This is the 103rd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.
Deal with the Vampire Plague, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 14th March 2013
Word count: 1,000
“Come in sit down,” the old merc invited the officers that had gathered at the door. “Come on, I don’t have all day, and you guys certainly don’t.”
The police officers of Speck upon Thames entered and took seats.
“I know some of you probably find this menace hard to believe, some of you have seen one and maybe doubt your ability to deal with an enemy so strong and so fast,” the mercenary said standing while the dozen police officers were seated. “Well both views are wrong, the urban vampire is very real, and it isn’t unbeatable.”
“I shot one,” one of the police officers stood up, a bit shakily, “It just got up and kept going.”
“They’ll do that,” the merc said, taking a seat. “Listen you guys have a problem, there have been three sighted in your area, you’ve faced one already. This is a real and dangerous threat. So tell me what you know about vampires.”
“They’re strong and fast,” one of the other officers said from the back of the room.
“They feed on blood, they prefer virgins, and they turn people,” another near the front said.
“That’s what the papers report,” the merc replied, “Reality is a bit different from that. Yes staking them through the heart will kill them, but that’ll kill anything. It’s also a quick way to get yourselves killed, at all costs avoid getting in close with a vampire, they hold all the advantages in close combat.” The merc got back to his feet again.
“Now I don’t care about the existential implications of vampires, whether they’re humanity two point oh, or whether they’re figures from a long lost past. They exist, and they’re deadly now. Yes they need blood, but all they care about is that it’s free of disease. They’ll torture a source for weeks, draining them bit by bit.”
One of the officers got up and left.
“What’s with him?” the merc asked.
“He found one of the victims,” the officer that had shot a vampire said, “We both did, it was terrible.”
“Yes, it is,” the merc said looking away for a moment, “But that’s why I’m here. I’ve been asked to teach you how to put these mother fuckers in the ground for good.”
Everyone’s attention was rooted in the merc now.
“Vampires don’t spread by bites, they are born like everyone else. Each of these children of vampires have a roughly fifty percent chance of being a vampire.”
“How do we know that?” an officer at the front asked.
“Well that’s a personal subject to me, my mother was a vampire, I’m one of the fifty percent that aren’t born vampire. I was fortunate, my mother was killed before I was old enough to tell whether I was human or vampire, or I would have been fang chow.”
The officer immediately sat down, with no further questions.
“So the important thing to remember is that humanity can win the day, contrary to popular opinion you have to be born a vampire, and to do that you need a vampire mother or father. Mothers are more common, but we don’t dare ignore the male vampires, they hold their own in the birthing department. Kill the breeders and we stand a chance of ending the vampire epidemic before it begins.”
“What’s the law on this?”a police officer asked.
“No law,” the merc said, “Simply put the government wants them gone and official policy is that vampire kills don’t go beyond the coroner who confirms they were indeed vampires.”
“Have you killed any that weren’t?”
The merc looked away again, then forced himself to look back, “Yes.” The already quiet room fell into a deathly silence, after a few eternities, the merc chose to speak again, “Four times I’ve killed a human when hunting vampires. One human was defending the vampire carrying his child, (which is rare, female vampires nearly always kill the human that fathers their child), another was a mercy killing the evil bastards had tortured him, fed on him and left with just the smallest amount of life left. He wouldn’t live long, but every moment was agony, hell even.”
“You said four,” a policeman said, who then shrank back in to his chair under the baleful stare of those around him.
“Yes, four. Two were mistakes, hunting vampires is a dangerous game, a vampire will use whatever advantage it can find, try and attack you from every inconceivable angle. Sometimes things go wrong, you mistake someone for the vampire you’re trying to get to, and in that split second you shoot when you should hold.”
The room remained silent. “Its the same risk you carry whenever you carry a firearm, your job is to hit centre mass as quick as you can. Put the target down, and then keep firing to make sure it stays down. I could tell you about the greater good, for when the day comes and you make a bad choice. That’s a numbers game, and taking an innocent life, the numbers never seem to add up. So just do your best, and take whatever help you can get after.”
A policeman cleared his throat, “When you’ve put the vampire down?”
“Ah yes,” the merc said happy to return to the main subject, “After you’ve taken it down, you take your knife and you plunge it into the heart, and be quick. If your shots didn’t kill it outright, you need to finish it quick. Given the damage from the bullets, and the loss of the heart, your average vampire will be dead in seconds. Older ones, maybe minutes. Be wary.”
The police officer nodded.
“That’s the basics, we have some training exercises for you tomorrow where I’ll teach you specific tactics, situational awareness, and consequences. I think I’ve given you enough to think on, but if anyone wants to discuss it further come see me in the canteen.”
Everyone got upto leave, and all of them headed towards the canteen.