Lurid Detective Stories: “The Price of Blood” – Part 7

Here, time has no meaning. The damned torment in the distance. Fallen Angels soar and swoop high above. For what seems like forever, she slaughters her victims from that purely homicidal period in her life when she was a ghoul. Over and over again, she dispatches them. Each time ‘round, Mondo disposes of ‘em in progressively more inventive and gruesome ways. Jelly reversed her spell, which is a nice bit of counter-magic.

What’s sloppy about what he did is that he redirected this potent majick at a lie instead of a truth. He should have studied his opponent more carefully, which he sho’nuf had plenty chance to. When someone looks untrained, but smells trained, go with your nose. While she astro-projects in this nowhere, this shadowy place-between-places, her body is supposed to be left defenseless, and it would be if she weren’t trained. She’s suddenly assaulted by the overpowering stench of rotten eggs. The seemingly endless loop is broken. Mind, body, and soul are reunited.

Jelly watches from a distance at the opposite end of the alley. He’s still holding her guns, rods which refuse to function for him.

Three horrific black shapes circle her, the usual two-plus-one of a queen and two neuts, none of which are hoppers. Their runty eight-foot stature [runty, relative to their off-planet kin], vestigial wings, and lack of hopping legs, mean they’re from an Earthside hatchery. The absence of hoppies makes these domestics look less arachnid like than their off-world kin, but it doesn’t make them any less deadly in hand-to-hand fighting. Even two-bit hoods like Jelly can afford contraband bio-weapons like them these days.

If Mondo were an unarmed unenhanced human, she’d be shit-outta-luck, SOL, against opponents of this caliber, let alone number. But she’s unarmed and Dark. These perfect killing machines meet their ultimate solution.

Millennia before the now eternal BOM (big overgrown monster) versus BEM (bug-eyed monster), it was unarmed Vampire who hunted the Bugs. What ensues is a massacre. Their brute force and black stainless-steel hides prove no match for her Vampiric stealth and murderous intent. It’s poetic justice that they, humanity’s so-called Insectus Cannibal, the Alpha-Xeno, the first of the Insect races, should meet their ends at the hands of the daughter of the Vampire nun who sired their race over six thousand years ago.

One moment she’s facing the mother of all human horrors. Zero time later, she’s standing behind that same abomination. She Jumped without using a teleportation device. In other words, she spooked. When conjuring circles, teleportation pads, DOORs, or something akin to them are not used, teleportation is severely limited to being line-of-sight in the neighborhood of a few feet using dead-reckoning, therefore, in spite of the ease that appearances would imply, this arcane is problematic at best even for an expert; it’s use is definitely at your own risk.

Of course, teleportation, either via a mechanism or via arcane, involves folding space between where you are and where you wish to be. That is, travelling without moving. The classic example that comes to mind is the Jump Drive of a starship.

Kane blue-ghosts her hands into the queen’s brain case. The resulting atm annihilates the grey matter within. She employs these arcanes, spooking and ghosting, with the ruthless efficiency befitting the made of an Ancient.

The queen dies instantly. Domestic Bugs are so easy. Kill their queen, and they’re lambs to the slaughter twitching about on the cobble stones without that great mind to direct them. Like Tiny, she makes short work of them, ripping them apart, limb from limb.

It would seem to the uninformed that she already has the carte blanch to fight anyway she damn well pleases against any foe. That couldn’t be further from the truth though. The elemental state of Kane’s Aimless means she must rely heavily on cunning and trickery.

Of course, Kane is, for now, free of the phantomizer’s eternal dilemmas in combat: “To ghost or not to ghost” and “If I ghost, should I be an apparition or a ghost”. She has yet to mistress her arcane to ghost. All she can ghost are her hands. It will be some time before she can do the whole enchilada: herself, her gear, and other people.

She has obviously learned to mistress the other straight razor: spooking. It’s the easier of the two, and for that reason it’s usually the first one that’s learned.

After Margo has taught her how to execute both Racials correctly and proficiently, Most will step in and take over the girl’s schooling. Most will teach her the subtleties of each form. These subtleties will be taught from a disciplined perspective within the larger context of a Way. The Way that Most will use is the Painful Way of Consumption. This is the Way of Most’s religious order.

In time, Most has plans to teach the girl a Way that’s even nearer and dearer to her own heart. Although the girl was picked on a whim, Most is too good a mother to be slipshod in her preparation of the girl for an Infernal existence. This girl, who she so quickly decided to Embrace on a whim, has even quicker become someone whom she has grown to love in that most special way. Yep. Mondo’s her Raptor.

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