Dodging Fate

Silence. Silence is such a rare thing, a gift like no other. Bringing peace to some, to others madness. Some say silence is only an illusion. The only real silence we ever hear is when we're dead.

'I suppose that's true to some degree.' Rayne thought. 'This is probably the most silence I'll ever hear in a place like this.'

The streets usually filled with vendersandnewspapers stands trying to make a living off the people passing to and fro from work, were empty and appeared abandoned. The slight breeze bringing the reminiscences of noise from the far end of the city where the people seemed to have relocated for the evening. It was New Years Eve after all and surprisingly the factories and some of the smaller office buildings let out early and decided to remain closed on New Year's, leaving most of the business distract quite and unused. If it wasn't for the street lights, it could be possible to believe the whole place was deserted. Of course there were some big businesses that didn't let out but throw their own parties in their buildings instead.

'Guess if your employees stay at work the all night they'd wouldn't be late the next morning.'

Raynewon't have to worry about them. The businesses that threw those kinds of parties were big. Big businesses means big buildings and everybody loves a party with a view. The upper floors would be used to host the parties, leave the ground floor unwatched by curious eyes. 'The less witnesses the better, anything less than a bomb exploding wouldn't draw their attention.'

The wind blew though the alleyway Rayne stood in, blowing her hair into her face and tickling her nose, forcing her to tuck her hair behind her ears. The breeze, regardless of how slight it was, was freezing this time of year. Blowing in the cold from the east and drifting some thin clouds over the moon. 'You could see the moon very clearly tonight.' Other than the moon being full, the city agreed to turn off its streets lights a full hour and a half before midnight so people could see the fireworks easier. The few still running businesses still had their lights on so she didn't see how it would help. Other than that, for the city it was the perfect night for star gazing. Not that the red headed assassin would be star gazing. The only thing she should be watching was the small factory/office building down the street from her position.

This was why Rayne hated stakeouts. The boredom usually drove her deep in thought, which usually turned her very sentimental. Behind her, half way across town, the dhampire could hear the clock tower toll the hour. Eleven tolls at the end of a piece from Beethoven's 8th signaled more unneeded off topic thinking. 'What made them pick that song? I'd kill somebody if I wake up to that every morning.'

"Cardinal.....Come in cardinal. Are you in position?"

'Saved by the bell.'"Yes, dodo brain. I'm in position."Rayne replied.

"Still a bit testy, I see."

"Yes Severin. Yes I am." Rayneshifteda bit, loosing up the muscles that stiffened during her watch. "And what's with the cardinal things?"

"Thought a little joke before the mission would lighten the mood."

"No, not really." Rayne peered around the corner at the building down the street for possibly the millionth time that night.

"And with good reason. This mission is…." He paused, trying to find the right words. "…a bit more strict then the others. We can't just go in pistils blazing like usual. This one distinctly requires finesse. Get in and out with hopefully no one knowing you were there……or at least with no one reporting it."

Rayne repressed a sigh. "Yea. Yea. I know. Subtlety is my middle name. Finesse is my nature. We done yet?"

Severin chuckled a bit. "Almost. Real quick, let's go over the plan one more time."

This time the red head really did sigh. "Fine."

"Alright then, we start off with……." He waited for her to finish his sentence to see if she had been paying attention.

She didn't disappoint him. "We start with you shutting down the street cameras so there's no evidence of me entering the building or even being anywhere near it."

"Good job, Rayne. I'm surprised you listened for once."

"Yes, but not very well I'm afraid. You might have to remind me of the rest."

He could tell by her voice that she was grinning. He sighed and prepared to tell her the rest, just in case she wasn't joking.

"Yes, well you must hurry into the building. I can only stop the street cameras for a minute or two, maybe less. It depends."

"So either way, I got to boot it like hell. It won't be too hard from here."

"That's the least of your worries. Once inside you can't rest you need to find cover. I can hack the system to open the door for you but a guard will come to investigate. You can't be seen."

"What about the cameras inside? On the outside you wouldn't think a place like this had any but I think we know better." Rayne watched as a guard circled around the perimeter of the building. In another ten minutes he'll be back again before disappearing for another thirty, just as scheduled.

"I've got you covered there. I've set the inside cameras to loop. The only think you have to worry about are the street cameras and the human eyes. Not to mention the lasers and-"

"Yea. Yea. I jump though hoops and navigate my way though the maze till I find the target. Sorry Sev. Have to cut you short. The clock is ticking." the dhampire said when the guard rounded the corner to the far side of the factory and out of her sight.

Severin cleared his throat. "Right. We should get going. Okay, on my mark. ...5....4..."

Rayne closed her eyes.

"....3..."

Took a deep breath.

"...2..."

She prepared herself for what was to come.

"...1..."

'It's go time.'

"...GO!"

Opening her eyes, the dhampire moved in a swift burst of supernatural speed, one that could out run an Olympic track runner in a heartbeat. Running, she notices the little light on the street cameras blinked out.

'Good' She thought. 'Now if he can just get the door open before I run right though it.'

The crash would definitely give away their advantage. Thirty seconds left, she passed the gate entrance. Sprinting across the lawn, she hugs the wall as close as she can without it taking off her own skin and takes a chance at a shape turn around the corner. The turn didn't go exactly as planned. The dhampirewas going so fast when she turned, her body kept going straight. She dug her spiked heels in to the ground hard, leaving deep groves on the lawn, but ultimately slowing down enough to complete theturn with no farther issue only to see that the door still had its red light on, signaling that it was still locked.

Rayne mentally yelled. There was no way she could slow down enough not to hit that door head on and possible ruin their mission.

Ten seconds left. She cursed as she counted down the seconds in her mind. She had no choice but to continue running and hope Severin doeshispart. Thankfully, not a moment too soon the door flashed green and opened automatically for her, leaving her with a straight shot to the receptionist's desk at the end of the entrance.

A noise caught the perimeter guard's attention. Reaching for his walkie-talkie, he radioed his team on the inside. "Uh blue leader, I think I heard a noise over your way. Over."

His radio cracked. "What kind of noise, green leader? Over."

"I'm not sure. It was like a door closing or something. Over."

"I'll check it out. Standby." His radio cracked in reply. The guard waited, his hand around the gun at his waist, not yet drawing the weapon but still having it ready. His wait wasn't very long. Soon the radio cracked again in his command's voice.

"Nothing here, green leader. Door's shut tight. Return to your post. Over"

The guard dropped his hand away from his weapon. "Roger that. Over."

Replacing his walkie-talkie, the guard turned back to his post....but not before a large shadow fell over him.

Inside the building, Raynereleased the breath she was holding and got up from behind the receptionist's desk. She had just made it in fast enough to make it though the door and behind the desk before one of the guards came looking. Luckily he didn't search long before dismissing the noises and returning to his post.

"Good work Rayne. Now there are too many guards in the hallways for you to just stroll right in, so you'll have to sneak your way through the vents until you reach a less crowded area." Her mic buzzed.

When Severin said no rest, he meant it.

It didn't take long to find the right vent to crawl though, the problem was getting it open. Normally Rayne wouldhavejust busted it open or ripped it apart but both ways were too noisy.

'This mission requires finesse…'

She mocked as she used her blades as a makeshift screwdriver. Hiding the vent cover behind the desk, the red head pulled herself into the 'bit more cramped than she would have liked' ventation shaft and started navigating her way though the steel maze.

The vents twisted though the factory/office building in two miles of winding steel. Luckily Rayne only got lost once and had to turn herself around, which wasn't easy when everything looked to same. It was the cleanest venation shaft she had ever seen. A bit behind schedule, the would be assassin exited the vents quietly and thankfully on the right floor. She did, however, exit out of the wrong shaft. The shaft she wanted was right next to her target's office where he was reported to be. The waysheexited was down the hall from there. Though it wasn't a big mistake but the red head wanted to hit herself over it. Witha sigh, she went down the hall to find her target.

"Stop!"

Rayne froze in place.

"Rayne, you exited too far over. The laser field is right in front of you. You can't see them but I can help you though them but you must do whatever I say, okay?"

"Dammit." Raynesighed. "Whatever you say o' fearless seer of the beams. What the hell is a place like this doing with this kind of equipment anyway?"

"This place is more than it seems. It's most likely hiding something. Either way we must moving."

"Right, command away then."

"I'm so glad I have you're approval."He replied sarcastically. "Right then, take three steps forward."

She did as she was told.

"Okay now it's just a jump the the left and a step to the right."

"Oh wait, let me guess. Next you're going to tell me to put me hands on my hip and pull me knees in tigh-"

"Dear god woman no! Stop it! This is no place for that!"

"......but you know it's really the pelvis thrust that drives you insane." Rayne laughed.

Severin groaned. "And I just go the time wrap out of my head. We are never watching that movie again."

Raynelaughed again. With the playful banter over they returned to their mission. After a series of flips, slides and the occasional slits, the would be assassin made it through the lasers without incident.

Finding his office wasn't hard. Her target was Davis A. La Moar, the CEO of the building she was currently in. As with most CEOs, his office had a big shiny label marking it. The 'I'm big boss, hear me roar' kind of label.

"Dumb ass" Raynesaid under her breath.

Touching her hand to the doorknob, the would be assassin stopped. Something…..didn't feel right. It was like an odd feeling in her gut. She couldn't explain it. She took a deep breath and frowned.

Blood, it wasn't heavy but it was still there. Rayne hadn't killed anybody, not even injured one, which was a miracle from God himself. Something had gone wrong here. She just knew it. Turning the knob, she found the door was unlocked.

'Whoever's in there could still be here.' Her logic told her.

Drawing one of her blades, she twisted the knob around and threw open the door. The smell of blood increased the second the door opened. The door must have blocked the smell. It was most likely sound proofed too.

On the floor behind the desk was a pair of legs bent in an unusual way. One foot didn't have a shoe and the other had a bit of blood on the sock. 'Oh don't tell me…' Rayne thought, moving around to the other side of the desk to see the body.

Immediately a stream of curses left the assassin's mouth. The body wasn't only dead. It was mutilated and ripped open like something wanted to feed on its organs. Only thing was….as far as Rayne could see all the body's organ were still intact. Whatever ripped this guy open must have been pissed. The red head, hoping she was wrong, went to see if she could identify the body. The man's face was covered in blood but seemingly intact. The same couldn't be said for his Armani suit.

"No way, you can return that suit now bub." Rayne said absently, digging in the remains of what use to be the suit's pockets. Finding what she was looking for, Rayneflipped open the slightly shredded wallet.

Once again she cursed, this time picking up one of the office chairs and smashing it against the wall. "DAMMIT!" She picked up the next chair.

The buzz in her ear slowed her rage before she could chunk it too.

"Judging by the background noise, I'm going to guess things aren't going according to plan."

Rayne growled. "You think, Severin? My target's already dead and I didn't do it! This is the fourthone Severin, the fourth one that was killed before I got here! It pisses me off!"

The poor chair Rayne held splinteredbeneath her grip. She stopped to take a calming breath. With her rage depleting, the dhampire noticed what she hadn't before. There was blood everywhere, all over the floor, the walls. How did she miss that? This guy must have been dragged all over the place. One things for sure, it was brutal.

"It wasn't pretty either, Severin. The guy looks like he was mulled by a bear for Pete's sake. This wasn't just an assignment for whoever did this. This looks personal. If not we're dealing with one fucked up individual."

Her mic was silent for a second before it started to pop.

"R-....rayn-.......ju---...-et....ra-ne? I....--an't......he--..-ou."

"Severin? What are you saying? Severin?" Rayne couldn't hear what he said and apparently he couldn't hear her either.

"Ray----………Stop--…--em."

'Dammit. Something's cutting us off…..That's not good.'

Before Rayne could finish her thought, a noise caught her attention. It was a small noise, so small a human would have missed it entirely.

It sounded like someone scuffing their shoes. The would be assassin turned towards the door she entered just minutes before. She could have know her outburst could have attracted some guard's attention.

'No' She realized. 'The sound would be louder if it was coming from out there....but that means the sound was coming from...'

Rayne closed her eyes ad felt the familiar shift in her mind. A little pressure in the back of her brain as her vision turned blue and the walls became transparent. Opening her eyes she scanned the walls of the office. Halfway though scanning the back wall she stopped. A Life-force came into view. One much bigger that a mouse. It seemed to be huddled on the floor doing.....something.

The red head decided it didn't matter. Whatever it was could be what was killing her target ...or someone that could lead her to them. Either way it worked in her favor. Walking to the wall she noticed there wasn't really a door there. It was more of a sliding wall.

'What's with the bad guys and their secret hallways?' She asked herself while entering the secret way. The wall slid away silently. Evidently this way was used often. So silently in fact that her prey didn't even notice her come in as the figure straighten from it's bent position.

'Black on black.' She thought, taking the figure in.

Black pants tucked into black boots, covered up in a black knee length trench coat. The black haired pixie cut and soft facial features told the dampire the figure was female. Her smell confirmed it. The female seemed completely unaware of Rayne's presence as she examined some blood on her black gloved finger tips.

"Rayne......The connection went haywire for a minute there, you okay?"

'Shit!'

The ear piece's tiny buzz was just loud enough to alert the female of her presence.

SKR-TANK!!!

Rayne stood perfectly still for a second before slowly turning her head to come within eye level of a large steel stake looking thing sticking out of wall inches from her head that sure ashell wasn't there a minute ago.

"Oh, I know you didn't just shot that at me." The slightly irritated dhampire said, ripping the stake out of the wall with one swift yank before tossing it back at it's owner.

The woman caught it, regarding Rayne with eyes that burned an unnatural liquid mercury. Without lowering her weapon, which was an over sized pistil big enough to shot steel shanks that made the dhampire wonder how the woman was holding it up, let alone where she was stashing it, the female practically hissed "Vampire."

Raynewas surprised the pistil whelding woman recognized the red head wasn't entirely human but her dhampire scenes told her the female wasn't either. Something was off about her. She just couldn't place it.

"Who the hell are--?" Rayne's question was cut off by a loud trashing sound farther down the hall. At the sound, the female seem to have lose all interest in the red head and ran toward the disturbance, quickly reloading her weapon with the shank Rayne threw at her and closing it with a sharp flick of her wrist.

The girl shouted over her shoulder at Rayne. "Get lost if you know what's good for you!"

"Oh hell no! Where do you think you're going?" Rayne's question was ignored.

She didn't like being ignored and she planned on getting some answers. Slightly more irritated than before, Rayne chased after her. The girl was fast, she'd give her that much. She followed her trail, always a couple of steps behind, until they reached a large open room filled with some tall cylinder structures.

'Must be the mixing room or somthing.'

Rayne slided her ear piece back in and tapped on it to see if Severin was still there.

He was. "Rayne what's goingon? Who's with you?"

Rayne didn't answer him. Instead she turned to speak to the female who had stopped running shortly after entering the room and was seemingly still ignoring her.

"Hey pixie cut, what the hell?"

Without looking at who had spoken to her, she replied. "You're still here? Don't you know how to listen? Stubborn Vamp." She said the last part to herself.

Rayne's eye twitched with annoyance.

The woman's mercury eyes continued to search though the room as she spoke again. "Look if you want to stay fine but keep out of my way. If you die here that's just once less thing that creeps in the night. No lost sleep for me."

The red headed assassin wasn't sure if she could continue talking to this chick, much less look at her without wanting to strangling her. Rayne almost lost her composure at that little crack but she was determind to find out who she was and her business here.

"Who the hell are you?"

Still the female didn't look at her. "Doesn't matter."

"Ask her what's she doing here, Rayne." Severin whispered to her so the other woman hear.

The would be assassin complied. "Well what the hell are you doing here then?"

"None of your concern, I'm sure. Not that you'd care."

Okay now she was just starting to piss her off.

"Believe it or not I do care, so I'll ask again. What are you doing in a place like this? What's your purpose here, pixie cut?"

This time the woman actually made eye contact with her and she didn't look too happy about it.

"Okay listen to me! I don't--" Her answer was stopped by the high pitched screech assassin's ear piece emitted right before a large blur came out of nowhere and smacked the black clanned woman clear across the room.

Rayne, rubbing her ear from the painful screech, measured up the creature in front of her.

'Okay what do we have here? Human-like appearance, 6'1", possible 6'2" when standing straight. Short black thinning hair, Blue slightly bloodshot eyes, suggestively male thank to his exposed chest. Firm muscle structure, possible works out. Age: late 20's, early 30's. No watches, tattoos or jewelry seen. Wears no shoes, shirt. Only pants. Blood stained pants. Four worn scars on the back, looks like burns. Apparent strength and speed beyond the look of , looks like fun.'

Finishing her slit second analysis, Rayne smiled and drew her blades. "Finally! Something to do!"

The creature barely even tilted it's down turned head to look at her before it attacked. It swiftly charged at her with unexpected speed, but Rayne was aware of him now and won't be caught off guard that easily. At the precise moment, the dhampire reacted with a downward swipe aimed at her oncoming target's head.

Unfortunately for Rayne, her blade never reach it's head. The creature sharply stopped a few feet in front of her and caught her attack by the blade. Surprised and slightly mortified, she tried to reclaim her weapon but to no avoid. No that it wasn't doing anything to it. Blood started dripping down from the creature's hand but it didn't seem to notice or even care.

Suddenly picking the red headed assassin up by one blade, her would be attacker delivered a kick to her stomach that sent her crashing into the far wall behind her, leaving a good sized dent. Folding over to groan in pain, Rayne watched as the creature stalked ever so calmly towards her, probably to finish the job.

SKR-TANK! SKR-TANK!

The creature figure shifted, opening it's mouth to roar in pain, it's pale gums filled with sharp pointed jagged teeth. It's blue irises expended, engulfing the white of his eyes and his pupils narrowed as he ripped out one of the two steel shanks sticking out of his lower back. Across the room, halfway risen off the floor from her layed out position, the black clanned woman aimed for another shot. Roaring once more, the creature's scars twitched and bulged until the skin extend far from his body, looking oddly like wings.

Finished with it's transformation, the now winged being threw the shank back at his attacker. The woman rolled quickly away to safety before rising up again to take a shot...but the creature was no longer there.

A door recently openned clattering into a wall was evidence that the winged being had fled. Screaming in frustration, the woman got to her feet to retrieve the shank that was thrown at her.

'Thing are finally getting interesting.' Rayne thought, prying herself off the wall. Pulling herself together, she tried to contact Severin but was only greeted by static.

"No point trying to contact anyone. That damn thing screws up the transmission whenever it's near by." The woman said, gathering some shanks from her belt.

The red headed assassin walked over to the woman reloading her weapon, the only thing really damaged was her ego for being caught off guard.

"Then gee, I wonder what 'that damn thing' was? Got any ideas, pixie cut?"

The woman, clearly outraged replied. "Dammit! If you hadn't distracted me he wouldn't have gotten away! I told you to leave. This is none of your concern."

Rayne rolled her eyes. "Sorry but I put anything that could easily punt me across a room as one of my concerns. Mind telling me what's going on here, pixie cut? It looks to me like that thing's gunnin' for ya and it's clear that you need some help."

"Just get the hell out of here vampire and go kill your innocence somewhere else! I got a job to do." And without another word, the woman turned her back on Rayne, running after the winged beast.

Now that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Fully enraged this time, Rayne quickly went after the woman.

She caught up with her about halfway up the stair cased hallway the door had led to, she confronted her. Thrusted the pistil whelding woman against the wall by her neck and cutting off all conversations with the dhampire's hand tightly around the woman's throat, her mercury colored eyes filled with fear.

"Two things. One, I don't go around killing the innocent and two, I'm Dhampire. Not VAMPIRE!" Rayne ended the last word by punching the wall a few inched from the woman's head, cracks appearing under her fist. The woman trembled slightly in her grip.

"Got it?"

The woman nodded her head eagerly like a frighten child. The red headed assassin figured her word got across to her.

"Will you answer my questions now?"

Another eager nod. Rayne loosened her grip but didn't let go.

"Good. Now, what are you doing here?"

"I was sent here to destroy the thing you saw earlier." The woman tried to answers calmly but failed.

" Did Brimstone send you?"

"What?" The woman clearly didn't know what that was.

Rayne figured that was the case. "Okay pixie cut, what is that thing exactly?"

"It is......." She hesitated.

The impatient dhampire lifted her off her feet with one hand.

Losing her composure again, the woman blurred. "It's an experiment from the lab......We call them angels."

"Angels?" Confused, Rayne sether back on her feet.

"Yes but not the saint kind. They're called that for the skin mutations on their back. They're like wings but they're not used for flying, only to enhance their speed and agility."

"Go on."

"The angels were part of Project Lazerath. A secret project put on by The Company to enhance the human body...but something went wrong. Due to their inhuman experimentation, their minds and bodies were warpped in someway, making them no longer human. After struggling to fix the problem, the test subjects became impatient and one escaped. It's been killing people ever since."

Now things were starting to come together. "Why kill these people?"

"We believe it wants vengeance. It's been tracking down certain members of The Company and has killed anybody that's gotten in it's way, to make sure what happened to it doesn't happen to anyone else. It killed Le Moar downstairs....I was too late."

"It makes scenes now. Your last three target were found dead because he beat you to them. Brimstone sent you after them on the grounds that they were part of some shady organization that was messing with something that they shouldn't have. Not all the members are known. The members they found had nothing in common other then they all ran big businesses and donated large funds to an unknown source. It must have been this "Company" she's talking about."Severin informed Rayne, as if she hadn't already figured that out. The mic was apparently working again.

"If these experiments they're conducting are as inhuman as you say, why stop him from elimination the rest of the Company? Sounds like the world would be a better place without them."

At Rayne's question, the woman's eyes hardened. "It must be done. The longer he lives, the longer he kills and the less he'll be able to relate to the human he use to be. At the beginning my mission was to bring him back before he reached the point of no return. He's natural ability to interrupt transmissions made him difficult to track, a bit too difficult. I was always two steps behind and that cost me dearly. Now he has strengthen to the point where The Company thinks he's too much of a liability and must be eliminated must fast then expected."

Before the dhampire could ask what she meant, the harden eyed woman explained and didn't sound to proud of it either.

"Due to the experiments, the subjects gained certain.....skills. This one adapted great strength and speed and more recently a high tolerance for pain. The very structure of his skin has changed as well. Unfortunately, those skills come with a price. Much to The Company's disdain, the angel's body couldn't sastian the repeated changes very well, shortening their lives substantially. The average matured angel's life span is less then a fourth of average humans. Pushing their bodies to continually transform for the extra boost of power as the lost angel has, has shortened his life span even more. The Company suspect at this point he has less than a week to live. Right now all he's doing is dodging fate."

'That puts everything in a new perceptive.'Rayne thought but it still didn't answer her question. "Then why not wait till he just dies out? Seem like a lot of trouble for something that's not worth it."

"NO!" The woman grabbed Rayne's hand to pull her away. "I can't do that! As long as that thing lives, SHE'S NOT SAFE! No body's safe! All my sacrifices will all be for nothing then!"

Her grip tightened alarmingly on the red head's wrist, not enough to get free but enough for Rayne to actually had to put forth an effort to keep her in her grip. Soon the woman started trashing. Lossening her hold, Rayne let her go. Clearly not expecting this, the trashing woman fell to the floor, loosing one of her steel shank but she made no move to retrive it, her shoulder slightly trembling.

There was a certain silence that streched between them. It would have lasted longer but Rayne wasn't that patient.

"Who is she? The one you're protecting?"

The red headed assassin's question made her flinch, as if talking about it brought her pain.

"She's......she's just another experiment. One of the younger ones." Though she meant to said it like it was nothing, it was obvious she was more than that. "She...she has no real name. The scientist marked her as expirment 00026 but I always called her 26 for short. I was her guardian. She was suppose to tell my everything so we could better the project. I..... if the escaped angel continues to draw attention to himself like this, it could expose the whole Company. The Company will do anything to keep it a secret. Even if that means destroying all evidence of their projects and I mean everything. The data, the labs....the experiments. ...26.....I can't let that happen. I even went as far as getting some prototype enhancement so I would stand more of a chance of defeating the loss angel. And no, before you ask, it won't turn me like them but it has some of the same effects."

Rayne was beginning to understand now, why she went out of her way for this."And what about your life?"

"Shortened as all the others but I think it was worth it. I'm stronger and fast then I've ever been, reguadless of the changes it did on me." The woman reached up to touch her eyes. "26 use to say I had the prettiest green eyes......but that doesn't matter now. I'm wasting time, I need to get going."

With that said, the woman picked herself back up, clear more determined. Turning to leave, Rayne stopped her again and handed the steel shank she dropped. "So, pixie cut, what's the game plan? I doubt he's prepared to take on the two of us."

The woman stared at her like she had grown a second head. "I.......misjudged you, greatly. I must apologize, all the vampires The company told us about were horrible bloodthirsty asshole."

Rayne raised an eyebrow. "You shouldn't always believe what you're told, pixie cut."

"That's obvious and stop calling me pixie cut. It's Kialya. Nothing more, nothing less."

The dhampire smiled. "Whatever you say and hey, I'm going to take a shot in the dark here and guess the Company's main goal is to find the key to immortality and all that jazz, right?"

Kialya gave her a startled look. "How did you know?"

"Just a feeling." Rayne shrugged.

--

On the roof, they quickly found the winged beast. It's breathing was heavy and the steel shank was still wedged in it's back. Attacking suddenly the creature charged at them. Rayne quickly took the offence and meet the creature head on. A clash of blades and fists on skin echoed off the building and into the night.

The creature stopped short, rearing up it grabbed Rayne by the throat and raised her into the air. Expecting this, she moved forward with her plan and stabbed her blade into the beast's stomach. Roaring, it tossed her away, leaving it's torso unguarded.

"Kialya! NOW!"

Hearing her signal, Kialya fires off several round of steel at the creature's chest.

SKR-TANK! SKR-TANK! SKR-TANK!

Two hit directly home in the beast's torso as the last one was unexpectedly caught in the creature's hands.

Cursing in surprise, she moved quickly to reload her weapon but by then the creature was already in front of her. Dropping her pistil, she gasped in shock as the beast stabbed her in the chest with her own shank before slowly pushing it in further, to purposely cause her more pain.

"Kialya!" Rayne grabbed the creature in attempts to pull him away but he wouldn't budge. She then stabbed him in the back while pulling on one of the shanks already in his back but he didn't seem to notice. He was too busy watching in sickly satisfaction as the blood rushing down Kialya's chest when he pushed the steel in further.

Kialya, in a last ditch effort, pulled out her hair clip and with the last of her strength stabbed it in the creature's shoulder. Letting go of the shank, the pain threw him off guard enough that the red headed assassin was able to actually pick him up and toss him away from them. The creature landed on his feet like a cat.

With her strength quickly draining, Kialya could no longer stand on her own. Luckily Rayne caught her and lowered her safely to the ground so she would receive no further damage.

"Nice going there but I don't think that's going to get the job done." Rayne joked.

Weakly lifting her arm, the bleeding woman pushed a few buttons on her watch. Her hair clip, currently still in the beast shoulder, began to beep shortly before exploding and taking off a chunk of the creature's skin and muscle.

"You had explosives? In your hair? This whole time?.... Where can I get one of those?"

The wounded woman smiled, blood starting to drip from her mouth. "I think you're right.... I missed. Hurry...He's heart is exposed....finish it....Please."

Just as requested, Rayne finished it quickly. Blade though the opening the explosion left, though the heart with no emotions playing on her face. The beast gaped at her, moving it's jaw idly.

Then in the last second before it died he spoke like he hadn't in a long time. "I.....I just...wanted...to stop....th-them."

Rayne's expressionless face didn't change. "Don't worry. I will."

The creature smiled as if to say thanks, a mere reflection of the human it once was, before the light faded from his eye and his life fell away.

Rayne then returned to Kialya to tell her it was done. "I'm sorry, I can't remove the spike without you bleeding to death even faster."

"It's okay. If I survived this I was only going to be able to live less then a year thanks to the enhancements. It's better this way..... It's better that you killed him now too. If we waited for his body to destroy itself...it would have been far worse."

Rayne was almost touched that the woman was trying to cheer her up, especially on her death bed."Think you could tell me anything about the Company? To stop this from happening again?"

The dying woman weakly shock her head.

"Oh come on. Are you going to make me torture it out of you? Not that you could really fight me now?" Rayne said jokingly.

The bleeding woman tried to laugh but only to give way to a bloody cough. "I didn't mean it that way. The Company is huge...nothing I can give you will help you find it.......I shouldn't have done this....Risking everything to save 26, to make her continue suffering by living out her existent as a lab rat......I should have just let her die....to find her own peace......But I couldn't...... She looked just like her......My little sister.....I couldn't bare to lose her again."

They sat in silence for a minute before it was interrupted by an explosion of color in the sky.

"Happy New Year." The woman muttered idly.

"What did she die from? Your sister?"

"Leukemia..... She fought though the whole thing. Dodging fate the whole time til it finally caught up with her.....I'm glad I get to go out fighting....like she did." The woman got quieter and quieter as she spoke, up until it was only whisper and even Rayne was having a hard time hearing her.

Sitting silently as she passed away, Rayne looked over at the creature. Surprisingly it's body had decompured rather repeatedly.

'Guess without he's will keeping it alive and moving, it just gave up.' Rayne thought grimly.

Rayne sat watching her fireworks until Severin called her out of her daze.

"Rayne?"

"I'm here, Severin. Mission accomplished."

"Well good.... Happy New Year then. Think of any new resolutions."Severin asked, trying to take Rayne's mind off things.

Rayne gave a small smile."Yes I think I have. My resolution this year is to live, to continue dodging fate. How about you?"

"Dodging fate, huh?.... I don't think I can compare to that one."

"I thought so. Hey, how about you get me some exploding hair clips? I hear they're all the rage now in days."

He sighed thankfully, sure his partner was okay now. Severin laughed."Yeah, I don't think so."