22 - Vampire the Masquerade
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Helping AsheWesley and I located Vesuvius. It was located in a dead end of seedier section of Hollywood. Well, seedy by Hollywood standards. We entered. It was pretty nice for a strip club. Three girls were dancing on a stage in the center of the club, and a bunch of guys were watching. There were two girls giving lap dances in small alcoves that were located along the walls. And, on the far wall, there were some rooms with doors. I guess that those rooms were for more than lap dances. Over near the bar was a hot redhead, wearing a matching bra, panties, and thigh-highs. She was stunning. I checked auras, and she was the only vampire. She was Velvet Velour. We walked toward her, and she smiled. "Not much here that would interest you two, I suspect," she said. "Still, you are the two finest males that have entered this club in a long time." "Got someplace where we can talk?" I asked. "Let"s go upstairs to my office." "Wow! She is hot!" Wesley said. "Can vampires have sex?" "I really don"t know," I answered. "And yes, Velvet is hot. But wait until you see Jeanette." "Who is Jeanette?" he asked. I didn"t answer. I just grinned. We followed Velvet up to her office and entered. She lit up a cigarette; we were shocked. "Yes," she said. "There are some human vices open to vampires. Tobacco is one; alcohol, coffee, and tea are others. And so are drugs. But that is not why you came. I got a call from Isaac. Please, call me VV." "VV," I began, "Isaac told me that you might be able to help with my search. I am looking for the Nosferatu." "No one knows where they hide," she said, reaffirming Isaac"s statement. "I have used them in the past to hack computers and gain information. I have a room, over the stage, where one can see the entire club. On occasion, the Nosferatu would use it to watch the girls dance. It seems that they are all male. But they always let me know when they will be using that room. I have not heard from them in a while." "Seems as if we keep striking out," Wesley said. "We have a more pressing problem to deal with," VV said. "There are vampire hunters in town. In the past month they have been in my club twice. And they are watching Ashe"s club every night. Do you know Ashe?" I explained that we knew of Ashe, not Ashe. "He has been going crazy," she said. "He has been trying to get in touch with the Nosferatu, in hopes that they can get him out of Hollywood to a place where he can hide for a while. Or, at least until the hunters give up and go away. He may be able to help you. I would visit Ashe." We left Vesuvius and headed back up the street to the Asp Hole, Ashe"s club. It was a really nice place, with a dance floor and stage at the far end, and small balconies on the left and right. Tonight, a DJ was holding court in a sound booth, and a few couples were dancing. There were also two vampire hunters. One was standing by the entrance, keeping watch. The other was sitting by the dance floor, nursing a drink. I checked auras and detected one vampire. He was on the balcony on the left with some humans. Wesley and I headed to the balcony. "I know who you are," Ashe said, as we entered the balcony. "Isaac called. He said one of you would be coming, not two. But it does not matter." Ashe"s manner was one of despair. "Velvet said you may know something of the disappearing of the Nosferatu," I said. "It is of little matter," Ashe answered. "Did you see them? The two hunters in the club? This is my haven. If the hunters have discovered my haven, it is only a matter of time before they move. I could go out the front, but there will be more waiting outside. It is only a matter of time." "Well," Wesley said, "you have to have more than one way in and out. Do you?" "I do," Ashe said. "It is in the basement. A passageway leads to an underground storm drain, and from there to a subway tunnel. I can come up in the unused subway yard and make my way out. I would go to someplace far, far away for a while. But the hunters have probably found that as well. If I use that, I probably will have to fight my way out as well." "We"ll help you," I said. "Let"s go now." "There are three of us," Wesley said. "We should be able to get you free." Ashe agreed. He transferred a lot of money to my account, as a fee, and we headed into the basement. He had a false wall, and pushed it open. We went through a narrow tunnel and emerged through another false wall into the storm drain. We followed it and, after a turn to the left, crawled through a small uphill tunnel and into the subway. We began to follow Ashe, and then we saw that we would have to fight. But what we were going to fight was not vampire hunters. It was something far, far uglier.