I sighed, "I love girls' night out," as I stabbed another jiangshi with a peach wood spear. Sierra grinned cheerfully as she sent another's head flying with a swing of her ax,"Yeah, really does wonders for stress relief!" I smiled and stepped forward to take down another, but lost my balance, as one of the faster Chinese zombies lunged from my left. My side-step took me out of the way of its attack, but my spear slipped from my hands as I braced myself for a fall. I rolled up and out of the way as the jiangshi I was about to finish off struck the place I fell in. Sierra saw my fall, and heard the curses that followed, calling out, "You OK?" I'd retreated a bit so I could draw one of the two peach wood stakes I had on me as backup. "Fine, don't worry." I was more pissed the jiangshi that pounced on my previous location had smashed my spear; it was now writhing in its death throes for its trouble, but still, I liked that weapon. But alas, these things happen in the slayer profession.

After a fair bit of fighting, we'd finally put the last of the monsters down. I let out a breath and went to gather the remains of my weapon; looks like I had another stake or two I could salvage from its remains. Werewolf that Sierra was, she just pouted, not even out of breath. "I was hoping for more of a fight," she said, as she flicked blood off her ax, "Twenty-five jiangshi aren't very exciting." I scoffed at my friend, easy for the supernatural being with increased stamina and strength to say. Rising with the remains of my spear I retorted, "Well, this mere mortal thought it was plenty exciting." She barked out a laugh, " You could always retire," bringing up a long standing joke between us. "Oh yes," I replied, "And still end up killing things occasionally for free? No thanks, if you do something well, never do it for free." Which, strictly speaking, I didn't actually do; the good Samaritan in me wouldn't allow a malevolent supernatural to cause havoc, even if I took it down off the clock. Seeing supernaturals on the prowl wasn't as uncommon as you'd think, then again,it helped that I had some psychic powers in my corner, and knew what to look for.

I glanced at the scene of carnage and grimaced, "The report for this one is going to be a pain." Blood painted the walls of the alley we fought in, and bits of gore were splattered everywhere. In order to keep the presence of supernatural beings hidden, a whole agency is responsible for it called, "The Supernatural Secrecy Bureau," or the SSB for short. My employer, actually. One of their departments is in charge of clean up and disposal of beings that died, or were killed for risking exposure of the supernaturals' existence. My department, is the one that handles the rouge supernaturals that stir up trouble. We were lucky they were the only other department we had to involve tonight. If regular people had stumbled onto the scene, or worse, called the police, things would've gotten even messier. Then the department for cover-ups and memory alteration needed to be called in as well, and that meant even more paperwork. Actually, they called themselves "Public Relations," and the one I mentioned before is referred to as the "Sanitation," department. They sound average and boring, but that's the point; those in the know can speak freely about the SSB and outsiders would be none the wiser. And my department? We're simply called "Security and Enforcement," to keep with the theme of mundane and ordinary. Anyway, the fact that Sierra and I didn't have to call in PR (Public Relations) was due to our location. It's true what they say in real estate, "It's all about the location," and being in China Town was the best when it came to filling out minimal paperwork after a slaying.

On the whole, the Chinese immigrants that live there are superstitious and rarely call the police. Usually due to a combination of distrust for authority (China's power structure is rife with corruption), as well as the cultural tendencies to not trouble others with problems, and to mind one's own business. Never mind that the police are there to deal with problems, but there's also the high chance that most of the residents near our battleground knew jiangshi were being banished. And that the police would just get hurt, not knowing how to deal with them. That's one of the upsides to taking a case in an immigrant community; their still existing knowledge of the supernatural, and their sense to stay away. Of course, that's also a downside; their still existing knowledge of the supernatural means they can try to use it for the own gain.

But even without needing to call in more than one department, the paperwork for this slaying was going to be extensive. Twenty-five bodies meant a report for each one, not to mention a more detailed one for the necromancer who reanimated them, and managed to get away while we fought his horde. Though something about the bodies caught my eye, and I groaned when I noticed it. Not all the jiangshi were corpses that were illegally smuggled into the country, some were victims who'd been turned after having their chi drained. What's chi you ask? Well,I should probably give you a brief summary of what exactly a jiangshi is as well. The short explanation, is that it's a Chinese zombie that hops and instead of eating peoples' brains or flesh, feds on their chi, or life energy. Once a person's chi is completely drained, they die, and come back as another undead menace. A hoping zombie you say? Doesn't sound very threatening. Yeah, I know, and usually they aren't if they're weaker, but there were some key differences in this case. Some powerful magic was involved in bringing the older jiangshi back, and with their obvious chi feeding frenzy, they grew even stronger and faster. A hoping monster that moves lightening fast isn't such a joke anymore. Even another supernatural being would be hard pressed fighting one that gathered lots of energy, and didn't have objects that warded off its chi absorbing effects. It's an uphill battle fighting something that takes your energy and gets tougher while you weaken. Hence, our peach wood jewelry, Sierra's ax and my peach wood weapons. Among Chinese monsters, peach wood can subjugate evil and repel it as well. The only good thing about these energy sucking corpses, is that unlike their Western counterparts, destroying the brain isn't required. As long as they're struck with something that wards them off (there's a whole list, some of which are pretty random. Seriously, I could've used hand bells; yeah really.) it's like poison to them and they begin to die.

PR would need to be contacted after all. These people could be local homeless, or those that were recently reported missing, either way, their families would need to be contacted and their bodies put to right for a funeral. The same unfortunately, couldn't be said for the corpses who were exhumed from their graves and imported here illegally. The thing about jiangshi, is that they're easier to reanimate the older they are, because they can actually rise from the dead without aid of a necromancer if they're old enough and have reason to be resentful, among several other reasons. From the amount of decay, and their clothes, they came from around the time of the last dynasty of China, known as the Ching. It'd be too hard to track down where their resting places originally were due to decomposition hindering identification of the bodies, and the fact that tomb raiding was so common in poorer parts of China. Luckily, Sierra hadn't decapitated any of the jiangshi victims. That made cleaning them up for a funeral easier. I huffed, it looked like she mostly fought the recently turned jiangshi, and not the older, more powerful ones. No, those seemed to flock to me. That was the trouble with them, the older ones were smarter, in addition to being stronger. They knew I'd be an easier target.

To add insult to injury, the damn necromancer that caused this mess was still at large. I knew this would be a tougher case, which is why I brought Sierra for backup, but I didn't expect this. It seemed he knew we were coming and laid a trap that stalled us long enough for him to escape. I had to find out how. No slayer, (well, Enforcer is our official title, but usually those in the know call us slayers.) can stay in business if their targets know they're coming for them. Not only that, but if someone was able to warn the necromancer, what else did they know? This raised unsettling concerns, because according to my intel, this necromancer was new, and wet behind the ears. He also wasn't rumored to be cunning or one who planned ahead. He was just trying to build as big of an undead army as possible, thinking no one would be able to stand against him. Pft, typical arrogant first-time offender. Still ignorant to the extent of the supernaturals' existence. Which is why the chances of him actually having a contingency plan on his own was slim. Suddenly, "girls' night," was a whole lot grimmer. I had an unknown watcher in the wings.

I'd like to add more to this later, but if things don't work out, I intentionally wrote it to be ok as a stand alone as well. Let me know how you like it! I'd love feedback.