Oil had soaked into the rough fingers that held a freshly cleaned pistol. It's silver slide contrasted the gleamless black of the weapon's body and the fresh coat of lubricant brought that silver to a reflective polish that warned Padraic Shepherd of the would be assassin standing behind him. His body moved on instinct, gut reaction spinning an empty pistol around to bear on the dark trespasser.
The intruder's lack of reaction gave Paddy the briefest of moments to take in his appearance. He stood at a stunted five foot two, the top of his shaved head barely rising to the height of Paddy's broad shoulders. A dozen earrings overlapped on another in each ear while a dozen more lined the length of the man's nose along each nostril; barely gleaming pins of silver and steel accented with a bar through the bridge of his nose. He wore clothing to accent his grim duty which, to tell by the grin on his face, he took a certain level of joy in committing. A tight black turtle neck and black military cargo pants whose pockets were heavy with his tools of the trade. His skin was likewise black, the peerless shade of ebony which, from his various dealings with the assassin clan, Padraic knew to be an indication the vampire's age. It was a bad sign. The previous Assamites to pursue Padraic bore the skin color of Mulatos, despite their obvious European features. This one, he was both clearly middle eastern, and was the color of shadows; the void.
He was waiting. His surprise attack spoiled, he allowed the Irishman an opportunity to soak in the threat in hopes that fear, rather than surprise, would act as an assistant in his task. Padraic stared down the sight of his gun. He knew by its weight that it was empty, and he knew by the sudden puffing of the pierced man's chest that there would be no fooling him. The assassin lifted his gloved hand from his side and turned his wrist, showing off the bloody edged katar firmly supported in his grip and upon his forearm. The weapon was of a flamberge style, the wavy steel baring a luminescence that revealed the quality of the weapon's craftsmanship. He was waiting for something. It wasn't the Assamite's style to be flamboyant in their work. To them, murder was not a job; it was a God given duty, and theatrics made a mockery of that duty. The reason Padraic was not dead yet was that the Assamite had a message to delivery in addition to a dead blow.
"You have offended the mighty Hassam N'adul Chandwani. My predecessors failed where I will not. May your death be watched by Allah and may your soul feed his fires for a thou-"
A squeeze of the trigger produced an interrupting click. Paddy's singular intent was the interruption of the Assamite's words. Hajjiís always hated getting their monologues interrupted, the mercenary had learned from experience, and the interruption served its purpose in forcing the Assamite into action. There wasn't even a blur of movement. Padraic was simply stabbed. The blood coated blade sank into and withdrew from his stomach like a hot knife through butter, spilling his primary blood store into his lap and eliciting a surprised gargle from the Mercenary. The assassin smiled in the face of Padraic Shepherd, who, from the shock of pain unlike any other in existence, let the empty pistol tumble from his hand and clatter across the floor.
"Do you like this?" He twisted the blade inside of the shocked Irishman, angling in such a manner so as to let a cone of flesh and a fountain of blood pour from Padraic's abdomen. The assassin's boot connected with Paddy's pelvis, sending him sprawling and sliding across the floor, that impact seeming to knock sense back into the merc. He scrambled and tried to swallow the pain of the Assamite's blood crawling through his veins. The wound in his stomach was ghastly, muscle and tissue and whatever the shit is in a vampire's torso (cause it ain't normal organs, that's for sure); it was simply gone. It was a hollow spot, starting wide and narrowing as it went down. He'd been carved by a butcher of men.
The Assamite pursued Padraic with a casual, business like gait. As he walked, he brought his katar to his outstretched tongue and licked at the Ventrue's clinging blood. He sneered with disappointment at the thickness and taste, wishing for something a little more potent. Alas, a job was a job, it seemed, and as such, he wiped Padraic's blood across his woolen sleeve, the black not showing the red. He paused for a moment as Paddy turned the corner into the weapon cache, amusement lit upon his features. He pulled his sweater up to his armpits and moved the blade to cut a slice deep across his own stomach. As he pulled it away, he tilted it left and right, so that it's stretching ribbons would coat as much of the blade as possible.
Paddy was hunched over as he ran, his hand pressed to his gaping wound as blood seeped through his fingers. He was getting the picture that he shouldnít even bother trying to heal the wound. He was just wasting precious vitae. Heíd fed only the night prior and suddenly he was famished. He could feel his fangs against his lips, drawn out their own command. His skin was ghostly, veins and tendons almost visible against the surface. The assassin had managed to strike where blood had seeped within the Ventrueís body. He knew precisely where to most efficiently strike, only able to spare a portion of his blood to the Assamite clan discipline that made his blade bite so effectively. He seemed to have done his homework, knowing conventional methods failed on one as thick skinned as the Ventrue.
He led the Assamite down a wide, short corridor, dripping vitae every step of the way. Padraicís bloody hand grabbed the door and wrenched the handle, nearly tumbling when it didnít budge whatsoever. He tried again, only noticing the weld marks where the door had been sealed after the fact. He looked back over his shoulder, turning with his back to the door as his assassin for the evening rounded the corner. There were weapons aplenty strewn all about the haven, but he had to get around his would be killer first. His eyes went for whatever potential weapon he could find and he grunted when nothing seemed to pop out. His mind kept darting back to the shine of silver decorating the Assamiteís dark face. He would have smirked if not for the pain. With the speed of thought, the pegs and rings disappeared. The Assamiteís eyes went wide as his hands moved to his ears and nose alternatively. Blood began to trickle out of both sites where Padraicís mind had launched the tiny objects, letting them bounce around in the Assassinís grey-stuffs.
The distraction would only be momentary and Paddy intended to make the most of it. He huddled past the Childe of Haquim and made his way to Rioís working area. The best he could hope to do with a computer was throw it at his Assassin, but it wasnít her computers he was after. He found the console he was looking for immediately. It was about the only tech in the house he showed any interest in aside from the video game systems and stereos, and that was only because it controlled the two fifty caliber turrets situated in the catwalks of the Compoundís interior. As there was no manual control, he could only set it to motion sensing. His fingers flipped across the switches that powered up the in house security, and immediately there was a roar of gunfire in the compoundís expansive living area.
Paddy turned around the partition that gave Rionna a modicum of privacy and was immediately slammed into by what looked to be half a body. The pair of heavy guns had blown the Assamiteís entire right shoulder from his body. His arm had become dust and his eyes had turned wild. Giving in to the beast, the Assamite dug burning claws into Padraicís arm as he wrenched the mercenary forward. Paddy put both arms up only to have them pinned between his own chest and the maddened Arabís, a move that prevented the Assamiteís gnashing fangs from making contact with Padraicís multi-perforated skin. As the frenzied vampire moved to find a better grip on Paddy, the Ventrue put his forearm up under the assailantís chin as his other hand gripped the front of the sweater tight.
With a roar, Paddy threw his own shoulder into the Assamite, pumping his legs even as he felt fangs cut into his shoulder. He had enough momentum and temporary power that Paddy carried the Assamite forward despite this, slamming him through a partition set up to separate work areas from the living area. Immediately Padraicís roar was joined by the still activated machine gun turrets. Both turned to bare down on the men with such synchronicity as to seem they were dancing with one another. Bullets cut through both of them, sending the men into a spiral of blood and meat. Padraicís advantage was that he was anticipating it, that and while the Assamite had honed his body for speed, Padraic had the skin of a Panzer tank. The rounds cut into both men, and immediately Padraic fell. He was numb to the pain in his gut as much as he was numb to the feeling of the anti-vehicle round that caught him in the hip on his way to the ground. It was the blissful numbness of the Kiss. It was all he could do to twist his body so that when he hit the ground, the Assamite fell on top of him.
Pain returned like a rockslide as the Assamiteís mouth gasped open. Padraic could feel rounds pounding into his shieldís back, and then began to feel rounds coming through him, catching Padraic in the chest once before the Ductus rolled out from underneath his flimsy cover and continued rolling as bullets punched lines of pock marks in Paddyís wake. The guns stopped as the Ductus disappeared beneath a card table, hidden from their sensors. He heard the droning hum of the smoking guns resetting themselves to their preset position with nothing to lock onto.
Paddy would have to move fast, though he felt like his entire body was betraying him. When he moved he felt bones against bones, scraping through mush inside of his body. What blood could be spared moved to the wounds, giving some substance to move upon as bone and meat were reborn ever so slowly. He lay there for a good ten minutes, healing his body as best he could manage, which, for lack of blood, wasnít much. His eyes were a powder blue and his skin seemed to cling to every muscle and bone upon his body. He looked emaciated and on the verge of falling over from starvation. Despite this, the little bit of blood he had left was spent. Suddenly the card table was thrown, hurled across the room. Both guns zipped into action, sweeping in the direction of the projectile. Padraicís limited boost of speed was enough for him to get a fair amount of distance closer to Rionaís control room before the guns shifted and began chasing him. He stumbled and fell behind the partition, bullets putting holes the size of plums in the wall, but out of sight, they returned again to their home positions. He picked himself up with a groan, whining and flopping as he carried himself to the controls of the security consol. He braced himself against the wall to lift him up, teeth grinding for the pain, and slapped the activation of the turrets.
Limping, he returned to the living areaÖ the company lounge so to speak. It was in shambles. Bullets had destroyed the furniture, the entertainment center, and most importantly, one cocky fucking Assamite. There lay a rapidly decayed corpse wearing a black turtle neck sweater and a pair of black military cargo pants. Paddy snorted the moisture from his nose and throat and spat thick upon the crumbling face. He didnít bother leaving a note. He made his way to the garage doors and yanked one open, falling down the stairs on his way to the street. By the first sight of the cityís derelicts, it was no longer Padraic stalking the street, but a beastÖ a hungry Irish beastÖ all fangs and ire and eyes as blue as arctic ice.