Marc Spector arrived at Tokyo, not certain of all he would find. Arlington had been very sketchy with everything, and even made it sound like it would be better if he forgot everything about what he was doing. When he arrived, it was near sunset, and he was starving by the time he hit the city. As he walked, he eventually ran into a place called the Cavern. He remembered that Shin mentioned something about a restaurant of the same name in New York, and it instantly got him suspicious. When he entered, if someone from New York had gone in there, they would have sworn that it was the same restaurant. As he went in, he noticed the bats on the ceiling, just as it had been described to him in New York by Shin, and he knew he was in the right neighborhood. One thing that stood out for him was the fact that two thirds of the place all had on the kind of ring that Shin told him about, and now he wondered if he was now in danger. He was met at the front by a tall, well built man with a goatee and a black cape. If he was trying to imitate Count Dracula, he was doing a very good job! Fortunately, Marc was up on his Japanese as the man greeted him, and asked him where he would like to sit. Looking around, he picked a seat where he could see everything, and as to where none could sneak up on him. The man said, "My name is Henry, and if you need anything special, just let me know."
Marc just nodded and went to his seat.
As he sat there, he noticed coming out of the back a beautiful, shapely woman with blonde hair pulled back, wearing a tight red dress, and saying, "Daddy's right there, James. Behave yourself or you have to come back to the office."
He smiled and happily agreed as he skipped over to Henry. "Calera, how are the books looking," said Henry.
"Very good this month," she said, "Jean-Claude would be proud to know how well things are running here."
Jean-Claude: that caught Spector's attention. He also wondered if those without the rings knew what surrounded them. Calera noticed him and the way he sat, and she knew that she did not recognize him. However, many people came and went every night, topped off by the fact that the Clan now numbered about 3,000 by this point in Japan, and she wondered how much longer it would be before they could no longer conceal things. It was getting harder and harder to keep track of the membership, especially now that, not only were there members of the Greater Japan Magical Society in the Clan, there were vampires in the Mahora Academy-indeed a first for them! Even if they were not in the Clan, they may have been members of the GJMS, so it was hard to tell these days. She checked out his aura, and it seemed that there was indeed something magical about him, so she thought she just might introduce herself.
Marc was going over the menu when he noticed the woman, (who was obviously in charge,) came up and sat down across from him. "Konichiwa," said Calera, "I can definitely tell you are not one of our regulars."
Marc decided to go with one of his aliases and he said, "My name is Rabbi Yitzak Topol. I came over to take over a synagogue here in Tokyo. I know that the Jewish population is small here in the city, but they need ministering as well, and I am more than happy to come and do so."
Calera cocked her head, and she said, "Oh, a rabbi," and she turned to Henry and said, "This one is on the house, darling!"
"Thank you," Marc said graciously, "But you don't have to go through the trouble..."
"Nonsense, darling," she said, cutting him off, "In Japan, far more respect is given to holy men, no matter what their faith. You are no different."
For Calera, this gave some explanation for his aura. He then said, "You know, its interesting: ever since I've been in here, I could not help but notice that alot of people are wearing the ring that you happen to be wearing. Is that some kind of fraternal order?"
Calera, paused, turned her eyes away, and then brought them back with an open but smiling mouth as she cocked her head to look at him, and she said, "You could say that."
"Is this your 'secret meeting house'?" said Marc as a joke.
Calera picked up on the humor, and said, "Oh, not here, but it is not far from here. I can't tell you where, though," joking back. Then Marc said, "It's interesting what you mentioned about faiths, because I was told that, if Iwanted to take the temperature of the spiritual things of Tokyo, there is some place called 'Mahiri,' or 'Mohoroh,' or something like that. Anyway, I was told to find someone a part of that, and ask them, though I really haven't given that much though. It didn't really seem important anyway."
Calera paused for a moment, and she said, "Well, people tell some odd and interesting things, don't they? Well, I hope your stay here in Tokyo goes well. Enjoy your meal."
She got up, wondering if his interests went beyond just the synagogue. For Marc, her slight hesitation and slight shake told him all he needed to know. He was sitting in Clan Central, and not just that, but he was now certain that both Arlington and Mahora knew about all this, and even had something to do with it.
His words did not go unnoticed. Sean Hartley, Regan, and Yuuna were all there in town at that time, because they had come back to just pay a simple visit to the school, and decided to stop off for a good meal. They were all in civilian wear, so to peg them as members of Fire Team Charlie would be impossible. They looked up at Henry and signaled that they were shifting tables. Marc was then surprised to see these three seat themselves at his table, and he now wondered if he was going to have to fight his way out. They all received their meals at the same time, but Marc was not eating. The other three jumped in as if there was nothing wrong. Sean then looked up and said, "What's wrong? Aren't you hungry?"
Marc took up his fork and began to eat, but he did not take his eyes off his new tablemates. He then said, "I wonder what it is that made you so curious that you had to sit with me like we've been friends for years."
"Actually," said Regan, "your words make us curious, 'rabbi,' especially your mentioning a name of which not many should know."
Marc stopped in mid-chew. He then said, "Okay, and why is that?"
"Why should we tell you, rabbi," said Yuuna, "I would not think that your holiness would even care a fig about something like that."
Sean finally said, "It's obvious that you're using an alias, so we know you are here to investigate something. What are you on about?"
Knowing he was found out and knowing that it would not matter if he had to fight his way out, he spilled it. If it got to that, it was a full moon, and these clowns would find out quickly that you did not get in his way on nights like this. "Okay," said Marc, "My name is Marc Spector, and I have been sent here to find the Greater Japan Magical society on recommendation from your Washington branch."
Now the three stopped in mid-chew. They looked at each other, and then at him. Regan then said, "Why are you even involved in the first place?"
"Let's just say that there may be a war brewing, and I want to do what I can to see about trying to keep as many innocents out of the crossfire if I can," said Marc.
"Oh, really?" asked Sean, "And...um...just who are the combatants?"
"Let's just say that there is an ancient household of vampires, and an upstart household called the Clan looking to collide," said Marc, "My friend asked me to find out what I could about one of the factions, because, as far as he is concerned, they both need to go."
They now took a serious look on their faces, and said, "And just who is this colleague?"
Marc tensed up, ready to fight and trash the place if need be. One of the factions essentially ran the place, and all these three, (who were obviously allied with the crew in the place,) had to do was sing like a canary, and it was going to get ugly. Marc took a defensive position and said, "His name is Blade, and if you know what is good for you, you clam up before all three of you get hurt!"
At that, the three of them looked at each other, and started to laugh, almost to the point of hysterics. "We've heard news already from New York!" said Yuuna, "You are in absolutely no danger here!"
He now did not know if they truly found this amusing, or if they were bragging. He gave them and odd look, and Sean said, "Oh boy, Eric Brooks is trying to climb Everest naked!"
"Please, explain," said Marc, annoyed at the whole thing.
Sean signaled for Henry and Calera to come over, and they brought James with them. He introduced them, and then Yuuna said, "Well, rabbi, are you going to tell them?"
Calera gave the bunch a knowing look, and she said, "Trust me, his aura threw me off at first. I thought him a mage at first, and then he said he was arabbi, and I believed it. However, when he started talking about Mahora, Iknew that he was putting on a show. So, who are you?"
Marc explained himself again, and Henry then said, "Well, if you must know, I, my wife, and my son, are all vampires."
Marc, at first, was getting ready to bolt, taking his bag with him, so he could get his silver weapons out to fight, but in the next instant, when he had heard the word "son" dropped, he realized that something was amiss. "Okay," he said,"I heard that offspring was impossible, except in rare cases. You gave birth to a pure blood?"
Henry and Calera looked at each other; a touch confused, and then realized that he was just as unaware of their world as the rest of the world was to the truth. Henry then said, "Sir, every vampire in here is a pure blood-but not what you may know."
Henry then went into the explanation of the two different worlds, and how one wanted symbiosis, while the other wanted terror and slavery. Marc then said,"How did you know about Blade?"
"Trust me," said Regan, "The CIA has known about him for some time, and the world he fights. However, until recently, the households had their fingers in that area of things, and kept Uncle Sam from purging that scourge from American soil. However, since Jean-Claude had gone on the hunt with his crew that has not been a problem. Uncle Sam doesn't quite know about all the details of the Clan as yet, they just know that he is a useful tool, and leave him to himself as long as he does not become a threat. Believe us when we say that Jean-Claude is every bit Blade's equal. In fact, he's kind of this world's answer to Blade."
"Then could you tell me about this Clan?" asked Marc.
"I'll do even better," said Sean, "Tomorrow night, we and Henry will take you to Mahora ourselves."
"How do I know I'm not being set up?" asked Marc.
"If we had wanted to, you would be dead by now," said Calera, all serious.
Marc smirked, and he said, "Not likely."
The pride now coming off him was beginning to set Henry off a bit, and it wanted to make him feed. However, trust needed to be filled, and so he ordered some from the kitchen. He then said, "Please, you can trust us. Come and stay with us at the headquarters tonight. We will tell you all about how our world works in a more concise fashion."
"Sure you will," said Marc, "You'll do it by bleeding me dry!"
They all sighed in frustration, and Henry saw that he was finished with his meal and said, "There is only one way to resolve this."
In a blink and before Marc could react, Henry already put him over his shoulder and Marc's bag in his other hand. Calera said for the three to meet him at the mansion.
Marc was amazed how Henry bounded like he did. He took leaps like the Hulk-not as far, but still they were very impressive. Marc knew that it was not good to resist at that point, and he waited until he landed to deal with this vampire. Once there, he noticed a fine mansion and two smaller houses. Henry set him down and said, "Welcome to my home. I'd let you stay in one of the houses, but we now have two couples living there, so you'll have to stay here. I'll let you have Jean-Claude's old room."
Marc saw that Henry started heading for the house with his bag, and now he had to act. With one impressive leap, he had flipped over Henry and took a pose before him. Henry was shocked that a human could do something like that, and he said, "Impressive, but that is not the way to treat your host, you know."
Henry then started to go around him, not paying him any attention. Now Marc was curious. He wanted to think he was just trying to get him out of sight. However, he was also forced to assume that there were only vampires on the hill, so he began to wonder if his offer of hospitality was something sincere. After all, there was no need to get him out of sight, and moreover, he would have had those in the houses "come to dine." He entered and followed him up the stairs. He saw a room that had a few essentials in it, as well as a king size bed, but still kept as if he were coming back at any point. Henry said,"We keep this when he visits on the summer, and when he has business here."
"Is this the same 'Jean-Claude' that you were talking about before?" asked Marc.
"He's my son...adopted son...but my son nonetheless," said Henry.
Henry set down the bag, and heard the sound of metal in there. Henry was curious, and then said, "You are not the 'average Joe', I think you Americans would say."
"I guess I made that pretty obvious," said Marc sarcastically.
"I did wonder a bit at that."
"I also am known as Moon Knight. I am a crime fighter, but I also have dealt with the supernatural world as well."
"You're not a day walker as well, are you?"
"No, but by how I am empowered, you would think that I was. My abilities and senses are enhanced by the night, and the more full the moon, the more they are enhanced. Today and tomorrow I will be at my peak. I have specialized more in the world of the werewolf, but I have found them pretty much a group that just wants to mind its own business and function with the rest of society. There are problem children, and that is what I have dealt with. Believe me, they have no love for the undead as well, but if they knew about you, they may change their minds about vampires."
"That's our hope for the whole world: understanding and symbiosis. Let me tell you about Jean-Claude and his history."
With that, they retired to the family room for a chat.
Back in New York, Blade was confronting Crystal. "Okay, who have you killed so far!" demanded Blade. He could not believe that she still wanted to be near him, especially when it seemed that she was now allied with this "Clan." Crystal looked at him crossly, and she said, "I have killed no one, Blade!"
"You're in with them!" Blade snapped, and he went on to tell her of what he had observed. However, she snapped back at him, "Well, it serves them right! What would you have done if those mob goons had threatened you?"
Blade had no answer, because he knew well what he would have done. On the other hand, he did not go as far as they, and he said, "At least I would not have fed on them as they had."
"They must have had their preferences there," she retorted.
"Oh? And what's that supposed to mean?"
"It means that they just needed a power-up, and they were handy."
Now Blade was becoming more and more angry as the moments passed. She sounded more like a vampire than ever before, and thus, she must have been feeding. Blade took her forcefully and started to force her to a makeshift cell, saying,"Looks like you need rehab again!"
However, she flipped him over with a wrist lock, but he just landed on his feet. However, her arm was free, and she said, loudly this time, "Blade, Ihave not been feeding on people! I still use the serum!"
Now he looked at her oddly. "Hold on," he said, "You talk as if you are losing your humanity, and yet you have not fed. That makes no sense."
"IT WOULD MAKE SENSE IF YOU WOULD JUST STOP ACTING LIKE A SUBBORN MISSOURI JACKASS!" she yelled, "You are so hyped to kill the undead that you will not take the time to see that there is more to it than meets the eyes!"
Blade was angry, confused, worried, and hyped up, all at the same time. She had never reacted like that to him before, and no one had quite stood up to him like that as well. She then said, "You are so busy to take your revenge on the whole undead world for what Deacon Frost did to you and your mother that you will not take the time to realize that there is more there than you think. Now, I have not fed because Karin told me that there is a knack to it, that Ihave to know what I prefer, and how to erase a mind when I am done. What you don't understand is that I don't hunger like I used to. The Thirst is almost nonexistent, and that all I need now is the serum about every two or three days. However, from what Karin and Chiyuki have said is that there will come atime when that serum will not suffice, because it is not designed for their kind of vampire. You know what's funny about that? Jean-Claude even said that, if they could live off that serum, it would accelerate everything he has been fighting for. In fact, he said that it would be good to have that kind of thing around if they were in a spot where they needed blood, but could not feed as normal. He only wished that we were all together with him. I tell you, Blade, he has an incredible dream..."
She trailed off in her rant, and then said, "...and it gives me far more than Van Scyvern ever could have, or any of those houses. The Clan wants to replace everything those creeps took from me. After Jean-Claude told me his story, Irealized we had more in common than we thought."
Blade then stared at her, began to get a bit cross, and he said, "So, is that what it's about? You think they can give you what they took? You're a fool! Crystal, when are you going to realize that they offer nothing-NOTHING! If they get you going, you are going to lose respect for life, and it won't be that they will give you back what you lost, they will make you forget everything that was dear to you, and that includes your family. Don't be fooled by this! I know I told you that once this fight was over, you were on your own, except for the serum. However, once Amayah is gone, we have to deal with this Clan, and I need your help. Don't join the other side."
Crystal could not believe how one man could be so stubborn. She went into her room, grabbed her things, and she started to walk out. Blade intercepted her, and he said, "So, are you going to go with them?"
"I have no future with an arrogant boob like you!" she spat out, "Blade, if you don't stop to see what's going on, you are going to end up dead."
Blade was indignant now. He spat back, "You walk out this door, then its over! If I see you again, it's open season on you just like all the others! After all I did for you, and this is how you repay me?"
"No," she said, as she hesitated at the door, "My repayment is when I tell them all about you, what your issues are, and then get you in a position where you just might break open that cement head of yours and listen! Besides, to get to me, you will have to get through Jean-Claude and Karin. Good luck with that one, Blade, because they are the only two creatures on the face of the earth, besides the royalty they speak of, that could beat you at your own game. They aren't the only ones. In fact, you resist them, then we just may be hearing about the late Eric Brooks."
She walked away, and Blade just looked at her as she walked down the street. He cursed as he hit his fist on the door jam. They had gotten to her, and now he wondered just how much she would reveal. He looked over at Shin and said,"We have to be on guard tonight, and then we have to find a new base of operation. She's going to spill the beans, and that means that they will be all over us like maggots on a dead mouse."
"Are you so sure...?" Shin tried to say, but Blade said, "Don't you go buying what she said!"
"Did you stop to think that she...?" but again, Blade cut him off again and said,"Our lives are now in danger! You have been in this long enough to know that you cannot trust vampires, and she just proved that! The only other way of doing things is to on the offensive. Tomorrow night, we go. It takes me work, but I've figured out how to get past whatever blocks me from entering. I plan to go in and tear the place up! I can get you past it, and we can take care of it, because I don't think we have a choice."
Blade looked like he was ready to go somewhere, and Shin wanted to ask, but all he could think was that he was going to blow off some steam. Blade had something else in mind.