Wolf and Red: Monster Hunters!
Hans, the assistant mayor of the small German town looked at the two figures who had responded to the ad in 'Soldiers of Fortune' and wondered if this was a good idea after all. They were both women, startlingly enough, and worse than that they were about as far from what he imagined mercenaries to look like.
The one woman had long, brown hair that had been given a red tint, shimmering in the sun. She was in fine shape, something that was very evident from her scanty clothing. She wore what might be a scanty red t-shirt but was probably a sports bra, brown leather shorts that looked like they were painted on and hiking boots. Slung over that were several belts and slings with various weapons, including two very long knives at her waist, a pump action shotgun over one shoulder and a machine gun hanging at her side.
The other woman was dressed a bit more reasonably, the tall brown haired woman looming protectively over her companion. Military print trousers covered her legs and a cut off t-shirt with matching pattern covered her top, along with pistols holstered on gun belts. Her piercing eyes were a odd yellow-brown, her gaze roving over the small hamlet.
"Mr Olsteen?" the smaller woman smiled, offering her hand as they met on the street outside the local tavern, "I'm Ray-ann Holt, and this is my partner Heather."
"I'm Wolf," Heather corrected with a careful smile that didn't show teeth, "and people usually call her Red, for obvious reasons."
"Please, come in and sit down," Hans gestured to the tavern.
The tavern was full of old world charm, though in this case that meant is was well over a hundred years old and in good repair. The heavy oak beams and supports made one think of old times before building codes, but the structure seemed sturdy enough as they went to the wooden table and sat on cushioned wooden seats. A waitress in authentic Bavarian garb looked miserable as she took their orders, returning with the local beer.
"Here's the fee we owe you for coming out here," Hans handed over the six hundred American, not looking happy about paying it.
Red took it calmly, "Just getting out here and home will kill this, mister."
She then passed the money to Wolf, who swiftly counted it and put it away. "So," she looked at Hans intently, "what's the job?"
Hans hesitated. There had been few responses to their ad in the magazine, and only these two had actually been willing to come out here, but he had doubts about this. The young man took his cap off and pushed his brown hair back, then put it pack on as he said, "We have a very... unusual problem we need you to solve."
Red sipped her beer, making a carefully concealed face at the taste. "Spit it out, man," she chided, thumping the mug down.
"There is a vampire terrorizing our town," Hans admitted, his face going nearly as red as his shirt, "and we need you to kill it." He expected them to laugh, but both women looked intrigued instead. "You believe me?" he asked.
Red gave Wolf a disgusted look and muttered, "We really need to get a higher profile." She looked back at Hans, "Sir, we kill crazy shit for a living."
Hans visibly slumped in his chair with relief. "The police didn't believe us," he sighed, "and the disappearing tourists are killing our businesses. The vampires.." he quickly corrected himself, "vampire has to go."
Wolf could see what he meant. Other than tourists this little place in the mountains didn't have much to offer, and if something scared them off, well....
"Which is why the chamber of commerce ran the ad," Red nodded. She leaned forward, "So, the fee quoted in the ad was 5000 local currency. You realize we only take US funds?"
"Miss, we're a poor town and have limited means," Hans countered as they fell to bargaining.
About twenty minutes later Hans had agreed to $5000 US, but only a thousand up front, the rest on completion of the job. Confirmation was a digital photo of the vampire's corpse, or possibly his fangs, whichever was easier. He saw them off at the edge of town, watching the two head to their rented jeep before heading out to the supposed den of the vampire.
"You noticed he slipped a few times while briefing us?" Wolf asked as they drove up the hill, the jeep bouncing slightly, "Said vampires instead of vampire."
"Duh," Red was slouched in the passenger seat, her boots on the dash board. "Since when has a employer not lied about the job?" she asked wryly.
"Gonna bill them extra?" Wolf asked as they followed a turn, the abandoned structure coming into sight atop the hill.
"Depends on how many vamps," Red shrugged.
Red sat up as Wolf pulled them up against a strand of trees, partially shading them from being seen. She made sure her knives, shotgun and machine gun were in place, then carefully pulled a trench coat over top. Red settled it into place cautiously, making sure no weapons snagged.
"Gonna slow you down," Wolf cautioned, staying in just her t-shirt and trousers.
"Element of surprise," Red shrugged, "I'd rather they not see I was armed 'till it's too late."
Red and Wolf headed up the path side by side, following the marked signs to the 'historic castle.' As far as Wolf could tell it was a half collapsed wreck, but she knew tourists would probably love it. There was enough 'castle' left to hold up a outer wall, several turrets and it looked like about half the roof, but much of the rest had collapsed or been burned away by fire. Peering through the front gate she could see the interior was deeply shadowed, just the sort of place vampires liked in the daytime.
"Oh, it's so darling!" Red exclaimed it total fake tourist mode. "Let's get a picture."
Taking out a camera Red lead the way into the structure, both well aware they were being watched. They snapped shots of the walls, the shattered remnants of a stain glass window and other features as they willingly ventured deeper inside. The chamber farthest from the entrance seemed the most intact, the ceiling half shielding the inside and cutting off almost all sunlight.
"Welcome," a rich, cultured voice said from the shadows.
"Eeek!" Red fake squeaked cutely, holding onto Wolf's arm in mock terror.
Thankfully the vampire was not dressed like Bella Lugosi, but instead in simple, dark garments. He had, stereotypically, slicked his black hair back and wore a opera cape, but those were forgivable because they had style, and he seemed fit for his five foot tall frame. To a expert the signs of vampirism were obvious, from the white green pallor to the hint of fang as he talked.
"Wha... what do you want?!" Red stammered.
The final proof he was a vampire wafted over to them, the invisible but not unscented pheromones that vampires used to confuse their prey. "I simply want you to meet my friends," he purred as a nearly invisible door opened on one side of the room.
Two more vampires emerged, neither as pretty as the first one. The oldest looking one did go for the Lugosi look, made worse for the fact he was barely four foot tall and too pudgy to carry it off. The other might have been handsome once, but scars ran across one side of his head, and he had also lost a eye, both presumably before he was turned.
"So, have you come for dinner?" the little Lugosi wanna-be intoned in his deepest voice.
Red couldn't help it, she just lost it at that point. Her chortles took all three vamps aback while Wolf reached out to hold her giggling girlfriend up. "Oh come on," Red snickered as she recovered her wits, "could you be any more cliché?"
Two of the vamps looked offended, but the scarred man put a hand up to his mouth to hide a smile, making Wolf like him a bit better. "Red, that pretty boy looks just like the sparkly types in that bad movie," she noted, "can I have him?"
"Sure, why not?" Red shrugged as she said, "I owe you for making you sit through Twilight in the theaters, anyway."
"Thanks," Wolf grinned as she charged, startling all three vamps.
As Wolf ran, the reason she wore the baggy combat gear became apparent: to fit her transforming physique. Her form grew and shifted as she reached the pretty boy, a well muscular woman becoming a extremely well muscled werewolf. Her clawed hand swiped at the boy as he leaped back, the other two vampires scrambling.
Red swept the trench coat back with one arm then grabbed the machine gun, aiming it at the little vampire as she opened up on him,. On full auto the gun roared as it sprayed the little man with bullets, sending him reeling backwards as blood and ichor sprayed outward.
"Shit!" the scarred vamp bolted out the door, slamming it shut behind him.
"Aaargh!" the pudgy vamp made a incoherent noise as bullets shredded his clothes and dug into his flesh, sending crimson flowing onto the stone floor.
"What are you?!" the pretty boy vamp yelped as he tried to evade Wolf, a losing proposition if there ever was one. The werewolf kept herself between him and the door, not to mention the archway leading outside. Her claws had already raked his clothes, drawing blood, and he had nearly taken a shot to the head.
He had delivered a few hits too, and she knew her ribs would be sore in the morning, but that just made the fight more interesting. "We're mercenaries," Wolf gave him a very fang full grin, her mouth and face partially transformed. She preferred using this mid-form to pure wolf, it left her reasoning powers more intact than they would otherwise be.
"Ha!" the boy dodged and closed in close, grabbing at her as he tried to use his vampiric strength against her. Sadly Wolf had studied judo, using the force of his own actions against him and sending him crashing to the floor.
"Yes!" Wolf yelped as she swung a hay-maker at his head.
"Don't...," he whimpered just as she hit.
There was a wet, meaty crunch as Wolf's blow hit the upper part of his face, caving in the bond and flesh. With the ease of long practice she dug her heavy clawed hands into the gory brain meat and pulled, crushing the mass into a bloody mess.
"All right, Bella," Red purred as she swung the smoking machine gun aside and drew a long, sword-like knife, "do you want to do this the easy way or the hard one?"
"Don't kill me!" he gibbered, a gurgling in his voice showing there was blood in his lungs, "we're rich! I can pay you!"
"Sorry, buddy," Rose made a two handed swing, "signed a contract."
Her first blow cut deep into the meaty neck but didn't sever the head, sending blood spraying and the vampire convulsing. Swiftly she finished him off, putting him out of his misery, then drove the blade into his brain case. She photographed both corpses with the still intact camera, then frowned at her and Wolf's victims.
"Think we should get the fangs too?" Red wondered.
"Better be safe than sorry," Wolf shrugged, pulling a set of pliers from a back pocket, reverting to mostly human form to do it.
As Wolf went to work with her pliers on the fangs, she mused how much vampire slaying had changed with time. In the old days, you had to stake, behead and occasionally burn a vampire just to defeat their damned rapid healing. But now vampire lore took a back seat to automatic weapons and explosive projectiles, both of which could overwhelm vampire healing as long as you made sure to take out the brain.
Red used the trench coat to mop up the worst blood off her, then tossed it aside as they advanced on the door. Shifting back to hybrid form Wolf tried it, finding it locked, then Red smiled as she pulled out the shotgun. "Allow me," she grinned.
BOOM! The first blast from the shotgun blew the lock away, then Red kicked at the door, sending it swinging inward. Both women went in side by side, each watching for attack as they entered the room. The scarred vampire was, surprisingly, just casually leaning against the wall, watching their entry with some amusement.
"Why haven't you bolted?" Wolf asked dryly, her claws out and body ready to leap.
"Where too?" he waved at the dimly lit, windowless room, "I forgot there was no exit from this room." Wryly he added, "And unlike the movies, I can't do the turning to mist and wiggling out of cracks bit."
"Heh," Red smiled slightly, reloading the shotgun with a single pump. "You wanna give up easily?" she asked.
"Any way I can talk you into letting me go?" he asked charmingly.
"Sorry," Wolf said apologetically.
"Fair enough," the scarred man shrugged. "You were sent by the village?" he asked. When they nodded he grinned evilly, "Ask those guys about the other mercenaries they sent up here."
"They sent...?!" Red growled.
"You can prove that?" Wolf asked.
"Check one of the side rooms, we stashed their gear there," the scarred man said. As they gave him questioning looks he said, "You may kill me, but by telling you I can get a little revenge on the jerk who sent you."
"Got any preferences?" Red offered.
"Make it fast," Scar answered.
"You got it," Red swung up the shotgun, pulling the trigger. BOOM! At near point blank range the gun blew out a large chunk of his chest, slamming him backwards. There was a flicker of life in his eyes so she pumped and fired again, putting it out.
"All right," Wolf said as she got her trusty pliers out again, "I'll finish up here, you do a search. I bet at least some of the victims had cash, we could get lucky."
It was late evening by the time the two women's rental jeep bounced into town, the back loaded up with whatever useful supplies they could loot. The town's people came out of their homes, murmuring in astonishment as they pulled up to the tavern, both bloody but intact women getting out and waiting patiently
Hans, probably called by one of the watchers, hurried up a few minutes later, taking the blood splattered women in with wide eyes. "Wha...," he started, cleared his throst and continued, "what happened? Is the vampire dead?"
"The vampires," Red put a emphasis on the plural, "are dead, all three of 'em."
Han's eyes were wide with a mix of fear and worry. "You can prove that?" he asked quietly.
"We have teeth and fangs," Wolf drawled, giving him a disdainful look. "And why didn't you tell us about the OTHER teams you sent up there?"
Han's face went almost as pale as a vampire's. "Other teams?" he squeaked, trying to look innocent and failing utterly.
"You lied about how many vampires were up there," Red jabbed him with a finger, "AND you didn't tell us other teams had went in! We deserve a bonus!"
"No, we'll pay you the remainder of the five thousand," Hans swiftly said, "we did not agree on a bonus for extra vampires!"
"Maybe not," Wolf offered mildly, "but do you really want us hanging around town, telling stories? I'm sure the vampire castle and the underpaying city council would be really popular."
"You wouldn't dare," Hans hissed.
"Try us," Red grinned, looking particularly scary with the blood splatter against her cheek.
Hans sputtered indignantly, but Wolf had to hide a smile. He was beaten, and they all knew it. A half hour later the women left town, pockets heavier by two thousand in US currency, in addition to the owed money. With the salvage from up at the castle and the money belts a few of the mercs had carried, they had made a tidy profit.
Red was slouched in the passenger seat, humming softly as she bounced her muddy boots on the dashboard. "You know, when I try to imagine what my life would be like if I hadn't met you bringing food to granny," Red mused, "I figure I would have died of boredom, or something."
"I love you too," Wold laughed, leaning over to kiss her gently. And with that, Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf rode off into the sunset together.
Notes: Not THE Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, tho who knows, maybe they are? Lol Inspired by the two of them, at least, and I've wanted to do a team up like this for awhile.