Chapter 7: Carlos and the San Jose Raiders, Part 4

I think I need to ret-con a bit already, here. Last post I said that Doc brought Georgia up unconscious, but I was thinking about it, and I think that actually he brought her up dazed, but alive and well. See, Doc was there when she woke up down below, having survived the attack and the darkness, and details are sketchy cause it was off-scene. All we know is that she suddenly had no damage from the stab-wounds, the Assamite was gone, and she may or may not have had the bloomings of a crush on Doc, but only to the level as is proper between a lady and a gentleman.

In any event, she is in the cab of the El Camino as we ride up the Peninsula. Doc asks that we drop him off in Colma, since apparently he doesn’t come around the city too often, and she and he share a brief and poignant moment of goodbye while Norton flips through the radio stations and I avoid Carlo’s creepy stare.

Once we’re ready to go again, I climb inside the car, where Georgia and I discuss what to do about Carlos. Georgia and Doc found a withered husk of Alejandro down in the catacombs, and we now suspect that eating him was what drove Carlos to a frenzy (Also, we don’t know it at the time, but Carlos went on to diablerize not just one but four of the proto-gargoyles in the vat room. Jason said that if anyone had tried to check Carlo’s aura, it would have been solid. motherfucking. black.) Georgia and I quietly agree that maybe it’s best to take him to the Prince and let that asshole figure it out.

Carlos, though, apparently hears this, because as soon as we’re off the freeway and cruising through the abandoned streets of downtown, Carlos leaps out of the back of the car and starts running away, again. We tell Norton to follow, but as we try to corner him, Carlos unsheathes his claws and starts climbing up the side of a building.

(Jason: “This is not how I expected things to happen!”
Kara: “You say that every week!!”
Jason: “BECAUSE IT KEEPS HAPPENING EVERY WEEK!!!!”)

We get out and stare up at him, unsure what to do. Realizing that Clarence has probably made it back to the city now, I call him.

“…Yes?” He answers curtly.

“Heeeeey,” I drawl, “So, we’re back in the city, and we found Carlos, but he’s escaping. Again.”

“Oh?” Clarence replies flatly.

“Yeah, we’re down the street from your place and he’s climbing up the side of a fucking office building.”

There’s a pause. “Well. Deal with it.” And with that Clarence hangs up.

I stare at my phone. “…Sonofabitch Ventrue piece of shit,” I grumble, shoving it back in my pocket.

Worried about what Carlos will do now that he’s loose in mortals’ territory, Norton and I grab our weapons from the car and race after him. We can’t climb up after him directly, but we break into the building and try to make our way up from inside, but he intercepts us, and fuckery breaks out. Norton and I eventually retreat, ceding the building to him, and head back outside.

Now out of options, I call the Prince, reporting that Carlos has gone awol and is armed and dangerous. The Prince grumbles, orders us away from the building, says he will be sending someone else in to apprehend Carlos and drag him in for trial.

Not long later, the Sheriff shows up–

(–Oh shit, I haven’t mentioned the Sheriff yet, have I? Well, there’s not much to mention, except that she’s a strong, lithe woman, usually seen lurking behind the Prince, dressed in a well-cut suit, and always, always silent. No one has ever heard her speak, but they certainly speak of her, and usually in hushed tones. Everyone is afraid of her, far more than they are of the Prince, and no one is even entirely sure she’s a vampire…)

So she shows up, climbing out of an unmarked car and gliding toward us with the smooth gait of a hunting cat. Even Norton shuts up as she approaches. She eyes us quietly, then gestures us away and taps something on her phone.

And then an army of unmarked cars pull up, armed dudes jumping out of them and rushing on the building. She stares at us a moment then enters the building herself.

Norton and I trade a glance, wordlessly agreeing to find Georgia and GTFO. Luckily, Georgia shows up then with the El Camino. Unluckily, though, since she is originally from the 15th century and has zero dots in drive, so we stare as she actually rolls up, the car stuck in neutral, stopping only when she bumps slowly into a mailbox next to us.

Dawn is fast approaching. Norton takes over the driver’s seat and says he will take us to our abodes before retiring to his own palace. Georgia thanks him graciously and asks to be dropped off at the Chantry. Norton turns to me and asks where I would like to be taken.

I grin sheepishly. “So, ah, your eminence…you got a couch?”

#

Indeed, after dropping off Georgia, Norton takes me to his place: The Cliff House, at Land’s End. Rather, the Cliff House itself is a restaurant, but Norton apparently has an apartment secreted underneath it. He has lived there for almost a century, through all the occasions his enemies tried to get at him by burning the place down.

Norton parks the BarrioMobile out front and disappears down the secret staircase leading to his quarters. I hang back, staring at the pre-dawn light over the sea and firing off quick notes to Sophia and Aitor informing them of what happened. And by “quick notes” I mean “My Instagram photo of dicks all over Alejandro’s face.”

Footsteps on the sidewalk draw my attention up. A gentleman stands before me, smiling at me patiently, and for a moment, I wish I was back with Carlos.

It’s The Englishman.

“Pardon me,” he says in a smooth British accent, “But would you happen to have the time?”

(I stare at Jason. He smiles at me. “So…what do you do?”

“I…give him the time?”)

I glance at my phone. “5:27. A.M.” I add, needlessly.

“Ahh,” he nods. “Thank you.” With that, he nods again and walks off.

I watch him go, his cane–the cane bearing his vicious sword–tapping his pace against the sidewalk, then run down the steps to Norton’s place, slamming the door behind me.

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