by Stefanie J. Pristavu
Rachel and Daniel broke every rule in the Hunter book.
Don’t turn humans into Hunters. Daniel did that when he saved Rachel from becoming a vampire bride.
Don’t travel beyond your assigned area. Assigned area? They’ve traveled half-way around the world in search for Vlad, the vampire boss.
Report all hunting activity to the Hunters’ High Council. There’s a Hunters’ High Council?
Don’t tell humans about the existence of paranormal beings. Ooopsy, they kinda let that one slip.
Don’t resist arrest and escape from your death sentence. Well, about that… If they’re to go down, they’re taking Vlad with them, especially since he screwed up both their lives.
The Council has a valid reason to want their heads, but Rachel and Daniel have more pressing matters to worry about. Like the screechy voices inside Rachel’s head which sing of death and destruction and the creepy Banshee who predicts the coming of a Hunter – vampire war. A war which Daniel and Rachel must trigger to save their race from extinction.
And Rachel seriously doubts that a head-on battle between the vampires and the Hunters will be their ticket out of the death sentence.
The Vampire Hunter's Survival Kit
Rachel: I can’t do this. Look at all those people. *steps back*
Daniel: Don’t be silly, Rach. They’re humans and they need the knowledge.
Rachel: Why don’t you do the presentation then?
Daniel: I can start. *clears throat* Hello, everyone. I’m Daniel Paxton, and this here lovely, shy lady is my partner in crime, Rachel Giuliani. She’ll be telling you the basics about killing vampires.
Rachel *rolls eyes*: Gee, thanks, that helped a lot. Okay, I can do this. Let’s see. Daniel and I are Hunters. We’re half-human, half-vampires. Don’t look so scared, we only need blood once a month, and none of us do right now, so you’re all safe. Being half-vampire, we have some superpowers, like super human strength, speed and heightened senses. We can also hear each other’s thoughts.
But even with all that, killing vampires is not easy because, well, they pretty much have the same superpowers. So, every Hunter needs a toolkit. *pulls out a broad leather belt, full of slots*
This is the first, basic thing you need – a place to stock all your equipment. We have these awesome slotted belts. Not only does it look cool, but it has a holster attached and places to put knifes and other weapons. It’s easy to strap on, sturdy so you don’t lose your supplies, but it unfortunately isn’t indestructible. I’ve had it hacked off by vampire claws and it wasn’t pretty. Right, moving on. *pulls stakes from slots*
Daniel: Rach, what are you doing? You need to bring a vampire down before you start staking him. *takes stakes and puts them back* Number two on the list are weapons. *starts pulling weapons out of his own belt: a gun, a small, trigger-actioned crossbow, small arrows, and a knife* And we usually have some big, sturdy crossbows to shoot proper arrows, but those are a bit harder to carry around without getting strange looks.
Vampires are hard to hurt. Normal weapons have little effect on them. You could stab a vampire with a normal blade or shoot him in the head, but the chances are he will heal immediately and kill you. That’s why all our weapons have a silver element to them. Silver bullets, silver-tipped arrows, silver knives. Don’t be fooled. Silver doesn’t kill vampires on its own. It’s just the metal that breaks easiest through their skin and deals some lasting damage. And in order to kill a vampire, you have to damage him first – enough that he doesn’t squirm and run out of the fire.
Rachel: Which brings us back to item number three. *pulls stakes out again* After hurting the vampire enough to hold him down, we stake him. As in insert as many stakes into him to make sure he doesn’t get away. Notice that the stakes are silver-tipped so that they can penetrate vampire skin, but are made out of wood. Someone asked us why. Well, because wood is lighter than silver, duh. *giggles* Right, so it’s imperative that you carry stakes with you. If you’re lucky and get his heart, one stake can be enough, depending on the vampire’s age. We don’t take chances. I personally like to get as many in there as possible. Of course they’re the down side that they burn in the fire. Which leads me to imperative supply number four. *pulls out a huge lighter*
After you have your vampire pinned down, the only way to kill him is to burn him. In case you’re wondering, cutting his head off won’t work. It won’t grow back, but he does continue attacking, like a zombie. And humans shouldn’t see headless people running around.
We carry these big lighters because it’s the easiest way to solve the burning problem. There’s a lot of gas in them. We pour it out through this here gauge over the vampire and the use the lighter to set him on fire. Easier than tugging a tank of gas around. And, no, vampires aren’t inflammable. They don’t catch fire instantly, so we need the gas.
If not pinned well enough, they could run out of the fire and put themselves out, so be sure your vampire is immobilized and also stick around until you’re sure he’s dead. For us Hunters it’s easy to tell. We sense vampires and also sense when they die. If you’re doing it right, the flames should be gray with a greenish tinge.
Daniel: And now for surprise item number five. This wasn’t around until recently and it makes everything much easier. *takes out the cartridge of his gun and pulls out a small dart filled with reddish liquid* This is a tranquilizer dart. It works well on both Hunters and vampires – it puts them to sleep instantly. Ironically enough, these were designed by the Vlad, the Vampire Lord and sold to the Hunters’ High Council. They were stupidly used by Hunters against Hunters until Rachel and I decided to do something about it.
Now, all Hunters have these guns and use them against vampires. If you manage to shoot a vampire with one of these, all you need is a few stakes and the lighter and you’re set. But these things don’t work the same on all vampires, unfortunately. The stronger the vampire/Hunter is, the less he stays under. Rach here stays under for an hour. It takes me twenty minutes to shake them off. The older we’ll get, the less effect it will have. That’s why you should still carry all the kit just in case you meet a really old, really powerful vampire.
Rachel: And that’s kinda it – the five things you need to carry around. Each and every one of these items saved my life at some point, so it could do the same for you. And this concludes are presentation.
Daniel: That’s boring, Rach. We should go out on a bombshell, like… *rubs chin* Now that you know there are vampires out there, I hope you can still sleep at night. And no, you don’t need to invite them in – they bust through doors and walls.
Rachel *slaps his arm*: Good job at freaking people out.
Stefanie J. Pristavu