed it open. He walked cautiously down his marble floored hallway. The cream calls reflected the light emanating from the crystal chandelier. Straight ahead of him was the living room His flat was richly adorned with the antique furniture and pictures hundreds of years old. The Persian rung on the floor covered the oak floorboards. Standing next to his sofa was a tall man, his dark trench coat hung loosely off his shoulders. His hand was forever near his gun belt no doubt to pull the Uzi’s out should it be required. Raziel knew this man, however only from rumours, legends, he wasn't even completely sure that this man actually existed. well until now. "Diablo." "Raziel. I wasn't even sure that you where even real, just an story to tell all of your newly turned what they should be good little vampires." "I thought you where the horror story, from what I heard you made it your personal ambition to wipe us all out." Raziel shifted his position from the door to one nearer to the centre of the large living room. "Really. Do I scare you that much." "Not really at the end of the day you are just another pathetic human vampire hunter." "Oh well, listed I would love to pass insults back and forth, but to be honest I've been set here to bring you back with me, shame it has to be alive, but that is just the way of the world." "Right. I'm just gonna come along with you am I?" "Yeah that’s pretty much it, unless of course you want to give a reason to pump your body with enough lead to turn you into a pencil." Diablo drew his coat back and pulled his two Uzi’s out. "Come on Raziel, Give me a reason to pull the trigger." "Do I need to give you a reason?" "Naa not really, just thought I was being polite." With that Diablo pulled the trigger, Raziel ducked and dived for cover behind his cream leather sofa. Diablo followed Raziel's directions with his guns, the bullets tearing into the material, leather shards and down feathers exploded everywhere. Raziel glanced around, he needed to get to the office, but that was located past the dining room. Another hail of bullets tore into the fabric, the exit points nearing Raziel as he rolled out of harms way. He ducked an ran to ward the door leading to the dining room, a shower of bullets chased after him, each bullet that missed tore into the oak boards sending thousands of little splintered pieces of wood in all directions. Raziel dived through the door. Diablo released his chambers and re-chambered his guns with a fresh clip. All went quiet for a moment, this worried Raziel, no one ever stopped firing unless either they where out of bullets, which he very much doubted or... he heard the rolling of a small oval devise. Needing only a quick glance to realise that he was in deep shit, Raziel charged for his study. He reached halfway though the dining room when the grenade detonated. The explosion annilated the door and frame surrounding it, took up most of the continuing floorboards. The blast ripped apart half of the dining room table and several chairs. Raziel got blown into the next room, he impacted the far wall shattering a priceless picture in the process. He glanced up "Shit not the Jack Vettriano, that was an original. Now I'm pissed, no one comes into my home and tear this place up." Looking up next to the painting was an original soviet union AK-47, Three ammo clips attached to the wall. He hoisted himself up and grabbed the AK off the wall, this fight would have to fought on Diablo's terms. a firefight. "Ahh. Did we fall down and go boom? Sorry the boom was from a present from me." Diablo let out a high-pitched sickening laugh. Raziel popped from around the corner, an AK-47 in hand. The grenade blast has collapsed the living room/ dining room wall and he had a clear shot. Diablo wasn't expecting this. Raziel opened fire, bursts of fire came out of the barrel of the run, over a dozen bullets a second. This time Diablo dived on his side as the bullet annilated a nineteenth century antique, green fabricated chair last estimated at over four million logo. The chair was reduced to kindeling from the powerful shots of the AK-47. Diablo returned fire from the Uzi, which harmless impacted the study wall, small chunks of drywall fell to the ground. Raziel opened a filing cabinet that was against the wall that was being shot at, he pulled the top drawer open and pulled out a desert eagle , he pulled the mag - fully loaded - and slammed the mag back in place. Reaching in again he pulled a couple of spare mags. Diablo had retreated to the sitting room, staying where he did you only get himself killed. He looked up and found Raziel running though the Dining room, he opened fire with his Uzi, a few shots exited the chamber before the mag emptied. "Shit not now." He quickly holstered the Uzi’s and reached round to his gun plate that he strapped to his back, inserted in the five and seven positions he produced two MPK5's, he stuck his arms round the corner of the door frame and pulled the trigger. A maelstrom of small cylindical projectiles made their way towards its intended target, Raziel jumped towards what was left of the dining room wall. He spun sharply in the air as the majority of the bullets whizzed past him. One of them impacted again the upper part of his arm. Blood started running into his black t-shirt. His back hit the wall protecting him from the next cascade of fire. Raziel looked at the injury, nothing serious, he could easily handle it, he pulled himself round the wall and opened fire with the desert eagle, Diablo pulled his arms back in as the bullelt send splinters of wood in all directions. Diablo returned fire again with the MPK5's but missed, then bullet sailing into the study wall. Raziel saw this chance as his oppontant would be expecting a return volley, instead he ran and slid into the kitchen. Raziel hit the white wooden panel of the kitchen unit with his foot and came to rest on his back. Above his head was an entrance door that the servants could serve food into the sitting room, Raziel crouched under it and then stood up and rammed his AK though the weak panel door, it blew open with a force that shattered the wood as it hit the wall, this time it was Raziel that had caught Diablo off guard, the ensuing hail of gun fire from the AK caught Diablo in the upper shoulder and another bullet skimmed off his neck as he dashed from the edge of the door to another door that lead to one of the bedrooms. Diablo could feel the warm of this blood running down his neck, it had been a while since he had a good gun fight and he was really enjoying this, this adrenaline was going through the roof, again he stuck his MPK5 round the door and pulled the trigger - nothing happened, he looked quickly at the weapon and cursed, a bullet had impacted the gun chamber rendering the gun useless, the threw both gun away to one side, reached over his shoulder and pulled out two sawed-off shotguns. "Right you vamp basterd see what you make of this." He swung around the Door and pulled the triggers. Raziel sat with his back to the wall in the kitchen, he hadn’t seem this much mayhem since world war three, all hell had broke loose and his flat was the casualty, his Jack Vettriano valued at over six million Logo, two original Picasso paid the ultimate price, to replace Raziel thought at least twenty million a piece, several million for the furniture and the bill kept rising. Then the wall next to him exploded, showering him with plaster and black tiles. This quickly followed by another explosion in the wall, Raziel could see holes where his wall used to be. He heard a clunk followed by another two holes. sneaking a peer through the nearest holes he saw Diablo flick two sawed-off slammed the open chamber against his back to reload the guns and re-flick the guns closed. Two more holes appeared in the wall, one of them being right above Raziel's head, more plaster and this time white tiles sprayed him. Raziel needed some time to formulate a plan, sitting here looking a random pop shots would sooner or later get him killed. He decided on a change of tactic. "Diablo you aim is about as good my mother's and she had been dead a long time." "Naa. I haven't missed, just luring you into making a mistake." "Right. Whatever, you're just one man, there are tons of Vampires you can't change the world. Raziel didn't expect the answer that followed "One man can change the world..." Diablo let out a howling laughter, almost madman like. He dropped the shotguns and pulled out his two Uzi's, pressing a button on the underneath of the barrel, two clips appeared from the side of the gun, he did the same to the other Uzi and slammed them together, there was a click and he then reached for his six o'clock back holster and produced another double barrelled Uzi. "With Enough Ammunition." He pulled all four triggers The storm of bullets tore the kitchen wall to pieces, Diablo emptied over four hundred bullet in a matter of second, his double barrelled Uzi's making short work of thin wall, hundred of little holes breaking the wall. Raziel charged from the kitchen backwards the charred dining room, Diablo followed his movement with his newly reloaded Uzi’s, the projectiles tore through the exterior wall, shattered the main window and then again met with plaster and brick. Raziel was lucky, he made it though alive. Diablo stepped in the dining room, Raziel has disappeared. "Come out come out where ever you are?" He chanted. Diablo stepped into the study, nothing. He strolled back to the living room, again he couldn't see Raziel. "Where are you?" he paused for another glance and his eyes widened, there was Raziel in close quarters, how? it wasn't possible, he ran back though his mind and then it hit him, the Study, the window it was open, how could be have been so stupid, he made one small mistake and Raziel capitalized on it. Raziel brought his fist round and connected squarely with Diablo's jaw, Diablo spun a full three hundred and sixty degrees, this was followed up right a roundhouse, and flip kick, sending Raziel round in a somersault. Diablo staggered back from the force of the blows, In came Raziel again, he landed a series of fists to the chest and abdomen of Diablo, followed by an uppercut that shattered his opponent’s nose, blood exploded, but Raziel hadn't finished, he grabbed Diablo round the back of the head and brought his head down toward Raziel's lifting knee. Diablo hit the ground, blood flowing from his mouth and nose. Raziel looked at him; a look of firm resolve on his face, he reached down and grabbed one of Diablo's Double Barrelled Uzi’s. "Like I said, one man can't change the world. Diablo waited for the trigger to be pulled and closed his eyes ready to accept his fate for the one mistake he made. Nothing happened. He opened his eyes and there was Raziel, a look of shock on his face, his muscles had completely seized on him, he felt pulses of energy flowing through him, he mustered enough strength and turned to face the hall doorway, attached to him was a pair of wires, a Tazer. He looked at the one holding the Tazer. He had been betrayed. "That’s for my father you basterd! Lets see if fifty thousand volts makes you feel anything." Raziel collapsed to the floor as another jolt surged through his body. Raziel just managed to let out a few words before passing out "How..." "How could you..." "How could you betray me." "Viona."

Chapter 19

Diablo looked down at Raziel, the wires still stuck in his back, he followed them to the hallway where Viona stood, her angry and hate twisted face all to apparent. A small smirked passed his lips, he had wanted to finish Raziel off, but this was just as effective.

"Hello again Viona, long tome no see."

"Diablo, how did I know it was you here, so I presume you are here to finish him off then." "Naa. I'm on an errand I'm afraid, good logo in it for bringing him alive."

This surprised Viona she always knew him as a bring them down sort of bloke, she had known Diablo from her brothel days, he was a regular there, one girl in particular always tickled his interest. He reminded her of a story he mother once told her of a place called the wild west, a place where every one had a gun and wasn't afraid to use it. Diablo was one of those character, she could remember lilania tell her that he had to pull out his gun and shoot up the scenery every time he blew his load. He never changed. Different things for different people Viona kept thinking. Her? She was the abused one, the perfect blonde hair blue eyed girl who would do anything for you. Viona shuddered, that seemed like ages ago rather then days.

"You can have him, I only wish I was there to watch as you tore the life out of him."

"Do you hate him that much?"

"Basterd killed my father, it was because of him that my mother killed herself and I was forced to that whore house." She spat the final word out.

Diablo bent down a picked his double barrelled Uzi up and inserted it into its gun slot on his back.

"Funny that you say that. I know Raziel killed an official of the Black Hand." Diablo unclipped the other Uzi and dumped the cartridges. "You see I was also around when Raziel was given that order." New cartridges where inserted and locked into place. "However from what I recall, The man Raziel killed had no family, in fact young lady, the man Raziel killed was a vault hacker and no more then eighteen years old."

Viona went white "No..." she stammered

Diablo continued "I also remember you father as well, charming man, a real charismatic. The ladies loved him, but he was all mouth, your bitch of a mother..." "Don't call her that!" Viona shouted mid sentence.

Diablo didn't listen he just raised a hand for silence. "Your bitch of a mother was a money queen, always had to have the best, eventually it bankrupted him and he was forced to do... Other things. Cheat, lie steal..." Diablo grinned that sickening grin. "Kill..."

Viona could feel her eyes starting to well up, she loved her family, all she could remember was how good they a family they where. "You're lying you basterd." "Why do I need to, I have what I want and I think it's about time you knew the truth, isn't that what you always wanted, what you where always told."

Viona let a tear escape and run down her face. This pleased Diablo; who decided to push her further. "Anyhow, life for your father returned to normal, his whore got what she wanted and he pretended that he could provide for her. Well that all changed one day, you see your father came home and found your mother in bed with another man." He stopped and waited for the reaction. He didn't get one; Viona was too much in shock and rage. He had her where he wanted her. "You can imagine your Father's reaction, wow, I didn't expect that, I understand where you got you're strength from. I had a shiner for week after that."

"You..." Her face had turned scarlet "You!!!!"

"Oh calm down dear, it wasn’t that big a deal, in fact I was doing you father a favour. He could see how much of a whore she really was. Well... like I said your father didn't take it very well and decided to take matters into his own hand, he used his charisma and wormed his way into the boss mans' wife’s underwear." Diablo shook his head slightly "I don't understand why he would do something so stupid after all, the black hand had no idea I was fucking your mother for nearly a year - it was none of their concern. As you can imagine, that didn't go down well. He was caught, tortured and then ripped to pieces; I think you recall that you and her were made to watch.

Viona pulled her berretta from out of her jeans and pointed it Diablo's head, the gun was shaking and tears where falling from her eyes. "You basterd, you fucking basterd, so this is all your fault, all these years I though you were just looking out me and you did all of this, you put me in that hell house, you killed my mother and you killed my father.

"No I believe four cars killed your father, as for your mother? Why would I want to kill her, once she was in the Hoare house, I could have her whenever I wanted and do whatever I wanted." The sick smile re-emerged.

A bullet sailed past Diablo's head, he didn't even flinch. The screams of the gun holder echoed in his head "I'll kill you, I'll kill you, I'll kill you."

"Anyhow if your done screaming I have other matters to attend to. I am so glad to say that I have the pleasure to be the one to put you out of you're misery." He pulled a Beretta from the side of the back holster. "But first, I'm gonna have some fun."

Diablo pulled the trigger and the gas chamber exploded a lead round tipped bullet left the chamber. Viona Winsted as the pullet penetrated her abdomen, blood burst out from her back and splattered the wall. She slumped slightly grabbing the wall for support. She had to get out of there or Diablo would kill her. Another shooting pain exploded in her brain, this time the bullet entered her left shoulder, more blood hit the wall.

'Oh my dear little sweet, you mother was so kind' again he pulled the trigger, this time the bullet hit her left, he watched her drop to the ground. "You know my dear, I don't think you ever really knew me, you see where Vampires are concerned I'm very much like the bullets that have passed your pretty little body, home-made, fast, angry and full of hatred for your kind." Another pull of the trigger and wound inflicted on his intended target.

Viona double over grabbing her stomach as the pain tore through her. She didn't know how she was going to survive this, maybe she didn't, she stabbed Raziel in the back without knowing the full facts. Condemned him to his death at the hands of this madman all because of her blind rage.

"You know Viona, you mother screamed in much the same way when I used to tease her. Like mother like daughter as they say. Both of you whores, fucked by society for fun."

Viona felt the rage and seething hatred in her erupt, she still had hold of the Beretta, using all her strength, she pulled herself up and looked him straight in the eyes. "Go fuck yourself!" And pulled the trigger. To Viona the bullet sailed in slow motion, the bullet carried all her hate and malice that she wanted the target to feel. The bullet hit clothing and flesh, blood spurted out as it tore through the body just under the breast plate, passing in between the lungs before exiting the back of the body and impacting the far fall.

Diablo dropped to one knee, blood flowing through his fingers as he tried to stem the flow of blood, twice in one night someone had got the better of him. He looked for Viona and caught her disappearing out the door. He could ignore the pain, not the first time he's taken a bullet. Luck must have been on his side, that shot should have killed him. For now the wound would have to wait e had a stubborn little bitch to kill. The Hunt was on.

Viona limped down the hall, she moved as fast as she could, sort of a half run, half hop sort of movement. She looked behind her, he was there, she had shot him square in the chest and he still lived. She had to get away, she quickly ran the options though her head, the elevator would be a death trap and too slow, she could try a window and jump, as a vampire she might be able to survive a fall of that height - then again, it could also just as easily kill her. That would make Diablo's job a whole lot easier. Look like the stair was the answer.

There was only one way to take down a Vampire, well actually there where a lot of ways, but this one was a good one. Covering one hand over his would, he pulled the Uzi out, he could see her down the corridor - near the end a sign for the stairs, if she reached them it would be game over, he couldn't follow and let Raziel get away. Hopefully he would still be out cold for at least another couple of hours. He raised the Uzi and pulled the trigger.

Plaster drywall shower Viona as the bullets impacted overhead. "Shit!" She could move any faster but needed some more time, quickly glancing at Diablo she noticed a fire extinguisher on the wall no more the twenty feet in front of him. Raising the Beretta she took aim, another hail bullets tore in the wall, more dust poured over Viona.

She pulled the trigger.

Diablo shielded his eyes as the compression gas in the extinguisher exploded sending fire dampening powder everywhere. Diablo couldn't see, a white shield blocked his vision. He was now had enough. He pushed though the powder wall and came to the hall clearing; Viona had just about made it.

"Time to take out the trash." Diablo slid the Beretta back into place, from two indented sections in the back plate Diablo slid a metal pole with handle grips and a trigger as well as a metal shoulder piece. Diablo wasn't smiling this time, the snapped the two pieces together at high speed. Diablo reached into his jacket and opened an internal zip and produced a long oval shaped steel casing devised that slid into the top of the weapon. He mounted the shoulder piece on the top of his shoulder and gripped the handles firmly. Not really the way he wanted to kill her, but hey something you don’t get what you want.

Viona reached the exit door and breathed a sigh of relief, the bullets had stopped and she was free, Diablo would risk following her.

She heard a voice, Diablo's, it was a hoarse laughter, she took one glance over at him and then panicked.

Diablo pulled the trigger, flames emitted from the rear of the weapon as the rocket grenade was send hurtling down the corridor.

Viona rushed to pushed the door open, and jumped towards the concrete stairway as the rocket impacted the wall.

The detonation was deafening, a fireball blew though the opened doorway and blew Viona against the far wall, she connected with a sickening thud as the back of her head and shoulders came to a sudden halt against the cold concrete. Blood splattered and a loud crack followed from the broken shoulder. Viona bounced of the wall, rolled down another flight of stairs and came to lay motionless.

Diablo looked at his handy work. The wall the rocket impacted has dissipated allowing the streetlights from outside to shine in. Debris littered the hallway and small fires had broken out.

He didn't say a word; he quietly turned around walked back into the flat and slammed the door shut. One of the ones on the door fell to the ground.

Chapter 20

Sarah collapsed against the cold brick wall down the small alleyway, the torrent of rain masking the tears streaming down her eyes, the claps of thunder silencing the uncontrolled sobbing. She kept her face in her hands so no one could see her. She hadn't been home for nearly three days, however it didn't matter Aria was being looked after by her grandparents.

The night had already set in and Sarah really didn't know how long she had been crying there, for all she knew it was for the three days. She tried to stop more times then she could count, but there was something, maybe a saying or a picture and she would just burst into floods of tears again.

She was where she belonged, in the trash, down some small back alley. This whole thing was her fault if only she had realized instead of looking at that stupid dress in the window.

Sarah could hear the busy traffic drive by, the passers of people as they went about their daily business, these people didn't care about her, they had their own problems to deal with. She was just another person to avoid, like the tramp on the street, you stare at them, but never raise a finger to help them get out of their situation.

Then he arrived.

Sarah's salvation.

She could hear footsteps walking down towards her in the alleyway, she didn't really care what the person wanted, all she cared about was that they left her alone, or kill her quickly, either one would work for her. The footsteps grew louder as they approached, the steps where solid, unified, heal toe, heal toe, he walked gracefully.

The noise of the footsteps stopped just in front of her.

"Can I help you in anyway young lady?" The voice was soft, angelic

Sarah just shook her head, she really didn't want this conflict, she just wanted to feel the tears run down her face.

"Please allow me to help you, I can offer your food, drink a place to stay."

"Why would you do that for me?" Her voice was rasp and quiet. "None of these other people would want to help me, so why you, what do you want out of the eh?"

"I do not want anything from you, I just want to make sure that everyone on the street is provided for."

"Yeah whatever, then what lure back to your home, bed me for the night and kick me back out again, what kind of sick fuck are you?"

If the man took any kind of offence he didn't show it. "I think you have me all wrong, perhaps if you looked at me things would become clear."

Sarah lifted her elbow slightly so she could see his shoes from underneath her arms. She was slightly shocked when the man talking to her wore a pair of jet black highly polished Prada shoes. She pulled her head up above her arms and followed his tight tailored trousers up past his black belt with a silver buckle, to a jet-black shirt and a small black jacket fell over his shoulders. This didn't really convince Sarah that his man was anything but honest, however, the dog collar did.

"You're from the church?"

"Is it that obvious?"

Sarah didn't want to look at his face, it was hard enough just speaking to someone, but talking to a man of god would be a bit too much at the moment.

"Come on, you can't spend all night here, you'll catch your death."

Sarah was about to respond but the Vicar beat her to it. "And I won't take no for an answer."

She pondered this for a second, he soft angelic voice entered her head, he seemed to have a pull, a seduction in his voice that called out to her.

"Fine." it was said as whisper.

"Good, come on we need to get you back to the Church. Get some food and drink in you."

With the vicars' help she arose and steadied herself, she finally looked at him. He was young, she guessed at no more then twenty-four, maybe twenty-five at push. His long blonde hair was tied back in a ponytail, his vibrant blue eyes and deep thin red lips and contrasted against his very white pale skin.

"The name's Artoir. Yours?"


The two walked back out of the alley, walking down Main Street being the only way back to the church, the main street Sarah desperately wanted to avoid. He huddled in close to Artoir, she didn't really understand why, she just felt safe.

The Church stood for nearly one hundred years, stone built. Smooth stone stairs led up towards the big wooden double doors. The large stain glassed window loomed high over the doors, twin spires rose from the front corners. The expanse on the building was huge, this wasn't a church, it was a Cathedral.

Artoir climbed the stair, inserted a large iron key and unlocked the front door. Sarah looked at him strangely

"I thought the house of god was always open."

"It is, when I'm here."

Sarah followed on behind, as she passed the threshold she had to stop and stare at the magnificence of the place. The stone arched ceiling expanded over fifty foot high. Intricate designs of hand painted artwork will the crevasse. Large stone pillars were rowed upon rowed. Oak wood pews lined all the way down to the large golden cross.

"You live here?"

"Yeah, up there." He flicked his hands towards an iron spiral staircase that led to a small wooden door. "I though it would be best to sit in the living room, more comfortable then these wooden Pugh’s.

"Yeah, fine." this could have been a trap, he still could have been an attacker waiting for an opportunity, Sarah however didn't really care, if he was to kill her, she would welcome it.

He followed him up the spiral staircase and in through the door, his 'flat' was open plan, a large studio style living room, dining room and kitchen. There was a small door leading to a single bedroom and next to it another door leading to the bathroom.

Artoir headed over the modern style black and whine vinyl kitchen. "Tea?"



"Oh yeah please."

Artoir flicked the kettle and pulled out two white cups. This gave Sarah a change to take a quick glance round the surroundings. The flat was immaculate and very modern. One thing Sarah had learn whilst being with her husband was an appreciation for high quality. The two black corner sofas looked to be made out of soft Italian leather, she remembered looking at one similar, but really couldn't justify the fifteen thousand logo price tag.

In front of the sofas sat a gunmetal and glass table, sitting on a intricate black and cream design rug. There was no television, but there was a stereo, as with the rest of the flat, it was top of the line and over the top expensive.

She heard the footsteps of Artoir drawing nearer, the oak wooden floorboards giving a slight creek.



The vicar motioned for Sarah to sit on one of the large sofas, she thanked him and sat down. She was right about the Italian leather. She sipped the tea and looked at him, what could she say, if anything.

Artoir was the first to speak "So Sarah, why don't we star with what happened."

Sarah didn't really know where to begin, she though of books, didn't know why, but it just popped into her head and like all books she started from the beginning.

She poured her heart and soul out to him, perhaps it was the fact he was a man of god, maybe of was the fact that he was a complete stranger and would have no judgements on her.

Minutes became hours, she laughed and cried and then cried some more, Artoir had moved closer onto her sofa offering her a hand and a handkerchief. He listened intensely, hanging on every word spoken out of her mouth. By then end even he held a tear in his eye.

"Thank you." Sarah spoke, it was soft and kind.

"I'm always here to lend an ear."

Sarah rapped her arms around him in an embracing hug, like a daughter to a father. Artoir could feel her pain, her suffering. She had something taken from her then no life could ever give back. In the short time that he had met this girl, she had take hold of him and his attraction for her. Perhaps she would stay with him. A bold statement he thought, but one he was willing to try, but not like this, she would have to share him to understand that.

Artoir looked out the window, he looked at the full moon arising, a slight tint of red stained the white craters object.

"Don't worry Sarah, everything will be fine. I promise."

Artoir look at the reflection in the window, he could see her smooth skin, he could smell her aroma, a subtle seduction calling him. He blinked and looked back at the window, he could see himself, his pale skin and deep blue eyes, and the whites of his eyes, that where no longer white, but crimson red, he opened his mouth, his canines now fangs.

He whispered in her ear once more "I promise." And brought his fangs down into her slender neck.

A pain surged though her body, she felt her life ebbing away, this was a trap and she was the victim, but she suddenly felt calm, she was going to die and this didn't bother her at all, in fact she smiled, the pain ceased and turned to what could only be called pleasurable. She rested her head against his shoulder and allowed him to continue to end her life.

Artoir bit harder and he felt the venom escape his body and infect this new body. A new harbinger for the afterlife. A new partner for him for all eternity.

Once again a pain shot through Sarah, but this time it was agonising, it felt like all her organs where about ready to explode, she tried to rip herself away from him, but he just held her tighter, she wanted to scream, call out, her closed eyes shot open in terror, this was it, this was the end.

The gulls flew over the boardwalk and sailed out over the murky coloured sea. Sarah looked at the people on the beach. She remembers when she spent all day there working on her tan. She held Stephen's hand tightly, he had to turn her wedding ring slightly to avoid the solitaire stabbing him.

The two had been married for nearly two years know and decided after they came back off honeymoon that they would buy a place in Los Angeles. The coast was always lovely, always hot and the people always friendly. They found themselves a little spot on the edge of a sky rise. it was only two bedroom, more then enough for what they needed.

"Mummy, Mummy"

In her other hand was Aria, who had just turned three and Stephen and Sarah where taking her into town to buy her some gift for her belated birthday party.

"Yes darling?" Not the first time Aria had wanted something today, in fact Sarah had lost count of the number of times her daughter wanted something.

"Play beach"

"Not today darling, maybe next week, but we have to get things for your birthday party tomorrow."

"Play beach. Play beach!" Aria stomped her feet

Stephen stepped in "Aria No! Mummy said we can go to the beach next week."

Aria looked at Stephen with her bid brown eyes, her bottom lip fell and started to tremble. Both parents knew what this meant. Aria eyes welled up and she burst out crying. Sarah gave Stephen a look, one that said quite clearly that he didn't have to be so harsh on her.

Stephen picked her up said sorry and hugged her. He put her down and she started to skip of down the boardwalk as though nothing had happened.

They arrived into the city square, the road ran down the middle of Main Street and all the high street shops where either side. Stephen needed to look for some supplies for his new job. Another mechanics job.

Sarah was occupied with the shops, designer dresses going for more money then she would ever have. One dress in particular caught her eye, long, flowing and deep red. It was beautiful - it was also thirty eight thousand logo. 'Oh well' she though she could dream.

"Come on Aria, take Mommy by the hand."


"Aria?" Sarah turned around and panicked, she couldn't see her. Hoards of people walked in front of her. She looked up and down the sidewalk frantically.


A gap in the words of people gave Sarah the biggest panic yet. She could see Aria crossing the road, Sarah pushed though the crowd, sending the people scattering in all directions.


Her daughter didn't hear her.

"Aria!!!" Again nothing.

Sarah looked up the road to see a truck approaching at high speed. The truck driver slammed the brake and the truck tires screamed trying to stick to the pavement underneath.

"NO!!!" She turned away in fright, she couldn't reach her in time. Then silence followed by hundreds of screaming people. Sarah felt her stomach reaching as though she wanted to be sick. Her daughter, he only daughter.

"Mummy!" A tearful scream shouted.

Sarah turned around, there was Aria, her knees and elbows cut and scrapped. Sarah ran to her and embraced her in the biggest hug possible. A police officer came to see if she was alright.

"I'm fine officer, thank you. My daughter's safe, I'm fine."

"Well ma'am I would say you need to thank that man who saved her, but I'm sorry to say he gave his life for her."

Sarah looked in front of the truck and her heart stopped, her slipped away from Aria's, she wanted to cry, but nothing came out. then all of her feelings exploder on one loud cry.


She tried to run towards his broken body, pushing people out of her way like a crazy maniac.

She pushed though and ran her body collapsed beside him, she turned him over, his face was bloodied and broken, his jaw crushed sideways, he eyes wide open and starring into space.

"NOOOOOO!!!" Sarah fell on top of him and cried, she screamed at the paramedics to bring him back, but to no avail. She struck out at anyone who wanted to take him away, she wasn't letting the one person go who had accepted her for who she was. He was her husband and more importantly they loved each other.

The policy agreed to take Aria back to her grand parents house, Sarah was too distraught and hysterical to look after her. The people in the high street could help but stair as she would either cry quietly or sob her heart out, no one however would stop to make sure she was alright. They just went about their business.

Sarah felt disgusted with herself, if she hadn't been so vain, Stephen would still be alive and she would still be happy. She was trash and deserved to be treated as such. She came across an alley was off the main straight and walked down into the darkness.

Sarah awoke with a panicking scream, she remembered the vicar, was it a dream?, did she imagine it all? she wasn't sure. letting her mind come into focus she could feel satin sheet covering her now nearly naked body, she was wearing only her undergarments.

The young blonde walked into the room, a look of delight on his face.

"Ahh. you have awoken. I was starting to think that you would not. You have been out cold for nearly a week now. I wasn't sure that the venom hadn't comatose you."

She was confused, what had he done. she looked at the window, the drawn blinds showed no sign of sunlight. She sat up pulling the sheet over her breasts to hide them from the captor. What did he mean by venom, had he poisoned her?

"Who are you?" There was an almost scared tone in her voice.

"The same person you met over a week ago, but my full name if Artoir Von Twooh - like the number - two. After hearing your story I took pity on you. I too understand something about being lonely and emptiness that cannot be fulfilled. I can change that.

Sarah felt weak, a hunger that could not seem to be controlled, she looked at him, his same smile on his neck. A feeling came over her, for all her hunger she felt powerful, she could snap this little prick's neck. Sarah double back this though, what was she thinking, she wasn't a violent person, she never had any feeling to hurt anyone and this scared her.

Artoir saw this hunger in her eyes. He produced a plasma pouch and threw it t her.

"Here drink this."

"What it is?" She had an inkling but wanted him to say it.

"Your life source."

As if through instinct she ripped the top of the plastic bag and started to devour the contents. Blood ran down the sides of her lips and flowed down on the white sheets staining them a deep maroon. She finished the bag and threw it in disgust.

"What have you made me?"

"More powerful then you have ever known my dear."

Sarah pulled the covers back, the dried stain of blood on the edges of her lips. She pulled the curtain back to reveal the pitch-black night sky. She was no longer scared. She felt alive, changed, her past no longer mattered to her.

"Am I dead?"

Artoir pondered his answer carefully "Sort of. you are a creature of the night, a hunter, a being of immense power and I will be here to show you the world of the night Sarah.

Sarah looked at Artoir and smiled, her past seemed like a distance memory, her daughter would be well cared for and didn't require her. This man gave her a gift. A gift of death, it was one that she welcomed. She glanced back at the plasma pack. This is what she was now, a killer.

"Sarah is dead, she died in your arms as your poisoned her with your infection, I am a tainted with wanting of blood, a blood maiden for the damned and that is what I shall know be known as."

Artoir was a little surprise to what he created, this woman appeared devoid of any feelings, everything she lived for was taken away including her. He wondered for the first time if her had done the right thing."

Sarah walked over to his wardrobe and sifted thought his clothes, she grabbed a full-length crimson red dress, one that matched her hair and slipped it on.

She headed out of the bedroom to the exit.

She turned and smiled at him, her feeling of desire quire clear for him. "So long honey, I think it time I look at this world the way it was meant to be looked at, though the eyes of the damned. She grabbed the door handle to leave the flat.

"Who are you?" Artoir said

"Why darling you of all people should know that. I am a maiden of blood, a blood masked maiden if you will."

She curled the edge of her lip to a sickening smile.

"But you can call me Maiden for short." The door slammed closed and left Artoir standing their contemplating what he had done.

Chapter 21

"How much longer do we have to walk for?" the comments carried an almost whinging complaint. "That’s the third time you have asked me that in the last five minutes. " Maiden took a deep breath in "Nearly there." "But you said that last time." "And I'll keep saying it every time you ask." "Oh, you're no fun." Elfinlied perked up "I know lets play a game. Eye spy with my little eye..." "A girl who is going to get a smack round the back of the head if you don't shut up." The response was stern, maybe a little too stern. "Meenie. Not taking to you now." "At last, peace and quiet." The two walked down a single dirt track road. The night sky was clear and Elfinlied looked up at the constellations. The moon shauwn it's light intensely allowing them to see without the help of any aided illumination. "Are we nearly there yet?" If there was ever a time for justifiably homicide, Maiden felt she could quite easily claim it. She looked up over the black forest, the countering lighter black of the sky giving definitive lines and shapes to the tree line. Only a quick cut through the trees and she would reach scyanide and hopefully get a few answers as to what was happening. "Come on please tell me, are we nearly there yet?"

Mortis studied the map of the city, various pins of different colours noting the difference places that the Dark Brotherhood as been last seen. He was pleased with the last battle knowing that several members of his opposition had been given their final rest. He allowed his dark hair to flow over his useless eye. He would need to wait for the recon team to return before another strike could be orchestrated. A slender young lady walked into the plain grey room of the two-story building that housed the main operation for the Brotherhood of Steel. "Eve? What can I do for you?" Eve took another steep forward allowing her dark brown hair to fall over her shoulders. She gazed at her this man with her deep brown eyes, not as someone how was in love with this man, more of a fatherly look. She had known Mortis for longer then she care to remember, she had brought her up and taught her the street smarts that allowed her to survive. In return she had been not only a loyal follower, she has been Mortis confidant and general for the field troops, her prowess in battle was second to none. "We may have a problem." She said "Go on?" "The Brotherhood have vanished off any of our radars, none of the recon teams could find them.” "None of them?" "No sir." "Then that isn't a problem - it's a blessing, it means we have finally rid the world of the scumbag fanatics that have been causing us problems all these year. In fact this is great news, send word that the war is finally over." Eve stared at Mortis, he wasn't usually this jovial, nor was she convinced that this war had truly ended. "Mortis..." Her words where cut short as the main gate of some of the brickwork wall surrounding the compound exploded inwards.

Raziel shook his head to try and clear the blurred vision caused by the tazer, he was still groggy, he could remember the fire fight with Diablo and then Viona stabbing him in the back, he twisted face full of hatred, but why? He didn't know, he had done nothing to her in fact the only connection between the two was a pimp buy the name of shade. He raised his hand to clear his eyes, only he couldn't, his arms where bound by his side, feeling started to flow back into his body, his vision started to return, the grey blur in front of him was actually cold grey stone, the grouting between the stone slowly fading away through the eons of time. As well as his arms, his legs and upper torso were bound. He found himself on an upright table; a small window to his right gave a small amount of illumination from the moon. "You're awake, good." Raziel knew the voice "Diablo, what the hell." "Oh come now, you should thank that hoare of a companion for putting you in the state your in." "Indeed, I really need to thank her properly for that." "Sorry, I already did that." "Seems you're taking the credit again for something someone else did." "Maybe, but what’s even funnier is that she zapped you and you didn't even do anything. Same old you, tell someone the cold hearted truth rather then the full tale." Diablo smiled and walked into the moonlight revealing himself. "Did you know that she actually thought you killed her father?" Raziel look at him coldly and allowed him to continue, not that he really had another choice. "You see my dear nemesis, if you had told her the tale of your plight rather then you where given a mission to kill someone, if you had actually gave the full history, I'm sure I would still be in your apartment with a bullet between my eyes." "Yeah, shame, why don't you let me go so I can amend that." Diablo laughed "Funny, that was actually really funny, I didn't know you actually had a sense of humour." "Regular bag of laughs me, so you gonna actually put me out of my misery, or am I gonna be bored to death by your voice, either way get it over with quickly please, I really do not know how much more of this I can take." Diablo's fist connected with Raziel's mouth. "Damn that felt good, lets try that again." Another fist connected breaking the skin on his lip. Diablo watched as blood started to flow down Raziel's chin. "You and I are gonna have some fun, you're not gonna die by my hand, trust me on that. Like I said before, I have to give you to Patris." The sick grin returned "But he didn't said that you where to be given to him untouched." Diablo drew one of his sawed-off's flipped the gun so he held the barrel and swung.

The darkened sky was lit by a flash of red and orange followed quickly by a large explosion. Maiden felt the shockwave of the blast push her back slightly. Over the top of the trees flames and smoke could be seen. Maiden cursed as she knew this location, with the Bloody Kingdom's base of operation and at the minute looked like it had been destroyed. The two picked up their pace, turned direction and headed straight into the forest. The light from the blaze allowed for them to see where they needed to be. It would only be a short cut though and Maiden really hoped that she was wrong. The two-story barn was completely ablaze, the outside timber frame had either been blown or burnt away leaving exposed the core beams. These wouldn't hold long. Bodies littered the area and Maiden took a quick head count. Fifteen and Scyanide was nowhere to been seen in amoungst this flaming carnage. "Shit, looks like were too late. I didn't think anyone would bother with these guys, not exactly you biggest pain in the arses. Take a look around and I hope I don't need to remind you to be careful.

Raziel clenched his teeth as the burning metal stake was removed from his shoulder. He wanted to shout, give off some emotion of agony, but this would only let Diablo know that we was succeeding in his torture. Diablo happily whistled to himself as he pulled another burning rod, this time from his opponent’s leg. He watched to see his reaction, nothing. "Come on Raziel, give me something to work with, a little flicker of pain; maybe even a small smile to know that I bested you." "Really, I though Viona got the better of me, if I recall I had the gun at your head." Diablo ripped a third rod sideways from his mid section. Blood flowed out from the wound. "Oh dear, look what you made me do, now that wasn't suppose to happen, can't have you dying on me know, can I?" He threw the rod over to one side and picked up an acetylene torch. Diablo flicked the gas on and gave that evil haunting smile. Reaching into his pocket he revealed a small lighter. "Just so you know, this might hurt a little bit." And flicked the flint on the lighter, causing a flame to ignite. He held of the naked flame to the torch and the torch ignited a blazing blue fireball, before settling to a blue jet of roaring flame. "Actually." Diablo yelled over the roar. "This might hurt a hell of a lot and God I hope it does." The tip of the flame connected with Raziel bloody skin. He finally gave in and screamed in pain. All Diablo could do was smile.

Gunfire echoed round the courtyard, Mortis glanced out the window at the on coming onslaught. Twenty, maybe even thirty men poured in, they wore dark green suits of Kevlar body armour, most came equipped with either two Beretta’s or hunting rifles. He watched as his men and women engaged the enemy with great speed and precision. The enemy taking bullet wounds, stab wounds and slashings. Mortis always maintained that humans where good for two things, food and fodder. Something didn't add up to him though and then it clicked. These where shock troops, army drafted, but only one man had control of these people - Patris. Why would he make a move against the Brotherhood, it made no sense? Patris would have to know that his troops would fall against a clan full of vampires. Mortis controlled the East sector and he found it more then annoying to understand that someone had come to relieve him of that position. The battle raged for a few more minutes, the shock troops trying to push their way through the main gate. More then fifteen had met their final fate. Another wave pushed through, however, this wave contained people that took Mortis by surprise. It was the Dark Brotherhood.

Maiden look deeply disturbed, she had found Scyanide, and she was strapped to a large wooden cross. She hardly reconnonised her old associate, most of her once long jet black hair looked to have ripped out. One of her eyes had been gouged; she looked at the ground not wanting to see what further tortured this vampire had endured. On the ground lay a large screwdriver, it's metallic rod came to a point at the end showing that it was a flat head screwdriver. Blood was encrusted from the tip up to the top of the yellow handle. Maiden forced herself to once again look at Scyanide and realised that this weapon is what tore out her eyeball. Blood had dried on Scyanide's cracked and split lips and she noticed that his had run down to her fractured jaw. Her body suffered the shame sort of trauma. Maiden could tell that her chest was slightly concave, suggesting that all of her ribs had been shattered, a part of her dark clothing stuck to the stuck to the side where her abdomen should have been. Blood was still dripping from the bottom of the shirt. Maiden followed Scyanide's cut and bruised arms and hands. Two of her fingers had been cut off; the other had been bent backwards and broken. Maiden closed her eyes not wanting to look at her anymore, the sight was just too horrific, she had too many questions to ask and no answers, the main one being who had done this. "Maiden..." Maiden opened her eyes, her name was called almost as a whisper, and she looked at Scyanide. She saw her mouth open again. "Maiden... Sorry..." Maiden grabbed on of her knives and slit the ropes binding her to the cross. She fell and Maiden grabbed her on the way. The two collapsed on the ground and Maiden held her in her arms. "Shh. Kept quiet. I'll get you some help." "No...I'm...Already..." She coughed slightly and fresh blood appeared from the edge of her mouth. "Dead..." "Don't be silly, you'll be fine." "No..." her voice was faint almost non-existent. "I'm...Gone..." "Who did this?" Maiden decided to change tact. Another cough followed by more blood. "Brotherhood... Patris... Raziel..." Her eyes closed. "Stay with me!" Scyanide re-opened her eyes. "What does Raziel have to do with this?" "Everything... Need... Flat...They...Know..." "What do you mean? I don't understand." "Save...Brother... Steel...Mor...tis...Danger." Maiden could feel Scyanide starting to slip but Maiden how had an idea who was being the initial attack, she still didn't know why, but she did know she had to get back to Raziel and warn him he was in danger. Scyanide raised her hand and grabbed Maiden round the front of her dress and began to pull Maiden towards her. She raised her hand slightly trying to whisper something in her ear. Maiden looked at her with a sympathetic look as Scyanide lost all her strength. "I can't..." She paused for breath "You'll be fine." For the first time since she met Scyanide she saw he give what could almost resemble a smile. She had accepted her fate. "Please... I... Sun... Live...Burn...No... Please...No..." Scyanide's hand dropped to the ground, her hand almost pointing, Maiden looked across and saw Scyanides' Magnum lying on the ground. "Please...Please..." Her voice had changed it she was nearly begging Maiden. Maiden proper her up against the wooden cross and then stood up and walked over to the Magnum. Picking it up she pondered whether she was going the right thing. She didn't want to leave Scyanide to the Sun, having your skin slowly burn you to death was more torture then she had already endured. Perhaps her fallen comrade wasn't asking for too much after all. She walked back over to Scyanide and looked at her. What did she say, usually she never had any problems killing someone, why was this any different? She didn't have any answer, only more questions. "It's...Ok...Do...It..." "I'm sorry. I'll avenge you I promise." "I...Know..." Maiden pulled the trigger.

Vampires from the Dark Brotherhood started leaping over the shock troops; the combined force quickly took down the defence wall formed by the Brotherhood of Steel. The twin tower turrets that housed the thirty-millimetre assault cannons that gave the main protection to the internal defences were quickly taken out with rocket grenades. The ensuring blast killing the two members loading them up for another barrage of bullets against the enemy. Mortis could only watch helplessly as Eve refused to let him enter the battle saying that he was too well connected to be killed. She convinced him that everything would be fine and the Brotherhood could handle themselves in a fight. Reluctely he agreed with her and watched as Nix and Demandred where killed in the defence towers. Illania was the next to fall as three shock troops and two members of the brotherhood singled her out as her went into for a full hand to hand assault, she was mowed how with relentless gunfire. Mortis said a small prayer for her. The Brotherhood of steel started to re-take control from protected areas of the compound. Several members of the Dark Brotherhood where taken down by Makavelli and his AK-47. The shock troops started to retreat, quickly followed by the remaining Dark Brotherhood members. The compound went eerily quiet for a few moments, followed by a loud cheer as the survivors of the onslaught celebrated their victory. Mortis crossed his arms and smiled in confidence his brethren has banded together and defended their home like he taught them. He would lay his dead to rest and offer a prayer for their souls. It was times like this he wished that Artoir were here. He enjoyed his council and his faith in what Artoir called the almightily. But he was off somewhere in Eastern Europe trying to 'find himself'. One of the new recruits, a young man named Erebes stood in the middle of the courtyard. "I love this place. We are invincible. Together no one stop us." His screams of joy so turned to scream of pain and anguish and suddenly as he was filed full of holes, his body become a pincushion for the torrent of bullets that impacted him. Blood dispersed in all direction. When the bullets finally stop firing the young recruit fell to the ground, unrecognisable. Mortis stayed silent, there was no hand held weapon that could cause that damage, the only thing he had ever heard off what the stuff of legends, and this creature didn't exist. A loud roar emanated from the gate and slowly started to walk in. Mortis's fears were soon confirmed. A mutant of legends, a genetic experiment gone wrong. This creature didn't have a name; it had a code, what its makers labelled it before it slaughtered them. It's code - XR-12yv. The rest of the members opened fire; the shell just seemed to bounce off hits hard green grey leathery scales. The creature returned fire from hit two fifty millimetre miniguns attached to it shoulders. The bullets stopped and the cannon whirred around for a minute to cool the cambers down from it maximum temperature of three thousand degrees. After the first volley both Phenom and Lako had perished, sustaining bullet wounds to the face and chest. Each bullet ripping three-inch holes through the flesh and bone of hit victim. Mortis stood from his window and watched as more of his men where mowed down. He desperately wanted to get involved and help them, but then, he would have to get though Eve and she would only remind of him of his duties to not only to the clan but to the Council as well. This also explained why the shock troops and the Dark Brotherhood moved out. The XR-12yv could not be controlled, once let loose it had one objective, kill anything around it. Should any of the assailants be in the vicinity when this thing was near, it would tear them to sheds as well. Mortis was too deep in thought to realise that the creature has spread another volley of bullets, this time in his direction. Eve grabbed his and threw him to the floor. He felt her land next to him; he looked over to her and his eyes widened in horror. Her head had been torn from her body by the force of bullets. Blood flowed from the neck and started to pool round Mortis face. Mortis let out a scream of rage, enough pussy footing, it was time to end things. He looked at her corpse once again and whispered a prayer for her soul and ran towards to the armoury that was located two floors down, in the basement. Mortis could hear the screams of his followers, as the mutant seemed to ploughs it's way though. The XR-12yv wasn't the fastest moving object, its short stocky legs could only carry it so fast, and its long tail also allowed it stability from the recoil of the miniguns. Mortis reached the staircase; a smashed window allowed him a quick glance as to the status of his men. He could see Makavelli still holding strong, firing round upon round from his AK 47. He could also see the bodies of some of his closest generals, people he had come to rely on should his life need be. Sparkx, Kherat, Daniel and Vlade all lay slain. He heard a scream come from one of the buildings; it was his second in command, Blodsugare. Mortis couldn't see any guns on him, all that was strapped to his back was a katana and he could also see a pair of thunderfists attached to his wrists. Mortis couldn't believe it, Blodsugare was going to take this thing on hand-to-hand, and he had to marvel at his courage. Blodsugare slid under the barrage intended to take him out, he drove his fist into the gut of the creature, he penetrated he scale armour and drew blood. He ripped the weapon from the creature’s body, blue blood oozed from the wound. He howled in a scream of pain and swung his minigun like a club. The swing connected hit Blodsugare's face and sent him spiralling across the dirt. Again the creature opened fire, Blodsugare dived and rolled out of the way of the volley and ran in again, this time he managed to connect two swings and an uppercut, more blood flew and more holes appeared him the creatures flesh. The final uppercut however, broke the blades to his thunderfist. Another swing of the creature’s huge arms and another connection, this time in the mid-section, Blodsugare flew through the air and hit the ground hard. He pulled himself up and rolled quickly to the left to avoid another barrage of bullets. Pulling the Katana from his back, Blodsugare attacked again, this time ramming the blade into one of the miniguns. A large spark followed and the gun whirred for a couple of seconds and then stopped. Pulling the Katana from the minigun, Blodsugare hit the creature with another strike across the chest and a further strike in the creature's leg. Blodsugare had the advantage and came back round for a final attack. The creature threw it's arm round in a downward arc looking to split the skull of hid adversary, however Blodsugare manage to easily evade the blow, he however didn't see the long jagged tail come round and hit him of the side of the head. Blodsugare's body hit the ground even harder then before, Mortis watch as a small object rolled his way and come to lay still; it was Blodsugare's head. The XR-12yv took pleasure in pumping the dead corpse with a torrent of bullets. Mortis couldn't believe what he had been, he had seen Blodsugare run to the marshlands and take out an Aranche single handedly. He couldn't believe he would be gone. Anther member Mortis would swear to avenge. Mortis bursted through the double doors that led to the basement, he charged down the long corridor and stopped outside another set of double doors. This set however was at least ten inches thick and make of solid steel. A retinal scan and fingerprint was needed to open the door. The double doors opened and Mortis walked inside, he was greeting with row upon rows of steel shelves, on each shelf were all sorts of weaponry. Mortis was quick to grab two grenade launchers, two Uzi nine millimetres, two MPK5's and an assault rifle. Mortis felt it was time to show people once again why he was in charge of this troupe. He charged back through the armoury door, back up the stairs and out into the courtyard where the XR-12yv stood waiting. Mortis could smell the stench of blood and could see the bodies of his clan mates. The XR-12yv turned to face his new rival; so far none had bested him. Mortis ran toward the evil abomination a full speed; he spun in the air, dodging though spray of bullets. Whipping out the two grenade launchers, he pulled the triggers. The grades bounced near the XR-12yv and exploded. The creatures reeled back and countered with another hail of bullets. Mortis rolled on the ground to avoid the same fate as most of his comrades. Holstering to grade launchers, he pulled round the Assault rifle and opened fire. Most of the bullets bounced off its hide, some entered the creature from the previous wound that Blodsugare had inflicted, it cried out in pain. Mortis saw the creature’s weakness and was going to make sure that he took full advantage of the situation. He threw the Assault rifle to the ground and brought both the grenade launchers back round. Mortis kicked off a large metal box and flipped though the air, again avoiding another storm of ammunition. Mortis came into close combat with the monster, the XR-12yv, raised its arm to crush Mortis, he jumped out of the way and rammed his launchers into the wound of the creature. Mortis starred it straight into the eyes. "Blow this mother fucker!" and pulled the triggers. Mortis ran for cover and slid legs first behind a large metal create as the grenades exploded. Mortis heard the minigun land right next to him. Looking at the creature, all that was left was a tail and a pair of legs; the rest of it was been torn to pieces from the blast. Blue blood now covering most of the forecourt. Mortis panted with exhaustion and looked at the surrounding to his home, bodies were everywhere, he was able to count all of them... all of them except one, Tiger-Claw. "Why can't you just die like the rest of your clan?" A harsh deep voice called out to him. "Tiger-Claw why? Why all this?" "Why? Oh that’s simple, Lysandra asked me to, for years I have had to listen to your crap about a peaceful solution to this world, there is no peace in this place and it will never happen, the sooner you learn that the better, which for you will be about thirty seconds. Tiger-Claw pulled a shotgun round and pointed it at Mortis's head. "Just think you did all this for nothing." Mortis closed his eyes and waited for the sound of the shot-gun to end his life, all that work for nothing, it wasn't all bad, he would at least be with his clan. Mortis heard a shot, but not that of a shot-gun, it was far too quiet for that, he opened his eyes to find Tiger-Claw standing in front of him, the front of his face had disappeared and all that remained was a gapping hole. "You need to be more careful my friend." Mortis instantly recognised the American-Eastern European accent. Mortis called back out across the courtyard "Artoir, your times in impeccable as always." Artoir flipped his sniper rifle over his shoulder and walked to wards his friend that he had know more nearly eighty years. "Well, It might have helped if I had managed to get here earlier, I might have been able to save a few more people." Mortis didn't really have an answer for that, Artoir and Mortis shook hands and decided best to go inside and talk about what had happened over the course of the last twelve months.

Raziel strained to opens his battered eyes and look out the window. The moon was in full shine, it's beams shinny dully on Raziel's face. For the first time in over seven hundred years, Raziel wished he could see the sun, feel its warmth and glow. That was something that would never happen, to see the sun would bring about an agonising painful death. Being locked up for with the good possibility of never seeing the light of night on his own terms allowed him to reflect on his past. He recalled the fact that he was on death's doorstep when he was turned; he never knew who she was, nor anything about her, absolutely nothing. It kind of saddened Raziel. Something that should have been so important in his life and he couldn't remember. He reflected on the women in his life, he remember the blonde from the renaissance age, an inspired life model, he ended up learning how to paint for her, he was useless at it, but she somehow had the work look beautiful, and yet he never told her. She always made her smile, but never showed it. Was he so dead inside that he lost the ability to even give the simplest of feelings? The words stuck in him, the fact that we had devoid of anything, not even hatred or anger, he scrapped that last though, he had hatred and anger, hatred towards Patris for pushing into this position, anger to himself for allowing it happen. He even wanted to feel a seething hatred toward Viona and Diablo, but again there was nothing. Viona was only acting on impulse, not know the full fact and still being young corrupted her mind to thinking that he was her target and Diablo... Diablo was only following orders, a puppet for Patris. He still had to wonder though; who was playing whom? His mind wandered back into the past, this time he remember the dark haired beauty singer from the nineteen thirties, he remembered the deep red dress she wore and the way it swayed against her hips as she moved. Her hair long hair bunched into a bun and her emerald green eyes... He smiled at himself, she was lovely, a fiery little character, actually it reminded him of Maiden in some respects. Reality once again had to remind him of the fact that his singer left him to the lack of emotion he didn't show. She said he was heartless and that he would remain alone until he found away to over come his 'issues'. Then there was Maiden; he found it hard to believe that she travelled with him for eleven years. He found her easier to deal with; there was no feelings, both vampiric creatures of the night. They travelled the world and seemed to enjoy each other company. Raziel always felt that him and Maiden where like an old married couple in the end, all they seemed to do was argue, mainly about him, he had grown darker and more reserved, he slowly stopped trying to feel. He wished he knew why, but only came across more questions rather then answers. He was alone, and had been for nearly five hundred years, he had been with people, but never really 'with' them, it hurt to thing that after all this time all the people he knew, no one would come for him and he would end up dying to some megalomaniac with a power ego trip and no one could come to save him. Raziel looked at the moon and for the first time cursed at it for making him what he was. He wished in some degree he had died all those years ago. Maybe Diablo would do him a favour, then again, being put though his torchurable way would be unbearable and Raziel knew he would have to endure it again shortly. Maybe it was time for a change, if he got though this, he promised to make a change and he would start by clearing the air with an adversary, no, not adversary, a woman that he had deeply hurt when he just got up and walked away in the early hours of the morning, leaving her in bed, expecting him to come home. The Door to his cell open and Diablo walked in, still holding that same cheesy grin. "Ah Raziel I see you are awake. Are you ready for round two?"

Chapter 22

Lysandra scanned the ballroom room of her nineteenth century mansion. The intricate decrotive alcoving had been restored with pin point accurancy. Something Le Stat enjoyed doing even if it did take nearly eighty years to finish this this one room.

The twins acquired this location shortly after the first atomic blast back in the early part of the twenty first century. The Mansion was externally was in good shape. A few holes here and there and only the back corner of the building had collpsed. Luckly for the twins they had been brought up to be able to fix such minor details.

Lysandra still retained the knowledge that her father had taught her, not to mention a few trick she herself picked up along the way. Bricks where not really a problem, these could be found lying around in vast quantities. The mortar to hold them together was a lot more difficult. As Mortar was a man made substance it would require heavy machinery to able to operate them. This was the problem the twins faced; Most of the machines in the city had been vaporised in the blast.

This was overcome with Lysandra's sheer intellegnce and ingiunity. Limestone could be easily crushed down, mixed with water and turned into a paste. Le Stat had the brute strength when needed and Lysandra was able to uncover in the old city a doctor's surgery that had fake hair. A little courser then real hair, it almost minicked that of horsehair. Horsehair would have been Lysandra's perferred binding agent, but this woud have to make do.

Lysandra again gazed upon Le Stat handywork. She hay have been his sister and had to be impressed. But if truth was to be told, she really genuinly loved what he had done. The mansion took nearly two handred year to finish. But in the end it was worth it.

Lysandra's thoughts where disrupted by the sight of one of her clan members. Dressed in a tight light black near see though top and a pair of leather trousers with high heeled knee high boots. Auriga was in her typical assassin's gear. Her long sniper rifle was thrown over her shoulder with one hand, in the other, a young man of no more then seventeen.

"What the hell?"

Auriga turned an faced her boss. "What? We all got bored waiting for you here, you been gone for two days and do I also still need to remind you of your responsibility to this clan?"

Lysandra looked at the trail of blood that followed Auriga's play toy now dripping blood from the gapping hole in it's chest. No doubt to be used as a new target practise devise.

Auriga looped her neck lenght dark brown hair over one of her ears. There where no words passed between each other. Auriga knew that Lysandra was pretty pissed off with her for leaving the mansion when she should have be training to the other members in the art of warfair. However the same could be said for Lysandra.

Dropping the matter to one of those things. She allowed Aruiga to be one her way. Her cold dark eyes trying to figure her trusted general out.

Too much shit had happened over the pased two days for lysandra too take in and she did not want her own clan members to go against her.

Artoir sat on a piece of fallen wall kicking his feet back and forth like a little school boy. He looked around to take in the damage that was caused by the Dark Brotherhood and Patris's shock troop.

He felt an a sadness, not only to the place he once called home, but also a sadness to his friend how had lost everything he had ever know. His family as he would call it.

Artoir listened as Mortis spoke about the battle that had occured. The valient fight his clan members put up to stop the infernal Dark Brotherhood. The single handed fight that Blodsugare had attempted against the abomination that was the VR-12Xv. Even though he paid for it with his life. The double crossing of Tiger Claw, One of his most trusted generals.

Artoir listened with great intergatiy only offering a few words when the time was right. The most heart felt was the sacrifice of Eve. Giving her life to save Mortis's. A lady that Mortis raised from a young fledliging when she had been turned into one of the creatures of the darkness.

Mortis turned to his old friend and looked at him. He wanted to say something, anything to take his off his mind of the massacre that had just occured. The only he could feel ws a deep burning hatred for the Dark Brotherhood. But that was nothing new he had always loathed and despised them.

In fact the war had lasted so long Mortis had actually forgot what started the conflict. All he knew was that he wanted then dead. All of them. However Mortis felt a new feeling, it was still hatred, but this a seething hatred, a wanting to kill, main and murder. This feeling made his blood boil. And this feeling was not aimed at the Dark Brotherhood. No. This was aimed at the man or orchristraited this.


Maiden wasn't really in a talking mood, even after she warned Elfinlied to shut her mouth on more then one occation. She felft snappy and angry. She didn't mean to take it out on her friend, but still found that she did it anyway. It was one of those thing wrog place wrong time moment.

Elfinlied on her part for once listened to her friend and stayed quiet, however felt the need to hold Maiden's hand as though the pair of them needed extra support.

She understood that puttng a bullet into an old acquintance could not be easy, but Elfinlied couldn't understand why Maiden was so upset about it. Afterall, she did Scyanide a favour, otherwise it would be a slow and painful death at the hands of the sun. Elfinlied shuddered at that thought. To slowly be cooked alive. Actually being able to watch your skin burn and your flesh deteriorate and then fall off. Elfinlied shook her head and tried to forget all thoughts about it.

The two passed the iner limit city sign and Maiden took another glance back at the light glow eminating over the tree. The flames would still be gone by the morning no doubt and with it all knowledge that the Bloody Kingdom and those she knew within it where gone forever.

Maiden was a bit surprised at how much she cared for that clan or more importanly how much she cared for Scyanide. She couldn't have met her more then a dozen times and each time she acted more as a referee to stop Raziel and Scyanide from tearing each other apart and yet for all their arguing she missed it.

They were simpler times. There was never a need to duck and run for cover. No back stabbing, no being hunted by people you had no idea who they were or in fact if you were the intended target.

Maiden looked up at the buildings. A few hundred years ago these buildings would have been occupied. She would have been able to hear the laughing of school children in the streets. The car honking their horns at each other. Now... Now there eas only silence. The building in this section of town were in ruin and disrepair.

The city officals desided that there was no need to re-built the south sector as there were plenty of homes in the other three. This saddened Maiden. This entire area left to waste. Left to the crackheads and lowlifes of society. This would soon change as they entered the East sector and meet back up with Raziel and the others.

"Patris, good new." Icon's voice rang clear in his head "Diablo had managed to capture Raziel. He's holding up about twenty miles east of the city in the Branendel Castle. He says he waiting but will not wait long for you to deliver your end of the bargain."

"Excellent. Finally some decent news." Patris stood up from his chair and peered out of his window and over his city. The flickering light breaking the perpetual darkness that overshadowed the west end.

He contemplated his soon to be new found power. What would he do first? He managed to wipe out the brotherhood of steel. Even though this broke a good business deal it was a necessity. He could have Mortis suppling weapons to the very people he was trying to kill. Also Patris was bored of it.

The next step would be the destruction of the Dark Brotherhood. They had proven useful to Patris in the past and like lap dogs, they were always loyal to him. However with this obnipitent power he would have very little need for them and they could pose a problem later on.



"When I raze this infernal shit hole to the ground, enslave it's people and re-build the city in my image. Is there anything you want?"

The question confused Icon, he knew nothing about Patris wanting to destroy the city. Could his friend be losing it? "I'm not sure, why?"

"Why?... Why? That easy, I still need generals to run this city. You know ... People I can trust. People who won't stab me in the back. I want people who look up to me and think there is a god I can come to love."

Icon stood stunned. He didn't know what Patris was saying, in fact he was starting to doubt his sanity. The overwelming power that Patris would control. Would he be safe?

Partis continued. "I know my friend, that stuned look in your eye, you're in awestruck of my glorius plan. But you have to wait cause the best it yet to come. Anyhow come Icon we must make haste. There is no telling what that overactive egomaniac of a hunter will do to our cargo should we leave him to long."

He slapped Icon hard of the back and walked out of the room with a slight bounce to his step. Icon followed slowly behind wondering what he was going to get himself into.

"Holy Shit!" Fregillion blurted out. They stood in amazement to the caraged that had been laid down in front of them. Blood had now seaped across most of the granite tiled floor and was pooling in small resivoirs. Bullet holes shattered the marble tiles behind receiption and tore chucks of farbic from the leather seats.

"What the hell...?" Fregillion then remembered thereason for being here "Shit Raziel!"

The two ran towrad the elevator jumping over any dead bodies that might stand in their way. They reached the elevator and was met by wires and pulley strew accross the ground.

"Looks like the elevator's out of action. Quickly the stairs." Fregillion called out to his friend who nodded with out saying a sound.

The double doors slammed open as Fregillion and Flash charged up the flight of stairs toward level eleven. Towards Raziel's Flat and towards any futher carnage that might meet them.

Fregillion could help but think the worst. Raziel had been killed or captured and killed or captured left out to the sun and killed. Either way all of his thoughts revolved around Raziel and some kind of death.

The passed level seven.

Flash kept his mind blank, or at least he tried to. He kept casing his mind back though the last six moths and all the thing that had happened. Starting with the death of his partner at the hands of Lysandra. Once again Flash felt that burning rage. Once again that reason for pushing himself through the pain was with him. Once again...

His thoughts where cut short as Fregillion shouted in concerning surprise "Viona! Oh Shit." He flew up the stairs and collapsed next to her.

Viona was laying face down, the blood has pooled from her mouth, tangling in her blonde hair and starting to slowly dribble down the concrete staircase. Her right arm had twisted and broken. Fregillion lay his hand over her mouth. She was still breathing.

"Flash! Get over here quick!"

Flash legged it up the remaining flights of stairs and gazed at the bloody mess of the young blonde. He looked at the various cuts, grazes and gashes across her face, her white shirt partly charred around the bottom. Her leather boots has been ripped and torn. Flash also noticed small holes in the back of the t-shirt.

"She been shot and more then once bu the looks of it. Damn it man we need to help her now." Flash had never really shown any kind of concern over the past months, but something inside wanted him to care for her.

Fregillion just nooded and motioned to Flash to help. Fregillion gently turned Viona over. "Aw shit man. Who the fuck did this to you girl." He muttered.

Flash slid one hand under her neck and the other under the knees and gently picked her up. Flash's muscles flexed slightly under her light weight and for the first time Fregillion got to the see just how much damage he felt Flash could really do if he wanted to.

"Where to?"

"Level 11. Raziel flat should be at the end of the corridor."

He looked up to the floor level and noted the slight debris on the concrete stair. He looked back and Flash and Viona. Her white shirt dried stained a deep maroon. Her flesh exposed underneath, she had nearly healed. Luckilly enough for her she was still alive and needed to regain strength. Who ever did this was not that interested in her.

'Damn it Raziel you had better still be alive.' With that final thought he continued to walk up the stairs with Flash and Viona in tow.

The soft tone of classical music span round the room. The octive of the notes rising and falling through the piece. The man pictured the notes as people dancing a slow waltz, twisting and turning. Embraced in a lullibye of pure bliss.

The music allow him to escape the world to which he hated. The ignorance of the every day person sickened him. He could never understand why the people of this world could not open their eyes to the horrors that behold them. Was it that they wanted to remain blind to this image? He wans't sure.

He threw another log onto the fire that was encased in the large stone surround. The gentle flame licking around the glowing embers releasing it's warn onto the large oak panelled sitting room.

He sat in a deep red leather clair. Brass clips help the stretched material in place and the deep mahogany wood inished off the vaneer. The chair was dated circa eighteenth century. A real classic costing him over three million logo to buy. Hard earned savings and well worth the money.

The music stopped and the man looked over to the machine producing the music. He stood up and walked over to the black cased machine. Button and symbols littered the top of the devise. He pressed a botton and the front opened. He took out the a disc and replaced it with another one.

Pressing play on the disc player, he stood and listened again to the symphony that echo around him. Soon it would be time to re-enter the world he despised. He looked out of the double length windows at the black rolling meadows. The large full moon illuninated the countryside and he could still hear the lapping of the ocean and in the distance he could make out the Ridge Valley Cliffs.

Walking back to the fire the man expelled a deep breath. reaching to ward the fire he pulled out three red hot firery pokers. The time had once again come to show the evil in this world why he was to be fear. Why he was the earths savior to these abominations.

He placed his hand on the top of a locked and chained desk. Inside stood the only known copy of the Sanguine Codex. It was something he treasured for the last thirty one years.

The man kissed his hand and placed it against his forehead and offered a prayer for the crimes against god that he must commit. He concidered himself a holy warrior. The last real hunter alive.

With pokers in hand Diablo turned from the fire and away from the music and headed back to resume his purfication on the vampire that inspired him. It was time once again to meet with Raziel.

Maybe this time he could convince him that the path to god was the only true path.

"Good News Sis I've heard from our scout team and they have confirmed that Raziel has indeed been captured by Diablo. Patris is enroute and should be taking him shortly."

Lysandra glanced over to his brother. He blonde hair still ruffled and bedrangled. She wanted to smile but for some reason she felt more sadness then anything.

Like coming to the end of a good book that you couldn't put down. In her heart she never really thought that Diablo could catch Raziel. She wanted the final showdown with him. She had admired Raziel for years. It was lust but not in a sexual way.

"What's wrong Sis? I thought that you would be happy. We get paid. Whatever debt you had will now be called off. Everyones a winner."

"Maybe... Yeah. I suppose your right."

"You don't sound convinced?"

"Oh god no. Don't get me wrong I'm gald this fewd will be over. I have never liked having Patris having a handle over me. In fact I have never liked owing anyone anything. I have survived this long on my own..." She looked at her brother who just frowned at her. "Present company included. I... We have never needed to rely on help so yeah I am glad."

"Are you sure?"

Lysandra knew he was pressing. Somethig he did really well, in fact a little too well. He always knew which buttons to press and get a responce out of her and once again he was appling this trade. It never failed.

"Yeah I am glad..." Doubt started to set in "I am glad..." Again more doubt. "I...I... Oh fuck it! God damn you Le Stat I had nearly convinced myself and again you had to push. Now I'm not alright with it It's pissing me off that Diablo managed to catch him. I have been following the trail of that Vampire for nearly five hundred years. Everytime we have crossed paths in the past I have always wondered when we would next meet and it's annoying the hell out of me. Icould be the one to kill him not some poxy human that thinks he's some god and certainly not Patris who is an over demented, over egotistical, stuck up asshole!!!"

"Feel better?"

"No." It came with a five year old pout. She still didn;t like the idea that she was not the one to finish off Raziel but getting it off her chest helped.

"I have an idea Sis. After this is over lets get out of here for good. Somewhere warm or cultured. I was thinking India or maybe Tibet. I hear the Everest is looking wonderful this time of year."

'To get away from it all for a few hundred years might be a welcome change' The thought entered her mind and she knew Le Stat was right. Once Raziel was dead her passion for him would be leave her a little empty.

She needed a new start and a new home. She would take the Family of Darkness with her.

As much as they strived on blood and carnage most of the time even they where looking a little haggarded and in need of rest. The battle for her was over and the debt repaid she could go on about her life and not worry anymore.

"Lysandra." A man appreared at the door way to the dinning room where Lysandra and Le Stat sat. He was five ten not overly muscular, Lysandra always thought of him as toned more then anything else. The dark brown skin mixed with his brown and beige combats and contrasted agaist his bright white t-shirt.

He has served as a marine in the golf war that took place in the late twentyth Century. He was turned by the mayor's daughter in one of the small towns outside Bagdad and was anounced MIA on the offical report.

He had served Lysandra faithfully now for more then eightly years and also came to took apon the twins as his closet friend and ally.

"Whats up Nemazis?"

Namazis was this man's human name, one that was not used by anyone except the twins nor did he allow anyone except for the twin to call him that; to everyone else that met him he's purely know as Deathjam or DJ for short.

"Just had a runner arrive with an envelope for you. Wouldn't say what it was about handed this to me turned around got back into the car and drove off."

He handed the envelope to Lysandra. She ran her long purple nails accross the top ripping the paper open in the process. She pulled the letter out and read it to herself. There where only a few words written.

'You failed in you the one job that I gave you. You had a whole clan at your desposal and could not do that just one man managed.

Your debt to will is stil outstanding and there is nothing you can now do to ever break it. Try to run and I will make sure that you are hunted down and killed slowly and painfully under the light of the sun.

You now serve me


Lysandra read the piece more then a dozen times. The words 'You know serve me' forever stuck in her head. It felt like someone took a branding iron and slammed it deep in her brain.

Slowly, she lowered the piece of paper and pushed it across to Le Stat for him to take a look at. Le Stat's reaction was a little less subtle.

"That cock sucking, muther fucking, shit pushing, low life piece of crap. Sis I think it's time we show that little fucking ego tripping arsehole why it is not wise to fuck with the family."

Lysandra could not into word any better the Le Stat. For once is crassness of the human language suited her feeling down her very core.

"Nemazis. Tell the Family to get ready. Partis will have to collect Raziel by car and if I remember correctly there is only one road in and one road out. We will place your forces on the Ridge Valley Cliffs and from there I plan to take down Patris once and for all."

A grin passed DJ's face. It had been a while since he saw the tides of battle and he needed some exercise to loosen the joints. "Of course. I'll tell Auriga and make sure all the necessaries are arranged."

With that final comment he turned and left the room. Leaving Lysandra and Le Stat to deal with the battle plans.

The vision of the Diablo burned into her mind. She could still remember the pain of the bullets entering her tiny body. Still rember the taste of blood from her mouth. The haunting laughter as the trigger was pulled again and again. She could remember the explosion of the rocket launcher and the debris tearing into her flesh. The collision with the wall.

Viona openned her eyes and bolted upright with a scream. She quickly looked around to find herself back in the her room. The single squeeky bed and the small dank window. The light from the neon sign casting it gentle light in the room.

She was back in the brothel. Raziel, Fregillion, everyone, had it been a dream? She looked around the room for any signs of blood, there was nothing. The furniture should have been broken, but was back to it's orginal form.

She always remembered from her mother that if you pinch yourself and it hurt it was not a dream and so she did just that.

"Ow." The reply was quiet and soft.

This had to be a dream. She looked down at her pale naked body and quickly openned the waredrob and threw on a tight white t-shirt and her tight jean shorts.

There came a knock at the door followed by a man in a white suit. Fear immiatly took hold of her. It was blaze.

"My lovely Viona is something wrong?"

"No Sir. I couldn't sleep."

"Thats ok I have someone downstairs who needs some company, as your up..." He glared up and down her body. "You might as well do some work for me. Have fun Viona I know you always do." With a slimey smirk on his face he slowly closed the door.

A few minute later Viona hear the footfall of a man approaching. Once again it would be time to put her 'talents' to use. The door was slowly pushed open and Viona let out a scream.

"Come on now Viona there is not need for that."

"How the fuck did you find me?"

"Not hard. You've been since you where fifteen and you really are just like your mother. The pair of you nothing more then a couple of hoares. Fucked by society for fun.

With that Diablo brought round her beretta and pulled the trigger.

Viona bolted up and Screamed. A strong pair of arms rapped around her telling her everything was ok. She reconnised the vioce. It was Fregillion.

"Shh... Come on Viona you need to rest ,come on lay back down." He lower her gently back onto the soft pillow. She looked at him and then turned away.

"I'm sorry."

"No need to be. Patris has an army at his desposal I'm sure there was nothing you could have done and by the state of you, I think they got more then they deserved."

Viona struggled to catch her voice, it seemed to rise and fall with each breath. "No..." Another tear fell. "There was just one man."

"One man?"

"His name is Diablo. A ruthless hate filled hunter. He has no feeling for anything as far as he cares if it's not human and it can walk and talk, then it needs to be eliminated."

Fregillion stroked his goatee, his two fingers meeting to the middle of his chin and repeated the process over and over. His mind was working out the name. He had heard it before but couldn't remember where. Then it hit him.

"Thats fucking impossible. I remember now. My sire told me about him. She said that if I was a naughty vampire and not naughty in a nice way then I would be thrown out for Diablo to deal with me. It can't be him. it's just a myth."

"No..." Viona turned her head to face Fregillion. She looked him straight in the eyes. "Diablo is real. He..." More tears fell. "I have nown him most of my life. He worked for the black hand as a sort of mercenary for higher along with Raziel. The two know each other. I..."

"Take it easy."

"No... We have to save Raziel. Diablo plans to give him over to Patris."

"But you just said..." He was cut short.

"Diablo works on the basis that the if you pay enought he will overlook certain things. Patris is paying him more money then even Diablo knows what to do with it."

"Who do you know all of this..."Fregillion looked like a light bulb had gone off in his brain." Diablo did this to you didn't he."

Viona nooded "He told me everything."

"Then why didn't Raziel do anything to stop him."

The final question as one too far and she burst out crying. "It was my fault. it was all my fault Raziel couldnt save me because..." She swalled hard. " I shot him with a tazer and took him down."

Fregillion looked at her in awe. A wave of dumbfoundedness spread over him. he wanted to know why but had a feeling that he would find out soon enough.

Viona continued through her guilt raked sobs. "I didn't know, I promise you I didn't know. When I killed Blaze - my pimp he had the word Raziel in his hands and when I questioned him about it he never denided it. In fact he had said he had done some work for him a while ago. I thought he was talking about my family. They where killed by the Black hand at the time Raziel was working for them. But..."

"He didn't kill them did he."

She shook her head in agreement. "He took out a hacker and Blaze had another job lined up for him if he was willing to accept. It was Diablo that killed my family. I shot Raziel and I didn;t even know the full fact."

Fregillion was stunned as was Flash who had walked in and heard everything. Neither really knew what to say. Fregillion was mad for the stupidity of this little girl, but could also at the same time simpatize with her.

Suddenly Viona bolted upright and grabbed Fregillion round the collar of his shirt. "Please believe me..." Her grip loosen. "Please... I'm sorry... I'm so so sorry."

"Stop blaming yourself; that man has a serious tendency to leave out half a conversation and leave you fitting piece to the puzzle that don't match the original picture."

The vioce was female and everyine looked over Flash to find Maiden and Elfinlied standing there.

"You're not the first person that he had not been completely open with, in fact I have had more scrapes because of that man then I care to remember. So save your tears. I will say you should have told us about rthis earlier. Raziel maybe many thing but even he had morals."

Vioan wiped the moisten residue away from her cheeks. For the first time she reallised that she was under the covers in a large kings size bed drapped in dark purple velvet sheets. The room was large. with dark green wallpaper and centuries old furniture worth a small fortune.

Maiden continued. "However we do need to get him back by the sound of things otherwise."

"I don't know what Patris whats but whatever it is. It can't be good. Diablo has a mansion past the Ridge Valley Cliffs. An old castle that he has lived in for a number of years. It was a run down place that he said had been gutted by a fire before the third world war. It was one of his masterpiece trophies."

"Branendel Castle." Fregillion piped up.

"You know this place?" The questions came with a surprise from Viona.

Fregillion nodded his head. "I started the fire that gutted the place nearly two hundred years ago. I was throwing one of my wild parties..."


"There a shock." Elfinlied piped.

Fregillion let that one go. "The castle was my fathers. He was away on business and I threw a party there and one thing led to another and I was was high on drug and smashed on alcohol. I had four ladies all wanting me. And I wasn;t paying attention when I said I could cook profrssionally. Lets just say that brandy showing off in the living room near the draps and a naked flame do not mix well. Either way I caused so much damage to the house we had to leave."

"The Ridge Valley Cliffs are over twenty miles out side of town. We will need transport if we are to reach the place before sunrise"

Everyone looked at each other dumb founded. Flash had a truck but now had both a coolent and oil leak after hitting Fregillion with the truck.

The answer came from a unspected voice through from the destroyed living room. "I can sort that out."

Everyone turned to see what the answer came from. Two men stood infront of them. Fregillion smiled. Maiden gasped in disbelief.

With the back of an MPK5 held against his neck and a small smile of resolve on his face he had made his decision. He had something they wanted and needed help from them knowing he could not do it alone.

He looked at his friend who seemed to be staring at Maiden for reasns he did not know why.

The other man could not take his gaze off of Maiden. He knew her like a shadow from the past. He could not believe that she was still alive. Ususally someone with that much hatred for the world usually ended up dead.

His eupoean accent came though thick and clear. "Sarah?"

Everyone turned to Maiden. Waiting for an answer to this puzzleing question. It didn't take long. "Hello Artior. I would say it's nice to see you again, but I do believe the last time we met, you killed me."

"It was to save you from a live worse then death. Was I not wrong?"

"Perhaps. Maybe I would have taken my own life if you had not inferred. Then again I may have rised from the ashed like a Pheonix and taken control of my life again."

"I am sorry Sarah. May God forgive me."

"God wants nothing to do with us. How you can keep that pretense up after what you are?"

"Sarah..." He paused for a second. "We all have to pay for our sins."

"You believe in what you want." She turner her back to him, facing the wardrobe. What she said next came with a conviction. A true belief in her comment to Artior. "And I told you all those years ago, Sarah is dead. She died by your hand." She spun around and faced him again. "I told you then I will tell you know. I am purely know as Maiden and that is how you will address me."

"I'm still sorry for the pain I have caused."

Silence answered him as Maiden walked of towards Viona. Fregillion was next to pipe up. "Mortis! What the fuck brings you round here? Should you be looking over the Brotherhood of Steel? I know they told you to take a holiday. Get away from it all."

Artior was in the background behind mortis shaking his head vigerously trying to warn Fregillion to shut him mouth. It made no impact as Fregillion continued. "I know I know... They want to ged of you so they can throw a surpise party in your honour. In fact I'm sure..."

"Their dead..." Mortis replied somberly. "Everyone I know and care for. Murdered. I have no clan. The Brotherhood of Steel is no more."

If there was ever a time Fregillion wanted to disapprear into the darkness. Now was the time. Luckily for him Mortis still seemed to oversome by shock to really take it in. "Oh fuck man I am so sorry. Oh man fuck me and stupid mouth."

"Wow he finally admits he has a problem!" Another snipe by the spikey punk. Fregillion again let this go. Maybe he deserved it. He wasn't sure.

Mortis continued. "We were attacked by the Dark Brotherhood and Patris's shock troops. We held out for as long as we could and we seemed to be holding them back. But them..." He paused the reality of it all starting to set in. "A monster from hell appreared brought in from the wastelands I have never seen anything like it. I had heard throught the grapevine that these things existed but I never wanted to believe it."

He stopped to take a quick breath and watched as the faces of all those around linted intensly. "The creature seemed unstoppable. It tore throught my men and took round after round after round..." Once again Mortis seemed to enter that trance. He recalled the battle that took place with Blodsugare. The injury he inflicted and the final destruction of the monstrosity.

"After that I couldn't believe it. I found how we lost it all. One of my closest generals Tiger Claw, a man who had been with me for nearly ten years. Turns out he was actually working for Lysandra."

"Did he managed to get away then?" Elfinlied said.

"No. I made sure of that." The responce came from Artoir.

"Anyhow..." Mortis pushed in . "I decided to take down the person who started all of this. Patris. However I can't do it alone and I know you are looking to take him down. From what I understand he has managed to capture Raziel?"

The series of nods confirmed his questions. "Fine then we all have a working goal. I'll provide enought ammo and a set of wheels to get us to the Ridge Valley Cliffs. From there we proceed by foot. Enter the castle from the rear. I believe if my sources are right there is a hidden entrance?"

Fregillion nodded. "Leads to the cellar, from there we can make ou way thought pantry and into the kichen."

"Good. I would suggest splitting into two teams. One will track down and lay siege to Diablo and his forces. That force will be lead by me. Maiden will lead the other to rescue Raziel. Are we clear?"

Everyone nodden in agreement. "Then it is settle I would suggest meeting here in one hour and then we will make our way forward."

Without even hearing another comment Mortis motioned his hand at Artior to join him and the left the apartment.

All was silent, most of them taking in what had just occured. Seems like that traded one leader for another and this one had a taste for blood and revenge. But he would be their best chance at getting Raziel out alive and they all knew it.

Viona was the one to finally break the silence. "Guys if you don't mind. I need to get into something a little less charred."

One by one they left the room and headed to the living room. Maiden stood at the shattered window.

"Raziel you had better still be alive. If your not I promise to god I will kick you bony little ass into hades."

The illunination of the streets below gave off a gentle yet disturbing glow that Maiden had never noticed. Maybe the star from the night sky they saw enroute to Scyinide captivated her more then she though.

The moon tonight carried a faint hint of red as it cast it's light over the world below. Soon the blood moon would be upon them.

Maiden for the first time in her life gave a small prayer that they come out of this in one piece.

Chapter 23

The young man wandered through the cobbled paving in-between the narrow alleyways. The tall three story houses showed signs of disrepair. The straw and mortar on the side of the roof was starting to deteriorate and the stone brickwork decaying with each passing storm.

He thought how nice it would be to have the money to be able to patch this area of town up, after all this was his home.

Money was always a problem. He did whatever work he could for the few pennies that he earned. It allowed him to buy food and water and a little straw to keep the house patched up.

Exiting the alleyway, he turned left and wandered aimlessly along the main street. Hundred of people crowded the streets and wooden market stall laden the sides of the road. All had their own callings.

The young man of no more then twenty-five, occasionally dipped his hand into peoples pockets and pulled out whatever change he could find. This allowed him to actually buy a beer or two.

There was a slight wind in the air, warm and arid. He gazed up at the summer sun and allowed the heat of the rays to comfort him. The bright blue sky being slightly obscured by the few white clouds rolling in.

His hand picketed another pocket. Snap. A mousetrap. This was used by some people to stop exactly what he was doing. This man knew someone had just tried to rob him.

The young man stood there frozen, unsure of where to turn. He had never been caught before and people just seemed to form a wall of which there was no escape. The man he just tried to rob turned around to face him. The man wore a large brown-rimmed hat that obscured the top of his head and a red scarf covered his nose and mouth, leaving a pair of radiant light blue eyes staring at him.

His voice was sharp and careless. "You should know better then to try to take me on. You know you will always lose."

Fear took over the young man's body and barged his way though the crowd of on looking people. He darted back down the alleyway and back into the darkness. Stopping for a minute he looked down to the other end, he had to carry on. That man would be on him any second now.

"You can't escape from me I know who you are."

That voice, he knew the coldness was the same man that he robbed and he was now looking at him at the other end of the alleyway. He was confused. It's wasn't possible. This was the only connecting alleyways for blocks. There was no way he could be at the other end.

The young man ran out the same way he had come in. The people had dispersed and the stall where gone. Dark grey clouds covered the sky and the first drops of rain caressed across his face.

He didn't have time to think, he just had to run.

His feet slammed against the cobbled paving. In the background he could still hear that voice over and over. The hideous bone chilling laughter. "You can run boy, but you can't hid. I will find you and you will pay for your crimes against humanity."

The building started to spin and he felt a large hand grab him by the scruff of the neck and tear him into a nearby building.

"Shhh. He won't find you in here. Your safe."

The young man did as he was told. His pursuer never seemed to arrive. Perhaps he was never really being followed.

"Good he's gone. You'll be safe now."

"Thank you." He turned to face his saviour.

He had long black hair that covered his one good deep brown eye, the other obtain a long deep gash caused by some edged weapon. The pupil was white, the nerves long ago died. He was tall over six foot four inches. His thin frame did nothing to hide his muscular body. Dressed all in black and caring a sword across his back.

"Don't worry about it. What I suggest is you stay low until sunset, then make your way back to the nearest pub."

The man turned to face the door, just to make sure that no one was really there. He turned back to respond to the man's question. But he had gone.

The young man looked out the window. Night had fallen. Time to leave. He opened the door and walked out into the night. The large moon shown it's slight down the road. Candlelight could be seen out of the small windows. The sky was clear and the numerous stars twinkled with a brilliance that the young man had never noticed before.

As directed, he walked to the inn. He could hear the bustling place full of lowlife, thieves and prostitutes. He had always avoided this place for fear that this would be the death of him.

He looked up at the sign to the pub. The Black Flag was etched into the wood with a crude picture of a black flag painted on it.

He pushed open the doors. The pub was empty devoid of all people except for the bar tender and a woman sitting in the corner.

"What do you want?" The loud gruff voice came across the room. "If you're looking for trouble. Then get out."

"Hmm. I'll take an ale please."

He strolled over to the bar. Taking in the surroundings. The place was dusty and most of the tables were battered and the seats in the booths surrounding the outer walls where all torn, ripped or shredded, rubbish was strewn round the place and there were rats in the far corner, scurrying, looking for any food that may be laying around. He took a sit at the bar.

A large tankard was slammed down in front of him. "That'll be a penny."

He handed the bar tender a small brass coin. The bar tender bit it. Spun it in the air and pocketed it.

He took a small sip. It was warm. Too warm in fact and the moss in the bottom of tankard confirm that the tableware was just as bad as the tables.

He didn't know how long he had to sit here for, or in fact what to do. Maybe that man would come and find him. He really wasn't sure.

He watched the bar tender walk over to the tables, wipe them down with a dirty rag and then throw the rag over his shoulder.

The barman at least six and half feet high, and at least that wide, his bald head showed the reflection of the ceiling lights, his one good eye was staring straight at the thin man, the other housed a large scar that flowed from the top of his forehead down to his square jaw.

The Barman finished his so called cleaning and then disappeared into the back. Most like a kitchen of some sorts.

The young man looked around. The only other person here was the young woman. She was extremely pretty. Deep brown eyes and long red fiery hair. She wore a jet-black dress that hugged her curves.

She looked up at him and smiled seductively.

The young man wasn't too sure of her intent. Was she a prostitute? He wasn't too sure. No one dressed like that unless they where looking for attention.

She rose to her feet and walked over to him. In her hand a glass of red wine. She sat on a stool next to him. Took and sip and asked for a refill.

"He'll pay." She turned to the young man. "Thanks for the drink."

He really didn't know how to respond. He had never seen anyone this beautiful and if he had, they would not have stopped to take to him.

"That's ok." He mumbled.

"Oh dear. Poor little baby. You are so shy." She started to run his hands through his dark brown hair. She stared into his hazel eyes. No thoughts. Just stares. To say that the young man felt a little uncomfortable was an understatement. He had no idea who this woman was or why she even bothered to approach him in the first place.

She leaned forward and placed her mouth at the side of his ear. "You have no need to worry. I don't bit... Much." She brought her back round and again locked eyes. She has a small smile across her face.

"What... What do you want?" His voice was a whisper. He wanted to break away and run, but those eyes had him transfixed. He wanted to move away, but couldn't. "That's easy my little shy guy. I want you."

"Me? I'm nobody. I'm a sewer rat."

"No. You are much more. You are my pet and as my pet you will do what I say. Come know little plaything. You will don't do as you are. We need to get you cleaned up and looking decent."

She took him by the hand and led him out of the pub. The two headed towards an alley that would lead them out of the town.

"Where are we going?"

"Not for you to need to know my little pet." She gave him a tug and he lurched forward. Halfway down the alley she stopped and started to look at either end.

"There is one more thing my little pet. I can't have you as you are. You're far too much..." She swayed slightly thinking of the right words. "Alive."

The young man filled with terror and this woman suddenly branded fangs. He tried to run but her hold was just too strong. Her sank her teeth in his neck. He could feel the warmth of his blood flow down his body. This was it. This was the end. He screamed, as a pain he never knew could exist take hold of him. He collapsed to the ground, writhing and screeching. His legs kicked and convulsed. Then... Nothing. He lay still on the ground.

The woman looked down on him. "That’s better. Now come on I need you to stay with me for a little longer. Just whilst I get you back home."

His eyes darted open. Red slightly swollen and bloodshot. He felt strange. Strong and yet over powering hungry.

"I told you. You can run but you cannot hide."

That voice drove thought the young man like a heated dagger. He looked to the entrance of the alleyway and there he was. That man. The one who wanted to kill him or so he thought.

Behind him he could make out torches and people. It was as if the whole town was after them. He could hear their calls for death. The cheering and shouting for his blood. All this for a pickpocket?

A hand grabbed his. "Come on we have to get out of here quickly. I'll explain everything to you later." What had she done to him? He tightened his grip on her hand, trusting in her knowledge. That and the fact that he had no one else to turn to except this woman.

He looked her straight in her purple eyes. Her long purple and black hair waiving in the wind. That little black dress she was wearing earlier still hugging that accentuating figure.

They ran to the end of the alleyway and turned to head out of the town. The young man could see form a large mansion on the top of a hill.

"Where are we headed?"

"Branendel Castle. We will be save there. I promise my little pet."

The two glanced back. The screams of the angry mob headed by the man in a hat still chasing them.

The young man couldn’t remember the journey up the large hill, or in fact if they had actually run there. She pushed open the large wooden doors and quickly motioned him inside. She had a quick glance at the mob slowly making its way up the hill. She slammed the door shut.

"What’s going on?"

The young man turned to face another beautiful young lady. She had magnificent long blonde hair and sharp radiant blue eyes.

"We have to get him some food and in a safe place. We will have company soon and we need to make sparse. There is a Vampire hunter with them.

"My lady." She took the young man by the hand and let his up the grand wooden staircase. The purple haired woman following shortly afterwards.

"The young man really didn't understand what was going on so he said the first thing that came to his mind. "Didn't you have red hair when I first met you?" His speech was slightly slurred, like he was drunk.

"We have to get him some food and quickly or we will end up as his meal."

The blonde woman nodded and picked up her pace. They entered a large bedchamber. Standing there was a young naked girl. No more then sixteen or seventeen. Her long dark auburn hair covering most of her lower back. Her dark brown eyes seemed pitiful. She had been crying. Most likely wanting to go home. Holding onto to the girl arm was a second girl, about the same age. Her multi coloured spiky hair took his attention away from everything.

"Elisa we have to hind this young man. We have company and I do not want him involved in the bloodshed."

"Of course my lady." She opened up a hatch that was next to the bed and motioned for the young man to head down. She assured her it would be safe but he would have to stay quiet and feed himself. She assured her he would know what to do.

He headed down into a secret compartment located between the floors. Light creep in though some of the cracks in the wood. He felt faint. A hunger was taking him like he never knew. He felt he had not eaten for a hundred years.

He heard a scream and the young brunette joined him in the hole. Tossed in like a piece of meat. He rushed to help her up. He may have been a pickpocket, but he still had manner.

Stood accepted his help and looked at him pleadingly. She asked how they where going to get out of this. But he couldn't hear her. All he could hear her heart beating. That rapid pulse of boom boom boom. He could see the vein in her neck clearly. He could feel his mouth salivating.

He didn't the high-pitched scream at he plunged his newly acquired fangs in her neck. She went quiet, not dead, just given... up on life.

The door to the bedroom burst open and in walked the man in the hat and scarf. Behind him was the rest of the mob. Torches still alight, pitchforks, axes and clubs still in hand.

"Where is his?"

"Not hear."

"You're lying to me."

"No really. Now get out of my home."

"Can't do that I'm afraid. See you are a spawn of the devil and it is now time for you to beg the divine forgiveness and pray he give absolution for your departed soul."

"Like hell you will." With that she grabbed the man with the hat and sank her teeth into his neck before he had a chance to react. She ripped her head away tearing flesh, vein and sinew. Blood spurted out covering the local mob who where too busy screaming at the sight to even notice.

She threw him to the two other vampires. "Elisa, Kari take care of this for me."

The two smiled at the thought of killing a vampire hunter. Kari grabbed him by the neck and twisted it one hundred and eighty degree. The body slumped to the floor. "Come on girls. Feeding time."

Panic ensued as the villagers desperately tried to run from the mansion. All their terrified efforts however where for vane. They desperately tried to tear at the door hoping it would open. Again with no success. The three vampires bore down on them. Sick and twisted smiles passing their lips. A whole village to feed on and not one would stand against them.

Elisa was the first to leap in. She flew threw the air, her target a scarred teenager boy. Her arms outstretched ready to feast. Then a reflection of light. The teenager opened his eyes and fainted. Elisa head rolled from his grasp and along the floor. "You die now. Spans of satin you are evil for sure." The accent was thick and the English barely pronounceable.

Everyone turned to where the voice had come from. Standing there with a silver blade in hand stood a man. Light seems to shine on his tight tailored trousers up past his black belt to a jet-black shirt and a small black jacket fell over his shoulders.

"Evil spawns. I never imagined that you would terrorize this town. I agreed to leave you in peace Ariana. Now for you to pervert, corrupt or kill the these people."

"We have done nothing of the sort. I believe that it was that man with the brimmed hat that gathered the people to kill us."

"You are wrong Ariana for sure. We have noticed several disappearances over the past several months for sure. You I warned you and you still disobeyed me."

"Hold your tongue knave. You will not speak to our lady in such an insolent tone. I will show you the true power of darkness."

Kari became a blurring flash as she went to attack the foreign man. He stood his ground watching her moves. Even though her speed was blinding, if was not the first time he had seen this trick. She changed forward and he thrust his short up under her chin. Breaking though her mouth, up through her brain and the tip of the sword slicing through the top of her head.

He ripped his sword forward splitting her face in two and watched her collapse on the ground. "Two down for sure, now lady Ariana you will come peacefully or for sure I will strike you down."

"Fine, you win."

He grabbed her by the arm and led her through the crowd of people. It only took one of them to gain a little bit of courage. He raised his club over his head and brought it down on hers.

Ariana collapsed to her knees and the villages in unison all seem to gain this courage. One of the other they continued to beat, stab and pulverize her body. The Hunter was pushed aside and could not help protect the only person here who acted with any reason.

One of the large windows where smashed in the attack and it allowed for the villagers to escape. They dragged the body of Lady Ariana towards the town. The young man huddled the brunette. She was blue and most of her blood had been drained. He did not know how long he had been there but all the noise had stopped.

He tried to push the latch and it came away easily. He peered out cautiously and made his way out of the Mansion. He had to head towards town; he needed to tell people that he was all right.

He reached the market square. He needed to tell people what had happened and maybe they had a cure for him.

The moon was full and light it emanated allowed the young man to see perfectly. What he saw not only shocked him, but also made him want to reach. It was the smell of burning flesh. In the centre of the market on a cross were the charred remains of a body. But there were no logs underneath, any signs that a fire had been lit. On the ground he recognised some of the clothing that must have come away.

It was the one he met at the pub. The one who lead him to the Mansion.

"I told you before Raziel. You can run, but you can never hide." The man with the hat stood next to him. The cool steel end of a gun pointed against the young mans temple.

"Better luck in the next life." With that he pulled the trigger.

Everything went black.

Chapter 24

Raziel awoke with a startle. His head was still limped over and he was to week to lift it. He opened his puffy and swollen eyes. The soreness make this all the more painful.

He tried to look around, but everything came as a blur. He could hear music, Classical overtones of Basch and the sound of a creaking chair. The smell of tobacco hung in the air.

Diablo sat in a rocking chair, gentle rocking back and forth. In his hand was a book about the civil war, Circa eighteen sixty. He looked up and his beaten and bruiser captive.

"What where you dreaming about?"

The reply came in a sort of dream like speech. "Home... Long ago."

"Really, tell me about it. Tell me about you?"

"I robbed... to survive... People where there... Shouldn't have been there. You where there... Many others... Not what happened..."

"What didn't happen. You have to tell me."

"Chased... No... Never chased... Ariana not there... Wait... Yes... Was there... That was true..."

"Intertesting. Not Patris is on his way, but we still have plenty of time. You do not have to worry. I will bring no more harm to you. Instead I just want to talk. You seem to be a facination of everyone. Now why is that?"

"Don't know... Want to be left alone..."

"You must have done something? Anything? Tell me something that no one else would ever know."

"Order of the Sun..."

"Go on." He stopped reading his book and looked at Raziel Intently.

"I was... the one... who brought it down."

"How very interesting. It was always believed that the Order of the Sun was taken down from the inside. If was always believed that there was no way the Vampires could prepare for the invasion. Now we know the truth. What else?"

"The Vampire Handbook..." The faintest edges of Raziel's face curled like he was trying to smile. "I...I...

"You what? Don't fade out on me. You have to tell me."

Raziel's final breaths before collaping unconcious again surprised Diablo. Everything that he had come to believe was destroyed by this one phrase. He collapsed back in his chair with shock and awe. Like a knife through the heart. He was stunned.

That final message rang clearer then day in his head.

"I created it."

A dull cloud cover obsured the full moon. Mortis gripped the wheel of the large truck tightly. The pebble stone path crunching under the tyres.

They had talked about stratagy before they left Raziel's flat and everyone was now suited and armed up for the conflict.

The truck came to slow halt just out of site of the Castle. The needed to make their way along the Ridge Valley Cliffs, this was the only secret way as it faced the North side of the castle. There where no windows or doors. The only way Diablo would know if anyone was coming would be if he would at the top spire looking down on them.

Fregillion, Flash and Artior jumped out of the back. Maiden and Elfinlied jumped out the back cab and Mortis and Viona departed from the front. They pushed the truck into some nearby hedges to make sure that it was still there when they returned.

The Ridge Valley Cliffs wasn't a straight ridge. The hils of the countryside gave a rise and fall effect. This would give then an advantage as they could use the dips in the hills to hide.

As they crossed the third hill a voice called out to them from the darkness.

"Leave Raziel and you can keep you life." The tone was sharp and offensive.Flash reconised that voice anywhere.


"I though I told you that I do not talk to play things. This is none of your concern so I suggest that you go home and hind in whatever little hovel you came from abd leave Diablo and Raziel to me."

Maiden was quick to respond. "I don't think so. I've been thought too much over the last couple of days to just hand him over to you. Why don't you leave Diablo and Raziel to us.

"Really. Such insolance from someone so young. You really think that Raziel would want anything to do with something as low bred as you."

Le stat appreared by her side, closely behind her stood another eight members of her clan. The Family of Darkness. "Tell you what my sister's not gonna say it but I will. Take a hike or we will take you down."

"You gotta be having a fucking laught you stupid little shit." Fregillion pulled round his two beretta's. "You want to fucking dance then let's go, just you and me."

Le Stat pulled his two handed reversed serrated sword. "Come on then. Those little pistols will do fuck all to me."

The sounds of unsheathed weaponscould be heard from both sides. They stood there facing each other. Not a word mentioned.

The wind whistles gently across the peoples faces. The radient moon had shown itself as the clouds broke. The two sides coudl see each other facial features. The hatred. The anger and the wanting for a fight. One goal was on the others mind. To win this fight and carry on to either capture to rescue Raziel.

The stand off lasted over ten minutes, neither side wanting to show the their hand, neither wanted to be the one to start the fight, they just wanted to end it. Another breeze, this one a little more fierce. The wind shot up Le Stats nose and he sneezed.

Nemazis jumped and pulled the trigger to his magum. The bullet flew out the chamber and impacted into the edge of Fregillion's shoulder. Fregillion reeled in pain, drew up his guns and opened fire.

The Family spread in all directions trying to avoid the storm that was approaching them. One of the members took a bullet straight the nose. The back of his head exploding and showing some ofthe other members.

Auriga called out in dispair. "Daniel. You fucking basterd." She charged up the nearly hill her long brown hair tied up in a bun. He long grey leather coat trailing in the wind. She was gonna show them that she was not screwed around with.

Maiden told the others to split and try to take them on on by one. She pulled her twin dagger and changed straight towards Lysandra. If she could take her down. The rest would soon follow.

Lysandra glared at her. 'What insolence. I'll show her the true meaning of fear.' She brought her arms from around her back and drew forth a magnificent scythe. The pole was made out of ebony and the diamond edge blade shimmered in the moonlight.

She raised the blade high and charged at Maiden.

Fregillion ran after Nemazis. His berettas poised for action. smoke eminated from the barrells indicating he had already fired off a couple of shots. Nemazis dissapearred behind a nearby tree, stuck his gun around and opened fire. Another bullet grazed Fregillion leg and collasped on the ground. His Beretta scattered in several directions.

Viona pumped the barrel of the shotgun took aim and fired again. Her target; a pink haired wonder known as Vilya. One of Lysandra generals. The blast impacted the dirt next to her sending debris into her pale coloured face.

Vilya closed the gap, jumped in the air and roundhoused Viona. Blood dribbled out of her mouth. Viona's attacked was quick to follow this up with a series of punches to the stomach and chest. Each punch caused more blood and more pain. The brass knuckles she was wearing making short owrk of Viona's internals.

Another Kick. Viona grabbed her ankle and slammed her to the ground. Her bare fist followed along with a scream of seething hatred. Blow followed blow. Vilya face was being turned into a bloddy mess.

Another fist came in and Vilya was able to grab her knuckles. She rammed her feet into Viona's lower mid section and kicked her off. Vilya flipped to her feet. The eyes still hungry for more action. Viona was only too happy to oblige.

Sasuke eyed up the hulk of his opponant. His massive fram would make in slow and the four headed flail would be more the easy to dodge. He drew his Katana from his back and used the shadow of the night to obsure his movement. He was quiet. Stealthy. He was the night. The was nothing he couldn't do.

He had been alive for nearly two hundred year. A sameria by training. An Assassin for pay. He had never lost a fight. No man could match his speed and prowness in battle.

He was the tiger and his victim was in his sight. The giant injury wilder beast that needed putting down. He was cautious through the grass. The trees gave him the perfect cover. He would soon strike.

The man turned his back to his enemy and Sasuke saw the oppertunity to strike. He ran fromthe tree he was hiding behind and charged. His feet hardly touching the ground. His long hair flowing graceously behind him.

He lept in the air. His Katana high in the air.

Elfinlied gave Flash the signal and Flash swund his flail round and connected with his attackers head. Blood, Skull and brain splattered against flash's clothes and he hacked and spat some of the contents out of his mouth.

He looked down at the headless body of Sasuka and wanted to smile. This however was not Lysandra and until she was dead he would not allow himself the satifactory of being happy.

Bullets impacted the picnic bench that Mortis flipped up. He has his two MPK5's by his side. He popped up and let another round of bullets off. They either impacted the tree where his assailent was, or whizzed carelessly by into the night.

Mortis ducked again as another hail of bullets flew by. He needed to do something soon or he was gonna run out. Two clips left. He needed to think fast. He again rose up and let off another stream of metal fragments. All othem spinning in the air.

Mortis used this last barrage of bullet to look abound his surrounding. He took it all in an ducked again. Another torrent impacted the wood. A couple more siled over his head. Another second of studding and he would have been dead.

One more clip. He scoured his mind for any clues. He smiled. Jumping up he pulled the trigger of one of the MPK5's and empltied the clip and contined to keep his finger on the trigger whilst he dropped the other. He pulled off his back his granade launcher and pulled the trigger.The MPK5 still giving off a clicking noise. Still trying to fire bullets that where not there.

His opposition. A young looking man of no more then twenty. spun round the tree, a look of trimph on his face. The main man. Mortis of all people. Out of bullets and just standing in the open. This was his lucky day.

'Teron. The Family will talk about you forever. You will have song in your great name for the kill of the great Mortis. I though he was suppose to be a great tactician. He's nothing more then a gun happy idiot.'

The was about to pull the triggers when he heard a loud whistle noise. He looked up just intime to see the granade impact his chest.


The exposion tore Teron to pieces. The tree next to him turned maroon. Mortis smiled happily to himself. 'These young ones will never learn.'

Artior flipped over Le stat and came down in his knees and sweeped his legs. Le Stat came crashing down. Artior followed this up with a stomp to the head. This was easily blocked and Le stat swisted Artior's leg atempting to break it.

Artior spun with the motion and landed face first on the ground. Le stat grabbed him by the head and started to smash him on the nearby rock. Artior could feel his teeth break and his jaw shatter under the intense strength Le Stat could bring.

His head was raised another time. Artior howled and threw Le Stat over his head. He landed on the feet, turned and jumped back towards Artior. Artior flipped backwards and connected his foot with Le Stat jaw.

Le Stat hit the ground hard. Artior produced a large dagger. "Time for you to head back to whatever hell you believe in. He raised his dagger to strike. A sharp pain hit him and the back of his lower left rib cage exploded. Artior staggered backwards.

Another explosion of pain this time in his shoulder. The back of his shoulder blade now missing.

Mortis looked around to see if he could help anyone. To his horror he saw Artior on his knees. Blood flowing from his mouth. Wounds through his stomach, shoulder and knee.

Another blast of red exited Artior body. The red mist straying behind him. Mortis started to scour the area for the culprit. He heard a shout from his friend.

"As I have lived for the brotherhood. I shall die for the brotherhood. My soul is prepared." He turned and faced Mortis. "My friend I am sorry to leave you like this. I must now depart for a new adventure. Whatever becomes of me. Promise me you will avenge my death."

Mortis saw the breifest of flashes from the top of the hill. The left side of Artior's face desintagrated as the bullet exploded. The force of the shell tore Artior from his knelt down stance, sent time ten yards through the air, landed, rolled and finally laid to rest.

Fregillion lay on the ground. He could feel the blood leaving his body slowly. The was no pain as the adreniline was making sure of that. Nemazis was around here somewhere. He pulled himself to his knees and took an intack of the area.

His enemy was still behind the tree. He could hear the clicks of his gun reloading. Problem with the Magnum. Six shots and your done for. Fregillion's Guns where deep in the thick undergrowth. If he went looking for them he would be dead.

He decided on a seperate tactic. He manuvered himself against the tree and waited for his barrell of the gun to pop back round. He didn't have to wait long. He yanked the gun from Nemazis's hands pulling his advorary along with it.

Fregillion saw the brief opening he was looking for. He swung the Magnum in and upward arch and connected it with Deathjam's face. The blow sent his realling skyward. He hit the ground hard; a dazed look on his face.

He looked up to see the smile of Fregillion look back at him. His own Magnum now being pointed at him.

"Cock Sucking piece of Shit." Fregillion emptied the chamber in Deathjam's face. Each shot convulsed his body. The final shot allowing to lay still. Fregillion threw the gun on him.

There was more fighting to be done and he would have to worry about the injuries later.

"Why won't you die!" The scream from Lysandra come out loud and clear. Maiden landed on he feet after back flipping to avoid a swipe of the blade. She had to hand it to Lysandra. She knew how to fight.

"Because I refuse to let Raziel be handed over to some silly stuck up bitch." Maiden changed back in. She had ignored the gashed across her body from the connecting hits that Lysandra had given her. The blood freely flowed from her noce and mouth from repeated punches to the face.

Lysnadra wasn't fairing much better. Maiden came in hard. She dagger allowing her to be fast paced. Lysandra dodges to the left, fainted right, blocked the third hit and took the foruth across the arm. She didn't even realise that the blood was flowing down past her fingers.

She returned the blow with one of her own. Her scythe arching in an upwards direction. Maiden spun sideways to avoid the blow. Lysandra then piroetted and with one brought her weapon from around her; back into the air. Her other hand met and she brought in down with a diagonal slice.

Maiden grabbed the wooden handle of the weapon and kick Lysandra in the side of the knee cap to off balence her. If didn't work. It allowed Lysandra to bring her head down on the bridge of Maiden's nose. More blood blasted out and again the injury was ignored.

Maided only had enough time to compose herself before having to drop to the ground to avoid losing her hear. She rolled sideways and the scythe came crashing down on the previous location. Maiden using her hands as a spring planted her feet in Lysandra chest causing her to stagger.

Maiden was back on her feet. Exausted but still fighting. Her opponant was unreal. She had taken pleant of people down before but every attack she tried. It was parryed. Every assult either blocked or avoided. She managed a few small hits but nothing to deadly. She felt she owed her life to luck rather then skill.

"Mother Fucker!!!" The scream came out of fregillion mouth as he was send realling backwards. The shell of a long tipped bullet exploding taking the back of his shoulder off.

Mortis screamed to anyone. "Someone get that fucking sniper before we all taken down!"

Mortis saw another flash from the hill. He knew the target was the previous victim. Fregillion.

The bullet impacted the tree right where Fregillion stood. On top of him was Elfinlied.

"I always knew you have a thing for me. Must have been the way we argued "

"No. I pretty sure that was you just being a cocky arsehole. But hey; even the worst of us need saving eh?"

Fregillion chuckled. He couldn't believe it. They where in the heat of a battle and little punk still had to make jokes."

Elfinlied glanced above his head. The berretta that Fregiilion was using. She knew her target and grabbed the gun.

Auriga looked through the scope for the next target. "Hmm. looks like you get to live for another few minutes. She zoomed left and then zoomed back to the right. She could see a bright zone of colour. Her next target. She zoomed in on the spiry haired punk girl. She was just standing there. Looking at her potision and smiling.

Auriga gave a smile of her own. She aimed the cross hairs of her sniper rifle directly inbetween Elfinlied eyes. "Goodnight sweetheart."

Auriga's eyes then opened wide. The punk had a gun smoking gun. She could see the bullet in slow motion coming towards her and she was powerless to do anything.

The lens of her sniper rifle shattered as the bullet entered directly through the lens. The bullet pierced Auriga's eye passed through her brain and detonated upon impact at the back of her skull. She collapsed on top of her sniper rifle. Blood stain the dark grass.

"Yes!" Take that mother fucker." She danced into the grounds. People where still fighting all around her but know she knew they where winning. They had killed most of the brotherhood.

Viona was pulling her hands around her victim; a loud crack confirmed what Elfinlied hoped. Another member of the Family dead onthe ground.

"Like Fregillion said I bet you really didn't want to fuck with us!"

She could contain her excitement. She could see Maiden standing over Lysandra ready to finish her off too. This battle was nearly over. The excitement was just too much and she began jumping wildly on the stop.

"Yeah Well show you what a fight really is. Eh! You people couldn't even fight a blind, dumb and deaf man." She let the taunting continue as she started to wander towards Maiden. "Look at the pompous bitch on the floor. I'll bet she..."

Her voice was cut short and she reached and coughed. Blood appreared. Lot of blood. She could feel a sharp pain and she looked down. The reversed serrated blade was rammed through her chest. Blood soaked the blade and she could feel the warmth leave her body.

"Not so cocky now are we bitch." Le Stat's voice rained down on her. He grabbed the handle of his sword and wrenched it upwards. She gave another gasp and more blood spurted from her mouth.

He laughed as he torn the blade from her body, ripping the organs and tissue in the process. She looked straight at Maiden and opened her mouth to speak. Only blood came out.

She wanted Maiden. She could do something. She could make the pain go away. She could save her. She wanted to form the only words that would get her attention. This time the words appreared loud and clear.

"Mommy. Please Mommy help me." A tear fell from eye.

Maiden hear the shout as she was about to deliver the killing blow. She looked over to the middle of the field. Elfinled stood there, blood soaked. Her bright clothes now a deep maroon. Le Stat was still there smiling.

"No!" Tears started to well in her eyes. "No... ARIA! NO!!!"

Her attention to Lysandra was no longer an issue. She had to reach her daughter. She Le Stat stood in the middle of them a sick smirk on his face. Maiden could see Elfinlied inthe distance collapse on the ground.

"Wow didn't expect that. See that is why you don't invite cocky little shits to the party. They die." He spat the final words out.

Maiden didn't hear them. Rage filled her. A absolute hatred she never felt before. She could feel the heat of her blood. Her eyes went bloodshot. This man would die.

She could hear voives in her head. A latin phrase she knew and was taught. The phrase repeated it self over and over again. Maiden looked at Le Stat. The stupid grin. The one who took her only daughter. He was going to pay. She closed her eyes.

"From the God I call. Grant me your eternal power of damnation. From Hades wrath I command your burning hatred. From the Heavans of my soul I command you to bring forth your vengeance. I call for everlasting pain. I call forth the power of the ages. I call for this power."

Maiden opened her eyes. They had become jet black her voice became deeped like a possessed maniac. Ther final words where spat with seathing anger.

She raised her hand, her arm outstretched, the palm open and finalised the incantation.

"Aestuo Cruor."

Le Stat stopped laughing. His eyes widened and he started screaming in pain. He could feel his blood start to overheat like he was stuck in a microwave. Blood started to gush out of every available oraphus. He grabed his eyes in agony as the heat of the blood was burning his eyes.His mouth, nose and skin when the blood came in contact blistered and burnt.

Mainden managed to slightly come to her senses to realise what was happening to Le Stat. She grinned through tearful eyes. She pulled her daggers to her side and charged towards his.

Le Stat managed to gain some sight. He watched at Maiden charged towards him. We wanted to move but was to weak to do so. He just stood there and swayed slightly. In his eyes the images of Maiden leading in the air. Her daggers drawn.

She brought them down straight through Le Stats eye sockets. The blades imbedded themselfs deep in his brain. Maiden twisted the daggers in her hand and pulled them sideways. They split through his skull. Le Stat still stood there motionless.

Maiden picked up his sword and looked over to where Lysandra was starting to pull herself up. Maiden called over to her. "You fucking bitch. You're little hoare of a brother took something special from me. Now I plan to do the same to you."

Lysandra could only watch in horror as Maiden swung the sword round her body and with one massive heave connected the blade with Le Stat's neck. The serrated blade was so sharp that his head actaully stayed on his body. Maiden threw the sword to the ground and round housed his head off his shoulders.

Le Stat's head flew towards Lysandra; rolled and came to rest at her feet.

"No. Please god no. Why? What did I do to drag you down. Why?!" Lysandra screamed the last part. tears falling down from her face. She looked directly at Maiden. "I swear to you. If it's the last thing I do I promise..." She speach was cut short.

"This is for my partner you bitch." Flash brought the Medusa's head round and connected all four heads against Lysandra's body. She was sent spiraling through the air. She hit the ground hard and continued to roll over the edge of the cliff. Flash felt a sense of relief.

"Sleep now my precious. I have avenged you." He whispered.

Flash turned round to Maiden to find her on the ground Elfinlied in her arms. Elfinlied's body was limp her arms dangling down by her side. Flash really didn't feel that this was now worth any price. Vengeance was not worth it.

Maiden's tears fell of Elfinlied's face. "I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I'm so sorry. I always wanted you near me. You where always so happy. I couldn't let you go."

Elfinlied opened her eyes slightly. "Mommy. I'm sorry... This... is... my fault." She wheezed the statement."

Maiden put a finger to her blood soaked lips. "No... I... should have been more careful. I love you with all my heart. I caould let you go the first time. Please try to hang on."

"I have to go soon... I can feel it... I'm so glad you did what you did... For me... Otherwise what life... Would I have lived. All the places... I have seem. All the people I have met... You showed them to me. As Maiden... Not my mother."

Maiden stayed silent. There was so much she wanted to say but no words would form. Elfinlied continued talking. "I want... I want one thing... Please be my mother again before I die. I remember... A song you used to sing... A child's song...Please sing it to me one last time."

Maiden chocked onthe words she try to form. "Hush little baby don't say a word, mama's gonna buy you a mocking bird." More tears fell. "And if that mocking bird don't sing And if that mockingbird won't sing, Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring. And if that diamond ring turns brass, Mama's gonna buy you a looking glass. And if that looking glass gets broke, Mamas gonna buy you a billy goat. And if that billy goat won't pull, Mamas gonna buy you a cart and bull. And if that cart and bull fall down, You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town."

Elfinlied smiled and closed her eyes. her hand slipped from Maiden's hand and fell down by her side.


No responce.

"Oh God No. Please Aria."

Again nothing. Fregillion laid a hand on her. His eyes, like the rest that got to know her where wet from tears. Maiden looked at him pleasdingly.

"Oh God No!" Maiden grabbed her daughter in her arms and rocked her back and forth. Screaming sobs of saddness racking her body. "No... Please No. Please do something. Anything. I don't want to let you go. Please don't leave me...Please."

Nothing her daughter remained motionless. Her soul passed onto whatever after life she believed in. Fregillion knelt down next to her and kept his hand on her shoulder.

"We have to go." His responce was a mush as a plea as it was a known statement.

"No. I can't. She's not gone I know she not. She will wake up. I just know it." She looked up at him. Her swollen red eyes begging him that everything was alright. He responce in his eyes told her everything. She looked around at the others. The looks where all the same. Tearful. But resolved that she was gone.

Mortis carried the body of Artior over. and laid him next to Elfinlied. "At the very least we could give them a proper send off."

"Mortis?" He voice carried concern.

"He made his peace before he died. His sacrifice allowed us to survive and I for one will not let his death fall in vein. Use this strength and target it towards the person that caused it."

"Why? Lysandra and Le Stat are no more. "

"That's not what I meant."

"Diablo and Patris."

"I plan to exact my revenge. I was hoping that you would be able to join me. Too many people have lost their lives. Too much death. Even for someone has battle scared as me."


Everyone helped find logs, sticks, leaves and what every they could find to make a bed for the their two dead comerades. It took the majority of the night but by the end they had a bed made. Four foot high and six foot long. Made of leaves and branches that had been soaked in petrol from the nearby truck.

Maiden rested her daughter on one side and Mortis laid his best friend on the other. The other's gathered round.

Fregillion was the first to speak. "Hey kid. You know I never meant half of those things I said." He wiped his eyes. "Fuck. If it wasn't for you I'd be dead. A fucking bullet through the brain. Hey look that doesn't matter. I was just getting to like you. Why did you have to go and do something so stupid. You and you're fucking big mouth."

Anther tear rolled down his cheek. "You where never scared of anyone. You soke you mind. Ah. Fuck I really respected you for that. Even if I never showed it. You where one of the gang and you always will be. Where ever you are going. You will need this. Always be prepared." He placed one of his beretta's in her hand. The same one that took Auriga down.

Viona was the next to imerge. "I suppose I should really speak to both of you. Elfinlied or Aria. You always had that life is great outlook to life. I always smiled when you where were around. I don't know. I guess you had a radience that most of us forgot a long time ago."

She turned her attention to Artior. "My foreign friend. We really never got the change to propertly talk. I would have loved to hear what you had to say on the outlock to life. I guess I found it funny that you should be a man of god concidering what you are."

Next was Flash. "What do I say. I really don't know. I have seen too many people I care about acsent to the next plane of existance. I swore to avenge my partner's death. But I feel even saddered then before. I was so filled in vengence that I couldn;t see anything else. Where ever you are. God speed."

Mortis rested his hand on Artior's shoulder. "How long had we known each other. I lost count after three hundred years. I always remember what you said to me about death. Unfortuantely, it happens to the best of us. I suppose until now I never really believed you. But you where right. I suppose that makes me wrong." Mortis gave a slight chuckle. "Funny. You save my life and yet I'm not allowed to return the favour. Not much justice in that is there."

"Mortis quickly glanced around to the other. They gave him the nod that they still had time. He carried on. "Do you know what I'm gonna miss the most. You damn arse way of telling me everything is gonna be fine. Even when I lost the Brotherhood of Steel. You sat on that wall and made me believe that everything would be alright. You selfish basted. You go and die on me. I'll miss you. Don't worry. I promise to deliver your final message personally."

Mortis looked at Maiden. A sort of it was time look. Maiden ran her finger's along her daughter face. "I'm not sure where to begin. Do I apologies for doing what I did all those years ago. No I can't you are my daughter and I have loved you since the day you came into my life. It's funny Stephen and I married just moths before you where born. The wedding was beautiful but nothing compared you."

Maiden wiped her eyes. She didn't want to cry; but she couldn't help it. "I never really knew wher that radiance of yours came from. You where always the happy go lucky. I'm sorry I told you to shut up so many times. I guess I never though I was ever going to lose you. I don;t know what I'm going to do now. I will never get to hear that sweet voice of yours again. How do I say goodbye to the one thing that really meant anything to me?"

Maiden glanced over her shoulder. She could see the other's trying their best to fight back the sadness to offer support to the one how needed it most.

"I think I know what I must do. Kill patris and Diablo. Those two I promise you now will die. I also have to save Raziel. If we can't then all this is for nothing."

Maiden kiss Elfinlied on the forehead. "Goodbye Aria. Goodbye my daughter. One day I will see you soon. Until then. Keep your father company. He's waited a long time to see you."

Maiden and Mortis both took torches that had be made earlier that night and lit them. They cover the length of the wooden bed ad everyone stood there watching it burn. All of them saying their goodbyes.

Mortis resitied passages from the bible that Artior teached him. It was funny. It was only until now he could actually remember them. Once the bodies had been cremated and the wooden structure burn to the ground did they finally leave to head toward the castle and finish what they started. Dawn would be rising soon and they needed to complete the mission before the sun fully rose in the sky.

The small dark cove thats was built into the side of the cliff's washed up something. Beaten, shredded and bruised. Lysandra crawled out of the murky waters and collapsed on the rocky ledge. She laid on her back contemplating the recource of tonight. She mainly thought of her brother. The shrills of her lonely crying echoed round the cove and no one came to comfort her in her darkest hour of need.

Chapter 25

The limo pulled up at the large double doors of the Mansion. The back doors opened and the perfectly tailored man jumped out.

Patris gave a quick tug to his jacket and turned to Icon. "Lets get this over with."

Icon nodded in agreement as the two men walked up the large stone stairway to the from entrance.

Icon went to ring the door bell, however the door already started opening. An old gray haired man wearing a grey suit and jet black shined shoes greeted them.

"I believe Lord Diablo is expecting you." The voice was soft and slightly croaky. It had been a long time since this man had any need to entertain guests and he found a slight relief in doing so.

"He is." Patris answered back. He really could care who this person was. Another lackey to serve his master. Partis couldn't help but think that soon everyone would serve him.

The old man lead them slowly through the great hallway and into the drawing room. He lead them to a couple of antique chairs and gestured them to sit. Icon obliged as did Partis unwillingly. He really didn't see the point in all of this.

"Can I get either of you a drink?"

"No but I will drink you if you don't tell Diablo that we are fucking waiting for him!"

The mans demeanour never changed. Most people would have at the very least shown a little sign of anger. He was too use to these kind of people. He polity told them that Lord Diablo would be on his way shortly. He then turned around and left the room.

Icon took in the size of the great drawing room. He guessed an area at least forty foot long. Three large fifteen foot windows allowed for the moon to throw it's light against the glass. Walls where adorn with book upon book upon books.

The vast majority of the light emanated from the fireplace. The roaring flames disappearing behind the stone and marble surround. Icon could help but take in the natural splendor of this place.

"Who the Fuck do you think he is eh?" Patris had risen to his feet and started pacing. "Well Icon? This is a matter of urgency and he just keeps us waiting like some second rate guest."

"I'm sure he is coming. This seems to be a big place and it might just take a little..." He was cut short.

"Yeah I'm sure. Like I'm sure the fucking moron..."

The doors to the drawing room opened and in walked Diablo. Partis's face changed in an instant.

"Diablo. I must say well done of apprehending Raziel."

"It's wasn't hard. In fact I fail to see what all the fuss was about."

"I thought the exact same. Now where is he?"

"If you want to follow me and I will take you to him."

The three men left the drawing room went through the hall and into the kitchen. Icon took in the intricate detail of the hardwood stairs that lead up to the second floor.

"Seventeenth century from a place that was called France. In fact it was owned by one of the monarch's that rules at the time. I had it shipped over when it was found."

Diablo led the men through the Kitchen and into the pantry. At the back of the room was a small wooden door then down into the cellars.

"Come on; he's down here." Diablo grabbed a torch from the side of the wall. "There no lighting on the stairway. Don't want you to slip and break you neck."

"I'm sure you don't."

The men dissappeared down a small and narrow circular stairway. The light of the torch dissapprearing into the darkness.

The silence of the other member came across all to loudly in Fregillion mind. Maiden and Mortis had lost someone close. He too felt like he had lost something. If it hadn't been for that pointy haired punk he would be kissing ash at this present minute.

He owed her one and he wanted to hate that. But he would take his revenge in the form of Diablo and Patris.

Maiden didn't want to think. Every time a thought entered her head it had something to do with Aria. Instead her thoughts turned to Raziel and freeing him from the castle.

They reached the north wall. The faceless wall showing no signs of entry. The group looked towards Maiden for guidance. For once she wish they didn't.

"I leave this to Fregillion to decide after all he was the one who used to live here."

"Me? Fuck that. Do you have any fucking idea how long it has been since I last lived here. for all I know everything been change and moved."

"He won't be. It will be exactly as you remembered it. Trust me I should know. Diablo is one of those people that reveal in nostalgia. His home will be more like a museum." Viona said

"Please Fregillion we could storm the place, it could all be for nothing. I need you to please help us and remember." The sympathetic plea from Maiden was evident.

"Come on bud. We have a score to settle."

The words from his friend rang out loud and clear. There has been to much going on in the last few days for him to even stop and think about anything.

Patris has set him up and drew him in to a conflict he really didn't want to know. But had it not been for him he would have never met this person whom he considered a good friend. Infact has it not been for Patris all these people whom he had now banded together with would not have occurred.

Now it was down to him to help them all out in this situation. His resolved firmed. "There used to be a secret passage along the back wall. You need to press a series of pressure bricks in the right order. This will lead us to the servant quarters behind the master dining room."

Fregillion silently led the other passed the back wall. They kept low and kept to the shadows to avoid the security cameras.

Fregillion remember the days when he would be out back, smoking and drinking and doing other things that brought a small smile to his face.

He apporched the brick wall, to the other it look ordinary, but Fregillion knew it's secrets. he pushed a few bricks and the wall started to shake slightly. A section of the wall broke away and swung open to reveal a passage way into the house.

The party lead by fregilion disappeared into the darkness as the door slid closed once again hiding is secrets to the outside world.

A knock came at the door. Diablo muttered something about not disturbing him when he is with guests, but after a reply of it's extremely urgent. Diablo gave in and allowed his servant to enter.

"I thought it best that you should know the mansion has been compromised. A group of people have entered thought the passage at the back of the house. Do you want me to make the necessary procedures sire?"

Diablo nodded his head in agreement and the elderly servant gave a bow and left, closing the heavy oak door gently behind him.

"Sooner then I expected. You two need to be on your way. You have what you came for now I would suggest that you leave. Not that I am expecting too much trouble from the riff raff, but you never know what rats can do when corned."

Patris and Icon looked and each other and shrugged. They weren't quite sure what had just happened but felt that if Diablo was asking them to leave then he would oblige as he had what they came for. A veil of Raziel's blood.

The followed Diablo out from the basement and back thought the pantry. Diablo showed the two the door and motioned them through it.

He then proceeded through another secret passage that lead to his armoury. This room he installed about ten years ago to house his arsenal. He knew there would be a fight. Albeit it a simple one. He really didn't want to take the risk of being unprepared.

Re-equipping his back plate and upholstering his guns, he leave the room via a set of stairs that lead into his master bedroom. Exiting the room he turned down the corridor ready to face the might of Raziel's crew.

Sure enough he didn't have to wait long. He could hear the footsteps of his assailants slowly waling through the corridor and into the main hall. He stood at the top of the grand staircase and waited for them to come into view.

"My dear Viona. You survived."

The group looked to the direction of the stairway. Diablo stood at the top, his long brown trench coat hanging loosely. His brown brimmed hat neatly on his head. His was playing with the guns that where holstered by his sides.

"Diablo I presume?" Maiden asked the obvious question.

The easy answer was sidetracked as he really didn't think he needed to answer.

"Whats the next question? Where is Raziel? What have you done with him? He had better be alive?" He started to parade across the top of the balcony occasionally leaning over to mock the next question. "We let me answer that then. Raziel is alive as Patris needs him that way. I have haven't done much with him apart from the obvious. Tough nut to crack though I tell you that. But they all give in eventually, they always do. I got to learn some interesting things."

Diablo wandered back over towards the staircase. "Did you know that he caused the downfall to the Order of the Sun?" The apparent blank look on most of the faces answered his question. "Imbeciles all of you. Cultural imbeciles."

"Don't you be calling us fucking imbeciles or I'll tear you fucking head of your fucking shoulders."

"My My, such horrible language. Is there any need to be so rude. I presume you lead your group through the secret passage then." He waited for puzzled looks to appear on their faces. "Oh wait, did you not think that I wouldn't know about the secret passageway. I found that after a week of buying the place. I has the door alarmed just in case. Now you will have to excuse me as I have some matters to attend to."

Diablo turned his back and was about to walk down the hallway that lead away from the grand hall. He glanced back briefly to leave his final message. "I will leave you in the company of my minions and please don;t give me suck a dumb look that I would not have thought to protect myself. Have fun and try not to die to quickly. I would love the temptation to kill you all myself, but I grow bored of you and have other matters to attend to."

Diablo walked down the hallway out of sight of the party.

"Come back here you fucking coward."

"Fregillion thats enough. I'm more worried about what we are about to face." The anticipation on Mortis's face was clear.

"I pray the rumors about him are wrong. God please be wrong."

Maiden turned to Viona. "What rumors?"

"Diablo is also a keen scientist. He found a way to keep the body alive long after the brain died. His work was discredited as evil and unnatural and he was kicked from the university where he worked."

A moan and a shuffling noise could be heard coming down the corridors.

Viona continued whilst unclipping her berretta. "Rumor has it that he carried on in secret capturing people and turning them into a following. Diablo's own personal army."

Another set of moaning, this time the shuffling of feet could be hear from upstairs.

"Creatures that need to be sent to the wasteland. Monstrosities of evil. They feel nothing. No pain, No fear. All they live for is death."

The first of the creatures came into view. Humanoid beings. at least twenty of them to begin with and more could be heard in the background. Some where dragging one of their legs, other had only one arm, however, all of their faces were twisted, their skin seared and deformed. Their blood red eyes gave only hatred.

"Diablo's army of ghouls. A damnation to this society. If we want Raziel then we must deal with them."

The ghouls came from all directions surrounding the group.

Flash raised his flail above his head. "If he have to go through them, then thats fine with me."

He charged the nearest ghoul and brought his flail down on it head shattering the skull. It fell to the ground twitched for a second and lay motionless.

"Time to take out the trash." Fregillion said

He aimed his gun and opened fire. The battle for Raziel had begun.

Chapter 26

"How many more of these fucking things does that arsehole have?" By now Fregillon had run out of bullets and resorted to bashing the Ghouls on the head with the butt of his berretta.

Three waves of over thirty ghouls where hammering down the rescue troupe. Slow and dim-witted they where no real match individually for the group. The current problem was that they had been fighting well over an hour and after the recent battle with Lysandra. The fatigue was starting to set in. As where the injuries.

“How many more can there be?" Flash asked whilst sending another ghoul over the railings. Fregillon watched and could help but think of the quick backfire that Elfinlied would have given. Some thing along the lines of 'Home Run'. Danced around and he smirked gently. A set of teeth sank into his arm.

"Argh! You little fucker." The ghoul eventually let go after having it's head smashed in with a berretta handle.

Maiden removed her daggers from the final ghoul in that wave. "This is ridiculous. We can not stay here and be bested by a bunch of slow witted brainless monstrosities."

More moaning could be heard from around the wooden panelled wall that lead to the main dining room. Another set could also be heard from the top of the stairs and again from the drawing room that lead to the main hall.

Mortis looked towards the kitchen. The route was at least empty. "We need to head for the kitchen. However we also need to take care of the trash otherwise we will be knee deep in shit."

"How do you fuck do we do that then. Ask them nicely to fuck off."

"Hardly." Mortis reaching to his trenchcoat and produced a couple grenades. "However; I'm sure these guys can ask nicely."

Mortis tossed the Grenade to Fregillon. "You take the stair and I'll deal with the corridor. Make sure you aim for the wall. We may not be able to take out all this scum. But at least we can stop them from reaching us.

Fregillon was stunned. His mouth slight open. When at least he did manage to speak thirty seconds later he carried a slight touch of anger. "Why the fuck did you not tell us you had those three like three fucking waves ago!"

"Mortis pulled the pin from the top of the grenade and lobbed it down the corridor. "I wanted to save them. I kept thinking that this wave would be the last."

The grenade impacted one of the hall walls and bounced to the other. The ghouls where starting to enter the great hall when the devised detonated. Debris and body parts flew in all directions. The side of the wall and the ceiling had been collapsed stopping any point of entry.

"Now that’s what I'm talking about." Fregillon proceeded to pull the second pin from his incendiary and lobbed it up the stairs. Once again the same effect happened.

"Two down, one room left. Mortis any clever suggestions of this one as there is no way in hell that you will be able to bring down enough wall and ceiling to block anything entering.

Mortis pondered this. Fregillon was correct as the large thick Oak double doors where just far too large to enclose. 'Looks like we may have to fight this out after all.'

The two girls look at each other. Viona winked and smiled and Maiden understood what she needed to do. The pair of them ran up to the double door sand with a large heave closed them. Viona turned the large brass key locking the doors.

"See you just need a woman's touch." Maiden said

"Always looking for the violent way out of things. Typical men. If you can't blow it up. It's not worth thinking about." Viona finished.

The three men looked at each other and shrugged an indifferent shrug. The girls where correct in the fact that they didn't even conceder closing the doors. But then again what was the fun in that.

Maiden turned to face Fregillon. "Where would they hold Raziel?"

He had to think about this for a minute. "Viona, just how anal is Diablo?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, you said that he needed everything to be exact."

"Oh god yes. He would have made sure that this place was exactly as it was when it was first built. I mean he spent over two years looking for a 17th century chair. That might be the best way to describe his analness."

"Ok. So quick recap. He human and he anal. So upstairs would be out of the question. I can't see him boarding the windows up for the darkness. You said he's human as well so there would no need for him to hide away from the sun."

Fregillon stopped to have a quick ponder.

"Again, you can rules out the main and secondary dining rooms... The ballroom is too exposed as is the sitting room and main living room..." Fregillon cursed. "Oh what a stupid fuck I am." He half expected a quick retort from a certain spiky haired lady. "Damn you kid. Now your in my head."

"What was that?" asked Maiden.

"Nothing... It's nothing. My father started work on cellar. It was going to be a mass underground extension covering half the house. He could then work from home and spend more time with us. He never finished though." Fregillon shrugged. "I suppose burning the house down really didn't help. However, he did start the work and managed to get a small amount done. A couple of room nothing more also there would be no windows either so it would be a perfect place to say... Hide a vampire."

"Please tell me you remember where your father started the work. Please. Raziel's life may well depend on it."

"Yeah. If I remember correctly we need to go through the kitchen and through into the pantry. There's a door there and a spiral staircase that leads to the basement. Come one follow me."

The party headed towards the kitchen and through the pantry. The flimsy wooden door had been left open and the flickering of firelight could be seen bouncing off the cold damp stone.

Fregillon pressed his finger to his lips to tell the others to stay quiet as he slowly descended. As he reached the bottom he caught the distinct whiff of cigarette smoke. Glancing to the left he caught sight of a single guard. His back was turned to him and he was leaning crossed armed again the grey concrete wall.

Fregillon carefully crept up behind the man as he took another intake of nicotine. The guard felt a strong pair of hand quickly grab him around the neck. A quick and quiet snap confirmed to Fregillon what he wanted. He carefully lowered the guard to the floor.

Fregillon rose and turned around. His eyes widen and one thought passed his mind 'Oh fuck me.' The guard pulled the trigger to his semi automatic.

Another single shot followed after the three round burst. The element of surprise was gone and Maiden and the others charged downstairs. They where met by two dead guards on the floor.

"Aw fuck me man. Oh shit. Now this fucking hurts." Fregillon had taken the three shots to his mid section, arm and upper leg. Blood was pooling to the middle of the floor.

"What can we do?" Flash asked urgently and caringly.

"Well for one don't ask suck a stupid fucking question, secondly find something to bandage me up."

Flash was more frantic then helpful. "There's nothing around here!"

'If I could move properly I'd fucking slap that stupidity out of you, you great oaf'. Fregillon took a quick glance of the area. The others looked like they had moved on ahead and Flash to it.

Flash was a giant statue. Standing there in the middle of the corridor occasionally moving his head from side to side looking for something to help his friend.

"There's nothing here."

"How about the guards? They’re clothing... That'll work."

Flash took two large strides across the semi-circled brick enclosure and to the bullet-ridden guards. He reached down and tore the sleeves off of the shirts. Another large step and Flash was back with his friend.

"Right, now what do I do?"

"You're fucking with me aren’t ya?"

"No, funny enough I've never had to bandage up gun shot wounds before."

"Shit - give them here and sit down and actual learn something of the real world." Fregillon proceed to rap the bandages round his arm and waist pulling them hard to stem the blood flow. He winced a little from the pain.

"There I'll live. Now give me a hand and lets get the fuck out of here. We need to catch up to Maiden and Mortis."

Flash grabbed Fregillon by the arms and allowed his friend to use him for support as they slowly made their way down the passage.

Maiden pointed to Mortis at the strong oak wooden door now barricading their way forward. The door had been locked and to have Mortis blow the door could cause more attention then they already had.

"Don't suppose anyone had a key?" Viona asked as a joke.

"Funny. Seriously though we need to get through and I don't have the right equipment with me."

"Perhaps there is another route. We'll double back and have another look, but we need to be quick about it. Don't want Diablo on our tales again."

Viona and Mortis nodded in agreement and started the march back. They reached the end of the corridor when they ran into Flash and Fregillon.

"Thank for leaving us." Came the sarcastic reply.

Mortis answered with the same tone. "We knew you could handle yourself. Now if you have finished your bitchin' we need to get through that door. Any Suggestions?"

"Yeah - That’s an easy problem to solve."

Fregillon quickly grabbed Mortis's Grenade launcher from his belt, pointed it at the door and pulled the trigger. The grenade sailed through the air, bounced on the ground twice and then exploded. The energy of the blast knocking them off their feet.

"You fucking idiot!" Mortis grabbed his launcher. "Do you have any idea what you have done!"

"No one can hear us you fucking twat. This house is fitted with Soundproofing, Basement included. The only people that would have hear it would have been us and the dead fucking guards back there. I think I know my fucking house thank you."

Everyone picked themselves up and dusted themselves down. Mortis spun around and looked that gapping hole and destroyed masonry that remained from the blast.

"See. All clear."

Mortis brought his fist round and connected it with Fregillon’s face. Fregillon’s head jerked round, but he held his footing meaning Mortis was giving him a warning.

"You ever do anything that stupid again and next time I'll make sure I use a bullet."

Fregillon rubbed his jaw, but said nothing and followed the others though the doorway.

Maiden was the first to enter the large circular room. The last reminisce of a fire burnt away in the fireplace and the shelves of books where covered in the dust of the explosion.

She then spotted what they had come for, what she has lost her daughter for. Chained against the walled, slumped, bleeding and unconscious was Raziel.

Chapter 27

"Raziel!" If the call from Maiden was suppose to stir some sort of consciousness from Raziel, it didn't work. Another shout again falling of deaf ears.

"Fuck sake man, do not be dead on us. I did not come all this fucking way for you to be dead."

Viona stared at him, her mind racing a hundred thoughts a minute. 'This was all my fault.' Came the first thing to enter her mind followed by 'I'm so sorry. Please forgive me.'

Mortis looked over to the wall where the chains where attached. Pointing over to the other side of the wall, Flash understood what Mortis was trying to do. He hurried over to the other chain, pulled the flail from off his back and took a massive swing,

The heads connected with the eye of ring imbedded into the wall. A large clink and a few sparks and the chain shattered. Mortis had done something similar to the other chain and the two women caught Raziel as he fell.

Fregillon felt rather useless propped up against the wall. He wished he was able to help out, however, the wounds where still causing a lot of pain. Something he could have done without. He let a small smile pass his lips. 'Last time I let those little fuckers get the better of me.'

Maiden and Viona carefully and gently placed Raziel of the floor. Viona placed the back of her hand over Raziel's mouth. She could feel the a slight breeze against her skin. She nodded an approval over to Maiden.

Good so he is alive, Now we need to get him out of here. Mortis, Can you and Flash carry him?"

"Great I'll fucking drag myself with my lips then shall I?"

"I've got Raziel." Viona piped up, "All things considering, It's the least I could do. Flash, I suggest you see to your Fregillon."

Flash gave his agreement and again allowed Fregillon to use him as a crutch. "Mai...den..."

"Raziel?" Surprise took her more then anything. "Keep quiet, you need to save your strength.

"No... You must reach...The temple of the Rising Sun."

"I don't understand. What Temple?"

"The Temple of the Rising Sun... You need to be there... Stop Patris..."

"Ok we will do, but first we need to get you out of here."

"No... Leave me... Go to Japan... Stop Patris."

"No way. I have lost far to much to just leave you here. You're coming with us whether you like it or not. I am sick of your bloody stubbornness."

Raziel went quiet and gave a slight nod. Viona and Mortis followed the other out of the room, back through the corridor and back up the stair.

They reached the grand hallway. The bodies of the Ghouls still littered around the floor. The door to the drawing room still barred and the sounds to moaning and groaning echoing through the sense oak.

"We need to get out of here. Now." Mortis shouted the command at the others. Fregillon was quick to respond. "Really, hadn't really fucking noticed."

Maiden quickly ran to the front door and tried the handle. "It's locked."

"Did you think I was just going to let you walk out of here alive?"

Everyone turned to around. At the top of the stair stood Diablo. His trench coat dangling by his sides. his favourite Uzis in hand.

"Well. You really think I would let you walk in here and take Raziel?"

The others didn't really have any kind of retort. Various responses passed through each of their minds, but no one said anything.

Diablo stood there with puzzling look of his face. He had questions and for once he really didn't want answers. He also had answers to questions that the ones standing on front of him could only wish they would ask. He pondered briefly before deciding to share a little. After all no one was leaving here alive.

"You know I have to worry abut Patris..." Diablo turned and started to stroll aimlessly across the mezzanine. "No actually I don't, but the outcome could be fun. I'm really not sure what that boy is getting himself into."

"Yeah, when I get that little fucker, I'll give him something to worry about." Diablo leaned causally against one of the pillars that ran through upper floor. "My dear party boy, you have no idea. You are a pathetic little flea compared to what Patris will do should he succeed. Personally I look forward to it."

"What will happen?" Viona asked a small amount of worry accented in her voice. "Oh my little blonde beauty, why do you think I'm going to tell you?" Diablo swung his body round the pillar and relocked his gaze on Viona. "Well?"

Viona stayed silent.

"I though as much. You see with my nature I want to tell you everything. I'm a nice guy like that. But you know, you come into my house, destroy my things and steal my objects. I just don't feel like sharing."

"Please cut the fucking bullshit or give me a gun so I can top you myself. Man I never realised what a self obsessed little prick you are."

"For once I actually agree with the mouth over here." Mortis said pulling out an MPK5. "I have a message for you from a friend of mine."

Mortis pulled the trigger and unleashed a hail of bullets at his intended victim. The other ran under the mezzanine for some protection.

Diablo used the pillar for protection as the bullets either stuck the marble or sailed passed him harmlessly. He spun back round and unleashed a torrent of his own. Mortis dived forward and rolled out of the sprays way. The parquet flooring being torn up by the stream.

Mortis pulled a grenade from his belt, pulled the pin and threw it over then ledge. "Shit!." Diablo ran from the ensuing blast. He was blown off his feet and came to rest on his face. A small cut appear from his forehead and he could feel the warmth of his blood run down his face.

Mortis darted to the other for some safety and a quick breather. Maiden ran out holding taking Fregillon berretta from his. Diablo was heading down the stairs when they glanced at each other.

He smiled and she returned the favour. "Because of you I lost my reason to live. It's only fitting I do the same by killing you."

Diablo pulled round his shotguns, took aim and opened fire. Maiden easily darted and avoided the shells. She ran towards the stairs pulling the trigger and watching as she missed with every single shot.

Diablo continued to make is way down the stairs, occasionally stopping to let a bullet whiz by. He turned to face her. She was gone. 'That's not possible.'

A scream from above and a quick jump to the left allow Diablo to narrowly avoid her blades. 'So that was you plan. Get in close. Very good.'

Maiden attacked once again. She was now in close quarters. A fighting style she was both use to and preferred. Her blades glistened against the artificial light as she took two quick swings followed by a roundhouse.

Diablo blocked them all and countered with a fist to her chest. She staggered slightly and Diablo continued the onslaught with another left right combo followed with a reverse elbow to the side of her head.

Maiden dropped to one knee then rolled quickly out of way of Diablo's foot. She spun her legs round for a sweep that was easily avoided then spun on her hands and kept her legs out in the split. The first and second kick caught Diablo in the side, followed by a double foot kick in the mid section and a reverse cartwheel kick to the chin.

Diablo was sent sprawling backwards. He hit the ground hard but was able to keep his wits about him. He pulled out one of his Beretta’s and sent a single bullet Maiden's way.

The shot caught her in the mid section and she dropped to her knees. The pain exploding through her body. Diablo aimed his gun for a second a time. Directly for her head.

What was intended to the best head shot turned into a dodging frenzy as Flash came in, flail swinging. Diablo ducked the first swing and rolled from the next. Flash brought his weight down for a third swing and could do nothing as Diablo jumped out of the way.

Diablo struck Flash round the face several times with the butt of his gun. He was too close to be able to send a bullet before Flash would tear his head off. This was followed with a series of knees to the chest and finally a roundhouse to the face.

Flash staggered. Blood dripped from his mouth and all he could feel as anger and hatred. He felt the same rage burn throughout his body as he did the other day. He could feel the lines of his shirt tearing.

He looked Diablo straight in the eyes. "You're mine."

He reached out with this honking arms and grabbed Diablo round the head and lifted him clean off the floor. Diablo tried for a series of kicks, but to no avail. lash lost all feelings of pain. He could see the burning fire in Flash's eyes. Flash brought his arms back toward him as hard as he could dragging Diablo with him. once in range a split second later, Flash brought his head down on the bridge of his adversaries nose.

A sickening crunch followed by an explosion of blood confirmed that he has shattered Diablo nose. Flash locked his fingers together as one big fist and swung it like baseball bat.

Diablo flew through the air and crumpled on the marble floor. He could feel the throbbing pain from his dislocated cheek and decided that how was the time to run, otherwise it would be the death of him.

A quick glance was all he needed. The way back to the basement was clear, if he would make it then he could reach the underground cavern he created and with that an exit that lead to the shores.

He made a charge down the hall and towards the basement door. Mortis ran over to start of the hallway. "We have to catch him!"

"I don't fucking think so." He grabbed one of Mortis's grenade launchers from off his back. It had one final shot left and one was all Fregillon wanted. Mortis pulled the other one round. In his own mind he wanted to take Diablo down and refused to let Fregillon take all the credit.

The two pulled the trigger and sent the grenades bouncing down the hallway. Diablo slide feet first down the stairs, knowing nothing of the people he left behind, hopefully they would have more concerns getting Raziel to safety. Something he would deal with another time.

He came to rest at the bottom of the stair, a little out of breath, but no real noises except for two metallic object bouncing down the stairs.

There was no need to guess, though this years of weapons training he knew.

He knew he was defeated.

"Bravo people. Bravo."

A small smirk passed his lips as the grenades detonated sending everything to black.

Chapter 28

Smoke and dust filled the doorway. The pale grey covering all it touched. Fregillon and Mortis looked at each other both with that look of triumph and disappointment. Both of them wanted the privilege of killing Diablo and now no one person could lay to this claim.

Mortis tore the grenade launcher from Fregillon's hands. "I though I told you to leave my stuff alone."

"Fuck that shit!" Came to response. "We got the job done didn't we?"

Mortis said nothing and turned to head back to the other who had gathered in the centre of the grand hallway. A few thoughts entered Mortis's mind, but at the end of the day he knew Fregillon was right. They had done what they came to do."

Maiden was the first to meet up with Mortis. As much as she wanted to smile that Diablo lay underneath a ton of rubble, the loss of her daughter was still weighted heavily on her shoulders.

Flash wandered over to his mate and placed an arm over him and smiled. "Nice job."

"Wow. What you so fucking happy about?"

"You know, to be honest I'm not sure, perhaps for the first time I have that closure I wanted. You know everything that has happened to me over the last six months."

"You ain't seen shit yet. Just wait till we reach Japan. Then we get to work on the hard stuff. This..." He swung his arm to indicate everything in the mansion. "This was just fucking child's play."

"Please tell me your screwing with me."

"Fregillon let loose a loud chuckle. "Oh course I'm fuckin' with ya. You think I wanna go through this fucking shit again. No fucking way!"

Flash let out a breath of relief and laughed at Fregillon. He wasn’t sure why he was laughing, but it felt good either way.

Viona was helping Raziel limp towards Maiden and Mortis. For her too much had gone on and she still felt that his who scenario that they just played out was all her fault.

She could help but feel ashamed. She wished she could turn the clock back and re-done it all again. Then she reminded herself that what is done is done and there was nothing she could do to change it. The only thing she could do was to move forward.

Mortis came over to give a hand. "We need to get out of here and head for Japan as Raziel suggested. I can get us a boat, but the journey will take some time."

"What ever it takes us will take Patris just as long, but I do agree we need to get a move on. However the doors locked and I don't really want to carry Raziel back through the passage. That is of course Diablo didn't shut and lock it."

"I would be disappointed if he didn't."

Maiden walked over to the entranceway. The main solid oak double doors locked with a couple of large bolts. She could see through the keyhole to the outside world. The faint rays of the red sun starting to bring the light to the world. Fregillon called over to her. "Can't we blow the fucking door off?"

Mortis was quick to answer. "What with? We used the last of the grenades we had taking down Diablo."

"Aw for fuck sake. This is all we need. Trapped in a house with no fucking exit whilst some jumped up little prick is off right now to either end or rule the world." Fregillon kicked the nearby wall. "Great! This is really just so fucking great!"

"Got it!" Maiden cried.

"What the fuck have you got, hopefully the way out of here."

Maiden pulled the handled on the oak doors and pulled. They opened easily and for the first time in what seemed like days, they gazed upon the outdoors. Mortis truck was still parked out on the drive. Completely untouched.

"Wow guess neither Patris or Diablo even contemplated that we would actually win. Come on let go."

The team carrying Raziel left the mansion and headed down towards the truck. They all clambered in with the exception of Fregillon who grabbed a lighter from the centre console.

"Be right back."

"What the...?" Mortis replied.

Fregillon interrupted. "Trust me." He said it with a smile.

"Never in a million years."

"I wouldn't have it any other fucking way."

Mortis gave a slight laugh. He was starting to understand Fregillon's impulse a little more and he began to also understand why for all his brashness and profanity, why people like him.

Fregillon ran back up the stone stairs he mind racing faster then his legs. So many memories here. He recalled the party he once had for one of his birthdays. So many people. So many good times. His best mate Dave bringing him coke and prostitutes to keep his going for the evening.

He remembered his father face when he returned home, the house trashed, food, glasses and beer cans littered everywhere. Men and women collapsed on the floor. The amount of arguments he had.

He had always told people that a fire destroyed the house as a result of one of the parties, but Fregillon remembered what really happened.

It was after a row with his father. He said a few things he shouldn't have said expecting the usual from his dad. A fist to the round the back of the face, the your such a disappointment speech. But this time none of that. Instead he found himself out on the streets with no clothes, no money. Nothing. He had been kicked out.

It was that night that Fregillon through a Molotov cocktail through one of the open windows and set the fire that gutted the original house.

He remembered the screams of his father from the upstairs bedroom. He remembered his father looking right at him as the realization of what he had done to his son has set in. Fregillon remembered his pleads of help falling on deaf ears as he walked away from the mansion.

Fregillon final thoughts came down to the police turning up and he sat there on the charred remains of the stone steps with forced tears running from his eyes as he told the police about the horrific attack from a gang of youths and how he vowed to bring them to justice for the death of his father.

Fregillon entered the mansion once again. The lighter in hand and looking for something he could set alight. He pondered the curtains, but there was always the possibility that the fire would not spread through the entire house.

The thought finally hit him, he ran to the stainless steel work topped kitchen. Fregillon hated this place, always reminded him of the hospital. He moved to the stove and turned on all the gas hobs to maximum.

With that done, he paced back to the grand hallway and proceeded to light all fours sets of curtains. It took a while for the material to light, however once lit he knew they would not go out. Once done he left the mansion one again to join the others.

Fregillon bounded down the stone steps across the gravel drive and hopped back into the front seat of the truck. He looked behind to see everyone else crammed in the back.

He looked at Raziel, his eyes where open but he still did not seem coherent. Fregillon thought it best to leave him for the time being and let him recuperate. He turned to Mortis, who had control of the vehicle. "Lets get the fuck out of here and fast."

"Why? What have you done?"

"Lets just say I've taken care of the ghoul problem. Or I will have in a few minutes."

Mortis looked out the window to see the fire flickering against the windowpanes. He turned back to Fregillon. "What have you done?"

"For fuck sake move before we are all fucked! I've turned the fucking gas on, so go go go!"

"You stupid little..." Maiden cut Mortis short.

"Ok he been a bit of a prick, but hmm... lets talk about this at a later time please. I have no wish to be dead just yet."

As much as Mortis wanted to continue the argument he knew he would have plenty of time to box Fregillon ears on the boat. He rammed the stick to D and hit his foot hard on the gas.

The wheel of the truck spun on the gravel for a few second before it picked up the grip and sped off down the lane.

Maiden looked over at the Ridge Valley Cliffs. The wind has picked up slightly and she could see the ash of Elfinlied and Artoir dissipate over the water. She couldn’t help feel the moisture of a tear roll down her cheek.

'Good-bye and I love you. I always have and I always will.'

The mansion exploded with such ferocity, that stone, wood and ghoul part where scattered over a large area and a fireball was sent hurtling skywards.

Fregillon stuck his head out the window and managed to get a glance at his handiwork. The popped his head back in the car and smiled.

The only thought to cross his mind 'One down, one to go'

The truck rolled over the crest of a hill and disappeared. Their destination, the port in New LA and then onwards to Japan to stop whatever horrors Patris had to throw at them.

Chapter 29

Raziel stood at the back of the boat watching the wake disperse into the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. He pondered his thoughts for a while on how this wake seemed to tell his life. He found himself saddened at the thought that now confronted him.

This wake started close, full of power. The white of the waves churned out from the propellers bringing an almost electric force to the water.

Then the further down the line the displacement moved, the more it dissipated into the background of the vast existence.

He had never really thought about his actions, only that no matter what, it was always better to be alone. That way you had no one to worry about when they needed help. No one who relied on you when they were hard up. No one to have to listen when they were feeling down.

Before Diablo went to work on him, having to rely on people seemed unnecessary and a waste of time.

Yet for all his previous thoughts, Diablo made sure that he saw things in a new light. He found out from Viona one night when it was her 'shift' to watch over him as he recuperated from his injuries about Elfinlied. About how she was Maiden's daughter.

He listened to Viona nearly breakdown in tears over what she did to him and the fact that all of this was all her fault. He wanted to say something at the time but was still too weak to say anything.

Raziel looked at the night sky. The starts where out in full force with not a cloud to be seen. The wind was calm, only the soft hum from the engines reminded him that there was life around him.

So many nights he looked at the stars and thought that these must be the loneliest objects he could ever think and he lost count of the amount of times he compared himself to these starts. He wasn't so sure now. Too many people risked everything for him. For once he wanted answers, but didn't know what questions to ask. This troubled him.

If there were other thought running through his head they where interrupted by the sounds of footfalls approaching him. He needed not turn around to know who was standing behind him. Her smell alone gave her away.



Raziel wasn't sure what to say. Normally he would have said nothing. Maybe a sarcastic remark. This time he really didn't want to. He wanted this talk. The one he knew when he first spoke to her on that rooftop they would have to discuss.

Maiden placed her arms on the railing and leaned over the edge of the boat. She had a million and one questions. But didn't want to ask them.

When she first started looking for him she was hell bent on destroying him. When she then saw him, she really wanted to hurt him. Now, she really didn't know.

"How you feeling?" She asked.

'What the hell am I saying? How are you feeling? God could I ask such a stupid question.'

"As well as could be expected. You?" Raziel responded.

'Why the small talk Maiden? It's not like you to not get straight to the point.'


The two stood and gazed at the stars for another couple of minutes.

"I'm sorry to hear about your daughter."

'I really am. I don't know what it would be like to lose someone you love. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.'

"I wish I could tell you that after being three weeks at sea I was over it. I would be lying though. It still hurts like hell. Second time I've lost her.

'How do you say goodbye to something you love more than life itself?'

"Second time? Do you want to talk about it?"

'I suppose I owe this to her. I am the one who inadvertently caused her death.'

"You want to know more about my daughter?"

'What the hell happened to you? You've never taken an interest in anything I've ever said or done. What did Diablo do you?'

Raziel turned his head and looked back down the boat. He followed the fake wooden deck to the main hub. A steel mounted container in the middle of the deck. The stairs to the lower deck and the entry to the bridge could be found in here. He turned back to the water.

"When I was being tortured by Diablo. I didn't think that anyone would come for me. Let’s be honest here I not exactly Mr. Likable. Anyhow, it was on one of those nights that I tried to remember anything about my past. Trouble was too much came back and let’s just say I didn't like what I saw. I suppose everyone has their breaking point and Diablo found mine."

Raziel stopped to take a breath. He stared at the full moon and pondered what to say next. Did he continue down his current choice of path or should he just end the conversation now and return to his former life. The latter option seemed the easiest yet he would himself wanting the first option.

"I've been in this world for so long and I have seem so much death and destruction that after a while thats all you think about. I lost myself to this world and never even thought about the people I hurt along the way. You're not the first I've walked away from. Until that night I never even gave it much thought. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I'm sorry. I'm not really sure what I should be sorry for, just that I am."

'I wish I knew what I was apologising for. If I'm honest with myself I don't know. Prehaps it for all the misery I have caused. Not just to you but to everyone.'

"You're sorry? If this was the old you I would have said you where taking the piss. I don’t know why but I believe you. Whatever happened to you in that dungeon changed you."

'Oh Raziel, what happened to you? There has to be more then you are telling me. I know you and I know you are not saying these words lightly.'

Maiden looked for the right words to say. Nothing seemed to fit so she decided it was best to come clean with her feelings. Something Elfinlied always tried to teach her.

"I met you what? Two hundred years ago, give or take."

Raziel nodded.

"You have to understand, I had only just been turned. I didn’t know what I was or who I was. I knew that my former live was no more. Did I ever tell you my name was Sarah? And that I was married? I can't remember."

Raziel shook his head and continued to say nothing.

"All that was taken from me. My husband was killed protecting my daughter and for some reason or another I found myself in the arms of a Vicar named Artoir and it was he who converted me. Funny and quite Ironic, know I think about it. He was a man of god. If you can't trust them who can you trust?"

Maiden let out a slight chuckle.

"Anyhow. After that incident I met you. You opened the world to me and you showed me almost everything I know today about being a Vampire. How to blend, how to fight and how to feed. Who are my friends and my enemies? You have to understand back then I fell absolutely in love with you. I worshipped you and everything that you stood for."

Maiden was quick to wipe the tear that managed to escape her eye.

"How many placed did you show me. I mean remember the time we joined up with Scyanide and took on that hunters nest in Berlin?"

"Yeah, I remember."

"You and Scyanide didn't stop arguing the entire trip. I swear I could have banged both of your heads together. Now I can see the funny side of it. Then we came back here. I remember the first flat we used to share. It was huge. It must have been at least three times the size of my old house. To you it was a crash pad."

She looked over to Raziel for a response. She didn't get one, but she knew he was listening and not brushing it off like normal.

"Then there was this darkness you had. I don't know how to explain it, but you had this power over people, like you could have commanded an army. People would just follow you on your say so. I wish I knew how you did that. But if I know you, I'll wager that even you don't know, right?"


'You're right you know. I really have no idea why people did what I asked. I always wanted to be left alone and yet where ever I went people always followed.'

"I was happy. I knew in some little part of my mind that you didn't care for me. Even though for over ten years we shared the same bed. I may have loved you, but you didn't love anything back. And I was fine pretending that you did.”

'Was I fine with that? Looking back on it I lost count the number of times you walked out the door and left me a crying heap on the ground. Is it no wonder I was looking for revenge when you came back into my life.'

“Then one day you disappeared. No note, no phone call, nothing. I was devastated. Everything I knew fell apart and I ended up wandering the streets for another couple of years. I suppose I had street smarts now. I was always able to find a place to stay. I was ever able to make some good money. But nothing replaced you."

Raziel was starting to feel uncomfortable. He never realized or gave any thought to Maiden's genuine feelings. For him those eleven years was just a chapter in his life. Another person come and gone when he decided it was time to move on.

'Sorry won't cut it will it Maiden. I need to let you know how I felt about that night I left and tell you everything that I did from there on. I owe that to you, don't I?'


"For some reason I believe you. You wanted to know about Aria? My daughter."

Maiden took a deep breath.

"After you left me, it must have been a couple of years. I can't quite remember. I ran into a young sixteen year old punk. I don't need to describe her as I think you can guess what she would look like.

She never changed even when she was turned. Anyhow, she was so happy and I must have been having a down turn at that point cause she found me in a bar, drink in hand. Well if I have to be honest I think it was my tenth.

She wouldn't leave me alone, something about recognizing me from somewhere. She got me talking. Funny that I found out that her father was killed protecting her when she was three and her mother ran off somewhere never to be seen again."

Another pause.

"I realized right then and there that she was Aria. But rather then tell her who I was. I decided that I should play along and be her friend. Honestly I don't think she would have believed me anyhow as I still looked as I did thirteen years ago."

"What happened to your daughter then if you where looking out for her?"

Maiden chocked at little at the start. The memory still a little painful.

"Two years later, we went out clubbing, I was enjoying my life. She made it fun and exciting. There was something about her that gave you a wanting to carry on. An excitement, I can't put my finger on it.

Something happened in that club with her boyfriend at the time. She ran outside crying. I have never seen her cry over a bloke. A torn jacket maybe, when her favorite teddy lost an arm, she cried for a week. But for a man, never.

'At least I thought never. We can all be wrong sometimes.'

Raziel looked at her with intent as she carried on.

"I knew she had been seeing this guy for a while now, I guess we all grow up a little when we are that age and we all fall for someone I suppose. Turns out that she did indeed love this guy, he however, didn't reciprocate. In fact she found him kissing another girl; he laughed in her face and told her she was nothing.

I tried to comfort her, but I knew what she really wanted at the point was a parent to tell her everything was going to be ok.

So I told her who I was. Big mistake. She called me some rather unpleasant names and then wanted to know how I could be so cruel as I knew how much the loss of her parent really affected her. She told me she never wanted to see me again and ran off."

'I should have run after her. I should have made her see some sense, then what happened next would never of happened.'

"Then what? I presume she came round to her senses?"

"Not exactly. I decided that this connection was a bad idea and started walking home with all the intent of never seeing her again. I'm not sure if I would call it luck or a nightmare that was about to begin. I heard a scream from one of the alleys. I didn't have to second guess. I knew it was her.

By the time I got to her, she had been raped and stabbed repeatedly. Aria collapsed on the floor blood everywhere and her breathing was getting weaker by the minute. I knew if I turned her, she would have a fighting change. If I did nothing, she would have died in my arms."

'Looking back now, I was so selfish but can you blame me for what I did? Aria I hope where ever you are you can forgive me.'

"So I turned her. One of the good things about being a best friend to her was I knew all her secrets. I also knew where this ex-boyfriend of her would be and I knew my daughter would be hungry for blood.

I carried her round to the house, by this time the blood rage had kicked in and most of her more serious injuries had healed. I told her to have some fun and shall we say; I opened the door for her.

For the next ten minutes I listened with a smile on my face as her ex and the woman he was sleeping with screamed in terror as her tore the life from both of them. Once the screaming stopped I went in to find her.

She was cuddling both of them like a lion cuddled his victim to make sure no one else could have it. I told her it was ok. They were hers to enjoy and to talk to me in the living room when she was ready.

So I waited about half an hour and down came by daughter. I told her to sit down and to my surprise she did exactly what I told her to do. I then told her the truth about me and what happened that night thirteen years ago.

In the end both of us agreed that we needed a new start. She asked me why I called my self Maiden and I explained. It took her the rest of the night, but in the end she choose the name Elfinlied. I got the excuse that it sounded happier then Aria. The real reason. I guess I will never know. We both agreed though that our pasts where indeed dead. We agreed that the route of being friends seemed the most appropriate and the rest is history.

So that explains what happened with me and my daughter. does that satisfy you're curiosity?"

"Yeah. thank you."

'I wish I never asked. Those where personal to you. So why did you just tell me all of that. After everything I've done and you still want to trust me? I suppose I still have a lot to learn.'

"I have a question for you. I know what I thought all those years ago, but now I'm not so sure. Did I love you?"

"I'm not sure. Some part of you may have done, I think it's more the fact you loved the darkness. You fell in love with what I am rather than who I am and you were prepared to over look the rest."


Maiden pushed off the rails and gave Raziel a quick kiss on the cheek.

"Thank you for listening to me. Anyhow we need to get back below and start to formulate a plan. Getting to Japan is one thing. Finding and taking down Patris and Icon is something else."

"I'll be there is a second."

"Ok, but only a second otherwise I'll send Fregillon out to get you." Raziel was sure that Maiden was smiling at him.

"I'll be down. Promise."

With the promise that Raziel would follow, she turned on her heals, entered the cabin and shut the door behind her.

Raziel turned back to the sea. 'I have leant more about you in the last ten minutes then I have known about you in the last two hundred years, all because you trust me. Maybe it's time for a change.'

Raziel honored his promised to Maiden and headed for the door that lead down to the hold where the other where waiting for him.

He looked back at the moon. Its white light had faded a dull rust red as the blood moon started to settle in. Raziel knew the final fight would soon be coming to a close and he hoped that he had the strength to finish off what he had started.

Chapter 30 - The Tokyo Flow

Chapter 31 - Temple of the Golden Sun

Chapter 32 - The Angels of Death