It’s Underground

I didn’t waste time trying to explain Sage to the men who were now standing behind me. I pulled up the cameras in the area of the first X I had looked at. Nothing overly important in the area. It’d be simpler if we had more than one set of eyes looking at one set of screens. But we had what we had and we’d manage either way.

I still didn’t know what we were looking for and neither did Simon or Walker but we stared at the feeds in the area.

Walker pointed out the next one. “Here try this area.” He gave me the address and I pulled up the feeds in the area. There were atm cameras, and traffic cameras. And some from shops too. Sage had given me more than what the cops see. He hacked the city wide systems. Which made me wonder how many cameras Sage had his eyes on. How many cell phones were tagged as interesting. My best friend was a voyeur. He loved to watch – watching got him off. And it didn’t really matter what.

We walked through the areas with each camera and still nothing came to mind.

Simon gave me another location. I knew the area. It was near Sage’s house in Hell’s Kitchen. He’d chosen the area specifically for the closeness to a subway station, fiber optic internet he could hack into with ease. Which got me thinking. “Can we get an overlay of the utilities running through the city?”

As I said it things happened on the screen. Walker jumped. “What the hell?”

I grinned. “The Wicked Truth is still listening. He does that from time to time.”

“Zoom out with the overlay.” I said and things happened. I started reading out locations and Sage marked them all on the map. It was kinda like magic, but I had a voyeuristic hacker who was apparently interested in my case.

There was an X marked near the New York Stock Exchange, and several other high profile locations. Not on them, but near them. All of them not in places that didn’t look like they could hide the the devices easily. “Can you put the subway map on too?”

A laughing skull appeared on my screen and then the overlay happened. I think Sage agreed with my assessment. Sure enough each of the marked Xs were in subway tunnels. Every. Single. One. It seemed we were going down into the ground to find dragons. Though I wasn’t sure what we were looking for.

Simon was eager. “So when do we get to go?” he looked at me with a grimace, “Boss man?”

“Do you know how to disarm a bomb?” I asked.

He shook his head. “Well, we need to get someone who does before we go down there” I did a few little tricks I knew to send the maps to Walkers but Sage was already doing that. He was too good. And it wasn’t the first time I’d asked him for tech help that the Venatori would pay him for. Just the first big case that had other people working with me. “Walker should have the map now on his phone. You need to call Anabel and see about what that bomb is made of, and find someone who can disarm bombs. We have no idea how many of them there are.” I sighed, “I will contact the vampires and make sure they don’t kill you while you are down there.”

Simon was walking out the door when he stopped and looked at me. “What?”

“The cursed vampires are controlled by their sires and the absence of one they are controlled by the master of the underground. If he hasn’t given them instructions, they tend to feed on the humans who wander too far into their territory. And since you don’t know the underground you don’t know where they hide.”

“Do you?” Simon retorted.

“No, but I’m not stupid enough to go into the tunnels without alerting the vampires to my presence. And I don’t have to travel through the tunnels if I don’t want to.” I grinned at my statement as I put the phone to my ear.

Ant answered groggily, “What the fuck do you want?”

“The fact that you answered means you either didn’t sleep yet, or you were already awake.”

“I was awake, it’s fucking daylight though. What do you want?” Ant grouched at me.

“Liaison.”

“For who?”

“Bernstein. Seems my dragon has gone down into the underground.”

“Fuck Nox. You owe me for this, I hate that guy.”

“I know Ant, please. I need him not to kill any Venatori down there looking for bombs.”

On the other side of the phone it sounded like Ant had sat up quickly, “What? Bombs?”

“The dragon I’m tracking is a bomb maker, the locations on a map in his apartment are all subterranean in nature and I think he’s planting or planted them.”

“Come to me, I’ll take you to Bernstein then to these locations.”

“Alright.” I said and hung up. “I have to go talk to their leader, and then you can go down. Start here.” I pointed at the X farthest from us. “Then work your way back in. That will give us enough time to make sure the vampires don’t kill you.” I pointed a few blocks over. “This is the subway entrance that should get you where you need to go.

Walker acknowledge me with a nod. “I’ll call you before we enter the subway and head into the tunnel.”

“Sounds good. Make sure you take someone to disarm the bomb if you find it.” I said.

Simon asked, “You aren’t going to ask us not to kill the dragon.”

I shrugged. “You’re call not mine. You are hard core, if you don’t think capturing him alive to tell us where all the bombs are and how many he’s planted is a bad idea, that’s on you.”

Walker escorted Simon out and I followed. It was going to be a long day I thought to myself as I headed down the stairs to the street. I would be at the Night Life building in about ten minutes at the pace I planned to set.

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