The noose tightens, and none are ready for the subterfuge that has taken place.
Chiyuki picked up a rucksack from the floor, and said, “Is there a restroom around here?”
This, Jean-Claude did not expect, but he said, “You can use my room. It’s on the sunward side of the house.”
He then said, “Shall I wait, or will you catch up?”
“Which ever suits your needs,” she said, as she dashed away with the backpack in hand. One minute later she came out ready to go, she was dressed in a red kimono shirt with some shorts under it, her hair put back. The instant she came down, Elda’s face went pale. “She is the red devil!” she said pointing at Chiyuki. Chiyuki chuckled and nodded as she said, “Right on the dot.”
“Could you fill me in on what you mean?” asked Jean-Claude.
“She’s a killer!” said Elda, “You brought her into THIS house?”
Elda was making as if she wanted to flee, but terror griped her too tightly for her to flee. Jean-Claude brought his head back around to Chiyuki, and said, “What are you plan…” but she cut him off, saying, “If your family were to be my target, it would have been over long ago, so do not fear. Let’s just say for now that we both have similar motivations for what we do. By the way, you made a good point about having a problem with the pure bloods, because of their trying to turtle up from the rest of the world. Those like you, Karin, Yuriya, others, and me have the edge over them, in that, we all have been able to change with the times, while they have become fossils. The world has passed them by. Now, the only problems that they have are not from the humans, but from themselves. They live in stark fear of our kind, because we are everything they are not. They are jealous of us, because we have that something they lack, and so deeply desire. However, instead of learning from us, they try to kill us out of fear. You are right: fear is ignorance in a panicked state. Just look at Elda.”
Jean-Claude weighed her words carefully, trying to be certain where she was going. He finally asked, “Is that why you did not want Karin’s blood ultimately?”
“That is about the size of it,” she said, “Why would I desire to become like them?”
“Is that why you wanted to be with the Clan?” he then asked.
“Onii-chan, when I thought about it,” she answered, “your crew is everything I wished that things could be, and cannot, because of them. Now they have to be taught.”
“As far as the Elders go, that is not my fight,” said Jean-Claude, “That is something you have to handle on your own. Yet, only one war can be fought at a time, and you are just as hip deep in this war as I am. Let’s concentrate on this one first.”
He then turned to the older adults, and said, “This is what happens when you turn your back on the world: it turns its back on you, and creates what you see here and now. Consider this the backlash of your handling the affairs of the human world as you have. The universe changes all the time, and if you cannot change with it, you are cast out, one way or another. Despite that, I go to fight your war for you, knowing it may never be truly appreciated. Your kind talks about honor. Well, I sure hope it believes that now. I just pray that things sink in. It’s time to go.”
“Not with out me,” said a voice at the top of the stairs. They all looked to see Ren dressed in clothing better suited to move in freely, and he looked ready to fight. “This fight is just as much mine as it is yours,” he said, “and what you have been telling me all this time has been sinking in, Jean-Claude. It IS a different world, and I am going to face it head on. It’s time for a change.”
He then looked to the elder ones, and said, “Please get out of this new road if you cannot lend us a hand. Let’s go.”
With that, the three of them headed out the door.
Yukiko managed to find about 20 young men to help her, explaining what was going on. Because of their fetish with the vampire world, they wanted a huge part of things. Victor and Wiener had already met up with the crew, and that is when Chiyuki, Ren, and Jean-Claude arrived. Some of these boys were talking about how they were going to do one thing or another, acting brave, yet, all that went by the wayside when the three showed up, and they saw Jean-Claude. The three of them had been hearing their statements rather clearly before they arrived, and Chiyuki suggested that they arrive with fangs out, just to make a point. Jean-Claude spoke and said, “That’s some tough talk for a bunch of mortals.”
They had always made pretense of the vampire world, living off myth, and going by what their imaginations could conjure up. However, it was another thing altogether when the real thing showed up. Chiyuki then said, “I can tell you for a certainty that none of you have any clue about our world.”
Ren then said, “This is not some play time day care game, gentlemen, this is for real!”
“We are going after very powerful individuals,” said Jean-Claude, “and I will not pull any punches with you: some of you shall not outlive this. Note that I did not say ‘might,’ I said, ‘shall not!’ Therefore, if you do wish to back out now, go ahead. We shall wipe your memories of tonight, and there will be no hard feelings. However, if not, then this is now the point of no return. Once you cross the line, you are not backing out. You now have knowledge of a being that, until now, had been held back from you. The first thing to tell you is, forget everything you know, because it is more than likely wrong! The only things about vampires that you shall believe is what we, your instructors, shall tell you. You are going to learn how to deal with them in such a fashion that you, as mere mortals, would have a chance against supernatural, nearly immortal, creatures. They are powerful and clever. However, forget about garlic, crosses, holy water, and such like, because none of that is going to do you any good. Still, for those that stay and fight, I would say that, if you people have felt like misfits in your lives, and have wanted to be someone, now is your chance. Remember, though, this is a grown-up game, where discipline and teamwork will be needed. You must be serious about this: one mind, one body, one soul, one goal. This is because the very existence that you know is threatened. If they win, they will vamp out the elites, (of which you are not,) and make you nothing more than cattle grazing in a field. The world, as you know it, shall end, and what shall happen, shall make the dark ages look like modern times. These are the stakes.”
He then took out his saber and cut a line in the dirt, and said, “Anyone that wishes to fight, cross this line.”
All 20 looked at him, not sure what to do. Already, their little fantasy world was dissolving around them, and the reality they faced looked as ugly as sin. Yukiko was the first to cross the line. Some of them then crossed, not wanting to be outdone by a girl. The others began to imagine themselves living in a world ruled by vampires, and not being a part of the hierarchy. The gravity of the situation began to sink in, and the remainder began, one by one, to cross the line. None turned away. Jean-Claude then said, “Well then, be prepared to work to before sunrise, and call off from school or you jobs, or whatever, because you will need your rest. If we get another chance, we will go at this again. If not, be prepared to fight. You can risk trouble from school, home, or the job, because, if you fail, none of that will matter anyway. Let’s get to work!”
For the rest of that evening, Victor and Wiener stood front and center, giving them an education. The others felt it best to let them do most of the work, because the two of them are of only a handful of mortals that could even content with vampires. They knew how to compensate for their shortcomings when set against the vampires. The other three were acting like what the military calls an OP-4, (opposition force,) to give them a feel for going against the real thing. At first, there were a few cocky ones in the bunch, but they were soon silenced when they found out just how much they did not know about the vampire world. Reading stories and bad fan fiction were one thing, facing the real thing was another matter altogether. The three they faced represented varying levels of what they may face, and Jean-Claude loved how Chiyuki was involved. She acted as the overpowering force. Any army worth their salt will always train against overwhelming forces, because, if they can learn to fight that, then when they meet the real thing, victory is almost guaranteed. When they began to see how serious this was becoming, the young men began to approach things differently. They, in one night, were growing up in a fashion that would normally take years. During a break, and an initial after actions review, Chiyuki said, “You boys must understand something. Although it is true that vampires can create undead vampires, it is rarely done. However, we deal with an enemy that, we believe, knows the secret to how this is done, and it is quite possible that people you know will be vamped out. This is why we must ask you: are you prepared to kill your own mother, your own father, and your own schoolmates? All of that is a distinct possibility. Before you walk away now, do understand that, if that happens, you cannot consider them what I have just mentioned. Their minds will be warped, and they will not see you any longer as what you saw them to be. Because their minds will be so manipulated against you and the world, that if you kill them, believe me, you shall be doing them a favor.”
With that statement, the boys sobered up even more than before. Suddenly, their little fantasy world began to fall by the wayside, and they were becoming men at this point.
About an hour and a half before sunrise, Victor gave a final after actions review. He said, “Now, understand, gentlemen, what you have received may be just enough to keep you alive, because there is much more to learn, but we only have a short time. However, mind well what you have learned, because it can save your lives. You must remember that my grandson and I have been doing this for years, and have faced many years of grueling training, as well as fighting vampires ourselves. When the time comes, we shall supply you with the weaponry that you shall need, but also remember, stealth and teamwork shall go a long way in helping to cover for inexperience.”
Then Jean-Claude said, “With that, gentlemen, get some rest, and be ready to either train some more, or get ready to fight. Know this also: the best way to make it through is having the mentality that, even though some will not be returning from the fight, you are going to do all you can to insure that you will. Get some rest, and good night.”
As they made their ways, he pulled Yukiko aside and said, “After school tomorrow, you need to keep Karin and Maki with you. This means you may have to get up early tomorrow afternoon to intercept her. Call it a hunch, but I think its best she remains in undisclosed locations. They cannot execute their plans unless they have her, and that might give the others the best chance to fight. In fact, to be sure, you don’t lose out, make sure you try to get at least a half day of school tomorrow. I know you will be a bit tired, but I know that you understand the gravity of the situation. Explain that to them after your hockey practice.”
“Speaking of which, what are you going to do?” she asked.
“Hopefully, if Karin covers for me like I hope, that won’t be a problem,” he said, “However, right now; there are some more important things on my mind than hockey.”
Yukiko understood, and went home to get some sleep. With that, Ren asked, “Do they have a chance?”
“Do we have a choice?” asked Jean-Claude in return.
However, while all this was going on, Boris had indeed discovered the secret of vamping. He tried to do it by the legends, and he found that it was not as easy. He took in a lot of blood, but when he had the human drink, he found the human take back nearly what he had drunk, and the process was a success. He then quickly had his remaining minions go forth and start to vamp as many as they could. After that, they used their mind control abilities to both warp, and then fill the heads of the newly undead with the knowledge they needed to use their powers right away. He was building the unit he needed, and he was ready. The next step was to call some contacts. It was about a half hour before sunrise, and Boris made a phone call. “Hello Boris,” said a warm voice from the other side, “I assume that this call is to let us know that all is in place?”
“Of course,” said Boris, “They have no clue what is going to hit them.”
“What about the mule?” he asked, “Those here are certain that he will put a stop to all of this.”
“He is powerful, but he is not quite to our caliber,” said Boris, “If he tries, he shall find out that all his vaunted training will be no match for what I have in store.”
“What about the other day walker?” he asked.
“You mean his wife?” Boris asked, “She is nowhere as strong as he, although she is good with immolation.”
“No, I mean the strange girl you saw,” he answered.
“I don’t know,” he said, “She is a rouge factor, and I am not certain about all that.”
“Then be warned,” he said, “I don’t know if it is she, but do know that there have been rumors that the Red Devil has been around that area.”
Boris shuddered, and said, “You…You can’t possibly mean…”
“I do indeed,” he said, “and that could be a problem, especially for us elders. The council has ignored us for so long, and they need to learn.”
“Indeed they do,” said Boris, “It is so good that your people have seen the light on this.”
“Can you believe they actually care about the well being of the kine?” he said, “There are even some youthful members on the council that seem to believe in that foolish mule’s vision of human/vampire unity, or symbiosis at the very least.”
“The only symbiosis that will work is when they are all under our feet,” said Boris, “They shall pay for their lack of vision. Do they not realize that they could be gods? They have spent too much time in contact with the humans that they have lost focus on their survival.”
“If all goes well here,” said the Elder, “we shall have the council at the Marker’s by tonight. They will all be in their coffins and then head to the Markers once they are in Tokyo. Once we have them in the house, we capture them all in a surprise attack.”
“What do we do with the mules?” asked Boris.
“We kill the female outright,” he said, “and then we make it nice and slow for froggy-boy. We want him to feel the wrath that he has caused everyone else.”
“Excellent,” he said, “Then all is set! We are going to be gods!”
“Hold the vision,” said the Elder, “The fools won’t know what hit them.”
Yuriya was already asleep when Jean-Claude, Chiyuki, and Ren came back, and everyone else was already asleep. Yuriya woke up when Jean-Claude entered, and he said to her, very plainly, “When you wake up later, take Fumio and get her as far away from this place as possible, even out of the city if necessary. Then catch up to Kenta and tell him to stay close to Karin. His g’hul abilities may be the only chance she has. Call it a hunch, but I think trouble is already coming, and I want you safe.”
“I can’t leave you behind!” she said, genuinely worried.
He stroked her face and said, “You have to think about Karin and Kenta, because I am going to get Karin away from there, and you can help her. You have to understand: Karin’s safety is more important than my own right now. Cover for me with the school and then get Fumio to safety.”
She relented, and they both fell asleep in each other’s arms. He held her close, because he was not sure if this would end up being their last night together.
The next morning, Karin woke up with some trepidation. She saw Yuriya leaving swiftly with Fumio, who had some belongings packed into an overnight sack. What surprised Yuriya was how quickly she was able to do this, not being aware of the fact that Yuriya was expert in having to leave one place or another very quickly. She did understand the danger, but she was scared for Kenta. On the other hand, she also understood spreading out targets, making it harder for someone to peg them down. It was eerie that Yukiko was only there for half a day and some of the boys called in sick. After classes were over, Yukiko insisted that Maki and Karin join her for practice that day. Yet, Yukiko was quite surprised to see Chiyuki also there for half a day, and at practice. It was after the practice that Yukiko informed them of what was going on. Chiyuki was also there, making it clear of what the danger was. Karin was worried about what was going to happen at the house, and then she said, “Anjou! We have to get Anjou out of there! Please, we have to go back for her!”
Chiyuki said, “We don’t have time, because, if my nose is telling me correctly, there are many vampires moving in. Some of them are like me.”
She then thought, “They must have been busy last night!”
Karin begged and pleaded for her to let her get Anjou. Finally, out of frustration, she said, “Just go with Yukiko, and I’ll go get her!”
She growled in frustration, and took off. When she arrived on top of the hill, she saw many of the limos there, and she saw some of the people. She could not believe it! What was the council doing here? Worse, off, she caught the scent of some of the very Elders that she was chasing! She wanted to move right then, but then realized that it may not be the best time for it. She was contemplating what to do, when it happened! The council had entered the house, and Henry looked at them, asking, “What are you doing here?”
“I was going to ask you the same question, Henry,” said the councilman, “The Elders said that there was an important meeting that was you wanted to have with everyone, and we all needed to be here.”
Just as it was dawning on Henry to what was going on, every window on the lower level smashed open, and it was followed by a horde of charging undead. Before anyone could blink, they were all subdued. However, during the chaos, Chiyuki took advantage of her superior speed, entered Anjou’s room, and left it with her in her arms before anyone was the wiser. Jean-Claude was not as fortunate, for, through his window, about 15 undead poured in. He was up like a shot with his saber out, and managed to behead three of them before they were able to take the saber away. He then began to fight them hand-to-hand, and he was holding his own until one of them took his own saber and stuck it into his heart! He collapsed, paralyzed, and they dragged him downstairs.”
“Did you get the mule?” asked Boris.
“We’re bringing him down now, master,” said the undead vampire before him, “He got three of us before we subdued him, so going at him in numbers was the best thing to do.”
Before long, staked, and subdued were Calera, Henry, and Ren. “Where are the rest?” asked Boris.
“The blood cow is not here, nor is her sister or grandmother.”
“Blast it!” he snapped, “This is going to make it hard. It looks like they were prepared…” and he stopped as they dragged up a paralyzed Jean-Claude, and he said, “…but not well enough!”
One of the Elders came in and said, “Is the rest of the council subdued, Boris?”
“They are in the basement,” said Boris.
“Good,” said the Elder, and Boris said him, “Then put these three with the rest, except for him,” pointing to Jean-Claude. As they did, the Elders and Boris stood before him. “You silly abomination,” laughed Boris, “Now did you really think that you would escape your death sentence forever?”
Of course, in this state, Jean-Claude could not speak, which Boris both knew and understood. “You see, the whole thing was beautiful,” he said, “We knew that those fools in the states would buy it when we told them you were needed here. Of course, we had never seen you or met you, so guessing who you were was a bit of a chore. Yet, we loved it when you moved right in with them! That made things easier. I have to give the American council credit for not telling us your name, but just that you would be coming. I don’t know how you convinced them that your vision was viable and desirable. I guess it was the only way they would have trusted you, and let you live. We still cannot believe that they tolerated your actions to their elders, but, hey, they must have desired the power, and saw you as the means. How does it feel to be used like that? It was great when we found out that the new adoptee was you. Henry was very clever in not telling us that you were a half-breed, but we then had our suspicions when he called for a wedding certificate, and to whom you would be wed. It’s just too bad that your flying fox didn’t kill that bat soon enough before we were able to put all the pieces together. It was a fun chase, though, considering how well you cover your tracks. You see, some of those elders that are now under my command were just young council members when you killed the elders that ordered your death, and the deaths of your family. They slipped out and came here, knowing that they could lure you here in time. They share my vision. Now it shall come to pass. It took a long time, and it cost us some good vampires, but your time has finally come! Now it is time to fix the mistake your mother made, and make this world a better place…for us!”
One of the elders then came up, and asked, “What do we do with him?”
“Take him and hang him from one of the poles in back,” said Boris, “Then drain about nine to ten pints of blood out of him, which will send him into a bloodlust. He will be too weak to resist. Then chain him to the ground as we restrain the others around him as he gets to watch them fry in the sunrise. After that, we burn him at one of the stakes back there.”
“What about the others?” the elder then asked.
“Send about ten of the undead, and have them fan out,” said Boris, “We’ll find them, and take care of business.”
“What about the rumors of the Red Devil?” asked the elder.
“Bah!” he said, “Once we have Karin, and do what we need to do, not even she shall stop us. Then, the only Red Devil in the world shall be me!”
With that, he let out an evil cackle, and they proceeded as ordered.
Jean-Claude hung there as they bled them, and rational thought was beginning to leave him. All he could think of was feeding. All he could see was red. He wanted blood, and wanted it badly. His eyes glowed, and his fangs were out. The only two things on his mind now were feeding, and killing Boris. The only other rational though that ran through his mind was that they were not killing him right away. That bought him time, because he knew that some chance was better than no chance at all. When they finally pulled the saber from him, the only words he could utter were, “Karin, Yuriya, Corn Muffin.”
They then chained him to the ground after sealing his wounds, (lest he die before they wanted him to,) and stabbed the sword into the ground next to his head, hoping to use it later to finish him off.