Chapter VI: The Blackwatch
The guys dragged me toward a black Honda where a third person was waiting at the wheels. The woman glared at me when she saw that they were pushing me into the car.
"Hassan, who the heck is that?" She asked, drumming her nails on the dashboard.
"The shifters wanted him, I'm not sure why though. I figured he knows something and if he doesn't then at least we can prevent him from getting wasted." The Arab said as he tied a bandanna around my eyes and talking like I wasn't actually there.
They closed the car's door and the woman pressed the pedal, although I couldn't see, she was going really fast, obviously above the speed limit of the area. While in transit, they continued talking about the situation, not wasting a second to explain anything to me.
"The others go away, they managed to pick the Lancer off and drag him away. I don't think this one's part of the house." Hassan said from the seat next to me. I felt him take my hand and using a small knife, he pricked my finger until blood came out.
"No adverse reaction to the blade." He then noted aloud. "Blood is normal, he hasn't been sired or blooded." I choked out a curse and at the moment really wished I had the faintest clue of what in god's name he was blathering about. "I don't think he's awake either, he hasn't offered the slightest bit of resistance." I was pretty sure this wasn't a nightmare actually, but I figured it must have been some code word they used amongst themselves.
"You think he's vanilla?" The woman asked. "What was he doing with the other guy then?"
"Can I know what the hell is going on?" I asked, almost screaming as the car stopped, it hadn't been more than a few minutes so we hadn't traveled that far. The doors opened and the guy next to me grabbed me, pulling me out of the car and taking the bandanna away from my eyes, letting me see the inside of an alleyway where the car was parked, right in front of a set of wrought iron stairs.
"Just move, we'll explain later." The black man said, getting on the stairs first and climbing them two by two. The woman followed him while the Arab pushed me to move forward. We all climbed to the third floor and entered an open plan apartment.
The place was spartantly decorated, the kitchen and living room areas were cluttered with two massive tables and several sets of shelves holding just about anything imaginable on them. There wasn't a TV or anything that really showed that this was where someone lived, it seemed more like a some kind of library than a house.
Baptiste drew a chair at one of the table for me while Hassan retrieved a few picks and started fiddling with the handcuffs around my wrist until they gave away. I then took the hint and sat down, waiting for an answer.
"Do you know who we are?" The Arab asked as he took out a box from the shelf and started reloading his pistol's clips.
"You're one of the gangs, what was it you said, the blackwatch?" I offered. "And I got tied in the middle of some turf war because I was walking with Caleb."
He laughed at that and just off-handedly commented. "You're new here. It shows. How is it that you know Caleb and his Cabal?"
"I used to live here, Caleb was a friend when I was in my teens. He used to work for kings, but I don't know who he works with now... What's a cabal?"
"A nest of lancers." He replied. Seeing as I didn't seem to understand, he frowned and asked. "Shit, you really have no clue, do you?"
"I figured you could enlighten me actually."
"Alright, you see, my friends and I are part of a group called the blackwatch. We're the one who keeps scores, maintain the fragile peace and make sure innocents don't get involved like it just happened to you."
"Are you vigilantes?"
"Hunters. Well, most of us are. Baptiste, Miriam and Jenkins are the exception." He responded.
I looked at the black man and he just nodded quietly. "What do you hunt, criminals?"
"You could say that. But we don't hunt rapists or muggers, what we're after is those who even the cops can't put a hand on. Like your friend Caleb or that dear Hans and their respective gangs."
"How are they beyond the reach of the police?"
"Well, let's see. Oh right, the former's a vampire and the latter is a lycan. That's kind of a big deal. You see, it might have been eight years, but Katrina left a huge hole in the power structure of this place.
Over half a dozen gangs have been doing everything to become on top. Natural disasters are a god sent for the supernatural, people die and disappear so nobody really notice if there's an extra dozen or two people that is added to the list.
Vampires and lycans both used the occasion to bolster their ranks with new recruits and they've been at war ever since. Right now, we're in the middle of a six ways power struggle for regency of the domain of New Orleans."
"You realize how crazy this all sounds, right?"
"What's crazier is that everything is true and they'll lock you up simply for trying to get people in the know. They have contacts in the police as well as the government to keep these things quiets. Those they can't buy, they manipulate.
Which is why when you'll walk out of here, you can either go on with your life, pretend nothing happened and rationalize all of this as us being crazy, you can also try to go public, they'll discredit you and if necessary lock you up or you can dive in the whole mess and keep an open mind."