Many years later I remember my first experience with ice. I was a little boy back then, no more than six or seven. It was
the first time in my life that I had ever been left out in the snow. There were maimed bodies lying near me, covered in
blood. All around me, people were fighting. The townspeople used pitchforks and torches to ward back the dark figures that I
now realize were vampires.

My elder brother had been a constable of the city who had joined the fight. Our parents had abandoned the two of us
shortly after I was born due to a dark curse they believed we both had, and my much older brother begged and struggled to
feed us both. As we grew a little older, we became more established. My capable brother married his childhood sweetheart
just before joining the constabulary at a young age. He rose through their ranks in a very short time period due to his
sharp mind and remarkable abilities. However, they were all unprepared for the horrors that had suddenly befallen the
town. The brave protectors of the besieged city first fought back by using their muskets against the vampires to no effect;
the lead balls tearing straight through their undead flesh without stopping them. As the townsfolk started being torn and
drank dry all around him, the constable realized the helplessness of saving our town. When the resistance started dying
down into a series of grisly deaths and all hope was lost, he picked me up in his arms and took the hand of his beautiful
wife and rushed us to the stables. When we found the horses killed by vampires, my brother tried to protect the three of us
as he led us towards the church.

We had almost escaped the slaughter together. My brother had fought back against the horde in a way that l have never
seen anyone fight before in all my life, killing nearly all the vampires in our way. Vampires fell one by one or two at a time
as my brother pressed onwards, gripping an iron sword tightly in his hands. But the more vampires he slew, the more
vampires he attracted. In the end the young constable only succeeded in accomplishing one of his three goals before he
succumbed to the onslaught as we were suddenly surrounded, sacrificing his own life to save me, his only remaining family
member by blood. He put his own crucifix around my neck moments before his blood was drained right before my very eyes.
Soon afterwards, his wife was ripped apart near the body of the man she loved even as she screamed for me to run.

I ran towards the countryside, horrified and crying. My small size had kept me from becoming noticed by the horrors. I
stumbled and fell face-first into the snow-covered ground. I remembered looking up and seeing a villager plunge a pitchfork
into a vampire. The vampire howled, lifted the villager by the neck, and tore his throat open with both hands. Blood spurted
out and fell all over my face as another villager cried out and rushed forward. The villager thrust a torch into the vampire's
back. The vampire shrieked and burst into flames. I saw a dark figure suddenly appear behind the villager. I wanted to cry
out, but my soft voice couldn't be heard over the cries of the doomed townspeople and the shrieks of the rampaging
vampires. I could only watch in horror as the vampire grabbed the villager in one quick motion, tilted his neck, sank its
fangs in, and drank his blood. I was shivering from the cold. It was like a thousand needles pricked my icy skin. Snowflakes
covered my brown hair as I lay on the ground. My whole face were numb from the cold. I could taste the salty
blood-drenched snow and smell the faint stench of blood over the cold ice. The tears streaming down my cheeks became
frozen, along with my blue eyes.

That was many centuries ago, but I can still remember what happened on that one fateful night in the ancient city. My only
family has been destroyed, as has my name. I vowed revenge and have waited for this new night to come ever since.
Tonight is the night in which I will fight. I shall stand strong against the horror that will come for me, for it will be like none
other I have faced.

Help me rid this world of all evil. Or help me die trying. So help me God.

-Vincent


                                   * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


The bright moon was visible high in the night sky above the dark clouds. The cold winds rustled fallen leaves through
the old abandoned lot. It was empty except for a lone dark figure staggering from the woods. Officer Brian Reaper
noticed the dark form as he crossed the empty street. The figure seemed to be carrying something in its arms- it
wasn't too visible in the thin mist, but it appeared to be a body. Brian turned and slowly approached the figure,
feeling the cold winds rustle past his handsome face, blowing his blond hair backwards. He saw the eyes of the figure
glowing bright yellow. It appeared to wobble clumsily, making soft moaning sounds.

As Brian crept closer, he discovered that the thing the figure was carrying was the bloody, battered body of a young
woman. His eyes widened even more when he noticed that the walking figure was a rotting, muscular corpse. It was
covered with huge scars and the patrolman could see bones sticking out of the creature's decayed, dark-colored
flesh. It was dressed in torn rags and had a stench which could be smelled from a distance away. Brian drew his 9mm
pistol and aimed it at the figure.

"Police! Release her!" the police officer shouted, his face expressionless.

The figure turned and gazed at Brian with its glowing, yellow eyes. It howled, and the cop saw blood dripping from its
sharp, long teeth. It dropped the body and started advancing towards the young-looking police officer.

"Freeze!"

The gruesome creature kept on approaching with surprising agility despite its clumsy motions. Brian swore as it came
within his 21-foot threat zone and fired into the center mass of the creature. The thing howled as the round tore
through it, but it just kept lumbering closer. Brian raised his gun and blasted two shots into its head. Small pieces of
its brains flew into the air. The zombie collapsed from the double tap.

Brian cautiously and methodically stepped towards the body. The moonlight was shining brightly and it had never
been a problem for him to see well in the darkness without a flashlight. He noticed some stuff lying on the ground: a
bloody pair of socks and a book on Shakespeare. The pale officer saw an iron fork and spoon jutting out the neck of
the pretty woman and realized with a sickening thought that the zombie had been eating her. Her lifeless, open eyes
stared blankly into the dark sky. Her body seemed to be fading into the long grass, due to the darkness.

With his eyes still gazed on the corpse, Brian took out his radio and spoke. "Dispatch, Frank three-six. I'm at the
corner of Maple Street and Madison. I got a ten fifty-three. One bystander down and one suspect down. Code eight,
send backup immediately. Over."

No response.

"Radio check." The officer waited a short while until he heard the crackle of the radio and an eerie voice which
followed.

"
Everyone is dead."

"Dispatch, ten thirty-seven. Who is this? Over."

"
Soon, you will join us," the croaky, sinister whisper sounded again.

"I'll be seeing you soon," Brian swore calmly. The radio sputtered, then went silent.

As the officer placed the radio back in its pouch, he saw the zombie start to rise up. Brian lunged forward and
delivered an uppercut to its chin. The zombie's bottom jaw went flying. Brian kicked it in the groin and felt his boot
squish into the corpse's flesh. The zombie pulled back its right arm across its torso and delivered a strong backhand
blow, sending him flying backwards into the air.

Brian landed on his back ten feet away from the zombie, his gun instantly in his hands. As the freakish thing rushed
towards Brian, the police officer fired a couple of rapid shots which struck the zombie in both of its glowing yellow
eyes. The zombie crumpled to the dirt ground. Brian got up and heard a twig snap behind him. He turned around and
pointed his gun at the approaching figure.

"Police," Brian shouted. "Stop right there!" A bright flashlight beam shone on his eyes and blinded him. Brian dropped
to the ground, rolled to his side, and rose to his knee, his gun still pointed at the stranger.

"Reaper, wait! Hold your fire!" Brian recognized the voice and saw an older grey-haired police officer. He lowered his
gun.

"Jason, how did you find me?"

"I heard you over the radio," his partner explained, his voice quivering a little. "Our squad car has been totaled. Let's
go Brian, this whole city's being taken over by zombies!"

Brian stood up and followed Jason. The two police officers sprinted across the dark street, encountering several
monstrous zombies hobbling about. They all had glowing yellow eyes like the first one and were also strangely
muscular for rotting corpses, their muscles seeming relatively fresh. The gruesome beasts turned and staggered
towards the police officers. Brian lifted his pistol and fired at the zombies. Jason drew his pistol from his holster and
grabbed his partner by the arm, tugging him.

"I'll help you get to the bottom of this, Brian. Let's get the fuck out of here!"

A SWAT van suddenly appeared and pulled over near the zombies. The van doors opened and a gas-masked SWAT
team busted out, spraying the creatures with bullets from their submachine guns. The undead beings moaned and
started collapsing. Brian recognized the team, having once been on it for a short time. He rushed towards the SWAT
team, but one of the team members turned towards him and motioned him to go the other direction with a hand
signal.

"What's going on?" Brian yelled as he and Jason turned to run the opposite way. "We needed to get some
hollow-point rounds! These full-metal-jackets don't have much stopping power against these things."

"We're on a special assignment and there isn't much time. We need to get going to the university. We can stock up
on more ammo and get a ride somewhere else. Follow me, and I'll fill you in once we get there."

They both turned around the corner of a building. BLAM! BLAM! ratatatatat! BLAM! Brian could hear gunfire
everywhere. There were loud screams coming from people, too. To his right, Brian saw a headless zombie chasing
after a teenage gang member. Brian aimed at the zombie and fired several times. The beheaded being staggered a
little bit. The teenager kept running then turned right and disappeared into a dark alleyway, the zombie still chasing
after him. A police canine was chasing after the zombie, trying to bite it. Brian turned to his left and saw a zombie lift
up a struggling man by the throat.

"Cover me!" Brian shouted.

The two police officers aimed their pistols at the decayed corpse as Brian advanced slowly towards it. The man was
trying to claw at the corpse's eyes. The zombie reached up, snapped off a tree branch with its free hand, and thrust it
into the man's chest. The man shrieked and went limp. The zombie then dropped the body, hissed, and lunged at
Brian. Jason fired repeatedly into the zombie's center of mass. The 9mm full-metal-jacket rounds only tore through its
raw flesh without slowing it down.

Crying out loudly, Brian leapt forward and tore the zombie's left arm off its sockets. The zombie twisted and swung its
other arm at Brian. The officer stepped away from the blow and stuck two of his fingers into the zombie's glowing
yellow eyes. His fingers burned slightly and the zombie collapsed on the sidewalk, still quivering. It reached out and
grabbed Brian's left ankle tightly with its one arm. He raised his foot and stomped hard on the zombie's head. There
was a squishing sound as the back of the zombie's head got flattened, and then the head went flying off its body as
Brian gave it a hard kick.

As Brian started to run, the body of a big man was suddenly hurled through a brick wall nearby and struck Brian,
knocking him to the ground. He quickly rolled over and gazed at the hole in the wall. There was a zombie climbing out
through the hole holding a cross in its hand. The big man started screaming frantically as Jason rushed forward and
gave the zombie a punch in the face. The zombie knocked Jason aside, howled, and threw the cross at the big man.
The long part of the cross struck the big man between the eyes, cutting his screams to an abrupt halt.

Brian stood up and drew out his billy club. The zombie tried to sink its long, sharp teeth into Brian's chest, but it
couldn't penetrate the titanium-coated bulletproof vest he was wearing. Brian stepped backwards, bashed in the
zombie's skull with one swing of his truncheon and then gave it a powerful kick in the ribs, separating it. A few bones
crunched as the upper half of the zombie went flying into the air. Brian turned and saw that the body of the big man
was turning into grey-colored dust. The man impaled earlier by the tree branch was already completely turned to fine
dust, steadily blowing away into the soft winds.

"It didn't really attack you," Brian said as he turned towards Jason. "Then why did it attack me? What's happening to
all the people it killed?"

"These freaks attack some people, not everyone. I guess I'm just not one of them. They attack them in weird ways,
like: setting them on fire, wooden stake through their chest, iron blades, and whatever else apart from tearing them
up. Everyone they killed has been turning into dust. These
things must be really biohazardous or something." Jason
turned to look Brian in the eye. "What I want to know is how did you take on the zombie? It had the strength of
nearly five men."

Brian didn't know what to say. "I have my secrets. Let's get going."

"What do you mean?" Jason demanded. "From what I've seen, everyone these zombies attacked has been fighting
back with seemingly superhuman strength. What's your secret?"

"Steroids," Brian confessed innocently, knowing that his partner would buy the lie. He bent and picked up the cross
from the fine pile of dust which had once been the big man. It emitted a slight heat onto his hand. "Now, as I said,
let's get going."

As Jason turned his back to his blond partner, Brian snapped the cross into two pieces. He followed Jason for a short
distance passing some hastily set up barricades. Screams and shots could still be heard everywhere. They finally
approached a police car where two other police officers were blasting away at a horde of zombies with a pistol and a
shotgun. The wretched mass of walking bodies was staggering past the officers as though they weren't even there.

"Here we are!" Jason shouted.

The zombies suddenly turned towards Brian and started staggering towards him. Jason aimed his gun at the
monsters and started firing as Brian drew out his gun. The radio on his belt suddenly crackled to life.

"
You are dead to this world." It was the eerie whisper again. "You will pay for what you have done. You shall pay with all
that remains of your life.
" Brian aimed his gun at the zombies and started firing with amazing accuracy, not missing
once.

"Give me your best shot." Brian replied smoothly. Click! Click! The pistol went empty. Brian grabbed a new magazine
from his ammo pouch, reloaded his gun quickly, and started firing again.

"
You are ignorant of the past," the cold voice spat in anger, still a little more than a whisper. "You now hide among those
humans whom you prey on.
" The tone of the whisper was increasing a notch. "These servants of mine are after you. If
they do not tear you apart, then I will be slaying you myself.
"

"I will find you." Brian promised as the radio crackled out.

Brian and Jason took several steps backwards while firing as the freaks advanced closer. A zombie suddenly
appeared behind Brian, grabbed him by the neck and lifted him up. The officer lifted up his leg, kicked a hole into the
creature's chest, and then drew out a small, tactical knife from a sheath on his belt. Jason leapt onto the creature's
back and clutched its throat. Brian hacked at the zombie's arms with his knife until the arms separated. The zombie
uttered a silent wail as Brian grabbed its head and ripped it off.

Another zombie rushed towards him. Brian dropped to the ground and slashed off the corpse's legs with one powerful
swing. The thick blade swiftly glided through both of its decayed kneecaps like a hot knife through butter. The zombie
made a snake-like hissing sound as it collapsed to the ground and started crawling towards Brian on its arms and
thighs. Brian picked up the zombie by its torso and hurled it over a trash can fifteen feet away.

The former SWAT officer turned to face the other zombies but Jason grabbed him and pushed him into the back seat
of the squad car. Jason leapt into the police car after him and closed the door as the other two cops rushed into the
front seats. As the engines started, one zombie smashed through a side window just before Brian blasted it in the
face with his gun. Another zombie grabbed the car bumper and lifted up the front end of the car, preventing their
escape as the other walking nightmares drew closer. Brian leaned out the broken window and fired several times into
the zombie's legs. The wretched body collapsed and got crushed below and the police car sped on with sirens
blazing. An eerie white noise was being emitted from the car radio.

"The National Guard will be here soon to take care of them." The pretty female cop who was driving spoke as they
sped through the dark streets. "Zombies are attacking people worldwide."

A giant zombie suddenly appeared in front of them from the thickening fog and she swerved the car to avoid it. The
police car started to speed by a dark cemetery shrouded in heavy mist, where corpses were rising up from their
graves. Two squad cars suddenly appeared from the mist and plowed through the cemetery gates. BLAM! BLAM! Brian
heard gunfire and saw muzzle flashes from inside the cemetery. The fog thinned down as they sped further away.

"We were supposed to head over to the university and assist the campus police to protect those kids from these
mothafucking things," the young, black cop in the passenger's seat explained. "But then the radio stopped working
and we lost all communication with headquarters. And then we heard your distress call Brian, and that electronic voice
phenomenon or whatever. Whoever's been talking to you is really spooky. Dunno what he meant. There must be
something going on at the police station and I think we should be heading back over there right now." Another
zombie loomed before them.

"No," Brian objected, hoping that neither one of them take a close look at the rear-view mirror. "We've got to go to
the university now."

The zombie got hit by the car and splattered like a bag of meat.

"He's right," Jason agreed. "HQ said there was something even stranger going on there. We were ordered to
investigate it."

"Alright," The redhead driver accepted. "Then let's get over there and protect those kids."

The police car banked sharply to the right, running over several more zombies. Brian heard explosions in the far
distance. He looked out the window and saw several military helicopters buzz by above him. To his left, a squad of
police officers fully clad in riot gear was struggling with a large gang of zombies in front of City Hall. Police
sharpshooters had been deployed on the roof of the tall building, sniping at the zombies below with high-powered
rounds.

"This is why the Second Amendment is needed," the rookie cop riding shotgun remarked as he blasted at zombies
with his pistol through the car window. He was a good shot, but he couldn't compare to Brian.

"No shit, stop wasting ammo," his seasoned partner snapped. Her eyes were focused on the road as she
maneuvered the squad car through the nocturnal urban chaos at top speed, passing by a few upturned vehicles on
the street. "You boys better load up on all the ammunition left in the car, because we're about to be in for quite a
fight."

Brian turned his head to the right and saw an old lady rushing at a zombie with a butcher knife. The woman hacked
pieces of flesh away from the zombie, but the monster grabbed her neck and spat a pool of clear liquid into her face.
The woman screamed as her face melted.

The police car drove past them and plowed through the front gates of the university where a pitch battle between
students, zombies, and campus security was taking place. The zombies were ignoring some students, while ripping
others to shreds.

"Let's go!" Jason shouted.

The driver turned the steering wheel with her steady hands in such a way that the car ran over a couple of zombies
and then skidded sideways to a stop. The four cops got out and joined the battle. Brian suddenly felt an ominous,
dark presence somewhere on the campus. He always trusted his senses. Brian quickly reached into the car and pulled
out the shotgun. The battle between the horde of zombies and students was intense. Brian knew that he wasn't
likely to survive if he stayed in the fray for too long.

He started to run past the zombies and students, blasting the zombies that got in this way. One boy lying on the
ground reached out and grabbed Brian's leg just as a zombie drove a stake through his chest. Brian lifted his
12-gauge shotgun and blew the zombie's knees off. As the zombie fell, Brian pumped and blew its head into pieces.
He kept on running. Brian's radio crackled again.

"
You see my plans do you not, Reaper?" The croaky voice whispered. It would normally be difficult to hear the words
due to the chaos going on all around him, but Brian was able to make out each syllable with his unnaturally sharp
hearing. "
I have summoned these corpses from their grave and made them my servants. Their orders are to destroy all
vampires. They have harmed no innocent beings. Soon, the world will be completely purged of vampires like yourself. You
shall harm mankind no longer.
"

"Who are you?" Brian was curious but wasn't the slightest bit afraid.

"
You shall find that out when you meet me. You know where I am. Other vampires have tried to precede you, but I have
burned them all. You, however, are stronger than the other vampires. I know who you are and how you futilely strive to
repeat your former life. You can survive if you stand in sunlight, see a cross, touch holy water, or get cut by a iron blade.
You are a Vampire Lord, Brian Reaper. And I will burn you as I did the other vampires.
" The radio crackled and then went
dead.

Brian ripped off his badge and threw it onto the ground. He kept running until he reached a huge, black, tank-like
Hummer which was parked right outside a run-down, two-story campus building. Brian glanced at the vehicle's red
license plate number:

N0 RDMPT


He rushed around the corner of the building towards the entrance side and saw several zombies and vampires
tearing each other apart. The body parts of vampires and zombies flew everywhere until only a few zombies were left
standing. Brian lifted his shotgun and blew away the head of one zombie. He then turned and swung the butt-stock
of his shotgun like a baseball bat, whacking the head off another standing corpse. A third zombie grabbed Brian's
head from behind and started to twist his neck, trying to separate his head. Brian ripped its arms off, turned around,
lifted the zombie by the neck, and threw it through the closed, wooden door of the building.

A fourth zombie popped up near him and spat a pool of holy water onto his arm. Brian howled and then cursed in pain
as part of his undead flesh start to melt. He lifted his leg and delivered a swift kick to the zombie's head which
knocked it back with such an impact that its head was just loosely hanging from the back of its neck. Still standing,
the nearly headless monster yanked off its left arm and swung it powerfully at Brian. Brian stood his ground, ducking
easily from the blow. He got up and plunged the hand of his uninjured arm deep into the zombie's chest, trying to find
the heart of the monster.

A group of vampires suddenly emerged from all around, brushed past Brian, and rushed through the now-broken
doors into the building. Brian could hear screams and loud hisses coming from within the building as he tore the
zombie apart with his bare hands. A battle was taking place inside the building. A couple of vampires rushed out of
the building, covered in flames. They ran only a few paces before they collapsed. The burning body of a third vampire
was thrown out through the opened doorway.

Brian looked upwards and saw a yellow, sun-like glow illuminating through a window on the second story of the
building. He leapt high into the air and crashed in through the second floor window. As he rolled forward and got up,
the vampire saw that there was a strange topaz amulet glowing at the center of the room. It was the same yellow
color as the eyes of the zombies. Brian leapt forward to grab it, but he realized all too late that he was standing on a
trap door. The floor beneath him collapsed. Brian released his grip on the shotgun as he started falling and landed
crouching low near the feet of a heavyset man.

The vampire looked up and saw that the man was wearing a metal welding mask and carrying a huge flamethrower.
He was covered in ashes from vampires burning all around them. The man looked down at Brian and then aimed the
flamethrower at him. Brian rolled out of the way to dodge the flames, but it was coming out in very thick bursts. Brian
swung his arms quickly to ward the flames off his sleeves. The man was silent as he blew another burst of flame at
the vampire, who quickly leapt away from the flames.

"I see that you have found me at last, Vampire Lord." The man spoke softly with an accent as he fired another burst
of fire towards Brian. "My name is Vincent. You vampires destroyed my family long ago, and now I am going to rid the
world of all you." A wave of flames caught Brian and he struggled to wave the flames off. The name and voice
sounded oddly familiar, but Brian couldn't pinpoint it.

"You made a big mistake," Brian hissed back, his voice surprisingly calm as always. "You are the one who is about to
get a one-way trip to Hell."

He drew his pistol in a sudden blur, aimed it at Vincent for a split-second, and fired several well-accurate shots. His
shots had always been perfect due to his aim being unaffected by any breathing, combined with his death-like steady
hands and tactical expertise. The wizard covered himself and staggered backwards as he was struck repeatedly by
the rounds, but the hollow-point bullets only ricocheted off his welding mask and thick metal body armor.

Brian glanced around the big room for some sort of cover, but couldn't find any. The radio at his belt suddenly came to
life with frantic messages from the 911-dispatchers and distress calls from other cops elsewhere in various parts
about the city before signal began drowning back into static once again, taken over by the white noise. The ex-police
officer knew that this fight needed to be over quick.

"No, I can defeat you!" Vincent shouted. Brian leapt out of the way as another wave of flame headed towards him. "I
will rid the world of the few remaining Vampire Lords. First I start with you, Brian Reaper. I want to free you first from
our curse."

The whole room was ablaze in flames. The glass on Vincent's mask gleamed in the fire. It was getting harder to see
each other through the smoke. Vincent started spraying the fire continuously, turning the stream of flames towards
the vampire. Brian leapt off the walls and escaped away from the direction of the stream. All of the sudden the
flamethrower sputtered down, having run out of fuel. In an instant, Brian flew at his foe with lightning speed. Vincent
took a step back and bludgeoned the dark-hearted being across the face with the handle of his flamethrower,
slowing down the vampire's advance only briefly. Brian knocked the weapon out of Vincent's hands, then gripped
Vincent tightly by the neck and lifted him up.

The powerful vampire's hands transformed into a claw-like, rigid form and blood began seeping freely downwards
from his victim's throat as Brian's sharp fingertips punctured into it. There was a band of garlic cloves with a shiny
crucifix looped around Vincent's neck, sucking the strength out of the vampire's hands. Vincent kneed Brian hard in
the chin, loosening the death grip on his throat. The ancient vigilante then grabbed Brian and used his own
supernatural strength to fling the Vampire Lord back against the far wall. Vincent drew a long iron dagger from a
holder at his waist and charged towards his opponent, surprisingly fast despite his heavy load. Brian saw his chance
and leapt high into the air up through the trap door which he had fallen from.

"No!" Vincent screamed.

Vincent threw the iron dagger up through the hole in the ceiling after Brian. It sailed through the smoke and struck
the vampire in the leg. Brian winced in pain as he yanked the knife out of his thigh. Zombies suddenly appeared all
around him, trying to surround him. Brian limped his way towards the amulet, slashing at the groping zombies
viciously. As Brian approached the amulet, he raised his arm and drove the iron dagger into the amulet, shattering it
into a million pieces. The zombies started wailing as they collapsed to the ground and then lay motionless, the yellow
glow disappearing from their eyes. Their bodies started rotting rapidly into piles of black dirt among dark-colored
bones. Vincent suddenly appeared from the top of the stairway.

"I may be no match for you, monster," Vincent snarled, holding his newly refueled flamethrower high. Although the
wizard's chest was caked crimson with his own blood, the wounds to his throat were healing rapidly. "But at least I
will take you out with me, even if it costs me my life right here!"

Vincent sprayed flames wildly at Brian. The undead lord dodged aside and quickly hurled the knife towards Vincent's
exposed throat. Vincent moved fast to deflect the knife. Brian then quickly turned, dove on his shotgun, and rolled
forward. He got up and fired. Most of the pellets from the blast struck Vincent on the edge of his welding mask,
chipping away a large portion of it along with a shower of sparks.

Brian briefly saw Vincent's face for the first time. Vincent had a frighteningly-familiar young-looking and handsome face
like Brian's. It seemed to be horrifically frozen into a permanent frightened expression. His sandy brown hair barely
came down to his wide, blue eyes. Brian thought he recognized the face, but it seemed to fade away as all aspects of
his past life eventually did.

The force from the shotgun blast against the side of his mask forced Vincent to violently spin around, nearly breaking
his neck. Brian pumped and fired again, this time at the fuel tank that Vincent was wearing on his back for his
flamethrower. There were more sparks combined with the hiss of leaking fuel coming out from the punctured tank.
Vincent stumbled forward as the shotgun pellets struck his back and he involuntarily discharged a burst of flame
towards his feet, setting his own legs on fire.

With the fire quickly engulfing his whole body, the burning wizard screamed and started to rush towards the vampire.
Brian braced and prepared to leap out of the way of his once-suicidal enemy. Vincent had only gone a few steps
before the fuel tank strapped to his back suddenly ignited. The tank blew up in a huge and brilliant explosion, blowing
him into pieces and throwing Brian out through the window which he had crashed in from earlier.

Brian lay motionless on the ground in front of the burning building. For a long moment he appeared dazed, staring up
at the pale moon resting in the night sky as thin strands of smoke arose from his tattered, charred uniform and
dissipate into the misty air.

"...
psst..." There was a white noise of static coming from the radio on his belt. Even with his sharp hearing, Brian could
barely make out the faint, distorted words of a familiar, distinct voice. "...
Becky is in heaven... waiting for you... save
yourself
..."

The battered radio made a loud crackling sound. Tiny sparks flew out from it and the radio died out for the last time.

"Vincent...Reaper..." Brian softly murmured at the destroyed radio. He closed his eyes in revelation. "I know you. You
were my only brother."

It had been several lifetimes ago. Brian knew he had been dead to his younger sibling ever since that one night long
ago. It was his previous life as a lawman that he had so badly wanted to repeat; even as he was forever taken so
violently from his wife and brother and the rest of humanity; a life that he knew was long gone from him. An afterlife
that was forever closed. Then, as a familiar dark and predatory feeling swept over him yet again, Brian was taken
over by his instincts and his brother was already dead to him.

Brian opened his eyes as he sensed somebody else near him. He suddenly felt someone calling to him and helping
him up. Refocusing his eyes, he saw that it was Jason.

"Brian," Jason gasped. The fight with the zombies must have tired him. "All the zombies suddenly turned into sawdust
or something... radio frequency finally came back on, but I couldn't hear it very well in the fight. The operators back at
HQ were trying to warn us of some new threat... a Vampire Lord or something... and that some kind of special elite
military team which deals with the paranormal is coming on its way here to hunt it down."

He huffed for air just as Brian started reloading.

"Couldn't really make it out after that, Brian... but I could have sworn that your name was mentioned in there
somewhere. But the noises stopped and our radios suddenly broke down all at once. I was looking all over for you.
You look like shit... what happened? You okay?"

"I'm just thirsty," Brian said as he finished reloading his weapons. He knew all too well that he couldn't stay here for
long. He looked around. There was nobody else in sight. "I need something to drink." Then suddenly, without
warning, Brian grabbed Jason by the throat and sunk his long, sharp fangs into Jason's neck.
A Night of Darkness

By: Edwin Ong