Vampire Plagues 8: Beijing

Beijing, January 1 2001

It was New Year's Eve, and Jack Cole Kowalski-Harkett was standing alone on top of a clock tower. With his ninja skills, nobody had spotted him. They were all looking at the fireworks and rock concerts at Beijing's Solana Blue Harbor Shopping Park.

After his fourteenth birthday on 26th December, Jack had seriously trained up and looked as tough a warrior as he felt. He is no longer the charming little rascal in the orphanage—he is now the heir of the de Montargis family, after the tragic kidnapping of Dominique and the automobile "accident" that claimed the lives of the Vicomte and his wife. Although he did not know them very long, Jack felt sad that he could not live a normal family life with Ben and Emily.

Prof Gabriel Pansneda, the nephew of Ben and Emily's Gramp Pansneda, is now their legal guardian. Technically, Em is not reported missing, and is "studying" in Beijing's private school as a transfer student. Off the paperwork, however, Count Dracula's reincarnation, Varlimdi, has stolen Emily and forced her to be with him. He is now bringing her on a tour around the world in the hopes that she would remember her love for him and willingly become a vampire. The other Dracula's brides had kidnapped Dominique because they knew Ben would come after them, and they want Jack and Ben separated.

Jack grimaced as he remembered how he lost Em, nearly one year ago…

Ben was on an overnight trip to Romania, to find Varlimdi and kill him before it was too late. Jack had easily dispatched the remaining vampires of New York, who turn in dust and finally ended up as missing people posters on the back of serial boxes.

Jack had finally got home when he saw the Vicomte and his wife pacing the hall, anxiously muttering in French. "Where is she?" Screamed the vicomtesse when she saw Jack.

Jack was feeling touched that she cared so much about Em. "Em is—"

"Not her! I mean my precious Dominique!"

"What?" Isn't Dominique supposed to be sent home safely by Prof Pansneda? Jack hurriedly voiced his doubts. Just then, his phone rang.

"Jack!" It was Prof Pansneda! "My car was attacked by bats! They, They lifted off Dominique. You have to tell the Vicomte the truth, I'm sorry. They are bringing her to Romania as well. I am already in the airport. With luck, I can catch up to Ben. Tell the Vicomte, he might have a private plane."

Jack's mind reeled. Why would they need Dominique? Is it because she's Lucy? Or they needed someone to threaten Em? But he already got Ben to threaten Em with!

"Look, both of you, Dominique and Em have both been captured by 'the evil vampire cult leader' in school, they're making an escape to Romania and had to grab Dominique and Em as hostages. Ben is already on a flight there. I was accosted by brainwashed cult members so I was late."

The vicomtesse fainted. The vicomte turned very white for a moment, then barked to his butler. "Martin! Prepare the Rolls-Royce. We have a plane to catch." The butler scurried off. The vicomte nodded gravely to Jack. "I promise, we WILL get back Dominique and Emily.

Jack blinked as he remembered the horrible events after that… the Rolls-Royce being attacked by giant bats, the car banging into a concrete wall, throwing him out of the flaming carcass, and losing consciousness.

Similarly, Ben, who was doing the more 'social' activity of mingling with the crowd, felt a familiar twinge of guilt. Beside him, Prof Pansneda was looking grim. "I don't see anyone. I don't recognize them anyway. Besides, there's only Chinese people here."

Ben was lost in his reverie. One year ago, when he had arrived, he was surprised to see 2 black clad creatures sent to 'pick him up'. Luckily, somehow Prof Pansneda was behind him, and together they managed to quietly stab the vampires with a wooden stake.

Together, they had to try out Prof Pansneda's flying glider prototype and almost dashed themselves to death against the craggy rock face of Dracula's castle. Finally, they arrived at the dungeons, and saw countless vampires gathered there. Brave Prof Pansneda took out his UV laser light (He used the de-excitation of atoms to an even lower ground state, causing the energy emitted to be higher, and thus wavelength is proportionally lower, to form a UV laser) and light-sabered the vampires to death. Meanwhile, Ben was hoping to catch Varlimdi unawares.

Unfortunately, Varlimdi merely had Dominique brought against him, and released her rope to fall into a pit of knives. Ben, who could not stand by and idly watch someone die, had to save her. Varlimdi grabbed Emily and whispered "How about spending your New Year in Bei Jing?" before flying off, cracking manic jokes about tough steaks.

After Prof Pansneda has scared away the vampires, he carried Dominique and Ben home, and made Jack and Ben promise to train first before they fight again, one year later.

Suddenly, a tall muscular man with blazing red eyes jumped on top of the stage. The rock stars stopped singing and looked at him. The man howled "Shezmu has come to rip off your heads and slurp your blood!"

On top, Jack smirked as he unsheathed his specially made Tsurugi, or Jian, sword. There's a special notch for him to prick his finger, for he learnt that his blood was poisonous to vampires after splashing some by accident after he was thrown out of the car. "Shezmu, the Egyptian god of Blood. I wonder what relation he has with Dracula." With that, he jumped off the church top, aiming straight for the stage.

Ben muttered "Showoff, now is not the time for stage diving!" before whipping out his giant claymore from his back. Prof Pansneda clicked on his UV (actually invisible) light saber. Together, they charged.