It wasn’t the classic roar of your average motorcycle, but a quiet, electric hum and nothing that anyone would notice in a fight. I got access to the gun I’d adjusted before going to bed last night and turned on the targeting mechanism, adjusting the motorcycle’s position by a small turn of the handles and putting the vampire in almost the right position for a shot.
I got the vampire the rest of the way by leaning into him. I’d been trying to pull away, so it was less like changing direction than letting him “win” and adding a little momentum.
Two things happened at once. The first? He bit me and it turned out that his fangs could pierce my armor. They went through as if it wasn’t there in much the same way that Amy’s spear did. It hurt and not a small pain either. I wanted to scream, remembering that Amy’s spear sucked the life out of someone.
Don’t ask me to explain that scientifically. It makes zero sense, but it doesn’t matter whether it makes scientific sense if it’s killing you.
The second thing? My bike fired off a burst of three wooden stakes. The first went through the vampire’s temple and came out of his eye. The second hit the middle of his abdomen from the side.
It couldn’t have felt good, but nothing special happens when a wooden stake goes into a vampire’s liver.
The third stake went into the vampire’s back at an angle. I saw it from the motorcycle’s cameras. It went in at the right angle to hit the heart, but not far enough.
The vampire still held my left bicep, but my hand had gone around to the back when I, ignoring the pain of the vampire’s teeth in my shoulder, I reached around, pushing it in with all the strength my suit’s artificial muscles gave me.
His teeth came out of my shoulder and he slumped, eyes rolling up into his head. He let go of my arms last.
From above me came the sound of a raspy voice—a glance upward told me that it was the flying vampire head. “Retreat! Run! Go!”
Chromatic ran toward Nanosecond, scaled legs pumping as he ran past me and the downed vampire. “To me!”
I began to step over the vampire as the flying head swooped down and Nanosecond, Chromatic, and it disappeared with a pop.
“I didn’t know he could do that,” I said aloud and then remembered that Athletica and Hieronymous Hamster had been attacking Mateo. Checking my helmet’s peripheral vision, I saw that Vincent Hamster stood over Hieronymous who was now lying unconscious on the concrete. As I looked, Vincent sighed.
Athletica, meanwhile, lay on the floor near Hieronymous, arms restrained by a bola. She struggled within the ropes. Mateo leaned forward, saying a few words under his breath, and touching her shoulder. She stopped struggling and fell asleep.
Vincent turned toward him, “Can you do the same for my brothers? I don’t want them to wake up still controlled by that thing.”
Mateo smiled, “I can try.”
He stood over Hieronymous. Each breath lengthened and Heironymous’ body relaxed as Mateo spoke. When Mateo repeated himself over Rembrandt’s paralyzed form. Rembrandt slumped, no longer paralyzed and watching us, but now sleeping like the others.
Vincent stroked a bloodied mat out of Rembrandt’s fur, and turned to Mateo, saying, “Thank you. I won’t forget this.”
Nodding, Mateo said, “You’re welcome. I wouldn’t have left them like that.”
Thinking about the fight, I said, “I don’t suppose there’s a way to turn that into an area of effect uh… effect?”
Mateo shook his head, “I don’t even understand what I did. The mask showed me how to do it at about the time you saw me do it.”
I shrugged, “I thought I’d ask. It would have ended that fight almost as it began.”
Vincent touched the watch on his wrist, “Staff, we need medical assistance for Rembrandt, Hieronymous, and Athletica. We’ll also need to preserve a vampire’s body for the authorities. You can find us in the garage.”
He let his arm fall to his side, turning to Mateo and I, “We’re going to get them back now, right? Nanosecond, Chromatic, and whoever else they’ve got?”
Mateo looked down at his face. “Do you want to be with us instead of here with your brothers? Whatever I did put them to sleep to heal from what the vampire did to their heads. You might need some time too.”
Vincent shook his furry head, “No. The vampires enslaved my brothers and members of my team. Chromatic and Nanosecond are still enslaved. I’m going to do what you’re doing and what my brothers would do if they were awake. I’m going with you and we’re going to kick the vampires’ undead asses.”