Wen hobbled along, pulling parts of himself back into place as he raced down the back alleys of Paris. He could sense them getting closer - he knew what they would do. if they couldn't kill him, they'd do the next best thing - there was more than one way to let an immortal taste the edge of oblivion. His feet pounded unevenly on the cobblestones, his breath ragged and his eyes growing wilder and wilder, a slight yellow hue taking prominence.
The Contessa and Esme walked after him, the shadows propelling the two through the back alleys as they grew ever closer to their prey. A look of determination was shared between them - both of the same blood, and now of the same purpose. They marched on into the darkness, listening for the frantic heartbeat of the immortal on the run.
"Sir? Sir, are you quite alright?" Armstrong's eyes fluttered open to see Marcel looking over him with concern.
"Marcel... you had them give me another shot... good man..." A weak smile.
"Thank you, sir."
"Where are they? The Contessa... Esmerelda... where are..." Marcel placed a finger to his lips before continuing.
"The Contessa and her descendant are out in Paris for some... unfinished business, as they put it. Dealing with a Mister Everett Wen." He held down Armstrong before he could bolt up. "You are not fit to go into the field, sir. Is there anything I can bring you?" Armstrong groaned and relaxed into the ward bed.
"Information on Alaric Blondstone, and whatever he was summoning. Everett Wen may be the man behind all this, but Blondstone was the thug who did the dirty work. He'll have made mistakes - we can find out what Wen was doing through him."
"An excellent thought, sir. And your usual tea?"
The River Seine, and by it, the Notre Dame cathedral. Everett had lost track of all time now, and was feeling himself start to give in to the forces writhing inside. Nyarlathotep would break free soon if he did not do something to restrain it, and the Contessa would kill both of them.
The plan was starting to fall apart.
Thinking quickly, he raced into the great cathedral and raced up the stairs to the bell tower - luckily, the place was deserted thanks to the earlier fiasco at the Eiffel Tower. He clambered higher and higher, up into the belfry, noticing that his sight was so much clearer now - so much cleaner.
Perhaps allowing an ancient god to take their toll wasn't all bad. He smiled to himself - a crooked, wrong little grin - before moving through the belfry and towards where he needed to go.
Armstrong supped at his green tea as the data flow commenced, showing Blondstone's movements for the past two years. Cairo, Istanbul, Bejing, London, Ruritania - the man seemed to have gone everywhere except two places.
Why not Ingolstadt and Tibet? Everywhere but those places. Why not them? He thought on this as he raised the cup again to his lips, and upon contact it all clicked. He was avoiding me and Wen. He would have been actively avoiding the people directly involved - the Contessa wouldn't have registered him as a threat, and would have left him be. She didn't know who he was.
But I do. And so does Wen. So if Wen was in Ingolstadt, then what would he have been doing? Again, obvious - finding ways to gain power. If he could remove N.E.M.E.S.I.S., then he could get that power. So how would being in Ingolstadt help him eliminate us?
The Contessa and Esme arrived through a shadowy doorway at the Notre Dame cathedral, but as for the heartbeat of the immortal, it was long gone. The whole point was to lead them here - to holy ground and running water. An insult to the race of vampire.
All that remained was a trace of ichor by the water's edge and an imprint where bone had collided with the stone. Esme glanced up to see three security cameras around them - to the outside world, Everett Wen was dead.
And not so far away, carried off by the current, the immortal breathed once again as he floated to safety.