Blood Boys to Noble Knights (The Flux: Part 1)

Something has happened to the Blood Boys. Something odd happened. The whole world changed. One moment, they were vampires living in the Twin Cities area and the next… they were somewhere in the 5th Century bumping shoulders with characters straight from Arthur’s Britain.

They’ve undergone something called “the Flux.” The entire world changed and nobody noticed. Everyone entered the new world with complete lives and memories. Only three of the Blood Boys remembered the past world and retained their memories. Roman did not. As far as he knows, the whole world has always been 5th Century Britain. And the Boys can’t find a way to change that.

Confused? Not as confused as the Blood Boys are.

What’s more, some of the folks they knew back in the Twin Cities have shown up in Britain as well. Changed just slightly—some more than others—but still familiar. Familiar strangers.

Our cast of characters includes:
Ben as Gwillym, a knight under Uther of Logres. Giant in stature, hideous in appearance,
Lee as Cysgodian of Cameliard. Leodegrance’s personal advisor and mentor to his child, Morganna,
Fabien as Dominic of Gaul. An Occitanian knight who has a subtle and secret agenda in Britain,
Dan as Gwinas of Cameliard. A devout Christian knight who serves under Leodegrance, and
Nick as Gideon of Trent. A godless and villainous man, the greatest knight under Uther of Logres

Our story begins…

* * *

… in a tent. Dominic’s eyes are closed and he feels a woman’s lips on his own. He opens them. Standing before him is Ms. Lethe… but not Ms. Lethe. She screams. He steps back.

"Where are we? What’s happened?" she asks.

"I don’t know." He looks around. He’s wearing some sort of mideival clothing. So is she. He nods. "This is another Changeling trick," he says. "Like the cockroaches."

He calms Lethe down. Together, they agree they are in some kind of strange waking dream. "We have to find a way out of here," she says.

Just then, all the memories of their current lives rush into their heads, pushing past memories out. Lethe and Dominic try to hold on to who they were. They look at each other. "Do you remember?" he asks. She nods. She remembers. He tells her, "We have to find the others. Maybe together, we can get out of this."

She nods and rushes to push aside the tent flap. She sees the sun and falls back… but she is not burned. Her eyes go wide. "The sun," she whispers. "Oh my god, Don. Look at it."

He comes to the flap in the tent. He looks out. The two of them look at each other. Heartbeats. Warm skin. Dominic closes the tent flap and takes her into his arms.

* * *

"Who are you?" Cysgodian asks.

"Gideon," Gideon tells him. "Of Trent."

"That’s cute," Cysgodian says.

"Weren’t you _____________?" Gideon asks.

Cysgodian nods. "I was. And you were Trent, right?"

Gideon nods. "Yeah."

"Just making sure." Cysgodian looks around. "Where are we?"

"I don’t know." Gideon looks around for a pistol. He dosn’t find one. He finds a sword and picks it up.

Cysgodian points at the sword on Gideon’s belt. "You already have one of those," he says.

Gideon looks at the sword on his belt and the sword in his hand. "I’ve got two hands," he says.

"We have to find the others," Cysgodian tells him.

Gideon nods. "Let’s go."

The two of them leave the tent.

 

* * *

Gwinas sits on his horse. He looks down at his squire. His squire looks terrified.

"My shield," Gwinas says.

His squire looks about him. His hands are shaking. "Where am I?" he asks.

"You are standing beside me and you are holding my shield," Gwinas tells him. "This is no time to lose your nerve, boy."

The squire, no more than twelve, looks up at the knight. He lifts the shield–the wrong way. Gwinas takes the shield and turns it. "Hand it to me this way next time," he says.

The squire nods. He looks like he may break out in tears at any moment.

Across the field, another knight waits. The flag falls. Gwinas kicks his horse. The two men race at each other. Gwinas’ lance strikes true and knocks the man off his horse, flipping head over heels. He lands flat on his face. Out cold.

When the man recovers, Gwinas is there. "You joust well, sir knight," he says.

"You mock me," the knight tells him.

"Christ has taught me humility," Gwinas says. "No such action would be possible from me."

Gwinas lifts the knight to his feet and helps him back to his horse. When he is sure the man is well, he returns to his squire. "Help me back to my pavilion," he says.

Gwinas’ squire takes the shield and lances… his hands quivering.

 

* * *
 

Gwillym remembers last night. The feast. The truce. He is smiling as he walks.

"I’m a knight," he says to himself. "I’m a knight."

"Good sir knight?" a voice from behind him asks. Gwillym turns. He sees a knight he recognizes… somewhat. He must have seen him last night. Yes!

"You were the knight sitting with Misty!" he says.

The knight tilts his head. "Pardon?"

"Uh… I mean… um. What’s her name? You were at the party last night!"

The knight nods. "Aye. I was at the truce."

"What’s your name?"

The knight extends his hand. "I am…"

He pauses. His eyes flutter. Then, he reaches out and grabs Gwillym by the shoulders.

"Will!" he shouts. "It’s me! Walker! I can’t contr–something’s wr…"

Then, the knight’s eyes refocus. "Very well, Sir Gwillym. It was good to meet you again.

Gwillym watches as the knight walks away, lost in the crowd.

END OF PART 1

Blood Boys, Episode 9

(Because Adidas_Fiend was in Aruba this week, he was not present. Thus, there will be no Roman this game.)

In the nightclub, after talking to Mr. Clay about the symbolic importance of the Cathedral, Don turns to Will and says, “Let’s talk about your girlfriend.”

Will shifts in his seat. “I don’t see why we have to,” he says.

Don asks, “How far is this going to go?”

“You mean third base?”

Don sits for a moment in silence. Then, he says, “No. Not third base. You are going to parties. When did you get a personal life?”

“I had a personal life!” Will protests. “I have four characters on WoW at level 60!”

“This is dangerous,” Don tells him. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to insist that you put an end to it.”

Will shakes his head. “Look. It’s not dangerous. It’s just hanging out, you know. I’m not endangering the Masquerade or…”

“WILL!!!” the petite blonde in the tight leather pants shouts, nearly spilling her drink all over her baby tee. She rushes over and hugs him. She looks at the others. “Is this a party? Can I join?”

Before Will or Don or _________________ can say anything, she jumps in Don’s lap. “I’m Daphne!” she says.

“You know her?” Don asks Will. Daphne is already texting Melanie.

HEY GF! I W/UR WEERD BOI!

“Of course he does, silly!” Daphne says. “We hang out all the time.”

Don asks her, “You mean with Melanie? Will’s girlfriend?”

Daphne laughs. “Melanie has a lot of boyfriends,” she says.

Don looks at Will. Will lowers his eyes.

_________________ says to her, “Come here, Daphne.” She obeys. He walks her down to the bathroom. She follows him. When he drinks her blood, she forgets and wanders away. _________________ returns to the others. “We don’t have to worry about her anymore.”

Don’s phone buzzes. It’s Trent. “He shot Laura,” Trent says over the phone.

“What?” Don asks.

“He shot Laura,” he tells him. “But he’s dead now.”

“Who?” Don asks. “Trent. Are you all right? Who’s Laura?”

“He shot her,” Trent says.

“I’m sending someone to get you,” Don says, looking at Will. “You’d better go get him. He sounds like he’s been drugged or something.” Then, he talks to Trent again. “Listen. Meet Will by the West Dinkytown Bridge.”

Will grabs his messenger bag and heads to the stairway leading up to the roof.

* * *

Meanwhile, across town, Trent makes his way to the Bridge. On foot. When he gets within a few blocks, he notices someone is following him. He dodges into a dead-end alleyway. He waits.

A slim figure in a heavy coat steps in front of the alleyway. Trent squints to see who it is. Then, he decides he doesn’t care. He pulls out his gun and fires. A shot at the leg.

The bullet hits its target, makes the sound of metal on metal, ricochets into a wall. With a woman’s voice, he figure at the end of the alleyway says, “Thank you for shooting first. It means I won’t break the contract.”

She drops her overcoat. The armor under it lights up the alleyway with a brilliant blue. She draws a sword two times bigger than she is. She screams a warrior’s cry and rushes into the alleyway.

Trent fires again. Another ricochet. She slices him with the sword making a deep wound that bleeds blue fire. He turns the pistol in his hand and smashes it into her face. The move catches her off guard for a moment and he rips the helmet off with his left hand, thrusting the barrel of the pistol against her naked forehead.

And he stops. The woman’s face is almost identical to the little girl he saw murdered not an hour ago. Same eyes. Same hair. Same…

She slams the sword into his belly. Trent has never felt such pain. He falls to his knees. He looks up at her.

“Laura?” he asks.

She shakes her head. “Laura is my mother’s name.” She twists the sword in his belly and he writhes. “That’s for dirtying my mother’s name with your vampire lips.”

She kicks Trent to the ground. She puts her foot on his chest.

“Laura?” he asks. “He shot you. He killed you.”

“Too bad for you he didn’t,” she says. She raises the sword.

Up above her, Will shouts down, “Mathilda? Is that you?”

The woman in the armor looks up. “Will?” she asks.

“Don’t hurt him!” Will says, jumping down from the rooftop. “Please! Don’t hurt him!”

She looks down at Trent. “He shot at me,” she says. “That gives me the right to defend myself.”

Will reaches the street. “Please don’t hurt him. He’s confused. Can’t you tell?”

She looks down at Trent. He’s saying the same thing over and over again. “He killed you. He killed you. He killed you.”

Mathilda looks at Will. “Get your friend the fuck out of here. And don’t come back.”

Will nods. She leaves, taking up her coat. She puts it back on her shoulders and the armor and sword disappear.

* * *

“What the fuck happened?” Don asks. He’s looking at Trent. The wounds on his chest.

“He got hit by a lightsaber,” Will says.

Don frowns. “Dinkytown girls?” he asks. Will nods. Don shakes his head. “I wish we never drove into that place.”

(Somewhere, Roman is kicking something.)

“She’s dead,” Trent says. “She’s dead. He killed her. She’s dead.”

“What’s he babbling about?” Will asks.

“He went to see his great-great-great-granddaughter,” Will says. Then, he thinks about it. “No. I think it’s just his great-great-granddaughter. And someone shot her. So, he killed her.”

_________________ touches Trent and looks with his Mekhet sight. He sees everything Trent has seen the last few hours. He nods. “That’s right,” he says. “He’s been watching his family. Someone shot the little girl. She turned into sticks and strings.”

“A fetch,” Don says, shaking his head. “His great-whatever-granddaughter is a Changeling.”

_________________ nods. “And he killed the man who did it. Detective Ben Schullson.” He points at Trent’s jacket pocket. “He still has the badge.” Then, he tilts his head. “But Schullson was talking to someone inside the house. Someone Trent couldn’t see. Someone sitting next to him. Invisible.”

Will says, “She said he shot first. So, she didn’t break the contract.”

Don nods. “A good thing we don’t have a contract with Dinkytown…”

The other vampires glare at him.

“… except for that one, of course. Of course that one.”

Will scans Don’s face. _________________ scans his aura. After a moment, they both nod.

“All right,” _________________ says. “We pissed them off again. We don’t want them blowing up the club.”

Will says, “We should meet them. Clear things up. Make sure everything’s cool.”

Don nods. “And after that, nobody goes into Dinkytown. Never again.”

* * *

Will has Mathilda’s phone number. He calls her. Arranges a meeting at the bridge. He promises they will not cross it.

An hour later, the four Boys are standing at the bridge. Waiting.

Mathilda shows up. She’s not alone. She’s got a white-haired man with her. He looks like he’s made of scars.

“Hello, lads,” he says. His eyes and grin are Bedlam.

“We don’t want any trouble,” Don says. “What happened tonight was a misunderstanding. My friend Trent was confused.”

Trent reaches out with his hand. He puts it on her shoulder. He says something the Boys have never heard him say before. His voice is like a china cup.

“Are you okay?”

Mathilda looks at his hand. She slaps it away. She holds up an old photograph. She thrusts it into Trent’s face. “Is this you?” she asks.

He looks at it. Years of memories flush up into his heart. Memories of breath. Memories of laughter. Memories of tears and joy. Memories of the simple pleasure of laying down after a hard day’s work. It’s almost too much for him. A crimson haze passes over his eyes. But he sinks it. Ties it to an anchor and sinks it down into his belly.

“Yes,” he says.

Her eyes are like the blue fire of her sword. “You think just because you’re in a picture you mean something to me?” she asks. She throws the photo down at his feet. He watches it tumble through the air.

Then, she takes out another one. She doesn’t show it to him. “You want to see a picture of her?”

That red mist rolls over his sight again. He fells the other Boys’ hands on his shoulder. He swallows it down again.

“You mean nothing to me,” she spits at him. Then, she throws the other photo to the ground. She turns and walks away.

The white-haired man grins. “Good night, lads,” he says. “Don’t come back.”

* * *

Dawn. Sleep. Darkness.

In the middle of that darkness, Trent awakens. The white-haired man is there. Trent reaches for his gun, but it isn’t there.

“Shh,” the white-haired man says. Then, he takes something out of his pocket. It’s a photograph. Her photograph.

“Listen, lad,” he says. He takes a flask from his pocket. “Where I come from, if a family don’t have problems, it ain’t a family.” He drinks from the flask. He looks at Trent. “You know what I’m sayin’?”

Trent nods. The man offers him the flask. Trent drinks from it.

And he tastes it.

Then, a swirl of darkness. Sleep. Darkness.

* * *

Come darkness, Anton Fix is the first to call.

“Have you seen the Sheriff?” he asks.

Don is grateful the Mekhet cannot see him on the other end of the phone. He tells Fix, “No.”

“He’s gone missing,” Fix says. “We’d like him located.”

Don says, “If we see him, we’ll do something about it.”

Fix thanks him and hangs up the phone.

Lethe arrives shortly thereafter. “I was on my way somewhere else,” she says, “and thought I’d drop in and say ‘hello.’”

Don shows her the picture from Will’s phone. The picture of her putting the St. Paul Sheriff’s body in the Prince’s trunk.

“Anton Fix called,” he tells her. “The Seneschal of St. Paul would like to know what happened to his Sheriff.”

She shakes her head. “I have no idea,” she says. “And, if a recognized vampire of St. Paul was attacked and dispatched, I’m sure the Prince of St. Paul would have a legitimate complaint against the regency of Minneapolis.”

Don nods. “Understood.”

Lethe says goodbye. Don turns to say something to Will… but Will is gone.

* * *

Tex-Mex Burgers with Cajun Mayo! (from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 1/3 pounds ground beef sirloin
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 slices pepperjack cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • 4 leaves lettuce
  • 4 slices tomato

Directions

  1. Preheat grill for medium-high heat. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground sirloin, jalapeno pepper, onion, garlic, 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce using your hands. Divide into 4 balls, and flatten into patties.
  3. Lightly oil the grilling surface, and place the patties on the grill. Cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until well done. During the last 2 minutes, lay a slice of cheese on top of each patty. Spread the seasoned mayonnaise onto the insides of the buns. Put burgers in the buns, and top with lettuce and tomato to serve.

Blood Boys, Episode 8

When last we left the Blood Boys, the new Prince, Jacob Collins, stepped into his limousine. His assistant, Ms Lethe, mouthed a single word to the Boys. “Help.”

As the limousine pulls away, Roman asks, “Why help her?” He looks at Don. “I mean, other than the fact that you two are…”

“I’ll tell you why,” Don interrupts. “Because Jacob Collins is ambitious and dangerous. And he will make our jobs as messengers irrelevant.” He pauses. “He wants to be Prince of both cities. If he does that, we lose any status we have.” Then, Don looks at Will. “Follow the Prince. Tell us where he goes.”

Will leaps into action, springing up to the rooftops, jumping across buildings, following the limousine. It first stops at an expensive apartment building that Will recognizes. This is where they found Detective Walker with that Theda Bara lady. Will watches the new Prince enter her building. She’s panicked. Terrified. He talks to her and soothes her fears. She finally smiles and he kisses her gently on the lips. Then, he leaves. The limousine pulls away toward Dinkytown.

Will leaps across a building just looking down on the Tapped Grounds coffee shop. He watches the Prince enter the building. He talks with the girls for a long time. Will texts the other Boys to tell them where the Prince is. They drive up to Dinkytown’s west bridge but do not enter. They wait to see what happens.

From the east bridge, a large blue pick up truck (with a Texas flag bumper sticker) pulls up to the coffee shop. A man Will recognizes gets out of the truck. He walks into the coffee shop. There’s a flash of red light, then nothing. Ms Lethe appears carrying the man from the blue truck. She tosses him into the trunk of the limousine. The Prince gets into the back seat and the limo drives away.

Will tells the other Boys what he saw. Roman asks, “Why are we here? The new Prince isn’t a problem. Lightning Boy is the problem. We have to take care of him before anything else.”

“The new Prince is the priority,” Will says. “But I thought Alice diablerized him.”

__________________ shakes his head. “No,” he says. He tells them of the vision he received while using his Mekhet sight. He saw Alice pull a stake from the Prince’s chest. He also saw Alice tied up and gagged. Don wonders about that.

Roman says, “It doesn’t matter. We still have to deal with the guy who tried to kill Trent.”

But Don is unconvinced. “We have to know more about the new Prince,” he says. He divides the Boys up. Will and __________________ follow the limousine to the Cathedral. Don, Roman and Trent head off to visit Theda to see what she knows and what the Prince told her.

* * *

Theda is happy about the new Prince. But when Don asks her about their conversation, she shuts up. “You want me to gossip about Jacob?” she asks. “No.”

Don pushes her with his Daeva charm. “You owe us,” Don tells her. “Remember your mistake and how we covered up for you?”

She shakes her head. “No. There’s a new regime and Jacob forgave me for that crime.”

“What else did he tell you?”

She smiles and almost blushes. “He said everything is going to be all right now that Alice is gone. And I believe what Jacob tells me.”

Just then, the Boys feel something drop in their stomachs. Like falling off the top of a roller coaster. A rush of energy. A rush of power.

Theda feels nothing.

* * *

At the Cathedral, __________________ and Will watch Collins exit the limousine. Lethe does not. The trunk pops and Collins waits a moment, then opens it. There is no body in the trunk. He walks to the back door of the Cathedral and opens it. He waits for a moment. Then, he closes the door behind him.

For a long time, __________________ and Will watch the Cathedral. Nothing. Will plays with his phone.

Then, a pulse. __________________ and Will see it differently. Will sees it as streams of energy rushing down the streets away from the Cathdral. __________________ sees it as stretches of energy. And they feel powerful. They feel the blood in their bodies rush through their veins. And their blood is powerful.

Potent.

Will’s phone rings. It’s Jonas Clay. “Did you feel that?” he asks. Will says he did. “Meet me and the other brothers at the Lodge just north of the Cathedral.” Will agrees. He and __________________ head off in that direction.

* * *

Roman, Don and Trent go off to see Freddy. Kneecap Freddy. Trent’s other Deava contact. When they arrive, a naked woman opens the door. Music pounds through the walls and windows. She has bite marks up and down the inside of her arms.

“Are you friends of Freddy?” she asks, a little dazed.

“Yes,” Don says. “The closest of friends.”

She invites them in.

All through the house is decadence. Masses of naked, writhing bodies and blood. They find Freddy sitting on a throne, surrounded by naked women. One of them kneels in front of him, her head bobbing up and down.

“The bitch is dead!” Freddy exclaims. “Long live the king!”

Don starts getting undressed. Roman heads down to the basement. Trent finds someone who looks like he doesn’t belong. All of them drink.

* * *

At the Lodge, __________________ and Will try to enter through the back door. But a Ventrue stops them. Francesco Sabatelli. “Franky the Stick.” So named because of the sharpened pool cue he carries in his jacket.

“Nope,” Franky says to Will, pointing at __________________. “He ain’t square.”

__________________ says he’ll wait outside. Will goes inside.

The other brothers sit with Will and talk. They talk about what just happened. Franky the Stick says, “That fucker Collins is up to his old tricks again. Fuckin’ with the city’s geography.” The other brothers concur. Something must be done. That’s when Will gets a text from __________________.

The Prince just pulled up outside.

* * *

Back in Freddy’s Bordello of Blood, Trent leads his prey down to the basement: an average looking guy who brought his good looking girlfriend to a party and has since lost her. He looks down and finds Roman carefully removing a woman’s fingers from her left hand.

“What are you doing?” Trent asks.

“Feeding,” Roman says. He points at the lonely looking man. “Same as you.”

“This isn’t right,” Trent says.

“You feed your way and I’ll feed mine.”

Trent takes the woman away from Roman. He uses his blood to heal her wounds. Then, he uses the car to drop her off at her home. He drives back to the party…

… where Don’s phone rings. Lethe’s ring. It’s a few feet from where he is now, so he disengages from his current activity and carries the phone to the bathroom. “Hello?” he asks.

“Don. Thank the Goddess. I have only a second to talk.”

“What’s wrong?” Don asks.

“Collins. He’s inside the Masonic Lodge now. He’s dangerous, Don. He knows how to make the Cathedral work. He built it. He knows how to do what it’s designed to do.”

“What is that?” Don asks.

“I can’t tell you. Blood oaths, curses. It would take me centuries to recover. But I’ve stood inside it. It’s… oh, fuck, how do I say this without… it’s not what it looks like, Don. It’s the exact opposite of what it seems to be.”

“What does that mean?”

click

Don looks at the phone. Then, he hears, “Stop squirming.” The voice comes from the bathtub. It sounds like Roman. He peeks inside.

Blood.

Don turns away quickly. He sees himself in the bathroom mirror. He also sees the slender, angular face of Mister Finger, grinning back at him from the bathtub. Don spins around but only sees Roman. His face is covered with blood.

“What?” Roman asks.

After a moment, Trent says, “We have to leave.”

“I’m done,” Roman says. He steps out of the bathtub, leaving the bleeding mass of twisted flesh and pain behind him.

* * *

Outside of Freddy’s, Trent and Don have a talk about Roman.

“Something is happening to him,” Don says.

Trent nods. “Yeah. I saw something scary.”

“I saw something scarier,” Don says. They share stories. Don tells him, “We may have to kill him.”

Trent says, “Just tell me when.”

“I don’t know,” Don says. “There may be some way to help him…” his voice trails off with his thoughts.

Trent says, “I have to go do something. I’ll be back later.”

“We’ll be at the nightclub. We’ll see you there.”

* * *

Back at the nightclub, the Boys meet up. Will brings Jonas Clay with him.

“It is the opposite of what it appears to be?” Clay asks. Don nods. Clay thinks about it. “Have you been inside the Cathedral?”

Don says he has.

“It appears to be a… pardon the vulgarity… but a vampire church. The symbols are all the symbols of the Clans and Covenants. But the predominant symbol is the Blood Cult.”

“The Circle of the Crone?” Roman asks.

Clay nods. “Yes. Dark Goddess symbols everywhere. Easy to see them if you know what to look for.” He thinks for a moment. “But if it is the opposite of that… I don’t know what the opposite of that is.”

“Metaphysical misogyny,” Roman says. They all look at him. “If it’s the opposite of Goddess worship.”

“Blood God worship?” Will asks.

“No,” Clay says. “That makes sense. He’s not revering the Goddess. He’s subduing Her.” He looks at the others. “Did you all feel that pulse of energy?” The Boys all nod. “I wonder if any women did…”

“You mean women of any kind or just our kind?” Don asks.

“I don’t know.”

Will texts Melanie to ask her about the Cathedral. He asks her how she felt going into it. She replies:

terrified.

When Clay tells Will to ask her if she felt a supernatural weight put upon her when she walked in, she replies:

yes

“Metaphysical misogyny,” Roman says.

* * *

Elsewhere, Trent sits in front of the suburban house he sat in front of before. A little girl plays in the front room. He watches her through the window.

Then, a plain brown sedan drives up in front of the house. Trent draws his gun. The man who steps out is a man he’s never seen before. He wears a plain suit. He rings the doorbell. He shows something to the woman who answers the door. It looks like a badge. She invites him in.

He sits down with the little girl. He says something to the mother, and the mother leaves the room. The plain man with the badge waits for the mother to leave. Then, he draws a small pistol with a silencer. He shoots the little girl. She falls to the floor.

Then, he stands up and looks down at the floor. Trent cannot see what he’s looking at. The man takes a piece of paper from his jacket and looks at it. Then, he looks over his shoulder and walks to the front door. He leaves. He gets into his car and starts it.

Trent is already in the back seat. He reaches forward and grabs the man’s throat. “Drive,” he says. The man does as he’s told.

“Who are you working for?” Trent asks the man.

“Nobody. I…”

Trent breaks the man’s neck. The car swerves and crashes. Trent searches the man’s body. He takes both the guns. He looks at the man’s ID. It’s a detective’s badge.

Detective Ben Schullson.

He looks at the piece of paper the man had in his jacket. It’s a list of names. Some of the names are crossed off.

Trent leaves the car behind and walks back to the house. He looks in the window of the front room.

On the floor, the little girl’s dress lays on the floor. But there’s no body. Just twigs and string.

* * *

John’s Wicked Chili

This recipe fed six hungry gamers (plus the Wife) with left-overs. Preparation was about twenty minutes. The cost was low because we already had most of the spices in the house. It’s an easy recipe because all you do is brown the meat, then throw everything into a crock pot and let it simmer all day. Cheaper than fast food and damn yummy to boot.

Ingredients

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 (46 fluid ounce) can tomato juice
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups minced onion
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar or honey (or both!)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup chili powder (yes, I said cup. don’t be a wuss.)

Directions

  1. Place ground beef in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, and crumble.
  2. In a large crock pot, combine rest of the ingredients. Set on low and cook for 8 to 10 hours.

Blood Boys, Episode 7

 

Looking at the burning wreck of a car, Trent thinks, “At least it was a rental.”

 

He moves forward, following the trail of blood. He’s moving through a suburban neighborhood; that means police soon. If he wants to catch the Lightning Man, he’ll have to do it quick.

 

Trent follows the blood trail into someone’s backyard… and then it stops. He looks around. Across the yard, just behind the corner of a house, he sees the Lightning Man. They have a brief exchange of intimidating words. Trent fires the gun again. It rocks the Lightning Man out of range. Trent rushes forward again, but this time, his eyes are blinded by a flash of lightning, skidding down the road. Trent calls Walker. “What the hell is this guy?” Trent asks.

 

Walker tells him, “I don’t know. I’m not sure, I mean. He has some kind of alchemical connection to the sky. Weather.”

 

“He’s bulletproof,” Trent says.

 

“He’s not bulletproof,” Walker tells him. “He’s… he’s complicated.”

 

“I’m going after him,” Trent tells him, re-loading his gun.

 

“Don’t,” Walker says. He’ll kill you. If he didn’t kill you with the first lightning blast, it’s because he’s fucking with you.”

 

Just then, Trent’s phone buzzes. He looks. WE LOST DON it says. Trent curses and takes another look down the street where the lightning went.

 

* * *

 

Back in the Tennyson House, Don, Roman and _________________ prepare to leave.

 

That’s when Don disappears. Completely. Vanishes from sight. Not even an aura trace left behind.

 

Roman and _________________ look around, but cannot find him.

 

“Fuck this,” Roman says. “I told you guys not to take the books.” _________________ begins to wonder if he’s right. The two of them leave the house, get into the car and drive away. Pulling down the driveway, they see the woman in the portrait standing in a window.

 

_________________ looks at her with his Mekhet sight. “Shit,” he says.

 

“What?” Roman asks.

 

“Her. It’s her. Get the fuck out of here. Right now.”

 

Roman drives fast. As soon as they pass the gate, a pain strikes _________________ directly in the chest. “Crap,” he says. Roman looks at him, says nothing, and keeps driving.

 

* * *

 

Don blinks and he’s no longer in the library. Pitch black. He turns on his cell phone light.

 

He’s in a small room (10’ x 10’) with a single door. He puts the books down and opens the door.

 

The woman in the portrait is there.

 

Don screams, falls back and he’s in the main hallway, downstairs by the front door. He picks the books back up and rushes for the front door. Just in the nick of time, he notices light coming from the windows. He checks his cell phone.

 

7:33 AM. One hour after sunrise.

 

Don carries his books downstairs into the cellar. Surrounded by shelves of wine and bags of rice and jarred fruit, he piles heavy bags in front of the door. He sits down on the floor. He tries not to fall asleep.

 

He fails.

 

* * *

 

(Time gets tricky here. Pay attention.)

 

As Roman and _________________ drive toward the club, Trent tries to find a way back to the club and… who knows what happened to Don?… Will is at the club already. Jonas Clay approaches him with a secret handshake. Will returns it as he was taught. They talk for a little while about the city and the reporter who disappeared. Will asks Mr. Clay, “What’s all that about?”

 

Clay says, “Follow me.”

 

The two of them approach a statue. Clay extends his hand. “Give me the grip,” he says. Will does as he’s told. Suddenly, the streets fill with a blue light as if the streets were transparent and huge flood lights were below them. The statue as well.

 

“Take a step this way,” Clay says. They do. And with that step, the two of them stand in front of the Sears Building. It burns with a blue light so blinding, Will can barely look at it.

 

“It is not mistake the Prince makes his residence here,” Clay says. “Whether he knows that or not.”

 

Another step and they are at the bridge leading into Dinkytown. “The power does not extend beyond here,” Clay says. “I do not know why.”

 

Another step and they are back at the club. Will is wide eyed. “Whoah,” he says.

 

“I’m glad you are so impressed,” Clay tells him.

 

“Can I do that?” Will asks.

 

“If you learn,” Clay says.

 

Will nods. “I’ll learn.”

 

* * *

 

On their way back from the house—leaving Don behind—Roman and _________________ text Trent. WE LOST DON. They rush over there themselves.

 

At the club, Trent, _________________, Roman and Will meet up. “We lost Don,” Roman tells them.

 

“I know that,” Trent says. “I read the text. What happened.”

 

“One second he was there,” _________________ tells him, “and the next he wasn’t.”

 

“Hey!” Will tells Trent. “That happened to you!”

 

Trent nods. “Well, if it’s the same thing that happened to me, he’ll be back some time later. We’ll just have to wait.”

 

The night passes without incident.

 

* * *

 

Galloping. That’s what wakes Don up. Huge feet pounding the roof above him.

 

He hears a woman’s voice. “Sebastian! No!”

 

He sits very still. He waits. He hears other voices. He hears footfalls. Then, he hears bodies leaving. A car starts up outside. It drives away. Don realizes he was holding his breath… even though he doesn’t breathe.

 

Now that he’s awake, he looks at the books. He has the last five. He begins reading. The first volume he has picks up in the 1800’s. He reads:

 

… some lout named Alex is going on about throwing invisible vampires at Yeats. Imbecile wouldn’t know a vampire if it bit him.

 

He reads a bit more. Learning about this “Lady Fate.”

 

The day passes slowly…

 

… but then, a shadow crosses over him. He stops reading.

 

Standing above him is the woman in the portrait.

 

“Elaine Tennyson,” he says.

 

She glares at him. “Get out of my house.”

 

“Are you Elaine Tennyson?” he asks.

 

“Get out of my house. And leave behind what you stole.”

 

“I didn’t steal any…”

 

GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!

 

He runs to the front door. Lucky for him, the sun has set. And he leaves the books behind him.

 

* * *

 

Far below the Cathedral, out of sight, a woman walks through the catecombs. She reaches one that is darker than the rest. There is a man with a stake through his chest. An ivory stake, carved with intricate detail.

 

“You were right,” she tells him. “You bastard. You were right.”

 

She puts one hand against the man’s chest and the other wraps around the stake. She pulls.

 

* * *

 

“Where are you?” Lethe asks Don on his cell phone.

 

“I’m north of the city,” he says. “Walking.”

 

“I’ll pick you up,” she says.

 

An hour later, Don sits in the back of her limo. She asks him, “What were you doing all the way up here?”

 

“Long story,” he says.

 

Just then, both of them feel something… break.

 

Across the Mississippi, Will feels it, too. So does Trent.

 

“You feel that?” Will asks. Trent nods.

 

“Something happened,” Trent says.

 

Back in the limo, Lethe curses something under her breath. She turns and tells the driver, “Head for the Cathedral. Now.”

 

The driver changes direction, spinning his wheels on the pavement.

 

“Something wrong?” Don asks.

 

She shakes her head. “Covenant business,” she says. Then, she turns to the driver. “Stop here!”

 

The driver stops. Lethe looks at Don. “Get out.”

 

Don doesn’t ask questions. He notices he’s by the club anyway. The limo begins peeling away before he can get both feet out of the door.

 

* * *

 

“What was all that about?” Roman asks.

 

“Covenant business,” Don says. “And you guys fucking left me in the house.”

 

“We didn’t know where you went,” _________________ tells him.

 

Trent asks, “Did you end up in a bar?”

 

Don looks confused. “What?”

 

Trent shakes his head. “Never mind.”

 

They all sit down together. Don says, “Do you still have the books?”

 

_________________ nods.

 

“Good. We should put them back.”

 

_________________ shakes his head. “I’m not going back into that house.

 

They argue for a short while, deciding what to do about the books they have. _________________ begins reading them. He has the earliest entries. 1603. Elizabeth’s England. John Dee has five spies, each with orichalcum rings. She’s been dubbed “Lady Fate” by the magician.

 

Don texts Mister Fix. PROBLEM IN MINNAPOLIS.

Fix texts back. WHAT PROBLEM?

Don: CAN’T SAY.

 

Roman says, “The Dinkytown bitches hit us where we eat.” He looks at the others. “We should do the same thing. Get Don’s contacts to cut off their liquor and food at that pub of theirs.”

 

Don says, “I don’t have those kinds of connections.”

 

Will sits uncomfortably.

 

Roman says, “I bet Fix does.”

 

Don texts Mister Fix, asking about liquor and food. Could he help?

Fix: NOT OFFICIALLY.

Don texts back: THIS ISN’T AN OFFICIAL REQUEST.

 

There’s a knock on the door. They look through the security cameras. An insubstantial blur stands at the front door. “One of us,” Roman says.

 

They open the door. Standing there is a man in a black suit with a hole through the chest. He takes off his hat.

 

“Gentlemen messengers,” he says. “Please allow me to introduce myself. I am the new Prince of Minneapolis.”

 

Behind him, Ms. Lethe stands at the door of her limo. She says nothing.

 

“Please come in,” Don says.

 

The Prince asks them many questions. They eventually ask for his name.

 

“Jacob Collins,” he says.

 

They all remember him. He doesn’t remember them. Torpor can do that to a vampire.

 

They fill him in on a few questions. Is Marcus still Prince of St. Paul? Fix is his seneschal? How is Nathan? And… the Duke of Dinkytown?

 

“Really,” he says, letting the word roll off his tongue.

“Are you going to live in the cathedral?” Will asks.

Collins laughs. “Of course, boy. I built it.”

 

Then, he says, “I’ve learned enough for now. Please allow me to reward you for your generosity.”

 

He puts a hand on Don’s shoulder and… something changes inside Don. Something… he can’t quite explain.

 

“I will leave you to your duties. Please arrange a meeting between myself and the Prince of St. Paul, would you?”

 

Then, he walks out to the limo. Ms. Lethe opens the door for him. He sits inside. They watch her close the door.

 

And as she steps away from the door, she mouths a single word that only the Boys can see.

 

help

 

 

Blood Boys, Episode 6

(As I said before, LJ won’t allow me to post the pictures I took. My apologies. I’ll have the problem fixed as soon as I can.)

The night before, each of the Boys was alone. Don taking Lethe back to his place. Trent sat in front of a family’s home, watching. Roman was below the streets. Will was… not alone. And _______________ was hidden, follwing Don.

The next night, Don woke up alone, but he didn’t fall asleep alone. Bit by bit, he remembers the night before. And he remembers Lethe declining his offer to share blood. Maybe next time.

As the memory still swirls in his mind, the phone rings. Trent is on the line, telling him there’s a problem at the club. An infestation. Roaches. They’re everywhere. You can’t walk in a room without seeing them. Everywhere. Don says he’ll be down as soon as he can.

Roman takes an hour or two to visit Bob (the security guard). He asks Bob about his two daughters. Are they okay? What are they watching on TV these days? Simple questions to remind Bob exactly who he belongs to.

Back at the club, Trent and ___________________ talk to the exterminators. They’re told the problem is so severe a tent will be necessary. The roaches skitter here and there. You can’t look anywhere without seeing one. ___________________ looks at them with his Mekhet sight… and he sees the roaches have the same aura as the Dinkytown Girls.

That’s when Will walks in. He says hello. ___________________ looks at him. And in Will’s aura, he has a hint of the same glow as the roaches. Roman shows up then. He’s been spending time at the local Walmart looking at missing children signs, seeing if he recognizes any of them. He doesn’t like Will’s new girlfriend.

“She’s not my girlfriend,” Will mutters under his breath.

When Don arrives, ___________________ tells him about the glow. Both the roaches and Will. Don wants to know what Will’s been doing. “I was at a party,” Will says. “She invited me. Melanie invited me. There were a bunch of people.”

“Did you drink her blood?” Don asks.

“Maybe. Yeah. A little.”

Don curses something. ___________________ suggests calling the Girls to see if they know anything about the roaches. Don looks through his phone and finds he has Lilith’s number. He gives her a call.

(I give bella_surena a call. I hand the phone to nihilistic mind.)

The Boys hear one side of the conversation. ___________________ hears all of it. Don and Lilith talk about the roaches. She suggests talking to them. If that doesn’t work, maybe the Girls can do something about it. “And yes,” Don says. “I did get your warning about Roman.” Roman doesn’t like the sound of that. Don hangs up the phone.

“She says we should talk to them,” he tells them. So, Don kneels down and says to one of the roaches. “Hello. I’d like to talk.”

The roach seems to look up at him, it’s antennae twisting.

“So, you understand me,” Don says. “This is our home.”

A swarm of roaches rushes along one of the walls. Together, they form two words.

OUR HOME

And then, they skitter away back to the dark corners.

Don says, “Can we find you another home?”

The roaches form another word.

MAYBE

“If we found you a new home. A better home. Would you go?”

The roach seems to nod. Don’s convinced. “We need to find them somewhere else to go.”

Will says, “We need some guy like the pied piper. Except for roaches.”

“Grow up,” Roman growls at him.

Trent says, “If that doesn’t work, we’ll need Dinkytown’s help.” He looks at the others. “I’ll go.”

Will jumps up. “I’ll go with him.”

___________________ glares at him. “To see your girlfriend.”

“Dude, she’s not my girlfriend.”

“Whatever,” ___________________ mumbles.

“All right,” Don says. “Go if you have to. I have to set up a new Elysium. We can’t hold it here.”

Trent says, “We’ll need the contract.” Don gives it to them.

Trent and Will head off to the market to get food and drink. Trent picks up the first thing he finds: chips and soda. Will gets a bottle of wine; the cheapest he can find. Two buck chuck.

* * *

Trent, Will and ___________________ cross the bridge into Dinkytown. On the first block, they come across a nightclub. Open mic night. As they pass, a man with a guitar nearly runs into them.

“Sorry,” he says. “So…” he pauses. All the color runs from his face. He lifts his guitar in front of him, as if it could protect him.

“You’re not supposed to be here,” he tells them.

Will recognizes the guitar player from last night. “Uh… Matt?” he asks, uncertain of the name.

“Yeah,” the guitar player says. “That’s my name. Matt. What are you doing here? You’re not supposed to be here.”

“We’re looking for help,” Trent says. He holds up the chips and soda. “We brought food and drink.”

The guitar player’s hands shake. “Help with what?”

“Roaches,” Will says. “We’ve got a ton of roaches. And they glow like you guys do. Can you do something about that?”

The guitar player’s eyes gleam for just a moment. “Yeah,” he says. “Actually, I can. But I need your promise that you’ll protect me while I’m in Minneapolis.”

“I promise I’ll protect you,” Trent says.

“Say it again,” the guitar player tells him.

“I promise I’ll protect you.”

“A third time.”

Trent looks at Will. “Is this some kind of faerie thing?” Will shrugs.

“Say it a third time and I’ll come with you.”

Trent shrugs. “Fine. I’ll protect you in Minneapolis.”

The guitar player smiles wide. “All right. I’ll come with you.”

* * *

Back in the nightclub, Roman and Don have a talk.

“They fucked with the place we feed,” Roman says. “This wasn’t an accident.”

“I don’t know,” Don says. “Maybe. It may be someone else.”

“The roaches glow like they do,” Roman points at the insects. “They sent the bugs. You know they did.”

“I don’t see an advantage in that. They’re trying to make peace with us.”

“They’re fucking with us. They think we’re stupid. They think we can’t figure it out.”

Don nods slowly. “Perhaps.”

“We should hit them back. Just as hard. Hit them where they feed.”

“How do we do that? We don’t know anything about them.”

“Marcus does, I bet. And Fix. Fix seems to know a lot about them. And they don’t like Fix.”

“If they become a problem,” Trent says, “we’ll be expected to take care of it.”

“If it comes to that,” Roman tells him, “we can use Will as bait.”

“Bait?”

Roman nods. “Bait.”

“Even if that works, it will only get one of them here.”

“You bring one of them,” Roman says, “the other three will follow.”

Don thinks for a moment. “We’ll consider that,” Don says. “In the meantime, where do we send the roaches?”

“To the Cathedral,” Roman says. “Or the Sears Building. Either one.”

Don thinks for a moment. “Both Princes have been jerking us around.”

“And we can blame it on Dinkytown. The roaches did come from them in the first place.”

Don nods. “I don’t know if we want to make such a direct attack yet. Let’s think about it a little longer.”

Then, both he and Roman head off to Don’s jazz club to prepare it for Elysium.

* * *

Trent, Will and the guitar player arrive at the nightclub (long after Don and Roman have left). ___________________ is not far behind, still unseen.

The guitar player steps into the nightclub and looks at the roaches. “I see,” he says. He takes out his guitar and starts to play.

All the roaches stop moving. Then, they all look at the guitar player. He sings. They all move his direction. He steps out the door. They follow him.

“See!” Will says. “I told you we needed a pie…”

“Shut up,” Trent says.

The guitar player plucks a suspended chord on the guitar. The roaches all pause. He turns to Trent. “If I do this, I’ll want something in return.”

“Like what?” Trent asks.

“Matt” plays another suspended chord. “Free passage to the Twin Cities.

“I can’t guarantee that. I don’t have that kind of authority.”

The guitar player thinks, his music hanging in the air. “Protection, then. Upon request.”

Trent nods. “Done. Just get rid of the roaches.”

“Say it again,” the guitar player tells him.

“I’ll protect you, I’ll protect you, I’ll protect you. Now get rid of the roaches.”

The guitar player smiles. “Where do you want them to go?”

Will and Trent look at each other. Then, at the same time, they say, “The cathedral.”

The guitar player finishes his song and the roaches all skitter toward the sewers.

Trent calls Don. “We took care of it.”

“Took care of what?” Don asks.

“You’re welcome!” Will yells toward the phone.

“We took care of the roaches. They’re gone.”

“Where did they go?” Don asks.

Trent says, “To the cathedral.”

“You’re welcome!” Will yells toward the phone.

They hear a soft groan coming from the phone. “All right. I guess we’ll have to deal with that later.”

* * *

On the other side of the phone, Don hangs up. He sees Roman holding a copy of today’s newspaper. Roman shows Don the headline.

CHANGELING KILLER STRIKES AGAIN

The picture on the front page is someone they remember. The Dinkytown Girl with the ring.

Misty Tennyson.

Roman says one word. “Leverage.”

* * *

Four of the Boys (minus Trent) them pull up outside the house. High in the hills overlooking Minneapolis. Calling it a house is like calling a wedding cake a pastry. It looms up high, full of windows and gables. They bypass the gate easily, drive up the long driveway. The security at the front door is tricky, but not impassible. Into the home.

Ten bedrooms at least. Marble floors. Whoever lived here had a vast source of cash. Everything in the place looks priceless.

Roman looks at photographs. A mother and a daughter. No father. He recognizes the daughter but not the mother. At the top of the stairs they find a huge painting. A portrait of the mother.

Roman points out that she’s wearing the same ring they saw on the girl’s finger. The same ring Walker wears.

Upstairs, they investigate the crime scene. Two ex-cops look it over. The woman was beaten. A struggle. Then, she was thrown from the balcony down to the pool below.

In the library, ___________________ finds a secret panel. He looks around, finds the trigger. Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Henry Cornelius Agrippa. He pulls the book, the panel opens. Inside, he finds a small chamber. Ten large journals inside. Each journal has a different handwriting. No titles on the spine. The first has the date 1609. The last entry in the last book is only two months ago. ___________________ looks at Roman and Don.

Roman smiles. "Leverage," he says.

The Boys take them all.

* * *

Meanwhile, Trent sits outside the same house, watching the family inside. A knock on his window surprises him. His gun is out before he even turns.

A homeless man raises his hands quickly. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry! Please don’t shoot me!”

“Go away,” Trent says.

“I was only looking for some change. I’m sorry.”

“Go away,” Trent says. He doesn’t notice the wind picking up outside.

“Okay. Just please don’t shoot me.”

Trent turns on his headlights. “Start walking that way,” he says. “And don’t stop.”

The wind outside blows the homeless man’s hair around his face. Little drops of rain pock the top of the car. “I’m sorry. I’m going. I’m sorry. I’m going.”

The homeless man steps backward away from the car. A distant thunder rings on the horizon. The man keeps walking. The storm grows louder. More violent.

Just at the edge of the lights, the man stops. He smiles.

Lightning strikes the car. Straight through the roof into the cabin. It pulses through Trent from the top of his head to his toes. He can feel the blood in his veins reflexively react. He pulls the trigger until it clicks.

When his vision clears, his body is burned. His vampire blood protected him… somewhat. His training kicking in at the very last moment. Otherwise, he’d be ashes now. He looks out at the road. The homeless man is gone.

There’s only a pool of blood.

Blood Boys, Episode 5

The session began in Elysium. Don’s club is hopping with vampires tonight; everyone is afraid to go out. Rumors of a war between Minneapolis and St. Paul brewing in dark corners.

Ms. Lethe arrives for a meeting with Don. He tells her that what’s happening in Minneapolis (the missing vampires) is also happening in St. Paul. Lethe tells Don that Prince Alice doesn’t mind much; the hunters are weeding out the weak. Of course, that isn’t what she tells her people.

She tells them that St. Paul is plucking them off. She also tells Don that Prince Alice has some sort of “weapon” she plans on using if St. Paul gets out of hand. Don asks what kind of weapon it is, but she smiles and says, “No.”

During their conversation, a cockroach scurries across the floor. Don looks at one of the bouncers. “I’ll take care of it, boss!” he says.

* * *

Meanwhile, at a dark drainage ditch, Will and _______________ arrive with some of Jonas Clay’s blood—to revive Roman. A little girl meets them. She’s wearing a white dress and walks with bare feet. ______________ looks at her with his Mekhet sight and sees she’s a ghoul. They follow the girl through the sewers until they reach a room they’ve seen before. On a slab lies Roman. They dribble the blood on his lips. He screams when he sits up. “Fire!” he shouts at them. They help him calm down. He’s starved. He wants blood. The little girl offers and he takes it. Then, she leads them out as Will and _______________ fill Roman in on what’s been going on since he was in torpor.

* * *

Across town, Trent looks at the cold, unmoving body of Detective Walker. He’s holding a knife. He planned on killing whoever was in this room. Now, he’s considering killing the vampire who turned Walker.

“You have any idea how bad this is?” he asks her. She’s in a complete panic. She doesn’t give any kind of coherent answer. “I have to get him out of here,” he tells her. She resists. He shows her Walker’s ring. “This,” he says. “This is why you fucked up so bad.” He calls for maid service and bundles up Walker in bed sheets. Then, he Dominates the maid to help him carry the bundle out to his car. He drives as fast as he can, calling Don.

And he gets the strangest feeling of déjà vu…

* * *

Back in the club, Don’s phone rings. He excuses himself from his conversation with Lethe and answers it.

“I need your help,” Trent says. “We need a safe place. I have something to show you. Meet me at your house.”

“I’ll be busy,” Don says. “Make it early. 4:00 AM.”

“Done,” Trent says and hangs up the phone.

Don returns to Ms. Lethe. “Have you ever seen the Prince of St. Paul?” she asks.

“I’ve met him many times,” Don tells her.

She asks again. “Have you ever seen the Prince of St. Paul?”

Don understands. “No. I have not.”

“I want to meet with him. Privately. Can you arrange that?”

He nods. “I’m sure I can.” Lethe thanks him and leaves. She walks down the stairs just as Will, Roman and _______________ walk up the stairs. They all watch her leave.

When Roman hits the room, he hits Don. Slams him right down to the ground. Then, he offers him a hand.

“I deserved that,” Don says.

“I need a new car,” Roman tells him.

“I’ll arrange for something. A new taxi?”

Roman shakes his head. “An armored hummer.”

“Oh!” says Will. “You gonna get one of those ones like Arnold drives around? That would be sweet! Could I ride in it? I’ve never been in one of those before.”

Roman doesn’t say anything.

* * *

Four AM. Don’s house.

Trent unwraps Walker. _____________ looks at him. “There’s something wrong with his aura,” he says. “It’s flickering. It’s like a vampire aura, but it’s something else, too.”

Roman asks, “Why is this our problem?”

“It’s my problem,” Trent tells them. “I just need your help.”

Roman laughs. “What, is Don suddenly Mister Wolf?”

Will says, “That was an awesome movie! Except, if Don was Mister Wolf, he’d be more like Mister Fix, wouldn’t he?”

_____________ looks at the ring on Walker’s hand. It shines and swirls. He looks deeper…

 
… and he’s rushing out the door, down the street, across town. He’s in Dinkytown where they saw the man crawl out of the street. In front of that Irish pub. O’Bannon’s. A young woman steps out of the pub. He watches her cross the street. He sees her aura… bright and brilliant. And the ring on her finger…

… it’s the same as Walker’s.

And then he’s back in Don’s house.
___________ tells the other Boys what happened. “She’s like him,” he tells them. “She has the same ring.”

“He’s been helping them,” Will says. “The faerie girls. The ones who hang out with Melanie.”

Don thinks about the problem. “We need to get rid of him. He’s not our problem. He belongs to them. We need to give him back.”

“We don’t have permission to go into Dinkytown,” Will says.

Don thinks more. “Let’s put him in a secure room,” he says, pointing at Walker. “If he wakes up tomorrow night, that changes things. If he doesn’t, we’ll consider what to do.”

The Boys agree and put themselves in dark rooms where they can sleep.

All of them except Don and Roman.

* * *

“I have a project for you,” Don tells Roman. “I need you to create a contract. It has to appear old. It has to appear real. It has to look like it was signed by… the Duke of Dinkytown. A contract between the messengers and the faeries.”

“This isn’t going to work,” Roman tells him.

“It will work if people believe it. So make the contract convincing.”

“Who is the Duke of Dinkytown?”

“That Irish guy who drug himself up from the ground,” Don says. “It was outside of O’Bannon’s Pub. Say the Duke of Dinkytown is O’Bannon.”

“You want me to do this? I want something in return.”

“What is that?” Don asks.

“I want all the Saint Clare wine.”

“Not all of it belongs to me,” Don tells him.

“That’s your problem, not mine.”

Don considers the options. “Done,” he says. Roman gets to work.

* * *

The next night, Walker still isn’t moving. ____________ tells them, “His aura hasn’t changed. It’s still blinking.”

Don shows the Boys the contract. “It’s old,” he says. “I think most people have forgotten about it. But, it gives us permission to enter Dinkytown under very specific circumstances. We have to bring food and drink. And we have to carry fire.”

The Boys all look at the contract.

“We have to sign it. As the new messengers.”

_______________ looks at it with his Mekhet sight. The contract is not magical.

Trent signs it. Will signs it. Roman signs it. ___________ signs it last.

Then, they put Walker into a body bag. They get into a car and drive to the bridge…

* * *

What happens next has been detailed (to a certain extent) in the Glamour Girls entries. You can read them here.

* * *

After the violence in Dinkytown, Trent drives to a suburb in Minneapolis. He watches a family there. All night.

Will goes back to his room in his hotel… and gets a phone call from Melanie.

Don calls Mister Fix. The Seneschal tells him that the Prince’s “temper tantrum” is over. Don asks if he can have a meeting with the Prince and arranges for Ms. Lethe to join him. He picks up Ms. Lethe with ____________ in tow (and invisible).

She tells Don that the Prince has lost her secret weapon. She doesn’t know where it is. Don asks what that weapon might be. Lethe only smiles and says, “No.”

They arrive at the Sears Building, park in the basement, take the elevator up to the top floor. Mr. Fix is there with his book. Otherwise, the room is empty.

“Would you excuse us?” Lethe asks Don. He bows out and steps into another room. ___________ stands at the door and listens with his Mekhet hearing. He texts Don what he hears. The only voice he hears is Lethe’s

(I took Lee aside and stood at the other end of the room. I wrote down what he heard and had Lee tell Fabien what he was hearing.)
“I’m here about the Praxis of Minneapolis.”

“Prince Alice is out of control.”

“She’s mass embracing soldiers.”

“She embraced the detective.”

“And she lost him.”

“Wait. Someone is listening.”

The door opens. Mister Fix looks into the room. “Is there a problem?” Don asks.

Fix says, “Not anymore.” Then, he closes the door.

* * *

Through sewer ducts and drainage pipes, Roman finds Nathan. The Prince of the Undercity.

“I wanted to thank you for helping me.”

Nathan gurgles. “Yessss….”

“I brought you something,” Roman says. He gives Nathan one of the Saint Clare bottles.

“Oh,” Nathan says. “How sssssweet.”

And then, he gathers his breath, and Nathan sings…

 

Blood Boys, Episode 5

Someone made the suggestion that I should run a counterpoint to my all-girl Changeling game, The Glamour Girls. Someone suggested I should call it "The Blood Boys." I conceded. I invited a small group of four and set them in the Twin Cities: the same environs our heroines inhabit. Same circumstances, same NPCs.

The guys requested they be a neutral coterie serving as messengers between the kindred of the Twin Cities. Neither Minneapolis nor Saint Paul get along and the four of them are granted special permission to travel over the Mighty Mississippi that divides the two populations.

The players are:

[info]nihilisticmind as James "Don" Donahue – debauched Daeva club owner
[info]116degrees as Roman Dionysian – the Nosferatu creepy taxi cab driver
[info]wunderworks as Breunor "Will" Reynolds – the parkour running Gangrel messenger, 
Nick as Trent – the Ventrue hitman with a big secret, and
Lee as ___________, the Hollowed Mekhet who has lost his soul.*

(* for those who are wondering, ________ is a Hollowed Mekhet who cannot be recorded by phones, cameras or any other device. Therefore, he shall be referred to as __________ for the entirety of this chronicle.)

___

The gunshot still echoes in the small room up above the old movie theater. The black man who gave them the guns demands an explanation. “What are you doing here?”

Don demands the same thing. “And what’s the Sheriff’s truck doing outside the theater? And why the fuck did you shoot Fix?”

Behind them, Mister Fix gurgles in pain. Two of the Boys give him some blood to heal his injury. They move quickly. He doesn’t look good.

The man who gave them guns doesn’t answer Don so Don turns on the Daeva charm (Presence) and asks again. “What are you doing here?” The man who gave them the guns tells him, “I’m here to collect a specimen from the basement.” What kind of specimen? “A vampire. In the basement. Fuck! Why am I telling you this?”

Something’s wrong. He shouldn’t be able to resist. ______________________ uses his Mekhet peepers on the man. He sees a magical aura. Something making the man who gave them the guns appear differently. A magical mask of some kind.

The Boys decide to split up. Will stays above with the slowly recovering Mister Fix while the others go down to the basement with the man who gave them the guns. They want to see what kind of “specimen” he’s here to collect.

When they’re gone, Will tries not to look at Mister Fix. He’s already low on blood and the fresh injury isn’t doing him any favors. He looks all around the room, trying to find something else to look at. He finds yesterday’s newspaper. The front page says, ‘CHANGELING KILLER STRIKES AGAIN.” Changeling? He reads a little more. He sees a name. Melanie’s name…

Down below, the other Boys move slowly with the man who gave them the guns. They reach the cellar. ________________ turns on his Mekhet peepers again. He sees the auras of six vampires. Just then, the Boys get a text message from Will.

“Sorry. Got to go.”

The vampires attack.

Everything moves fast. Especially the man who gave them the guns. He moves like a vampire moves. He pulls a vial out of his jacket. Don gives the order to shoot and Trent takes it. He puts a bullet in the man’s shoulder. He staggers for a half-second, then throws the vial. Liquid fire pours across the room, filling half of it with a chemical blaze. He drops his shotgun, pulls out two pistols and starts firing.

The sight of fire drives Don and __________________ from the room, but Trent stays. Already, two of the vampires are on fire. Trent makes a quick decision—based on a fleeting thought he can’t justify—and starts shooting the other vampires as well. The man who gave them the guns starts backing up toward the stairs while Trent covers him. The man turns to Trent. “Run!” he says. “I’ll cover us from here!” Trent follows orders and runs up the stairs.

Up in the second floor, Don and _______________ cannot find Will. They find Mister Fix, alone and pissed off. “He saw the newspaper,” he tells them. “And he ran.” They pick up Fix and make their way to the window. They jump down, using their vampire strength and blood to survive the fall. Up above them, Trent and the man who gave them the guns are still firing. Trent jumps. The man pauses for a moment, takes out another vial and throws it as he jumps out the window. The window explodes in chemical fire. Two bodies fall—aflame—and hit the pavement screaming. They fall down after only a few steps and crumble into ash.

___

Meanwhile, across town, Will arrives at Melanie’s house. He watches from a tree. The dark house sits patiently, waiting for him to enter. Then, he sees a light inside. A flashlight. He jumps up to the second floor, opens a window and climbs inside. He’s in her bedroom. No light at all. He sees the man with the flashlight coming upstairs. Will hides in the closet. The flashlight enters the room. It scans around. The light stops on the vanity mirror. Will sees words written in blood on the mirror.

who is the Fairest of them all?

Will sees a face in the mirror. It’s that cop, Walker! Will coughs gently. The cop spins, pointing his gun at the closet. “It’s okay,” Will says. “I’m gonna put my hands out so you can see them.”

He exits the closet slowly. He tells Walker he’s with Don and Roman and Trent and the other guys. He’s a good guy. He used to know Melanie in high school and when he heard she was murdered he came here because he wanted to find out who did it and we’re the messengers between St. Paul and Minneapolis and we want to help you find who killed Melanie and this wasn’t Mister Finger was it?

Walker tells him, “No. This was someone different.”

Will nods. “I want to help,” he says. Walker puts his gun away. He says he’s going to look at the body. Down in the morgue. Will asks if he can come with. Walker thinks about it. “Yes.”

___

In the morgue, Walker tells Will to back up. “You won’t want to see this all at once. See it from over there and then get closer.” Walker unzips the body bag. The body inside has no face. No other markings, but the face is gone. Pulped. Destroyed. Will realizes he’s looking at Melanie naked and feels very bad about that. And creeped out.

Walker gets a pair of tweezers and opens Melanie’s mouth. “They always do this,” he says. “After that fucking Hannibal Lector movie.” He pries around in Melanie’s throat. Will asks what he’s talking about. “It’s a sex thing,” Walker says. “Shoving something down their throat.”

The tweezers click on something. Walker pulls a small ball of plastic from between her teeth. The body exhales one last time. Walker unwraps the plastic. It’s a sealable sandwich bag. Walker opens it and pulls out a crumpled piece of paper. One side has words written in a crippled hand. The other has dots and lines. Will hears him mutter, “I hate these assholes.” Will and Walker read the paper.

all that we see is a dream within a dream

___

Meanwhile, outside the movie theater, the man who gave them the guns is asking questions again. The Boys aren’t answering. He wonders why the Sheriff’s truck is outside the theater. They want to know the same thing. They hear fire engines in the distance. The man who gave them the guns breaks the truck’s window, hotwires the truck and drives away… with an Obfuscated Mekhet in the back.

The Boys bring Fix back to the Sears Building. He tells them the reason the Prince gave them the list and no directions was to see what they would do. The Boys ask if this was a trap. He shakes his head. “The Prince is testing us,” he says.

They drop off Fix at the Sears Tower. Then, they get a report from the Mekhet. The truck stopped in Woodbury (where they met the Sheriff). He walked into a cookie cutter suburban home with fake windows.

Then, the Boys get a call from Walker. He tells them that Will is with him in the Minneapolis Morgue. He should meet them there. They gather themselves up and head on over.

___

Walker looks at the body. Under the fingernails. Any other signs of bruising, cuts, abrasions. Will notices the paper has deliberate folds. He folds up the paper in different ways. He finds a pattern. Lines and angles. He knows this. The lines and dots make a name.

He asks Walker, “Do you know who Lilith is?”

Walker stares at him for a long moment. Then, he picks up his phone. No answer. He closes his eyes for a moment…

“She’s not here,” he mutters.

The other Boys arrive at the morgue. Trent tells Walker he’s been looking for him. Wants to know about the tavern they met in. Walker says, “I don’t feel comfortable talking about that place in a room full of vampires.”

Trent says they have a mutual interest: catching Mister Finger. Walker tells them he wants to help them with that, but right now, he has a bit of a more urgent matter at hand. He gestures at the body. They tell him that “Michael” will kill Will if they don’t find Mister Finger. Will says, “Yeah. Real scary guy. Can control lightning.”

Walker asks, “Does he look like a homeless person? Carry a backpack with a strange book?” The Boys agree. That fits the description. Walker sighs. “Don’t worry about ‘Michael.’ I’ll take care of him. And stay away from Finger. He’s…”

Walker pauses.

“Finger isn’t like you. He’s… an older breed of vampire. He can do things you can’t. He can survive for a short time in daylight. He can manipulate flesh. He’s stronger than you. He’s also very, very old. He could kill all of you easily. Don’t go after Ahvril until I’m with you.”

The Boys nod. One of them looks at a watch. “Shit, it’s getting late!” They agree to shack up at the nightclub.

___

The next night, the Boys awaken… unharmed.

They split up, each with different agendas. Don wants to talk to Ms. Lethe. Trent wants to meet with his old contact from the Circle. A woman who thinks she’s Theda Bara.

(I told the Boys they could say one true thing about her. All of those things established the rules for the next scene.)

Trent goes to the penthouse where she sleeps. He knocks on the door. She opens it, her eyes wild with fear.

“Oh shit, Trent,” she says. “I fucked up. I fucked up.”

Trent tries to calm her down, but she won’t listen. “Alice is crazy. She thinks everyone is out to get her. She even pointed the finger at me. Me! And I needed help. I didn’t think you’d ever answer if you knew it was me calling. I couldn’t… oh, Trent I fucked up. I fucked up.”

Trent asks her what she did.

“I couldn’t find any friends… so I made one.”

Trent asks where her friend is.

“In the bedroom. I just turned him. I needed a friend and I went looking and he had the brightest aura I’d ever seen. Oh, fuck Trent. Please help me. Please help me.”

Trent goes to the bedroom. He opens the door. And there on the bed is the still, cold body of Detective William Walker.

___

The recipe for this evening was Bacon Stuffed Avacados! Took me all of twenty minutes to prepare and fed five hungry gamers. Avacados are cheap and so are the rest of the ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 8 slices crisp bacon, crumbled.
  • 4 medium avocados, ripe and unpeeled.
  • Lemon juice.
  • ½ cup of butter.
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar.
  • ¼ cup of white wine vinegar.
  • ¼ cup of garlic puree.
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce.

Instructions

  1. Fry the bacon.
  2. Slice the avocados in half, then remove pits and brush with lemon juice.
  3. Fill the avocado with bacon.
  4. Combine all of the remaining remaining ingredients and heat to boiling to produce the sauce.
  5. Drizzle sauce over avocados and serve as desired.