When they said dragon… I was expecting you know, a dragon. Big lizard, fire breathing, scaly, man eating… dragon. That is not what happened.
Dragon is a term for the most intense form of dark power that exists. Ambition fused with greed and a little bit of war lust and you get the guy that I’m hunting down. Burrowing down into the ground turns out to mean he can melt the ground beneath him, sink into the hole, and reemerge elsewhere using the ground as a means of travel.
Needless to say, tracking him has been a bitch. And as luck would have it, he did not bite an entire town like we had originally thought. He merely entranced them. He knew that Primus would send a reconnaissance team to rein him in and bring him to Primus for orders. As if a dragon would take orders from Primus. They are practically equals.
He had other plans. The dragon has a name. Bob. It just goes by Bob. He wanted to draw out the team Primus sent after him and lured Jared and me to the small town on a “rescue mission.” As though Primus cared about the lives of humans. No, we were supposed to rescue our secret and kill anybody who could confirm that we exist or that a dragon had been summoned.
Bob wanted out of the Pit you see. He met Primus while he had been captured down there and decided to be the voice of the deceiver who ultimately talked Primus into accepting Lu’s offer to give him vampire venom to begin with. He knew his time would come.
Time is relative in Hell, especially if you’re not the one being tormented. Bob had been locked down there as punishment for something he did on another world. Apparently he helped some angel gone bad escape something called the Met Dorton so she could continue to transport people from a planet called Helios to Jupiter.
God was still unhappy with what Europa was doing and encased her on a frozen moon, Lu was cast off world and kept in Hell here, and Bob got to sit in a sauna for a millennia to think about what he had done. He’s Europa’s cousin and he stuck his neck out at the expense of disobeying orders. Not a great idea. God is way more lenient with humans than he is with angels… which Bob was… and would like to be again. But, Hell’s ruined his sense of right and wrong and revenge took hold of his heart.
He’s not out to destroy humankind per se…
* * *
“So you were sent to destroy me if I did not oblige Primus. You know I don’t owe him anything.” Bob said as he paced in front of us.
Jared and I were hanging from our wrists, tied to a wooden rafter inside of a small house. The townspeople waited outside in a stupor for his approval to move. These were people I was hoping to recover as conscious and able to continue their lives… farming the platelets I drink. This is no ordinary town. Primus had Bob summoned here for a reason.
“No.” I said as convincingly as I could. He just looked at me like I was some sort of joke, a clumsy spy and a bad liar. “We were sent here to contain you. Primus doesn’t want people to know we exist beyond the myth. No hard core evidence.” I continued.
“And this meant that you would do what when you finally caught me?” Bob pressed on.
“We didn’t really know. We were going to improvise. But, killing you was never on the menu. Unless you killed one of us first of course.” Jared offered.
“Vampires rarely stick up for each other. What is she to you?” Bob asked.
Jared and I knew better than to look at each other and confirm what he already suspected. I knew that I couldn’t jump in and answer for him either. How we play our cards right now could mean instant dismemberment.
“She’s a comrade. We try to have honor in our ranks like the humans do. If we don’t protect the soldier next to us then what are we living hundreds and thousands of years to preserve? She may have been important in a past life or perhaps will be in a future one. I don’t know. It’s just the code we go by in the field.” Jared answered in a somewhat macho tone.
“I don’t buy it.” Bob said still deciding what to believe.
“Doesn’t matter. We do what we do and we’re good at it because failure is not an option and neither is one of us not going home.” Jared continued.
Bob began to gaze at me. I couldn’t hang there looking like a frightened doe. I had to portray a strong and conniving soldier. I pretended not to notice how he shifted his gaze towards me as I cased the room for our escape.
“Hmmm, you may be telling the truth as you hang there trying to distract me and your partner here looks for a weak spot to facilitate your escape.” Bob said as he rubbed his chin.
I let my eyes meet his with both innocence and annoyance for being caught.
“But, what if I…” Bob began, and in the blink of an eye he was standing in front of me with his lips planted firmly on mine.
I was dizzy and giddy and somehow my own mind seemed to float away until I felt trapped in my own body and a haze of red covered my sight. I was under his power and influence now. I would be no good to Jared and as helpless to Bob’s will as the townspeople outside.
Bob looked deeply into my eyes and I saw what he had planned for the world. As much as I love my job, willingly or not… Bob shifted my allegiance from Primus to him and suddenly, though I fought it because I truly love Jared, he was somehow the enemy.
I let my body go limp to stress the pain in my wrists which although slight was annoying enough to capture my attention and help me focus on how beautiful Jared was and how glad I was to have him in my life. The red haze lifted slightly and I closed my eyes to avoid giving myself away. Pretending to be under Bob’s control could be the only way to save us both now.
“Tsk. You lie. She loves you enough not to join my side. You are all that has kept her from my will.” Bob said as he unsheathed the sword lying on the table behind him.
In one fluid motion he slashed at me and re-sheathed the sword.
I didn’t feel a thing. I turned my head to look at Jared and as the horror in his eyes sank in I could see myself falling with my hands landing in front of me. I bounced once I hit the ground and laid there looking up. The world slowly and dimly faded to black as I realized that it was not all of me that had fallen, just my head. My head and my hands had been chopped off and I stared at the rest of my body still strung up on a rafter next to Jared who I clearly heard sobbing.
Strangely. I was more afraid for Jared than what was left of me.