Val looked out over the night sky, her leathery wings gliding on the breeze as she watched the pulsing flow of blood through the humans below her.
The thirst was always there of course, it would be easy to sweep down and take one of them, sinking her fangs in to their neck and draining the life from them, taking it for herself.
But no, she had sworn off killing humans long ago after she had escaped the grasp of her evil ancestor Dracula. But the thoughts still haunted her once in a while, like tonight. So many bodies walking the streets without a fear in the world, she almost yearned for the days that should would have taught them a lesson about fearing the night.
She glided to a nearby rooftop and transformed once more in to her human form, landing silently as she walked quickly to the other side to view her destination, the Darkiana embassy.
Dr. Taylor was inside, probably gloating over one of his more recent fallen heroins she was sure. But even with the danger inside, it was her best chance to get back in the good books with the others.
When Dracula had returned a few months ago, from yet another certain death, he’d tracked her down and once more corrupted her, using her to wreak havoc on the city. Since her rescue, she’d done what she could to repair her reputation, but no matter how many burglaries she stopped, or muggers she captured, the city didn’t trust her.
No, she needed something bigger, something that would put her back in the good books. And the only thing she had thought of was to bring down Dr. Taylor and free his captives.
She jumped from the roof, once more transforming in to her bat form and few down, across the street and up to the embassy. Taking a quick flight around it, she found a basement window that seemed to be her best bet and flew towards it. Just before she slammed in to it, she once more shifted form in to a cloud of smoke and pushed at each seam of the window until she found the smallest of cracks to squeeze in to.
As her smoke billowed in to the room, so slowly condensed back in to her human form and looked around the nearly pitch black space, the slightest of light coming in from the moon outside of the window she had used to enter.
It didn’t matter though, her vision in the dark was better than any humans even during the day and she quickly found the door. She pressed her hand to the knob and knew immediately she’d made a mistake.
The sound of shutters slamming down behind her was unmistakable and she turned to see the metal blinds covering the entrance she had used. She turned back to the door and twisted the knob again, it turned easily, too easily and she knew it was not attached to any mechanism that worked the door.
Suddenly the room filled with light, she squinted against it as she felt her strength start to leave her body. They weren’t just any lights, she could stand up to any normal lights, they simply didn’t produce the wavelengths of radiation that the sun did and so had no effect on her.
But these lights were different, she could feel them sapping her energy from her. She stepped back and slammed her shoulder her in the door, even in her weakening condition it shattered, but behind it was heavy steal that vibrated at the impact, but did not budge.
She once more shifted in to her smoke form and pushed at every seam she could find, but they were air tight, each and every one of them.
Her smoke flew across the room, back towards the steel door, but as she cross the center of the room she felt her strength give out and her smoke pooled on the floor and slowly sifted back to her human form where she lay, unable to get up as the light took the last of her strength from her.
Val awoke in a bright room, unable to move, but not restrained in any way she could feel. What she could feel was the heat of the lights on her upper body, she was naked from the waist up.
“Ah, awake I see.” Dr. Taylor’s voice filled the room as he came in to her field of vision.
“Quite the conundrum I have with you. Normally I’d put you under the programming helmet and make you another one of my loyal ‘heroes’, but that won’t work with you will it?”
She tried to smile, but didn’t feel her lips move in any way. He was right of course, she was immune to mind control, after all she was undead, her brain didn’t fire electrons and neurons so there was nothing for the programming helmet to work on.
“It’s a good thing I have a lot of friends these days, one of them has suggested a solution that will be most profitable I think. At first he wasn’t sure it would work, after all you are a *very* strong vampire, descended right from Vlad himself, but these lights have taken care of your powers and those two pretty ‘earrings’ that my friend gave me have locked your body in to it’s current position. You might recognize them, The Amulets of Stone.”
For the first time she noticed the extra weight on her ear lobes and knew exactly what they were. When placed on a persons body, they would make petrify a person, making it impossible to move. Of course he was also right in that normally she would have been able to overcome them, but the infernal lights that she could just see out of the corner of her eyes were sapping all of her strength.
He leaned down and touched her arm, she could feel something prick her skin and then he placed some tape on to her arm as well. He repeated the process on her other arm and then stood back up.
“And profitable you ask? Well it turns out that your blood can be used to make an elixir, a kind of fountain of youth, if you will for us mere mortals. Something I’m sure the rich and famous of the world will pay handsomely for.”
Dr. Taylor walked towards the door, leaving her there unable to move but feeling each drop of blood flow from her body and down in to what she could only imagine were collection containers of some kind.
He was right, she’d know about the elixir for centuries, Vlad himself had discovered it and used it to prolong the life of his most loyal servants. But she also knew that a constant supply was needed and so Dr. Taylor would have to keep her alive. Eventually the lights would fail and she would be able to escape.
Dr. Taylor turned as he reach the door way, “Oh, and in case your thinking those lights will go out with the next power failure or catastrophe, I wouldn’t count on it. After the last time the heroes attacked and I had to rebuild the mansion, I made sure to take it off the grid, there’s a nice little zero-energy power generator several stories below here that runs all my equipment, including those lights.”
She heard a slight click and suddenly a soft voice echoed through the room, “You can not escape. You do not want to escape. You are loyal to Dr. Taylor. You are the property of Dr. Taylor. You can not escape. You do not want to escape…”
At the same time a display appeared a few feet away from her face, right in her line of sight. Images of submission and servitude flashed on it as the voice spoke.
The loop started repeating and she would have chuckled if she could, “Oh I know, it’s a little bit quint and all, but since the programming helmet won’t work on you, perhaps something a little lower tech will. Between the lights and the draining of your blood, you’ll be as weak as a kitten, and while it might take a decade or two, I’m sure that recording will eventually work it’s way in to your mind and now I have all the time in the world to wait and see.”
She heard the door close and a wave of fear rushed over her as she felt more and more of her blood leave her body. He was right and she knew it, once he’d drained her blood, even if she did managed to break the hold of the amulets, she’d been too weak to do anything but collapse on to the floor. If she somehow managed to turn off the lights, she’d still be trapped in the room, in her weakened state she wouldn’t be able to escape and whichever one of his super powered minions he sent to collect her blood would have no trouble putting her back in her seat.
The voice repeated once more the mantra and if she had been able to, should would have closed her eyes to try and block it all out, but they did not move and she knew she would be there a very long time.
Somewhere deep down, she knew it was hopeless. Her time with Vlad had shown her how easy it was to submit and though she would fight it with every ounce of her being, a nagging little voice in the back of her mind told her to just let go and she knew it would only grow stronger with time, which was a luxury she had always taken for granted, but feared now would be her undoing.