Hana walked down the street, her right arm full of books, as she made her way towards the 23rd Street Subway Station. She had spent more time in the library researching her latest paper than she had planned, and it was now nearing midnight.
“Well, well, well, lookee what we have here” said a man’s voice just as five men emerged. They wore bedraggled jeans and dark t-shirts. “A girl as fine as you shouldn’t be walking these streets all alone at night.” The biggest of them continued. He was a good 6’ tall and built like an NFL linebacker. The other four with him were all built along similar lines and they laughed at their leader’s statement.
Hana did not have time for this. The last train to Jersey left Penn Station in 30 minutes. If she missed that, she’d have to take a taxi back to her car, and that would cost a fortune. “Look, boys, I really don’t have time for this.”
“Oh…she doesn’t have time for us, you hear that boys?” the leader droned on. “Time for what gorgeous? We only want to walk you to your destination…make sure you don’t get hurt.” He smiled at Hana as he stepped in front of her. His breath reeked of alcohol.
“Yea, we wants to make sure youse don’t trip and fall and break those lovely gams of yours” one of the others, this one wearing sunglasses, piped in.
“No worries, boys. I know where I am going and can take care of myself” As she spoke, Hana nimbly moved around the leader and past his cohorts. The drunken boys moved to catch up to Hana, surrounding her as she continued to walk.
“Oh, c’mon gorgeous. We just want to spend some time with you. And its so late and dark…wouldn’t you prefer some company?” the leader continued on, “I mean, I know I can show you…” his statement was broken off as a dark form darted from a nearby alley. Before anyone realized, the leader was on the ground, hands clutching at his opened throat.
Hana immediately dropped her books and pulled what looked like a wooden dowel, pointed at one end, from inside her jacket. The shadowy figure moved and suddenly two more of the boys were down. The remaining three broke out of their frozen stupor, and with screams, fled down the street. Hana sniffed and smelled the distinct scent of ammonia.
“Good evening, Hana Sahng. I hope I was of service.” The figure said, coalescing into the form of Robert Hume, one-time gangster, now Hellmouth Vampire.
“Hume. I should have put you down the last time we met” Hana growled, assuming a defensive posture and watching the vampire intently.
“As if you could bring yourself to do that. We both know that if I…expire…your friends are the ones who will suffer the consequences”
Hana smiled, “An old argument Hume. One which has been remedied. See…I’ve made some new friends since we last met. Werewolves and wizards can be so very useful in tracking down those who wish to not be found. Your associates, were removed form the board last night, just as you will soon be” and with that, Hana leaped at the vampire, hand snapping out in a strike at its head.
Hume leaped back with inhuman speed, but Hana kept up her attack. After all, Slayers had strength and speed to match their supernatural foe’s, and combined with her mastery of Hapkido, Hana was quite a formidable opponent.
“So, you have bested my associates? That explains a great many things. However, tonite, I have no taste for conflict, so, I hall bid you, adieu!” and with that, the vampire threw down the flashbang grenade he had been toying with in his pocket. He turned his head just as the grenade went off and used the distraction and Hana’s momentary blindness, to escape into the darkness.
Seeing her opponent gone, Hana rushed to the boys on the ground, swearing in Korean when she could detect no pulse. Quickly she gathered up her things and rushed to the subway. Once there, she boarded the A Train, and pulled her cell phone from her pocket.
“NYPD, Detective Annie Norris.” Came a voice form the phone.
“Ah, Detective Norris, I would like to report an…incident.”
“Hana? What trouble have you caused tonite?”
“None, I swear. Though I would like to report I found three bodies on 29th street. If I didn’t need to catch the A-Train to Penn Station I’d still be there now, waiting for you.”
“Oh, yes, I’m sure you would be. Thank you for the call Hana. We’ll take a look.”
“Thank you,” Hana ended the call and relaxed against the wall of the subway car.
“Hana. You must be more careful when dealing with Vampires.”
“I shall try, Master Lee. It was not as if Hume gave me any choice.”
“Except in your gloating, you have now exposed your allies to danger. I shall get word to Ms. Moroder, and she shall alert the others.”
“Thank you Master Lee.”
“It is no matter, Hana. But you MUST be more careful in the future.”
“As you say, Master.”
Hana gathered her things up and made her way upstairs. The house adjoining Master Lee’s academy was not large, but it was comfortable. She placed her books on the desk in her bedroom, and moved to change into an oversized T-shirt to sleep in. She climbed into bed, exhausted, reaching for the light, when her cell phone rang. With a sigh she picked it up and answered it.
“Hana, are you Alright? Donna called me just now, said something about Hume attacking you? That I should look out for myself as well?” came the voice of Kylie Robertson. Kylie was a lovely African American woman, an accomplished violinist, a librarian, Hana’s friend, and a werewolf.
“Hume killed three men who were accosting me on the street.”
“He did what? Why?”
“I think he is still trying to impress me”
“So, you killed him then, right?”
“No. He surprised me. Flashbang grenade. Fled while I was blinded.”
“Oh, wonderful. You’d think with his vampire powers, that would be enough?”
Hana laughed at Kylie’s comment. “Well, the world isn’t fair.”
“Yea. That it isn’t. So, I’ll keep an eye out then. Make sure I wear outfits I can get out of quickly too” Hana smiled. Kylie could shapeshift into the form of a deadly, black furred wolf. However, her clothing and everything else she carried, didn’t change with her. So, while she normally dressed nicely, when she thought she might need to ‘go furry’, as she put it, Sweatpants and Sweatshirts became the norm.
“Watch your back, certainly. Hume is aware of you and Donna, and the others.”
“Well, anyone who read the papers a year ago or so is aware of us, Hana, and how, since the abduction, we’ve all become friends.”
“Point taken. Watch your back though, and if you come across anything suspicious, let me know.”
“Always do Hana. Sleep well”
“You too Kylie. Night” and with that, Hana hung up the phone and killed the light, drifting off to sleep
“So, we find that the substrata of the geological formations is off by a measure of point oh-five”, Professor Baxter droned on. Hana shook her head, trying to stay awake as the guest speaker went on and on about rocks and dirt. Idly, she took notes, all based on the professor’s Powerpoint presentation.
Suddenly, the Professor was interrupted as the door opened and the Dean himself entered. Dean Elias went up to the podium and whispered into Professor Baxter’s ear. The woman, removed her glasses and looked over the crowd, “Ms. Hana Sahng, would you please accompany Dean Elias here?”
Hana nodded and got up form her seat, grabbing her books and such, hastily packing them and her laptop, in her backpack. She joined the Dean as the two left the room.
“Ah, Ms. Sahng, so sorry to remove you from class, but you have a phone call in my office…from the NYPD.” Elias said. It was obvious from the Dean’s demeanor he did not like the situation he was in.
“My sincerest apologies Dean. I know you are a busy man. Did the person on the phone give there name?”
“Quite alright, Ms. Sahng. Always happy to help the police. She said she was a Detective Annie Norris”
They arrived at the dean’s office, and he gestured Hana past his secretary. As the dean closed the door, she picked up the phone. “Yes, Detective?”
“Hana, I thought you should know, the UCU is looking into those victims you called in about. Captain Mazza assigned Detectives Fuller and Knight to investigate.”
“Thank you for the heads up Detective. Of course, I will happy to co-operate in any way I can.”
“I’m sure you are, Hana”
As the call ended, Hana grabbed her things and left the campus. It was time things with Hume came to a close, one way, or another.
The sun had set two hours ago. Hana crouched, silent, perched on the stone steps of the Main Library, watching and waiting. Hume would be here. She was certain of it. She had dangled too good a piece of bait, gather her and her associates all here at the library. Inside, Donna, Kachina, and Natalie had prepared various magical defenses that were spread around the property. Kylie prowled the darkness, unseen in her wolf form. Ashley was near an upper window, rifle at the ready, and Hana’s ears registered the sound of Alisha releasing the safety of her favorite gun, while Carolyn emerged from the Library in full Greek Hoplite Regalia.
While continuing her vigil, Hana thought back over how she had met these extraordinary women. All of them, abducted by a lich, and taken out to an island in NY Harbor that no one knew existed, only to be rescued by a small group of individuals, much like themselves, gifted with various supernatural powers. The days of captivity left little to do besides talk, and by the time they were rescued, the abductees all had become friends, and later, allies against the darkness.
A shadowy form appeared on the unusually deserted street outside the library. Precision rifle fire broke the night as Ashley opened fire on the approaching Hellmouth Vampires. Hume had arrived, and he had brought friends.
With a shout, Hana gripped her stakes, and leaped into the fray, Carolyn at her side, spear leading her leap. Alisha opened fire with her MAC-10, even as the wolf that was Kylie, leaped from the darkness. The vampires fell quickly to the initial assault.
However, the tide turned against them as more of the Vampires joined the fray. Least of the Courts the Hellmouths might be, but they were still supernaturally strong and fast. Hana quickly fell back on her Hapkido training, kicking, chopping, and stabbing vampires all around her. Alisha’s skin almost seemed to glow as she drew on the Hunger of the White Court to help her in the fight. Carolyn’s spear had broken, and she now wielded the celestial bronze sword gifted to all Olympian Half-Bloods, carving a swath of victims more worthy of A child of Ares or Athena than of her father Apollo.
“Give it up Hana. You and your friends can struggle all you want, but in the end, you will fall to superior numbers.” Hume gloated, safely behind a wall of his followers. “But, if you give yourself to me, willingly turn and join me, I promise to spare your friends”
Alisha looked to Hana, eyes fully silver now, then spit on the ground, “That, for a Hellmouth’s offer,” she said to Hana, her Indian accent think when she spoke. Wolf Kylie, simply hamstrung another vampire and tore out its throat in response.
“Agreed. By all the gods of Olympus, I would rather die than see that.” Carolyn added. Ashley’s rifle continued to fire from above, dropping vampires like a scythe felling wheat, and above it all, the chanting cadence of Kachina, drawing upon her magic and the shamanistic traditions of her tribe, her spell reaching out to her allies, removing the pain and exhaustion they felt from the ongoing battle.
Suddenly, the mass of creatures was lit up brightly, as a ball of flame exploded amongst them, catching Hume, and barely missing Hana and her three friends. Natalie Aumar had entered the fight, in a spectacular fashion as always.
Hana took advantage of the chaos caused by the Fireball, and leaped at Hume, “You have your answer!” she shouted, and with all her strength and skill, flung her stake at Hume. The wooden weapon flew straight and true, slamming into Hume’s heart. As the vampire turned to black dust, his followers fled off into the night.
Hana was tempted to follow them and began to, when Donna Moroder spoke from the steps, “Let them go. The fight is out of them for tonite. Without Hume to guide them, they’ll be disorganized for a while. We could all use a breather I think.
“Yes, I agree," Kylie said as she shifted back from her wolf form. Hana shook her head as Kylie did so. The woman had no sense of modesty at all. Carolyn laughed and tossed Kylie the cloak from her armor, “Here, before you catch cold” Kylie caught the cloak, and wrapped her body in it.
“Yes, please Kylie, don’t tempt me, “Alisha said, “I’m hungry now”
Hana shivered at that, but trusted in her friend. Alisha’s story was a tragic one, her curse even worse. Yet somehow, the girl persevered and carried on.
Hana looked at her friends as Ashley and Kachina emerged from the front of the Library. “Nice timing on the fireball there Natalie.” Hana said, “Now, please tell me you brought some of those wonderful pastries of yours. Alisha is not the only one hungry!”
Everyone laughed at Hana’s statement as Natalie smiled. Alisha, not wanting to harm her friends, slipped off into the darkness to find her own kind of ‘food’. Hana watched Alisha slip off, and cocked her head to the side. Some guy or gal was in for the night of their life, if she knew Alisa, which she did.