Prologue: A Bat in London.

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Perched on the deck of a plain, unsuspecting cargo ship was a bat. Its wings were tucked over its tiny face to shield itself from the harsh wind. The night was chilly despite it being close to the hottest month of summer.

Rows of men on the docks below pulled the large ships into port. The furs and skins aboard were carried by robust men with thick beards. Their lower class clothes were dirty shades of olive green and dark navy blue that appeared black in the cloudiness of the evening. Some laughed as they carried the many boxes along whereas some grunted due to the annoying, endless pain in their lower backs and fingertips. The boxes pressed against their chests, tilting them backward. They took slow steps down the ramp that took them off of the boat.

Slight panic numbed the men's legs as they could see nothing ahead of the boxes they carried. The bat peeked from behind its wings, watching the procession with little interest in what the humans were doing. It only had an interest in the humans themselves.

The bat heard footsteps behind it. A man, relaxing after a few rounds of heaving cargo crates to the docks, spied the bat. The man's beard was trimmed close to his face with a stubbled mustache. He had rather intense hazel eyes framed by a mop of wavy dark hair that fell to his shoulders; he was tall and looked like a catch among the common-ladies of the city.

He smiled at the bat and brushed his finger along its sleek wing. "What are you doing here, little thing?"

The bat lifted its arm to cover its face again. It had no interest in being bothered by the man.

Cooing at the bat, the man scooped it up into his arms. The bat's first instinct was to swat its little wings at its captor. When he attempted to grab the bat again, it used its sharp teeth to bite the man between his thumb and pointer finger, causing the man to yell out.

"What the hell are you howling about, Richard?" someone asked in a thick Scottish accent.

"That little shit bit my hand!" Richard shouted to his crewmate. The crewmate laughed and stomped lazily towards the scowling man.

"It's a vampire bat," the bald man chuckled placing a hand on Richard's shoulder as he watched the bat fly into the distance. "The hell did you expect it to do?"

Richard sighed.

The bat flew, scanning the townhomes, surprised people still roamed about this late into the night. It listened to the sound of the horse-drawn carriages leaving grand parties and to the sound of dogs barking as it flew by. The bat's squeaky voice hissed at the dogs in retaliation.

It took time in flight knowing that its destination was in Kensington, a good ways from the docks. A half hour away, it knew the journey couldn't last too much longer. The bat swooped down, landing in a tree in the front yard of the house at the end of a street lined with large, gorgeous homes--mansions for the rich.

The bat disappeared. Subtle green-tinted mist eased from the top of the tree, seeped through the leaves, and formed into a man. He walked to his front door with a sense of suspicion for he didn't know if anyone had noticed him. Quietly, he sauntered to the iron gate and poked his head between the bars to find each end of the street deserted save for a male German Shepard that sat in the front yard across the street.

It was unable to touch him due to the gate, but it growled and snarled all the same. The man whistled at the dog to which its barking grew louder, more menacing, and rabid. He chuckled and headed inside before his new neighbors could see him.
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