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... Defend us in Battle ...

Guarding the Dark... The Supernatural Police Department Novel

“PROTECT THOSE WHO CANNOT PROTECT THEMSELVES, GUARD AGAINST THOSE WHO WISH TO CAUSE HARM; WE ARE THE LINE.”  


~ SPD

Chapters

It Begins ...

The Introductions

Meeting of the Two

At Your Door

The Hut

The Flame

Academy Reality

Not Fully Human

The Pixie Chase

Chapter 1 - it begins...

"What did I say, LINE UP!"

There is a huddle of ten unorganised recruits standing in a large auditorium. They all wear the same clothing, A light grey shirt with ‘SPD: Recruit’ emblazoned small on the front and large on the back. Dark grey long pants that are stiff from being fresh out of the plastic and are clearly uncomfortable. Large steel cap boots that appear ill fitting on the smaller recruits and a grey cap with reflective sides. They belong to Squad 488, and this is their first days as recruits in the Supernatural Police Department Academy. Brendan Farmer stands off to the side, arms crossed, chewing on his lip. The nerves of the first day of being a recruit creep up on him, a relentless shiver slowly courses up his back. His legs shake from both anxiety and impatience. His impressive height makes him the tallest of all the recruits, but it also makes the nervous twitching more obvious. In a former life he was a salesman. Quick of wit and sharp of tongue. Enjoyed bending the truth to finalise a sale. He possessed more than enough confidence when he was on the sales floor, but those days are now over.  


“Don’t worry big guy,” a calming female voice emanates from behind him, “I will look after you”. 


Farmer turns around. A short stature, brown-haired female is smiling brightly at him. Naomi Robinson oozes confidence, the same confidence Farmer wishes he had, but he didn’t.


“Thanks,” he replied sheepishly. In his salesman days he would have had a plethora of pick-up lines and come backs, but not today. He stares awkwardly silent at Robinson for a few moments then turned back around. He wanted no distractions. Farmer has waited for this day for many years. He was on the beginning of his life’s quest. 


In the distance, Sergeant Glenn Smith walks toward the group of recruits. The walk is more like a march, fast paced and with purpose. Sergeant Smith is on a mission. His clothes are ironed excessively, making creases look and feel like the edges of razor blades. His boots glisten from being polished incessantly. Sergeant Smiths time in the army had long passed, but it remained embedded within his consciousness, order and discipline flowed through his veins. His face is wrinkled but not from the passing of time, but rather from enduring what most people would not be able to endure. His superiors instantly garner his respect, but his subordinates must earn it. Sergeant Smith was a dying breed amongst the staff at the Supernatural Police Academy and he knew it.  


“Line up, line up, line up!” yells Sergeant Smith.


The recruits, most having no military or police experience are at a loss.  John Peppers and Cindy Jones, both having been in the military are well aware of his instruction and take a stance toward Sergeant Smith, arm’s length apart, standing upright and head up. The others casually stand next to each other, some slouched, others still fiddling with their phones or talking to each other.


“What did I say, LINE UP!” Sergeant Smith shouts angrily.


The others realise that Peppers and Jones have done this before and follow their lead. Two lines of five are formed. The group is in cohesion.


“Better,” grunts Sergeant Smith.


“Welcome. Years ago, I could have called you all a sad, pathetic bunch of losers not worthy of a position in this honourable establishment. However, thanks to the tree hugging hippies, that is now deemed as bullying, so I won’t do that. I also won't call you a useless looking bunch of no-hopers, not fit to fight your way out of a paper bag, let alone a demonic being that could cut you into a thousand pieces in five seconds. Nope, I’m definitely not saying that,” subtlety was not one of the Sergeants strong points.


“I don’t know Sarge, some of these guys do look pretty hopeless.” A voice rings out from the second row. Tim Tobin, a former security guard, tries to be funny, it is not appreciated. Sergeant Smith barges his way through two recruits on the front row and stands toe to toe with Tobin.


Tobin is arrogant and smug but has the right to be so. He is strong, fast and intelligent. He is an expert at handling weapons and excelled in various martial arts and self-defences classes. Tobin is not physically imposing but doesn’t have to be with the skills he possesses. He knows how talented he is. He has trained his whole life to be ready for the Supernatural Police. However, he has not prepared himself for Sergeant Smith. 


“I didn’t realise Jerry Seinfeld had made it through the elimination phase. Congratulations Jerry.”


Tobin realises he has made a mistake. It is too late. Sergeant Smith owns him now.

Sergeant Smith whispers into Tobin’s ear, “What’s your name recruit?” 


“Tim Tobin,” he nervously squeaks.


“I CAN’T HEAR YOU,” yells Sergeant Smith, accidently spitting all over Tobin.


“TIM TOBIN,” he angrily shouts back.


Sergeant Smith looks Tobin up and down and stares into his eyes.


“From now on, you will be known as Jerry, do you understand?” the Sergeant pleasantly states.


“Yes,” Tobin sighs.


“YES SIR!” shouts Sergeant Smith. The shout startles all the recruits.


“YES SIR!” Tobin yells back with urgency.


“Good. See, Jerry and I are friends now,” he said with a big cheesy grin on his face. 


Sergeant Smith begins to walk through the recruits in no particular order. Looking some directly in the eye, avoiding others completely. The Sergeant walks up to a female recruit, Casey Dell. Dell is 5’4, just in her 20’s, has a womanly body with pretty features. Her blonde hair is pulled back in a ponytail and not tied up in a bun. Dell may look like a princess, but she is far from it. She was raised in a pauper’s hut, not a Kings palace. Her soft exterior cleverly disguises her hard interior. The academy is a fresh start for her, a million miles away from the life she hated, the life she wants to forget. 


“Well hello Goldy Locks. Aren’t you a cute little thing?” said Sergeant Smith with sarcasm. “Tell me, what are you going to do when a 150 kilogram werewolf is charging at you full speed? His razor-sharp teeth exposed and ready to bite off your head?” 


“I would aim my Glock .22 loaded with silver laced bullets at his ugly head, pull the trigger and watch him fall down dead, SIR,” Dell emphatically replied.


“BOOM,” Mick Black, the recruit standing beside Dell interjects "Good call." He has quickly forgotten Sergeant Smiths policy on humour.


“Another funny man,” said the Sergeant to Black, while keeping his eyes squarely transfixed on Dell. 


“We have one Jerry already, so you can go and do laps around the auditorium.” Sergeant Smith’s monotone voice scared Black, but he does not move, he is unsure if the Sergeant is being serious. 


“DELL," Sergeant Smith yells, unwavering in his stance.


“Yes Sergeant,” Dell answered with urgency.


“If Black doesn’t start doing laps as instructed, I give you permission to kick him in the backside to get him moving. Do you understand?”


A smirk arises on Dells face, “SIR, YES SIR."


The Sergeant is still eyeing Dell. Black hesitates for a moment then begins to run laps.


“That’s a shame,” blurts out Dell, annoyed on missing the opportunity to kick Black. 


Sergeant Smith begins to smirk and is fighting the urge not to laugh at her comment. He catches himself, realising he does not want to break his staunch persona and quickly reverts to being stone faced.


“You were saying something about shooting the werewolf with a silver bullet. Tell me, what if it was a crowded place, packed with families and children running amuck. What would you do then recruit?” 


“I would aim my Glock .22 loaded with silver laced bullets at his ugly head, pull the trigger and watch him fall down dead… SIR,” Dell repeats her first statement verbatim.


“A short, cocky, arrogant blonde-haired female who has been babied by mummy and daddy all her life, no doubt told she is a strong, independent woman who can do anything and doesn’t need a man and no mountain too high and no task too hard, blah, blah, blah,” the Sergeant said with one big breath, still staring intently at her. 


Dell does not know whether to respond. She stands there, lost for words. Usually she wouldn’t hesitate biting back with a sharp comment. But she has fought hard to get this far and knows her position is a precarious one. Sergeant Smith grows weary of waiting for a response he knows is not coming. He leans into Dells ear, “You had better impress me Blondie. You have talked the talk, now you have to walk the walk.” Sergeant Smith snarls at Dell and moves on. 


There is a tall, muscular man, standing in the back row. John Fraser has a chiselled jaw and immaculate hair. Chest puffed out as if to show off his well-formed upper body physique. Sergeant Smith heads straight toward him. 


“Well, aren’t you quite the specimen. Tall, muscular, I suppose some would say attractive. Not me, but some.”


“Thank you, Sir,” replied Fraser happily.


“Don’t thank me, thank your mother and father.”


“My father is quite short actually, Sir.”


“Well, thank the postman then.” 


Fraser processes Sergeant Smith’s comment for a moment but doesn’t react. Several other recruits giggle at the remark, but the laughter is short lived.


“Silence,” shrieks the Sergeant, “I’ve had enough of the small talk. It bores me. We have seven long months together. I have no doubt in that time you will annoy me enough with information I care little about."


Sergeant Smith walks to the front of the group and stands at attention. Black who has completed one lap of the auditorium jogs up to the Sergeant.


“How many laps do you want me to do to Sergeant?” 


Black is a former professional football player and well-trained athlete. He is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he is the strongest. Being in peak physical fitness is second nature to him and it shows, for the jogging has no effect on his composure.


Sergeant Smith looks Black up and down, annoyed his punishment is having no detrimental effect on him, “All of them,” he replies. 


Black is shocked and puzzled by his response. He stands there for a moment and realises Sergeant Smith is not joking. Black continues his laps. 


As he jogs away the Sergeant turns toward him and says in a loud voice, “But don’t worry, you won’t be alone for long, you will have some friends joining you shortly." The Sergeant turns back to face the other recruits. “First thing is first. Let’s get the blood pumping and muscles moving. You will be spending the rest of the day in classrooms and I don’t want you falling asleep. Give me five laps and meet me in room CG460.”


From the front row comes a little voice, shy and innocent. Jenny White is usually reserved, but her eagerness not to make a mistake forces her to speak. “We don’t know where room CG460 is, Sir.”


Sergeant Smith walks over to White and stands directly in front of her. “Good” he snarled. He gives White a derided look then walks out of the auditorium. 


Everyone begins their five laps. Farmer remains stationary, transfixed on the exiting Sergeant Smith. “This is going to be a long seven months,” he says to himself in a regrettable tone. 


It would indeed be an arduous seven months for him and the other members of his team. 

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Chapter 2 - the introductions

“You’re a unique creature, aren’t you"

  

The ten recruits had found room CG460. It was part of an older building to the rear of the academy, not fitting of the vastly superior complex that housed the auditorium from which that had meandered down from. They all stood awkwardly. Small talk cut through the silence. Everyone felt out of place. Farmer stood silently ignoring all that surrounded him, he was trying to get in the zone. It was not working. Sgt Smith, in his usual march, headed toward the recruits, all of whom could not help but wonder what was coming their way. He approached the recruits and stopped outside of room CG460. He looked at the group puzzled.


“What are you all, sheep? Get in two lines” He barked.


The group hustles to form two lines. Farmer found himself in the front of the line, a place he did not want to be. Great, he thought to himself, face to face with Sgt Smith, the butterflies in his stomach intensified. 


Sgt Smith paid Farmer no personal attention but looked amused at the group “that will have to do, in you go”. 


Sgt Smith opened the door to room CG460 and the recruits slowly walked in, each one reluctant to enter as if it would be the last door they ever walked through. The room was nothing spectacular. Your typical classroom with chairs, desks, a white board and a lectern to fill the room. The walls adorned with posters that had no fixed subject matter. They purposely hid the dilapidated walls filled with thumb tac holes and stripped paint. The room itself had a stale smell. The windows and doors locked for some time; the only air circulating was that of an old air conditioner that was well past its used by date.


“Ok recruits,” Sgt Smith broke the silence. “As you can see, your names are on the tables in alphabetical order, much like it would have been when you all in kindergarten,” he said sarcastically. “If you can’t find your seat put your hand up and I will help you.”


The ten recruits found their tables quickly, none wanted the verbal thrashing that would surely accompany being the last one to sit. 


“It’s not musical chairs recruit, sit down,” Sgt Smith pounced on Alex Rodriguez, the last to find his seat. Rodriguez, almost sliding off his seat in haste to sit down was embarrassed. Rodriguez is shy and hates being the centre of attention. He spoke when spoken to and not before. He was taught from a young age that manners and politeness were paramount. Lessons that would do him a disservice in the ruthless academy. He did not respond to Sergeant Smiths comment. He gained his composure and faced the front.


“Well, while we wait for Miss Ling I might as well get the pleasantries out of the way. As you have gathered, I am Sergeant Smith. You will address me at all times as Sergeant Smith, or simply Sergeant, nothing else... Nothing else,” iterating the point. 


“Stay on my good side and we will be friends,” he stops and thinks for second, “No, scrap that, let me rephrase. Stay on my good side and I will be friendly.” The recruits all sat in silence, finding it hard to believe he could ever be friendly.


“Knock, knock, can I come in?” a sweet voice emerged from the doorway. Miss Ling, a petite woman walks in holding a large folder, it weighs her down and she almost drops it with each step. She is dressed in casual civilian clothing that appeared to have never been pressed against an iron. Her hair was in a messy bun, held together by some poorly placed hair pins. If there was an opposite of Sergeant Smith, Miss Ling was surely it. She approaches the desk to the front of the room and drops her folder which causes a loud banging noise.


“Oops, sorry about that,” Miss Ling said, giggling softly. 


The recruits are all taken back by her friendliness, a stark contrast to the Sergeant.


Farmer was happy to see Miss Ling, a ray of sunshine in a dark place, even though she had only been there for a few moments.


“You’re late Miss Ling,” Sergeant Smith said, arms crossed, eyes fixated on her.


“Oh, hush Sergeant, you can be such a grumble bum sometimes,” Miss Ling said, barely giving him a second thought. A sigh of relief came over the recruits. They knew she would be easier to deal with then the Sergeant.


“So, class, first things first,” Sergeant Smith takes the attention away from Miss Ling and walks over to the door. “When someone in a position of authority walks in a room, you stand up. It’s a sign of respect. Do we understand?” he queried the group. “You remain standing until told to sit. Why don’t we try it together?” His manner of speech was not dissimilar to that of a kindergarten teacher.


Sergeant Smith exits the room. Almost immediately he re-enters. The recruits stands up, but not Miss Ling who remains seated at her desk. She has seen this routine a thousand times and ignores his entrance.


“Wow, very good team, I am impressed. Let’s try it a few more times. Practice makes perfect,” he said as he forced a sarcastic smile on his time worn face. 


“Sit, sit, sit” he insisted. The students in unison sat in their seats.


He exits the room then re-enters. All the students stand up. “Excellent work team, please sit,” he says happily. The recruits sit again.


Again, Sergeant Smith exits the room then re-enters. The students comply with his instructions and stand up, all except Tobin.


Sergeant Smith is puzzled at his failure to stand. He glares viciously at Tobin


“Is there an issue Jerry?” he said, calling him by the nickname he had given him earlier in the auditorium.


“I’m not an elevator, I’m not going up and down all day,” Tobin said while looking directly at Sergeant Smith. 


The two stared at each other. Sgt smith could hold the gaze all day, Tobin could not. He succumbs and turns to the front. The rest of the class are dumbfounded by what is transpiring but are too frightened to move. Farmer can’t see the confrontation from his position in the front row, he wants to turn slightly but thinks better of it. He wants to avoid the Sergeants radar, unlike Tobin.


“You’re right Jerry, it is silly, please forgive me, everyone sit down,” Sergeant Smith told the recruits politely.


Farmer remained standing, contemplating what had just happened? Why did the Sergeant give up so easily? He was confused by the situation. So much so he hadn’t noticed the other recruits were seated and the Sergeant was hovering close behind him.


“Need a special invitation do we recruit?” The Sergeant whispered in Farmers ear, snapping him out of his trance and making him jump. The other recruits giggled and smirked watching Farmers awkward movement. Farmer sat down bumping his elbow on the table, hard. The smirks and giggles continued to get louder.


“QUIET,” Sergeant Smith yelled. Silence fell over the class instantly. He walks and stands in front of Farmers desk purposely. Dread rushed through Farmers body.


“You want a band aid for the little boo boo on your elbow?” he said to Farmer in a very unsettling voice. 


“No thank you, Sergeant,” Farmer replied, desperately trying to shift the Sergeants focus away from himself.


“Good,” Sergeant Smith grunted back. Farmer is relieved when the Sergeant walks away and stands behind the lectern. 


“I’m sure you are all sick of looking at my ugly head, because I know I’m sick of looking at all of yours,” the Sergeant casually stated, “So I am going to give you a break and hand you over to Miss Ling. Miss Ling is not a sworn officer of the S.P.D. However, she knows more about procedures, protocols and legislation than you ever will, and that’s why she is here. She is the brains operation and I am the brawn and beauty.” The recruits didn’t know whether to laugh at his joke or not. They all sensibly decide not to laugh. 


“So, I give you Miss Ling.” The introduction sounded like it should be accompanied by applause. Dell obliges but she was the only one. She is embarrassed by her decision and puts her head down in a poor attempt to hide.


Miss Ling smiles politely at Dells clapping. “Thank you, but the applause isn’t necessary. My name is Miss Ling and I will be your co-facilitator throughout your academy journey. Unfortunately, I teach all the mundane subjects such as rules, regulations and legislation. So, when you see me up front, be sure to have a coffee with you, because I will put you to sleep”. A sigh of relief comes over the faces of the recruits. Miss Lings pleasant demeanour calms them, except for Farmer, who is still reeling from his brief face to face with the Sergeant.


“I will tell you all about myself as time goes by, but first, I want to know about you all,” Miss Ling enthusiastically stated.


“So, one by one I want you all to get up in front of the class and tell us a bit about yourself. It will be fun. So, our first contestant is…” Miss Ling walks over to Blacks table and reads the name tag on his desk, “Mr Mick Black come on down.” Miss Ling waves her hand showing Black to the lectern.


Black stands up in front of Miss Ling, his massive body frame dwarfs hers, he walks to the front of the class and takes his position behind the lectern.


“Umm I’m not really sure what to say, I’ve never done this before.” Black looks uncomfortable and out of place.


“Just a bit of background Mick, you don’t have to go to in-depth, we have seven months together,” Miss Ling said in a comforting voice.


“Well, OK. I grew up in Dallas Texas, GO COWBOYS.” Black shrieked and pumped his fists excitedly. Oh great, a football jock Farmer thinks to himself while rolling his eyes.


“I played college football where I got my degree in Physics-”


Sergeant Smith coughs uncontrollably for a moment which interrupts Black. He is surprised by his statement and queries him, “Did you say physics?”


“Yes sir, top of my class if you don’t mind me saying so,” Black boasted.


“I got a serious injury in training just before I got to turn pro, which pretty much ended my football career.” His shoulders dropped and eyes became full of sadness. Some emotions you can’t hide, no matter how hard you try. “But, after wallowing in self-pity for ages I pulled myself together and focused on another dream...this!” Black perked up somewhat, but this is not his dream, it’s a job he knows he will be good at. His dreams were shattered that day on the football field.


“What happened? If you don’t mind me asking.” Miss Ling enquired with genuine curiosity.


“Well basically I got tackled the wrong way and my spine was crushed in a few places. And that’s it.” It’s a topic Black doesn’t like talking about. “So anyway, here I am. I am single, no children and looking forward to one day being in the Vampire Squad. And that’s me.” He was over talking and did not want to lament any further on his past. He took initiative and sat himself down before being told. 


“Thank you, Mick. I’m sure the Vampire Squad will be lucky to have you,” said Miss Ling.

Farmer was impressed by what he had heard. Beneath the confident, strong, bold exterior Black portrayed, he was just like everyone else. Black had emotions and had been through some tough times which clearly had an effect on him.


“Next we have the lovely Casey Dell.” Miss Ling was hoping Dells story would be more positive. 


Dell is wearing a massive smile and appears to be in her element behind the lectern.


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii everyone,” the high pitched, elongated introduction by Dell pierced the ears of all those in the room. 


“I think a dog in China heard that,” Sergeant Smith proclaimed, touching his right ear gently as if Dells voice had done some serious damage. Farmer was surprised that the Sergeant was capable of such humour and almost laughed at his comment. Almost. 


“Oh, sorry Sarge, I’m just very, very, very excited to be here.” Dell could barely stand still from excitement. Her oversized boots kept her grounded, just.


“I have always dreamt about being a Supernatural Police Officer, ever since I was a little girl,” beamed Dell.


“I retire in a few years Dell, lets skip to the most important bits,” the Sergeant sarcastically  announced. His continued quick wit was surprising all the recruits, yet no one dared laugh. 


Dell continued unperturbed by his interruption. “Oh, OK. I was born in the Sunshine State. All my family are still there.” 


“Tell us a bit about your family,” a curious Miss Ling interrupted her.


Dell wasn’t prepared for that question and froze. Her family life was something she longed to forget. Dells short life span had witnessed drama, tragedy and distress, something no person should have to endure, but she did, and it made her tougher person, both mentally and physically. Dell also had a secret, a secret that could not be divulged to anyone and certainly not to a room full of strangers. She was unlike anyone else in that room and she knew it. 


She snapped out of her frozen state and replied, “Nothing too exciting, Dad was a truck driver and Mom looked after us kids”. It wasn’t technically a lie, her dad was a trucker and her mom a homemaker, but she left out the details that ashamed her and made her feel wrongly embarrassed. Any truthful discussion that involved her parents would reveal the true horror of her past. She carried on.


“After school I went to beauty college and eventually started my own beauty salon, which was very successful I must admit”. Dell was clearly proud of her achievement and rightfully so. She came from nothing to be something.


“But I needed more. I wanted some excitement. For as long as I can remember the supernatural world has interested me. So, I began training, learning, studying all things supernatural. And here I, a sweet innocent girl from sunny California, stand before you, finally a recruit at the Supernatural Police Academy. Go me!” Dells cheerful disposition was infectious. Her words put a smile on all those in the room. 


Even the Sergeant managed to raise half a smirk. He turned to look at her as a sign of recognition. The look turned into an analysing stare. Sgt smith looked her up and down, as if scanning every inch of her. Farmer observed this stare and thought the Sergeant was being inappropriate and gazing upon her with impure eyes. Although this made him slightly uncomfortable, Farmer soon realised this was not the case.


“You’re a unique creature, aren’t you Miss Dell” Sgt Smith said, in a curious tone. Farmer thought the wording of his statement a mistake, but Sgt Smith knew exactly what he had said, choosing his words very carefully. 


Dells heart skipped a beat at the Sergeants comment. She slowly turned to face him. She met his gaze with uncertainty in her eyes. The word creature was strictly a synonym for supernatural beings, not humans.


“Very. Unique. Indeed.” The Sergeants fractured sentence sent shivers down her spine. He was no longer staring at her. He was staring through her. Staring through the façade that she thought was impregnable. 


“But it’s good see a woman with dreams and ambitions. I have read your profile and have no doubt you will excel here Miss Dell” Sgt Smith said as he snapped out of his stare and gave her a nod of approval. Dell breathed a sigh of relief; she thought the Sergeant was none the wiser as to her ruse. She was, however, greatly mistaken. 


“Very good Casey, you can sit down now”. Miss Ling was clapping her hands out of happiness. “Who is the next victim?” she asked. As Miss Ling scans the new faces in the room, she locks eyes with a nervous looking recruit. “You?” Farmer was the next victim; his time had arrived. 


He slowly plodded up to the front of the class. He wasn’t sure why he was so nervous. He usually adored being the centre of attention and having all eyes on him. But not today. Trying to make a good impression was engulfing his usual showman persona, leaving a shy man standing before the waiting audience.

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Chapter 3 - meeting of the two

“Listen up everyone, today is your lucky day”

“Ummm,” he stumbled.


“Black already said that,” Sgt Smith interrupted without looking up from the paper he was reading.


“Well,” Farmer mutter. 


“Is there an echo in this room?” Sgt Smith perked up and looked at Farmer, amused and smirking.


“I was a salesman,” Farmer blurted out, annoyed by the interruption. Realising he sounded desperate he forcefully slowed his speech. “For many years I was a salesman, and a good one, could sell ice to the Eskimos.” He tried to calm himself and engage the room with an old salesman’s joke. It had been heard before by all and silence filled the air.


To make matters worse Sgt Smith pipes up. “I think you mean Inuit, not Eskimo, this is 2019, get with the program recruit.”


Farmer was at a loss. He had nothing exceptional to say. He spent his formative years in bars and nightclubs having a good time, not exactly remarkable, and certainly not worth discussing.


“I like going to the gym.” He was like a deer in headlight.


“What did you father do?” Sgt Smith said, staring at Farmer.


Instantly Farmer knew that the Sergeant was aware of his father. 


“Young Farmer here is a second generation recruit here, aren’t you?” the Sergeant stood up and walked towards Farmer.


“His father is a legend within the SPD.”


“Oh really?’ Miss Ling enquired. “Do tell.”


Farmer was hoping to keep this information to himself. Sgt Smith was having none of it.


“Farmer Senior, better known as Bob, walked these hallowed halls over 20 years ago. In the field he was smart, fearless and uncompromising.” The Sergeant obviously knew Farmers father well. “He was also reckless, dangerous and stupid.” Sgt Smith is now standing beside Farmer, shadowed by Farmers height.


Farmer was stunned, did those words actually come out of the Sergeants mouth?


“He died doing what he loved,” Farmer snapped back.


“He died because he didn’t listen, didn’t pay attention. He played the game by his own rules and lost,” Sgt Smith growled. He was annoyed by his own words.


Farmer was incensed but had no words. He turned to Sergeant Smith and gave him a deathly stare. The Sergeant obviously knew how he died, but not the heroic version he was led to believe. Farmer wanted to know what the Sergeant knew, but this was not the time nor place.


“Ok, I think we can move on.” Miss Ling interjected. “Thanks Brendan.”


Farmer returned to his seat. He was furious at the cryptic words of the Sergeant. What did he mean? What does he know? This conversation was not over.


“Now it’s time for John,” said Miss Ling.


Fraser stood up. Another large specimen of a man. He looked like something out of GQ magazine. He was young, vibrant and clearly in a good mood. 


“Big John,” Miss Ling said, amazed at his stature.


“That’s what the ladies say,” Fraser said cheekily. The room erupted with smirks but not laughter. The recruits did not want to test the Sergeant.


“I like Pina coladas and getting caught in the rain.” Frasers stupid comment made the room laugh for the first time.


“Some idiot always says that,” Sgt Smith said shaking his head. “Why did it have to be you.”


“I’m just trying to lighten the mood Sarge,” said Fraser with a big grin. 


“Nothing wrong with lightening the mood is there Sergeant,” said Miss Ling.


Sergeant Smith let out an agonisingly long groan.


“I was a police officer for several years after high school,” said Fraser.


“Didn’t play football?" The Sergeant sarcastically asked.


“I’m too pretty for that Sarge, wouldn’t want to ruin this immaculate face,” he boldly replied to Sergeant Smith. The recruits laughed at his cheeky comment.


“Let’s see how pretty it is after a werewolf takes his five-inch claws to it.” The laughter stopped after the Sergeants awkward comment.


Unphased, Fraser continues. “I like hunting, fishing, dirt biking, everything outdoors really.” 


“Oh good,” Sgt Smith interrupted. “That’s where the werewolves are.”


Farmers annoyance with the Sergeant grew. Why is he putting everyone down? Is he trying to scare everyone off on the first day? Can’t he just sit there in silence? 


“Well thanks for heads up Sarge, I will be sure to keep an eye out,” Fraser says emphatically. He returns to his seat. 


Miss Ling is staring at Sgt Smith. The whole class can see the death stare she is giving him. The Sergeant can sense it too but refuses to meet Miss Lings eyes. He reaches for his pocket. His phone is vibrating but not ringing. 


“Excuse me if you will team, I have to take this.” The Sergeant heads outside to take the call.


Good, Farmer thought to himself, don’t come back. The whole room was relieved at his absence.


“Don’t mind him,” Miss Ling said, gesturing to Sgt Smith. “He softens up over time.”


“A good beating would soften him,” Dell whispered into Farmers ear.


Farmer agreed.


“One more person before we move on. We will do the rest this afternoon,” said Miss Ling.


Farmer looked outside to the Sergeant on the phone. He was smiling and looked happy. It didn’t suit his demeanour, not the demeanour he had shown today. He kept moving and pacing, as if he was excited. He was very animated in his actions. The Sergeant was clearly enjoying the conversation. Maybe he was human Farmer thought. But then again, maybe not.


“Miss Jones would you give us the pleasure.” Miss Ling introduced Jones. 


Jones was approaching her forties. Time had not been kind to her. Her skin dry, hair course and greying. She was average height and weight. If she was in a crowd she would not stick out.


“Hello,” She said in a gruff voice. “My name is Cindy Jones but most people call me C.J. You can if you want. I was in the Army for about 20 years. I had enough of roughing it out in the desert and wanted to settle down with my partner.” Her straight forward manner was strangely refreshing to Farmer who was listening intently. 


“The Army has pretty much been my whole life. Before that I went to school, obviously.” Jones had done numerous tours of duties overseas in remote locations. Being a woman, she had to fight for the respect of the men, both literally and figuratively. She backed down to no man or woman. The Army was a challenge but that was what she loved. She wasn’t content with being mediocre. She wanted to prove a point at the Academy as she did in the Army. 


“I was born and raised in Alabama for what it’s worth.” She grinned. “I hope to start a family soon with my partner, maybe have two little ones, well not me, she can have the babies, I ain’t carrying around one of those things for nine months,” Jones said honestly.


The class laughed in unison. They enjoyed her welcoming speech. Her open and honest candour brought a smile to the recruits.


Sgt Smith walks back in the room. The smiles quickly disappear. 


“Sorry about that everyone,” Sgt Smith said, sounding truly apologetic. “What did I miss?”


“Jones was in the Army for many years and wants children,” Miss Ling abruptly informed the Sergeant.


“Mmm,” the Sergeant pondered. “Army good. Babies not. But good luck to you ma’am,” he casually stated.


Farmer stared at the jovial Sargent. Does he have two personality? Is he Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde? Farmer tried to figure Sergeant Smith out. It was a pointless exercise.


“We are half way through Sergeant. Thought we might let the others talk after lunch?” Asked Miss Ling.


“Brilliant idea Miss Ling,” beamed the Sergeant.


“We are all going to go for a little tour around the Academy team. What do you all think?” It was a rhetorical question. The class had no choice in the matter. “And we are going to meet some special people,” said the Sergeant excitedly.


The recruits all stood up.


“Not you,” exclaimed the Sergeant Smith. He was pointing at Tobin. “You liked to sit so much so you can stay seated.” 


Tobin looked bewildered. He stood, unsure of what to do. The other recruits were staring at him, waiting for him to make his move. Would he protest the Sergeants order or be a good recruit and sit? Tobin decided for the latter. He sat down, very slowly. He faced the front of the room and didn’t meet any of the gazing eyes of his fellow class members, he was too embarrassed.


They all shuffled outside. “Two lines people, I’m not a sheep dog,” Sgt Smith barked.


“Let’s go.”


The Sergeant speedily marched ahead. The recruits, in two poorly formed lines followed. 


Farmer was positioned behind Robinson who had the misfortune of being at the front of the line. He knew little of her except for the fact she was about a foot shorter than he was and that she took tiny steps. Her little legs scurried to keep up with the Sergeant who appeared to be on a mission. Farmer tried to avoid treading on her heels, but he failed.


“Hey watch it. You can polish these boots if you scuff them,” Robinson quickly turned and said with an attitude. 


Farmer tried to think of something witty to say. “Sorry,” was all he could come up with. Shaking his head as he walked, disappointed with his lack of banter.


“You will be,” she replied.


Farmer intently looked down to avoid stepping on Robinsons heels again. He wasn’t concerned about running into her, he was concerned about not being able to engage in cheeky conversation, a pastime he had perfected in his salesman days but had eluded him hence far at the Academy.


“Over there is the Mess Hall,” Sgt Smith said, pointing in no particular direction. The soldier in him shone through, no one referred to an eating area as a Mess Hall, not unless it was permanently drilled into you. 


“Over there is where the head honchos work. If you walk up those stairs, you probably won’t be walking back down them,” he said.


“What do you mean Sarge?” asked Robinson.


The Sergeant stopped in his tracks. The two lines of recruits hastily come to a stop.


Sgt Smith walked up to Robinson. “If you do something very naughty you get sent there to be punished. Very much like a principal’s office” he said with a smirk on his face.


“I haven’t been to a principal’s office in a long time” Fraser said loudly from the back of the line.


“I can send you there right now if you feel like reminiscing?” Sgt Smith yelled back at Fraser.


“I’ll pass”.


“I’m sure you’ll end up there soon enough young man”. 


Farmer thought Fraser was very brash in testing Sgt Smiths patience, although the Sergeant didn’t seem to be fazed by the verbal altercation. His mind was on more important things.


“Let’s go,” the Sergeant said as he began his regimental march. He had given up his tour of the academy and headed toward the auditorium.


Farmer looks around at the vastness of the academy as he walked. Officers, recruits and civilians were scattered throughout the grounds walking to and from. He wanted to enjoy his first day at the academy, but his thoughts were overshadowed by his nerves and anxiety. Distracted, he accidently trips on Robinsons shoe again, almost forcing the massive boot off her foot. 


“Sorry,” he hastily apologized for the mishap.


Robinson quickly stomped her boot back on and kept walking. She didn’t look back and didn’t say anything, she just shook her head from side to side in annoyance. Farmer is infuriated at his clumsiness. He didn’t want to make any enemies or irritate anyone, and certainly not on the first day.

 

The group approached the auditorium and entered, Sgt Smith still storming ahead. He walked to the back of the auditorium near some padded mats that were laid on the floor. The recruits eventually met up with him.


“Back again,” the Sergeant said in a jovial tone. “Take a seat on the mats if you please, recruits”.


Unsure of what seating position to take, the recruits wandered around each other before sitting randomly. 


“Nope, not there” said the Sergeant “Move over here, away from the windows please”. He pointed to exactly where he wanted the recruits to sit, away from the large panes of glass that filled the auditorium with beaming sunlight.


The recruits moaned in unison at having to drag themselves up and move ten feet. The Sergeant heard their annoyed groans but ignored them. They all sit and begin to wait. 


Farmer looks around the auditorium. A few hours prior he was too distracted to take in the vast building. It is a multipurpose area, equipped with basketball hoops and soccer nets. An enclosed gym at one end. A large store room filled with all manner of equipment at the other. He is impressed by the building and sensed he would be spending a lot of time there. 


Sgt Smith stood in front to the recruits rubbing is hands together in glee. Being happy didn’t befit the Sergeant tough demeanour, he looked awkward and a little creepy. 


“Listen up everyone, today is your lucky day,” he said proudly. 


“I have two special guests for you all to meet. They work at the academy part time and are here for a meeting so I thought I would introduce you. They also happen to very good friends of mine,” Sgt Smith said boastfully. 


Farmer found it hard to believe the Sergeant had friends, which made him very curious as to the mysterious guests. 


“So, without further ado, allow me to introduce Natasha Klitchko and Vitali Romanov”.


The Sergeant stood alone. No one nearby and no one walking toward him. The recruits are unsure if this is some sort of test or the Sergeant was messing with them. They are all confused, but no one dared ask what was happening.


After a few moments of silence, Frasers eagerness got the better of him. “Are your friends invisible Sar-.”


Fraser is interrupted by two very loud sounds, like that of a whip cracking. The recruits all frightfully jumped back at hearing the noise. Sgt Smith did not flinch. 


A smoky haze appeared before them, almost fully engulfing the Sergeant, yet he did not move. The cloud slowly dissipated to reveal a male and female person, one to each side of Sgt Smith.


The recruits were aghast and weren’t sure what to do. They all remained seated, dumbfounded by what they had seen.


To the right of the Sergeant stood Vitali Romanov. He is tall with an average build. He has long black hair that is tied back. He is dressed in an impressive suit that is not of this era. It is in immaculate condition but was clearly made a long time ago. His skin is smooth and very pale, so pale in fact that his veins could be seen through his skin. His eyes are light blue, almost being fully white. They pierced through each recruit as he scanned over them one by one. Apart from his moving eyes he stood perfectly still. There is no compression of his chest to indicate breathing and his eyes did not blink. He was, in all sense of the word, statuesque.


Natasha Klitchko is to the left of Sgt Smith. She is also tall and sports a fit, muscular build. Her long brown hair perfectly cascades down her shoulders. She is dressed very differently to Romanov. Klitchko is clad in black leather, head to toe. A large silver belt buckle shines brightly amongst the black clothing. Her skin is smooth and had a natural light pink hue. Her eyes matched her leather suit, dark to the point of being fully black. She remained still but her head moved as she looked around the auditorium, she did not pay attention to the recruits. Like Romanov, her chest cavity is motionless, and eyes fully opened.


Farmer and the other recruits are astonished. Are there truly two supernatural beings standing before them?


Things are about to get very interesting at the Supernatural Police Academy. 

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Chapter 4 - At your door

“Well play time is over...”

Romanov and Klitchko were in stark contrast to the Sergeant. Farmer looked at all three and couldn’t help but think they belonged at a fancy dress up party. The serious look on all three of their faces indicated clearly that this is no party.


The recruits eased a little from their initial shock. 


“You’re late,” said Sgt Smith to Klitchko and Romanov. Both of them ignored the comment.


An awkward silence reigned over the group until Sgt Smith unexpectedly throws a hard and fast punch with his right fist toward Klitchkos head. The recruits are all horrified and gasp as to what is transpiring. Without a second’s hesitation, Klitchko raises her left arm and caught the Sergeants fist in the palm of her hand. His punch was forceful, but she did not budge an inch. They remained interlocked for a moment until she released her grip on his fist.


As she let his hand go the Sergeant immediately threw his elbow toward Romanovs face. It was delivered with great speed and ferocity with the intent to cause harm. As the elbow approached Romanovs face, he didn’t not jump or move out of the way, he simply tilted his head slightly. The attempted assaulted missed Romanovs face by less than an inch. Sgt Smith was thrown off balance by the force of the unsuccessful elbow. The Sergeant composed himself before taking his place between Klitchko and Romanov.


The recruits were flabbergasted and very confused. Farmer looked around at the other recruits to see if they were as stunned as he was, and they were.


“You’re getting old Sergeant,” Romanov spoke to the shock of the recruits. He has a thick eastern European accent that is dry and monotone.


“He tried that move last time. He is getting old and forgetful,” said Klitchko. She also had an eastern European accent, but it was sweetly feminine and not as strong.


With a serious look Sgt Smith turned and faced Klitchko. “Old and forgetful, something you two will know nothing about.” 


Klitchko then turned toward the Sergeant. It looked as if all hell was going to break loose when suddenly “Come here you silly man,” Klitchko threw her arms open and invited the Sergeant in for an embrace which he happily reciprocated. Klitchko, out of habit, kissed the Sergeant on the left and right cheek. The kisses slightly embarrassed him.


“How long has it been Nat?” asked Sgt Smith. 


“To long my dear friend,” she replied.


He looked her up and down and sarcastically stated “You haven’t changed a bit.”


“Why thank you, my secret is to stay out of the sun.” The Sergeant and Klitchko laughed in unison.


Sgt Smith then turns toward Romanov. His stone face has not wavered since he first appeared. He looks blankly to his front. The Sergeant walks in front of him.


“Hasn’t anyone killed you yet?” the Sergeant stared and enquired.


“No, I am here, da?” English was not Romanovs first language, but he got his point across clearly.


The Sergeant threw his right hand in front of Romanov in preparation for a handshake. Romanov looked at his hand and smiled, he instead threw his arms around Sgt Smith and embraced him tightly. The two laughed.


“I don’t want any of your kisses thank you Vitali,” the Sergeant said cheekily. 


The recruits are still confused but relieved at what they are seeing. 


“You look vell Sergeant,” Romanov told Sgt Smith. His accent forced the well to come out as ‘vell’. 


“Vell thank you,” the Sergeant purposely mispronouncing the word to jokingly tease Romanov. 


All three face the recruits and are smiling. 


“Ok, well enough of the reunion. We can catch up later. Vitali and Natasha, these are my new recruits. They are the best class in the academy,” he told them.


Farmer looked at the Sergeant. What did he just say? The best class in the academy? He has shown nothing but distain for all of us and now he is giving us praise?


“You have the best teacher in the academy,” Klitchko sweetly stated as she looked upon the Sergeant. Her leather outfit making noise as she moves.

  

“Zee very best,” Romanov iterated proudly with his accent.


“Ok, ok let’s move on,” the Sergeant did not like receiving praise.


“Natasha and Vitali can’t stay long as they have a meeting, but I wanted to get them in to have a quick chat with you. So here they are.” The Sergeant moved aside after his quick introduction.


Klitchko moves forward to speak “By our entrance I assume you all know we are not human. We were many years ago, but no longer.” Her cryptic words intrigue the recruits.


“I, much like Vitali, am a victim of the undead. We are now, and forever shall be, vampires.”


The recruits are stunned. Two vampires were standing directing in front of them. The most hated, vilified and dangerous supernatural creature of them all. Rumours filtered through society of their presence within the Academy, but it was long thought to be a myth. 


Romanov agreed by shaking his head and added “So to answer your question before it is asked, da, ve have killed humans, but that vas long, long along.”


The group was shocked by his brutal honesty. Silence fell amongst them. Farmer was annoyed at his straight forward remark, brushing off his past indiscretions as if it were only a slight misgiving.


“Fear not but friends, we are keepers now, not hunters. We haven’t hunted in over three score,” Klitchko assured the recruits. 


Sgt Smith interjects “To make it clear, when Natasha says hunters, she refers to hunters of the night, or bad vampires. And when she says keepers, she means keepers of the night, or good vampires.” 


Romanov shook his head in agreeance but did not speak.


“Thank you, Sergeant, you are absolutely correct,” said Klitchko. “We assist in the training of recruits to track and dispose of hunter vampires.”


“So how about some quick questions then?” Sgt Smith could sense the recruits were uncomfortable with this new found knowledge and wanted to move forward.


“So, by the looks on your faces you have a million questions. We don’t have time for that many, so I will surmise and limit the questions to survival, sunlight and appearing out of nowhere. What do you think?” he asked the group.


They all shook their heads in agreeance, still trying to process what was unfolding before them.


“Anyone else have any pressing question they wish to ask?” Farmer and Fraser both put their hands up.


“What is it Fraser?”


“Can I go to the bathroom please Sarge?”


The Sergeant looked annoyed “What are you? Two years old?”


“I drink lot of water Sarge,” Fraser said as he held a painful look upon his face.


“Hold it for five minutes, you will find this very interesting,” the Sergeant insisted.


“Ok, let’s get cracking. So Natasha, blood. Please enlighten us,” The Sergeants concise instructions were understood by Klitchko.


  

“Yes Sir,” Klitchko said as she saluted the Sergeant sarcastically. The smile on her face disappeared and it was replaced by an acutely serious look. 


“Blood is the life force of a human being. It doesn’t just contain oxygen and nutrients, it contains your thoughts, feelings, emotions, passions and fears,” Klitchko emphasised the word fear. She continued. “Blood is the spiritual essence of the person, so when it is extracted, the vampire is taking more than the red liquid, he is taking the victims soul.”


The group quivered in unison at her graphic description.


“It is the life force, the essence, the soul of the human that vampires crave,” Klitchkos words are accompanied by passionate hand gestures. “It gives the vampire strength, speed, agility and all its incredible supernatural powers.” She paused and looked around at the recruits. “It gives the vampire, life”. Her emphatic words drained her as she spoke them. 


There was total silence. Sgt Smith, Klitchko and Romanov let the recruits absorb the information for a moment. They clearly need time to process what was said. 


“So,” the Sergeant piped up, cutting the silence “How do you survive if you no longer suck blood from people,” he asked very crassly.


“Ve still survive on blood, da,” Romanov strong accent was mixed in with his native tongue.


“It is donated blood,” Klitchko quickly interjected “given very kindly by civilians who are aware of our plight. It is not blood meant for hospitals or intended for human use. We can use diseased blood or old blood or blood not viable for human consumption. As long as the blood is stored properly and not extracted from a deceased person, it is viable for vampire use. Does everyone understand?” 


Farmer looks at her with disdain. He understood perfectly well. He understood she was once an uncontrollable monster who took life when she wanted it. Her overpowering urges witnessed the death of many people. Does she have a conscience for all the pain and suffering she had brought to countless people? According to her performance today, Farmer thought not. 


“But donated blood is not as potent as extracted blood, it lacks the life-force of the human. It does sustain us and provide us with energy, but that energy is used up very quickly. For example, we can only vaporise and reappear a few times before we-“ she pondered for a moment to find the appropriate words “require more blood.” 


“That is amazing,” Fraser blurted out. “So if you take blood directly from a human it gives you more power?” he eagerly asked.


Klitchko and Romanov looked at each other.


“Much more power,” Romanov said in an eerie tone.


“So how does vapourising thing work?” Fraser couldn’t control his curiosity.


“You can have that bathroom break now Fraser,” Sgt Smith said.


“And miss this, I don’t think so Sarge, I can wait.”


“Of course you can. But that might as well be our next question. So, how does this VAPORISING THING work, as Fraser so eloquently asked,” The Sergeant said, dismissive of Frasers poor word choice. 

  

“Vampires possess different powers. Not all of us can transport from one place to another. We both can, obviously, but most cant. Vitali can levitate, whereas I can’t. I can read minds, but Vitali cannot.” Klitchko informed the recruits who are glued to her every word.


She continued “But transporting isn’t easy. You need to know your destination. This auditorium is a large, opened space, and we have been here before, so we know it’s a safe place to transport to. We couldn’t transport to your classroom but, it’s small and filled with chairs and tables. If we resurrect into a physical entity such as a wall, door, or chair it could kill us. Does that make sense?” Klitchko had given this talk before, she made things as easy as possible to understand for the uninitiated recruits. 


The recruits all nodded slowly, they understand, but are still overwhelmed by what they are hearing.


“You can read minds?” Fraser again interrupted.


“I tell you what,” Sgt Smith is agitated with Fraser and gives him a deathly stare. “You read my mind to find out what is going to happen next time you speak out of turn.” 

Fraser mimes but does not speak aloud “Sorry.”


Klitchko carries on and draws her gaze towards Dell “Yes, I can read minds.” Dell didn’t know what to do, her heart began to race, she turned her head to the ground, but she could still feel Klitchkos cold stare upon her.


Romanov also looked upon Dell “Vom vorbi mai târziu.” He spoke to Klitchko in Romanian to disguise his intent. It translates to ‘we will speak later'.


“Da,” she replied, meanings ‘yes’.


“Unul mic are mare secret,” the Sergeant joined in the secret conversation. His words meaning ‘little one has big secret’.


“You speak another language Sarge,” Fraser shouted, instantly regretting his outburst “Oops.”


Sgt Smith turned to Fraser and shook his head, “You can go to the bathroom now, and as punishment, I want you to go and fetch Tobin from the classroom, I’m sure he has had enough of sitting. On the double boy, chop, chop. And DO NOT tell him what you have seen here, that is an order.”


Fraser quickly stood and shouted “Yes Sir,” then ran off.


“It’s time for a lesson in humility,” the Sergeant said. He turned himself, Romanov and Klitchko around away from the recruits and whispered something to them. They nodded in agreeance then suddenly, two very loud whip crack sounds were heard and Romanov and Klitchko disappeared into a haze of cloud.


The recruits not accustomed to noise jumped back, the Sergeant did not move.


“So, who here has learnt something new today?” he questioned the group. They all nodded their heads, still amazed by what had transpired.


“Both their stories are quite remarkable, maybe one day when we have more time they can elaborate on their past.” The Sergeant was excited as he spoke about his close friends.


The Sergeant looked at Farmer, “Sorry Farmer, did you have a question for Vitali and Nat?”

  

Farmer has a very serious look on his face, “I was going to ask if they have any remorse for all the innocent lives they have taken over the years?”


Sgt Smith knew why he wanted to ask that question, but this is not the time nor place to engage in such a serious topic. 


“How about we leave that for another day recruit?” he replied, trying to keep the conversation civil.


“How about today?” Farmer snapped back.


The Sergeant was clearly annoyed at his disrespectful retort. 


“NO,” he replied angrily.


The recruits were taken back by the aggressiveness of the conversation and could feel the tension between Farmer and the Sergeant. None of them dared speak as they did not want to test Sgt Smiths patience any further.


Two loud whip cracking sounds boomed into existence, frightening the recruits again. Klitchko and Romanov reappear before them, but this they time are dressed in Academy clothing, the same clothing the Sergeant is wearing. Dark grey shirt and long pants, black boots and a grey baseball cap. All the clothing had S.P.D. embroidered on it and they have three stripped epaulettes on their shoulders, indicating the rank of Sergeant. Their long hair is hidden under their caps and their faces were no longer pale, as if they had used make up to disguise their true selves. 


“Welcome Back Sergeants,” Sgt Smith said.


All three stand before the recruits who are confused by what they are seeing.


Fraser runs back into the auditorium, he is accompanied by Tobin. They stand before Sgt Smith, Kiltchko and Romanov.


“Did you even go to the bathroom?” the Sergeant asked Fraser.


“No Sir, I wanted to get back A.S.A.P. to see what the-“


“You haven’t met Sgt Klitchko and Sgt Romanov yet have you,” Sgt Smith interrupts Fraser before he can speak any further.


“No Sir,” Fraser and Tobin shout in unison.


Sgt Smith glares at Fraser. Fraser realises the Sergeant was up to something and nods his head slightly to indicate his awareness of the situation.


“Fraser take a seat,” instructed Sgt Smith.


Fraser sits immediately.


“So, Tobin, I read your file, apparently you are some karate expert or something like that,” he asks nonchalantly as wanders away from Tobin.


“Yes Sir, over 15 years in self def-“


“Thank you Tobin, I don’t require your autobiography,” he sharply interjects.

  

“So, you think you’re pretty handy with your hands and feet?”


“Very,” Tobin said boastfully.


“Mmm ok then, let’s see. The two Sergeants here are from the S.P.D. Academy in Germany. Both train the elite Vampirkader. That’s German for Vampire Squad, just so you know.”


“You speak German too?” Fraser asked without thinking of the consequence.


Sgt Smith was too concentrated on the false story he was creating to give thought to Frasers outburst, he simply gave him an angry looked and moved on. 


“You think you could take down either of them?” he asked Tobin, pointing toward Klitchko and Romanov.


“Sure, easy,” his confidence annoyed the Sergeant.


“Let us see.”


Sgt Smith stood beside Romanov and put one hand on his shoulder, “You can step back Sergeant.”


Romanov takes a step back.


Tobin shows initiative and stands in front of Romanov, ready to engage with him.


“No, wrong Sergeant,” said Sgt Smith as he walks beside Klitchko, giving Tobin a big smile in the process.


“You don’t expect me to take on a woman do you Sergeant? Because I won’t,” Tobin said insistently.


“So, if a witch approaches you, and witches are woman Tobin in case you didn’t know, and she is about to put a spell on you that would leave you lobotomised, would sit there and do nothing?” he stared annoyed at Tobin. “If that’s the case go and pack your bags right now.”


Tobin knew the Sergeant was right and had no reply.


“Sgt Klitchko is a witch. Dispose of her. NOW.” he yelled.


Tobin was at a loss. He knew he had to do what he was instructed, but he did not want to hurt Klitchko, unaware of her ruse and true identity.


Tobin looked at Sgt Smith and scrunched his face up in disapproval. He walked up and faced Klitchko.


“Sorry about this,” Tobin told Klitchko.


He threw a half enthusiastic punch at Klitchkos right shoulder. She dodged it by moving back ever so slightly, he was surprised.


Again, he threw a punch, this time at her left shoulder and again she moved back a tinge to avoid being hit.


Tobin grew angry and it showed. He launched his right fist toward Klitchkos face, but she moves her head and avoids being hit. This is followed by a left hook toward her temple, but Klitchkos reflexes prove too quick and it misses its target. 


Tobin is incensed he is unable to connect with Klitchko. He strikes at her with a series of fast and furious blows but each one is deflected or brushed aside by her quick moving hands. 

  

Everyone in the class is astounded by her skills, except Farmer. He has not forgotten she possesses supernatural speed and agility. She may be impressing the rest of the recruits, but Farmer knows this is an unfair fight, even with Tobin's wealth of experience.


Unsuccessful with his fists, Tobin resorts to using his legs and feet against Klitchko. Against anyone else Tobin would easily be the better fighter, but not Klitchko. His kicks, knees and sweeps are met with the same result, they are avoided, deflected or merely brushed aside. He is showing signs of exhaustion and fatigue, but he is a seasoned combatant and refuses to give up.


He tries to connect with Klitchko, this time using combinations of legs, feet, arms and hands. He even attempts a head-butt, again failing to make contact.


He is tired and weary, but he attempts one more move.


He manages to grab Klitchko on her shoulders, squeezing her shirt tight into his hands. He places his right foot into her stomach and he rolls back onto the floor and throws her, launching her hard with his well-placed foot. He rolls up immediately and looks forward with a smile on his face, happy with his accomplishment. He stands, turns around and to his amazement he sees Klitchko, crouching in a position like that of a runner at a starting block. She aligned herself mid-flight and landed on her feet. She stands up and stares at Tobin.


He is at the end of his tether. He races toward Klitchko in a fit of fury.


“ENOUGH,” Sgt Smith yells.


Tobin stops dead in his tracks. He is totally exhausted from his efforts, he puffs and pants but refused to sit or take a knee.


“Well done Tobin,” the Sergeant genuinely congratulates him for his efforts. 

“You can go back to the classroom now. We are almost done here.”


Tobin is too exhausted to argue. He walks away, shoulders slumped and dejected by the experience.


Klitchko re-joins Sgt Smith and Romanov in front of the class. She is not exhausted and not out of breath, she has no breath to take after all. 


“The lesson here today is humility and respect.” States Sgt Smith. “Always respect your superiors and always be humble with your abilities. No matter how good you think you are, there is always someone better, especially in a world filled with supernatural beings.”


Farmer agreed with his statement, just not the way he went about proving it. Pitting a human against an ungodly creature is unfair he thought. 


“Well play time is over unfortunately, Nat and Vitali must go,” he said as he looked at his watch.


“Oh, one more thing,” he said urgently “could you tell the recruits the about sun,” he asked of Romanov and Klitchko.


“It’s a star,” Romanov said, the recruits were impressed with his sarcastic comment, the Sergeant not so much, he rolled his eyes at Romanov.


“It’s fairly simple,” Klitchko said “we just have to avoid it at all costs. We can, as you can see, come out during the day, we just remain sheltered from it. It’s actually not a problem, we just have to be very careful, which is why we mostly come out at night.”

  

“Vell said,” Romanov agreed nodding his head. 


“What about coffins, garlic, crosses,” Fraser urgently asked.


The Sergeant rubbed his hand across his forehead in frustration but didn’t scowl Fraser for his interruption.


“Next time ve vell tell you more, da. Ve must go now.”  Romanov said politely in his thick accent.


“Thank you for your time recruits, we will see you soon no doubt,” Klitchko finalised their discussion.


The Sergeant shook both their hands and immediately the whip crack echoed loudly throughout the empty auditorium, scaring the recruits again. Klitchko and Romanov are gone. 


“Well, I bet you didn’t see that coming,” Sgt Smith asked the group. “It’s a fascinating world out there. The general public are only privy to a small amount of supernatural phenomena. The S.P.D. hierarchy do this to avoid mass panic. Throughout the next seven months you will be alerted to some uncomfortable truths, truths that should remain with you and not divulged to anyone who does not need to know. Do you all understand what I am saying?”


The recruits all nodded in agreeance. The truth was slowly being unravelled, the Academy would not just be a place of learning, but also of truths, mysteries and revelations.


“Let’s finish our tour shall we recruits,” Sgt Smith said and walked to the exit


The recruits stood up and followed him, all wondering what he had in stall for them. 

 

Farmer was still processing what he had witnessed. All his life he was led to believe that vampires were the ultimate evil, spawned from the devil himself. Now, he must face the realisation that he will have to work closely with them, be under their tutelage and learn from them. Farmer loathed undead creatures, vampires in particular. His hatred of them stemmed from years of negative reinforcement that was accompanied by stories of his father’s death, stories that are inaccurate, misleading and shy away from the truth… 




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chapter 5 - The Hut

"nothing two superstars like us can’t handle... "

20 years earlier… 


Private Bob Farmer and Private Glenn Smith are members of the elite Alpha Team who engage exclusively with vampires and vampire related offences. Farmer and Smith are in their early 20’s and are filled with youthful enthusiasm, but both have very different personalities and approach their roles in distinct ways. Farmer works on instinct and always goes with his gut feeling. He believes rules are made to be broken and will do anything, legal or not, to ensure he accomplishes any mission put forward to him. Smith is the opposite, he is very ‘by the book’ and always works within strict S.P.D. guidelines. He believes adhering to rules and regulations will ensure any mission he is set will be completed lawfully and without reprisal. Even though they have opposing methodologies, they work in unison and their partnership is one of cohesion and unity. 


Smith and Farmer, working under the code name Alpha Team One, have been sent to a secluded area, far from any town or city. They are situated on Piker Lane which is a dirt road, rarely used but for a few locals. They sit crouched in the long grass out of sight of any one who could be passing by. They wear camouflage gear from head to toe and are well hidden within their surroundings, the dark of the night makes them even less visible. They are heavily equipped with a bow and arrow, pistol, knifes, binoculars, crosses and cannisters of holy water. It is a hot night summers and the humidity causes the officers to perspire underneath their heavy clothing and weaponry. 


Farmer and Smith have been sent to investigate the stealing of blood from hospitals and blood banks. The investigations lead them to their current position.


Farmer is peering through set of binoculars, Smith leans into him whispers, “So how good is this info you have Bob?”.


“Well, you remember that werewolf, Kenny, with the missing fang we arrested a while back?”


“Yeah, kind of, the dopey one who smashed through that clothing shop window and tried to eat a mannequin?”


“Yeah, that’s the one. He is mixed up with the vamps.”


“Yeah, and?”


“Well, I busted him again the other day stealing from one of those mobile blood banks, he had about nine pints of blood when I found him.”


Smith rolls his eyes, “Of course he did.”


“So, I gave him an option, tell me who he is getting the blood for or…” Farmer pauses as he looks intently into the binoculars.


Smith eagerly awaits his response, “Yes, and…”


Farmer puts down the binoculars and looks at Smith, “Or I take you for a drive to the middle of nowhere, put a silver bullet between your eyes and chest then bury you 6 feet deep.” He returns to looking through the binoculars, “Needless to say, he became very talkative indeed.”


“Oh well, as long as the intel was obtained lawfully and without coercion that’s the most important thing,” Smith said sarcastically.


Farmer ignored the comment.

  

“Kenny said he steals the blood for Raven and his clan. Brings it to some abandoned hut out here in the woods every Wednesday night. Parks his car near the bridge and walks to the hut,” Farmer informed Smith.


“Not a very convenient location,” said Smith.


“It’s not exactly a legal exchange of goods and service.”


“Yeah true. Why is Kenny stealing for Raven? He is werewolf, he could probably rip Raven to shreds.”


“Maybe, but that’s only one night a month don’t forget. Raven is a vampire every day of the month. Kenny said Raven threatened to attack his family if he didn’t comply with his demands, and Raven is usually good to his word.”


Smith ponders for a moment, “How haven’t we got Raven yet?”


“He is old school vampire, much more refined and articulate then the new school ones. The only thing stronger than his bite is his brain, unfortunately for us. But tonight could be the night, we could be heroes. Imagine that, two Privates capture-”


“Or kill,” Smith urgently interrupts Farmer. 


Farmer continues, “Or kill one of the worlds most wanted vampires.”


Farmer looks up in a daze and contemplating what might be if they could accomplish such a feat. 


“I can’t imagine Raven being here tonight anyway, he wouldn’t lower himself to going out into the woods to pick up some stolen blood, that’s what underlings are for. Bosses don’t do petty work,” stated Farmer. 


A car pulls up on the other side of the road close to the bridge.


Farmer looks intently through the binoculars, “That’s looks like Kenny’s car,” he said, then focuses attention on the person getting out of the car, “Yep, that’s him alright. I could not forget a head like that in a hurry,” 


In the distance Kenny the werewolf can be seen exiting his vehicle. In human form, he is tall, thin and balding. His face is aged well beyond its years, he has sunken, bloodshot eyes and wrinkled skin. His clothes are ill fitting and he looks disheveled. He stands roadside, pacing and checking his watch. Kenny is clearly nervous and agitated. He carries a cooler bag in one hand and a portable battery powered lantern in the other.


“Tell me Farmer, can you really trust someone who mistakes a human for a mannequin?” asks Smith.


“He was in werewolf mode, they probably have bad eye sight.”


“Nope, I’m pretty sure they have great eyesight, especially at night.” Smith corrects Farmer inaccurate statement but he ignores the comment.


“Either way, Kenny said that he parks his car near the bridge and walks down to meet the vampires at the hut. So when he starts walking, we follow.” 


“Mmm, well it feels a little odd to me,” Smith was anxious, and Farmer could sense it.


“Would you relax, we’ve got this.”


“How big is the clan, do you know?” Smith enquired.

  

“Only two or three, nothing two superstars like us can’t handle,” Farmer said, attempting to lift Smiths spirits.


“I’ve called Alpha Team two and they know where we are, one press of the emergency button and they will be here in 5 minutes. And I’m going to radio them to tell them when we are going in, ok, so all our bases are covered,” Farmer reassured him, but it did little to quell his concern.


“What’s he doing now?” Farmer ponders out aloud, still peering through the binoculars, “Looking suspicious as usual. Oh, there he goes, he is walking off into the woods, let’s go, I don’t want to lose him.”


Farmer and Smith get up very slowly as to avoid making too much noise. They cross the road and follow the path the Kenny is taking. The deathly quiet night makes their footsteps echo throughout the forest, it is a quiet echo, but loud enough to force them to tread softer and slower against the grass and sticks that lie on the ground.


“Can you see him,” whispers Smith.


“No, but look at the ground, that grass is freshly crushed, we are the right track.”


Smith and Farmer skulk ever so slowly, hiding behind trees and searching the area before moving forward. They continue to walk through the forest, following the crushed grassed, Kenny is still nowhere in sight.


“How far is this hut?” asked Smith.


“Not sure, won’t be too far,” replied Farmer.


“Did you radio the other crew and tell them we are going in?”


“I will do it when we see the hut.”


Farmer and Smith continue walking. After a short time navigating through the woods, they come across a weathered old hut. It is a simple one room structure without amenities or furnishing. The windows are all smashed and there are holes in the walls and roof. The hut looks as if it could collapse at any moment. The front door is closed but a light can be seen coming from inside. 


“Right, here it is, what’s next,” asks Smith.


“Let’s do what the heroes do and go get the bad guys,” Farmer said playfully.


“That’s your plan?” 


“Let’s go up closer and check it out before we make a plan.”


Farmer and Smith approached the hut very slowly as to avoid making any unwanted noise. They peer in and see three people. Kenny is in the middle of the room holding the cooler bag and the battery powered lantern that is illuminating the single room hut. To his left is Iris, a female vampire. She has a diminutive figure which contrasts her big attitude. Her demin jacket is as frayed as her personality. The staunch look on her face matches her inner anger. To Kenny’s right is another vampire, Adam. Adam has a long, sordid history with law enforcement, and the look on his face shows his distain for their presence. He snarls at Smith who stands directly in front of him. Both Adam an Iris are well known to Farmer and Smith. They are lackeys in Ravens clan and do little more than bow to his every whim. They are relatively new to the vampire world and do not possess any significant powers or strengths but are still very dangerous and unpredictable.  

  

“Great, Iris and Adam, why are these two idiots always involved?” asked Farmer.


“Doing Ravens dirty work as usual, I don’t see him anywhere,” replied Smith.


“Raven wouldn’t do petty things like retrieve stolen blood, it would be beneath him, that’s what minions are for.”


“Be nice to have minions do your bidding wouldn’t it.”


Farmer and Smith are close enough to be able to listen to the conversation that is taking place inside the hut.


“All I could get was seven bags worth,” Kenny said anxiously.


“Seven,” Iris barked, “only seven? We should rip you apart right here and now.”


“It’s getting harder to steal the blood, security is so tight, they are adding more cameras this week too,” Kenny said in a hurry, trying to defend himself.


Adam interjected, “That’s not our problem Kenny, that’s yours, you know the deal. We can either take the blood from those disgusting plastic bags,” he points to the cooler bag Kenny is holding, “Or we can take it from your delicious family members.” Adam grabs a piece of paper from his trouser pocket and holds it up. It’s a photo of Kenny with his wife and three children. Kenny stands there speechless with chills running down his spine.


Farmer and Smith have heard enough. 


Farmer removes a cannister of pressurized holy water from his utility belt. Smith observes this and nods his approval. He removes his bow from its secure holster and takes an arrow from the quiver and arms the weapon. 


Farmer leans in to speak with Smith, “I kick the door open and flank to my left in front of Iris. You go right and engage Adam. If he moves one inch hit him with that arrow.”


“Wait, shouldn’t we radio the other crew to tell them we are going in,” Smith asks.


“There is only two of them, we’ve got this brother.”


“But what if something goes wro-“ Smith didn’t have time to finish his sentence before Farmer puts his hastily made plan into action. Farmer runs to the door and kicks it open. Smith is taken back by his decision to move immediately but follows him nonetheless. Farmer enters the hut and flanks to his left and confronts Iris, brandishing the holy water, he points it directly at her. Smith immediately follows and moves to his right and engages Adam, his bow and arrow prepped ready to use.


“DON’T MOVE,” Smith yells.


Iris, Kenny and Adam are all startled by the entrance.


“What is all this then?” Farmer asks with a sarcastically curious tone.


He is looking directly at Iris. She sees the cannister of holy water Farmer is holding, she is well aware of how it effects vampires. She doesn’t say a word.

  

“Don’t be so shy Iris, if you do as you are told no one needs to get hurt,” Farmer tells her, again she remains silent.


Smith takes over the interrogation, “What brings you out here Adam? Didn’t picture you as the outdoors type,” Adam does not reply.


“Well this is no good, they both seem to have lost their speech Private Smith, very strange,” Farmer said mockingly. 


Farmer and Smith both laughs.


Smith, acutely focused on Adam, suddenly feels a sharp, cold object against his neck. He instantly knows it is a knife. It is being held by someone standing behind him, someone he is unable to see. A manly, yet eloquently voice comes from the same direction as the knife, “Tell me Private Smith, at the S.P.D. Academy during training, where did they instruct you to look when you first enter a room?”


Smith’s eyes light up and hearts starts to race, he and Farmer no longer have the upper hand and find themselves in a dire situation. 


Farmer instantly turns to direction of the voice. He observes a hand holding a large knife that is pressed against Smiths neck. He cannot see the person holding the knife as they are obscured by the open door.


“Always check behind the doors,” Smith answered.


“Always check behind the doors, that is correct, 5 points for Smith,” the mysterious person said sarcastically.


The person behind the door closes it to reveal themselves. Farmers recognizes him instantly and is shocked by who he sees. It’s Raven, the infamous vampire and clan leader. 


“Raven,” the surprised Farmer yelps.


Smith doesn’t need to turn around to see who was behind him, he knows exactly who it is. He didn’t speak, he just took in a big gasp of air and stood dumbfounded.


Raven appears, towering with his mysterious presence. He is clad in a black cloak, echoing the dark demons that lay within. He is an intimidating figure, both physically and mentally. His brawn and brute strength are matched only by his intelligence and psychological deviancy. His years as a vampire has given him great powers, far greater then those of Iris and Adam. Farmer and Smith have dealt with Raven before and are well aware of his modus operandi.


“Hello Private Farmer, haven’t seen you in a while,” said Raven cheekily, his knife still pressed against Smiths neck.


Iris and Adam relax now Raven has revealed himself.


Farmer and Smith look at each other, unsure of what to do.


“Hello Raven, lovely to see you again,” Farmer said, trying his best to remain calm and control the situation, “Why don’t we all just relax.” 


“I’m very relaxed now thank you,” Iris speaks for the first time, her confidence boosted by Ravens presence. 

  

“You’re all under arrest for unlawful possession of blood,” Smith blurts out nervously, knowing to well he is no position to arrest anyone.


“Good luck with that,” Adam said with a large smirk on his face.


“Come on Private Smith, that’s not how you make friends,” said Raven.


“Well drop the knife, come out from behind me and let’s talk about it… friend,” Smith replied. Beads of sweat begin to form on his forehead, his heart is racing, and he is breathing heavy. 


“Relax Smith, we can sort this out,” Raven can sense Smiths stress levels.


“So, tell me Farmer,” Raven said while giving Kenny an angry look, “Did this idiot tell you we were going to be here? Or did you follow him?”


Kenny instantly looked at Farmer knowing the truth would see him and his family killed.


“We have been surveilling him for weeks. Next time Raven, use a blood mule with half a brain,” Farmer told Raven, attempting not to implicate Kenny in any misdoings.


Kenny breathed a sigh of relief and said, “I don’t want any part of this, I was never here, I didn’t see anything.” He looked around at everyone in the room, dropped the cooler bag and ran out of the hut. 


“I will deal with him later,” said Raven.


“No, I will deal with him later,” insisted Farmer.


All five of them stand silently in room. The slight rustle of the tress against the hut is all that could be heard.


Raven breaks the silence, “Well this is an awkward Mexican standoff isn’t it,” no one replies.


“If you two put those weapons down, I will put my knife away, Adam will pick up that bag of blood and we will all part ways. What is the consensus on that arrangement?” Ravens asks. 


Smith, with the knife still pressed hard against his neck thought it was a good idea.


“Not going to happen Raven,” Farmer replied.


Raven and Smith both shook their heads at his response.


“Come on Raven, cut his head off,” Iris angrily said.


“That’s not a very diplomatic move young lady,” he replied.


The room was getting more tense with every passing moment. Farmer and Smith both know they have to act to resolve the situation, for better or worse. Neither of them had moved from their initial stance, and both still had their weapons at the ready, but Smith had to content with Raven holding the knife against his neck. Farmer and Smith looked at each, as if sensing each other’s eagerness to move and end the situation, they gently nod to one another and swing into action.


Smith releases his fingertip grip off the arrow, and it is flung from the bow directly into Adams heart. Adam looks down and sees the arrow protruding from his chest and lets off a harrowing scream that pierces the ears of Farmer and Smith. He looks up into the Smiths eyes then vaporizes into thin air. Smith swiftly pivots away from the knife held to his neck, as he does, he reaches behind his back to take another arrow from the quiver to arm the bow. Raven sees this and goes on the offensive. He takes a step forward with his left foot and, with brutal force, kicks Smith in the chest with his right foot, launching him off the ground. Smith crashes through the old wooden walls of the hut, he continues flying through the air until he smashes against a large tree rendering him semi-unconscious.  


Simultaneously, Farmer sprays Iris with the highly compressed holy water. It hits her directly in the face and she lets out a horrific high-pitched groan. She falls to the ground in agonising pain. The holy water burnt her face badly causing the room to fill up with the distinct scent of burning flesh. Smith’s expulsions from the hut pits Farmer against Raven. Still holding the holy water, Farmer turns it in Ravens direction in an attempt to spray him, but Raven re-opens the front door and shields himself from the attack. The holy water runs out quickly, sensing this, Raven slams the door closed and confronts Farmer. The two stare at each other, waiting for the other to make the first move. Farmer slowly reaches for his wooden crucifix that is attached to his utility belt, Raven sees this and makes his move. He launches toward Farmer and grabs his wrists, the two grapple with each other for a moment but Ravens strength proves too much and he Farmer pins against the wall. 


The two are in close quarters, face to face. Farmer tries to release himself from Ravens grasp, but his efforts are in vein. Raven is far too strong.
 

“You should have listened to Smith and called for backup. Yes, that’s right, I heard the entire conversation. One of the perks of being superhuman, you get some wonderful powers,” Raven said, mocking Farmers poor decision.


“You’re no human, you’re a monster Raven,” replied Farmer.


“I can make you a monster if you want.”


“I would prefer to be dead.”


“Well that is another option. Tell you what, beg for your life and I will let you live, I won’t even turn you into a monster, I promise.”


Farmer laughs at Ravens comment, “I would never beg for you Raven, ever.”


“You have a young child don’t you Farmer, a young boy? Be terrible if he grew up without a father. Be worse if he never grew up at all,” Raven said with a smirk on his face.


Enraged at Ravens comment, Farmer musters up one last burst of energy to try and break free from his grip, he is close, but Raven slams him back into the wall.
 

“Beg me, for the sake of your boy.”


Farmer has a defeated look on his face and drops his head, “Ok, fine.”


He picks his head up, looks directly into Ravens eyes and spits a large wad of saliva onto his face. His actions anger Raven, who has a look of disgust on his face.


“Your life for the sake of your pride, how heroic, I will be sure to tell your son about your actions today when I come across him. Goodbye Private Farmer.” 


Raven open his mouth, fangs project from his upper jaw, he moves into Farmers neck and bites it hard. He injects his fangs into Farmers carotid artery. Farmer lets out a loud groaning sound. He continues to struggle from Ravens grip, but he gets weaker and weaker as the blood is extracted from his body. 


  

After a few moments Raven pulls back, he has taken enough blood to ensure Farmer can no longer sustain life. He steps back and releases Farmer from his grip and he instantly crashes to the ground, far too weak to support himself. His body is motionless except for his chest, which is taking in its final breaths of air. 


Raven bends down to Farmer. “It didn’t have to be this way Private Farmer, you made it so. I am going to find your friend now and do the same to him.”


He stands up, gives the dying Farmer one last look and shakes his head. He turns away and walks to Iris who is still on the ground writhing in pain from being doused with the holy water. Raven puts his hand out to assist Iris up from the ground. 


“Up you get little one,” he said, she grabs him by the hand and stands up.


“What has he done to me,” Iris asks Raven.


Iris looks directly at Raven. The right side of her face and neck are burnt from the holy water. Raven is taken back by what he sees but remains calm.

  

“You’re as beautiful as every my dear,” he told her. 


Iris pushes Raven aside, walks up to the lifeless Farmer and kicks him hard in the stomach.


“Don’t waste your energy Iris, he is extinct of life.

 

Iris pointlessly screams at Farmer out of anger.


“Let us depart Iris, I’ve had enough of being in this dishevelled abomination of a structure.” Raven looks around the old hut in disgust. “Next time we shall reconvene at more appropriate and tasteful settings.” 


Raven walks over and grabs Iris by the hand. He leads hers out the smashed wall that Smith was kicked through minutes before.


Raven scans the area and sees Smith lying on the ground in front of a large tree, “There he is, let’s go say hello.”


They walk up to Smith who is face down on the ground. There is blood seeping from the back of his head. Raven uses his foot to roll Smith over onto his back. Iris and Raven stand over Smith and visually examine him. His eyes are opened, and his pupils dilated. His breath, both the inhale and exhale, produce an exacerbated wincing sound. Raven kneels down and gently places his hand on Smith’s heart, “He has a fractured skull and vertebrae. Three broken ribs and is his left hip bone is broken. His brain is starting to swell, and he has a pierced lung that is filling up with blood.” 


He looks at Iris, “He is too close to death, we will not be extracting any blood from him.”

  

Iris is clearly annoyed and yells, “What? He has a bit of life left, that’s enough for me. Payback for what his sidekick did to my face.”


“You know you can’t drink dead blood, it will kill you little one,” he politely reminds her.


“One quick bi-“


“NO,” Raven screams.


Iris lets off a loud angry scream then storms off into the woods.


Raven, still kneeling beside Smith, looks directly into his eyes.


“You should thank me, I just saved your life, well, prolonged it anyway. You’re like a wounded animal Smith, and I will show you mercy and save you. But you owe me one.” Raven said, deliberately ignoring the fact he put Smith in this condition.  


“Farmer should have called for backup as you said. He paid for it with his life, and if you don’t get medical assistance soon, your life as well.” 


The hand-held radio on Smith’s belt crackles into life. A voice can be heard from the speaker.


“Alpha Team one, Alpha Team one, this is Alpha Team two, do you copy.”


“I think your friends are looking for you,” said Raven.


Raven takes the portable radio from the holster that is attached to Smiths pants.


“Alpha team one, do you copy. I repeat, do you copy?” The same voice can be heard coming through the radio speaker, this time with a sense of urgency.


Raven holds the radio close to his mouth and winks at Smith, “You’re out of action soldier, so I will take the call.”


Raven presses the talk button on the radio, “Hello, testing, testing one, two, three. A big hello out there to all the S.P.D. officers listening. This is Special Agent Raven coming at you. Your boys Smith and Farmer are in quite a pickle, so I suggest you hurry along to assist them. Oh, and I would bring a few paramedics with you. This is Special Agent Raven over and out.” Raven smiles at his attempt at humour. 


“Do you say that? Over and out? Or is that a Hollywood thing?” Raven asks the speechless Smith, he gets no reply, “Never mind.”


Raven examines the portable radio he is holding, “This red button, it’s for emergencies isn’t it, to let the other crews know your exact location.” It’s a rhetorical question, Raven knows it’s an emergency button. He ponders for a moment and looks at Smith. He presses the red button and smiles, “Well on that note, I shall take my leave. Your friends will be here momentarily and probably won’t be too happy with what has transpired here. If you survive, and that is a big if, I’m sure we will meet again one day Private Smith. Until then, I bid you adieu.” 


Raven stands up and looks at Smith. He theatrically tips an imaginary hat toward Smith and walks into the dark of the woods.


Smith is teetering on the brink of death. His mind is alert, but his heart is stuttering, and breath is laboured. The words that were spoken by Raven sunk deep into his subconscious. He would wake up knowing he owes his life to the demon that showed in mercy.

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CHAPTER 6 - The Flame

"Disorganized chaos is a far greater danger the organized chaos.”

 Sergeant Smith only got a few metres past the doors of the auditorium before he stops. The ten recruits who are wandering behind him nonchalantly stop in their tracks behind him.


“Right what are we to do now?” The Sergeant asks himself out aloud and ponders momentarily. The recruits all look at each other without answering, they are all still aghast with what that had witnessed in the auditorium to respond, not that the Sergeant is looking for an answer.


“We have the Commissioners speech at 1200 hours,” he said, rolling his eyes in derision, “Then a meet and greet with the other new recruits after that. I think we have time to for a quick walk.”


The Sergeants checks his watch, “Yes we have time, follow me recruits,” he said as he starts his usual brisk march.


“You’re walking in front of me this time,” Robinson said to Farmer. She grabs his arm and jostles him into positions, “See how you like it big boy.” 


Farmer thinks for a moment, turns around and says, “You think you will be able to keep up little one?” He turns back around and has a cheeky grin on his face. 


Robinson doesn’t speak, she simply growls at his comment.


“Come on everyone line up, the last thing we want to do is get the Sergeant off side,” Peppers told his fellow recruits, eager to keep the groups indiscretions to a minimum.


The ten recruits hustle quickly into two lines and chase after Sergeant Smith who is well ahead of them. Farmer deliberately positions himself in the middle of the line, hoping to avoid any confrontation with the Sergeant. The recruits catch up to him as he enters a large building that is weathered and somewhat dilapidated. The interior of the building is not dissimilar to that of the exterior. Its walls are dull beige, with the paint cracking and windows visibly dirty. The carpet is stained and worn down through years of use. This building is far removed from the flashiness of the auditorium.


Sergeant Smith stops and turns to the recruits, “This building isn’t quite as nice as the auditorium. We don’t bring visitors or dignitaries here for obvious reasons. The S.P.D. is a government organization after all, can’t afford to much luxury,” he said sarcastically.


As they walk down the hall the recruits scan each room, curious as to what is being taught. In one, a Sergeant stands in front of the class reading from a text book, the recruits appear bored and struggle to concentrate on what is being read. In another, the recruits are more energized, for at the front of the room three pixies hover in mid-air giving a lecture. Farmer and the rest of the recruits see the pixies and are amazed. 


Robinson reaches forward and tugs on Farmers shirt to get his attention, “Oh wow, do you see those little pixies Farmer?”


“You’re not much bigger than them little one. Are your wings under your shirt?” he cheekily replies. 


Black is walking beside Farmer and heard his comment “Wow that’s a burn. Don’t take that Robinson.”


Robinson is surprised at Farmers retort and has no comeback. Instead, she reaches forward and punches him in the back, hard.


“Ouch,” he yells.


Robinson chuckles loud enough to ensure Farmer hears her.


The Sergeant, annoyed at the recruits for talking in line, stops and turns around. All ten, distracted by the pixies in the classroom did not realize the Sergeant had stopped. Rodriguez and Jones, who are at the front of the lines almost crash into Sergeant Smith but manage to stop in time. Like dominos falling in a row, the other recruits all collide with the one in front. They pull themselves together and line up. The Sergeant shakes his head in anger but doesn’t speak. His look is enough to scare the recruits in to paying attention. He turns and heads off down the hall.


The recruits start up their disorganized march. As they continue through the halls of the building, they come across a room filled with officers who have plain, dark grey epaulettes on their shoulders, indicating the rank of Private. They are messing about and misbehaving, as there is no facilitator in the room. On the white board at the front of the room reads a sentence written in bold letters, ‘FIRST MONTH REVIEW AND PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT’. The officers have recently graduated from the academy and have returned for a compulsory evaluation of their first month of service. They see Sergeant Smith and all hurry to look busy. Once he walks past, they all relax. The Privates in the room all stare at the recruits walking past, who in return stare back. The Privates are aware of what faces the recruits over the next seven months and start to mock and belittle them. “Fresh meat,” yells one. “I vant to suck your blood,” said another in a terrible fake accent. Others blow air kisses and one wolf whistles indiscriminately. 


Farmer meets the eye of one of the Privates. He has a mean scowl on his face and his arm are crossed tightly. The two follow each other’s gaze for a short time, then, for no reason, the Private hisses at Farmer. Farmer does not waver; his eyes remain transfixed on the Private until he walks past the walls of the room out of his vision.


“Wow, they seem like a lovely bunch, don’t they Farmer?” Robinson asks Farmer, punching him in the back to ensure he is paying attention to her.


“Yeah, delightful,” he replies.


Sergeant Smith stops in front of a classroom and turns to the recruits who lag behind. They eventually catch up with him, “You all need to walk faster,” he growls, “Wait here.”


The Sergeant stands in the doorway to the room and knocks loudly, “Hello, Sergeant Cook, it’s just me.” 


No one answers, the room appears to be empty. Sergeant Smith scans the room from the doorway.


Suddenly, a head pops up from behind a desk to the front of the room. Sergeant Wendy Cook appears, she is dressed in a dishevelled uniform and is clearly flustered. “Oh, Glenn, hello, what a pleasant surprise, always lovely to have your hot, manly presence in my room-” 


“Ahh Sergeant Cook I want to introduce you to my new recruits,” he said hastily trying to cut off her off mid-sentence, but it’s too late, the recruits heard what she said. The surprising remark made the recruits eyes light up, but none dare laugh or make comment.


The Sergeant, embarrassed by the comment, refuses to turn and face the recruits. Sergeant Cook stands with her eyes wide open unsure of what to say, so she doesn’t say anything. She puts the paperwork she is holding on the desk and readjusts her hair and uniform.


After a few seconds of awkward silence Sergeant Smith moves out of the doorway to let the recruits through, “Umm, well come in recruits and say hello to one of the academies finest teachers.”


Sergeant Cook blushes at his comment and gazes at him adoringly.


The recruits shuffle into the class room and head toward Sergeant Cook.


“Well, what a good-looking bunch of recruits we have here,” she said as they stand before her.


Sergeant Smith who is standing behind the recruits hears her comment, “Good looking? You need a new prescription in those glasses Sergeant.”


“Oh, behave you,” she replies with a grin.


Sergeant Cook addresses the group, “So, my name is Sergeant Wendy Cook. In class you can call me Wendy, I hate all this Sergeant blah, blah, blah crap. But out of class call me Sergeant, so you don’t get in trouble.” Sergeant Cook points to Sergeant Smith, “I’m not sure if Glenn, sorry, I mean Sergeant Smith has told you, but I will be teaching you the finer points of witchcraft and spells.”


“The finest teacher of witchcraft in the academy, so think yourselves very lucky,” Sergeant Smith interjects.


Sergeant Cook looks at him adoringly, “You’re to kind.” Sergeant Smith smiles back.


Farmer looks at Sergeant Smith and Sergeant Cook, he is surprised to see them behave like star crossed lovers, as if two teenagers back in high school, especially Sergeant Smith. His hard exterior may disguise a soft inner self, a man not totally void of love and friendliness. Maybe he has judged the man to quickly he thought to himself.


Sergeant Cook regains focus on the recruits, “This class will be tough, so don’t expect an easy ride. If you want an easy ride you will have to wait until you get to the broomstick riding course.”


The recruits all snicker in unison.


“That’s not a joke. You will be riding broomsticks in a few weeks, wont they Sergeant Smith?”


“I look forward to watching them fall of a few hundred times,” he replies with a big grin on his face.


Sergeant Cook giggles at his comment, “You are terrible. Behave. Anyway recruits, I can’t talk long, there is some trouble brewing downtown and head office has asked that I go and assist.”


Sergeant Smith shakes his head, “Which coven is it this time?” he asks.


“The usual bunch, the Massachusetts coven.”


“Again? Something must be done about them, it’s getting out of control. Well we will let you go and get ready.”


“No, its fine, I have ten minutes. I’m waiting for lift.”


“Ok then, as long as you don’t mind.”


“You know I don’t mind.” The two stares at each for a short time until Sergeant Cook snaps out of the interlocking gaze.


“So, who does, or has tried witchcraft here?” she asks the recruits.


They all stand and look at each other. No one puts their hand up or speaks.


Sergeant Cook curiously looks around at the recruits.


“Ok, I know a lot of witchcraft is illegal and I’m sure you’re all perfect civilians, but this is the academy people, you’ll be members of the Supernatural Police Department in a few months, you are going to learn some illegal witchcraft soon, and because you will be confirmed officers, it makes it legal. What a wonderful system we have,” she said emphatically.


Robinson places her hand high, almost jumping in the air and excitedly yells, “I DO MAGIC.”


The recruits all turn to Robinson, surprised by her keen admission.


“Well aren’t you the little criminal Robinson. I should have you arrested,” Sergeant Smith said in a joking manner.


“Oh, stop it you,” Sergeant Cook cheekily tells Sergeant Smith.


Sergeant Cook leans into Robinson and points at Sergeant Smith, “If he gives you a hard time, let me know, I will sort him out.”


Robinson is unsure of what to say or do, so she awkwardly smiles at her. She then turns around to Sergeant Smith who gives her an evil look. She quickly turns back and faces Sergeant Cook.


“So,” Sergeant Cook quires Robinson, “What can you do? Don’t be shy.”


“Umm, not much, I just played around with a few spells and hexes, pretty boring really.”


The room is silent. Everyone is looking at her. She senses their gaze and is embarrassed by the attention.


“Well, don’t just stand there girl, do something,” Sergeant Smith insists.


Sergeant Cook puts her hand below the desk and retrieves a candle. “I will make it easy for you. Bring a flame to this candle.”


Robinson, still uneasy with everyone watching her, raises her hand and points to the candle. She concentrates very hard and whispers something under her breath, not loud enough to be heard. A flame quickly emerges on the wick of the candle but then fades away. She tries again, this time focusing even harder. She again whispers to herself and a flame reappears on the wick, but then quickly disappears. She is frustrated and puts her hand down.


“Wow, good job Robinson, not embarrassing at all,” blurts out Tobin. 


Robinson turns to Tobin who has a big smirk on his face. She is clearly annoyed by his comment. She raises her hand in his direction and says, “Flame burn bright, in my line of sight.” Suddenly, a small flame appears on top of Tobin’s head. The recruits and both Sergeants are taken back and impressed by what they are witnessing. Tobin, unaware a small portion of his hair is on fire, stands and smirks at Robinson thinking her spell had failed. Sergeant Smith quickly realizes the flame on his head may cause injury. He approaches Tobin, takes off his hat and slams it on Tobin’s head, extinguishing the flame. The Sergeant removes the hat off his head, examines it, and sees a small burn mark.


“You owe me a new hat,” he growls at Tobin.


Tobin starts sniffing the air, the scent of his burnt hair reaches his nostrils. He places his right hand on his head and feels the bald patch left by the flame. His eyes light up realizing what Robinson has done.


“YOU,” he yells aggressively as he points at her. “Sergeant, Robinson has used her powers for nefarious purposes which I know is grounds for dismissal in the academy. I want her dealt with accordingly right now.” 


Sergeant Smith, not accustomed to recruits yelling demands at him is instantly annoyed. He casually walks up to Tobin and puts his hand on his shoulder, “You Sir, are exactly right. It is grounds for dismissal. Robinson come with me, you’re out.” 


The recruits are all stunned. The situation went from comedic to serious within seconds.


Sergeant Smith walks to the door, he turns around and gestures to Robinson in a come here motion with his hand, “Let’s go.”


Robinson is dejected and is at a loss for words.


“You too Jerry, you’re out,” Sergeant Smith said, remembering the nickname he had given him.


The recruits look at Sergeant Smith in confusion.


Tobin protests, “But I didn’t do anything Sergeant.”


“Yes, you did. Robinson was attempting some magic at the request of Sergeant Cook, she failed, and you saw it fit to humiliate and demean her. I would call that harassing and bullying which is also a ground for dismissal. So come on, both you, let’s go.” The Sergeant is not smirking nor did appear to be joking. All the recruits stand dumbfounded as to what is transpiring, none brave enough to intervene.


Tobin looks at the Sergeant then looks at Robinson, he is panicked as to what to do, “Fine, nothing happened,” he said in an angry tone.


“Can you repeat that please, Jerry,” Sergeant Smith insists.


Tobin takes a deep breath, he is annoyed, but he knows he has no other choice, the Sergeant has him in a precarious situation, again.


“Let’s move on shall we. Nothing happened,” he said begrudgingly.


“That’s what I thought,” replies the Sergeant while glaring at him, “Carry on please Sergeant Cook.”


Sergeant Cook struggles to hide a grin but carries on. “Thank you. So class, magic, as you just seen, is a perilous thing. It is often scoffed at and made fun of as being easy and boring, almost childlike behaviour, but let me tell you, it is serious. In the right hands magic it is a powerful tool in the fight against evil, but in the wrong hands, it is an extremely dangerous weapon with unmatched potential to wreak havoc and destruction. More members of the S.P.D. have come to their demise at the end of a witch’s wand than anything else, isn’t that right Sergeant Smith?”


Sergeant Smith ponders on his thoughts for a moment before speaking. “Vampires, zombies and werewolves are all intrinsically one-dimensional beings. The need for human flesh or blood drives them, it’s instinctual and essential for their survival. Even vampires, many of who possess intelligence and acumen, and indeed partake in other devious proclivities, will succumb to their craving for blood at the detriment of those proclivities. Evil witches and warlocks on the other hand, they want for nothing and lust after nothing. They are dangerous because they have no purpose, no drive, no ambition. They pursue disorder and bedlam, nothing more. You don’t know what they want, what they are thinking, or what they are going to do. Disorganized chaos is a far greater danger the organized chaos.” Sergeant Smiths comment silences the room and the recruits all contemplate the seriousness of what he had said. 


Sergeant Cook breaks the silence, “Couldn’t have said it better myself. And now, if you will excuse me, I must go, duty calls. It’s been lovely meeting you all, I’m sure with Sergeant Smiths fine tutelage you will all excel in every aspect of the academy.”


Sergeant Cook nods to Sergeant Smith, “Yes recruits, let us leave Sergeant Cook to get ready. We must get to the group meeting in the dining hall anyway. Lovely seeing you again Sergeant,” he said as he gave her a sincere smile. She didn’t reply, she simply smiles back and winks affectionately at him.


Sergeant Smith exits the room and the recruits follow. Once outside they form two lines and follow the Sergeant.


“The tour is over for the day, let’s go and meet the other new recruits,” the Sergeant said as he storms off in his usual frantic march.


As they walk down the hall, they again pass the classroom full of freshly confirmed officers. They are still without a facilitator and are being noisy and are messing around. The Sergeant notices this and stops at the doorway to their room. He opens the door and puts his head in but does not enter. The Privates, unsure of what to do, become silent and all take a seat.


“Recruit Pfiffer, oops sorry, its Private Pfiffer now isn’t, is this the way a confirmed officer within the S.P.D. would behave? Like a two-year-old in preschool.” The Sergeant singles out Private Ryan Pfiffer, a cocky, arrogant egotistical officer, and the same one who hissed at Farmer previously.


“No Sergeant, it’s not,” he replies sheepishly, embarrassed from being singled out by the Sergeant. 


Sergeant Smith continues with his fixation of Pfiffer. “Have you forgotten how to stand when you speak to a superior officer Pfiffer? I would hate for you to have to come and see me during your break to give you a few lessons. My recruits could teach you, they are fantastic at standing when required.”


Pfiffer grunts softly in annoyance and stands, “No Sergeant,” he said begrudgingly. 


“Good,” he replies, then focuses his attention on the whole class, “I expect all of you to maintain yourselves and act accordingly, this is not high school. You only graduated a few months ago, don’t let it go to your head.” He removes his head out of the doorway, closes the door and marches off down the hall with the recruits following.


Farmer begins to walk, as he does, he eyes off Pfiffer who has a pout on his face and his fists clenched. Pfiffer turns to the passing recruits and meets Farmers stare. Farmer points his finger at him, produces a massive smirk then gives him the thumbs up while miming ‘Good one’ to him. Pfiffer in return puts his finger to his neck and runs it across his throat then points at Farmer. Farmer laughs and winks at Pfiffer then turns his head to the front. Pfiffer watches him intently as he walks out of view. 

  

The Sergeants receives a call on his cell phone, “Hello Sergeant Smith speaking…Mmm, ok then, sounds good to me, the speech is a waste of time anyway… will see you at lunch.” He places the phone back in his pocket, “Thank goodness for that,” he whispers to himself. He turns to the group, “Change of plans recruits, the Commissioner cant make it, lets go back to class.”


As they walk back to the classroom, Farmer is feeling more at ease with himself. The nerves that have hounded him since the morning are slowly fading away. The witty banter with Robinson and his mockery of Pfiffer boosts his spirits. Farmer looked down at his uniform and smiled. All I need to do is relax, stay focused, just be myself and everything will be ok he thought to himself as he marched proudly with his fellow recruits. 

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chapter 7 - academy reality

"And if any of you want to test my nerves, my patience or my sanity…"

The recruits are all seated at their desks. Miss Ling is attempting to use a pencil to hold her hair together but is failing miserably. The Sergeant watches her in frustration. “Out of hair ties Miss Ling?” he said sarcastically. 


She looks at the Sergeant scornfully, “I’m impressed you know what a hair tie is, being follicly challenged and all.” 


A small smirk arises on her face. The Sergeant clamps his lips together trying not to laugh at her cheeky comment. The recruits want to laugh but wisely choose not to, fearing backlash from Sergeant Smith.


“Enough of the comedy act Miss Ling, let’s get this show on the road,” he said assertively.


She rolls her eyes at him. “Ok who was next in line for introductions?” she asked the group loudly.


Bryan Peppers stands up and proclaims, “That would be me Miss Ling. May I come to the front?”


The Sergeant looks at Peppers, “Wow, talk about enthusiastic. Have you had your valium today recruit?”


Peppers looks at Sergeant Smith unsure of what to say, “Sir, no Sir, I don’t take valium.”


The Sergeant can’t help but smile at Peppers’ seriousness, “Ok, well good. Come to the front soldier.” 


He quickly marches to the front and stands behind the lectern. Peppers is taller than average and cuts a robust figure. The bottom half a tattoo visible on his right arm. His hair is perfectly groomed, and his face is immaculately shaved. His military pedigree is obvious through his stance that is as straight as a wooden plank. Army life had taught him about protocol and procedure, something he still respects.


“Good Morning class, my name is Bryan Peppers. I was born in the Philippines but moved here when I was two years old. After school I joined the Air Force and became a pilot, and quite a good one if I do say so myself. My role was to test all the experimental planes being produced. Unfortunately, I developed an eye stigmatism which forced me out of the pilot’s seat. I studied and became an aviation engineer, but it didn’t give me any job satisfaction, so, I decided to leave and join the fight against all the supernatural evils in the world.” 


Impressed by his words, Sergeant Smith pays him a compliment, “Very good Peppers, no doubt you will excel here being an ex-military man, much like Jones.”


Jones gives the Sergeant a look of disapproval, “You know I’m a woman, don’t you Sergeant?” She quickly reminds him with a hint of acid in her words.


The whole class laughed at her quick response. 


“Sorry Jones, ex-military person. You know what I meant,” the Sergeant sheepishly replied. “What planes did you fly Peppers,” he quickly asked, attempting to move away from his verbal indiscretion.


“That is classified,” Peppers staunchly informed the Sergeant.


Sergeant Smith nods his head in approval of Peppers’ correct military procedure to secrecy. 


“Sounds like you have had an interesting career Peppers, I look forward to hearing more about it over the next seven months. Thank you, have a seat,” Miss Ling instructed him.


Peppers heads to his seat and passes Robinson who shows initiative by walking to the lectern as she is next in line to speak.


“Rodreguiz, you’re next,” Sergeant Smith announces. 


Robinson is confused and stops, she looks at Rodreguiz unsure of what to do. She turns to head back to her seat.


“You’re up here now Robinson, might as well speak,” the Sergeant told her.


“I just thought I was next to speak Sergeant, so I just come up-“


“You thought did you,” Sergeant Smith grimaces at Robinson. “When you graduate…sorry… if you graduate, you can do all the thinking you want, until then, I will do the thinking for both of us, how does that sound?”


Robinson is taken back by his comment and stares at him, uncertain of what to say,

“Umm, yes of course Sergeant.”


Farmer looks at the Sergeant and shakes his head in annoyance. Does this man ever let up? Picking on an innocent recruit who is trying to show some initiative. A pointless exercise just to exert his authority he thought.


Robinson turns to the recruits, nervous and unsettled, she has lost all train of thought.


“Umm,” she mumbles, stumbling to get her words out. 


Miss Ling intervenes, “Just relax Robinson. What brought you to the academy?”


“A car,” she nervously replied.


The recruits laugh at her sassy retort.


“Sorry I didn’t mean that Miss Ling.”


Miss Ling isn’t fazed by the comment, she knows the Sergeant rattled Robinsons concentration.


Robinson looks at the Sergeant momentarily and takes a big breath in and out, as if expelling his negative energy. She looks at the recruits again, this time with a big smile on her face.


“So fellow recruits, my name is Naomi Robinson, before any of you notice my slight accent, I will tell you I am South African. English is actually my second language, but I think I’ve perfected it,” she said jokingly.


The Sergeant looks at Robinson and interrupts, “Jy praat Afrikaans,” asking if she was fluent in Afrikaans.


Taken back by his comment she replies, “Ja, natuurlik,” meaning yes, of course.


“Baie goed,” very good the Sergeant stated.


Impressed by the Sergeants Afrikaans, Fraser blurts out, “You speak another language Sergeant, wow, you are so talented.”


“I’m not just a pretty face,” said the Sergeant. 


“Who said you had a pretty face?” Fraser snapped back, not thinking before he spoke.


The recruits instantly turn to Fraser, dumbfounded by what he had said, all desperate to hold in their laughter.


Miss Ling, half way through taking a sip of water almost chokes at Frasers comment and spits the water back into the bottle.


Sergeant Smith gives Fraser an angry look but does not say anything to him, he too is trying to contain his laughter. He looks at Robinson and manages to say, “Carry on please,” without breaking his stone-cold persona. 


“Ok. I have been here for over ten years. I got my degree in marketing, but it turned out to be a rather boring gig. I wanted some action and adventure, to get out and make something of myself. So, after some soul searching, I thought to myself, take a risk Naomi, and I did. So here I am, ready for the next 7 months and hopefully a long career after I graduate,” she said proudly.


If you graduate,” the Sergeant stated while giving her a deadpan look.


Robinson looks at him, “Oh I will graduate Sergeant, have no doubt. I have been through a lot in my life, far worse than anything you or this academy can throw at me.”


Her defiant words impressed him, but he wasn’t going to give her any leeway in their verbal stoush.


“A strong, independent woman, how original. Talk is cheap Robinson, the next seven months will reveal just how strong you are, physically and mentally.”


“I am ready Sergeant. I just ask one thing of you.”


He looked at her intently, “Yes, what’s that?”


“Don’t go easy on me, I can do anything everyone else in this room can do, probably better,” she said with an air of defiance. “So, now I’ve said my piece, do I have your permission to sit, Sergeant?”


He did not appreciate the attitude she was giving him, and it showed on his face. The two stared at each other for a moment until Miss Ling intervened, wanting to break the tension between them, “Yes Robinson, please sit.” Robinson took her seat, proud of her bold stance toward the Sergeant.


Farmer turned back to Robinson and nodded his head in approval, impressed by her confrontation with Sergeant Smith. He looks at the Sergeant who had not taken his eyes off Robinson, still giving her a deathly gaze. Farmer had a bad feeling she may regret their verbal two and fro, as the Sergeant didn’t seem the type to forgive or forget. 


“Alex Rodriguez, would you please step up to the lectern,” Miss Ling instructed as she waves in his direction.


Rodriguez walks to the front of the class, eyes squarely focused on the floor as he moves. A small statured man, his lack of height is barely noticeable due to his distracting muscular build. He sports shoulders and arms so large that his shirt barely contains them, and legs so thick he struggles to walk normally. A shy and assuming man, he does not like being the center of attention and is not looking forward to speaking in front of the room. He looks upon the recruits nervously and takes a deep breath. “I won’t lie, I don’t enjoy doing this, but here I go. Hello Everyone. My name is Alex Rodriguez. I am 31 years old. I have a wife and 2 children. I was a mechanic before joining the academy. I like going to the gym, riding motor bikes, spending time with my wife and children. I am a simple man, with simple pleasures. I look forward to the next seven months and look forward to getting to know you all. Thank you.”


The recruits all smile at his brief yet informative introduction. 


The Sergeant is curious about Rodriguez and asks, “Where do you see yourself after the academy recruit.”


“I would like to be in the zombie squad, Sir.”


“Ahh, Team Delta, why is that?”


“I’ve done some research, and the data shows they are constantly busy and engage with far more supernatural beings than any other unit.”


The recruits are impressed with his answer, as is Miss Ling and the Sergeant.


“That’s very true. The zombie crews never let up. Vampires are rarely seen during the day. Werewolves only around the full moon, but zombies, they are 24/7 creatures. Not to mention very dangerous. You a bit of a work horse Rodriguez?” asked the Sergeant.


“I like to keep busy, yes, although the other crews probably get more exciting work, I think I would get bored too quickly in any other squad,” he replied.


“Don’t you worry, hunting zombies is far from boring, they aren’t the slow-moving creatures everyone thinks them to be. They are fast, strong, hard to kill, have no enemies and when they are in a group, very difficult to disperse and dispose of. Good work Rodriguez, a man with a plan is a man who will go places.” 


“Thank you, Sergeant.”


“Have a seat.”


Rodriguez heads to his seat, relieved his time at the front of the class is over.


Sergeant Smith stands and looks at Tobin who is next in line to speak. “Tim Jerry Tobin, I think we all know everything there is to know about you. You don’t have to get up.”


Tobin rolls his eyes in annoyance but doesn’t argue with him. The Sergeant gives him a brief, sarcastic smile then turns to Jenny White. “Miss White, I don’t think I’ve heard you speak yet, come on up and fill the room with your voice.”


White heads to front and stands before the recruits. She takes in a deep breath and looks around at each of them. White is tall with a solid build. Her hair is pulled tightly in a bun. She is void of any make up or beauty products. She was born and raised on a farm and it shows, her hands are dry and rough from years of farm labor and her skin is sun damaged. Her broad shoulders are a result from hard work, not gym work, something she is very proud of.


“Well, hello ya’all. I am Jenny White. Not surprisingly everyone calls me Jen. I hail from a small country town and was raised on a farm. My daaady taught me that hard work is its own reward. My mumma told me never listen to daaady.” Whites voice is soft and innocent, but her accent is a thick country drawl, cemented by her elongated pronunciation of the word daaady


The recruits and Miss Ling chuckle at her comment. The Sergeant also couldn’t help but smirk.


“Like a lot of young people born in the country, I moved to the big smoke to try my hand at city livin’. I quickly learnt it’s about rude people, busy streets and expensive shops. I worked as a secretary for a while but hated it. I’m an outdoors kinda gal and hate being stuck inside for too long. I’ve always been fascinated by the paranormal so I thought I would give the S.P.D. a try. And here I am.” White said, clearly proud of her back story. 


“And here I was thinking you couldn’t speak White, I was certainly mistaken,” Sergeant Smith said, surprised by her candidness.


“Us country gals don’t mind a yarn Saarge.”


“Apparently not White. Good to have you here. I’ve always found people from small rural towns to be honest, respectable and reliable, don’t let me down cowgirl.” 


“I’ll try not to Saarge.”


“Out of curiosity, have you ridden a bull?”


“I have. I wont lie, only lasted 3 seconds, but it was fun.”


The Sergeant smirks at her comment, “Very good White, I look forward to watching you when it comes to the physical component of the course. I have no doubt you can teach these boys a thing or two.”


She gives the Sergeant a wink and a smile, “Don’t worry Saarge, I won’t give these boys any quarter, the woman neither.”


“That’s what I like to hear. Take your seat please,” said Sergeant Smith in a chirpy tone.


White takes her seat and the Sergeant stands and begins to pace back and forward in front of the room.


“Well everyone. That was a lovely little meet and greet. I know over the next seven months you will learn more about each other, and no doubt learn to love and hate one another.” The recruits all look around at each other, puzzled by his comment. “It’s the nature of the beast. You’re in tight quarters for seven months. Work together, live together, play together. Look around. This is your family, unfortunately, you don’t get to choose who the members of your family are. I would suggest you all try and get along, but I already have a few of you pegged as trouble makers who will no doubt bring dissention amongst the group. And not just in this group, amongst the other recruits as well. Apart from living with the other recruits, you will also join them in different classes and activities. Cliques will be made, cool kids, nerds, jocks, and loners. Take my word for it, the academy is more like high school, everyone knows everyone else’s business and gossip and rumor are rife, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.” The Sergeant looks around at each recruit individually, he wants his precautionary words to sink in. 


“Unfortunately, the Sergeant is correct,” Miss Ling interjected, confirming the importance of what Sergeant Smith had told them. “Most of you will get caught in some sort of drama, whether it be self-inflicted or not. You’re all adults and I won’t tell you how to live your life, but just be careful.”


The Sergeant, still pacing, looks at Miss Ling and nods his head in agreeance. “Oh, and don’t forget, this place isn’t meant to be a fun, social experiment for you all, nor is it a journey. The S.P.D. Academy is serious training ground where you be pitted against one another and the other recruits. We will test your speed, strength, agility, knowledge, perception and insight. You will be ranked according to your ability and in seven months’ time, those in the top ten will get to choose their placement and what team they want to join.”


The Sergeants words make for deep thought amongst the recruits. In the excitement of joining the Supernatural Police Department, the recruits did not consider the reality of academy life. As they look around at each other, all of them realize they are amongst strangers, brought together by a series of physical, cognitive and psychological examinations, where only the top echelon makes it through to the academy. These people aren’t going to be his friends Farmer thought, they are going to be his competition.


The Sergeant continues, “So, if I were you, I would study hard, train harder, listen, observe and take note. Dedication and hard work go a long way at the academy. I will be watching each and everyone of one of you closely for the next seven months. There will be blood, sweat and tears, and if there isn’t, you aren’t trying hard enough.” The Sergeant stop pacing, he stands behind the lectern and grips it tight, so tight in fact the muscles in his forearm start to bulge. He looks down, then looks up, his face is void of all emotion, but his eyes convey a look of absolute seriousness, “And if any of you want to test my nerves, my patience or my sanity… you will be in for a world of hurt.”


Shivers ran down the spines of all ten recruits by his stern, deathly statement. Even Miss Ling, usually ignorant of the Sergeants dialogue, couldn’t help but shudder.


“Do you all understand?” Sergeant Smith asked in an eerily threatening manner. 


The recruits all nod slowly in acknowledgment, but this is does not satisfy the Sergeant.


“I will ask again. Use your words children. Do you understand?”


They reply, “Yes” in unison, again this does not satisfy Sergeant Smith, who looks frustrated with them.


“YES, SERGEANT,” he yells aggressively.


“YES, SERGEANT,” the recruits all yell back as one.


“Good. Finally,” he said shaking his head. “Anyway, let’s move on.” An awkward smile arises on his face, totally opposite to the severe look he wore moments before. “I am going to hand you over to Miss Ling to see the day out. I have got other things to attend to so I will be leaving. You will afford Miss Ling the same respect you afford me, and if you don’t, there will be trouble.” Sergeant Smith looks directly at Fraser. Fraser looks around innocently, confused as to why the Sergeant is staring at him so intently. “Yes, I’m looking at you…clown,” he said with his eyes still fully locked onto Fraser who drops his head and sinks into his seat out of embarrassment.


Sergeant Smith actions his hand toward Miss Ling, grabs his paper work then exits the room.


Miss Ling stands in front of the recruits and addresses them, “He is quite the character our Sergeant Smith. You will learn to love him. He will grill you, torment you, and haunt your dreams, but in seven months’ time you will be the finest recruits graduating, this I promise you.”


She walks over to a box on her desk and takes out a large, thick text book and holds it up to the recruits. The title reads ‘SUPERNATURAL POLICE DEPARTMENT: PROTOCOLS, REGULATIONS AND LEGISLATION’. She picks up the box and places it on Blacks desks. “Here comes the fun. Take one and pass it along.”


The box gets passed around and each recruit takes a text book. Farmer picks his up and is surprised at how heavy it is. He flicks through it. Page after page of writing involving the legal requirements of the Supernatural Police Department. He breezes over the pages, hoping to come across something fun and exciting, like sword fighting, vampire hunting or zombie decapitation, but he finds nothing of the sort. Just a mass of typed words and white space. He looks at Dell who is also scanning through the text book. She looks bewildered by its size and content. “Maybe it’s a secret weapon?” she said to Farmer as she makes whacking motion with the text book.


“Use it on the Sergeant,” he replied cheekily. The two laugh quietly at his comment.


“Oh, I almost forgot, the keys to your rooms, how silly of me. Couldn’t imagine you would want to sleep in the classroom,” Miss Ling exclaimed casually, as if it would only be a minor inconvenience if she had forgot to give the recruits their room keys.


She takes a handful of small envelopes from her desk draw and passes them to Black.


“Your names are on the envelopes, so take yours and pass it on. When you leave here, go the dorms, your bags should be waiting out front. Go find your rooms, get yourself sorted and go check out your lodgings. However,” Miss Ling stops and contemplates for a moment, as if trying to find the right words to say, “I should remind you, this in the S.P.D. Academy, not Buckingham Palace. Don’t expect gold plated toilet seats and 70-inch plasmas. Think more along the lines of…well you will see.” Miss Ling gives the recruits a fake smile then everts her eyes, not wanting to see the look on the recruits faces. 


Dell nudges Farmers elbow and says to him, “I was looking forward to sitting on gold plated toilet seat.”


“I know, right, I was looking forward to watching a 70-inch plasma,” he replied sarcastically. 


“Alright my little cherubs, I am off for the day. When you are sorted please be on your way. I will see you 8.00am first thing tomorrow morning. A whole day set aside for witchcraft and wizardry laws. Its very exciting. Fair well,” Miss Ling said in a genuinely happy tone. She leaves the room with the recruits still going through their text books and sorting out their room keys.


Fraser watches her walk away and jokingly address the recruits, “Did she say exciting while referring to a whole day study witchcraft laws? Its not to late to pull out now is it?”

  

“I have a terrible feeling we are going to be doing a lot of reading and studying my friend,” Jones promptly informed Fraser.


Fraser looks dejected by her comment, “What about sword fight, shooting bow and arrows, and I want to wrestle that yeti,” he said excitedly.


“The only thing you be wrestling for a while big boy is that massive text book,” Jones replied, again disappointing Farmer with her truthful response. 


“Well I have my gear, I am off,” Tobin announced to the class then exits the room.

“Wow, he is going to the barrel of laughs for the next seven months,” declared the usually reserved White.


The recruits exit the class room and head to the dormitories. With the Sergeant absent there is no need for file and order and they wander slowly like a herd of cattle. The first day of classes over, they now must organize their living arrangements. As they approach the dorms, they see the other new recruits all gathered around. Standing in front of the group is Sergeant Luke Zimmer. A portly, bald man with thick glasses, he looks unimpressed with his arms crossed and toes tapping. The recruits from squad 488 gather with the others.


“Glad you could join us 488,” Sergeant Zimmer shouted, clearly annoyed by their late arrival, “Well now we are all here, we can get this show started. I am Sergeant Zimmer, I will be your intake coordinator for the next seven months. I am meant to be like a guardian angel and help you with any issues you may have or problems that may arise. But you are all adults, so act like adults, that’s all I will say about that.”


Farmer looks at Robinson, who is standing on her tip toes to try and see Sergeant Zimmer over the crowd, “You’re not missing much short stuff, he isn’t exactly a male model.”


Robinson looks up at Farmer, smiles, then elbows him hard in the ribs. She gets back on her tip toes in a pointless attempt to look over the crowd.


“Recruits, listen very clearly, to my RIGHT, that’s your LEFT is the girl’s dorms. And to my LEFT, that’s your RIGHT, is the boy’s dorms. If you’re a girl, go left, if you’re a boy, go right. Simple. Do we have any questions about that?” Sergeant Zimmers ridiculous instructions had most of the recruits rolling their eyes. He continues, “So, grab your bags that are behind me, and grab YOUR bag, no one elses, and go find your rooms. Your room key has a number on it, that number correlates to the room you will be staying in. Does anyone have any questions?”


There was silence amongst the 50 recruits until Fraser put his hand up and says loudly, “Excuse me Sergeant, I’m a boy, where do I go again?”


The recruits all chuckle at his mischievous remark. Sergeant Zimmer however, does not. “You can go to the Inspectors office and tell him you struggle taking direction, upon which he will direct you out the front gates. What do you think about that recruit?” Sergeant Zimmer’s response shuts down Fraser who does not reply. “That’s what I thought. The rec hall opens at 1800 hours for dinner. First in, best feed.” Without saying goodbye, he storms off to let the recruits sort out their bags.


Tobin, annoyed by Frasers remark pipes up, “Fraser, are you going to make a smart comment every chance you get? Because really, there’s no need for it, and it makes our group look stupid. You’re an adult, act like it.”


Fraser turns to Tobin, “I can try, but no promises.”


Tobin shakes his head at Fraser and mumbles something under his breath. Fraser ignores the inaudible comment.


In front of the group is a mess of bags and suitcases, separated in two piles. The other recruits move forward to find their belongings. Most of group 488 stay back and wait for the pack to dissolve, all except Tobin who rushes in leaving his classmates behind.


“He is like a rabid wolverine,” said Jones, referring to Tobin who is pushing his way to the front of the crowd to get his bag.


After a few moments the crowd has dispersed leaving a few bags remaining. 


“Well team, let’s do this. How about we meet in the rec hall at 1700 hours. Get a good table, have a little pow wow and get to know each other better,” Jones suggested.


“Seven o’clock,” White quizzed Jones, “Sergeant Zimmer said it opens at six, we’ll miss the food.”


All the recruits look at White. “What?” she questions their staring.


“1700 hours is five o’clock, not seven o’clock” Peppers politely informs her.


“Oh, right, 24-hour time, I had better get adjusted to that, ha-ha.”


The recruits respectfully ignore her indiscretion, knowing she has not used 24-hour time before.


“Ok, five o’clock it is,” Robinson said, ensuring the time is made clear.


As they go to pick up their belongings, Dell moves alongside Farmer, nudging Robinson aside. “I know you’re a big guy, but if you get frightened or scared tonight being alone just give me a buzz and I will come and look after you. Don’t be ashamed, your first night without mommy is going to be tough.” 


Farmer looks down at Dell who has a big smile on her face, “Are you going to annoy me for the next seven months?” he asked in a serious tone.


“You know it big boy,” she replied while punching his arm softly.


“Oh, good,” he said in a clearly unimpressed manner.


Dell bends down to pick up her bag which is nearly half her size. Farmer sees the size of the bag and laughs, “Wow Dell, A big bag full of beauty products and still ugly!” he said, ensuring it was loud enough for everyone to hear. Dell gives Farmer a smarmy look but has no come back. “See you at 5 Dell,” he added while giving her a ridiculous wave goodbye.


Farmer picks up his suitcase and heads into the dorms, Robinson is watching him walk away. “See you at five Farmer,” she said as she waves at him.


Farmer doesn’t turn around, he simple raises his hand and says, “Sounds good.”


With all the other recruits gone, Robinson is left alone with her bag and slightly miffed that Farmer didn’t give her a proper goodbye, “Rude,” she said while shaking her head. She picks up her bag and heads to her room. 

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chapter 8 - not fully human

”it is the essence of the vampire encapsulated in the blood…”

Dell is standing out front of room 253, her home away from home for the next seven months. She places the key in the lock and turns it slowly, fearfully anticipating of what is waiting for her inside. She inches the door open and takes a moment to look around before she enters. She walks in and the door slams loudly behind her, causing her to jump out of fright. She drops the heavy bag she is carrying to the ground, unconcerned for the contents inside. Dell had few expectations of her lodgings, especially after Miss Lings warning, so what she was seeing did not surprise her. The room could not be anymore drab, off white walls, stained brown carpet that is worn to the point of being non-existent, cheap, wooden furniture that consists of a single bed, a chest of draws, a study desk and a wardrobe, “No expense spared,” she exclaimed as she rolls her eyes. Dell smelt the air in the room, it was stale and old. She leans over the bed and opens the window to let some much need fresh air in. Dell plonks herself on the bed and bounces up and down a few times. She runs her hands up and down the old, hard mattress and touches the folded sheets at the end of the bed, “Nice and comfy,” she whispered sarcastically. Dell looks around the empty, lifeless room and takes in a deep breath, “First things first.” She reaches in her bag and pulls out an enclosed cardboard cylinder and some cello tape. She opens the cylinder and pulls out a poster, and with the cello tape she tapes the poster to the wall at the end of the bed. She steps back and examines the poster. It is a painted portrait of a male vampire. His long hair is pitch black and vastly contrasts his pale, near translucent skin. He wears a sinister grin that is accompanied by his piercing, soulless stare. Casey stares back at the vampire, as if transfixed by his endless gaze…


20 years before… 


It is a dark and stormy night. Thunder and lightning rule the sky. The noises of suburbia are masked by the pelting rain. The streets are barren except for those brave enough to face the torrential down pour. Most households are void of activity, with the late hour seeing them long retired. One house, 45 Green Street, usually a subdued residence, is full of commotion. Within the dwelling, two vampires stand holding another, James Dell, between them. James is beaten, bloody and struggling to maintain consciousness. The vampire gripping James’ right arm is Rami, a large, emotionless creature who has no respect for life, human or supernatural. He is monster in both size and nature, void of any emotion or personality. Holding James’ left arm is Iris, the wicked vampire who includes herself in all things evil within the supernatural world. Iris wears burn scars on her face and neck from an altercation month’s before. And standing before the three of them is Raven, the cruel and egotistical ruler of the vampire underworld. Raven is bleeding from his right fist, it is not his blood however, it is James’. Raven wears a blink less stare, his eyes cold and unforgiving.


“Why do you make me come hunting for you James?” Raven asked, unconcerned by James’ serious injuries that he himself inflicted. “Or do you like to be called Jim? Jim is such a common name, wouldn’t you agree?” he looks at James waiting for a response, but James does not answer. “I will stick to James, it is far more sophisticated I feel. So, I ask again James, why do you make me come hunting for you?”


James rolls his eyes and shakes his head but does not speak. Raven takes a step towards James, raises his fists then brings it down upon James’ face with brutal force. The connection produces a sickening sound of bones being broken and flesh being torn apart. Raven takes a step back and looks down on his black coat that has James’ blood on it.


“Great, blood on my jacket. Do you know how hard it is to remove blood stains from clothing James?” Raven asked, genuinely annoyed by the blood on his coat. 


“I ask you one simple thing. Bring me a fresh human once a week. That’s all. As the newest member of the clan that’s what you do, to show appreciation and to give me thanks for allowing you in.” Raven points to Iris, “The lovely Iris here done it,” he then points to Rami, “As did the lovely Rami, well he is not so lovely, but still, one hell of a vampire.”


Rami looks at Raven and grunts in annoyance, Raven ignores him.


James looks at Raven and gathers some strength, “I didn’t want to become one of you, you’re all monsters,” he said aggressively, blood spitting out of his mouth as he spoke. 


Raven shook his head, as if disappointed by James’ comment, “Monsters, if you want monsters go see Dr Frankenstein, I have his number, he is a very talented man. But we are not monsters.”


“You should have let me die,” James muttered as his head sunk.


“How ungrateful, I give immortality, and this is my reward, insolence and disrespect. Why do I even bother?” Raven looks at James sincerely displeased by him. He walks up to James and grabs him by the chin and forces him to meet his eyes. “Now James, because you have failed to fulfill your simple obligation as a member of my clan, I must bring it upon myself to punish you, something I loathe doing but must to ensure order remains steadfast.”


“Just kill me then,” James mumbled, struggling to make a coherent sentence.


“You’re already dead James,” Raven reminded him in a vicious tone, “And besides, I’m not done with you, not by a long shot.” Raven releases his grip of James then begins to parade around the room, looking absentmindedly at photos and the décor in the room, clearly unpleased by what he sees. “James, I must scorn you on your decorations and furnishing, very…humany.” He pics up a family portrait of James, his wife and daughter. “You haven’t introduced me to your family, how rude. That’s ok, I will go and introduce myself.”


James eyes fill with rage. His body gets a surge of energy and he tries to break free from Iris and Rami’s grip, but he only manages to jostle them slightly. James begs, “No, please no, take me, leave them.”


Raven gives him a look of derision, “You, huh, please, wait here, I shall return.”


Raven walks down the corridor and begins searching the house. He enters a small bathroom briefly but sees no one. He walks into one bedroom and looks around. It is a child’s bedroom, walls colored light pink with dolls scattered all over. The wardrobe is wide open revealing dresses and girls’ clothing, but no person is inside. He walks down the corridor and into another bedroom. As he enters, he takes deep breath in, as if inhaling the rooms aura. An evil smile arises on his face. The only sound that can be heard is that of curtains jostling due to a slight breeze coming through the opened window. The room is occupied by a large queen bed, two side dresser draws and a large wardrobe that is closed. He looks under the bed to find it empty apart from some boxes and old, discarded shoes. He moves slowly and quietly to the wardrobe and grabs hold of the handle, he pauses for a moment, then whips open the door with great speed, “Well hello there,” he said in an unnerving tone. Cowering inside the wardrobe is Janet, James’ wife and their 5-year-old daughter Casey. Janet is holding Casey tight, so tight in fact she struggles to breath. 


Casey holds her hand up to Raven, “Please no, take me, leave the girl, I beg of you.” Tears are streaming down her face and she is shaking uncontrollably.


The grin on Ravens face drops and turns into a sinister glare, “How about I take both of you.” He grabs Janet and Casey roughly by their arms and reefs them out of the wardrobe. He marches them forcefully down the corridor and into the living room. Janet fights hard to fend off Raven but he is far too strong. Once in the living room Raven throws Janet onto the lounge with such force the lounge is pushed back several feet. Casey is in shock. She stands silent and motionless. Raven pulls her in front him and turns to James.


James pleads to Raven with the little strength he has left, “Raven please, no, I will do anything, let her go.”


“TAKE ME, PLEEEEEEASE,” Janet screams, but Raven ignores them both.


Iris has a devious grin on her face in anticipation of what is about to happen. Rami stands stone faced, both still holding James tightly so he can’t defend Casey.


“You brought this on yourself James, I honestly hate these types of predicaments, I do, but alas, here we are,” Raven stated, as if sincerely disliking the situation he had created.


Raven gives James and evil look, then, as quick as lightening, reaches down to Casey’s neck and begins extracting her blood. 


“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO,” Janet and James both scream in unison.


Within a few seconds Casey crashes to the ground, motionless and not breathing. Janet leaps to her aid but is knocked back onto the lounge by Raven who turns and growls at her angrily. He turns to James, Casey’s blood dripping from his mouth. With his left hand he pulls out a knife from his coat pocket. He then uses the knife to make a cut in the palm of his right hand. With blood seeping from the opened wound, he kneels to Casey and looks at James, “I wouldn’t want to be known as a murderer James, so I am going to be gracious and let your daughter live, hopefully she will be more grateful then you are.” With Casey’s mouth slightly ajar, Raven squeezes his hand hard forcing out a gush of blood that covers her lips and enters her mouth. After a few seconds he stops. Wearing a satisfied look, he stands and addresses James and Janet, “It is a misconception that copious amounts of vampire blood is required to initiate the transformation process. The truth is, you need but the most minuscule amount, for its not the blood that is important, it is the essence of the vampire encapsulated in the blood, so a few drops is more than sufficient.” Ravens grim words fall on deaf ears, as Janet and James stare heartbroken at their lifelessly daughter.


Raven takes a clean handkerchief from his coat pocket and wraps it around the wound on his hand. “Oh, don’t worry about my hand, it will heal in a few minutes,” he said, as if those in the room are concerned for his welfare.


Suddenly, Ravens ears prick up and he snarls. In the distance sirens can be heard, slowly getting louder and louder. “Great, the S.P.D. are on their way. It’s time for us depart this wretched place,” he informed Iris and Rami.


“Shall we kill him?” Rami asked Raven, nudging James forward.


“No, we shall not,” Raven answered, clearly irritated by the question. “I haven’t finished with him, he is coming with us to serve his purpose.”


Raven walks over to Janet and grabs her by the hand and raises it to his lips, “Well lovely to see you Mrs. Dell. It’s a shame we can’t stay but the S.P.D. and I do not have a good relationship, another time perhaps,” he then gently kisses her hand, “Farewell, my dear.” Raven releases her hand and gives her a disturbing wink.


Raven walks to the front door, as he passes Rami and Iris, he motions his head for them to follow him. They grip James tight and drag him out the door following Raven. 


Frozen by what had transpired, Janet realizes they have left and snaps into action. She leaps off the lounge at moves to Casey, “No, no, no baby stay with me, stay me,” she pleads, shaking Casey who offers no response. She feels her pulse and places her head on her heart but feels nothing.


The sirens in background get louder.


“We have to get you out of here and find help, I pray Wilma is home,” Janet said, clearly panicked by her daughters’ condition. She picks Casey up from the floor, her lifeless body flops in her arms. Janet runs to the garage, opens the car door and throws Casey in the back seat, not concerning herself with the seat belt. Janet runs to the driver’s seat and starts the car. The garage door opens slowly, “Come on, come on,” she yells as she bangs her fists on the steering wheel out of frustration. Once it is fully opened, Janet slams her foot on the accelerator causing the tires to screech. She exits the garage and onto the street, almost spinning out of control from the slippery, wet road. Janet is on a mission and knows that time is of the essence, she must get to her to the destination quickly and without hesitation. She winds her way through the suburban suburbs at break neck speed. She leans forward to get better visibility of the street signs, the heavy rain and her manic driving making them difficult to read. She goes through stops signs without hesitation and ignores all speed limits. She passes a street sign that reads Rue Street, then quickly looks back at Casey and says tearfully, “We’re almost there baby, stay with me.” Janet starts slowing down and veers the car left. She mounts a gutter and drives over a bed of flowers. She slams on the brakes and the car comes to a sudden stop, only inches away from crashing into the house. She briefly pauses to gather her composure and as she does a crow lands on the hood of her car. The crow stares directly at Janet, unwavered by the pouring rain. A discomforting feeling comes over Janet by the crow’s presence, but she is unable to look away. The crow and Janet visually square off for several moments until the crow squawks loudly then flies off. Janet ponders the incident briefly then shakes off the distraction. She exits the car and races to retrieve Casey. She drags Casey out of the back seat and carries her to the house. Upon reaching the front door, Janet bangs hard and loud, “Wilma, Wilma,” she yells. Janet continues to knock on the door as hard as she can. 


A woman opens the door dressed in her night gown, pajamas and slippers, her hair disheveled, and still half asleep. “WHAT THE H-“


“Help me Wilma, Casey’s been attack by a vampire,” Janet begged with desperation in her eyes.


Wilma immediately snaps out of her half slumber, “What, when, how long ago?”


“Probably about ten minutes, maybe more.”


“Ten minutes, oh boy, that’s bad. Come in, come in.” Wilma ushers in Janet and Casey, both dripping wet from their brief time in the pouring rain.


Wilma leads Janet into a large room that is pitch black from no lighting. She leaves Janet holding Casey and walks off. She returns momentarily brandishing a wand. She raises the wand high and weaves it in a circular motion. Almost instantly the room is lit by and array of candles. Wilma points the wand directly above her head at which time a cloudy mist run over her whole body. As the cloud disappears, Wilma is no longer dressed in night wear, she instead is covered head to toe in black clothing.


From the background footstep can be heard entering the room. “What is going on out here?” A tall, thin man, with a long white beard dressed in pajamas appears. He looks at Janet and Casey, “Janet, what are you doing here? What’s the matter with Casey?” he queried.


“I needed help William and I didn’t know who to turn too,” Janet frantically told him.


“She has been taken by a vamp my love, no time to ask questions, get your wand and help me, it’s been over ten minutes now,” Wilma urgently informed William.


A look of horror comes to Williams face, ‘Ten minutes, that’s really ba-“


“I know, I know, I know. Please get your wand,” Wilma desperately interrupted, knowing too well the dire situation they are in.


William runs off to get his wand.


In the center of the room there is a large rug that covers most of the floor, Wilma grabs the rug and throws it aside. Underneath the rug is a large circle, and inside the circle is a pentagram. Janet looks at the floor then looks at Wilma, the worry in her eyes intensifies.


Wilma can sense Janet’s concern and tries to reassure her, “The pentagram represents spirit, fire, water, earth and air. The circle represents a continuous circle of energy. I don’t really have time to explain, if we don’t act now it will be too late, put Casey in the middle of the pentagram.”


Janet stands motionless, bewildered by all that is happening.


“NOW,” Wilma yells in desperation.


Janet snaps out of her stupor and gently places Casey in the middle of the pentagram then steps back.


William returns to the room, this time he, much like Wilma, is dressed fully in black, wearing a serious look and holding his wand. “Step aside Janet, and do not interrupt,” he sternly instructed her.


Wilma and William start to slowly pace around the circle. They raise their wands high and begin to chant quietly, the chant is not of the human world, but the supernatural. As they continue to walk around the circle, a shower of glitter appears from nowhere and begins to fall onto Casey. As the glitter hits the floor it immediately begins to rise and form a sphere that encloses Casey. Wilma and William begin to chant louder and as they do electric sparks appear in the sphere. The sparks run through Casey but do her no apparent harm. The tempo of the chant hastens and the volume increases. The electric sparks intensify as does the light emanating from the sphere, so much so that it causes Janet to shield he eyes. William and Wilma continue to pace and chant unrelentingly, as if themselves caught in mystical trance. After a few minutes they stop pacing and with one final chant, lower their wands. The sparks and sphere dissipate. Casey is still in the middle of the pentagram and has not moved. The energy required to keep the spell alive weakens William and Wilma’s physical and emotional strength, drained from the experience, their shoulders slump and they puff and pant from exhaustion. Wilma looks at Janet and motions for her to go to Casey. Janet runs to her and lifts her slightly. Casey is lifeless, her eyes shut and still not breathing, Janet begins to sob. William and Wilma look at each other momentarily then drop their heads, disillusioned their incantation had failed. Janet cradles Casey who flops limply in her arms. For a few moments, the room is silent, bar from Janet’s sobbing. Janet, William and Wilma, distracted by their heavy thoughts, fail to notice Casey’s fingers and toes twitching. Then suddenly, Casey comes to life and takes in a large, deep breath, as if it was her first. Her eyes become wide open and she sits up. Janet cries tears of joy while Wilma and William appear stunned by Casey’s resurrection. Janet pulls Casey tight and squeezes her hard, tears pouring down her face.


Casey looks around the room, confused and unaware of the serious predicament she was in. “Where am I? What happened?” she asked.


Janet, Wilma and William are all too stunned to reply, they simply look at her in amazement.


“Your safe now baby,” Janet tenderly replied as she continues to hold her.


William walks over to Casey and kneels to examine her. He grabs her wrist and feels her pulse, he then places his hand over her chest and closes his eyes. He sits quietly, feeling her energy and aura. After a short time, he opens his eyes and looks into her eyes. William turns to Janet, smiles then stands. “She is a strong little thing, no doubt about that,” he pronounced. 


“Will she be ok?” Janet desperately asked.


William looks at Wilma for a moment. He then turns to Janet, “I will be honest, very few people survive a vampire attack unscathed, but I think we have managed to extricate the vampiric essence that she absorbed.”


Janet turns to Wilma, clearly confused by Williams answer.


“She will be fine, love,” Wilma reassured her.


Janet breathes a sigh of relief and continues to lovingly embrace Casey. “That stupid bird distracting me from getting you inside, what an idiot,” Janet told Casey.


William overheard what Janet said, “What bird?” he quizzed.


“Some crow landed on my car when I got here. It just stood there, staring at me, and for some reason I was staring back, like I was in a trance. It was a bizarre feeling.”


William and Wilma give each other a concerned look, a look that Janet notices. “Is something the matter?” Janet queried in a worried tone.


They both pause and think, neither want to answer her, “No, I’m sure it's just a coincidence, nothing to worry my dear,” Wilma told her in an unconvincing manner.


Janet shakes off her concerns about the crow and focuses on her daughter.


Casey lay in her mother’s arms, still in a daze and blissfully unaware to the events of the night. She stares into nothing as her mother rocks her gently back and forth. She may have survived Ravens attack, but his vampiric essence is not easily vanquished. She is not a vampire, nor is she fully human, and never will be, for in her lay dormant the unwanted lifeforce of a most evil creature, forever attaching her to the supernatural world.


The only memories Casey will have of this night are her mother’s less then descriptive stories that wash over the gruesome truth, and flashback that offer more questions than answers.

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chapter 9 - the pixie chase

"it’s not exactly the easiest thing to do..."

A few weeks in, the members of group 488 have discovered the reality of academy life. It is a place where rumor and gossip run rife, and everyone knows everyone else’s business. The recruits must be careful not to run afoul of academy rules or do something stupid or regrettable, for once a person forges a reputation, it becomes a permanent fixture that is never too be rescinded. They, along with the other 40 new inductees have also learnt their place amongst the senior recruits who look down upon them and consider them ‘fresh meat’ and mock and ridicule them at every chance. In the dining hall they are made sit furthest away from the canteen, while not an academy regulation, it is an unspoken rule that must be adhered to or face backlash from the senior recruits. Robinson, walking from the canteen to her table accidently bumps into Jason Lee, a soon to graduate recruit with a chauvinistic and ego centric reputation. Robinson stops and apologizes to Lee for the run in, “Sorry about that.” 


Lee looks Robinson up and down and gives her a sleazy smile, “That’s ok Bambi, no need to apologize, I’m sure it was deliberate. If you wanted to get my attention, you need not worry, you’ve had my attention for a few weeks now.” The male contingent at the table laugh at his comment while the females shake their heads, knowing to well Lee’s boastful manner.


Robinson, shocked by his arrogance, rolls her eyes at him, “Firstly, my name is Robinson, not Bambi, and I no way, shape or form want or need your attention.”


Everyone at the table lets out a collective, “Owwwwww,”at Robinsons rejection of Lee. Lee, however, simply ignores her comment.


“Tell you what Bambi, if you want me to help you study, or need hand with anything, come and see me, I’m always keen to help a damsel in distress,” he informed her with a smug look on his face.


Robinson thought for a moment then summed up her feelings towards him, “You’re a pig. Goodbye.” She walks away with a big grin on her face, leaving the recruits at the table laughing at her brash comment. Lee smirks, impressed by her head strong attitude.


Robinson arrives at the table where the recruits of group 488 are seated. Farmer, who observed her altercation with Lee looks at her and smiles, “Made a new friend I see, and Lee, Mr. Smooth, he will be leaving his boots under your bed in no time.”


Robinson, clearly unimpressed with his comment, raises her knife at him and makes a stabbing motion. Farmer raises his hands signaling his retreat from the discussion. Robinson looks around the table and sees an empty chair, “Tobin not joining us again?” she asked the group.


“Nope,” Jones answered, her voice muffled by a mouth full of pancake. “How many times has Tobin eaten with us, as a group?”

 

“Mmm, I think once, but he didn’t say anything then left, remember.” Peppers responded, “And don’t talk with your mouth full Jones, it’s very unbecoming for a lady,” he said sarcastically. The rest of recruit’s snicker at his comment, Jones gives Peppers a big smile then jams more pancake in her already full mouth.


“Tobin isn’t much of a people person, is he really,” Fraser added.


“Homicidal person maybe, people person, definitely not,’ White joked, the group all laugh at her comment.


“Will be interesting to see how he goes with all the physical training and tests, no doubt he is super fit, probably run rings around you Farmer,” Robinson said while offering Farmer a cheesy grin.


Farmer looks at Robinson and rolls his vigorously, he then stands and spreads his arms wide, exhibiting himself to the group, “Please, I am like a well-oiled machine, every ounce of me is precisely tuned…THERE IS NONE GREATER,” he proclaimed jovially.


Robinson looks him and down and raises her eyebrows, “That’s the problem Farmer, one too many ounces that need to be tuned, if you know what I’m saying.”


The other seven recruits at the table are stunned by her playfully insulting retort, Farmer too is taken back by her tongue in cheek comment.


The usually reserved White couldn’t help but join in the mocking, she stands up and puts her hands to her mouth to create a makeshift loudspeaker, “Could someone please get the academy nurse, we have a massive BUUUUUUUUUURN over here.” 


The surrounding tables look over to group 488, annoyed by their loud, playful shenanigans. All of group 488 are laughing, all except Farmer, who is staring at Robinson, himself trying not to laugh at her witty insult.


“Sit down big boy, I was just joking,” Robinson told him as she gave him a sly wink.


Farmer slowly sits down, all the time eyeing her, “I never forget Robinson, I’m like an elephant,” he told her.


“The size of an elephant maybe,” she replied without hesitation.


Again, the recruits at the table burst into laughter.


Robinson slowly takes a sip of her coffee as her and Farmer engage in a stare off.


Suddenly, Sergeant Smith appears out of nowhere wearing an annoyed look on his face, his presence brings an immediate calm to the group. “What is going on here? I can here you all from the staff room. What are you, a pack of idiots?” They all look at the Sergeant without replying. The surrounding tables all turn and look, happy that they are being scalded for their behavior. “Pull yourselves together and act like adults. The academy isn’t a place for showing off and behaving like 5-year olds. Have some respect for yourself and the other recruits.” Sergeant Smith did not care that his verbal tongue lashing was attracting the attention of almost everyone in the hall.


“Don’t go to the classroom this morning, head to auditorium”, he told them sternly, “And leave the stupidity here thank you.”


Fraser, with his usual eagerness asks, “What are we doing in the auditorium Sarge?”


Sergeant Smith didn’t reply, and instead shakes his head at Fraser. The Sergeant looks around the hall to witness most of the recruits gawking at him, “WHAT ARE YOU ALL STARING AT?” he yelled, they all quickly turn away as he marches off in a huff. The recruits of group 488 sit in silence until he is well and truly out of ear shot.


“That man would make the devil shudder,” Black said.


Peppers shakes his head in disagreement, “He is just well-disciplined, nothing wrong with that.”


“Yeah but come on, relax once in a while, we aren’t doing any harm,” Black replied.


“This is the S.P.D. academy, not a bar, it’s not really a place to get rowdy and obnoxious,” Peppers argued.


“All you army boys stick together, don’t you Peppers?” Black said, clearly annoyed by the conversation.


Dell interjects, sensing the growing tensions between the two, “All right you two, relax, hopefully you will be able to expel that pent-up testosterone at whatever the Sergeant has planned for us in the auditorium.”


Peppers and Black sit and stare at each other, neither willing to break the visual deadlock. 


Robinson checks her watch, “Oops, its 7.15, we had better go and get ready, I think the Sergeant will lose his mind if we show up late today.”


Farmer nods in agreeance, “Unfortunately, I concur with your statement little one.”


Robinson looks at him and shakes her head, “Concur. Really? Don’t use words you don’t know how to spell Farmer.”


Farmer rubs his chin slowly and looks deep in thought, “K.O.N.K...”


“You’re an idiot,” she said playfully.


The nine recruits pack up their food trays and head to the dorms to prepare for the day.


                                               .       .        .        .        .        .       .


Starting time for class is 8.00am sharp, as none of the recruits want to face the wrath of Sergeant Smith, they all ensure they are in the auditorium with plenty of time to spare. Tobin, as always, is there first, standing at attention and awaiting instruction. One by one the recruits enter the auditorium and file into line around him. Having already been spoken to about their behavior by Sergeant Smith, the recruits stand in silence, all except Fraser. “Lucky Tobin is here to show us where to stand,” he said sarcastically, “I would be very confused otherwise, he is like a beacon shining through the darkness, illuminating the way for his fellow recruits.”


Unbeknownst to Fraser, Sergeant Smith had entered the auditorium and approached the group from behind, “Another word out of you Fraser and I will make sure you and the others stand in line all day so you can all be shining beacons to illuminate the way. How does that sound?”


Fraser is shocked to hear the Sergeants voice and immediately straightens his stance. Tobin is pleased by the Sergeants putdown of Fraser, and a satisfied grin rises on his face.


Sergeant Smith walks around to the front of the group, but he is not alone. With him is another Sergeant, not yet introduced to the recruits. She is tall and thin, and her hair pulled back so hard it tightens the skin on her face. She wears a uniform identical to the of Sergeant Smith and is holding a clip board. As the two Sergeants come into view of the recruits, three more figures appear that capture the groups attention. Hovering at eye level are three pixies, their translucent wings flapping furiously and producing a slight buzzing sound. The three pixies are all similar in height, about a foot tall, and very slight of build. They have human like features except for their ears which are long and come to a sharp point. All three are dressed exactly like the Sergeants, in black Supernatural Police Department uniforms.


The recruits are all stunned by the three pixies and stare at them, some with jaws wide opened.


“Close your mouth Rodreguiz, you look like a clown at the circus,” Sergeant Smith informed him.


Rodreguiz snaps out of his gaze, closes his mouth and straightens up.


“They are like little S.P.D. officers,” blurted Fraser, immediately regretting his outburst.


Sergeant Smith gives Fraser a deathly stare, Fraser can sense it and turns his eyes down to avoid it. The three pixies, also clearly annoyed at Fraser's comment, snarl at him in unison.


Sergeant Smith starts his customary pacing, “I want to introduce you to a few friends of mine.” Sergeant Smith gestures toward the unknown Sergeant, “This is Sergeant Tanya Logan, an old friend and accomplice. She is taking on a facilitator role next intake, so she is here to learn from me. However, Tan-, sorry, Sergeant Logan is a far better officer then I ever was, so I suggest if she speaks you listen and take note.” 


Sergeant Logan blushes at his comment and drops her head out of embarrassment. She looks at the recruits, all giddy and smiling, “Your Sergeant is far to kind. I won’t be a bother, I just want to observe the way things work around here and get to know the law of the land.”


“It’s great to have you with us,” said Sergeant Smith in an unusual chirpy tone. “The other three guests are regulars here at the academy, they come by to lecture courses, run programs and allow us to utilize their skills. So, may I introduce Eugene, Beryl and Mavis.” Each pixie hovered forward slightly as they were introduced. “They have also been given the honorary rank of Sergeant, so I suggest you show them respect, as you would Sergeant Logan and myself. Also to make life easier for yourselves, as I know most of you have never been this close to a pixie before, for identification purposes, Eugene is the short haired pixie, Beryl the firie red head and Mavis is the goldie locks of the group.” The three pixies laugh at his summation of them. The recruits however are still aghast by what they are seeing before them, and continue to stare at Eugene, Beryl and Mavis. Sergeant Smith can see his recruits are distracted by their presence, “SO,” he yelled at the top of his voice, startling the recruits who all jump to attention, “Today is your first test, get you out of the classroom, off your seats and your blood pumping.” 


Farmer knew this day would come, he became nervous and started to sweat and breathe unevenly. First test, this is what you came here for, you can do this he thought to himself.


“Tobin,” said Sergeant Smith gruffly.


“Yes Sergeant.”


“Go down to the equipment room and bring up two nets please, they look like big fishing nets, they should be to the far left.”


“Roger that, Sergeant,” Tobin runs to the equipment room to the rear of the auditorium.


The Sergeant addresses the group. “Today I will be testing your speed, agility, determination and teamwork. It’s pretty simple, Eugene, Beryl and Mavis are going to hover around, duck and weave and such, and it’s your job to catch them. Simple as that.”

 

Farmer pondered his words for a moment, he thought no task from the Sergeant would be easy or simple, the exact opposite in fact. 


Tobin comes running back with two large nets and gives them to Sergeant Smith, “Thank you Tobin, back in line, I’m sure you will get the gist of what we are doing.”


Tobin falls into line and stands to attention. The Sergeants begins to pace again, this time, holding the two large nets, “At ease recruits,” the recruits all loosen up and stand at ease, “So, who wants to be first?”


The recruits wait for another to volunteer and all stand in silence. After a few moments, Fraser steps forward, “I’ll give it a go Sergeant.”


Sergeant Smith, impressed by his initiative, hands him a net, “Well, who wants to partner up with Fraser? This is all about teamwork, not individual work,” he informed the group.


Before any of them had the chance to join him, Fraser spoke up, “Nah, it’s all good Sarge, I reckon I could handle these little critters myself.”


Rage instantly came across Sergeant Smiths face and glared at Fraser. Eugene, Beryl and Mavis are also annoyed by Fraser's brashness and again snarl at him.


The Sergeant, looking as if he is about reign down a barrage of fury on Fraser pauses and thinks to himself for moment. The rage disappears and he smiles. “You’re right Fraser, for someone as talented as you, this will be easy,” he said sarcastically, which went unnoticed by Fraser. “What level would you like to start with Fraser? One or two. One being easy and two being more difficult, they move quicker and dodge and weave faster.”


“Mmmmm,” Fraser pondered, “How about a three?”


The recruits are all stunned by his self-assured response. The Sergeant was not impressed by his comment, but he held his smile.


“Three,” Sergeant Smith exclaimed as he looked at Eugene, Beryl and Mavis, “Ok then, he wants a level three, we will give him a level three. Eugene, Beryl and Mavis, level three for the recruit.” The Sergeant rubbed his hands together in a devilish manner then stood beside Sergeant Logan.


Eugene hovers up to Fraser and meets him eye to eye. “Level three, are you ready for this?” he asked deviously with his high-pitched voice.


Fraser smiled, “Yes I-“


Before Fraser got to finish his sentence, Eugene flicked the cap off Fraser’s head and it flew directly up in the air. Fraser went to catch it at which point Beryl swoops in at lightning speed and undone his belt and the button and zipper on his pants. Fraser looks down to see his pants undone, he reaches down to grab them, but it’s too late, Mavis flies to his rear, grabs his pants and pulls them down to his ankles. The recruits and both Sergeants burst into laughter. Fraser immediately becomes awash with embarrassment and bends down to pick up his pants and as he does the three pixies gather behind him and with one almighty push send him sprawling onto the auditorium floor. Fraser lay there for a second, overcome by what had happened, his bright yellow underwear exposed for all to see. He quickly gathers himself, stands and pulls his pants up. With his face bright red, he stares off into the distance trying to ignore the laughter. 


Sergeant Logan leans into to speak with Sergeant Smith, “Is this test assessible?” she curiously asked. 


Sergeant Smith grabs the clip board off Sergeant Logan and pretends to write something on it, “Definitely not,” he informs her with a big smirk on his face, “We do it to get the recruits out of the classroom for an hour or so. As you clearly see, its often a bit of fun and a good laugh.” Sergeant Logan nods her head in approval. 


Sergeant Smith walks over to Fraser and stands close to him and whispers, ensuring no one can hear him, “You obviously don’t learn the easy way Fraser, so I will teach you the hard way.” Fraser did not respond. “Back in line recruit,” he growled. Fraser sheepishly falls back in line.


The recruits are all still laughing at Fraser, “ENOUGH,” the Sergeant yelled, the recruits instantly become silent.


Mavis, sporting a stern expression on her face, hovers over to the front of the group to address them, “We may be small and unintimidating, but we are NOT to be messed with.” Her high-pitched voice did not detract from the seriousness of her words. 


Sergeant Smith joins Mavis in front of the recruits. “Very well spoken, Mavis. Pixies and fairies, although small and seemingly harmless, can be a handful and when in a large troupe can be very dangerous, so always be cautious. Any doubting it, just ask Fraser.” Fraser, still embarrassed by what had occurred does not respond to his comment. “Alright then, no more funny business, who’s next?”


Again, the recruits fail to nominate themselves for the test, the Sergeant waits for a moment then grows impatient, “Fine, I will choose for you, Farmer, you’re up.”


Farmer, trying his best to hide his nerves, takes a deep breath in and joins Sergeant Smith. Robinson, seeing a chance to work with Farmer takes a step forward but is too late, “Dell, let’s go,” the Sergeant instructed. Robinson steps back, annoyed at not being chosen. Dell pounces forward, keen to get things started. The Sergeant pipes in with some words of advice, “Like I said before, this is a team effort, so work as a team.” He hands Farmer and Dell a net each and steps back.


Farmer and Dell lean into each other, “How are we going to do this?” asked Farmer.


Dell thinks for a second, “How about we focus on one each, I go for Mavis and you go for Eugene,” she advised him.


“Which one is Eugene?”


“The short haired one, I’ve got Mavis, the blondie.”


“What about Beryl?” 


“Mmmm, we will go for her last.”


“Ok then, sounds like a good plan.”


Dell and Farmer confidently form up, nets at the ready.


“Ready to commence?” Sergeant Smith asked Dell and Farmer.


“Yes Sergeant,’ they replied as one.


“Eugene, Beryl and Mavis, we will go to level two straight up, these recruits look busting at the seams to catch you. Are you ready?”


They all nod to the Sergeant, “Ready.”


The sergeant pauses for a moment, then “GO!”


The three pixies shoot off in separate directions, Dell follows Mavis while Farmer chases Eugene. The cumbersome nets make it harder for them to move freely and quickly. Dell closes in and takes a swipe at Mavis but misses due to her quick maneuvering. Farmer runs Eugene into a corner, but as he brings his net down, Eugene swoop underneath Farmers long legs and avoids captivity. Dell and Farmer continue chasing down the pixies but find the going tough, the pixies speed and stamina is far greater than their own. The other recruits watch in amusement and can’t help but laugh, “What’s so funny? You’re all going to have to do it soon enough,” snapped Sergeant Smith, bringing their laughter to a quick halt. 


Farmer and Dell meet up in the middle of the auditorium, both exhausted from the exercise. “This isn’t working,” Farmer said.


“Agreed. What are we going to do?” Dell asked, barely finishing the sentence from her excessive puffing and panting. 


“Let’s both go for one at a time, be easier to trap them I think,” Farmer suggested.


“Good idea. What do you reckon, Mavis first?”


“Sounds good, let’s do this.”


Dell and Farmer locate Mavis and lock her in their sights. They separate slightly from each other to cover more ground, but not enough to give Mavis an easy getaway. Dell flanks Mavis’ right while Farmer moves to her left. Mavis sees them approaching and realizes it’s no longer a one on one situation. Mavis begins to move to and fro, trying to decide the best escape plan. She wisely focuses on Dell, being shorter in stature, she covers less ground than Farmer. Mavis sweeps to Dells side away from Farmer, but Farmer sees this and quickly moves behind Dell to cover her escape. Mavis pulls up in time and retreats, Farmer resumes his position. They keep pushing Mavis back, closer and closer to the rear wall. Mavis turns and realizes she is running out of space and must make her move. Dell and Farmer both have their nets raised high above their heads, Mavis sees this as an opportunity to dive low and fly between them. She begins her descent, flying close to the ground, Farmer swoops his net down hard and fast but miss her by the slightest margin, Mavis passes between them to clear space and is almost free until Dell, taking a blind swing, pivots to her rear, stretching the net as far she can, as she turns the net comes across Mavis’ flight path, Mavis tries to pull back but it’s too late, the net encloses her. Dell quickly twists the net so Mavis can’t escape. Farmer turns to see a relieved Dell holding Mavis in the net. The recruits begin clapping them for their efforts. An elated Farmer walks up to Dell and embraces her with a one-armed hug, “Good work superstar,” he said. Robinson sees the embraces and stops clapping. Dell turns to the recruits and boastfully raises the net up high for all to see. Mavis, still inside the net, has her arms crossed and wears and angry scowl, unimpressed by her capture. 


“GOOD WORK YOU TWO,” Sergeant Smith yelled from the other end of the auditorium, “COME BACK.”


Dell and Farmer release Mavis jog back to meet the Sergeant.


“Don’t we have to catch them all Sarge?” Dell asked.


“No, ones enough for today, great teamwork,” said Sergeant Smith, genuinely impressed by their efforts. “Would you please hand the nets to… Robinson and Tobin.” 


Robinson and Tobin step forward. Tobin takes the net from Farmer and Robinson angrily snatches the net off Dell. 


Sergeant Smith turns to Eugene, Beryl and Mavis and slyly holds up his hand and makes a swirling motion ensuring the recruits do not see, the three acknowledge his signal.


“Robinson and Tobin, make me proud,” said the Sergeant, “Get ready you two.”


Tobin turns to Robinson, “We can do this, just do as I say, and we will catch one.”


Robinson, 

not appreciating his assertive manner raises her eyebrows at him but doesn’t respond.

“We will go for Mavis as well, she will be tired from the last chase,” he told her.


“Umm I don’t think they get tired, look at her, she isn’t exactly exhausted,” Robinson informed him. They both look at Mavis, she appears to be physically unaffected by the previous encounter.


“Trust me, they are just like humans, she will be easy to catch,” he said, reinforcing his previous statement, but Dell wasn’t having any part of it.


“Since when did you become an expert on pixie physiology?” she asked him, annoyed by his self-assuredness.


Tobin gives Robinson a deathly stare “Just do it,” he barked and walked away to begin the exercise. 


Dell took a deep breath in then out. She walks up beside Tobin and waits for the Sergeant’s go-ahead.


Sergeant Smith looks to Eugene, Beryl and Mavis and nods his head, they all nod back to acknowledge they are ready. “Robinson and Tobin…GO.”


Robinson and Tobin slowly approach Eugene, Beryl and Mavis who are hovering in the middle of the auditorium. As they get closer the three do not separate as they did with Farmer and Dell. Instead, they hover around each other, up and down, left and right, and in manner of direction. 


“Well this is not good,” said Robinson, finding it hard to focus on Mavis.


“Just follow me,” Tobin instructed. He runs toward the three pixies and lunges the net forward indiscriminately hoping the catch Mavis but misses. Eugene, Beryl and Mavis smirk at his poor attempt. 


“Don’t just stand there, do something,” he growled at Dell.


Eugene, Beryl and Mavis fly around Tobin and position themselves to the rear of Dell forcing her to turn around, rather than retreat they mock her by flying toward her, forcing her to take a swing with the net. She misses all three of them and smashing the net on the ground. They dance around her in close quarters and she continues to swing the net indiscriminately with no success. Realizing they are distracted with Dell, Tobin creeps up hoping to catch one of the pixies unawares. He thrusts the net hoping to catch Beryl who has her backed turned to him, she senses the net bearing down upon her and moves just in time to avoid being caught. Eugene, Beryl and Mavis make an escape and fly away from Tobin and Robinson.


“I thought I told you to focus on Mavis,” Tobin said aggressively.


Dell gives Tobin a sinister look, “I’m trying, it’s not exactly the easiest thing to do, and you just took a swipe at Beryl and missed!” she replied, annoyed by his comment.


Tobin walks up to Dell and points his index finger at her, “Listen, walk up with me, focus on Mavis, then catch her, simple.”


Dell looks at Tobin’s finger then looks him in the eye, “You keep that pointed at me, I will break it off.”


Tobin huffs at her in derision and puts his finger down, “This is embarrassing, it’s not hard.”


Tobin and Dell look over to the recruits and the two Sergeants who are watching them. Fraser raises his wrist and points to his watch and smiles sarcastically at Tobin.


Tobin turns Robinson, “Mavis, the blonde haired one, just go for her and forget the other two, simple.” 


Robinson shakes her head at his bluntness, “Fine.”


They turn to the three pixies who are now halfway down the auditorium. Tobin begins a brisk walk, his eyes totally focused on Mavis, Robinson jogs to keep up with him. Eugene, Beryl and Mavis begin to weave around each other, making their capture or the more difficult. 


Mavis only remember, let’s do this,” Tobin said with annoyance in his voice. Singling out Mavis, Tobin and Robinson watch her intently as she playfully flies around Eugene and Beryl, all three doing their best to distract and hinder them. As they get closer Tobin quickly whips the net in her direction but misses, Robinson tries her best to assist Tobin and swings her net toward Mavis but also misses. Beryl mockingly moves in close to Robinson who takes a swipe at with her but again misses, “I SAID GET MAVIS,” Tobin screamed in anger, “FORGET HER.”


“I’M TRYING,” Robinson screamed back.


Tobin and Robinson, fixated on Mavis, ignore Eugene and Beryl as they attempt to distract them. Both nets are being wielding furiously at Mavis, but each attempt fails. An infuriated Tobin draws back his net and swings it hard and fast. Mavis dodges it and as she does Robinson steps forward into the path of the net which hits her on the forehead sending her crashing to the ground. Both the Sergeants and all the recruits run to her aid. The three pixies fly to her to check her condition. Tobin however slams his net to the ground, frustrated by the failure to capture Mavis. Sergeant Smith reaches Robinson who sits up holding her head which is bleeding.


“Are you alright Robinson?” Sergeant Smith asked, genuinely concerned for her welfare.


Robinson looks at her hand which is covered in blood then looks at Mavis and smiles, “You are one quick pixie Mavis.”


Mavis flies close to her and examines the cut on her head, “Sorry about that, didn’t mean to get you injured Robinson.”


“I will be fine, just a battle wound.”


“That’s the spirit recruit,” said Sergeant smith, pleased with her positive outlook.


Sergeant Logan bends down to assess her injury, “How about I escort you to the nurse, she can have a look and clean it up for you.”


Robinson nods in agreeance.


“Thanks Sergeant Logan, hopefully this doesn’t put you off becoming a facilitator,” Sergeant Smith asked her.


“Not a chance,” Sergeant Logan informed him, “Come on Robinson, let’s go sort you out.” Sergeant Logan assists Robinson to her feet and they walk off to see the nurse. Tobin, unapologetic for the incident shakes his head as Robinson leaves.


Robinson walks past Farmer on her way out and as she does, he leans into her and whispers, “Pathetic.” He then leans back, smiles and winks at her. Robinson smiles back and continues walking.


Sergeant Smith addresses the group, “Alright recruits, we might have a break and come back this afternoon for round two. Have ten-minutes and head back to the classroom.” As the recruits begin to exit the auditorium, the Sergeant calls Tobin back, “Tobin, come here.” Already irritated by the failed exercise, Tobin shakes his head at the Sergeants request. 


He slowly plods up to meet Sergeant Smith, who gives him a stern look. “Firstly, don’t ever shake your head at me or my instructions. Secondly, don’t be a sore loser, you can’t win everything. And thirdly, I expect you to apologize to Robinson for hitting her.”


Hitting her?” Tobin responded, clearly annoyed by the Sergeant accusation, “The idiot ran in front of the net, she was hopeless, didn’t help at all then she gets whacked because she didn’t pay attention. How is that my fault?”


The Sergeant glares at Tobin for a moment, “Don’t behave like a petulant child Tobin, you will apologize to her, that is final.”


“No, I won’t,” he snapped back without hesitation.


Sergeant Smith steps up to Tobin and meets him face to face, “You have your instructions. You have ten minutes to get back to class. I suggest you fall out recruit.” The Sergeant was clearly losing his patience, but Tobin remained firm. The two engage in silent standoff. After several moments, Tobin realizes it is a futile exercise that can only go one way, he huffs at the Sergeant, turns, then walks away. The Sergeants eyes him until he leaves the auditorium. He picks up the nets and walks to the equipment room, shaking his head in disgust of Tobin’s attitude. 

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Chapter10 coming soon...

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