Matching Up: The Valentine Brother's Story

Things had always been tense between Jan and me. I suppose that it was just the way we were brought up. Our parents had split up when we were young and I wound up with our father, a businessman who traveled frequently. Jan stayed with our mother and apparently was abused by one of her boyfriends. He would never talk to me about what happened, but we were close for brothers.

I suppose it was a bad idea to do what we did after our father died. We hunted down the man who shot him in the robbery attempt and killed him with our bare hands. Jan delighted in the torturing that he inflicted, whereas I just wanted him dead. Now. Painfully.

Just afterwards, a tall man stepped forward, dressed in a trench coat and cap that looked as though they had been around since World War II. He looked at us with a hard stare, not saying a word while he barred our way. I just stared back, wondering what he was doing. Jan, as usual, started shouting.

"Hey, man, fuck off. You don't want to fuck with us."

The man didn't say a word, just kept looking at us.

"Hey, you deaf or something, bitch? Piss off; get the fuck out of here, get the fuck out of our way. Or do you just not understand English? Fuck, man. Hey bro, should we just cap this guy too?"

It was at that moment that a voice came from behind us.

"That vould be a most inappropriate action to undertake, my friends."

I turned, seeing a muscled woman with tattoos covering her right side, a huge scythe slung over her shoulder. A cigarette dangled from her lips, and she looked as though making a move was more work than she wanted to do at the moment.

"The captain vould make more of a mouthful than either of you could handle. He just happens to haf more years of combat experience than you pups have breathed."

"So? What's it to you, bitch? Nice ink, by the way. It go all the way down?" snickered Jan.

Idiot.

"Zorin, Captain G√ľnsche, please stand down. This is merely a setback, one that ve can fix very quickly." A fat man stepped in from the street, a cream colored suit hiding his bulk from the sun's light. He looked at us.

"Wery impressive, my young friends. He vas one of our hired hands, taking care of several matters that vere best left in the dark. It seems now, though, that ve are in the market for some new hired help."

He looked at us with those yellow eyes, grinning in madness. I could tell that we weren't being given a choice in this new venture.

It's now close to twenty years later, and Jan and I haven't really had a big gig since hitting the Viet Cong to spark off the Viet Nam war as a test of the new chip technology. I was bored, and Jan was getting impatient.I had enjoyed pitting myself against opponents as a test of my new body, seeing how far I could push it while Jan merely liked ''drinking the spill" as he put it, but now there was nothing. No wars to test myself in, nothing to do.

Then the word was handed down from Zorin. We were to go hit some mansion in London, and to take out the vampire in residence. Jan would take care of the leader while I would battle Alucard, being the stronger brother.

We set everything up as best we could, making slow preparations, only being interrupted once by some cop trying to trace the chip technology. That made me ready to step operations up a touch.

There are close to seventy ghouls in the bus behind me. They stink, and I can hardly wait to get this over with, to see how my new stats match up with Alucard's.

"So he fucking flips out, man, and starts yelling and shit. Hey, you agree with me, right bro?"

"You are always so annoying before a job, Jan. Just shut up and do you part."

"That same old shit again, yeah yeah. Fuck, I got it, man."

A soldier raised a whistle and ordered us to move along.

Time to kick this off.