All Over Now: Chapter Nine Of “Bounty Hunter”

“Look out! Incoming!!!” Cyanne’s cries wake me.

I launch myself off the bed and onto the floor. “What the Hell?” Something whizzes by my head.

“I don’t know.” She is on the floor next to me. But unharmed. “All I know is they started attacking early this morning. Whatever they are.”

“What is flying around?” I am still trying to catch a glimpse of whatever it is.

“Pellets of some kind.” She is ducking as the pellets continue to fly. “But whatever, whoever is flinging them is nowhere to be seen.”

“Who’s there?” I am getting tired of being attacked.

Suddenly, it stops. As sudden as it started, it is over. I rise cautiously. She looks at me.

“You were sure sleeping soundly. I thought you said that vampires didn’t sleep.” She is eyeing me suspiciously.

“I am not exactly a vampire. I mean, I am. But I am much more. And probably much less. I find myself sleeping less and even needing less sleep than I have in the past. But it doesn’t mean I don’t. I must have dozed off.” I smile sheepishly. “It tends to happen when I get bored.”

I find one of the pellets. Bee-bees. I shake my head. That means whoever didn’t need to be inside to be trying to hit us.

“What did you find?” She strides over to where I am. Looks at the bee-bee. “I’ll be damned!”

“Did you hear a gun go off when this all started? It would have been a small pop. Not a loud bang.” I look over at her.

“Yes. A couple hit me, but didn’t do much to me. my leather jacket is too thick.” She looks back at me. “You think someone was trying to..?”

“No.” I shake my head. “Would have to be a really lucky shot to actually kill with these. Whoever it was seems to just be trying to cause discomfort. Unless these are laced with something.”

“Do you suppose?” I have got her thinking.

“No. I would already be feeling the effects if they were. Especially with all the super-absorbent and quick acting biological agents they have now. These simply seem to be ordinary bee-bees.” Now I am annoyed.

What purpose did the shooter have? Unless it was to warn us away from something here. Or simply a random incident. There are more questions than answers right now.

***

We are now on our way. I am glad to be away from that farmhouse. and its outbuildings. Something was off about the whole thing. Was there something hidden inside that house? Or the buildings? Was that why whoever had started shooting?

I take out my list of vampire clans. Seven are now dead. I carry four of the swords, Cyanne carries three. Now, we head for an older family. Dornonko. I have a feeling that I will cross paths with another familiar face.

I sure hope not. Last thing I need is a vampire I recognize. But I have met way too many cowards in the Vampire Nation. Friedrich. Vassare. Kalkolides. Seems that the master and his biggest generals are all cowards. Hateful lot.

We top a hill and there it is. The House of Dornonko. Ancient. Evil. But small.

I see it’s parapets rising in the distance. Its ancient spires casting evil shadows across the valley below it. I am glad I never had to live in its shadow.

Something draws my attention off to the west of the castle-like manse. I take out my field glasses and look in that direction. Monks? Armored monks? Headed this way?

Cyanne can see that I am visibly perplexed. “What is it?”

“Armored Monks.” I shake my head. “Headed this way.”

“Really?” She is just as surprised. “But I always thought they were a myth. An urban legend of sorts.”

“Who?” I look at her in wonder.

“I had heard of a monastic order of warrior monks. Not unlike those of ancient Japan. Or even the Shaolin. But of the Christian variety. Called themselves the Brotherhood.” She scratches her head. “But I never thought that they were real. I mean, I had never seen one. Let alone, ten.”

“I was never told of them.” I shake my head. “Your mention of them is the first I have heard of such a group. Perhaps they are worth talking to.”

“If they talk.” she smiles.

I peer through my field glasses again. Boy! They really move fast! They are almost to our position!

I cup my hands. “Halloo!”

The lead monk waves. And then motions me to be quiet. I comply. And wait for them to arrive.

“Are you mad? I mean you were drawing attention to us and yourself. Hunters ought to know better.” He is stern.

“What are you?” I am fumbling with the right things to say.

“Isn’t it obvious? We are monks. And warriors.” He is still stern.

“I am sorry if I drew attention to you. What are you doing out this far? I thought all monks remained near the missions.” I frown.

“We were sent by a Chosen named Demon Hunter. Said you sent him to us with the humans for deprogramming and re-education.” He finally smiles. “Said we might find you along through here. Going after Dornonko?”

“Yes.” I peer at him skeptically.

“Then you will need our help.” He is insistent. “He is an incestuous old vampire. I won’t go into any details. But he is a vile one. And his crew may be small, but he is no slouch. His soldiers are far superior to Kalkolides’ men. Only reason Jason leaves him alone.”

“Seven Houses have already fallen to me. One of those was Morani.” I watch his eyebrow rise in surprise. One begged for a merciful death due to a virus that kills vampires. Another Chose to strike back at Kalkolides for kidnapping his wife. The others did not pose much of a problem.”

“You must be the one the Vampire Nation has resorted to calling the Angel of Death.” He looks at me. I nod. “And your companion?”

“Cyanne.” I look at him. “She was with D.H. but stayed with me.”

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