The Slaughtered Lamb Tavern.
Stepping over the broken table Silvia stood with her hands on her hips, she groaned tiredly. Although the clean up crews had been working all day, there was still several loads of rubbish that needed to be taken away before the builders could start the repairs. She felt more than heard Lasha walk up behind her.
“It’s not quite as bad as it looks,” the younger slayer explained.
“Yeah,” Silvia sighed again, “but we’re closed an’ a pub that keeps closing because of fights loses customers.”
“Even if it’s fights against tentacle monsters?” Lasha asked with a wry smile.
“Especially if it’s against tentacle monsters, what’s the news?” Silvia enquired.
“Repairs start tomorrow,” replied Lasha, “we should be able to reopen in a week or ten days.”
“And the girls?”
“They’re okay,” Lasha glanced proudly over to where a couple of the girls where clearing up, “fought their first big monster and came out on top.”
“Hmmm,” agreed Silvia reservedly, “care to tell me why we had three witches in the kitchen and we didn’t notice?”
“Umm I did mention to you that there was something odd with the three of them.” Lasha reminded her.
“Yeah I know,” admitted Silvia guiltily, “I’m a silly old slayer for not checking it out myself.”
“I had a look through their stuff,” added Lasha, “until yesterday they just weren’t very magical. Of course now we can see all the signs; the odd smells the explosions the chanting…hindsight is an exact science,” she smiled before asking, “How is our little coven?”
“They’ll be fine,” replied Silvia, “A few cuts and bruises, burns to the fingers and the like. The U.N.I.T people are doing some tests on them to make sure they’re not aliens. There’s someone from the Ministry’s keeping an eye on them, and I’ll pop in from time to time. We should get them back by the end of the week.”
“Good,” Lasha turned to get back to her work, “I’ll just send the early evening patrol out.”
“Oh!” Called Silvia before Lasha left, “Have you got Alice and Trish down for anything?”
“I’ll be needing them later on, vamp nest to clear out,” explained Silvia not meeting Lasha’s eyes as she spoke.
“Okay,” replied Lasha uncertainly, “they’re yours for the night.”
Manor Park Cemetery.
“George?” Called Mrs F as she walked through the twilight of Manor Park Cemetery, there was no reply. “George!” She called again this time a little louder.
George, a vampire who was sartorially trapped in the seventies appeared from behind a mausoleum.
“Where have you been?” Silvia asked angrily.
“Sorry Mrs F,” apologised the vampire, “It’s still a bit early for the likes o’ me.” He cast a glance up at the still light sky.
George had been working for Mrs F for nearly two years now. They had a good working relationship; he brought her any drugs, credit cards or jewellery that he ‘acquired’. Mrs F would destroy the drugs, fence the credit cards and jewellery and wouldn’t dust him. George was short and ineffectual and, stuck in the mid 1970’s; he was also terrified of Mrs F.
“Did you bring the others?” Silvia demanded.
“Yeah,” George replied sullenly, he signalled and three more vamps appeared from behind the tomb.
Silvia looked the vamps over; two she knew; she had the same arrangement with them as she did with George. They were a male and female couple who had been turned when they were seventeen or eighteen. The third vampire was unknown to her.
“Who’s this?” She asked George.
“That’s Steve,” replied George warily, “he’s new.”
“You didn’t turn someone just to make up the numbers did you George?” Silvia growled threateningly.
“No!” Exclaimed George holding his hands up and backing away from her, “He’s new to the area that’s all.”
“Alright then they’ll do,” Silvia announced reluctantly, she turned to the vampires. “This is the plan, it’s quite simple so even you lot of misfits can’t fuck it up. Just before ‘last orders’ you go into the Earl of Essex pub. When ‘time’ is called you’re to hide inside the pub. Once all the civilians are out, that’s once the doors are locked, you come out and kill everybody still in the pub!”
The vampires looked at each other in bewilderment.
“But they’re human, right?” Asked Steve, “An’ you’re a Slayer so…?”
“I have my reasons,” replied Mrs F, “all you’ve got to worry about is how much blood you want to drink. Anything of value you want you take...then I never want to see any of you again, right? I’ll be around to make sure the jobs done properly.”
The vampires nodded their heads in understanding.
“Now fuck off until later!” Mrs F ordered adding, “Not you George.”
The three vampires wandered off leaving George and Silvia alone in the graveyard.
“You don’t have to leave the area George,” George looked relieved, “but the others will have to be dusted, I can’t let them go.”
“Fine,” agreed George sounding relieved, “they’re nothing to me.”
“Good,” Silvia smiled, “now bugger off and make sure those dopey bastards turn up on time.”
Sandra and Gerry had been taken away from the Slaughtered Lamb the night before and bundled into the back of a van by the U.N.I.T soldiers. They had been driven to a government building near the river where they had been questioned on what they had seen; which was basically one tentacle.
Next they had been made to write statements and told to sign documents that warned that they would be thrown in jail, without trial, if they ever mentioned what had happened at the pub to anyone, even to their superiors. Woolley, the man in the suit, had come to them and told them that they were to stop all contact with Mrs Fitzsimons and anybody working at the Slaughtered Lamb. At about two o’clock in the morning they were dumped outside of their respective homes.
They had spent all day tidying up the files on Albert Cochrane and putting them back into storage. They didn’t even talk about the case between themselves. At the end of the day they locked up and went home.
Wanstead Flats near the Earl of Essex pub.
Sandra stared across the darkened road towards the Earl of Essex. She had followed Mrs Fitzsimons from her pub in central London out to Manor Park. Sandra had watched as Mrs F had her meeting in the cemetery with the four disreputable looking characters. Afterwards she had followed Mrs Fitzsimons as she went to another pub before ending up outside the Earl of Essex at about ten thirty. Sandra heard rustling in the bushes behind her; turning in near panic she saw Gerry pushing his way noisily through the undergrowth.
“Gerry!” Sandra hissed in surprise, “What are you doing here?”
“Same as you,” he replied coming to a halt breathing heavily.
“Oh, you thought you’d come for a drink all the way out here too?” She asked sarcastically.
“Yeah…well,” admitted Gerry, “what are you doing out here then? You seen anything?”
Sandra quickly filled him in on her movements for the night.
“There!” Sandra whispered and pointed through the bushes, “there she is…and those are the four she met with earlier.”
Sure enough the five figures met up in the shadow cast by a street light, after a short discussion the group spit up and headed for the pub leaving Mrs Fitzsimons standing in the street by herself. Ten minutes later she was joined by two more figures.
Near the Earl of Essex.
“Sorry we we’re a bit late,” Trisha was breathing a little heavily having run from the train station, “the train was held up at Stratford.”
“Don’t worry about it,” reassured Silvia, “no harm done. Now are you two clear on what you have to do?"”
Alice nodded her head without a moment’s hesitation, Trish still looked uncertain.
“There’ll be no one left in that pub that doesn’t deserve to die,” explained Mrs F, Trish nodded her head slowly. “Now then, let’s get into position.”
Alice glanced at her watch it was nearly midnight. She had seen the bar and kitchen staff leave about ten minutes before from her position at the side of the pub. She had heard someone lock the doors and seen the lights being switched off in the pub; surely it would start soon.
Snatch had been tailing Mrs F since he had been given the commission to ‘retire’ her; he had seen some weird things. He had been in the Slaughtered Lamb when the fight had started the night before and had left with the other customers. Unlike the others he had hung about and watched what was going on. What he had seen had left him feeling very uneasy.
Obviously something was going down at the ‘Essex’. Snatch had no idea who the people were that met with Mrs F earlier in the evening, but he did recognise the two girls she had met up with later, they were barmaids from the Slaughtered Lamb. Snatch had no idea why they should be all the way out here, he shrugged his shoulders maybe he’d find out before he retired Mrs F. Now there were the two cops hiding in the bushes across the road with no back up that he’d been able to find. The job wasn’t looking as simple as he’d first thought.
Pulling the automatic pistol from his jacket pocket, Snatch started to unscrew the silencer from the barrel. He held no loyalty to Jack Strongbow; he had just been paid to do a job. Obviously there were too many people around for him to complete his ‘commission’ tonight. He put the pistol back in his pocket and the silencer in the pocket opposite; he’d come back tomorrow and find out what’d happened then. Snatch turned up the collar of his jacket and turned his back on the pub, glancing over his shoulder he walked off into the night.
Alice heard a terrible crash like a whole shelf of glasses being thrown to the floor. There were some shouted words that even her slayer hearing couldn’t make out and then a long drawn out scream. Mrs F’s plan had started. Alice listened intently to the sounds of the massacre coming from inside the pub with professional interest. She could almost chart the course of the battle from the sounds being made.
Any second now, she thought, someone would try to use a gun, sure enough there was a boom as a shotgun was fired. Alice smiled as she imagined the look on the face of the person firing when they realised that the shot had no other effect than to really piss off the vamp.
Sandra looked at Gerry when they heard the sound of the first scream; she searched for her mobile and started to dial 999.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” came a woman’s voice from behind her.
She and Gerry turned to find Mrs Fitzsimons standing behind them with a sad smile on her face.
“You’re under arrest for…” began Sandra.
“No I’m not.” Silvia replied tiredly.
Sandra was taken aback for a moment, in all her years in the police no one had ever said that before when she’d arrested them.
“In fact,” continued Silvia matter-of-factly, “of the three people standing here right now, you two,” she pointed at Gerry and Sandra, “are the ones most likely to spend the rest of their lives in prison. Weren’t you told to stay away?”
“No one, however well connected can get away with multiple murders,” declared Sandra with the righteousness of a pure heart.
“I have,” declared Mrs F levelly, “on several occasions. Now why don’t you run along like nice little coppers and forget everything you’ve seen?”
“Come on Sandra,” Gerry glanced at his boss, “this is all too ‘Hush-hush’ for the likes of you ‘n’ me.”
Silvia noticed the secret wink Gerry gave Sandra; however, it seemed that Sandra didn’t, she was still full of virtuous anger.
“Look!” Sandra snapped angrily, “I don’t care who you are or who’s protecting you, I’m going make sure you pay for this!”
“Yes, yes of course you are,” Silvia yawned before reaching out and grabbing Sandra’s mobile from her hand before she had a chance to react.
Silvia held the phone in her hand for a moment before crushing it and dropping the broken pieces at Sandra’s feet.
“Now piss off,” she ordered, “and stop sticking your noises into things you don’t understand.”
Before Sandra could say anything Silvia Fitzsimons had disappeared into the darkness leaving the two investigators in a confused huddle in the middle of the park.
Alice looked up in surprise as the side door of the pub burst open. Things had gone quiet inside the pub and she was thinking that the vamps must have done their work. A big man in his fifties burst from the door a look of abject terror on his face. Although he looked right at Alice he didn’t seem to notice her.
He turned to run off down the street, but before he had taken more than a couple of steps Alice was on him and dragging him back towards the pub. He struck out at her and tried to escape her iron grip. Alice dragged him inexorably back towards the door. She looked up to see one of the vamps standing just inside the door.
“Here,” she said to the vamp, “you almost missed one!”
She threw the man back into the building and slammed the door closed; she smiled to herself as she heard him scream.
Watching as the two coppers walked off into the night, Silvia turned all her attention back towards the ‘Essex’. She walked briskly across the road and stood outside the pub and listened. It was all quiet now, time to do some housework, she thought. Taking her mobile from her pocket she sent the prearranged text message.
Running up the steps to the front door she kicked it open; she stumbled a little as she burst into the bar. Moments later she heard the sounds of Trisha and Alice breaking in from the side and rear entrances to the building.
It was not until she got into the area behind the bar that the signs of a struggle became evident. Obviously these vampires were not very tidy eaters, there were blood all over the floor and sprayed up the walls. Furniture had been smashed and scattered around and she seemed to be walking on a layer of broken glass; walking into a small office she found one of the ‘teenage’ vampires ripping open draws.
“Hey you!” she called.
The vampire turned to face her and Silvia stabbed him in the heart with her stake; the surprised vamp turned to dust and settled at her feet.
“Always so much dusting left to do,” Silvia muttered to herself, she turned and left the room; coming around a corner she nearly collided with Trish, stake in hand, coming the other way.
“How many?” Silvia wanted to know.
“Just the one,” replied Trisha.
That left two more including George, both women turned as the sounds of a fight reached their ears, the noise was coming from the kitchen. The two slayers raced towards the sound of the fight. However, by the time they got there, however, Alice was standing over a neat pile of ash on the kitchen floor; she looked up as Mrs F and Trisha burst into the room.
“That just leaves George,” announced Silvia as the three slayers walked out into the main bar area.
“George!” Called Mrs F softly, there was no answer, “GEORGE!” she tried again.
George appeared from an alcove wiping blood from around his mouth, “Sorry Mrs F,” he said guiltily, “just finishing up.”
“Everyone dead who’s meant to be?” asked Mrs F.
George nodded his head in the affirmative.
“You won’t mind if we check?” Silvia raised an eyebrow.
“Be my guest,” George smiled knowing that Mrs F would only find dead bodies.
Nodding to her girls they quickly searched the pub before reporting back to Silvia; everything was how it should be.
“Well done George,” smiled Mrs F kindly, “I’ll really miss you,” she stepped up to the vamp.
“Miss me?” George turned around a puzzled look on his face even as Mrs F rammed her stake into his heart; George turned to ash with a disappointed sigh.
“Right girls,” Silvia gathered up her girls with her eye, “time we were off.” the three women turned and walked casually from the pub.
Sandra Pullman’s Flat.
Sandra got back to her flat at about half past one, she opened her front door and walked inside as she locked the door behind her she noticed a small square envelope on the floor. Bending to pick it up, she examined it closely. The envelope carried no name or address or any other markings, she opened it to find a compact disc inside. Intrigued she walked over to her sofa and sat down. She placed the disc in her laptop computer that lay on the coffee table in front of her and started the disc playing.
The screen showed what was obviously surveillance footage of the plain American barmaid from the Slaughtered Lamb. It showed her walking through an area of what Sandra thought looked like northern London. The camera followed her until it showed her stopping outside a used car lot; ‘Honest Arthur’s Used Cars’, said the sign, Sandra made a note of the name in her pocket book.
The girl walked up to a man who was obviously ‘Honest Arthur’, and dragged him away from the two people he had been talking to and pulled him into a hut that served as an office. The camera lost sight of the girl and the man. It turned to play over the faces of the two people ‘Honest Arthur’ had been talking to. They just stood where they had been left smiling at nothing it was almost as if they were under some kind of spell.
Sandra noticed the time index in the corner of the screen jump forward a few minutes. The next thing she saw was the girl come out of the office and walk up to the two customers. They were still standing where they had been left; they still had silly grins on their faces. The girl snapped her fingers in front of their faces and the two people looked as if they had just woken up. The girl spoke to them and after a few seconds they walked off down the street. The girl watched them for a moment or two before walking off in the opposite direction.
The screen went blank for a second or two.
The next scene showed an interview room, Sandra had seen many like it before; the metal table the uncomfortable chairs the tape recorder. Sitting behind the table facing the camera was ‘Honest Arthur’, he was heavily swathed in bandages and looked…odd? His skin had an un-natural look to it almost as if it were scales rather than proper skin. His eyes looked wrong too, maybe it was a trick of the light, but they looked just a little too yellow, and his fingers were just too long to be natural.
A voice came from off screen; this was the first piece of sound on the disc so far.
“Right Arthur,” came a well spoken ‘professional’ voice, “why don’t you tell me what happened after Miss Springs got you into the office?”
Arthur looked uncomfortable and eyed the interviewer and the camera warily, he licked his lips and Sandra shuddered, surely that tongue was far too long?
“Well Mr Pearce,” began Arthur haltingly, “she pushes me into me office an’ says; 'I ‘ear you've bin a naughty boy Arthur'. An’ then she splits me nostrils open, saws me leg off an’ pulls me liver out. Then I try to tell ‘er me names not Arthur and then…and then she loses ‘er temper and nails me ‘ead to the floor."
“She nailed your head to the floor?” Asked the voice from behind the camera.
“At first, yeah,” nodded Arthur.
The screen went blank.
The Ministry Of Administrative Affairs, Whitehall.
The Demon Lord watched the world go by out of the window of the Minister’s office, soon everything he saw would be his. He fought down the maniacal laughter that threatened to burst from his lips.
“So you see, my lord,” Hacker grovelled on the floor behind the demon, “it wasn’t really my fault…the-the PM changed his mind.”
“Never-mind,” the demon turned and looked down at the cowering human, “I know it wasn’t your fault, I’m not going to disembowel you,” the demon saw the relief in the human’s posture, “yet.” he added with malicious glee.
Hacker hugged the carpet even tighter than he had been.
“No,” sighed the demon, “you are too important to my plans…for now; and anyway you did a good job with the tentacle monster…trying to kill that forever cursed slayer woman and her whores was a brilliant move. You weren’t to know about the witches.”
“It was?” Hacker didn’t really have a clue about what the demon was talking about; but, if the demon thought he’d done something right he better not deign it. “It was! I-I thought you’d be pleased.”
“Yes indeed,” agreed the demon nodding his head slowly. “Now about your first born child, if I remember correctly we had an agreement.”
This time Hasseldorf let the maniacal laughter out.
Ilford High Street, Essex.
The creature that had once been Jack Strongbow smiled as he looked at the young people as they went about in search of a good time. He looked down at his clothes; he would need some new clothes, money and somewhere to live. The technician in the morgue had provided his first meal, some cash and the clothes he was standing in now. But he would need a base, and he couldn’t go back to the ‘Essex’, not now he was ‘dead’
He started to walk along the street towards the train station, he’d go into central London, feed on a few tourists and steal their money. It would be a start, then he could find a lair and start to finalise his plans; then when he was good and ready he would make that bitch Silvia Fitzsimons pay!