James Gray: In all societies, vampires in this case, there are always people who have power, and people who chafe under their rule. When something goes wrong, the outspoken are usually blamed, but things aren’t always what they seem. Any similarities to real life are left entirely up to the reader.
Anton eyed me quizzically. “I take it you finished your examination. Here, take this file. It should clarify any details that are in question.”
He handed me a folder held in a very nice leather binder. Really, was there anything these vampires didn’t overspend on?
I started flipping through it, and the contents were extremely interesting. It was an intelligence report on several vampires, as well as the organization they belonged to. It looked like something that would have been prepared by the FBI, if the FBI used expensive parchment-like stationery and liked a bit of calligraphy here and there.
The organization was called the Brotherhood of Blood, because vampires apparently are not the most original when it comes to naming things. The report said the Brotherhood was an organization of vampire’s that opposed the rule of the elders. Included were the names of several members, including their supposed leader, Israel Adams.
Also included were several letters written to various vampires who held positions in the current power structure. They ranged from the satirical, to the impassioned, to the clearly unhinged. There were several photographs of graffiti, a few accompanied by vandalism. One showed a vampire club whose front windows had been busted, their door broken down, and graffiti spray painted all over the walls. All the graffiti had one phrase in common. No More Kings.
I looked up from the file back to Anton. “Yep, that’s pretty clear. I’d call that an open and shut case. Except for the part where that’s obviously a load of bullshit and someone is trying to set these guys up.”
There went Anton’s eyebrow again, communicating that he secretly suspected I had fallen on my head as a child, possibly while eating lead paint. “So you don’t think the Brotherhood of Blood is responsible?”
“I think someone wants me to think they are. Doesn’t mean they’re not, but this is all a little convenient. I’ll have to complete my investigation, but I’m definitely open to different possibilities. I would even be considering your master as a suspect, if it weren’t for a key fact of the crime scene.”act
“And what f is that?” Anton asked.
“The fact that it’s still here. If two master vampires had fought in that room, not only would the room be gone, but I wouldn’t have wanted to live in the apartment below them, or in the building two blocks down for that matter. Whatever happened in there, it was not your run-of-the-mill throw down. Which is the same reason I’m not sold on it being these Brotherhood of Blood knuckleheads either.”
I could tell Anton didn’t like that. His mouth got very thin to the point I was afraid it might disappear into the quantum void.
“I’m sure you know your business, Witcherman.” His tone implied he knew no such thing.
Some time later, after having to repeat endlessly that they would have my results as soon as I did, I was cruising down the road heading into one of the seedier parts of downtown Houston to follow my first lead.