Chapter XIII: A most adept agentKilpatrick sat at the desk, reading a file, open box of doughnuts by his arm.
'Evening Arthur', I said as I walked in. He nodded, offering the doughnut box. I declined, to Arthur's seeming relief.
'Skipped town. Found an answerphone message saying he was going downtown. Sorry about that.'
'Arty, Arty, we're friends!' I spread my hands magnamaniously. 'You can thank me in American Dollars.'
'Much obliged Arthur. I'm just gonna check the computer, then I'll be on my way.'
I chuckled. 'I'll remember that. You might get some of your money back. See you around.'
I scanned the file on Virgil.
'Alright...Crumb, Virgil...arrested for drunk and disorderly...void...subject found deceased, now in hospital morgue...'
Nothing's ever simple, is it?
Sneaking into the morgue was surprisingly easy. Winking at the night-nurse got me a returned wink as she turned back to deal with a stab victim. Down the stairs, past the blood bank, and into the lower level.
I opened the door to the morgue. Lying on a slab was Virgil.
A quick investigation of the body have no sign as to cause of death. The box in the corner contained his possessions. I picked the lock, and looked inside. There was some money, which I took, and a keycard. I picked it up, reading the label.
Foxy Boxes. Near The Asylum. That would be my next stop, once I got hold of the werewolf's blood.
'Brilliant', I muttered sardonically. 'I get to kill two birds with one stone.'
The storage rooms were on the top floor of the hospital. Taking the stairs, I reached the locked door to the area, spying a security guard patrolling through the glass panel.
The door was easy work. They didn't expect anyone would want to get up here. Silently closing the door behind me, I picked the lock on the maintenance room door, and looked around.
'That's funny', I murmured. The grate allowing access to the air vent was wide open.
I climbed in, and crawled through the vent space, looking for hints as to the layout of the top floor of the hospital.
Security camera. Big cabinet. Reinforced steel frame on the door. I deduced this must be where the sample was being kept. I continued to crawl, reaching another grate, through which I could see a computer. I jumped down, trying to make as little noise as possible. Through the door I could hear the security guard whistling tunelessly to himself.
Cracking the system, I was able to open the electronic lock on the sample storage door. I was also able to find out that the camera was operated by a separate security system on the floor.
I wanted to leave the room. Unfortunately, I wasn't sure of the guard's patrol route. I couldn't just open either this door or the maintenance door again without knowing his whereabouts. I needed to remain undetected.
I concentrated, wondering where he could be. I closed my eyes, imaging the guard. Could I sense him? It seemed ridiculous, but I could say the same about vampirism...
There! An aura! A bright white light surrounded the guard as he walked past the room. If I had opened the door then, I would have been found for sure.
You learn something new every day...doesn't his aura look...delicious though? So white...so pure...Say, when was the last time you had a drink?
I tried to force the voice down. Was staying in control always so much of a struggle? I opened the door, and headed for the security room.
I could see the sample storage room through the monitors. Luckily, I could also see the guard patrolling through the hall cameras. Not so lucky that they will have seen you, too.
I sat at the computer, considering passwords. In an instant, one came to me.
Access granted. Do you wish to disable the cameras?
Oh yes. Yes I certainly did. Once the camera system was switched off, I crept across the hall to sample storage.
Here it was. With the door unlocked, access was easy. I took the sample. It didn't look any different from human blood, and yet, it was somehow repulsive to me. Even the inner voice remained silent. I shoved the pack inside my shirt, and left the room, the electronic lock clicking behind me. Making my way back down the stairs and out of the building, I walked towards Foxy Boxes.
'Right...let's see if we can find Knox's little playmate.'
I opened the door, which revealed a small office to the right, and a large storage warehouse in front of me. As I was turning into the office, a movement straight ahead grabbed my attention.
The asian man had appeared as if from nowhere. I crouched slightly, legs set apart. The man did not approach immediately however. He bowed deeply to me, eyes never leaving my face. Yet, as I started to straighten, he drew a long, single edged blade from his back, and ran forwards silently.
I jumped backwards as the katana swished past, narrowly missing my throat.
Take more than a bloodpack to fix that up. Don't just stand there, get him!
I ducked under the next flash of the blade, grabbing the man by arm and shirt, flinging him into the boxes behind me. He crashed awkwardly, dropping the sword. As he reached for it, I drew my knife from my belt. He bowed again slightly, before he rushed forward. Yet he moved so slowly. My senses once again felt sharpened, my strength doubled. I allowed the katana to pierce my shoulder; it only brought my prey closer. Walking into the blade, feeling it run through flesh and muscle, I brang the blade in low. The man's eyes widened, stunned that I had walked into the blade. I smiled violently at him, as I began my attack.
The knife was an extension of my fingers, feeling out the flesh, seeking out the weaknesses. Small cuts across the face and neck. A finger severed, where a hand moved up to ward off the blow. The shirt became heavily bloodstained, the skin paler. Yet the man didn't give a cry, only tried to free the blade from my shoulder. The wiggling motion sent shockwaves of pain up my spine, and I groaned. Hoping that the tide had turned, the man smiled, seeking to wrench the blade free. Viciously I rammed the shoulder against the hilt, hearing the sound of fingers fracturing as they were crushed against the crate behind him. His eyes raised up, looking at me. The last thing they saw, as my blade became deeply embedded in one.
The body turned to ash, disintegrating before my eyes. The sword did too, disappearing with it's owner. The wound already beginning to knit together, I returned to the office and switched on the laptop.
'No password required...obviously not expecting visitors.'
I read the reports. Initial reports spoke of the 'Cainites', and factions amongst them. I determined these must be the vampire factions, the Camarilla and Sabbat. It spoke condescendingly of there pursuit of earthly desires, petty powers, that LA was ripe for the taking. Curious.
I laughed at the next report. The asian vampire had noticed Knox following him from the outset, toying with the bumbling buffoon as a respite from his other activities.
10/23/04: A new player has arrived in Santa Monica. An agent of the prince, yet he seems much more adept than the other Cainites. I will watch this one most carefully.
10/24/04: The agent is on my trail. He spoke with the idiot human and found the body of Virgil Crumb. I can only assume he is on his way here now. Should I die at his hands, I leave this final message. LA is ripe for the taking, if taken by force.
I repeated the words over in my mind. We had the Camarilla, the Sabbat, and now, seemingly, a third faction vying for power in the city of LA. This was getting more interesting. Despite myself, I knew the feeling rising up in me. The feeling that came with an unlocked door, a broken security password. This was getting FUN.
A most adept agent indeed.