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It another blazing hot day in the vast desert wastelands that made up the western continent, but if you were one of people who choose to live and work in this dry land, you weren't expecting much else. Rain fell on those lands only two times a month if you were lucky, so the continent was mostly vast deserts broken by small cities with long connecting roads, as such roadside cafes and bars were like a modern day oasis to any long distance traveller and attracted a lot of business as a result.
One such place was a fairly large but still rustic bar named 'The Gold Fountain' located on the costal roads that was able to catch both the travellers speeding from city to city and the company of people who were arriving and leaving from the ports, meaning they needed almost double the parking space of any other roadside cafe to fit all the vehicles that pulled off the road like a herd of metal livestock to a watering hole.
Like so many others that day, a truck pulled off the road and into a parking space before coming to a stop. Compared to the other vehicles in the area, it wasn't very smart, in fact it had one of two dents on the front and parts of its paintwork had started to flake off, but it was still a sturdy vehicle that had clearly taken several hits and powered on through.
Two figures then stepped out of the truck; the first was a young boy in his late teens who had mop of scruffy brown hair with uneven ends (making it looked like someone had hacked it at rather than trimed it) that rest on top of headphones he wore around his neck. He was dressed in a casual short selves and low cut trousers which were well suited to their environment. In stark contrast was a woman who stepped out of truck wearing thick blue cloth robes and a turban that covered almost every inch of her body and looked like she could boil away underneath it, but marching on regardless, even if it was at a slow pace. The boy looked back at her with some concern as the woman glanced up at the sky, and despite the fact that she was already wearing sunglasses was forced to shield her eyes from the suns rays.
"You alright mum?" he quietly asked when he saw her rubbing her temples as she walked towards him. "Don't worry I'll be fine" was the gentle response, accompanied by a faint smile she always used to reassure him, "thank you". The boy watched his mother walk past him, not quite convinced, but he decide not to press the point and followed her inside the bar.
The interior of the bar was like a modern version of almost every single bar in a western movie. The cowboy hats and saloon doors were absent, but the rowdy, aggressive and sinister figures were all there along with distrustful locals, and a grainy jukebox that was playing a selection of tunes in such bad quality they might as well have been played on a badly tuned piano.
Almost all of the eyes in the bar turned to the two figures as they stepped inside, but the two of them just ignored the glares and walked on, apparently used to this kind of treatment and not so easily intimidated. They found two chairs right next to the bar and sat down, the woman taking off her turban to reveal pale skin and long white hair.
"What can I get for ya?" the bartender asked with a voice that sounded like his enthusiasm for his job had died long ago; "One whisky and a Juice Shot please" "6.95" was the blunt response and the woman casually handed over the money without any complaints, leaving the barman to grunt before walking off.
"You do realise we have a few more miles to go right?" The boy asked as the woman relaxed by leaning on the bar; "It's a little drink" She assured him in a soothing voice "I just a little pick-me-up to stay awake", "We have coffee in the truck for that", "Yes but I want something that actually tastes good in the mouth", "Fine, whatever, just stay sober long enough to get there", "I'll be fine, I have a stronger resistance to alcohol than you do", "Then why do I have bad memories of that drive through Red Canyo-?" "You've made your point Denis" the women interjected irritably, bringing the conversation to an end as the barman returned and practically slammed their drinks onto the bar before walking off.
The two of them calmly enjoy their drinks for a moment and took the chance to relax, but like always it didn't last for very long. A middle aged man wearing clad in leather and smelling very heavily of alcohol slowly sidled up to the women's side in what he thought was a subtle manoeuvre, but was more like a elephant stumbling through a forest and stepping on every twig in it's path.
"Y'ello darling" he said in soft slurry manner, confirming what was already obvious at this point, "don't get many beauties like you round these parts", "that's sweet of you, but I'm sure there plenty of other nice girls around here" the woman replied gently, humouring the drunk whilst still avoiding eye contact. "Nah, they're all dirty tramps around here" the drunk quickly replied, making no effort to hide his disgust, "You babe, you're what I really want to get with".
"I don't think you should use that type of langua-", "Come with me babe" the drunk was clearly not interested in what the woman had to say at this point, "I'll whisk you away on my bike and show what a good time really is" "My name is Anisa" the woman replied calmly but firmly, trying to get through the drunk's thick skull "and I'm with my son right now so-", "ditch the kid!" the thug barked out, leaning in closer to her with menacing glare and grabbing her arm "I get what I want, so you're coming with me now ya hear!?"
Denis turned towards the drunk and was about to give him a piece of his mind when he saw a motion out of the corner of his eye and quietly groaned before burying his face in his hands.
Anisa had taken off her sunglasses and placed them down on the table, which wouldn't have meant anything to anyone else in the bar, especially not to the drunk right next to them. His glazed eyes watched her like a hawk, waiting to see if he'd have to force her out of the building or not, and fixed an imitating gaze on her to try and scare her...only to greeted with an gaze that was a thousand times more terrifying.
Anisa's eyes had somehow become two silver orbs of pale light that pierced his field of vision like twin full moons in the darkness. This sight somehow paralysed his entire body; he couldn't run away, he couldn't break eye contact, he couldn't close his eyes, he could barely even think at this point. All he could feel with a silent fear that held him in its grip.
"I said I didn't wish to go with you".
Her voice was barely above a whisper, but it echoed throughout ever corner of the drunk's mind, shattering any defensive walls his will had created and burning her words into the very depths of his consciousness.
"You should be more considerate of a woman's feelings".
The words once again shook him to his core before leaving his entire body numb. Anisa closed her eyes for moment, reverting to their normal state and releasing her grip on his soul before placing her sunglasses back on.
The drunk's mind slowly came back to reality, but now he was plagued with a surge of guilt and shame that drowned every other thought in his mind.
"Y-Yes...yes of course" The drunk eventually replied after a seconds pause in a hushed tone, "I'm so sorry, I don't know what came over me", "It's alright, no need to worry" Anisa replied using her soothing tone once more "would you mind giving us a little space? It's a little crampt here", "o-of course, sorry ma'am" and with that the drunk backed off, lowering his head in a hurried bow as he dashed off towards the other side of the bar.
As he left Denis let out a sigh and shook his head. "You did not have to do that" he muttered irritably before downing some more of his drink; "it's better to resolve fights peacefully" Anisa replied quietly, "we're only passing through after all, we don't need to cause any trouble", "maybe" Denis said as he finished another sip, "but using your 'charm' on every single drunk that comes near us is a bit much, you're basically forcing your will on them after all", "never hurts to teach someone good manners, or stop them from becoming something worse...either way I'm not in the mood for his type right now".
Denis sighed before downing whatever remained of his drink; he knew Anisa had a stubborn streak to her at the best of times (especially when she felt she was in the right) but when she was grumpy that stubbornness went up off the charts. He could guess why she was feeling that way now; for someone who couldn't tolerate the heat of the sun very well, driving on through a desert on a hot summer's day was absolute hell, and the fact that they would be sleeping on a ferry overnight was even worse. Anisa liked to have control over where she was travelling, the freedom to move as she saw fit, and as far as she was concerned, going on a ship was like stepping inside and metal crate and placing your life in someone else's hands.
"Hey...maybe you should rest in the truck for a while" Derrick suggested leaning in closer to make sure she was alright, "you'll feel a little better after a little nap".
Anisa looked she wanted to protest or dismiss this, but she didn't say anything, instead gulping the last of her drink and slowly standing up. "Perhaps you're right" She said wearily as she turned towards the door, "I'll go back and wait for you" "No need I'm goi-", "No don't rush" she interrupted before Denis could rise to his feet, "finish your drink and relax, we've got plenty of time". She took a few steps forward before turning round with a sly grin on her face; "Who knows? Maybe you'll find some cute girl to talk to", "Oh come on mum..." Dennis grumbled trying to hide his embarrassment (and failing miserably) which only caused Anisa to quietly chuckle as resumed her walk to the exit only saying "See you in a moment" as she left.
Denis slowly made his way through his drink causally taking in glances of his surroundings. He wanted to give his mother time to rest up, but at the same time there no one in the bar he really wanted to talk to. The communities in these parts were so tightly knitted together that no could even try to step in amongst them, whilst the travellers all seemed like the lawless thugs or hopeless wanderers he had seen in many other places before.
He took another glance round the room, hoping so kind of game machine or pool table to help kill some time when he noticed someone in the far corner of the bar, keeping their distance from everyone else. The girl wasn't the most visually striking individual; a thin but athletic physic covered in cheap travelling clothes with her dirty blonde hair tied back into a ponytail, but what caught his eye was the odd device she had in her hands and how furiously she was working on it, her free hand switching tools in the blink of an eye before pulling something apart and rearranging it.
At first Denis' was nervous to go near her, not wanting to seem nosey or impolite, but at the same time his curiosity was getting the better of him, and his mother did always tell him it was better to help those in need, and to say the girl look frustrated was an understatement, so with a mental shrug, he pushed himself out of his seat and slowly walked over to her.
The girl was so focused on her task she didn't notice him walking up to her until he started pulling up a chair next to her table, and even then she just gave him a quick glance (or more accurately a glare) before going back to her work.
"Excuse me, do you need any help" Denis asked politely as he sat down, "No, now go away" was the blunt reply he got. Quickly silencing the dozens of curses and insults that were surfacing in his mind, Denis decided to try again; "It...just seemed like you were having some trouble, and I'm...good with machines" "Oh really?" the girl replied sceptically, putting her tools down and angling her wrist so that Denis could see the insides of the device, "What would you call this?"
Denis took a few seconds to look at it, his eyes scanning the object closely looking for familiar components to try and get a better idea of the device and its operations. "Well...to start with the obvious" He started with a smile to try and lighten the mood (which didn't work at all), "I'd say that was a small torch or spotlight, but attached a trigger and a gun handle onto so you can hold it like a handgun". The girl's expression didn't change for an instant but Denis continued. "But that's not any ordinary light; it's an Ultra Violet light, and you seem to using a strong motor to try and boost its power, but most of the circuits appear to be fried so I'm guessing your main problem is that the insides are currently overheating, which is why you're installing this second circuit to takes some of the strain off it...am I right?" The girl gave somewhat impressed grunt and placed the device down on the table again; "Not bad from just a glance", "Well my mother's not very good with her truck, or her GPS, or anything technical for that matter, so I studied as much as I could to try and help her out". The girl smiled at Denis' explanation as she picked up one of her tools and started working on the insides of the device again. "Maybe there's a chance you can help me with this then" "I'd be more than happy more to" Denis replied curiously "If I had any idea what you were trying to do; I'm not quite sure what there is to gain from supping up a torch with greater power", "Does it really matter what it's for?" The girl asked, any warmth she had showed previously rapidly disappearing, "Well it does if I'm to give any useful advice" Denis said patiently, refusing to let himself get riled up by her coldness (although he doubted anyone would really blame him for it).
The girl then paused and looked round the bar to make sure nobody was listening in, which only helped to make Denis feel a little uneasy, a feeling that only got worse as she leaned in towards him. "It's called a UV Lamp" she said in a hushed voice "it's meant to be a...promise not to laugh?" Denis nodded, wondering what exactly had her so nervous that she kept stalling for time by checking her surroundings or pausing for breath to prevent herself from saying it. Eventually she gave in and quietly said "it's a weapon for vampire hunters". The word stunned Denis' mind, numbing all of his thoughts and freezing his body in place for a second or two as he tried to process what she had just said.
"Vampires?" The girl sighed through gritted teeth, as if she was tired of getting that reaction. "Look I know everyone thinks they're urban legends but they're real ok!?" She said defensively, "They come out at night and hunt for the flesh of men before disappearing to-!" "And you think this light's going to hurt them?" Denis quickly interrupted, still unsure about whether or he should just file her under crazy and be done with it. "I was getting to that!" She replied in a huff, "their weakness is sunlight, it burns them and turns them to dust, that's why they can only move in the shadows, so if I can ri-" she cut herself off as Denis started to chuckle and she sighed irritably before leaning closer to him with a pleading look on her face. "Look I know it sounds ridiculous, but please believe me, they're out there I've see-", "No, I'm sorry, I believe you, I've seen them too" Derrick said as he tried to suppress his chuckles, "it's just that you've got your facts mixed up...badly", "I'm sorry?" "Sunlight doesn't kill vampires" Denis explained calmly, "Well, unless you count skin cancer or sunburns, but that's not the instant death you're looking for so you'd probably-", "What the hell are you talking about?" the girl interrupted before Denis started to get too far off-topic. "Vampires are weakened in sunlight, not killed" Denis said, returning to his explanation, "they're nocturnal predators, so their skin has a lower UV tolerance and their eyes can't handle that much light, so they cannot function well in broad daylight, but they don't turn to dust. Honestly all that light can really do is blind them and maybe irritate their skin or give them a headache, but it's not going to be a fatal weapon no matter how much juice you give it", "how do you know all of this?" The girl asked a little annoyed, causing Denis to freeze up for a second time. His mind began cursing himself hundreds of times each millisecond as he realised the situation he had placed himself in, what the hell was he thinking?
"My mother...studies them" He said calmly whilst his mind prayed to every single god in existence that this sound even vaguely plausible, "we've encountered them a lot in our travels and know them quite well, it's fascinating stuff really", "Can't say I understand the appeal" the girl said after a forced chuckle that only helped Denis' tension and nervousness grow to new heights, "But I guess it's good to stop me wasting time on this thing"; She placed the device down on the table and began to lean back in her chair before turning to Denis again and asking with tone that was far too calm "So is there anything that can kill a vampire in one shot?" "Umm..." Denis struggled for both answers and a way out of this conversation before it got any worse, "W-Well pretty much anything that kills a human kills a vampire, I-I mean, they're not fond of garlic either, but tends to more of an allergic reaction than a poisoning or weakness-Oh is that the time?" Denis looked down at this watch and instantly rose to his feet, no longer caring about whether or not it was convincing, just looking for a way out; "I'm so sorry I have to go, we have a ferry to catch you see and we'd rather not be late because...you know, travelling is always such a nightmare", "Oh, ok..." the girl said, a little bemused by Denis quickly backed away towards the door, "Thanks for the help", "No problem, my pleasure, got to go, bye!" Denis said at a hundred miles an hour before practically bolting for the door and closing it firmly behind him. After taking a second or two to see that no one was following him Denis breathed a huge sigh of relief and making his way back to their truck.
Even now that conversation scared him and he couldn't help but curse himself; how could he have been so careless? He knew full well that even when humans believed in vampires they tended to dislike them, why did he tell her of all that stuff? Why was he trying so hard to help her? Why couldn't he think of anything to say against her?
He shook his head and climbed into the truck, deciding to try and persuade Anisa to wake up and get as far away from here as possible, so he could put it all behind him and hope to never see that girl again...although he knew fate was never that kind to them; knowing their luck, it had something even worse in store for them.
Alrighty, here's my first attempt at writing a serial here on DA, I hope you all enjoy it.

'On a distant planet colanised by humans long ago, there legends of fearsome creatures that hunt men and women in the shadows of the night, but one legends stands out amongest them, a legend of a vampire who not only doesn't hunt, but raises a human child as if it were her own. These are the tales of the strange family and their attempts to find a place on this planet that they can truely call home.'

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