Dark Mind, Dark Heart

Part 2

It was nearing evening, but the sky was darkened with clouds that refused to
give the desert a much needed rain. The clouds occasionally parted to reveal
the peak of the full moon. The sunlight was reduced enough to allow Rex to
continue his journey with Dawn's guidance. Shortly after they had begun
walking they heard an unearthly howling in the distance. Upon hearing it
Dawn asked, "You vampires can control mutant werewolves, right?" Rex sneered
at her and said, "As long as they're not already being controlled." Dawn
just rolled her eyes at him. Suddenly, a huge and shaggy, stinky beast rose
up in front of them from behind a large rock. It was about eight or nine
feet tall and had a crooked malformed tail. Dawn shifted form into a huge
cat and tried to run away. In an inhuman voice the beast said to Rex, "You
will not escape." Rex shouted, "Oh Shiiiiit!!!!!!" and ran after her.
Meanwhile, the other werewolves were circling around them to close off their

Unfortunately for D and Valerian, they were in the wrong place at the wrong
time. As one of the huge beasts came running at them, D's cyborg horse's
animal instincts got the better of it due to a programming malfunction and
it cried out as it unexpectedly reared up on its hind legs. D's normally
excellent reflexes were worn down from such a hot sunny day earlier and he
wasn't able to stop Valerian from being thrown from the horse. Then he tried
to dismount but the insane werewolf saw a weak spot in the situation and
tore headlong into the horse, breaking D's legs in the process. The horse
fell to the ground in a bloody mess and the creature, who was foaming at the
mouth from madness, tore at the horse's few flesh parts with its massive
jaws. D had been thrown to the side and tried to sit up and draw his sword
but the pain was overwhelming and he passed out from the various internal
injuries he had sustained.

Later Dawn, who had returned to a more human form, and Rex ran by. Rex,
seeing a beautiful and unconscious young lady laying on the ground next to
what seemed to be a dead man and the abandoned wreckage of the cyborg horse,
decided to sling the girl over his shoulder and take her with him. "What the
hell are you doing?!" Dawn shouted. Rex said, "Just rescuing a damsel in
distress! Plus, I think that if it wasn't for the werewolf running into
them I don't think we would've gotten the opening we needed to escape."


"So THIS is your castle?!" Dawn exclaimed. "Well as I said, those human
bounty hunters gave me a little trouble. I wasn't going to bring such a
lovely young lady here until I fixed this place up a little. The hunters
ransacked the place you see." responded Rex. Dawn looked at her surroundings
as they took Valerian to a couch in what was left of a library. Aside from a
few freshly disturbed places here and there, and claw marks of all things,
the place looked like it had been ransacked about five years ago. They put
her on the couch and Dawn sat down and tended to her wounds. Luckily for
Valerian her injuries were only minor scrapes and bruises. Dawn was dabbing
some rubbing alcohol that Rex had brought her on a particularly painful
wound and Valerian cringed. She woke up a little but her head was clouded at
first. She saw Dawn and groggily asked, "What's wrong with your ears?" Dawn
was insulted and mumbled, "Stuck up little human, this is the thanks I get!"
Seeing feline fangs as she talked, Valerian snapped to full alertness and
stuttered, "Vaa... vaa... vampire!!!" Rex, who had been lounging in a chair
in  the hallway just outside, walked in the room and said, "No silly! I'm
the vampire, she's one of the cat-people." This really frightened the
already nervous and disoriented girl. Dawn noticed and said, "Now look at
what you've done, she's shaking like a leaf. I told you we should've left
her behind." Valerian started to remember what had happened and asked,
"Where's D?! Where am I?"  Rex responded by saying, "Oh, was that your
boyfriend's name? He's dead but don't worry you're in my castle now, you'll
be safe." "NOOOOOOO!!!!" Valerian screamed. She started to cry and run for
the door saying, "He promised he'd keep me safe, he can't be dead!!! I've
got to go find him." Rex stopped her by grabbing her arm and said, "A dead
human isn't going to do you much good." Valerian spun around and said, "You
don't understand, D's a dhampire!"


D, on the other hand, wasn't doing so well. It was still night and some two
headed vultures were picking at the little flesh that was left on the cyborg
horse. Fortunately for D, they didn't find him appetizing. "D! D! Wake up!!
I swear, the situations you mange to get yourself into never cease to amaze
me!" shouted the symbiot. It started to try to bury D in the sandy dust that
passed for dirt there in the desert, but it made slow progress since it only
had control over D's left hand and arm. The wind picked up on occasion and
sometimes blew more dirt on him, other times it blew some off. This was
really getting on its nerves. Then the symbiot heard an odd noise off in the
distance. It sounded like a bizarre human-like mixture of laughing and
whooping. "Boudas!" the symbiot shouted. "They were probably attracted by
the smell of blood, D!" "Oh, right, you're dead. You can't hear me can you?"
it taunted. "They want meat by night and money and scrap metal by day, good
thing we have all three." it said, looking first at the bag of coins at D's
side and then the remains of the cyborg horse still being picked at by the
mutant vultures. The symbiot started throwing rocks at them to try to drive
them all away. It only managed to slow them down, they would just fly up in
the air a little and land in a different place. Still, it was enough to slow
them down until the boudas came. The pack finally arrived, a group of
spotted hyenas with gold earrings in their ears. They mostly ignored D, but
occasionally one would come over to smell of him.


"Look, honey, dhampires can die, even vampires can die. I didn't sense his
life force so he seemed to be dead. We can't even look for him until the
moon sets, those mutant werewolves would make short work of us." said Rex.
"Mutant werewolves?" Valerian asked nervously. The memory of what had
happened wasn't completely clear to her yet. Dawn, who was still sitting,
curled her long feline tail around her waist and spoke up, "They're
human-wolf mutants that the vampires made. They were like pets and were used
for entertainment in fighting competitions. Vampires fused human and wolf
DNA together in an unstable mix. Whenever the moon is full they go insane
and while their minds are weakened they're easy for the vampires to control.
They'll be less of a threat by day and much more human but they're still
very strong, and smelly." Rex led her back to the couch and said, "You've
been through a lot dear, you need to rest." His pupils glew red for a second
and Valerian was in a deep sleep.


The boudas had spent the rest of the night resting around the wreckage. It
was morning when the symbiot spoke up, they were in human form again and
much more able to speak back. They were all men, desert people in a
traditional clothing style that hadn't changed in thousands of years, and of
course they still had their traditional gold earrings. Most of the men were
picking up and carrying what metal they could salvage from the cyborg horse.
The one with the most gold earrings came over to the partially dust-covered
D. "Hello!" said the symbiot to the very surprised bouda. "What the... a
hand is talking to me!" he exclaimed. The symbiot just smiled a gruesome
smile and said, "If you help us you'll be paid very well!"


Valerian had slept a mostly dreamless sleep for once, thanks to Rex, but she
had been very nervous since she had been separated from D and she awoke with
back spasms for the first time since she had left her former home of Rokes
Manor. Dawn, despite her distaste for humans, had  grown a tiny bit attached
to what she saw as a helpless little girl. She had been keeping an eye on
Valerian and was at her side when she saw her writhing in pain. "What's
wrong, hon?" Dawn asked. "Back spasms, I get them a lot." responded
Valerian. Dawn rushed to another part of the castle and after a short while
she returned with a rubber hot water bottle. She then helped Valerian turn
over and laid the hot water bottle on the girl's painful back. "Thank you."
said Valerian. All the commotion had attracted Rex, who was now leaning up
against a door frame. He saw Valerian on the couch and said, "When you're
finished being sick we can go look for your boyfriend." Dawn snapped back at
him, "I bet you've never been sick in your life, vampire." Rex just laughed
and said, "Nope, I was born a vampire and I'll die a vampire!" Dawn said
under her breath, "I'll see to that." Rex grinned and said, "I'll bet the
beautiful young woman on the couch isn't against me!" Valerian pulled a
blanket over herself and grumbled, "He's not my boyfriend."


"You want me to do what? But I thought you wanted to save him!" said the
tribal leader of the boudas. "Burying him IS how he'll be saved!" said the
symbiot. "Well, after seeing a talking hand I'll be willing to believe
almost anything. Take him outside and bury him!" commanded the tribal
leader. Two strong men carried D outside, the small village was mostly quiet
except for the occasional sound of a hammer hitting an anvil or the
crackling of fire. They laid him on the ground and left for a moment then
returned with shovels. After digging a shallow hole big enough for the very
tall dhampire they put him in it and started heaping dirt on top of him.
"Hey! I said bury him not me!" yelled the symbiot after one of the shovels
full of dirt hit it instead. After D was mostly buried the symbiot went to
work. A forge was nearby so it sucked some of the flames of the fire into
himself, but not enough to make the fire go out. Then he picked a couple of
handfuls of dirt and ate that. Meanwhile, the men who had dug the hole were
trying to figure out if they were supposed to be amazed, disgusted, or
scared. Once the symbiot had gathered enough elemental energy it used it to
revive and heal D. The two men were still watching this all in shock and
amazement, from what they could tell they had just seen a man come back from
the dead. "D, we need to go pay the tribal leader and his men." said the
symbiot as if it was business as usual. The still stunned men led D the


"Feeling better?" asked Dawn. "Yes, thanks." said Valerian as she yawned and
stretched. Her back was feeling better and she was more than ready to go
searching for D. "Lets get going if you want to look for your dhampire
friend." said Dawn. They both stood and Valerian followed Dawn through the
musty old castle to the stables where Rex was already waiting. "Good to see
you're well again! So, you're not his girlfriend? Does that mean you're
available?" asked the grinning Rex. Valerian simply said, "No." while trying
to hide her disgust. She then picked out a black cyborg horse that reminded
her of the DL4 that D used to have and mounted it. When Dawn was on her
horse Rex said, "I'm sorry I can't join you two lovely ladies, I sunburn
very easily!" The two women rode out of the stable wordlessly, both trying
to resist the temptation to bring the rude vampire with them into the midday


The tribal leader was surprised when he saw D walk in the building. "It's
good to see you up and walking!" said the leader, but he wasn't sure if it
was a good thing or not to see him. D looked like more of a ghost now than
he did when he was dead. His already deathly pale skin and hair were
accented even more by his dark black clothing and cape. His beautiful but
sad eyes were an otherworldly light blue. "I am grateful for your help. I
what do I owe you." D said in his usual monotone. He looked at D carefully
and said "You look like a hunter with that long sword of yours, we've been
having a problem with those werewolves that attacked you. They killed two of
our men in the last few days while looking for a vampire. Do you think you
could help us?" "Yes." said D, "But I'm going to need a new horse. Also, did
you happen to see a girl near me when you found me?" D was dreading the
answer to his question, an innocent little girl like Valerian wouldn't stand
a chance against a werewolf. "No, and the only blood we found was yours and
the horse's." said the tribal leader, much to D's relief. There was still a
chance that she had survived.

D found another heavy duty DL4 cyborg horse in the stables and went on his
way, looking for Valerian and the werewolves. He headed for the site of the
incident first, to look for clues to what may have happened to Valerian.
Then the symbiot spoke up, "I saw a man pick Valerian up and carry her away.
He was with a woman, they might still be nearby." Another bit of hope. D
might have missed it completely if it wasn't for the strong smell of blood.
He was hungry, and not in a human way, because of all the wear and tear he
had gone through so that aspect of his sense of smell was stronger than
usual. He would hate to find Valerian when he was that hungry so he stopped
to take a blood pill. He cracked open the scored glass vial and poured the
powdered contents into a small bottle of water he had brought with him. He
drank this and his hunger waned.

The site was very close so he continued on his way. The sand had covered
almost everything. The blood spots on the ground were just barely visible
and there were still a few bits and pieces left of his former cyborg horse.
He scanned the ground closely. There were no footprints left, not even of
the boudas, the wind had taken care of that. He didn't find anything unusual
on the ground so he started scanning his surroundings. Off in the distance
he could just make out two riders approaching. Not sure if they were friend
or foe, D mounted his own new horse. He would hate to get trampled by an
enemy's horse. As the riders came closer D noticed that one of them looked
like Valerian so he rode over closer to them. It was her! And she was very
happy to see him. "D!" she shouted in happiness. D barely had time to
dismount before Valerian was off her own horse and hugging him. D didn't
mind this at all, and he was happy that she was alive and well. "D! I was so
worried!" said the excited Valerian. "I'm glad you're okay." said D with bit
of relief in his usually emotionless voice. After she was finally able to
let go of D for a moment Valerian introduced D to Dawn. "Dawn." he said,
"The dream spiritualist?" "Yes, how do you know me?" she asked. D responded,
"I had heard that you would be in the area now. If you don't mind, I'd like
to talk to you later privately. In a better place than this." Dawn nodded,
understanding the basic nature of what D might need to talk about.

Valerian and Dawn took D to the castle where they introduced D to Rex. D
couldn't stop staring at Rex. Rex finally said, "Look, I don't swing that
way so don't get any ideas." "Ace." was all D said, but it made the
vampire's blood run cold with fear. *What do you want, who are you?* Rex
thought to D. *There's a pretty high bounty on your head. Those werewolves
were after you, weren't they?* thought D. *If it's money you want I've got
it! * the nervous vampire thought as he started to back away. *I'm warning
you, I'm a direct descendent of the Sacred Ancestor Dracula! * he continued.
D just stared at him, thinking, *I don't think he would like it if he heard
that you were stealing from some of the most powerful vampire Houses. And
charming your way into the beds of countless human villagers. Do you know
how many dhampire children you've sired! * All the while, Dawn and Valerian
had heard every thought. Dawn had sneaked behind Ace. Valerian had gone to
find some rope. As soon as Valerian had returned with the rope Dawn made her
move, restraining his arms and slamming him down on the floor. "WHAT THE
HELL!" was all he could shout before D was on top of him and tying his hands
behind his back. "They want you alive." was all D said.

They had tied him to a chair in a locked room. The only way out would be
through a window, and during the day he wouldn't get far. Valerian was
resting in a bedroom while Dawn and D discussed matters. "I see, this is
bad. But it also could be good for her. She's a late bloomer, and in that
Manor she might've never gotten a chance to even try." said Dawn after D
explained the situation to her. "I'm not sure if this is such a good idea."
said D. Dawn smiled and said, "Don't worry, she's a lot stronger than she
seems." D and Dawn then went down the hall to the bedroom that Valerian was
in. D knocked on the door and said, "Valerian?" "D? Come in!" was her
response. She was sitting on the middle of the bed. D came around and sat of
her left side, Dawn on her right. The three formed a small circle on the
soft bed. D spoke first, "Dawn is the person that the sages recommended, she
can help you get Lamech out of your dreams." Valerian turned to look at
Dawn. "I'm going to need you to close your eyes and relax, both of you."
said Dawn. "Now hold the hand of the person beside you." she continued.
After a short while they began to dream, and they were all in Valerian's

They were in a birch forest in the middle of winter. The ground was covered
with snow and it sparkled in the light of the full moon. The air was cool
and crisp and the cloudless sky revealed millions of stars. All was quiet,
not even a cricket chirped. The wind started blowing and Valerian shivered.
D noticed this and gave her his cape to help her keep warm. "What do we do
now?" asked Valerian. "We find Lamech." Dawn answered. Suddenly, a shadow
began to form with smaller shadows gathering to one point. It then rose from
the ground like wisps of smoke, eventually forming the image of Lamech.
"What lies have you been telling them girl?!" it said. Dawn quickly said to
Valerian, "Reach inside yourself, you alone have to power to defeat him!
Look at his face! Look at those scars you gave him!" "The little bitch!"
snarled Lamech, "You're all going to pay for her defiance!" The former
vampire then raised its hand and all three dreamers were suspended in the
air and frozen still. "I rule the land of dreams, now you will watch your
friends die!" D and Dawn began to scream and shake in pain. "No. D, Dawn, I
can't let him do this! I won't let him!!!!" screamed Valerian. Her eyes
turned yellow and she began to grow fangs and claws. Her whole body lit up
with blue glowing energy. Her heart stopped for a moment and she felt like
she had been hit in the chest with a baseball bat. It started again
instantly, but it was much faster. Her body temperature began to rise and
she started to grow grey fur. Hands became paws, arms became legs, ears
became large and pointed, and she grew a snout and tail. Screams became
roars of anger. In one final burst of blue energy she broke Lamech's hold on
her and her friends. She dropped to the ground, now a magnificent
silvery-grey wolf. A large and angry wolf. She lowered her head but not her
body into a stalking position. She stared Lamech in the eyes, in the ancient
exchange between predator and prey. The Lamech wraith was prey the instant
it started to run. It ran and ran but Valerian never tired. Eventually,
Lamech did. After Lamech fell to the ground Valerian did the only thing that
a lone wolf could to kill larger prey, eating it alive. She tore at flesh
and swallowed without chewing. She ate every last trace until Lamech was no

The three dreamers awoke. D and Dawn found themselves no longer holding the
hands of Valerian. They were now holding her paws. She was sleeping soundly,
she now had her own dreams back. *Her fur looks like it's dusted with
silver.* thought D. Dawn said, "Then her wolf name will be Silverdust."