Hunters - The Trials

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By the Skin of His Teeth

Adrian dodged a wild punch and spun to get around the vampire. Lizzie was on the floor again and this time he didn't think she was getting up. He wasn't sure how much longer he could hold the vampire off, and knew the best he could hope for was to take him down long enough to get out with their lives. Adrian was trying to make his way to her when another figure came running into the room. Both combatants turned to face the new foe, and Adrian was surprised to see it was Mathers.

Without hesitation Mathers made for the vampire with precision and speed, putting the vampire immediately on the defensive. Adrian jumped in beside him, and together they pushed the vampire back, but his superior speed and strength didn't give the Hunters a chance for decisive victory. They had the vampire cornered, but a wild animal who feels trapped is even more dangerous. The vampire struck out with another of his insanely quick punches and caught Adrian across the jaw, and he fell back dazed for a moment. Mathers didn't let up and kept the vampire from advancing.

"Get Liz out of here!" Mathers called out to Adrian. He glanced at Lizzie and felt torn between saving her, leaving Mathers here to handle the vampire on his own, or to bring this monster down. He knew his training said to follow Mather's orders, but he couldn't leave him here alone. He thought of what Lizzie would want and charged in, landing a kick to the vampire’s body that knocked him back into the wall.

The vampire recovered and in an unexpected move tackled Mathers, sending them both to the floor. The vampire came out on top of Mathers and was pummeling him. Adrian ran over to them and with all the strength he had, pulled the vampire from Mathers. Mathers was back on his feet and squaring off with the vampire again, his face covered in cuts and blood. This is all wrong, Adrian thought. Lizzie and he were supposed to come in, spar with a Hunter and then celebrate with milkshakes and fries. Instead his best friend was bloody and unconscious on the floor behind him , and Mathers and he were fighting for their lives.

When the vampire gave a wide swing towards Mathers, Adrian knelt down and delivered a punch to his ribcage, which actually winded the vampire some. Adrian was tiring, this had to be their chance. Mathers moved in but the vamp grabbed Mathers and threw him into the wall. Mathers dropped hard next to Lizzie. Adrian pushed forward, keeping the strikes coming, not allowing the vampire a moment to go on the offensive again. Then the bloodsucker suddenly stopped and stood there grunting in pain. Adrian looked around for another Hunter, when he saw Lizzie still slumped on the floor behind him, with a taser gun in her hands, pressed against the leg of the vampire.

Adrian swept the vampire’s feet out from under him and he crashed down almost on top of Lizzie. Adrian jumped on top of him, and it took all of the recruit’s strength to keep the vampire pinned. "Liz..." was all Adrian could get out. Lizzie dragged herself up somehow, in spite of the pain, and pulled a large pocket knife from her waistband. Then plunged it into the vamp’s jugular, ripping it across his pale skin. The ragged flesh was consumed by the dark red, almost black blood surging from the gash. Adrian felt the vampire's body relax and he let go.

Adrian sat there and felt cold as the vampire bled out in front of him. It wasn't the monster whose face haunted his nightmares. This vampire wasn't a pureblood, if he was, they’d all be dead. The vampire's legs started to twitch as his undead life drained out of him like one of his victims. Mathers started to stir as they heard the tramping of boots running down the hall and Adrian stood ready to fight. Winston came through the door and Adrian’s body gave way all at once, sending him onto his knees in relief.

"Adrian..." Winston knelt before him, checking for injuries. Then Winston saw Lizzie laying on the floor beside him. It was as if time stood still, Winston's face was frozen first in shock and then horror. It was only a few moments before the medics came in and took Adrian aside, assessing his injuries while others attended to Mathers and Lizzie. Winston paced while Lizzie was prepped for transportation to one of the Hunter infirmaries. Even more Hunters arrived, posing as authorities to keep the prying public away and start spinning the web of lies that keep the dark horrors of their lives hidden from the world.

"She's going to be all right," Adrian whispered to Winston. Winston looked at Adrian, his eyes a mix of despair and concern, then he looked back at Lizzie. Two medics were shifting her onto a backboard and another was bringing in a gurney. Half of her face was already turning purple and there were small cuts where she'd hit the chair. One eye swollen shut a fat lip and puffed up cheeks. Those were just the injuries on the outside. It made him cold to think about what else could be wrong.

Adrian started to feel his chest tighten as he watched them take her out of the room. Lizzie had always been there when he needed her. Who was going to be his family representative at his initiation? He started after her and the medics, but a hand on his shoulder stopped him. He turned to see Mathers standing behind him. “You can’t do anything for her now. She’s too stubborn to give up now,” he said with a warm smile. Adrian looked out towards the door, hearing the medics calling for the crowd to disperse. Lizzie was strong, he reminded himself. She never let anything stop her, and this would be no exception. With that reassurance he followed Mathers to debrief with Captain George.

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