Love is a Battlefield

Summary:
February 23, 2015: The ancient vampire Andrew Bennett comes to Metropolis to register a formal complaint against his former lover and eternal rival's nation building experiment.

A whole lot of less-ancient vampires die. (Mary was NPCed by Winter Soldier. Andrew was NPCed by Arsenal. The whole scene was backdated to this day and originally done on March 1st.)

The Byrne-Joseph Housing Projects, Suicide Slum, Metropolis

A collection of abandoned apartment high-rises and rowhouses somewhere in the worst part of the best city in America.


Characters

NPCs

  • Mary, Queen of Blood
  • Andrew Bennett

Mood Music:

  • None

THE BYRNE-JOSEPH HOUSING PROJECTS

The main building's lobby was a crumbling shithole years before it ever saw its first vampire; this latest installment of Andrew Bennett and Mary Seward's blood-feud/courtship hasn't done it many favors, though.

Horrific splatters of blood paint its cracked, cratered floor; dust that once ate and fought and hungered collects in corners and open mailboxes. Her children didn't begin pouring out of the stairwell - from the upper floors and the basement both - until Andrew entered the lobby, and it wasn't long before the space proved too small for the task of containing the fight and things spilled into the courtyard.

That was about half an hour ago. Dust swirls around the dead grass and concrete expanse of the courtyard as her children continue to emerge from the buildings circling the makeshift arena. They come in pairs, sometimes threes, darting towards their grandfather with knives, broken wood— whatever weapons they've managed to get their hands on.

It's four o'clock PM and pitch dark.

After the fight left the main building, it was about the only one not to produce further reinforcements. However, just as Andrew sends yet another creature of the night to his final rest, a fresh pair of footsteps approach from the ruined lobby; unlike the others, she moves purposefully, but doesn't rush as she strides towards the conflict.

"God, Andrew," Mary, Queen of Blood hisses, her too-long mouth turned down in disapproval as the latest cloud of ex-vampire is taken by the wind. "I was hoping you'd drop by, but I didn't think you'd make such a mess."

Another, battered but not quite beaten vampire lunges towards Andrew while Mary closes in, the jagged end of a broken table leg angled towards his flank.
-

He was the Old One, the one whose eyes had seen so much they should be blind.

Four hundred years, Andrew Bennett walked the earth.

Four hundred years, he'd spent learning to kill his own kind.

His and Mary's.

And against the newly turned, the fresh young bodies that were turned against their progenitor, four hundred years of experience was more than enough, as human form melted into werewolf fluidly, fangs baring in mid-metamorphosis, hand flexing and morphing.

As claw meets the vampire's throat, Andrew Bennett's furred, werewolf form twists, then shrinks. The rapid shifts in and out of werewolf and human form, practiced through centuries, allows him to shift out of the fierce stab.

As the dead vampire drops to the ground, dark ichor splashing against the ground from his now-human hand, Andrew Bennett turns to face his on-and-off love. Thoughts race through his head at their last meeting, not terribly long ago:

"You kill people," Andrew had said, watching Mary's back at their latest attempt at finding a solution to the long, centuries war that had been waged between them.

"I kill livestock," Mary said, ever so simply.

"We can all coexist. But if you do this… they'll destroy us all."

Mary had simply avoided the subject, moving on to a feral, playful chase, and Andrew had followed.

And then Andrew Bennett woke up, and discovered Mary's answer: an army of newly created vampires, all waiting for him.

"MARY!" Andrew cried, shifting ever so swiftly to fog. "They're -innocent- people…!"

-

"I'm pretty sure that guy had about a billion Metallica MP3s on his phone," the Queen of Blood idly comments as she points a finger towards what's left of that last vampire. "But hey, if it helps you sleep, I didn't put a sword to anyone's neck or anything; they wanted to meet you! Something about seeing what four hundred years of wasted potential looks like."

She bursts into tendrils of red fog, leaving the scarlet cloth flowing over her bone skin swirling in the air for a split-second before it, too, becomes airy enough to flow towards Andrew. Whenever, wherever he materializes, she means to be right there, close enough to delicately reach for his cheek with wickedly clawed fingers.

"C'mon, Andrew," she then hisses, voice treading the razor-thin line between hate and adoration, "this is me, not some kid, or self-righteous moron in spandex. 'Innocent people'?!" Although she spits those last two words out like they're poisonous, she flashes him a smirk as she then slides a foot to the side; a wolf too large to exist in nature charges towards Andrew, intent on lunging through the space that Mary's vacated.

"You find me one of those, and I'll call this whole thing off on the spot. You, me, and Buddha H. Christ can ride off into the night together." Jerking a thumb towards a gap in the buildings, she adds, "I hear there's a really great crack house about three blocks thattaway, if you wanna maybe canvas the area some."

"The Crusades, the Holocaust, Stalin, the Khmer Rouge, the Manson Family, the Osmond Family…" Mary ticked off, her head nestling in the crook of his shoulder in the hours before her re-declaration of war. "The Segway. C'mon… what have these people ever really done for anyone but make each other miserable and waste their lives away?"

For Mary, this is what passes for light, frivolous pillow-talk.

"What've they ever done to be worth making yourself so goddamn small for?"

-

Those had been the words that she'd said to him as he pursued her. In one variation or another… the names may have changed over the centuries, but the sentiment remained the same; humanity, worthless livestock, so destructive to the Earth.

"They're not -livestock-, they're people. Humans, as we once were," Andrew pleads, knowing full well what her response would be:

"We are the Future. They are nothing but food! You are a coward."

"Mary, this isn't who you are. Stop this."

"You set me -free-, Andrew Bennett. You showed me who I -was-. And you've spent four hundred years trying to take back this gift."

And so, once again, blood is shed as talons meets Andrew Bennett's cheek, dark trickling streams that flicks free into the air as the vampire struggles, reaching against the inevitable arm that seeks to choke life out of him, grasp it with inhuman strength, and flings, throwing her into the air, knowing full well that she would land unharmed with her inhuman vampiric power.

"End this, Mary," Andrew pleads, almost hopelessly.

-

It was a gentle touch, albeit one delivered with fingers like knives. Familiar and fond, seeking little more than a moment of contact with the only thing she's ever loved.

Of course, it doesn't take much at all for the Queen of Blood to pivot from love towards shocking displays of violence, so throwing her was probably the right thing to do.

She bounces across broken concrete a couple of times, but Andrew's observations are spot-on: as soon as she stops bouncing, she rolls right back up to her feet, squinting towards Andrew with a mixture of confusion and anger. The lunging wolf is somewhere on the other side of him, crouched and ready to make another pass after its first strike went wide of the elder vampire; the Queen holds a hand up towards it as her features sink into a frown, staying it from leaping.

"End what, Andrew? What? This?" With a quick wave of her raised hand, she indicates the buildings, the black clouds looming overhead, the dust blowing on the wind— everything around them. "You want me to turn the sun back on? All I'm doing is giving these brainless cattle, these blind, useless idiots a choice— a chance to have a piece of what we have. What I have." The correction comes with a derisive curl of her lip.

Between eyeblinks, the inhuman slit of her mouth shrinks, her fingers shorten, and the red curves etched into her body fades as porcelain skin flushes with blood and takes on a livelier appearance; the Queen of Blood becomes Mary Seward, lowly serving girl.

"A chance to be majestic. A chance to be," she lowly continues, crossing the distance between them with a slow and steady inevitablity and keeping her eyes only barely turned up towards his; her voice still drips with venom despite the demure affectations, "instead of cowering in mediocrity and waiting for scraps from master's table."

A few feet away, her head lifts to reveal a defiant, determined glare. "You end 'this', Andrew— all this posturing like you're better than us because you remembered how to be ashamed of what you are!"

-

Andrew then: "We're not animals. And we don't have to act like them."

That was a refrain then, and it was again now.

Mary then: "We're -free-, Andrew…! We're -better- than animals. We're vampires.

"Civilized beings don't act this way…!"

"No. They have holocausts, and crusades, and wars, and bombings instead. WE are fighting for our survivals. They fight because they have nothing else to do."

Now:

"It was never about being ashamed of what I -am-. We're -still- civilized people, Mary. And curse you for making me do this…!" Andrew growls.

Bared incisors become fangs, as Andrew shifts into a large, hulking werewolf, growling, leaping…

-

"THERE ARE NO CIVILIZED PEOPLE, ANDREW!"

The words ringing throughout the courtyard are simpler and fewer in number than the ones burning in Andrew's memory; the sentiment is about the same, though. Her form almost seems to shudder back into its full vampiric glory as she roars her disagreement and fire glitters in the twin voids of her eyes once she's back to herself.

"The oh-so noble vampire clinging to his humanity by murdering his own!" she screams as his towering new form closes in on her. "Four hundred years, and you're living a FANTASY!"

She explodes into mist a split-second before impact, reforming a few feet away from Bennett. Her fingers snap; the (smaller) wolf lopes after Andrew, fangs bared.

"When are you going to grow up and stop pretending you're some kind of hero?"

The Queen's body decoheres again; instead of waiting for an answer, she seems set on returning to her building— or, at least, the roof of her building. Once she's perched up there, she presses her fingers to her lips and a shrill whistle pierces the air.

Within seconds, dozens of dead bodies swarm out of the buildings, a hissing ring of fangs and claws that closes in on the elder vampire at inhuman speeds.

It isn't everyone she's brought to - or found in - Metropolis, but there are enough of her children down there to make for quite a show as they seek to touch base with their grandfather.

The cries of "Traitor!" and "Betrayer!" rippling amongst them should serve as a pretty good indicator for the kind of reunion they have in mind, if their dead siblings' discarded weapons wasn't enough of one.

-

"I'll see you in -hell-, Mary!" is Andrew's parted, but never parting, shot towards Mary.

And the carnage begins. Blood turns to fine mist as Andrew Bennett begins to deal with his wayward 'grandchildren', the progeny created by Mary, Queen of Blood.

For today, under the darkened skies, Mary, Queen of Blood, had declared war on the human race.

God help them.

And pray for Andrew Bennett.

-

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you." - Friedrich Nitzsche
-


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