8.0 Transport and Logistics

by Matt P.



“So what does one wear to meet vampires?” Walter asked as they pulled in to his driveway. Most of the drive home had been spent in a silence absorbing the the events of the last hour or two. It hadn’t been a tense silence, but a silence of processing and moving on—the kind of silence that helps rather than hurts. Walter might have been tempted to call it the unique silence of dealing with having decapitated someone, but he neither had nor desired enough of a reference pool to call it that for sure.

“Well, given we’re meeting them at a 1920’s speakeasy themed bar they own, we’re probably going with suits,” Morgan answered as she pulled herself out of the car smoothly.

“Why am I not surprised that Border has a speakeasy themed bar? For that matter, why am I not surprised it’s actually owned by vampires?” Walter asked with a sigh. He was about to join them outside when the police radio in the SUV crackled to life.

“All nearby officers in sector N-7 for BFD at Hamilton and 2nd Street; Code 3 and possible shots fired,” the radio operator broadcast, using the codes for ‘assist fire or other emergency services’ and ‘smoke and fire in building’ respectively. Walter looked out to the others. “Hamilton and 2nd, is that close to here?”

Morgan and Ryan shared a considering look for a moment before shaking their heads simultaneously. “Across the city. Not a great neighborhood either, but you’re by no definition a nearby officer.” She shrugged. “Besides, we have a meeting with vampires to go to. I need you to go get dressed up and armed.”

That became somewhat more difficult as he walked in the door, and was immediately mobbed by his children. “Did you really kill someone with a hatchet?” Siobhan asked, her voice torn between eagerness. Antigone’s voice, a moment later, was definitely more concerned than it was eager.

“Are you OK?” She asked, giving him a quick one over that was becoming increasingly familiar. Border, he reflected, was making his family far too used to checking each other for injuries. Walter nodded reassuringly, and reached out to pull his daughter in to a hug. He looked over to see his son Ryan standing there with a raised eyebrow. Chuckling as he squeezed Antigone, Walter nodded to his son—who took that as the confirmation he needed, and turned to go back to his video games.

“Yeah, Annie, I’m fine. And no, I didn’t kill someone with a hatchet. It was a knife,” he explained with a sigh. “And no, I don’t want to talk about it. We need to get going…” Walter looked over to Morgan. “How are you going to get dressed? Or Ryan, for that matter?”

Morgan gestured to his pantry, and Walter scowled. “Ryan can ride back to my apartment, and my wardrobe is linked to Tania’s Narnia style.” She stated this last fact in complete casualness, and then looked sheepish when the entire Richards clan turned to her at that. “It’s convenient, since otherwise we’d just steal clothing back and forth anyway. Our wards have trouble telling us apart.”

Siobhan laughed, although Walter couldn’t tell if it was because she recognized the sisterly clothes stealing or because of Morgan’s response. “We’re not boggling because of why, Morgan, just how.” She shook her head. “And Uncle Ryan has clothes at Tania’s apartment because…”

“Of all of the normal reasons an adult male has clothes at the apartment of an adult female,” Morgan responded evenly, walking to the pantry and opening it. Ryan and Walter both gave her a side eye at that, and she shrugged. “You want to keep it a secret, don’t have sex on my couch.” She was stepping in to the pantry when Siobhan reached out and grabbed her arm; she looked down at the hand on her arm with a raised eyebrow. Siobhan didn’t pull her hand back, but she did look a little bit sheepish.

“Can you teach us to teleport? I want to get my Nightcrawler on, like, something fierce,” Siobhan asked and then explained, her eyes flicking to the pantry hopefully. Morgan laughed, running a hand back through her hair as she considered it. She did look over to Walter, and he shrugged—a question he was completely unprepared to answer.

Finally, after a moment of consideration, Morgan shrugged. “Eventually. Not now, because we’re in a hurry and because you’re not ready.” She held up her other hand to forestall any argument, having met Siobhan before. “I’m not talking about responsibility or giving teenagers a hard time crap, I mean literally you can’t manage the power output yet. It isn’t easy, despite looking like it is. Trying to use it isn’t like running before you can walk,” she explained, “It’s more like trying to build a 747 before you invent the wheel. But we can discuss it as your powers grow. Now then…” she trailed off, looking to Walter. “I’ll see you back in fifteen. Ryan, get in the pantry,” she gestured, and the elder Ryan shrugged and walked in to it. It wasn’t really big enough for both of them, and he barely managed to close the door when Morgan walked in. There was a flicker of the light inside, and when Walter opened the door again there were two raven feathers fluttering down to the ground.

“Our lives have gotten really weird, because that isn’t the strangest thing I’ve seen today,” Antigone offered with a sigh. “Daddy, we need to go to the hospital while you’re out.”