Fallen Fangs

The shockingly true story of the historic vampire war around NYC.







Not actually true

Chapter 30

All My Fault

by: Hyouka
Never in my life have I experienced pain as searing as this.

I lie staring at the ceiling and waiting, simply waiting, for anything, anyone to come along. It could be Jared. It could be death. I’ll take either.

I tell myself that I’m not allowed to cry. Vampires shouldn’t do anything like that – we were practically bred to be fearless. So why am I so terrified? Why am I shaking?

I can’t tell where I’m bleeding, but I know it’s nearly everywhere. My eyes burn and the light above my head is too bright, and I just want to sleep and never wake up again. Never again.

I’ve been lying here, being tortured, for a while now. The evil men in the white labcoats have disappeared for what I hope is the last time. I close my eyes against the pain and will it all to go away. Soon, somebody will bust through that door. Soon, I will be saved.

“Monarch!”

I open my eyes and let out a whimper. That’s what they’ve been calling me. Monarch. As if they’re taunting me with it, taunting me with the knowledge they shouldn’t possess. I lift my head.

“What?” I mutter. “What could you possibly want?”

“If you don’t shut your mouth, soldier, you’re going to ruin your own rescue operation.”

I grow rigid in my seat as the face appears above me. Jareds eyes are calculating, almost cold. At least he’s rescuing me, after the idiotic way I got myself captured. That’s all I can ask for at this point.

“Your little stunt got us in a challenging situation,” he says as he fumbles with the knots at my wrists. “And thanks to another little stunt pulled a few minutes ago by Kaia, we had to charge this place. I have no idea what’s going on out there, or how much time we have. So if I can’t get you out of here, I’m afraid to say you’re going to have to stay here.”

“Then what’s the point in coming to find me in the first place?” I ask, flinching at the pain sliced across my forehead as I speak.

His face remains emotionless. “We don’t want them to think we’ve given up without a fight.”

And here I thought maybe it was because I was an important part of the team. Of course that’s not why. They’d be better off without me. I’m such an idiot.

“Even if you do make it back,” the rope around my left wrist falls loose and I pull my hand free. “The General will be having a word with you, and it won’t be pleasant.”

I know he’s trying to hold a straight face, but there’s a smugness behind his words.

He reaches to his side and slices clean through the other ropes, grazing my skin slightly as they fall away. He runs back to the door.

“I’m sending in a few people to get you out of here,” he tells me, his voice stern. “I have to head back to the front lines before they all get themselves killed. I can’t have it be my responsibility that my squad members don’t make it back from this rescue mission.”

I try to sit up and protest, but the bloodloss I’ve sustained makes me dizzy and I think I almost pass out before lying back down, unable to move. Jared pulls the door open and slips out into the hallway, where I can hear the clanging of swords.

I wait for only a few moments before two new people slip into the room. One a guy I haven’t seen before, the other Kaia, who looks irritated at her job but knows she has no other choice.

“How are we getting her out of here?” Kaia asks, studying me and speaking as if I’m not there at all. “She’s all bloody.”

“I’ve got her,” he says. “Go ask Jared what he needs you to do next. You’ve ruined enough already.”

She scoffs at him and turns around, returning to the battle. I want to ask what she did wrong, but I don’t think it’s appropriate.

The guy helps me out of the chair and supports me to the door. The world is coming at me in nauseating waves. My eyes won’t focus on anything.

I barely make it to the hallway before everything goes pitch black.
~~

“Did you hear about Jared…?”

“I can’t believe it. I knew he was dedicated but he went a little too far.”

“They said he might not recover.”

The voices are like whispers. I can’t hear them clearly. Something about Jared…hurting himself…

“Sh, I think she’s waking up.”

I open my eyes and blink a few times to adjust to the light.

I’m in the medical tent. Back at camp.

Apparently the mission was successful.

I glance to my right. Two girls are standing there giving me fake smiles. Something is not right. Not at all.

“Uh, hi!” one of the girls, with longer hair, says. “How are you feeling?”

“Fine.” Actually, my entire body is sore and I feel like I’ve been dismembered and sewn back together again my limbs are so heavy, but I don’t say that. “Did something happen to Jared?”

They both freeze and glance at each other as if considering whether or not they should say anything.

“Uh…” the first says.

“He just hurt himself is all,” the second interrupts quickly. “It was pretty bad I guess, but they said he’s going to live!”

“Tell me how bad it is,” I demand, sitting up. It’s not an easy feat, considering I’ve been wrapped in bandages and taped and sewn up everywhere and I can barely move, but I manage it.

They both look at me worriedly.

“He might never fight again.”

Both girls glance towards the entrance to the tent. Kaia stands there, her arms cross, a grim look on her face. Leave it to her to be blatant.

I stare at her, my mouth open. Never fight again? Fighting is Jared’s entire life, how could he possibly give that up?

“Thanks to your little capturing stunt,” she hisses, “he was almost killed. He can’t lead squad 7 anymore. Are you satisfied?”

I try to rise to my feet, but she’s already turned on her heels and disappeared out of the tent entrance. I imagine she’s going to sulk somewhere, but I can’t be bothered.

It’s all my fault.

I stare at my hands for a long time. The two girls stand there awkwardly as if they want to say something but are afraid to.

I rise to my feet and ignore the wave of nausea that envelops my entire body as I walk towards the tent entrance. The girls don’t even try to stop me.

I head towards Jared’s tent, where I imagine they took him to, considering I was the only one staying in the medical tent.

I pull the flap back silently and peer in, feeling like I’m intruding but unsure what else to do.

He’s sitting, not facing me. Simply sitting, staring at the wall, turning a small dagger in his hands.

I don’t want to startle him, so I stand in the entrance and whisper his name.

“Jared?”

He freezes up a little bit. I almost wish he would correct me, ‘Call me sir or Major’, like he used to, but he doesn’t. Not a word of it.

“What is it?” he asks. He doesn’t even turn to look at me.

“I…” I step forward a little bit. “Is it true, what they told me?”

“That all depends on what you heard.”

There’s a moment of awkward silence. “Kaia told me…that…that you won’t be a major anymore.”

He reaches to the side of his chair and I notice for the first time a pair of crutches sitting against the wall of the tent. He picks them up and stands up, supporting himself against them, to turn and look at me.

I almost flinch, but I don’t. I contain it.

He’s wearing an eyepatch on the left side of his face. A wound – which has been clearly stitched – runs clear down towards his neck. I stand in shock, staring at him.

He doesn’t move from where he’s standing. I remember what the girls in the medical tent were saying.

They say he’s never going to recover.

“That part,” he says, his face emotionless, “would be correct.”

I don’t know what to say. I just stare at him like an idiot, holding back the urge to cry. I can’t even imagine our squad without Jared. It won’t be the same.

“You need to speak to the general,” he says, limping across the room to pick up a pain killer set on his desk.

“This is where I get chewed out, right?” I ask, still staring at him.

He smirks a little bit. “Not exactly,” he says. “You see, the squads aren’t exactly needed right now.”

“And why isn’t that?”

He turns to look at me, and for the first time, I notice genuine happiness in his face.

“The Animo,” he says, “have surrendered.”

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