Part 2: Prologue, Part 2
The door closed behind me, the bolt falling into place with an ominous groan. I walked down the steps, wondering what the hell to do now, when I saw the feral guy from the theatre step out from the gloom.
'That's great.' I glared at him suspiciously, tilting my head. 'Now who the fuck are you?'
'Yeah, why not.' I could use all the help I could get. Jack grinned, pointed teeth glinting in the light.
'Alright!' He cracked his knuckles, and it was hard not to get caught up by his enthusiasm.
More than one, dipshit, why do you think I'm in this situation?
'A drink?' I asked instead, deciding to stay on Jack's good side.
'Yeah, they all say that. God knows I have. So, what do I do?'
Jack cackled with glee, the ghoulish teacher of a makeshift class.
Jack was clearly enjoying himself. Matter of fact, so was I. I felt light on my feet, didn't make a sound as I stalked over to the other end of the alley.
I could see him there, standing in a shadow, glancing at his watch. Most eyes would have missed him. Not mine, not anymore. He was obviously agitated, not paying attention to his surroundings. He made it easy, so I made it gentle.
He looked up in horror as I grabbed his head, pulling it to the side as I sank my teeth into him. I sucked, feeling his life flow over my tongue and down my throat. It was explosive, better than anything I'd ever drank. It felt alive, filled me up. Warmed me. I hungered for more, drank deeper. Deeper. The man's feeble hands became weaker, his cries more pitiful. Remembering Jack's words, I regretfully stopped, wiping my mouth with a sleeve. Looked at the man, obviously dazed, stupefied, but still alive. Brimming with energy, I swaggered back to Jack, eyes glowing malevolently in the darkness. He nodded at me, sharing in my moment.
'Got that right. So when do I get my cape?'
'Oh yeah? Like what?'
'So I'm invincible then?'
'Yeah, I'll bet.'
Jack didn't respond, just cuffed me across the head. Then he continued.
Jack broke off, his voice filling with menace. In the background, a machine-pistol broke the still quiet of the night, hooting laughter emerging after a squeal of tyres. Trash cans were being knocked over, the sounds coming closer. Jack turned to look at me again.
'I'm gonna see what's going on. You head inside that warehouse, I'll meet you in there.'
With those words, he vaulted over the fence, disappearing silently into the darkness. The gunfire continued, the calls getting louder. I kicked the door open, then locked it behind me, walking into the garage.
Using the boxes as a walkway, I climbed up to the office above the shopfloor, picking up a lockpick on the way. Never know when it'd be useful. When I got to the window, Jack was already there, looking out, careful to keep out of line of sight. I whispered to him hoarsely. 'What's going on man?'
'What? What are they doing here?'
'The prince?' I punched the wall in frustration. 'Who the fuck is the prince? I don't understand ANY of this shit!'
Jack put a finger to his lips, growling at me under his breath.
Jack nodded towards the window. 'Look out there, kid.'
Two thugs with uzis walked up one end of the alley, following what looked like a bizarre humanoid ape with claws. At the other end stood blondie's pet giant.
'HA HA HA! FUCKING DIE, CAMARILLA WHORE!' One of the men roared crazily, spraying the other end of the alley. The other man also opened fire as the bestial creature galloped forward, using his forearms to launch himself across the open space. The giant calmly raised a hand, glowing blue with energy, pointing at the men across the battlefield.
From behind the vampires rose two spectral wolves, creatures of pure energy, which silently pounced upon them. They each gave out a strangled cry as bullets carved great arcs across the bulding wall, the guns falling from lifeless hands as the insubstantial dogs fed upon the mangled corpses. The monster continued to lurch forwards, an empty, mindless growl emitting from its maw as it focused on the enemy. The giant held out a hand, and blew, almost like blowing a kiss.
The giant lowered his great fist, and sensing eyes upon him, looked straight up into my window, his red eyes piercing me, holding me.
I took an involuntary step back, wondering if my second life was going to end as abruptly as my first. I felt the wall hit my back. Didn't care. If I could disappear into the rock, I'd be cool with that. Anything to get away from that bastard and his eyes.
He looked down, and wordlessly turned, leaving the alley. Jack looked at me, then gently (as gently as a guy like Jack could) tried to lighten the tone.
'What?' he said, still looking out the window, pulling a gun out of his jacket.
'I'm in way over my fucking head.'
'Welcome to the Masquerade kid! We all fucking are!'