Dane stayed up all night these past few days. He hasn’t put us on any real missions beyond normal patrol, and we haven’t caught much worth noting. He wanders, that is the only way I can describe it, the warehouse aimless and mutters to himself.
This morning I saw him wake Mykhailo in the midst of a nightmare. The Slav woke sweating, and had Dane with his hollow gaze and deranged smile looming over him, asking questions better left in the cold ground. The Slav got to the bar and sucked down a healthy draught of calm before he responded.
Dane was going away for a few weeks, he said, and he was taking Lawson with him. Where or why he wouldn’t say, but he left Myk in charge with little more than a lead on some house uptown that was evidently selling Vampirism to the wealthy. He didn’t care what we did, he just said take a look and decide. With that, he was gone.
I wonder why I do this.
We looked over the folder together; pictures Lawson had taken of mortals walking in and out. Some stayed for days, and some came out with the ghostly hue of the undead. We decided to get to work.
I took some of the faces we had on print over to the Bureau to see what I could dig up on them while Myk and Chester gathered supplies. Of the names I found, one was a big fish; old money and even older blood, a Prussian Royal Family heir who was valued somewhere in the billions on the blood and plunder of Old Europe.
The other names I got on that list were New York councilmen, Senators and captains of industry. I didn’t even want to think about going after them without getting half of the FBI involved.
The point was, this Prussian went to that house, he left in a fit and still very much alive.
And he was in New York.
His private jet had plans to leave the next day, so we would have to move quickly. His suit at the Four Seasons was occupied, and I knew that’s where we would find him.
We decided to play this one safe; no big moves, just a fact finding mission if we could keep it that way. I just wanted to talk to the guy, see what he knew about this house and just what had kept him, if anything, from buying the curse.
This is where it all went to hell, of course.
The Agency was all over the hotel; obvious suits in dark sunglasses that mockingly try to ‘hide’ the coiled wire of their earpiece, staring down anyone who walks into the bar as they sip on their sparkling water and play like a plant.
I wanted some more time, some time to form a real plan and get this guy alone, but the House had other plans; two killers were on the way, they were dead, and they were hungry.
They strolled into the foyer as pale and as cold as the marble floor, and went to the elevator. I acted quickly, tried to convince the federals that their mark was in danger, all the while Mykki stands in the elevator along with the corpses. He gets off on the floor bellow to throw them off.
The suits don’t buy what I’m selling, but they are half awake and see the two vamps on their client’s floor, and they decide to check it out.
Then, the gunfire starts.
The dead things move with their sickly grace and tear into the CIA goons outside the German’s door. Mykki arrives on scene and plunges into the mess; silver and blood stain the room like a Pollock. Chester and I are in the room just in time to see Mykki tear the chest of one of the vamps open, while the royal bleeds his last blood filled breath.
When it’s over, the place is a mess. One of the CIA guys is still alive, and he’s losing his mind. Mykki doesn’t help while he dismantles a corps in the bathtub, but I have to say; he takes care of business.
The Agency man doesn’t want to play ball, hes freaked by what he saw, and hes about to crack. Chester and Mykki wraps the corpses up, and we accept that we botched this one, time to get out clean.
No chance of that happening.
The room goes dark, and the CIA’s man gets on the horn. His chalky face find’s some way to get paler, and single word escapes past his lips: Valkyrie.
I had only heard whispers of the operation; some kind of government black ops to the extreme. They had their hands in every pie, they knew every move, they took what they needed and killed what they didn’t. It was a myth, a bedtime story for Agency fuck ups who knew too much for life to be a mystery.
And they were sewing up this hotel nice and tight.
In a flash, Mykki and Chester are wrapping the Vampires body in bed sheets, and I’m trying to explain one of the greatest conspiracies on earth in about ten seconds to a guy who is covered in 30-year-old blood. Lucky for me, the mention of Valkyrie has him so spooked his willing to set aside his disbelief and go on a little faith. From what this guy knows, the people who are shutting this down don’t take prisoners.
I want this guy to help me, and I’m not running because if I can turn him, he’s a valuable asset, and he might just know a little bit about what’s going on. We head to the elevators and of course they’re shutdown. I’m about to make for the stairs when I hear the door open, and the black shadow of government issue infiltration gear sucks any hope of escape out of the whole floor.
We dash into an empty room and the training take over. Wordlessly, we position ourselves for ambush. I’m near the door, hes across the room. When the agent finally comes in, he’s in for a shock. I slam into him, and he goes down, but even in the gear he’s fast, a quick roll and hes on his knees, MP5 smoothly levels off to end any problems I have ever had, when the whisper of 9mm through a silencer ends him before hr even hit’s the ground.
It’s always weird when a spook kill’s somebody, even if it’s someone you want to see dead. They do it with the annoyed indifference that sets up shop somewhere in the back of your conscious. I’m pushing all that down as were out the door, about to do the emergency ladder in the elevator shaft down, and a housekeep spooks us.
I wanted to stop him, or so I tell myself. She saw our faces, and for the FBI, that was enough. Every soul on earth passes a camera, DNA is locked away on databanks that wait like tombs for the honored dead; we were toast if she talks to Valkyrie. I tell myself I would have made it work, I would have figured something out.
The CIA mook does that for me. “Go get help” he says, and she’s got two in the back of the skull before she’s even on her way.
I tell myself I would have don differently, and the Luger feels cold.
The rest is a blur. Were down the shaft and into a sub-basement. I had donned the Valkyrie guy’s tac gear and was trying to make like the CIA goon was my prisoner. It’s like that scene in the Professional; I see the elivator to the street, I see the light, just one more stairwell and I’m home free.
It falls apart. I move wrong, or I said something wrong, I don’t remember. The gun in my jacket gets heavy, and I’m shaking off a strong sleep. Violence erupts all around me, and the Agent is running down the steps, almost at the bottom. What do I do?
Someone else tags him. Six, seven, eight times. It’s like a mist off a waterfall, blood falling in soft patterns all over the stairwell.
They still buy my outfit, and as they drag me out to make sure I’m ‘okay’ I look back at those bloodshot eyes. A worker, trying to climb the ladder. An hour ago he was having an espresso, doing a minions job for minions pay. Now, he’s covered in red flowers and soaked to the bone in his own gore.
I manage to slip away, and I meet the fellas back at the warehouse.
The job was so botched; I don’t know how we made it out. Mykki and Chester just beat Valkyrie to the street and even got chased, but they had a crowd to hide in, and they gave them the slip even as they hung the noose around the hotel.
I collapse, despite myself, and I wonder if whoever is in that house were tiring to hard to get into is really worth it, if any of this is.
I’m tired, but I don’t sleep.