Eight Earth weeks earlier…
The image was burnt onto Gregory’s retinas. The pink manic eyes of The Rabbit in the window of the Belgian tram.
Stiletto had taken a wrong turn, in more than one sense of the word. Now his old Bugatti was screaming in reverse between medieval buildings as the looming city tram pursuing them gained on the startled friends.
The day had begun much better. They had been in Ghent, to attend the Science Fiction Convention. Gregory, Stiletto and Lady Bane had arrived in good time and made their presence in the great hall. Comic artist legend, Ian Gibson, a well-respected Master of the genre, and well represented in Lord Stiletto’s fabled library, was unexpectedly at the adjacent table. Stiletto was delighted to meet this unsuspecting mentor, and was fortunate to spend time talking to him and learning from the old Master. Was this why he miscalculated the shenanigans of The Rabbit? Like an avalanche that starts with a single pebble, the origin of Karma is often lost in the mists of events.
Rubber tyres burned and howled as Stiletto accelerated the car in reverse, horn blaring to clear the Saturday evening crowds. Once over a small bridge he applied his handbrake, and the car squealed in a tight arc almost about its own axis and shot backwards in a straight line down a narrow side street.
Stuck on its tracks, the tram hammered past. “It was the Girl with the Red Hair,” commented Lady Bane. A part of Gregory’s mind had noticed her, driving the tram at the fleeing car, but most of his horizon had been filled with the piercing pink eyes of The Rabbit.
Gregory was reasonably sure that vampires didn’t exist, at least in the daytime, so he was quite surprised to meet a Steampunk one. Back at the convention, he and Sarah were manning the table whilst Stiletto was off wandering the halls. A beautiful lady in full role play, had been talking to Gregory and had his full attention. It was the teeth he found so fascinating, they looked completely genuine. She claimed she had paid thousands for the dental work.
Lady Bane had seen some sights in her life. Stiletto coming through the door in his shirt sleeves and waistcoat, but still wearing his bowler hat and goggles, threw the broken, bloody chair leg into the waste paper basket.
“Goddamn vampires,” he spoke calmly as he took his empty pipe from his pocket and nonchalantly put it between his teeth.
“What, not the one talking to Gregory?” she asked in amusement.
“The very same. The genuine article. He actually invited her in, to his room.” He chuckled, taking his pipe out to speak more clearly, “Besotted, quite besotted!”
Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2015 2018