26 - Vampire the Masquerade
DescriptionHunting for the Nosferatu
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Hunting for the NosferatuWesley and I went back into Chinatown, he in his hi-performance Mazda 3 and me in my yellow Checker cab, with a driver who only knew two phrases in English. I had him drop me at the entrance, and I walked to Zhao"s warehouse. It was easy to find. It had a big sign that read "Zhao"s Import-Export." My detective work would make Sherlock Holmes proud. The door was unlocked, so I let myself in. I saw an office on the second floor with lights on. I headed up and knocked. A man bid me enter. "I am Zhao," he said. "I received a phone call from Ming Jiao informing me that you would be coming. How may I be of assistance?" Here I was stumped. This guy was human. I didn"t want to break the Masquerade by telling him I was looking for a vampire, so I had to choose my words carefully. "A business associate," I began, "a fellow who is very good with electronics, has gone missing. I hope to find him without involving the police. Any ideas where I could look?" "You should talk to Johnny," he said. "He has a club, called Glaze. The pass code to enter is 9785. He is head of the Tong, and has a great deal of knowledge. If anyone can help you, he can. Now, I must prepare to die. I have offended the Tong, and they will take revenge." I watched as he turned his back to me and next sat in his office chair. He closed his eyes and began to meditate. I heard the unlocked door being kicked in. That was followed by a bunch of heavy footsteps. Someone was coming to kill Zhao. I killed the office lights and ducked. I checked auras. About six men were gathered at the bottom of the stairs, deciding what to do next. One side of the office had full-length glass windows. Right beside one was a stack of high shelves. I grabbed a filing cabinet and broke that pane of glass. I jumped onto the top shelf, ran to the end, and dropped to the floor. I peeked around the corner. Three of the men charged up the steps, and the other three fanned out, moving slowly about the warehouse floor. All were armed. I crept around the shelves and crates and moved slowly. Then I saw Wesley enter through the door. He had his katana in his hand. I grabbed my knife. Wesley took out one guy and I took out another. Next we both ran out the door before the third guy could react. As we were leaving, we heard some shouts from the office and a bunch of shots. So much for Mr. Zhao. "Now what?" Wesley asked. "A club called Glaze," I said. "Same drill. The pass code is 9785. If I am not out in ten minutes, come in with guns blazing. The place will be loaded with Tong." We found the club, which was easy to locate because it was on the main street and only two blocks from the temple. I entered, and saw a typical disco, complete with DJ and bar. There was a staircase on the left, guarded by two goons. I approached. "No one allowed," one goon said. "I"m here to see Johnny," I retorted. "Leave now," the other said. I dropped the two into a trance and headed up. I found what appeared to be an office entrance, guarded by two more goons. I zapped them with a trance, fed on the pair, leaving them very weak, and entered. The first office was empty. In the second a lone Chinese fellow was involved in a conference call on his computer. He turned and scowled. Maybe it was Malkavian intuition, and maybe not, but I decided now was the time to play rough. "Who are you? Get the fuck out!" he shouted. "Hi, Johnny," I said. "Zhao said you would help me. I am looking for a Nosferatu vampire that has gone missing. Name of Barabbas. You know where he is?" "Shoot it, Johnny!" commanded the voice. "Yeah, shoot me, Johnny." "What the hell?" Johnny said. "Shoot it!" Johnny pulled a gun out of a desk drawer and fired two rounds into my belly. Another shirt ruined. Now I was angry. "What the bloody hell!" Johnny said. "You should be dead!" "It is dead, Johnny," said the voice on the computer. "Or, perhaps undead is a better word." I think Johnny wanted to shoot me again, but I never gave him a chance. I fed a bit on him and then finished him with my knife. Next I turned and looked at the computer. "You had to kill him," the voice said. There was no face on the screen, just a logo. The logo of the Fu Syndicate, the electronics giant. "It was necessary for your survival. You were required to do it." "Who are you?" I asked. "Come to the syndicate building," the voice stated. "I have your Nosferatu, and you will have to come and get him if you want to rescue him." "You don"t know what you are dealing with," I said. "Oh, but I do," the voice said. "I know only too well what you are. A vampire. Not a Kuei-Jin, like we have in China, but a Kindred. A child of Cain. If you want your Nosferatu, you must come and get him." "See you in a few minutes," I answered. I left the club and hooked up with Wesley. We found the huge building that housed the Fu Syndicate, and prepared to make an entrance. "Same drill?" Wesley said. "Give me fifteen minutes this time," I said.