Club Paradox was always full at that time of the night on a Friday evening, the loud acid house music filled my ears as I entered, rushing past the bouncer, one of which gave me an annoyed snarl but didn't pursue, he'd seen what I was following go in...
All over the dance floor, under the watch of the neon lighting that laced the cyberpunk and mystical atmosphere that composed the jarring thematic of the club, young adults from the nearby college danced, unknowingly fueling the sigils that had been worked into the neon signs with gnosis.
"Clever bastard..." I mumbled under my breath, looking all around for signs of the target. I extended my senses all around, getting a feel of the local astral space. There was a palpable humming of energy that arose from all those bodies moving, sweating and partying the night away. Underneath that, I could feel the bitter and sickening taste of a parasite hiding amongst the crowd.
I walked around slowly, my senses scanning everyone in the place one by one, receiving a few odd looks as I walked around with my long wool coat and scarf even in the blazing heat of the dance floor. I slipped my gloves out of my hands and set them into my left pocket, letting the runic design that ran on the fingers, palm and back of my hand, I let a small shift of power into it and feel the familiar heat of the magic fill my hand.
In my head, I felt the subtle flow of power that accompanied the presence of an awakened and spun around, grabbing the person by the neck.
"Stop..." The man said, half chocking due to the pressure on his throat. "It's me... Sammy!"I let go and he dropped to his knee, taking a breather. "You have the grip of a crocodile, man." He said, his voice only halfway joking.
"What are you doing here, Thomas?" I asked, looking around. It seemed nobody had noticed what had just happened. "How many times do I have to tell you not to call me Sammy?"
"I though you could use help?" He offered, uncertain.
"Can you pull off a glamour on both of us? They won't register the magic, but they'll see me assaulting a guy. It'll be better if we do this quiet."
He nodded and closed his eyes, whispering a few words. To anyone looking, nothing would have actually happened, but I could feel the spell wrapping around me like an invisible blanket. We weren't invisible, but people would conveniently not notice us unless we interacted with them.
"So... What are you after?"
"Jesus... Didn't the others tell you?" I sighed shaking my head. "It's another infected, from the speed and strength of it, I think it's was vampire."
He looked around nervously and I could see he was afraid, He wasn't built for combat. He wasn't built for much except hiding, which he had been doing for half of his life...
"Watch the front exit, the doorman aren't going to interfere, this is neutral ground." I told him and he nodded.
"Aren't you going to ask?"
"How Serah's doing... Didn't you see her at the hospital? I thought you'd care..."
"I did. But I can't concern myself with anything else right now."
We walked forward for a moment, moving toward the seated sections as I followed the trail of tainted power that the thing left behind on it's passage. I took a first step on the elevated area and felt a tiny shift in pressure.
My eyes scoured the area for movement in the split second it took for one of the man in a booth making out with a woman to jump to his feet and charge at me, leaving her with a thin trail of blood flowing down from neck to shoulder. The impact was sudden, sending me crashing against the metal frame of a table, my ribs exploding with pain.
A few meters away, the fire exit's door opened and I saw the infected slip past it.
"Damn it." I groaned, getting back on my feet and jogging toward the door, my right side crying martyr, I had probably broken one of my ribs.
The alley behind the club was cold and the soft moaning wind of early December came to my ears, there was a thin layer of snow set on the asphalt that reflected the neon that was fixed above the exit door. The alley continued on toward the street to the left and a dead end filled with trash containers and fire exits to the right.
There weren't any tracks that had been left by the infected vampire but the stench of corruption was overwhelming now that it had feed. I walked toward the center of the alley, the door closing behind me. I looked all around, carefully scanning the shadows for any trace of him.
Silence reigned for a while as I slowed my breath and hushed the pain away, focusing my mind on a simple pattern, Circle, triangle, square, circle. It was like a mantra at the moment, seeing nothing but it, ignoring the voice of reason that told me to move or run away as any sane person would do.
Again, the astral pressure changed slightly and I reacted quicker this time. I quickly stepped forward and spun around, sending my runed hand forward and grabbing onto the very surprised face of the vampire who had just landed, his hand dug into the cement where I had been standing a second earlier.
Death from above, a common tactics of vampires, too few people could think in three dimensions.
There was no fear, regret or anything in it's face as it's eyes stared at me, at this point in the infection, he was no longer capable of independent thought, much less emotions...
"Gotcha." I said, letting the power flow through my hand which began to glow. "Requiescat in pace... Bastard." I recited as the magical spell took effect, incinerating the guy until nothing but ashes quickly dispersed onto the wind were left.
"Sammy!" Thomas said as he stumbled through the door, having only now recovered from being tackled and sent down a pair of steps.
"It's done." I said, looking down at my hand, where the glowing orange runes slowly faded to their usual black.
"You don't look happy." He said with a dash of hesitation.
"Why should I be? I killed someone..."
"But it was a vampire, it was infected."
I bitterly chuckled. "And being a vampire is any excuse to be killed? It was sick, driven mad by the sickness, it wasn't evil of it's own volition."
I walked toward the wall and leaned against the wall, taking my phone out. I dialed a number and Nicolas' tired sounding voice picked it up.
"It's done." I declared neutrally, not betraying any of my feelings to him.
"I see..." He said, sounding like a weight had been taken away from him.
"How is Serah doing?"
"She'll be alright, I believe, Elemiah says that the sickness hasn't taken a deep root within her yet. It's still treatable."
"I see. I'll see you at home." I announced before hanging up on him. I started walking toward the street when Thomas walked next to me.
"Why do you do this if you hate it so much?" He asked.
"Someone has to. I'm good at it I guess..." I said with a shrug, going toward the campus and the boarding house where I had been residing for the past four months...