It had taken nearly two weeks from the first reported incident from Ankara to reach my hand, and when it did, I could hardly contain the giddiness that had quite suddenly consumed me.
We had had trouble like this in the past; the British trade route fiasco in the late 1700’s; the cluster-fuck that was Legion 67 in 1984. But this was fresh, unprecedented; we had confirmation – real, cold confirmation, that a vampire had indeed died via some sort of mysterious drug that had been administered to him. Why this had happened, and why this vampire allowed this drug to be administered in the first place was beyond us, but the fact that we knew it was out of the ordinary was palpable.
In 1999, after a few run-ins and nearly dire circumstances accumulated by the ever-bloating Vampire Investigations Bureau, I decided not to work with them anymore. Instead, I isolated myself to a more smaller group, which consisted of some of my most loyal compatriots. We called ourselves Manchuria, and it was our business to look into these suspicious murders and figure out what was going on. We went on to investigate many regional murders – that proved either to be petty, or an accident. I quickly was getting frustrated with the fact that I couldn’t find what I wanted. My first big break, however, came in 2004, when we investigated a vampire murder-suicide in Toronto, which led me to obtain some contacts for more follow-up information. Caras, who was my main informant, was the one who ultimately put the Ankara document in my hands, so to speak, and for that I am grateful.
So in June, Silas, I, Benji, Raymond, and Kenneth all boarded the luxury LearJet under the cover of night and was whisked over to Turkey in short order. Though I tried to nap most of the way, I was too giddy to sleep.
Silas and I sat together on the still leather couch that covered one side of the plane, and the other three were dispersed throughout the plane; one in a seat, and the other two on the couch opposite ours. Kenneth and Benji, both looking as if they were 25, sat together, the light from one of the fixed end tables shining over Kenneth’s shoulder and onto the laptop screen he was typing at. Benji, on the other hand, was too busy being sound asleep on Kenneth’s shoulder and muttering in his sleep to notice the rhythmic tapping of Kenneth’s fingers.
Silas had his head in my lap, and I was absentmindedly stroking his hair while he slept. I divulged myself to look down at his ever youthful features, and was still blown away by how angelic he looked. Silas shifted, however, and waking up, he rubbed his eyes and yawned. Stretching himself and then sitting up, he looked around hazily.
“Where are we?” He intoned, again rubbing the sleep from his eyes. I took a moment to let his beauty wash over me like a well needed drink of ice-cold water. He always refreshed me when I had been getting into the rut of thinking that so tired me out. I leaned in and gave him a surprise peck on the lips. He giggled after we had parted and wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.
“We’re over England right now,” I finally said, after we had settled down. I set the leather notebook I had been taking notes in back down on the side table, and pulled Silas closer to me. He took one look into my eyes and could tell something was bothering me.
“What’s the matter, babe?” He said, shifting his body to better face me. He took his hand cupped it around my chin, eyeing me with the practice of 259 years of being my lover. “You’re worried about this mission, aren’t you?”
I sighed, resigned that he knew my every move. I softly removed his hand from my face and turned, putting my face in my hands. I moaned out loud, slightly.
“Of course I’m worried. For some reason, I have a bad feeling about this…”
“But, you’re the one who—”
Wanted to do this. I shook my head, cutting him off. “I know I wanted to do this. Of course I did; this was the best clue that I’ve gotten in nearly 20 years. I wasn’t about to pass that up.”
Silas’ brow furrowed. “You think something’s gonna happen? There’s always a chance that it might.”
“I know that,” I said, raising up with a sigh, unsure of the point I was even trying to make. “I just feel off, alright? Maybe nothing will happen. And even though I wanted this – needed this – that doesn’t mean I still can’t have a bad feeling about it.”
Silas made an expression that let me know that this conversation was over, and arose to use the bathroom. While he was gone, I got Kenneth’s attention away from his laptop in order to see if he had obtained any new information or instruction of where to go once we had landed.
“Yeah,” he said, quietly, looking softly at Benji, not wanting to wake him. “Caras told us to meet at some club called Faraway Girl in downtown Ankara. He said it’s not optional.” He shifted uncomfortably. “He was quite…adamant about it. How do you trust this guy?”
“I don’t,” I said, “well at least not totally. He’s not one of us. He’s just an informant, and I have to remind myself of that.”
“Do you think it’s a false alarm this time? We’ve been fooled before.”
I pursed my lips thoughtfully. “No. I really don’t. The caliber of information about what happened can’t just be made up over night. This happened. And I’m finally getting able to investigate all these damn occurrences.” I sighed, and rubbed my temple. “Did I ever tell you about the British trade route fiasco I dealt with?”
Kenneth shook his head, looking at me curiously. “No, why?”
“Because I’m pretty positive all this stuff started happening around the turn of 1800. That’s when murdered British crewmen kept showing up. Murdered in horrific ways. The British blamed the U.S. for it, but I knew these deaths were administered too creatively to be done by a mere mortal.”
“When was this?”
I thought back a ways. “Around 1784, I think. Yeah, that was it. It was awful, and nothing ever came of it, either.”
Kenneth’s eyebrows shot up. “You mean you didn’t look into it?”
I laughed. “No. I mean, I couldn’t. Silas and I were in New York at the time, and I asked George Washington to look into it for me, instead.” Kenneth’s mouth gaped open. I shrugged. “He did. But, again, nothing ever came of it.”
“And what about the VIB?”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “And what about it? Remember, I created the VIB under the guidance of J. Edgar Hoover in the early ‘20s. That wasn’t around back in the colonial times.”
“And George Washington couldn’t figure out what was going on?”
Silas returned and I felt him settle next to me, and put a hand on the small of my back. I could hear the smile on his voice. “No, he couldn’t, Kenneth,” he said, patiently. “He sent some of his best ambassadors, but we couldn’t extract any information from them, even though they had made it plain that we were the ones at fault.” He grimaced. “I never understood that.”
Kenneth looked thoughtful, and it gave me a break in the conversation. “Well, look. We have a few more hours until we make it to Turkey. I’m gonna go get some rest–” I jutted my thumb to the opposite couch– “and I think you should do the same, Kenneth. Kept your man company,” I smirked, referring to Benji, who was now beginning to snore loudly.
I took Silas’ hand and made our way back to the opposite couch to lie down. I could always tell when they were newbloods, and Kenneth was no exception.
Our pilot, a Russian expatriate who’d turned sometime during the last century, smiled when I handed him the wad of cash that was his payment for the flight. I told him to enjoy the views and monuments of Ankara, because we’d probably be there a few days.
We all piled out onto the tarmac, and then made our way to the cars that I had lined up for us. The cars were black, but they weren’t hard to find in the darkness since we had the best night-vision. The lights from the vehicles and the runway gave an ethereal feeling to the area, which I had to shake off once Silas and I entered the back of the first limo.
We first set up our hotel, run by a dirty vampire name Frederick. He liked to smoke. A lot.
We put our suitcases in the room, then convened together to figure out our plan of action. Once we butted heads and brainstormed a bit, we found it prudent that we go ahead to the club, but we were all to be on high alert in case anything were to happen.
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