I thought about that. “Don’t the police have their own researchers? I mean, you said they’ve faced a lot of undead around here. You’d think they’d hire someone or, I don’t know, go to the library?”
Mateo laughed, “I think they’ve done all of that, but the supernatural community doesn’t let much information out. They’ve got a whole school for wizards that doesn’t even talk to us and none of our magical types are allowed to go there.”
My mind flashed back to when we’d fought The Thing That Eats. After sealing Grand Lake in a kind of magical circle, they’d sent in a kind of magical superhero team that I’d never heard of before or since. Not wanting to get into that, I said, “I heard about the school from Bloodmaiden. I guess she tried to get in, but they wouldn’t take her and then she went down to shout at them about it.”
He sighed, “Everybody knows about that, at least everybody with a connection to the magic side of things. She didn’t know how much people hate blood magic. It must be normal where she comes from, but here it’s only used as a pathway to necromancy.”
Pausing, he took a long breath, “If you do talk to her about all of this, make sure she knows that she can’t just show up, right? That’s got to go through Working Man and the last thing he wants is to be associated with the League. I know you from Stapledon, but Detroit’s teams have a hard enough time covering the city. We don’t need to start handling the big stuff. I think our most powerful hero is a guy who isn’t on any team. He shows up out of nowhere and controls rats.”
I grinned, “Right. The Skunk Lord. I’ve heard of him. When those extra-dimensional dinosaurs invaded, he almost handled it himself over here.”
Mateo’s eyes widened and then he laughed. “Skunk Lord? That’s a new one. People mostly don’t know about him. Even the press doesn’t have a name for him. He was more visible than usual during the invasion, but only if you knew what to look for.”
Then he frowned. “We should get back to the Tower if we’re going to start making some calls.”
We started our bikes and drove back.
I had my own desk in the Tower’s lab area. It wasn’t much space, but with Willa working from home, it felt private enough if full to the point of bursting. I had no right to complain, but back in our HQ, I had several times as much space.
Taking off my helmet, I set it to charge. Then I activated my League communicator through the implant in my head. Amy’s communicator rang and she picked it up.
A number of low pitched hums that made me imagine multiple bulldozers came through the link as Amy picked up. “Rocket? Please tell me there’s an emergency because then I can leave.”
“Sorry. No emergency. I’ve just got a couple of questions. What are you doing?”
“Right now? Guarding a construction crew. It’s not that bad, but I’ve been watching them do construction without getting attacked for two weeks now. I don’t want them to get attacked, but I’m not interested in watching them build a wall either.”
I tried to remember where her internship was and didn’t come up with it. “Where are you again?”
“Infinity City—technically just outside. Something blew out a chunk of wall and we’re trying to help the FBI get it fixed.”
Even throwing in guarding a construction site, Infinity City still sounded more interesting than Detroit. “I’m in Detroit and we might be fighting vampires.”
I went through what I’d seen at the house, ending with, “Do you know what kind that might be? Just regular or could it be something else?”
“Rocket, that could be anything. Regular vampires would be most likely, but there are so many varieties. Reliquary had us learn about them. Back in the universe I come from, vampires aren’t exactly the same, but all the past Bloodmaidens found my coursework interesting. Did you know that your world has legends of vampiric vegetables?”
It seemed like I’d heard of something like that. “That sounds like something out of a Discworld novel. In fact, I’m pretty sure they were in one.”
“I don’t know,” she said, and then she went into what she’d learned about vampires and the different ways they were classified with examples. The conversation went on for some time.
When she was done, I said, “Wow. That’s a lot. Are all of those real?”
“Yes. The ones I know about are all real.”
I shook my head. “There are so many I don’t even know where to begin.”
“I know,” she said into her comm, “that’s exactly where I am with your question. You don’t have enough details. Throw holy water on it or something and tell me what happens. Then we’ll start going somewhere.”
“Do you think Red Hex would know more?”
Amy laughed for a while. “No. She was in the same classes I was. But if you do want to talk to her, she’s here too and so is Troll.”
“No kidding? Okay. Well then I guess I’m done. If we get more information, I’m likely to call you back.”
Her voice lowered, “And I wasn’t entirely joking about helping. If you need help, let me know. Red Hex and Troll might be willing too.”
A look around the cluttered lab that wasn’t my cluttered lab reminded me of the answer I had to give, “I’d have to ask permission from Working Man to call you in. If he’s fine with it, I’ll do it.”