This is a stockade in Romania; a military prison. They throw warriors in here for having committed war crimes. They killed enemy agents without their superiors' permission. They brutally attacked, and hence betrayed, some of their brothers in arms...
High overhead, a Romanian flag flies; at full-mast, and right-side up. Long may it do so...
In a small SUV, Marian pulls up to the prison gate. He's disguised as a maintenance man, and the SUV is painted for the occasion.
The guards check Marian's pass, and ask about the stockade's regular maintenance man. Marian smiles, and tells them that he's emigrated; something that a lot of people do here.
Just inside the guards' entrance, there's an electronic keypad. Here, all the armed personnel of the prison check in, at the beginning of their shift.
Marian's timed his visit perfectly. He sets his toolbox next to the keypad, and pretends to maintain the keypad. In reality, he infects it. When the next guards clock in, their cards will be loaded with something a little extra...
At the prison, the next day passes. One by one, the guards clock in. They stand their posts. They get coffee, whenever they feel like going crazy.
Simultaneously, their cards stun them, and knock them out. Marian imagines he doesn't have long.
Disguised as a guard, he pays a visit to three of the cells. He releases Dudnic, Filipescu, and Gogean. The three of them are about to become Romania's greatest warriors. All they've got to do is destroy Bucharest.
All throughout the wings and blocks, the other inmates encourage Marian to release them, too. Marian only waves sadly; he's here for these three, and no one else.
Using his fake guard pass, Marian gets all three fallen warriors past all the checkpoints. Not a single guard stops them. They're not awake enough to stop them.
Marian makes a stop, at the keypad. He unloads it, and clears it of any traps. Otherwise, the police will find it and know that the tree escapees were broken out.
The security cameras have seen nothing...except a brief glimpse of a masked guard disactivating all of them simultaneously. The police can't use that, either; not to crash this party, at least.
They get into the jeep. Marian drives them away. The guards don't wake until hours after the gate closes behind them.
In a forested vale in the Carpathian Mountains, they all take a breather. Out here, a lot of the locals are still too afraid to mountaineer in these mountains; vampires, werewolves, and all that.
In a small cottage surrounded by woods, Doina accommodates for them. She serves double shots of vodka to the three warriors, and coffee to Marian.
In her hand, she handles parts of Marian's hair. She smiles down upon him. "Thank you for springing them, Marian. I can never tell you that enough."
A native Romanian, Doina's a brunette. She dresses like a Goth. She's got tattoos...but she's not an addict. She's a socially crippled homegirl.
None of these men think so, though. She's a source of ease, as they all plot to destroy Bucharest.
She sits next to Marian, and acts like he's not there. She asks the warriors to brainstorm ideas, as to how they're all going to destroy Bucharest.
The men put down their shots, and begin ranting about ideas. They all demand violence. Marian isn't surprised. As much as he hates Bucharest, sometimes he wishes there were a way to eliminate the government without destroying it...
Soon, the sun sets over the Carpathians. Far away, noises echo throughout the vales in which there are lakes.
Marian sits on the back porch swing, swatting at every mosquito that trespasses him. He still can't believe there are so many lakes up here. They could sure share their water with the farms, at lower elevations...
Doina comes outside, and sits with him. She's brought him another cup of coffee.
"Sorry about Dudnic and his homies," she tells him. "Once you get them talking about their passion, only reality can shut them up. And for some of them, even THAT'S not enough. They sure love their jobs more than I do..."
"And yet, you flirt with them." Marian sips her brew. It's always good...and yet, it ALWAYS lacks the one ingredient he actually wants from her...
"It's just a courtesy. They can't destroy Bucharest if they always feel down. I help them with that." She swats a mosquito on his arm. "As I would help you, if you had a job just as hard."
He shrugs. "Well...you DID help me figure out how to disactivate the security cameras..."
"I know a lot of people. It's hard to believe we're not involving them in this."
"The fewer we do, the better. We never know when someone might be a potential mole or coward, who goes to the police and condemns us just as we're getting started. That, of course, is the most boring revolution story ever told."
"I can imagine. At least our revolt against the Ottoman Empire once succeeded." She frowns. "But then, the Ottoman Turks kind of KNEW we were trying to banish them. Plus, we didn't destroy Istanbul; we just expelled them from Bucharest...or whatever the capital was back in that day."
He chuckles. "If it was ever anywhere besides Bucharest, I think someone would've told me. They've never told me it was Count Dracula's castle...although I'm rather shocked that that's the case."
She yawns. "I'd better get back in. You never know when these boys are going to be ready to deploy themselves. It could be three days, or it could be three years. They'll need me around for every second of it." She stands, and prepares to go in...
"Doina… I know you've got a lot of friends and relatives, but... Would you kill any of them, just so you could have a relationship with me?"
She hesitates. "That's a tall order."
"I know. But would you?"
She takes a long time to think about it. Marian shoos away no less than three mosquitoes, as she does...
"For the right man," she admits, "I would slaughter my entire family."
"Are, either of us," Marian keeps asking, "the right man?"
She responds by going back inside, without another word. She locks him out, mindlessly.
Thankfully for her, Marian's mind isn't on getting back inside. He thinks he might be lovesick...but he's not sure. It seems like every time he catches himself falling for Doina, she pulls a stunt that distances him from her. He's not sure if that's developing love, or... If it is developing love, it sure seems to be taking a lot of steps back...
A really big mosquito has landed on Marian's back. Its eyes glow, with bright yellow light, as he sucks Marian's blood...
In the shadows, a pair of purple-glowing eyes glow. They're narrowed, vigilant, and anticipating...
Marian doesn't feel a thing. His own eyes do, however, do what the mosquito's are doing. He freezes, where he is. He can't move, or look away. Around him, time slows...
At last, the mosquito's eyes dim. He flaps his wings, and flies off.
Marian blinks, and falls over forwards, across the wood of the porch. When he wakes, his world won't be the same.