Season One – Episode 5 – “Bad Influences” Part 1 and Part 2

PART ONE

By: B.A. Holland

Production Notes:

Started: 8/06/2010

“Air Date” 8/06/2010

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

Angry Movers

335 West End Avenue, the 18th floor. At first, Jordan thought that this was going to be great. That is, until she realized that the movers didn’t do elevators without complaining. She found herself stuffed in a corner with Anna’s fifteen year old Orion CRT TV set that was 20″, and weighed seven times more than she did. Whenever the movers tried to get their van up onto the sidewalk, pedestrians would yell at them, then of course, the movers would bitch at her. Nero would have called it the revolving circle of bitchyness. Since her mother of course had to relocate due to the slight problem of killing everything important in the life of a mob boss; that is, both her and her mother took part in killing the sons of a mob don, they obviously had to move. The US Marshals wanted them to move to the other side of the country but luckily for Jordan, the other side of the city was just fine; or so she thought.

So, that television, the lamps, the shelves, her box of books, and a fat guy in overalls with astronomical BO and his skinny friend… Both bitching about where they had to park, why they had to work with them after sunset, and how her brat daughter was in the way — Jordan might have called one of them a jerk, too; that didn’t help. Right now, all she wanted to do was find the nearest basketball court. Home schooling was going to be great now that she could suddenly read faster. The petite young girl wisped her chin length blonde hair out from her blue eyes and smiled at the man now that she realized that life as a Vampire was going to have it’s ups. Of course, the fat man, whom she endearingly called Mario, and his sidekick Luigi looked down at her as if she were some sort of ameba in desperate need of a dose of isopropyl rubbing alcohol for appearing so happy when their night of drinking was spoiled by a few thousand dollars that went into their companies bank accounts and not entirely into their pockets.

“What’s so funny kid?” Asked Mario. She still liked to think of him as Mario even though the name on his stained blue coveralls was clearly Terry.

“Nothing!” She squeaked. I’m just so excited about moving into a new place!” She bounced on her heels. “Do you guys live around here?”

“Nah kid.. We ain’t paid enough to live round here.” Said Luigi or, that was, his real name, Mike. “You should just stay in your room and let us big boys do the heavy lifting, eh..”

The slow elevator crawled to a halt on the 18th floor. Jordan shrugged her shoulders. “I got the TV.”

“No kid!” Mario imagined lawsuits as the petite ninety pounder pulled out her back. He was even more terrified when the blond girl picked up the TV with ease. She looked up at them, not in pain, and smiling as she walked out of the elevator with a TV in her arms that should have taken a dolly and two men to carry.

“Oh! Okay… If you insist.” She outstretched her arms with the TV in her hands like it was nothing. The two movers’ eyes widened like dinner plates. “It’s really not that heavy!” She shook her head while blinking up at them. Her blue eyes seemed so innocently cute as they were the only things that could peak out from above the top of the television. Mario reached out and attempted to grab the TV and she heard bones popping.

“Fuck lollies!” The fat man wheezed as Luigi jumped over some Pier-1 Imports to help. The little girl giggled a bit as she watched the movers control the television into the dolly. Out of breath and in desperate need of a glass of water, they leaned over various pieces of furniture as the elevator doors closed automatically and began it’s journey down to the ground floor.

“Damn it…” Mario said, knowing that they would have to wait another minute for that elevator to return to the top of the building so that they could begin moving their stuff. It then occurred to them that this girl lifted something that took the both of them to even control. He looked back to the smug look on Jordan’s face and shook his head. “… want a job?”

The blonde girl promptly skipped away from the agitated coverall clad movers and giggled like the kid she was. The movers watched her skip away into her new abode while waiting for their elevator to come back to the top of the building.

“Did you see that, Terry? She just… Picked up the TV like it was nothing!” Mike said.

“We’re just getting old… It’s the only way about it…”

“You think?”

The movers kept their dumbfounded expressions present until the chariot filled with cheap-ass furniture dinged their presence.

“Come on… Lets get this in here.” Mario ordered

*

5th Precinct

Zak was getting agitated as he did his third turn around on a one-way street. The police precinct was across the street from a Jing Fong Chinese Restaurant on Elizabeth street; the same street that Zak was cursing about. Aside from the only space not taken in the street being filled with discarded office chairs, and merry bundles of trash, there was virtually nowhere to park near by the police station. Anna was sure that she was seeing smoke come out of her tall muscular partners ears. It had been a week since the incident with the mafia and her daughter and she was simply happy to settle into a new spot in New York without losing her job altogether. She still had some loose ends to tie up – Chrissy, her old friend and once, a good detective, was obviously no good friend at all. The problem with the situation was that she couldn’t convict her without sending her daughter into a courtroom; that would require Jordan to walk in the sunlight during government hours – and since that would cause her loved one to spontaneously combust, there was simply no way of convicting Chrissy of doing anything. If anything made the both of them seem equally agitated for different reasons, that would do it.

“Goddamn it!!! Goddamn IIITTT!” He yelled. “That black and white took my spot! MY SPOT!” He leaned into the horn. The whites of his eyes beamed at the police officer that got out of the vehicle on the one way street’s only ex-vacant parking space. There were cars piling up behind their unmarked cruiser who were now honking at him in return. It reminded Anna of a blood clot. She quickly reeled him in by his arm. The tall black man was pulled into his vehicle once more to do another round on the one way street in an effort to find a suitable parking spot.

“Our last precinct had parking lots!” Zak said while taking his foot off of the break. He then leaned his head out of the window to the cars behind him and yelled “PARKING LOTS!” Anna was quick to pull him back in again.

“Calm down… Deep breaths…” Anna simulated breathing slowly. Zak always made her smile.

“Gotcha…” He let out a breath and turned the next corner. Luckily, around the block, he did manage to find a spot and parked. “Mess with one mob boss and we end up working in Chinatown…”

Anna hit him on the shoulder. “Come on… Things could be worse.” She said as she got out. The nighttime air was filled with florescent lights, and the scent of various things cooking. The air was actually pungent with mixtures of trash, Chinese food, and shit. Since the Chinese restaurant that also had a main entrance on the other side of the block, they undoubtedly used the police station side of the restaurant to throw everything out. Anna held her nose while she noticed a place that her daughter might enjoy; there was also a video game store across the street from the station.

“Take a look…” Anna pointed her arm at the neon lights that said video games and she smiled at her partner.

“You know Jordan don’t like no video games man!” Zak looked at her from her feet to her head as if telling her that she should have known better.

“She has to find some new hobbies. I didn’t see any basketball courts nearby the new house.” Anna replied. “Don’t look at me like that.”

The two detectives walked into the station together and were met by a counter with bullet proof glass facing the open door. The station had been built in the seventies so there were parts of the interior that didn’t make much sense. The partition between the main lobby and the station within had indentions in the walls where pay phones used to be; with the invention of cell phones, and “throw away” phones — the pay phone was a relic of the past; too expensive to upkeep by the telephone company that didn’t get paid enough to support the archaic contraptions. These wall indentions continued on beyond the barricade partition between the lobby and the offices.

“This place looks old as shit,” Zak whispered in her ear as they waited for the desk sergeant to approach them.

“Detective Anna McKenzie, this is Detet…”

“Yeah yeah… Go on in. Nobody in this town dresses like you guys unless you’re a cop or a lawyer that got terribly lost,” Said the uniform at the front. He buzzed the door open and allowed them to walk through. They walked through and were met by a cool blast of air conditioning provided by multiple window mounted air conditioners that ran on full tilt to keep the department cool. Obviously the central heating and cooling didn’t work very well. She was glad that the cold wave of the past week wasn’t upon them anymore. Anna instantly had doubts at the building’s albeit to stay warm in the winter.

The tile floor was scratched beyond belief and some parts of the floor felt as if they wanted to take claim to the soles of their shoes as they walked past parts where blood or coffee had landed. Zak didn’t want to know what it was exactly but he noticed Anna paying attention to the sticky tactile characteristics of the floor as well. A door opened near them. This door had a few bullet holes in it and it looked as if it needed to be replaced. An older man in his mid fifties stepped out. He had grey hair but he didn’t look out of shape by a long shot.

“I’m Captain Tom Garand,” he nodded to the detectives and shook their hands. “… takes some real guts to stay in the city after all that I heard happened to you. I know this probably isn’t the type of department that you are used to. We’ve been around for a while but I assure you, it grows on you. Any of you speak Chinese?”

Tom didn’t seem too disappointed when both detectives shook their heads. He gave them a nod and pointed to a desk that looked like particle-board hell. Actually, it looked as if it was either the surface of the moon, or a miniature World War Three had broken out upon the surface of the desk because there were few flat spots that anyone could rest a piece of paper on without stabbing the pen through the surface and into one of the atomic bomb sized craters underneath that were either dug into the desk by their predecessors, or eaten by termites.

“Here’s your spot. If you wish to replace the desk with your own cash at some point, that is fine but unfortunately this is the best that this department can do.” Tom explained. “Goodness knows, it’s hard to find a pair of detectives that actually want to fill the night-shift – I’ll do what I can to better accommodate but our budget is screwed.”

Anna and Zak took a collective look at the desk. It looked like someone had spent a lot of time carving a hole into the surface of it in one corner with Rambo’s knife. The drawers were mostly intact, but one side of the desk had a drawer that didn’t match the rest of the desk because at some point, the particle-board panel that the box on wheels slid into was pulled off, leaving nothing but exposed screws.

“If we get tetanus from this desk, we’ll get covered, ight?” Zak was instantly elbowed by Anna as soon as he popped the question. Tom smiled and shook his head.

“I would expect such a reaction. I understand.” Tom said. “Well, I’ll leave you two to it and line up some cases for you. In the meantime, I guess it’s time to get you acquainted with your desk. By the way, detectives…” Tom handed them a pair of thumb-drives. “… Your computer aren’t compatible with your I-Pad’s so you’re going to have to start transferring information between the thumb drives if you want to continue using those. These computers run MicroWord 97′.”

“Ninety Seven?” Anna raised an eyebrow.

“Yeah… They aren’t networked either. We have our I.T. Man working up a printer for your desk. All files go into the folders, and you are encouraged to keep everything backed up on the thumb drives as well as the hard drive. Every system has a dial out port for internet but they don’t work very well.” Tom quickly walked away from their desks before they had any more questions; he seemed more ashamed at their condition than to be actually playing a joke on them. Before Zak could put together one of his snappy remarks about the shitty desk, Tom was already gone.

Jordan was having a good time with the movers now. She realized that aside from her super-human strength, she had the ability to re-arrange the apartment so quickly that when the movers arrived to arrange the apartment, it looked livable. Actually, it looked as if everything was put perfectly in it’s place. Jordan managed to move equipment that no normal human could have moved without additional help. Mario and Luiji couldn’t keep their jaws up as they looked at the apartment. They had left all of the furniture in the middle of the room and promised to come back to talk about where to position the place.

Instead of getting the extra money to arrange the furniture for a helpless 90 pound teenager, they were duped by a wonderfully organized apartment.

“No way…” Luiji marveled in disbelief with a touch of irritation.

“Girl… Where you hiding the crew? This isn’t funny..” Mario said.

“What crew?” Jordan said while dusting her hands together happily. She was getting too much entertainment off of the movers.

Mario brushed passed her an checked the rooms, all of them. He found no mysterious extra crew that could have moved all of the equipment for them. He was beginning to feel as if he was on some new episode of Candid Camera as he walked back into the living room having only found all rooms, straightened up — beds made, shelves in place; even the obsolete 200 pound TV was on the TV stand.

“You find anyone comin to da elevator on your way in?” Mario asked.

“Nah boss… I came in with you.” The dumbfounded Luiji confirmed.

Throughout all of this Jordan did her best to hide her smile. The young blonde stood behind the sofa with her hands behind her back, portraying the most innocent look that she could muster while the movers continued to contemplate whether or not they were in the Twilight Zone.

“Well ah, I guess our work here is done… That’ll be seven hundred dollars,” Mario said.

“Seven hundred?! Mom said that she paid four hundred in advance and was only supposed to pay another two hundred depending on the extra hours it took for you to help move in. A hundred per hour, in fact.” She said.

“We always require the extra fee for installation and positioning of the furniture.” Luiji leaned over the fat man’s side as if hiding behind him when he said it. He was afraid of the pale little girl. Jordan could sense their heartbeats; one out of fear, one out of anger and contempt.

“Look here, girl… I don’t know what kind of circus show you got runnin’ up in here but no matter who you hired to move this furniture, you hired us. It’s in the contract.” Mario’s face was starting to look like a red tomato as he leaned over her.

“Man, maybe we should just get…”

Mario slapped Luiji’s hand off of his shoulder when he put it on him as if to hold him back. He turned back to Jordan, who was getting out her cell phone.

“What are you doing kid? Just give us the money and we’ll go!” Mario practically spat at her.

“I’m calling mommy…” She said. “… Gonna tell her you were cursing at me in the elevator and got all mad at me when I moved the furniture.”

It was then that Mario’s demeanor changed slightly; especially after telling him that her mom was a Cop.

“Nah, nah kid.. Just — keep the money… Keep it.” Mario spun on his heels and stomped away. He never noticed that Jordan had already slipped a hundred dollars to the both of them throughout the moving ordeal. She giggled slightly as she watched them walk out with two benjimin’s hanging out of their back blue coverall pockets. She was going to giggle even more when they got to their moving van.

In the darkness, Jordan found a drain pipe that guided her into a controlled feet-first fall from the kitchen window. The sidewalk cracked at the mammoth impact with the ground and Jordan put her hands out in front of her to keep her face from slamming into the dirt at sixty miles an hour. Her petite body bounced and she almost fell on her back but a running stumble kept her on her feet. She felt her toes pop through her socks causing instant discomfort but she knew she only had an extra minute to scare the hell out of the movers. She threw a note into the van that said I put your extra money in your pockets… Did you know that you two look like Mario and Luigi, only the pissed off versions? And then she left the vehicle to meet them at the bottom of the elevator.

The moving employees practically jumped toward the other end of the elevator at the sight of the strange pale blonde girl waiting for them at the foot of the elevator.

“Jesus Christ kid!! What the — but you were…” Mario felt his heart pounding harder than it should and he was in serious need of an antacid from the stress. He broke out in beads as Luigi held onto him.

“How’d you get down here, kid?!” Asked the skinny one.

“Oh I’m her twin!”

As she stepped into the elevator, the Mario Brother’s wasted no time running from the confined space. She giggled as she hit the button for the eighteenth floor.

The movers hightailed it to the van and Luigi found the note on the dash. He shuddered as a shiver went up his spine when he realized that there really wasn’t a twin.

“That girl was just plain weird…” Luigi said while reaching into his pocket and pulling out one of the hundred dollar bills that they tried to get out of the kid. Mario did the same and found his hundred dollars. He shook his head at Luigi and stepped on the gas. The moving van peeled out of the sidewalk and blew through a red light on the street corner. They would undoubtedly be using some of their newfound money to play for a traffic ticket once the street view camera’s caught their transgression.

Chapter Two

Nero sat patiently at the head of a table while the chairs around that table slowly became filled with Vampires that decided that they were in charge of his life now that he was more or less dead. Nero knew that he shouldn’t piss them off beyond a certain degree and pretend to be diplomatic. After all, he wasn’t sure what all they knew about what he had been engaged in recently and he wasn’t about to tip his hand; Nero was glad that Vampires weren’t psychic – like some movies led people to believe. The vampires around him all appeared relatively young. Margot, or the uppity vampire bitch of the Sanctum, he liked to call her, was in the room as well. Nero observed the desk. It was heavy, marble, with engraved lettering along the edges that probably meant something that they thought was somewhat epic, but he could still, care less. They all sat around quietly for a moment in the dismal archaic looking chamber and looked down upon him as if their decision even mattered. Nero was taking the time to wonder if the US Marshals could ever be thorough enough to actually hide a couple of Vampires, family, and a family friend from people that had all the time in the world to find them. If it were a few days ago, he would have thought that Pedro would have ratted him out to the Sanctum for sure; now, he was having different thoughts. He actually doesn’t seem like such a bad guy, Nero thought to himself before someone finally spoke.

“It has been four days since your investigation came to a close and you’ve given us nothing. How do you feel about that, Nero?” Came the voice of a man with long blonde hair, striking blue eyes, and a muscular frame. Nero guessed that since he talked first, he was the ringleader of the so-called Sanctum.

“The police department would have let me by with at least twelve unsolved cases a year. It happens.” Nero said honestly. “The addition of superhuman powers doesn’t negate the reality that we are not going to have a one hundred percent success rate. Not unless you wanted some sort of witch hunt. Is that what you want, Fabio?” He replied in reference to the man from the I can’t believe it’s not butter commercials that he remembered. The man stood up from his table but Margot waved him off ever so lightly by lifting her hand off of the expensive meeting table shortly after she sat down.

“Nero… We understand that not everything can be solved but this was your first task for us and you failed. We want your assurance that you will at least work as hard as you did as a mortal police investigator as you should now.” Margot shrugged and the knobs of her slender shoulders threatened to pop out of her tank-top. Nero always thought that she was fairly pretty but right now wasn’t the time to ogle. “We want to help you with anything that you might need assistance with. If there are ever any problems, please bring it before this table, whenever you like, and we will do everything within our powers to provide it for you.” She said it with such compassion and emotion. Her voice even had that cute upward inflection of a person that was doing her best to lie as convincingly as possible. Nero couldn’t help but give her his trademark shit-eating grin that screamed you are such a liar.

“Yes.. Well put, my dear.” Fabio said. “Well put…”

Nero always inwardly cringed when he heard someone repeat things. He watched this Fabio guy get up from a King-Like chair and slowly walk around the table. His blonde eyebrows seemed to be stuck high on his forehead as if he were in constant surprise over something as he held his hands behind his back.

The out-of-style cloak from the 18th century seemed to scream douschebag to to Nero as he observed his swanky behavior. He placed his hands upon Margot’s shoulders as if she were his prized pet, the ultimate brown-noser of vampiric society; the fanged yes-man of the underworld. Horrifically, cubicle style white collar behavior carried on beyond life, and it made him want to die, again…

“So… Are you guys just going to put on a show for me or did you actually ask me here for some reason?” Nero sat back in the comfortable chair that threatened to lull him to sleep. He planned on buying a chair just like it with his stolen bank money whenever he managed to get home. There was so much to do. Jordan would be having a craving for blood sometime before dawn but he couldn’t tell everyone in the sanctum that he had an urge to go home and share blood packets with someone he sired as a vampire. No, that would probably cause a bunch of vampire white-collar’s to shit bricks. They would probably come up with odd consequences that involved the loss of his head.

There was a silence for a moment but eventually the I cannot believe it’s not butter man flung a black 5×10 envelope to Nero, frisbee style.

“Fan mail from some flounder?”

Nero opened it. There was a gestapo-style dossier enclosed, complete with the picture of a young slender framed brunette that didn’t seem a day over thirty-five. She was smiling in the photograph and the background had a hint of the very table that Nero was sitting at; it was in the frame of the picture, mere inches from the edge of the photo.

“Amy Ryder… Thirty-Four,” Margot started to explain the highlights to Nero. “… at least, thirty-four at the time of her crossing over. She was born in 1976. She used to be a lawyer until she met Austin Reese, one of our elders.” She reached up and held onto the blonde man’s hand; she even looked up to him mournfully, but done in such a way that anyone with a decent bullshit detector could tell that she was only interested in making her nose a little more brown. She shot her gaze dramatically to Nero. “Find her, kill her, and report in to us.”

“Killing eh?” Nero sighed. He tucked the photos back into the envelope and looked at the various members of the sanctum before paying his full glance toward Margot and butter man. He stood up and flopped the envelop on the table. “I don’t kill.”

“You think you can drink the blood we provide you and claim that you’re not a killer?” As the long blonde haired man laughed, the various members of the organization laughed with him. “Humans kill cows… Anyone who eats a cheese burger at McDonalds can’t claim anything more than ignorance of the fact.”

“Yeah, well, McDonalds sucks so you would use them as an analogy. I suppose I have no choice?” Nero didn’t even look for a reaction as he picked the envelope off of the table and flopped it back and fourth between his fingers and made his way to the door. “Don’t call me Margot… I’ll call you.” He said in a near sing-a-long voice. The door’s slam echoed throughout the marble hall of the sanctum meeting place.

It took a while for Jordan to find a basketball court in the section of New York that she lived at. She had looked up places to play sports. Aside from a rather large dockside football field only a few blocks away, there was nobody willing to play Football with her. She took the bus to the Roosevelt National Library and from there, walked to a basketball park on the river. It was dark and she was there after-hours. The hoops seemed to be illuminated despite the darkness that engulfed her.

Bouncing a basketball in the middle of New York City was like turning on a beacon, however. She wished that Zak was still on mid-shift at the police department; now that he was working with her mother all the time, she knew that she would eventually have to find someone else to take her to a basketball court or play with her. The sound of Jordan’s dribble easily made it’s way to the street. She could hear the sound of a few bums hiding out in the park respond to the basketball. They probably assumed that she was a seven foot tall musclebound dude, because as she dribbled, she could hear heartbeats in the park rise.

She threw the ball in pitch black and the soothing sound of chains from the net rattling signaled one victory after another as Jordan found that she was nearly undefeated; well, she was, since she had nobody to play with. Her confidence level reached the stars by the time the pinging sound of a basketball against the pavement inevitably brought on some attention. Jordan heard the sound of people talking. Her eyesight was momentarily blinded by a pair of flashlights. The light hit Jordan and she raised her hand in front of her eyes while adjusting her basketball shorts and her t-shirt. She pulled her hair into her I Love New York baseball cap and pulled it on backward.

“Who are you?” She said in a squeaky questionable voice.

“Sup?,” a young man’s voice replied. “Yo, how old you?” Said another man’s voice.

“Is she for real?” Laughed a female voice behind the light.

“Yo, dawg – she got balls bein’ out here…” That voice was most certainly Latino.

“Shudup..” A deeper voice rang but she couldn’t tell if the statement was to her, or this man’s friends..

She could hear another heartbeat behind the blinding pair of lights but there wasn’t a witty retort or a statement of any kind from the fifth person.

“We just out lookin’ for a party,” Said the Latino voice.

“I was just shooting some hoops, really.” Jordan replied. She felt a little unsettled that they didn’t really introduce themselves. She didn’t feel scared though. She felt more in control than she would have been if she were just a human girl out in the park; alone in the dark.

“How you hittin’ the damned hoop– yo, can’t see shit!” He was obviously African American. Jordan smiled a little now that several people were laughing. Jordan turned and threw the ball. Her slender figure jumped off of the ground in perfect form as she released the ball. Shortly after touching back down, the chin-link swish sound erupted, followed by the landing of the basketball on the pavement. She turned to the light and smiled cutely.

“I’m Jordan!” She said.

“How old you is girl?!” Asked the white man that was so vocally strained that Jordan could naturally tell somehow, was disguising his voice to sound more ethnic. Once the lights were out of her face, she could see that the white man, indeed looked like he was the poster boy for fake-jewelry-R’us.

“Fourteen,” she lied. She hoped she looked it; by the sound of things though, she would eventually have to be lying about her age all the time. She didn’t want to think about the fact that she was going to be a teenager for eternity.

“Gina… You just took second place in the gang…” Said the Latino.

“Shut up, Juan!” Said Slim Shady. “I’m Nathan,” Said the bling-master.

“Tyler,” the dark skinned boy said as he lifted his chin to the stars.

“Juan, And I’m single.” the Latino said with laughter following.

“Bitch, I ain’t givn her my name!” the oldest girl in the group proclaimed.

“Who you calin’ bitch. I got your stuff, member dat!” Tyler pushed at her and pulled a bag with a white substance out of his pocket. “Tell her now or you ain’got nun tonite!” Tyler’s eyes widened and he swung his head from side to side like a snake ready to strike.

Jordan was unsure about this crowd, but now that she saw the drugs, she was imagining what her mother would say about these people. She had thoughts of Zak and her mother pulling up beside her on the street with this group. Oh hi mom! Guys, these are my friends… She could just imagine the trouble she would be in, and that was the only reason she picked up her basketball and started v-lining the group. They all wouldn’t let her leave though.

“Dat be Tina… She ight so once you get know her…” Tyler assured her in his broken ebonics. He put a hand on Jordan’s shoulder and turned her to another girl that looked almost about her age. She had brown hair, blue eyes, and freckles. She looked entirely too young to be out with a group like she was in. It flashed in her head that maybe she needed some sort of help. “And dats Gina… Second newest to da crew. Where you be goin night?”

“What?” Jordan shook her head. She couldn’t understand much of what Tyler was saying.

“He said, what your plans?” Nathan said as he encroached on her personal space. He practically hugged up on Jordan in an immature, too-personal fashion. Jordan flinched a little out of feeling alone. She still wasn’t scared, but she wanted to play this group as if she were normal. She pretended to feel disturbed by what was going on around her a little by hugging the basketball to her chest.

“I should get heading home,” Jordan said simply.

“Ahh, come on!” Nathan said. “We got a club da go to!”

“Club? No club around here’ll let us in.” Juan stated.

“We got hookup down at the Proton. Come on… Don’t leave Tyler hanging…” Nathan pushed Jordan into Tyler who wrapped his arms around her in a hug that she didn’t necessarily want. Jordan found herself driving across the bridge to manhattan in a flashy BMW that must have been one of these kids’ parents car; she also had another question in mind.

“What is proton?”

“Club proton,” Tina said in a dismissive tone. “Got the green?”

“Green?” Jordan shook her head slightly and raised her eyebrows.

“Money.. Cash…” Tina responded.

“Why?”

“You ain’t gonna go da Proton dressed like that…”

Jordan’s eyes widened at the hostility in this woman’s voice. She checked her watch, it was coming on 11:30PM. There was plenty of time to get home and she could easily slip past these people. She knew it. She felt the fear from the girl beside her though. She whispered in her ear.

“I’m Jordan.”

“Hi,” Gina said in a low whisper.

“Where are your parents? Do you know these guys?” She whispered back.

“I’m friends with – Juan, but… I’m new here.” She glanced up at the other occupants of the car. Juan was on the other side of her in the rear passenger seat looking at them oddly.

“In’t nothin yous cant talk ta each other bout that you cant talk wit me.” Juan stated.

They stayed quiet for the rest of the trip. They stopped at a clothing store. Jordan still had nearly two thousand dollars in her wallet that she dared not tell anyone else about as she found what they considered to be appropriate clothing for both herself and for Gina. Less than twenty minutes later, they found themselves slipping by the bouncers to Club Proton.

At midnight, Anna and Zak rushed back to Anna’s apartment for lunch break; or at least, their version of a lunch break. Nero was supposed to meet them at the apartment and give them something that Jordan apparently needed in order to survive. Anna entered the complex and tapped the elevator button for her floor. She wondered if Anna was doing alright by herself. Her worries about arranging the apartment were put to rest when she saw that all of the furniture, in all of the rooms were put into place. It then occurred to her instantly that Jordan wasn’t home.

“Jordan?!” Anna did one last look just in case Jordan was playing a trick on her.

Zak began to fidget and his fists balled.

“I don’t like this one bit.”

Nero arrived without knocking after Anna’s third or fourth attempt to call Jordan went unanswered. Before Anna could respond, Nero shook his head and held out his hand as if he knew what she was going to say.

“Wherever she is… She’s not in danger.” Nero assured her.

“She’s still thirteen! She can’t just run out on us in the middle of the night!” Anna yelled.

“Dats right,” Zak said.

Nero gave Zak a quick glance but then moved his eyes over to the direction of the distressed mother.

“She can only get out at night now. Your midnight, is her mid-afternoon. No mortal can harm her now that she understands a good bit of her potential.”

“I still don’t like it,” Anna stated.

“Yeah, bullshit.” Zak finally said it again.

“Look,” Nero did a 360 and ran his hands through his long brown hair while he processed what he was about to transfer to his lips. “… Jordan has a higher capacity to protect herself and care for others now if she so chooses. In a way, she has taken some of the burden off of our shoulders, Anna.”

“My child is a Vampire! How is that taking a burden off of my shoulders?!” Anna leaned over the kitchen counter at him.

“She’s stronger, more apt to understand when trouble has entered her life, and she now has the innate ability to survive.” Nero looked like he was about to say something else but he stopped. Anna and Zak, being detectives, knew that expression; this was why Anna slowly walked around the kitchen counter and teamed with Zak in cornering Nero between the TV stand and a large potted plant in the corner of the room.

“Please,” Zak said. “… Continue.”

Nero took a deep breath and looked into Anna’s eyes.

“Before I continue… Let me remind you that if I didn’t take the precaution I did, Jordan would be dead when Anthony drowned her in your bathtub; she wouldn’t be around at all.”

“Nero!” Zak yelled.

“Alright,” Nero held his hand up between himself and Zak. “The tradeoff at being immortal is that Jordan won’t be able to have children.”

Nero and Zak watched as Anna’s shoulders slumped slightly. She found a bar stool next to the kitchen divider, sat down, and rested her chin in the palm of her hand. Nero decided it was best to keep talking.

“… But she will live on, forever — just as long as she is careful with herself. I can tell you this… Jordan is a very resourceful girl and I think she’s going to be just fine. She’s also going to be immune to disease, colds, viruses… Nothing can touch her now.” Nero could see that Anna was weighing this new information in her mind. It was obviously a lot for a parent to take in.

“This is just… So unbelievable. How am I supposed to deal with this?” Anna asked the question more for herself than for anyone else in the room.

“It’s going to be alright.” Nero said. “I know that you don’t believe it right now but given time, you’ll be okay. All this stress should be off your back once you realize how quickly your daughter is going to learn and grow; she’ll always be able to defend herself.”

“I don’t want her to grow up this fast though!” Anna wheezed through her tightened throat. “I didn’t want this.” Her hands shook as she put her face into them.

“I think you should just leave right now,” Zak said.

Nero sighed and put his hands into his jacket pockets. He pulled out two red pouches. She put them into the completely empty refrigerator and turned to them.

“I hope you understand that it wasn’t me that did this.” He reminded them.

Anna wiped her eyes and nodded to Nero.

“I do… I don’t blame you.” Anna said. “It’s just the change. Someone actually murdered my daughter. But, because of you I still have her — I understand that.” She forced a smile, a grateful smile. “Please, stay a while, Nero…”

Club Proton was one of the largest clubs in Manhattan. The music was playing, the catwalks as well as the main floor was filled with people dancing to the beat in unison; between those people were others’ attempting to get by from one place to another, a bar full of people attempting to pick up chicks, and the usual wallflowers. Jordan held tightly onto Gina’s hand as they were forced like hostages through the crowd. Nathan, Juan, Tina, Gina, and Jordan were pulled through the crowed by Tyler like a freight train clearing a track to the main stage where DJ Jaime Jax, otherwise known as DJ-J-Jay was up on the keyboards doing a live performance that sounded like a plugged toaster trying to crawl it’s way up a flooded metal drain pipe with a running hair dryer in tow.

Gina tried to ask Jordan where they were going but Jordan didn’t know. She felt that nobody else would have heard Gina’s response. She felt that familiar tingle up her spine as they advanced near the stage. Jaime looked up for a brief moment and locked eyes with Jordan. In turn, Jordan noticed the slender brunette DJ glancing over to another DJ that was running the mixes off of his keyboard; a Latino man with spiked hair and a very expensive suit. The song faltered slightly Jordan recognized this man.

It was Pedro.

He continued on the mixer to help Jaime as he shook his head at Jordan as if a sign that they shouldn’t be there. Jordan felt a wave of relief flow over her. For some familiar reason that she couldn’t place, she felt protected by these Vampires; one of which she didn’t even know. There was a familiarity about these people that made her feel as if everything would be okay – for both her and poor Gina Roth. She had the courage to talk just loud enough for Gina to hear her over the crowd as the men around them danced to the music and looked at nearly naked women on the dance floor that may as well have been dry humping while passing their XTC pills.

“Don’t worry. I’ll get you home soon okay?” Jaime assured the other girl. She felt pressure on her hand as Gina squeezed her palm and smiled. Jordan hoped that she conveyed the sudden feeling of shelter to her. The next song came on and the DJ’s switched out. There was a roaring thunderous clap-fest after the track was over and that’s when several beefy men that could only be defeated by Chuck Norris, himself, surrounded the small group.

Jaime looked up while Tyler beat his chest like a caged animal in desperate need of a Tums after a large meal. He kept saying things like Don’t fuck with me! You don’t know who you’re fu–,” and that was about the time two thin metal wires flung through the air and attached to his chest. Tyler tried to fight it but all that happened was that his eyes got so big that the white orbs began to extrude from their sockets. He had a plan to walk forward and rip the bouncers head off but all he managed to do was generate a very bad example of dub-step to the wrong type of song as the jolting electrodes brought him to his urine soaked knees.

The ladies were not impressed…

Jordan was swooped away from the group by a few bouncers. She protested as she saw the horrified look on Gina’s face. She promised that she wouldn’t leave her behind. The bouncer that had her was quickly surprised by the way that this tiny young girl flipped over his head. It felt like a long drop to the ground for her but once she had sight of his feet, she gave truth to the saying the bigger they are, the louder they fall. She jumped over the dazed bouncer and ran next to mister twitchy; she grabbed hold of Gina in a way that when she got overtaken, she would bring Gina with her.

As the rest of the horrid crew were shown out of the club via kindly, and very gingerly throwing them into a dumpster, Jaime Jax and Pedro stepped into the catwalk viewing booth where it was quiet and secluded away from the club. Pedro wasted no time shutting the door and walking straight to the two young kids that were forcibly pushed onto the sofa next to all of the overhead viewing equipment that kept an eye on the party-goers. Pedro shook his head at the girl.

“Jordan?! What the hell are you doing here?” Pedro was at least happy that she was dressed for the occasion this time. He wouldn’t bring up the circumstances of their first meeting with Jaime if he could help it. Jordan let out a sigh and smiled.

“Thanks for saving me, again. I was out playing basketball in the park and that group picked me up.” Jordan brought her legs inward and crossed them Indian style on the sofa. Her silver club-pants fit her like a glove and her tank-top outlined everything that she didn’t have to offer the world underneath. Gina was in a similar situation but she at least still had a pulse and had the ability to get on with her life. “This is Gina Roth. We need to find out where she lives so we can get her home.”

Pedro sighed and looked to Jaime.

“Look… I have a club to run. I don’t need Nero’s stupid bullshit landing on the club floor! I’ll take care of it later. Just do what needs to be done and get them out of my hair.” Pedro turned to Jordan while not even acknowledging Gina’s existence. “… no offense Jordan. This isn’t your fault.” His voice raised as he pointed toward the windows behind him and knelt down a moment to emphasize his point. “Nero just needs to know when to quit screwing around with shit. I’m nobody’s nanny! I’m Pedro! I’ve got a respectable business, a place to run! And I’m not going to lose my head over what happens here tonight, or any other night…. Jaime… Deal with it, please.”

Pedro stomped to the door that exited onto the overhead catwalk and slammed it shut behind him. The door opened and Pedro stuck his head in again.

“Tell Nero he still owe’s me money.”

Slam…

The young woman appeared to be about twenty. She knelt down and smiled at Jordan.

“Don’t mind him. Nero just knows how to set him off. I’m friends with the both of them.” She then turned to Gina. “Well Hello there…”

“Hi…” Gina managed to whisper.

“You know Nero too?” Jordan asked.

“Oh yeah… We’re very well acquainted.” The pale woman said as she handed Jordan a throwaway phone. “… there you go. Keep it when you’re done. It has three thousand minutes on it. I’m surprised that your parents don’t give you cell phones.”

“I um.. Left it at home.” Jordan admitted.

Jaime smiled and shook her head at Jordan. She took the phone out of Jordan’s hands and gave it to Gina.

“I bet this is your first Cell Phone. Go ahead… Call your parents. I’m sure they’re worried sick.”

It only took ten minutes for Gina’s parents to swipe the girl away from the dance club. Do doubt, poor Gina would be grounded for quite some time. Jordan was sure to write down the number to Gina’s first cell phone as she left.

“So,” Jaime started. “How’s life as the undead so far?”

Jordan sighed and smiled at Jaime.

“Interesting…”

“I personally find it odd that they make club outfits in your size… Pedro brought you up in conversation. You’re an unsanctioned Vampire so make sure not to bring way too much attention to yourself. There are laws in vampiric society that Nero totally broke. Pedro is keeping the secret but we need to keep you away from other Vampires.” Jaime sat down next to Jordan. “No doubt you are the source for all the debauchery that was going on with Nero earlier this week,” the Vampire DJ giggled slightly.

At Jordan’s apartment, her cell phone rang. Nero was the only one there now that Anna and Zak went back on the job. Nero walked to Jordan’s room and looked at the text message from an unknown number.

JORDAN HLP ME PLZ! NATHAN & TYLER FOLLOWING ME IN THEIR CAR!

PART TWO

By: B.A. Holland

Production Notes:

Started: 8/14/2011

“Air Date” 8/14/2011

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

Reporting your car stolen can save you

fifteen-hundred or more on your car insurance!

Nero had bought a new car. A 2011 Honda Civic. It seemed more like the type of vehicle that would fit in with the city; aka, a vehicle that wouldn’t constantly have the hubcaps stolen off of it during the day while he had to sleep. He thought that his last vehicle would have been safe and sound in the parking garage near Times-Square, New York, but that was just a daydream. Crime was rampaging in the city and everyone had their opinions on why. Nero, however, chose not to complain about it and get a car that wouldn’t have pieces taken off of it at all times of the day. He also couldn’t really complain since he had stolen the money to pay for the cars in question.

The hubcaps fell off anyway as Nero sped down the city streets at breakneck speeds of twenty miles per hour, or less. It was only the curb he accidentally jumped onto that managed to peel the hubcap right off of his front passenger-side tire. Nero didn’t have time to go back and get it. With his kind of money, it wasn’t even worth giving it a second thought anyway as it was probably bent beyond repair. Nero was not the best driver in New York by a long shot. He checked Jordan’s cell phone again to see if he could gain anymore info from the message.

He had just gotten off of the phone with his old friend, Jaime Jax who told him that Jordan was safe and sound at Pedro’s dance club. Nero had since learned about Jordan’s new friend, and the people she had found in the park, or rather, the people that found her. He knew that Jordan would have stayed under the circumstances — to save an innocent girl from a lot of trouble. She was honorable, just like her mother. He took a glance at the envelope in the passenger seat; the job that he was supposed to be doing. At the rate this family was going, Nero would be beheaded by the end of the week and Jordan would end up taking his job. Nero smiled a little to himself at that thought; a thirteen year old sanctum employee.

Nero slid to a stop in front of Club Proton to see Jaime Jax at the curb with Jordan. Nero waved and rolled down the window. Jaime pulled her hair behind her ears and leaned forward.

“We have to stop meeting like this, Nero.” She winked at him and gave him a kiss.

Jordan raised an eyebrow and walked around the other end of the car and jumped in.

“Got any plans for the rest of the night?” Jaime asked.

“Actually, I have a few things to take care of. What are you doing tomorrow night?” Nero asked.

“You if all goes accordingly,” Jaime replied. Nero smiled. “See you then.

The car went into gear and they drove off. Jordan looked oddly at Nero.

“You’re grouse…”

“Ah come on. Relax, we’ve known each other for three years.” Nero said.

“But you talked about that stuff in front of me. Grouse… You’ve already pissed mom off enough. What until she hears about this!

“Hey,” Nero leaned over and pointed a finger over her head in a joking fashion. “… Your mother had your chance. Don’t get jealous for her.”

“Am not!” Jordan protested. Her eyes shifted from the left to the right as if trying to seem convinced that there was no way she was thinking that there was any jealousy involved. “Where are we going anyway? This isn’t the way home.”

Her cell phone landed in her lap with a text message on the screen.

“Time to start texting. Your new friend is in trouble.” Nero said.

“Oh no…” Jordan eyed over the text message and looked at Nero. “We have to do something!”

At this point, Nero was already crossing the bridge to Manhattan and he pointed in front of him. “What do you think we’re dong!” He nodded to the dash of the car. “We’re doing something. “We’re doing a whole lot of something.” Nero put on his best confident smile, something he got a lot of practice with that night. “Are you hungry yet?”

Jordan’s shoulders rose a little in her skimpy outfit. Nero made note that the nights were starting to get colder and she really seemed out of place in such thin threads. Jordan sat on her feet in the seat and looked out the window a moment before she craned her neck back to Nero and waved her hand in a so-so manner.

“Alright,” Nero nodded. “Here’s the deal. If we figure out what is going on and it’s not anything that we need to directly interfere with, we’re going to call the police and let them deal with it. If it’s something dire, we fix the situation only as well as we need to without causing all hell. And only then, after one or the other, we will go and get something to eat. At your place.”

““I wish I didn’t have to drink…”

““Blood,” Nero said with a sly smile toward the road ahead. “Don’t worry. They have substitutes for that now. The people I work for provide it. Then of course, there’s cows blood and blood banks. It’’s not like we would ever starve. You’ll be okay. It just won’t be off of live mobsters.”

““Ah.. Okay.” Jordan nodded. “That girl from the club told me that you weren’t supposed to turn me into a Vampire. How come?”

Nero rolled his eyes and sighed.

““Yeah. Just a bunch of jackasses that decided to regulate an entire species. I suppose that’s why this world hasn’t changed since the archaic period.”

““What do you mean?”

““Imagine it, Jordan… If our species weren’t so intent on secrecy, there would be billions of people on Earth living centuries upon centuries without dying. Possibly even allowing for a remedy for the sunlight. Of course, this is all selective evolution if you believe in that sort of thing.”

““So what would these – Jackasses do if they found out that you fanged me?”

““I wouldn’t really want to find out. That’s probably what Jaime was talking about.”

“So you knew mom when she was still a uniformed officer?”

“Yeah, but I thought she was gay.”

The car swerved a bit as Jordan punched Nero in his arm.

The morgue at the local hospital was more expansive for the Bronx area than any other morgue that Anna had ever seen; this would be Zak’s first time in any morgue whatsoever. Anna never thought that she would ever see a black man turn different colors but he was turning white so fast that she wished she had a mirror to offend him.

“You okay, Zak?” Anna asked with a hint of a grin on her face.

“I’m fine,” Zak stated while only turning his head slightly in Anna’s direction, his eyes widened a bit as if to say please don’t look at me while we go through with this.

“Just checking. You look a little white today.”

“What?!” Zak said a little too loudly. Anna giggled slightly as the pathologist walked over to them. The pathologist wore a white lab coat with a few blood-stains here and there. He had circular glasses much like that of Harry Potter, and seemed to be in his mid forties. He had a full head of brown hair and a slender frame. The look on his face was that of a man that was strict and not amused.

“Excuse me… My name is Robert Paulson. I know that the people I tend for are dead, but I would expect a certain level of respect be shown while in this room. And you are?” The pathologist looked up at the giant black man who was rapidly changing pigmentation.

“This is Detective Jones, I’m detective Anna McKenzie.” She said. “We’re here for the murder in Chinatown.”

The Doctor Paulson blinked in her general direction a moment to make sure that he wasn’t making a joke and finally explained.

“Well, all of them? Or do you not know that murder happens all the time in Chinatown?” The thin doctor put his hands in his coat pockets to help guard from the chilly room.

Anna reached into her pocket and pulled out her IPad to retrieve the information that she painstakingly had to retrieve off of flash drives and an old Pentium II computer. Once the badly formatted information showed up on the screen, she handed it to the pathologist who looked it over.

“Who does your computer technology department?” Paulson asked.

“We just transferred. It’s a long story. We don’t know.” Zak stated.

The pathologist handed the IPad back to Anna and they followed him to a slab that was still out in the open. The bloodstained white sheet pulled off of the body with a sickening wet slap as the soaked parts of the sheet flopped against the tile floor. A pale white corpse, eyes fixed in horror, with it’s fingers clasped lie on the metal slab. His torso from the shoulder down to his belly had been completely sliced from front to back. It made half of his body look like it was leaning over in a morbid wave.

“Oh my god…” Anna put her hand over her mouth.

“He was sliced with a light, sharp instrument long enough to swing and saw inward while cutting in. A samurai katana, in my opinion.”

Anna heard something else hit the floor like water pouring out of a bucket. She and the pathologist turned to see that even the living had gone pale in this room.

“You had breakfast in the afternoon?” Paulson asked. Anna was more disgusted by the fact that this pathologist observed and guessed correctly, the contents of Zak’s lunch.

“Go — get something to clean this up and I’ll be with you in a minute.” Anna suggested. She felt sorry for Zak because she knew that he was disappointed in himself now.

“New guy?” Paulson asked Anna after her partner walked away beyond earshot.

“Yeah but he’s good. He’s real good.” Anna smiled affectionately at the swinging door where Zak walked through.

“I’m sure he is. I seem to remember a certain young twenty-four year old in the same position back when I was the apprentice.” Paulson said.

Anna turned her head to the man and smiled slightly.

“I thought you were familiar.”

“Please come by more often,” Paulson invited. It was a comical invitation considering the circumstances. He walked to the corpse.

“I hate to say that this wasn’t the first one brought in that was killed with a katana.” Paulson said as he pulled over two more slabs. “I have one here that lost his head… We found it in a drainage pipe in front of the store, and this one…” He pulled the sheet off of it. “Massive loss of blood, severed limbs.”

“I believe they are done by the same weapon due to the striation marks on the bones.” The doctor said. “I’m sorry to say but you may be dealing with the Yakooza.

“Oh great… Let’s hope that Katana’s are the only things these guys fight with…” Anna said as she stepped over the puddle of mess and toward the door.

“Don’t count on it,” the Pathologist sighed the words as he watched her leave.

*Manhattan*

Jordan had already called 911. They stayed four car lengths behind the BMW that she remembered being taken to Pedro’s club in. They had been driving for several minutes and there were no signs of the cops. Now they were at a stoplight waiting to move.

“Nero! Look!”

“I see it,” Nero said as he opened up the car door. Jordan did the same. Cars at the traffic light began to honk their horns as they saw two occupants of a car leave it at a light in park. Four cars ahead, Nathan, the seventeen year old with a backwards hat, and too much bling stepped out of his car and advanced on the car that Gina was in. He also had a knife in his hand.

“Hey!” Jordan yelled.

Nathan stopped to see Jordan on the other end of the car glaring at him.

Nero stepped in behind him and pulled the knife out of his hand and pushed him to the pavement.

“Who the hell are you?!” Tina yelled from the door of the BMW. The light turned green and Jordan caught Gina smiling at her from the back of the car seat; her oblivious parents drove through the intersection unaware that they were almost shanked by a wannabe gangsta.

“Nobody…” Nero said. He stepped over Nathan while Tyler put his car in park and stepped out. Juan and Tina soon followed and blocked their path to Nero’s Honda Civic that was blocking almost a hundred disgruntled New-Yorkers. Jordan was pushed to the ground violently by Tina.

“I knew you were a bitch!” She yelled as she straddled Jordan to keep her pinned down. She punched her in the face. Jordan felt the sting of the impact and she pushed back. The problem was that when she did, Tina wasn’t simply thrown off. She didn’t just fall over onto the concrete, no. Nero, Juan, and Tyler watched this girl got thrown threw the windshield of a parked taxicab.

“Oh shit…” Nero said to himself as people began to get out of their cars and run.

Nero pushed himself through the crowd of vacant cars and running people to get to Jordan who was dazed. At that point, Nero heard the telltale sounds of distant sirens.

“Come on!” Nero yelled as he put her back into the car. He found himself boxed in with many other vehicles and no way out. He put the car into reverse and slammed the empty car behind them. Jordan screamed in terror and held onto the seat.

“What are you doing?!” She yelled as she snapped the seatbelt on.

“We can’t have our car parked in the middle of this debacle. We can deny all of this with sufficient evidence.”

“But those people saw us!” Jordan screamed.

“Yeah… I’m an Ex Cop, you’re the daughter of a cop, and I’m loaded with money. The people that saw us are drug addicts, car thieves, and whateverthehell…” He tried to explain while jamming the front of his car threw the hoods and bumpers of other cars in an effort to get onto the sidewalk.

Jordan was able to get a glimpse of Tina as she pulled herself out of the car with a dazed taxi driver looking around aimlessly in an attempt to discover what the hell happened. Jordan sighed for a moment.

“Tina’s okay… She’s okay!” Jordan smiled a little. “I saw her get out of the cab.”

“That girl was twice as tall as you Jordan!” Nero exclaimed as he popped his car onto the sidewalk. The Honda Civic drifted threw a few newspaper stands. The New York Times rained all over the pedestrian walkway. Nero saw flashing lights in the rearview mirror.

“Your trouble on two legs…” Nero added.

“Look out!” Jordan screamed as they sped back onto the street, sideswiping a vehicle. The glass on Nero’s side of the car shattered and it didn’t phase him. Two police cars followed but Nero was gaining distance. His mirrors tore off as he wedged his car between two lanes of traffic. Slam after slam, they hit one car after another as they quarterbacked their way to the Brooklyn bride. Jordan pulled her knees up to her chest and held them by hugging her shins.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of Jordan. Just… Do what I say and we’re going to be alright.” Nero assured her with a bit of a laugh. He was so calm, that he managed to pull the phone out of his pocket and begin browsing the web with it.

“Didn’t your mother tell you not to text and drive?!” Jordan asked. She turned around once Nero freed himself from the line of wrecks he left. She saw that he had gained a considerable amount of distance from the police officers.

“I was born in 1976, Jordan. No… My mother never told me to not text and drive.”

Nero skidded his car onto the Brooklyn bridge and gunned the gas.

“What’s so important that you can’t wait?!” Jordan held onto the seat as she watched the cables of the suspension bridge pass by at nearly a hundred miles an hour. The road was beginning to blur and the cars were shooting behind them like they were standing still. The floorboard rumbled and the engine growled.

“I’m reporting a stolen car.” Nero said. “Alright… We’re in Brooklyn. I’m going to pull down one of these streets and when I do, I want you to roll out of the car.”

“What?!” Jordan looked at his speedometer. “You’re doing eighty miles per hour!”

Nero looked in his rear-view to se that the cops had lost sight of them. Jordan felt her arms and legs fly forward as he applied the brakes generously enough to alert the neighborhood that his tires had jerked to a complete halt and then he pulled into the driveway of an unoccupied house and shut the car off.

Jordan looked over to see three police cars with their light bars on and their sirens off, scouting the neighborhood in hopes of finding the vehicle.

“Alright… Time to split, go!” Nero jumped out of the car and Jordan followed. Nero grabbed Jordan by the hand and started running through people’s back yards as fast as he could possibly go. Jordan found herself keeping up with him out of necessity. Her thin jaw opened slightly in amazement at the agility and the speed that she had. The grass passed by so quickly and the wind roared past her ears. When they hit the bay underneath the Brooklyn bridge, it was as if someone had dropped a bomb into the water. The contact of the water stung; Nero’s grip never relented as he taught her to kick faster than moderately powered boat. Before she knew it, they were back across the bridge almost as fast as the car took them — maybe faster.

Nero took back alleyways, rooftops, window ledges, and fire escapes as the route to Nero’s place. Nero stopped for only small fractions of seconds in order to make sure that Jordan wasn’t overwhelmed at her newfound abilities. Before she knew it, they were in Nero’s apartment. He had let her in through his window after he jumped down and logged in with the lobby. Apparently he felt it a bad idea to suddenly walk in with a young kid in tow so he had told her to wait next to his high-rise window until he could pull her in, which he did so.

Everything happened way too fast for Jordan. She knew that right at that moment, the ambulance probably hadn’t even arrived to help out poor Tina, Gina probably hadn’t reached home yet, and the police were probably just now finding Nero’s car. There was only one thing Jordan could say about the fast paced events of the night.

“Wow…”

She was still slightly overwhelmed with how quickly everything had happened. Nero ignored her comment as he made another phone call from his home. She could only hear one side of the conversation as she tried to get the water out of her ears.

“Yeah… I’m calling about my car. I reported it stolen about fifteen minutes ago via your website and I was wondering if there is any word on it’s whereabouts?” Nero gave a sly wink to Jordan while they put him on hold. Meanwhile, she got up and proceeded to lay wet foot tracks across Nero’s condo floor. She was sure that Nero wouldn’t have appreciated her giving herself a self-tour of his place but he was currently leashed to a phone and there was nothing he could do to stop her.

She swiped her slender fingers across his genuine leather sofa where three opened wine-bottles filled with blood lay open and upturned on a glass table. The blood coagulated on the surface and dripped off onto what she assumed used to be a very expensive rug. She walked around and sat on the cushion; water began to pool where she sat. Nero was about ready to protest as the waterlogged kid reached for his remote control. It turned on a projector. A large movie screen began to drop from the wall. By the time the hum of the motor stopped, the lamp on the digital projector clicked on and a Welcome to TiVo symbol appeared on the screen. She scrolled through all the videos that it recorded for Nero while she ruined his sofa.

“Yes…” Nero said into his phone while trying not to imagine the damage Jordan was doing to his sofa. “… I was calling about my twenty-eleven Honda Civic. Registered to Leonard Nero. License Plate WTF2011?” He waited a moment and then pretended to sound upset.

“A hit and run?! Oh my god! Was anyone hurt?” He sat down in his chair and listened to what he already knew over the phone and made breathing noises to indicate his false agitation. “Yeah… Oh you have it already? So I don’t need to give you my address because I — Yes… Yes..” Nero paused and rolled his eyes. “Of course. How badly was it damaged? Will my insurance cover it?”

He waited on the other end while Jordan pulled up a television show called A Million Ways to Die which Nero was sure she wouldn’t have been allowed to watch due to her own parental restrictions. Nero waved his arm in wide circles at her to get her attention while extending the maximum length of his cordless phone but like a dog on a leash, he couldn’t get at her. Jordan gave Nero a funny smile and her tiny lips tightened with her tongue peaking through it while she made a mmmmmm sound followed by a giggle. Nero’s eyes widened and he pointed a finger at her a few times.

He then returned to the phone.

“Okay… Yes, it’s Geico. I’ll call them right away and let them know. Actually, first thing in the morning. Thank you so much.” Nero hung up the phone and he instantly ran to the sofa to gaze the damage.

“Jordan! You can’t get leather wet!”

“What?! You stained everything else in your apartment. I wanted to make everything perfect!” Jordan explained. Nero rolled his eyes. “I’m going to have to wait a month to get enough money out of my banks interest pay to cover this.” Nero said.

Jordan shrugged her shoulders, “What does that mean?”

Nero decided it was best to be nice to her. He picked her up and carried her to the bathroom kicking.

“It’s best if you learn this stuff but now is not the time. There are a lot of things I need to teach you but you’re just going to have to wait until I can set a few things straight with your family and teach you about all the rules you broke today.” He sat her down and closed the door between them. “Get a shower but give me your clothes. I’ve got a washer and dryer this time and I’m not going to just buy you a new wardrobe.

The door opened a crack and a slender hand poked through the crack in the door with her clothes clenched in her fingers. Nero grabbed them and proceeded to the dryer.

“Oh Nero!” Jordan’s muffled voice emanated through the door.

“What?”

“Pedro said you owed him money.”

Chapter Two

Flamers

The crown victoria was overturned but that didn’t stop a few other police cruisers to take over the arrest while Anna held an ice pack to the back of her neck. Zak could still hear the radiator leaking it’s boiling fluids all over the street while his partner was treated with various band-aids from the broken glass. After a short investigation and a few people asking around, it became evident that the Chinese did not want Japanese Yakooza in Chinatown

It just didn’t mix.

Anna told the paramedics to quit prodding her to go to the hospital and helped the other officers get seven people in a white van that had been t-boned by their cruiser. They then put them into another white van that looked like bondage paradise. Another car pulled up to the wreck that now occupied Church Street and 6th Avenue.

“Case closed…” Zak said with a pat on her shoulder.

“You sound too happy for a man that just wrecked his car,” Anna said.

“Hell yeah!” Zak replied without missing a beat. “… they assigned me an old Crown Vic. This means I get the new Dodge Charger!” He replied. Anna smiled at his reaction and shook her head.

“The department knows that I already have a Crown Victoria, Zak… They will just require me to pick you up at your place from now on.”

Zak sighed and rubbed his completely baled head and thought about it a moment before finally coming out with his thoughts on the matter.

“… Damn!”

His blonde headed partner giggled as she called shotgun of one of the police cruisers. She of course, would have to pick up her Crown Vic out of a parking lot now in order to get home later that night.

Jordan finished buttoning up her dress after Nero fed it through the cracked door and checked to make sure it fit right. The strap on her dress had some duct tape on it since Nero didn’t have a sewing machine.

“So what are we going to do next?”

“We need to get you back home,” Nero said. “The sun comes up in about six hours but you need to get used to being back home at least three hours before that even happens.”

“Really?!” Jordan replied. “Yeah… Okay. Three hours just seems like too much time.”

“It’s only for learning purposes.” Nero said while buttoning up another suit that looked like it must have cost a lot. “Besides, we’re getting a cab so we can return to your place like normal human beings.”

Jordan mocked him slightly by moving her lips and swaggering in the same way that Nero did as he held the door open for her.

*

Within twenty minutes, Nero had Jordan back at the house and they arrived at around the same time that Anna was keying in her door.

“Mom!” Jordan ran for Anna and hugged her. Anna took a look at Jordan’s dress. It was almost too odd for her to be in a dress. Jordan looked as if she had found a club to go to in NYC which probably wasn’t the best idea for her at her age. Anna gave Jordan a hug and looked at Nero oddly as if she wanted him to explain why Jordan had on a clubbing outfit that looked as if it had been to hell and back.

“I see you’ve had fun tonight…” She said. “Nero, we need to talk.” Anna’s jaw clenched and her eyes narrowed.

Within minutes of their meet and greet, Anna had the door shut on the living room which left just Nero and Anna in a room. Nero gave Anna his best smile. There was no way he could put it lightly to her the events of the night and not expect to get punched in the stomach. Even a Vampire can still feel pain and he had enough pain for the night already. There didn’t seem to be enough words that could explain the pain that came from the force of a belly flop into the water when you can run forty miles per hour. He was starting to suspect that Anna’s wrath could be much worse so he decided that it would be best to leave things on a need to know basis.

“What the hell are you doing spending so much time with Jordan?” Anna put her hands on her hips and snapped at him.

“She needs a mentor. Remember?” Nero patted her shoulders but she pushed his hands off and walked to the window of her apartment to look down at the street below. “She spends the nights awake now. She’ not going to be like other kids. She needs to learn how to feed, how to control the things that she can do…”

“I know,” Anna said in a whisper through her lips. “We’ve had this discussion before. I’m sorry I revert but it’s hard to wrap my mind around sometimes. She isn’t dead, is she?” Anna’s eyes seemed to reflect the light of the lamps that Jordan had placed perfectly around the room during the move. Nero could tell that this poor young blonde mother was conflicted.

“She’s very much alive, Anna.” Nero nodded and sat down on the bed next to her as she continued to stand and look down on the street.

“Vampires…” Anna said to herself. “Seriously. It’s just –,”

“So hard to believe?” Nero asked. “Yes; I thought so too.”

Anna sat on the bed next to Nero and sighed.

“So you’re done for the night?”

Anna nodded, “We solved a case already. The captain gave us the night off since Zak totaled his car to top a chase. A white van filled with Japanese Yakooza in Chinatown… Fuckers…” She rolled over and went to sleep.

Nero raised an eyebrow at the last word uttered before she drifted off. He quietly draped the tail end of the bed sheets around her before he left the room. Upon entering the living room, he could hear Jordan typing away on her Netbook. The idea of Jordan bantering away on Facebook made Nero worry that she might say something that could get the attention of a certain group of people that he wouldn’t want to deal with.

The Sanctum was darker than usual. Dust flew through the air, riding the breeze of the busted down door. It was not normal dust and it was all over the place. Amy Rider worked as an electronics technician and was responsible for installing computer equipment into the old New York mansion; what they didn’t know was that she had installed Ultra Violet LED lights throughout the Sanctum, making it not much of a sanctuary whatsoever for what it was supposed to protect. Margot, one of the few Vampires that managed to find cover, hid behind a computer monitor console that shielded her enough not to kill her once the place was flooded with the horrible brightness that killed most of the middle-aged Vampires; vampires that were at least a hundred years old, or older. The ancients were still safe in their sarcophagus’ vaults at least. In great pain, Margot limped around the corner to watch countless years of work being burnt to a crisp as Amy Ryder set file cabinet’s ablaze. Smoke poured through the mansion as fire caught the walls and rode up to the ceiling. With her superhuman hearing, Margot could hear the mercury filled glass of the fire extinguishers bursting but no water poured fourth from the suppression systems that were mandatorily installed by the state of New York. Amy took her time to understand exactly how to take down the sanctum and had obviously been working toward this task for a very long time. Margot went to mist. Like the other vampires that used to surround her, her clothes were left behind and it looked as if she had perished with the rest; it was safer for her this way. Now, she was able to get past Amy without her knowing that she hadn’t successfully completed her mission. Margot didn’t leave yet. The mist slithered under the door to the computer-room hidden deep in the basement of the sanctum. Once materialized, Margot grabbed a four terabyte hard drive. She pulled it out of it’s purchased packaging and connected it to the computer systems.

The physical files were burning but she was already done with most of the software copies of the files by the time she heard the door to the basement blast open. Amy Ryder had been a vampire for many years but she was still too young to not be ashamed of walking around in the nude by misting under the door; this gave Margot the extra second she needed to vanish out an alternate stairwell which led to a maintenance access hatch to one of the vast subway transit systems.

Amy Ryder didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary because she spent too much effort on slamming an axe through the computer monitor that blinked download complete.

Sporting absolutely nothing but an external 4/Tb Hard Drive was not how she wanted to spend her night. Margot couldn’t go back to mist and take the only thing left of the entire library of known vampires and there whereabouts with her. Normally crawling onto a subway platform in the nude in front of hundreds of people would be against Sanctum Rules but in her case, she hoped it would be commendable considering her aim to preserve those rules in the first place. And since the enforcers of the sanctum were probably already dead (because if they were not, Amy Rider couldn’t have possibly run amok for as long as she did), she felt it fine to break a few more sanctum rules. A police officer was one of the first to attempt stopping her. She made short work of him by throwing him to the ground like he was nothing; another violation to the very rules, that, were only in existence in her hard drive.

Some people screamed, others’ checked her out as she streaked up the subway entrance and onto Wallstreet and Broadway. Trinity Church had been rebuilt three times since 1698; First destroyed in 1788 after a fire that started in “The Fighting Cocks” tavern; after that, it was once torn down due to the weakening after a severe winter in 1838, and rebuilt once more in 1846. It was in danger yet again as a naked vampire streaked into the church by accident and knocked over a candle set that would soon attract the fire department during mass. Several people were too busy doing their hail Mary’s after the streaking to notice that their historical landmark church was on fire again.

The insurance companies were probably getting tired of the sesquicentennial disasters that kept happening.

Amy Ryder would hopefully perish in her own fire after she realizes that the trap door below the church to the Sanctum, what was left of it anyway, was locked. She turned around to find that there was another fire brewing behind her as well as the one below her. She knew that underground mansions weren’t the best of places to have the headquarters for all vampiric kind. It was just stupid and she just made a point of proving it through experience; the only problem with that was – well, everyone she was trying to talk to about it is now dead due to their own ignorance. By the time she turned around Amy Ryder was there with an Axe.

“What have you done?!” Margot yelled in disgust.

Amy Ryder was covered in the ash of her ex-vampire counterparts. Church pews were burning around them and it looked like Amy would be targeting Margot as her next undead victim.

“Let’s just say I’m a little anti-establishment,” Amy said. She pushed Margot against the cathedral wall. The bricks from the fire in the basement were getting hot. She could feel it on her skin as Amy pushed her against it. Margot was careful to hid the hard drive behind her lower back.

“Nice outfit. Birthday suit?” Amy said as her fangs extended. Margot kicked her off of her in a sudden show of strength and agility.

The hard drive dropped to the floor as she lurched foreward and slammed Amy so hard into the antique church organ that pipes started to fall from the wall. The organ began to play the worst song since it was installed as an angry nude vampire did her best attempt at playing Phantom of the Opera with Amy’s face. She really wasn’t hitting the notes right but even the fire department heard the pounding of the notes. The church group outside knew that it wasn’t much of a song as they heard it, but it was obvious that the instrument was being played with feeling.

Amy suddenly went to mist and materialized in-between the offering dish and the totaled organ. Water began to spray through the windows and land on the bare women as they fought. Money flew everywhere as the offering plate blazed past Margot and slammed into the wall. The fire was almost out by the time they were ontop of one-another again. Amy kicked Margot off of her and she landed on a wooden church pew. The pew splintered and cracked as Amy kicked her bare foot below Margot’s belly in the cheapest of shots that any vampire could give another. The pew then broke in half as Margot landed flat onto the centuries old floor. It was then that a tight confined stream of water blew Amy off of her feet. She went to mist again and vanished. Margot rolled onto her side to see a set of firemen’s boots approaching under the pews. She grabbed Amy’s waterlogged clothing and the soaked hard-drive. The firemen only caught a glimpse of her as the horrible nude pianist/arsonist jumped through a stained glass window and into the courtyard-park.

Several tourists ran out of the way as the exhausted, bruised, naked woman stood in front of a sign that said. “Church on FIRE tonight.” She couldn’t hlp but hurt herself again as she tried to smile. She had enough time to pull on Amy’s wet jeans and her black shirt before several police officers got word of the disturbance around the back of the church. Margot held up the drive and tilted it to the side. Her stomach hurt both emotionally as well as physically as she watched water pour out of the casing. She wasn’t sure if all of that hard effort was for nothing now as the flashlights approached her. Defying the pain of running at superhuman speeds, she ran across the Trinity courtyard, across the street, and scaled a building. She jumped off of the roof and landed one block over and blended in with the crowd once she reached Greenwich Street. From there, she vanished back into the Metro Subway before the police even realized they lost her.

She didn’t care where the subway car took her as long as it was anywhere but there. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath after she sat down. She would find somewhere to go and heal. There were only a few places she could think of going to. Jamie Jax, Pedro, or Nero. Out of all three, she felt the most comfortable coming to Jaime Jax about what just happened. She knew that Nero would be overjoyed about the news that there was now anarchy available in vampiric society. He wouldn’t lift a finger to recover a hard drive filled full of surveillance, biographies, and dossiers of every known living vampire in the world known to man. She wasn’t even sure how Jaime would respond to it. The only people that actually profit off of the existence of order in the society would be Pedro, but Pedro knew nothing about recovering files on a wet hard drive. Only Nero knew how to do that.

She heard a commotion one car over. She opened her eyes to see the outer door open between cars. A Metro officer passed Margot to intercede on the disturbance. Margot didn’t have to wait to see what was happening. She had a pretty good idea and used the time to run in the opposite direction, past the hand-hold poles, the people and avoiding tripping over anyone else’s feet.

The Metro officer was stunned when a young, thin, fit woman, naked from head-to-toe opened the doors. He took a moment to swallow before holding his hands up in front of him.

“Excuse me um… You’re naked.”

“I know.” Amy smiled and walked toward him. Several passengers around the two moved out of the way.

“I’m going to have to ask you to find your clothes. It’s against the law.” Said the uniformed officer.

“Nothing is against the law for me. Not anymore.” She suddenly hit him in the face. The officers head swung back and hit the metal pole behind him and his torso slid down the metal bar until he hit the ground. Amy was surprised he was still breathing after a hit like that. She looked around at the other passengers as she grabbed his handcuffs and his gun.

“RUN!” She yelled.

Nobody bothered to argue with her.

She took a guess that this NYPD officer was about her size as she looked him over. A smug smile crept across her face as she looked him over. Within minutes, the officer was butt naked, handcuffed with his hands behind his back, attached to the pole like a male stripper without a party to go to.

Margot found her way on-top of the Metro train and she kept her body flat against the metal as it slowed to a halt. She lifted her head to see a dozen NYPD officers board the train. Passengers ran out screaming as the officers boarded. Among them, Amy, in full PD attire, stepped out and looked around for her. Margot continued to lay flat on the top of the train car in hopes that it would soon wisp her away to the next station where she could get out of the whole predicament but the subway cars were not moving. Her hearing caught something coming off of the radios that she didn’t really enjoy hearing.

“Transit Cam has someone on the top of the car.”

“Shit…” Margot said as she jumped off of the car and ran through a handful of Transportation Safety and Police Officers that couldn’t get a hold of her. Several people pulled their guns which made it easier for her to grab one.

“She’s armed!” Yelled another officer as Margot ran up the stairs. Suddenly, she felt the stinging sensation of hot rounds flying through her back just before she made it back to street level on Centre and Canal. She watched as chunks of her clothing and parts of her chest seemed to fly out in front of her. She fell foreward onto her face and fought the pain as a pool of blood began to soak her hair. Amy had unloaded half of a Glock pistol into her back.

“She’s down! She’s down!” Somebody yelled.

The officer, or rather, Amy, ran up the stairs and pulled Margot up by the clothes that she had stolen and whispered into her ear.

“Now you have to choose between ruining the rules of your Sanctum, or playing dead while I destroy everything your oppressive group has worked for all these centuries.” She whispered. She was about to laugh and gloat when two men in SWAT attire pulled her away from Margot as she played dead.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?! You don’t just shoot a perpetrator in the back because they’re running! Officer Suarez?” The officers looked at the girls baggy uniform and then looked her over. “You don’t look Spanish to me.”

Amy rolled her eyes pushed the officers down into the metro with ease. She reached down to pick up the hard drive in Amy’s hands but several more officers walked all over her to get at Amy. One person even stepped on the hard drive. In the commotion, Margot grabbed what was left of the soaked, smashed drive, and ran off while everyone chased after Amy who had just ran through the glass windows of a Starbucks Coffee-house in the middle of China Town.

Finally, at a horrible price, Margot lost track of Amy Ryder and promptly slipped into a police cruiser that was unoccupied. She sped off down Centre Street and took a left on Howard before anyone knew that she was missing. Margot felt the tears well up in her eyes as she pulled what was left of the hard drive in front of her and eyed it. It was wet, and had a large dent in the outer casing. She breathed in hard as she realized that the organization she had sworn to protect for the elders, the Sanctum, with centuries worth of work, might very well be gone – obliterated by bitch with a superior enough intellect to take everything down.

After a quick shoplifting spree that involved a full-on collision into a clothing store called “Yellow Rat Bastard”, she took anything she could get and ended up mismatched with a pair of Levi’s Jeans, and a T-Shirt featuring Mickey Mouse and Mini Mouse logo’d “Lets Get Dancey”. It was safe to say, that by the time she made it to Club Proton, she was humiliated. The bouncer required a beating that left him holding his throat while trying to breathe, and this was just so that she could get through the front door. By the time she was inside Pedro’s club, she grabbed the attention of every up-tight rave and pot enthusiast that felt she shouldn’t be there without a pair of club shorts and a T-Shirt that at least had an ecstacy logo. She ran into Pedro on the way to the second floor catwalk.

“Pedro!” She yelled over the music. It was then that she began to burst into tears.

Pedro, decked out in a white Armani suit and his special earphone set hanging from his neck, didn’t want tears of blood to get all over his newest acquisition. He also knew that seeing a girl that Nero regarded as the uptight bitch, in a Mickey-Mouse T-Shirt was probably not a good sign.

“What the hell happened to you?!” Pedro yelled over the techno. Pedro felt that he sometimes hated the life of being a vampire because all of his vampire companions seemed to be coming to him lately and fucking up his whole night.”If this has anything at all to do with Nero, he can go screw himself you got that?!”

Margot, having little idea the history behind Nero and Pedro’s relationship, was at a loss for words over his comment. The door to the penthouse over the catwalk on the second floor flung open and Jaime Jax poked her head out of the door. She motioned for Margot to get up there. Margot, wanting to get away from Pedro, was pulled back.

“Tell Nero he owes me money!” And he let her go.

Margot stepped up the two flights of stairs to the catwalk and entered the door to the penthouse. Jaime rubbed her slender jaw as she tried to figure out her outfit.

“You know,” Jamie started as she closed the door to mute out the music. “… I like to get dancy too but I express it by actually dancing.” She attempted to lighten the mood with the joke because she knew that if Margot showed up at a dance club, something was seriously wrong. She took notice of the dented and scraped external hard drive in her hand.

“Amy Ryder destroyed the Sanctum… She — she killed everyone.” Margot seemed to be in shock as she walked to the sofa on the other side of the room and sat down under the monitor screens. Jaime was still attempting to make sense of what she just heard.

“What?!” Jaime’s eyes widened and she knelt down in front of Margot. “Impossible. Every vampire there is over a century old!”

“She did it.. She had… UV Lights hidden in the walls. It was horrible!” Margot began to cry.

“What is that?” Jaime asked as she helped sit Amy on the sofa underneath the infrared monitors that overlooked the club and the crowd. Jaime keeled down between the pool table and the sofa and looked up at her.

“She destroyed everything. I managed to hook this into the server and back up all of the text files from the 1300’s to present. After the text files, I – I tried to get as much of the physical scanned data that I could. I think I got it all, but – is the drive okay?”

“Let’s find out.” Jaime said. “If I can’t get it to work, maybe Nero can help.”

Jaime took the dented and scratched hard drive out of her hands. She was worried that Margot was losing it. The Sanctum was her life and from the sound of it, the Sanctum didn’t exist anymore other than Margot, herself. Jaime couldn’t say that she was too upset over it. If there was one thing that Jaime and Nero held a strong agreement on, it was that the Sanctum had too much control. She had a similar argument with other vampires in the past about how the Sanctum assumed it’s reign over a species. To her, it was like someone’s own personal Hitler regime. Jaime opened a closet with Pedro’s name on it and pulled out one unopened box amongst several other impulse buy’s of his and grabbed an unused Acer Netbook. Just in case it had a computer virus in it, Jaime wasn’t going to risk her own computer and it was obvious by the packaging that Pedro had never used his netbook. She opened the box and pulled the computer out. After twenty minutes of Operating System setup and finding the drivers for the drive, it surprisingly worked.

Jaime unloaded the contents of the drive onto the Netbook just before the drive finally started clicking loudly but she stopped herself from telling Margot that she managed to save everything that she hated about her in the first place. She took a breath and made the decision.

“Margot… This drive is fried. I’m going to see about getting Nero over here. Do you know where he lives?” Jaime turned in her chair to see Margot begin to shake with what was either anger or sorrow, or both. For someone that felt that everything they spent nearly a hundred years on get trashed, it was similar to telling them that they lost a family member. Jaime knew that if she ever decided to tell Margot the truth, she would never trust her or forgive her. Jaime also felt that it may have been time for a change. She felt suddenly freed despite the oddness of knowing that there were no longer laws governing her. At the same time, she wondered what that would mean to all the other vampires of the world if there wasn’t a strict system of punishment for those that would oppose laws that were laid out.

The questions in her mind seemed to relay over and over for a conclusion and she needed help for the final decision. Obviously, there may have to still be some sort of system in place, but she hated the Sanctum and everything that it stood for. She always felt that Vampires could structure themselves somehow, without having to rely on a system of tyranny.

There was also the question of Amy Ryder; she would obviously still be a major problem. As much as she had her differences with Margot, she didn’t want her dead. Amy was evil in her mind because there is never an excuse to kill anyone, at least, not in her mind. A new track began playing outside on the stage. She recognized Pedro’s beat; it was like a beacon of ideas in her mind. After the song was over, she intended to get Pedro to take Amy home and use his absence to contact Nero.

“I can’t believe it… No… No…” Margot held her head in the palms of her hands.

Jaime reached up to the shelf above the computers at the desk she was working on and plugged another drive into the Netbook. While Margot grieved over the loss of her livelihood, Jaime began burning all of the Sanctum information onto DVD’s for a second backup. As much as she hated the Sanctum, it was a lot of history and she would feel horrible if she actually did delete it; it represented the work of countless Vampires throughout many centuries. It was priceless.

“I’m not saying it’s lost, Margot… I’m saying, give us some time. We’re bound to recover something!” Jaime said. “I’m not the expert. Nero might be able to help.”

“Nero hates the Sanctum. What makes you think he will even want to help?!”

“I am not your biggest fan either, but I know that this is a priceless history.” Jaime finally felt better when she got into telling the truth. As the DVD’s burned the precious centuries of information as a second backup, Margot noticed the relief on Jaime’s face but she misunderstood why there was relief. It worked in Jaime’s favor. “You’re probably going to get it all back.” Jaime admitted. “Which sucks, but I’m not a bitch.”

Chapter Three

Pedro’s Home Run

A thirteen year old in a state of -pissed off- was hard to handle. A thirteen year old girl addicted to social networking sites like Facebook, having her computer taken away from her, by a man that wasn’t even her family member was even worse than that. A thirteen year old Vampire, that not only happened to be addicted to social networking sites like Facebook, LiveJournal, and Myspace at the same time, would be about the apex of -don’t fuck with this- and would tick off all boxes on someone’s checklist under the section of -oh shit-. If anyone doubted the pissed off Vampire, it wouldn’t be Anna McKinzie. She was too baffled at how a coat hanger spontaneously entered her room through a closed bedroom door while she was trying to sleep.

The yelling didn’t wake her up, so she wasn’t conscious for the start of the argument. Anna came into the situation by rubbing her eyes and noticing the wide-eyed, horrified gaze of her skinny daughters face as it peaked through the dinner-plate sized hole in the door. The sparking remains of the 10″ night stand television with a Coat Hanger speared into the smoldering screen was the next thing to gather her attention.

Nero stuck his head through the hole and eyed the room to make sure Anna was okay before looking at the destruction and realizing just how much this was going to piss Anna off. In a very characteristically predictable fashion, Nero nodded to Anna in much the way Jack from “The Shining” would never.

“How was your sleep?” Nero’s swagger didn’t work very well beacuse all she could see was his head, sticking through the hole in the door.

On the other side of the door, the girl had her hands on her boney hips, shaking her head, watching Nero’s headless body put his hand on his hip and cross one foot over the other as if Anna would notice his nonchalance.

“Loser…” Jordan rolled her bright blue eyes and whispered to herself as she straightened up her stance; she took back her computer while Nero tried be a player. It reminded her of what a man would look like trying to proposition a date while on the guillotine.

“I normally don’t curse around my child unless the door is shut, but seeing that the door will never be used for it’s intended purpose again, I will remain calm.” Anna said in an even toned response. Anna stepped off the edge of the bed and unplugged the television before it caught the condo on fire.

“Nero said I can’t be on Facebook anymore! Tell him he’s not my dad!” Jordan yelled through the door. Anna in turn looked at Nero, who kept his toothy grin with his head stuck through the door.

“It will cause a few problems if she isn’t careful what she says about her life.” Nero added. The plus side to having his head through the door was that he could block his voice to other people, that is, if Jordan wasn’t a vampire with superhuman hearing. And that is why he felt Jordan’s foot kick him in the ankle.

“Ahh!” Was all Nero had to say about that.

Anna rolled her eyes now in the same mannerism as her daughter while Nero pulled his head back through the hole to confront her daughter.

“It’s not polite to eavesdrop, you know?” Nero said..

“It’s not polite to dictate my life and what I do with Facebook! All of my friends are in another state, you know…”

Nero sighed and nodded, “Okay but no mention of the word Vampire, okay?” Nero said. “Not even to your closest friends.”

“I’m not a gothic chick, Nero!” Jordan stomped her foot on the tile of the kitchen floor while she peaked over her laptop lid. If Nero had one of those foam monster puncher batons from the state fair, he would have used it because it looked like a fanged vampire popped up from a hole. “… I’m not going to go flaunt around the fact that I can’t hang out with my friends while they are awake. Oh, and being dead sucks, and is totally not cool, so no… No Nero, I’m not going to tell the world that I’m a bloodsucking corpse, kay?”

Anna’s head poked through the hole in the door.

“Vampire or not, Jordan — you’re grounded. You can’t just destroy the condo.”

“Mom! I didn’t’ mean to!”

“Too late!” Anna pulled in her brows and glared at her daughter.

“I’ll pay for the door,” Nero said.

“No.. No you will not. I think I know where you got your money from and it wasn’t your long lost uncle.” Anna insisted.

Nero smiled at Anna and tilted his head in a way that his chin length brown hair dangled over his eyes. It might have been a way to cover up the look of surprise on his face.

“You’ve been checking up on me?” Nero said.

“Busted…” Jordan giggled.

“If you care for me at all,” Anna squeezed her hand between her neck and the busted edge of the door so that her finger was also sticking through the hole. “… You will tell me whether or not you stole that money from the banks, or if you really got that money from an uncle. If you really, really care, you won’t lie to me.”

“Anna, that’s totally unfair!” Nero said.

“I knew it!” Anna pulled her head through the door and hung towel from the back of her door on the screwed in coat hangar in order to give her privacy by draping the towel over the hole.

There was a knock at the door. Nero looked to Jordan and then looked to his watch. Just before he was about to ask her if she was expecting any company, he heard the distinct voice of Jaime Jax on the other end of the door.

“Jaime?” Jordan asked Nero.           “Hey, at least it’s not the mob.” Nero said. He stepped off of the bar stool and walked to the door. Nero reached out and unlatched the locks, turning the knob and swinging it open to reveal Jaime in her most ridiculous outfit, ever.

From head to toe, she sported the bare minimum for the New York police department to not arrest her for lude conduct. Before Jaime she was a mortal who had worked out daily and now that she didn’t have to do so, as a Vampire, she never had to work out anymore so she spent most of her nights sporting her ab’s on display. Anna would not be amused.

“Stylin…” Jordan peaked out from behind Nero’s back to see what Jaime was wearing. The ‘not much’ consisted of low-rise pants that, if Jaime had not groomed herself adequately, would be well below the line for decency considering the pelvic bone on display, and a black tube-top with the label DJ JJ Club Pandora on it.

“You’re a creature of the night now girlie… You should give it a try.” Jaime said. “We got to start you off right, after all.”

Nero didn’t like the way that Jordan looked up at him like he was her father and she was asking him for permission. As much as mortals couldn’t hurt him, the jury was still out when it came to his vulnerability with Anna.

“Eh, one step at a time, kiddo.” Nero said while patting her shoulder, hoping that Jaime wouldn’t say anything else stupid. He watched as Jaime dug into her carry-on bag that looked like a green monster. She pulled out a netbook.

“This is Pedro’s.” She said.

“As much as I appreciate the gesture, I don’t stoop to vandalism. Thank you for the warm thoughts.”

“No, Nero… I put something on here you might find interesting. They are the last known files and archives of the Sanctum. That girl you supposed to catch, fried all the Sanctum members, torched the original archives. Margot escaped with an external hard drive.

“You can go ahead and destroy them if you want,” Nero said. “If I had half the balls Amy had, I would have done the same thing.”

Nero suddenly received one of Jaime’s trademark bitchslaps that sent him staggering a few steps backward.

“I’m sure I needed that for something?”

Jordan’s eyes widened as she stepped back. Jaime’s stance went to predatory as she slowly closed the door to the apartment and crept in creepily.

“As much as I hated the Sanctum, those people did not need to die, Nero. Margot made it out by a hair and risked her life getting these files. The least we can do is preserve it. I didn’t tell Margot that the files were preserved. She thinks that we lost everything. I told her to go to your place to see what you can do to recover the files off of her busted hard-drive just to lose her. You know how I hate lying, Nero. Anyway… The sun’s coming up in a few hours. I thought you would want to look it over.” Jaime tossed the slender computer to Nero.

“You’re trusting me with this?” Nero asked.

“Don’t bother. I made backup copies to DVD before I lent it to you. I wouldn’t tell you were I hid them if it meant the difference between that and watching a sunrise. That’s too much history, no matter what the intent. I just thought I would share it with you.” Jaime said.

“What is the Sanctum?” Jordan asked.

“It’s a collection of assholes with fangs that feel that we needed to be governed, controlled, and –,” he opened the lid on the netbook to see the menu of files and continued, “… spy’d on. Oh look here, they were going to take off my head for turning Jordan into a vampire, how sweet.” He handed the netbook to Jordan who instantly began reading through the latest files in a long line of archives that dated back to the 1400’s.

“Are you ever going to come to the club?” Jaime asked.

“Sure..” Nero took a step forward. “I’m sorry about what I said earlier. It’s been something of a night.”

“I know,” Jaime kissed Nero on the cheek. “Look. I need to get heading back. See you tomorrow night?” She glanced over to Jordan, “You too. Still got that club gear?”

“Yeah! But, I’m grounded.” Jordan said.

“A grounded Vampire?” Jaime squinted her eyes and pulled her shoulders back in a cute stance. “… awww, How cute! In a not so cool sort of way!”

Anna walked in behind Nero, obviously, she had been listening for a while.

“Yes, a grounded Vampire. And what the hell are you wearing?” Anna breathed in deeply and her first reaction was to hide her daughter’s eyes but she refrained from doing so. She looked her over.

“What is that you’re wearing?! Around my daughter!!” She shook her head and watched as Jaime pulled out three blood packs.

“Sorry, hun… It’s my DJ outfit. ” Jaime said while tossing a blood bag to Jordan. The girl looked at the bag and instinctively knew what to do, despite the fact that there was still a part of her that couldn’t believe she was sucking blood. Anna quickly jumped back as her child sprouted little razor sharp fangs and dug into the pack. Nero took notice that Anna’s reaction was of horror and he was quick to comfort the young detective as she watched Jordan drain the bag dry in seconds.

“Oh, my, god…” Anna said.

“It’s normal,” Jaime said as she held up her own drained blood-bag. “Got a trashcan in here somewhere?”

“Ah — in…”

“In the kitchen,” Nero said for Anna while he held her.

Jaime took Jordan’s empty bag and threw them in the trash together.

“Jordan will be okay with us, Anna. She needs to learn a few things. Especially after the incident downtown.

“A what?!” Anna asked.

“Oh…” Nero’s eyes went wide. “Well, it really wasn’t that big of a deal. Nothing to worry about.” He realized that he had told Anna nothing about what happened earlier in the day and now he was going to pay for it. Anna looked overwhelmed with shook an anger at the same time.

Margot got to Nero’s place to find it trashed. Someone had already been there and tore through the place. In the bathroom, she saw something that worried her. A girls wallet with sparkles and glitter on it. The state I.D. Card had been taken out of it. She pulled her phone from her pocket and dialed Nero.

“Margot! Is it important? Because I have problems of my own.” Nero yelled through the phone. It sounded as if someone was trying very hard to kill him on the other end of the line. However, Nero’s nonchalance told her that it was nothing too hard for him to adjust to since he was probably used to pissing women off. Margot sighed and nodded even though he couldn’t see it.

“Why do you have a sparkly wallet in your apartment that looks like it belongs to a girl?”

“Oh.. Uh, it’s a friend of mine’s.”

“Yeah, well your friend’s wallet has the identification card pulled out of it and your apartment’s trashed. Do the math.”

“How do you know it’s her I.D. Card?”

“Because I can see the indentations in the wallet and can tell you that it is. That, or a drivers license, both of which have a damned address on it.”

“Hold on a sec,” Nero said. Margot heard his hand cup the phone which didn’t do anything to avert her super-human hearing from listening into the conversation. “Is Jordan’s I.D. Card current? Or is it her old address?”

After a lecture about how Anna is a police officer and obeys the laws about address changes, Nero came to the conclusion that they were all, once again, in a lot of shit. Nero took his hand off of the telephone.

“Can we crash at your place?” Nero asked.

“Nero, she probably knows where I live too. Same with Pedro.”

“Really? And just how would she know all of this information?”

“She had access to the Sanctum archives for a while before she destroyed everything I worked for.” Margot said.

“Alright. Get a hold of Pedro and tell him to find a place to lay low for a while. It looks like I’m going to have to find this girl.”

“See you soon.”

Nero disconnected the call and looked to Anna. She already heard one half of the conversation, so on top of getting the shit kicked out of him for omitting a part of the day that involved a car chase, Jordan nearly killing someone, and jumping into the water to swim back to Manhattan, she was now ready to kill him over compromising their security, once again.

“It’s not Nero’s fault,” Jaime said for Nero. “The Sanctum was a Vampire society that overstepped it’s bounds many times over by spying on every Vampire that they knew about, and enforcing their own laws. Some of them, were good ones, but sometimes they over did it. Like tracking down where Nero stays and keeping it on record like an underground census.”

“So they don’t exist anymore?” Jordan asked.

“Margot wants to start it up again, no doubt. There are still the Elders to contend with once they wake up, and if they find out that their shit got destroyed, they’re going to be pretty pissed.” Nero said with a sly laugh.

“What are we going to do now?” Anna said. “Get a hotel?”

“I’ll pay if you like. We can get a five star hotel, with an indoor swimming pool.” Jaime winked at Jordan.

“Oh! Like that one in Home Alone?” Jordan asked while jumping up and down. Nero reached out to steady her.

“If you’re paying. You got your money from your club right? Not by stealing it?” Anna asked Jaime.

“Right, not by stealing it.” Jaime then turned to Nero and shot him an evil-eye.

“Come on! I’m a freaking Vampire. I didn’t want to live in the dumps!” Nero said. “That money is insured. All it did was add to the national debt.”

Anna sighed and passed Nero by so she could talk to Jaime. It didn’t last long because the front door suddenly splintered in a large explosion. In a reflex action, and from a bit of personal experience on her side, she pulled her weapon and began unloading her entire magazine through the doorway. Jordan ducked down and Nero threw his blood pack through the doorway. It hit Amy Ryder in the face while Anna reloaded her next magazine.

Jaime stepped in front of Anna to protect her the moment the packet of blood exploded on Amy’s face. It was actually enough to pause her for a moment.

“Is that that woman you were talking about?!” Jordan leaned peaked her blue eyes over the counter, her mouth was open and her eyes narrowed on the woman that, for now, looked like a used tampon with legs. Nero grabbed Jordan.

“Time to go,” Nero said. “Jaime! Follow me!” Nero jumped full speed at Amy who was still in a NYPD uniform. Amy had been too fixated on the blood that was on her to concentrate on her element of surprise. That’s when Nero kicked her so hard that she flew through the wall on the opposite end of the hallway, crashing through it like a wrecking ball with fangs. Nero checked the time and grabbed the Netbook. Jordan followed Nero to the window.

“Just jump down.” Nero said.

“Hold onto me,” Jaime said to Anna while they approached the window that Nero opened. Anna watched as Jordan jumped out of the window and fell several hundred feet. She landed on the streets below an waved to them almost too happily.

“Oh No! No you are not taking me out that window!” Anna yelled. “In case you noticed, I’m mortal!”

“Good point,” Jaime said while biting into the back of her own hand. Without even asking, she pushed her hand at Anna’s lips. She gasped and choked as she felt Jaime force the blood down her throat. She coughed and shook her head.

“Why did you do that?!”

“Just in case you fall, Jordan won’t be without her mother. You’ll come back a Vampire if you die.”

“Someone in this family needs to be human. So don’t drop me!” She yelled as she held on tight to Jordan. With as little that she had on, it was hard to hold on beyond wrapping her hands around her bare skin and holding onto her carryon bag that she hoped was strong enough to support a hundred and ten pounds. Before she knew it, she felt her feet touch the ground.

“Where’s your car?” Nero asked Jaime.

“I took the subway.”

“Subway it is.” Nero said.

Anna checked the destination schedule on the subway tram. There were a lot of hotels in and around the NYC Yankees stadium area and therefore they decided on getting out on that stop. What they didn’t realize was that Amy had boarded the train behind them.

Nero checked Anna over for any injuries to the point where Anna wanted to slap him all over again. She cursed under her breath.

“My phone…” Anna shook her head and closed her eyes a moment, “… Left it in the apartment.”

“I got mine,” Jordan said.

“Good.” Anna grabbed the phone from Jordan’s hand and started dialing a number but Nero, in turn grabbed it.

“I’m calling for backup.”

“This isn’t a job for the police.” Nero looked to Jordan who was still more pale than she should be, and then to Jaime. “We need help. Can you get Pedro on the phone.” He handed it to Jaime and she started dialing.

“Hey.. Pedro. We have Amy chasing after us and she’s pissed. Can you meet us at Yankee Stadium?”

Nero and Jordan listened in with their selective hearing and heard the distinct sound of Pedro.

“Sure! Sure! I’ll close the fucking club to help out you idiots. Sure! Let me just tell everyone they have to leave.” As with everything recently, Jordan and Nero turned their heads knowingly to each other while Jaime gained pigmentation to her face.

“Just get the fuck down to the stadium you ass! Put the tracks on auto!” Jaime yelled.

“God damn it… I’m on the way. Tell Nero he owes me money!”

The phone went silent and Jaime handed it back to Jordan.

“You owe him money?” Jordan asked as she held onto the pole next to the seats that Nero, Anna, and Jaime were in.

“He thinks I owe him money for the clothes that he bought you when you — you know…” Nero said.

This got the attention of the passenger next to them. He had on a pair of expensive glasses, and a suit that looked like it was worth a lot of money. His slender figure seemed to lean over to the four people in the other seats.

“This doesn’t sound like an appropriate conversation. How old is she?” The man asked.

“I’m thirteen, and this is my lover.” She grabbed onto Nero who’s eyes went wide. Jaime began to laugh while Anna placed her face into her hands.

“Oh my god,” Anna said through her fingers. She only wished that he partner was there with them so that he could punch Nero in the face. Anna was sure that this was a joke. Because, if this wasn’t a joke, Anna would become a Vampire hunter faster than someone could say Van Helsing. She raised her head to see several concerned passengers staring at them.

“It’s okay, I’m her mother.” She stated.

An old man from across the car that sounded and smelled as if he had a few drinks slurred in their direction.

“That’s five years in p..prison..” he managed to get out.

“She is just pulling your leg.” Anna pulled her badge out. “Trust me, she is.”

As the passengers turned around swiftly at the sight of the badge, Anna turned to Jordan. The girl’s straw blonde hair twirled around as she giggled at everyone around them while Nero cursed himself.

“That’s not funny, Jordan.” Anna said. She noticed that Jaime was laughing with her. “It’s not!”

“She’s becoming bold. It’s a — thing with us.” Jordan informed.

“If she gets any bolder than that, I’m going to shoot Nero.” Anna looked to Jordan with a concerned expression. Jordan knew it because her eyebrows squished together so tightly that the wrinkles between them emulated the Atari Games logo.

“Mom, I was just joking.”

“You better be.”

“Okay, so he’s still on me about the money? What was it, fifty dollars or something?” Nero reached into his pocket and handed a fifty to Jaime. “Give that to Nero. Anything to get rid of his bickering. Do you realize how many people I’ve had to hear about Pedro’s debt’s from?! Everywhere I go, it’s Oh, I owe Pedro money. It’s getting old.”

“Wait until Pedro owed you money. You will have to do the same thing for him. You’ll know he’s asking you for something because he always says, Save My Life Bro!” Jaime said with a giggle.

“I’ll keep that in mind.” Nero nodded. The subway ride came to a halt and everyone got up. Anna was sure to keep Jordan close to her and hold her hands as they got off. They ascended to the streets and walked a block to the stadium to wait for Pedro.

“Hey, isn’t Pedro’s car too small to fit all of us?” Anna asked.

“No, he has more than one car,” Jaime said.

Nero handed the netbook back to Jaime so that she could carry it in her bag until the car came.

“I bet Pedro will shit a brick when he finds out we stole his netbook.” Nero’s grin widened as they waited on the corner. The laughter stopped when they saw a police officer on the other end of the crosswalk. Nero focused on the officer’s face in the dark and noticed something familiar about it. His blue eyes seemed to change from dilated to pinholes when he realized who it was. Nero looked to Jordan and Jaime while Jaime grabbed Anna and they ran toward the stadium.

“It’s locked!” Anna yelled.

Jordan reached out and pulled the lock off the gate like it was made of play dough. She looked up to her shocked mother and nodded.

“Yeah it was. I learned this the last time I was kidnapped.” Jordan said while Nero opened the gate.

“To the football field,” Nero let them all in and he looked back to the street to see that there was no sign of Amy Ryder; he didn’t like that.

Jordan was the first one out in the football field. The young girl looked like a speck in the baseball diamond. It was still lit up by the lighting that stayed on all night. She looked around while Anna and Jaime followed closely behind.

“Where’s Nero?” Jaime asked Anna as they came to the field together. Anna didn’t hesitate to keep her gun drawn. She swung it in every direction, scanning the field as she approached Jordan.

“The gun isn’t going to work, remember?” Jordan said.

“Quit reminding me Jordan. It makes me feel better.”

Inside the stadium, Nero tiptoed through the locker rooms. He found a baseball bat laying along the wall. He loosened his colorful tie and straightened his suit’s coat while pulling the hair out of his eyes.

“Amy… You know that I feel the same way about the Sanctum that you do. You accomplished the goal, why are you after us?” He yelled into the dark. The twilight shadows seemed to pass over his face with every step while he peered into the dark corners of the room, ready to swing at a moment’s notice. Vampire or not, his muscles were tense and if he had a beating heart, his chest would have been beating like a hummingbirds wings. He heard something behind him and quickly swung around, his bat at the ready. He searched the areas behind him where the sound seemed to come from – beyond the entrance to the shower rooms. He listened intently. He could hear the sound of the water slapping against the tile floor, the contracting metal beams, and the distant sounds of the wind over the outer aluminum of the stadium. There were no other sounds of footprints besides the echo’s of his own as he tried to be as quiet as he could. He knew that somewhere in there, where he was, there was someone else trying to be just as quiet. Whether or not she knew where he was weighed heavily on his mind as he searched the darkness. He felt that, perhaps using his voice to reason with Amy wasn’t the best practical idea. He thought about it a moment and came to the conclusion that he had already tipped his hand. Reasoning with her seemed like a good idea at the time.

… and that was Nero’s problem. Most of the time, whatever seemed like a good idea at the time, wasn’t. He was quick to find that Vampires can still get the shit kicked out of them. He hit the tiles in the shower room so hard that it seemed as if the porcelain god was raining down upon him. Through blurred vision, he saw Amy run away while he stumbled around and tried to get his footing.

Jordan and Jaime waited in the middle of the football field for help while hoping that Nero would come out of the stadium instead of anyone else. Anna still had her gun drawn. The three women were back to back in a circle, ready to call out at the first sign of movement from the many dark tunnels that surrounded them. For Anna, it was impossible to see past the veil of darkness and it gave her the sinking feeling that a Vampire would know this and choose to come at them from a tunnel that Anna was covering instead of one that the Vampires were looking out for. She felt that she had to be the most on-the-ball with making sure to say she saw something as soon as possible. That need was nullified as a shot rang out from behind her and hit Jaime in the leg. Another shot rang out and caught Jordan in the center of her chest. She screamed in pain as Anna swung around while her daughter fell to the ground and fired several rounds at the woman in uniform. The five shots Anna unloaded hit dead on their marks and Amy fell to the ground. Vampires could feel tremendous pain and she could tell that by the look on Jordan’s face as her daughter grabbed her chest in pain and looked up to her mother with tears streaming down her eyes.

“Jordan?! Are you okay?” Anna pulled Jordan up to her chest and pulled her shirt up to see that the entrance wound wouldn’t close up. She looked to Jaime who reached in with her finger nails and pulled the hot led out of her leg. Only then, did the wound close up. Anna and Jaime glanced at one another and Anna realized that in order to close the wound, she would have to pull the bullet out of Jordan somehow.

“Can you go to mist?”

“It hurts…” Jordan cried. Just then, Anna felt a jolt in her daughters body and blood sprayed just above her shoulder. Jordan screamed through her fanged teeth in agony. Anna’s jaw dropped a moment and looked to see that Amy was back on her feet.

“Stop!!!” Anna yelled. “Stop it!”

Another shot hit Jaime as she tried to run for Amy. It sent Jaime to the ground. There was enough room between the vampires to inflict pain without getting to the other without more bullets flying. Jordan felt a surge of pain travel up her spine as two more bullets slammed into her while her mother held her. They would have been good enough hits to kill her if she were mortal but Jordan wouldn’t die.

“Where is the hard drive! I want it! Now!” Amy yelled.

“It was destroied!” Nero yelled from the dugout. “Quit hurting them! There’s nothing more you can do! You’ve won!” Nero inched as close to Amy as he could before she aimed the gun back at Jordan.

“Anyone comes anywhere closer, I’ll shoot the mother! She won’t come back! I want to know where Margot is, and her hard drive.”

Nero rolled his eyes and yelled to Jaime.

“Just give her the damned computer!” Nero yelled through the wire fence.

Jaime reached into her bag and pulled it out in the air toward Amy.

“That’s the only place that the archives were stored on. The hard drive that Margot got out of the Sanctum died shortly after it was transferred. You’ve got to believe me!” Nero pleaded. “I would NOT trade the infliction of pain on Jordan, nor the death of her mother on a stupid idea written by stupid Vampires, centuries ago!” Nero yelled as he held onto the chain link fence to stand still. It was moments like this that he wished he still carried a gun. It would have allowed him to advance on Amy before she could shoot anyone else.

Another shot rang through the air. The netbook in Jaime’s hand flew out of her fingers and landed on the ground with a hole in it. Amy lowered her gun slightly. Nero could see the personal vendetta of revenge written in her eyes.

“It’s done…” Nero said. “Whatever the sanctum did to you. It’s all over. You don’t have to run around killing everyone now. The Sanctum doesn’t exist! Let’s just – all go home.”

Amy shook her head and fired another round. It hit Jaime in the chest and she fell down. Another round went back into Jordan and another grazed Anna’s shoulder. Anna was tired of her daughter getting hurt and began unloading into Amy so that she couldn’t shoot straight. Anna was quick to reload.

“I can’t risk anyone that knows how to operate the Sanctum starting it up again! I’m sorry!” Amy yelled. Nero limped as fast as he can to Amy as she too, finished reloading. He felt several rounds blow through him and it sent him falling to the ground. It was hopeless.

Nero looked up and watched Anna’s bullets blow Amy back into the tunnel to the field knowing that when Anna was out of ammunition, it would be all over. Jordan watched as Anna’s gun finally began to click. Amy held onto the concrete of the tunnel to steady herself as Nero, too, got up.

“I’m out..” Anna whispered to herself. Jaime heard the slap of another magazine enter Amy’s weapon. She was about to fire another round right at Jordan when Amy heard fast footsteps approaching from behind. She turned around and screamed as the last thing she saw was a metal baseball bat hit her just under the nose full-force.

The short Columbian DJ followed through in his swing with all of his might. Nero, Jordan, Jaime, and especially Anna watched in disbelief as Amy’s entire head detached from it’s body and soared a hundred feet into the air toward the scoreboard. Amy’s headless body was already upside down from the shock of the impact as Pedro’s bat continued to follow through. He was at the end of his grunt as his arms reached the end of the line and he began to steady himself. The body beside him combusted into flames so hot that Pedro had to let go of the bat with one hand and guard his face. Amy’s head erupted into a shower of sparks that set the scoreboard on fire. Pedro jumped back with a bent baseball bat in his hand to see nothing but a thick pile of dark ashes surrounding a gun, a police badge, a metal belt buckle, and a tie-clip.

A metal clank echoed throughout the tunnel to the field as Pedro stepped over a piece of sports equipment that would never again be used for it’s intended purpose.

“Wooden bats are for pussies…”

He stopped just short of Nero who had just begun to climb back to his feet and actually lent his hand out to him. Nero put forty dollars in his hand.

“There, now I don’t owe you money anymore.”

“What? You think I don’t see my laptop in the middle of a baseball field with a fucking hole in it?”

“Ah.. Here we go again.” Nero grunted as he limped out to help Jordan up. Jaime had just completed pulling all of the bullets out of her as they got to Anna.

“You alright?” Nero said.

“Better than you,” Anna responded. “Thanks.” She said to Pedro.

“Just helping out the animals,” Nero said. “So, Jaime… My club is playing last weeks music. Wanna sorta…”

“Sunrise is in ten minutes.” Jordan said while checking herself to see that all of her bullet holes had indeed closed up. She looked just as good as she did before stepping into the stadium.

“Fuck…” Pedro exclaimed. “We ain’t gettin’ to no house in ten minutes?! What the hell dude!”

“I spotted a dumpster,” Nero pointed to one end of the field.

“Fuck you.” Pedro said.

“Why not the sewer system. There’s a drainage hole in front of the stadium.” Jordan said. “It’s roomier than a dumpster.” Jordan stated.

“Honey, are you okay?” Anna hugged her daughter as Jordan nodded.

“Yeah.. I just don’t want to get shot anymore.” Jordan said with a smile.

“Better than a dumpster,” Jaime agreed.

“Well alright… The sun isn’t waiting for us. Let’s go!” Jaime suddenly vanished and a light mist floated through the field and into the stadium. Soon, all but Jordan and Anna were left.

“Are you okay?” Jordan asked.

“Yes… I – think I am.” Anna held onto Jordan’s hands.

“I better get going.”

“I want you home for breakfast as soon as the sun goes down.” Anna said strictly.

Jordan giggled and hugged her mother. A moment later, she was gone. Anna smiled to herself as she picked up all the clothes around her and walked across the field just as the sun rose over the stadium. She made sure to collect the gun, and the badge from some officer she would have to return it to as well. On her way out, she stuffed all of the clothing into the drainage hole.

“Oh you’re too kind…” Nero’s voice emanated from the swears.

Anna smiled almost sadistically as she held the scrape on her shoulders.

“I’m going to shoot you some more when you take my daughter home tonight,” Anna said. “I’m going to get Zak too… You’re range qualification tomorrow, Nero.”

“What did I do?!” The voice echoed out.

Just as she was about to tick off her fingers, the sounds of the fire department engines could be heard in the distance. She looked behind her to see that the flaming billboard had just fallen down and scorched the field. She rolled her eyes.

“See you tonight.” Anna rolled her eyes and smiled slightly as she walked away from the burning arena. Anna drove off with Pedro’s car.

“… you owe me money, Nero.” The voice came from the storm drain.