Dae’lin’s office was across the hall from the main conference room also known as the fish bowl. There was another more private conference room but that was reserved for council meetings and high profile meetings. Us peons didn’t get to use it. I only glanced to see what was going on inside. There was a slideshow of images and people nodding as the presenter spoke. I wondered what they were discussing but I didn’t have to wonder long as I was about to knock on Dae’lin’s door she grabbed my arm and ushered me into the room. “You’re late.”
“You said no rush.” I corrected.
“You are never one to not run to me.”
“Dae’lin, you can’t be pissed at me you said no rush.”
The short brunette stopped and stared up at me then let go of a ragged breath of air. “Nox, I didn’t know they’d be here. I’m sorry. This case is bigger than just what I thought.”
I opened the door and walked into the meeting. A big black man looked at me with a scowl. There were two other people in the room, the presenter was a hot Indian looking woman with the scarlet dot in the middle of her forehead. She had to be a Dowager. She frowned at me, “Nice of you to finally join us Mr. Sétanta.”
I shrugged. “I was told it was no rush. I apologize. It won’t happen again.” I said it for both her and Dae’lin and too my seat next to a blonde.
Ms. Dowager continued on, “Now that Mr. Sétanta is here we can actually get to the meat of the problem.”
“You are all aware of the Clandestine Providence. Violators are punished by death. In the recent few months we’ve seen quite a few instances across the country of Dragon’s revealing one face that until recently only one man had escaped from to make a report – Dragon’s fire.”
That was why I was here. “There have been three sightings in the past three years of a man or woman who have opened up their mouths and fire shot out and that’s just in New York City alone. The two prior had been deemed parlour tricks. This one however was in the middle of a bank robbery.”
I raised my hand and Ms. Dowager glared at me. If looks could kill… She nodded her head. “What were the other two doing? I get the ruling but what was going on around them.”
She shook her head, “I don’t know it doesn’t matter.”
“It could.” I said but wave her on and she growled at me.
Dowager looked at the blonde sitting next to me. “Mr. Moore, what have you found so far with the robbery.”
He shrugged. “Nothing was taken but the cash in the drawers.” Footage of the bank robbery started playing on the screen and I watched things play out. There were two of them, one wearing a black leather vest with patches all over it. “These dragons…”
I interrupted. “He’s human.”
“How the hell do you know?” Moore yelled at me. “They both look human to me.” And then the woman breathed fire at the camera and it went out. “See.”
I sighed, “She’s a dragon, I can see her unshifted form, he’s just a man. What did he do before they took the money.”
“What do you mean? We don’t care about the human affairs.” The big black man spoke slowly as if I were an idiot.
“He handed the teller something at gunpoint and she did something, then he thrust the bag at her and told her to empty the drawer. What happened?”
“That’s human affairs, Mr. Sétanta.” Ms. Dowager said. “We don’t care what happened.”
I nodded. “Why am I here?”
“Ms. Rivera says you are the best tracker around. We can’t find these dragons. We want you to help Moore and Harvard find them.”
“And the fact that I survived Dragon’s fire has nothing at all to do with it.” I laughed.
Ms Dowager stood in front of me, the conference table the only thing separating us. “Mr. Sétanta. It is always good to have the best possible outcome with the fewest resources. You fill the need of many slots on this mission. Normally Harvard and Moore are paired with another Magnus. But as I’m told this is your city, and you have more connections than the all the Venatori combined. We want these two caught and dead before the week is out. The damage is too great already.”
I sighed, “Fine. I want all the files on the job, and I want all the files on the last two dragon’s breath. It’s be wonderful if you could give them all to me from all over the country – the world too if you got that.”
“Why?” Everyone but Dae’lin asked at the same time.
And she was the one to answer in a cool confident voice, “Because he sees things we don’t ladies and gentlemen. I know you all think I’m a fool for trusting his judgement, for making you bring him in on this case. But my gut says it’s bigger than just a simple case of a dragon breathing fire. His father’s gift is that of seeing the future, his is a little more complicated than that. He sees the patterns in things, things we can’t even possibly begin to imagine that float in this world, he sees without trying. Everything leaves a trail. He unravels it.”
Ms. Dowager looked at Dae’lin and sighed, “He’s the reason all your agents get more than what they went after to begin with.”
“Yes, Anabel. Nox is the reason my agents bring home more than just the dead monster. They bring home the root of the problem.”
The big black man snorted. “Your record too, Ms. Rivera if I must say also has the most unsolved cases due to escaped or vanished supernaturals.”
Dae’lin smirked. “Have those problems come back to haunt us?”
Ms. Dowager sighed, “No, Dae’lin they have not.” She turned to me, “What happened in these cases?”
I shrugged. “80% of our caseload is fledgling vampires and therians who with the right teachings can control their hunger and their outbursts. Usually I send their kind to them first. I’d also like to point out that Dragons are the least likely to go rogue. So the fact that we’ve had 3 dragons breath fire in the same number of years tells me that the Dragons as a whole are up to something, or there is a Dragon faction breaking the laws of their own kind for some other reason. Dragons are lawful creatures, Ms. Dowager. They aren’t made by a disease, just like we don’t get many calls to kill Primeval Vampires. It’s mostly those that were once human that have problems.”
“Are you blaming their humanity?” Harvard growled at me.
“Not at all. But it’s the fact that they weren’t born that way. They were born human, they didn’t get to grow into their powers naturally. Their blood lust and hunger don’t develop naturally. Think what it would be like if it were possible for a baby to be breed and grown until adulthood. And we expected this new clean brain to function like an adult. It couldn’t. It wouldn’t even know how to walk. It’s the same with the therians and the vampires. All this raw power and they don’t know what to do with it. They are just babies with adult minds.”
Dae’lin was smiling happily at me. She really did like when I sounded knowledgeable in my given field. Her and Dorian both tried to get me to write all these common sense things down, but I never had.
“So what do they do with these babies?” The blonde asked.
“They teach them. One of my first vampires that I actually tracked down and handed over to Il Cane, he now works night shifts downstairs at the coffee shop. He’s one hell of a barista. He’s night manager too. Good responsible kid. I believe he frequents The Roving Rave to feed every other night.”
“So you keep tabs on all your pet projects?” Dowager askes.
“In a way. I ask about them in general and if someone’s doing something exceptional I get an update. Most of the time I just meet with the City powers to make sure they don’t need me to interfere in anything.”
Dowager slapped her hands on the table, “So you admit to interfering in cases.”
“Of course I interfere in cases that are absolutely abhorrent. Why do you kill 16 year old kids who turn wolf for the first time. 16 is way too early for anyone to ever turn, so when they do on the rare occasion they wolf out in public and they terrorize people. It was an accident, it’s not supposed to happen until their early 20s. Don’t punish him because he was an earlier bloomer.”
I sighed. “It’s like when a kid sparks at 3. We don’t kill them. We start teaching them, it’s hard, and they usually don’t make it but fuck, we don’t kill em.”
“Maybe we should kill them.” Harvard whispered.
“You mean that they should have killed me.”
“It did take you two years to get through your initial training.” Ms. Dowager added. “Meeting dismissed.” She added, “Mr. Sétanta. I will give you clearance to look at whatever files you need.”