The End of the Kuei-Jin
Wesley and I spent the next two weeks resting, healing, and making a plan. Our plan was how to assault the temple in Chinatown and take out Ming Jaio and her Kuei-Jin. On the home front, I moved some money around and Wesley spent some time with his doctor and his sister. Wesley"s relationship with those two was becoming strained. As he was becoming more and more of a vampire, he was viewing his sister and the Doctor as prey. And they were becoming fearful. I knew that it would come to that. Wesley was no longer human. It was inevitable. Wesley would, in the near future, break those relationships.
On the vampire front, Bertram had provided us with blood packs for the assault on the temple as well as temple plans. There was no charge. He wanted to see the Kuei-Jin brought down as much as we did.
The layout of the temple was pretty simple. The land was rectangular, about one hundred fifty yards long and sixty wide, and surrounded by a ten feet high stonewall. There was one known entrance. There were three buildings, laid out in a line, and running lengthwise. I had been in the first. The second was a dormitory of some sort. The third was the main temple. The whole place was surrounded by a lovely garden.
Wesley and I figured we would enter through the only gate and move slowly, through the buildings, to the third. We guessed that the haven of Ming Jaio would be in the third building. We checked the weather and picked a dark night to make our attack. The darkness would not matter to vampires, but it would make a huge difference if she had any human guards. We made sure we had plenty of ammo, our blood packs, and our katanas. When the perfect night arrived, we set off in my taxi.
The front gate was open. Wesley and I quietly entered, but I had no doubts that we had been observed. It would be highly unlikely for Ming Jaio to leave the front gate unwatched. We moved around the first building, on the left, and then we got attacked. Five humans, all ghouls, and supervised by a vampire, tried to ambush us. Even with our short katanas, they were no match. I used my purge power to make some of them vomit, and we dispatched them quickly. The vampire moved in last, and Wesley finished him with his shotgun. I moved back into the first building, found some wood molding along the wall, ripped it off, and made it into a bunch of stakes.
We entered the second building, and it was a dormitory. There were about ten humans scattered around in the various rooms, some of them playing cards. We picked them off piecemeal. There were also two vampires, but they were pretty new. We got them staked, and then fired our shotguns into their heads. They didn"t change into flame, smoke, and then dust, like Kindred. They just sort of died. We also found a bunch of full-sized katanas. Wesley and I took one, just in case.
We got to the third building and entered. This was some sort of shrine. There were three large statues of Buddha, one on the left, one on the right, and one at the rear. There were some pots with incense burning, and the lights were dim. It gave the whole room and air of calm and relaxation. We were anything but relaxed. And then Ming Jaio appeared out of nowhere.
"Well, Childer," she said, her Chinese face revealing nothing, "have you chosen your proper destiny? Have you selected your path? Will you join with LaCroix and I?"
"Uncool," Wesley said.
"No," I answered. "We have come for the key for the Ankaran Sarcophagus. Will you give it to us?"
"Fools!" she shouted. "Think of the power you would have! The strength you would gain!"
"Right," I said. "Ming Jaio, please give us the key, or we will take it."
"Your screams will be heard in the most remote corners of Hell, as worms and maggots devour your flesh and bones for one thousand years!" This was Ming"s curse on us. And she began to shape shift.
"Let"s finish this," Wesley said.
Ming changed. She changed into a large, slimy, green worm about ten feet tall. Hear head was tiny, but bristling with teeth. She had six large, thick arms just below her head. And slime poured off of her body, making the floor slick. She began to swat us with those six arms.
She was knocking Wesley and I all over the floor. We had our katanas, but could not get underneath those large arms. When we did land a blow, it seemed that the slime all over her body blunted the cut. To make matters worse, the slime was coating the floor, making it hard to get our footing. This was not going well at all.
I kept trying to get close, and could not. There was no sign of Wesley. I figured she had gotten to him first. Then I heard the shotgun blasts. Mercurio had given him the pumpkin ball ammunition, the same that I used, and Wesley was using it. I saw Ming"s head jerk, once, twice, and then again. Wesley had ducked behind the Buddha statue on the right, and was popping out from behind it and firing.
Ming turned her attention to Wesley. She moved, and she was deceptively quick despite her size. Every time Wesley popped out from behind the Buddha, she would swat. And some of the swats were landing. I figured now was my chance.
"Catch, dude!" I shouted, and tossed Wesley a blood pack. I figured he needed it more than me. He grinned, ducked behind the statue, and fed. Then he started shooting again. Ming turned to me, but, when Wesley put another slug into her head, she turned back to him. Now it was my turn.
I had the katana in my left hand and a stake in my right. I waited. Wesley kept firing, and took a few more swats for his efforts. But I still waited, until the bottom arm on Ming"s right side moved to swat Wesley. Then I moved, or perhaps skated across the slime is a better description, and jammed both my katana and my stake at the area where I thought that her heart would be. Next I fell on my ass and slid across the floor, ending up at the feet of the Buddha.
I turned and looked. The katana had gone all of the way in. The stake only entered about a third. Ming paused in her attack and looked at me. Wesley opened up with the shotgun and put two rounds into her head. It was easy to hit a stationary target. I got to my feet, skated into Ming, grabbed the stake, and shoved it all of the way in. Ming started to waver, and I got away from her quickly. Then she collapsed.
"You think she is dead?" Wesley asked, stepping out from behind the statue. "By the way, you look like hell, covered with all of that slime and all."
"I don"t know," I answered. "She"s Kuei-Jin, and different from us." I grabbed my shotgun and put about four rounds into her head. She didn"t move.
Wesley shrugged, and the two of us began looking for the key. We found it, sitting at the feet of the Buddha at the end of the building. Then we went back to Ming.
"What should we do?" Wesley asked. "Can we be sure she suffered Final Death?"
"We"ve got incense burning here," I said, "and there were oil lamps in the dormitory building. Let"s go and see if we can find some oil. Maybe we will get lucky and find enough to burn her."
Wesley and I went back to the second building. In the cellar we found four casks of oil. Wesley wanted to bring one; I suggested two. We grabbed the casks, some lighters, and headed back to the temple. We soaked Ming Jaio in the oil, lit her up, and ran like hell for the gate.
My cab was waiting for us. We headed back to Santa Monica. I didn"t bother to ask my driver who was paying.