Ch 27: Team Vegas #1
Disclaimer: Xander, Buffy, and anyone or anything else that pertains to BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon. Dracula belongs to the estate of Bram Stoker, or Francis Ford Coppola, or someone I think.
Larry Talbot, the Frankenstein Monster, and some others may belong to Universal Pictures.
NCIS belongs to Belisarius Productions, and CBS.
Ghost rider belongs to Marvel Comics, Dimension Films, Crystal Sky Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, and Sony (Whew!), and was played to perfection by Nicholas Cage!
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation belongs to CBS was created by Anthony E. Zuiker and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and Universal Studios.
OCs belong to me, and as always I remain…the man behind the curtain.
Ch 27: Team Vegas #1
Team Vegas Larry Talbot, Victor Mann, Pete Fisher, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Donald Mallard M. D., Marie Laveau, Abby Sciutto, five ‘normals’ from Heartsblood Atlanta (Troy Evans (former FLEA agent), Dorothy Ventimiglia , and David Revell (former OSS agents), Steve Wade (NYPD detective ret.), and Bailey McArt, (former IRA terrorist) and three lesser vampires (Gregor Bogdan Chmielnicki a Russian Cossack, Ladisaw Polakowski a young Pole from Warsaw, and Claire Collins a former Toledo, Ohio schoolteacher)
Larry stared at the map spread out in front of him on the hood of the rental car. He mopped his brow with an already soaked handkerchief, and looked over at Jethro. The Agent gave him a wry grin, and pointed down the southern branch of the crossroads. Larry nodded, and the two men got back into the convertible waving to the surplus Army truck, and the panel truck behind them to follow.
Vegas in this world had developed long before it had in Buffy’s world. The gambling was primarily run by the former bootleggers, and gangsters of certain ethnic groups whose names ended in O, and I (not to offend anyone). To be sure the operation was still in fairly early stages of what it had become in Jethro’s home dimension, but it was obviously growing rapidly. A former bootlegger/hitman by the name of Benny Siegel had just opened a casino/hotel complex called the Flamingo, and a former mob gunman, and well known ladies man by the name of Sam Braun was in the process of negotiating to build an even bigger one that he would call the 'Rampart'.
Tonight they would be staying at a small hotel called the Silverlode, on the outskirts of Vegas. Tomorrow they would travel the remaining fifty miles southwest to the remains of the old railroad town called Busted Luck. The town was not actually in Nevada it was twenty-three miles into California, but was still considered a Vegas area location.
Busted Luck, California had once been call Abbottsville, California named after Mr. Nathan Alonzo Abbott a New York gentleman of means who founded the town in the hopes of increasing his fortune in silver mining. Sadly the mine petered out all too soon and Mr. Abbott went bankrupt, insane, and suicidal in that order. Six months later the few folks that remained including Mrs. Abbott renamed the town. It was shortly after that the railroad came through making the town a water, and wood stop. At that time the town boasted a hotel, two saloons, a general store, several houses, a blacksmith shop, and a cathouse (run by the former Mrs. Abbott, aka: Queen Annabelle, aka: Catscratch Annie). The town continued for many years until after the First Great War when the railroad stopped coming through. The last inhabitants disappeared around 1921. The only building not standing at that time was the smithy, but that had been replaced by a Sunshine Oil gas station by then. To be sure the buildings were weathered, and in poor repair but they still stood…more or less. The only building that seemed the least untouched by time and weather was the old hotel.
Larry spent the night, in wolf form hunting coyotes in the desert. Marie and Abby spent much of it continuing Abby’s voudon studies. Jethro spent it cleaning his and ‘Ducky’s’ guns, and drinking (in moderation of course) from a bottle of ‘Gentleman Jack’ that Larry had given him. The three young vampires and Pete enjoyed a bit of gambling, watched over and couched by a paternalistic Dr. Mallard.
‘Ducky’ turned in just before midnight. Pete was in bed shortly thereafter. Abby and Jethro were not far behind him. Larry came in about three A.M., and Marie joined the other vamps at the gaming tables until just before dawn.
The drive to the ghost town was anti-climactic. The scenery in the desert was, while beautiful, somewhat monotonous after the first thirty miles.
The cars stopped in the shelter of a small rise just about a mile from town. Jethro and Larry climbed the rise with a pair of binoculars.
The town was not as advertised. Many of the building showed signs of discrete improvements. That is to say that while they looked decrepit and derelict they had been made structurally sound, and livable. Well almost livable anyway. Most of the structures still had large ragged holes in outside walls, mounds of sand, and debris both inside and out, as well as broken windows, and doors. The only two that looked fairly decent were the fieldstone hotel, and the brick gas station. From the rise all you could see was the rear of the hotel, but the gas station was in full view. The gas station was somewhat modernized. The pumps were still 1920’s vintage, but a two bay service area had been added, and the office had apparently been remodeled sometime since the town’s demise. Except for the layers of grime on the windows, and the two derelict 1920’s cars in the yard it looked like it should be open for business! An middle aged man sat in front of the place in a rocking chair, smoking a pipe. He looked very much out of place though. He wore a white dress shirt, dark violet trousers, and high black riding boots!
Much as they wanted to waiting for dark was really out of the question. Any vampires, and other night creatures that would be there would be at full strength then. Reluctantly Larry and Jethro decided that the investigation and possible attack would have to begin at once, scratch that make it probable attack.
It was decided that Jethro, Larry, and ‘Ducky would enter town first driving in on the main road from the east. Marie, Abby, and the three Heartsblood vamps would come in from the north in the panel truck, as soon as they got the signal from Larry. They would be
followed immediately by Pete Fisher, and Victor driving the old Dodge military troop transport truck with the five normal Heartsblood employees in from the west.
Larry was stopped by Victor half way through the explanation.
“Describe this man by the gas station, please,” The giant’s face showed that this was not actually a request, it was a demand.
“About my height, medium blonde hair slightly graying, white dress shirt, dark purple pants, black riding boots, oh, and yeah a small goatee. Why,” asked the Wolf King?
Victor snarled, “It cannot be! I left him frozen in the ice!” Then he added, “I go in first, if this is he, the bastard is mine!”
“Who are you talking about,” Larry was puzzled for a moment? Then it dawned on him just who Victor thought it was, Baron Victor Von Frankenstein!
“Victor you won’t fit in the car, you’re too damned big!” Larry tried to reason with the giant.
Jethro just shook his head, “Larry, We aren’t going to stop him.”
“So what do we do,” growled Talbot?
“If ya’ can’t beat em’…” Gibbs stated, raising an eyebrow. “You, me, and Doctor Mallard pile in the truck with the other guys, and leave the car here. It won’t be the first time ‘Ducky and I have ridden in a six-by!”
Larry climbed into the truck cab, with Pete, and Gibbs, and the doctor joined Victor, and the Heartsblood humans in the rear.
The diesel engine roared to life and the truck lurched forward. It wouldn’t take long for them to reach the buildings. Jethro reminded everyone that Victor was going to bail out first, followed by the rest double quick. “And don’t forget your weapons, fire arms safety’s off only after you hit the ground! I don’t want any accidents. In other words don’t shoot the guy in front of you in the ass!”
As they roared across the open desert scrub, Larry noticed movement over by the hotel. The other side was prepared defend the place from, at least, a small assault. The man near the station jumped to his feet, and scurried into the building.
Larry opened the cab door and leapt from truck shape-changing as he did. When he landed he was a large wolf, running very fast toward the hotel. In the following panel truck Marie changed course, following Larry. The werewolf running at top speed covered the ground as fast the following truck. When he reached the hotel he waited for Marie and her contingent.
The transport truck on the other hand skidded to a halt in front of the gas station. Victor did not wait to exit out the back, launching himself through the canvas wall of the truck bed. Gibbs led the rest of the team in combat precision out of the truck and into position. He had to admit that the Heartsblood strike teams were as well trained as any unit he had served with in the Corps. That was high praise indeed from the former Marine Corps sniper.
Victor , however was going berserk! The giant was acting like the monster he had been considered before he had been given a soul. Roaring out his rage he burst through the front door of the station, only to be met by a hail of bullets. He faltered but did not fall. Staggering back outside he was met by Gibbs.
“Corpsman up!” shouted the old gunny, then to the wounded giant he said, “My turn.”
Gibbs pulled one of the grenades from his battle harness, pulled the pin, and counted to three. He lobbed it around the corner into the station and hit the deck.
The front window of the office blew outward and smoke dust, and some debris drifted out the shattered doorway.
The human strike team led by Gibbs, and Fisher followed a wounded but still raging Victor into the building, a second grenade was thrown by Fisher into the work bay area from the inside office door. After the resulting explosion the team entered the bay area. Six bodies all human, all very dead, were strewn about the area, along with the remains of several automatic weapons. Also in evidence was a shattered trap door leading to a basement, a basement that should not have been in this building.
Victor did not wait, and Gibbs shrugged and led the team after him.
The brick steps led downward for quite a ways and into a passageway, a tunnel that led, by Gibbs reckoning toward the hotel. Victor came to a halt several feet into the tunnel. Gibbs looked past the giant. Facing them was not one but two creatures that looked like primitive versions of, Victor, their very own Frankenstein monster!
Authors Note: Next up is a trip to Team Africa, our lycanthrope heavy team.
‘Cliffhanger’ ArjaiH (RJH).