Roswell Labs, StrangerVille
The walls had splashes of discoloration, pipes creaked and moaned while files fluttered on the floor around furniture shoved haphazardly; whatever happened here, sims got out in a hurry. But despite all that, Caleb couldn’t stop thinking about flirting.
He didn’t mean to flirt with Titania; it just sort of happened. Probably because he’d been spending a lot of time in the mortal world lately. It felt good to take a break from pretending to breathe and walk at a normal pace and his excitement at being with another supernatural creature was coming off as flirting. That was all.
“What the hell happened to this place?” Titania nudged an open file box with her foot, “Mortals are so messy. And that smell. Gods, I’m surprised you’re still standing.”
The place did smell atrocious. “Let’s find what we’re looking for and get out of here before I pass out.”
Nothing was in alphabetical order, so he took one pile while Titania took the other. Luckily, his efforts met with success.
Or a modicum of success. Given the nature of the crime and the way the military stepped in, he expected a thick folder with notes about the technology she used to make the bomb or some description of what national secret they were protecting. Instead, he found a few flimsy sheets of paper, including a letter from Cyrus Martin asking for help defending his daughter and correspondence from the museum. He grabbed the whole folder anyways.
“What did you say they were stealing?” Titania asked.
“I don’t know. I thought the case file would—”
“Well, what does the museum say is missing?” she insisted, reaching for the folder.
He held it out of her reach, “I’m already looking at that. Why are you being so grabby?”
“I’m not being grabby,” she narrowed her eyes, “You grabbed me and probably flashed the entire street my vagina when you did it.”
“I was traveling at supernatural speed; I didn’t show your vagina to anyone!” Caleb tried to ignore the way his skin prickled as the implications of her statement dawned on him. “Are you seriously not wearing underwear?”
“In this skirt? Of course not! Do you want panty lines, Caleb? Because that’s how you get panty lines.”
Now he couldn’t think about anything but panty lines. He forced out an annoyed huff. “You are unwell. And quit trying to get the jump on me. You won’t succeed.”
She conjured a small ball of power, letting it roll over her fingertips as she glared at him. “Glamour, vampire, is not the only magic the fae have.”
He didn’t doubt she would throw it at him. In fact, he kind of wanted it? Mother of occult, what the hell was wrong with him? “We are not going to light this building on fire,” he replied firmly. “So put down the—” he paused as a crackling sound whipped through the building. “Did you hear that?”
Outside, someone shut off the car radio as they cut the engine. To Caleb, it was as plain as if it were happening in the next room. “That.”
He grabbed her arm and quickly pulled her into a closet, shifting them, so his back was to the door. He told himself he was being practical; a vampire of Caleb’s age could take a hit, and Titania would be better off conjuring magic uninjured. But it was mostly because he wasn’t sure he could handle seeing her get cut down by some gun-happy mortal, immortality notwithstanding.
Ugh. His sister was right. He really was acting like an idiot caveman with Titania.
Outside the closet, there was a clatter and then voices. The first sounded like it belonged to a young man.
“I’m telling you, dad; we should just burn the whole place down.”
The voice that replied was an older man. He spoke with a slow drawl and an easy kind of warmth that made Caleb feel unsettled. “You are always so quick to abandon the path, my son. Waste not, want not. We pick what we need from here and bring it to the new facility.”
Goth Summer Home, Brindleton Bay
“Now we see if what is in that book is true. Our forefathers prepared for years, but none were blessed to have such an interaction.” Jacques glared at Biffington, “What does the manuscript tell us?”
Biffington tried to project an air of confidence. His ancestor was the librarian that kept Goodley’s notes. For generations, Bobridges had used their possession of the original manuscript to maintain their membership in a club that had always declared them lacking in both finances and patriarchal power. Mortimer came from old money, Bjorn was a tech billionaire, and Jacques was a longtime real-estate developer.
“Goodley wrote extensively about pushing man to the status of Grand Master Vampire,” Biffington explained. “But he also claimed that with the proper methods, the powers of other supernatural creatures could be added until the man was less a vampire and more a god.”
“Well, I, for one, have no interest in having a series of experiments run on me. It’s obvious we’ll need a vampire to test this on,” Bjorn declared.
“Wait,” Mortimer threw up his hands, “Wait. What are we talking about here? Becoming vampires? That’s madness; why would you want to become monsters?”
“We don’t,” Bjorn grinned, “We want to become more than vampires; we want to become gods. Have you not been listening?”
“Yes, why are you looking so green?” Jacques laughed, “Have you a bit of the Biffington about you? Your ancestor had the stomach for this work, you’re always talking tradition, and now you’re backing down?”
Mortimer frowned. “I know what my ancestors thought, and yes, this club has been dedicated to finding proof of the supernatural, but we’re about books and theories, not—”
“A young vampire wouldn’t be difficult to capture!” Biffington blurted. He was tired of being considered a joke, and thankfully, his suggestion had the desired result. Bjorn and Jacques looked at him with less disdain and more interest.
“Young vampires are still susceptible to death, so they can be threatened, even physically overpowered, particularly if grabbed as the sun rises,” he finished.
Bjorn set down his glass and clapped his hands. “So, blue sky thinking, everyone! Where can we find a line of young vampires waiting to be snatched up at dawn’s first light?”