TBT: Project Hunter (Shadow Assassins circa 2005)

Well helloo there. Another Throwback Thursday is here (I don’t do them as often as I had planned). To celebrate the progress I’ve made in drafting Liliana, I decided to go way back in my writing to show the contrast. Yes, that means that what will be presented will be completely cringe-worthy. I was fifteen when I wrote this – allow me to cry with you.

So why share it? It’s an amusing piece of Shadow Assassins history, and as much as I might complain about it, it needs to do more than just sit around on my hard drive (or in the box the physical notebook is in). It’s important to the formation of the Shadow Assassins, as this was the first story idea that grouped them as a team, instead of the singular TBT featuring Mizuho, the original Shadow Assassin.

If you’re new to my writing, when I was in high school, everything was influenced by anime and Japanese culture (although as much as I read about it, I was never able to portray it accurately). Because of this, the original names of the characters underwent massive changes. Here’s a short way to tell them apart:

  • Mizuho, half demon, half angel: became Evangeline (still half demon, half angel)
  • Kyo, the shape shifter : became Kaleb (still a shape shifter)
  • Arisa, a half-elf, half human who controlled the earth: became Kaydee (an earth mage)
  • Nick, a pure human and technological genius: became Marco (a telekinetic)

In addition, the earliest version of the vampire Dirk exists here, although as an ally to the Shadow Assassins. And, cringe, most of this draft circled around a Japanese-ish high school.

So yeah, if you’re into reading a fifteen year old ‘s terrible prose, today’s you’re lucky(?) day. Might I present a rather essential puzzle piece of the history of the Second Realm, Project Hunter. This is intact and unchanged, except for correct spelling. I used to write in Word Pad, before I got an actual word processor, and Word Pad did not have spell check built in.

Project Hunter, one of the first drafts that used the Shadow Assassins as a team concept
Originally started August 2005, and last updated in September 2005

Chapter One


It dripped down her lips, staining them a dark red. Her lips curled into a smirk.

She was holding on to a person, who was limp in her hands. She held him up by the collar of his shirt. He was an older man, his head tilted back. On his neck were two hollow holes, tiny, but deep, side by side. Blood slowly trickled from the wounds, soaking his shirt.

She dropped the empty body to the ground, licking her lips. The man’s body would be found, eventually. Someone would notice that he’s missing. He was somebody’s husband, brother, father, son, friend. It was only a matter of time.

Not that she really cared. Nobody would suspect that she was responsible. They would rule the death simply as murder, or a cult related death. The two wounds on the man’s neck suggested a vampiric attacker, but who was going to believe that? Humans were so ignorant. But for her, it was better that way.

She turned to leave–

“Don’t even think about it.”

She flashed blood-tinged fangs in annoyance, hissing in surprise. “Mizuho…what a surprise.”

“Can it, leech.” behind the vampire was a teenage girl. She held a sword out, glaring at the woman in front of her.

“Come to hunt me down?” the vampire sneered. “Or did you come to see me hunt?”

“You know very well why I’m here,” Mizuho growled. “Now are you going to come quietly or am I going to have to fight you?”

“I’m not going anywhere.” The vampire growled.

“You sure?” the challenge was clear.

“What do you think?” The vampire flicked aside her cloak. She drew a sword from a sheath at her side. She held it out, ready for an attack.

The girl, Mizuho, didn’t answer. Instead, she dove at the vampire, sword out. The two clashed in a whir of ringing, flashing metal. The rising sun’s rays glinted on both swords, sending silver reflections into the forest.

“Where’s your precious team, Mizuho?” the vampire sneered. “Don’t tell me you’re alone.”

“I’m never alone,” was the equally arrogant reply.

The vampire’s eyes widened at this statement. Mizuho took that chance to send her flying. A burst of energy erupted from the palm of her hand. The vampire was swept off of her feet, and into a tree.

Mizuho fell into a kneeling position. Hair shadowed her face, though a red glow was visible beneath the dark bangs.

Three more figures fell from the trees, two guys and one gir. One of the males ran to Mizuho, the others to the vampire.

The girl and guy headed to the fallen vampire, drawing swords.

“You’re under arrest,” the male said.

The second male held Mizuho to him. His gaze met hers. “Don’t do this, Mizuho,” he said, blue-grey eyes widening. “C’mon…”

Mizuho’s left eye was glowing red. Her lips were drawn back in a snarl. From her wings were unfurling, one feathery like a bird’s, the other like a bat’s.

The girl glanced at Mizuho nervously. “Nick…hurry up!”

The male figure near the vampire glanced at Mizuho. “Kyo…hold her!”

“What do you think I’m doing?” Kyo, the male holding onto Mizuho shouted back.

Nick turned back to the vampire. “You gonna surrender, now? Or are we gonna have to fight some more?”

The vampire glared at them. “Damn hunters,” she growled, standing up shakily.

“I’m guessing that’s a no.” Nick nodded to the girl beside him.

The girl wore two necklaces around her neck. One was a crescent moon pendant, the other a large green stone. The stone began glowing pale green. The girl’s eyes glowed green as well. Around her, plants and grass began to grow rapidly. Vines wound around the vampire, binding her to the tree behind her.

“What the…?!” the vampire shouted. She began struggling, and vines began breaking. But as soon as she broke one vine, two others took its place.

Meanwhile, Kyo was having a hard time holding Mizuho back. Mizuho was strugling in his grip, wings beating frantically.

Kyo reached behind Mizuho’s neck and undid a golden ball-chain necklace. He pulled the chain from her, crescent moon pendant in hand. A hollow needle slid out of the moon’s pendent.

“Mizuho, don’t make me do this…” he warned.

She didn’t hear him, and gave a low, inhuman growl.

“Have it your way, then.” Kyo grabbed her arm and plunged the needle into her pale skin.

Mizuho’s eyes widened. A screeching, demonic howl escaped her lips. The howl made Kyo wince as he drew back the pendant. Nick and the girl beside him froze in horror. The vampire stopped struggling, a hiss emitting from between vampire fangs. Even the birds in the trees stopped singing. The whole forest fell silent.

After a moment, Mizuho’s red eye closed. When she opened her eye, it was a clear brown again. She gave a shudder, and collapsed into Kyo’s arms. Her wings disappeared as she fell.

Kyo glanced at Nick. “You got this wrapped up?”

“Just about,” Nick replied. He and the girl sheathed their swords. He turned back to the vampire. “Now, you’re gonna come with us, silently and calmly. Otherwise we’ll let Mizuho fight you, and she does not like vampires.”

The vampire seemed paler than normal. Hearing Mizuho’s howl scared her. She didn’t want to fight.

The girl let the vines fall away, and Nick handcuffed the vampire. The vampire glared at them, but didn’t fight.

Kyo picked up the still unconscious Mizuho. “Let’s go home.”

* * *

The sun rose over a large mansion on the outskirts of Tokyo. A sign in the large front yard read, “Fyrn Manor.”

Inside the mansion, the four teens and the vampire were gathered. The vampire was still handcuffed, glaring at anyone in the room.

An older man in his mid-forties joined them in the room. “Another successful capture,” he said.

Nick grinned. “The fight was amazing. Arisa made these vines grow and trap her.” he nodded to the vampire.

The girl beside him, Arisa, shook her head. “I didn’t make them grow. I just influenced them.”

“Well, it was still great.”

Mizuho was still unconscious, laying on a couch. Her head was in Kyo’s lap. Kyo was sitting beside her, watching over her.

She woke up slowly. She sat up. “Wh…where…?”

“Look who decided to wake up,” Nick grinned, brown eyes gleaming in mischief. “I was starting to think you guys were getting a little too comfortable…”

“Shut up.” she glared at him. Her gaze traveled to the vampire. “How much is she worth?”

“Thirty-thousand,” the older man said.

Mizuho’s eyes widened. “That’s a lot, for a leech,” she said.

“Yeah, it’s not like I can hear you,” the vampire growled sarcastically.

“Shut up, leech!” Mizuho growled.

“You’re not talking about me, are you?” a new voice asked.

Mizuho’s eyes widened again, a grin crossing her lips. “Dirk!”

A man with black eyes and hair entered the room. He was grinning, fangs gleaming in the light. “The one and only.”

Mizuho hurried to help Dirk with the box he was holding. “This the new stuff?”

Dirk nodded. “I’ll explain after…” He took a hypodermic needle out of the box. He gave the vampire a shot of clear of clear fluid. The vampire struggled for a moment, before sinking into unconciousness. She sank into her chair.

Dirk cleared his throat, setting the needle into a silver carrying case. “We have a lot of new equipment. First thing first, though.” He turned to Mizuho. “You transformed…?”

She nodded.

He sighed. “Let me see your necklace.”

She took off her crescent moon necklace and handed it to him. All four of them had one, and all of them had different purposes.

He opened the crescent moon, which was like a locket. Inside was a small crescent-moon shaped vial with a needle in the end. He popped the vial out, pouring clear liquid into it.

“Holy water from the Jordan river itself,” he said, voice soft. “Hard to get. Don’t waste it, Mizuho.”

Mizuho looked away.

He placed the vial back into the necklace and closed it. Handing it back to her, he said, “I’ll explain everything later. You guys need to head to school.”

“School?” Nick shook his head. “We’ve been up since dawn. Can’t we just skip?”

“Not if you want to keep your cover as normal teens,” the older man said.

“But Doc–”

“No buts, Nick. I’m already giving you all shelter, food and work. I want you to go to school.”

He sighed. “Yes, Dr. Fyrn.”

Are you still alive? 😛

If you need something to ease your mind, might I suggest looking at the first chapter of Shadow Assassins.

If you’ve read Shadow Assassins already, this might seem like a vaguely familiar scene. The scene was the first chapter in Project Hunter, but it became the prologue of Shadow Assassins. And that was after I cut it from the initial draft of Shadow Assassins, and re-added it after the bulk of the main draft had been completed.

One thing I did like about this early draft was the use of the holy water injection. It was something I had actually forgotten about when drafting Shadow Assassins. I never found a spot to re-insert it into the story, so it was cut entirely. The holy water was meant to be an object to immediately reverse Mizuho’s demonic transformations, as her transformations were supposed to be more violent than her counterpart Evangeline’s more controlled (although still wild) transformations.

The only thing that I didn’t like about Project Hunter was that there was no clear plot. This was the problem with all of my previous Shadow Assassins attempts – I never had a working storyline, and the Second Realm had not been developed as far as it is now. The handwritten draft only extends to three chapters, but it introduced a fifth character meant to be a Shadow Assassin, a teenage girl whose mother was a hunter along the same lines as the Shadow Assassins. The story never developed, I never kept any notes on plotting or developing.

Oh, and I was completely in love with ellipses, if you couldn’t tell. I tried so hard to dictate how a character should sound that there were ellipses and stammering everywhere.  That was something else that vanished after I forcibly stripped myself of my anime-influenced writing style.

Yup, that is the way I rolled when I was fifteen. Yeahhh…


PS: image in blog post found here, but the original artist is CamaroGirl666.