Subsection: Saturday 7 September 2019 Up Main page Subsection: Sunday 8 September 2019 

0.02 “Pilot (part 2)”

(20 November 2019)
Gabriel moves towards the building that’s catching fire, and falls over, twitching and vomiting. Juan moves in to see what’s going on, holding his breath, but it doesn’t help; he’s also affected, but being quite tough is able to stagger back before he’s got more than a tiny dose of whatever it is. He thinks he hears something moving in the undergrowth, but it’s hard to be sure in his current state; he can confirm that that humanoid shape has a body temperature close to ambient.
Ruth pulls her carbine out of the back of the car and takes a few shots at the humanoid, which manages to get out of the way. It’s distinctly agile, and leaps for her with teeth and claws out; she identifies it as a feral vampire.
From the undergrowth, a large tiger jumps onto the vampire, tearing out chunks of its flesh; this doesn’t seem to slow it down much, but certainly does distract it.
Natasha works magic to clear the air around the car; Juan’s still twitching and salivating, but not getting any worse. Ruth fires again at the vampire, this time aiming for its heart with wooden bullets, and does enough damage that it freezes in place for an instant, then falls to the ground. Natasha heals Juan, and Juan decapitates the vampire “just to be safe”.
The tiger moves behind a shrub, and Juan throws his jacket over there; sure enough, an attractive young woman steps out a second or two later, wearing the jacket and nothing else. She introduces herself as Jade; she was following the trail of the panther, and it led back here. She’s not entirely happy to learn that the panther is dead.
Natasha gives Juan an immunity to the gas, and he goes to have a closer look at the situation. Both the figures on the ground are dead, Gabriel of the gas and Russell of having his throat torn out and much of his blood drained. The small building that’s on fire contains more chemicals, and the containers are occasionally rupturing and adding to the blaze.
The other small building is a dormitory, and there’s a chemical toilet at the back. There are sleeping bags for four people, with one of them curtained off, but no personal stuff here; it looks as though people may only have slept here for a night or two at a time.
In the main hut are a lot of papers; neo-Nazi tracts, mostly, but some handwritten Arabic which Juan reckons might be someone practicing particular phrases. There are also many photographs of a particular building, satellite and aerial views, some of them marked up with approach routes and entry points. He leaves the papers undisturbed but takes photographs. Oh, there’s also a substantial cache of firearms.
Natasha decontaminates him again, and gives him an hour’s immunity to the poison this time. She also recognises the vampire’s head as the man she saw in her past-vision at the airport (somewhat distorted by dehydration). He definitely wasn’t a vampire then.
Juan takes another look at the burning hut, and is able to read some of the chemical labels – with a bit of thought, he recognises them as precursors for sarin, far enough back up the synthesis chain that you’d be able to get many of them legally, especially if you were a university chemistry department.
Jade is able to recognise the neighbourhood of the target building; it’s the Islamic Center of North-East Florida, pretty much the only mosque in the Jacksonville area. The group theorises that an attack there was meant to look like an unintended effect of something the legitimate users of the mosque had been doing.
As they’re thinking about leaving, they hear a high-performance car engine nearby. Ruth gets the car off the track, and they lurk nearby to see what’s coming. The answer is a pair of Lamborghini sports cars making heavy weather of this track, the lead one bright red, the second a pale neon green; each contains two Hispanic-looking men, the passenger holding a rifle out of the window. Ruth steps out to warn them about the gas, but when the driver asks “you the heat?” and she answers “maybe”, the passenger stows his rifle and pulls a sub-machinegun. Juan shoots at the lead car with his Redhawk, intending mostly to cause a distraction, but there’s screaming followed by silence; it’ll turn out that the bullet caused spalling of the interior, and both men are badly cut and unconscious.
Jesus shouts in Spanish that “we’re all friends here”, and carries on in this vein; it doesn’t seem to help much, though it gradually becomes clear that these men regard the group as rivals for the bounty on Loco Jimmy’s cat.
The driver of the second car tries to turn it round, and bogs down. Both men start to get out, and Natasha (now magically recharged) destroys the primers in all their ammunition. They move to the first car, pull their friends out and lie them on the ground. When they start scanning for targets again, Juan shoots one of them, and the other runs off in the vague direction of the camp.
Jade and Juan get the second (undamaged) car out of its hole. The registrations on both of them are for a James Trubshaw with an address in Miami.Given the amount of cash and the light dusting of cocaine on everything, it seems likely that these are drug dealers. As the group leaves, Jesus arranges for the police to be alerted by messages from the dealers’ phones, which then go in the swamp.
Juan crashes at Jade’s place (meeting her father, who turns out to be a Buddhist monk).
 Subsection: Saturday 7 September 2019 Up Main page Subsection: Sunday 8 September 2019