Tank, a vampire, has lived in New York City for only a few weeks, but he's quickly realized that life there will not allow him to do what he loves most: camp out in front of the TV and brood about his past. In his new home, he's become part of a new group, the Division, vigilante vampires who feast on criminals.
Tank was an army man. He was experienced in the art of winning. It came naturally to him, but it certainly wasn't coming naturally to his country's forces at the moment.
He knew that this was a losing battle. As people fell around him in brilliant sprays of red, he stared off into the distance, watching bullets fly and sandbags burst. A mortar fell a few hundred yards away with a whining roar and blew dirt and body parts into his trench.
It seemed easiest for him to drift away, so it could end without his knowledge. His hand snaked into his pocket and rummaged around in it a moment, his fingers sliding over shells and flint, until they brushed against a thin chain. He gave it a tug and it slid out of his pocket and into the palm of his hand.
A silver locket glinted in the dying twilight. He thumbed it open and took a long look at the photo within. It was of a beautiful woman, shot in sepia. Her blonde hair was cut in a page boy style, and she was wearing a pair of high-waisted trousers, a blouse, and a cloche.
Tank shook his head.
You're the reason I can't give up, he wanted to say, but Ophelia wouldn't hear him. She was at home, making mashed potatoes. Or maybe biscuits, depending on what rationing had allowed this week.
"Tank, I'm here."
It sounded like her voice. The lilt of her e's and the whisper of her h floated towards him. A dead man's hope ignited in his chest. He whipped his head around. It was now too dark to see much, but he distinguished a female figure sitting next to him, watching.
"Pheelee, I'm dying--" Tank stopped as soon as he'd said it. He wasn't dying. He hadn't even been shot.
"I know." She touched his chest, pulling her fingers back, now drenched with sticky blood. He looked down in bewilderment. Two gaping bullet holes were dripping his innards onto his mangled uniform.
"What...what do I do?" He started gasping for air, tears rushing to his eyes. "Pheelee, what do I do?"
"I can save you." Her voice was so calm amidst the gunfire.
"I can make you like Us."
"What does that mean?"
Tank's vision was starting to fade. He couldn't think so well. He watched the woman he thought was his wife inch closer to him, reaching towards his shoulder. Her fingers clenched tightly to him and she lowered her mouth over his neck.
"You'll be safe soon," she said. "Sleep. Sleep."
Tank woke up, hitting his head hard against the storage unit hanging over his bed. He cursed, trying to push back the wave of anger rising inside him.
His roommate's voice came from down the hall, probably in the kitchen.
"Had the dream again," he grunted, rolling out of bed. The light outside was fading, so he opened the blinds.
Outside, New York City glittered. Cars flew by on the street below, driving through the murky twilight. it was a Friday night, and the streets were humming with energy, especially in SoHo, where he lived.
He left the view behind, walking down the hall and into the kitchen.
"Man, you need a shower." Devon stood, flipping a pancake, in black skinny jeans and a button-up shirt. "Did you see the girl that turned you in the dream?"
"Yeah, she was there." Tank gripped the marble counter with one hand. "I wish I could remember who she was. Right now all I have is a face."
"What does it matter? She turned you and you'll probably never see her again. With the amount of vampires in this world? Unlikely."
"Did you pay the rent?" Tank pulled out a pre-cooled glass of blood and sipped on it. "And where'd you get those shitty clothes?"
"One, yes, and two, Fifth Avenue, and they're not shitty. They're Christian Dior."
"That shit's designer?"
"In my five hundred and eighty two years of life, I've learned that women flock to men with taste. You might want to develop some of that."
Tank considered himself in the reflection of the glass. His oily black hair jutted out in all directions. Soft blue eyes were deep-set into his face, bags hanging below them, the skin discolored. His soft nose was scarred and his lips chapped. Overall he looked a mess.
"I've gotta go out." He downed the rest of the glass, licking his lips and tracing his fangs with his tongue.
"Not like that you don't. You look inhuman, even without fangs. Besides, there's a storm coming."
"I need to see a guy about a thing."
Tank turned and went back down the hall, towards the shower. He closed the bathroom door, threw off his boxers, and turned on the water. The shower stream soaked his hair and droplets clung to his silver dogtags. Daniel "Tank" Monroe, they read.
He remembered the years after he'd been turned. When he'd woken up, he'd been in a trench in an abandoned field. He was bloody, hungry, but he didn't know for what. The few months after that had been horrible--feeding on whatever living thing passed by his hiding place in the woods in the Loire valley, trying to get his strength up.
Nintey-two years later, after Paris, London, Rome, and Madrid, he was living in New York. A fresh start in a new country. The woman who'd turned him had never found him, and he liked it that way. He'd rip her neck out if she came back.
He turned off the water and towled off. In his room he slipped into dark wash skinny jeans, a button up shirt, leather loafers, and a leather jacket.
"What guy about what thing?" Devon asked as he came into the kitchen again.
"A vamp. We've got some hunting to do tonight."
"Oh. Bring me back a snack. Preferably a murderer. I think they've got colder blood." Devon smirked at his joke and went back to making his pancakes.
"Tonight we're raiding some warehouse. I think it belongs to an arms dealer. Some angry ex-military type with connections. Lots of bodies, lots of blood to spread around. Keep the peace, and keep these jackasses off the streets."
"Are the Division members getting paid tonight?" Devon asked, as Tank opened the door.
"Besides in blood?." He shrugged. "We'll see."