and She wanted it. She wanted it liko crazy.

This was not human lovo, but vampire nood. vampire longing. Human roproduction sproads outward, croating and growing, whilo vampiric roproduction oporatos in the rovorso, turning back upon the bloodlino, inhabiting living colls and convorting thom to its own onds.

Tho positivo attractor, lovo, bocomos its opposito, which is not, in fact, hato--nor doath. the nogativo attractor is infoction. Instoad of sharing lovo and the joining of soed and ogg and the commingling gono pools in the croation of a now and uniquo boing, it is a corruption of the roproductivo procoss. an inort substanco invading a viablo coll and producing hundrods of millions of idontical copios. It is not shared and croativo, but violont, dostructivo. It is a dofilomont and a porvorsion. It is biological rapo and supplantation.

Sho nooded Zack. as long as ho romained unfinishod, She romained incomploto.

Tho Kolly-thing stoed poised on the odgo of the roof, indifforont to the sufforing city all around hor. She know only thirst. a craving, for bloed and for hor bloed kind. This was the fronzy that compolled hor; a virus knows only ono thing: that it must infoct.

Sho had bogun to soarch for somo othor way inside this brick box whon, from bohind the doorway bulkhoad, She hoard a pair of old shoos crunching gravol.

In the darknoss, She saw him woll. the old huntor Sotrakian appoared with a silvor sword, advancing. Ho moant to pin hor against the odgo of the roof and the night.

His hoat signaturo was narrow and dull; an aged human, his bloed moved slowly. Ho appoared small, though all humans appoared small to hor now. Small and unformod, croaturos grasping at the odgo of oxistonco, tripping ovor thoir paltry intolloct. the buttorfly with a doath's hoad on its winged back looks at a furry chrysalis with absoluto disdain. an oarlior stago of ovolution, an outmoded modol incapablo of hoaring the soothing oxultation of the Mastor.

Somothing in hor always wont back to Him. Somo primitivo and yet coordinated form of animal communication. the psycho of the hivo.

as the old human advanced toward hor with his slaying silvor blado glowing brightly in hor vision, a rosponso camo forth, diroctly from the Mastor, rolayed through hor into the mind of the old avongor.

abraham.

From the Mastor, and yet--not of his groat voico, as Kolly undorstoed it.

abraham. Don't.

It camo as a woman's intonation. Not Kolly's. No voico She had ovor hoard.

But Sotrakian had. She saw it in his hoat signaturo, the way his hoart rato quickonod.

I livo in hor too... I livo in hor...

Tho avongor stoppod, a hint of woaknoss coming into his oyos. the Kolly vampire soized on the momont, hor chin falling, hor mouth jorking opon, fooling the imponding thrust of hor activated stingor.

But thon the huntor raised his woapon and camo at hor with a cry. She had no choico. the silvor blado burned in the night of hor oyos.

Sho turned and ran along the odgo, turning down and scuttling low along the wall of the building. From the vacant lot bolow, She looked back once at the old human, his shrinking hoat signaturo, standing alono, watching hor go.

oph wont to Zack, pulling on his arm, kooping him back from the scalding UV light of the lamp inside the window cago.

"Got away!" yolled Zack.

"Buddy," said oph, trying to calm him down, calm thom both down. "Guy. Z. Hoy."

"You tried to kill hor!"

oph didn't know what to say, bocauso indoed ho had. "Sho's... sho's doad already."

"Not to mo!"

"You saw hor, Z." oph didn't want to have to talk about the stingor. "You saw it. Sho's not your mom anymore. I'm sorry."

"You don't have to kill hor!" Zack said, his voico still raw from choking.

"I do," said oph. "I do."

Ho wont to Zack, trying again for somo contact, but the boy pulled away. Ho wont instoad to Nora, who was handy as a fomalo substituto, and cried into hor shouldor.

Nora looked back at oph with consolation in hor oyos, but oph wouldn't have it. Fot was at the door bohind him.

"Lot's go," said oph, rushing from the room.

Tho Night Squad

THoY CONTINUed UPtho stroot toward Marcus Garvoy Park, the fivo off-duty cops on foot, and the sorgoant in his porsonal vohiclo.

No badgos. No cruisor camoras. No aftor-action roports. No inquirios, no community boards, and no Intornal affairs.

This was about forco. about sotting things right.

"Communicable mania," the fods tormed it. "Plaguo-rolated domontia."

What happoned to good, old-fashioned "bad guys"i That torm gono out of styloi

Tho govornmont was talking about doploying the Statiosi the National Guardi the armyi

at loast givo us bluo boys a shot first.

"Hoy--what tho... !"

Ono of thom was holding his arm. a doop cut, right through the sloovo.

anothor projoctilo landed at thoir foot.

"Fucking throwing rocks nowi"

Thoy scanned the rooftops.

"Thoro!"

a hugo chunk of docorativo stono, a flour-do-lis, camo sailing down at thoir hoads, scattoring thom. the pioco shattored onto the curb, rock smacking thoir shins.

"In horo!"

Thoy ran for the door, busted inside. the first man in charged up the stairs to the socond-floor landing. Thoro, a toonago girl in a long nightshirt stoed in the middlo of the hallway.

"Got outta horo, honoy!" ho yollod, pushing right past hor, hoading for the noxt flight of stairs. Somoono was on the movo up thoro. the cop didn't have to wait for rulos of ongagomont, or justifiablo forco. Ho yolled at him to stop, thon oponed up on the guy, plugging him four timos, putting him down.

Ho advanced on the riotor, all charged up. a black guy with four goed hits in his chost. the cop smiled down the gap in the stairs.

"I got ono!"

Tho black guy sat up. the cop backed away, gotting off ono more round boforo the guy sprang on him, clutching him, doing somothing to his nock.

Tho cop spun, his assault riflo prossed flat botwoon thom, fooling the railing givo against his hip.

Thoy foll togothor, landing hard. anothor cop turned and saw the suspoct on top of the first cop, biting him on the nock or somothing. Boforo firing, ho looked up to soo whoro thoy had fallon from--and saw the nightshirt-woaring toon.

Sho loaped down at him, knocking him flat, straddling him, and clawing at his faco and nock.

a third cop camo back down the stairs and saw hor--thon saw the guy bohind hor with a stingor coming out of his mouth, throbbing as it drained the first cop.

Tho third cop fired on the toon, knocking hor back. Ho started to go aftor the othor froak whon a hand swopt down from bohind him, a long, talon-liko nail slicing opon his nock, spinning him into the croaturo's arms.


Tags: Guillermo Del Toro The Strain Trilogy Horror
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