Evening, Thursday December 21st, 2017
Faraday Fields Industrial Park, Tottenham
Elli feels another disturbance in the music of the spheres, and this time she’s got the software ready to track its online accompaniments down to the source – a hosting company in Tottenham. So she sets of with Katrina. Patty, preparing for her uncle’s funeral swears it off (actually to work on a personal project).
Katrina and Elli manage to sneak into the datacentre in the half-built industrial estate, awkwardly excusing their presence to a random engineer in the dark room. After finding the offending computer and using Fergus’ custom USB stick to hack into it, Elli discovers it was passing through from another computer in datacentre at Norton Green, Isle of Wight. But she has the logs.
But the trip isn’t a total loss – Katrina’s slayer senses are triggered by a construction site on the estate, where workers are still active despite it being 10pm at night, and the dim lighting and lack of hi-viz jackets or helmets surely breaches health and safety.
Because, they discover, the workers are vampires.
Their attempt to scout the site out is swiftly discovered by one or two vamps, and there are half a dozen vamps – enough to cause Katrina trouble, never mind Elli. But oddly, their retreat doesn’t cause a general pursuit, instead a cry from a foreman to get back to work.
When Vix & Elli enter the site portacabin, they try to bluff the foreman, one Monty Kennedy, with Health and Safety concerns – so he calls a staff meeting, filling the portacabin with glassy-eyed vampire drones. When the bluffing dries up, he tries to throw a small vial of a yellow liquid at our heroes – the liquid that triggers rage – but Katrina (?) catches it, and they quickly get the upper hand over this physically unthreatening middle-aged man, in the midst of dull-eyed vampires.
Monty starts making excuses – he was pushed into using vampire drone labour by the overall project owners, a subsidiary of Terralith Eco, who contracted Sunflower Staff (see Dharmafest), and in particular he points to the Terralith Eco director of special projects, one Oliver Portis.
After talking to a couple of the drugged vampires Elli and Katrina feel somewhat sorry for them. Reason that if they killed them more humans would be killed to replace them, Katrina feeds them the supply of laced blood that makes them biddable.
They investigate the computer (an old Dell Inspiron), the files, and take blood samples.
Monty, very sensibly, runs off at the first opportunity.
Investigation of existing publicity shots of Oliver Portis shows him wearing a black-and-gold ring that reminds Elli of Robin Willoughby’s medallion (see The Orphan).
Friday, December 22nd, 2017
Funeral, North London
Jerome Willoughby has a fairly generic funeral. His jacket pocket hides a small Pythagorean “totenpass” from Elli – a foil tablet with instructions on navigating the afterlife. Patty’s family, conducting the funeral, don’t even keep the wake vegetarian. Miles Dersby was there, as was Shamma-Teshup, who was casually asking about sourcing anything that would bind a Byblos demon.
The villainous Robin Willoughby conspicuously was not.
Jerome had left his occult library to Elli, but they did not want to leave his house abandoned in Devon for too long, so arranged to go there between Christmas and New Year.
Wednesday, December 27th, 2017
In The Car
Patty’s parents, who need to deal with the estate themselves, give Katrina and Elli a lift to the late Jerome home in Devon. Patty is busy with – she reveals – a TV series project based on her Patty Cakes blog.
Halfway to Devon, Masa Hakuta (Patty’s dad) casually asks if they found anything useful in his revelations about the share movements in Terralith Eco. But Patty hadn’t mentioned them. A quick phone call later, Patty apologies for not getting around to mentioning it, and sends over the files, that reveal that shares in Terralith Eco are being acquired (once beneficial owners are traced fully) by a series of holding companies in the Cayman Islands with common directory listed as “Aunt Dosi”. These include “golden shares” with extra voting rights, and add up to around a third of Terralith Eco stock.
Jerome Willoughby’s House, Devon
Jerome’s house is an isolated pile – but there’s a battered van parked outside the door. The boot is open with archive boxes that seem to contain books. Robin Willoughby has been trying to loot the library first!
Robin manages to seriously injure Katrina before Jane Hakuta (Patty’s mother) snaps into were form. She tears into him, and it’s all Elli can do to weave her soothing Pythagorean musical magic before she kills him.
And Robin runs off, utterly defeated.