We subdued a squatter.
But not just any squatter.
A vampress who Kevin claims is Bharatiya.
She called herself Kali.
The name rings true.
But why would she be here?
She was trying to evade us. We fought in the house but it wasn't seriously damaged. A few scuffs on the flooring, perhaps.
Worry yourself not about the flooring.
She's the capacity for great violence.
Are you three unharmed?
I'm the worst off. She got my arm pretty badly. Kevin got scratched up but he says he's OK.
Has she demands?
Demands? No. She's passed out.
She's fainted? How did you three manage that?
One of Kevin's guns.
She must be in rough shape.
I will meet you in Astoria.
The MARSCAPONE AUXILIARY APARTMENTS are quiet. KEVIN’s car has already parked in the driveway. I have the lightest feeling of dread.
I alert the denizens to my presence.
AVAEL answers the door.
EVENING, MASTER. PLEASE, ENTER.
THE TRIO IS DOWNSTAIRS ATTENDING TO OUR GUEST.
She moves aside to allow me entrance.
THANK YOU, AVAEL.
In the basement of the townhome is a small holding cell used in the time of VINCENT MARSCAPONE. Long ago an array of silvered bars had been placed to hold creatures of supernatural strength.
I enter CEDRIC’s apartment and walk down the stairs into the damp basement.
I can hear the trio talking amongst themselves.
HOW LONG UNTIL SHE COMES TO?
I DON’T REALLY KNOW.
I’M SURPRISED THE SERUMS WORKED ON HER AT ALL.
The three look back toward me but wait for me to finish descending the stairs. They’re on the other side of the first set of bars, in the interrogation seat.
SHE’S A GODDESS. OR AT LEAST, APPARENTLY, SHE WAS.
HER KIND RELIES ON WORSHIP FOR THEIR POWER.
WE THOUGHT SHE WAS ONE OF THE CONDUITS.
NO, I DON’T THINK SO.
SHE IS SOURCED FROM SOMETHING ELSE.
THAT IS, IF SHE IS WHO SHE CLAIMS TO BE.
I step forward and the three allow me to observe the prisoner.
They’ve lain her on the bed. She lays still with her eyes closed.
IF SHE WERE AT FULL STRENGTH, YOU SHOULDN’T EXPECT YOUR SERUMS TO HAVE ANY EFFECT.
BUT SHE LIKELY HAS BEEN SUFFERING FROM A LOSS OF WORSHIP. THAT’S WHY WE SEE HER HERE.
WHY WAS SHE AT THE GOTH’S?
WE’LL HAVE TO ASK HER WHEN SHE RISES.
HAS SHE SPOKEN?
SHE DID TELL US HER NAME, OBVIOUSLY. AND LAMENTED THAT HER NAME DIDN’T MEAN MUCH, WHICH I SUPPOSE MEANT HER LACK OF FOLLOWERS.
I change the subject.
HOW ARE YOU, ROXANNE?
She stood holding her arm with the opposite hand.
I’M DOING OKAY. JUST… EMBARRASSED I GOT CAUGHT BY HER.
IT WAS HURTING A LOT, BUT IT’S GETTING BETTER NOW.