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Authors: Ken White

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BOOK: Night and Day (Book 2): Bleeding Sky
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“They’re
happy the way things are now.”

“Correct.
And they will do whatever they can to keep things as they are. Despite
official policy to the contrary.”

I
was glad to see that we were coming out of the mountains. Once we were on
the interstate, I figured the knot in the pit of my stomach would go
away.

“Okay,
so we’ve got the possibility of getting hit by the Resistance, rogue
vampires, or both. That should keep everybody on their toes. Where’s the
ambassador staying? Midtown? Uptown?”

“The
Downtown District,” she said.

“You
have got be to shitting me. Why?”

“That
was his choice,” she replied. “Our agreement with the German government is
that Ambassador Heymann be allowed to travel where he wishes, stay where he
wishes, and interact with who he wishes. He chose to come here, he chooses
to stay in the Downtown District.”

I
shook my head. “I’m not knocking downtown, you understand. I live there, I
work there. If that’s where he is, it means a short commute for me. But I
can only think of a couple of hotels downtown that would be suitable for an
ambassador, and that’s only if Heymann has pretty low standards. He’d be
better off in midtown. Plenty of nice hotels there.”

“Ambassador
Heymann doesn’t require lodging,” she said. “He is bringing his own
accommodations.”

I
stared at her. “What does that mean? Motor home? Pop-up camper? Pup
tent?”

“Details
are in your packet,” she said. “It’s a mobile home of some sort. Specially
built and shipped from Germany. Very large. Carried on a special
transporter.”

“And
where’s he going to drop his double-wide trailer?”

“Jackson
Square.”

Jackson
Square was about a mile and a half south of my office. The square itself had
a playground, some picnic tables, a few barbecue grills, and a large open
area where kids played. I guess the summer barbecues and kids on the swings
were out while Ambassador Heymann was in town.

But
I couldn’t fault the location from a security perspective. The Downtown
District police station was only a couple of blocks away to provide extra
assistance if something happened and the only way into the area was on First
and Second Streets, from the north or the south. Limit access at Antietam on
the north side of the square and Fredericksburg on the south, and you’d keep
vehicle traffic out of the square and away from the ambassador.

“Okay,
I guess that will work,” I said. “Is the ambassador going to be visiting
other parts of the city or will he stay in his trailer and let the city come
to him?”

“Unknown.
Presumably he will make that decision when he arrives.”

“Right,
we’ll worry about that when he shows up. Tomorrow night, right?”

Takeda
nodded. “His estimated time of arrival is twenty-two hundred hours tomorrow
evening.” She paused. “That may change, depending on how quickly the transporter makes the trip from D.C. to here.”

“When
did it leave Washington?”

“Monday
night.”

“Three
days? What are they doing, stopping at every Waffle House they
see?”

“As
I said, his accommodations are very large, as is the transporter,” she
replied. “Travel is slow. Highways have to be closed as it comes through
because of the size.”

 “So
how does he get here? Is he going to fly in with his party when the mobile
home or whatever it is arrives?”

Takeda
shook her head. “He and his staff are traveling inside the mobile
home.”

I
laughed. “So you’re telling me that Heymann’s crazy. And his staff is crazy
too. Come on, guys, let’s take a little five mile-an-hour trip. It’ll only
take 72 hours and I can whip up some bratwurst in the kitchen on the
way.”

She
wasn’t laughing.

“Is
there a reason why he’s riding inside his special house trailer?”

“Details
are in your packet.”

“And
I’ll be sure to read it from cover to cover. Do you know why he’s riding
inside the mobile home rather than meeting it here?”

“Everything
you need to know is in your packet.”

I
leaned back in the seat. “I think we have at least two and a half hours till
we get to my office,” I said. “No matter how fast you drive. And I can keep
asking the same question every minute. That’s, what, another hundred and
fifty times?”

I
paused. “So, Miss Takeda, why is he riding in the mobile home?”

She
didn’t speak for nearly a minute. I was getting ready to ask the question
again when she said, “It’s required because of the special needs of one
member of his staff. The Governor General’s Office suggested this solution
and Ambassador Heymann agreed.”

“I’m
really not following you, Takeda. Did you answer my question?”

“The
ambassador is traveling with an Ancestor.”

“An
ancestor,” I said. “What does that mean? He's got his great-grandmother with
him or something?”

“An
Ancestor,” she said again. She was silent for a moment, then continued, “A
vampire, Mr. Welles. A European vampire.”

“There
are vampires in Europe?”

“As
I understand it, there are vampires all over the world,” she said, her voice
low. “They are few in number, a handful in most countries. Perhaps three or
four thousand, total, worldwide, excluding the United States.”

“How
did we get lucky enough to have millions?”

Takeda
didn’t speak. I noticed that her hands were holding the steering wheel in a
death grip and her jaw was clenched. She’d seemed uncomfortable about the
rogue vampire elements in their hierarchy. Now she was just
tense.

“Please
don’t take offense, Miss Takeda, but you seem to be experiencing some
anxiety.”

She
didn’t reply.

“Is
there something special about this vampire, something that bothers
you?”

“She
is an Ancestor,” she said through gritted teeth. “She is a vampire, but she
is not of my blood.”

“So
it’s a woman,” I said. “Is she a different kind of vampire? Can she turn
into a bat or a wolf, like Dracula”

Takeda
shook her head sharply. “No. She is like any other vampire. But she is not
of my blood.” She paused. “I am sorry. Meeting the Ancestor makes me deeply
uneasy.”

“Why?”

“I
do not know. It is...” She was silent, then said, “Instinctual”

“Okay,
so what do you mean, she’s not of your blood?”

Takeda
sighed. “All vampires in this country, except for a few Ancestors who are
generally restricted to Area One and the Governor General’s complex, descend
from a common bloodline. I can say nothing more about that, so please do not
ask.” She paused. “Ancestors do not descend from our bloodline. The Ancestor
that is with Ambassador Heymann does not.” She paused again. “I find the
thought of meeting her to be very unsettling, though I cannot explain
why.”

She
eased the Hummer onto the interstate on-ramp. “Read your packet, Mr. Welles.
You will find the answers to those questions that can be
answered.”

 

 

 

 

Chapter
Six

 

As
we drove, I flipped through the folder.

I
could focus on the security plan in the morning, maybe go down to Jackson
Square and eyeball it. I’d also stop by the Downtown District police station
and check in with my good friend and former training sergeant, Jimmy Mutz.
Jimmy was the day watch commander at Downtown District.

What
interested me right now was Ambassador Heymann and the people who were
coming with him. Especially the woman that Takeda had called an
Ancestor.

Dr.
Konrad Heymann was 55 years old, born in Bonn, studied at Harvard for his
undergraduate degree and Columbia for his post-graduate work in political
science. Got his doctorate, went back to Germany and joined the Foreign
Office. Postings to Paris and London. Spent six years as the Consul General at
the German consulate in New York, then back to France as the German
ambassador.

Two
years before the war, he came back to the U.S. as ambassador, where he
served until the war began. Hunkered down in the embassy when Washington was
overrun. Repatriated to Germany two months later.

For
obvious reasons, there was little information on his activities over the
last five and a half years, just a few notations on his postings. First
Secretary at the German embassy in London. Most recently, a year in the
German President’s office. He’d definitely touched all the bases.

I
went to the next page. Ronald Clay. No recent information available, but he
had been a first lieutenant in the army, assigned to EUCOM, the U.S.
European Command. He’d been stationed at Patch Barracks in Stuttgart when
the war began.

American
military units stationed or deployed outside the country when the war began
had been ordered to return to the United States. A few followed those
orders, but not many. Most ignored them, even if they were given by human
officers in their chain-of-command. Those Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine
Corps units that ignored the orders were scattered across the world. And
included a rumored ten ICBM-armed submarines that had been at sea or went to
sea when the war began.

Details
on what, exactly, was happening with any of the units, were scarce.
Everybody knew they were out there, but beyond that, it was all
hearsay.

Some
people said they’d become mercenaries, selling their services to any country
willing to pay. Others said they served a U.S. government-in-exile that was
supposedly based in England, or Australia, or maybe Hawaii. Nobody knew for
sure, and I wasn’t interested in hearing speculation from people who
supposedly had the inside scoop from a friend of a friend.

Was
Lieutenant Clay still in the US Army? Was he in the German Army now? The
file held no answers. I’d have to ask when I met him.

The
next page was the one I was really interested in, but the one that had the
least information. A name. Anna Thodberg. Danish citizen. Nothing more. She
had to be the Ancestor that had unnerved Takeda, but the file didn’t even
say that she was a vampire.

It
was disappointing. I didn’t know if the lack of information was because the
Vees didn’t want to share with a bloodsac like me, or if what I had was all
they knew. And it would be rude to go pawing through Takeda’s black envelope
to see if she had more information than what they’d given me.

Those
who followed the Code of Bushido, like Miss Takeda, were touchy about rude
behavior.

 

I
let Takeda deal with her anxiety in silence while we were on the interstate.
I figured she could use that whole Zen thing, if that was part of her
philosophy, and meditate her troubles away.

It
also gave me the opportunity to try my new phone. I dialed the office and
Sara answered. “Night and Day Investigations.”

“It’s
me,” I said. “I should be there in an hour or so. Is Brenner still
around?”

“He’s
here,” she said. “Where are you?”

“About
fifty miles north on the interstate,” I said.

“Cynthia
left me a note that said that you’d left with the Security Force. Is
everything okay?”

“Yeah,
everything’s fine. No problems.” I paused. “How did things go with Mr.
Maxwell?”

“It
went really well,” she said. “Brenner did a good job on the client
presentation. It was obvious that Maxwell already knew she was cheating on
him, and was just waiting for the proof. He paid his tab in full and took
the file.”

“Another
satisfied customer. Listen, we’ve got a new job, courtesy of the Area
Governor’s Office. Call Lexington and tell them that it’ll be a few days,
maybe early next week, before we can start active surveillance on that fraud
investigation. You’ll be able to work the paper trail, so we will definitely
be putting time into the case. Just not field time. Make sure they
understand that.”

“Will
do,” she said. “What’s the new job?”

“I’ll
explain when I get there. Don’t let Brenner wander off.”

“No
chance of that,” she said. “I’m just about to walk him through skip-tracing
using that credit card you left me.”

Shuster’s
card. “Good, that should keep you both occupied till I get there. I’ll see
you then.”

As
I hung up, Takeda asked, “Is Miss Tindell well?”

“Yeah,
Sara is fine. I’ll tell her you asked.”

“I
understand you consummated your relationship with her.”

“Excuse
me?”

“Your
physical relationship with Miss Tindell. Hudson mentioned it in his debrief
after training last winter.”

Nick
Hudson. He was the second trainee Bain had sent, and I’d actually liked the
son-of-a-bitch. I would have liked him a lot less if I had known he was a
snitch.

“I’d
prefer to keep that kind of personal information personal, if you know what
I mean.”

BOOK: Night and Day (Book 2): Bleeding Sky
11.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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