Superpowers In A World Gone Mad
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Dark Corners, Issue #006

July 22, 2013 in Dark Corners Tags:

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Issue #006 – – – – – controlled by Sarah Saunders – – – – – Credits 9

I ran like the wind.  Imo and Drake Chapterhouse tried their best to keep up, but on several occasions I had to stop and wait for them.  Drake was puffing and wheezing but I urged him to keep running.  I didn’t have great experience with vampires but I was fairly sure of two things; they had a strong appetite for revenge and they didn’t tire quickly.  Or at all, actually.

We were four blocks away before Drake demanded we stop and I had to wait there while he gasped for oxygen, bent double to his knees.  “You need to do a bit more cardio,” I told him.”
“Thank you for that,” he replied between heavy breaths, “It’s not every day that I get chased by the undead.”
“Really?” I asked.  “I can tell you don’t live Downtown.”

I’d kept my eyes open for something I could use if Knight caught up with us.  At my instruction, Imo snapped a wooden fence post to act as a pretty functional stake.  I’d hoped to see an Italian restaurant (if only to find out whether you can stop a vampire with a garlic bread) but there was no chance of that in this area.  Even the McDonalds was burnt out and looked like a bombsite.  “Is there a church near here?” I asked, with sudden inspiration.
“Yes, on the corner of 12th and Carlton,” Drake replied.  “But if Knight is more than a simple bloodsucker – and I believe he is – he’ll be able to enter.  It will hurt him, but not enough to stop him.”
“Really?  He wont burst into flames or something?  Huh.  Shows what I know.”
“Some would,” Drake confirmed.  “But not a vampire like him.  He’s a Master and on top of that I think he’s also an Abnormal.”
“He’s a super-powered vampire?” I gaped.  “How is that fair?”
“I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of this new drug that’s on the market, it’s called Joy.  It’s addictive properties are off the scale.  I was fairly sure that there was something supernatural about it because some of the users have demonstrated low level super-human strength and enhanced senses.  Some of them have just died, too.  It’s that sort of drug.  The trail led to Knight and that’s when I was captured.  I think he’s the source of the drug, though I don’t know how he makes it.”

“Are you ready to run again?” I asked.  “Because we can’t hang around here.  As a last resort, I have an ally who might be able to give Knight something to think about.”
“An ally?”
“Yes.  Another spellcaster, a bit like you only much more powerful.  No offense.”
“Hey!”  Drake complained.  “You don’t know how powerful I am!”
“Come on,” I told him, and we were off and running again.

I don’t know if we just outran and evaded Knight or if he didn’t actually bother to make much effort to chase us – but an hour later we were back in the familiar territory of Downtown and there had been no sign of him.  “Looks like we’re clear,” Drake said.  Imo rumbled, which may or may not have been agreement.  “Thanks for what you did.  You got me out.   I don’t think I was looking at a happy ending in there.”
“No problem,” I said.  “But it wasn’t an accident.  I was sent to get you out by the ally I was talking about.”
“What’s your ally’s name?” Drake asked.
“Melderact.  He’s a wizard, I think.  Old guy, grumpy, a bit of a villainous ‘conquer-the-world’ type.”
Drake’s mouth dropped open.  “Melderact?  The dragon?”
“Huh?” It was my turn to be confused and surprised.  “What do you mean?”
“Melderact is the name of a six thousand year old magical dragon.  He’s mentioned a lot in the Book Of Ages and also in the Chronicles of Kepul Na.”
“The what now?” I asked.
“Doesn’t matter.  Dangerous times call for strange allies, I suppose.”

“I’m glad you’re reasonable about it.  I wasn’t so quick to accept the situation.  Melderact has a bit of a yarn to tell you and he wants me to recruit you to save the world, or something.”
“I thought you said he was the conquer-the-world type?”
“Yes,” I nodded.  “But one thing at a time.”
“Okay.  I don’t really get that.  But okay.”
“So he thinks that you’re somebody that we need to have on side.”
“Who is we?  You, the Dragon Wizard and your quiet monstrous friend here?”
I nodded.  “That’s the team so far.”
“Well, look.  You saved my life tonight and I owe you.  I’m certainly not going to miss a chance to save the world, but you’ll excuse me if I don’t immediately trust the Evil Reptilian Mastermind?”
“I’d be disappointed if you did,” I agreed.
“I may need some help in return,” Drake Chapterhouse said, seriously.  “This drug.  Joy.  It’s terrible.  It’s destroying hundreds of lives and it’s spreading fast.  At the moment it’s confined to a few areas of the city, but once it really catches on we’ll never stop it.  I’ll need your help to do something about that too.”
“Isn’t helping the helpless what us unlicensed Abnormals do?” I grinned.
“Unlicensed?”  Drake Chapterhouse said.  “I don’t need a license.  I don’t have powers.  What I do is powered by knowledge.  Even this city can’t insist you have a license for learning.”
“Not sure the Bullies would take precisely the same view,” I pointed out.

Later, we were sitting in the living room of Melderact’s rental.  Drake and Melderact were staring suspiciously at one another and for about ten minutes they’d been indulging in a kind of low level battle of “who’s the biggest man” only with magic instead of testosterone as it’s primary fuel.  “You may understand the Ninth Circle of Summoning,” Drake said, “But that’s what everybody thinks until they have a demon slurping on their eyeballs.”
“Bah!  Demon?  I eat demon’s for breakfast,” Melderact countered.
“Well then dealing with a lowly vampire should be easy.  Why was it that you didn’t want to go after Knight again?”
“It is not so simple…!” The Wizard raged.
“But surely one of your summoned demons could easily…”
“Stop!” I shouted.   Imo rumbled in agreement from the dark corner of the room.  “Gentlemen.  This is getting us nowhere.”
“You’re right,” Drake agreed.
Melderact nodded ruefully.  “We must begin picking at the truth of the world’s realignment,” he insisted.
“No.”  Drake countered.  “First we must stop the spread of Joy.  I wont be a part of some grand plan of yours until that’s taken care of.”
“Then we will find another!” Melderact roared angrily.
“We wont,” I said, stopping them both before they got started again.  “We need Drake’s help, and he is right.  If this drug is half as terrible as he claims then we have a responsibility to act and stop its spread.”

Melderact’s face was so red that I was worried he might blow a gasket.  But he calmed himself before grunting an assent.  “Very well.  We will take care of this matter, then we will be about the rather more serious issue of putting the world back as it should be.”
“We’ll look into that,” Drake said, clearly still doubting that the wizard was providing the full truth.  “After the drug operation is closed down.”
“But this will mean taking on a vampire drug lord, on his home turf.  We’ll be up against both his vampiric resources and his drug ring,” I said.
“It all boils down to Ivan Knight,” Drake explained.  “Take him out of the picture and the rest will come tumbling down.”
“Are you sure?” Melderact sneered.  “Surely he will have subordinates who are trained to run aspects of his business?”
“No,” Drake said.  “Not really.  Like most criminal masterminds, he doesn’t trust people enough.  He does much of the top level work himself.”
“Well killing one vampire lord amidst his drug empire sounds doable.” I grinned.  “How hard could it be?”

2 Responses to “Dark Corners, Issue #006”

  1. Keith Nixon Says:

    I think Sulis needs to talk to the two Wizards about what they can specifically bring to the party before anything else happens.

  2. False Bill Says:

    Yes Keith,
    Hopefully like anti-undead vampire weapons.

    worries me Ivan Knight didn’t follow, do wonder if Drake isn’t already a puppert of some-sort…


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