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Dugan slipped into his jacket. He fitted the larger of
the pieces- the heavy, silenced Stenton- into a custom-sewn pocket on the inside. The smaller one, the Miyako, he pocketed. He paused examine himself in the mirror. More or less normal-looking, maybe a bit too pale. He'd have to ask Jack before the next job. Dugan zipped up his jacket and stepped out into the cold.

At 34th and Main he stopped to place a call. The line rang once. Twice. Three times.
"Oh. Work?"
"I'll be right down."
She joined him at the corner, dressed casually in jeans and sweatshirt. He gave her a quick once-over and nodded. Her tools were safely hidden.
"What's new?" she asked.
"We're taking DeLoran tonight."
She whistled. "Shouldn't we have a third?"
"We don't need a third. You know that."
"I'm sorry, but DeLoran creeps me out. There's something about him."
"Yes. I know. You want out?"
"Then let's go."

They stood in front of the door.
"You know the layout?"
"I've studied the map."
"Good. You take the left hall, I take the right.
Don't bother with the stuff laying out, everything important is in the safe. I'll take care of DeLoran."
They parted ways. Dugan sprinted down the corridor, headed for the old man's bedchamber. He'd gone no more than four or five steps when someone screamed. It sounded like Sarah. Dugan changed course, pounded back down the hall, and arrived at the door in time to catch her as she fell. She was covered in blood.
"Dugan?", she gasped. Her breath coming in ragged spurts. four evenly spaced holes in her chest, with a fifth offset and a little lower, proved to be the source of the bleeding. Dugan tore away the clothing from the area to inspect the wounds. The flesh around the holes was already turning black and blistering, a faint odor of rotting meat rose from the marks. Dugan lifted his gaze to meet hers as she waited for his reply. Already her eyes had hints of a milky glaze shrouding her irises.


"What?, What is it?" the panic was barely noticable in her tone, a credit to her training. Slowly he lowered her to the floor then rose, drawing the Stenton from it's secret pocket.

"Damn." He repeated, then fired a single round into her forehead.
One last shudder spasmed through her body as it accepted death. The corruption had come on to fast for him to do anything for her. Death was the better alternative.

"Is this the best sport you can offer me Dugan?" The voice seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.
Dugan stepped back from Sarah's lifeless corpse, his gaze darting about the hall for any sign of movement.

"DeLoran, You bastard, There was no need for it to go this far." Dugan's voice seemed muted in this place, where all other sounds seem amplified.
A figure eased out of the doorway where he had found Sarah, Dugan was shocked that the being had been able to get so close without him detecting it. DeLoran propped himself against the door frame a few feet away from Sarah's corpse. His hand was raised to him lips, his tongue, darting in an out to remove the last traces of blood from his claws.

"Remember our agreement, Dugan. Once inside the house anything is acceptable. If these protege's of yours want to hunt vampyr, then this is the price of their lesson." DeLoran inspected the clawed hand one last time before crossing his arms in front of his chest. "And I told you that we would play this game only as long as you could keep it interesting. The last two have provided me with little sport, I was well aware of them two blocks from the house."

Dugan lowered the pistol, shame burning red on his cheeks.

"The next one will give you a good run." was the only response to come to mind.

"Our agreement is off. the next time you step foot in this house, I will turn you. Then I will set you out into the streets where you can fend of the constant attempts on you by wannabe Vampyr hunters. I will have no more of it, your entertainment value is gone.", Dugan stiffened at this, raising the Stenton towards the Doorway. The dark empty doorway. Dugan bolted for the door, DeLoran had never displayed this level of prowess before. Dugan found this display greatly unsettling. Sarah had been one of his finest trainees ever, yet DeLoran had treated her like a rank novice, wounding her within minutes of entering the house. The hard soles of his boots thundered across the hardwood floor in his flight to the exit the Stenton swing wildly as he dodged flickering shadows and unseen hands. The House seem to weigh him down, opressing him with it's dark secrets. Dugan crashed through the door, tearing it loose from the frame, the momentum of the crash sent him tumbling forward down the flight of steps, leading to the house. Dugan came out of the roll on his feet, his legs pumping to carry him away from that cursed place. The oppresive weight of the house had lifted, but other eyes watched Dugan now, hungry eyes. Fear propelled him further and faster than he would have thought possible. After about twelve blocks Dugan ducked into an alley behind a local Kwiky Mart, His chest heaving from the strain of the run.

"Hey..." Dugan spun towards the sound, firing off three shots from the Stenton. the silenced rounds whispered through the air, catching the dark figure square in the chest. Dugan was almost to the body before it even hit the ground. All three rounds had struck in a nice tight grouping. Dugan looked into the shocked dead eyes of the youthful face. His Kwiky Mart hat lay in the muck of the alley a few feet away. A nametag on his uniform shirt proclaiming that this was 'Lyle'. his left hand he was still tightly clutching a bag of trash.

"You've killed more people tonight than I have," The voice filled the alley, yet was no more than a whisper. "and people hunt down my kind because WE are a danger to humanity?" The voice mocked Dugan as he continued to stare at Lyle.

Dugan slid his left hand into his pocket, the coolness of the Miyako reassuring in his grip. Quickly he spun ripping the Miyako free of his pocket. Both guns fired, and fired. the Stenton whispering death with each squeeze of the trigger. The Miyako, roared with each shot, contrasting with it's diminutive size. The acrid smell of sulphur assaulted Dugans nostrils as the last round discharged, but still he tried to fire the empty weapons.

"I actually think I'm doing a service to your kind." The voice was distinctly behind him now. Slowly, he turned. DeLoran was kneeling before the body of Lyle, as if inspecting the dead youth. "I believe I should actually get a reward for this." Slowly DeLoran rose from Lyles corpse and in two massive steps he had closed the distance, to position himself directly in front of Dugan. "A smart man would've save a bullet for himself." DeLorans clawed hand shot forward with mind numbing speed, burying itself deep into his chest. "But, I never took you for a smart man."

Dugan could feel the corruption spreading within him, absorbing his being.



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The following comments are for "Write Off: The politics of betrayal"
by Kross

Kross and Vampires
I liked this story. It seemed believable although it may have tackled too much for such a short story. Maybe it just left me wanting more. I do just have a feeling this story was written by Kross. I would give the other story the win, but only because it seemed exceptional. Good writes.



( Posted by: Jeff [Member] On: February 4, 2002 )

Not Bad at all
Pretty good story. I do think it needed a little bit more "room" to flesh it out, but a good story none the less.

( Posted by: Chrispian [Admin] On: February 4, 2002 )

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