30: Hunting vampires
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If there’s one thing real vampires seem to have in common, it is their reluctance to tell the world about who, and what, they are. -  Kim Wall, journalist, murdered in 2017

 

*Woof* *Woof*

Barney was sniffing every corner of Coco. Alex wasn't even jealous; Bros before robo-hos.

At this time, Alex was reclining in the Captain's chair, trying to figure out how he could connect his Xbox to Coco's mainframe.

'Sir, we must continue onward to our next destination,' Scott urged.

"Scott, my next destination is Halo. I'm going to get Coco to hack all these games and get me infinite loot," Alex said.

'Sir, please! Time is of the essence. We must go find the European vampires!'

Alex stopped fidgeting with cables. "Did you say vampires?"

'Indeed, Sir.'

"Count Dracula?"

"He is our target, Sir."

"Kate Beckinsale?"

...

"...There is a high chance she will be there, Sir." Scott decided to bend the truth slightly.

"Why didn't you say so? This mission is important. We can't be wasting time here. I must rescue Kate Beckinsale..." Alex looked around hesitantly. "Coco, it's not what you think. I must rescue and protect all innocents..." He froze and waited for retribution.

...

'Coco is an understanding wife.' Alex was happy with his choice in a life partner. He appreciated the silent treatment and found it to be underrated. It reminded him of that time he misbehaved in high school. He threw lunch meat at a teacher for causing him to lose in Dota2 and they punished him with a vacation, aka suspension. "Very well, where specifically are we going Scott?"

'To the underground Catacombs of Paris, Sir.'

***

In a dark manmade cavern, a figure sat on a stone throne. The asymmetric walls of the space were made of ancient brick, illuminated by sparse candlelight. In the corners, large idols of heads hung high, sculpted in stone with precise detail.

These heads were unusual. It was difficult to say whether or not they were human. Their gazes were as piercing as their ears, curved and pointed unnaturally upwards. Several fangs could be seen jutting out of the tops of their mouths like venomous vipers.

The strangest thing of all was that all of these effigies, seemingly hundreds of years old, were all of the same man--the man sitting on the throne.

THUD

From the direction of the throne, the body of a young man was flung across the room into the wall. It was apparent that he had died very recently, fatally punctured in his aorta. Yet no blood could be seen flowing out, as if he had been dead for many days.

*Exhale*

"What of the quota?" A harsh raspy voice came from the man on the throne.

"Voivode, we will have no problems this week." A man responded, sitting on bended knee, his head down.

"...Good...The Order has been a nuisance lately...a big ritual. Do not fail me, go."

"Yes, Voivode." The kneeling man promptly disappeared, as if having merged into the shadows.

*Drip* *Drip*

The only sound remaining in this large grotesque hall was the sound of red liquid occasionally hitting the ground as it slid down the chin of the man on the throne.

His lifeless eyes looked at the blood as it formed a tiny pool on the ground.

*Sigh*

***

"Oh my god!" A woman screamed as she held her hands over her mouth.

"Hahaha, I told you! Crazy right?" A man spoke English with a french accent.

They were walking slowly through an underground corridor, but it would be more apt to call it a massive tomb. As far as the eye could see, the walls were completely constructed of human skulls and bones. This was a land of death.

The man shined a flashlight onto their path ahead. "These tombs hold the remains of more than 6 million people. They extend underneath Paris for over 280 km, with secret entrances all over the city," he explained to the woman.

Her eyes shone with a mix of fear and excitement. This was the craziest night she had experienced since she left America and started her study abroad program in France. A man in a bar abruptly approached her. He was dark, handsome, and charming--exactly her type.

When he told her he wanted to show her something incredible, she thought it was just an excuse to go back to his apartment, something she was very willing to do. Only later did he reveal that he wanted to show her the famous Parisian underground catacombs, which was on her list of things to see before leaving France. 'This is a hell of a first date,' she thought as she continued forward, unable to remove her eyes from the grim spectacle.

The man watched the woman walk ahead of him as he wore a light smile on his face. He glanced around in both directions. Upon confirming they were alone, his smile turned sinister. He rushed at the woman and quickly pinned her against the wall.

"AH--" she almost let out a scream before he covered her mouth with his hand. As the man scanned his prey up and down, his eyes couldn't help revealing desire.

*HISS*

He released a sound as two white fangs extended downwards from the top of his mouth, glistening under the gleam of the flashlight he still held in one hand.

"Hey bro, don't mean to c*ckblock you, but you mind giving me directions?" A voice suddenly interrupted him, appearing directly behind his head.

'How did he get behind me? Is it a slayer?!?' The man was alarmed now. The catacombs were silent for several moments as he carefully evaluated the situation.

"Yes...Pierre...Keep going...I like it rough." The woman was stuck in her own dark romance novel,  seemingly oblivious to the situation.

"Shut up!" Pierre knocked her head against the wall as he quickly strafed to the side, hoping to dodge any weapon attack coming at his head. As he turned around to look for the unexpected speaker, he was shocked, because there was no one in sight. Pierre was a vampire, so even without the help of the flashlight he could see in these extremely dark catacombs, but there was nothing.

'Was it really a ghost?' There were many rumors in France about the catacombs being haunted by spirits.

"Bruh, the thing I hate most is when Google Maps doesn't work."

The voice reappeared, this time to Pierre's side, but he didn't have time to wonder what kind of ghost uses Google Maps because he was immediately sent unconscious by the hilt of a sword.

"Shouldn't these bastards have echolocation?" Alex asked, surprised it was so easy to use his invisibility to take down a vampire.

'Those are bats, Sir. These are vampires.'

"...Their bat ancestors would be extremely disappointed." As Alex tied Pierre's hands with some zip ties he had picked up from his kitchen in Brooklyn earlier, he looked around the catacombs thinking about his next move. That's when he noticed the unconscious tourist girl still lying on the ground.

"Who bitch dis is?"

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