Darkness was everywhere. The only audiable sound was their heavy breathing. The air was tenseas they waited for something to happen. Anything could happen and that’s what they needed. It was too dark to try and feel around, and with their presence being in this area meant something dangerous was awaiting them. Blinding lights clicked on over the pair, initiating them to cover their eyes. Growling came from down the long hall. As the lights turned on by twos down the corridor there were two dog-like creatures. Snarling and licking their lips, they made a small step forward.
They stood on two paws much like werewolves except their backs were arched and they were much skinnier, almost malnourished. More growls emitted from their throats as one dropped on all fours, releasing it’s claws. The girl in front of them gaped and put her hand on her holster to grab the gun as the animal sprinted toward them. From the corner of her eye she saw her partner pull out his gun. The bullet whizzed past her and hit the dog-wolf right between the eyes. This was her queue. She pulled out her gun as the second creature charged at them, howling in loss.
Guns were never her weapon of choice, but for today it was an exception. Holding out her gun she pulled the trigger hoping to have the same result as the thr first shooter. Whimpering in pain, it recoiled lifting a paw to it’s wounded shoulder. She seized the opportunity and raced toward the monster then jumped, extended her leg and kicked it to the ground. Keeping her foot on the animals chest, she bent over and pressed the barrel to it’s head and fired. Instantly, the body went limp. With a sigh of relief she stepped back.
“Well done!” boomed an ominous voice.
They looked around confused. Camouflaged doors to the pair’s right opened to let a tall, stocky man walk out. His gray-blue eyes beamed at them.
“What do you mean ‘good job’!?” the boy demanded furiously. Pushing the girl next to him he continued, “She ruined the last part of the exam!”
The older mans face turned stern as he said, “Now, Ulric, what kind of attitude is that? I know it was the long distance target part of the exam, but she recovered from it and acted quickly. Not everyone has aim like you, and she showed fast thinking, keeping it all under three bullets,” he looked to the girl, then back to him, “Now do the right thing.”
Ulric looked at her with a stony expression, and knew exactly what the man meant with his final words. She flinched from his stare as he took a step closer, making her force herself into not stepping back.
“Sorry,” he said, looking down. Anger flashed on his face as he looked up and continued, pointing at her, “Sorry you can’t shoot or be capable of anything useful!”
Jasmine took a step back, resisting the urge to shove him into the wall as he stormed out the doors.
“He won’t accept me, General. Not this way. May I request a partner change?” She looked up at him with expectant eyes.
The General sighed and said, “Miss Jasmine, he’ll come around. You and I both know he makes a good partner for you. Just give him some time.”
“Yeah, whatever,” she said quietly to herself as she walked off.
Ulric was never her biggest fan. When they were training as children he did his best to stay clear of her. Was it just him? Or was it her? Something she did or said, or something that happened? As a young child she never knew nor did she even want to know. Only after General Jeremiah Strom teamed them as partners did she learn his reasons. Deep down, she tried her best to remember it wasn’t her fault she was this way.
It wasn’t entirely her parents faults either, but she needed to blame this on someone. If they weren’t such great agents, they wouldn’t have been targeted. Maybe if they weren’t some of the best that the Nightmare Chasers has to offer everything would be right. Her parents were able to fight off just about anything from aliens to vampires, and even the occasional man-made creature.
Jassie stopped at a metal, circular door. A light over it glowed red then let out a beam of red light that slowly trailed down her body, scanning it. After blinking twice, the light turned green while a new red one lit up next to it. She reached out her right hand and touched a pad on the wall that scanned her hand. Blinking again the light turned green and the door opened. She walked into a busy hallway crowded with men and women in business suits and black full body suits.
Some people looked at her and nodded a silent greeting while others didn’t bother to make eye contact. She joined in with the crowd, turning to her left. The showers should’ve been her desired destination, but she briskly walked in the opposite direction. Public showers didn’t sit right with her, no matter where they were. Farther up the hall tgere were offices and confrence rooms. The office she was heading to was mostly unoccupied, but today she knew he was there. Before Jasmine went to her final part of the physical examination, he promised to wait for her there. With any luck – which never lasted long for her – he’d still be there and didn’t step out for whatever reason.
As soon as she noticed the less mechanical office doors (these and the conference room doors were the only ones with knobs and keys in thie high – tech building) her walking slowed. Since he was out in the field more and rarely showed up in the office, she wasn’t sure which door was his. Scanning the names on the doors while walking by she kept a lookout for “Damon Kitto”. From what the girl knew, it shouldn’t be too far. The farther down, the more important the person was.
Suddenly, she stopped as a tall man walked in front of her. He was a friend, but today anger blazed in his orange eyes. His black body suit was torn, his shaggy hair was ruffled, and a fresh cut was drying along the top of his cheek. He obviously just got back from a mission.
“Hey, Ken,” Jassie said happily, hoping a cheerful hello would soothe him.
“Where’s General Strom?” he growled, letting his light brown bangs hang over his eyes.
“He was in the training room last, but you know, he always disappears when he’s not needed.”
“Well now he’s needed,” Ken spat, heading to the training rooms.
The girl watched him stalk off, wondering what his problem could be. Millions of things could go wrong in the field. Guessing by the rage in his usually calm face something went terribly wrong. Secretly, she hoped he wouldn’t find the General. The last time she ever heard of anyone going toe to toe with Strom, the poor person ended up with four broken ribs, a dislocated arm, and five missing teeth. He was the strongest human she knew. Being very fond of Ken, she didn’t want to see him in the infirmary for the first few weeks she’d be doing her own field missions.
Slowly, she moved on, reading names on the doors. Stopping a few doors down, she saw his name. Apprehensively, her hand turned the knob which, to her relief, turned meaning the door was unlocked and that he was in. Poking her head in, he sat at his desk, not looking up from a manila envelope. She inwardly sighed, walked in and loudly slammed the door shut. Not even a flinch from the man behind the desk, nor did he look up. An aggravated Jasmine slid a chair from the corner of the room to the front of his desk, letting it scrape against the floor the whole way.
“I passed,” she said plainly, taking a seat in the chair.
Damon looked up, a smile on his lips, but stress filtering through his forest green eyes, “That’s great. I knew you would. Let me just finish looking over this…”
“What is it?” she scooted forward.
“A case file,” he said, “Apparently a clan of ogres in Ireland have been ravaging nearby villages. I need to find someone to send.”
“Really?” she asked, perking up.
“Not you, Jassie. Ogres use brute strength when needed. Someone with experience is needed.”
The best course of action was to not argue. She slid down in her seat. People have gotten used to the misconception of ogres being stupid. In reality, they were quite intelligent and startigicley superior creatures. The use of their strength was mostly a distraction to lure the victim into a trap. Humans were lied to about monsters most of the time. If as many of them were actually mindless killers like the media portrayed them, then anyone could do this job.
“Uncle Damon,” she started.
“Hold on a second.”
She loudly sighed and said, “I can fight the ogres. I’ve learned about them. I’m better than the average human. I won’t be caught off guard.”
Her uncle chuckled, “You’re just like your father. So confident. Anyway,” he said a little louder, closing the envelope, “since you passed your long distancetarget part of the exam we should celebrate.”
“How are we going to celebrate?”
Damon crouched down and put two glasses on his desk. Then he pulled out a thick glass bottle with a dark red liquid in it.
“I got your favorite. O positive.”
Excitement shone on her face as she said, “Wow, is that all for me? It must’ve taken forever to get that! Thank you so much!”
“As you know, I don’t fancy drinking blood,” he chuckled, “so it’s all yours, dear.”
“But what will you drink?”
“Not to worry,” he reached under his desk and held out an oval shaped bottle with an amber colored drink, “I have my scotch.”
With much care, Damon opened the bottle of blood and poured it in her glass. The crimson drink gave off a rich, sweet smell to her. He pushed the glass toward her then poured himself some of his own beverage.
“Thank you,” she said.
Holding up the glass her uncle chimed, “Even a growing half vampire needs to indulge in happiness.”
“Yes,” she agreed, lightly clinking her glass against his.
Trying to pace herself, Jasmine brought the glass to her lips and drank. The blood smoothly ran down her throat, satisfying her empty stomach. Warmth flowed through her body as the savory taste settled in her mouth. Contentment spread through every thought and cell of her body. She noticed her uncle lean back in his chair and run a hand through his thick black hair.
“Your parents would be proud,” he said conclusively, “I’m proud.”
A quick author’s note…I meant to post this earlier, but I wasn’t feeling too well this morning. Now I know it says “interval” over “chapter” but honestly, I like using words other than “chapter”. I’m being creative. Anyway, let me know what you think in the comments.