I Wish I Felt Nothing: Chapter Nineteen Of “Bounty Hunter”

I am still reeling from the meeting with Marlena De Leonne. And her defeat. She was supposed to be unbeatable. Many hunters have lost their lives to her blade. Even before she became concubine to Tobler.

I take the elevator back to the ground floor. I can feel static building as the electrical systems begin going into overload. I also smell gas of some sort. I pick up a sword dropped by a bleeder and look around. I spot an electrical box. I throw the sword. It smashes into the box. Electricity arcs from the box.

I run out of the building. As fast as I can. I make it several blocks. Explosions rip through the high-rise. It crashes to the ground in a thunderous roar. A cloud of dust washes over the city. Bleeders cease to fight.

The war is over. At least the war for Topeka, anyway. Tobler and his inner circle are dead. The vampire hold on what was once Kansas has been severely weakened. The outlying vampire outposts should be rather easy to defeat. No reinforcements means no relief when besieged.

I smile. Taking Tobler out has made my job easier. And the job of the Underground. Together, we will retake this country. One section at a time.

Perhaps we can renew the hope of the remaining human population. And return what we can to civilization. It is what drives me right now. That and the destruction of the Vampire Nation.

Many of the bleeders have retreated westward. Possibly to Romanof’s territory. We will deal with Romanof. But right now, we will free this region. And points south.

Those captured meet with death. Can’t rehabilitate bleeders. They will always serve their vampire overlords. They will always hope that the empty promises are real.

It is just more merciful to execute them. End their empty desires. If they truly knew what they desired, they would rethink their decisions. There is no life after the change. No soul. No salvation. No death. Just an empty end at the cut of a sword.

But the power mad do not see it that way. They see it as signing yet another contract for a bigger portion of the pie. But there really isn’t a pie. Just an empty tin. It is sad.

But this has all been brought on by man’s inability to learn from history. His blindness has cost him all. Power. Security. The world. The universe.

He lost more than the angels who fell. Or even the Fallen. He lost his full birthright. And descended into darkness.

A new Dark Ages has descended. All knowledge is gone. All advancements. All technology. All medicine…well, at least in the hands of man. RTZ: return to zero. He has become little more than the savage he began as.

Even the bleeders hold no special knowledge. They have no doctors. No businessmen. No scientists. No teachers.

They are simply warrior drones. Like soldier ants. Nearly mindless from their lust for their lost power. Unable to accept the fact that they can no longer have it. All because they made a deal with the devil.

I wish I felt nothing. But I feel disgust at how low we fell as a race. We spent so much time looking at outward differences. Or differences of faith. Or even differences in personal politics. Or even gender.

We failed to see just how similar we all were. Once we got past the supposed differences. We lost it all because we couldn’t get past the least important things. And earth fell to the Devil.

Forty years later, the remnants still grasp for what they have already lost. What they will never get back. They are a dying breed. As in being executed as we finish up here. And as we begin our sweep throughout the region.

All this makes my heart heavy. What a waste. Such promise. Gone.

***

I head out ahead of the Underground. My mission is clear. Clear the way. Destroy any bands of bleeders and vampires I find in between cities. We will be victorious. I must remove the threats in the smaller towns. Those that have become fortresses for smaller vampires. Less important, Less powerful.

I go from fortress to fortress. The bleeders flee west. The slaves decide to remain in the towns. Their overlords gone, they fear no one.

With everything above the Kansas River laid to waste, all is below that. I go west. Before me, a mass exodus of bleeders heads farther west. To what was once Colorado and Wyoming. Higher ground. Or so they believe.

Town by town, I break their hold. Fortress by fortress, I destroy their ranks. My goal is to meet the Underground at Wichita or Kansas City. I want to liberate the smaller towns first.

The Underground has to set up a provisional government before they leave Topeka. This will give me enough time to push the bleeders west out of the region. It will take them weeks. I can be done in mere days. I smile.

Small consolation. I know. There will be a lot of rebuilding to be done after it is all over. A lot of relearning. A lot of healing.

But there is hope. There is always hope. As long as I walk this world, there is always hope. As long as I fight to free the enslaved humans. And against the Vampire Nation.

I find it surprising how easily Dodge City falls. And Hays. They are two of the largest towns in the west. I am surprised that they weren’t thought to be more important. But, then, the bleeders have already abandoned all hope of defending the towns. Leaving their vampire allies without much of an army.

Their abandoning of their posts makes my job easier. Vampire after vampire falls to my blades. I collect their swords and destroy their fortresses. The towns remain intact.

After I clear the western half of the region, I turn back east. And head for Wichita. The underground hits town at the same moment I do. They engage the bleeders and the vampire soldiers. I head for yet another showdown.

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