Season Two – Episode 10 – “Independence”

By: B.A. Holland

Production Notes:

Started: 9/20/2012

“Air Date” 12/24/2012

Published by: Abyssal Books

www.abyssalbooks.com

Copyright ©2012

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

Battlefield Preparations

Yannis took the lead with his FBI credentials in-hand. With any luck he could assert himself to building security as a man that nobody wanted to question. Of course, being of Greek descent probably didn’t help. Many people wrongly mistook him for being middle-eastern due to his dark skin and facial features; he didn’t like it when people automatically passed judgement on others’ simply because of their place of origin regardless of where they were from. Yannis approached the desk with a slam in his step that echoed over the marble floors. He managed to salvage his best suit from the shot up van that he endearingly referred to as The Blue Whale, and send it through a few sessions with an iron. Despite the slight smell of cordite from the gun battle the fabric had went through, he looked sharp. Anna and Zak simply looked like your average NYPD detectives with their mismatched apparel. Zak at least sported a leather jacket.

They looked legit.

The security guards looked up to see the trio of law enforcement’s finest being led by a man holding FBI identification out. Without hesitation, they went straight to the computer systems to check on any security updates. Yannis knew they would be doing this so he stopped them when they walked past the memorial seal on the floor and approached the desk.

“Agent Yannis Zevros, FBI. These are my associates for the day, Detectives Jones and McKenzie. We’re doing a random inspection on the tower and it’s systems.” His voice projected well in the still unfurnished lobby and despite not yelling, Anna thought she saw one of the desk lamps shake to his voice. The young guards behind the desk both swallowed at the same time and nervously looked through the computer systems.

“Were you directed to do this by the agency, sir? We have nothing on record that –“

”I love my country. This is something that you may see more Law Enforcement Agents do from now on. I took it upon myself to make sure that everything was going well here; to make you feel comfortable. We have that ability as part of our jobs. Well…” He looked to the detectives and winked at them a moment before smiling and looking back to the guards, “… Federal agents, not exactly detectives but I wanted to bring them along for support.”

The guards looked to each other and then back to the intimidating agent; they quickly let Yannis and the officers pass after asking them to log into the computer system that Yannis was about to wipe, along with the security logs. He crossed his fingers and hoped that he would be able to get away with it. With any luck, nothing would happen that would require a review. Zak and Anna took the elevator up to the roof while Yannis lurked the first floor of the building to find the security room which turned out to be in the basement after a few minutes of searching. He was met with an impenetrable stack of biometric security systems that he wouldn’t be able to hack in a million years. Luckily, none of that was even turned on. He walked into the room to a set of half-connected computer systems that weren’t even wired to their routers. In it’s place was a small computer system that was obviously temporary. It was hooked into a wireless modem that had no power to it, and a small router that only worked on the internal systems that fed to the hard drive as a temporary records keeping apparatus. Yannis dropped his bag to the floor and sighed.

“Thank you!” He yelled to the ceiling. He hit enter on the computer and an easy to manipulate system popped up. On the system was a list of visitors to the building. All he had to do was delete three names.

Zak and Anna watched the numbers on the maintenance elevator slowly increase. They knew that it was going to be a long climb to the last built floor. The elevator itself was roomy and built with railings. Zak grabbed onto one of the rails and rested his back against the compartment. He looked to Anna who used the room to pace back and fourth nervously.

“You’re not gonna get there any faster by running back n’ fourth.”

Anna looked at her partner, best friend, and lover. She shook her head. She decided to take her place next to him and lean against the rail of the enclosed space.

“It helps sometimes,” Anna whispered.

“Everything’s going to be okay.” Zak nodded to the three duffel bags worth of stuff they brought with them and then looked to Anna. “These vampires probably think we’re coming at them with — stakes and swords or some shit. Well, surprise…”

“They’re also old enough to have a few tricks up their sleeves,” Anna reminded him. “I just don’t want my daughter, or anyone else hurt.”

Anna felt the comforting embrace of Zak’s arms around her as she felt the tears well up in her eyes.

“Why did all this have to happen?” Anna rolled around and buried her face into Zak’s chest an gasped.

“Anna… You’re going to be fine. Jordan’s going to be fine. Hell — that prick boyfriend of hers is going to be fine too. This time, we’re going to end this shit once and for all and we’re going to be there when it goes down.” He rubbed her back and held her tight. “Those bloodsucking fiends fucked with the wrong humans.”

Anna kindly pushed him away as she felt the service elevator decelerate to a stop. The doors opened not to a hallway like they expected, but onto a set of crossing beams on a skeletal structure high above the New York City landscape. The sun poured into the space as well as the wind. The elevator read that they were ninety-four stories up.

“I thought that it was only eighty-five stories!” Zak exclaimed as he leaned over the edge of the elevator and looked straight down. “Shit!” He felt Anna’s hands wrap around him as she peaked over his arm with eyes wide. Zak’s tie looked like it was trying to punch his partner in the face as the cool afternoon wind animated the fabric.

“Did you bring any safety lines, or anything?!” Anna asked.

“No! Why would I think of that?!”

“Tall building!”

Anna and Zak inched out to the platform and tied off the bags that they brought with them to the railing since there was no place else to place them. The rest of the roof’s structure was nothing but steel beams the thickness of only half of a city sidewalk. Anna guessed that if they fell, it would be at or around a hundred foot drop before they hit the last fully constructed floor of New York’s newest symbol of freedom.

“Should we tie the bags any further down or something? I mean… It’s very close to the elevator.”

Zak looked to Anna with one eyebrow nearly detaching itself from his forehead as he snatched Anna’s arms and looked into her eyes with his piercing gaze as he added his two words that swiftly answered her question about balancing themselves on top of the tallest structure in the city without a single piece of safety gear.

“Fuck no!” Zak made his point and Anna didn’t argue with it.

“Sounds reasonable… Let’s get the heck off this floor.” Anna held tightly onto Zak as he carefully backed into the safety of the elevator.

It was getting on 4PM when Pedro zoomed through the city on a blue and red Honda motorcycle that his passenger lovingly referred to as a crotchrocket. They passed a supermarket shop with TV’s facing out of the windows displaying images of the National Guard and the local Police setting up their roadblock checks and patrol checkpoints for the nights curfew that officially enacted upon sundown. They were being called The Midnight Slashers because they only came out at night. It was the old sanctum’s way of calling out the Vampires of New York City to hunt down their own. Jordan looked through her visor that protected her from the rays of the sun and watched the city around her pass by in daylight. It was the first time she saw daylight since she died a year ago. As Pedro concentrated on the streets ahead, Jordan smiled behind her UV protected faceplate.

They arrived at 335 West End Avenue and ascended the elevator to Jordan and Anna’’s apartment. Once there, they grabbed the rest of the money Jordan had taken from the Gamboni family. As they entered the busted in door, they found that their apartment had been somewhat looted by people that didn’t read the tape that said Police Line – Do Not Cross. Jordan went straight for her box of books to make sure that they were still there. Luckily for her, many criminals didn’t break into houses to steal books. She walked to the living room to see that Anna’s iPad was missing. She knew that this would mean problems for her mother depending on whether the thieves that took her mothers iPad deleted everything on it in order to bypass her password or not. Either way, there was a GPS tracker hidden inside of it for just such occasions. Jordan made a mental note to get her mothers computer back for her once they were out of the mess they were in. She reached under her bed and found tge stash of money underneath.

“Okay, got it… What next?” Jordan pulled her helmet off and straightened her dyed black hair behind her ears.

“Next, you explain to me what you are doing here with that man!” It was Nichole Draysdale in the doorway. She looked down on the both of them with scorn. She had a bottle of water in one hand and a wooden stake in the other.

“You are our neighbor,” Jordan said as she got up and put the helmet on her bed. “Not my mother. What do you have to complain about now?”

She pointed accusingly at the young Columbian in flashy clothes.

“I need to know who you are, right this instant or I’m calling the cops.”

“He’s my friend.” Jordan crossed her arms.

“I wasn’t asking you. He’s too old to be your friend!”

Pedro pointed to the woman and smiled at Jordan as if Nichole wasn’t even in the room.

“Is this that crazy bitch you were telling us about earlier?”

“Crazy bitch?!” Nichole uncapped the bottle of holy water she had in her hand and flung a wave of water at Pedro. Pedro quickly moved out of the way and the water landed on Jordan’s bed. Pedro looked at Nichole who was now holding a crucifix at the both of them.

“I know what you are!!!” She yelled. “You ducked out of the way because you’re a VAMPIRE!”

“I ducked out of the way because I didn’t want Jordan’s crazy bitch neighbor getting my hair wet, bitch!” He made sure to add bitch twice just to bring the point home.

“I know what you are…” Nichole pointed at him. “And I don’t even know what to do with you but I have to do something.” She started to pace back and fourth while holding the cross in her hand like a shield. Pedro knew that she was no threat to the sanctum. She was too hysteric for anyone to take seriously.

“So what? We’re vampires…”

Jordan’s eyes widened when Pedro admitted it. She even whispered for him to stop admitting it but he held his hand against her chest. Her brow furrowed and she flung his hand off of her. Pedro paid her no mind while he continued focusing on Nichole. “So what?”

“You kill people? Drink their blood?!”

“Hell no!” Pedro yelled. “In fact, we’re just as screwed up as you in the same ways. We spend more time killing other vampires than we do even thinking about Human affairs. So what? We can live longer than you. Are you jealous? Xenophobic, perhaps?” Pedro reached up and grabbed the cross out of her hand. “Has anyone ever asked you what your problem is? From what I’ve heard, before the problem was Vampires, it was about your neighbors daughter going out late at night, and before that, it was just because you had cops living next door. You just hate. It’s straight-out hate, and whatever reason can use to justify that hate, you use it!”

Nichole started to shake as tears streamed from her eyes.

“That’s not true! How dare you try and – profile me like that…” She looked Pedro up and down as she tried her best not to succumb to her surprise at Pedro’s reaction.

“Now you’re trying to use what I know as a reason. Stop doing that.” Pedro waited for another reaction but it was clear that she couldn’t even speak anymore. It was as if she were paused in mid breath. Pedro looked at her as if studying her. “You hide behind your true feelings with prestige, hair dye, makeup, status, and reasons for your hatred but at the end of the day you’re never fulfilled. It’s never enough so you always have to take that emptiness out on someone, something — somehow…”

Jordan’s eyes went wide as she saw something within Pedro that she never saw before. Pedro quickly moved in now that her neighbor fell apart. He used care with her as he placed her into the chair.

“Now… You have some choices to make. Are you going to let this consume you all your life like some familiar, comfortable security blanket that leaves you empty and alone, or are you going to confront the source of that hatred, find yourself some real help, and live a better life?” He placed a hand on her shoulder as she sobbed in the kitchen stool that was pulled out for her. “I’m no psychologist but I recommend you find one. Feel free to stay here as long as you need but Jordan and I need to go do something very important.”

Jordan shook a small sack in Pedros direction to let him know that at least her money-stash wasn’t burglarized. Pedro was quick to take it off her hands. Jordan grabbed her helmet and popped it back on to protect herself from the harmful rays of the sun.

“How come you act like such an ass most of the time if you are that good with people?”

“Not with people,” Pedro responded quickly.

“I recognized it because I think I had the same problem in the past.”

The two Vampires quickly exited the apartment for their next task.

The Game’s Afoot

Jaime Jax waited patiently with Nero at his old apartment for the sun to go down. It was a mild risk considering Vampires could only stay out at night so they were as safe as they thought they were going to be. There were several contingency plans in place and every Vampire was taking part in it except for maybe a handful.

“Do you think Eric will be alright?” Jaime asked while sharpening a stake. The idea was to get to the tower light on tools and gather up what was needed from a supply stash after surfing the winds to the top of the tower as mist.

“He’’s going to be on pins and needles on that yacht of Titus’s,” Nero laughed to himself and nodded. “… but yeah. If that kid’s anything, he follows direction and has a good head on his shoulders. Zak and Anna might not realize it yet but I think this kid’s going to be good for Jordan.” Nero combed his shoulder length brown hair and looked at himself in the mirror as he tied a tie to one of his many suits.

“Why do you think that?” Jaime asked as she swooped over to Nero and kissed him.

“He was the one trying to convince Jordan not to jump a ramp with a Jetski to dunk a basketball in mid flight. Derrick would have been fuel on that fire where Eric — he seems to know what’s best for common sense’ sake. By now though, his parents are probably searching all over for that kid. We’re going to have to come up with more plans than this if we survive it.”

“Hey,” Jaime pulled Nero’s chin to face her’s as she looked into his bright green eyes. “You – are going to survive this.”

“So are you…”

Nero smiled and pulled Jaime in close as they shared another kiss. She looked down at him and raised an eyebrow.

“Are you seriously going to waste a good suit by leaving it on the street when you got mist tonight?”

“This is one of my older suits.. It’s not like I’m taking my debit card with me.”

“Some National Guardsmen is going to have a nice suit with an ugly tie to go with it tonight.”

“Yeah, but I’ll make sure to stand in a puddle of oil first if it makes you feel better about my contribution.”

“You? Ruin a perfectly good suit?”

Nero looked at Jaime. She decided to wear a pair of old jeans and a sports bra.

“I’’m willing to bet that the clothing bag that Anna and Zak tied to the top of the tower for you was probably the lightest thing they had to lug up there,” he poked jokingly at her propensity to wear very little.

“Yeah… I admit it was probably a small bag but at least I never have to pay extra on long flights for overweight luggage like you would have to.”

Jaime stopped talking when she heard the feint sound of light footsteps in front of Nero’’s door. Nero head it too and checked his watch. It was starting to get into the late afternoon but it was still too early for vampires to be outside. Nero was quick to flip out the lights to the apartment. It wasn’t a split second after the lights turned off that a flood of sunlight cut a dividing patch across the room. Shadows played within. The sounds of glass breaking was accented by the dull thuds of bodies hitting the floor. The struggle was fluent until the sounds of gunfire lit the room. Jaime Jax was quick to evade the shots and they had the assailants tied up in moments.

The lights came back on and Jaime Jax stood next to the light switch wondering why the vampires would send mortals out to even attempt such a thing. Before she could ask, they heard beeping — and it was getting faster.

“Oh screw me running…”

Nero ran for Jaime as she ducked into Nero’s bedroom. Inside the coat pocket of one of the men that thought they could foolishly jump a vampire, a small box lit bright red.

Yannis didn’t like what was coming toward him through the lobby doors. Several National Guardsmen approached in full military gear and they all had eyes locked on him. One man with a pair of sergeant ranks attached to his sleeves, pointed his hand at him as if trying to chop something and the corner of his palm was the blade.

“What are you doing here, sir?”

“Yannis Zevros, FBI.”

The sergeant’s face creased, his eyes pierced him and he shook that hand in front of Yannis’s face harder, drill-sergeant-style.

“I didn’t ask who you were. I asked what the fuck are you doing here.”

Yannis did his best not to shake but the sergeant was very imposing and his voice cut through his nerve like a hot knife through butter.

“I took it upon myself to do a surprise inspection of the facility and to enjoy the building.”

“Not without proper approval you’re not!” The guardsman said. “Out of my fuckin’ building, NOW!” The guy was so close to Yannis’s face, he could smell that he had just eaten a load of garlic for dinner. Yannis didn’t know if he was more intimidated by his ramped yelling or by the WMD breath.

“I’m a federal agent. I can review a local building if I wish. There is nothing in my handbook that says otherwise unless it’s private property, sir.” Yannis thought that quoting the rule book might help but it only served to make the sergeant more irate.

“Yeah, well they changed a lot of things since nine-eleven. One of those things is that Military has jurisdiction in events such as this.” He pushed Yannis against the wall with his free hand. “And don’t call me sir. I work for a living.”

Yannis sighed. He didn’t want to have to talk down to anyone but this was going to have to be one of those nights and he never felt himself particularly good at it.

“Alright, sergeant. I need your identification number in order to give it to Washington. You’re currently violating the fourth amendment by being here. You’re assigned to the curfew watch and you happen to be inside a public building. If you really want to make a stink out of this then we’ll do it. It’s on!” He yelled as he stared the sergeant down with his trademark crazed eyes that only his friends and his worst of enemies knew he could produce. The sergeant, having thought about the time and effort it would take away from beer-hour with his buddies, felt it best to walk away with his head shaking. Once out of the lobby, Yannis slumped in front of the two security guards at the front desk.

“Damn…” One of the guards said.

“Damn what?!” Yannis crazy-eyed the man behind the desk. He quickly pretended to get back to work despite there being nothing to do.

Chapter Two

Nothing as Planned

Nichole paced in Anna and Jordan’s apartment. She hadn’t returned home to her place since she admitted her own husband to a loony-bin for claiming that she was raving about Vampires. Her nerves were so rattled that she couldn’t even tell reality from fiction. The one thing she tried to grasp was what she could control and right now there wasn’t anything in her control except for what she could do to Jordan, for staying out beyond curfew. She didn’t know why she wanted to get her into trouble, she just knew she could. After all the pacing, she had forgotten everything the Columbian DJ had talked with her about and reverted back to her old ways. If there was one thing she knew for sure, Jordan was not very Christian and she would pay for her sins. In her eyes, at that moment, that’s all that mattered. She stormed out of the neighbors apartment and re-opened her own after searching for her keys in the large purse she brought with her to conceal the crucifix and the holy water. Fumbling to the lock, she finally got the key in and went straight for the telephone. Her hands were still shaking as she got to the dial so it took her three tries to dial 911 before finally getting it right.

Jordan was happy to get the motorcycle helmet off once the sun finally vanished behind the tall structures that comprised the city that never slept. While Pedro sped back to the towers with a backpack full of supplies to meet up with Zak, Anna, Yannis, and the other Vampires, Jordan snuck her way back to her home the idea was to jog a route from home to the towers. Somewhere close by, her tutor, Titus would be watching. Hopefully, her boyfriend would stay on the yacht where he was safe. While they needed every able vampire on hand, she knew that a fledgling like Eric would be in more danger than a fledgling that had a little more practice at fighting the ongoing vampdouchery that she had been so quickly accustom to.

She wondered how hard it was going to be to avoid the national guard while, at the same time, stirring up just enough attention of those dumbass British vampires that wanted to control the world for some reason. Of course, for her, it only took about a minute. She was going to chalk it up to her luck but for some reason, it was as if the police were expecting her to round the corner – and it wasn’t her mother.

“You must be Jordan McKenzie,” said an NYPD officer. He was not from her mothers precinct or else they wouldn’t have been having the conversation.

“Lookie… I have somewhere I need to be.”

“Yeah, home…” The cop pointed in front of him as if telling her that she needed to walk toward him.

“That’s where I was going! I live up there. You know, my mom’s a cop?” She hoped that maybe that would gain her some kind of leverage. “You could call her, or let me go home. I live just there….” She pointed toward the building behind him.

“Rules are rules. You’ll get to call your mother when you get to the station. There are some really serious killers out there and I don’t want you getting hurt.” He pointed toward his patrol car.

“Can you call my friend Tom at the police station?” She asked. “He’s the police chief.”

“Do you want to go in handcuffs?” The officer sneered at the girl as he approached her. He grabbed her arm and out of reflex she yelled.

“Get off of me you meanie!”

She tried to pull free but the officer suddenly ended up across the street after sliding across the ground a few feet.

“Oops…”

The young vampire came to the aid of the officer and learned one very important thing. Tasers work just as well on vampires as they do on Human Beings. The cop thought she was attacking him instead of helping him (something reasonable considering the five foot girl just threw him like a bowling pin into a concrete curb) aimed, and fired.

She recuperated in the car after the officer drug her into the back seat.

“I wish you hadn’t done that…” The officer said. “Now I’m taking you in for assault on a police officer. You can get five years for that. I hope for your sake your mother really is a police officer. She can deal with you.”

“I didn’t mean to throw you. You grabbed my arm.”

The officer looked into the mirror to see that Jordan was wiping her eyes. The flexi-cuffs that he wrapped around her wrists were pulled in half. The car slid to a stop on the wet New York City streets and the man got out.

“This isn’t a game we’re playing here!” The man yelled and opened the back door. “What do you have on you?!” The cop yanked the dark haired little girl out of the car and placed her on the ground after checking her pockets again. “… if you’re concealing a knife to get those flexi-cuffs open, that’s resisting arrest and concealing a weapon! Don’t you dare lie to me!”

Jordan didn’t want to officially get arrested. She could easily kick his ass but she respected cops too much to do such a mean thing to a man in uniform; even if he was, in her mind, a meanie.

“Let me call my mom!” She screamed.

“Shut the fuck up!” The cop yelled

Jordan couldn’t believe that the cop just told her that. He placed a new pair of flexi-cuffs on her and while calling in the incident over the radio, Jordan pulled them apart. The cop turned around to see that the cuffs were off of her wrists yet again and he cursed under his breath and got even more physical with her. The bulky, muscular guy grabbed the fifteen year old that didn’t look a day over thirteen, and slammed her against the brick wall of a building right when a National Guard truck rolled to a stop behind him for seeing it.

“Hey bud! You know… I just came back from the freedom tower after dealing with a shitty FBI Agent, and here I find a cop beating around a prepubescent girl…” The sergeant hopped out of the truck. “Does everyone in New York City act like a total dickhead?”

The cop just finished slapping real metal cuffs on Jordan and turned around to confront the guardsman.

“Look, sir..” The officer started but was instantly tapped roughly in the middle of his chest by the man.

“Don’t call me sir. I work for a living.”

“Go protect the streets from slashers like you were ordered to do, and I’ll take in the little girls that break curfew. How about that? This girl assaulted me and I had to tase her. She’s gotten out of two pairs of flexi-cuffs, and now I had to use real cuffs. She’s not getting out of those, we’re going to the station, and she deserves whatever she gets.” The officer retorted.

Jordan was thrust back into the car by the officer and the 5T truck that stopped to see if she was alright, drove off once more. The cop hopped back into the front seat and started driving the patrol car again.

“I’d like to see you get out of those…” The cop taunted with a laugh.

“If I do, will you be mad?” Jordan leaned forward and placed her face against the bullet proof divider. The girl had an unusual smile on her face. She was starting to enjoy what was going on. Little did he know that she had already snapped his steel cuffs into four pieces already. She stayed in the car because she had some questions.

“So how did you know my name?”

“Your neighbor was concerned.”

“Nichole?”

“Yes.”

Jordan sighed and leaned back against the seat. She reached up and scratched her hair again. The car came to a sudden halt and the cop spun around in his seat. His eyes narrowed on her wrists, which were not cuffed and he yelled what the fuck so loud that the divider between the seat vibrated. Jordan was about to laugh but a dark shadow draped across the hood of the police car. A form landed on the roof just before the window on the drivers side shattered. Before the officer could reach his gun, he was pulled out of the vehicle. Jordan screamed and kicked the glass between the front and back seats. With a thud, the glass snapped into two pieces. She kicked it again, three pieces, and again, four pieces. She pulled two of the smaller pieces out and dove through the opening just before the back door was pulled from the vehicle. Jordan knocked the car into drive and went head first into the floorboard, slamming her palm against the gas. The patrol car took off down the road. The elder vampire was so fast, that she didn’t realize until moments after that he was in the passenger seat of the car until she heard laughing. She pulled herself back up and froze when confronted with an elder for the first time. She hoped that he didn’t kill the cop that she was tormenting but also feared for her own life enough to resurrect that fight-or-flight instinct.

“Ah, Jordan…” The old man was about forty but who knew how old he really was. He had on formalwear; a black suit with a red tie. He was very calm for a man that threw a police officer out of his own vehicle that was now speeding down parkway avenue. “They just made you too young. Any last words?”

“How old are you?” Jordan asked.

“Seven-hundred.”

“Ah good, then you probably don’t know about this. I just found out a few minutes ago.” The elder suddenly gasped as his body shook and kicked at the floorboard. Two wires extended out from his sides and ran to the taser that the cop had originally shot Jordan with earlier. She kept the trigger down and pumped copious amounts of voltage into the man as she gained speed. She found a nice brick wall and turned to mist. The elder didn’t have any bodily control to do the same. Jordan materialized in the middle of the road and watched as the elder vampire hit the side of a building at over 140 miles per hour. The car shattered and exploded on impact.

“Sucks to be you, creeper.”

The girl held her hair out in front of her and eyed it with her blue eyes. Blonde again… Great. When I get home, my boyfriend is going to want me to dye it again. You’d think Vampires would have a pill or something that kept your hair dye in when you went to mist, she thought. Jordan went to look at her watch but was once again reminded that there was nothing on her arm; there was absolutely nothing on her, period. She rolled her eyes as she tried to put her hands in her pockets – oh yeah… No pockets.

“Damnit…” She whispered.

She walked away from the burning building as the sound of sirens got louder. She tried to change into mist form before the first responders showed up but after being tazed, going to mist once was hard enough. She willed for it to happen but all that occurred after that was her hunger getting worse. She closed her eyes as the lights of emergency responders got closer, and closer.

“Come on… Go to mist… Go to mist…” She opened up one eye and realized that it wasn’t going to happen. Streaking through the streets, the nude vampire found an alley to duck into before the first national guard vehicle pulled up. She ducked into a dumpster and landed on a comfortable pile of newspaper instead of the day-old from Subway. A hand tapped her on the shoulder. She turned around to see someone in there with her. He was in his fifties, with a beanie hat on and long shoulder length salt-and-pepper hair trailing out from under it. He looked her up and down in since there was enough light coming through the little slit in the top of the dumpster to see.

“Take a pic, it’ll last longer,” she whispered through a raised lip. She looked him up and down too while she was at it. She fully expected him to try something, or worse – be rude to her. The bum instead raised his arms and shook his head.

“I – wasn’t thinking that. I’s just thinking you probably have worse problems than me and that’s sayin’ something.” The bum took off his jacket but Jordan refused. She instead had the jacket thrust upon her. It was large enough to cover her tiny body but it smelled like a mixture of rancid meat, wet dog, and Justin Beiber’s armpits after a concert. Jordan couldn’t bring herself to be angry with him after that. Oh my, it would have just been easier if he was a rapist. Then I could have turned him to dust and been able to go to mist after a good meal, but no! I had to run into a nice bum, thought the vampire girl.

“Thank you,” Jordan said. “Are you sure you won’t be too cold?”

She saw that the bum was already starting to hug his arms. He had a tattered grey turtleneck and faded grey cargo pants, all stained with dumpster residue. The coat really was warm and it was the only thing keeping the unfortunate man alive in a New York winter.

“I could care less,” he lied. “Ima glad you ain’t that slasher everyone’s buzzin’ about is all.” He said. Jordan smiled kindly and placed the jacket back around the man’s shoulders. He had a good aura about him and she didn’t want to make that change for such a good guy. She could see aura’s and he was a healthy man for a bum. He averted his eyes out of respect while she raised the lid of the garbage lid just enough to see what was going on outside. More people were collecting around the fireball that was once a police car. Jordan’s lips rose and she let out a sigh. Limping around the car was that rude police officer – he was okay! She ducked back into the trash bin and leaned her bare back against the metal.

“Forgive me for askin’ but, you okay? You’ra kinda odd for a young one.”

“What’s your name?” Jordan asked.

“Irvin… Friends call me Ervie.” He had completely turned around to give her privacy now.

“Will you be here tomorrow night, Ervie?” Jordan asked.

“I’m always here.”

“I’ll meet you here tonight. I need to give you something, kay?”

“Don’t know what-ya wanna give me but okay. Just come with somethin’ on?”

The girl giggled.

“Oh I will. Thank you, Ervie.”

The next thing Ervie felt was fangs sink into his neck. He struggled at first but soon, consciousness began to fade away. Jordan was careful to lay the man down softly and cover him up with newspaper. The girl vanished into a cloud of dust that seeped out the back end of the dumpster, away from the sight of the police, or the national guard.

Anna, Zak, and Yannis were already back in the tower waiting for something to happen at this point but nothing was happening at all. They sat in the elevator, guns ready, waiting for what seemed like nothing. Everyone in the small confined space jumped when Anna’s phone rang. She picked it up after seeing BOSS on the ID.

“Detective McKenzie,” she answered.

“Anna… It’s Tom. Your daughter was caught after curfew tonight and someone stole the police car that she was in while it was being driven to the station. Whoever it was overpowered the officers and — I don’t know how to say this but… The car was driven into a brick wall at a high rate of speed. Forensics haven’t found any evidence that she was in the crash but according to Officer Wayne, she was locked in the back….”

Anna swallowed hard and tried to control herself. Zak could see the look in her eyes and lipped what is it, to his partner and girlfriend. Just then, his phone rang.

Jordan was getting good at stealing now that she’d been a Vampire for a year. The first few months, it was hard but after a year of learning the ropes she had it down like a science. The now-blonde young girl had pulled an entire winters outfit straight off the racks at a JC Penny display window by misting inside the clothing. She had spent her time pulling out the little plastic strings that had the outfit held up in front of the window while programming her new pre-paid phone that she stole from a grocery store. She tried her mother first but the line was busy. Luckily she was able to get a hold of Zak.

“Hello?” Zak’s voice was uncertain of how to respond to a call that he didn’t recognize on his caller ID but Jordan’s sigh of relief was something that nobody else could emulate. “Jordan?!”

“Hello! Sorry I’m late. I ran into some problems. But! One bloodsucking ancient down! It wasn’t Rodney though. Sorry. I’m on my way now.”

Zak shook his phone in front of Anna in the elevator and lipped JORDAN at her. Anna closed her eyes and let her head lean all the way back until she felt her blond locks hit the wall.

Chapter Three

Fight Time

“Yeah… Yeah – I understand. Thank you.” She hung up the phone and instantly snatched Zak’s phone out of his hand. After a brief reciting of events, Jordan was off the hook as far as being late. Titus showed up in the nude after misting up the side of the building. He had a concerned look on his face as the elevator doors opened on the top floor. Zak had a similar concerned look on his face.

“Damn… Romans never do anything small do they? We put your clothes out there next to all that equipment you asked for. Do you know how difficult it looked for Yannis to lug two-hundred feet of rope up here?” Zak asked. Titus knelt down next to Anna in a way where his bare naked ass was in Yannis’s face, forcing the Greek agent to stand up and shout.

“Anna… I lost track of Jordan. And I saw a fireball. I regret to tell you that –,”

“Hold on,” Anna flipped Zak’s cell-phone to speaker.

“Hey! Is that Titus! Where were you?!” Jordan’s voice yelled.

“Jordan?! I thought you had…”

“Fried in the police car? Nope! But I did fry one of the elders using a taser and a high speed kaboom! Score one for me!” Jordan’s chirpy voice was as inappropriate as ever.

“Good. Just go back to the yacht. The police are looking for you.”

“What?! Nooooo! I want to get Rodney!”

“We’ll get Rodney. Go home!” Zak said.

“But…”

“I know. I’ll be the decoy,” Pedro suddenly said. Unlike Titus, Pedro took the time to grab the clothes out of the bag. “Titus, dude… Your ass is blinding me. Get a tan.”

“Is Titus naked? Hehe…”

“Go home!” Ana said. “I’ll see you in the morning. I love you!” Anna said. She hung the phone up and hoped that her daughter listened this time. She looked up at the Vampires as they started pouring into the elevator. “It’s almost time.” She said.

“Indeed,” Titus agreed.

Pedro stood at the edge of the elevator door as what looked like a star in the sky gradually began to radiate brighter, and brighter.

“What the hell is that?” Zak asked.

“Jordan’s contribution toward killing some motherfuckers.” Pedro laughed at his response. Anna, at the mention of his daughters name, stood up and held onto Pedro for fear of falling off the edge of New York City’s tallest new building. She watched as the light got brighter and the sound of helicopter blades became louder. Chilled air made Titus wish he had put some clothes on. He might not have been the type to notice the chill but he was starting to look like a Greek statue.

Nero and Jaime collected from mist on the roof just in time to watch the helicopter lower equipment down to Pedro.

“Someone’s busy…” Nero said. He looked over to see his girlfriend smiling at him. Nero raised a brow at her. “Not now… Later… At your place. Mine’s blown to hell.”

The two vampires quickly scrambled for the bag.

“Come on,” Nero said. “Last thing we want is to get caught with our pants down.”

Jordan learned a new skill as she joined the party. She snuck past the guards in the lobby and took the stairs. It took a good twelve minutes but it would have been a good workout if it wasn’t for the fact that she could gain no more muscle mass than what she died with. She saw the look in her mothers eyes just as soon as she showed up with a package she stole from her mothers own precinct.

Anna and Zak were tying off their ropes to the beam that would send them down about sixty or so feet to the last finished floor below them while Yannis kept building up his nerve to even step outside of the elevator. Titus had dug into his bag and grabbed the wrinkled suit that he chose to have carted to the rooftops. When Anna looked over and saw Jordan a mixture of relief and anger flowed over her in a wave of confusion.

“Jordan?! What are you doing here?! I told you to go back to the yacht and look after your boyfriend.” Anna then looked at her clothes, the case in her hand, and her original blonde hair and instantly knew that she was causing more trouble for her and her partner. “And where did you get those clothes?! Are those the X-86 Tasers from my job?” Anna sighed and shook her head. “You’ve been stealing things haven’t you?” The last one was a rhetorical question.

“Only here and there…” Jordan put her hands on her hips again as if she had a foundation to stand on and didn’t need an explanation. Anna couldn’t help but notice Titus’s grin and rolled her eyes.

“When this is all over, we’re having a talk!” Anna yelled.

“Guys!” Yannis backed back into the elevator. “I don’t think I can do this. You all – just go on ahead okay?”

“Stand by on the eightieth floor by the maintenance area. We may need someone there if things don’t go as planned,” Titus said.

“What are you going to do with the eightieth floor?” Zak asked while testing the line he was about to repel down.

“I’m sending two-hundred feet of rope down the trash chute. Yannis can pick you up after your repel to the end of the rope. Just – don’t end up sliding your repelling anchor beyond the end of the rope or you’ll end up in the basement dumpster.”

Nero laughed at the thought of that. Titus sighed and grabbed hold of the handle attached to the repelling cord and made contact with the solid floor below moments later. Anna and Zak were the next two to have a go at the best ride in New York. In minutes, they were passing out ammo and tasers. Jordan kept a few extra cartridges for herself despite being handed a Glock 17 by Pedro.

“Won’t this just piss em’ off?” Zak asked. “I can’t believe a taser stopped an elder. That’s bullshit.”

“It keeps them from going to mist,” Jordan said.

“For how long?” Pedro asked.

“I don’t know. I had to feed to go to mist again after getting tazed.” Jordan shrugged her shoulders while clamping her pistol in her belt. Titus nodded to Nero and smiled. He liked the idea of preventing another ancient from going to mist.

Jaime raised an eyebrow when she pulled a metal baseball bat out of the supply bag that was brought up.

“That’s mine!” Pedro yelled.

“Of course,” Jaime handed the bat over.

“Why do you have a metal baseball bat in your bag?” Jaime asked. Before Pedro could answer, Jordan yelled.

“Because wooden baseball bats are for pussies…”

“JORDAN!” Anna yelled.

Pedro made a mental note to fist-bump that girl later if they survived.

*

Casey flinched at Rttnefs hand Gestures as if he expected to be hit. Amy found a small corner to hide in art Hopes that Rodney’s Wrath Wouldn’t be directed toward her.

You are NEVER to go behind My back and do things on your own aya, ^,'” Rodney’s Yen Was low, enough to rattle the Windows in the Sleazy Mortel they had Checked into.

“But I though you would be Pleased that I-”

“You didn’t think.” Rodney spat. The elder Vampire Pulled his hands through his dark hair and took a deep breath.” If I did not need you tonight, I Might have killed you where you stood.”

Casey shook as tears of blood began to pour from his eyes and run down his cheek.

“Oh, don’t start that, you pansey…” Rodney Grabbed the kid and shook him, violently. “How are you the son of a Mafia lord?” Rodney Kept holding the kid into the air and looking Into his eyes as he grinned at the kid with a wicked smirk and dropped him to the floor. “No Matter. We’re discovered their hideout.”

“What! Where?” Casey gathered the Courage to ask the Question.

“The freedom towers,” Rodney said, “Still want a shot at that girl that humiliated you?”

Amy writhed in disgust as Casey Wiped the crimson tears from his eyes and grinned. Just when she was about to feel sorry for the boy, he showed her that he was evil.

The slam of the door signaled Rodney’s departure from the room. Amy carefully pulled away from the corner she was in and tugged on Casey’s jacket.

“It’s okay. Casey, You don’t have to do this. You are free from your family. You can have freedom in life how. Let’s get out of here.”

Casey pushed Amy to the floor.

“She disrespected me. Im’a Kill her!”

Amy could see that this was a pre-programmed response.

It was practically the boys father talking. If there was any hope for the boy, it wouldn’t be an overnight cure.

“I guess no one ever apologises in your family. They frst kill anyone who disrespects them?” Amy knew she was on thin ice with the boy but In a way, he saved her life and she wanted to return the favor. She would have been dead In a year from AIDS if Rodney and Casey didn’t bring her over. She knew her efforts were wasted with Casey. He was too set in his ways.

“Apologies are for the weak, or soon to be dead.”

Casey pulled a large knife from under his coat and brandished it while he grinned.

“I’ll show her not to mess with me. And then, I’ll cut her head off. I’ll be ready this time.”

”When was the last time we were fed?” Amy grabbed her stomach as It churned In protest. Ever since the ancient Vampire caught wind of the impending confrontation, he had neglected to help them with blood. He also forbid them from going out to hunt for themselves despite the ancients going out and massacring humans nightly, not for their blood, but instead to cause trouble by leaving bodies in their wake wherever they went,

“I forgot,” Casey sat down on the hotel bed and rubbed his tummy. He was very pale now. “A day ago- I think.”

”Don’t you think It’s fucked up that he wouldn’t let us have blood before a fight?” Amy sat down next to the boy and placed a hand on his knee. The boy looked up at the ex-hooker and regarded her for a moment.

“Why do you care so much about me?”

“I’m hungry too, but I think you are just being used. You need someone to look out for you.”

“I’m not a kid anymore!” Casey yelled. Amy watched as the young boy threw his fit. He was a kid no matter how much he wished to deny it. She was worried that the other kid he was after would kill him If he kept his obsession with revenge.

“Okay,” Amy Sighed. “So why do you hate this girl so much?”

“She Made our family look stupid, my dad said. And she IS Rodney’s enemy. She also threw me in a dumpster and it hurt-A LOT.

*

The security guards on the first floor of the freedom tower were perplexed to See a fine layer of mist flow into the lobby. Trained to respond to all odd incidents, they called it in over the radio. Police and rescue were sure to be there soon but not soon enough to help the lobby guards. Rodney and two other elders materialized in front of the mortals and literally screwed their heads off of their shoulders.

Unable to turn to mist out of hunger, Casey and Amy walked through one of the many lobby doors and approached the carnage. Amy gasped and placed her hands over her lips while Casey pointed to the dead.

“You could have let us feed!” Casey protested amongst the other elders. Rodney looked up at both the boy and the hooker. The elders talked amongst themselves and started to quietly chuckle.

“We are using their bodies to turn the Humans against them. If bite marks are on the corpses, it defeats the purpose. You two are probably too stupid to understand.”

The elders laughed at the two fledgling Vampires openly now. Amy reached to hold Casey’s hand but he flung it away. Amy opened her mouth in surprise at the kid. Casey was either too blind or too ignorant to understand they were being used.. The sum of all his hate and rage in his life had already consumed him.

If the building had been occupied, it might have seemed strange for a few pale, naked, armed men to be roaming through the hallway B searching for someone. In other parts of the building, waves of mist swept through all the rooms in a fast-paced floor-by-floor sweep. Casey and Amy took their own floor together since on the other Vampires Were able to go to mist. The ancient’s were much faster at searching the building so their idea was to search from the top-most floor and work their way down. The lobby had a series of elevators. Out of the many, a few of them were express elevator’s that traveled to the very top of the building. Next to the elevator button was a sign that warned anyone getting in to wear safety gear.

“This isn’t a good Idea,” Amy Said… She tugged at her t-shirt out of nervousness and fidgeted as the doors opened. “We should really stay with the group.”

“You wanted to get away from them earlier!” The boy stomped his foot and pointed to the interior of the elevator. Amy reluctantly walked in. As the doors to the luxurious space closed, she couldn’t help but feel as If they served as the lid to her own coffin.

Amy leaned against the elevator and watched as the floor-level rose faster with each second. She looked to the boy in the corner of the elevator in disgust as she watched his fist balled and his legs tapped impatiently on the new carpet.

“If we find them in this building, I’m not going to fight them.” Amy made up her mind and decided to let him know about her decision. The boy turned his head so sharply that his blonde hair took a moment to catch up with the gravitational pull. Casey’s brows dipped inward and his fangs extended out of anger.

“If Rodney heard you say that, he’d kill you!”

“You don’t get it, do you?” Amy pushed the boy against the wall of the elevator and pointed at him but he swiped her hands away from him with a roll of his arms. She continued talking before he did. “… Rodney is going to kill you the moment this is over if you survive! That’s why he’s not feeding us!”

“That’s a lie!” He denied.

“I tried to save you but there’s no saving you,” Amy shook her head then looked away from the boy hell-bent on revenge. He might have been a bloodsucking vampire. He might have been the son of a mafia boss that was sired into vampiric society by a psychopathic killer, but she still had to try.

The futile attempts have ended.

Nero looked over the edge of the building to see what he already knew was bad news. Several police vehicles pulled up to the building and another helicopter was approaching and he doubted it was Pedro’s friends this time.

“Oh great…” Nero turned around. “Hey guys… We may have some problems in a few minutes.”

The elevator came to an unexpected stop at the 120th floor. The janitor didn’t expect to see a young boy and a beautiful woman in the lift when it opened.

“Forget it, it’s not them,” the girl said.

“So what, this is our chance!” The boy Said.

The Janitor was taken a back by the way the girl looked at him with her eyes. He just wished the boy wasn’t there.

“You aren’t’a supposed to be on this floor,” the man said in broken english.

“They’re going to eventually find him anyway,” Casey said.

“We can get him in the closet,” she Said.

“Excuse me?!” The janitor, still trying to get their attention.

“We can do it right here!” Casey yelled. “I need the energy.”

Any hit the button for the doors to close and knocked young boy to the ground so that he couldn’t stop the elevator from continuing its way to the roof.

“Oh? Just you and me, eh?” The Italian man asked.

“That’s right. Just you and me,” Amy said hurriedly while grabbing onto the janitors shoulders and pushing him further away from the elevators. “Where can we hide at?”

Ioanna believe this is happen!” the Italian man said. Amy blinked rapidly at his response. “The security dunno’ check this’a floor so TAKE ME HERE!” Amy jumped away from the janitor with her mouth wide open in surprise… He started stripping his clothes before she could react.

“Oh… My. God-no…” Amy hid her eyes from him more so that she could roll them than to really look away.

“Wha?” the Janitor, totally naked, totally confused, stood before her in all of his overweight glory.

“Really, I’m flattered, but you’ve got the wrong Idea,” Amy said “get your clothes and come with me.”

“What we doin?” He asked in broken english again.

Amy found a maintenance closet far enough from the elevator to be overlooked by the second wave of Vampires and stuffed the naked Janitor in.

“Don’t come out until daylight!” Any demanded.

“I…. cannot do that,” The Italian said,

Amy smiled at the man and walked into the closet. I guess I know one way of keeping you In there, she thought. The Italian man finally thought he was getting lucky. He soon

passed out from a sufficient amount of flood loss. Amy pulled back and wiped the blood from her lips. A little bit of color returned to her complection as she closed the doorto the maintenance closet.

“You might lose your job for this but at least I saved your life, mister janitor man,” she said.

The elevator door opened to the roof. Casey Peered down at the massive collection of unfinishedfloors and dazzled at its complexity, just as he was about to relax and enjoy the view, something he hated got in the way of it. There she was. An annoying prick with blonde hair, a huge smile, wearing the latest fashion for teens on Sacks Fifth Avenue.

As his eyes adjusted, he realized it was not just her. Underneath, the skeletal steel structure where the last finished floor was, stood several other Vampires, and a few humans brave enough to join the fight against immortals several times stronger.

“Hello!”

It was a very happy greeting. Not a greeting one would expect from someone that set a very impressive ambush. Casey’s fists balled tightly and his blood-starved body shook out of anger.

“Prepare to die, bitch!”

“Wait!” Jordan let go of one of the building’s columns with one hand and held it as if saying halt! “Before you get all Mennie, would you like to call a truce?”

“FUCK YOU.”

“Guess not,” Jordan said. Casey launched himself out of the elevator and landed next to the beam Jordan was standing on. Several feet below, Anna gasped as she saw Jordan jump three stories to a beam below.

“I can’t watch,” Anna said while turning to hide her face in Zak’s arms. Titus inched closer to the couple as the two kids did their dance of death high above.

“I taught your daughter well. Just keep an eye on the elevator for more of them. You need not worry about her, she’s a killer.”

“What inspiring things to tell a mother,” Zak said sarcastically to Titus while comforting his Partner.

“They should be,” Titus retorted in a kind tone as he returned to his position in the shadows to watch for more to come.

Jordan might have been a vampire but she still had a healthy fear of heights. She held onto the beam tightly and looked over her shoulder at the streets below. The wind gusts were strong enough to lean against without falling backward if she were brave enough to test them. Her yellow-blonde hair waved to one side of her face like a a flag in the wind. She pulled her hair out of the way by holding a hand to her forehead and saw the angry boy approaching her.

“Why do you want to hurt me so bad?”

“Because you made me look weak in front of my family! Nobody does that to the Gamboni family!” He lunged at Jordan after closing the distance.

Hand over hand, the blonde girl climbed the beams. She felt vibrations in the cold steel. Jordan looked down to see the source of the vibrating to see Casey following her up the steel beam. Jordan took a deep breath and let go. Down below, Anna screamed as she watched her daughter fall. Jordan latched back onto the beam but the cold, fast moving steel ripped the skin from her hands. She only had one choice. Anna, Zak, Yannis, and the vampires watched as Jordan went to mist. The wind had picked up so badly that she was swept away into the clouds, leaving only a set of expensive, stolen clothing dancing through the harsh gusts.

Casey was not so lucky. Several stories below, he landed in the blades of an industrial air conditioning system. As the fans ate him up, he turned to dust and collected into the filter. Jordan killed her second vampire tonight.

“Her killing instinct is second to none,” Titus said.

Anna and Zak turned their heads to see Titus smiling at the dust cloud that plumed from the unfinished maintenance level. It was a proud look of admiration.

“Where’d she go?” Zak asked.

“Carried away on the wind. She will be fine but it’s safe to say she’s out of the fight for now.” Titus’s smile wavered after admitting it.

“The humans need to go,” Pedro said.

“We’re staying!” Yannis retorted.

“He’s right,” Nero interrupted while turning to the others. “Rodney must have started some fuckery down stairs because people are pouring into the building and it won’t look good if they catch you up here.”

Lieutenant John Norris and his team of weekend warriors approached the lobby of the freedom tower to find the bodies of two guards lying in a pool of their own blood. Several NYPD officers that came in behind the National Guardsman began yelling into their microphones.

“Alright!” Norris yelled. “We’re going to take this floor by floor. We call our all-clear and we move forward!”

“El-tee, this’ll take hours!” One of the privates said.

“Then, it will take hours,” Norris replied simply. “Longer if you stand here complaining about it.”

Anna, Zak and Yannis followed Titus and Jaime down the long garbage chute. Their plan sounded good; send a rope down the long tunnel, climb down to the end of the length, call Nero, have him untie it while they find a safe place to hang on, and re-tie the other end to another part of the shaft and travel another several hundred feet. Titus guessed that looking for vampires in a trash chute wouldn’t be the first thing on their minds.

“How are you doing up there?” Jaime asked while slowly descending.

“Had better days,” Zak responded

“Scared as heck,” Yannis said.

“Ditto,” Came Anna’s voice.

“Once both search parties pass us, we will take the stairs to the basement,” Jaime said.

“Both?” Zak asked.

“Yeah,” Yannis said. “The vampires and now the police and national guard.”

“Oh,” Zak said with a sigh… “Right.”

On the rooftops, Nero and Pedro were confronted not with vampires, but with police and National Guard heicopters; loud speakers began firing cliche’s at them. Everything from stay where you are, to let me see your hands. This was not the type of fight they were looking for.

“Whatever those dudes did, it was not very honorable!” Pedro yelled over the sound of the spinning blades.

“We got to go,” Nero said.

“Go where?” Rodney’s voice surprised them.

He stood behind them with a large, evil grin on his face. Pedro, Nero, and their small group of vampire club-goers looked around and could see a large group of ancients and British followers encircling them by standing on the beams that made up the buildings skeletal structure.

“What did you do?” Nero pointed to the helicopters.

“We?” Rodney laughed. “You mean, what did you do? Killing people every night, and now the guards to New York’s very own Freedom Tower lie dead after your trespass. Why, we’re all here to stop you, of course!”

The lies that came out of Rodney’s mouth were infuriating. The ancient cowardly cut their time short by alerting authorities, framing murders, and bringing the cops.

“You just couldn’t fight fair, could you?” Nero asked with disgust. Rodney began to laugh. He leaned forward over his knees to respond to the long-haired man.

“No such thing as a fair fight,” he almost sang the words over the loud blades of the overhead hovering helicopters.

“You’re right,” Nero said. He raised a gun to Rodney’s chest and fired. Rodney laughed as the shot took out a sizable chunk of his torso.

“Bullets don’t, –,”

“Wooden bullets,” Nero corrected.

“You sheating son of a —,” Rodney turned to dust.

In that instant, Nero knew that he had just pissed off the elders. They all looked to one-another first before advancing on the the small rebellion.

“What’s the matter? Did we piss in your cornflakes?” Nero watched as fangs sprouted around them. The large spotlight from one of the hovering helicopters wobbled. Pedro looked up to see that one of the British elders jumped from the building to the aircraft. The cockpit door opened and the pilot was thrown out. The pilot then hit one of the steel construction beams and held on for dear life as the chopper slipped from sight. The other helicopter backed off as the distant sound of the other craft’s crash interrupted the constant roar of wind that swept hits cold presence over the building.

“Where are your human friends?” An elder asked as he pulled a large sword from its sheath. “I take it they had to leave after their mortal counterparts took interest in dispensing justice?”

“They just helped out but they didn’t come,” Pedro said. They knew that kicking your ass would be too easy a job and didn’t want to be bothered!”

With a growl the elder held his sword into the air but he quickly brought it back down after the Columbian vampire DJ slammed his favorite metal bat into the elder’s stomach.

“Ohhh-ye’lil modafugga!” The elder mumbled as the top of his sword drug across the cement floor of the soon-to-be maintenance area.

“Yeah,” Pedro said as he nodded over the other vampire that doubled over in pain. He held his bat up and admired it, “I bought this shit just for the New York Yankees.” He waved the bat in the air triumphantly to the audience of pissed off vampires. The ancient rose back to his feet but was put back down when Pedro fired a few rounds from a Mac-10 machine gun into him.

“Advance!” The angry, shot-up, sword bearing Britt demanded. All the vampires of Pedro’s club and the few others of New York City that gave a crap, were suddenly rushed by vampires from Brittan. Nero and a man from the club named Joey, looked to one-another a short moment and raised their Colt 1911’s. They fired and Vampires began turning to dust just like Rodney.

Pedro, however, was having difficulty with one of the last few ancients in the crowd. The sword came down heavy and was effectively being blocked by his bat; the metal baseball bat, however, was starting to resemble a metallic sliced ham. Joey looked over to see Pedro on his back, blocking blows. Joey raised his gun and took aim.

Pedro watched in horror as the ancients knees exploded. He fell on two stumps of legs as Pedro hopped back to his feet. He swung the bat so ahrd that the air thundered around it’s tip.

After several minutes of trying to collect all the mist that actually was made of her, Jordan materialized high in the sky and far away from downtown manhattan. She had to fall for a while because if she went to mist again, she would be swept away by the high altitude winds all over again. She caught her bearings by locating the unmistakable decapitation of a vampires head. It traveled high into the sky like a flare. She knew that instant that it must have been the work of Pedro and his trusty metal baseball bat. She then noticed that one of the helicopters were missing, there was the dim glow of distant fires that reflected off the windows of nearby buildings and one helicopter still lingered but now kept its distance. She was so curious about what was going on that she nearly forgot to turn to mist again as the buildings below her started to rise into view. Jordan turned to mist once more and the streets below her fogged in with the eerie cloud that recollected itself and slowly traveled back across the bay. It occurred to Jordan that she had landed on Jersey Shore, and she would never wish to materialize there.

Anna, Zak and Yannis heard the commotion of several waves of Weekend Warriors followed by the NYPD as they climbed the staircases. This was their chance to join the crowd as if they had arrived with them. Against Jaime’s protest, the three humans rolled out of the trash chute, drew their weapons and caught up with an NYPD officer that was lagging behind. Jaime rolled her eyes and climbed the vent via pushing herself up with her strength and launching herself one trash chute vent at a time until she eventually found herself at the roof again. By the time she pulled herself onto the last constructed section of the tower, she found that she was in the middle of an all out fight. Instead of joining in on the slaughter, she ran straight for the elevator and jammed it by kicking one of the doors in so that the elevator couldn’t descend past that point. There would be no way to get to where they were except for repelling rope.

“Sorry Anna…” Jaime said.

Down below, Lieutenant Norris cursed as the maintenance elevator refused to descend. Yannis, Zak, and Anna crowded next to the elevator with everyone else to see the angered commanding officer taking out his frustration on everyone else around him. He yelled and demanded a technician to fix the elevator, and even recommended rope to shoot up to the top of the last floor so that they could join in on the fight. Anna noticed that there was visible apprehension on the faces of the guardsmen that realized that they might soon be dangling eighty stories over manhattan.

“One of the helicopters crashed downstairs sir… We’re going to need to evacuate the building.” A sergeant said. The lieutenant began screaming in defiance after this.

“We have a job to do and we’re not leaving!”

“The fire department supercedes your authority,” Yannis pointed out.

The lieutenant’s eyes widened with anger. Yannis suddenly became the target of his retaliation.

“You again?! What the hell are you doing here?!”

“You have a problem, I’m here to help but – I also know regulations.” Yannis said. “If you refuse them, I’ll file a report and you’ll probably lose your job. We need to leave,” Yannis said. “Now.”

Anna and Zak were now concerned that they would no longer be in on the fight but Yannis was buying them time at their sacrifice and understood that. As such, both detectives sighed and hoped for the best. The Lieutenant passed them and gazed at Yannis with murder in his eyes. He paused to think about the outcome of his actions if he did not comply.

“Alright, we need to evacuate… Take the stairs!”

There was a mixture of regret and relief from the crowd of warriors and officers as they began their long descent to the bottom of the tower. What worked out best for all of them was the relief that they now had a reason to be there and of course, for Anna, Jordan was safe.

Amy exited the streets and walked away from the tower happy in the knowledge that she saved a life. She got a little whiter the moment she saw Jordan though. She was on her way back to the towers wearing nothing but a trash laden plastic bag. She smelled horrible which suggested that she must have scoured a dumpster for her clothes. Armed with a broken broom handle, she stared the girl down.

“What happened to you?” Amy asked.

“I just came from New Jersey,” Jordan said while leveling the pointed tip of the handle.

“Oh, that explains it.” Amy nodded in understanding.

“What do you want?” Jordan asked.

“I want to go home!” Amy held her hands up. “This was not my fight. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me from here on out but I didn’t want to fight you in the first place. I’m just thankful that I have a second chance and I’m going to do my best with it.”

Jordan looked at Amy as the tip of her wooden stick touched the pavement in front of her. The girl was fully ready to stake her to death with it but Amy didn’t seem like she had it in her. Jordan knew Amy was telling the truth.

“Come to the club sometime okay? If you have any questions…”

“Thank you,” Amy said. “Where is the boy?” Amy referred to Casey.

“Jordan looked to the tip of her stick that now lie on the ground. She didn’t want to tell Amy that she had killed her but Jordans expression told her everything she needed to know.

“Oh,” Amy said. “It’s okay. I thought maybe he could be saved. The boy was just following what the adults were telling him to do.”

“Sometimes, following the authority figure isn’t the best thingy to be doing,” Jordan said. “Especially if they have no business being in any authority.”

“I’ll see you at the club sometime,” Amy said. “There’s a lot I need to know.”

“Same here.”

The two vampires parted ways. Jordan certainly wasn’t going to be able to get near the freedom towers dressed in a trash bag. She looked far above her head to see bags and equipment being thrown at tremendous speed through the air as they landed on rooftops nearby. She hoped that nobody she knew perished in the brief battle cut short by the ancients attempt to bring humans into the matter. She could see a helicopter crashed almost right in front of the lobby and the cops were just pouring in. Amongst them, she saw Anna, Yannis,a nd Zak exiting the building.

“Ohhh what a mess,” Jordan said to herself.

Chapter Four

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Ervie tip-toed down the dark alleyway after collecting the day-old from a generous Taco Bell employee with a kind heart. He returned to the alley to find that his dumpster looked different; the aged, rusty outer tarnish had somehow been sanded off, or the city had replaced it with a brand new dumpster – the paint on the outside was fresh, the welcoming smell of rancid meat, gone. The confused Bum scratched his salt and pepper hair that stuck out from his beanie-hat and he carefully tip-toed toward his usual hideout. He too notice to the corner of the dumpster where a solar panel seemed to be cut into the corner was. What would a dumpster need with a solar panel, Ervie thought. He opened the dumpster lid and found a little girl inside. He jumped but saw a familiar face. He looked around to see that the inside of the dumpster was not filled with trash at all anymore. He looked at the outside again and saw a posted sign, OUT OF ORDER in official lettering; He opened the lid to the dumpster again and there she was, watching TV — Television in a dumpster. There’s a television in my dumpster, thought the bum. He opened it wider and looked at the other side. Two wires ran from the solar panel to a stack of batteries that sat on a shelf welded into the side of the dumpster, and those batteries were hooked to a bank of lights, a small end-table, and a tiny six inch television. The rest of the dumpster’s interior consisted of a mattress that selectively cut to fit around the objects welded into the interior.

Jordan was about to say hello again but the bum slammed the lid shut again. The lid came open again a few seconds later. The Bum’s wide-eyed gaze scanned the inside of the dumpster again and the lid shut, again. It was a process that needed to sink in apparently. Jordan had spent most of the remainder of her war-night with the ancients to repay a new friend for his hospitality. Nero had money to burn and she politely asked him for four thousand dollars; that was enough to pay for the battery-bank, the solar panel, the fourteen inch steel spikes that she drove into the ground to ensure that no trash vehicle could ever pick the dumpster up, the stenciling, the small space-heater, the metal, the fridge, the lock, and the microwave. Ervie opened the lid again and peaked over the edge.

“I’s didn’ recognize ya from last night cus you got your clothes on… You look good wearin’ somin’. I uh – what is this?” The middle aged man asked in disbelief.

“Come in! Your house is getting cold.” Jordan demanded.

Ervie shivered in a comfortable surprise as he stepped in. Jordan pulled the lock shut above their heads. The interior of the dumpster was lit, warm, cozy, and free of stench.

“Yeah I dyed my hair back to black, too!” Jordan happily replied.

“It’s a shame they’ll dump this in the morning. I don’t think the garbage men can read the signs outside.”

“That’s why I bolted the dumpster to the ground.” The girl smiled at the man and pointed to the corner of the bed. Underneath the battery stack that supplied power to the small space was a stack of fresh clothes. “I didn’t know your size so if they’re too big –,”.

Ervie had to hold his breath a moment but he couldn’t stop the tear from rolling down his cheek.

“No, no, you’ve done enough… Really. They’ll be just fine.”

Jordan smiled.

“There’s a good movie on, wanna watch?”

“Sure…”