Vampire. The Finale "He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves: one for his enemy and one for himself" – Chinese proverb
Scene 1 - Plotting and Planning
- Cale walks out of Romeo’s Diner. His conversation with Mickey went very well. Mickey agreed to help Cale take down Helton; he’ll talk to his people and see about the weapons and equipment Cale needs.
- For the next few days, Cale just does his job. He doesn’t want to make any waves at all. At the same time however, he is surreptitiously figuring out all the angles; literally. He plans his route through the building, noting blind spots in the security camera coverage, noting which doors he’ll be going through, and which alarms need to be spoofed.
- Cale decides to inform Helton that he will soon be making his move on Burian. When he enters the 75th floor, he sees Davis talking with Helton as they exit Helton’s office. Cale is reminded of the way in which he took a position that Davis likely saw as his own. As things come to a head, Davis most definitely needs to be watched.
- Helton seems amused by Cale’s timing for the hit on Burian; the day of the citywide Black & White Ball (a formal charity event where everyone wears black and white tuxedos and evening dresses). All of the Kindred community in the City will be there (at least, those that care about such things). Helton seems excited at the prospect of saying goodbye to his old enemy. He offers Cale a glass of Templar vintage vitae, which Cale reluctantly drinks to maintain appearances. If Helton knows Cale recognizes that blood, he’s just rubbing it in. Cale curses Helton silently as he leaves.
Scene 2 - "How much for everything?"
- A few more days pass. Cale is busy working up the schedule and duty roster for the Templar security team on the night of the ball. He’s fixing it so the least competent personnel are on duty that evening. He won’t be able to avoid putting Templar’s best people, the Knights, on the roster, but he can minimize their impact on his plans. The regular uniformed security team however, won’t be at maximum efficiency.
- Cale stays in his newest apartment. This place is nothing special, but it is the only place he feels safe, since he hasn’t told anyone about it at all. He swings by the furniture maker he contracted to make some fire-hardened teak stakes. Cale is pleased with the work and pays the craftsman extra. Finally, Cale gets a call from Mickey. Mickey’s arms dealer is ready to meet. Cale tells Mickey to meet him at Romeo’s in 30 minutes.
- Cale and Mickey meet in the diner and head for a seedier part of town. On the third floor of a rundown hotel, Mickey’s arms dealer, Benny, lays out his merchandise on a stained mattress. It’s all there – AK-47, magazines, ammunition, plastic explosives, timers, detonators, control panel, WP grenades. “What about the ‘special item’?” Benny hauls out a large case, “Straight from Colombia. Like new. Gotcha two rounds.” Cale is very pleased as he examines the RPG-7. “You do deliver,” Cale says, handing over a large gym bag full of cash, as Mickey looks carefully out the window. Transaction completed, both parties quickly leave.
- Back in the car, Cale tells Mickey he’s almost ready to go. They discuss plans for the big night. Cale again tells Mickey that this is a personal thing, and he absolutely understands if Mickey wants no part of it. Mickey can walk away and never see Cale again if he wants. “This is just between me and Helton. The bastard killed me and the woman I loved as part of some shitty little scheme, some fucked up undead power play, nothing more.” Mickey however, sees something else in Cale, and understands that Cale is doing this because he knows it’s right. Mickey seems to understand what Cale means to do when this is all over. Moreover, Cale is about to take on one of the major monsters plaguing the City, one with real power, one of the creatures holding the reins. This is an opportunity to really make a difference. “If you go with me on this,” Cale says, “You have to be ready to take it all the way.”
- “I’m in,” Mickey says. He and Cale shake hands; they’re both in this together.
- Cale drops Mickey off, and heads back to the office. He logs on to the security computer in his office and calls up the dossiers Helton keeps on every recognized Kindred in the City, everyone from the Prince himself on down to the lowliest neonate (like Cale). This folder gets burned onto a CD-ROM, which goes into his pocket. Then he heads for the train station and quietly stuffs all his gear into a locker, and the CD-ROM with the Kindred dossiers goes in another locker. Then, back to his apartment.
Scene 3 - Hair Trigger
- On the night of the Black & White Ball, the City is in a festive mood. Reporters are all over the Convention Center where the main charity event is being held. The residents of the City not going to the ball take it as an excuse to have a party, so everyone is dressed up and out for a good time.
- Cale is ready. This is it. Everything ends tonight. Cale collects his equipment from the locker, checks that the CD-ROM is safe (making sure he has the key) and heads for the Templar building.
- Cale holds a security briefing. He goes over the evening’s security plan with the Templar security team. Cale says that he will be monitoring everything from the security center at the Templar building, and Davis will be the site commander for Helton’s close protection detail at the ball. The briefing ends, and everyone gets ready to go.
- Cale goes up to 75 to inform Helton. He finds Helton again standing statue-like among the shadows cast by the columns in the room. The steady trickle of blood in the fountain is the only sound accompanying the click of Cale’s shoes on the black marble floor. “All set Mr. Helton. Enjoy the party,” Cale says. Helton grins wolfishly; he knows Cale is going after Burian tonight. “You will come to see me afterwards,” he says. Cale smiles thinly. “Absolutely, sir.” Davis comes in and Helton leaves with his ghoul servant.
- As soon as Helton’s car and escort vehicles leave the building, Cale goes into action. Down to the garage to get his gear, then back up to 75. Cale plants small, two-ounce charges at the base of every window on the 75th floor. Then he goes into Helton’s office itself. More charges for the windows there as well. Cale can’t resist going through Helton’s desk. He sees that Helton was looking at Cale’s file. Where all the other kindred had full psych profiles and such, Cale’s file is little more than a resume – Cale’s suspicion that he was never more than a tool to Helton is confirmed.
- Cale is positive Helton will try to kill him to cover his tracks, if Cale succeeds in taking out Burian. Then Helton can say, “Look, I’ve taken care of this rogue who violated our laws.” Cale’s hatred for Helton is starting to heat up.
- After planting a charge under Helton’s chair, he carefully descends down the stairwell to the 74th floor; Helton’s private sanctum. It is dark but there is enough light to see. The place is like a museum. There are rooms filled with antiques, relics from old wars, weapons, uniforms, even a Civil War cannon. Cale finally finds Helton’s “bed”. The exquisitely hand carved bed frame was probably looted off some Southern plantation. It’s probably worth a fortune. Cale sees that it gets a charge as well!
- On the way out, Cale finds a room covered in photographs. These pictures show Helton with members of the Templar family over a period of about 150 years! Cale even finds a picture of Helton that was taken in daylight, when Helton was still human. Whatever humanity Helton had is long gone by the time he appears in the most recent shots, including an image of Helton and Bianca! Cale takes the photo off the wall, then angrily smashes the frame on the floor. He picks up the picture and tears it in half between Helton and Bianca. Then Cale is out of there. He arms all the charges and heads out.
Scene 4 - The Big Hit
- Down in the security office, Cale happily shreds the half of the photo with Helton on it as he tells the watch commander he’ll be going out, but will monitor everything by radio. Cale continues to monitor the Ball. Everything is okay.
- Cale heads out to the ambush position he has staked out along Burian’s route back from the ball. He calls Mickey and gives him the heads up. Mickey says he’s ready, and will wait for Cale’s next call.
- Cale gets up on a roof overlooking the street below. He readies the RPG-7, puts on his gear vest, and checks his other weapons. The stakes go in a shotgun shell belt looped over his shoulder. Then he goes into gargoyle mode and waits.
- On the radio, Cale listens in on a conversation as Helton encounters Burian at the party. Helton is awfully smarmy and sure of himself. Burian thinks Helton is just being a dick, but is still wary; they are old enemies after all. Cale radios Davis and tells him to call in when Burian leaves the ball.
- Finally, Burian and his entourage leave. Cale gets ready and loads the rocket launcher. Soon, Burian’s car comes into view. Cale takes aim on the first car in the procession. If he could breathe, he’d be holding it right now! Whoosh! The rocket streaks down from the rooftop into the hood of the lead car. The car explodes, the doors flying off in a gout of flame. The second car stops behind the first and Burian’s men get out. They start shooting at Cale as he reloads another shot. Whoomp! Cale sends another round into the car full of goons and blows them away! Then from the lead car a terrifying screech fills the street as Burian, on fire, rips his way out of the burning wreck! Cale watches as Burian falls to the street. The vampire crime lord howls at Cale for a moment before the flames burn him away into cinders. Cale picks up his gear and quickly leaves, as police and firefighters converge on the scene.
Scene 5 - Two Sides of the Same Coin
- Cale calls Mickey and later picks him up at Romeo’s Diner. The news is going crazy with the story of the “terrorist attack” on the streets. Mickey looks at the TV on the counter as Cale comes in. “You crazy bastard.” Cale grins. Cale wants to lie low for a few hours until it is close to dawn, and time for the final phase of his plan. They drive down to the waterfront.
- Across the water, Cale can see the restaurant where he and Bianca used to go. Cale tells Mickey that he wonders what the point of all this is. What does it mean? Mickey and Cale get into a deep discussion about the nature of what they are and what they are supposed to do with their powers. Cale wonders if the things he has done mean that he was damned automatically when he was turned, without being allowed to choose. Mickey believes Cale is making a choice now. Cale asks Mickey a favor. “No one is going to remember this except you. I just want you to do one thing for me. I want you to remember me as a man, and not a monster.” Mickey nods his head; of course he will.
- It is an hour before sunrise. Time to go. Cale calls Helton. “Well sir, I’m sure you’ve seen the news. You won’t have to bother with Burian any more.” Helton is quite happy. “Excellent!” Cale says he’s coming in and Helton says he’ll be waiting.
- Mickey and Cale drive to the Templar building. The lights of the City reflect along the hood of the car. They pull into the parking garage. Cale gets out and gears up. Mickey is also ready. “If I’m not out by 15 minutes before sunrise, you get out of here.” Mickey checks his radio and says, “Good luck.” Cale thanks him and turns to go, then he reaches in his pocket and takes out the locker key. “Remember that edge I was telling you about?” He tosses the key to Mickey. “By the balls my friend, by the balls!” Cale says with a smile and moves out.
Scene 6 - Retribution
- Cale walks up on the loading dock guardpost. The security staff don’t seem to have noticed anything yet. Cale quickly dominates the guard and drains him of blood until he passes out. He needs the energy for the fight he knows is coming. Then Cale logs onto the security mainframe and shuts down the all the cameras in the building. That should wake them up!
- Cale proceeds into the building. So far so good. No opposition. He passes through the mall heading for the express elevators. A Knight and two uniformed guards are there but don’t challenge Cale, even though he is armed to the teeth! There is an alert, and Cale tells them to go check the stairwells and main doors. When they leave, Cale gets into the elevator. It’s too easy. Something is wrong.
- The express elevator rises to the 70th floor. The car stops, and the doors slide open. Cale glides out, moving tactically, all his vampiric senses fully switched on. He heads up the escalators to 73 and into the museum, and from there, into the stairway leading to 75. As he reaches the middle of the stairs, on the security team channel, he hears Davis say, “Take him.” Oh shit!
- “Mickey! You’re gonna have company!” Cale snaps into his throat mike. Down in the garage, Mickey looks in his rearview mirror to see three security guards advancing on his car. Mickey starts the engine and peels out. From the door in front of him, two more guards with submachine guns emerge and open fire. 9mm rounds shatter the windshield but Mickey holds course, driving straight at the guards. At the last moment he cranks the emergency brake, whipping the car sideways and smashing the guards (and the car) into the wall.
- Cale charges to the top of the steps and comes out into the 75th floor hall. Helton is standing next to the blood pool with a glass full of vitae in his hand. Davis is next to him. “Helton!” Cale screams.
“Why, Mr. Cale, well done. Good job,” Helton says. “Helton, it’s over!“ Cale says angrily. “I know you set me up. I know you had Bianca and me killed. I know you turned me to use me as a weapon against Burian. I know you’re going to try to destroy me now too. You don’t have any other choice.” “Even now I can see that I made the right decision, choosing you. Can’t we put it behind us?” “No! Not anymore! You’re gonna pay for all the lives you’ve taken and destroyed without retribution! Every single one! Mine, Bianca’s, all of them!” Cale shouts. “Such a shame it had to end this way David. You had so much potential.” As Helton says this, fifteen Templar Knights in full battle gear rush into the hall, ten in front of Cale and five behind. Weapons are leveled and safeties off.
- Infuriated and consumed with hatred, Cale roars, “You haven’t seen my full potential motherfucker!!”
- Cale explodes into action, he turns and raises his rifle to his shoulder, letting off a whole magazine at the Knights behind him, then charging in behind the fusillade. Three Knights go down in a welter of blood, as Cale impacts the other two. He takes one down barehanded and the other Knight drops as gunfire from the other guards obliterates him and everything around him except Cale. Cale takes a few hits, but in his state, and with his vampiric strength, bullets don’t hurt him. Regardless, Cale takes cover behind a pillar to reload.
- Emerging again he charges forward hammering out another hail of 7.62 rounds. Bullet casings rain down on the marble floor. The Knights blast away, shredding the antique columns but they can’t stop Cale. Cale advances, firing reloading, firing, reloading. Each burst is 30 rounds of pure hatred scything down Cale’s enemies like wheat.
- He whirls into close combat, fists and feet crushing windpipes, snapping bones. When his rifle runs empty, he whips out his pistol and pulls the trigger until the slide locks back empty, and another Knight goes down in a heap. Cale drops his pistol and leaps to the attack again. Cale throws one guard into the blood pool next to Helton (who seems to be enjoying this). Finally only two Knights remain. Cale empties another magazine into one hapless Knight. These guys may be good and some of them may be ghouls, but in his rage Cale is unstoppable.
- He gets the last guard into a hold and drains him of blood until he passes out. Cale is a terrifying sight; his clothes are shredded and bloody, and blood from the guard runs down his chin. He drops the guard and turns screaming, “Helton!!”.
- Now Davis steps forward, drawing two wooden stakes. He’s ready to get it on. “It shoulda been me, Cale!” he says. “You stupid bastard. You had it all in your hands and you threw it away!”
“Davis, if you had any idea what it was like you wouldn’t be saying that. Is that what you want to be? His dog? Because that’s all you’ll ever be!” Cale says. Davis howls in rage and charges forward.
- Down in the basement, things are getting stickier for Mickey. Three more Templar shooters are Swiss-cheesing Mickey’s car. Mickey floors the accelerator and hurls the car around the parking garage. He drives through a hail of gunfire, feeling a round or two impact in his body armor (and thank heaven for that!), before slamming his car into the Nissan the shooters were taking cover behind. The bad guys are sandwiched between the two wrecked vehicles. The car trashed, Mickey grabs his gear and bails, looking for another ride. He spots a Mercedes and with practiced ease, slim-jims the lock, jumps in, and hot-wires the Merc. He gets on the radio to Cale. No answer.
- Davis rushes at Cale, who also draws two of his teak stakes. Davis may not be a vampire, but no one wants a two-foot length of wood stuck in their chest! Davis is giving it all he’s got, and so does Cale. In close combat they are evenly matched, so Cale is looking to end this as quickly as possible. Cale dodges and spins, narrowly missing a strike to Davis’ head.
- The Beast stirs inside Cale but he fights it down, not wanting to call on it if he doesn’t have to. They circle and close, and Cale drops and goes low, sweeping Davis’ legs out from under him. Davis is struggling to get up as Cale closes in and jams the stake into Davis’ neck. The ghoul staggers back; he’s done. Davis gags on his own blood, gasping disbelievingly at the stake, and dies slumped against a shattered pillar. Now it’s only Cale and Helton.
- Helton is clapping laconically. “Bravo, Cale,” he says. Cale knows this was all just a show, that the sick old fuck was getting his rocks off watching Cale rip his men to pieces. Helton has an old cavalry sword in his hand and he unsheathes the blade.
“You pathetic coward,” Cale sneers angrily. “Now it’s just you and me. No one left to hide behind, no more schemes.”
- With a snarl, Helton attacks. Cale also engages aiming a vicious blow at Helton with the stake. He connects but Helton manages to deflect the point. Cale and Helton each look for an opening. Helton lunges again and cuts Cale but between Cale’s body armor and his supernatural toughness, the saber does no damage. Cale also manages to get another strike in on Helton but can’t drive it home. The old monster is too tough.
- They back off for a moment. Now Cale and Helton have the measure of each other. Cale has never fought a vampire before in a stand up fight, but now he thinks maybe Helton hasn’t either, or maybe it’s been so long since Helton’s had to do any of the dirty work himself he’s out of practice. Is Helton actually afraid? It doesn’t matter; only one of them is coming out of this in one piece.
- “It’s over Helton,” Cale says. Despite his bravado, he knows he has to try a different tactic. The only way to beat a vampire is to be a vampire.
- “Only for you, Cale,” snaps Helton as he moves to attack. Cale dodges and in one swift motion, grabs Helton’s arms, twists him around and ends up pinning Helton in an arm lock from behind. Cale is perfectly poised to bite Helton’s neck. “Payback’s a bitch!” he says and sinks his fangs into Helton’s neck.
- The potency of Helton’s blood is stunning. Cale never expected anything like this and is almost overwhelmed. Helton shrieks and struggles mightily. Cale hangs on, hoping to maybe drain Helton dry, but Helton breaks free. He’s lost a lot of blood. There’s only one option Helton has left. Cale can see he’s losing it.
- The Beast consumes Helton and the old vampire shrieks in fury as he leaps at Cale.
- Cale calls on his supernatural speed and rolls forward, plucking a white phosphorous grenade from his vest. He pulls the pin and as Helton goes over him, Cale jams the grenade down the front of Helton’s pants! Cale quickly gets clear as Helton rounds on him, perhaps, in his frenzy, not realizing what Cale has done.
Cale looks at Helton and says, “Roast, you fucker.”
- The grenade goes off with a whump, and Helton is covered in white-hot chemical fire burning at 5,000 degrees. His clothes go up like a torch, his hair melts away. He’s not dead yet and so he throws everything he’s got at Cale. Hoping to buy a few more seconds, Cale dodges away, grabs his detonator and sets off the explosive charges he’s wired on the 75th floor.
- The multiple explosions shatter the windows into a million pieces, and the shockwaves knock Cale flat and throw Helton to one side. Down in the basement, even Mickey can feel the building shake.
- Helton is still not down, but the white phosphorous is still burning him up. Cale dodges the shrieking, man shaped torch, until finally, Helton collapses to his knees in front of Cale. Helton’s blackened face is a twisted and burned mask of impotent fury. Soon he is a pillar of charred ashes that collapses into dust.
Scene 7 - Express elevator to hell, going down!
- Cale can hardly believe it. He’s done it. Helton is gone. Now there is only one thing left to do.
- His watch is showing about 25 minutes before sunrise. It’s time to leave. As he heads for the stairway, he radios down to Mickey, hoping his friend is still alive. Mickey signals back. He had a little trouble but things are quiet at the moment. “I did it! I got him!. I’m on my way out!”
- Cale reaches the express elevator and gets in. First he pulls the access panel, then wires a circuit bypass into it. Then he opens the elevator hatch and puts a steel cutting charge on the main cable. Crouching down inside the car, he fires the charge. The main cable snaps with a sharp bang and the elevator car lurches downward but stops as the emergency brakes kick in. Now Cale braces himself, and flips the cutoff switch on the emergency brakes. The elevator car drops like a rock!
- Cale hangs on, riding the car down, around floor 20, he flips the brake switch again. The G-forces slam him to the floor as the car screeches down the shaft. It finally crashes to a halt in on the garage level, the impact blasting the doors open. A normal human being would be smashed into jelly, but these qualities do not describe Cale! His wounds are not serious.
- Cale crawls from the wreckage as Mickey pulls the car up. “I see you traded up,” says Cale as he drops into the Mercedes. “You crazy fucker!” Mickey says in amazement. “The cemetery! Go! Go! Go!” Cale says.
- Mickey floors it and the car peels out, racing from the garage into the street outside. Behind them, the police and fire department are rapidly converging on the shattered Templar building. The sky in the east is just beginning to brighten. The sun will be up very soon. Cale tosses his shot up gear in the back seat, and puts his pistol on the dash.
Scene 8 - Absolution
- As night begins to give way to day, they enter the cemetery. Cale directs Mickey to where Bianca’s grave is and Mickey stops the car in front of it. Mickey looks at his watch. Cale’s got about two minutes before the sun breaks over the horizon. Cale gets out of the car.
- “Well, I guess this is it. I hope there’s something better for us all.” Cale says extending his hand.
- Mickey takes it, looks Cale in the eye. “I think so,” he says.
- “Goodbye Mickey, and good luck. Thank you,” Cale says calmly and turns to Bianca’s grave. The sun is just about to come over the horizon and Cale can already feel its heat. He kneels and puts his hand on Bianca’s name carved into the cool stone.
- “It’s done. I’m here Bianca. I’m with you,” Cale says quietly.
- The suns lifts into the sky, it’s rays washing over Cale. He’s burning, the sunlight is consuming him, and he knows it, but strangely, there is no pain.
- Cale looks up to the sky, seeing the sun again, and for the last time. Everything goes white and Cale can hear the sound of birds, welcoming a new day.