Undead Paladin Chapter 11: The Sweeping Tides

It was night in the sleeping city of Barrie. The police were on patrol looking for anyone caught outside the curfew. This was the moment that some of the vampires went on hunts, while others just hid in their whatever dwelling they lived in just as terrified as anyone else. The streets are quiet, with the march of policefolk being all that was out – and anyone smart enough to avoid detection.

Not that the police were anything to genuinely be afraid of: if your caught outside and look healthy they would just slap cuffs on you, drag you into the back of a patty-wagon, and drive you to central lock-up, where you would be booked and asked to sit in the affectionately named 'drunk-tank' until dawn. Sure, some of the coppers would be less than nice or outright dicks, you know, using the curfew as an excuse to outright torture people and hide behind the badge and the War-Measures Act, but such is life: the monsters are everywhere. Good news, however, its better than the PMCs who specialize in vampire hunting.

No, you don't want to tango with those fuckers. I mean, the police at least try to screen out those with an absent or screwed moral compass. The PM fucking Cs on the other hand aren't regulated as heavily, and because there have been so many blood-crazy vampires the government got desperate and tried to get more people out hunting the vampires as their numbers grew.

There is good news and bad news across the board. One must tread softly and carefully, and remember that reality is chaos and to expect black and white order is like trying to corral screaming cats.

***

Watts was standing at the foyer entrance and stared at the door to the place. His stare was bordering the creepy tones of obsession, as though he was awaiting someone to walk through that door any moment. The curfew would make sure such wasn't the case, but in the meantime Lilith never locked the door and had no qualms about dealing with any nightwalker: provided they had the funds for a roof that evening.

An equally restless Amanda walked down from the hostile room she was assigned and noticed Watts standing there. She made an attempt to slip by when Watts muttered “Quiet evening, isn't it?”

“Sure,” Amanda replied as she made her way to the lift that was destined for the basement.

“You need blood?” he asked quickly, “I recommend that you look for a fangbanger and ask them for their blood.”

“I'm alright for now,” she replied, even though the thought was starting to make her crave for such an abhorred delicacy.

“Then where are you going?” he asked again. There was an uncomfortable silence. Watts then asked “your heading for the basement?”

“And if I am?” Amanda replied defensively.

“I don't know if Lilith would approve,” Watts simply replied.

“You worried about that woman?” Amanda replied, “cuz, well... yeah I would worry about her... but for different reasons.”

Watts rolled his eyes at her. “Don't mind her: she jokes like that.

“Still, you wouldn't want to cross her: she manages this operation to keep the vampires protected from the government and the PMCs,” Watts went on.

“Right,” Amanda replied with a simple smirk, “she's a lord: with favours in every disgusting orifice of the underworld.”

“One does what they have to do,” Watts comment was simple and quick.

“Watts, dammit,” Amanda shook her head, “Its one thing if you were offered up to the devil: its another thing entirely to volunteer.”

Watts turned from the door he was staring at and looked Amanda sorely in the eyes. “The devil, huh?” he muttered. He's glance was cold and hard. “You believe in that shit, don't you?”

“Oh, don't give me that,” Amanda replied, “There is an evil force that lingers about, one that is to be fought at all times: a force against all that is good.”

“As if the world worked like that,” Watts responded, “Cuz evil ain't a force.”

“Yes it is,” Amanda went on, “and it comes from the devil: to further our suffering on Earth. I mean, the vampires are part of that army, in how they desecrate...”

“Is it that easy for you?” Watts interrupted in a plume of anger, “that the world is black and white? Black and white and at odds?

“How bout those hand-shaking moments with devils where the 'good' had to make a bargain with the 'evil' to end stalemates?

“Or the basic fact that no one does anything in evil's name... ever? Are you that juvenile in thought?

“Or how about the fact that people where made to suffer... in God's blasted name?”

“Oh no innocent believer was killed in God's name,” Amanda responded quickly, “Only the heretics. God demands that his children obey so they don't fall for the evil...”

“Do you know what we call people who demand that kind of unconditional obedience?” Watts interrupted her. After a brief, uncomfortable, silence he responded: “Tyrants.”

“They're not God...” Amanda stammered.

“You defend a tyrant?” Watts exclaimed, “What has he ever done for you?”

***

“A weapon is gone?” Lilith paced through her office in her office in the basement.

“Who you think took it,” Batsie asked Lilith.

“I have an idea, and I will be checking it,” Lilith responded, “Now, where did Watts go? Knowing him he's plotting vengeance on the behalf of Twist. Dumb kid.”

“You think he would...”

“Those two were close you know,” Lilith snapped quickly, “course, I'm upset that Watts would do this: I mean I might let him go on this vengeance quest, but I just ask that he get permission for the dam gun just so I know where the thing is and I'm not hunting for thieves in the Barrie area.”

“Right, naturally,” Batsie replied, “though I really don't want him to get hurt.”

“Save your feelings Bat,” Lilith's response was cold, “I doubt he could ever look at him the way you look at him.”

At that point there was a knock on Lilith's office door. She went to open it, and saw Watts standing on the other side of the door.

“Lilith do you have a gun I can use?” he asked her.

“What about the one you already took out of the hold?” she baggered him.

“What?” Watts retorted, “Lilith I wouldn't take a gun without the ok: you mean too much to me.”

After a brief pause Lilith uttered harshly “Oh piss.”