Crashing Down

Crashing Down

A Chapter by North Dakota
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Mordecai's new guest drops quite a bit of startling information...

"

“Hello, my name...is Alexander.” The heavily clothed stranger spoke. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” The newcomer extended his arm for a handshake. “Mordecai, I presume?” The hunter was taken aback by the statement.

“How do you know my name?” Mordecai cautiously shook the man’s hand as he spoke. “And who are you?” The hunter cluelessly questioned. Just over Alexander’s shoulder, Mordecai could see Newman’s visible uncomfortability.

“Um, Mordecai…” Newman cleared his throat, paused for a moment, then continued. “This is Alexander.”

“Yeah, thanks, boss, I picked that up already.” The hunter sarcastically retorted as he eyed the stranger up and down, stopping his gaze on the man’s sunglasses. “Any particular reason you’re wearin’ those at night?” Just below the glasses, a large grin stretched across the young man’s face.

“Actually, yes.”

“Erm, Alexander!” Newman attempted to stop the stranger, but it was a fruitless effort. The blond-haired man removed the dark shades, revealing a pair of crimson, dimly shining eyes. It only took a mere few seconds before the pieces of the puzzle fell together in Mordecai’s mind.


“Mordecai, wait!” Newman shouted, but his exclamations were not enough to stop the hunter from drawing his weapon.

“He’s a vampire!” The hunter hastily informed the rest of the--already aware--party. “How’d you get in here!?” Mordecai interrogated Alexander at gunpoint.

“Mordecai! Stand down!” Newman slammed his fist onto the table for emphasis, startling not only Mordecai, but Alexander as well. The hunter had never heard his boss sound so stern before. Even so, he refused to lower his pistol. “He is no threat to us!” Newman pleaded with the berserk hunter.

“Since when we did we make peace with monsters?” Mordecai spat the words toward his employer, but more specifically in the face of Alexander.

“I swear to you, I mean to help.” The targeted vampire said in an attempt to defuse the hostile situation.

“And how do you plan on doing that?” The hunter impatiently inquired whilst keeping his arm steadily aimed. Newman  interrupted the two by clearing his throat.

“That’s just the thing…” The elderly man’s gruff voice once again weighed in on the conversation. “He refused to speak until you arrived. We’ve been here for nearly an hour, waiting for you.” This revelation slightly confused Mordecai.

“What’s so important that you’d wait to tell me?” The hunter questioned, not even remotely attempting to hide his suspicion.


For the first time since he had arrived, Alexander’s face donned a grim expression. The vampire’s hands anxiously balled into fists as attempted to prepare himself. He was not sure if what he had been told even made sense to him, so how could he explain it to a stranger?

“I...I hold information that could save the lives of millions…” The moment the words left his lips, several audible gasps echoed throughout the room. This put Mordecai more on edge than when the vampire had even gotten there.

“How would you know something like that? Talk now and talk quickly.” The hunter soberly ordered.

“Mordecai, before I try to explain, there’s something you must know about me.” Alexander gulped, suddenly, it seemed much harder to breathe.

“And what would that be, monster?” Mordecai emphasized the insult.

“Before you understand why I want to help you, I must tell you how I differ from the other vampires you’ve met…”


Alexander proceeded to give the room a summarized version of the tale of his life.

“So...you’re…” Mordecai lowered both his guard and his weapon.

“Yes, I am one of the first vampires ever created.” The recollection of his story had brought great pain upon Alexander, causing a tight pain to form in his chest, but he ignored it and continued on. “I’ve wandered this Earth for nearly half a millennium, Mordecai.” Alexander seemed to now be talking directly to the hunter instead of the entirety of the room. “I’ve seen many things...war, poverty, hate, and greed…but nothing compares to what may happen in the near future.” The room had gone into a hushed, shocked silence. Newman and the guards had simply shifted into spectator positions as Mordecai and Alexander were the only men in the room who could summon up the will to speak.

“Vampire, what’s coming? What’s so dangerous that you’d risk your own life by coming to the hornet’s nest?” Alexander noticed how Mordecai had addressed him as “vampire.”

“Mordecai, my brothers are what’s coming.”


“But...it’s been four hundred years! Why now? Why would they choose to attack now?” Mordecai harshly questioned, the indignance rising in his tone. The hunter didn’t want to believe--no, he refused to believe it. Vampires were one things, but demons and world destruction? This was a step above anything the hunter had ever experienced.  

“You see…they aren’t attacking…”  A far-away and dreary expression was plastered to the vampire’s face as he spoke. “My brother and I...we have watched the fire rage on from a distance for far too long, simply spectating as the raging inferno increased in size and velocity. For many years we had hoped that the situation would either snuff itself out or that it would be of no harm to this world; however, we have discovered that if we do not intervene, we will become the audience to oblivion.” Alexander’s words traveled generations, taking no particular accent or dialect as they flowed forth. In just a moment, the melancholy in the vampire’s crimson eyes quickly flicked to raging passion as he once again locked eyes with the hunter, and then to the silent peanut gallery behind him. “Gentlemen, I have witnessed too many things on this Earth...too many cold and rainy nights...too many wars...too many deaths...I have witnessed more than any human being deserves to. I hold the gift of immortality, but it is truly a curse.” The vampire took a few small steps towards Mordecai, causing him to instinctively raise his guard for a moment.

“What are you even talking about at this point?” The hunter questioned in a vain attempt to string together all the loose bits of information he had received.

“Mordecai, my point is that I may be a monster, but what little bit of human I have left in me is forcing me to help you. I know the weight of a human life, and I have seen how even an individual death is enough to shatter one’s entire world.” Painful memories of a shallow grave arose within Alexander’s breast. “My brothers...they plan to resurrect the demon, and if they are successful, no force on this Earth will be able to stop it. And I don’t know if any will survive.”


“Nosferatu? But, didn’t you tell us he had perished long ago?” Newman, finally breaking his state of shocked awe, spoke. The vampire spun on his heels to address the current speaker.

“Yes, but only his physical form was extinguished; his spirit lives on in the underworld. Long ago, my brother surpassed the power that Nosferatu possessed, but that task alone took him a significantly longer time. The power that the demon gained in four months, took him three hundred years of slaughtering and devouring.” Newman quickly called for the guard to bring him a blank file to write this critical information down.

“And what the hell are we supposed to do about that?” Mordecai brashly questioned as he walked around to Newman’s desk. “You just said he was stronger than Nosferatu ever was...so what do you expect us to do?” The hunter switched his attention from the file to the vampire.

“It is not what I expect them to do, it is what I expect you to do, Mordecai.” Mordecai raised an accusing eyebrow.

“Me?”

“Yes, I believe you are the one who I was fated to meet. The man who will save this Earth.”

“Why me? I don’t quite think I’m cut out for killing all-powerful demons, vampire.” That nickname slightly irritated Alexander, but he ignored it for now. “And why not bring this up with one of the other citadels? I’m sure the Iron Cross could handle this as well.”  

“Mordecai! Listen to me!” The vampire demanded his attention. “This is not a joking matter! I have came to you for several reasons, reasons which I cannot explain at the moment, but if you are going to be the one to save this world, you must heed my words!” Alexander accidentally revealed a bit more frustration than he meant to in that sentence.

“Alright, fine!” Mordecai slammed his hand down onto the desk. “Do you have a plan? Or are you just gonna keep f*****g ordering me around!?” The hunter’s famed temper was beginning to rise.


“I...I do, in fact.” Alexander’s rage had already cooled, but Mordecai’s was only heating up.

“Oh yeah? What is it?” The hunter impatiently interrogated.

“My brothers...they have grown too far from human, there is no negotiating peace with them; they crave chaos. That same chaos that they reveled in long ago.” Just the memories of those feelings of insanity and blood lust were enough to cause Alexander’s spine to shiver.“ The only way to save my family...is to kill them. To return them to what they once were.” That final, downtrodden statement was enough to quell the hunter’s anger.

“You’d...you’d really do that...to save us humans?” Mordecai’s confusion was painfully apparent. “Why? They’re not only your kind, they’re your brothers...what would make you choose us over them?” The hunter hoped to finally get the answer that would reveal the vampire’s motive. Alexander stalled for a moment, then spoke in a hushed whisper.

“Mordecai, I cannot completely explain, but I just want you to know...I was once human, as well. I would elaborate further, but there is no time for that now. We must begin gathering intelligence before it is too late.” Alexander turned and spoke to Newman, who was already writing as fast as his old, thick hand could muster. Though it was only for a flicker of a second, Mordecai noticed the expression of pain that crossed the vampire’s face as he spoke of his long lost humanity.


“Right, we’re already on it. Smith, take this file down to the central office and have every member of the compound briefed on it. We will code name these new targets as ‘The Lords.’ ” The old man handed the guard to his left the plain, white folder. Smith nodded, saluted, then dashed out of the office and down the stairs. “Alright, Alexander.” Newman hooked the vampire’s attention. “We will need you to tell us your plan--”

“And why we should even trust you.” The hunter interrupted his boss.

“Mordecai!” Newman admonished his employee; fortunately, it was enough to deter the hunter from continuing his speech

“Mordecai, your suspicion is valid, but you must believe me. I want to save this world and the people within it just as much as you do.” Alexander beseeched the hostile hunter to hear him out.

“Alexander, what do you suppose we do?” Newman inquired.

“My brother and I--”

“Who we also shouldn’t trust.” Mordecai snappily interjected.

“I promise you, he means you no harm either, Mordecai.” The hunter’s rolling eyes were enough confirmation for the vampire to continue his explanation. “We have been tracking the movement of ‘The Lords’, as you call them, for quite some time, and we have finally pinpointed one of them. They have done well in the past few centuries of hiding themselves from the public eye, but recently, my brother contacted me and informed me of Horatio’s whereabouts.”

“Horatio? The sadistic one?” Mordecai’s inquiry upset Alexander, stimulating a foul scowl from the vampire.

“Yes, and I will beg you to refrain from using such derogatory labels.” Alexander composed himself, allowing his momentarily angry face to shift back into its stoic expression. “Unlike the other two, Horatio has let his flamboyant nature get the better of him, and the fool has inadvertently stuck his neck out.” From his back pocket, Alexander retrieved a folded newspaper headline. He tossed the scrap of paper onto Newman’s desk. “My brother mailed it to me. Say what you will, but he certainly has his connections.”


Newman took the paper in his thick, calloused hands, making the paper look even more petite than it actually was. The headline read: ‘Downtown nightclub is booming success!’

“A nightclub?” Mordecai questioned with genuine surprise.

“Yes, unfortunately he has taken an interest in three things: Music, parties...and women.” That last item slightly disgusted Alexander, who preferred not to relive the memories of what he had witnessed his brother do to his victims. Newman continued to read the article which read as the following:


New nightclub, Lamia, has recently generated an insurmountable amount of business. The sole owner, Leon Duval has recently risen up in the entrepreneurship ranks, sparing no expense in the furnishings, music, or wide variety of alcohol within this palace of a club. Many are even considering putting this once-unknown, run-down building into a state attraction!’


The article continued on for a bit longer, but Newman skimmed the rest.

“So, a vampire running a Californian night club? Well, you certainly have an interesting mission for us.” Newman said, not entirely sure how to feel about the situation.
“I thought his name was Horatio?” Mordecai’s cluelessness never failed.

“He probably changes his name to keep out of suspicion. Hell, I’ve had plenty of them.” Alexander reminisced on his days as “George the contractor from Georgia.”

“Okay, so we’ve got a target, a location, and a mission, what am I waiting for?” Mordecai cockily spoke.

“Wait, Mordecai, you must understand that this is no standard target.”

“Yeah, he’s your family and all that.” Mordecai waved him off as he began his exit.

“No!” Alexander dashed in front of the hunter, blocking his path. “Listen to me!” Newman was quite frankly amazed at how fast Alexander had been able to move, it was fast, even for a vampire’s standards. “You understand that my kind gains power through the drinking of blood, correct?”

“Yeah, what of it?”

“Well, along with hundreds of years of gorging himself on victims, Horatio has the power of the demon himself.” Mordecai’s eyes widened in surprise.

“What do you mean?”

“Think of it like this: Nosferatu’s power was given to each of us, meaning we had one sixth of his power. Any vampire we have created would have a twelfth of his power and so on.”

“So? Where are you going with this?”

“Well...Just as an estimation, I assume the strongest vampire you have ever faced would be of the much later generation, implying they had a very diluted version of the demon’s power. Meaning that you have literally never faced a challenge like this before.” Alexander warned the lax hunter.

“If you want to survive, you will heed my words here and now. Now listen, here’s the plan…”


Mordecai stood under the blindingly bright light of Lamia’s neon sign, listening to the faint echo of the blaring music from inside the club. The vibrancy of the neon made Mordecai thankful for the sunglasses Newman had given him earlier that day. Mordecai took a long draw of his cigarette, then sighed; he hated lines. After about a twenty minute wait, Mordecai finally reached the front of the line, where he was stopped by a thuggish bouncer.

“Yo, hold up.” The broad man clad in all black stopped the hunter just before he reached the door. The guard placed a meaty hand on Mordecai’s shoulder in an attempt to anchor him.

“What?” Mordecai curtly questioned.

“Somethin’ about you...I don’t like it.” The bouncer eyed him up and down, shaking his head the entire time.

“Yeah, and I can say the same for you.” Mordecai brushed off his hand and continued towards the door.
“Hey! I said, you ain’t gettin’ in!” The brute hollered, then briskly caught up to the hunter. The bouncer once again roughly gripped Mordecai, but this time, the hunter delivered a swift punch to his gut, causing him to double over then kneel on the ground.

“You mind if I go in now?” The hunter faked an air of politeness towards the assaulted guard, who weakly nodded as an answer. “Thanks, chief.” Mordecai smiled, then entered, giving the doorman a nod as he entered.


The moment the hunter entered the club, his eardrums were assaulted by high volume, trashy, lyricless rave music. Though the music wasn’t exactly to his taste, he did have to admit, the club had an interesting design. The entire building seemed to be shaped like an old, Victorian manor, only decked out with modern day technologies and decor. In the center, and most of the entire first level was the dance floor, which was signified by the red and black tiling that stood out against the rest of the room. The tiles were set in a large circle that surrounded the DJ’s booth. On the far right wall were rows of booths and tables which were about halfway filled with mingling guests. Past the DJ booth, at the far end were two stone staircases which led to the second floor. The second floor wrapped around in somewhat of a square shape with a horizontal walkway in the center to provide quicker access to the other side. It was an odd fusion, combining ancient architecture with modern advances, and even though he found it odd, the hunter found himself getting excited. In the far left corner Mordecai spotted the most important landmark of all, the bar.


Mordecai weaved, slipped and even at one point, danced his way through the raving crowd to get to the brightly lit bar. The hunter took a seat on the center stool directly in front of the tank top wearing bartender.

“What’ll it be?” She spoke in a very disinterested tone as she rested her head on her hand. Mordecai instantly produced dozens of smart a*s comments and retorts, but decided to keep them to himself in order to actually receive his drink instead of having it thrown in his face.

“Gimme a White Russian.” Mordecai ordered, then took a surveillance of the room. He noticed nothing out of the ordinary; not really what he expected from vampire’s night club. Though he didn’t know what he was expecting, maybe blood fountains or virgin sacrifices? To be honest, Mordecai had never really thought about what vampires did in their off time.


After a short interval, the unenthusiastic lady came back with Mordecai’s drink in hand.

“That’ll be $10.” Mordecai grimaced, then retrieved his wallet. With a grin, he removed the sleek company credit card he had been issued, then handed it to the younger girl.

“Do you want to open a tab, or just run it?” The hunter took a moment to think about it, then spoke.

“Open a tab, I may be here for a while.” The hunter put out his cigarette in one of the stray ash trays that littered the bar, then grabbed his drink. Mordecai crossed one leg over the other, leaned back and began sipping his cocktail. After a few moments of relaxation, a sudden voice startled Mordecai, forcing him to inadvertently spit some of his drink onto his pants leg.

“Mordecai! Are you drinking!?” Newman’s stern voice came loud and clear to Mordecai, but he had no idea from where.

“Uh…” Mordecai placed his hand over the White Russian. “No?” The older man sighed, then pinched the bridge of his nose in irritation.

“May I remind you that you are on an incredibly important mission? And here I find you, drinking like a College student on Spring Break.” Mordecai was quite honestly thrown off his guard. He had checked all around him, under his chair and even over the bar, but he could find no sign of Newman.
“Um, with all due respect, where the hell are you?” The hunter questioned.

“The glasses, Mordecai.” Alexander exasperatedly pointed it out to him. “There’s a small camera and microphone in them.”


“Huh…” Mordecai checked his perimeter to assure that nobody could see him talking to himself. Thankfully, the bartender had gone to the bathroom just a few moments after serving him.

“Did you perhaps think of, oh, I don’t know, telling me any of this?”

“If we did, you would have left them in the car.” Newman dryly stated.

“Alright, fair point.” Mordecai retorted, then lifted his drink.

“For the love of God...stop drinking! For once, be professional, Mordecai. This mission is bigger than any you’ve ever faced before.”

“Exactly, and I’m drinking to calm my nerves. I’m a bad shot when I’m nervous.” Newman scoffed.

“You sure do get ‘nervous’ a lot.”

“I’m afraid even a perfect aim won’t be enough to stop Horatio.” Alexander mumbled under his breath just loud enough so that the hunter could hear.

“What are you talking about?” Mordecai questioned with an unnecessary amount of hostility in his voice.

“Hopefully, things will go well enough that you won’t need to find out what I mean.” Mordecai rolled his eyes, then topped off his cocktail. The hunter stood from the stool and once again began navigating his way through the sea of people.


“Alright, vampire, what should I be looking for?” Mordecai covertly spoke into the microphone, which he had discovered was placed along the right temple of his glasses. Alexander was seriously beginning to despise that nickname, but he ignored his indignance for the sake of the mission.

“You should be looking for Horatio, once you find him, if all goes well, you’ll be able to get some vital information from him.” Mordecai threaded the needle between two dancing couples to finally break the threshold of the dance crowd.

“I knew that. I meant, what does he look like, scars, tattoos, clothes? I need a description.”

“Oh, well…” Alexander attempted to recollect the distinguishing features of Horatio. “If I recall correctly, he had long blond hair, he dressed in the loudest, gaudiest clothing imaginable, and he loved the spotlight. You might even describe it as flamboyancy.”

“So I’m looking for a circus clown who drinks the blood of the innocent?” Mordecai mocked the description with a sly smirk.


The pause in communications was enough for Mordecai to tell that his retort had irritated Alexander.

“Just shut up and go upstairs. You need to search every inch of this place.” Alexander’s sharp voice buzzed through the glasses’ little receiver.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m on it.” Mordecai replied as he bounded up the stairs two at a time. The hunter stepped onto the second floor, where he could feel the vibrations from the music resonate through the wood floor and into his feet. In several different spots there were rooms along the wall, many of them having brawny guards standing watch out front.

“Do you see him anywhere?” Alexander inquired.

“You seem to forget that we see the same thing.” Mordecai mocked  as he made his way across the walkway and onto the other side of the second floor. He looked over the railing, gazing at a virtual sea of kinetic bodies. “I don’t even know how I’d see him if he was here. I couldn’t frickin’ recognize my own dad in this crowd.” Mordecai checked side to side up until he crossed over, where he was blindsided by a flash of pink lights. “The hel--” Mordecai cut himself off once he realized the origin of the flashing.


On an elevated stage with about a dozen men sitting all around her, was a busty woman dancing on a pole. Mordecai let out an anxious cough, then fixed his tie as he approached the stage.

“Mordecai, what...the hell are you doing?” Newman deadpanned.

“N-Nothing! Checking to see if he’s here.” Mordecai quickly swiveled his head left to right, studying the faces of each reclining man.

“Nope...not...here.” Mordecai commented, slowly, without honestly meaning to, turned his head back towards the captivating stripper. After a few moments of awkward silence on the communication line, a voice so loud it nearly busted his eardrum erupted from the other side.

“Are you in a strip club?!” Rose’s overbearing voice shrieked so loudly that it was nearly audible to all around Mordecai.
“N-No! I’m on a mission!”

“Psh, whatever.” Rose ignored his excuse. “When you get back, we’re having a talk about your ‘missions.’ “ Mordecai’s swiftly exited the stripper’s vicinity, face flushed red, along with an aching ear.


After Mordecai was sure she was gone, he began to speak again as he continued down the hall.

“Why did you bring her in there?” Mordecai indignantly demanded to know.

“We didn’t, she was bringing us dinner.” Newman spoke through a mouth half-full of food.”It’s late, you know.” Mordecai rolled his eyes as he checked one of the unguarded rooms, only to find that it was a simple bathroom.

“Wait. Us? He’s eating too?”
“Yes, it’s pretty delicious, as well.” Alexander replied, half of a roll stuffed into his gob. “You really need to appreciate that girlfriend of yours, she’s an amazing cook, pretty nice, too.” Alexander half-suggested to half-admonished Mordecai as he continued his feast.

“Setting aside the fact that you don’t even need to eat, she’s not my girlfriend.” Mordecai awkwardly answered as he checked yet another bathroom.

“That’s not what I picked up from that little exchange. I never thought anybody could control you like that, to be honest, it’s quite impressive.” Alexander spoke honestly. Mordecai’s silence admitted that he had no response to that accusation.


“Alright, it comes down to this.” Mordecai stood between the two guarded doors. “He’s got nowhere left to hide.”

“Mordecai, I will warn you a final time. Do not overestimate yourself.” Mordecai scoffed, then approached the door to his left. The moment he approached, the two large men held hands up to deter him.

“Hey, bud, it’s off limits.” The smaller of the two spoke first.

“Go enjoy the rest of the club, man, I’m asking you nicely.” The other man faked a smile, hoping to drive off the interloper.

“And I’m asking you nicely. Let me in, please?” Mordecai went for the door handle, but the moment he gripped it, the two men grabbed his arm. “What is up with you guys and not letting me through doors today?” Mordecai simply overpowered the two and opened the door even with their restraints. He barged in the room, the two thugs tailing him as he entered.
“Horatio?” He sternly questioned as he approached the center of the room, quickly realizing he had made a huge mistake.

“Get the hell out of here!” A scantily clad lady screamed at her intruder as she was changing from her street clothes to show attire.

“Oh...Uh...changing room...whoops…” Mordecai swiftly bolted out of the room, with the two guards still following. After he had exited, the two men grabbed both of his arms.

“Alright, that’s it, you’re out of here! Come on!” The two attempted to move the hunter, but he simply stood there, attempting not to laugh as the men struggled to move him a single inch.


While he watched the men exert themselves, unbeknownst to him, a chicly dressed man departed from the guarded door to the right. As he exited his room, a spotlight shone down onto the well-dressed man, grabbing the attention of all within the club. The man was clad in sleek black dress pants, black dress shoes that clicked every time his heels touched the floor, and a thick Victorian tailcoat over a ruffled white shirt with a neat bow tie. His blond hair bounced against his back with each step as he took his place in the center of the pathway, directly over the center of the dance floor. When the lights dimmed, the guards stopped their fetal attempt to bounce the hunter. Mordecai watched in silence as the attention-grabbing man slowly raised both of his arms dramatically, curling his fingers when they reached full extension.

“My guests...welcome...to Lamia...the palace of sin!” A roaring eruption of cheers echoed throughout the building, making the flamboyant man grin. “Indulge in whatever you please, treat yourself, gorge yourself, love yourself. Within the confines of these walls, your sins turn to virtues, your evil deeds turn pure, and your dreams...become realities.” Another booming wave of applause came forth, causing Mordecai to cover the ear that faced the crowd. “Ladies and gentlemen, in Lamia, the only true sin, is desistance! Now, enjoy yourselves...I know I will.” The man stepped from his spotlight and back into the shadows, a gratified grin plastered onto his mug.


“I am literally willing to bet anything that that’s our guy.” Mordecai facetiously commented through the intercom.

“Yep.” Alexander sighed. “That’s him. Just as flashy as ever.” Mordecai nodded, then followed his host. The two guards considered making another attempt to detain him, but found that they were simply too exhausted to try again. Horatio briskly strolled along the second floor, lightly sliding his hand along the railing as he moved. The hunter began to make small progress on his target as he all but jogged after him. Horatio continued his graceful yet somehow hasty stroll down the hallway to the head of the stairs. As he descended, he waved to several of his fans, all of which were cheering, taking pictures, or just admiring him in general.



‘Oh yes, this is is the life, darlings....’ Horatio basked in the euphoric indulgence of the mortals’ attention. Being in the spotlight, the star, the start and end of the show, it was what Horatio craved. This feeling was intoxicating, to know that this many people were in absolute awe of his very presence, it gave him...power. He knew that he was above these humans, but when they practically threw themselves at his feet, he knew they were aware of it as well. With a grand flourish, Horatio slid down the wide handrail of the staircase, placing his heels on the ground with a sharp ‘click.’


Back on the second floor, Mordecai was hastily scheming.

“Newman? I think I’m just gonna take him out here.” Mordecai suggested with reluctance.

“Wh-What!? No!” Alexander interjected, grabbing the microphone from the older man and all but shouting into it. “You can’t do that, not here!”

“Well, if he slips into the crowd, I’ll lose my chance!”

“And if you shoot him in front of an entire crowd, you’ll not only have hordes of his ‘adoring fans’ to deal with, but there would be an absolute pandemonium! Let alone the fact that to them it would seem to be outright murder!” Alexander retorts shot off faster than he could even think of them, causing him to stumble and stutter over some of his words.

“Alright! I got it!” Mordecai frustratedly cut him off before he could drone on any further. “I’ll just have to tail him then.” The hunter swiftly stalked the attention-grabbing vampire.


Horatio politely cut his way through the badgering throng of people, giving occasional waves and nods towards those who called his name. Mordecai pushed and shoved his way through the gathering, doing his best not to attract too much attention or aggro. Just as the hunter had finally gotten within arm’s reach of the vampire, a sudden rush of patrons sweeped in from the side, inadvertently knocking him to the floor. A barrage of oblivious feet stomped their way past(Some of them on) Mordecai, causing a short delay before he could stand. Once the hunter had regained his bearings, he desperately searched around the building for the flashy Lord.

“D****t, I lost him! Did you guys see anything?” Mordecai optimistically inquired.

“No, sorry.”

“Well, where the hell could he be?” Mordecai ran a hand through his tangled, chestnut hair.


Suddenly, Mordecai felt a cold breath on the back of his neck.

“I might know where he is, but I’m warning you, you may want to stay away from him.” The hunter spun on his heels only to find the target he was searching for was the one speaking to him. His instincts nearly forced him to draw his revolver, but Horatio raised a finger and waggled it disapprovingly, reminding the hunter of the dangers of flashing a firearm in a crowd of people. Begrudgingly, Mordecai eased his hand back down to his sides.

“Good boy. Now, how may I help you, my stalker?” Mordecai’s eyes widened in shock as he took a step back.

‘How could he have known? He never even saw me.’ Mordecai pushed the question aside for now.

“You have vital information that I need. So, if you’d be willing to come with me, this would go a lot easier. In fact, you may even survive this whole situation…” Mordecai replaced his uncertainty with arrogance, a tactic of false bravado that the hunter often used. “But probably not.” Mordecai emphasized his statement with a cocky grin as he extended his hand. Horatio, with an expression of intrigue, humored the hunter.

“Okay then, I’ll gladly go with you.” Mordecai was taken aback for a moment.

“Seriously? That has, like, literally never worked before.” Mordecai admitted.

“Yes, of course I’ll go with you…” Suddenly, Mordecai’s target vanished from his line of sight, then reappeared behind him, using speed to seem as if he had teleported. “But you’ll have to catch me first.” Horatio added the final stipulation to the deal before vanishing into the crowd.


Mordecai, still slightly dumbstruck, hesitated for a moment, then continued the chase. The hunter pursued the Lord, but it was impossible to hold him down. Horatio’s speed made it as if he were everywhere at once. Mordecai would look to his left and he would see the vampire dancing with his guests, then he would look to the right and see him idly sitting at the bar. Mordecai had no idea how to catch the creature.

“Trouble in paradise, eh?” Horatio placed a hand on the distressed hunter’s shoulder. Mordecai angrily attempted to grip the vampire’s arm, but he might as well have tried to grab the wind itself. Horatio appeared five feet back from where he was standing merely seconds ago. It was stunning how unaware the youths in this club were to their surroundings.

“Follow me!” The vampire cheekily gestured with his hand, then once again vanished from the hunter’s sight. After a few brief moments of searching, Mordecai heard the piercing tune of somebody whistling.


His attention was drawn to the door, where the vampire was waiting, impatiently tapping his foot and exaggeratedly checking the time on the watch that he didn’t have. Mordecai angrily growled, then stomped off towards the door.

“Mordecai, you’re playing into his hands.” Alexander advised the the hunter, who was dead set on his path.

“And he’s gonna be playing into a well placed bullet.” Mordecai replied as he pushed past yet another dancer to finally break through the crowd. The moment the hunter approached, Horatio fled into the deserted outside. Mordecai followed quickly after, meeting only the bouncer he had assaulted earlier, who seemed to be avoiding eye contact. The bouncer-assaulter watched as Horatio ambled past the corner and down the concrete slope into the parking garage.

“If he wants to doom himself, be my guest.” Mordecai jovially jested as he retrieved his revolver, cocking the hammer as he approached the wide mouth of the dimly lit garage.

“Mordecai, hold on! Wait for backup, we have Taylor and his men parked just a few miles away from there. He’ll arrive in just a few minutes--”

“Don’t worry, I won’t need it.” Mordecai cut his boss off just before entering the wide expanse of concrete and cars.


The hunter stepped into the center of the garage, revolver in hand. He took a 360 degree look at the entire garage, noticing that he was directly under the center of the club. It made him question how much weight was put on the two concrete support pillars that jutted out in front of him. Out of the corner of his eye, a shadow zoomed past. Mordecai quickly aimed at it, but it had already disappeared from his sight. Yet again, the figure zipped past. Without warning, Horatio once again pulled his act of appearing behind the hunter, but Mordecai was prepared this time. The moment Horatio had stopped, Mordecai threw an elbow behind him, which Horatio effortlessly side-stepped. Mordecai continued his chain of attack by throwing several powerful punches, with Horatio dodging each one with a smile on his face. Mordecai leaned back and launched a kick to the vampire’s chest, but he bent his spine completely horizontally and dodged the strike, catching the hunter by the ankle. With an upward push, he flipped Mordecai onto his stomach, only increasing his already rising fury.


Once he had gotten to his feet, Mordecai fanned the hammer, then fired three consecutive, shots at the vampire. Mordecai was in shock. Instead of dodging the bullets, he had caught them...he held one between his index and middle finger, one between his middle and ring finger, and one between his ring and pinky finger.

“I suppose you’ll be wanting these back?” Horatio impishly questioned, then, with a flick of his wrist, tossed the bullets back at the hunter with a force that may have been even greater than when they had been shot. The bullets struck Mordecai in a straight line from his ankle to his hip, a deliberately non-lethal attack, he noticed. Mordecai considered firing the rest of his bullets, but he was afraid that that strategy would backfire, quite literally.


“How many of them are up there, do you think?” Horatio directed his gaze to the roof of the garage and to the floor of the club. “Just take a guess.” Horatio gestured for the hunter to play along, but the fuming Mordecai refused to be apart of the game. Horatio rolled his eyes and sighed. “How dreadfully dull. There are hundreds of young, beautiful men and women simply having the time of their lives up there.” Horatio spoke in a tone of both pride and joy. “So many young souls...all of them giving into sin. And unfortunately for them, they won’t have time to repent for their actions here tonight.” The flamboyant vampire strolled towards one of the pillars, leaning against it for a moment.

“What are you talking about?” Mordecai began to get nervous, he didn’t like the way the vampire was talking.

“I mean that it is simply too late for them. Hundreds of damned souls that you could have saved.” Horatio shook his head disappointingly as he pushed away from the pillar. “Well, I’m sure our master will be happy to greet them at the gates.” Mordecai began to piece together the vampire’s plan, but it was too late for action.

“Au revoir, my palace of sin, you were a candle that burned twice as bright...and half as long.” Horatio wistfully spoke his goodbyes, then cocked his arm back.

“No!” Mordecai exclaimed, but it was not enough to stop the mad man. With a deft chop, Horatio cut directly through the pillar with nothing but his bare hand, leaving a diagonal slash in the concrete.


Just as the vampire walked away, the top half of the pillar began sliding sideways, and with it, the ceiling would have gone as well. Mordecai, thinking quickly, rushed over to the support and gripped it with all the strength he could possibly muster. With a mighty bellow, Mordecai was able to painfully, slowly pull the pillar back into place. The hunter didn’t know how long he could hold it, even now, every muscle in his arms were screaming to him, but they would never amount to the screams of those upstairs.

“Oh, and au revoir to you as well...Mordecai Adams.” Horatio threw a Cheshire smirk over his shoulder towards Mordecai. For a quick second, the hunter attempted to turn and fire a final shot towards the vampire, but the moment he did, the pillar began slipping once more. Horatio’s horrid laughter slowly fading was Mordecai’s signal that the vampire had escaped.


“Newman!” Mordecai shouted through gritted teeth. “Get Taylor over here!” It felt as if the hunter’s arms were going to be ripped from their sockets.

“We’re already on it! He’s right around the corner, he’ll evacuate everybody from the club as soon as possible!” Newman replied, nerves feeling as if they were about to kill him.


Two black vans pulled onto the curb of the club, then, without even waiting for the vans to stop, six men opened the sliding side door of the van and jumped out. Taylor was the first to lead the platoon into the building in a full sprint. He knocked open the door with a hard shoulder, then fired a round into the ceiling of the club.

“Everybody out, now! This place is about to collapse!” The men and women didn’t need to be told twice. By the dozens, young adolescents ran screaming from the building in no particular order. Taylor and his men then went about checking any of the rooms for stragglers.


Back down stairs, Mordecai could hear Taylor’s evacuation process in its entirety. The hunter was panting, his arms were shaking, hell, his whole body was shaking from the strain of holding the pillar together. His head began to feel light, and his eyes began to roll into the back of his head. For just a moment the hunter blacked out, but that few seconds was more than enough to be an enormous danger. The pillar had begun sliding off until only a few inches remained holding onto the lower half. Mordecai rushed under the pillar, crouching, then lifting it with his back. Like some sort of twisted homage to Atlas, the one who held the weight of the world on his back, Mordecai held the lives of many in his hands. Every single vein in Mordecai’s body was popping out against his skin, his muscles had tightened up to the point where he could no longer feel anything but the burning sensation from them, and his spine felt like it was about to snap in half.


Suddenly, just when he felt like he could hold it no longer, a familiar voice came to him.

“Mordecai! They’re all out! You can let it go!” Taylor shouted to the hunter who could barely even hear him. With a weak laugh, Mordecai spoke one whispered word.

“Finally…” Mordecai collapsed to the side, falling just beside the pillar as it slid downward, bringing the weight of the roof down onto the other one and causing it to cave in as well.


“Mordecai!” Taylor shouted to his friend as he watched the building collapse all around him. With a tired smile on his face, Mordecai fell into a deep sleep as the concrete began to crack and fall all around him.

“Mordecaiii!”


“So, the the first move of the game has been made.” The shadowy figure spoke to himself as he stared downward to the chessboard in front of him. With a relaxed movement, he lifted the white knight and placed it forward.

“The knight has made his move...how will you respond, brother?”



© 2016 North Dakota



Author's Note

North Dakota
Thank you all so much for being patient, I seriously appreciate it. As always, thank you for reading, and feel free to comment!

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Added on July 10, 2016
Last Updated on August 6, 2016


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North Dakota
North Dakota

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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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