Author Note: Don't worry, I haven't given up on Rash, but chapter three just doesn't want to be written. Steve (my muse) refuses to tell me what I should be doing. So I'm distracting myself with this, and hopefully Steve will provide me with details for Rash. This story is an experiment, of sorts. Please tell me if you want me to continue with this idea. It's a bit of a Buffy/Firefly crossover, but I'm not planning on including any of the Buffy (and/or Angel) characters in this story.
YEAR: 2807 AD
Shepherd Cray Fullern locked the door to the church. It was very late at night, but he had gotten caught up in an interesting conversation about the Great Flood on Earth-That-Was with his good friend, Shepherd Mark Brammel. Brammel had apparently already left, so Cray was left to wait for the city transport to pick him up at the transport stop.
Cray Fullern sat down on the bench and flipped open his Bible to one of his favorite passages. He read in silence until he heard the whir of the city transport's engine. The door opened, and Cray stepped inside.
"And where will you be headed, Shepherd?" the driver asked, looking at him over the edge of the seat. "This here's my last run for the night, seein' as how there's no one but you two on board."
"Ah, yes. Flinchly Alley, please, Apartment Complex D," Shepherd Fullern said, looking back through the transport, and saw a man several rows back, fast asleep.
"Right then. Settle yourself down, Shepherd, and we'll be on our way."
Cray sat down in the seat right behind the driver. The transport door closed, and soon they were off.
"So, Shepherd, how come you're out alone so late at night? All manner of nasty beasts are roaming the streets at these hours," the driver said conversationally.
"I'm well aware of that. But God is watching over me, and I will put my safety in his protecting hands," Shepherd Fullern told him.
"That's a lot of faith you've got there," the driver chuckled. "Ever wondered if maybe it was a little misplaced?"
"No," Cray said, frowning slightly. "Wait- you missed the turn."
"Well ain't that a shame?" the driver laughed again. "Hang on, we'll make a turn up here and go back."
Instead of turning, they pulled over to a rickety old house and stopped. Cray stood up. "Excuse me, but I thought…" Cray noticed for the first time that although he could see his own reflection in the rearview mirror quite clearly, he couldn't see the driver's at all. The transport door opened, and a young woman stepped in, with dark brown hair hanging in curtains around her face.
"You brought me dinner," she said a little abstractedly. "How nice."
"Well, I couldn't let my little albatross starve, could I?" the driver told her.
Vampires! Cray realized, stumbling back. He had landed himself with vampires! He looked around frantically, and saw an emergency exit at the back of the transport. He scrambled to it, making one last, fatal mistake halfway through. He stopped to save the sleeping man, only to discover bite marks on his neck and a badge identifying him as the real driver of the city transport. Then he was grabbed from behind by the male vampire. He got one scream out before he was gagged.
The vampires dragged him and the body inside. Cray was thrown to the floor of the old house. The full moon shone in through cracks in the wall, and a horrible rustling noise came from the back of the house. An impossibly large wolf padded forward and into the light, panting in its eagerness for a fresh meal.
"Here, Jayne, got you a nice young transport driver here," the male vampire said enticingly.
The werewolf sniffed the body and growled.
"Sorry," the vampire said apologetically. "I couldn't resist a little nibble."
With another growl the werewolf dragged the body into the shadows. Shepherd Cray tried to block out the horrible noises it made as it feasted on the driver.
The female vampire knelt before Cray and poked him a few times. "This one's so old, Mal. He'll get stuck in my teeth," she complained.
"You have to eat, River," the male vampire said gently. "You need to keep up your strength- especially after our last run-in with purple-bellies."
"If you insist," she sighed.
"Next time I'll get you a pretty little girl. With flowers and bonnets and dollies for keep," Mal promised.
"Okay," she brightened up.
Cray leaned away from the vampire as she closed in, but inside he knew it was a futile gesture.
YEAR: Circa 2507 AD
"Why are you so worried about this?" Mal groaned in frustration. "It's just the kind of stories that you tell your children to make them behave. You know- 'eat your vegetables or a vampire will get you!'."
Inara threw the newspaper on the kitchen table. "Because they're more than just stories, and you know it! There have been rumors about this for ages-"
"And that's all they are- rumors," Mal cut in.
Inara ignored him and rushed on. "For ages, but only recently have they become a significant threat. Mal, this is the thirtieth body found like this in one week- and that's just for a small border moon like this one! It's even worse on other planets, especially on the Outer Rim! Look at the bite marks on this girl's neck-"
"What makes you say they're bite marks?"
"Because they're also on the bodies of so many other victims- Mal, this is getting out of control! The facts are all lining up, and there's too many of them to ignore-"
"There's no facts! Only superstitious suspicions! People don't have enough proof to find the real murderers, so they're blaming all these killings on ancient myths from Earth-That-Was."
"What about the werewolf sightings?" Inara asked passionately. "What about them?"
"I believe them about as much as I believe all the alien scams that folk come up with. 'Sides, I've seen some pretty big dogs," Mal shrugged.
"Fine!" Inara gave up, storming out of the common area. "Just keep ignoring what's right in front of you!"
Mal wore his smirk until he was sure that he was alone. Then he looked down at the picture on the main page, focusing on two tiny little punctures on the dead girl's neck, his face a solemn as it had ever been.
END OF CHAPTER ONE
Okay, so, please, tell me what you think. Your reviews will feed Steve, who in turn will inspire me to write more (on both this story and Rash).