Chapter One: Daystar Bust


Several things struck him at once.

The first and most prominent thought he had was that he hurt, no, he burned. His neck felt like it was actually on fire. He didn't understand why it felt like that until he gently prodded the area with his fingertips. He had been bitten. That thing had taken a fucking chunk right out of him. Looking down he realized exactly how much blood he was losing by the second. A thick stream of crimson trickled freely down his chest.

He looked up and saw Abby staring at him in horror.

His gaze seemed to snap her out of her stupor. It took her a second, but once she snapped into action. In a split second she had ripped a part of her sleeve off and pressed it against his bite to stop the bleeding.

Hannibal King felt Abby turn his head to the side; he then felt the skin around his wound ripple as though something were moving underneath his skin. Why did his skin do that? Simple, because there was something moving under it and that was the infection.

Abby stared in horror watching his skin dance; she had never seen a bite do that. She knew it had to be something bad.

King could see the fear in his friend's eyes, and that's what really frightened him.

They had tricked him. It had fooled both him and Abby, played them both. They had lured him, and he had gone for it. He had gone for it like a fat kid going for a cupcake. He had followed the lone wounded vampire down the manhole and into the sewers, Abby had followed also. It had been planned that way, it had to of been because there were too many of them down there for it not to have been.

It had happened to fast, too fucking fast. He couldn't process it all right now, he wouldn't.

"So a vampire walks into a bar and asks for a cup of hot water." He was blinking slowly as he began the story.

"Shut up, King." Abby muttered, placing her bow across her back.

"'I thought you only drank blood?' The bartender asks." King continued, wincing as his friend forced him to turn his neck.
Abby's jaw twitched. Her concern for him mingled with irritation and left a bitter taste on her tongue.
"Come on." She ordered, grasping his arm. "We need to get you back home."
"The vampire pulls out a used tampon and says 'I'm making tea'." King continued.
"That's disgusting." Abby commented, walking with him out of the shadow of the alleyway and into the soft light of early dawn.
"I thought it was a nice story." King replied.


"There are more than seventy thousand people living in the parks, under the freeway off ramps and on the streets of Los Angeles County . Now, however that number seems to be on a steady decline." A redheaded newswoman with a sharp nose said confidently into the camera. "New reports are showing that there are actually far less homeless now than just one year ago, the number used to be much higher, in the eighty thousa--"
"It is too fuckin' early for that shit, turn it off Elle.." Ed complained, walking through the living room. He grimaced as his little sister scowled at him from the kitchen. He knew that she knew that the truth was that it was four 0' clock in the afternoon on a Monday, and it surely wasn't morning to anyone other than a vampire hunter.

Elle however, did not mention any of this and turned off the television; coating the remote in a layer of flour by doing so.
He watched her through sleepy eyes. His little sister, his best friend, his god damn Pollyanna. She was wearing her usual white apron, the one she put on whenever she stepped foot into the kitchen. She was completely dusted with flour, which was normal for whenever she was baking. She hovered over a large ceramic mixing bowl, determinedly focused on what she was doing.
"Can I get some breakfast?" Ed asked, while sliding into one of the bar stools at the end of the kitchen.

Elle nodded and sat down her wooden spoon before trotting over to the refrigerator.

Ed watched her and felt his lips curl into a small smile, the girl did trot in the morning.

Not morning, Ed corrected himself.

That was inconsequential anyways, morning noon or night Elle was just one of those annoyingly genuinely happy people, and despite his grouchiness through the years she remained the same; unwaveringly dedicated to spreading the sunshine
He eyeballed the bowl his sister had been busy with, on the inside was a light beige mush he suspected was the makings of muffins.
"Its Monday, right?" He asked.
"Yes." She replied happily.
"Muffins?"
"Yes."
Elle began to make her usual pile beside her muffin work space. It was a heap of flour, eggs, milk, bacon, a waffle iron, a loaf of bread, cinnamon, salt, pepper, sugar- she paused, surveying her pile of goods.
"Is anyone else up?" Ed questioned, snatching the flour coated remote control and dusting it off. He loved his sister, but she was so messy.
"Rae has been in the basement for a couple of hours." Elle replied while distractedly pawing through a lower cupboard for the right pan.

You didn't sleep, again? Ed wanted to ask, but he didn't bother. He already knew the answer anyways. Just by looking at the dark circles set below her eyes he could tell she hadn't been able to get any rest. Despite this knowledge, he decided to go fishing.

"How did you sleep last night?" He asked, tapping his thumb nail on the counter top.

"Wonderful." Elle lied with such ease about this it was disturbing.

Ed accused her of being a liar, but only in his own thoughts.

What could he do about it if she wouldn't sleep? Nothing.

At least she wasn't a complainer.


Half way across the city however, there was a complainer to be found and his name was Hannibal King.

"I forgot what a stomp on the balls this injection was!" King complained loudly, only to be ignored.
"So cure, served up cold, that'll be a hundred." Kevin, a portly man in glasses, chain smoking a Kools light said to Abby. He was their new connection to the cure, and resident honeycomb physician.
"We haven't got that much." Abby told him.
"Damn it Abs." Kevin complained.
"I know, I'm sorry!" She said, rubbing her eyes. Over the past week, she'd become to tired and stressed it was difficult to even see straight anymore.
"Can't you give us a family discount?" Dex asked, a big hopeful smile on his face.
"No." Kevin said.
"Why not? Dude your moms my Aunt!" Dex argued.
"One, because your horde ganked my alliance last week on Warcraft." Kevin told him, pointing his pinky finger at his cousin. "That's right, I knew it was you… and two." He announced, pointing his ring finger. "Because you still have my Natalie Imbruglia Cd."
"Dude, I'll return it." His cousin promised.
"And three!" Kevin continued. "Because that stuff costs about one hundred dollars to make per dosage. The chemicals aren't cheap, the electricity to run the equipment to make it isn't cheap, and the machines certainly aren't cheap!"
"Look, we'll get you the money." Abby said, diffusing the situation. "I promise." She reassured Kevin when he looked skeptical.
"I trust you Abs.. I don't trust them though..." Kevin replied, giving both King and Dex a shady look.

Neither of them looked offended in return, hell even they knew they weren't that trustworthy. ,
"Look, Kevin, we need your help…" She told him, hoping to god he could do her the favor she needed.


Ed was staring to top of the refrigerator where, he had just noticed, Lucky was seated staring at him intently. The very fluffy three legged cat growled..
"Fuck you back." Ed replied.
"Be nice to him." Elle demanded from in front of the stove.
"He's an asshole." Her brother complained.
"He is not." She dropped a pad of butter into a large skillet and walked to the fridge. Elle stood on her tip toes to scoop the cat down. Instantly Lucky began to purr heavily, giving Ed a smug look of feline satisfaction. 'Ha ha, she likes me better.' is what the cats eyes seemed to taunt.
"I hate that cat." Ed stated.
"Maybe that's why he doesn't like you." Elle replied, setting the cat on the counter top beside the stove.
"Don't put him up there! He'll get his fur all in the food, and the germs on his feet-"
"Okay okay.." Elle pacified while complacently placing her cat on the floor..
A door slammed down the hall.

The kitchen went silent.

Ed looked over his shoulder and saw Rae walking out, covered in sweat, her face blank and impassive to the burn her body must have been feeling after once of her intense work outs.
"Shower." She stated, pointing to the bathroom. "Food." She said pointing at Elle..
"Hey, she's my personal chef you know, not yours." Ed protested..
Elle smacked him on the head with a dish towel playfully as Rae flipped him off.


"Daystar wasn't as effective as we'd hoped." Abby didn't sugar coat it, she wanted them to know how bad it was. "It killed plenty, yea, just no where near enough."
"They've moved underground. They've been having orgies in the dark, like a bunch of very horny frat boys." King told them.
"They have been breeding." Abby explained. "There are hundreds of them, maybe even thousands, right under our feet."
Dex looked at the ground and paled.
"In the sewer systems." King snapped, cranky now that the cure was beginning to make his muscles ache.
"I think they're making an army, they're organized." Abby said solemnly.
"What do you mean, organized?" Kevin asked.
"They lured us into the sewers last night." She stated, crossing her arms. "There were so many down there..."
The all looked at Abby, she was pale and sweaty. There was an extreme irritation bubbling under her surface, they knew better than to ask too many questions at once..
"So this.. is pretty much all our fault?" Dex asked.
"More or less." King replied.
"Alright, so, you need me to give you the hook up with other vampire hunters? So we can do some clean up?"
"More or less." Abby said, cracking her neck.
"Okay, cool. I can do that." Kevin said.
An awkward pause followed.
"Now?" Abby requested.


Ring.

Elle set the toast she was buttering down onto Rae's plate. Her brother immediately picked it up and took a bite out of it.
"That wasn't yours." She chided, as though speaking to a small child.
Ring.
"She's not even out of the shower yet." Ed argued.
"If you wanted more, all you had to do was ask." She said, reaching for the phone.
Ring.
Click.

"Hello?" She said into the phone.
Kevin cleared his throat on the other end of the line. "Hey, yea, I was calling to talk to Ed?"
"Yea, he's right here. Here you go." Elle replied, placing another slice of toast into the toaster.
"Thanks."
Elle handed the phone to Ed, who gave her an irritated look. He hated talking when he was eating.
"Talk to me." Ed said into the mouthpiece.
"Hey, its Kevin."
"Hey…" There was a hesitation in Ed's voice, he was wary of the call.
"You know, I sold you that thing that one time…" Kevin said in a friendly tone.
"You sold me lots of pot, I remember." Ed joked, avoiding giving a direct answer. He didn't discuss the cure, or vampirism much in presence of his little sister. "What's going on?"
"Oh nothing… um, but there is actually a problem…"
"Dude, don't fuck around the bush." Ed stated. "What's wrong?"
Elle looked at her brother, concerned. He gave her a small dismissive wave and saw her relax slightly.
"Okay." Ed said after many moments of silence. "Elle, grab me a pen?" He requested, snapping his fingers impatiently.
Elle chose to ignore the finger snapping and rummaged through the drawer on the right side of the kitchen sink, within seconds she pulled a blue sharpie pen out and handed it to her brother. She watched with unconstrained curiosity as her brother wrote an address down on his napkin.
"We'll be there tonight, yea no problem.." He told the man on the phone.
Click.
"What happened?" Elle asked, chewing her lip.
"We're going on a road trip." Ed said, shoveling some bacon into his mouth and sliding off of his bar stool.
"By we… you mean?" She asked sheepishly.
"You're coming too." He called over his shoulder.
Elle blinked, and felt her stomach tighten. She watched her brother walk down the hall and begin to bank on Rocks' bedroom door.
"Hey lazy asshole!" He shouted. "Wake the fuck up!!"
A few moments passed and the door opened.
Rocks stood, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He was in nothing but his shorts and socks.
"What the fuck, man." Rocks complained.
"We're going on a fieldtrip.." Ed stated happily.
"Huh, where to? Why? How long? Did Elle make breakfast?"
"Yes!" Elle shouted sweetly from the kitchen.
"Elle for the win." Rocks mumbled, walking out of his room.
"Remember Kevin?" Ed asked Rocks.
Yes, he remembered Kevin. He remembered the situation in which he'd met Kevin. He glanced down the hallway at Elle who was now piling food onto a large plate for him.
"Man, I don't remember my own name until I piss, and eat." Rocks replied.


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