The thing that I assumed had been Paula Hart, secretary of Downtown Marketing looked over all of us, stopping at Officer White—who held the cross out in front of it.
“I don’t recall asking for the law for help. I don’t recall calling in the Motor City Heroes either.”
the vampire took a step back from Officer White, staring at the cross, “Now that’s just unfriendly.”
Bending over with a speed that sixty-year-old woman shouldn’t have, the creature grabbed a desk, a long, wooden desk longer than some motorcycles, and threw it at Officer White.
Though Officer White may have been the target, but the desk was big enough that it would hit all three of us.
Mateo grabbed Officer White’s arm and pulled her sideways. I stepped forward, putting myself in between her and the oncoming piece of office furniture. As the desk came closer, I could already feel the costume around me hardening. Then it hit, and while it wasn’t unbearable pain, it didn’t feel good.
I had my arms out to deflect it, which I did to a degree. I caught it, but it had enough force that even though I pushed it sideways to my left, it still hit me before I fully pushed it away, knocking me backward.
It would have killed me if I hadn’t used Rocket suit tech in V4’s full-body motorcycle racing suit. Haley had called it a motorcycle onesie when I showed it to her. She wasn’t wrong.
Onesie or not, I’d designed it with strength and armor in mind, figuring that the powers fit a superhero named after an engine and that they were common enough that someone wouldn’t instantly think, “That’s gotta be the Rocket.”
The desk landed on top of the other tarp-covered furniture in the room, some of which was made of glass to judge from the sound of shattering.
An indrawn breath to my right told me one piece of good news. Mateo had pulled Officer White far enough that she hadn’t been hurt at all. She stood next to the wall, still holding the cross Mateo had lent her.
Mateo had pulled out his rapier which had taken on a golden glow that I didn’t remember from practices at Stapledon. Of course, facing off against superheroes in training wasn’t the same as facing the undead and the sword might somehow know the difference.
He rushed the vampire as Officer White showed that even if she hadn’t been trained in fighting vampires, she had the presence of mind for it.’
She threw a vial of holy water.
The vial hit the vampire in the face, breaking on its forehead and running down its face, turning the skin on its cheeks black as it burned it. Unasked for, the fact that holy water did 2d6 of radiant damage to undead in Dungeons and Dragons came to mind.
I did my best to ignore it even as the vampire screamed and tried to wipe the holy water away with the sleeves of its white and pink polka-dotted blouse.
From the way the scream continued, I guessed that it didn’t do much good, spreading the water across its cheeks even if the blouse did absorb some.
Mateo didn’t give it time to adjust either. He ran toward it and shoved the rapier through its chest, avoiding its arms and into its heart. As it reached out with its arms to grab the blade, the blade glowed like sunlight—as in, exactly like sunlight with the same warm, golden glow.
The vampire’s hands turned to ash as burning flame spread across its body, starting from the spot in its chest where Mateo ran it through. I stepped closer to join him, maybe to be ready if the vampire reached out and he needed help.
It wasn’t necessary. The burning fire went through the body, leaving only a skeleton partially covered with charred flesh that lay in a pile of ash.
Mateo pulled back his sword, pulled out a paper towel from one of his pouches and wiped the blade clean.
We all stared at the body and it, in turn, didn’t move at all. After a period of silence, I said, “It looks dead.”
Officer White shook her head, “Very dead. Except from what we saw, she must have been dead before we arrived.”
Still breathing heavily, Mateo said, “Yes, but give me a second, I need to make sure there aren’t more of them.”
The basement was a single room. All he needed to do to cover all of it was walk all the way around it once—that and stare at the furniture under tarps in the middle of it for a minute.
“The basement’s vampire free. There were more here, but they left through… that window.” He pointed at the window on the far end of the basement. It opened to the back of the house.
“How many?” Officer White took a step toward it.
“It’s hard to say, but my guess is three. Bearing in mind the traditional weakness to sunlight—which this one definitely had—they must have left before dawn. They’re somewhere else in the area and we won’t see them until after sunset.”
Mateo put his sword back in its scabbard.
“Sunset’s about four hours from now,” I said.
Officer White looked from Mateo to me. “If you’re looking for a way to kill time, I have some questions I need to ask about Paula’s death, but I need to know what’s going on. Are we in the middle of the kind of emergency where we need to evacuate the city?”