Chapter 10 The Implant

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Simon stood facing the back of the demolished house Peter's scent had led him to. He could now smell several other strange odors mixing in with Peter's. He jumped up into the large damaged opening and started looking around inside. He saw plenty of scattered debris of drywall, wood, and tile covering most of the kitchen floor. As he continued on into the dining room, he couldn't help but notice the large, pulverized table on the floor. It was obvious not all of the damage was due to an impact. What he saw in the dining room were signs of a struggle. Simon couldn't help but wonder who Peter would be struggling with, though.

After a few minutes of investigating the place, Simon decided to try and single out Peter's scent and follow it farther. He climbed back out and went around to the side of the house. There he noticed one of the other smells again, only much stronger. A deep, longing feeling in his gut told him it belonged to a human. He mentally followed the scent in the direction it led. A radical change came over him. It came at the moment he realized he could now also smell the blood of that same human. He no longer cared about finding Peter. A desire beyond any human emotion to follow the human trail overtook him.

As he took long, staggering steps, following the intoxicating fragrance of that blood, he became dizzy with the intensity of his yearning. It took a concentrated effort, but he was able to coordinate himself enough so that he could run. The wind began to pick up, filling his nose with the heavenly odor, as he soared forward. He closed his eyes with anticipation of the taste he now knew to be the core of his new existence. It was as if all his mental, physical, and emotional desires could be quenched with the mere taste of that blood.

He noticed the smell becoming tainted with another as he got closer. It was a strong dust smell mixed with new pavement. He couldn't recall ever really recognizing it before; yet, it was as though he had known its identity all along. His new body made no sign of being affected by the black, dusty smoke clouding around him. He could see through it enough to take careful note of the large hole in the road. When he came to it, timing it just right, he leapt over it, and landed on the other side. He felt a twinge of himself come back as an old anger reminded him why he shouldn't be enjoying himself.

But before he could feel guilty, the scent of blood overwhelmed him as he realized he was close to its source. A moment later, he blazed through the other side of the dark, dusty cloud, the air clearing instantly in front of him. About a hundred meters before him, he saw the man and someone he hadn't expected. It was Ishan. Only now as he looked at him through this new, strange vision, he saw a sort of energy pulsating and flowing outwardly from the vampire. It surprised him enough to make him flinch but the desire was too strong to be held back. He lunged toward the man in a burst of speed. He saw a flash of blurry movement just before his teeth sank in. Immediately, he knew something was wrong. This was not the taste he had been longing for. There was no real taste. But plenty of pain. Something akin to electricity jolted throughout his body. It felt like he’d bitten into a power line. The temperature of his blood rose. The jolting intensified and his veins were on fire. All the fluids in his body began to evaporate. Images were swirling around in his mind. They made no sense. He saw a large ancient structure. He thought he recognized it, but he didn't know precisely what it was. Something from Greek or Roman history. He couldn't be sure. He saw a dark cave. Within the cave glowed two yellow, cat-like eyes. The image became clearer as if he were moving closer. The shadow decreased, revealing the creature's face. It reminded Simon of the natural vampires he saw in Mediator training videos but only vaguely. The face was longer, more oval. The features softer, more delicate than what he witnessed in his training. Before the darkness overtook him, Simon realized he must be dreaming. One of the few things known about them, natural vampires were asexual. There were no females.

* * *

Hank took a deep breath realizing he was still alive. Ishan stood facing away from him. The blonde, desperate-looking creature that caught Hank off guard and dived right for his throat was slumped over Ishan's shoulder, his teeth buried into Ishan's neck. He looked as though he were in agony the whole time. Now, he hung from Ishan's shoulder completely limp. Ishan leaned forward, turning to face Hank at the same time, and gently pulled the vampire from his neck. He laid the body carefully on the ground, then knelt down to study the creature and sighed.

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