Vampiric HumanityMature

A half-vampire get a shock when her Master hands over an apprentice to learn her art- the art of assassination.

I jumped down to a low rooftop, crouching to remain hidden. My quarry was a vampire tonight; he drained and killed unwilling victims. My boss was a vampire, but he, like most of the population, lived on willing donors or the synth-blood created by the government. It was originally for medical use, but the vampires quickly snatched up the process. They are still in the proverbial coffin, and they don’t like to make people “disappear.” So I am charged with the job of keeping the supernatural population under the radar and taking out the ones who refuse. Vampires are allowed to take willing donors, but very secretly and those donors are promised a place among their ranks once they know about vamps…even if they change their minds.

I was not a vampire. I wasn’t even human. I was a dhampir; a half-breed. My father was a vampire, and my mother was a human. Dear old dad hadn’t even known about me until he had tried to eat me and I put him down. I knew I wasn’t a vampire, but I knew I was not a meal, either, even then. He had been surprised that something that that had a heartbeat had been allowed to see him when it wasn’t food; boy he had quite a shock when I had pinned him to the floor and hissed at him. He had snarled back, and I had punched his nose into bleeding the sticky, coagulated blood that vampires have. He had been meek as a kitten after that. I had gotten my battle training out of him before he could blink, and then my assassin’s training.

I spotted my deadhead- he was tracking an immigrant. As he disappeared into an alley way I jumped- and landed on his shoulders. He buckled, and I drew steel as he threw himself away from me. He ran at me, snarling, and I lopped his head off with one smooth move. He exploded, and I frowned at the bits of ash on my clothes. It’s really hard to get out; it turns to blood if it gets wet.

I made my way to the headquarters/home of the vampires. I knocked twice, sharply, and someone sighed. “She’s back!” I heard, and a started to tap my foot. “And she’s pissed!” The same voice called, and I grinned in spite of myself. “Well, then for gods sake open the door before she takes it down!” I heard father yelp, and as the door opened I sent a fist into the doorman’s face. “Next time don’t warn people, just let me in.” I ordered, and he groaned. “Wuss.” I griped, and father sighed. “Come on, I want a briefing.” I snorted. “No you don’t. It was clean and fast, and nobody saw me. That’s all there is to it.” I said, and he smiled in relief. “Good. Still, come with me.” He said, and I followed him sulkily. I wanted to do my own thing now; I had a personal score to settle. “Now, don’t get upset. You will settle your insignificant vendetta in few minutes. This won’t take long.” I sighed, although I was slightly appeased. This wouldn’t take long.

I entered a room, and there sat a twenty-something blonde boy, with bluish gray eyes and a nervous, fidgety expression. I took a sniff; he wasn’t vampire or human. “Lillian, this is Rarzic. The man you killed tonight has been very idiotic; much as I was when I slept with your mother. He is a dhampir.” I arched an eyebrow. After he didn’t talk for a moment, apparently waiting for a reaction, I spoke. “And I should care, why?” I said, and he narrowed his eyes at me in irritation. “You’ll be his mentor. I’m giving you an apprentice.” My head shot up. “Oh, hell no. There is no way you’re attaching me to a little unlearned kid.” I said, growing louder by the second. He got louder with me. “Yes, I am! You are getting too reckless! This is the first time you have had an unseen killing in three months! Perhaps training a fledgling will remind you of your own rules.” I drew back in shock, and then got in his face. “You are one to talk, father.” I shouted, and he gasped. “You think you were so discrete? My mother knew what you were, and she died human. And for the thousandth time: I do what I have to, to get the job done. Witnesses are not an issue. I take care of them too. You haven’t done a thing in a fortnight, and you expect me to be perfect?” I said, and he deflated. I stepped back, crossing my arms stubbornly. “He is still yours. Deal with it or leave my house.” He said, and I snarled wordlessly. “Fine, old man.” I said finally, and he smiled triumphantly. I jerked to look at Rarzic. “You! Boy! Follow me.” I growled, and he stood up meekly, slouching subordinately. “Get your back straight, boy, I don’t have time to teach you posture too!” I snarled, and he shot up. I turned and stalked out of the room.

“I’ll start your training tomorrow. I’ve got some things to do. Go to your rooms or follow me, I don’t care.” I said, and descended the stairs. There was a roar of happiness when I entered the hall, and I grinned. A few of the braver souls whistled, and I winked at them before turning to the rest of the crowd. “Friends! Enemies! Strangers I don’t know yet!” I yelled, and they quieted. “There is one among you who I have taken issue with. Come forward before I have to find you!” I shouted, and he stepped forward shakily. “Thank you. You’ve saved me the trouble of dragging your ass to where I want you.” I said, and he shuddered. “I want my things, and I want them now; if I do not get them back now, I will kill you and find them amongst your shredded remains.” I said lightly, and he threw my necklace at me with a shaky hand. “Thank you, Neil. You have just done something smart for once in your miserable life. But I don’t think you’ve learned.” I said, and his eyes grew wider, and his skin took on a green tint. I suddenly flashed up to him, slamming him against the wall. His air whooshed out of him and he gasped for air. I tossed him into a table, putting a solid crack in the hard wood. He groaned, and this was were I would usually stop. But I was in a sadistic mood, and the group took bets on whether I would kill him. I seriously thought about it, but I settled for beating him bloody.

When I was done there was a communal groan- he wasn’t popular, an accidental change. I felt sporting today; like a gladiator in the arena. “You want me to kill him?” I yelled, and there was a roar of approval. “Do you want me to kill him?!” I shouted louder, and they screamed with anticipation. “All right!” I snarled, and ripped his head clean off. There was a roar of entertainment as blood spattered the vampires, and they licked what little of it got on them. I threw his head into the waiting crowd, and they lofted it high. I shouted with them, reveling in the kill. I heard a soft gasp, and I didn’t pay much attention until there was a hand tapping me softly. I turned to see who it was, my eyes alight, and then they darkened when I saw that it was just Rarzic. “What?” I asked, he cleared his throat. “I don’t know where my rooms are.” He said softly, and I sighed. “Well, boys, I’m busy tonight! You’ll have to settle for entertaining yourselves… and glutting yourselves!” I said, and they sighed as one. The female vampires laughed at the male vampires, and then a war was on our hands. I grabbed Rarzic by the collar and pulled him out of the way of two warring vampires just in time. “You need to get out of here.” I laughed, as he looked around in panic. I dragged him to the nearest door, parrying along the way to keep him out of the line of attack. I shoved him out first, and then kicked a male in the head as he tried to follow. “Find your own damn escape route!” I teased as I slammed the door in his face. “Come on, we have to get you out of here before it pours into the rest of the house. My rooms are closer, if I know where he put you. Follow me.” I said.

I kicked my door open. A shadowy figure lurched to his feet from the corner of my room. “You again! I’m busy tonight, I don’t have time for this shit. Get out.” I said, and he stepped into the light. His angelic face was pouting, and he looked at me with warm blue eyes. “Come on, Lily; what do you have to do?” He said, sidling closer. I sighed, but smiled at him. “I really am busy this time, Leo, or I might take you up tonight. Master has slapped me with a fledgling, says I’m to mentor him. Apparently I’m getting reckless.” I said blandly, and he looked behind me at the boy. He turned to look at me with pity. “You do what you have to do, nothing more!” He said, and I shrugged. “That’s what I said. Anyway, how did you get in this time?” I asked, and he smiled sheepishly. “I am a fair hand with a lock pick.” He admitted, and I rolled my eyes. “You better get going. There’s been a slight disagreement between the sexes-” he rushed out of the room without another word. I nodded triumphantly and shut the door behind him.

I slumped against the wall with a sigh. I motioned for Rarzic to join me, and he sat across from me, pretzel-style. “I swear, I was born tired.” I said, and he looked confused. I motioned for him to ask his questions.

“I was surprised by your camaraderie with them.” He said, and I put my head against the wall and closed my eyes while I answered. “They are no longer them, and you are no longer yourself- we are one. We are a family, even if we kill each other nightly. You learn to act like you think that, and after a while it’s just habit.” I said, and he took that in. “Okay. I can understand that. But what gave you the strength to become so…detached?” He asked, and I laughed mirthlessly. “I must be a better actress than I thought. I feel every death of my family like it is my own; but if you are raised by a mother who tells you that you are a monster every day as a good morning, your head turns to metal and you can do anything that is required.” I said, and he shuddered. “My mother was an alcoholic. She died of alcohol poisoning, in fact; but that’s hardly the point. She made me what I am. A killer, only good for carrying out Father’s orders.” I said, and I realized my slip when his jaw went wide. We had been snarling during the fight I had with Father, so he must not have heard that part. “You are the master’s daughter?” He yelped, and I cracked an eyelid. “None other.” I said, and he choked on his words for a moment. “And you still have this job?” He hissed softly, and I shrugged. “I don’t know how to do anything else; didn’t, even then, so I asked for this. It was the closest I had ever come to being accepted. It took many years for them to love me. Only my own mentor accepted me for what I was.” I said, and I saw him look with interest at my face. “I was a born killer, and I grew up knowing it. So I lived it, just like mommy said.” I said, half-smiling. He reached out to touch me, and I froze. He paused, and then continued to reach out. I didn’t move as his fingertips touched my hand. He drew his hand away, and I leaped to my feet.

“On second thought…Who needs sleep? Your training starts now.” I said, and he got up warily. I rifled through my weapons cabinet and got a beginner’s weighted sword. I tossed it to him, and he assumed a sloppy guard. I snagged my own weapon of choice; a weapon of grace- a moon blade. It was as long as I was, curved, with a grip in the center. It was serrated, but streamlined to cut fast and then get the hell out of Dodge. It was intimidating, but I stabbed it into the ground to show that I wouldn’t use it today. “I’ll go bare hand for now, until you can offer a real fight in blade-to-blade combat. Come at me.” I said, and he hesitated. I kicked his side, and he doubled over. “Don’t think, do.” I ordered, and he rushed me. I threw him gently into the correct stance, and then I shook my head as he swung at me again. “No, no. You’re not chopping firewood, here. You are fighting.” I said, and he got better from there.

Only when the sun came up in my window did I let him rest. “All right. If you want to get some rest, you can stay here. I’ve got the day shift.” I said, and he gaped. “What?” I asked, unable to decipher his expression. “When do you sleep?” He asked, and I laughed. “I can sleep when I’m dead.” I grinned, and he got up. “What do you think you’re doing?” I asked with an arched eyebrow. “Do you want company?” He asked, and I shook my head. “Don’t expect to keep up yet.” I said, and then I flashed out the window. He followed, unsure of himself. “Where are we going?” He asked, and I answered as he ran with me. “I’m going to pick up some blood for the vamps, and then I have to escort a shipment of donors to headquarters, where they will be given a home and food until A. they die, or B. they are changed into vampires.” He looked shocked, and I motioned for him to ask. “They trust you with their donors?” He asked, and I smiled. “I have one of my own, for chrissake. It’s not like I’m going to turn them in for illegal trafficking.” I said, and he jolted to a stop. I wound down and then trotted back to him. He was hyperventilating. “You…drink…human…blood?” He gasped, and I thumped him on the back. “Yes. You met my personal donor last night. Leo? No one else is allowed to feed off of him. It’s a benefit of the job.” I grinned, and he shuddered. “You are going to kill him?” He asked breathily, and I shook my head jerkily. “No. But don’t tell anyone, agreed? They’re taking bets, and I’d like to win some money.” He sighed in relief. “Leo is the only way I keep sane around here; he’s my best friend, and the only decent one of the donors. That’s why I fought so hard for him; I didn’t want him to be given to one of the others.” I said, my eyes shadowing. I started going again, and he followed thoughtfully.

We arrived in front of a building, it’s windows boarded up. Our production plant. I knelt to stare into the keyhole, and a light beamed into my eye as it checked my I.D. It beeped a conformation, and swung open without a sound. “Lil, how goes it?” One of the white-coat clad scientists shouted my way. “Not bad, Bill. I’m here for a shipment and some Synth.” I reported, and he sighed. “How many and how much?” He asked, and I did a mental inventory. “Thirty or so, and about three hundred pints.” I said, and he groaned. “All right. Sit down, I’ll get the truck ready.” He said, and started barking orders to the other lab rats.

I sat in the loading dock, reading a “People” magazine and watching the grunts load the blood. When they were done I stood up. The donors were escorted into the hall; they were blindfolded. I walked up and down the rows. I stopped by the fourth one in, and sniffed him delicately. “This one is sick. With what?” I asked, and he stuttered out that he had a cold. I passed him by. I stopped again on the second row. “This one is known to me. He hates vampires. Kill him.” I said calmly, and the dragged him, screaming, away. I continued along my way. On the fifth row, I froze. I slowly picked up a donors arm, looked at it curiously, and I smiled. “Been with vampires before, I take it?” I asked kindly, and he nodded. “Hm. I get the feeling I know you… Oh! You were a donor of an Irish vampire I once killed. I understand now. Thank you for volunteering again.” I said, and he gulped as I moved on. I stopped only once more.

I sniffed him, and he smiled. “Hey, honey. Miss me?” He asked, and I ripped the blindfold off. “Alan!” I cried, and he hugged me. “I thought you were dead?” I asked, and he shrugged. “Well, it was sort of necessary at the time. You were after my ass, so…and then I heard my name had been cleared. Thank you for that, by the way.” He said, and I grinned. “You’re welcome. And I’m glad that the poor shmuck that got the sharp end of a sword wasn’t you. Who you goin’ for? You know they’re going to fight for you.” I said pointedly, and he frowned. “I hadn’t thought about it. You free?” He asked, and I shook my head. “Got a personal.” I said proudly, and he gaped, and then gave a cheer. “No way!” He yelled, and I nodded importantly. “Yup. I’ve gone up in the ranks since you left.” Suddenly his grin dissipated. “Then…Who am I going to get?” He asked, broken. I thought for a moment. “You know what…Why don’t you come with me, as a…guest.” I suggested, and he arched his eyebrows. “And then?” He said, and I smiled. “I kick as many asses as I need to for you and Leo to be mine.” I said, and he arched his eye brows. “Only really high up vamps have multiple personal donors.” He said, and I widened my grin. “And if there isn’t anyone more powerful than I-” I let him finish in his head. “All right.” He said, and I wrapped my arm around his waist and led him to the passenger side of the truck. “Wait. I need to collect my apprentice. I have a slight notion he is upset.” I said, and shut the door on his shocked face.

I walked back to where he sat, and he was sweating buckets and gripping the chair with a white knuckled grip. I put my hand on his shoulder. “Get used to it. Come on.” I said, and he followed me stiffly. When I squeezed him in to the middle of me and Alan he looked even more displeased. “Who’s the human?” He snarled, and I shoved him over as I got in. “An old friend. Respect may be a notion that is difficult to you, but show some to him.” I growled as I peeled out of the garage and sped my way to the mansion.

The End

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