Episode Two: Night of the Vampires
Officer Billy Broussard of the New Orleans Police Force was having a quiet night for a change. Storytown was unusually serene this evening and he strolled down the sweltering streets, whistling to himself and trying to ignore the thick moisture in the air that seemed to just seep through his clothes.
Things changed in an instant. He was headed down Basin Street towards St. Louis Cemetery when a young woman, barely covered in tattered rags and completely covered in a thick, red substance he prayed wasn’t, but knew full well was, blood, staggered into the street. She saw him and cried out, staggered, tried to stumble towards him, but pitched forward.
He ran to her. “Miss? Miss, my God, what happened to you? Who did this?”
“Who?” she said. She looked up at him, her eyes far away and almost blank. “Yes,” she said. “Who. No, what did this?”
He reached down to help her to her feet. “I’m sorry, Miss, I don’t know what you’re trying to say to me. I want to help you. Tell me what happened!”
“Oh,” she said, deadly calm, “I’ll tell you what happened. I’ll show you what happened.”
Then…she changed. Her eyes went a sickly yellow. Her brow pitched forward and angled. Her mouth twisted and morphed until it was full of horrible, jagged teeth. Before he could say anything, she grabbed him and pulled him close with impossible strength.
“This happened,” she said, and buried her face into his neck. He screamed, but just for a second, then it was over.
She dropped his limp form to the ground and wiped the blood from her mouth with the back of her arm. Then she looked down at him.
“The gates,” she said, “Have opened. I suppose I’ll need to dispose of your body.” She looked back over her shoulder. “Good thing there’s a graveyard back there.”
She threw him over her petite shoulder like he was weightless, and sauntered back towards St. Louis Cemetery, whistling the same tune he’d been whistling when this all began.
Johnny awakens to find one of those strange sticky pieces of paper stuck to his wall, reading, “HELP HER.” Then the doorbell rings and he finds himself face-to-face with a woman who also has one of those sticky notes simply telling her to seek him out. As this is the first time he’s seen someone else with one of these, he invites her in. She tells him her little boy vanished last night with no signs of a struggle and nothing unusual other than talking about his imaginary friend lately.
He opens the door to head to the woman’s flat, and finds another young girl aged about 15 or so standing there. She tells him she was sent to help him because a darkness is rising in New Orleans and it has something to do with vampires. He brings her in, collects the rest of the Cast, and they set off to find the boy. Marcie is surprised and suspicious to note that Jacob knows what she is and asks where her Watcher is.
The group does some investigation and manage eventually to track the child and his “imaginary” friend to a burned out tenement in the Storyville neighborhood of the French Quarter. It turns out she is a vampire, and before they can question her, she makes a cryptic remark about the Carter Brothers and the gates of dreams opening. Then she stakes herself.
That night, the group are attacked by vampires as they go their separate ways. After one of the battles, Caleb notices another street kid suspiciously running from the scene.
When they come together again, Marcie wants to check the telegraph office to see if there is any communication from her Watcher. As they arrive at the rail station where the office is located, they note a police investigation surrounding a body that’s been exsanguinated. Marcie is distraught to discover the body is that of her Watcher, Nigel. The group are approached by another man, who introduces himself as Tony and a member of the Watcher’s council, sent to investigate their having lost contact with Nigel. After identities are definitively established, Nigel contacts the Council and apprises them of the situation and tells Marcie that he may as well take on duties as her Watcher until the Council advises otherwise.
Johnny, as an employee of the Coroner’s office, steps in to handle those duties, and escorts the body to the morgue to be prepped for autopsy. The group also meets Jack Knonaem, a local cop who it quickly becomes apparent is “in the know,” but really doesn’t want to be in the know. That is, he refuses to openly speak about the supernatural, but uses transparent code when he needs to do so. He’s more than happy to have these experts advise on the issue, having spotted them at the strange Krew event a few weeks ago. After a quick talk, Jack promises to look into any information he can find about the mysterious “Carter Brothers.”
The heroes regroup at the house Tony has secured on Bourbon Street and meet Tony’s neice, a Potential-in-Training, who delights in meeting the actual Slayer, and the two spar together. They compare notes, and decide to do some more pavement pounding and research the next morning.
Overnight, the NOPD gets a break, as a woman comes staggering down the road, covered in blood, and claiming to be one of more than a dozen victims of the Carter Brothers, who managed to escape. She directs the police to a second-floor walkup at the corner of Royal and St. Ann. Jack wants the Cast to check it out before he loses police facing something they’re not prepared to face.
The Cast, of course, go in stakes and flaming swords ablazing.
Tony displays an unusual ability to pinpoint the supernatural essence in the apartment, and they are able to work out a two-pronged way to get in. Inside, they find seven victims, all tied to chairs, most barely alive but a few quite dead. The whole place is buzzing with flies and reeks of rot. There are also six vampires in here, two of which bark orders at the other four (and have a family resemblance). Jacob and Marcie handle the heavy lifting of battling the vampires while Johnny and Livie focus on getting the living victims out, and Tony clears the rest of the apartment, finding a pile of dead bodies in the bedroom.
In the end, the Cast are able to rescue the four living victims and take out the nest and one of the Carter brothers. The other escapes into the service tunnels beneath the city. Jack is grateful to the Cast and offers them a retainer to help on “unusual” cases in the future (so long as they restrict their more destructive impulses to genuinely supernatural elements and let human law deal with human villains).
Tony is formally assigned as Marcie’s new Watcher, and our heroes have two new members to their Monster hunting squad.