Forever Knight – the Continuing Story.
The characters in Forever Knight were created by James Parriott and Barney Cohen and are the property of Sony/Columbia/Tri-Star. The stories here are fan fiction, in which Nick and Natalie survive "Last Knight", the series finale. Also, Vachon survived Divia in "Ashes to Ashes". This story may be archived wherever by whomever.
Wade Everett is a good-looking, capable, smart-ass, and gay homicide detective who's sometimes full of himself. He's temporarily assigned to the 96th and Nick while Nick's partner, Tracy (who also survived LK) recuperates. He's found out what Nick is.
Complaint (This story follows Chess) Walt Doherty
(in Chess, Wade and LaCroix have a brief and intense slash affair.)
One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy
One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
Can't be too careful with your company
I can feel the devil walking next to me
-- One Night in Bangkok, Murray Head
The Night Before
What I really need to do
Is find myself a brand new lover
-- Brand New Lover, Dead or Alive
About an hour before sunrise, LaCroix came out from his quarters – leave it to the "General" to have "quarters" where anyone else had an apartment – looking rather happy and pleased with himself.
"Mikloš, my good man," LaCroix said, "I will be over to the warehouse checking supplies, equipment, and some deliveries I am expecting. Following that, I have some personal chores to attend to. Detective Everett is still resting in my quarters, he may very well come out here sometime later. Accommodate his needs, but under no circumstances allow him to leave the building. Use force if necessary."
Force? Mikloš, bartender cum manager, thought, Uh-oh, something's up. Good god, General, what have you done now?; verbally he said nothing but just nodded to LaCroix. Mikloš was of the opinion that the less said to the General the less there was to be held accountable for later.
"I may not be reachable, so you will have to handle it. I probably will not return until after sunset."
LaCroix reached over the bar for a bottle of his "special reserve''. Mikloš put a glass before him which the General partially filled. "Would you care to join me?" he asked Mikloš. Mikloš nodded, said, "Tanke," and got and poured himself a glass.
"You're a man of few words, Mikloš, but your charm was never your speaking abilities," LaCroix said with a grin. "Today is a very special day, and I may want to celebrate later. Please have a few bottles of the 'reserve' at the ready for this evening."
Mikloš just nodded. Something is going to hit the fan. He's never this happy unless he's manipulated Nicholas into something.
"Go ahead and finish this bottle, Mikloš," LaCroix said, "and, have a good day's rest." Finish the bottle! Oh, oh, it's really going to hit the fan.
Mikloš noted an odd sound coming from somewhere and realized LaCroix was humming as he walked to the Raven's door.
"Good day, Mikloš." Mikloš nodded.
Mikloš wondered what he should prepare for. He sighed. It would have been a nice day without this to worry about. He looked about the bar anticipating possible needs; at a minimum, he decided to tell the bouncers to limit the human 'visitors' to regulars the coming evening. Something was up.
Fortunately, Nick had just parked the Caddy in the loft's garage when he was hit by a sudden, throbbing pain in his head. If he weren't a vampire, he would have thought he'd just had a stroke. He leaned on the car hood for a moment to regain his composure. What was that? he thought. He had flashes of LaCroix and, oddly, his partner, Wade Everett.
He was walking into the loft after his shift at the station had finished early -- he was hoping to get a few chores done before light, -- when the phone rang.
"*7$^%#3 – ducks – 09(*&*% - eternal – 98(*)^%% Romany – Dick promised - )(^6"
All he could tell was that whoever was on the phone was rather upset. He was thinking it might be a wrong number or a prank call, but the voice sounded familiar. Wait, he had it: Wade.
Wade? What was Wade calling for and why so loud and angry. Nick tried to get a word in edgewise, and finally shouted to his partner. "Hey, HEY! Where are you?"
"Raven." It had been the only really clear word he heard.
He sighed, and thought he had better get over there. Something was obviously wrong. It must be personal, otherwise dispatch would have been doing the calling – and he might have understood something. As it was, he turned around and walked back out of the loft to go to the Raven and see what was up.
LaCroix's cell phone vibrated – he had turned the ring off – but he didn't bother with it anyway; he was too involved with the inventory.
Just as he was getting into the Caddy, Nick's cell phone rang.
Uh, oh, he thought, not many people have this number.
It was Mikloš, "Knight, Raven, now, emergency, Detective Everett" A pause. Nick replied, "Right." He could be a man of as few words as Mikloš when it was called for. What the heck had Wade gotten himself into. This was not going to be a happy day, he thought as he started the car and drove off.
-- Carmina Burana
[Wade studied classics in college, presumably Latin. LaCroix was, of course, a Roman General and living in Pompeii in 79 CE when he was 'brought across', which may explain why Wade was expressing his outrage and fury in Latin. Frankly, I don't think he knew he was speaking Latin; I don't think he even knew he wasn't shouting in English. An English translation follows the Latin outburst.]
Eu! Caput stercoratum!
Ubi is est? Ubi filius canis rabidae est?
Tutene! Me transtulisti! Tu filius canis rabidae!
Promissisti me ut tu illud non ageres.
Ubi honos est? Ubi gravitas est? Ubi fides est?
Manifeste tuum verbum non fidele.
Quid res duci Romano. Quid mihi egisti?
Te Damnato! Deus te damnato! Dei Omnes te damnanto!
Tu incredibilis filius canis. Me translatum a te non credo.
Stultus fuissem ut crederem te aut te fiderem .
Ille nothus es. Occīdam eum!! Eum occīdam!
Luci Cruciator! Ubi in hade es?
* * * * * * * * *
Where is he? Where is the son-of-a-bitch?
You! You brought me over! You son-of-a-bitch!
You promised me that you wouldn't do that.
Where is honor? Where is seriousness? Where is trust?
Plainly your word [is] not trustworthy.
What a thing for a Roman general. What did you do to me?
Damn you! God damn you. May all the gods damn you!
You unbelievable son-of-a-bitch I can't believe you brought me over.
I must have been stupid to believe or trust you.
That bastard. I'll kill him! Let me Kill him!
Lucius (Lucien) (La)Cross! Where the hell are you?
LaCroix's name in Latin would be Lucius Cruciator. "Cruciator" means torturer.
He would be addressed directly as "Luci Cruciator" ["c" in Latin is always hard.]
In classical Latin, It's pronounced: LOOK ee crew kih AH tor
* * * * * * * * *
Linguam Latinam – Or, Where Have I heard That Before?
He'll make you live his crazy life
but he'll take away your pain
like a bullet to your brain. Come On!
Once you've had a taste of him
you'll never be the same
Yeah, he'll make you go insane
-- Livin' the (Un)Vida Loca – Ricky Martin
"Uh, Wade, can't understand. Shouting. Latin," came from Mikloš.
"Quid? Cur differentem . . . Uh, What? Huh? Um. Putem – think I, . . . Let me -- think. Latin? Really?" He sounded surprised. "Well, I'm upset. Where is the son-of-a-bitch? I want to kill 'im! Where's a phone?"
Wade had staggered into the bar area and bitched at anyone who would listen or even not listen. He punched in some numbers into the phone there and left a garbled message on someone's machine.
"I can't believe the son-of-a-bitch brought me over! Oh, yeah, the Sweetie! He left me in his bedroom having just carried me across with his blood – if that bastard thinks *I'M* gonna be a fledgling of his, he's got another think coming.
"So, he leaves me there, waiting to wake up to the 'first hunger'. And what does he do? He's got this poor, unconscious street waif waiting for me to sink my goddamn new fangs into. Asshole figures what with the strength of the hunger and the ready availability of a victim that I'm done for. Plus it's a young _girl!_
"The jerk. He doesn't know the consequences of dealing with one pissed off gay man!"
Mikloš quietly dialed a number on his cell phone, got no response; tried another number and talked briefly with someone.
"No, I didn't touch her. I was so P.O'd that I'd sooner eat glass than give him the satisfaction of taking this life, even if she's so depressed that she wants to die. Her desires are not MY problem.
"Mikloš, call Social Services or whoever to come get her; she's going to need some professional counseling and I ain't got the time and I'm not in the mood."
Mikloš nodded at one of the bouncers who had come into the bar at the commotion. The Bouncer went into the back, presumably to get the young woman and help get her ready for Social Services.
"And, while you're at it, set up four of LaCroix's BEST vintages, oh, and two of Nick's cow swill. Don't look at me like that. This is not a request, by the way. If he kills you for doing it, I'll kill you for not doing it, and I'M the one who's here now. So, what'll it be, or – maybe I could start with Vampire Blood, . . . like YOURS!
"Yeah, I thought you'd see it my way."
Wade chugged the first two bottles, wiped his mouth, poured a glass from the third bottle.
Nick came into the bar. He went directly up to Wade who was sitting at the far end of the bar.
"What the hell happened?" To Mikloš: "Where's LaCroix; I can't sense where he is." Back to Wade: "You leave a hysterical message. Mikloš calls in an emergency about you. Wade, what's going on? And, what the hell are you doing in the Raven?" Nick paused, and looked at Wade quizzically. "What's the matter with you?"
Wade just looked at Knight for at least ten seconds, tilted his head, then Vamped out on him.
"Oh my god!"
" 'Oh, my god' is right. I'm gonna kill LaCroix." Wade poured Nick a glass of his preferred vintage and handed it towards Nick. "It's bovine."
To Eat or Not to Eat – Is That the Question?
Hey there little red ridin' hood, you sure are lookin' good.
You every thing that a big bad wolf would want.
-- Little Red Riding Hood, The Meteors
"I know it's a shock, but first things first. You've already gone through the 'first hunger—"
"Actually, I haven't, or rather, I'm going through it now," he gestured towards the bottle of LC's finest vintage.
"You should be downing a crate of that stuff. You've only had two?"
"Yeah. So? If I need more, I sure know where to get it, don't I? Hey, Nick, does this make us brothers?" Wade leered at Nick.
"Oh, shit. We've got more to worry about than that. Does LaCroix know? Does he know who did it?" Nick asked with a building outrage in his voice.
Wade looked at him like he was from another planet. "Are you from another planet? Who, the hell, do you think brought me across?
"Damn. I have never in my life been so *angry*." Wade lifted his fist and brought it down on the bar, . . . and through it. He looked at his bloodied hand in surprise, then at the hole he had just made in the bar. "Oh. Humph! Guess I'd better grab some more blood." which he did and gulped down the rest of the third and started the fourth bottle.
Mikloš had retreated to the far end of the bar. Nick just stared at Wade and waited for him to talk.
"Wait here," Wade said to Nick, "I'm going to get my things."
"Wade—" Nick started to say but Wade was off to the back. He was back in a few minutes, fully dressed, cleaned up, and looking quite in control of himself. You'd never know he had been a vampire for less than three hours.
"Come on, I need to get some stuff from my apartment"
"Wade," Nick said, "You can't. It's after sunrise now. You're --"
"Hah! You think that's gonna stop me? I have no intention of burning to a crisp – although I wouldn't mind barbequing a certain bar owner!" Wade said with a true nastiness in his voice.
"Wade, listen to me, you can't go outside." Nick grabbed Wade around the shoulders holding him back, "It's death to you now."
Wade looked at Nick and through gritted teeth said, "You – have – no – idea – just – how – angry – I – am – now – let – go – of – me – or – suffer – the – consequences."
Mikloš said to the both of them, "Nick, let'im go. Smoke, burn, hurt, run back in." Nick let Wade go, "I suppose you're right, Mikloš." He let Wade loose.
"I suppose this means you aren't coming?" Wade said to Nick. "Well, 'brother', see you later." And with that, he stomped towards the door, threw it open, and went out.
Nick, Mikloš, and a few other vampires still in the club looked out the opened door from the shadows.
Wade walked over to his car, put the key in the door lock, lifted the gullwing door, looked over at the doorway to the club, waved, got in the car, started it, and drove off.
Mikloš turned to Nick. "He didn't burn."
Nick said to Mikloš, "I noticed that."
Find the B*****d
Cuz I Know That You Don't Realize
You Don't Even See
Where You Need To Be
-- Where You Wanna Be, Brandy
Nick went into the back where LaCroix kept a room for him and went to sleep. Mikloš and others went to rooms they kept in the club's lower levels. Later, when Nick woke, he tried calling Wade, but got only his answering service.
As darkness approached, Nick got ready for work. Shortly after the sun set, he drove to the station. He was going to try to get Wade off the hook for the moment by telling the captain that Wade was sick, and Nick would book him out, then go over to his place to see how he was.
Nick walked into the detectives' room and was totally surprised: there was Wade on the phone. Talking in a low, angry, but determined voice, "You call me the instant you get any word on his current location." His voice was sinister.
Captain Reese came to the door of his office, saw Nick, and motioned him in.
He gestured towards Detective Everett and asked Nick, "Is he alright? He came in here, pissed as hell. Something about that friend of yours, the bar owner, LaCroix? He's been trying to track him down. I'm not sure I want him to talk with the man in the mood he's in. Sounds like he's just as apt to shoot the guy."
"Right," said Wade, "just make sure everything is in place, and, thanks, I owe you."
Nick replied to Reese, "I'm not sure what the details are, Cap', I think he had some sort of run-in with M. LaCroix last night."
Wade stuck his head into the office, "I've found him. He's at a place across town. I've got to go take care of some things first, and then . . . ."
"Wait a minute, detective," Reese said, "Nick, go with him, and don't let him do anything foolish. . . . . Please?"
"I'll try, Cap."
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
-- Won't Get Fooled Again, The Who
"Wade, what the devil is going on? Why aren't you a cinder?"
"As I said to you before, Knight, you have no idea how pissed I am. Call it rage, hate, single-mindedness. Whatever. I don't know, I just would not let it happen. I had things to do. I've got things to do." He pointed at the car's backseat. There was a box with some things hanging out of it. "Props," Wade said.
"To ease your mind, and the Captain's, I'm not going to kill him. Although by the time *I* get through with him, he may wish he'd stayed in Pompeii with that volcano!"
"What," said Nick, "are you planning to do."
"Make – him – hurt! But, there won't be any physical marks. Can you hold a cross?"
"Uh, yeah, if necessary. Don't change the topic: what are you going to do?"
"I'm going to remove the General from my life, and yours too, by the way. I'm sorry if that bothers you, but it's collateral damage.
"Now, I've got calls to make, people to see, express packages to pick up, plans to set up. Don't worry, you can stay right here next to me, and when I go to see him, I'll bring you along; in fact, I wouldn't let you miss it!" Wade's teeth got clamped tighter and tighter as he spoke. Nick wasn't all that sure that he wouldn't try to go after LaCroix.
"Fine," Nick said, "but promise me that you won't confront him without me."
"You got it, partner, you got it!"
You take myself you take my self control
You got me living only for the night
Before the morning comes a story's told
You take myself you take my self control
-- Self Control, Laura Branigan
--Warehouse & Set-up
Wade had found out where LC's warehouse was.
LC wasn't there, he'd' moved on to do his personal chores.
Wade went to the warehouse earlier in the afternoon to set things up.
He went back to the station, made some calls.
He got back to the warehouse.
He drew a large circle on the floor and placed the artifacts he had at five points around the perimeter.
He set up more artifacts, finished arrangements, handled details.
He got back to the station and started tracking LaCroix's location.
Wade got on his cell phone out, turned it on, called some numbers
He called LC and got him to come over to the warehouse.
He pressed a remote that opened a couple of boxes exposing artifacts and relics etc.
Wade is on his cell phone when LC arrives, he keeps it on.
I've been searching all night, just to find what I'm looking for.
Baby, baby, treat me right, or I won't come round your door
-- Straight Shooter, John Phillips, The Mamas and the Papas
"Ah. Detective. Why are we here?"
Wade didn't reply; he just looked.
"Detective, I am not at all pleased with this; you should be resting and recuperating, and not exposing yourself to bad influences." And, LaCroix directed that last remark directly at Nick.
'Detective Everett' replied, "Look, Luke." LaCroix's eyebrows went up. "I don't give a damn whether you're pleased or pissed. I don't give a flying fig what you think about the company I keep."
Nick looked at Wade with trepidation. Is he deliberating baiting LaCroix? he thought.
"I reject you as 'sire', I reject your whole lifestyle, I want you to remove whatever connection between us that there may be, or I may be forced to take sterner measures!"
LaCroix found this effrontery more amusing than not. "We are connected now, Detective, whether you like it or not, my mind to your mind. And at this point in your training, you bow to me. I give commands to you and you obey them. But do not feel too restricted by it; it lessens over time and in a few centuries you may be able to ignore it somewhat," he glanced at Nick. "But," and his eyes pierced Wade's, "you are my creature now and I will not have this caterwauling display of impudence.
"You may now apologize and go back to the Raven to rest and continue your new education," the old General said smugly.
"Blow it out yer ass, pops," Wade said taking an aggressive stance as if he were getting ready to fight LaCroix. LaCroix lifted his eyes up again; then narrowed their focus to look directly at Wade's forehead as if to shoot rays straight into his head. Wade gave him the finger, bent over to pick up a small crossbow already loaded with an arrow.
Nick dropped back, 1/ to get out of the line of fire that he knew was coming, 2/ because his head was throbbing from all the psychic energy flowing around the place, and 3/ to be ready to catch Wade's falling, limp body.
LaCroix's eyes turned gold, his fangs dropped, he lifted his right arm and pointed at Wade and shouted, "Kneel, Fledgling!", with eyes wide open and fully expecting quick, if not immediate, compliance.
Instead, Wade lifted his cell phone from his waist and shouted into it: "NOW!"
All hell and special effects broke out. Light bulbs exploded, glasses shattered, sparks shot up from the artifacts spread in a circle on the floor surrounding LaCroix.
LaCroix's head was bathed in red light – Wade's in green. A bright, thick, fuzzy beam of green shot from Wade to LaCroix, and for a moment the colors mixed and struggled against each other. The green prevailed, momentarily obscuring LaCroix's features, and then surrounded his head. Wade closed his eyes. The light began to brighten, getting lighter. LaCroix fell to his knees shouting in pain. The light turned white and rays shot out in twelve different directions.
One went directly at Nick, who fell to his knees while putting his hands on his head, his head was surrounded by the white light which quickly turned pink and rays shot out from him much like the white did from LaCroix, albeit much weaker, in several directions.
Wade opened his eyes and looked at Nick to see what was happening with him, and when he looked back at LaCroix, LaCroix was unconscious on the floor. Nick wasn't unconscious, but his head clearly hurt, and he stood up but somewhat unsteady. He turned and stared at Wade.
Wade spoke into the phone, "O.K. Done. Thanks." He closed his phone, pressed the remote to close the artifact boxes, and said to Nick, "You'll be o.k., just a headache." Maybe almost as bad as mine!
Wade called out, "C'mon in guys. He's over there. Take him back to the Raven. Mikloš will show you where he sleeps. He'll be out a day or two. Let's hope it's two. But let as few people as possible see you. And, thanks guys, I owe you."
Don't stand, don't stand so, don't stand so close to me.
"What did you do?"
"I burned out his psychic connections --- by the way, you're no longer connected to him, he's not your 'sire' anymore, psychically anyway. Don't ask me how I know, I just do. Anyway, the burnout – that's what hit you. I think there was a little overkill, by the way. I apologize, but I think it broke any connection you had with any vampires you've sired. Sorry 'bout that."
" 'S o.k. I'll manage. Uh, Wade, I don't know if this means anything, but you're glowing."
"Well, I feel like I have a bit of fever, but . . . ."
"No, Wade, you're actually giving off light."
"I don't know, Nick. Like I said, I feel like I've got a slight fever, but nothing that would—". There was a loud noise at the end of the room.
I am the god of hell fire and I bring you . . . Fire!
-- Ozzy Osbourne
Two very large, very dark, very strong looking individuals in dark trench coats and broad dark hats that hid their faces appeared at the far end of the warehouse.
"Oh, god," said Nick, "Wade, get behind me quick."
"Enforcers? Don't worry, I'll take care of it," Wade said lightly and with a smile. "Gentlemen – and I use the term advisedly – can I do something for you?"
"You are detective Wade Everett?" one said in a low gruff voice.
Wade sat down on a nearby crate, rather a bit laid back and relaxed, thought Nick, considering.
"Ya found me out," said Wade.
"You must be made to forget all that has happened with the 'Community', be brought across, or be eliminated. We were told to give you a choice. We won't wait long. Tell us your preference."
'Brought across? Nick thought, he's already been brought across.
"Yeah, right." Wade stood up, lowered his eyebrows, knitting them together, got a fire in his eyes, and seemed to grow about 3 inches taller while simply standing still. He took a short, but determined step towards the two enforcers. He brushed his shirt cuffs, unbuttoned them, and pushed them up his arms. A useless gesture, Nick thought, but it caught the eyes of the enforcers. Not only was this guy not afraid, he looked like he was ready to 'get into it' with them. This had never happened with a human before in their experience.
"Your information's a little out of date, Sparky
"A couple of days ago," he said slowly and deliberately, "I shot the 'Elder' vampire of Toronto. Tonight, I very nearly took him out altogether. How well do you two think you will fare against me? Use your powers and senses," Wade's voice was slowly increasing in volume, taking on the timbre of a vampire's hypnotic suggestion, his eyes began to glow, "and perceive what you are up against. Do you think an inexperienced person could do what I've just done. Do you think I don't have some other tricks up my rolled-up sleeves?" By now, Wade was talking at top volume, and was slowly stalking towards the two enforcers.
"Do you think I can't take care of you both!" he shouted, and at the same time, snapped the fingers on his right hand, and a huge flame flared up from his fist. The heat could be felt 20 feet away.
"WELL! . . . " Wade waited a few seconds. His glare bored into the enforcers, and with the fire still flaming, he snapped the fingers on his left hand and another burst of flame leapt up. He drew his right hand back, and threw the flame at the feet of the enforcers where it exploded in a bright flash. Then again with his left hand. Then he started alternating hands, a ball of fire would leap out, get thrown, exploded in front of the two vampires, who backed up in panic.
Smoke from the flashes cleared away, and everyone could see that Wade was, indeed, glowing. What no one but Nick noticed was that he was also floating about 3 inches off the floor. He spoke quietly, "I can bring the friggin' building down on you." He waved his right arm in the air. There was an ominous rumble in the background, sort of like thunder at a distance, the windows rattled loudly, some bottles fell off shelves and broke.
Nick looked at Wade and thought, Yow!. He even backed off, he was afraid Wade might just burst into flame. Wade rose to about 3 feet, spread his arms out as if he were on a cross – another gesture the enforcers did not like. He brought bursts of flame to both hands, tossed his head back and screamed out in a reverberating crescendo of sound:
I am the god of hell fire and I bring you...
I'll take you to burn.
I'll take you to learn.
I'll see you burn!
And from the height of 10 feet threw fireballs at the enforcers. They held their ground, but anyone could see that they were nervous. "DO YOU WANT TO CHALLENGE ME OR DO YOU WANT TO LIVE!"
He then said in a small, dangerously quiet voice, "Why don't you go back to your superiors and tell them that they may, perhaps, wish to change their minds. I will still be in Toronto should they wish to take action at a later date." He pointed at an exit. The enforcers took the hint, and vanished in a flash and a blur. The enforcers were gone.
Wade settled down to the floor next to Nick, whose eyes were wider than they'd ever been before.
"What the friggin' hell went on here," Nick said! "You stood down two enforcers and I think scared the hell out of them, not to mention me. Are you a magician or some sort of demon?" Nick asked with a little trepidation afraid of just what the answer might be.
"No, 'course not. But I do know a few magic tricks." He snapped his fingers and another ball of flame leapt up from his hand." Nick flinched. "It's amazing what a little flash powder, a loud speaker, and your imagination can do. It's all a conjuring trick, but, the important thing is, they bought it," he said smiling weakly. "It sorta looks like you did too."
"Well, you did shoot LaCroix, now you brought him to his knees, You're playing with fire which vampires never do. You were floating in the air like a vampire, but the enforcers didn't know you had been turned. They should have sensed it. And now, I can't feel it in you either.
"Oh, god, Nick," Wade sat suddenly with a thump. He wasn't glowing anymore. "Hey, bravado can carry a person pretty far sometimes." Wade was panting. "Maybe I did scare them, but the fire and flashes were just parlor tricks, impressive but just tricks. It's a good thing they 'didn't look at the man behind the curtain'."
"Oz. The Wizard of OZ? Oh, forget it; I'll bring the movie over sometime."
"But how did you float if you weren't a vampire, how'd you not be a vampire, where did that glow come from, who were those others that took LaCroix off . . . what . . . how . . ." Nick ended in confusion.
"Nick, I'm about to pass out. How about you drive us back to your place, can I crash on your couch? I'm exhausted. It's been a looooooong day. I'll answer every . . . thing . . . after . . . ," and with that, he passed out, and started to collapse. Fortunately, Nick caught him.
You get by with a little help from your friends.
In the loft, with Nick and Natalie.
"Natalie, the short version is that LaCroix brought me across the other night – against my will, and I was P.O'd like you wouldn't believe.
"I know there are a lot of questions. I'll try to cover all I can think of, then you can ask me others.
"When I went out yesterday – walked right into the sun and it didn't slow me down a bit, never even occurred to me to think about it – I went to collect a few things, made a number of phone calls, called in a great many favors, and some from, oh, 'unusual' sources. Harry in Chicago, Tony in Seattle, Ron in London, an old Seneca Indian I know – but I digress.
"The artifacts I picked up, including the large cross, Nick, were basically to keep LaCroix where he was, long enough for me to provoke him into contacting me through the mental link.
"When he did that, that's when I said into the cell phone: 'Now!'. I had contacted a dozen other people who I knew were psychics, witches, wizards, people with some psychic powers. Called in a bunch of favors. So, with me that made 13, or a coven. I'm not quite sure what that means, but my friend, the witch, tells me that that increases the power of the group. The 13 of us followed LC's link into his head and burned out his psychic link section. There's not really any adequate description, but it was sorta like in 2001 when the astronaut pulls the glass sections out of HAL's 'brain'.
"The white beams coming from him – like the one that hit you, Nick -- burned out your link to him. Unfortunately, it seems to have gone on to burn any links you had with any vampires you brought over.
"Now, as to all the fireworks: Jeez, people, haven't you ever seen a magic show where the magician seems to throw something on the ground which explodes with a flash? I had a dozen of these cherry bombs in my pocket.
"The explosion and the windows rattling, well, that was supposed to be a lot bigger, but still essentially sound and fury. I had a couple of friends who are demolition experts set it up in the warehouse earlier during the day. Here's the control button," and Wade held up what look like some sort of cell phone. "It could be pretty impressive to say 'Now, building go boom' and have building 'go boom'.
"The 'YOU ARE GOD OF HELLFIRE'. Oh, that was terrific, wasn't it? I called in some other favors and had some loud speakers set up in the corners of the warehouse room. And with this," and Wade held up another small device, "attached just below my Adam's Apple . . . It's a microphone-vocoder; it took my voice, changed it some, and sent it to the speakers. It's got a sliding volume control on the side. And, from the expression on your face, (he said looking directly at Nick,) it sure as hell worked!
"The guys that showed up to take LaCroix back to the Raven Vachon knows from Montreal and owed him some favors. Suffice it to say that these guys could have handled whatever LaCroix might have thrown against them. They also helped install the speakers high up in the warehouse room's corners.
"All this 'smoke & mirrors' was to impress and divert LaCroix – maybe it would intimidate him, but I kinda doubted that. Anyway, it turns out I didn't need it for him, but it sure turned out to be handy when those enforcers showed up."
Natalie interjected, "Wait, wait a minute. Enforcers? You're not a vampire? You're were a vampire? Now you're not? Oh, c'mon man, this you've got to explain."
Wade continued, "I think that's everything . . . ."
Nick jumped in with, "Oh, not on your life, buddy, two things: how did you hover over the enforcers? and what about not being a vampire anymore?"
"Uh, yeah. Natalie, two enforcers showed up – do they always come in pairs? They're like Mormon missionaries. -- I think LaCroix was responsible for their showing up.
"Nick, I honestly don't know how I flew, hovered, whatever. It seemed like the right thing to do and it just happened." Wade held up his hands, "No, no, I know that's no explanation, but the whole thing is just a little bit weird."
Nick turned to Nat and said, "Yeah, right, 'the thing is just a little bit weird' he says."
"Humphhh. Here's what I think happened: when we were going through the process of 'exorcising' LaCroix, I still had enough of the vampire in me to pull off a stunt like rising slowly into the air. I don't think actually flying would have worked.
"Now, this used up the last of my vampire energy, and the added psychic energy from my helpers, and the pure anger-fury-rage that I felt, was enough to enable me to rise up. Dramatic, wasn't it. :-) I think that was what the 'glow' was, and the fever. It was the vampire being all used up, burnt off.
"Now, why the enforcers didn't sense that I was part human—part vampire, I haven't got a clue. Maybe there just wasn't enough vampire left at that point to register. And, ya know, they had been told I was human, and since they aren't exactly picked for their brains, maybe they just didn't think of it. I don't know; it's just a guess.
"And, so's this: I'm no longer a vampire because I was so enraged that my body didn't settle down and assimilate the vampire bug, virus, chemicals, whatever you said they were, Natalie. Then all of these things just burned the vampire out of me. I hadn't been a vampire long enough for it to 'set', so to speak. With my extreme agitation, I was able to overcome it. That's how I ignored the 'first hunger'? Ever hear of the being done before? Yeah, that's what I thought.
"And that's why I don't think it'll work for you Nick, 'cause you've been a vampire too long – but don't be depressed about that, two days would have been enough for the vampire to 'set'. Anyway, it's the combination of that and the rage. So, even if you got mad enough, it wouldn't change you.
"But there's a clue here somewhere: strong emotions affect the vampire nature, plus strong beliefs.
"I think I might have a vampire-like sense or two left over – I seem to be able to tell when a vampire's nearby.
"Anyway, I think that's what happened.
Well, Wasn't That Special!
Cause it's getting better
Growing stronger, warm and wilder
Getting better everyday, better everyday
-- It's Getting Better, The Mamas and the Papas
"Man, LaCroix is going to be surprised when he wakes up and sees me. Sees I'm human. Hah! sees that he can't connect to my mind, or with *your* mind either. :-)
"He's just lucky I don't sue 'im. I've still half a mind to arrest him for assault."
"Wade," volunteered Nick, "don't push it. I can't believe you pulled this off. What're you going to tell the Captain?"
"Oh, 'LC hurt a friend of mine, but my friend won't press charges, and when I talked with LC about it, he was very apologetic and promised to help my friend'. How does that sound?
"Oh, *real* convincing, Wade. I'm sure the Cap will believe it, not! But, he will accept it; it sounds acceptable."
"Nick, I've got to talk with Natalie – no, you don't need to be here, you can't help, it's all technical stuff, and it'll be as boring as hell. I'm going to get all medical on what happened, give her all the minute details, maybe they'll help you and her in your quest.
"Do me a favor? Book out for me will you? And tell the 'Cap" I won't be in tomorrow either; I'm coming down with a cold. I can just tell it'll be a doozie. I may be out the next couple of days even." He grinned widely at Knight.
Wade then walked over to Natalie and said, "Hey, Natalie, guess what? I was a vampire yesterday. Let me give you the details . . . ."
* * * * *
And in Conclusion . . . .
All the things that I used to say
All the words that got in the way
All the things that I used to know
Have gone out the window
-- When it's Over, Sugar Ray
Wade had two major thoughts in his head:
A/ Can I have some time off? It's been a hell of a week, and I'm real tired.
B/ Jeez, I can hardly wait to see what next week brings. Save the world from werewolves? Prevent Armageddon? Find out that, there really is a detective agency in Los Angeles headed by a guy named Angel and who works only at night?
I hope not, I don't have the time. I've gotta cure cancer and bring peace to the Middle East, I can't get bogged down in all that petty stuff, like saving the world.
Nick said, "Of the two, Wade, take the first, you have more of a chance of that happening.
"Normally, Nick, I'd agree with you but then look what happened this month:
* My partner got shot
* I got shot.
* Found out that my partner was a vampire.
* Shot the senior vampire of the area.
* Became a vampire myself.
* Fought the area's senior vampire, . . . and won.
* Reverted to human;
* Intimidated a pair of Enforcers, and, incidentally,
* Helped solve a couple of homicides.
"Ummm," Nick said, "uh, I see what you mean. Hey, I know! We'll bring you back across and then you'll have all the energy you need to --." Nick ducked as Wade threw everything handy at him as hard as he could.
Wade mumbled, "Hmmm, I wonder it LaCroix will get over it. I'd love to 'play chess' with him again".
"Wade!" said Nick, "For pete's sake, don't even think about it!"
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