East Gate Moonlight Blood

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Chapter 17

Fletcher! Finnegan!” Amble shouted stumbling into the room. He felt so disoriented. The ethízo̱ brew was gone from his body but that woman stabbed him in multiple areas so the tonic rashes were back. They appeared before him. Fletcher stood with his blonde hair hanging in his face which he flicked it to the side. He had just finished feeding off a human so he had blood around his mouth. Finnegan stood with his red eyes on Amble. They dropped fang the moment they saw he was covered in blood. “NO! We don’t have time for that!” he shouted as they retracted frightened. Prezton came in.

“Oh my god! Amble what happened!?” he shouted as Amble put his hand up. He started pacing.

“Set up the maze,” he said abruptly. “I will not play by the LVO’s rules, they will play by mine,” he said grabbing a remote. He pushed a button and a red light flashed above their heads. “They are not stupid enough to come just as agents. They will bring a frickin’ army. That is if they even choose to come. LoganView was never one to finish his own battles,” he continued walking back into the hallway. He grabbed the dead man and threw him at Finnegan and Fletcher. They got ready to bite into him. “Do not...drink from him!” he screamed as they jumped away. “Take him to the tracer pond,” he said as they stared at him. Their urge to devour the man was powerful. “NOW!” Amble hollered as they quickly grabbed the man and ran down the hall. Prezton watched his brother’s panic slowly eat away at him.

“Brother, what’s happening?” he asked as Amble volexed out of the room. Prezton followed him. They went into one of the control rooms that were dome shaped. Amble turned a dial and the floor below them turned. “Amble answer me,” Prez said a hint of fear in his voice. He didn’t like to have Amble panicked without knowing what was going on. It made him nervous because his brother was rarely freaked out. Amble pulled levers and pushed buttons.

The floor below them shifted into various paths turning more and more into a maze like place. The atmosphere felt harsh. Amble set a timer for the lights to go off. He volexed out of the room before Prezton could ask another question. He went to another dome section his trench coat flapping behind him. He grabbed a dial and pushed it in. The ground shook as a few pillars came up out of the pool of water that was on the very lower part. Finnegan and Fletcher came back into his presence.

“Master, the tracers are hungry,” Finn said as the tracers appeared in the door. Amble wasn’t thinking about them at the moment. He had to get the place set up for the possible intrusion. He sliced his wrist with his nail and the tracers pushed past them.

“One at a time!” Amble shouted a threatening tone in his voice. They each came up to him as he kept pushing forward with his plans. He held his arm out to them as one by one they drank from it. He didn’t get the usual pleasuring sensation of the draining feeling because he was too focused. He started feeling nauseous as the last tracer left him. He hesitated before giving orders.

“Finn and Fletcher take these tracers with you and go to the bar in Tecumseh. Volex there and check out what’s happening. I’m pretty sure there are LVO agents around so be cautious. Do not lead them back here if they decide follow you,” He demanded as they nodded. “Take a tank of tracers with you. If you are able to get into the bar, take the bodies out and take them to a nearby pool and dump the bodies and the tracers in. Kill any witnesses,” he said as Prezton slammed his hands down. He usually didn’t try to compete with his brother, but this was just too much.

“You’re going to kill innocent humans? Amble what has gotten into you? Why would you kill innocent people?” Prezton shouted as Amble glared at him. He volexed and grabbed Prezton. Prezton yelled slightly as Amble stared him dead in the eyes. Amble’s red and grey eyes looked all over Prezton angrily before he spoke.

“They killed Annabelle! She was an innocent human! What they can kill people that I love, but I cannot?” Amble screamed shaking Prezton as he whimpered. Amble could sense Prezton’s fear and released him. Amble turned away from Prezton and put his hands on the dome staring down at it.

“So that’s what this is about? You are missing Annabelle that badly you will kill anyone in your path,” Prezton said as Amble turned quickly, his fangs bared.

“They shot her point blank as we showered together! We could have gotten somewhere in life!” Amble shouted. “You have no idea what’s it like to go on living day after day knowing that the love of your life asked you to kill them just to take away the pain. She loved me! We could’ve gotten married, had kids even!” he said as Prezton looked away from him. He could see the hurt radiating off of Amble. Amble volexed out of sight to another floor.

One of the new tracers remained and picked up a picture frame. It was of Amble and Annabelle. It was the last picture that they had taken together on their final date a few days before her death. She was much shorter than Amble at least 5’5 whereas he stood 6’2. She had straight brown hair. Her skin was suntanned and she had the purest blue eyes that he had ever seen. She had hand carved the wooden frame. It wasn’t a master piece, but it came from her which made it special to him. The tracer held it in his hands. Prezton turned and his eyes widened.

“Put that down!” he shouted rushing over to the tracer. The tracer put it on the edge of the table where he got it, but it fell. Of course. The glass inside the frame shattered on the ground. Amble got ready to push a button when he heard the shattering glass. Had his heart been beating, it would’ve stopped. He inhaled deeply, tears filling his eyes. He knew what had broken. Amble volexed back downstairs and stared from Prezton to the tracer. “A-Amble,” Prezton stammered.

“Who...broke...it?” he slowly asked as Prezton stared at the tracer.

“It was an accident,” Prezton said as the tracer shook his head.

“WHO BROKE IT!!?” Amble screamed as Prezton continued to stare at the tracer. Amble grabbed him and threw him in a corner. “Why did you touch it!? IT IS NOT YOURS!” He continued reaching into a cabinet. It was lined with diálysi̱ daggers. There had only been a few made and he kept all that he found. One dagger was covered in black blood whereas the others were all clean. He gripped the dagger in his hand. The tracer flinched when Amble came close to him. “This was given to me by the love of my life!” He shouted launching at the tracer.

____________________________

What do you find so fascinating about humans? When will you realize that they’re nothing but bags of blood to us?” Barnes said to his son. Amble ignored the question as his friend came in and grabbed his arm. Amble had come into contact with a human who was willing to hide them when they escaped from Vampira. Her name was Annabelle. But she didn’t tell Amble that because she was teasing him. Annabelle had taken Amble into her room many times without anyone knowing. Barnes talked to Prezton as Annabelle lay in bed with Amble. It was dawn out and he lay almost unanimated underneath her. When he moved, it startled her because he would stay in the same position for long periods at a time. She felt bad for the vampires. Always living, watching any friends or companions they came across die as they continued to thrive. She rubbed her nail along his arm.

“Why won’t you tell me your name?” Amble asked breaking the silence. His voice rumbled underneath her.

“Why do you want to know?” she chuckled as Amble shifted again.

“Because—”

“Knowing won’t make you feel any less dirty,” she interrupted as Amble sighed.

“That’s not what I meant,” Amble said breathing on her neck. She felt the coolness of his breath and shivered. She grabbed the blanket they were laying under and pulled it up to her neck line. “It’s just that, I like you and—”

“You are such a child,” she laughed as Amble cleared his throat.

“Don’t laugh at me. I’m serious. You’re the first one to accept my father and brother for who we are,” Amble said with all seriousness in his voice. She grabbed his hand and kissed his fingers. As an immediate reaction, Amble dropped fang. It had been a while since he had fed and he was hungry. With all the running around that they had done, he didn’t get much sleep either staying awake for days at a time. Moist droplets fell on Annabelle’s cheek. She touched it and sat up quickly. Why was there blood on her cheek? She looked over to Amble who was motionless. His nose was bleeding.

“Are you OK?” she asked as he touched his nose. He smiled wiping it on his tank top. A trickle of blood came from his ear. He made a smirking noise as he put his head back on the headboard.

“I’m fine. I just have insomnisap,” he said as she stared at him. He sniffed wiping his nose again.

“I don’t know what that is,” she said as his body relaxed. She calmed down a little bit.

“It’s what vampires get when they don’t sleep for long periods of time,” he explained as she laid her head back on his chest. She felt so calm and safe in his arms. She could swear his heart was beating, but that was a dumb idea because she knew it couldn’t.

“What about eating? Aren’t you hungry?” Annabelle asked as Amble slowly nodded. It was almost lifeless. She pushed on his chest indicating that she wanted him to sit up straight. He sat up and she put her back up against his stomach. Amble remained motionless the whole time she was moving about him. When she grabbed his legs, she felt him tense up. She pushed his legs farther apart so she could sit better. A fire crackled letting in a little warmth. Annabelle turned her head to the side. When nothing happened she turned and looked at Amble. His eyes were closed. His breathing became heavy as he fell asleep. She rested her head on his chest and listened to him breathe. That’s all she needed to get through her day sometimes, the sound of his breath. After about five minutes, Amble’s eyes slowly opened separately. Annabelle was still sitting with him. She had her phone out watching a video.

“How long was I out?” he asked suddenly. She jumped at his voice and he stared at her strangely.

“Only a few minutes,” She said pushing the hair from her neck to one side. “I was going to let you feed but you fell asleep,” She continued as Amble dropped fang. He had two sets, one on his canines and the others on his incisors which were much longer. She waited and once again didn’t feel the bite. He had started playing with her hair. He intertwined it in his fingers and let it fall loosely out of them. She could feel the slight movements of his body behind her as he ran his hands gently through her hair. She could feel his cool fingers lifting the hair away from her neck and then she felt his mouth at the nape. She couldn’t speak or move. Annabelle exhaled slowly, trying not to make a sound. She was always nervous when he prolonged the feeding process. He gently bit into her.

“Mmmm,” she moaned as he brought his arms around her. She felt his body harden as he brought one hand up to her throat right under her chin and tilted her head up slightly. Her blood was smooth. Annabelle ate a bunch of sweets and he could taste it in the stream that flowed into his mouth. He released her and she turned quickly placing her lips on his, his tongue darting into her mouth. Amble became aroused as Annabelle straddled him. He brought his other hand behind her neck and gently pulled her head back. He kissed her neck repeatedly, her vein throbbing as he bit into her again on the other side.

She gasped as he laid her back onto the bed. The cool sheets enveloped her as he pressed his body on hers. He was heavier than she thought so it was hard for her to breathe when he put his entire weight on her. Her legs wrapped around him as she gently ran a hand through his silky hair. Amble continued slurping the blood from her until she put her hands on his chest and pushed him wanting him to get off. He accepted her wish and got up. He pricked his finger with his fang and rubbed it on the holes he produced on her neck. She smiled at him and walked out of the room. She opened the door to Prezton who stood looking angrily over her shoulder.

“What?” Amble asked as Annabelle walked past Prezton rubbing her neck as it healed.

“Why would you do that to her?” he asked angrily as Amble stood up and pulled his black jeans over his deep red silk boxers. He wiped the small dribble of blood from the corner of his mouth.

“She wanted to feed me willingly. I didn’t duress her if that’s what you’re thinking,” Amble grumbled grabbing a T-shirt and pulling it over his head. He wasn’t used to wearing human clothes yet.

“Sure you didn’t,” Prezton said as Amble glared at him.

“Oh c’mon, Prez. I only use that when I need to. I wouldn’t do it to people who willingly give me their blood,” Amble said as Annabelle came back into the room.

“Amble your father’s looking for you,” she said as Amble nodded. She kissed his cheek before he went out of the room. Prezton looked at her and gave her a fake smile.

“Did you want to feed him or did he make you?” Prezton asked Annabelle as she put a hand on his cheek.

“You have nothing to worry about. Your brother wouldn’t do anything to hurt me,” she said as Prezton gazed into her eyes. He had never duressed someone so he thought he would try it.

“Did you give him blood willingly?” he asked slowly as she shook her head.

“Yes. I gave it to him because he was hungry. Stop trying to duress me. I met someone in the underground who taught me how to escape the effects of your guys’ duress. So I wouldn’t try it again,” she said as Prezton looked stunned. His first chance to use the duress and he failed. He turned away from her and went back downstairs.

“Son you must understand the responsibilities of being a king,” Barnes said as Amble rolled his eyes.

“I know how to be responsible. You just never give me the chance to do so!” Amble said as his father looked around the room. It was just the two of them. Prezton stood by the opening of the room and didn’t come in.

“Obviously you don’t if you are running around entertaining the humans,” Barnes said as Amble frowned.

“It’s not my fault that I care about people other than myself! You on the other hand only care about the vampires of your kingdom,” he said as Barnes stood up.

“Those people are your loyal subjects!” Barnes shouted as Amble laughed.

“No! They’re your subjects! You only care about them. You don’t care that they kill innocent people. You don’t care that they torture humans,” Amble said as Barnes stared angrily at him.

“How do they torture humans? We are always humane,” Barnes asked as Amble stood up.

“By turning them into vampires! Do you think they want to live forever!?” Amble shouted as Barnes hit him. The force knocked Amble back onto the couch.

“Why wouldn’t you want to live forever!? That’s the best part of being a supernatural like us the ability of immortality!” Barnes shouted lifting his hands.

“Sure! Watching as your non supernatural friends and companions die. Watching the love of your life grow old without you. Watching them have children and build families of their own. Forcing them to die so that they can live for eternity wishing they could hold them in their cold dead arms again. That sounds perfect for someone like me,” Amble shouted pulling a dagger out of his back pants pocket. His father froze.

“Where did you get that diálysi̱ dagger?” he asked slowly as Amble bared his fangs.

“You know where I got it,” Amble said twirling it around in his hand. The diálysi̱ stood for nekros or death which meant a vampire died forever they could not be brought back, they were truly dead. The blade was silver and had a black rim around the edge. The handle was made out of dragon hide making it quite durable. The blade was of the toughest metal and could tear through anything. Anyone. Amble advance on his father who volexed towards the door. Amble was younger so he didn’t move as fast, but he moved fast enough to beat his father to the door.

“Why are you doing this?” Barnes asked as he stopped near the stairs.

“Because...you are not fit to be king. You don’t deserve to rule over the multitudes of vampires who roam the lands,” Amble said lashing out at his father. Barnes took off up the stairs. He rushed into the room where Annabelle was dressing for work. She screamed when they came barging in. She grabbed the towel that was on the bed and covered her body. She had just come out of the shower and the smell of her soap drifted out of the bathroom. Barnes grabbed her quickly and held her neck to the side with all intentions to hurt her. She looked afraid of the situation and looked into Amble’s eyes. He could sense her fear and stared angrily at his father.

“You can’t kill anyone or anything as long as you have a soft heart,” Barnes said tilting Annabelle’s neck even more. It popped normally and she winced when he started twisting it more.

“Stop. You’re scaring her,” Amble said as his father’s expression didn’t change. “She willingly let us stay with her and you’re scaring her,” Amble said again trying to put more emphasis on the word “scare,” he put his hand out wanting his father to release her.

“I’ll let her go, once you put down the dagger,” Barnes said as Amble hesitated. He looked at the tear filled eyes of Annabelle and made a decision. Amble put the dagger on the floor and his father slowly released Annabelle. She was shaking. She was wondering if she had done the wrong thing inviting them in her house. Then she realized.

“I resend your invitations. All of you,” she said as Amble’s eyes grew big. He grabbed the dresser as a force pulled him.

“I wouldn’t hurt you! You know that!” Amble shouted as he was pulled towards the front door. Barnes willingly let the force take him, but Amble fought against it. “Please!” he said as she shook her head. She felt bad kicking him out, but he was not worth getting killed over. Amble grabbed the dagger from the ground as he was dragged out. He got to the door where his father smiled showing his fangs.

Amble’s fangs were bared as he pulled the dagger from behind his back and jabbed it into his father’s heart. A cracking sound could be heard before a gold light erupted from the puncture. Amble pulled the dagger out his father’s blood dripping off it. The smile disappeared as he turned into a bright light and disintegrated into thin air. It splashed up all over Amble’s body. Prezton stared at him this look of fear on his face. He couldn’t believe what had just happened. Did he really see his brother just kill his father?

“Amble! What have you done!?” Prezton screamed as Amble pointed the dagger to Prezton.

“Do not speak to your king in such a tone,” he said slowly as Prezton closed his mouth. Amble put the crown on his head. His father’s black blood dripping down his face. “King Amble Julian. What a fine combination of words,” Amble smiled. Amble looked up to the window and saw Annabelle staring down at them. He had ruined any chances of getting with her for now, but he had an eternity to get her attention again. He kissed his hand and lifted it to her. She sadly turned around and closed the curtain.

____________________________

Amble stabbed the tracer who exploded into watery blood. He stared angrily at the broken frame. He stared at Prezton who stood far away from him. Ever since Amble killed their father, Prezton has always been afraid of his brother, hoping that he didn’t kill him too. Amble lifted the blade to his shirt and wiped the blood from it. He placed it back in the cabinet with the others.

“Prezton, prepare the maze. We have company. Bartholomew never disappoints,” Amble said as he looked at the surveillance camera. Amble moved his mouth close to a walkie talkie “No one is to kill them. I want that done when the time is right,” he said staring at Axel, Taurus, Shark, Faustin, and Charlie who standing at the main opening. “Oh if this isn’t lovely. Axel and Taurus Azera. Those sneaky bastards,” Amble said pushing a button. The hatch where they were standing opened. Axel looked a little suspicious about going down there. Before they had left, Axel had called in a friend who owned military grade weapons. He had equipped them with SMG assault rifles grenades, and flash bombs.

“Well if we are going to put an end to this...we might as well go down,” Axel said walking away from the hatch. Amble watched them intently as Axel grabbed the guns from the truck they came in. “If you want to turn back, now would be the opportune time,” Axel said as they all shook their heads.

“Charlie you should go home,” Faustin said looking at Charlie who shook his head. He grabbed a gun.

“How do you suppose he get home Faustin?” Shark asked as Charlie stared at his father.

“Why? I want to help,” he said as Faustin shook his head.

“I don’t want you going up against these villains,” Faustin said as Shark laughed.

“Yeah Taurus is gonna kill us all,” Shark chuckled as Taurus looked at him.

“What about you? You’re a felon as well,” Taurus said dead serious.

“Hey watch it. I was only joking,” Shark said angrily. He turned his attention to Faustin. “You need to let him out more. You’re so overprotective,” he said as Faustin stared at him.

“Shut up will you?” he grumbled as Taurus strapped a utility type belt around his waist. It had various grenades in it. He handed a silver one to Charlie that had flash bombs in it. Charlie smiled as he wrapped it around his waist. He looked at his father who had a sad look on his face. He was upset that Charlie was willing to die for causes he didn’t know about. Axel went back to the hatch after they were all geared up.

“OK so here’s the plan, stick together. You can go in easily but you won’t get out well. Vampira is directly above the underworld. Probably about 12 feet above it. There’s a stair case that leads all the way down to the bottom. There aren’t any pathways until you get to the bottom. You need to stay on your toes because there are all kinds of crap down there. I don’t want anyone getting separated to go take on the enemy because you have no idea what you’re up against,” Axel explained as Shark crossed his arms.

“You make it sound like you’ve been down there before,” Shark said as Axel nodded.

“Our father was the Superior of the royal guard for a time and he always took Taurus and me down there for training,” Axel explained as Taurus smiled remembering fond memories.

“How do you know this Amble Julian guy?” Shark asked as Axel sighed.

“He and I are about the same age. I didn’t like what was happening to the country so I alerted the LVO about it. They came and did more than I expected. Maximus LoganView did more than I thought. He had the LVO completely destroy Vampira. I thought he was just going to hunt down Barnes and the princes and kill them, but he didn’t. He killed our parents. From what I heard, Amble killed the king to make himself the king so he could do as he pleases. I will put a stop to him,” Axel said.

They went down the stairs and made it to the bottom floor. Pillars had been brought up and it was dark. Axel pushed a button on the side of his gun and an FID light turned on. Axel motioned for the rest of the group to turn theirs on as well. They walked by and Axel stopped as a figure volexed in front of the light. Multiple figures kept going within the light and Axel hesitated before he shot. He got a vampire square in the leg and he fell to the ground screeching.

“Amble! Come out you filthy animal!” Axel screamed. Amble hung upside down on the wall.

“Watch your mouth baby vampire,” he said looking at Axel who shined his gun light in Amble’s face. He squinted and smiled, extending his fangs. He dropped to the floor and landed flat on his feet. He looked all geared up for battle. He wore his usual black trench coat but the sleeves had been cut off. He wore it open revealing his abs. He also wore holey, black, skinny jeans with chains and black Velcro combat boots. Axel stood in front of him, face twisted with rage. Amble advanced on him. Shark cocked his gun. “Backup?” Amble smiled lifting his hands.

“Friends,” Axel commented as Amble laughed. Charlie held his gun up to shoot. Shark released a round of silver bullets into Amble as he laughed. Amble stopped laughing and looked at Shark who frowned. The bullets pushed out of Amble’s skin. Amble flicked his hand and the spotlights on their guns broke. They stood in darkness. Axel looked around having a vampire’s vision compared to the other three. Charlie stood close to Shark. They turned in circles unsure of where the enemy lurked. Amble laughed menacingly. Charlie turned around quickly and fired wildly. He had never shot a gun before so it went straight up. The laughter continued.

“It’s funny. I remember you Axel and Taurus Azera when they took our beloved home. I remember the look in my human companion’s eyes when they shot her without warning. I’ll always remember a sneaky little bastard like you calling in those pathetic worms to try and take me down. In the process, you bit off more than you could chew and now you have to deal with me,” he said angrily as Charlie shot again this time with more of an aim. Shark grabbed his arm and he stopped firing.

“Don’t waste your bullets,” Shark said as Charlie looked at him and nodded. “Go back up to the surface,” he continued as Faustin hit him behind the head.

“You aren’t sending my son up alone,” Faustin said as Shark shot a figure behind him. He had replaced the bullets in his gun with wood. The bullet hit a vampire and he exploded into a bloody pool. Faustin turned around and shot randomly.

“I see where your son gets his shot,” Shark laughed as Faustin huffed.

“Shut up,” Faustin snapped shooting again. “I see the opening!” Faustin shouted pointing to the manhole. They climbed the ladder wanting to see the moon and stars only to be disappointed. Stars and a moon had been pasted to the ceiling.

“So you thought this was the way out?” Amble chuckled as Charlie looked down the dark hole, hoping there were no vampires following. “All I wanted to do was talk out a legitimate plan for your execution. But I’d rather you see my other surprises before that happens. Trust me you’re going to love what I have planned for you and your friends,” Amble said walking back and forth before them. Something grabbed Charlie and he screamed. Faustin ran immediately to him and grabbed Charlie’s arm.

“Something’s got me!” Charlie shouted pointing his gun down. He shot at his foot but the hold wasn’t broken. “It’s got my leg!” he screamed shooting again. A sharp pain went through his leg as the vampire bit down. Charlie shouted as Shark rushed and aimed. He shot above Charlie’s foot and a screech erupted. The vamp let go. Charlie breathed as Shark and Faustin pulled him up. Axel pulled out a tube of blood.

“Drink,” he said as Charlie sipped. His leg stopped bleeding and healed. They followed the fake starlight for a while before they came to an empty opening. Taurus put his hand up halting the procession. Feet slapped along the ground.

“Do you hear that?” Taurus asked as Axel nodded.

“Run,” Axel said as they stared at him. “RUN!” he screamed pushing everyone out of the way as he ran towards the door. A wave of vampires came surging through the tunnel filling up the room.

“Where do we go!?” Taurus shouted as Axel sprinted up the stairs.

“This way!” Axel yelled back. “We need to get to floor DELTA!”

“Do you see this Prez?” Amble asked looking down the black glass dome. “It’s just amazing! Don’t you think Prez?” he asked. He looked up when he got no response. “Prez? Prezton where did you go?” Amble asked looking around. He straightened the length of his trench coat and ran out of the room to another room.

He looked through the dome again. Axel and the group were making their way up the stairs. Axel ran down a corridor and stopped suddenly. Taurus ran into him. Shark and Faustin collided into Taurus and Charlie almost pushed them all over the edge. Shark and Faustin managed to back up but Axel was too far over the edge and Taurus reached and grabbed him by his shirt.

“Pull me up!” Axel growled as Taurus yanked him back. Axel brushed himself off. “God that was close,” he breathed as the ground below him crumbled. Axel waved his arms in a circle trying to catch his balance but ended up falling backwards anyway.

“Axel!” Taurus screamed grabbing Axel’s legs. Axel hung upside down waving his arms about. His flash bombs fell out of his pockets.

“I fucking hate heights!” Axel screamed as Taurus laughed. “What the hell are you laughing for?” Axel shouted as Taurus continued laughing.

“I’m just thinking of how hilarious it would be if I dropped you,” he chuckled as Axel gasped.

“These two are unpredictable,” Shark whispered as Charlie stared at the opening. He saw four figures come into view.

“Dad?” Charlie whispered but Faustin didn’t hear him, his attention was on Axel and Taurus

“Don’t you dare drop me!” Axel shouted as Taurus’ grip loosened.

“OK, I actually can’t hold you. You’re too heavy,” Taurus grunted trying to tighten his grip.

“You’re a goddamn vampire! You’re supposed to be strong!” Axel cried out. “Don’t even joke!” Axel shouted as Taurus groaned.

“If I was joking, I wouldn’t be having this hard of a time holding you,” Taurus hissed trying to grab Axel’s slipping legs. His grip slacked and Axel went falling down into the abyss. “AXEL!” Taurus shouted as Axel hit a pool of water.

“Dad!” Charlie screamed as Faustin finally turned his attention towards Charlie and the advancing figures. Taurus grabbed Shark by the collar and hurled him over the edge.

“WHAT THE HELL!?” Shark yelled as Taurus jumped over as well. Faustin shot at the figures and grabbed Charlie by the waist and jumped into the water.

“Ah. Enjoying a refreshing swim?” Amble asked as the group looked up at him. The figures fell down into the water with them. Faustin fought one while Shark fought another. Charlie swam to the shore and climbed out. He breathed heavily. He pulled a fish off his arm. He looked at it. It looked like an anchovy but with baby fangs. It bit Charlie’s finger and sucked his blood. Charlie stared at it curiously. The fish grew bigger. Charlie screamed and flicked the fish on the ground.

“Get out of the water!” Charlie shouted running to the edge. The water splashed as one of the figures grabbed Axel and pulled him under. Taurus shot at his figure and it screeched. Axel came back up gasping for air. Charlie felt anxious as he saw a wave come up from the east side. It rippled funny. He looked closer and saw the fish in the water. Charlie screamed even more trying to get their attention. The figures pulled Shark, Taurus, Faustin, and Axel underwater. Charlie reached into his belt and pulled out a grenade. He set the timer for 10 seconds before pushing the button. He threw it in the water by the fish’s location. Charlie looked anxiously as the wave of fish drew nearer. The water exploded and the fish disintegrated into mush. The guys still did not come up. The only thing Charlie saw was blood that started to spread out. Charlie got ready to dive in when he saw his uncle’s head pop up. His face was covered in blood. Axel floated to the top and swam to the shore. Shark came out without his shirt on.

“Where the hell’s your shirt?” Axel asked looking at Shark who was wiping the water off his arms.

“You know, it’s weird that when you are trying to survive, you forget about unimportant stuff like clothes,” Shark commented sarcastically wiping his mouth. He vigorously wiped at the blood on his arm but it was sticky and wet.

“Well after the way you bit into those guys, I shouldn’t question you,” Axel said as Faustin and Taurus treaded to the shore. Taurus ripped the little fish off his body.

“Are you enjoying the maze?” Amble asked walking up the stairs. “Don’t worry my friends, there is plenty of fun to be had here. Do you like my tracers?” he continued turning a dial. It grew extremely cold. “They are quite the amazing little vampire fish,” he said walking up to the top of the stairs.

“Charlie take off your clothes,” Faustin said as Charlie looked at him strangely.

“Why?” he asked as Faustin started pulling off his jacket. He pulled off his shirt which was stuck to him. He looked at Charlie who continued to stand there. Faustin pulled off his slacks.

“Just do what you’re told if you want to live,” Taurus growled as Faustin grabbed him one-handedly.

“Watch your tone with my son,” Faustin said as Taurus tsked his teeth.

“Unhand me pink smiley faced boxers,” Taurus grumbled as Faustin let go.

“Why are we getting naked?” Charlie asked removing his East Gate T-shirt.

“These clothes would freeze on us and make moving hard. I know it doesn’t make sense, but then again your father doesn’t make any sense,” Shark said taking off his pants. “Plus we aren’t getting naked, only to your britches,” he said throwing his pants on the ground. Charlie looked around at the men with him feeling a little less embarrassed. Axel stood in his red flamed boxers shaking. Taurus stood in black and white stripped boxers with his arms crossed. Faustin stood in hot pink boxers with a giant red smiley face with yellow hearts for eyes on them. Shark wore light blue briefs with orange fish on them.

“Should we move on before we freeze to death?” Axel asked as Taurus frowned.

“No. I think we should just stand in our boxers, dicks out, and remain motionless,” Taurus said sarcastically.

“I don’t need your playful banter right now,” Axel hissed as they walked along the black corridor.

“How can you see where you’re going?” Faustin asked as he bumped into Taurus. Axel had stopped. He turned his head to the side.

“Everyone move closer together and press yourselves up against the wall,” Axel said backing into Taurus. Axel was pressed against Taurus who was against Faustin who was against Charlie who was against Shark. Faustin stirred uncomfortably.

“Get nice and close gentlemen,” Axel said getting closer to Taurus.

“Dude relax,” Taurus hissed turning his head sideways.

“I am relaxed,” Faustin snapped as Taurus laughed.

“Obviously you aren’t relaxed,” Taurus chuckled.

“I am too!” Faustin hissed.

“No you aren’t because your ding-dong is touching my ass,” Taurus growled as Axel shushed them. A figure walked down the path. He was walking slower than a vampire should. They were covered in enough tracer blood and water that they should go undetected. He walked passed them and stopped. He turned around, touched the wall, and ran his hand along it.

“I can see you there,” he said pointing to Axel. They got off the wall. “I’m not going to hurt you,” he said putting his hands up as Taurus aimed his gun at him.

“Who are you?” Taurus growled as the man breathed.

“My name is Prez. Prezton Julian,” Prezton said lifting his hands. He fixed the lights on their guns. He pushed Taurus’ gun down so the light wasn’t in his face. “It was smart to connect igniter and fairy light into your lights,” Prezton said as the lights shown on his feet. “My brother’s cruel. He...,” Prezton said but stopped suddenly.

“PREZTON!” Amble screamed from the front of the tunnel.

“Run!” Prezton shouted as the guys went rushing down the tunnel.

“Prezton! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?” Amble screamed grabbing him by the hair and shoving him to ground. “I should feed you to the tracers!” he continued snapping his fingers. The lights came on. “You are cheating! And you know how I feel about cheaters!” Amble screamed angrily as Prezton slapped his hands away.

“Why are you doing this!? Torturing these poor men for what? Revenge? You’re no better than our father!” Prezton shouted as Amble punched him in the stomach. He doubled over and gasped.

“I am better than our father! I will tear apart his dream. I will have my own dream. I will bring Vampira to pass. I will have Axel Azera’s head on a platter for what he did,” Amble grunted putting his fingers in his mouth. He let out a silent whistle. Five vampires came bounding down, two of which use to be tracers, Fletcher and Finnegan. They each still had one gill instead of two due to becoming more vampiric. “Run them down,” Amble whispered in vampirish. They looked at each other for a moment. “GO!” Amble screamed as they took off towards the group.

“After them!” Fletcher shouted as the group came to a multi entrance.

“Which way do we go?” Faustin shouted as Axel looked around. “God this is happening again! Shark, make sure you don’t split up this time,” Faustin said reminding Shark of when he got lost in Carverton.

“Shut up,” Shark said as Fletcher came racing around the corner.

“Don’t let them get away!” he screamed as Axel ran down a tunnel. The group was focused on the running vampires and didn’t see him go down.

“Shit! Where did Axel go!?” Taurus shouted as Shark looked around.

“Let’s split up,” Shark said as Taurus shook his head.

“Axel said not to split up,” Taurus said as Charlie shot at the vampires who had started walking.

“That’s the better choice. We’re an easier target if we’re all grouped together,” Charlie shouted running into a different tunnel. Faustin shouted after him as Shark took the advice and ran down a tunnel. Taurus and Faustin shot at the vampires trying to hold them off. It wasn’t working so Taurus left Faustin alone with them. Faustin took the final tunnel and ran. Fletcher stood with a smile on his face.

“Just what we wanted,” he chuckled as Finn talked on a walkie talkie.

“Master Amble, they’ve made it to the gap. Tracers have been placed in the ponds at the end of each except one,” Finn said as Amble walked around the dome looking down as he saw the flash of flashlights going about. Axel walked cautiously listening to the damp darkness. He came to a pool of water and knelt down next to it. He was thirsty and put his hands in the water. He held his hands to his mouth and sipped the water. He looked around to make sure there was nobody coming. When he and Taurus were a part of Vampira, they did extensive training for all kinds of situations especially ones such as these.

____________________________

Taurus come on. You’ve got to work harder,” Axel said dragging his blade along the ground. He was breathing heavily as Taurus came at him. He slid to the side just as the blade sliced his cheek. Taurus screamed clutching his cheek. Axel pushed him to the ground and held the blade at his throat. “You’ve got to get over that pain. If you give them that one moment to attack just because you get hurt or I get hurt, we’ll both die,” Axel said as Taurus hit his sword against Axel’s knocking it out of his face. He stood up and aimed at Axel again.

“Are you two at it again?” Axel’s mother asked as they looked at her. She came and gave Axel a tight embrace. Her black hair gently curled around her back. Her pale skin looked exceptionally lovely today.

“Yes ma’am. We use every opportunity, you know that,” Axel said as she smiled at him. She wiped the blood from his cheek as the wound healed. Her emerald eyes stared at them as she pulled two bowls from her bag. They were small wooden containers with a light brownish-orange plastic lid keeping the contents concealed.

“Then at least use wooden swords. There’s no need in you two hurting each other,” she said handing him the bowl that had homemade soup in it. It was her famous blood stew containing raw beef, human blood, salt, pepper, and bits of carrots. Axel took it from her and handed it to Taurus. He took the second one from her and sat on the stump that was in the middle of their training field.

“Mother if we were attacked, the enemy wouldn’t spare our lives just because we are teenagers. Their swords wouldn’t be made of wood,” Axel said slurping the soup. Taurus chewed the meat that was in the bowl.

“I agree with you mother, why must we use real swords? Why should we be practicing in the first place?” Taurus asked as Axel glared at him.

“You know that there will be anarchy if King Julian doesn’t fix what he’s doing,” Axel snapped as their father came by. He stood with his hand on the hilt of his sword. His red eyes stared from his sons to his wife. He moved his shaggy black hair out of his face and rubbed the chainmail around on his chest.

“Lauren, you shouldn’t be out at this hour. You need to rest,” he said gently placing his hand on her waist. She rubbed the werewolf fur pelt that was on his shoulders and smiled.

“I know, Carter, I was just bringing the boys food,” she said innocently as he rubbed her belly. She was eight months pregnant with her third child. She and her husband, Carter was a pure vampire and the current superior of the vampiric army. Lauren however was a human who had been turned when Carter took her virginity and life years ago. Axel finished the last of his soup and picked up the sword. He twirled it in his hands.

“Father is right mother. I don’t want you out here if something happens,” he said as Taurus handed her the empty bowl. She kissed his cheek.

“Thank you mother,” he said picking up his sword. He aimed it at Axel again and launched at him. He roared as Axel blocked. Axel swung underneath him but Taurus dodged and brought his sword down on Axel’s foot. It sliced through his boot and he winced. Taurus didn’t let that stop him as he brought his sword up and cut Axel across the eye. Taurus screamed and backed away. He clenched his eye shut and looked at Axel. His eye started healing slowly. Axel took blood and drank it to speed up the process.

“Let’s go again,” Axel said as Taurus raised his sword. He got ready to attack but stopped when he heard screaming. He put his sword down and looked around.

“What was that?” Taurus asked as Axel listened. A giant quake shook the ground making them stand unstably. An explosion erupted next to them. Taurus shouted as Axel grabbed a sword holster. He tossed one to Taurus who strapped it around his waist. Axel heard the scream of a woman and froze. Taurus looked at him with fear in his eyes. They thought the same thing.

“Mother!” They both screamed taking off towards the concrete house. The window on the side had been broken and the top part of the roof that was wooden was on fire. Everyone was screaming in a confused panic. Most of the people were trying to protect the young children who didn’t understand what was happening. Axel and Taurus came to where their house stood. They burst through the door to find their father on the ground. Axel grabbed him and pulled him out of the path of a falling plank. Axel coughed getting low to the ground under the smoke.

“Father!?” Axel shouted kneeling beside him. His breathing was slow. He had blood on his chest where he had been stabbed through his chainmail. “Father, please,” Axel pleaded as Carter slowly opened his eyes. “Where is mother?” he asked as Carter looked around. He looked as if he didn’t know where he was. His sword was clenched tightly in his hand. It was covered in blood that Axel hoped was the enemy’s. The wound where he had been stabbed was spreading like a black rash.

“A-Axel,” Carter muttered as tears streamed down Axel’s face. “Take this,” he said handing the sword over. It had an enormous blade and the handle was made of a think dragon hide.

“Father you’ll need this,” Axel said trying to give it back but Carter shook his head.

“I won’t need it where I’m going,” he wheezed. Axel shook his head angrily.

“Don’t talk like that you’re—”

“Axel look out!!” Taurus screamed as a white figure came through the door frame. Taurus swung his sword at him and pushed him back out the door. Axel stood up and grabbed his father by the shoulders. He pulled him into the back of the house to where he could be safe.

“Don’t worry father you’ll be okay,” Axel reassured as Carter put a hand to his cheek.

“You were always such a good boy,” he coughed, blood coming out. “Take this, please,” he said pushing the sword in Axel’s hand. This time Axel took the sword and dropped his next to his father. Axel went outside where Taurus fought against a few of the figures. A gun shot rang through the village as Taurus stopped. He had never heard a sound like it before and looked around for the source. One of the figures held Lauren by her long black hair. She screamed as he yanked her head back.

“Mother!” Taurus shouted as Axel came out. He rushed to where they held a gun to her head.

“Which one of you is the one called Axel Azera?” The figure dressed in white asked as Axel slowly stepped forward. “Thank you for the call on the whereabouts of King Barnes Julian and princes Amble and Prezton Julian,” he said as Axel nodded. His only focus was on his mother as this man held a gun at her head. He moved it to the right side of her chest where her heart remained still. She looked so afraid.

“Yes. I helped you capture him. Please let my mother go,” Axel said calmly as they shot her in the heart with the wooden bullet. “NOO!!” He screamed as he rushed at the man. He shot at Axel getting him in the leg. Taurus screamed as his calf started bleeding. Axel choked back more tears as the men went into the house and found Carter. They dragged him out by his shaggy black hair kicking and screaming. They had ripped off his shirt before bringing him outside. He had the same tattoo on his upper back like Axel with Azera printed in sharp letters. “Superior” was carved underneath it in lowercase letters. They threw Carter into Axel’s arms and he held him tightly. A gun shot rang out and Carter exploded into blood into his son’s arms.

Axel screamed angrily clenching the bloody remains in his hands. His world collapsed as he brought his hands up his chest. Axel looked up to the sky his fangs bared as he screamed again. Taurus came up behind Axel and pulled his arm.

“We need to get out of here!” He said pulling Axel who didn’t budge. “Axel come on!” He continued.

“Burn down the city. Leave no traces. Find the king and the princes and kill them on site,” he said as Axel stared up to him. The blood stained his cheeks.

“Who are you?” Axel asked sadly looking at the bloody pile that was his mother. She was expecting a daughter and Axel was so excited. He continued to hold his father in his arms.

“My name is Maximus LoganView. I seek to end the rule and reign of you vampires. With that, I have created the most secure order in the world. The LoganView Order,” he said lifting his hand. The men aimed guns at Axel and Taurus. The ground shook again knocking them off their feet. Axel took this moment to drop his father’s remains and grab one of the guns from the agents who had fallen. He quickly looked it over not knowing how to use it. He saw a little switch underneath the top and pulled it. It shot him in the foot and he screamed. An agent stood up and Axel aimed the gun at him and pulled the trigger again. Axel killed the agent as another came up behind him. The agent grabbed Axel around the back of the neck, but let go as soon as Taurus’ sword went through his stomach. The tip barely nipped the small of Axel’s back. Taurus and Axel took off towards the back of the village where the woods were. They climbed the trees that they had trained on and watched the agents filter through. They hid silently in the trees not moving a muscle.

“Find them! Do not let them get away!” Maximus shouted looking around as the agents spread out.

“Axel...You need blood,” Taurus whispered as Axel put his hand up silencing him. His injuries were the least of his problems at the moment. Axel motioned at the agent who had gone off on his own. Axel’s best friend, York Templeton, was a blacksmith and made weapons. York had transformed a few of the trees into weapon holders. Axel pulled a throwing knife out of the tree and aimed it at the agent. He threw it and it went straight through his chest. The agent fell silently in the tall grass. Axel and Taurus jumped down and rushed to him.

“Grab his legs,” Axel whispered as Taurus did so. They pulled him towards another weapons tree and pushed him in the hollow spot. They climbed that tree and waited for another. Axel saw the agents retreat out of the forest and back to the village.

“What now?” Taurus asked as Axel thought. His adrenaline was kicking in and it was messing with his thinking process.

“Wait until it’s darker, we’ll blend in just in case they haven’t left. Then we’ll head for the mountains toward grandma and grandpa’s house,” Axel said as Taurus nodded. He slipped into the tree and down to the bottom. “Thank god York had plenty of time to build these passageways,” Axel sighed as he slid next to Taurus. They stood up and looked around the fort. They hadn’t been there in years. Axel looked at the picture of his mother and father that was sitting on a stump. It was their wedding picture the night their mother’s life and virginity was taken by their father. Lauren wore a nice white dress and Carter wore a pitch black suit. Axel held the tears back as he put the picture back.

“Why did you call them here?” Taurus asked as Axel shook his head sadly.

“I don’t know. I found a flyer about this order and it said they took care of supernatural problems. I thought that if I called them, they would kill the king and make... and make things right,” Axel explained as he turned his head quickly. He heard the movement of leaves. He peered through the panel of the tree. York was limping down the path and fell. Axel rushed out and grabbed him. “York! Are you alright?” Axel asked helping his friend back to the trees. York nodded slowly as Axel made a slit across the dead agent’s throat and held it up to York’s mouth. He drank until his wounds healed. “Don’t drink it all. He’s the only one we have,” Axel said as York nodded. York’s tan hair was matted with blood. He clutched a few items to his chest as he breathed heavily. He had been stabbed by a weapon and the wound was not healing.

“What’s happened out there?” Taurus asked as York stared at them. He rubbed his hands along the soil trying to wrap his head around how fast chaos erupted.

“What’s happening!?” Axel asked as Taurus went to guard the panel. York stared blankly. “York!” Axel shouted as York threw dirt in Axel’s face.

“I don’t know Axel! They came out of nowhere!” York screamed as Taurus shushed them. Axel grabbed his sword. An agent stood in the area of the trees.

“You thought that hiding in the woods would save you? Did you actually believe they wouldn’t send more capable people to track you down?” he shouted. He pushed a button on the side of his helmet. The black visor lifted revealing red eyes. He sniffed around and looked at the tree. He had picked up their scent. Taurus moved away from it as the agent came closer. Axel held his blade up. York grabbed Axel’s hand and motioned for him to put the sword away. Axel holstered the sword as the man continued staring intently at the tree. “I can smell you, you know. Your fear is emitting off of you and it smells delicious,” he said sending out a spine tingling howl. He painfully turned into a giant white wolf. A few other wolves showed up. They were also LVO agents, they had the letters branded into their hind legs.

“York, get us to the river. They might lose our trail if we cross it,” Axel said as Taurus grabbed his sword. He put it in the sheath that hung loosely around his waist. Axel had a green bag that he could easily slip in and out of. He ripped off the man’s arms and legs and put them in the bag. They wouldn’t be able to survive off of just animal blood. They rushed through the tunnels and made it to a clear door. Axel saw the fish swimming in front of it. When the tunnels were built, they ran around and under the river.

“Now, when I open this, you have to hold your breath. Did you get everything from the trees? Because they are connected, all the tree forts will flood and everything will be lost,” York said as Axel nodded. He realized that he did not get everything from the forts but there wasn’t time. Taurus came behind Axel and handed him the picture of their parents.

“I wouldn’t be able to function without it,” Taurus said as Axel put the picture in the backpack. Axel kept a firm grip on the sword because it belonged to his father and he did not want the pressure or flow of the water to make him lose it. York pulled open the door and water rushed in. York held on to the handle of the door and used his other hand to hold onto Axel as Axel held on to Taurus. York was a full blooded vampire so he could keep a really strong grip.

He pulled them through the door. Axel kept his eyes shut and just let York pull him. He trusted him that much. When he couldn’t breathe, York started moving faster. The wolves had entered into the fort and got swept away. The force was too great and they weren’t expecting the wave of water and drowned trying to get out. The wolves that had entered the other forts had no idea of the danger they were in. Axel finally opened his eyes and saw the surface. He swam frantically towards it wanting air.

Axel gasped as he got out and swam to the shore. York stood by the side and looked in Taurus’ direction. He saw a dog swim up and turn to a human. York shouted to Taurus and he tried to swim faster. York dove back into the water and made his way to Taurus. He stabbed the man that was trying to drown Taurus. York bared his fangs and bit the man in his jugular. They stopped struggling as York retracted his fangs. He pulled the dead man to the shore. York stood bent over trying to catch his breath. Axel lay on the ground with his hands behind his head. His chest rose and fell quickly. York pulled the man over his shoulders.

“Come on. We can’t wait here. One of them has already found us. We don’t need anymore,” York said running his hands through his hair quickly trying to dry it.

“We don’t need them following a trail either. Won’t his blood drip?” Taurus asked as York shook his head.

“I’ll stop it,” he said as he rubbed his blood all over the man’s neck. The blood stopped running and they kept going. Axel and Taurus hadn’t been this far away from the village before. They never needed to be. After a few miles York stopped.

“When can we take a break man? I’m dying out,” Taurus complained as York pointed to a manhole. They had gone much farther than he had planned for the day and knew that the brothers could use a rest. “Where are we exactly?” Taurus asked as York put his hand to the ground. His tan hair fell in his eyes as he leaned forward. He picked up the dirt and ran it over his nose. He smiled.

“Tempos. Home of the world’s largest supernatural population,” he said as Axel looked at him.

“Why the hell are we here?” he asked as York frowned. He put the dirt down and moved the top off the manhole.

“Because it is a safe haven for people like us. There are 10 different cities and they all support rights for supernaturals. They are all filled with supernaturals. Trust me I’ve been up here before,” York said as they crawled down. They set the man in and York got back out. “First off, you guys haven’t had any water so go get some. There should be a pond down there,” he said pointing to his left as Axel and Taurus climbed out as well. After a short distance, they came to the pond and stood. Axel couldn’t hold the tears back anymore and broke down. Taurus rubbed his back as his brothers blood fell from his eyes.

“Why did they have to do that?” he cried as Taurus shook his head. He didn’t know the answer. “She did nothing wrong! The only person who did anything wrong was the king! Why couldn’t they just kill him and leave the town alone!?” he continued frustrated. Taurus led him closer to the water.

“Drink, you’ll feel better,” Taurus said sticking his head in the water. Axel wanted the pain to go away and pushed his head under. He felt a pair of hands grab his neck. He screamed but it was muffled by the water. He thrashed about until he noticed York had pulled them out.

“What did I tell you!?” he growled and then calmed down when he saw the blood running from Axel’s eyes. He could tell that he had been crying. “When you’re on the run, put your hands to the water and drink. If you put your whole head in, the enemy could kill you. You can’t hear anything and these people are silent killers who work in numbers. Don’t forget that,” York said as Axel nodded.

____________________________

Axel backed away from the water and sat against the wall. He felt caged in and images of his mother and father ran through his head. He could feel their blood on his hands. He shook his head trying to shake them out. He heard the sound of footsteps and turned the light on his gun off. He used the ledges to climb up the walls. He pressed himself against the wall as tightly as he could and waited. Fletcher walked up to the pool of water and looked around.

“Were you really that dumb and went in the water?” he whispered as Axel grabbed a grenade and threw it. Fletcher looked in the direction of the noise and laughed. The bomb exploded. “I guess you were,” he said as he turned to leave. The next thing Axel knew he was on the ground with a foot on his throat. “But I’m not,” Fletcher laughed bearing his fangs. “I heard the pin drop,” he was stronger than Axel thought as Fletcher yanked him up. “You have caused my master much pain,” Fletcher said punching Axel across the face. Axel’s rage that he had pent up for so many years finally came out.

“DO NOT TALK TO ME ABOUT PAIN AND SUFFERING!” he roared swinging his arm. His fist connected with Fletcher’s face knocking off his feet. Fletcher slammed into the wall and fell forward. “You have no right. He has no right to say anything about pain,” Axel shouted unstrapping his gun. He put the barrel in Fletcher’s mouth and released a round of tonic lased bullets. Fletcher screamed as he tried volexing away. Axel grabbed him and bit into his neck. His eyes dilated from the intake of vampire blood. Everything seemed brighter. He felt like he could see better. Fletcher tried healing himself but couldn’t because the tonic was taking quick effects on his body. He couldn’t move. Axel had taken a risk in biting him. Axel left Fletcher there and looked up to the ceiling. He could see a pattern of ledges outlined along the wall that led up to an opening across the room.

“Fletcher...come in Fletcher,” Finnegan asked as Axel picked up the walkie talkie. He held it to his lips. “Answer me Fletcher,” Finn said again as Axel stood still.

“Tell your master, I’m coming,” he said and threw the communicator into the water. Axel jumped up to the ledge he had previously been on. He made his way slowly across the water. He knelt down on his stomach and crawled underneath a thin piece of concrete. The opening was right there. He slid down and grabbed the opening of the door frame to stop himself from falling through. He looked through and saw Charlie walking around. He started running from a few vampires. He shot at them as one of them tackled him to the ground. Axel looked around for a way to help him. He saw an opening and rushed down. Charlie shot wildly at them as one of them bit into his leg. He shouted and kicked in a panic.

“Get...off...my... shoes!” He screamed kicking the vamp in the face until he let go. Axel ran down the side and pushed a vampire out of the way. He fell to the ground below and burst into blood. There were spikes down at the bottom that had killed him. Charlie slipped away from them and continued running away. They volexed in front of him.

“Aww aren’t you a slippery little fairy,” one of the vampires said as Charlie ran into a clear wall. Axel made it down to the bottom and ran into the wall. He slammed his hands on it and tried to break it. He pulled his gun out and shot at the glass, but the bullets bounced back. Charlie was trapped in there. A light shined in Axel’s face as he turned to see Faustin.

“God I thought I’d never find you,” he said as Axel continued banging on the wall. “What’s happening?” Faustin asked as he looked and saw Charlie surrounded. His eyes widened and he screamed. He started slamming on the glass. He couldn’t lose Charlie again. Charlie set a light bomb. It ticked. Axel looked at Faustin as he tried to break in to save his son. The vampires attacked and Charlie shot at them to the best of his abilities. Taurus came out of the blue and started stabbing the vampires with a dagger that he found. The vampires burst on contact with the tip. Charlie was crouched on the ground his hands were up as Taurus came and grabbed him.

“That was a close one huh kid?” he said smiling as a vampire came and grabbed him around the neck. Taurus really should’ve gone to class, he didn’t know how to defend himself from an attack such as this. The vamp clamped his hands together tightening the space between his elbow crevice and Taurus’ Adam’s apple. He pressed his head on Taurus’. Taurus brought his hands up trying to pry the man’s arm off. The vamp leaned back slightly forcing Taurus off balance. Axel grabbed his own throat, his air was being cut off. Charlie’s gun shook in his hands as he raised it to shoot the struggling vampires. “Shoot...him!” Taurus grunted his eyes closing. His grip on the man’s arm was weakening.

“I don’t want to hit you,” Charlie pleaded fearfully. Axel was knelt on the ground now his eyes fluttering as he gagged for air.

“Charlie!” Taurus gasped trying his best to turn so Charlie could have a better view. Charlie closed his eyes and fired. The bullet went straight through the vampires head and he collapsed to the ground. Taurus grabbed his throat and rubbed it. He took the dagger and stabbed the vamp in the heart. “Next time, shoot with your eyes open,” he said walking up to the glass where Faustin and Axel stood. Charlie looked into his father’s eyes and smiled. Charlie could see the relief rush over Faustin’s face.

“Where’s your brother?” Axel asked as Faustin shrugged. Faustin looked down at Charlie’s gun and saw a flashing light. His eyes lit up. He shouted for Charlie to look down but he couldn’t hear him.

“He’s got a light bomb started!” Faustin shouted to Axel who looked down. The power was on the brightest setting. It would have been enough to kill anybody with vampire blood in their body. Axel pointed at Taurus and then pointed away. Taurus didn’t understand. Axel pointed at Charlie and Taurus nodded.

“Charlie,” he said and Axel nodded. He tried to think of the next word. He put his hands over his face trying to symbolize excruciating pain but Taurus didn’t understand. Axel made a wiping motion with his hands wanting to start over. He pointed at Charlie again. “Charlie,” Taurus said again. Axel put his hand in a ball shape and put it to his teeth. He pulled his hand away and threw it. “Grenade,” Taurus said as Axel shook his head vigorously hoping that Taurus understood. Taurus looked at Charlie. “Do you have a grenade?” he asked as Charlie pulled one out. Taurus held it up to the window. Axel shook his head negatively.

“I have flash grenades too,” he said pulling the one that he had started. Taurus looked at it and there were ten seconds to detonation. Taurus ran from him. Charlie thought there was danger and followed him.

“NO! Don’t follow me! That thing’s gonna kill me!” Taurus shouted running around the corner. The light exploded and Taurus waited for it to be gone before he came out. He stood up and went back to the window. Axel had run behind something and waited for the light to vanish before he came out.

“We need to regroup. We don’t want Shark just wandering around,” Axel said making a motion to Taurus. He made the motion for a fish and Taurus nodded.

“They want to find your uncle,” Taurus told Charlie as they both picked up their guns. They tried to make their way to the opening. Where was Shark at?

____________________________

Shark was covered in blood shaking in his boxers. He made his way up the stairs and stopped. He ran into a female vampire and got ready to shoot her when she put her hands up defensively. Shark knew that when the hands were open, the person didn’t want to fight. He aimed his gun down lower and she put her hands down.

“Why don’t you attack?” he asked and she shrugged. She still didn’t know how to talk like the others. “You don’t attack me, I won’t attack you,” he said as she nodded in agreement. She walked away and turned to watch Shark slowly make his way down the path. He didn’t know where the group was. Shark walked around after leaving the female vampire. He was surprised that she hadn’t tried to kill him. Shark continued on not running into many enemies.

He walked by an open passageway and heard a noise that made him stop. It was a woman moaning. Shark made nothing of it until he heard the deep disgruntling sound of a man. Shark turned off the light on his gun and peered around the corner. He saw two vampires having sex and turned back quickly. They were moving at such a high speed it made him sick just thinking about it. Shark kept going hoping not to get their attention, but that probably wasn’t possible

After a long while, he hadn’t run into anymore vamps and started becoming anxious. It was so quiet he could hear the water dripping in the sewer. He came to a pool and scanned it for the little fish they had encountered earlier. When he saw none, Shark waded into the water which went to his torso. It had a gentle current that he felt move along his bare legs. He felt something brush against him and he stopped. He put his face in the water and looked around. There was seaweed floating around on the floor. Shark heard footsteps and submerged his body underwater. It smelt and tasted putrid. He slowly moved around to the wall and let the people pass. Shark poked his head up enough to see who it was. It was Amble, the female vampire, and Prezton. Shark got ready to stand up and shoot when Amble stopped. Shark remained where he was. Amble’s trench coat floated in the water as the chains on his pants gently clinked together.

“Why do you want to help these people, Prez?” Amble asked as Prezton noticed Shark’s presence. Prezton put his hand behind his back and slightly stepped in front of Shark blocking any chance Shark had to shoot Amble.

“Whose bloody side are you on?” Shark thought angrily.

“Why do this to these people? This is just like the fall of Vampira all over again. There isn’t a purpose for eventually killing them,” Prezton said as Amble turned quickly on him.

“They are the reason Vampira fell! That little worm Azera called in that bastard LoganView who destroyed everything!” Amble shouted as Shark quietly moved trying to get a better view of Amble, but Prezton remained in the way.

“Amble they destroyed the whole village! Not just our palace,” Prezton shouted as Amble hit him. Prezton grabbed Amble by the neck. It was very unexpected and Amble pushed him away. Rarely did Prezton act violently. “They killed all those innocent vampires we found loyal! Those boy’s parents were executed in front of their very eyes! The mother was pregnant and the father was the Superior!” Prezton said as Amble turned away from him.

“You think I care about those asshats? I don’t give a damn about those fools. They kidnapped you, tied you up, and almost drained you! And yet you stand here defending them?” Amble said walking away. He motioned for the female to follow and she did. Prezton waited until Amble was gone before going over to Shark.

“You guys need to get out of here,” Prezton said as Shark stood up. How had Prezton noticed him and Amble didn’t? Prezton looked at Shark awkwardly. “Where are your clothes?” he asked as Shark shook the water out of his hair.

“It doesn’t matter,” Shark said as Prezton nodded. Shark took into account what had happened and put his gun over his shoulder. “Did Axel and them really tie you up and have you drained?” he asked as Prezton shook his head.

“No. I was taken by humans. It was after the LVO had killed Amble’s lover. I got caught up with the wrong crowd and ended up nearly dying,” he said as Shark started walking down the pipe.

“So his issue is really with the LVO right? I know what that crap is like,” Shark said as Prezton followed him.

“It’s with the humans who tied me up, the LVO, and the Azera family. It started with Axel and Taurus, then the LVO got involved, which led to the death of the woman he loved,” Prezton explained.

____________________________

Why don’t they think I’m doing a good job? I’ve given these selfish idiots all that they could ever want,” Barnes said pacing in front of Amble and Prezton. Barnes wore a long, deep-red royal robe. His right hand was sticking out from underneath it. Underneath that he wore black slacks, a dark grey shirt and a gold necklace. His crown was gold with a fleur de lis design. Two rows of fangs were placed along the band of the crown that stuck out like spikes. There were two rows of royalty within those fangs from the deceased kings and queens of Vampira. Amble sat by the stone wall with a chess set and kept rocking the king back and forth. He took the knight which was close to the king and rammed the pieces together. “Amble! Stop messing around!” Barnes shouted as Amble flung the pieces on the ground childishly.

“What would you have me do father? Just sit here and watch you panic over a small situation?” Amble asked angrily as Barnes approached him.

“I will not have you speak to me in such a way,” he said raising his hand to hit Amble. Prezton piped up.

“Father have you thought of all options to improve the situation?” Prezton asked as Barnes lowered his hand.

“Of course he hasn’t. He never does,” Amble said under his breath. Barnes raised his hand again and smacked Amble across the face. Amble flipped the table he was sitting at over his fangs bared. He stared angrily at his father.

“Amble, stop it,” Prezton said as Amble glared at him. Barnes went back to the window and stroked his grey beard. He looked down at one of the boys running in the street. He watched them run into the arms of their mother who kissed their fuzzy heads before sending them on their way.

The way Vampira was set up was intriguing. From the main gate, the castle was on the left looming over the houses and shops on the right. The castle was very Viking and renaissance oriented. The shops were located on the bottom of the two story buildings. The citizens’ houses were on top. Houses for the lower class were made with whatever materials were available cheaply and locally. The soldier’s houses were made of concrete like the castle to symbolize their authority. Red brick was more common in the city but as the houses got closer to the mountainous region they start looking like mud and straw made shacks.

“Tell them what they want to hear, not what they need to know,” Barnes said watching the two little boys. Barnes was not fond of the parents turning their children so early because they were useless to him. They had toy wooden swords in their hands and were hitting them against each other.

“I got you first!” One shouted knocking the other boy to the ground. A blonde man came up behind them.

“Be careful guys, don’t hurt yourselves,” he smiled as they smiled back at him. He went into the Templeton and Sons shop. Vampira was well known for genetically creating vampires. It is physically impossible for them to have children so they would take DNA from both parents, mix it with black blood, and create a mixed clone of the parents. They would start out as humans and when the parents thought they were old enough, they would turn them themselves to keep the family bond. In some cases, when there’d be twins, they would be blood bonded.

“But father, why lie to them instead of just telling them the truth?” Prezton said as Amble laughed.

“They don’t give a shit about the truth. They only want to hear what will make their lives improve. As long as their families and jobs are suitable, they don’t care if the place is falling apart,” Amble said rocking the king on the board again. When he played chess, he always pictured the king as his father and always wanted to win so he could knock it over. Prezton ignored his comment and looked out the window. He saw a group of white coated figures walking up the main path. They did not look friendly. The merchants and citizens on the street moved out of their way and watched them pass. There were enough of them to make a white line down the main road. One of the guards came into the room and looked around. There were seven guards around.

“My Lord, there is a commotion on the streets,” he said as Barnes nodded.

“I am aware of that, Commander Sierra,” he said continuing to look out the window.

“Ladies and Gentlemen! I require your attention! I am looking for the king of this land,” said the man as the citizens didn’t move. They looked confused. “Does anyone know where I may find the king?” he asked as the citizens remained where they were. A scruffy teenage boy was walking up the path and was grabbed by one the figures. They carried him to the front where the man was asking questions. The man held a gun to the boy’s chest on the right side. The citizens were advanced but they had never seen an object like the one that was held to the teen. The man shot him and he exploded. A few women screamed as the line of white figures pulled out guns of their own. Most of the citizens had their fangs bared. “Now, I’m going to ask again. Where can I find the king of this retched land?” he asked as a few people pointed up. He turned around and looked at Barnes who stared down at the white jacketed man.

“Who are you sir and why are you killing my people?” Barnes asked. The guards were prepared to take the king and princes away from the situation in case something arose.

“My name is Maximus LoganView and this is my order,” he said motioning to the line of white. “I received a tip from an Axel Azera, that you were not treating the people of your land fairly and that you were holding back finances and other things from them,” Maximus explained as a few of the citizens murmured.

It was easy to tell who worked for the king and who didn’t. The soldiers wore werewolf fur pelts on their shoulders along with chain mail on their chests. Underneath that was a black

V-neck shirt made from strong cotton. Each soldier had a sword or knife on them for added protection. They wore black cargo type pants and grey combat boots. The peasants wore raggedy tan and brown clothes. Some of the women wore bandanas.

“Yes it’s true. I used the taxes and funds of the people for my own benefit. I did not realize that this upset people because frankly I don’t give a damn. I am the king and I can do as I please,” Barnes said.

“That sounds absolutely childish sir. You are not fit to be king nor are you fit to continue living,” Maximus said as the citizens cheered. They finally had someone to stand up for their rights. Truly, none of you are fit to continue living,” he said as he raised his hands. The cheering stopped. “Kill them all,” he said as gun shots rang throughout the streets. Vampires volexed everywhere they could to get away from the shots. A few of the agents had Molotov’s and threw them at the carts and shops that lined the street setting them ablaze. The guards had taken the royal family out through the underground passageway and away from Vampira.

Prezton felt his stomach lurch when he heard the screams of men, women, and children as they ran underneath the carnage. They had come to a stop for them to catch their breath. Amble was quietly talking with the guards as his father paced back and forth. Prezton looked up through the grate that was in the ground. He saw Axel and Taurus stare down at their mother as she was shot. Prezton closed his eyes quickly as he heard them shout in fury. They took off towards the woods. The guards suggested that they keep going.

“Well well. I wonder where they went,” Maximus said coming out of the castle. “They think I’m a fool. Flush them out,” Maximus said as they filled the underground passageway with water. Amble volexed in front of one of the guards tripping him up and he was instantly swallowed by the rushing water. They made it out the top of the manhole and stood in the middle of the street. Amble looked around. Only he, Prezton, and their father made it out alive. The guards had all drowned. Amble walked over to a sign.

“Father, where are we?” Prezton asked as Amble put his hand up to the sign. He ran his hand along it. The city was quiet and the street lights were on. A couple was walking down the street and Amble stared at them intently after removing his hand from the sign.

“Welcome to Vacoma,” Amble read as Barnes pulled the top off the manhole. The water had died down to where it only covered their feet.

“We need to go to ground. The sun will be up soon,” Barnes said as Amble followed him down the ladder.

____________________________

So what you’re trying to tell me is that Axel and Taurus are innocent?” Shark asked as Prezton nodded.

“Amble’s grudge is mainly with the LVO, but because Axel called them in, is why he wants them dead,” Prezton said and stopped walking. He heard something that Shark didn’t. He grabbed Shark and pushed him under the water. Shark thought that Prezton was trying to drown him and started fighting back but Prezton was strong. One of the newer tracers came down the pipe and saw Prezton struggling in the water. When Shark noticed an extra pair of legs, he stopped fighting.

“Master Prezton, Lord Amble is looking for you,” he said looking down in the water. The water was a deep bluish-green and with the dim lighting, it was hard to see through the thickness. Prezton let Shark go and followed the vamp down the pipe. Shark slowly brought his head up and looked around. He was alone once again. He needed to find the others and get out of this hell hole.

____________________________

Taurus and Charlie walked along the paths until they came to a fork. Taurus shined his light down both pathways. He looked at Charlie who shrugged.

“Let’s go right,” Charlie said as Taurus led the way. They walked in silence for a while before Taurus stopped.

“You smell that?” he asked as Charlie shook his head.

“I’m only a fairy ler, my sense of smell isn’t that great,” Charlie grunted under his breath. Taurus snapped his head around. He stared at Charlie who became intimidated.

“Are you wearing cologne?” Taurus asked as Charlie lifted his arm.

“No, not that I know of anyway,” Charlie said as Taurus sniffed him uncomfortably. It wasn’t him. The smell was coming from somewhere. It was a light coating of Oceania mixed with a masculine aroma. Taurus kept sniffing as they walked down the path wanting to find the source of the smell. He stopped again and inhaled. It was much stronger now. They must be getting close. He went to someone who was standing still. Taurus aimed his gun at the head of the figure. He slowly approached and poked the head. The figure turned around.

“What the hell are you poking me for?” Faustin asked as Charlie ran up and embraced him. He had never felt so happy to see his father. Axel came out of the shadows pulling up his boxers.

“The hell were you doing back there?” Taurus asked as Axel stared at him.

“It’s called peeing,” Axel said grabbing his gun again. “How did you find us?” Axel asked as Taurus pointed at Faustin.

“This guy is wearing too much cologne. I got a small whiff but as I got closer, it was unbearable,” Taurus laughed as Faustin glared at him. Faustin looked around and noticed Shark was with them. The tunnel he was in led to an open room where Faustin and Axel were. Shark, Taurus, and Charlie just happened to come to the same place at the same time. Luck was on their side now. Faustin hugged Shark as they looked around. The group was back together now.

“We didn’t even run into any vampires. Something’s not right. When we came in here they were all over the place and now you’d be lucky to find one,” Shark said as Charlie reloaded his gun. They headed north with Axel leading the way and Taurus picking up the rear.

“What is Amble’s beef with you guys anyway?” Faustin asked trying to break the silence. Axel stopped and turned around.

“We’ve been over this already. I called in the LVO to end their reign and they killed our parents,” Axel said angrily turning forward and continuing on. Faustin wasn’t buying it, Axel was hiding something from them and he wanted to know what was up. Faustin got ready to say something but Axel shushed him. “Do you hear that?” he asked as they all aimed their guns at the source of the sound.

“Oh my god I’m so hungry,” a vampire said as a girl grabbed his hand.

“Well I could feed you,” she said as he smiled and kissed her head.

“If you don’t mind,” he laughed as another vampire came into view.

“No. We can’t keep drinking from her. She’s gonna die if we keep feeding like this. Let’s just go up top and feed,” he said as the girl sighed. No brew for her now. Axel stepped ahead and turned the FID light on startling the three people.

“Blair?” Axel asked as the girl gasped.

“Mr. Axel,” Blair said stepping back up against one of the vampires until her back hit his chest. He sensed the tension in her body and dropped fang ready to protect her. Axel stared at Blair as she stood in front of her vampire friends. The world seemed to slow down as he watched her.

“What are you doing here?” Axel asked putting his gun in a neutral position. She made sure not to stare directly into his eyes.

“I could ask you the same thing,” she said as Axel frowned.

“You can ask it of me but my response is more valid than yours,” he grumbled as Blair put her hands on her hips.

“I thought you wanted me to be happy?” she whined as Axel continued to stare. He turned his glance slightly to Taurus who had his arms crossed, disapproval written all over his face.

“Why do you want to be a bad guy? Have you any idea who these vampires work for?” Axel asked as she smiled. She had cut her hair and by the look of her neck she was their blood bag. A blood bag was someone who willingly gave blood to vampires for the thrill of getting brew in their system. How had she done that so fast? It seems like they had just dropped her off at her friend’s house. Unless...that friend must have been one of these vampires. Her neck was covered in bit marks.

“Because it’s fun. They treat me like a woman while you treat me like child!” She said as the other vampire dropped fang. He approached Blair and pushed the vamp behind her out of the way. He turned her head to the side. Axel’s eyes glowed with rage when he bit into her. Axel released a round of wooden bullets into the vamp. He exploded behind her. Blair screamed as Axel grabbed her.

“Blair! This isn’t you!” He shouted and she tried to rip her arm out of his grip but he held on tightly.

“Let go of me!” She screamed kicking Axel in the stomach. He didn’t budge as an older tracer grabbed Axel and flung him back.

“The lady said she didn’t want to go,” he said as Axel shot him in the face. He also exploded.

“She’s 16. She doesn’t have a say in a matter such as this,” Axel snapped as Blair slit him across the face with the knife in her hand. Taurus still stood arms crossed while his cheek bled. “Blair you are coming with me, even if I have to knock you out,” Axel said grabbing her hands and holding them together. He pulled her towards his chest. Taurus took care of the vampires that stood around until only Blair was left. Faustin and Shark weren’t sure what to do so they just backed them up in case there was any major trouble.

“I don’t want to go with you!” Blair screamed kicking at Axel.

“What’s going on here?” a vampire asked his face heavily shadowed.

“They’re trying to take me from you guys,” Blair shouted as the vampire stepped into the dim lighting.

“Well that would be a dilemma seeing as you are our only source of food right now,” he said.

“Fletcher, don’t let them take me,” Blair whined as Fletcher snapped his fingers. Finnegan, two males and a female appeared at his side. Fletcher managed to drink from one of their human hostages to rid himself of the tonic that Axel gave him.

“They won’t. I will not allow it,” Fletcher said grabbing Charlie by the neck. Faustin shot at him and missed. “You let her go and we’ll let him go,” Fletcher bargained as Axel did not release his grip on Blair.

“No,” Axel said as Faustin came up behind him.

“Axel that is my son,” Faustin said quickly as Axel turned towards him.

“I’m not leaving here without her,” Axel said as Fletcher turned Charlie’s head to the side.

“Release her or I’ll bite him,” Fletcher threatened as Faustin turned his head to Fletcher and Charlie.

“Axel!” Faustin shouted as Fletcher bit into Charlie. Charlie got ready to scream but Fletcher covered his mouth. “Axel please!” Faustin pleaded.

“No! She is coming with us!” Axel said as he looked at Charlie. The color started to fade from Charlie’s skin. Fletcher pulled his head back.

“Oh fairy blood is absolutely scrumptious,” he said biting into Charlie again. Charlie had lost enough blood that he couldn’t stand up anymore. Shark rushed and pulled a knife out of his pocket. He lashed out at Fletcher who pulled Charlie in front of the attack. Shark stabbed Charlie and recoiled quickly as Fletcher laughed, kicking Shark back. “Come now, that is not nice,” Fletcher said as he bent down with Charlie. Charlie was only 5’8 whereas Fletcher was 6’1. Charlie’s eyes fluttered as Fletcher continued to drink. Faustin grabbed Axel quickly and tried to pry his hands off of Blair.

“I won’t let my son die!” He roared as Axel pushed him away.

“I’m not letting them turn her into a blood bag!” Axel screamed as Faustin fell down. He stood up and aimed his gun at Axel’s head.

“I’m not afraid to shoot you,” Faustin said angrily as Axel looked at him.

“Shoot me. She will not die here,” Axel said as Faustin shot him. Axel dropped Blair and volexed out of the way. Finnegan caught her before she fell. Axel stopped his attack to Faustin when he saw Blair in Finnegan’s arms. She turned towards him and clutched his shirt.

“You’re OK now,” Finn said bending down kissing her lips.

“I’m a man of my word. Besides I’m full,” Fletcher said releasing Charlie who fell forward on his knees. Fletcher backed away as Faustin rushed forward. He put his hand on Charlie’s wrist and felt the faint pulse. Fletcher watched Finnegan continue to kiss Blair. It was much more passionate than he expected and he cleared his throat. “Finn,” he said and they stopped kissing. There was another matter that needed to be attended to. Finn grabbed Blair’s hand and led her down the tunnel.

“Where are we going?” Blair asked happily as Finn put his arm gently around her neck.

“You’re going to feed me. Plus I can tell you want brew,” Finn said quietly as Blair smiled.

“We’ve led you as far as we are supposed to,” Fletcher said backing up more. He motioned to the other three vampires to follow.

“Why aren’t you killing us?” Shark asked as Fletcher smiled.

“Trust me, I would love to drain you all, but we were ordered not to so playtimes over,” Fletcher smiled disappearing into the darkness of the tunnel. Axel still couldn’t believe what just happened and he approached Faustin who held up his gun.

“Don’t touch me,” he said looking into the hurt eyes of Axel. The pain that he felt was too much to handle. Axel bent down and bit his arm. He put it on Charlie’s mouth. After Charlie was partially rejuvenated they continued moving. They came to a ladder. Axel stared up.

“I’ll go up first and if the coast is clear, I’ll call you up,” they waited as he ascended the ladder. After about two minutes, his head poked out and he flung his hand up. Charlie climbed up followed by Faustin, Shark, and Taurus. They had made it out. Axel had never felt so happy to breathe fresh air. He smiled and looked around. Taurus stood transfixed on a sign. Axel walked up to him and put his hand on Taurus’ shoulder and stared at the sign. The smile on his face disappeared. “Templeton and Son” is what the sign said. Taurus put his hand on the sign and ran his hand down the side. It hung off of rusty chains connected to a wooden post.

“It can’t be,” Axel whispered looking around. He went to a building that had collapsed. “Gifts and Sundries” was etched into the wooden sign. Axel turned and saw a giant castle loom over the building.

“Vampira,” Taurus said quietly as Axel walked further up the path. All the buildings had crumbled or were burned severely. It was so unreal. A figure scampered in front of a door and Axel aimed his gun in that direction. He slowly went inside.

“Who’s in here?” he asked and received no response. He moved the light around and it fell on the face of a child. He was crouched in the corner with a scared look on his face. Axel slowly approached him and the child bared his fangs. Axel stopped and bared his. “It’s alright. Don’t be afraid. I’m not going to hurt you,” he said softly as the child stayed where he was. Axel retracted his fangs. A movement to his left made Axel turn. There was a teenage girl standing next to the wall. “How many of you are there?” he asked as she volexed out of sight. A boy about the age of 17 came into the light of Axel’s gun.

“There’s about 10 of us here,” he said softly. “I am the oldest,” he continued waving his hand around. A few other children came out of the shadows. Axel slowly walked out of the house and into the street. The teens and children followed him. Taurus got ready to shoot when Axel raised his hand.

“Don’t. They won’t harm us,” he said as Taurus lowered his gun. Taurus looked closely at the oldest boy.

“You’re York’s brother,” he said as Axel looked at him and then his brain registered.

“You all are survivors?” Axel asked as the boy nodded.

“When the men with white jackets came, we went into the tunnels where they take the royals for emergency measures. We stayed in there and the next thing we knew, there was water flowing down. We quickly dug holes in the ceiling enough for us to fit individually,” he said his voice becoming raspier. “My voice is like this because the water had been lased with a type of poison and when I was helping one of the younger children up, I was swept away and swallowed too much,” he said as Axel looked away. A teenage girl came up and grabbed his hand.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“My name is Axel,” he said not wanting to tell his last name. She could tell he was holding back on that and squeezed the boy’s hand.

“This is Axel Azera. My brother’s best friend,” he said as Axel nodded. “They used to do everything together until...,” his voice trailed off. The words wouldn’t come out.

“No. He’s not dead if that’s what you’re thinking,” Axel said trying not to look like the bad guy. “He helped us escape,” Axel said as blood red tears streamed down the boy’s face.

“At what cost? The lives of our parents?” he cried gripping the girl’s hand.

“We lost our parents too,” Axel said slightly raising his gun because the boy bared his fangs.

“This is your fault. Had you not called in the men with white jackets, our parents would still be here. They would still be able to hold us. We wouldn’t be alone!” He bellowed as Axel put his gun up. The boy stopped walking forward. He knew all too well capabilities of that weapon. “Sure we’re advanced, but that doesn’t mean we know everything. When they shot that boy in the chest, we didn’t know what to think,” he said letting go of the girl. One of the children brought out a sword. “I know what those things can do but I am much faster that a bullet,” he said raising up the sword.

“I don’t want to fight you. There’s no sense in meddling in things you know nothing about,” Axel said cocking the gun.

“What are you talking about? I knew exactly what was going on!” He shouted swinging at Axel who volexed out of the way.

“Obviously you don’t. When that LoganView man called out the king on his wrong doings, everyone cheered. That’s all that was supposed to happen. When he chose to kill those standing around, that’s when he went too far. The whole reason for calling them in was to start an uprising and bring the fall of the king,” Axel explained as the boy swung again. He refused to listen.

“We didn’t need your help! Some of us liked how our lives were. We had each other’s backs. I haven’t seen my brother since he ran away with you guys,” he screeched as Axel shot at the boy’s foot. He screamed and dropped the sword. Axel held the gun to the boy’s throat. “Don’t shoot me. Please,” he pleaded as Axel pulled it away. He had no intents of murder.

“You don’t listen to reason!” Axel shouted looking into the boy’s frightened eyes. “I swear I am telling you the truth about York,” Axel said holstering the gun.

“Riley...what are we supposed to do?” the girl asked as Riley clenched his bleeding foot. The bullet pushed out and his foot healed. A few of the children huddled around the girl’s legs looking at Axel frightened. Riley looked from her to Axel.

“Do you know the whereabouts of my brother?” he asked as Axel nodded.

“He’s in BridgePort, Tempos,” Axel said crossing his arms.

“Amongst the humans?” Riley asked disgustedly.

“When we fled, that’s where he took us,” Axel said letting Riley stand.

________________________

York, Axel and Taurus walked down the streets of Vacoma. There was some sort of celebration happening because there were people dancing in the street. People were entering and leaving multiple houses with food and drinks. A giant stereo stood beside a stage that was in the middle of the street. They walked past the partying people to a quitter part of the neighborhood. He led them up to a light beige house. The roof was a deep chocolate brown with white shutters. York’s friend lived in Vacoma at the time. York held his hand up to have them stop running. He looked across the street to make sure nobody was around.

“Wait until I signal for you,” York said raking a hand through his tan hair. His ocean blue eyes glistened in the moonlight. He went up to the house and lightly knocked on the door. The light came on a few seconds later and he squinted. A woman about 5’3 answered the door. Her red hair was in a messy bun. Her blue-green eyes stared into York’s. She was much smaller than York and straightened out her grey spaghetti strap tank top.

Axel and Taurus hid in the bushes making sure they were completely hidden. The girl wrapped her arms around York’s neck happily and kissed him multiple times. York looked over in their direction and then back to her. Axel couldn’t make out what he was saying. York started pointing at them and talking to her. She leaned to the left of him to see who he was pointing at.

“They just destroyed our village. We need a place to lay low for a little bit,” York said as she grabbed his hand.

“I’m sure my mom won’t mind,” she said as he kissed her neck. She buried her hands in his hair as York dropped fang. He pulled away a smile on his face showing her his white teeth.

“Ah Amanda what would I do without you?” he asked as she smiled. York waved his hand toward himself motioning for Axel and Taurus to come. They came out of the shadows and approached the house. Amanda stared them over. They were covered in water and their shirts were ragged. The full extent of their pants was covered in mud.

“Axel, Taurus this is my girlfriend, Amanda,” York said introducing them.

“She’s...a human?” Axel asked a hint of disgust in his voice as York stared at him.

“Yes, she’s a human. Do you have a problem with that?” York said defensively as Axel shook his head.

“No... I just didn’t think you were into humans that way,” Axel said as Amanda squeezed York’s hand trying to calm him down.

“C’mon in guys,” she said welcoming them into her house. The inside of the house was decorated nicely. The walls were a gentle yellow with a deep green trim at the bottom. Axel and Taurus stood in the door way soaking wet. “What size are you guys? I have extras of York’s clothes you can borrow,” Amanda asked walking upstairs. York took off his shirt and rubbed it around his head to dry his hair. He took off his black shoes and wrung the socks out on the porch.

“Do you have any extra underwear babe?” York asked unbuttoning his pants. Amanda came down the stairs with two pairs of black shorts and two red t-shirts. She handed them to Axel and Taurus who stood barefooted.

“There should be some in the drawer, upstairs in my room,” Amanda said as York went up the stairs. Amanda showed Axel and Taurus to a guest bedroom. “You guys can stay here. I promise that it’s completely safe for vampires,” she said pulling her red hair out of its ponytail. She shut the door to let Axel and Taurus change. She crossed the hall to her room to find York putting on his boxers.

“Thanks so much,” he said hugging her. She missed his cold touch and the smell of his skin. She held him tightly as she felt a small prick to her neck. She let York feed knowing that he was hungry. She tried moving back from him but he was solid.

“York,” she whispered as he pulled away. He had a small trickle of blood that trailed down his lip. She wiped it away and smiled at him. “I missed you,” she said quietly putting her hands around his neck. He pricked his finger and rubbed the blood on her neck sealing the holes. He placed his hands on her waist and kissed her. “If you want to... you’re already halfway there,” she whispered moving her hands to the only piece of clothing he had on. She slipped her hands around the band.

“You’re nowhere near halfway. You’ve got all your clothes on,” York laughed taking her to the bed.

“That can be changed,” she breathed, running her hands through his hair. He lay on her and kissed her neck again. He unbuttoned her pants and slid them off her slender legs.

“Are those the ones I bought you?” York asked looking down at her black lacey underwear.

“Yeah. With your first paycheck,” Amanda said putting her hands underneath the fabric of his black boxers grabbing his butt. York pulled the front of his boxers down and moved her underwear to the side. She gasped when he went in. York grabbed her bottom and held it slightly off the bed. Amanda put her hands on his lower back and gripped.

“York how long—” Axel started but stopped when he saw the two of them in bed. York got off and stood up. Amanda made a noise of disappointment as she pulled her pink boyfriend sweats up. He pulled on a pair of pants and a black tank top before talking to Axel.

“What?” he asked putting his hands on his waist. He sounded angry. Axel didn’t mean to interrupt but it just happened.

“How long do you plan on having us stay here?” Axel asked as York pondered what was supposed to happen. There was nowhere for them to go. Tempos, aside from Chase, was the safest place for them right now.

“Well, seeing as our homes are destroyed, we can technically live here in Tempos. I don’t know how long you guys plan on staying here but I’m staying here with Amanda and her mom,” York said as Amanda got off the bed. She went to the bathroom that was connected to the room.

“We can’t just live out our lives here amongst the humans,” Axel said angrily.

“What do you have against humans? They treat our species much better than our own people do!” York shouted as Axel stared at him.

“York, I understand that you’re getting ass from that girl, but that shouldn’t cloud your judgment of their actions,” Axel said as York’s whole body hardened.

“She is not just a piece of ass. When I came up here the first time, she housed me and kept me safe until I was able to return to Vampira. Humans have so much kindness in their hearts but the only thing people see are the evil deeds that they do. Would a human who knew that I could kill and drain them welcome us into their house? No! She knew the danger and still she helped me. I love her and if you say anything against her again, I won’t think twice about hurting you,” York threatened pushing Axel out the door and slammed it in his face. Taurus heard the argument and slightly opened the door.

“You alright?” Taurus asked as Axel shook his head. He looked at the shade that was drawn down. The sun peaked from underneath it. It was going down slowly.

“We’re leaving tonight. We need to find our way back to Vampira to see if there are any other survivors,” Axel said as Taurus nodded. “This world is weird. Different types of electronics and machinery. God I feel like an outsider,” he said as Taurus looked at him.

“Why don’t we stay here? We have no home to go to Axel. No family. No friends except York. What are we supposed to do?” Taurus asked as Axel looked at him.

“You think we should just stay here and everything will become peachy?” Axel asked angrily as Taurus stared at him.

“I don’t know. I’m not saying everything will be normal, but we can try and start over,” Taurus said trying to comfort Axel and that’s when it happened. York came crashing through the door. It startled the two of them and they both dropped fang automatically. York stood up quickly as a man in a white jacket tackled him down. Axel yelled as one of the agents came busting through the window. Taurus was standing close to it and covered his head as the glass fell on him. York punched his agent in the face.

“What’s happening?” Axel asked as York threw a knife in Taurus’ direction connecting with the agents face. He slumped to the ground as York huffed.

“We’ve been followed,” York said walking back into Amanda’s room. She was hiding in the closet and when York pulled open the door he received a foot to the face. It caught him off guard and he faltered stumbling to the ground. She looked at him tears in her eyes. He grabbed her and held her to his chest. She sobbed into his shirt as York placed his chin on her head rubbing her back. “It’s OK. You’re safe,” he whispered as her eyes shot open.

“Where’s my mom?” she said as York released her. He started walking to the door and she followed him.

“Don’t let her come down until I say so,” York said as Axel and Taurus stood with Amanda. York slowly made his way down the stairs. The lights were flickering. York made his way to the kitchen and grabbed one of the steak knives and clutched it to his side. He kept walking and stopped when he heard a groaning sound. He walked into the living room and rushed up to Amanda’s mother.

“Denise?” he asked looking over her body. She had a cut on her head and a giant gash on her chest. She looked into York’s blue eyes. “Denise you’re gonna be OK,” he said biting his arm. He held it to her mouth and she drank. York ripped open her blouse and saw the wound wasn’t healing. He dripped his blood on her wound and it still did not heal. She started gasping for air. “Axel!” York shouted as Axel went to the door.

“Yeah?” he yelled back as York clenched his eyes shut.

“Call 9-1-1,” York said as Axel looked at Amanda.

“What’s that?” he asked as Amanda pulled out her cell phone and dialed the police. York put his hands on Denise’s chest and started compressions. He wanted to make sure the blood was still getting to her heart. He gave her a breath and received no response. He did compressions again and gave her a breath. York started to worry because she still wasn’t moving. The police arrived and the EMT’s took over. Amanda came down the stairs and when she saw her mom unresponsive on the ground, covered in blood she screamed. She rushed to her mom and York grabbed her.

“You don’t want to be here right now,” he said as tears streamed down her face. He had to practically drag her up the stairs.

“York what’s wrong with my mom?” Amanda cried as York glared at Axel and Taurus.

“I told you to not let her out,” he growled as Axel looked away from him. York put his hands on Amanda’s shoulders and stared her dead in the eyes. “It’s OK. Your mom just went for a drink with a few of her friends. She turned her phone off because you told her to enjoy herself right?” he asked softly as she shook her head. “I want you to close your eyes and count to ten. When you open them, you’re going to be calm and collect. You will not go downstairs until an hour from now,” he continued as she closed her eyes. York stepped back from her as she opened her eyes and smiled at him.

“So in an hour, can we go eat? My mom’s still out and I’m starving,” Amanda said as York smiled.

“Yeah. I just have to run a few errands first,” York said as Amanda took a towel into the bathroom. “You two, follow me,” York said leaving the room and walking down the stairs. York pulled on his shoes that were drying by the door. They walked across the street and stood away from the police filled house.

“York you used duress!” Axel hissed as York rolled his eyes.

“You guys of all people should know what it’s like to stare a dead parent in the eyes,” York said coldly as Axel crossed his arms. “We need to clean the slate so these guys won’t keep coming back here. If they attack here again, only god knows what will happen,” York said putting his hands in his back pockets. “I’m not sure if the paramedics can revive her or not. If they can, I will duress her to make her forget tonight. If she doesn’t make it, I will duress Amanda to forget it all. I will fill her head with happy memories and an alibi of her mother’s death,” York explained as Axel and Taurus looked at each other uneasily. “You two stay out of trouble. I have an errand to run before Amanda’s duress wears off,”” York said as volexed out of sight down the street.

“Are we still leaving?” Taurus asked as Axel nodded.

“Yes,” Axel replied.

____________________________

Axel explained the whole situation to Riley and they went to the house that York had taken them to when they escaped. It was easy to tell that Vacoma was not like the other towns of Tempos. The town used to be full of joy and life but now, it just felt wrong, like the town itself was full of aggression. Most of the people who used to live in Vacoma died or were killed. There is a musty smell about it, like death and decay itself lingered in the air. Most of the buildings, toward the inner city, are tall skyscrapers and they cast sinister shadows that played tricks on the eyes.

Vacoma is home to the biggest vampire population most of who don’t main stream. Around every corner, it feels as though something evil is waiting to grab people. Unlike Tecumseh, the sun rarely shines in Vacoma. A cold breeze blows by carrying disturbing whispers with them. It’s as though the forces of hell had set up shop here and the ever present sense of inescapable dread fills the heart. The house had a sign in the yard that said the residents had moved to a different location due to the outbreak of vampiric violence. The writing of the location was in Vampirish.

“They’ve gone to Bridgeport,” Axel said looking at Riley. “We don’t need a freaking train going there so I’ll take them to the house, Taurus you stay here with the others,” Axel commanded as Taurus saluted.

“Aye aye captain,” Taurus said as Axel, Riley, and the other vampire children volexed out of sight. “I hope they don’t take forever,” Taurus said as Shark shook his head in agreement. Axel took Riley to the door and knocked. Denise answered and welcomed them in.

“Amanda! You have a visitor!” She shouted up the stairs. Amanda came down the stairs.

“Who?” she asked as she looked Axel. “York! Your friend is back!” Amanda said as York came down in black slacks and a black dress shirt that he was buttoning up. He was headed to his job at Platinum and started putting on his bow tie. Riley stared at York not able to believe that he was still alive.

“Riley?” York asked as Riley approached him and gave him a hug. York held him tightly. “I thought you had died with the others,” York breathed letting him go. He looked at Axel.

“Found him and a few other kids still alive in Vampira,” Axel said moving to the side. The kids rushed to York relieved to see another familiar face such as his. Amanda went to the kitchen and brought back a bag of red chips. She handed them to the girl who looked at it awkwardly.

“They’re blood chips,” York said opening the bag. The aroma of the blood filled the room and all vampires present dropped fang. York licked his lips and ate a chip. “Just like potato chips, but they’re made of human blood and lightly coated with salt,” he said handing the bag back to the girl. She and the other children ate them hungrily.

“Can I leave them here with you guys?” Axel asked wanting to leave before the sun came up. It was a long ways to Pierce Saline since he had to go back to Vacoma to meet with the others.

“Sure. We have plenty of room,” Amanda said as York nodded.

“Thank you,” he said patting Axel on the back.

“What are friends for?” Axel said leaving. The sun could barely be seen but the sky was turning its orange color. They were running out of time. Axel volexed back to where Taurus, Faustin, Shark, and Charlie were waiting outside guns in hand. Shark looked around the small town.

“I need a bloody drink,” Shark said as Axel and Taurus stared at a map.

“Well, the fastest way back to Pierce Saline, is if we volex but I don’t know about you guys,” Axel said as Charlie stared at them.

“Well we could piggyback. You could just carry us. If you don’t mind anyway,” Charlie suggested as Taurus shook his head.

“I’m not going to have you ride me like an animal,” he said quickly as Axel laughed. “Shut up,” Taurus continued as Shark pulled out his phone. Thank god he bought a water proof case otherwise his phone woulda been all kinds of messed up. He texted Xenon and explained her what had happened.

“God Taurus how in the hell do you expect us to get them back home?” Axel asked angrily as Taurus glared at him.

“If you would count, there are two of us and three of them,” Taurus said as Axel looked around realizing the statement.

“Well, I can transform into fairy form and you could carry me that way,” Faustin said scrunching up his face. His head shrunk first and then his arms and legs and then his chest shrunk until he was the size of a pinky. His wings were a dark pink and he hovered above Axel’s hand. “Now there’s two of you and two of them,” Faustin said his voice high pitched. Charlie laughed and grabbed his father by the wings.

“Wow dad you look so funny. I didn’t think you would look so small,” he said holding Faustin by his torso now. He shook him.

“Don’t shake me!” Faustin squealed grabbing his head. He felt nauseous. “Stop gripping me so hard you’re gonna break my ribs,” he continued as Charlie climbed on Axel’s back. Axel kept a tight grip underneath Charlie’s thighs. Charlie kept his hands on Axel’s shoulders and held Faustin in his hand. Axel looked over to Taurus who crossed his arms.

“What?” Axel asked as Taurus tightened his cross.

“I am not carrying him,” Taurus grumbled under his breath as Shark reached his arms out to get on and Taurus slapped his hands away. “Of all the freakin people in the world to carry, I would carry them instead of him,” Taurus shouted as Shark hit him over the back of the head.

“Shark what did I say about hitting the students!?” Faustin squeaked as Shark crossed his arms as well. Charlie climbed down and went over to Taurus. Taurus bent down and let Charlie climb on. Shark climbed onto Axel’s back and they volexed to Pierce Saline.

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