LONDON

It was a damp and misty night. The fog clung close to the narrow cobblestone streets. Outside a pub known as The Fractured Pig, an older, distinguished looking man with silvery gray hair, escorted a young and pretty woman, who wobbled as she walked. Just drunk enough not to care, she had spent the last few hours back at the pub in the company of this gentleman, where upon he plied her with charm and whiskey. She was now more than ready to move on to the next level of their budding pseudo-relationship. The gentleman was ready as well.

They continued up the street, arm in arm, while the woman yelled drunken greetings at any cab that happened to crawl by in the dense mist. As she kept stumbling along, the man guided her across the street to a darkened side alley. He stopped and turned her gently around to face him. She looked up.

"Why are we stopping here?" she slurred, "My flat's just a couple more blocks away."

The man smiled sweetly. The woman was drunk, but not drunk enough not to notice that his smile revealed long yellow fangs. She started to gasp just before he put his hand tightly over her mouth.

"Now hush up!" he whispered, "this won't take long."

He pulled her close to him and opened his mouth. Just as he prepared to take a chunk out of her neck, he heard someone call out his name.

"Ferdinand!" the strong female voice echoed off the alley walls. He turned around, still holding tightly onto the struggling woman and glanced toward the sound of the voice.

A figure emerged from the fog. She was tall and slender, with a delicately beautiful porcelain face. Her long, jet black hair cascaded below the shoulders of her tight, form fitting black leather jumpsuit. Intense, yellowish-green eyes glowed cat-like in the dim allyway light. She appeared like some angel. A dangerous angel. A pistol crossbow was strapped by her side.

"Do I know you?" the man cautiously asked.

"No," the woman replied, "but soon you will."

"Oh, that sounds intriguing," the man smugly smiled, "well, since you seem to know me then would you please address me by my professional title, Dr. Fernidad Delhi? Now show me some courtesy by introducing yourself."

"I'll address you as Fernidad Fuckhead!" the woman replied, "and as for an introduction, I'm Danielle Darken and I'll be your executioner this evening."

"Danielle Darken?!" a warped and whiny voice echoed from behind her, "what kind of stupid name is Danielle Darken?!"

Danielle quickly stepped back and slightly turned to see a toad of a man with puke green saliva dripping in estatic anticipation down the corners of his wretched and crooked mouth. He stood pointing a .357 caliber silver handgun inches away from her forehead.

"Let me introduce you to my wing toad, Anson," the Doctor smirked, "and please forgive his somewhat startling appearance, which was the unfortunate result of some of my genetic experiments gone bad, but he does watch my back when I'm out plying my trade, as you've just discovered to your soon to be detriment."

"Once more," Anson repeated, "what kind of dumb ass name is Darken?"

"It's the kind you'll never utter again, you amphibious asshole!" Danielle replied as in one lightening swift move, decapitated the Toad man with a Katana she kept sheathed by her side. The Toad's head rolled back onto the street while his wart engulfed body crumpled like a puppet with its strings cut. The .357 dropped to the ground with a thud.

"Was he your Bitch?!" Danielle cynically asked, as she kicked the gun off to the side, re-sheathed the sword, and turned back to face the Doctor. The woman he was holding tried to scream but he placed his hand tighter over her mouth.

"I must say you are very beautiful, Ms. Darken," the Doctor flirtatiously remarked, "vampire hunting does tend to attract the lovelies, for whatever strange reason. Honestly though, you don't seem particularly special to me. Let me ask you, do all you female hunters shop at the same boutique for your attire? You look like just another boring, stereotypical vampire huntress to me."

"And to me you look like just another stereotypical, arrogant prick!" Danielle quickly replied.

"And then again maybe I am mistaken," the Doctor noted, "you may turn out not to be as typical as you appear. As I look into those intense eyes of yours, you may be something else entirely. I think you're more than just a hunter. You're someone even more pathetic. I'd guess you've sold your cursed soul to the human devils, eh?"

"I've always thought we vampires had no souls," Danielle replied.

The Doctor chuckled, "Oh, I understand now. You've become a traitor to your own kind. I can tell by your slight tremble, you've become hooked. Am I right?! You're just a damned to hell Vampire Junkie!"

Danielle didn't reply, as the Doctor was correct. That slight tremble he had noticed was because she was long overdue for her next fix of the Strain, the drug that helped control her inner vampiric rage. To earn that fix she had become a Hunter, working for a human led group entitled Empire. Her reward for helping eliminate her own kind was a shot of the Strain.

"What say we call a truce?" the Doctor smiled, "I'll share this human female with you. I was going to share her with Anson but you took care of that notion. Come on Ms. Darken, how long has it been since you've feasted on real human blood? Instead, you're letting the humans continue to make you their slave. Take a bite of my female friend here and all your trembles will go away. It's what you were born to do!"

"I wasn't born this way!" Danielle sternly replied.

"Then you're even more pathetic than I thought!" the Doctor responded, as he casually took his hands and twisted the woman's neck, snapping it in two. Her body crumpled down onto the alleyway.

"Oh, well, more blood for me," the Doctor continued, "too bad you failed to save her, isn't it?"

"I'm not interested in saving humans," Danielle coldly replied, "I'm only interested in killing vampire scum like you!"

"Then lets get it on!" he screamed like a banshee, as he rushed her fully fanged.

Danielle quickly grabbed the pistol crossbow, took aim and fired. The steel bolt swiftly penetrated the Doctor's forehead and exited out the back of his head. Blood gushed at both ends.

However, even with a hole in his head that left a trail of blood and brain droppings splattered along the alley way, the Doctor still had enough vampiric stamina to reach over and grab Danielle in an attempt to wrap his hands around her neck. She reacted with a swift kick to his groin using her black leather, steel toed spiked boot, which forced the Doctor to let out an ungodly howl that could be heard for blocks away as he fell to the ground.

Danielle knew this creature was once a well respected London surgeon, until he had been turned. Sometime. Somewhere.

She had been on his trail for over a week. Empire had given her the intel that stated he was the only suspect in a series of gruesome murders on this side of London. The info obviously had proven correct. However, she had made a mental note to tell her Empire boss, when she returned to headquarters, that they had somehow missed the fact that the Doctor had a Toad flunkie working with him.

The Doctor continued to moan, as blood and brain still dripped out of the hole in his head.

Danielle drew out her Katana once again and prepared to end this charade once and for all, as the Doctor raised his head and glanced up with a final look of defiance on his drained face.

"Go on," he mumbled, "you've won, you traitorous bitch! So get it over with. Off my head. Just promise me some mercy by making it quick and clean."

He tried to smile but only bloodied bluish vomit drooled out of his mouth.

"I promise," Danielle nodded, as she slowly re-sheathed the sword and took out a Black Russian cigarette, along with a red marble lighter from her jumpsuit pocket. She then proceeded to dowse the Doctor with lighter fluid.

"What are you….doing?" he weakly asked.

"I'm gonna have a cigarette, care to join me?" she mockingly replied.

She lit up then took a deep drag off the slim cigarrette and slowly exhaled. Bluish, grey smoke exhaled over her lips into a subtle vortex before dispersing into the mist. She then stepped back and casually flipped the lighted cigarette on top of the Doctor. He immediately burst into flames.

"Goodbye, Dr. Fernidad Fuckhead!" Danielle savagely smiled.

The Doctor didn't scream but just before the flesh melted off his face, he struggled one last time to say, "You… promised…. me…. mercy!"

Danielle chuckled, "I lied. Sue me."

She watched until all that was left of the Doctor was ash.

"Vampires to dust," she acidly remarked, "assholes to ash."

Danielle Darken then casually walked out of the alley and back onto the misty streets, where she quickly disappeared into the ever thickening London fog.