Book: The First - Part: Two - Chapter: 14 - Installment: i

      The decision had been made.

      “You’ve never done anything like this before.”

      “We’ve never had an opportunity like this before.” Marcel answered Lancaster. “You have no argument.”

      “I don’t make it my business to dictate your choices. I merely fund the organization and make suggestions as they occur to me.”

      “Very well. I’ll release the Nosferatu once we hang up.”

      “What do you intend to do with him?”

      “Do? I don’t think we should pretend we can control him. I expect he will set his own agenda.”

      “Indeed. But we should have plans of our own. How and when do we reconnect with him?

      “He is a public figure. Sylvette has been to his apartment. Contacting him is not an issue. Our priority has been making a decision so as to get him back into the world before his absence is conspicuous. He went to rather extraordinary lengths to bring us to him. I anticipate he has spent a long time considering how he will benefit us. Once we’ve extended an olive branch he’ll provide us options. We will have the relative luxury of an extended duration to consider our options.  Right now, we have to act in order to preserve the opportunity.”

      “Very well.”

      “Do you wish to be here? Would you like to meet him?”

      “Let’s not. Best to keep some cards close to our chest. I too am a public figure. Better he not know that, should this turn into some imbroglio.”

      “As you wish.”



      “This is separate, but relates. It would render my connection moot.”

      “What are you thinking?”

      “I want you to consider the possibility of going public.”


      “Absolutely.  I’ve been thinking about it for some time, and this hospital outbreak only strengthens my line of thinking.”

      “We don’t believe the outbreak has any connection to our concerns.”

      “Nonetheless, if we were public our perspective could influence the proceedings and should it prove that it is related... do you not think that being involved could be critical?”

      “How am I supposed to argue against that?”

      “Think about it. I am planning to run for election. ”


      “Yes. For Mayor. Anchoring my candidacy on an announcement of this magnitude would be a political coup of enormous proportion.”

      “Very. Manipulatively so.”

      “If you are surprised by my ambition, Marcel, I am surprised by your observational failure.”

      “Not surprised by your ambition. It just strikes me as a cynical way of achieving it.”

      “I’ve been planning this for some time. It hadn’t intersected with your interest ‘til now, so I haven’t mentioned it. This opportunity is just good timing. It would be ridiculous not to capitalize on it.”

      Marcel drew a long breath as he considered his patron’s expression – a visage of solid commitment.

      “I cannot make such a choice without grave consideration.”

      “I wouldn’t expect otherwise.”

      The difference in air pressure equalized with a hiss as the cell door opened. The metal rods that prevented the door from opening more than a crack had been removed and the old vault opened wide.

      The nosferatu stood facing the door as if he had been waiting with eternal patience for the door to open. He certainly would have had the required patience, but it could be just as simple for him to have leapt into position as soon as the door began to cycle.

      Marcel found that through the roil of his loathing he had nothing to say. The conflict he felt between his compulsion to destroy the vampire and the strategic logic of keeping it alive bound his tongue.

      Nikolai cocked his head curiously as if inviting, if not challenging the leader of the Lazarus to engage him. But there was no response forthcoming. He almost shrugged, then with an amused twitch of his mouth that approximated a sly fragment of a smile he stepped out of the cell and stepped around Marcel.

      The Lazarus’ commander raised his hand, and placed it forcefully on the vampire’s chest.

      Nikolai looked coolly at the hand, then up to Marcel.

      “The human touch is so unique. Are you a dualist? Do you see the vampire’s absence of soul as being at the core of our curse? I don’t see how that can be. If we require mind and soul to operate, then how is it I am still here?”

      “Do not be distracted from our deal, vampire.”

      “Hmmm... and what of morality? Good. Evil. Am I inherently evil if I have no soul? Or am I simply in an irresolvable position? You cannot tell me that men with souls commit no evil. How can I not be capable of good? Ah, but that is your gamble, isn’t it? You look into yourself. You measure your capacity for good and evil and you see there is hope for me.”

      “Don’t waste your time getting around to paying dividends on our trust. My patience will be short.”

      Nikolai looked back at Marcel’s hand and shrugged it away.

      “I have no doubt.”

      As he reached the door that led into the night the vampire turned back to Marcel.

      “The Trinity is meeting... here. I trust you understand the implication.”

Chapter 15

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Necropolis by Kennedy Goodkey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at necropolisnovels.blogspot.com.