The vampire strode into the city confidently, as though it owned the place. It was summoned to gain revenge, and revenge indeed it would gain. As it strode through, its Second Sight told it to speak to one man: "What is your name?"
The voice, sepuchral and deep, far too deep to be that of an ordinary human's, startled Thomas Cooper, a homeless man trying to gain shelter in a side alley. Cooper looked at the figure which spoke at him goggle-eyed, as he'd managed to finish yet another bottle of booze and wasn't sure just what was speaking to him. He said "Tom, why?"
The vampire's eyes suddenly blazed with irritation. This was indeed *a* Thomas Cooper but a magical signature had been put on the man by his quarry to distract him. The creature then moved, the darkness-cloak creating a weird sloshing-rustling sound. The drunk homeless man's eyes widened as he saw suddenly rushing darkness and two glowing greenish-blue eyes, a long blade-like knife moving toward him like some watery freight train. Before he could scream the blade struck flesh........
Deborah bat Omri and Vincent Smith smiled. They'd managed to gain a room in one of their favorite places, a loft that they rented as absentee users and would use periodically. New Orleans during Mardi Gras had been one of Vincent's desires to visit for some time, and as his massive body's metallic glint became concealed by the glamour, he turned to Deborah and said "I wonder what the newspapers say this morning?"
Deborah shrugged. Finishing putting on her own glamour, wearing a T-shirt that said "Dangerously Over-Educated" and wearing jeans, she made a perfect fit with Vincent, whose glamour wore a T-shirt that said "No I don't care" and jeans also. Vincent smiled and took her arm in arm and they descended the stairs, walking as Deborah sought to avoid using her abilities unless, and neither expected it would prove likely, it meant that they would need to do so.
The two arrived downstairs in the kitchen below their loft as Vincent began to prepare breakfast and Deborah turned on their computer, preparing to read the Times-Picayune online. As she sighed, trying to wake up she noticed an odd news article "Homeless man murdered". Shrugging and assuming it was nothing necessary to worry about, she turned past that article to find something else to do and found something that said "Aquarium: Hours". Visiting Bourbon Street was best done after nightfall anyhow.....
Detective Michael Winters stared in shock at the body that had been brought to the morgue.
"What the Hell did *this?*" he asked the ME.
The ME, a tall Chinese man simply said "The Hell if I know. The cause of death was a sharp object but the object is not metal and left no fragments. There are no fingerprints. There are, however, strange burns on his forehead" and he pointed to two third-degree burns. The five pieces of his body made Winters bite back nausea as he continued starting to piece together what had actually happened in this bizarre little case.
His partner came in. She, Detective Cynthia Mitchell, took one look at the body and immediately dashed to one of the sinks, where a loud retching sound followed. After a few minutes she came back.
"What the fuck did *that*?"
The ME said "As I told Detective Winters here I have no idea. The cause of death was a sharp object of indeterminate origin, and there are burns on certain parts of his body. Aside from this I can't tell you anything. The object left no fragments, there are no fingerprints anywhere on the body. There are no, in fact, witnesses of the actual crime. There is no DNA from the perp, and there is no indication as to motivation. The man's belongings were all intact, and there's no indication of anything beyond what you see here."
Looking at X-rays Detective Mitchell said "Those cuts look very clean."
The ME, Dr. Higgins, said "Yes, they are. They are in fact surgically precise insofar as what they intend to do."
The ME continued to talk about the cause of death and as the two detectives left, they both put their hands on the wall outside the office.
"My God, what are we up against?"
"I don't have any idea. The FBI'll probably be coming along if this happens again."
The Shadow-woman walked calmly to what she expected would be her current place of residence while seeking her revenge. As she did, she strode through a bad part of town, ignoring calmly three men with switchblades who followed her. These three men were people who wanted to imitate more hardened gangsters but were anything but gangsters themselves. She strode past the men and near an alley two blocks from where the murder happened. Then one of the men called to her and she turned, again calmly. Two of the others grabbed her and pulled her near a wall, while the third man attempted to rifle through her pocket holding his knife to her throat. No fear in her eyes, and one of them said "Not very scared is she?"
The first man attempted to lick the blade held at her neck to intimidate her and cursed slightly as he nicked his tongue. But then spoke their intended victim:
No, naughty little boys, I am not scared.
Growling one of the men prepared to move his knife when the other two suddenly felt something strange. The woman was moving slightly and as they laughed, expecting to trip her her foot suddenly smashed into one of the men's knees, leading to a loud cracking sound. Howling in pain that man released her, as did the other two.
Instead of saying something or cackling in that strange voice, the one that had sounded like a peal of thunder even as it had spoken a single sentence in a calm, very polite tone, the woman simply stared at them. The men looked on in fear as she then with a single will stopped their hearts, watching them all fall down.
Hnf. And this is what passes for gangs these days, I see.......
Whistling calmly the Shadow-woman arrived at her intended place, a Quality Inn on one of the streets in the hotel district. When the manager had attempted to say there were no vacancies her will had prevailed, and so she smiled at the room she had. Sure, it smelled like cigarette smoke, but who would suspect a general of the Armies of Hell to use a hotel room in a low-quality franchise as her hiding place? Eyes of blue became eyes of white and the room changed, now warded against those with Sight that Sees seeing in.
Sitting back and lounging on the bed, the Shadow-woman turned on the news "In the news today there has been what the police term a homicide. A homeless man, not identified, has been murdered. The nature of this man's murder has not been officially released by the police. If you or anyone you know know something about this murder, please contact the NOPD."
The vampire moved now calmly to a building it identified as a school of some sort. Two young girls were walking out of it, the daughters of the man it was to seek. Fanged jaws formed the simulacrum of a smile as a darkness-cloak enshrouded it. The first stage of its call from the Grave was to begin......