"Blood Glucose 25, I'll get the D-50," said Angus as I started an IV in Chief Charlie's left arm, the one that still had all its fingers. I was aware of the FDNY firefighter and his daughter, they were just within reach of my peripheral vision, and stood silently and still and watched us work. I felt the firefighter's confusion, which might be mistaken for anger by a less experienced Vampire-paramedic, but his feelings were crystal clear to me. He was confused, and appeared angry but was more afraid than mad. Confusion and fear masks itself as anger, especially within men of a certain age who are used to being in control. He was afraid, having just witnessed a violent fight to the death among creatures that he hitherto had no idea existed. He watched. We worked. Crissy let him protect her, and I felt a little happiness seep into his consciousness.
Angus had prepared the medication that would bring Charlie back among the living. Living. Ha!
The vial was emptied into Charlie's veins and it wasn't long before life flowed through them once more. I once sucked the blood of a diabetic who had just had in infusion of D-50. The blood tasted great, a little too sweet but pleasant, and the rush from the sugar was delightful. I eyeballed the IV and brought the tip to my lips.
"What are you doing?" gasped Angus.
"Having a drink, what does it look like?"
"Don't be a fool. Malcolm. We need these two on our side."
We simultaneously looked across the room at Crissy and her dad. They were frozen, astonished, perplexed and horrified.
"It's okay," said Angus. "Charlie had a diabetic emergency, he's coming around now."
As good as Angus's word, Charlie's eyes rolled, then opened. He shook the cobwebs from his head, then sat up.
"Christ my hand hurts."
His vision cleared and he looked me in the eye.
He tried and failed to stand, The firefighter broke the trance he was in and approached.
"What's wrong, Charlie?"
"Everything, Bob. This man is a fiend!"
"I assure you, I am most certainly not 'a fiend!" I said, leaning back on my haunches and snarling like a fiend at the old chief. "I am a man of the highest character and moral compass. At least most of the time."
"You were about to drink his blood, I saw you!" said Crissy, rushing to her father's side.
"We need to treat this hand. You lost a finger, I've got it wrapped in gauze, we might be able to save it but we have to get you to the hospital, now!" said Angus, ignoring the chaos that surrounded us, and in doing so bringing calm into a crazy situation.
Charlie looked at his hand, which was indeed missing a finger. Bob the firefighter helped his old friend stand, I gathered the supplies and licked the needle while Angus explained things to Crissy.
"Those firefighters that responded here? They are not what they seem. They're Vampires, and not at all honorable."
"Vampires?" said Crissy. "Like True Blood?" She grinned. "How romantic."
"Anything but," said Angus. "There is nothing romantic about these creatures that Sid has brought among us. They are animals, and cannot be broken. True fiends," he said, looking at Charlie, "who will kill, maim and destroy anything in their path in their blind devotion to their leader, and to stave their hunger."
"If they are vampires," said Bob, "What are you?"
Angus and I exchanged glances, passed some thoughts among us, then answered.
"We're better Vampires."
"Better Vampires?" said Crissy.
Angus smiled at her, and the fact that he was dead never crossed her mind. He didn't look dead to me, either.
"Kids," I said. Bob and Charlie did not return my grin.
It's three hours until dawn," I said, feeling the hour in my soul, and knowing it receded. "More will be coming."
""They are already on their way," said Angus. "You need to trust us," he said directly to Crissy.
"Time to go!" I said and started for the door. Bob and Charlie stood like statues in the old chief's kitchen,
"You will be dead in less than three minutes," I said, no more grins. I looked Bob in the eye, and let the full force of my power of persuasion go. "You, Crissy and Charlie will be torn to pieces, your blood drained, your bodies destroyed and your very soul ravished. It will not be painless. It will not be quick. Maybe they won't kill Crissy right away, maybe they will take her to Sid, he needs a new plaything."
"He has my granddaughter," said Charlie, a light coming on in his mind as he realized I told the truth.
"I believe he does," said Angus.
"That is unacceptable." I said. "What must be, must be. Let it be."
When a vampire makes up his mind to do something as dire as bringing war on others of his kind he does so not without great sacrifice and risk. I had just stated my desire to cut ties with Sid, to protect these people from a renegade band of heathens and to free a human from my maker. Nobody could know the depth of my decision, nor the ramifications. Well, maybe Angus.
"Let it be," he said. We locked eyes for a long moment, then sprang to action.
"If you want to live, do exactly as we say. And do it now!
And we moved.