The Sanguine Symphony 1.4
The mop slapped onto the ground with a pathetic splat. Whistler grumbled, giving Eric the stink eye, as she began the arduous task of scrounging vampire goo off her basement walls and ceiling. The dhampir was still processing what Dale had just said before his untimely demise. He’d expected a standard feeding, cut and dry. Not something like a clan-wide conspiracy. Eric wished for simpler times, where he didn’t have to do night-long patrols without sleep and with Jamal at his side. Being in operation for more than 48 hours was hell on the human body. What normally would be a crash out combined with the worst case of the shits for humans was giving Eric a minor case of migraines. He leaned over and closed his mouth to stifle a yawn.
Whistler chose to smugly comment.
"Thought all you blood-suckers were insomniacs."
"Must be the half-human in me." Blade bit back. "Surprised you haven’t keeled over yet in your old age, Whistler."
"So, what’s next?" Whistler’s voice returned back to steel. All business. No games. Especially whatever just had occurred.
"Right." Eric scratched his chin and walked over to the chair where Dale’s steaming skeleton was still laid. It would take an awful lot of magical know-how to blow somebody up from a mile away. The fact that they were still standing here and not Dale indicated to Eric that it was a blood ritual most likely. Vampires didn’t really practice magic, being the stickler for tradition that they were, but the few arts they did practice mostly were of the ritualistic variety. And nothing was more powerful than a blood ritual which vampires had the reagents to do in spades.
"He mentioned Anchorite." Eric murmured, rubbing strands of muscle in between his fingers. "Whistle, Anchorites are still holed up at the Quarter, right?"
"Please don’t tell me you’re going to go to each head of every vampire clan and try to use this as an excuse to murder them all." Whistler groaned, leaning on the mop handle and looking at Eric exasperatedly.
"It’s called interrogation." Eric replied sheepishly while crossing his arms. "I’ll only do a little bit of staking……"
"We haven’t even asked whether or not our guest is alright with all this. Especially after the blood sucker you dragged in gave my basement a redecoration." Whistler then looked back at Ragwoman with a look that hid worry and searched for intent. "Are you sure you’re still in the game, dear? You still have the chance to get out of this business. It’s a thing to become involved with vampires but becoming involved with the clans is another thing, especially if you get…."
Whistler paused, wiping the side of her neck, whilst Eric finished her response bluntly.
"Don’t worry, Whistle. If she starts getting a taste for the red, I’ll put her in the ground. No offense."
"None taken," Ragwoman replied, her head bobbing beneath the paper bag that she wore over her head. "I don’t plan to become evil incarnate any time soon. There’s still too much grime to wash off the streets of the Big Easy for that to be an option. My suit doesn't take kindly to draining civilians of their blood."
"The rags don’t shy away from fighting evil and neither do I," she added with a nod towards the suit of souls which hung ignominiously, still drying, on a hanger in a corner of the room.
Whistler snorted at the vigilante’s reply, looking at Ragwoman wistfully.
"You remind me of when I was younger."
"And less arthritic," Eric piped up before ducking underneath a stake that Whistler had thrown from her person. It lodged an inch deep into the concrete, the end still reverberating from the impact.
"Well….." Eric coughed awkwardly, trying to avoid Whistler’s murderous glare as he regarded Ragwoman. "We oughta get equipped. My stash’s on the other side of the Bayou and I don’t want to go on another walk again. Is the armory still here, Whistle?"
"Sure thing." Whistler walked towards a cupboard and raised herself, tip-toeing to grab something that twinkled in the dimly lit basement. She grabbed it and lifted it towards Eric, a set of ten brass corroded keys that bore the insignia ‘J.A’. His heart skipped a beat momentarily when he saw those damned letters, swallowing the momentary doubt before accepting it.
"It’s one of these keys. Haven’t been down there in six months. Only go down there once a year to clean it out." Whistler pressed the ring of keys and side-eyed Ragwoman. "I hope you know what you’re doing. Getting her into all this mess."
"Doubt it’ll be more of a mess if she’s involved." Eric then turned around and began to walk up the stairs. "C’mon, follow me, Rags. We need to get you some bloodsucker insurance if you don’t want to be dead by twilight."
"There are worse things than being dead, you know," Ragwoman said, trying her best not to roll her eyes as she followed the vampire hunter.