This is Part 10 of a 12 part vampire serial, “Addicted to the Abyss” by Cassie Carnage.
You can read Part 11 here: http://www.bloodywhisper.com/addicted-abyss-vampire-serial-part-11-tunnels-death/
Mallory was kidnapped by Jonah’s monstrous sire, Mullo. Jonah has been recaptured by the evil scientists and they are once again using him in terrible experiments. Will he break out in time to save Mal? Will he even be able to save himself?
Part 10: Escape
I could hear their hearts beating. If I focused, I could count 19 men, plus one that stood out- calm. Low. Steady. Purposeful.
My mouth watered, my body sang. I felt so ALIVE! I could smell their cold sweat, could almost touch their fear, so thick in the air it was. I loved that these men were so terrified of me. It was…satisfying.
There were a few whispering to each other, down the hallway, the lookouts. Chirping coms in their ears. The whole place on lockdown. The power was cut off. The hum of air conditioning and computers and florescent lights stopped, cut off abruptly, making the sounds of their breathing loud in my ears– like I was standing right next to them, instead of in another room entirely.
They cut off the power. Not sure why. Maybe they thought I couldn’t see in the dark?
The darkness didn’t bother me. Never did. Even before IT happened, I was comfortable in the dark. Except now, I could see. Everything was tinted red, like those night sight cam videos but in red, not green.
“All right men, you know the drill. Contain it. Any method necessary. No force is too much. Just don’t sever the head or the heart. Do that and the specimen is of no use to our employers, and they cut our pay. Got it?”
There was a chorus of “roger that” from the others. The one with the calm beating heart, he was the one talking, giving the orders.
I narrowed my eyes.
I knew that voice. It belonged to the man that cut off my arm. My teeth and jaw began to ache. My hands flexed. I wanted blood. His blood. And I wanted his pain, his screams, his tears, his flesh. I wanted to tear him apart and devour him, all of him–muscle, sinew, eyes, tongue, privates…even his soul.
I could almost taste it, like cotton candy. Sweet and melts in your mouth. I knew where it was, that blue white ball of light, his very spirit, deep in his chest, and it was going to be mine. All of it. He will pay for what he did, for what he took from me. And once I was done with him, I was going to tear holy hell through this place until I got free and could track down Mallory.
Is he dead?
Don’t know. Not sure.
How long have I been here?
Where was “here” anyway?
Would I even be able to leave?
I shook off the worry, calmed my breath and slowly stalked around the outer wall of the locker room, out of sight of the group that was in there with me. It was a strange limping gate, since the toes on one foot were now longer than the other. I’d either have to get used to it, or rip that leg off and let it regrow so that it matched the other. Since I didn’t have time to regenerate a leg, I was just going to have to deal with it.
“Are you sure it’s in there? I’m not spotting movement on thermal image,” one of them said. His name tag read: Trejo. He wasn’t the one that helped to cut off my arm. More like third or fourth in command. Beta/gamma type. Not alpha at all.
“Oh, it’s in here all right. I can smell it. Like death. All vamps smell that way. You’ll learn it, after a time.”
“Maybe that’s the guard corpses you’re smelling.”
“Enough chatter. Focus,” the calm one said.
I was going to really enjoy ripping his throat out.
They all wore that black S.W.A.T. type fighting gear; knee and elbow pads, finger-less gloves, bulletproof vest, no helmet– couldn’t wear those and night sight goggles at the same time. Their loss, my gain. Could easily get a lot of blood just by ripping off their jaws.
Saliva pooled in my mouth. I swallowed and licked my lips before the drool slithered down my chin. Didn’t need that dripping on the floor, giving me away.
The only thing not standard were the protective collars around their necks. The material was stiff, creaked a bit when they turned their heads. A little thick…maybe steel lined. Like steel-toed boots, but on the neck to protect the jugular instead of the toes. I’d have to rip those off to bite their necks. Same with the helmets. Not too hard though. Not while I was strong and high off of eating that entire girl.
Made me wonder, with giddy fascination, just how much I could eat at one time?
Guess I was about to find out.
I peeked around a corner of a row of lockers, gun muzzles flashed, bullets sank into the tiles and shattered them, dented the locker doors. They ran after me. I bolted, hid, closed my eyes.
They saw me. Easily. Probably heard my boot steps too. I slipped them off, set them in the center of the aisle-way for someone to trip over.
“You see its eyes? Fuckers glowed red. Jesus H. Christ, that thing is from hell!”
“Cool it Jackson. Keep your wits.”
I grinned. It was too easy. I could play cat and mouse with them. Just walk with my eyes closed, use my sense of smell and hearing to sneak around them and hit fast, run off, go at them from another direction. Simple guerrilla tactics.
I stepped lightly. Eyes closed. Breath soft. Listening, feeling my way around with one hand and my bare feet. Toe nails on my right foot clicking softly on the tiled floor. Cooling, sticky blood from the first guards I killed pooled on the floor.
It would fuel me well if I needed more.
They were clustered together. Six here, nine over there–they were spreading out into groups as well, one of four, one of five. The pack leader, he was with the two right in front of me. I was going to save him for desert.
The locker room was huge.
I didn’t realize it at first, but there were showers in the middle, and sets of lockers on both sides of the shower area. Smelled like I was in the men’s room. Women’s on the other side. Showers were probably separated by a door or something.
Needed to move quick, silent. Puncture a lung, the brain or rip off a jaw before the target could react. I was incredibly strong now, and fast. I ate a whole person. Several now that I stopped to think about it.
The one nearest me had knives, I could smell their metallic twang on the air. One strapped to his thigh, one on his belt. Sharp, deadly. I silently stepped up behind him and held my breath. I could almost taste the sweat on his skin. I reached out, under his raised arms, and slipped the hunting knife out of its sheath. He shifted his weight. Sounded like he had the gun pointed at the floor. Kevlar body armor, something on his neck, a shielded collar of some sort. Night sight goggles, but his mouth, nose and the base of his skull weren’t covered. If I was lucky, they’d all be like that.
I waited for him to inhale and grabbed his face and shoved the knife up through the back of his skull. It slipped the between neck vertebrae and I angled it up and pierced his brain. He went limp–my hand muffled a soft whimper. I dragged him away, took his gun before it could clatter to the floor. I set his body into a locker, licked the blood off the knife. The brain fluid tasted sweet. Make me want to rip open his skull and eat it.
There’d be time for that later. Can’t be distracted by food again. That’s dangerous.
“The hell? Where’d Carmine go?”
“Keep your eyes sharp,” the leader said, still eerily calm. “Bravo, this is Alpha Team. Double up in the hall and send drones into the vents. We have a clever one here. Hunter class. Be advised.”
“Roger WILCO,” someone on the walkie talkie replied.
Drones? Like ants?
“Ants? There’s ants here?” Another voice asked in my head. I waved it off, like a buzzing horsefly.
No ants. Just people. Soon to be dead people.
The one in charge, he was keeping the others out of the locker room. He wanted to claim the kill for himself I bet.
I slipped around his group. Hid onto top of the central row of lockers, peered down through slit eyes. They didn’t notice the red glow yet, but I couldn’t take too many chances with it. Too risky. Needed to be sneaky to get out of this alive. Had to survive. Had to get to Mallory. He needed me. I could feel it, him calling to me, a pull deep down in my bones, my blood and marrow. He was in pain, scared, crying, screaming my name. Poor bastard.
One nearest me had grenades on a belt slung across his shoulder. I could smell the phosphorous, magnesium, that other crap they put in those flash bang grenade things. Those would work.
I waited for him to step slowly past me, reached down, hanging half off the lockers, unclipped two, then curled up and out of sight back onto the roof of the lockers.
As quiet as I could I crawled towards the other end of the central lockers. Some of the others had different weapons, assorted types of guns, big rifles, those things that spit out bullets like hellfire, heavy night sticks, strange-shaped man-sized muzzles hanging from belts. Guess they wanted to slap one of them on me.
Not today fuckers. No way in hell you’re doing that. I got places to be, things to kill, someone to save. After that, I really didn’t care what happened. I just needed to get to Mal.
“Sergeant, is Jenkins with you?”
“Check the lockers.”
“He’s probably dead.”
“Fucking vamps. You heard him, fan out and search.”
They split up more, staggered around the room. 19 scattered, soon-to-be-corpses with blood pumping strongly in their veins. I worked my way around the room, crawling on the locker roofs, leaping across to other sections of them when there was a gap in surveillance.
I could use one flash bang right away, save the other for later. Just in case. Might need it too, since more of them were running this way. Their booted steps echoed loudly in the hallway as they came.
Strange whirring noises bounced along the air conditioning vents. Drones. I pictured giant dragonflies with video camera lenses for eyes. Probably wasn’t what they were. That’s just what the sound made me think of.
Didn’t want to use the vents. Didn’t know where they led to. Didn’t want to get stuck and die in one. Like that rat did that one time in the apartment. Stuck in the dryer vent. Heard it scrambling, jumping, trying to get up out of it to reach the outside. Died in there, struggling to its last breath. A victim of its own poor decision.
I snagged what I could off of them when a snuck past; ammo clips, regular grenades, heavy metal flashlights, some stun guns, an electric cattle prod, knives. So many hunting knives. I left most of the stuff on top of the lockers, kept the cattle prod, shoved it through a loop in my pants.
I loved knives. So pointy. So sharp. So easy to use to cut into things. I liked cutting things, especially human flesh. It made such a satisfying sound, like the snap of biting down on a real casing hot dog, not one of them sissy dogs. The real kind, with the skin made out of intestine.
Man. I could really go for a hot dog…a hot dog made out of people would taste sooooo good.
“Jonah! Please! Oh God no. No. Nooooo! Stop it! Stop! Just kill me already! Fucking kill me!”
I looked around, head jerked this way and that as Mallory’s screams died down to pained whimpers. The sound surrounded me in stereo, like he was in the room with me, his voice echoing off the light blue tiled walls.
But I knew that wasn’t possible. HE wasn’t here. I couldn’t SMELL HIM. That was in my head. I was HEARING his cries for help. Just like I could hear the Mullo’s broodlings when they thought and spoke to each other in their minds.
SHE was hurting him. Keeping him alive, just torturing him enough to get him to cry, but not enough to make him pass out. SHE was baiting me. SHE knew I would come to him, SHE wanted me to come. And I would. In time. But first, I had to get out of here.
I really wanted to see what Mullo was doing, but I was afraid of what I would see that if I looked for it, if I followed his voice back to his body.
All this psychic bullshit was insane. If you asked me before IT happened if I believed in it. I would’ve flipped you a middle finger and told you to sit on it.
And yet. Here I was. Sensing his pain. We were linked now. Wasn’t sure if it was possible to even sever that connection. I did it to him, and I wasn’t even aware of it when I did. I wasn’t even in control of that. The dark part of me, it knew. It knew what to do. It acted on instinct, made it so that we’d always find each other, because all I wanted was to be with Mallory.
Totally fucked up. But…comforting at the same time. I guess all that time he spent feeding me his blood caused it to happen. Didn’t happen before. Could see his face before, memory flashes…at least I thought that they were memory flashes. Maybe they weren’t. Maybe I was actually SEEING him. Right then and there, wherever he was.
“Jonah, please! Make it stop. Just make it all stop. I can’t take this. I can’t. No more. No more. It hurts so much.”
“Soon Mal. Soon. I’m on my way to you. I’ll be there. I can find you. I can feel where you are.”
“How do birds sense which way is north?”
“Instinct? Magnetic pole sensory organs? Genetically inherited memory?”
“Pick one. Go with that.”
“How soon is soon? When will you be here? She’s letting them play with me. It doesn’t feel nice. Not like when you do it. It scares me. Their teeth burn, the wounds sting, the pain doesn’t cease, it gets stronger. Like they’re poisoning me.”
“Just hang on. Don’t give up. Keep living. Keep breathing. Keep feeling. The pain means that you’re alive. Don’t be afraid of it.”
“It’s too much.”
“I’m sorry. It’ll all be over soon.”
“Where are you?”
“Same place as before. Your work place. Ran out of a lab. Hiding in the locker room. Not sure what floor, but it’s rather large.”
“Oh. That’s really far down then. How bad it is? They sick the hounds on you? Is it bad-bad? Or only slightly bad?”
He sounded so weak, so out of it. Not high, just tired, weary, exhausted, in pain.
“Yeah. It’s busy. Crawling with them now. You can keep talking, but I gotta do something, so I’ll hear you, but I might not answer. Just keep talking so I know you’re alive.”
There was an ache in my chest, crawling up to my throat. My eyes watered. What was this sensation? Why was it getting hard to breathe?
This was sadness. An empty, aching sadness overwhelmed me.
Why was I sad? Why was I crying?
Haven’t cried in…hell. I didn’t even know how long it’s been since IT happened. A year? Maybe more? Could be three months for all I knew. Was hard to keep track of times. Dates weren’t important anymore. All that mattered was food, shelter, and Mallory. Those three things. That was it.
Without Mal, without him…what would I even do? What would become of me? The thought of losing him, it hurt. So much. Made me cry. I covered my mouth so they couldn’t hear my ragged breathing. Held my breath. Made myself stop. Wiped off the tears, took a jagged breath, forced my chest to relax. Willed the emotion to die off, leaving behind that cold void that was always there now.
Since IT happened, I had forgotten so many things. About my life, about my own humanity, about sadness and love and happiness. How much it hurt to FEEL sorrow.
Made me wonder if the joy I felt at killing people was actually happiness, or something else?
Don’t know. Not sure. Doesn’t matter.
No time for that. No time for feelings. Time to kill. Time to hunt. Time to rip that squad apart and hang their guts like garland around the room.
“Keep looking. It couldn’t have gone too far. This room isn’t that big. Someone get on top of the main locker island, take a look at the ceiling. Get eyes up there. Now.”
Time to move.
I slipped over a side of the row of lockers, hugged it and slowly opened a locker and slid into one. It was a tight fit with the winter coat and boots, but it worked. I waited until a group of them walked past, then slammed the locker door open, startling them. Guns went off, I tossed the flash bang grenade towards the largest clump of them, and ran towards them.
The men cried out, the light so bright it burned their retinas.
Didn’t bother me at all.
I grabbed the rifles of the first two, shoved their hot muzzles so that they were pointed at each other. They panicked and continued shooting off rounds. Bullets sawed through flesh and bone in their arms and legs, one got a bullet to the face, ripped right through his cheek to show the teeth inside.
I ripped off one of their heads, tossed it towards a teammate of theirs who caught it on reflex, then screamed, dropped it and went running.
Men were shouting at each other. Several were yelling orders. Didn’t know their code words. Didn’t have to. All I had to do was outlive them here. That’s it.
Compared to when the last time we fought, this was easy. Ran past several and used my razor sharp finger talons to cut hamstrings on the backs of legs, sliced through faces, dug into wrists and wrenched off hands, sometimes the whole arm twisted off at the elbow. They made the most delightful screams then. I shuddered in delight. I felt so ALIVE. So very much alive. Their blood pumped through me, made my body sing. I was on fire, the strength of human blood fueling my muscles, letting me tear through the soldiers like they were Barbie Dolls. Heads and arms and legs popping off, falling to the floor in wet thuds.
Neck braces and chest armor be damned. There were other ways to stop prey. Other ways to make it bleed out onto the floor into one massive slippery, hot, wet puddle that smelled sooooo yummy.
Had to fight the urge to drop to my knees and lap it up off the floor. I was covered in their blood, it dripped down from my hair, my face, soaked through my clothes. I lapped it casually off my hands as I stepped around their corpses. Fuck did this turn me on. I almost felt…human.
I was so hard. So excited. Fresh red hot blood was pumping through my veins, mixing with the black tar in there, giving my body life. I felt like I could do anything. Anything I wanted. I could even have sex right now if I wanted to. I grinned. Wouldn’t that be great?
A vision popped into my head of me grabbing a still warm corpse and ripping off its head and shoving my hard cock into the opened throat and fucking until I came. I shivered. It was tempting, but, no time. Maybe later.
There were more in the hallway, getting ready to burst into the room. Others had ran to the showers and were pressed against the walls, watching the opening for me.
There were two up on the locker island, where I was when I stole a lot of their side weapons. They had kicked a lot of them off when they got up there. I could hear them breathing. Afraid to look over the edge, afraid to move, afraid of being ripped to shreds.
I climbed up top, quiet, like death, and pounced on the first one, knocking the now firing gun out of the way. It fell to the floor as I ripped off his goggles and shoved my long clawed fingers into his eye sockets. He screamed high pitched wails, wet himself, and passed out from the pain. The other one jumped off the side, firing at me as he backed towards the showers.
“It’s up there!” he shouted.
Several of the men that were in the showers stepped into the open doorway and started shooting at me. I ran, dove, hid under a bench. A bullet zipped past, grazing my left leg. It stung. I could smell the foul tar blood of the wound. Disgusting.
I grabbed a severed arm off the floor, squeezed it like a tube of toothpaste to force the remaining blood out of the muscle and into my open mouth. Empty, I tossed it into the showers, and a few men made sounds of alarm. I licked off my lips, let the blood stay on my chin, sticky, smelling of life and coppery metal.
I loved playing with my food. The more scared they were, the tastier they became.
I could hear whispering, hushed movements. They were planning something over there, in the showers. Showers…water…cattle prod is electric. That gave me an idea. Water and electricity get along very well.
There was an emergency fire alarm switch on the wall, still lit up. The backup power kept it on. Good. It was one of those that set off the sprinklers when you pulled it down. The fancy ones.
I ran over to the switch, pulled it. The alarm went off, ringing over the other screaming alarm that alerted them to a break out of one of their test subjects. The sprinkler system opened up and stale, stagnant smelling water poured out of them from the ceiling.
This caused confusion.
The men spread out, tried to figure out what I was doing. I ran up to the first one that came into the locker room and shoved the cattle prod into his back. The sparks lit up fantastically and he dropped and made funny gurgling sounds. I could smell burnt flesh. I stepped over his jerking body and threw a knife at another’s knee as he stepped around the corner. He grunted and dropped and managed to shoot a few rounds at me as I ran towards him. He hit me in the chest, but missed my heart. His mistake. I grabbed him by the neck, held him up, ripped through the bulletproof vest fasteners and then slammed my sharp clawed fingers into his chest, between the collarbone and the chest, and pushed down, ripping through his lung and gripping his still beating heart. He screamed and bucked and I tored it out, pulling the hot, pulsing mass of muscle out through the hole I made. I chomped down on it like a jelly donut, blood spurting everywhere. It was chewy but my new teeth were stronger and sharper than the old ones, and they made short work of it. I swallowed, sighed.
Piss and shit ran down the man’s legs. He was dead. His bowels let go. That always happened. Death was never pretty or neat or clean. It was messy and smelled foul.
I heard several of them running up behind me and turned around, shoving the heavy corpse at them. One side-stepped, two others fell on their asses from the momentum of the weight. I leaped on the one that side stepped, feet digging into his thighs, hands raking down his arms, mouth on his cheek, biting, pulling, ripping off the skin. He shrieked, rammed me into the lockers, trying to get me off by hitting my back against them. I grabbed his head, and slammed it forward, through a metal locker door. He passed out. Blood flowing from his face. I slurped some of it up. Delicious.
The other two wriggled out from under the corpse of their teammate and rushed me. One had a silver stake and hammer in his hands, the other had a muzzle and collar ready to slap on me. I ducked under the one trying to stake me, kicked his legs out from under him. He fell face first and hit his head on the bench and was knocked out cold. The other leaped on me, screaming, trying to shove the muzzle on my mouth. I grabbed his wrists, dug in my razor-sharp claws, pulled back, ripping through his tendons, blood poured out of the wounds. He screamed. The muzzle he was holding fell from his now useless hands.
Cut the tendons, hand won’t work.
I laughed as he ran off, holding his limp hands out in front of him as his life’s blood flooded out of him. He would pass out from blood loss soon, and die not long after.
All that was left was their leader.
“Clever son of a bitch, aren’t you?” the captain said. His voice echoed from the showers.
“You know, it’s impolite to cut off a man’s arm like that.”
“Is that so?”
“Yup. Don’t worry. I’m about to return the favor.”
He chuckled. “You can try.”
He wasn’t like the others. He was still calm. In fact, he seemed at ease with all of this.
“Tell me something…Jonah is it?”
“What?” I asked, as I slinked towards the shower room entrance.
“What is it that has you fighting so hard?”
“Not sure what you mean.”
“You fight like a man that has something waiting for him. Something important.”
I laughed. He was trying to get in my head. Trying to figure me out.
“What is so funny?” he asked.
“You. You don’t care about me. You’re stalling.”
“Very perceptive. You are dangerous. It’s been a while since I’ve hunted such clever game.”
“Hey fucker,” I said, popping into the shower room, scanning for him. He was up in the ceiling, braced his arms and legs up against the sides of the walls and the pipes and things. “I can see you.”
“I know,” he said and lifted a hand held detonator and pressed the button.
I tried to jump out of the way, but was too slow. The entire shower entrance exploded, ceramic tile shrapnel cut into me. I was thrown against a wall. The tiles shattered on impact. So did my ribs. I grimaced. My head pounded. I was dizzy. Could smell my awful tar blood. It was getting in my eyes, my mouth, my lungs.
I struggled to stand. He hopped down from the ceiling and strode casually over to me.
“You know why I lead these men? Because I’ve lived the longest. I’ve seen the most action, I’ve survived countless battles with your kind. I know all your weaknesses. All your strengths. And yet, you keep surprising me. It has been an interesting battle, to say the least. But enough of this. If I don’t reign you in now, my boss will be all over my ass for the damage here.”
I grabbed onto a shower handle and pulled myself up. Pieces of shattered tile were being pushed out of my skin and fell to the floor. It wasn’t a conscious thing. My body was doing it on its own.
“Fuck you,” I said, and spat out black blood. It tasted terrible. Made me want to throw up.
He threw a silver knife at me, hit me square in the throat. The metal burned, smoke rose up from where my skin touched it. Voices, so many voices in my head, screaming, begging me to take it out. I struggled to grab onto it, the room spun. I fell on my side, everything was tilted the wrong way. I felt like I was floating in a stormy sea and being tossed this way and that. My vision, fading.
I could smell Mallory. I could feel his hand on my face. I reached out to him but I couldn’t touch him. My hand passed right through him.
“Get up,” he said in my head. “Don’t let him kill you.”
“Get up! He’s going to kill you!”
I blinked, shook my head, grabbed the knife, yanked it out, tossed it aside. The handle burned the palm of my hand. I hissed and crawled back away from him. He was taking his time, watching me with calculating eyes. The eyes of a predator. Like mine. Except his were still human.
He didn’t seem upset about all his men dying. He didn’t seem upset about fighting me at all. He was very calm. Very collected. Like he was trained for it. Like he was made for this sort of thing. Hell, maybe he was.
I coughed, spit up more tar blood, got to my feet. The hole in my throat wasn’t closing very fast. My flesh was still burning. I could smell the smoke as it wafted up from the wound edges.
Whatever that knife was, it was dangerous.
He bent over and picked it up, wiped off my blood on his pant leg. “I can tell you haven’t come across something like this yet, have you?”
I glared at him, kept moving away, towards the other locker room. The door to the women’s shower was marked “Cleaning Personnel Only.”
“Want to know what this is?”
“No,” I croaked, coughed and spit out more blood. Some of it spurted out of the hole in my throat and plopped onto my chest.
Surprise flashed on his face. “You can talk already? That should’ve permanently destroyed your vocal chords. This is a magic blade. Blessed by the Pope, carved by holy men in Tibet from a meteorite. Starmetal. You understand?”
“Nope. Don’t follow,” I said, and grabbed the door handle. It was locked, so I broke it and kicked the door open. It fell to the floor on the other side.
“Do you even know what you are?” he asked and I paused before going to the other side of the showers.
I looked at him more carefully. His name tag it read: McTaggart. Close crew cut, graying blond hair, scar from a knife fight over his left eye. Built like a heavy body builder, but with flexibility, so…more like a football player then? Yeah. That was it. Football player muscles. Strong, fast, durable, and smart.
He was as much of a predator as I was.
The fire alarm stopped. The sprinkler water slowed to a trickle and ceased spraying. Someone must’ve turned it off.
He chuckled. He was enjoying this.
“You won’t get out that way. I have this entire block locked down tight.”
I ignored him and ran into the women’s showers, kicking off the shower heads, water spraying everywhere. It cooled off the burns on my hand and neck instantly. I sighed. My neck closed up, healed over. The burn on my hand disappeared. Much better.
I ran into the women’s locker room, started ransacking it, looking through lockers.
“Hair spray. Lighter. Get it,” Mallory said.
I grabbed them from a bag in one locker. “Now what?”
“Spray it, light it up, flames will spit out at him.”
I smiled. “Nice.”
I tested the lighter. It lit easy enough.
McTaggart walked in, gun out, the dangerous holy knife in a sheath on his leg. I could use that. I could kill a lot of the broodlings easy with it. Maybe even kill Mullo with it…
I needed that.
Had to act fast.
I held up the hair spray bottle, pressed down on the nozzle and lit the lighter, flames shot out as I rushed right towards him. He hissed in a breath and ducked behind a row of lockers. I ran around the other side, rushed him, using the fire again. It was blinding him, it was too dark in here, his night sight goggles were making it spotlight bright to him.
I pushed him down on his back, grabbed the knife from his leg as he shoved the gun muzzle into my chest and fired. I was thrown back by the force, bullets tore through my ribs, through my spine, bounced off the metal locker doors before sinking into the tiled floor and walls.
I twitched and slid down the wall to lay on the floor. The knife burned my hand, but I didn’t let go. I couldn’t feel my legs. But I didn’t care. I needed that knife. Needed it far more than he ever would.
McTaggart walked over, stepped on my hand and picked up the knife, regarding it.
“I cut off your arm with this. Maybe I should cut off all your limbs this time. What do you say?”
“Sure. How about you start with my left leg? It’s annoying the hell out of me.”
He smirked and grabbed me by the face, his gloved hand shoved into my mouth, it was made out of metal mesh, like those shark handling gloves. I bit down anyways. Metal groaning under the pressure of my jaws as I clamped down on his hand. I could smell the blood where it started to well up. I was pressing down, scraping his skin open.
He cursed at me, shoved me into the wall of lockers, slammed the knife into my eye socket and twisted. I screamed. It burned, it burned! I couldn’t see out of that eye. I could feel the blade digging around in my skull.
Words, sounds, scents, tastes, firing off and fading away.
No. No. No, he can’t take my memories! He can’t! I’ve lost so many already!
I shoved him off, leapt on him, snarling, and something in me snapped. The dark part of me, it took over then. I lost all control. Just went berserk.
So thirsty. So hungry. Had to eat.
Prey. Prey. There. Eat. Eat. Eat!
I howled wordless rage, pushed my body to its limits, used the blood to heal my spine so my legs would work and just launched myself on him, knocking his strong body down, ripping and tearing, screaming, shredding, lumps of his skin plopping on the floor around us. He was screaming in terror, trying to fight me off. With a strength I didn’t know I had, I tore off his neck guard with one hand and bit down on his neck, hard, crushing his trachea. The screams stopped, he bucked and stabbed my back over and over and over. It hurt and burned like hell, but I didn’t let go. I shook my head, worried my teeth over his throat, tearing it to ribbons of flesh and cartilage. Drinking my fill, I ripped out his entire neck with my teeth. His head lobbed off, fell to the side, his eyes rolled up, mouth contorted in a silent scream.
He was dead.
I was hungry.
I pulled the knife out of my back, put it in its sheath, unclipped it from his leg and put it on my own. I had to tighten it. My thigh muscles weren’t that bulgy. Then I removed all his clothes, what was left of them anyway, and skinned his body, relishing the feeling of hot wet muscle underneath, and I dug in, ripped off tissue and sinew, ate of his flesh until I couldn’t eat any more.
I had to heal my body. So many gunshot wounds, all the burning stab wounds in my back. I healed it all. I ate his liver, his kidneys, his heart, his privates, all of it.
Then, I saw it. His soul. That blue ball of light. It was fading, starting to rise up away from his body. I grabbed it, wrapped my bloody hands around it. I saw his memories, his feelings, saw things no one should see. His personal thoughts. Him killing a puppy when he was 4 years old and laughing about it. Throwing kittens off a highway passover. Shoving a friend in front of a train as it ran by. Blood and guts and the brains spattered everywhere, he squatted down and played with them, poked them with a stick. Him being taken away by authorities, him not going where he thought he would, and going to a training facility with a bunch of other children just like him. Cold. Heartless. Psychopathic. They were trained to kill monsters.
That knowledge, it could be useful.
My jaw extended, farther than it should go, tendons ripping, and I shoved the blue ball of his soul into my mouth and swallowed. It burned going down, and I felt the energy spread out before it settled in my chest and was absorbed by the black oily nothingness, that pit where my soul used to be, my abyss.
The black hole inside of me, it devoured his soul.
And then I knew.
I knew the name of this building, the organization that ran it. I knew about the people that trained him and others to hunt vampires. Not just vampires, but werewolves and ghouls and all sorts of things that weren’t supposed to exist, and yet, they did.
I was so full. I wanted to sleep, but I couldn’t. I was covered in viscera and gore.
I stood up, went back to the showers and cleaned off.
I searched his body, took keycards and money from his wallet, anything of any use. Then I slipped out the side door of the locker room, and willed the others not to see me.
They were panicking, unsure what to do, shouting at each other, tension high. I ran around the corner, through a set of double doors, and right smack into someone, knocking him on his ass. He cried out, backed away.
It was the man who tortured me, he was the one that ripped out my teeth.
I stood up. He could see me. Could see my glowing red eye. The other one was still healing. It was the last wound to heal. It was a raw socket with nerves on fire. Hurt like a bitch, but the pain was good. It meant that I was still alive. Still moving.
He was panicking too much, couldn’t think where to go. Just scooted back away from me on his ass, not even able to stand up.
“You look like you’re about to piss yourself. Feeling all right there doc?” I asked, my voice gravelly, vicious. Didn’t sound like me at all.
“Jesus Christ save me,” he muttered, crossing himself.
He was no threat to me. Not like this.
I could play with him a bit, before I killed him.
“Tell you what, you tell me something I need to know, and I’ll let you live. How about that?”
“What? What do you want to know? Tell me!”
“What is this place? What do you do here, really?”
“We…we study paranormal entities. Like you.”
“And what do you do with that knowledge?”
“Use it to better mankind.”
I laughed. “Right. Try again.”
“I don’t know who buys the data. I just work here.”
“Sure you do. One more question, where are we?”
“I…I don’t know exactly. They knock us out before taking us here.”
“You really are a dumbass, aren’t you?”
I sighed, stepped up to him and hit him on the side of the head, hard. His neck snapped, his head twisted around backwards on his shoulders.
I grabbed his lab coat and I.D. badge and used it to open the doors at the end of the hallway. Beyond that, there were a few guard checkpoints, but they were easy enough to get around.
Soon, I could smell fresh air.
I followed it to the exit; a large vehicle-sized elevator platform.
If I used it, they would notice. I looked around. There was an emergency ladder in the elevator shaft. That would work.
I climbed up it swiftly, taking three to four rungs at a time, until I got to the top, then I used the side door that led to the emergency ladder and slipped out into a parking garage.
“What the hell?”
There were lots of guards roaming around there. I had to hide and run between the cars, avoiding them. The lights were on up here. A back up generator was running, chugging away.
They were talking about waiting for reinforcements, and some were anxious to get down there to fight. They made it sound like a whole pack of vampires was running amok and slaughtering people, when it was only just me.
I shook my head and kept running until I made it to the front gate. I climbed over the chain link electric fence, which was thankfully not on, and ran off into the pine tree forest. It was cold, the night air brisk. Stars twinkled overhead. Snow everywhere.
Good. I hadn’t been down there long.
“Mallory. I’m out. I’m coming for you.”
“Just let me die.”
“Hold on, I’m on my way. I’ll be there soon.”
I ran as fast as I could, over snowbanks, heading towards where he was. I wasn’t sure exactly how I knew it, but I could FEEL his presence, long before I could smell him on the wind.
Took me almost the whole night to get there, but I made it before the sun started to rise.
An old abandoned military base, complete with missile silo. SHE was down in there. This was HER nest. It was crawling with broodlings. More than I could count, more than I cared to think about.
They were waiting for me, right at the entrances to the tunnels they dug, just like when they took Mallory.
I broke into one of the buildings near the silo entrance, went into the basement, and waited. As soon as night fell, I was going to find HER and kill HER. Then I was going to take Mallory away from here, and get him to safety.
That was the plan, at least.