Tanned, rustic and uneasy under new firmament, the big fella bestrides the narrow Bay Area streets like an awkward, oft'-unhappy clod. But he's trying, in his limited way--hittin' those bricks, pressing some flesh, and continuing this late attempt to revise himself by swapping the surround. (Early returns suggest he's slumped into a rut anew, a sort of Slough of Despond retailored for the aggressively faithless. Hey, you try keeping your chin up with a belief structure characterized in the main by acceptance of limitation and scepticism re: transcendance.)
Anyways, he's a little down the moment, but yeahsure he'll befine. This is neither the hour for surrender nor an excuse for dilly-dallying!
He blew the core of his savings on a (fairly) shiny El Camino, which he can neither insure nor fuel. Nor, frightfully, can he aver its utility in tracking down that noted blogger.
The TT hunch on their haunches, gazing into a cauldron:
He jerks his head over to each side, sharply, to feel the pops before shoving chin to chest and heaving his shoulders downward. Working his jaw a bit, his lips purse to deposit a large amoeba of chew spit to the side of his boots.
This man stands to the side of a McMansion's door, an hour before dawn. It's chilly--there's dew everywhere--but he stands still, now, in a hooded sweatshirt over a woolen flannel, both with sleeves cut off. (Under those, where we can't see, is an old Iron Maiden shirt, arm-holes deeply cut.) His loins are girded with black fatigues, rolled above scarred jump boots. Part grunt, part sigh as he thrusts his hands into the hoody's marsupial pocket, pats...something, and squares himself before the door.
Splinters heave and groan as he strains each muscle and thew to make it through on the third kick.
Three kicks through a rich bitch's oak door makes a lot of noise, which is why a house apparently asleep a moment ago now disgorges three Irish Wolfhounds and two quick-stepping dudes in black suits. All five of them have studded collars of a strangely pale leather. The bipeds cradle, as they rush, sleek, stylish submachine guns, nicely complementing their sunglasses. The dogs brandish massive teeth and their sturdy frames, seemingly hewn from from something equally horse and bear.
Zholtok guesses wrong and goes first for the dogs, slide-stepping diagonally forward, dropping low and meeting the lead dog shoulder-to-shoulder. Anybody's guess whether the big man's plans might've worked, because the suits choose this moment to open fire, killing the two massive hounds nearest Zholtok. The suits are pretty good--short, controlled bursts--but they're too close together, as they discover when Zholtok takes them both down by hefting the nearest dog-corpse before him and rushing them both.
Right boot stomps hard on one man's throat as his left hand snatches a clip knife from his back pocket, then opens the blade; Zholtok sinks to a knee and shoves the blade into the second suit's eye, all in two or three barely-broken motions, and totally without looking.
Grates "Nice shoes, faggots." (Which isn't fair--they're vintage Air Force Ones, in excellent condition. Also the men's sexual habits really aren't relevant.) He hurtles up the stairs, the knife dripping viscously in his paw.
"What the fuck is this about?"
"Esse Zholtol, vampire hunter. Moderately popular series after the turn of the century. Pulp novels with strangely philosophical underpinnings...according to the back of the book, anyway."
"Hunh. Looks like Collision learns how to plot, and how to finish off a project!"
His deadly cargo joggles in its pouch, and doom surges toward the non-woman waiting regally upstairs.
"Well, most of the plots are pretty basic, and pretty recognizable, if you know Collision's tastes in fiction. He pretends that recycling that stuff is like 'sampling' and gave all these interviews about plagiarism as literary technique and all that shit, but I like genre fiction, and it's hard to see the guy as anything other than cynical, campy, patronizing, and full of shit."
"I'm a strong woman. I'll say this--his premise is pretty good. World's pretty recognizable, but there's a breed of vampires. This guy, Arturs Sandis "S.A." Zholtok doesn't know about any of this until one night he gets too drunk and under a BART bridge, he's attacked. Now, vampires are tough critters--generally, an average 'sucker should be able to overpower between five and ten humans. So it's odd that S.A. fends one off, no worse for wear despite having been taken in his cups.
The world reels around him, and he finds himself in a cave, near a pool of bubbling...something. Something that glows (greenish and eldritch, duh) and hums (lowly, like the rapid beating of a house-sized heart). Still he's got a weakly-twitching vamp by the neck. Gravity and the laws of visual perspective are both hella odd in that cavern.
The pool starts talking. It explains that its task, since the 'lutionary appearance of humankind, has been to usher souls from failed bodies into some sort of Next Realm, about which vanishingly little is said, but it's presented as a good thing, all in all. Pool goes on: vampires, with the thing where they feed on bloodsouls, prevent souls from attaining this transit. Over time, this has gotten to be a Big Deal, as the flow has slowed, and the pool is starving."
"This sounds vaguely familiar."
"Yeah, guy's a hack. So the pool tells SA that he can get powered-up and Go Forth to Kill Vampires, freeing their stolen bloodsoul-food to attain that Next Realm. Zholtok digs the program, learns the necessary ritual, and is On His Way.
The kinda cool part is the contrast between Zholtok and the vamps. Vamps tend to be stereotypical rich Euro-trash types--"
"Elites as parasites?"
"Totes. An' ol' SA, he's this huge shitkicker white-trash loser prick. Who essentially preys on vamps in the proportion in which they prey on humans."
"So he's a match for five or ten of them?"
"Yup. So the vamps are cheesed off, cuz not only is this guy kicking the shit out of them, but he's just tacky."
"Well, the guy watched a lot of tv."