Copy Right April 13, 2009
Almost five years ago a group of rogue vampires decided that they were tired of living in the dark and wanted fame, power, and most importantly to finally be able to live without fear. So they went public and “outed” themselves and all other supernatural and preternatural creatures. As a response to the world wide panic, the world’s governments brought to light their own secret; the existence of superhuman hunters. Soon a war between humans and “others” began. A few forces were able to see the futility in the fighting and obtained permission to create a paranormal crime fighting unit that would pull all forms of beings together to fight all supernatural evil. However, there are forces on all sides seeking to see the test group fail. Torn between loyalty to their respective groups and maintaining safety and justice, the crime fighting team, along with one of the city’s ADA of Supernatural Violent Crimes, fights a new enemy that may threaten to end the team before they had a chance to start.
“Nice,” Alex Chan stated with a grimace.
Carlos Rodriguez hunched down and took pictures of the body part from different angles with his camera.
“That’s an arm right?” Alex asked, stuffing his hands in his pockets. “I mean there’s no freakin hand attached, let alone the rest of the body, but I’m pretty sure that hairy, shriveled up piece of a person is a man’s arm.”
“Yeah,” Carlos answered somberly, taking another picture. “But where’s the rest of him?”
“Nowhere around here,” Ana Santos replied as she walked closer to the pair. They stood in a large darkened grassy field enclosed by several streets filled with cookie cutter town homes. It was close to midnight and the body part was found in the open backyard of an unlit home. The owners so far were not present. “This isn’t the type of neighborhood where attacks usually happen. Half of these houses don’t even have any magic wards. What’s going on here?”
“Police are on their way,” Gabe stated in his slight Irish accent, coming from the nearby lit street. “They want to do a thorough search for a possible body,” he said with quotation marks. “I told them we found nothing but who am I.” He shrugged casually, hands stuffed in his pocket.
“Gabe, is this what we were supposed to find?” Ana asked.
“Nooo, we were supposed to prevent a possible attack I was told might happen around here. Happening upon a body part is a coincidence.”
“Alex, can you hold this?” Carlos asked handing him the camera. He then put on his plastic gloves he retrieved from his pocket.
“Dude, you going to touch it?” Alex asked.
Carlos gave him a questioning look as he pulled the gloves on. “How else can I properly inspect it?”
“The cops won’t like that.”
Carlos turned to Ana. “I’m sorry, aren’t we like the cops? What are our badges for then? I’m tired of waiting for them to jack up the evidence before giving us a shot at it. We aren’t just the exterminators. We can actually analyze things. I’m a damn CSI!”
Ana threw her hands up. “I agree. I’ve talked to Tyson about that several times. Look, we can’t bag it, the police need to check it out, but go ahead and inspect it. You already took pictures of the original layout.”
Carlos gave a nod. “Thank you.” He balanced on his toes and touched the arm. “It looks like the man was bled dry, maybe even before they tore the arm off.”
Gabe shook his head. “No. He would have died before he totally bled out.”
“Think its vampires?” Alex asked.
Gabe crossed his arms. “Vampires don’t drink the blood of the dead.”
“Is it that vampires don’t drink the blood of the dead or vampires don’t usually drink the blood of the dead?” Ana asked turning to Gabe.
Gabe sighed. “If a vampire drinks the blood of the dead it’s like drinking a very strong poison. They would die. Usually. But even if they were powerful enough to survive, it’d still be very unpleasant. They would suffer greatly.”
“Maybe he was very hungry.” Alex shrugged. “Got a little greedy and careless.”
“The only vampire that would get that careless would be a young vampire and then we’d be seeing a pile of vampire dust around here.”
“Well then maybe it was an older vampire that got a little careless. Maybe even a crazy rogue vampire.”
Gabe shook his head looking down at the arm. “An older vampire wouldn’t have drunk that much. Even if he was starved and mad, he would have regained some senses long before he drained the body to the point of death. And he wouldn’t have left behind any traces of this attack. Older vampires like to keep their existence a secret.”
“What about this being a group attack?” Ana asked, surveying their surroundings with her eyes.
Gabe shook his head. “Vampires don’t hunt in packs like that, usually. And they still would need to be pretty powerful to avoid death. Maybe it’s something else. Maybe a meat-eating lycan like a werewolf or werepanther. They could have caused enough damage that would bleed a person out.”
“A succubus could also have drained someone dry with one powerful kiss,” Ana nodded slowly.
“I’m still betting on vampires. They’re the only ones arrogant enough to do this,” Carlos said raising his right hand, eyes still on the arm, “Alex, can I get my camera back?”
Alex passed him the camera. “You found it again?”
Ana shined her flashlight on the arm to display the word cibatus etched into the underside of the arm. “That word again.”
Carlos flashed his camera. "The Latin word for food. What is that supposed to mean? And why Latin?”
“Looks like someone scratched it in with a sharp finger nail.” Alex leaned in. “So what, they tore the arm off and label it like some sort of chicken leg you get in the grocery store?”
Carlos took a couple more pictures of different sides of the arm. “I think that’s exactly what they’re trying to say. Except humans are the chickens.”
“Outstanding, I’m assuming you already touched the body!” cried a voice from behind them.
Ana rolled her eyes and turned around to look at Captain Jeffery Simons. “How’s it going captain? You do realize that we’re an extension of the police and hunter forces so we aren’t some Scooby Doo gang doing teenage sleuthing. We’re actually investigating a crime scene.”
The tall, balding man, frowned and placed his hands on his waist. To be in his early fifties he was in pretty good shape. Ana assumed fighting the latest crop of scary baddies gave a little extra push on the police force to stay in shape. “I thought we asked you to call us in when you find anything suspicious.”
“Which is what we did,” Gabe stated, giving him a tired glare.
Captain Simons ignored him and kept his eyes on Ana, his 6’4 frame towering over her. “If I hear that your team tampers with anymore crime scenes I will bring this up to the Mayor’s office.”
Ana, unaffected by his posturing, shook her head. “Oh please, our tampering, as you call it, only helps,” Ana cried. “It wasn’t us who jacked up that last crime scene by stepping on the victim’s blood and tramping bloody footprints through the house!”
Simons leaned back and huffed.
“Now we’ll share the pictures that we took. But this crime is not a human crime, it has supernatural literally written all over it,” Ana began. “That’s our field. So give us a little respect and let us actually do our jobs like the professionals we are. I’ve been in this game a hell of a lot longer than you have, sir. We know what we’re doing.”
She looked around at the rest of her team. “Come on, let’s get out of their way.” She turned back to Simons. “I trust you’ll share any information you get with Tyson.” She didn’t wait for an answer and walked away.
The group followed her in silence as they headed back to their jeep.
When they got to their black jeep Alex broke the silence. “So I gotta say it, Ana, you’re a sufficient bad ass,” he acknowledged before opening the driver’s side door.
She turned and winked at him before getting in the front passenger seat.
“So what we have here is the possible start of a serial killer,” Carlos said from the back seat, reviewing the photos in his digital camera.
“We can’t make that guess with just three incidents,” Ana replied, turning her head towards the back.
“Where else is this going to lead?” Gabe asked from the back seat, as Alex backed out of his parking space and began to slowly patrol the neighborhoods. “This is a message and a typical serial killer usually gives more than one message. Trust us, this is a start and how many messages this guy, girl or group gives us will depend on how quickly we catch them. Two is enough for me.”
“We haven’t dealt with serial killers yet,” Alex stated, turning down a street lit with street lights.
“I have, “Ana said looking out the window in thought. “Before I joined this group. A paranormal serial killer can be quite different from other types. Not always, but the motives aren’t always the same. For instance, a typical human serial killer doesn’t go on a killing spree for sacrifices to raise a powerful demon from the underworld.”
Alex nodded slowly. “Heard about that one. That witch killed ten people before your team found her.”
“It was eight but it just goes to show how much tougher this is when you’re dealing with the supernatural. So, I don’t know about you guys but I’m hoping this is not a serial-“
“Guys! “ Carlos cried, throwing a hand out against the back of Ana’s seat.
Everyone went still.
“Did you hear something?” Alex asked, slowly pushing down on the break.
Carlos slowly shook his head. “Feel it.” He couldn’t explain it. The feeling of a vampire presence or that of any supernatural being was stifling. If a particularly strong vampire was using his powers it became difficult to breathe. The air would feel thick similar to the feeling of being in a heated car with the windows rolled up. Carlos was sure the presence was that of lower level vampires. It was uncomfortable but he was not consumed by their power.
“How many?” Alex asked.
Gabe, sitting upright, spoke first, “Four, I think. They’re in a house nearby. Keep straight on the road you’re on.”
Alex drove down two more blocks scouring the area.
“Make a left!” Carlos called with urgency.
Alex made a quick left down a suburban residential street.
Identical, three level homes with garages lined the street of the clean and quiet neighborhood. The thought that some vampire was in one of those homes terrorizing a family sickened Carlos. “House at the end of the street on the right,” he stated tensely.
Alex stopped the car and turned the engine off a few houses away. “Should we call the police for back up?”
“We can take them. They aren’t powerful; newbies,” Carlos replied, taking hold of his weapons. They were all fully loaded. Sheaths with knifes or daggers inserted around their wrists and ankles. Flame throwers, machetes, or stake guns strapped to their backs. Exploding silver bullet guns or holy water pistols in their right or left hip holster. Most hunters added the protection of a cross around their necks and a belief and faithfulness to God in their hearts. They were ready.
Gabe opened the jeep door and was the first to get near the house. He was the only one in the group who could get close enough to access the situation without raising any awareness from the vampires.
He ran across the street and crept to the house. The blinds were closed so he was unable to see anything but he could still hear and feel with his sixth sense. He knew that three vampires and four humans were in the room closest to the front door, possibly the living room. Upstairs there was one vampire and one human but he couldn’t tell what room. He relayed this to the other teammates through the mics they all wore to stay connected if separated.
After Gabe circled the house completely, he headed back to the others in the jeep. “It’s pretty simple; kitchen, great room and possibly a bathroom on the ground level; living area on the bottom level; three bedrooms and two bathrooms on the top. I’m going to knock on the door. Maybe someone will answer it; once they do we’ll bust through and shut these vamps down. I’m not concerned,” he stated with a nonchalant shrug. “Ana, follow me and then Alex and Carlos run up after we get inside. I think Ana’s smell will throw them off.”
The group nodded and followed closely, waiting and watching as Gabe walked up the steps and rang the doorbell. He waited patiently. No one answered. He rang the doorbell a few more times. “Hey, I know someone’s in there, the lights are on. I just need to use a phone. My car broke down across the street and my cell has died. If you could just let me get some help I’d appreciate it!” he shouted. “I’m not going anywhere, so please help!”
Finally after a minute, the door creaked open and a woman with tousled hair and a smile appeared.
Gabe gave her one of his Hollywood grins. “Hi, Miss. Thank you for helping me.” His voice seemed to say more than those words. Seemed to say he would help her. Her raised shoulders relaxed with relief. Gabe mouthed the words “Get back” and she obeyed as he shoved the door open, slamming the vampire behind it against the wall.
Ana came in quickly behind him, surveying the room, weapon pointed out. Gabe kept the vampire behind the door pinned to the wall, although it struggled to be freed.
Carlos and Alex quickly followed, racing to the living room, weapons rotating to opposite corners. Once they reached the living room they found a little boy of about 6 years old and a girl of about 12 years of age huddled together in a corner of the room crying. A man lay on the floor bleeding from the neck, his hand covering the wound as if trying to keep the blood from pouring out.
Ana quickly turned her attention to a vampire hissing in a corner on her left side. It moved, much faster than her eyes were able to catch up with but she knew where it was going. She didn’t even turn around as she grabbed the silver stake in her pocket and shoved it behind her making contact with the now howling vampire. She quickly spun around and with her other hand held the cross around her neck out and pressed it against the vampire’s fore head. She said a short prayer and asked for forgiveness for the lost soul while ignoring the screams of the vampire as the cross burned into its forehead like acid. She removed the stake then re-shoved it into him, this time connecting with his heart.
She stood back as the vampire arched its back, head moving from side to side at an inhuman speed, crying out in agony as it died the familiar vampire death. Silver stakes would keep them down, anything else and one would usually need to decapitate the vampire to make sure he stayed down. Flesh melted with the clothes from the muscle, things unknown to her oozed from his body, muscle, fat, and organs, dropped from the bone. Soon the bloodied skeletal frame dropped to the floor and then even the skeleton began to disintegrate until there was only a pile of dust that remained. She coughed, covering her nose as she turned away from the gruesome scene, the smell of decay filling her nostrils, making her nose hairs burn. She retrieved the stake with black gloved hand and moved on.
She eyed Carlos and Gabe finishing off their attacks of the other two vampires, leaving three piles of dust total for that floor.
“Nothing a good vacuum can’t clean up,” Gabe stated, pleased with himself.
Carlos raced back to the man on the ground once satisfied that he killed his vampire. “An ambulance is on its way, sir,” Carlos said to the injured man. “He’s losing a lot of blood. They weren’t kind to his neck. I just have to try to stop the blood from spilling.” He removed the gun holster on his back and quickly took his shirt off. Then he pressed it tightly against the gushing wound on the man’s neck.
“Everything’s going to be all right miss,” Gabe stated to the scared woman, who was sitting in the corner holding tight to what he assumed were her children.
“Who are you people?” she asked, sobbing.
Before Gabe could respond they heard a cry from upstairs. “Get back here you fanged faced fiend!” Alex shouted from above.
“Oh, no! Shelly!” the woman cried, getting up.
“Right. Stay here!” Gabe ordered, pointing to the family.
Gabe raced up the steps and found a teenage girl with a ripped shirt holding a large lamp in both her hands. She brought it down on top of the intruding vampire’s head but it did not faze him. He backed slapped her and she was sent flying towards Gabe, who caught her around the waist while maintaining his balance on the top step so that they both would not fall down the steps.
He quickly released her. “You ok?”
She nodded, her face streaked with tears.
“Good, your family’s safe downstairs, go join them,” he instructed her. She did as she was told and quickly ran down the steps.
Alex got up from the floor at the farther end of the hallway and took out the machete he had strapped to his back. “This will hurt you more than it hurts me.”
“You can do whatever you want to me but you can’t win this!” the vampire cried proudly, chin jutted out as he crouched in a pre-attack stance. “You’ll see, we rule this earth! Vampires will control this planet. He will show you to fear us like it used to be. The world will know and respect us! Humans will be our cattle. He will allow us to-“
Alex sliced into the neck of the vampire with his machete, removing the head from the neck in a clean and swift motion, splattering the wall with blood and gore artwork. “Yeah, yeah, tell it the devil,” he stated as the head dropped to the ground. He looked up at Gabe. “You all right there, partner?”
“Yeah, man.” Gabe looked over as the headless body fell and pointed at it. “That there was one crazy vampire.”
Alex bent down and staked the vampire in the heart for extra safety precautions.
“True. I’ve never met a vampire that talked so much while in an attack. Wonder what or who he was talking about.”
Gabe shrugged. “The man was talking in riddles. But he said “he”, so we can narrow our search to a man at least.”
Alex, standing up, looked down at the now pile of vampire dust. “The police clean up crew is going to be so pleased.”
Gabe turned his head to the stairs as he heard the sirens approach. He looked to Alex. “Cassie’s going to be pissed we didn’t leave anyone alive for her to prosecute.”
Alex shrugged. “Eh, sweet talk her,” he replied as they headed down the steps.
Ana stood beside the front door next to the mother and children as she watched Gabe and Alex walk down the steps. Carlos was already outside talking to the police as the ambulance pulled into the drive way.
“Ma’m, I would look into getting a magic alarm system. Depending on your home owner insurance the police can do a sweep of the house for free to see what areas you’re vulnerable to the supernatural. Here’s our card if you need us,” Ana told the mother, handing her their card and then turned to leave.
Alex looked back at the family. The mother gave a small smile. “Thank you,” she stated.
Alex nodded. “Just doing my duty.”
“You aren’t the police. Who are you?” she asked a confused look on her face.
He gave her an all too serious look. “I’m Batman,” he replied then broke off in a light laugh that no one else joined in on. “And this is Robin.” he said gesturing to Gabe.
“The hell I am,” Gabe replied exiting the house.
The family still held a confused look at Alex who was backing away to the door. “I’m sorry; I’ve just always wanted to say that. But seriously, we’re the Paranormal Unit. Look us up in the yellow pages!” he cried, running out of the door.