Interlude: Now What?
Wesley closed the door to the former Hotel Hyperion behind him, still turning over the information that he’d gained from talking to PePe. There had been important things there, but there were still several missing pieces. Pieces that would cause everything to make sense.
“I’m not talking to any more of those weirdos,” Cordelia glared at him, one finger waving. “First there was that giant demon frog that lived in a shack, and then the blue thing with the chickens… No more. I refuse.”
“I think we need a bit more information, and then we’ll have everything. Just a few more people,” he paused, looking at Cordelia. “Are you absolutely certain that you won’t go talk to one of them?”
“How many times do I have to say no?” Cordelia’s voice was loud.
“Much louder and you’ll wake the dead,” Wesley muttered.
“Too late,” Angel spoke from the doorway, a mug in one hand. “Who needs talked to, why doesn’t Cordelia want to go, and where are they?”
“I think we can pass on the Muppet Labs. It might not hurt to have someone talk to Kermit again, but I think the key discussions need to be with Scooter Dee, who may have been the manager or assistant manager of the theater along with Kermit, and the Count. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about theatrical management,” Wesley looked at Cordelia again.
“Who is this Count anyhow? Does he have money?” Cordelia paused, “And why did both the demon frog and the blue weirdo hope that he was still taking his medication?”
“His name is Count vonCount, and he’s a vampire,” Angel offered, eyes distant. “I’m not sure how old he is, but he’s supposed to be taking some sort of sedative drug.”
“Do drugs even work on vampires? And how do you know anything about this guy?” Cordelia turned to look at Angel.
“I met him a few times, before. Before I got my soul back,” Angel paused, frowning for a moment. “He was a good friend of the Master, as much as vampires have friends. He’s strange, even for a vampire.”
“In what way?” Wesley demanded.
“So high, purple, pointed ears, and his hands are a bit odd. Stubby. But don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that he’s not dangerous because of that. He’s dabbled in archeology, sorcery, and architecture, he’s obsessed with numbers and mathematics, and he’s absolutely terrifying,” Angel shuddered.
“How is that different from ordinary master vampires?” Cordelia asked.
“Most master vampires don’t get invited into the home of mathematicians where they discuss mathematical theory for hours. When most vampires get annoyed, they just rip someone’s throat out and kill them. They don’t carve them into little pieces, fold an origami box out of paper to put the piece in, seal it with wax, number it, and keep reassembly instructions!” Angel shuddered again.
Cordelia took on a greenish cast, mumbling “Forget that I asked.”
“Isn’t that remarkably like what happened to Mr. Lanomer?” Wesley offered. “One hundred and seven boxes, each sealed with the number thirteen?”
“Gross…” Cordelia gave a dramatic shudder before declaring, “And there is no way that I will go talk to this Count. Absolutely not.”
Wesley turned to face Angel, “Will you talk to him? It could be… I don’t think the rest of us could handle a vampire if the talk goes poorly.”
“I’m not certain that I could handle him if the talk went badly,” Angel muttered. “But I will go talk to him. That… Lanomer’s death doesn’t sound quite right.”
“Of course it wasn’t right! Someone carved him into little pieces and put them into boxes! I can’t think of anything that would be more not right,” Cordelia shrieked.
“Tossing dice with the toe bones of a minion that annoyed you?” Angel offered.
“That might do it,” Wesley tried not to picture that, failing dismally. “Is that something that you… A common vampire behavior?”
“No. It’s something that the Count did,” Angel drained his cup, and sighed. “I’ll find him, and I’ll talk to him. Can you make sure that you’ve got some more blood, in case I come back wounded?”
“Is he that dangerous?” Cordelia looked at Angel.
“Grandfather liked him, respected him, and was occasionally terrified of him,” Angel started. “That doesn’t sound too bad, except...”
“What?” Cordelia demanded, one foot tapping on the floor.
“I was Angelus, favored childe of Darla, who was a childe of the Master of the Order of Aurelius. The Master was my grandfather, in vampire terms. The Count was his friend, and occasionally disturbed and terrified him. How bad do you think he is?” Angel countered, his eyes flashing gold for a moment.
Cordelia just shivered, and Wesley blinked a few moments, remembering the books from the Watcher’s Council. Then he shivered as well, feeling his insides twist into a cold knot. “I’ll go talk to Scooter Dee. Good luck talking to the Count.”
Angel nodded, “I might need it.”
End Muppet Contracts Interlude: Now What?