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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Fantasy · #1933725
The city is toxic
word count: 1105

Midnight, Cindy thought as she checked her cell phone before going to the window of the one room apartment. Looking down upon Clear Port's main drag, she shook her head. I wonder where all the pimps, hookers, and druggies are, she laughed, not even a john driving down the street. I guess Central Command was right about my prey fleeing to Clear Port. Turning her back on the window, she went to the bed, picked her backpack up off the floor, placed it in the middle of the bed, and began unpacking it.

On the bed she lay a wooden stake carved from a branch of a Terran Oak tree and a wooden mallet. Why do I carry those outdated pieces of equipment? I never catch any of the bastards in their coffins, but the stake and mallet do bring me luck. Next she removed a leather bandoleer checked the number of laser charges in it and then buckled it across her shoulders. From the backpack's side pocket, she removed a silver chain and cross shaped pendant. She frowned as she studied the piece of jewelry, with a sigh she secured it in an empty pouch on the bandoleer. Next she removed a medium sized laser rifle from the backpack and slung its leather strap over her shoulder.

She removed a long black hooded cape from the bottom of the pack. Shaking the cape out, she put it on and then removed one last item. Opening her passport she studied the picture. Makes me look like a criminal, but if the local fuzz catch me on the street I'll need proof of identity. She place the passport in the capes inside pocket and closed the backpack. Picking up the room key off the bed stand, she exited the room, and locked the door behind her. She walked briskly toward the transporter at the end of the hall, but instead of using it she descended the fire stares that exited outside the hotel.

Standing in the alley, she took a deep breath. Clear Port, like every other Star Port in the Union smelled like a toxic waste dump. Not for the first time, she considered retiring to a farming planet; some place that had clean air and no vampires. Sighing, she walked to the end of the alley and stepped onto Main Street. Glancing quickly right and left, she hurried across the street to the Happy Star Ship pub. As she entered, she detected the presence of something not quite dead, but not alive.

Removing the cape's hood, she walked to the bar. "Bar Tender," she smiled at the elderly man behind the counter. "I'll have a Commander's Delight." She laid a local twenty-five credit piece on the counter. "Keep the change," she stared at her reflection in the darkened mirror behind the bar.

"Yes, Miss." He mixed the drink, placed it in front of her, and picked up the credit.

As she sipped her drink, she studied the reflections of the customers. Well, she thought noticing something odd about the woman three stools down. She looks like she has her arm around someone on the empty stool next to her. She glanced quickly at the woman and saw that she was cuddling a man whose reflection did not appear in the mirror.

He looks a lot paler then any vampire I've ever seen, I wonder if city life is getting to him the way it's getting to me. As she finished her drink, the woman and the man started toward the door.

"Folks," shouted the bar tender. "There are empty rooms up stares," he pointed toward a transporter in the back of the bar. "They're a lot safer then the streets."

"What do you mean," ask the man glancing nervously around.

"We've go a blood sucking predator in Clear Port. Joe's lost two of his girls and I've lost five customers in the past week."

"We'll take our chances," the man grinned revealing two white canine teeth. He whispered something in the woman's ear and then lead her out the front door.

"Do you have a ladies room in this place," Cindy ask.

"Behind the transporter," the bar tender smiled. "It's the door to the left of the back exit."

"Thank you, Sir," she place a five credit piece on the counter and hurried toward the back.

At the backdoor, she glanced behind to make sure no one was following and then turned the handle. I guess local fire rules require all exits to be unlocked during business hours. She opened the door and stepped into the alley.

Unshouldering the laser rifle, she placed the cape's hood back over her head and then hurried toward the street. She exited the alley just as the man and woman entered the alley way across the street next to the hotel. She marched across the street, following the couple into the alley.

"Russel," she called. "Is that you, Sweet Heart." She raised her laser rifle, "I thought I recognized you in the Pub." The man looked up, dropping the woman whose neck he was chewing on. Cindy pressed the trigger and a beam of intense white light struck him in the forehead and he melted. Leaning her rifle against the hotel wall, Cindy knelt by the woman and felt her pulse.

"I can't leave you here," she said as the woman regained consciousness. "You may or may not be infected and Central Command gets pissed when I kill a vampire's victim unnecessarily." She removed the silver pendent from her bandoleer and placed the silver chain around the woman's neck. Then she entered number into the keypad on the back of the pendant and stepped back ten paces. Five seconds later the woman disappeared.

Picking up her rifle, she went to what remained of the vampire's clothes. Placing another charge in the rifle she upped the power and pressed the trigger. An invisible beam struck the clothes and they turned to ash. Shouldering her rifle, she entered the hotel's backdoor and went to her room. She had just locked the door when her cell phone ring.

"Yes," she said.

"What do you mean I have to find the others? I thought there was only one vampire on this planet."

"How many of his victims became vampire?"

"Shit," she scowled. "I'm going need more ammo and..."

"Oh!" Cindy shook her head. "I have a better suggestion." She smiled, "Why don't we leave the bastards on this toxic planet and let the toxins kill them."

"Yes, Commander, I'm sure this place will kill them because the toxic waste is killing me."

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