Chapter 1 Alexa
Flying above them all, scaled wings glistening in the moonlight. Fox-like ears pricked listening for anything suspicious, I am unseen. My tail is long, helping me keep my balance in mid-air, it is also fox-like, always shifting its angle behind me as I fly above enemy camp, my eyes sharper than any eagle's eyes could ever hope to be. The human world smells of bullets and iron from where I am, probably because of my situation.
Just complete this mission, then you are free from our unit.
The general had been lying, that I am sure of. But I have no choice. Human rights don't apply to Vampires. The electro-collar I have on is proof of that.
A shout from below me. The enemy has spotted me flying above them. Their eyes widen in shock, fear and horror at my strangeness as they shine flood-lights up at me. Their Halogen lights blind me for a millionth of a second, but my eyes adjust too fast for them to notice any change. I smirk as they aim their machine guns at me and open fire. No bullets will hit me, for definite.
I guess that's why the general won't free me. I'm too good to just give up. I swerve and dive, too fast for their eyes to follow, their lights barely keeping on me, the bullets missing me by miles. I pull my bow off of my back and nock an arrow onto the string. The arrow finds its target in less than a second. Their panic levels rise from panicky to hysteric, and as more and more die, hysteria turns to terror. I dive and land on my feet in front of their leader, wings still spread, arrow on string, ready to fire.
He looks over me, terrified. None of these men have seen a woman like me before. Their light falls upon me, my blue scaled wings throwing the light back at them even brighter than the light that is shining on them. My tail swings side to side as I look at them. Their shouts and screams have ceased. Now they see what I truly am, if not in my form, in my eyes, red with a ring of gold in each. I smile, showing my sharp canines, which get even sharper.
“Who are you?” The leader chokes out finally.
“The end of your life” I reply softly, watching his eyes widen further, the blood draining from his face.
I let the arrow loose.
“Your promise?” I say expectantly as the general smiles hugely at my usual success.
“Promise?” He asks vacantly, obviously too pleased at the night's victory.
“My freedom General.” I remind him, my patience wearing thin.
“Oh. That. Right...” He looks troubled, but I know he is acting, “There's a problem with that Alexa, you see, we have been fighting this war for years, and we have not lost a battle since you arrived and-”
“General, there haven't been any battles for your men ever since you captured me in the desert.” I cut in, I am annoyed now, he tries to lighten everything with cheap, meaningless words, making me murder more and more humans in a war that has nothing to do with me.
He doesn't reply. I am starting to get angry, something that is dangerous for him. If it wasn't for this damn electro-collar around my neck, he'd be dead and I'd be gone. He is acting as if I don't have things of my own to do, wars of my own to fight, a life of my own to live.
I clear my throat, showing my impatience. When he doesn't react, my patience runs out.
“General, I have served you for nothing. You owe me many lives. Without me, you would have lost this war long ago. The least you can do is give me my freedom back.” I snap.
“And that Alexa, is precisely why I cannot grant you freedom from this unit.” He replies emotionless, “You are too valuable to us.”
“This war is almost won!” I shout, “You will win now anyway! It makes no difference whether I am here or not! The war is over! Free me!”
“I am sorry, but you are property of the government now.”
“I have to go back to my own kind! I cannot be owned! I have my own life to live! You can't do this!”
“Oh but I can. The new super-soldier, it cannot be killed, too fast to follow, it can fly, doesn't even need a gun. You and your kind are going to save us billions Alexa.”
“No! You don't know what you're dealing with here!” I yell as he turns for the exit.
He ignores me and slams the thick iron door shut, locking multiple locks to keep me in this concrete underground room. My head falls into my hands.
“This is all my fault.” I whisper.
Memories flood into my head, showing me the why all this happened.
“Don't do this! Please Viera! I beg you! Don't do this!” I plead, on my knees next to my dying sister. My golden eyes staring into her tired ruby red ones, her face grey instead of creamy white. Her golden hair faded and dull, her body unnaturally thin, her cat-like ears flattened against her head, her tail limply hanging off the side of her four-poster bed. I know she will not last until morning.
“I want you to know,” She said, her voice faint, her breathing shallow, “you will always be my sister, even if I don't remember this Realm in the human realm, you will always see me, just not glamoured like I usually am. I want to be normal Alexa. I want to live like them.” My head falls onto the edge of her bed. I plead her to stay, with no success.
“I want you to have these three gifts.” Viera said, her voice fading more and more, “First, my honour court placement, I want you to keep my legacy going in there, keep the system as fair as I did, I know you will not want your eyes to be fully red, so they will have rings of gold in to show you are different. Second, a tail, to help your balance in flight. Third, fox-like ears, to mark you as my eternal sister, even when I'm not there.”
I cry harder, knowing she is about to die. “Viera, please don't leave me! I need you here!”
But it is too late. She has gone from the Realm.
The painful memory fades to another more recent one...
“Are you sure you will be alright Alexa? The human realm is dangerous and telepathy doesn't work very well there.” Damon says, worry clouding his gorgeous violet eyes, “maybe I should come with you, just to be sure.”
“Damon I'll be fine, it's just to get some extra flight practice and surveillance of the desert landscape.” I reply, smiling assuringly.
“You don't need practice flying Alexa. You're the most accomplished flier in the Realm. You know that.” He tries to persuade me to stay.
“Which is exactly why I am the perfect Vampire to get that desert checked out. We have got the rest of that country, we just need that desert mapped accurately.”
“Let me come with you. You might get caught by the humans government. Once caught, there's little chance of your escape.”
“Damon, you have a bigger chance of getting caught than I do.” I smile as I say this, I don't want to lose him.
“I need the practice though...” He says weakly, raising his black feathered wings. He looked like a dark angel. My dark angel. I raise my own blue dragon wings to match his. We do this to show each other we are capable.
“Damon, if you were caught, I couldn't live with myself. Stay here, where you're safe.” I look up into his beautiful violet eyes, and he looks into mine.
“You miss her, don't you?” He says after a few minutes. I let my eyes drop, my wings drooping slightly with grief. I nod, a couple of red tears escaping my eyes, leaving tragic red stains down my face. Damon is the only one who truly understands me. He holds me close, stroking my long dark hair. He whispers that everything would be okay, we were in this together, nothing would stop us.
A scream jolts me out of my self pitying reminiscing. I stand, not wanting to be caught off guard. An outraged roar echoes through the base.
“WHERE IS SHE?!” A man bellows, “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HER?!”
My heart skips a beat. Oh no. This is what the general had meant.
The door is forced open to reveal my dark angel in the doorway. Damon.
“Run! It's a trap!” I scream, but it's too late. So many humans pile on top of Damon, fighting to attach an electro-collar around his neck. I leap towards him, trying to stop them, but the general sees me and smirks as he pushes the button in his hand.
Damon looks up as I fall to the ground, shrieking in agony as the collar shocks me over and over. “Stop! Please!” Damon cries when he sees what they are doing to me. “I'll let you take me! Just stop torturing her! Please!”
The general pushes the button again and the collar stops. I lie there weeping softly, unable to move.
They hold Damon down and tighten the collar around his neck.
I stare at him through red tears, and he doesn't take his eyes off of mine the whole time.
The soldiers start to leave, when the general holds his hand up to stop them.
“This one,” he gestures to Damon, smiling cruelly, “Tried to kill me. I think you all need to see this.”
He holds up the button, showing Damon what he was doing. He is going to shock him. He turns to Damon to gloat.
“This is what happens when you step out of line.” The General says mockingly. He looks over at me and grins. He pushes the button.
Damon's collar shocks him, and Damon stiffens, but doesn't make a sound. He sits there and takes it, which I knew was extremely hard, as Vampires are very sensitive to electricity. The General's smile doesn't falter though, it is almost like he was expecting this to happen.
“Fine. Obviously this punishment is not harsh enough. Hmm...” The general pretends to think for a moment and pushes the button again, stopping Damon's collar.
He turns two dials on the remote. I cower, knowing what is going to happen. The first dial was to turn the voltage up, the other to change which collar it would affect. And sure enough, when he pushes the button, my collar shocks me. Damon's expression turns from careful control to absolute terror, as my screams intensify, due to the General turning the voltage up more and more.
“Stop it! Stop!” Damon yells, sprinting over to me.
“I think he's learned his lesson, don't you boys?” The General sneers. He slowly pushes the button, just to prolong my suffering.
They walk out and lock the door.
I weep quietly, trying to conceal my suffering from Damon. But he knows me better than anyone. “Alexa, I am so sorry. I should have known, I should have come with you in the beginning.”
“No,” I whisper, tears making my voice crack, “We both would have been caught. This is my fault. I'm sorry Damon.”
He gently pulls me up and holds me close. We stay like that for hours, just staying close to each other. Neither of us want to imagine what they will make us do next. I have an idea though. Using our combined strengths and speed, the general is probably going to make us slaughter the rest of the humans enemies. But what the general doesn't know is that Damon is not as good at flying as I am and he cannot keep up the same pace as I can for long, making him an easier target. He cannot dodge bullets either, so he is at serious risk. If we were not careful, Damon would fall right out of the sky, right into the enemy camp.
If I were to tell the general, he would not listen. This I know for sure. I also know that calling for help using telepathy will be pointless. Damon would be the only person to hear me. I could use my powers, but chances were the general would shock me before I could get very far. Snapping the collar would set it off at full voltage, which would weaken us enough to put another, stronger one on us and leave us unable to move for days. If we kill the general, there are government officials ready to take his place with their own controls for the collars. Escape is almost impossible.
Damon reads my thoughts and nods. We have no choice but to follow their orders. For now.
You can only keep a vampire under your control for so long. We are proud creatures and hold pride and honour above anything else. That, and I don't see any blood being given to us any time soon. Bloodlust will win out above electric threats sooner or later. We would drink from the enemies, but our kind believes in enemies having tainted blood, impossible to drink from.
Damon's eyes tighten as he realises how long its been since I last drank. I have been held captive here for over a month, and have not had one drop of blood. My lack of resistance to electricity is partly because my lack of blood. He is strong now, but in a couple of days, it will start to take its toll on him. I am already weak, no human is a match for me, but bullets are more likely to hit me now. My wings are getting dull, the many shades of blue and silver fading slightly, my long dark hair losing its shine and my body has begun to cramp and ache all over, partly the effects of the electro-collar, but mostly the lack of blood.
The door flies open and the general stands there, controller in plain sight, uniform cleaner than clean. We stand, spreading our wings threateningly. He is not phased and says, “You have one hour until sundown. You are going to finish off the enemy for good. One hour. Do not disappoint me.” Not waiting for a response, he walks out, slamming the door behind him.
“Weapons?” Damon asks.
“They do not supply us with anything.” I said, walking over to my bow.
“So what do I use then?” He asks, holding up his sword, which would take him too close to the enemy
“You won't,” I say firmly, looking him straight in the eye, “I will do this, you will stay high and hidden. If anything happened to you, I would die. I can't risk it. You're not fast enough to dodge their bullets.”
“And you're not exactly in good shape Alexa.” He replies softly, worry ruling his face.
“I'm fine.” I retort, snatching up my quiver full of arrows and slinging it onto my back, it is shaped to go between my wings. My bow joins my quiver and I sheath my sword and hunting knife.
Damon draws his sword and checks it over. He re-sheaths it and counts his throwing knives.
“You're going to get killed without me Alexa. I'm helping to end this whether you like it or not.” He grabs me from behind and spins me round to face him. “We're in this together now. Don't change that by getting yourself killed.” I think for a moment.
“No hand to hand combat.” I say finally, “Stick to your throwing knives and stay away from the lights and the ground.”
He smiled dazzlingly and said “Since when have I ever done as I'm told?”