“Mister Fielding? I called you a taxi. It's not much of a send-off, but it's better than nothing...” Emmy walked through the morgue at Mas Hospital. The stark white walls and floor had an unnaturally blue hue to them. Not unnatural for the morgue, of course. The blue was faint, but noticeable. It dimmed the light slightly, and the usual manager of the morgue, Doctor Peterson, thought it aided autopsies. Mostly his theory had remained unproven, if not simply irritating for anyone not acclimatised to the setting. Emmy had adapted to the light in sixteen minutes. She knew because she had counted the the ticks of Peterson's clock. It was in the office, the echo trailing out into the morgue itself in moments of silence. For Emeria Kamoguchi, the morgue had been long moments of silence.
Until the massacre, that is.
Emmy had been given the bodies largely unannounced. A man in a dark suit walked in, flashed a badge and she had, excited for a break from the monotony, invited them in with open arms. There were seventeen bodies. Fourteen office workers and three cleaners. She had started from number one. Their numbering, unsurprisingly. Emmy had the suit hovering around the room for the first few autopsies. A yawn at body number four had prompted her to cosy up to him. She had put down her scalpel and smiled a smile at him. His facade fell pretty quickly. He enjoyed the attention. He enjoyed it enough to let his guard down. She told him she'd send him the security tapes so he could go home and get some rest. He left the morgue unaware that she had swiped his badge, pocketing it with a sleight of hand she'd learned from one of her godfathers, a stage magician who'd looked after her many times during her childhood, on the days where her parents had both found themselves too consumed by work to make it home. They'd been of varying frequency, but ultimately they'd tapered off and she grew apart from her surrogate father.
It was the sleight of hand that allowed her to pocket a scalpel from a table beside her despite staring the suit in the eyes.
“You're not Mister Fielding.” She said, feigning surprise. “Can I help you, agent...?”
“Don't pretend you've forgotten my name. You've been staring at it for the last day and a half.”
“Hm.” She gave up pretending and allowed herself a moment of smugness. “You don't exist, you know. Pulled some favors. No Agent Franzen anywhere in the TIB database.” She crossed her arms. “What've you done with Fielding?”
Agent Franzen nodded to where Fielding had been sitting fairly consistently since he'd woken up. The blue light picked up a fine coat of powder over the seat.
“I guess that explains that...”
“I've never taken out a Vampire before. Surprised the old stories are true, to be honest.”
“So I guess I'm next?” She asked, beginning to pace. She was tracing a circular route around the morgue, making perfectly sure she was exactly three meters away from him.
“You wouldn't have been if you hadn't shown such a proficiency for thievery.” Franzen cracked his neck loudly. Emmy jumped slightly. It was above and beyond a simple click. His head seemed to loosen from his body as his eyes began to glow a bright red. “And now I have to make sure there are no loose ends.” Franzen's entire body was consumed by flames, his body a thin spectre within the fire.
“Oh come on!” Came a voice from the other side of the room. Standing at the entrance was Irving Sepia, looking slightly disappointed. “An Efreet? That's not fair at all!” He ran up beside Emmy and smiled, his hands burning with a deep blue aura. “Hey there. Fancy meeting you here.”
“I could say the same thing!” Emmy shouted as a burst of fire tore them apart. They both jumped, the flame leaving a large scorch-mark on the floor. “Any ideas? I was going to knife him and throw him into a locker, but I don't think my scalpel will kill a living flame beast...”
Sepia's eyes darted around the room as he jumped a table, the flames of Franzen's fury consuming an unfortunate corpse in the process.
“Are these lockers refrigerated?”
“Can they be freezers?”
“Right!” Emmy rushed to her office, slamming the door shut behind her as a burst of flame struck it. She began flipping the switches on the freezer's control panel as Franzen began to approach the door.
“Come out, come out, wherever you are...”
“Hey buddy.” Sepia said, placing a blue-burning hand on his shoulder. “Care for a dance?” He placed his other hand on the inside of Franzen's thigh and lifted him up, turning him on his side and hurling him like missile into an open locker.
“Yeah!” He shouted, performing a fist-pump. Franzen shouted from inside the locker as Sepia rushed over and slammed the door shut. He continued to struggle for a few seconds before it grew quiet, and Emmy rushed over to inspect the scene.
“Is he dead?”
“Knocked out. I'll let the actual police handle this.” Sepia sighed a little, largely out of relief. “When an Efreet gets it's... well, let's say it's light switched off, to use a euphemism, it doesn't kill it. There's still a person in there, after all.”
Emmy pulled up a spare chair and sat down beside him. “So why were you here?”
“Hm?” Sepia smiled a little, laughing. “I was coming to see if any other members of Fielding's staff had woken up. Just in case.”
“You couldn't have called?” She feigned being bothered.
“Old habit. You can't always rely on people having invented phones.”
“Nothing.” He smiled broadly and stood up, heading for the exit. “You might want to come with me. This will be interesting.”
She began to follow. "How did you do that, anyway?"
"The hand thing?"
"Old trick. Too complicated."
“It's called a Judgement cult.” Blackwood said, pointing to a page in one of his weightier texts. “Efreet are based on some form of natural force. Fire, wind, electricity, the list goes on. Some Efreet, however, have a secondary characteristic. These are often some form of emotion, and they're often acquired rather than innate. Judgement cults form when a group of Efreet with an emotional connection to vengeance... or justice or similar... when they meet and unite to a common goal.”
“So they just find people who need judging and... judge them?” Melee asked, confused.
“The guy we took down was way too organised.” Emmy shook her head. “These people have money. And people like this only get money one way.”
“Vengeance for hire.” Sepia muttered to himself. “Interesting.”
“The question remains...” Blackwood crossed his arms. “Why did anyone think a shipping company needed judging?”