"The trick is," Marie smiled, "To avoid hitting the nerve."

Marie sat in front of the mirror as her friends leaned in close. Holding the metal file firmly in one hand, she opened her mouth and began grinding away at her right incisor. Her friends gasped as a the harsh smell of tooth powder began filling her mother's bathroom. Finished with the one side of the tooth, Marie began work on the other. Suddenly a sharp twisting pang shot throughout her entire jaw and she dropped the file

"Fuck!" She shouted. Her friends responded with genial laughter. "Shut up, assholes! That really hurt!" Bending down, she picked up the file and continued work on the tooth. After a short minute, she put the file down and peered into the mirror to check her handiwork. The tooth was really sharp. Just how she wanted it.

The hunter watched the lone vampire trudge aimlessly down the streets. It's attire blended it perfectly with the hundreds of homeless that wandered through their own lives just as aimlessly, but those who knew these streets knew it didn't belong. Despite It's attire it was too… fluid. The layers that covered it could not mask it's true nature to those who were looking for it, which the hunter most certainly was.

The hunter himself was an extraordinary man, by any means. Mark Grierson, age thirty-four, had been hunting vampires since his twin sister had been turned at age fourteen. Knowing that the law would never be able to acknowledge the existence of vampires, let alone hunt them, Mark had taken matters into his own hands, training incessantly until he was sure he was ready to hunt. Mark's track record was indeed impressive, having killed dozens of greater vamps, and probably hundreds of Basts (or lesser vamps). He even killed a master, and still had the scars to show for it. He therefore had no reason to fear the creature he recognized on the street. It was impossible to tell beneath the layers whether it was a greater vamp or a Bast, but either way, it would soon be dead, all the way dead. Mark waited for his moment, before readying his throwing axe and stepping out of the alley to confront the vampire.

The vampire stopped, a hood covering it's features. "So," Mark shouted by way of greeting. "Are you a greater vamp, or just a Bast?"

It didn't respond, but instead pulled back it's hood to reveal strikingly handsome features. Mark nodded. No Bast looked that pretty. Mark smiled. "Good. That will make this more fun." Mark raised his arm to throw the axe. He was deadly accurate with it and it was always best to keep vampires at a distance, especially greater vamps, who were much stronger and smarter than Basts. On a good day, Mark could behead a vamp with a single throw.

"Why are you doing this?" The vamp asked, almost timidly.

Mark paused. A twinge of anger stirred within him "I don't need to explain myself to a damned vampire!"

The vamp's demeanor did not change. "I haven't hurt you, and I don't hurt your kind. I don't feed off people."

Mark's laugh was more sharp and bitter then anything else. "A vegetarian vampire? Now I have seen everything."

"I don't want to hurt you." The vampire was so calm it was both unnerving and enraging. Mark however, kept his composure.

"Good. That will make this a hell of a lot easier for me." Mark smiled as he pulled back to throw. No escape for this, thing.

Without uttering so much as a word, the vampire pulled out a gun from the layers of his clothing and shot Mark two times in the chest. Utter incomprehension flooded Mark's mind as he slumped to the ground. Vampires didn't use guns…

Marie stood in line at the Bleeding Through concert, giddy with excitement. She and her friends had finished filing their teeth and they were now displayed in full gothic getup. Marie thought herself to be especially sexy and dark, with her black leather knee-high boots, black skirt, black leather bustier, red shawl, and pale white makeup smeared on the skin that was showing (quite a bit). Ignoring her friends, Marie looked around to scope out the place. The crowd was a sea of dark blacks and blood reds. Marie sighed. This concert was going to be amazing.

Without fully realizing it, Marie felt her attention drawn to one place in particular. About a half-block away, far from the crowds, a man stood watching her from the mouth of an alley. Most of his features were covered, and judging from his clothes, he looked like a tramp, but when their eyes met, she felt a shock jolt her body. Underneath the shabby exterior, his eyes screamed of something that was not human, but so much more. He turned and retreated into the alley. Without a word to her friends, Marie ran after him as fast as her heeled boots would allow.

She turned into the alley to find him walking slowly away. "Wait!" She shouted. The man paused and turned to face her. "You're one of them, aren't you?" She asked, breathlessly. "One of the children of the night."

His eyes were expressionless as he appraised her. "Go away." His voice was almost guttural, and he turned his back to her once again.

"Please!" She ran toward him and had to restrain herself from grabbing his arm. "Turn me! I've never wanted anything more. Please, make me like you!"

"You do not know what you're asking for." The man continued walking.

Marie was about to protest when she heard the sound of fabric whipping through the air. Before she could react, cold, dead hands gripped her. A thin yet extraordinarily strong arm wrapped around her chest, pinning her to her assailant. A hand grabbed her hair and jerked her head roughly to the side, exposing her painted pale neck.

"Come on," A thin, low voice sounded from behind her. "All she wants is a little nibble on her neck. Surely you wouldn't deny her that."

The man in front turned and pulled back his hood. Marie gasped at how handsome he was. "What are you doing here?" He addressed the man holding her.

"I've a message from Andreas." The hand gripped her hair tighter. "But I don't see why we can't chat over a meal." Marie breathed in with the realization that the man holding her was another vampire.

"I'd prefer it if you let her go." The man drew a pistol and held it loosely at his side. Marie began to grow excited. The bullets probably had little crosses etched on them. Was he a vampire who hunted other vampires, like Angel or Alucard?

Two sharp points pressed lightly against Marie's neck, much like her own sharpened teeth, only longer. "No need for threats, then."

Marie couldn't contain her excitement. This was exactly like the first episode of Hellsing. Marie shouted, "Do it! Take my life, Alucard, and make me your No-Life Queen!"

An awkward silence elapsed after this exclamation, as the two vampires exchanged a look. "She a friend of yours, Tom?"

Tom? That thought was the last thing to go through Marie's head, other then the bullet from Tom's gun.

Vincent allowed the girl's body to slide from his arms. "She's just a fangirl." Tom said calmly, not lowering his gun.

"That was cold, Tom." Vincent's voice was half-mocking, half-indignant. "No reason to spoil a perfectly good meal."

"I did her a favor. Now what's the message?"

"Oh, nothing in particular. Just wanted me to mess you up a bit." Vincent's grin was wicked.

"He wants me slain?" Tom voice was as dispassionate as it would have been were he asking for the time of day.

"No, nothing so extreme." Vince began to walk slowly toward Tom. "I suspect he just wants your attention. So, I think I'll just take a hand or something, instead of your head. You know how I like trophies." His smile widened into a grin that showed his fangs.

"Oh." Tom responded. The music from the nearby concert started and loud yelling combined with a mish-mash of instrumentals, probably deafening all who were closer to the concert then they were. "Well I have a message for Andreas." He pulled the trigger, sending a bullet slamming into Vincent's left eye, sending blood flying everywhere and knocking him to the ground."

"Ow!" Vincent shouted from the ground. "That hurt, you asshole!" He stood, wobbling slightly, and experimentally poked at the gaping hole in his head where his eye used to be. "That was uncalled for you prick!" Vincent started towards Tom again, moving a little faster this time. Tom shot again, this time hitting Vincent in the forehead above the left eye. Vincent went down again.

"Fucker!" He screamed. "What the hell are you trying to do? Bullets can't kill us! You're just being a jerk!"

Another bullet exploded into his shoulder, and a fourth into his left leg, shattering the kneecap. "I'm just trying to make your exterior reflect the beauty within." Tom's voice showed for the first time what might be a hint of amusement. Vince snarled and lunged for him, the pain from his shattered kneecap bringing him up just short. Tom casually reloaded his gun and sent a further four bullets into Vincent's back. He then stepped back and allowed Vince to come at him. Despite the pain, Vincent managed to rise to his feet and stagger his way towards Tom.

"Do you feel it yet?" Tom asked.

"Feel what?" Vincent growled, all playful amusement gone from his voice.

"The hunger."

Almost as if Tom's words sparked it, a painful need lanced through Vincent that made all the bullet wounds pale in comparison.

"We need blood to survive, Vince." Tom said, as calmly as ever. "And, I'm not going to lie, but, you're probably losing more blood then you can afford right now."

The need heightened and Vincent found himself curled up on the ground. Desperately, he tried to drag his teeth along the concrete of the alley in an attempt to suck up the blood lost from his own body, but he knew his body didn't work like that. Suddenly, through the mind-numbing need, an idea struck him, and he tried to crawl towards the limp corpse of the fangirl. A sharp kick landed him on his back and he looked up pleadingly into Tom's face.

"Bullets can't kill us, Vince, but hunger sure can." Tom smiled, almost genially. "If Andreas wants my attention so bad, I guess I'll go see him myself."

Slipping the gun back into the layers of his clothing and putting his hood back up, Tom began walking away. "Thanks for the message, Vince," He called over his shoulder to the other vampire, completely immobilized with hunger.

Andreas sat in his chair, watching the cage in front of him intently. Walter, his personal assistant, gave a light knock before entering. "Sir." Walter's tone was deferential. "A mister Thomas is here to see you."

"About damn time." Andreas's voice was high and effeminate, complimenting his attire (a bright red leather trench coat and ruffled purple shirt) very well. "Send him in."

Walter bowed slightly and opened the door a little wider to admit Tom. Tom, unperturbed by his own shabby appearance, looked around the office. "Nice place-"

"Shh…" Andreas pointed to the cage with a long, spindly finger. "Watch."

Inside the cage was a dead woman with half of her neck ripped out. Tom gave a glance up to Andreas's face, and then looked back at the corpse. It gave a twitch, and Andreas let out an anticipatory hoot. The body began to twist and contort within the confines of the cage. All of the hair on the woman's head grayed and fell out, her skin taking on a slick sheen. Her joints realigned until she became noticeably more hunched. Not just her incisors, but all of her teeth lengthened and sharpened until her mouth was full of sharp points. Her eyes moved together at a painfully slow pace, and her howls of pain showed that she could feel every second. After what seemed like an agonizingly long time, the transformation completed itself, and the Bast threw itself against the bars of the cage, snarling. Tom looked at Andreas again, who was giggling.

"Delightful." Andreas said, and hit a button on the desk in front of him. The cage door opened and the Bast bounded on all fours towards Tom, snarling. Tom stepped back, pulled his gun free, and shot the creature twice in the neck as it leaped for him, effectively beheading it. The creature's head and torso landed in separate bloody lumps on what Tom was sure was priceless carpeting. Andreas was grinning. "My, but you do like that gun of yours."

"Keeps me safe." Tom let his arm hang loose but he did not put his gun away. "What do you want? The masters said they would leave me alone."

"Oh, Tom." Andreas laughed gently. "This is nothing to do with the masters. Their minds have turned to matters more, metaphysical, in their old age. No, this is a personal request."

"Would you like me to step outside, sir?" Walter inquired.

"No, Walter. I'd like you to stay." Andreas looked directly at Tom. "I have a little story for you. That is, if our guest here doesn't mind."

Tom returned the gaze evenly. "Go ahead."

Andreas smiled. "See, as you know, there are two ways to turn someone. If one of us simply feeds off a human, the human will die, and return as the so eloquently named Bast." He gestured to the dead creature on the floor. "Bat, beast, bastard, they all fit. Anyways, the second way is a little more, intimate. After we take from our prey, we bestow upon them the greatest gift of all. We allow them to drink freely of our blood. They then transform into us, the 'greater' vampires, as some put it." Andreas's ever-present grin was chilling. "Then, there's Tom. Tom was a fanboy, weren't you, Tom?"

Tom remained silent, impassive. Andreas smiled and continued. "Tom was fortunate enough to be a bystander when two of our own fought. As we all know, the only expedient way to kill a vampire is by beheading or to force it into sunlight, that is, excluding the way Tom here dispatched Vincent. Very clever." Andreas gave Tom a mock round of applause. "So vampire A beheaded vampire B, and left it's body to rot. Tom comes across the body, and does the unthinkable. He, a human, feeds off of a vampire." Andreas looked to Walter. "Is this getting through?"

Walter nodded. "Yes, sir."

Andreas nodded. "Good. See, there had never been a vampire like Tom here. Almost an entirely separate breed, he lacked many of the strengths and weaknesses that you and I enjoy. He posses neither our strength or speed, although he is both faster and stronger then the average human. He can also go out in the sun, although rumor has it it pains him to do so. He also shared our insatiable need for blood, although the effects of his feeding are a little different then ours. Care to share, Tom?"

Tom remained silent.

Andreas gave a little laugh at his belligerence. "See, Tom's bite does not turn people. It doesn't even kill them. It does, however, have a most entertaining side effect. See, Tom here has only fed one on human, usually sticking to a diet of farm animals which he later beheads before anything happens to them. Would you like to tell us who your victim was? He was rather famous, I believe.

A long pause elapsed before Tom spoke. "His name was Jeffrey Dahmer."

Andreas's mocking laugh echoed throughout his office. "'Jeffrey was such a kind boy, neighbors had no idea that he would one day become the most gruesome serial killer of the century.'" Andreas lowered his face to look directly at Tom. "See, Tom's bite turns people into raving murderous psychopaths." He leaned conspiratorially towards Walter. "It should be noted that that is my favorite kind of psychopath."

"So what?" Tom said. "Is that why you summoned me? So you could tell me my life story?"

"No, Tom." Andreas laced his hands together and looked down at them. "You see, I'm the oldest vampire there is, aside from the masters. I've been alive for eight centuries, and you know what? I'm bored out of my mind. I mean, I can only watch so many reruns of Fraiser on UPN." Andreas leaned forward, forgetting about Walter completely and addressing only Tom. "I need you to make me some real sickos, Tom. I want an army of crazies to march across this continent turning it upside down so I know that when I turn on the evening news something interesting will be on. Something fun."

"Is that why you sent Vincent after me?" Tom asked. "Your own amusement?"

"No, Tom, that was simply to get you to come here so I could give you my proposal." The leather of Andreas's jacket squeaked as he rearranged himself in his chair.

"What about the hunter? Was that you too?" Tom's voice, though quivering slightly, still remained very soft and calm.

"Well, I'll admit." Andreas grinned. "That, was for my amusement. Ironic such a great hunter would meet his end at the hands of such an inferior vampire."

Tom ignored the stab. "So you want me to make you insane killers. Is that it?"

Andreas nodded. "That seems to be the meat of the matter, yes."

Tom nodded. "No." He turned and moved for the door of the office. Walter stood there, blocking this way.

"Let him go." Andreas said with the wave of a hand. "Although you do realize, if you walk out of this office, you will have a legion of vampires and hunters alike coming after you."

Tom paused. "Thanks for the warning." Without anything further, Tom walked out.

Andreas sat watching him go, a slow smile spreading on his lips. "Oh yes," He said. "This will be fun…"