In which Jack makes a friend

Some kind of bad juju. Setites are up to something, but they chased me off.


They dropped off Cynthia on the outskirts of Grimouth, and she waved to them before vanishing into the night. She had seemed apprehensive about returning, but excited, too. What was she to Dante, Olivia wondered. An ally? A servant? A lover?

Jack was waiting for them in the foyer of Goodwin tower, the guards watching him warily as his coat dripped rainwater onto the tiles. He began to speak, but Olivia raised her hand. “There are no showers in Thornwood, and I have dog on me. Give me ten minutes downstairs, ok?”
With that, she headed down to the vault, the doors hissing shut behind her.
Thoroughly scrubbed, and wearing the fresh clothing that other Olivia had laid out for her, Olivia felt the crawling sensation on her skin subside, and headed back to the ground floor, where Shen stood conversing with Jack.
“Looks like the Setites brought something bad into the docks, then transported it nearer to the city center,” said Jack.
Olivia felt a chill in her spine, a sense of quiet dread. She pulled a tablet from her bag, pulled up a map. “Where were they heading? Show me.”
Jack frowned down at the map, the technology unfamiliar to him, and reached out his hand, tracing the path. “See there, they were heading up from that row of warehouses, up here, up this road, and here…” Olivia felt her dread build as he traced the path to the center of blackness from her vision. The darkness coalesces, and the black rain falls.
“Ok,” she said, and her voice sounded far away. “Let’s go out, and see what we can find.”

The van, a clean van, purred quietly over the rain-slick streets, finding little traffic even for such a late hour. It didn’t take Olivia long to spot their tail. A man on the rooftops, crouching and leaping from building to building to keep level with the van, movements quick and graceful, aura pale. Kindred.
“You see him?” Olivia inclined her head.
Jack looked. “Yeah, I think so. Let me out.”
Olivia nodded and pulled the van over, Shen holding the back door open for Jack as he slipped out. Their rooftop shadow froze as he spotted this, then turned tail.

He was fast, but Jack was faster. Like a big cat made of shadows and grease, the gangrel leapt up onto the roof and tackled his opponent. They smashed against the tiles together, sliding down the slanted roof, the spy struggling to wriggle free of Jack, and then they were in freefall, tumbling together, Jack grabbing the spy by the back of the neck and angling his face towards the ground. There was a crunch as they hit the tarmac, and a wet arterial spray. Olivia’s nostrils flared at the smell of blood. Then another crunch, and another. Stillness.

Jack dragged the kindred back into the van by a leg, like a cat dragging a rabbit, and Olivia noted the expression of disapproval on Shen’s face.
“You’ve torpored him,” Shen grumbled, running his hands over the beaten kindred’s body. “Could’ve left him to me.”
“Didn’t see you volunteering to give chase,” said Jack. “How long til he comes round?”
Shen’s brow furrowed in concentration as he ran his hand over the kindred’s ruined face, flesh knitting, skin rippling as Shen healed him. Definitely Egyptian. Almost certainly a Setite. “Don’t know,” he admitted. “Two weeks, maybe more.”
Jack nodded. “Set him up on a drip of my vitae. We can question him when he comes round.”
Shen looked doubtful for a moment, then nodded. “Ok. Sounds like a plan. Let’s get out of here before anyone comes looking for him.”
Olivia felt herself nod, and took the next left, turning away from the Setite base and into the cold Grimouth night.

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