Chapter 1: Dhamyan

Dhamyan sat on a delineated pale fence overlooking an abandoned churchyard, with midnight sun full overhead. White rays struck white 'crete composing the crafted cairns of the decomposing, there was a dead bone look to that whiteness, something cold and empty yet entirely fitting. Fitting for a churchyard anyway.

Taking a long drag off cylindrical white object held in paler hand, the dead Iberian smiled ruefully at thoughts dancing around in his head over the realization that half the fun in smoking these dammed things was knowing that they couldn't hurt him. Being dead and all (though without the misfortune of turning to soap like the churchyard's decomposing,) the smoke would cure his rotting flesh, but could not kill him.

Then again, did Vampires even rot? Dhamyan couldn't say, it had been a decade or so since his siring, but just to be safe he stuffed rosemary and sage into his perforated gullet every night to guard against smells (having long since gotten used to the perforating knife, which had done him in all those years ago.) Adjusting the blade, Dhamyan reached into his pocket now, and pulled out some spice, looking at it wistfully for a moment before shoving rosemary and thyme into where the knife was still stabbing him. Smoke tended to curl out of that blade hole much in the same way it did from his flaring nostrils (one lung had been ruptured in his near-death siring.) Notably the only other time Dhamyan bothered to breathe besides smoking was when talking.

Speaking of which, it should be just about that time of night when the dearlessly departed try to make a comeback special. Part of the reason this church was abandoned, (besides mass blood sacrifices, decadent orgies, and subsequent desanctification,) was because of the property's propensity for performing incomplete resurrections.

Midnight sun flickered as a darklight cloud passed before it overhead, day-old topsoil churned and desiccated hands punched out of the ground like zombies. Since they were not nearly so pretty, it was hard for Dhamyan to think of the lye-encrusted victims as zombies. Soap fiends were just intermittent raisees (with more liquefaction and putrefaction to them than was healthy and all-natural for decomposition.)

Wasting no more time with speculation, Dham hopped off the pale fence and started field kicking the clutching limbs and grasping digits popping up out of the ground like so much bad meat trees. A fist full of salt did good to drive back the really long-reachers, as good as it did with the shin-gougers or your garden-variety domestic slug. It kept them all back for a time (though usually they just curled up, shed a layer of putrid slime, and were wrong as rain again.) Dham had to burn one set of lady's fingers with a ciggy to keep her from getting any closer to his undead personage.

Not good, him being the only bump-(n'grinder)-in-the-night who gave a damn about the nasty creepy crawlies. In the world of vamps and other predators, it was people like Dhamyan (with just that little bit of extra self-awareness,) who ended up dealing with most of the scum sucking ghoulies and boils. (Maybe it was just him,) but Dham figured that he would be just as well off, not to have his primary food source infected with nasty pustules and abscesses, 'cause an unknown and undead disease starts a flesh-dissolving rampage through the countryside. But again, maybe that was just him.

Dham stabbed his ring finger through the heart of an almost free, freakish soap fiend, (the silver rings bound in pewter chains heating up and sizzling as they sloughed through sloppy flesh bits.) It was the disease itself, of course, which was zombified; the unidentified carniphage virus infected rotting cells and created a secondary zombification as a byproduct of digesting the host organisms. Necrotic tissue was the virus' favourite snack; defiled church grounds (with a tendency to pseudo-res the dead,) were its new favourite home, and with only Dhamyan present to be the welcoming party.

Another soap-bastard punched through the heart, Dham used sacred metals to ignite what would not otherwise burn so easily. The soapy carniphage would normally dampen the effects of fire, but of course sacred fire was another matter entirely, and it took Dham's sacred metals to induce it, hence the rings he wore. Now purifiers like salts were just good medicine against bad hoodoo like the phage, but antibiotics were the very the best of medicine. However, after Dham's last binge in the hospital's donor-blood supplies, he wasn't welcome back at the hospital any more, so no antibiotics to be had, (thus the earlier pocket full of table salt instead.)

As Dhamyan had to stomp out some particularly green and swollen lord's fingers, he wondered not for the first time: where was a bloody slayer when you needed one? After that, it took the Iberian's half-rotted brain a moment to remember he'd offed the last slayer who'd come his way as just a matter of principle. (Though, perhaps half-anesthetized would be a better word than half-rotted, since Dham has a habit of pouring vodka into all the wrong orifices and seeing if he can still get a spiritual high.) Now his half spirits-rotted brains aside, Dhamyan is still a vamp, and vamps offed slayers, that was the premise behind his principle, matter of fact as it was. That's why he'd killed the slayer he wished he hadn't, (that and Dham just didn't like the idea that he'd gotten his ass kicked by her for no good reason other than maybe, possibly him contemplating exsanguinating a few homeless children.)

As he remembered these things, Dham concluded his mid-nightly-churchyard-romp and rotted-hand-stomp by watching the flickering white sunlight return to full luminosity. The blacklight cloud had passed overhead and midnight was now flittering away by the second, the churchyard's psuedo-resurrections of zombie-virus infected soap-fiends would end soon and half to wait until tomorrow night. And what would Dhamyan be doing tomorrow night? Same thing he did every night, try and save over the world (one lye-encrusted zombie-hand at a time.) Saving it so that he could drain it later (maybe buggering off into town and munch on some homeless children.) With Dham finishing his last coffin nail, noting that midnight had indeed passed, he went to make a cliché, showy bad-asse's exit by leaping over the fence and disappearing into the night. However, too bad that the ground was still covered in lye-ichor; which meant old Dhamyan slipped and tripped, impaling himself through the heart on the white pale fence. With white rays striking white concrete composing the crafted cairns of the decomposing, there was a smell of rosemary, thyme, and dusty-ashes to the air, something cold and empty yet entirely fitting. Fitting for a churchyard anyway