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That which does not kill me...

...has made a grievous tactical error.

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Wolf trapped
[Ever since Ben has known about vampires, he hasn't liked them much. They smell wrong, they act snooty, and they give him the willies.

That being said, they've been less problematic to him since he started the Hound of God gig. Last time one of them tried to feed from him, it exploded in a puff of dust and bones, like it had consumed a glassful of holy water.

Of course, last time a vampire tried to feed from him, he didn't have six premeditated and callously unrepented murders hanging over his head--and he wasn't stopped on a dusty little planet for refueling and resupply on his way to a "rescue mission" that will no doubt result in more casualties he won't be particularly sorry for.

So he's very unpleasantly surprised when he's ambushed by a trio of vampires as he's coming (alone) out of a seedy little bar. They've got silver shackles and a wolfsbane net, and it takes them less than no time to truss him up, toss him in the trunk of a car, and drive away, while he swears impotently at them.]


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[One of the male vamps leans over Ben with a predatory grin. "You're delicious, wolfy. Anybody ever tell you that before?"

He sinks his teeth deep in Ben's neck without waiting for a response.]

[Ben bucks against the restraints, or tries -- the straps hold him fast and the fist in his hair is relentless. Where the lady vamp was all come-hither seduction, this male is brute-force agony. He enjoys inflicting pain and fear. His blood being sucked from his throat feels like it's killing him.

Ben's afraid to die now.

His claws pop, and fur sprouts across his body. He's only holding the Change back by main force, because he knows that shifting while being held down like this would be a terrible idea.] Guriel!

[The vampire at his throat raises his head long enough to leer at him with bloody fangs. "There we go. Pure adrenaline. That's the stuff." He leans close enough that a droplet of blood falls from his lips onto Ben's earlobe. "Go ahead, wolfie. Dislocate all your limbs. It'll just make things more fun for us."]

[Ben dredges up defiance from some inner reservoir. He always was good at pushing back, after all.] Fuck. You.

[The lady vamp laughs, a bright, happy sound far out of place under the circumstances. "Maybe later. We can even make you like it."]

I doubt that. Very much. [Ben swallows through his abused throat and closes his eyes.] And you. Are going. To regret this.

["Sure, bud. Sure we will." The vamp bends over Ben's throat again and plunges his fangs into the other side this time.]

[The other male vamp has been doing something out of Ben's sight, but he comes into view holding a syringe filled with clear liquid. "How about we make this a little more interesting?"

Ben recoils as much as he's able.] How about we don't, you liu koushui de biaozi he houzi de ben erzi.

["But it's been so long since we've been able to get stoned with wolf blood, puppy."]


[The vamp raises his head from Ben's throat with a terrible, terrible smile. "Come on, you never know. You might even like it."]

[Ben has an all-over shake going.] I have lived. A very long time. And had some very terrible things done to me. You people are amateurs, for the record.

Trust me. When I say. That I will not like it.

[He won't beg his captors. But he sends yet another desperate mental cry winging into the ether.] Guriel, please...

["You never know until you try, pup." The vampire with the syringe leans over him and slides the needle into the IV line. "Just relax. Not that you'll have too much of a choice, that is."

The one with the bloodied mouth throws his head back and laughs]

Nnnghh... [Ben closes his eyes as the heroin rockets through his system, leaving him boneless.

Rescue apparently isn't coming. He's only got one thing left to hold to. Everything's been stolen from him but his faith, which is (at this point) a small, tenuous thing.

But he still has it, even as vampire fangs sink into his throat and forearms.] Out of the depths. Have I cried unto Thee. O Lord...

Father, please.

[Guriel's been growing increasingly more furious and desperate, and his brothers have been doing their best to assist -- but there's been nothing, no sign of Ben at all, and the lion cub is at full roar by this point.

And then it comes, the very tiniest flicker of an awareness, and Guriel's head snaps up.]

. . . oh, come on, Dad, please, help . . .

[Except Ben is losing his fight with unconsciousness. Between the blood loss, the heroin, and the panic attack stealing his breath, he's dizzy and his vision's going black.]

...don't kill me.

[One more desperate cry to the Elsewhere.] Ge ge, where are you...

[And there it is; Guriel whirls into motion, a blur of angelic energy, desperate and pleading with his Father not to let him lose the thread . . . ]

Ben! I'm coming, Ben, hang on!

[He's nothing even remotely near human when he bursts into being, all blazing light and a furious roar that shakes his surroundings.]

[The vampires tear their fangs loose from Ben's flesh, leaving bleeding, gaping wounds behind. Judgment impaired by the heroin, one of the males launches at Guriel--

And flashes to dust and bones on contact with an agonized scream.

This makes the other two much more circumspect, but the female hunches her shoulders aggressively and claws her hands. "He is ours. Find your own meat."]

[The aura of power and fury around Guriel only gets brighter and more terrible, and he advances with a snarl that only an idiot would ignore. His voice is less a voice and more a rumble of thunder, wild and awful.]

He is not meat. And he is not yours.

Leave. Now. Or die like your friend.

[He'll give them exactly that much of a chance, and nothing more. It takes a hell of a lot of willpower to do that much.]

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