Chapter VII: Learning the truth
"Alright... I don't really have much of a choice, then..." I said, resignedly. "Who are anyway? I mean beside hunters"
"We are everybody and nobody." Hassan replied. "All of us come from different paths, I for one, am an hash-ishiyun."
"You're an assassin?" I couldn't help but blur out.
"An assassin, but not a murderer." He rectified. "There have been others like me from all across history, from the Jewish Sicarii to the Indian Thuggee. hidding amongst the shadows you'll always find someone who fights Babylon where ever it dwells."
He seemed serious about his claim and even more distressing, there was a grim determination that glimmered in his eyes, unlike the two others, he wasn't young, probably in his late forties.
"Don't worry." The woman said, putting a hand on my shoulder. "We aren't all as scary as Hassan here." She said teasingly, making Hassan smile. "I'm Geneva." She presented herself, extending a hand toward me.
"I just realized I haven't presented myself... I'm Sebastian." I declared, shaking her hand.
"And back there." She said, pointing at the black man who was staying away from us, looking out the window, "That's Baptiste, he's one of our 'aces'"
"It's what we call the supernaturals that work on the watch. Baptiste is a shapeshifter. Miriam is a witch, Allen a sorcerer. We also have a tepes vampire who works with us on and off." Hassan explained. "The rest of us are normal humans. So of us are better trained than the others, though."
Gen frowned at that comment and I felt like it was a jab at her since she had been the driver rather than going to the fight gun in hand. "Well, excuse me for not having trained since I was a child." She replied, although not truly angry.
She sat down in front of me and continued explaining. "Most of us are rather normal, I work at a library in the day and do research in my spare time. We've all, aside from Hassan, had pretty normal lives until something similar to you happened. For me, it was my room mate in college getting drained by a neophyte vampire. I started poking around and the vamp tried to silence me, that's when Miriam and Sirius found us and helped me."
"He's the guy in charge. Well, kind of. We don't have an organized structure, we all operate freely, but he's the one who gathered us together and set up the hideouts we have across the city, like this one."
I nodded and fetched a picture out of my pocket. "I have a service to ask. Do any of you recognize this man? He was my father and he got murdered less than a week ago..."
Gen picked the picture and looked at it. "Yeah, he looks familiar." She said.
Hassan walked behind her and took it from her hand. "Isn't that the Taxi driver we busted a months back?"
"Now, I remember!" She exclaimed. "We arrested him for carrying a kidnapped witch from the local coven. He didn't know what he was doing, someone had pierced holes in his mind and he only remembered that he had to drive to a warehouse but not why."
"We got the vampire who was controlling him and took it out. The guy however became obsessed with knowing the truth and started pestering Sirius for weeks until he just stopped."
"Someone told me it was a vampire that did it... I didn't believe it but..."
Both of them looked at each others and then back at me. "If that's the case, it might have been some kind of payback or an attempt at silencing, your father was rather pushy and was determined in nosing around."
"And you didn't protect him?"
"There's a dozen of us, hundreds of supernaturals, we can't do everything, kid." He replied, visibly not happy of being reminded that they had let someone get killed. "Beside, he decline our offer of protection and decided to go freelance."
"What can I do?" They both seemed surprised by my question. So I clarified. "My father was tangled in this mess, I almost got killed earlier by some crazy German guy. There's two option left; either I run back to New York and pretend none of this ever happened or I get to the bottom of this hell hole. Beside, now my mate Caleb's in trouble, I owe him for all the times he saved my ass as a kid..."
"Are you sure you want this? There aren't any turning back." Hassan declared, looking deadly serious.