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Cities.

 She always wondered why they tended to choose cities.

  They smelled awful, the sounds were often deafening, and they were high-profile areas. The concentration of food was barely worth it, especially since they didn't need that much blood to survive. Wouldn't surviving in the countryside be far better than creeping around trash and smog-scented streets, supping on the homeless and drunk club-goers, lit by neon signs and arc-sodium street lamps, waiting for a hunter to take you out?
  She now knew the reason, of course: Cities were easy to hide in. The numerous buildings provided places to escape the sunlight, and the smells made it impossible for her to track them. If they were smart, they could fly under her radar indefinitely. This one wasn't smart, however. This one was insane. Insane and dangerous. Now she was on his trail, and she was going to make him pay.
  The target was a Reader-type vampire named Clown, so named because he always wore heavy greasepaint on his face patterned in a jocular laugh. They received reports of a ghoul outbreak in New York City, and so the Vatican had sent her and her custodian to liquidate the threat. She caught him draining a non-virgin and shot the poor victim before he could turn and defile his fellow humans. Clown tossed the body at her and fled, dodging the .50 caliber silver-core hollowpoint bullets she fired at him with perfect precision. Readers were always tricky to take down, as being clairvoyant allows them to predict future events with 98% accuracy. Clown would know where the bullets would land before they even left the barrel of her Desert Eagle.
  She stepped into the light of a streetlamp, illuminating her features: A pale and attractive young face that didn't even show half of her true age, a body that was curvy and sensual under her heavy trenchcoat, jet-black hair that was cut short for combat, and red eyes that peered out at the world with determination, and the lust to fight.
  This was Irene Sokolov, Special Lieutenant of the Vatican Knights, a secret paramilitary organization founded by Roman Catholic Church for one purpose: Protecting humanity from supernatural threats, namely vampires. Irene was a vampire herself, dumped on the Vatican's doorstep as an infant and trained to kill. Due to her training, she was immune to nearly all of the things her fellow monsters were weak against: Silver, holy water, crosses, crucifixes, consecrated ground and blessed items. These were the weapons she utilized in her war against the undying abominations that fed off humans for strength. Her only vampiric weakness was sunlight, and due to how little melanin she had in her skin she was especially sensitive to ultraviolet radiation. This meant that she could only hunt at night, and the night was quickly slipping away from her. She needed to find him before he killed anyone else.

  She had tracked Clown to a cluster of apartment buildings nearby a beach. The ocean air was cloying, the scent of salt and dead fish blocking out even the faintest trace of blood on the monster's breath. The mingled sounds of the place (crashing waves, blaring televisions, a teenage boy masturbating furiously in his bedroom) muffled his footsteps. The psychotic bastard was more clever than she thought.
  Irene ditched the Desert Eagle and pulled out her backup weapon from under her coat: A sawed-off shotgun, each 12-gauge shell loaded with silver buckshot. She hated shotguns, but it was the best weapon possible for this job. Readers can predict the trajectory of bullets, but a wall of individual pellets would be impossible to predict accurately without causing the Reader to collapse from sensory overload. She gripped the weapon, ready to begin looking.
  Suddenly, she was hit in the back by something small and soft. Something warm and smelling of blood. She tried to tell herself that it was already dead, but the little wail that it made right before its head smacked the pavement and killed it for good told her a much darker truth.
  She turned and beheld the human infant's carcass with dumbstruck horror. It was male, and twitching weakly as the last few synapses fired off in his dying, underdeveloped brain. The monster had pulled off one of his legs. Irene could read baby's final, terrified thoughts: Confusion, pain, fear, and an overwhelming need for mommy to make it all better. She wanted to vomit from hearing it.
   A wild, insane laugh drifted to her from the third floor of an apartment complex. It was followed by a chilling shriek: "Drink up, you Uncle Tom bitch! Don't let that delicious baby go to waste, now!" More laughter, then a sickening snap. He killed the parents, too. Didn't even bite them. He just outright killed them.
  Irene's thoughts were lost in a red hot haze of fury. She snarled, revealing her fangs. Her pupils turned to slits, and she began to hyperventilate. Originally she was going to just kill the monster, but now? Now he had to suffer. No vampire harmed children around her and got a merciful death. None! This evil bastardo was going to eat his own entrails. "You monster!" Irene shouted, and leaped up to the open apartment window in a single bound.
  In the main room of the apartment stood Clown, grinning at her like a lunatic. His eyes flashed red under a white film, the eyes of a prophet. He licked his fangs as he watched her remain perched on the window. He pulled back the hood of his purple jacket, revealing a wild mess of dreadlocks, and tilted his painted face inquisitively. "So did you like it?" he rasped.
  Irene raised the shotgun and fired, but instead of shredding Clown's body and turning it to ash, the consecrated silver pellets hit something large and white, peppering it with small holes. The fucking door! her mind screamed. He planned for this, the clever son of a- Her thoughts were interrupted by a dirty sneaker to the face, shattering her nose, which regenerated instantly.
  As she tumbled out the window, she grabbed the nearest thing she could: The bastard's leg. Within an instant, the two vampires were in freefall, punching and kicking each other, tearing at each other's flesh savagely and regenerating the injuries almost as soon as they were made. They then hit the pavement, their bones breaking and their organs rupturing inside them. Irene hit her head and was momentarily dazed. Clown got up first, his wounds healing as he approached the regenerating-yet-prone Irene.
  He raised his hand, the fingernails extending into claws as he grinned. "Give the Vatican my regards, you Catholic slut." he hissed, then prepared to swipe her head off and kick it into the ocean, but was stopped by the sight of the crucifix that had popped out from between Irene's breasts, the crucifix which hung around her neck and nestled against her heart. Instantly, Clown felt his body seizing up with a primal hate and fear, some sort of psychological revulsion that he couldn't control or will away. He backed up, shielding his eyes and hissing. That gave Irene the half second she needed to regain herself and go back on the offensive. She pulled out a silver throwing knife. "Give my regards to Satan, puttana." she replied, then threw the knife at his head.
  Had Clown been of any other tribe, the knife would have killed him. Irene was able to hit a moving target with a blade at a distance of thirty paces with no trouble, let alone a prone and flinching target at a distance of five. However, Clown was a fucking Reader, and they never went down easily. He predicted the blade's trajectory at the last second and moved out of the way, but not enough to avoid it entirely. Rather than burying itself in his face, the blade buried itself in his shoulder. Clown screamed, the meat of his shoulder beginning to smoke and blacken. The knife was not consecrated like the bullets were, and so the damage it did was far slower, but it would still kill him if left in there for too long. He gripped the handle and pulled it out, roaring in pain and rage. He tossed the knife aside, but his strength was all gone. His vision blurred as darkness crept in, and he passed out.

  Irene got back onto her feet and approached the unconscious abomination. She wanted to torture him, to flay him alive. It was the least he deserved for killing a baby. She wanted it to be slow, but she could hear sirens in the distance. Somebody in the apartment building called the police. "Merda..." she muttered, pulling another pistol (a Beretta) from beneath her ripped-up trenchcoat and thumbing back the hammer. Before she could take aim, the heat began to hit her. "Oh fuck." she said to herself. The sun was rising. She needed to get back home before she burned to death.
  She looked down at Clown, who was still unconscious and lying on his back. His skin was very dark, which might protect him for a few minutes at the most, but the fact that he went shirtless under that loud purple jacket of his (and the fact that his pants were shredded to the point that she could clearly see his genitals) probably decreased his chances of survival by a considerable margin. She smiled at the thought of this monster waking up to his dick and balls burning off his body, then put her gun away. "I'll see you later tonight, you baby-murdering motherfucker." she whispered. "I'll be sure to bring a silver-tipped strap-on to fuck your new hole with, too." Then she left.

  Unfortunately for Irene, the sun never touched Clown's body. The police arrived on the scene to find multiple dead bodies and an unconscious African-American male in greasepaint and a purple jacket. They shoved their only suspect into the back of a squad car and drove him to a place where the sun didn't shine. Little did they know, they had just brought a hungry lion to a cage full of defenseless sheep, themselves included. By the end of the day, they would know well enough.
Chronologically, the very first Vatican Knight story that I ever wrote. In this, Irene and Stuart are in New York to take down the utterly-insane and depraved Clown, a Reader (a class of vampire that receive uncontrollable visions of a constantly-shifting future) who has decided to instigate a ghoul-inflicted genocide on the planet. This is the story that showcases Irene turning Stuart into a half-ghoul, which of course necessitates a pretty graphic sex scene, so I might adjust the maturity settings as I'm writing this. 

More to come. 

Enjoy! 

Vatican Knight: (c) :iconcrookedalley:
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January 29, 2015
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