Saturday, July 30, 2005

Don't try this at home

I've been getting an alarming number of emails from readers asking for advice on hunting fang-fags.

I cannot stress this enough: Do not go hunting. Leave it to the pros, even if we do occasionally seem like wankers.

Hunting vampyrs is dangerous fucking work. Without proper training - which isn't to say I had proper training, but I've had a quirky ass-load more than you - your chances of surving a hunt are about equal to my chances of getting picked to be the next Bachelor.

Even worse, hunting vampyrs is damn fine way to kill completely innocent - if somewhat creepy - civilians. If I had a nickel for every time some freak went off his meds and stabbed some poor dude just because he was ugly and worked a night shift, I'd have... well, about $4.35.

You want to get some holy water? Fine. Put it in a reliable water pistol and carry it around (keep it hidden, though, unless you want people to think you're a complete ass). Holy water's okay; it won't hurt anybody unless they're the real deal. But don't go around stabbing people with silver, because 9 times out of 10 you'll find out it was an unemployed mother of two with insomnia.

Seriously. If you see some suspicious shit, report it to the police. They might think you're nuts, but odds are we're monitoring the police frequency (yes, we actually pay people to do this shit) and if it raises flags, somebody uglier and more qualified than you will respond. Meanwhile, wear a cross and stay in your house at night. Billy, don't be a hero.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Vampire Hunter Kit - Great eBay Deal!

Do I even have to say anything? This would be hilarious, if it wasn't a damn good way to get eaten.

Look, buddy. What you've got there is a cheap suitcase full of ways to get your dumb ass killed.

Let's take a look:

We got two cheesy "silver" tipped rods for "staking" the vampyr. If those are silver, and I mean sterling, I'll eat my crossbow. Not that it matters; with cheap aluminum shafts, they'd crumple the minute you struck them with a mallet.

There's one of those stupid little paper-back New Testaments that church weirdos hand out on street corners. According to the seller, it "IS USED TO READ THE GOSPEL OVER CHILDRENS HEADS AS A REMEDY AGAINST ATTACKS AND ALSO FOR EXORCISM (his excessive capitalization, not mine)." Look, bud: you can't perform an exorcism without being a priest; even I know that. And reading the bible won't keep vamps from eating your rugrat. It's a nice idea, but it's stupid. What are you, a Christian Scientist?

There is a container of "red liquid," used to (and I quote) "INTISE THE VAMPIRE OR LEAD HIM TO WHERE HE IS MOST VENERABLE." First of all no vampyr in the history of the world has ever been venerable. Buy a dictionary. Secondly, while you're setting up your ET-style trap, the vamp's eating your ugly wife.

There is actually a vial of poppy seeds, which this dude thinks will make the vampyr start to count them and protect you. I'm not sure which is dumber; the idea of vampyrs that can count, or throwing the seeds off your muffin at vampyr to protect yourself.

Some holy water and a cross, not bad. But why be so ornamental about it?

Bags for putting salt in. You know what salt is good for? French fries. Not protection against man-sized predators.

This is my favorite: "THERE ARE 4 LEAD FILLED BRASS TEMPERATURE RELEASED CAPSULES. ONE WAY OF DESTROYING A VAMPIRE IS TO BURN IT IN ITS COFFIN AND BY PLACING ONE OF THESE CAPSULES IN THE EDGE OF THE ENCLOSURE THE LEAD WILL RELEASE AT 255 DEGREES AND SEAL THE COFFIN SHUT" Even if these James Bond firecrackers worked like you said they would, buddy, that is some astounding logic. It would be stupid even if they did sleep in coffins, which they don't - they sleep in piles of newspaper and old clothes, like overgrown gerbils. Overgrown gerbils with fangs and halitosis.

There's a cheap hunting knife for - this is great - decapitation. Have you ever tried cutting through spinal column and neck grizzle with a dull 12" blade? In a hurry, no less? A hatchet, yes. A machete, even better. But a knife? Get a grip.

Personally, I think you should stick to making tinfoil hats so the aliens can't read your thoughts.

Monday, July 04, 2005

There's a reason we wear leather.

So, I'm back after another unexpected leave of absence. I haven't felt much like typing in a while, considering that I'm recovering from major lacerations on my right forearm due to an attack from a "wild dog."

I should probably start by telling you about this ridiculous package I received about a week after that fucking book came in the mail. This one contained this shitty black stretchy cotton/spandex type deal with what looked like a ballistic nylon snow vest with a high collar.

It was my new "uniform."

First let me say that it is 150 de-fucking-grees in San Marcos.

But what the hell, y'know? I've gotten enough grief from the damn Guild over the past few months, I figured I'd play along and wear their ridiculous outfit for a hunt or two.

And that's what got me bit.

First of all, wearing this thing, I looked like an extra from Better Off Dead. If you've never heard of this movie, then you should fuck off - you're too young to be reading about vampyrs and stuff. The collar - apparently designed to keep vamps from biting your neck - made me feel as though I was being constantly strangled by someone with the upper-body strength of an 85-year-old woman.

Whoever designed this thing has been watching the movie Monster Squad far too often. Vamps only go for the neck as a matter of convenience, because it's the anatomical location most akin to the tap on a beer keg. If they cannot get at the throat, however, they'll cheerfully bite your leg or your shoulder or your... arm. Fuckers.

See, I usually wear a beat-up leather jacket, which serves three purposes:

  1. It's black, so it provides some degree of camo at night. Not against vamps, which go more by sense of smell than anything else, but from cops and people who call cops and other people who might ask you for money or something.

  2. It provides a modicum of protection against asphalt, brambles, fangs, and fingernails. Most importantly, it keeps your skin from burning when a vamp goes up in flames.

  3. It's much easier to get vampyr ash off of leather than any other textile I've tried.

So I'm out day-hunting in my shiny new Guild fag-vest, and I come across this sleeping vamp. Normally, I'd drag his unconcious ass out to get a tan, but this guy's at least 350 lbs. I could Jeep-winch him out, but that would probably drag him through at least four crumbling drywall partitions and a plate glass window, which might attract some unwanted attention.

So I get out the mallet and stake. I figured this guy was about 72% lard, so it'd slide right in. Unfortunately, the guy was denser than I thought, and the stake didn't make it all the way in the first time. He woke up, screamed like a little girl, and lunged at me with a mouth in desperate need of Listerine.

Instinctively, I blocked with my arm, thinking about the leather cuff that was supposed to be there. Oops.

What made it worse is that the guy's fangs got caught in the stretchy Latino dancer undershirt the Guild included with their useless vest. So he's caught in my sleeve, and I'm trying to use that hand to hammer the stake in. I finally managed to switch mallet hands and clumsily club Shamu into submission, but not before he'd put about 42 stitches worth of bite marks on my arm. Dick.

Needless to say, I'm back in my jacket, and that goddamned "uniform" is being used to clean my toilet... left-handed.

Monday, June 13, 2005

There's a reason I don't read.

I just received, courtesy of the unforgivably sweat-stained USPS guy, a manual on how to do my fucking job.

That's right. The Guild, under the previously cussed-about new supervision, has issued me a doorstop that looks remarkably like a textbook. The doorstop is entitled The Guild Tactical Manual: A Practical Guide for the Field Agent and has... let's see... 981 sheets of very uncomfortable toilet paper between its cheaply-bound covers.

It's a brilliant book, really. Not only does it quote the Malleus Maleficarum (potentially the dumbest book ever written, and a glorious example of what happens when men in power get too sexually frustrated), but it features illustrations that look like they were drawn by a pre-pubescent mongoloid:

That's supposed to be a grave stake, a ceremonial cross-shaped ash stake used for snuffing vamps. The cross tines are usually broken off after the stake has been properly blessed.

Of course, you only know this because I'm telling you. Looking at the drawing, you'd probably think it was a canoe or a dildo or something.

I'm not nearly as offended by the handwritten descriptions (Jesus, some professionalism, please?) as I am by what they point out. If you'll look closely, you'll notice they actually labeled the sharp end of the stake.

I particularly like the section about "field meditation," which tells agents to, and I quote:

Close your eyes, and slow your breathing. Keeping your eyes closed, re-create your immediate environment as a mental image. Now, as you look around your visualized environment, take the next step and become the vampyr. Feel it's hunger. Know it's fears. You must avoid the hunter. You must slake the thirst. Where, as a vampyr, are you most drawn to? When you have determined the three places you are most likely to go, open your eyes, and begin investigating in those places.

WHAT!? First of all, learn how to use the contraction it's. It's means it is. The possessive form of the pronoun it has no goddamned apostrophe. Seriously; we're talking third grade English class here.

Secondly, you left out the part where the field agent gets fucking eaten while he's standing around channeling Sun Tsu and getting his metaphysical jollies. In a vamp combat situation, you can't stand around with your eyes closed and your dick in your hands, playing silly-ass mind games - unless, of course, you're aiming for a Darwin Award.

Any reasonably intelligent field agent should - with his eyes open - be able to guess where a vampyr might go. If you have to stop and be one with the earth every time you need to track a vamp, you are in the wrong line of work, Grasshopper.

Seriously; who writes this shit?

My true complaint, however, is that the pages aren't absorbent enough to clean up beer. And they chafe.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

I'm baaaaack.

First, I apologize for having been gone so long. Apparently at least one guy reads this, 'cause he asked why.

I'd like to say that I was off on secret assignment, or getting laid, or anything, but the truth is, I was ass-deep in paperwork. And it's all about this blog.

See, there was a bit of a power shift in the Guild. Not a coup, or anything interesting like that; one guy retired, another guy took over, blah blah blah. The upshot is that the new guy had all kinds of delusions about shit he was going to change (the guy actually had the balls to use the word "reform" on several occasions), and he got his panties in a wad about this blog. Said it threatened "Guild secrecy."

What you have to understand is that the Guild is as much mired in bureaucratic bullshit as any medium-sized company; only the pencil pushers have funny names like "Elder." An "Elder" is essentially a guy (or gal - we're equal opportunity shitty employers) who is too strung-out to cut it as a field agent, and who consequently ends up stuck behind a desk, thinking very highly of him or herself. The Speaker is the "head" of the Council of Elders, the Council being a group of decrepit old farts that sit around in a dusty room making motions, seconding them, and dividing into committees. And I can say this because the Guild really has no upward mobility, and they're too strapped to actually fire any of us. So if you're reading this, O Great Council, you may kindly suck an egg.

Anyway, the new Speaker (I'm no longer allowed to use real names, so I'll just refer to him as Speaker Numbnuts) decided that we should be more secretive about our activities. If you've been following this blog at all, you'll understand why this is a singularly dumbass thing to say. Vamps can't read, and nobody else fucking believes this shit, so what difference could it possibly make? The Guild passed a motion to force me to suspend the blog pending further discussion. I would have told them to fuck off if I had known the kind of paperwork "futher discussion" meant - I mean what were they going to do, fire me? Oh, dear. As it was, I wanted the bitching and moaning to stop, so I played along.

I finally convinced them to allow me to continue by pointing out that my blog did no harm, and could potentially save lives. It does no harm, because most of you assume I'm either a little south of sane or making this shit up. It could save lives if you remember any of what you read when you're trapped in an alley one day wishing you'd believed me in the first place while you're chased by one of these overgrown leeches.

Faced with my stirring and eloquent arguments (I managed cut out 90% of the "fucks" that came to my throat), Speaker Numbnuts and the Council reluctantly agreed to shut up and let me blog. So, I'm back. Questions?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

It burns!

So the first "experiment" we tried involved using a high-powered tranquilizer rifle to shoot darts filled with various vile things into the vamp. We tried a bunch of shit, with varying degrees of success:

  1. Tranquilizer - Yeah, that wasn't worth a shit. We tried shooting him about six different places, with no effect at all. Pretty much as expected. Wasn't until we got a direct headshot that the fucker stopped moving around for 20 minutes or so.

    Remember that a vamp is essentially reanimated meat - the heart, while serving as a core of some kind, doesn't actually beat. Sound weird to you? The thing eats people by drinking plasma; try to keep the weirdness in perspective.

  2. Silver nitrate - We shot the first dart into old Smiley's wrist. He didn't like that at all. The skin just under the dart bubbled up like a third degree burn, and he let loose with one of those throaty, Bea Arthur-type growls the bloody vamps are so fond of. Still, silver nitrate is a fairly expensive chemical, and the effect wasn't crippling - it pretty much just pissed him off. All things considered, not a weapon worth pursuing. Still, it was neat target practice, though we had to gag him after about six shots or so; he was killing my buzz.

  3. Poison - None of the human poisons we tried worked worth a shit, though arsenic did seem to make him a little itchy.

  4. Ash sap - This was a stupid idea. Nat thought that maybe - because the grave stakes we used are made of ash, that ash sap would have some kind of corrosive properties. It didn't. I could've told his stupid ass that.

  5. Holy water - Holy fuck, was that awesome. Holy water is always a nifty spectacle, with the burning and the screaming. But eventually, either the vamp wipes it off or it evaporates off, leaving behind third degree burns that look bad, but won't really have a lasting effect.

    Intravenously, though, is a different story. That shit stayed in there. The vamp was screaming and wailing for about the first half hour, then just whimpering for the next couple of hours. The holy water never loses its sanctification, and with no place to go, it just swishes around and burns.

    The best part was, the more he moved around, the worse it got. Stupid fuck kept shaking, and the stuff kept swishing around his useless veins and shit, burning him from the inside out. I mean sure, it's not lethal, but I'd buy a tranq rifle out of pocket just to watch that again.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Just a spoonful of silver...

So a friend of mine, Nathan, came in from out of state this weekend. Seems the vamp situation in Illinois has died down a bit, and he decided to take a vacation.

Only he didn't take a fucking vacation. From the moment he got here, all he wanted to do was talk vamps. Vamps this, vamps that. Always with the fucking vamps. I took him out to lunch; he talked about vamps. I took him to a nightclub: more talking about vamps. I took him to a goddamned titty bar, and he still talked about vamps.

I finally gave up on the social part of his social call, and we went hunting. Seems old Nate has been thinking a lot about weapons lately, and needed some help putting some theories in motion. So instead of killing, we went out to bag a vulgaris.

I do a damn fine job, so it was tough to find any in my city. We ended up driving all the way to Mexico, where a buddy of mine was involved in a small (but manageable) infestation.

When we found the last nest, which took all of, oh, twenty minutes (bloodfuckers aren't known for their subtlety), we kept one alive, dumped him in the trunk, and took him out to an abandoned Quonset hut on the Texas side of the border. It's a pretty useful place, if you can ignore the vague sensation of standing in a giant condom.

When sunset came around and the vamp woke up, let me tell you - that toothy fuck was not happy with us. But he's pretty well strapped in, so I could frankly give a shit.

We're gonna spend the next few days testing out weapon ideas. Think of it as research and development that just happens to look a lot like torture (Though the fact that this shitheel ate an 8-year-old boy doesn't make it any harder). I'll post our results here soon, for any of you bored enough to read them.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Say blood!

I've been negligent in my blogging duties. I'd apologize, but I honestly don't give a shit.

I got this question the other day:
Silly question, just wanted to know if u can sketch what these creatures look like. I know u probably would not be able to photograph them, because ur too busy slaying them.

Really like to see what they look like.

Do you have a system in logging each creature you come into contact with? I guess what I'm trying to figure out besides from what you carry with you...if you journal any of your adventures in a book?

Are you a full time Vampyr Hunter?
Well, actually, I can't sketch them, because my drawing skills include stick figures and smiley suns in the corner of the page. Get enough Johnny Walker in me, and I may even draw a dog. But vamps? No way.

But I was thinking of you yesterday, so I took along my camera phone and snapped a pic when I bagged a bloodmonkey.

I know, the picture sucks, but you try holding a crossbow at the right angle and managing a camera phone while lighting your picture with a big flashlight set on the floor. Ansel Adams I 'aint, but old Ansel didn't have a sleeping vamp to work around.

The next time I got a partner, I'll have him hold the camera (they make funnier faces when you toss holy water on them, but you need two hands to stake them after that).

In answer to your other question, I make reports to the Guild on a regular basis. Well, sorta; I'm behind on my paperwork, to be honest. However, I don't keep a book. This... blog-thing... is my journal. I know the Guild keeps written records, but I don't think you can just walk in and check them out like a library.

I am employed full-time as a hunter, if only so that they can be sure they can call on me, with no conflicts, 24/7. I do some contract jobs here and there - cabinetry, laying tile, etc. - because the pay sucks ass, but I don't get involved in any job I couldn't walk away from immediately.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Sorry for the extended absence; I had to haul my ass out to Tacoma, WA to take care of a multiple nest pattern in some unused storage facilities.

We lost our Washington hunter last year to a threat far greater than any vamp... his own drunk ass in a Chevy Malibu. Like most hunters, Guild hunters seem to be particularly fond of the juice. Some of us, however, are smart enough not to drive cars or select women while inebriated.

Anyway, the MNP wasn't hard to clean, once we tracked it ("we" being myself and Dan, the Oregon guy). Tracking it, though, was a bitch. Vamps tend to nest in one centralized locale; when a nest grows uncomfortable (usually 8 or more), a few rejects are booted from the pack and sent to nest on their own. Usually, they have the good sense to go far away, but these fuckers - 4 nests in all - stayed within a half-mile of each other.

Understand something: vamps have no loyalties. They're like hyenas. Two nests of vamps can't encounter each other without snarling and pissing and whatever else they do to establish territory. So either these were extremely docile vamps (bloody hell they were) or they managed not to cross paths (also bullshit). I don't know what the hell happened up there.

In any case, there was no way we could've expected that, so we wasted a lot of time. After we cleaned up the first nest, we spent fucking days trying to track vamps to spots starting at a mile perimeter around the first. Nothing. Two miles. Nothing. Sporadic kills, corpses popping up in random spots. Where the fuck were these guys hunting?

Anyway, we finally caught a break when the police scanner in Dan's truck picked up a 10-11 between two "homeless guys." The on-scene officer said it looked like one had rabies. Yeah, that guy was fucked, but we hung around after the cops picked up their dead compatriot (actually dead), and found nest 2. Once we started hunting closer to the first nest, we found the remaining two pretty easily, because of Dan's dog.

Dan had this bloodhound, Shirley, and used him (yes, him) in reverse. We'd wander around, and when Shirley didn't want to go in somewhere (when, in fact, he started pissing himself and whining - that fucking name made him a little bitch, I guess), that's where we went. Shirl hates vamps. I can't have a big dog in my building; maybe I'll train myself a hamster or a chihuahua or something.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The hunter's... duffel bag.

Somebody asked me about my kit. Let's see:
  1. A black leather duffel - forget cool gadget boxes with little pockets for everything. I chuck everything in a black leather duffel. Black because it's less visible if you have to ditch it in a shrub at night, and leather because, well, it lasts. And blood cleans off it really nice with some Kiwi leather cleaner.
  2. Grave stakes - A grave stake, as described earlier, is a wooden (ash) stake that was originally shaped like a cross to serve as a grave marker, consecrated for use in blessing the dead. It no longer matters whether or not it has the cross-bar, so long as it once did. (Hey, I don't make the rules). I make mine out of ash chair legs, which I order special from a reputable furniture dealer, so I know they're really ash. I carry 4-5 at a time, because they have a tendency to get lodged in ribcages.
  3. A mallet - I need this for driving grave stakes.
  4. A water gun - I like the old Super Soaker 100. I found it with some of my brother's childhood things. It's a simple, pump-action 1/4 gal. model that was popular in the early 90s. You'll understand why it's useful when I add...
  5. A half-gallon of holy water - Unload a quart of this into a sleeping vamp's face. It's fucking sweet. With the burning, and the unholy screams? Priceless.
  6. A crossbow - A good crossbow should cost at least $600. Mine, a custom-built Horton with an ash stock (measured to fit just right in the crook of my arm) and a silver heel, was $7000. But most of that's just showing off. Hey, I get few kicks in this line. I consecrated my crossbow, and carved a cross into the stock. Most of that was for effect, but you never know.
  7. Bolts - Ash shafts, silver heads. Pink, synthetic feathers. (Hey, that's all the guy had when he built them.) These are a custom job; they stopped selling them on eBay. I use a woodburning kit to burn cross-shapes into the shaft. The crosses don't do anything, but the vamps are afraid of them. That way, when I miss (which is often), I get to watch them look down at the shaft in their gut and scream like a girl while they try to pull it out. Again, few kicks. I carry a quiver of 20 or so bolts, and I go fetch them when the vamps dead (they're $22.50 a piece). These are consecrated.
  8. Sawed-off shotgun - last-ditch defense. You get close enough to a vamp to use this, and you're probably already dead. But a round to the chest'll slow them down, and you can tear up limbs with buckshot faster than they can heal them. Might buy escape time. Mine was on sale at WalMart - I got it and the hacksaw for $90. The buckshot is consecrated (I'll repeat some earlier advice: hunters should get ordained. Imagine asking a priest to bless your shotgun shells).
  9. Crosses - I cover myself in crosses. Around my neck, in my pockets - little wooden crosses everywhere. I have hundreds in a box; I toss 'em in odd places like mothballs: couple in the duffel, couple in the closet, couple in the car. I buy them in bulk from this family in Mexico. You never know when fumbling across one might save your life. As far as I know, crosses don't actually harm the vamps; but they scare the shit out of them.
  10. A machete - My machete was pricey - I wanted good steel - but it's still a fucking machete. Nothing particularly interesting. It slices, it dices, it scares the shit out of witnesses. I blessed mine, mostly because I like saying "holy machete."
  11. 8 oz. human blood - I carry this in a water bottle; it's the vamp equivalent of carrying a steak around to distract guard dogs. Fledgling vulgaris are far more hungry than they are smart.
  12. T-shirt, electric razor, deodorant, bar of soap - Because you never know when you might have to scrub down. A whore's bath is a hunter's best friend.
  13. A roll of $20s - Some methods of killing vamps leave bodies. When this happens, it's usually better to leave before John Law shows up. Usually, they won't keep looking for us; their "victims" are several weeks decomposed, so they have nothing to rely on but eyewitnesses who claim the corpse was munching on folks. Still, a roll of $20s is a necessity - it's a small enough denomination to not rouse suspicion, but enough of them will get you across state lines and into a shitty Motel 6.
  14. Marlboro Reds (5 packs) - A reminder: I don't hunt vamps at night. Why? Because I have an IQ above 70. I do, however, stakeout at night (no pun intended), and that is nicotine-driven work.
  15. Peppermint oil - Shut up. It masks the human scent, okay?
  16. Condoms - Because I'm not always working (Of course, the condoms have passed their expiration date, so I must not be doing much of anything else, either).

Saturday, February 19, 2005

q & a: it's not as fun as t & a

I'm fucking well bored. I'm heading out of town this weekend to help on a routine sweep, but activity seems to be low right now. Not that I'm complaining, but one can only watch so many reruns of The West Wing.

So... since I have no interesting news, I'll answer questions.

C'mon, I know I'm an ass about it, but I still answer them. Use the comments, though; I'm tired of sorting through the various dick enhancer ads in my email.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Let's get a grip.

Recently, I've been asked a lot of questions about the existence of other faerie tale creatures and Hollywood monsters.

Now, whether these people are merely mocking me, or whether they really believe that the existence of vampyrs is somehow license to believe in leprechauns, I don't know. But somehow, admitting the existence of one creature we thought to be mythological seems to open a floodgate to talk about them all.

Fine. Here are answers to some questions I've received:
Ever run across any other (Guild) agents that take care of other types of
What, like rabid dogs and stuff? No. The Guild is just for dealing with vampyrs. We hunt vampyrs. That's it.
What do you guys do with werewolves?
There's no such thing as a werewolf, at least not that I've ever seen. There is a Baltic strain of vulgaris that is particularly hairy.
Do you agents handle excorsism?
First of all, turn on your spell-check. Secondly, if you mean exorcism, then no, we don't. The Catholic church, with which we are not affiliated, has an organization that handles such matters. Unlike the Guild, they jealously guard their privacy, because the Catholic church is... I don't know, embarrassed or something.
Have you ever met Frankenstein?
Shut the fuck up.
If vampyrs are real, what else is real?
Vague much? Look, I don't fucking know. We deal with vamps. That's all we do. I don't know anything about anything else. Like I said before, I know there's a group that deals with exorcism. I think there's another one that deals with poltergeists and spooky shit like that. We never cross paths; we work different fields. And if anybody ever calls us and says, "there's a kid down here yakking up pea soup," or "my shit's flying all over the place," we'll tell them to fuck off. Why? Because we just deal with vamps.

I don't mean to be rude (well, actually, I don't care if I'm rude), but I do want to explain this clearly: I'm a vamp man. When it comes to other stuff, I don't know shit about shit. You got questions about banishees or your fairy godmother, go ask somebody else.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

More questions.

This is a fucking dull week. Can't have a job outside the Guild, so there's nothing to do if the blood-monkeys aren't moving about.

So I'll answer questions. This one's from comments:
What was ur training like as an apprentice? How big is your guild? Are there other guilds for vampyr hunters in the US?
Training? Training sucked rectum, if you want to know the truth. Somehow (and don't ask me who they had to screw to get this done) they get us into Army basic training. That sucked, but I won't bother tell you about it, because there are about 7 thousand movies out there to mislead you about how noble and personally enriching that is. So watch them, and then you can imagine in your head (80s sports montage-style) my pseudo-military training. You'll be wrong - basic is about 20% dirt, 20% sweat, and 60% simply getting fucked around by guys who yell a lot - but whatever.

After basic, I got a mysterious "undesireable" discharge, declaring me "unfit for military duty." Thanks, assholes. Couldn't you have arranged for a more flattering discharge?

Then came Guild Academy. That was no sweat. They had us in these community college classrooms (the Guild doesn't have offices in the U.S.), and they taught us about vamps - mythology, scientific fact, case histories, theory - boring classroom shit for about a week.

Then came weapons. They dragged us out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and found an endless supply of abandoned warehouses, silos, and slums for this crap. They essentially told us to forget about guns (then what the fuck was that Army shit all about?) and focus on crossbows, compound bows, and long blades. We had these wooden bo-ken for blades, and I spent most of the next five weeks covered in long, thin bruises.

No combat training. You know why? Because fuck fighting, that's why. There's no way you'll win in hand-to-hand combat with a vampyr. No way. I don't care how tough you are. Your best bet is to a) keep your distance (hence the projectile weaponry), or b) kill 'em while they sleep. I mean, I've sliced up a conscious vamp or two in my crappy career, but only as a last resort... and I nearly shit my pants every time.

Then, after weeks of fighting and shooting shit and setting stuff on fire, they put a Bible in your hand and send you to seminary. It's the worst anti-climax of all time. You spend three weeks reading the Bible, and saying "Jesus, this, Jesus, that," and learning benedictions and shit, and then you're ordained. But here's the stupid thing - they have you ordained by a Guild-friendly church official, because real seminary takes years to complete, and they don't want any church to have you on books. But if they were going to cheat on it anyway, why'd they make me read the Bible stuff? That's a big fucking book! I mean, New Testament, yeah - I should probably know that stuff. But Deuteronomy? First Samuel? What the hell did I need all that for?

And then you're supposed to be an apprentice. You follow the real hunter around for two years, hunting and stuff. But that didn't happen for me, 'cause the Guild is having increasing problems with recruiting. After seminary, they shipped me out to my first assignment with nothing but a roll of bills and some vague instructions. And that, my friends, was training.

As to your other question, I do not belong to a guild. I work for the Guild. As in, there's only one of them, and it's supposedly worldwide. There have been splinter groups over the years, but basically it's just the Guild.

And a hunter really shouldn't work without the Guild. Some are enticed by all the dusty books and lore into thinking it's some big destiny shit, a sacred calling. They leave the Guild and go off to be "rogue hunters." But really, it's all stupid. All we are are glorified dog-catchers, and the Guild helps to take care of some of the nastier aspects (vampyr bodies, for example, and bail money when necessary).

I don't really know how big the Guild is. It's not secret, I've just never thought to ask. I know that each state (except for Hawaii, which is naturally quarantined against vampyr infestation) has at least one hunter, and that we often travel to other states to assist there. In my training class, there were seven others. As for the rest of the world... fuck, I don't know.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Hey, fucker! Comment!

Hey, if you're reading this, leave a comment somewhere. Comments are the commerce of blogging. You're getting this shit for free, so leave me a little something.

Who knows? If you ever end up getting gnawed on, I just might move a little faster.

Career opportunities

Another question via email:
How did you become a Guild member? Does it pay alot?
Well, my high school guidance counselor asked me what I wanted out of life, and I said I wanted to shoot shit with crossbows and smell like burning rats all the time, so he gave me the number to this guy...

First of all, I'm not a member; it's not a fucking club. I'm an "agent," which is just a glorified way of saying "grunt." Secondly, it pays shit. And "a lot" is two words.

As for how I came to work at the Guild, that's a bit of a long story, and I don't feel like writing anymore right now. Suffice to say, I got caught up in some shit, there was lots of snarling and biting, and hilarity ensued. I guess the fact that I didn't shit my pants was enough for someone to offer me a job as an apprentice hunter. I told him to fuck off, and they made me a hunter. Guess the job posting on wasn't putting out.

Secrets, secrets secrets

I received the following message via email the other day:
Mr. Krauss,
If the Guild you say is so secret, how can tell everyone about it? Won't they kill you or something? I would.

First of all, if you're going to insist on formalities, it's Rev. Krauss. I may not take confession or pass out fucking crackers and wine at the Holy Snacktime, but I'm ordained, damn it.

Secondly, you're missing some words.

Finally, I never said it was secret; the Guild doesn't give a shit if I tell people, because on the large scale, nobody will ever believe it.

Let me elaborate: The Guild refers to its existence (and the existence of vampyrs) as "the secret we tell everybody." The only level of awareness we care about is what we call global credulity. If anybody ever found any bit of evidence that could prove beyond a doubt to the world that the Guild and vampyrs exist outside of bad novels and tv shows, we'd suppress it. But other than that, talk away. Everybody will think you're crazy anyhow.

The only reason we care about this minor level of secrecy is that we don't know how people would react to this nasty bit of information, and whether or not they'd get in our way. The Guild is not officially sanctioned by the United States, or any other government (save some small, useless bits of land in the Eastern bloc), and we don't want to see the work we do federalized. Plus, people are nuts; I guarantee within 6 months of such a revelation, some hippy lobbying group would start putting bills on the table to protect the rights of these blood-drinking fuckwits.

But short of world-wide acceptance of our existence, we encourage people to study up on vampyr mythology. That way, if you're ever in a position to actually see this shit with your own eyes, you won't be a total fucking moron about it - you'll at least have a context with which to focus your paranoia.

Occasionally, we have to use non-Guild contractors or friends of victims to take care of vamp problems. We avoid this hocus-pocus bullshit and tell them straight-out what's up. The few who felt like telling people about it afterwards ended up on heavy doses of anti-psychotics at their local nut farm.

I take that back. One wrote a book, which was made into a movie, which sucked rectum and tanked at the box office.

A few years back, we had a bit of a publicity scare. A particularly repudiated reporter found some verifiable evidence about a vampyr colony in the north Bronx. The Guild was all a-flutter: "Are we going to have to kill him? Blah blah blah." Turns out, all it took was sending a smooth talker in to explain to this guy what would really happen to his reputation if he brought the story to the Times. The conversation didn't last long.

Oh, and by the way, you'd kill me? No, I'd laugh in your face while I beat you about the head with your own leg.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Henderson, TN

Just got back from a nest cleaning in Henderson, TN.

Henderson is a shit-splat town about 20 miles south of Jackson. This town had - I swear to God - one stoplight. And I'm fairly sure that spotlight was only there to prevent commuters from passing through the town without noticing.

I've been noticing increasing vamp activity in rural agricultural towns in the past couple of years. I can see the appeal; these towns have more than enough people for a successful feeding season, and without the nuisance of properly-equipped law enforcement.

It's how vulgaris vamps are geting out to these bumfuck towns that baffles me. U.S. vamp activity has been, up until recently, restricted to large cities: nests form in abandoned tenements, and vamps tend to stick within 10 or 12 miles of their point of origin. They're not really smart enough to steal cars or drive, and I'd have noticed the inevitable rash of interstate train deaths if they were riding the rails, so how are they spreading?

This nest in Henderson was definitely a city vamp off-shoot; while most of the residents of Henderson wear endless combinations of plaid and denim, the alpha vamp of this nest was wearing a battered DKNY coat and Bally loafers. Whoever this meatbag was in life, he wasn't from Henderson. The beta and theta vamps were a little more vague; in jeans and t-shirts, they could have come in from Memphis or originated in Henderson. But from the delta on down, it was all hillbilly.

The extermination was no biggie. I met Cole and Swoop in Jackson, and we pulled a typical drag-and-burn. They were staying in a rotted-out mobile home right off the main road, and it crumpled quick. If they'd been further into the forest, we might have had sunlight problems, but as it was, the whole thing took about 20 minutes. And, of course, we didn't have to deal with carcasses, because the fires took care of that.

Like I said, the clean was a piece of cake; it's this migration pattern that's really starting to give me the willies. It used to be, we couldn't eradicate them all, but we could generally contain the threat and predict, within 50 miles or so, the next outbreak based on hypothetical infection patterns we had generated by contacts at the CDC. Now something - or somebody - is defying these patterns, and it's fucking me off.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Breeds of vampyr

Vampyrs, like any other animal, vary in species. There are a number of different classes of vampyr, all easily identifiable if you have a few minutes to sit and have a cup of tea with one. But, seeing as though they'd drink you than a decaf chai, it's probably best to run away from any of these.

  1. Ekimmu - this is the lowest form of vampyr, and may better be classified under "zombie." An ekimmu is a weak-grade vampiric spirit possessing a recently dead body. They have little mental capacity beyond hunger, but can sometimes be controlled by a clever human. Unchecked, they will shamble around chasing people until daylight, at which point they will hide (if shelter is available). A small toddler with a wooden leg could outrun them. Ekimmu do not think in advance; if they can be lured out into an open field near daybreak, they will perish at sunup. The only thing that makes this breed sort of dangerous is that they are often confused with real vampyrs. Ekimmu are not bothered by crosses or stakes, and need no invitation to stink up your home. Misled villagers tend to rely on these inappropriate methods, which can lead to unnecessary deaths.

  2. Pseudo-vampire - The psedo-vampire is a human who fancies him/herself a vampire. They may wear fangs, stay indoors all day, and even drink blood. Their presence is a nuisance to vampyr hunters, whose tracking efforts may be misled by these ridiculous posers. That they are ranked above the ekimmu only goes to show how ridiculous the latter species is.

  3. Vampyrus vulgaris (the common vampyr) - this is your average, run-of-the-mill vamp. They crawl around, snarl, drink stuff, and generally infest a neighborhood if left unchecked. They are not particularly bright, and have no greater scheme than to eat and occasionally fuck a corpse. They are usually pretty easy to kill with a standard daylight drag-and-burn scenario. Vulgaris generally nest in packs, and usually follow an alpha, which may be marginally more intelligent than the rest of the pact. In rare instances, vulgaris have been found under the command of a persuasive human.

  4. Vrykolakas - the vrykolakas is rare, and is a mystery even to self-imposed "experts." Traditional wisdom suggests that the vrykolakas came from Greece (well, the word is Greek). The vrykolakas is much more dangerous than the standard vulgaris because it possesses human-level intelligence and can control its hunger in favor of self-preservation. Very little is known about the vrykolakas, because very few have ever seen one (in fact, there have been barely enough sightings for the Guild to acknowledge the existence of this species). Anecdotal evidence suggests that they can pass for human in low-light conditions, withstand indirect sunlight for a short time, and are immune to silver.

In my admittedly short career, I have only personally seen the vulgaris breed, and a few human posers. Ekimmu rarely require the attention of a specialist; a well-informed and open-minded town population can handle an infestation with greater ease than, say, rats or roaches. In addition, there have been no recorded incidents of ekimmu problems in the U.S. (my territory) in the last three decades.

I remain unconvinced that there is such a thing as a vrykolakas; historical evidence is dodgy at best, and the stories we do have may very well be exaggerated accounts of common vulgaris. However, the Guild seems to lend some credit to these legends, so I won't rule them out.

You may comfortably assume that when I use terms like "vampyr" or "vamp," I am referring to the vulgaris variety. I will refer to human pseudo-vampyrs with terms like "stupid fuck" and "fang-wanker."