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 Cold Blooded [Closed], Vampire Apocalypse
Lucyfer
 Posted: Oct 18 2014, 05:58 PM
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There was a saying about the impossibility of herding cats. The black-haired human wasn’t certain how accurate that statement was, especially considering the rumors of would-be Pharaoh Udimu, but she thought it could easily be applied to the rebel groups who existed. It had taken weeks to get the scattered groups together, and days to get them to agree on a plan of action.

‘At night.’


Not that it made a terrible difference any more. The places they were targeting had developed ways to shield vampires from the sun as it was. Brent, a rather reckless rebel, had been the one to say it was still likely to catch them off guard, since most rebels tried to make assaults in the day.

They split into three groups. One went to a farm to poison the blood supply. It would kill plenty of humans in time, but hopefully not before the blood was contaminated and infected some of the vampires. It wasn’t supposed to show symptoms for a few days.

The second group was set to destroy another farm and free what humans it could, to take in recruits, to grow the numbers of the free.

The third group consisted of just two individuals, and they had another poison with them. This poison was not meant for the vampires, but for themselves. They stood on the outskirts of the lit up town, and brought the blue tinted liquid to lips that wound soon match. Juliet was the name of the poison, a creation of the black-haired woman and named by her, since she was inspired by a book she’d managed to get her hands on.

Literacy rates were dropping among the humans, which was a worrisome problem. Literacy was necessary to keep up with the activities of vampires, and to get information from group to group. Juliet’s creator tried to encourage it, but finding the time to learn was difficult for everyone, let alone finding a teacher. Her family had valued it, grandfather to mother, mother to daughter, passing the talent along. “Ready?” She asked the woman with the blonde, pixie style hair.

She was pixie in almost every sense of the word, slender and short, light on her feet, and with such a wicked smile. It came to her lips then, “Ready,” she confirmed as the chill of the poison began to move through her body.

The poison worked to slow their hearts and chill them, making them quieter, masking them to vampires. It was difficult to work against, but the two of them had practiced under its influence before. They would be slowed, but they would go unnoticed. That was the hope, anyway. “Let’s go, Morena!” And off she ran, wanting to cover as much distance as she could before that poison slowed her too much.

Morena followed quickly after. They ducked into an alley. When they had to step out onto the streets, they were careful to walk and act as if they belonged—they knew the way they were heading, anyway. Being stopped wasn’t an option for either of them. They had weapons that few, if any, human slaves would be allowed to own.

Soon enough, they reached their destination. It was the home of a prominent vampire. Killing that individual, right in the midst of the city, would cause a spectacular reaction among the vampires. Fear and demoralization.

At the home, they clung to shadows and hid from sight. The poison was in full effect then, chilling them, and Morena fought to stay awake as Trish played with her tablet, a relic of old days, but ridiculously useful in hacking security systems. It was why Trish came along. “Got it,” Trish whispered at last.

Morena moved then, considering the area they were entering in to empty due to the darkness and the lack of sound. From her black pants, she drew the tools to pick the lock now that the security was disabled. She was cautious not to make more sound than necessary, and eventually, the lock was released. The door did not squeak when it was opened.

The room they entered into looked a bit like a kitchen, or what they’d seen of such things, which was a bit baffling considering the owner was a vampire. ‘Human servants?’ Morena wondered, squinting her turquoise eyes to try and see better. Possible. They weren’t targeting any low-authority vampire.

Trish walked in before Morena, glanced back at her, then motioned left. Morena nodded her acceptance as she shut the door, and motioned to the right. They would split up and search the household.

Both of them took flashlights from under their shirts. Their clothing had been purposefully loose so that these things would not be revealed. Trish turned hers on immediately, foolishly in Morena’s opinion, and walked on. Oh yes, the bulbs were UV lights, but Morena didn’t want to give herself away so early with light. To her, the flashlight was a weapon and not a tool by which to see.

It wouldn’t be the main weapon. As she walked, she knelt down and lifted her pant leg to remove the thin, but long, blade, quite glad it hadn’t actually punctured her. She had no sheathe for it. It had proven itself quite useful in beheading vampires, so she kept it around.

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XANDER
 Posted: Oct 21 2014, 09:51 AM
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After death, what does a man live for?

Life has meaning because it is finite. An end means there is a middle and a beginning. Without death, there is no life: only experience, layers of emotional sediment that harden and fossilize once-living things. New things become old things. As life stretches on, the finite list of novelties in the world is whittled away into a handful of rare, unnatural events. The landscape flattens. There are no mountains when one can climb them in a single bound.

The security system is an archaic joke. Behind each door, the tiles are pressure-sensitive for fifteen feet. No alarm sounds, save for a handful of tiny bells deep in the recesses of the home. The tinkling echoes in the darkness, dying before it can reach the front doors.

Where are the servants? Where is the security? Why would anyone of import live here, with a system that can be accessed by outdated technology?

Why?

Time passes. The women find no one in the first few minutes of their search, wandering further and further from one another. Morena looks into a few lavish, empty bedrooms, an opulent bathroom suite, a study. The UV lights are on, but no one is home. She passes into a living room on her way through the rest of the house. Through a sheet of clear, thick glass, a pool sparkles in the moonlight.

Pain is something that can still ground creatures to the world. Morena must be very grounded then, when a dagger impales her foot to the floor. It shatters the navicular bone in the process. It all happens -- so quietly, without any fanfare at all, as simply as a bird casts a shadow flying past the sun. Agony occurs incidentally, meaninglessly.

There is a man on the ceiling, when he was not there before. He has shoulder-length, curling black hair, and he's wearing a v-cut sweater with fitted pants. It's too dark to see anything else, much less his face or his expression. He is only lying there, upside-down, as a dead man might lie on the floor. His head is pointed towards Morena. Another three daggers rest in the gaps between his fingers. Their handles are silver with a pattern of woven thread, circling clockwise to the top. The caps are round bits of onyx, eating up what little light there is.

"Will your little friend come to save you?" He speaks in a bored tone. "It might give her a more meaningful death."

The rebels fight because life still has meaning to them. But how quaint, to even dream that they understand fear.

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Lucyfer
 Posted: Oct 21 2014, 01:11 PM
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The pool was a strange addition, perhaps only because Morena had never seen a vampire swim, and never considered such an activity enjoyed by them—even if they used to be human. It must have been those sparkles, she considers in a second of hindsight, that caused her to miss the glint of the dagger.

She certainly notices it when it pierces through her foot. The poison did not nullify pain.

Her immediate reaction is to cover her mouth, dropping her own blade in the process, to muffle her outcry at the pain. This would not be the first time she was caught off guard by a vampire, but it was the first time in what felt like years.

Morena looked up before he spoke, fingers finding the switch on the flashlight, uncertain if this was the right weapon to hold on to or not. She stretches her toes under the shoe, glad they can still move, and decides it was.

The man above is dressed as dark as the rebels in his home, but that is all she can truly make out about him. His expression is a mystery, and his daggers don’t catch much light at all. Given moments to think, that clue alone might have given away the fact this was no typical foe, no vampire who had gone soft due to luxury.

She does not have that moment to think. Her breath hitches when he mentions the other—fear, yes, fear for her friend with a little mixed in for herself. It is there a moment, before hot anger and denial replaces it. No adrenaline. Adrenaline could not compete with Juliet.

She lifts her arm under the influence of anger and a need to keep Trish from the danger of the vampire. She flicks the flashlight on, aimed up to catch him in it. Her light, however, is not the only light to fill the room. A moment before Morena flicks the switch, Trish’s light fills the room and engulfs the furniture and the woman on the floor.

Trish heard, in the silence of the house, Morena’s muffled cry. The light that fills the room is from Trish’s flashlight, and the vampire’s question is answered without words. Trish would come to save Morena.
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XANDER
 Posted: Oct 23 2014, 09:30 AM
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Why keep from screaming? He already knows they're here; there is no hope in silence now. He watches the blood seep from Morena's boot, and his nostrils flare. It smells off.

To him, Trisha moves in slow motion. There is no excitement in how he drops from the ceiling like a chandelier, no thrill in how he weaves through the room like lightning. To Wolfram Valentine, it could be a stroll in the park. The light expands through the room in inches, freeze frames of mock sunlight. Time passes too fast for these humans, so they cannot see his single blink. His whole face sighs.

Certainly it burns somewhat, when the light touches him. His skin chars and flakes in patches on the top layer. In that light, for a moment, both women see his face: he is pale and tall and western European, German or English. His jeans are fitted and his sweater is a dark blue, like the sky at night or sea in a storm. Like all vampires, he possesses that unnatural postmortem beauty, as if a mortician and a sculptor have altered his face to create perfect symmetry and emulate a regal bearing. He takes Trisha by the back of the neck and throws her at the window facing the pool.

He means to throw her through it, but the glass is stronger than Wolfram remembers -- or he doesn't toss Trisha as hard as he needs to. The force is enough to break her back, but he glass only spiderwebs, declining to shatter. The flashlight does.

"Should I throw you too?" From over Morena's shoulder, he nods at the glass, now spattered with blood. "I meant to put her in the pool. You can go instead."
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Lucyfer
 Posted: Oct 23 2014, 12:22 PM
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Every rebel was prepared to face death themselves. Every rebel had grown to accept that others would die, but that part was not as easy to accept.

‘But where there’s life, there’s hope.’

And Morena still felt hope even as the blur bypassed her to strike at Trish. There was a moment where she could see his features, but only a moment. Her imagination might have simply given his pale face eyes and lips before he was out of her sight, but for a moment he seemed a vampire who truly embodied the nocturnal aspects of vampires in his presentation of himself.

And then, there were only sounds to tell what happened, for Morena did not even attempt to look behind. Morena heard the sounds, when Trish hit the window it was a thud, a crack, and several crackles. The second thud was her fall to the ground. A third, smaller crack, as the husk of the flashlight hit the ground. The light that had surrounded Morena faded away.

Trish’s death would mean something, as he suggested, but only if Morena lived. Only if Morena succeeded. Otherwise, Trish’s death was pointless, even to the vampire. She hadn’t made it out to the pool. Morena did not turn to see that. She doesn’t turn to see the vampire as he questioned her over her fate, even if she was curious about what expressions that dead face was making right then. All she had to go by was his tone, and she was certain that he was toying with her. Her answer would have no meaning if the vampire had already decided he wanted corpses in his pool as his decoration. “No.” Anger shook that word.

There was a thought to suggest other ways of death. ‘If you’re going to kill me, kill me properly.’ But he might smell the ruse. Juliet was not good for a vampire to take into their veins.

She would not give him ideas, but she found the silence then to be troublesome. Her thoughts trailed to what was behind her, to what state Trish was in. Could she be alive? Broken, unconscious, but alive?

Words and actions served as better distractions. “I don’t enjoy swimming,” as if that would matter. She’d be dead. She’d just float.

As she spoke, her knees bent and she placed the flashlight on the floor, letting the light rise up around her as if it might do some good. Her face couldn’t maintain an expressionless visage, for the pain as her weight shifted was intense. Black eyebrows knit together, and her lips fought to remain closed. She bit the inside of her right cheek to make it easier, sucked in a breath, and then reached for that dagger to pull it out of her foot, out of the floor she was almost positive it had penetrated.

Death was already guaranteed here, but she wasn’t going to act like she believed it. Hope. It was, perhaps, humanity’s greatest vice, and she’d never taken fear in large enough doses to get rid of it.
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XANDER
 Posted: Oct 26 2014, 10:55 PM
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And why should Morena live? Does she consider herself superior to Trish, more deserving of life? Both of them must be suicidal in the first place, coming into the lion's den. Life must feel pointless to them, knowing their only fates are to be cattle or criminals. Why not just... die?

When Morena goes through the whole performance of setting the light down, he kicks it away from her, before she even stands. The flashlight spins across the floor, bumping into Trish's heel. She isn't dead yet, only dying, only broken and in unspeakable pain. The blood runs slowly down the glass, getting trapped in the cracks.

Wolfram plants his foot squarely on Morena's back. The pressure of it keeps her bowed, her head to the floor, her back curved and supplicant. The weight in his heel paralyzes her in a more humiliating fashion; the pressure belies the vampire's size, pushing down on her as if he was a giant from a fairy tale. So what if she pulls the dagger out? Her foot is broken, and she cannot stand. "I haven't dismembered a rebel in a little while." The same bored tone, the same sigh. "Do you think you could stay awake through the loss of your fingers? How many?"
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Lucyfer
 Posted: Oct 26 2014, 11:53 PM
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There wasn’t nearly enough time for the light to do him any harm. ‘You knew there wouldn’t be.’

Of course, but it never stopped her from trying. She’d been successful before. Why not now? Why not this time, too? ‘He must be older.’ Foot to back. Though she tries to straighten it almost immediately, the struggle is pointless and only serves to reinforce her knowledge of the vampire’s strength. Her grip tightens around the dagger, as if that might offer her more strength.

She ceases her attempt to pull out the blade for a moment, trying to gather her breath in this new position. Her lungs feel compressed. She rolls her shoulders to have some movement at her back, some delusion of autonomy. This position made it seem like she had none.

‘See, you didn’t need to give him any ideas. He’s good at making them up on his own.’


Her inability to breathe deep betrayed her as a yawn then, as he’s talking about dismemberment. Not the best time to yawn. She swallows air shortly after, an act of frustration, and gives one last pull on the dagger. It yanks out. She might have rolled backward, were his foot not holding her in place. She maintains a grip on it. It’d be near impossible to use it in this position, except on herself. ‘Some dignity, anyway, would be had if….’

It is a trailing thought, one that can only end in unfinished silence.

Her fingers flex under the consideration of that, an action that could be taken for her musing about his question. “Don’t know,” there was nothing to do but answer. Silence would certainly earn the threat. “You have a better idea than me.” He’d done this before. She’d never lost a limb.

Did she want to find out? Did she trust that if she lived long enough, she would find a way to kill him, even if it meant the loss of all ten fingers?

The dagger served as her source of grounding, an option, another of hope's delusions. There was a choice. Her fingers adjust so only the tips of them touch the hilt. “What haven’t you done to rebels yet?”

‘Why? Why?!’ There was a voice irate at her, but another tried to calm it with the logic of stalling.
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XANDER
 Posted: Oct 29 2014, 08:53 AM
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"Impaling." The foot presses harder into her back. The discomfort blossoms into pain as he forcefully curves her spine, testing her flexibility. "It's too quick. And I? I have nothing but time."

That was the gambler's fallacy, the idea of a lucky streak. But the slim probability that they would succeed was never increased by prior success: it was equally unlikely each and every time. He watches as the one woman pays no attention to the dying one, speaks no words of kindness or concern. It would appear, then, that the affection was one-sided. This kneeling one would not have died for the other.

"But I do know someone who fancies an impaling." His tone turns thoughtful. A rich man like Wolfram probably has rich friends, and the rich so often cultivate eclectic tastes.

His foot withdraws, but only so he can take one quick step around her to kick her in the gut, knocking the wind from her, maybe shattering a rib. It's then that Wolfram rolls her over with one wingtip shoe, to see her face. To see if she'd be any use as a present.
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Lucyfer
 Posted: Oct 29 2014, 09:37 AM
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Too quick. ‘Damn.’ Though her mind wanders back to the knife and how easy it would be to impale herself with it. Quick, not painless. She is forced to bend forward more and she grits her teeth, a snarl escaping from tightly closed lips. He speaks of a friend following that, “I’d be happy to impale this friend,” though she knows that’s not what the vampire meant.

Her words are rewarded with a fleeting freedom. She immediately attempts to use her good foot to push herself away from the current position, but the other is still too damn fast. A kick knocks the wind out of her with a yelp as the foot connects with tender flesh and she crumples back to the ground. The pain is sharp one moment, and then dull with spikes of pain. No satisfying crack this time, though there was no question that the area would bruise. It is in that moment her head is turned towards Trish. The darkness makes it impossible to tell that she is still living, still aware, but the sight of her broken body causes a deep pain, a deep regret. An icicle to the heart.

There is nothing that can be done. Even if Morena had known Trish still lived, she wasn’t sure anything different would have happened. What could be said to the dying, when the show must go on?

She is rolled so that she is looking up. Her first reaction is to go back on the offensive, since his foot is at least in range, is at least something she can try to harm. She makes an attempt to impale the dagger into his ankle.

She understands that he wants to examine her and consider her as a gift—and perhaps, it would have even been smart to play along. Perhaps his friend would have been easier to impale and escape from, but logic didn’t play a part in her decision to act. Anger and pettiness ruled the gesture to strike out.

Then again, perhaps his friend liked the difficult ones.

As a gift, his friend’s tastes might be met. She is not unpretty, and in fact, her face shows no injuries from her past encounters with vampires, or even other humans. The skin is fair and smooth, eyebrows separate and as black as her hair, nose straight and lips pink set on a jaw that has always had a slight overbite, causing the chin not to be prominent. Her eyes, though dimmed by the poison, still contain much more life in them than most humans, though that might simply be the anger igniting the to look more like green fire than their usual, calmer tuquoise hue. The color did lean more to the green of the spectrum than the blue. Her dark hair spills out behind and beneath her over the floor, though hers is straight to Wolfram’s wavy.
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XANDER
 Posted: Nov 4 2014, 11:33 PM
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But it would be quick. It would be quick, and it would be her choice. It may be one of the last choices she will be free to make.

"Your friend isn't dead yet, so you know." Wolfram takes the liberty of informing the girl underneath his foot, since she can't smell the difference between live and stale blood. "She can hear you." He is more careful with the foot on her chest, lest he shatter her sternum and crush her heart. It would be too easy, practically an accident. The dagger goes through his ankle, but that does nothing to budge his foot. The blood that leaks from the wound is darker, thicker, coagulated. The blood of the dead, moving sluggishly through a cold body.

"Decent," he declares. After another moment of thought, he says, "Say goodbye to your friend." Then, Wolfram kneels, wrapping his hands around Morena's throat. His fingers are like ice as he squeezes the air from her, until the world goes dark.

*

She wakes in a cage more fit for dogs than men. It is only tall enough for her to crouch, not to stand. The room around her is cement on all sides, with a scattering of empty cages surrounding her own. There is a door at the back of the room, and an open staircase at the front.

After a few minutes, a girl comes down the steps, carrying an ornate silver tray. Atop it, there is a much less ornate metal bowl, accompanied by a dented pitcher and chipped cup. The girl comes close to the cage and crouches there, waiting. There is no key for the cage; only a fingerprint scanner.

"Girl." Leah has large, brown eyes, like a deer or a cow. She looks about fifteen. "You need to eat." Her voice is quiet, but vaguely contemptuous. She has been sent to feed the prisoner; in Leah's opinion, the prisoner is too stupid to deserve food, but she does as Wolfram orders.
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Lucyfer
 Posted: Nov 5 2014, 03:47 PM
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The vampire told her of Trish’s state, but it did not disturb her attempt to stab him anyway. He didn’t even flinch though. Her surprise is apparent, for most of the vampires she’d dealt with did respond to injury. The absolute lack at least confirmed she and Trish had gotten in way over their heads with this target, but it did nothing to comfort her or quell a panic that couldn’t manifest in adrenaline.

She would have pulled the blade down, to cut through the rest of his foot, to deepen and enlarge the wound, but his movement to kneel takes the dagger from her hand. His fingers find her throat and press, the shock of cold not as shocking as it should have been against her cooled skin. Her efforts to remove him, to claw his eyes out, are futile. No parting words are offered. The slip into darkness is agony.

It is only remembered when she wakes up to pain. Her foot, and her throat, protest the most when sound returns to her. Her throat burns, and she coughs, irritating it further. She opens her eyes and tries to get up, but her ability to stand is hindered by the roof of the cage. She shoots it a glare, before settling down to sit and look around, take in the environment. A hand goes to her throat. ‘Well, at least things are back to normal.’ Her heart was racing painfully. The poison must have worn off recently.

She adjusted herself in the cage so she could take off her shoe and look at the injured foot. It was during that process she heard the entrance of another. She does not look up until addressed. She was the only one here. She doesn’t seem to appreciate the term chosen, though she does not offer another in place of it.

Well, at least there were human servants. The kitchen wasn't a completely waste of space. This one looked rather young. “I’m sure I do,” she agreed.

‘Eat for your strength.’


“I’ll pass.”

She screamed at herself internally, went back to examining the wound, removing her sock and wincing at the sight.
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XANDER
 Posted: Nov 9 2014, 02:18 PM
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Leah doesn't what the world was like before vampires ruled it: she doesn't know of any life outside of servitude. Wolfram is not a charismatic master, but he has been an influential one. Leah knows she could survive the torment that some of the captured have been broken by. Freedom has made them weak and delusional. People like Morena don't understand their place in the world, and that is why vampires like Wolfram will kill them. Every last one of them.

Still, it doesn't seem fair to just let Morena starve herself. "You'll be no use to anyone if you don't eat. Not even to yourself." Leah puts her head in her own hands, setting her elbows on her knees. "You could at least be healthy for... whatever Wolfram is going to do to you." When she tilts her head one way, Morena can see two circular scars along her neck. Wealthy vampires like Wolfram get their blood fresh.

Leah has met the 'friend' Wolfram has referred to. She and the others stay well-behaved out of fear and gratitude, knowing what will happen to them if they stray.
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Lucyfer
 Posted: Nov 9 2014, 02:32 PM
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The words are logical. They echo Morena’s own thoughts about food and strength, but stubbornness has always been her weak point. It was why she would not simply surrender her own life, why she could not call out to Trish at the end—stubbornness. Hope.

It has landed her in a cage with a young girl trying to convince her to eat. Her thumb presses against the wound to test tenderness as the girl becomes eye-level with Morena. She does not want to look at her. She can barely stand her, a human who has accepted her servitude. ‘We have the numbers. If only more of us were willing….’

“What will Wolfram do?” She asks, finding the point of pressure where it hurts. She removes her thumb. “It was suggested he was going to sell me to be impaled. Doesn’t seem so bad.” Fast, as Wolfram claimed. What point was there to eating if survival was no longer an option? ‘It is! It is!’

And of course, the words that cause her to reconsider, ‘Trish wouldn’t want you to starve.’

Morena looks to the girl. There are the wounds of feeding there, right from the neck. Morena considers her lucky to be alive. It is an art not all vampires cared to perfect, to feed from the neck. Human veins and arteries are so fragile. One wrong move, and they can be torn open and the victim will bleed to death. “What do I need to worry about?” It was a sincere question, with just enough concern to suggest Morena might be convinced to eat if the threat was dire enough.

Or the options inviting enough.
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 Posted: Nov 9 2014, 02:59 PM
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"Trade you to someone, probably." Leah grimaces when Morena mentions the impaling. Ah, yes, that's the friend. That's the one that Wolfram is always getting favors from. From where Leah stands, those favors come cheap: only one measly human. Human lives are cheap. Vampires are still the rarity, and thus the valued race. Humans are just cattle that have attained consciousness in the new food chain. "Not sell. He isn't like that." Leah has been here for the past six years, and considers herself something of an expert.

"You need to worry about eating. Maybe you won't get impaled. Move to the back of the cage." Leah shoos Morena away from the door, her finger hovering over the fingerprint scanner.

"Why did you do it? Come in and try to kill Wolfram." Leah sounds legitimately curious. "Hadn't you heard about him?"
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Lucyfer
 Posted: Nov 9 2014, 03:10 PM
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If she moved back, would she have time enough to escape? The thought crosses her mind to grab Leah the second the door opens and trade places, escape and leave Leah in the cage. It didn’t matter to her right then what punishment followed for poor Leah, for Leah had chosen servitude.

She moved back to humor her at first, but the pain in her foot told her she’d never be fast enough. Not presently. She needed to wait for the pain to dull. She moves to the back and lets her back fall against the bars, posture relaxing a bit as she lets the injured foot sprawl ahead of her. Dead weight. An irritation. “I’ve heard of all the vampires I’ve killed.” She wasn’t unsuccessful before now. Apparently, she should have learned a little more about Wolfram. “I don’t like to target nobodies in the vampire world.”

She had known this one was something more than usual, but she’d been overconfident. Bold. All she could hope now was that the other groups were successful. She wanted to ask if there had been any news—had a farm been destroyed? She didn’t dare hope for information on a farm being poisoned. That would mean that group hadn’t been successful.

Rather than ask those questions, she confessed, "I didn't expect him to be...competent. I was hoping for a vampire spoiled on luxury." It showed she hadn't heard the right things about Wolfram at all.

“Why do you serve?” Though she already had her assumptions. She’d heard the reasons before. Fear was prominent. Hope of being turned existed. Some loved their owners. “Never mind,” she shook her head then, deciding she didn’t care to know. It would never matter why. The issue was always, only, that they served. Those who loved never tried to convince the vampires of equality. Those who hoped, had given up their humanity. Those who feared rarely overcame that fear.
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