((I'll change the title if I think of something better. Let me know if you have a suggestion. If anyone else is interested, I had an idea for a sort of sub-plot that could be just as actiony as the main, so.. Check out the OOC if you want. https://www.iwakuroleplay.com/threads/telekinetic-energy-vampires.36605/ )) -- In the loading area of a large, somewhat dilapidated warehouse a small group of armed individuals sit around a low burning flame, most of them counting ammunition or sharpening blades. Someone had been curious, one of the new additions to the team that handled most of the scavenging and acted as the muscle for their little collection of survivors. Their question was simple, "What are those things out there?" A tall, broad-shouldered man with short black hair and calloused knuckles took it upon himself to explain what they were as well as he was able. "Vampires and zombies", the man started, scratching his lightly bearded chin as he looked over the group, "You all know them as that. It's sort of accurate, but they don't fit the stereotypes exactly." They don't suck blood, the "Vampires" that is. They drain your energy, or your soul if you'd believe that. They're as fast and powerful as in the movies, but they CAN be killed by conventional means like a well-placed bullet or a deep gash. They regenerate a good deal faster than us but not instantly, and severed limbs are still very permanent. Oh, and don't try garlic or crosses, stick to your knives and guns. The things we call zombies are people who were unfortunate enough to fall prey to the vampires, shriveled husks of their former selves with only the desire to kill. I can't say why they get back up when the soul suckers get done with them, or why the vampires became what they are either. Not for sure. I have a thought on that though. See, I think it has to do with the glowing dust that rained down from the sky in 2124. Nothing happened right away, but it was only a year later that people started going crazy and attacking eachother. I think that dust was actually a bunch of little bugs that get into your head and.. I don't know, mess with your brain or something. "2123, Leo. And it seems more like fungus to me, looking at some of the poor little woodland creatures you've been bringing home for supper lately", a rather pale young woman chimed in, walking over to take a seat next to the man and holding open the blanket she'd draped over her shoulders. "Speaking of which, are you all going to eat before you head out? The rest of us can wait, but you need your energy", she asked as the man slid under the blanket and rested his cheek on her shoulder. "I'd hardly call squirrels and wild dogs 'woodland creatures', but as much as I hate it I'm gonna have to say no. Better to deal with our problem before it's too late", Leo replied, stomach grumbling in protest, "I'm sure I'm not the only one of us eager to take care of it in a hurry. No one wants a repeat of last month." The burly fellow leaning over on the woman half his size rubbed his eyes with the palm of his hand, fighting the sudden urge to close them. "Enough of this sitting around..", he grumbled, then sat upright and looked over the group again, glancing between faces new and old. Leo got out from under the blanket and stood up, cracking his knuckles and neck both at the same time. "All right, here's the sitch if you missed it.." I'm sure you all remember splitting up when we brought you new guys here a couple of weeks ago, when we were attacked by those three crazies. As we'd hoped, we were able to divert their attention from you and shake them in the inner-city before we made our way back, BUT.. On my sweep with Marcus this morning, we ran across one of those three sniffing around on his own. Bastard threw a dumpster at us. Luckily he was a crappy shot and completely missed us, but he did distract us long enough to run off before we could take him down. That run-in was no more than three blocks from here, and I doubt it was a coincidence. I'm thinking that last group we ran across got an idea of where we might be and sent that one scouting, and if I'm right they could be reporting back to a Master. For those of you who just recently joined us, when I say "Master" I'm referring to the vampires that seem able to lead the crazies. I assume this is by some means of mind control or something. Anyway.. "If I'm wrong about this, I'll personally hunt and prepare the meals of everyone who comes with me for the rest of this month. Hell, I'll do your laundry too if this turns out to be a waste of time", Leo offered, pausing a moment before continuing with a much more serious tone, "But if I'm not, we're all going to be in serious danger until we find where the Master is hiding and kill it. Some of you fought with me when our old home was atacked one month ago, but for the rest of you know this: A vampire Master is unlike any of the crazies you've ever fought, they're as smart as us if not smarter. They know strategy and have much stronger resolve than their insane underlings, and they are no stranger to deceit. Never, for any reason, go off on your own with someone we meet out there. They are vicious fiends who will do anything to drain your life essence." With the foot note of her partner's warning the pale young woman lowered her head, her face half-hidden by dark chocolate bangs that almost reached her shoulders. "Stop staring at me", she muttered quietly, eyebrows furrowed slightly as she stared toward the floor, "If I was working with one of them, I wouldn't have stuck around as long as I have and I sure as hell wouldn't have put myself in harm's way for any of you if I intended to have you killed." Leo's reasonably sleepy eyes turned from the rest of the group to the woman still sitting on the floor huddled under her blanket, placing a hand on the top of her head as he assured her, "No one is staring, Kris. We know you're not the same as the rest, we trust you." He grinned a little, ruffling her hair and continuing, "All women are a little psychotic, but you're not so bad as long as I remember to keep you fed and diddle you every now and then." "Shut up.. And don't pat my head. I'm not your child or your pet", the young woman snapped as she tilted her head back to look up at him, flashing him a little smirk despite her tone. She stared at him for a moment before her brows furrowed again. "You're not going back out on an empty stomach. It can wait ten minutes, go eat. Now", she ordered, then turned away from Leo and back to the rest of the group getting ready to go off vampire hunting, "All of you. The stew should be done by now." Kris stood up and grabbed the sleeve of Leo's jacket, dropping her blanket and revealing an arm with a stump just above where an elbow should have been. "Well, you heard the boss. Let's go", the comparatively huge man sighed as Kris dragged him off to the area they'd repurposed for use as a kitchen, going along without argument despite the urgency he felt. There was no arguing with the woman after all.. Or with women in general, he found.