It was way past midnight, a normal person would have been asleep by now. But his life hasn't exactly been normal for a long time now has it? He sat there on the edge of a bed that wasn't his wearing his nothing but his jeans and a chain with a silver cross hanging from his neck, his almost black hair hanging down to his eyes. The room was set up so two big mirrors were set up on the walls on either side. Despite the darkness he could see the huge scar going down his back in the reflection, right down the middle of his tribal tattoo. A memento of a battle that nearly cost him his life, one of many way too close calls. And he was getting tired of coming up with excuses for why it was there. God, he could have used that battle system they came up with in that one.

The silence in the room was broken as the first few bars of Savin' Me started playing. He grabbed his cell phone and didn't even bother checking who it was. There would only be one group who would be calling this time of night. "What do you got?"

"Matt," his contact answered, "sorry to wake you, but we got a situation."

His blue eyes looked up at the refection of the woman behind him, "I wasn't exactly sleeping Troy."

"Oh!", Troy quickly got the meaning. "Well... oh geez."

"The situation Troy," he was sounding annoyed.

"Right," he cleared his throat over the line. "We spotted a class one in sector 7H. We think it might have a hostage, but our spotter can't get that good a look inside the building. We'd go in but we don't want to do anything that would endanger the possible hostage." Sector 7H, that was five blocks from where he was.

"Right, I'm on it. Tell big red I'll report in after I'm done." There was a audible sigh as the call ended. Chances were good big red was there and heard it. Not that he cared at any point, the guy was a jackass to begin with. He finished dressing and grabbed his brown leather duster off the chair. He put it on looked back at the woman for a moment. Reaching into one of the duster's pockets he pulled out a wad of twenties and left it on her nightstand. Yeah she was definitely worth the money alright.

As he exited her room and headed down the stairs he ignored the stares he got from others he passed. He stopped caring about what other people thought a long time ago. Matt hit the street, walked up to his custom Harley and drove off. As he rode he tried to clear his head of all but the bare minimum of thought. Thinking too much would get you killed. How many times was that driven into his head over the years? But no matter how hard he tried his mind, in situation like this, his mind always went back to the damn night.

A ten year old boy was sitting in an office of a police station with a blanket wrapped around him. He barely acknowledged anything or anybody around him. He was staring straight ahead into nothingness. All he was seeing were the flashes of teeth and fangs and blood splashing, his parent's blood. He shivered slightly despite how warm the blanket was making him. On the other side of the door he barely heard the two police officers talking. "Poor kid, seeing something like that got to fuck you up," the first one said.

The second one agreed, "No kidding. Did you see the bodies? Their necks were fucking torn out. Kid keeps saying they were attacked by vampires if he says anything at all."

"I know that the first thing that popped in my head when we got there. But I bet you anything it was a bunch of hopped up kids who saw one too many late night horror movies."

"Or a cult or something." Both of them stopped and he heard a set of footsteps coming closer. They stopped and he glanced over to the door the third shadow in the window. "Is there anything I can do for you Father?"

"Yes, I was wondering if it would be alright if I talked to the boy," he answered. "Try to comfort him in some way, somebody should be there for him now."

"I don't know Padre," the first police said. "I mean social services hasn't even arrived yet."

"It's ok Joey," the second one said. "The Father is a good man, he baptized my kids for crying out loud. Go ahead Father, take as long as you need."

"Thank you my son." The cops walked away as the door opened and he looked at the newcomer. He had brown hair that was graying at the temples and wore the usual black clothes with the white collar. He had a very kind face, but there was still a bit of sadness to it. "Hello son, I am Father Gerald Mulligan." He sat in the chair next to him, "May I ask you what your name is?"

"Matt...," he said quietly as he brought his knees closer to his chest, "Matthew Johnson."

Mulligan smiled warmly, "It's a pleasure to meet you. Although I wish the circumstances of our meeting weren't like this." Matt bottom lip started quivering again. He closed his eyes and tried to stay under control. Mulligan put an arm around him and held him close, "Don't hold it in son. It's alright, they wouldn't want you to contain this type of pain." The boy finally let go started crying into his shoulder.

"I'm... I'm alone," he said between the sobs.

"No my boy, you are never alone," the priest told him. "They may not be here in body, but they will always be with you. Watching over you where ever you are."

Matt looked up at him with pleading eyes, "Are you sure?"

"My boy I have never been more sure of anything in my life. And I know, God willing, you will see them again." A couple of more police officers walked by taking about the apparent cult killing. Mulligan looked down at the boy. Uncertainty started growing in his eyes. Making sure nobody could over hear he softly said, "I also know that humanity hates the unknown. They have this overwhelming need to try to make sense of what they don't understand by turning it into something else. Even if they see it with their own eyes that can't comprehend it. They say something human did this to your parents. But you and I know better, don't we?"

"You believe me?", none of the adults he talked to so far believed him. They kept saying he was in shock and was letting his imagination run away with him.

"Yes I do son, for I have seen them myself. I lost my mother in the same way. Back them somebody came up to me and offered me a chance to put a stop to them." Mulligan looked him in the eyes, "I want to make you that same offer. We can train you to stop them. You can stop them before they do this to anybody else."

"But I don't want to hurt anybody, it's wrong."

Mulligan smiled softly at him, "Believe it or not but I'm glad you answered that way. If you were out for revenge I would have rethought my offer." He patted him on the shoulder, "You don't have to answer right now. You can think it over as long as you like." Mulligan stood up but Matt grabbed his arm.

"Will I," he said uncertainly, "will I be helping people?"

"That is what we try to do son. I won't lie to you, there are times we fail in that duty."

Matt looked up at him, "I want to help save people."

Mulligan nodded then kneeled before to look him right in the eye. "I Glad to her you say that. I'm going to have to go now and contact the organization I'm with. We'll arrange it so you're taken care of by a family that works for us. You're training will begin a soon as you're settled in." He put both hands on his shoulder, "I said I wouldn't lie to you. The path you are about to take is going to be a long and hard one. You are going to be forced to do things you were told were wrong. Do you still want to do this?" He nodded his head yes. "Alright son, you will be seeing me again." He left the room and Matt was alone again. But for some reason he was a little less afraid now.

Matt pushed that memory out of his head. Thoughts like that would definitely get him killed if he wasn't careful. He emptied his mind as best he could, only allowing the bare minimum of thoughts as he drove toward his destination, concentrating on what he was taught. When Troy told him they had a hostage that put his radar up. These things never took hostages, not unless it was a trap. Trap or not he had a job to do, and it didn't involve saving anybody. He reached sector 7H, a run down section of the city. One of those places politicians say they're going to rebuild to revitalize the economy. Then forget until it suited their needs again. Parking his Harley roughly in the middle, he got off and looked over the buildings. A building that looked like it hasn't been used in a long time caught his attention. Something moved in one of the windows of the upper floor and it looked like something they would use. Matt studied it and sighed, "Would it kill them to pick a building that didn't look like it was condemned?"

He was suppose to be dealing with a class one, he could handle them no problem. But intel wasn't exactly reliable lately, better bring it just in case. Matt reached into one of the bike side bags and pulled out a silver metal belt. It had to bumps on the outside to help regulate the power. The front was a buckle that had a round crystal jewel imbedded in it and an empty slot on the left side of it. He put in on and snapped it closed in the back then covered it with his duster. Patting the coats' right front pocket he headed for the building.

He found that a fence surrounded the place, no surprise there considering the look of the building, that he easily climbed over. Locating a busted out window he went inside. He didn't bring a flashlight, one of the many lessons drilled into him. Light is your enemy, the enemy will spot you before you even see them. Instead he used what illumination he was getting from the outside environment to navigate the near dark hallway until he located a stairwell. Reaching into his coat he pulled out a wooden stake, just incase there was a surprise or two waiting for him. Surprisingly the stairwell was practically empty, outside of the occasional scurrying rodent. Matt exited the stairwell a floor above the one he saw the movement. Always try to attack from above, another thing drilled into him. He looked around and suppressed the urge to cuss out loud, there was a huge gapping hole in the wall and floor. Great now he had to worry about breaking his neck on top of everything else.

Well at least it made looking around a little easier. He found what he was looking for on a section of the floor that looked like it would still hold his weight. Two men were circling a red headed woman tied up to a chair. At least he thought she was tied up, it looked like there was a blanket wrapped around her. That sounded some more warning bells in his head. Then he saw the edge of the covering move. That wasn't a blanket around her. "Oh fuck me," he muttered.

The "hostage" tilted her head slightly, he was heard. Raising the stake above his head Matt jumped down and targeted to the closest one as he passed under him. His target looked up and jumped toward the woman as the stake impaled the floor, "Help me!", the woman screamed. "Please you got to help me!"

"Zip it bitch, I know what you are." The look of panic on her face quickly turned to disdain as she stood up and the "blanket" reveled itself to be a set of wings. Her eyes turned red as fangs grew from her teeth. Yup, that was a class two. The other two only grew a set of fangs. Feeling the weight in his front pocket he decided not to use the system just yet. Matt cracked his neck and tried not to look worried, "So these two man whores belong to you or are you just borrowing them from somebody else?"

The woman didn't look amused. Raising a hand she pointed a finger in his direction, "Kill him." The two class one charged him as ordered. He designated the one coming at him faster "Ren" in his head. He ducked his initial swing and punched "Stimpy" in the jaw. The Queen got involved faster then he anticipated, hitting him in the chest with a palm strike. He flew back ten feet into the wall and slowly slid to the floor. God, he was lucky that didn't cave his ribcage in. But he survived worse than that, barely. "I would tear you apart myself, but I promised my pets that I let them have the honor of killing you."

Getting to his feet Matt grunted, "Geez, did you talk you talk like that before whoever it was stuck his fangs into you?"

"Don't talk to the mistress like that!" Ren told him

"OK, you're the new turn." Ren came at him. Matt spun out of the way and drove a stake through the vampires hand and into the wall. "They always talk too much." Stimpy stalked him slowly. Grabbing the edge of duster he brought it up and spun around repeatedly. Stimpy kept striking the coat until Matt dropped it and kicked him in the chest. Then he turned around and uppercut the queen.

Her head snapped back. She twisted her head back around and licked the stale blood from her lips. "Was that supposed to hurt human?"

"Not really, but this should." He flipped the pin of the grenade that he was holding in his hand and tossed it up. Matt smiled slightly as it went off in a bright flash of light. The queen and the other cried out in pain. "Heh, told ya so." Matt kicked her away and then turned with a roundhouse kick that caught Stimpy in the head. Reaching back into the duster he had a stake in each hand.

"ARGHH!", Ren ripped his hand from the wall and attacked Matt before he could react. He jumped and wrapped his cold hands around his neck and forced him to the floor. The impact caused him to drop both stakes. Slowly increasing the pressure he told him, "I'm going to rip your head off meat!"

The Queen's vision cleared and she saw hat was happening. Licking her lips again she said, "Do it my pet, and I'll let you do whatever you want for the night." Ren grimace turned into a sick little grin as various thoughts ran through his head. Darkness taking over his vision Matt felt around for the pocket and found it. He pulled out what was in there and pressed it into Ren's side.

Ren screamed in pain and jumped off of him. Matt scooted away and tried to get the air back into his lung. Ren held his smoking side and demanded, "What the fuck was that?"

Matt held the object up for them to see and grinned. It was a rectangular crystal with a golden cross on it. Inside was a brightly glowing substance, "Liquid sunlight, gotta love it." He pulled the left side of the duster away to reveal the belt and held the up by the left side of his face with his right hand, palm facing out. "Henshin," twisting his hand around he slid the crystal into the belt. The jewel on the belt started glowing brightly. The vampires recoiled from the light

Ren vision cleared and saw a figure come at him as the light faded. He found himself crashing through the ceiling. Lying there with his skin still smoking and watched the figure jump through the hole and landing in a kneeling position. He finally got a good look at him. The human was wearing a brown suit with black armor around his chest, shoulders, hands, feet and head. Silver accent was around the edges and at his knuckles, elbows, knees and around the big red eyes on the helmet. Two antennas were attached to the top and the mouth plate looked like the mandibles of a insect.

"What the fuck are you?", he hissed

"I'm a slayer," he answered while standing up, "that's all you need to know." The queen and Stimpy jump trough the hole as well and stood behind him, uncertain of what to make of his change of appearance either. Stimpy ran at him hoping to catch him off guard. Without even looking back Slayer hit him with a backhand that sent him flipping over. Ren came at him with a wild punch. In one motion he caught the attack, broke his arm and tossed him away. Flexing his right arm slightly, a thin silver spike extended back from his elbow going the length to his shoulder.

Ren clenched his teeth as he forced the bone back into place, "Do I look like a wolf to you?"

"Lesson one newbie," Slayer went in and slashed him across the chest. The wound was glowing slightly and the smell of burnt flesh was evident in the air. "Silver just isn't for werewolves." He attack the vampire without mercy, backing him up with each blow. Slayer spun around and drove the spike through the vampire's chest and into the wall.

The silver was burning were him were it came in contact with his flesh. Grunting from the pain he said, "I'm still alive meat."

Slayer finally turned his head to look at him. There was a slight edge to his voice when he said, "That's because I didn't pierce your heart dipshit." Ren's eyes went wide as he twisted his arm up causing the sliver spike to rip through his organs. Slayer pulled it out of his, slicing up through his chest and heart. The vampire didn't get chance to scream as he quickly turned to burning ash. The queen saw this and ran for the opening and jumped out of the building. She spread her wings in mid air and flew away. Slayer ran to the hole and watched her leave, "Hey! I haven't dusted you yet!" Stimpy caught him off guard and tried to throw him out the hole. A second spike from his left arm pierced him in the gut. "And here I was thinking you buddy was the dumb one." Slayer spun and punched Stimpy in the face. The silver on his knuckles leaving burn marks in his flesh. He kicked the vampire back and stood straight.

"Wanna see a cool trick, it's called a rider kick." He placed his hand on the jewel and spun it. Shining as it spinned the bottom of his right foot started glowing. Slayer jumped up and kicked the vampire in the chest. It stumbled back as a burning cross appeared on his chest and start growing. Slayer extended two fingers and crossed the air in front of him, "Go with God." The cross finally grew so big it engulfed the vampire leaving nothing but ash, "Now burn in hell." Walking over to the hole he pulled the crystal out of the belt and the system deactivated. Matt looked in the direction the queen went. What in the hell was wrong with intel lately?

The queen didn't fly far. She landed on a rooftop a couple of blocks away and kneeled before the man standing there. He wore a black trench coat over his dark colored clothing. His hair was slicked back and his eye were black, the sigh of a master vampire. Behind him by the roof edge were three more. Bald male twins wearing dress pants and a vest with no shirt, one in black the other in white. A third man wore leather pants and a ripped black T-shirt, his long blond hair tied back in a ponytail. Keeping her head down she addressed the master vampire, "Lord Ludwig."

"Get up woman," he ordered and she got to her feet. "I told you to leave him alone."

"I know my lord, but I had to test him for myself. That battle system of his makes him almost invincible."

He raised an eyebrow, "Almost?"

"The humans created that thing. That alone means it flawed."

Ludwig crossed his arms in front of him, "Then why didn't you stay and test that theory?"

"I...I...," she stammered, "I wanted to get word back to you about his strength. I could not do that if I perished in battle with him."

He stroked her cheek with the back of his hand, "How thoughtful of you."

She clasps his hands in hers and held then to her cheek, "Everything I do is for your pleasure my lord. Give the word and I will raise an army that will erase every particle of his being from this earth."

He smiled at her, "You always were my favorite." Her smile turned to shock right before she turned to ash. In his left hand was a knife with a blade of silver pointed right were her heart used to be. "But you would have messed up my over all plan. And I couldn't have that."

Matt parked his bike in front of an old church and paused to bow his head slightly before entering. Not in prayer, to steady himself for what was coming up. Walking through the pews he crossed over to the side and entered the confessional. Waiting until paneling behind the screen slid open he crossed himself and spoke, "Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It's been," he counted on his finger, "four days since my last confession."

"Go on my son," the priest said solemnly.

"I killed two people tonight Father. Well they used to be people. There was a third but she got away during the conflict."

"This is most distressing my son."

"I ain't exactly cool with it either. But I'm doing the Lords work. Or that's what they tell me at least."

"If you feel you are doing the Lords work then I can not condemn you my son."

"Thank you Father. Also, I was with a woman right before. I picked her off the street and had carnal relations with her."

After a moment the Priest said, "Well my son I suggest..."

"Let me tell you, she was bending in ways I didn't think a human could bend."

"I don't think this is..."

"She said her name was Angel." He whistled, "Let me tell you she made me believe in heaven."

"My son!", the Priest said with a little more authority. "The confessional is not the place for bragging."

Matt turned to the screen and grinned, "If you can't brag to your priest who can you brag to?" The wall behind him opened up revealing a hidden passage. The Priest came into view a moment later and looked at him sternly. He had a head full of gray hair now and he wore glasses. But Father Mulligan face was still the same as the first time he met him. Matt smiled and wiggled his fingers in greeting

Sighing loudly he said, "Why do I put up with you?"

"Because I'm letting you live through me," he answered as he joined the Father in the hallway. "With this whole celibacy thing you got going on this is as close to any kind of action you're going to get. Unless you and one of the nuns are getting a little freaky in the confessional when I'm not around."

The Father wagged a finger at him, "That is only the product of your perverted imagination."

"Hey, it could come true. I've seen the way Sister Lillian looks at when she thinks nobody watching. I've seen her without that habit on, she's hot."

"Sister Lillian is a good and virtuous woman. She would never do anything so base."

Matt grinned again, "Get a little of that holy wine in her and I'm sure she'll do thing you only dreamed of, and then some."

Mulligan shook his head in defeat and started down the hallway, "Sometimes my boy, I wonder exactly how many gray hairs I would have if I didn't have to deal with you."

Matt followed him, "Come on Father, you know your life would be boring without me around."

Smiling to himself he replied, "Of that my boy I have no doubt." The hallway lead to spiral staircase heading down. Then on the sub floor there was a door with a palm reader that Mulligan placed his hand. There was a click and he opened the door so they could enter. They looked over the room that was about half the size of floor above them. A row of computer filled the middle of the room, a couple of them were currently manned. A good chunk of the room was cut off by a railing that blocked off a good size hole in the floor. Various wires connected the hole to the computers, light and various other items in the room. They told Matt that this was a bomb shelter back in the day. Nobody could answer when he asked about the hidden door and hallway upstairs. A man in a black and red robe stood near the computers. He didn't look pleased happy to see Matt there. He guessed he did hear that big red remark. Mulligan addressed him, "Cardinal Murphy, I didn't expect to see you here."

"I did," Matt said as he leaned against the railing, "just like a rat, always showing up like you least expect it."

"If anybody knows anything about rodents," the Cardinal replied smugly, "it's you Johnson. I hear you have a slight problem with the intelligence we gathered for you."

Matt looked him right in the eyes, "If you call walking into a three on one without knowing it, and one of those three being a class two, a slight problem? Then yeah, I do."

"A class two?", one of the men from the computers, naturally he was wearing glasses, turned to him in disbelief. "Are you sure?"

"Can a class one can fly dumbass?"

"Watch your language," the Cardinal admonished. "This is still a house of the Lord."

Matt crossed his arms, "Like it's a word he hasn't heard before."

"Getting back to the matter at hand," Mulligan interjected. "This is slightly disturbing news. Do you have any how they could have arranged this apparent trap Troy?"

The geek with glasses thought it over for a moment. "Well they could have spotted our trackers and they way we do things. And with the battle system going active a few months ago, they might be trying to get the wearer before he uses it."

"Guess you're gonna blame that on me too", Matt said sarcastically.

"Nobody is blaming you for anything," Mulligan told him.

"It's not your job to question the way we gather intelligence," The Cardinal told him. "Your job is to eliminate the targets we send you after. Not to let one get away."

"And my life depends on the intel you gather."

"And as a slayer you should be ready for anything when you are on assignment." Their eyes narrowed as they started at each other. Everybody could feel the tension in the room. Mulligan once again stepped in as peacemaker.

"I might remind everybody that this isn't the first time we had to change the way we do things. The vampires have become wise to our way before. It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. The battle system obviously sped that up."

"You are, of course, right Father," the Cardinal said while trying to get his temper under control. "The vampires have always been a tricky lot. We're going to have to pay more attention to that in the future."

"Says the man who not in the field."

"And what is that suppose to mean?", the Cardinal asked.

"It means me and the other slayers I've talked to have seen this coming for a while now. We saw the signs. Nobody in charged cared to listen." Matt glanced over to Mulligan, "Well, one did at any rate."

"And the paranoia of the slayers is well known," Murphy countered, acting like he just won the argument.

Mulligan finally spoke up for him, "Matthew is many things, but paranoid is not one them."

"Thank you."

Murphy nodded in concession, "Perhaps, but it is rather hard to take somebody dressed like a locust seriously."

"It's not like that was my idea," Matt told him. "I wanted something cool, like a beetle or something."

The Cardinal got that not pleased look again. "We gave you the battle system because of the Father's arguments for you. Your abilities and record are among the best in the slayers. That I will not deny. But your attitude leaves a little to be desired."

"And I was always amazed they give the title of Cardinal to any smuck off the street."

"We can take that belt off of you and give it to somebody less... spiteful," the Cardinal threatened.

"Then maybe I can start getting some halfway decent intel again."

"Shouldn't you be concerning yourself about how to do your job more effectively?"

"Shouldn't you be doing something to an alter boy?" The room went dead silent. Mulligan wanted to step away from the boy but stood beside him. The cardinal was visibly shaking from the anger he was feeling. Finally he headed for the stairway to leave. Matt lowered his head and watched him out of the corner of his eye. "Later big red." Cardinal Murphy paused momentarily before exiting. He broke out into a big grin as the door closed behind him.

"Perhaps we should see if that particular emergency exit will still open," Mulligan gestured to a door on the far wall.

"What ever floats your boat Father." He followed the Father out the door. There were now in a long well lit underground pathway. Matt knew this passage pretty well. The opening was across the street in front of the church, he be close to his motorcycle.

"You should really mind what you say in front of the Cardinal," Mulligan said after a moment. "He is in charge of operations in this region. And I won't be around to shield you from him forever."

"The worst he can do is kick me out," Matt said as he started patting himself down. "And more than likely I'll keep doing this just to spite him, because let's face it this is all I know to do. Besides at the rate things are going you'll be outliving me."

"I wish you wouldn't say things like that Matthew," Mulligan said with a hint of sadness in his voice. "The old should never out live the young."

"And when you're called home, you're called home. Doesn't matter how old you are. Somebody I respect very much taught me that." Mulligan lowered his head so Matt wouldn't see the mixture of pride and sadness on his face. He kept patting himself down, "I know they're here somewhere..." Matt reached inside the duster and pulled out a pack of cigarettes, "Ha, knew I didn't drop them." He put one in his mouth as was about to light a match when Mulligan coughed. Matt looked at him and saw he was pointing at something. To his right was a no smoking sign hanging on the wall. "Forgive me Father," he said as he removed the cigarette and bowed, "but I'm about to break an unwritten commandment." Matt struck the match against the sign as he passed and lit up. Taking a long drag he tilted his head back and blew out the smoke, "Oh, daddy needed that."

Mulligan watched him leave and said, "Yes my boy, my life would be very boring without you in it."

Driving though the city Matt headed for a barely lit neighborhood. Getting off his Bike he walked up to an unmarked door. He knocked three times and waited. A small panel slid away revealing a set of eyes. They narrowed in annoyance but the door open anyway. Matt ignored the door person and walked into the barely lit bar. As he headed for the back of the place he passed several different types of people. Some were dressed in their finest while other wore a more causal look. The regulars of the place paid him no attention, but some were giving him looks of anger and distain as he passed. Like just about everything else in his life he shut it out and took a stool at the bar. A man in a tuxedo walked up to him and stood behind him. When Matt didn't pay him any attention he cleared his throat. Finally he said in a rather snooty tone, "Excuse me sir."

"You're new here," Matt replied flatly.

Acting like he never spoke tuxedo went on, "But I do believe you are in the wrong establishment."

"I think I am in the right place."

"And why would you think that sir?"

The bartender walked over and set a glass of an amber colored liquid in front of him, "Straight up, as usual."

"Because it's the only place I found that has a decent bottle of scotch," Matt answered before taking a drink. "Thanks Sam." The bartender just nodded.

"Never the less sir, I must ask you to leave," Tuxedo said while trying to look imposing. "I will throw you out if I have too." Some of the regulars at the bar picked up their drink and started moving away.

Matt looked at the mirriorless wall behind the bar, "Do you want to set him straight Sam or should I?"

Sam got Tuxedo attention and took him to a quiet part of the bar. The regulars moved back to their spot when it looked like things weren't going to get physical. Tuxedo was flustered, "Do you know what he is?"

"Yeah I do," Sam answered. "More importantly I know who he is." He made a stabbing motion to his chest. Tuxedo eyes went wide and looked back at the human, "But we got a deal going on, we leave him alone, he'll leave us alone."

"But he's a slayer. He wants to kill us."

"And thanks to that deal this is neutral ground as far as he concerned," Sam explained. "All he wants to do is relax and drink in peace. He'll have one drink, maybe two, then he'll leave. No muss no fuss. But so help me if you do anything to screw this up I'll feed you to him myself." Tuxedo nodded and the waited on a group at the far end of the room. Matt sat there and nursed his drink. After a bit a blond haired woman in a very tight blue dress sat on the stool next to him. She eyed him for a long time after ordering her drink. He checked her out to out of the corner of his eye. Out of habit from his job of course.

"You're not like us, are you?", she finally spoke.

"In the 'got a pulse' sort of way."

"And you're not scared to be here with the rest of us? I mean most human men I've met run away leaving a little wet trail behind them when they find out what I am."

"I can take care of myself."

"I bet you could." She eyed him again hungrily, "So... you ever do it with a vampire before?"

"Once," he admitted, "but I had to thaw out for a week."

"Oh you poor baby," she leaned in and griped his forearm. "But I got to admit, there are a lot of stone cold bitches out there."

He turned in his seat to look at her, "You're one to talk." She laughed and nodded in agreement. "So you got a name?"

"Angela," she said. "But I don't usually give it out to a human I just met. So what about you? Or should I just call you pulse."

"The name's Matt." They sat there and made small talk, feeling each other out. After a moment he realized a tall individual was standing besides him. He was bald and was wearing black dress pants and a vest. The newcomer looked really angry with him at the moment. Angela looked annoyed that the guy was there, so chances were good this wasn't a trap. Still he got ready just in case. "You need something?"

"What are you doing with my girl breather?", he demanded.

"Breather?", Matt laughed. "Is that suppose to be an insult? God you must have a brain the size of a fucking pea cause I've heard way better than that."

"I am not your girl!", Angela told him. "This is exactly why I broke up with you."

"We're not broken up," he shot back. The tone in his voice said that was the last he was going to hear of it.

Matt leaned back against the bar and studied him for a bit. To Angela he said, "So, they got dickheads like this in your world too?"

The big guy put his hand on Matt's chest, shoved him against the bar and held him there. Sam saw what was happening and tried to intervene, "Hey now we don't want..."

"Shut up you geezer," the big guy shouted. "With my connections I can own this hole in the wall you call a bar." He stared Matt in the eyes and grew his fangs. No change in eye color though, defiantly a class one. "Hell, I just might any way if you're letting trash like this piece of shit in no question asked." Matt stared right back not showing anything. The big guy didn't see his leg right kick out. His kneecap shattered and his leg bent backwards. He stumbled back on his good leg and shouted, "I'm gonna tear you're chest open and use you as a toilet!"

There was a stake in his left hand before anybody knew it. Big guy tried a swing but his leg kept him off balance. Matt got inside and stabbed him right in the heart. Brushing the dust of his duster he finished his drink in one gulp and put some money on the counter, "Sorry about the mess Sam."

"I didn't see anything," Sam said as he handed tuxedo a broom and dust pan.

"See you later after things calm down." As he exited the bar he looked over the other patrons, almost like he was daring them to try something. They still had the look of anger and disgust on there face but now some fear was mixed in. Glancing over the bar he noticed Angela disappeared. He didn't notice any wings on her, not that you could hide them with that dress at any point. When he reached his bike a flash of movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. It was on the rooftops. Nodding to himself he walked in the direction he saw the movement for a bit before turning into an alley. He went a few yards before Angela dropped in front of him in full vampire mode. "A little more attached to dickhead than you thought?"

Angela hissed and attacked him. Matt blocked or dodged most of her blows. One thing was for certain, she was trained to do this. She jumped up and planted both feet into his chest. He rolled as he fell backwards and got to his feet quickly and charged in. Matt was able to force her against the wall pressing his forearm into her chest and neck to pin her there. She returned to normal and smiled at him, "Looks like we're both nice and warm now."

"So?", Matt asked keeping the pressure on.

"So are you going to 'stab' me or what?" Matt slowly started ginning. He grabbed her by the hair on the back of her head and bent her over a garbage can. "I am so glad Beth told me about you."

It was late afternoon as Mulligan walked into an old gym that the organization used to train their slayers. As he entered through the door his minds eye showed him a memory of a ten year old boy tentively punching a heavy bag. Now that ten year old boy was a twenty nine year old man who was aggressively attacking that same heavy bag. He stood back watched him continue his exercises, amazed, as always, as he smoothly went from one series of moves to the next. This particular part of his work out was apparently over when he made a repeated staking motion at a faded heart drawn on the bag. He finally saw the Father standing there as he removed the rag from his head to keep the hair from his eye, "Father, what's up?"

"Hello my boy," He handed him a bottled water from the cooler. Matt took a drink and toweled off his face and turned his attention to the speed bag.

"So did big red tell you to read me the riot act?", he asked as he began.

"I haven't had a chance to speak with the Cardinal today yet." Not that he was looking for him. "But if I do, can I say you're apologetic about last night

Matt stopped the bag and wore a sad expression on his face. "I am very, very sorry about my actions last night and promise never to act like that in front of the Cardinal again." A bold face lie if he ever heard one. Still he allowed himself a slight chuckle. The Father was certain he would have had a stroke if he actually was sorry.

Changing the subject he asked, "Did you go straight home last night?"

Matt stopped with the bag and headed for another station," No, I wasn't exactly sleepy so I grabbed a drink before heading home."

"Matthew," he admonished, "you know I don't approve of you drinking and driving."

"Out of all the things that could kill me, something like that should be the least of your worries." He picked up some hand weights but paused before starting, "Sorry, I know you don't like it when I talk about things like that."

"It's alright my boy. Unlike the Cardinal I fully realize what you're up against. Such thought are only natural I suppose." He walked over to a nearby wall and looked at the pictures of the local champion hanging there. "You know, when I was younger I rather good with my fist as well."

He saw the grin already on Matt's face when he turned around, "Was this before or after they invented electricity?"

Mulligan snorted, "I'll have you know that I knocked the block off of several ruffians back in the day." The Father glanced down at his watch, "And if I didn't have to be somewhere in a little bit I'd show you how good I was."

"Yeah, I'm gonna need to see a note from your doctor first."

"Concerned about well being are you?"

"No," he answered as he put the weights down, "I just don't want big red riding my ass after you have a heart attack."

"Your concern touches me," he deadpanned. "Well I'll let you continue with your workout."

Matt nodded, "Later Father."

Ludwig walked in the park in the middle of the afternoon with his trench coat buttoned up and a black hat on his head. One of the benefits of being a, as the human liked to call it, master class vampire was that he could stay in the sunlight for a limited amount of time. Mere decades later he could still see how the other vampires attitude toward him changed when his eye started turning black. The complete and total shock on the one who bit him face when he realized he sired one was priceless. Much like the look when he ordered the other to kill him. To use the old expression he was living the high life ever since. He ended his trip down memory lane as he realized he walked up on the person he was looking for. A heavily shaded area of the park too, how considerate of him. "Hello, splendid day isn't it?"

The good Father Mulligan started straight ahead. "Why did you call for me?", he asked.

Ludwig sighed, "What is wrong with this world when two people can't exchange simple pleasantries. You're a Priest, you should be setting an example for the others." Mulligan said nothing in return. "Oh well, down to the matter at hand I suppose." He unbutton his coat and removed an envelope that he handed to Mulligan. He opened it at looked at him confused as he pulled out a set of pictures. "I thought you might want to see what your disciple is doing." Mulligan went through the pictures, "Drinking in vampire bars. For the sake of pleasantries, let's say he 'consorting' with our woman. Not exactly proper behavior for someone working for the church," his face was solemn but there was an amused glint in his black eyes.

Mulligan handed back the picture and closed his eyes, "I'm aware of what he does. He's a grown man capable of making his own decisions, no matter how distasteful I may find them."

"Well it's not surprising actually. Seeing how his mentor made a deal of his own with a vampire."

The priest finally looked at him, anger flashing in his eyes, "I have in no way directed him toward anything like this."

"Not consciously perhaps," Ludwig told him. Mulligan was forced to look away. "How do you think he would react if he ever found out I helped you create that system he uses? Do you think that in his outrage that a small part of him would appreciate the irony of a vampire helping you obtain the power of the sun itself?"

"God, why did you let me deal with this person," Mulligan said out loud.

Ludwig leaned in, all humor gone from his voice, "Don't use him as crutch now. To use your own words, you are a grown man capable of making your own decisions." The vampire put the pictures back into his coat. "I'll forgive this little outburst of faith this time. But I would think you would be grateful that I am on good terms with my counter parts in the Far East. According to them there are people with similar systems popping up all over the place. Although from what I understand those system are internal."

Eventually Mulligan said, "We would have developed the system on our own in time."

"Perhaps, but how many slayer would have been lost until then. Maybe even you favorite would have fallen in battle. He is your favorite, is he not?" The priest didn't say anything. "Are you still in shock from that note I sent to you about the unexpected result we found? The one were if he was bitten then activated the system. How it was possible he could become the ultimate weapon."

"Or it could kill him," the priest countered.

Ludwig shrugged his shoulders, "Every theory has it failures before it is proven right." Ludwig got up and imagined the possibilities. "Can you see it now? I can, a warrior of the church becoming the perfect killing machine."

"Is that why you let him live all those years ago?", Mulligan demanded. "Did you have something like this planned since then?"

Ludwig concentrated and silently said You are in no position to demand anything.

Mulligan grabbed his temple, "Stay out of my head!"

Ludwig turned toward him and picked him up by the collar. Shut up. The priest mouth closed immediately. "I could have bent you to my will a long time ago. But remember you came to me of your own free will because you heard I had something you wanted." He let him go and Mulligan fell back to the bench. "But as to why he lived, the two who were hunting that night didn't know why they spared him either. I killed them on the spot for I have one rule, when you hunt leave nothing alive. But they say your God has a plan for everything. Maybe it was part of that plan when I had word sent to your organization about the survivor."

Mulligan was stunned and his face started to lose color, "You're lying!"

The vampire leaned over him and leered, "No I am not. If it wasn't for me there was a good chance the authorities would have shown up and taken the boy before you even arrived. They would have brainwashed the boy into believing he didn't really see what he saw. It might have been better for him in the long run but you would have lost one of your best warriors. You were indebted to me twice over and you never even realized it. When I call in those debts you will pay in full. Until then Father...," he trailed off and walked away. Almost to himself he said, "It will be interesting to see where his plan will take your disciple now.

It was a week since Matt saw the Father in the gym. It was almost like he was being avoided. But that couldn't be on his mind right now. He was told a group of five class ones were causing havoc. He found them in a plaza filled with dead bodies, and they were class ones, but actual number was ten. Damn intel. "Henshin," Slayer charged the group. The first one who saw him coming didn't get a chance to warn the others. He grabbed the vampire by the mouth and shoved him into a group of three feasting on a fat one. That caught the attention of the others as they stopped what they were doing. "Gonna be a long night," he muttered.

Above them Ludwig and the others were watching. This was the first time he had seen the battle system in action and was studying it intently. He was amazed that the human wasn't apparently using it at full strength, just augmenting his own abilities. "He's fighting like he normally would," he said out loud.

Slayer extended the spike on his right arm and decapitated one of his targets on one strike. The blond vampire whistled, "I don't think that was a normal bossman."

"Indeed," he agreed, "I'm very familiar with the design plans, those spikes have no edge. That was pure strength. So he's willing to use it when he has to." Almost like he was proving Ludwig point he flipped over and behind an other and twisted his head completely around and left him to stumble around. To his left he could feel the rage coming from the now brotherless twin as he watched his killer.

"Easy mate," the blond vampire told him, "Don't go doing anything stupid." They watched as Slayer broke a piece of wood off a bench and rammed the pointed end into his closest assailant. Then he drove the spike through the heart of the one with the backwards head. Three down already, this human was close to being the perfect killing machine as it was. Ludwig smiled to himself imagining the possibilities. The bald one had enough watching and jumped down in to the fray, "Brett wait!," the blond one shouted out but it was no use. "I warned him."

"It's quite alright Peter. Let him get it out of his system. If he survives his he'll be that much more level headed when we make our move."

Several of the remaining vampires moved out of the way as he landed. Slayer didn't notice there was a new player on the field until he grabbed him by the shoulder and flung him backwards. He skidded on the ground as he landed. Slayer looked at the one who did it and titled his head slightly as he got to a knee, "Didn't I already dust you?"

The bald one face twisted even more, "You killed my brother," he grunted as he vamped out. Slayer noticed that his eyes went red.

"You're a class two?" Slayer got to his feet and got in a defensive stance, "Having him around had to be embarrassing."

"Shut up!", the bald one rushed at him. Slayer couldn't even block his initial swing he was so angry. The vampire kept on the attack, pounding him down to a knee. He forgot a unwritten rule of vampire fighting, when going against a pissed off vampire don't piss him off even more. Slayer grabbed his ankle and squeezed before pulling on the limb causing him to fall backwards. A class one got on his back allowing a second one to start punching him the gut. The bald vampire threw his own man out of the way to get his shots in. Slayer planted his foot on the ground and jumped backward to get some space between them. The vampire let go and jumped away expecting himself to get squished on impact. What he wasn't expecting was for Slayer to run for the broken bench and grabbed another piece of board that he hurled it like a javelin. The class one was speared in the shoulder and cried in pain as he tried to pull it out.

Up above Peter whistled again, "Damn that's got hurt." Then they watched Slayer grab the board and swing it and the vampire into the others. "Talk about adding insult to injury."

"Must you make a comment about everything?", Ludwig said dryly, but with a hint of warning in his voice.

"Sorry boss," he said before claming up. He was lucky he made Ludwig laugh.

"Die meat!!," the bald one screamed as he tried to punch his head off. He sweep the vampires legs out from under him. Slayer waited until he was on his knees before swinging his leg around and kicking him right in the mouth. Even Ludwig face betrayed a twinge of pain. The bald didn't even have time to spit the loose teeth out before a right cross loosened some more. Ignoring the pain he grabbed at the humans throat. The battle system made it easy for him to remove those hands. "Damn you, you son of a bitch!"

"I told you brother I was called worse," he said coldly as he kicked him in the chest, full force. The crack from his rib cage was audible as he went down in a heap. Slayer hauled him to his feet and punched him in the face repeatedly. He dropped him when he saw a class one come at him with a broken board. He ducked it and punched him away. Slayer picked up the board that he dropped and studied it for a bit. He looked at the bald vampire before swinging it like a baseball bat at the vampire who had. The board splintered as it crashed against his head. He walked away from the bald one for a bit before saying, "Time to burn."

"Uh-oh," Peter mumbled, "I heard about this. Don't look good for Brett"

"Quite," Ludwig agreed. "Although I always wanted to see this live."

Slayer punched a class one that was in his way before turning his attention back to the bald one. "Rider kick," he said and spun the jewel. He ran at the bald vampire and jumped up. Out of desperation he pulled one of the class one in front of him. Slayer kicked him and the vampire was engulfed by the flaming cross. The remaining vampires saw that and started running. The bald one forced his wing through his vest and struggled to fly away.

Peter swooped in and helped him, "Don't worry mate, I got you" Slayer watched them fly away, the bald one eventually flying on his own. What he didn't see was Ludwig staring down at him.

Excellent performance young one

Slayer turned around quickly, trying to find were the voice was coming from. He looked above him, nothing was up there or around him. So who in the hell said that? A grunt in pain caught his attention. Somebody was on the grass trying to crawl away, it was the vamp he cracked in the head with the board. Slayer found the one of the broken boards he used earlier and walked up to him. Placing a foot on his back to keep him there. He brought the board down, severing the vampire spin and impaling him to the ground. He pulled the crystal out and he got out of arms reach. Matt kneeled down to speak to him, "You better hope I didn't dust one of the guys who would come back and check on you. Because," he checked his watch, "sunrise is in about four hours." He got up to leave but turned back to him, "You know I gotta ask, do vampires make really strong sun screen?"

"You fucking bastard!!", he screamed as she still tried to reach for him.

"I'm going to take that for a no," Matt walked away as the vampires kept screaming obscenities. He scratched the back of his head saying, "The Father going to give me an earful about that one."

As he entered the church he paused midstep, something was off. The vibe of the place didn't feel right for some reason. He shook it off, he was probably still jumpy about that voice he heard in the park. Matt sat in the confessional, crossed himself and went "Forgive me Father, for I have sinned, It's been a little over a week since my last confession."

"Go on my son," Matt turned toward the screen. That wasn't the voice he was expecting.

"Where's Father Mulligan?", and what the hell was going on?

"The Father is not feeling well," the priest on the other side told him. "He asked me to fill in for him."

"Bullshit, he would have told me if he was sick" He got up and started pounding on the wall behind him, "Open this damn thing up now!"

"My son please calm down," the priest pleaded. Matt responded by kicking at the wall. Finally it opened and he rushed into the hallway and down the stairs. Waiting impatiently for the door to open Matt was confused even more when he saw Mulligan. The father looked at him. For the first in a long time Matt couldn't read his face, even his eyes was emotionless.

"What the hell is going on?", he demanded.

"Nothing is going on Matthew," Mulligan told him and looked at something at the computer.

"Nothing going on?", he said in disbelief. The Father still wouldn't look at him. "I haven't seen or heard from you since the gym. Did I take the old person jokes to far or something? Father," he pleaded. Mulligan still wouldn't look at him. Only the few on the other side of the room were seeing how much pain this was causing the Father. Matt lowered his head and clenched his fist, then he softly said, "I don't know if this means anything, but what ever it was I'm sorry." He turned and headed for the door. His hand was on the handle before Mulligan finally said something.

"You did nothing wrong Matthew." He turned around and looked at his back. "I've had a lot on my mind lately. I felt I had to handle it myself." Matt turned around and the Father offered him a weak smile that didn't last. "It wasn't my intention to alienate you. I didn't want to put my burden on you."

"After all the crap I told you over the years, you didn't think I'd listen to you for a change?"

"I know you would have listened to me Matthew. But this was something personal and I didn't think it right to share."

His confusion quickly turned to concern, "There's nothing wrong is there?"

"No, my boy, I'm in perfect health." He watched as the confusion returned to his face. "It was nothing major, just something I needed to work through myself. And I did, I might add." Matt eyes narrowed a bit, that explanation was a bit on the lame side. The Father saw the suspicion in his eyes and quickly covered himself. "I was offered a higher post in the organization, if you must know. I spent the past week going over my options. I've decided to turn the position down."

"In Gods name why?", Matt asked him. "They need somebody up there with more than a half a brain running this thing."

"I thank you for the vote of confidence," Mulligan told him. "But the position would have put in closer contact with Cardinal Murphy."

Matt grinned for the first time since entering the room, "I can see why you didn't take it now. That would be about as close to hell as you're gonna get."

A bit of the turmoil he was feeling slipped into his face for a brief moment. Fortunately Matt didn't see it. "Come my boy I do believe you have a confession to make. You can tell me as we head back up upstairs." Matt nodded his head in agreement and the exited the room. A few moments Mulligan voice could be heard through the door, "You did what!"

The next day Mulligan treated Matt to lunch at a diner they both frequent, a small penance for shutting him out for the past week. The truth be told, he wasn't sure when Ludwig was going to call in his debt and wanted at least one last pleasant moment with the boy he saw at least as a nephew after all these years, if not a son of some sort. They sat in a booth near the door, he was drinking a cup of coffee while Matt skimmed through the paper. They made some small talk at some of the articles he found. Although he was a more than a little disappointed in Matt apparent delight in finding a small article in the newspaper about a board sticking in the ground with a some type of ash around it. "You're taking a little too much pleasure in that particular act Matthew."

"Geez Father, it's not like a stood around and waited for him to burn up. He had a chance to get out of, if he could. Hell I thought about using a metal pipe and bending it so he be stuck for good. The wood gave him a sporting chance."

"How thoughtful of you," Mulligan said dryly. Both of them stopped talking as their order was brought up by their waitress. Mulligan had ordered a roast beef sandwich. He looked over at Matt's plate, he had ordered a number seven. A cheeseburger with everything and the greasiest mess of chili cheese fries he had ever laid his eyes on. He made a comment about it but Matt didn't answer. He and the waitress were a little too busy talking to each other. He recognized that particular grin on the boys face, he was lining up another one. Where did he go wrong with this one? "So how is Samantha?", Mulligan asked him innocently.

"Samantha?", Matt asked looking confused. The waitress thought something else entirely judging from the look on her face and walked away. "No wait...!", he started but she wasn't looking at him. Matt turned back to him and shot him a look, "Thanks a lot."

"Somebody has to watch out for the woman in this world. There are a lot of wolves out there you know," he chuckled, Matt didn't look amused. "You can go tell her I was telling a lie."

"Like she's gonna believe me when I tell her you lied?"

"That was the way I was thinking," he said normally as he arranged his napkin. Matt grunted then took a bit out of his cheeseburger. "Remind to have you checked out one of these days. That can't be healthy."

"Part of my backup plan Father," he said between bites. "I want the vampire that bites me to be the first one in history to die from a heart attack." Mulligan sat there amazed as he wolfed down the burger than started on the fries.

"Don't you eat at home?", he had to ask. "You're eating like your starving."

"Of course I do," he answered. "You build up an appetite doing what I do. Gotta keep up my strength and all that."

"Then why are you eating like the devil right behind you?"

"Because I just remembered that the tech guys wanted to run some test on the belt."

"Oh yes, I remember that memo now. I'm sorry my boy, if I remembered that we could have done this another day."

"It's alright Father, I forgot too. Besides I want to get this out of the way before they start getting ideas. You know the tech guys, they love to tinker." After finishing off the last fry Matt got out of the booth and put his duster back on. He started reaching into a pocket when Mulligan stopped him.

"It's on me son."

"I can't let you do that Father," Matt protested. "You didn't eat what I did, and it cost more than what you ordered."

"And I told you this was my treat. You can pay the next time." Matt was still ready to argue and his hand went into his pocket. "Matthew, if money is in your hand when you remove it from your pocket I will beat you in front of God and all these witnesses."

They started each other down, Matt knew he was being serious. "Can I at least chip in for the tip?" Mulligan relented and he put a twenty on the table and walked away. "You always were a skinflint when it came to the tip." Mulligan was going to say something but Matt was already out the door. The priest sat there shaking his head.

There was person standing next to him suddenly. Before he could look to see who it was a something put into his head made him sour. He's a little more jovial then I would have thought. Ludwig sat in the spot that Matt just vacated. Out loud he said, "Nothing like the person I saw last night. It's almost easy to believe it was somebody else entirely."

Looking everywhere but at he vampire Mulligan said, "What do you want now?" He noticed that none of the other patrons were acting like they saw him there. Even the waitress paid him no attention, not even stopping to take his order.

Ludwig took the Father's coffee cup and sniffed it. He made a face and put it back down before answering, "I was studying the target before things started to get interesting. Your warrior has a bit of a cruel streak in him, did you know that?"

"After what he's been through it no wonder." Mulligan finally looked into the other's black eyes. "His purity of sprit was taken from him a long time ago."

"And you wish to place the blame on me and my kind," Ludwig said. "How entirely human of you. And I sure your training methods had nothing to do with it?" Mulligan couldn't answer him right away, the vampire didn't give him another chance. "I have seen how your organization trains their warriors over the years. It would have been more merciful if those two idiots killed him along with his parents."

"We train so they can survive against your kind."

"You say survive, I say hunt down and eradicate." Ludwig showed him a smug little grin, "But I suppose it all in how you look at it. We both been around long enough to realize that. Wouldn't you agree Father?" Mulligan wouldn't respond. "Of course you do, you are no fool. A little too dedicated to your duty perhaps, but you are no fool. The time is almost upon him Father, are you ready for the results?" Mulligan looked up and found Ludwig was gone, like he was never there.

"Father?", the waitress was standing by him now. When did she get there? "Are you alright."

Mulligan looked at the empty seat in front of him before addressing her, "I'm fine my child."

"You sure, you been sitting there like you were in a daze or something."

"Yes, I'm quite sure. Thank you for your concern." Mulligan paid the tab and quickly left the diner. When he went outside it felt like somebody was watching him. He thought he saw a quick glimpse of somebody wearing black but then it was gone. Dear Lord what has he done?

Matt walked the hallway to his apartment, the tech guys started up again with the upgrade mumbo-jumbo just like he thought. One good hard stare from him stopped that real quick. It should of, he perfected that look after those first few mission they sent him on. He remembered the small sense of victory he felt the first time he made a class one hesitate. That's when he knew he was a professional and not some kid with a stake praying to God he would live through the night. He reached his door and put his key in the lock, it was already unlocked. He knew he locked it before he left. Carefully he opened the door and peered inside so far nobody could be seen. As he closed the door he saw something that made his blood run cold momentarily. The cross on the door was missing. Ok it could just be a crook with a particular habit or something nothing to worry about. Although if the guy was still here he was going to be in for a huge surprise.

Matt surveyed what he could see of the apartment from where he was standing. All of the curtains were open, he never opened the curtains. Reaching into the duster he went further in. Standing behind one of the chairs was the bald headed vampire he fought the other night. In front of him with a leg draped over one of the chair arms was the blond headed vampire that helped him escape. The blond one gave him this predator type grin while the other one started at him. He couldn't stop his voice from betraying him, "Fuck."

"Hey there," the blond one started. "I got to say this is a nice place you got here." He got up and walked by the windows. "I mean I always wondered what a slayer place would look like. A lot of us felt you guys lived a rather barren lifestyle. But this is nice, you got a high def TV and everything." Matt slowly backed his way to the kitchen counter.

"Hump," the other one snorted.

"You got to forgive my mate here. He's still a little ticked you offed his only family."

"I know the feeling," Matt said keeping an eye on both of them as much as possible.

"Somewhere in that brain of yours you have to be wondering why we're letting you move in that direction," the blond one said casually. "Well we already went through the place and took anything dangerous out of here." He chuckled for a bit, "Well not everything of course, some things needed a human hand, if you get my drift. Like that cross on the door and on the windows and what not."

"I still say we should have killed him as soon as we saw him," the bald one said.

"Bossman wants him alive Brett, we can't kill him." He turned around and smiled, "Of course that doesn't mean we still can't have a little fun bringing him in. Please tell me you gonna resist."

"I was planning on it." Matt hit the top of the counter with his fist and a secret drawer popped open. He quickly grabbed two small silver knives and threw them at the vampires as he turned around. The first blade missed the blond vampire but the second plunged into the bald one's shoulder.

"Shit!," the blond one cried and waved a hand in the air. In seconds vampires crashed through the windows, all class ones. Matt went right at them, cursing himself for leaving the belt in the side bag. He snapped off a kick the caught one under the chin. A backhand stunned a second. The blond one grabbed him by the back if the coat and threw him into the wall, right by the bald one. With a grunt he pulled the silver knife out of his shoulder and dropped it. "Brett we can't kill him!"

"He can live with a broken back," he proclaimed as he picked Matt up. Without warning his started digging his thumb into the vampire's eye. "AARRGHH!!," the bald one cried out and he let. A class one grabbed him from behind. He ducked as the bald one swung his right hand wide in is direction. The class one got clocked in the head, making him groggy enough that Matt could flip him over and into the bald vampire. The blond one motioned for a couple of the other to attack him. They jumped over the couch, Matt had the same idea as he jumped past them and landed a solid straight right to the blond one's face. Matt quickly leaped over the couch again kicking one of the other two in the head.

"God damn it you fucker!", the blond cried out as he clentched his face. "I'm gonna plant you into the ground personally!"

"We can't kill him Peter," the bald one said, obviously enjoying his partner's pain.

"Bite me dickweed!", he shot back. The blond one snapped his nose back into place. The others surrounded Matt, he had no room to run. The blond one hopped up onto the counter and studied the contents in the drawer. "Besides, accidents do happen right?", he flashed a grinned right at Matt.

"I been saying that all along," the bald one said with an evil looking smile. The joined the circle surrounding him. He had no room to fight, he needed to make some room. Or take the fight into a bigger space. He charged one of the class ones as he pulled a stake out of his coat. Matt ran into him and through the remaining pile of ash. While the others were stunned at what happened he kept on running and jumped out the window. Landing on the roof below he didn't even look back. The remaining vampires gathered at the window and watched him.

"What are you waiting for?!," Peter slapped on of the other vampires in the back of the head, "Go after him."

"We're going to need more than that." At his signal another hoard of class one vampires jumped down from the roof and gave chance. "My brother had a lot of friends," he explained.

"Come on mate," Peter said as he jumped up and squatted on the window sill, "we can't let them have all the fun."

"I'm coming, I'm coming!", Cardinal Murphy said he hurried down the stairs and tightened his rob around him. Who would be calling him at this hour. The person started banging loudly again. He wouldn't be surprised if his neighbors weren't awaken by the noise. "Hold your horses!", he shouted as he reached the door. He composed himself and opened the door and looked at the person on the other side. "I am sorry for my outburst my son, but I am unaccustomed to being awaken at this hour."

The man before him had his head lowered and wore a black trench coat and had his hair slicked back. Slowly he looked up and locked his black eyes with his. Murphy took a step back and started praying. "Forgive me Cardinal but you're needed." Murphy started to run. Stop moving. Murphy stopped in place as Ludwig stepped in. "You might want to grab you coat, there's a bit of a chill out tonight. Besides it would be unseemly for someone of your stature to be seen in public in his jammies."

Matt lost track of the vampires. He had to run away from his motorcycle when he saw a group of five guarding it. Seeing how he had no idea how many tailing him as it was adding this was out of the question. He used his free moment to try to sort things out, they set a trap for him. And somebody human helped them do it. God, if he survived this he was going to find that person and stick his foot so far up that guys ass he be tasting shit and boot leather for a week. Then he was going to get nasty. There was a scuffling sound on the rooftop above him, free moment over. He turned around and saw vampires lining both sides. Matt wasn't even thinking when he pulled a couple stakes out of his duster.

"Look at him boys," the blond one said loudly. "The great slayer of this area is gonna make one last stand. Brings a tear to you eyes doesn't it." He started to mock cry as the other started laughing. "Remember the bossman orders, but let's have some fun while we're at it since he's still in the mood." He and a few of he other dropped down. He should be thankful the "bossman" wanted him alive. Otherwise they would have torn him apart if they came at him all at once. Not that the odds were exactly in his favor at the moment. But why would this bossman want him alive?

One was dumb enough to jump straight at him. A quick upward thrust with the stakes took care of him. But another one jumped down to take his place. "Son of a bitch," he barely got out as somebody hit him from the back. The blond grabbed both his wrist and squeezed. Matt refused to yell out but he was force to drop the stakes.

"Think they made you pretty tough, don't ya?", he asked. "Think you were pretty big huh? Got lucky in a few fight and suddenly you're the man. You slayers make me sick."

"And I thought the new turns talked too much," Matt said right before his head shot foreword and broke the vampires nose again. The blond one started cussing up a storm as he let go. As the others, being lead by the bald one, started laughing his features twisted in anger.

"Fuck all of you!" He was so intent at the other he did see Matt pick up the one of the staked and lunge at him. On of the class ones caught him and threw him back. "You dirty son of a bitch!", the blond one exclaimed. "Try to off a guy when his back's turned." The class one had him by the duster as another started laying some punches into him. "Out of the way, I want a turn at this guy." The blond one cracked his knuckles in anticipation. Matt ran to the sides freeing his arm from the duster and rolled out of it. He got up punching a vampire in the throat. He threw a right cross as another one got to close. A third kicked him into a trash can. Matt grabbed the lid and got it up in time as a punch came at him. The metal bent from the impact, Matt twisted it and heard the snap right before the vampire howled in pain.

He saw stars and went down as a right came out of no where. A vampire tried to pin him down and keep his head in place. He felt it's cold breath coming down on his neck. For the first time in a long time Matt started to panic, he reached for the closest thing he could find. His hands found a broken metal pipe and he jammed it behind him. It pierced the vampires' right eye. "Now that's just sick," Peter said in disgust. He ducked another class one punched, and landed a knee in it's gut. Matt used him to jump up and kick the pipe stuck in the vampires head. The end forced itself out of the back of his head. Matt threw him into the rest of him and ran for the alley opening. Peter chased after him. Matt felt him get close, turned and fell back sticking his foot into his gut. The blond vampire flew over him and landed in the street. As he got up Matt was already to his feet and running at him. He jumped up and kicked him the chest. Peter stumbled into the street.

"Is that all you got you son of a bitch!", he yelled. A loud honk and some bright light caught his attention. "Oh sh..." was all he got out before a truck ran into him. Matt ran into the street and dodged traffic trying to get some room as the others looked on. Somebody up there must like him.

Brett picked up the duster and quickly found the crystal Ludwig told him about. He threw the duster over his shoulder. "Why are you bringing that thing?", one of them asked him.

"Master Ludwig says we're gonna need this for the plan."

"But what about Peter?"

"He'll catch up when peels himself off that truck. Now get after the human. If we lose him I'll rip your heart out myself."

Matt circled around and headed back for his apartment. He might have a plan cooking in the back of his head now, but he was going to have to reach his bike in order for it to work. Now he had to reach his it before they could catch up to him. He looked up and saw them jumping from rooftop to rooftop. Damn it. One jumped down in front of him, Matt just bowled him over. Matt stumbled to his feet and kept going. A bum pushing a cart, more importantly the broom in it, caught his attention. He grabbed the broom on the run and the bum cussed him out. He was soon cut off as the vampires caught up with him. Damn it. Matt swung the broom at a lamppost breaking it. Gripping it as tightly as he could he spun and shot it out. A vampire was stabbed in the heart and turned to ash. He swung it over his head and brought it down onto the head of another one. He started running again.

He was able to travel the remaining blocks without any interruptions. But he didn't have any doubt one of them figured out where he was going and sent word. Like he expected the group of five grew by a couple. Sticking to the shadows he watched them. Sunrise was in a few hours, maybe he could hide out until then. Maybe not, but he had to get to the bike either way. A sound above him made him stab upward. The broken end on the broom found its way into the mouth of the vampire above him. And that grabbed the attention of the others. Like hiding was an option anyway. Matt walked toward the others swing the broom handle in front of him. Ignoring his screaming muscles Matt fell back on his training drilled into him and didn't even think as he attacked the vampires. Letting instinct take over he knocked them away from him and dusted a couple as the ones chasing him showed themselves. He jumped on the Harley and hit the hidden emergency start and drove off in the direction he was facing.

But he didn't drive as fast as he could, Matt wanted them to keep up. He turned in to an alley that he knew was a dead end and skidded to a stop. He reached back into the left side bag before getting off. He stood there with a grenade in both hands and waited. It was time for a "Hail Mary". The vampires rushed in and clogged up the entrance to make sure he couldn't get out. They were sure they had him. He popped the pin on the grenade in his left hand and threw it up. A moment after it exploded in a burst of light he popped the one in his right and threw into he crowd. It quickly engulfed them in a sea of flames as it exploded. Matt held up a hand as instinct made him try to block the heat. The fire quickly burnt itself out and all that was left was the vampires were charred remains. He stood there, waiting for more to show up. No came and his body decided to give out in him as he fell to his knees. Then his duster dropped from above in front of him, "Fuck."

A body quickly followed gliding to the ground. "I knew you had one more trick out you sleeve," The bald one said. "You slayers always were the tricky type."

"So why you stay up there and let your guy become BBQ?", he ask to stall things so he could get his breath back.

"Much like my master, I believe from leading from afar. One has to see the battle field in order to move the masses were they should be."

"Are you sure you and the other one are related? He said he was going to use me for a toilet." He was trying to buy himself some time.

Brett started laughing, "Yeah that was him all right, his favorite threat." He turned a bit and looked at the sky above the rooftops. "I tried to teach him to be better than what he was, but he was set in his ways. Nothing but a good hard right could get through that head of his."

"And when did you switch personalities?", Matt shakily got to his feet.

"No switch, I just see that now you won't put up much of a fight. There no point in trying to kill you now. Although Master Ludwig said I had to bring you in, he said nothing about you being conscious." He fist swung put quickly. Matt turned around and fell against his bike. Brett grabbed him and threw him the ground. "Still awake I see, good. I was afraid this would be over before I was finished enjoying this." He hauled the human to his feet and punched him in the gut. Matt fell to his knees and started coughing up blood. He kicked the slayer away and slowly stalked him. Matt got back to his feet. Brett grabbed him by the collar of his shirt. "Hopefully this won't kill you." Brett ran at the opposing wall and shoved Matt foreword.

Matt put up a foot as he got close to the wall and jumped up. Using the vampire strength as a brace he ran up the wall a short way and jumped off. Before he made the jump his hand went to his watch and pulled out a line a silver wire. As he flipped over he wrapped the wire around the vampires' neck. The moment he landed on his feet he pulled it tight. Brett was about to laugh when he started feeling the burning of the silver. He started thrashing around and rammed Mat into the wall, but he wouldn't let go. Matt placed a knee in the center of his back and kept pulling the wire with all the strength he had left. The vampire slowly felt the wire burn deeper into his flesh. Eventually the wire cut all the way through. His head briefly started to fall away before he turned to ash. Matt fell back exhausted and almost passed out. He couldn't, he crawled his way over to the duster and picked it up then made his way to the Harley. He needed the belt before he did anything else.

Mulligan looked at the phone for a moment before picking it up. Lord please let it be somebody else. Trying to sound normal he said, "Hello?" His prayers weren't answered.

"Father!," Matt said sounding like he was scared to death. It chilled him right down to his bones. "Father... I got a problem... the vampires... after me..."

"My boy calm down." He waited before Matt took several breaths before saying, "Now what were you saying about the vampires?"

"They were waiting for me at my apartment. They set a trap for me. They were in my apartment father. Somebody went in my home and took away everything that would keep them away." Ashamed the Father looked down at the box by the phone with the various crosses and hunting equipment Matt had in his home. "Now they're after me. I took care of a group of them with the Hail Mary. There could be more but I haven't seen them yet."

"Come to the church now Matthew," Mulligan instructed him. "We'll provide you a safe haven for the immediate future. After you rest up well figure out what to do then."

"Alright Father, I'm on my way. I know I don't ask this much, but pray I get there in one piece."

"I pray for you every time you go out Matthew. And God speed." He hung up the phone after he heard the click. Feeling a heavy weight press down upon him he slumped in his chair. Why did he do this?

Behind him Ludwig put a hand on his shoulder." An excellent performance Father. You did your job to perfection. You're debt is now paid in full."

Matt stumbled toward the door of the church. He kept his duster tight around him so nobody would see the belt and he kept a hand tight around the crystal. He couldn't risk traveling on his bike so he walked all the way here and kept an eye on his surroundings. Sunrise was going to be soon so he'd be safe for a little while. He was never so happy to see this place in his life. Hell if Murphy was in there he'd kiss him. Actually no he wouldn't. He opened the doors and his heart dropped. The place was ransacked. Crosses were torn off the wall, statues were broken, the stain glass was grafitied, and the smell of smoke was evident. He looked over at the confessional, it was ripped away from the wall. His knees went weak and he leaned against a pew. "No," he whispered

A slow clapping made him look at the podium. Standing in from of it was a man dressed in black. The blackness of his eyes marked him as master class vampire. His blood went cold quickly. "I must say Matthew Johnson, you performed marvelously. I didn't think it be possible for you to make it here by yourself. But you obviously proved me wrong. I can see what the Father saw in you"

Letting the outrage he was feeling fuel him he pulled a stake out of his duster, "What did you do with Father Mulligan!"

"Shhh," the blond vampire walked out of the hidden hallway looking like hell. His clothes were ripped and a lot of his wounds weren't fully healed yet. "Keep your voice down mate you are in a church after all." He cracked his neck as he went over to Ludwig. "Thanks for the snack by the way. That truck driver really hit the spot, a little on the greasy side though."

"Quite," Ludwig said, "from what I understand Peter here was a bit of a mess when the driver actually stopped." He snapped his fingers and another crop of vampires dropped from the ceiling. "Much like in here. They had so much fun redecorating ." He looked over to Peter, "That was a little over the top, wasn't it?" Peter put his hand up with his finger and thumb under a inch apart. The other vampires started to surround him.

Matt dropped the weapon in his hand and took the crystal out of his pocket and held it up close to his face as he revealed the belt. "Henshin!", he cried. A hand gripped his wrist, stopping him from sliding it in the slot. He looked over and saw Mulligan standing next to him, stopping him from activating the system. His mind wasn't comprehending what was going on, "Father?"

He looked away as Matt looked at him. Barely whispering he said, "Forgive me my son." and let go. Peter came in fast and knocked the crystal from his hand. He started swing his hand to wave away the pain but Matt saw none of it. All his attention was on Mulligan. He didn't even resist as a couple of vampires forced him to his knees and handcuffed his hands behind his back. Mulligan eventually backed away so he wouldn't have to see the hurt and confusion in his eyes.

"You know, I was expecting a little more outrage on your part slayer." Ludwig said as he came closer. "At least a lunge in his direction. How disappointing. Bring the others, I want them to see this." Peter nodded and went back into the secret hallway. After a minute he lead an another group of class ones that dragged the Cardinal and the other into the main room. As they lined them up Ludwig took out a handkerchief from his pocket and picked up the crystal. "Hmm, I can still feel a sting from this even through the cloth. A marvelous creation if I do say so myself. And I can since I had a hand in creating it," he sneered at Mulligan as he dropped it in front of Matt.

"What are you babbling about monster?", the Cardinal demanded.

"Would you care to enlighten them Father?", he asked Mulligan. All eyes went toward him. He could say or do nothing except looked ashamed. "I guess I will then. You see, I know the Father promised you a weapon that would put of your slayers on par with us. But the good father here needed help in creating this little weapon of yours. I can imagine the dismay he must have felt when he discovered human science and technology couldn't help him deliver what he promised."

"What are you saying?", the Cardinal asked, a bit more subdued.

"You see," he explained, "I always had a bit of a fascination with the sun. More importantly how to use it, or something like it, as a power source. After many, let call them volunteers, for my research and much trail and error, I was able to come up with the liquid sunlight in this very container. Of course even the undead love to gossip and word, one way or the other, reached the Fathers ears. He contacted me to inquire about my discovery. He did try to cover himself by doing so under an assumed name, but with my resources I was able to discover who he really was. Seeing what he had planned I should have had him killed, but this weapon intrigued me. So, secretly, I helped in it's development."

"Why?", Matt finally spoke.

"It amused me, there's also a second reason but I'll get to that one in a moment." He knelt down and got in his ear. "But far more importantly, it put someone in your organization in my debt. It made Father Mulligan indebted to me, and I called it in." Matt refused to look at the Father, Ludwig smiled. "His choices were simple, either he could do what I say or die to repay the debt." Ludwig got up and walked around him as Matt lowered his head to the floor feeling totally numb. "He told how to use the emergency exit across the street to enter this building. Not only did he direct you here he entered your home. Like he did here he took away all of the things you had in place to protect you. He made you open to us. His options were either to sacrifice you or himself. And he choose you," he taunted slowly.

Matt lifted his head off the ground and looked at Mulligan. The hurt and confusion in his tear filled eyes were replaced with rage. "ARGH!", he shouted as he moved toward Mulligan before the vampires forced him back down. Mulligan didn't even flinch.

"Ha-ha! Now there is the outrage from the betrayal of trust I was looking for," Ludwig cackled. Matt sat there simmering. "Don't be too hard on him. The good Father is only human after all, and if it's one thing humans are good for it's looking out for their own skin. Now, I do believe I said there was a second reasoning." He made a gesture with his hand at Peter. He nodded and walked behind Matt. "You see I discovered an interesting little side effect with that system we helped you developed. The technology in the belt enhances you in every way. But apparently if the wearing is bitten then activates the belts, there is a good possibility he would be transformed into the ultimate killing machine. Or it will kill him. Now in good conscious I must tell you Mulligan was against this part of the plan from the start once he found out. But he didn't really have a choice in the matter."

Matt turned his hate filled gaze toward Ludwig, "You better pray to God it kills me." He glanced over to the Father, "Both of you." Mulligan closed his eyes and turned away.

"Your God and myself stopped talking a long time ago," Ludwig snorted. "Around the time I became this I believe. But you can try to kill me if you wish. I want to face my creation in battle any way to see how strong he is." And it's not like I will let you kill me Matt felt his blood boil. "It's a main reason why these people are still alive. When most people are turned to a vampire they are quite hungry. I want you at your full strength when I test you out. And the ultimate killing machine deserves the ultimate feast. "

"Why didn't you test this on yourself then?", Matt demanded

"And miss the opportunity to see someone wither in pain if I'm wrong?", he acted stunned. "Besides why endanger myself or somebody who has proven themselves over a silly theory. Besides it's far more practical to use someone I have no attachment too" Ludwig turned away, "This is starting to bore me. Turn him."

"No!!!!," Mulligan shouted but he was held back. Peter dragged Matt to his feet and grabbed him by the arms to hold him in place. His eyes went red as his fangs grew. Matt struggled to get free but the vampires grip was too strong. The vampire ripped the chain off his neck, grabbed him by the hair and bent his neck to the side. After what seemed like forever his sunk his fangs into his neck. Matt refused to cry out as he gritted his teeth. He could feel something enter him, attacking him from the inside. Peter let go and let him drop to his knees. Ludwig came in and removed the handcuff from his wrist. "Fight it Matthew!", Mulligan pleaded.

"He can't fight it Priest," Ludwig told him. "Once it begins it can not be stopped."

Matt groaned in pain as the others waited for him to turn all the way. Maybe he couldn't stop it but he could end it. He pulled out another stake and pointed it at his own heart. One quick jab and it would be over.

Drop the stake. He heard in his head. The point wavered but the weapon didn't leave his hands. I said drop it.

Ludwig tilted his head slightly, "He resisting me. How could he, unless..." He walked to the human and physically removed the weapon from his hands then grabbed him by the head to look him in the eyes. He suspicion was confirmed when he say those blue eyes start to turn black. He had to smile as he looked at Peter, "Congratulation my friend, you just sired a master."

Peter looked proud, "Didn't know I had it in me."

"You didn't," he corrected him as he let go. "It was in him." His eyes glanced over to Mulligan, "And that's how he survived all those years ago. In rare cases those who have it in them to be a master can use their mindspeak ability in situations of extreme stress. When our friend here was attacked all those years ago he commanded them away. But unfortunately not in time to save mommy and daddy," he sneered.

Matt looked at him, his face twisting in rage as fangs started to grow I am going to tear you apart.

Ludwig clapped his hands, "And your using mindspeak this quickly. I am highly impressed. If you can do that this quickly than surely you'll be able to survive the transformation. Now, activate the belt."

"Go fuck yourself," Matt spat. Ludwig picked up the stake. "What are you gonna do, threaten to kill me?"

"Not exactly." He walked over to Mulligan. After a brief struggle he bit him and in moments the Father started to change. Commanding the other to hold him Ludwig placed the stake to his heart. "No, I'm going to offer you the same choice. You or him. Either activate the system or the Father here becomes dust in the wind."

Matt looked at the scene. The man he trusted more than anybody on the planet betrayed him. Now he was being forced to choose? He thought about all the things Father Mulligan did for him over the years. But the betraying him to the vampires. Matt didn't have a choice. He grabbed the crystal, it started burning his hand almost immediately. Ignoring the pain he said, "Henshin," and slid it into the belt. The jewel started shinning as power flowed through the belt. The light faded away and he was in the suit, them the suit began to change. First all the silver fell away and the color started to darken. His finger tips started to form sharp points. The back armor started to crack and fall away a set of leather looking wings grew out. As he stood the mouth plate fell away. A black set of sharp teeth and fangs replaced it. He hissed as he stared at Ludwig.

"Excellent," he proclaimed. "You are more magnificent than I thought you'd be." He turned to the Cardinal and the other, Matt did the same. "Now I'd imagine you would are rather famish after such a transformation. Feed as much as you like."

As much as it disgusted him, Matt couldn't ignore the hunger he was feeling. He took a step toward the Cardinal who tried to fall back in fear. The jewel started glowing again, brightly. "Uhg," he bent over as pain ran throw him. He fell to his knees. Ludwig and Peter slowly backed away as they noticed the wings started to crack. He fell to his knees crying in pain. Some of the other class ones surrounded him, memorized by what was happening. As the wings continued to crack little rays of light were visible. The skin finally broke away revealing wings made of light. "ARRRRRGH!!!!", he screamed as he reared back. The wings spread themselves out cutting through any of vampires close by, vaporizing them on the spot. The jewel started shining again. It's light engulfing him a grew from there covering several of the vampires in the process. In moments the light faded except around him. Any of the vampire that still close by were now gone.

"Dear God in heaven," the Cardinal spoke as he and the other crossed themselves and prayed silently.

Ludwig stood there with his exposed skin smoking. That light was almost too much, even for him. Mulligan was far enough away that he wasn't affected. Peter peaked over the tipped over pew he ducked behind. "What the hell just happened?"

Slayer rose to his feet. The light faded away revealing the armor lost it's demonic look. But it was now gold with silver armor. His wings shrunk and faded into a wing design now etched into his back. His head remained down as he spoke, "I could say something about darkness using light or heaven as a weapon being futile or some other metaphysical junk like that, but that was never my style. Instead, I'll just say," he picked up his head and cracked his neck, "you just fucked up." A vampire tried to jump him from behind. He angled his arms so the spikes crossed at it's heart, it was gone in moments. He used his foot to kick up the stake he drop earlier. It went about chest high before he batted it to the left with his hand. It pierced another vampire in the chest.

"Peter, take him," Ludwig ordered.

"Wha...?", he looked at him in disbelief. Mustering his courage he jumped over the pew and attacked Slayer. He dodged the initial punches and kick. Then he started blocking the blows. There was a quick sizzling sound as his undead flesh came into contact with the armor. "God damn it!", he cried out as he was forced to back away. Peter stared at the charred skin now covering his arms.

"You know," Slayer said causually, "I always said I wanted the vampire that bit to die of a heart attack." His voice then darkened slightly as he went on, "I guess I'll going to have to settle for this." Slayer shot his fist out punching Peter in the chest right at the heart. His hand went through and was now sticking out of the vampires back. Peter eyes went wide as he realized what happen right before he turned to ash. Slayer then turned his attention to Ludwig. The master vampire looked around, any other vampire he could have used was fleeing. One was dumb enough to go out the door, she burst into flames the moment she hit the sunlight. And Mulligan was no fighter. Almost as he was reading his mind Slayer warned him, "Don't even think it." Then he attacked.

Ludwig blocked his kick and punched him in the chest. Slayer took a step back but went back in immediately. Ludwig held his own. Back flipping to get out of the way of a spin kick aimed at his head he took up more aggressive defensive stance. "I hope you didn't think I was going to go down that easy."

"Thought never crossed my mind," Slayer responded. He interlaced his fingers and cracked his knuckles, "I was looking foreword to a decent fight." They both went in and attacked. Ludwig landed a right cross to the head. Slayer countered with a knee to the gut. Neither man was giving the other much of an opening to take advantage. Slayer grabbed by the wrist and twist his arms, Ludwig grunted as his bones bent near breaking and the searing of his flesh. He reeled as Slayer head butted him. He was grabbed by the coat and ripped free to escape the vampire hunter's reach.

"This isn't over slayer," he said as he extended his wings and flapped them to get off the ground. He was able to crash through the roof of the church and tried to fly away in the still rising morning sun. Slayer light wings emerged from the etchings and he flew after him, a trail of light following him. Ludwig was there as he came through the hole and kicked him in the head. Slayer flipped in the air a few times before righting himself. The master vampire flapped his wings to hover there, "You may be good on the ground but in the air you are still a novice. Perhaps you need some time to get used to it." And he started flying off.

"Hey," he yelled as he chased after him, "some of us are on the clock here!" He caught up in seconds and flew above the vampire aiming a punch at the back of his head. Ludwig felt it coming and flipped foreword in mid air to dodge it. Continuing the flip he landed a heel kick in the small of Slayer's back. He didn't have time to steady himself as the vampire swooped in punched him in the next. Slayer tried to turn quickly and catch him with one of his light wings. Ludwig easily avoided it and stomped down with both feet into his chest. They both fell to the street below, Slayer knocked him off and turned quickly and quickly pulled up a few yards above the morning traffic. He saved himself but Ludwig disappeared. He flew up high to tried to find him. After several desperate moments he located a human shape object trying to stick to the shadows as much as possible. "You're not getting away you son of a bitch."

Ludwig looked around and didn't see that armored hunter anywhere. He almost relaxed when a fist came out of nowhere in front of him. The vampire spun around and swung his leg around with a round house. Slayer flew back to avoid and came back in with a kick if his own. Ludwig caught it and swung him around, only letting go when the pain got too much. Slayer tumbled in the air, but he was able to kick off a building and shoot right at him. Ludwig couldn't avoid the fist hitting his jaw knocking him senseless momentarily. The stars cleared long enough for him to see Slayer spin in place and hit him in the head with a kick. The vampire fought off the dizziness and started fight hand to hand him in mid air. They swinging and blocking each other for a long time before Ludwig hit Slayer so hard his wings disappeared. He watched as he fell to the ground. Then the wings reappeared and he quickly flew away from sight. Before he knew it Slayer was behind him and wrapped his arm around Ludwig's wings. Not even wasting a second he flew straight up into the sky. They flew up past the clouds and out of the atmosphere and kept going. I don't need air to breath!

Yeah, but I'm pretty sure you need it to fly Ludwig was surprised to hear that in is head. They flew past the moon moments later and Slayer finally let him go. He flapped his wings trying to gain some measure of control but all he did was increase his own spin. Slayer flew in fast and punched him. Then he did it again and again and again. Then Slayer went behind him with his right spike extended and sliced through his wing. Ludwig screamed, but he could hear no sound then Slayer did the same to the other one. Stale blood bubbled out of the stubs as he spun around. Two things entered his head. One was an image of a spinning jewel. The other was two words: Rider kick!. Slayer back came into his view, a new trail of light following him. From his right foot. He came in fast. Ludwig eyes widen as he brought his legs around and aimed his foot right at him. Slayer made contact and a huge fiery cross appeared covering them both. It vanished as quickly as it appeared.

"Corner him!", the Cardinal ordered. They trapped Mulligan, who was a full class one at this point, as best they could. He was hissing and swinging his hands at them. A couple of the priest and tech grabbed what ever pointed object they could get their hands on. The sun was out at this point so everybody knew he couldn't escape outside. "What are you waiting for overpower him. We must eliminate him now!"

"Try doing the job for yourself for once." Two of the priests behind him were shoved aside as Matt walked foreword. He looked like none of the events of the past night never happened. The Cardinal had to move out of his way. He then grabbed Troy and a priest by the shirt and forcibly moved them out of his way. Matt and Mulligan just started at each other as the other gave them plenty of room.

"What are you waiting for?!," Murphy demanded. "Do your job!"

"Shut the fuck up!," he snapped at him. Murphy was stunned, nobody had ever talked to him in that tone of voice. A little more quietly he said, "I know what I have to do." Mulligan hissed again and swung at Matt. He caught it easily then forced him to the wall behind him. Using his left arm to pin him there he looked the Father in the eye, his eyes betraying no emotion. Then he put his right hand on the bite wound and closed his eyes. His hand started to glow slightly as Mulligan screamed out. His fangs started to disappear then his cry of pain soon became gasps. Removing his hands he saw the bite marks were now gone. Matt grabbed him by the shirt and dragged him past the other and into the sunlight coming through the hole in the church's roof. Mulligan recoiled then he and everybody realized he wasn't bursting into flames. He looked at Matt whose emotionless face soon broke out into that familiar grin, "Had you going there for a sec didn't I?"

"You...," Murphy tried to make sense of what he and the others just seen, "you... cured him? How?"

"There was still a window to reverse his turn," Matt explained never taking his eyes off Mulligan. "A very, very small window. Any later I doubt I could have reversed it."

"But how, was it the new armor you..."

Matt finally looked at him and cut him off, "Weren't you listening, I don't do the metaphysical mumbo jumbo. Ah, I swear to God some people." He turned his head toward Mulligan again before continuing, "It going to be awhile before any master class vampire nearby realizes this area is open. So you got some time to get things fixed around here and take care of the ones remaining. There might be a class two or a class one that might try to set themselves up as a mini warlord or something, so keep on the look out."

"Matthew," Mulligan finally spoke, "I'm sorry. I didn't want to do this, put you in that position. I didn't have a choice. Please forgive me."

"Father it's ok, I forgive you." When Mulligan and the Cardinal asked him why Matt gave them a lopsided grin, "It's kinda my thing now." Matt hugged him suddenly then whispered something in his ear. Mulligan paled a little as Matt pulled back and put his hands in his shoulder. He nodded sadly and patted his shoulder. "Thanks for listening to me all these years. I know I was royal a pain in the ass at times. I'll put a good word in for you when I get there." Reaching into one of the duster's pockets he pulled out a set of keys, "The bikes about a block away from my apartment. Now I put a lot of work into it so take good care of her. Oh, before I forget," he leaned in a little closer, "I might have a kid or two... or three... around. So if you happen to notice a boy or a girl that looks kinda like me, say a prayer for me would you?" He hugged him one more time then walked away. When he walked past the Cardinal he pointed a finger at him and said, "You're on your own."

"Where are you going Johnson?", The Cardinal demanded as he started following him. Mulligan started to as well but Troy had to help him. "Don't walk away while I'm talking to you."

Matt turned around and replied, "Then don't talk to me while I'm walking away." His grin got bigger as he saw the frustration on the Murphy face. Turning back around he said, "I'm done."

"You're done?!," he yelled. "You swore to be a slayer until you couldn't do it anymore or until the day you died. You are not done! Are you listening to me? Where are you going?!"

Matt had a content look on his face as he answered, "Home." There was a bright light as he opened the door. Two people, a man and a woman, were there looking like they were waiting for him. For the first time in what seemed like forever he was feeling at peace.

The Cardinal and the others were a moment behind him out the door. As they went outside he saw nobody in sight. Mulligan and Troy reached the door and watched Murphy look around the area. "He was just here," he said. "We were right behind him. He couldn't have just disappeared. Where did he go?"

Mulligan thought about what Matt had whispered to him.

"Any mortal who obtains the power of the heavens can no longer be mortal."

He looked up at the sky. The sun was bright and there was hardly a cloud in the sky. Tears filling his eyes he said, "He was called home." And he let the tears fall as the other looked at him.