Chapter 1: The Weapon
Lord Rodin overlooked his followers that were seated with him at the long table. There were ten of them, not including himself. Each of these men, loyal only to him, were appointed to a different section of his army, and his soon-to-be empire.
Pride welled up within him as he stood, and he gave the men his best smile.
"Friends," he announced, spreading his arms slightly to induce the men's attention. His followers quieted and gazed at Lord Rodin respectively, acknowledging him as leader. Lord Rodin took a moment to look directly into each of the ten men's eyes with his own golden ones. "Friends," he repeated. "Today is the day that we have been waiting for. After years of countless experiments, countless testing subjects, we have finally created the perfect weapon!"
His followers broke out into joyous grins, but still contained themselves so that Lord Rodin could continue his speech.
"Thanks to Professor Arren and his team of excellent scientists and genetic engineers -- Professor Arren, please stand and be recognized by your fellow peers!" Lord Rodin laughed heartily, and a man in his late fifties stood slightly from his chair, nodding his scraggly white head of hair and waving a wrinkled hand modestly as the men cheered. He sat, and Lord Rodin continued once more.
"It looks to me now that -- How dare you interrupt!" he snarled suddenly as the door opened.
Heads turned as a young woman in a white lab coat rushed into the dimly-lit room. She had a frantic air about her, and she hurried up to Lord Rodin to whisper into his ear quickly.
"What was that?" he frowned, knitting his dark eyebrows together in a worrysome expression.
The woman whispered once more.
Lord Rodin's expression turned tight and pale. "No," he breathed.
Then his features twisted in rage. "Find it!" he roared.
The followers jumped out of their seats, confused.
"It's escaped! The weapon has escaped! Find it now! NOW!!" Lord Rodin bellowed.
Alarms blared loudly throughout the facility.
A trail of blood led a group of unsuspecting guards down a hallway. Here and there, dead bodies lay pitifully broken and strewn about.
"Not very intelligent for a weapon," grunted one of the armored men. His breath hissed through his mask, gun on his shoulder at the ready. "It's a dead end."
"The fact that it is a weapon means it hasn't got intelligence," snorted his partner.
"Both of you assholes shut up!" snapped the man in front of them. "Unless you want to die." He stopped suddenly, holding up a fist.
They quickly and routinely took their positions.
A girl, covered in sticky red blood, stood at the end of the hallway, her bare back to the guards. Slowly, she turned, hearing the cocking of the guns.
Most of her long white hair covered her tearful green eyes. Underneath her lower eyelashes, two fang-shaped, silver markings curved over her cheekbones. One glistening fang was visible, protruding over her soft pink lower lip.
"Dude -- it's hot!" cackled the first man. "This is the weapon?"
"Shut up, Jonah!" hissed his partner, elbowing him in the rib.
"69, control your hormones!" snapped the leader. "23, we are on a strict code-name basis. Now both of you pay attention to the job before I feed you to the hounds!"
"Sorry," the men apologized quickly.
"Don't get too close," said the leader, 9. "We still don't know what it can do."
With their guns trained on the weapon, they cautiously made their way towards it.
The girl backed up into the wall and pressed her palms against the cold steel, closing her eyes. Her lips began to form silent words.
The air grew heavy, pressing down on the guards.
"Fire!" commanded 9.
Multiple shots rang out as the girl's eyes snapped open, a look of determination upon her face.
The entire wall blew out into the darkness surrounding them with a deafening bang. The people in other areas of the building cried out and made a grab for the nearest stable object. A holding tank's glass cracked, clear fluid spraying out as the facility shook violently.
"Damn it!" cursed Lord Rodin from the roof. He watched as his precious weapon climbed easily from the rubble and headed toward the sandbar that encircled the secluded island. "We can't let it get away! Shoot it -- Shoot it now!"
The sniper stepped forward, loading her long-range rifle. She kneeled and took aim, directly at the girl, who was already waist-deep in the clear ocean waters.
The shot echoed.
The girl turned at the sound, reached out to catch the object speeding toward her. Blood trickled down the length of her arm from the hole in her palm; her eyes widened in surprise.
Another shot rang out.
The bullet struck her in the chest, and she disappeared under the the waves with a splash.
Lord Rodin tsked with annoyance, then turned and went back inside. He would simply make another weapon.