The Arrival

The Arrival

A Chapter by North Dakota
"

The first steps of destiny are finally about to be taken, once this journey has begun, there will be no turning back for Mordecai.

"

A young man with fair, shoulder length blond hair stood on the front porch of an aged log cabin. A pair of thick, dark sunglasses blocked his sensitive eyes from the rays of the morning sun, while the heavy garb of a tundra traveler covered virtually every inch of his body. In his right hand he held a mug of instant coffee; he took periodical sips from the cup as he watched the morning sun rise over the frozen landscape.

‘How could something so dangerous...be so beautiful…?’ The man pondered as he gazed toward the glorious golden rays of the rising sun that were soon to be snuffed out by the overcast above. The lone sightseer diverted his attention from to sunrise to survey the area, sluggishly swiveling his head from the snowy trees that surrounded his home to the many scurrying woodland creatures that made this environment their home. The solitary man let out a sigh of relief and comfort. It was a wonderful feeling to be alone with one’s thoughts, but at the same time, to have company to comfort you. Most would say that these animals were simply not sufficient companions, but that was where the young man differed from others. With an extended, gloved finger, he allowed a willow ptarmigan to perch. The beautiful bird’s ivory body was nearly invisible against the backdrop of snow, save for its brown head and neck that sorely stuck out when compared to the rest of its complexion. He lightly caressed the top of the fowl’s head, relaxing the creature and gaining its trust.


The young man took a deep breath, then exhaled with a smile; just the sight of these lively little animals rejuvenated him. In his hand, he could feel how this creature was teeming with life, bursting at the proverbial seams with energy and ambition. It amazed him just to  think that even this small creature, one of the lowest forms of life, could hold the sparks and flames of mortality within it. If something as simple as a bird could hold such vivacity, most would have to wonder what kind of energy could be found within the most complex and incredible animal of all...the human.


The loner stared towards the snowy horizon for quite some time, until his peace was ruined by the blaring, ringing tone of his telephone. The cacophony caused his fowl friend to scurry away in a frightened panic, leaving him in a state of both disappointment and irritation. The young man sighed, then spun on his heels to intercept the ringing. With a short trot back into his home, he was able to track the racket back to the obnoxious device. With a bored expression, the man lowered his eye to the caller ID, as to get a clear idea of who wanted to interrupt his morning ritual, but oddly enough, it was a number he did not recognize.


With a small spark of interest, the man swiped the receiver off of the hook, then raised the device to his ear.

“Hello?” He spoke with uncertainty. After a few seconds of chatter on the other end, the log cabin’s only resident once again spoke. “I’ll be damned…” The man muttered in a tone that was a whirlwind of joy and disbelief. “I never thought I’d hear from you again...old friend.” A small tear welled in the man’s eye as he once again heard the voice of his long lost companion.


After a few minutes of chatting, with most of the talk being an unfortunately straight-forward and business related one--much to the young man’s disappointment--the solitary man nodded, then spoke.

“Alright, I’m going now, I’ll be there as soon as I can.” The loner lowered the phone to hang up, then quickly turned towards his bedroom to gather any supplies he would need for travel. He packed with a sense of urgency, but at the same time, took the time to reflect on each item he placed into his duffel bag. He had spent who knows how long in this cabin, and to suddenly pack up and leave it all behind? Why would one do that? What could his friend have possibly said to give him the ambition to relocate so suddenly? Let’s just say...it was time for his redemption.


Back in the US, Mordecai was still wandering about in his own dream world, but suddenly, his slumber turned most foul. Without his consent, his dream world began to twist and transmogrify until he was once again laying in his bed, with the moonlight illuminating a familiar, silhouetted figure. The hunter sat up slowly, then spoke.
“You, again?” The hunter questioned calmly. “What do you want?” The figure, much happier to be greeted in this manner instead of at gunpoint like last time, casually strolled about the room.

“I want you. You, my friend, play a very vital role in this ploy of mine.” The once-shadowy figure’s feature appeared to be much more noticeable than they were in the past. Mordecai could now see the definition of the man’s lengthy, scrawny body as it practically floated across the room, idly eyeing the decor of his dwelling. The mysterious figure’s long, white hair was tied into a ponytail that hung down to his mid-back, standing out against the flowing red robe that he clad himself in.

“I ain’t gonna do anything for you, so go ahead and forget about it.” Mordecai boldly rejected the man’s offer. The moment these words hit the figure’s ears, he swiftly spun around and gave Mordecai a malicious glare. The hunter noticed for the first time that the male’s eyes were not normal by any standards. The figure’s crimson eyes glowed with a hateful passion that Mordecai had only seen  once in his many days on this Earth.


This glare shook his resolve just a bit, causing him to release a nervous cough and scratch the back of his neck before regaining his composure. The hunter stood, hoping to regain his intimidation factor by standing eye level with this man.

“You will participate in this plan; whether you intend to or not is of no concern to me. The end result will be identical either way.” The shadow man spoke with a smug tone of condescension.


The act of being looked down on upon quickly sent the temperative hunter into a rage. With a beastly growl, Mordecai reached for his revolver on the bedside table, gripping it tightly in his hand then approaching the mysterious interloper.

“Listen up, freak, you’ve got five seconds to get outta my head before I put a hole in you.” The frustrated young man raised his firearm to the center of the older man’s forehead, then cocked the hammer. The figure chuckled, then roughly gripped the hunter’s arm. Before he could pull away, the mysterious figure gazed deep into his eyes, piercing his very soul and beyond.

“You are but a mere child playing an adult’s game. Your impatience, your rage, and your immaturity...all of these factors are what make you weak, Mordecai. Your brute strength...is this all you have? Is the simple fact that your muscles are larger than the average human what makes you a hero?”


Mordecai felt oddly transfixed, as if he were in a trance with no ability to defend himself. The man’s grip tightened once he realized that Mordecai would--or perhaps could not--pull away from him. The older man’s gaze never broke from the hunter, forcing him to stare deep into fiery abyss that was his eyes. “You were chosen by a higher power...You yourself are blessed, now you must show me what that means! Show me what it means to be a true hero, Mordecai!” It felt as if the hunter was standing on a raft in the middle of the ocean, and with each spoken word, a small piece of his raft broke away; he was losing control of himself with every passing second.

“You...You…” Mordecai mumbled, attempting to craft an intelligible sentence, but horribly failing. The older man smirked, knowing that he had completely broken through the hunter’s mental defenses.


Mordecai was standing on the final pieces of his raft, drastically attempting to save himself. With one final glare, the man sent Mordecai’s raft splintering in all directions, plummeting the hunter into the ocean that was submission. Once the hunter had been completely disarmed, the man spoke again.

“You are weak...Mentally in all aspects, and weak in your ability to learn from others. Let this be a lesson in humility for you, boy.” With a forceful palm punch to the hunter’s chest, the figure knocked the hypnotized man to both the floor and his senses.

“W-What did you do to me?” Mordecai questioned as he tried to stand, but a feeling of nausea and dizziness pinned him to the floor.

“You will face many difficult trials, Mordecai. Much more rigorous than this test I have administered to you. I expect great things from you, hunter, and I dearly hope you don’t disappoint me...especially for your friends’ sakes.” Those words rung out in Mordecai’s head.

“My friends…? What do you mean?!” The hunter struggled to his feet. The older man turned to the rising boy, his eyes going wide once he had noticed that he’d already mildly recovered from the mental attack.

“Your friends, Mordecai. Aren’t they what drive you? They need you to protect them, if you don’t, who will?” The older man spoke with a wicked smile that made each of his individual, pearly teeth glisten in the equally pale moonlight.


“Don’t...Don’t talk about them! You leave them out of this!” Mordecai angrily ordered as he once again approached the antagonistic man.

“Why? Are you scared of what might happen to them?” Mordecai, with a bellowing shout, threw the hardest punch he could manage towards the figure, but the sloppy strike was easily dodged. “Are you afraid of something, Mordecai?” The older man had slithered behind the hunter, whispering in his ear. Mordecai planted one hand on the ground, then spun his body around in a corkscrew motion to throw a kick with his right leg, but the older man easily caught it, and the hunter was flipped onto his back.

“Perhaps you are afraid of being alone…?” Mordecai angrily kipped up, then attempted to elbow the man square in the face, but this attack also failed to find its target. Mordecai’s disorientation was obviously not lending him any support in this battle.

“Shut up! You don’t know anything about me!” Mordecai viciously shouted, then scouted the room for the location of his enemy.


“Oh, that’s where you are wrong, hunter. I know quite a bit about you…” Mordecai searched all around for his adversary, but simply could not locate him until he decided to follow the sound of his voice. With a slow pander, Mordecai raised his eyes to the ceiling to see the older man clinging to the ceiling with his hands and feet deeply dug into the roof as if he were a spider. With a disgusted groan, Mordecai spoke.
“What...are you?”

“What am I?” The older man asked before dropping to the floor directly in front of the hunter. “I am a being that needs your assistance, Mordecai. And I will, in the end, get your assistance, no matter the cost.”

“I don’t know who you are...or even what the hell you are...but I do know that if I see you, we’re not gonna have another situation like this after we meet.” From the ground, the hunter quickly snatched his revolver and aimed the barrel down the center of the older male’s eyes.

“Now, get outta my dream.” The hunter fired, piercing the interloper’s skull with his silver bullet. The older man staggered back a bit, then spoke.

“This will not be the last time we meet, Mordecai...but know this…” The man’s body began to swirl in shadow as the darkness began to engulf him. “Next time we meet…” All but the man’s head had been absorbed into the shadow;  Mordecai could only see one of his eyes, and his gruesome grin. “One of us will die…”


Mordecai bolted upright, shaking himself out of his sleep. He wiped away the cold sweat that had accumulated on his brow, then stared toward the window. For obvious reasons, something about the bright, morning sunlight sent a wave of calm through his body. This warmth allowed him to slow his breathing and heart rate back to their normal paces. With a lazy glance, he noticed the time on his digital alarm clock.

“3:50? Why did nobody wake me up?” Mordecai pondered, slightly anxious. With a sense of haste, Mordecai got himself dressed in his usual hunting attire and gear. “Newman’s gonna be sooo pissed…” Mordecai complained to himself as he already imagined the lecture he would receive from his boss about being lazy.


Mordecai--deciding it was best to check in with Newman first--had the optimistic notion in his mind that perhaps his boss hadn’t noticed his absence yet. With a couple of casual knocks to Newman’s office door, Mordecai waited for a response.
“Come in.” The hunter obliged, then strolled into the office, masking himself with a normal facade.

“‘Sup, Newman.” The young man awkwardly greeted his boss.

‘What the hell was that? ‘Sup? When have you ever said “‘sup” to him?’ Mordecai internally kicked himself as he attempted to not give himself away.

“Um, ‘sup to you as well.” Newman hesitantly responded, then flipped through his papers.
“Uh, so, what’s on the agenda today?” Mordecai stretched himself out in the chair across from his boss’ desk.

“Well, we have a bit of an odd target today.” Newman spoke with a contorted look of confusion stretched across his face as he browsed over the mission statistics.

“Whaddya mean odd?” Mordecai, now feeling secure about his tardiness, inquired as he leaned forward.

“Well, as per usual, one of our squads has found, targeted, and attempted to eliminate a vampire.”

“Yeah--wait, what do you mean ‘attempted’? Did they not get him?”
“Unfortunately, no, and that is why we’ll be sending you after him. But that is not the odd part. The odd part is that...while we did encounter and attack the enemy, the enemy has, as they have written in the reports, ‘not retaliated, leaving no injuries or any sort of collateral damage.’ ” Newman raised an eyebrow as he spoke. The hunter’s boss then placed the papers back onto the desk and directly addressed Mordecai. “Your mission is to find and hunt said vampire, just like any other target.” Mordecai shrugged and stood.

“Hey, if he’s not fightin’ back, this’ll just be that much easier!” Mordecai retrieved his revolver and began loading it. “Where am I goin’, anyway?” Mordecai inquired without removing his eyes from the weapon.

“Henderson, Nevada.”

“Sweet! Vegas state!”

“No gambling, Mordecai. Especially not with company money.” Newman admonished the hunter, who simply replied with an exaggerated groan and sigh.

“But, Newman!” Mordecai groaned, throwing his head back like a petulant child. “It’s just a little gambling! And what if I win?”

“Mordecai, you spent $57,000 at Atlantic City last year.”
“That was bullshit! Those cards were marked and he knew it!”

“May I remind you that $5,000 of that was money for a local policeman to turn a blind eye to your assault charges?” Mordecai had no response to that last remark. He simply shut his mouth and bowed out, turning to make his exit. “Oh, and Mordecai? Please at least attempt to be up at 8:30, like everybody else in the compound, from now on.” Mordecai inwardly cursed as he’d now lost twice in a row in his social battle with his boss.


Mordecai’s cab came to a rest under the illumination of a neon hotel sign.

‘Okay, it took a plane, a bus, a cab, and paying that homeless guy for directions, but by God, I’m finally here.’ Mordecai thought, satisfied that he had been able to traverse his way to his destination. ‘Now...where is the target?’ Mordecai questioned, just realizing that he had no idea where to actually go. The hunter began walking down the streets, searching all about for any signs of odd activity.


It had been two hours, Mordecai’s feet hurt, it was hot, and he was incredibly frustrated with his mission.

“Oh my god, if I don’t find him in the next five minutes, I’m becoming a Buddhist and leaving this all behind.” Suddenly, from behind him, a man in a trench coat approached the hunter. Mordecai’s hopes were sky bound, could he possibly be this lucky? For the target to just reveal himself?

“Hey, man…” The hunter turned, hoping to find some good news. The trench coated figure looked all around before leaning in and whispering. Mordecai leaned in as well. “You wanna buy some crack?” Mordecai furiously grinded his teeth together for a moment before angrily picking the smaller man up and pinning his back against the wall.

“I swear to God! I am hot, irritated, running on nothing but fumes at this point, and I’m about to release three hours of rage on you if you can’t f*****g help me!” Mordecai roughly shook the man until he became incredibly nauseated.


The hunter’s unhealthily deflected anger was causing quite a scene, enough of a scene for yet another trench coated figure to approach. Mordecai noticed his approach and preemptively spoke.

“Look, if you’re gonna try to sell me heroine, I’m gonna put a bullet in your foot.”
“Actually, I was gonna tell you to go see a counselor.” As the new stranger spoke, Mordecai couldn’t help but notice that his teeth seemed unnaturally sharp, and oddly white for somebody living in these parts of town.

“Hang on a sec…” Mordecai dropped the drug dealer, allowing him to scurry off to sell crack another day. The hunter approached the man, then zipped open the ammo pouch behind his back.

“Yeah, buddy, I know Jimmy isn’t a great guy and all, but he’s just a little down on his luck. I mean, sellin’ crack isn’t exactly a great profession, but hey! I think he’s going to school to become a nutritionist.” While the man blabbed about his friend’s future financial plans, Mordecai nodded and discreetly placed one of the silver bullets into his hand before slowly zipping the pouch back up. “In my opinion, nutritionist isn’t a real career, but hey, it’s what he wants. I mean, his dad probably wanted him to join construction, but he was all like ‘I’m not gonna follow in your footsteps, dad!’ Yeah, he’s got some father issues, I guess.” Mordecai had all but drowned out this man’s chattering as he prepared his plan. “Maybe he should--buddy, you’re gettin’ a bit too close for comfort.” Mordecai tossed the silver bullet forward, making sure to hit the man’s left cheek. The skin burned upon impact, confirming that this was no ordinary civilian.

“Ha! Knew it! Vampire!” Mordecai excitedly declared, then equipped his revolver.


Just as the hunter raised and aimed his weapon, the vampire quickly caught on and kicked the gun away, disarming Mordecai. The trench coated vampire quickly sprang forward, delivering a swift roundhouse kick to the hunter’s gut. As Mordecai doubled over, he gripped the monster’s foot, and swung him into a mailbox, leaving a human sized dent in the metal postal container. The hunter didn’t stop there, he quickly pounced upon the creature and began delivering a rain of heavy blows onto the vampire, who appeared to be grinning after each strike.

“You know…”--a punch--”You should probably tape that thing to your hand”--another punch--”It’s pretty easy to lose, isn’t it?” Mordecai delivered another punch before shouting.

“Oh my God, do you ever shut the f**k up!?” The hunter grabbed the Vampire by his collar, then lifted him from the metal dent and tossed him into the road. The vampire stood and dusted himself off, still smiling with a friendly air about him.

“Fun fact, Clinton is the most common Postal Office name.” The vampire spoke just before Mordecai tackled him onto the ground once more.

“Seriously!? What is wrong with you!? Stop being so happy! I’m trying to kill you!” Mordecai shouted indignantly. This was certainly not the night to toy with him.


A car began speeding down the road that the two currently grappled in.

“Sorry about this, but, I’m not too keen on dying today!” The friendly vampire spoke, then grabbed Mordecai by the shoulders. The vampire retracted his legs like a spring, placed them on Mordecai’s stomach, then launched the hunter towards the oncoming SUV, sending him careening through the windshield, utterly terrifying the driver. The vampire rolled out of the way of the still speeding vehicle, stood, and gathered his composure on the sidewalk.


Back on the road, Mordecai pulled himself into the passenger seat.

“Who the hell are you!?” The driver shouted. Mordecai turned and gave her a menacing glare.

“I’d suggest a little more sympathy for the guy who you just hit with your car. Now turn us around!” Mordecai ordered the woman to turn the car and go back towards his target.


The vampire now casually strolled down the street, idly noticing the dent in the mail box that he had created.

“Doesn’t look a thing like me…” The creature commented on the shape of the damage. Just as the creature began to ponder what late night activities he could indulge himself in, the sound of a roaring engine began approaching. Mordecai, from the passenger seat, was giving orders.

“Hit him.”

“But, I can’t--”

“Hit him now or I throw the car at him.” The lady, wanting to keep her car, nodded and reluctantly followed orders. Merely seconds before the vehicle struck him, the vampire hand sprung onto the hood, all the while, giving a smile bright enough to light up a room. Mordecai sighed, and turned to address the woman.

“Keep driving. I’m gonna go handle this.” He said, then climbed through the hole he had made in the windshield.


The two stood on the hood of the speeding vehicle, both standing stout in fighting stances. Mordecai threw the first punch, missing the dodging vampire by mere centimeters. The monster retaliated by grabbing the arm of his assailant and slamming him onto the hood of the car, caving in the ceiling over the back seats and part of the passenger seat. The vampire then struck with a swift blow to Mordecai’s gut, denting the roof even further with the powerful hit. The hunter wrapped his legs around the extended arm of the vampire, trapping him like an anaconda. Mordecai then attacked with several well-placed blows to the throat, gut and chin of the creature. As the two battled, the woman did her best to keep from panicking as she continued down the street.


The vampire struggled, but successfully pulled himself away from the hunter and put what distance he could between them. Mordecai recovered to a crouching position, and then, using his hand to stabilize himself, attempted to swing a kick to the vampire’s face; it was barely caught, but barely was all the creature needed. The vampire sweeped Mordecai’s other leg out from under him, sending him ungracefully back onto the roof of the car.

“Ugh! I’m getting my a*s kicked twice in one day!” Mordecai frustratedly shouted, then noticed that the car was speeding underneath a very low hanging, but sturdy tree branch. The hunter retracted his leg, then kicked the vampire off of the car, sending him forward into the tree branch with enough force that when he hit it, he then bounced right back onto the hood of the car.


Mordecai rolled out of the way of the descending vampire, then retreated to the trunk of the car, getting as much space as possible between them. Just as the groggy vampire began to stand, he noticed that the hunter was sprinting--if one could call it that--down the length of the car. Abruptly, the hunter jumped into the air with both legs raised. Mordecai drop kicked both himself and the creature off of the car, sending them towards the asphalt below. Mordecai stood on top of the vampire as his back skidded along the road, causing him great pain as both his velocity and Mordecai’s weight pinned him to the road. After skidding for about twenty yards, the hunter and monster finally came to a stop. Mordecai dismounted, giving the vampire a little kick as he did so. The creature’s happy-go-lucky attitude was nowhere to be found, actually, it was probably to be found back in that tree. Mordecai walked away, leaving the vampire to lay in the road, silent, beaten, and speechless. For several minutes, it simply stared up at the stars, no sound being made, at least, until Mordecai reappeared, revolver in hand. He stood over the vampire, took aim towards his chest, then fired seven times in a row, feeling just a little bit too satisfied as he did it.

With a relieved sigh, Mordecai began to walk away from the scene. Just as he had walked about a mile down the road, a familiar voice began the cacophony it called speaking.

“Another fun fact, bulletproof vests are a lifesaver!” Mordecai turned to see the once-thought deceased vampire standing once again and revealing that each bullet had been stopped by the kevlar vest. Mordecai raised the revolver to fire, but found that he was out of bullets.

“I hate you. I hate you with all of my hate.” Mordecai exasperatedly spoke.

“Well, it’s been a swell time, friend. By the way, name’s Bocco, if you were interested.” The monster jovially informed the less than entertained hunter.

“I really wasn’t.” Mordecai retorted as he watched his target quickly take off into the night. The click of his trigger triggered the feeling of defeat in Mordecai as he acknowledged that he had been tricked.


The hunter sat there for a moment, speechless. He released a furious bellow, then kicked yet another nearby mailbox, putting an enormous dent in this postal container as well. The young man mumbled countless obscenities and curses before coming to an even more shocking realization.

“Oh, God...I’m gonna have to tell Newman about this…” Mordecai exasperatedly sighed, the feelings of humiliation, irritation, and exhaustion all swirling within him.


Mordecai, after a long, long travel home full of reflecting on the ridiculous circumstances of his defeat, was just a bit irritated. Actually, irritated didn’t even begin to describe how he felt as he stumbled up the stairs to the second floor to give his mission report to Newman. The hunter knocked on the door, requesting permission to enter. After a silence that was a bit longer than usual, he heard a response.

“Come in.” The voice was not one that he had ever heard before. Mordecai quickly flung open the door, with revolver in hand, only to be greeted by the scene of Newman sitting behind his desk, a man with blond hair clad in a parka standing before him, and two armed guards with assault rifles trained on the stranger.

“Uh...what’s goin’ on here?” Mordecai questioned. The stranger turned, politely extended his hand, and spoke his greeting.

“Hello, my name...is Alexander.”





© 2016 North Dakota



Author's Note

North Dakota
So, I'm back. The main issue I'd like to address is that I would like to take more time editing these chapters so they come out less sloppy than they have in the past. I don't exactly know when I'll be able to upload or if I'll be able to have a proper schedule, but I would just tell you to check in every once in a while for the new chapter. As always, thank you for reading, and feel free to comment!

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Added on June 19, 2016
Last Updated on June 19, 2016


Author

North Dakota
North Dakota

VA



About
I'm an amateur author who enjoys writing more than anything. I hope to improve my writing style and etiquette through the criticism of others. So, any review or criticism would be greatly appreciated,.. more..

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