Chapter 1: Dead Stars Still Burn

"Put us on display
For everyone to see
We write the words
For all to understand 


We find ourselves
In pictures on the net
Blinded by science
Addicted to devotion
I'm in your hold
Eager to abuse
My favourite game
I suffer from misuse"

As fast as she could, she whirled. The plane was still heading for her, even though she'd shot it out of the sky. She stared in disbelief as the carrier she was traveling on went up in flames and smoke. She turned her eyes back towards the clear sky, but there was no sign of the plane. Instead, there was Nothing, and it was heading right for her.

It cried out at as its Nothingness spread, the garbled words taking form as it got closer to her.  "LET IT BE! Or you will be confined to the frozen depths of Hell for eternity!" It hit the ground, rocking and shaking the carrier beneath it. It moved like liquid shadow, enveloping all it passed. Flames silhouetted its shape in the half-light, revealing it to be something resembling a human. It continued to saunter towards her, seemingly unaffected by the flames licking at it and the bullets that were being fired into it. It stopped several feet before her, and raised its head. She stumbled backward, clutching her gun for support. The flicker of the fires revealed a man's face to her. Red eyes, blood red lips, and skin as pale as ivory.

"Mein Gott...," was all she could manage to press past her lips. He reached for her, his long fingers seeming to extend towards her rather than the creature actually leaning in to touch her. He smiled, a gruesome smile, showing the tips of his sharp fangs.

*BANG*

She blinked, suddenly covered in blood and pieces of skin. For a moment she thought she'd been hit, but she looked up at saw that the figure before her was now missing half his head. She dove out of the way as a second shot was fired, hitting the ground and ripping the knees of her trousers open. What remained of the creature swaggered slightly, then began to laugh. It laughed and laughed and laughed until there was nothing left but shadow. Captain waved to her, and she saluted in return, gesturing that she was okay. She glanced down at her skinned knees and brushed off her jacket, removing the ash and some of the blood and skin. Wiping the sweat and blood from her face, she looked up, only to find that the Shadow had begun to reform, and was now attacking the Captain and his troops. She rushed to help, bullet fire ringing in her ears as it recoiled off the sides of the carrier. Suddenly, there was another, larger explosion. It threw her to her knees. Nebelhandgranates* didn't even so much as slow the creature's advance towards the Captain. They continued shooting .The shadow massed about them, consuming them. It blocked out the rising moon. They were still shooting. The Shadow spread, tangling and twisting about them, engulfing them. The shooting stopped, replaced by screams. Dying, they were dying, and there was nothing she could do about it! The screaming was slowly replaced by laughter.

"Come to me, little one. Come back to your Sire. I never meant for you to be the plaything of these pigs." She cowered before him, tears running down her face.

"M-master...?" She rubbed her eyes, not quite believing what she was seeing. She stood, but the bindings around her forced her to either kneel back down or advance and strike. She chose to kneel, even though the bindings tugged her towards him.

"What have they done to you, childe of Dracul? You should be strong and mighty. Not cowering and whimpering before me. Get UP! Come ON!" She gasped, struggling to rise and at the same time keep herself from attacking him. She closed her eyes, her life flashing before them. Memories of the day she was embraced came flooding back to her, washing over her in waves of fear and panic. She snapped her head up, refusing to succumb to pain long since passed. She wiped away the tears from her face.

"YOU did this to ME!" she spat. Narrowing her eyes, she slid her fangs out, feeling her face and mouth contort with the effort. She pushed her glasses up her nose, violet eyes afire. "I WILL KILL YOU!" She raised her gun, pointed it right at his heart, and let it fire. The magic bullet ripped though him, exited out through his back. He smiled, licking blood off of his lips.

"You missed, libeling." She cringed at the pet name. It was what Kreig had become accustomed to calling her. He laughed again when she smiled at him. It soon stopped, as the bullet that has exited from him came back for another round. It ripped through his belly, splattering entrails over the deck of the ship. Again and again it hit him, finally coming to rest in his skull. He doubled over, didn't move. She took a tentative step towards him. Nothing. She took another step. He whipped his head up, and, with half a face, slurred "You'll have to do better than that, childe of Dracul." He began to move towards her, slowly cornering her.

"NO! I won't give you the chance to kill me again." She was half running, half limping away from him. He reached for her once more, this time his hand met with her long raven hair. He pulled her to him, slowly. She struggled to get herself free, only to get hit in the face.. The force of the blow shocked her, her lips bleeding from the impact. His hands closed around her slender neck, and he raised her off of the ground. She gagged and fought at first, but finally got used to the choking sensation.  He looked at her, tilting her head so that they were eye to eye. The bindings twitched and burned as she struggled to free herself from her Sire's grasp, but it was no use.

"Feisty, aren't we, leibling?" he smirked, his toothy grin wide and menacing. He pried her gun from her grasp, and shoved it through her stomach, pinning her to the wall. She cried out, screaming in pain and panic. Tears  and blood mixed and ran down her cheeks, sweat and soot trickling into her eyes. She coughed, blood flowing over her lips. Everything went stars for a moment, before she snapped her vision back to her attacker. The look upon his face was hard to read- Regret? Sorrow? Pity? Disgust? She couldn't pin it. She gasped, felt her lifeblood seeping away from her. "Anything to say for yourself, Rivenna?" He looked at her, all emotions drained from his pale face. She shook her head, crying. Then, against her will, uttered the words,  "Sieg Hiel."

His eyes widened, and he reached for her again, but this time his touch was gentle. He touched her face, and, suddenly, grabbed a hold of the binding that Krieg had wound her in, and tore it from her skin. It ripped away, drawing a single drop of blood from every pore  as it was removed. She gasped, and passed out. She was only vaguely aware later when they removed the gun from her stomach and placed her on a stretcher, taking her back to the Manor with them.

* German stick grenades