The next day, the pack head to the alleyways of Soho to investigate the disappearances there.
Summer scouts around the area and finds a stray dog. After casting a spell to allow her to communicate with dogs, she discovers that the canine goes by the name of Swiftfang (though he once was known as Bob).
Upon questioning, Swiftfang informs Summer that a few nights ago he saw a young woman lured into an alleyway by a me who initially chatted and kissed her, but then bit her. Strangely, the woman didn’t scream in pain or struggle, but after a minute she passed out. The man then picked her up and carried her away, into a car.
Vellum scrutinises the mystical resonance of the area, and discovers that there is a strong level of death resonance in the alleyways, consistent with victims being injured or murdered. Additionally, there was a euphoric, intoxicated flavour or resonance; and there was a subtle tang to the death resonance, a twist that Vellum had not previously encountered.
All in all, the vampire theory was looking very strong.
Lewis bought his mundane investigation skills to bear, and discovered amongst the litter of the alleyway a business card for a Chinese restaurant in Camden town, on which someone had scrawled the name “Spandex Ted” and the word “Vision”. The also found a lighter with the word “Sandy” engraved on the side, and a handbag that belonged to a rugby player named Marcus who was out with his team on the night that he had disappeared, dressed in drag for a team initiation party.
Denton set about accessing the CCTV footage of the area, and found a recording of a red car matching the description that Bob had given. Once he enhanced the image, the car showed a woman laying unconscious across the back seat of the car, a blurry and indistinct figure in the passenger seat, and a well built man with a few days’ worth of stubble in the driving seat.
As the pack discuss their investigations back at their Headquarters, the Justice Spirit “Mi’Luad” (to whom they owe a favour) materialises before them and instructs them to investigate and disrupt the trading of a new drug, the nexus of which appears to be the Camden Market area.
Vellum rang Sebastian Lowe of the Ventatori, and questioned him on what he knew about vampires.
Lowe explained that their vary many types of vampires, unified only by their habit of stealing life from the living to sustain themselves. There are tales of physic vampires that feast on the emotions and dreams of humans, but most vampires feed on blood. Of these, the most common type refer to themselves as “the Kindred”.
These vampires drink blood to survive, but are unageing and seem to be immortal unless they are slain. Sunlight is highly damaging to them, and they can be destroyed by decapitation or other massive corporal damage. However, garlic seems to have no effect on them in most cases, and religious objects have an erratic or minor effect on them at best. A stake through the heart will always stop them, but some say that is puts them into a state of torpor rather than destroying them. They cast no reflections, and they appear blurry and indistinct on camera. Their blood has many mystical properties (such as granting a degree on vampiric power to mortals who consume it) and is highly addictive. Seb tells them that the dominant political faction of kindred in London is a group known as the Camarilla, and warns the pack that they are powerful and should not be needlessly antagonised. Finally, he suggests to Vellum the titles of some obscure tomes that may give him more information, and Vellum heads off the the British Library to track them down.
Arguing that they will need suitable attire if they are to go into the Velvet Gown to talk to Lucinda Rutherford in the course of their investigations, Lewis takes Summer (who dosn’t own much of a wardrobe of clothes in the UK, having arrived here by unplanned and supernatural means) on a shopping exhibition.
In the reading room in a corner of the library, Vellum notices that he is being watched by a tweed-clad figure, who looks to be in his thirties. The man comes over and introduces himself as Professor Philip Travers, the director of antiquities at the British Museum. Travers explains that he has an interest in the myths and legends of the supernatural, and the two fall into a conversation, discussing history, language, myths and legends as a pretext to discern the real motives of the other.
As they leave the shops, Lewis is buttonholed by an old colleague. Heading back on her own, Summer unexpectedly bumps into one of the last people that she had expected to see: Taylor Black, her best friend for back in Colorado.
After greeting each-other warmly, Summer is surprised to find that Taylor is strangely elusive about his reasons for being in London. She suggests that they grab a coffee together, giving her more time to question Taylor and try to find out what is wrong with her friend.
Summer is persuasive, and Taylor reveals that he travelled to the UK because he believe that an old friend on his named Zack Chase stole a scroll from a museum in Colorado and fled to the UK following falling into trouble with the wrong crowd of criminals. Thinking that he has perhaps said too much, Taylor makes an excuse and leaves.
Summer realises that he had been guarded with his responses because he is trying to protect her from something. She sits of a while locked in internal deliberations, before deciding to follow him.