|Fear is an emotion that drives more of human behavior than we like to admit. When we choose not to counter it with reason and logic, it will be the impetus needed to justify behaviours we should not be proud of. Far too many stop thinking when they are afraid, and become a danger to themselves and those around them. However, vampires are more than monsters who create fear, they attract the afraid. Because of their invulnerability and power there exists a portion of the human population who would seek to emulate, follow, or join them. Imagine a world where their power was for the taking. Humans – good, decent people – would hunt their brothers, sisters, and neighbours either for the nourishment needed to sustain the abilities making them feel safer, or in retribution to becoming the hunted. We are already at war with each other in every corner of the world. We would never survive what would come. That is why we hunt. That is why we must protect. That is why we give up our lives. We will save humanity from more than just vampires, but from themselves.
Protecting The Innocent
There are many groups of vampire hunters around the globe. Some independent forces raised from frustrated people ready to defend their neighbours. Others, like the Alley, are divisions of their country’s Armed Forces. Each operates differently. With three bases across Canada, and several smaller installations, the Alley has chosen to a unique path.
The Cessation of Hostility treaty was introduced by Descendant Vincent Kama. The treaty dictates a code of conduct for the vampires in the country and the more powerful within vampire society govern it. Those who cannot live by these tenants will either be killed, or their information will be given to the hunters for them to take care of.
This has worked in the Alley’s favour. By not killing indiscriminately, they avoid the repercussions other hunters experience. Descendants do not rise en masse – sometimes coming in from other countries – to return the favour, and the Magnate stays clear. Their databases about vampires and their abilities have also grown exponentially as vampires trying to use them to take down their enemies often spill far too much information.
Stripped From the Real World
Being Black Ops means the Alley stays as far from the view of Innocents as possible, and the government that created them will deny their existence. Troops who operate within the civilian world are often dressed just like them, only with subtle body armour and weapons under their clothes.
Depending on the threat level, patrols dress the same as those they hide within or in whatever level of armour suits the risk. If the threat level is high, the Alley will accept the risk of exposure and control the aftermath through media and misdirection. Their full uniform is not subtle; plated leather jackets, gorgets to protect their necks, rifles strapped to their backs, and high-tech helmets that enhance their vision and hearing. Through this, Alley troops are ready to take on any threat.
Where possible, Innocents exposed to the reality of vampires will either have their minds wiped or recruited, depending on their perceived usefulness to the organization. Memory removal is not a kind process. It strips the subject of all memories of their life, erasing loved ones and experiences, as well as the bad. Those the Alley recruits do not get the chance to say goodbye to their families. The moment they are recruited, they are dead in the ‘Real World’.
Staying Alive and Sane
To vampire hunters, prime physical and mental health are the difference between staying alive and dying at the hands of the enemy. Most troops are restricted from entering close-quarters combat with vampires unless it is three on one. Regardless, sometimes hand-to-hand combat is unavoidable and every soldier must be in the condition to defend themselves, other vampire hunters, and Innocents.
Beyond physical conditioning, troops must get a minimum of six hours of sleep per night, receive light therapy, and attend monthly sessions with one of the Alley’s psychologists. Living in the world of the impossible and rarely seeing the sun, takes a toll on anyone. The Alley will do everything it can to protect the investments they’ve made in every soldier working for them.
The Alley houses their troops in multi-dwelling apartment units within the main complex. They are often paired with three to four others who have been selected specifically for their compatibility. Sometimes these pairings are used to help modify a soldier’s behavior through positive leadership and enforcement of proper living standards.
Vampires do not turn and inherit the ability known as Intrusion. It comes with time and power, but is still the most common skill among their kind. Intrusion allows vampires to alter memories of their victims, make them carry out desired actions, or – less commonly – program them to react to specific stimulus in a designated way. In most bloodlines, this power does not require eye contact, but the vampire must have their target in sight.
Part of the training of all vampire hunters is defense against this ability. The Alley teaches all troops, even if they are not active fighters, to identify when a vampire is making an attempt at Intrusion, and how to stop it – or at least to notify those around them. Those in command and psychologists, carry injectable sedatives to render Intrusion victims incapable of carrying out a command.
The older and more powerful the vampire, the harder it is to resist the Intrusion. Before his death, Paragon vampire William MacGregor taught Lieutenant Wolf to resist this ability even from someone of his power. When brought into the folds of the Alley, she shared this knowledge with them. Though she has been able to block all Intrusions to date, no other troops have shown her level of success.
There are rumours, albeit vague and confusing, of Mass Intrusions – Intrusions performed on groups of people simultaneously. Hunters worldwide are not sure if this is anything more than vampires boasting about powers they don’t have, or if it’s something to take seriously.