“The time has come.” The king solemnly advised Slasher and Owen as they entered the bustling throne room. The king was a picture of sophisticated composure and the calm itself within the centre of a storm; the throne room comprised of terrified citizens and determined guards rushing with numerous tasks bestowed upon them to carry out.
“They have advanced quicker than expected.” Slasher voices towards the king, somewhat quizzical and with a hint of anticipation lacing her voice.
“They have received aid from enemy covens and have entered our borders. You will leave soon with the rest of the soldiers; it should take you no more than a day to meet them on the field of battle.” He instructs whilst guiding them with a finger on the large mapped tapestry hanging behind the thrones. “One group will travel the secluded path through the mountain, whilst the other group will travel forwards through the Blood Moon Forest, then both groups will convene on the ruined planes of our ancestors. This strategy is the best to give our soldiers assistance so as to start battle with an advantage, as you will have them covered from all sides. You leave at nightfall.”
“Understood Your Majesty.” They all answer at once as they are dismissed and leave to prepare for the challenge ahead.
As a single cloud in the sky passed over the silvery full moon; it made the glow of the moonlight dance across the meadow of the planes, that was now painted a midnight blue that mirrored the vast night’s clear sky. Spear tips, swords and certain areas of amour sparkled like stars in the light of the moon, as the vast army of the incoming enemy breached the crest of the hill in the near distance. An eerie and apprehensive silence blanketed the battlefield as both opposing armies faced each other preparing for what was to come. Neither side wished to make the first move, but both knew that it was inevitable. The entire field stood perfectly still a number of moments more, until the second group of the king’s army arrived in the meadow, coming from the side of the enemy and beginning to surround them from afar. This movement and new development spurred the enemy into action through fear and the possibility of an impending ambush.
My animal side and predatory instincts activate immediately, as I am instantly filled with a surge of adrenaline. It stirs excitement, apprehension and hunger within me, a need to fight and play my role as well as protect those on my side and destroy those that challenge me. Both armies raced towards each other using their vampire speed, but I kept pace with them and transformed into my wolf form during a long leap into the fray of battle. Both sides met with a deafening crack of bodies and weapons colliding. Their army is larger in number than ours and they are a very strong and formidable force, making the battle long and difficult, but our army is determined and well trained. Both sides of me, my that of vampire and of wolf, enjoy the thrill and taste of my enemies flesh in my mouth and blood down my throat as well as painting my body. The bodies and injuries start to pile up, but thankfully there are far less on our side than theirs. I find myself in a fast and vicious routine of snatch, tear, and throw, with each enemy body that enters into my path or line of sight. I manage to maintain this with conviction and confidence for many hours until I am stopped suddenly in my tracks by a young boy standing before me. He was brandishing a weapon towards me; that was too heavy and large for his small frame, he appeared to be no older than I was after I left the orphanage. The shock of seeing this young boy caused me to unconsciously revert back into my regular hybrid form, and mentally get pulled back into the memories of the recent past.
She had come to the inner conclusion, or rather a side of her had taken control and decided, that she could not return to the society until she had destroyed the ‘home’ that she herself and many others suffered greatly in. She had to ruin those running the establishment and release others that have been held prisoner through violence and slavery.
After a day of running across lands, in both of her forms, she had finally reached her destination. In the close distance, perching upon a hill surrounded by woodland, stood a large rundown manor-like building, that once upon a time she had come to call home. It appeared that over time the building had become more neglected, they had less guards watching the perimeter and the inside of the building housed less people than it used to. Therefore, entering and fighting her way through the building, killing all those in her path, that were enemies, was very simple and easier than she had first assumed. She located and freed many slaves, but sadly there were countless that were beyond saving and even several that had been dead for some time. The situation and environment were far worse than Serena had remembered it ever to be when she had lived there.
She makes her way through the manor and down into the basement, where her final and most important destination resides, the laboratory. She needs to destroy the laboratory and any research and samples she can find, and hopefully destroy the network as well as the building itself in the process. But, as she enters through the doorway leading into the procedure area at the back of the room, she is hit with an agonising heartbreak and fiery rage over the sight present before her. Alice. One of the only friends she had ever had in this life; they had journeyed together from the orphanage to here, but she thought she had lost her. Alice still looks the same as she did before but now she is thinner, more malnourished and littering her pale skin are old bruises and cuts. She is tightly restrained down on an empty metal bed frame; whilst a bucket has been placed on the ground at either side of the bed, her wrists have been cut and blood is slowly letting into them. She can only just hear Alice’s pulse, which means she arrived just in time and she is still alive for now, but it is faint, and she is very weak, any longer and she would not have survived. She quickly but gently released Alice, completed her finalising tasks in the laboratory that she had first travelled there to carry out, She held her protectively, close to her chest, and walked out of the room, with large flames licking at and consuming anything it came into contact with, slithering along as if they were fiery snake-like demons being left in her wake.
As she moved through the manor to leave this retched place behind and in ruins, any guards that she came across were dealt with quickly and irreversibly. Soon her simple vengeful reality was spun onto its head, when she came face to face with a person that was once much like family. A close friend and older brother figure to her and many others.
“William?!” She gasped aloud, more so questioning herself than anyone else. He had grown in build and skill; but, the deep forest green eyes of his that once seemed to glow with life itself, had been reduced to a dull and lifeless murky colour complimented by a cruel and broken gleam within them.
“You are trespassing, thief! Hand over the donor and I will kill you quickly.” He sneered towards me whilst jerking his head at the sleeping Alice in my arms.
“William, it is me, Serena. This is Alice, do you know what they were doing to her?! Why didn’t you stop this and help her?”
“She is just a donor, a blood bag, cattle for the slaughter and consumption of my masters. My job is not to protect it.”
“IT?! This is Alice! Do you not remember her? She is our friend; she was like a sister to us. Please do not do this. Come with us. I can free you all and take you somewhere new, where you can have a home and build a future for yourself.”
“The only thing leaving here is your spirit when I dispose of you.”
“What happened to you William? This is not you; you were never this cruel or heartless. Please do not make me fight you.”
“Your weakness disgusts me. You are a freak and nothing more than property.”
“Very well then. I can see that I lost my friend a long time ago, you are not William, I will miss and mourn him.” She placed Alice gently on the ground behind her and stood to face William. A single tear escaped her closed eyes, as she stood still and took a deep breath to settle herself through the devastation she was experiencing. As she opened her eyes she saw he had launched himself at her with a knife, he was mere centimetres from her when he stabbed her in the stomach with the blade he was holding. It stung and burned where it pushed through her skin and muscle tissue, but she did not flinch. Instead her face and eyes were void of any emotion; as she reached her right hand up towards his chest and plunged her elongated claws in and wrapped her hand around his still beating heart. Time seemed to slow as she looked into his eyes and saw the pain and disbelief there, before she crushed his heart and ripped it from his chest. As his body crumpled to the floor at her feet, she gradually released her hold on the organ and let it gently fall.
~End of flashback~
Slasher returns to the present to see that little time had passed, as she moved her focus back towards the young boy that stood before her, she noticed that he was not surrendering or retreating but raising his weapon towards her. As her focus had been on the shock of seeing this young boy and experiencing a vivid memory, she was not aware of an enemy closing in behind until it was too late. A burning and painful swipe was felt sharply across her back, through her uniform and into the unblemished skin that lay underneath. She roared out in pain, astonished that it had actually broken skin but also continued to burn her after the blade left her wound. She fell to her knees, momentarily stunned, she felt her blood trickle from the wound and trail gently down her spine. As the cowardly soldier returned for a further blow to her whilst she was down, she started to feel the flow of blood start to slow and knew she would heal eventually. She reached behind her and grabbed the hand that swung towards her before it could cause damage. She was furious that this pathetic man had dared to strike her as her back was turned and used a cursed that had caused her such an injury. With a vicious growl she pulled his arms from his sockets and threw them aside. As he fell to the ground with a shocked and terrified look on his face she reached for his throat and pulled his head off his shoulders. She turned back to the boy and decided to give him a cleaner kill, so with pain and regret she closed off her emotions and coldly looked the boy in the eyes as she reached forward and pulled him towards her by the head. She needed to end his life in this moment and quickly, before she couldn’t, so she deftly broke his neck in one swift movement and let his body fall gently to the ground.
Within the week the battle was won, but there were many deserters and scouts that left when the tide of battle had turned. It was assumed that they went to warn and join other armies and covens that were involved in the war. The king’s army, with Slasher at the head with her new general promotion position; travelled across the country, defeating each enemy and army as well as helping every allying coven they came across. The war itself took three long years to win and eradicate the tyranny of cult covens and power-hungry leaders, bringing a more stable society to the vampire world once the dust had settled. Their battles had been reduced to; the individual assassinations of vampire world officials that escaped battle and went into hiding, a couple whom are still at large, and small factions that were not involved in the battle itself but whom were carrying out the barbaric practices of the cults and that were to be outlawed.
“Shall I go and introduce myself Jet?” I asked my lieutenant whom stood to my side at the entrance to a cave, with a mischievous smirk present on my face. He chuckled gently and shook his head in mock disbelief. We made quick work of the pathetic excuse for guards patrolling the entrance to the cave. Inside were our last targets, a cult that manages a human ring, that consists of human breeding, farming and slavery.
We enter the cave as a well organised unit; I lead the main group of our warriors into the heart of the settlement where we separate into teams and tackle different areas, whilst another group of warrior guards the entrances and exits and deals with any escapees. Once all the enemy vampires are dealt with, I lead a small team to investigate the cave systems and to find if there are any survivors or prisoners whilst the others dispose of the bodies and destroy any resources regarding the farm. The deeper we travel into the cave the stronger the smell of death and decay becomes; we discover mass graves and mounds of bodies that have not even been buried amongst those humans that have been left there to die. Amongst the corpses I hear gentle whimpering and sniffling from something living, curled against a wall. As I approach closer it turns to face me and I discover it is a little human girl. She appears to be no older than six or seven years old but appears to have never stepped foot in the sun nor even eaten a nutritious meal all her life. As I look at her I am reminded of myself at that age, lost and alone wandering the woods, with no one to care for me. I believe it to be my wolf side, but I am instantly hit with a need to protect her, to care for her as if she were my own, to make her a member of my pack or coven, even though I do not have either. I crouch down slowly to be at her eye level and try to make my voice as gentle as possible as I ask her, “What is your name little one?”
“Child twenty-six.” She answers quietly but with an inner strength I admire.
“You do not have a name?” She shakes her head in response and looks at the ground in shame. “Well my name is Serena to you.” I tell her as I smile warmly towards the little human before me.
“I like that name.” She squeaks longingly in reply.
“You can start a new life now. Would you like me to give you a name?” She nodded her head eagerly and watched me with her large brightly coloured hazel eyes.
I thought for a moment to myself, I looked around at what she had been born into and had to deal with. But sat in front of me was a little girl with eyes full of light and life, and a soul full of hope despite it all. “What about Hope?”
The little girl thought for a moment, and then turned her teary eyes towards me, to show me the largest smile I have ever seen grace her face. She nodded very enthusiastically and wouldn’t stop smiling at me. “Well then Hope, do you have a family, parents?”
Her face instantly dropped at this question; she looked towards the closest mound of bodies and tears started to roll silently down her cheeks, and she shook her head dejectedly. “I am so sorry this happened to you Hope. I promise you are safe now and I will look after you. Would you like to come and live with me from now on?”
She smiled gently at me and nodded her head as she wiped her tears away with her frail looking hands.