Life beyond Livestock
Resenting the Hunters Association was one matter but being sent as a jester of good faith to the recovering president was out of the question. For once Kira resented being human, but all was not anger and annoyance—Emily arranged for her own vacation to be half of the three weeks Kira was to be gone. The queen no longer expressed anger, but indifference and for that Kira returned the same.
Though instructed to understand the hunters to promote better negotiations, it was felt that she was being sent away. Nonetheless she would do as instructed, but not without having something to gain herself—knowledge to fight, to protect, to kill for the sake of Eona. These hunters know how to kill vampires—Kira must know as well. Their weapons especially, not many know what it is they are made of, but if she can learn then maybe she could replicate it. For now, Kira was on her own, no immortals, no one friends—alone in the human city. Ah...its almost Christmas.
Outside of navigating between the hotel and the office of hunters Kira knew little of Chicago. At best for the means of food she went to a small convenience-store which is on the way. Kira was reluctant in learning how humans operate, how they find insane vampires and what comes next. She was, however, interested in the Anti-Vampire Weapons, mainly for her own curiosity and not for intel gathering as many would suspect. Much of the time was spent with the Association President, helping him with paperwork and observing the day-to-day activities of the building. Among the humans in the building Kira stood out—her distinctive black clothing signaled her out among the uniformly dressed hunters. Kira held the scent of a vampire and to them she acted the same yet held a humanoid presence.
Today it snowed, as Kira stood at the window she watched the humans continue their lives below. I wonder what everyone at school is doing. It was a first, to think about her human school-life. Being here was stressful, for a time she worried that Lady Eona would send her more often, would have her slowly join humanity and leave her side. I don’t want that. Happiness is not being among immortals, but being around her family, these people who took her in with not an inch of selfishness. If her family was lost then there would be nothing to live for.
“I’ve been meaning to thank you for saving me.” The older man grumbled.
The president shuffled paperwork when Kira sat on her computer working on school assignments. A surprise came to her at hearing him be grateful to her—how could he be grateful? She killed a vampire for his sake and dirtied her hands with a ‘justified murder’. Guilt was not felt, she protected herself and struck down a rebel against the queen, her master, but the personal weight of that action burdened her—she killed someone.
“I hate being in debt, all I did was return the favor.” Kira rolled her eyes.
“You say you serve the queen, how did that happen? The queen is not the type to accept a human out of the goodness of her heart.” The President kept attention to his paperwork.
Kira shut her computer abruptly and rubbed her eyes—another argument at proving him wrong was not something she wanted. Nonetheless her bite is bigger than her bark and the debate begins.
“You’ve already used your three questions.” Kira excused herself from the topic.
She would speak her mind here and now because he would not listen to justification. Whatever happened to this man made him hate vampires as she hates humans. In a sense they would understand each other, a mutual agreement and yet it could not be any more different. Jensin had been surprised at her tone—a sudden change in personalities from the stoic and kind-hearted servant to an annoyed malevolence.
“Besides, you’re barking up the wrong tree—from my point of view humans are the enemy.” She empathized.
“Our kind the enemy?”
Kira growled, “My human parents gave me to slavery and that’s all I had known.”
Alone in the dark with nothing, but your own company to keep; a hollow existence. At that time Kira did not know what humans were, what it meant to be human only that she was prey to the beasts. To this day she thinks little of what it means to be human. What is use there to being human if you can’t protect the people you love? Kira knows this yet contradicts herself when being content at being mortal. The difference between her and the rest of humanity: the wisdom of vampires enlightened her.
Kira shut the memories from her mind, “Sorry, but don’t expect me to have warm feelings towards most of you after that.”
Vampires too are capable of the same evil, even worse, but if it didn’t affect her or those she knew...it was overlooked. That is how she appreciates the humans she does know because deep down they are not all evil, but until she did know them they would remain so. The president for example was not evil, only ignorant.
“Then your fear of the sun...” Marcus halted his paperwork.
“Was caused by living in a nearly pitch-black cell until I was seven. You can guess what I was enslaved for.”
No intelligence, no understanding, nothing to call her own—even this name of hers is a gift from the queen. Everything that is ‘Kira’ belongs to the queen...well almost everything. The only thing Kira could ever call her own was the violin, was the act of playing music and the song of her soul. The queen brought light into darkness, a radiance that causes Kira to squint her eyes too, for she will never be one of that light. The president knew well about the horrors of human enslavement, but none such as his adoptive son—the door opened to just a person. A young man in his twenties with brown curly hair which touched his shoulders and a fuzzy patch of hair on his chin.
“Mr. President, you forgot to—oh sorry did interrupt?”
“No, I was just leaving.” Kira cut his sentence off and collected her things, “Unless there is something you need, I’m leaving for today.”
The president shook his head and motioned for her release for the day. The door shut quietly and there was a long silence as the two stared blankly at the door.
“Was that the queen’s pet everyone’s been talking about?” The young man began.
“As she would say, you shouldn’t be so quick to judge, but yes that was the queen’s personal aid. What do you need?”
The young man continued to stare the direction she left, “The hell is the queen housing a ‘human’ for? I pity that girl, she doesn’t look like she’s even out of high school yet.”
Jensin shrugged giving and old-man’s sigh. That is the question isn’t? Though the likely case is blood supply, the queen has always been a shady character; hiding her motives craftily and bending truths to suit her means. Whatever that woman is planning...cannot be good for that girl.
“Apparently Kira was adopted into the Nightraven house and now acts as a servant to the Pureblood.”
A loud banging sent her grouchily to the door.
“I’m coming, damn!”
Kira opened the door to the same young man who she had seen yesterday. As an investigator he looked nothing like one, a scruffily freelancer maybe, but not a hunter of the vampire. Kira thought it was more annoying that he came here than his appearance (she herself only wore shorts and a sports bra). The man was startled at the sight, much to his surprise, Kira’s humanity and the signal on her neck proved it—a tamed human, how ironic.
“What do you want?” She asked with a scornful yawn.
“The president asked me to escort you around the city.” The hunter answered.
Kira leaned against the ajar door and rubbed her eyes. Now beyond infuriation, she exclaims why this request was out of the question.
“What time is it?” She yawned again.
“Twelve-thirty—” Kira slammed the door and proceeded to return to bed—*knock* *knock* *knock* *knock* This time she almost broke the door when she opened it.
“You know, since I’m a vampire’s pet, naturally I’m nocturnal right? You have three seconds to figure out why I’m pissed.”
Kira gave a death stare.
The man rose a brow with amusement, “I’ll keep knocking until you come out.”
Kira growls at him, rolling her eyes, “Give me twenty minutes—”
He slipped under her arm and entered the room. Kira threw her hand up and shut the door. Or you can come in! Slowly she rummaged thru her bag looking for clean clothes and here today was to be a day off. The man noticed Kira’s back and hesitated at the sight of the mark. He did not speak of it, however was forced to face a corner while Kira dressed. The weather was cold and unforgiving, though she dressed for it Kira continued to freeze.
“Don’t blame me if I fall asleep.” Scratching her head Kira muttered again, but it was overpowered by a mighty yawn.
“What’s your name anyway?”
“Investigator Second Class Ian Diaz.” He answered.
Kira sighed when adjusting her scarf, “Thought so.”
By now the scent of the queen’s perfume has long since faded, bring a shred of sadness to Kira. Though she knows its not possible it cannot be helped for this longing to be by the queen side, even when angry. In all her years any of her gifts have been from the Main House...Kira hasn’t given anything to Emily. I’ll surprise her! The day may not be as miserable as thought, but the question would be what to get her. She likes books...maybe we could go to a book store when here; get lunch; I wonder if Ian would help. Kira’s sudden smile made her escort ask.
“I was wondering if you knew where any book stores were.” She asked much nicer than earlier in the afternoon.
Ian took her to a three-story Barnes and Noble the first major book store Kira had seen before. When staring at the store Kira’s gaze is caught by a passing figure.
“What is it?” Ian asked.
A vampire is near. Ian noticed after she did, a middle-aged man in jeans and a flannel shirt. After that Kira is grabbed and dragged along to a local cafe just two blocks over. About now felt the time, the only time he would be given to ask. She was a slave as was he, a servant to the queen then this person must know—that she must be alive!
“Do you have access to records about vampire slave traffickers?” He asked out of the blue.
Why would he want to know about that? For as long as she remembers any the queen comes across she shuts down thou a few do slip thru the cracks from time to time. Kira hoped he wasn’t going to ask to find someone...it would be out of line to even think of requesting such information.
“I just need to know about all the humans that were taken by a trafficker by the name of Chang Ru, he died about ten years ago—”
He stopped at the wide-eyed expression his peer gave. She looked horrified at the name, like he had killed a puppy, or a vampire! It was the name of the same trafficker Kira was enslaved to, the one who brought the queen and her together.
“I don’t want to talk about him…”
“I was the same as you!” Ian pulled up his sleeve and removed a leather band revealing the brand, “You and I were both enslaved by him!”
Kira stood up and slammed her fist into his chest, knocking the air as she stormed out—she was a slave to no one! To think the bastard had the arrogance to—Ian returned and apologized, not meaning the offense. He too was a slave to that vampire, from age five until he was thirteen he lived hating the vampire and strived to obtain the power to kill them. There was another slave, a child, five years younger than he that he cared for in a pitch-black darkness. Unlike her he knew what family was, he knew words and the difference between beast and man. His parents which had been murdered by the vampire gave him the means to connect to a girl that held no place in the world.
“Look I just want to know...I saw the brand and I thought just maybe—”
“I’ve tried to forget that time...I spent it in a pitch-black room after all.”
Ian’s heart skipped a beat. You can’t be... Kira had known the moment they first met--Ian had only grown older, but his overall appearance was no different. She didn’t speak up because she was ashamed to, for him to know what had become of that girl he raised...unbearable. This man was the one who gave her life, who raised her from infancy until she left. Kira never went back because she did not understand and by the time she did he had been long gone.
“Its good to see you again...big brother.”