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Chapter IEditEdit

Listen child. Listen to what I have to say. I have heard that you like tales, correct? Isn't that right child? Then sit. I have a tale that will surely amaze you. But you must not forget. This is not another story, invented by the dementia-racked minds of old women. This story is true, every word. Do not forget that child. I know. I was there. I saw it all, heard it all, spoke to those who did it all! Do you understand child? Heed my words, and do not forget. For in this tale you will learn the wickedness of man and beast. For truly, only one who is a fool, or who is evil, would commit such acts. Now. I shall begin. But first, bring me something to drink, child. And make it quick. I thirst.

Thank you.

Now listen. A man, a monster I once had the misfortune of knowing, a- please sir, take the blade from my back. I don't need constant reminder that I am being threatened. Thank you. Now, the man was sitting in a seat, in the dark of night in his home, basking in the quietness and the light of the moon. But it would not be quiet for long. In fact, this would be the last moment of quietness he would have for a long time. For his enemies were stirring, yearning to feed. And he had all intention of stopping them.

"Blood."

James Ryan sniffed the air, a look of hate and rage in his eyes. He had picked up the scent of human blood in the air, using his adept sense of smell. He got to his feet, anger expanding through his body. His eyes flashed red as he stepped to his window, with murder on his mind. He opened the glass and stepped out onto the roof of his home, looking up at the moon.

It was only then that his transformation into the vile creature that was his true form began. Hairs sprouted along his body, first from his wrists and chin, and then expanding along his arms and face, and sprouting on his legs and torso. His muscles began to twist, contort, and grow, until he had become a much greater force than his former self, his limbs over twice their original size. His jaws began to stretch into an ugly, obscene snout, as his nose turned black and changed into that of a great wolf.

His teeth sharpened, and his fingernails grew into long, jagged claws. His eyes became red as his ears stretched into a strange shape. His bones audibly stretched, cracked and reformed as they lengthened to make up for his much greater mass, and a tail burst from the back of his clothes. He had become a hideous lycan, a mindless beast intent only on killing our kind.

He fell into a crouch, his tremendous leg muscles tensing, before he leapt into the air, flying through the night sky like a witch on her enchanted fence stake, landing on another building. He continued this pattern before stumbling and falling, landing in a dark alley between the homes. He sniffed the air again and moved on, now groundborne, rushing on all fours like a possessed dog, moving at well over two thousand lachter per minute.

It was only moments later that he found the source of the scent that had drawn him there. It was a human corpse, sprawled, stone dead, on the stone of the alley he had entered, blood pooling around it from a wound in it's chest, as well as slowly oozing from the holes in it's neck. It was a very messy kill.

Understand, child? It was one of our kind, one of the immortal Vampyr, that slew that man. And this freak of nature found him because he made a mess of his kill. Never make a mess, boy. Slay your prey with your fangs alone, child, and be glad that you were born with no claws to slice, and to make your prey bleed. Besides, child, the more they bleed, the less there is to drink. The less there is to drink, the more you must kill. And that is truly a- Ouch. Please desist, sir.

Thank you.

Now, listen boy, for there is more to tell. You see, the vampyre had already left the area, and as you know well, a vampyre is almost impossible to track down by scent. But again, his own meal had betrayed him.

James sniffed the air again, as usual, unable to catch scent of the vampire, due to it's lack of any form of bacteria, blood, or other bodily fluids. What he could smell, however, was the copious amounts of blood that had stained the vampire's cloak and hand, leaving a clear trail of scent.

Looking to the ground, he snorted his disgust, realizing that the vampire had actually left footprints of blood, having taken literally no care to attempt cleanliness and stealth. He could hardly focus on following the obvious trail, so concerned was he with how much of a fool this vamp-

Ach! Get your damn blade out of my back! It is not in me to lie to a child just to please the Count who wishes history to be as he wills it! I shall not obey blindly! There was a time that the Vampyr respected he they called the Old One. When Dracula ruled, truth was what mattered, not some deranged Count's foolish-

ACH! Get off of me, cretin!

CRRACK!

Ah. Finally. That fool's blade was beginning to weigh on me. I shall respect that "Count's" dictatorship no longer. We shall have to leave soon, my child, for the one who commands power here will never stand for freedom. I long for Dracula's return. But now, we must continue my tale. Disregard all I said before, for it was all twisted half-truths.

James Ryan may have been a beast.

But he was a glorious beast.

Now, James was disgusted with the foolish vampire's failure to attempt stealth. He had killed many a bloodsucker, as he called them, but not one had proved such an ignorant buffoon. He leapt onto the roof that the vampire had escaped on and followed the trail that this brutal and messy kill had left behind, hoping to avenge the human that had been "murdered."

I never understood James's love for humans. Sure, it was true that he had once been one, and lived among them, in their society. But they are still lesser beings, even to the Lycan.

Ach!

*Haack!*

Ach!

My health is not good, child. My lung was once pierced by a stake, long ago... I thirst. Please bring me something to drink.

Thank you.

How many sheep do we have left?

Pity. We may have to raid a settlement if we wish to keep up a supply of blood. If we can find one that the "Count" hasn't already wastefully massacred. What, child?

Yes. That is correct. But let me continue while the tale is still with me. While it is clear in my mind.

Now, I never understood his love for humans, but I fully understood his hate for the "bloodsuckers." In my day, in Transylvania, the Vampyr were wise, honorable, humble, even kind. Dracula's wise rule brought prosperity to our people. And we never, never, used more than we needed, we never killed wastefully or for spite. We left the humans who lived near our land alone, mostly, and we never enslaved our prey unless we took our time doing it, leaving them with their intelligence, and we never killed outright if we had a chance to convert our prey to our kind.

But that was long ago. Now, the Count rules, and all that had changed. But there was a time when all of the Vampyr were expected to behave that way. And the only that refused outright were those who lived in the cities, the whoreheouses of the soul. Those of the Vampyr who deigned to live in the cities almost always degraded, became less than before, weaker, without their sense of honor. They killed indescriminately, sometimes for nothing but twisted fun.

Fun.

Humph.

Pathetic.

Never end up like that, child. Never become like them. Never, child. James had nothing against the Vampyr as a group, because he was originally a human. He didn't grow up with the Lycan. He was, adopted, let's say. But his hatred was for those who took more than they needed. Who killed without purpose. He had nothing against those who killed to preserve their life, but even those he chaced out of "his" town. He was protective of the people there. He was cursed, I suppose, by empathy.

Or, perhaps not. Perhaps the empathy was a blessing in disguise. But I digress. And it is unbefitting for a member of the proud Vampyr to have such thoughts. Dracula wouldn't have approved.

Ha! He must be nearly as old as me by now! Listen carefully child! You will grow until you are an adult, and never age again. Our great race is immortal, and when all the others are gone, we shall truly inherit this world. But spend too much time in the sun, child, and you will age.

Ha!

Never allow yourself to age, child. At least the humans have the ability to die when they get old. I've had to deal with this damn old body for centuries now, and it's still just as unbearable.

Hell.

I've gotten quite off-topic, haven't I?

Ha!

See kid? This is what happens when you get old. You can't keep your damn mind on things any more. Where was I?

Oh, yes.

Thank you.

Now, James had a hatred for the "bloodsuckers," and had all intention of wiping the scourge of their wastefull evil from the face of this world. And rightfully so. But you have heard enough of that.

Back to the story. I heard you liked tales. I suppose I was right, from the look in your eyes.

Ha!

Now, Ryan tracked down the vampyre, leaping from one building to another, sniffing the air and keeping a tight lookout for obvious tracks or signs of the bloodsucker's path.

James peered into the darkness, blessing his lycanthropic night vision, when he caught a glance of quick movement out of the corner of his eye, and turned his supernatrually attuned sense of smell to the task of identifying the movement, now that it's creator was out of sight.

He sniffed the air once again, and picked up a faint odor over the almost overpowering scent of blood carried by his original target. He realized that the reason he couldn't really smell it was that it was the same. He smelled blood. Old, dry blood, but blood nonetheless. He was smelling a starving vampire.

The werewolve's eyes flashed as he spun around to protect his flank, just in time to block a wild attack from a small, skinny vampire, even paler than their species usually was. He realized that the creature was in fact starved, and was most likely an underfed slave of the bloodsucker he was currently tracking.

The small, terrifying vampire slave stepped foreward and slashed with it's claws, James simply stepped back and avoided the strike, noting that the poor creature suffered from luxatis ungula, displaced claw disorder. Instead of growing in place of his original fingernails, this vampire's claws sprouted directly from the end of it's fingers, causing it constant pain. This would be a damn mercy kill.

The vampire swung another claw strike at James, who deflected the attack with his arm, countering with a punch, cracking it's spindly ribs. He followed this up with a strike from his own claws, tearing open the poor bloodsucker's chest. His claws caught on the creature's chest, however, thanks to their dullness. The wild, enraged slave struck out with it's most potent weapons, it's fangs, biting into the lycan's brachial artery and sucking with all it's force, causing James to lose huge ammounts of blood.

The noble werewolf tried to slash again, with his other hand, but did little damage, and he soon realized that the loss of blood was doing serious damage to him, and that his strength was ebbing. He decided that it would be neccecary to end the fight at that very moment.

CRACK!

James spat a shard of bone from his bloody mouth, and released himself from the grip of the now dead vampire, it's neck snapped to the point of being completely crushed by a massive bite from the lycan's powerful jaws. James said what few words of prayer he could recal over the body that was once a human long ago, and lifted his wounded wrist into the light of the waxing moon, allowing it to heal.

The process only took mere seconds, but he was loth to spend the time, knowing that every second he stood still, the bloodsucker who caused the death of the very man he had just killed was getting away. As soon as he felt some of his strength returning, he rushed immediately in the direction of the vampire.

And still, he easily picked up his scent effortlessly.

You see, child? When the Count's messenger asked me to tell a cautionary tale about cleanliness, I agreed wholeheartedly. At the time, I felt that it was a wonderful idea. Remember, always remember, the scent of blood carries far, especially to the sensetive nose of a Lycan. That could save your life some day, child.

Hm?

Ha!

Extinct? What a joke, child. There might not be many lycans around near here, but they still exist. One would be a fool to assume that they do not. But let me continue, child. There is much more yet to tell.

James dashed foreward, in an attempt to catch the vampyre before he could reach other potential allies. He still hadn't recovered fully from the draining he had received, but felt the need to move quickly to avenge the death of the human.

James's galloping run propelled him forewards at hundreds of miles per hour, but eventually morphed into nothing but repeated leaps from one building to another. He felt he was gaining on the vampire he chased, but wasn't quite sure. Suddenly, as he landed on the roof of a nearby apartment building, his 350 pound wheight coming down at speed proved too great for the aged and low-quality ceiling of thin concrete and rotting wood and he fell to his hips into the roof and began to climb out. And then he smelled it.

Unlike the last time, he didn't have the opportunity to spin around, and was rather forced to attempt to break downward into the building's ceiling, which he now knew to be purposefully sabotauged. He also realized the inherent illogic in earlier assuming that the vampire he tracked didn't know that he was following, as someone had sicced the vampire slave on him.

James wasn't able to ecscape the trap he was struggling with on time and felt the long fangs of his former quarry sink into his neck.

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