Blood in the Stars

Chapter 1; A History of Blood

Extract from a History of Humanity - The flight - Censored text

In the early twenty-second century the peoples of Earth realised that within a few decades there would be no room in their limited solar system for further growth. Already the moon, Mars and Venus had been turned into human capable planets with terraforming but they were hitting a limit.

Things were falling apart. Controlling the population became almost impossible and factions were turning against those they viewed as freaks. A largest sub-section of humanity, the Wizards and Witches, were rounded into technically illegal camps and killed. The Government took the high road in the conflict but there was little it could do when the camps were normally run by their own military leaders.

The sub-groups fought back but only one was successful in surviving the complete extermination of their kind. A small group of born Vampires fled into hiding on Earth, hidden amongst the human masses. The resistances leader, famously known as Harry Potter-Ker Tal was a Vampire that had been subjugated by Wizards as a baby but returned to his true parents, the Rulers of the Vampire nation (killed in 2118). By 2126 no Vampire could be found and the humans began to war against each other, finding new flaws to justify their purge until the Military built a fleet of multi-generation transports to send their race into the surrounding solar systems.

Evidence suggests that Harry Potter-Ker Tal managed to slip off of Earth with other Vampires onto the new ships. Several others were caught and killed on the fleet ships but again there are no reports of sightings of the famous resistance leader.

Somehow the name Ker Tal has been documented throughout the generations as the human race spread throughout the new solar system and its hundreds of terraformed worlds. Does Harry Potter-Ker Tal still exist beyond all odds and is he a single Vampire amongst six billion humans?

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

2511 - Unification War

Harry walked through the dark corridors of the Prism with loud footsteps. It had been his ship for fifteen years now, ever since he had brought it straight out of the military with a small bribe against an Alliance official. It was a cargo ship but it was heavily armed, capable of defending against the numerous pirates or Reavers that lingered amongst the outer planets.

He walked into his bridge and stared at the few people there. It was the first example in a long time that he had taken an active role in the Unification War. The central Alliance had struck out into the outer planets to replace their control there and the rebels, the Browncoats, had resisted them. And were failing.

He had a few friends within the Browncoats including the leader of the local resistance, Nigel Billington, who had begged for his help when the Alliance forces had laid siege to one of the rural planets trapping a battalion of Browncoats there and they were slowly dieing of attrition. The rebellion's leaders had already capitulated but the ground troops could not retreat so easily.

Harry, for once, had answered the call and now his three person crew were eyeing him with their normal cold expression, though they weren't directed at him. His Engineer sat at the controls of the ship guiding it towards the small planet in question. Alex glanced back at him and offered him the controls which Harry, as one of the best pilots in the solar system, took. He adjusted to the feel of the ship with expert practice using all of his hidden Vampire senses to guide his flight, not that any of his crew knew what he was.

Alex joined the other two in the other seats. Michelle was his weapons officer who had a rather morbid sense of humour which matched Harry's own. His Navigation officer and part time medic, Peter, fed him coordinates for him to aim at and he guided the ship down through the atmosphere carefully letting the heat flare against the ships sides.

As soon as the air cleared Harry changed course again. The sky was filled with smoke trails that had been blown into chaos. Some were engine trails of inner-atmosphere transports, others were missile tracks. Smoke rose from the surface in all directions but the most recent was coming from the south, right where they were destined to go.

Harry threw the boosters to full power and the Hammer-class ship lurched forwards throwing them all into the backs of their seats. He flew low over the ground to avoid being sighted visually but he knew he'd be very lucky not to be spotted on the sensors of the numerous Alliance ships flying through the area dropping off troops. He burst over the mountains and spied a landed Alliance troop ship, the one stolen and captained by Nigel Billington himself. The bottom of the valley was filled with Alliance activity except for the small town around Billington's ship where the Browncoats were retreating from their final lost battle.

Harry had the element of surprise though since he was flying a ship shaped exactly like the military cargo ships but it didn't take them long to realise that the custom grey colour was missing from the black and red ship. He banked the ship to avoid a salvo of flak fire and rolled it to avoid a hastily launched missile before dropping the ship down right on top of the Browncoats trying to defend the town so that they could evacuate.

The ship had two sections, both much flatter than they were wide. A small thinner section joined the two and made it look less bulky. The front was wide and curved forwards with a blunt nose. It looked from the top like a rectangle with a curved end and soft corners.

They fled the area next to the troop ship and Harry set the ship down after firing a volley of floating tracers that would attract missiles from the cooling engines of the ship. "Let's find ourselves some guests." Harry told them all. They stood and walked down through the ship to the cargo bay in the rear where Alex hit the cargo bay's lights to darken the doors as he hit the release and the back doors opened on lower hinges to form a ramp up into the room. "Alex, Peter. See to our guests. Michelle, lock and load."

Harry walked down the ramp and whistled loudly to gain a nearby Captains attention, he signalled for them to load up and the Captain started shouting orders. Harry glanced to the right where the troopship's cargo ramp sat open. A missile exploded over their heads and a volley of weapons blasts rocketed over their heads. Harry heard the sharp cracks of bullets in answer and smirked across at Nigel Billington as he called out.

"Harry, my old friend. You shock an old man's heart." He greeted and they clasped arms.

"I regret that your cause could not bare fruit, friend." Harry told him. "Wars are none of my business but I would not see the last of these good men die here in a massacre. They must live to pass their tales on to their children. To give future generations hope."

Nigel grinned at him. "Your words are the same as they first time we met and they still inspire me to do great deeds. Foolish deeds but great all the same." Harry chuckled.

"Let's get this show on the road." Harry turned on his heel. "See you in the outlands."

Nigel yelled loudly for the last to load up and Harry swept back onto his own ship. He eyed the wounded men as he walked through the cargo bay. Their healthier brothers-in-arms guarded the ramp and forced more people passed them. They broke apart to let him through. A young man stumbled through the crowd firing at approaching Alliance troopers and Harry caught his shoulders to steady him. He stared at the man in his early twenties before moving around him and his female friend.

He made his way through the ship to the control room and brought the engines to standby knowing that it would warn Alex to get them all inside and the doors closed. "Are you going to get that hunk of junk off the ground any time soon, Nigel, or am I going to have to lift you off on my shoulders?"

He got a dull chuckle in response before the supposedly older man's voice came through the bridges speakers. "Have you seen that flak up there!?" He asked incredulously. "We'll be lucky to get clear before we're ripped to shreds!"

"Then we'll go down fighting." Harry told him before hitting the internal communications. "Lock it down, this is going to be rough. Michelle get up here and start turning those purple bellies into dust!"

He heard cheers from the cargo bay. "We're all locked up and ready to go boss." Alex told him over the intercom.

Harry throttled the engine and lifted the ship from the ground. He hung low to encase the landing struts but didn't linger any longer than necessary since he could already feel shots hitting the hull. A missile impacted his last decoy just as Michelle ran into the room and leapt into one of the weapons chairs. The young man from before followed her up and leapt into the other with practiced ease. His female friend lurked at his shoulder, they were obviously friends.

Harry boosted the engines and saw that the Paladin, Nigel's ship, was doing the same. He forced the engines into a whining full power and the ship began to climb with agonising slowness loaded as it was. The Paladin fell in in front and to the right of him. Flak erupted around them and the ship began to shudder violently as concussion waves tried to rock it from its course. The Paladin lurched violently as a flak shell exploded against its engines. A stream of smoke erupted from the port engine as it caught fire.

"Damn it!" Harry swore as his own ship rocked violently as a flak shell exploded in front of them. "This is going to get very rough."

"It'll never make orbit with only two engines!" The young man swore from behind him.

A missile flew up from below them and time seemed to slow as it smacked straight into the bridge of the Paladin. Harry's growled as the ship went crazy, like a body without its head. The front exploded tearing the ship in half and Harry lurched the ship to the left, throwing all of his guests around as the carcass of the Paladin cut in front of him.

It exploded soon after Harry passed it and Harry rolled the ship to protect the bridge windows from the concussive wave that sent him off course. He snarled before checking his readouts. He had the necessary velocity for successful exit. He twisted the ship into an awkward turn to throw off tracing missiles and rocketed up into orbit. As soon as he had safely set the ship on course Alex came into the room with reports that everything was working properly and Harry left him to watch the ship's con.

"Thank you for your help." Harry turned to the young man.

"You're the one that saved our arses. That flying was incredible!" The man told him. "I don't think I've ever seen you or your ship in one of our battles before."

"Was that a question?" Michelle snorted.

"Uh…yes." He told them both as his female friend came up at his shoulder.

"I don't normally take part in the battles but Nigel is…was…an old friend of mine and asked for my help." Harry told them. "I'm afraid this is the last battle in this war. I suggest you find yourself a new vocation."

His eyes narrowed but he gazed out of the window probably remembering the view of the Paladin exploding. "Thank you for helping." He told Harry. "My name's Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds. This is Zoe Alleyne."

"I take it you've already met Michelle, my weapons officer. Alex and Peter are downstairs, they are the only crew I need. My name is Harry Ker-Tal." Harry told him not worried about the name being familiar since so few even knew the myths behind the name and nobody ever took them seriously.

"Unfortunate name." He pointed out with a chuckle and a glint to his eyes. "Named after the Vampire."

"Perhaps." Harry didn't smile. "It's rare to come across somebody who knows the stories."

"I had an old Sergeant who told me about them." Mal shrugged. "I'm still not sure if he believed them."

"Well I don't." Harry told him bluntly and Michelle snorted since it was the only thing he ever said on the matter.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

2517 - On route to central planets

Harry stared up at the ceiling in his cabin. It was rather bare except for a few photos around the place of himself with his current crew. He'd been friends with them for many years now and once they were all gone then he'd float around on his own again for a time and inevitably find new friends to add to the multitude he had known over the five hundred and twenty years he had been a Vampire.

The only old photo he had was a holo-image of the last known Vampire, Darren McKenzie, killed by firing squad almost a century ago. He'd been Harry last friend from Earth when they'd snuck onboard one of the transport ships and had been his partner for four centuries. It had taken Harry a long time to get over the other man but he'd decided to just put it beside him and focus his energies on anything that hurt the Alliance. He kept the holo-pic to remember all of his old friends especially the five that had made it into the new system and just for that reason he had the holo-file backed up in a dozen different places.

"You listening to this crap again?" Alex blurted as he opened Harry's cabin door. Harry eyed his Engineer.

"This 'crap' is seven hundred years old. It's a masterpiece." Harry informed Alex for the hundredth time while closing his eyes for a moment to listen to Beethoven 'Moonlight' Sonata.

"It's…old." The twenty five year old pointed out.

Harry decided not to comment. His entire crew ranged from twenty five to thirty and they all believed Harry to be around that age. Michelle was twenty eight and Peter was thirty. "Did you need something more important then insulting something older than space flight?" Hell Harry was older than space flight.

"We've got a ship coming up on long range scanners, it'll be an hour before we can get a good enough look to work out what it is." Alex told him. "But Michelle thought you'd want to know in advance."

"I'll have a quick shower and be up in a short while." Harry told him uncaringly. Being this close to the Central Planets made it highly unlikely to be a pirate. Alex left him and Harry turned up the music to listen to the rest of it beat after beat all soothing his senses that were driven mad by the emptiness of space. It didn't help that he really needed to feed. Four weeks really was his maximum and he hadn't been able to get away at their last stop to find a victim. At least on the Central Planets he wouldn't have to worry about covering his tracks. He could just kill his victim and remove all trace of the attack.

The piece finished with two final chords and Harry hit the remote to cut the music players power before heading for a nice hot shower to further sooth his tense muscles. He was still rather damp when he arrived at the Bridge to find Alex and Michelle playing cards over the console. He didn't interrupt but simply leaned over Alex to reach the scanner's readout. He found the direction and looked up out of the window. Stars filled his vision. One directly ahead was slightly larger then the surrounding ones and was clearly their planetary destination to Harry's advanced eyes. A small light on their starboard side, right where the scanner was directing him to, was obviously a ship, though it was only a small dull star to Harry's eyes. He glanced back down at the energy readouts for the small ship and studied them for a moment. Long Range scanners use the incoming light from stars to pick up distortions in gravity caused by the Gravity-Drives of ships and Harry knew each one had a difficult pattern depending on size.

"That's an Alliance Scout." Harry announced with certainty. It made sense that it would be out here.

"How do you know that?" Michelle sighed.

"How does he always know that?" Alex retorted. Neither really expected an answer.

"Imaging and radar should be able to verify that in about ten minutes." Harry told them. The more accurate systems were unfortunately shorter range. "They'll undoubtedly want to waste our time making us stop and lose speed and other such nonsense. Make a sweep. You know the drill."

"Alright Boss." Michelle.

"Right." Alex nodded and the two cleared away their cards and retreated from the Bridge. The ship had seven small voids which were specially shielded to prevent scans. Four of them were large enough for people whilst the other three were only just large enough for a small package or two. Smugglers holes but Alliance troops could easily spend a week searching for them and never find them. Harry had been doing this sort of thing for as long as Space Smuggling had been around. He trusted the others to be able to know what needed hiding and what didn't.

Harry waited out the time with his feet on the control console picturing sucking the blood from the captain of the little scout ship that would want to waste his time. Some stuck up little brat undoubtedly. They always were. As soon as they were in range Harry activated the Radar and the scout ship appeared instantly as the pulse was returned to the ship. Harry directed the Imaging scanner on the Scout ship and was proven right. The ten metre long ship would be dwarfed by the fifty-two metre long, eleven metre tall and eighteen metre wide Prism. The little thing, that looked something like a scarab beetle to Harry, would probably fit in his Cargo bay with room to spare.

They could go to hell if they thought they were going to though. The bay was full of legitimate cargo and he wasn't trusting some rug-rat out of Alliance Academy to not scratch up his ship. Letting them attach an air lock was bad enough. The console beeped at him and Harry sat up straighter in his chair as he accepted the broad-beamed 'public' communication. A young, twenty year old, man appeared on his screen.

"Identify yourself and send us your verification codes and projected course." The man told him without even waiting to focus on Harry.

Harry rolled his eyes discreetly before tapping his console to send the Prism's ownership details, his own pilot's licence, or at least the latest one and also his cargo-fleet status that permitted him to bring goods between worlds. "This is the Cargo ship, Prism, owned and captained by Harry Ker Tal. On route to the planet Londinium with goods."

The man glanced down at his own screens though he obviously wasn't doing any of the work. The scout ships were manned by three people, one new officer and two crewmen and chances were the crewmen were doing all the actual work. "What was your point of origin?"

"Newhall." Harry told him since that was where he had actually picked up the cargo. He'd made two stops on the way but his trajectory still lined up with it assuming he stopped for supplies along the way.

"Very well. Come to a full stop and prepare to accept an air dock." The man told him.

"You know very well it doesn't work like that, kid." Harry snapped annoyed at his rudeness. "I've traded with the Central Worlds for ten years and I wont allow boarders without a warrant and your own verification codes." He would wait before refusing to come to a full stop until he saw the type of warrant the Scout held. Only the large ships held 'stand and show' warrants.

The man's eyes narrowed and his face went slightly red in anger but he gestured to one of his crew members. Two seconds later a data stream came to the Prism's console. Harry took his time looking over the officer's name; Lieutenant Migiala, fresh from academy by the looks of it. He then checked the verification codes against his own database of current Alliance ships to prove it wasn't a scam by pirates and then finally brought up the warrant. A code D warrant.

"Are you satisfied, Mr Ker Tal?" Migiala snapped purposely ignoring Harry's Captain status proved by his pilot's license and ownership of a cargo-fleet statused ship.

Harry gave him a stare. "This isn't a 'stand and show' warrant. I shall happily welcome you on my ship but I will not reduce speed. We've been in space for a week now and I won't put my engines through an acceleration routine again."

Migiala glared again but he couldn't do anything else and the comm. link went dead. Harry's imagination provided him with vivid images of the scout ship opening fire against him and his hand actually hovered over the automated defence turrets for a while until he reminded himself that no mouse would be stupid enough to attack a cat and that was exactly what they had here. The scout ship didn't even have a tenth of Harry's fire power and that was only taking into account Harry's legitimate weaponry.

XOXOXOXOXOXOX

Two hours later

The two ships had cut a quarter from the Prism's journey by the time they split apart. Lieutenant Migiala had been pissed off the whole trip since this small detour would gain him four hours in his route since he would have to return to the exact place that they had met up before continuing. Harry had relied on that fact since it would make the Lieutenant eager to finish and less likely to waste more time.

Harry felt the grind of the Scout ship leaving the top of his ship and winced along with Michelle, Alex and Peter as they imagined the scratches to the paintwork that they'd have to touch up.

"Damn sods." Alex grumbled.

"No argument there." Peter nodded.

"At least the brat didn't waste any time." Michelle pointed out logically. "Boss?"

Harry looked up from his watch at them. "What?"

"You alright?" She asked.

"Yeah," Harry told her, he really needed a drink though it wasn't a survival issue yet. "Get the Kaglia back into the fridge or it'll go off."

"I know we've asked this before but why are we doing a drug run?" Peter asked. As a medic he didn't like the idea of hallucinogens like Kaglia and as a rule Harry didn't smuggle anything like it.

"For the normal reason." Harry told them. "Someone has something I want."

"What?" Alex asked.

"Something for my little baby." Harry grinned a sappy smile as he stroked the wall tenderly. "The good thing is that once we've got it the ship needs to put down for two weeks."

"Time off?" Alex grinned.

"Yes, Alex, time off." Harry rolled his eyes. He'd known this team for ten years now. Peter and Michelle had been twenty and eighteen respectfully with experience on cargo ships though limited as that was. Alex had been a fifteen year old newly made orphan that Harry had rescued when Alliance troopers killed his parents for little to no reason. Alex was the only one in a hundred years apart from his victims to see him feed but his mind had been too traumatised to readily remember it.

"We'll be there in six hours." Peter put in to wipe the grin off of Alex's face.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

Six hours later

Harry slowly hovered the ship as he waited for the iris closing off his allotted cargo bay to swivel open. As soon as it was clear he lowered the ship down into the bay and let the eight landing struts take the weight before setting them as low as possible and letting the hull of the ship settled on the metal ground of the bay. He lifted the catch over the engine shut off and thumbed the button and heard silence as the Gravity-Drive and atmospheric boosters shut down.

He spun his seat to face his three crew members. "Peter, Michelle, you're coming with me. Only bring what you can conceal. Peter can grab the less than legal goods." Harry received nods from the two and turned to Alex. "See to it that the systems are purged and purified. Unload the legit goods. I'll get somebody from Jacoby's to come collect them with a note from me. Get us refuelled too." Harry told him and flipped him the credit chit that would let the docks crew charge him for the fuel needed.

It only took them five minutes to prepare to go since Harry, Peter and Michelle were all already wearing the weapons they planned to take. In Harry's case he was wearing a long black trench coat that was worn out just like he liked them to be. It concealed a energy pistol that he favoured and numerous knives that wouldn't be found if he was searched.

The other two were wearing leather jackets and rimmed caps that they favoured from their homeworld and Harry was satisfied that he couldn't see their weapons. They left the docks where the local dockmen were already linking fuel tubes to the Prism and Alex was supervising their supply of cobalt being unloaded from the cargo bay and into one of the nearby storage areas.

They spent two hours doing everything that they needed, first stopping by Jacoby's traders to sell the cobalt that they brought and arranging for its collection and then went to a more private client to sell the Kaglia for the new piece of equipment that Harry wanted. A Dissimulator designed to muck up scanners in two ways. It bent the way that long range scanners picked up the Gravity fluctuations helping to hide the ship from long range scanners and also making it almost impossible to determine the type of ship. It also refracted radar waves and played with imaging scanners to provide shadows that made it impossible to 'see' the ship short range.

It could also be switched to a less obvious mode to hide the nature of the ship by making it look like any other ship from a navigation buoy to an Alliance Cruiser or even anything with a gravity field like an asteroid. Well worth temporarily forgetting his morals.

Peter and Michelle were dutifully impressed by the acquisition since it would have probably cost anybody else the value of the Prism since it was a brand new piece of equipment that not even all of the Alliance ships had. In basic terms it was a leaf strewn hat on the head of a hiding soldier.

After seeing the Dissimulator back to the Prism with instructions for its safe stowage the three headed to the pub that they always visited here to get food and drinks for themselves and then something to take back to Alex. It was here that things started to go wrong.

They were sitting around a small table in the corner of the room when an Alliance Captain walked into the room with no fewer then ten Alliance Troopers armed to the teeth. Harry, Peter and Michelle instantly had their guns out under the table and ready to use and that was before Harry recognised the man and was recognised in turn.

"That's him, take him!" Captain Vortal snapped pointing at Harry. Harry had been on the wrong end of the Captain's gun several times and always escaped but he'd never been on the wrong end of so many guns with his friends beside him too. Well there was that time when Peter had hit on the wife of a local crime lord but that had been fun more than dangerous.

"I don't think so." Harry stood fluidly and levelled his gun at the Captain's head. The Troopers came up short at the unexpected opposition. "I can kill you before any of your men get a shot off and you know it."

Michelle and Peter were at his sides with their own pistols drawn. They both had Alliance standard energy pistols rather than the bullet firing ones that the Independent worlds normally used and both pistols were pointed at the Captain unwaveringly. "What did you do?" Michelle asked out of the corner of her mouth.

"Killed his son." Harry told her bluntly but only loud enough for her and Peter to hear. "He was raping a fourteen year old girl at the time so I figured the dear Captain wouldn't mind. Evidently I was wrong."

"Figures." Peter grumbled. Things turned to chaos after the barman drew his own weapon and aimed it at the nearest person who happened to be one of the troopers who turned and shot the man without question. The other troopers, some confused at what was happening opened fire on their opposition only to find them gone. As soon as the barman had lifted his own gun and fired, Harry, Peter and Michelle had dived for cover.

Harry killed two of the troopers without a thought as he dived behind a stall wall though the wood didn't give him much protection from the incoming blasts. Michelle rolled up next to him and gave him a grin but he didn't know where Peter was. The both dodged up and fired as their cover was destroyed and took down a few more of the troopers. The next few minutes blurred to Harry as he used all of his advanced Vampire senses to target, kill and evade becoming a blur to everyone there. His world came to a brief standstill though when Vortal appeared from the crowd of fleeing civilians.

Harry yelled out a warning and took the shot but it was too late. Harry's blast tore through the man's neck but his own blast struck Peter square in the back blasting a hole out of his chest cavity. Harry's eyes went black for the first time in many years and he grabbed at the nearest trooper and snapped his neck before jumping forwards.

Michelle beat him there though and was crouching over Peter when she too was hit by one of the last two Troopers. Harry took a hit to his shoulder and blood soaked his arm and the floor beside his two friends. Harry shot the two dead before holstering the gun and grabbing at Michelle's lifeless hand. The shot had hit her in the small of her back severing her spine and burning up her lungs and heart in the process. Harry kissed them both on the forehead before closing their eyes.

He knew he couldn't waste any time and hefted the two unwilling to leave them behind to be buried with all dishonour. He spat on Captain Vortal's body as he carried both bodies out into the back alley and took the shortest short cut that he knew through the city to the space port and to his own ship.

He got many an odd look but he didn't care and with his show of carrying two dead bodies and having solid black eyes they didn't try to stop him or even report him. He arrived at the space port and his own dock in only fifteen minutes and after knocking out the two dockmen still there he walked up into the Prism to find a very unwelcome sight, though not as bad as the two bodies in his arms.

He placed Michelle and Peter against the ramp before slipping into the shadows. The three Troopers didn't see him or hear him as he slipped up into the second floor walkways. They'd obviously arrived at the same time that Vortal had tried to arrest them twenty minutes ago and they were holding Alex at gun point. Whether this was a way of commandeering the ship of a convict or as leverage in case Harry escaped again he didn't know but all he knew was that two of them were pointing guns at the only crew he had left. Harry dropped from the walkways and shocked the two watching Alex by appearing between them and their charge.

Alex cried out in shock but that was nothing to the horror on the two troopers' faces when they saw his solid black eyes and fanged teeth leering at them. Harry jumped forwards and disarmed them both before breaking their necks with practiced ease. The Lieutenant charged with watching them turned with a pale face to stare at Harry. His gun came up rather belatedly to point at Harry but by the time he tried to fire Harry had the gun pointing at the floor in the man's newly broken hand. Harry pushed the man's head to the side and bit into his neck.

It only took a few minutes of drinking to completely drain him of blood and his lifeless body hit the deck with a solid thump. Harry breathed deeply for a few seconds feeling his shoulder heal over without a scratch. He forced his eyes back to their emerald colour and slowly turned to face the very pale and shaking form of his Engineer.

"Alex?" Harry asked but got no response. Alex was staring at the Lieutenant now staring up at the ceiling with horror etched on his face. "Alex, please look at me. I'm not going to hurt you."

Alex slowly forced his gaze up to Harry and his eyes widened. "Harry?"

"I'm sorry you had to see that." Harry told him quietly. He took a step towards Alex but the man backed up a step until his back hit the wall. Harry took a step backwards so that Alex didn't feel trapped. "I'd never hurt you, you know that. I'm not different now then I was when you talked to me this morning in my room. Do you think I could hurt you?"

Alex stared at him but finally the words got through to him. He shook his head. "You'd never hurt me."

Harry smiled. "Do you know what I am?"

"It's not a myth. You always said you didn't believe in the Myths." Alex opened and shut his mouth a few times. "You're a Vampire. The Vampire. Harry Potter-Ker Tal!"

"That's the name unfortunately." Harry sighed. "But I was Harry Ker Tal when I took you in and nothings change just because you had to see that."

"You have to drink blood?" Alex gulped and Harry could see that the man wanted to pull up his collar. Harry took the opportunity to lighten the mood by stepping forwards and did just that. He pulled Alex's collar up before stepping back with a small grin on his face.

"About two pints every four weeks though normally I kill my victim." Harry told him. "I don't like leaving witnesses behind and I never target good people. These Troopers really pissed me off."

Harry eyes darkened and he kicked the nearest Trooper in the head. "What happened?" Alex gasped suddenly. "Where are Michelle and Peter?"

"We were attacked in the pub. They killed them both." Harry strolled across the cargo bay and hefted his two friends' bodies and brought them fully into the bay. "I give us five minutes before they send a team here to find us and I want to be gone by then. Is the ship ready to go."

"Yeah." Alex's voice broke and tears began to creep down his cheeks. He sagged down onto the floor beside Michelle. When Harry had taken in and more or less adopted Alex he had become a father to him. Michelle had easily become a sister to the only child and Peter had become an Uncle. With Michelle and Peter's deaths he'd lost his family for the second time.

Harry walked to the ramp and hit the door control to close and seal the cargo bay to let Alex have a moment with the two. He didn't give him long though and scooped Alex up and hugged him tightly as he arrived back ten seconds later. Alex clung to him for a few moments before Harry pulled back. "We can mourn them later. Right now we have to get away from here. Did the equipment arrive?"

Alex nodded. "It's in the side bay." Meaning one of the large hidden compartments. Alex had obviously realised straight away that it was illegal.

"Come on, we can put them on ice later." Harry grabbed Alex's arm and guided the crying man up to the Bridge and down into one of the weapons control seats. "As soon as we're clear I want you to launch a mine right into the office there." Harry pointed at the reinforced room that controlled the dock and its records. "I don't want them to know who we were and I doubt they've filed the paperwork yet."

"I can do that." Alex set himself to the task with a determined expression. "I'll set the timer for ten seconds."

The explosion would be massive and Harry found himself hoping that the Troopers would arrive in time to feel the full weight of the explosion. He powered the engines and lifted the ship off the ground with practiced ease. An alarm warned him that he was still attached to dockside power and the fuelling pipes and he smirked and looked over his shoulder at Alex who got a nasty glint in his eye and punched up the hull gattling cannons. In their defence the pipes and cables could only be released from the control room and it was unmanned and locked.

The leads weren't actually strong enough to hold the ship in place but tearing them off would only damage his hull. They both worked by magnetic locking so when the Gattling gun tore through them the locks released and the cut ends fell lifelessly to the ground. The other ends however went wild as they were released. The hot bullets ignited the fuel pipe and burning fuel began leaking across the dock. The electrical cable simple added to the calamity. Harry banked the ship up but paused just long enough for Alex to launch a Mine clear through the window of the control room. Normally the mines were launched from the ship a short distance into space so they didn't attract themselves to their own ship and that initial burst was enough to send it through the reinforced glass. Private ships and Commercial cargo vessels weren't allowed them and it was illegal for Harry to have an arsenal of them but they were useful for destroying pursuing ships.

Harry threw the ship to full power and both occupants were pressed back into their seats as they took off. Harry timed it right and just when the control centre should have contacted him the mine went off with a blast that took out the entire space port and shut down communications and power all through the area, incidentally killing the only centre that could register Harry's departure.

XOXOXOXOXOXOX

End Chapter