Plans and confrontations.
“Is everyone here?” I ask Bob as I walk in the door of head quarters. My right hand is bandaged up from the cut and Mikey is trailing along behind me. I’d slept most of that night and well into the morning meaning that I missed work. They were supportive enough though when I called around this afternoon, showed them my hand and made up some tail about being stuck at A&E until the stupid hours of the morning.
“I think so. Let me just check.” He says and looks down and the list on his lap. “Yep you’re good to begin.”
“Ok people.” I call out, walking over to the front of the room. “Last night mine and Mikey’s little expedition turned out a lot more interesting that we’d planned it to be. Intelligence I’m going to kick your asses when this little meeting here’s done.” I fake scowl then smile at the group of them to show them that I was joking. I’m met a small titter of nervous laughter from a few people, mostly intelligence guys, until everyone lapses into silence again.
“Last night, for those of you who don’t know, Mikey and I went to raid a warehouse on the far side of town where a group of unknown vampires were supposed to be meeting for a small get together. The plan was for us to go in, kick some vampire butt, show off a bit and get to know each other, come back and diss the other ones moves.” Bob smirks at this and I throw him an angelic ‘but of course I’m joking’ look before carrying on.
“The situation we found ourselves in, however, was completely different.” I take a board marker from the desk and step back to write on the board behind me. “This is a rough floor plan of the warehouse.” I explain, drawing two squares in red pen. “This one.” I say, pointing at the one I had drawn rows of small oblongs on and a small square in the corner, “is the basement. These little oblongs in rows? They’re hospital gurneys. Beds with shackles to hold people prisoner in. This little fenced off area is what resembled an exercise pen.”
Murmurs run through the group as it begins to dawn on them what we’d found and where the story was going. Various members of the team are also flushed bright red in embarrassment. “This is the ground floor.” I say pointing to the second square. “This area here has been completely renovated to resemble any ordinary dining room. Well, if velvet patterned wall paper and massive solid oak tables are your personal norm of course.” I give a wry smile. “The basement door is also right at the back of it. This area is a kitchen. More on what happened there later. And around here is Hotel del Vampire.” I say, adopting a bad Italian accent for the last three words.
“She means we looked behind a huge screen and saw a bunch of coffins and bedroom furniture.” Mikey reiterates. I look at him blankly then thank him coldly.
“What happened though? Shane and Dan said you looked like shit and that you got chased out by a really evil looking vamp.” One of the older hunters asks me.
“You know what I think I’ll let Mikey explain.” I smile and sit down. My head was spinning and thumping. Bob comes over to try and make a fuss of me but I bat him away and listen intently to what Mikey has to say.
“Hey I’m Mikey. I’m a friend of Bob’s and I’ll be working with Kat undercover in the Lamia mission.” He introduces himself. “So last night as Kat told you we went to the warehouse. We went in through the smashed window.” I see various members of intelligence smile in relief as they realise they got something right. “I knocked the lights on momentarily and we instantly realised that we’d stumbled upon something bigger than we’d expected.” I snigger at his choice of the word ‘stumble’ but he ignores me and carries on.
“We scoped out the room then went upstairs where we found the dining room. We went out of there and found a bunch of screened off areas. The last one we came across was the completely screened off area with the coffins. Kat started freaking out at this point and pulled me behind a large freezer.” Quite a few people laugh and I scowl. They all shut up. “3 vampires came in. Two blonde twins and the infamous Frank. Frank ordered the twins to make him something to eat and left the room.
“I took that as my lead to sneak around behind them and stake them well and good.” I scowl at his glory grabbing but I’m more worried about avoiding Bob’s questioning gaze. I hadn’t told him about Frank being there yet. “We chopped them up and stuffed them in the freezer to hide our tracks, then Kat pulled me behind the freezer yet again.” I see many people try to hide smiles. I roll my eyes. Of course they had to all fall in love with him. Why couldn’t they see he’s a self assured arrogant prick?
“Frank came out, we ran back to the basement and I got out but then Kat slipped when she was climbing out the window. Frank caught up with us and we basically played tug of war with her until I won and got her safely back to the car where she passed out.”
“You know what? I have a slight problem with the way you told that story.” I shout whilst standing up again. “I see you left out the fact that you wanted to ‘scope the area’ before going into the warehouse, something that would have almost definitely have gotten us noticed if I’d allowed you to do it? That you magically forgot the part about you falling in through the window and landing on the light switch. Again something that completely jeopardised our safety!”
“Woah Kat, calm down.” He half jokes with an embarrassed smile.
“Then there was the fact that when I ‘creeped out’ I saved your life by pulling you behind the freezer and out of site from the vampires. Next time? I’ll leave you there, then, once they’ve eaten you I’ll thank them before driving a stake through their hearts.”
The room has gone incredibly quiet as they watch on, drinking in the facts. “Oh. And don’t forget the bit where I managed to think of a way to get us out safely without attracting Frank’s attention after I helped you kill the twins and came up with the plan to hide our tracks. After that you slammed the door that aroused Frank’s attention and made him chase after us!”
Everyone is staring at us now and Mikey’s face has coloured marginally, his eyes are a bit more shifty, a little less arrogant and plucky. “Oh and when I ‘slipped’ through the window?” I ask, my breath settling down and my voice growing calmer. “Frank had pulled some evolutionary stunt on me and was pulling me towards him with his mind. At least you had the sense to copy me when you finally decided to rescue me and hid your face. Next time though I won’t hide your identity. I’ll let him come and kill you in your sleep.” I spit then walk off and shut myself in one of the interrogation rooms to cry.
It had hurt to see Frank again last night. It had hurt that he’d tried to kill me. And it was scary to think that he may have recognised me and could have wanted to kill me still, might still want to kill me now.
Mikey hurts me too. I’m so used to being the best, to being respected. If one of the others beats me at something I’m fine with that! There are people on the squad that could strategise much better than me, that could win over me in a sword fight any time, that could out run me, even out fight me, but they weren’t horrible about it. They didn’t rub it in my face. They didn’t constantly criticise me and then try to humiliate me in front of the whole group. Mikey does. He’s too used to working alone I suppose. Or maybe he just hates me.
There’s a knock at the door and then Bob’s wheelchair appears, with Bob in it obviously, around the corner. I smile weakly and wipe my cheeks and eyes with my sleeve. “You Ok?” He asks gently then comes and stops next to me.
“Yeah.” I lie quietly.
“Why didn’t you tell me about seeing Frank?”
“I just… I went home and I passed out, then I went into work and explained why I didn’t come in and didn’t phone. Then I went home, found Mikey looking at all the photos of me and Frank, screamed at him, cried in my bedroom over the very same photos and came here. Then I got humiliated in front of the whole group by the most up himself man in the universe.”
“He’s not that bad Kat.” I raise my eyebrows in disbelief. “Ok so he’s a dick to you. You think that maybe he just feels a bit threatened by you? You’re the famous Kat remember. He’s just Mikey. Maybe the best but then again maybe not.”
“Whatever his reasons he’s still a jerk.” I say then sigh, “But I know that to make this mission work we have to at least be civil. Ideally we have to get on amazingly and share absolutely everything so that there can be no surprises when it comes to the main event.”
“I wish I could come in with you.” He sighs. I kneel up and hug him tightly. “We need you to tell us what to do you doofus.” I say with a sad smile. “You gave us all a reason to live by setting up this organisation. You’re the best leader we could wish for. You’ve managed to train a team of over twenty vampire hunters from a wheel chair. You don’t need to go out and kill people to prove yourself. Forget me and Mikey, you are the best. Don’t you dare ever think otherwise.”
He raises his head and smiles at me with tears in his shiny blue eyes. “What would I do without you?” He asks.
“Get a lot more sleep.” I joke and lead the way back to the meeting.
Me, Bob and Mikey are sat in front of my TV trying to stay as civilised as possible. During the second half of the meeting it had been decided that me and Mikey would go on the streets tomorrow as we only had two weeks and a bit left until the blood fest. It had also been proposed that Ray would try and get himself the job that the twins were forced to leave. That way he could hopefully keep me and Mikey safe when we finally got back inside the warehouse. He was also released as the twins had inadvertently let slip that he was supposed to be delivering some humans tomorrow and they would get suspicious or just plain angry if he didn’t turn up with any.
“Does anybody want some coffee?” I ask as the adverts come on. They both let me know that they do so I go through to the kitchen and turn the coffee machine on.
Something had been bothering me since we’d gotten back last night but I can’t put my mind on what it is. It was something to do with Mikey. Something that he had done, or said, or known that had just seemed out of place. Like he had knowledge of something he shouldn’t have had knowledge on. I’m sure it can’t be that important or I’d have remembered it and reported it. I can just remember something taking me by surprise… something that he’d known…
I take the coffees through to the boys and sigh as Top Gear starts again. I love it but I’d rather be running over last minute details with Bob. There would be enough time to watch TV when we’re out of that warehouse safely with most of the Lamia clan dead. Until then I want to work. I want to get this perfect. We need to get this perfect…
That’s what Mikey had known. He’d known who Frank was. There were no pictures of him around the flat except for in the photo albums. Bob didn’t own any pictures of him. How did he know who he was?
“What? You’re looking at me like I killed someone.” Mikey says with the same arrogant look on his face as always.
“How did you know who Frank was?” I ask bluntly, ready for the tide of bullshit sure to flow out of his mouth.
“Just from people talking about him.” He answers, he doesn’t look as smug as usual though, actually he looks pitying. “I just pieced together what people have said and it equalled him. Plus as soon as he walked in the room you started to drool and swoon.” He sneers. I look away and try to absorb myself in the views of Jeremy Clarkson on a car I could never think about buying anyway.
“I’m going to bed.” I announce suddenly. I can’t stand sitting here with the two of them acting like this was just a normal night, acting like everything was fine when really the mission was falling around our heads because me and Mikey couldn’t keep our emotions out of the way of business. “I won’t get much sleep for a while, may as well make the most of it.”
“Come by headquarters for 5 tomorrow. I’ve got your sleeping bag and rucksack ready there and we can run through any last minute problems. Remember that you can stay mic-ed up until Ray gets you. You won’t be alone.”
“Thanks Bob. I’ll be there. Good night. Both of you.” I say then disappear into my room ignoring the fact that my attempt at being civil had been completely disregarded by a boy who was obviously hiding a lot more than battle wounds.