8.3 Shall We?

by Matt P.

The club in question was called the Black Rabbit, and it was located—like so many other trendy establishments—in the Old Market. This at least was at the border of the district, basically the end of one of the red brick streets that constituted the vibrant evening destination. Beyond it to the west were normal streets and a mix of office spaces and lower end restaurants and bars, not yet revitalized by the money flowing a mere block to the east.

The sign on the plate glass window was a rabbit in a pinstripe zoot suit, reading a book. The fact that it looked like the store itself was a book store or library was apparently part of the charm. “You go through a door in the back,” Morgan explained as they pulled the car in to a parking spot half a block away. “To preserve the speak easy feeling they’re going for. It really did use to be a speak easy behind a book store—it just used to be more discrete.”

“Ok,” Walter offered as he took in the building from their vantage point. “It’s a bar, there’s probably a back door so that they’re not carrying alcohol down the stairs. It looks like the streets behind it are lower?”

Ryan nodded, leaning between the front seats of the car to point at an alley running next to the building, that took a drop. “The actual club is in the lower level that’s basically a walk out on to the lower street level. If we need to get out in a hurry we can get out that way.” Walter nodded, and pulled out his police radio.

“Do you want to bring too many mortals in to this situation?” Tanya asked with a raised eyebrow. “Seems like it is more likely to get them killed than save our skins, if we need them.” It wasn’t offered as a criticism but as a statement of fact for him to consider.

“Maybe, but we’ll make sure it’s ones who are clued in to what’s going on, because I’d rather have them and not need them,” Walter pointed out. He thumbed his police radio. “Requesting back-up at—”

“All units, shots fired at 22nd and Monaco, officers involved. SWAT and ERT teams respond immediately, hostages present-” The radio crackled to life, interrupting him. Officers began to respond to the call, and soon the radio was filled with the sounds of units coordinating a response. Walter blinked a little bit, but then set the radio to silent and put it in his pocket.

“Or we could do it without backup,” Walter offered with a shake of his head. “Bad night to be going to meet vampires, apparently. So what’s the game plan?” He asked as Morgan and Tania started sliding out of the car doors. Tania started to answer, but Morgan held up a hand.

“We’re going to go in and let them know that we’re here in an official capacity,” Morgan answered for her sister and the party. “Because we’re going to deal with the diplomatic niceties until and unless they give us a reason. And if that happens, we’ll beat the shit out of them,” she finished casually, shrugging.

Walter nodded as he adjusted his jacket, walking toward the door to the bookstore front of the bar. “Which we will accomplish because your power level compared to an average vampire is…” Walter trailed off meaningfully.

“So staggeringly and distressingly more powerful that it would pass beyond funny into seriously disturbing to watch,” Tanya answered. “We’re Queens of Faerie, for heaven’s sake, only the strongest vampires would even be a match for us.”

Walter nodded in consideration. “Alright, so let me try to do this before we go in. What exactly is going to screw us in here?” He asked. He got two sets of blinks from Tania and Morgan, and a smirk from Ryan. Walter was beginning to expect that to be the standard response to his questions, and kept rolling on. “There’s always a catch or a hitch, something that takes our brilliant and elegant plans and screws it up. No plan survives contact with the enemy,” Walter quoted, “So where is this one going to go wrong?”

Morgan and Tania shared a look, considering the situation. They paused just outside the door, and then both looked back to Walter simultaneously. He suppressed a shudder and resisted the urge to make a comment about hotels in Colorado. “We can’t interfere unless they attack our interests. If this is them, they haven’t done it yet—and if they don’t attack us, we can’t attack them.”

Walter opened the door, and they all walked in to the bookstore. “Ok, does attacking me count?” He asked curiously. “I mean, I’m working with you and we’re pursuing other extra-curricular activities.”

Ryan smirked. “And yet when I did that with Tania you two were grossed out…” he trailed off meaningfully, wiggling his eyebrows.

“One,” Morgan held up a finger. “No, because we haven’t claimed you as a member of our courts. I can claim you as a consort, but there’s some…stuff that comes along with that you may not want to be involved in,” she offered with a shrug. “Second, I wasn’t mad you two were boning, just that you did it on my goddamn couch,” Morgan groused in annoyance. “The only Border PD officer who is fully under our protection is the Marshal.”

Walter nodded. “So if I’m attacked when we go in there you can’t do anything to protect me?” He asked as they made their way between stacks of books. The front actually looked like a nice bookstore, and Walter was tempted to ask if they actually did sell books during the day.

“We can decide to start the fight if they want to kill you too badly, but we’ll weigh that when it happens,” Tania explained as they made their way to the door in the back. It wasn’t guarded or watched by a bouncer, but Walter expected there would be someone to at least check IDs.

“Great,” Walter offered cheerily. “So if I get jumped as a mortal getting involved in freaky made up nonsense politics, then someone who only kind of wants to keep me alive is one of two votes to help me. I love my life.” He reached to open the door. “Shall we?”