The silvery moon hung low amidst the blanket of twilight, casting its gloomy light upon the broken, cobblestone streets of Rome. A lone stilled figure, clothed entirely in black, was perched atop St. Peter Basilica. The wearer's hood cast a shadow over the stranger's face, hiding the face saved for a pair of gleaming silver, yet eerie eyes that was scrutinizing the alleys below with interest. The gaze fell upon and narrowed at the sight of a brunette female, whom appeared obviously drunk for she was tottering and giggling to herself. The woman turned into a dark corner and disappeared into it, but not before a sinister aura that seem to trail after her. "Time for the hunt." murmured the silent watcher, the baritone voice laced with a twisted sense of humor, and leap from the spot with such agility and lithe that rivaled any dancer.
A bloodcurdling scream ricocheted off the empty buildings, breaking the silence of the tranquil night. As abrupt as how it started, the scream was short-lived with the owner's throat being viciously ripped into shreds. The woman fell like a marionette with its strings cut, her glassy eyes frozen with an unspoken terror as the blood that gushed endlessly painted the ground crimson. A long, slimy tongue lapped at the pool of warm liquid with greed, demonic growls rumbling as it feasted on its prey. "How...revolting... For a demon of your...rank, you seem to have absolutely no etiquette." A condescending voice, filled with disdain and disgust spoke from the shadows as the hooded figure emerged. Startled, the demon whipped around, snarling and barring its rows of bloodied serrated fangs. Before it could lunge at the figure, its body was wrecked with an onslaught of silver coated wooden bullets. The demon howled in agony, writhing pathetically as the gunslinger loomed over it, a leather clothed finger resting on the trigger of a smoking semiautomatic pistol The hood was thrown back to reveal a handsome man no older than 25, with raven colored hair framing his finely chiseled Mediterranean features and pulled back in a low ponytail. His eyes were a sharp contrast, a shockingly silver hue with no pupils, cold and devoid of any emotion. Mikhail eyed the demon with contempt, and the demon knew that he was inhuman. No mere mortal man could wield such an air of power and darkness around him, and those...eyes.
"Y-y-you...you'll betray...own kind...for them...to protect...filthy humans!? Killing...brothers?!" the demon rasped in broken English. Vile, black blood oozed from its lips as it gurgled, drowning in its own blood. Mikhail curled his lips repulsively at the demon's accusation, hissing; "Wrong. Do not ever compare me with the likes of you...scum. The blood of the accursed may run through my body, but I am very much human, or whatever that is left of my humanity." Without giving the demon a chance to retort, Mikhail lifted his handgun and with an utmost precision, emptied the remaining bullets into the monster, reducing it into a pile of ash. Stowing his firearm back into his trench coat, he knelt before the woman who had her life so violently snatched from her, his eyes softening slightly but without a trace of sadness or pity. "Domine Iesu, dimitte nobis debita nostra, salva nos ab igne inferiori, perduc in caelum omnes animas, praesertim eas, quae misericordiae tuae maxime indigent. In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen" Mikhail chanted in Latin, giving a final prayer for the deceased as he closed her eyes and set her body ablaze. "Requiescant in pace."
It was strangely quiet apart from the cackling of the fire, and Mikhail sniffed the air, taking in the scent of the salty crisp, Mediterranean Sea breeze, mingled with something foul and malevolent that he could not placed a finger to. It was the calm before the storm and he knew. In the distant, a clock tower chimed, signalling midnight and the start of All Hallows Eve. A night of which the most heinous demons and spirits would walk the Earth. "Tonight's going to be a long one." Mikhail mused, turning swiftly and striding into the night with the same grace, his trench coat billowing around him.
"NO!!!!" Mikhail yelled out in the darkness of his bedchambers, bolting upright from his tangled sheets. He heaved, forcing air into his lungs and felt his lengthened incisors scrapping against his lower lip. Mikhail's ebony hair was plastered to his face, and his muscular back, tattooed with sacred Latin verses from the Bible, was sheen with sweat. It had been a tedious and exhausting night, spent tracking and hunting down the massive horde of demons prowling around the area. Mikhail had retreated back into his quarters in a foul mood, drained and praying for sweet oblivion in his sleep. Instead, he was plagued with nightmares that left him insomniac. The month of All Hallows Eve had evoked a recurrence of the particular nightmare, shielding his mind with mental barriers only spurred the growth in frequency. Mikhail retracted his fangs, sensing no immediate danger and cursed silently at the fact of having lost another night of peaceful slumber. Slipping out of bed, he headed in the direction of his bathroom, deciding that he was in need of a shower to calm his nerves.
The scathing hot water beat again his back, and Mikhail revered in the warmth. Leaning his forehead against the cold marble wall, he closed his eyes, the flashbacks from his nightmare replaying like a broken recorder before him. The vivid memory, the very beginning of his cursed existence, burnt into the back of his mind as if it only happened yesterday.
It was an ordinary summer day, Mikhail, then 10, trudged home after a chaotic day in school. He was greeted with the metallic smell of blood and the gruesome sight of his parents, bodies brutally torn apart and dismembered. Terror-stricken, Mikhail stumbled backwards, his stomach lurching and bile rising in his throat. His knees gave way and he collapsed, weeping in fear. A loud wail echoed from the second level and Mikhail choked at the sound. Heart pounding erratically against his ribcage, he sprinted upstairs, screaming for his baby sister, "Oh God, please...not her too! Gabrielle!!!" Barging into the playroom where Gabrielle was, Mikhail heard the gnashing of teeth and then excruciating pain assaulted him. Dagger-like claws slashed at his chest repeatedly as he crashed to the ground. The stench of rotting flesh filled Mikhail nostrils as the leering vampyre pinned him to the floor, growling into his ear in a heavy Scottish borough, "Why...aren't yer a pretty one, aye?" Within seconds, fangs were gnawing at his throat, tearing at his jugular vein and leaving Mikhail to bleed to death. "I'm...going...to die, but Gabrielle...I must save...protect...Gabrielle...one last time." Mikhail gasped weakly, blood bubbling on his lips with each intake of air, he crawled desperately towards the cot Gabrielle was whimpering. The vampyre was faster, and he scooped up that 3 year old toddler and cooed in a mocking tone. "Brother!" Gabrielle keened, onyx ringlets framing her cherubic tear-stricken face. Her frightened emerald eyes swam with tears and pleaded for Mikhail to save her. Mikhail's vision blurred, and heard the sickening crunch as the vampyre broke his spine, before the darkness devoured him.
With a jerk, Mikhail snapped back to reality, realizing that the water had turned cold. Turning the shower off, he stood in front of the mirror, a fluffy towel wrapped loosely around his hips and glared darkly at his reflection. The attack from 15 years ago had left prominent scars trailing from his chest to his abdomen, and fainter battle scars criss-crossing across his lean, toned body. His fingers lightly traced the scar along his neck where the vampyre has sunk his fangs into, flinching when he grazed a sensitive spot. It was a miracle he survived after having his jugular severed and spine shattered, even the doctors were dumbfounded at his complete recovery. But Mikhail knew better, the sight of his once cerulean eyes now a shade of liquid mercury proved he was no longer human. Mikhail was in delirium from the transformation, and he fled to the nearest cathedral in London, begging for salvation. The Archbishop offered him sanctuary, and taught him the arts of demon slaying; stressing that evil will always strike at the least unsuspecting moments. When Mikhail came of age, he was sent to the Vatican in Italy, and there he was moulded into God's lethal weapon. He gritted his teeth, his eyes ablaze with resentment and self-loathing. Unable to stand the sight of his very image, Mikhail lashed out in fury and shattered the mirror, watching the blood seeped from where the shards of glass had cut into his already healing knuckles. He could not change the fact that the blood flowing within him was tainted with the very evil that he swore to eradicate. The hatred burned strong and deep in his body, and he remembered how uncontrollable his rage was during his younger days, unleashing his bloodlust when he went on rampages against diabolical abominations. "My soul is damned, and no amount of repenting can give me redemption." Mikhail spat bitterly. He detested himself, hated what he had become, a monster. Mikhail had tried killing himself but what held him back was Gabrielle. Her body was not among the dead and Mikhail harboured hopes that she's still alive. She was the sole reason for Mikhail's existence, the last strand of his humanity and Mikhail spend years searching for leads. The image of his parent's broken bodies, the fragmented documentation of more innocent times, memories from a world he was forced to abandon. Mikhail felt the tears burning in his eyes, but he suppressed his grief. He would never allow his emotions to surface or get a grip on his mentality. Foolish people who wore their hearts proudly on their sleeves, who cannot control their emotions, wallowing in sad memories and allowing themselves to be provoked easily, in Mikhail's eyes, are weak. It was a weakness Mikhail could not afford to possess. "In the face of adversary, I will stand strong and unwavering." he whispered firmly, schooling his face into a stoic expression and sauntered back into his room.
His peripheral vision caught the glow emitting from his Macbook and lazily, he moved towards it, his interest piqued when it indicated he had a new email from the Church in London. Mikhail's eyes widened in disbelief as he stared at the contents and then snagged his cell-phone, deftly punching in some numbers and spoke in a low, velvety tone, "Get me on the earliest plane to London." Pinching the bridge of his nose, he sighed in slight exasperation, adding "It'll be a homecoming that I'm not looking forward to." Ending the conversation with a snap of his phone, he touched the screen with the photo of an older but unmistakably her, Gabrielle. " I've finally found you." He murmured softly, a hint of a smile tugging at the corner of his lips.