Puzzle

Part 2

At his desk back at The Institute, Elite's mouth hung open in amazement. The driver's licenses he had gotten from, the couple were obviously fake--stupidly fake--for they identified the corpses as John and Jane Doe. Who could ever believe names like that. Yet every records search Elite did confirmed it--the house, the car, the credit cards, and even the pets, were registered to John and Jane Doe. Either these people went to a lot of trouble to invent stupid new identities for themselves, or Elite was going to pay a lot more attention to the "example" credit cards in the ads.

The odd identity of these people, however, was nowhere near as important as finding out why they were killed. A search of their credit account and checking account records showed no recent purchases of any jewelry, nor any transactions with private individuals that could have been a jewelry purchase. Sighing, Elite punched up a program to search through the local police database for recent, unsolved, jewelry store robberies. If this didn't turn up anything, then either the magical object wasn't jewelry, or it was of minor consequence and had been there a long time--either way it would mean the end of the investigation.

The next afternoon, Elite arrived to find that his search had been completed. Apparently, the police had just apprehended a suspect believed to be behind a string of recent robberies, leaving only two stores for which the suspects were unknown and at-large.

The first of these stores was your average franchise jewelry store. Elite didn't even have to ask questions, one look at his magic meter showed him that the mystical object he was tracing had not been here. The second shop was much more promising--mainly because it was not open, and would not open until long after nightfall. To the average person, this probably wouldn't cause undue worry, for the shop was in a rather eclectic part of town, but to one already looking for vampires, it was a clear beacon. With the added fact that, even outside the store, the magic meter was going off, Elite knew that this store warranted further investigation.

Later that night, Elite returned to the store, with all of the Institute's gizmos that he could easily carry. His glasses monitored his brainwave patterns, mirroring over at the first sign of any mental domination, which was supposed to block the domination, though it had never been tested--at least, not successfully. The magic meter was, of course, carried with him, as were the vampire-detecting IR and UV sensors. Finally, there were his two weapons, a vial labeled "Holy Water" and his pistol crossbow. Unfortunately, the latter probably would not do him a lot of good, as weapons laws forced him to keep it is a place where it would not be obvious--and therefore hard to reach.

As Elite approached the store, his magic meter gave a much stronger reading than it had earlier. Worried, he checked his other sensors. His UV sensor showed multiple objects approaching, absorbing abnormal amounts of ultraviolet radiation. The IR scanner showed that those objects were giving off no infrared radiation. Vampires. Elite's hand reached for his crossbow, his normal instinct not to seem overly hostile overridden by the fact that these vampires were probably the ones who callously killed the couple the day before. Before he could reach the crossbow, he took a blow to the head, and he blacked out.

When Elite came to, he found himself chained to a wall. A few feet to his right was a table, on which was all of his equipment, save his glasses. In front of him was a group of vampires.

Noticing that he was awake, one of the vampires smiled, and approached Elite. He was a tall, blond, muscular male, apparent age in the late 20s. "Greetings, Agent Elite of The Institute." he said, "I am Seliph, leader of the Cabal. We have heard many things of your Institute, and are looking forward to finding out more-- though you should not be looking forward to it. No, not at all."

Go to Part 3

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