Ch. 1 - My Name is Seven
“Where are they taking us?” A panicked voice called out over the clanging of the truck. Seven scrambled to the edge of the mass of bodies, feeling like she was suffocating in the tight, claustrophobic space. Once she got to the edge, she leaned against the slats in the transport vehicle, taking a shaky breath as wind whipped past her through the gaps on the side of the truck. They were being transported like cattle, and it made her furious, but there was little she could do about it. Everyone in the back of the truck, including herself, were vagrants, homeless people without anything or anyone to support them. She’d been on the streets ever since her parents had passed, and she’d made it pretty well so far, but this last sweep had finally managed to grab her.
That was just how life was for those down on their luck; government sanctioned sweeps of armed soldiers would go through all the major cities once a month, seizing certain… undesirables under the cover of darkness. Homeless people, addicts, criminals, hell sometimes they would just grab anyone they came across depending on if they were getting paid per person or per truck. No one knew where the people were taken to, but it was just assumed to be a death sentence, as the people taken on the trucks never returned. Seven had done her best, and had already dodged so many sweeps, but her luck had finally run out, and here she stood, with dozens of strangers who were all likely on the way to the end of their final day.
A sudden jerk in the truck made Seven fall forward, knocking her into the person in front of her. “Fucking potholes.” She hissed under her breath, doing her best to steady her feet as the transport lurched around on the road. They could at least drive a little smoother. She thought to herself bitterly, turning to look out through the slats of the truck, holding onto the sides with her hands to keep her footing steady. There were still a few scattered voices in the convoy, idly asking where they were being taken, some yelling angrily about how they can’t do this, and some just sobbing into nothingness, but mostly it was just silent as the people quietly contemplated their fates. As the truck skidded to a stop, however, all the voices fell silent, each person turning to look as the sounds of feet and voices outside made their hearts race.
Suddenly, the back door was thrown open, and everyone near the exit flinched, covering their eyes as a large spotlight was focused on them. Some even tried to hold their hands up to block the bright light, until an aggressive voice from outside began barking orders at them, “Everyone out! If you try to resist, you will be killed on the spot! Now move!” Seven slowly shuffled with the group, jumping down from the back of the truck and stumbling slightly as her feet hit the gravel. As she got away from the truck and wasn’t in threat of getting pushed forward by the people exiting, she tried to look around, turning her back to the spotlight so that she could look out into the darkness. Even with her eyes adjusting, however, she couldn’t make out hardly anything, just the vague outline of buildings in the foggy distance and a few people who looked like soldiers standing with guns around the transport truck.
Once the last person was off the truck, the gate slammed shut and it pulled away, leaving an unsettling silence in its wake as it kicked up a cloud of dust. Seven had a very bad feeling, and she couldn’t help but start inching away from the group, her stomach in knots. “Get over there!” A voice snapped harshly at her as she was shoved from behind back towards the other captives. She hardly even had time to get annoyed at the rough treatment before a shrill siren rang out, making her and many others jump and twist around towards the startling sound. The siren only rang for a matter of seconds, and the hollow silence it left behind made Seven’s hair stand on end as she waited for something to happen. She quickly realized that the soldiers that had been circled around the group had suddenly vanished, and instead there was what looked like other people steadily walking towards the group.
One of the braver men near the front of Seven’s group stepped forward, peering through the darkness towards one of the people approaching. “Hello? Can you help us? We just got dumped here and–” The person who had been approaching suddenly became a blur, and before anyone could react, lunged at the man, choking his words off with a sickening crunch noise as he bit through the man’s neck. Everyone stepped back in horror as the man dropped to the ground with a scream, reaching up to try and pry the attacker off of himself, but to no avail. As if set off by the noise, suddenly all of the people who had been steadily approaching turned almost feral, bolting forward in an unsettling, inhuman way, grabbing anyone they could get their hands on.
The silence suddenly erupted into a cacophony of screams and fighting as people trampled over others in a wild bid to escape, only to get steadily and methodically picked off one by one. Seven scrambled away, panic welling up in her chest. What the fuck was happening? She turned towards the group as she ran, watching as a woman was tackled to the ground right behind her. For just a split moment in the low light, she saw the person that tackled her rear up, baring its fangs in the moonlight before quickly sinking them into the woman’s shoulder, causing her to shriek in a blood-curdling scream.
Seven watched in horror, stumbling to the ground and freezing at the sight before her and finding it hard to breathe. Is that… a vampire? She thought in panic, feeling like she was trapped in some kind of sick nightmare. As the creature looked up at her, she found herself paralyzed as her eyes locked with his; its eyes were as thin as slits, and they glowed slightly in the night as it looked straight through her. The woman on the ground was already still, and Seven could only assume she was dead, or worse. She scrambled to her feet as quickly as she could, turning and running as fast as her feet would carry her. What the fuck is happening? This can’t be happening!
She’d already assumed these transport trucks just took less-desirables off to be killed, but the thought that they were packed up and delivered like farm animals just to be eaten made her feel like she was going to be sick, and as the realization slowly caught up with her, she found herself feeling faint with fear, growing more and more dizzy as she ran until finally she had to stop, slumping against a wall in an attempt to catch her breath.
She looked back towards where she’d been dumped, listening as the sounds of screams and violence slowly grew more and more faint. Was everyone dead already? Was she the only one left? As the thought drove through her brain like a stake, she was suddenly grabbed by the arm, and she turned on reflex, kicking out towards her would-be assailant.
As her foot connected with flesh, the creature released her, letting out an angry hiss and looking up at her with those same glowing eyes from before. “G-get away from me!” Seven shrieked, wrenching away from it and sprinting away. She wasn’t sure where she could go, but she knew she had to get away from here, but before she had even made it a few steps away, she was again grabbed, this time being slammed against the building by the creature. The grip it had on her was iron-clad, and she felt no give to it at all as she struggled; it may as well been as strong as the brick wall she was pushed against for as much as it moved as she fought against it.
“Stop–” She began, but before she could barely even finish the word, she felt the sharp sting as its fangs sank deep through the meat of her shoulder, cutting her words off as she cried against the pain. Her agony had only just begun, however, as suddenly the creature’s weight was lifted off of her and the vampire’s fangs were violently yanked from her skin, tearing a deep hole into her shoulder as it was wrenched away from her. She couldn’t even fathom what was happening, and she merely fell to the ground, rolling and clutching her shoulder as she sobbed, the warm wet feeling that greeted her hand making her stomach lurch. Was that blood? Or something worse? She looked up towards her attacker, seeing another person there instead, the head of the creature held firmly in his hand. The sight was too much for her, and she turned with a sickening heaving sound; had she been able to eat before she had gotten caught, she would have certainly thrown up, but as her stomach was empty, she merely choked and coughed before desperately raising to her hands and knees and trying to crawl to safety.
“Where are you running off to?” The man called to her, making her freeze and turn towards him. Was he another human? The man tossed down the vampire’s head before stepping over to her, squatting down so he was on eye level with her. The man was tall and muscular, and his hair was black on the sides, but white on the top. His clothes looked clean and neat which starkly contrasted against his arm that had blood going all the way up to the elbow. As her eyes locked with his, she saw that same sickening red glow that her attacker had had. Vampire.
“G-go away!” Seven snapped, swinging her arm at him aggressively.
He caught her by the wrist with little effort, looking at her with a bit of a bored expression, “Ooh, you’re rude. Not a very nice way to treat the person who just saved your life, now is it?”
She glared at him, pulling her arm to try and get free of his grasp, “I don’t care! Let go of me–!”
The man ignored her, pulling her arm forward and peering over her shoulder at the large gouge marks the other vampire had left behind. “Hmm, that looks pretty bad, you know. But hey,” He dropped her arm, standing with a shrug, “If you want me gone so badly, I’m sure they would appreciate me leaving too.”
Seven was confused who ‘they’ was until she realized that she could see the faintest specks of red glowing in the fog behind him. Her stomach sank as she realized that each set of red specks were hungry eyes glaring at her from the dark, and as the man took a single step away, she reached up towards him, panic in her chest, “W-wait, don’t leave me! P-please.”
The man looked down at her with a smirk, stepping back over towards her. “Being out here with an open wound like that is really asking for trouble. I could help you, if you want?” He reached his hand out towards her, and she reached for it with desperation. No way in hell she trusted him, but what choice did she have?
As the man helped her to her feet, he glared out into the fog threateningly, and Seven watched in amazement as each of the red specks slowly withdrew until she could no longer see them through the haze. “Why are they all so afraid of you?” She asked shakily as she walked with him, almost afraid of the answer she would get.
The man shook his hand, flicking a bit of blood off of it, “If you had just watched me rip off a human’s head with my bare hands, you’d probably be a bit skittish too, I think.” Seven’s face twisted into a disgusted grimace which only made the man laugh before he continued, “Though I guess seeing me rip off a vampire’s head doesn’t put you any more at ease, does it?” She didn’t answer him, but he could tell by her stiff posture that he had hit the nail on the head; she was terrified of him.
“My name’s Hamitsu.” He offered, hoping having a name might put her more at ease.
“You can call me Seven.” She muttered, wincing slightly as she walked, blood pouring down her arm and dripping onto the ground.
Hamitsu watched it with interest, the glow in his eyes intensifying slightly as the strong scent of fresh blood filled the air. “Seven, eh? Seems fitting, because it’s definitely your lucky day, Seven.”
As her hand grazed across the exposed flesh of her shoulder, Seven had a hard time agreeing with his sentiment, but she couldn’t deny that she was definitely lucky to still be alive. “Yeah, thanks to you. So thanks, I guess. For saving me back there.”
Hamitsu waved his hand as if to say don’t worry about it before turning to look over his shoulder at the decapitated vampire he had left sprawled across the ground. Slowly as they gained distance, the other, weaker vampires started to move in, tearing at the corpse like vultures, filling him with a sense of disgust.
Seven followed his gaze, but in the low light she could see and hear nothing, and he was silently thankful that human vision was so poor in the dark; the last thing he needed was her fainting or freaking out. “You can thank me later.” He said cryptically, leading her towards his home with a thoughtful expression on his face.
Seven wasn’t quite sure what he meant, but she wasn’t about to ask either. She just focused on putting one foot in front of the other, following him into the unknown, unsure if she’d even live long enough to regret her decision.