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Nightfall Series: Nightfall / Bloodlust

Prologue

The sun began to set as Matthew made his way into a small alley, finding a spot to lay down for the evening and gathering a few sheets by which to try and keep the freezing cold at bay - shivering a little as his stomach grumbled in protest to yet another day without proper food.

Matthew had been without shelter for over a month now and although many shelters were available he was too afraid to spend his nights there, although the streets were dangerous he found them to be a safehaven from the dangers of his fellow human beings - having always suffered from paranoia and prefering his own company.

Closing his eyes Matthew slowly began to drift into sleep, unaware that he was being observed from afar.

A pair of yellow eyes stared intently at Matthew from the shadows before a figure stepped out, resembling a tall man dressed in black - his hair worn in a mohawk and piercing covering his ears and nose.

The figure approached Matthew with predatory intent before stopping as a second figure materialized from the ground in front of himself - literally rising from the shadows like a ghost.

The second figure was a woman dressed in a similar manner to the tall man, her hair long and unkempt - her yellow eyes glaring at the tall man as she frowned.

"Leave, now" she warned.

"How long will you play this game, Dawn?" the tall figure asked.

"As long as you fools continue to ignore me.." the woman replied.

"Oh, we don't ignore you Dawn.. the Elders speak of you.. they are most unhappy.." the tall figure said.

"The Elders have no power over me anymore" the woman growled.

"And you call us fools.." the tall figure snorted, turning away "..keep protecting the humans and you will see just how much power the Elders truly have over you, Dawn.. you are one of the Children of The Night.. sooner or later.. you will feed.. and when you do.. we shall see how forgiving humanity will be to their silent protector..".

The woman growled as she watched the tall figure disappear back into the shadows, turning around to look at the still sleeping Matthew she sighed a little - hearing his heartbeat even from a distance, her eyes suddenly glowing as she saw the blood flowing through his artery and veins..

She quickly shook her head and closed her eyes, "..we shall see.." - with that she vanished in a cloud of mist.

Chapter 1 - Children of the Night

The scene shifted to a hall within New Town Campus - a higher-learning faculty set up after War-Cry to help provide education for people of all ages and backgrounds, an ambitious and at the time controversial scheme that was labelled at the time an attempt to create a "super-school".

The success rate however soon showed critics that the idea was far from a disaster and New Town Campus grew to become one of the most successful institutions in the country - it was also famous for being one of the most accepting faculties towards superhuman and alien students as well as those from other realities or time-lines.

Today's topic was folklore from across the multiverse and the crowded hall was filled with all manner of students ranging from those who had just left high school to older students who had been at the Campus for several years, the lecturer standing atop a floating platform as he spoke to the class with the aid of virtual technology which manifested as small holographic images on each desk.

"Throughout the multiverse, in every world and universe, there are stories of the living dead.. of creatures that remain in limbo between this world and the next.. to some they are known as ghouls.. to others revenants.. others call them vampires.." the professor states.

A somewhat audible yawn was issued forth by Lilith Haniel; the newest Vagabond Alliance recruit and half-succubus who hailed from the realm known as Empyrea, who was sitting in the middle of the room. At her early days on the campus, her succubus aroma had drawn a number of unruly superhuman males who tried heckling her; after a few fist-fights or violent reprisals, almost no one would trouble her again. One unfortunate person made the mistake of grabbing her sensitive tail; he spent the next several hours unconscious.

Lilith began drumming her fingers on the desk; a habit she had picked up. The warmth of the room, her missions for the Alliance, and the dullness of the lecture for her had begun to make her quite sleepy.

At the other end of the room was Michael. Michael was adept at not being noticed; those who knew him said that he slunk around like a shadow.

Michael pushed his glasses back up his nose and focused on the lecturer, absorbing each word with sustained interest.

"..the vampire has been seen to take many forms, depending on the culture or time-period.. ranging from seductive humans to vicious beasts.. common weaknesses include pure silver, the wooden stake and sunlight.. however such things were not always capable of killing a vampire permanently.. indeed the vampire was believed to be capable of supernatural feats beyond that of other undead such as gaining the form of a bat, a wolf or even mist.. some vampires, it was claimed, could even become a shadow.. unseen except when it wanted..".

The lecturer continued until his speech was interrupted by the ringing of a bell, signalling the end of the lesson, the usual chaos of overly eager students fleeing to the exit drowned out the lecturer's hurried attempt at finishing the speech as well as his futile efforts to warn everyone of an upcoming test the following day.

As Lilith beganto walk out, she suddenly stopped, as if sensing something in the air. "Don't even think about it." she said through her teeth. With a disappointed sigh, a ghostly figure manifested near her- Kya, a wraith who hailed from the same world as Lilith. To say the two were friends was perhaps misleading; Lilith did not trust Kya in the slightest.

"How did you know I was there?" Kya whined.

"Because you're so predictable, you goddamn pervert."

Kya responded with a disgruntled moan. "So, what did you think of the vampire lecture?"

"Boring, dull, nothing like the vampires we have back at Empyrea..."

"Really?" Kya asked. "I found it to be quite... enjoyable."

"It's all folklore, though. Vampires don't exist on this world."

"Well, have you seen one?" Kya asked.

"No, but-"

"Then how can you prove that?" Kya challeneged.

Lilith was lost for words, and Kya was already putting her in a foul mood- something he seemed to have a special talent for.

Meanwhile, Michael was finishing packing his books and notes, before he hurried out the door, brushing past Lilith and Kya, and barely having time to mouth back an apology; Michael always hurried to his classes, as his schedule was packed.

The sun slowly began to set as the crowds began to disperse from the Campus - the days were always long in New Town Campus but the students by in large were used to the hectic lifestyle, those who didn't were often quick to leave.

As the sun set a strange man walked amongst the crowds, most of his features covered by a large coat and hat - even his hands were covered by gloves, his eyes also hidden behind sunglasses.

The man barged past a group of students, causing one of them to turn around angrily:

"watch it!".

Suddenly the figure swooped back and lifted the student up with one gloved hand, causing the others to back away - the victim struggling as his feet barely touched the ground - the grip choking him.

Just after Lilith finally lost Kya, she rounded a corner only to see a student being choked.

"Dammit." Lilith thought to herself. "I was hoping for a peaceful day..."

But before she could intervene, Michael appeared, heading through the crowds toward the scene. "Why hello- sorry to butt in and all, but might I ask if you could put that student down?" he asks with shocking politeness.

The figure tosses the student away, causing said student to cough and splutter as his friends help him up and scramble away - the figure turning to Michael and giving an audible growl, the figure then heads off as a chuckle is heard from a bench nearby.

Soon the source of the chuckle is revealed as a young man with short black hair and a small scar on his left eye - dressed in black jeans and a shirt: his yellow eyes lightening up a little as he claps slightly as if watching a show.

"Can I... help you?" Michael asks the applauding man.

The man simply sticks his tongue out and flashes a grin, showing sharp fangs "..you already have, hero.." - then vanishes in a cold mist.

Michael frowned. Ignoring all of the stares that he was suddenly recieving, he hoisted his satchel over his shoulder and set off for his next class.

"Curious..." Lilith thought to herself. "I could've sworn I saw fangs..."


"Your friend is brave but stupid" a voice states from behind, another man appearing next to Lilith - having long brown hair which covers most of his face, exposing one of his yellow eyes.

Lilith's body suddenly went rigid with shock. "HOLY SH- don't do that!" she exclaimed, turning around and glaring at the newcomer irritably.

The man simply stares at Lilith, unfazed by her reaction "..to go against Butch is one thing but now Zack has his sights on him, your friend is dead.. you do know that, don't you? pity, he was brave.. like I said.. but stupid..".

Ignoring the fact that Michael technically wasn't her friend, Lilith decided to question the stranger. "Why're you telling me this? Who are Zack and Butch?"

The man simply looks to Lilith "because you have a bit of vampirism in you.. though it is a different strain from the one found on this world.. that may just help you.. of course if you'd rather let him die that's your business.." - the man then turns and begins heading into the shadows again.

Lilith looks out nervously toward the mysterious man before tearing down the hallway and pursuing Michael, whom she grabs before he can head into his class and begins to drag him off, despite his protests.

"Pardon me- I'm sorry, but, I have a class to attend..."

"...shut up. Your life's in danger by a madman who might think he's a vampire."

"Really? That's unfortunate... why would anyone want to kill me?" Michael asked politely, seemingly unfazed.

His response struck Lilith as odd. "You know, I can't tell if you're sarcastic or just annoyingly polite."

"I'm sorry- I try my best."

Lilith half-guided, half-dragged Michael out of the school, muttering darkly to herself.

"If there's really a madman after him, the safest place I can hide him is Blade HQ..."

However as Lilith moves a shadow sweeps across the ground and attaches itself to her own, almost unnoticable save for a sudden chill that soon fades - the shadow following her every step.

As this occurs another figure watches from the distance, crouching down over the edge of a nearby rooftop - yellow eyes watching Lilith and Michael moving:

"You spoke to her?"

"Yes"

"Did she listen?"

"Perhaps.."

"Good, now let's go.. we don't have much time..".

Chapter 2 - Once Bitten

Lilith led Michael, still pulling him along, through a number of darkened streets and back alleyways; although dangerous, especially at night, Lilith knew no shorter route back to the Blade HQ.

"...you seemed awfully quick to trust me." Lilith suddenly pointed out.

"I see things." Michael said.

Lilith was about to respond when she was interrupted by a rather unruly, obviously drunken group of men from across the street, who began making catcalls.

"Fuck off!" Lilith roared back.

"That only instigates them." Michael responded.

"I never had to put up with this crap where I came from..." Lilith grumbled.

Suddenly and without warning a pair of hands reach out from the ground, grabbing Lilith by the ankles and tugging quickly before a familar figure rises up - being the same man who had been sitting on the bench in the Campus not too long ago, flashing another fanged smile.

"EEK!" Lilith cried out, kicking out instinctively at the figure who suddenly grabbed her. She was not fond of being snuck up on from behind, and now that it happened three times that day (including Kya's failed attempt), she was really beginning to be on edge. "Stop sneaking up on me, you perverts!"

The man simply grabs Lilith and tosses her across the street, incredibly strong even to a succubus "..please.. like I need that kind of fun anymore.." - he then leaps over and slashes at Michael with the intent of knocking him onto the ground: his features changing to a more monstrous state as he attempts to sink his fangs into Michael's neck.

Michael, tumbled across the ground, and barely had time to move as the man tried to bite him; Lilith however had caught herself and lunged toward the attacker with inhuman speed, intent on ramming him and throwing off his balance. "GET AWAY FROM HIM!"

The figure's eyes glance at Lilith and he quickly detacthes from Michael, attacking Liilth with sharp claws as he morphs into a large humanoid bat - as this occurs two figures leap down from nearby and join the fight, surprisingly they side with Lilith against the other creature and attack with claws and fangs: yet retain a humanlike appearance, one of the figures is recognizable as the man Lilith had talked to on Campus and the other was a young woman.

Lilith didn't question the new help; she leapt back, grabbed Michael, lifting him up to his feet, and dragging him to the side.

"Wait here," she said, before turning back to face her attacker.

The figures continue fighting as Lilith does this, the humanoid bat grabs the young woman and snaps her arm, causing it to bend in an unnatural way as she lets out a cry of pain - causing the other male to leap and deliver a vicious kick that sends the humanoid bat falling back, staggering as it lets out a cruel laugh.

Lilith reacts by placing her palms inches apart; summoning a burst of light that shoots toward the attacker like an arrow.

The humanoid bat lets out a horrific shriek, its jaws cracking open to reveal rows of razor sharp fangs - the light causing it to leap up and disappear in a cloud of mist.

As the creature disappears the young man moves over to the injured woman and holds her arm, twisting it back into place - a few moments later the woman simply moves her arm as if nothing had happened and gave him a silent nod.

Lilith moved over to Michael. "C'mon, let's go..."

As Lilith does this the other two figures begin to move away, heading back towards the shadows without a word.

Lilith looks back at the spot where the figures disappeared. She appears as if about to say something, but decides against it and resumes half-dragging Michael through the alleyways.

The alleys seem deserted but a strange mist seems to follow Lilith across the area, chilling the air around her and Michael as the feeling of numerous unseen eyes watching from the shadows overwhelms the senses.

"There's a presence here, following us." Michael said suddenly.

Lilith spun around. "I don't see anything," she said, peering into the darkness.

"You cannot feel it?"

"What are you talking about?"

Michael did not answer.

After moving around the alleys for a while the pair come across what appears to be a night club - not a very respectable one either by the looks of it, large neon signs depicting a dancing woman and bouncers the size of small gorillas keeping the crowds of teenage delinquents at bay: many of them dressed in a fusion of punk and Gothic outfits.

"Go in there." Michael suddenly said.

"What?! Hell no!" Lilith exclaimed in disgust. "Are you crazy? That place is crawling with creeps and perverts!"

"Better in there than out here," Michael said. "There's something out here... watching..."

Lilith opened her mouth to argue, then shut it, growled slightly, and began pulling Michael toward the club.

"You are starting to get real annoying..." she thought bitterly to herself.

As Lilith and Michael enter the club the bouncers stand aside, eyeing Michael strangely - as if knowing something, nodding to Lilith as the doors swing open to reveal a dark room filled with dancing patrons, strobe lighting and music - several people sit in corners, at first looking as if embracing but upon closer inspection it is apparent they are feasting on each other in typical vampiric fashion.

Upon taking a few steps further Lilith finds a young woman with long black hair and Gothic makeup standing in front of her, a smile revealing small fangs as she motions her towards a back room, dressed in a fusion of punk and Gothic much like the other patrons:

"We've been expecting you, come on - don't want to stir up a scene now do we?" she says with a hint of mischief in her voice.

"Follow," Michael said quietly.

Lilith bit back a particularly nasty retort and awkwardly entered the back room after the strange woman.

Upon entering the room Lilith finds the male and female from the alley sitting next to a black bed shaped like an ornate coffin, with black roses covering the surface - the Gothic woman continues smiling as she motions to Michael:

"lay on the bed of roses, dear - don't be afraid.. you survived the bite.. you'll not die.. however you will become a Shade.. just like Simon and Eve.. normally a Tainted like myself would not be so hospitable towards your kind but I find it exciting.. helping the poor, unfortunate souls.." she says, her words laced with malice.

The male sighs slightly "..Levi.. please.. don't make this harder than it already is on them..".

"Shut up Simon, nobody wants to listen to your whining.." the Gothic woman snaps, her smile fading as he growls at the male.

"Survived... the bite?" Lilith asked. "Wait, you don't mean-"

Lilith grabbed Michael forcefully by the shoulders and turned him towards herself, observing his neck; sure enough, there were two openly bleeding puncture marks, courtesy of their attacker from earlier.

"Yep, he's one of us.. well one of them.." Levi says, motioning to Simon and Eve "..if he'd died, he'd of been one of us.." she points to herself, then shrugs with a grin "..guess he got unlucky.. anyways, like I said.. lay down on the rose bed.. it will put you into a nice little "sleep" and when you wake up you should feel a lot better..".

Simon simply frowns, Eve doesn't seem to be listening as she looks at a wall - as if counting cobwebs.

Michael began to walk over toward the bed, only for Lilith to stop him by grabbing his shoulder.

"Wait... you trust her?" Lilith asked, slightly incredulous.

Michael stared for a moment. Then he turned away, not responding, and lay down on the bed.

Levi smirks as Michael does this and soon he finds himself in a deep sleep - "..well, I better go check on the patrons before they bleed each other dry - you coming Eve?".

Eve simply looked to Simon for a moment, who gave her a disapproving look as she sighed and followed Levi out of the room.

"Don't mind Simon, he's such a killjoy.." Levi chuckles, closing the door behind her and Eve.

Chapter 3 - Rude Awakening

Simon sighs again as Levi leaves the room and stays in the corner, looking over the bed of roses in silence - his yellow eyes glowing slightly in the relative darkness.

Lilith rounded on him. "What about you? Do you have anything to say? What the heck's going on?!"

Simon simply looks to Lilith for a moment before his gaze falls on Michael, staring at the bed of roses as he puts his hands together almost as if in silent prayer - "..what can I say that will make this make sense? you expect me to tell you why this happened? If I knew that I wouldn't be here tonight.. your friend has been infected with vampirism, just be thankful he didn't die.. he still has a part of his humanity left..".

"Friend?" Lilith asked with a mirthless laugh. "He's more of a burden if you ask me."

Simon doesn't change expression as he speaks "..you can go now, if you want - no need to involve yourself further..".

Lilith got up as if to leave, but then stopped. "...I don't like this," she muttered.

Simon watches Michael as Lilith speaks, "you think any of us like it? vampirism may be something normal in your world.. in this world it is a curse.. I am immortal, yet I must live forever knowing I am inhabiting the same body that killed my friends and family - to sustain itself.. for those who have succumbed fully to the curse the curse is even worse - to awaken in a body of cold death, never again to feel the sweet embrace of life..".

Lilith was silent as she took in Simon's words, sitting down and waiting as Michael slept.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The scene shifts to a dark crypt where Zack and Butch sit in a circle surrounded by black candles, several lesser-vampires watch them from the shadows, eyes glowing like lanterns in the darkness - Zack draws irregular patterns in the dirt with a claw as he growls slightly and speaks to Butch:

"..I want that fresh blood.. you're going to get him for me.."

"What about the succubus?"

"If she gets in your way - break her.."

"Okay - sure.. what about the Shades?"

"Kill them - slowly.. make them suffer.."

"You really don't like Shades, do you?"

"A Shade is a vampire that hasn't evolved.. thus every time they feed they are taking away resources from the rest of us.."

"You're starting to sound like one of the Ferals.."

"So? At least Ferals have the guts to say what's true - now before you go running off I have a present for you.."

"Really?"

"Yeah - back-up.. in case anything goes wrong.."

With that a hulking figure emerges from the shadows, still largely obscured - heavy breathing filling the crypt as large ape-like knuckles drag across the floor.

"Nice..".

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"He's waking up.." Simon declared as the scene shifted back to the small room, standing up as he looked to Lilith "..you may want to be on guard, you can never tell how someone will react when they first awaken..".

Michael's eyes snapped open. Lilith approached cautiously.

"Michael? You feeling alright?"

"I... don't know," Michael responded, shivering slightly

"The bed of roses has been a part of the awakening ever since Dracula re-invented the system back in 1476, prior to that a vampire was buried in their native soil and had to dig their way from the grave.. Dracula wanted a more dignified way of bringing new vampires into the world.. though, in truth, it could be a bed of gold and it wouldn't change what we've become.." Simon noted.

"I see," Michael said distantly. "I'm hungry."

"Here.. it's not pleasant but it is better than the alternative.." Simon said, handing a bag full of red liquid to Michael - looking to Lilith "..it's pig-blood.. just try not to think on that too much..".

Michael took the bag and began to drink with surprising gusto. Lilith grimaced slightly.

Simon sighed slightly and turned away as Michael drank, seemingly out of respect - "..you can go, he is our responsibility now.. I'll take him to Dawn, she isn't like the others.. she'll take care of him, like she did with me.. before the Elders banished her.." he noted to Lilith.

Yet Simon was soon interrupted as the door of the room burst open, Butch entering - holding Levi and Eve in the air with both hands, grinning madly as he tosses them with enough strength to smash them against the nearby wall.

Lilith sprang up, leaping unnaturally high into the air to deliver a bone-shattering kick at Butch.

Butch falls back into the night club, growling audibly as Lilith finds herself surrounded by a dark backdrop filled with flashing strobe lights and rave music - several patrons of the club lay injured on the ground as the signs of a previous battle surround her.

Simon looks to Michael for a moment, "..stay here.. help them.." he says, motioning to Levi and Eve as he races out to aid Lilith.

Lilith snarled at Butch, much like a feral cat before leaping back at him again and throwing a punch.

Butch grinned a little, exposing sharp fangs as he parries Lilith's attack and begins an attack of his own: he's not a graceful fighter but as strong as an ox and just as aggressive - yet as he fights he is unaware of a female figure climbing the ceiling above him much like a spider.

Simon bursts out and yells out "BUTCH! LEAVE HER! IT'S US YOU WANT!" - obviously trying to play the hero, regardless of how stupid the action may prove to be.

"Don't be stupid!" Lilith snarled, keeping her eyes on Butch. She lunged forward once more but was swatted aside like an insect, crying out as she smashed halfway through a wall.

Butch snarls and prepares to charge Simon when suddenly the female figure drops down from the ceiling and latches onto him with surprising speed and accuracy - causing him to cry out in surprise as both he and his assailant crash across the club.

Simon runs forward, Levi and Eve appearing nearby despite Simon's previous warning to stay with Michael - as Simon runs forward his eyes widen as a roar indicates the arrival of another vampire, only this one resembles a hairless ape with overgrown arms and a horrendous, scarred face: the beast charging forward as it attacks the group as Butch is distracted with his own battle.

"Shit," Lilith groaned, pulling herself from the wall. She conjured a red ball of mist that swirled around above her palm, which she blew towards the ape-like vampire.

The monstrous vampire swung madly at the red mist as it began to move without purpose, crashing into objects as Simon, Levi and Eve took advantage of the situation and attacked - Butch growled at the mysterious female vampire and tossed her to the floor as he roared: "You stupid little bitch! Zack wants that fresh blood and you aren't going to stop him, you understand!? You beat us and more will come - Zack always gets what he wants! Always!".

Lilith charged forth once more into the fray, aiming a kick at Butch's head.

Butch looks up in time to see Lilith's foot flying towards him, then blacked out momentarily as her kick knocked him out - the female vampire standing up as she looked to Lilith and commented: "..you aren't one of us, I can tell that much - question is.. are you prepared for his return? ..are any of us? ..Butch.. Zack.. that's nothing.. you think your kicks will work against Dracula himself?".

"A simple 'thank-you' will suffice for now," Lilith retorted, leaping at the ape-like creature and rejoining the battle.

The mysterious female vampire watched as Lilith left and shook her head "..impulsive, strong - yet so very clueless.. no.. she is not prepared..".

Meanwhile Simon, Levi and Eve barely manage to keep the monstrous vampire at bay as it swings madly - after a while the creature roars and slams forward: attempting to flee the area, however as it does so it leaves behind a glowing trail of blood.

Lilith takes a moment to breathe, before turning around and heading back. "The kid... Michael... is he safe?"

Simon looks to Levi and Eve "..I told you to stay with him!" - he heads into the room Michael was last at, as he leaves the mysterious female vampire looks to the trail of glowing blood and crouches down, narrowing her eyes.

"..Zack sent this thing to kill us - I figure it is returning to its master now.. I say we follow it..".

A loud "damn!" from Lilith suddenly interrupted the female vampire. The succubus burst from Michael's room. "Michael's gone," she snarled.

"You have any idea where he could be heading?" Eve asked.

"This is just great - my club is ruined.. my own boss is trying to kill me and now our pet has decided to go stray - what else can go wrong?" Levi began.

"It's nearly morning - he can't stay in the open for long.." Simon said.

"..none of us can.." the female vampire stated "..soon we won't be able to stay in the open even in the blackest of night, I suggest we find the new blood quickly - because if we don't act fast then Dracula is going to return and none of us will be able to stop the Bloodlust..".

"Right..." Lilith said, turning around. "Well, I'm gonna go look for the kid."

"We're coming with you - all of us.." the female vampire declared.

"Speak for yourself, I have to stay here and fix the club.." Levi protested.

"The club can wait, we need to find the freshblood before he gets himself into any more trouble.." Eve snapped.

"His name is Michael.. Father Michael.." Simon said.

"A Priest? well.. that's a new one.." the female vampired said, somewhat surprised.

"It doesn't matter, we need to find him and we don't have time to waste.. so come on.." Simon replied, following Lilith.

Chapter 4 - Fear No Evil

Meanwhile in a dark crypt Zack sits quietly as Father Michael is brought in by several lesser-vampires, a hood covering his head before they toss him on his knees and remove the hood - Zack shaking his head a little as he comments, looking to the lesser-vampires:

"..let me guess, Butch failed?"

"The succubus kicked him out, he's currently laying flat on the floor.. the Abberant survived and is heading back here as we speak.." one of the lesser-vampires replies.

"Typical, I ask Butch to do a simple task and instead he plays rough with some succubus.. whatever.. I always have a few of you lesser-bloods around to make sure things go smooth.. leave us.." Zack said, waving his hands in a dismissive manner.

The lesser-vampires leave, save for one - who asks "..what about the Abberant? the succubus and the Shades will surely follow it..".

Zack smirks, his eyes flashing dangerously "..I know - none of you lesser-bloods are to do a damn thing to stop them either.. now leave..".

Throughout the entire conversation, Michael's eyes never left Zack's visage as he stared with a hollow, yet calculating expression.

"..I think I'll cut the succubus' legs off and give them to Butch as permanent reminder of his own stupidity.." Zack thinks, looking to Michael "..however we don't have much time for fun: you see it's nearing the inevitable..".

"...where am I?" Michael finally asks.

"..Hell.." Zack taunts, grinning widely and revealing sharp fangs "..or Heaven.. depends how you see it really, you see soon your little "friends" are going to come and try and save you.. only you're going to feed on them like cattle - however before we get to that fun little game you are going to help me with a little side-project of my own, one had to keep secret from the higher-ups of the Night.. you know how authorities can be, always sticking to traditions and superstition..".

"I won't feed on them," said Michael firmly. "And I'm not helping you."

Zack shrugs slightly, standing up "..fine by me, I don't need you to co-operate.. to wake Dracula all I need is for you to spill some of your blood.. as for feeding.. I reckon you'll soon lose your holy ways when you get angry enough.. you're not a man of God anymore.. no.. there's only one God now and it's me.." - with that Zack aims a kick at Michael with enough force to send him crashing a good few feet across the room.

Michael climbed back up to his feet, frowning visibly for the first time. "You won't be spilling my blood. Not tonight. Not ever. Not if I kill you now." Despite his former passive, nonchalant attitude, he looked ready to fight as he lifted a knife from within his jacket.

Zack laughs at this and spreads his arms out as if taunting Michael to strike "..go on, Father - strike me down.. I can already smell your "rescuers".. they'll come barging in here any minute - so if you want to kill me you'd better act quick.. let's see what they teach you in Sunday School these days..".

The knife twirled through the air suddenly, aimed directly between Zack's eyes.

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