Soldiers of the Damned
Author: Garrett R. Kirby

Chapter 7
Black blood for a black heart

Chapter 7:

We stopped outside the base. I looked out the window and sighed. "If you don't mind, I am going to drop you off and go for a walk."
"Of course not, go ahead." Bree replied. "What makes you think I would mind?"
I shook my head and frowned. "I don't know. I just... I need to go clear my head right now. It's like I can feel this... this pulling, and it's right in the back of my head. I just keep seeing the face of that kid looking back at me, like he has some huge importance in my life or something. But it's all hard to explain."
She nodded slightly. "Maybe your just a bit scared? After he attacked you like that, I would have been scarred by it too."
"Maybe..." I agreed. "Half of me is hoping I will find him tonight, like he will just appear in front of me out of nowhere so I can confront him. I want answers on where he required his powers, though I am sure we both already know this."
"Hm... you should tell Jack about this. After all, he is the one who told you the stories."
I thought for a moment, then parked the car and got out. I walked around and opened her door again. She took my hand as I helped her out. "I think I might just take Jack vampire hunting with me." I said.
She smirked. "Well you have good luck with that." She laughed, walking inside. I followed behind her quickly. We walked in the door and entered the living room, where Jack and Drake were sitting and watching music awards. They didn't even seem to notice as we entered.
"Knock knock?" I smirked. This time they looked up. Drake smirked and jumped over the couch to give me a bear-hug, but I kept him away. "Hey, Jack? I need to speak with you." I said, turning for the door.
Bree winked at me when I walked past her, and I smiled shyly at her. I was surprised to see that Jack was behind me already when I was outside. I jumped back when I saw him, like he screamed in my face.
"What?" He asked, his eyes puzzled again.
"Well, for one, we were nearly beat to death today!" I yelled.
"And...?" He asked.
"And you act like it was nothing! You could have been killed! How many times were you hit in the head?"
"I lost count after six... oh, that's right, I was knocked out!!" He yelled back.
"Exactly! You should be dead. And you always act like you know how everybody dies!"
He flinched. "Just tell me what your getting at Randy." He growled.
I sighed and took a few deep breaths. "Right..." He waited for a moment while I gathered myself. After a few seconds a sighed and looked him in his eyes. "Alright then, here's the thing. You remember those stories you tell me about these vampire people that took the drug way, way back?"
"Yeah, what about them?" He asked, eyeing me curiously.
"I think I might have seen one of them... he stole your mask." I said. "He wasn't normal... I can tell you that right now. And his eyes, they were red. He had all of the signs Jack... I know how it sounds but I really think I saw him today, and I think... he might be stalking me around the city."
"I see..." Jack said slowly. "And you want me to help you find him?" He asked.
I nodded, and waited for his response.
"I see..." He whispered again. He just stood still for a moment after that.
"Yes Drake?" Jack asked suddenly.
"How did you know?" Drake asked, walking out of the base. "Your back was turned to me!"
"Lucky guess?" Jack shrugged innocently.
Drake glared at him, then looked at me. At least I assumed he was looking at me, because his hair was completely covering half his face.
"Ok, my hair is long... but yours is out of control." I said. "How do they let us keep our hair like this? Isn't there some rule or something that's against it?"
"Normal army men got a rule. We are just to cool for it. They let us have much more freedom." He smirked.
Jack looked at me and sighed. "Let's go hunt a vampire."
"I think hunting is illegal in New Yor-"
"Oh shut it." Jack said, cutting Drake off.
"Ok, fine... I don't know what you guys are doing but I want in." He said.
"Ok, your in. Now let's go." I frowned, turning and walking away.
Jack stood on my right, and Drake took my left side. People stared as we crossed the street. Mostly the eyes were directed at Jack...
"Do either of you happen to have a gun?" I asked.
"I do... why?" Drake asked. "Oh god, you guys aren't going on a killing spree are you?!"
"Quiet down! How good of a shot are you?" I replied, seeing a ladder on a fire escape. It was on a lock, which kept it from sliding down.
"I'm decent..." He said, his voice unsure. He pulled out a hand-gun and looked at me. "Why?"
"Aim at that lock..." I said, pointing to the lock on the fire escape. Drake nodded, aimed, and pulled the trigger. The bullet missed the lock, and hit a window.
"Damn it Drake!" Jack yelled.
"Hey! Darn!" I corrected. Jack just ignored me and went on without as much as a glance in my direction.
"Give me the gun..." He growled.
"Fiiiinnnne." Drake said in a childish voice, forking over the gun to Jack, who took it, and shot the lock without taking his eyes off of Drake.
"Oh you..." Drake said sarcastically. "Always showing off your skills."
"Only because, dear Drake, I am the awesome one." Jack replied.
I ignored the bickering, and climbed up the ladder. After that I ran up the fire-escape, and found myself on the roof.
I looked around, the cold night's air blowing in my face, making my blond hair shoot back.
"Now what?" Jack asked from behind me.
"Now we find that vampire." I replied.
"For the hunt!!" Drake yelled, throwing his fist up in the air. A sudden reply to his yelling came when somebody below yelled back "Shut up!!!"
"Whoops..." Drake whispered.
Jack face-palmed, and I sighed. "He has been here for just over an hour or so, and he is already causing trouble."

I stepped back to the edge of the building, then ran to the other end and leaped over the ally to the next building.
We were very restricted when it came to leaping buildings. We could jump over alleys if we needed, but we could not jump whole streets, or anything that big.
"Come on!" I called to them, waving my hand. I turned and jumped from the building to the top of a gas station.
Still no sign of any vampires...
I looked up just as Jack leaped from the last building and landed next to me. There was hardly even a thud, unlike Drake, who landed with more of a "bang!"
"We're getting off the rooftops already?" Jack asked.
"Yeah, I was trying to see if I could see him up there, but I couldn't." I replied, jumping from the gas station, to the ground below.
My two friends landed on each side of me again, and we ran to another dark ally.
"Ok, so that plan failed, now what do we do?" Drake asked.
"I'm thinking..." I said, stopping when we were out of sight.
"I know..." Jack said, pulling a knife from one of his boots.
"Jack, don't!" I groaned.
"Ok." He said, almost playfully. He held out the knife to me. "Just big enough so you get the scent in the air."
"Really, Jack...? Really?" Drake asked, looking at the long, sharp blade.
I sighed. I was the one who wanted to find the vampire after all... I took the knife and made a medium sized cut on my hand. It stung the second my skin broke, and I dropped the knife as a reaction. Before the knife could hit the ground, Jack's hand shot out and grabbed it.
"Nice catch." Drake commented.
"That it was." Jack replied, wiping it off with a cloth, which he pulled from his pocket, and putting the blade back in his boot.
I frowned as the red liquid dripped down my palm. "Now what?" I asked. " You seem to be more of an expert then me."
"Now we wait." Jack said slowly, his eyes locked on the gash.
I frowned. "We wait...?" I asked slowly, not in the mood to be stuck here for a hour or so.
"Like I said." Jack nodded. "Are you having hearing problems?"
"No..." I sighed.
Drake was just sitting off to the side, watching us. He was staring at Jack with almost the same puzzled eyes Jack would give me. "If I didn't know better..." Drake began, pausing to point at Jack. "I would say your the 'Vampire', Mr. Jack."
"What makes you say that?" Jack laughed, looking away from my gash to stare at Drake.
"No reason... I suppose..." Drake shrugged. "It was just the way you were looking at the blood, it made me wonder."
"Ah, right." He nodded.

All fell silent as we stood and waited. Time seemed to be passing slowly. Drake and Jack both began playing Rock Paper Scissors, it was that boring.
"I give up." I groaned, throwing my hands up in defeat, little red drops of blood flying up in the air with my motion.
"Wait..." Jack whispered, pulling away from the childish game to look up.
"We've been waiting Jack!" I argued.
"No... look." He said, pointing up.
Drake and I both looked up.
"What?" Drake asked. "I don't see anything."
"Right there." Jack said, pointing. I followed his finger to a spot towards the top of the building, where blood was splattered.
I looked at Jack and sighed. "Jack, if this didn't bring him out," I pointed at my large gash. "Then that won't. Now come on, I want to go speak with Bree for a little bit."
"How did that date go by the way?" Drake asked.
"Well, we started out by talking about what kind of things we like. It turns out-"
"That bad, huh?" Drake interrupted.
"Well, maybe if you would let me finish?" I asked. He nodded in return, and I went on as we turned and walked away. "It turns out, we actually have a whole lot in common. She's almost just like me."
"Aw." Jack laughed. "I told you so."
I stopped and stared at him for a minute, then shook my head and walked back to the base. I had a odd feeling the whole way back, like we were being followed by somebody. I simply dismissed it as my mind wandering to today's events, I was most likely still on edge.
When we went back in the base, I went to Bree's room first thing.

She was listening to her MP3 Player. I smiled, peeking in the doorway and knocking. She looked up and smiled, shutting off the small device. "Hey Randy."
"Hey..." I smiled. "I was just wondering if maybe you would like to come for a walk with me? Alone?"
She smirked and nodded. "I would like that very much." She said, her voice nearly musical.
"Alright." I said, looking down at my hand. "Just let me go get this bandaged up."
She looked at my hand and frowned. "Oh dear." She said, her eyes widening a bit. "That looks like a deep cut. What happened?"
"Long story..." I muttered, walking to the bathroom and cleaning out the wound. The water turned pink as the blood washed off, then cleared when it was done. I frowned at the stinging, but tried my best to ignore it. When the water had finished it's job, I took matters into my own hands by wrapping it.
"All better?" Bree asked when I turned around. She was standing in the doorway.
"All better." I nodded. "Now lets get out of here."
"Let's." She agreed.
I took her hand, and walked with her to the door.
"Going out again?" Jack asked.
"Yep." I replied, opening the door. "We'll be back."
"He hopes." Drake joked.
"I hope?" I asked, eyeing him.
"Joking." He said innocently, throwing his hands up slightly.
"Wasn't funny!" Jerry and Steven both yelled at the same time from the kitchen.
Bree shook her head and laughed. I opened the door and took her outside.
"You know, Drake might be on to me." She said jokingly.
"What do you mean?" I asked, looking over at her.
"Here I was going to kidnap you." She laughed.
"Oh darn, looks like he ruined your plans." I laughed with her.
She seemed to hold my hand tighter suddenly when we came to the stop light and waited for it to say we could walk. It wasn't in a bad way, it was almost like a... instinctive action, I suppose you could say. It made me happy.
"So, what did you do before SSP came around?" I asked.
"I used to be a veterinarian in Arizona. It was... fun, I guess. It wasn't nearly as exciting as this though. I get to meet loads of colorful people."
I glanced over at her as we began to cross. "Colorful?" I asked.
She laughed. "Yes, colorful. You know, like each person is different?"
"Ah, I see." I said slowly, nodding.
She smacked my arm playfully. "What are you so worried about?" She asked.
"Well-" I began, then stopped as a shadow covered the ground below us, under a street lamp. The only place this shadow could have been coming from was up above...
I slowly turned my head and looked up. Of course, there was the vampire-boy we had been hunting down.
"Who is that?" Bree asked.
"That's the guy!" I said, my voice suddenly a bit frightened.
The boy looked down at us, his head flashing left and right in very fast movements between the two of us. His eyes finally rested on our intertwined hands. With another quick movement the boy leaped from the building and landed in front of us, making hardly any sound.  Bree's eyes widened at this, seeing my reason for believing he was a, quote, vampire. "You weren't joking." She whispered, getting a bit closer to me. "I thought they were all dead."
The now deep, blood red eyes rested on her expression. They seemed to brighten up a bit with joy. "So, Randy, you found yourself a girl, did you?" His voice was deep, and a little muffled under Jack's skull mask.
I felt my eyes grow wide like Bree's. "H-how do you know my name...?" I asked, a little frightened.
"Relax." He said, his voice calm. "We're all friends here..."
"I don't even know you." I replied.
"No... you don't, do you? Well... not yet at least. Hm..." His voice trailed off as he spoke, just like Jack's did.
"What are you rambling on about?" I asked, still confused as can be.
His eyes snapped up to mine, darkening again. "You know, you are rather... unpleasant to talk to. Please at least try to use manners?"
"I'll use manners when you give me some information." I replied with a frown. I felt like this was going to get me no where but trouble.
"Hm... very well then." He agreed, catching me off guard. Suddenly, however, his eyes shot back to Bree's. His fingers reached up and lightly brushed the side of her cheek. I could hear her heavy breathing, as she was very uncomfortable. "Hm... she is quite beautiful..."
"Hands off." I said, pulling her away from him, and standing in front of her.
"Watch your tone!" He growled, pushing me into the brick wall of the building we were next to. He held me by the collar of my shirt, and didn't let go. I could feel his hands through my clothes. They were cold as ice, maybe even colder. His grip was hard as rock.
"Ok..." I said slowly. "I'm...sorry? Can you please give me some info?"
"Depends on what you want to know." He replied.
"Ok, let's start with this: How do you know me?"
"Ah, I figured that was coming." He said, his eyes lighting up yet again, and his tone became smooth and calm. "Well, you and I go way back Randy. We were childhood friends, we went to school together. You don't remember? Drake and Gary? Tim and Lexi?"
"Well of course I remember Drake... he's visiting New York right now." I explained. "And I can sort of remember Tim and Lexi, but not Gary, or you."
He nodded slowly as I spoke, his eyes thoughtful. "I see. It is rather odd seeing you after all of these years Randy."
"Sure." I replied, then jumped to another question. "How did you find me?"
"It was easy enough. You may not have left a trail of blood behind, but the scent! When you have a sense of smell like me, it is so easy to find out where that person went. It was like you left a trail of bread crumbs for me to follow!" He laughed. A very scary sound.
"Darn it..." I muttered.
"I could have found you anyways. It was not that hard." He said coolly.
"Ok, ok..." I sighed. "Next question: Why do you have Jack's mask?"
"Because it looks cool." He laughed. I could almost sense the lie in his voice.
"Well, then may I please take it back to Jack? He sort of needs it." I explained.
"Finders keepers."
"Do I really have to use force, kid?" I sighed. "I am considered police, no, I am even higher ranking then the police. I could shoot your head off right here, and nobody would stop me."
"I'd like to see you try..." He laughed, the sound seeming to echo around us eerily. "First off, I could easily dodge the bullet. Second, you don't even have a gun on you."
"Let's go Randy." Bree said behind me. "I don't want to see you get killed already."
I ignored her. "Why are you here? In New York, I mean." I asked him.
"Why am I here? That's a funny question. Well, the answer is quite simple, and easy to guess. New York has been my home all my life, that's it. But I have to admit, it's nice to finally see one of my old brothers after so long..."
"You act as if it was so many years ago that we saw each other, but I am in my twenties. I graduated not that long ago." I frowned.  "I still do not remember you."
"It's to bad you don't remember anything Randy. Really, it is." He sighed, shaking his head. He turned to walk away. "Maybe I will see you around, maybe I won't. I most likely will though. It's a small world."
"Wait!" I yelled. He turned back half way so that he could see me.
"Yes?" He asked.
"I have just one more question." I began. "Are there more of you?"
"Ah..." He nodded. "Yes, there are more."
"How many?" Bree asked suddenly, getting drawn in now. She seemed very interested in the subject.
"Hm... well, about fifteen. I don't know the exact number, but it is somewhere around there. Would you..." He paused, his eyes brightening much more then usual, excitement nearly glowing in them. "Like to meet the others?"
"Yes!" Bree shouted.
"No! No no no..." I frowned, pushing her away from him. "This is not a time to let your curious side take over."
"Aw, come on Randy..." He said, suddenly right behind me. If he was not wearing the mask, then his mouth would have been right at my throat. I could feel his cool breath, even through the mask. "We won't bite her... much." He laughed again.
Bree stepped back, her eyes widening. She was starting to see that he was not going to take her to some nice guy convention. Suddenly, I was hit by the obvious truth.
"Your thirsty..." I whispered. "That's why you were following my scent..."
"Maybe." He said, exhaling. "Maybe not. I can promise you, you are not the one I we want."
"We?" I asked, taking a large step away from him. When I turned around three more red-eyed boys were standing around him, with him in the lead.
"We." They all answered in unison.
Bree and I kept backing away from them. "Then who?" I asked, taking her hand.
"The girl." One smiled evilly. "She smells like she would settle very well with my stomach."
One of the vampires, the one on the right of the skull-masked one, was nearly jumping with excitement. The skull-masked one had to slap him on the back of the head to get him to calm down. "Yes! The girl!" He laughed wickedly, large fangs showing in his open mouth.
"Well then you can all go to hell." I said through my teeth, letting go of her. "Because I am not going to just let you take her."
"We were hoping you would say that." A shorter one on the left of the leader smiled.
I looked at Bree quickly as one sprang at us. "Run!" I yelled. She didn't respond, she just ran. I looked back just in time to see the short one slam into me.
I fell back, feeling like I was just hit with a giant stone, but I quickly flipped back up and kicked the one hit me.
"Ah, damn it Gary!" The skull-masked one roared, his eyes becoming black as the night. I didn't take the time to correct him, I just turned around and ran back to the base. Bree was already inside, telling the others what happened.
I had a feeling they wouldn't just stop when we left, so I ran in my room and threw on the armor. I grabbed my rifle and ran past Drake, who was going to the guest bedroom to get his own suit.
"Wait for us!" Jerry yelled, putting his mask on. I was nearly out the door when he appeared in front of me, his arms stretched out to keep me from going outside. "I said wait..." He said in his commanding voice.
"Jerry, your standing in front of an open door when there are vampires out there that want to kill us and drink our blood... you should move." Steven said behind me in his cocky, know-it-all voice.
Drake ran up beside me, wearing a pair of black boots, which had large wires stretching from the souls, up to the top of the boots. Drake didn't wear armor, well, not exactly. He had a "exoskeleton", which was pretty much bullet-proof armor under his clothes. He was also wearing protective goggles, which were all black, so I couldn't see his eyes while he had them on. He had a hoodie, with the hood up, and jeans over his protective suit.
"Jerry, move. We will go out with him while we wait for you. I have to see this." Jack said, holding his gun close.
"I don't take orders from you Jack. I am the commander of this squad, not you. The last time I let one of my men try to make the rules my team was..." He stopped, suddenly. I could tell it hurt for him to think about his first team.
"Jerry..." Jack sighed.
Jerry bowed his head, almost like he had just been defeated. Before he could say anything there was a loud screeching sound, and then two hands suddenly wrapped around him and yanked him out the door.
"Whoa!" Drake yelled, running outside. I followed after, my eyes wide.
"Jerry!" Jack yelled, running past me.
There was no sign of him, or any of the Vampires.
"We are not here for you..." A voice hissed behind us. We all turned and saw the large, masked vampire. He was on top of the base, holding Jerry by his throat.
"What do we do?" I asked.
"We pump it full of lead!" Drake yelled, aiming his gun up at the beast.
"Drake, no!" Jack yelled, pushing the gun down. "Knowing you, you would hit Jerry!"
We were all so focused on Jack that we were not paying attention to the vampire. It wasn't until we heard Jerry scream that we all looked. Jerry flew from the top of the base, and hit the hard ground with a "thud".
"Where did he go?" I asked.
Jerry groaned, then pointed up at the door... the wide open door.
My eyes grew so wide they almost fell out. I ran inside as fast as I could, not pausing an instant, not even when I saw Steven looking like a broken toy across the room, and not even when I almost tripped over all of the furniture that was thrown around, like a bear had run through the living room.
I saw him. He was right in the doorway, looking in Bree's room. The mask was thrown off, and he was wearing a sadistic smile across his face. There was a gunshot, and for an instant Bree's room lit up. He stumbled back, black blood rushing down his face. He recovered quickly, and looked like he was about to charge. Luckily, I had reached him just in time. I tried to tackle him, but he grabbed me by the throat and held me up extremely high, then slammed me into the floor.
"I am sorry Randy... really. It's just the scent of her blood is so..." His eyes grew completely black suddenly as he thought for the right words. "Intoxicating, I guess you could say?"
He let go of me then, and walked back towards the room. He was hit by a constant wave of lead after that. Bullets flew over my face, pounding into him one after the other. He fell back, covered in the black tar-like blood. I stood and stumbled past him, into Bree's room. She was standing up, a pistol in her hands.
"Are you ok...?" I asked.
"I'm...fine..." She said, breathing heavily.
I just stared at her for a moment. What if she died? We just had our very first date tonight, and she could have been killed by this monster. I looked away and stared down at the vampire.
"Bree, I have this feeling like... like things are just going to start happening. And they won't be good either..." I whispered.

 

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