Deborah was marched down a hallway, wearing nothing but wrist and ankle cuffs with a tight chain between. They had blindfolded her before she had officially entered Wayne Manor. She was being escorted by what she assumed were two other vamps. They both have a damn good grip, and haven’t readjusted themselves since they latched onto my elbows. Their matching my pace perfectly. Doesn’t sound like their breathing either.
The week-old vampire was finally used to how her body worked now. All of her senses were sharper, but felt distant at the same time. Deborah felt the smooth, cool floor under her feet, counting her steps with absolute focus.
Deborah felt the air shift as she was marched into a very small room. Another shift made Deborah guess that a door, or pair of doors had slid closed. Ready to accept her new cage, she felt an unprecedented accuracy within her ear drums. Are we descending? The room felt stuffy like a closet, but she felt subtle vibrations throughout.
With a soft bounce, Deborah wobbled slightly before she heard and felt the room open up again. Definitely two doors. Forced forward once more, Deborah noticed how damp the air had turned. The smooth floor was cooler than before, and the hallway smelled different, almost stale.
Confused by the moving closet, Deborah still focused on counting her steps. She had entered the base from the north. After few turns, Deborah was sure she was now walking westward. With no little to no evidence, Deborah guessed she was well underground as well. I guess they won’t be putting me in the sun at least.
The trio stopped walking and turned northward again. Deborah felt her left guard shuffle until a soft beep sounded. A heavy metal door opened shortly after the beep, and Deborah instantly smelled a cloud of disinfectant and citrus. I’ve definitely smelled worse prisons than this.
A few steps past the cold metal door led Deborah’s feet from cool tile to ice cold concrete. Within a few clicks, Deborah was unshackled and her blindfold removed. She had kept her eyes closed in preparation of a bright light. Purple, white light flooded her eyelids.
Eyes still closed, Deborah reached behind her head and latched onto the hand that had removed the blindfold. The left guard grabbed her wrist and shoulder, but Deborah had already twisted the guard on the right to the floor.
Deborah opened one eye, which had adjusted enough to see a thin black club swinging for her. The same club that had incapacitated her back at the oasis. Deborah jumped straight up, catching the guard’s elbow in her knees, bringing her right hand into his face in the same movement. More shocked than pained, the guard screamed when Deborah launched two fingers into each of his eyes.
Still pushing down on Deborah’s left arm, the guard was already falling forward after being eye gouged. Deborah opened both eyes in time to see the first guard returning to his feet. She removed her four fingers from the other guard’s eye sockets, and retrieved the shock club.
Guard number one pulled out a small vile, and sprayed her with a mist that forced her eyes closed. Shit! That actually hurts! Before she could remember how to deal with pain, Deborah caught a heavy boot to her chest, planting her into the floor.
Deborah clubbed the back of the guard’s knee, buckling him just enough for Deborah to roll away. She heard the heavy boots fumble, but no thud. Caught his balance. Deborah quickly fumbled with her club until she found what she was looking for.
She also heard the other guard flick some electricity into the air. Fuck. Deborah clicked her switch off, and smacked the handle a few times. Pretending the stick wouldn’t turn back on, Deborah back against the nearest wall, cursing.
Listening to the guard’s shock stick was too easy. Even more helpful was the guard mumbling, “Dumb bitch.” She had already seen how tall he was, and it sounded like he was hunching now.
Deborah flicked the club on and madly waved it ahead of her. She flicked it off once more as if it was malfunctioning. “Just let me go!”
She heard the guard’s clothes rumple, and she ducked at the moment when she had expected him to lunge. Deborah swung out with her free hand to grab anything she could. Catching nothing at all, the next thing she felt was a long surge of electricity.
Deborah’s eyes peeled open, and they didn’t burn at all. She slowly realized she was drinking something. Her blurry vision focused on someone’s wrist caught in her mouth. The fuck?
Gian’s voice spoke up, “That’s enough. She’s awake.”
The wrist was being pulled away; Deborah leaned forward, futilely keeping the arm in her mouth. Bright ultraviolet light illuminated from the center of the ceiling. The guard she had eye gouged was being bandaged out in the hallway.
Two more guards in black uniforms pulled Deborah’s blood donor away. They sprayed a translucent foam into his opened wrist. The unkempt man was also naked, and he flinched at the foam before looking up to Deborah. His brown eyes widened behind strands of wild brown hair as he screamed, “No! Wait!” He turned to Gian, failing to break free of his guards, “You said I’d be like you! Not one of the red eyes!”
As the guards removed him from the small room, Gian shrugged, “I never mentioned eye color, you are correct.” The bald, blue eyed vamp wore the cleanest, blackest clothes Deborah had ever seen. Combat boots lead up to slacks, then up to a nice fitting vest with a gold chain hanging out of a breast pocket.
His white undershirt was rolled up to his elbows, exposing translucent skin with thick blue veins and thick, pointed nails. A chrome revolver was holstered on his left hip, and running around the belt was a fully stocked bandolier of standard, steel cased, round nose bullets.
The vamp in charge turned his slightly pointed chin to Deborah. There was a slight rumble to his voice as he apologized, “Sorry Deborah… Do you have a last name?”
All she was worried about was licking off the blood around her mouth.
Gian shrugged, “Back in the day, my mother called me by five names, when I was in trouble.” He grinned, seeming to remember something funny, “These days, most people think it’s safer not to relate themselves to their loved ones, or at least their family.”
Deborah kept silent as she gently tugged on the chain that connected the wall to a shackle around her neck.
Her captor paced the concrete floor, three paces took him from the center of the floor to the wall. He ran a hand over the coarse, concrete block, “This isn’t personal Deborah. The young man you tortured—Tate, if you didn’t know his name—requested this. You drink your last meal by infecting a fellow prisoner.”
“What did he do?”
“He didn’t appreciate his place here.” Gian looked over to the eyeless guard, “I must say, for being a red eye, you sure know how to hurt us.”
I’ve been killing vamps for most of my life.
Gian seemed to be enjoying the lack of Deborah’s engagement, “I always like the ones that don’t talk back. I’m not sure if it’s stubbornness or pride, believe me, I’ve seen the difference. Regardless, the higher you stand, the harder you fall.”
“How old are you?”
Gian grinned even wider, “You probably wouldn’t believe me.”
“Blue eyed vamps are supposed to be a myth. Red eyes are everywhere, can’t hide them anymore can you?”
“Ah yes. Everyone wants to believe that the monsters they find are easily dispatched. Most are scared when they discover a real monster, a true competitor for the throne of apex predator. Do you know what a zombie is?”
“They used to be more popular than vampires, werewolves and chupacabras combined. Zombies were popular to humans because they love the idea of an unstoppable force that they can conquer. That’s one reason we stopped worrying about the red strain. People feel safer when they know they can wipe out a small pack of our zombies. That confidence makes those same people vulnerable. Vulnerable to the real predators. We’re just as hard to kill as the reds, but we can think for ourselves. We come at our prey from the side. We are the inheritors of this planet.”
“Something tells me you’d die as quickly as me without human blood.”
Gian tucked his pants up to hunker down to Deborah’s eye level. “To answer your original question, I am well over three thousand years old. Can you even comprehend how long that is?”
“At least you’re honest.” Gian turned to the man in the long white jacket in the hall, “How is he doc?”
The doctor had short brown hair with streaks of white. “I’d say a bag a day and his eyes will be back to normal. He’s lucky the UV light didn’t do much damage.”
The eyeless guard replied, “Training, not luck.”
Deborah caught the doctor’s gaze. His blue eyes were deeper than Gian’s, softer, human. He looked her up and down, and he looked sorry.
Gian continued, “Tate’s plan is to starve you. I don’t know if you were listening to us earlier, but it’s the truth. Without blood, your mind will slowly drift from your grasp.”
Deborah locked onto Gian’s eyes. I’ve killed enough to know. “How about you? How long can blue vamps starve?”
“When I starve, my body deteriorates, as you can probably see. My mind stays constant, and my body will eventually return to normal, with a steady diet of course.”
“How long did you go without?”
“Thirty-three days. I was a prisoner myself recently.”
“Escaped, or released?”
Gian grinned again, “Escaped. But I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were you. I had friends on the outside. From what I gather, you abandoned your friends.”
Guilt washed over Deborah. I left them to save them. I knew I was going to die either way.
“Oh.” Gian stood upright, “I see it now. You wanted to die sooner than this.”
“I tried to blow my brains out the second I knew I was turned.”
Gian crossed his arms, “I used to be a slayer too. We bring a lot of baggage when we change teams.”
“You mentioned another tribe moving in on Tate’s old territory. Can you tell me who they are?”
“They have Tate’s tank. I assume they’re from Anthill.”
Deborah felt her eye twitch.
Gian didn’t smile at that. “You shouldn’t have asked if you already knew.”
She shrugged, “How much worse can it get? I might not die in peace, but I’ll finally die.”
Gian nodded, “If it were up to me, I’d give you an honorable death.”
“I appreciate that, slayer to former slayer.”
Gian shook his head, “You brought a pack of feral vampires into a village just to torture one man. You lost your slayer mentality a while ago.”
“I’m a soldier too.”
Gian smirked and mumbled to himself, “Of all the gin joints in all the town in all the world, she walks into mine.”
“Deborah, try to take comfort in the fact that you’ll stop caring soon.” He began to turn away.
“Gian,” she waited for him to face her again, “with the blue eyes, do you stop caring?”
He wasn’t smiling anymore, “I’m sorry we had to meet this way.” Gian gave a slight bow and spun on his heel to leave.
She watched the heavy door close, with no door knob on the inside. Another metal latch sounded inside the hall, and faint footsteps faded away.
Deborah felt for the chain at the back of her neck. She pulled only an arm’s length over her shoulder before it tightened. Just long enough to let me stand or lie down.
She turned around to look at the four bolts holding the plate connected to her chain. Every piece of metal was polished to blinding perfection. Feeling the collar around her neck only made her wish she had learned how to pick locks. The long ultraviolet bulbs on the ceiling weren’t flickering in the slightest. Deborah was almost amazed to see so much material in pristine condition.
Never killed blue eyed vamps before…