She didn't even feel the cold of the night as she jumped into the first bus she saw. She sat down, anxious, and she sighed as she saw Sally jump in right before the doors shut.
“What the hell are you doing, Sal?” Becca asked as her friend sat next to her.
“You thought I would let my best friend go alone in the dark like that? After what happened last night?”
“I didn't know you were that courageous,” Becca said somberly.
“I am afraid!” Sally replied, vexed. “Of course I am, but knowing that my best friend is going away on her own for something she didn't even tell me about gets me even more worried! So what's going on? Where are you going?”
Becca answered by showing her the card the priest had given her, back at Fuccinelli's.
“Wait, are you serious? You're going to meet him now?”
“Yes. Donnie's just gone missing. Another young girl, in the night, just like how it happened with all the other 'Jack the Ripper' victims... just like how it almost happened to us. I remember, in the alley, one of these guys said the 'master' wanted young victims.”
“Becca, I don't quite get what you're trying to tell me here...”
“They were vampires, Sal. Vampires who wanted to bring us to their master, and this guy, the priest... I've done some research. He's a vampire hunter. I know it sounds crazy, but after all the freaky stuff that happened, I have to believe it, because if there's a slightest chance the priest knows where Donnie is... I have to try.”
Sal remained in silent meditation for a moment, and said: “Even if I could admit this was true... why you want to save Donnie remains a mystery.”
Becca chuckled. “I wonder too... but even if she's a bitch, does she really deserve to die? This is too close to me, I can't just let it...”
The address written on the card led to an old brick presbytery. It was eerily quiet and there didn't seem to be any light in it. Hesitantly, Rebecca reached out and knocked on the heavy oak door. A few seconds passed before it creaked open, revealing the imposing frame of Father de Sainte Croix.
“I knew you'd come,” he said solemnly. “Come in, we don't have much time.”
“So you know what's going on?” Rebecca asked as he led them to a dimly lit room containing only a bed and a table on which was displayed a collection of crucifixes, wooden stakes, and strange weaponry.
“Yes, I do. That girl who went missing tonight, she's your friend, isn't she? I remember seeing her.”
“Well, can't really say she's a friend, actually she's more like a bitch I can't stand. But I don't want her to die!”
“Good. When I arrived in this city, I began investigating and stumbled upon a young, inexperienced vampire. Vampires like that are weak and never stray too far from their master. I found out he was a history student at King's College. From here on I pushed the investigation further. And I found something strange: a professor in this college, Sir Nigel Moorcock... from what I could gather, he didn't even seem to have a home address. So I browsed the archives, and found out there was a Sir Nigel Moorcock, officer in the army, who looked exactly like him... only this one died on the 25th of October, 1854. Without leaving any children behind, of course.”
“So you mean the Nigel Moorcock who died in 1854... is the same as the one who founded the LBPS? The one we heard about during our field trip?”
“The very same, yes. Died and turned into a vampire, to return and do the Devil's work...”
“This is insane!” Sally cried out. “Vampires? Really? How can this be possible?”
“Jeune fille,” the priest said, “I understand your torment and tell you, believing in this will require a lot of faith from you. All I can do now is try to provide an explanation as logical as possible. The rest you will have to see for yourself: most of the phenomena related to the supernatural are actually cases of possessions. Either daemons possessing souls and using them as vessels on Earth, or mighty human sorcerers who manage to impose their wills on the weaker minds. A particular type of those possessed beings are called ghûls, from the Arabic word for daemon. A ghûl is simply a dead body re-animated by a higher power to do their bidding. There are different kinds of ghûls, from the indolent wandered you call zombie, to the feral flesh eater, to the vampire, the most dangerous of all. Put simply, a vampire is born when the soul of a recently deceased is powerful enough to possess back its own body. Unlike the other ghûls, vampires keep their human appearance and intelligence, and when their inferior brethrens have to consume flesh to survive, vampires only need blood, and they grew fangs just so they could drink more efficiently. The younger vampires are easily confused by this new life of theirs, and they tend to naturally gather around a 'master', an older, more experienced vampire. These are the most dangerous ones, for these are the ones who can turn into bats, or mist, who can mesmerise and charm, and even fly.”
“What do these powers have to do with being a living dead?”
“A human life is not enough to even begin to grasp certain forbidden knowledges. One who is no longer concerned by old age and death, however, can master abilities beyond your understanding. Fortunately vampires have many weaknesses. Holy water and Holy symbols burn them, they cannot stand the light of the sun, and a wooden stake through the heart kills them in an instant. I have the weapons to fight this battle, and the most powerful of them all will respond to none but one person. You, Rebecca.” He held out the Cross to her. “I don't know why that is, but the Cross has bonded with you in a way we couldn't foresee. You are still just a child, and that's why you have every right to refuse, but I have to ask: Rebecca, are you willing to fight?”
She didn't even know she could be that confident when she said yes, without hesitation. The priest gave her the Cross back. It seemed to be even warmer and brighter than before, and soon she felt a pleasant sensation radiating throughout her body. “When the time comes,” the priest said, “you will be able to unleash its full potential. In the meantime, it will protect you. Use this to fight.”
And he gave both girls Super Soakers, assuring them, before their puzzled looks, that they were filled with Holy water. His own weapon was some strange, black metal tube.