Carlene The Jazz Vampire: The Demon Children

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic


The children of Darrow are being kidnapped by a strange new breed of Demon, unlike anything even this nightmarish city have ever seen before.



Detective Cushing, the city's leading expert on the paranormal is forced to turn to a most unlikely ally. A seemingly reformed, beehive wearing, former jazz musician Vampire named Carlene.



Carlene's knowledge on the supernatural, dwarfs even the Detectives, but can the Detective trust her? Furthermore can he convince the police force of Darrow who all to the last hate the Vampire and
want to see her dead!

Submitted: January 26, 2018

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Submitted: January 26, 2018

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(Note: This is slightly longer than most short stories. This is actually a Novella, but sadly since there is no Novella category, I am listing it here. This is the first in a series, so it is longer than other entries will be, which will be shorter stories.)

 

He couldn’t believe it had happened again. In all his 30 plus years on the police force, Detective Cushing had never felt so helpless.

For the past two weeks children all over the city of Darrow were being abducted by a new kind of Demon, unlike any Darrow had ever seen before.

Though Cushing and the rest of the police force had been searching all over the city for the monsters, after a fortnight none of them had still found even the tiniest clue as to where they where, what they wanted, who they were, or where they would strike next.

The latest attack came from the outskirts of the city. A young couple’s only daughter aged just fourteen years old, named Julia Blomfield, had been snatched whilst taking her dog out for a walk on a Saturday afternoon. There had only been one witness to the incident, Julia mother who was with her at the time, but her description of the abductor matched that of the unnamed Demons. 7 foot tall, long, jagged, pointy teeth, bright yellow skin, no hair, and dressed in black robes.

The Demons would arrive at completely random points in the town, snatch a child and then vanish in a puff of blue smoke. The attacks happened both during the day and the night, whilst the children were aged anywhere between 3 and 15, and they came from the wealthiest family in the city to the poorest.  Aside from the fact that the victims were children there was no pattern to any of these attacks.

Darrow had a long history with the Supernatural. It had in fact been founded by Vampires. Originally a group of Vampires had set up a small town in the English countryside after the Vandals (the Vampires Demonic rivals) had overrun all of Europe. Whilst Vampires are normally cowardly, self serving, greedy monsters who have trouble working together. These Vampires had been forced to work together out of fear of their rivals.

The town of Darrow was well defended by magics (one of the Vampires had been a powerful wizard in life) as well as various other traps and barriers. Virtually no one could get in to the town, but no one could leave it either. The Vampires got round this however by keeping a large supply of human captives in cages like cattle who they would force to breed with one another to supply them with more food. The humans would be forced to live lives of the most unbearable torment and suffering at the hands of their sadistic Vampire captors.

Ultimately however the Vampires time would come after two or so centuries of living in Darrow thanks ironically to their own captives, who were eventually able to overthrow the monsters in their sleep. After the Vampires were driven out of the town they founded, their former victims would use the blood suckers former defences to protect themselves from the Vandals who wanted to take over the town in the Vampires absence.

Darrow managed to persevere against constant attacks from the Vandals (and vengeful Vampires). Ironically after having been seen as a place of great suffering and fear for so long, Darrow soon became a symbol of freedom for people living under the Vandals rule.

People would flock to the town in droves from all over the United Kingdom. Many of the most rich and powerful members of society would flee to Darrow too (as they were often the people under the thumb of the Vandals the most). As a result of their influence in time Darrow would go from being a small town to a big city that at one point even managed to rival London itself.

Despite this however a few of the original Vampire founders were able to by pass the cities defences and make their way back into the city. The reason these Vampires were successful unlike the Vandals was because they obviously knew the city inside out, and in some cases  had even created its defences themselves. These Vampires managed to infect several citizens of Darrow leading to the city still having a large Vampire population. As the presence of the Vampires grew, fewer people would flock to the city and its overall state degenerated in comparison to London.  Some actually felt it was preferable to live under the Vandals than deal with the Vampires at all.

As the centuries passed and knowledge of the supernatural faded from the public, and the rule of the Vandals came to an end. Then most of the people in Darrow would come to believe that the paranormal did not exist too. It was in fact the Vandals themselves who originally spread the lie that Vampires, Demons, Witches etc did not exist. They did this in order to keep their prey docile and unsuspecting.

The higher ups, the leaders of European society were obviously still aware of the monsters presence and would be forced by the Vandals to help them cover up their activities and clamp down on any one who knew the truth.

After the Vandals power base was mostly gone, the lie about supernatural creatures being just myths would continue as it was thought that modern society having become used to believing that these creatures were myths would not be able to cope with the truth. Darrow would ultimately be forced to go along with the lie, though its police force would always remain aware of the supernatural.

As the centuries went on, more and more Vampires would come to Darrow, even those who didn’t know its history. The city soon developed a reputation among not just Vampires, but Demons as being a hotspot for them.

The police would always remain aware that Vampires existed right up until the 1960s which is when our story takes place. Whilst the general population mostly remained ignorant of the supernatural activities in the city. Darrow did still gain a reputation as a dangerous and crime laden place.

Cushing who was 56 years old, had lived in the city for his entire life. He had grown up in the slums of the Darrow. During his youth he had constant dealings with supernatural creatures. The area he lived in had in fact been plagued by a hideous Gharlish Demon. Gharlish Demons were relatively rare. They had the ability to take the form of whoever they devoured. This Gharlish had devoured a local teacher named Mr Watson and subsequently taken his place.

It posed as Mr Watson during the day, whilst at night it would morph into its true form, a large bestial Demon where it would prowl the streets looking for prey.

It became the most feared Demon in the area. Virtually no one in the slums dared to go out after dark in case the Demon was loose.

Cushing was absolutely terrified of the Demon as a child so much he could barely sleep at nights. The fear became so overwhelming that at one point he didn’t even want to leave the house. Cushing would manage to overcome this sheer terror of the supernatural by constantly reading up on them. He wanted to be sure that if he ever did encounter a Demon he would know exactly how to kill it.

Later Cushing ended up actually attending the school Mr Watson taught at and consequently was be able to deduce that his teacher was really the Demon thanks to the knowledge he gained.

First of all Cushing was able to match descriptions of the Demon to an illustration of a Gharlish Demon he had found in an old book in the library’s occult section. This had been the only book to contain any information on the Gharlishs. Gharlishs were a relatively rare and secretive race, and not much information had been recorded on them in general.

No one in Cushing’s area had known how to fight it prior to his extensive study as no one even knew what it was. The police themselves meanwhile again didn’t focus too much attention on the slums either which had obviously made it easier for the Demon.

After discovering what type of Demon it was Cushing realised that it had to have a civilian identity. He suspected that it might be his cruel teacher Watson on just a hunch. He had no real proof yet, but he had always felt there was something off about Watson.

Cushing talked to the people who had known the real Watson whose life the Demon had stolen including many of his co-workers. They said that ten years ago “Watson” suddenly changed. He had been a kind, outgoing, very sociable guy who was in a long term relationship with a woman named Sally.

However all of a sudden he broke off his relationship with Sally, shunned all of his friends and became a total recluse. His attitude towards his job changed as well. He became more callous and bad tempered towards his children and would even make sure he always ate alone at lunch time.

This change in Watson’s personality also coincided with the date the Gharlish Demon’s attacks began to happen in the slums.

Cushing finally gained the hard proof he needed when working with one of his teachers (who also did not trust Watson.) He was able to investigate his office after School finished and find a piece of the Demon’s skin. The Demon when changing shape would regularly shed its skin. Normally it would dispose of its own skin by eating it, but it had obviously missed this tiny piece.

Cushing would later with the teachers aid, snare the Demon in a trap using one of its few weakness’s, Relsik, which was a special kind of magically fused liquid. The teacher managed to lure the monster into an alleyway by telling it that he knew its true identity. When it cornered the teacher, Cushing dropped the liquid on its head. The Demon was burned horribly and forced to flee, barely surviving.

Cushing would be celebrated in his local area as a hero, and would continue to study the supernatural and eventually worked his way through the ranks of the police force to become a Detective by his mid 20s.

Detective Cushing’s knowledge of the paranormal eclipsed even those on the Darrow police force, and he became a highly respected figure throughout the city. Despite this however Cushing would suffer many crushing tragedies and be involved in a few notable controversies throughout the years.

The Gharlish Demon that he had driven away would return to Darrow many years later. Scarred, weak, and humiliated, the beast was hungry for revenge.

The monster would continue to battle Cushing for many years, becoming his sworn enemy in the process. The Demon had gotten lazy during its time in the slums as no one until Cushing had bothered to challenge it.

Now however having learned from its mistakes and feeling embittered it became a truly dangerous foe for Cushing. Though it was never able to kill the Detective, it did still manage to murder his first wife Cathy and son Tom in cold blood. The Demon would later assume their forms regularly when battling Cushing in order to further torment the Detective.

Cushing was completely crushed by what happened to his family. He was never the same again. Still the detective would nevertheless much to his surprise find himself falling in love with a benevolent female Demon named Sheresia.

Sheresia and Cushing would go on to have a son named Patrick. Sadly Patrick did not try and control his Demonic nature like his mother. Though Cushing and his wife desperately tried to help their son, eventually Patrick would go so far as to actually murder his own mother!

Cushing considered murdering his son for this, judging him to be no better than the Demons he fought. However ultimately the detective found that he could not bring himself to slay Patrick and so he instead banished him from Darrow; warning his son never to return or else he would finally kill him.

Naturally this hurt Cushing’s reputation somewhat. The fact that he had been involved with a Demon never mind helped to raise one, caused many people to turn on him. He and Sheresia had even had to deal with people attacking them in the streets during their relationship. Some even believed that Cushing had been put under a spell by the Demon.

Of course nothing could be further from the truth. Cushing had genuinely loved Sheresia, and her death along with the loss of his entire family took an immense physical toll on him. In spite of this however Cushing would continue to be Darrow city police force’s leading expert on the occult. If anything his work improved after the death of Sheresia. He hated having to spend any time on his own. Work kept him distracted at least.

Sadly however despite the detective’s long and personal history with the supernatural even he had never seen anything like the Demons that were plaguing Darrow now and stealing its children.

As Cushing returned to his empty house that night his thoughts drifted to his lost loved ones as they often did on those long, lonely evenings. He remembered the overwhelming despair he felt when he found out what happened to his first son and how now because of his failure more people would have to go through that same pain tonight of losing a child.

He began to consider asking Carlene for help. He didn’t want to. His association with Carlene had in some ways been even more controversial than his relationship with Sheresia. None of the other officers on the force wanted to work with Carlene and that was on good days.

Cushing himself held no ill will towards her. In fact he even trusted her somewhat, though not completely. Even someone as open minded as Cushing couldn’t ever quite get by what Carlene was.

Still he was fast running out of options and determined that the Demons weren’t going to steal another child. Even though he knew it would be difficult, just to not have his officers try and drive a stake through her heart. Cushing decided he would contact the Vampire.

Rose was bored. For the last few days Carlene had been spending all day on her latest case. “The Vampire was so obsessive” she thought to herself. “I suppose anything to distract herself from her bloodlust“. Still Rose missed her friends company. Oh the irony she thought. Here she was missing a Vampire of all things.

Rose and Carlene lived in an old abandoned mansion just outside of the city of Darrow. Rose was a Ghost. In life she had ironically been a Vampire and Vandal hunter. Her father Keith had originally been a priest who had broken his vows when he fell in love with a young woman and had a child with her, Rose. After being disgraced from the Church, Keith felt the only way he could possibly redeem his soul was if he slayed as many hellbeasts as possible. Though he wanted to keep his new wife, Marina and daughter out of his life as a hunter, ultimately Marina insisted on joining him.

Marina too felt she had to better herself. She had been a constant embarrassment to her family throughout her entire life. She was wild, got into fights, and trouble with the law regularly. In fact she first met Keith through confession. The reason they fell in love was because she felt that he was the only person who had ever seen any good in her.

The entire family therefore became Vampire, Vandal and Demon hunters. They earned quite a reputation as time went on, but sadly Marina would later die. Not at the hands of a Demon, but simply from a terminal disease. Her death was slow and lingering. At one point Keith even considered using magics to save her, but Serena begged him not to, fearing that there would be consequences in going against the natural order, and that it would damn his soul beyond the point of no return.

Keith was left completely broken by his beloved’s death. Though he still continued on as a Vampire hunter he was a mere shell of his former self and if anything he was a hindrance to his daughter more than anything else.

On hunts he frequently messed up, put them both in danger and simply lacked the determination needed for such a dangerous line of work anymore.

Sadly this would prove to be their undoing when the two took on one of the most vicious Vampire packs in all of England.

These Vampires were utterly devoted to the destruction of the Vandals above all else. However this did not mean they were humanities allies. They believed that they would need to destroy all of European society in order to destroy the Vandals. They were essentially anarchists who believed that the Vampires would only thrive when there was nothing but bloodshed and chaos all over the world. Initially they had several cells all across Europe, but they had been cut down by the Vandals to just one. Still this remaining cell had managed to destroy entire villages and even small cities.

Rose and Keith would actually work alongside a pack of Vandals to try and destroy the final group of anarchist Vampires.

Sadly however again thanks to Keith’s blundering their plan failed and the Vampires slaughtered all of the Vandals.

Keith was captured by the Vampires. Though his actions had inadvertently alerted the Vampires to their presence, he still managed to aid his daughter in escaping by distracting the Vampires whilst she fled. She didn’t want to leave him and even still tried to help him, but as the Vampires swarmed Keith it became apparent that there was nothing she could do help him and she was forced to flee. Had she stayed even for a minute longer then her father’s sacrifice would have been in vain.

At first the Vampires wanted to torture Keith, the notorious Demon hunter to death as a sign of their triumph. However they soon saw that his spirit was already broken and that he didn’t care what happened to him (which had been another reason he had sacrificed himself as well as his love for his daughter).

The person Keith loved more than anything else was gone, and even worse he felt he had failed his daughter. His latest sacrifice in his mind did not even come close to making up for all of his failings as a father. He had always felt guilt simply for bringing Rose into this life. Always travelling from town to town, never being able to settle anywhere, with the Vandals constantly hunting her. Above all else however Keith felt guilt for not being strong enough for his daughter.

He knew that she was in tremendous pain over the loss of Marina too and whilst Rose had been there for her father throughout it. He had never been there for her. He was too caught up in his own grief. Now she was going to have continue on living this miserable life alone. Keith welcomed death.

The leader of the Vampires however sensed that deep down Keith was a man angry at his God due the loss of his wife. Marina was a warrior, but she didn’t die in the heat of battle. She had merely wasted away to nothing. Keith felt that it was Gods punishment for their love breaking his vow.

When Keith found out that the Vampires had intended to make him one of their own he begged and pleaded for them to just kill him which of course only made the Vampires desire to turn the former priest stronger.

In his last few moments Keith thought how it had all been pointless. He had waged war on the supernatural to try and cleanse his soul. It was why Marina had spent the last few years of her life constantly fighting to survive, why Rose would never have a normal life. All to try and make him a better man in the eyes of the Lord and spare his soul. He of course never wanted either of them to make those sacrifices, but they did it because they loved him. Now their sacrifices were for nothing. Keith was destined to become the most deplorable of all creatures forever.

His last words as himself, whilst the Vampires sunk their fangs into his neck, were to curse the God he had spent his entire life worshipping.

After becoming a monster, Keith sought to eliminate the biggest reminder of his former life as a man. His daughter Rose.

Rose had been forced to retreat underground into an elaborate cave system as the Vampires had blocked off all routes of escape above ground. Unfortunately for her Keith knew the system, as he and Rose had used it along with the Vandals to enter the area, as the Vampires did not know of its existence.

Keith directed his new Vampire allies through the cave system, but still Rose managed to fight her way out. Fleeing through the countryside from hordes of Vampires, Rose later managed to find refuge in an abandoned mansion.

She blocked the mansion up from the inside and managed to hold the Vampires off for several days. Sadly her father who knew her tactics better than anyone else was eventually able to breach her defences and personally killed her.

Rose was in fact Keith’s first ever victim. Her death would demonstrate more than any of the other thousands of grisly murders he would carry out that all of his humanity had truly gone.

Keith would later take over the Vampire anarchist group. He felt that their plan to simply cause chaos across Europe was doomed to fail. He said that the Vandals were far too organised for the Vampires and that was why all but one of their cells had been crushed.

The leader and Keith fought, and though the leader was older and stronger, Keith’s knowledge on Vampire weaknesses and experience in battling Demons and Vampires, now allied with Vampiric strength gave him an advantage and allowed him to kill the leader of the Vampires.

After this he would then demand that the Vampires abandon their beliefs and instead try to build a cohesive society that would benefit them all. The town Keith’s Vampires would build not far from the mansion he had butchered his daughter in would come to be known as Darrow.

After her death, Rose would return as a Ghost. She was able to leave her place of death albeit only temporarily using magics. There she would work against the Vampires in secret (with none of them knowing she had returned as a Ghost).

Rose would be the one who would bring the Vampires rule over Darrow to an end. She helped their prisoners escape, supplied them with knowledge of the Vampires weaknesses and helped to eventually lead them to overthrow the monsters.

After the Vampires were defeated, Rose would continue to haunt the mansion she had died in, though she would still occasionally venture out into the town of Darrow to help its police officers.

She and Detective Cushing had worked together on a number of cases.  They later developed a close friendship. In 1950 Cushing saved Rose from being exorcised by a group of Demons. The rest of the police force would similarly develop a positive relationship with Rose too.

Though she was a supernatural creature,  Ghosts are not drawn towards one alignment like Demons. Even then however some officers still distrusted her, but it was still nowhere near as bad as how the Darrow police force by and large viewed Carlene.

When Carlene first arrived in Rose’s mansion, Rose tried to kill her without a seconds hesitation. Fortunately it didn’t take the Ghost long to see that Carlene was different to all the other Vampires she had fought for the past several centuries.

Carlene in life had been a struggling musician. She had been the lead singer of a band called the Dots. Though they had never broken into the mainstream they did enjoy great acclaim within the industry itself. Their style was a mixture of Jazz and old soul music. They had even toured with the Beatles in 1964.

Jazz had always been Carlene’s first love. Indeed she developed her interest in music as a child when her father used to sing around the house. Carlene herself would later take up this habit to the point where teachers would often have to tell her to stop singing in class.

Carlene was a very talented singer and songwriter. She was really the face of her band, with their original name even having been Carlene and the Dots. She was also in a relationship with her Base player Thomas.

Sadly however Carlene’s time would come as the hands of an obsessive fan named Alex. He was in his own twisted way in love with Carlene. He visited every single one of her concerts and had posters of Carlene lining his bedroom wall.

Whilst Carlene thought he was sweet at first eventually his behaviour began to scare her the more erratic it became which eventually culminated in Alex attacking Thomas after one concert in a jealous rage.

After this Carlene put a restraining order against Alex and he fell into a deep depression as a result. Alex had been a sad, lonely, bitter man whose entire life had come to revolve around a band. He went completely off the rails and started drinking heavily. One night after getting into a fight with someone at a pub, he was spotted by a Vampire. The Vampire sensed Alex’s anger, bitterness and despair. It felt that he had great potential. Vampires would always seek out the most hateful, angry and vicious people to turn into members of their kind, as they would naturally make the most effective Vampires.

Unfortunately however for the Vampire who wanted him to join its pack, Alex proved to be unpredictable even as a Vampire. He was still desperately in love with Carlene. The breed of Vampire Alex had become were known as the Heklox. They had more humanity than other breeds. All Vampire breeds could be broadly divided into three categories, Savage Vampires, Soul Vampires and Pure Vampires.

Pure Vampires are the most common. These Vampires are when a persons soul is turned into a Demons soul. Thus they are still the people they once were, but all humanity and positive emotions such as love, compassion and remorse are purged from them and any negative qualities the human had are enhanced, creating an absolute monster.

Savage Vampires meanwhile are where the human soul is ejected from the body and a Demon spirit takes over the body. These Vampires have no connection to the people they took over. They are Demons right to their core and are often as single minded as animals.

Finally, Soul Vampires are where the human soul remains in the body, but a Demonic soul also resides in the body too. The human soul is still in control of the body, but the Demonic one influences it. It represses all of its positive human emotions such as love, bravery, compassion, and adds a killer instinct, bloodlust and again amplifies any negative traits the human had in life.

Savage Vampires being the most Demonic are usually the most powerful, whilst Pure Vampires are the most common. Soul Vampires meanwhile are not only the weakest but are often look down upon by Pure Vampires for having the stench of humanity.

Ironically the overwhelming majority of Soul Vampires are still evil, bloodthirsty monsters too. Nevertheless they do still have more human emotions. Unlike other Vampire breeds for instance some Soul Vampires can experience love and affection though again it will always take on a perverse and twisted form.

The key difference between a Soul Vampire and the other two types is that there is still a trace of humanity in them. It is theoretically possible for a Soul Vampire to resist the Demon’s influence, but it requires the most unbelievable force of will and almost all of the people chosen to be Vampires are usually already twisted, or at the very least, bitter, angry, sad and weak, so they give into the darkness easily and willingly.

Carlene however would prove to be an exception. The rogue Alex would turn her into a Vampire out of his own twisted love for her. He wanted Carlene to be his bride forever.

Alex would try and force Carlene to join the pack of Vampires that had made him. As Carlene had not been selected by their leader, they weren’t sure about her. This pack of Vampires were ruled by an ancient member of their kind who lived in the London Underground. This Vampire known only as Mahkro had in fact once ruled London until the Vandals burned the city to the ground. This event became known as the Great Fire of London. Mahkro survived but would be forced to flee through Europe for many centuries before finally returning to his former power base in the 1960s.

In order to prove that Carlene was one of them, Mahkro would demand that she slaughter an innocent in front of all the other Vampires. The victim in question was a young girl named Sarah, and the only survivor from a double decker bus the monsters had attacked in the middle of the street. Among the victims had included Sarah’s parents. The Vampires had spent the last several hours brutally torturing her, but now wanted Carlene to finish her off.

Carlene was utterly horrified at the sight of the young girl, strung from the ceiling like an animal, beaten, cut, and bruised. Normally a Vampire would be overcome with twisted and dark urges and impulses to hurt a vulnerable person in pain.

Carlene however whilst still feeling the bloodlust to some extent was still able to control it. She was a one in a million Soul Vampire, that didn’t let the darkness and hate consume her.

Acting quickly she grabbed Sarah and simply jumped through the window with her super speed and strength. Carlene ran through the streets of London with the girl in tow, fleeing the Vampires, she managed to get Sarah to safety.

Alex would be thrown out of the clan as a result. His passion for Carlene soon turned to rage, blaming her all of his woes, he wanted to make her suffer and soon targeted Thomas..

Unfortunately for Alex, Carlene knew that he would probably go after Thomas. She had been monitoring Thomas herself for many days after saving Sarah and was therefore able to intercept Alex. After a final showdown she managed to slay her murderer by driving a stake through the Vampires heart.

After Alex’s death Carlene would stay around London for a few more days, watching her loved ones from afar to make sure that no more Vampires came after them.

After a while she eventually left London. She couldn’t bare to look at the old life she had lost. She wanted to tell Thomas, her mother, her father, all of whom’s lives had been completely destroyed by her death that she was still here. At the same time however she didn’t want them to see her like this.

She also didn’t want to drag them into the un-natural, Demonic world that she was now trapped in either.

Also being around anyone was hard for her. Though she had succeeded in controlling her thirst around Sarah, the longer Carlene went without blood, the harder it was to the point where she couldn’t look at someone in the street without having fantasies of ripping their throat out.

Carlene ran from the city of London and out into the wilderness. Now on the road and without blood, she became weak and frail and wandered aimlessly like a living corpse, before eventually stumbling upon the city of Darrow.

When she first entered the city she hoped that maybe she could stand to be around people again. The loneliness on the road had driven her mad. Even at this point a part of Carlene, underneath the despair and Demonic urges naively hoped that one day she might be able to return to her old life.

As soon as she made her way into Darrow however she saw that it was pointless. Her bloodlust was no different to before and she instantly retreated to the dark alley’s of Darrow for many weeks.

Still she hoped that she could try and control it one day and didn’t leave the city completely. Sadly a fateful encounter with a dying man however would change Carlene’s life forever.

By chance a group of thugs had chased a hapless poor man down the alleyway Carlene had been sleeping in. As they attacked him the noise awoke the sleeping Vampire. Carlene chased the thugs away. In her current state without blood she was too weak to fight them off, but fortunately for her all she needed to do was simply bare her fangs and hiss at them and the thugs fled.

They had lived on the rough streets of the city their whole life and so they knew a Vampire when they saw one.

The thugs victim lay on the floor, beaten, bloodied and helpless. Carlene couldn’t fight her Demonic urges any longer. The smell of his blood drove her crazy and she finally gave into her thirst. She sunk her teeth into his throat and drained him dry in a matter of seconds. She never felt anything like it. For those few seconds it was like she wasn’t there, yet at the same time the sheer sensation at the mere taste of human blood was unlike anything she had ever felt before.

As a Vampire she had felt dead to most emotions, but now in complete contrast she had never known a sheer feeling of absolute ecstasy like this.

She was so disgusted with herself that she tried to commit suicide, however she found that she could not quite work up the courage to end her life.

Still overcome with shame and self loathing, she once again retreated into the wilderness away from the big city.

Stumbling upon the abandoned mansion Carlene decided to lock herself away in there for good to prevent hurting anyone else.

However she soon found that the mansion was not abandoned after all. When Rose saw a Vampire entering the house she was absolutely disgusted and tried to stake Carlene right away.

Carlene did not fight back. She might not have had the strength to end her own life, but she was okay with someone else doing it. She pleaded with Rose to put her out of her misery, but ironically it was that very thing that convinced Rose that she was different.

Vampires were cowards. They did not care for anyone or anything but themselves, yet here was a Vampire that wanted to end its own existence in order to prevent anyone else from being hurt.

To Rose a remorseful Vampire was almost like a contradiction in terms. She actually thought it was a trick at first, but it didn’t take long for her to see Carlene’s sorrow was genuine.

She couldn’t help but pity the Vampire. A Vampire was the most disgusting creature on earth, but for one of them to actually be aware of what it was was a fate that Rose wouldn’t wish on her worst enemy.

Rose refused to kill Carlene and instead would try and help her. At first Carlene didn’t even want to try and control her urges. She felt it was not only too difficult, but that she also didn’t deserve to have any kind of quality of life after what she had done.

Carlene would remain in the mansion for many months. During this time she and Rose would develop a very strong friendship. The two women were able to bond over what they had lost more than anything else. Both had been cut down in their prime, were trapped in a horrible state between life and death. Still able to see the world but never be a part of it. Never interact with an ordinary human being ever again, and never have kids.

Carlene had always wanted children. She adored children. Despite her musical aspirations (which were also now gone forever) Carlene actually wanted nothing more than to be an ordinary Jewish mother, being overly protective of and spoiling her kids.

Now that would never happen and she had possibly an entire eternity to wonder what if.

Eventually however Carlene began to grow a bit stir crazy cooped up in the mansion all the time. She hoped that perhaps she could, having been helped through her depression slightly by Rose’s support, maybe try and control her bloodlust too.

Rose would always accompany Carlene out to make sure that she didn’t fall off the wagon. Carlene found it near impossible at first to be around anyone. She’d often only manage a few minutes around someone before the thirst and violent urges became too overwhelming.

Sadly Carlene’s condition did not improve even after several months of training. She later considered running away into the wilderness again as she was scared that Rose having seen her failure to fight the Demon inside her would view her as nothing more than a monster.

Instead Rose told her that she still believed in Carlene and that running away would accomplish nothing. Rose told Carlene something that would inspire her to not ever give up more than anything else. Rose told Carlene that she owed it to the man whose life she had taken to try and control the beast within her. If she died or worse just gave in and became a blood thirsty monster then his death will have been utterly pointless. If she tried to control her urges and actually used her powers to help people, then his death can at least serve as reminder to Carlene never to lose control again.

Carlene agreed and would continue to try and control her urges and master her Vampiric powers. Always keeping the image of the man whose life she had ended in her head every time she was near someone.

She also learned how to harness her Vampiric powers and was trained by Rose herself to learn how to fight too. Rose was Carlene’s mentor every step of the way.

The most difficult thing for Carlene when learning how to fight was in not letting the thirst and violent urges take control whilst fighting. Rose again however would give her sound advice, telling her not to ignore the thirst as she couldn’t ignore it. It was now a part of her whether she wanted to admit it or not.

Instead she needed to face it and prove that she was stronger than it. In a life and death situation when facing a Demon, one that perhaps was stronger than her, she should use her bloodlust as a weapon.

Ironically this would prove to be the key aspect of her controlling her thirst. Her guilt stopped it from overcoming her, but channelling it into battling other forces of evil allowed her to truly master it for her own ends.

Eventually though it took a long time, Carlene finally managed to control her Vampiric urges completely and had trained herself to become a truly devastating fighter in full control of her Vampiric powers.

Carlene hoped to use these powers to protect her new home, Darrow, having been told what a mess the city was in by Rose.

Carlene knew that it would be difficult to operate in the city, not just because of the Demons, but the people too. Rose warned Carlene that the police force of the city would be very unlikely to accept her because of what she was. In fact she would be lucky if they didn’t kill her on sight.

Rose directed Carlene towards her old friend, Detective Cushing who she knew would perhaps be more willing to believe her that a Vampire of all creatures could have changed.

Whilst Detective Cushing was skeptical about Carlene, he and the Vampire would nevertheless work together to stop a particularly vicious Demon that had been terrorising the city for several months.

The Demon named Drestox enjoyed collecting souls the of its victims. It had during its entire life collected over 5248 souls from people.

Carlene aided Cushing in tracking the Demon through the sewers of Darrow. Before no one had been able to find out where the monster was, but Carlene’s enhanced sense of smell would prove vital in tracking the beast to its lair.

The Demon was a powerful adversary, and even with her training Carlene struggled against it. Fortunately with help from Cushing she was able to slay the beast.

After this Carlene and Cushing would continue to work on more cases together and save many more lives. Carlene would further help to control her bloodlust by obsessing over the cases she went on with Cushing. She and Cushing didn’t develop quite the friendship that she had with Rose, but Cushing still came to respect the Vampire nonetheless and they developed a very positive working relationship with each other. The fact that both were such workaholics helped to make them an effective team.

Sadly the same could not be said for Carlene’s relationship with the rest of the Darrow police force. The Chief Constable Michelle in particular despised Carlene. Michelle had an extreme hatred towards Vampires and felt that Carlene was duping Detective Cushing. Michelle’s pathological hatred of the Undead stemmed from a traumatic experience during her teenage years involving a group of Vampires.

Like Cushing, Michelle came from the slums of Darrow. When she was a teenager she was attacked coming home from school by a vicious thug named Jack who tried to rob her. Michelle however managed to get the better of him. She kicked him in the groin when he was caught off guard and quickly grabbed his knife that he had dropped. In desperation and fear she slashed him several times across the face.

Jack ran from Michelle, bleeding and in agony he collapsed not long after and was swiftly apprehended by the police. For this and various other crimes he carried out he was sentenced to 10 years in jail. Jack also received many gruesome and permanent scars from Michelle’s attack too.

Jack blamed all of his woes naturally on Michelle. He didn’t hold himself responsible at all for his own actions. In spite of everything he had done he always viewed himself as a victim.

Jack had come from an impoverished background. His mother had died in childbirth and his father, Robert had turned to alcoholism after her demise which in turn led to him losing his job. He would often take his frustrations out on Jack. Robert had never wanted to be a father and eventually he threw Jack out onto the streets when the latter was 13. The young Jack begged and pleaded with his father not to give him up, but Robert coldly ignored his cries.

When Jack tried to run back to his father, Robert punched him in the face and broke his nose.

It would be the last time Jack would ever see his father as a human.

Jack was a survivor however and would continue to live on the streets for the next 10 or so years. He joined many street gangs for protection, though he would often just keep quiet at the back. As time went on however he became more bold and began to take part in more and more violent crimes.

In Michelle’s case he thought she would be an easy victim so he attacked her alone. It was of course a catastrophic mistake, and one that would ultimately cost him his life.

The prison Jack had been sent to was in fact run by a Vampire named Jerome. Jerome belonged to a large and strong pack of Vampires. These beasts main base operations was an old abandoned warehouse in the heart of the slums of Darrow. Jerome was not their leader but he did an important job of recruiting new members of their gang. Many Vampires are known to recruit new members of their kind in jail as it is obviously the best place to find the most twisted, violent and degenerate members of society who make the most effective Vampires.

Jerome got to know Jack well and often taunted him with the knowledge that the people who ruined his life, his father, the girl who disfigured, humiliated and ultimately sent him down were all living their lives happily, and doing whatever they wanted whilst he was trapped here. Since kicking Jack out onto the streets, Robert had managed to turn his life around. He had overcome his alcoholism, managed to find a steady job. He had even remarried.

Jack’s rage, bitterness and hatred became completely out of control from this point on. He would regularly fight with other prisoners and guards too. One day when Jerome was taunting Jack about his father, Jack completely lost it and tried to stab Jerome to death. Jerome being a Vampire of course survived the attack effortlessly, but this finally convinced Jerome that Jack would make an excellent Vampire and he turned him.

After becoming a Vampire, Jack would easily escape prison and finally get his revenge on all of those he felt had ruined his life. Chief among those was of course his father who he tracked down and tortured to death. He also slaughtered all of the members of the last gang he was in. Jack felt that they had betrayed him by not bothering to even try and free him once he had been apprehended.

Finally Jack targeted Michelle. The scars she had given him had not healed as they had been made whilst he was human. The other Vampires would regularly mock and laugh at him for his deformed appearance.

Jack managed to capture Michelle’s family, consisting of her mother, father and baby brother Neil. Jack murdered Neil by snapping his neck in front of Michelle. He then butchered both of her parents in front of her and kept her in a cage deep within the Vampires base. There she would be tortured along with the Vampire clans other captives for several weeks.

Eventually Michelle would be saved when Detective Cushing was able to find the Vampire’s nest. Michelle was the only survivor from the Vampires captives. The only reason she survived was because Jack had wished to extend her torture longer. Most of the Vampires were killed in the fight. Cushing had brought an entire team with him, but sadly Jack, ever the survivor managed to escape.

Michelle who was only 17 years old would never be the same again. She desired nothing more than to make Jack pay for what he had done. She joined the police force, trained herself, read up on the supernatural, all initially so that she could simply become strong enough to destroy this one monster.

Throughout all her years of training one thing she feared more than anything else was that another officer or even just a lone Vampire hunter might find Jack first and slay him before she had a chance.

Unfortunately for Michelle she was never able to catch the Vampire. Though she was a skilled officer, her single mindedness is tracking down this one monster soon posed problems with the rest of the force.

Michelle would only realise how far her obsession with destroying Jack had gone under the most tragic circumstances.

One night Michelle had managed to trace Jack to his latest hideout. There he had abducted a young girl. She was no older than 14 years old.

When Michelle cornered Jack with a crossbow bolt he threatened to murder the girl but Michelle didn’t actually care. She tried to justify it to herself that if she didn’t do all she could to stop Jack now he would slaughter more innocents. Of course the real reason was because all she wanted was to see the Vampire that ruined her life dead.

Michelle fired her crossbow bolt at Jack, not caring if it hit the girl or not. Jack however managed to evade it whilst still holding onto his prisoner. Realising that Michelle was single minded in killing him to the point where she didn’t care about the girl. Jack stabbed her as he had no further use for her, before fleeing the area.

Michelle looked at the girl lying on the floor, bleeding, sobbing and begging her for help. Michelle however simply ignored her and went after Jack.

It was a decision that she would come to regret for the rest of her life but at the time she didn’t care.

When she cornered Jack in a nearby alleyway she finally thought she had the monster, but instead the Vampire just laughed in her face.

He told her that when he saw her come into his base he wanted to see how far Michelle would actually go just to get back at her nemesis.

He could barely contain his glee as he asked her what she did with the girl he stabbed. Jack wasn’t actually scared of Michelle. He only fled to see if she would stay with the girl or not. When she didn’t the Vampire told Michelle that he had won as now she was a monster too. He taunted Michelle that if he turned her it would make no difference as she was already someone who was willing to allow a young girl to die just to satisfy her own lust for vengeance.

Michelle realised that he was right. This was one more thing Jack had taken from her. Her own morality.

It all finally began to sink in what she had become and she instantly ran back to the warehouse with Jack’s laughter ringing in her ears.

By the time she got here it was too late. The girl had bled to death. Michelle initially planned to turn herself in for her crime. However she decided that she had to make it up to the girl whose life she had simply tossed away in her feud with the Vampire. Ironically she was very much like Carlene in this respect.

Michelle would for the first time devote her life to helping others, where as before her time on the force had only ever been directed towards the goal of getting her revenge.

Eventually over the years she would become respected throughout the city and rise through the ranks of the police force to become Chief Constable. Sadly she was still never able to slay Jack, but at the very least the Vampire was always forced to go on the run to avoid her.

Michelle never told anyone on the force the truth. She only ever told one person, Detective Cushing. It would become publicly known years after her death. Though Jack did regularly accuse her of leaving the girl to die, Michelle always denied it and as the Vampire had no proof then his accusations were hollow.

Despite the positive changes in Michelle’s character however she would remain just as dogmatic in her belief that all Demons in the city needed to be slain. Normally this did not pose a problem however, as the rest of the Darrow police force had the exact same attitude towards Demons.

However when Carlene showed up Michelle began to clash for the first time with her oldest friend Detective Cushing.

Cushing had always been there for Michelle since he rescued her from the clutches of the Vampires. Even during her darkest times he had always told her that he believed in her.

Michelle for her part would always defend Cushing from the other members of the force after his relationship with Sheresia. Michelle had only joined the force after Patrick had killed Sheresia.

Cushing’s reputation was of course at its absolute lowest at this point and Michelle was practically the only person on the force who was his friend.

However even then Cushing didn’t appreciate Michelle’s defence of him, as she would often claim that Sheresia had enchanted him. She herself believed it to be real, as there was no other reason in her mind a man of Cushing’s integrity could ever love a Demon.

Sadly however when Carlene showed up, Cushing and Michelle’s friendship would finally come to an end. Michelle felt betrayed after all the times she had defended him that he was now working alongside the worst of all supernatural creatures a Vampire.

Cushing tried to reason with Michelle telling her that Carlene was different. He even tried to relate Carlene’s situation to what Michelle had gone through, telling her that just as Michelle was once corrupted by hatred yet managed to overcome it, then Carlene could too.

This backfired on the Detective however. Michelle did not appreciate being compared to a Vampire and even slapped Cushing for daring to compare her grief to the twisted urges of a monster.

The only reason that Michelle did not outright order that Carlene be killed, and fire Cushing was because of the debt she owed him in saving her life.

Her relationship with Cushing however would continue to be tense and whilst she didn’t fire Cushing she would never go to him for help again unless she absolutely had to.

Michelle had only met Carlene once, but it had been a very tense meeting to say the least with Michelle at one point even shooting the Vampire in the stomach.

After this Carlene would prefer to work alone when solving cases. Though she would still sometimes work with Cushing, she generally preferred to keep her distance from the police force unless she had no choice.

Sadly for her this would be one of those times.

Cushing had a key to the mansion’s front door. He was the only person on the force that Rose trusted with one.

As soon as he entered he was greeted by Rose who was happy for any kind of company at this point, though sadly she knew this wasn’t a social call. It never was with Cushing.

Rose greeted her old friend warmly. “Nice to see you here Detective, but I trust you didn’t just pop by to have a chat with your favourite Ghost and Vampire? What unspeakable horror is lurking in the fine city of Darrow this time?

Cushing didn’t have time for pleasantries. He wanted to speak with Carlene now.

I’m a little insulted. Am I not good enough anymore? Here I thought I was popular but it turns out all my friends only care about seeing me because of my cool Vampire friend?

Rose could tell Cushing was getting a little frustrated with her awkward jokes and so she told him firmly.

She’s upstairs. I honestly wouldn’t bother her though Cushing. You know what she’s like when she thinks she is onto something. You’d be better talking to me. Carlene has been working on this case of hers for weeks, you are not going to pry her from it, or even get her to share it with you. She’s not dared to share it with a humble spirit like me of course. At least not yet. Still from what I gather she thinks she is on to some kind of master criminal. I think she’s right, in fact I know she is, but I’m just annoyed that she has to seal herself up like that.”

Cushing however hadn’t bothered to listen to Rose after she had told him where Carlene was and just headed up the stairs leaving the Ghost even more annoyed.

Upstairs Cushing found Carlene sitting in her room on the floor, surrounded by newspaper clippings and books on the occult.

The Vampire didn’t even notice that Cushing had entered the room until he spoke.

Carlene instantly stood up. She barely even came up to Cushing’s shoulder. Cushing was a tall man, at 6 foot 1 inches in height, but even with that Carlene was still tiny.

She was dressed in a low cut black top, and a short black skirt. Her hair was still styled in her signature gigantic beehive which she had always worn when she was in the Dots. Cushing suddenly saw a clawed hand poke its way out of her beehive, but whatever it was it quickly retreated back into Carlene’s hair. Cushing tried to warn her, but she told him that she knew what it was, and that her “hair” was its home. He didn’t ask any further questions.

Carlene’s skin was snow white in contrast to her clothes and hair. She had always had a somewhat pale complexion, even before becoming a Vampire. Her make up was very thick and striking. She still loved doing herself up, even though as a Vampire she was now practically asexual. Not only did it make her feel more human, but it was yet another way for her to distract herself. Everything was so manic and over the top with Carlene not just to distract her, but to overcompensate too. As a Vampire she was naturally dead to almost all emotions  except for a desire to cause pain and misery.

She had to really struggle to enjoy anything else.

Carlene was the first to speak in her thick, guttural cockney accent. “Well what do you want Detective? Whatever it is I am sorry but I can’t help. I am close to cracking possibly the most important case I, or anyone has ever had in this city. Please whatever it is, deal with it yourself

Just then Rose entered the room. “Honestly Cushing I told you, she’s busy. Why don’t you just tell me what the problem is? I have a fair bit of knowledge on the occult you know, I.” Once again however Cushing interrupted her “Please ladies I don’t have time for this, I really need your help, both of you, if you will only just let me explain“.

Carlene however still wasn’t even remotely interested. In fact she was getting very frustrated that the Detective and her friend had not just left. She shouted over Cushing and Rose who had started arguing. Once she had their attention Carlene explained to Cushing that she believed many of the supernatural creatures in Darrow were all in fact working for one powerful Demon.

If I’m right about this it could change everything. Think about it, all of the Demons and the monsters we fight are always so well organised. So many of them are able to slip through the net. How is that possible when a lot of them in any other city just live like animals?” Carlene told the Detective.

She continued. “Obviously there is some mastermind that has found a way to bring them all together and that’s why no one has ever been able to clean up this city. I’m not about to quit this just to help you take on some lowly Demon. All you’re doing is fighting symptoms. I’m tackling the cause.

Cushing found the idea to be totally implausible. “I’ve been on the force for over 20 years. I’ve never seen anything to even suggest some kind of Demon king, controlling all the monsters in this city“.

Carlene responded with “Of course you wouldn’t know. The ruler of the Demons is obviously going to do his best to keep hidden from everyone! However he slipped up with me. Once word got out of an apparent Vampire vigilante roaming the streets, he sent one of his lackey’s to talk to me. He thought I was just doing this to dupe you all just like that absolute arsehole Michelle always said. He even commended me, saying that pretending to be a ‘good guy’ to throw the police off was genius. It never even occurred to him that a Vampire could actually be genuinely wanting to help people.

Cushing said somewhat drily “Well to be fair Carlene I think there are probably only three people in this entire city who would believe that a Vampire can be anything other than a hideous monster. And they are all in this room

Rose interrupted “plus two of them are dead, at the hands of Vampires too I might add.”

Anyway” Carlene continued, somewhat impatiently “I obviously told him that I wasn’t interested in being some lackey to a Demon godfather. I reckon they probably still think I’m just playing the cops, and I’m actually out killing people at night, but whatever the case,  they’ve been trying to kill me ever since. Ironically if they hadn’t tried to make me part of their little gang, I probably would never have suspected there was grand Demon master either, but once I found out everything about this city suddenly made more sense.

Cushing still found the idea ridiculous. He thought it was possible that there may be a large Demon clan in the city, but not one that controlled absolutely all Demonic activity in Darrow. Nevertheless he wasn’t prepared to argue it further. He knew that in spite of Carlene’s obsessive nature the fact that these mysterious new Demons were targeting children would sway her to take her mind off her latest obsession.

Carlene, I honestly do not know what to do. In all my years on the force I’ve never seen creatures like these. We can’t find anything on them and they are going after children. They literally spring out from nowhere, snatch the children and then disappear. I’m all out of options. Please help me

Carlene fell silent. She was almost angry at Cushing as now she knew that she would have to pull herself away from the case she had spent so long working on.

Tell me about these Demons?” she said. Cushing breathed a sigh of relief as now perhaps finally they might make some progress in finding the children.

Julia awoke to find herself in a dark, dank room surrounded by other children and teenagers. The oldest at the most was 17 years old. Most of the children were crying, except for one child at the other end of the room, who in contrast seemed quite jovial.

Julia couldn’t quite make his face out as the room was so dark. As she got closer however to the boy she could see his face more clearly. It was hideously deformed. His hair was falling out, his teeth were growing long and his skin was yellow.

He was beginning to look like the monster that had snatched Julia off the streets.

Julia had no idea what was going on or what to do, so she just started screaming blindly for help.

One of the teenage boys next to Julia suddenly punched her across the face sending her crashing to the floor with a bloody nose. As Julia looked up she could see this boy’s skin had begun to turn yellow too. He did not seem happy however. In fact he was crying and screaming to himself.

Julia was terrified yet at the same time she couldn’t help but pity her attacker. She had never seen anyone look so distressed or in as much pain.

Just then a door opened at the other end of the cell and white light flooded the room.

One of the monsters that had snatched Julia suddenly entered and all of the teenagers and children immediately began to cower in the corner.

The Demon spoke, its voice hissing and high pitched “You children are too innocent these days. Months and months with us and you still cling on to your humanity? Back in the day we’d have broken you in a week!” The Demon then turned his attention to the jovial Demonic boy and said “At least one of you has seen things our way. You’ll go on to great things my boy.”

Julia tried to stay hidden in the crowd of petrified children but the Demon soon focused his attention squarely on Julia and began to approach her.

She could barely look at the monster she was so scared. As the Demon cornered her all of the other children scattered to the other side of the room leaving Julia on her own. The only person in the room who wasn’t completely terrified other than the monster itself was the yellow skinned boy with the Demon teeth who was even laughing hysterically at the others plight.

The Demon, towering over the girl said with evil relish “lets hope you’re smart enough to see that we’re trying to help you!”

Carlene sadly knew as little about the Demons as Detective Cushing did. Nothing about them matched any description in any of the books on the occult she had read and she had certainly never encountered anything like it before.

I’m sorry Cushing. Believe me I wish I could help you but I don’t know any Demon like that. I’ve read through every page of these books several times. Often just when I’m bored at night. I’ve never heard of anything like that.

Rose also was completely unaware of any Demon species that matched the description. Despite her vast experience with the occult and expert knowledge on Demon species, she had no idea what these beasts were. A fact which worried her.

Cushing’s heart sank. “You girls were my last hope, you know that. I’ve been working on this for weeks and still nothing. I wonder how many more children’s lives are going to be lost before I make a breakthrough. I’m sorry girls, I just wish there was something to go on.

Fortunately Carlene had an idea. She spoke to the weary Detective.

Its a long shot but it seems to be our only option. If my theory is correct that all or most of the Demons in this town are connected, there is absolutely no way that they don’t know at least something about these things. I can’t imagine whoever is in charge is happy to let rogue’s like this run around in public stealing children. They have to be aware at least of something. If we can snag one of the higher up Demons in this city, he could perhaps tell us about what’s going on“.

Carlene then went through her papers. “I have a theory about a man named George Glover.

Yes I know him.” Cushing interrupted “He is the former Chief constable of the Darrow police force. He retired just a few years ago. I didn’t know him that well. He was a secretive, quiet man, but he was very good at his job. Very professional, fair and objective. Not like the person we have now. ” Cushing said bitterly.

Carlene responded “Well as much as it pains me to say it, I’m afraid that even that miserable bitch is a vast improvement on who you had running things before. George had you all duped. Or rather the Secresk Demon that’s taken him over for the last 10 or so years did. Obviously the Demon helped no doubt to cover up its master’s existence during the time he was in office, but I believe it may also have been planted there as a thank you by the head Demon. Secresk Demons will stay with their host bodies which still age for as long as possible. Naturally they like people who are in high positions of society so they can cover up their crimes and even just enjoy the fruits of their hosts comfortable lives. They are Demons of leisure.

She continued “I think this is how, whoever, whatever is in charge of this city keeps its minions in line. Its not just through fear, like other Demon communities. It rewards its followers too“.

Cushing rolled his eyes “Even if your theory about some master Demon being in control of this entire city is correct you honestly expect me to just go in there and say that George Glover, one of the most respected men in the city is a monster and we need to what? Torture this helpless old man for information?.

Carlene responded with “Certainly not, we just break into his house when he is sleeping, perform a fairly simple and straight forward exorcism, and then force the Demon to talk.

Cushing was stunned at what the Vampire had just said to him. In fact he began to think asking Carlene for help was a mistake. He feared that she had become so obsessed with this theory about a Demonic master criminal that she was just trying to focus absolutely everything into this wild idea.

Again however Cushing was out of options. Maybe there just might be something in Carline’s wild idea? After all the Vampire had never let him down before? He might as well hear her out.

Okay” he said wearily “tell me what evidence do you have that old George is really a monster.

Carlene pointed to several newspaper clippings she had on the floor. ” There has been an increase in people disappearing near the area George lives. Now most of these bodies have never been found. The first thing any Demon or Vampire should do particularly in this city is to cover up the cause of death in its victims bodies. As you know Demons such as Vampires leave tell tale signs on their victims corpses, like puncture marks on their victims throats,  bodies drained of blood etc.

Cushing was a little insulted that Carlene felt she had to explain what was the most basic knowledge of the occult to him. “Of course I know that Vampires and Demons try and cover up their kills. I’ve had a career as a Detective for 30 bloody years!” he thought to himself. Still he knew it was best not to interrupt the Vampire. It would probably already take her ages to finish. Her obsessive nature meant that she often had to explain every little detail. No need to prolong it.

Carlene continued “In the case of Secresk Demons they always devoured their victims hearts. Now normally Glover or rather the Demon that possessed him would take his victims back to his house, kill them and then burn the bodies. Here however he slipped up.

For whatever reason, maybe he was just too hungry that night or something, but he jumped a teenage girl in an alley way and tore her heart from her body. I found him, munching on it. A sight like that would have probably made me faint just a year or so ago, but I actually felt really hungry when I saw it.

Cushing and Rose both winced at that part, but again they let Carlene carry on. ” George or rather the Demon didn’t react at first. I guess he hadn’t heard of the Vampire vigilante or maybe he didn’t believe it existed. We fought for a little bit but he quickly left. I don’t think he was scared of me, he probably just didn’t want to be exposed.

Of course I didn’t recognise him at that point. He was in his Demon form, but fortunately I was able to catch his scent. and I was able to track the beast to his home.”

Cushing sighed in annoyance “Why did you not come to me with this earlier Carlene?

To be honest Cushing. I didn’t want to get the police involved at all in this case. I knew that if I told you, you would tell that bitch you work for. She obviously wouldn’t believe me. Hell she’d probably warn George and then he could cover it up and prepare for me. I hoped to just go in there and get what I needed. Tonight actually I was hoping to go in and finally free the real George from that monster“.

Cushing replied. “Honestly Carlene. I trusted you, defended you against the others and here you were just going to barge in and attack one of the most respected men in the city based on some crazy theory? What would have happened if you were wrong? You know how Michelle and just about everyone else on the force bar me is desperate for any excuse to kill you! I think breaking into an old man’s home and trying to kill him would count!

Carlene angrily responded “I’m not wrong! And the way I see it you have two choices here Cushing. Either you can go and tell that bitch, and we’ll have to spent probably two months trying to convince her, during which time more and more children will die. Or we can follow the only lead we have right now?

Cushing knew that she was right. He really was that desperate. “Okay fine. We’ll test out your idea. If you’re wrong though Carlene the Darrow police force will probably kill you as well as me!

Carlene smiled “don’t worry I’m not wrong. I’ve been trying to find a way to break into George’s house for a while now, but its heavily guarded by magics, which in my opinion is further proof . Any intruder that enters gets vaporised into nothing but dust. Its taken me and Rose a couple of weeks to find a counter spell but hopefully” she said as she lifted up a small red orb from under her desk “this little beauty should be it“.

Carlene continued “I haven’t had time to check out if this sphere will actually be strong enough to protect us. Still at least if we do get vaporised then it will prove what we are saying is true to the rest of the police force.

Julia was utterly petrified at what these things had in store for her. She was dragged by her arm through a long, dark corridor and placed in a tiny room at the end of it. The door slammed shut.

A few minutes passed which felt like hours.  Julia spoke to the door, mumbling through her tears and whimpers. She hoped that perhaps one of the monsters was standing outside and maybe, just maybe it would take pity on her.

Please, I, I don’t know what you want with me, but I just want to go home. Don’t hurt me!

Just then the door swung open and the the Demon entered with a small, crooked little smile on its twisted face.

Oh don’t worry. I won’t lay a finger on you if you do what we want. We are warriors child. We exist for a purpose far greater than you can possibly imagine. You should feel honoured that we chose you to join us. I warn you however fight our influence and you will suffer!

Just then a second Demon entered the room carrying a small frightened looking dog under its arm. It was Julia’s dog named Daisy.

The Demon placed the Dog on the floor in front of Julia and then placed a large, blood stained meat cleaver in between Julia and Daisy.

The Demon said, whilst smiling with sadistic delight. “In order to become one of us you need to severe all links with your human life. This is a small, easy step. They’ll get harder as time goes on, but for now. Kill that little mongrel or else you’ll suffer!

Julia wanted to be sick. Daisy had been her best friend for the past 5 years. In fact she’d been her only friend. Julia had been always been somewhat lonely, shy girl. She had always dreaded the day where she would have to put her dog down, but she could have never imagined it would be under these horrifying circumstances.

Please, I, I don’t know why you want me to do this” Julia said whilst quivering. “But I can’t

The Demon interrupted her. Its tone was suddenly much angrier, its voice louder, more booming.

We want you to become a warrior in the most important battle of all time. We want you to become a hero whose story will be remembered forever. But first you need to prove you are worthy! Kill that little mutt! Now!

Julia crumbled into a little ball on the floor in response.

The Demon approached the terrified girl and placed his hand around her throat. “Its either you or the Dog do you understand me! If you don’t kill her now I will tear you to pieces!”

The monster began to bare its fangs in her face, hissing. Julia had never been so scared. In that moment she forgot how much she loved her little Dog. All she knew was that she didn’t want to die.

The monster sensing the fear in her hear threw her to the ground by the blood stained cleaver and without hesitation, purely to save her own life she buried it in Daisy’s skull.

After carrying out this gruesome act, Julia surprisingly felt no guilt. She felt no disgust, either with herself or even the splattered brains of her beloved pet lain at her feet.

Instead for a second she actually felt quite good. That feeling quickly faded however and she instantly began to feel shame at what she had done and began to hug the corpse of her Dog.

The Demon meanwhile sat back and smiled. “It begins” it said to itself whilst smirking.

Carlene and Cushing had arrived at George’s house. The two knew that if they stepped another foot forward there was a possibility that they might be vaporised.

Cushing said drily “Well I’ guess I’ll go first.”.

With some hesitation Cushing put his foot over the line. He turned to face Carlene. “Well either your little orb works or you’re completely wrong and my career is in ruins and you’re dead”.

As Carlene followed him she responded “It would have been much easier if we’d just been vaporised wouldn’t it?”

Cushing had memorised the exorcism ritual that would not only pull the Demon from George’s body but would also trap it.

The ritual would have to be performed near the Demon however, and so Carlene would have to hold the monster off until Cushing had completed it.

Whilst Cushing was trying to think of a way to sneak into the house, Carlene just ran straight ahead and smashed the front door down.

Cushing was shocked “What are you thinking!” he screamed at the Vampire.

Don’t worry” Carlene responded “he already knew we were coming. Another spell monitors activity near his house“.

Just then George came darting out the front door wielding a stake. Carlene barely managed to get out of the way in time. Cushing was shocked at how fast the old man could move. When George turned to face the Detective, Cushing could see that his eyes were flickering purple. The Demon was stronger when it didn’t hide in its human host.

It had finally dropped the human facade as not only did it suspect that it was the Vampire, but even if it wasn’t whoever it was had breached his defences and needed dealt with swiftly.

Cushing couldn’t believe that the Vampire was right after all about George. He didn’t know whether to be scared that he was facing a dangerous Demon, relieved that it meant his career wasn’t in tatters, or embarrassed that he had doubted Carlene on her theory so much!

Before the Demon could strike Cushing, Carlene grabbed it from behind. George tried to get free and in the struggle both the Demon and the Vampire went tumbling backwards into George’s house.

George was the first to get to his feet and grabbed Carlene. With one hand he lifted the Vampire up into the air and threw her all the way across his living room sending her crashing through a table.

Carlene however bounced up instantly, her fangs baring and hissing at her enemy. Her bloodlust was kicking in. However she did not give in this time as she did not wish to harm the man who the Demon had taken over. She also similarly told whatever it was in her hair to stay put so as not to harm the Demon’s host.

Carlene had never faced a Demon of this breed before. They were strong, fast and unpredictable and this one had years of experience.

In a fight to the death she would surely be the loser. Fortunately it didn’t have to come to that as Cushing was busy chanting the spell. All she had to do was just keep his attention on her for the time being.

Unfortunately as the Demon and Carlene circled one another, each waiting for the moment to strike, George suddenly noticed Cushing at the other end of the room and went for him.

Carlene however again managed to tackle the Demon and send him to the ground. The stake went flying out of George’s hand and as he tried to crawl along the floor and get it, Carlene again jumped on his back and wrestled with the monster. After a brief struggle George managed to throw the Vampire across the room again and into a wall.

However as he got up and reached for the stake he found that he could not move. As much as he tried with all his inhuman strength he couldn’t even lift his hand.

He saw Carlene wander over to Cushing with a smile on her face.

“Thank you Cushing, and I told you so!

George began to scream in rage and frustration but there was nothing he could do.

Carlene spoke to the Demon “Okay listen up. You’re not getting out of this binding spell. Me and Cushing here have done our homework. We also know how to kill you and we have a bottle of Lenesk, magically fused liquid that will burn you to death. So tell us what we want or we’ll douse you in it, and be no worse than we are now but also be one heart eating Demon down.

George knew there was nothing he could do. He didn’t trust the Vampire not to fry him now. Just for the hell of it. Still for the time being he had no other options and so he had to go along with whatever she wanted.

Cushing was the first to ask him about the new Demons on the street.

Cushing and Carlene could see a look of fear come over George’s face as soon as the creatures were mentioned. There was no way he could even attempt to lie about not knowing what was going on.

George tried to reason with his two captors.

Look trust me on this one. These things, they’re way beyond you, me, this entire stinking city.  I don’t care who you both think you are. Vampire super hero, or Demon catching/Demon loving when it suits him Detective. These things? You don’t want to cross them. None of us do.”

Cushing responded. “These things are snatching children all over the city!

George was silent for a minute before bursting into a fit of laughter. Almost forgetting the position he was in, he said “And I’m supposed to care? I’ve eaten about twenty kids.”

Carlene quickly reminded him however by telling Cushing to fetch the Lenesk.

Okay, okay fine, once I’ve told you though I’m not just going to flee this town but this whole level of reality to get away from them and if you’re smart you will too. The Demons are known simply as The Soldiers. They are bred for a war, said to happen in over 1000 years time.

According to the legend many centuries ago an all powerful Demon named Orakos created the Soldiers. Orakos was believed to be the most powerful Demon to emerge since your daddy Vampire, Khastran.

Originally Orakos was just as evil as the rest. He brought death and chaos to everywhere he travelled, but then one day he saw something that changed him forever when he faced the Mysterious Three.

The Mysterious Three were Gods who had the power of precognition. Orakos wanted that power for himself. When he faced the Gods however they shared with him a vision so terrible it shook the Demon to its very core. To this day no one knows what the vision was except for the Soldiers. Orakos killed the Three afterwards and kept the vision to himself, but he built up an army to combat it. However Orakos was later killed by Odin himself, as revenge for the deaths of the Mysterious Three.

His army however continued to grow. Whilst we don’t know what it is exactly they are fighting for, over the years two things have become obvious. One they believe that this war will happen in over 1000 years time. And two that it will be the most important battle in the history of creation. Whatever they are destined to fight, it is an evil that threatens us all. It terrified a creature as terrible and twisted as Orakos himself.

The Demons create new members of their kind first by abducting children. They take them to interdimensional bases. They have several of these all over creation. The Soldiers are also able to travel between worlds, universes even no problem. They have abducted children from worlds all over the multiverse to be part of their army. It is estimated that there are trillions of Soldiers.

Once they have the children, they corrupt them, mistreat them, force them to do the most horrible things after which they are then ready to be converted through magic into new members of their kind. They will tend to visit the same spot only once every century.”

Carlene interrupted “But why choose children? If I was building an army of unstoppable Demon warriors I’d snatch the biggest, baddest warriors in the land”

George responded “Many reasons. To start with the Soldiers don’t like to waste any men. Obviously there’s no risk of that when snatching little kids. Also if they turn someone into one of their own when they are a child then they will be stronger when they are older, as they have been a Demon for a longer. Finally a child is easier to break. Children only really care about themselves. Imagine trying to break a stubborn bastard like him” George looked squarely in Cushing’s direction.

A child however?” George continued “is more scared of death, will do anything it can just to see its dear mommy again. They’re an easy nut to crack

Cushing interceded “Its disgusting. They call themselves soldiers, yet they target the most vulnerable and helpless and steal their lives from them.”

George sighed. He felt that the Detective was not grasping just how dangerous the Soldiers actually were. “Trust me they aren’t cowards. They just want as many men possible for what they believe will be the ultimate battle. However its better to just let them do their thing and get out of here.

Carlene responded somewhat angrily “And just let them steal countless children and turn them into monsters?

George was getting a bit scared. He knew how unpredictable Vampires were and so he tried to reason his way out of this.

It will be worse for you and anyone you care about if you try and stop them. They have eyes and ears all over the place. Even the Vampires who founded this town were under their thumb. They willingly handed over several of their child captives to the Soldiers because they knew it would be pointless to try and fight them.”

Carlene interrupted “And I’d imagine whoever it is you work for has also cut a deal with them too? ”

George responded “Lets just say they’re smart enough to know who not to cross. I won’t tell you anything about them though. The Soldiers might be more powerful but lets just say my master is way more vicious. I’d rather be at the mercy of the Soldiers any day or eaten by Lenesk. I’ll tell you nothing..

Carlene simply responded with “well it looks like I will be pissing off the right people if I go after these guys. Tell me how do I get to where they’re keeping the kids?

George realised that there was no way of getting through to either of them. “Fools” he thought to himself “its like the Vampire wants to die, again” Still he told them in the hopes that the Vampire would keep its word and let him go.

The gate way to the Demons interdimensional base is completely invisible, but you should be able to find it by using a locator spell. You’ll have to get a possession of one of the children they stole however. And you’ll have to act quickly too. Once those children become Soldiers the spell won’t work on them.

Cushing spoke “I’ll contact the parents of Julia Blomfield. She was their latest victim, so there’s hopefully a chance they won’t have turned her yet

Carlene agreed but she said to Cushing that they had one little problem to deal with first. “Fetch the Lenesk and prepare the exorcism Detective

George protested. “I told you what you want to know. You’re supposed to be heroes, heroes don’t go back on their word.”

Carlene hit back “and they don’t let monsters that eat hearts just go free either. Still I am a woman of her word. This exorcism will give you a 5 second chance of getting free of the binding spell before we douse you in Lenesk. Call this my little gift to you

George was overcome with rage and fear as Cushing returned with the bottle and began to chant the spell. He was completely helpless but then it hit him what his only option was. Clearly Cushing and the Vampire wanted to still try and save the person whose body he had taken over, the real George, hence why they didn’t just burn him with the Lenesk now which would incinerate George too. “How foolish of them” he thought to himself. “After all the years I’ve been possessing him, and all the things I’ve made him do, George will be completely insane. Even I’d hate to see what state he’d be in after all this time.” Still he was right Carlene and Detective Cushing both wanted to free the poor man from the horror he had been living in for the past decade or so.

Thus the Demon decided that it would destroy George from the inside unless they freed him. Whilst it wasn’t able to move George’s body on the outside thanks to the binding spell, it could if need be retreat inside him after which it would then be able to shred his insides. Once George was dead it would not be freed from its prison, but still its host was a useful bargaining chip.

As the Demon moved inside George for the first time in over a decade he was given control of his body again and began to scream in agony as the Demon started to twist his innards.

Cushing stopped performing the exorcism. Carlene at first thought it was a trick and urged him to keep going until George started to cough up blood. Cushing begged the Demon to stop.

The Demon, taking over George’s body once again said that it would as long as they let him go. Carlene refused, but she was met with George’s screams once again.

Carlene was torn. If she didn’t exorcise the Demon now there would be very little chance of catching him again. Perhaps she thought it would be better to let George die now than condemn him to living in this horrifying state any longer.

Sadly however Cushing would take matters out of the Vampire’s hands and undid the binding spell right away.

Before Carlene could chide him George or rather the Demon possessing him ran at the Vampire and thumped her in the face, sending her flying across the room and through the window at the back.

Cushing was all alone against the Demon now. He was scared. Even after all these years a Demon as vicious as this was still capable of striking fear into the heart of the bravest warrior.

The Demon was well aware of how vulnerable he was and began to taunt the Detective.

Your little pet Vampire is gone now Detective? Now you’re just a pathetic, scared old man.

Cushing however kept his cool and and responded to the Demons taunts by throwing the Lenesk on George’s arm. Cushing did not want to hurt George so he didn’t douse the Demon, or even throw it in its face. However at the same time it was his only weapon so he had to use it in some way.

George fell to his knees in absolute agony. His arm sizzled and burned and he couldn’t move it after a few seconds. The pain did not deter him long however. He jumped back on his feet determined to make the Detective pay.

Cushing tried to use the Lenesk again, but the monster managed to knock it out of his hand before he could open the bottle. It then grabbed the Detective by the throat and lifted him up in the air, slowly crushing the life out of him.

Cushing kicked at the monster and struggled, but it was completely in vain. He knew that there was no way he could even harm the Demon unarmed, but still what else could he do in this situation?

The Demon however took too long in choking Cushing, and as a result Carlene who ran back through the same window she had been thrown through, was able to tackle the monster to the ground.

This time Carlene was not holding anything back. She didn’t care about preserving the monsters host body. She felt he was a lost cause as this Demon was simply too dangerous to be allowed to go free.

Carlene delivered a flurry of punches to the Demons face. Whilst the Demon’s strength was immense, Carlene was far faster and she didn’t even give the monster a chance to react as she mercilessly pummelled the monster into a bloody mess on the floor.

Carlene soon saw that her attacks were pointless as they were all healing relatively quickly and so she jumped off of the Demon, and grabbed the bottle of Lenesk on the floor. As soon as the Demon saw she had it, it finally fled from George’s body.

The Demon had wisely realised that the odds were not in its favour.

Carlene cursed herself for not being fast enough. As Cushing rose to his feet Carlene slammed him against a wall.

“You idiot. Do you realise what you have done? Lord knows how many people you’ve condemned. The next poor soul it possesses? The next young girl whose heart it feasts on?”

Of course Carlene knew why he had done it. She looked round at George who was lying curled up in a ball on the floor. He was a completely broken man. He had been conscious throughout the Demons entire horrific existence.

“It would have been better to let this poor man die and spare anyone else from going through what he has” Carlene said shaking her head and tightening her grip on Cushing.

“I’m sorry Carlene. I didn’t have it in me to kill an innocent man. You can shout and scream and even try and kill me later if you want.”

Carlene realised how she’d let her rage get the better of her and apologised to Cushing. “I’m sorry Detective I, I just have these moments.”

“Well just try and not to have one of them when we go and tell Michelle about what happened here.”

Carlene couldn’t believe what she had just heard. “You want to waste more time talking to that crazy bitch Michelle? Last time we met she shot me in the stomach. It didn’t kill me but it hurt like fuck!

Okay I get it you’re not exactly friends, but Carlene what choice do we have? We are going to be going up against possibly the greatest threat this city has ever faced and you want to go up there all alone with only an ageing Detective as back up? These Demons are warriors from all over the entire cosmos. They have magics and technology beyond what we can conceive!

Carlene responded “but I have fangs!” Carlene obviously knew that the Detective was right, but just couldn’t quite bring herself to admit that she’d have to work with Michelle.

Besides” Cushing continued. “We’ll need to let them know what happened to George“.

Poor man“. Carlene responded. “He’s been completely broken. I don’t think anything can help him. What he’s been through. Even I wouldn’t trade places with him.”

Julia had been put back alongside the other children. The Demons were preparing the next set of grissly trials to corrupt the children.

Julia sat next to a young boy named Toby. Toby had failed his first trial. They tried to make him murder another young girl who they knew would be of no use (the Demons regularly snatched children, not just to convert, but use in their tests.)

The Demons had not killed Toby despite their warning. They assured him that if he failed again, then next time he would die.

Julia comforted Toby. She told him how he had been much stronger than her as she had given into the monsters and murdered her dog. The thing that disturbed her the most was how at first she was okay with it. After butchering her beloved pet, not only did she not feel any guilt, but she even felt a twinge of joy. Now however she returned to normal and felt like being sick.

Occasionally however she’d look down at her arms and see that they had turned yellow. She’d scream every single time after which she’d return to normal. What surprised her even more was the fact that none of the other children were shocked or jolted whenever she screamed. They were just so used to it by now that it didn’t even register!

As Julia looked around the room she caught a glimpse of the boy who was almost fully converted into one of the Demons, still sobbing in the corner. She thought to herself “I won’t end up like him. I can’t! I’d rather die!”

Carlene and Detective Cushing had arrived at the police station. They had already contacted Michelle to let her know what happened.

As soon as Carlene entered the station all eyes turned on her, and not in a good way. She really didn’t want to go there, but Cushing said it was best to get it over now, as she would have to work with them.

It was nothing compared to when they entered Michelle’s office. Michelle had a cross around her neck and was holding a stake in her hand.

A bit rude do carry those in front of our guest.” Cushing said.

Well I only extend pleasantries to people Cushing” Michelle snapped back.

Carlene interrupted “look lets just get to the point. We are going to fight a group of Demons, probably more dangerous than any even this city has ever seen before who have been capturing children. We’ll most likely die, but there’s a chance that we might be able to save just a few of them. Are you going to help us or put a stupid petty dislike of me above some children’s lives?

Michelle knew that Carlene was right. As much as she didn’t like Detective Cushing, she still trusted him on these matters. Thus she couldn’t just dismiss this as some trick the Vampire was playing on them.

She didn’t want to admit it, not only because she hated admitting that Carlene was right, but Carlene’s theory of there being some master criminal behind the supernatural activities in the town in some ways made her feel that her life’s work was pointless.

She had spent decades fighting both the crime and the occult in this town, but now it seemed that all she had been doing was tackling the symptoms, whilst this Vampire, having only been here a short while had finally discovered the root of the city’s problems.

Michelle hated Carlene more than ever, but for now she had swallow her pride. The safety of the children had to be put above all else.

“Okay”, Michelle said, practically through gritted teeth. “I’ll assemble a team to help you. Though I can’t promise they won’t stake the Vampire on principle. I’ll accompany you. I want to be there, just in case you have been duped by the Vampire. Its not the first time you’ve been duped by a Demon is it, Cushing?

Cushing protested, but Michelle shut him down by reminding him that they had more important things to talk about.

Well maybe you could try not being such a bitch and then we could all work together much better?” Carlene interrupted.

Michelle decided to leave it at that as otherwise she knew it would never end.

“Well Vampire, you’re the big expert on these Demons? What weapons, spells do we need to take these things down?”

First of all my name is Carlene. Second of all I’m not an expert on these things at all. No one is, but there is one spell that might just work against them. Its a special kind of potion. Brewed by Witches many years ago called Iostek. They mixed all of the different elements, natural, magical that are harmful to most known Demon species together.

Rose knows how to cobble the spell together.Her father discovered the recipe from a group of Witches he captured years ago. The Witches were benevolent, but of course much like you, he was such an arsehole he didn’t care and was going to kill them anyway. He agreed to spare them if they gave him this new secret weapon. Of course once they did he handed them over to the mob regardless. It takes quite a lot out of Rose to make the potion as she’s not a Witch, but she should have a small phial of it by the end of the day.”

A small phial?” Michelle responded? “How the hell is that going to help us against an army?”

Well” Carlene responded. “Based on what I’ve been told about these Demons, they seem to be turning masses of children into members of their own kind. Now there are only two options. Either they are infecting them directly like a Vampire. Or they have polluted the air to the point where the children’s bodies can be easily altered. This seems like the most likely option for me. The Demon said that they do it over a slow period of time. Direct infection tends to spread a lot faster.

If they have polluted the air, then there is obviously a source in their base. All we have to do is fuse the phial with the source, and this chemical will be spread throughout the base and kill all of the Demons, whilst leaving the children untouched.”

But Carlene“, Cushing said “The poison will also kill you too?

I’m not seeing any problems with this plan” Michelle said in response with a smile.

Ignoring Michelle’s petty taunts, Carlene told Cushing that she would have just a few minutes to escape. Though Cushing tried to convince her not to come on the mission, Carlene said that they needed her, and that whilst she had no wish to die again, she was more than willing to risk her own life, just to give the children a better chance.

The Soldiers had reached the end of their tether with the latest group of children. Normally they’d have broken them by now, but the current crop of kids had resisted the monsters cruel mind games and threats.

The commander of this particular cell was worried. He had to have converted a particular amount of children by a certain point or else he would be demoted. The Soldiers never killed their own under any circumstances unless they were traitors, but to be demoted and then considered a failure was in some ways worse than being killed.

The commander was taking his frustrations out on his men. Again such a thing was seen as a sign of a weak leader, but he couldn’t face taking responsibility for his own actions yet.

This particular commander had been waiting for a chance to lead his own platoon for centuries, and now he had finally got it, but he was about to be demoted all because he couldn’t break the children. He wanted to tear the little bastards throats out for costing him his career.

He was preparing his final round of tests for the children. Here he would force them to murder each other. The Soldiers generally didn’t like to do this, as it would waste potential recruits, but again the commander was desperate. Getting the strongest who would survive was still better than no recruits.

As the Soldiers prepared to set up the arena, where the children would be forced to fight each other to the death, the Commander prayed to the spirit of Orakos not to let anything else go wrong this night.

Carlene, Michelle, Cushing and 6 officers had managed to make their way into the base thanks to the help of Julia’s family. Having to ask for a child’s possession to use magic to track them down would be a difficult conversation, but fortunately Julia’s parents were aware of the paranormal. Julia’s father’s brother had been possessed by a Demon many decades ago.

They were still skeptical about allowing magic to be used to find their daughter however. Though they knew it existed, they had no idea about the true nature of magic and they were scared it could hurt her. Detective Cushing however assured her that no harm would come to Julia as a result of the spell.

Rose meanwhile had prepared the potion for Carlene. Performing the spell of bringing together so many elements put such a strain on the being doing it, that it would normally kill most humans (hence why Rose had never bothered to give it to the Darrow police force, and why her own father had ultimately never used it.)

Still even though she was a Ghost, the energy from the spell still greatly weakened her spirit and she had to take time out. Sadly she wouldn’t have been able to go with them anyway, as whilst magics could allow her to temporarily leave her house, she could not leave this dimension or else her spirit would dissipate.

Whilst this was a unique incident, Rose couldn’t help but feel inadequate compared to Carlene. Obviously she was proud of what Carlene had accomplished in protecting the city, but still when she saw how little she was able to do for the people, when she had once been one of the greatest of all Vampire hunters she couldn’t help but feel depressed.

The locator spell revealed that the entrance to the Soldiers base was just outside of Darrow.

The base had the appearance of a gigantic castle when it was made visible. Carlene using her Vampiric strength jumped to the nearest window ledge. She planned to crawl through the window first to see if the cost was clear for the others, but unfortunately for the Vampire, the magic of the base could detect the presence of even the tiniest microbe that entered. The alarm instantly went off, and 3 Soldiers instantly appeared in a puff of smoke around Carlene. Carlene did her best to try and defend herself, but even her Vampiric strength was no match for the power of the Soldiers, and she was outnumbered too. They overpowered her relatively easily.

The others could hear the alarm outside. “Great plan Vampire. We lasted all of 2 seconds. Either you are evil and set us up, or you’re just really, really thick.” Michelle said angrily to herself.

Sadly before they could do anything, a massive group of Soldiers surrounded them. The cops tried to fire their weapons at the Soldiers, but it was of no avail and the soldiers overpowered all of them effortlessly.

Their attack had ended in a dismal failure before it could even begin. Had it not been for the fact that the Soldiers wanted to find out who was behind the attack (knowing that no ordinary person could find their base) then they would have killed them all now.

In truth there was no way any of them could have entered without the Soldiers knowing.

Carlene, Cushing and the rest were taken before the leader of this group of Soldiers.

The Leader was shocked to see a Vampire among them. What could it possibly want here? The children to feed on? There are other, more easier ways for it to acquire blood. The Vampire must be an agent he thought. There were plenty of Demons and Sorcerers who wanted to know what the secrets to the Soldiers powerful weapons were and they often sent agents in.

Tell me Vampire who paid you to try and steal our weapons and magics. I’ll pay you double. You Vampires are all such dirty, selfish little cowards that I’m sure you have no loyalty to your master. I’m in a hurry and I’d like to know so tell me.”

Carlene however responded with “Actually I’m here to help the children. Let them go now and I won’t kill you”

The Soldiers all burst out laughing in response. They didn’t know what was funnier the idea of a Vampire caring about children or the idea she could harm them!

I mean it!” Carlene shouted over the Soldiers which brought their mocking laughter to a grinding halt.

I challenge you to duel leader for the children’s lives.”

Carlene knew that the Soldiers had no honour. Any creatures that would capture children and rely on the dirtiest tactics like they did couldn’t have it, but many Demons were incredibly vain and egotistical. She hoped that the commander wouldn’t want to appear cowardly by simply ordering his men to kill her when she had challenged him to a one on one fight.

Carlene kept taunting the commander. “Are you going to have get your men to do your dirty work for you in dealing with just one Vampire? Hardly the stuff that great leaders are made of are you? I can’t see you going to face monsters that killed a God when you’re too scared to take me on one on one.

The Commander knew she was manipulating him, and any other time he might not have given into his hubris. Unfortunately however as many had begun to see him as a weak commander due to his recent mistakes, he was genuinely worried that not taking on a lowly, pathetic, scummy Vampire of all creatures could make things even worse for him.

He agreed to face Carlene in an honourable fight. He hoped it wouldn’t last long. Just a quick stake through the heart and that would be that, but still he ordered all of his men to get the children ready for their final death match too.

He gave Carlene 5 minutes to prepare for the fight, but also ordered that Detective Cushing, Michelle and the rest of the force be taken away to the cells. The Soldiers of course would most likely have no intention of releasing them or the children anyway, even if Carlene did beat the Commander, which none of them entertained as a possibility.

Carlene had kept the phial of the Iostek in her hair. Carlene’s beehive haircut was more than just a nice bit of nostalgia from when she was a human. It was actually a magic weapons chest, bigger on the inside than the outside, with its own defence system. It was also magically fused to her head, with only a quick spell being capable of taking it off, so there was no chance of it falling off in a fight.

Carlene knew that it would have been pointless to use the poison on the guards who captured her, as there was so little of it, so she hid it in her beehive for later. In the 5 minutes she was allowed to prepare for the fight, she sprinkled a tiny bit of it onto the knife she had chosen as a weapon, hoping that it would be enough.

In their cell meanwhile Michelle started to blame Cushing for everything that had happened. She accused Carlene of leading them all into a trap.

Think about it“Michelle screamed. “She comes up with this fantastic master plan that gets us all captured in like two minutes, whilst she is left alone with the Demons leader? They’re probably drinking the children’s blood together and laughing at how the stupid old man got tricked by a Demon again!

Cushing finally snapped back at Michelle ”

The other officers were somewhat taken aback. They had never seen Cushing who was normally such a mild mannered, soft spoken man erupt in anger and swear. Though they were all on Michelle’s side, they didn’t really know enough about Cushing’s history to comment so they wisely kept out of the continued bickering between Michelle and Cushing.

In the middle of the argument Cushing having calmed himself down somewhat said “You’re the one who is playing into the Demons hands Michelle. We should all be working together to try and find a way out of here, but here we are bickering over the most stupid things.”

No, what the Demons want is to stop anyone trying to rescue the kids, and they’ve been able to do that thanks to your Vampire friend, intentionally or unintentionally.

At that point Cushing realised it was pointless to try and convince Michelle to stop. He just hoped the Demons would kill them all soon so he wouldn’t have to keep listening to her ranting about Carlene for much longer.

The duel had begun. It was in a small room, normally reserved for duels between the children.

The Soldiers commander had chosen a gigantic mace as his weapon. Just before the fight The Commander told Carlene that he knew the mace couldn’t kill her, but that he was just going to use it to beat the crap out of her for a bit, before tearing her head off with his bare hands when he was done.

Three Soldiers were watching the fight. They started taunting Carlene, laughing at her and making jokes about the Vampire being “really scary” and how the commander was in for it now.

The Commander and Carlene circled each other for a short time before the Commander was the first to strike, swinging his mace at Carlene’s head, she managed to duck it in time though. It very nearly hit her beehive. If it had done, then it would have given the game away as the Mace would have bounced off of it.

Carlene tried to strike next with her knife, but unfortunately the commander struck her hand first which sent the knife flying out of her hand.

Carlene backed away a little. The commander could see that she was scared and began to laugh at her.

You should have taken my offer bloodsucker.

He then jumped through the air at a lightening speed. Too fast for even Carlene, and struck her in the face this time.

As she fell to the floor he struck her multiple times in the back, the legs, the face and her arms.

She tried to hit him back, but the few blows of hers that did manage to connect, barely hurt the monster.

The commander after pummelling Carlene grabbed her by her feet and started swinging her around, and bashing her off the ground before throwing her into a wall.

The impact she made against the wall would have been enough to liquify every bone in a normal human’s body. Carlene’s Vampiric constitution however meant that she didn’t even break a single bone, though it still hurt her probably more than anything else in her life at point!

As she tried to crawl back on to her feet the commander jumped towards her again and grabbed her by the throat.

He slammed her against a wall and place his hand on her shoulder. He was obviously going to try and tear her head clean off.

Carlene struggled to get free, but it was no use. The soldiers strength was unlike anything she had ever seen before. Carlene in a last ditch effort, reached into her beehive haircut for any kind of weapon she could. She managed to find a small axe. It wouldn’t be able to do any lasting damage to the Commander, but maybe she could distract him long enough.

Carlene struck the axe into the Commanders arm. He didn’t even flinch, but he did look surprised as to where she could have gotten it? She swung it again in his face. He let out a scream, but still held on to her. Carlene swung again and again hitting the monsters in the eyes until eventually he threw Carlene across the room.

Carlene landed just a few feet away from the knife. She quickly headed towards it, but unfortunately before she could reach the knife, the Commander jumped her once again and punched her to the ground.

The Commander then picked Carlene up with both hands and smashed her on his knee. Again for an ordinary person this would be enough to smash them in half. It still almost knocked Carlene out, and when the Commander threw her to the ground, Carlene had practically no strength left.

The Commander picked Carlene up by her left arm. She looked absolutely tiny compared to the giant monster.

The beast started punching her relentlessly in the face. Carlene however managed in the flurry of punches to grab his fist and redirect his fist into her beehive.

The beehive had an emergency system were if someone else tried to reach into it then it would fire various weapons (created by magic) at them.

Again these weapons didn’t do any last damage to the commander, but they caused him enough pain that he dropped Carlene, who made another dash for the knife and managed to grab it this time.

The Commander now overcome with rage charged at Carlene, but this time she was ready for him, and he foolishly thought that she was unprepared. He had no idea about the Iostek and honestly didn’t think that the Vampire had anything that could harm him.

Carlene slashed the Commander across the chest with her knife, piercing his heart in the process. Normally a stab wound to the heart would of course heal instantly for a Soldier, but the poison began to affect the Commander instantly. He stumbled back, began to feel faint, and his knees soon gave way.

He tried to get up but he suddenly had zero strength. The pain, the likes of which he had never felt before, also began to flood through his body too.

Just a few seconds ago he was dangling Carlene in the air and beating her to a bloody pulp. Now he was crawling along the floor, barely able to pull himself forward he was so weak.

The other three Soldiers couldn’t believe what they were seeing. They had NEVER seen one of their own be defeated, and assumed that it was just some trick that the Commander was playing on Carlene.

“P-p-please” he pitifully whimpered, “h-have pity”. The Soldiers had been taught to face death with dignity, and indeed if this had been out on the battlefield, then the Commander would have shown no fear. However he couldn’t bare the thought of dying in such an undignified way. Losing to a lowly Vampire of all things, in front of his men.

Carlene however simply responded with a cold “I’ll make this quick which I’m sure is better than you ever gave your victims.” And she stuck her knife into the monsters skull, killing him instantly.

The other Soldiers recoiled in shock and horror. Even to the end they thought it must be a trick of some kind. Carlene looked up at them all, her face caked in her own blood, her nose broken from the beating she had taken.

Still the Soldiers were more scared of her now, as for the first time they were facing an enemy that could hurt them.

Still they quickly conquered their fear and all 3 of them ran at Carlene. Knowing that it would be foolish to even attempt to take them on, Carlene quickly jumped through the air, and over them just as the monsters got near her.

One of the Soldiers at the back saw her and ran at her before the other two, but Carlene managed to slice two of his fingers off with her knife.

As he staggered back in pain, Carlene then reached into her beehive and searched for the nearest weapon she could find. She managed to fetch a gas bomb which she threw at the three Demons.

The gas obviously had no real effect on the Soldiers. Normally it would be enough to knock out most humans and Demons (though not a Vampire like Carlene as they don’t need to breath.) Still it did distract the monsters long enough for Carlene to slip away.

The Soldier who had lost his two fingers was screaming in pain. He was scared that they hadn’t regrown yet, and worse his whole arm was beginning to go numb.

The elder Soldier looked at the flesh around his severed fingers. “Crafty little bloodsucker” he said. “I don’t know what kind of poison this is, but honestly I’ve never seen anything like it. Don’t worry. Your fingers will grow back eventually. You didn’t get enough of it.

The Soldiers all looked down at their fallen commander.

“He wasn’t fit to lead us you know” the elder Soldier said. “He didn’t cope well under pressure, he didn’t know how to command respect and authority. He’d just shout and scream like a little child. Still he was devoted to our cause above all else and he deserved better than to die like this. At the hands of a Vampire. We will avenge him.”

Carlene ran through the corridor, down the direction they had taken her “friends”. Along the way she encountered a few more Soldiers, but she used the fact that they honestly didn’t believe she could harm them to her advantage and would look scared when she first came into contact with the Demons, before slashing them across the face.

In one instance she was forced to kill another Soldier when he was able to dodge her attack and punched her against a wall. Acting quickly she was able to slice him in the leg, but even as she tried to run away, he grabbed her by the leg and tried to pull her back, but Carlene managed to jump forward and stab him in the head.

She finally reached the cell. Her superhuman sense of smell allowed her to track the rest of the team, even through the stench of the Soldiers. How ironic Carlene thought. People always used to mock her big nose at school, but now it was helping to save the day.

When she opened the door to the cell, Michelle was genuinely surprised to see her and at first assumed she had come here to gloat, though that idea was quickly shot down.

Carlene explained to the other officers that they needed to find the power source. Carlene said that she could trace it with her sense of smell, Magic left off a certain odour, though Carlene again would need to hone in it, as the entire place had been built with magic.

Carlene stood around trying to pinpoint the smell, whilst Michelle and the rest stood guard over her.

Michelle had been given the knife. Carlene didn’t want to at first as she thought Michelle would probably stick it in her when she wasn’t looking. Still she realised that Michelle was probably the best person to have the knife as she was the most skilled fighter, so she reluctantly gave it to Michelle whilst she tried to concentrate on locating the spell.

Many of the cops were getting nervous however. They wanted to get the hell out of the castle. They normally weren’t so scared because before there was always a chance against an enemy like a Vampire, a Demon, or a Werewolf, but with the Soldiers they felt genuinely helpless.

Just then two platoon’s of Soldiers appeared in puffs of smoke, and cornered Carlene and the cops off at both ends. The cops froze in terror. The new leader of the Soldiers was fixated on Carlene. “You miserable little parasite” he screamed at Carlene. “All you care about is satisfying your own sadistic little urges. We are built for a higher purpose, a war for all of creation itself.”

Whilst he was ranting however Carlene reached into her beehive hairdo and searched around for another weapon. This time she found a tiny Demon that she had kept there. The monster was called a Scralex. Carlene had found it living near the outskirts of Darrow. Scralex’s were a special breed of Demon created to feed on other Demonic creatures. Though no bigger than a house cat, they moved at a lightening speed and had a tremendous strength. The problem with the monsters was that they had been too unpredictable. When people kept them as pets, they had a grisly habit of still turning on and eating their owners and their pets and children if they didn’t get enough Demon flesh.

Fortunately that wasn’t a problem for Carlene and Rose however. As they were both dead then the monster had no desire to feed on their flesh. Rather than simply kill the monster Carlene decided to keep him as a weapon, but obviously she didn’t want the risk of the monster getting free and harming anyone else, so she let it live in her beehive. The monster couldn’t escape unless she wanted it too, and furthermore whilst in the Beehive, the magic’s would quell its hunger, as ultimately being a Demon it did not actually need to eat to survive.

Carlene didn’t like to use it, as it was a vicious monster that in close corners could even attack humans. Still she had no choice and so she pulled it out of her beehive and threw it in the Soldiers new commanders face.

The Commander doubled back in pain, whilst his subordinates gathered round him. The Soldiers from behind tried to advance, but once again Carlene quickly pulled out some more gas bombs and pelted the Soldiers with them.

The Soldiers and the police began to choke, but Carlene being a Vampire who didn’t need to breath was able to pull some of the cops including both Michelle and Cushing past the Soldiers. Sadly however three of the cops were grabbed by the Soldiers in the smoke and literally ripped in half by them.

The Commander meanwhile had managed to pull the Scralex off of his face and threw it to the other end of the room. The little demon quickly scurried away through the Soldiers to Carlene. It had come to see Carlene’s Beehive haircut as its home and so it ran after her and jumped onto her shoulder before leaping into her hair.

Damn I’ve made it too cosy for him in there now.” She said to herself. The Scralex though a fearsome predator would never have been able to take on a Soldier in a proper fight. The best it could hope for was a distraction which it had caused.

Fortunately Carlene had been able to locate, roughly where the source of the bases power was. There were 6 floors to the castle and it was on the third. It made sense after all as it needed to be at the centre to radiate to all areas. They were currently on the 5th floor.

Realising that they all wouldn’t be able to outrun the Soldiers to the third floor, Carlene told the cops to head down there ahead of her whilst she did her best to try and hold off the Soldiers.

She knew she’d be lucky to kill one of them, but still she hoped that she could distract them long enough. She gave the remainder of the Iostek to Michelle, whilst she took back the knife.

Michelle was genuinely shocked at Carlene’s actions. Of course this one noble, heroic act wouldn’t be enough to overcome a lifetime of prejudice on Michelle’s part, but for once she not only didn’t mock Carlene, but wished the Vampire good luck.

Carlene faced the Soldiers down. For a few seconds they were scared of her, as they didn’t know what other tricks she had in her hair!. Still they quickly overcame their fear and started attacking her. Carlene managed to cut one of them, before another Soldier swotted her like a fly and smashed her into the ground. She still clutched the knife, even as they kept kicking her. It was the Vampires life line.

The monsters beat Carlene brutally, but in the midst of the kicks and punches she managed to swipe her knife at the knee cap of the lead Soldier which caused him to collapse to the ground. Wasting no time, Carlene leaped at the wound soldier and jumped onto his chest. Before he could swat her off, Carlene buried her knife into the Soldiers forehead, killing him instantly. The other Soldiers were a little taken a back at first. When Carlene stood up wielding the knife, the monsters slowly tried to surround her, but every time she made a gesture with the knife, they backed down a bit.

Carlene started taunting the Soldiers, but this proved to be a mistake. She laughed at them, said the Soldiers were the most overrated Demons she had ever seen, and that she had dealt with ordinary street thugs who were more of a challenge than them. One of the Soldiers got so angry that he overcame his fear and teleported behind Carlene. Before she could react he grabbed her arm with the knife and snapped it like a twig.

Though it healed relatively quickly, Carlene sadly dropped the knife from the pain. The Soldier then picked her up and started to smash her into the walls, before tossing her across the room.

Carlene was now completely helpless as the Soldiers approached her. She tried to fight back but it was pitiful as the monsters beat her. Carlene however continued to taunt them. It was just pride however. Carlene was never the type to go down fighting, even if she couldn’t actually fight anymore.

Detective Cushing and Michelle’s team meanwhile had made it to the 4th floor where the monsters were running around frantically. They were already nervous due to the inspection from their masters, but the alarm being raised just made things worse.

The crowd of officers knew that they couldn’t sneak past the Soldiers as the police force was simply too big and the floor was just a straight corridor. So they had no choice but to run and hope that some of them could make it to the next floor.

At least 10 of them were butchered. Detective Cushing despite being older was one of the “lucky” few who managed to make it to the door to the 5th floor simply because he was at the front of the group. He along with all of the others who had made it, had been forced to abandon any officers who had be caught behind. A few officers would turn back and try and help their friends, but they to the last were slaughtered.

Once they had managed to make it to the third floor, the surviving officers saw that the third floor was the dungeon where the children were kept. Much like the fourth floor, it too was just a straight corridor, with several rooms on either side. The officers frantically looked through the window of each door. They saw mostly children, kept in groups, huddled together like animals in each room. In a few others they saw what looked like small arenas and what looked like horrible pits full of spikes.

This was where the children’s spirits were slowly broken and they were corrupted as well as the power source for the base. The children in each cell would start screaming for help as soon as they saw the officers by the window, but sadly the officers had to leave them for now.

Michelle eventually stumbled upon what she was sure was the power source. In this room, all she could see was a large, square, metallic object in the middle of the room, but there were was small slit that ran all the way around it near the top, from which a green light shone.

Several of the officers started to ram the door to break it down, but unfortunately at the other end of the third floor, several Soldiers began to appear out of pufts of blue smoke. The monsters quickly grabbed another three officers who they tore to pieces in a matter of seconds.

Fortunately the other officers, including both Michelle and Cushing managed to break down the door and make their way into the room.

Unfortunately however ten more Soldiers suddenly materialised in front of them. The room, being the most vital in the castle had the most advanced security system.

The police were completely surrounded, so they decided it would be better to go down fighting. Of course it really made no difference as the Soldiers just tore the police apart. Michelle and Detective Cushing were soon the last two left standing, and were both backed against a wall by the Soldiers. They weren’t scared for themselves. Neither particularly feared death, but they didn’t want to get this far and not help the children.

Cushing wracked his brains for a solution and finally he found it. Grabbing the last of the liquid that Carlene had left with Michelle, Cushing poured some of it on some bullets that he had emptied from his hand gun. Loading them back into the gun he then fired at one of the Soldiers in the head, killing it instantly.

“It worked” Cushing shouted. He hoped to fire the bullet at the Soldiers power source, but sadly however as he took aim one of the monsters suddenly materialised behind Cushing. It grabbed his arm which broke it instantly causing him to drop the gun.

Michelle instantly reached for the gun and managed to grab it. It only had five bullets left and there were 9 Soldiers surrounding her and blocking the power source. The Soldiers weren’t even paying attention to Cushing who was now lying on the ground, passed out from the pain.

One of the Soldiers spoke “You can’t kill us all with that weapon. Surrender now and your death will be quick.”

Michelle didn’t listen. If I’m going down I’m taking as many of those bastards with me as I can she thought to herself. Michelle shot the Soldier that had given her the ultimatum first right in the head and emptied 3 of her bullets into another 3 of the monsters before the surviving 5 Soldiers managed to pounce on and instantly overpower Michelle.

Two of the monsters grabbed her arms, whilst another two grabbed her by the legs. Another stood over Michelle and barked.

“Pull her apart slowly. Let this worm know that we are not to be triffled with.”

The Soldiers started pulling on either side of Michelle with only an ounce of their strength, though it was still greater than anything Michelle had ever experience before.

She already felt like her spine was snapping and she screamed out in agony. She did all she could to try and pull free from the monsters but it was no use.

Just as all seemed lost however, suddenly one of the monsters holding Michelle’s arms screamed and fell to the floor. The other three dropped Michelle to the ground and instantly turned around. As Michelle looked up she could see a figure standing over the body of the Soldier. Carlene.

Carlene looked really beaten up. She was covered in blood, both her own and that of the Soldiers.

Carlene had been able to escape from the Soldiers who were beating her by grabbing one of the Soldiers and pulling him on top of her. She then used him to ram into the other two who were still kicking her, and pushed all three into a wall.

Wasting no time, Carlene quickly grabbed the knife from where she had dropped it and threw another gas bomb from her beehive in front of the monsters which distracted them long enough for the Vampire to slip away. Carlene then used another gas bomb to slip past the Soldiers on the 4th floor before making it to the third.

She arrived just in time to kill one of the Soldiers that was slowly ripping Michelle in half by stabbing it in the neck from behind.

Now the remaining four Soldiers attention turned to the Vampire. Carlene looked as though she could barely stand. Even with her Vampiric healing and constitution, she had taken such a beating that every movement looked like it was a struggle to her.

Still using her last ounce of strength Carlene ran at the Soldiers, who in response charged into her. However it was a trick. The Soldiers thought Carlene, much like Michelle was going to try and go down fighting in a futile last stand, but instead, Carlene quickly jumped over the Soldiers, just before she would have collided with them.

Carlene wasn’t quite as weak as she had made out to her enemies. Whilst still in the air Carlene threw the knife, stained with liquid at the green slit of the power source. One of the Soldiers ran to try and catch the knife (the others foolishly were still focused on Carlene.)

He almost caught it, but fortunately Michelle shot him dead with the last bullet.

The knife penetrated the green slit. For a few minutes nothing seemed to happen. The Soldiers grabbed Carlene and started to beat her. Though she fought back, again it made no difference.

Just then however the Soldiers started to faint. Michelle could see their skin begin to crackle and boil as they lay helplessly on the ground. Carlene managed to hold out for a few seconds longer. Though her breed of Vampire was nowhere near as strong as the Soldiers, the fact that Vampires were undead gave them a slightly greater resilience than other breeds of Demons to certain magics and poisons.

However the liquid was so strong that ultimately Carlene began to succumb too. She collapsed to the floor, just like the Soldiers. With all her strength she was barely able to even lift her arm. The liquid was in the air now. It spread even faster than Carlene had hoped and she knew there was now no chance for her. She just hoped it would be quick.

Just then however help came from the most unlikely of places. Michelle, Carlene’s former rival picked the Vampire up off the ground and struggled to carry her out of the room. Michelle was still in tremendous pain from what the Soldiers had done to her.

Yet here she was going through it to help a Vampire of all things. If Michelle had actually stopped and thought about what she was doing, she probably would have thrown Carlene onto the ground in shock, but luckily for the Vampire, Michelle was working on instinct rather than prejudice.

Carlene had just saved her from an agonising death, and so Michelle wanted to repay the favour. She knew that she wouldn’t be able to get Carlene to the bottom floor in time. Even if she wasn’t barely able to walk from the pain in her back, but still she couldn’t just watch Carlene die.

As Michelle made her way into the hall she could see one of the doors to the cells had been ripped off its hinges. Clearly one of the Soldiers had escaped into here but why? Was there a safe spot she could maybe get Carlene into?

When she went to investigate, Michelle could see one of the Soldiers lying on the floor of the cell, its body beginning to rot just like all the others.

Some of the children had rushed towards the dying brute and started kicking and spitting on it. The monsters had corrupted these children into monsters themselves, and now they were feeling the brunt of it.

Michelle could see at the back of the cell was a window. The Soldiers had placed it in here as a form of torment for the children. The children could see the outside world, knowing that they would never be a part of it again. They’d never be able to walk among their own people, see their loved ones or just be a normal human again.

Clearly the Soldier had hoped to smash it and escape out of the window, but he had fallen before he got a chance. Michelle dropped Carlene who had now completely blacked out on the floor and started hitting the window furiously with her pistol. The window was strong, and Michelle was still weak from the chronic pain in her back, but she simply didn’t give up and after just a few furious hits from her gun the entire window shattered to bits.

She then rushed to Carlene’s aid and threw the Vampire out of the window.

Carlene plummeted to the ground. Normally her Vampire constitution would have enabled her to easily survive, but she was so weak now, Michelle wasn’t sure. Still she knew that Carlene had no chance in the castle.

Carlene broke her arm in the fall, but fortunately she had enough strength to survive, and within a matter of minutes the effects of the liquid began to wear off.

Her strength started to slowly return, her arm even began to heal and within another few minutes the Vampire was back on her feet again much to Michelle’s relief.

The Soldiers meanwhile, being too weak to crawl out themselves, and with no one wanting to help them, had all crumbled into nothing but ashes throughout the castle.

They had done it. The children were safe, but at a terrible cost. All of the police who had entered the castle had been killed except for Cushing and Michelle. At least a quarter of the entire police force had been killed by the Soldiers. Needless to say this didn’t exactly endear Carlene to the rest of the police, and things in the city would be even harder from this point on with a reduced force.

Michelle and Carlene’s relationship had improved slightly however. In spite of everything they had been through, Michelle still couldn’t exactly get over her hatred of Vampires just like that. Still at the very least Michelle wouldn’t violently attack Carlene every time she saw her from this point on.

Many of the children were left broken by the experience. Those who had been partially turned into monsters, were turned back into humans as the liquid burned all of the Demonic essence out of them.

Now however they could feel empathy and guilt again and in some cases, after what they had done it was enough to destroy them. Julia in particular would struggle with the memory of what she had done to her beloved pet for many years to come. It didn’t break her however.

Instead Julia became determined to find out who and what exactly were these creatures. The police had given an official cover story (though even then most of the people of Darrow knew better.) Still Julia didn’t buy it and much like Detective Cushing had done many years prior as a boy, Julia would soon devote herself to finding out as much as she could about the paranormal.

Carlene meanwhile though obviously sad at the huge loss of life in bringing down the Soldiers, did not regret taking them on. Not only had all of the children been rescued, but in tracking the monsters down Carlene had proven her theory of there being one Demon that ruled the streets of Darrow correct.

Now she just had to find out what it was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 He couldn’t believe it had happened again. In all his 30 plus years on the police force, Detective Cushing had never felt so helpless.

For the past two weeks children all over the city of Darrow were being abducted by a new kind of Demon, unlike any Darrow had ever seen before.

Though Cushing and the rest of the police force had been searching all over the city for the monsters, after a fortnight none of them had still found even the tiniest clue as to where they where, what they wanted, who they were, or where they would strike next.

The latest attack came from the outskirts of the city. A young couple’s only daughter aged just fourteen years old, named Julia Blomfield, had been snatched whilst taking her dog out for a walk on a Saturday afternoon. There had only been one witness to the incident, Julia mother who was with her at the time, but her description of the abductor matched that of the unnamed Demons. 7 foot tall, long, jagged, pointy teeth, bright yellow skin, no hair, and dressed in black robes.

The Demons would arrive at completely random points in the town, snatch a child and then vanish in a puff of blue smoke. The attacks happened both during the day and the night, whilst the children were aged anywhere between 3 and 15, and they came from the wealthiest family in the city to the poorest.  Aside from the fact that the victims were children there was no pattern to any of these attacks.

Darrow had a long history with the Supernatural. It had in fact been founded by Vampires. Originally a group of Vampires had set up a small town in the English countryside after the Vandals (the Vampires Demonic rivals) had overrun all of Europe. Whilst Vampires are normally cowardly, self serving, greedy monsters who have trouble working together. These Vampires had been forced to work together out of fear of their rivals.

The town of Darrow was well defended by magics (one of the Vampires had been a powerful wizard in life) as well as various other traps and barriers. Virtually no one could get in to the town, but no one could leave it either. The Vampires got round this however by keeping a large supply of human captives in cages like cattle who they would force to breed with one another to supply them with more food. The humans would be forced to live lives of the most unbearable torment and suffering at the hands of their sadistic Vampire captors.

Ultimately however the Vampires time would come after two or so centuries of living in Darrow thanks ironically to their own captives, who were eventually able to overthrow the monsters in their sleep. After the Vampires were driven out of the town they founded, their former victims would use the blood suckers former defences to protect themselves from the Vandals who wanted to take over the town in the Vampires absence.

Darrow managed to persevere against constant attacks from the Vandals (and vengeful Vampires). Ironically after having been seen as a place of great suffering and fear for so long, Darrow soon became a symbol of freedom for people living under the Vandals rule.

People would flock to the town in droves from all over the United Kingdom. Many of the most rich and powerful members of society would flee to Darrow too (as they were often the people under the thumb of the Vandals the most). As a result of their influence in time Darrow would go from being a small town to a big city that at one point even managed to rival London itself.

Despite this however a few of the original Vampire founders were able to by pass the cities defences and make their way back into the city. The reason these Vampires were successful unlike the Vandals was because they obviously knew the city inside out, and in some cases  had even created its defences themselves. These Vampires managed to infect several citizens of Darrow leading to the city still having a large Vampire population. As the presence of the Vampires grew, fewer people would flock to the city and its overall state degenerated in comparison to London.  Some actually felt it was preferable to live under the Vandals than deal with the Vampires at all.

As the centuries passed and knowledge of the supernatural faded from the public, and the rule of the Vandals came to an end. Then most of the people in Darrow would come to believe that the paranormal did not exist too. It was in fact the Vandals themselves who originally spread the lie that Vampires, Demons, Witches etc did not exist. They did this in order to keep their prey docile and unsuspecting.

The higher ups, the leaders of European society were obviously still aware of the monsters presence and would be forced by the Vandals to help them cover up their activities and clamp down on any one who knew the truth.

After the Vandals power base was mostly gone, the lie about supernatural creatures being just myths would continue as it was thought that modern society having become used to believing that these creatures were myths would not be able to cope with the truth. Darrow would ultimately be forced to go along with the lie, though its police force would always remain aware of the supernatural.

As the centuries went on, more and more Vampires would come to Darrow, even those who didn’t know its history. The city soon developed a reputation among not just Vampires, but Demons as being a hotspot for them.

The police would always remain aware that Vampires existed right up until the 1960s which is when our story takes place. Whilst the general population mostly remained ignorant of the supernatural activities in the city. Darrow did still gain a reputation as a dangerous and crime laden place.

Cushing who was 56 years old, had lived in the city for his entire life. He had grown up in the slums of the Darrow. During his youth he had constant dealings with supernatural creatures. The area he lived in had in fact been plagued by a hideous Gharlish Demon. Gharlish Demons were relatively rare. They had the ability to take the form of whoever they devoured. This Gharlish had devoured a local teacher named Mr Watson and subsequently taken his place.

It posed as Mr Watson during the day, whilst at night it would morph into its true form, a large bestial Demon where it would prowl the streets looking for prey.

It became the most feared Demon in the area. Virtually no one in the slums dared to go out after dark in case the Demon was loose.

Cushing was absolutely terrified of the Demon as a child so much he could barely sleep at nights. The fear became so overwhelming that at one point he didn’t even want to leave the house. Cushing would manage to overcome this sheer terror of the supernatural by constantly reading up on them. He wanted to be sure that if he ever did encounter a Demon he would know exactly how to kill it.

Later Cushing ended up actually attending the school Mr Watson taught at and consequently was be able to deduce that his teacher was really the Demon thanks to the knowledge he gained.

First of all Cushing was able to match descriptions of the Demon to an illustration of a Gharlish Demon he had found in an old book in the library’s occult section. This had been the only book to contain any information on the Gharlishs. Gharlishs were a relatively rare and secretive race, and not much information had been recorded on them in general.

No one in Cushing’s area had known how to fight it prior to his extensive study as no one even knew what it was. The police themselves meanwhile again didn’t focus too much attention on the slums either which had obviously made it easier for the Demon.

After discovering what type of Demon it was Cushing realised that it had to have a civilian identity. He suspected that it might be his cruel teacher Watson on just a hunch. He had no real proof yet, but he had always felt there was something off about Watson.

Cushing talked to the people who had known the real Watson whose life the Demon had stolen including many of his co-workers. They said that ten years ago “Watson” suddenly changed. He had been a kind, outgoing, very sociable guy who was in a long term relationship with a woman named Sally.

However all of a sudden he broke off his relationship with Sally, shunned all of his friends and became a total recluse. His attitude towards his job changed as well. He became more callous and bad tempered towards his children and would even make sure he always ate alone at lunch time.

This change in Watson’s personality also coincided with the date the Gharlish Demon’s attacks began to happen in the slums.

Cushing finally gained the hard proof he needed when working with one of his teachers (who also did not trust Watson.) He was able to investigate his office after School finished and find a piece of the Demon’s skin. The Demon when changing shape would regularly shed its skin. Normally it would dispose of its own skin by eating it, but it had obviously missed this tiny piece.

Cushing would later with the teachers aid, snare the Demon in a trap using one of its few weakness’s, Relsik, which was a special kind of magically fused liquid. The teacher managed to lure the monster into an alleyway by telling it that he knew its true identity. When it cornered the teacher, Cushing dropped the liquid on its head. The Demon was burned horribly and forced to flee, barely surviving.

Cushing would be celebrated in his local area as a hero, and would continue to study the supernatural and eventually worked his way through the ranks of the police force to become a Detective by his mid 20s.

Detective Cushing’s knowledge of the paranormal eclipsed even those on the Darrow police force, and he became a highly respected figure throughout the city. Despite this however Cushing would suffer many crushing tragedies and be involved in a few notable controversies throughout the years.

The Gharlish Demon that he had driven away would return to Darrow many years later. Scarred, weak, and humiliated, the beast was hungry for revenge.

The monster would continue to battle Cushing for many years, becoming his sworn enemy in the process. The Demon had gotten lazy during its time in the slums as no one until Cushing had bothered to challenge it.

Now however having learned from its mistakes and feeling embittered it became a truly dangerous foe for Cushing. Though it was never able to kill the Detective, it did still manage to murder his first wife Cathy and son Tom in cold blood. The Demon would later assume their forms regularly when battling Cushing in order to further torment the Detective.

Cushing was completely crushed by what happened to his family. He was never the same again. Still the detective would nevertheless much to his surprise find himself falling in love with a benevolent female Demon named Sheresia.

Sheresia and Cushing would go on to have a son named Patrick. Sadly Patrick did not try and control his Demonic nature like his mother. Though Cushing and his wife desperately tried to help their son, eventually Patrick would go so far as to actually murder his own mother!

Cushing considered murdering his son for this, judging him to be no better than the Demons he fought. However ultimately the detective found that he could not bring himself to slay Patrick and so he instead banished him from Darrow; warning his son never to return or else he would finally kill him.

Naturally this hurt Cushing’s reputation somewhat. The fact that he had been involved with a Demon never mind helped to raise one, caused many people to turn on him. He and Sheresia had even had to deal with people attacking them in the streets during their relationship. Some even believed that Cushing had been put under a spell by the Demon.

Of course nothing could be further from the truth. Cushing had genuinely loved Sheresia, and her death along with the loss of his entire family took an immense physical toll on him. In spite of this however Cushing would continue to be Darrow city police force’s leading expert on the occult. If anything his work improved after the death of Sheresia. He hated having to spend any time on his own. Work kept him distracted at least.

Sadly however despite the detective’s long and personal history with the supernatural even he had never seen anything like the Demons that were plaguing Darrow now and stealing its children.

As Cushing returned to his empty house that night his thoughts drifted to his lost loved ones as they often did on those long, lonely evenings. He remembered the overwhelming despair he felt when he found out what happened to his first son and how now because of his failure more people would have to go through that same pain tonight of losing a child.

He began to consider asking Carlene for help. He didn’t want to. His association with Carlene had in some ways been even more controversial than his relationship with Sheresia. None of the other officers on the force wanted to work with Carlene and that was on good days.

Cushing himself held no ill will towards her. In fact he even trusted her somewhat, though not completely. Even someone as open minded as Cushing couldn’t ever quite get by what Carlene was.

Still he was fast running out of options and determined that the Demons weren’t going to steal another child. Even though he knew it would be difficult, just to not have his officers try and drive a stake through her heart. Cushing decided he would contact the Vampire.

Rose was bored. For the last few days Carlene had been spending all day on her latest case. “The Vampire was so obsessive” she thought to herself. “I suppose anything to distract herself from her bloodlust“. Still Rose missed her friends company. Oh the irony she thought. Here she was missing a Vampire of all things.

Rose and Carlene lived in an old abandoned mansion just outside of the city of Darrow. Rose was a Ghost. In life she had ironically been a Vampire and Vandal hunter. Her father Keith had originally been a priest who had broken his vows when he fell in love with a young woman and had a child with her, Rose. After being disgraced from the Church, Keith felt the only way he could possibly redeem his soul was if he slayed as many hellbeasts as possible. Though he wanted to keep his new wife, Marina and daughter out of his life as a hunter, ultimately Marina insisted on joining him.

Marina too felt she had to better herself. She had been a constant embarrassment to her family throughout her entire life. She was wild, got into fights, and trouble with the law regularly. In fact she first met Keith through confession. The reason they fell in love was because she felt that he was the only person who had ever seen any good in her.

The entire family therefore became Vampire, Vandal and Demon hunters. They earned quite a reputation as time went on, but sadly Marina would later die. Not at the hands of a Demon, but simply from a terminal disease. Her death was slow and lingering. At one point Keith even considered using magics to save her, but Serena begged him not to, fearing that there would be consequences in going against the natural order, and that it would damn his soul beyond the point of no return.

Keith was left completely broken by his beloved’s death. Though he still continued on as a Vampire hunter he was a mere shell of his former self and if anything he was a hindrance to his daughter more than anything else.

On hunts he frequently messed up, put them both in danger and simply lacked the determination needed for such a dangerous line of work anymore.

Sadly this would prove to be their undoing when the two took on one of the most vicious Vampire packs in all of England.

These Vampires were utterly devoted to the destruction of the Vandals above all else. However this did not mean they were humanities allies. They believed that they would need to destroy all of European society in order to destroy the Vandals. They were essentially anarchists who believed that the Vampires would only thrive when there was nothing but bloodshed and chaos all over the world. Initially they had several cells all across Europe, but they had been cut down by the Vandals to just one. Still this remaining cell had managed to destroy entire villages and even small cities.

Rose and Keith would actually work alongside a pack of Vandals to try and destroy the final group of anarchist Vampires.

Sadly however again thanks to Keith’s blundering their plan failed and the Vampires slaughtered all of the Vandals.

Keith was captured by the Vampires. Though his actions had inadvertently alerted the Vampires to their presence, he still managed to aid his daughter in escaping by distracting the Vampires whilst she fled. She didn’t want to leave him and even still tried to help him, but as the Vampires swarmed Keith it became apparent that there was nothing she could do help him and she was forced to flee. Had she stayed even for a minute longer then her father’s sacrifice would have been in vain.

At first the Vampires wanted to torture Keith, the notorious Demon hunter to death as a sign of their triumph. However they soon saw that his spirit was already broken and that he didn’t care what happened to him (which had been another reason he had sacrificed himself as well as his love for his daughter).

The person Keith loved more than anything else was gone, and even worse he felt he had failed his daughter. His latest sacrifice in his mind did not even come close to making up for all of his failings as a father. He had always felt guilt simply for bringing Rose into this life. Always travelling from town to town, never being able to settle anywhere, with the Vandals constantly hunting her. Above all else however Keith felt guilt for not being strong enough for his daughter.

He knew that she was in tremendous pain over the loss of Marina too and whilst Rose had been there for her father throughout it. He had never been there for her. He was too caught up in his own grief. Now she was going to have continue on living this miserable life alone. Keith welcomed death.

The leader of the Vampires however sensed that deep down Keith was a man angry at his God due the loss of his wife. Marina was a warrior, but she didn’t die in the heat of battle. She had merely wasted away to nothing. Keith felt that it was Gods punishment for their love breaking his vow.

When Keith found out that the Vampires had intended to make him one of their own he begged and pleaded for them to just kill him which of course only made the Vampires desire to turn the former priest stronger.

In his last few moments Keith thought how it had all been pointless. He had waged war on the supernatural to try and cleanse his soul. It was why Marina had spent the last few years of her life constantly fighting to survive, why Rose would never have a normal life. All to try and make him a better man in the eyes of the Lord and spare his soul. He of course never wanted either of them to make those sacrifices, but they did it because they loved him. Now their sacrifices were for nothing. Keith was destined to become the most deplorable of all creatures forever.

His last words as himself, whilst the Vampires sunk their fangs into his neck, were to curse the God he had spent his entire life worshipping.

After becoming a monster, Keith sought to eliminate the biggest reminder of his former life as a man. His daughter Rose.

Rose had been forced to retreat underground into an elaborate cave system as the Vampires had blocked off all routes of escape above ground. Unfortunately for her Keith knew the system, as he and Rose had used it along with the Vandals to enter the area, as the Vampires did not know of its existence.

Keith directed his new Vampire allies through the cave system, but still Rose managed to fight her way out. Fleeing through the countryside from hordes of Vampires, Rose later managed to find refuge in an abandoned mansion.

She blocked the mansion up from the inside and managed to hold the Vampires off for several days. Sadly her father who knew her tactics better than anyone else was eventually able to breach her defences and personally killed her.

Rose was in fact Keith’s first ever victim. Her death would demonstrate more than any of the other thousands of grisly murders he would carry out that all of his humanity had truly gone.

Keith would later take over the Vampire anarchist group. He felt that their plan to simply cause chaos across Europe was doomed to fail. He said that the Vandals were far too organised for the Vampires and that was why all but one of their cells had been crushed.

The leader and Keith fought, and though the leader was older and stronger, Keith’s knowledge on Vampire weaknesses and experience in battling Demons and Vampires, now allied with Vampiric strength gave him an advantage and allowed him to kill the leader of the Vampires.

After this he would then demand that the Vampires abandon their beliefs and instead try to build a cohesive society that would benefit them all. The town Keith’s Vampires would build not far from the mansion he had butchered his daughter in would come to be known as Darrow.

After her death, Rose would return as a Ghost. She was able to leave her place of death albeit only temporarily using magics. There she would work against the Vampires in secret (with none of them knowing she had returned as a Ghost).

Rose would be the one who would bring the Vampires rule over Darrow to an end. She helped their prisoners escape, supplied them with knowledge of the Vampires weaknesses and helped to eventually lead them to overthrow the monsters.

After the Vampires were defeated, Rose would continue to haunt the mansion she had died in, though she would still occasionally venture out into the town of Darrow to help its police officers.

She and Detective Cushing had worked together on a number of cases.  They later developed a close friendship. In 1950 Cushing saved Rose from being exorcised by a group of Demons. The rest of the police force would similarly develop a positive relationship with Rose too.

Though she was a supernatural creature,  Ghosts are not drawn towards one alignment like Demons. Even then however some officers still distrusted her, but it was still nowhere near as bad as how the Darrow police force by and large viewed Carlene.

When Carlene first arrived in Rose’s mansion, Rose tried to kill her without a seconds hesitation. Fortunately it didn’t take the Ghost long to see that Carlene was different to all the other Vampires she had fought for the past several centuries.

Carlene in life had been a struggling musician. She had been the lead singer of a band called the Dots. Though they had never broken into the mainstream they did enjoy great acclaim within the industry itself. Their style was a mixture of Jazz and old soul music. They had even toured with the Beatles in 1964.

Jazz had always been Carlene’s first love. Indeed she developed her interest in music as a child when her father used to sing around the house. Carlene herself would later take up this habit to the point where teachers would often have to tell her to stop singing in class.

Carlene was a very talented singer and songwriter. She was really the face of her band, with their original name even having been Carlene and the Dots. She was also in a relationship with her Base player Thomas.

Sadly however Carlene’s time would come as the hands of an obsessive fan named Alex. He was in his own twisted way in love with Carlene. He visited every single one of her concerts and had posters of Carlene lining his bedroom wall.

Whilst Carlene thought he was sweet at first eventually his behaviour began to scare her the more erratic it became which eventually culminated in Alex attacking Thomas after one concert in a jealous rage.

After this Carlene put a restraining order against Alex and he fell into a deep depression as a result. Alex had been a sad, lonely, bitter man whose entire life had come to revolve around a band. He went completely off the rails and started drinking heavily. One night after getting into a fight with someone at a pub, he was spotted by a Vampire. The Vampire sensed Alex’s anger, bitterness and despair. It felt that he had great potential. Vampires would always seek out the most hateful, angry and vicious people to turn into members of their kind, as they would naturally make the most effective Vampires.

Unfortunately however for the Vampire who wanted him to join its pack, Alex proved to be unpredictable even as a Vampire. He was still desperately in love with Carlene. The breed of Vampire Alex had become were known as the Heklox. They had more humanity than other breeds. All Vampire breeds could be broadly divided into three categories, Savage Vampires, Soul Vampires and Pure Vampires.

Pure Vampires are the most common. These Vampires are when a persons soul is turned into a Demons soul. Thus they are still the people they once were, but all humanity and positive emotions such as love, compassion and remorse are purged from them and any negative qualities the human had are enhanced, creating an absolute monster.

Savage Vampires meanwhile are where the human soul is ejected from the body and a Demon spirit takes over the body. These Vampires have no connection to the people they took over. They are Demons right to their core and are often as single minded as animals.

Finally, Soul Vampires are where the human soul remains in the body, but a Demonic soul also resides in the body too. The human soul is still in control of the body, but the Demonic one influences it. It represses all of its positive human emotions such as love, bravery, compassion, and adds a killer instinct, bloodlust and again amplifies any negative traits the human had in life.

Savage Vampires being the most Demonic are usually the most powerful, whilst Pure Vampires are the most common. Soul Vampires meanwhile are not only the weakest but are often look down upon by Pure Vampires for having the stench of humanity.

Ironically the overwhelming majority of Soul Vampires are still evil, bloodthirsty monsters too. Nevertheless they do still have more human emotions. Unlike other Vampire breeds for instance some Soul Vampires can experience love and affection though again it will always take on a perverse and twisted form.

The key difference between a Soul Vampire and the other two types is that there is still a trace of humanity in them. It is theoretically possible for a Soul Vampire to resist the Demon’s influence, but it requires the most unbelievable force of will and almost all of the people chosen to be Vampires are usually already twisted, or at the very least, bitter, angry, sad and weak, so they give into the darkness easily and willingly.

Carlene however would prove to be an exception. The rogue Alex would turn her into a Vampire out of his own twisted love for her. He wanted Carlene to be his bride forever.

Alex would try and force Carlene to join the pack of Vampires that had made him. As Carlene had not been selected by their leader, they weren’t sure about her. This pack of Vampires were ruled by an ancient member of their kind who lived in the London Underground. This Vampire known only as Mahkro had in fact once ruled London until the Vandals burned the city to the ground. This event became known as the Great Fire of London. Mahkro survived but would be forced to flee through Europe for many centuries before finally returning to his former power base in the 1960s.

In order to prove that Carlene was one of them, Mahkro would demand that she slaughter an innocent in front of all the other Vampires. The victim in question was a young girl named Sarah, and the only survivor from a double decker bus the monsters had attacked in the middle of the street. Among the victims had included Sarah’s parents. The Vampires had spent the last several hours brutally torturing her, but now wanted Carlene to finish her off.

Carlene was utterly horrified at the sight of the young girl, strung from the ceiling like an animal, beaten, cut, and bruised. Normally a Vampire would be overcome with twisted and dark urges and impulses to hurt a vulnerable person in pain.

Carlene however whilst still feeling the bloodlust to some extent was still able to control it. She was a one in a million Soul Vampire, that didn’t let the darkness and hate consume her.

Acting quickly she grabbed Sarah and simply jumped through the window with her super speed and strength. Carlene ran through the streets of London with the girl in tow, fleeing the Vampires, she managed to get Sarah to safety.

Alex would be thrown out of the clan as a result. His passion for Carlene soon turned to rage, blaming her all of his woes, he wanted to make her suffer and soon targeted Thomas..

Unfortunately for Alex, Carlene knew that he would probably go after Thomas. She had been monitoring Thomas herself for many days after saving Sarah and was therefore able to intercept Alex. After a final showdown she managed to slay her murderer by driving a stake through the Vampires heart.

After Alex’s death Carlene would stay around London for a few more days, watching her loved ones from afar to make sure that no more Vampires came after them.

After a while she eventually left London. She couldn’t bare to look at the old life she had lost. She wanted to tell Thomas, her mother, her father, all of whom’s lives had been completely destroyed by her death that she was still here. At the same time however she didn’t want them to see her like this.

She also didn’t want to drag them into the un-natural, Demonic world that she was now trapped in either.

Also being around anyone was hard for her. Though she had succeeded in controlling her thirst around Sarah, the longer Carlene went without blood, the harder it was to the point where she couldn’t look at someone in the street without having fantasies of ripping their throat out.

Carlene ran from the city of London and out into the wilderness. Now on the road and without blood, she became weak and frail and wandered aimlessly like a living corpse, before eventually stumbling upon the city of Darrow.

When she first entered the city she hoped that maybe she could stand to be around people again. The loneliness on the road had driven her mad. Even at this point a part of Carlene, underneath the despair and Demonic urges naively hoped that one day she might be able to return to her old life.

As soon as she made her way into Darrow however she saw that it was pointless. Her bloodlust was no different to before and she instantly retreated to the dark alley’s of Darrow for many weeks.

Still she hoped that she could try and control it one day and didn’t leave the city completely. Sadly a fateful encounter with a dying man however would change Carlene’s life forever.

By chance a group of thugs had chased a hapless poor man down the alleyway Carlene had been sleeping in. As they attacked him the noise awoke the sleeping Vampire. Carlene chased the thugs away. In her current state without blood she was too weak to fight them off, but fortunately for her all she needed to do was simply bare her fangs and hiss at them and the thugs fled.

They had lived on the rough streets of the city their whole life and so they knew a Vampire when they saw one.

The thugs victim lay on the floor, beaten, bloodied and helpless. Carlene couldn’t fight her Demonic urges any longer. The smell of his blood drove her crazy and she finally gave into her thirst. She sunk her teeth into his throat and drained him dry in a matter of seconds. She never felt anything like it. For those few seconds it was like she wasn’t there, yet at the same time the sheer sensation at the mere taste of human blood was unlike anything she had ever felt before.

As a Vampire she had felt dead to most emotions, but now in complete contrast she had never known a sheer feeling of absolute ecstasy like this.

She was so disgusted with herself that she tried to commit suicide, however she found that she could not quite work up the courage to end her life.

Still overcome with shame and self loathing, she once again retreated into the wilderness away from the big city.

Stumbling upon the abandoned mansion Carlene decided to lock herself away in there for good to prevent hurting anyone else.

However she soon found that the mansion was not abandoned after all. When Rose saw a Vampire entering the house she was absolutely disgusted and tried to stake Carlene right away.

Carlene did not fight back. She might not have had the strength to end her own life, but she was okay with someone else doing it. She pleaded with Rose to put her out of her misery, but ironically it was that very thing that convinced Rose that she was different.

Vampires were cowards. They did not care for anyone or anything but themselves, yet here was a Vampire that wanted to end its own existence in order to prevent anyone else from being hurt.

To Rose a remorseful Vampire was almost like a contradiction in terms. She actually thought it was a trick at first, but it didn’t take long for her to see Carlene’s sorrow was genuine.

She couldn’t help but pity the Vampire. A Vampire was the most disgusting creature on earth, but for one of them to actually be aware of what it was was a fate that Rose wouldn’t wish on her worst enemy.

Rose refused to kill Carlene and instead would try and help her. At first Carlene didn’t even want to try and control her urges. She felt it was not only too difficult, but that she also didn’t deserve to have any kind of quality of life after what she had done.

Carlene would remain in the mansion for many months. During this time she and Rose would develop a very strong friendship. The two women were able to bond over what they had lost more than anything else. Both had been cut down in their prime, were trapped in a horrible state between life and death. Still able to see the world but never be a part of it. Never interact with an ordinary human being ever again, and never have kids.

Carlene had always wanted children. She adored children. Despite her musical aspirations (which were also now gone forever) Carlene actually wanted nothing more than to be an ordinary Jewish mother, being overly protective of and spoiling her kids.

Now that would never happen and she had possibly an entire eternity to wonder what if.

Eventually however Carlene began to grow a bit stir crazy cooped up in the mansion all the time. She hoped that perhaps she could, having been helped through her depression slightly by Rose’s support, maybe try and control her bloodlust too.

Rose would always accompany Carlene out to make sure that she didn’t fall off the wagon. Carlene found it near impossible at first to be around anyone. She’d often only manage a few minutes around someone before the thirst and violent urges became too overwhelming.

Sadly Carlene’s condition did not improve even after several months of training. She later considered running away into the wilderness again as she was scared that Rose having seen her failure to fight the Demon inside her would view her as nothing more than a monster.

Instead Rose told her that she still believed in Carlene and that running away would accomplish nothing. Rose told Carlene something that would inspire her to not ever give up more than anything else. Rose told Carlene that she owed it to the man whose life she had taken to try and control the beast within her. If she died or worse just gave in and became a blood thirsty monster then his death will have been utterly pointless. If she tried to control her urges and actually used her powers to help people, then his death can at least serve as reminder to Carlene never to lose control again.

Carlene agreed and would continue to try and control her urges and master her Vampiric powers. Always keeping the image of the man whose life she had ended in her head every time she was near someone.

She also learned how to harness her Vampiric powers and was trained by Rose herself to learn how to fight too. Rose was Carlene’s mentor every step of the way.

The most difficult thing for Carlene when learning how to fight was in not letting the thirst and violent urges take control whilst fighting. Rose again however would give her sound advice, telling her not to ignore the thirst as she couldn’t ignore it. It was now a part of her whether she wanted to admit it or not.

Instead she needed to face it and prove that she was stronger than it. In a life and death situation when facing a Demon, one that perhaps was stronger than her, she should use her bloodlust as a weapon.

Ironically this would prove to be the key aspect of her controlling her thirst. Her guilt stopped it from overcoming her, but channelling it into battling other forces of evil allowed her to truly master it for her own ends.

Eventually though it took a long time, Carlene finally managed to control her Vampiric urges completely and had trained herself to become a truly devastating fighter in full control of her Vampiric powers.

Carlene hoped to use these powers to protect her new home, Darrow, having been told what a mess the city was in by Rose.

Carlene knew that it would be difficult to operate in the city, not just because of the Demons, but the people too. Rose warned Carlene that the police force of the city would be very unlikely to accept her because of what she was. In fact she would be lucky if they didn’t kill her on sight.

Rose directed Carlene towards her old friend, Detective Cushing who she knew would perhaps be more willing to believe her that a Vampire of all creatures could have changed.

Whilst Detective Cushing was skeptical about Carlene, he and the Vampire would nevertheless work together to stop a particularly vicious Demon that had been terrorising the city for several months.

The Demon named Drestox enjoyed collecting souls the of its victims. It had during its entire life collected over 5248 souls from people.

Carlene aided Cushing in tracking the Demon through the sewers of Darrow. Before no one had been able to find out where the monster was, but Carlene’s enhanced sense of smell would prove vital in tracking the beast to its lair.

The Demon was a powerful adversary, and even with her training Carlene struggled against it. Fortunately with help from Cushing she was able to slay the beast.

After this Carlene and Cushing would continue to work on more cases together and save many more lives. Carlene would further help to control her bloodlust by obsessing over the cases she went on with Cushing. She and Cushing didn’t develop quite the friendship that she had with Rose, but Cushing still came to respect the Vampire nonetheless and they developed a very positive working relationship with each other. The fact that both were such workaholics helped to make them an effective team.

Sadly the same could not be said for Carlene’s relationship with the rest of the Darrow police force. The Chief Constable Michelle in particular despised Carlene. Michelle had an extreme hatred towards Vampires and felt that Carlene was duping Detective Cushing. Michelle’s pathological hatred of the Undead stemmed from a traumatic experience during her teenage years involving a group of Vampires.

Like Cushing, Michelle came from the slums of Darrow. When she was a teenager she was attacked coming home from school by a vicious thug named Jack who tried to rob her. Michelle however managed to get the better of him. She kicked him in the groin when he was caught off guard and quickly grabbed his knife that he had dropped. In desperation and fear she slashed him several times across the face.

Jack ran from Michelle, bleeding and in agony he collapsed not long after and was swiftly apprehended by the police. For this and various other crimes he carried out he was sentenced to 10 years in jail. Jack also received many gruesome and permanent scars from Michelle’s attack too.

Jack blamed all of his woes naturally on Michelle. He didn’t hold himself responsible at all for his own actions. In spite of everything he had done he always viewed himself as a victim.

Jack had come from an impoverished background. His mother had died in childbirth and his father, Robert had turned to alcoholism after her demise which in turn led to him losing his job. He would often take his frustrations out on Jack. Robert had never wanted to be a father and eventually he threw Jack out onto the streets when the latter was 13. The young Jack begged and pleaded with his father not to give him up, but Robert coldly ignored his cries.

When Jack tried to run back to his father, Robert punched him in the face and broke his nose.

It would be the last time Jack would ever see his father as a human.

Jack was a survivor however and would continue to live on the streets for the next 10 or so years. He joined many street gangs for protection, though he would often just keep quiet at the back. As time went on however he became more bold and began to take part in more and more violent crimes.

In Michelle’s case he thought she would be an easy victim so he attacked her alone. It was of course a catastrophic mistake, and one that would ultimately cost him his life.

The prison Jack had been sent to was in fact run by a Vampire named Jerome. Jerome belonged to a large and strong pack of Vampires. These beasts main base operations was an old abandoned warehouse in the heart of the slums of Darrow. Jerome was not their leader but he did an important job of recruiting new members of their gang. Many Vampires are known to recruit new members of their kind in jail as it is obviously the best place to find the most twisted, violent and degenerate members of society who make the most effective Vampires.

Jerome got to know Jack well and often taunted him with the knowledge that the people who ruined his life, his father, the girl who disfigured, humiliated and ultimately sent him down were all living their lives happily, and doing whatever they wanted whilst he was trapped here. Since kicking Jack out onto the streets, Robert had managed to turn his life around. He had overcome his alcoholism, managed to find a steady job. He had even remarried.

Jack’s rage, bitterness and hatred became completely out of control from this point on. He would regularly fight with other prisoners and guards too. One day when Jerome was taunting Jack about his father, Jack completely lost it and tried to stab Jerome to death. Jerome being a Vampire of course survived the attack effortlessly, but this finally convinced Jerome that Jack would make an excellent Vampire and he turned him.

After becoming a Vampire, Jack would easily escape prison and finally get his revenge on all of those he felt had ruined his life. Chief among those was of course his father who he tracked down and tortured to death. He also slaughtered all of the members of the last gang he was in. Jack felt that they had betrayed him by not bothering to even try and free him once he had been apprehended.

Finally Jack targeted Michelle. The scars she had given him had not healed as they had been made whilst he was human. The other Vampires would regularly mock and laugh at him for his deformed appearance.

Jack managed to capture Michelle’s family, consisting of her mother, father and baby brother Neil. Jack murdered Neil by snapping his neck in front of Michelle. He then butchered both of her parents in front of her and kept her in a cage deep within the Vampires base. There she would be tortured along with the Vampire clans other captives for several weeks.

Eventually Michelle would be saved when Detective Cushing was able to find the Vampire’s nest. Michelle was the only survivor from the Vampires captives. The only reason she survived was because Jack had wished to extend her torture longer. Most of the Vampires were killed in the fight. Cushing had brought an entire team with him, but sadly Jack, ever the survivor managed to escape.

Michelle who was only 17 years old would never be the same again. She desired nothing more than to make Jack pay for what he had done. She joined the police force, trained herself, read up on the supernatural, all initially so that she could simply become strong enough to destroy this one monster.

Throughout all her years of training one thing she feared more than anything else was that another officer or even just a lone Vampire hunter might find Jack first and slay him before she had a chance.

Unfortunately for Michelle she was never able to catch the Vampire. Though she was a skilled officer, her single mindedness is tracking down this one monster soon posed problems with the rest of the force.

Michelle would only realise how far her obsession with destroying Jack had gone under the most tragic circumstances.

One night Michelle had managed to trace Jack to his latest hideout. There he had abducted a young girl. She was no older than 14 years old.

When Michelle cornered Jack with a crossbow bolt he threatened to murder the girl but Michelle didn’t actually care. She tried to justify it to herself that if she didn’t do all she could to stop Jack now he would slaughter more innocents. Of course the real reason was because all she wanted was to see the Vampire that ruined her life dead.

Michelle fired her crossbow bolt at Jack, not caring if it hit the girl or not. Jack however managed to evade it whilst still holding onto his prisoner. Realising that Michelle was single minded in killing him to the point where she didn’t care about the girl. Jack stabbed her as he had no further use for her, before fleeing the area.

Michelle looked at the girl lying on the floor, bleeding, sobbing and begging her for help. Michelle however simply ignored her and went after Jack.

It was a decision that she would come to regret for the rest of her life but at the time she didn’t care.

When she cornered Jack in a nearby alleyway she finally thought she had the monster, but instead the Vampire just laughed in her face.

He told her that when he saw her come into his base he wanted to see how far Michelle would actually go just to get back at her nemesis.

He could barely contain his glee as he asked her what she did with the girl he stabbed. Jack wasn’t actually scared of Michelle. He only fled to see if she would stay with the girl or not. When she didn’t the Vampire told Michelle that he had won as now she was a monster too. He taunted Michelle that if he turned her it would make no difference as she was already someone who was willing to allow a young girl to die just to satisfy her own lust for vengeance.

Michelle realised that he was right. This was one more thing Jack had taken from her. Her own morality.

It all finally began to sink in what she had become and she instantly ran back to the warehouse with Jack’s laughter ringing in her ears.

By the time she got here it was too late. The girl had bled to death. Michelle initially planned to turn herself in for her crime. However she decided that she had to make it up to the girl whose life she had simply tossed away in her feud with the Vampire. Ironically she was very much like Carlene in this respect.

Michelle would for the first time devote her life to helping others, where as before her time on the force had only ever been directed towards the goal of getting her revenge.

Eventually over the years she would become respected throughout the city and rise through the ranks of the police force to become Chief Constable. Sadly she was still never able to slay Jack, but at the very least the Vampire was always forced to go on the run to avoid her.

Michelle never told anyone on the force the truth. She only ever told one person, Detective Cushing. It would become publicly known years after her death. Though Jack did regularly accuse her of leaving the girl to die, Michelle always denied it and as the Vampire had no proof then his accusations were hollow.

Despite the positive changes in Michelle’s character however she would remain just as dogmatic in her belief that all Demons in the city needed to be slain. Normally this did not pose a problem however, as the rest of the Darrow police force had the exact same attitude towards Demons.

However when Carlene showed up Michelle began to clash for the first time with her oldest friend Detective Cushing.

Cushing had always been there for Michelle since he rescued her from the clutches of the Vampires. Even during her darkest times he had always told her that he believed in her.

Michelle for her part would always defend Cushing from the other members of the force after his relationship with Sheresia. Michelle had only joined the force after Patrick had killed Sheresia.

Cushing’s reputation was of course at its absolute lowest at this point and Michelle was practically the only person on the force who was his friend.

However even then Cushing didn’t appreciate Michelle’s defence of him, as she would often claim that Sheresia had enchanted him. She herself believed it to be real, as there was no other reason in her mind a man of Cushing’s integrity could ever love a Demon.

Sadly however when Carlene showed up, Cushing and Michelle’s friendship would finally come to an end. Michelle felt betrayed after all the times she had defended him that he was now working alongside the worst of all supernatural creatures a Vampire.

Cushing tried to reason with Michelle telling her that Carlene was different. He even tried to relate Carlene’s situation to what Michelle had gone through, telling her that just as Michelle was once corrupted by hatred yet managed to overcome it, then Carlene could too.

This backfired on the Detective however. Michelle did not appreciate being compared to a Vampire and even slapped Cushing for daring to compare her grief to the twisted urges of a monster.

The only reason that Michelle did not outright order that Carlene be killed, and fire Cushing was because of the debt she owed him in saving her life.

Her relationship with Cushing however would continue to be tense and whilst she didn’t fire Cushing she would never go to him for help again unless she absolutely had to.

Michelle had only met Carlene once, but it had been a very tense meeting to say the least with Michelle at one point even shooting the Vampire in the stomach.

After this Carlene would prefer to work alone when solving cases. Though she would still sometimes work with Cushing, she generally preferred to keep her distance from the police force unless she had no choice.

Sadly for her this would be one of those times.

Cushing had a key to the mansion’s front door. He was the only person on the force that Rose trusted with one.

As soon as he entered he was greeted by Rose who was happy for any kind of company at this point, though sadly she knew this wasn’t a social call. It never was with Cushing.

Rose greeted her old friend warmly. “Nice to see you here Detective, but I trust you didn’t just pop by to have a chat with your favourite Ghost and Vampire? What unspeakable horror is lurking in the fine city of Darrow this time?

Cushing didn’t have time for pleasantries. He wanted to speak with Carlene now.

I’m a little insulted. Am I not good enough anymore? Here I thought I was popular but it turns out all my friends only care about seeing me because of my cool Vampire friend?

Rose could tell Cushing was getting a little frustrated with her awkward jokes and so she told him firmly.

She’s upstairs. I honestly wouldn’t bother her though Cushing. You know what she’s like when she thinks she is onto something. You’d be better talking to me. Carlene has been working on this case of hers for weeks, you are not going to pry her from it, or even get her to share it with you. She’s not dared to share it with a humble spirit like me of course. At least not yet. Still from what I gather she thinks she is on to some kind of master criminal. I think she’s right, in fact I know she is, but I’m just annoyed that she has to seal herself up like that.”

Cushing however hadn’t bothered to listen to Rose after she had told him where Carlene was and just headed up the stairs leaving the Ghost even more annoyed.

Upstairs Cushing found Carlene sitting in her room on the floor, surrounded by newspaper clippings and books on the occult.

The Vampire didn’t even notice that Cushing had entered the room until he spoke.

Carlene instantly stood up. She barely even came up to Cushing’s shoulder. Cushing was a tall man, at 6 foot 1 inches in height, but even with that Carlene was still tiny.

She was dressed in a low cut black top, and a short black skirt. Her hair was still styled in her signature gigantic beehive which she had always worn when she was in the Dots. Cushing suddenly saw a clawed hand poke its way out of her beehive, but whatever it was it quickly retreated back into Carlene’s hair. Cushing tried to warn her, but she told him that she knew what it was, and that her “hair” was its home. He didn’t ask any further questions.

Carlene’s skin was snow white in contrast to her clothes and hair. She had always had a somewhat pale complexion, even before becoming a Vampire. Her make up was very thick and striking. She still loved doing herself up, even though as a Vampire she was now practically asexual. Not only did it make her feel more human, but it was yet another way for her to distract herself. Everything was so manic and over the top with Carlene not just to distract her, but to overcompensate too. As a Vampire she was naturally dead to almost all emotions  except for a desire to cause pain and misery.

She had to really struggle to enjoy anything else.

Carlene was the first to speak in her thick, guttural cockney accent. “Well what do you want Detective? Whatever it is I am sorry but I can’t help. I am close to cracking possibly the most important case I, or anyone has ever had in this city. Please whatever it is, deal with it yourself

Just then Rose entered the room. “Honestly Cushing I told you, she’s busy. Why don’t you just tell me what the problem is? I have a fair bit of knowledge on the occult you know, I.” Once again however Cushing interrupted her “Please ladies I don’t have time for this, I really need your help, both of you, if you will only just let me explain“.

Carlene however still wasn’t even remotely interested. In fact she was getting very frustrated that the Detective and her friend had not just left. She shouted over Cushing and Rose who had started arguing. Once she had their attention Carlene explained to Cushing that she believed many of the supernatural creatures in Darrow were all in fact working for one powerful Demon.

If I’m right about this it could change everything. Think about it, all of the Demons and the monsters we fight are always so well organised. So many of them are able to slip through the net. How is that possible when a lot of them in any other city just live like animals?” Carlene told the Detective.

She continued. “Obviously there is some mastermind that has found a way to bring them all together and that’s why no one has ever been able to clean up this city. I’m not about to quit this just to help you take on some lowly Demon. All you’re doing is fighting symptoms. I’m tackling the cause.

Cushing found the idea to be totally implausible. “I’ve been on the force for over 20 years. I’ve never seen anything to even suggest some kind of Demon king, controlling all the monsters in this city“.

Carlene responded with “Of course you wouldn’t know. The ruler of the Demons is obviously going to do his best to keep hidden from everyone! However he slipped up with me. Once word got out of an apparent Vampire vigilante roaming the streets, he sent one of his lackey’s to talk to me. He thought I was just doing this to dupe you all just like that absolute arsehole Michelle always said. He even commended me, saying that pretending to be a ‘good guy’ to throw the police off was genius. It never even occurred to him that a Vampire could actually be genuinely wanting to help people.

Cushing said somewhat drily “Well to be fair Carlene I think there are probably only three people in this entire city who would believe that a Vampire can be anything other than a hideous monster. And they are all in this room

Rose interrupted “plus two of them are dead, at the hands of Vampires too I might add.”

Anyway” Carlene continued, somewhat impatiently “I obviously told him that I wasn’t interested in being some lackey to a Demon godfather. I reckon they probably still think I’m just playing the cops, and I’m actually out killing people at night, but whatever the case,  they’ve been trying to kill me ever since. Ironically if they hadn’t tried to make me part of their little gang, I probably would never have suspected there was grand Demon master either, but once I found out everything about this city suddenly made more sense.

Cushing still found the idea ridiculous. He thought it was possible that there may be a large Demon clan in the city, but not one that controlled absolutely all Demonic activity in Darrow. Nevertheless he wasn’t prepared to argue it further. He knew that in spite of Carlene’s obsessive nature the fact that these mysterious new Demons were targeting children would sway her to take her mind off her latest obsession.

Carlene, I honestly do not know what to do. In all my years on the force I’ve never seen creatures like these. We can’t find anything on them and they are going after children. They literally spring out from nowhere, snatch the children and then disappear. I’m all out of options. Please help me

Carlene fell silent. She was almost angry at Cushing as now she knew that she would have to pull herself away from the case she had spent so long working on.

Tell me about these Demons?” she said. Cushing breathed a sigh of relief as now perhaps finally they might make some progress in finding the children.

Julia awoke to find herself in a dark, dank room surrounded by other children and teenagers. The oldest at the most was 17 years old. Most of the children were crying, except for one child at the other end of the room, who in contrast seemed quite jovial.

Julia couldn’t quite make his face out as the room was so dark. As she got closer however to the boy she could see his face more clearly. It was hideously deformed. His hair was falling out, his teeth were growing long and his skin was yellow.

He was beginning to look like the monster that had snatched Julia off the streets.

Julia had no idea what was going on or what to do, so she just started screaming blindly for help.

One of the teenage boys next to Julia suddenly punched her across the face sending her crashing to the floor with a bloody nose. As Julia looked up she could see this boy’s skin had begun to turn yellow too. He did not seem happy however. In fact he was crying and screaming to himself.

Julia was terrified yet at the same time she couldn’t help but pity her attacker. She had never seen anyone look so distressed or in as much pain.

Just then a door opened at the other end of the cell and white light flooded the room.

One of the monsters that had snatched Julia suddenly entered and all of the teenagers and children immediately began to cower in the corner.

The Demon spoke, its voice hissing and high pitched “You children are too innocent these days. Months and months with us and you still cling on to your humanity? Back in the day we’d have broken you in a week!” The Demon then turned his attention to the jovial Demonic boy and said “At least one of you has seen things our way. You’ll go on to great things my boy.”

Julia tried to stay hidden in the crowd of petrified children but the Demon soon focused his attention squarely on Julia and began to approach her.

She could barely look at the monster she was so scared. As the Demon cornered her all of the other children scattered to the other side of the room leaving Julia on her own. The only person in the room who wasn’t completely terrified other than the monster itself was the yellow skinned boy with the Demon teeth who was even laughing hysterically at the others plight.

The Demon, towering over the girl said with evil relish “lets hope you’re smart enough to see that we’re trying to help you!”

Carlene sadly knew as little about the Demons as Detective Cushing did. Nothing about them matched any description in any of the books on the occult she had read and she had certainly never encountered anything like it before.

I’m sorry Cushing. Believe me I wish I could help you but I don’t know any Demon like that. I’ve read through every page of these books several times. Often just when I’m bored at night. I’ve never heard of anything like that.

Rose also was completely unaware of any Demon species that matched the description. Despite her vast experience with the occult and expert knowledge on Demon species, she had no idea what these beasts were. A fact which worried her.

Cushing’s heart sank. “You girls were my last hope, you know that. I’ve been working on this for weeks and still nothing. I wonder how many more children’s lives are going to be lost before I make a breakthrough. I’m sorry girls, I just wish there was something to go on.

Fortunately Carlene had an idea. She spoke to the weary Detective.

Its a long shot but it seems to be our only option. If my theory is correct that all or most of the Demons in this town are connected, there is absolutely no way that they don’t know at least something about these things. I can’t imagine whoever is in charge is happy to let rogue’s like this run around in public stealing children. They have to be aware at least of something. If we can snag one of the higher up Demons in this city, he could perhaps tell us about what’s going on“.

Carlene then went through her papers. “I have a theory about a man named George Glover.

Yes I know him.” Cushing interrupted “He is the former Chief constable of the Darrow police force. He retired just a few years ago. I didn’t know him that well. He was a secretive, quiet man, but he was very good at his job. Very professional, fair and objective. Not like the person we have now. ” Cushing said bitterly.

Carlene responded “Well as much as it pains me to say it, I’m afraid that even that miserable bitch is a vast improvement on who you had running things before. George had you all duped. Or rather the Secresk Demon that’s taken him over for the last 10 or so years did. Obviously the Demon helped no doubt to cover up its master’s existence during the time he was in office, but I believe it may also have been planted there as a thank you by the head Demon. Secresk Demons will stay with their host bodies which still age for as long as possible. Naturally they like people who are in high positions of society so they can cover up their crimes and even just enjoy the fruits of their hosts comfortable lives. They are Demons of leisure.

She continued “I think this is how, whoever, whatever is in charge of this city keeps its minions in line. Its not just through fear, like other Demon communities. It rewards its followers too“.

Cushing rolled his eyes “Even if your theory about some master Demon being in control of this entire city is correct you honestly expect me to just go in there and say that George Glover, one of the most respected men in the city is a monster and we need to what? Torture this helpless old man for information?.

Carlene responded with “Certainly not, we just break into his house when he is sleeping, perform a fairly simple and straight forward exorcism, and then force the Demon to talk.

Cushing was stunned at what the Vampire had just said to him. In fact he began to think asking Carlene for help was a mistake. He feared that she had become so obsessed with this theory about a Demonic master criminal that she was just trying to focus absolutely everything into this wild idea.

Again however Cushing was out of options. Maybe there just might be something in Carline’s wild idea? After all the Vampire had never let him down before? He might as well hear her out.

Okay” he said wearily “tell me what evidence do you have that old George is really a monster.

Carlene pointed to several newspaper clippings she had on the floor. ” There has been an increase in people disappearing near the area George lives. Now most of these bodies have never been found. The first thing any Demon or Vampire should do particularly in this city is to cover up the cause of death in its victims bodies. As you know Demons such as Vampires leave tell tale signs on their victims corpses, like puncture marks on their victims throats,  bodies drained of blood etc.

Cushing was a little insulted that Carlene felt she had to explain what was the most basic knowledge of the occult to him. “Of course I know that Vampires and Demons try and cover up their kills. I’ve had a career as a Detective for 30 bloody years!” he thought to himself. Still he knew it was best not to interrupt the Vampire. It would probably already take her ages to finish. Her obsessive nature meant that she often had to explain every little detail. No need to prolong it.

Carlene continued “In the case of Secresk Demons they always devoured their victims hearts. Now normally Glover or rather the Demon that possessed him would take his victims back to his house, kill them and then burn the bodies. Here however he slipped up.

For whatever reason, maybe he was just too hungry that night or something, but he jumped a teenage girl in an alley way and tore her heart from her body. I found him, munching on it. A sight like that would have probably made me faint just a year or so ago, but I actually felt really hungry when I saw it.

Cushing and Rose both winced at that part, but again they let Carlene carry on. ” George or rather the Demon didn’t react at first. I guess he hadn’t heard of the Vampire vigilante or maybe he didn’t believe it existed. We fought for a little bit but he quickly left. I don’t think he was scared of me, he probably just didn’t want to be exposed.

Of course I didn’t recognise him at that point. He was in his Demon form, but fortunately I was able to catch his scent. and I was able to track the beast to his home.”

Cushing sighed in annoyance “Why did you not come to me with this earlier Carlene?

To be honest Cushing. I didn’t want to get the police involved at all in this case. I knew that if I told you, you would tell that bitch you work for. She obviously wouldn’t believe me. Hell she’d probably warn George and then he could cover it up and prepare for me. I hoped to just go in there and get what I needed. Tonight actually I was hoping to go in and finally free the real George from that monster“.

Cushing replied. “Honestly Carlene. I trusted you, defended you against the others and here you were just going to barge in and attack one of the most respected men in the city based on some crazy theory? What would have happened if you were wrong? You know how Michelle and just about everyone else on the force bar me is desperate for any excuse to kill you! I think breaking into an old man’s home and trying to kill him would count!

Carlene angrily responded “I’m not wrong! And the way I see it you have two choices here Cushing. Either you can go and tell that bitch, and we’ll have to spent probably two months trying to convince her, during which time more and more children will die. Or we can follow the only lead we have right now?

Cushing knew that she was right. He really was that desperate. “Okay fine. We’ll test out your idea. If you’re wrong though Carlene the Darrow police force will probably kill you as well as me!

Carlene smiled “don’t worry I’m not wrong. I’ve been trying to find a way to break into George’s house for a while now, but its heavily guarded by magics, which in my opinion is further proof . Any intruder that enters gets vaporised into nothing but dust. Its taken me and Rose a couple of weeks to find a counter spell but hopefully” she said as she lifted up a small red orb from under her desk “this little beauty should be it“.

Carlene continued “I haven’t had time to check out if this sphere will actually be strong enough to protect us. Still at least if we do get vaporised then it will prove what we are saying is true to the rest of the police force.

Julia was utterly petrified at what these things had in store for her. She was dragged by her arm through a long, dark corridor and placed in a tiny room at the end of it. The door slammed shut.

A few minutes passed which felt like hours.  Julia spoke to the door, mumbling through her tears and whimpers. She hoped that perhaps one of the monsters was standing outside and maybe, just maybe it would take pity on her.

Please, I, I don’t know what you want with me, but I just want to go home. Don’t hurt me!

Just then the door swung open and the the Demon entered with a small, crooked little smile on its twisted face.

Oh don’t worry. I won’t lay a finger on you if you do what we want. We are warriors child. We exist for a purpose far greater than you can possibly imagine. You should feel honoured that we chose you to join us. I warn you however fight our influence and you will suffer!

Just then a second Demon entered the room carrying a small frightened looking dog under its arm. It was Julia’s dog named Daisy.

The Demon placed the Dog on the floor in front of Julia and then placed a large, blood stained meat cleaver in between Julia and Daisy.

The Demon said, whilst smiling with sadistic delight. “In order to become one of us you need to severe all links with your human life. This is a small, easy step. They’ll get harder as time goes on, but for now. Kill that little mongrel or else you’ll suffer!

Julia wanted to be sick. Daisy had been her best friend for the past 5 years. In fact she’d been her only friend. Julia had been always been somewhat lonely, shy girl. She had always dreaded the day where she would have to put her dog down, but she could have never imagined it would be under these horrifying circumstances.

Please, I, I don’t know why you want me to do this” Julia said whilst quivering. “But I can’t

The Demon interrupted her. Its tone was suddenly much angrier, its voice louder, more booming.

We want you to become a warrior in the most important battle of all time. We want you to become a hero whose story will be remembered forever. But first you need to prove you are worthy! Kill that little mutt! Now!

Julia crumbled into a little ball on the floor in response.

The Demon approached the terrified girl and placed his hand around her throat. “Its either you or the Dog do you understand me! If you don’t kill her now I will tear you to pieces!”

The monster began to bare its fangs in her face, hissing. Julia had never been so scared. In that moment she forgot how much she loved her little Dog. All she knew was that she didn’t want to die.

The monster sensing the fear in her hear threw her to the ground by the blood stained cleaver and without hesitation, purely to save her own life she buried it in Daisy’s skull.

After carrying out this gruesome act, Julia surprisingly felt no guilt. She felt no disgust, either with herself or even the splattered brains of her beloved pet lain at her feet.

Instead for a second she actually felt quite good. That feeling quickly faded however and she instantly began to feel shame at what she had done and began to hug the corpse of her Dog.

The Demon meanwhile sat back and smiled. “It begins” it said to itself whilst smirking.

Carlene and Cushing had arrived at George’s house. The two knew that if they stepped another foot forward there was a possibility that they might be vaporised.

Cushing said drily “Well I’ guess I’ll go first.”.

With some hesitation Cushing put his foot over the line. He turned to face Carlene. “Well either your little orb works or you’re completely wrong and my career is in ruins and you’re dead”.

As Carlene followed him she responded “It would have been much easier if we’d just been vaporised wouldn’t it?”

Cushing had memorised the exorcism ritual that would not only pull the Demon from George’s body but would also trap it.

The ritual would have to be performed near the Demon however, and so Carlene would have to hold the monster off until Cushing had completed it.

Whilst Cushing was trying to think of a way to sneak into the house, Carlene just ran straight ahead and smashed the front door down.

Cushing was shocked “What are you thinking!” he screamed at the Vampire.

Don’t worry” Carlene responded “he already knew we were coming. Another spell monitors activity near his house“.

Just then George came darting out the front door wielding a stake. Carlene barely managed to get out of the way in time. Cushing was shocked at how fast the old man could move. When George turned to face the Detective, Cushing could see that his eyes were flickering purple. The Demon was stronger when it didn’t hide in its human host.

It had finally dropped the human facade as not only did it suspect that it was the Vampire, but even if it wasn’t whoever it was had breached his defences and needed dealt with swiftly.

Cushing couldn’t believe that the Vampire was right after all about George. He didn’t know whether to be scared that he was facing a dangerous Demon, relieved that it meant his career wasn’t in tatters, or embarrassed that he had doubted Carlene on her theory so much!

Before the Demon could strike Cushing, Carlene grabbed it from behind. George tried to get free and in the struggle both the Demon and the Vampire went tumbling backwards into George’s house.

George was the first to get to his feet and grabbed Carlene. With one hand he lifted the Vampire up into the air and threw her all the way across his living room sending her crashing through a table.

Carlene however bounced up instantly, her fangs baring and hissing at her enemy. Her bloodlust was kicking in. However she did not give in this time as she did not wish to harm the man who the Demon had taken over. She also similarly told whatever it was in her hair to stay put so as not to harm the Demon’s host.

Carlene had never faced a Demon of this breed before. They were strong, fast and unpredictable and this one had years of experience.

In a fight to the death she would surely be the loser. Fortunately it didn’t have to come to that as Cushing was busy chanting the spell. All she had to do was just keep his attention on her for the time being.

Unfortunately as the Demon and Carlene circled one another, each waiting for the moment to strike, George suddenly noticed Cushing at the other end of the room and went for him.

Carlene however again managed to tackle the Demon and send him to the ground. The stake went flying out of George’s hand and as he tried to crawl along the floor and get it, Carlene again jumped on his back and wrestled with the monster. After a brief struggle George managed to throw the Vampire across the room again and into a wall.

However as he got up and reached for the stake he found that he could not move. As much as he tried with all his inhuman strength he couldn’t even lift his hand.

He saw Carlene wander over to Cushing with a smile on her face.

“Thank you Cushing, and I told you so!

George began to scream in rage and frustration but there was nothing he could do.

Carlene spoke to the Demon “Okay listen up. You’re not getting out of this binding spell. Me and Cushing here have done our homework. We also know how to kill you and we have a bottle of Lenesk, magically fused liquid that will burn you to death. So tell us what we want or we’ll douse you in it, and be no worse than we are now but also be one heart eating Demon down.

George knew there was nothing he could do. He didn’t trust the Vampire not to fry him now. Just for the hell of it. Still for the time being he had no other options and so he had to go along with whatever she wanted.

Cushing was the first to ask him about the new Demons on the street.

Cushing and Carlene could see a look of fear come over George’s face as soon as the creatures were mentioned. There was no way he could even attempt to lie about not knowing what was going on.

George tried to reason with his two captors.

Look trust me on this one. These things, they’re way beyond you, me, this entire stinking city.  I don’t care who you both think you are. Vampire super hero, or Demon catching/Demon loving when it suits him Detective. These things? You don’t want to cross them. None of us do.”

Cushing responded. “These things are snatching children all over the city!

George was silent for a minute before bursting into a fit of laughter. Almost forgetting the position he was in, he said “And I’m supposed to care? I’ve eaten about twenty kids.”

Carlene quickly reminded him however by telling Cushing to fetch the Lenesk.

Okay, okay fine, once I’ve told you though I’m not just going to flee this town but this whole level of reality to get away from them and if you’re smart you will too. The Demons are known simply as The Soldiers. They are bred for a war, said to happen in over 1000 years time.

According to the legend many centuries ago an all powerful Demon named Orakos created the Soldiers. Orakos was believed to be the most powerful Demon to emerge since your daddy Vampire, Khastran.

Originally Orakos was just as evil as the rest. He brought death and chaos to everywhere he travelled, but then one day he saw something that changed him forever when he faced the Mysterious Three.

The Mysterious Three were Gods who had the power of precognition. Orakos wanted that power for himself. When he faced the Gods however they shared with him a vision so terrible it shook the Demon to its very core. To this day no one knows what the vision was except for the Soldiers. Orakos killed the Three afterwards and kept the vision to himself, but he built up an army to combat it. However Orakos was later killed by Odin himself, as revenge for the deaths of the Mysterious Three.

His army however continued to grow. Whilst we don’t know what it is exactly they are fighting for, over the years two things have become obvious. One they believe that this war will happen in over 1000 years time. And two that it will be the most important battle in the history of creation. Whatever they are destined to fight, it is an evil that threatens us all. It terrified a creature as terrible and twisted as Orakos himself.

The Demons create new members of their kind first by abducting children. They take them to interdimensional bases. They have several of these all over creation. The Soldiers are also able to travel between worlds, universes even no problem. They have abducted children from worlds all over the multiverse to be part of their army. It is estimated that there are trillions of Soldiers.

Once they have the children, they corrupt them, mistreat them, force them to do the most horrible things after which they are then ready to be converted through magic into new members of their kind. They will tend to visit the same spot only once every century.”

Carlene interrupted “But why choose children? If I was building an army of unstoppable Demon warriors I’d snatch the biggest, baddest warriors in the land”

George responded “Many reasons. To start with the Soldiers don’t like to waste any men. Obviously there’s no risk of that when snatching little kids. Also if they turn someone into one of their own when they are a child then they will be stronger when they are older, as they have been a Demon for a longer. Finally a child is easier to break. Children only really care about themselves. Imagine trying to break a stubborn bastard like him” George looked squarely in Cushing’s direction.

A child however?” George continued “is more scared of death, will do anything it can just to see its dear mommy again. They’re an easy nut to crack

Cushing interceded “Its disgusting. They call themselves soldiers, yet they target the most vulnerable and helpless and steal their lives from them.”

George sighed. He felt that the Detective was not grasping just how dangerous the Soldiers actually were. “Trust me they aren’t cowards. They just want as many men possible for what they believe will be the ultimate battle. However its better to just let them do their thing and get out of here.

Carlene responded somewhat angrily “And just let them steal countless children and turn them into monsters?

George was getting a bit scared. He knew how unpredictable Vampires were and so he tried to reason his way out of this.

It will be worse for you and anyone you care about if you try and stop them. They have eyes and ears all over the place. Even the Vampires who founded this town were under their thumb. They willingly handed over several of their child captives to the Soldiers because they knew it would be pointless to try and fight them.”

Carlene interrupted “And I’d imagine whoever it is you work for has also cut a deal with them too? ”

George responded “Lets just say they’re smart enough to know who not to cross. I won’t tell you anything about them though. The Soldiers might be more powerful but lets just say my master is way more vicious. I’d rather be at the mercy of the Soldiers any day or eaten by Lenesk. I’ll tell you nothing..

Carlene simply responded with “well it looks like I will be pissing off the right people if I go after these guys. Tell me how do I get to where they’re keeping the kids?

George realised that there was no way of getting through to either of them. “Fools” he thought to himself “its like the Vampire wants to die, again” Still he told them in the hopes that the Vampire would keep its word and let him go.

The gate way to the Demons interdimensional base is completely invisible, but you should be able to find it by using a locator spell. You’ll have to get a possession of one of the children they stole however. And you’ll have to act quickly too. Once those children become Soldiers the spell won’t work on them.

Cushing spoke “I’ll contact the parents of Julia Blomfield. She was their latest victim, so there’s hopefully a chance they won’t have turned her yet

Carlene agreed but she said to Cushing that they had one little problem to deal with first. “Fetch the Lenesk and prepare the exorcism Detective

George protested. “I told you what you want to know. You’re supposed to be heroes, heroes don’t go back on their word.”

Carlene hit back “and they don’t let monsters that eat hearts just go free either. Still I am a woman of her word. This exorcism will give you a 5 second chance of getting free of the binding spell before we douse you in Lenesk. Call this my little gift to you

George was overcome with rage and fear as Cushing returned with the bottle and began to chant the spell. He was completely helpless but then it hit him what his only option was. Clearly Cushing and the Vampire wanted to still try and save the person whose body he had taken over, the real George, hence why they didn’t just burn him with the Lenesk now which would incinerate George too. “How foolish of them” he thought to himself. “After all the years I’ve been possessing him, and all the things I’ve made him do, George will be completely insane. Even I’d hate to see what state he’d be in after all this time.” Still he was right Carlene and Detective Cushing both wanted to free the poor man from the horror he had been living in for the past decade or so.

Thus the Demon decided that it would destroy George from the inside unless they freed him. Whilst it wasn’t able to move George’s body on the outside thanks to the binding spell, it could if need be retreat inside him after which it would then be able to shred his insides. Once George was dead it would not be freed from its prison, but still its host was a useful bargaining chip.

As the Demon moved inside George for the first time in over a decade he was given control of his body again and began to scream in agony as the Demon started to twist his innards.

Cushing stopped performing the exorcism. Carlene at first thought it was a trick and urged him to keep going until George started to cough up blood. Cushing begged the Demon to stop.

The Demon, taking over George’s body once again said that it would as long as they let him go. Carlene refused, but she was met with George’s screams once again.

Carlene was torn. If she didn’t exorcise the Demon now there would be very little chance of catching him again. Perhaps she thought it would be better to let George die now than condemn him to living in this horrifying state any longer.

Sadly however Cushing would take matters out of the Vampire’s hands and undid the binding spell right away.

Before Carlene could chide him George or rather the Demon possessing him ran at the Vampire and thumped her in the face, sending her flying across the room and through the window at the back.

Cushing was all alone against the Demon now. He was scared. Even after all these years a Demon as vicious as this was still capable of striking fear into the heart of the bravest warrior.

The Demon was well aware of how vulnerable he was and began to taunt the Detective.

Your little pet Vampire is gone now Detective? Now you’re just a pathetic, scared old man.

Cushing however kept his cool and and responded to the Demons taunts by throwing the Lenesk on George’s arm. Cushing did not want to hurt George so he didn’t douse the Demon, or even throw it in its face. However at the same time it was his only weapon so he had to use it in some way.

George fell to his knees in absolute agony. His arm sizzled and burned and he couldn’t move it after a few seconds. The pain did not deter him long however. He jumped back on his feet determined to make the Detective pay.

Cushing tried to use the Lenesk again, but the monster managed to knock it out of his hand before he could open the bottle. It then grabbed the Detective by the throat and lifted him up in the air, slowly crushing the life out of him.

Cushing kicked at the monster and struggled, but it was completely in vain. He knew that there was no way he could even harm the Demon unarmed, but still what else could he do in this situation?

The Demon however took too long in choking Cushing, and as a result Carlene who ran back through the same window she had been thrown through, was able to tackle the monster to the ground.

This time Carlene was not holding anything back. She didn’t care about preserving the monsters host body. She felt he was a lost cause as this Demon was simply too dangerous to be allowed to go free.

Carlene delivered a flurry of punches to the Demons face. Whilst the Demon’s strength was immense, Carlene was far faster and she didn’t even give the monster a chance to react as she mercilessly pummelled the monster into a bloody mess on the floor.

Carlene soon saw that her attacks were pointless as they were all healing relatively quickly and so she jumped off of the Demon, and grabbed the bottle of Lenesk on the floor. As soon as the Demon saw she had it, it finally fled from George’s body.

The Demon had wisely realised that the odds were not in its favour.

Carlene cursed herself for not being fast enough. As Cushing rose to his feet Carlene slammed him against a wall.

“You idiot. Do you realise what you have done? Lord knows how many people you’ve condemned. The next poor soul it possesses? The next young girl whose heart it feasts on?”

Of course Carlene knew why he had done it. She looked round at George who was lying curled up in a ball on the floor. He was a completely broken man. He had been conscious throughout the Demons entire horrific existence.

“It would have been better to let this poor man die and spare anyone else from going through what he has” Carlene said shaking her head and tightening her grip on Cushing.

“I’m sorry Carlene. I didn’t have it in me to kill an innocent man. You can shout and scream and even try and kill me later if you want.”

Carlene realised how she’d let her rage get the better of her and apologised to Cushing. “I’m sorry Detective I, I just have these moments.”

“Well just try and not to have one of them when we go and tell Michelle about what happened here.”

Carlene couldn’t believe what she had just heard. “You want to waste more time talking to that crazy bitch Michelle? Last time we met she shot me in the stomach. It didn’t kill me but it hurt like fuck!

Okay I get it you’re not exactly friends, but Carlene what choice do we have? We are going to be going up against possibly the greatest threat this city has ever faced and you want to go up there all alone with only an ageing Detective as back up? These Demons are warriors from all over the entire cosmos. They have magics and technology beyond what we can conceive!

Carlene responded “but I have fangs!” Carlene obviously knew that the Detective was right, but just couldn’t quite bring herself to admit that she’d have to work with Michelle.

Besides” Cushing continued. “We’ll need to let them know what happened to George“.

Poor man“. Carlene responded. “He’s been completely broken. I don’t think anything can help him. What he’s been through. Even I wouldn’t trade places with him.”

Julia had been put back alongside the other children. The Demons were preparing the next set of grissly trials to corrupt the children.

Julia sat next to a young boy named Toby. Toby had failed his first trial. They tried to make him murder another young girl who they knew would be of no use (the Demons regularly snatched children, not just to convert, but use in their tests.)

The Demons had not killed Toby despite their warning. They assured him that if he failed again, then next time he would die.

Julia comforted Toby. She told him how he had been much stronger than her as she had given into the monsters and murdered her dog. The thing that disturbed her the most was how at first she was okay with it. After butchering her beloved pet, not only did she not feel any guilt, but she even felt a twinge of joy. Now however she returned to normal and felt like being sick.

Occasionally however she’d look down at her arms and see that they had turned yellow. She’d scream every single time after which she’d return to normal. What surprised her even more was the fact that none of the other children were shocked or jolted whenever she screamed. They were just so used to it by now that it didn’t even register!

As Julia looked around the room she caught a glimpse of the boy who was almost fully converted into one of the Demons, still sobbing in the corner. She thought to herself “I won’t end up like him. I can’t! I’d rather die!”

Carlene and Detective Cushing had arrived at the police station. They had already contacted Michelle to let her know what happened.

As soon as Carlene entered the station all eyes turned on her, and not in a good way. She really didn’t want to go there, but Cushing said it was best to get it over now, as she would have to work with them.

It was nothing compared to when they entered Michelle’s office. Michelle had a cross around her neck and was holding a stake in her hand.

A bit rude do carry those in front of our guest.” Cushing said.

Well I only extend pleasantries to people Cushing” Michelle snapped back.

Carlene interrupted “look lets just get to the point. We are going to fight a group of Demons, probably more dangerous than any even this city has ever seen before who have been capturing children. We’ll most likely die, but there’s a chance that we might be able to save just a few of them. Are you going to help us or put a stupid petty dislike of me above some children’s lives?

Michelle knew that Carlene was right. As much as she didn’t like Detective Cushing, she still trusted him on these matters. Thus she couldn’t just dismiss this as some trick the Vampire was playing on them.

She didn’t want to admit it, not only because she hated admitting that Carlene was right, but Carlene’s theory of there being some master criminal behind the supernatural activities in the town in some ways made her feel that her life’s work was pointless.

She had spent decades fighting both the crime and the occult in this town, but now it seemed that all she had been doing was tackling the symptoms, whilst this Vampire, having only been here a short while had finally discovered the root of the city’s problems.

Michelle hated Carlene more than ever, but for now she had swallow her pride. The safety of the children had to be put above all else.

“Okay”, Michelle said, practically through gritted teeth. “I’ll assemble a team to help you. Though I can’t promise they won’t stake the Vampire on principle. I’ll accompany you. I want to be there, just in case you have been duped by the Vampire. Its not the first time you’ve been duped by a Demon is it, Cushing?

Cushing protested, but Michelle shut him down by reminding him that they had more important things to talk about.

Well maybe you could try not being such a bitch and then we could all work together much better?” Carlene interrupted.

Michelle decided to leave it at that as otherwise she knew it would never end.

“Well Vampire, you’re the big expert on these Demons? What weapons, spells do we need to take these things down?”

First of all my name is Carlene. Second of all I’m not an expert on these things at all. No one is, but there is one spell that might just work against them. Its a special kind of potion. Brewed by Witches many years ago called Iostek. They mixed all of the different elements, natural, magical that are harmful to most known Demon species together.

Rose knows how to cobble the spell together.Her father discovered the recipe from a group of Witches he captured years ago. The Witches were benevolent, but of course much like you, he was such an arsehole he didn’t care and was going to kill them anyway. He agreed to spare them if they gave him this new secret weapon. Of course once they did he handed them over to the mob regardless. It takes quite a lot out of Rose to make the potion as she’s not a Witch, but she should have a small phial of it by the end of the day.”

A small phial?” Michelle responded? “How the hell is that going to help us against an army?”

Well” Carlene responded. “Based on what I’ve been told about these Demons, they seem to be turning masses of children into members of their own kind. Now there are only two options. Either they are infecting them directly like a Vampire. Or they have polluted the air to the point where the children’s bodies can be easily altered. This seems like the most likely option for me. The Demon said that they do it over a slow period of time. Direct infection tends to spread a lot faster.

If they have polluted the air, then there is obviously a source in their base. All we have to do is fuse the phial with the source, and this chemical will be spread throughout the base and kill all of the Demons, whilst leaving the children untouched.”

But Carlene“, Cushing said “The poison will also kill you too?

I’m not seeing any problems with this plan” Michelle said in response with a smile.

Ignoring Michelle’s petty taunts, Carlene told Cushing that she would have just a few minutes to escape. Though Cushing tried to convince her not to come on the mission, Carlene said that they needed her, and that whilst she had no wish to die again, she was more than willing to risk her own life, just to give the children a better chance.

The Soldiers had reached the end of their tether with the latest group of children. Normally they’d have broken them by now, but the current crop of kids had resisted the monsters cruel mind games and threats.

The commander of this particular cell was worried. He had to have converted a particular amount of children by a certain point or else he would be demoted. The Soldiers never killed their own under any circumstances unless they were traitors, but to be demoted and then considered a failure was in some ways worse than being killed.

The commander was taking his frustrations out on his men. Again such a thing was seen as a sign of a weak leader, but he couldn’t face taking responsibility for his own actions yet.

This particular commander had been waiting for a chance to lead his own platoon for centuries, and now he had finally got it, but he was about to be demoted all because he couldn’t break the children. He wanted to tear the little bastards throats out for costing him his career.

He was preparing his final round of tests for the children. Here he would force them to murder each other. The Soldiers generally didn’t like to do this, as it would waste potential recruits, but again the commander was desperate. Getting the strongest who would survive was still better than no recruits.

As the Soldiers prepared to set up the arena, where the children would be forced to fight each other to the death, the Commander prayed to the spirit of Orakos not to let anything else go wrong this night.

Carlene, Michelle, Cushing and 6 officers had managed to make their way into the base thanks to the help of Julia’s family. Having to ask for a child’s possession to use magic to track them down would be a difficult conversation, but fortunately Julia’s parents were aware of the paranormal. Julia’s father’s brother had been possessed by a Demon many decades ago.

They were still skeptical about allowing magic to be used to find their daughter however. Though they knew it existed, they had no idea about the true nature of magic and they were scared it could hurt her. Detective Cushing however assured her that no harm would come to Julia as a result of the spell.

Rose meanwhile had prepared the potion for Carlene. Performing the spell of bringing together so many elements put such a strain on the being doing it, that it would normally kill most humans (hence why Rose had never bothered to give it to the Darrow police force, and why her own father had ultimately never used it.)

Still even though she was a Ghost, the energy from the spell still greatly weakened her spirit and she had to take time out. Sadly she wouldn’t have been able to go with them anyway, as whilst magics could allow her to temporarily leave her house, she could not leave this dimension or else her spirit would dissipate.

Whilst this was a unique incident, Rose couldn’t help but feel inadequate compared to Carlene. Obviously she was proud of what Carlene had accomplished in protecting the city, but still when she saw how little she was able to do for the people, when she had once been one of the greatest of all Vampire hunters she couldn’t help but feel depressed.

The locator spell revealed that the entrance to the Soldiers base was just outside of Darrow.

The base had the appearance of a gigantic castle when it was made visible. Carlene using her Vampiric strength jumped to the nearest window ledge. She planned to crawl through the window first to see if the cost was clear for the others, but unfortunately for the Vampire, the magic of the base could detect the presence of even the tiniest microbe that entered. The alarm instantly went off, and 3 Soldiers instantly appeared in a puff of smoke around Carlene. Carlene did her best to try and defend herself, but even her Vampiric strength was no match for the power of the Soldiers, and she was outnumbered too. They overpowered her relatively easily.

The others could hear the alarm outside. “Great plan Vampire. We lasted all of 2 seconds. Either you are evil and set us up, or you’re just really, really thick.” Michelle said angrily to herself.

Sadly before they could do anything, a massive group of Soldiers surrounded them. The cops tried to fire their weapons at the Soldiers, but it was of no avail and the soldiers overpowered all of them effortlessly.

Their attack had ended in a dismal failure before it could even begin. Had it not been for the fact that the Soldiers wanted to find out who was behind the attack (knowing that no ordinary person could find their base) then they would have killed them all now.

In truth there was no way any of them could have entered without the Soldiers knowing.

Carlene, Cushing and the rest were taken before the leader of this group of Soldiers.

The Leader was shocked to see a Vampire among them. What could it possibly want here? The children to feed on? There are other, more easier ways for it to acquire blood. The Vampire must be an agent he thought. There were plenty of Demons and Sorcerers who wanted to know what the secrets to the Soldiers powerful weapons were and they often sent agents in.

Tell me Vampire who paid you to try and steal our weapons and magics. I’ll pay you double. You Vampires are all such dirty, selfish little cowards that I’m sure you have no loyalty to your master. I’m in a hurry and I’d like to know so tell me.”

Carlene however responded with “Actually I’m here to help the children. Let them go now and I won’t kill you”

The Soldiers all burst out laughing in response. They didn’t know what was funnier the idea of a Vampire caring about children or the idea she could harm them!

I mean it!” Carlene shouted over the Soldiers which brought their mocking laughter to a grinding halt.

I challenge you to duel leader for the children’s lives.”

Carlene knew that the Soldiers had no honour. Any creatures that would capture children and rely on the dirtiest tactics like they did couldn’t have it, but many Demons were incredibly vain and egotistical. She hoped that the commander wouldn’t want to appear cowardly by simply ordering his men to kill her when she had challenged him to a one on one fight.

Carlene kept taunting the commander. “Are you going to have get your men to do your dirty work for you in dealing with just one Vampire? Hardly the stuff that great leaders are made of are you? I can’t see you going to face monsters that killed a God when you’re too scared to take me on one on one.

The Commander knew she was manipulating him, and any other time he might not have given into his hubris. Unfortunately however as many had begun to see him as a weak commander due to his recent mistakes, he was genuinely worried that not taking on a lowly, pathetic, scummy Vampire of all creatures could make things even worse for him.

He agreed to face Carlene in an honourable fight. He hoped it wouldn’t last long. Just a quick stake through the heart and that would be that, but still he ordered all of his men to get the children ready for their final death match too.

He gave Carlene 5 minutes to prepare for the fight, but also ordered that Detective Cushing, Michelle and the rest of the force be taken away to the cells. The Soldiers of course would most likely have no intention of releasing them or the children anyway, even if Carlene did beat the Commander, which none of them entertained as a possibility.

Carlene had kept the phial of the Iostek in her hair. Carlene’s beehive haircut was more than just a nice bit of nostalgia from when she was a human. It was actually a magic weapons chest, bigger on the inside than the outside, with its own defence system. It was also magically fused to her head, with only a quick spell being capable of taking it off, so there was no chance of it falling off in a fight.

Carlene knew that it would have been pointless to use the poison on the guards who captured her, as there was so little of it, so she hid it in her beehive for later. In the 5 minutes she was allowed to prepare for the fight, she sprinkled a tiny bit of it onto the knife she had chosen as a weapon, hoping that it would be enough.

In their cell meanwhile Michelle started to blame Cushing for everything that had happened. She accused Carlene of leading them all into a trap.

Think about it“Michelle screamed. “She comes up with this fantastic master plan that gets us all captured in like two minutes, whilst she is left alone with the Demons leader? They’re probably drinking the children’s blood together and laughing at how the stupid old man got tricked by a Demon again!

Cushing finally snapped back at Michelle ”

The other officers were somewhat taken aback. They had never seen Cushing who was normally such a mild mannered, soft spoken man erupt in anger and swear. Though they were all on Michelle’s side, they didn’t really know enough about Cushing’s history to comment so they wisely kept out of the continued bickering between Michelle and Cushing.

In the middle of the argument Cushing having calmed himself down somewhat said “You’re the one who is playing into the Demons hands Michelle. We should all be working together to try and find a way out of here, but here we are bickering over the most stupid things.”

No, what the Demons want is to stop anyone trying to rescue the kids, and they’ve been able to do that thanks to your Vampire friend, intentionally or unintentionally.

At that point Cushing realised it was pointless to try and convince Michelle to stop. He just hoped the Demons would kill them all soon so he wouldn’t have to keep listening to her ranting about Carlene for much longer.

The duel had begun. It was in a small room, normally reserved for duels between the children.

The Soldiers commander had chosen a gigantic mace as his weapon. Just before the fight The Commander told Carlene that he knew the mace couldn’t kill her, but that he was just going to use it to beat the crap out of her for a bit, before tearing her head off with his bare hands when he was done.

Three Soldiers were watching the fight. They started taunting Carlene, laughing at her and making jokes about the Vampire being “really scary” and how the commander was in for it now.

The Commander and Carlene circled each other for a short time before the Commander was the first to strike, swinging his mace at Carlene’s head, she managed to duck it in time though. It very nearly hit her beehive. If it had done, then it would have given the game away as the Mace would have bounced off of it.

Carlene tried to strike next with her knife, but unfortunately the commander struck her hand first which sent the knife flying out of her hand.

Carlene backed away a little. The commander could see that she was scared and began to laugh at her.

You should have taken my offer bloodsucker.

He then jumped through the air at a lightening speed. Too fast for even Carlene, and struck her in the face this time.

As she fell to the floor he struck her multiple times in the back, the legs, the face and her arms.

She tried to hit him back, but the few blows of hers that did manage to connect, barely hurt the monster.

The commander after pummelling Carlene grabbed her by her feet and started swinging her around, and bashing her off the ground before throwing her into a wall.

The impact she made against the wall would have been enough to liquify every bone in a normal human’s body. Carlene’s Vampiric constitution however meant that she didn’t even break a single bone, though it still hurt her probably more than anything else in her life at point!

As she tried to crawl back on to her feet the commander jumped towards her again and grabbed her by the throat.

He slammed her against a wall and place his hand on her shoulder. He was obviously going to try and tear her head clean off.

Carlene struggled to get free, but it was no use. The soldiers strength was unlike anything she had ever seen before. Carlene in a last ditch effort, reached into her beehive haircut for any kind of weapon she could. She managed to find a small axe. It wouldn’t be able to do any lasting damage to the Commander, but maybe she could distract him long enough.

Carlene struck the axe into the Commanders arm. He didn’t even flinch, but he did look surprised as to where she could have gotten it? She swung it again in his face. He let out a scream, but still held on to her. Carlene swung again and again hitting the monsters in the eyes until eventually he threw Carlene across the room.

Carlene landed just a few feet away from the knife. She quickly headed towards it, but unfortunately before she could reach the knife, the Commander jumped her once again and punched her to the ground.

The Commander then picked Carlene up with both hands and smashed her on his knee. Again for an ordinary person this would be enough to smash them in half. It still almost knocked Carlene out, and when the Commander threw her to the ground, Carlene had practically no strength left.

The Commander picked Carlene up by her left arm. She looked absolutely tiny compared to the giant monster.

The beast started punching her relentlessly in the face. Carlene however managed in the flurry of punches to grab his fist and redirect his fist into her beehive.

The beehive had an emergency system were if someone else tried to reach into it then it would fire various weapons (created by magic) at them.

Again these weapons didn’t do any last damage to the commander, but they caused him enough pain that he dropped Carlene, who made another dash for the knife and managed to grab it this time.

The Commander now overcome with rage charged at Carlene, but this time she was ready for him, and he foolishly thought that she was unprepared. He had no idea about the Iostek and honestly didn’t think that the Vampire had anything that could harm him.

Carlene slashed the Commander across the chest with her knife, piercing his heart in the process. Normally a stab wound to the heart would of course heal instantly for a Soldier, but the poison began to affect the Commander instantly. He stumbled back, began to feel faint, and his knees soon gave way.

He tried to get up but he suddenly had zero strength. The pain, the likes of which he had never felt before, also began to flood through his body too.

Just a few seconds ago he was dangling Carlene in the air and beating her to a bloody pulp. Now he was crawling along the floor, barely able to pull himself forward he was so weak.

The other three Soldiers couldn’t believe what they were seeing. They had NEVER seen one of their own be defeated, and assumed that it was just some trick that the Commander was playing on Carlene.

“P-p-please” he pitifully whimpered, “h-have pity”. The Soldiers had been taught to face death with dignity, and indeed if this had been out on the battlefield, then the Commander would have shown no fear. However he couldn’t bare the thought of dying in such an undignified way. Losing to a lowly Vampire of all things, in front of his men.

Carlene however simply responded with a cold “I’ll make this quick which I’m sure is better than you ever gave your victims.” And she stuck her knife into the monsters skull, killing him instantly.

The other Soldiers recoiled in shock and horror. Even to the end they thought it must be a trick of some kind. Carlene looked up at them all, her face caked in her own blood, her nose broken from the beating she had taken.

Still the Soldiers were more scared of her now, as for the first time they were facing an enemy that could hurt them.

Still they quickly conquered their fear and all 3 of them ran at Carlene. Knowing that it would be foolish to even attempt to take them on, Carlene quickly jumped through the air, and over them just as the monsters got near her.

One of the Soldiers at the back saw her and ran at her before the other two, but Carlene managed to slice two of his fingers off with her knife.

As he staggered back in pain, Carlene then reached into her beehive and searched for the nearest weapon she could find. She managed to fetch a gas bomb which she threw at the three Demons.

The gas obviously had no real effect on the Soldiers. Normally it would be enough to knock out most humans and Demons (though not a Vampire like Carlene as they don’t need to breath.) Still it did distract the monsters long enough for Carlene to slip away.

The Soldier who had lost his two fingers was screaming in pain. He was scared that they hadn’t regrown yet, and worse his whole arm was beginning to go numb.

The elder Soldier looked at the flesh around his severed fingers. “Crafty little bloodsucker” he said. “I don’t know what kind of poison this is, but honestly I’ve never seen anything like it. Don’t worry. Your fingers will grow back eventually. You didn’t get enough of it.

The Soldiers all looked down at their fallen commander.

“He wasn’t fit to lead us you know” the elder Soldier said. “He didn’t cope well under pressure, he didn’t know how to command respect and authority. He’d just shout and scream like a little child. Still he was devoted to our cause above all else and he deserved better than to die like this. At the hands of a Vampire. We will avenge him.”

Carlene ran through the corridor, down the direction they had taken her “friends”. Along the way she encountered a few more Soldiers, but she used the fact that they honestly didn’t believe she could harm them to her advantage and would look scared when she first came into contact with the Demons, before slashing them across the face.

In one instance she was forced to kill another Soldier when he was able to dodge her attack and punched her against a wall. Acting quickly she was able to slice him in the leg, but even as she tried to run away, he grabbed her by the leg and tried to pull her back, but Carlene managed to jump forward and stab him in the head.

She finally reached the cell. Her superhuman sense of smell allowed her to track the rest of the team, even through the stench of the Soldiers. How ironic Carlene thought. People always used to mock her big nose at school, but now it was helping to save the day.

When she opened the door to the cell, Michelle was genuinely surprised to see her and at first assumed she had come here to gloat, though that idea was quickly shot down.

Carlene explained to the other officers that they needed to find the power source. Carlene said that she could trace it with her sense of smell, Magic left off a certain odour, though Carlene again would need to hone in it, as the entire place had been built with magic.

Carlene stood around trying to pinpoint the smell, whilst Michelle and the rest stood guard over her.

Michelle had been given the knife. Carlene didn’t want to at first as she thought Michelle would probably stick it in her when she wasn’t looking. Still she realised that Michelle was probably the best person to have the knife as she was the most skilled fighter, so she reluctantly gave it to Michelle whilst she tried to concentrate on locating the spell.

Many of the cops were getting nervous however. They wanted to get the hell out of the castle. They normally weren’t so scared because before there was always a chance against an enemy like a Vampire, a Demon, or a Werewolf, but with the Soldiers they felt genuinely helpless.

Just then two platoon’s of Soldiers appeared in puffs of smoke, and cornered Carlene and the cops off at both ends. The cops froze in terror. The new leader of the Soldiers was fixated on Carlene. “You miserable little parasite” he screamed at Carlene. “All you care about is satisfying your own sadistic little urges. We are built for a higher purpose, a war for all of creation itself.”

Whilst he was ranting however Carlene reached into her beehive hairdo and searched around for another weapon. This time she found a tiny Demon that she had kept there. The monster was called a Scralex. Carlene had found it living near the outskirts of Darrow. Scralex’s were a special breed of Demon created to feed on other Demonic creatures. Though no bigger than a house cat, they moved at a lightening speed and had a tremendous strength. The problem with the monsters was that they had been too unpredictable. When people kept them as pets, they had a grisly habit of still turning on and eating their owners and their pets and children if they didn’t get enough Demon flesh.

Fortunately that wasn’t a problem for Carlene and Rose however. As they were both dead then the monster had no desire to feed on their flesh. Rather than simply kill the monster Carlene decided to keep him as a weapon, but obviously she didn’t want the risk of the monster getting free and harming anyone else, so she let it live in her beehive. The monster couldn’t escape unless she wanted it too, and furthermore whilst in the Beehive, the magic’s would quell its hunger, as ultimately being a Demon it did not actually need to eat to survive.

Carlene didn’t like to use it, as it was a vicious monster that in close corners could even attack humans. Still she had no choice and so she pulled it out of her beehive and threw it in the Soldiers new commanders face.

The Commander doubled back in pain, whilst his subordinates gathered round him. The Soldiers from behind tried to advance, but once again Carlene quickly pulled out some more gas bombs and pelted the Soldiers with them.

The Soldiers and the police began to choke, but Carlene being a Vampire who didn’t need to breath was able to pull some of the cops including both Michelle and Cushing past the Soldiers. Sadly however three of the cops were grabbed by the Soldiers in the smoke and literally ripped in half by them.

The Commander meanwhile had managed to pull the Scralex off of his face and threw it to the other end of the room. The little demon quickly scurried away through the Soldiers to Carlene. It had come to see Carlene’s Beehive haircut as its home and so it ran after her and jumped onto her shoulder before leaping into her hair.

Damn I’ve made it too cosy for him in there now.” She said to herself. The Scralex though a fearsome predator would never have been able to take on a Soldier in a proper fight. The best it could hope for was a distraction which it had caused.

Fortunately Carlene had been able to locate, roughly where the source of the bases power was. There were 6 floors to the castle and it was on the third. It made sense after all as it needed to be at the centre to radiate to all areas. They were currently on the 5th floor.

Realising that they all wouldn’t be able to outrun the Soldiers to the third floor, Carlene told the cops to head down there ahead of her whilst she did her best to try and hold off the Soldiers.

She knew she’d be lucky to kill one of them, but still she hoped that she could distract them long enough. She gave the remainder of the Iostek to Michelle, whilst she took back the knife.

Michelle was genuinely shocked at Carlene’s actions. Of course this one noble, heroic act wouldn’t be enough to overcome a lifetime of prejudice on Michelle’s part, but for once she not only didn’t mock Carlene, but wished the Vampire good luck.

Carlene faced the Soldiers down. For a few seconds they were scared of her, as they didn’t know what other tricks she had in her hair!. Still they quickly overcame their fear and started attacking her. Carlene managed to cut one of them, before another Soldier swotted her like a fly and smashed her into the ground. She still clutched the knife, even as they kept kicking her. It was the Vampires life line.

The monsters beat Carlene brutally, but in the midst of the kicks and punches she managed to swipe her knife at the knee cap of the lead Soldier which caused him to collapse to the ground. Wasting no time, Carlene leaped at the wound soldier and jumped onto his chest. Before he could swat her off, Carlene buried her knife into the Soldiers forehead, killing him instantly. The other Soldiers were a little taken a back at first. When Carlene stood up wielding the knife, the monsters slowly tried to surround her, but every time she made a gesture with the knife, they backed down a bit.

Carlene started taunting the Soldiers, but this proved to be a mistake. She laughed at them, said the Soldiers were the most overrated Demons she had ever seen, and that she had dealt with ordinary street thugs who were more of a challenge than them. One of the Soldiers got so angry that he overcame his fear and teleported behind Carlene. Before she could react he grabbed her arm with the knife and snapped it like a twig.

Though it healed relatively quickly, Carlene sadly dropped the knife from the pain. The Soldier then picked her up and started to smash her into the walls, before tossing her across the room.

Carlene was now completely helpless as the Soldiers approached her. She tried to fight back but it was pitiful as the monsters beat her. Carlene however continued to taunt them. It was just pride however. Carlene was never the type to go down fighting, even if she couldn’t actually fight anymore.

Detective Cushing and Michelle’s team meanwhile had made it to the 4th floor where the monsters were running around frantically. They were already nervous due to the inspection from their masters, but the alarm being raised just made things worse.

The crowd of officers knew that they couldn’t sneak past the Soldiers as the police force was simply too big and the floor was just a straight corridor. So they had no choice but to run and hope that some of them could make it to the next floor.

At least 10 of them were butchered. Detective Cushing despite being older was one of the “lucky” few who managed to make it to the door to the 5th floor simply because he was at the front of the group. He along with all of the others who had made it, had been forced to abandon any officers who had be caught behind. A few officers would turn back and try and help their friends, but they to the last were slaughtered.

Once they had managed to make it to the third floor, the surviving officers saw that the third floor was the dungeon where the children were kept. Much like the fourth floor, it too was just a straight corridor, with several rooms on either side. The officers frantically looked through the window of each door. They saw mostly children, kept in groups, huddled together like animals in each room. In a few others they saw what looked like small arenas and what looked like horrible pits full of spikes.

This was where the children’s spirits were slowly broken and they were corrupted as well as the power source for the base. The children in each cell would start screaming for help as soon as they saw the officers by the window, but sadly the officers had to leave them for now.

Michelle eventually stumbled upon what she was sure was the power source. In this room, all she could see was a large, square, metallic object in the middle of the room, but there were was small slit that ran all the way around it near the top, from which a green light shone.

Several of the officers started to ram the door to break it down, but unfortunately at the other end of the third floor, several Soldiers began to appear out of pufts of blue smoke. The monsters quickly grabbed another three officers who they tore to pieces in a matter of seconds.

Fortunately the other officers, including both Michelle and Cushing managed to break down the door and make their way into the room.

Unfortunately however ten more Soldiers suddenly materialised in front of them. The room, being the most vital in the castle had the most advanced security system.

The police were completely surrounded, so they decided it would be better to go down fighting. Of course it really made no difference as the Soldiers just tore the police apart. Michelle and Detective Cushing were soon the last two left standing, and were both backed against a wall by the Soldiers. They weren’t scared for themselves. Neither particularly feared death, but they didn’t want to get this far and not help the children.

Cushing wracked his brains for a solution and finally he found it. Grabbing the last of the liquid that Carlene had left with Michelle, Cushing poured some of it on some bullets that he had emptied from his hand gun. Loading them back into the gun he then fired at one of the Soldiers in the head, killing it instantly.

“It worked” Cushing shouted. He hoped to fire the bullet at the Soldiers power source, but sadly however as he took aim one of the monsters suddenly materialised behind Cushing. It grabbed his arm which broke it instantly causing him to drop the gun.

Michelle instantly reached for the gun and managed to grab it. It only had five bullets left and there were 9 Soldiers surrounding her and blocking the power source. The Soldiers weren’t even paying attention to Cushing who was now lying on the ground, passed out from the pain.

One of the Soldiers spoke “You can’t kill us all with that weapon. Surrender now and your death will be quick.”

Michelle didn’t listen. If I’m going down I’m taking as many of those bastards with me as I can she thought to herself. Michelle shot the Soldier that had given her the ultimatum first right in the head and emptied 3 of her bullets into another 3 of the monsters before the surviving 5 Soldiers managed to pounce on and instantly overpower Michelle.

Two of the monsters grabbed her arms, whilst another two grabbed her by the legs. Another stood over Michelle and barked.

“Pull her apart slowly. Let this worm know that we are not to be triffled with.”

The Soldiers started pulling on either side of Michelle with only an ounce of their strength, though it was still greater than anything Michelle had ever experience before.

She already felt like her spine was snapping and she screamed out in agony. She did all she could to try and pull free from the monsters but it was no use.

Just as all seemed lost however, suddenly one of the monsters holding Michelle’s arms screamed and fell to the floor. The other three dropped Michelle to the ground and instantly turned around. As Michelle looked up she could see a figure standing over the body of the Soldier. Carlene.

Carlene looked really beaten up. She was covered in blood, both her own and that of the Soldiers.

Carlene had been able to escape from the Soldiers who were beating her by grabbing one of the Soldiers and pulling him on top of her. She then used him to ram into the other two who were still kicking her, and pushed all three into a wall.

Wasting no time, Carlene quickly grabbed the knife from where she had dropped it and threw another gas bomb from her beehive in front of the monsters which distracted them long enough for the Vampire to slip away. Carlene then used another gas bomb to slip past the Soldiers on the 4th floor before making it to the third.

She arrived just in time to kill one of the Soldiers that was slowly ripping Michelle in half by stabbing it in the neck from behind.

Now the remaining four Soldiers attention turned to the Vampire. Carlene looked as though she could barely stand. Even with her Vampiric healing and constitution, she had taken such a beating that every movement looked like it was a struggle to her.

Still using her last ounce of strength Carlene ran at the Soldiers, who in response charged into her. However it was a trick. The Soldiers thought Carlene, much like Michelle was going to try and go down fighting in a futile last stand, but instead, Carlene quickly jumped over the Soldiers, just before she would have collided with them.

Carlene wasn’t quite as weak as she had made out to her enemies. Whilst still in the air Carlene threw the knife, stained with liquid at the green slit of the power source. One of the Soldiers ran to try and catch the knife (the others foolishly were still focused on Carlene.)

He almost caught it, but fortunately Michelle shot him dead with the last bullet.

The knife penetrated the green slit. For a few minutes nothing seemed to happen. The Soldiers grabbed Carlene and started to beat her. Though she fought back, again it made no difference.

Just then however the Soldiers started to faint. Michelle could see their skin begin to crackle and boil as they lay helplessly on the ground. Carlene managed to hold out for a few seconds longer. Though her breed of Vampire was nowhere near as strong as the Soldiers, the fact that Vampires were undead gave them a slightly greater resilience than other breeds of Demons to certain magics and poisons.

However the liquid was so strong that ultimately Carlene began to succumb too. She collapsed to the floor, just like the Soldiers. With all her strength she was barely able to even lift her arm. The liquid was in the air now. It spread even faster than Carlene had hoped and she knew there was now no chance for her. She just hoped it would be quick.

Just then however help came from the most unlikely of places. Michelle, Carlene’s former rival picked the Vampire up off the ground and struggled to carry her out of the room. Michelle was still in tremendous pain from what the Soldiers had done to her.

Yet here she was going through it to help a Vampire of all things. If Michelle had actually stopped and thought about what she was doing, she probably would have thrown Carlene onto the ground in shock, but luckily for the Vampire, Michelle was working on instinct rather than prejudice.

Carlene had just saved her from an agonising death, and so Michelle wanted to repay the favour. She knew that she wouldn’t be able to get Carlene to the bottom floor in time. Even if she wasn’t barely able to walk from the pain in her back, but still she couldn’t just watch Carlene die.

As Michelle made her way into the hall she could see one of the doors to the cells had been ripped off its hinges. Clearly one of the Soldiers had escaped into here but why? Was there a safe spot she could maybe get Carlene into?

When she went to investigate, Michelle could see one of the Soldiers lying on the floor of the cell, its body beginning to rot just like all the others.

Some of the children had rushed towards the dying brute and started kicking and spitting on it. The monsters had corrupted these children into monsters themselves, and now they were feeling the brunt of it.

Michelle could see at the back of the cell was a window. The Soldiers had placed it in here as a form of torment for the children. The children could see the outside world, knowing that they would never be a part of it again. They’d never be able to walk among their own people, see their loved ones or just be a normal human again.

Clearly the Soldier had hoped to smash it and escape out of the window, but he had fallen before he got a chance. Michelle dropped Carlene who had now completely blacked out on the floor and started hitting the window furiously with her pistol. The window was strong, and Michelle was still weak from the chronic pain in her back, but she simply didn’t give up and after just a few furious hits from her gun the entire window shattered to bits.

She then rushed to Carlene’s aid and threw the Vampire out of the window.

Carlene plummeted to the ground. Normally her Vampire constitution would have enabled her to easily survive, but she was so weak now, Michelle wasn’t sure. Still she knew that Carlene had no chance in the castle.

Carlene broke her arm in the fall, but fortunately she had enough strength to survive, and within a matter of minutes the effects of the liquid began to wear off.

Her strength started to slowly return, her arm even began to heal and within another few minutes the Vampire was back on her feet again much to Michelle’s relief.

The Soldiers meanwhile, being too weak to crawl out themselves, and with no one wanting to help them, had all crumbled into nothing but ashes throughout the castle.

They had done it. The children were safe, but at a terrible cost. All of the police who had entered the castle had been killed except for Cushing and Michelle. At least a quarter of the entire police force had been killed by the Soldiers. Needless to say this didn’t exactly endear Carlene to the rest of the police, and things in the city would be even harder from this point on with a reduced force.

Michelle and Carlene’s relationship had improved slightly however. In spite of everything they had been through, Michelle still couldn’t exactly get over her hatred of Vampires just like that. Still at the very least Michelle wouldn’t violently attack Carlene every time she saw her from this point on.

Many of the children were left broken by the experience. Those who had been partially turned into monsters, were turned back into humans as the liquid burned all of the Demonic essence out of them.

Now however they could feel empathy and guilt again and in some cases, after what they had done it was enough to destroy them. Julia in particular would struggle with the memory of what she had done to her beloved pet for many years to come. It didn’t break her however.

Instead Julia became determined to find out who and what exactly were these creatures. The police had given an official cover story (though even then most of the people of Darrow knew better.) Still Julia didn’t buy it and much like Detective Cushing had done many years prior as a boy, Julia would soon devote herself to finding out as much as she could about the paranormal.

Carlene meanwhile though obviously sad at the huge loss of life in bringing down the Soldiers, did not regret taking them on. Not only had all of the children been rescued, but in tracking the monsters down Carlene had proven her theory of there being one Demon that ruled the streets of Darrow correct.

Now she just had to find out what it was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 He couldn’t believe it had happened again. In all his 30 plus years on the police force, Detective Cushing had never felt so helpless.

For the past two weeks children all over the city of Darrow were being abducted by a new kind of Demon, unlike any Darrow had ever seen before.

Though Cushing and the rest of the police force had been searching all over the city for the monsters, after a fortnight none of them had still found even the tiniest clue as to where they where, what they wanted, who they were, or where they would strike next.

The latest attack came from the outskirts of the city. A young couple’s only daughter aged just fourteen years old, named Julia Blomfield, had been snatched whilst taking her dog out for a walk on a Saturday afternoon. There had only been one witness to the incident, Julia mother who was with her at the time, but her description of the abductor matched that of the unnamed Demons. 7 foot tall, long, jagged, pointy teeth, bright yellow skin, no hair, and dressed in black robes.

The Demons would arrive at completely random points in the town, snatch a child and then vanish in a puff of blue smoke. The attacks happened both during the day and the night, whilst the children were aged anywhere between 3 and 15, and they came from the wealthiest family in the city to the poorest.  Aside from the fact that the victims were children there was no pattern to any of these attacks.

Darrow had a long history with the Supernatural. It had in fact been founded by Vampires. Originally a group of Vampires had set up a small town in the English countryside after the Vandals (the Vampires Demonic rivals) had overrun all of Europe. Whilst Vampires are normally cowardly, self serving, greedy monsters who have trouble working together. These Vampires had been forced to work together out of fear of their rivals.

The town of Darrow was well defended by magics (one of the Vampires had been a powerful wizard in life) as well as various other traps and barriers. Virtually no one could get in to the town, but no one could leave it either. The Vampires got round this however by keeping a large supply of human captives in cages like cattle who they would force to breed with one another to supply them with more food. The humans would be forced to live lives of the most unbearable torment and suffering at the hands of their sadistic Vampire captors.

Ultimately however the Vampires time would come after two or so centuries of living in Darrow thanks ironically to their own captives, who were eventually able to overthrow the monsters in their sleep. After the Vampires were driven out of the town they founded, their former victims would use the blood suckers former defences to protect themselves from the Vandals who wanted to take over the town in the Vampires absence.

Darrow managed to persevere against constant attacks from the Vandals (and vengeful Vampires). Ironically after having been seen as a place of great suffering and fear for so long, Darrow soon became a symbol of freedom for people living under the Vandals rule.

People would flock to the town in droves from all over the United Kingdom. Many of the most rich and powerful members of society would flee to Darrow too (as they were often the people under the thumb of the Vandals the most). As a result of their influence in time Darrow would go from being a small town to a big city that at one point even managed to rival London itself.

Despite this however a few of the original Vampire founders were able to by pass the cities defences and make their way back into the city. The reason these Vampires were successful unlike the Vandals was because they obviously knew the city inside out, and in some cases  had even created its defences themselves. These Vampires managed to infect several citizens of Darrow leading to the city still having a large Vampire population. As the presence of the Vampires grew, fewer people would flock to the city and its overall state degenerated in comparison to London.  Some actually felt it was preferable to live under the Vandals than deal with the Vampires at all.

As the centuries passed and knowledge of the supernatural faded from the public, and the rule of the Vandals came to an end. Then most of the people in Darrow would come to believe that the paranormal did not exist too. It was in fact the Vandals themselves who originally spread the lie that Vampires, Demons, Witches etc did not exist. They did this in order to keep their prey docile and unsuspecting.

The higher ups, the leaders of European society were obviously still aware of the monsters presence and would be forced by the Vandals to help them cover up their activities and clamp down on any one who knew the truth.

After the Vandals power base was mostly gone, the lie about supernatural creatures being just myths would continue as it was thought that modern society having become used to believing that these creatures were myths would not be able to cope with the truth. Darrow would ultimately be forced to go along with the lie, though its police force would always remain aware of the supernatural.

As the centuries went on, more and more Vampires would come to Darrow, even those who didn’t know its history. The city soon developed a reputation among not just Vampires, but Demons as being a hotspot for them.

The police would always remain aware that Vampires existed right up until the 1960s which is when our story takes place. Whilst the general population mostly remained ignorant of the supernatural activities in the city. Darrow did still gain a reputation as a dangerous and crime laden place.

Cushing who was 56 years old, had lived in the city for his entire life. He had grown up in the slums of the Darrow. During his youth he had constant dealings with supernatural creatures. The area he lived in had in fact been plagued by a hideous Gharlish Demon. Gharlish Demons were relatively rare. They had the ability to take the form of whoever they devoured. This Gharlish had devoured a local teacher named Mr Watson and subsequently taken his place.

It posed as Mr Watson during the day, whilst at night it would morph into its true form, a large bestial Demon where it would prowl the streets looking for prey.

It became the most feared Demon in the area. Virtually no one in the slums dared to go out after dark in case the Demon was loose.

Cushing was absolutely terrified of the Demon as a child so much he could barely sleep at nights. The fear became so overwhelming that at one point he didn’t even want to leave the house. Cushing would manage to overcome this sheer terror of the supernatural by constantly reading up on them. He wanted to be sure that if he ever did encounter a Demon he would know exactly how to kill it.

Later Cushing ended up actually attending the school Mr Watson taught at and consequently was be able to deduce that his teacher was really the Demon thanks to the knowledge he gained.

First of all Cushing was able to match descriptions of the Demon to an illustration of a Gharlish Demon he had found in an old book in the library’s occult section. This had been the only book to contain any information on the Gharlishs. Gharlishs were a relatively rare and secretive race, and not much information had been recorded on them in general.

No one in Cushing’s area had known how to fight it prior to his extensive study as no one even knew what it was. The police themselves meanwhile again didn’t focus too much attention on the slums either which had obviously made it easier for the Demon.

After discovering what type of Demon it was Cushing realised that it had to have a civilian identity. He suspected that it might be his cruel teacher Watson on just a hunch. He had no real proof yet, but he had always felt there was something off about Watson.

Cushing talked to the people who had known the real Watson whose life the Demon had stolen including many of his co-workers. They said that ten years ago “Watson” suddenly changed. He had been a kind, outgoing, very sociable guy who was in a long term relationship with a woman named Sally.

However all of a sudden he broke off his relationship with Sally, shunned all of his friends and became a total recluse. His attitude towards his job changed as well. He became more callous and bad tempered towards his children and would even make sure he always ate alone at lunch time.

This change in Watson’s personality also coincided with the date the Gharlish Demon’s attacks began to happen in the slums.

Cushing finally gained the hard proof he needed when working with one of his teachers (who also did not trust Watson.) He was able to investigate his office after School finished and find a piece of the Demon’s skin. The Demon when changing shape would regularly shed its skin. Normally it would dispose of its own skin by eating it, but it had obviously missed this tiny piece.

Cushing would later with the teachers aid, snare the Demon in a trap using one of its few weakness’s, Relsik, which was a special kind of magically fused liquid. The teacher managed to lure the monster into an alleyway by telling it that he knew its true identity. When it cornered the teacher, Cushing dropped the liquid on its head. The Demon was burned horribly and forced to flee, barely surviving.

Cushing would be celebrated in his local area as a hero, and would continue to study the supernatural and eventually worked his way through the ranks of the police force to become a Detective by his mid 20s.

Detective Cushing’s knowledge of the paranormal eclipsed even those on the Darrow police force, and he became a highly respected figure throughout the city. Despite this however Cushing would suffer many crushing tragedies and be involved in a few notable controversies throughout the years.

The Gharlish Demon that he had driven away would return to Darrow many years later. Scarred, weak, and humiliated, the beast was hungry for revenge.

The monster would continue to battle Cushing for many years, becoming his sworn enemy in the process. The Demon had gotten lazy during its time in the slums as no one until Cushing had bothered to challenge it.

Now however having learned from its mistakes and feeling embittered it became a truly dangerous foe for Cushing. Though it was never able to kill the Detective, it did still manage to murder his first wife Cathy and son Tom in cold blood. The Demon would later assume their forms regularly when battling Cushing in order to further torment the Detective.

Cushing was completely crushed by what happened to his family. He was never the same again. Still the detective would nevertheless much to his surprise find himself falling in love with a benevolent female Demon named Sheresia.

Sheresia and Cushing would go on to have a son named Patrick. Sadly Patrick did not try and control his Demonic nature like his mother. Though Cushing and his wife desperately tried to help their son, eventually Patrick would go so far as to actually murder his own mother!

Cushing considered murdering his son for this, judging him to be no better than the Demons he fought. However ultimately the detective found that he could not bring himself to slay Patrick and so he instead banished him from Darrow; warning his son never to return or else he would finally kill him.

Naturally this hurt Cushing’s reputation somewhat. The fact that he had been involved with a Demon never mind helped to raise one, caused many people to turn on him. He and Sheresia had even had to deal with people attacking them in the streets during their relationship. Some even believed that Cushing had been put under a spell by the Demon.

Of course nothing could be further from the truth. Cushing had genuinely loved Sheresia, and her death along with the loss of his entire family took an immense physical toll on him. In spite of this however Cushing would continue to be Darrow city police force’s leading expert on the occult. If anything his work improved after the death of Sheresia. He hated having to spend any time on his own. Work kept him distracted at least.

Sadly however despite the detective’s long and personal history with the supernatural even he had never seen anything like the Demons that were plaguing Darrow now and stealing its children.

As Cushing returned to his empty house that night his thoughts drifted to his lost loved ones as they often did on those long, lonely evenings. He remembered the overwhelming despair he felt when he found out what happened to his first son and how now because of his failure more people would have to go through that same pain tonight of losing a child.

He began to consider asking Carlene for help. He didn’t want to. His association with Carlene had in some ways been even more controversial than his relationship with Sheresia. None of the other officers on the force wanted to work with Carlene and that was on good days.

Cushing himself held no ill will towards her. In fact he even trusted her somewhat, though not completely. Even someone as open minded as Cushing couldn’t ever quite get by what Carlene was.

Still he was fast running out of options and determined that the Demons weren’t going to steal another child. Even though he knew it would be difficult, just to not have his officers try and drive a stake through her heart. Cushing decided he would contact the Vampire.

Rose was bored. For the last few days Carlene had been spending all day on her latest case. “The Vampire was so obsessive” she thought to herself. “I suppose anything to distract herself from her bloodlust“. Still Rose missed her friends company. Oh the irony she thought. Here she was missing a Vampire of all things.

Rose and Carlene lived in an old abandoned mansion just outside of the city of Darrow. Rose was a Ghost. In life she had ironically been a Vampire and Vandal hunter. Her father Keith had originally been a priest who had broken his vows when he fell in love with a young woman and had a child with her, Rose. After being disgraced from the Church, Keith felt the only way he could possibly redeem his soul was if he slayed as many hellbeasts as possible. Though he wanted to keep his new wife, Marina and daughter out of his life as a hunter, ultimately Marina insisted on joining him.

Marina too felt she had to better herself. She had been a constant embarrassment to her family throughout her entire life. She was wild, got into fights, and trouble with the law regularly. In fact she first met Keith through confession. The reason they fell in love was because she felt that he was the only person who had ever seen any good in her.

The entire family therefore became Vampire, Vandal and Demon hunters. They earned quite a reputation as time went on, but sadly Marina would later die. Not at the hands of a Demon, but simply from a terminal disease. Her death was slow and lingering. At one point Keith even considered using magics to save her, but Serena begged him not to, fearing that there would be consequences in going against the natural order, and that it would damn his soul beyond the point of no return.

Keith was left completely broken by his beloved’s death. Though he still continued on as a Vampire hunter he was a mere shell of his former self and if anything he was a hindrance to his daughter more than anything else.

On hunts he frequently messed up, put them both in danger and simply lacked the determination needed for such a dangerous line of work anymore.

Sadly this would prove to be their undoing when the two took on one of the most vicious Vampire packs in all of England.

These Vampires were utterly devoted to the destruction of the Vandals above all else. However this did not mean they were humanities allies. They believed that they would need to destroy all of European society in order to destroy the Vandals. They were essentially anarchists who believed that the Vampires would only thrive when there was nothing but bloodshed and chaos all over the world. Initially they had several cells all across Europe, but they had been cut down by the Vandals to just one. Still this remaining cell had managed to destroy entire villages and even small cities.

Rose and Keith would actually work alongside a pack of Vandals to try and destroy the final group of anarchist Vampires.

Sadly however again thanks to Keith’s blundering their plan failed and the Vampires slaughtered all of the Vandals.

Keith was captured by the Vampires. Though his actions had inadvertently alerted the Vampires to their presence, he still managed to aid his daughter in escaping by distracting the Vampires whilst she fled. She didn’t want to leave him and even still tried to help him, but as the Vampires swarmed Keith it became apparent that there was nothing she could do help him and she was forced to flee. Had she stayed even for a minute longer then her father’s sacrifice would have been in vain.

At first the Vampires wanted to torture Keith, the notorious Demon hunter to death as a sign of their triumph. However they soon saw that his spirit was already broken and that he didn’t care what happened to him (which had been another reason he had sacrificed himself as well as his love for his daughter).

The person Keith loved more than anything else was gone, and even worse he felt he had failed his daughter. His latest sacrifice in his mind did not even come close to making up for all of his failings as a father. He had always felt guilt simply for bringing Rose into this life. Always travelling from town to town, never being able to settle anywhere, with the Vandals constantly hunting her. Above all else however Keith felt guilt for not being strong enough for his daughter.

He knew that she was in tremendous pain over the loss of Marina too and whilst Rose had been there for her father throughout it. He had never been there for her. He was too caught up in his own grief. Now she was going to have continue on living this miserable life alone. Keith welcomed death.

The leader of the Vampires however sensed that deep down Keith was a man angry at his God due the loss of his wife. Marina was a warrior, but she didn’t die in the heat of battle. She had merely wasted away to nothing. Keith felt that it was Gods punishment for their love breaking his vow.

When Keith found out that the Vampires had intended to make him one of their own he begged and pleaded for them to just kill him which of course only made the Vampires desire to turn the former priest stronger.

In his last few moments Keith thought how it had all been pointless. He had waged war on the supernatural to try and cleanse his soul. It was why Marina had spent the last few years of her life constantly fighting to survive, why Rose would never have a normal life. All to try and make him a better man in the eyes of the Lord and spare his soul. He of course never wanted either of them to make those sacrifices, but they did it because they loved him. Now their sacrifices were for nothing. Keith was destined to become the most deplorable of all creatures forever.

His last words as himself, whilst the Vampires sunk their fangs into his neck, were to curse the God he had spent his entire life worshipping.

After becoming a monster, Keith sought to eliminate the biggest reminder of his former life as a man. His daughter Rose.

Rose had been forced to retreat underground into an elaborate cave system as the Vampires had blocked off all routes of escape above ground. Unfortunately for her Keith knew the system, as he and Rose had used it along with the Vandals to enter the area, as the Vampires did not know of its existence.

Keith directed his new Vampire allies through the cave system, but still Rose managed to fight her way out. Fleeing through the countryside from hordes of Vampires, Rose later managed to find refuge in an abandoned mansion.

She blocked the mansion up from the inside and managed to hold the Vampires off for several days. Sadly her father who knew her tactics better than anyone else was eventually able to breach her defences and personally killed her.

Rose was in fact Keith’s first ever victim. Her death would demonstrate more than any of the other thousands of grisly murders he would carry out that all of his humanity had truly gone.

Keith would later take over the Vampire anarchist group. He felt that their plan to simply cause chaos across Europe was doomed to fail. He said that the Vandals were far too organised for the Vampires and that was why all but one of their cells had been crushed.

The leader and Keith fought, and though the leader was older and stronger, Keith’s knowledge on Vampire weaknesses and experience in battling Demons and Vampires, now allied with Vampiric strength gave him an advantage and allowed him to kill the leader of the Vampires.

After this he would then demand that the Vampires abandon their beliefs and instead try to build a cohesive society that would benefit them all. The town Keith’s Vampires would build not far from the mansion he had butchered his daughter in would come to be known as Darrow.

After her death, Rose would return as a Ghost. She was able to leave her place of death albeit only temporarily using magics. There she would work against the Vampires in secret (with none of them knowing she had returned as a Ghost).

Rose would be the one who would bring the Vampires rule over Darrow to an end. She helped their prisoners escape, supplied them with knowledge of the Vampires weaknesses and helped to eventually lead them to overthrow the monsters.

After the Vampires were defeated, Rose would continue to haunt the mansion she had died in, though she would still occasionally venture out into the town of Darrow to help its police officers.

She and Detective Cushing had worked together on a number of cases.  They later developed a close friendship. In 1950 Cushing saved Rose from being exorcised by a group of Demons. The rest of the police force would similarly develop a positive relationship with Rose too.

Though she was a supernatural creature,  Ghosts are not drawn towards one alignment like Demons. Even then however some officers still distrusted her, but it was still nowhere near as bad as how the Darrow police force by and large viewed Carlene.

When Carlene first arrived in Rose’s mansion, Rose tried to kill her without a seconds hesitation. Fortunately it didn’t take the Ghost long to see that Carlene was different to all the other Vampires she had fought for the past several centuries.

Carlene in life had been a struggling musician. She had been the lead singer of a band called the Dots. Though they had never broken into the mainstream they did enjoy great acclaim within the industry itself. Their style was a mixture of Jazz and old soul music. They had even toured with the Beatles in 1964.

Jazz had always been Carlene’s first love. Indeed she developed her interest in music as a child when her father used to sing around the house. Carlene herself would later take up this habit to the point where teachers would often have to tell her to stop singing in class.

Carlene was a very talented singer and songwriter. She was really the face of her band, with their original name even having been Carlene and the Dots. She was also in a relationship with her Base player Thomas.

Sadly however Carlene’s time would come as the hands of an obsessive fan named Alex. He was in his own twisted way in love with Carlene. He visited every single one of her concerts and had posters of Carlene lining his bedroom wall.

Whilst Carlene thought he was sweet at first eventually his behaviour began to scare her the more erratic it became which eventually culminated in Alex attacking Thomas after one concert in a jealous rage.

After this Carlene put a restraining order against Alex and he fell into a deep depression as a result. Alex had been a sad, lonely, bitter man whose entire life had come to revolve around a band. He went completely off the rails and started drinking heavily. One night after getting into a fight with someone at a pub, he was spotted by a Vampire. The Vampire sensed Alex’s anger, bitterness and despair. It felt that he had great potential. Vampires would always seek out the most hateful, angry and vicious people to turn into members of their kind, as they would naturally make the most effective Vampires.

Unfortunately however for the Vampire who wanted him to join its pack, Alex proved to be unpredictable even as a Vampire. He was still desperately in love with Carlene. The breed of Vampire Alex had become were known as the Heklox. They had more humanity than other breeds. All Vampire breeds could be broadly divided into three categories, Savage Vampires, Soul Vampires and Pure Vampires.

Pure Vampires are the most common. These Vampires are when a persons soul is turned into a Demons soul. Thus they are still the people they once were, but all humanity and positive emotions such as love, compassion and remorse are purged from them and any negative qualities the human had are enhanced, creating an absolute monster.

Savage Vampires meanwhile are where the human soul is ejected from the body and a Demon spirit takes over the body. These Vampires have no connection to the people they took over. They are Demons right to their core and are often as single minded as animals.

Finally, Soul Vampires are where the human soul remains in the body, but a Demonic soul also resides in the body too. The human soul is still in control of the body, but the Demonic one influences it. It represses all of its positive human emotions such as love, bravery, compassion, and adds a killer instinct, bloodlust and again amplifies any negative traits the human had in life.

Savage Vampires being the most Demonic are usually the most powerful, whilst Pure Vampires are the most common. Soul Vampires meanwhile are not only the weakest but are often look down upon by Pure Vampires for having the stench of humanity.

Ironically the overwhelming majority of Soul Vampires are still evil, bloodthirsty monsters too. Nevertheless they do still have more human emotions. Unlike other Vampire breeds for instance some Soul Vampires can experience love and affection though again it will always take on a perverse and twisted form.

The key difference between a Soul Vampire and the other two types is that there is still a trace of humanity in them. It is theoretically possible for a Soul Vampire to resist the Demon’s influence, but it requires the most unbelievable force of will and almost all of the people chosen to be Vampires are usually already twisted, or at the very least, bitter, angry, sad and weak, so they give into the darkness easily and willingly.

Carlene however would prove to be an exception. The rogue Alex would turn her into a Vampire out of his own twisted love for her. He wanted Carlene to be his bride forever.

Alex would try and force Carlene to join the pack of Vampires that had made him. As Carlene had not been selected by their leader, they weren’t sure about her. This pack of Vampires were ruled by an ancient member of their kind who lived in the London Underground. This Vampire known only as Mahkro had in fact once ruled London until the Vandals burned the city to the ground. This event became known as the Great Fire of London. Mahkro survived but would be forced to flee through Europe for many centuries before finally returning to his former power base in the 1960s.

In order to prove that Carlene was one of them, Mahkro would demand that she slaughter an innocent in front of all the other Vampires. The victim in question was a young girl named Sarah, and the only survivor from a double decker bus the monsters had attacked in the middle of the street. Among the victims had included Sarah’s parents. The Vampires had spent the last several hours brutally torturing her, but now wanted Carlene to finish her off.

Carlene was utterly horrified at the sight of the young girl, strung from the ceiling like an animal, beaten, cut, and bruised. Normally a Vampire would be overcome with twisted and dark urges and impulses to hurt a vulnerable person in pain.

Carlene however whilst still feeling the bloodlust to some extent was still able to control it. She was a one in a million Soul Vampire, that didn’t let the darkness and hate consume her.

Acting quickly she grabbed Sarah and simply jumped through the window with her super speed and strength. Carlene ran through the streets of London with the girl in tow, fleeing the Vampires, she managed to get Sarah to safety.

Alex would be thrown out of the clan as a result. His passion for Carlene soon turned to rage, blaming her all of his woes, he wanted to make her suffer and soon targeted Thomas..

Unfortunately for Alex, Carlene knew that he would probably go after Thomas. She had been monitoring Thomas herself for many days after saving Sarah and was therefore able to intercept Alex. After a final showdown she managed to slay her murderer by driving a stake through the Vampires heart.

After Alex’s death Carlene would stay around London for a few more days, watching her loved ones from afar to make sure that no more Vampires came after them.

After a while she eventually left London. She couldn’t bare to look at the old life she had lost. She wanted to tell Thomas, her mother, her father, all of whom’s lives had been completely destroyed by her death that she was still here. At the same time however she didn’t want them to see her like this.

She also didn’t want to drag them into the un-natural, Demonic world that she was now trapped in either.

Also being around anyone was hard for her. Though she had succeeded in controlling her thirst around Sarah, the longer Carlene went without blood, the harder it was to the point where she couldn’t look at someone in the street without having fantasies of ripping their throat out.

Carlene ran from the city of London and out into the wilderness. Now on the road and without blood, she became weak and frail and wandered aimlessly like a living corpse, before eventually stumbling upon the city of Darrow.

When she first entered the city she hoped that maybe she could stand to be around people again. The loneliness on the road had driven her mad. Even at this point a part of Carlene, underneath the despair and Demonic urges naively hoped that one day she might be able to return to her old life.

As soon as she made her way into Darrow however she saw that it was pointless. Her bloodlust was no different to before and she instantly retreated to the dark alley’s of Darrow for many weeks.

Still she hoped that she could try and control it one day and didn’t leave the city completely. Sadly a fateful encounter with a dying man however would change Carlene’s life forever.

By chance a group of thugs had chased a hapless poor man down the alleyway Carlene had been sleeping in. As they attacked him the noise awoke the sleeping Vampire. Carlene chased the thugs away. In her current state without blood she was too weak to fight them off, but fortunately for her all she needed to do was simply bare her fangs and hiss at them and the thugs fled.

They had lived on the rough streets of the city their whole life and so they knew a Vampire when they saw one.

The thugs victim lay on the floor, beaten, bloodied and helpless. Carlene couldn’t fight her Demonic urges any longer. The smell of his blood drove her crazy and she finally gave into her thirst. She sunk her teeth into his throat and drained him dry in a matter of seconds. She never felt anything like it. For those few seconds it was like she wasn’t there, yet at the same time the sheer sensation at the mere taste of human blood was unlike anything she had ever felt before.

As a Vampire she had felt dead to most emotions, but now in complete contrast she had never known a sheer feeling of absolute ecstasy like this.

She was so disgusted with herself that she tried to commit suicide, however she found that she could not quite work up the courage to end her life.

Still overcome with shame and self loathing, she once again retreated into the wilderness away from the big city.

Stumbling upon the abandoned mansion Carlene decided to lock herself away in there for good to prevent hurting anyone else.

However she soon found that the mansion was not abandoned after all. When Rose saw a Vampire entering the house she was absolutely disgusted and tried to stake Carlene right away.

Carlene did not fight back. She might not have had the strength to end her own life, but she was okay with someone else doing it. She pleaded with Rose to put her out of her misery, but ironically it was that very thing that convinced Rose that she was different.

Vampires were cowards. They did not care for anyone or anything but themselves, yet here was a Vampire that wanted to end its own existence in order to prevent anyone else from being hurt.

To Rose a remorseful Vampire was almost like a contradiction in terms. She actually thought it was a trick at first, but it didn’t take long for her to see Carlene’s sorrow was genuine.

She couldn’t help but pity the Vampire. A Vampire was the most disgusting creature on earth, but for one of them to actually be aware of what it was was a fate that Rose wouldn’t wish on her worst enemy.

Rose refused to kill Carlene and instead would try and help her. At first Carlene didn’t even want to try and control her urges. She felt it was not only too difficult, but that she also didn’t deserve to have any kind of quality of life after what she had done.

Carlene would remain in the mansion for many months. During this time she and Rose would develop a very strong friendship. The two women were able to bond over what they had lost more than anything else. Both had been cut down in their prime, were trapped in a horrible state between life and death. Still able to see the world but never be a part of it. Never interact with an ordinary human being ever again, and never have kids.

Carlene had always wanted children. She adored children. Despite her musical aspirations (which were also now gone forever) Carlene actually wanted nothing more than to be an ordinary Jewish mother, being overly protective of and spoiling her kids.

Now that would never happen and she had possibly an entire eternity to wonder what if.

Eventually however Carlene began to grow a bit stir crazy cooped up in the mansion all the time. She hoped that perhaps she could, having been helped through her depression slightly by Rose’s support, maybe try and control her bloodlust too.

Rose would always accompany Carlene out to make sure that she didn’t fall off the wagon. Carlene found it near impossible at first to be around anyone. She’d often only manage a few minutes around someone before the thirst and violent urges became too overwhelming.

Sadly Carlene’s condition did not improve even after several months of training. She later considered running away into the wilderness again as she was scared that Rose having seen her failure to fight the Demon inside her would view her as nothing more than a monster.

Instead Rose told her that she still believed in Carlene and that running away would accomplish nothing. Rose told Carlene something that would inspire her to not ever give up more than anything else. Rose told Carlene that she owed it to the man whose life she had taken to try and control the beast within her. If she died or worse just gave in and became a blood thirsty monster then his death will have been utterly pointless. If she tried to control her urges and actually used her powers to help people, then his death can at least serve as reminder to Carlene never to lose control again.

Carlene agreed and would continue to try and control her urges and master her Vampiric powers. Always keeping the image of the man whose life she had ended in her head every time she was near someone.

She also learned how to harness her Vampiric powers and was trained by Rose herself to learn how to fight too. Rose was Carlene’s mentor every step of the way.

The most difficult thing for Carlene when learning how to fight was in not letting the thirst and violent urges take control whilst fighting. Rose again however would give her sound advice, telling her not to ignore the thirst as she couldn’t ignore it. It was now a part of her whether she wanted to admit it or not.

Instead she needed to face it and prove that she was stronger than it. In a life and death situation when facing a Demon, one that perhaps was stronger than her, she should use her bloodlust as a weapon.

Ironically this would prove to be the key aspect of her controlling her thirst. Her guilt stopped it from overcoming her, but channelling it into battling other forces of evil allowed her to truly master it for her own ends.

Eventually though it took a long time, Carlene finally managed to control her Vampiric urges completely and had trained herself to become a truly devastating fighter in full control of her Vampiric powers.

Carlene hoped to use these powers to protect her new home, Darrow, having been told what a mess the city was in by Rose.

Carlene knew that it would be difficult to operate in the city, not just because of the Demons, but the people too. Rose warned Carlene that the police force of the city would be very unlikely to accept her because of what she was. In fact she would be lucky if they didn’t kill her on sight.

Rose directed Carlene towards her old friend, Detective Cushing who she knew would perhaps be more willing to believe her that a Vampire of all creatures could have changed.

Whilst Detective Cushing was skeptical about Carlene, he and the Vampire would nevertheless work together to stop a particularly vicious Demon that had been terrorising the city for several months.

The Demon named Drestox enjoyed collecting souls the of its victims. It had during its entire life collected over 5248 souls from people.

Carlene aided Cushing in tracking the Demon through the sewers of Darrow. Before no one had been able to find out where the monster was, but Carlene’s enhanced sense of smell would prove vital in tracking the beast to its lair.

The Demon was a powerful adversary, and even with her training Carlene struggled against it. Fortunately with help from Cushing she was able to slay the beast.

After this Carlene and Cushing would continue to work on more cases together and save many more lives. Carlene would further help to control her bloodlust by obsessing over the cases she went on with Cushing. She and Cushing didn’t develop quite the friendship that she had with Rose, but Cushing still came to respect the Vampire nonetheless and they developed a very positive working relationship with each other. The fact that both were such workaholics helped to make them an effective team.

Sadly the same could not be said for Carlene’s relationship with the rest of the Darrow police force. The Chief Constable Michelle in particular despised Carlene. Michelle had an extreme hatred towards Vampires and felt that Carlene was duping Detective Cushing. Michelle’s pathological hatred of the Undead stemmed from a traumatic experience during her teenage years involving a group of Vampires.

Like Cushing, Michelle came from the slums of Darrow. When she was a teenager she was attacked coming home from school by a vicious thug named Jack who tried to rob her. Michelle however managed to get the better of him. She kicked him in the groin when he was caught off guard and quickly grabbed his knife that he had dropped. In desperation and fear she slashed him several times across the face.

Jack ran from Michelle, bleeding and in agony he collapsed not long after and was swiftly apprehended by the police. For this and various other crimes he carried out he was sentenced to 10 years in jail. Jack also received many gruesome and permanent scars from Michelle’s attack too.

Jack blamed all of his woes naturally on Michelle. He didn’t hold himself responsible at all for his own actions. In spite of everything he had done he always viewed himself as a victim.

Jack had come from an impoverished background. His mother had died in childbirth and his father, Robert had turned to alcoholism after her demise which in turn led to him losing his job. He would often take his frustrations out on Jack. Robert had never wanted to be a father and eventually he threw Jack out onto the streets when the latter was 13. The young Jack begged and pleaded with his father not to give him up, but Robert coldly ignored his cries.

When Jack tried to run back to his father, Robert punched him in the face and broke his nose.

It would be the last time Jack would ever see his father as a human.

Jack was a survivor however and would continue to live on the streets for the next 10 or so years. He joined many street gangs for protection, though he would often just keep quiet at the back. As time went on however he became more bold and began to take part in more and more violent crimes.

In Michelle’s case he thought she would be an easy victim so he attacked her alone. It was of course a catastrophic mistake, and one that would ultimately cost him his life.

The prison Jack had been sent to was in fact run by a Vampire named Jerome. Jerome belonged to a large and strong pack of Vampires. These beasts main base operations was an old abandoned warehouse in the heart of the slums of Darrow. Jerome was not their leader but he did an important job of recruiting new members of their gang. Many Vampires are known to recruit new members of their kind in jail as it is obviously the best place to find the most twisted, violent and degenerate members of society who make the most effective Vampires.

Jerome got to know Jack well and often taunted him with the knowledge that the people who ruined his life, his father, the girl who disfigured, humiliated and ultimately sent him down were all living their lives happily, and doing whatever they wanted whilst he was trapped here. Since kicking Jack out onto the streets, Robert had managed to turn his life around. He had overcome his alcoholism, managed to find a steady job. He had even remarried.

Jack’s rage, bitterness and hatred became completely out of control from this point on. He would regularly fight with other prisoners and guards too. One day when Jerome was taunting Jack about his father, Jack completely lost it and tried to stab Jerome to death. Jerome being a Vampire of course survived the attack effortlessly, but this finally convinced Jerome that Jack would make an excellent Vampire and he turned him.

After becoming a Vampire, Jack would easily escape prison and finally get his revenge on all of those he felt had ruined his life. Chief among those was of course his father who he tracked down and tortured to death. He also slaughtered all of the members of the last gang he was in. Jack felt that they had betrayed him by not bothering to even try and free him once he had been apprehended.

Finally Jack targeted Michelle. The scars she had given him had not healed as they had been made whilst he was human. The other Vampires would regularly mock and laugh at him for his deformed appearance.

Jack managed to capture Michelle’s family, consisting of her mother, father and baby brother Neil. Jack murdered Neil by snapping his neck in front of Michelle. He then butchered both of her parents in front of her and kept her in a cage deep within the Vampires base. There she would be tortured along with the Vampire clans other captives for several weeks.

Eventually Michelle would be saved when Detective Cushing was able to find the Vampire’s nest. Michelle was the only survivor from the Vampires captives. The only reason she survived was because Jack had wished to extend her torture longer. Most of the Vampires were killed in the fight. Cushing had brought an entire team with him, but sadly Jack, ever the survivor managed to escape.

Michelle who was only 17 years old would never be the same again. She desired nothing more than to make Jack pay for what he had done. She joined the police force, trained herself, read up on the supernatural, all initially so that she could simply become strong enough to destroy this one monster.

Throughout all her years of training one thing she feared more than anything else was that another officer or even just a lone Vampire hunter might find Jack first and slay him before she had a chance.

Unfortunately for Michelle she was never able to catch the Vampire. Though she was a skilled officer, her single mindedness is tracking down this one monster soon posed problems with the rest of the force.

Michelle would only realise how far her obsession with destroying Jack had gone under the most tragic circumstances.

One night Michelle had managed to trace Jack to his latest hideout. There he had abducted a young girl. She was no older than 14 years old.

When Michelle cornered Jack with a crossbow bolt he threatened to murder the girl but Michelle didn’t actually care. She tried to justify it to herself that if she didn’t do all she could to stop Jack now he would slaughter more innocents. Of course the real reason was because all she wanted was to see the Vampire that ruined her life dead.

Michelle fired her crossbow bolt at Jack, not caring if it hit the girl or not. Jack however managed to evade it whilst still holding onto his prisoner. Realising that Michelle was single minded in killing him to the point where she didn’t care about the girl. Jack stabbed her as he had no further use for her, before fleeing the area.

Michelle looked at the girl lying on the floor, bleeding, sobbing and begging her for help. Michelle however simply ignored her and went after Jack.

It was a decision that she would come to regret for the rest of her life but at the time she didn’t care.

When she cornered Jack in a nearby alleyway she finally thought she had the monster, but instead the Vampire just laughed in her face.

He told her that when he saw her come into his base he wanted to see how far Michelle would actually go just to get back at her nemesis.

He could barely contain his glee as he asked her what she did with the girl he stabbed. Jack wasn’t actually scared of Michelle. He only fled to see if she would stay with the girl or not. When she didn’t the Vampire told Michelle that he had won as now she was a monster too. He taunted Michelle that if he turned her it would make no difference as she was already someone who was willing to allow a young girl to die just to satisfy her own lust for vengeance.

Michelle realised that he was right. This was one more thing Jack had taken from her. Her own morality.

It all finally began to sink in what she had become and she instantly ran back to the warehouse with Jack’s laughter ringing in her ears.

By the time she got here it was too late. The girl had bled to death. Michelle initially planned to turn herself in for her crime. However she decided that she had to make it up to the girl whose life she had simply tossed away in her feud with the Vampire. Ironically she was very much like Carlene in this respect.

Michelle would for the first time devote her life to helping others, where as before her time on the force had only ever been directed towards the goal of getting her revenge.

Eventually over the years she would become respected throughout the city and rise through the ranks of the police force to become Chief Constable. Sadly she was still never able to slay Jack, but at the very least the Vampire was always forced to go on the run to avoid her.

Michelle never told anyone on the force the truth. She only ever told one person, Detective Cushing. It would become publicly known years after her death. Though Jack did regularly accuse her of leaving the girl to die, Michelle always denied it and as the Vampire had no proof then his accusations were hollow.

Despite the positive changes in Michelle’s character however she would remain just as dogmatic in her belief that all Demons in the city needed to be slain. Normally this did not pose a problem however, as the rest of the Darrow police force had the exact same attitude towards Demons.

However when Carlene showed up Michelle began to clash for the first time with her oldest friend Detective Cushing.

Cushing had always been there for Michelle since he rescued her from the clutches of the Vampires. Even during her darkest times he had always told her that he believed in her.

Michelle for her part would always defend Cushing from the other members of the force after his relationship with Sheresia. Michelle had only joined the force after Patrick had killed Sheresia.

Cushing’s reputation was of course at its absolute lowest at this point and Michelle was practically the only person on the force who was his friend.

However even then Cushing didn’t appreciate Michelle’s defence of him, as she would often claim that Sheresia had enchanted him. She herself believed it to be real, as there was no other reason in her mind a man of Cushing’s integrity could ever love a Demon.

Sadly however when Carlene showed up, Cushing and Michelle’s friendship would finally come to an end. Michelle felt betrayed after all the times she had defended him that he was now working alongside the worst of all supernatural creatures a Vampire.

Cushing tried to reason with Michelle telling her that Carlene was different. He even tried to relate Carlene’s situation to what Michelle had gone through, telling her that just as Michelle was once corrupted by hatred yet managed to overcome it, then Carlene could too.

This backfired on the Detective however. Michelle did not appreciate being compared to a Vampire and even slapped Cushing for daring to compare her grief to the twisted urges of a monster.

The only reason that Michelle did not outright order that Carlene be killed, and fire Cushing was because of the debt she owed him in saving her life.

Her relationship with Cushing however would continue to be tense and whilst she didn’t fire Cushing she would never go to him for help again unless she absolutely had to.

Michelle had only met Carlene once, but it had been a very tense meeting to say the least with Michelle at one point even shooting the Vampire in the stomach.

After this Carlene would prefer to work alone when solving cases. Though she would still sometimes work with Cushing, she generally preferred to keep her distance from the police force unless she had no choice.

Sadly for her this would be one of those times.

Cushing had a key to the mansion’s front door. He was the only person on the force that Rose trusted with one.

As soon as he entered he was greeted by Rose who was happy for any kind of company at this point, though sadly she knew this wasn’t a social call. It never was with Cushing.

Rose greeted her old friend warmly. “Nice to see you here Detective, but I trust you didn’t just pop by to have a chat with your favourite Ghost and Vampire? What unspeakable horror is lurking in the fine city of Darrow this time?

Cushing didn’t have time for pleasantries. He wanted to speak with Carlene now.

I’m a little insulted. Am I not good enough anymore? Here I thought I was popular but it turns out all my friends only care about seeing me because of my cool Vampire friend?

Rose could tell Cushing was getting a little frustrated with her awkward jokes and so she told him firmly.

She’s upstairs. I honestly wouldn’t bother her though Cushing. You know what she’s like when she thinks she is onto something. You’d be better talking to me. Carlene has been working on this case of hers for weeks, you are not going to pry her from it, or even get her to share it with you. She’s not dared to share it with a humble spirit like me of course. At least not yet. Still from what I gather she thinks she is on to some kind of master criminal. I think she’s right, in fact I know she is, but I’m just annoyed that she has to seal herself up like that.”

Cushing however hadn’t bothered to listen to Rose after she had told him where Carlene was and just headed up the stairs leaving the Ghost even more annoyed.

Upstairs Cushing found Carlene sitting in her room on the floor, surrounded by newspaper clippings and books on the occult.

The Vampire didn’t even notice that Cushing had entered the room until he spoke.

Carlene instantly stood up. She barely even came up to Cushing’s shoulder. Cushing was a tall man, at 6 foot 1 inches in height, but even with that Carlene was still tiny.

She was dressed in a low cut black top, and a short black skirt. Her hair was still styled in her signature gigantic beehive which she had always worn when she was in the Dots. Cushing suddenly saw a clawed hand poke its way out of her beehive, but whatever it was it quickly retreated back into Carlene’s hair. Cushing tried to warn her, but she told him that she knew what it was, and that her “hair” was its home. He didn’t ask any further questions.

Carlene’s skin was snow white in contrast to her clothes and hair. She had always had a somewhat pale complexion, even before becoming a Vampire. Her make up was very thick and striking. She still loved doing herself up, even though as a Vampire she was now practically asexual. Not only did it make her feel more human, but it was yet another way for her to distract herself. Everything was so manic and over the top with Carlene not just to distract her, but to overcompensate too. As a Vampire she was naturally dead to almost all emotions  except for a desire to cause pain and misery.

She had to really struggle to enjoy anything else.

Carlene was the first to speak in her thick, guttural cockney accent. “Well what do you want Detective? Whatever it is I am sorry but I can’t help. I am close to cracking possibly the most important case I, or anyone has ever had in this city. Please whatever it is, deal with it yourself

Just then Rose entered the room. “Honestly Cushing I told you, she’s busy. Why don’t you just tell me what the problem is? I have a fair bit of knowledge on the occult you know, I.” Once again however Cushing interrupted her “Please ladies I don’t have time for this, I really need your help, both of you, if you will only just let me explain“.

Carlene however still wasn’t even remotely interested. In fact she was getting very frustrated that the Detective and her friend had not just left. She shouted over Cushing and Rose who had started arguing. Once she had their attention Carlene explained to Cushing that she believed many of the supernatural creatures in Darrow were all in fact working for one powerful Demon.

If I’m right about this it could change everything. Think about it, all of the Demons and the monsters we fight are always so well organised. So many of them are able to slip through the net. How is that possible when a lot of them in any other city just live like animals?” Carlene told the Detective.

She continued. “Obviously there is some mastermind that has found a way to bring them all together and that’s why no one has ever been able to clean up this city. I’m not about to quit this just to help you take on some lowly Demon. All you’re doing is fighting symptoms. I’m tackling the cause.

Cushing found the idea to be totally implausible. “I’ve been on the force for over 20 years. I’ve never seen anything to even suggest some kind of Demon king, controlling all the monsters in this city“.

Carlene responded with “Of course you wouldn’t know. The ruler of the Demons is obviously going to do his best to keep hidden from everyone! However he slipped up with me. Once word got out of an apparent Vampire vigilante roaming the streets, he sent one of his lackey’s to talk to me. He thought I was just doing this to dupe you all just like that absolute arsehole Michelle always said. He even commended me, saying that pretending to be a ‘good guy’ to throw the police off was genius. It never even occurred to him that a Vampire could actually be genuinely wanting to help people.

Cushing said somewhat drily “Well to be fair Carlene I think there are probably only three people in this entire city who would believe that a Vampire can be anything other than a hideous monster. And they are all in this room

Rose interrupted “plus two of them are dead, at the hands of Vampires too I might add.”

Anyway” Carlene continued, somewhat impatiently “I obviously told him that I wasn’t interested in being some lackey to a Demon godfather. I reckon they probably still think I’m just playing the cops, and I’m actually out killing people at night, but whatever the case,  they’ve been trying to kill me ever since. Ironically if they hadn’t tried to make me part of their little gang, I probably would never have suspected there was grand Demon master either, but once I found out everything about this city suddenly made more sense.

Cushing still found the idea ridiculous. He thought it was possible that there may be a large Demon clan in the city, but not one that controlled absolutely all Demonic activity in Darrow. Nevertheless he wasn’t prepared to argue it further. He knew that in spite of Carlene’s obsessive nature the fact that these mysterious new Demons were targeting children would sway her to take her mind off her latest obsession.

Carlene, I honestly do not know what to do. In all my years on the force I’ve never seen creatures like these. We can’t find anything on them and they are going after children. They literally spring out from nowhere, snatch the children and then disappear. I’m all out of options. Please help me

Carlene fell silent. She was almost angry at Cushing as now she knew that she would have to pull herself away from the case she had spent so long working on.

Tell me about these Demons?” she said. Cushing breathed a sigh of relief as now perhaps finally they might make some progress in finding the children.

Julia awoke to find herself in a dark, dank room surrounded by other children and teenagers. The oldest at the most was 17 years old. Most of the children were crying, except for one child at the other end of the room, who in contrast seemed quite jovial.

Julia couldn’t quite make his face out as the room was so dark. As she got closer however to the boy she could see his face more clearly. It was hideously deformed. His hair was falling out, his teeth were growing long and his skin was yellow.

He was beginning to look like the monster that had snatched Julia off the streets.

Julia had no idea what was going on or what to do, so she just started screaming blindly for help.

One of the teenage boys next to Julia suddenly punched her across the face sending her crashing to the floor with a bloody nose. As Julia looked up she could see this boy’s skin had begun to turn yellow too. He did not seem happy however. In fact he was crying and screaming to himself.

Julia was terrified yet at the same time she couldn’t help but pity her attacker. She had never seen anyone look so distressed or in as much pain.

Just then a door opened at the other end of the cell and white light flooded the room.

One of the monsters that had snatched Julia suddenly entered and all of the teenagers and children immediately began to cower in the corner.

The Demon spoke, its voice hissing and high pitched “You children are too innocent these days. Months and months with us and you still cling on to your humanity? Back in the day we’d have broken you in a week!” The Demon then turned his attention to the jovial Demonic boy and said “At least one of you has seen things our way. You’ll go on to great things my boy.”

Julia tried to stay hidden in the crowd of petrified children but the Demon soon focused his attention squarely on Julia and began to approach her.

She could barely look at the monster she was so scared. As the Demon cornered her all of the other children scattered to the other side of the room leaving Julia on her own. The only person in the room who wasn’t completely terrified other than the monster itself was the yellow skinned boy with the Demon teeth who was even laughing hysterically at the others plight.

The Demon, towering over the girl said with evil relish “lets hope you’re smart enough to see that we’re trying to help you!”

Carlene sadly knew as little about the Demons as Detective Cushing did. Nothing about them matched any description in any of the books on the occult she had read and she had certainly never encountered anything like it before.

I’m sorry Cushing. Believe me I wish I could help you but I don’t know any Demon like that. I’ve read through every page of these books several times. Often just when I’m bored at night. I’ve never heard of anything like that.

Rose also was completely unaware of any Demon species that matched the description. Despite her vast experience with the occult and expert knowledge on Demon species, she had no idea what these beasts were. A fact which worried her.

Cushing’s heart sank. “You girls were my last hope, you know that. I’ve been working on this for weeks and still nothing. I wonder how many more children’s lives are going to be lost before I make a breakthrough. I’m sorry girls, I just wish there was something to go on.

Fortunately Carlene had an idea. She spoke to the weary Detective.

Its a long shot but it seems to be our only option. If my theory is correct that all or most of the Demons in this town are connected, there is absolutely no way that they don’t know at least something about these things. I can’t imagine whoever is in charge is happy to let rogue’s like this run around in public stealing children. They have to be aware at least of something. If we can snag one of the higher up Demons in this city, he could perhaps tell us about what’s going on“.

Carlene then went through her papers. “I have a theory about a man named George Glover.

Yes I know him.” Cushing interrupted “He is the former Chief constable of the Darrow police force. He retired just a few years ago. I didn’t know him that well. He was a secretive, quiet man, but he was very good at his job. Very professional, fair and objective. Not like the person we have now. ” Cushing said bitterly.

Carlene responded “Well as much as it pains me to say it, I’m afraid that even that miserable bitch is a vast improvement on who you had running things before. George had you all duped. Or rather the Secresk Demon that’s taken him over for the last 10 or so years did. Obviously the Demon helped no doubt to cover up its master’s existence during the time he was in office, but I believe it may also have been planted there as a thank you by the head Demon. Secresk Demons will stay with their host bodies which still age for as long as possible. Naturally they like people who are in high positions of society so they can cover up their crimes and even just enjoy the fruits of their hosts comfortable lives. They are Demons of leisure.

She continued “I think this is how, whoever, whatever is in charge of this city keeps its minions in line. Its not just through fear, like other Demon communities. It rewards its followers too“.

Cushing rolled his eyes “Even if your theory about some master Demon being in control of this entire city is correct you honestly expect me to just go in there and say that George Glover, one of the most respected men in the city is a monster and we need to what? Torture this helpless old man for information?.

Carlene responded with “Certainly not, we just break into his house when he is sleeping, perform a fairly simple and straight forward exorcism, and then force the Demon to talk.

Cushing was stunned at what the Vampire had just said to him. In fact he began to think asking Carlene for help was a mistake. He feared that she had become so obsessed with this theory about a Demonic master criminal that she was just trying to focus absolutely everything into this wild idea.

Again however Cushing was out of options. Maybe there just might be something in Carline’s wild idea? After all the Vampire had never let him down before? He might as well hear her out.

Okay” he said wearily “tell me what evidence do you have that old George is really a monster.

Carlene pointed to several newspaper clippings she had on the floor. ” There has been an increase in people disappearing near the area George lives. Now most of these bodies have never been found. The first thing any Demon or Vampire should do particularly in this city is to cover up the cause of death in its victims bodies. As you know Demons such as Vampires leave tell tale signs on their victims corpses, like puncture marks on their victims throats,  bodies drained of blood etc.

Cushing was a little insulted that Carlene felt she had to explain what was the most basic knowledge of the occult to him. “Of course I know that Vampires and Demons try and cover up their kills. I’ve had a career as a Detective for 30 bloody years!” he thought to himself. Still he knew it was best not to interrupt the Vampire. It would probably already take her ages to finish. Her obsessive nature meant that she often had to explain every little detail. No need to prolong it.

Carlene continued “In the case of Secresk Demons they always devoured their victims hearts. Now normally Glover or rather the Demon that possessed him would take his victims back to his house, kill them and then burn the bodies. Here however he slipped up.

For whatever reason, maybe he was just too hungry that night or something, but he jumped a teenage girl in an alley way and tore her heart from her body. I found him, munching on it. A sight like that would have probably made me faint just a year or so ago, but I actually felt really hungry when I saw it.

Cushing and Rose both winced at that part, but again they let Carlene carry on. ” George or rather the Demon didn’t react at first. I guess he hadn’t heard of the Vampire vigilante or maybe he didn’t believe it existed. We fought for a little bit but he quickly left. I don’t think he was scared of me, he probably just didn’t want to be exposed.

Of course I didn’t recognise him at that point. He was in his Demon form, but fortunately I was able to catch his scent. and I was able to track the beast to his home.”

Cushing sighed in annoyance “Why did you not come to me with this earlier Carlene?

To be honest Cushing. I didn’t want to get the police involved at all in this case. I knew that if I told you, you would tell that bitch you work for. She obviously wouldn’t believe me. Hell she’d probably warn George and then he could cover it up and prepare for me. I hoped to just go in there and get what I needed. Tonight actually I was hoping to go in and finally free the real George from that monster“.

Cushing replied. “Honestly Carlene. I trusted you, defended you against the others and here you were just going to barge in and attack one of the most respected men in the city based on some crazy theory? What would have happened if you were wrong? You know how Michelle and just about everyone else on the force bar me is desperate for any excuse to kill you! I think breaking into an old man’s home and trying to kill him would count!

Carlene angrily responded “I’m not wrong! And the way I see it you have two choices here Cushing. Either you can go and tell that bitch, and we’ll have to spent probably two months trying to convince her, during which time more and more children will die. Or we can follow the only lead we have right now?

Cushing knew that she was right. He really was that desperate. “Okay fine. We’ll test out your idea. If you’re wrong though Carlene the Darrow police force will probably kill you as well as me!

Carlene smiled “don’t worry I’m not wrong. I’ve been trying to find a way to break into George’s house for a while now, but its heavily guarded by magics, which in my opinion is further proof . Any intruder that enters gets vaporised into nothing but dust. Its taken me and Rose a couple of weeks to find a counter spell but hopefully” she said as she lifted up a small red orb from under her desk “this little beauty should be it“.

Carlene continued “I haven’t had time to check out if this sphere will actually be strong enough to protect us. Still at least if we do get vaporised then it will prove what we are saying is true to the rest of the police force.

Julia was utterly petrified at what these things had in store for her. She was dragged by her arm through a long, dark corridor and placed in a tiny room at the end of it. The door slammed shut.

A few minutes passed which felt like hours.  Julia spoke to the door, mumbling through her tears and whimpers. She hoped that perhaps one of the monsters was standing outside and maybe, just maybe it would take pity on her.

Please, I, I don’t know what you want with me, but I just want to go home. Don’t hurt me!

Just then the door swung open and the the Demon entered with a small, crooked little smile on its twisted face.

Oh don’t worry. I won’t lay a finger on you if you do what we want. We are warriors child. We exist for a purpose far greater than you can possibly imagine. You should feel honoured that we chose you to join us. I warn you however fight our influence and you will suffer!

Just then a second Demon entered the room carrying a small frightened looking dog under its arm. It was Julia’s dog named Daisy.

The Demon placed the Dog on the floor in front of Julia and then placed a large, blood stained meat cleaver in between Julia and Daisy.

The Demon said, whilst smiling with sadistic delight. “In order to become one of us you need to severe all links with your human life. This is a small, easy step. They’ll get harder as time goes on, but for now. Kill that little mongrel or else you’ll suffer!

Julia wanted to be sick. Daisy had been her best friend for the past 5 years. In fact she’d been her only friend. Julia had been always been somewhat lonely, shy girl. She had always dreaded the day where she would have to put her dog down, but she could have never imagined it would be under these horrifying circumstances.

Please, I, I don’t know why you want me to do this” Julia said whilst quivering. “But I can’t

The Demon interrupted her. Its tone was suddenly much angrier, its voice louder, more booming.

We want you to become a warrior in the most important battle of all time. We want you to become a hero whose story will be remembered forever. But first you need to prove you are worthy! Kill that little mutt! Now!

Julia crumbled into a little ball on the floor in response.

The Demon approached the terrified girl and placed his hand around her throat. “Its either you or the Dog do you understand me! If you don’t kill her now I will tear you to pieces!”

The monster began to bare its fangs in her face, hissing. Julia had never been so scared. In that moment she forgot how much she loved her little Dog. All she knew was that she didn’t want to die.

The monster sensing the fear in her hear threw her to the ground by the blood stained cleaver and without hesitation, purely to save her own life she buried it in Daisy’s skull.

After carrying out this gruesome act, Julia surprisingly felt no guilt. She felt no disgust, either with herself or even the splattered brains of her beloved pet lain at her feet.

Instead for a second she actually felt quite good. That feeling quickly faded however and she instantly began to feel shame at what she had done and began to hug the corpse of her Dog.

The Demon meanwhile sat back and smiled. “It begins” it said to itself whilst smirking.

Carlene and Cushing had arrived at George’s house. The two knew that if they stepped another foot forward there was a possibility that they might be vaporised.

Cushing said drily “Well I’ guess I’ll go first.”.

With some hesitation Cushing put his foot over the line. He turned to face Carlene. “Well either your little orb works or you’re completely wrong and my career is in ruins and you’re dead”.

As Carlene followed him she responded “It would have been much easier if we’d just been vaporised wouldn’t it?”

Cushing had memorised the exorcism ritual that would not only pull the Demon from George’s body but would also trap it.

The ritual would have to be performed near the Demon however, and so Carlene would have to hold the monster off until Cushing had completed it.

Whilst Cushing was trying to think of a way to sneak into the house, Carlene just ran straight ahead and smashed the front door down.

Cushing was shocked “What are you thinking!” he screamed at the Vampire.

Don’t worry” Carlene responded “he already knew we were coming. Another spell monitors activity near his house“.

Just then George came darting out the front door wielding a stake. Carlene barely managed to get out of the way in time. Cushing was shocked at how fast the old man could move. When George turned to face the Detective, Cushing could see that his eyes were flickering purple. The Demon was stronger when it didn’t hide in its human host.

It had finally dropped the human facade as not only did it suspect that it was the Vampire, but even if it wasn’t whoever it was had breached his defences and needed dealt with swiftly.

Cushing couldn’t believe that the Vampire was right after all about George. He didn’t know whether to be scared that he was facing a dangerous Demon, relieved that it meant his career wasn’t in tatters, or embarrassed that he had doubted Carlene on her theory so much!

Before the Demon could strike Cushing, Carlene grabbed it from behind. George tried to get free and in the struggle both the Demon and the Vampire went tumbling backwards into George’s house.

George was the first to get to his feet and grabbed Carlene. With one hand he lifted the Vampire up into the air and threw her all the way across his living room sending her crashing through a table.

Carlene however bounced up instantly, her fangs baring and hissing at her enemy. Her bloodlust was kicking in. However she did not give in this time as she did not wish to harm the man who the Demon had taken over. She also similarly told whatever it was in her hair to stay put so as not to harm the Demon’s host.

Carlene had never faced a Demon of this breed before. They were strong, fast and unpredictable and this one had years of experience.

In a fight to the death she would surely be the loser. Fortunately it didn’t have to come to that as Cushing was busy chanting the spell. All she had to do was just keep his attention on her for the time being.

Unfortunately as the Demon and Carlene circled one another, each waiting for the moment to strike, George suddenly noticed Cushing at the other end of the room and went for him.

Carlene however again managed to tackle the Demon and send him to the ground. The stake went flying out of George’s hand and as he tried to crawl along the floor and get it, Carlene again jumped on his back and wrestled with the monster. After a brief struggle George managed to throw the Vampire across the room again and into a wall.

However as he got up and reached for the stake he found that he could not move. As much as he tried with all his inhuman strength he couldn’t even lift his hand.

He saw Carlene wander over to Cushing with a smile on her face.

“Thank you Cushing, and I told you so!

George began to scream in rage and frustration but there was nothing he could do.

Carlene spoke to the Demon “Okay listen up. You’re not getting out of this binding spell. Me and Cushing here have done our homework. We also know how to kill you and we have a bottle of Lenesk, magically fused liquid that will burn you to death. So tell us what we want or we’ll douse you in it, and be no worse than we are now but also be one heart eating Demon down.

George knew there was nothing he could do. He didn’t trust the Vampire not to fry him now. Just for the hell of it. Still for the time being he had no other options and so he had to go along with whatever she wanted.

Cushing was the first to ask him about the new Demons on the street.

Cushing and Carlene could see a look of fear come over George’s face as soon as the creatures were mentioned. There was no way he could even attempt to lie about not knowing what was going on.

George tried to reason with his two captors.

Look trust me on this one. These things, they’re way beyond you, me, this entire stinking city.  I don’t care who you both think you are. Vampire super hero, or Demon catching/Demon loving when it suits him Detective. These things? You don’t want to cross them. None of us do.”

Cushing responded. “These things are snatching children all over the city!

George was silent for a minute before bursting into a fit of laughter. Almost forgetting the position he was in, he said “And I’m supposed to care? I’ve eaten about twenty kids.”

Carlene quickly reminded him however by telling Cushing to fetch the Lenesk.

Okay, okay fine, once I’ve told you though I’m not just going to flee this town but this whole level of reality to get away from them and if you’re smart you will too. The Demons are known simply as The Soldiers. They are bred for a war, said to happen in over 1000 years time.

According to the legend many centuries ago an all powerful Demon named Orakos created the Soldiers. Orakos was believed to be the most powerful Demon to emerge since your daddy Vampire, Khastran.

Originally Orakos was just as evil as the rest. He brought death and chaos to everywhere he travelled, but then one day he saw something that changed him forever when he faced the Mysterious Three.

The Mysterious Three were Gods who had the power of precognition. Orakos wanted that power for himself. When he faced the Gods however they shared with him a vision so terrible it shook the Demon to its very core. To this day no one knows what the vision was except for the Soldiers. Orakos killed the Three afterwards and kept the vision to himself, but he built up an army to combat it. However Orakos was later killed by Odin himself, as revenge for the deaths of the Mysterious Three.

His army however continued to grow. Whilst we don’t know what it is exactly they are fighting for, over the years two things have become obvious. One they believe that this war will happen in over 1000 years time. And two that it will be the most important battle in the history of creation. Whatever they are destined to fight, it is an evil that threatens us all. It terrified a creature as terrible and twisted as Orakos himself.

The Demons create new members of their kind first by abducting children. They take them to interdimensional bases. They have several of these all over creation. The Soldiers are also able to travel between worlds, universes even no problem. They have abducted children from worlds all over the multiverse to be part of their army. It is estimated that there are trillions of Soldiers.

Once they have the children, they corrupt them, mistreat them, force them to do the most horrible things after which they are then ready to be converted through magic into new members of their kind. They will tend to visit the same spot only once every century.”

Carlene interrupted “But why choose children? If I was building an army of unstoppable Demon warriors I’d snatch the biggest, baddest warriors in the land”

George responded “Many reasons. To start with the Soldiers don’t like to waste any men. Obviously there’s no risk of that when snatching little kids. Also if they turn someone into one of their own when they are a child then they will be stronger when they are older, as they have been a Demon for a longer. Finally a child is easier to break. Children only really care about themselves. Imagine trying to break a stubborn bastard like him” George looked squarely in Cushing’s direction.

A child however?” George continued “is more scared of death, will do anything it can just to see its dear mommy again. They’re an easy nut to crack

Cushing interceded “Its disgusting. They call themselves soldiers, yet they target the most vulnerable and helpless and steal their lives from them.”

George sighed. He felt that the Detective was not grasping just how dangerous the Soldiers actually were. “Trust me they aren’t cowards. They just want as many men possible for what they believe will be the ultimate battle. However its better to just let them do their thing and get out of here.

Carlene responded somewhat angrily “And just let them steal countless children and turn them into monsters?

George was getting a bit scared. He knew how unpredictable Vampires were and so he tried to reason his way out of this.

It will be worse for you and anyone you care about if you try and stop them. They have eyes and ears all over the place. Even the Vampires who founded this town were under their thumb. They willingly handed over several of their child captives to the Soldiers because they knew it would be pointless to try and fight them.”

Carlene interrupted “And I’d imagine whoever it is you work for has also cut a deal with them too? ”

George responded “Lets just say they’re smart enough to know who not to cross. I won’t tell you anything about them though. The Soldiers might be more powerful but lets just say my master is way more vicious. I’d rather be at the mercy of the Soldiers any day or eaten by Lenesk. I’ll tell you nothing..

Carlene simply responded with “well it looks like I will be pissing off the right people if I go after these guys. Tell me how do I get to where they’re keeping the kids?

George realised that there was no way of getting through to either of them. “Fools” he thought to himself “its like the Vampire wants to die, again” Still he told them in the hopes that the Vampire would keep its word and let him go.

The gate way to the Demons interdimensional base is completely invisible, but you should be able to find it by using a locator spell. You’ll have to get a possession of one of the children they stole however. And you’ll have to act quickly too. Once those children become Soldiers the spell won’t work on them.

Cushing spoke “I’ll contact the parents of Julia Blomfield. She was their latest victim, so there’s hopefully a chance they won’t have turned her yet

Carlene agreed but she said to Cushing that they had one little problem to deal with first. “Fetch the Lenesk and prepare the exorcism Detective

George protested. “I told you what you want to know. You’re supposed to be heroes, heroes don’t go back on their word.”

Carlene hit back “and they don’t let monsters that eat hearts just go free either. Still I am a woman of her word. This exorcism will give you a 5 second chance of getting free of the binding spell before we douse you in Lenesk. Call this my little gift to you

George was overcome with rage and fear as Cushing returned with the bottle and began to chant the spell. He was completely helpless but then it hit him what his only option was. Clearly Cushing and the Vampire wanted to still try and save the person whose body he had taken over, the real George, hence why they didn’t just burn him with the Lenesk now which would incinerate George too. “How foolish of them” he thought to himself. “After all the years I’ve been possessing him, and all the things I’ve made him do, George will be completely insane. Even I’d hate to see what state he’d be in after all this time.” Still he was right Carlene and Detective Cushing both wanted to free the poor man from the horror he had been living in for the past decade or so.

Thus the Demon decided that it would destroy George from the inside unless they freed him. Whilst it wasn’t able to move George’s body on the outside thanks to the binding spell, it could if need be retreat inside him after which it would then be able to shred his insides. Once George was dead it would not be freed from its prison, but still its host was a useful bargaining chip.

As the Demon moved inside George for the first time in over a decade he was given control of his body again and began to scream in agony as the Demon started to twist his innards.

Cushing stopped performing the exorcism. Carlene at first thought it was a trick and urged him to keep going until George started to cough up blood. Cushing begged the Demon to stop.

The Demon, taking over George’s body once again said that it would as long as they let him go. Carlene refused, but she was met with George’s screams once again.

Carlene was torn. If she didn’t exorcise the Demon now there would be very little chance of catching him again. Perhaps she thought it would be better to let George die now than condemn him to living in this horrifying state any longer.

Sadly however Cushing would take matters out of the Vampire’s hands and undid the binding spell right away.

Before Carlene could chide him George or rather the Demon possessing him ran at the Vampire and thumped her in the face, sending her flying across the room and through the window at the back.

Cushing was all alone against the Demon now. He was scared. Even after all these years a Demon as vicious as this was still capable of striking fear into the heart of the bravest warrior.

The Demon was well aware of how vulnerable he was and began to taunt the Detective.

Your little pet Vampire is gone now Detective? Now you’re just a pathetic, scared old man.

Cushing however kept his cool and and responded to the Demons taunts by throwing the Lenesk on George’s arm. Cushing did not want to hurt George so he didn’t douse the Demon, or even throw it in its face. However at the same time it was his only weapon so he had to use it in some way.

George fell to his knees in absolute agony. His arm sizzled and burned and he couldn’t move it after a few seconds. The pain did not deter him long however. He jumped back on his feet determined to make the Detective pay.

Cushing tried to use the Lenesk again, but the monster managed to knock it out of his hand before he could open the bottle. It then grabbed the Detective by the throat and lifted him up in the air, slowly crushing the life out of him.

Cushing kicked at the monster and struggled, but it was completely in vain. He knew that there was no way he could even harm the Demon unarmed, but still what else could he do in this situation?

The Demon however took too long in choking Cushing, and as a result Carlene who ran back through the same window she had been thrown through, was able to tackle the monster to the ground.

This time Carlene was not holding anything back. She didn’t care about preserving the monsters host body. She felt he was a lost cause as this Demon was simply too dangerous to be allowed to go free.

Carlene delivered a flurry of punches to the Demons face. Whilst the Demon’s strength was immense, Carlene was far faster and she didn’t even give the monster a chance to react as she mercilessly pummelled the monster into a bloody mess on the floor.

Carlene soon saw that her attacks were pointless as they were all healing relatively quickly and so she jumped off of the Demon, and grabbed the bottle of Lenesk on the floor. As soon as the Demon saw she had it, it finally fled from George’s body.

The Demon had wisely realised that the odds were not in its favour.

Carlene cursed herself for not being fast enough. As Cushing rose to his feet Carlene slammed him against a wall.

“You idiot. Do you realise what you have done? Lord knows how many people you’ve condemned. The next poor soul it possesses? The next young girl whose heart it feasts on?”

Of course Carlene knew why he had done it. She looked round at George who was lying curled up in a ball on the floor. He was a completely broken man. He had been conscious throughout the Demons entire horrific existence.

“It would have been better to let this poor man die and spare anyone else from going through what he has” Carlene said shaking her head and tightening her grip on Cushing.

“I’m sorry Carlene. I didn’t have it in me to kill an innocent man. You can shout and scream and even try and kill me later if you want.”

Carlene realised how she’d let her rage get the better of her and apologised to Cushing. “I’m sorry Detective I, I just have these moments.”

“Well just try and not to have one of them when we go and tell Michelle about what happened here.”

Carlene couldn’t believe what she had just heard. “You want to waste more time talking to that crazy bitch Michelle? Last time we met she shot me in the stomach. It didn’t kill me but it hurt like fuck!

Okay I get it you’re not exactly friends, but Carlene what choice do we have? We are going to be going up against possibly the greatest threat this city has ever faced and you want to go up there all alone with only an ageing Detective as back up? These Demons are warriors from all over the entire cosmos. They have magics and technology beyond what we can conceive!

Carlene responded “but I have fangs!” Carlene obviously knew that the Detective was right, but just couldn’t quite bring herself to admit that she’d have to work with Michelle.

Besides” Cushing continued. “We’ll need to let them know what happened to George“.

Poor man“. Carlene responded. “He’s been completely broken. I don’t think anything can help him. What he’s been through. Even I wouldn’t trade places with him.”

Julia had been put back alongside the other children. The Demons were preparing the next set of grissly trials to corrupt the children.

Julia sat next to a young boy named Toby. Toby had failed his first trial. They tried to make him murder another young girl who they knew would be of no use (the Demons regularly snatched children, not just to convert, but use in their tests.)

The Demons had not killed Toby despite their warning. They assured him that if he failed again, then next time he would die.

Julia comforted Toby. She told him how he had been much stronger than her as she had given into the monsters and murdered her dog. The thing that disturbed her the most was how at first she was okay with it. After butchering her beloved pet, not only did she not feel any guilt, but she even felt a twinge of joy. Now however she returned to normal and felt like being sick.

Occasionally however she’d look down at her arms and see that they had turned yellow. She’d scream every single time after which she’d return to normal. What surprised her even more was the fact that none of the other children were shocked or jolted whenever she screamed. They were just so used to it by now that it didn’t even register!

As Julia looked around the room she caught a glimpse of the boy who was almost fully converted into one of the Demons, still sobbing in the corner. She thought to herself “I won’t end up like him. I can’t! I’d rather die!”

Carlene and Detective Cushing had arrived at the police station. They had already contacted Michelle to let her know what happened.

As soon as Carlene entered the station all eyes turned on her, and not in a good way. She really didn’t want to go there, but Cushing said it was best to get it over now, as she would have to work with them.

It was nothing compared to when they entered Michelle’s office. Michelle had a cross around her neck and was holding a stake in her hand.

A bit rude do carry those in front of our guest.” Cushing said.

Well I only extend pleasantries to people Cushing” Michelle snapped back.

Carlene interrupted “look lets just get to the point. We are going to fight a group of Demons, probably more dangerous than any even this city has ever seen before who have been capturing children. We’ll most likely die, but there’s a chance that we might be able to save just a few of them. Are you going to help us or put a stupid petty dislike of me above some children’s lives?

Michelle knew that Carlene was right. As much as she didn’t like Detective Cushing, she still trusted him on these matters. Thus she couldn’t just dismiss this as some trick the Vampire was playing on them.

She didn’t want to admit it, not only because she hated admitting that Carlene was right, but Carlene’s theory of there being some master criminal behind the supernatural activities in the town in some ways made her feel that her life’s work was pointless.

She had spent decades fighting both the crime and the occult in this town, but now it seemed that all she had been doing was tackling the symptoms, whilst this Vampire, having only been here a short while had finally discovered the root of the city’s problems.

Michelle hated Carlene more than ever, but for now she had swallow her pride. The safety of the children had to be put above all else.

“Okay”, Michelle said, practically through gritted teeth. “I’ll assemble a team to help you. Though I can’t promise they won’t stake the Vampire on principle. I’ll accompany you. I want to be there, just in case you have been duped by the Vampire. Its not the first time you’ve been duped by a Demon is it, Cushing?

Cushing protested, but Michelle shut him down by reminding him that they had more important things to talk about.

Well maybe you could try not being such a bitch and then we could all work together much better?” Carlene interrupted.

Michelle decided to leave it at that as otherwise she knew it would never end.

“Well Vampire, you’re the big expert on these Demons? What weapons, spells do we need to take these things down?”

First of all my name is Carlene. Second of all I’m not an expert on these things at all. No one is, but there is one spell that might just work against them. Its a special kind of potion. Brewed by Witches many years ago called Iostek. They mixed all of the different elements, natural, magical that are harmful to most known Demon species together.

Rose knows how to cobble the spell together.Her father discovered the recipe from a group of Witches he captured years ago. The Witches were benevolent, but of course much like you, he was such an arsehole he didn’t care and was going to kill them anyway. He agreed to spare them if they gave him this new secret weapon. Of course once they did he handed them over to the mob regardless. It takes quite a lot out of Rose to make the potion as she’s not a Witch, but she should have a small phial of it by the end of the day.”

A small phial?” Michelle responded? “How the hell is that going to help us against an army?”

Well” Carlene responded. “Based on what I’ve been told about these Demons, they seem to be turning masses of children into members of their own kind. Now there are only two options. Either they are infecting them directly like a Vampire. Or they have polluted the air to the point where the children’s bodies can be easily altered. This seems like the most likely option for me. The Demon said that they do it over a slow period of time. Direct infection tends to spread a lot faster.

If they have polluted the air, then there is obviously a source in their base. All we have to do is fuse the phial with the source, and this chemical will be spread throughout the base and kill all of the Demons, whilst leaving the children untouched.”

But Carlene“, Cushing said “The poison will also kill you too?

I’m not seeing any problems with this plan” Michelle said in response with a smile.

Ignoring Michelle’s petty taunts, Carlene told Cushing that she would have just a few minutes to escape. Though Cushing tried to convince her not to come on the mission, Carlene said that they needed her, and that whilst she had no wish to die again, she was more than willing to risk her own life, just to give the children a better chance.

The Soldiers had reached the end of their tether with the latest group of children. Normally they’d have broken them by now, but the current crop of kids had resisted the monsters cruel mind games and threats.

The commander of this particular cell was worried. He had to have converted a particular amount of children by a certain point or else he would be demoted. The Soldiers never killed their own under any circumstances unless they were traitors, but to be demoted and then considered a failure was in some ways worse than being killed.

The commander was taking his frustrations out on his men. Again such a thing was seen as a sign of a weak leader, but he couldn’t face taking responsibility for his own actions yet.

This particular commander had been waiting for a chance to lead his own platoon for centuries, and now he had finally got it, but he was about to be demoted all because he couldn’t break the children. He wanted to tear the little bastards throats out for costing him his career.

He was preparing his final round of tests for the children. Here he would force them to murder each other. The Soldiers generally didn’t like to do this, as it would waste potential recruits, but again the commander was desperate. Getting the strongest who would survive was still better than no recruits.

As the Soldiers prepared to set up the arena, where the children would be forced to fight each other to the death, the Commander prayed to the spirit of Orakos not to let anything else go wrong this night.

Carlene, Michelle, Cushing and 6 officers had managed to make their way into the base thanks to the help of Julia’s family. Having to ask for a child’s possession to use magic to track them down would be a difficult conversation, but fortunately Julia’s parents were aware of the paranormal. Julia’s father’s brother had been possessed by a Demon many decades ago.

They were still skeptical about allowing magic to be used to find their daughter however. Though they knew it existed, they had no idea about the true nature of magic and they were scared it could hurt her. Detective Cushing however assured her that no harm would come to Julia as a result of the spell.

Rose meanwhile had prepared the potion for Carlene. Performing the spell of bringing together so many elements put such a strain on the being doing it, that it would normally kill most humans (hence why Rose had never bothered to give it to the Darrow police force, and why her own father had ultimately never used it.)

Still even though she was a Ghost, the energy from the spell still greatly weakened her spirit and she had to take time out. Sadly she wouldn’t have been able to go with them anyway, as whilst magics could allow her to temporarily leave her house, she could not leave this dimension or else her spirit would dissipate.

Whilst this was a unique incident, Rose couldn’t help but feel inadequate compared to Carlene. Obviously she was proud of what Carlene had accomplished in protecting the city, but still when she saw how little she was able to do for the people, when she had once been one of the greatest of all Vampire hunters she couldn’t help but feel depressed.

The locator spell revealed that the entrance to the Soldiers base was just outside of Darrow.

The base had the appearance of a gigantic castle when it was made visible. Carlene using her Vampiric strength jumped to the nearest window ledge. She planned to crawl through the window first to see if the cost was clear for the others, but unfortunately for the Vampire, the magic of the base could detect the presence of even the tiniest microbe that entered. The alarm instantly went off, and 3 Soldiers instantly appeared in a puff of smoke around Carlene. Carlene did her best to try and defend herself, but even her Vampiric strength was no match for the power of the Soldiers, and she was outnumbered too. They overpowered her relatively easily.

The others could hear the alarm outside. “Great plan Vampire. We lasted all of 2 seconds. Either you are evil and set us up, or you’re just really, really thick.” Michelle said angrily to herself.

Sadly before they could do anything, a massive group of Soldiers surrounded them. The cops tried to fire their weapons at the Soldiers, but it was of no avail and the soldiers overpowered all of them effortlessly.

Their attack had ended in a dismal failure before it could even begin. Had it not been for the fact that the Soldiers wanted to find out who was behind the attack (knowing that no ordinary person could find their base) then they would have killed them all now.

In truth there was no way any of them could have entered without the Soldiers knowing.

Carlene, Cushing and the rest were taken before the leader of this group of Soldiers.

The Leader was shocked to see a Vampire among them. What could it possibly want here? The children to feed on? There are other, more easier ways for it to acquire blood. The Vampire must be an agent he thought. There were plenty of Demons and Sorcerers who wanted to know what the secrets to the Soldiers powerful weapons were and they often sent agents in.

Tell me Vampire who paid you to try and steal our weapons and magics. I’ll pay you double. You Vampires are all such dirty, selfish little cowards that I’m sure you have no loyalty to your master. I’m in a hurry and I’d like to know so tell me.”

Carlene however responded with “Actually I’m here to help the children. Let them go now and I won’t kill you”

The Soldiers all burst out laughing in response. They didn’t know what was funnier the idea of a Vampire caring about children or the idea she could harm them!

I mean it!” Carlene shouted over the Soldiers which brought their mocking laughter to a grinding halt.

I challenge you to duel leader for the children’s lives.”

Carlene knew that the Soldiers had no honour. Any creatures that would capture children and rely on the dirtiest tactics like they did couldn’t have it, but many Demons were incredibly vain and egotistical. She hoped that the commander wouldn’t want to appear cowardly by simply ordering his men to kill her when she had challenged him to a one on one fight.

Carlene kept taunting the commander. “Are you going to have get your men to do your dirty work for you in dealing with just one Vampire? Hardly the stuff that great leaders are made of are you? I can’t see you going to face monsters that killed a God when you’re too scared to take me on one on one.

The Commander knew she was manipulating him, and any other time he might not have given into his hubris. Unfortunately however as many had begun to see him as a weak commander due to his recent mistakes, he was genuinely worried that not taking on a lowly, pathetic, scummy Vampire of all creatures could make things even worse for him.

He agreed to face Carlene in an honourable fight. He hoped it wouldn’t last long. Just a quick stake through the heart and that would be that, but still he ordered all of his men to get the children ready for their final death match too.

He gave Carlene 5 minutes to prepare for the fight, but also ordered that Detective Cushing, Michelle and the rest of the force be taken away to the cells. The Soldiers of course would most likely have no intention of releasing them or the children anyway, even if Carlene did beat the Commander, which none of them entertained as a possibility.

Carlene had kept the phial of the Iostek in her hair. Carlene’s beehive haircut was more than just a nice bit of nostalgia from when she was a human. It was actually a magic weapons chest, bigger on the inside than the outside, with its own defence system. It was also magically fused to her head, with only a quick spell being capable of taking it off, so there was no chance of it falling off in a fight.

Carlene knew that it would have been pointless to use the poison on the guards who captured her, as there was so little of it, so she hid it in her beehive for later. In the 5 minutes she was allowed to prepare for the fight, she sprinkled a tiny bit of it onto the knife she had chosen as a weapon, hoping that it would be enough.

In their cell meanwhile Michelle started to blame Cushing for everything that had happened. She accused Carlene of leading them all into a trap.

Think about it“Michelle screamed. “She comes up with this fantastic master plan that gets us all captured in like two minutes, whilst she is left alone with the Demons leader? They’re probably drinking the children’s blood together and laughing at how the stupid old man got tricked by a Demon again!

Cushing finally snapped back at Michelle ”

The other officers were somewhat taken aback. They had never seen Cushing who was normally such a mild mannered, soft spoken man erupt in anger and swear. Though they were all on Michelle’s side, they didn’t really know enough about Cushing’s history to comment so they wisely kept out of the continued bickering between Michelle and Cushing.

In the middle of the argument Cushing having calmed himself down somewhat said “You’re the one who is playing into the Demons hands Michelle. We should all be working together to try and find a way out of here, but here we are bickering over the most stupid things.”

No, what the Demons want is to stop anyone trying to rescue the kids, and they’ve been able to do that thanks to your Vampire friend, intentionally or unintentionally.

At that point Cushing realised it was pointless to try and convince Michelle to stop. He just hoped the Demons would kill them all soon so he wouldn’t have to keep listening to her ranting about Carlene for much longer.

The duel had begun. It was in a small room, normally reserved for duels between the children.

The Soldiers commander had chosen a gigantic mace as his weapon. Just before the fight The Commander told Carlene that he knew the mace couldn’t kill her, but that he was just going to use it to beat the crap out of her for a bit, before tearing her head off with his bare hands when he was done.

Three Soldiers were watching the fight. They started taunting Carlene, laughing at her and making jokes about the Vampire being “really scary” and how the commander was in for it now.

The Commander and Carlene circled each other for a short time before the Commander was the first to strike, swinging his mace at Carlene’s head, she managed to duck it in time though. It very nearly hit her beehive. If it had done, then it would have given the game away as the Mace would have bounced off of it.

Carlene tried to strike next with her knife, but unfortunately the commander struck her hand first which sent the knife flying out of her hand.

Carlene backed away a little. The commander could see that she was scared and began to laugh at her.

You should have taken my offer bloodsucker.

He then jumped through the air at a lightening speed. Too fast for even Carlene, and struck her in the face this time.

As she fell to the floor he struck her multiple times in the back, the legs, the face and her arms.

She tried to hit him back, but the few blows of hers that did manage to connect, barely hurt the monster.

The commander after pummelling Carlene grabbed her by her feet and started swinging her around, and bashing her off the ground before throwing her into a wall.

The impact she made against the wall would have been enough to liquify every bone in a normal human’s body. Carlene’s Vampiric constitution however meant that she didn’t even break a single bone, though it still hurt her probably more than anything else in her life at point!

As she tried to crawl back on to her feet the commander jumped towards her again and grabbed her by the throat.

He slammed her against a wall and place his hand on her shoulder. He was obviously going to try and tear her head clean off.

Carlene struggled to get free, but it was no use. The soldiers strength was unlike anything she had ever seen before. Carlene in a last ditch effort, reached into her beehive haircut for any kind of weapon she could. She managed to find a small axe. It wouldn’t be able to do any lasting damage to the Commander, but maybe she could distract him long enough.

Carlene struck the axe into the Commanders arm. He didn’t even flinch, but he did look surprised as to where she could have gotten it? She swung it again in his face. He let out a scream, but still held on to her. Carlene swung again and again hitting the monsters in the eyes until eventually he threw Carlene across the room.

Carlene landed just a few feet away from the knife. She quickly headed towards it, but unfortunately before she could reach the knife, the Commander jumped her once again and punched her to the ground.

The Commander then picked Carlene up with both hands and smashed her on his knee. Again for an ordinary person this would be enough to smash them in half. It still almost knocked Carlene out, and when the Commander threw her to the ground, Carlene had practically no strength left.

The Commander picked Carlene up by her left arm. She looked absolutely tiny compared to the giant monster.

The beast started punching her relentlessly in the face. Carlene however managed in the flurry of punches to grab his fist and redirect his fist into her beehive.

The beehive had an emergency system were if someone else tried to reach into it then it would fire various weapons (created by magic) at them.

Again these weapons didn’t do any last damage to the commander, but they caused him enough pain that he dropped Carlene, who made another dash for the knife and managed to grab it this time.

The Commander now overcome with rage charged at Carlene, but this time she was ready for him, and he foolishly thought that she was unprepared. He had no idea about the Iostek and honestly didn’t think that the Vampire had anything that could harm him.

Carlene slashed the Commander across the chest with her knife, piercing his heart in the process. Normally a stab wound to the heart would of course heal instantly for a Soldier, but the poison began to affect the Commander instantly. He stumbled back, began to feel faint, and his knees soon gave way.

He tried to get up but he suddenly had zero strength. The pain, the likes of which he had never felt before, also began to flood through his body too.

Just a few seconds ago he was dangling Carlene in the air and beating her to a bloody pulp. Now he was crawling along the floor, barely able to pull himself forward he was so weak.

The other three Soldiers couldn’t believe what they were seeing. They had NEVER seen one of their own be defeated, and assumed that it was just some trick that the Commander was playing on Carlene.

“P-p-please” he pitifully whimpered, “h-have pity”. The Soldiers had been taught to face death with dignity, and indeed if this had been out on the battlefield, then the Commander would have shown no fear. However he couldn’t bare the thought of dying in such an undignified way. Losing to a lowly Vampire of all things, in front of his men.

Carlene however simply responded with a cold “I’ll make this quick which I’m sure is better than you ever gave your victims.” And she stuck her knife into the monsters skull, killing him instantly.

The other Soldiers recoiled in shock and horror. Even to the end they thought it must be a trick of some kind. Carlene looked up at them all, her face caked in her own blood, her nose broken from the beating she had taken.

Still the Soldiers were more scared of her now, as for the first time they were facing an enemy that could hurt them.

Still they quickly conquered their fear and all 3 of them ran at Carlene. Knowing that it would be foolish to even attempt to take them on, Carlene quickly jumped through the air, and over them just as the monsters got near her.

One of the Soldiers at the back saw her and ran at her before the other two, but Carlene managed to slice two of his fingers off with her knife.

As he staggered back in pain, Carlene then reached into her beehive and searched for the nearest weapon she could find. She managed to fetch a gas bomb which she threw at the three Demons.

The gas obviously had no real effect on the Soldiers. Normally it would be enough to knock out most humans and Demons (though not a Vampire like Carlene as they don’t need to breath.) Still it did distract the monsters long enough for Carlene to slip away.

The Soldier who had lost his two fingers was screaming in pain. He was scared that they hadn’t regrown yet, and worse his whole arm was beginning to go numb.

The elder Soldier looked at the flesh around his severed fingers. “Crafty little bloodsucker” he said. “I don’t know what kind of poison this is, but honestly I’ve never seen anything like it. Don’t worry. Your fingers will grow back eventually. You didn’t get enough of it.

The Soldiers all looked down at their fallen commander.

“He wasn’t fit to lead us you know” the elder Soldier said. “He didn’t cope well under pressure, he didn’t know how to command respect and authority. He’d just shout and scream like a little child. Still he was devoted to our cause above all else and he deserved better than to die like this. At the hands of a Vampire. We will avenge him.”

Carlene ran through the corridor, down the direction they had taken her “friends”. Along the way she encountered a few more Soldiers, but she used the fact that they honestly didn’t believe she could harm them to her advantage and would look scared when she first came into contact with the Demons, before slashing them across the face.

In one instance she was forced to kill another Soldier when he was able to dodge her attack and punched her against a wall. Acting quickly she was able to slice him in the leg, but even as she tried to run away, he grabbed her by the leg and tried to pull her back, but Carlene managed to jump forward and stab him in the head.

She finally reached the cell. Her superhuman sense of smell allowed her to track the rest of the team, even through the stench of the Soldiers. How ironic Carlene thought. People always used to mock her big nose at school, but now it was helping to save the day.

When she opened the door to the cell, Michelle was genuinely surprised to see her and at first assumed she had come here to gloat, though that idea was quickly shot down.

Carlene explained to the other officers that they needed to find the power source. Carlene said that she could trace it with her sense of smell, Magic left off a certain odour, though Carlene again would need to hone in it, as the entire place had been built with magic.

Carlene stood around trying to pinpoint the smell, whilst Michelle and the rest stood guard over her.

Michelle had been given the knife. Carlene didn’t want to at first as she thought Michelle would probably stick it in her when she wasn’t looking. Still she realised that Michelle was probably the best person to have the knife as she was the most skilled fighter, so she reluctantly gave it to Michelle whilst she tried to concentrate on locating the spell.

Many of the cops were getting nervous however. They wanted to get the hell out of the castle. They normally weren’t so scared because before there was always a chance against an enemy like a Vampire, a Demon, or a Werewolf, but with the Soldiers they felt genuinely helpless.

Just then two platoon’s of Soldiers appeared in puffs of smoke, and cornered Carlene and the cops off at both ends. The cops froze in terror. The new leader of the Soldiers was fixated on Carlene. “You miserable little parasite” he screamed at Carlene. “All you care about is satisfying your own sadistic little urges. We are built for a higher purpose, a war for all of creation itself.”

Whilst he was ranting however Carlene reached into her beehive hairdo and searched around for another weapon. This time she found a tiny Demon that she had kept there. The monster was called a Scralex. Carlene had found it living near the outskirts of Darrow. Scralex’s were a special breed of Demon created to feed on other Demonic creatures. Though no bigger than a house cat, they moved at a lightening speed and had a tremendous strength. The problem with the monsters was that they had been too unpredictable. When people kept them as pets, they had a grisly habit of still turning on and eating their owners and their pets and children if they didn’t get enough Demon flesh.

Fortunately that wasn’t a problem for Carlene and Rose however. As they were both dead then the monster had no desire to feed on their flesh. Rather than simply kill the monster Carlene decided to keep him as a weapon, but obviously she didn’t want the risk of the monster getting free and harming anyone else, so she let it live in her beehive. The monster couldn’t escape unless she wanted it too, and furthermore whilst in the Beehive, the magic’s would quell its hunger, as ultimately being a Demon it did not actually need to eat to survive.

Carlene didn’t like to use it, as it was a vicious monster that in close corners could even attack humans. Still she had no choice and so she pulled it out of her beehive and threw it in the Soldiers new commanders face.

The Commander doubled back in pain, whilst his subordinates gathered round him. The Soldiers from behind tried to advance, but once again Carlene quickly pulled out some more gas bombs and pelted the Soldiers with them.

The Soldiers and the police began to choke, but Carlene being a Vampire who didn’t need to breath was able to pull some of the cops including both Michelle and Cushing past the Soldiers. Sadly however three of the cops were grabbed by the Soldiers in the smoke and literally ripped in half by them.

The Commander meanwhile had managed to pull the Scralex off of his face and threw it to the other end of the room. The little demon quickly scurried away through the Soldiers to Carlene. It had come to see Carlene’s Beehive haircut as its home and so it ran after her and jumped onto her shoulder before leaping into her hair.

Damn I’ve made it too cosy for him in there now.” She said to herself. The Scralex though a fearsome predator would never have been able to take on a Soldier in a proper fight. The best it could hope for was a distraction which it had caused.

Fortunately Carlene had been able to locate, roughly where the source of the bases power was. There were 6 floors to the castle and it was on the third. It made sense after all as it needed to be at the centre to radiate to all areas. They were currently on the 5th floor.

Realising that they all wouldn’t be able to outrun the Soldiers to the third floor, Carlene told the cops to head down there ahead of her whilst she did her best to try and hold off the Soldiers.

She knew she’d be lucky to kill one of them, but still she hoped that she could distract them long enough. She gave the remainder of the Iostek to Michelle, whilst she took back the knife.

Michelle was genuinely shocked at Carlene’s actions. Of course this one noble, heroic act wouldn’t be enough to overcome a lifetime of prejudice on Michelle’s part, but for once she not only didn’t mock Carlene, but wished the Vampire good luck.

Carlene faced the Soldiers down. For a few seconds they were scared of her, as they didn’t know what other tricks she had in her hair!. Still they quickly overcame their fear and started attacking her. Carlene managed to cut one of them, before another Soldier swotted her like a fly and smashed her into the ground. She still clutched the knife, even as they kept kicking her. It was the Vampires life line.

The monsters beat Carlene brutally, but in the midst of the kicks and punches she managed to swipe her knife at the knee cap of the lead Soldier which caused him to collapse to the ground. Wasting no time, Carlene leaped at the wound soldier and jumped onto his chest. Before he could swat her off, Carlene buried her knife into the Soldiers forehead, killing him instantly. The other Soldiers were a little taken a back at first. When Carlene stood up wielding the knife, the monsters slowly tried to surround her, but every time she made a gesture with the knife, they backed down a bit.

Carlene started taunting the Soldiers, but this proved to be a mistake. She laughed at them, said the Soldiers were the most overrated Demons she had ever seen, and that she had dealt with ordinary street thugs who were more of a challenge than them. One of the Soldiers got so angry that he overcame his fear and teleported behind Carlene. Before she could react he grabbed her arm with the knife and snapped it like a twig.

Though it healed relatively quickly, Carlene sadly dropped the knife from the pain. The Soldier then picked her up and started to smash her into the walls, before tossing her across the room.

Carlene was now completely helpless as the Soldiers approached her. She tried to fight back but it was pitiful as the monsters beat her. Carlene however continued to taunt them. It was just pride however. Carlene was never the type to go down fighting, even if she couldn’t actually fight anymore.

Detective Cushing and Michelle’s team meanwhile had made it to the 4th floor where the monsters were running around frantically. They were already nervous due to the inspection from their masters, but the alarm being raised just made things worse.

The crowd of officers knew that they couldn’t sneak past the Soldiers as the police force was simply too big and the floor was just a straight corridor. So they had no choice but to run and hope that some of them could make it to the next floor.

At least 10 of them were butchered. Detective Cushing despite being older was one of the “lucky” few who managed to make it to the door to the 5th floor simply because he was at the front of the group. He along with all of the others who had made it, had been forced to abandon any officers who had be caught behind. A few officers would turn back and try and help their friends, but they to the last were slaughtered.

Once they had managed to make it to the third floor, the surviving officers saw that the third floor was the dungeon where the children were kept. Much like the fourth floor, it too was just a straight corridor, with several rooms on either side. The officers frantically looked through the window of each door. They saw mostly children, kept in groups, huddled together like animals in each room. In a few others they saw what looked like small arenas and what looked like horrible pits full of spikes.

This was where the children’s spirits were slowly broken and they were corrupted as well as the power source for the base. The children in each cell would start screaming for help as soon as they saw the officers by the window, but sadly the officers had to leave them for now.

Michelle eventually stumbled upon what she was sure was the power source. In this room, all she could see was a large, square, metallic object in the middle of the room, but there were was small slit that ran all the way around it near the top, from which a green light shone.

Several of the officers started to ram the door to break it down, but unfortunately at the other end of the third floor, several Soldiers began to appear out of pufts of blue smoke. The monsters quickly grabbed another three officers who they tore to pieces in a matter of seconds.

Fortunately the other officers, including both Michelle and Cushing managed to break down the door and make their way into the room.

Unfortunately however ten more Soldiers suddenly materialised in front of them. The room, being the most vital in the castle had the most advanced security system.

The police were completely surrounded, so they decided it would be better to go down fighting. Of course it really made no difference as the Soldiers just tore the police apart. Michelle and Detective Cushing were soon the last two left standing, and were both backed against a wall by the Soldiers. They weren’t scared for themselves. Neither particularly feared death, but they didn’t want to get this far and not help the children.

Cushing wracked his brains for a solution and finally he found it. Grabbing the last of the liquid that Carlene had left with Michelle, Cushing poured some of it on some bullets that he had emptied from his hand gun. Loading them back into the gun he then fired at one of the Soldiers in the head, killing it instantly.

“It worked” Cushing shouted. He hoped to fire the bullet at the Soldiers power source, but sadly however as he took aim one of the monsters suddenly materialised behind Cushing. It grabbed his arm which broke it instantly causing him to drop the gun.

Michelle instantly reached for the gun and managed to grab it. It only had five bullets left and there were 9 Soldiers surrounding her and blocking the power source. The Soldiers weren’t even paying attention to Cushing who was now lying on the ground, passed out from the pain.

One of the Soldiers spoke “You can’t kill us all with that weapon. Surrender now and your death will be quick.”

Michelle didn’t listen. If I’m going down I’m taking as many of those bastards with me as I can she thought to herself. Michelle shot the Soldier that had given her the ultimatum first right in the head and emptied 3 of her bullets into another 3 of the monsters before the surviving 5 Soldiers managed to pounce on and instantly overpower Michelle.

Two of the monsters grabbed her arms, whilst another two grabbed her by the legs. Another stood over Michelle and barked.

“Pull her apart slowly. Let this worm know that we are not to be triffled with.”

The Soldiers started pulling on either side of Michelle with only an ounce of their strength, though it was still greater than anything Michelle had ever experience before.

She already felt like her spine was snapping and she screamed out in agony. She did all she could to try and pull free from the monsters but it was no use.

Just as all seemed lost however, suddenly one of the monsters holding Michelle’s arms screamed and fell to the floor. The other three dropped Michelle to the ground and instantly turned around. As Michelle looked up she could see a figure standing over the body of the Soldier. Carlene.

Carlene looked really beaten up. She was covered in blood, both her own and that of the Soldiers.

Carlene had been able to escape from the Soldiers who were beating her by grabbing one of the Soldiers and pulling him on top of her. She then used him to ram into the other two who were still kicking her, and pushed all three into a wall.

Wasting no time, Carlene quickly grabbed the knife from where she had dropped it and threw another gas bomb from her beehive in front of the monsters which distracted them long enough for the Vampire to slip away. Carlene then used another gas bomb to slip past the Soldiers on the 4th floor before making it to the third.

She arrived just in time to kill one of the Soldiers that was slowly ripping Michelle in half by stabbing it in the neck from behind.

Now the remaining four Soldiers attention turned to the Vampire. Carlene looked as though she could barely stand. Even with her Vampiric healing and constitution, she had taken such a beating that every movement looked like it was a struggle to her.

Still using her last ounce of strength Carlene ran at the Soldiers, who in response charged into her. However it was a trick. The Soldiers thought Carlene, much like Michelle was going to try and go down fighting in a futile last stand, but instead, Carlene quickly jumped over the Soldiers, just before she would have collided with them.

Carlene wasn’t quite as weak as she had made out to her enemies. Whilst still in the air Carlene threw the knife, stained with liquid at the green slit of the power source. One of the Soldiers ran to try and catch the knife (the others foolishly were still focused on Carlene.)

He almost caught it, but fortunately Michelle shot him dead with the last bullet.

The knife penetrated the green slit. For a few minutes nothing seemed to happen. The Soldiers grabbed Carlene and started to beat her. Though she fought back, again it made no difference.

Just then however the Soldiers started to faint. Michelle could see their skin begin to crackle and boil as they lay helplessly on the ground. Carlene managed to hold out for a few seconds longer. Though her breed of Vampire was nowhere near as strong as the Soldiers, the fact that Vampires were undead gave them a slightly greater resilience than other breeds of Demons to certain magics and poisons.

However the liquid was so strong that ultimately Carlene began to succumb too. She collapsed to the floor, just like the Soldiers. With all her strength she was barely able to even lift her arm. The liquid was in the air now. It spread even faster than Carlene had hoped and she knew there was now no chance for her. She just hoped it would be quick.

Just then however help came from the most unlikely of places. Michelle, Carlene’s former rival picked the Vampire up off the ground and struggled to carry her out of the room. Michelle was still in tremendous pain from what the Soldiers had done to her.

Yet here she was going through it to help a Vampire of all things. If Michelle had actually stopped and thought about what she was doing, she probably would have thrown Carlene onto the ground in shock, but luckily for the Vampire, Michelle was working on instinct rather than prejudice.

Carlene had just saved her from an agonising death, and so Michelle wanted to repay the favour. She knew that she wouldn’t be able to get Carlene to the bottom floor in time. Even if she wasn’t barely able to walk from the pain in her back, but still she couldn’t just watch Carlene die.

As Michelle made her way into the hall she could see one of the doors to the cells had been ripped off its hinges. Clearly one of the Soldiers had escaped into here but why? Was there a safe spot she could maybe get Carlene into?

When she went to investigate, Michelle could see one of the Soldiers lying on the floor of the cell, its body beginning to rot just like all the others.

Some of the children had rushed towards the dying brute and started kicking and spitting on it. The monsters had corrupted these children into monsters themselves, and now they were feeling the brunt of it.

Michelle could see at the back of the cell was a window. The Soldiers had placed it in here as a form of torment for the children. The children could see the outside world, knowing that they would never be a part of it again. They’d never be able to walk among their own people, see their loved ones or just be a normal human again.

Clearly the Soldier had hoped to smash it and escape out of the window, but he had fallen before he got a chance. Michelle dropped Carlene who had now completely blacked out on the floor and started hitting the window furiously with her pistol. The window was strong, and Michelle was still weak from the chronic pain in her back, but she simply didn’t give up and after just a few furious hits from her gun the entire window shattered to bits.

She then rushed to Carlene’s aid and threw the Vampire out of the window.

Carlene plummeted to the ground. Normally her Vampire constitution would have enabled her to easily survive, but she was so weak now, Michelle wasn’t sure. Still she knew that Carlene had no chance in the castle.

Carlene broke her arm in the fall, but fortunately she had enough strength to survive, and within a matter of minutes the effects of the liquid began to wear off.

Her strength started to slowly return, her arm even began to heal and within another few minutes the Vampire was back on her feet again much to Michelle’s relief.

The Soldiers meanwhile, being too weak to crawl out themselves, and with no one wanting to help them, had all crumbled into nothing but ashes throughout the castle.

They had done it. The children were safe, but at a terrible cost. All of the police who had entered the castle had been killed except for Cushing and Michelle. At least a quarter of the entire police force had been killed by the Soldiers. Needless to say this didn’t exactly endear Carlene to the rest of the police, and things in the city would be even harder from this point on with a reduced force.

Michelle and Carlene’s relationship had improved slightly however. In spite of everything they had been through, Michelle still couldn’t exactly get over her hatred of Vampires just like that. Still at the very least Michelle wouldn’t violently attack Carlene every time she saw her from this point on.

Many of the children were left broken by the experience. Those who had been partially turned into monsters, were turned back into humans as the liquid burned all of the Demonic essence out of them.

Now however they could feel empathy and guilt again and in some cases, after what they had done it was enough to destroy them. Julia in particular would struggle with the memory of what she had done to her beloved pet for many years to come. It didn’t break her however.

Instead Julia became determined to find out who and what exactly were these creatures. The police had given an official cover story (though even then most of the people of Darrow knew better.) Still Julia didn’t buy it and much like Detective Cushing had done many years prior as a boy, Julia would soon devote herself to finding out as much as she could about the paranormal.

Carlene meanwhile though obviously sad at the huge loss of life in bringing down the Soldiers, did not regret taking them on. Not only had all of the children been rescued, but in tracking the monsters down Carlene had proven her theory of there being one Demon that ruled the streets of Darrow correct.

Now she just had to find out what it was.


© Copyright 2018 Joseph Wilson. All rights reserved.

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