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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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[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.]

[Even through his drug-hazed unconsciousness, Ben hears that, and he blinks into not-quite-awareness, making a noise down in his ravaged throat. The female vamp crouches over him. "And maybe we'll just kill him out of hand and none of us will have him.]

[Guriel doesn't even reply, he just moves -- faster than thought, faster than light -- and seizes her by the throat with a fist cloaked in blazing power.]

[She can't shriek with her airway closed off like that, and doesn't even have time to struggle before she bursts into dust and bone.

The remaining vamp, possibly more intelligent than his compatriots, holds up his hands in a don't-shoot gesture. "Fine, fine, you can have him..."]

He's the one. Shot me up. With heroin... [The words are slurred, and Ben's thoughts are foggy.]

[Guriel bristles and throws a fistful of power in the vamp's direction, not really bothering to see if it connects or not. He's too busy getting Ben out of the restraints and seeing how badly he's hurt.]

[It's not good. Ben's bleeding rather profusely; vampires have an anti-coagulant in their saliva. As the third vampire explodes, he feels himself losing his grip on consciousness again. His fingers twitch, and he tries to shake his head, but he's not sure he actually succeeds.]


[The thought-thread is thin, reedy, and faint.]

I'm here, di di, I gotcha. Don't go anywhere on me, okay?

[Guri doesn't want to contemplate that particular scenario, ever. He gathers his brother up in his arms and presses his lips to Ben's forehead, letting Grace flow like a fountain.]

[Ben shivers violently against him.] 'm cold. Hate being cold. [He's in shock, is what he is.]

Are you really here? Is it really you, ge ge? [Not like his traitorous brain hasn't played that particular dirty trick on him more than once...]

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