2: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
Arthur scouts the clubs, sees two vampires feeding and nods to them, sees a third watching him, crosses the street to avoid him - and is grabbed and pulled into an alley.
“I was told it was alright to be here. Free ground. Is that not - ”
“Who told you?”
“When I arrived. Last night.”
“It, ah... something happened to the - ”
The vampire lets go and steps back as Arthur stumbles and regains his balance, looking down to find his footing - looking back up to find himself alone.
Arthur waits for a moment, straightens his collar, and steps quickly out of the alley to hail a cab.
Jones shuts his phone.
“Julia’s arriving tonight, we should make sure she gets here safely.”
“Anyone else?” Pavel asks.
“Henry and Kay.”
“They might know something.”
They’ve arranged to meet somewhere out of the way.
Long haul warehouses at the city limits.
The car they arrive in has a window fixed with duct tape and a long scrape without paint on one side.
Julia and Henry step out.
“Kay split off already, heading for San Diego. I’m meeting her there.”
“Sideswiped on the way into town. Didn’t see the driver.”
“Here? Not there?”
“One of those little towns that’s basically a gas station - ”
At which point Henry stumbles back as a bullet slams into him.
Pavel was watching a good distance away, he goes to give chase.
Arthur was on a rooftop, he sees a car with a dented bumper rev up. “Here!”
Henry slumps back into the back seat of their car. Julia follows the others.
Pavel pulls out his backup pistol, the only weapon the group have, and cracks off a few shots at the windscreen.
The car changes course, going into an empty warehouse.
Approaching cautiously, he finds the car empty.
Except for a bloodless corpse with a wound in his gut and his throat torn open.
The group look at the body. Nobody recognises him.
Pavel looks through his wallet.
“Fake ID. Pretty good one. Like you could get from one of our friends.”
“The wound in his stomach was what killed him. Guess they didn’t want to waste any more blood.”
Dr. Barrow steps out of a shadow and sniffs the air. His nose wrinkles, and for a moment it’s a skull’s fleshless socket. “That way.”
Pavel nods. “Good. I hate having to investigate after we clear up the evidence.”
Barrow’s sensitivity for blood leads them to a fire exit forced open in another building.
Arthur whispers something, knots a cloth and spits a drop of blood onto it.
Barrow pushes the door open, and a pair of pale hands grab him and pull him inside.
Arthur catches one, and the fingers clench and stiffen.
Barrow pulls himself free, and the vampire stands there, gritting his teeth and glaring at Arthur.
“What have you done? What did you bring?”
Behind them, a second vampire observes, staying upwind.
The vampire sits, clenching and unclenching his fists, slowly regaining feeling.
“You weren’t the first to come past our post. The Canon wants to know who comes and goes. And we know one car went past and no-one went to the Magistrate.”
“When was this?”
“Four nights ago.”
The vampires from Carson City share a look. They step outside to discuss this away from him.
“So... someone came past the night before the attack...” Pavel states.
Everyone considers this.
“So what was the plan? See what we’d do?” Julia frowns. “See if we did anything weird?”
“Yeah. As plans go, fair enough. What will you do?”
“Not stay here. Henry probably has to, for a while at least.”
“He can stay with us while he recovers,” Pavel offers.
“I think I’ll take this as a sign to keep going.”
Pavel goes back at the other vampire. “I have to speak with the Canon at some point. You can explain this to him before you go back.”
“I can do that.”
Jones calls Elena.
“Are you going to mention that we might have another local in town?” Arthur asks.
Jones moves out of earshot.
Pavel watches the vampire pour gasoline over the ghoul’s body and step back to throw a burning book of matches at it.
The vampire that came with him observes from a distance.
“Jonas will bring the newcomer to you, Eminence.”
(Dr. Barrow steps out of a shadow and sniffs the air. His nose wrinkles, and for a moment it’s a skull’s fleshless socket.)
“What do you look like?”
“Monstrous. But I wear slacks.”
(Arthur whispers something, knots a cloth and spits a drop of blood onto it.)
I should mention that Arthur has Cruac, and used Rigor Mortis. Before we all noticed it’s now a fifteen-minute ritual. So let’s say it was prepared in advance...