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A Plan Forms

A boot stomped on the stage as the Elder shrieked, “No no no! This is supposed to be civilized! Philip, be a good fellow and give the man his sword.” The Elder paced back and forth on the stage, wringing the blood from the palms, “I do apologize, Philip has sworn an oath to protect our kind and takes it a bit too seriously.” The Elder wasn’t even looking at anyone anymore, he was just pacing and jibbering, “You wanted to find someone, give me his name. What’s his name. Be a good man and say his name.”

This new behavior had taken the Melniks by surprise but not Philip. The Melniks turned to watch the Elder pace and squeeze blood onto the beautiful hardwood stage and Philip thrust the sword back at Scottie’s chest. Scottie latched onto it but shook his head in confusion before elbowing Sky, “What was his name again?”

Sky was also entranced by the scene but recovered quickly, “Oh, uh, a Justin Fletchley. He was our contact for Ravilan Wine…”

The Elder stopped and whirled to face them, pointing a dripping finger at them, “See! He was the third victim of the Church’s Crusade against us! He was a vampire! Found with a Mucro dagger next to the stake in his chest.”

The couple stood in stunned silence, though Scottie picked up on another low chuckle from Philip. Scottie bowed before the Elder, “We thank you, sir, for your hospitality. And if I may, I would like to offer you a word of warning. The Church men are unlike any army you may have fought in the past. I would humbly suggest you exercise great care in dealing with them and beg you to seek a peaceful resolution before this goes any farther.”

The Elder nodded quickly and waved his hand, “Yes yes, your respect and civility is noted. Now be on your ways I must get some rest. So much to do… Philip! Get someone to clean this stage… such a mess. Always a mess. Can’t have anything nice around here…” With that the Elder stormed off and disappeared behind the curtain, a trail of broken rants following him.

Philip backed away from the couple but never took his eyes off of them, pointing to Scottie, “We’ll meet again, Mr. Melnik.” And then he pointed to Sky, “And you’ll be next, little lady.”

Sky sneered and Scottie growled, both of them backing out of the theater until they could no longer see Philip. Once outside, they both breathed in a sigh of a relief, Sky taking a moment to sniff at the air, “That place smelled… bad, didn’t it?”

Scottie nodded and wrapped his arm around her, glancing around and noting a dilapidated book store across the street, “Yeah, it did. I would be willing to bet he hasn’t been out of that theater in decades. Vampire tend to grow a little, um,  ‘eccentric’ after a couple hundred years.”

They walked toward the inn Sky had reserved. “Eccentric, hmm?” Sky thought out loud, “He seemed to turn positively insane toward the end…”

Scottie nodded, “Okay, he’s crazy as a sewer rat. He certainly needs to get out of that theater more. Vampires that cut themselves off from humanity start losing that humanity in themselves. It’s a dangerous line to walk. I’m not so much worried about the Elder than I am these attacks. It would seem both sides believe the other started it. But why would someone start a war between the Church and the vampires?”

The couple considered the question as they strolled down the street. They passed a large estate and two vampires were leaning against the gates, shooting the breeze.

“Just took off, that McAndrews did. Stripped all signs they was ever here and left.” said Vamp Number One

Vamp Number Two chimed in, “I ‘ear ‘e made ‘is way to Steel’ead.”

“Oh? I’d heard it was Bump. Got family there or somesuch.”

“Think ‘e’s gone to Babbage?”

“Why in seven hells would he go to Babbage? That place smells worse than Ravila during low tide…”

The Melniks moved on, only having just heard the name from the Elder, the couple chuckling at the description of Babbage’s air quality, “Well, at least one vampire was smart enough to see what’s coming. I wonder if the rest will be so lucky.”

Sky leaned into Scottie and sighed, “So, our contact is dead and yes, I think you’re right. Someone’s stirring up trouble. What should we do?”

Scottie rubbed his chin, “Well, if someone is orchestrating this, they probably have help from within both factions. I have a really bad feeling about that Philip fella. I could see about following him around tomorrow night when he comes out. You could snoop at the Church a bit and see if anyone seems suspicious.”

Sky smiled and kissed his cheek just as they entered the inn and climbed the stairs to their room, “Sounds like a plan, darling. And I’ll keep an ear open for a new contact for wine.”

Scottie pushed open the door to their room and ushered Sky in, saying teasingly, “You’re all business on this trip, hmm?”

Sky turned around and grinned, pulling Scottie in by his coat lapels, “Well, not tonight…” and shut the door.

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  1. Victor1st Mornington Victor1st Mornington June 14, 2012

    Charlie Wilson…Mornington’s ‘Go Get’ man watched from the shadows bedhing in the inner gate of the McAndrews-Mornington estate as Socttie and Sky walked past the gates.  Once they had passed he walked up to the two blabber mouth Vampires who was standing at the gates and asked where the two Babbagers had come from.

    “Wha…those two dawdlers?  Came from ‘t boss they did…surprise dey aint became dinner for ‘im”

    Both Vamps started laughing.  Charlie rolled his eyes back and headed to the Ravila telegraph office to send Mornington a next day telegram…

    “To VM, AoI, NB.  Scottie and Sky getting mixed up in Ravila affairs. Estate secure. Next time hire less talkative guards.”



  2. Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg June 14, 2012

    Ohhhh…..Barry White.  I get it now.


  3. Orpheus Angkarn Orpheus Angkarn June 15, 2012

    Justin Fletchly? Justin “Finch” Fletchly? He seemed such a nice guy back in school….Never could make a name for himself because of that Potter kid, but nice guy nonetheless…. pity….

    • Scottie Melnik Scottie Melnik June 15, 2012

      You know, I was looking for a one-shot character name and Justin Fletchly jumped to mind. I looked at that name and I thought, “Damn, that’s not a name that I would normally come up with. I wonder where that came from.”

      Soooo, let’s just say this is Justin Finch-Fletchley’s great great great uncle who happened to have been a vampire. Does that work?

  4. Brother Lapis Brother Lapis June 15, 2012

    …sits down next to Emerson and starts eating his popcorn...

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