Heart of the Immortal (Book 2)

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Reality is an Opinion

Seven vampires held her down. They broke in on Friday around midnight, smart because half of London was out partying for a futbol game and would not hear the shattering or struggle. It was bound to happen at some point, Kira just didn't know when, but it was not who she expected. She crouched down to Kira's head, which was pressed against the floor, and inspected the streak of white.

'You could have been the strongest of all of us you know, but you refused to throw away the weakness that is your humanity.' She said, disappointed.

Kira used all her might to push, but the amount of force the vampires exerted was too much. As a Demi-human she was no match for any of them, but to attack her in her own home, was not something Syndicate, that Alucard, would do. Catherine stood up and absorbed her self-accomplishment.

'You want to know the best part?' She kicked Kira in the jaw and knocked her out, 'Even when you die, no one will miss you.'

Over and over AND OVER Kira felt her body be sliced and broken; peeled apart from skin, to muscle, and bone with no anesthetic. Every fiber of her being felt only pain and it was not uncommon she passed out by the intensity. Within a lab she was mostly chained to a moving operating table, one that was reinforced with the same metal as AVWs, but with Kira weak from lack of the appropriate substance she could not break them. Catherine took pride in her work, often being the perpetrator of the 'experiments', observing and recording how a half-breed's body reacted to different wounds. She would experiment (torture) Kira for hours, giving her only the bare-minimum of bloods tablets to sustain her healing.

'You know I used to come down to a lab quiet like this often when the chief doctor was there.' Catherine looked around, 'I must say, participating is far more satisfying than watching.'

Kira looked up to her capture in defiance and a hollow chuckle, "You think you can kill me?" The idea Catherine had in her mind as to what she would do to Kira was equality amusing as it was revolting, "Good luck, I've already tried."

Catherine walked to Kira's side, placing her hand on the younger's head and caressing her finger thru her hair gentle, 'I'm not going to kill you Kira.' She said without emotion, 'You are far to valuable to me to kill.'

Kira was only half-conscious and although her body was certainly resilient her mind was of no importance. What mattered were the physical results, results that could be harvested and reproduced to suit Catherine's needs. Of course it would be difficult without the directing doctor, yet not impossible. Kira cannot not fathom how her suffering will help others, how it will help the future of all vampires, nor how long Catherine had waited for this.

With a steel blade a half-breed will heal in less than thirty seconds. With an AVW blade the time varies depending how strong the half-breed is and likely how powerful will also come into play. These experiments were conducted and no matter how loud Kira screamed no one would hear her down here. Catherine did not talk much, only held amusement at how 'resistant' Kira was being. This child did not fathom the sacrifices that it took to get this far, the amount of lives used to reach this result. In a turn of phrase, Catherine often worded these 'failures' as being a necessary loss in order to ensure she would be a success--twisting the manner of her meaning to have Kira think that perhaps these deaths were her fault. The young woman did her best to keep 'possibility' and 'reality' separate, wanting to maintain the line between the two and also maintain her own sanity.

Kira was subject to countless experiments (tortures), variety from burning of her flesh with fire; keeping her trapped in a coffin of ice for hours; trapping her underwater until the bubbles stopped; electrocution; starvation; poisoning and beating. They recorded the tests, highlighting the nature of Kira's healing and the nature of how it was similar and different than any other immortal. The vast difference they found was Kira's healing was far stronger than even an above average vampire--on par, perhaps even surpassing a Pureblood. Why a half-Pureblood, half-human was capable of this healing was a mystery the staff desired to discover. While they had not tested the absolute limits of this healing Catherine came across a idea of how to test her 'strength', but decided it was folly and uncontrollable. She also did not feel like having her arm torn off, or her head for that matter. The fact Kira became a Ghoul once was astonishing, but to even 'attempt' forcing it a second time without understanding how it came about the first was an uncertainty not even Catherine was willing to make.

Days turned into weeks as twenty-four observation kept the hybrid from attempting any means of escape it was additionally for observing any psychological aftermath for whenever the experiments had ceased for the evening. The staff observed a single sentence that occurred without fail every night, but when 'coerced' about it the following morning Kira displayed no signs of remember those words.

"He said..." Kira repeated slowly, "To achieve...warriors...must...forget."

Catherine did not understand who she refereed to, however thru a process of eliminations she managed to narrow the male role models in her life that could influence a response like this, "Forget all they...were...all they will be...know only all they are...until a battle's end. That is...the only means to victory..."

Catherine suspended the day's experiments, explaining to her staff of the subject's delaying reactions who result in contaminated results. In lament's terms Kira would need extra time to recover for her next iteration of experimentation (torture). Satisfied with the knowledge that it would be just the two of them, Catherine organized that Kira would be sat in a chair, remained with the same chains she had not been able to break for a number of weeks.

'I doubt you could understand me at this point, but I thought a longer rest would do you well. I've even decided to show you kindness with a little story.'

"Kindness?" Kira's dry mouth cracked at movement and for a short while she had forgotten what words were. The imprisoned laughed darkly, "Was throwing me away kindness too? Or was that your motherly love?"

Catherine jumped at the bold statement. How did she know that? Every record of her human life was erased, the only person who would even know about that doesn't know Kira's alive. Catherine curled a delighted smile, this may be even more fun; her expressions, her misery at the reason of this torture; the reality of this world.

Alucard wished to have Kira as an ally, but it would not happen because Kira will only submit to the whims of the queen. In all the things they do not share in common, stubbornness was the only one they did. Then of course there is the physical attributes, Catherine's research will help empower the vampire to unimaginable heights, those of which she will use to dominant the world.

'At first I thought having you was a mistake, I couldn't have a human running around with my genes now could I?' The vile woman leaned in, placing her hand to brace herself on Kira's knees, "Of course now that you seem to already know, I can tell you a different story.'

Eighteen years ago Catherine De Sandres of Spain was pregnant with her husband's child. She was eight months along when Alucard came and offered to turn her into a being of the night. Without concern for her unborn child Catherine accepted and just before her change, had the baby girl removed. Alucard hates humans and will not hesitate to kill one, but a child, a baby, is not one he would 'allow' to be used as food for this greedy ex-human. She would not hold the little life, would not look at it, for it was ugly and weak, frail and bothersome.

Kill it, throw it away for all I care, just get it out of my sight.

Catherine growled as the doctor took the newborn, but suddenly she stopped them, ordering for 'it' to be given to a slaver. The rightful place of humans: to live as cattle. For the next seven years Catherine worked with one four-hundred-year-old Syndicate doctor in methods to enhance a vampire's abilities. One after the next the experiments failed resulting mainly in the vampire dying. The research surrounded older techniques after a while, changing the makeup of them into something to suit their needs. Syndicate materials alone would not suffice therefore it was decided that the good doctor would go to the Nation and provide services to the queen as a double agent.

A very interesting event occurred during that time, Catherine received word the child she gave away had been taken by non-other than the Pureblood Queen. The doctor tended to her, but neither she no Catherine held interests otherwise, until the doctor proposed changing the approach of their latest experiment. Instead of vampire DNA why not try human? Their bodies adapt to the venom, as though there is an empty space in their genes which allows them to become vampires.

This human the queen named 'Kira' would be an excellent test subject, of course Catherine was well aware this was her own spawn and that this could kill her--what's it matter? If she dies it means she outlived her usefulness and would not be worth keeping around. The stigma they conjured was an ancient seal, whose use was for controlling vampires who would otherwise go insane; in short it stopped their vampire instincts from running rampant. The doctor mutated the signal with the intent of changing a human's DNA completely vampire.

The theory was that the more human DNA a vampire has the less powerful they are, which is the reason Purebloods are as powerful as they are. The opportunity presented itself after seven more years of observation, the queen had bitten Kira and now turned to the doctor to prevent her change. The doctor admitted she did not understand why the queen fussed about a single human, but nonetheless she showed the queen how to place the stigma and waited. Eona Nightraven had been suspicious of the doctor for the entire duration of her stay, but became gullible into believing the stigma would suppress her venom when in reality it mutated it.

The purpose of the tattoo would be to slowly change the human it was placed on; filling in the open space in the genes then spreading like cancer, which was to mutate every human aspect until becoming the first artificial Pureblood. That was the theory. Over the next three years contact with the doctor decreased until finally there was no word at all. Catherine did not dwell on it too much, but upon meeting Kira, face to face, at the annual Masquerade Ball she understood: the experiment was succeeding.

It wasn't long after that Catherine was made aware of the doctor's betrayal, the foolish woman had actually fallen in love with their Guinea Pig. What delighted Catherine were the enhanced senses Kira received and all the while she thought it was the queen's blood alone doing such. As a human she was able to fight vampires, as a human she could sense danger well before even a noble, and as a human she was daring enough to challenge Catherine's dear husband: the Pureblood King.

The experiment was thought to have ended when the Guinea Pig was killed, but out of death came the reaper--another failure; a Ghoul, a powerful one at that. Who would have thought a human that failed to become a vampire could rip off Alucard's arm. Who would have imagined, that the man who Catherine hoped to surprise, helped revive the Guinea Pig. He helped seal his own fate. Kira and the doctor disappeared not long after, a very large setback because much of the doctors work was destroyed in a fire to her main lab. Fortune smiled because the Association have the one they currently reside in.

'Can you guess the name of the foolish doctor who was my accomplice, who to this day causes your misery?' The vampire asks sweetly.

Catherine noticed Kira was no longer responding and when she lifted her head saw there was a refusal to hear the words in those eyes.

'Our very own Doctor Emily Addy.'

Kira open her eyes to the void. Unlike in times past, she did not find comfort in the darkness only a feeling of nothingness. This place was as familiar as the back of her hand--the people within it were no strangers, but now Kira thought she couldn't recognize one of them. This person was not real, a figment of her imagination, but still she would speak to them.

"Is it true?" She asked bitterly, "Is everything she told me true--answer me Emily!"

Emily bit her tongue, unable to face her sin. The time they spent together wasn't a lie, Kira knew that, Kira believed that. Whatever the reason...the Emily she lived with, she loved was real, but she had to know what Emily thought.

"I wanted to make it so humans and vampires wouldn't have to fight anymore. By combing the two, I wanted for someone to be a bridge between old enemies. Easier said than done I suppose." The vampire answered truthfully.

Kira looked to the person Emily stood behind; a white-haired person sat without moving in the small puddle of water they were in and soon it began to rain.

The doctor did not look behind her, only to the Kira in front of her, "I didn't care who got hurt because it was for the sake of something greater than the lives of a few."

Kira touched her own white hair and breathed, I know you. The rain grew heavier and heavier until it rose to such a level that the three of them were swallowed by it. Despair. This thing that looks like Emily, who talks and sounds like the woman Kira loved is nothing, but a fragment and yet this fragment hurts so much for her beloved to know this ugly truth. The Demi-human clenched her fists and walked forward, Emily has no right to look away, no right not to face the person she damned.

She doesn't regret using those lives to find a solution, nor doing what she did to Kira, as a doctor, its all for progress. Emily's jaw was knocked in; her shoulders grabbed and a knee thrust-ed into her gut. It did not end there, Kira sent Emily to the watery floor and finally kicked her past the motionless woman. Emily stood up quickly, moving ahead before Kira could come any closer to the third.

"Hitting me won't change a thing." She said holding up her arm to prevent Kira from going further.

"No, but it makes me feel better!" Kira shouted angrily.

The past won't change, nothing can be undone and there would be no going back. Catherine, Emily, Alucard everyone tries to make a puppet of her! ENOUGH! Kira grabs Emily by the throat and tightens her fingers little by little.

"I won't forgive you, not for lying to me!" Kira spat, "All of you--! You all say you lie to protect me--that not knowing is the better option, but none of you ask me if I was okay with my choice being taken!"

Emily touched Kira's hands, the grip of the afflicted lessened more and more until she was released. Kira's head dropped against Emily's chest and didn't move. She missed this warmth, feeling Emily's arms embrace her as they shared the night every night. Regardless of what was before, those feelings were real, their time was real and their future would have been real had she not been killed. That was a life over--a life taken from her.

"The experiment...Catherine didn't know, but to create the stigma I used the DNA of a certain vampire, an Ancestor, I isolated that was consistent in every vampire I tested." Emily explained, "What I also found...was its not the virus that makes an immortal strong, its their emotions, the stronger the emotion the stronger the immoral."

She was a half-human half-vampire whose vampire side was that of a Pureblood. The power that could be obtained was nearly limitless, but there is always a risk with such things. True Kira was not destined to become a Ghoul again and the stigma was now a means of controlling her vampire nature. It seemed that Kira truly did not know and Emily's letter had not reached her, but its too late to change anything.

"I won't ask you to forgive me, nor will I try to stop you, but no matter what you think of me, please know that when I said I loved you...I meant it." Emily hugged Kira tighter, "So please, let me help you one more time: eat me."

Kira froze.

"I may not be the real Emily, but I think she would say the same--I want you to be happy, to live a life you choose; I want you to be free Kira; eat me and you won't be held back anymore."

This was not redemption, it was a final parting gift; removing herself and allowing Kira to make her own decisions as she should have from the start. I'm sincerely sorry Kira. Because of us, you will have to face a lot more pain in the future than anyone should. She loved Kira with every part of her and it was because of that love she could not stand in the way. The Demi-human opened her mouth and buried her fangs into Emily's neck. After Emily neither spoke nor moved any longer her body was sent adrift in the abyss.

Kira walked thru the water to the woman with white hair, the woman in turn stood up and turned to face her. They looked at themselves with the idea they were looking into a mirror, a mirror that showed the truth of their hearts: a demon who protects her frail human self by becoming the greater evil and a human who locks away her inner demon to protect the ones she loves. Two sides of a single coin, two personas of a single person which are both dedicated to protecting something in this twisted world.

"This world...why is it so cruel? Esepcally to those of us who didn't do anything wrong?" Kira asked aloud, "People like Catherine--shouldn't exist."

Emily wished to see a world where vampires and humans lived together peacefully and Eona is no different. The ways of the world are wrong, a few people should not have to suffer or die for the good of the many. That will stop.

"This war--I'll end it."

The immortal's twin self wore a dark smile, the space in front of her cracked as though she was trapped in a cage of invisible glass. Kira turned away from her, walking towards the darkness--the glass shattered the strong winds rushed inward to equalize the pressure as the second went to follow her other self.

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