Raith was on his nightly stroll around the ARES compound. He always walked along the very edge of the clearly marked perimeter, going as far as the Book's geas would let him in order to spite the standing orders from Warlord
Peepants to not leave the compound unless on assignment. He was absorbed with the daunting task of getting his new symphonic box
to actually play the music as intended but the buttons were irritatingly smaller than anything he was used to and the plethora of arcane menus and options was starting to vex him. Just play my music, damn you!
Later he chose to believe it was certainly his frustrated preoccupation with the device that allowed the vampire to get the drop on him.
Raith felt twin pinpricks of flame on his neck, under the back of his jaw, followed by a slow draining sensation throughout his entire being. "Ach! What the-?"
His fighting instincts took over as he reached back and dislodged the fangs from his neck so he could 'port behind the attacker and launch a solid double punch to their back. A surprisingly high pitched gasp from the attacker as they flew to the ground stops him short. On the ground before him was not some alien assassin or jumped-up human supercommando, but a little wisp of a blonde haired, blue eyed girl about 17 years old. Even more astonishingly, she quickly recovered from a blow that would have liquefied a grown man's unarmored kidney and rose again to stand on her feet in a defensive crouch. She hissed at him, exposing her telltale fangs. Raith recalled the twin pinches in his neck and came to the obvious conclusion.
"Careful, girl. I don't know who you are but I know what you are. And you clearly do not know who you face,"
he said with a mocking grin and wagged his finger back-and-forth in the universal 'no-no' gesture just enough to guarantee she would ignore his warning and try her luck again. To his credit, when she did leap at him again, he gave her only a minor beating. Just enough to prove a point.
Once she finally realized it was hopeless to beat him, she gave up and suddenly became the curious young adult she appeared to be, demanding to know who and what he was, and how he was able to beat her so easily. It was then that Raith realized the vampire was in fact little older than she appeared to be. Freshly turned. She still thinks the transformation has made her unstoppable. Still intoxicated with the sudden transformation from a normal teen girl into a creature able to physically manhandle fully grown military men with ease and outrun world-class athletes. She doesn't yet see the price she paid. So young.
He ignored her questions. "You fight like a crippled sow. If you want to learn to fight like something other than a club-footed pig, meet me back here tomorrow night at 10pm. Sharp."
He then blinked away to sit on a low-hanging branch behind her. "Better get going. Sun's coming up soon."
She swung around to face him after a furtive glance at the first signs of dawn along the western horizon. "Don't you have to get back, too? Doesn't the sun hurt you too?"
He gave her a maddening grin and shrugged casually. "Nope."
She growled at him and ran back to her quarters with preternatural speed.
But she showed up the following night, 10 sharp. That was the night she told him she often 'hunted' the mundane soldiers when they were out wandering alone. That was why she first attacked him the night before. She'd drain them just enough to put them to sleep and to supplement the meager blood rations ARES allowed her. They told her they kept her a little hungry because it would make her more focused when she was finally allowed to go on a mission. Raith suspected they did it to keep her weak.
The soldier/blood donor would wake up an hour later wondering what the hell happened but too embarrassed to tell anyone about it and not even notice the slim twin puncture marks on the back of their necks before they quickly healed over. Raith chuckled at the idea she thought he was food. She later told him his blood made her drowsy.
Over the following months they would meet most nights Raith wasn't on assignment. He would teach her how to fight without relying solely on her vampiric strength and reflexes and she would teach Raith how to quickly navigate those damnable electronic menu folders on his symphonic box so he could listen to his music. It was also Sasha who introduced him to the more modern, vigorous music of the current era, which he came to enjoy.
One day, he came back from a mission and she was gone. Raith just assumed Peepants finally deemed her worthy for action and had her transferred to her permanent unit to play her part in the war.
Raith ignores the telepathic intrusion from the Old Man's newly freed prisoner for now and makes his way from cell to cell until he finds the one containing Sasha. Looking through the door's small window he sees her, still cruelly bolted to the cold metal table in the manner shown on the screens back at the warehouse. He blinks into the cell to stand by her side. He looks into her yellowed, bloodshot eyes.
"Sasha, do recognize me?"
he says calmly, hoping to see some spark of calm sanity in the sea of madness that are her eyes. There was none. Only a confused, feral terror. And hunger.
Raith draws a thumbnail across his palm and holds it over Sasha's mouth. She feeds on the tainted ichor that flows from the wound in an eager, mindless frenzy. After a full minute he pulls his hand away. Sasha's eyes become heavy lidded and some of the constant tension in her wracked body is visibly released.
"Sleep, child. It's time to go"
he says....before bringing the hardened edge of his other hand down in a vicious slice that cleanly divorces her head from her neck. He rolls her head inside the black nylon sack and rips into her torso to add her still-beating heart for good measure. He wraps the nylon sack's slack around the cut in his off- hand and blinks back into the corridor to help the Old Man free the remaining prisoners.
He walks up to the first prisoner who Old Man freed and levels a dreadful gaze at him. "I will allow you to speak into my mind, but if you ever try anything else without my permission while you're in there I'll gut you where you stand."