The Operative - Part 2: In which the vampire operative completes his assignment ● Urban Fantasy (850 words). Continued from Part 1
Another Operative had introduced him to the Hematic life many moons ago. Spoke of the power to be had by drinking in the blood upon which quintessence floated. Said it was like a direct hit of bliss, emotion and vibrant energy all pouring forth, no effort or volition required. Said it could quench the thirst, that unyielding, brutal thirst which vexed those of his kind.
Initially, he hadn’t believed such a thing possible. And it all seemed rather distasteful, besides. Initially, that is.
But, one long ago day when he was still young and mortal men fought hand-to-hand battles with swords and knives, he’d gotten a taste of the blood purely by accident. It had been exactly like a tiny shot of bliss. And the memories — the memories were even more thrilling than that. The strange visions and desires that washed over him when he drank. Ancient memories that lived in the blood for generations. A rare gift, he learned; not all who consumed the blood experienced such visions.
Of course, The Omega Group uncovered this truth long before he had. They’d even founded a covert order of Hematic Operatives dedicated just to this purpose, the retrieving and analyzing of memories lost to the mists of time.
In the sanctuary of The Omega Group’s compound, he readied himself for this task, taking several deep breaths to still the anticipatory quiver of his body. It had been three days since he’d brought the girl in. Time enough for her mind to be prepared. A pliable mind is an easy mind. It’d been an agonizing wait, but a necessary one—besides time to prep the target, the wait also made the thirst more acute. The sharper his thirst, the clearer the visions.
He lifted the girl in his arms, gently lifting her hair to expose her peachy neck. Energy radiated along the delicate curve of her spine, wisps of electricity kissing his fingertips. A final look into her glazed green eyes, then in her ear he whispered, “What memories do you have locked inside of you, Cathleen? Hmm? Let’s find out, shall we?”
His lips brushed lightly across her neck. He could feel the blood rushing there, pulsing life through her fragile body. Shooting a frenzied thrill of desire through his. He lingered a moment, then bit in, flooding his mouth with a delicious liquid warmth.
Ecstasy besieged him, filling every atom of his being. His skin buzzed with a vital energy, with heat and life. A rush of images flew through him, wondrous visions of people and places he didn’t know, their most intimate loves and pains and joys and sorrows seeping into every corner of his mind. Ancestral memories. The Keepers of the Books. That was the assignment. The Keepers and the Nine Books were always the assignment.
After a long moment suspended in the ancient lives of others, the girl’s heartbeat slowed. He had consumed the essence of the memories he needed, and his body shuddered in euphoric bliss.
It was then that he heard the Call. A whispering voice invading his mind, silently humming his name. Calling him to attention, the assignment not yet complete. With a sigh, he let the girl go, laying her limp body gently on a nearby leather chaise.
He closed his eyes, tuning his mind to the Veil. The room flickered and dimmed, then glowed a brilliant twilight hue, an ethereal dreamscape veiled in a violet-blue-gray mist. He made his way through the dewy air to the mirror on the wall. There he stood, staring deep into his own yes. Waiting.
With a sudden, painful gasp, the same rush of images he’d seen while drinking the girl’s bloodgushed from his mind, into the aether for others to sift through and analyze in the hopes of finding the location of the Books. Giving up the memories hurt, but only just a little. He couldn’t see it with his eyes now closed, but he knew that the riotous visions were reflected on the mirror before him, speeding back through time like a mortal film on rewind.
A voice drifted to the boy’s mind then: You have another assignment…
He opened his eyes, gazing upon his own reflection once more, noting the flush in his cheeks, the mouth stained red. The sharp angles of his face softened and his reflection morphed into that of a pretty girl, her delicate face framed by waves of thick black curls. A deliciously exotic girl, her silky brown skin the color of fresh ground coffee, large eyes like almonds. Dark, vulnerable eyes that fixed on him from the mirror as he read the text forming beneath her easy smile.
Target: Chloe Sinclair. Age: Sixteen. Objective: Query.
His tongue darted out to the corner of his mouth, licking a stray drop of blood. He smiled to himself then. Another query. There really was nothing quite as exquisite.