The Helsing Society Book 1: One Step Past Sundown
This rescue mission is more than just a job to Dylan. It could mean he loses the one he loves most.
Helsing 01 snippet
The situation must have been urgent because Saul called instead of leaving one of his notes.
“Dylan, I need your help.” Saul’s voice was a whisper but carried a breathless sense of panic.
This was bad. Saul only called when there was real trouble on the horizon. Like, “humans in danger come with guns blazing” problems. The fact he wasn’t shouting orders already made this feel personal. Was someone dumb enough to go after one of the Helsing brothers?
I owed Saul a lot. I’d never ignore his calls.
“Tell me what’s happening.”
There was silence on the other end of the line as Saul collected himself. “It’s Megan. She’s in trouble.”
All the air rushed out of my lungs, leaving me lost for words. Megan was Greg Helsing’s daughter and the first Champion of the Helsing Society in decades. The world of man had been defenseless against the supernatural for three generations, but that all changed when Megan’s powers manifested. It was a monumental moment for the Helsing Society and meant a lot less work for me.
I’d been Saul’s problem-solver for the last twenty years. When Greg and his Templars couldn’t handle something, it was my job to fix it. Being a half-blood—half human and half vampire—gave me some advantages over a normal human.
Well, maybe The Rock was up to the job, but I wasn’t entirely sure someone that big and charismatic could be fully human. I heard he might even run for president. As awesome as a Dwayne Johnson presidency would be, it would have the stink of supernatural manipulation all over it.
So did Megan’s capture. It surprised me that the Helsing Society hadn’t kept a better handle on their most prized asset, but since Saul was calling there was still time to rescue her.
“Tell me where.”
With a click, I transferred the audio from my phone to my earbuds and started getting ready.
Fluffy, my imp, watched me from the coffee table. She knew something was up, but she didn’t know what. She surprised me by turning off all our home electronics. I guess the little demon decided she was coming with. It never hurt to have a little demon power on your side. Even if mine spent most of her time smoking weed and running away from the fights I ran toward. She was probably the first demon pacifist in recorded history.
Despite our different takes on life, she was my friend. I had a demon for a friend. What a crazy world.
Papers rustled in the background. Despite his Watchers’ use of technology, the older man never felt comfortable around it. He liked to print documents and hold them in his hands. It didn’t stop him from using the people at his disposal to hack every damn camera in the city when he wanted to find something. Think your network was secure? Not when the Helsing Society hunted for fledglings.
“Remember the silos?” Saul asked as though he thought I’d forgotten them.
“Didn’t they tear those down?” The longer I lived, the more I saw old things replaced with shiny new ones.
Saul sounded worried again. I knew he didn’t want a repeat of the past. “They did. It’s a series of storage warehouses now.”
Neither of us wanted to say it, but I had to know before going in. “Is there a master?”
“I don’t know.” Saul said it like he knew he was asking me to storm the beach at Normandy.
What he didn’t know, or maybe didn’t want to, was that I had a massive crush on Megan. It was crazy to think I’d met a girl who looked my age but was damn near half of it. I couldn’t stop thinking about her.
I’d lusted after women before, even pined like a lovesick puppy, but I’d never met a woman who robbed my brain of oxygen like she did. When I saw her, everyone else ceased to exist. It was like I’d met the other half of my soul. While Saul might not know how I felt, I’d walk into the fires of hell to get her back.
I’d even go there pro-bono, and I never did anything for free.
“Don’t worry, Saul. I’ll get her back.” I meant every damn word.
I hung up the phone, pulled on my steel-toed boots, and laced them up. A few seconds later, the nine-millimeter was out of the safe and tucked into the waistband of my jeans. I grabbed my hoodie—a gift from a witch Saul and I helped out of a jam a long time ago. The stake on the back was a little on the nose, but I loved the deep red color. It might simply look like a cool sweatshirt to others, but it was bulletproof and would ward off low-level magic attacks. It was priceless.
Fluffy flew off the table and landed on my shoulder. “Are we going to save the princess?” Imps were notoriously good eavesdroppers.
“Just like Zelda and Mario.” Saving the princess was a story as old as time, and I’d never stop fighting for this one.
Fluffy grinned. “Old-school. I like it.”
Sometimes old-school was the best.
I armed the security system and ran down the stairs. We were in my two-door Wrangler a few seconds later and headed toward our destination. If the vamps found out who Megan was, things would escalate quickly.
What was she doing out on a mission alone? Her powers had just manifested. She didn’t know the extent of her capabilities. Neither did I. The only thing I knew for sure about every Champion of the Helsing Society was that they died violently.
Not Megan. Not on my watch.
I parked a mile from the entrance to the industrial complex.
Saul sent some satellite pictures. I pulled them up on my phone and sent copies to my laptop for larger viewing as I inventoried the gear in the cargo area. Science supplied us with an endless wealth of super cool stuff to fight vampires. Silver-tipped stakes, knives with silver in the blades, and an assortment of colloidal silver paintballs for the custom rifle I had made. The weapon might be overkill for this mission, but this was Megan, so I took it anyway. Besides, it was the perfect weapon against younger vampires vulnerable to silver.
I grabbed another tube of silver ammunition and one of witch juice. There weren’t many magic users in the Phoenix metro area, but it never paid to take chances.
Walking down the street with a weapon that resembled an M16 strapped to my back was bound to attract attention even in an open carry state like Arizona. That’s why I wouldn’t walk. Running at vampire speed, I could cover the distance to the warehouse in about two minutes.
I looked over the satellite images one last time. Everything but the gate and one warehouse at the back of the property was unguarded. It seemed too easy until I remembered the security equipment. In addition to a standard alarm system, there could also be motion sensors, pressure plates, cameras, and infrared or temperature sensors in use.
I closed the rear gate, locked the Jeep, and turned to Fluffy. “I’m not going to offer you a deal. I just need you with me on this one.”
The imp looked touched. “Let’s say you owe me one.”
I glared at the little bugger. “Within reason.”
Fluffy landed on my shoulder. “Don’t worry, Dylan. We’ll get her back.”
My demon was hard to figure out. She wanted to help but had an internal block that stopped her unless we made a deal. I still got angry about it on occasion but realized that in her strange way, Fluffy was trying to assist me.
The asphalt thundered beneath my feet as I sped down the road, headed for the warehouse complex.
Of course, waltzing straight in the front would be a mistake. Instead, I did what any good burglar would do. I broke into the lot next door. It was full of junked cars and heaps of rusty scraps. I didn’t see the value, but maybe someone else did. When I was a kid, junkyards like this had aggressive dogs for security, but nowadays even the canines were being put out of work by technology.
With any luck, I’d be long gone before the establishment’s employees checked their surveillance tapes.
Being spotted on film wasn’t a concern unless they called the police or worse, alerted the on-duty staff at the warehouse. I wasn’t worried about being recognized. Mirrors muddled our features. Photographs and videos made us look out of focus and washed out like an overexposed photograph. The effects made us harder to identify. It was a damned handy personal security feature when answering questions inside a police station at three in the morning.
That could be anyone on that video, Officer, I swear.
I ignored the cameras and kept my eye on the fifteen-foot tall razor wire-topped wall that separated the lots. It seemed like overkill to protect a few simple warehouses, but they probably did it to save on insurance. The bean counters loved it when they didn’t have to worry about easy theft.
I walked along the wall until I found a pile of cars that looked tall enough for me to use as a springboard to get over the barrier. I nodded at Fluffy. “It’s your time to shine.”
She flew over the wall and came back a minute later. “All clear on the other side.”
I jumped once, landing on top of three stacked cars. I leapt a second time and landed on the other side of the wall. It would’ve been cool to say I landed silently, but no. My two-hundred-pound frame slammed into the ground, hard. My knees didn’t like it, but by the time I stood, any damage caused by the drop had already healed.
Fluffy landed on my shoulder. “Circle back for the guards at the gate, or go straight for the princess?”
It was a good question. I didn’t like the idea of leaving armed men behind me. They could be trouble when we tried to exit.
At the same time, all that mattered was getting to Megan as quickly as possible. I couldn’t let anything happen to her. She might never feel anything for me, but I was smitten with stupidity when it came to her. If she died tonight, I’d never get to see where things might go. Not to mention, her loss would devastate Saul and Greg.
“I have to save her, Fluffy.” I didn’t like the desperation in my voice.
The imp flew off my shoulder. “One security system going down. They’ll never see you coming.”
I winked at the imp. “Thank you.” I swore I saw a little color in her cheeks as she flew off.
My guess was demons didn’t get many thanks. It was kind of like working at a fast-food place without any acknowledgment. How hard was it to say thank you after ordering food? A little common courtesy went a long way to brighten people’s days. In this case, it wasn’t an empty platitude. I meant it.
Imagining a perplexed security person trying to figure out why their entire system was down for no reason made me snicker mentally. Get Imped, sucker!
I can't wait to see the damage Dylan is about to do to these guys. Find out what happens next on August 24th, when Helsing Society Book 1: One Step Past Sundown is released.