Venatori

Non-Trivial Pursuits

Working the Streets

Continuing his research in the obscure corners of the British Library, Vellum stumbles across another tome of folklore. In the section on vampires, he discovers a reference to the mythology of the mandrake (a story suggesting that they grew in places where vampires and their spawn were buried), and in the margin finds some scrawled notes written in a faint ink, which discuss the possibility of plants infused with vampiric blood and their mystical properties. Such plants are apparently known as mandrakes, and their sap is known as lacrimosa. The word lacrimosa in underlined.

Denton decides to arrange a new set of wheels that would be difficult to track and sets about purchasing an old London taxi-cab off the books, and getting hold of a set of fake numberplates.

Summer follows Taylor at a discrete distance through the crowded streets of London, and watches as he arrives at a curio shop called “the Wishing Cat” on Gerrard Street just south of Shaftsbury, between Soho, Piccadilly circus and Leicester square.
He comes out of the building a few minutes later, looking agitated.

Lewis sets off toward Camden market, with the intention of investigating the surge of drug-related crime in the area that the justice spirit had asked them to put an end to.
The resonance of the area is complex, details washed out by the emotions of thousands of tourists and shoppers, but Lewis detects a delirious and intoxicated flavour that to the area that he is concerned about. Also, the spirits of the area seem unusably watchful and suspicious. His instincts draw him towards a suspicious Chinese restaurant and takeaway.

Denton arrives in the dingy Chinese restaurant in Soho that “Spandex” Ted (one of his contacts of the periphery of the city’s criminal circles) lives above, and gains access to the noisome apartment of the black-market goods trader and small-time drug dealer. Ted seems edgy and suspicious, but Denton’s money soon salves his nerves and he divulges the name of a junkyard contact who will have the plates that Denton needs.
The affluent werewolf hacker heads downstairs and is surprised to run into Lewis. The two of them do a double-take but manage to put on enough of a convincing act to fool the gaze of the proprietor.

Summer and Vellum meet up as they head back to Aldwych, but their ruminations are disrupted by the sound of a nearby gunshot. Running towards the sound, they come upon a man with a bullet in his chest and a woman running away carrying a heavy case.
The man has just enough time to weakly utter “the statue…” before falling unconscious as his assailant escapes round the corner.
Vellum hurries over and begins casting life-saving healing spells on the fallen man, as Summer gives chase to the shooter.

As he walks back from Camden, Lewis comes across an old man and his assistant being mugged by a group of youths. Naturally, Lewis wades into the fray.

As Denton heads back to his car parked outside the junkyard, he finds that he is being watched hungrily by a hunched figure just beyond the edge of the light. After a moment’s pause the figure lunches itself after him, and Denton runs in the direction of the junkyard.

Summer swiftly stalks her prey through the streets of London, over coming all attempts by the thief to shake her off. Eventually her prey runs into an old warehouse just a few streets west of Leicester square.

The strange pursuer is fast, but with his parkour skills Denton manages to keep ahead of it over the difficult terrain of the scrapyard, and he begins luring it in the direction of the heavy machinery as he hatches a cunning plan.

Lewis body-slams one of the thugs into a wall, and throws a bin at another. He take some heavy blows in the process, but his werewolf regeneration and burgeoning street-fighting skills keep him on top. He is distracted for a moment as one of the drugged-up muggers stares right at him and begins muttering urgently about teeth and claws and one of the older thugs brings a length of lead pipe to bear, drawing Lewis back into the fight.

Once he stabilises the wounded man, Vellum bandages him up and wastes no time in calling for an ambulance.
The police arrive at the same time as the medics (this being a shooting), and Vellum swiftly gives his statement before slipping away into the darkness.

Summer breaks into the warehouse by kicking the door down, and quickly overpowers the slightly-built Asian woman who stole the case. Dropping the shocked would-be assassin to the floor and applying a compliance hold, Summer begins interrogating her target, who grudgingly and haltingly reveals that she works for the Tong.

Back in the alleyway across town, the stoned muggers don’t last long against the werewolf private eye. Lewis beats them soundly, taking a few bruises in the process.
He helps the victim up and the old man introduces himself as Simon Ellsworth, and the younger man who had been (somewhat ineffectually) defending him as Richard, his live-in nurse and helper. After giving a statement to the police who belatedly turn up (exclaiming that this is the fourth or fifth drug-related incident this week), Lewis helps Ellsworth back to his house.

Vellum arrives at the werehouse and assists Summer in questioning the Tong member. Opening the case that she stole from the courier, they are surprised to find that rather than a statue, it contains a pair of bricks and a pithy comment.

Denton tricks the man-creature chasing him into the edge of the car-crusher, and after a brief struggle succeeds in knocking him into the machine and activating it. After several gruesome and bone crunching sounds, Denton is left with the creature that chased him reconfigured as a cube. He lights up a cigarette and admires his handy work.

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