Blood and Silver
In the year 2028, the world had seen it’s first glimpse of peace in almost half a decade. Russia’s government had fallen to rebels and their allies had already surrendered to enemy forces. Unlike the other world wars, a treaty was not needed to bring the fighting to an end.
Even so, treaties were made. The United Nations was revised and given more authoritative power. Keeping secrets from other nations became near impossible. Countries had begun to work more closely together on what used to be considered purely domestic policies. The stage had been set for a truly globalized modern world.
But just as the world began to get back on it’s feet, it was met with a mysterious affliction. A small portion of the population had undergone a mysterious mutation seemingly overnight. Their skin lost all pigment, their canines grew around 33% larger, their senses became significantly sharper, and their physical strength increased to superhuman levels. On top of that, their telomeres became stagnant, rendering them immortal.
But that was nothing compared to their biggest change. They were essentially invincible. If they were stabbed with a blade, it would fail to pierce through. If they were hit with blunt force, the object used to hit them would bounce off. However, there were two exceptions to this rule. Whenever they were in direct sunlight, they lost their invincibility, and if they are touched by silver, even during night, their cells would begin to break down rapidly.
On top of all that, there were two last, and extremely dangerous, changes. First, could only gain sustenance from the blood of non-mutated humans. And if they were deprived of sustenance, their minds would break and either send them into a mad, blood-craved frenzy or turn them into a vegetable. Second, if they were to bite a non-mutated human, there was a chance for them to become a mutant themselves.
These mutated humans posed a major problem for the governments of the world. They were certainly inherently dangerous, and needed to be taken care of, but they were still humans. They couldn’t just kill them or send them to a prison camp. They still had rights. A joint meeting was called between all member nations of the UN. They debated for an entire week to determine a solution for their complicated situation. Many potential solutions were introduced and debated upon.
At the end of the debate, an unorthodox solution was chosen. All the member nations decided to mass deport the mutants to a single city in South Africa, Netempus. It was a large-scale social experiment in which the city and the technology in the city were modeled after an American city in the 1980’s.
There, they gave the mutants four simple rules. One, mutants must never allow themselves to go blood-starved. Two, mutants must never use people under government employment for sustenance. Three, mutants must never infect a human under the age of 18. Four, mutants may never reveal themselves as mutants to the public or put themselves in situations that would eventually lead to their identities being revealed.
In exchange for following these rules, the government promised to look the other way when it came to the mutants killing certain people. However, for many of the more ambitious mutants, that final rule was a heavy burden. And it wasn’t one they chose to bare for very long.
• • •
“Good morning, English speakers of the world, to the first day of the year twenty eighty-four. I’m your host, Chris Degurechaff, and our first piece of news today is the development of a new technology that could change your everyday li-“
The TV was shut off in the middle of Chris’ sentence. The woman holding the remote scoffed.
“Why should I have to listen to news about technology when I’m stuck a century in the damn past,” the woman grunted.
The woman in question was a tall individual. Her muscles were well-toned and her skin was a mocha color. Her eyes were slanted and her head was populated with frizzy hair. She wore a simple get-up of a white tank-top and jeans, revealing her skin’s ink.
The woman leaned back in her chair. She was inside a small liquor store in one of the shadier parts of town. The store was empty at the moment, and it had been for most of the day. This didn’t bother the woman, however. In fact, she hoped for as few customers as possible.
After a while, the door bell went off. The woman looked up to see that a woman had entered. She wore a pair of black skinny jeans, a white t-shirt, a black leather jacket, and a pair of black gloves. Her skin was was white as snow and her eyes were the color of chocolate. Her black hair was cut just above her shoulders, and was dyed blonde at the edges. She wore a black headband in her hair to keep hair out of her face. The woman recognized her instantly.
“Miss Nadia, I didn’t expect you to come by until the end of the week. What brings you here today?” The woman spoke with a forced clarity.
“You can drop the ‘Miss’, Alice,” Nadia said tersely, “I’m here to check on the goods”
“Of course, Nadia”
Alice got up out of her chair and began to walk to a door at the back of the store. She opened it and gestured inside.
“Right this way”
Nadia walked past Alice and into a dimly lit room. Alice followed her in and closed the door. But before she could turn around, she was pressed up against the wall face-first.
“Allow me to ask you a question, Alice,” Nadia said in a calm tone, “Why am I pushing you up against the wall right now?”
“I- I have no idea” said Alice, struggling to move despite her significant size advantage.
“Well then let me give you a hint: your operation was passed onto my jurisdiction only a couple months ago”
Nadia pressed down harder, and Alice began to struggle to breath.
“Need another hint?” said Nadia in the same calm tone, despite exerting enough force to nearly crush Alice to death, “Then how about this: when I was made a Cruxius two years ago, it wasn’t because of my bureaucratic skills. So I ask again, why am I doing this?”
“I... don’t... know...” said Alice, who was gasping for air.
“My my, you really are a dense one, aren’t you?” Nadia said somewhat playfully, “I guess I’ll just have to tell you the whole story then”
Nadia began to force Alice’s head against the wall.
“When I was made a member of the Cruxius family’s upper echelon, the objective I was given was simple: iron out all the kinks in our system. Anything that would potentially be a bother to Natalia, it was my job to get rid of it”
“What... does tha-“ started Alice, but she was interrupted by Nadia pushing her hand harder into her back.
“I didn’t say I was finished,” said Nadia, slightly irritated, “As I was saying, your operation being put under my jurisdiction was no different. It was only so that I could observe and iron out any kinks”
Sweat began to roll down Alice’s face.
“And what did I find when I observed your operation?” Nadia moved her face close to Alice’s, “I see that you’re lying about how much your dealers kick up to you”
Nadia moved her arm from Alice’s back to grab her by the chin, keeping Alice’s head pinned to the wall. Alice gasped for air, finally able to breath regularly.
“You see how that is a problem for me, right?” said Nadia as she moved in closer, “And anything that’s a problem for me, is a problem for Natalia. And anything that’s a problem for Natalia,”
Nadia pressed her forehead against Alice’s and stared into her eyes.
“I get rid of”
Alice’s sweat began to roll down faster and her lip began to quiver. She looked into Nadia’s eyes and saw pure blood thirst within.
“Luckily for you, I also recognized that your dealers trust you,” Nadia began to relax her grip on Alice, though she kept her pinned.
“And trust is as powerful as fear when controlling your lessers. Therefore, if we control you, we control all your dealers,” said Nadia as she tossed Alice onto the ground, “So I’ll give you a chance to apologize”
Nadia walked to a nearby table and leaned on it, half standing and half sitting. She then reached into her jacket and pulled out a white rag. She threw the rag to Alice, who looked at it confused. Nadia then gestured one of her legs out. She shook her black boot in a circle.
“My boots have gotten dirty on the way, so clean them”
Alice looked at the boot, confused, for a second, before looking back at the rag. She finally understood.
“O-Of course, Nadia”
“That’s LADY Nadia, to you”
“Yes, Lady Nadia”
Alice grabbed the rag and crawled over to Nadia on her hands and knees. She proceeded to lick the top of the boot with her tongue. She then wiped it down with the rag. Nadia turned her toes upwards.
“The bottom too”
“Yes, Lady Nadia”
Alice nodded and began to lick the bottom of Nadia’s boots, which were covered with dirt.
“Make sure you swallow every bit of the dirt”
Alice winced as she tried to down the earth that came off the boot. She continued to lick the dirt off and swallow it, making sure not to drop a single spec like her life depended on it.
“Ohh, you’re so cute when you prostrate yourself like a good little girl,” moaned Nadia, who was starting to get hot and bothered, “Keep this up and I might just have to make you my bride,”
Alice finally finished swallowing all the dirt on the bottom of the boot. She finished the job by wiping it down with the rag. Nadia pulled her foot back and put the other one forward.
“Now do this one”
“Yes, Lady Nadia”
Alice began to lick the boot and wipe it down, just as she had with the last one. Nadia watched with a wicked smile as Alice struggled to swallow the dirt from the boot. When Alice finally finished cleaning the boots, Nadia put her foot under Alice’s chin and raised Alice’s head.
“Has that experience taught you your place, Alice?” said Nadia, smiling.
“Yes, Lady Nadia,” responded Alice.
“Can I trust that you’ll kick up the proper amount next time your pay is due?”
“Yes, Lady Nadia”
Nadia kicked Alice, knocking her head to the side.
“Wrong, I can’t,” said Nadia, “You’re not worthy of my trust. But I’ll allow you to earn it if you pay up”
“Yes, Lady Nadia”
Nadia got back onto her feet and walked away. She opened the door and, before walking out, looked back at Alice, who was still on her hands and knees.
“If you ever want to lick my boots again, I’d be happy to oblige,” Nadia smiled widely, revealing her fangs, “Seeing you submit is sooo much fun”
Nadia walked out of the room and closed the door. Alice got up off of the ground and wiped the blood from her mouth. She sat still in the backroom for a while before finally muttering under her breath.