When Worlds Collide
Table Of Contents
Chapter I: The Meeting
The once bright paint that decorated the walls of the arcade with random shapes and patterns was chipping at the edges. The arcade machines beeped and sang out their tunes in the silent all-night arcade. The lights, dimmed for the night crowd, hummed quietly overhead. There was one assistant in the store, sitting behind the counter and staring at a holoscreen. Besides them, there was only one other person among the gaming equipment.
A girl, looking to be in her early 20s, stood at an ancient machine, one that still had a solid screen in a cabinet instead of a holo-display. Her hair was a fiery red and was almost unbelievably long, the very tips brushing the floor as she hammered on the buttons. Her green eyes followed the sprites on the screen with an inhuman speed, fingers blurring as she pressed buttons in rapid succession. Despite all her efforts, she fumbled a button sequence and the defeat music played mockingly.
Ember leaned her head against the worn arcade cabinet, GAME OVER taunting her on the screen. She sighed heavily and ran her fingers through her hair, looking around the empty room. Clenching her teeth together, she tapped her fingers on the buttons as she thought to herself. She was bored. The Division coming into the place had ruined all the fun in her life, taken away all the excitement.
“Still...all the lives I took…” The girl with the mohawk and the electrifying brother came to her mind, as she often did in times of moral distress. They were the first victims she pitied, that she chose to let go. They had fought so hard to keep each other alive...It was almost enough to stir her long dead heart. Sure, she was outmatched and that was all she could do to prevent dying for real but....tomatoe tomato.
Ember pushed herself off the arcade machine and turned on her heels, walking back towards the entrance. Pushing her way out the door, she pulled out her vape pen and sucked on the tip as she pressed the button. Leaning against the brick building, the chill of the winter air would’ve made her shiver if she were human. She tapped her foot as she filled her non-functional lungs and pondered the logistics of her body.
As her eyes traveled over the neon signs on the other nighttime establishments, a flash of light started to blind her. Right out of the corner of her eye, wavering in a strange fashion. She almost thought it was a headlight or a flashlight with how suddenly bright it was. Rubbing her eyes, she swore under her breath as she tried to blink the sunspots away.
Her sight still compromised, Ember squinted as she tried to make out the figure in the middle of the light. Feminine, tall… But as she leaned forward to try to see better, the woman was thrown towards her and she stumbled backwards out of the way. “Fuck, shit...what the fuck!” Ember muttered as she regained her balance, rubbing her eyes.
Her hands went to her side automatically, looking for her weapon, as she blinked the spots out of her eyes and looked down at the girl on the ground. Unfortunately, her gauntlets were at home, as they usually were these days. She would probably never get used to that; you needed a permit to carry something so dangerous. No way would a vampire like her get one.
Standing straight and taking another rip of her pen, she squinted downwards. The girl had a hair color that almost looked white in the dim; a soft lavender purple. A pretty color for sure. She hummed a moment as she tapped her foot. “I could just walk away and act like I didn’t see anything…” She mused before deciding that she had nothing better to do.
Leaning down, Ember gave a toothy smile. “Hey, you ok down there? What happened just now?" She extended a hand as the other pushed her hair out of the way. The woman’s pink eyes looked upwards, blinking as she wiped off her face. “Your guess is as good as mine.” She groaned and took Ember’s hand, finally climbing to her feet. “Probably wouldn't believe me anyway.”
Ember tugged the girl up easily, taking her in as she stood up and brushed herself off. The tall lady was wearing a long blue coat, ripped black jeans and a pair of boots. The red of her sweater underneath the coat stood out to the vampire and she stared awkwardly for a moment before shaking her head. The strong Scottish accent surprised her but she tried not to show it, instead taking another good suck off her vape.
Ember’s green eyes did a final scan of the girl, eyebrows raising at the mechanical arm visible underneath her coat. There were a lot of things stranger than that these days but still, it probably had a story. As she took a few steps to her right to pick the sword up off the ground and rest it on her shoulder, Ember rolled her eyes and looked around quickly.
Turning back, the vampire gaped at the sword; it was huge and she was surprised that the woman could lift it with such ease. The hilt was strangely designed, like the handle of a motorcycle. Coming up and off the side, a pair of exhaust pipes made her furrow her brows.
“Damn thing's busted. Gonna have to get you taken care of...” The mercenary spoke to herself, talking to her blade. Ember interjected into her musings with frustration.“Hey, come on! You trying to get a girl in trouble or something?” Her mind whirred thinking of the sorts of things Hardison could come up with if he saw her near a large weapon like that. “If I get caught out associating with a giant sword like this, I’ll be in deep shit in no time!”
“Get you in trouble?” She spoke again, turning her head to face Ember. “What d'ya mean?” She sounded confused, as if no one had asked her that before. Peering into the arcade and then all around, the redhead started to speak, “What I mean is-”
“Nevermind, don't answer that. Listen,” Ember hissed in irritation as she was cut off, her eyes narrowing. The woman walked closer to the irritated vampire, speaking with an attractively stern urgency. “Whatever the hell attacked me and threw me into next Wednesday is probably still around. You're gonna need to get out of here, ASAP.”
A growl grew in Ember’s throat as the woman immediately started taking charge. “Listen first off, shut the fuck up.” She snarled back, baring her fangs. “You don't need to tell me to be careful. You're new here so maybe you don't know but you can't have a giant fucking sword out in public! They'll think I'm out here trying to go on a blood hungry rampage or something!”
The Scot’s eyes widened just a bit as she was being yelled at by the redhead. Her face gently faded into a shade of red before she let out a soft chuckle. “Right, my bad.” She then let the sword latch onto a series of clasps on her back. “I normally keep it with my bike...Wouldn't be good if the mundane saw it, either.” Was she…Enjoying this?
Ember chuckled a little when she saw the purple girl blush, smiling a little to herself and relaxing once the sword was put away.“Well at least now it’s clearly hers.” She thought with a shrug. “And what's that about a rampage or somethin'?” She paced to Ember's side, turning to face her now. “You ain't human. Are you?” She'd asked, just before cutting herself off after such a dangerous question.
Ember kind of spread her arms as if to say “You think?”, almost automatically bringing her hand to her wallet pocket. Her ID card, identifying her as a vampire, was tucked away safely with her driver’s license and cash. The difference between the picture on the vamp ID card and the driver’s license was profound; She looked pissedin the former, the latter taken in a much better mood.
“Anyway, I don't suppose you know what that was, do you lassie?” The accent was very prominent now and it made the vampire flush as her voice rolled through her ears. “Thing scared the hell outta me, it did.” She placed her hands on her hips, giving Ember a look of confusion. “Nearly broke me damn back.”
“I didn't see anything, it was way too bright for me…” She paused for a second and made a face before continuing. “If you must know I'm a vampire, though it's hard for people to not know these days. Anyway, that made it like...super hard to make anything out.....”
She let out a soft giggle, pointing to her teeth; she’d caught a glimpse of her canines just a moment earlier. “You've got some fine snappers. It was either that or a werewolf.” Ember smiled, a little surprised someone would compliment her teeth but flattered nonetheless.
Coughing roughly, Ember suddenly remembered the hit in her dead lungs. No more than a few coughs were needed, given the status of her organs, and she quickly recovered. Waving at the air with her hand, she gave the purple haired woman a sheepish smile. The woman raised an eyebrow as she watched the cloud of water vapor exit her pretty lips.
“Could kill you, y'know. Though, guess that doesn't really apply to vampires, does it?” The Scottish lass giggled, brushing the hair out of her face. She parted her hair in the middle, allowing it to feather off to each side. It framed her face perfectly and worked nicely with the freckles dotted all across her cheeks. Ember laughed with her and nodded, looking at the device in her hands. “Yeah, I guess that'd be a worry if my lungs weren't dead already.”
The redheaded vampire spaced out for a second, looking up into the light polluted sky as she hit her vape once again. Looking back down, she spoke up again quickly. “D-don't worry though I'm registered and everything! I haven't bit someone that didn't ask for it in years, I swear!” She held her hands up, giving the woman the most innocent look she could muster. It was a little hard, having not been innocent for decades, but she did her best.
Leaning up against the arcade's outside wall, the purple haired lady winked at the redhead. “Relax, I've got nothin' against vampires. 'Specially one with a face like that.” When the cute Scottish girl went even further with the flattery like this, Ember buried her warm face in her hands. She wasn't at all used to getting this kind of attention from females and while she thought she wouldn't like it…
“Should probably get me and this baby out of the limelight. Plus, three in the morning isn't a great time for someone like me to be out. Past me bedtime.” She said, folding her arms and faking an obnoxious yawn.
Then she spoke again as her mind wandered back to what Ember had said. “What d'ya mean, registered? You mean you have, like, regulations and stuff? Isn't that dangerous?” She asked, waving her arm. Being the masculine woman she was, she normally spoke with her hands. “Though if that's how it works here, it is what it is.”
Ember lifted her head, glad for the change in subject. Her cheeks had cooled a little but they still were a shade of pink. “It keeps us in check, makes the humans feel safer. It's not like I have a choice.” She spoke with an edge in her voice, shrugging dismissively. The topic of her forced capture and gelding was not one she liked to speak of.
“Either way, if you took a bite outta me, we'd have to take it somewhere a little more.. private.” She raised her eyebrows and gave her a smirk. Ember had turned to face the woman a bit better, just in time to hear her make the comment. The woman saw Ember’s eyes get a bit bigger and her mouth drop open a small bit, her tongue grazing her fangs.
Her eyes trailed over her muscular form as her instincts started kicking in, the pounding of the woman's heart filling her ears. Her eyebrow went up when she noticed Ember's gaze trailing over her tall body. “You see somethin' you like?” She gave a gentle laugh before shrugging her shoulders.
Ember turned almost as red as her hair and shook her head wildly, her incredibly long hair whipping around in the air. “N-n-no! I was just looking at you! I would never!” With a gentle tease, the woman responded, “Sure. That's what they all say.~” Ember huffed and tried to get a breath of fresh air but instead, the mortal’s scent wafted into her nostrils.
“So, whaddya say? Should probably get out of here.” The purple haired girl reiterated. There hadn’t been anybody on the street before but now there were a few groups of nighttime wanderers trickling in. She motioned towards the cracked brick wall where she landed. “Don't need any suspicion, now do we?” She walked closer to Ember. “Plus I've got work in the morning. Momma needs her beauty rest.”
Ember’s eyes had settled on her neck region, on a vein hidden underneath the surface of her skin. Her scent teased her nostrils, almost reminding her of her normal prey; virile young men. Her mouth watered a little and she had to fight to snap herself out of it, looking up as she motioned towards the wall.
“Uh...uhm...yeah yeah, that's. That's a good idea. You can come back to my place, it's not that far.” She stood quiet for a moment, realizing what she had just got herself into. Shaking her head, she spoke up again. “My name's Ember. It's nice to uh..run into you?”
“Let's get going then. Wouldn't wanna sit around here too long.” She turned and began to walk past Ember, before stopping abruptly. “Oh, yes.” She held her right hand out- the human one. “Victoria L'belle. A pleasure.”
Ember moved forward with her, trying to hide that she was still slightly pink in the cheeks, screeching to a stop just as quickly. Gripping her hand, she swallowed and nodded. Her hands were strong, for a mortal girl “It's ah...super cool to meet you too, Victoria!” Shaking her hand with pleasure, Victoria said, “You as well.”
She turned her head again, looking up towards the moonlit sky. “You're going to have to lead us...Which reminds me, where....is this?” She turned her head back. “Doesn't look like any city I've been to. And believe me, I've been all over.” She grinned as if she were proud of the fact.
“Tokyo, New York, Dubai, Cairo, but me favorite's London, it is.” She was almost forcing the Scottish accent at this point as if she found it funny. “Lotsa stuff to do there. Haven't been to any good arcades, though.” She motioned towards the building beside the two and gave Ember a gentle wink. “You'll have to show me around.”
She did indeed take the lead, if only to give her face a moment to cool off. “United States, 2090.” Ember responded shortly. Victoria slipped a small phone out of her pocket, turning the screen on. “20....90, huh?” She paused a moment. “I come from...Well, back where I'm from, the year is closer to 2023. So....Time...travel?” Ember shrugged at the question. She may have seen some shit but this was out of her range; She'd never seen a portal open in front of her.
“A small state called Vermont.” The vampire continued, “It used to be less populated and that's why I originally hid out here. It got more populated over the decades but still, nice quiet place where I can
murder eat bite a few people every couple of months and get away with it.” She scoffed and rolled her eyes. Victoria listened to the woman, taking it all in stride as she tagged along.
“Then 10 years ago, the Division came in and made it so there's blood banks everywhere, vamps can pick up blood at the nearest hospital! And the registration! I can't bite a living individual and just you know sucky sucky for a minute and let them go on their way- despite the anti-vamp vaccines! I need written fucking consent!” Ember groaned as she walked the familiar way back home, kicking trash away from her feet. Being the night creature she is, she was going through the back ways. Makes a vampire feel safer from the normies.
As she clambered up the fire escape ladder, she bemoaned further, “Bagged blood is like...like canned meat! It's so gross! I like feeling the pulse under my teeth!” She said, making a pair of fists with the last sentence when she reached the top of the ladder.
Victoria had never met a vampire face-to-face before, yet whenever she was briefed about them, they sounded like plain demons who would mindlessly attack her for her blood. This vampire didn’t seem so bad. She followed close behind, listening to Ember talk. Her voice was awfully calming, like music to the woman's ears.
“You don't eat often, do you?” She asked, feeling a bit of relief that Ember seemed as close to a mundane human as she could get. Ember scoffed and shrugged. “I eat as often as I need to, I just don't enjoy eating. It's like subsisting on MREs. You're alive but your tongue won't be too happy.”
“I'll keep that in mind.” Victoria couldn't imagine eating real food as rarely as Ember did. She always enjoyed her three meals a day, so going out without the tasty things she normally ate was...an uncomfortable thought. She'd had such a large plate of ribs for dinner...The taste still lingered on her tongue; 2am dinners were the absolute best.
“Can you eat...like...normal food, though? Blood's all...metal-y. Though I guess it wouldn't really help you like drinking someone's blood.” Victoria questioned further, curiously. A yawn crept out of her lips. She was definitely exhausted, but she didn't mind being awake so late.
Ember nimbly climbed the steps and reached the top floor quickly and easily, yanking her window open once she was there. It would never occur to her unless asked that it's dangerous to keep a window on the fire escape unlocked; who'd rob a vampire? She turned around and leaned against the wall, listening to Victoria talk to her.
“So what are you gonna do?” She asked, trailing behind Ember as the two made their way up the building. “I mean, you sound like you're starving. You've been goin' on and on about it.” She shrugged. “Wouldn't judge you if you wanted to go find a midnight snack. I ain't got any authority out here, anyhow.” It was true, Victoria had seen much more concerning things in her time. Hell, one of her closest friends was half-cat, half-human. He only kept the ears and tail, which always won him brownie points with women.
Ember laughed at the thought of getting a 'midnight snack' and shook her head. “I can't risk it, it'd straight up need to be a murder to get away with it and I don't feel like hiding a body. Or eating a whole ass person.” Was...that last one an option she would take? Had she taken it before?
“Anyways, I can eat normal food but I don't really care for it. Blood can be more flavorful than just metallic tastes..” she continued. She sighed softly, looking down at her hands. An air of nostalgia had settled over her. “I remember I once met a wizard- his blood was sweet as candy and he always let me sip off him…” She sighed again wistfully and turned to dive into the window, jumping in as easily as a housecat and standing up gracefully.
Breaking her cloud of nostalgia, Victoria asked, “Hey, you mind if I take a shower? Sorry if that's a little forward.” She was panting after climbing so high up the building. For a cop who specialized in fighting supernatural forces, she seemed awfully winded. Ember smiled slightly, watching Victoria's chest heave upon reaching the top. “Wouldn't wanna be all gross if I'm gonna crash here. Oh, can I do that?” Victoria laughed out loud as she spoke. “I didn't ask, did I?”
Ember certainly seemed safe enough; Victoria's demeanor was so carefree. “Anyhow, I'd be really grateful. Wouldn't wanna be stuck on the streets. My baby's almost outta juice, anyway.” She tapped the hilt of her sword with her knuckle. “C'mon, it'll be like a sleepover!” She laughed out loud once more, with a much more hearty tone. Ember laughed with Victoria, it was hard not to. “Y-yeah....I've uh...never had one of those before....”
Ember gritted her teeth a bit and looked around her apartment. It was barely that, more a large open space with a bed in the middle, a kitchen to the side, and a bathroom in a separate room. It was a little messy, with clothes tossed around in neatly organized piles as well as just...all over. “Y-Yeah that'd be ok. I don't....It's a bit messy though...I ah...don't usually have guests...I only have one bed though.” She replied, face flushing once again at the thought that popped into her head.
Victoria had taken a moment, now curious as to what her blood would taste like. To her, her own blood was revolting. She'd gotten in her fair share of fights throughout her life, and she'd had more than ample opportunities to give it a taste test. She snapped back to reality upon seeing Ember's apartment, letting out a gentle laugh as she let herself in through the window.
“Oh no, you haven't seen my place. You're fine, sweetheart. One bed's fine, I'll take a nap on the ground. Unless..~” She grinned, nudging Ember with her elbow. She was only kidding, partially. She was sure she could charm the vampire into bed with her, given enough time.
Victoria's suggestion made her blush once again, especially with the pet name, and she laughed nervously, elbowing her back. She was a bit too enthusiastic about it and she swore loudly. “Fuck! Sorry, was that too hard? You-you got me all flustered!” She huffed that last sentence, almost as though she was unhappy about it. Truth be told though, she wasn't used to being so blushy and...and nervous around anybody, let alone a girl! It threw her off quite a bit.
Victoria laughed out loud at Ember's reaction. “Oh please, you can do better than that.” She teased the woman. She puffed out her chest, resting one of her hands on her hip, as if to show off how 'tough' her body looked. Her athletic build was hidden underneath the layers of clothing but the pose made Ember blush all the same.
“I'll have to find you a snack sometime, then. Gotta repay you for going all this for me, anyhow.” Victoria said, slipping her jacket off, glancing around for a place to hang it up or set it down. She simply leaned her blade up against a corner off to the side. Underneath the jacket was an enormous silver revolver, that looked almost too heavy to hold hanging off the back of her belt.
Ember’s mouth watered again at the thought of a 'snack' and she made a low sound that might have sounded a little like a moan. “If you wanted- I don't usually bite girls but-I-I guess I could make an exception. I-I-I mean if you were ok with it or whatever…” She trailed off, embarrassed at how desperate she sounded. It wasn't normally something she begged for and she didn't lie, she had blood this morning.
“Oh, I-” Victoria laughed a bit, this time slightly awkwardly. “That's what you meant.” She scratched the back of her head gently. “I meant...find you a snack.. elsewhere.” Despite her words, Victoria's demeanor didn't change at all. It's almost like she didn't mind it at all. The pain certainly wasn't an issue- this woman had been shot before.
Ember covered her face with her hand as Victoria answered back about as awkwardly as she expected. Everyone was always weirded out by the vampire asking for blood and nobody ever wanted to volunteer. She knew what she was actually suggesting but...ah it was a stupid thing to ask.
The smell of Victoria's hot body made Ember hungry though and she crossed the living room, grabbing the jacket while she was at it. Tossing it on the pile of coats near the door, she crossed into the kitchen. The pile may have had a chair under it but it was hard to tell.
After Victoria had removed her jacket, her body was much more obvious. She was definitely quite fit, with her arms being relatively muscular, as well as donning a few tattoos here and there. Her chest, as well, was deemed to be much bigger than it seemed at first.
Ember tried to act normal around...normal people but right now, she was getting hungry. She yanked the fridge door open harshly and it squealed in protest, banging against the counter. She snatched a bag of blood out of the fridge, the only thing in there besides liquor. She looked at the convenient straw on it, the straw that made it look like a sick juice pouch. But no. Disregarding that, she plunged her fangs into the bag with force, causing blood to squirt out a little. Stains in the kitchen showed how often she did this.
Only then did she finally turn on the lights to the apartment, blinking blindly as she nursed her bag of blood. “I've slept on the tile floor before at work. I'll figure something out. Plus.. don't think that's gonna be much of an issue.” Victoria held her phone up, showing Ember the clock displayed on the screen. “I won't be too loud, I promise.” The phone screen contributed to the glare and she squinted at Victoria.
Giving her a thumbs up, she pushed the phone away with a mumbled, “Too bright..” She rubbed her eyes and sat down against the wall, feeling her body shaking at the intake of blood, fresh or not. Closing her eyes, she made a low sound and squeezed the bag as much as she could without busting it.
Watching the redhead consume the bag of blood as if she were in the middle of the desert on a hot summer day, she chuckled slightly while slipping the phone back into her pocket. “Right, sorry. You guys don't like light too much, do you?” She shot her a cute grin.
“I'll be out of your hair in a second. I assume that I'll just figure out how the shower works on my own? Can't be too hard.” She stretched her body out a little, the sound of her back cracking as she raised her arms above her head. Realizing she didn't point out which door was which, Ember was on top of pointing to the side door, rather than the one directly across from where they entered, before she asked
“You enjoy your...juice.~” Victoria cooed, before glancing around the apartment, in search of the bathroom. Ember used the cover of her long hair to take the opportunity to stare fully at Victoria. Her hungry eyes roved her body, taking in every muscle and curve. She never allowed herself to stare at females much, why did she need to if she was straight?! But there was something about this girl...maybe it was her athletic, muscular body or maybe it was the accent...maybe even that purple hair…
Her eyes got a little bigger when Victoria turned to get directions from her, catching sight of her chest. Blushing, she bit down harder on the bag and almost broke it. “You think Google maps has directions to your shower?” She laughed at her own joke. Victoria was always bad with...talking to people, especially asking for things. Strong and independent, check.
“Ah, thanks.” Victoria gave her a simple nod upon seeing her already raised hand, entering into the bathroom. She pushed the door closed behind her, and began to strip. Underneath the red sweater she wore was a simple white tank top, with a black sports bra underneath. She'd simply folded the clothes and set them on the edge of the sink, before slipping her belt off and kicking her jeans off as well.
The woman stood in the bathroom, looking in the mirror at herself. She noticed that one of the tattoos on her thigh was fading ever so slightly, pouting just a little. “Already?”, she thought to herself. She leaned over into the shower after slipping her bra and boxer shorts off onto the floor, beginning to make a solid attempt as to how to start the water.
Ember finished the bag of blood soon after she heard the shower turn on and she squeezed it, making sure to get every drop. After that, she turned her eyes lazily to the fridge door hanging open. With a heavy sigh, she stood up and tossed the bag then slammed the fridge door closed. She looked around her room and then at the shower door, making a face.
Normally she didn't care if others saw her naked, she freely transformed in public all the time without worry about the now shredded clothes. But then why was it making her heart hammer so hard to think of Victoria seeing her that way? Shaking her head she pulled off her shirt and tossed it in a pile.
“Fuck it, it shouldn't matter whatever I am feeling, I should act normal. And naked is normal for me..” She thought to herself, the logic seeming sound enough. With that, she fully undressed but now she had another problem.
Looking around, she realized how messy her room really was now that she had the lights on. Sure she didn't have a dresser or closet for no reason other than pure laziness but did it have to be so bad? Normally she didn't need the lights but seeing it now...she kicked around some of the piles and got to work, sorting the piles into other piles and so forth.
When the sound of the water ceased in the bathroom a good twenty minutes later, she had organized the piles into: mass of jackets on chair, a pile of dirty clothes, a pile of clean ones, and a pile of ones in the middle. Of course it wasn't quite done but she was getting there.
Chapter II: The Allure of the Bite
Victoria looked around in the bathroom after she got out of the shower. Pressing her nose to the towels hanging on the wall, she simply dried herself off with one of the towels that smelled the least of blood. Then she slipped her undergarments back on before her jeans and tank top. She simply carried her sweater with her as she walked back out, tossing it on top of her jacket.
Noticing the organized mountains of clothes, Victoria chuckled to herself. Somebody had definitely been busy while she was cleaning herself. She was absolutely exhausted, too. The hot water from the shower had loosened up her muscles, as well as cleansing her of any dirt and sweat she'd gotten caked in during work. She let out a soft sigh of relief, one that sounded very nearly suggestive.
Victoria then turned her head up, only to be met with a nude Ember. Almost instantaneously, her face darkened to a heavy red, attempting to find the courage to jerk her head away. “I- Er, sorry!” She laughed awkwardly, her eyes darting around the room. The vampire snapped out of her daze, having been staring at clothes at her feet.
Ember looked up at Victoria with a vacant look, having spaced out long before the door opened, then smiled nervously. Feeling nervous being naked for probably the first time ever, she waved a little bit. “I-I'm not exactly shy so I uh. Hope this is ok?” She cleared her throat, unhappy with how that came out.
“I hope this is ok. I was thinking, since I technically don't need sleep, I was going to let you take the bed.” A few awkward seconds passed. “If you say so,” The purple haired woman replied finally, looking towards the bed that Ember was talking about and taking a seat on the edge.
Ember grinned as she looked at Victoria's flushed face, feeling in control of the situation again. While she was still nervous, she felt almost as though she'd fallen into an old role. After all, this had happened on multiple occasions with multiple people. Most of them were men but then again none of the females were ever as nervous as Victoria was about looking at her.
Ember stood, waiting as the tension rose for Victoria to say something or look up fully. Her chest was still, attempting to not inhale the scent of the freshly cleaned woman. Victoria had been with her fair share of women, but even still, the way Ember's skin looked and how she presented herself was so... mesmerizing. For such a tough and confident woman, Victoria's demeanor seemed to vanish in a situation like this. She couldn't help but catch a glimpse of Ember's skin every now and then, each and every time feeling her heart skip a beat.
“Thanks for...letting me sleep in the bed.” Victoria awkwardly blurted out, having now realized it'd been a solid minute or two without any noise. When Victoria spoke, Ember inhaled sharply, forgetting herself. Breathily, she replied, “N-No problem…” The Scottish woman kept talking, unaware of what was going on in Ember’s head. “She smells so nice! So...enticing...” On top of the alluring smell, she could hear her heart beating fast, body pulsing with life.
“It looks...good in here. Your...organization, I mean.” She referred to the piles of clothing. “Still looks better than my place.” She joked, feeling her wet hair dripping down onto her white tank top. At this point, the black sports bra and her large mounds were very visible from being so wet, yet clearly she was clueless to the matter. “Thanks, I tried.” Ember said in a stilted tone of voice.
She could hear Victoria’s heart fluttering and skipping in her chest. The smell of her, clean but with a hint of arousal, was intoxicating, making it hard to think. It was the same sort of scent that drew her into so many men. So much so that she slipped back into that way of thinking, drunk on her scent.
“This will be fun~” she thought, taking a step forward into Victoria's line of sight. Her mind told her it was unnecessary, no need to flirt with a girl, but her baser instincts said otherwise. She was so focused on her scent and her loud heartbeat, she missed it when Victoria asked, “Hey, if I'm not awake by noon, could you wake me up? Don't wanna sleep too long. Bad for my bones.”
Instead of replying, Ember leaned forward and gripped the woman's chin gently, tilting it upwards. Their eyes met and she chuckled, licking her fangs. She had pink eyes just like that girl who'd nearly killed her so long ago. What's with these pink eyed girls always stirring things up? “Sweetheart~” she cooed, “No need to look away~”
When the touch of Ember's fingers grazed upon Victoria's chin, it was almost like a switch was flipped inside of her. Still feeling a sense of anxiety from the whole situation, she began to feel increasingly comfortable with the red-haired vampire being completely bare. Her bright pink eyes met Ember's, almost as if she couldn't pull them away. Her voice was so enticing, almost soothing in a way.
Victoria leaned back onto her palm just slightly, using her arm to keep her upright, yet it brought her massive chest into her own line of sight as well as giving Ember quite the view. Ember was almost panting or huffing now, taking in her heady scent with deep eager breaths. Her other hand traced Victoria's cheekbones as she stared at her cute eyes, though a tremor had started to develop in her hands as she increasingly had to fight to hold herself still.
“Kill kill kill, eat eat eat, FEED FEED FEED” It was as though there was someone screaming in her head, imploring her to indulge. In her head, images of the Scottish lass mutilated and bloodied flashed. It was strange to the vampire but the images made her stomach twist. Above the din in her mind, she thought, “No, not this one.”
In a desperate attempt to pull herself back, Ember yanked her hand away suddenly and snapped her gaze downwards, backing away. Of course this meant her gaze settled right on Victoria’s chest. She growled as she stood there, breathing minimally again, no longer able to deny what was happening in her mind.
“If you wanted a snack, all you had to do is ask.” Victoria spoke before a look of ‘oh I really just said that out loud didn't I’ crept across her face. She couldn't take back the statement. She knew by how flustered the redhead was acting that the refrigerated blood wasn't going to satisfy her, as well as how she reacted to Victoria's joke earlier. The gaze Ember gave her body, the way she spoke, the low growl that rumbled in her chest..it was both intimidating and arousing; a feeling Victoria hadn't felt in a quite a long time.
Her growls ceased as soon as the words slipped out of Victoria's mouth. She was processing it in more ways than one and all body functions ceased. She wanted it. No doubt she did. She wanted to pounce on her and feed right there and then. But she knew she couldn't lunge in, she'd learned it too many times. Her eyes shot to the fridge and her dead heart went a flutter. It'd finally be useful. The purple girl kept speaking, nervously at that. Was that her fault?
“You.. see something you like?” Victoria spoke after being silent for a moment, referring to her wet tank top. “I.. guess I'm not losing any points in the decency department.” She mumbled to herself. Ember chuckled, rolling her eyes at the remark.
A small grin crept across Victoria’s lips before she leaned upward, slipping her wet tank top off with an audible sigh of relief. She wasn't a fan of wet clothing anyway. Her smooth skin was in full view, only blocked by the black sports bra she wore. She was covered in many tattoos, usually depicting demons, or simply just flowers, designs, even a couple references to poker were on her non-mechanical arm.
By the way Ember's eyes went over her body, it only became more and more arousing to Victoria. She peered onto Ember's face, now gazing upon her lips, almost as if her mind was telling her to kiss her and see what happens- as dangerous as that may be.
Ember's eyebrows raised when Victoria took off her tank top, eying her smooth skin and tattoos. She had a sudden urge to trace those tattoos with her fingers...With a huff she started breathing again and realized that the scent filling her nostrils was worse than ever; the growing smell of arousal tipped her off in more ways than one.
With great effort, she moved fast towards the kitchen, faster than a mortal would be able to catch. At the same time, she extended her arm and took the wet shirt, pressing it to her face with a clenched fist. Her potent scent made her head spin as shoved her nose into the fabric, inhaling deeply.
Breathing heavily now, she blinked out of her daze and opened the fridge with her free hand. Hidden in the butter compartment, a lone, capped syringe was waiting for her. Taking it and turning, she kicked the door closed with too much force. The fridge shook and the few magnets that were on its surface fell to the floor with a clatter.
Ember crossed back to her bed and Victoria was taken aback a bit by how ridiculously quick she’d come back with the syringe. It was almost like she’d blinked and the vampire was back by her side. “You huff need to huff take this! It’ll stop you huff from being like me.” Ember spoke in a shaking tone; her hand shook too as she held out the syringe.
“O..kay.” It clicked in her head- if vampire bites lady, lady becomes vampire too. It wouldn't work out well for her whole work situation, really. “Just.. anywhere?” She took the syringe out of her hand, looking down at her human arm. Had she.. done this before?
Uncapping the syringe, Victoria stared at her arm for a moment or two. Not anywhere, a vein, but that didn't matter. The vampire grabbed her hand before she could do it, guiding it gently to a vein. Victoria paused a moment before plunging the needle into her arm. Ember watched carefully as it drained into her arm, the tank top forgotten as she dropped it on the floor.
A moment passed before she pulled it out, a small trickle of blood running down her arm from the puncture. She then looked up at Ember through her lavender-coloured hair while a small, toothy grin crept across her face. “Dinner time.”
Chapter III: Jade with Envy
Ember woke up slowly, groggily, like after a long night out. And quite like after a good night out, she didn't recognize the warm body in bed next to her at first. Unfortunately, her brain really couldn't concentrate on figuring that out at all because her leg felt like it was on fire.
Jumping out of bed suddenly, she kicked her leg around as if it would help the situation any. The sensation of the bed shifting as Ember jolted upright didn't seem to wake Victoria, only caused her to roll slightly and grasp blindly at the space Ember was occupying moments earlier. Victoria’s eyes remained closed, appearing as peaceful as could be.
Blinking sleepily, Ember raised her arms to shield herself from the brightness of the room. The ceiling lights and sunlight assaulted the vampire’s sensitive eyes. A long rectangular red burn extended across her leg and she swore under her breath. “Fuck! Why did I forget-”
Her eyes finally fell on Victoria. She had her right arm underneath her head to act as some kind of pillow, while her mechanical arm was just underneath her chest. As she stared at her, the light falling delicately on her face, the last night came rushing back. She flushed heatedly and swallowed hard. “Oh. Yeah. That's why.” she thought blankly, rubbing her leg.
Moving to the window, she yanked the curtain closed and moved to the kitchen. She quickly shut off the lights and sighed in relief. There were several windows besides the one that they had come through and now they were all covered with thin black curtains. It let enough light in to see without the lights on but left it dim enough to make her feel comfortable in her own home. Turning back towards the bed, she sighed softly, contentedly.
Victoria was a beautiful woman and she could see now the things she ignored for so long. How her eyes were attracted to a woman’s curves, to her chest, her cute face… “Fuck...I'm so gay for her.” She said out loud. Had she always liked girls so much? Her mind went to a few women she knew and her face flushed.
Looking around for something to distract her, she grabbed a hairbrush off the counter and returned to the bed. Sitting on the edge of the bed, Victoria shifted once more. Starting to work on the knots and tangles that made their way into her hair, she hummed softly as she trailed her fingers behind the brush. It would take a while to brush out all the tangles though, with so much hair to brush.
Each time the brush combed through her red locks, Victoria seemed to squirm. After a minute or two, her peaceful eyes fluttered open. Her pink eyes rolled around, having been observing her surroundings before making contact with Ember's beautiful body. A tired smile crept across her lips, followed by a gentle chuckle.
“So it wasn't a dream after all.” She spoke softly, pushing herself up into a sitting position with a long yawn. Ember chuckled at what Victoria said, shaking her head. Most humans thought a night with her was a nightmare, not a dream. “My night certainly was...heavenly as well.” she thought with a renewed flush of the cheeks.
It was so...strange to feel human emotions again. The nasty ones like guilt, empathy, or remorse for her actions hadn't quite shown up yet but the fun ones like love and happiness, she could handle those.
Victoria rubbed her eyes softly, and looked towards Ember with an adorable smile that only screamed exhaustion. Ember didn’t notice, musing in her own world for now. “I spent so many years gorging and feeding my bloodlust, feeling only wrath and arousal from the miserable messes I caused.”
“Then the Division came into being and I spent years resenting them, full of anger again. Angry at them for what they did to me, to all the vampires! They restrained us, leashed us like dogs and told us not to bite! What they feed us is garbage, they couldn't th-” “Morning, hot stuff.~” Ah but there was humanity again, calling her with its sweet siren's song.
Victoria’s purple hair was a mess, yet it only added to her cute-yet-absolutely-exhausted appearance. Her neck had two distinct bite marks, with one accompanied by a pair of red lines. “Sleep well?” Ember ceased her brushing and turned her head with a smile she had to fake for the moment. "I-I mean I slept- o-on you and that was...really cozy...But um...It's just a time passer." She shrugged.
Looking at Victoria, she frowned a bit. She wasn't around humans much when it came to anything other than killing - though she had been more in the last ten years than in most of her life - but she could tell that the sleep Victoria got wasn't very fulfilling. It didn't retract from her appearance at all though and she almost looked cuter with her fatigued appearance.
Victoria's attention was cut off by the gentle buzzing coming from her jeans that had been discarded to the side from the night prior. “I'll take that as a yes.” Victoria replied with a cute smirk on her face before she crawled out of the bed. Standing up and bending over, she fished her phone out of one of the pockets; she gave Ember a fantastic view while doing so.
Standing up to finish brushing the ends of her length of hair, Ember watched Victoria bend over with a sly smile and raised eyebrows. Victoria stood back up, having been oddly interested in what her phone had to say. “That's...weird.” She mumbled to herself, yet Ember could still hear her clearly. “What's weird?”
As she stood, she gazed upon a blank screen with the message title:
<<Urgent>>: Witcher, Velvette: Permission for Access Required; Headquarters Presence Request by Crannel, Luna
Yet, when she refreshed the page countless times over again, no text or images were to load. There was no error message, nothing. She made a frustrated face and clicked the screen off with a scoff.
Victoria turned her body to face Ember, setting her phone on the bed beside her as she took a seat directly beside her pale body. “I...got a message. From someone back home.” She paused, trying to figure out why she'd received a message from this specific person in the first place. “It's just not loading, though. Like...No words. Nothing.” She gave a shrug, looking slightly nervous by the awkward chuckle she gave. “I'll figure it out later.”
Ember made a confused face and tilted her head. It was strange to see her this dismissive of something she very clearly was bothered by. “That is weird...Probably not being in your own....whatever made it so your phone doesn't work. I'm surprised the message came through at all!” She squinted at Victoria, unsure if she was worried about the message or not.
“Dunno.” Victoria paused a moment. “Whatever she wants, she can wait.” She was referring to a 'she' now? Was this the right time and place to deal with this? Victoria was clearly debating it, but she was interrupted by a loud growl coming from her stomach. She flipped over her phone, turning the screen on to check the time: 12:50pm. Ember got a good look at the text on the screen, hissing in irritation at the light and rubbing her eyes.
The time didn't surprise her, though it irritated her as much as the screen's light. It was just past the peak of the daytime; crowd and sunshine wise. “You probably aren't hungry,” Victoria said, pulling her clothes onto the bed beside her. “But I am.” Ember shrugged as she watched her. “I mean. Food is still bitchin' even if it does nothing.”
Making a strange face, Victoria hopped off the bed and began searching on the floor for something. “Ember have you seen my underwear-” She turned to face her again with the most smug-yet-annoyed expression anyone had ever made. Ember grinned back at her, obviously proud of what she'd done.
“You bitch, you ripped them up.” Victoria pouted, sitting back down on the bed beside her. She was clearly teasing, but Victoria wasn't too keen about not wearing any panties under her jeans. Ember laughed and punched her shoulder. “Listen bitch, you can wear something of mine if you want. Look in…”
She looked around then used her nose to sniff out the piles of clothes. Wrinkling her nose at the pile in the far corner, she pointed to the pile of clothes next to the window they entered. Victoria simply gave a sigh and began digging through the pile of clothes Ember had directed her towards.
“What sounds good to you?” Victoria asked, pulling a pair of black panties out of the heap. They matched her bra, and definitely fit her personality. “I'm thinkin' eggs and bacon. Coffee too.” She chuckled a bit, beginning to get dressed. She slipped the panties and her bra on, before pulling her jeans up and fastening them with a belt. She slipped her white tank top on and then the red sweater. Lastly, Victoria pulled her boots on.
Ember stood up and shook her hair out, tossing the brush onto the bed. Walking over to the pile of clothes she pointed out, she dug around to pull out a pair of dark blue ripped jeans and a tight crop top long sleeved shirt with useless corset strings. She threw them on the bed along with a bra and panties and began to dress.
“Are you sure you'll be fine in the sun?” Victoria asked while tying one of her boots. “I know vampires hate sunlight, so I-” she looked up towards Ember and her choice of clothing and went quiet. She simply just...stared for a moment before laughing a bit. “Yeah, no way in hell you're straight.” She stood up from where she sat on Ember's bed, straightening herself out. “That style suits you, little miss 'I like pussy'.” She teased with a smirk.
Ember flushed brightly and covered it up by pulling her shirt over her face. Pulling out her hair and shaking her head, she huffed and crossed her arms. “I wear tight clothes that males will find attractive so I can lure them in. And don't call me that!” She rubbed her warm face and groaned. “Jade is going to kill me…” She muttered this but wasn't exactly trying to hide what she said. “I mean...That was how I collected all these clothes. Now they're just my clothes.”
“Just men?” Victoria let out another loud chuckle. “Baby, women like some fine titties and a nice butt too.” She then pulled her coat on, rolling up the sleeves to her elbows. “Though I guess you've got an outfit for every occasion now.” She smiled slightly, a little envious of Ember's gigantic wardrobe.
Walking into the bathroom, Ember pulled open a drawer under the sink. Inside was one of the few pieces of makeup she owned, a stick of dark red lipstick. Pulling it out of the drawer, she pulled the cap off swiftly. Making a face, she applied it with the ease of decades of practice. She capped it and tossed it back in the drawer then moved back to the front room.
Now, as she was walking out of the bathroom, Victoria would get an eyeful of the burn she got on her leg. It was as bad as a third degree burn but already seemed to be healing. Victoria turned her head to view Ember's severely burned leg, eyes widening slightly. She made a concerned expression, thinking 'She burns real bad. Noted.' to herself before the wound was covered up by Ember's jeans. Ember only winced slightly as she pulled the jeans on over it.
Grabbing her phone and shoving it in her pocket, she held her chin as she thought about food. “Your blood was a nice semi sweet taste so..” She smacked her lips. “Bacon and eggs sound good.” She agreed. “Was it really?” Victoria asked, referring to the taste of her own blood.
A soft blush crept across her cheeks; she felt flattered, even if the complement was a bit out of the ordinary. “I could metaphorically kill a man for some bacon and eggs. Don't even get me started if I can get them together.” She laughed out loud.
Ember chuckled at Victoria and nodded, licking her lips. She'd be satisfied for at least a week with that load of blood inside, at least when it came to thirst for fresh blood. Giggling, she grinned, thinking to herself that she could literally kill a man if needed, or not, for bacon and eggs.
“I think I'll be fine if we're not out too long but I'll bring a parasol in case.” She pointed to the black umbrella looking object dangling from her doorknob. Judging from the dust, the window was how she entered the apartment the majority of the time. What could she say, she hated social interaction.
Victoria made her way over towards the window they'd come in from, sliding it open. “Ladies first.~” She teased, turning her head to look outside. Grabbing the parasol, Ember walked over to the window and clambered out. Stretching once she was out, she looked down the length of the fire escape. An idea came to mind and she smiled to herself.
“It's.. not very cold for February. Do vampires ever feel cold?” She had too many vampire-related questions and Ember was more than happy to answer them. She leaned against the railing, watching Victoria exit the apartment and close the window behind her.
“I mean I can tell the air is chilly but it doesn't bother me. Ah but that...pesky global warming.” Tsking she shook her head. “You mortals always make trouble don't you?” Victoria laughed a bit. “You'd think global warming would've been solved by now.” She joked, only half-serious.
Ember kicked the parasol off the fire escape and turned around, vaulting herself over the rail. The ground came up fast and her stomach did a flip as she bent her legs to absorb the impact. Victoria watched her toss herself off of the fire escape and onto the ground, letting out a loud laugh. “God damn!” She leaned over the side, watching Ember stand back up as if it were nothing at all. Her ankles crunched as she hit the ground and the vibration through her body was certainly unpleasant but at least she looked cool doing it.
“Bet your legs loved that!” Victoria called down while she scrambled down the steep metallic stairs. Ember shrugged dismissively; her ankles would heal soon enough. Faster than the burn anyway. She picked up her parasol and looked up, grinning at Victoria. “Are you coming?” She asked teasingly. She could already feel the bones knitting themselves back together and she stretched her feet as they healed, making sure they did so correctly.
Moving to the front of the alley, Ember peeked out onto the street. From what she could smell, there were a good number of humans on the street...which may or may not be a problem. There were vampires too, obviously, but nobody she recognized directly by scent. Maybe they could have a clean getaway.
Victoria came up behind Ember onto the street, gazing upon the numerous people around. “Nice day out, no wonder it's so crowded.” She spoke, folding her arms underneath her chest. “I've got no clue where things are. You're gonna have to lead the way.”
Victoria was naturally good at learning her way around cities. She knew the back streets of London like it were her own apartment. She didn't have much trouble navigating Tokyo, as crowded as it could get.
Ember chuckled wryly and nodded, shaking out her legs one last time before they stepped out onto the street. Her ears were perked as soon as they left the alley, her breathing constant for once as she kept track of the smells all around them. There were....whispers quickly when she was out in the open. After all, word of her notoriety spread quickly after the Division ratted her out.
At first it was just vampire stuff, like “biter” or “vamp” or “blood junkie” but she could hear others whispering about the mayhem she caused. “Isn't that the one that caused the mall incident?”, “Isn't that the one with thousands of kills?” Her antics had been exaggerated to a degree but some of it was true. She was nervous as it was, out with Victoria like this, and the gossip didn't help.
Unaware of the whisperings the vampire could pick up around her, Victoria's fingers crept up to her neck. She traced her index finger around the place where she'd been bitten, a soft blush fading onto her face. “Why does that feel so.. not awful?” She thought to herself, chuckling lightly. “Does it even matter?” Victoria thought to herself then turned her eyes to look at Ember. “Geez, they'd probably kill me if they found out about...this.”
Ember looked up at Victoria and noticed her touching the bite marks, making them even more obvious than before. She sighed and shook her head, moving faster as word rippled through the crowd. Victoria quickly picked up on the eyes staring at the two, as if she had experienced something similar, pushing her arm back into her pocket.
Victoria’s eyes darted left and right, taking note of the numerous other people that were eyeing herself and Ember. “Vampires..” She thought to herself. “Is that...?” “Is she…” “bite junkie” "whore” “How could she do that?!” Ember swallowed hard and grabbed Victoria's hand, dragging her forward. She felt her arm being tugged at, causing her pondering to come to an end.
As Ember continued to panic, she made a sudden decision to turn into a coffee shop, near yanking off Victoria's arm while she was at it. The logo on the sign was a set of fangs and 'Night Bite' was the name, if she managed to notice before being dragged in. Victoria nearly had to run to keep up, taking a deep breath when the door closed behind her.
The inside was a strange mix of a coffee shop and a bar, with the bar ending in a glass display case with pastries in it. The windows were dark and the lights dim, the colors of the furniture and walls muted. Many of the menu items were raw meat or mixed blood drinks.
“Yikes, some friends you've got back there.” Victoria spoke sarcastically. “Didn't take vampires for a judgmental type, god damn.” She took note of the darker atmosphere, being a drastic change from the bar she'd frequent back home. She liked it, though. Well, aside from the constant stench of blood.
Just when Ember was calming down, her eyes looked around the interior and settled on an attractive female vampire sitting at the bar. Her hair was an emerald green, falling in gentle waves past her shoulders. “Jade...” she said with a groan. Who knew what she’d say after overhearing them last night.
“Why, hello, Ember-darling!” A voice called out as the smug vampire turned on the bar stool to face her. Her full name is Jade Lowell, a woman standing about 5'8" with piercing eyes that were blue like the ocean. She wore a red dress with fishnets underneath, matched with red heels.
Jade’s blue eyes shifted from a condescending gaze towards Ember and began to stare at Victoria. “My. oh my.~” She sing-songed in a very posh-sounding British accent. “What a beautiful friend you've found, Ember-dear, but she doesn't smell like a vampire!” Her nose twitched delicately as she sniffed the air.
Ember grimaced at the sound of her voice and put an annoyed palm to her forehead, shaking her head. She growled as the woman stood up and walked closer, taking up a defensive posture without even thinking of it. “I bet she tastes just astonishing, doesn't she?” Jade teased, licking her lips and turning her attention back towards Ember.
“Listen, it doesn't matter-” A snarl came off Ember’s lips before she could even think of it, stepping forward too fast and getting too close to Jade. Their faces were inches apart and Ember caught the scent of her flowery shampoo. Her face flushed as she backed up, still staying in front of Victoria.
Victoria stayed quiet, eyeing the woman with quite an annoyed expression. Jade simply folded her arms, and took a seat closer to the two. “I know you wouldn't let a human leave your sight,” She reached out, touching Ember's arm with her finger. “Right, Ember-dear?”
“Shut the fuck up Jade, this doesn't have anything to do with you.” She snapped and Jade gave her an annoyed yet smug expression. “Are you sure it doesn't have anything to do with me?” Jade asked with that shit eating grin of hers.
“Give me a break.” Victoria sighed, giving Jade such a blank expression. “Really, you've got nothing better to do than listen in on a neighbor?” Ember gritted her teeth and was about to say something back as well when her phone rang. It was a ringtone that she knew very well, though it wasn't at all one she wanted to hear.
“Listen..” She looked back and forth between Victoria and Jade and groaned, realizing something. Shaking her head, she said, “I'll be right back. Don't do anything to her.” She said the last bit threateningly, glaring at Jade as she backed away. Victoria groaned, sitting down at the bar closer to the door with Jade only one seat away from her.
Turning, Ember walked outside and stood at a place where she could mostly see Victoria through the window. Quickly, she answered the phone.
“Ok, ok fuck! Why are you calling me?!”
“We need you.”
“The fuck do you mean you need me, I'm not your fucking pet!”
“We've had an incident. We need your help.”
“We, we, we, what the fuck man?! I'm busy!”
“This is of utmost importance, your life could be in danger as well.
“...........what the fuck is it?”
“The Demi-Fiend has escaped.”
“The Demi what?! I- ugh what is it?!”
“It's a demon, at least one possessing a human. I assume the human vessel won't be a problem?”
growl “No, it won't be you fuckers...Why did you have to call me?!”
“We were in need of assistance and your file-”
“My file?! Just because I'm the most powerful vamp you guys know doesn't mean you can call me whenever you need help!”
“You remember we spared you from termination, right?”
“....The place in town right?”
“Yes, they'll debrief you.”
“Great, great, thanks guys! Hey wait, I can use my Bones for this mission right?”
“You haven't let me use them for years, you better throw me a bone or-”
“Fine. Don't take them out until the station sends you on the mission. You know what'll happen if you do.”
“Yeah, yeah, I'll be dead, I get it.”
Ember hung up with an expression on her face like she’d swallowed a lemon. “Fuck you guys.” She muttered. Looking confused and a little pissed, she went back inside by slamming the door open. Jade still wore the same grin on her face, only taking her eyes off of Victoria when she heard the door forcefully burst back open.
“Oh my, she's back!” Jade cheered, with a bit of obvious sarcasm in her voice. Ember was practically bristling and she shot Jade a look that could kill when she crooned about her arrival. Feigning innocence, Jade mocked her with a hurt expression.
Putting her hands together, Jade grinned. “Forget to finish somebody else off after dinner?” Ember’s face went whiter than normal, if that was possible, and she stuttered, spitting up bits of word that never quite made a full word or sentence.
“You and I both know that she definitely finished someone after dinner.” Victoria laughed at her own pun, standing back up, turning her attention to Ember. The color returned to the vampire’s face at that remark and she covered her face with her hands, shaking her head.
“Something the matter? I was just catching up with your friend over here.” Victoria said, giving Ember a look that spoke volumes of “why is she like this”. Ember was certainly thinking much the same thing.
“You look puzzled.” Jade spoke, the same grin right at home on her cherry-red lips. “Your girlfriend is a treat, by the way. Just as sweet as she smells.” She chuckled out loud. One of Jade’s fantastic qualities; knowing exactly how to get under Ember’s skin.
The 'girlfriend' remark made Ember raise her head again and she snapped, almost automatically, “You know I'm straight you bitch!” Jade seemed to flinch at the sight of Ember's glare, yet kept the same shit-eating grin spread wide across her cheeks.
Realizing how ridiculous that sounded with Victoria standing right there the frustrated vampire opted instead to stomp up to the pastry window and smash it. Jade’s grin faded to a look of - obviously falsely - exaggerated- pure shock. She gasped, clutching her chest dramatically.
Taking out a muffin, Ember grinned at Jade. “Have fun explaining that~” She teased, carefully brushing off any stray glass on the muffin. Grabbing Victoria’s hand again, she pulled her towards the door. “Have you any idea how much that costs, you harlot!? You're going to regret ever setting foot in-” The door closed on Jade’s angry face as Ember dragged Victoria outside.
As the two exited the building, Victoria piped up. “Okay, I'm not gonna lie, kind of incredibly gay for you right now.” Ember flushed when Victoria spoke, a little touchy on that subject at the moment. Still though, hearing her say that put butterflies in her stomach and she had to hide the way she was so pleased with it.
“I also understand why you dislike her. Her face just screams 'punch me'.” Victoria exaggerated a shudder at the thought, giggling once she did. Ember nodded at the remarks towards Jade. “She...she's something alright. She adapted better than me…”
Handing the muffin to Victoria without even a glance, Ember moved quickly forward. Victoria took the muffin out of Ember's hand, taking an almost comically large bite out of the pastry. “Mmm.~ Love me some blueberries.” Hearing her munch on the muffin made her smile; after all she was the only reason she stole it. “I'm glad you like it. I hope it's enough for now.”
Gazing around their surroundings in the vampire-inclusive district, Victoria's face looked like a child in a candy shop. The darkened shop windows were mysterious and barely showed their contents, the signage elaborate and gothic inspired. She enjoyed the difference in culture, even if it was so similar to her own with minor additions.
“Change in plans. I have to work. Do you...want to come with me?” Ember was moping about the fact that she had to do this, her head hanging low and feet dragging. She looked up at Victoria with a hopeful look in her green eyes.
They shifted from the darker vampire block, where canopies helped shield the majority of the sun, to a normal block and Ember stretched with a groan in the sun. She may be a vampire but she enjoyed the feeling of sun on her skin as much as the next mortal. Victoria stretched her arms a bit as well, letting the sun shine down on her face. She giggled softly, enjoying the warmth. She then turned her attention back to Ember.
“I was curious as to what you did for work. Vampires can't really work an office job.” Victoria spoke, seeming a bit more confident as she did. “I...don't work. I mean I could but they don't like me out in public. Worried I'll snap one day.” Her green eyes rolled back in her head at that, scoffing dismissively.
“I worked the phones somewhere for a while but I got a stipend from the Division to 'encourage good behaviour'.” Ember laughed mockingly as she did the air quotes. “Really they just want a paper trail so they know where I am. Whatever, free money.” She stopped speaking for a moment, to listen to Victoria's chattering. She was entertaining for sure, she thought with a smile.
“Sure, what are we doing?” It's not like Victoria had much else to do, anyway. She was stuck here, nearly seventy-seven years in the future, without any way of getting back home. At least, for the time being. “Ooh, are we delivering those blood bags to other vampires? Maybe this time they won't... patronize us too badly.”
“The Supernatural Security Division called me. They think I'm at their beck and call cause I'm the strongest vamp they know......And I kind of am cause they could have me killed…” She said that last part in a defeated tone, resigned to her fate of being their puppet. They were too powerful to try to fight.
“Sounds like a real pain, honestly.” She sighed. “Hey, at least you get paid to do little to nothing. Sounds like a dream come true to me.” She chuckled a bit, pushing her hands back in her pockets.
“My job's cost me a lot.” She pulled her left hand out of her pocket, waving the shiny metallic limb a little. “But you gotta make money somehow. Life's not fair all the time.” She gave Ember a soft shrug, and a sympathetic smile.
Ember smiled back and sighed softly, moving up the street at a fast pace. They moved towards the center of the big city, moving through denser crowds. If at any point Ember felt they'd end up getting separated, she'd grab Victoria's hand and donkey kick anyone out of the way. Victoria looked amazed as she looked around, even though she was being led by Ember's tight grip.
Chapter IV: The Division
Finally, they reached a depressingly dark building that looked much like a police station but more reinforced. A dingy gray wall separated the station from the rest of the city. The heavy gate looked like it could hold against a couple vampires or werewolves, once closed. They walked through a mostly empty parking lot, all the while feeling watchful eyes on them.
A pair of guards flanked the glass doors, fully clad in armoured riot gear. Strapped to their backs were beefy looking shotguns, the straps holding extra ammo. On their hips in holsters sat heavy Glocks. Walking up to the door, the men let them in without a word, though there were curious glances at Victoria. She smirked at them, chuckling under her breath.
Once the two entered the building, Victoria could feel a strange... aura about the place. It felt weirdly familiar, but she couldn't exactly put her finger on why. It certainly felt miles different from her own workplace. The front room was gray and had a large desk with a secretary behind it. Two doors on either side of the desk were watched once again by armoured guards.
Ember walked up to the front desk where, again, she was let in without a word, taking the door to the left. Victoria quietly brought up the rear, not wanting to break the sterile silence. Finally, a gruff looking military type man met them in the front hallway. He wore a dark green suit that looked tight on him, a loosened blue tie around his thick neck. While his hair was a dim grey, his eyes were a rich chocolate brown.
He opened his mouth to speak, probably about Victoria's presence, but a glare from Ember silenced him. His eyes scrutinized Victoria for a moment before he turned and walked down the hall. He brought them to a meeting room with other gruff and political looking people. An eccentric man in a lab coat sat nearest to the front door, next to the only empty chair. Ember pulled out the only remaining chair for Victoria and remained standing.
She sat down in the chair Ember presented for her, giving her a nod that said “thank you”. The scientist looked at Victoria with surprise on his face, his eyes raising when he saw the marks on Victoria’s neck. The military man cleared his throat and pressed a button on a remote, interrupting anything he might have wanted to ask.
A holographic PowerPoint popped up, hovering a few inches above the table. A face was the first thing to form on the shining surface, making Victoria’s gut twist. “It couldn’t be…” she thought to herself. The face switched to a long list of powers and she shook her head. “I must be seeing things..”
The gruff man, his name revealed to be Mr. Hardison, went through a long winded and technical review of what the demon was and its powers on a holographic PowerPoint but honestly? Ember wasn't paying attention. She was mostly staring at Victoria and thinking too much about her sexuality. “I like girls? Everyone is right about me? Fucking dammit, nobody’s going to let me live this down…”
Feeling eyes on her, Victoria turned her head to smile at Ember but noted the far off look in her eyes and turned her head back to pay attention. “...but the fact that it is a human body the demon is possessing is a non factor. The woman is long gone, she can’t feel pain. On that note, shoot to kill and don’t stop until she stops. She heals as fast as any demon so non fatal injuries will not have effects.”
Hardison paused to glare at Ember, who he could tell was off in her own world. Scoffing, he turned his eyes to the girl she’d brought in. With a little surprise crossing his face, he noticed the rough mercenary was paying attention and looked tense. She looked like she was waiting for his next words with bated breath. “Well at least someone’s paying attention…” he thought.
Clearing his throat, he returned to reading off the listed items on the PowerPoint. “She is full of dark magic and demonic energy, do not approach. Long ranged combat is recommended here. Corruption is imminent when exposed to her touch for long periods.”
Victoria remained silent, though she was anxious. Something reminded her of an enemy from back home, making her uneasy. She didn't feel as though it was her place to say much, yet she had many questions. If it truly was a demon they were taking out, she felt as though she was more than qualified for the job.
Neuron, the branch of the police force she served for, specialized in taking out monsters of a supernatural variety. Demons just happened to be Victoria's specialty. She matched their aggressive nature and was well-equipped to take them out. Hell, her left arm was dubbed “Devil Breaker” by the team that made it. She, quite literally, had a few tricks up her sleeve.
“...so she can dodge or counter attacks much better than the average human being. Her strength can easily rival that of an average human as well. Again,” Hardison glared at Ember again, twirling her hair around a finger and staring obnoxiously at Victoria’s chest. “Do not engage in close combat. Ember are you listening?!”
She blinked her bright eyes quickly and looked up, eyes skimming the PowerPoint. “Yeah, yeah I got it. Bad touch, strong, and can do the matrix, I got it. Don’t get touched by her.” Hardison’s brown eyes rolled back in his head and he muttered under his breath. “That’s not what I meant..”
Shaking his head, he resumed his lecture. “She has the ability to cloud the area in darkness, if this happens, retreat and relocate. The demon has the advantage in the dark.” His big fingers thumbed the button and a pair of weapons appeared on the holoscreen. A large handgun, a .50 Desert Eagle, and a straight rapier.
Victoria frowned but bit her lip and stayed silent. “It couldn’t be, I’m sure lots of demons like using Desert Eagles.” As he finished up the PowerPoint, he turned one last time to the vampire leaning against the wall. “And this is why we have enlisted your help. Understand?”
Ember nodded and waved her hand. “Yeah, yeah I got it, I got it. So where do i go to kick its ass?” Hardison sighed and flipped to a map on the PowerPoint. “We've noticed some increased activity in this area and think they may be here. We're trusting you to patrol and report back before you engage.”
Ember rolled her eyes and nodded her head. “Ok, ok and I can use the Cursed Bones right?” Again, Hardison sighed. “When we give you the ok, then you can engage with weapons.” Ember grinned and nodded again obediently. “Sure dude.”
Something about the way she said that made Hardison doubt her restraint on using the weapons. “We really need to confiscate those…” he thought with an inward groan. His mind whirred as he schemed up ways to get the weapon in his
While there was a bit of chatter before they left, it was nothing interesting. When they finally got back outside, she immediately turned into the nearest alley, sighing and leaning against the wall. Victoria had a slight apprehension on her face but she smiled at Ember nonetheless. “There’s no way…” But the thought still lingered on her mind.
Noticing the look on Victoria’s face, Ember smiled confidently. “I can handle it! I'm fine! I got a couple tricks up my sleeve! Speaking of which, stay here.” Suddenly she was gone, darting through the crowd before Victoria could even speak.
“Of course you do.” Victoria let out a sigh mixed in with a chuckle, brushing her hair out of her eyes to show a soft yet anxious grin. She simply let out a breathy sigh as Ember vanished, crouching back down with her back against the brick wall behind her.
Ember was excited her mind racing with thoughts, “I haven't even been allowed to even have my weapons on my person in years. Sure they had said not yet but what they don’t know won't hurt them right?” She returned to her house and clambered up the fire escape, sighing as she slipped in the window.
As she pulled her weapons out from under the bed, Ember's mood soured. Perhaps it was the weapons or perhaps it was Hardison. She couldn't help it, every time she saw that man all she could think of was what he'd done. To her. To the others. It set her off, filled her with rage. Throwing her gauntlets in a backpack, she zipped it up with unnecessary force.
Finally, she came out the window with the backpack on her back. It was useless because she didn't need such a big bag but they were too big for her to carry in any other manner. The bag felt big and unwieldy on her back; a discrepancy with her graceful movements.
She jumped down off the fire escape and didn’t give her ankles the time to heal. She sped back through the streets and returned to the Division station, next to Victoria. Honestly she just wanted to make her jump. Waiting for Victoria to notice her, she stretched her healing feet.
“Fucking Hardison, thinks he can just sic me on some demon like a dog…” She just couldn’t get him out of her head, which was frustrating as hell; she’d just begun to get these things off of her mind before this.
“What’s this demon we're up against?” Victoria thought to herself. “Nothing we can’t handle, the both of us.” She was silent for a few minutes, deep in thought about the whole situation. She shrugged a bit, standing back up and straightening her coat out. She opened her eyes, and then saw Ember's slender figure standing beside her.
“Hey!” She shrieked. “What in the bloody hell do you think you're doing!?” Victoria chuckled. It was funny, she’d give her that, but it still clearly left her shaken. She shook her head, giving Ember's chest a playful punch.
When Victoria screeched and punched her, Ember thought maybe she could take her mind off of the anger with the cutie's voice. But despite the adorableness of her reaction, the rage still boiled inside her. She offered a weak smile and Victoria gave her a playful smirk back before they both moved back out into the crowded streets,
Ember seemed very determined now, dead set on the goal ahead of her. Maybe it was a bit of her itching for a good fight but she was ready for this. Her confident demeanor was comforting to Victoria. “Whatever it is,” Her mind pondered. “We'll be fine.” A comfy smile parted her lips, and the anxious aura around her began to fade. “We will be fine, right?”
It was funny, how Victoria perceived her presence as confident and calming when on the inside she was shaking with upset and rage. She couldn't wait to stretch her claws, to feel the ache of her fighting muscles again, to find something to take her rage out on.
She didn't even seem to notice when the crowd thinned and the gossip started again. In reality though, it set her on edge even more than she already was from the afternoon's events. She felt antsy, ready to run a hundred miles if need be.
Addison, Jake, Mark, Stephanie and so many more names filled her mind, creating cacaphonic mess in head. “I was lucky to make it out alive...Or was I? Were all the others fated to die and I to live just because I was the strongest? No, it’s best not to think of that.”
By the time they reached the patrol area, at a slow, human pace that made Ember want to run in circles while she waited, she was raring to go. Looking around, an unhinged giggle escaped her lips as she practically tore the backpack open
“Hey, question.” Victoria asked while Ember dug in her backpack for.. whatever it was she went to find. Ember was quick to do so and take out the objects, so much so that it almost seemed like they appeared in her hands, besides the blur of the backpack. The backpack was discarded, forgotten on the ground.
“If.. we engage with an enemy,” Victoria sighed as she continued. “What am I going to do? I'm not exactly armed. There's only so much I can do without the Queen.” Was...that her name for her sword? It seemed like it.
Victoria's words slipped by Ember as she stared at the weapons in her hands, a pair of gauntlets with 8 inch claws, seated on the bottom knuckle area. “It's best not to think of the torture we went through, best not to think of those who didn't make it…” She groaned and tried to ignore the things racing through her mind.
With a delighted shiver, she slipped the weapons onto her hands.Victoria watched as Ember slipped on the gauntlets, noticing the strangely blissful expression on her face.Victoria chuckled softly, observing the large blades protruding from the gauntlets. “That makes a lot of sense.”
“Best not to think of Steph's face when the holy water finally did its work, of the twisted expression of pain on her face.” her mind hissed dangerously and with that she snapped. Her rage, amplified by the cursed weapons, had her searching around for a target to release it on. Locking her eyes on a blue mailbox, she lunged at it and swiped at it repeatedly.
While her movements were almost too fast to catch, in the end it had a couple nice sized holes in it. Victoria gave a hearty laugh, watching Ember absolutely demolish the mailbox. “Some serious beef you must've had there. I mean, I don't think a doctor could fix him up.” She motioned towards the decimated mailbox. “Rest in peace.”
Ember’s mind tuned back in on reality as she heard the joke Victoria cracked. Gritting her teeth and turning on her heel, she snapped, “This isn't a fucking joking matter Victoria!” Strangely, for a vampire well past puberty, her voice cracked on the word 'fucking'. Strangely, the emotionless monster was getting emotional.
Her eyes looked like they were wet but no tears had fallen. She'd be damned if anyone saw her cry. Seeing the expression on Victoria's face, she relaxed slightly. “Victoria....do you know what they did to us for that fucking vaccine?! In the name of science?!” Again, her voice cracked on the word ‘fuck’ and she looked pissed that it did; that her voice betrayed her feelings.
As soon as Victoria got a good look at Ember's face, sensing the negative aura coming from her, Victoria's expression dropped almost instantly. She paused a moment, taking a step back. “Geez, I-I'm...sorry.” Her voice dropped a bit. Was she...scared?
All of Ember's rage, what was left anyway, drained at the first hint of fear from Victoria. Had she done that? She felt a small twinge of something in her gut, something she hadn't felt in a long time. Was that...guilt? Her eyes dropped to the ground.
“I can't stop thinking about them whenever I see Hardison's shitty face...I...they…” she didn't know what to say and the feeling in her gut was growing. She didn't want to make Victoria scared, she didn't want to see her scared.
It might have been a mix of Victoria’s demon-hunter mind getting to her, but this was definitely unusual for the normally headstrong woman. “I...had no idea.” She finally spoke, clearing her throat. “Sorry.” She apologized once more, averting her eyes to the side. “I didn't mean to...offend you.” It was fairly obvious she was anxious.
Victoria turned her gaze upward, finally getting a glimpse of something off to the west. In an alleyway beside an abandoned apartment building, complete with smashed windows and broken boards, Victoria noticed the smell of...smoke? The ground was clearly charred, and it appeared as though there was some kind of fire in the area.
Ember put her hands to her face with a clank, nearly poking an eye out in the process. Opening her mouth she started to apologize before Victoria spoke first. “Sorry to...cut you off, but.. er.." She motioned towards the area. “I.. don't have a good feeling about this.” She said with a shaky tone, clearly nervous. She then swallowed hard, beginning to head towards the alleyway.
Ember lowered her hands and turned her head to look in the direction motioned, sniffing the air. She could smell something off, that's for sure. She’d been too preoccupied earlier to notice the acrid smell. Smoke and the scent of something burnt....flesh? Hardison was certainly right about activity in the area.
She looked back to Victoria, moving down the alley, and moved quickly to walk in front of her. She looked back at her, a fierce protectiveness in her eyes. This didn't feel right. The alley turned a corner and she could tell that the corner itself was black with char. She edged forward, listening intently, before turning the corner.
With a slight gag, Ember backed up immediately. It was like a scene from her old days but it was so much worse. The walls were charred in places with human silhouettes in the middle and the ground was wet and slimy with the sloughed off skin of the corpses that littered the alley.
Now that she was up close, she noticed a dark undertone to the smell of death and decay here, something she'd never smelt before. The scent made her want to gag and she kicked one of the corpses with her arm over her nose, hoping to flip it over. Instead it split open, charred and burnt inside and out. “What could've done this?!” She thought in shock and disgust.
Backing up, she started to say “Victoria don't-” but she bumped into her warm body as Victoria stepped forward. Gently pushing Ember to the side, she knelt down to examine one of the bodies.
She took her metallic hand and brushed the corpse’s jacket aside to see what looked like some kind of glyph carved into the body. She swallowed hard once more, before noticing a metallic object on the ground beside the corpse.
She reached down and picked up a nine-millimeter handgun, specifically a 1911 model. She ejected the magazine, only counting three bullets. Ember observed Victoria handling the gun, quirking an eyebrow. She knew her way around a gun.
Victoria let out a sigh, before tucking the gun in the waist of her jeans. “Really helpful there, guy.” She tried to joke, yet her voice came out as more disturbed. Ember chuckled nervously at the joke but she could tell Victoria was tense; she had a feeling it wasn't just her this time. She was tense. The place smelled rancid and burnt and she could tell there was something off. Not only that but if that gun hadn't done shit, what were they up against?
Victoria stood back up, going to examine a few more of the bodies. The same thing: glyphs and marks carved into their skin, even Ember could tell even from her spot where she'd stayed put. It appeared as though the decay had spread out from that point. Victoria had sniffed the air once, smelling the stench getting worse the further down they went.
Ember watched Victoria examine the bodies curiously, staying put with her arm over her lower face. “How can she be so close to the bodies? Does it not smell so strong to her?!” she wondered. Victoria’s movements seemed so natural. Did she know what she was doing? “Uhm...have you..done this before?” the vampire asked haltingly, muffled by her arm.
Victoria stayed mostly stoic. She let a gentle sigh out, nodding. “This is what I get paid for. It looks like black magic- probably some kind of corruption spell. These guys didn't have time to react, it looks like.” Ember listened intently to Victoria, furrowing her brow. There wasn't much magic in the world but she'd run into it once before. She'd nearly died to that mage. And now black magic?
Victoria's heart was beating out of her chest. All of this was way too familiar, from the way the corpses looked to the glyphs carved into their flesh.She took a moment, mind racing, before she stood back up, glancing towards Ember. “It had to have been multiple people. Maybe a cult?” She paused again. “You remember any of the names that they gave us?” She seemed anxious, as if she needed to know. “Even the vessel’s name?”
Ember swallowed and chuckled nervously. “See I uh. Knew I forgot something. I was so distracted by Mr. Hard ass's face that I forgot to ask you, uh what was in that PowerPoint?” She was making an ass of herself, she knew, but she couldn’t change it now.
“There wasn't much, really.” Victoria began to answer Ember, her entire demeanor having changed. “They don't know much about this demon.” Why did she put so much emphasis on the word demon? This was increasingly making Ember uneasy, especially when Victoria said that.
Again, she laughed nervously and furrowed her brow, thinking hard. “I remember they said something....Shit! I...I think it was the Demi something...I-I can't remember!” The anxiety from Victoria was contagious; she didn't even scare her until just recently.
Once Ember had begun to speak the name she was given, Victoria's eyes widened just enough to send Ember a very clear message that something is very wrong here. Ember nervously asked “What's wrong?”
Victoria had jerked her entire body around as she heard a loud POP coming from further down; it sounded like a gunshot. Ember jumped at the gunshot as well, her sensitive ears ringing with the sound of it. Victoria’s hand immediately went up to her right shoulder to draw her blade, grabbing nothingness. “Of course.” She growled, as if she were doing this out of instinct.
Victoria hesitated at first, before taking a few steps forward. The vampire moved a hand to try to stop her from moving further down. With her weapons though, she couldn't and she eyed her nervously as she moved further down the alley. The Scottish woman slowly proceeded down the alleyway, noticing that it appeared as though the light was getting lower and lower the further down she went.
She turned her head around, looking back in Ember's direction. “You okay?” She asked, almost instinctively. Her voice was almost fearful, as well. Had she not experienced something like this before? Or...had she seen this somewhere before?
The vampire shook her head, though she wasn't expecting such a question at all. “Something feels off Victoria, we shouldn't...N-not that I'm scared but...shouldn't we report back?” Despite what she said, she moved to stand next to Victoria where the stench only grew.
As the two began to approach a corner, Victoria reached behind her and drew the handgun. Ember made a gagging sound and spat on the ground, smacking her lips. “Something..ugh...is not right here…” Ember reiterated, as though it weren't obvious already.
Releasing the safety with her right hand, she stopped and turned to face Ember when she spoke. She watched Victoria handle the handgun and raised her eyebrows. Surely that wouldn't help, with only three bullets. But then again, what would she know, she was more of a close combat girl.
Victoria simply sighed, and shook her head. “You're...probably right. We should probably wait for backup and-” Another POP. Victoria's body jumped once again, before she began to approach the corner once again. “Wait wait wait, immortals first.” Ember said as Victoria turned the corner, rushing to move in front of her.
The thought of Victoria ending up like one of those corpses....“These guys didn't have time to react”...it filled her with rage and certainly increased the gnawing fear in her belly. They both then turned the corner only to catch the glimpse of a figure standing a ways away in a sunlight-filled street.
Chapter V: The Demi-Fiend
The figure remained motionless, only visible as a silhouette at the moment. Victoria raised the gun just a bit, readying it in case of an attack. “That's the one.” She said to Ember. The scent was overwhelming now, of char and death and black magic. The vampire made a retching sound and shook her head. “This bitch stinks!” She remarked, ceasing her breathing to clear her head of the stench. Her sense of smell was no use now.
The figure was tall and slender, though any notable features weren't visible from this distance. What was visible were the countless burned bodies laying all across the street; all exactly like the previous ones. The surrounding buildings were filled with bullet holes and covered in blood.
The energy filling the area was almost heavy, from the countless emotions swirling through the air. The area in front of them was covered in blood and out on the street she could see even more bodies, burned beyond recognition.
Victoria had raised the gun once again as the figure turned and began to approach Ember and herself. Her body was tense, yet she held the firearm steady. Ember looked back at Victoria, holding the gun, and said firmly. “Do not hesitate if I'm in the way. I can handle a gunshot.” By the time she finished speaking though, the figure had come into view and Victoria's calm had melted away.
The woman's body was nearly entirely covered in tattoos, though no real designs were present. She was tall, just a few inches shorter than Victoria. In her hand was a .50 Desert Eagle, a handgun that packed more of a punch than most modern shotguns. Dangling at her hip was a sheathed silver rapier, which was surprisingly absent of any blood or tarnishing. As she moved closer, the woman's face became visible. She had shoulder-length white hair, matching the white tank top she wore. And her eyes were a piercing red, almost as if they were gazing right through their bodies.
The rattling of the gun in her hand could be heard as Victoria’s entire body began to shake, a tear streaming down her cheek. Her legs locked up, having been unable to move from where she stood. And the look in her eye was one of complete and utter fear. Ember almost took a step back, worried for her, but knew it'd be of no help. The only thing that could escape Victoria’s lips was “Demi...Fiend.”
Ember’s ears perked when she heard the name and she chirped, “Yeah, that was it! Demi Fiend!” The smile she had on her face melted as the woman approached them, looking incredibly dangerous. Her eyes darted to her weapons and lingered on the rapier too long before moving to the gun.
“Why do all the bitch ass mages have swords?!” she wondered with a growl, though the lack of blood on it comforted her some. She shuddered, she could feel the sword penetrating her brain like it was just yesterday.
“More playthings...It must be my birthday.” A womanly voice was heard from the figure approaching the two. “I surely can't let you leave after seeing all of this, now can I? I'm still a little...hungry.” The woman took a bite out of a bloody and charred piece of meat in her hand, nearly swallowing it whole.
Ember made a face as the woman did so, wrinkling her nose. “You're still hungry? Well maybe you shouldn't waste food, dumb bitch.” She remarked with a smirk, indicating the charred bodies behind her with her chin. “It's way too well done.”
“Don't bore me, ladies.” She said, spinning the handgun around her index finger almost playfully. Ember raised her eyebrow at her theatrics, rolling her eyes up to the sky. “These other guys...Just didn't do it for me.” She groaned. “It was just starting to get good, too...” She whined, which turned into a maniacal laugh. “Trust me, it's just getting good now.” Ember muttered. “Now, my darlings, it's-”
“Showtime.” Victoria cut her off. “That's your line, right?” She now wore an expression of pure unadulterated anger. Ember was a bit surprised that she knew what the albino bitch was going to say, though it was typical villain stuff. “Save me the formalities. You're going back to hell where you belong, you bloody wench.” Since the ladies were done talking, the vampire was too.
Running forward, she faked to one side before going the opposite. Hopefully that would give her an opening, otherwise...The woman simply pulled the slide back on the handcannon, loading a bullet into the chamber. She tossed the gun into her left hand, drawing her sword from its sheath at her hip.
Ember dove and lifted both her hands to try to bring her claws down on the woman in a x shape, snarling at her like an animal. The demon swung the rapier upward to parry the claws coming down on her.
Taking a blind shot, Victoria had fired one of the bullets to put the demon off-balance. The bullet collided with her sword, causing her grip to loosen just enough for Ember to be able to push the sword away with the amount of force she was bringing down upon the demon's figure. She pushed the sword away with a relieved groan, darting back out of harm's way. Victoria was a good shot, she'd give her that.
Victoria then began charging towards the woman, preparing for a follow-up attack of sorts. “She'll just regenerate if you hit her blindly!” Victoria called out to Ember. “Aim for the head!” She rolled her eyes at that, groaning. “Why didn't you tell me that?!” She snarled, backing up a little bit. “Ok uh. Don't be surprised!”
Ember tensed up for a second. If she tripped her up it could be the end of both of them. But at the same time, if she didn't take a big bite out of the big bitch she was shit out of luck. Her claws weren't the best for accuracy, at least not in her hands.
The Demi-Fiend then drew her gun once again, firing a shot towards Victoria. She had swiftly dodged the shot with a graceful flip to the side, having not lost any momentum. Ember had paused for a second to watch, about to try to jump in front of Victoria if need be. Instead she witnessed just how capable she was of handling a fight. Victoria moved her mechanical arm back, while it began to violently crackle with blue sparks of electricity.
With a relieved sigh, Ember dove towards the ground. To anybody watching, it'd look like she was attempting to do a roll or something. That is if not for about 0.2 seconds into the jump when Ember's body started shifting. Black fur growing, her body elongating and growing more than twice her size. A tail and ears sprouted from her body as the muzzle grew into place.
Firing another shot to set her off-balance, Victoria turned her attention towards Ember, eyes widening “You're gonna want to get back!” She yelled out, before closing in on the white witch.
The panther hit the ground running and snarling, screeching to a stop almost comically and running backwards at the word. She didn't know what that arm did and she didn't want to find out.
Victoria lunged inward, throwing her left arm out for some kind of grappling attack. She dug her fingers into the demon’s neck, yet only to be returned with a piercing feeling going through her lower abdomen. Ember stood back when the two collided but she wasn't happy about it.
She gritted her teeth, squeezing her eyes shut before attempting to tighten her grip. In the heat of the moment, The Fiend had lodged her silver saber through Victoria's torso, causing her blue jacket to become red ever so slowly.
Even through the stench of dark magic that deadened her nose, the vampire-turned-panther could smell Victoria's blood. She bristled and growled as she stood back, Victoria's coat and body preventing her from seeing what was going on from her position on the ground.
“My, oh my.” She laughed a little, twisting the sword. Victoria grimaced again, though she hadn't made a sound. “It appears as though I've got you in check, my darling.” She cooed. Her eyes trailed over to Ember's now-shifted body, raising her eyebrow. “Oh my, this is going to be exciting.” She had made an error, though: Taking her eyes off of Victoria.
Through the excruciating pain, Victoria had bitten down hard on the slide of the handgun, before releasing a tiny valve on her mechanical arm. As the valve made a soft shhh sound, The Fiend’s attention turned back to the purple-haired woman. “Hmm?” She gazed down upon the woman's arm. “A gift? For me?”
“Yeah, happy birthday.” Victoria spoke after retrieving the handgun from her jaw. She grinned once again, this time clearly an expression of anger mixed with pride. She then slipped the handgun between her side and her upper arm, lowering her arm onto the hilt of the demon's blade.
With a violent movement, she pulled the blade causing the hilt to go straight into the demon's gut. Victoria pulled the blade out of her torso, before kicking her away with a boot to her chest. As soon as she lost her balance, Victoria's mechanical forearm detached from a connector at her elbow. The prosthetic still remained gripped onto her neck, but began to beep ever so slightly
A relieved huff of breath came out of Ember’s cold nose when Victoria kicked the demon away, though there was concern in her eyes seeing her with one less limb. Dropping the saber to the ground, Victoria drew her gun once again, aiming for a shot. “Now make a wish!” She growled, firing a bullet straight into her former arm. This caused the arm to explode, obscuring the Demi-Fiend from their vision.
Victoria was thrown back by the explosion, falling flat onto her back. From where her sleeve was rolled up to, only a metallic latch was seen protruding from under her jacket. Her left forearm was entirely gone.
The pain was catching up to her, causing Victoria to bite down hard on her lip. She had cast the gun aside as the prosthetic detonated, with the only weapon in range was the rapier a few feet away from where Victoria landed.
The demon's tattoos had changed from a pitch black to a glowing green-blue colour as the explosion went off. She'd been vitally damaged, with the detonation from such close range. She was thrown backwards, yet had clambered to her feet. Drawing her weapon, she began to fire shots through the debris covering the area almost blindly. Clearly, the demon was in a state of shock.
At the loud BOOM of the explosion, Ember’s back paws propelled her forward, lunging quickly past Victoria. Once the shadow of Ember's beastlike form had appeared in the clouds of dust, the Fiend had readied her weapon. She pulled the trigger, only to be met with a soft click sound. She was out of ammo.
She quickly ejected the magazine, pulling another from her belt and inserting it into the weapon. Jumping through the cloud of smoke and dust that covered the area, the panther’s front paws collided with her chest with a muffled thud. The magazine had locked into place just as she was thrown onto her back by the weight of Ember.
The only thing that could be seen was the glow of a greenish-blue from the area where the Demi-Fiend was. Victoria had seen this, giving an excited grin. “Score for us.” She said to herself, before turning her head to look at the now-transformed Ember. Her vision was blurring in and out, but she was still conscious. “She's.. vulnerable.” She coughed out. “Give...her hell.”
The sheer weight of Ember’s now large body would knock the demon over and god damn did she hope she cracked her head open. Whether or not it did, her huge jaws did have the same idea Victoria had.
Sinking her teeth into the demon's neck, she bit down as hard she could. She raised her weapon once again for an attack, yet was met with Ember's fangs tearing through the charred flesh on her neck. Shaking her head, the large cat would thrash her body back and forth. She wouldn't stop until the head came off or she was shot. Or maybe both.
On her left arm, the tattoos began to glow a bright red. She then placed her hand on Ember's side; she wasn't bothered by the hand on her side at first and she snorted derisively. That was until the Fiend had begun to attempt to throw her off with an incredibly powerful magical force. The wind was knocked out of her and Ember was thrown into the wall. She made a low sound and shook her head, slowly standing back up on her paws.
Once Ember had been just far enough off of the white haired witch, she threw her own body off to the opposite side to gain a bit of distance. She raised her handgun once again, attempting to get a clear shot at Ember's body. The loud sounds of gunfire cracked in the vampire’s ears and suddenly she was hit with a punch tearing through her side.
Raising her left hand, a small black flame ignited from the demon’s palm. The blaze grew slowly, eventually becoming what looked like a black ball of fire. She tossed it up, and the area began to become engulfed in a thick black smoke.
Falling forward, Ember coughed up blood as she narrowly stopped herself from hitting the ground. She staggered in place momentarily, what was left of her sides heaving. While Ember wasn't alive, the panther was, blood pouring from the gaping holes in both sides.
Coughing up again, the animal shook its head and threw it's battered body backwards, using the smoke as cover. Once the black fog had set in, the Fiend had begun firing bullet after bullet in the direction she'd thrown Ember. If only she could see what had happened.
Huffing and breathing heavily, she dragged herself over to Victoria and shifted back, naked and vulnerable now. She had heard the sound of dragging, and had begun to close in on the sound with her weapon at the ready. Unfortunately for her, some demons aren't nearly as fast as vampires are.
Ember put a hand to the gaping hole that was formerly her stomach and swore loudly, picking up Victoria with shaking limbs. “I'm...getting you out…” She groaned. The structural support of her body was half taken out and it made it hard for her to run but she staggered and ran away at about half of her vampire speed.
The demon waved her free hand, causing the smoke to almost immediately dissipate. Once the fog was gone, she could only see the vampire carrying her companion far off in the distance. The Demi-Fiend was strong, but she wasn't fast. She swore to herself, before turning her back. She raised her hand up to her neck, which had been torn open and burnt black from the two.
Victoria was still conscious, only having been taking a moment to regain herself after taking such a nearly-fatal blow to her abdomen. She felt herself being hoisted onto Ember's body and carried quite a ways away.
While Ember had been rushing away from the demon, Victoria could feel her coat slipping off of her body. She simply grasped it tightly in her right hand, letting her body relax into Ember's; unable to see the damage the vampire had taken in their battle.
Ember continued to force herself to run until they reached a crowd. As soon as she knew they were safe, her knees buckled and she fell to the ground, cradling Victoria in her arms.
Once Victoria had felt Ember stop, she opened her eyes. Her vision was still a tad blurry, yet had improved since she had nearly blown herself up. Noticing how Ember was completely void of clothing, she had begun an attempt to drape her jacket over Ember's body. She coughed a bit, regaining feeling in most of her body.
“Son of.. a bitch.” She spat, shifting a bit as she clutched the puncture in her body. “Are.. you okay?” She asked Ember in a hushed tone. She was still unable to view the wound Ember had suffered, but could definitely feel that something was still off.
Ember stirred a little, groaning. Her stomach hurt like a bitch and she felt drained of blood. It was hard to open her eyes but as she heard Victoria's voice, she dragged herself into consciousness. With a gasp, she sat up, clutching at the wound in her stomach. Her claws clashed against each other and she shook her head at the metallic sound.
“Vic-victoria. Blood. I...need blood!” She groaned, sticking Victoria with her claws.The people on the street had crowded around, wondering what was happening.There were gasps and murmurs abound. She didn't know where her claws sunk in, she was too bleary to tell but she only sunk them in an inch.
Victoria tried to wriggle herself out of Ember's arms, a sense of pain jolting through her body from the stab wound. “Fuckin' hell.” She cursed angrily. She squeezed her eyes shut tightly, feeling her flesh being carved by Ember's claws. “Hurry it up.. people are staring.” She spoke quietly.
A fresh stream of blood drained into her body through the weapons but at a trickle like this, she wasn't getting far. Ember was scared to take too much anyway, after that fight. Using her free hand, she yanked the coat away to examine the damage, the ragged hole that went clean through her stomach and back.
The clouds in Victoria's eyes began to fade, clearing her vision enough to observe the brutal wound that Ember was suffering from. Her eyes widened, trying to pull herself out of a state of shock. “What did she do to you!?”
The crowd erupted in screams and chaos when she revealed her wound. Victoria's eyes darted between the various panicked onlookers, narrowing her eyes while the chaos began to erupt. “Almost like they don't even care about what just happened.” Victoria's mind spoke.
“We need to get out of here.” Victoria spoke to Ember, touching her skin. “Just take what you need and.. we gotta go.” She reiterated, coughing into her arm. The stab wound hadn't worsened, but it still hurt like hell. Her jacket was covered in blood, as well as her sweater; though the sweater was enough of a similar color to hide it.
Ember groaned a bit and nodded silently, pressing the claws in deeper. She felt so bad hurting her but she only needed another inch in and...with a shiver her body started to get some much needed blood. She only allowed a minute of this strange method of drinking before pulling her hand back.
The sound and smell of the people around her was overwhelming her senses and she closed her eyes tightly. “Fucking a stop being so loud” she muttered, untangling her body from Victoria's with a pained hiss.
The vampire flopped back on the street like a dead fish, head hitting hard and stars spinning in her head. “I...got this…” Ember grunted, sitting up slowly. “Can you…” she looked at the stab wound and shook her head. “I'll walk..”
Looking down at her hands, she yanked the gauntlets off and held them weakly in one hand. With her free hand, she pulled herself up by Victoria's shoulder. She stood, swaying in place. “L-let's go.”
The Division station couldn't have been too far now and just wait till she got there. If she had any strength left, she'd gut Mr. Hard Ass as soon as she saw him. Sending them after that?! The adrenaline from her rage helped keep her upright as she shuffled forward.
The crowd would part for them and Ember would soon find herself leaning against buildings, poles, Victoria... Who had begun to spend her remaining energy trying to keep Ember walking in a straight line. She could only do so much with one working arm, but she could definitely walk; slowly, albeit.
Ember could hardly stand. Of course that might have to do with the fact that a portion of her spinal cord was gone but hey, she wasn't complaining. She was in a haze by the time they reached the building and her legs so weak, she couldn't make it up the steps. Collapsing on the stone, she couldn’t keep herself conscious any longer.
Chapter VI: Respite
The two armed guards at the door gave each other looks before quickly moving forward to pick up Ember. They weren't very gentle about it, just picking her up by her hands and feet and bringing her inside. A third came out of the door to collect her weapons, grabbing them with a disgusted look on her face.
As Victoria followed them into the front room, the guards brought Ember’s limp body further back into the building; through the right door. However Victoria was stopped in the lobby Mr. Hardison. He looked much the same as earlier, though he looked irritated.
Victoria looked up as she was stopped by a familiar-looking man. She coughed into her arm, and began to weakly intimidate him. “Listen, old man. You need to move outta my way before anything bad happens, got it?” She eyed him tiredly, having lost more of her cocky charisma.
Calmly, the man stated. “What happened to this 'just patrol' mission, miss? We'd also like to know where you came from; we don't have anyone like you on file. Where'd she drag you in from?” The man's voice was calm, uncaring. He talked about Ember as if she were a rebellious child, dismissing what happened to her.
A gaunt looking man came out of the back, his eyes tired looking with big bags. “I'd also like to know.” He said in a pathetic, wavering voice. “I've been studying her for a while now and females are not usually on her menu. I'd like to see what caused this behavioural change.” He spoke matter of factly, as if Ember were a research subject and not a person.
“What happened?” Victoria gritted her teeth. “You lot had no bloody idea what you were sending her into." She was trying her absolute best to remain calm. “That fucking demon your presentation was about…” She scoffed. “Yeah, do your fuckin' research first. She couldn’t have handled that alone.”
The guards nearby tensed as Victoria started to tear into the two men, though they silently pointed the red stain on her back to each other and relaxed. They didn't think she'd hurt anyone, one armed and injured; They were quite used to Ember and other creatures getting angry at their practices
“Who am I?” Victoria was looking more and more agitated. She reached into her pocket, handing the man a small, unfolded wallet-like object. “V-” She cut herself off. “Velvette Witcher. London Police Department; Neuron Division.” She said as if she'd done this countless times before. Inside the wallet was a plastic card, identifying Victoria as a police officer. The only difference was the name, however.
Taking it from her, Hardison examined the card closely before passing it to the scientist. Immediately his eyebrows raised and suddenly Victoria was peppered with questions. “This isn't from our universe...How did you get here? Did Ember bring you here? How was a wormhole ope-” Hardison cut the man off with a hand.
“Listen.” Victoria began to attempt to persuade the men. “That woman,” She put emphasis on the word woman, attempting to differentiate Ember as a person, rather than an object. “Is seriously hurt. And I don't think that bagged crap is going to do much for her.” Hardison raised his eyebrows as Victoria spoke and smiled, a smile as though he almost pitied her.
Victoria straightened herself out once again. “You're just going to let one of your best people suffer like that?” She clamped her teeth together for a moment. “No better than she is frankly.” She muttered. The gruff military man was about to respond to her pleadings when she said something that peaked his interest.
“I've got all the information you'd ever want about that demon.” She said, glaring at the man in front of her. “And I can make absolutely sure that Ember recovers quickly for a proper takedown of said demon.”
The two men's eyes lit up but then quickly dimmed at her proposal. They looked at each other, as if saying “Are you going to tell her?” with their eyes. Hardison sighed and straightened his tie. Victoria placed her hand on her hip, letting a tired sigh out. “All you need to do is let me see her. We'll figure this out, and nobody has to do anything stupid.”
“Ember is down at the moment, we had to be sure she was out for the day. It was...in everyone’s best interest. You can see her through the window of her containment unit tomorrow. As for this “bagged crap”; it's blood donated by the local taxpayers each month. Now that we have to take care of things like her, we had to make donating blood a requirement.”
“Things.” Victoria repeated the word under her breath. “You don't even know the half of it.” She scoffed, reaching up to cover the bite marks with her hand. Though in doing so, it was fairly obvious that they were present.
Professor Turner had some sick look of fascination on his face when the bite marks were brought to even more attention. He looked like he wanted to ask Victoria a million questions and his eyes eagerly took in every mark on her neck.
“People like you make me sick.” Victoria sighed angrily, knowing that this was going nowhere. She took a seat in a metallic chair that had been against the wall behind her.
“We know Ember whines about not getting blood straight from the vein but it's simply unreasonable to expect us to let vampires bite unless given explicit consent. She's getting a steady stream until she's fully healed. It should take a day based on our previous dissections of her.” Hardison turned to the scientist and gestured at him to go on.
"Hello Miss Velvette, it's nice to meet you. I'm Professor Turner and I've been studying Ember for almost 15 years now.” Victoria hung her head while he spoke to her, refusing the offered hand. Not in a disrespectful way, but more in a way that she didn't quite have the energy to keep it held up.
“I can tell you with great confidence that her release, especially after healing, is a dangerous procedure. We've dealt with episodes of upset from her where she will kill at least five or six of our guards and we fear this will be even greater an upset. We can't endanger ourselves until we're sure she's calm."
She stayed quiet as Professor Turner explained all of this to her, letting out a heavy sigh after he'd finished. "Nothin' dangerous about it, frankly." She looked up, with her lavender hair hanging in her face. "You should be treating her with a little more respect. Woman took a damn hole in her body for you and you just lock her up like an animal." She stood up, brushing her hair out of her eyes. "She saved me, you know."
Once again, Victoria went off about how Ember should be respected and treated like a person. And once again, Hardison and Turner exchanged their looks of pity. They heard her out, of course, they couldn't do much else.
She spoke after a moment of silence. "That demon- Snow Crannel," She spoke her name, almost as if to restart her persuasion. Their eyebrows raised at the mention of Snow's name and they exchanged surprised looks this time. "Isn't that...?" Turner started. "The vessel's name. It wasn't in the presentation."
"She could've easily taken both of us out if not for Ember." She raised what was left of her mechanical arm. "Bloody wench tore my arm right off before. Woulda taken the other one if Ember hadn't gotten us out of there." The look on Victoria's face made the two men weary, as it was the same kind of look of defiance that Ember usually sported. As far as they were concerned, another Ember was not a good thing.
"I'll strike a deal with you, though." She took a deep breath, now eyeing Hardison and Turner straight-on with a look of confidence and determination. "I'll help you take out that demon. No questions asked. All the information and history you'd ever need." She then pointed to the area they were guarding from Victoria. "In exchange for Ember's safety. Got it?" It was very clear Victoria didn't trust them, but she was getting desperate.
What she said, how she worded her 'deal', made Hardison smirk and, almost immediately, he replied, "I can guarantee her safety in exchange for information. But first, some information you might want. Come with us." His smirk remained on his face, thinking to himself, “This will show her the truth.”
Victoria was feeling a sensation of gentle satisfaction coming over her body, yet the mention of additional information piqued her interest. “O..kay?” She spoke, now quite curious as to what she wanted to show her. Were they going to show her information about Snow that Victoria already knew? She felt a sense of anxiety coming over her, just hoping it wasn't anything she...didn't want to see.
Without anything further, Hardison turned on his heel and walked into the back. Turner had some surprise on his face but after a moment of hesitation, he followed. Victoria simply followed the men, with one guard staying back while the other brought up the rear.
The gruff man brought them through a few hallways, purposefully passing by a heavily locked down medical bay. Ember was laid out on a table with lines of blood going into her arms. The hole was looking smaller already in the back but a doctor working on her insides kept the front hole open. He could be seen snipping and cleaning bits out of her chest cavity. Cases of fresh organs were nearby.
As the group passed by the nearly-fightenening medical area, Victoria's tired eyes caught a glimpse of Ember's unconscious body being operated on and healed as efficiently as they could offer her. A sigh of relief escaped Victoria's lips. “Here I thought you lot were going to use magic or something.” She half-joked. “As you can see,” Professor Turner piped up, “Ember is being well taken care of.” They passed the area quickly.
Finally, the group entered the conference room they had first met in. Hardison sighed and grabbed a tablet on the table, tapping on it a bit, looking for something. “Miss Velvette, please watch this.”
Taking a seat in the conference room, Victoria leaned up against the table. She'd let out a deep sigh, the comfort of simply sitting down doing wonders for the wound in her abdomen.
A holographic video started in the center of the table. It was clearly from a security camera, the image depicting the front plaza of a mall. A second camera angle flashed on screen, a close up on the door, and within seconds the doors were smashed. Busted open by the front wheel of a motorcycle with a skull headlight, it revved through the entrance and into the crowded mall.
Back to the first camera, there were two figures on the motorcycle; one Ember, clearly armed with her claws, and the driver, a too-handsome-to-be-human male. The male drove while Ember, arms outstretched, slashed and cut at the crowd. She laughed with delight at the gore and screams she caused and hopped off the bike while the male skidded to a stop sideways. The sense of comfort that Victoria had been feeling from sitting, however, was soon to fade as she watched the footage.
A different camera, a jewelry store this time. The camera was aimed at the counter next to the entrance, which led out to the mall plaza. Ember entered the store and took off one of her gauntlets to set it on the counter. She picks up an ear cuff and looks at herself in the mirror with it on.
A cop, clearly terrified and not capable of handling this, approached Ember with his gun out. With a laugh she turned and swatted it away, picking up the other gauntlet and putting back on slowly.
It was clear she was feeding off his fear as she approached him slowly, claws raised. She suddenly darted a hand forward and the blades up to her fist were sunk into his chest. With another blindingly quick movement the second claw gauntlet joined it and she cackled, pulling them apart slowly as she ripped the man in half. The screams were muted halfway through and then it switched to a different scene quickly.
A subway station, crowded and busy. Too dense to pick out individual people yet it was too easy to see her red hair in the crowd. Soon more red was to join her hair, blossoming out from her as she took her pick of the crowd. Chaos erupted but it was far too crowded for anyone to go anywhere.
Some panicked souls jumped onto the tracks, fleeing the oncoming cyclone of blades. She stopped spinning in place to shove people forward onto the tracks and as they hit the rails, the subway cars sped into the station. Ember raised her head and seemed to be laughing before she dove back into the crowd to cause more damage, more chaos.
The hologram was suddenly shut off, before Ember had thinned the crowd too much, and Hardison frowned as he set down the tablet.
By the time the video was over, an overwhelming series of emotions came across her mind all at once. A tear rolled down her tarnished cheek. Was it betrayal? No. Not quite. After a second or two, Victoria had snapped back to reality. She sniffled and wiped the tears off of her face. Turning her gaze back to Hardison, she swallowed hard.
She had begun to speak, yet no words had come out. It was almost like... she had no words to say, and the men surrounding her could definitely tell she was very shaken up by the series of things she'd just witnessed.
Hardison's gaze softened when he saw the tears running down her cheeks. Eyeing her back, he whispered to Turner who stepped forward. The two of them couldn't offer any comfort, nor words of wisdom. They weren't paid enough for that.
Gently, Professor Turner spoke. “If ah..your universe is anything like ours, I may be able to help with your missing arm. Just let me take some measurements. As for the torso wound, we would have to make sure that it hasn't hit anything vital. We don't have the faculties for that here but we can offer transport.”
Victoria raised her head, as the conversation began to continue. “Oh.. yeah.” She glanced down at the lack of a left forearm she now had. “That would.. be pretty cool.” She gave a gentle nod, turning her attention back to Turner and Hardison.
She felt a bit strange, though. Ember was a bit hot-headed and blunt, but she had a reason to hate these people. Why were they being so kind all of a sudden? Victoria felt as though she would take things for granted at the moment, and ask questions later.
“My old arm kinda.. fit a certain way.” She spoke again after taking a moment to think. “Though I'll take what I can get. Beggars can't be choosers.” She let out a deep sigh, fixing her posture so she said upright with her right arm rested on the table. Turner smiled lightly. “We'll make sure it fits snug as a bug miss! We can discuss upgrades to help assist you in your fight tomorrow.”
Hardison spoke up now. “That is if you can provide us with any information you have first. We would also like to know where you obtained this information. If you have handled the Demi-Fiend in your universe, any small piece of information could be crucial.”
“That is what I offered, yeah?” She said, before resting a now-cracked smartphone on the conference room table. “I've handled her, all right. Bitch took my arm straight outta my body.” She scoffed. Hardison took the phone from the table and handed it to a guard, whispering something to him.
“White hair, red eyes. Almost paper-white skin. Covered in tattoos; glyphs and runes used for casting demonic magic.” Victoria began speaking, simply listing off characteristics of Snow; at least the one she'd dealt with. The information matched up almost one-to-one with this universe's Snow, anyway. The guard left the room as Hardison nodded along to her description.
“This is indeed information but you know as well as I do that that's just the basics. Do you know of any weaknesses we could take advantage of? What's in that phone you handed me?” The man had a frown on his face, as though he were dissatisfied with what she said so far.
“That's.. not-” Victoria shushed herself as the guard left the room with her phone. She sighed yet again, refocusing on the conversation. Hardison picked up the tablet off the table and tip-tapped something on the screen before Victoria spoke.
Setting it on the table, a blinking red light on the tablet indicated it was recording. Noticing the blinking light, Victoria made a mental note to watch what she said from here on out. The whole 'everything you say can and will be used against you' quote kept playing in her mind.
“She's very slow. She wears a magical membrane over her entire body that essentially repels other magical attacks. But that can be taken out by a heavy concentrated strike.” She paused, as if the man were to be taking notes on all of this. Hardison’s eyes widened slightly at the mention of the magic membrane and he rubbed his chin with thought.
“She fights with two- er,” She corrected herself. “Up to two .50 caliber Desert Eagles and a rapier, as well as lots of dark magic. Magic comes from the rules and glyphs on her skin; tattoos.” She reiterated. “Long story short, aim for the head and shoot to kill.”
At the mention of the Desert Eagles, the military man chuckled and nodded. “That would be what hit the vampire then. She's lucky she's not human.” He almost seemed impressed with her, despite his dislike of her.
"Yeah," She piped up. "And she uses two of them occasionally. Lots of strength to use those, you know." She knew Ember was lucky all right. Any mortal being would have been blown in two from a point-blank shot.
“On my phone,” She gave a simple grin. “Is all of the data my Police Department, as well as a certain other group I'm sure you've heard of before, have gathered and compiled.” She glanced between both of the men. “She can take on a solid group of ten well-armed soldiers and decimate all of them as if she were warming up. You're gonna need more than just me and her if you want to kill her.”
Hardison cleared his throat and adjusted his tie. “Since the first task we sent her out on was supposed to be a patrol mission we assumed Ember and her latest toy.” He gave Victoria a pointed look. “Could handle it. Since you have proven this is much more dangerous than we thought, we will provide you with help when you go after the Demi-Fiend again.”
“Fighting that woman isn't the easiest task, you know.” She was quick to throw a shot back at Hardison. “Snow Crannel is the absolute worst person you want to piss off.” She pointed towards her left arm. “You're gonna need more than an unarmed lady and a vampire to take her out.” She said with a confident gaze. “Pun one-hundred percent intended.” Hardison chuckled lightly at her joke but his stoic expression didn't change.
Hardison sighed at Victoria and nodded his head. “Yes, we are quite aware that she is more dangerous than previously thought, now. We will have to develop a method of strategics later. I already promised you men in the final fight.”
The guard returned without the phone but carrying a small object that must've been another phone, a tape measure, and a camera. Handing the items to Turner, the scientist turned to her with a pleased expression on his face.
It was now that Professor Turner spoke up again and said, “Now you mention it, any information you might have on Ember's feeding habits would be essential as well. Do you know what caused this changed in sex of her prey?” He steepled his hands as he examined Victoria's bite marks. “I would like to take pictures of any markings she has left on you, if possible.”
“Her.. feeding habits?” This gave Victoria quite a puzzled look. “That I genuinely have nothing on." She gave a simple shrug. “I...kind of figured she was bisexual.” She widened her eyes, immediately regretting the implication she gave of she and Ember having sex the night prior. “Blood's blood, I guess.”
Turner didn't seem to have much knowledge of personal space, stepping forward and tilting Victoria's head back. Setting down the phone and tape measure, he brushed her hair back to take a picture of the bite on her right side.
“Gods, ever heard of consent?” She jabbed at Turner as he began to examine her. She didn't have much of an issue, she did agree to this after all. The scientist may have flushed just the slightest at her jab but composed himself. Victoria was just worried that the mention of intercourse with their friendly neighborhood vampire was going to lose her what little brownie points she had so far.
Turner spoke as he took the pictures, “So she just...changed her mind?” He asked dryly, unbelieving almost. The hint of sex was all he needed to prod further. “Our studies do indicate she feeds during intercourse so we were unsure of how she would act or feed on females. This was the case here as well?”
“She, well,” Victoria paused to choose her following wording very carefully. “She started before anything really happened. Consensual of course. Though she asked me first. She didn't force anything.” Victoria may have been exaggerating, but she wasn't lying.
Turner nodded as she spoke, taking a picture of the left side bite when she allowed him to. Victoria took a deep breath after letting Turner take a photo of the bite on her left side. He hummed thoughtfully and tapped his chin. “Is this because of our new laws or because of her own morals..?” He mused to himself. “No persuasive methods or hypnotism? Hmm…”
The drag marks from Ember dragging her fangs across her neck ended in that bite and he quirked his eyebrows as he traced a finger along them. “This was from her fangs too, I assume? She was playing with you...” The last words came out as an afterthought, as though he was making an observation to himself. He tapped something into his phone and smiled awkwardly at Velvette.
“Yessir,” Victoria was eyeing Turner as he continued to examine her. “You jealous?” She joked, before kicking her boot off and rolling up her pants to show him the bite on her leg. “That's it. That's all I've got.” She said, resting her bare leg on the table. It was to give him a better look, but Victoria felt as though she should at least be comfortable if he was going to keep staring at her.
“Anything more's gonna be extra, you know.” She spoke in a matter-of-fact way, giving a simple shrug. The bite mark on her thigh came to mind but there was no way Turner was seeing that one. “You gonna take a look at my search history or are you going to let me show you what I've got on my phone?”
Leaning over to get a better angle of picture, Turner furrowed his brows at her, looking at the angle and the trajectory of her fangs. “Why and when did she bite here?.” He asked, standing up straight and setting down the camera. He picked up his own phone to tip tap away on it. She...didn't really want to answer his question- a bit invasive it was.
A thin man returned with Victoria's phone as she mentioned it and passed it to Hardison before leaving the room again. Hardison set Victoria’s phone down on the table and chuckled a little at Victoria. “No, no, that'll be that. I'll have Turner take your arm measurements and send him on his way, don't worry.”
Turner did just that, taking all sorts of measurements of the joint part at the end of her arm before tapping it down in his own phone. Victoria quieted, noticing Hardison's look towards her. “What a colourful character he is.” She muttered to herself.
The remark about Turner made Hardison genuinely laugh for the first time, making Turner give him a look as he left with his things. She grinned, hearing Hardison laugh out loud. She chuckled a little, clearing her throat to cease her own laughter before too long
Hardison frowned slightly, muttering. “I don't know this group you're talking about.” “Damn.” Victoria cursed. “Was really.. banking on that. Well, anyway.” Hardison raised his eyebrows at that but didn't say anything. Victoria began to formulate a bit of an explanation without explicitly using the words crime and ring together in a sentence.
“A group I'm affiliated with- not by choice, by blood- has dealt with Miss Crannel time and time again. And it just so happens that my Department has a similar goal as them: To kill her.” She eyed the cell phone on the table and turned her eyes back to Hardison. He nodded his head a little and gave a tight smile. “Well I'm glad we have similar interests.”
“Open up the file displayed in the yellow-marked folder. Passcode is 1995.” She waited for him to do so. “First document has measurements; general bio of her humanlike features. Second one-" She interrupted herself.
“Password is eggplant with a three instead of an E. That's got a list of known abilities she's capable of using. Well, from my universe. All of the ones she hit Ember with are documented there, though. And the third document is all of our encounters with her. I wrote that part up myself, actually.” She said, going quiet for a moment.
The general followed her instructions and looked into the folders as she listed them, making sure what she said was indeed accurate. He paused on the list of Snow's abilities, skimming through it for a moment before moving on to the third document.
This one he took a moment to skim through too before he placed Victoria's phone back on the table. “We took copies of your files so we will be sure to review those documents in further detail. You can take your device back now.”
“As you can tell, crazy bitch tore my arm off.” She repeated herself for a probably eighth time now. "She killed two of my 'colleagues'," She used air quotes. "Without as much as taking a step forward. The only people I've ever seen put a dent in her are likely not to exist here. But here's an observation." The fact that nobody existed that they knew could put a dent in her made Hardison frown.
Victoria was in the midst of putting her boot back on, having a bit of trouble with having to do this with only one arm. While Hardison simply watched Victoria struggle with her shoe, the guard who had brought up the rear shifted his gun to his back and knelt down to help.
"She's weaker, and younger here. Our Snow Crannel is easily in her forties or fifties." She had a small grin on her face. "Then containing her for some years did do some good." Hardison mused. "The containment slowed her down, that's for damn sure." Victoria replied to his statement. "Don't have to separate human from devil yet." Had.. she had to do this previously?
"I feel as though once I get my weapons repaired and perhaps upgraded," She said almost excitedly. "I'll be able to kick her ugly ass back to hell, and Ember won't get another hole blown in her again." She said with a toothy grin.
"Sooner rather than later, Mister Hardass." She mimicked Ember's nickname for him, almost like a taunt. He made a sour face at the use of Ember's nickname but didn't say anything about it. She watched Hardison's facial expression, giggling a little to herself.
"Yes, we were hoping to get you armed and ready for battle as soon as possible." He gestured to the stain on the back of her coat. "But you should take care of your injury first. We've arranged a ride for you and called the hospital, they can take care of you for the night. Return here tomorrow morning and we will discuss specifics of your upgrades."
"Wonderful." She then stood up, putting her hand in front of the wound on her torso. "I appreciate it." She spoke, making a mental note to leave earlier to obtain her things from Ember's apartment.
She didn't like being bossed around by people who weren't paid to do so, but she didn't have much of a choice. She gave a gentle wave towards Hardison before making her way towards the door they'd come in from. She glanced towards the guards, as if to ask if they were coming or not.
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