Witcher Man and the Case of the Guillotine Society, pt. 11


James’s Note: This story is partially about tyranny. It’s also about when people have to fight back. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to figure out the right way to fight, and it’s not always the way you think.


Israel dropped Dean, who would have been gasping if he needed to breathe at all. Cesar finally spoke up. “I think I can settle this. Want to come with me into the back room? I got something to show you.”

We followed Caesar through several other backstage type areas, until we finally came to a storage room. Dean made an excuse as soon as we left the VIP lounge and went in search of some space that didn’t contain Israel. The storage room was filled with pallets, which were filled with crates. Caesar hefted one easily and plunked it down on a table in the corner. He pried the lid off with his fingers, the nails making a screeching noise as they came loose from the wood. Out of it he lifted what looked like a Russian Surplus AK-47, and a box of rounds for it. 

Cesar tossed the bullets to me. “Have a look at those. They’re white phosphorus rounds. They call them dragon’s breath for a reason. Even Master vampires don’t shrug that shit off.”

He had a point. Those rounds are particularly nasty. They burned white hot, and even water wouldn’t put them out .

“And what makes you think you’ll be able to hit a master with even one of these things before he makes you eat the rest of the box?” I asked.

Cesar nodded over to a group of crates in the opposite corner. They were labeled, C-4: Danger High Explosives. There were a lot of them.

“Take out whatever building they’re in with enough explosives, and the fire damage is likely to knock them down enough pegs for us to get our hands on them. We’ve also got a few ideas I don’t plan on sharing with you. The point is, when we start taking down master vampires, you’ll know it.”

I sighed heavily. He had an excellent point. He also had a bloody arsenal, and every intention of starting a war in my city. 

Have I mentioned I don’t like vampires?

Israel showed every sign of developing a migraine. He rubbed the bridge of his nose looking like a man whose son has built a sandcastle in the living room by transporting the contents of his sandbox there one bucket at a time. 

“Caesar, you’re better than this. The kind of bloodshed you’re talking about unleashing, it’s not going to be good for anyone. Even if you win, and that’s a big if, there is still going to have to be some kind of government over the vampires. We can still do this peacefully. We build our government from the bottom up, and start edging the elders out naturally. By the time they realize they’re losing power, it’ll be too late. You’d probably even get a little bit of the bloodshed you seem to want so bad. It would just be too late for them to win.” Israel sounded like he would have been desperate, if he wasn’t just so tired.

Caesar crossed his arms over his huge chest. “You know I got a lot of respect for you, Israel, but you don’t understand the realities on the ground. You might not be a Methuselah, but you’re an elder in your own right. They hesitate before they start shit with you. Down here, our only view is the bottom of the boot treading on our face.”

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