Resting and Watching
"Stolen! Stolen!" The prince actually hammered his hands on his desk when I gave him the news. He was pretty upset about the sarcophagus gone missing.
"Damned Gary!" he shouted, while stomping about the office. "Filthy Nosferatu!"
"You want to tell me who Gary is?" I asked. "And what do the Nosferatu have to do with this?" I only knew one Nosferatu, and that was Bertram Tung. And while the man was quite ugly and misshapen, he was not filthy. And, in terms of my education, Bertram had been quite forthcoming and helpful.
"Gary Golden is the Nosferatu Regent," the prince stated, calming a bit. "He provided the keys and access to the museum. And, no doubt, stole the damned sarcophagus."
"I guess you want me to find Gary," I said.
"No one knows where the Nosferatu hide," LaCroix said. "If you wish to contact them, you have to get in touch with the Toreador Regent, Isaac Abrams. Isaac resides in Hollywood, where he owns and operates an exclusive jewelry store."
"I want it found, and I want it found now!" The prince actually screamed. The words from Grout"s journal, "petulant child," came to mind. That was how the prince was acting.
I didn"t say a word. I just turned and left while the Prince Sebastian LaCroix, head of the Camarilla in L. A., continued to stomp, rant, and rave around his office. I grabbed my cab and headed back to Santa Monica. I offered the driver some money.
"Prince LaCroix pays," was all he said. In fact, that and "Where to?" was all I had ever heard him say. As I rode back, I decided I would rest a day in Santa Monica and then head out to Malibu. As no one had any idea where the sarcophagus was, I could take my time locating it. I would spend two weeks in Malibu, and investigate the vampire presence I had detected there.
The two weeks turned into a month. I made some financial arrangements with my banker, and discovered the safe places where I could feed in Malibu. The beach was good at night; because people walking by thought that I was kissing someone. So were some of the rich folks" residences lining the beach. I could sneak in, feed, and leave. I had plenty of food in Malibu.
I began to watch the old garage at the north end of town, the same place where I had first detected vampire energy. I saw a young black girl, around sixteen or eighteen, come and go. An older white guy, bald with a grey beard, also came and went. They were human. The vampire who seemed to be using the place as a haven was a lean, muscular black. I heard the girl call him Wesley a few times. There were three entrances to the garage, and he used all three.
One night, watching the garage, I hit the jackpot. Two strange vampires, male, were watching the garage. I decided to watch them. And I discovered that they were Sabbat.
How did I know they were Sabbat? Simple. I knew that they were vampires by checking their auras. All vampires have pretty much the same aura. But one thing that was stressed to me by both the Anarchs and the Camarilla was the upholding of the Masquerade. Consequently, we moved with a type of grace. We were stealthy. We were quiet. We were unobtrusive. And I, practicing this, was getting quite good at it. The Sabbat, on the other hand, were quite clumsy. While I was like a cat stalking, the Sabbat were like a bull in a china shop. The girl had actually detected them, but she never suspected me. And the two Sabbat had no clue I was watching them.
Another night, three vampires appeared out of a BMW. They, too, were Sabbat. Two men and one woman. The one guy was as graceful as an elephant on a stampede. I kept watching the place. I wanted to see what was going to happen. I started carrying my shotgun to my nightly spy sessions.
One night, I took a break and went to see Mercurio. He looked fit, and completely healed.
"I tell ya," he said, smiling, "that vampire blood you guys give us is some stuff. I know an old doc who patched me up, and the blood and the morphine did the rest. It"s like I was never beat up."
"It"s good to see you up and about, Mercurio."
"I want to thank you, Randy," Mercurio said, and he opened up a small footlocker, "for not ratting on me to the prince. You saved my life. Like I said, you need anything, you come see me. Now, here is a little something that might come in handy."
Mercurio handed me a .50 caliber McCluskey automatic.
"This is a man-stopper," he said. "Works a whole lot better than that pea shooter you got now. You got a shotgun?"
I nodded. Mercurio handed me a bunch of 12-gauge ammo.
"These are not pellets," he said. "These are what they call pumpkin balls. When they go in, they make a hole about the size of a quarter. When they exit, they make a door. You hit a Sabbat in the head with one of these, and he"s goin" down. No shit about that."
I examined the ammo. It was scary. I thanked Mercurio and headed back to Malibu. It looked like I had made the right choice in keeping quiet about him. Then I continued my observation of the garage.
One fine Sunday night, I hit the jackpot. The two humans and one vampire were inside the garage. No doubt about it, it was the black vampire"s haven. Then my five Sabbat showed up. They were laughing like they were going to a party. All five of them entered the garage.
I knew where the basement entrance was. I moved to it, picked the lock, and entered. So far, no one had detected me. I would approach from the basement. It was party time.