Wednesday, July 9, 2008

024: A Ghoulish Fate

Leave her alone: 0 votes
Contact TYRIS: 3 votes
Go in alone: 4 votes
Charleston opened the car door, and said, "I've decided. I'm going in alone."

"You sure about this, Charleston?" said Land Captain.

"Dead sure," replied Charleston, reaching into his jacket. He pulled out a long brown envelope and handed it to the Land Captain. "If I'm not back within the week, give this to Robin. Now get out of here, otherwise they might come out here and get you." He shut the door.

Land Captain saluted him, and drove off. Charleston took a deep breath, put on a pair of silver gloves, and marched up the sidewalk and into the house's basement, to the stone doors. He reached out to touch it, and it swung open to reveal a dark hallway.

"I was sort of hoping for some sort of portal, honestly," said Charleston, reaching into his coat and pulling out a flashlight. It hit the darkness but did not illuminate it. He turned it off and put it away as a young woman in a flowing white robe came through the doorway. She had fangs.

"You're expected, Charleston Charge," she said, holding out her hand.

Charleston took it, and was whisked through the door. After many twists and turns, they stopped in a circle of light. It seemed to come from nowhere.

"The Mouth of the Prophet wishes to speak with you," said the young woman, sinking into the darkness.

A blond woman, dressed in a sensible skirt and jacket, stepped into the light.

Charleston smirked, and nodded, "Lauren."

"Charleston. I see you didn't get my message."

"I got your message. I just ignored it. I've come to rescue you from the False Prophet."

"I don't need or want rescuing. I'm far happier here than I ever was with you."

"You're just being hypnotized or something. Oh, and you killed a man in cold blood. If you aren't being hypnotized, then things might go poorly for you. That's against all sorts of laws."

"I know all about the laws, and the agreement. Don't lecture me."

"Oh, but do you? The agreement clearly stated that, should a civilian arrange a meeting with a vampire, then that civilian was not to be harmed in any way otherwise the vampire would be subject to eternal imprisonment or death. Rocky was a civilian. He was not a super-hero or a member of the Paci Custodis. He was just a man who came here to sell you insurance, and you tore off his limbs."

"I did it to send you a message, but you didn't care. You still think we have a chance to work things out, don't you?"

"You're probably under the False Prophet's vampire glamour or something. I refuse to believe you'd become so degenerate and immoral that slaughtering an innocent man to send me a message sounds like a good idea."

"Perhaps I've always been this way, deep down."

"You have not. You used to cry when we saw road kill, for god's sake."

The pair stood in silence for a moment, staring into each other's eyes.

"What went wrong?" said Charleston.

"You were never there," said Lauren.

"I can be there now."

Lauren narrowed her eyes at him. She snapped her fingers, and two young women in flowing white robes emerged from the darkness and grabbed Charleston's arms.

"What are you doing?" he said, putting up some token resistance.

"You want to be with me, Charleston Charge. So be it," said Lauren, pulling out a letter opener, "Open his mouth."

Another girl came from the darkness and held Charleston's mouth open. Lauren took the letter opener and slit her wrist, and held the bleeding vein over Charleston's mouth.

"Now you can be mine forever, Charleston," she said as she forced him to drink her blood, "Just be glad I chose to let you live."
A week passed.

Land Captain arrived at the office of Robin Banks with the envelope Charleston had entrusted him with. He placed it on Robin's desk, and Robin opened it.

"He says that if we've opened the envelope, then we're either very impatient or he's been gone for more than a week," said Robin, "It goes on to say that we should just consider him lost."

"We can't do that, sir," said Land Captain, "Charleston is a good man. A bit misguided and impulsive, but a good man nonetheless."

"I agree," said Robin, "Unfortunately, due to the agreement, neither you nor TYRIS can do anything about Charleston's disappearance other than take a passive role in helping him out of this mess."

"What's the agreement?" said Land Captain.

"Around the bicentennial, super-humans and super-naturals were on the rise and everything was a giant mess. Werewolf hunters were taking on mad scientists, vampires were fighting super-heroes, and it was just a generally terrible time. So representatives from each community - super-naturals, supernatural hunters, superheroes, super-villains, and somewhat normal folk - got together to decide what to do. It was a pretty simple solution. Superheroes would only fight super-villians, supernatural hunters would only hunt super-naturals, and normal folk would just keep on going on with their lives and occasionally be swept up in some grand adventure."

"The Mouth of the Prophet killed a man, though. Isn't that breaking the agreement?"

"It sure is. So all we really have to do is get the word out about that, and so we have to decide how."

Land Captain nodded.

Robin coughed, and pulled out a sheet of paper and a pen, "They'll all accomplish the same end, really, it's just the means that will change. I, personally, know some supernatural hunters. They're called the Paci Custodis, you know. Supernatural hunters in general. I doubt we could get the whole little group I know down here to get things done, but we could probably get a few."

"Some tried-and-true hunters, then?"

"You could put it that way, yes. If we don't want to wait for them to come down from Detroit, I know there's probably tons of freelancers in the area who are just dying to get in on the whole scene. We could put an ad in their little newsletter or whatever."

"Youngsters with everything to prove."

"Sure. The final option is a roll of the dice. We put out the word that the False Prophet's lackeys broke the agreement, and hope for the best. The problem with this is that some of the Paci Custodis are insane. We may be getting more than we bargained for with them."

Land Captain was silent.

"No summary?"

"Crazy hunter who may end up killing us all?"

"Works. So, what do we do?"

Land Captain shrugged.
Who should they call?

CHOICE A: Known Paci Custodis
CHOICE B: Young Paci Custodis with everything to prove
CHOICE C: Some crazy guy

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