My body felt stiff when I tried to move, and as my eyes slowly opened I looked at bright white ceiling and a large gray room. The forest where I had been when I fell was long gone. I was lying on my back, not on the forest floor but in a large gray room in what looked like a hospital bed. Letting out a long sigh I rubbed my hands over my face, trying to wake myself up.
“Where am I?” I groaned trying to sit up.
“Oh, so you’ve finally woken up,” said a young Asian woman standing to the right of me. Her little flashlight came up and flashed in my eyes. “You look like you’re going to be okay now. I do have to admit I wasn’t so sure when they first brought you in. You were in shock and I thought there might be a chance you’d have some permanent brain damage.
“Well, I think you’ve made a full recovery…well, with the healing, that is. Your friends told me what happened to you, and about how you can’t remember anything. I am sorry about what happened to you.” She offered with a pat on my hand.
“Who are you?”
“Oh, I’m Dr. Lee Chan. I look after all the girls here.” She smiled.
“Yes, all. But I have a feeling you’ll get your memories back… That is if you want to, but most of us have that capability can work things into our favor. Your memories could be one of them for you,” she winked, starting to walk away.
I grabbed her wrist stopping her. “Us?” I asked her. “What do you mean by all?”
“Well it’s all of us mixers.” She stated.
“What is a mixer?”
“Well, that’s us. We’re all a mixture of these monsters, so that’s what a bunch of us came up with what to call ourselves, it just kind of stuck.”
“So that’s what I am too, one of these mixers?” I asked.
“Yes, but you’re a bit more then that too. I talked to your friend. She told me how you three became what you are, so I would say, yes… Yes, you are definitely one of us.”
Closing my eyes I tried to recollect anything that had happened to me. But my mind was blank just like she said it was, wiped clean. I couldn’t remember anything from before the time I woke with the man’s wrist in my mouth and his blood running down my throat.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Of course you can. There’s no need to be formal around here.” She laughed.
“How long have I been here?”
She frowned and put her hand on my shoulder. “You’ve been in a sleep like state for about six moths now.” She told me.
“Mmm, but now I’ll let you get cleaned up so you can go and meet everyone.” Chan smiled, then opened the door and hollered for someone to bring me my dinner.
“My dinner?” I wondered.
“Yes, Georgie said you are a bit different then us so... I made sure you got something that would help your healing proses.” She smiled as a beautiful man was brought in in cuffs and chains.
“What the hell is this?” I asked.
“Your dinner of course.” She told me easily.
“My what?!” I growled.
Chan was quite, then thanked the green hair girl that brought in this, fay man. She clapped her hands together and turned to me. “Well, your dinner is here so let’s get this going. Everybody is so anxious to meet you. So, I’ll give you some privacy to enjoy your meal; just knock on the door when you’re done and we’ll handle the rest. Then we’ll get you cleaned up, okay?” She said, starting to leave.
“Wait, what am I supposed to do with him?” I asked her as I stared down at the man on the floor.
“I thought at least you would remember that much. He is your dinner, Molly. You need to drink from him.” She stopped herself, looking at me thoughtfully. “Well, I think it’s best if you figure this out on your own…let nature take its course and all that.”
“Do you eat like this too? I mean drinking blood?” I asked.
“Most of us drink human blood, but you’re the first one I’ve heard of that drinks the blood of the creatures who made us.” She pondered. “Alright, I’ll leave you now. Don’t worry, everything is going to be fine,” she winked.
The fay man just stayed on the floor, not moving, maybe hoping I would forget he was there. But I watched his chest rise and fall with each breath. I watched the sweat running down every curve of his body as he sat there silently. That’s when I noticed something different since Chan had left, something good, but I couldn’t quite place it.
That’s when it hit me…warm buttered bread, something smelled of warm buttered bread. I took a long deep breath, then another, trying to figure out where the smell was coming from. It was coming from him.
Hunger struck me so hard my mouth was watering as I inhaled the delicious smell. I followed the sent, and then I realized that it was him, it was the fay that smelled so good.
My eyes closed and I could see myself biting his neck, feeling my fangs puncture him, and his warm blood going down my throat. I had never felt such a thirst, or at least I couldn’t remember ever feeling it. And then something snapped inside me and my true nature came out.
What I thought was a dream was really happening. I was on the floor in front of him, my hand grabbing a fist full of hair and my fangs deep in his neck as I drank from him. He grunted with every deep pull I took. The sound was almost hypnotic to my ears.
He started to sag in my arms and I gained just enough control to make myself stop. I pulled out of his neck and scrambled back from him as he crumpled to the ground, not moving.
“Oh my God, I killed him!” I whispered, wiping blood from my mouth.
The fay twitched, then started moving around when he looked over at me. “You’ll have to do more than that to kill me, you monster.”
“Monster...” I asked, confused by what he said.
There was a knock and then Chan came in with the same green hair girl who laughed when she saw the fay on the ground. “Well, you took to that just like I thought you would. Now, lets get you cleaned up to meet the group.” She smiled taking me by the arm and pulling me from the room. I watched the girl throw the man over her shoulder and walk off in the opposite direction.
“Yes, what is it?” She asked walking to a big gym like shower/ locker room.
“I don’t ever want to drink anyone’s blood again. Do you understand?” I asked.
She stopped and looked at me. “But that’s how you’ll get stronger.”
“I don’t care. I could’ve killed that guy, easily. I don’t want you to ever bring me someone to drink from again, am I making myself clear?” I growled my warning.
She looked me over, then nodded. “Aright Molly. I understand.”
“Good.” I nodded then walked into the shower room.
When I walked out of the shower there was clothing was on a bench so I put them on. I was brushing out my hair when I very tall woman was standing silently in the door with her arms crossed.
“Hi.” I smiled, but she shook her head and walked out.
“Let me show you to the meeting room,” she said with a Russian accent.
She started walking down a hall that looked almost medical, sterile and very dim. She looked behind her to see me looking at everything, wondering where the hell I was. “We have to keep down here darker for the innocents, sometimes their eyes not so good,”
What the hell are innocents? And how far is it to the meeting room?
I felt an incline in the tunnel, indicating that she was leading me upwards. Down the hall from where we stood were about twenty doors. The doors were nondescript, matching in every aspect, making you feel lost among them. I figured that was the plan for someone who was an intruder, looking for these people. They could get lost so easily.
The Russian woman headed for the fourth door on the left. At this point I really didn’t know what to expect; all I knew was that people wanted to meet me.
She knocked three times, then paused and rapped twice more. And I chuckled. She glanced back at me, then the door unlock I actually took a small step back.I could hear chatter, like a group of women talking in low voices. Then I slowly walked in.
“OMG! I’m so glad you’re okay! I really didn’t know if you were going to make it. But look at you! You’re good as new!” I patted her back.
“You’re Georgie, right?” I asked.
“Yes, that’s me.” She giggled.
Then the pink haired girl came to me. “Calista, remember.You had me freakin’ worried, you eejit. But you look cool now.” She stood back, crossing her arms and looking very happy.
“Well, thanks.” I smiled.
I looked around the room when Georgie let me go, most surprised to see Chan sitting there, smiling and nodding at me. There were five women before me, not including Calista or Georgie. Their ages varied, like their nationalities. From black to white, young to older, they all stood together welcoming me into their little group. A redheaded woman came to me, extending her hand. “I’m Trixie. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you,” she said in a Scottish accent.
“Thank you. I’m glad you found us,” I told her honestly shaking her hand.
“You’re most welcome, though that wasn’t me that found you, but Nikki V.” She looked over at a young woman with electric blue hair and a tattoo of a black panther on the side of her neck, extending down to her collarbone and her chest. I gave her my own little nod of thanks.
“I want to introduce you to everybody else, Molly,” she said, taking my arm. “So , like I said, I’m Trixie.” she told me happily as we moved on to the next woman. “This is Nikki V, she’s an absolute genius where anything electronic is concerned.” Trixie grinned and I got a finger salute from Nikki.
“And this is Kitty.” She went on and Kitty smiled and waved. She was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. She was small, not even hitting five feet; her body looked like it wasn’t quite done developing. Her white skin matched her white-blonde hair and her boy’s haircut gave her face a pixie look. Her eyes were metallic gray, and from the corner of her left eye, silver lines shot out on her temple, making a light spider web heading back into her hair. I would have thought it was a wiry scar, but little blue lights traveled down the silver lines like drops of water on a piece of thread.
I took hold of her frail-looking hand and was amazed at the power in her grip. She smiled up at me. “Hi, nice to meet you,” she said in a voice that sounded mechanical.
Trixie moved me to the next woman. She seemed to be more my age, maybe a bit older, not that you could tell much with any of us. She was about my height as well, but she was a bit more muscular. Her hair was black and curly, pulled into a loose ponytail with a lock of white coming from her forehead and mixing into the black mass. She grabbed my hand with both of hers, looking into my eyes with her dark brown ones.
“Hello Molly, dear, I’m Edwina but my friends call me Eddie,” she smiled.
“It’s nice to meet you too,” I grinned.
Her smile fell and patted my arm. “Don’t worry, child, everything will come back to you. But I want you to know that I’m your friend. Calista and you and I met at the castle where they changed us.”
I looked over at Calista to confirm this information and she nodded her head. I turned back to Eddie and said, “Then it’s really good to see you again, I guess.” She smiled, making her laugh.
I glanced at the Russian woman who was still standing by the door. That made nine of us altogether, but I had completely forgotten about her, she was so quiet.
Trixie looked to were I was staring and giggled. “That’s Eva. She doesn’t really talk all that much. She prefers to be in the shadows.” She told me, and when I looked back up, Eva was gone.
Trixie led me to a seat and Calista sat on one side of me and Georgie on the other. I took in the room had a military feel to it. There were no windows, only dimmed fluorescent lights hanging over the table, casting an eerie glow. Wires decorated the shadowed walls where monitors and electronics once hung. The large black table dimly glowed from the lights; twenty chairs sat around it.
Once the others took thee seats, a group of men came out from the shadows. They watched me as they also took their places around the table and I couldn’t help but grin as they acted like I was some predator out for their blood.
Nikki V chuckle broke threw the silence apparently pleased by the reaction of the men. Then Trixie swatted her arm, making her stop.
These were not ordinary men, I could smell the difference, the delicious sent coming off them in waves. My thirst started up once again, but I had to many questions in my head to let the thirst win over my senses.
“Why are these creatures here?” I asked in a low menacing voice.
They glanced at each other, trying to find the words they wanted to say, but it was Eddie who stood quickly to defend the men. “These men are here to help us, Molly. They will not hurt you in any way. Please be calm, child, and let us explain what has been happening for the last couple of years so you’re fully aware of everything,” she soothed.
I looked between the two of them, took a deep breath and sat back down. I smiled at the man. “Why would you think I’m scared of them I was just thinking how tasty they all smelled,” I grinned.
Another man with shaggy brown hair and glowing gold eyes started to get up, but the ebony man put his hand on his forearm to stop him. Trixie spoke next, wanting to get everything under control.
“Molly, this is Adric, he’s Eddie’s husband.” She offered pointing to the ebony man. I swung my head around to look at him and Trixie cleared her throat. “So, well, let’s have Adric introduce you to his partners then, shall we.” She stated, then took her seat.
Adric gave a small bow to his hostess, then turned to address me. “Hello Molly, I want you to understand first that we do not want to harm anyone here. This is a safe haven for women like you who come to this place,” he told me in a rich Jamaican accent just like Eddie’s.
I gave him a quick nod of understanding and he grinned. “Good, then let’s move on to the introductions.” He stood, taking off his jacket and placing it on the back of his chair, and gestured with his arm to the end of the table.
“At the far right of me is Ryuuji, the last Japanese dragon of his kind.” He offered.
I looked over at the Asian man, who was lean and tall. His black hair was longer with a choppy style, honey highlights along the edges near his face, highlighting his amber eyes. He looked like a modern businessman, not an old-world dragon.
He acknowledged my presence but went back to staring at Georgie, who had now dug her fingers into my thigh. I put my hand on top of hers to dig them out as Adric moved on. “Down near him is Dorin, the leader of the Romanian werewolf clan.”
He bowed his head at me. His short light brown hair was styled; his eyes were such a clear blue they looked almost white in his clean-shaven face. He was not as slight as the other men at the table; his body was muscular with a little more girth to him. His appearance was casual and relaxed, down to the white linen rolled-up shirtsleeves exposing his muscular forearms.
“This one next to me is Sorin, Dorin’s little brother. He’s hot tempered, but is a nice guy.” Nikki V snorted at the statement, making the man with the golden eyes sit back in his chair and cross his arms.
“And in between Nikki V and Kitty is Mackey. He is part of a new race that has come into being the last hundred years. He is what we call a nanohuman. They take the bodies of the humans just deceased and transform the old bodies into synthetic ones. It’s really quite fascinating.”
I stared at the pasty white man, trying to figure out what I was seeing. He had silver hair and gunmetal gray eyes. He must have been much shorter and leaner than the other men because he actually fit in the chair, he didn’t overtake it. Lines traveled down each side of his face and neck, looking like a circuit board with little blue and yellow lights traveling up and down it like a pulse or heartbeat.
My head instinctively turned my head to the last man sitting at the end of the table. He watched me, and I shivered. He was the scariest thing I’d ever seen.
“And at the end of the table is Lennox. He is very wise, and has helped us immensely with our cause.”
Adric looked at the man, awaiting some sort of approval. Lennox swung his hand, giving him the go ahead. “He is very rare among the creatures, he’s a male banshee.” I looked again at the man who was observing me in turn.
He was very lean and even though his body was whole, the edges seemed to be transparent. His hair was straight and very long as it went from blue-black to white, and just like the rest of him seemed to disappear around the edges, floating into nothingness.
His eyes were black like a moonless night. The features of his face were very strong and intensely handsome, but he was also terrifying. Black feathers trailed down the back and sides of his neck, where milky white scaly patches randomly appeared, out of which the feathers grew. The corner of his mouth twitched upward as I openly stared at him in wonder.
Trixie stood up again, interrupting my scrutiny of Lennox. “So now that we all have meet our new member, let’s get down to business,” she said, sitting back down. “I’ve told your friends some of the information that we’ve gathered about what we are. But it’s hard work, because we’re all so different.
“But most of us, from what we’ve gathered, drink blood. The vampire blood is the glue that holds all of what we are together. Lee has figured that much out.” She looked over to Chan, indicating for her to explain.
“Yes, from what I found out there is a certain property in the vampire blood that takes the living cells and mutates them. When we add other creatures’ blood into the bloodstream, ninety-eight percent of the time it’s washed clean of any impurities, it’s like bleaching the blood clean. But in doing this, they also change the human anatomy, making the woman fertile for the creatures. We can bear children to any creature, from a vampire to a banshee and everything in between.” Chan explained.
“So what happens to the other two percent?” I asked.
“Oh bloody hell, what do you think happens to them?” Nikki V snorted.
“I’m assuming they die?”
The gentlemen at the table seemed a little uncomfortable and the woman twitched in their chairs. Nikki actually threw her arms up in the air in frustration.
"Did I miss something?"
Kitty leaned forward in her chair. “To be honest, the people like us are the other two percent. But I guess you could say that we’re not even in that two percent, because we’re different from them as well.”
That shocked me. I tilted my head slightly toward Georgie, wondering what she was thinking. Her hand still on my thigh was trembling, but at least not drawing blood. She looked at me from the corner of her eye, then back at the table. I looked around. “So where do we fit in, then?” I asked.
The dragon turned his chair, he leaned upon the table, making a steeple with his hands and placing his chin upon them. His amber eyes transformed from human to reptilian before he addressed me. “Just like anything in this world, there are different degrees of power. Most of the women that had this procedure done to them died during the transformation. Only a very few would live, so we studied the ones that survived to make sure the next ones had a better chance.
“For example, the women that turned out like their makers wanted them are called ‘innocents.’ To look at them you would never know that they have been transformed. They look human. They follow what they are told to do, they are fragile both in mind and in body. They need our protection. Other than being slightly stronger than a normal human, they are weaker than the rest of our world. In that they are exactly what they were meant to be…clean humans.” He stopped, letting the information sink in, before he proceeded.
“The two percent are different from the innocents, so you’ve been told. But there are variations in the two percent. Most of them have some strength, taking on one of their makers’ powers. But there are a rare few who have taken several or all of their makers’ abilities, making them powerful and difficult for their makers to handle. But even beyond that, it seems that some have taken all the power of their makers and transformed it. Their DNA bending it, breaking the rules which we set, making it theirs alone.” He paused, regarding me with ancient eyes. “You are one of those women.”
Everything he told me was sinking into my muddled overwhelmed brain. To think of the poor women who were mindless slaves to be used by these men. I took hold of Georgie’s shaking hand, giving it a squeeze just to let her know I was still there for her.
I looked at the dragon, then back to Adric who was gauging my reaction like the rest of the men at the table. “If what you say is true, why are you six even here? I assume you have made your own…what did you call us, Chan…mixers. I would think the first thing that we would do is try to destroy the monsters that did this to us. Not let them have the power they want over us,” I said, sitting back and eyeing them critically.
The shaggy-haired wolf jumped up, Sorin. “I knew that woman was going to be trouble! She is going to ruin the peace that we have here!” he bellowed at me in a heavy Romanian accent.
Nikki V grabbed his shirt and pulled him back down to the chair. “Bugger this, sit your bleeding arse back down,” she growled, then wink at me. She turned her chair sideways and kicked her leg over the armrest. “Besides, I like a woman with some balls. I think she’s going to fit in brilliantly!” she said smacking her gum.
“So do all the people they’ve experimented on turn into mixers? Are there men mixers, because I’ve only seen the women?”
Dorin answered this question. “You don’t seem to understand the whole devastation of what we have done, what we have done to the human race,” he said in an accent much lighter than his brother’s.
“First: many people don’t survive the changing. When we first started to experiment with the idea of making our food, or the idea of making a woman to conceive a child, nobody knew the outcome. Thousands of women died horrible deaths at our hands. The very few that lived we experimented with, wanting to see how and why they survived when the others did not.
“The female of our world have been wanting their own males for the same reason we want our own women. But for some reason the male humans never seem to survive the changing. We had forbid anymore on the males after so many deaths. The reason for the male resistance to the changing was that women’s bodies are meant for adapting to something foreign inside of them, whereas a man’s was not.”
The thought of all this life lost, for what? So they could have their own fast food chain and women to give them children? How could these monsters just sit here with straight faces, telling me all the horrible things they have done to thousands of innocent people? My temper was high but my disgust was even higher. Letting go of Georgie’s hand, I stretched out my arms, digging my fingers into the table, while taking deep breaths to calm myself down.
I lowered my head, still trying to relax. “So what do you six have to do with any of this? And if you were there in the beginning, why are you here helping us now?!” I growled.
The fay I drank from had called me a monster. How ironic. Because the men sitting around me, the men who supposedly made me--they were the real monsters, not me.
An inky grayness pooled at my fingertips under my skin. It swirled up to engulf my fingers, then my palms and wrists. The ink traveled up my forearms along my veins giving them a gray web-like appearance. Where my fingers touched it, the table started to grow dark, losing its color, then crumbled around them like I was taking the life out of it.
I heard gasps as I felt this new power come over me. But I really didn’t care. "Why would any of you want their help? Why would you let these men into your lives and give them any kind of satisfaction or justification?" I hissed.
"Molly, please..." Eddie begged.
"The sight of you letting these monsters taking control over you makes me sick." I murmured trying to keep my temper.
“We are aware of our sins, Molly,” Lennox said in a deep, low breezy voice. “That is why we are here now, to help the race we created get themselves together, to protect each other. But then whenever something seems simple, it never is. We don’t agree with the others in our world on what’s been happening to the innocents, or how they treat woman like you and the others here in this room. We could not stand by any longer at the unbearable treatment that many have suffered."
"Well aren't you all so magnanimous." I snarled as my inky black fingers stretched out on the table in front of me.
“We don’t want to contain you Molly, but we will if we must.” Lennox warned.
I gave him a sarcastic laugh at his threat. “You could try,” I grinned, lifting my head to look at him. He seemed startled by my gaze, but only for a moment, then pulled the look back. We stared at each other, waiting for one of us to make a move, and the room waited in dead silence.
"Molly, stop." Georgie whispered touching the top of my hand, keeping away from the darkness of my fingers. I broke my eye contact with Lennox and turned to her.
“They really are here to help us. Remember I told you about meeting women like us at parties?” Her hand flew up to her forehead. “No, of course you don’t. You can’t remember anything I told you, can you?” I shook my head no. “No, of course you don’t. You see I’ve met Trixie before; to be honest I’ve met Trixie and Kitty before. Once I knew there were others like me, I played nice with Marcus so I could see them again.”
“Who’s Marcus?” I asked her.
“That is a story for another time. Just listen to what I'm going to tell you. I knew where we were going the night we left England, I knew because I met Mackey before weeks before you came. He gave me a small tracker so the could find us in the woods that night. I've been here for six month and I promise, what their saying is genuine." Georgie sighed.
I glanced over at Calista, and she nodded in agreement, and the blackness stared to fade in my fingers. "Alright, so you all want me to be part of this little band of outcast...where do I start?"