Subsection: Saturday 26 October 2019 Up Section: 1.07 All Night Suckers

Sunday 27 October 2019

There are no further reports of unusual weirdness overnight. Early the next morning, the team goes to see what can be learned. All four incidents were in the general bar strip downtown: one on West Adams, two further north on West Duval, one to the west near the courthouse. Juan smells something oddly familiar… vampire, like that time in the swamp just before the nerve gas fire.
(13 January 2021)
Juan and Jade follow the scents back. They all seem to have got off the Skyway rapid transit system, three at James Weldon Johnson Park (all fairly young) and one (a businessman, perhaps early 40s) at Central station; Jesus sets up a bug to be put into the wiring of the Skyway CCTV system, then Juan places it and Jesus looks back for the footage. The three who got off at the Park get down the steps acting vaguely normal before they go wild down in the crowd; Natasha reckons they’re feeling gradually more and more provoked by something, then eventually losing it. They’re the only people on the train apart from the driver to arrive at Central, and indeed the train came straight from the maintenance depot. It looks as if they were hiding in it; the driver shouted at them when they got out from behind seats and pillars, but he wasn’t going to stop driving to do anything about it.
They go to the depot, and Jesus looks for alarms on the fence; there’s a basic one, not too hard to bypass. There’s a visible guard by the gate, so they plan to get in along the tracks; Jade goes up with a rope, Juan climbs the rope, and they pull up the others, then go low along the track bed to get into the depot.
They split up and look for the scent again, and track them back through the loading dock; it looks as though they came over the fence together. The trail leads back to World of FroYo, the same one the group looked at before. There’s no other unusual smell in the area.
Juan takes a check around the dumpsters, and sure enough, the trail from shop to dumpster is clear, but not quite as vampire-ish as the trail from dumpster to depot.
Natasha scans for undead nearby: there’s something there in the shop, but it’s not so much a single creature as a mass of something undead, perhaps half human size. She scries, but the viewpoint lands inside their commercial fridge, and it’s dark there. With a more concentrated scry and ability to see in the dark, she identifies the relevant canister as being marked Cake Batter flavour (from Consolidated Dairy Supplies, based in an industrial park out on I-295). Jade goes to get the car while the others consider what they’re going to do next. Jesus evades the alarm and gets the lock open, and Juan goes to the fridge and opens it. The Cake Batter doesn’t give him any trouble, and he takes it out and closes the place up; then Juan goes back to clean out the dispenser, which had a trace of the stuff left in it, with vodka and a match.
They depart in the car, and head for the nearest bit of swamp. Natasha tries to detect more of the stuff; the only lot nearby is in the industrial park, though there’s quite a bit there. She tries to sense a mind in this undead mass, and gets nothing. Probing it in a bit more detail, this definitely looks engineered; it gradually breaks down blood, and when it runs out of blood to scavenge it releases something else, the very undead part that’s something close kin to vampire blood. That done, Natasha transforms it into hydrocarbons and Juan sets fire to it. They depart, and Natasha checks that nothing undead is left behind.
It’s about 9am by now, and they go to look at the industrial park. (Consolidated Medical Waste Disposal is also listed on the board, in the next unit over.) Natasha confirms that there’s Cake Batter in a few holding tanks, and gets a signature of something undead and vampire-ish in the same building. That turns out to be the heart, some of the brain, some bones and some other organs, hooked up and working.
(27 January 2021)
There’s a fence and one guard, and the place is clearly in use. The team decides to get some rest after their early start, prepare some explosives, work up a charm to transform yoghurt to napalm, and return in the evening, when the place is a bit quieter; there are one or two lights on but the car park is nearly empty. Jesus disables the fence alarm and they pass through to the back of the building; there are cameras, but they’re only covering the actual entrances rather than the whole wall, and transmitting wirelessly to a base somewhere. Most of them are pointing at areas with nothing happening in them, rather than with roads in the background or anything that might make spoofing them a challenge.
Jesus loops the camera at the top of the fire-escape stairs, and the team ascends. There’s no lock on this fire escape; it looks as though there’s a crash bar on the other side and a contact-break alarm. He provides a wire, which Natasha causes to crawl through the cracks and bridge the contacts, then push on the bar. They’re on a gallery looking out over a two-storey space, perhaps a third the width of the building, within which is a prefab hut pushed up against the far wall.
Natasha detects vampires. One is static inside the hut; the other is outside the building, coming towards the front.
Jade jumps down in tiger form, and the others follow. They get ready to receive the vampire coming in from the front, but instead it goes down the centre of the building, setting off an alarm. The party can hear guns being readied. As the vampire reaches the entrance to the hut, there’s automatic weapons fire, followed by crackling and screaming, and a smell of combustion.
The static vampire no longer registers to Natasha’s detection, suggesting that it’s been “killed”. There’s still gunfire, but it looks as if there might be only one shooter left. The walls of the hut are getting warm, and a little smoke is leaking out.
The team moves towards a door to the factory floor, and moves in; the place is filled with machinery, and smoke’s starting to build up on the ceiling. Jade advances to get a better look at what’s going on. The shooting has now stopped. A black-clad figure emerges from the doorway, drops a backpack flamethrower, and starts to head back up the factory floor at high speed. Jade gets ready to ambush, but it dodges to one side and continues towards the exit. Jesus hits it with an incendiary bullet, but it doesn’t slow down. Natasha tries to slow its unnatural movement, but it resists the spell.
The flamethrower tank lets go, and the factory floor is now on fire. The team gets out into the large open area, and then Natasha shifts the yoghurt into napalm using the charm. The vampire slows down briefly, then starts away again at greater speed; the team gets a brief glimpse of a bright orange SUV – not completely unlike the one that was spotted dropping off the note about St Vincent’s…