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Camille Hammond

There was a sense of irony that always overcame Camille when she entered a church. She couldn't quite help the way she felt about it. The Catholic churches were the worst. In a way, they came the closest. Really. Be humble. Respect all people. Honesty is the best policy. Forgive. At the same time, they- All of them, had kind of missed the point. Doing all of these things in the name of the lord didn't guarantee you entrance into heaven. No, it was ultimately how you integrated these things into your life. What you learned from them. How they helped you become a better person.

Or, that's how it used to work.

'The Lord' hadn't been around for a very long time. But don't bother trying to tell the diehards that. Why do you think they got so p!ssed off at Jesus?

Anyway. The overwhelming irony disappeared quickly enough as her voyage into this particular brand of church pressed on. It was old and desecrated, much like her opinion of Earthly religion itself. This building hadn't seen a sermon in a hundred years - that much was certain by the extensive disarray of the exterior, but still the Angel's visit would not be in vain. The treasure Camille had been seeking wasn't in the uplifting message that might have been preached by some Pastor on a random Sunday. What Cami wanted was a bit more environmental.

Physical.

A person. Okay? Camille wants a person.

The country that the Angel had found herself in was a long way from home. Whether that home was Bloemfontein, France or the Southern U.S... Serbia was quite the trek. She'd chosen this particular place because the structures were old. There was a beauty in the flawed design of these vintage and desolate churches. Each of them told a different story, rooted to a different point time. Not at all like the states where everything seemed so... New.

The homeless population here was also very interesting. They were simpler, and they came flushed in multitudes. And it was more often than not that when they went missing, they weren't actually missed at all. This boded well for the flaxen haired beaut who happened to be shopping (to put it lightly).

"Miss," An elderly gentleman grappled for Cami's attention, his waffled hat bunched into his hands, "You wouldn't have some water to spare?" He didn't speak a lick of English, Camille could tell by the thick accent that accompanied his request. Serbian born and raised.

The girl stepped over small pile of crumbled stone, her stare filled with intent. Though her toe catches on a bit of rubble, no one pays attention to the echo of a rock ricocheting off the back of an old stone pew.

This one would certainly do. "I do." Thin fingers tighten around the blade's handle in her palm, "Why don't you follow me? I've got much to spare in my car."
October 13, 2017 02:25 am

Elis Griffyn

‘Elis, I need you to take it.’, pleaded the voice on the phone. Cracking, aged and hushed, he’d been like this for several minutes now and Elis was growing impatient. ‘It’s not safe here.’

“Aleksandar, I thought you better than this. Have you become an coward? What of the Order?”

‘No, Elis. They’re all dead. All of them are dead. I’ve managed to smuggle back what I could into the country but it’s not safe. I need you to -‘

“ - to take it, yes, I understand. Is there truly no other way? I’m not, hmmm, not currently in the best of positions to take it, Aleksandar. Can you not hold on just a little more? A couple of years and -“

‘NO…no, I mean, no. Elis, I am an old man. I think you forget sometimes. You forget that we all can’t stay young like you. I do not believe I have much longer on this earth, Elis. And I need you. You promised, remember?’

Elis closed his eyes. Raising a hand to his face, he directed his fingertips to massage his forehead as he allowed his body to rest back against the door of his bedroom. ‘Of course I remember, Alek.’ he replied, defeat heavy in his voice. ‘I’ll be there tomorrow.’

-

The taxi pulled up at a corner and the concern of the driver, eager to leave, was thick in the air. His fingers, tight in worn, leather gloves, rinsed the steering wheel as he eyed Elis in the rearview mirror.

In comparison, his passenger remained calm, eyes shut as he rested his head back against the tattered top of the bench seat. He still had a headache, a pounding sensation as his brain felt swollen, pulsating, within his skull. Withdrawl. The unhappy side effect of draining an entire commune of people after hundreds of years of sobriety. There had been more than just blood in his system, there had been life. Life that he’d taken, over and over again, within his hands as he’d moved from house to house, leaving nothing but death and destruction in his wake. And now it was a week later…or was it two? He’d spent too many days in a blur of ecstasy and it was only the panicked call from Aleksander, after his interesting detour in New Orleans, that had truly snapped him back to reality.

‘Oprostite!’ came a voice from the drivers seat, and Elis finally opened his eyes, looking ahead. “Oh” came Elis’ reply as he reached into his pocket, producing his wallet. “I don’t seem to…” he held it up, showing off the dollars and pound notes within. “I don’t seem to have any money for you.”

The driver looked at him, his stare was an odd mix of panic and pure confusion. “Da li govorite srpski?’ came the response as he began to gesture toward the steering wheel, the road outside and Elis himself.

“No, I don’t, I’m afraid” chuckled Elis, appreciating the humour in his reply as he slipped the wallet back into his pocket. “We’ll just have to come to some other arrangement.”

-

As Elis slipped outside of the car some five minutes later, he stopped briefly to adjust the collar of his shirt. A soft, light grey linen thermal with long sleeves hidden beneath a burgundy hooded sweater. Standing upright, he allowed himself to stretch, his hands to the back of his head, and thats when he spotted it. “Oh for fu…” he muttered, noting a small stain of red against the light material just above his stomach. He dropped his hands, grabbing at the shirt with what he now saw to be equally as bloody fingers, and groaned. Looking back toward the car, angling himself to see his reflection without also having to look at the lifeless, dead body inside, he began to rub at a patch of blood caught in the stubble of his chin.

He needed to gain a better grip of his feeding once more. He’d become sloppy.

Though at least his headache was gone.

-

Outside the church, some five-minutes walk east, he stopped for a moment to study the stonework above the door. He’d been here before. Seventeen sixty…no…forty. Seventeen forty five, when he’d helped to establish The Order and support those who truly understood the threat of Vlad and his followers.

“You’ll be safe here. They won’t think to enter.”

‘So it’s true? They cannot step within sacred walls?’

“Oh no, they can…if they believe they can. But if there’s one thing vampires are good at, it’s believing superstition and giving in to the fear of whatever awaits them on the other side.”

He could almost see the destruction of the place as a time-lapse before his eyes. The clean brick now aged, worn and broken. The few wooded structures full of insects and rot.

He understood now how easy it must have been for Aleksandar to sneak back in, undetected. It didn’t seem like anyone had been here for over a hundred years and…no, wait…

He took a few more steps forward and peered through the gap in the door, allowing his eyes to adjust to the change in light.

Who the hell was this?
October 13, 2017 01:58 pm

Camille Hammond

The man seemed to have absolutely no qualms about following her. The promise of fresh (or at the very least, some) water and the possibility of food was enough to finesse him. This displaced human was not one of the ones that Camille had scouted before she'd made her inevitable interjection, but that really didn't matter.

She wasn't picky. Honest.

This one had more meat on his bones than the others. Had all ten fingers and all ten toes. A rapidly beating heart (no doubt on account of low blood sugar). Pristine ocular functionality. Everything that mattered. From first glance, everything that she NEEDED.

And so, he follows close behind, the blade still hidden against Camille's palm as the small girl presses on - back the way she came. Over crumbled stone and scattered bits of fallen ply wood that couldn't quite hack the elements over the years. But her ears perk suddenly when she hears footsteps on the other side of the doors. They're hushed, and for a moment she thinks that her paranoia is causing her to assume the sound is anything other than the hushed whispers of the wind.

But paranoia always gets the best of her, and she's suddenly darting in the opposite direction of the door. There were many gaps in the skeletal remains of the church; Wide open spaces between walls where termites and weather had chipped away at the structure. Truthfully, anyone could have gotten in just about anywhere.

Cami doesn't need to be outside to perform this... Ritual, of sorts.

"Let's.. Go this way." Her fingers wiggle and once again, she's insisting that he follow. He might utter some fractured questions about where they were going, and why they were climbing the stairs to the second floor to get outside, but Cami ignored him. After all, her silence would neither comfort nor displease him. And neither would her words.

Anyone who may have been stalking around the outskirts of the desolate sanctuary would undoubtedly have heard them scurrying up the stairs, but it didn't matter. With so many rooms, Camille could be in and out before they were found.

The Angel reaches inside of her jacket as the reach the top of the staircase, and tucked just inside were two rather generous pockets. One housing a (mostly) full water bottle, and the other a pack of crackers. While they're still walking, Cami looks over her shoulder at the man who follows her and tosses him the lukewarm bottle of water. It would keep him interested, and inevitably prove that she was true to her word.

"There's more where that came from." She promised, as she dipped quietly into the last room at the end of the corridor.
October 16, 2017 05:12 pm

Elis Griffyn

Elis had been happy to leave, to circle the building and find a new way down into the basement. He had no time for inconveniences such as this and wanted to be back out of the country as quickly as he’d come. He had no time for the place, and less time still for his acquaintance - a man who would no doubt try to chew his ear off regarding threats and responsibility. He knew Alek would demand he stay, would call on favours long since expired to help rebuild the Order. But Elis was more than aware of how lost a cause it would be. Vlad was still out there, and would continue to still be out there regardless of how many mortals deemed him the devil and plotted his demise.

‘Has no one killed him yet?’ Elis scoffed as he swallowed down a hefty amount of his beer. The night had been cold and damp, that he’d always remembered. And the inn in which he sat with the two strangers had been oddly silent. This had been their fifth meeting and the first time he’d managed to get more from them than a simple ‘RUN!’. Jack was busy fiddling with the contraption on his wrist while Tanvir, inappropriately dressed for such cold weather, yet seeming not to feel it, was answering as many questions as her ‘time law’ would allow. ‘No’, Jack had replied, not looking up from his wrist. ‘That f*ck is still very much alive.’

Tanvir had reached over at this point, pushing Jack’s ale closer to him as a means to keep him quiet before returning her attention to Elis. ‘He’s the reason we’re here. Or, rather…’

Regardless of the situation, she always seemed to maintain a level of calm about her. Elis had been trying to figure her out for a few hundred years now and still he was no closer any familiar trait that would allow him to read her better. She confused him…and he enjoyed the game. ‘He’s taken things too far’, she continued. ‘And we need your help.’

‘Can’t somebody else do it?’ Elis had asked.

‘No’, had come the answer.

From his spot by the door, Elis watched as the woman made her move, grabbing ahold of her rough-looking companion to make their way further into the shadowed depths of the church. Rubbing at his face roughly with his palm and fingers, he let out a groan as he found himself already moving in their direction.

So much for a quick visit.

As the two made their way up through the maze of corridors and rooms, Elis stopped, back peddling without stopping as he rushed out into the daylight. With light footsteps to the ground, he began to circle the building, though instead of looking for his entrance down into Alek’s basement, his attention was focused up toward the next level of the church.

He forced himself to concentrate and as he skidded to a halt, he reached to press a palm flat to the worn stone and rotten timber. In that moment of full concentration, the heavy noise of the city instantly flooded his attention. Everything for far off car horns to nearby bugs beneath his feet. His mind was open and everything wanted his attention.

But Elis was an old pro, he’d spent far too long working on his abilities and no sooner did the flood gates open did he have them instantly filtered out again, layer by layer, until all he could hear were the muffled words of the strangers as they came to rest in one of the inner rooms.

He took a few steps to his right, another backward and with a push from the ball of his foot, he shot upward, scaling the cracks of the wall. And with a burst, his shoulder to what remained of the cracked window, fell into the room with a roll, pulling himself up to stand.

“Hello.” he smirked, brushing dust, glass shards and god only knows what from his jacket.
October 17, 2017 04:55 pm

Camille Hammond

Seconds felt like hours as the room became darker with each moment that passed. Of course, there was no artificial light inside of the room to begin with. What illuminated the walls and leftover furniture were stray strands of light that had managed their way inside from cracks and splits in the wall. Cami had no trouble seeing, her eyes having adjusted quickly to her surroundings. A trait that had carried over, perhaps, from days where she was more powerful.

Alas, the darkness that had overcome the room hadn't actually affected anything besides herself. At first the feeling overpowered her with familiarity. Cami knew what was coming but couldn't do anything to stop it and at this point, she didn't want to. It was a sense of dread that embedded itself into her veins, working through her bloodstream like a cancer. It rooted itself into the pit of her stomach. Sprouted off into all of her major organs. The whites of her eyes muddied into something far more vile than celestial and soon there would be no mistaking the malevolence inside of her.

There's a homeless man that had followed her in here like a lost puppy, and he has no idea what's about to happen. Camille, armed with nothing more than a brigade of sharpened fingernails and a switch blade, would sever his toes and then proceed to bleed him dry.

It's not the first time she had done it, and it wouldn't be the last.

The only complication was that she never could seem to remember doing it.

"Miss, is this the room you're staying in? Is this where you've stashed your goods? I wont tell, I swear it..."

What pure intentions he had. It's too bad he has to die.

Teeth bared, fingers curled into a fist so tight that her fingernails pricked against the skin of her palm, Cami is ready to spring into action. Ready to spin around, gash this mans throat, and take his 'carpals before he has any idea what's happened.

But she stops, attention turned to a sound that resembled the smashing of glass. It nearly startles her, but instead she's swiveled into the direction of the noise- away from the raggedy homeless man. The girl turns so quickly that the blade slips from her hand, nicking the skin around her fingers before it falls to the ground at her feet.

"What the-" Camille growls, the entirety of her facade darkening, "Quis audet me perturbes? Ego pol illum in capite tuo!!" The noise comes out like a bark, a voice that's not entirely Camilles. It's Latin - but not a language that Camille spoke fluently. We're not going to over credit our girl. French and English were enough. She's no scholar.

Of course, it took only a split second for the scuzzy man to take off in the opposite direction.

What a waste.
October 21, 2017 05:01 pm

Elis Griffyn

“Vescere bracis meis!”

We can over-credit Elis on his linguistic skills - he’s been around for a while now. And while Camille’s attempt at Latin came out as an odd bark for poorly pronounced insults, Elis spoke his fluently, lips curling into a smile.

“Your accent betrays you though. Allons-nous parler français? Or English for the sake of anyone listening in?”

Elis winks, picking off a tangle of dust from his sleeve, his gaze set on the woman. Behind her, he notes the departure of the homeless man and feels a slight ache for the easy meal leaving the scene so quickly. Usually, when he was openly feeding, he was more picky about who he chowed down on. But this was still early days, he’d been sober for a few generations, and his hunger had less taste than his snobbish preference. “Did you intend on taking your food to go?”

With the room vacant of anyone save the pair, Elis turned his shoulders, feeling the crack of his joints, and settled more comfortably into the scene. He had no concerns as to what the woman was - he’d been around the block a time or two now. And while he’d met his share of avenging angels, none had ever been able to fell him - for Elis was an oddity, even to those he considered to be ‘his kind’. He simply didn’t fit in anywhere and, as a result, the vast majority tended to leave him be, dumb to the power he held and the history he’d lived.

“What was he guilty of anyway? Aside from homelessness and falling victim to the corrupt choices of his government?” Not that Elis ever held any concern for mortals and the unfair injustices they often faced. He’d seen too many power struggles, he’d lived through too many battles. Life was about looking after number one and those who thought otherwise where either too privileged to begin with…or just idiots.

While speaking, he’d slipped his hand into his inner pocket. And now, as his words came to an end, inviting a response from the woman before him, Elis slipped a cigarette between his lips and lit it with a worn Zippo. The packet had taken the majority of the brunt from his roll into the room and as a result, the cigarette between his lips was slightly bent to one side, tobacco missing from the first centimetre. It wasn’t ideal, but it was as good as he had. And while he wasn’t one to ever feel the benefit of smoking, he often used the act as a means of highlighting his calm indifference to a situation or individual…such as now. If there was any fear to be had of the woman, he’d missed it. While always mentally armed and ready for any given response to a situation, he never let it affect his outer shell.

Though if she moved the wrong way or reacted inappropriately, he’d have no trouble snapping her neck.
October 22, 2017 09:14 am
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