It was a sanguinary sight, the alleyway. As the old man prowled about the scene of the crime with nostrils flaring and eyes seeking, the scents, splatters and disturbances rapidly assembled into a scene in his mind.

First victim, female. College student, smelling of alcoholic cocktails. Puncture marks on neck, colour and blood patterns indicate blood drained by a vampire. Dead, no chance of rising.

With due care and attention, his leather glove-clad fingers drew her eyelids down. Turning, he followed a trail of dark blood leading over to the next individual.

Second victim, female. Attacker of first victim judging by scent of blood, blood patterns on face, complexion and visible characteristics. Throat cut from ear to ear, numerous stab wounds in blouse. Looks like she was getting victims in local bars. Odd burn marks on hands and wrists. Blood residue on fingernails.

The last trail of blood was much fresher than the dark ichor that flowed in a vampire’s veins. Following it in the shadows, he found the last person involved in the skirmish, still alive. She looked like someone from a comic book or television show, with a heavy black leather jacket on that concealed an array of weapons and items used in the hunting of vampires. Around her neck was a peculiar pendant, a drop of blood vaguely reminiscent of the shape of the human heart, on a silver pentagon. She was bleeding from two powerful strikes to the stomach from a vampire’s claws.

Her head stirred weakly, blood and sweat matting her hair to her face as bleary eyes tried to focus on the man, before they widened in recognition.

“As if it isn’t enough to have new courts of vampires in my city, I now have members of the Sanguine Legion. Tell me, Vampire Hunter, were I to save your life, would you provide some insight into the madness that has befallen my domain?” The old man asked politely, crouching down to get level with her head.

“Spare me…. aaah…” She trailed off with a groan, pressing her hands tightly against the oozing wounds in her midsection. “Spare me… your petty tricks, vampire. The Sanguine Legion will deal with this infestation, and then they will come for you. Fake benevolence or not, your kind are abhorrent, and your presence anywhere on this Earth is verboten!” In fervor, colour returned to her face and indignation lit up her eyes, drawing herself up to stare defiantly at him before with a pained cry she slumped back down, shock starting to take hold of her.

“The irrationality of human kind and the arrogance of these fledglings will bring chaos to my territory. My offer was a genuine one, but wasted. A shame. You could have lived.” The old man shrugged, rising to his feet as his hand dipped into his jacket. Several small incendiary devices were plucked out of a pocket, one each hurled towards the two corpses, and the last held above the hunter’s body. “You may wish to die now, before the flames take you. It would be easier on you just to slip away.” He suggested off-handedly to her.

Her attempt to spit at his offer landed on herself, the devout fire within her flickering away as shock smothered any attempt of defiance.

“As you wish.” His voice echoed as the ancient vampire leaped skywards, dropping the device below him. A quick flick of the trigger and all three erupted in a ball of fire, scorching and purging the scene of the crime.


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