Bohdan, Cara and Ashley caught up with Rancid and Isaac in the tunnel. The vampires had excellent night vision and didn’t require the extra lights, even in total darkness. No one knew for sure how long the tunnel ran, but they figured it would be around three or four miles. At first the tunnel was lined with concrete with tubing and wire bundles running along the ceiling. As they moved on the smooth walls gave way to a broken and crumbling concrete facade and finally to Earth and soil with wood supports that held up the loose ceiling. It looked like the tunnel had never been finished and they didn’t know what they would find at the end.
“Is anyone else getting nervous?” Cara asked.
“We’ll get out, don’t worry,” Bohdan replied.
“I didn’t hear an explosion, do you think the prison is gone?”
“It would be hard to hear anything in here.”
“What if it didn’t blow, they might try to find us.”
“We’ll be long gone before anyone finds the tunnel.”
As they moved along, they noticed tracks forming on the bottom of the tunnel. Small tracks, not like that of a train but that in a mine. Then they saw light up ahead and noticed there was no door, but an opening to the outside world. The closer they got to the light the fresher the air became, and a cool breeze blew by them.
Rancid spoke up, “About fucking time, I was getting tired of walking.”
“What a lazy bastard,” Isaac said in his British accent. He always sounded like an episode of Monty Python. “You could have died back there, you should be happy.”
“I am happy, can’t you tell?”
As they approached the end of the tunnel, they looked out upon a landscape of rolling hills and off in the distance a low lying grassy plain. A short distance away, they saw two cabins with cattle and horses, and men that seemed to be working on horseback. The scene reminded Bohdan of past times when he was younger, working as a slave trader.
“What’s this place?” Rancid asked.
“Looks like an abandoned mine,” Bohdan replied.
“Why in the hell would an abandoned mine connect to the prison? And where is the fucking prison? There’s a mountain behind us.”
“It’s not a mountain, more like a large hill. Probably was a gold mine at one time,” Bohdan replied.
“I don’t remember anything like this in Kansas,” Cara said. “I grew up on a farm, but not like this.”
Bohdan scanned the landscape and saw a town off in the distance. “Look, I can see a town over there,” Bohdan said.
Isaac set the box of blood products on the ground and looked for a place to sit. “So now what do we do?”
Rancid looked down at the box and asked, “How long will those bottles last without refrigeration?”
“I don’t know,” Isaac replied.
Cara said, “About a day.”
“That’s not going to last us shit,” Rancid said. “Where are we going to get more blood?”
Bohdan pointed to the town and said, “There, and probably those cabins until we get there.”
That night Bohdan came up with a plan to feed the group. The vampires all drank from the blood supply, but Ashley and Cara had nothing to eat. They needed to get to the cabins and break in. Bohdan’s plan wasn’t elaborate, just to head down the hill and see what they could find at the cabins. The idea of walking up and asking for a handout seemed like a bad idea since the vampires were all wearing orange prison jumpsuits and the women refused to go by themselves.
At around three in the morning, the group of five headed down the hill and walked the mile and a half to the cabins keeping as quiet as they could. Any stray dog would alert on them to the people in the cabins, so they had to be very careful. As they got closer it seemed impossible for them to find anything useful. Anything they needed would be inside the cabins, and well-guarded.
“This isn’t going to work,” Rancid whispered. “We need to get some balls and go inside.”
Bohdan replied, “I’m sure they have guns. These guys are ranchers.”
“Guns don’t kill vampires, remember?”
“I know, but they will fuck us up.”
“We can’t live on cattle and sheep. We have to take a human.”
“I realize that, but we can’t barge in. We have to isolate one.”
“And how do you propose to do that?” Rancid asked. “If one comes out, they will all come out.”
“I have an idea,” Bohdan said. “The three men get closer to the cabin. The women can spook the cattle and when they come out to see what’s going on, we pick one and take him out. It’s dark, they won’t see what’s coming and our chances will be better.”
“That might work for us, but that don’t feed the women. If we take one, we have to take them all,” Rancid said. “And we don’t know how many of them there are. Maybe we should set fire to one of the cabins and see who comes out. Kill them all and raid the other cabin for food.”
“Did you bring a lighter?” Bohdan asked.
Rancid knew what Bohdan was getting at and shook his head. He was hungry and pissed. The blood product was just enough to keep a vampire alive, but not much more. It was very nutrition poor. “Fuck it, I’m going inside one of those cabins and killing everyone inside. If you don’t come with me, I’ll do it alone.
“Take Isaac with you,” Bohdan replied.
“You’d like that, I do all the work and you reap all the reward.”
“I had a plan, you didn’t like it. Now it’s your turn.”
Rancid thought for a moment. He really didn’t give a shit about anyone but himself. “Fine, I’ll go. Isaac, you coming with me?”
Isaac replied, “I don’t think I have much choice in the matter. I’m starving to death.”
“Let’s go,” Rancid said and the two stood up and walked towards the closest cabin.
Bohdan, Ashley and Cara stayed close to the ground watching Rancid and Isaac walk towards the cabins in the moonlight. In the distance, they could hear the sounds of cattle and not much else. For the most part it was quiet with only a slight warm breeze.
Cara said, “What do you think will happen?”
Ashley replied, “I think they’ll both get killed.”
“It’s hard to kill a vampire you know.”
“I’ve been in the vampire extermination business for five years. I’m well aware of how hard it is.”
“Have you ever killed a vampire yourself? Or are you just some sort of manager?”
“I started off on the ground floor like everyone else. Yes, I’ve killed many vampires,” Ashley replied.
“Is that legal? I mean, being a vampire isn’t a crime.”
“No, but being a murdering, drug dealing vampire thief is. There are different rules for vampires. They are considered human to an extent, but the laws covering them are far more lenient when it comes to enforcing the law. Probable cause for a vampire is less than for a human. If I think a vampire is committing a crime, I can shoot first and ask questions later. I could never do that with a human. They have rights. Vampires have very limited rights.”
“I thought bullets can’t kill a vampire,” Cara said.
“I shoot first, burn second. Or behead if I have time.”
“Do you carry a saw with you? That sounds absurd.”
Ashley pulled a gadget from her tool belt. It had a handle and a wire that formed a loop and fed back into the handle. “See this? I can slip this over your head, pull the trigger and it will automatically pull tight enough to cut through your neck up to the bone. Once it cinches up to the bone, it then automatically heats up to three hundred degrees and burns the rest of the way through.”
“You’ve used that before?” Cara asked. She was appalled.
“A few times,” Ashley replied.
“So how many vampires have you killed all together?”
Ashley knew the exact number, but she wanted to act like she had to count them up. “Six or seven,” Ashley replied.
“Six or seven?” Cara asked. “Doesn’t that make you a serial killer?”
“I did it for my job, no, I’m not a serial killer.”
“I think it’s really strange that a private company can kill. I thought only the government could do that.”
“You worked for a private prison,” Ashley said.
“I guess you’re right, they are privatizing a lot of things these days.”
“So what do you think Rancid and Isaac are doing right now?” Cara asked.
Bohdan replied, “Getting themselves killed I’d imagine.” Then a gunshot rang out, and another. “See, I told you,” Bohdan said.
After the two shots rang out, it went silent again. Just the sound of the wind on the grass and the soft sounds of the cattle in the pen.
Cara asked, “What should we do?”
Bohdan replied, “We wait.”
Then another shot rang out and the sounds of voices yelling filled the air. It looked like people from one cabin had come over to the other to see what was going on. Bohdan and the women lay on the grass trying to see in the dim moonlight wondering what was happening. Was Rancid and Isaac dead yet? Then it went quiet for a long time. Or what seemed like a long time, it may have been twenty minutes.
“Do you think we should go check on them?” Cara asked. “I haven’t heard anything in a while.”
Then they saw a figure walking towards them in the dark. They could make out it was Rancid, and he was limping, holding his arm. He seemed to be looking around in a daze spying for the three who stayed behind. Then they heard him call out, “Where are you?”
Cara spoke up, “Over here!”
Ashley jabbed her and whispered, “Not so loud!”
Rancid hobbled over to where the three were hiding and found them on the ground. “They’re all dead, you can come now.”
Cara asked, “What about Isaac?”
“He’s shot up pretty bad, but he’s alive.”
“How many of them we’re there?” Bohdan asked.
“I don’t know, five maybe.”
“How did you kill them?”
“I got a gun off one of them, Isaac tore two of them apart.”
“Are you sure you got all of them?” Bohdan asked. “Were there any women?”
Rancid stopped to think. “Yes, I think so. I think we killed all the men.”
Just then, the sounds of more shots rang out.
“You should have killed the women too,” Bohdan said. “I don’t think Isaac is going to make it.”
“You can’t kill a vampire with a gun, you know that!”
“You can if they separate his head from his body, or shoot up his heart so bad it’s no longer a heart. Do you still have the gun?”
“I left it back at the cabin,” Rancid said.
“You dumbass, go get the gun!”
“I can’t, I’ve been shot. You need to go get it.”
Pissed, Bohdan stood up and looked over at the cabin trying to figure out where the women were with the guns. “Fine, I’ll figure something out,” Bohdan said. “Come with me,” he said to Ashley and Cara. “You can stay here for all I care,” he said to Rancid.
Bohdan took off walking towards the cabins with the two women following.
“What are you going to do when you get there?” Cara asked. “They have guns.”
“I know how to take care of women, that’s not a problem. Remember, I’m Bohdan, the Vampire Ripper.”
“You might end up Bohdan, the Vampire dead if you’re not careful.”
“I’ve never met a woman yet I couldn’t tear apart. Don’t worry your pretty little head missy,” Bohdan said. And they continued to march to the cabins.