BtVS by Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Shadowrun RPG by FASA, WizKids, FanPro, Hare-Brained Schemes.
While I use map programs to determine the positions and sizes of cities, the locations in this Cleveland are fictional. Hmm... Also, I think I need something at the back of my mind while I write this chapter... I'll go with 'Subtext: Fire'.
-2000 AD, Cleveland-
In a dance club, in one of the hotter spots of Cleveland, a woman with long black hair danced like she was having one of the happier times of her life.
When she spun, her hair shifted to reveal pointed ears. No-one minded overly, for she was beautiful.
When she finished, she left alone through the back door, headed out towards the quiet spot where she had entered the reality.
However, her path was abruptly blocked by a pale man.
Frowning at the interruption, she decided that she no longer cared about her nearly nonexistent cover now that she was on her way home.
Gathering herself, she flung a small ball of fire just past the man's ear in hopes of showing him that she was not to be trifled with. A faint sound alerted her to the presence of people behind her, so she managed to spin around in time to see the last of that particular pack of viral vampires forming out of mist.
She grinned, because she had proof her opponents were not normal and that meant she could let loose with the full extent of her fury.
If there had been even one less and they had been underfed she would have won...
Despite their losses, they were able to subdue her long enough drain her spirit completely.
Motivated by curiosity, they moved her body to a covered place and inflicted her with the transforming sleep.
The elf had breached the barriers to Cleveland easily, because of the restless Hellmouth, but a more normal and rigid dimension would have been safer.
Struck down for her pride, Warrior-Princess Hammer of the Lily was never going to go home again, no matter how badly her troops upon the cliff needed her.
Her body had become soulless, for she had been drained, and mindless, because she'd lost something that would never return.
What little was left opened sightless milky-white eyes upon a world that only offered pain and screamed the hunting call of the Dark Fae, the banshee.-A Darkened House on a Street-
Smedley was just your normal Gnork half-demon trying to find a job in the big city, until he awoke to the sight of a lady in red standing over him. She was Jonas' first victim and had renamed herself Alice, but he wasn't exactly in a position to know.
Before standing to confront the apparition, he glanced over to the books of magic on the shelf by his bed and muttered the small cantrip that would make his sweat a deadly poison.
When the time for conversation had passed and the fighting had begun, he held his own but, finally, he was brought down to his knees.
Her fangs sank into his neck, bringing forth a surge of raw emotion. The few parts of his mind still capable of coherent thought realized that, despite all he had heard, vampires could in fact enter a house uninvited.
Unfortunately for him, his poison had no hope of working against one already dead.
Days passed until he finally rose from his transforming sleep.
He had gained over a foot in height, among other things.Great,
he thought to himself. I'm evil now. Guess I'll become a supervillain. I wonder if I'd look good in a cape...
"Huh," he said, walking over to a mirror. "I thought my family couldn't be turned into vampires. Well, I guess I'm not exactly a vampire either."
He stood there examining his new body, a full seven and a half feet tall, covered from head to toe in thick white fur, all fangs and claws.
"You know, this will do. Wait. Nice," he said, realizing the effect the transformation had on his voice. "This I can use."
Walking over to a book of poetry he read aloud, the sound a pure and soothing butter, a warm balm that people would want to wrap themselves in, a barrier between them and a cold and heartless world.
With his honeyed words he could talk a grown man into selling his own right arm, and the thought of that warmed Smedley's heart...
"So, I want to snack on people's souls now and consume human flesh. I could fight it, I suppose, but I don't really see the need. I feel my soul inside me and I'm at peace with what I can become. Question is, should I sneak off to the northern woods and start a small cult of cannibals or stay in the big city and rot it from the inside?"
After wondering for a bit about what else he could do, he smiled and let loose something that had been building up inside. His hunting call was the sound of crackling ice, of cabin fever, of whistling wind, of nature cruel and mean, of lost climbers finally eating the bodies of their dead... and those still living...
Deep in thought, he walked through the house, gathering some personal effects together. When he reached some very special supplies, he smiled and drew upon the mystical energy surrounding him.
"You know, I had dabbled before my 'death', but now the power just comes so easily," he said, smirking as he summoned a hint of flame to roll around his clawed fingertips. "Shame to let this energy go to waste, and this place always has been such a dump anyway."
After reaching for one, final item, he recoiled in surprise and pain.
"Oh, hell. I guess ferrous metals don't like me much, do they?"
Grimacing at the very faint hurt still emanating from his hand, he wrapped the iron medal in a cloth and walked away with it.
Smedley the vampiric yeti-type being with a rough counterpart in Native American myth calmly stepped out the front door of what had been his home and tossed the small, half-seen bit of fire over his shoulder.
The building erupted into an immense fireball, yet he did not pause a second to enjoy the sight.
Smedley the wendigo stalked forward, ginning evilly, as his dark shadow, made long by the flames behind him, covered the world before him...-The Future Site of Synaesthesia Corp's New Headquarters-
Esmerelda Ray, the local Potential Slayer, was on patrol around the construction site, deserted at this time of night, when she heard the screams.I'm afraid,
she realized suddenly. Someone must be using magic to try and drive me away
Despite the unnatural fear that coursed through her she approached the source of the sound, which turned out to be a black-haired woman stalking towards a cowering teenage brunette.
The poor girl on the ground was so scared she could nothing but huddle silently in fear.
"What are you trying to do," Esmerelda said angrily as she spun the shrieking woman around. "Give the poor thing a heart attack?"
The milky-white eyes and the fingernails that raked toward her face spoke louder than a simple 'yes' would have.
Coincidentally, Esmerelda's battery-low cellphone chose that moment to silently go dead.
The red-haired Potential Slayer and 'Lily', the dark-haired banshee, circled each other warily as the civilian ran, crying, towards safety.
With her improved hearing, sense of smell and low-light vision, Lily might have noticed Esmerelda's approach sooner, had she not been so focused on her meal.
Sure, Lily had the normal immunities to age, disease and poisons, but, had she been slightly more together, she would have realized she really had gotten the shaft as far as vulnerabilities went. Her status as a HMHVV-infected elf meant that she was not only allergic to sunlight, but to silver and wood as well.
Lily deftly avoided Esme's first attack and turned the full force of her scream upon her opponent.
Esme was so overcome with fright, she had no choice but to turn and run for safety.
Shaking off Lily's influence, Esme skidded to a halt thirty seconds later and turned in time to see the banshee raising her hands above her head in preparation for a spell.
A crackling sound erupted as a lightning bolt shot down from the heavens to strike the ground where Esme had been a second before. It had missed because she was sprawled on the ground a short distance away, under a brown-haired man whose quick action had saved her from the attack.
Lily took that moment to dissolve into mist.
As they came to their feet and stared at each other, Esme's small parcel of Slayer senses went crazy at his presence. Before the red-head could investigate further, the banshee, having reformed a short distance behind the pair, burnt a portion of her soul on enhanced strength and hit the startled man.
The traces of intelligence left in Lily's body had marked him as the unknown quantity in the equation, so she'd dealt him a blow that nearly took his head off.
He went flying to lay crumpled in a corner by some pipes.
Lily avoided the most recent volley of Esme's attacks and again overpowered the human woman with fear.
At that point, Esme could only sink to her knees, scared beyond belief as the banshee circled her and then moved in for the kill.
As the first portion of her soul was slowly drawn from her, the Potential Slayer, through her wide, staring eyes, noticed that the fallen man was nowhere to be seen.
The missing man chose that second to solidify out of a cloud of mist behind the vampiric elf.
With surprise on his side it only took Cain Dennings a simple twist to break the banshee's neck.-A Garage Burning Near Smedley's House-
Thomas the Rogue Dwarf had been one of the few friends of the local Potential Slayer. He had always enjoyed taking time off from his flourishing business to make souped-up cars for the young lady, all of which, in being used in her line of work, soon died with a blaze of glory. He had smiled happily to himself as he turned off his welder and stepped back to admire his most recent creation, only to find himself surrounded by some very angry vampires that had not taken kindly to his tendency to go axe-hunting.
They had timed their attack carefully, wishing not only to kill him but to have him raise from the dead, their blood running through his veins. It was the beginning of a weekend so he was not missed at work, the Potential Slayer had visited a few hours before and was unlikely to check back in so soon.
The only thing the Windfell vampires had not counted on was Smedley's spell.
The fire that night had already consumed the one fully human victim they'd drained on that particular block, by the time of Thomas' awakening.
The ex-dwarf unsteadily raised himself to his feet and watched the flames dance. The disease had shattered his mind so much all he could do was think about how pretty they were.
The virus had also ravaged his body, stripping him of his body fat and hair.
He drooled slightly as he waved a freshly skeletal hand through the burning prettiness surrounding him.
It could have been anything, even the glossy sheen that had spread to cover his skin, but his arm did not burst into flame. It didn't even char slightly.
After a particularly nasty pop from the burning equipment, the ex-dwarf leapt backwards, upsetting a shelf. The tools rained down around him, causing him to howl in pain because the iron burned his transformed flesh as the fire could not.
Whimpering, Thm the goblin ran off into the night.
Two firefighters, out of the many working on the burning street, marked the escape with a few choice words.
"Did a short thing with giant pointy ears just run gibbering out of that fire?"
The blue-eyed and younger member of the fire fighting team had several thoughts run through his mind as he returned to his work.
He realized that the house belonged to a friend of his semi-girlfriend and that withered thing might have been some horribly twisted version of the mechanic.Should I call M first and interrupt her nightly patrol,
he considered, frowning. Or should I call the Center and report this possible transformation?
He had been approached by the Center several months into his relationship with the Potential Slayer. Tales had spread of how a soldier called Riley had betrayed his group for the Chosen One, but corruption already had run rampant through the Initiative.
A little inside info on the local Potential Slayer's activities from someone who cared about her would only help them, right?
Maybe even prevent corruption from consuming the Center in the first place...
All he had to do to help was secretly look for signs of the mysterious disease that supposedly had invaded his town, which hadn't conflicted with his support of the woman he had feelings for. Not so far, anyway...-Deeper in the S. Corp Construction Site-
A short distance from the makeshift pyre where the banshee's corpse was burning brightly, the young woman turned to regard her savior.
"You must be one of those new vampires I've been having to slay recently, but I guess I can make an exception. It feels odd of me to say this, but," Esme said, smiling genuinely as she extending her hand. "I appreciate the help."
"My name is Cain," he said, shaking the offered limb. "Cain Den-" he clarified, trailing off as a stake suddenly blossomed from his chest.
He fell to his knees as blood poured from his wound. He had an idle thought about it ruining his shirt, but then decided it probably didn't matter much...
He shivered uncontrollably as his healing factor tried to absorb the wood, only to shut down throughout his entire body.
Esme, the Potential Slayer, stood over him, frowning. Despite encountering them before over the previous few weeks she was still greatly unsettled by vampires who didn't politely poof into dust when their heart was pierced.
"Nice try, Progenitor," she stated, angrily watching him writhe in pain. "Now that you're gone, cleaning up your mess should be so much-"
"Look," he said, gasping. "I'm not the son of Adam and Eve, I'm not a biblical vampire, I'm not even over fucking thirty! It's a human name... And I swear I'm not the first of my kind. You try..." He gasped for breath. "To do a dumb girl a favor and-" he managed to say as he passed out.
The damage he'd incurred from blood loss, wounds and general allergic reaction to the wood had reached critical levels...-A Peaceful Living Room, Somewhere in Cleveland-
Cain woke up to find a bandage applied to his chest, fresh skin already growing beneath it.
He rolled over, groaning, to see the figure of Esme lit by the flames of the fireplace.
"You know, you're lucky," she stated, idly tossing and catching the stake that had nearly killed him. "And strong too. I don't think that most could have come back from a wound like that, even after the weapon had been removed. My first bunch certainly proves it."
"Since I tried to kill you, we really should be on a first name basis," she continued, grinning ruefully. "My name is Esme, but you can call me 'M'..."
After a short bit of conversation there was a knock at the door.-Flash Forward: 2001 AD, Towards the Sign of the Fox, Troll World-
A year or so into the spread of HMHVV through the Buffyverse, a group of Windfell vampires had gotten it into their minds that killing humans was not only wrong but unsporting. A mage within one particular pack began taking his friends on hunting trips to another dimension where the intelligent game was larger and the soul was sweeter.
Interested in what would happen, they decided to sire some of the aptly-named trolls.
One day as dawn broke over the horizon, one of these new converts rose from his cairn of stones. His eyes were larger and bloodshot, seeing the world around him in waves of heat.
Blinking against the light that mildly stung his eyes, he stumbled back in the direction of his village, hoping to find shelter. He had grown slightly larger and his horns had bent and twisted. Huge patches of his skin had become lumpy and raised, resulting in an unwholesome and rather unhealthy appearance.
The newly risen dzoo-noo-qua, as he'd have been called in the virus' native universe, stood on the hill above the village that had been his home. His mind had been twisted and warped by the disease so much that he could not recognize the trollish shapes below as his friends and family. His only thought was the desire to chase the 'intruders' out of 'his' territory... By any means possible.
Letting loose a howl of incoherent rage, he charged forward.
His best efforts proved to be no match for his clan's hardened warriors, so he was soon brought to his knees.
Raising his bloodshot eyes to the sky he tried one last time to break free...
Forced to take matters into his own hands, Olaf the Troll took no pleasure in dispatching his fallen comrade.