Mateo half sat on the table behind him. “Do you have a plan for using a holy igloo?”
I shook my head. “That was more of an illustration. A better use of that much holy water might be trapping a vampire in a house covered with holy ice. In the winter, it might hold them for a while. Mixing holy water into concrete might be an even better idea.”
Mateo opened his mouth without saying anything, half-closed it, and said, “That’s not a bad idea if we had enough holy water. You’ll want to hang on to your creativity, though, because we have a new development in the vampire case. Working Man and Athletica are in the conference room to talk about it.”
What more was there to say after that? I followed him down the hall.
The conference room wasn’t any bigger than the last time I’d been there and since I was last, I got to sit on the same side as the file cabinets this time—which was the side of the room that anyone with any sense avoided because if you leaned back, you could hit the back of your head against one of the handles.
I hit one as I sat down. The back of the mask I wore as “V4” was armored, but it connected with a solid clunking noise.
Working Man frowned. Athletica grinned. I’d seen her hit her head in other meetings and felt pretty sure she’d laugh if I flipped her off, but I didn’t. It wasn’t something I did normally, and anyway, it didn’t seem professional.
Working Man cleared his throat. Only a few inches short of seven feet tall and muscular, he was intimidating even when he wasn’t standing. Though actually based on a material my grandfather designed, his costume looked like it was made of blue denim, making him stand out against the beige wall.
Unlike the rest of the team, I didn’t know his real name. That may have upped the intimidation factor a little.
In a deep voice, he began with, “Let’s get this done. I’m in the middle of hunting down a Syndicate L operation with Detroit Unity. Normally I’d pull you in, but now there are vampires and if we get an infestation of those things, it’ll be an epic clusterfuck on our record. We don’t want that.”
Meeting the eyes of everyone at the conference room table in turn, he said, “You’ll be working in teams—Blue Mask with V4 and Nanosecond with Athletica. Nanosecond will be helping here because I’m with Unity. V8 continues to be focused on tech projects, but she’ll show up in an emergency. Do your best to keep her out of it. She’s only got two weeks until V4 is out of here and then it might be months before she has time to finish anything.”
Nodding to Holly, he said, “Tell everyone what you saw last night.”
Holly took a breath, “Last night, Nanosecond and I were running through downtown Farmington and she noticed two people flying above the street. We ran after them because we didn’t recognize either of them and they weren’t dressed in costume. I think they spotted us because they turned off of Grand River Avenue onto Oakland—except here’s something interesting—they were just about to fly above the big parking lot on Oakland when they turned to avoid it. They flew above the marketing firm on the left of the parking lot instead. That’s when we realized they had to be vampires.”
I was missing something, “Why do you say that?”
She smiled, “The church on the other side of the parking lot owns the parking lot.”
I raised an eyebrow, “So, the parking lot is consecrated ground or something?”
Giving a shrug, Holly said, “It was next to the church? I don’t know.”
“What’s important to me,” Working Man said, “is that there were two of them. It means there might be a group and maybe that they’ve been infecting more.”
Mateo nodded. “Could be. It might also be that there are only two. Holly, did you see where they went after that?”
She shook her head. “Nanosecond and I can’t see in the dark and her night vision goggles weren’t picking them up. We lost them.”
Nodding, I said, “Night vision goggles are often infrared—which means they detect heat. With vampires being dead, they’d be the temperature of the air. That could make them invisible to her goggles. Do you think they might have gone into the marketing firm you mentioned?”
She scowled. “I don’t know. It’s an old, one-story house. They might have gone in there, but I can’t imagine they could hide a coffin inside without people noticing. And if they turned everybody on the staff, people would notice something strange and start talking. Farmington is only 10,000 people.”
“I don’t know,” Mateo said, grinning, “vampires might not stand out much on a marketing team.”
Holly smirked. I smiled. Working Man didn’t miss a beat.
Not even acknowledging the joke, he said, “Tonight you’ll want to ride through that area. Night vision goggles might be worthless, but you’ve got Mask-vision, whatever that is, and that’s why you’re here. You can see magic and the rest of us can’t. V4, see if you can figure out a way for the rest of us to track those things. Anyway, that’s all. You’ve got your mission—go!”