It doesn't take long for news of Alex Daly to get through.
We work for the same company. A company that poses as a locksmith's. But we're all here to protect humankind from creatures that prey on us and endanger us. We're based in the UK. It's a hideously Americanised operation, but the Americans supply our firearms and various other bits of weaponry that they can send our way. So we put up with it.
The boss has called a big meeting of some kind to figure out how we're going to deal with the situation. Because y'see, Alex was one of our best hunters. Some of us were quite good friends with him, too.
It's always harder to kill someone you know, even if they've become a threat.
I hope they don't choose me to deal with him. Because though I was always slightly bitter that when we worked together, he made me keep watch while he put an end to those abominations, we were always quite good friends.
In a way, I'm kinda glad we have the meeting today. I had office work all piling up and I'd planned to spend the day sifting through it and getting it done. I was getting bored of the curious - and the longing - stares. Don't be fooled by the name. I may be called Joey, but I am one hundred percent woman.
And don't the guys in the office cling onto that.
Not too many women are into hunting. I've never understood that one. Women complain about sexism all the time, yet they're quite happy to step back and call this a "man's job". Stupid.
Tell you another thing that's stupid, too. My outfit. Office work means smart clothes, right? Right. So being more of a hunter, I don't seem to own many of those kinds of clothes. Meaning I'm in a pencil skirt that comes to just above my knees if I pull it far enough. Otherwise it rides up. Oh and a blouse that enhances my figure. It must have been the outfit that got me my job here.
This outfit is attracting too much attention. I might start carrying my gun around the office. These losers are beginning to piss me off. I have a husband. They know this. It makes them stare more, I swear.
Finally, boss yells something over the tannoy that no one hears, but everyone understands. Get to the conference room.
So we all get up and file out of the office and filter into the conference room. Aidan, one of the guys that Alex worked with, glances at me awkwardly as we walk in and we end up sitting together.
"Hey," I mutter as I sit down, tugging on my skirt as I bend to make sure the hem line stays near my knees. He smiles at me and eyes me briefly, taking in the office clothes.
"Y'know, I think I prefer you in your hunting gear. You look a lot less scary in a pair of joggers and a white top," he laughs quietly. I nod and laugh too.
"Yeah, I prefer the hunting gear too, believe me. I just realised that the papers were all piling up and I had nothing better to be doing today," I grimace and Aidan opens his mouth to say something, but stops as boss walks in.
"As you are now all aware, one of our finest hunters, Alex Daly, has fallen to the vampires," there's no screwing around. The boss comes in, says what he has to say, does what he has to do and just gets on with it. I wish all my old bosses had been like this. Though the way he says that Alex fell to the vampires makes it sound as though he chose this. He couldn't have chosen this. I want to object, but boss just keeps talking, cutting off the angry muttering that washes along the table like a fire down a trail of gunpowder.
"We must, regrettably, deal with the risk he now poses. As a newborn and an experienced fighter, Alex is too dangerous to leave alive much longer." We already know this. What are you trying to do, rub it in that we should have known he was going to go nuts and run off on his own with no planning of any kind after this one vampire? Boss looks at each one of us in turn, the look in his eyes sombre and depressingly serious.
"You have to remember that when you find him, he is no longer the Alex we knew. He has been made into a shell of the person he once was - a bloodthirsty, murderous shell. He must be exterminated."