No Veiled Threats here – Part II
The storm continued its’ howling in the night. That suited Quinn just fine – it matched his state of mind perfectly. He glanced around at the various transmitters and antennae mounted on the roof of the Sears Tower. He knew this place was one of the nerve centers and an intrical part in broadcasting the iron grip the venture held on society through the media. The control, manipulation and propaganda was subtle he knew. It was a delicate and yet firm hand which in many ways ensured the integrity and preservation of the masquerade. In vampire society it was probably the most indirect measure of power but even so – probably the strongest bargaining chip on that table. The masquerade was official primary priority after all. In the end that was what held the torches and pitchforks at bay. Quinn was disgusted by the necessity. The warrior and the king inside of him wanted to crush that opposition and force it to stay in its’ proper place.
The winds had greatly picked up speed. The temperature must’ve dropped. Quinn’s beard was formed into tiny icicles. He’d been standing still frozen in thought and his jeans crunched as he turned around getting his bearings again. A proper blizzard was raging through Chicago now. Light flashed and the roof was briefly illuminated as brightly as a high noon. A thunderclap split the air in the same instant. Sparks flew as lightning rod of the tower absorbed and conducted the massive surge of electricity. This wasn’t natural Quinn thought. Well, it could be but he knew that tonight it wasn’t.
“Really… thundersnow… is that you, Khalid? Too cheesy to be anyone else!” Quinn addressed the air in an annoyed tone.
“How did you know?” Came the reply in a loud high pitched rasping voice which was clearly frustrated.
“I came up here to be alone. Now piss off!”
“No, you didn’t! That’s obvious. I-” Before the sentence was finished. In one motion Quinn blurred forward and shoved one hand forth with blinding speed. A startled “OUGHF!” sounded as something hideous landed on its’ ass on the marble tiles and slid a meter or so backwards.
“I’m in a bad mood right now; which means I’m not up for your games. What do you want?” The nosferatu rose with exaggerated care and very slowly. He was hooded and cloaked in pitch black rags which billowed violently in the wind. It looked like a roiling shadow rising up through the ceiling below. Only tiny shiny red dots were visible under the hood, his eyes.
“You know it’s ironic tha-“ Khalid was interrupted once again before he could finish. Quinn stomped one foot down and as the marble tile cracked it sounded eerily like thunder.
“ENOUGH! I asked you what you wanted. Undeath is inherently ironic I don’t need you to elaborate on it.” Again with the irony Quinn thought. What was going on? “I swear by the gods…” His voice trailed off as if the passion suddenly left him. He shook his head. Khalid’s reply was like a scalpel of ice running along Quinn’s spine, the nosferatu’s voice like breaking glass and the sweetest honey all at the same time.
“Yes Angel – what will you do?” He asked too calm and all too smug. The truth was that Quinn knew next to nothing about the older vampire. As far as he knew no one did – but that would be an ironic assumption considering the previous events of the night he thought. Someone always knew. Khalid seemed satisfied with letting the silence stretch and the tension build. No, Quinn knew that Khalid had probably attained more secrets than the average camarilla prince would over the course of a millennia. The blizzard still whirled around them. Quinn was about to turn around and leave when the cloaked figure finally spoke.
“How are the kids?” Khalid asked in a mild tone.
“Sam’s coterie? I very much doubt you don’t know all too well, Khalid. You’ve shown your interest I hear. Which means you know how they are.” Quinn said. A dark grey hand slid out from under the cloaked figure the skin looked like old scabs. Blood shone in a gash running from the back of the hand up under the cloth. The fingers were tipped with long black nails pointy, sharp and slightly curved.
“What I meant was – what do you think about them?” Khalid pointed at Quinn.
“They are getting on my nerves…” Then Quinn pointed at Khalid. “Not unlike you are right now. Get to the point!”
“I want to share some information with you.”
“I doubt that. You don’t share anything. That I do know; and since I don’t have anything you want, that means that you are of absolutely no use to me.”
“Oh, but you do. The kids are under your wing. They are in your debt, Mr. Quinntero. That is what you have. The kids are of interest to me.”
“There seems to be a lot of that going around lately. What are they to you?” Quinn walked with purposeful steps toward the Khalid; just to see what would happen. It might’ve been a trick of his mind but Quinn thought he felt the tiniest hesitation some flicker of uncertainty in that hideous creature. Quinn halted his approach. His intuition told him that the old nosferatu survived on his secrecy and the information he held. He probably had a dirty secret on everyone. There were certainly plenty in Quinn’s past to collect but he hadn’t dangled any – yet. This guy was an enigma to most – which part was sincere and which the feint?
“They survived Antioch. To me they seem to be quite resourceful.” Said Khalid.
“Antioch hasn’t killed a single vampire yet, since he was freed.”
“-And that is the reason. You’re interested in them because Antioch is.” Quinn said.
“Precisely. I want to bring him in you see…”
“Right – of course you do.” Quinn rolled his eyes at him. “Go and talk to them then; don’t need me for that.”
“Wrong, Mr. Quinntero. I want you to collect the debt they owe you – on my behalf. That’d leave me in yours…”