Chapter 1:

Memories Like Shattered Glass

Clandestine Volume 1

"Mommy, help me!" The voice rang out through the house like a horn, sounds of crashing and banging all around. A bookshelf came tumbling down, and horrible shrieks were heard as a monstrous shadow loomed overhead.Bookmark here

Just then, an arm spread across like a protective hood, a mother’s embrace before it was splattered on the ground like paint, the protection being tossed away. There was a pang of pain before the dark figure faded into nothing. Sirens could be heard in the background as the door was ripped off of what was left of its hinges. Another protective hood was then thrown over, everything being seen through misty, hazy, tear stained eyes…and then, silence.Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

5:30 am Akira City, JapanBookmark here

"Ahhhgh!" Kai bolted up from his bed with sweat beading down his forehead.Bookmark here

Damn it! Another one... Bookmark here

His mouth was clamped shut and he could feel the fang protruding through his lower lip. The pain was agonising, but it was nothing new to him. He had been having these recurring dreams for about 13 years now. He was hoping someday he would grow out of them. So far, he’d had no such luck.Bookmark here

He knew they weren't random dreams. He knew they were memories.Bookmark here

His feet made a muffled patting sound as they hit the wooden floor of the apartment building, he currently called home. Getting up, he walked to the bathroom, flicking on the light switch. Bookmark here

"Gaah!" His lip burst into excruciating pain as the fang exited. He covered his mouth as a bit of crimson seeped into his fingers. Well, here's my breakfast. Kai sighed, sucking the blood off his finger.Bookmark here

He had to pull it together—he had a job to do. He’d been called into the office of the organization he worked for; a branch of the Japanese government that was put together after the world discovered that the things that go bump in the night do, indeed, exist. The Chief of Command was the woman who had saved his life. Not literally, of course. His mother had done that and paid the ultimate price for it. But thanks to this woman, Kai wasn't alone and that was important. Especially when he was discovering just what he was.Bookmark here

He shook his head trying to clear his thoughts. Dimmit Kai, get it together! He cursed inwardly as he turned on the water in the sink to wash his face. The warm water felt relaxing as he cleaned the remaining sweat and blood off his skin. He wondered just what she wanted to see him for today, especially so early. He had class in a few hours after all. Kai didn't really understand why he still had to go to classes; in his mind his future was set. He was a vampire hunter, but the woman's words rang in his head.Bookmark here

"You never know Kai; the future might have something totally different in store for you."Bookmark here

It was funny considering he was already 18 years old and a senior. Just the thought of her words caused a smirk to tug itself along the tip of Kai's mouth as he turned off the water and checked his reflection to make sure his dark hair hadn’t become too unkempt during the night.Bookmark here

Good enough, he thought as he exited the bathroom. He didn't like looking at his reflection too long. The blue fire in his eyes reminded him of the monster that had stolen his past away from him.Bookmark here

Stepping into his room, he sighed deeply. The room was still rather dark as the sun was just rising, but that was okay—he preferred a darker atmosphere. Kai walked over to the dresser, opening it up. It was fairly organised; pants and long-sleeved shirts in the top drawers, shorts, tank tops, and short-sleeved shirts in the lower drawers. He pulled out his phone to check the weather and then decided on the appropriate attire. He settled on a plain blue T-shirt and black shorts. He pulled the shirt over his head then the shorts up his legs as his phone rang. Picking it up, he hopped on one foot trying to put on his shoe.Bookmark here

"Hello?" It took a moment, but finally there was a response. He recognised the voice immediately. "Yeah, so what's the plan Boss Lady? Why am I having to come in so early? You told me that you would keep the jobs down while I'm still attending classes.”Bookmark here

The woman's voice on the other end was smooth, clear, and friendly.Bookmark here

"It's not a job, kiddo. I'll explain it all when you get here, I'm just your alarm clock. I know how much you love to sleep in."Bookmark here

Kai sighed, rolling his eyes. After the accident, the woman had taken him into her home for a while. He’d had no complaints. She had treated a complete stranger like family. How could he find fault in that?Bookmark here

"Ma'am, your motherhood is showing again," he jested. The woman on the other end shook her head. Bookmark here

"Call me Mai, you know you can.”Bookmark here

The truth was, Kai could never bring himself to call her by her first name, even though he was indebted to her and he did like their casual relationship. For the few years he’d lived in her house he had called her mom. When she’d introduced him to her work and brought him in as a specialist, he had called her Ma'am. That's just the way it was. Bookmark here

"You know how I am, I just can't do it."Bookmark here

A small chuckle escaped the woman's lips. "I understand Kai, what is your ETA?" Bookmark here

He thought for a moment before responding. "I'll be there in 30 minutes," he said before hanging up the phone and slipping it into the pocket of his shorts. Bookmark here

He walked out of his room to the far end of the apartment where a small table acted as the centerpiece. The woman who had saved him told him that after the incident, she had gone back to the home and picked up the table. She’d had it restored so that he would always have a piece of his past even if he didn't remember it. A smile played on his face as he grabbed his keys. That damn sentimentalist, he thought as he turned for the front door.Bookmark here

The sun hadn't quite risen yet, so it was still pretty dark, with the exception of some golden hues mixed with red which outlined the sun on the horizon. Kai liked the sun—always had. In fact, other than his employer, the sun was the only thing that could really make him smile. Bookmark here

He wasn't a bad guy, not by any means at all, he just had an attitude problem… and it didn't go unnoticed. People at his school usually avoided him; those who didn't he often got into fights with. He didn't want to be that way, they just didn't understand him. He shook his head as though shaking something out of his hair. In reality, he was shaking the pesky thoughts out. Bookmark here

He unlocked the door to his car. It wasn't anything fancy, just an old Ford with a nice dark red colour, but that was the most appealing thing about it. It was his first car. The director of the organization asked him if he wanted the company to provide him with a sports car, but he promptly turned that down. He didn't need something fancy and he didn't want it. He got in the front seat and started the engine, pulling out of the driveway.Bookmark here

It didn't take long for him to get to the headquarters of the organization. It was an older building, nothing really nice to look at. The plain brick exterior showed a little wear and tear. The building had started off as a school in the 80s, and rather than tearing it down when the school closed, the government decided it was the perfect place for their special ops team. He got out of the car and headed for the door. No security scanner, not even a push button, just a normal pull and open.Bookmark here

Man, they really should give this place a good overhaul, he thought to himself, laughing a bit. His shoes gently tapped on the linoleum floor as he entered.Bookmark here

The inside was considerably different than the outside, the classrooms having been expanded into offices designed for research and development. The research had come into play when they’d realised that conventional vampire weapons didn't work as portrayed in books and movies. Bookmark here

Damn, why do they have to be so difficult? he asked himself as he reached the door to the office of the director. Her office was actually the smallest in the building. Kai could remember on the first day he had come to this place, he had asked her why her office was so small. She had smiled saying, "I'm simple, I don't need extravagance."Bookmark here

That memory brought a small smile to the corner of his lips as he knocked three times.Bookmark here

"Come in," came a woman's voice from inside.Bookmark here

He walked in quietly. The small room was made to look even smaller because of the fact that all the windows were covered by blackout curtains. The woman inside was a day-walker just like Kai, but for some reason her eyes were more sensitive to light than his. The tall, dark haired woman smiled as her blue eyes rested on Kai.Bookmark here

"Reporting for duty, ma'am,” he said. The woman simply shook her head as though trying to understand her adopted son and apprentice. She pointed to the chair right in front of her desk and he sat down promptly. She came over to his side with a syringe in her hand.Bookmark here

"Umm...what's that for?" Kai asked, a bit of nervousness present in his voice.Bookmark here

"You have to understand, we haven't had any luck keeping the vampires down. At first, we thought enchanting our weapons with any vampire blood would do, but we tried a test with my blood and it didn't work. It would seem there's something special about you Kai.” His face reddened slightly before a shooting pain shot through his arm as the needle went in. "We need to find a way to synthesize your blood," she stated rather bluntly.Bookmark here

Kai nodded as the woman went back to sit at her desk. Bookmark here

"So, is that all you needed me for ma'am? You know I could have dropped by after class and given you that sample.” Bookmark here

Sighing, the woman opened her desk drawer, retrieving a file and tossing it to Kai. He gripped it in his hand and skimmed the contents.Bookmark here

他人を食い物にする悪者から来る大胆で無謀な最近の一撃によって、私は協力者を割り当てられる全ての猟師を必要としています。全ての協力者は私の意のままに私に選ばれるでしょう。 Bookmark here

(Kyuuketsuki ga totsuzen ni daitan to muhou ni natta node, subete no ryoushi ga patona ga hitsuyou koto ni natteiru. Subete no patona ga jibun no erabi kara ataerareru)Bookmark here

(Due to a recent stroke of boldness and recklessness from the vampire species, I am requiring all hunters to be assigned a partner. All partners will be chosen by me at my discretion. -Mai Hinata-)Bookmark here

Kai’s eyes flashed bright blue and he looked at her in disbelief. "A partner?! Are you kidding me? I have been working on my own since I was 15 years old—the day you personally brought me into this world. I work best on my own, you know that. I'm independent!"Bookmark here

Nodding, Ms. Hinata looked up at the young man.Bookmark here

"Listen to me Kai, I of all people know how independent you are, but there is one thing about independence that you never really understood. The most successful, independent people in the world know when to ask for help. Part of independence is having the foreknowledge and the sense to sometimes be dependent. I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but it's not."Bookmark here

Kai sunk into the chair, an exhausted look plastered on his face. "Fine, just one question. How exactly did you come about finding this new partner of mine?"Bookmark here

There was a brief pause in the room before the woman responded. "I have chosen a fellow classmate from Chimera Academy." Bookmark here

Hearing those words made Kai bolt straight upward. "What? Bad idea! Do you realize that most of the students at that school can't stand me? I mean, I know you probably haven't paid much attention since I moved out, but…" Bookmark here

His words were cut off by a dark glare. "I always keep an eye on you, Kai," Ms. Hinata corrected. Bookmark here

A sigh escaped his lips. "You have to find someone else. Anyone else, from somewhere else. Please!" Bookmark here

Ms. Hinata simply shook her head. "I'm sorry, but it's already been decided."Bookmark here

Just then the door behind him creaked open. A girl with raven coloured hair and a silver and white school uniform came in, walking over to Kai before flicking him on the nose. "That's right. So, get used to it, fang-face."Bookmark here

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