Story: The Coming of the Thaw (chapter 5)

Authors: bleeding.blade

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Chapter 5

"Kuga-san, it's truly a pleasure to see you again."

The figure before me swam hazily into focus. My temples throbbed and my throat burned unpleasantly, but when I recognized the man before me, all other considerations fled.

"You!" The hate and revulsion I felt was so thick, the word came out as a hiss.

"Who else would it be?" the man called John Smith responded. "It's only been three years after all, and my superiors believe in long-term assignments."

I stared at him stonily. My arms and legs were securely strapped, and as much as I was tempted to struggle, I knew it would be useless.

"What have you done to the others?"

"Your friends are safe. At least for now. They were merely decoys this time. You were the one we wanted."

I spat out my reply. "The same way you wanted Shizuru?"

The man in front of me looked genuinely pained. "The loss of Shizuru was...highly regrettable. We were very much looking forward to her potential contribution. But her death proved that the first monsters we'd bred were imperfect - impossible to control. The ones we've bred after have been much better, as our experiments on Fuka's unwanted elements have demonstrated. They follow orders better and can hypnotize their victims - which makes them much better abductors."

"What do you want from us? There's nothing we have that could possibly interest the Searrs now."

"You're being much too modest, Kuga-san. The HiMEs are essential to bringing about the Golden Age, and we can't afford to wait another three hundred years. We think we've found a way of using your abilities - even without the Carnival. It would have been easier to carry out the research if we had successfully kidnapped Yukino. We were planning on using her Child's powers of surveillance to observe all of you. But, as you may have noticed yourself, there are certain...elements that have been obstructing our interests."

"The vampire hunter." I stated flatly.

The man called John Smith nodded. "A creature, unfortunately, that belongs to a far more superior breed of vampires than the ones we've yet developed. We can't fight this vampire with our vampires, Kuga-san. We've tried and we've consistently failed. We've decided to try a different strategy altogether - one inspired by folklore, you can say - and this is where you come in."

It was only then that I noticed the syringe in his hand. As he approached, he spoke to me almost apologetically. "It's rather regrettable too. I was so looking forward to seeing what you would be like as a vampire, Kuga-san."

I struggled then, violently and desperately, but it was utterly useless. My last memory, as he emptied the syringe into my arm, was the look of pity on his face.


Rage. Rage. Hunger. Hate. Lots of hate. Creatures. Men. Bloodsuckers. Men and bloodsuckers. Enemies all. I bare my fangs.

Surprise on the men's faces. Surprise and terror. I'm more powerful than they expected. So much more powerful.

Attack the bloodsuckers first. Rip the throat of the first. Snap the second in my jaws. Three. Four. Five. Six. I lose count.

Only the men are left. I've never killed a man before. I hesitate.

But these men have wronged me. They've wronged me. They deserve to die. Yes. They deserve to die.

I advance on the closest one. I can smell his fear. I close my eyes to savor the scent. I open my jaws to make the kill...

But when my jaws snap shut, it's not the man I taste. I open my eyes. It's a bloodsucker. It's between me and the man. It speaks to me:

You are not a killer...

I howl in rage. Then I attack.

I savage the bloodsucker - feel my teeth and claws sink into its flesh. Its blood fills my mouth. It tastes different from the others. I back away, expecting it to collapse.

It remains standing. It doesn't defend itself, just looks at me with crimson eyes.

Crimson eyes.

I stop. Confusion fills me. I know those eyes. I know those eyes...

I feel the rage and the hate fall away. I have arms suddenly.  I have legs. I collapse. I look up. The crimson eyes are still there. I know those eyes. Their owner died a long time ago. But I'm seeing them again, in a dream. Even if it's just a dream, where I'm some kind of monster, I'm grateful. I look at the eyes one last time, then I close mine. Once again, the blackness comes.

[End notes: NOTES: Just for those readers who may not understand the reference that John Smith makes to the "Golden Age," the Golden Age is the age that the Searrs Foundation is attempting to usher into the world - and the reason why the Searrs are attempting to control the powers of the HiMEs to begin with. As for the reference to Yukino's "Child," or "Child" in general, the reader can refer to the explanatory note at the end of Chapter 8 of this story.]

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