The Hunt Is On Part I

August 30, 2016:

Two denizens of the night begin their investigation into the recent change in vampiric behaviors.


Deserted Bustop near some quiet apartment buildings in Queens.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…



CHARACTERS: Werewolf By Night, The Amaranth


Near a bus-stop in Queens, Jack Russell — the Werewolf By Night — leans against the wall of a building, smoking a cigarette. In his other hand, the man is flicking through e-pages on his cellphone — photos, actually — scowling the whole time. Every so often his nostrils flare and he acts like he can smell something… particularly distasteful.

When a more pleasant — and more familiar — scent joins him at the bus-stop late at night, he smirks a little. Without looking up, he opens his mouth and mutters:

"Yer late. What kept ya?"

Tai stops attempting to sneak up on her friend with a soft sigh. She's good, and knows it but his extraordinary senses make it nearly impossible to approach without him noticing. It's still good practice though. The dhampir grins and leans against the wall and Russ both, peering down at his cellphone.

"Sorry. I was thirsty and then I thought I was being followed. Doubled back a few times to be sure. What are you looking at there?" She asks curiously as she glances up and around with a slight frown. Her nose might not be as good as his but it's still better than a human's and something smells bad around here.

In response, Russ tosses his companion the phone.

It shows photographs… of bodies: men and women, found in a variety of locations over New York. Some of the locations in question are found in Queens, not far from this very bus-stop. Russ lifts a hand to the cigarette between his lips, removes it and blows out a cloud of smoke.

"Ya'ain't the only one 'thirsty' tonight, pup," he tells her. "Had a friend send me these pics. The smell 'round town does the rest. Hard ta miss it. Were ya able ta find anythin' on yer end?"

Tai scowls at the pictures. "They're getting so brazen. I don't understand it. Like that damned Elder I ran into in that club the other week." Smoky eyes narrow. She's still pissed he got away from her. "All I've found is that there are a hell of a lot more vamps around than usual and most of them don't seem to give a damn if anyone knows it. I think..these are mostly younglings left on their own. Supposedly they've been gathering in Steel City but there seems to still be a lot around here."

"They were all over the club I went to. That elder, trying to turn over an important business woman, CEO or some such for Stark Industries.. I stopped him from that at least."

"Younglings on their own…" Russ repeats, and he drops the cigarette to the pavement, squishing it beneath his boot. He leaves it there, forgotten immediately. Taking the cellphone back, he skims the pictures once more — scowls further — and then tucks the phone back into his long coat.

"Somethin' don' smell right ta me," he mutters sourly. "Vamps have their own hierarchy, covens 'n shit. Someone always answers ta someone else — even if it's just a matter o' politeness. Who lets shit get outta hand like this? Why leave it ta non-vamps ta clean up their piss-puddles on the carpet? You lot're supposed ta be secretive…"

He pauses, smirks, and lifts an eyebrow.

"Nice sneakin', by the way. Yer last meal wore aftershave though." Cars drive past on the street; there are not many of them. In this part of town it appears most people have opted to stay indoors. A wise choice. Still there is blood in the air, and anyone with enhanced senses would be able to notice it.

Certain nearby buildings are 'heavier' with the scent than others.

Tai punches his shoulder and blushes. "I am not one of them!" She hisses. They are not her lot. She wilts a little. "So much aftershave. Like he took a bloody bath in it. Tastes awful." The dhampir grimaces. At least she's not drunk now and at full strength. Not that she's likely to need to be if they run into a bunch of vamp babies but still, doesn't hurt to be prepared.

"I don't know what's going on, Russ and it worries me." Tai turns seriously. "I've been doing for.. a long time. I've never seen or heard of anything like this. They're never so careless and on the rare occasions it has happened, it was dealt with immediately. I've just got a really bad feeling about whatever this is." Her eyes focus on a specific building. "It's gonna be bad in there, isn't it."

The wolfman turns from his friend to look over at the building — it is just an apartment complex. Nothing fancy. It is not even 'slum quality', or abandoned; it has none of the characteristics one might expect of a vampire coven's 'nest of operations'.

It might not even be that.

Folding his arms across his chest, Russell lifts his chin and sniffs at the air. His eyes flash and his nose wrinkles in distaste, but he nods to Tajana. It is going to be bad in there. "C'mon," says he. "We should check it out." He points with a finger at different sections of the building. "There're a few entrances, but I reckon most of 'em gotta be watched — if the vamps're still here. What's say… we drop in from the roof? I can make the leap. Can you?"

Tajana rolls her eyes and snorts softly. She's dressed for battle, all in black with her sword over her back and knives galore. She pulls an amethyst cloth from her belt and masks the lower half of her face, ties back her long dark hair and bounces on her heels to settle everything.

"Are you sure you can make it?" Tai's eyes twinkle and she pokes at Russ's stomach teasingly, then darts ahead leaps up to grab a crack fifteen feet overhead and start scaling the wall to the roof. She moves with blurring speed, if one can even pick her thin frame out in the darkness.

"You better believe it…"

Russ smirks in a predatory fashion, his features growing more lupine with each passing second as he gathers his feet underneath him… and leaps. Twenty feet upward, he latches onto the side of the building with his claws — a pair of ruined shoes fall to the ground below — and grins wolfishly at Tajana.

Another couple of similar leaps as the wolfman, now more 'fur' than 'flesh', alights upon the rooftop of the building that reeks of death. This much closer to the building (instead of across the street from it), Russ's expression darkens further.

He scans the floors beneath him with his infrared vision… coming up blank. Glancing over at Tajana, he shakes his head. Only victims — living victims — would show up with heat signatures. Vampires (most vampires) would not. Stair-access inside lies just to the right of the werewolf, and the door is unlocked.

The wolfman growls.

Peering slowly back over his shoulder, he glares at the dhampir with him, although his ire is not exactly directed at her personally. Flexing the claws on each hand, he draws himself up to his full height (hard to do, in this form), and blows out a cloud of hot air from his nostrils.

"Folks're gonna blame who they like," says he in that same, low growl. "But s'long as they're alive ta point fingers… they're alive ta maybe learn a thing'r two. Dead folks don' learn anythin'. Got it? We kill us some vamps, 'n maybe more folks don' end up dead… or worse."

And he stalks back to the stairwell door.

"Let 'em blame who they want. Monsters need killin'."

And with that he ducks through the door and into the shadows.

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