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2/1/13 – Right after The Meeting

In the OHSU Morgue, Jacob had just finished cleaning the body of a young woman who had been raped and murdered. The autopsy had revealed exactly what was expected in the first place: An ugly combination of rape wounds, knife wounds, and cardiac arrest had killed her. There was a significant amount of cocaine in her bloodstream, probably how the murderer had lured her to the alley in which she was found. He noted the cocaine made her blood taste absolutely foul. He also made note of the bullet fragment he had found embedded in one of her ribs – apparently a wound taken in childhood by the age of the scarring – and then set down the voice recorder. 

The prepaid phone in his desk buzzed. 

Jacob looked at it, irritated. No one he knew should be texting him today. Not Joe. Definitely not Joe. Hopefully not Hunter.

He walked to the desk, dropped his gloves into the waste bin, and picked up the phone. It buzzed a second time in his hand. The screen read: 

[Careflu. Theyre cming for yu.]

Jacob held his phone in state of near shock. He was pierced by a fear not unlike when his Grandfather had died. A cold, iron fist gripped him by his bowels. There was an immediately, violently chaotic future before him, and he knew he would need every ounce of determination, intellect, and luck he could summon to surmount this situation. 

Fortunately for Jacob, he had two things on his side: 1) He had been in this type of situation before in Colombia, and 2) Hunter had given him ample warning to make the most of this opportunity. He needed more information though. He needed numbers, he needed places, times. He needed to know what he was up against. 

Another text came in, and the phone vibrated again ominously. 

[Theye worried about yu breaking their laws, nt necesarily out to kill yu yet.]

Breaking their laws? Jacob rapidly retraced his every step since waking up in Portland. What kind of laws could vampires possibly have? What kind of threat could he be to them? He decided he would at least present the biggest threat he could. And so the same problem arose: He needed more information.

While he pondered, he replied hastily. [You’re funny. Thanks for the head’s up.]

Exactly how relevant are numbers going to be? It’s me against a wholly new world here. Just sending one Hunter after me would be enough to wipe me off the face of the earth. Do I even know if these guys will be a threat to me? Maybe I can use this. 

He decided to send one more text. 

[What’s your read? Should I come in quietly, or get loud?]

There were no words to express the depth and intensity of Hunter’s anger. Livid fury was perhaps a close approximation, and yet still clumsy in its inadequacy. It consumed his thoughts, eclipsed much of his calculative nature almost to the exclusion of logical thought. Even his best efforts at maintaining his impervious emotional wall weren’t nearly enough to conceal his level of rage. The only—Only—reason he wasn’t acting on it was because he was so utterly incapable of doing so. He was physically in a considerable amount of pain, extremely weak and dehydrated, and literally starving. And none of it held a candle to his emotional state.

Throughout the vampire’s meeting, Hunter had tried to pay close attention to every detail, every word that had been spoken so that he could analyze, learn, deduce. But inevitably, his thoughts would always return to the son-of-a-corpse standing next to him and more specifically, to the level of utter control the creature held over him. He had survived everything up to twenty-six years in maximum security prison and two and a half weeks of inhuman torture only to find his entire world crashing down around him with the utterance of a single word.

Sit.

Beatings he could endure. Hell, even though the title of “pet” was probably the most demeaning Hunter could think of, even being treated like an animal had become commonplace in his life in prison. But without conscious decision, he had sat. He had responded like a mindless drone— like a trained dog. THAT was something else entirely. That was the loss of control unlike any other, a loss of decision, of free will.

The one thing he had found solace in knowing would always be his no matter what else was taken was now gone indefinitely.

The fact that he had also been repeatedly beaten half to death, starved and reduced to a talking rottweiler was only insult sprinkled over injury.

He had just gotten back in the limo with Duke to be taken who knew where when he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. He watched Duke in his peripheral vision for a moment to slip his phone out and look at it without being noticed and saw Jacob’s text. He answered immediately:

[Advce: come quietly with somr form of respet and cooperrtion, or get ot of town.]

Jacob’s phone buzzed at his desk again. He had set it down to place a bomb inside the corpse on his table. It was unfortunate. She had obviously suffered throughout life, only to die in horror, and now would be an implement of further destruction. It was a tragedy that was not lost on Jacob. 

Yet still, he found himself stitching up her corpse as rapidly as he was able, and carefully turned on the phone. The telephone he had purchased wouldn’t accept texts, only in-plan phone calls. Phone calls Jacob could make from his disposable. 

The bomb he had made was another carefully crafted terror in the vein he had used against Cazador. The Colombian drug lord had evaded Jacob that night, but the weapon still had a devastating effect, so much so that it was concluded to have been a NATO bunker-buster. This was more of the same, albeit on a smaller scale. Potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur encased in aluminum shavings, primed and ready to be triggered by the iron oxide-filled ignition. Homemade black powder encased in thermite. It would be enough to vaporize everything in the morgue, and possibly enough to burn down the hospital it was in. 

Jacob sincerely hoped he didn’t have to use it. 

Still though, as he continued stapling, he forced himself to memorize the bomb’s disposable phone number, to call it at a moment’s notice – without having to refer to the number he had written down. 

With shocking coincidence, Jacob’s disposable buzzed. Hunter again. 

[Advce: come quietly with somr form of respet and cooperrtion, or get ot of town.]

After forcing his nerves to a more calm state, he read the text three more times. Jacob considered the possibilities. It was incredibly likely that if Hunter was in a situation to warn him of the impending arrival of vampires, he was surrounded or with the vampires in some form. Given Hunter’s animosity towards vampires so far, then it was equally likely he was in their care. Furthermore, Hunter had warned Jacob of the vampires, meaning that he considered them a threat to Jacob in some sense. If that was the case, then it was possible that the vampires had taken Hunter’s phone, and were now using it to feed false information. Whatever amount of information he could trust from Hunter before, now he knew there was little he could take at face value. Still though – it wouldn’t be worth outright rejecting either. 

Jacob weighed his options, then sent his reply. 

[I’m going to the docks by the Boat, meet me there if you can. Also, if you have any friends in the group, tell them to keep the fuck out of OHSU.]

The docks had nothing to do with Jacob’s plans, but he knew that it wouldn’t matter what he told Hunter – it was unlikely he would be in a position to act on any information given. So, he decided to head down to the storage container he had rented. It would be a reasonable safehouse until he could get a ticket out of town. 

But first, I gotta get this lady sewn up… 

It wasn’t long after Hunter had slipped his phone back into his pocket that it vibrated again. Hunter hoped that Duke’s hearing wasn’t half as good as his, because to Hunter the buzz might as well have been a jazz ringtone. Pulling his gaze away from the city passing around them, Hunter decided time was on his side more than secrecy. No doubt Duke already knew who Hunter was texting, so the best he could do was hurry up. Again, he pulled his phone out.

[I’m going to the docks by the Boat, meet me there if you can. Also, if you have any friends in the group, tell them to keep the fuck out of OHSU.]

Hunter’s mind was racing now. There was simply too much to say and not enough time to say it. In his peripheral vision, he could see Duke already keeping an eye on him from the other corner of the limo space.

[No frieds. don’t go. cant cme. he knows abut us]

He hit send to make sure that much at least got out, then started another as fast as he could manage. [any questns asl quick.] Feeling Duke’s eyes on him, Hunter looked up with a glare and prepared for what felt like an ensuing confrontation.

After hastily finishing the last stitching on his corpse bomb, Jacob realized he was running out of time. Chances were high that his pursuers were already on the way – some may even be arriving by air. Despite the noise and exposure though, his bike would be the fastest way to get down to the storage facility. 

Interrupting his thoughts, another text came in, followed rapidly by a second. 

[No frieds. don’t go. cant cme. he knows abut us]

[any questns asl quick.]

Jacob considered the predicament he was in. He definitely wanted more info, but he also didn’t know what kind of questions he could afford to ask should the body at the other end of the phone not be Hunter. The text held a lot of information in it, but how much could be trusted? No friends in the group, but don’t leave the hospital. He can’t come. Someone knows about us. Ask any questions real quick. His message was short, but confusing. 

He still had work to do too. He cleaned up his work with some of the remaining corpses. The two that had been completely exsanguinated (and started this mess) he sealed into the refrigerators, and decided to keep the paperwork with him. Despite his caution with the two vampires who had came by the morgue earlier, there was no call made, no report filed. He’d still been debating on what to do next there. There was also a number of other voice messages on his personal recorder that couldn’t go public, so he grabbed that.

Having made a decision, Jacob stopped moving long enough to send Hunter another reply. 

[Will they come by air, land, or other? How many? How much time do I have? Are police safe?] 

Jacob actually knew the answers to his questions would probably be difficult – if not outright impossible for Hunter to just answer. He also knew that the last question was a fluke – a decoy. It would tell him who was still holding the phone. Jacob learned that the vampires had infiltrated the police when one had come by with his wife – or whatever she was – earlier in the day. Still though, however the questions were answered could be useful. 

He grabbed his backpack and hurriedly stuffed the remaining items he hadn’t pocketed into it. Opening the corpse cooler he ‘d locked and sealed off as ’broken’, Jacob grabbed a few liters of blood he had stashed away for emergencies and bagged those as well. Finally, one of the new handguns he’d bought earlier in the week he stuffed into the back of his pants. He was now ready to leave, so he headed for the door. 

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