The Protectors
Author: Fox Wild

Chapter 17
Chasing White Rabbits

Chapter 17 

Chasing White Rabbits


The mistake Raddien made was assuming Hovlek was focusing his most powerful attack on him and that he was deflecting the attack to his underling Ludlow.  Hovlek the Hammer-Fist would never make such an error. 


Grabbing Bait’s arm Snow pulled him down.  “You’ll want to get down for this, death howl is coming.”  She said to him as Hovlek changed to his werewolf self.


His head came back, Raddien realized too late that he had made a fatal error in his reasoning and started to attempt a break.  Trees bent, lights went out, windows shattered and parts of the building fell.  Parts of Raddien started to fly from his body, flesh. 


The force of the howl was ripping the vampire to pieces.  Then, Hovlek’s pole weapon was in motion. The half circle blade at the top connected with the cement and a bolt of light streamed from him and his weapon where it connected with the ground,  heading towards Raddien.  The light blast exploded from the ground cutting through Raddien, splitting him in half.  Then he was gone.


Hovlek’s knees buckled and he fell to them on the ground.  The two most powerful old world attacks a werewolf bishop possesses had just been utilized back to back.  In days past only the best warriors had the power enough to launch one of the attacks.  Only the Hammer-Fist had ever been able to launch both. 


“Shit!”  Bait exclaimed.


“Keep telling you, you need to read Hovlek’s personnel file.”  Snow said to him tauntingly.


“Yeah, yeah, it’s on my to-do list okay.”  He mumbled back looking down to where Hovlek had returned to his human appearance again and was sheathing his weapon.


“He’s a bishop.”  Bait said absent mindedly.


“Like I said, you…”  She started back.


“Yeah, I know, read the file.”  He responded with a touch of annoyance.


“And yes, Hovlek is the Hammer-Fist, and yes, he is… was a bishop.”  Snow filled in.


Hovlek was walking to where they were.  He walked a bit slow and seemed winded.  Duncan, ‘Bait’, would have expected him to still be on the ground considering what he had just done.


Both he and Snow moved to help the man, and brought him to where their truck was parked.  Duncan handed him a bottle of water while Snow looked at his wounds.  She pulled out the med-kit that was stowed in the rear of the vehicle.  She made two cuts in Hovlek’s back along the holes in his armor then reached for a large tweezers.  Inserting the instrument into his flesh she clutched the end of a claw that sizzled on its way out. 


Hovlek snarled quietly. 


She repeated the process with the other claw in his back.  She then pulled a large bodied syringe from the kit, with a flexible tube on the injection end, and filled the reservoir with holy water.  Forcing the tube into the wounds she so it was in as far as it would go flushed them with holy water before pulling the tube back out.  Snow pressed the piston of the syringe in hard.


Hovlek snarled again.


“Want a dressing on that or leave it open Hovlek?”  She asked.


“Open, Hovlek will salve it later Commander Snow.”  He said then looked at Duncan. “Colonel… Bait is it?  Hovlek knows some of the story, Hovlek think it a fitting name.”  He said smiling as his strength returned a little, or maybe he was simply hiding his pain more.


Bait shrugged.  “Well, Ssebasteon said we needed to clarify ourselves to everyone.  No one knew what to call us, Duncan, Galt, Sadness, Snow, commander, asshole.  So we did.”  He said with a glance at Snow.  “And being bait is how I started with this crew.”


Hovlek grunted.  “Robert, he chose you for bait.  Wanted Duncan gone.  Robert knew who you were.  Hovlek knows he did.  Bad day when Robert was turned.”


Bait looked away.  ‘Turned.’  He thought to himself.  That’s right, Robert was a turned. His mate was a born werewolf and had to turn a mate.  Robert had been a slave in Dixie land back then. 


“Where to next my commanders, Hovlek ready, kill more bad guys.”  He said calmly then stood quick.  His mouth a grin behind the leather helmet he wore.  “The night is young.”


“Beverly Hills”  Snow said pointing to a dot on the map she displayed on the tablet computer she held.


They joined back up with the others and rolled out.




The next target on the list was one that was recently discovered and an extreme risk.  Julia was waiting for them, this one was her discovery.  Hondigahl wasn’t a viceroy for Alexander, but a projected minion of the darkness just like him.  One of the few remaining actual projected manifestations. 


Creation of a pure projection minion was becoming harder with the passage of time. More effort was required, and since this effort was at great personal cost to the darkness, he found easier ways to replace his defeated servants in the human world.  He modified and elevated vampires, making them a pure minion of the darkness itself.  This required less effort and power, less personal sacrifice.  Alexander, however, was the last remaining ‘original’ minion. 


“Use machineguns first, count on them wearing protective suits.”  Bait was saying to the teams as they formed up. 


Snow looked to him along with the others.  “How do you know they will be wearing suits?”  She asked.


“Yeah sir, we haven't encountered but a few that had suits, Colonel Bait.”  Mud added in.


Bait’s face became serious-er.  “Back in Alexander’s old lair, in the storage closets.  New suits still in plastic bags.  They just got them.  They know about our water weapons.”  His voice was grave.


They had been expecting this once they began using the water weapons.  Snow sighed, she was hopping they would have a bit more time before the vampires became equipped for them.  Apparently they had been planning ahead because of their encounter at Duncan’s house.  With him now a part of their forces, their enemies were expecting his tactics.  That was good reasoning, maybe Hondigahl’s logic but she suspected Alexander’s.  Someone with more brains then what the street vampires had, that was for sure. 


Sea Mist was with them, Lord Frost’s forces wouldn’t be air dropping this time.  Only BGB would be coming in from the air.  Blade Dance was making ready with her and Twitch had also asked to assist her in starting the battle. 


Squat had objected, but Duncan wasn’t listening and authorized his plan.  BGB would be fired in by trebuchet where she would land and move to a position she felt proper.  Twitch would walk in the front door and ‘pick a fight’, as he put it, and start mass confusion.  He said he was going to do a Kansas City shuffle. 


Bait had laughed and Snow asked what the others were wondering, what is a Kansas City shuffle?  ‘That’s when you make them look right, while you go left.’  He stated.  That didn’t help the understanding of the plan much, but listening to what he was talking about, it sounded interesting.  And Twitch would be the focus of the beginning of the battle. 


“Sirs, sir and ma’am, Sebastian has left.  No message follows.”  Worm reported to Snow and Bait on their private channel.  There was no need to respond.


“Teams bravo seventeen and Charlie twenty-seven report in your area and request position for join in.”  Worm called out again.


Snow spoke behind a blank expression.  “Clan Ven-Hide.  Hammer crew.  I wonder if they’ve adapted to a pistol.”


“Let’s hope.”  Bait replied just as blankly.


“Reports coming in, please stand, ‘bye’.”  Worm said over the general channel for their operation.


Snow wondered if Worm knew how she made her ‘by’ sound.  She smiled inside, she was a good kid.  She had a future ahead of her now, thanks to Bait.  She considered herself and Bait as partners.  He was strong where she had short comings, and her talents filled in where he needed help. 


It was a good pairing, the two of them.  However, he would have to lay back solo this time. With whom they were taking on and the vampires he would have near him should he go in, she was needed at the front of the battle.  Bait was not.  While the last of their forces for this insane attempt arrived and positioned for the assault, she needed to make sure he understood this and the importance of remaining outside.


Tapping him on the arm she got his attention.  “Dunc… Bait, need you to promise me something.”  Snow began.


“Nope.”  He bluntly dropped.


Her face flashed puzzlement.  “Nope what?”  She wanted to be sure they were on the same page.


“Not laying back, going with.  Nuff said.”  He stated still watching their target.


She reached out with her mind, she wanted to reason with him, then she saw his thoughts and felt what was inside him.  He did it on purpose, pushed what was inside him into her.  He had never done anything like this before, therefore there was no chance she would have been expecting anything at all.


“Okay then, here’s how we are going to do this.”  Snow said taking a step to her mate and turning him towards her.  “You are going to get back to back with me, then I am going to strap you to me.  Lift your legs and just fire your guns at whatever I miss on the way by.  Got it?”  She said then started trying to turn him around.  He resisted.


“You’re going to run through battle carrying me, over a foot taller than you, through combat fighting?”  He said cynically and in disbelief. 


“Dear, I can lift the front end of a locomotive.  I’m a werewolf, remember?”  Snow said crossly to him.  She forced him around and started pulling straps and clips out from hidden catches on his uniform and hers. 


Duncan looked back. The clothes looked like the bondage clothing he saw kids wearing now days, mostly the gothic and punk crowd.  Snow turned her back to his then began clipping their two uniforms together and tightening straps. 


“Wow, the patterns from your skin, I can feel them now too.”  Bait said to her taking her totally off guard.


“Frell… what?!”  She belted back and turned, then turned some more before stopping, realizing the man she was trying to face had to turn with her.


“The… pigments, like what, ah, you know, Shy-bitch, but yours come out when you’re really excited like in battle, you know.  They’re cold to the touch.”  Bait told her to her dismay.


She gawked for a second before pulling herself together.  “How… how long have you known about those.”  She struggled to say.


He tittered and shook his head and turned it back to her.  “Since the first night you were at my house, you showered, and paraded around in the buff.  You had some then.  They really come out when… well, you know.”


Snow nodded fast.  “Gotchya.”  She said pulling the last strap tight.  “You still carry that head shield?”  She asked turning her head back this time.


“Sure do, why?”  He asked back.


She answered with a guffaw.  “Well smart ass, now, might be a good time to put it to use.  Ya think?”


Reaching into one of his dimensional pockets he bobbed his head and made mimicking mocking facial movements of Snow as she spoke.


“I’m right here you know, I can tell you’re doing it again.”  She shot back at him.


“Head shield is on, let’s get this party started.”  Bait retorted.


Bringing her hand to her ear Snow keyed up the radio.  “Twitch, whenever you’re ready, you are green.”  She said softly.


Snow then started to huff, and puff, and grow larger.  Soon she was a bit hairier and well over six feet.  Her shoulders hunched forward with her arms hanging long.  She wasn’t quite in werewolf form, but she wasn’t human either. 


Removing his camera Bait held it back over his shoulder so he could get a view of his partner. “You know, in college I used to play role playing games, adventure type.”  He said as he viewed her via his camera and radio pack.


He could tell she didn’t catch his implication yet, timing was everything.  “There was a monster that this one GM loved to stick on us, you kind of remind me of that monster now, a gnoll.”  He informed her.


He could feel her shaking her head at him.  “You need help.”  She retorted. 


With a shrug he said “So you’re like a variable speed drill, a variable size werewolf.”  He contained his laughter.


She was saved from his dry humor.  “Twitch is on the move.  You actually trust him?”  She asked almost rhetorically. 


Bait tried to look over his shoulder but the best he could get a view of was a sparsely furred pointed ear and the jewelry in it.   ‘She isn’t werewolf hairy, but she’s defiantly front page tabloid material.’  Bait thought to himself.


“I heard that!”  She said aloud to him.


Her mind was busy with the mission, and she needed her partner not to drift again.  At times he was worse than her counterparts during the day.  Bringing a foot up via bent knee towards her behind, she connected with Bait. It felt hard, so she was fairly sure she connected with bone.


Good, more pain that way. 


“Focus!”  Snow quietly barked before he could protest. 


“Wax on, wax off, focus.  Got it.”  He quipped back.


He almost got her. It was a movie reference that escaped her at the moment and she was about to ask him which movie.  He was crafty but she was not going to let him drag her into his world this time.  She was focused.  Like the Karate Kid.  Damn it!






The night was calm and sweet with a gentle night breeze. The birds were singing and crickets chirped as he took his leisurely stroll down the sidewalk.  He almost whistled as he walked. 


This was all in his mind. 


The only true reality in his thoughts was that it was night, and it was calm. There was a faint gentle breeze, but the air was not sweet. The sourness in it was the stench of the night dead.  Those weren’t birds either, merely small bats and their sonic screeches as they flew.  As for crickets, no they weren’t chirping. What he was really hearing was the death screams of the insects as the bats ate them. 


It didn’t matter to Twitch.  It was all part of the music in his mind.


The guards at the gate would be able to see him soon, so he slipped into the light side of the shadows.  Now he stood directly across from them.  Smiling, he waved to the two guards, one on the left side of the gate and the other on the right. 


Then he bowed to each.  Crossing his hands over his stomach, he slid them into a dim-pack on either hip and seductively slide a Bad Betty from each.  He held them up in front of himself and gave grin of loathing.  


“Good evening gentleman, I will be your assassin tonight. My name is Twitch.  I do hope you enjoy the way I blow your frelling asses into the nether regions.  Thank you.”  He was unheard by his audience.  Sad really, he believed he had an eloquent voice.  He should be doing voiceovers in the human world. 


Unfortunately, he couldn’t fire from the shadows, the bullets would stay in the shadow realm and fall harmlessly to the ground when they ran out of forward momentum enough to keep them up.  He had to come out of the shadows to fight, it was an inescapable rule.  Like how you can’t piss in the toilet with the lid down.  Unless you pissed through the gap between the seat and lid, could he do that?


Twitched emerged from the shadows and his targets reacted.  The Betties leveled.  Eight barrels barked softly, four to each.  Then, in a blink of light, they were no more.  The muffler for the shotgun that kid came up with worked sweet. 


The kid said at seven feet, you would hear it, at eight you would not.  Something about self canceling nodes of sound and… yeah, that’s where the kid lost him.  It worked, it worked good, that’s all he cared about. 


Twitch shadow-stepped past the gate. It wasn’t solid, so he could.  He stood on one spot for a moment, sniffing the air.  He couldn’t smell any cameras.  He sniffed again.  No motion sensors either.  The only electronics he could smell powered on were the small walkway lights that ran up the drive to the house.  They were LED and gave off an entirely different electronic smell then a camera or other compact electronic device. 


He focused his listening.  Bats.  Buzz of lights and insects, slow footsteps along the front of the house.  The creak of the cameras at the gate as they moved to view the street.  Were the guards normally in the view of those cameras?  Well, that was too late to worry about now, wasn’t it. 


He took his first step and came from the shadows, conserving his power for the ability until truly needed.  He was good, damn good.  If he had had all the benefits of a noble patriarch’s son in resources for training such an ability, he would be even better than Lord Squat. 


That’s why he was doing this, and not Lord Squat.  He already was better.  Though he had built and practiced his ability and had a great threshold of power in it, he still had his limitations.  And with what they were going against, he would need every bit of his abilities and power to survive.


“The guards are gone, he’s in.”  One of Colonel Bait’s Muppets gabbed off.


He so preferred working on his own.  However… having people that would come in and actually back you up, this was rather nice.  Been a while.


Using his shadow-stepping ability Twitch made his way to the house in short bursts, walking slowly out of the shadows, taking time to listen and smell.  Electronic eyes.  He could see the beam from them as they looked at each other.  That was but a hop over. 


The rest, was a bit more intense.  There were cameras, expensive ones.  Far more than the ones at the gate.  Sniffing deep he read the story in the breeze.  Night vision cameras, full motion, full color.  Long range.  Military grade. 


Gun oil.  Gun oil and silver, something else.  Platinum?  No bother.  The uniform Bait had readied for him was supposed to help with silver bullets.  As long as the floor layout was the same as the plans Bait had arranged for them to have from official records, in the middle of the night, didn’t change, this would be a cake walk for his part. Maybe. 


Well, not really.  He would most likely be killed before they could reach him.  Was okay though. It is a good night to die for your friends.  Friends?


Into the shadows again he stepped.  Such tasty new weapons.  The boy, Seven.  He had said these shotguns were special.  One, well two of a kind.  Twitch was apparently the field tester, but the boy’s work had been first rate so far.  Speak of him was kind.  ‘You’ll need every edge you can get, take these.  They may keep you alive.’  This boy Seven told him, actually concerned for his life.


Cameras with night vision had never picked up his shadow walks before, and he had no concern they would now.  The Brain had questioned that when he radioed in his status report.  Brain, that was Duncan ‘the Bait’ Galt.  A little mouse trying to save the world, named Brain.  Twitch gave that little mouse his word… and that had been good enough for the little mouse.  That was… unexpected.


Now, he only needed someone to open the door for him to slip in and begin his fun run through the house from well inside.  He checked the stoop in front of the door and believed he was clear of any detection devices if he stood off to one side. 


A marvelous thing a doorbell.  A quick pop into human land, press the button and oops, I’m not here, sorry you missed, bye, nice room.  Say hi to Betty.  Was as good as any plan he had ever contrived.  “Bing, Ding, Dong, Bong… Bong, Bong, Ding, Dong.”  Sounded from inside the door and repeated in a melody, Westminster came to mind.  Ah, so many decades ago now.


“Ah, thank you dear woman.”  Twitch said from within the veil of the light side of the shadows.  He stepped past her in a blink as she opened the door.  “Most kind of you.” 


His movements through the house as he looked around were much faster than in normal space.  It still waned on him to stay suspended in the shadows so long.  Shadow slipping, stepping as Squat called it, and staying in one spot was not much of a drain.  Slipping in and moving room to room, not a step or two, that sucked the juice out of you.


“Oh!  Really?  That’s how you cooked that?”  Twitch said looking at a table of food that people were eating at as he checked out the house.  “Such a waste.  No pallet, barbarians.”  He continued on, searching for the right location to begin and ensure a safe, pseudo-safe path to the back yard.


“Are you looking to sub-rent from this bastard or you going to land someplace and get things rolling?”  Colonel Bait called out to him over his private link.


“Actually spunky, I was lookin’ to see if they ‘ad any ‘uman broads around, I got me a stray piece of ass on the way over.  My dick’s starting to itch as it dries, need to wet it again.”  Twitch chirped curtly back.


“Fine, just stick it and get off, don’t waist time licking.”  Colonel Bait responded.


“Yeah, Yeah, I get ya.  Cheeky bastard.”  Twitch muttered to himself as he moved to the next floor.


There we go, perfect.  A banquette room filled with vamps all engaged in yelling at each other and clearly involved with dealing with the results of the earlier attacks and continuing attacks the werewolves had laid into them. 


“Oh, so sad, they know not what to do.  The big bad wolves, they come to your houses of straw and they huff and they puff and they blow them all down.  Ah, but this, this house of brick and stone, for this house my little piggy’s, the big bad wolf is going to roll the dice, and those dice my dastardly little piss-ants, they shall land on double Sevens!  Yes!  Oh yes, it will be such fun for me. For you, not so much.”  Twitch articulated as he positioned himself in the room for maximum exposure, with a melodramatic series of movements as he spoke in the shadows. 


“Twitch.”  Bait’s voice said cool over the radio.  “BGB said: the griddle’s hot love, crack the egg.  And Twitch, no heroics.  Pick that fight then get out and to position.  I have eight teams of Frost’s finest waiting to assist you.” 


Damn, really?  He always liked Lord Frost.


“And never, never ever ever never remove this cap and depress this little button, piston thing, okay?”  Seven told Twitch.


“What ‘appens if you do?”  He asked.


“Picture this, this canister holds two hundred and fifty gallons of holy water, that plunger keeps it in the canister until it is loaded in a pistol, imagine that water being released in one second.  That’s what would happen.”  Seven answered.


Twitch looked at his hands smiling.  He held two completely full water canisters for the water cannons in each hand, caps removed with the plungers that Seven had warned him about during his brief training session aimed down.  Four canisters. 


Two hundred fifty gallons each, that made, um… a frelling lot of water that’s what it made.  Least he thought it did, didn’t it?  He moved to the end of a table as close to his estimation of the room’s center as he could.  The window at the far end of the room was his escape route out of the building.  A third story jump, then hall ass straight back to where Bait had allegedly placed some of Frost’s people at to save his backside.


He slipped from the shadows.  In his loudest and most profound speaking voice he said: “Ever wonder what the gallon capacity of this room is?  Let’s find out!” 


His yell echoed through the now silent room and he slammed the tops of the canisters onto the top of the table, tripping the plungers. Then, with a quick turn, he tossed the canisters left and right into the room before breaking into a full run towards the window. Machinegun fire started from behind him at him.  The armor worked.


Twenty feet to go!  Twitch tried to run faster, water caught him.






Bait watched on the display he held as Twitch was shot from the window of the building on a plume of holy water.  The plume carried him well past the lower floors of the tiered house.  He started laughing.


“So that’s what you were up too.”  He said quietly.


“What?”  Snow asked


He chuckled more.  “Well, this is one of those need to know basis things on Twitch.  About half an hour ago I got a message from one of the ground crews manning one of the fire tank vehicles.  Twitch stopped by and raided their supplies.  He took six water canisters, with a red stripe not a blue one.  The red ones are for refilling the water tanks for the fire hose, won’t fit in a pistol.  He told them he didn’t care.  They hold seventy five hundred gallons each.”


Bait shook his head and fought off the laughter that was forcing it’s way through him.  “If you take off the cap and press that plunger in the middle, it lets all the water out now.  Twitch grabbed six of them.  I didn’t feel he needed to know that little fact, and he just dumped four of those canisters into the third story of a major vampire lair.”


Snow keyed up her radio.  “All attack, I say again, all attack!”  She growled into the pickup then charged into battle with Duncan on her back.




“Baby, go boom.”  Max called to her over the radio.


Bait was finally getting what she meant when she said it would come to him about her name.  ‘Baby, go boom’.  He understood now.  He got the humor.


The earth shook, the house caved into the earth as the crust it sat upon was fractured and a large hole opened to the lair below.  When the house fell in, the water also diverted into the now open ground.  A horde of werewolf followed into the hole.  The event horizon was larger than anticipated.  Help from assisting agencies in human services would be needed.


“Worm, tell Max to get on the horn to Steve Rheineer.  We’re going to need containment here… SHIT!”  Bait screamed as Snow dove down the hole BGB had created to the bottom where the battle now raged, it was close to a ten story drop.


“Bait, where’s my gunner!  Talk later, fight now!”  Snow roared midway down.


Pulling both his Bad Betties Bait fired on the closest vampire then engaged the targeting system on the contacts as they touched down.  There were markers for vampires everywhere.  He kept firing while he adjusted the targeting range.


“AHH!”  He cried out as Snow was thrown back against a wall, with him between, he managed to hold onto both blasters. 


“Screw this!”  Snow bellowed, she took to full werewolf form and charged back into the battle, Bait now suspended between her shoulder blades near their bottom.


He now felt he knew how a flea felt on a dog running through the woods.  He was firing Betty as fast as he could Targets were everywhere, even with the range reduced to its five foot minimum.  Finally he put the shotguns in full auto, held the triggers and fanned them back and forth across the room behind where Snow traveled.  A trail of light followed where they went.


Hovlek dropped in, he had improvised.  He was in werewolf form howling loud over the barrage of noise that raged around with a man and woman, one on each shoulder and one of the fire hose tanks strapped to his back. The two were strapped to him and holding the nozzle of the hose.  Hovlek was still plummeting in as they began their assault with the hose.  They didn’t miss a beat, nor did Hovlek who immediately began rising up on his hind legs and pulling the largest scimitar swords Bait had ever seen.


“Get to a clear spot, I need to adjust this… get up.”  Bait radioed to Snow.


On her next run through the mix she got to an out of the way spot and dropped to her human self.  Bait quickly released clasps, she turned to face him.


“No, turn around.”  He said.  “Now kneel down like… just kneel.”  He told her.


He started reattaching the clips again and running others to new locations, several that ran to her front.  Then he jumped the best he could and tucked his legs up almost causing her to fall forward and tightening the straps that ran forward the rest of the way. 


“Rock and roll!”  He yelled and patted her on the head.


Taking to werewolf form again she saw what he had done.  His chest rested atop her shoulders and he could engage to her front.  She charged in, both Betties barked over her head and shoulders. It was several minutes later and her third run through with Snow slashing and chomping and Bait gunning over her.  If the pistols were of the living metal they would have adjusted to her size and shape.  Unfortunately that would be impossible, and even though he invented the damn thing, Bait still preferred his blaster.


A Betty was knocked loose from one of their team members and it skidded along the ground only to be picked up by a vampire.  Leveling it towards Bait he fired.  Two rounds connected with the werewolf he rode and two with him, but they were deflected.  He turned and began firing on werewolves with the weapon, though the rounds failed to do much for damage, they were disrupting until the gaping hole left by the round regenerated.


Turning Snow raged towards this vampire, the claws of her incoming swiping blow whistled as they closed in.  Slicing through the head and torso, the vampire’s body somewhat flew with the claws in chunks that the claws created. 


Then a figure dropped to Bait’s rear followed quickly by another on Snow.  He loosed one of the restraints and wheeled back with a Betty.  Sea Mist and Blade Dance were strapping on at either side.  He righted himself to the front of his partner again and resumed firing.  Rivers of water began flying from Snow’s sides as her sister and her mate took a ride on the Snow-train express battle run.


COOLING-1  Displayed across the top of Bait’s vision.  Automated messaging from the integrated systems of the shotguns he wielded.  They had an auto-cool feature for the barrels.  Thinking of this he considered why he hadn’t run out of ammo yet.  He should have cleared a can of rounds by now.  His firing continued.


Others in the crew seemed to be getting the idea, and mounted those that were in werewolf form.  The air was a blaze of water and shotgun fire.  The ground a mix of water fire and sword battles. 


Then he saw them.  They poured from a stairwell.  Vampires in protective suits.  “Got us some clams, machineguns four-o-clock.”  Bait radioed out.


Werewolves turned so their riders could engage the mass of protected vampires coming from below them.  The lower areas would be flooded with water unless they had a watertight seal of some kind or a drainage system.  Being the lairs were underground, such bulkheads were not uncommon deeper down where drains wouldn’t work without pumps. 


Everyone was moving well together.  A front line of people formed up with Betties set for full auto and behind them another row firing water cannons.  People were falling in behind forming another layer of firing. 


From above Hovlek dropped into the center of the stairwell, swords flying, then he cannon-balled down the stairs out of sight.  Blade Dance released himself and charged in after. Bait could see his uniform absorb impacts from several shotgun shells. 


As vampires were still righting themselves from Hovlek’s impact on them as he rolled down the stairs, Sea Mist followed her mate’s lead and charged in after Hovlek as well.  Duncan felt Snow’s shoulder twitch.


“Go for it!”  He yelled as loud as he could over the roar of combat near her ear. 


Snow lunged towards the stairs.  The crowd of werewolves closed the holes as they moved in. More followed in as Snow fur-balled the vampires, again knocking many down.  They were on the offensive pushing into the vampire stronghold.  Bait switched to semi auto on a Betty and holstered the other to gain a water cannon. 


Bringing his legs up he sat on Snow’s shoulders with his legs draped over her front, firing Bad Betty backed with a constant flow of water.  Twenty-eight percent on the tank.  Betty hesitated a second.  LOADING-1’ he caught this time at the top of his contacts.  Then he saw the numbers: 7/10. 


I’ll be damned’ he thought to himself.  Seven had done maintenance on his shotguns, and it included a ten drum auto load system.  That was why he hadn’t run out of ammo yet.


They were fighting in a hallway.  The werewolf forces were moving forward, thus they were winning.  First rule of combat, if your moving forward, you’re winning.  If your losing, start moving forward. 


Twitch and BGB started to pass by, right through the fighting mess.  They were both skipping and singing.  Bait’s mouth went slack.  In their right hands were baskets filled with flowers.  With their lefts, they were taking the flowers and tossing them around the hallway.  BGB looked up at him and waved with a big grin.


“Lovely day for a stroll wouldn’t you say Colonel Bait, governor?”  She yelled up at him as they continued by them.


“You’ve got to be kidding me, are they frelling insane!?”  Bait yelled.


‘YES!’  Came to his mind from Snow.  They were crazy, they also were wearing a shit ton of BGB’s homemade goodies.  Sometimes crazy was a good thing. 


Snow started backing up.  ‘Get down, below my shoulders!’  Her urgent thought followed.  Bait scrambled.  She thrust her arms and legs out at the corners of the ceiling and floor ramming her claws into the wall just short of where they met making herself a wall protecting her mate.


“Baby go BOOM!”  BGB squeaked out in an excited voice over the radio.  “Be safe squishy!”


“Yea-Haw!”  From Twitch came next.


Thunder followed by a rolling thick cloud of chunky dust that billowed towards them.  BGB could control the level of power her explosives discharged.  Seven, not knowing this, had naturally gone for the bright red letters ‘BBB’ when he hacked her system and armed her boomer plate. 


Seven later found out the letters stood for ‘Biggest Baddest Boom’ and red indicated at maximum potential.  BGB told him the next size up leaves a mushroom cloud behind.  Bait could tell Seven was thinking the same thing he was when she said this.  Does she really have that powerful of explosives?


BGB had throttled back her boom level enough to not collapse the hallway.  She and Twitch may not have killed all the vampires in the hall near them, but the ones that survived sure were slowed down.  There was a clear view for a second.  Snow saw it too.  Bait felt her grip tighten on the walls. 


It would have done no good to tell Twitch the canisters he was using were thousands of gallons.  He wouldn’t know or care about the difference in releasing two hundred and fifty gallons of water and releasing seventy-five hundred.  He’d do it anyway. 


The canister with the red stripe flew from his hand as he depressed the plunger he was told never to press. 


One thing was for sure, in a flooded hallway, the vampires protective suits wouldn’t stop water from coming in.  The respirator would be the weak link in that chain.  Bait pulled his water cannon close to his chest, up under his protective helm at the chin.


The hallway was under water and pressure.  The volume of the canister far exceeded the capacity of the hall instantly.  Some water was forced up the hall and stairs back to where they had come from.  The rest would be trying to find a way down, as would the water that went up. 


‘NO!’  Bait thought to her.  ‘Forward, down the hall!’


‘You need to breath!’  She sent back.


‘Got it covered, pistol comes with an air canister.  Go!’  He returned.


Snow loosed her claws from the walls and webbed her fingers and toes then swam like a frog down the hall.  They passed by ruptured suits that once held a vampire.  Blown apart by the blast from the occupant as water seeped into the suit, and blessed them of the Light.


Crazy sometimes made sense. 


They stopped at a closed bulkhead door.  Snow pivoted fast and paddled her way back.  BGB was already there.  Bait felt his armor work as the water surged up the hallway, then suddenly, there was suction pulling them the other way.  The door was open and the water was flowing down.  His mount tried to flip around and anchor to a wall, but the suction didn’t give her time and they went flying through the ripped metal of the bulkhead doorway into the next wave of suited evil.




Lord Frost


The battle had moved downstairs.  Two of his people were lost. Sad way to think of it, but it was a good thing they were mated to each other.  Lord Frost took vendetta against the elder vampire that took them from him.  They had cleared this floor and others were clearing and checking other rooms.  The battle was downstairs.


He passed through a bulkhead that had been blown open and followed through and down the stairs at the end of the short hallway past the bulkhead.  Holy water stood in puddles on the floor as more dripped into them from above. 


At the end of the stairs the hallway went straight, maybe ten feet, then bent left.  Lord Frost ran down this section of hall, and the sounds of battle grew louder.  He heard Sea Mist’s battle cry.  Through an open door he charged, bringing his sword from its sheath. 


They were in a large room.  It was a small underground city.  They had entered the main catacombs of Arch-daemon Hondigahl the fork.  There would be no escape for him this time.


Lashing out with his sword in one hand he opened the suit of the vampire nearest him then with the other fired the water cannon as the swing of his glowing blade brought him around.


Catching Madelyn’s attention he used hand signals to instruct her to lose the werewolf and take to fighting.  Her skills in human form were needed and far greater then what she could produce now.  This was raiding.


Snow informed her rider what she was about to do, ‘Going down, get ready to release.’  She sent to Bait.


They tumbled to the ground when she dropped her werewolf form.  Bait used the forward fall to release several clips.


‘Hand vault!’  He sent to her as they fell.


She got what he meant and put her hands down and flipped him over her.  He carried forward and as he hadn’t released all of the straps the force of her thrust now changed to begin pulling her up while Bait proceeded to roll towards the ground.  8Just as she was feeling the apex of the roll the remaining two clasps were released, he sent her flying into a group of vampires that had their backs mostly towards her, their attention on the two werepeople they were fighting.


‘Nice!’  She thought to her partner as she sailed across the room pulling her sword and pistol.


A little more time to plan and she would have sailed over them taking heads as she went, instead she landed directly behind them and had to step in a couple feet to engage their necks with her blade.  Two others were kicked back and around by the werepeople that they had been facing exposing gashed suits to Snow who used the split second advantage to blast holy water into the openings. 


Lord Frost smiled as he watched this transpire.  This man, this… human.  He couldn’t help but like him, he worked well with his legacy.  The day she was born he knew there was something different about her.  He was there when she was delivered. 


As soon as she was out she opened her eyes and looked right at him.  She never cried once, though the doctor tried to make her.  She threw up on him instead.  Now, his baby was running up a wall swinging her sword, and into a window.


He saw Galt… Bait run for a hallway opening.  Lord Frost’s heart sank, the human didn’t know what the emblem above the hall meant.  He charged after their human for his daughter, vampires slowed his advance.




Arch-Daemon Hondigahl


“I assure you Slevlyn, The door is secure.  Only I know how to open it, and if they blast it, well, they will be here a lot longer than we.”  Hondigahl said to his shapely counterpart.


She scoffed with her hands on her hips.  “Hondigahl, they dropped your house into the coven.  They’re in the sanctum!  Duncan Galt and Princess Snow are here.  There is also word that Hovlek the Hammer Fist has also been seen fighting against our slaves.”  Slevlyn accusingly shot back.


His hand waved limply at the end of his wrist at her with a side to side motion of disinterest.


“Please, these two, this human and his pet, they are of no concern to us in here.  The door is charmed, werewolf eyes cannot see it.  And Hovlek is long dead by now.  His name has not crossed any halls in over eighty years.  They only live around five hundred years, and Hovlek was quite past that.”  Hondigahl walked to a table and picked up a goblet then went to his elegant seat and rested upon it.  Slevlyn came and stood at his side facing him.


Her features were disbelieving as she looked from his face to his eyes.  She had served him for well over two thousand years now.  She didn’t even count them anymore, the years, decades.  They were going to die here, she knew this.  Her dark master though, he hadn’t realized the doom that was awaiting them within this tomb.


He gave her a obtrusive look.  “You think because of their raging victories in the recruiting pits that these whimpering puppies are any match for me?  I am the incarnate manifestation of the Darkness itself.  Do you think Alexander would have anything to fear from this rabble?!”  Hondigahl’s question was a scream.


With a snort she smiled wryly at him.  “No, but you’re not Alexander.”


He glared at her as he drank from his goblet.  Alexander and he were the same creation.  The werewolves had failed every time in the last three millennia to slay another true minion of the Darkness, even the newer enhanced vampire creations.  They lacked the power to defeat any of the minions that walked the earth now. 


His manner was of spite when he spoke to her.  “No, I’m not Alexander, nor would I want to be.  All of this, this plan.  It is all on his head, my hands are clean.  I am his equal, a manifestation of the Darkness, unlike you who are a pathetic weak insect next to me.  I can turn you into a splatter on the floor with a thought.  Best watch your tongue woman.”  He turned his head from her in haste and took his goblet from the arm of his prized vessel of comfort.


She knew his threat was real, and had witnessed the event he spoke of hundreds, even thousands of times over the unending years.


A thunderous eruption of sound ripped through the room.  Slevlyn’s head flowed from her neck in all directions. What flew towards Hondigahl plastered itself to his face and chest area. 


Her body dropped, he looked forward towards the short hall arch from the entrance.  He didn’t flinch when the corpse of his long time companion flashed into nonexistence.  His hand moved to under the arm of his glorious perch.  The inner seal faintly ground closed.


“Duncan Galt, so good to see you again.  How’s your daughter these days?”  Hondigahl said stately.  He drank from his goblet then set it down on the arm of his adorable seat that he had picked it up from.  “You figured out my door, I must say, most impressive.  Please, before you die, how ever did you accomplish this?”  True curiosity filled his voice as it rose slightly when he posed his question.


Bait was walking towards Hondigahl with a deranged looking shotgun over his shoulder.  Clearly what he had used to ice Slevlyn so quickly.  He had a cockiness to his walk, it was more of a saunter actually.  He seemed to have a John Wayne, Hon Solo thing going.  It worked for him.  He was still a human though, only a little human.  Time to squash this fly in his ointment. 


Alexander would reward him handsomely for Galt’s corpse. 


“I tried the combination one, two, three, four, five.  You know, the same thing an idiot like you would have on his luggage.”  The trite being in front of him snipped at him.


He chuckled easily.  “I remember your wife telling me about your idiosyncrasy of interjecting quotes from movies you’ve enjoyed into your everyday conversation.  She used to go on and on and on about,”  Hondigahl rolled his head and his eyes, “how she hated how you did that.”


“Yes, but your master Alexander took her from you didn’t he?”  Bait taunted with a grin.


“Alexander is not my master, as to took… wrong my friend. I gave her to him willingly.  He had need of her and that mouth, it wouldn’t stop.  I was glad to get rid of her.”  Hondigahl said with a pert smile.


Galt looked around the room.  “Nice place you have here, lot bigger than the last one I blew up.  So tell me, is this how Alexander rewards his pets for frelling up and failing miserably?”  His eyes returned to Hondigahl.


Standing, Hondigahl picked up his goblet, put it to his lips, drained the remains of his drink, then cast the cup aside to a wall before he started slowly towards Galt.  The human flinched, his weapon came from his shoulder and fired repeatedly at him.  He turned his face while the projectiles bounced off him.  Soon Galt realized his futile effort and ceased his fire. 


Hondigahl laughed hard and threw his head back. “Did you really think that would work on me pathetic human?”  He boomed at the foolish man.


He shrugged.  “I had to at least give it a try.”  Galt said.


With the back of his hand Hondigahl knocked Galt across the room, charging after him.  He kicked at Galt sending him sailing again, this time crashing into his lovely chair.  Galt’s back was to him, Hondigahl stepped in drawing his slayer.


“You like movie quotes Galt, here’s one for you: ‘The slow blade penetrates the armor’ know that one?”  He hissed at the human who was now gasping as he slowly pushed the blade of his sword through the man’s armor and body.  Blood poured from his chest and mouth.


“Here’s to your end Duncan Galt… and that bitch concubine of yours Robert mated to you.”  Hondigahl spoke in a mechanical hiss.






“Come with me son. Galt, Bait, he headed for Hondigahl’s fortress.”  Squat’s father said hastily to him as he passed.  He did as he was told.


“Father, even if he makes it to the door, only Hondigahl knows how to open it.  Hondigahl and Alexander I’m sure.”  Squat stated as he ran alongside Lord Frost.


“Squat my boy, there are two things I know for certain about Colonel Bait.  First, if he acts on something, he’s already figured it out.  The second is this; the worst part of the battle, he’ll be at the center of it.”  Lord Frost told his son.


He looked over at his father as they pressed on, his face a mix of unanswered questions and of being unconvinced.  “You’ve only just met the man in combat…”  Squat began.


“I need two seconds to read a man boy, and that bastard’s cast from the same mold as your sisters… and you.”  Frost ended the conversation by charging with a loud growl down the short stairs and long hallway to the door. 


It failed to give any when he rammed it.  Honestly he didn’t expect it to, he just needed to vent a little pressure from inside.  Squat stopped behind him looking at the door.


“Galt broke the charm on it when he opened it.  Now we can see it.  Been a long time since vampires used charmed doors.  Used to be expected.  Many of those fighting with us now wouldn’t even know the first thing to do to find one.”  His father said as he looked around the sides of the door and the walls.


“BGB, Commodore Squat here, you’re needed with Lord Frost and I.  Over.”  Squat called.


“Roger that governor, we’ll be scooting to your dot, spot on we will.  Out.”  She answered his request.


“Belay that order.”  Lord Frost said on channel.


“And who might this be that counters my commodores order?”  She questioned back over the radio.


“Lord Frost.”


“Sir!  Order disregarded my Lord!”  BGB shrilly came back with.


“You’re standing in a trap son.  Look around you.  If this door isn’t opened the way it is supposed to be, this hall and the room collapses, burying us with it.”  Lord Frost said as he looked up the tall face of the door.  The wall was at least fifteen feet high, and the door stood a good eight to ten feet high and the full ten feet of the hallway wide.


“So, there wouldn’t be a trigger or a trip device of some kind that opens this door?”  Squat asked as he tried to make heads or tails of the picture that was the face of the door.


Lord Frost’s head shook, his long hair danced across his back as he did so.  “This isn’t some secret passage in a cheesy sideshow carnival haunted house.  This is the fortress of the last actual self focused manifestation of the darkness, created to replace another one we dispatched.  He’s not like most of the others, nothing more than hopped up vampires.  They’re minions directly of the darkness, just as much as any, but they aren’t shit compared to the real McCoy.  Alexander, Jibble and Hondigahl here are real tough customers.”


“He’ll have his personal guard with him, that woman.”  Squat interjected.


Lord Frost’s face became grim.  “Yes, Slevlyn.  Vicious dark woman.  Exceptional with a sword.  I suspect by now she is already dead.”  He looked to his son’s eyes.  He could tell his boy was thinking on why he was assuming Colonel Bait had already killed the guard. 


Squat worked through why his father assumed Slevlyn was gone.  What did Bait have with him, his shotgun, water cannons, his fifty caliber and a sword he couldn’t wield.  Neither the shotgun or the water would be enough to take out a minion like Hondigahl.  That’s why he would fire on the vampire he could kill first.


“Galt knows this minion, knows what to expect from him.  I could see that in the way he went for him.  This is personal for… Bait.  We need in.”  Lord Frost stated gravely. 


Members of the teams and squads started coming to where they were in the hallway outside the fortress seal.  Snow, BGB and Sea Mist all looked the mural on the door over.  None had any clue what their commander would have seen to enable him to open the door.


There were several failed attempts to try and decipher the door and open it.  Blasting was again mentioned, Lord Frost again iterated the trap.  Hovlek came walking up.


“You wouldn’t happen to have any clue about this door would you Hovlek?”  Lord Frost asked him as he came to where they stood.


He grunted.  “Ja, Hovlek knows door.  Won’t do any good Lord Frost.  Inner door is sealed now also.  Hovlek could open door, but not inner door.  Just as stuck.”  He said then reached and tapped a finger to Lord Frost’s chest.  “Hovlek thinks Lord Frost know something to do.”  After he said this Hovlek turned and stepped away heading back up the hallway.  He was clearing the hall as he went, telling people to move to one side or get out of the hall if they didn’t need to be there. 


Lord Frost watched as he moved from them.  Hovlek had been his trainer, and the trainer of his children as well.  It was his encouragement that inspired Lord Frost so many years ago, when he first started his life as a young protector, to lean abilities that weren’t commonly used anymore and make them useful. 


He had taught this ability to his son Squat, who in turn built  Squat’s Squats.  Lord Frost had taught his son everything he could.  Only Hovlek knew just what Lord Frost was capable of, but he hadn’t done this in well over a hundred years. 


Looking up the hallway he saw Hovlek standing at the stairs, his pole arm in hand.  He stomped the butt of the weapon to the stone of the floor three times.  The weapon made an unearthly thump when he did this, memories of his youth and Hovlek doing the same thing to prompt the young lord to begin running through the training his master weapons trainer had given him.


“Everyone, stand back.”  Lord Frost said and motioned with his hands for everyone to get along the wall.  “I need some room here.”  Then he turned and put a hand on Squat’s shoulder.  “My son, I told you I had taught you everything I knew about slipping into the shadows, and I have.  However lad, that doesn’t mean you have learned everything there is to know.”  He looked up the hallway at Hovlek. 


A smile broke on his face and he looked back to his son again.  “You have to run very fast.”  He ended then started walking to where Hovlek was. 


“Adrian, still think you got it?”  Hovlek said to him.  He was the only one who ever called him by his birth name since his coming of age.  And Hovlek hadn’t called him by it since he was a young one in class with Hovlek as an instructor.


Lord Frost sighed and looked down the hall at the door.  “If I can’t, this is going to be one short attack run.”  He looked back at his old friend and mentor.  “And my daughter loves him.  Plus, I did have the best teacher in the world.”  He ended with a smile.


Hovlek chuckled.  “All that Adrian has said young friend is true, most of all that about Hovlek.”


Lord Frost took to his werewolf form.  He was short for a werewolf, his legs and body rounded some.  The muscles bulged from him.  He snorted several times and pawed the stone under his feet then he leapt forward, claws drawing sparks from the stones as he propelled himself forward down the hall.


Grunting with each set of footfalls and thrusting on, more sparks flew as the mass of wolf-man increased in momentum.  The sparks, claw sounds and grunts soon blended into a single noise as Lord Frost reached his terminal velocity, he was but a blur.  His body became encased in a soft blue blazing light as he neared the door, his image trailed behind him.  A brilliant flash filled the hall momentarily blinding those that were watching him.  Lord Frost was gone.


Squat was the first to break silence, almost immediately.  “Frell me!  He did it!”  He shrieked as he came to the door with his mouth agape.  “He went through a solid object!”  Squat ran his hands over the door still trying to believe what had happened.  Excitement filled his face, an eagerness in his body.  Then he turned and started to trot up the hall.


Grabbing Squat by the shoulder of his uniform Hovlek stopped him.  “Hold on there boy, I’m not about to let you go getting yourself killed.  You start with a big sheet of paper.  You don’t have what it takes yet pup.”  Hovlek’s voice a deep bass, clear, his accent now faint.


Squat looked to Hovlek.  “Why Hovlek, you said ‘I’m’ not Hovlek, I’m so proud of you.  Next thing you know you’ll be using words like should’ve and haven’t.”  He said to him and smacked him on the chest.


Grunting Hovlek pushed Squat away from him.


“Squat mind Squat’s tongue, else Hovlek bust Squat’s ass.  How Squat like those words?”  He asked sounding fully Hovlek again, then walked to the door.






The room was growing lighter, the sword through him burned in his flesh.  He was taking blood into his lungs.  There was a brilliant light.  He’d always heard people talk about seeing the light when they were dying.  The sword was ripped from his body harshly and he slumped forward against the chair and started to vomit.  One of his lungs was full of blood.  Blood streamed from his mouth as he tried to cough. 


“Frost!”  Hondigahl roared turning from Bait.


What was that sound?  The room was a wash of white in his eyes.  His body was limp and he couldn’t lift his head or move his arms.  As he tried to roll himself, darkness fell in on him.  That sounded like swords clashing.  The smell of fresh cut grass.  Such a refreshing smell.


It was dark.  Something glowed to his right.  He turned and walked towards the glow.  It came from an old stone well.  Only the well wasn’t like it should be, in the ground.  Instead it was as though it were hung on a wall.  Dim red light started to emit from around him at the horizon. 


Then there was noise, the sound of wind began to roar and scream, though the air around him was calm.  In front of him, near his feet on the ground a ring started to form of black fog that turned red in the light.  It took shape and became stable.  The ring on the ground was the same size and thickness as the stone well on the wall, and just as black in the middle.


He felt his eyes drawn up.  Raising his head he saw someone walking towards him.  Their gate was steady and sure.  A cowboy hat was on the person’s head and the handle of a hammer bounced off the leg it was next to as they walked.  They grew closer, mustache, it was a man.  He came closer.  It was the rancher, no… it was Sam Elliott.


Sam had a half cocked smile on his face, one that he often wore in the movies he played a roll in. 


“That’s a hell of a break you got in that fence there.”  Sam said coming to stand next to seventeen year old Duncan.  They looked at the two wells in silence for a moment.  Duncan was hoping Sam had some words of wisdom for him.


Sam clapped a hand on his shoulder then turned to leave.  “Be sure to double staple that mend, best get moving.  The missus don’t hold up supper for no man.”  Sam said with his character smirk.  He stopped and looked back over his shoulder.  “You still got your hammer?”  He asked craning his neck to look Duncan in the eyes.


He reached to his hip.  He felt the head of his fencing hammer.  “Yes sir, sure do.”


“Good.”  Sam nodded.  “Can’t mend no fence without a hammer.  Get to it, them cows’ll be coming in to graze here soon.”  He stated, then walked off.


Duncan looked at the wells, thinking of a question he looked back to where Sam had been.  He was alone.


Damn it, I knew it!’ Duncan thought to himself, then started to cough.  He could hear grunting, it sounded… off.  He opened his eyes. 


Hondigahl and Lord Frost were locked in combat in front of him, their swords were crossed and each was pushing into the others chest.  Only they weren’t moving.  Even the sounds of their exertions against each other was… slowed.  Everything was moving only at a snails pace.  Bait took inventory of the room. 


He was laying face up near Hondigahl’s thrown.  His slayer had his back to him with Lord Frost engaging him from the front and the door behind Lord Frost was closed.  Hondigahl had closed the inner seal right after he had killed the hot guard.  No vampire should look that good in black rubber.  Snow.  He thought. 


Could he move?  A little.  He tried working his legs then his arms.  He was weak, but he was functional.  Continue inventory.  He had lost his water pistol during a fight, shotgun was useless.  So was the water pistol actually.  The werewolf slayer he had, well, pointless.  If Hondigahl were to take it from him, he was only arming the enemy.  Pack of gum, Swiss Army knife, silver dagger, one each extra canister air and water.


The clash between Lord Frost and Hondigahl was beginning to veer off to the side as their warring moved on in slow motion.  Bait could see the moment was wearing off, things were returning to normal.  He must have passed out and this was a side effect.  When things caught up to him he would have to act fast.


Lord Frost broke from Hondigahl and head butted the arch-daemon, Hondigahl stepped back, close to where Bait lay.  This was good.  Lord Frost gave out a battle cry and clashed into his adversary again, Hondigahl blocked the blow with his sword, Lord Frost leaned in, Hondigahl bent his back absorbing the force of the onslaught. 


Pulling everything left in him Bait stood and hurled his body towards Hondigahl’s back with the dagger in hand.  Leaning his weight against the arm he held the dagger with he eased the blade deep into the flesh of his attacker, he grappled at the body he had landed on letting go of the dagger.  His other hand moved in next to the blade, the cap was off of the water cylinder and the plunger towards Hondigahl.


“The line is ‘the slow blade penetrates the shield’, dumb ass.”  Bait seethed as loud as he could as he clung to Hondigahl’s back shoving the cylinder into his body where the dagger had made a way for it to travel, Bait pushed till his hand was in to the wrist then he fell to the ground unconscious.




Lord Frost took advantage of the momentary distraction Bait caused and went to Hondigahl’s blind side as he turned towards Bait. When he looked back to engage him, Lord Frost was behind Hondigahl.  He reached down, grabbed Bait by the back of his uniform, hoisted him up, and carried him with as he headed for cover. 


He had no idea what this human had done.  He had leapt onto Hondigahl’s back and said something to him and Lord Frost thought it highly unlikely Bait was being shmaltzy. Whatever he did it was his firm belief that it was best if they took cover and that the man forcibly mated to his daughter, not be laying at the feet of whatever was going to be the misfortune of Hondigahl.  And this proved to be a wise decision.






Laughter abounded around him as he, the ladies, and Fyodor frolicked in the hot tub.  Fyodor had Jeanine propped on the edge of the tub with a leg in the air and him behind giving her what-for. 


“How much longer?”  He yelled across the room to Mitchell who was leaned back in a chair with a slave girl feeding him, he groped at her breasts.


“Twenty minutes master.”  Came his amused reply as he flicked the woman’s nipples.


The power required to sustain and feed the portal as it grew drained him with every incantation he preformed before it.  His first set of rhythms involved priming the portal conduit to receive power after the dreadful time of light. 


The second rhythm of the incantation brought mild power to the aura of the portal.  At the beginning of the night it had to be started slow, else he could have his essence sucked from him.  Too much in the beginning would start a siphon effect.  The third and final rhythm of the first incantation stabilized the power flux and contained the growth, none could be allowed until the second incantation following in two hours.  


The ritual incantations fed hard on him, but the energy of the water in the hot tub revitalized him.  The water that filled it was that which was left after a vampire drained the blood from a walking dinner bag.  Normally they expelled the undesired water through urine. 


They could however expunge the water from the red blood cells they needed before it ever entered them.  His people had a dinner party where the guests were fed upon and their water used to fill his hot tub.  Now he kept a reservoir of the water.  It made for a nice energy filling bath.


Looking off for a moment of nostalgia, Alexander considered Fyodor as he finished in the girl, pulled out of her and sat down in the tub across from him.  He had been off on a mission he had sent him on to establish two new master covens in an area currently void of leadership from the Darkness.  Business was booming, bodies were just rolling in.  Fyodor had done well.  The evening with his company and hospitality consisting of food, wine, cocaine and of course Alexander’s personal fine selection of pussy was his reward to him.


Fyodor, he had been with him for as long as Alexander’s memory ran.  He was the closest thing Alexander ever had to considering a friend.  He was one of the first Alexander had turned back when they first started making vampires, but was he really a loyal friend or was he merely playing his part until something better came along?  Playing his part out of fear of him like all the others, fear of his anger, his wrath.


Splashing was accompanied by squeals of laughter from the girls as Fyodor entertained them.  They played with him willingly, he teased them, he tickled them.  They came back for more of his antics.  Women flocked to him.  He didn’t use mind control on them, he attracted them… naturally.  Alexander didn’t care, he had his fun either way.  Who cares if it was by fear alone?  His satisfaction was all that mattered in the end anyways.


Now Fyodor on the other hand, he enjoyed pleasing the ladies.  ‘It’s fun to make ‘em shake, quiver and make noises like a chipmunk’ Fyodor said when Alexander had asked why he bothered to take the time with women.  ‘You fix their red wagon good, they fix yours really good, know what I mean?’  Alexander had no idea what Fyodor meant by that, probably some idiom he had picked up in the human world.  Women, they were for amusement purposes only, the man’s.  Most of them anyways.


The door to the room opened on the far end, Mitchell stood and began to speak.  “Master Alexander, her grace Ruthless is…”  Mitchell started, abruptly cut off.


Ruth’s fist slammed into Mitchell’s face sending him flying back across the table and into the wall.


“No one announces me nave.”  Her coarse voice said.


She strode through the room of nude female slaves, shoving ones that were in her path out of it, shoving others just because she wanted to, and they were convenient.  One girl stood off to the side watching her.  When Ruth’s eyes caught hers she smiled and waved to her with her fingertips from an open faced palm.


Ruthless changed directions mid stride and went to the girl and grabbed the hair at the back of her head and jerked it back.  The girl’s mouth shot open, but she didn’t cry out, she giggled.  Ruthless slammed her up against a pillar and ground her body against her hard.  She nipped at her neck, the girl giggled more.


“Ruth, you have something to report?”  Alexander called out with a pissed look.


Her head snapped in his direction, her face bent and mean.  “In a second, I’m busy.”  She snarled hissingly at him then looked back to the girl she had pinned.


“Get the strap-on, the big one.  Meet me in my room.”  Ruth said to her date then backed from her.


“Got room in your party for a third?”  The bone-bag with her master asked.


Ruth shot her head around the side of the pillar again looking to the owner of the voice.  “No!”  She hissed and went back to her business.  “I’m expecting to be rode hard, got it?”  She said to the girl who giggled and nodded at her.


She held her hands near her mouth and pulled on her lip.  “I’ll get the doubled ended one, the one that vibrates and has the flashing lights!”  She squeaked then bounced towards the door.


Ruth watched her as she ran, she liked the twitch-twitch of her butt.  She ran with her arms bent at the elbows and her hands flailing near her face.  “Sheesh, she runs like a girl.”  She commented then turned her attention to the hot tub and her loathsome boss.


He would want a piece of her ass later, the slave girl would be a nice warm up round.  When Alexander finished his last round of incantations, he would call for her to return to the coven for their nightly ‘leadership meeting’ as he termed it. 


The meetings always went the same, she would be bent over something while he grunted away behind her.  At least he had good smoke.  Last night, while he had his fun, she smoked a blunt and read a magazine.  When she felt his cold flow inside her she marked her page and put her reading material away for next time. 


He never even played with her tits.  She loved having her tits played with, hands running over her skin, a finger in her ass, anything!  He was as fun to have sex with as getting hit in the face with a board.  Wait, she did get hit in the face with a board tonight, that was actually more fun. 


As for anal sex, Alexander had no concept of foreplay.  He would just slam his slim Jim wherever he pleased without so much as saying ‘look out, here comes a turd poker’ or something.  His entire perspective was solely on himself.  He failed to grasp any concept of the other participant enjoying themselves. 


She felt his failure in this department resulted in less than satisfactory results on his end.  Thus, he was depriving himself of pleasure.  Ruth smiled to herself as she stopped at the edge of the tub.  ‘Dumb ass.’  She thought as she looked at Alexander.


“I do hope you have some reason for bothering me, and acting as you do.  Do you need another lesson?”  Alexander said.


The man with him interjected his thoughts from his side of the hot tub.  “Lex, chill a bit, the lady was just trying to get her freak on, come on, you do the same thing.  Hey, lead by example right?  She’s just following your example, Lex.”   He caressed the faces of the two girls sitting on his lap and at his side.


Alexander silenced him with a look.  Fyodor stood and stepped towards Ruth, his member bobbing in front of him.  Ruth looked at it as he approached.  ‘Girth.’  She smiled.


“I’m Fyodor, you’re Ruth I trust?  The big guy here has been telling me about you.”  He extended his hand to her with a devilish grin.


Grabbing his cock Ruth bent and licked him from the bottom to the top then inserted him in her mouth going all the way down and giving him a good tongue lashing on the way up before removing him from her mouth with a loud pop.


“Nice to meet you Fyodor, I think we might have room for a third after all.”  She said with her own devilish grin.


This man seemed to understand what fun was all about.  She would retract her earlier hasty judgment of him, for now.  At leased he seemed to know what affection was.  Fyodor nodded to her then returned to his seat before the boss became angry again.


“Your report Ruth.”  He demanded in an angry tone.


She straightened herself and stood tall.  “Bad news I’m afraid.”  She looked back at Mitchell.  “Dumb ass, bring a cart of dishes over, he’s going to want to smash things.”  She said then looked back to her master.


His eyes said he was not in the least bit amused.  Good, neither was she.  She hated that cock.  “Dark master Alexander, oh glorious one of whom I would gladly die in the service of, my master, I am afraid the werewolf forces have struck.  Ludlow and Raddien have fallen.  Of your eleven viceroy only two still live, as far as we know.  Camel is dead, Jordon and Fosh as well.”


Hesitating a moment, she watched to see if he was going to pop a gasket yet, then continued.  “We have lost contact with coven Malden too.  We have reports of vast amounts of werewolf forces hitting all the upper command covens.  Rodeo Drive coven has been eliminated, Malice of Hollywood is unavailable, no status on them nor news if they were attacked.”


His eyes were a blazing smolder, she had more ‘good news’ for him.  “In Toledo werewolf troops have also uncovered our command network, all nine viceroy from Minion Derik have been slain.  Reports have also come in regarding operation in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, West Virginia, Connecticut, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas and Nevada, all reporting extreme losses at werewolf paws.”  Ruth stopped.


Alexander’s face was pure evil, flushed with hate and rage.  Servants started scrambling for the door on the far side of the room.  She could hear the faint sound of urination from one of the girls in the tub.  Fyodor looked worried. 


Ruth took note of something interesting about this ancient vampire.  His arms.  He had them around the two girls, it looked as though he was pulling them away from his master, trying to shield them from what might be coming.  His face.  His eyes.  They occasionally flicked between the girls.  He actually was concerned for their safety.  Inconceivable!  She would definitely have to take this man for a ride.  Apparently Alexander’s dark poison hadn’t killed everything within the man over the millennia. 


“What else?  I can tell you have more, out with it.”  Her master demanded.


She hesitated a moment.  How would he react to this news?  She was unsure.  What memories she had from Alexander’s blood in her were hard to understand.  Often the case with memories she was finding out.  “Names dark master, they mean nothing to me, but to you my majestic lord and master, I grieve for what they will mean to you… master.” 


Ruth lowered her head to him in a bow of servitude.  She was allowing him nothing from her mind.  He surveyed her.  She was by far his best second in command ever.  A bit smart-mouthed, but good.  She knew what he thought of her.


Raising her eyes only, she continued.  “It was reported to me that a man named Twitch and his mate Quieph were brought into a werewolf den.”  She watched his face, his eyebrows furrowed.  “Some sort of renegade.”  She followed with.


“I know the name, continue.”  Alexander said almost sounding calm.


“Someone called in that they were in combat with a man named Hovlek, before contact was lost, quickly, he wanted to make sure his message was relayed to you, my dark master.”  She stated and took a step back from him, and another.


“And?”  He growled.  Bad news, that was an understatement.


“Ten minutes, kind master.”  Mitchell meekly announced from where he was hiding.


“Chicken shit.”  Ruth scoffed. 


Alexander glared at her when she said this.  He scoffed at her.  “You seem to have taken steps from me yourself.  Afraid?”  He said in a cold accusing voice.


Ruth snorted.  “Afraid, why would I be afraid of my master who made me his second in command?  I can’t control you, you’re either going to fight me or screw me, take your pick, pays the same to me.”  She said in a defiant manner.  She really didn’t give a shit either way.  She didn’t ask to be here, she was just trying to make the best of a raw deal.


“What’s your last bit of news?”  He asked dismissing her response.  He loved her and hated her all at once, constantly. 


“Lord Frost is definitely out of retirement.  I personally encountered that frell.  He hits like a freight train, I had to back off, between him and these shadow slipping commando frells, I couldn’t hold him.  We were overwhelmed.  But I brought you a trophy.”  Ruth said, then reached to the bag on her waist and pulled a werewolf head severed at the neck from it.


“From clan Star Light with love.”  Ruth said placing the head on the side of the tub near her master.


With her fingers she dug into the eye sockets of the skull and pulled the top of the skull and the flesh open revealing the brains beneath.


“Pâté anyone?”  She offered then reached into the skull and  scooped up a handful of brains then mashed them into her mouth, the excess smeared on her face and fell to the floor.


Alexander’s hand flew at the head, knocking it from the tub and flying into a corner.


He flew from the tub towards her, his fist connecting center of her face, her head exploded and her remains flew towards a table, her body crumpled against the bench and table.  As she regenerated and lifted her head he grabbed her neck and lifted her by it, crushing it in his hand.  Ruth gurgled a little but put up no struggle.  After her body convulsed and her eyes rolled back in her head he released her, her body falling to the ground.


Coughing and sputtering came from Ruth as Alexander turned his back to her and took a couple steps away.  He could tell from her shadow that she had stood.  “Are you finished now?  Or do you still wish to be punished?”  He said to her.


“Punished?  You kidding me lover?  I thought that was foreplay.  Can you give me some more please, I was just starting to get wet.”  She taunted as he returned his smoldering angered insane eyes to her.


His face practically burned.  What should have been the whites of his eyes were completely red.  His breathing was fast and heavy.  Grabbing her again he slammed her into a pillar.  Bones broke.


“Yeah!  That’s the spirit lover, come on, stick your hand in my chest, rip my cold dead heart out, come on lover you know you want to.  Rip it out and rub it in my face, lover.”  Ruth said in a teasing voice with a coarse tone. 


Alexander brought his arm back, clenched his fist and punched at her chest.  He pulled her heart from her chest and mashed it into her face and threw her to the ground.


“Now kick me in the gut.”  She gasped.  Alexander swung his foot at her, juice shot out of the back of her pants from the impact and sprayed the pillar behind her near the floor.  She didn’t make a sound.  “Good one, now rip my arm off, break the femur, stab me with it you pussy!”  She taunted him with a garbled voice.


He did what she said, pulling her arm from her, breaking the bone and repeatedly stabbing her with it.  She stopped moving.  He was panting heavy. 


She started to move again.  “Pencil dick, you done with me?  Can I go get laid now?”  Ruth croaked form the floor as her body regenerated.  “Or you want to kick me in the cunt a few times?”  She asked.


Alexander’s rage blew again.  He started kicking her repeatedly in the crotch, she made kissy faces at him and laughed while he caved her pelvis in then he grabbed her head and jerked her up to him.


“Come on lover, rip my head of, come on, do it slacker!”  She yelled in his face.


He grabbed her head and started twisting, she encouraged him on.  “That-a-boy, come on, rip my head clean off, give it a good yank!”  Ruth taunted more.


Suddenly he stopped and let go of her.  He shoved her back lightly and walked from her.


“Screw me or kill me, make up your mind.”  She said to his back.


Alexander turned to her, his face filled with rage as he roared.  She stared at him unimpressed.


“This is how you respect your master?  This is how you repay my kindness?  With insolence?”  He bellowed at her.


Ruth scoffed and laughed curtly.  “Kindness?  Can you even define that word for me?  Kindness my ass, serve you or die, you’re the one who saw my potential and made me your second in command.  Respect?  Frell that, I serve you loyally because I have to, I don’t have any options do I?  I will never respect you, I don’t even like you.”


She lowered her tone some, hatred still flowed in her voice.  “But, you made me what I am and I am a part of you and powerful above other vampires because of it.  My life was stolen from me by your kind, and you want me to respect you after that? Eat my shit.  I serve you so I can keep on existing, you want me to serve it up to you on a silver platter, not going to happen, I will die first.  I’m only doing what I have to in order to survive.  I didn’t ask for any of this, but I took it to better my position in what I was left with.”  Ruth said with conviction.


No one else in the room even seemed to be breathing.  Well, technically they didn’t need to, it was a comfort thing.


“I’m just like you lover, I exist for my own gratification.”  She ended then turned from him to face Fyodor.


He was slunk back into a corner of the hot tub, still shielding the girls from the imposing threat of their master.  “I got room for you in my ass if you want to join the party, you don’t mind pumping the dirt chute do you?”  She asked him.


Fyodor looked to Alexander, his face was worry, indecision and fear.


“Go on, take the bitch.  I have a portal to attend to.”  Alexander said then walked away from them and started dressing.


“Make it a fast romp, I need to see who we have left and where we are at.  Ruth, I need you to get to Hondigahl as soon as I finish with the portal, we’ll need some of his viceroy to fill in our losses.  You have… an hour, I will be done with the portal by then.  Fyodor, I have a mission for you when your done with… her.”  He ordered.


Moving from the hot tub Fyodor grabbed his clothes and started dressing.


“Don’t waste the time, not going to have them on long.”  Ruth said to him, he smiled diabolically back to her.  Fyodor stopped dressing and simply carried his clothes with as he met up with Ruth by the tub, they walked off together and his hand went to her butt, giving it a squeeze and a rub.


Ruth giggled at his touch.  Her head turned back a bit towards Alexander.  “Fyodor you sure know how to touch a lady, it’s nice when the person you’re having sex with actually cares if you enjoy it too.”  She said, hoping Alexander might get a hint.  Pointless.






Their hour was almost up, and the girl with Ruth and Fyodor had to leave. One of her masters was in need, or so they thought.  This other servant of their dark master, still with her, turned out to be a lot more that she had originally picked up on.  He actually had original thoughts and ideas. He was a thinker, not a mindless drone like so many others that had passed through her life.  The world of the vampires seemed to have a vacuum of thought.


“How long have you… known Alexander?  Do you even know how many years you’ve been serving him?”  Ruth asked while she and Fyodor showered the funk off. 


He was scrubbing his chest.  “Which do you want to know?  How long have I know him, or how long have I served him?”  He asked with a glance at her.


“I didn’t realize there was a mentionable difference.”  She replied aimlessly as she squatted and washed between her buttocks.


Fyodor stopped his washing and watched her.  When she finished she looked up before standing and noticed his attention.  “What?  Never seen a chick wash her ass before or what?”  She said to him with a look that matched her tone and arm gesture.


“Not like that before.”  He answered and returned to his own bathing rituals. 


“It works great, spreads them cheeks for you and lowers your center of gravity so you can really scrub that cavity!”  She broke into a laugh when she finished.  Her sudden improvisation seemed to amuse her most of all.  Fyodor gave her a solid groan.


“So tell me…” Ruth said reaching a hand to his bouncing member as he rinsed “what gives between you and the boss prick?”


Fyodor guffawed.  “That would be an incredibly long story, we’re talking back to near the dawn of time long story.  Let’s just say, he didn’t used to be… frell it.  He actually used to be a person, now he’s just a machine.  He screws chicks, does drugs, destroys people, businesses, property, inflicts misery on humans in new and unusual ways, for no reason.  He doesn’t even know why anymore.  It used to be about recruiting, real recruiting.  Now… I don’t know what to call it.”


“Don’t worry about Alexander, he can’t see your mind right now.  He won’t for a while, the incantations leave him blind.”  Ruth said calmly in a tone of confidence.


His look questioned her, she understood his thoughts, how could she possibly know that unless Alexander told her, and that is something he would never tell anyone.  How did she know?


“I know, Fyodor, this is as far as I will trust you, for now.  He doesn’t know that his thoughts flow freely to me, I only have to listen.  He took me remember?”  Ruth paused, she gave him a moment to absorb what she had said, a moment to realize her implications on his own.


Alexander could only see what she want him to from her mind.  He didn’t rule her like he did Fyodor, and the others.  Ruth simply allowed the illusion that he did, but she wasn’t about to trust Alexander’s friend with this information yet, if ever. 


She took to a coy voice.  “Tell you what, why don’t you start telling the story of you and Alexander, and I…”  Ruth knelt in front of him, his firm member cradled gently in her soft strong hand, “See how many licks it takes to get to the center of this… you have until I have to swallow to tell your story.  You game?”  She didn’t wait for an answer and went to her task.


“Ahh!”  Fyodor chimed in surprise.  “Wow!  Okay.  It was a different world then, quite literally.  The light and the dark weren’t enemies, in the garden, they worked together.  The darkness was a helper created by the light.  But, the creation and the helpmate the light gave him loved the light, they came out in the day and turned their faces to the light.”


Fyodor put a hand on her head slowing her.  “At night, the darkness was shut out of their home.  The darkness became jealous of the light.  This jealousy caused the light and the dark to separate, the great fracture happened.  The creation caused the great fracture, because the darkness taunted it to disobey the light.  This caused the light to become angry and cast the creation and the Darkness from the garden home to another world.”


He started panting.  His hand slipped from her head.  She picked up her pace.


“Oh shit, that… ah, the light talked to the darkness. They made nice, and worked together, jealousy again, then, boom, minions and angels. The darkness betrays the light, curses his own people by declaring that none of his being can ever stand in light and live, trees, wood, water, all his dumb ass feud with… Ugh, erp!”


Ruth swallowed.  Story time was over.


Fyodor fell back against a wall of the shower, still standing but out of breath. Ruth came up next to him, she leaned in and he returned the kiss she offered.


“Yes sir, you are most welcome.  Glad I could return the favor.”  Ruth said smirking.


“Wow!”  He said still somewhat winded.


“So, Alexander wasn’t always a bad guy?”  She asked quietly.


“No, there wasn’t bad.  The great fracture, caused by human freewill, caused separation between the light and the darkness. Alexander used to be my friend, we swam together, fished,  he ate at my hut sometimes.  It was a very simple time.”  He pulled from the wall and stood.


“Then one day, after the light and Darkness had a fight, Alexander could no longer come out and swim, the light burned him.  We lost contact.  It was some years later he came to me at night and asked if I would serve him.  I still considered him a friend, so I agreed.”  Fyodor said with a sad face.


“Huh, sad, the story too, I mean, but the fact that you still give a rat’s ass about him, that’s sad.”  Ruth said, then quickly left the bath to put on her clothes while Fyodor watched in silence then went for the door.


“Is that what Alexander does, leave without giving you a kiss?”  Fyodor said trying to coax her to him before she went back in the field.


Ruth snapped her head at him.  “I swallowed your spunk, what more do you want?  What a wuss.”  She snipped then went out of the door closing it quick, not looking back to him once.


“Bitch.”  Fyodor said to the closed door.




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