Blood and Silver
In a small space of time, about a hundredth of a second, the superhuman hearing of the vampires in the chapel picked up on the distinct sound of a trigger being pulled. In that space of time, every one in the chapel immediately moved to get out of the line of fire. But of course, a hundredth of a second was not enough time, even for the superhuman vampires.
Glass shattered across the floor of the chapel and bullets rained down upon it’s inhabitants. Most of the bullets missed their marks, and many of the meeting’s attendants had enough time to get out the line of fire. For the few who hadn’t, their cells died from contact with the silver bullets. Though a single silver bullet couldn’t kill them, even if it passed through the brain, the barrage of bullets were more than enough to immobilize them.
As soon as the shots started ringing out, Sophie dashed away laughing. She leapt up through one of the windows and made her way out of the chapel. Nadia wanted to go after her, but she had more pressing matters at the moment. As soon as she found cover, she pulled a handgun out from her jacket. Using her superhuman hearing, which was extraordinary even by vampiric standards, she was able to ascertain the position of one of the gunmen. She put her hand over the pew she was hiding behind and shot dead between the eyes of the gunman.
She waited for three seconds before hearing gunfire come from the same place she shot at. This confirmed to her the nature of the gunmen. They were vampires. Nadia put her gun back in it’s holster and grabbed another one. She ejected the clip and checked the ammunition. After confirming it was loaded with eight silver bullets, she grabbed a machete made of silver from her jacket with her right hand. Without a second of hesitation, Nadia leapt over the pew and charged towards one of the gunmen.
As she did, the other Cruxius members also confirmed that the enemy were vampires, and began to suppress enemy fire with silver bullets of their own. The gunman Nadia was charging at saw her. He turned his aim towards her, but before he had a chance to fire, one of Nadia’s bullets pierced both his hands. He dropped his gun. Nadia then leapt up towards the gunman and promptly sliced his head off right under the chin. She landed on the metal platform he was standing on.
Nadia immediately turned to her right and fired two bullets through the heads of a couple gunmen. Before they had a chance to regenerate, she sliced each of their heads off. Just then, a gunman from the other side of the chapel shot at her. A silver bullet ran through Nadia’s abdomen. Pain shot up through her body. She quickly took cover behind a wall before another bullet could pierce her.
As soon as her wound had healed, Nadia returned fire. Once again, a single bullet pierced through both of her target’s hands. Right as the gunman dropped their gun, Nadia fired another bullet through their skull. Nadia then jumped back down to the chapel floor. At this point, the amount of enemy gunfire had massively decreased. However, there were still three more assailants standing, one of them wielding an automatic weapon. They caught sight of Nadia as she dashed to finish off the other gunman. Five silver rounds pierced through Nadia before the gunman was immobilized by a bullet right between the eyes.
Nadia managed to stay standing and continued to charge the downed gunman. She leapt up through the window and prepared to slice off his head. But right before she could, he shot up and sent a bullet right through Nadia’s brain.
Everything went blank. Nadia’s thoughts stopped completely. After a couple of seconds, they began again. As her sight returned, she saw that the gunman had taken her machete and was about to slice off her head. With a sweep of her foot, she managed to get him off balance and avoid the blade. Using the blade as leverage, Nadia hopped up and punched the gunman, dazing him. She then reached into her jacket and pulled out another silver weapon. With two slashes to the gunman’s throat, his head was separated from his neck.
Just then, the gunman with the automatic weapon began to spray upon the chapel once again. Two more Cruxius members were immobilized. At the same time, another gunman confronted Nadia directly. They aimed their rifle at her, but the silver blade Nadia was wielding pierced through their skull. Since it was lodged in their head, they were incapacitated indefinitely.
As the gunman with the automatic weapon reloaded, Nadia made her move and charged her. The gunman finished reloading just as Nadia leapt up through the window. As the gunman took aim at the airborne Nadia, a silver bullet was sent through their skull by Nadia’s handgun. Shortly after, she finished the job.
Nadia looked about to see if any gunman were still standing. After confirming the absence of any more gunmen, Nadia headed to the window that Sophie exited from. After checking the area just behind the window, Nadia found the air duct that Sophie had used to escape. Nadia called over three of the uninjured to help chase Sophie down. The four of them traversed through the air duct, which was just large enough to walk through with a slight crouch.
The three that accompanied Nadia knew the Cruxius Mansion’s blueprints by heart, the air ducts included. Nadia had also memorized them. They eventually split up to search for where Sophie had gone to. They all navigated through the labyrinth of air ducts with astounding speed. They had to traverse directly upwards at times and drop tremendous heights at others. Even so, they managed to cover all the ground they needed to.
Eventually, Nadia came across a hole that was cut through the vent. Through the hole was a tunnel. Nadia went through the tunnel until it eventually reached the surface. Before she exited the tunnel, Nadia readied a handgun loaded with silver bullets and her machete. She looked through the exit, only to find and empty, abandoned warehouse. After searching around it, Nadia was unable to find anything.
• • •
The four that had searched for Sophie all returned to the chapel without a single lead as to where she went. Nadia was visibly frustrated when she returned. When they had returned, the chapel had already been cleared of the injured and only one person stood waiting in there.
The woman was a vampire with silver hair braided behind her head. She was wearing a black pant suit and tie. Her chest was flat as a board and she wore no makeup whatsoever. She was somewhat taller than Nadia. This woman was Nadia’s head assistant, Gabrielle.
“Lady Nadia,” she said in a business-like tone, “Inspection of the assailants’ corpses has revealed that they are in most likelihood members of another vampiric crime family, though there was nothing to indicate which family they belonged to,”
“You mean that they aren’t government agents?” Asked Nadia.
“Yes,” replied Gabrielle, “As you probably noticed while fighting, their attire was varied, their equipment was much to be desired, and quite frankly, their abilities were poor,”
Nadia touched her chin as she contemplated the implications of this. Even though she only became aware of Sophie’s betrayal about an hour ago, during that time she had assumed Sophie sold them out to the government so that she could get out of the family. But if Sophie had left for another crime family, that meant she sold them out for a much less noble reason.
Was she get promised a high position?Was she given some other offer she couldn’t refuse? Or was there a much deeper reason she betrayed the Cruxius family? Nadia did not have the answers to those questions, and she feared the implications those answers may have.
“Well if she left for a rival gang,” said Nadia, coming back to reality, “Then all we have to do is have our informants in rival territory keep a look out for her”
Nadia looked back up towards Gabrielle.
“Go report your findings to Tatiana,” said Nadia, referring to the woman that oversaw informants, “after that tell Natalia I need to meet with her,”
“At once, Lady Nadia,” replied Gabrielle, promptly heading out of the chapel.
“This is such a damn pain,” muttered Nadia.
• • •
“You wanted to speak with me, Nadia?”
Nadia was still sitting in the chapel when Natalia came to see her. Nadia nodded.
“I’m going to get straight to the point,” she said, “We need to prepare for a war with a rival family,”
“Which family?” Asked Natalia.
“I’m not sure at this point,” replied Nadia, “all I know right now is that Sophie sold us out to another family, and they’re going to take it as an opportunity to eliminate the competition,”
“In that case, how do you propose we take care of it?”
“You already know I want to take a proactive stance,” Nadia replied, “I want to take the fight to them before they can take us out,”
“So what’s your approach to doing so going to be?”
“It depends on which gang we have to take down,” said Nadia, “but the gist of it is to gather a small team to assassinate their top members and to takeover most of their operations,”
“What are you gonna do about Sophie?”
“For all we know she might go to another family and leak our secrets again, so she must be dealt with,”
“So how will you deal with it?”
“Simple,” replied Nadia, “I’ll make sure to kill her myself,”
A fanged smile crossed Nadia’s face. Natalia could tell from that smile that Nadia didn’t say that because she felt guilty. She didn’t feel betrayed by Sophie. She didn’t feel confused by her betrayal. In fact, she didn’t seem to care. She just simply wanted to kill Sophie.
‘What a scary girl,’ thought Natalia.
“Well, in that case, I’ll go ahead and make arrangements for that assassination team,” said Natalia, “though it may not be adequate to your needs. Our two best assassins were both put out of commission during the shooting,”
“Figures,” she said, “But that’s not too big a deal. As long as they’re vampires, I can turn them into more than adequate killers by the time they need to kill the family heads,”
“Well then, I’m off,” said Natalia, “By the way, we’re executing a code crimson. Your assassination squad will meet up on the old Townsend Cable building rooftop,”
“Thanks for the heads up,” replied Nadia.
Natalia turned around and walked out the chapel door. Nadia sat and contemplated silently for a while. She continued to theorize about what could’ve brought Sophie to betray the Cruxius family. After struggling to think of any clues as to what family she sold them out to, Nadia finally gave up with a sigh.
“I hope Lisa disobeyed me and stayed in my room. I need a break from all this,”