About 14 cars squealed to a halt in the square over which the three kept their vigil. Jean-Claude drew his sword, and Blade did the same. "Kill only if you have to, but we're much faster than them. They won't have a chance to react."
Blade nodded, and before any could really get their feet on the ground, the three descended upon them. Blade and Jean-Claude were a blur, while Moon Knight, though slower, was much faster than his opponents due to the near full moon. The gangs were getting out and preparing to train their weapons on their targets, and were completely caught off guard. Confusion began to reign, and not a one of them could even get a shot off. Some were getting cut, others were losing limbs, and some were getting pummeled by all three antagonists. Within a matter of thirty seconds, it was nearly over. However, the leader of one of these gangs was able to train his AK-47 on Jean-Claude, and let out aburst of bullets fly. About eight hit Jean-Claude, which made him roar. Blade was on him in a flash and disarmed him. However, Jean-Claude was coming in right after, and had the punk up by his shirt, and the man nearly soiled himself as he watched the bullets fall out of Jean-Claude's body that had not passed straight through him. He was already shifting blood and healing, which Blade suspected, and said, "Hold on, I have some serum."
Jean-Claude had different ideas. He said, "Now you are going to learn that it's not nice to mess with God's chosen people!"
He brought the man down and pulled down his scarf, bearing fangs that were longer than he had seen on any vampire. Before he could protest, Jean-Claude was already feeding to replace the blood he used to fix the harsh damage that the bullets had caused. Blade wanted to stop it, but he was not sure if he would hurt this man, and had to let it go. He would deal with it after. After he had fed, he let out a roar, and then proceeded to erase the man's memory. As he did, Jean-Claude did as he usually did by programming the man to experience extreme pain whenever he wanted to do evil or commit a crime. This intrigued Blade now, having been told about it, but having never seen it.
As he pulled up his scarf, police sirens could already be heard. "Zut /alors!/" he exclaimed, "We have to get out of here."
Moon Knight said, "I'll talk to the Rebbe, and to the police. I speak Yiddish, so that will put them at ease. You two get scarce, but wait for me."
They left the square, and jumped to the roofs. Jean-Claude was clearly upset by things, and smashed a few bricks off a column in his anger. "I hope he can spin a good one for us," said Jean-Claude, "I normally heal them all, and then I put in their minds what I did to that leader. Now there are going to be abunch of questions. I didn't think the police would respond so quickly."
"Moon Knight can handle that," said Blade, still cross over what he had seen,"What I want to deal with is how you dealt with that man."
"Evil is my blood preference," responded Jean-Claude, "I was just..."
Blade cut him off as he got into Jean-Claude's face, and said, "I know what you did, and why! I told you that there is another way..."
Jean-Claude got more into Blade's face as he cut Blade off and said, "That stupid serum would do nothing for me, as it will now do nothing for you!"
"The Thirst can be beat..."
"Not for pure bloods, or anyone related to them!"
Blade looked at him seriously, and said, "You don't need as much blood. That's what you said. What you call pure bloods don't need that much. How can you say the serum would not work?"
"It's not how we are constructed."
"You say you want a world where your side and humans can live side by side. Don't you think that it would help if you could beat the Thirst and live off the serum? They would not fear you so much, and they just might accept you!"
"It's more than a need to feed!" snapped Jean-Claude, "The undead that think themselves to be true vampires have no ability to use blood as we. They just need it to keep their barely living carcasses going! For us, that blood gives us what we need to survive every day and to do the things that we can do, and now what you can do."
"What kind of things?"
"They have enhanced strength and senses. They can climb walls like spiders, but in healing themselves, they need to feed, and they are not as good at it. They cannot resist silver and garlic. Furthermore, they cannot stand sunlight to the point it destroys them the instant it touches them. Us? Well, we have greater strength and agility. Our speed is much faster than theirs. We can climb as they, but our healing does not call for an immediate source of blood. It is much faster. I have heard that the undead can take weeks to grow back alimb. We can do it in a matter of days. Silver and garlic have no effect on us. Furthermore, it takes time for the sun to destroy us. For us, it is the same as being burned at the stake. Do you know how long it takes for someone to burn to death like that, and even how long it takes to lose consciousness? We also can create flames, and throw them if need be. Some elders can throw electricity. We can make force pushes, erase memories, heal...let's see your undead foes do that! That serum would never be enough."
Blade stared at him in silence. Not only was this something beyond what he had imagined, but Jean-Claude had also said that he could now do that as well. "You claim to be a Christian, or at least that's what I heard. Isn't there something that forbids the drinking of blood?"
"That is one that I had to pray about for some time," said Jean-Claude, pondering the question for a few moments before he answered, "The Lord then led me to Genesis chapter one. God made everything after its kind, and each did what was expected of its kind. I grant you, it was because of the sin of one that caused us to be, which was not supposed to be. However, for some reason, God allowed it. That did not mean that the offspring of this one had to continue in evil ways. Because of our close association with humankind, we were also allowed free will. Thus, we do after /our /kind, and that is not the way of the human. For us, certain things do not apply, and that includes blood. Besides all that, I do believe that the one that had committed what he had made peace with the Lord before he went, so things are well now between our kind and God if we are also willing to submit to the Savior. Anjou has done that, and her life has been so much better since."
Blade stood there in silence. The both of them stood there for about 30 seconds thinking about it when Moon Knight showed up. "Hey fellas," he announced in a fashion as not to startle them, "It's all okay. When they asked about the damage, I just told them that had I not, they would have shot me, and they let it go. They were mumbling about strange creatures attacking them and what looked like a vampire feeding on one of them, but I told them that I was moving so fast that it must have looked like more people to them in the confusion. When they asked about the feeding, I just told them that I was interrogating the man. It seemed to fly. I don't suspect any shills amongst the police because of the standards of those police. They are all Chassidic, so there is no way that any of the households would have plants to spread what happened."
"How are you so sure?" asked Jean-Claude.
"Believe me, the Chassidics are very strict about who comes around them," said Moon Knight, "They are very exclusive in their communities. A Gentile rat could not move in without them noticing."
The three started to go back to the tower, but Blade was lost in thought. He realized that the amount of blood he would need reduced greatly, but there was now something in blood that he could not live without, lest be become ravenous. Jean-Claude noticed his silence and asked, "What are you chewing on?"
"The main reason why I did not feed was because I did not want to lose my humanity in the process," Blade answered, "Besides all that, when what I hunted fed, if they killed them, it would turn them into undead. They would then quickly dispose of the body, or do something to prevent the transformation. That was just one method. Another was to inject undead blood into the victim and then kill him. Well, I did the same thing."
"Then you will be glad to know that does not apply anymore for you or Crystal,"said Jean-Claude, "For you to do that, you would have to nearly drain a victim dry, and then have them feed on your blood. For the regular vampire, this is agreat effort. It is impossible for dhampir. So, I guess I could say, 'Drink up, buddy!'"
"It still gives me the willies."
"Let me ask you: was there a time when you did drink?"
"When I was a boy, my mother used to sneak blood out of the hospital, and they would inject it into me intravenously."
"It got to the point where that was not enough anymore. One day, I just ripped down the bag and tore it open with my teeth and poured it down my throat."
"How did it feel?"
"It was better than sex."
"Was there anything else?"
"I felt strong."
"Do you get the same sensation with the serum?"
"It's not about that now. That lustful sensation was psychological, and Imanaged to get past it."
"It was not psychological. Even for the undead, the reason for the great pleasure is the sensation of power and energy running to every pore of your body. All the serum does is curtail the hunger, much like nicotine can act like an appetite suppressant. It may keep you from being hungry, but it does not satisfy. If you were always to suppress your appetite, your body would still be screaming for certain vitamins and carbs that your body needs to function. One who has a dietary disorder can teach himself to ignore and not feel those pangs, but just put a morsel of food in their mouths and watch their reaction. Admit it, Blade; there were times you caught an undead feeding, and you felt a strong urge to do the same. You know how it is when one has not eaten in days, and then comes near cooking. The nose becomes ultra sensitive to that smell. It's the same way with the blood. However, now, that serum won't do much for you, and you are going to go crazy, especially when you come near the emotional type that is compatible with your system."
Blade stayed quiet, and then said, "How do I learn to do this?"
"I can send Karin with you tomorrow night," answered Jean-Claude, "She can teach you what you need to know. I'll send Anjou with you as well. Don't worry. It may seem at first that you are going to be a maniac about it, but once you feed, and keep it under control, your eyes are going to be opened."
Somewhere across the city, another set of eyes were opening. Before that happened, Fumio was having a vivid dream. She dreamt that she was in what looked like a hospital delivery room, but in a secluded place. The woman giving birth had an IV of blood in her, and it was draining fast. When it emptied, another was plugged into her. Her face was both in pain and in ecstasy, as a notable pair of fangs were seen. Soon, the baby came out and acted in the usual way. "It's a girl, Mrs. Cathong," said the doctor, "It's a beautiful girl!"
Suddenly, the baby stopped, looked at Fumio, and said, "Fear not, for this is how we pure bloods come into the world. This was how we are created, and this dream shows our link together. We are now linked forever!"
Fumio snapped awake, and found that she had been sleeping in a sitting position, wearing a neck brace. She was lying on a queen-sized bed, set between silk sheets. She was wearing a satin nightgown, and she was actually comfortable. The room was actually comfortable, and lit with a dim but pleasing light. When she started to take in more of her surroundings, she then saw Charlotte sitting in a chair opposite the bed, smiling pleasantly. "Welcome back, Fumio," she said happily, "You can take that brace off now. The reason for it now does not exist."
Slowly and cautiously she removed it, too scared of what the answer might be if she asked why she had needed it. "Where am I?" she said with much trepidation.
"You're in your new home, silly goose!" Charlotte giggled, "Believe me; I made sure that you had the best of everything."
Fumio began to run her hands across her face, and then immediately pulled them away in shock. Before she could speak, Charlotte said, "Don't worry, Fumio, because that is normal. It is going to be a bit awkward for a little while not being able to feel your body temperature, but you will get used to it."
Fumio started to cry, and she asked, "What have you done to me?" but half meaning it rhetorically, having a good idea of what may have happened. Charlotte stood up and daintily strolled around the room as she said, "You have a whole new life, and greater than you ever imagined it. I know you have expressed hesitation to become what you are now, but you will have to trust me when I say that, when you make your first feed, you will not resist it anymore."
She now realized fully what had happened, and she wanted to get out of there right away and see her granddaughter. She knew that Kannon could do something about this, and she started to get out of the bed. However, before she could move, Charlotte was on top of her, holding her down. "I'm sorry, Miss Fumio, but you cannot leave just yet."
"Please, let me go, I beg of you!" pleaded Fumio.
"I'm sorry, but you cannot go back to that world," said Charlotte, "You can never go back."
"You lie!" snapped Fumio, but Charlotte just laughed and said, "Why lie? The truth is much more fun. Besides, the reason why you can't leave is the same reason why you want to, or at least, that is what I suspect."
Fumio now just stared at Charlotte, and Charlotte continued, saying, "In fact, to help you overcome this, what I have to do is a bit harsh. I am going to keep you in here for a few days and let your appetite grow a bit. By then, all you will want is to feed. After that, you will never want to go back. Then, you can act as a mother figure for me. I mean, if I go out in public at night, having someone like you around will keep questions from being asked. You may not believe me when I say this, Fumio, but I think you a very beautiful person in body and mind. I so do wish to be good friends with you, considering that there is not much opportunity for me to have such friends."
With that, seemingly, in a blink, she was at the door, and she said, "The door is steel reinforced, so don't think about smashing through it, or you will get hurt. Believe me; this is for your own good."
Charlotte then closed the door and locked it fast. For Fumio, the sorrow began to grow like a volcano, and when it erupted, she was screaming, "NO!" at the top of her lungs, screaming and wailing, "Kenta! KENTA! KARIN! HELP ME!"
By the time they got back to the Cavern, it was about 3:00 AM, but the whole place was a buzz. There were many discussions, and what sounded like plans being made. Immediately, the three returning knew there was a problem. When they entered, the place went silent, and the people parted. When they did, they found Kenta trying to keep it together while Karin consoled him. All Jean-Claude could say, in a monotone voice, "What happened?"
Karin looked at him with a tear rolling down her face, and she said, "Fumio is missing."
For the three that had returned, it did not take them long to guess what had happened. Immediately, a look came over his face of which Yuriya was well aware, and turned her stomach, even though she knew that it was not aimed at anyone here. Someone was going to die if he caught them. Anjou said, "I have my and grandmamma's bats scouring the city, and the royalty are up in the throne room now, trying to reach out and find her."
"Marc, get some rest, because we are going to need your help," said Jean-Claude, "Blade, how up to this are you?"
"You get your rest," said Blade, "I can keep going. I'll search now, and your crew can search tonight."
"Shouldn't we get the police on this?" asked Hondo.
"No," answered Jean-Claude quite frankly, "One, what would we tell them, and two, they may have familiars looking out for this. No, we have to do this one ourselves."
"Crystal," said Blade, "Wake up Shin. He's going to be with me. You get your rest, and go with Jean-Claude's team tomorrow night. There is going to be Hell to pay if I have my way about it."
"Where is Elda and Victor?" asked Jean-Claude.
"They went with Chiyuki and Ai to talk with House Lichen," said Karin, "You have wanted to do this, and they said that now is the time."
"Looks like the war is going to come sooner than we thought," said Jean-Claude,"Let's get ready. If I have my way, it ends this week!'
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