( v )
Red’s light nap was interrupted by the light vibration of his phone. Leila already sent him a list of immortals in the town. He quickly glanced at the screen and scanned the three names and addresses. Then he put down his phone, closed his eyes, and took a long, deep breath. Although he felt somewhat rested, a two-hour nap is hardly enough to cure his sleep-deprived state. He kept thinking about the situation at hand. If it is indeed a sleeper waking up to feed, he needs to make sure that the cemetery is kept under quarantine until the threat is eliminated. But what if there was an illegal feeder? Or worse, an organized group of feeders? This could seriously expose his employers, and nothing could be worse their organization. Whichever threat it is, whether it’s a sleeper or a feeder, it needed to be eliminated fast.
Red opened his eyes slowly and kept staring at the ceiling. He seemed enthralled by pieces of plasters hanging from the ceiling while plunging deep into his thoughts. He started to think of every single scenario possible, beyond the obvious. He opened his phone and started reading through local newspapers online. To look for answers, he crawled through forums, blogs, and various social media profiles of the people living at Mont-Gaspard. It’s already two in the afternoon. If a rogue is on the loose, every single time the sun goes down, the risk of exposure increases. He kept scrolling until he had a sudden moment of epiphany.
He immediately sprung out of his bed and made a phone call.
“I need you here tonight.” Red skipped the formalities.
“Well, hello to yourself as well!” Leila replied humorously.
“No time to be polite. The situation here is worse than it seems to be.”
“I will come with an envoy right after sundown.”, Leila responded. “Maybe bring a few agents.”
“We will make do with the resources we have at hand. It would take too long by car. I need you on the field before sundown. Listen,” He nearly tripped while putting on his shoes, “In the last three months alone, more people have gone missing in this town than the last decade combined.”
“That could be anything. It doesn’t mean it’s one of us.”
“What if it is?” Red entered the wine cellar once more, on his way towards Bazin’s secret lair. “Considering what I’ve seen this morning, I’d bet good money that it’s one of your folks.”
Bazin, still glued to his screen, kept listening to Red’s conversation as his footsteps drew nearer.
“Just follow my hunch, okay? I want you here before sundown.”
As Red hung up the phone, his attention went towards Bazin.
“Any news on the samples?”
“The female sample showed signs of leukaemia, but the male seemed to be in good health.” Bazin said without looking.
“You know damn well what I’m asking for Bazin.” Red grew impatient with his companion’s antagonistic behaviour.
“PCR test shows traces of the hemovore strain.”
“Fuck!” Red exclaimed right before texting Leila that his suspicion was confirmed.
“Looks like you got some work to do, detective.”, Bazin said in a mocking tone.
“If I were you, I would take this more seriously.”
Red bolted outside and instructed his agents on the cemetery ground to be more cautious. He instructed Leila to hurry up once more. A few hundred meters away from the house, in the middle of a barren field, he planted a beeping beacon.