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"Why must we suffer at the hands of others?" - "One goes, another comes. Everyone is replaceable."

0 · 413 views · located in Seattle

a character in “Blood & Fire: 2nd attempt”, as played by Valveskur



My name... What's... My name?


328 (Or so he thinks)

Gender; Male

Personality; Darren... As he calls himself nowadays. Is insane. He, from a young age, stuck to human blood. It was potent, it was strong. He used to be friendly until the bloodlust went to his head. He connects things that shouldn't be connected. He's loud, noisy. He has no regard for Vampire life nor Human, as far as allegiances go.
The world will burn. All I intend to do... Is sell its ashes.


He comes in at Five foot nine and a half. 5'9 (1/2)
Physical Description

His bright, white hair is all over the place. Messy. One of Darren's apparel is a winter jacket, and although it isn't winter, he still insists on wearing it. Along with his skinny jeans. He doesn't prefer any heat temperature. Another one of his apparel is a long trench coat with formal apparel underneath. Although he's considered insane, he still has a sense of style. All his teeth have been made sharp to an unreasonable amount.

It's about damn time.


Then there are moments he's completely sane. It's good to catch him when he's sane and not insane. Darren has a habit of biting a lot when insane.


{He claims Venlak is his family by blood. This claim was thrown to the side once he was declared insane. No one really knows who he's related to.)

(As well as each picture, from top to bottom, shows how much he changed. Even though it's only three pictures.)

So begins...

Darren's Story


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Venlak Character Portrait: Brandon Lamont Character Portrait: Darren
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Darren wondered among Seattle. Staring at a wall. "No. I said I was looking for a Vampire." He stood there, listening intently. "Alright. Mansions. Lots of Vampires..." His voice drifted off as he looked around. Darren was looking for something or someone. It wouldn't take him long considering he was a master at hunting... Things. "First go for the throat. They hide sand in there." He mumbled quietly to himself. "I know that. But they also got a little tiny blade in their tongue." He waited a while before the next response. "Don't worry, we can take care of that." Darren nodded as he continued walking off.

Venlak chuckled. "What characteristics do you like in a person?" He tilted his head as he stretched. Ven felt the need to sit down but remained standing. His eyes observed the small room before looking at Brandon. He wasn't sure what exactly he'd do now. "I mean, besides from the small information I already know." A gently smile made its way onto his face.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Venlak Character Portrait: Brandon Lamont Character Portrait: Darren
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“The stars are so much clearer without all the city lights.” He said out of nowhere. He didn’t care that he was still mostly naked, this still felt perfect just being with Ven.

Venlak’s face turned slightly red around the edges of his cheek as Brandon kissed him. But then Ven nodded. “Yeah. It is clearer without the city lights.” He’d never actually been in the city until eighty-two years ago, but he could tell the difference with and without any type of lights. “It couldn’t get any more beautiful… Or romantic.” Ven let out a loud yawn, slowly closing his eyes as he laid his head on Brandon’s chest. His ears twitched suddenly once again from a sound in the distance. Someone muttering something incoherent. “I think someone’s nearby.” He raised his head, trying to listen closer to the incoherent sounds. “It’s definitely someone.”

Brandon heard the sound this time too. It was a muttering as if only hearing one half of a conversation. What struck him as odd was the fact that he recognized the voice. He stood up, a look of shock and disbelief had plastered itself across his face. His eyes had gone wide as he looked in the direction of the voice. “It can’t be… It’s not possible.” He was barely able to whisper. “Darren?” He turned to Ven. “It sounds like my brother, but it can’t be… I saw his room, his body. Unless that wasn’t him.”

Ven stood up with Brandon. “How sure can you be that it’s Darren?” He didn’t mean to seem cold, but there wasn’t anything proving it was Darren unless the person far off got closer, or them to him, and letting Brandon confirm it was Darren.
Darren walked forward, staggering. “Of course it was unexpected, Tim. They didn’t expect me to be so smart. I can see things, you see.” He tapped the side of his head. “I know things that people don’t know.” Darren was dragging his feet with each step, letting out a quiet growl. “I’m quite sure that he’s gone!” He swung into the open air. “Now go leave me alone. I want to walk alone.” He fell onto his knees. To try and stop himself from starving, he bit into his own wrist. Although, the scent of dead wolves caught his nose. “Food.” Darren’s red eyes were in a trance. He slammed forward, looking for the source of the smell. He was too hungry to even consider being cautious.

The sound of the muttering was getting closer. “I don’t know it’s him, but that voice… I know his voice.” He walked closer in the direction the voice was coming from, he heard the sound of dragging feet. He could hear the word “Food” before there was only the sound of walking and running into things. He finally saw a disheveled guy with messy hair pulling himself down the street toward them. He looked like he was ready to attack. He turned to Ven again. “It looks like him.” He whispered. He walked toward him. “Darren, is that you? Do you recognize me?”

Darren’s walking was like that of a drunkard, seeing as how he was walking around aimlessly. “Is that me?” He slowly pointed at himself, looking downward towards his feet. “Of course I recognize me.” Darren bared his teeth. “You seem about the right length. Just enough fat. Maybe a lot of blood.” He fell onto his knees once more, coughing abruptly. “Keep moving. Don’t slow down.” Darren was pushing the limit since he last fed. It’d been awhile since he had a prey. “No one knows… Shhh, Tony. I’m right here. I know I’ll find you sometime and him.” His eyes were filled with lust. The lust for blood. “One two. One two. Once there was a wee little man, who was locked away. And that wee little man grew. Yes he did. He grew bigger than anyone expected him to.” His nails scratched the ground as he stood up. “And that wee little man was no longer little. He came out on top of them all!” Darren rushed forward, raising his hand like he was going to slap Brandon.
Ven stepped in front of Brandon, not expecting Darren to rush at him. Darren’s open hand made contact with Ven’s cheek. In a slow motion, his entire head had a ripple effect from the impact, sending him flying into a nearby building.
“They made a horrible mistake to lock away the wee little man. But the suckers made a mistake by giving him freedom.” Darren grinned as he was face to face with Brandon. It was easy for Brandon to tell how sharp all his teeth were if he were looking at Darren’s teeth.

Brandon looked to Ven, it seemed the building took more damage than Ven did. He wanted to go and help him, but Darren was right there in front of him, but it was clear he didn’t recognize him. “Darren.” He spoke softly, the way he used to when he would visit him in the asylum. The way that seemed to calm him when nothing else did. He hoped it would work, that he would recognize his voice if not his looks. “What did they do to you? Tell me what they did.” He reached up slowly to cup his face in his palm. “I’m here for you, Darren. They can’t hurt you now.”

Darren froze slightly as he listened to Brandon talk. “M-my name is Darren?” He didn’t know how to respond to Brandon. “What did they do?” He repeated the question back to himself, looking to the ground, confused. “I-I was grabbed by some vampires. They mocked me, so I killed them.” He’d rather stay away from how he turned into a Vampire. “Are you really here, Brandon?” His eyes widened as he stared at Brandon. Wavering as he did so. “I can’t find Tony. Where’s Tony?” Darren had a lot to catch up on. He considered Tony family since he was with Brandon to his knowledge. He fell forward, passing out from hunger.

Brandon caught him as he fell and set him on the ground gently before rushing to Ven. “Are you okay? He didn’t hurt you too bad did he?” Brandon felt conflicted but he could tell by how red Darren’s eyes were, not just the color but they looked bloodshot as well, that he hadn’t fed in a long time. “He’s got schizophrenia and he was starved, I’m sure he wouldn’t have hit you if he were thinking clearly.” He tried to explain. “It’s definitely him though, he was looking for Tony too.” He explained.

Ven slowly pressed himself out of the wall he was launched into. “I’m alright. I just wasn’t expecting him to hit so hard.” Ven was sure he didn’t know how Brandon was feeling, but all he could do was comfort him. “At least he’s alive. That’s all that matters.” Ven hugged Brandon rather quickly. “What do you think we should do then? Since he’s alive, but not feeding.” He knew all too well the attitude of when a Vampire was starved. There’s only so much they can do before the lust takes over them.

Brand was glad that Ven wasn’t too upset with his brother. “I know my brother, or at least I used to, and if he wasn’t feeding he had to have a reason. I don’t think he knows he can feed on animals, or maybe the voices he hears are telling him he can’t.” He looked down at his unconscious brother. “The voices used to taunt him so bad, he didn’t know how to get rid of them. The doctors abused him and our parents pretended he moved away. Occasionally the doctors gave him medication, but I don’t know if it helped or just made him so tired that he could finally ignore the voices. Either way he was starting to come around when he passed out. If he doesn’t feed soon he’ll die. I’m going to go get the wolves for him.” He was gone and back in the blink of an eye. He took the cut up wolf and took the chunk of meat and held it over his brother’s open mouth. He saw the way his teeth had been mutilated to where they were all sharp like the teeth of a shark. It saddened him to see what his brother had become, this wasn’t what he wanted for him. He wrang the piece of meat like a dishrag so that all the blood went into his mouth. He grabbed another piece of meat and did the same thing. He could see Darren starting to stir a little as he was fed. He gave Darren the full wolf as he woke up.

Ven walked over behind Brandon, looking down at Darren. “What did they do to him? I’ve never seen a Vampire act that way.” He was taking in account of his mental disorder. “I mean, how hard he hit... It seemed like I was but a toy.” The thought scared Venlak. To be hit like he was nothing but a doll and unable to do anything about it. He carefully studied Darren as he woke up. Wondering.
Darren groaned quietly as he drank the blood coming into his mouth, no matter the amount. “B-Brandon?” He was still trying to wrap his mind around the fact that Brandon was still alive. But he was also glad. “Where are we? I only remember… Looking at a wall.” Darren tried his best to sit upright. His entire body felt drained of energy. Darren couldn’t help but notice Ven behind Brandon. “Who’s he?” He asked as he placed his hand over his forehead, trying to get over the ringing sensation. In fact, how did he end up on the ground? What led him to Brandon? He didn’t know how to tell Brandon that he was a killer. The thought of it simply plagued his mind like a disease. His eyes seemed to be lifeless, lacking the life they once had. “Also, where’s John-” When asking the question, he already knew the answer. There was no John. No Tim. Darren brought his hands up to his ears, rocking back and forth as he sat. “They’re as loud as ever Brandon.” He whispered quietly with tears starting to form.

Brandon looked to Ven’s face. He could see that he was worried too. “I think it was because he was starving, it’s like how a wounded animal uses their last bit of energy to attack a predator.” He explained before Darren began to wake up. He hugged Darren tight to comfort him. “We’re in Seattle. You were turned into a vampire. So was I. I went to the hospital to find you, but I thought you were killed, I saw a body that was torn apart in your room and I thought it was you. Tony didn’t make it, I found him too.” He paused and helped him to sit up and get comfortable. “That’s Ven, he’s my friend, well more than a friend.” He smiled. “It’s John and Tim that are talking to you again?” He asked. He held him to his chest to comfort him while he fought the voices in his head. “Shhh, Just listen to the sound of my voice. Focus on me, like you used to do. My voice and Ven’s voice are the only ones that are real, you can remember that. Now, I need to ask you to try to remember something. You need to ignore John and Tim, and try to remember the name of the medicine the doctors gave you that made John and Tim go away. It’s okay if you can’t remember, we’ll find a way to help you. I promise.” He kept holding Darren.

Darren closed his eyes tightly as he focused on Brandon’s voice. “I-It was um. They referred to it as antipsychotics. It’s similar to dopamine. That’s what they said.” He was trying his best to focus but it was harder than he thought. He hadn’t done this for eighty-two years. Darren grew too accustomed to the voices to stop them in an instant. “Then they gave me a weird pill. I guess it made me extremely tired. Then they gave me dopamine.” Now that he thought about it, it was almost like he was on a lot. “That’s all I know.” Darren hugged Brandon tightly, trying to ignore the voices; John and Tim. But there was always more besides them. They were just the main “people” that talked to him. He wanted it to end but he knew it would be impossible to quiet them forever. Darren could only hope they went into their quiet stage soon.

Ven was surprised at how Brandon was handling this. How Darren was listening as well. “Do you know where we might find that stuff?” He couldn’t help but ask. It took all that just to make the voices quiet down, or make Darren tired. Ven never even heard of this stuff until now. Which made him quite useless in this situation.

Brandon was surprised that Darren could even remember the stuff after all this time. He remembered studying Darren’s condition and he remembered some of the medications that were used to treat it, but he thought if Darren knew the names of what he was given it might help. “Yeah, I know where we can find some of it, but I’m not sure if it’ll still be as effective when it’s old.” He thought back to the medical text he had read. Dopamine and something like dopamine that was considered an antipsychotic. I think I remember something about an antipsychotic but I don’t remember the name. Anyway, there’s a drugstore on the next corner. I think we can find what we need in there.” He picked his brother up like he weighed nothing and walked with Ven down to the drugstore. They went in and Brandon went to the back where the pharmacy was. He set Darren down in one of the chairs in the waiting area. “I’ll be right back, Darren. I’m getting you the medicine you need.” He spoke in the soft tone that eased his pain. He could see by the way he gripped at his ears that they were getting loud. He kicked in the door to the area where they kept the drugs. He went in and began looking through them. He found a big bag and then he grabbed all the dopamine on the shelf. There was only five bottles but they were big bottles used to fill the smaller orders. He then went looking through everything for any antipsychotics he could find. He grabbed about ten different types of drugs to go with the dopamine and he grabbed a medical book off the shelf that explained what all the drugs did. He threw all of the stuff in the bag. He came back out and called to Ven. “Get all the sleeping pills you can find.” he told him while he took the dopamine and one of the other drugs and gave him about four of each pill. “Okay, we’ll try this one first. Here’s the dopamine and the other one, let’s see if it helps.” He watched as he swallowed the pills hoping they’d kick in soon. He wasn’t even sure if they’d do anything without a heartbeat to force the medicine through his blood. He hoped they’d be absorbed with the blood he’d just fed on. “You’re gonna have to take these when you feed if you want them to work.” He said as he held him once more.

Ven nodded, rushing back in to look for sleeping pills. He didn’t know what they were, so he just grabbed anything that said the side-effects were sleeping-ish involved. Ven basically grabbed anything involving sleep pretty much. Not everything that involved with sleeping, but mostly everything. He rushed back out with an armful of sleeping pills. “Here you go.” Ven said as he set them down next to Brandon as he went back inside to look for more.
Darren gladly swallowed the pills, but it brought back some memories during his time in the hospital. “Thank you, Brandon.” He wasn’t convinced they’d work now… But he’d have to try. “Say, what made you stay here in seattle?” Darren’s attitude was calm, surprisingly fast. “I mean, out of all the places, why stay here?” He looked up into Brandon’s eyes. Seeing one's reaction would tell you more about their answer before they even spoke. He was glad Brandon stayed, seeing as how they found each other once again. ~Why stay in a place that holds so much pain?~ Darren wasn’t sure why Brandon would consider staying.
Darren raised his hand, gently feeling Brandon’s skin. It felt foreign to him. That much time passing, never to see Brandon until now. All because his parents decided to give him away, in some sort. “I’m glad you always visited me, no matter how bad I got. But now it’s my turn to protect you. We both know once these pills run out, we’re gonna have to travel. There’s no guarantee that I will remain how I am.” Which is exactly he had to be quick with his next words. “Somewhere off in the west, there’s a mansion. Maybe more. Go there, stop living out here where you can’t interact with anyone… Besides Ven, of course.” However, he wasn’t sure if there was anyone in the mansion. And if there was, what would they be like? “Actually, disregard that. Even I don’t know what they’re like.” His voice suddenly became weaker. “I remember what the Dopamine did, I think.” Darren fell backwards. Dopamine was used for the brain. It helped control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. But it only made Darren tired, as he aimed for a reward that would make it so the voices were quiet.

Brandon tried to speak to him even though he was drifting off. “I know the pills will run out, but I won’t abandon you the way Mom and Dad did. Besides, Ven and I don’t get along well with other vampires. We feed on animals instead of humans.” He saw Darren close his eyes as he fell backwards in the chair. He waited for Ven to return with the rest of the sleeping pills. “We should find a place to set up for a while. I think the bookstore was a good place. We can set up there for tonight, then we’ll get some things to make it more comfortable tomorrow while we’re out.” He said. He was glad that Ven was being so supportive right now. He didn’t know a lot of guys that’d do something like this on the first date, but then he didn’t think there were a lot of people like Ven left in the world.

Ven came back out with just a big bag. “Yeah, no. I’m not gonna carry all these by hand.” He laughed quietly. “Alright. Want me to carry Darren or do you want to?” He placed the bag down, coming up behind Brandon to massage his shoulders. Ven wasn’t sure what to say, so he remained quiet. Would they make room for Darren in their little abode, as Ven called it. He wouldn’t mind. “So, do you think he’ll be calm when he wakes up?” He wasn’t sure how Darren was when he first wakes up. Ven felt a little bit of joy though. It’s not every day that you think your brother died but happens to be alive. And how many pills would Darren need to calm down if he didn’t wake up calm? What if he was just as violent when they, he, first met Darren? Not that the thought scared him. He was just being prepared in his own mind.

Brandon closed his eyes as Ven gave him the massage. He didn’t realize how much he needed it. “I’ll carry him, it’s no big deal.” He said, but he wasn’t ready to get up just yet. The massage was really nice. “I honestly don’t know how he’s gonna react when he wakes up, he usually was calm when he woke up at home, but that was before the voices got bad. I think he stays calm just having me around.” He smiled gently as he looked over at Darren sleeping in the chair. “It’s almost like we’re kids again. It was always a little weird taking care of my older brother, but he was always like a best friend to me. He was the first person I came out to. He loved me no matter what and I felt awful that our parents put him in that terrible place and worse that I couldn’t do anything about it. Now I have him back. If I remember the medical text correctly though, if he stays on the medication long enough, the voices will eventually stay gone, unless something triggers them.” He said. He took a deep breath and picked up Darren. “Okay, let’s get going.”

Ven smiled a bit more. “So there might be a chance that nothing will trigger him.” He picked up everything they picked to help Darren, following Brandon as they left. What did he mean though… A Mansion? Ven knew where it was, but he never ventured near it. “How long exactly does he have to stay on it? They don’t specify on how long?” He was confused. How were they suppose to know when they stop if they put him to sleep? Besides. It’s not like they’d run into any trouble so they had all the time they wanted.
Darren shifted as he slept, grunting. Probably having a dream of his time at that wretched place. Subconsciously Darren acted like he was trying to grab something, but he didn’t have anything to grab. “I’m perfectly fine.” He mumbled quietly as he slept. Darren’s mumbling soon stopped, going dead quiet. Still alive though.

Brandon thought about the medication. “I’m not sure exactly how long he has to be on it. Believe it or not, he was starting to get better while he was in the hospital, at least as far as the voices went. If we try some of the other meds to supplement the dopamine we might find one that has positive effects without knocking him out every time he takes it.” He spoke as they walked to the bookstore once again. He chuckled a little at the words Darren spoke in his sleep. “Even in his sleep he tries to be the big strong guy who doesn’t need help.” He laid Darren down on the carpeted floor of the store when they got there. He pulled the bean bag over for him to use as a pillow. Vampires rarely required sleep but now Brandon was feeling emotionally exhausted. “Just lie here and rest, we’ll make you feel better.” He whispered into Darren’s ear. He looked up at Ven and smiled. “I could go for a little rest too.” He laid down next to his brother and patted the spot next to him motioning for Ven to come lie at his other side. “Come here, I need my big teddy bear if I’m gonna get any sleep.” He chuckled.

Ven smiled innocently. “Alright.” He laid down next to Brandon, hugging him softly. “Do you think he was fine near the end in the hospital before the flare?” It seemed like he was, possibly. But he wouldn’t delve too far into the subject. Instead, he rested his head on Brandon’s shoulder, closing his eyes as he did so. Sleeping seemed foreign to Venlak. “First time I’ll actually sleep for the last three-hundred n’ one years.” Maybe it’d help him. Ven smelled Brandon from where he rested his head. “We’ll help him. No matter what it takes.” It only reminded Ven how much he’d do for his own brother. But he also had the chance to help Brandon’s brother, so he would. What did he have to lose? Nothing much. Ven listened closely, wondering if any of their hearts were beating. Most likely they weren’t. Nothing wrong with hoping though. “I’ve been meaning to tell you. I met a human before I found you. He seemed pretty sure I was going to kill him. It only goes to show how Vampires paint the picture for people like us.

Brandon pulled Ven close and hugged him back. “Darren was getting better, he wasn’t cured or anything, but his voices were few and far between right before the flare. The medication was about the only thing those doctors did right. I tried getting him into therapy to see a psychologist, but the hospital always had an excuse not to. I think if we’re able to talk to him while he’s lucid, we can do more help than just medicating him. I’m glad you’re so willing to help with everything, it’s definitely an odd first date, but it’s still one of the better ones I’ve had.” He smiled and kissed Ven’s forehead. “A human, huh? That’s a good sign that there’s still hope for them. I know it sounds harsh, but they should be cautious. We’re the exception to the rule, most of our kind would kill them and us being anywhere near them could bring unneeded attention to them and make things worse. In spite of our friendly nature, we might want to avoid humans at least for the time being.” He spoke quietly. He closed his eyes and held Ven tight. He didn’t know if Ven would be able to fall asleep if he hadn’t slept since he was human. Nevertheless, he didn’t think Ven would mind being cuddled for a few hours.

“How can we help him if he’s high on dopamine though?” Ven was rather confused on how Darren could be lucid with being on that much Dopamine in the first place. “Maybe you’re right on the human matter. Leading to his death wouldn’t help our case.” Ven gently kissed Brandon’s neck before trying to get into a sleeping position. “How does one sleep again?” Ven looked at how Brandon was laying down, trying to see if that’s how someone slept. It probably was. Ven simply laid partly on Brandon’s side, clinging tightly to him as he did before. He’d do anything for his own brother and Darren fell under that category.
Darren naturally slept on his side. He wasn’t sure whether he was dreaming or not. Or if it was even possible. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. ~Press forward, Darren. John and Tim may be gone but I’ll always be here for you.~ Darren didn’t know if he was dreaming. Why was it always painful to close his own eyes? ~The burden is ours and ours alone. I was always there for you, no one else.~

“The effects of the dopamine may knock him out, but when he wakes up, the effects are still there. He’ll have some time with clarity. I’ll stick to the antipsychotics while we need him awake, but he really needed the rest.” He chuckled at Ven’s question about sleeping. “It’s not easy if you haven’t done it in a long time, but I love your company either way.” Brandon’s own mind was racing, keeping him from getting the rest he desired. He was worried that the the meds wouldn’t work as well as he wanted, but it was something he’d have to face when the time came.

Ven nodded. “Are you sure we ourselves shouldn’t force ourselves to sleep? Or should we stay up just in case he isn’t exactly well when he does.” Only because he had a headstart in sleeping. Ven tried his best to try and sleep but it wasn’t exactly working for him. “I’ll just not try to sleep. Since it isn’t working.” He sighed, burying his face into Brandon’s neck. “It’s either me, or you smell good.” He said jokingly. Now they’d only have to wait. Hopefully not for long.

Brandon couldn’t argue with the logic. Nor could he sleep with his mind racing. “Yeah it might be best that way, my mind isn’t letting me sleep anyway.” He grinned while Ven smelled him. “You’re such a cute boy, even if you are older than me.” He sniffed at Ven’s hair. “Mmm, your own scent is one I think I’ll remember, it’s like apples and clove. You got some crazy pheromone action going on there, it smells in a way I can’t resist.” He kissed at Ven’s ear, nibbling at it a little. “I could just eat you up.” He growled playfully into his neck.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Venlak Character Portrait: Brandon Lamont Character Portrait: Flynn O'Connor Character Portrait: Darren
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Never go into the main city ruins. That was what the pack head had told her, probably a thousand times. Flynn wasn't a very good listener. She never had been. Though it was a riskier venture to head into the old city ruins, it was often also more profitable. Most humans kept to their settlements and didn't wander into the city--which was known vampire territory. Flynn was not most humans.

It was dusk by the time she made her way to the edge of the ruins of the place once called Seattle. Flynn was crouched behind a pile of rubble, what used to be some sort of moving vehicle. She had never seen one work--just seen their bones laying rusting and mangled around the edges of the city like the carcasses of great metal beasts. She licked her thumb, sticking it into the air above her head--testing the direction. Downwind. Perfect. Nothing ahead of her would be able to scent her. This was a pretty typical scavenging mission for Flynn--she often went alone since she was considered somewhat odd by the others in the pack. Ever since she was small she had an unfortunate habit of losing her temper and well...accidentally causing spontaneous fires. This, she had learned, was not a very normal human thing to do. It wasn't, however, without its perks too.

Being able to generate large amounts of heat proved quite useful in the winter time when the snow piled high on their settlement. Her pack leader's house, where she lived with him and her four adoptive older brothers, was always lacking snow even during blizzards. It melted as soon as it hit the roof. Plus, they didn't have to expend nearly as much energy on gathering firewood as other pack members did--thanks to that. All her brothers had to do was tease her--mercilessly. In the summer, as it was now, she tended to sleep outside if she lost her temper to avoid overheating the house. Flynn could also melt precious materials if it came down to it. But the whole fire-thing was mostly involuntary, no matter how much she tried to control it. Pack members had all sorts of nicknames for her--"Sparky", "Firefly", "Matches", you name it. The meaner ones just stuck with the classic, "Freak".

Maybe that was why she felt she had to do more. To push the envelope a little. With well-practiced steps, Flynn crept into the city ruins. She could count the number of times she had been to the city. But she had the route memorized to the old ruins of the "Drug store". Medicine was hard to come by in the wilderness, aside for the few and rare bitter tasting herbs some of the settlement doctors managed to find. Hefting her empty scavenging pack, she crept into the alleyway beside the old store.

Voices. She froze like a rabbit sensing a predator. Male voices. At least two. Movement. Shuffling. Other humans? Unlikely this far into the city. But what would Vampires need medicine for? Could medicine like that even work for them? The voices faded. Receded. Footsteps leaving. Flynn had wedged herself into a square overturned trash dumpster while she waited for the voices to fade. She waited, and waited, and waited. Her feet started to fall asleep. But she was surprisingly patient. She had to be. It was what kept her alive this long. Confident that whoever the voices belonged to were gone, she crept from the ally. It was darker now. How long had she waited? She better hurry up. Darkness was not a human friend. Though, she had always felt she could see better than most of the pack in the dark.

On nearly silent feet she crept into the Drug Store and listened. Silence. Silence. She sniffed the air a little, like an animal might. She had noticed vampires often had a certain smell. Like the inside of a freezer. Though she never understood why. She did understood this was also not a normal human thing--and had kept it herself. Satisfied she was alone, she began filling the bag with what seemed to be pain medicine, as well as cough syrup which was often helpful for the littler ones in the settlement. Once full, she made her way back out into the street, senses on high alert. This was way past curfew, Flynn knew. She was going to be in a lot of trouble back home. Quickly, quietly she crept around the corners of buildings, never leaving her back open, never staying still for too long. She made good time--excellent time. Flynn allowed herself a small, proud, smile.

That was when she smelled it. The freezer smell. As if walking into an invisible wall she slammed to a stop, ducking down. Flattening herself against the side of a rusting mail receptacle. Ahead, the smell seemed to be coming from an open door--the windows were caked with dust--but from what Flynn could see--was stacked with haphazardly placed books. A book store? Well--that made more sense than a drug store. She supposed they still probably enjoyed reading...what else is there to do when you live forever in a cursed half-life? She could feel her heart slamming against her rib cadge and swallowed hard. Now you've done it, Flynn. She thought to herself angrily. You've gone and gotten yourself killed.

Should she run? No..predators like that...better to hide. But where?


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Venlak Character Portrait: Brandon Lamont Character Portrait: Flynn O'Connor Character Portrait: Darren
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Ven clung tightly to Brandon as he closed his eyes. He was already falling asleep, somehow. His thoughts dragged off into what would happen when they awoke. What would they do when they awoke? His mind was racing with joy, but preventing him from talking. Hopefully he would be enabled to talk when he awoke. With his final thoughts, he too, went out like a light. Slowly fading, and soon diminished into his sleep.

Brandon’s dreams were not very settling. He remembered all the things that Darren had told him had happened to him in the hospital. The abuse, the way their parents had ignored him. In the dream he was in the hospital with Darren in a padded cell. The walls fell away into a black abyss and Brandon was trying to save Darren when a huge white and blue dragon flew out of the abyss and breathed a torrent of ice shards at the two of them tearing them to shreds. The dream then faded away, but it wasn’t enough to wake him up. He managed to sleep until morning. He woke up before both Darren and Ven. He sat there still holding Ven in the same position he was in when he fell asleep. He just smiled and held him tight until he woke up.

Darren slowly mumbled, forcing himself up from his side. ~Freedom is all an illusion. You must break free of your chains. Let me in. Let in your protector.~ Darren shrugged, sitting upright. He didn’t need to act like anything was wrong. It wasn’t. He usually had intellect when first waking up as well. Turn around, he saw Brandon and Ven. “I see you two slept well.” Darren said jokingly as he pointed out the obvious. He felt exhausted, mentally. Like always. “Everything’s so peaceful. It’s so foreign to me.” Darren muttered quietly, slowly standing up. It’d be awhile before Ven woke up. He looked too tired to even attempt moving in his sleep.

Brandon was thrilled that Darren was lucid and not freaking out. “Well, I wouldn’t say I slept well, but I slept deeply.” He sighed. He slowly slid Ven onto the bean bag. “I didn’t get to answer all of your questions last night before you passed out.” He smiled at Darren. “I didn’t stay in Seattle all this time. I actually just came back last year. After I thought you and Tony were both gone, I went looking for any kind of information on legends of vampires, so I knew what to look out for and if I had to feed on humans or just blood. I realized I could feed on any blood, not just human, but I also found some really old legends about a savior to the humans that would have the power to bring the vampires to their knees. It was said that he would return in the land of the rain where the sun set on the ocean. I figured that meant Seattle so I returned to help him if I could when he returned. A year later I find you and Ven.” He explained. He gave Darren a big hug. “So when sleeping beauty wakes up, we should go get you something to eat and get your meds in before the voices get too loud.” He grinned. He didn’t want to tell him about the dream and worry him more than he needed to.

Darren sighed. “I have to learn how to take care of these voices on my own or when they’re triggered, I won’t be able to stop what they make me do.” He hugged Brandon back gently. “Also. Why did you sleep well? Was it too weird? I mean, it was weird for me. I had the weirdest dre-” Darren cut himself off, thinking of how he’d word it. “Anyway. Where did you hear these legends? Do you have an idea who the savior is? Are they still suitable to do it? I mean I’d assume this person is able to do it if the legends are like that.” He couldn’t stop himself from talking. “What if they kill- Kill- Kill- Kill us?” Darren was surprised when he couldn’t get the next word out. “That was weird… I never had anything like that happen- happen- happen- hap-, Happen before.” Darren looked at himself weirdly. This was a new one.

Brandon listened to the many questions. “I know you need to learn to control your voices, but the meds can make it easier. Even when they run out, if you’ve taken them for a long time, it could potentially reverse them.” He spoke softly, his voice was still raspy from everything he had done the night before. He wasn’t used to heavy breathing anymore. “I had some weird dreams too. As far as the legends go, I went as far as Brazil and other parts of South America listening to the legends of the humans from a distance. They were never very specific, but from what I heard it seems like he’s going to have the power to wake up the power in humans to defend themselves. I don’t think we’ll be killed if we help out and make it clear we feed on animals not humans.” He heard the way Darren was having trouble with his words. “I think we might need to switch your medication. If this is one of the side effects.” He got the bag of meds and the book of descriptions. He crossed off the medication and took out a new one. “This one only seems to have a few side effects like dry mouth.” He said as he set it on the counter.

Darren chuckled. “It- It- It- It- It’s not the medication. It’s me struggling to keep control.” He sighed. “I’m just so confused. It’s hard to choose between pleasure or pain. I’m not strong enough to handle them.” Darren felt like he’d weigh them down, and he would. He wanted to leave, but he wanted to stay as well. He knew which one was right and which one was wrong. “It’s hard fighting a battle I know I can’t win.” Darren was so focused that his word stuttering had stopped, only for a brief time. “I don’t get why- why- wh- w- why I’m like this.” He felt a surge of anger embody him, making him press away from Brandon. “But I can’t survive on animals alone. It’s the thirst that’s unbearable with these voices!” Darren stood up, storming off to see if he could find a book to read.

Brandon took the information in and tried to understand Darren’s point of view. He could see the anger in his eyes, but he knew that wasn’t really Darren. He walked over to him as he was looking at the books. He had grabbed a few of the pills off the counter. He bit into his own wrist and let the blood start to flow. “Fine, you won’t have to quit cold turkey, here.” He came up behind him and pressed his wrist up to Darren’s lips. He knew it was risky and that Darren might not be able to stop himself, but he refused to give up on him. “Damn it you’re family and I don’t care what the hell is wrong with you, you don’t give up on family. I’ll do anything to help you. Now drink up so you can take these and get those things to shut up so you don’t have to fight them as much.” He demanded. He didn’t care if Darren was mad at him or not he was gonna get better or die again trying.

“I feel quite insulted, Brandon. You know he’s not in control and you still offer your blood to him.” Darren took a whiff of Brandon’s blood before opening his mouth. “But I’ll still go along with it. Why wouldn’t I? Everyone needs their family. Even if that family left their siblings under the belief that they were dead.” He chuckled, slowly pressing his teeth against Brandon’s wrist. “The pills will take about… Ten minutes before taking effect. He’s taken them so many times I’ve lost count.” After he took the needed blood, he voluntarily took the pills as well. “You’re lucky that I’m the rational one. A big difference from the one you first faced that smacked Ven to the side into a wall.”

Brandon could see what was happening and he had no idea that it had gotten this bad. He didn’t say anything to the one that was controlling Darren as he fed on the blood. He didn’t want to give them any more fuel to try and turn Darren against him. He waited about fifteen minutes before looking at Darren and seeing a slightly confused look on his face. “Are you Darren now?” He asked cautiously. “I didn’t realize it had gotten that bad. Multiple personalities now?” He hugged him before he had the chance to answer. “Don’t let them turn you against me, I didn’t know you were alive.” He whispered in his ear.

Darren was rather confused. “Of course I’m Darren. Who else is Darren… that you know…?” He didn’t know why Brandon hugged him so suddenly. “To respond to the previous part first, “they” told me it was (Dissociative identity disorder) D.I.D… And he told me you’d do anything to protect me.” So he was rather confused on the hugging part. “He told me that while you protected me from the outside, he’d do so from the inside. A bit weird. Also, he said not to listen to what you said when he left. That you’d be speaking about how he talked about making me believe you were dead. He’s quite nice, yet he refuses to tell me his name.” Darren could see why Brandon would say that though. It’s how the man sounds and how he said it. Darren would’ve thought something was up had he not been told, or seen it from Brandon’s view. “But I think Ven might wake up soon considering…” He looked around for a clock of some sort. “I saw him fifteen minutes ago. He might be waking up soon.”
Ven actually woke up around the estimated time. “Hm?” He was still exhausted, but at least he could talk and think sense again. “Where are you guys?” Venlak stumbled to get a good standing on the ground. His mindset and vision were still returning after his long sleep.

Brandon smiled at Darren. “Well, he doesn’t need to protect you anymore now. You’re out of that awful place and you have me. And yes he did say that I let you think I was dead, but I thought you were so it wasn’t intentional.” He said before hearing Ven wake up. “Over here, just had to get Darren a snack so he could take his pills.” He called out. He turned around to see Ven and suddenly the room started spinning and he felt dizzy. “Okay that’s not good.” He said as he tried to steady himself on the bookshelf next to him. He fell to his knees before looking up at Ven. “I need to feed.” He growled. His own instincts kicking in. He breathed in deeply trying to get the smell of blood to track something to eat. But right now he could only smell his own blood and barely a little of Ven’s. He ran out of the store and breathed in the outside air smelling a deer nearby and a human. He growled and took off in the direction of the deer where he tore into it and drained it dry. He hoped that Darren was in control enough not to hunt the human as well.

Ven tried to rush to Brandon, to stop himself from falling. “Brandon!” He was rather too late in getting to him. Venlak himself stumbled forward, face planting on the ground. What if he ran into trouble outside and he was alone? A lot of things could happen!
Darren shifted to the side, pressing forward against the ground. ‘Where are you going Brandon? You recently fed didn’t you?’ Darren tried his best to slow down Ven’s falling while still rushing after Brandon. His attention was fixed upon Brandon’s smell, following it. He had a slightly different pheromone radiating off him, just like Ven, making it easier to hunt ‘em down. Coming up behind Brandon, he gently placed his hand on Brandon’s shoulder. “Are you alright?” Darren asked questionably towards Brandon. Was he ok? Why did he need to feed anyway?

Brandon looked up at Darren cautiously. His face was covered in deer blood. “I’m better. I didn’t have a lot of blood in me before I offered. I mean, I fed yesterday but I also ‘gave’ a lot of it yesterday. I didn’t think it was that much, but I guess I was wrong. I felt the hunger hit me right after the dizziness and the only blood I could smell was my own and Ven’s. I had to get out of there before I hurt either of you trying to feed. I might need to get a couple more deer or something, just to be safe.” Brandon thought it was kind of odd to, he had at least one and a half wolves worth of blood in him still by the time Darren had fed on him and he didn’t take all that much. “I think there might be something wrong with me, I’m burning through blood quicker than I should be.” He said after doing the math in his head. “Even with all the extra running around and stuff yesterday, I should have had more blood in me.” He looked worried.

Darren sighed. “Maybe it’s nothing related to these things that you’re thinking about. Maybe it’s related to the thing you think might not affect you as a vampire in whole.” He crouched down to Brandon’s level. “Just take a break, get some blood, and don’t do anything. If it still runs out of your system, we’ll know something is up.” Darren gently rubbed Brandon’s back, sighing again as he did. “We’ll figure it out. Trust me.” He wouldn’t let Brandon die in the future. So he was going to figure out a way to help Brandon. It’d be the first and last thing he did for today, or else he’d forget about taking his pills. (Tag. Might have to go soon, and be back around 4-5ish.)

“Sounds like a plan. To think, all those years I tried to take care of you, and now you’re taking care of me. I love you bro.” He smiled and gave Darren a brotherly hug. “Can you tell Ven what’s going on? I need to go get some more animals. You guys are welcome to join me hunting if you like. Just follow my scent.” He offered. He felt bad for running out like that, for making them worry, but it was better than the alternative. He stood up and sniffed the air. He caught the scent of a bobcat sleeping in a nearby building using it like a cave for shelter. He was gone in a flash. He had the creature’s neck snapped and was feeding when he realized that he was in the hospital where his parents said he was born. “Hmm, maybe there’s some information here that could help me figure out what’s wrong if it’s something genetic or an illness.”

He began looking around the place and searched through all the file cabinets pulling any file related to his parents, his brother or himself. He knew that the files were usually kept on the computers, but he also knew that physical copies were also required. He found several files in the building as well as some other animals using it for shelter that he ate. He began to look through the files. He found some interesting things in his mother’s file. She had received treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. “Shit, that could be bad.” He muttered after reading it.

Darren nodded, walking off. Something felt off but Darren couldn’t place his mind on it? Tongue on it? He forgot the term people used. He rushed off to go back to Ven and tell him. He was surprised they hadn’t ran into either human nor vampire. Darren came at the front entrance to the store. “Hey, Ven.” He entered, letting Ven know he was here.
Ven quickly responded, walking towards Darren. “Is Brandon okay?” He was confused, or rather, the state Brandon left in. “He didn’t look okay so how do we know if he’ll be okay?” Ven pushed for some kind of information on this.
Darren was trying to keep up as it was. “D-don’t worry about Brandon. He only went out to find some animals to feed upon. He was deprived of blood, so he went to go get some. That’s all there is to it.” And Darren hoped so. Darren grabbed his jacket which somehow got off him as he slept, placing it on him. “Just… Stay here. I have some things I have to take care of.” He walked out without letting Ven respond. He felt like he had a needed purpose to try and help Brandon, no matter what he said. Darren only hoped that in leaving Ven to help Brandon, Ven didn’t run into trouble while he was gone.

Brandon took the files and went back down to the main entrance of the hospital. He figured it would be best if he didn’t go running off while waiting for Ven and Darren to come join him. He went back to reading over the files. He looked over Darren’s file to see if there was anything that could give him more insight into his illness. He saw nothing that he didn’t already know seeing as they didn’t have any records after the time he was put in the asylum. He looked back to his parents apart from their mom having CFS, he also saw that their father was hypoglycemic. Both conditions could be passed down genetically and might account for his burning through blood at a high rate. He was anxious to tell Darren to let him know that he might have figured it out. He sat down in the waiting room, he wondered if the emergency generators in the basement would still work, they were in the basement when the flare hit, so they may have been shielded from the flare. But they would have kicked on right after, not that anything electrical would work that could use the power.

Darren slowly wandered off. “I think I know who the savior is Brandon… And it’s my job to get him now.” He’d heard about a human the Vampires recently got. He was too… Human to pass anyone’s test of current knowledge. “I’ll bring him back, and no one needs to die.” Darren mumbled. He didn’t know what was coming over him. It was a feeling he couldn’t push away. “Those damn vampires are gonna pay.” He gritted his teeth. One two. One two. One two. Darren listened to a melody playing in his head that he became accustomed to his time at the asylum. It didn’t matter whether the voices made it or not. He’d make sure no one got hurt when he could do it. Could he do it? He didn’t know. Darren had to believe in himself. In… himself. ‘You may hate me for leaving without notice, but you’ll find a note somewhere explaining myself, Brandon. I only wish you do not come after me.’ The vampires which he was after were possibly experienced more than any of them. So unpredictability would have to be on Darren’s side.

Brandon was beginning to wonder what was taking so long. He knew his scent was strong enough to follow in his state. He decided to go to the basement and check the generator while he was waiting for them. He took a look at the big machine and noticed that the fuel tank was empty, so there was nothing he could do anyway. He went back up and sat down and when he did, he heard a crinkling sound. He stood up and checked his pocket and saw a piece of paper in his pocket. He unfolded it and saw it was a note from Darren. It read: ‘Hello, Brandon. Most likely, by the time you’re reading this, and I won’t be cheesy, I’ve made my way to someone I believe to be the savior, as you put it. Ven is only aware that you went out to find blood since you needed it. Don’t follow me, as I don’t expect I’ll be returning. But I hope that in my attempt, I somehow get the human… Dragon… Priest, guy, to you. Your dearest brother, Darren.’

“That little bastard!” Brandon growled as he put the note back in his pocket. He took off back to the bookstore. When he got there he told Ven about Darren had done. “I think I should go after him, even if he told me not to. He’s gonna get himself killed before he finds the damn savior. And what the hell does he mean by Dragon? Is the savior a dragon?” His mind couldn’t stay fixed on one topic. He was erratic and jumpy. He’d finally found Darren and now he just ran away to try to save humanity. “I’m gonna try to stop him before he gets killed, you can come with to help me, or you can stay here and be safe. I won’t have a problem with either, but if you’re coming with we need to leave now.” Brandon said as he grabbed a handful of dopamine pills. His plan was to knock his ass out and medicate him so he wouldn’t run away.

Ven was still trying to wrap his head around what was going on. “I thought he was heading back to you.” He quickly swung his jacket over his shoulder, trying to understand why Darren left in the first place. All three of them could’ve done it in the first place. “Well we have no idea where he’s heading, so how do we know which direction to go in?” Ven was trying to make sense of this, or as to why Brandon was so erratic. But he also knew what he’d do if his own brother did this stunt, so he understood it however slightly. “Do you have an idea where he’s going?” He rushed outside he Brandon. Ven would just have to follow Brandon to Darren, seeing as how he didn’t know exactly how to follow Darren’s scent, unlike Brandon, who has lived with Darren for some time.
Brandon tried to calm himself enough to explain things a little bit clearer. “I thought he was going to come back too, but he knows something about the legends that I have been following the last few years.” He sighed. “I realized that there’s something wrong with me. I’m burning through blood quicker than I should, moreso when things are chaotic like the last couple days. He thinks he knows where the savior of the humans is and he ran off thinking the savior could help me or something. It’s just a combination of genetic crap and the vampire virus. He’s overreacting and I know he’s doing it out of love, but there’s no need for him to do that.” He looked back and forth around the city. His hunting and tracking instinct taking over, he sniffed the air, his brother’s scent was similar to his own, but just a little more musky. “If the savior of the humans is here and the vampires know about it, they’ll have him hidden away somewhere, most likely in that huge mansion they like to stay in, pretending to be royalty like children.” He snarled. “He’s gonna go there first, but if he barges in, with the state of mind he’s in, he’s gonna get killed before he gets inside. I’m gonna have to drug him to calm him down.” He said. He found Darren’s scent in the air. “He’s this way.” He said as his head snapped like a hunting dog in the direction of his prey.

Ven nodded, rushing behind Brandon. He’d trust Brandon no matter the situation. “But are you sure he needs to be drugged? Maybe explain things to him and maybe he’ll listen.”
Darren continued walking. ~Are you sure you want to do this? These Vampires have more experience than you. What if you die? What then? Even if you took that into account, what about Brandon? He’ll never forgive you for letting yourself die knowing the consequence.~ “Then damn the consequences. I know who the savior is and I have a chance to get them to safety. It’s more than enough to settle the consequence. If you can’t see that, then shut up.” Darren growled. He wasn’t in the mood to discuss this. “Now I’m going. It’s most likely he found the letter and looking for me.” He only hoped the Mansion he spoke about didn’t come into Brandon’s mind. “Hopefully, and I say hopefully loosely, we can get to the Mansion before it crosses his mind.” He continued walking, deciding to try and block out the voices.

Brandon was faster than the average vampire. It might also account for his blood use the last couple days and his fatigue. He was well fed right now, so his speed wasn’t being affected. He followed the scent until he could see Darren. “I’ll try it your way first, but if he doesn’t listen, he’s getting himself knocked out.” He whispered just loud enough for Ven to hear. He slowed down his movement so that he was silent and approached from up wind so he wouldn’t be able to smell them. He bent down and launched himself at Darren wrapping his arms around his neck and going limp to pull him to the ground. They were just about a block in front of the mansion and Brandon did his best to keep from drawing unneeded attention to them. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?! Why are you trying to get the damn savior, you won’t even get past the gate. I know you think you need to protect me and help me, but getting yourself killed won’t help any of us. Come on, let’s go home and rethink your strategy. If we get more people to help, or at the very least find a way to infiltrate the mansion and get the savior from inside, we’ll have a better chance.” Brandon explained and hoped that Darren would listen to reason.

Ven tried his best to stay up with Brandon. (So short on Ven’s part.
Darren grumbled as he tried to keep Brandon up. “I can get in there. I’m a Vampire. Getting the Savior is all that matters, isn’t it? If so, you’ll let me go do what I have to do, Brandon.” Darren had no interest in not trying. The Savior had to be in there. Darren could do something. “Just let me try something for once! You’ve always been there for me, when I was suppose to be there for you!” He tried his best to continue walking, but Brandon was weighing him down, and just when he thought Brandon was enough, Ven tried to weigh him down as well. “Damn it Brandon. I understand how you feel, truly. But I have a chance to make everything right. After all everything I’ve gone through, let me have this one.” Darren was begging in his own way to do something right. He failed to be there as a brother for Brandon, and Brandon was always there for him. It had to be Darren’s turn to be there for Brandon now. He had to keep going. He’d do anything for Brandon.

Brandon dug his heels into the dirt to act like an anchor for Darren. “You big idiot, I’m not telling you that you can’t go in there and you can’t rescue the savior. I’m just telling you that we need to have a plan first!” Brandon growled as he struggled to stop Darren’s movement. “I know you want to do something for me… to help me for once, so help me now. Stop what you’re doing and let’s get a plan before you get yourself killed just because you feel bad about a childhood you had no control over.” He said. He reached into his pocket and grabbed the pills just in case he didn’t get through.

Darren tried to push on. “But I had control over it. I could’ve been better if only I spoke out sooner. That was my mistake.” He paused as he listened to Brandon. “But what if I could get the Savior out without having to get a plan? I could do it.” His voice drifted off. ~Listen to him Darren. It’d be the smart move to do. I’d hate to have you die on me. And then I die with you.~ Darren didn’t want to listen to them. But he was a sucker for logical thinking. “I guess I can see how I’d get myself killed.” He said as he looked at the Mansion. Before, he wasn’t thinking logically, but now he was.

Brandon put the pills in his pocket again. “Good, now I don’t have to drug your ass.” Brandon chuckled. He turned to face Darren and looked into his eyes. “Darren, you know our parents, I told them you were talking to people that weren’t there and they just told me you had an imaginary friend. If you had spoke up they would have just said it was childish nonsense.” Brandon spoke softly. “You don’t owe me anything Darren, certainly not your life. If anything I owe you. I tried to tell them that the asylum was mistreating you, that they were abusing you. I knew what was happening to you and I couldn’t stop it.” Brandon had a tear roll down his cheek. He didn’t like thinking about what the asylum did. “I have no doubt that you’d be able to get in there, it’s the getting out that would be hard to do. Did you even have an exit strategy? Do you even know what the Savior looks like?” He chuckled. “C’mon, let’s go back to the bookstore and plan this thing out. Also I found our medical records while I was hunting in the hospital. Yours obviously are incomplete but I also got mine and our parents’.” He smiled. “I think I figured out what was wrong with me.”

Darren turned towards Brandon. “You were gonna drug me?” He asked laughing. “I mean, I had an escape plan. Kind of. I guess it would’ve been hard to get out of. Besides, I owe you a lot. You always visited me, no matter how bad I got. You’re the one person that kept me going.” He brought his hand around, patting Brandon on the head. “I’m always gonna take care of my little brother, even if he always takes care of me.” Darren was intrigued by what Brandon had found. “So what’s wrong with you exactly? Is it something that can be fixed?” He was hoping it could be fixed. It had to be fixable. “I mean, you can tell me on our walk to the bookstore.”

Brandon grinned. “I was only gonna drug you if you didn’t cooperate.” He chuckled. As they started walking back to the bookstore. “I’m not completely certain what was wrong, but I looked at our parents’ medical records and found this.” He handed the open files to Darren and pointed to one spot. “Mom was treated for chronic fatigue syndrome, something that the doctors still hadn’t found the cause of when the flare hit, it might be something passed on genetically. Then there’s this.” He opened the other file and pointed to something else. “Dad was hyperglycemic, so both of these could have been passed down to me and been dormant until now. If these conditions reacted or mutated with the vampire virus it could explain why I was burning through blood so quickly, I may have to feed more than average for the rest of my… well forever.” He explained.

Darren tilted his head. “So there’s no way to fix it?” He was surprised Brandon was so calm about all of this. “Wouldn’t that get annoying?” Darren quickly went over the the files. “I’m sure they found a way to…” There had to be a way to help Brandon. “I refuse to believe there’s nothing out there to help you. There has to be.” What kind of like would Brandon have if he needed to feed constantly? He didn’t want to think about it, but it plagued his mind. He’d find the cure. Or something to help Brandon. “But why don’t I have it? It doesn’t make any sense. I have my disorder, which is weird. Neither of them had it…” Or maybe it was just something in Darren’s life that made him this way. “I’m over thinking things.” He laughed quietly as he continued to walk with Brandon to the Bookstore.

“Well, I’m not sure that it’s cureable, but I think it’s treatable. I’m pretty sure I remember Mom taking pills that she said were for her ‘exhaustion’. I think that might have been what she was talking about. I can check that book of prescriptions when we get back to the bookstore and see what treatments were used then maybe pick some of the meds up.” He thought about the genetic possibilities. “That’s a good question, but then genetics work in weird ways. Mental disorders, physical disorders, all that kind of stuff can be brought on by a lot of factors and the way things are in the world right now, we just don’t have all the information we need.” He smiled. It wasn’t long before the three of them were back at the bookstore. He thought it was odd how quiet Ven was being. He’d have to make sure to spend some alone time with him later. (tag)

Darren nodded, walking inside the bookstore, giving him some free time with Ven. He knew when some people needed some time alone anyhow. So he left no comment, but an unspoken answer with a nod.

Ven was a good listener. As he noticed Darren walking in, he turned towards Brandon. “It’s a bit weird. If we know where the savior is, why don’t we just rescue him? He could be dead before we can come up with a plan, couldn’t he? Then it’d be all for nothing.” Ven said quietly, looking to the ground. To think about it all ending in vain. He couldn’t bring himself to wrap around that thought. So many things could go wrong. So many. “Besides that, I think we’ll have a good run getting into the mansion when we come up with a plan.” He was also wondering about these pills. If they could help Brandon, he’d have to get them.

“I really don’t think those vampires even know he’s the savior. If they’re keeping him in the house, most likely they’re using him as a feeding human or a pet. Those humans get treated surprisingly well. I actually lived with them for a while right after being turned. Also, from the stuff I read about the savior, he won’t even know he’s the savior.” He looked at Ven with a smile. “I agree that we’ll have a better chance with a plan first. I think it might be best if you and Darren go into the mansion, they probably won’t take me back. I’ll need you to make sure Darren gets his meds. I’ll be waiting out here for you. If the savior is someone’s pet, you may have to get them to take the savior out of the mansion so you have a better chance of getting them to the human settlement. But it might be a good idea to wait and take care of it in the morning with a fresh mind."


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Venlak Character Portrait: Brandon Lamont Character Portrait: Flynn O'Connor Character Portrait: Darren
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Flynn had never been so cramped in her whole life. Not to her memory anyway.

Frightened out of her mind, she had slammed herself into the rotting carcass of a nearby vehicle. The windows had all been shattered long before and some birds had clearly made a nest out of the front seat. Flynn, thanking whatever gods there might or might not be, practically flew through the back shattered window. Her thin boyish body was a blessing at this moment as it helped her avoid the shards of glass dangling like teeth in the old warped window frames. Blood would only draw them. Some of the nesting birds chirped at her--startled by her appearance but thankfully, they did not take to the air. It must be sitting on an egg, Flynn thought gratefully. She had heard about the protectiveness of mothers. She couldn't remember her own.

Flattening herself, Flynn wedged herself under the back seat in the small rotted space between the floor and the back bench. It was very cramped. But the scent of the birds should cover her own. Should. Should. Her heartbeat seemed to say it too. Should. Should. Should.

But if it didn't? She was a snack for them. Waiting to be tasted. Waiting to die. A tin can snack. Flynn swallowed dryly, focusing on steadying her panicked ragged breathing. It was far too loud in this tiny space. Her sense of time felt warped. Her feet began to cramp uncomfortably. Gingerly, slowly, she tried to stretch her toes in her awkwardly fitting boots. How long had passed? Minutes? Hours? Would the pack even look for her? Maybe they would just be grateful...

Time passing. The gentle rustle and chirping of the mother bird. Time passing. Flynn shifting as gently, softly, gingerly as possible. Listening. Straining her ears for movement. Any sign that she was found. None came. She must have fallen asleep out of sheer exhaustion at some point. She jolted awake, nearly exclaiming in surprise when the sound of running footsteps, fast, very fast came to her ears. She stuffed a fist into her mouth, biting down to silence herself.

"Brandon!" She heard a male voice. Familiar. The same one from before? Then a sound as if someone fell. Could vampires be clumsy too? She was shaking with the effort to keep herself silent. Shaking with the fear of discovery. Flynn heard moment, someone getting to their feet? Someone else running. Two pairs of running feet? The sound grew distant. She waited. Silence. The mother bird twittered in her nest. They didn't smell her? Was this a trap? Hesitantly, she inched from her hiding space. Her body protested, aching as she drew herself into a crouch. Cautiously, she peered through the back window at the bookstore. The scent--the very cold scent was fading. The mother bird, realizing Flynn was still present began to cry out loudly. This seemed as good a time as any to make her exit.

It was light out--an early pink of morning. Were vampires weaker in the day or was that a myth? Flynn couldn't remember. She didn't want to personally find out. As quickly and quietly as she could, she made her way toward the edge of the city. Her bag rattled softly as she jogged, the medicines she'd scavenged clinking around. A sense of relief washed over her as she made it to the treeline. She was nearly home. And she was not dead. Or undead.