Story by Dan Joslyn and CSR
Written by Dan Joslyn (with additional writing by CSR)
Directed and Produced by DragonWriter17, Dan Joslyn and CN Winters
Sounds by CSR
Edited by DragonWriter17
Art Direction by Robert Kidman
Artists – Robert Kidman, Zahir al Daoud, Sway, Sarah, Humaira, CN Winters, and elfTLG
Dark Alley – Night
"Vancouver Investigation, Night Four. Trail has led back to Cleveland," a middle-aged man wrote at the top of the latest page of his well-worn note-pad. Well, that wasn’t exactly what he wrote. He wrote in shorthand, triangles standing in for whole words. He wrote it faster than he could have said it, without even looking, which helped since it was pitch dark.
"Staked out spot video clerk mentioned," he wrote in his own incomprehensible scribble. "1 .AM., nothing yet."
At that moment a group of five large, tough-looking men, possibly biker types, rounded the corner and entered the alley where he was hiding. They were all dressed in leather and had numerous tattoos, but their most striking feature was their faces, which were hideously disfigured.
"Group of thugs, all strangely deformed," was added to the pad. "Same type as Night Three."
"I’m starved," one of the thugs complained. "Why can’t we just pick somebody already?" A couple of the others in the group murmured in agreement.
"I give the orders around here," the largest of the men insisted, "and I say we lie low. You heard Vinnie at the bar, the slayers are out in force tonight." The murmurs quickly stopped, replaced by a seemingly fearful silence.
"Possible gang warfare involved," the investigator wrote. "Slayers possible gang name."
The leader of the thugs growled, his mouth opening to show large, glistening fangs. The hidden man flinched.
"I smell someone," the deformed man said. "There’s somebody nearby… somebody warm." He smiled sadistically.
Suddenly, a group of several young women rounded the corner into the alley; the investigator stifled a gasp in the darkness. Fortunately, the thugs were distracted by the unexpected appearance of the girls and didn’t seem to notice the sound.
"Group of four girls, all late teens to early twenties…like the Vancouver girls," he quickly scribbled. "What are they doing in this neighborhood?" he whispered to himself.
One of the girls held up her hand as a signal for the rest to stop.
"Leader: red hair, medium build," he recorded. "Really stupid-looking hat. Seems confident."
"What do you want?" snarled the largest of the leather-clad men.
"Oh, you know," the red-haired girl said with a smirk. "We’re just four helpless girls who lost our way in the big city, blah, blah blah."
"Vi?" prompted one of the other girls, a blonde. "I don’t think the whole ‘element of surprise’ thing is working tonight. The word is out. Plus, your story really isn’t very convincing."
"Leader’s name: Vi," wrote the man. "They’ve done this before. Whatever ‘this’ is."
The redhead sighed, nodding at her companion.
"I guess I need to get some new lines," she said. Then she suddenly shifted gears, seeming to enter a zone she was comfortable in. "Okay, let’s do this," she ordered, sounding as if she was leading a SWAT team. "Heli and Jaye, standard CTHD. Christa, watch our backs. I’ll take the big guy." She reached into her jacket pocket and pulled out a small, pointed piece of wood. She and two others ran at the group of thugs, while the final girl stayed behind and stood guard.
"Girls are organized," he scribbled. "There is a definite chain of command. Leader has a strange weapon that seems to be custom made. The others are wielding…swords?"
Indeed, the two other attacking girls had pulled full-fledged, medieval-looking swords from somewhere. The redhead advanced on the biggest thug, kicking him squarely in the chest. He went flying about twenty feet back into the alley, falling just short of the shadows where the man was hiding.
"Lord Above!" the observer exclaimed in surprise. Fortunately, no one heard his slip-up over the sound of the battle.
As the disfigured man got to his feet, the two other attackers ran towards the sides of the alley. Simultaneously, they leaped a good five feet in the air, pushing off the walls of the alley with one foot to shift their momentum. Deftly swinging their swords as if they weighed less than a feather, each girl decapitated one of the thugs. Instantly, the men seemed to explode.
"Deformed men somehow explode to dust when killed," the investigator wrote, automatically recording the events. "They aren’t human. Girls seem to have…superpowers of some kind." As he made those observations, he watched a third thug turn to dust as the redhead casually blocked his punch and plunged her piece of wood into his chest, all while focusing her attention on the largest of the group as he got to his feet.
"Heli! Behind you!" called the girl standing watch, and the blonde girl turned just in time to get punched in the face by the other remaining thug. She staggered only for a moment, returning to fighting mode just as her attacker turned to dust. The girl at the end of the alley returned a crossbow to a holster slung across her back.
"I would have had him!" complained the blond girl.
"You’re welcome, Heli," the girl on guard duty called sarcastically.
"Girls have medieval weaponry, and they know how to use them," the man observed on his pad. Meanwhile, the two leaders circled each other, ready for combat.
"You damn slayers have to ruin it for all of us, don’t you?" growled the deformed man. "What did I ever do to you?"
"You’re a vampire," the redhead stated simply, before punching him in the nose. The thug fell to the ground, and before he could blink, the girl was on top of him. "I think it’s obvious, don’t you?" With that, she plunged her stick downwards into his heart, and he evaporated. Within a moment, the lead girl was sitting on a pile of dust.
"Girls are called slayers," he wrote, his breath coming in short gasps. "She called him a…vampire?"
The lead slayer dusted herself off as she got to her feet. "Nice job, guys," she said.
"So that’s what a CTHD is," the girl who had been standing watch said. "I’ve heard of it, but never actually seen it."
"That’s ’cause you haven’t been going out with Vi here," the blonde explained. "She invented that move."
"Really?" The girl seemed impressed. "So…what’s it stand for? Y’know, CTHD, is it like ‘Cutting The Heads Decapitation’ or something?"
"It stands for ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’," the redhead said. "Y’know, ’cause they look like they’re on wires, and there’s two of them. What?" The other girl was giving her a strange look. Then the lead slayer sighed and fished a walky-talky out of her back pocket. "Vi to Council. Vi to Council. We just bagged five vamps in an alley off West 25th. Do you copy?"
"Copy that, Vi," said the male voice that came over the radio. "You can head back to base now. Kennedy’s squad has gotten everything west of there."
"Slayers are overseen by a ‘Council’," the man wrote. "This is not the only group of girls out tonight. Will follow this group back to the headquarters."
"Cool, Robin," the redhead replied. "We’ll be there." She turned to her group. "You heard the man. Time to go back to the Council and get some shut eye."
"Yeah, like you’ll really be getting a lot of sleep with Xander around," the blonde joked.
"He’s still recovering from that thing in Canada," the leader replied, a little sadly. "I don’t think he’ll be keeping me awake."
"No offense or anything," one of the other girls said cautiously, "but I kind of heard you got suspended for the Vancouver thing."
The leader sighed. "Yeah, I was. Starts next week, after Willow’s suspension is finished. Can’t have all the top brass on the shelf at once, or there’s nobody around to make you girls run laps."
The group walked out of the alley and turned the corner. After they left, the hidden man emerged from the shadows, a bemused look on his face. After a moment, he began writing on his pad. "Vi was in Vancouver. There is a direct connection between the massacre there and this ‘Council’ here." Then he put the pad into his shirt pocket and pulled his cell-phone from his belt. He flipped it open and made a call.
"Jake? Yeah, it’s Rob Devlin," he said as soon as a voice answered. "Hey, I think I’ve got a lead. Listen, when Marty comes into work in the morning, tell him I need to talk to him." He paused a moment before adding, "Tell him I’ve got the story of the century."
With that, he hung up the phone and followed the group of slayers out of the alley.
Fade Out.End of Teaser