Here's Day 8 of my NaNoWriMo novel. Again I'm disabling comments on these entries. Don't get me wrong, I love feedback and comments, in this case though they would only serve to distract me and cause me to second guess myself. Finally, this novel is of course Copyright © 2012 Steven Lake & Engen Books. Word Count today: 1702
They were both just starting to recover their composure when the office door clicked shut. They both looked over at who had come in. A man stood by the door, he was just over six feet tall and had an athletic build that was complimented by a finely tailored suit. He had shoulder length blond hair with white streaks in it and his piercing green eyes peeked over a pair of designer sunglasses.
"Sebastian" said Ryan as he got to his feet "It's good to see you. What brings you to our neck of the woods?"
"I have come on a matter of some urgency." Sebastian replied. "We find ourselves in need of a detective and since you, Ryan are both a detective and one of our kindred, we come to you trusting in your discretion."
"Of course, of course." said Ryan
Frank looked puzzled and asked "Ryan who is this guy and who are the 'we' he's talking about?"
Ryan jumped at the sound of Frank's voice and turned to him "Oh, right, you don't know. Well how could you know? Frank, I'd like you to meet Sebastian, he's a member of the city's ruling Vampire council. He's been mentoring me in getting used to my new abilities and is the general public spokesman for he council."
Ryan turned back to Sebastian. "Sebastian I present my lifelong friend and business partner, Francis, Frank Kennington."
"Nice to meet you Sebastian" said Frank "I've seen you on the news of course, but I never thought I'd meet a member of the council, let alone that you'd require our services."
Sebastian nodded "It is good to meet you as well Mr. Kennington, Ryan speaks highly of you as a friend and of your support and understanding after his, shall we say, transition."
"Hell there wasn't anything to it." said Frank "He's still Ryan, so he developed an allergy to sunlight, doesn't change who he is really. But that's not why you're here, what can we do for the council? Don't you guys usually handle things, internally?"
"Straight to business, yes I like that. You are quite correct, we do generally take care of matters without external assistance, but this time we are in need of some human intervention. We trust Ryan and would hope that same trust may be extended to you as well Mr. Kennington."
"Please, just Frank is fine and yes you can count on my discretion in any matter. Respecting client privacy is the most important aspect of our business. Secrecy is stock and trade for detectives. How can we help?" Frank asked as he motioned to the client chair while he moved to his desk.
Ryan interrupted them "Frank I think Sebastian will be more comfortable sitting on the couch, there's no need for the usual formality, I'm sure he'd prefer this meeting to stay off the record."
"I do not follow you're meaning Ryan" said Sebastian.
"For regular clients Sebastian, when they sit in the chair Frank was directing you to, they activate a pressure switch that starts a camera and digital recorder to give us video and audio recordings of any conversation that we can review or use as evidence later." Ryan explained "As I said, I'm sure that neither you, nor the council would like to have what we're gonna talk about recorded anywhere."
"No, that is quite right. Mr. Kenn.. Frank, while I do admire your usual habits, we would prefer no documentation of anything we are going to discuss. I hope this will not be too much trouble for you."
"None at all." Replied Frank "Have a seat over here, pick a couch and tell us your story."
Sebastian seated himself on the edge of the couch, his back, arrow straight, and looked from Ryan to Frank as he spoke. "One of the elders has gone missing. Historically this hasn't been much of an issue, Vampires can be very solitary, sometimes centuries have passed before one of us has sought out another. In recent years, especially after the formation of the city councils and our emergence into the modern world, we have endeavoured to maintain communication with one another and notify at least one council member if we are intending to go into seclusion."
"Someone isn't playing by the rules I take it?" Reasoned Frank
"Indeed, and normally this would not be an issue. Some of the elders have removed themselves before and it has been of little consequence, however this is a unique case. Zachariah was a powerful sorcerer in life, and his powers only increased in undeath. We have kept a close eye on him to make sure that his experiments didn't put anyone at risk, Vampire or human."
"Hang on a second" said Frank "You're telling me that magic is real? Spells and incantations and stuff like that?"
"As real as Vampires are." Sebastian answered. "But surely you are no stranger to magics, you exorcise ghosts and deal with any manner of creatures on a daily basis, no?"
"Yes, but those are all physical manifestations, preternatural more than supernatural, tangible things. Even helpings ghost move on from this world is more a matter of faith and belief than any so called magic." Frank explained.
"Ahh but magics are founded in the strongest of faiths, a spell caster must have the utmost faith in himself and his abilities to make it all work. Best example is the Wicca faith, whose practitioners success with spells comes from their unwavering belief in themselves and in their Goddess. Does this make things easier to follow?"
"Yes it does." answered Frank
"Good. As I said, Zachariah was one of the most powerful magic users when he was alive, the passing of nine centuries only enhanced his power that much more. I recent years he had been working on making contact with other planes, other realities and we were there watching every step to ensure that all possible precautions were taken. He was having some successes, he contacted some of the lower realms and even a couple of dimensions parallel to our own. Nothing too risky or out of his control. He uses a mirror, centred in a circle of protection, as a portal and he can open and close it almost as an act of will. The circle contains the magics and prevents anything from the within the portal from interacting with our world."
"That's incredible." Said Ryan "It's almost unbelievable. The things he must have seen, it's staggering. You said he's just up and disappeared?"
"Yes he has" replied Sebastian. "Even for one of us this is an impressive feat, to vanish without council knowledge is unheard of. But Zachariah's disappearance is but the first of two problems. The second problem that we hope is not the case, could place everything in jeopardy."
"Please continue then." said Frank.
"It has been almost six months since we lost contact with Zachariah, again this is not unusual for the elders among us. We sent an agent to check on him, but we no longer have access to his home. In the case of any human home, a Vampire cannot enter without an invitation, but a Vampire may enter another’s domain without need of an invitation. Our agent was unable to pass the threshold of any door or window into Zachariah's house, there are barriers in place. This means that someone living has taken up residence."
"I'm starting to see where we fit into this puzzle." Said Frank "I don't have any metaphysical limitation preventing me from going into the house and once I'm in, I can invite Ryan or anyone else for that matter, inside."
"Quite correct Frank. With your and Ryan's experience, I'm sure that gaining access and discovering what is happening in the house will be of little difficulty. Firstly we want to know what has become of Zachariah and second, we need to know if the portal is active or dormant."
"Ok wanting to know what's happened to your missing Vampire I get, but why am I thinking that the portal is the bigger issue here?" Asked Frank
Sebastian stared straight ahead and seemed to turn into a statue for a few moments, then he looked back at Frank. "If the portal is active, with no consciousness directing it, then it can open to any realm, any reality, any point in the universe. Some realms are benign, while others make even Us immortals fearful. With that door open, anything on the other side that is curious enough might just try to come through and the consequences of that could be dire indeed."
"We're talking 'end of the world bad' aren't we?" Asked Ryan.
"Yes I'm afraid we are" Sebastian replied.
"Well shit!" Said Frank as he reached for the tumbler he laid down earlier "You'll forgive me if I have a drink to help digest that information. It's not everyday that I'm asked to put myself in a life or death situation, let alone one that could mean life or death for everyone on the planet."
"Wish I could join you there partner." Ryan lamented.
"What is preventing you?" Asked Sebastian
"Well, the whole Vampire bit really. The fact that we can't take in anything but blood kinda puts a damper on things."
"You can consume alcohol, nothing prevents this." Sebastian replied
"Since when? I mean I tried a beer just after I changed and it came right back up. Waste of a good beer but it showed me what I could and couldn't do." Said Ryan
"No, beer you cannot drink this is true, but spirits pose no issues for our systems. The alcohol is processed through the blood just as it used to and then evaporates through the skin." explained Sebastian
"Well in that case, Frank pour me a double. Will you join us in a glass Sebastian?"
"Yes I think I will given the circumstances." He said.
"Gentlemen," said Frank as he passed over their glasses "to the prevention of the end of the world."
"Of the universe." amended Sebastian.
Frank almost choked on his drink but kept it down despite the burning in his throat and the tears in his eyes.