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I also just returned from Mexico.
Gone for a week with zero contact.
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Mid September, Salisbury
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The headquarters building of the Rhodesian Security Force was a long, low, two storey structure made of reinforced concrete covered over with brown stucco and crowned with a collection of tribal "beehive" style rooves. Tucked back into the forest outside of Salisbury it served as the nerve centre for the RSF as well as the base for all Rhodesian artillery, engineer, and armoured car units.

On the west end, overlooking a fast moving creek and shaded heavily with massive Croton trees, was an open-to-air conference room, all of the windows removable and replaced with screens during the warmer months. A tray of glasses and a silver jug of water, moisture beading its sides, sat in the middle of a large wooden table carved from a single tree. Twenty tall backed, yet comfortable looking chairs, were set around the table but today only four of them were occupied.

At the head of the table sat General Thomas Bennet, the head of Rhodesia's security forces. To his right sat Byron Starr, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and President Patrick Chapell. To his left, back to the view, was General John Clarkson, Head of Military Intelligence. The tabletop in front of him was covered in various files showing pictures, written reports, and columns of numbers. Each other man had a smaller folder in front of him, open to the pages being discussed.

"Generally put, gentlemen, Africa is a bloody shit show right now." He was gesturing to a photo of bodies tumbled into an open grave. "The Spanish aren't even bothering to try and hide the bodies in Algeria. Ten of thousands dead. They even deployed gas against civilians."

The others nodded. All of them had seen the photos appearing around the world of the massacres in Algeria perpetrated by Spanish troops. There was plenty of ire and indignation but there wasn't a single power out there who wanted to go toe to toe with the Spanish right now. Rhodesia had been watching to see what sort of counter-insurgency measures the Spanish might have but it seemed the Spanish solved that problem by killing literally everyone they could find. Effective, immorale perhaps, and not at all a good idea for the Rhodesians.

"Closer to home we have good news, and bad news," Clarkson continued. "The insurgency in our area has taken a real hit since we drove the last of the terrorists back into Zambia. The disappearance of Andrew Walls has helped as well..."

He grit his teeth as he said the words. The entire Rhodesian security apparatus was still looking for the damn man but he had vanished like a ghost. The last confirmed sighting of him had been at the cave in the Highlands but the agent they had on the inside did not know where he had gone. It was infuriating. Clarkson had at least managed to have the mans assets frozen overseas and gotten the American FBI to agree to keep an eye out for Walls should he try to return to America.

"Having command of the skies has been the real saving grace. The communists did get their hands on a couple of locally made bi-planes that they used to run messages and drop guns over the border. The RhAF caught them last week and shot them down. Both pilots jumped and fell without parachutes."

"Any word on the terrorists who blew up the bus downtown?" Chappell asked, breaking in on the conversation.

"Yes. I had a phone conversation with Don Prescott his morning by phone, he is currently down along the South African border. It seems some of the local police down there got a tip that two men had been building "road blasting devices" in their cow shed. One of the neighbours heard of the bombing and thought it was weird they were building those sort of things in a barn so he told his priest, who told his wife, who talked to the wife of a police officer."

"Community policing at its finest." Said Starr and a ripple of laughter went around the table.

"Unfortunately," Clarkson continued after a long drink of water. "It seems they were receiving direction from someone else. So we've got the bombers, the bombs, some extra material, but we don't know who was running them. Prescott assured me that he and the RSB are on it."

"That's something at least." Chappell said and leaned back in his chair. The bombings had been a real scare in the capital and he had been doing everything in his power to spin the story as an attack on Rhodesians, regardless of colour, and their way of life. It had targeted a bus mostly frequented by whites but a number of blacks, including several children, had also been on board at the time of the explosion. It was to bad for them, but for him it had been a PR win.

"That's the end of the good news." Clarkson finished as he turned over the next page in his report. Behind him a pair of bright green hummingbirds went hurtling past chirping loudly, breaking in on the solemn little group.

"Well fuck..." Chappell muttered as he lifted the corner of his file to see how many pages remained. "I thought that was the bad news. Just can't catch a break can we?"

"Well on the bright side, most of the bad news doesn't involve us, yet." Clarkson had flipped his page and the other men followed suit. The South African flag featured in the top corner and the very first picture showed white police officers firing into a crowd of striking black miners.

"Our neighbours to the south making great choices, once again." Starr muttered angrily under his breath. For months he had been working with his South African compatriot, trying to make the man understand that if they kept treating the blacks as little better than slaves it was only a matter of time before you had a race war on your hands. You didn't need a doctorate in history to see how that was going to end.

"That's right, Minister. The latest riots ended only after the police opened fire on the crowd. It's led to more attacks on whites out and about alone, not to mention another terrorist bombing in Joeburg. We're doing all we can at the border to prevent the radicals from moving north. Thankfully, our policy of carrot and stick, rather than just stick, has most concerned parties willing to turn over trouble makers in return for cold hard cash."

"We've detained 23 this month alone trying to cross the border," Bennet took up the narrative. All things in relation to the security of the country, including the police, fell under his command. "Some were nobodies and a vengeful someone just wanted to make their lives hell and make some money off of us. Six of them however are what we could plainly call "bad-dudes". Since they're not Rhodesians, we turned them back over to the SA Secret Police and I doubt we'll see them again anytime soon."

Nods went around the table. The one thing the two white states had in common was their ability to make people "disappear". Rhodesia tended to be quite conservative when it came to "ghosting" its own citizens but had no qualms about getting rid of someone elses.

"The situation seems as volatile as ever, though there has been a drop in refugees coming from SA. I think their own military has something to do with that. They've been concerned about "brain drain" up our way as anyone with the means to apply to our refugee program has been doing so whenever they can."

"Okay, well keep me in the loop then. We're still in talks to buy the Kruger National Park off of them. They're strapped for cash and getting desperate." Starr interjected and scribbled some notes on the paper in front of him.

"Can do." Bennet responded, making some notes of his own.

"Now, the real gong show." Clarkson had flipped through the pages covering South Africa and stopped with half the file still unexplored. "Ethiopia."

"If ever there was a cluster fuck in Africa..." Bennet breathed out a sigh of exasperation.

"And that, my friends, is saying something." Clarkson responded as he leaned back in his chair and looked up at the exposed wooden beams that rose above his head. This was one he had been reviewing most of all recently since the destabilization of the Empire would affect them all.

"The crux of the situation is a civil war, and the Imperial family is not winning it right now. They've got various forces tearing them apart all over the place and an ineffective leader in that Sahle character. He's more interested in chasing girls than running an Empire. I'm not sure either way if his number one guy, Desta Getachew, is a snake trying to get rich, or a snake trying to take down the Emperor. We've had an agent watching him for some time now but I wouldn't be happy putting money on either side of that bet right now."

"The rest of the Imperial family is not in a better state at all. Yaqob, the younger brother, is in China getting his head filled with Communist nonsense I am sure. If something were to even to happen to Sahle, it would probably be in our best interest to try and ensure Yaqob never returns home at all." He didn't elaborate but everyone at the table knew what he meant.

"The sister, Taytu, was last seen in Spain but god knows where she went. The current police state over there is making it hella difficult for our agents to operate at all. One was arrested last week and we only managed to secure his release after a personal phone call from me. That was an interesting conversation to be sure."

"Of all the threats currently facing the Imperial government up there, Ras Hassan is possible the most dangerous. He's smart, tactically clever, and very motivated. I think things are heating up with him and I wouldn't be surprised to see him lay a kicking on the Imperial forces soon."

"That brings us to a question, do we offer to help the Ethiopians?"

No one asked "why". They all knew that if Ethiopia collapsed, Rhodesia would be quite alone in Eastern Africa. It was a stretch to call Ethiopia and Rhodesia "friends", but they were certainly the most stable countries in Africa. Or they had been. It was strange to think of Rhodesia as an island of calm on a continent gone mad.

"General, have we got any resources we could spare?" Chappell glanced at Bennet who didn't have to look at his notes to know the answer.

"Artillery and aircraft only. Our ground forces are fully engaged in hunting what remains of the Communists through the mountains. We're still using a few helicopters for insertion jobs but the majority of our aircraft are resting and repairing. The artillery has been training with their new 155mm howitzers and would love to try them out. They missed out on the brush war due to lack of roads." He paused and then shook his head slightly as if to clear it. "Any units we deploy will require our own troops to protect them as well. So we would have to deploy some troops there."

"The Navy is also still available and chomping at the bit to do something. We don't have any big ships like the Ethiopians but our fast destroyers are good for close in supporting fire and coastal bombardment."

"So, in effect, we would provide a small expeditionary force in support of artillery and aircraft?" Starr asked, writing down a few more notes. "And some Naval assets if needed?"

"Yes."

"Any of the Selous Scouts available?" Starr asked with a glance at Bennet, who shook his head.

"Negative. They're operating abroad at the moment." That was polite speak for "killing people in other countries". The Selous Scouts often jumped over the border into Ostafrika, Zambia, and even South Africa, to hit at terrorist camps.

"Great, thank you. The next time I speak with their ambassador I will hint at help being there if they need it."

"That works." Bennet said with a nod. "What's next?"

"The Congo I reckon." Clarkson said with a resigned sigh. "Onward and upward."
@RavensMuse If you want to be part of the main storyline, I would suggest a cop or a ganger/corrupt cop who had ties to Gaines and is now worried about being found out.
((Approved by @Vampiretwilight))

Edward gasped as the blade flashed in the light and cut the Ghoul down where it stood, Emily tumbling away into a corner. He hissed and snarled, that was his friend that had just been slaughtered like a goat. His eyes flashed red in the dim light of the hut and he took stock of his opponent. It was a tall human, broad in the shoulders and utterly without fear in the face of an Undead Princling.

He began his approach carefully, eyeing the human carefully. Suddenly the man lunged and Edward dodged but there was not enough space for any movement as he slammed into the wall causing the whole structure to shake violently. Small pieces of dust and debris cascaded down from the roof above. A sharp searing pain in his right arm and saw the Hunters sword flash, blood on the edge and his skin smelt of burning. A silver blade!

Edward lashed out with his own blade and the human parried it with the stake he carried, the Vampires blade severing the silver tip, the small glittering piece cartwheeling through the air to fall to the floor. The human hammered a foot forward again, driving his blade for Edwards heart, the silver sword glittering in the small light of the dying fire. Edward desperately tried to turn the blade but both combatants were hampered by the size of the small hovel and Emily at their feet. The silver blade drove deep into his shoulder and he felt a pain like nothing he had experienced before. His fingers that held the sword went slack and the blade dropped from his hand to the floor. Nerves had been severed. He gave a hearty roar and struck out with his free hand.

The blow struck Solomon full in the chest and the power of the strike sent him across the small space and into the wall, which burst under the weight of his body. He bounced once and came to a stop in the dark, wet grass. He gasped for air, desperately trying to draw a breath and he struggled to one knee. His chest was tight. Something was broken. He staggered back to his feet, his vision wavering as he took an unsteady step toward the hovel. Through the hole in the wall be saw the Vampire seize the girl with its one good hand and sling her over its shoulder. It stepped into the night, sword forgotten on the ground behind it, one arm hanging useless at its side.

The Vampire made for its horse but even in his shocked state, Solomon had a final trick up his sleeve. He rushed into the hovel and took up his crossbow from where it lay against the only undamaged wall. In two strides he was outside, leveled the weapon, and shot the Vampires horse as Edward tried to toss Emily across the saddle. The unfortunate creature gave a piteous scream and collapsed into the grass.

Edward snarled at Solomon who had frantically began to reload the crossbow. Edward paid him no further attention however and quickly picked Emily up again before turning and vanishing into the dark. Solomon waited a short time and then sagged to the ground, the pain in his chest was spreading. He was dying.

Painfully he dragged himself back into the Holy Circle he had spun and there, covered in dust, dew, and shattered masonry, he clutched at the crucifix about his neck. He began to pray. He prayed for life.
@RavensMuseYes indeed. Put a CS together and let us see what you’ve got!
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Salisbury - September 1960
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Anna Politkovskaya strolled through the streets of Salisbury, her eyes devouring the items for sale in the windows of the stores that lined either side of the main boulevard. It was nothing like what she had seen back home, no stores with great fur jackets, no cobbler offering custom winter boots, no barred windows boasting cheap gun sales. It couldn't have been more alien to her and the last two months had done very little to lessen her amazement.

The streets were remarkably clean. The Rhodesians took such things quite seriously and waste bins sat on every corner to be emptied regularly by city workers. Potholes were filled with black asphalt and she recalled a conversation with one of the government officials she had met. "Tidiness breeds happiness and productivity. Let no one say Rhodesia is a bad place to live."

The words were echoing in her head as she stopped in front of one tall window that displayed a series of dresses known locally as a "sonrok", which literally translated to "sun dress" in english. They were knee length, always colourful, and very popular among the younger generation no matter their skin colour. She had been eyeing a particular yellow one for the better part of a month now and with her first pay cheque in her pocket she was going to purchase it. It would be her first luxury purchase since she had arrived and she was very excited.

"Anna!" The shout came from across the street and she turned to see Natalya Esterniova, her best friend and fellow Russian immigrant, waving at her. Natalya carefully looked both ways before hurrying across the street. Automobiles were common enough to make walking out into the street without looking quite hazardous. The two women embraced and exchanged greetings.

"Finally going to do it?" Natalya's eyes gleamed with excitement. She to had just gotten her first government pay cheque as well, spending a portion of it on a new sun hat to try and ward off the sunburn she seemed to suffer from every day.

"Yes! I want to look like I belong here!"

"Then what are we waiting for?" Natalya laughed and took Anna by the hand, leading her into the store. A small bell tinkled as they stepped through the door. Bolts of cloth covered one wall, completed product the other, the middle of the floor was open with small stools for customers to be fitted. Tall mirrors stood everywhere so that Anna found herself staring at a dozen of herself.

"Welcome to Salisbury Tailors, ladies." A friendly voice spoke from behind a nearby screen and a tall thin black man stepped into view. Anna felt a flash of recognition as the man smiled at her. "Doctor Politkovskaya! Welcome to my humble shop!"

In an instant he was around the counter and shaking her heartily by the hand. His grip was firm, his gaze frank, and his welcome genuine. She felt a flush in her face as she realized she could not remember his name. He sensed her hesitation and smiled even more broadly.

"I am Aneni. You saved the feet of my daughter, Wataida. She was blown up by the terrorists in August and brought to you for care. She is learning to walk again. I thank you." He pressed his forehead to her hand and in a moment it all came rushing back to her.

The Peoples Army of Zimbabwe had stuck a bomb onto a commuter bus in Salisbury a few weeks after she had arrived in the city. The blast had killed sixteen people and wounded thirty more, including six year old Wataida. The young girl had been rushed to the hospital where the emergency room doctor had stated he could not save her damaged feet and he would have to amputate. Lucky for Wataida, Anna had been on duty and heard of the story. She had hurried to the emergency room where she found the sobbing girl and devastated family. Anna had spoken quietly and firmly to them, assuring them that she would do what she could for the girl. They had said they had no money to pay for the operation but Anna stated she would do the operation for free.

Seven hours later an exhausted Anna had told the worried parents that Wataida would be able to walk again if they took proper care of her. She had searched the hospital over for some crutches for the girl and even threatened a stubborn white nurse with firing if she didn't hand them over when the woman realized they would be going to a black patient. The nurse had complained to the hospital director who had simply shrugged and waved her away. He had more pressing problems to deal with.

"Because of you, my daughter will run and dance again. There is no greater gift a man can receive." Aneni had continued to praise Anna and she tried to brush it off.

"I was only doing my job, Mr Aneni. I am sure anyone else could have done it."

"Yes, but would they have done it?" He replied calmly, his eyes searching hers carefully. She knew, in her heart, that he was right. Racism was alive in well in Rhodesia, nowhere more so than when it came to whites treating blacks in the hospitals. Anna had refused to be a part of the problem and even a few months later her reputation for unbiased care had earned her recognition from the hospital administrators.

"You could have simply walked away, but you did not." Aneni's face was serious now and she could see a tear glimmering at the edge of his vision. "You are a good woman. And I will never forget it." His face brightened again. "My store is open to you. What did you wish to see."

Natalya, who had remained quiet throughout the entire event, smiled at the interaction. Truth be told, she found the blacks intimidating and strange. She knew she was guilty of bias against them through lack of education rather than any birthright and she had been working hard to emulate Anna's open minded approach.

"She loves that yellow sonrok in your front window. Been eyeing it for weeks!"

"Ah, an excellent choice! Let me fetch it for you." Aneni hurried to the front of the store while Anna struggled with her emotions. She felt a strange sense of accomplishment, and a good deal of pride as well. She had made a difference here.

"Yes, this one, it will suit you very well." Aneni was back as quickly as he had left and he held it up in front of her. There was no fancy pattern, just a very gentle yellow tone and she loved it.

"Please, try it on." Aneni pulled a screen around Anna and she quickly changed. Aneni and Natalya chattered beyond the screen about the city and how different it was from Russia. It was a conversation they had had locals a hundred times before. The stories of snow and freezing winters never failed to amaze and horrify the Africans.

She flattened out the dress and knew, as she stared at her reflection, that she had made the right choice. The dress was beautiful. She stepped out from behind the screen to face the others. Natalya sighed enviously and Aneni clapped his hands together in delight.

"Oh yes. It is you, Doctor. Simply lovely, it would make my wife jealous to know I have seen you in it." Again Anna only detected honesty in the mans tone and did a small spin. She loved it.

"How much is it?" She asked. She had thirty pound in her wallet, far more than she knew she would need, but there were other purchases to make that day.

"For the person who saved my little Wataida? For the Doctor who showed us compassion in our darkest hour? For the woman who gave my family our angel back? Not a pence will I take. It is my gift of thanks to you." Aneni was smiling again and he held up a hand to stop her speaking. For a moment he struggled with words and then, surprisingly, stepped forward and took her hands in his. Deep brown eyes stared into bright blue. His grip was firm but warm.

"Doctor. There is never going to be enough dresses in the world for my family and I to properly thank you for the kindness you showed us that day. Many have come before us who did not have someone like you to care for them and they will never walk again, never dance again, never know the joy of running across the great plains. And I know we are not the only ones you have shown such kindness to."

Anna thought back over the past month, thinking of all the people she had treated. She knew that she was being given most of the black patients. The other podiatrist refused to treat them. More than a thousand people had come through her small, hot, office in the hospital since her arrival. She had never denied anyone care.

"You will always be welcome among my family."

Anna left the store twenty minutes later wearing her yellow sonrok. She was deep in thought as she made her way down the sidewalk, only brought back to awareness by Natalya who put a hand on her arm to get her attention.

"What that man said is true." Natalya had an odd look on her face and it took Anna a moment to realize that she was staring at someone who admired her. "You are a great person, Anna, and I will be like you. This is my home too and I must work to make it so. If you ever need a nurse to assist you, please do not hesitate to call me. We come from a land torn by violence and hatred. I will not let it be so here. I will be the change I wish to see in the world."

Anna hugged her friend. They were home.
In Rise of Heroes 15 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
"Roderick, come with me!" Father Gerwig roared the words as he stumbled through the Chapel, bottle of only Sigmar knew what in one hand, and a dagger in the other. Roderick, who was in the middle of sweeping the aisle between the pews stared dumbfounded at the man. Gerwig hadn't been out of his bed for nearly a week now, drinking everything he could lay his hands on since the enemy siege gun had begun firing.

Roderick leaned his broom against the chapel wall and, with a quick bow to the altar of Sigmar, he hurried after the older man out into the cold drizzle of the late afternoon. The bell above him no longer tolled and he could see the helmets of the assembled townsfolk and garrison on the high walls above. They were all silent as they stared across the marsh lands toward the enemy.

Gerwig led him up a set of stone stairs made slick by the rain so that he stumbled and nearly slipped into the mud below. He only managed to save himself by grabbing onto the cloak of a man on the wall who cursed him out and yanked the cloth away. Roderick made small apologies and stumbled again on the top step, almost crashing into Father Gerwig who had found a place at the wall. Roderick glanced around but no one was paying them any mind, all eyes were fixed on a thin figure standing nearby, a crossbow aimed flat across the parapet. The archers hair was long and fell like black velvet to the small curve of the back, extenuating the flair of a very feminine set of buttocks. The blue dress that the archer wore fitted well enough to confirm that it was indeed a woman, a woman they had all come to call the Blackbird.

Her real name was Maria Fosdick, she was the only child of a merchant couple who had died of the plague some years before. They had left her their estates and a fine house by the river. The arrival of the Hochland forces had seen to the destruction of all of her property beyond the walls and she now sought to take some form of revenge against her detractors by firing at them from the walls. At this very moment she was taking aim at a tall man with a large plume on the top of his helmet. She closed her eyes as she squeezed the trigger and the crossbow gave a satisfying "click" as the bolt hurtled across the empty ground between the town walls and the besiegers.

It buried itself in the earth just short of the man but caused him to jump back in surprise, causing a roar of jeers and catcalls from the defenders who lined the walls. He shook his fist and then turned to yell back toward his own lines. At that moment Gerwig leapt up onto the battlements, bottle disappeared somewhere, and began to scream curses at the enemy lines.

Roderick wasn't sure what drew his eye but at that moment he saw several bales of hay being dragged aside and the muzzle of a cannon seemed to be pointed directly at him. He opened his mouth to shout a warning but in that instant flame erupted from the cannon muzzle.

His world exploded into a mixture of dust, flying stone, tumbling weapons, and screaming bodies. The blast heaved him off the wall and tossed him like some ragged thing into the muddy roadway beneath the wall. It was this mud that probably saved him from injury as it cushioned his fall. He hit the ground with a heavy "splat", mud sloping itself across his face and robes. His ears were ringing, something he had never experienced before, and he tried banging on the side of his head to make it stop.

Something clawed at his sleeve and he jerked in surprise, turning to find himself staring into Father Gerwigs face, a face blanched of all colour. The old priest wasn't looking at him, but at the chapel behind them. He was shouting and pointing. Roderick could just make out at the words "The Book!".

Roderick followed his gaze and saw to his horror that flames were shooting up from the chapel. He staggered to his feet and stumbled toward the building, staggering on his overly long robes, tripping on a corpse to fall face first in the mud. Through sheer will be managed to clamber to his feet again and rushed to the door. The flames had already engulfed the sleeping quarters and were now devouring the roofbeams.

His gaze went instantly to the altar where the Book of Sigmar sat beneath the silver hammer. It glinted in the fire light, its ancient leather pages a strange reddish colour. Without a further thought he plunged into the heat, holding a sleeve to his face as the smoke tried to choke his lungs. He grabbed the heavy book and then, with a last glance toward his bed chamber, he also grabbed the silver hammer.

He burst back into the clear air, greedily drinking in great gasping breaths before doubling over in a coughing fit. Behind him the chapel gave a rumbling sigh and the roof caved in, sending sparks and smoke billowing into the sky. He gazed up at the pillar as it rose into the heavens, mixing with the grey rainclouds until it vanished. Rain drops hissed on the fire, sizzling with some angry energy and he looked down at the Book and hammer in his hands.

Roderick knew Father Gerwig was dead before he returned to him. He could see that the mans belly had been eviscerated by the cannonball, or the stones thrown up by it. The old face, oddly enough, finally looked as if it were at peace. As he knelt in the rain next to the body, Roderick realized that he didn't really know anything about Gerwig. They had never really spoken and the old man had always done his best to shield Roderick from the true evils of the world. He wouldn't be able to do that anymore.
The deep night had fallen, not a sound disturbed the moor save for the beat of a ravens wings. To Solomon it was both a curse and a blessing. Nighttime was vampire time and it was only his faith in the wards that he had laid that allowed him to doze even fitfully. Even this was disturbed when, near the early hours of the morning, he heard the sound of hooves, and the soft knicker of his horse. Someone was coming.

He glanced quickly around the hovel. He rose swiftly and pushed together a small heap of sticks and other wooden debris that has been left by the previous inhabitants. He sprinkled fire dust on the pile and sparked it to life. A bright white flash and then a small fire was burning on the floor. It was not much, but it was enough to illuminate the space. He returned to his place by the wall and leaned back again, sword in one hand, another resting on a small collection of globes carrying holy water. He waited.

The ghoul, or whatever it was, slipped soundlessly into the hovel through its only entrance, it was a hovel after all. Solomon, still leaning against the wall, watched the creature through hooded eyes from beneath the brim of his hat and had to resist the urge to snort in derision as it tiptoed toward the prostrate form of Emily. The wardings he had placed around him so carefully the night before easily illuminated the ghoul in a soft golden glow, though it did not prevent the undead creature from throwing a deep shadow over whatever it passed across.

His hand was already resting on the hilt of his sword, the silver inlay ideal for killing a vampire, but this was a ghoul. A common creature he had faced countless times. Not that it mattered really, every creature, no matter how evil, could not survive its head being hacked off. Except trolls. Those were trickier, thankfully they were as dumb as fence posts.

Solomon waited as the ghoul crept further into the hut, almost comically slow as it went. He had been preparing to attack the thing when it occurred to him that there was only one reason why it was so interested in Emily and not him. Edward was nearby. He could wait.

The ghoul gathered up Emily in its arms and began to move quickly toward the door now, making small noises, and for an instant Solomon was concerned that he had waited to long and sprang to his feet. At that instant Edward himself burst through the door with a snarl, shattering what little wood remained like an enraged bull, crashing head first into the ghoul. The creature reeled back, dropping Emily as it did so.

Solomon wasted not a moment and swept his longsword out, hacking the ghouls head from its shoulders. The body crumpled to the floor even as he whipped out a small globe of holy water and hurled it onto the corpse. The creature, whatever it was, began to smoke and shrivel at once, burning with the righteous fury of God. The small fire that Solomon had lit was beginning to burn low.

Vampire Prince and Vampire Hunter faced each other across the small dirt floor, Emily between them, her muffled cries coming from within the cloak. Edwards claws were still red from his battle with the Vampire Hunters, his clothes sodden with the nighttime dew, and anger raced across his features. With a start, Solomon realized that the undead fool might actually love the girl at his feet. Someone had clearly never explained to him that she was going to die long before he was. No matter. They would both die now.

"Prince Edward! Welcome! So nice of you to join us!" Solomon crowed as he drew a wooden stake from his belt, silver glinting on the tip. He took a step forward and drove his sword toward the Vampire.
@Eviledd1984 Damn right!
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