The young woman never saw the sword that separated her head from the rest of her body. Drake's roar of outrage is mixed in with Hannibal's gasp and Blade's flat expletive but all three are in shock.

Meg looks down at her chest and the pulsing trails of blood that are staining her hands and clothing red. She opens her mouth trying to say something and sinks to her knees. With a tiny breath she tries to catch herself as she falls forward but cannot. Her body collapses to the marble and her hair spills out like a black river of darkness around her.

"NOO!" Drake's shout happens a second before he slams his sword down onto Blade's guard.

They crash together, the blades flying so fast that the sparks from one strike are still falling as the next set are struck into being. Drake is attacking with all of his strength and Blade slowly bends beneath the onslaught.

The two men trade blows back and forth. Blade is defending more than anything, he didn't expect this and can barely keep from getting hacked as he dives beneath one blow and rolls back to his feet. Then its another flurry of blows that have him backing away from Drake.

Across the room Hannibal dives toward Meg and spins her up into his lap. He can hear the battle but that isn't his concern. Danielle's surprise attack has changed everything and made him remember the woman who tried to save him even as his own blood spilled out of him.

The bullet wounds are bad. Two are tight around her left lung and her breathing is wet and labored. She is conscious and whimpers as he puts pressure down on the wounds.


"What have you done?" He asks her. "Why this? Why him?"

Her eyes fill with tears. "We had a war to fight."


It takes her a few seconds to answer as her eyes roll toward Blade and Drake and their vicious battle. She is fading in his arms even as she gathers the words to say. "When strength cannot prevail you use other ways."


"They are all dead." She whispers. "All the pure-bloods. We lured them here and executed them. Every day…" A wracking cough steals her breath and Hannibal is helpless to stop it. "Every day…more of them die. Drake did this. He helped me."


"Yes." Her eyes roll back toward Drake and Blade and she reaches out to gain purchase on Hannibal's arm. "Help me up."


"Please, Hannibal."

Hannibal lifts her back to her feet as Drake lands a powerful blow to Blade, driving him into the table. The strength of it knocks his sword out of his hand and the Daywalker is completely exposed. Drake pauses and readies his sword.

"Drake…" Meg forces herself to walk free of Hannibal's support and staggers toward the two men. "Don't…"

This time, he catches her when she falls.

She looks smaller than she ever has as Drake cradles her in his arms. Blade retrieves his sword but does not attack. He watches as Drake tries to hold the life inside of her, tries to stop the bleeding, but the bullets have already done too much damage.

"…not enough time." Drake's words barely travel through the night air. "I have not had enough time."

And her attempted whisper that ends in coughing as the blood continues to choke off her air.

"Bite her." Blade says, aware of what this decision will cost him.

"Blade?" Hannibal asks.

"Bite her." There is no hesitation in the command.

Drake looks up in gratitude but then a darker awareness sweeps over him and he bows his head toward Meg. "It must be your choice."

She looks up at him and the answer is clear. But Drake's sound is of agony. He groans as though the right choice strikes him through the heart as being entirely wrong. He lowers his head toward her and Hannibal tenses as he waits for the vampire to bite her. But instead, Drake kisses her deeply.

Meg dies between that breath and the next.

There is only silence for a long time.

Then Drake finally speaks. "We've purified as much as we could. The rest is up to you. Right now, there are only two pure-bloods in the world. You….and I."

Blade nods. "All the vampires were disappearing because you were getting rid of them."

Drake nods. His hand streaked red with her blood as he closes her eyes and draws her up to his chest.

"After tonight there will only be one."

It takes a moment for Blade to understand.

"Are you sure?"

"I told her once that she was the reason I clung to life. Now…?" Drake looks up at Blade and touches himself on the chest with one finger. "One strike here and it will be ended."

"You loved her?" This is the last thing he needs to know.


Blade spins with his katana and drives it down with all of his strength. It pierces through Drake's back, through Meg's chest and down into the marble floor which crumples under the blow.

He and Hannibal watch as black blood pours out of Drake. The original vampire lowers his head to rest against hers, and dies.

"What have we done?" Hannibal asks quietly.

Blade is silent, his eyes and face stony with the attempt to restrain his emotions.

"There aren't any more monsters."

"There will always be monsters." Blade says. "Just one less woman to fight them."

"Do we leave them here?"

Blade's eyes turn back toward the motionless tableau. "She'd want it. She loved him."

Long after they'd left the mansion the sun began to rise outside. The light crawled across the dining hall floor with infinitesimal slowness toward the cooling bodies. Then, as it brushed across them, the tiny firelight sparks of flame burst into being as Drake, and Meg in his arms, turn to fire and then ash.

And it ends.