The year is 20XX, Thomas Dragonzord has been found dead in Neo-Miami.
He pulled up the collar of his trench-coat as he solemnly observed his funeral from a distance. The world couldn’t know the truth; that Thomas still protected the streets by the shroud of cold, neon light. His metal lighter made a sharp twang as he lit his cigarette; a funerary bell toll for the enemies that thought him dead. As the sun set, Thomas let out a smoky sigh, resigning himself to the dirty work ahead of him.
The slums were alive with the smell of drugs. Thomas Dragonzord was addicted to only three things; Mom, God, and Justice, and he was an orphaned atheist. The Globino Gang would pay for their crimes in blood, which made sense since they were vampires. They made their money by abducting children in the darkest hours of the night. Innocent blood was an invaluable resource to the Globino Gang, as it was used to produce their new street drug for vampires. It was literally just virgin blood mixed with cocaine, but they affectionately referred to it as “Electric Slurpee”. Thomas gritted his teeth in disgust at the very thought; cocaine was illegal and they knew it.
When Thomas was alive, he was a detective for the Neo-Miami Police. Locating and incarcerating the infamous Globinos was his obsession since he left the academy. He was known for his often brutal means of hunting them down. When the NMPD discovered that wooden stakes could kill vampires, Thomas had taken to carving out the vampires hearts upon arrest, bringing them back to his apartment in a styrofoam cooler and pureeing them with wood chips in a blender. The Chief had often tried to chastise him for this behavior, but Thomas always talked himself out of being reprimanded, as vampires were not technically living citizens.
Eventually, the Globino’s had had enough of it. On a dark, smoky night, Thomas went home to find unwanted visitors. It was none other than Hemoh Globino; the leader of the vampire gang. As always he was dressed in a rich white suit, with his dark hair slicked back with scented oils. He was surrounded by several hench-vampires, who lounged about his apartment like dumb cats. Two of them held Thomas in place with their supernatural strength as Hemoh slowly approached with a fancy silver knife.
“Cheers, love! Fancy meeting you here, my saucy little ham salad!” he said.
Hemoh enjoyed pretending to be English even though he wasn’t, a truly irredeemable creature of the night.
“Let this be a lesson to anyone who thinks they can meddle with the likes o’ the Globino Gang!”
And then, within minutes, Thomas was stabbed and left to bleed to death in a gutter downtown.
Thomas shook away the memory, it was no longer important. He would finish the job he started. He took one final drag off his cigarette and flicked the b**t casually to the side. As the smoke dissipated he found that he was outside the Globino hideout. Thomas pulled out his six-shooter and began loading it with wooden bullets. A wooden stake to the heart could truly kill a vampire, but Thomas was too smart for that. No vampire expected to be staked from across the room. Thomas smiled smugly to himself as he pulled back the hammer.
There was very little security about the hideout, as none was needed. With Thomas presumed dead, nobody would dare challenge the Globino’s rule in Neo-Miami. Many vampires would still be sleeping, as the night was still young. Thomas walked unchallenged through the dark halls, making his way past cocaine refineries and cages of innocent children pleading for rescue. Thomas ignored them and focused on his mission; to kill Hemoh Globino and sever the head of their Electric Slurpee cartel.
He made his way up an enormous flight of steps, and decided he must be getting close. Villains like Hemoh always stayed in high up places. Hatred and justice intermingled seamlessly to fill his calf muscles with rightous fury. He finally burst through a double door into what would be a rather ornate top-floor lobby, were it not for the five hench-vampires smoking and playing cards around a cheap fold-out table. The table was littered with ash, knives, lines of Electric Slurpee and a small radio playing Depeche Mode. Several feet behind them was a large door simply labeled “THE BOSS”. So Hemoh wasn’t a complete fool, Thomas thought, he still kept some security about him.
One of the vampires looked up from his hand of cards and slammed them to the table.
“Looks like we got company, boys!” he said enthusiastically. He bent down to the card table, and eagerly snorted a thin, gooey line of Electric Slurpee with a straw. He held his face and began writhing in pain.
“OH GOD, OH F**K, IT STINGS SO MUCH! ITS CLOTTING IN MY G******N SINUSES, F**K, WHY DO WE DO THIS!?” he exclaimed. “P-please, just give me a moment…”
Thomas didn’t have a moment, he had a gun, and without hesitation he pulled the trigger on the drugged vampire. With an ear ringing bang, the vampire flew backward into the wall, and flared like a match-head from the heart outward, leaving only a charred skeleton behind.
The remaining hench-vampires stared at the burning remains only briefly before turning on Thomas, their pretty young faces twisted in grief and hatred. They began darting around the lobby with unnatural speed in an effort to confuse him. There was a time when these petty tricks would work on Thomas, but no longer. His eyes followed their afterimage with relative ease, and one by one he steadily aimed his gun not for where they were, but where he estimated they would be. The gunshots came so quickly, they seemed to ring as one. The room filled with greasy smoke and light as all four vampires burned around Thomas in unison.
Thomas made his way toward the door, relishing in the satisfying crunch of brittle bones under his boot. He pushed open the heavy wooden door labeled “THE BOSS” and confidently made his way inside. As expected, it was a lavishly decorated office. Ancient ornate weapons and well preserved scrolls and texts filled the shelves lining the unnecessarily wide room. On the far end, a large mahogany desk rested in front of an enormous bay window. Hemoh Globino stood with his back to Thomas, his arms crossed behind his back as he gazed over the glowing Neo-Miami cityscape. His drugs paperwork sat untouched on the desk.
He began to turn towards Thomas. “How many times do I have to tell you worthless runts to keep it dow-” His eyes finally locked with Thomas’s. “T-Tommy-boy? You’re supposed to be dead!”
“Not quite,” replied Thomas. “You really should get better at finishing what you started, like me.” He silently cursed to himself, wishing he had said something cooler. Thomas lifted his gun and fired his last wooden bullet at Hemoh’s heart, praying that his aim and luck were better than his banter.
They weren’t, with unnatural speed Hemoh shifted to the side just in time to miss the bullet, sending it cracking through the exquisite bay window. Growing uneasy, Thomas watched as Hemoh’s sillouette morphed in front of the neon landscape. His upper body became more muscular, his arms growing wicked claws that tore the sleeves of his fine white coat.
Hemoh laughed his feminine laugh. “Oh Tommy-boy, my sweet little basket of milk. This is a wonderful gift, how often does one get to slay their greatest foe twice in one week?”
The silhouette suddenly vanished, and Thomas almost felt as if he were momentarily alone, with only the sound of his breath and the howl of wind from the shattered window. Then, suddenly, Hemoh was right upon him, with a muscular claw poised and ready to slash his entire head from his body. Thomas seemed to see it in slow motion, and reacted naturally.
The violent slash that would’ve ended him was suddenly blocked by Thomas’s own clawed arm, the sleeve of his trench-coat shredded up to the elbow.
Hemoh’s angry, twisted face was suddenly unwound in shock. “W-what is this? Are… are you a…?”
Thomas pushed Hemoh off of him and put some distance between them. He casually took out a cigarette and lit it, being careful not to crush it with his new claws. He spoke through clouds of smoke. “Ah, yeah, that. I suppose I should explain to you the nature of my death.” He pulled down one side of the collar on his trench-coat to reveal twin puncture marks on his neck.
Thomas began to recall the events after his supposed death several nights ago to Hemoh.
He was in the gutter where they had left him, his blood slowly pooling around him, swirling vividly among the sludge and waste. Thomas numbly stared up at the light polluted sky, listening to the distant hum of passing hover-cars as his body grew cold. He wanted one last smoke, but was too weak to move. Just then, as if someone read his mind, he heard the metal *klink* of someone lighting a cigarette next to him. He turned his head as much as he could in his state, and saw a tall, elderly Romanian man standing nearby, watching him.
The man took a long drag off his cigarette before he spoke. “You are dying,” he said, his accent was as thick as his moustaches. Thomas tried to say “No s**t” in response, but only coughed up blood like an a*****e.
“I can stop this,” the man continued. “I have watched you for years now. You see, I work with the Globino’s. You have a fire in you, Dragonzord, a fire that my old soul admires.”
Thomas was wondering why anyone associated with the Globino Gang would ever help him.
“My family came here from Romania centuries ago, and centuries before that, I roamed my homeland, impaling my enemies and drinking their blood. They called me Drac’ul; the dragon, the first vampire.”
Thomas idly wondered what any of this had to do with him, but was still too weak to speak. The old man continued his boring story.
“I do not think the similarities in our name is coincidental. You carry the name Dragonzord, and like myself in my younger days, you inspire great fear in your enemies, enough for my colleagues to resort to a cowardly act of desperation. They are weak, a shadow of the glorious Old Blood. All the time I ask them, I say, ‘Hey, Hemoh! let us impale our enemies from the crotch up to the neck and then just leave them there, wouldn’t that be great?’ and he spits on me and says, ‘No, old man! Why would we do this thing? when we have the guns and the drugs and what not?’ BAH!” the old man spat to the side in disgust.
He looked upon Thomas appraisingly. “But you! You have that spark in you! The spark to inflict ridiculously dramatic acts of violence upon your enemies!”
He took another drag from his cigarette and grew somber once more. “I am not long for this world, even vampires do not live forever. Every day I see the New Blood tarnish my legacy with cheap criminal acts. I would rather start the legacy anew, than let it fade into mediocrity, and that is why I will pass the title of Drac’ul on to you, and spare you your fate this night. Will you accept?”
Thomas had gotten bored and zoned out a few minutes ago, but he knew a second chance when he heard one. He weakly nodded. The old man bent down and bit him on the side of the neck. There was a kind of fluid exchange that made Thomas suddenly flare with energy. He didn’t feel alive, the warmth of the blood he had lost would never return, but he no longer felt weak. He quickly stood up and felt around his torso for the knife wound, and found it was fully healed.
The old man looked frailer than before. “Use my gift well, I have very little blood magic within me now, and I am very tired.” He suddenly shape-shifted, his form molding itself to look like an exact copy of Thomas, knife wound and all. “When they bury you, I will rest in your place. Use this opportunity to teach the New Blood a lesson for me.” With that, he said nothing more, and laid in the pool of blood Thomas had previously laid in, closing his eyes.
Thomas finished his story and his cigarette in unison, casually flicking the b**t to the side. Hemoh watched it flicker on his polished wooden floor with blatant annoyance. “So,” he said. “You have the old man’s blood. Do you think that matters? Sure, you have vampire abilities now, but a version that’s centuries outdated! Ha! I’ll make short work of you yet, Tommy-boy!” he began to morph again, but more violently. His body swelled and became more muscular and hairy. Membranous wings unfurled from his spine, and his face grew enormous horns and teeth. The transformation finished with a violent explosion of dark energy that destroyed the entire upper level of the Globino hideout. Glass, furniture, metal parts and wooden studs flew around the night sky like a typhoon. Thomas shielded his eyes from the debris.
When the dust settled, Hemoh was flying above Thomas in the night sky, his demonic features eclipsed by the light of the full moon. He was laughing like a limey lunatic, confident that his new transformation meant certain victory. Thomas focused his blood on the objective. He was no longer Thomas Dragonzord; a simple loose-canon cop with a history of violence, he was now Thomas Drac’ulzord; the Nocturnal Defender of Neo-Miami!
Thomas screamed in response to Hemoh’s campy laughter, honing his rage to a fine point. The coattails of his trench-coat began to elongate with magic, stretching and morphing them into magnificent bat wings that seemed to go on forever. With a single stroke they flung him furiously through the night sky toward Hemoh. There was a clash as they interlocked, Hemoh’s laughter quickly turned to frustrated grunts as he tried to gain the upper hand. Knowing he couldn’t win the struggle, he pushed himself away from Thomas and began darting around the night sky, trying to create an opening.
Thomas followed suit, and noticed how well he was keeping up with Hemoh, despite being new at the vampire thing. Years of hunting them had prepared him for this, and he hadn’t even realized it. All the time he had put into measuring their strength, speed and movements had subconsciously allowed him to emulate them. He had fought creatures stronger than himself, and he had done it as a man. The added strength of the vampire only made him more formidable. Hemoh had spent his whole un-life taking his abilities for granted, and would suffer for it.
Thomas would make sure he suffered.
He caught up to Hemoh and charged at him, once more their arms interlocked. Hemoh took advantage of this opportunity for some dramatic mid-fight banter.
“What are you even fighting for, Tommy-boy? You think they’ll make a filthy vampire chief of police? You’re a monster to them! Join the Globino Gang, you’ll be my right hand man, you’ve proven to me that you’re capable!”
Thomas almost laughed, but then he remembered that he didn’t do that.
“I’ll never join you, Hemoh! As long as crime is illegal I will always side with justice!”
His words empowered both his biceps and his resolve. Thomas threw Hemoh back down toward the earth, and with a sickening thud he crashed back into the ruined office. Thomas’ enormous wings glided him gracefully back onto the littered wooden floor. He prepared himself to make the final blow. ‘Teach the New Blood a lesson for me’ the old man had said. Thomas would teach Hemoh a lesson he’d never forget.
Hemoh was weakly recovering from his fall. Thomas slowly walked up, and picked up a broken wooden stud from among the debris. He roughly flipped Hemoh onto his back and put a boot on his chest.
“W-what are you doing Tommy-boy?!”
Thomas looked down on him grimly. “This is for the old man.”
He took the wooden stud, and violently plunged it into Hemoh’s crotch with a blood curdling crunch. Hemoh’s eyes almost popped out of his sockets.
“OH GOD, MY ABSOLUTE CROTCH, REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!” he screamed as he struggled under Thomas’ boot.
Thomas didn’t let him have an inch of freedom, and continued to shove the wooden stake upward from his crotch into his chest. Hemoh’s mouth sprayed a red foam as his vitals were penetrated, bloody tears streaked his face as he screamed and thrashed like an animal. When the stud finally cut into his heart, Hemoh’s body burst into greasy flames. Satisfied, Thomas proudly perched the stake where the bay window had once been, letting all of Neo-Miami know that Hemoh Globino had been slain.
Lighting himself another cigarette, Thomas took off into the night sky, victorious. Crime was like a coked up Hydra in Neo-Miami; cut off one head and it’s worth two in the bush, or something. His work wasn’t finished, but fortunately, he now had time to spare. As long as street crime plagued the Neo-Miami area specifically at night, Thomas Drac’ulzord would be there to cause unnecessary levels of violence.