Season One – Episode 10 – “Strange Days”

By: B.A. Holland

Production Notes:

Started: 11/23/2011

“Air Date” 12/31/2011

Published by: Abyssalbooks

www.abyssalbooks.com

Copyright ©2011

All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer

This series is a work of fiction. Characters, names and incidences are either productions of the authors imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Chapter One

4:00PM 12/29/2011

Anna and Zak found a police cruiser that wasn’t their own to duck behind in hopes that the stray bullets wouldn’t find their way to the vehicles they pulled up in. The BSHC bank was surrounded and they were watching the front door along with the SWAT team, dozens of other officers, and frightened onlookers. The negotiator pulled into the crowd of cars and made it straight to the SWAT van where they had access to a phone line that they provided to the man inside by way of throwing a cordless phone into the front door.

“Ever wonder what they have to talk about?” Zak asked.

“The weather, getting rich,” Anna shrugged her shoulders and pulled the railing back to double check that she had a round loaded into the chamber of her Glock 17.

Zak loosened his tie and made himself comfortable behind the wheel of the patrol car.

“This is going to be a long fucking day.”

“Maybe not.” Anna said as she sat next to him on the intersection of West 70th Street and Broadway. She looked across the street to the Bells Wargo bank.

“Why did they choose the smaller bank?”

“Does it matter?” Anna asked. “They both have money.”

“Yeah, but…” Zak turned his head. His dark eyes squinted as he stood up with his back to the bank across the street. “Nobody even thought to check the damned bank behind us.”

“The call came from that bank!” Anna flung her finger toward the heavily surrounded building.

“Even your daughter can do call forwarding, Anna.” Zak said. “What makes you think that if a fourteen year old girl can fool you into thinking you’re calling home, yet actually be calling somewhere else – and a couple of well trained bank robbers can’t do the same thing?”

Anna shook her head for a moment as she looked up at her partner who was stupidly standing up from the cover that the police cruiser provided in case he was wrong. If he were right though, then every officer in the intersection were openly exposed to the front of the bank.

Anna tilted her neck to a few officers to come with them.

“Nobody run, just act normal.” Anna said. She walked with the other officers down the street, bypassing the SWAT vehicles, the backed up cars, and made their way toward a hotdog stand that was well out of the way of the bank that they thought they were covering.

“Did we do something wrong?” One of the officers asked.

“What?” Zak took a moment to think about it and then shook his head.

“No, you did nothing wrong. We would like your help with checking out the bank across the streets. Stake out the exits and wait for a call from us.” Anna said. She turned to Zak. “Do you have your vest?”

“Please…” Zak knocked on his chest with his knuckles. The impact sounded hollow and short which suggested that he was indeed wearing a vest. Anna nodded and knocked on her chest as well.

“Is that an invitation?” Zak joked as he checked his weapon before approaching the bank. The building was slightly larger than the one across the street so eventually the officers they asked to cover the exits called for more. Before Anna made her way to the front door, she made sure to slap Zak on the back of the head. Anna holstered her pistol and knocked on the glass doors.

“This is the NYPD!” Anna yelled as she knocked on the glass doors. “We’re just here to see if everything is alright,” she added. She was sure that she saw movement in the bank but so far, nobody bothered to come to the door. Anna pulled her IP Phone out of her pocket and hit the transmit key.

“This is detective Anna McKenzie. Possible two-eleven in progress at the Wargo bank; my location.”

“Understood. Diverting additional units.” Came a feminine dispatchers voice.

Zak walked around to tell her that what the dispatch said; that there were additional units guarding the back. As usual with the both of them, the timing was always bad. The door opened and they were greeted with a pump-action sawed off shotgun.

“How did you know we were here?” A tall dark clothed man whose face was obscured by a ski mask asked. Anna put her slender arms up and her blonde eyebrows couldn’t reach the sky any further either.

“Oh now this is bullshit.” He said nonchalantly in a pleasant tone.

“If you put your weapons down now, less charges will be filed against you. We can act as your negotiators.” Anna said. “If you take a police officer hostage though, it’s going to add to your sentence if you get caught. Now I know that you want to do this with as little risk as possible, am I right?” Anna said calmly.

“It sounds to me like you’re stalling for time.” The masked man looked over Anna’s shoulder to the group of officers that were facing away from the bank; the ones who were thinking that the bank across the street was getting robbed. His bright blue eyes were the only things that the two detectives could see. Those eyes looked back to Anna. “… I want you to get on your radio and disregard any attention you’ve given to this bank. In fact, tell your fellow officers that you need to go off comm’s or whatever it is you do to say that you’re unreachable. If you make it believable, I won’t kill you. Now, get in here.”

Anna took note that he was unusually calm for a bank robber. She looked around to see that there were heads peaking over the counter of the bank as they slowly walked in. The thief walked backward and pulled Zak in by his arm. When Zak had to duck under the door slightly the gunman seemed to fidget and put more distance between the two of them. After letting go of Zak’s arm, he motioned for them to crowd between the door jam and the glass so that he could re-lock the front.

“Detective McKenzie… Detective Jones… Please contact Tom at the office.” Her phone emitted a beep after dispatch blared through the speakers. Anna and Zak kept their hands up as the robber stuck the barrel of the pump action shotgun into Anna’s chest.

“Respond… Go on.” The man hissed at her. Anna looked around once more as she carefully put her hand into her coat pocket to pull out her IP phone. She tapped the button.

“Understood. Calling in.” Anna said. She then tapped the screen and dialed her captain.

“This is Anna,” She said with a smile despite looking down the barrel of a gun.

“I know you’re covering the robbery but we have a homicide. How is the progress there?” Tom asked.

“It’s a barrel of fun,” Anna said while looking at the bank employees to see that some of them had already stood up. Her eyes squinted slightly as she realized that it could only mean that they were unguarded and less tense than she. “… can you tell me about it?”

“It’s a school teacher and a bus driver, Anna. The kids are missing. It’s a real fucking nightmare. If you can get some stand-in’s over there, I would appreciate you dropping this since you aren’t the lead on the scene. We need you. Especially Zak. I know how he feels about these types of cases.”

“Let me see what I can do. May I call you back in just a few minutes?” As soon as she asked that, she felt her vest being pushed up against her breasts as the robber prodded the shotgun into her. She expelled a little air and her eyes widened at her captor as if telling him to lay off of her if he wanted things to go right. She hung the phone up and looked to Zak with complete disregard to the shotgun shoved against her chest.

“Tom needs us somewhere else. Dead teacher… Dead bus driver, and missing kids.”

“Shut the fuck up!” The robber yelled. “Here’s how it’s going to go! You listen and I talk. You got that?!” He screamed and waved the barrel of the gun toward the ceiling in a fit of rage.

“Missing kids?!” Zak’s button was pressed at that moment. His dark muscular hand reached out and held the shotgun at the ceiling. A round fired through the roof sending shredded particles of drop-down ceiling upon their heads. Through the snow of spray-on insulation, Styrofoam, and glass particles from fluorescent lighting, a mighty black fist sailed into a matching black ski-mask at breakneck speeds. As the robber’s head swung back like a rock-star about ready to air-guitar to “Bang Your Head”, Anna pulled her taser and jammed it into his crotch. The shotgun bounced off of the handle bar of the bank’s entrance doors and settled to the ground as the masked gunman did the electric slide, all way to the floor.

“Check the bank!” Anna yelled as she kicked the masked man over. She pulled a set of zip-ties from the back of her belt and yanked them on his wrists for a tight fit. Zak came back in a moment after checking if their suspicions about there being a lone-robber were correct – which, they were.

“Alright… Everyone, calm down.” Zak yelled. “Is anyone hurt, shot, or ill?” Zak looked around as people slowly crawled out from their various hiding places, holes, and spots on the floor where they were originally told to lay face down. The more Zak saw people peaking out of offices and from under desks, the more he realized that this bank robber had no idea what the hell he was doing. Zak instantly thought to his psychology classes at NYU about the acts of a sociopath. This man was calm enough to pull off the job, but he didn’t have what it took to properly command his victims. He might not have been there to rob the bank per say. Zak had the hunch that this person was there to hurt people, period. And speaking of commanding.

“I SAID is everyone OKAY?!” He yelled.

At that point, everyone poured out from all the nooks of the building and acknowledged that everyone was fine. By the time he turned around, Anna had already had the suspect against the wall and was reading him his rights. Zak reached down to the floor to see a cordless phone that his partner must have pulled out of his pocket; it was ringing. Zak put the phone to his ear and answered.

“Hello?”

“This is Jerry… We would like for you to release at least a handfull of the hostages as a show of good will. Where is the other guy that I was talking to?”

Zak laughed, “This is detective Jones. I’m here with Anna. You might want to go into the bank and unlock the doors just in case anyone’s in there, but yeah dude — you need to be at the other bank to debrief a handful of Wells Bargo employee’s and a few customers. You just got set up so bad, haha..” He shut the phone off and opened the door for Anna.

“Everyone stay out here, in the lobby. Officers will need to question you on your way out.” Not soon after he said it, the SWAT team started pouring into the room.

Zak and Anna handed the man over to a large group of disoriented police officers that looked as if their heads were on a swivel. Anna and Zak answered only the questions they had to about their hunch over the real location of the bank robbery before escaping to Zak’s Dodge Charger. Once in, they wasted no time driving off. Anna sighed as she dialed her boss as Zak drove aimlessly until they were given an address.

“Congratulations on botching the bank robbery. I think you earned brownie points for the department.” Tom didn’t even say hello. He must have been listening to the happenings over the radio just before they called.

“Thank you Captain. Zak did all the heavy punching.” Anna replied jokingly.

“What about the case!” Zak yelled.

“I’m sending the address to your computer. They finally updated our network enough to allow us that luxury. You can’t miss it. Good luck.”

The sun had already gone down well below the buildings by the time the Dodge Charger pulled up to a curb behind a school bus. Zak left the interior light-bars flashing for fear that someone would run into their vehicle as it got darker. Several police officers nodded to the detectives as they stepped out and onto the curb. CSI was still on the scene, and there were white sheets over the windows of the bus.

“This looks bad,” Anna said just low enough for Zak to hear her before they worked their way to the door. They were greeted by a uniformed sergeant.

“I heard what took you so long. Tom said that you two were the best when it came to this sort of thing. Congratulations on the bank.” The man said.

“What have we got?” Zak beat Anna to the question and shot her a slight wink. He was worried about the children but he didn’t want it to show. Anna looked Zak over and admired his calm. He was learning fast and not yelling bullshit all the time like he would have been a few months prior. Anna’s lips curved up slightly and her eyes flickered a bit of hope.

“Two dead. Looks like .22 caliber. CSI said that they would need to take the bodies to the lab to learn more but it doesn’t appear that it was from one of the students. The angle of the shots were – too high? I think they said. Anyway… The bus wasn’t too packed, five high school students. There’s a lot of concerned parents out there.”

“Time to kick some ass.” Zak said. “Any fingerprints?”

The officer looked puzzled and he clicked his radio.

“Were there any fingerprints?”

“It’s a fucking school bus… What do you think. Tell them that we’ll have information when we have information. I’m not sitting in blood twiddling my fingers up here. The faster I find something, the faster I get to get out of this bus.”

“Sorry…” The officer said.

Zak paced to the center of the cordoned off street and back to the curb a few times, over and over as Anna checked the street for CCTV camera’s, or people that might have been witnesses to the incident. Sure enough, there were people standing at the police-line. She pointed to the ones that looked the most upset. After a brief misunderstanding with another police officer, Anna let the officer know that young business man and the women in a red coat could come in. Anna took them to a corner and started talking to them while Zak attempted to calm himself. Zak watched as his beautiful blonde partner returned.

“They say that it was a black van with a red stripe down the sides.” Anna said.

“The A-Team van?” Zak raised a brow and looked at her oddly.

Zak wasted no time patrolling the streets of New York. He made sure to check the harbors first. He put out notices everywhere to be on the lookout for any suspicious activities at the airports and requested pictures of the children to be sent to their in-car computer.

“So we’ll roll to the harbor until we get extra units over here for the first twenty-four hours. We don’t want these kids getting out of the country. If we keep them within the boarders, we my have a chance of saving them.” Zak said.

“Preaching to the quire…” Anna said. Their dashboard computer beeped and Anna reached forward to pull the computer toward her side of the car. Several pictures came in and she read through them.

“Mostly ninth graders…” Anna said. “We have to find them.” She kept flipping through the photos. “The station is having them printed out and also sent to any harbor and airport, including the private airfields.”

“How about toll bridges?” Zak asked.

“Yeah, they have that covered too.” She then swallowed hard and gasped as the next picture loaded onto the screen. A young, dark haired boy loaded on the screen. He couldn’t have been more than seventeen years old.

“Zak… It’s Derrick.” She breathed in sharply and put her hand over her mouth as her eyes began to water. She flipped the screen for Zak to see as he combed the shipping yards. Zak reached out and held on tightly to Anna’s as she slowly unraveled.

“It’s okay, Anna. We’re going to find them, and then we’ll – arrest them.” Zak patted Anna on her shoulder. “Besides, if Jordan finds out they kidnaped her boytoy, they’re really fucked.” Zan smiled a little for the benefit of Ana.

“I should call her.” Anna said.

“What are you going to say?” Zak said. “Sorry Jordan, your boyfriend was taken away at gunpoint on his first day of public school since joining the gang. How was your sleep?” Zak turned his head away from the docks that they were slowly driving through to see Anna’s reaction to the sad reality dose.

“I don’t know.” Anna re-pocketed her phone and sighed. “She’s going to blame me for making him go to school. Maybe we can find them before she has to find out?” Anna sounded more like she was hopeful about that question than certain.

“Either way, she’s going to find out. Think about it – we find Derrick and what?” Zak shrugged his shoulders as he looked around and drove past more shipping containers. “… tell him not to tell Jordan that some mad gunman kidnaped him? We have a responsibility to tell his family too and I’m sure that his brother has your daughters telephone number. The question is, do you want Jordan to have to find out from his brother? Or would it be easier if she found out from you?”

Anna took a deep breath and started dialing.

8:00PM 12/29/2011

At home, Jordan was in a big debate with Titus over not being able to buy Fireworks. She was already agitated because Titus was making her wear a tight red outfit that almost looked Japanese in origin. It wasn’t the fact that it was a tight outfit as much as it was something that she couldn’t play basketball in. As a girl raised in Iowa, she enjoyed clothing that allowed her to be more agile and able to jump into any sporting event at the drop of a dime; she couldn’t do that while wearing a pigtails puled up with red bow-ties, a silk red dress that hugged her small frame so tightly that she would have to wear a purse to carry her belongings, and once again, she was in a position where the neighbor down the street from her wouldn’t have to put too much into the imagination to complete his minds portrait of her without the dress. She secretly had thoughts about draining that sick man until he was nothing but ashes but she kept that to herself.

“Just because we’re vampires doesn’t mean we are above-the-law, Jordan.” Titus, dressed in a suit that looked equally somewhat Japanese. It was all black and buttoned up into a turtleneck with black buttons, and pinned up at the neck with a sword medallion. “Trust me… This will be a night you won’t forget, and tomorrow, you can be with your mom, dad, and your boyfriend. Nero already said that you can watch that wretched ball drop from the balcony.”

“Can we set fireworks off on the balcony?” Jordan reverted back to the original argument easily and it made Titus rub the temples of his head with his fingers. He didn’t respond because he had been down that road with her already.

“I will not be a part of this revolving conversation.”

“Titus!” The girl stomped her foot on the carpet. She wanted to draw him into her argument and when he denied her that pleasure, she was really mad.

“No, Jordan. Please, come with me.” He reached his hand out and pulled the angry girl out of the condo with him. He locked the doors and continued down the hallway to the elevator. The neighbors door opened.

“Oh well don’t you two look sharp!” Nichole Draysdale leaned out the door. “Where are you two off to?”

“We’re off to find your moth–,” Jordan felt a sting on her lips as Titus slapped his hand around her mouth.

“Forgive my student.” Titus said with a bow. Even as he felt the sting of fangs extending into the palm of his hand he remained polite. Nichole noticed that it seemed like Jordan’s eyes squinted a little, as if she were happy about something as Titus twitched slightly and breathed in as if he were in some sort of pain. “… we’re off to a pre-new-years-eve party with a couple of close friends.”

Nichole ignored Jordan’s botched attempt at a your-momma joke and smiled.

“Ah lovely!” Nichole emerged from the door in a formal dress that amazingly supported her fake breasts and shut the door. “I’m off to a party too!”

Jordan didn’t realize that she still had a bit of blood on the corner of her lip when Titus pulled his hand away. She swung her head to the side with wide-eyed curiosity now.

“Oh really? Where?” Jordan asked.

“The Air and Space Museum on 12th and the Greenway.” Nichole said.

Jordan’s head slowly moved from Nichole to Titus as he rubbed his hand that had already healed. Titus looked down at his apprentice of sorts and gave her a nod that she would rather not have seen.

“Oh you too!” She directed toward Titus. “Oh this is going to be fantastic!” She knelt down to smile at Jordan. All the little blonde did was scrunch her eyebrows and pucker her lips disapprovingly at the woman who always disapproved of everything that Jordan did in the first place.

“What do you mean, you too?” Jordan raised an eyebrow. She knew what it meant but she inwardly hoped that maybe she was still wrong.

“We should car-pool! I have a fabulous.”

“We were planning on taking the bus,” Titus intervened.

Nichole shook her head as she put her arm around Jordan and walked her down the hallway. Titus was worried that Jordan would drain her dry at any second but she kept surprisingly calm.

“I will not hear of it!” Nichole said. “I cannot have my neighbors claim to have taken public transportation to the New Years VIP party!” She gasped and fanned herself with a piece of paper that she had in her free hand. Jordan pulled her blonde hair behind her ear and looked over her bare shoulder with wide eyes and a full set of teeth displayed in a help me type of expression.

“Misses Draysdale… The last thing we would wish upon you is to be imposing.” Titus caught up with the two girls with a hand stretched out. They were nearing the elevator.

“You may take the bus on the way home if you wish. It won’t be imposing.” Nichole’s motives were clear and sharp. Now, even Titus wanted to drain her. He hoped that she would survive the elevator ride to the basement. Her very soul depended on which heinously selfish words she decided to use on the way down.

Jordan suddenly realized that she was going to have an interesting night when she saw the sleek silver beauty in the parking garage. Pristine from hood to trunk on a set of jet-black tires, solid steel base, and silver frame – the four door passenger luxury car was a thing of beauty.

And Jordan felt malicious tonight.

A man in a fancy suit that must have cost a quarter of what the car was worth, stepped out and pocketed his Iphone. He was a short man with dark rimmed glasses, and slightly balding.

“Honey! We were planning on getting there early?” It was almost a statement but given in a rude question-like manner. Jordan could tell that these two were made for each other. He looked at Jordan and his eyes seemed to stop on her a moment. He glanced to the tall pale man and quickly looked away. “What are they doing?”

“Your wife was gracious enough to invite us along since we were commuting to the same destination tonight.” Titus’s voice echoed deeply throughout the parking garage.

“Well… Come on.” Sam said.

Jordan lifted her leg to get into the back of the car and her dress kept her from doing so without it riding up her legs. She rolled her eyes and lifted her legs anyway. She sunk into the leather seats slightly. When she shut the door, Sam grunted and told her that they did not need to be slammed. She didn’t respond. She was too interested in the car.

“Wow!” Jordan finally said after Sam tapped a button to turn over the engine that started without even a hint of hesitation. “I’ve never been in such a neat car before!” Jordan said.

“I would hope not. This car cost 95,000 dollars,” Sam’s voice went deep and for a moment, Jordan thought he would sing a song about it.

“I bet you wouldn’t want to go mudding in it, though,” Jordan said.

“What the devil is mudding?” Titus turned to Jordan after clipping the safety belt in. Nichole began to laugh in the front seat. She waved her gloved hand between the seats and rested her elbow on the coats that they brought along with them.

“It’s a ritual for the poor,” Nichole exclaimed.

Jordan’s brows furrowed as they hit the bump that separated the parking garage from the street. She reached into Titus’s pocket and pulled out the stick of bubblegum Titus held onto for her since she had no pockets in her dress.

“No eating in the car.” Sam held his fingers at them.

“It’s bubble gum!,” Jordan said.

“So, Mudding?” Titus decided it was best to counter any retorts between his student and the driver.

“They use beat up machines hardly called cars; usually trucks. They take them and drive around in filth and call it fun. You’re from the mid west, right?” Nichole asked. “It figures. Your family seems to be of a lower level of eloquence.” Nichole laughed as if what she said shouldn’t bother Jordan. Jordan kept her eyebrows furrowed as she dug her fingers into her mouth and discarded the bubble gum under Sam’s seat. Titus raised a brow and shook his head at Jordan a moment.

“My dear, I must inform you that eloquence and hobbies have nothing to do with one-another. Eloquence is the ability to understand and communicate on various levels. Your lack of understanding in the English language has turned your statements into mere ironies.” Titus said.

“Excuse me…” Sam looked into the rear view mirror at Titus. “… that is my wife, you are talking to.”

“I am a tutor. I teach to the ignorant.” Titus shrugged his shoulders and looked out the windows at the city streets as he delivered his line with – a lack eloquence. Jordan giggled as she tucked the wrapper to her bubbleyum bubblegum between the folds in the seats.

“I am not ignorant! And I know what eloquent means!” Nichole gasped in agitation.

“So,” Jordan chirped. “How about some music!” The girl found the remote control and turned the radio on. It was on 103.1.

“Eewh! Goddie music!” She flipped the stations with the remote before anyone could object. She switched it to 107.1 when she heard rock and started banging her head. “Woo!”

Chapter Two

8:30 PM 12/29/2011

Manju Amra was doing good on bottled water sales since the year 2012 was a day away. Excited about the money he was making, he found himself in a situation where he should have been looking at the front of his store. Two men in ski-masks were already pointing the barrel of two shotguns at him. Manju didn’t close his register. There was plenty more in the safe and he made sure that there was a sign that said that it was a time-lock above it. It was a great deterrent to any thief that could read.

“I have all money in here for you. Take what you want,” he said submissively as he stepped away from the cash register. One of the men walked to the counter and pointed his shotgun at him.

“After tonight – there will be no need for money.” The whisper was hoarse as if it came from a man that had smoked one too many cigarettes. “Where is your duct tape?”

“Back aisle… Take what you want! Take it and go.” He said. His hands were in the air but he used his fingers to point.

“Candles? Do you have candles?” The man guarding the door asked.

“No – No candle here.”

“We’re doing this too fast! We should have waited til tomorrow! How are we going to pull this off. We still need to find a girl! There were only boys on that bus!” One of the masked men seemed to have lost his temper.

“Calm down…” The man guarding the door had a smooth voice and stood in the way of a door like a statue while the other man fidgeted around. “We will find a girl. We needed the two boys, anyway. We have one extra. The cycle will be complete. The Mayans have foretold the events and we shall make the final sacrifice.”

Manju watched as the two walked out of the store with the supplies. The door closed and a black van drove away. They kicked a black garbage back out of the back and into the streets. Manju was quick to call the police. He left the phone off the hook and ran outside knowing full well that he did not need to talk to the cops for them to pick up on his location and send a unit. In the bag, a young boy with short dark hair that couldn’t have been any older than eighteen coughed up blood. He had bruises all over his face and was shaking all over.

“Oh my god.. Oh god. You be okay! You be okay!” Manju cradled the kid in his arms as distant sirens gradually became louder. “You be okay son…” He ran his fingers through the boys hair and comforted him. He reached in his wallet and looked at the ID card. “… Derrick, you in good hands. Very good hands.”

Fifteen minutes later, Zak and Anna came to the scene. The EMS truck had blocked the street and the police cars were doing an even better job at that. Operation gridlock was a success. Anna ran the extra block and left Zak in the car to fend off the disgruntled New-Yorkers while she ran to the truck. She saw Derrick and held her gloves to her face. Her blue eyes looked him over and she could tell that he was very badly beaten.

“Derrick?!” Anna yelled. She leaned over him. His eyes opened. The boy smiled through the plastic face-mask and blinked in response to her holding his hand. “Are you okay?!”

“Ma’am. He can’t talk right now but he’s stable,” the paramedics informed her. “You will be able to question him at the hospital. The men pushed Anna out of the way.

“Do you want me to tell your parents?” She asked. She watched as Derrick gave her a thumbs up. Relieved, she watched as the ambulance drove away.

“Thank god I don’t have to tell Jordan he’s not okay,”Anna whispered to herself. She snapped out of her relief and turned to face an angry partner that was already deep into the middle of questioning a store owner about the occurrence.

“… which direction did the van go?”

“It was a one way street.” Manju crossed his arms and breathed deeply as he sat on the hood of the patrol car that they sat him down on. Zak realized that his question was stupid and so did Anna. Hence the reason why Anna was smiling at him.

“He gets worried when children are involved,” Anna said. She walked over to the car and hugged herself to fend off the cold night. “Thank you for your help, mister…”

“Amra.. Manju Amra.”

Zak and Anna crossed the street to a SWAT surveillance van that they had requested. A man in tactical fatigues sat at a computer.

“I’m going over the logs of local surveillance cameras in the area. I’m giving you a contact log of all the managers of such sources of possible footage.” He said while a printer spat out numbers and names. He reached over and tore the paper. “Here you go.”

“Why don’t you call them?” Anna asked.

“Call a shit load of rich company owners the night before new years? Are you crazy?!”

“Fuck it. I’ll call them.” Zak swiped the list out of the man’s hand.

Titus was having a hard time keeping up with Jordan. She streaked across the gangway to Hangar Four underneath the deck of the USS Intrepid. Jordan did not run fast enough to cause any attention to her but the fact that she was running as fast as she was in a dress that limited her leg movement concerned Titus. She looked like Wile E. Coyote after the roadrunner. Titus caught up with her once they were inside the museum.

“I don’t know whether it’s your enthusiasm for a museum, getting lost before we get to the deck party, or what, but you cannot do inhuman things in a human society; not with this many people around.” Titus grabbed her by her arms before she did anything else to draw special attention to them. Jordan gazed around with awe as she looked at the fighter jets, the simulators, and the murals of military history a moment before looking to Titus.

“Well,” Jordan struck a pose in her dress. “It was just to get away from Nichole and Sam. They were annoying me bunches.”

“Playing cute to get out of trouble will not work with me, fledgling.”

Jordan giggled and stuck her tongue out at him.

“And no more biting my hand, either. Even your mother must have taught you better than that.”

Jordan shrugged and nodded.

“Do we have to go to the party? This stuff looks so cool!” Jordan said. She tugged at his arm and tried running in the general direction that she wanted to take him. Titus couldn’t disagree. He nodded and slowly walked in the direction he was being yanked in.

“We cannot say goodbye to history; we cannot say goodbye. Some of this stuff may not be good for us as a species but it does us well to never forget the mistakes, triumphs, and sadness of the past.” Titus walked forward.

“There’s happy things about the past too!” Jordan countered as she skipped to a flight simulator. “oooh!” She looked it over and smiled wickedly. “Can I try it! Can I?!”

Titus sighed and nodded.

“Keep control of yourself and remember to meet me on the catwalk to the docks at midnight. I will be on the top-deck where the party is. Please, don’t embarrass me.”

“Can I embarrass Nichole?” Jordan giggled as she pulled herself into a replica R-22 Robinson helicopter from the Korean war.

“No.” Titus said. “Keep your enemies close, Jordan. Have you not retained a word of wisdom over the past few months?”

“I have.” Jordan’s grin grew wide to the point where her eyes squinted. “… I just love seeing you frustrated. It makes you cute.”

“Midnight… The catwalk.”

“Meow…”

Jordan smiled and watched her tutor walk away.

Titus was relieved to free himself from the burdons of the fledgling, Jordan for a while. He straightened his black coat and made sure that the pin was securely fascened in the neck of his Japanese suit before continuing up the staircase to the deck of the old aircraft carrier. It made a wonderful museum. With all the things to play with down-below, he was sure that Jordan wouldn’t come up from the museum portion of the ship until after the party was over; Titus was just fine with that. He scanned the large crowd of seemingly important people and liked what he saw. That is, until he noticed a suit that he recognized.

Standing near the exhibit of the F-16C Falcon was a man with a bright blue jacket, green and red under-shirt and a purple and red tie.

“The gods be mad… Only one man I know would wear a disgrace like that to a party in New York.” Titus whispered to himself. Nero on the other hand, could hear whispers in the crowd. He looked up and grinned like a mad man. Titus wasn’t ill-mannered by any stretch and therefore walked over to Nero.

“Greetings,” Nero said cheerfully. “Is Anna here?” ‘

“Working,” Titus said as he turned around to admire the rush of wealthy people. He leaned against the nose of the aircraft while Nero poured himself a glass of blood into a wine-bottle via his own private flask. He handed a wine glass to Titus as well. Titus nodded to Nero, grateful that he would be able to portray himself as enjoying somewhat of a social-drinking moment amongst the oblivious mortals.

“Highly intelligent idea,” Titus said. “Thank you.”

“Anytime,” Nero said. “I hear you’re doing a great job with Jordan.”

“You should see her, she speaks of you often.” Titus replied swiftly.

“I’ve been running wild with the new Sanctum leaders. I’ve been wanting to talk with you about it. It’s why I haven’t had time to see Jordan.”

“There is a time and a place for everything, Dear Nero…” Titus eyed the flock of mortals and then turned his head. He allowed a slight smile as he continued. “Now is hardly the time. I understand your plight as it is the same as mine. Cesar never saw it coming due to such devious premeditation. Do you understand?”

Nero’s held his glass out and they drank a toast together.

“Now, if you wish to see Jordan. I highly recommend the lower levels of this fine vessel of war.”

“She’s here?”

“Oh yes… Try not to look too surprised when you see her — she’s beautiful.” Titus seemed to puff up as he said so, as if it was all his doing. Nero let out a surprised smile and a half-chuckle.

“I’ll do my best. See you around?”

“No question about that. We have much to discuss, Nero,” Titus said with a nod. Nero placed his wine-glass at the air-intake to the F-4 phantom and vanished to find his friend.

“Did you remember to put the handicap sticker on the car?” Nichole asked her husband as they ascended the catwalk to the deck of the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier.

“Do you think I got to this level of society by not thinking of the little things?” Samuel spat with a polite tone to his wife. “When I park in the handicap zone, I make sure to use the sticker. I am a lawyer. I know the law.”

“Good. I don’t want as much as a scratch on that car,” Nichole said. “It’s a wonderful symbol of who we are and we must not have that tarnished.”

“You have a nice evening,” Samuel said. It was the polite way of telling his wife to go elsewhere, out of earshot. Nichole did her usual huff and about faced. She did her best to vanish into the crowd despite the fact that her large breasts made doing so, hard.

“Women… So tiresome at near any age. They seem to just suck the life-force from the men around them in one way or another,” Titus’s whisper of a voice emanated in his direction. If the cold weather wasn’t enough, it was as if his voice added to the occasional chills he had down his spine.

“The girl you are tutoring sure does know about that – sucking the life out of something.”

“More than you know,” Titus allowed himself a hint of a smile as he sipped down his drink that anyone would have assumed to be red wine.

“You’re obviously a man of character, mister Atticus. Why do you associate yourself with such people?”

“They are people, just the same. If you treat everyone well, you won’t get stabbed in the back by society. Trust me, it’s happened.”

“Society loves me. When they get into trouble, I get them out.”

“May I have our attention please… In about two minutes, we will be taking the large aircraft elevator to the hangar below. Everyone stay together. The party is about to start. If anyone needs to leave and return, the directions to the exit are painted on the floors. The attendance pamphlet will be handed out once we get below deck where I assure you all, it will be much warmer. Thank you for attending the New Years party.”

In the Conning Tower above the large hangar deck, two dark figures loomed above.

“Which one is it?”

“They say he dresses wildly compared to those around him. Perhaps he went below deck already,” said a man with a New York accent in reply to the British accented man.

“Snap to it. Search the net for his phone number and see if we can lure him out away from the people. It will be easier that way.”

As the elevator descended, Titus looked at the windows where the Captain once would have been in the days of World War II, to see the shapes of two dark silhouettes looking down upon them. The pale vampire kept his gaze as the elevator broke his view of the looming specters due to being brought below deck. Below the decks, there were staff members shuffling around and seemed confused. When the music reached Titus’s ears, he understood what the fuss was about. He looked around and realized that Jordan had found her way into the music booth. He would have found it amusing that she began playing Birthday Massacre on an aircraft carrier.

“Interesting choice in music,” Sam said. He wasn’t sarcastic, either. “I wonder what the song is called.”

“It’s called Forever, I believe,” Titus answered. “Please, excuse me.” Titus stepped off of the elevator with the rest of the invited guests. He noticed that the mayor was there, along with several people that he knew of from television – mostly political channels. He knew that due to the circumstances he would have to get noticed as a contributor to their various campaigns at a later time.

Nero noticed Jordan up to no good but he overlooked it because Titus had been right about her. Jordan would have eventually been a very beautiful woman if she had time to grow and he could see that now that he spotted her in a dress for the first time. He reminded himself that Jordan would also keep her friendly, playful nature as well. He hoped that would always be enough for her.

“Have you seen the F-16 Simulator yet?” Nero asked as he approached the girl that had just gotten kicked away from the sound stage by a few museum staff. They let her off with a warning as she stepped away from the audio controls and the party’s music changed back to the elevator variety.

“Yeah! Want to give it a try?” Jordan asked as she started jumping up and down.

“I’m afraid that is going to have to wait for another night.” Titus caught up with Nero and placed a hand at his shoulder. “Something’s come up and you two need to depart.”

“What? Afraid I’m going to kiss more ass than you?” Nero grinned. “I do have a famous president as a neighbor. I don’t think it gets any better.”

“This is of a more… Delicate matter than mere face-saving. You two need to go.” Titus repeated. Jordan looked over Titus’s shoulder and Nero turned around to see what was going on.

“Jordan… Time to go,” Nero said. “The British are coming.”

“I beg your pardon?” Titus narrowed his eyes at Nero and took his hand off of his shoulder.

“You’re Roman. Don’t take offense but those Brits are Murcurio’s goons. I guess they found out about Jordan or our plans. Maybe both.”

“I doubt that’s the case but they’ve seen us together. Jordan, get to the deck a different way. If they haven’t a clue than it’s best they come for us.” Titus patted Nero’s shoulder and they ran off.

“Meet me at my place, sport,” Nero said to Jordan. Jordan watched as three pale-faced vampires followed after her tutor and her friend. Jordan was prepared to go to mist the moment the Vampires took a turn in her direction. She breathed a sigh of relief and looked for another exit to the deck of the carrier the moment they passed her.

“Are you sure this is the right way?” Nero asked Titus as they ascended a set of cordoned off stair-wells. Their feet rattled the metal as they followed symbols that were nothing but a mix-mash of symbols and numbers that made no sense to him.

“The last time I was on a warship, we had minions.”

“Minions?!”

“That’s right. Engines hadn’t been invented yet. It was a hundred years before they started shooting cannons at us, much less supply ships with metal staircases and mazes that only a mathematician could understand,” Titus replied.

They were confronted with bulkhead doors that were locked and sealed. Nero was the first to yank one of the steel pressure doors away with ease. He dropped it to the deck and it sent a deafening echo throughout the dark corridors.

“Alert the whole ship for me, would you?” Titus quipped.

Before long, one way or another, doors or not, the two Vampires made it back to the now-empty top deck of the Intrepid.

They passed by a radar aircraft and used it for cover as they ducked behind an AH-1 helicopter, and continued past the F-4 Phantom. The two used each aircraft exhibit for cover as they slowly made their way to their escape.

“Alright, we’re almost out of here,” Nero said. “Call Jordan and make sure she’s okay.”

“We didn’t bring cell phones,” Titus said as they hid behind the SR-71 Blackbird’s landing gear wheels. They ducked behind the wheel and watched the deck of the ship intently to see who would come out from the lower holds.

“Why not?”

“It wouldn’t have been polite.” Titus rolled his eyes as they waited.

“It looks clear,” Nero said. He stood up and ran underneath the SR-71. His plan was to jump from the stern of the Intrepid and land next to a rather expensive looking Audi luxury car parked in the museum’s handicapped space and drive away in it. His plans were spoiled when he turned and realized that the three Vampires that were looking for them had been on top of the Blackbird the entire time. Titus was quick to throw the first punch the moment the first vampire stepped down. The hit came so hard that the Sanctum member fell off of the carrier. He landed between the stern and the dock.

The other two pulled swords out from behind their coats.

“Steady now…” Titus seemed to be talking to himself more than anyone else. He looked over to Nero who seemed way more scared than he was.

“Hey,” Nero said as he put his hands in front of him. “If this is about me taking the night off, you can tell my boss it won’t happen again. No need to get all bet out of shape.” Nero couldn’t back away any further. He found himself between the Huey helicopter and the long drop behind him.

“Before you attempt to dispatch me, I would like to know why,” Titus asked.

“Murcurio found Angelica. She was your ghoul,” The lean muscular pale vamp replied as he neared Titus. “We got rid of her now… We’re going to get rid of you.”

“Why must you try such a thing? I have walked this Earth for many centuries. Are you sure you wish to try this?”

“Try what?” Asked the assassin.

“All this over a ghoul. I suppose it’s time I took a more active role against your organization.” Titus suddenly moved too quickly for the eye to see. It was a pressure zone that he had hit with a force so great that it sent the man flying across the deck. Titus reached down, grabbed the fallen sword and ran after the man as he got up from the sudden hit. It would have been impossible to tell how man times Titus ran the sword back and fourth through the man. The assassins arms fell off first but just as the rest of him was about to fall to pieces, the entire body burst into flames.

Nero was thrown on top of the wing of the F-16 falcon and was getting kicked over and over again. It was safe to say he was losing the fight with his Vampire. Titus was quick to step in using the same sword method. Nero stayed on his back and breathed a sigh of relief now that there was a full-on sword fight in progress. Titus was then suddenly kicked back to the left wing of the F-16 again. Nero watched as he slid right past him and flopped to the ground. Titus lost the sword he was using. Nero scrambled to pick it up but to no avail, the assassin grabbed it first.

“Time to die…” The pretty boy said. Nero couldn’t believe that the last thing that he was going to hear was a cheap line that sounded like it could have come from a horrible B-Movie or a kids cartoon.

Nero put his hands in front of his face to help combat the serious blow he was about to receive. As the swordsman entered his downward swing, something latched onto the top half of his body. Cold skin wrapped around his head and he recognized the touch of fingers around his head but that was as far as his brain would let him go because the grip that made it’s way around his neck also worked to turn his head around backwards. That head of his soon left his body behind. The painful crack of his spine was the last pain he ever had to endure.

The blonde girl bent the skin of the fighter jet with her knees. The Assassin’s head bounced off of the cockpit dome and the rest of his headless body burned to ashes right about the time Titus was attempting to get up. Titus was ready to fight again until a load of phosphoreus ash slammed into him. The smell was horrible and by the time the ash subsided, the Roman tutor was black from head to toe with the remains of one of the men that was trying to kill him.

Jordan re-adjusted her dress as she walked over to Nero and helped him up.

“Where did you learn to do that?” Nero grunted as the tiny blonde pulled him up with ease.

“Television. Only, when a Vampire does it, it doesn’t get all neck snappy. It pretty much just pulls their heads right off,” Jordan bounced on her toes. She was obviously happy with herself. Nero smiled.

“Thanks for saving my life.”

“It was nothing.”

Nero flopped back down on the edge of the wing and Jordan joined him. She wrapped an arm around him and rested her head on his shoulder. The cold winter’s breeze across the bay blew away the sulphurous smell of dead vampires as their ashes caught the air current and flew into the bay. Nero looked over his shoulder to see Titus walking away from them, covered in black ash. Nero nudged Jordan and nodded to Titus.

“Wow… He looks like a cartoon that just got blown up by a bomb!” Jordan laughed.

Nero and Jordan were suddenly drawn toward a sound that the F-16 seemed to make. They felt the wing vibrate and heard the metal popping. They turned their head just in time to see a soaked pale man in a suit stepping over the rotor to a Huey helicopter that overlapped the fuselage of the plane that they were sitting on.

“Who are you?!,” The vampire yelled. He ran his fingers through his long blonde hair.

“Oh hey…” Nero said. “Fabio. I remember you. I thought you burned up with the rest of the old sanctum members.”

“I was out of town. My name isn’t Fabio.”

“Who’s Fabio?” Jordan asked. It was then that Nero remembered that this girl was too young to know the I can’t believe it’s not butter commercials.

“I said, who are you?” The muscular blonde man asked as he picked up one of the discarded swords.

“I just met this guy… On the – wing of the airplane.” Jordan tried to lie but with no way to explain how she got on the top of an F-16 without a ladder, it was safe to assume she was a vampire to anyone that knew they existed.

“Time to face the blade. I’m going to enjoy this, Nero.”

He didn’t get a chance to walk any further.

It was as if Vietnam came back to life. A blast of frigid air caused Nero to pull Jordan flat against the wing of the aircraft for cover as the rotors that had overlapped the plane suddenly spun at speeds so great that it cut Fabio in two, and three, and four pieces. He ignited and sent a burning scorch mark across the wing of the F-16.

Titus had never swung the blades of a helicopter before and he had no idea how much resistance there would be. He soon realized that he used way too much force as the helicopter’s blades spun so fast that the entire exhibit pulled away from the deck restraints. The chopper took flight for the first time in forty years and was probably the only helicopter to take flight without an engine.

Jordan and Nero wiped the foul smelling ash from their eyes in time to watch a helicopter spin wildly above their heads. At the apogee of it’s climb, the engineless war-relic finally lost it’s fight with the sky and it’s nose aimed down. This would be the first kamikaze that the Intrepid had avoided since 1944. Jordan and Nero watched as the chopper vanished below the stern of the Intrepid. Jordan and Nero’s face lit up by a bright orange glow and they were instantly bathed in a wave of warmth. A millisecond later, the blast of the impact rocked the ship. Titus ran toward the heat to see what he had done. Jordan and Nero were quick to join him. They looked over. Jordan smiled from ear to ear as she looked down at the flames that engulfed the handicapped parking zone at the entrance to the Intrepid Air and Space Museum.

“Nice shot!” Jordan giggled.

“It looks like the Draysdales will be taking public transportation tonight.”

“We must make haste,” Titus said.

“My place?” Nero asked. He watched as Jordan nodded.

Titus shook his head.

“I need to make it back to my place. There’s someone I need to check on.” Titus said. “Watch your back. I recommend a hotel, actually. The Sanctum needs to be dealt with.”

Chapter Three

11:30 PM 12/29/2011

After bugging every store owner on the block for the past hour, Zak had gathered DVR, VHS, VCD, Thumb Drive, and CDR recordings from multiple angles of the street. He even had a Blu-Ray Recordable Disc from someone’s high definition security system. Anna stepped into the SWAT surveillance van after pocketing her phone.

“I just called Derrick’s parents. His brother’s on his way to the hospital but his parent’s don’t’ seem to care too much,” Anna said as she found a box of Ammo behind Zak to sit on. “How goes the search.”

“There are six camera’s that have a somewhat partial view of the street but the new ATM camera with the Blu-Ray High Def is probably going to be the most promising. The problem is that other than a Blu-Ray player, this van isn’t equipped to burn images off of the disk and put into it’s analyzing software.” Zak sighed as he waited for the disc to load.

“We were going to get new software but we had some budget cuts,” the Swat team member sounded defensive. Zak cursed himself as he realized that even the angle of the Blu-Ray made it impossible to grab a license plate.

“Damn it!” Zak kicked the player. “Why can’t this shit be like that CSI show where you can enhance images that are low rez, or be able to change the angle on a camera’s footage?!” He stormed out of the truck. “Thanks for your time,” Zak managed to say to the Swat member before storming away to his car.

“Zak wait!” Anna said. “You can’t get emotional about this or it’s going to hinder our chances.”

“We’ve already done all we can do.”

“Didn’t you retain anything you learned in school?” Anna put her hands in the pockets of her coat and eyed him from the van. “Criminals like this will often follow a pattern. We might not be able to see their plates, but we should check to see if the same vehicle has been around this area before.” Anna pointed to the Swat van… “Come on.”

Zak shot Anna a silly grin as he passed her and stepped back into the vehicle. He pointed to the Swat member and then to the screens.

“Pull up the footage from yesterday.”

“Look at that…” Anna pointed to the screen. Her arm rested on Zak’s shoulders as she pointed to the monitor. Zak noticed the same van traveling a different street a block over.

“Can you pull up traffic cam’s?” Zak asked.

They watched as a Van stopped at a corner.

“Oh no…” Zak whispered to himself as they caught the sight of a young girl walking toward the van. “No, no, no…” The two officers sighed in relief as they saw the girl run on the screen. The van on the screen took off after that. “Smart girl… Very smart.”

“Try the same place, around the same time,” Anna said. “The day before…”

Anna watched the camera’s switch. This time, they saw that the Van came at the same time. This time, a kid came to the car and vanished after the van took off.

“The store clerk said the needed one more girl. They must have needed the bus for something at the last second,” Zak said.

“And one of the kidnapers mentioned candles,” Anna added.

“Anna… The sun goes down at roughly this time, tomorrow.”

Anna breathed in sharply and pulled her hand off of Zak’s shoulders. She knew what he was implying and she was furious that he would suggest it.

“Let’s think on a strategy together.” Anna kicked the back of Zak’s heel before jumping out of the van. It was her secret code to let Zak know to get out of the Swat van so that she could talk with him in private. Zak followed.

“What are you thinking? Jordan?!” Anna asked.

“It wouldn’t be official but she could tell us where they are!”

“No! No way in hell!” Anna pushed at him.

“She goes along with the nab, turns to mist, goes home or wherever… And tells you where they are. Case closed. Kids get saved!” Zak swished his hand in front of Anna’s face. “You know how I feel about this shit and I wouldn’t have suggested it if I was confident that Jordan could handle it. She’s just like her mother.”

The two detectives stood at a closed off intersection of street. With all the chaos going on around them, they had their moment to think. Anna took that moment and did all she could with it. Zak kept looking back at her.

“Ever believe in fate?” Zak asked.

“My daughter is no super hero,” Anna said.

“Are you sure. Think long and hard at what she has done since she’s gotten here, the mother she came from, her actions, and her intentions from the moment of her unfortunate event that left her with everything to resent. Look how she took what she was dealt and turned that shit into something good. Can I count on one hand the good things she’s used her abilities for?” Zak held his hands up and started popping out fingers from his fist.

Amist the assault of blue and red lights that flashed across her face, she grinned at his expression.

“Come on, Anna. She was born for this. You know if she didn’t end up a vampire, she would have been a cop. You know it, Anna… What the hell was she reading all the time? Crime novels?”

Anna started to giggle a little. That was new for Zak.

“I had my suspicions,” she agreed. “But I’m not putting her in harms way! There are rules against bringing your family into your work.”

“Jordan is an exception, and I agree – you’re not putting her in harms way, Anna.”

“No, Zak… No.”

“We probably have a little over twenty-four hours. This is a cult we’re dealing with.”

“I said no. Are you hard of hearing?” Anna walked toward their car.

“Anna…” Zak never left the intersection. She turned to see him standing in the middle of all the police cars. “She can fix this. If you don’t ask her, what if something happens? Will you regret it?”

“Don’t put that on me!” Anna pointed her finger at Zak and yelled. “Do-not put that on me…” She shook her head. Zak just stood there. From across the intersection, they met each other’s gaze. She shook her head and rolled her eyes a moment. “Fate, you say?”

“Fate…”

Anna pulled her cell phone out of her pocket.

Titus rushed to the basement under the Trinity Church to check on Angelica but she was gone when he got there. The cage that he originally had her in, dangled from the ceiling with a large open door like an empty bird coop. Titus kept quiet and listened for signs of breathing or crawling – anything that could signify that she was in the large underground structure somewhere; there were none. He spent his time looking for a body in the three levels of what used to be the Sanctum sanctuary and found that there were also no corpses laying about, either. It left him wondering if he did the right thing, killing all those assassin’s without gaining more information. He reached down and picked up a scarf from one of the doors leading to the surface.

“Not everything is as it seems,” Titus said. “I’ll find you.” He smirked at the scarf and folded it before he placed it in his coat pocket next to Jordan’s collection of Bubbleyum Bubblegum.

He found a note on the floor in one of the rooms. It had a phone number on it. It was not something that would have accidently been left behind. He bent over and snatched the note off of the ground with his long skinny white fingers and flipped it around. It had a phone number on it and it was written in an elegant longhand style. Titus knew that only a person like Mercurio would care to spend that much effort and time writing a simple phone number on a post-it. For safety reasons, Titus crawled out of the old Sanctum pit and out through the doors of the Trinity church before entering the number into his phone. It dialed only a few times before someone picked up; they were obviously waiting for the call.

“I see you got my message,” Murcurio’s British voice blasted into his ear. “At first I felt I could trust you but after my followers informed me that you had taken out the main group – I knew for sure that I was wrong.

“What have you done with her, Murcurio.” Titus wasn’t in the mood for games. His anger was enough to make the street-corner hotdog salesman pack up and leave when his voice carried too far.

“If you really must know, meet me at Club Proton in an hour.”

“No… Tomorrow. Right before the bell rings in midnight,” Titus said.

“How poetic,” Murcurio said before the line went dead.

Titus cursed himself when he dropped the phone into his pocket and it started ringing before it even stretched the interior lining out from it’s full weight. He reached in and pulled the phone out.

“What?!”

“Titus… I need to speak to Jordan,” Anna said.

“She’s at Nero’s place.”

“Why is she over there? And why doesn’t she have her phone with her?”

“I took her to a party. She refused to provide herself with a purse that fit the dress,” Titus explained.

“Alright,” Anna said. “Keep your phone with you in case I can’t get hold of Nero. This is important. I might need you to run an errand for me.”

“How the mighty have fallen. From Roman viceroy to little blonde go-getter…”

“Very cute. Thank you, Titus.” The line went dead again and Titus held his phone in front of him once more.

“Just making sure this blasted piece of technology isn’t going to ring in the next four seconds? No? Good.” Titus dropped his phone back into his pocket and strolled down the sidewalks of Broadway.

Angelica had felt the warmth of a clean bath for the first time in a month. She looked around the room. The large spa-style bathtub was in the middle of a bathroom that was probably twenty feet by twenty. All around her was white tile. The room seemed to be specifically designed for bathing, and bathing only. It was as if whoever built the place wanted to express how much space they could possibly waste. It was what some would call pure luxury. The distant walls were just as white as the tile that Murcurio stepped on to approach her. He had a towel rack on wheels in tow.

“Pardon me for startling you earlier. I was attempting to free you from the situation you are in but I am afraid that you aren’t exactly out of the woods yet,” said slender man that she guessed was in his late twenties to early thirties. He was dressed differently from the first time she saw him but his bright blonde hair stood out brilliantly along with his oddly colored eyes that seemed to change color at random given enough time. She found him mesmerizing.

“What do you mean?” Angelica found a seat in the tub that faced him. Murcurio smiled and looked down at her as she soaked. She was hidden from the neck down by the bubbles in the tub and he was sure that she wouldn’t run considering she could barely move her legs when he first found her.

“The man that kept you down there owes me something very valuable to him; something which I intend to take in order to serve as an example of my rule over the society which governs the law that states that we do not take minions anymore.”

“Minions?” Angelica raised an eyebrow.

“Perhaps I’ve said too much. How are you enjoying the bath?” Murcurio asked.

“It was better when I had privacy but thank you. How would you like me to repay you for saving my life?” Angelica asked. Murcurio smiled as he tracked her eyes. This woman was a predator and he could tell just by the way that she was sizing him up and looking at his surroundings. He could see that she was attempting to figure out things about him, and about the only object in the room – the mobile towel-rack that could easily serve as a weapon when the time came.

“I can the appeal that you had for Titus. You’re treacherous and deceitful. I can see it in your eyes,” Murcurio said.

“What do you mean?!” Angelica leaned back and crossed her arms in front of her; the water waved around a bit as she reacted.

“Very good… You were distracting me with the prospect of a reward whilst judging how quickly you could strangle me with either the clothing on the rack, or perhaps – was it blunt force trauma you were going for? The rack itself?” Murcurio’s lips rose in pure delight as he sat on the edge of the spa and looked at his guest like she was an interesting specimen. The water went still and Angelica’s eyes narrowed at the young looking man.

“What do you expect me to do?” Angelica whispered.

“Enjoy the hospitality. You can try to escape if you like but don’t misjudge the fact you are not locked up in a dungeon as reason to believe that there is actually a way out of this. I recommend being polite and you will be much more comfortable.”

Angelica seemed more annoyed than scared.

“He said he was a Vampire. Is that why my family died trying to kill that girl over and over. She kept coming back. Then he said he was a vampire, and now I see you here. I’m eighth generation Mafia, what are you? First generation vampire? Someone that’s lived through all my ancestors?”

Murcurio laughed.

“You know way too much already, I see. You aren’t very smart for a girl from the Mafia. How do you expect me to let you go, now that I know what you are aware of?”

Angelica shrugged her bare shoulders through the water.

“I’m wealthy, you’re wealthy… I have no family anymore. You and I want the same people dead. If you were to do for me, I can do for you. I hope you aren’t married,” Angelica said.

“Never will be but if it’s in invitation, it’s quite enticing,” Murcurio said.

Angelica smiled and brought her arms out of the water after swimming toward him. Murcurio watched as her warm wet hands began to work on the buttons of his shirt.

“I can provide you with millions. I know how to keep a company running. I now how to find people, how to run the city, and you – you know how to make me… immortal.”

“My dear,” Murcurio said as he let her take his shirt off. She ran her hands down his chest. “I already have millions.”

“Yes, but when you make more, I know everyone we can send that money through in order to have you coming out looking clean. I think even mortals have the ability to track you down financially if you are not careful. This is where I can help. You seem like a man who likes wealth, and power. We have the same interests, you and I.” It wasn’t long before Angelica had Murcurio in the tub with her. Like a match made in hell, the two intertwined in their lusts and the surface of the waters moved like endless waves of tsunami’.

Jordan returned home after Nero received an urgent phone call from her mother. Zak and Anna were already waiting at the front door when she entered the living room.

“Hey mom! Zak!” She jumped and hugged her best friend. Zak noticed she looked like she had been through a fireplace while wearing a nice dress. She pushed past them and looked around the living room. Zak and Anna both gave each other a look of dread as the hyperactive blonde girl searched the house room-by-room.

“Hey! Where’s Derrick?,” Jordan exclaimed as she walked out. She checked her cell phone for messages and found a set of old calls from her mother. “Oh. Sorry. I didn’t have my phone with me.” Jordan said.

“Jordan, before you have a freak attack, Derrick is fine.. But – he’s in the hospital,” Zak said.

“What?! Why?! What happened?!” Jordan breathed in deeply for the first time in hours. Mainly, it was because she didn’t have to breathe anymore but shock still allowed for the same automatic responses that she once had when she was breathing regularly.

“We found him after he was kidnaped. We think it’s some sort of doomsday cult trying to steal children. We have good reason to believe that they kicked Derrick out because they needed another girl and not another boy. We also know where they try and pick them up. Zak wanted to know if you wanted to unofficially volunteer to try and be that next girl.” Anna asked. “If you don’t want to, I understand.”

“I want to see Derrick!” Jordan said.

“Okay,” Anna reached her hand out. “Let’s go.”

“Let me change first,” Jordan said.

“What about the idea?” Zak asked but he didn’t get an answer. Jordan had already vanished into her room to change into clothes she was more comfortable with. Mainly mens close from the boys section of any department store; clothes that provided the basic necessities of a tomboy girl – complete with so many pockets, that any store clerk would have to keep an eye on her. When she came out, she was wearing exactly what Anna and Zak had predicted. She kept her hair in pigtails since she didn’t have time for a quick make over.

“Let’s go!” She said again.

“What about the idea of finding the people that did this?” Zak asked.

“You don’t have to, if you don’t want to. But if you do, you have to –,”

“I’ll do it!” Jordan interrupted. “But I want to see Derrick right now!”

“You know you have to keep this secret. We’ll provide you with a reason for being there because it might have to go on the report that you were taken if there is any evidence of it. Just keep quiet about it,” Anna said.

“I’ll tell everyone about it if you don’t get me to the hospital snappy!” Jordan ran for the door, opened it, and pointed out the hallway.

Jaime Jax, Pedro Rivera, and Nero didn’t have any examples to bring into the sanctum. It was mainly due to the fact that they themselves should have been made “examples” themselves if they were to strictly follow the rules and guidelines laid out for them by the new order of the Sanctum. They had all equally agreed that there were not going to be any beheading’s; especially for crimes of Vampires going about their daily lives. What they did bring with them though, were a bunch of pissed off Vampires that outnumbered Murcurio and his British tyrants. There was only one problem though.

“What the fuck… Where are those assholes?” Pedro was itching to try out his metal bat.

Jaime Jax had a Declaration of Independence in her hand that every vampire she could get a hold of in New York City had signed and she was starting to get angry that she couldn’t put that piece of paper in Murcurio’s face to see what his reaction would be. She sat on an amplifier and went over the papers.

“It looks like we have enough people on this document to declare a decent looking independence and now we don’t even know where our oppressors are… Perfect!,” Jaime said in a cute sarcastic way. She turned the page on the piece of paper with the tip of a wooden stake and then she turned her eyes to the crowd of bloodsuckers that were with her.

“Alright… Which one of you wise-asses signed their name John Hancock?”

Nero started to laugh.

On the stage where everyone would usually be playing their tunes, several Vampires sat around with nothing to kill. On one hand, it was a good thing, on another, maybe not so good, Jaime thought.

“Way to go, Nero,” Pedro said. “You closed down the club for nothing.”

“Let me call them up,” Jaime said while dialing her phone.

There was a sudden slam at the front door to Club Proton.

“What was that?” Joey, one of the younger looking vampires asked. Joey had been follower of the sanctum for sixty years and despite a keen understanding of the real meaning behind what the organization was put there for, he disagreed with the tyrannical way things have been going ever since the British coven took over. Nero was surprised to see that he showed up to the event but if he was there, it gave real meaning to their concerns.

“I don’t know,” Nero said. “What is it, Pedro? Is that normal?”

“It’s not,” Pedro hissed in a dismissive manner.

“I thought that once you became undead, your brain cells would grow or something.”

“And I thought that the asshole gene would fade away when they became undead. The world isn’t perfect,” Nero decided to agitate him a bit more. Before Pedro could start a full-on verbal war with Nero, there was another sound. Through the slender windows near the roof, ultra-violet light flooded through and landed across the ceiling. It was enough to hurt their eyes, but the lack of direct contact gave them time to hide behind objects in the club.

There was a sudden force that hit everyone inside the room. Nero held onto Jaime as Pedro took flight from the concussion of the blast. Chairs, tables, guitars, speakers, and ecstacy tablets littered the air. Nero realized that Pedro must have stashed all of his drugs in the furniture. It wasn’t hard drugs, but drugs nonetheless. Tablets sprayed everywhere. If it were not for the addition of the flaming splintered front door and the brick frame that surrounded it, it would have been a Junkie’s wish come true, drug-rain!

The other nine Vampires scattered behind whatever wasn’t broken after the flames and explosion debris subsided. If it were not the fact he was fighting for his life, Nero would have taken some pleasure in seeing Pedro’s club blown to bits.

“Are you okay?” Nero asked.

“Yeah,” Jaime yelled back.

The next onslaught of mayhem came in the form of bullets through the front door. The upturned amp did little to protect Nero and Jaime but it helped to hide exactly where they were as bullet holes manifested themselves in the amp’s and tables.

Pedro found himself backstage. He looked up to see one of the rear rooms get blown to pieces and fall from the catwalk.

“My VIP Room!” Pedro yelled. “Ah! You fuckers!” He got to his feet and shielded his eyes from the violent UV ray’s as he vanished to his office.

“Pedro! Where are you going?!” Joey yelled from his pinned location behind a water fountain in the shape of “The Thinker” that was gradually getting eroded away by a wind of flying bullets.

Nero saw the shadows of several men in what seemed to be motorcycle helmets, walk through new door in the club that they made with C4.

“Not yet,” Nero whispered as he waited for them to approach closer. Just as Nero was about to attack the man, he was shot with something so explosive that it blew him to pieces and injured Nero and Jaime by way of singing their flesh. To say that it hurt was an understatement but by the time they realized what had happened, their skin was reforming over their bones. Jaime was more angry over the fact that Pedro had just ruined her clothes via close range M203 grenade.

By the time Nero healed up, he couldn’t have been happier to see the sight bestowed upon him. In his clubbing attire, dressed in a tattered suit that used to be quite expensive, Pedro stood there with an M-16 with an M204 grenade launcher underneath. He had already taken out the UV lamps with the barrage of bullets from the rifle.

“Hey Pedro! Can you yell something at the top of your lungs for me?!” Nero almost couldn’t yell because he was laughing so hard. The European Sanctum members had no idea that there were nine vampires in the club instead of the three they were expecting to find. They certainly didn’t have any idea that Pedro would have an illegal weapon in the state of New York to defend himself with.

“No! I’m not going to say it!,” Pedro yelled as he fired another grenade at the truck parked outside the club. This time, a dislocated tire bounced it’s way into the club; it was on fire. Joey watched as the flaming tire rolled into the club.

Even Joey smiled at the sight of Pedro standing in his club, that was now on fire – he looked just like Tony Montana from Scarface, only, a little shorter.

“C’mon,” Joey said. “Do it!”

“I am not going to say hello to my little friend…”

Pedro stopped a moment and realized that he had just said it. Nero couldn’t have looked happier because his phone was out and he was already sending the footage to Jordan.

“GOLD…”

Jaime rolled her eyes.

“You boys with your toys. The club is burning down!” Jaime scrambled to find some water. Pedro was torn between getting vengeance for his club burning down, or attempting to salvage what was left of the club.

“Why’d they run away?” Pedro asked as he watched two vampires turn to dust at the entrance to the club. There was obviously something special about Pedro’s bullets, or his gun, or both. Nero didn’t bother to ask right away, he was too busy waiting for a text reply from his new best friend.

“They weren’t expecting a club full of vampires,” Nero said. “They told us to come alone.” Nero watched as Jaime found a water hose and began spraying the walls down. There was nothing left of the VIP area on the catwalk but the main floor of the club was mainly untouched. Pedro rolled his eyes when he realized that the cops would soon be coming; he could hear the sirens from a mile out and he was standing around with an assault rifle – not good.

“Shit…” Pedro sighed and pulled the firing pin out of the rifle. He walked to the gaping hole in the front of the club and flung his rifle into the night with all the force he could muster from his vampiric strength. The gun would probably land somewhere in Canada for all he knew.

“There…” Jaime clapped her hands together after finding a fire extinguisher to douse the rest of the flames. Or, so she thought. She looked very proud of herself as the fire flared back up and worked it’s way to the propane tanks near the back of the club.

“Oh no!” Joey yelled.

All the vampires scurried out of the club just in time.

… except for the rest of the immortals that got caught in the blast – wherever they landed

A giant shockwave rolled through the street followed by mountains of loose bricks that used to make up the club, glass shards, Pedro, shattered remnants of fire escape ladders, the VIP room, amp’s, Jaime, stage material, Pedro’s keyboard, flaming ecstacy pills, Nero, and Joey.

The buildings across from Club Pandora shook and the glass broke from the immense rumble of havoc. The people and businesses have been shook by the bass of Pedro’s establishment for the last time. Pedro landed in a flower shop across the street and was nearly decapitated by a flaming DJ disc that frisbee’d over his head and sunk into the drywall, setting it on fire.

Nero found himself half-buried in a brick wall after making a new drive-thru in a Subway sandwich shop. Jaime missed the wall by an inch which put her somewhere between the food storage and the turbo-chef oven. Joey was busy pulling a cash register off of himself so Nero had to pry his own body out from the wall. It was safe to say that nobody would be “designing” any sandwiches the next day at that place. Jaime limped over and pulled the cash register off of Joey. Once she helped him to his feet, they met with Nero and the three of them limped to the streets littered with flaming debris.

“My club!!!”

Pedro’s yell was unmistakable.

“It’s time to get rid of these people! Where’s the sanctum! This is so NOT legit bro!” his voice carried over the roar of the flames that used to be Club Pandora.

“Looks like Pedro is finally completely onboard with our cause,” Nero said as the cops piled in on them from both sides of the street.

“What are we going to say?” Jaime said.

“Say?!” Nero shook his head. “Pedro! Can you take care of this?” Nero asked while making a circular motion at the street with his hands. The short Columbian was still leaned out of the busted in second story window above them.

“Yeah! Sure! You go get out of here and leave me with your shit to clean up!” Pedro said.

“Don’t worry! We’ll be back before you know it.”

Chapter Four

Homage to Tony Montana

12/30/2011 – 1:00AM

Jordan laughed when she looked at the screen on her Droid phone. The blonde had been dropped off by her mother and Zak and was sitting in a chair beside her boyfriend when the picture came in. Her giggles woke Derrick up from his slumber and he too started to laugh at what was on his girlfriends screen.

The picture showed Pedro standing amidst flames and debris. He had his mouth open in mid-yell, was packing the same gun that Al Pachino toted from Scarface, and was wearing practically the same type of suit, too. A video suddenly loaded onto her phone and the kids laughed even harder as her phone emitted in Pedro’s voice. Say Hello To My Little Friend!

Chapter Five

12/30/2011 – 1:30AM

With all the leads to the kidnaping’s covered for the night, including a plan that Anna was not too thrilled with, they had covered their bases with the rest of the night to do what they could for the community. Anna and Zak never guessed that they would be called to the bombing of Club Pandora. The arrived to the scene of complete chaos with a lack of carnage. Pedro was sitting on a fire truck blaming it all on random kids with guns when they arrived. There was no saving the club and New York was just going to have to go without one of it’s best nightclub’s for a while. Zak found a spot away from other cars to park his car. As he got out, he checked under his tires to make sure that he didn’t run over any remnants of Pedro’s club.

“I’m telling you, people bring drugs into my club all the time, it’s out of my control. I don’t know if these things are aspirin or ecstacy but it’s not my fault. Neither is the explosion, I’m telling you!”

To Zak, he had heard that excuse over and over many years. Pedro was right though; there was no way that the police could ever tell if all of the random drugs that rained down upon the street in front of the club, belonged to Pedro.

“Don’t worry. There’s no way they could trace this shit to you,” Zak said. “Not without spending more money anyone would like to, anyway. So who’s the lead detective on this case?”

Pedro looked up at Zak and shook his head. He couldn’t believe that he was in this situation and he was still trying to pinch himself out of the mess like it was a bad dream.

“I love what you’ve done with the place,” Anna said. “Don’t worry. You helped get my daughter back.” She patted Pedro’s shoulder. “What did you tell everyone?”

“That it was a bunch of kids with guns and shit,” Pedro said. “What else was I going to say?”

“Good job. I hope you’re insured,” said Anna as she sat down on the fire truck next to him and adjusted her suit. It was still cold and once the firemen put all the fires out, everyone realized that it was winter again in New York. Nobody wanted to stay around in the middle of the night while the snow began to fall.

“Look, get a hold of Titus, and get Jordan. Don’t go home until the sun comes up. There’s some heavy shit going down and I don’t think you all want to be in the middle of it,” Pedro said.

Anna raised a brow and looked at Pedro.

“What’s happening?”

“A war…” Pedro said. He looked to Anna and Zak. “It’s not for mortals. Stay out of it, and keep Jordan out of it if you can. This has been going on all night. If she hasn’t told you now, don’t ground her – she wasn’t supposed to say anything but my club blowing up is probably going to be the least of your problems in the coming few nights.”

“A – war?” Zak asked.

“Is it too hard to believe?” Pedro pointed over his shoulder to the smoldering street behind him. “There used to be a club there, you know.”

“Ohhhh shit.” Anna sighed.

Jordan looked up from her chair to see a couple of people standing at the door to Derrick’s hospital room that she had never seen before. A tall lanky blonde headed man that didn’t look a day over twenty-five, and two larger men that looked like they could have belonged to a biker gang. Jordan looked over to Derrick but he was asleep. She normally felt as if she didn’t have to worry about anything in the world since becoming a Vampire but these people scared her. She looked up at them with her blue eyes.

“Excuse me, you wouldn’t happen to be Jordan, would you?” The man’s voice almost sounded cheerful; he was faking the tone of his voice to mask his true intentions and she could tell from the undertones. Without fear or hesitation, he gracefully entered the door first. The two larger men stayed just outside as if they were going to keep everyone else from entering in.

“Don’t be shy, dear. My name is Murcurio.”

Next to the door there was a chair. He pulled it out and slid it forward to sit in front of Jordan who was sitting beside Derrick’s bed facing the door. The thin blonde Vampire sat across from the girl and smiled at her.

“How do you know my name? Who are you?” Jordan angled her head to Derrick to see if he had woken up. She didn’t bother to try now. She wondered if it were best if he would be asleep for whatever conversation was about to happen next.

“How old are you, dear?”

Jordan still didn’t say anything since Murcurio wasn’t answering any of her questions. He leaned over his knees and looked the girl over. Jordan shivered slightly at the way that he did so. She took note of her surroundings and paid particular attention to the wall behind her for a moment. She then looked back to Murcurio and sized him up like he had been doing her for a while.

“I won’t answer any of your questions until you answer some of mine,” Jordan said. She was worried that this man was the person that kidnaped Derrick earlier in the day.

“I learned your name through some mutual friends. Are you aware of a young woman named Angelica?”

Jordan shrugged her shoulders and arched her light eyebrows slightly. She shook her head as she thought about it. Suddenly a dark haired, thin woman walked through the door. She was a beautiful Italian with subtle curves and an athletic body. She was dressed in a very fancy business suit along with a nice black coat. The floor echoed the clicks of her pricey high-heels that were undoubtedly name brand.

“So this is her? I had no idea she was so cute!” Angelica smiled and walked beside the chair that Murcurio sat in. She leaned down and looked up at her in the way that any family-grandmother might. Jordan always hated that; most kids hated that and Angelica probably knew it, too. “I can SO see why my brother would have wanted a piece of you. He was always into little blondes. I remember this one time a few years ago he had three or four. The parents must have been so saddened by the outcome but he was my brother. Family ties…”

“You’re that creep’s brother?!” Jordan pulled her legs up to her chest. They were close enough for her to get a whiff of them and she could tell that they were not technically living. Now she understood why she was so frightened of them.

“Looks like we have you at a disadvantage. You went to mist us last time. We were wearing masks, if you remember?” Angelica laughed. “I’m Angelica DiSoto. I’m sure you know that name. You killed my entire family.”

“You’re a Vampire?!” Jordan hissed in disgust. “What are you doing here?”

“I think you know. We both have some messes to clean up and you found yourself right in the middle of it all,” Angelica said.

“Who turned you,” asked Murcurio. He scooted toward the edge of his chair and smiled at her with his fangs extended. The little blonde girl twitched.

“Why should I tell you?” Jordan snapped. “You tried to kill me like – five times!”

“Because,” Murcurio kept his menacing smile. He didn’t move away from her. “If you don’t tell us, we’re not only going to kill you, but we’ll use your boyfriend here for a little snack. You wouldn’t want that, now, would you?”

“He has nothing to do with this!” Jordan yelled.

“Keep your voice down or this will get messy real fast,” Angelica sat up and grabbed Jordan by her shirt. The back of the chair dug into her back as she partially lifted out of it. She naturally felt like gasping for air but she reminded herself that she didn’t have to breathe. After a brief struggle, she calmly looked into Angelica’s eyes. A much taller woman, this vampire was stronger than Jordan. There was nothing she could do to get out of the situation short of going to mist but if she does that, they would no doubt attempt to kill Derrick in his sleep. She stayed where she was and observed Murcurio. He seemed to be in some sort of control over Angelica’s actions. Her blue eyes strained as she looked to the blonde man. She paid no attention to Angelica which pissed her off; she felt her grip down harder.

“Now now, Angelica – please lighten up on her so we can have a civilized conversation for a while. You would prefer some time to say goodbye to Derrick before the end, am I correct?”

Angelica half-threw her against the wall in hard enough that the surface behind her cracked before she flopped back into her seat. She didn’t move away from Jordan. Her fangs extended and she gazed upon the blond like she wanted to kill her very badly. Jordan understood this since she was, after all, the girl that killed her entire family.

“I want you to tell me who turned you so that we may exact proper justice and bring balance to the delicate sanctum that governs all our kind,” Murcurio said. “I don’t think that you would understand the depths in which this situation goes but you should at least accept that you were an accident that we cannot tolerate and it has nothing to with you personally. We just can’t have someone as young as you with your condition.”

“We also can’t have a girl that murdered my family around,” Angelica said. “Not me, anyway. For me, it is personal, bitch.” She whispered.

Jordan got up from her seat and sat on the bed next to Derrick. She protectively positioned her slender frame between her boyfriend and the two monsters. What she didn’t let them see was that she reached for the CALL button that was wired to the bed behind her. She kept hitting it over and over until she realized that it was the wrong button. She was dosing him with more sleeping pills by accident.

“Don’t you have any understanding that this all started because your brother tried to rape me?!” Jordan looked into the Italian woman’s eyes sharply as she found another button.

This HAS to be the right button… She thought.

Murcurio and Angelica turned around as the TV suddenly turned on. When they turned their heads, Jordan took the moment to jump onto Angelica’s back. She was getting good at ripping people’s heads off – especially Vampires. By the time the Vampire overlord turned around, Angelica screamed her final scream as the blonde girl popped the head off of the DiSoto girl in one swift yank. Fire swept through the room. The two guards turned in time for their flaming boss to bowl into the both of them.

“That should get the attention of security!” Jordan yelled with no remorse whatsoever toward the pile of ashes that used to be Angelica DiSoto. This would be her second kill inside the same hospital. I really am getting too good at this, she thought to herself. She turned to Derrick and tried to wake him up but he wouldn’t budge. She had pumped so much drugs into his system thinking that the button she was pressing was the CALL button, that she had knocked him out for the next day entirely. Jordan hoped for the best when she ran out of the room. She looked behind her to see that Murcurio and his two guards were now hot on her trail.

“Jordan!” Murcurio’s yell was so loud anyone on the floor could have heard it. Jordan had just finished putting out the flames on her own clothes as she ran for the window at the end of the hallway.

Outside, of the hospital, the sixth floor window exploded into a rain of shards with a young fourteen year old blonde in the middle of the constellation of glass. Two larger men fell from the window behind her along with one skinny blonde man. Before the four people hit the ground, the blonde girl vanished into a thick cloud. It suddenly looked as if someone had dropped some brat’s laundry out of the window followed by three men. Thump after thump, the guards, and then, Murcurio slammed into a loading dock. The only piece of clothing that remotely kept the same smash-faced speed as the three men was her shirt which had her cell phone inside of it.

Murcurio winced as he limed away from the loading dock and onto the street. High above, a speeding cloud of mist worked it’s way into the direction of Central Park. Murcurio’s teeth were already grown back in and his face was fully reconstructed and healed by the time his two bodyguards got to their feet and limped to where their leader was.

“It’s okay – I know where they’re going…”

“What about Derrick?” One of the guards asked.

“Do you want to go back up there and kill him?” It was a rhetorical question from Murcurio that need not be met with a reply and they knew it.

The Brooklyn bridge had never seen a cop car ramp up onto it’s surface at the speeds that Anna pushed Zak’s car at, ever. They speed to their destination of the hospital while Zak desperately tried Jordan’s phone again.

“If we travel any faster you can start the Flux Capacitor at ANY TIME!”

Anna ignored Zak’s comments as she pushed the accelerator harder. She tracked the cars in front of them and swung the wheel from left to right as needed in order to thread their blazing cruiser at highly illegal speeds across the bridge. Their emergency light bars were on but Anna found herself complaining about how the other New Yorkers wouldn’t get out of her way as she demanded more from a Dodge Charger than it could ever give.

“Out of the way!” Anna yelled as she honked her horn in combination with the siren.

“Anna! You’re traveling faster than the speed of sound,” Zak yelled with his eyes wide open. His hands were on the hood. “The bitches can’t hear ya because by the time they do, you already passed the motherfuckers! Slow down! I want to live past today!”

“Shut up and hold on!” Anna yelled.

The charger did a sideways skid the moment they dropped off of the bridge. They caused a sizable crash as they turned and went down the first one-way street that they could play chicken on. Police cruiser or not, Anna was breaking every driving rule in the book that even a respectable officer shouldn’t.

“That’s the sidewalk, Anna!”

“It’s the second lane! Hold on.”

Within the next minute, they had illegally made it to the hospital in record time. Anna almost forgot to put the car in park as she got out. If it were not for Zak, the car would have idled into the side of the emergency room’s automatic doors. This left Zak the last one out of the car which was now missing all four hubcaps and a rear view mirror. She rushed to the front desk and was met by six highly confused hospital security guards.

“I’m looking for my daughter, Jordan McKenzie… I’m Detective Anna McKenzie, NYPD.” She pulled her badge out.

“I’m not sure where your daughter is, but we had a fire upstairs. You’re the first on the scene,” A middle-aged hospital security officer said as she pointed toward the stairs. “We have a few people up there. Everything is under control. There’s a window broken on the same floor but nobody seems to be injured or killed.”

“Who’s room is it?”

“Why?”

“We need to know!” Zak yelled as he entered the door and caught up with his partner. One of the guards looked to a man behind the desk. He pulled out a chart and ran his thumb down the chart.

“Room 203G – That’s…”

“Derrick?”

“Yeah… Yeah, why?” The man asked.

“Your favorite question,” Zak said as he pulled his gun.

“You check on Derrick,” Anna said. “I need to check something else I don’t think Jordan is here.”

“You think?” Zak asked.

“Call me on the radio. Don’t wait for backup, just be careful. I have a feeling what’s done here is done already.”

“Hey! Be careful with my car!” Zak yelled. It didn’t help though. He watched as Anna skidded backwards and did a stunt with it called a J-Turn that was never good for any vehicle.

Murcurio cursed himself as he broke into his third car. They all had some sort of anti-tampering device on them. He got out and shamefully recommended the bus to his followers. He pulled his phone out while waiting for the next bus to arrive. Dialing in a number, he put himself in touch with the Sanctum in manhattan.

“Yes.. This is Murcurio,” He said. “I need everyone to converge on 335 West End Avenue. Wait for my orders when I get there.” Murcurio’s jaw clenched as he looked to his two guards that he was obviously disappointed in. “I mean everyone…”

Jordan had an idea that she wasn’t sure would work but she thought it would be worth a try as she put on a new set of clothes and a pair of old tennis shoes from her house. She knew that her mom would ground her yet again but her only major worry was that the TV wouldn’t survive the drop to the ground with her without breaking. Her legs felt the strain as she impacted the ground. There was a crack in the sidewalk where she did it last time, but this time, the cement patch that she landed on shattered. She checked the TV to make sure that it at least looked okay. Several people looked at her oddly as she rounded the corner. She guessed that a tiny adolescent girl toting a fifty inch CRT TV over her shoulder like it was nothing, racing toward a large neon sign that said PAWN SHOP at 2AM was a little odd – even for New York City.

Larry Nelson, a young bleached blonde with a wife beater t-shirt, Sylvester Stallone muscles, and rainbow striped jeans looked up from his Kindle E-Reader to see what looked like a 50 inch archaic television with skinny stick legs and pigtails sticking out from behind it walk into his shop with a bounce. The TV dropped on his counter and a cute little blonde poked out from the right side of it.

“How much would you givie for this?”

Larry stood up and raised a brow at the girl. He usually never stood up and paid extra attention to anyone unless it was a tall brunette with amazing curves. For him to stand up and pay attention to a little brat with pigtails was a new occurrence for him.

“It’s a CRT TV set. It’s old school. It is a big one though. But, it’s not real…”

Jordan looked confused. She stepped out from behind the set so that she could get a better look at him.

“Why do you think it’s not real,” she asked.

“That’s a stupid question.”

“Why is it a stupid question?”

“Because,” Larry started with a smug smile as he reached out for the TV. “… You’re ninety pounds and this TV weighs a lot.” He tried to pick it up but he could only move it slightly. He was surprised when it wouldn’t budge.

“Yep, it most certainly does!”

Jordan walked away from the pawn shop with two hundred dollars. She quickly jogged to the local all-nighter shop and ran off to the bank that was robbed earlier in the afternoon with several boxes of equipment, and a large assortment of bottles from alleyway dumpsters. She called Nero with a new Go-Phone and crossed her fingers hoping that he would pick up.

“Hello?” Nero answered.

“Nero!” Jordan yelled. “I have the Sanctum people after me. I need you to do something! Do you have anyone with you that can help me? I have a plan.”

“I have almost every Vampire in New York City with me, does that help?”

4:00AM 12/30/2011

Anna just received a phone call from Zak telling her that Derrick was alright and roughly untouched other than some singed bed sheets and the fact that he was maxed out on sleeping med’s. West End Avenue had never seen such a display of reckless driving before. The quiet streets were awoken by a blazing siren, screeching tires, and a well laid horn as the police cruiser burned rubber into the intersection. She was about to get out of her car when another call beeped in.

“Zak, stay on the line. I’m going to see who this is,” Anna said while inserting the key to the lock in the front of the building after leaving his cruiser safely parked in the middle of a four-way intersection with it’s lightbar on. She clicked over and nearly broke into tears.

“Hello?” It was Jordan’s voice. “Mom?”

“Jordan! Where are you? Are you okay?”

“Yeah. I’m at the Bells Wargo bank…. There are people after me and I broke in. The silent alarm was already busted. Thanks for telling me about this place. I am hiding in the vault.”

“What are you doing in there?!” Anna turned to run for the car but she was just in time to see a City-Bus slam into the side of it. She pulled her gun out when she noticed the two men with guns on the inside of the bus. Anna was quick to jump over the railing of the steps that led the way to her building. She kept her gun at the ready as she pushed her back between the brick corner that connected the bottom of the steps with the rest of the building. She held her breath as she heard the footsteps stomp up the stairs above her head. The loud crash of the door getting kicked in was her queue to make a mad dash for what was left of her partners brand new Dodge Charger.

“Mom! Mom?! Are you there? Mom!”

“I’m here!” Anna said as she peeled out. “I’m coming to you. Someone just came for you at the house! Stay there!” Anna yelled. She swapped over to the other line as she stepped on the gas. The tires rumbled due to the bent frame of the car. She took a moment to think about the night that her family was going to cause Tom and the rest of the precinct as the crippled car rushed for the bank that her daughter was at. “Zak?! Are you still there?”

“Yeah! What’s that sound? Why does my car sound funny?!”

Anna ignored the question. She caught a glimpse of the three men that hit the car with the bus. They were surely going to follow her. She couldn’t break sixty miles per hour with the condition that the car was in.

“Forget about the car! Get to the Bells Wargo bank that we were at earlier today.”

Chapter Six

Deceit and Treachery

Bells Wargo was having the start of a bad year. The afternoon before, they had experienced a brief robbery that was thwarted by a seven foot tall black detective with better things to do than sit through Dog Day Afternoon. Now, with it’s silent alarm system cut by a fourteen year old blonde girl, the lobby was filling up with Vampires waiting to make a last stand in the financial district.

“Yeah,” Nero said as he looked around the lobby with a crossbow in hand. “This place is going to be closed for renovations tomorrow.”

“What are we doing here?” Pedro asked. “What does this bank have to do with the sanctum?!”

Joey raised an eyebrow as the vault door opened and a young blonde girl skipped out wearing an I Love NYC t-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, and old sneakers.

“Hey guys!” Jordan waved.

“Jordan!” Nero walked to her and hugged her. “What are we doing here?”

Jordan smiled, “You’re going to love the idea!” She reached her tiny hand out and motioned for everyone to come in a little closer to listen to this plan of hers.

A few minutes later, Zak showed up in a Hospital Security vehicle. He slammed the door shut and started walking across the sidewalk to the bank.

“What the hell is going on?! I’ve already been here once in less than a day!” He yelled. He then looked down another street as a smoking unmarked Dodge Charger, his Dodge Charger, was being chased by a city bus.

“What the…”

The car hopped the curb and made it half way up the steps to the Wells Bargo bank before the bus hit it and sent it spinning over the stairs and into a park bench. Three more cars hopped the curb as Zak raced toward his overturned car. Vampires poured out of the bus as Nero and Zak pulled Anna out of the car.

“To the safe!” Nero yelled.

“What the hell are we going to do in the safe?!” Zak asked while taking Anna up the stairs with a clan of pissed of Vampires in tow.

Murcurio was a half-step behind as the safe door closed and locked on them.

“Cops are coming,” one of the other Vampires said. Murcurio rolled his eyes and smiled.

“You have nowhere to go! By the time the police get here, they’ll be witness to a massacre in a safe. There are way more of us than you.”

“We aren’t opening the door until the cops come!”

Murcurio recognized Murcurio’s voice and laughed.

“So this is how you want to end it? Cowering in a locked box?” Asked Murcurio. “Come out and die with dignity.”

“You come in here… I’ll snap your neck just like I did your girlfriend!” Jordan’s voice angered Murcurio. He had enough of the taunting. The police were getting closer.

“Have it your way!” Murcurio pointed to the crevices in the safe door. One by one, the order of the Sanctum turned to mist and assaulted the weaknesses in the safe.

On the other end of the safe door, Titus looked away and shook his head. The humming of the many dehumidifiers worked away as Pedro, Nero, Jordan, Joey, and the many other vampire participants bottled up the Vampires one-by-one. He doctored the small cut under Anna’s eyebrow as their war for independence was won one bottle at a time.

“Deceit and Treachery in the Treasury… I’ve taught your daughter well,” Titus said.

Twenty minutes later, after a quick cleanup via sending parts of dehumidifiers and bottles of Liquid Vampires to the roof, Anna emerged from the vault with Zak. The Vampires were gone via Die-Hard Air-vent Style They were met by several officers with guns. After brief questioning, they gave a convincing story about thwarting a second robbery in under twenty-four hours. Tom was waiting for them next to their overturned car.

“What is going on guys?!” Their boss stood their with bed-head grey hair, wrinkled clothes, a five o’clock shadow, and bags under his eyes. “Is this your car? Zak,” Tom sat on the steps and closed his eyes. “What the hell am I supposed to do with you guys?”

“Sir,” Anna said. “As much as we hate to leave you with all of this. We have a lead in another case… Before we get debriefed today, we would like to close up the kidnaping case.”

“How are you two going to do that?” Tom asked.

“It’s best if – you..”

“If I don’t know?” Tom rolled his eyes. “Alright… He sighed. But you better make sense of all of this by tomorrow night. Is it safe for me to go to bed without having to worry about any more property damage, major crimes, or crashed vehicles?”

“Yes sir!” Zak affirmed. It was classic brown-nose material.

Anna laughed to herself.

5:30AM 12/30/2011

Jordan walked the street corner and the van showed up exactly where and when it was expected to.

“Excuse me,” A man leaned out. “I was wondering if you could help me with something.”

Jordan couldn’t help but smile.

“Are you lost?” Jordan didn’t want to be too quick about getting nabbed by these people, but at the same time, she hoped for it soon because she knew she only had about an hour before the sun came up and that would be bad. She decided to make it easy for them and walk closer to the door.

“Yeah, a little. We were searching for the Museum of Art History.”

Jordan looked him over. He looked a little off like he wasn’t working with a full deck of cards. She looked at him oddly and shrugged her shoulders.

“I – I’m not too sure,” Jordan said. “I think it might be on my phone if I can look it up.” She picked up her Go-Phone and pretended to attempt using it and that was all the time they needed. In one quick swoop, the back door of the black van slid open and a larger, muscular man yanked her into the vehicle.