The Wicked Generation (Part One)

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The Wicked Generation (Part One) Empty The Wicked Generation (Part One)

Post by DEWM NINJA on Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:14 pm

The Wicked Generation (Part One) Thewic10

Matthew 12:45
“Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than
|   himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is
|   worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto The Wicked Generation.”

A figure riding a chopper stopped their vehicle just outside a building labeled “The Rainbow Bar and Grill”. It was clearly around midnight, the moon glaring down upon the world. The figure kicked their kickstand out, and jumped off their chopper. They wore a black leather jacket, mildly torn blue jeans, black combat boots and a full motorcycle helmet, its visor tinted black, with a belt buckle labeled “Born to lose - Live to win”. Their look immediately fit in with the rest of the residents in the bar, but the figure went straight into the bathroom. The distinct look complimented the bar well, horribly cleaned toilets and stall doors all locked shut, with two more legs than there are supposed to be in the outermost stall. There was a man looking in the mirror, ripping at a large bag of cocaine trying desperately to get it open. Just the hive of scum and villainy the man clad in chopper equipment was looking for. He took off his gloves to wash off his bloodied knuckles, and swiftly put them back on. From behind him he heard a man’s groans, before another man entered the bathroom and started banging on the stall door, “I told you people to stop doing it in my bathrooms!” the man yelled. The groans from behind the stall door transformed into screams of agony, which caught the attention of the covered figure, who turned to look at the stall door. He pushed the manager out of the way, and kicked in the stall door with one swift blow, to witness a woman getting up from her knees, her teeth covered in blood, while the man who was screaming grabbed at his groin. The covered figure reached into his leather jacket and pulled out a pistol, filling the woman full of holes, she fell back onto the toilet, gripping at her wounds. The covered man looked her straight in the eyes. “If I were you, I’d expect everyone to be packing silver.” He said. The woman’s eyes rolled to the back of her head, and the man inside the stall, now on the ground no doubt experiencing shock, grabbed the covered man’s leg, trying to mutter words but was unable to. The barrel of the covered man’s pistol aimed straight downwards to the man who was trying to ask for help, and one round fired into his head. The covered man looked at the manager. “Put the damages on my tab.” The covered man said, as he walked out of the restroom covered in more blood than he was when he walked in, the back of his leather jacket reading “Highwayman”.The man holding the bag of cocaine swiftly threw his drugs in the trash afterwards. The Highwayman pulled up a stool at the bar and ordered a drink.


The Highwayman walked out of of the Rainbow carrying the two corpses of the people he killed, and put them on the back of his bike, keeping them held on with a net screwed into the sides of the bike. He took off into the distance, swiftly reaching a barren area in a park. He opened up a hollowed-out rock, and pulled out several cinder blocks and some rope. He tied the cinder blocks to the corpses, now decapitated, and tossed them into a pond. He got back onto his bike, and drove back onto the streets, racing the LA traffic. Black ice dotted the roads, but the Highwayman drove on at top speed, ignoring everything that blocked his path on the street. He stopped at a red light once, while he drove alongside an officer, waving at him at the red light, covered in blood. It flickered back to green, and the Highwayman went top speed once again. The city was in shambles, every alleyway was either someone getting it on with a prostitute, someone being mugged or someone dealing drugs. There was always something shady happening somewhere in the city at all times, which made The Highwayman’s job even harder considering the amount of crime happening at all times. The police had their hands too full to deal with everything, which means anything that slips through the police’s figures, and there were many things that did, often went straight to the Highwayman because of the police force’s ignorance towards the existence of the creatures the Highwayman hunted down. Things so rare they are seen to society as myths, beasts saved for fairy tales or to scare the kids into staying near their parents are farther away from strangers. As the Highwayman pulled up to an apartment building, he took a deep breath, parked his chopper, and unlocked the door, walking in to see a man and a woman making out, grabbing each other sensually. The woman opened her eyes upon hearing the noise and pushed the man away, yelling at the Highwayman. “What the fuck do you want?” She yelled at the top of her lungs. “Good to see you too, Tracy.” The Highwayman said. “You need to get the hell out of my apartment, how did you unlock the door?!” Tracy asked. The Highwayman flashed showed her the key he used. She ripped it out of his hand. “I’ll be taking that. Now what do you want, asshole? I told you we’re not getting back together, I already found someone else.” Tracy said. “That I see. I’m not here for you.” The Highwayman said as he walked into her room and opened up her closet. “Asking would be appreciated, you already walked right into my house it’s the least you could do.” Tracy said. The Highwayman picked up a machete in its sheath, and hooked the sheath up to his jeans, and then a cloth bag. The man Tracy was with walked up to him. “Alright, you got what you want. Now beat it, fuckface.” The Highwayman turned to look at the man. “Would you like to see what’s in the bag?” The Highwayman asked. “Uh, no.” The man responded. The Highwayman stared the other guy down. He was tempted to pull back the bag and show him anyway, but that wasn’t his job. “You’re getting off easy.” The Highwayman said. He turned and walked out of the apartment, Tracy slamming the door behind him. Afterwards, he finally let out that deep breath, and got onto his chopper, starting it up again and driving off.

Later, he arrived at a house, his house, where he stopped his chopper, and walked in. He dropped the bag next to the door before closing it, and hung up his machete. He fell down into his couch, kicking his legs up onto the coffee table, and leaning back. Aside from what he does every day, this is his favorite activity, or lack thereof.

The doorbell echoed through the house, which made the Highwayman jump. He blinked a few times, and stretched. He must’ve fallen asleep, even forgetting to take his helmet off. He had grown so used to wearing it he forgot it was on. He got up, stretched some more, and walked up to the door, opening it. The man standing there was his neighbor. The sun was just rising on the horizon. “Hey, it’s your neighbor, Dave. I uh, would like to ask if I could come in.” The man said. The Highwayman had never seen this man in his life, though he is often out and about so much, he didn’t know any of his neighbors. “Don’t you have your own house, if you’re my neighbor?” The Highwayman asked. “Well yes, but, it’s on fire.” Dave said, the Highwayman picked up on his southern accent, fairly strong but nothing that would go along with a stereotype. The Highwayman leaned outside a little, looking at the house to the right. And Dave wasn’t lying. The house was in ruins, the fire department was doing their best to put out the flames. “Huh. D’you leave a cigarette burning?” The Highwayman asked. “Nope. Arson. From the liberals. Just because a man has political views doesn’t mean you should burn down his property!” Dave said. “Right. And what views exactly do you have?” The Highwayman asked. “I am a… member of the Klu Klux Klan.” Dave responded. “Well, problem solved. Now go away.” The Highwayman said, before getting ready to slam the door. “Now wait just a second!” Dave yelled, and the Highwayman decided to hear him out. “All my other neighbors would offer me the same kind of hospitality, because of said political views. But you, sir, look like a man who don’t care for politics. So I know I can persuade you, or bribe you, or something, unlike my other neighbors. So I’ll tell you what: You let me stay here for a time, until my house is back up, and I’ll pay for some of your rent, and I’ll leave you alone unless you want the company. And considering the only car you got parked here is a one-seater motorcycle, I think you could use the company. What do you say?” Dave asked. The Highwayman looked at him for a time. “Chopper.” He said. “What?” Dave asked. “It’s not a motorcycle, it’s a chopper. There’s a difference.” The Highwayman said. “Right… OK.” Dave said. There was another bit of silence before the Highwayman spoke again. “Fine. Come in. I hardly live here anyway.” The Highwayman said, before holding the door open for Dave. “Alright, thanks mister, might I ask what’s your name?” Dave asked. “Just call me the Highwayman. That’s what everyone calls me.” He said. Dave picked up a couple of boxes that were lying on the ground next to him and walked in. The Highwayman may have only gotten about 4 hours of sleep, but that’s all he normally got anyway. He walked into the kitchen, pulled out a carton of eggs and a glass, and cracked the egg into the glass. He tilted his head back and the tip of the glass hit his helmet. “Goddammit.” The Highwayman said as he pulled his helmet off. His face was minorly scarred in some places, but otherwise he had fairly normal features. His eyes were deprived of sleep, slightly bloodshot, but past that they were blue, he had fairly long hair for a man, which was black, but it was normal for 1983. He swallowed the egg yolk, which he barely swallowed completely. He shaked it off, before pouring himself a shot of scotch in the same glass, and downing that afterwards to wash the taste out. All the while, Dave sat at the table, somewhat mesmerized by what he was seeing, a man starting out his day with an egg yolk and alcohol. The Highwayman looked back at him afterwards. He cleared his throat, walked back to the front door and grabbed the bag he placed there a few hours ago, bringing it back to the kitchen table. “Things will be weird in this house. As you can notice, I’m covered in blood. Now I don’t know how strange that is for a KKK member, but there are some other things, most notably, in this bag. Don’t look in it, no matter how curious you get. Or else your body will turn to stone and I’ll have to burn one of my favorite trophies just to get you back.” The Highwayman said. “So… what’s in the bag?” Dave asked. The Highwayman was silent for a moment. “Medusa’s head.” He said. He walked away with the bag, and returned to the kitchen, sitting at the table with Dave. “I work a non-profit job. As a matter of fact I make no money at all.” The Highwayman said. “My job is to hunt “unholy” creatures, typically those of the night. I use the word unholy lightly because frankly I don’t have the time to get into the religious side of things. All I have to do is just hunt these things down.” The Highwayman said. “So… Do you take medication?” Dave asked. “Exactly the answer I expected. Look, you don’t have to believe me, but that’s just the way things are.” The Highwayman said. “It’s not that I don’t believe you, actually I don’t now that I think about it, but I would like to believe you, so I don’t have to report to the authorities that there’s a man killing things and taking pieces of them as trophies, believing them to be creatures of Greek mythology.” Dave said. “It’s not mythology, I don’t call them mythical creatures because they aren’t mythical. They are just creatures. Things that must be put down for the good of our species. Y’know, Vampires, Werewolves, Demons, that kind of stuff. It’s why I’ve got so much silver in my house. It kills them pretty good.” The Highwayman said. “Don’t you think that anything would die if you stabbed it or shot it enough with anything? Even vampires?” Dave asked. “See, vampires don’t bleed, if I shot them with a normal bullet, it would bring them pain, and it would have the same stopping power, but it wouldn’t truly hurt them. A person can only die when their brain is destroyed or deprived of blood. Considering vampires don’t have blood, you can’t deprive their brains of it, and vampires can come back even if you damage their brains. But Silver burns through them. Put enough Silver into a vampire, and they’ll truly die. It doesn’t even have to hit their brain. But a vampire can come back from the dead sometimes, as I said. Which is why there are certain ways you have to dispose of their corpses after killing them. The most known way is to decapitate their corpses and burn the body. Although, considering there’s a chance hell doesn’t exist, I’ll make hell for them, which is why I tie cinderblocks to their bodies and throw them into water after decapitating them, so if they come back, they’re forced to drown for eternity. Or until they’re taken out of the water, which is unlikely, considering it’d only be their head that’s alive. I’ve done a pretty good job at concealing them. Besides, I’ve only seen a vampire come back once, it’s a very rare occurrence. But I suppose the undead has to remain undead, huh?” The Highwayman asked. The room was silent for a while. “So… what about werewolves? How do you kill them?” Dave asked. “Werewolves are hulking beasts, their pelts are as strong as diamond. But Silver hates the damned, for some reason unknown to me. Silver burns through their pelts with ease, and poisons them until the silver is taken out. Unlike vampires, werewolves aren’t undead creatures. They’re more… mutated. So they can’t come back. I’ve only killed a couple, they’re very rare nowadays. But I’ve got a couple of their pelts in my room. It makes for very good armor, actually. But it’s not my fashion sense. Leather is. Plus, I’d like to see anything chew through leather. It’s why I haven’t been bit by a vampire yet. It in the heat of the moment, in combat, they try to bite the easiest part of me to bite, my arm, since it’s typically holding a weapon, it’s outstretched and it’s generally easy to grab. They’ve tried but their teeth can’t sink through leather. It’s why my jackets have high collars as well. Necks are also a big target for vampires. They’re thick, and have a lot of blood. Though I’ve taken note that a lot of female vampires act like prostitutes, or simply very loose women. A man’s erection contains a lot of blood and the man would think the woman is going down on them. When instead the woman is going in for the kill. Plus there’s a lot of shock when the bite hits, they get confused, and have no clue what to do, they’re in an awkward position typically, it’s basically game over for them. Hell, I saw it happen yesterday. I still got both of them, though. It’s sick thing, easy to conceal in today’s society, too.” The Highwayman said. He got up from the table, and began to make himself a bowl of cereal. “I have to get back out there, though. There’s a huge surge of vampirism as of late. And I’m gonna get to the bottom of it.” The Highwayman said. “Why don’t you take me with you?” Dave asked. “You? No. No offense, but you don’t look like a particularly good fighter. It gets intense out there. Besides, you’d have to wear armor. Or leather. Or anything the vampires can’t bite through.” The Highwayman said. “What about a werewolf’s pelt?” Dave asked. “I’ve only got two of those. Tell you what, if you kill a werewolf yourself, then feel free to skin it and use its pelt yourself. But you’re not using mine.” The Highwayman said, as he took the machete off the wall and reattached it to his belt. He walked back into the kitchen, grabbing his helmet. “And for the love of god don’t hunt down any werewolves, I’m not trying to inspire you to hunt any. I barely survived the only two encounters I’ve had with them.” The Highwayman said, as he put his helmet back on. He got onto his chopper, started it up, and drove off. Dave watched him drive off, before he walked back into the kitchen, grabbed his boxes, and gave himself a tour of the house before he found the master bedroom. And from what the Highwayman said, it definitely seemed like his job was legit. A werewolf skin carpet sat in the room, whilst the other pelt was hung on the wall. An array of weapons lined the other walls, most notably a huge bow, with the word “Pinaka” carved into its side, the letters glowing with a strange essence, a large scythe, made mostly out of human bones, and a warhammer, somewhat small for its size, likely to be used with one hand. This warhammer in particular was the one weapon Dave took off the wall, which he held in his hands. Out of all the weapons, this one seemed to be the most normal. He walked outside with it, specifically in the backyard, where he slowly swung it around, getting a feel for it. He finally drew it all the way back, and in the middle of his swing, a bolt of lightning bursted out of the weapon, cutting through the many trees behind the backyard, and even reaching the house on the other side of the woods. Dave’s ears still rang from the loud burst. He looked closely at the hammer, seeing “Mjolnir” printed onto the top of the hammer. He rushed back inside and put Mjolnir back where it originally was. He felt a bit of a rush to continue trying the weapons, but there was no way to guess the mighty power of these weapons, so he decided to leave them be. His eyes spotted the small bag on the floor which he was told not to look into. He picked up the bag, and untied it. He began to think about not doing this, but he had gotten this far. He opened it slowly, and saw the severed head inside. But it was face-down. He sighed as he looked at it closely. Countless snakes protruded from the scalp, still slithering about. It was terrifying but equally interesting. He closed the bag again, and tied it shut, putting it back where it belonged. It was a room of oddities for sure. Other, smaller trophies sat in a sort of display case, including the cut-out teeth and gums of a vampire, the tips of the fangs were stained red in blood. There was also a necklace containing a cross, which was placed on top of hawthorn. But something that really caught Dave’s eye was a wavy dagger, upon it the typical representation of Christ crucified, but instead upon the blade itself. He took it out of its case, closely inspecting it to see if it was a weapon that would shoot laser beams or set something on fire. But it seemed relatively normal. He stabbed the air with the weapon, testing it out, it seemed fairly normal. It became apparent that this display case was where the more catholic side of exterminating vampires was reserved, something that likely didn’t interest the Highwayman. Dave kept it on him as he explored the house further, everything else seemed relatively normal compared to the master bedroom, however. Dave eventually found the guest’s bedroom, where he set his things down and began to unpack. His eye caught that of his Klan uniform, which he felt like abandoning. It nearly ruined his life, after all. But he kept it nearby. Then he got an idea. He took the uniform and hung it up in the room’s closet, before taking the dagger and going into the Highwayman’s room, grabbing one of the Highwayman’s leather jackets, of which he had many of, and put it on, it was a somehow loose fit but it was usable. He walked out of the house, looked around the area, and set off.

The Highwayman stopped his chopper just outside a bar on the outskirts of the city. A dozen other choppers and motorcycles lined the bar, it was clearly a biker gang’s home away from home. As the Highwayman entered the bar, the reeking smell of that tough-guy attitude filled the air. An entire gang looked at the Highwayman, and they immediately didn’t like his kind. The Jukebox was relocated directly next to their table, clearly per their request as the bar was empty otherwise.
The gang all talked amongst each other as they eyed the Highwayman. As the Highwayman turned to talk to the bartendress, the back of his jacket was finally visible to the gang, who all immediately got angry. They got up, one of them smashing their empty bottles upon their table. One of them pulled the Highwayman back to look at them. “Well, lookie what we got ‘ere. A sissy rider. Nice helmet, Sissy Rider. Where’s the rest of the Highwaymen, eh?” One of them said, their accent more visible than all their teeth. “The Highwaymen died out some time ago. I’m not a member, I just wear the jacket for style.” The Highwayman said. He was short on time, so he turned away from them, before being jerked back. “Me friends don’t like ye.” The man said. “Then that’s their problem.” The Highwayman said. “I don’t like ye either. You’d better watch yerself. We’re wanted men.” The man said. “Then what’s stopping me from turning you in?” The Highwayman asked. “What’s stopping me from turnin’ ye inside out?!” The man asked. “This.” The Highwayman said as he smashed a beer bottle onto the man’s head, the rest of his gang were quick to react as they all rushed around him. The Highwayman jumped up onto the counter, where he placed his foot onto a metal tray and kicked it forwards to send the tray flying into another member’s head, knocking them unconscious. One of them grabbed his leg, and the Highwayman, instead of resisting, swung it towards the gang member, kicking them in the chest which knocked off their grip. He jumped off the counter around the mob, and ran towards a wall containing pool cues, where he grabbed a cue and stabbed it into one of the member’s necks, causing them to back away, grabbing at their wound. He smashed the pool cue into the side of another member’s head, hitting them on the temple and knocking them out. He pushed another member back onto the pool table, but received a punch in the side of the head from one of the two last standing members, but his helmet protected him and caused the member to break a couple fingers on the impact. He kicked his attacker in the testicles, causing them to throw up a little on the Highwayman’s knee. The last standing member put his hands up as the Highwayman turned to face him. “I give up!” He yelled, dropping the bottle he broke over the table earlier. “Smart.” The Highwayman said. He walked back up to the counter, leaning on it again. “So, where were we?” The Highwayman asked. “You didn’t even ask me a quested yet.” The bartendress said, as she held a baseball bat. “Oh. Well, I was going to ask, was someone here yesterday wearing fairly bright clothing. Probably sticking out like a sore thumb amongst your… usual crowd?” The Highwayman asked, as he looked at the groaning, wounded biker gang members on the ground. “Uh, yeah… Is he a friend of yours?” She asked. “You could say that.” The Highwayman said. “Well, yeah, he came right up to me, asked me for a drink, and we had a bit of a conversation. Kind of pale, strange accent.” She said. “He probably had nearly colorless eyes, right?” The Highwayman said. “No, he had reddish-green eyes. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was kind of, handsome almost.” She said. “Reddish-green… That’s not what I was expecting. Did he mention where he was going, what his business was in Los Angeles?” The Highwayman asked. “Yeah, he’s going to a sort of concert. From the sounds of it it’s more like a gig, at some kind of new diner for its grand opening. He stated he was going to be there specifically for the band, though.” She said. “Right. Thanks for the help.” The Highwayman said. “Thanks for making a mess of my bar.” She said. As the Highwayman opened the door, the gang’s leader from earlier got back up. “It takes a man to admit defeat, you highway-fuck. But I’ll admit, you kicked our arses. But stay the hell away from ‘ere, ye hear me!? We won’t pursue. Just don’t fuckin’ bother us again.” The man yelled. The Highwayman didn’t say a word, but instead continued to leave the bar.

The Highwayman stopped his chopper just outside the aforementioned diner, labeled “Afterburn Diner”. The Highwayman stepped inside, it was fairly well made, clearly designed to catch a fifties vibe. In the corner of the restaurant was an entire stage where a band played. The band was all-female, but most notably they looked out of place. They wore outfits that made them look like your average teen angst-filled rebel, but they still played old-fashioned rock’n’roll instead of something like punk rock, likely because the people paying them told them to play normally. Regardless, the Highwayman tore his attention away from them, and towards another man who sat slumped in his booth, watching the band himself. The Highwayman good a good, long look at his pupils. They matched the description. Suspiciously he wasn’t wearing what the Highwayman expected him to be wearing. He wore darker colors. From the average onlooker, it would seem that the man was related some way to the band as he only drank a cola and was more fixated on the band than anything else, it’s clear he had an interest in them. The Highwayman decided not to make a move here. Too public. He was approached by a waitress. “Welcome to the Afterburn! How many are going to be at your table?” She asked. “One.” The Highwayman said. He was lead to a table, where he sat down, and ordered a drink. But his eyes remained fixated on his target. Eventually his drink came, he lifted it up, and accidentally hit it against his helmet like he did earlier. He took off his helmet, and took a sip, before another person walked in, wearing similar attire to The Highwayman, which an american flag bandanna covering most of their face. Perhaps another lacky sent from the gang he had a run-in with not long ago. But it wasn’t until the back of this man’s jacket met the Highwayman’s eyes did he realize just who this person was. The back of the jacket read “Highwayman”. The man turned and looked at the real Highwayman, not noticing him immediately. The two stared at each other for some time, before the Highwayman shook his head. The man walked up to the Highwayman’s table, pulling down his bandanna to reveal himself to be Dave. “What the hell are you doing here?” The Highwayman asked. “Hunting vampires. What about you?” Dave asked. “Take a wild guess.” The Highwayman said. “Sorry I had to take one of your outfits, but you stressed that I wear something vampires couldn’t bite through.” Dave said. “Whatever. Just listen closely. There’s a man nearby, a vampire I’ve been tracking, who’s got his eyes on this band. If I were to guess, he’s dressing similarly and watching them so closely to make it seem like he’s related to the band. He’s gonna make a move at some point. We need to be there when he makes it.” The Highwayman said. “Right. So I was looking through some of your stuff, and I found this dagger just collecting dust, seeing as you ain’t the religious type, and I am, could I have it?” Dave asked as he showed the Highwayman the dagger. “Uh, sure. I don’t care. Just don’t screw anything up.” The Highwayman said. He took note of the band putting up some of their equipment. “We’re taking a five, try not to miss us too much!” The lead singer of the band said. The Highwayman’s target got up from his booth to talk with the band. The Highwayman took note of one of the band member’s distressed facial expression upon the target showing them a gun, which made the Highwayman realize his target just got himself backstage tickets. “Come on. We’re following them.” The Highwayman said as he got up. He waited for the band, and the target, to walk through a set of doors marked “employees only”, to which the Highwayman and Dave cautiously entered, and followed the band, until they were spotted by the target, who turned to look at the Highwayman. “Can I help you?” The target said. “Yeah. Save us the trouble and shoot yourself.” The Highwayman said. “And why would I do that?” The target asked. “You’re a vampire, and we’re vampire hunters, it’s pretty easy to understand.” Dave said. “Vampire? I think you’ve got the wrong guy.” The target said. “Yeah, I just realized something, this guy has a red pigment to his eyes. You won’t find any hint of red in a vampire, especially the blood vessels in this one’s eyes. But you’re still committing a crime here. What do you want with the girls?” The Highwayman asked. “It’s simple. I want them to be like me.“ The target said. “So you are a vampire.” Dave said. “No, I just realized. This guy’s not a vampire. He is much worse.” The Highwayman said. “You’ve got that right.” The target said, as his skin began to stretch as he grew in height. His hairs expanded until he was covered in fur. Once in his real form, he let out a painful roar. “Well, here’s your werewolf pelt.” The Highwayman said to Dave. The Highwayman was knocked back by the Werewolf’s initial attack, but he recovered from it almost immediately. The Werewolf swiped at Dave, but he was quick to react as he dug the silver dagger into the Werewolf’s hand, and the Werewolf let out a roaring moan of pain. “Dave, duck!” The Highwayman yelled, and Dave quickly dived to the ground. The Highwayman opened up the side to his jacket and pulled out a sawed-off pump action shotgun, which he fired into the Werewolf eight times before the trigger began to click. The silver left steaming bullet holes in the Werewolf, but the beast was still kicking. It tackled Dave and opened its mouth as the edges of its fangs just scratched Dave’s neck before the Werewolf was pulled off of him. Dave scampered backwards until he was next to the Highwayman, before looking up to the Highwayman in confusion. “I’ll take it you didn’t just get that fucker off of me, huh?” Dave asked. “Nope. She did.” The Highwayman said as he reloaded the shotgun, and pointed his finger at one of the band members. The girl in particular wore pink-shaded sunglasses that completely covered her eyes, had short hair that stuck up in the front, several nose and mouth piercings, and a tank top combined with ripped jeans. A lolipop bounced around in her mouth, though the Highwayman could tell that she had it not for the flavour, but for the style that one would have a toothpick in their mouth. She couldn’t have been older than 21. “Turns out a werewolf isn’t tough shit when it has silver dug into the back of its skull.” She said, as she twisted the Werewolf’s head around to show a small switchblade sticking out of the back of the Werewolf’s head. “Impressive work. Considering how calm you are compared to your… associates, I take it you’ve had experience with werewolves?” The Highwayman asked. “Nah. I’m psychic. I had a vision of this happening a couple weeks ago. I knew we’d be fine. If anything I’m the hero of the day.” She said. “Well, I’m the one who stabbed him in the hand, and he kinda unloaded a shotgun into it, so… We can all three of us takes a third each of the credit.” Dave said. “Tell you what. I get half and you two split quarters.” The girl said. “I don’t give a shit, frankly. I’ve been tracking this werewolf for a good long while, and now we finally did it. That’s the only thing that matters to me. But you’ve really interested me today. What’s your name?” The Highwayman asked. “Liz. You can call me Lizzy, too. Just don’t call me Elizabeth. I can especially tell you can’t wait to call me Elizabeth.” Liz said, the latter of which was pointed towards Dave. “I suppose that it shouldn’t surprise you if I were to say that I’m skeptical of your claim that you’re psychic. Any way to prove it?” The Highwayman asked. “You’re real name is Jameson, your last name is actually heavily indecisive because your parents divorced before you were born. You spent half of your youth life between them, during which your last name was constantly changed. Eventually when you grew of age you chose neither of their names, because you preferred to make your own choices. After getting a girl who you were in a relationship with for a whopping four days knocked up, you drove away from your past with your father’s chopper and a LOT of uniforms from your father’s old biker gang until you reached Los Angeles. Your father wasn’t completely interested in your family’s line of work which consists of hunting and slaying creatures typically thought to be mythical, but your grandfather was, and the family morals skipped a generation to you. Today you dedicate your work to your grandfather’s memory. And you left your keys in your chopper.” Liz said. There was silence in the room for a while. “Try me.” Dave said. “I’d rather not, I made my point and I can already see who you are from a million miles away, I hardly have to read your mind.” Liz said. “Man, she’s good.” Dave said. “Right. Well the main thing that concerned me is that I couldn’t read the werewolf’s mind. Which was why I couldn’t just call him out on his plan to turn us into more Werewolves as well. If I were to guess it’s because psychics can only work on humans. At least human psychics. And technically, that guy was probably not a human. At least, not exactly.” Liz said. “Well, I’d say we’re out of here. Dave go ahead and skin the Werewolf. I’ll get someone to sew the bullet holes shut.” The Highwayman said. “Wait, I actually want in on this little operation.” Liz said. “What? Why? I was doing this stuff lone wolf yesterday and I’ve already adopted two members to a team I didn’t know existed within the span of a few hours.” The Highwayman said. “Well, I saw a vision of the band falling apart. I told them this already which is why they’re not freaking out. But I see a future in this, something really awesome. Nothing clear yet, but I can see us and another that isn’t here just yet, tearing things up. Which is just the kind of adventure I’m in for. And trust me, a psychic could really help in this line of work.” Liz said. “Alright, fine, you’re in.” The Highwayman said. “Yeah, I knew you’d let me in.” Liz said. The Highwayman, Dave and Liz walked out of the diner through a set of backdoors into the dumpster alley, with Dave dragging along the werewolf body. “How are we gonna get this thing back to HQ?” Dave asked. “You mean my house, not HQ. I only have one guest room so you two are sharing rooms.” The Highwayman said. “Eh. We can turn it into a barracks.” Dave said. “It’s not your house, it’s mine. It’s a guest room, and that’s how it’s gonna be.” The Highwayman said.

A lone figure walked down an incredibly dark hallway, barely lit by torches that adorned the wall. What little could be seen of them was mostly bandages, covering their whole body, the only break this man got was at his eyes. His suit was almost of nobility, though it was ruined by many scratches, burn marks and general damage. As he reached the end of the hallway, he entered a room where a lone figure sat, strapped to a chair and blindfolded. As they heard the approaching steps, they asked out, “Hello? Is someone there? You have to help me.” The man said. “No one is coming for you, you are chopped liver to your organization. They will send no one to save you. You will likely die here. But I’ll give you the flip of a coin if you answer my questions.” The figure said. “Alright, fine, just please don’t hurt me. I’ve got family. I’ve got a kid on the way.” The man said. “We all have loved ones, don’t we? Don’t worry. I am a sympathetic soul. I will not harm you if you comply.” The bandaged figure responded. “I only ask three things. One: Name to me where the new Gates of Maltereos lie and how to pass their trials. Two: Explain to me in full detail who the Highwaymen are, where they operate and the specific members of their organization. And three: Are you a vampire?” The bandaged one asked. “Well… Uh… The Gates of New Maltereos, which is a correction to what you mentioned earlier, by the way, have been re-established off the coast of California. O-on an oil rig. This oil rig leads to a secret part of the base so long as you pass their test, there is a blood-scanning device, top of the line stuff, if it detects any amount of blood in a single person, they will be terminated. It also counts how many people were scanned and afterwards, counts how many leave into the depths of New Maltereos. If the leaving party goes over the numbered amount of people scanned, it terminates everyone. This is just an extra precaution. The second question, about the Highwaymen, is a strange one. I know little, but they are a rising group of vampire hunters. Very skilled. They took down a werewolf in CQC. They’re not hard to spot, they wear jackets with “Highwaymen” printed on the back. But they’re a group of idiots, they’ll get themselves wiped out before they even start to know about the existence of Maltereos. As for their location, I’m not sure. I know one of them is named after the faction, otherwise I’m not sure about the others. And, I don’t even have to answer the last one. Of course I am. I believe that’s why you captured me, right?” The man asked. The bandaged man laughed slightly. “No. I just wanted to know how honest you were. Now, you answered your questions fairly well. You know, in the department of the third question, you and I are not so different. I am a vampire as well.” The bandaged one said, as he pulled out a coin. “Then why are you not at Maltereos right now?” The captive asked. “Because that’s where you and I differ as vampires.” The bandaged one said, as he flipped the coin. “And how do we differ?” The captive asked. As the coin dropped into the bandaged one’s hand, and the bandaged vampire took a look at it. He pulled off his captive’s blindfold, and looked him in the eyes. “Because I’m not stupid enough to be captured by other vampires” The bandaged one said as he fired a revolver directly between the eyes of his captive. He looked down at the coin, which showed tails. He flipped it over and looked at the other side, which was also tails. He pocketed the coin, and walked back down the hallway he came. The blood from his captive adding to the ruining of his apparel.

The Highwayman awoke from sleep the next day, it was the first time in weeks he actually got a legitimate amount of sleep. He shakingly got up from his bed, and put his clothes on, walking down into the living room. Everyone else was still asleep. He looked outside for a quick second, but noticed a note left, knifed into the exterior wall, directly next to the door. The Highwayman took the note off and began to read it. “We must meet atop the rainbow, anywhere between 8 to 10pm. If you do not understand what this means, I overestimated your intelligence. If you do and do not show up, you will miss your chance to get to the bottom of the sudden rise in vampire activity. Do not bring your lackeys. From a friend only made from dire circumstances.” He took the note and crushed it, throwing it in the trash. This was one of the days he didn’t have any other meetings, where he did actual errands done by normal people. Whoever planted the note could’ve chosen a wiser time to meet. But the Highwayman could spare the time. He got onto his chopper, starting it up, and riding off. His first stop was dry cleaning, where he picked up several new clean jackets, and afterwards grocery shopping. Mostly for alcohol. He eventually returned to the house, where he put away the new supplies he got. By the time he returned, the others were awake. As he stepped through the door, he saw Dave and Liz sitting on couch, watching TV, specifically Dracula, on the Highwayman’s VHS player. The only movie the Highwayman had. “Y’know, Wayman, you should invest into getting more movies. Have you seen the new movie Risky Business?” Liz asked. “No, I haven’t. I’m not a movie person. What kind of idiot has the time to sit down and type out a story?” The Highwayman asked. “A lot of people, actually.” Liz said. “I don’t. I’ve got a lot to do. I’ll be out, by myself, by eight. I’ve got more things to do. For now I’m going to get some exercise. I’d advise you do the same but… ah, nevermind. You’re too busy watching something I bought out of curiosity and forgot to get a refund for.” The Highwayman said. He walked upstairs into an exercise room.

Later, at around eight thirty, the Highwayman stopped his chopper outside the bar he was at two days ago. The Rainbow Bar and Grill. He walked in, and stopped at the bar. “What’s in the upstairs part of this place?” The Highwayman asked the bartender. “It’s an exclusive area, dance floor and whatnot. It’s typically the place where small parties are thrown. Regardless you need membership to go up there. Or representation with a member that you two, or however many of you there are, are allowed to go.” The bartender said. “Right. There’s someone I’m here to speak with up there. He arrived earlier than me.” The Highwayman said. “Unless he tells me himself, you’re not with him.” The Bartender said. “Could I at least go up there for just a couple of seconds to ask him to come down and confirm me to be with him?” The Highwayman said. “Since he hasn’t confirmed you’re with him, he’s a different customer. And the rules say you’re not allowed to bother the other customers.” The bartender said. Footsteps approached the Highwayman, he turned to look at who was walking up to him, only for him to realize it was Liz. “Damn it, I told you to stay behind. I’ll take this meeting myself.” The Highwayman said. “Trust me, you need me on this one.” Liz said before she turned her attention to the bartender. “The guy we’re looking for, spoke to you about the upstairs area. He bought a membership just earlier because he wasn’t a member before. You couldn’t see his face either, which you thought was weird. Wierd we would know so much unless we knew him. So you going to let us go, or maybe I should stop by and tell the manager you and your friends are drinking for free on your work hours and how you’ve stolen from the cash register?” Liz said. “Damn it, fine. Go talk to him. I don’t give a shit.” The bartender said. “Smart.” Liz said. “I know you want to take this on your own. Go ahead. But I’ll be waiting at the foot of the stairs, I at least want to know what’s going on. Besides, I could read it off your mind afterwards if I wanted to.” Liz said. “I can’t tell if you’re going to help or hurt my life more just by associating with you, but at least you’re direct with most of this stuff.” The Highwayman said as he walked through a door to the upstairs area. The room was empty and silent. Almost disturbing considering that this meeting was taking place in the same room as that which contained a dance floor. “The Highwayman. Nice to meet you.” A figure said, as they sat at a nearby table. The Highwayman turned to face the man greeting him. The Highwayman could barely see the person. “You can sit down if you’d like. This isn’t an interrogation, or some twisted assassination. Come, sit.” The man said, having a unique british accent, almost blended with an american accent. It was barely there, but it was there for sure. The Highwayman approached, and sat down, cautiously. “You may relax, be on edge if it makes you comfortable. That’s how most people are nowadays.” The man said. “What’s your name?” The Highwayman asked. “Tindalos. Strange name, I know. There’s a bit of a history to it. I’ll get to that later, however. I’m here on… business. See, I dislike vampires just as much as you. And I have a lead. Incredible intel you would never find anywhere else without my help.” The man said. “And what’s that?” The Highwayman asked. Despite being only a table’s length away from the man, the light was turned away from him. The Highwayman couldn’t get any good look of the man’s face, he couldn’t even fill in the gaps. And just as he was thinking about it, Tindalos moved a nearby light closer to his face, revealing that the reason why the Highwayman had such a horrible look at the man’s face in the dark, was because the man’s face was covered in bandages. “And what is this intel exac-” The Highwayman started, before he got a good look at Tindalos’ eyes. His pupils and where the coloring of his eyes normally would be, were pitch black. Just like a vampire’s. “Mind telling me why it is that another vampire hunter is a vampire himself?” The Highwayman asked, as he slowly moved his hand onto the grip of his pistol. “Ah, this, right. Well I was hoping to save history for later, but alas, if you want answers, I’ll give them to you.” Tindalos said. “Speak quickly.” The Highwayman responded. “Very well. In 1844, I was a mathematician and a scientist, admittedly I didn’t create anything revolutionary, but I had my fair share of inventions. But I also had done research on vampires. I’m not sure how but it attracted the attention of other vampires. Now, as I did research of these beasts I had come to hate them. So you could imagine that when one day I woke up deprived, agitated, sick and also had protruding fangs from my mouth and a lack of blood, that I was very unhappy. For years I worked on a cure. But I was a mechanic, a steam operator, not a doctor. I came upon nothing, no way to create a cure. Eventually, instead of wasting my days, I chose to go out and hunt my kind. Seeing as I was a vampire, I could easily blend in with them. I infiltrated the most populated vampire sanctuary in Berlin, known as Maltereos. It got to the point where I became a very high-ranking officer of theirs. To keep myself from truly becoming a vampire, I never fed on the blood of a human, which left severe consequences. I grew weak and wounded the further I got, and I slowly began to be deformed. I was very slowly, and painfully, starving. Admittedly, just to be able to even walk, I have infected others, though I swiftly put them out of their misery afterwards. I had to continue my operations. Eventually, I was found out. As punishment, they pressed my face against the heated glass during daytime, the rest of my head acting as cover for them as well. Not only was I slightly deformed, but heavily burnt, hence the bandages. I was cast out. But I’ve caught wind of another sanctuary known as New Maltereos. I want to get back at them, to kill them all. So I ask to be a member of the Highwaymen. If you choose to exclude me from this, I will keep all the necessary information from you, and you will be unable to pursue this sanctuary and truly put an end to the masses of Vampires appearing through California and eventually, the entirety of the United States.” Tindalos said. After a hard, long thought about it, the Highwayman sighed. “Fine. But you make a move against us, and I will burn you in the sunlight a thousand times worse than your “friends” did. Keep that in mind.” The Highwayman said. “I will, but otherwise you have my thanks. If you have any further questions, ask, if not, I will follow you to the exit, where I shall follow you to your base of operations.” Tindalos said. “It’s not as much of a base of operations as it is more of, my house.” The Highwayman said. “Hm. I’m not sure what I expected anyway.” Tindalos said. “Whatever. Come with.” The Highwayman said, as he led the way to the exit of the Rainbow. On their way out, Liz was waiting for them, where she confronted the Highwayman. “New member, huh? Alright.” Liz said. “We’re bringing him with. As you probably know by now. How did you get here, anyway?” The Highwayman asked. “Took a cab.” Liz responded. “How’d you know the address?” The Highwayman asked. Liz responded by tapping her finger onto the side of her head twice. “Right. Well can you take our new member, Tindalos, with? My chopper is a one-seater, obviously.” The Highwayman said. “No problem.” Liz responded.

Later that night, The Highwayman had hung up his leather jacket and his helmet, as he fell backwards into his bed, before he noticed the door open to his room. “Is it too hard to knock?” The Highwayman said as he lifted himself up to see Liz leaning in the doorframe. “Yeah, it is. Besides if you were doing something where you didn’t want to be disturbed, I would know already.” Liz said. “So what is it?” The Highwayman asked. “Well, we’ve got a full house. Dave’s got the couch and the mummy’s got the guest room’s bed. And I know you wouldn’t be mean enough to make me sleep on the floor.” Liz said. “Maybe I am.” The Highwayman said. “No, you’re not. Look the tough independent getup is fine when we’re trying to make an impression in public but, we’re your teammates. At least lighten up a little when you’re around only us. Besides, I think you could use the company.” Liz said. “Fine, fine. I just need-” The Highwayman was interrupted. “Shh, I know exactly what you need.” Liz said as she walked up to him and leaned in for a kiss. The Highwayman pushed back. “I certainly don’t need that. It’s not who I am.” The Highwayman said. “And why do you think nothing good could come of it? It’s not like we have to start a relationship. We could be closer to friends with benefits.” Liz said. “I’m a man of action. I don’t want to get lazy with luxury. You can sleep in the bed but, just don’t get all sexual with me. I don’t need it, I don’t want it.” The Highwayman said. Liz sighed. “Alright, fine. But my offer’s still there.” Liz said. “Don’t expect me to take you up on it.” The Highwayman replied. “Alright, buzzkill.” Liz said as she threw a pillow at him, though he didn’t return the sense of playfulness Liz was exhibiting. “God, at least crack the smallest smile.” Liz said. “You’ll have to work for it.” The Highwayman said. Liz was silent. “How about this: Why don’t people play poker in the jungle?” Liz asked. The Highwayman grunted lowly. “There’s too many cheetahs.” Liz said. The room was silent. “Ah, whatever.” Liz said as she laid down. As the Highwayman laid down faced away from her, the corners of his lips very slightly arced upwards.

In the morning, The Highwayman and Liz walked down the set of stairs and into the kitchen, where Tindalos was cooking eggs. “What the hell, I drink those!” The Highwayman said. “It’s a part of a good breakfast. Besides, that’s the inefficient route.” Tindalos said. “Hey, why would you turn down a good breakfast like that?” Liz asked. “It’s made with my eggs which I already had plans with, that’s why.” The Highwayman said. “You may as well eat them anyway. They’re already prepared.” Tindalos said. “Whatever. Where’s Dave?” The Highwayman asked. “He’s making his new outfit out of a werewolf pelt. When it’s finished you’ll find out how unskilled he is at fashioning outfits.” Tindalos replied. “Right. So, Tindalos, you have a plan to break into that vampire base?” The Highwayman asked as he opened the fridge and pulled out a bottle of scotch, which was almost empty. “Well, there’s two options. You all let me turn you into vampires, or we do it the fast and loud way which will get us all killed.” Tindalos said. The Highwayman downed the last of the scotch straight from the bottle, and let out a belch. “Alright, so are you going to give us some context to this?” The Highwayman asked. “Yes. New Maltereos has an advanced security system. It terminates anyone detected to have blood before they enter, and also terminates anyone who is fast enough to evade the initial scan and enter through the front doors. If you’re not a vampire, the only way to get in is to completely destroy the front door, or blast your way in through another door.” Tindalos said. “Well… actually... could we try letting you get in the normal way and opening a way for us to slip in undetected?” The Highwayman asked. “If I get caught, I’d rather kill myself than suffer the same torture I’ve endured again. I’d be willing to do this, but know that if I get caught, I’ll be dead for sure. Whether by my own hands or by another's.” Tindalos said. “Right. Well then, I guess there’s a plan. Any objections?” The Highwayman asked. “Yeah, I’ve got an objection.” Tindalos said. “What? Why?” Liz asked. “I want to see our group in action, how well we’d do in combat against our enemy, just a couple missions really.” Tindalos said. “Hm. Fine. Got any leads?” The Highwayman asked. “Yeah, but part of our group in action includes finding one for yourselves.” Tindalos said. “You’re part of this, too, don’t act like you’re some kind of leader to this. If anything, you’re already really close to being kicked out… or worse.” The Highwayman said. “You make a fair point. Fine. At 2:30 in the morning, there’s a specific vampire that tests out magical abilities in a derelict graveyard on the outskirts of the Anza-Borrego Desert. He likes his solitude unlike most vampires. Regardless he is very unique, but a dangerous vampire nonetheless.” Tindalos said. “That’s a really long drive. We’ve only got the one chopper.” The Highwayman said. Suddenly, Dave approached The Highwayman and Liz from behind. “Which is why the two of us have a plan for the group.” Dave said. His new outfit consisted of the usual Highwayman jacket, but it was sleeveless. Instead of a motorcycle helmet, the werewolf’s head was worn by Dave, with some of its pelt going to his pants and gloves, and the werewolf’s claws being attached to the gloves and the boots. But most notably, the back insignia of his jacket read “Highwaymen”. “We ordered new outfits. We may as well look the part.” Tindalos said. “Well, I guess I have to say I’m impressed.” The Highwayman said. “Your outfits are already here, we’ve got copies for when you need them cleaned, too. You can find them on the coffee table in the living room.” Dave said. “Alright then, Liz-” The Highwayman was cut off to find that Liz was already digging through a cardboard box on the coffee table. She put hers on, it was mostly normal, but her jacket was in a woman’s design, with the torso of the jacket ending a little higher to show her stomach. Tindalos grabbed his jacket from where it was resting on one of the kitchen table’s chairs, putting it on. It too was sleeveless, but his bandages still covered the skin to his arms, and fingerless gloves were also a part of the outfit, with more bandaging to protect his fingers. He pulled out a pair of sunglasses, and put them on to cover his eyes, the only part of his face left unbandaged. “Well. It looks like we’re all suited up. But the transportation problem remains.” The Highwayman said. “We’re taking care of that now. But first...” Dave held out a desert eagle to the Highwayman, it was painted black, except written on both sides in a glossy gold color were the words “Born to Lose - Live to Win”. The Highwayman took it, and smiled. “I’m not sure what to say.” The Highwayman said. “How about, ‘let’s go kick some ass, Highwaymen’?” Dave asked. “That’s too much, how about, let’s go?” The Highwayman asked. “Oh, well… OK. Sure.” Dave said. The four walked out of the house. “Alright, so where are we going?” The Highwayman asked. “Oh yeah, that’s right. We’re off to that chop shop in uptown LA, Sparkplug City. They’ve been working on some new modes of transport for us.” Dave said. “Good. And I hope you guys aren’t resorting to me to pay for all this, right?” The Highwayman asked. “Oh god no. No one’s paying for it. Turns out the joint’s run by vampires. So that’s the third present for you.” Dave said. “Excellent. Are you all armed?” The Highwayman asked. “To the teeth.” Tindalos said as he opened up his leather jacket to reveal a sawed-off shotgun. “Great. You guys should take a taxi, I’ll follow on the chopper.” The Highwayman said. “Sounds like a plan.” Liz replied.

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