10.0 Sicarius

by Matt P.

Chapter 10: Battlefields

A fight, a battle, has a flow to it. Not just a momentum in the sense of one person having the upper hand, but an ebb and flow to it. Half of being successful in battles, Walter knew, was following that ebb and flow and knowing how to take advantage of it. And so Walter knew that he would never have as good a time to press his luck as he did in the moments following his brazen attack and slaying of the first vampire, as the corpse slid away from his dagger and began to turn to ash on the floor.

“Bug, go right!” He barked as he moved to the left and immediately pressed his attack. He kept the dagger in a knife fighter’s grip, as opposed to an ice pick, and slashed at the throat of one of the vampires ahead of him. She was a dark haired woman and she cursed and flowed back away from his blade like water. In a smooth motion Walter drew his pistol out from his jacket with his left hand—which required a bit of maneuvering, given he had it set for a right handed draw—and fired two shots at the chest of the other. The bullets impacted and the man hissed, but it only slowed him down for a second.

By telling Siobhan to go right Walter had split the remaining three vampires into two groups, a duo he now fought and a single Siobhan faced. She must have sensed something as well because she was pressing her attack—but Walter didn’t have much time to worry about her either. Besides, she had the iron clad faerie dog with her, and Walter trusted both of them to watch one another’s backs. His own was slightly more exposed.

The male vampire, apparently healed from the gaping bullet wounds, lunged at Walter with fingers that had apparently gone to form claws. It was a neat trick, and one he didn’t particularly want to judge the efficacy of. He didn’t think he was going to get out of the way and was bracing himself for the incoming shredding when something inside him…shifted. Gave way or gave him a pool of just a little bit more speed, and he ducked out of the way of the blow. He brought the knife up but wasn’t quite fast enough to do more than superficially slash at the man’s ribs before he turned to block an incoming punch from the woman.

He felt something inside of him, the place where he had pulled just a little bit more speed from. He could feel it there waiting. It was warm and dark and filled with terror, dark red lights twinkling in the night like rubies, waiting for him to call on it if he needed it. The fact that it was there terrified him, but he wasn’t going to forget that it was there if he needed it. He pushed it aside as he slapped the woman’s hand away with the side of his gun and tried to follow up with his dagger, but couldn’t connect.

Walter felt the momentum of the fight flowing away from him as he kept pressing to try to get an advantage against the vampires, but he kept finding himself denied. He could get close to being in a position to press but in that moment the other vampire would flow in and seal the whole. He wasn’t getting too terribly scored himself, although he was taking his share of cuts and bruises as well as the fight continued. He just needed to be a little bit faster, or a little bit stronger to push through a block and have an unguarded shot at a vital area. If he couldn’t get to it soon he wouldn’t have a chance to, and would have to retreat to regroup with Siobhan and try to press it three (two humans and one dog) to three (vampires).

Or, he thought, I could try the other thing. The thing he had felt that had helped him be just a bit faster, even as it terrified him. It felt like black silk and sweet lies in his mind, but it also felt like just a little bit more ability to survive. He didn’t know what would happen if he and Siobhan were forced to retreat down the hallway, but he knew it was not nearly as good an outcome as if he could kill his two and then go help Siobhan do the same. So he reached out to it and touched that dark place, and felt a piece of it break off and seep in to him.

It wasn’t a river, the sudden maddening speed that he had seen Morgan or Oberon employ, but it was just enough. A bit of speed, enough to duck under a slightly overextended arm and come in at the ribs. Just that much and he was in and his orichalcum dagger slid between the ribs of the male vampire. The man’s eyes went wide with shock as the dagger pierced his heart, but Walter didn’t stop; he slid the dagger out and launched himself with that edge of speed and power at the other vampire.

The dark haired woman blinked and flowed back away, but she was slightly too slow to avoid the blade completely. It left a long scoring line down hr cheek which hissed as if it had been drawn with acid. She started forward again, but then a scream filled the hallway. Siobhan, gasping and with a cut down her cheek, but standing in front of the swiftly decomposing decapitated corpse that had once been a vampire. She started forward to reinforce Walter, and the Vampire apparently thought better of facing the two of them at once. She took two quick steps back, and then fled down the darkened hallway and disappeared.

“I need to stop fighting enemies that can do that,” Walter grunted. He looked to Siobhan, bloody but unbowed with sword in hand—and beyond her to Antigone, Monica, Lacey, and that boy that always seemed to be with them when they got in trouble. “Everyone alright?”

Monica breathed out, shaking her head in a little bit of shock. “Jesus Christ,” she cursed softly.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Walter asked, looking around for a moment. Morgan appeared as if out of nowhere, or maybe just lingering by the closet. “More?” He asked. She paused for a moment and closed her eyes, considering.

“One or two we may be able to jump on our way out, but I don’t think we have time. They’re fleeing—I can feel them calling to the shadows to escape us,” Morgan answered. She looked back at the group of teenagers. “They’ll be safe—as soon as the vampires are out they won’t be able to r-enter for some time, I placed something that will block them. Ready to go to the next battlefield on this evening’s list?” She asked, holding out a hand.

Walter nodded, looking to his daughters and their friends. “Be safe, Ryan will come and make sure you’re safe and get you all home. I love you, and I’ll see you all in a bit.” At that he took Morgan’s hand, and the both of them lunged back in to the closet to disappear once more.