View Full Version : Vampire Games 13, the story


Amtram
12-14-13, 06:16 PM
Much of the game went on behind the scenes. This story was assembled from the posts and Private Messages, so you can go back and see what everyone was doing behind everyone else's back. I was compiling this as we played, and I believe it's pretty complete, but there may be a couple of places where things are missing. Go easy on me. . .this was a lot to keep track of! So, enjoy!

First, our player bios:

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Vampire 1:

You are actually on a separate mission here. You were sent by Mr. Hudspeth to seek out his rival who is trying to infiltrate his corporation and destroy it from the inside. It’s known that you work as management in Corporate Security, but most people think that means you’re in the basement watching surveillance cameras. Obviously, you have much more responsibility than that, but nobody knows except Mr. Hudspeth and you. You’ve been given free rein to kill anyone else (but please, not the crew) but if you can find out who the spy is and get his/her laptop and files as well, you have been promised enormous financial rewards and legal protections. Look for not just a computer and file folders, but any kind of notebooks, diaries, even cell phone. Also keep in mind that there is a safe in Daniel the concierge’s office, and other places where these things could be hidden. If you kill the spy, you [I]will find something that will give you a clue if the spy has elected to hide the evidence elsewhere.

Turbochica is your progeny, and loyal to you, but is unaware of this mission, although she has been a Hudspeth employee for years. If you are going to do the kill, you are free to rifle through the room (or attempt to compel your victim to spill the beans prior to the kill.) If anyone else kills your suspect, you need to be more careful about looking for the goods. You have super speed, incredible hearing, and the ability to see in the dark, so you have a high possibility of finishing your search without detection.

Note: Turbochica is Mr. Hudspeth’s Administrative Assistant, and is therefore fairly high-ranking in the company hierarchy. She thinks you’re along because she was sent here by Mr. Hudspeth and she invited you along as her guest.

2. Turbochica
Vampire 2:

You are the progeny of Lunacie, but you feel you are the more level-headed of the two of you. You worked as an Administrative Assistant for Mr. Hudspeth for years before meeting Lunacie on another corporate recreational event, hit it off, spent a fun time together, and became a vampire yourself by choice. When Mr. Hudspeth extended the invitation for the cruise to you, he told you that you were welcome to bring a guest, and you chose Lunacie. She seems to be driven and sometimes impulsive, having left her humanity behind quite some time ago. The crew of the boat knows you and treats you with the respect you deserve because of your position in the company, but it’s clear that none of them particularly like you, so don’t trust any information they give you beyond the things they’re legally obligated to tell you.

You have super speed, incredible hearing, and the ability to see in the dark, but you have not yet completely mastered compulsion, so there is a chance that humans might be able to resist it. Be aware of this before attempting to compel another player. You know Abi, because he is the top salesman for the company, and so you have to treat him with respect because he is a favorite of Mr. Hudspeth. It is your option as to how friendly you want to pretend to be, but you know that he has a much better relationship with the crew than you do, so you might want to be neutral towards him and sit with him in groups to improve your chances of finding something out.

3. Ms. Mango
Hunter:

You’ve been hired by Mr. Hudspeth to find and kill Vampires who might be spying on the company. You have no idea why your employer would assume there are Vampires on a small cruise ship, but whatever. The close quarters of the ship make most of your projectile weapons too dangerous to use, but you might have some opportunities to get creative. You, of course, want to kill them yourself, but your employer doesn’t care whether you do it or someone else does – you’ll still get paid. But if the group decides to stake someone, and you’re pretty sure it’s a vampire, make certain to offer to wield the stake.

You’re actually quite social and appear like a completely normal person to everyone around you, even the Vampires, but sometimes you might explode about something that would seem pretty innocuous to other people, especially if it involves talk about Vampires.

Your cover is that you’re in shipping and receiving in a branch location – that’s why nobody recognizes you.

4. someothertime
Witch:

You work in Data Entry for the Hudspeth Corporation and were sent on this cruise as a reward for productivity. You’re not quite sure why you were chosen, because while you do work your behind off, you know you’re not the most productive employee in your department. Whatever – who’s going to turn down a free vacation on a cruise ship? Besides, it will give you time to sit down with your spell books and practice learning a few more things. You’re not friends with Turbochica, who’s one of Mr. Hudspeth’s Administrative Assistants, but you’ve known each other through work for a while, so you’re on good terms.

You know how to do the spell that disables supernaturals with incredible head pain. This works on the Vampires, but also on the Werewolf and the Hunter (new this game, because with fewer players, we need to make it a little more complicated.) You also know that vampires can walk in the daylight with the aid of a talisman made by a witch – it can be any piece of jewelry – but you have not yet learned the spell to detect or make one of these talismans. It is in your spellbook, but you will need to practice it for three days by making one in order to be able to detect one. If you decide to do this, you will need to inform me that you are practicing it each day you do so. (It doesn’t have to be three consecutive days.) You may also get creative and ask me if you can learn a spell of your own choosing. I’ll use die rolls to determine the possibility and the amount of time it will take you.

5. amberwillow
Werewolf:

Nobody knows you’re a werewolf, and you’d like to keep it that way. At least until you have to – right now you haven’t decided yet how you feel about any of the other passengers. You are very protective of someothertime and Fuzzy because of your more maternal wolf instincts. You came along on this trip even though you get seasick and don’t particularly care for water in any form. Soaking in the hot tub isn’t too awful, but it’s going to take a lot of persuading to get you in the pool. You work in the mailroom at Hudspeth Corporation, so you know almost all the names of the people who work in headquarters, but not so many faces. You know that Turbochica is Mr. Hudspeth’s Administrative Assistant (who gets all his mail, and whose face you know).

Someothertime is in Data Entry, and since you have to deliver a lot of big packages there, you recognize her face. You know Abi only by reputation, because he’s the company’s hotshot salesman and everyone talks about him.

6. Fuzzy
Paranormal Investigator:

That should actually be in scare quotes. You are old-school, and believe that Vampires burst into flames in daylight, are warded off with crosses, holy water, and garlic, and can’t be seen in mirrors. You think that witches can be kept away by putting a stripe of salt on the floor across the threshold of your cabin, and that werewolves can be killed only with silver bullets. Yes, you brought all those things with you. One can never be too safe, you know.

Your special, though, is that you really, honestly can conduct séances that sometimes work. The spirits you summon must be connected to the place where the séance is being conducted, though, so anyone who comes through on this trip will have to have died on the boat (on this voyage or a previous one. ) You need to convince two other players to join you for the séance to work, and the more players you have, the greater your chances of success. Ghosts can also give cryptic messages – again, the more people at the séance table, the more understandable those messages might be.

You are an employee of the Hudspeth Corporation, and your manager in Human Resources nominated you for this trip. You have no idea why, because all you really do is file and send out form letters, but you’re not going to look a gift horse in the mouth!

7. Abi
Salesman

You are absolutely here because you deserve it. You almost singlehandedly saved the company by undercutting its main rival, Cirrus Corporation, and getting billions of dollars of contracts with long-term commitments from no less than 14 major clients. You are a superstar, and you know it. Some people see you as amazing, and respect and admire you, but some others are turned off by your extreme self-confidence. Try to play this as a salesperson, and figure out why other players are doing things a certain way, what their stories are, what their objections are to particular other players. . .in other words, insert yourself into as many conversations and interactions as possible. Make friends with everyone you possibly can. Turbochica is an administrative assistant for Mr. Hudspeth, so you treat her respectfully because it gives Mr. Hudspeth one more reason to think you’re god’s gift to the company.

You are also on very good terms with TygerSan, the receptionist extraordinaire. She goes to special efforts to treat your clients and potential clients with incredible respect, and makes sure that everything is set up perfectly for client meetings at the headquarters building – and you’ve gotten some special rewards for her, in turn.

Special #1 – Each time you have a conversation with another player, you have a chance of deducing a secret that they’re hiding behind their words. PM me to ask in case I wasn’t paying enough attention.

Special #2 – Your hobby is botany. With the wealth you’ve amassed from your successful sales career, you have a greenhouse on the terrace of your spacious condo, filled with exotic plants, and a library full of books on esoteric facts about plants and pharmacognosy and herbalism. Because of this, you’re able to notice that hidden away in some of the less public areas of the ship, in pots of mixed plants, are wolfsbane, vervain, and leonotus leonurus flowers, which make an excellent tea to induce euphoria and a state of well-being – which might help you persuade a reluctant player to get more friendly with you.

Special #3 – You’ve been on this ship before, and not only have you left generous tips to all the crew (not just the listed NPCs) but you’ve written letters of commendation about all of them to Mr. Hudspeth, which has made quite an impact on their salaries, hours, benefits, and willingness to tell you things.

8. sarek
Cirrus Corporation Plant

You’ve been working as the guy who brings the coffee and snack cart all around headquarters for several years. If it weren’t for the fact that you know it’s a cover, you would have found it horribly demeaning, but it’s perfect for getting to know people and overhear things and check empty cubicles for passwords written on post-its and stuck to monitors and such (some people place advance orders, and when they’re not there, well, you’re just dropping off their blueberry muffin!) You’ve even gotten into Mr. Hudspeth’s private office because you found him the best almond croissant on the planet, and he likes to thank you personally for it every day. You are also friendly with Turbochica, his Administrative Assistant, who told you about his almond croissant fixation. Not friendly-friendly, obviously, since you’re just the snack cart guy, but in a way that you’ve been able to pick up a lot of information for your infiltration report just by hanging out and making small talk. You know amberwillow, from the mailroom, Fuzzy from Human Resources, someothertime from Data Entry, TygerSan from Reception, Abi from sales, and, of course, your girlfriend silivrentoliel – who is not really your girlfriend, but your bodyguard. However, this helps you because you’re almost always together, and are sharing a single cabin.

You have a laptop, a stack of files, and several notebooks of various sizes with cryptic information, and you are never without your cellphone, although you keep it silent and hidden. It’s a special model with an encrypted signal that works anywhere so you can get in touch with your employers, so it’s almost more important to guard than the information that you’re transporting to your contact at the end of the cruise. Mr. Hudspeth sent you on this trip as thanks for your almond croissant work, and even though you believe you have all the information you need, you never know what else you might find out from the other passengers.

Special – you have the manufacturer’s blueprint for the ship. You could give some of your less sensitive information to Daniel, the concierge, to be kept in the safe in his office, but most of what you have, you have to keep close at hand. If you have a suspicion that you have been found out or are going to be targeted for a kill, you will be able to make one choice – hide one of your items in one of the smaller secret spaces on the ship, or hide yourself in one of the larger ones. Second choice saves your life – for a while – but the longer you’re there, the more you risk detection.

9. silivrentoliel
Bodyguard

Sarek has been posing as the innocent coffee cart guy at Hudspeth headquarters for years. However, he is actually a spy planted by their biggest rival, Cirrus Corporation, and is carrying information he has gathered with him on the ship, to be delivered to a contact at the end of the trip. He has this information on a laptop, a stack of file folders, and an assortment of notebooks and note cards. He also has a cellphone that he keeps hidden on his person at all times that works even out in the middle of the ocean. Each item contains part of the intelligence he’s gathered, so if one thing is found, the remaining items are still valuable. You are posing as his girlfriend whom he invited along when Mr. Hudspeth rewarded him with this trip, and therefore staying in the same cabin.

He has shown you the blueprints of the ship, and pointed out the most likely places that he would hide his various items in case of his early demise, partly so you can try hiding anything he can’t get to hide quickly enough, and partly so you can retrieve them and deliver them to the contact if you can’t keep him alive. Your success at hiding/finding without detection will be determined by die roll if the items aren’t found as a result of game actions.

In your role as his “girlfriend,” you are protected because you’re hardly ever apart. While he knows nearly everyone on the cruise from headquarters, you’ve never met anyone, so you have an excuse to be with him all the time (and vote with him when votes are taken to stake someone, without the usual suspicion of being a supernatural!)

Your special, though, is that in addition to being nearly invisible as the tag-along girlfriend, you are also able to quite literally be almost invisible. Your training has taught you stealth and combat skills. You are not armed with a gun, but if you are attacked, you have an increased probability of warding off your attackers.

10. TygerSan
Receptionist

Even though the office building and your desk are impressively beautiful, you’ve never been on a cruise, and you’re so incredibly thrilled that you want to see and do everything. You were awarded this trip because of your willingness to take on additional tasks, cover for other employees, work overtime, and make an excellent impression on visitors and employees alike. At work, you are friendly, but in a controlled, competent manner. On this trip, you might get a little crazy, even though you’re surrounded by co-workers.

You know sarek, because he brings the coffee cart around, which is sometimes the most important thing you need to do your job. You’ve heard him talk about his girlfriend silivrentoliel, but you’ve never met her. You see Fuzzy, amberwillow, Lunacie, and someothertime come and go every day, but don’t know much about what they do. You know Turbochica because she’s Mr. Hudspeth’s Administrative Assistant, and therefore high on the corporate totem pole. Of course you know Abi, because he’s the company’s #1 salesman, and he’s gotten you a few rewards when you do him favors by treating his clients extra well when they call or come in for sales presentations. You also don’t know Ms. Mango, because she works in a different branch building, but you’re completely comfortable meeting new people and putting them at ease.

Your special is that you have a necklace that has been passed down from mother to daughter in your family for generations. Several hundred years ago, a powerful witch gave it to one of your great-great etc. grandmothers as protection against supernatural attacks.
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Amtram
12-14-13, 06:22 PM
Day One:
OK, everyone has received their roles via PM. Since we have only 10 players, we have no characters who booked passage on their own, only characters who have been invited by Mr. Hudspeth and a couple of their guests. Check yourselves into your beautiful cabins, and then come up to the restaurant area where a lovely buffet has been set up and the bar is open.

As soon as everyone has filled their plates and sat down, Ms. Amtram stands up and clinks her water glass with a knife to get everyone's attention.

"Welcome, everyone! I am so pleased to see you aboard the Olivia Benet for this employee appreciation cruise! I would like to convey Mr. Hudspeth's personal thanks to all of you for a job well done! Give yourselves a hand!"

She waits until the somewhat half-hearted applause dies down, not breaking her smile for a moment.

"Here at the table with me are some of the crew members you should know, because they will be responsible for making your trip more comfortable and enjoyable.

"Daniel, our concierge, is the gentleman you should contact if you have any special needs or requests, such as wake-up calls, food preferences, and phone calls. Unfortunately, your cell phones won't work once we're on our way, but Daniel can make radio contact for you. If you have any valuables you would like to store, he has a safe in his office for that purpose.

"To my left is Doctor Arthur Smith, whose office is one deck above us to the rear of the ship. It is our sincerest hope that none of you need him for anything more dire than a little mal-de-mer! He is well stocked with medications for that, though, so don't try to suffer through it.

"Standing to the right is Sophie, our Head of Housekeeping. She and her staff will do whatever they can to make your cabin clean and comfortable, and you can contact her using the intercom in your room any time of the day or night.

"Standing to the left is Edward, our Head Waiter. He manages both the restaurant and the food service in the lounge, and both bars. If you would like a server to bring you anything at any time anywhere on the ship, he can arrange it in advance - or just get the attention of any of the waitstaff, because when it comes to food and drink, we aim to make you want for nothing!"

This time, the applause is a little more heartfelt. Ms. Amtram finishes her speech with an encouragement to eat, mingle, get to know one another, and above all, have fun!

Abi has already toured the ship, as he had arrived hours before anyone else. He found, just as he suspected from his previous cruises, that the greenery in pots on the sundeck contained vervain, wolfsbane, and a lovely flower with hallucinogenic properties, all of which he carefully harvested and stored in his room and on his person. Now that he can relax, he starts having fun right away with Jack Daniels and Coke, hold the coke, and a plate filled with more food than he can possibly eat. Lunacie joins him, and they introduce themselves to one another. She’s a little nonplussed by his casual attitude, but they chat for a bit about their jobs and the cruise.

He makes a joke about being a Vampire, no, really, a Sales Executive, and Lunacie replies, “Wha ... ? Oh, I see, a joke. Hee hee. I work in corporate security. This is a lovely break from that.” Suddenly, she slaps her hand over her mouth. “Sorry, I don't quite have my sea legs yet. I'm going to my cabin.

Lovely to have met you. I'll see you again I'm sure.”

Someothertime has never seen a spread like this, and overindulges off by himself until he gets sick, but housekeeping is there in a flash to clean up, and someothertime retreats to his cabin to recuperate.

Fuzzy thinks to herself, “Phew, long day filling out forms and stuff. I deserve a drink now. Edward, give us a pint of your finest bitter, will ya??”

She takes a long look around the dining room...not many people here.. but even the furniture has got stories to share and secrets to divulge....then Abi approaches her. “Hello. Fuzzy right? I can't recall where we last met, but I never forget a pretty face.”

“Nice to meet you, Abi. Yup, Fuzzy is the name..researcher of the paranormal...I'd like to study your aura some time, you've got a strange vibe to you..or maybe that's just the bourbon, I'm smelling!”

“Odd... for some reason I thought you worked for the company? Oh well...” He signals to the waiter for another Bourbon, on the rocks. “So Ms. Fuzzy, is this your first time on the Olivia Benet? Are you here for work or play? I hope you haven't bought into those Vampire rumours!” he finishes with a laugh.

They sit together at a table and continue their conversation.

“I do work for the company. They've offered me a job but just for this season. Mainly filling out forms, etc...I think, I'm supposed to vet potential guests as to their cruisability. But that's just my day job. My real interest lies in the dead..and the slightly dead .” Then it hits her what Abi just said. “What vampire rumours??”

She gulps nervously, and when the waiter arrives with Abi’s bourbon, she orders chicken in garlic and pepper sauce, heavy on the garlic.
__________

The Doctor, sensing Lunacie's unease, goes to her cabin to offer her a couple of packets of dramamine. Housekeeping takes care of the mess someothertime made almost before he's done making it - they're used to this thing, and seasoned professionals. About that time, the doctor returns to see if someothertime might need some dramamine as well.

Lunacie said she worked in security - just goes to show how tough those rent-a-cops actually are, right? But she's done the cruise thing before, so maybe she's better at running after bad guys on the ground than standing on a boat.

And despite the fact that an elegant buffet has been laid out, the Olivia Benet's staff makes no complaints about the special orders and brings them out perfectly cooked and beautifully presented.

Lunacie walks slowly and a little unsteadily as she re-enters the dining room. Her eyes are a little bloodshot and she still doesn't seem well. She sits down with Abi and asks him to introduce her to Fuzzy.

Abi tells her, “This is Fuzzy. She's a new member of our staff... and a paranormal investigator.” Then, as if Lunacie isn’t at the table at all, he leans across until his nose is just an inch from Fuzzy's. “So, you single?” he asks with a lecherous grin.

“Single..alas...I'm married to my work .....” but she lifts her eyebrows and winks knowingly (and slightly insanely) at Abi to see his reaction.
Fuzzy may have reason to be a little on edge, all those psychic echoes from the people who've been on this boat, but most of what she's feeling is pleasant. This boat has had so many people who were relaxed, happy, and - is that an undertone of lust? Well, no surprise. Maybe at some point she can take a little tour of the boat, with or without her e-meter, and pick up something more specific. But right now the day is beautiful, and she's being flirted with by the guy with the biggest sales commission in the company.

Abi proposes they go for a stroll, but then TygerSan, the headquarters receptionist who makes his job so much easier, approaches the table.

“Abi! Should've guessed I'd find you here. Already making friends with everyone, I see. I'll be a little more social in a bit. Travel always does my head in.”

Someothertime emerges from his cabin. “Well... it seems i let the ambiance go straight to the stomach!” he thinks. “It's not often I get the opportunity to gorge at will.” He grabs a handful of mints from the bar as he re-enters the restaurant. He may spend most of his day typing in front of a computer, but he recognizes a lot of faces from work here.

Uncharacteristically, he sits nearby and greets them. The next to wander over is Turbochica, Mr. Hudspeth’s Administrative Assistant, who gets her meal from the buffet and joins them as well. After getting to know one another a little better, the conversation flows easily. Ms. Mango is the next to drop by.

“Hey everyone! Whew, I had so much to unpack. Finally, that's done. I'm so happy to be here, this is my first cruise! I've had a chance to walk around a bit, what a beautiful ship. Great food, too. Ooh, can I have some of those hors d'oeuvres? I collect those decorative picks as souvenirs.”

Turbochica responds with a smile, “It is a lovely ship indeed. There is so much more to explore too. I hear the chef is most noted for his Roast beef, cooked to a moist and tasty perfection for the most discriminating of tastes. I hope that this, your first cruise is filled with warm and happy memories!”

Silivrentoliel looks at the group enjoying their chat, and decides that she’d rather go back to her cabin with sarek, even though he’s not very good company right now. The only one to notice her is Turbochica, who remembersthat one name that wasn't an employee - silivrentoliel must be. . .oh, yes, sarek's girlfriend. Hopefully she's just as nice and chatty as sarek is. Maybe she's even the one that makes those wonderful croissants that sarek brings around every morning?

Fuzzy decides that she needs some air – and maybe some time with Abi. “I'm not used to drinking so much. . Or talking so much. I wouldn't mind some fresh air if you are still up for that walk. Don't try anything funny though. I've got a lot of crafty little devices to defend myself in my little black handbag.”

Once they’re out of earshot, Abi reveals, “I spiked your food with vervain when I leaned over to lech at you. Anyway it didn't affect you and ergo you are cleared. Also, since you have vervain in your system, you *should* be safe from Vampire attacks tonight. It typically remains in your system for at least 24 hours. So, what are you? A Witch or something?”

Fuzzy is confused. Vervain? What’s vervain, and what does it have to do with Vampires? She giggles, though, to cover herself, and shakes her head at the idea that she might be a Witch.
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Amtram
12-14-13, 06:27 PM
Night One:

Abi doses himself with vervain and wolfsbane and locks himself in his room for the night.

Fuzzy is left to herself. “This night seems to last forever and I don't want to go to bed. I just have a 9-5 job filling out some forms about the other passengers. I'm lying on a deck chair, staring at the clear sky. Does this cruise ship stop anywhere? Are we going to see any cool places? Where are we? All I can see is water, water and then some more water. Right now of course I can't see anything but I can hear the waves crashing against the side of the ship. Very relaxing. “ She calls a waiter over and requests a strawberry mojito, and keep them coming.

someothertime spots her on his way to the hot tub, and she waves him over. “Care to join me?”

“With pleasure! My my, what would a glamorous diva want with a humble data entry clerk? You need some help with your tax return?”

“Just looking for dead people. Seen any?” They engage in pleasantries for a while.
__________

Turbochica and Lunacie are discussing what they will do that night, and Lunacie hears a noise – turns around, and sees TygerSan standing there with a look of shock. This changes their plans completely. TygerSan absolutely needs to be turned tonight, and since she saw Lunacie’s face, Lunacie is the Vampire that has to do it. Her knowledge will be too valuable in Lunacie’s mission to kill her, so she needs to be on their side.

Tygersan takes a martini and sits on the upper deck watching the stars. She hopes that someone will join for a night cap. Especially Abi, with his secret recipes. She’s feeling very paranoid after what she overheard, and wonders if she’s in trouble, and how scared she should be.

Poor Fuzzy can't really handle all that alcohol, says goodnight to someothertime and staggers off to bed. someothertime, disappointed but still hopeful, eventually does the same. TygerSan, seeing the Lounge deserted except for the bartender, decides she'd rather be alone in her room than alone in the Lounge, and heads off as well.

Turbochica waits until Fuzzy has had enough strawberry mojitos with someothertime to be ready for bed, follows her to her room, and easily overpowers her, compelling her not to scream, closing the door behind them, and enjoying a long, leisurely meal. All the alcohol in Fuzzy’s system makes Turbochica pleasantly lightheaded, and she doesn’t even bother arranging Fuzzy neatly on the bed – she just drops her and stumbles off to her own cabin for the night. In fact, she doesn’t even bother closing the door when she leaves. Mmmmm. . .mojitos.

Fuzzy’s spirit looks down upon her lifeless body, and she knows she needs to find a way to warn the others about Turbochica. But how? As a new spirit, her ability to manipulate the physical world is limited. But maybe, just maybe, Abi or someothertime will dream about her, and she’ll be able to enter those dreams and tell them to look for her manual on contacting the deceased. . .

Lunacie, on the other hand, doesn’t have quite so much success. Abi has already gone to bed, Fuzzy eventually staggers off, and someothertime, thwarted in his efforts to woo Fuzzy, goes back to his own cabin.

TygerSan is not entirely comfortable left alone with only the night bartender, and decides it would be best to get herself locked in her cabin for the night and tell others what she knows in the morning.

Lunacie knows that TygerSan knows she’s a vampire, so a direct approach won’t work, so she finds a dark corner on the way out of the Lounge where she can capture her on the way out. Her intention is to turn TygerSan – if she’s an ally, not only does she increase the Vampires’ numbers, but she certainly won’t tell the others about their existence. With her speed and strength, Lunacie easily grabs her and pulls her aside. She covers TygerSan’s mouth and tries to compel her not to scream, but it’s clear from her eyes and her continued struggles that it’s not working. Desperate, Lunacie bites her wrist and tries to force a few droplets of her blood into TygerSan’s mouth, but some unseen force with enormous strength lifts Lunacie off of TygerSan and flings her against the opposite wall. Her wrist is held with an invisible vise-like grip to the wall, and her blood drips uselessly down until the wound heals itself, giving TygerSan the opportunity to escape.

She runs to Daniel’s door, pounding on it furiously until he awakens and opens up.

“I need vervain! Do you know where I can get some?” TygerSan asks in a panicked voice.

“My goodness, you do seem quite upset. Why don’t you come into my office and have some tea and tell me what’s going on so I can help. What is vervain, and why do you need it?” He leads her into the back part of his office, and sits her down. “I’m just going to lock this – don’t be afraid, I’m doing it because it appears you need protection from someone. . .”

Lunacie, in the meantime, stunned by the turn of events, needs to think quickly. Her vampire ears pick up the sound of Sophie preparing for the morning’s housekeeping, and she screams as if she’s in terrible fear.

Quickly, she bangs her face against the bloody wall to make it appear that the blood came from her nose as she was slammed from behind by her “attacker.” She slumps to the ground and continues her display of shock and terror as Sophie comes running.

“Oh my goodness, Ms. Lunacie!” Sophie exclaims. “Whatever happened to you?!”

“It was horrible! TygerSan went crazy and attacked me! She grabbed my head and slammed it against the wall, and then ran off. . .I have no idea what’s wrong with her, but we need to find her before she hurts anyone else!”

Sophie pulls out her walkie-talkie and sends out a request for anyone who might have seen Ms. TygerSan.

Daniel, in his office with TygerSan, hears the call and asks what the problem is without mentioning that he knows exactly where she is. “What seems to be the problem, Sophie?”

“I found Ms. Lunacie hurt and bleeding in the hallway here, and she says Ms. TygerSan attacked her! We should find her as soon as possible to protect the other passengers and crew, I think.”

TygerSan is shocked at what she overhears.

"Oh gosh, I can't believe I'm actually saying this out loud. Vervain is a plant that my family in the old country used to use to protect against evil spirits. Vampires and the like. I always thought it was pure fairy tale, like the Brothers Grimm, you know. But last night, I heard something that disturbed me enough to enquire about the vervain."

She takes a long, deep, shaky breath.

“Let me cut to the chase here. I know it sounds like bunk, and I honestly can't blame you if you don't believe me, but I beg you to protect me. People are going to start dying soon. Me sooner rather than later due to my damned inability not to scream when frightened. Ms. Lunacie is trying to frame me for an attack *she* initiated against me. “

She shows him her necklace. "This," she says "is the only thing that saved me."

Daniel looks at it curiously. “You know, I may not know about vervain, but I do recall seeing a piece very much like this a long time ago in a foreign country. I can’t remember where, unfortunately.”

“Ah, yes. I was in Nepal, and traveling with a group. One of the women had come from Bulgaria, and she told me that it was a stone that didn’t come from the ground, but was made of magical components by a very powerful witch who was an ancestor of hers. Of course, I laughed it off as superstition.”

He turns it carefully around in his fingers, being careful not to intimidate TygerSan – under other circumstances, he might be tempted to flirt with her, but now he wants her to feel perfectly safe.

“What she told me is that it protects the wearer against supernatural attacks by summoning a ghostly protector. The ghost is trapped in the stone, but stays there willingly because it was related to the maker and killed by a supernatural being. If what you’re saying is true, and I’m not saying it is, then Ms. Lunacie is some sort of supernatural being and your protector warded her off.”

He’s silent for a moment, letting go of the necklace and leaning back to sip his tea. He looks TygerSan straight in the eye and continues, “Now, as I said, I’m not a man who believes in superstitions. You could still be making this up. You could have killed Ms. Fuzzy and attacked Ms. Lunacie. But this necklace being almost identical and having the same story as the one I saw years ago is giving me pause. Why don’t you convince me that you’re the innocent here?”

Her face blanches completely, and she hangs her head.

“Man, this looks bad, doesn't it? But my cabin is nowhere near Fuzzy's, and I was on the deck of the lounge, watching the sky until after both she and someother left. I was ambushed in the corridor on my way to bed. There is no way I could be in two places at once.

“Normally, I'd confidently say check the security cameras, but given that I know Lunacie works security at our office, I'm honestly not sure what you'd see on the tapes. I would still hope that they might shed some light on the situation.”

"Our security cameras are rudimentary, but I have access. Let me check." Daniel opened up the security footage from his computer.

Sure enough, in the dim light and the fuzziness of the recording, it's not clear whether Tyger went into the niche or was pulled in, and she’s not visible in the frame when Lunacie is thrown against the wall. What is strange, though, is that moments after Tyger runs down the hall, Lunacie’s head slams face-first into the wall. Was that a final shot from Tyger’s protector, or something else?

Unsure about what to do, she asks Daniel for help in hiding while she thinks. He prepares a cot and brings in some reading material to a storage cage behind some file cabinets in the far back of the private area of his office, and promises to bring her food, and news if he gets it.
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Amtram
12-14-13, 06:36 PM
DAY TWO

Lunacie is not able to hold her illusion of distress for very long, but long enough for Turbochica to notice it and understand that they will have to go somewhere for some private discussion in the very near future. She is fine enough to socialize a bit with silivrentoliel and ask about sarek, who has been too ill to leave his room, and without TygerSan around, there’s no need to say anything about the events of only a few hours ago. Ms. Mango enters and joins the group for coffee and breakfast.

A few moments later, Ms. Amtram enters the Lounge and comes to speak directly with Lunacie.

"I. . .understand that you suffered a horrible attack last night. Sophie told me that TygerSan jumped at you and actually threw you across the hall into the wall so hard that you bled. I wanted to let you know that I have everyone on board actively searching for her.

"I have no idea how or where she could conceal herself here, but I assure you," and here she looks around at silivrentoliel, Turbochica, and Ms. Mango (someothertime, if he's here, as well, nudge, nudge) "and everyone here that we are fully invested in your safety, and unless she has plunged herself into the sea, we will locate her and make sure she hurts no-one ever again."

She gently lays a comforting hand on Lunacie's shoulder. "I know you've been through a lot, but I would appreciate it if you could stop by my office at your earliest convenience to dictate your story to me and clarify some. . .fuzzy images on the security tape?"

"I will come back later on when Abi, amberwillow, and, um, everyone else who's still in their cabins come out. I hope I will have an update with better news for you all then."

She bids the group goodbye, and leaves the Lounge.
__________

Meanwhile, Abi is pounding frantically at Daniel’s door, demanding to be let in.

Daniel's cabin is next to his office. When he hears the pounding and yelling on the door outside, he opens his office door, and seeing Abi, smiles serenely and says, "Sir - you should know I'm in my office at this hour! Come along inside and tell me what I can do to help you!"

“Daniel, I know you're not allowed, but I fear something terrible has happened to that pretty young lady Fuzzy. Could you escort me to her room? I would consider it a personal favour.” Abi asked.

Daniel conspicuously turns off his walkie-talkie and lays it on his desk. “I think someone else needs to be here. Hold on a moment.” He pages Dr. Smith on his ship phone. “Arthur, Mr. Abi is here asking for some information, and I think I’d like your assistance.” Dr. Smith replies that he’ll be right there.

While Daniel is on the phone, Abi texts TygerSan and gets no reply.
It takes Dr. Smith only a minute to get to Daniel’s office. He closes the door behind him, and getting a nod from Daniel, locks it as well. He pulls up a chair and sits next to Abi. From a pocket, he pulls out a bottle of Ativan, opens it, pours out two, and puts them on the desk in front of Abi. “You might need these.” Daniel hands Abi a bottled water from the mini-fridge.

“Last night, something terrible happened to Ms. Fuzzy,” Daniel begins. “She was found by one of the maids early this morning, dead in her room, with her door wide open, and nothing in the room disturbed.”

Dr. Smith adds, “I examined her carefully, and it was clear that she had died from excessive blood loss – but there was no blood anywhere around her. She had two puncture wounds in her neck with a small amount of dried blood around them, but otherwise there’s no evidence of assault, or even resistance.”

Daniel looks Abi in the eye and says, “You know that neither Dr. Smith nor I are superstitious men, but something is happening here that isn’t natural. I want you to see this. . .” He turns his computer monitor so Abi can see it, and opens up the grainy security footage from the hall outside Fuzzy’s cabin. She is seen staggering towards her door, fumbling with the key, opening the door, and practically falling into the room. There’s a blur in the footage that looks like it could be a camera glitch, and the door closes. Daniel fast forwards through the recording of the closed door to the part where it opens again, and the same blur appears going in the opposite direction, out into the hall, leaving the door ajar.

“Dr. Smith put her body in cold storage, and we’ve taken pictures for forensic evidence, but there’s nothing we can do about starting an official investigation until we’re back in the US. You know everyone here, and you’re a very persuasive man. We’re hoping that maybe you can root out some information for us.”

Dr. Smith adds, “But be cautious about it – we’ve been delaying telling the other passengers about this because we don’t want a panic. It won’t stay secret for long, though. If you can find out anything about how this might have happened, we might at least be able to guarantee that it doesn’t happen again.”
___________________

Back in the lounge, Lunacie explains Ms. Amtram’s remarks.

“For those who weren't in the lounge earlier, I explain the attack that took place in the hallway in the night, and that the attacker - TygerSan - ran off following the attack and hasn't come back to explain what happened.

“I really thought that we were both startled and we scared each other, but I don't understand why she's vanished now.

“And now I guess I need to go to Ms. Amtram's office and give a statement about the attack. I know I surprised TygerSan in the dark, but I couldn't believe how she threw me into the wall. I thought at first my nose had been broken. Thankfully I wasn't really hurt, but I was certainly shook up. Until she's found I'd prefer not to be alone, you know?”

She heads out of the lounge just as Abi is arriving. He greets everyone and sits near Turbochica, then orders bourbon with his breakfast, muttering about ill omens.

Turbochica looks quizzically at Abi. “An Ill omen? Why ever would you say that?”

Abi peers at her over his bourbon. “Ms. Chica... that new girl... filing clerk or something... name of Fuzzy... you seen her around this morning? And how about Ms. San?”

“I was passed out in my cabin from too much revelry at the buffet and topside, where the band was playing and the dancing under the moonlight happened. I do feel terribly sad for Ms. Fuzzy and wonder where Ms San is. “ Turbochica sighs and looks down at her mimosa. “After all that we did to assure a wonderful cruise for everyone . . .”

Abi’s interest is suddenly piqued. “Sad for Fuzzy? What do you mean ‘sad’??”

“I feel sad for you, Mr. Abi, you did seem sweet on Ms. Fuzzy . I am sorry for your loss. . .”

Abi jumps up from his chair. “What happened to Fuzzy?!?”

Turbochica blurts out that something terrible happened to her in her cabin. . .she can’t even say the word, and then suddenly grips her stomach and runs to the bathroom to get sick.

Amberwillow, finally getting her sea legs, enters the lounge, followed shortly thereafter by someothertime. There’s an air of tension in the room that they don’t understand. . .
_________

When Lunacie gets to Ms. Amtram's office, she tells her the same story she told Sophie, and then watches the security footage. The system is rudimentary and outdated, with cameras only in the hallways. After all, how much security is needed on a small yacht in the middle of the ocean?

What the recording shows is TygerSan walking into the hall, suddenly diving into the area not covered by the camera, and then Lunacie a moment later being flung violently across the hall, held to the wall as if by some unseen force while TygerSan runs down the hall and away. This looks pretty convincing for Lunacie’s side. Moments later, she’s released from the wall, looks towards the bloodstain, and slams her face into it.

Ms. Amtram pauses the recording. "This looks convincing except for a couple of things. Maybe you can clear up for me what you were doing in the alcove before Ms. TygerSan arrived, and why you hit your head on the wall after she left?"

Lunacie replies, “Did you ever have one of those DOH moments when you whack yourself in the head or bang your head on the wall - telling yourself you should have planned things better or been more prepared?

“I wanted to have a private word with Ms TygerSan and waited in the hallway for her as I'd heard her say she was going to bed soon. I didn't think ahead to how I might surprise her by waiting in the alcove, where I was probably out of sight. I suppose I gave her a fright, but nothing like the one she gave me!

“Has there been no sign of her at all? I'm rather nervous to be by myself until we've had a chance to talk to her.”

Ms. Amtram ponders for a moment. "Yes, that sounds reasonable enough. . .I think. I suppose that when we're off duty and alcohol is involved, we do make some stupid choices, don't we?" She smiles conspiratorially at Lunacie, well aware that her position at Hudspeth Corporation is not as simple as being a lowly Security Guard.

"I have all the crew on watch, and we've explored all the possible hiding places that would be large enough for a person, and there's nothing. She can't go long without food or water - or a bathroom - so this is truly confounding. We don't actually have anyone on board trained in personal protection, so I'm afraid that it may just be up to you to stick close to others, and stay on alert.

"I'm sorry, that's a terrible way to have to spend a vacation, but I have never had to deal with something quite like this in the past, so we're not really prepared for it. If you have any advice for what we can do with our limited resources, I'd be happy to hear it."

She shakes her head in frustration, then suddenly her face lights up with a realization.

"You were with Sophie when Enid discovered Fuzzy's body, weren't you? You must have heard it over the walkie-talkies. Would you do me the favor of looking at the security tape from that incident as well? It's very indistinct, but your professional eyes might see something we haven't been able to."

She turns her computer monitor so Lunacie can see it, and shows her the recording taken in the hall by Fuzzy’s room.

"What do you make of that?"

Lunacie watches the tape closely and asks to have it rewound and watches it again, slowly shaking her head in puzzlement.

"Gosh, the only time I've seen something like that was when paranormal groups claim to have caught a ghost. Have there been any rumors of a haunting on board this ship?"

Lunacie continues to gaze at the computer monitor for a few moments and then looks back at Ms. Amtram.

"Don't we have a paranormal investigator on board? How about asking her to take a look at the tape and tell you whether it's anything she's ever seen before?"

“Unfortunately, that paranormal investigator was Ms. Fuzzy herself. And I would hesitate to attribute something like this to the supernatural. . .”
"Oh, it was Ms. Fuzzy. Ah well.

"Ordinarily I wouldn't suggest the paranormal either, but things certainly aren't quite normal. For example, the extraordinary strength when Ms. TygerSan attacked me and the way she has vanished into thin air ... Was she coming FROM the direction of Fuzzy's cabin when I met her?

"Yes, I admit I'm reaching for straws here. I just don't have any rational explanation for these things."

"I really don't know what to say. Perhaps you can use your investigative skills with your co-workers and find something out?"

“I'd be happy to do that. I'll go now and start with Turbochica - she should have her finger on the pulse of the company's comings and goings.”
__________

Back in the lounge, Abi has passed out in a chaise on the deck. Enough bourbon to calm him down from this is apparently enough bourbon to multiply the effects of ativan and knock him out.

He comes to as Lunacie announces she is off to see Turbochica, and makes his way after her, looking amazingly steady and casual for someone who should, at the very least, be a bit wobbly.

He arrives at Turbochica’s door, and wedges himself in just as Lunacie is closing it. Before they can say anything, he announces, “Ms. Chica... I need you to listen to what I have to say with an open mind. I believe that girl - Fuzzy - was killed by a Vampire. Dr. Smith said that there were bite marks on her neck, and that she was completely drained of blood, despite there being very little blood at the crime scene. I've travelled extensively, both for buisiness and pleasure, and I've seen this before. Ms. Luna, Ms. Chica ... you need to tell me the details of Ms. San's attack on Ms. Luna last night.”

Lunacie gives him an incredulous look. “A vampire? Seriously?

“I watched the video tape from the security camera for that night with Ms. Amtram, both the attack on me and the strange goings on with Ms. Fuzzy. I was waiting in the hallway to speak to Ms. Tygersan about a private matter, not realizing that by standing in the alcove she wouldn't see me until she was right next to me. I guess I startled her badly as she grabbed me and threw me against the wall.

“She then dashed away, leaving me so stunned that it was like I was pinned to the wall for several moments, shich gave me time to realize how foolish I'd been in startling her. I was too stunned to notice which way she went.

“Sometime later Ms. Fuzzy came along the hallway towards her room and after a couple of tries managed to unlock her door. There was an odd blur on the camera at that moment, making it seem as though Ms. Fuzzy had been thrown into the room and then the door closed.

“About 20 minutes passed before the door opened again and there was another blurred motion or camera glitch, and the door stayed open. I suggested to Ms. Amtram that perhaps it was caused by a paranormal spirit, which only Ms. Fuzzy was qualified to investigate. Ms. Amtram discounted the idea of a ghost.

“I didn't have any other ideas what might have looked like that on the camera film, but I certainly didn't consider the possibility of a vampire!” She looks at Mr. Abi with narrowed eyes. “You say you've seen a body before that looked like Ms. Fuzzy's did, with bite marks and no blood left?”

Turbochica adds when Lunacie finishes her story, “I was in my cabin sleeping when this happened so I really don't have anything to add to this discussion Mr. Abi – sorry”

She then looks at him suspiciously. “Is there anything you haven't told us that you need to be sorry for?”

Abi clears his throat. “I have seen numerous vampire victims when I went on sex tours in eastern europe” he says with no trace of embarrassment. “I suggest we don't discuss this with Ms. Amtram - she isn't particularly open minded about the supernatural.

“Ms. Luna, I believe it is your birthday. I suggest we hold a party this afternoon - how about at 4 pm? I could have the kitchen staff whip up a cake. It would be an excuse to get everyone in the lounge to discuss the issues.

“ And Ms. Turbo.. I know that girl silivrentoliel is sarek's girlfriend, but you should have the email addies of everyone else on your smartphone. Could you please invite them all to the party and be sure to tell sarek to bring silivrentoliel along?”

Lunacie smiles. She knows, Abi knows, and Turbochica knows that her birthday is actually months away. "How sweet of you to notice in the midst of all this craziness that it's my birthday today. A party would indeed be a good excuse to gather all the passengers in one place.

"If you're right about a vampire attack, everyone should know. And they can help look for Ms. TygerSan who still hasn't been seen. In fact, I wonder if one of the passengers isn't helping her to hide? "

“I think we can encourage Ms. Amtram to open her mind a bit Mr. Abi ,” Turbochica says with a conspiratorial grin. “Brilliant idea, about the party. I will get right on it. And I will make sure there is chocolate, too!” She uses the intercom to contact the kitchen and request that they have a birthday cake with chocolate filling ready for tonight’s dinner, and then buzzes Ms. Amtram to inform her that she would like her to arrange the festivities for Lunacie’s birthday and hand deliver invitations to all the passengers.

A party might be just the thing to lighten the mood.
_________

A party might also be just the thing to expose the evil vampire scum that killed poor, innocent Fuzzy, as well. Abi takes his leave, and saunters down to the kitchen.

“Giuseppe! Long time no see! How’s that cake coming along?”

Giuseppe smiles at Abi. “Wonderful to see you, sir! I’d shake your hand, but as you can see, I’m a bit sticky right now! The sheets are in the oven, we have the chocolate pudding for the filling cooling right here, and Tomas is coloring the icing for the flowers, so we’re right on schedule!”

“Excellent. May I ask you a favor? Ms. Lunacie and I have a joke about cutting her cake with a cleaver – we do it every year. Do you have one I could borrow for the night?”

“Of course, Mr. Abi! For you, I think my kitchen can do without one of its cleavers for the night!” He heads over to where the knives are stored, and while he’s away, Abi leans over the chocolate filling and pours in some of his powdered vervain. He grabs a spoon to mix it in, and is licking the spoon contentedly when Giuseppe returns.

“Sorry, couldn’t resist. Delectable, as usual!”

Giuseppe smiles and shakes his head. Same old Mr. Abi. He hands over the cleaver and takes the spoon. “Well, thank you for at least not tasting with your fingers this time!”

Abi wraps the cleaver in an apron that’s hanging from the door so it’s hidden in case he runs into anyone, and he can explain it simply as “a surprise for the party tonight.”

Rather than head back to the public areas of the ship, though, he goes belowdecks to the equipment storage areas. He finds some old wooden belaying pins that haven’t yet been discarded, and picks some that have sharp ends from cracking, stashes them in pockets where they fit and rolls a couple extra into the apron with the cleaver, then goes to deposit them in his room.

He finds some files on his nightstand that seem to have no urgency or relevance, but didn’t Turbochica have stacks of them in her room? Why are they here, and how did they get here? He locks the door and stores some of the belaying pins in his hiding places, making sure that his herbal stashes are undisturbed (which they are) and settles down to see what was in the files that was so important. . .and finds nothing but old sales figures. Curious.

Oh, well. He manages to stash a belaying pin in his jacket pocket so that it’s moderately unobtrusive, and makes his way to the Restaurant.
__________

Daniel, in the meantime, presses TygerSan to come out of hiding. “I have the security footage on my laptop. I’ll show people at the party tonight, and tell them your side of the story. And between me and your ghost protector, you should be safe. We both know you’re innocent. Will you trust me?”

“I'm a little short on options here. And the longer I stay here, the guiltier I look. So what the heck. It's not like this cruise could get any crazier.” (fingers the necklace and laughs nervously).
__________

In the Restaurant, the festivities begin. Abi and Turbochica sit on either side of Lunacie, and everyone else is seated where they have a good view, the tables having been arranged into a U-shape with the chairs around the outside. Amberwillow and sarek sit on the side closest to the restrooms, for fear that they might again be overcome with seasickness, and silivrentoliel sits next to sarek. Ms. Mango and someothertime are on the opposite side. Notably absent are TygerSan, whom everyone knows is missing, and Fuzzy, whose absence is a little more puzzling to many. Ms. Amtram, Dr. Smith, and Daniel are discreetly observing, until it’s time for the cake to be brought in, whereupon they join in the boisterous singing of “Happy Birthday” to Lunacie.

Everything seems to be going well until Lunacie is about halfway through her piece of cake. She does not scream, but the sounds she does make are evidence that she is in pain – serious, burning pain. She tries to get up, knocks her chair backwards, and falls to the floor convulsing and unable to speak.

The first person to move is Daniel, who, for some reason, shouts, “I knew it!” and runs from the room. Several minutes later, amidst the ensuing chaos, he returns with his laptop under one arm and dragging TygerSan behind him with his other hand.

TygerSan’s relief at seeing Lunacie disabled like this gives her a burst of confidence. Without fear, she strides up to Lunacie’s place, picks up the remains of her cake and takes a few bites. Gee, it looks like Lunacie’s cake wasn’t poisoned, so why would it be that she’s having such a problem? Knowing that eyes are on Lunacie, not her, she goes off to the side, leans casually against the wall, and waits to see what happens.
Surprising the others, Abi pulls his hidden stake from a jacket pocket and calls out for assistance in putting it through Lunacie’s heart. TygerSan responds with alacrity.

Abi and TygerSan together plunge the stake, a belaying pin sharpened to a point, directly into Lunacie's heart the moment she passes out, and the rest of the passengers and crew watch in horror as she shrivels up and slowly turns to dust.

It's now clear to Abi, Ms. Amtram, and Daniel that Lunacie had lied in her account about being attacked by TygerSan - TygerSan had been the victim, not the perpetrator!

Turbochica can do nothing but watch – and the horror at seeing her creator killed in front of her causes her to collapse in a heap. But of course, she would have done this regardless, as everyone knew she and Lunacie were the best of friends. As she comes to, she sees Abi pick up the stake that ended Lunacie and hand it to TygerSan, loudly announcing that there are more where that one came from.

Before he heads off to his cabin, he leans down and tells the barely- conscious Turbochica, “Why don’t you fill everyone in on what we talked about earlier, eh?” then strides off without a backwards glance.
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Amtram
12-14-13, 06:41 PM
NIGHT TWO

Turbochica isn’t ready to start a “sharing circle” at this point. Lunacie is gone, and she’s devastated. Abi has some nerve walking off like that and giving her orders. Vampire or not, Lunacie was her best friend. She gets up, tells everyone that she’s really not ready to hold a meeting, and instead walks somewhat unsteadily towards Ms. Amtram, and speaks to her quietly. Ms. Amtram nods her head, puts an arm around her for support, and they leave the Restaurant.
__________

They go to Lunacie’s room, and Ms. Amtram unlocks the door. “Take all the time you need. I understand that we can love people even if they do bad things, and you two were friends for a long time.”

As Turbochica begins emptying drawers of clothing and packing it away in suitcases, she finds an unmarked file folder hidden at the bottom.

Curious, she opens it up and discovers documentation of actions taken by their competitor, Cirrus Corporation, that indicate that there is a spy at Hudspeth Headquarters, and that his or her identity has been narrowed down to the passengers invited on this trip. Lunacie was supposed to be working on finding the spy. Well, killing the spy and collecting all the intelligence he or she may have hidden on board would take care of two things at once, wouldn’t it?

Turbochica has no experience in detective work. Where could she even begin? With Lunacie gone, someone has to do something about this, or Cirrus will destroy Hudspeth, and they’ll all be out on the street. How do you ferret out a spy without letting the spy know that you’re trying to find him? Who can be trusted with this information?

She mentally reviews the passengers. . . amberwillow is quiet, but she works in the mailroom, which might be a good place for a spy.

Ms. Mango has been quiet too, but she is in Shipping and Receiving, and too much of the information in the file is directly related to corporate intel. She may not be able to help with detective work, but she's probably safe to take into confidence.

sarek has been "sick in his room" this whole time. . .suspicious, but he’s certainly not privy to secrets!

silivrentoliel is kind of the fifth wheel - doesn't work for the company, came along with sarek, hasn't had much to do. She's not necessarily going to care whether the company goes under, but it might be worthwhile to feel her out or try to give her an opportunity to participate.

someothertime works in data entry. Not glamorous, but access to the computer system might be a useful thing for a spy.

TygerSan is the Receptionist, but her loyalty to the company is unquestionable, But she's also a little on the suspicious side right now. If Turbochica can mend fences, though, she might be on board, because she doesn't want the company to fail.
_________

The Doctor leaves the Restaurant and returns shortly with a metal box. . .and a dustpan and brush. . .to collect what little remains of Lunacie.

He stands and holds up the box, saying to all, "I have never believed in any of this, but there is no question in my mind that tonight we watched a Vampire die. Heaven help us all."

Silently, he leaves in the same direction as before, and does not return to the Restaurant.
__________

Abi returns, not having been able to sleep, and watched disinterestedly as Daniel puts his laptop on a table and pulls up the footage of the incident between Lunacie and TygerSan, beckoning the others to come closer to watch.

Someothertime, suffering from tech withdrawal, makes his way over quickly – more to see the computer than out of interest in what might be on the screen.

But everyone sees the video, now from the perspective of Lunacie’s account being a lie.

“I know the footage is kind of grainy, and somewhat ambiguous, but I think you'll see that whatever attacked Lunacie (if something did slam her into the wall... She could've done that herself) did so after I had left. And what you can't see is that she pulled me into the alcove as I left the lounge. Thank the ancestors I was granted some sort of protection that prevented me from being enthralled by her.

I've heard stories. Stories from my ancestors in the old country passed down for generations. They tell of supernatural beasts. Beasts that live for thousands of years. Creatures of the night. I always laughed when my grandmother referred to her mother as a witch, able to control such creatures with magic. Now, I'm ready to believe. And if Lunacie was truly a vampire, what else is on board? My grandmother also used to tell us that vampires rarely travel alone. . .” TygerSan finishes ominously.
As the group talks about what they've seen and discuss various disturbing possibilities, Turbochica returns as unobtrusively as she can and whispers something to TygerSan. They sit in a far corner where they can be seen, but not heard.

If there's another Vampire, wouldn't the cake have sickened that one as well? How else can you find a Vampire besides being killed by one? Fuzzy was a little loony, but isn't it too bad she isn't here to help answer that? Maybe she left something behind in her room that would have some ideas.

Why would a Vampire come onto a small ship like this, with so few people aboard that she'd probably get caught eventually? Does everyone know why they were picked for this cruise? I mean, some are obvious, but could there be other reasons? Fuzzy was into the paranormal, TygerSan seems to have some sort of supernatural beliefs, could there be more to this than just Vampires vs. Humans?

Turbochica tells TygerSan that the matter they need to discuss together is vitally important.

TygerSan replies, “Ok, but understand that given my recent experience and present state of mind, it has to be somewhere near other people. Shall we commandeer a table in the far corner of the lounge, away from the others?”

They sit down at the table and Turbochica motions to the waiter. "Can I have a caramel Latte with skim milk please and the biscotti of the day?” TygerSan, on the other hand, requests a Bowmore 18 year single malt, straight, with a glass of ice water on the side.

“Tyg, I went into Luna's cabin to collect her personal items to box them up and send them to her nearest kin and found something rather disturbing. Apparently, the future of our company is at stake.
There is someone on this boat that has been leaking information to our competitor. This could cause the demise of our company and loss of jobs for everyone here if that should happen. Our very livelihood is at stake!” She reaches into her satchel and discreetly presents the documents.

“There is no one that is mentioned by name. All I know is it is someone on the cruise ship right now. OMG and I just gave Abi all the information for projected sales and strategies for the coming fiscal year. . .could Abi be the top salesman for a reason? Could someone else be cozying up to him to get the information from him while stroking his ego? Espionage knows no bounds even the bounds of friendship.....Maybe THAT is why Hudspeth insisted I not forget to pass that information to Abi on the cruise. Can I get your assistance in tracking down this culprit? For the love of all that is good, none of us can afford to be in the unemployment line living with the meager stipend that they will give us!”

“Lemme think about how best to approach this. Clearly, I know just about everyone superficially. . .”Tyger considers for a moment. “Surely you don't suspect Abi? He's our go-to guy and a stellar sales associate! Of course, he also trusts me completely, so if there is any funny business, I may be able to cozy up to him. Just to warn you, though. There is a reason he's so good at what he does, and if he *is* the leak, it's going to be damned hard to prove it.

“I'm still trying to figure out wth Hudspeth is doing with at least one vampire on staff. Did he really not know, or is there a reason he hired Lunacie? If there is a reason, maybe it has something to do with this leak?”

“He hired Luna for the same reason he hired Abi. She is ummm *sigh* was good at what she did. I don't mean to implicate Abi. I am just saying that there is confidential information onboard right now...and now I wonder if that was purposeful ?”
__________

Abi is bored by all this idle speculation. He didn’t get where he is today by sitting and thinking. He heads over to Daniel, who is surreptitiously keeping an eye on TygerSan, and asks, “OK, think you can let me into Fuzzy’s room now? Obviously she doesn’t need you to protect her from me, and she knew a thing or two about the supernatural. I’m thinking there might be some useful books or items among her things.”

Daniel is obviously torn. There’s no reason to deny Abi access to the room, but he’s reluctant to lose sight of TygerSan. “This is completely against protocol, and I might lose my job for it, but here. . .” he turns keys around a ring until he finds the one numbered for Fuzzy’s cabin, removes it, and hands it to Abi. “Of course, I want this back when you’re done.”

“Of course,” Abi replies, giving Daniel a jaunty salute as he heads off.
Inside Fuzzy’s room, what he finds defies explanation. This is the stuff a “paranormal investigator” carries around? Silver crosses? Holy water? Salt, garlic, mirrors? She thought she was an expert, but she didn’t know a thing! His attitude suddenly changes, though, when he runs across an ancient, well-worn book that is clearly some sort of. . .necronomicon? It’s hard to decipher the text itself, but the pages of notes in Fuzzy’s hand that are in between the pages are clearly instructions on how to conduct a séance. A genuine séance, with real spirits of the dead, not some carnival trick. He pockets the book, re-locks Fuzzy’s door, and heads to the Restaurant to return the key to Daniel.
__________

Someothertime is confused, as well, after the drama at the party. A poison that affects one vampire should affect all vampires, right? So if TygerSan is right about them coming in groups of some kind, why was Lunacie the only one who reacted like that? He’s new to the witchcraft thing, and brought along the old family grimoire for some light reading during off hours on the trip, so maybe this is a good chance to see if there’s something in it about Vampires.

It sure would be nice to see what else Daniel has on that laptop, but time’s a-wastin’. Some spells take a lot of time to master, so if he finds something useful in his book, he’d better get started. He makes a little too dramatic a show of yawning and stretching and telling everyone how tired he is before saying goodnight, but they’re getting used to this little quirk of his by now.

Inside his room, he begins searching through the grimoire. This would be so much easier as a Word document. Heck, a table of contents or an index alone would make him happy. But finally he finds it. A simple spell that allows a witch to detect vampirism by touch. He’ll have to make skin-to-skin contact with a vampire, and it’s going to require practice before it’s completely reliable. Man, people are going to think it’s weird, all this touching – so out of character – but he’s got to make it work.
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Amtram
12-14-13, 06:46 PM
DAY THREE

TygerSan, first thing in the morning, goes to Ms. Amtram’s office to make sure that the files Turbochica showed her really did come from Lunacie. She confirms that she did let Turbochica into Lunacie’s room, and the timing seems right. She sees Abi waiting outside as she leaves, says good morning to him, then continues to Daniel’s office.

Daniel greets TygerSan without his usual professional formality, then catches himself and asks, “What may I do for you today, Ms. TygerSan?”

“Well, we’re planning to conduct. . .a séance later today. Wow, that sounds stupid when I say it! But, anyway, I’m still a little nervous, and you seem to have some knowledge about these things.”

She hesitates, a little embarrassed to be actually asking him. “Would you be willing to join us? I just think I would feel more comfortable if you were there.”

Daniel smiles broadly. “Of course I’ll come. I did promise to protect you, after all, and I’m a man of my word.”
__________
Abi walks in and explains to Ms. Amtram that he needs a private place in which he and a few other passengers can conduct a séance. Despite what seems clearly to be supernatural goings-on, she is still skeptical, and shakes her head. However, she acquiesces, because it’s not an outrageous request.

“The Game Room off the Lounge should be large enough. I’ll have some staff members rearrange the furniture and bring in a round table and some chairs. Just keep in mind that we have a sprinkler system when you’re placing your candles, OK?”

“Will do, ma’am!”

He sees TygerSan walking out of Daniel’s office at the same time as he’s leaving Ms. Amtram’s and asks to speak to her for a moment. There’s no need to leave the hallway, as they are alone, and the cameras don’t pick up sound. He gives her the information about their séance plans.

“I don't trust Turbo. Keep an eye on her and keep your stake ready. I have one too.”

TygerSan nods in agreement. “Given my recent experience, I will admit I am loath to trust anyone completely. Turbo was way too close to Lunacie for me to not question her motives.”

“Aww, come on,” Abi says with a grin, “you’re not the only one with trust issues. Who do you think suggested the party, procured the vervain, suggested the cake, spiked the cake and made the stakes?” He points his thumbs towards himself – to the camera, it will look like the popular gesture that ends a joke. “Speaking of the cake... Turbo *did* eat it. Still don't trust her.”

“I noticed she ate the cake, but also that she only dipped her finger in Lunacies frosting when I offered her that particular piece. She also seems to be a bit under the weather, so maybe she's. . . transitioning? Damn, can't believe these words of wisdom from grandma are actually coming out of my mouth. I wish her ma were here. She knew a spell or two.”

“Wait – does that make you a Witch?”

“Sadly, no,” TygerSan replies. “I never believed in any of that stuff until just recently. So what did you do to the cake?”

“The filling was heavily spiked,” Abi reveals. “I had no idea who the Vamps were, just wanted to catch one. Certainly didn’t expect it to be the birthday girl herself.”
__________
Ms. Mango and amberwillow receive email notifications on their phones about the upcoming séance taking place in the Game Room, and both reply that they will participate. Later that day, the group assembles.

Abi has Fuzzy’s notes about how to properly conduct a séance, and has gathered the appropriate materials – candles need to be placed in specific locations on the table relative to one another, correctly placed on a design made on the table with salt.

They need to be lit in a particular order, with a specific word said at each one as it is lit, then the area must be surrounded by a circle of salt on the floor. The notes have an incantation to draw forth whatever spirit is near, but Fuzzy has written warnings in red ink and all caps about how this could summon evil or angry spirits, and she has also put a big red X across this incantation – but it can still be read.

Beneath that, she has one incantation to summon a helpful spirit who is nearby, and a second one to summon a specific spirit. Next to the second, she’s noted in the margins that this one works best in the location where the person passed away, or with loved ones of the departed participating in the ritual.

Upon hearing this, Turbochica stands and addresses the group. “Before we get started, I have something of urgency to say to all of you. Something that could affect each and everyone here in a tangible way. It is paramount that I have your complete and undivided attention.

“I have become aware of a plot to undermine Hudspeth and our very livelihood, each one of us with no exception. Well , I take that back - except for one.”

She looks slowly around the room at everyone.

“When I was packing up Luna's personal affects I stumbled upon some documented evidence that someone on this cruise is funneling information to our largest competitor and Mr. Hudspeth had seceretly asked Luna to search out and Identify who it is.

“In the name of sanity, and to preserve our company, I implore each one of you to consider calling for the spirit of Luna to identify who this vermin is and save our company from its demise."

She sits down quietly.

Abi reacts immediately. “Okay. I can vouch for Turbo's story. I am aware that there is a sub-plot in play, and I have suspected that it had something to do with Cirrus Corp spying on as. I did steal a bunch of their clients after all. Not withstanding... I believe this Vampire menace takes precedence. And can we even trust that bloodsucker Luna to give us any info? Especially after we KILLED her?

“I implore you all to call on the spirit of Fuzzy, and find out who killed her.”

TygerSan is the first to decide. “I agree with Abi. We need to speak with Fuzzy. I'm not even sure what would happen if we tried to call forth a vampire's spirit, and I'm not eager to find out.

“As much as I want to get to the bottom of this, I have serious reservations calling Luna. One, SHE TRIED TO KILL ME. Besides that, while my knowledge is more book than practical, I have to wonder what happens if we try to call forth the spirit of a creature that is not only not human, but also essentially undead. Is there a chance we might either bring down the wrath of a force greater than all of us, or somehow resurrect her? Either one of those scenarios are bad, as, if you haven't noticed, we are on a tiny ship in the middle of the ocean.”
______
Silivrentoliel is very concerned about the suspicious goings-on. As she was sipping her morning coffee and enjoying a scone with jam, she saw the group enter the room, close the blinds, and begin talking. Some of the voices were soft and monotone, but now it sounds as if there’s some sort of a debate going on. Sarek is once again lying ill in the cabin, so she makes her way casually down the hall to Daniel’s office. He didn’t lock the door, so there must not be anything important there. The important stuff must be behind the next door.

That door is locked, but silivrentoliel picks it with ease, and voila, there’s Daniel’s computer. He didn’t even log out! This is going to be so much easier than she had anticipated. She finds the interface for the intercom units in seconds, after confirming that the only security cameras are, indeed, just in the halls. Are these people overconfident, or just stupid?

She tweaks a few things, then activates the intercom in the Game Room to receive only. The first thing she hears is TygerSan’s voice saying “I have to wonder what happens if we try to call forth the spirit of a creature that is not only not human, but also essentially undead. Is there a chance we might either bring down the wrath of a force greater than all of us, or somehow resurrect her? Either one of those scenarios are bad, as, if you haven't noticed, we are on a tiny ship in the middle of the ocean.”

Say what? Are these idiots seriously trying to summon the spirits of the dead? Obviously, sarek’s secret is safe. But as long as she’s here, she might as well listen in. There’s nothing else to do. She pulls the earbuds off her iPod and plugs them into the jack in the computer. No sense in risking anyone hearing things coming from a supposedly empty office. . .
__________
“That’s it, I have the book, I memorized the incantations, I’m summoning Fuzzy.” Abi’s tone indicates there’s no more point in discussion. “If this works, and she appears, at least we know we’re safe. It can be our practice run for Lunacie later.”

Everyone holds hands, Abi reads the incantation, the rest of the table responds the way they discussed while setting up. As the ritual goes on, the room temperature drops. This is encouraging. Abi finally gets to the part where he can say, “Fuzzy, if you’re here, give us a sign!”

It’s almost unnoticeable at first, but soon obvious to everyone at the table that the salt in the pile at the center of the table is moving. . .as if a finger was poked into it and was dragging the salt across the table. Abi asks for her to lift and drop a pinch of salt, and a small amount raises slightly from the table and drops.

TygerSan asks if she can write the name of the person who killed her with the salt.

Some salt dribbles into a little pile. Then a slightly larger pile of salt, then a small pile of salt.

The middle pile is poked in the center, then a short tail is dragged out. The two smaller piles are gently poked. . .then nothing.

The best anyone can make out, it looks like:

*a*

Filled with righteous fury, Abi leaps across the table, breaking the circle and releasing Fuzzy, slides across with the aid of all the salt, and takes amberwillow completely by surprise with the stake through her chest.
Tyger yells at him to stop, but it’s too late.

amberwillow clutches at the stake convulsively, and for the briefest moment, her eyes become a feral, supernatural yellow.

amberwillow was the werewolf.
_________
Ms. Amtram is just packing up her things when the bartender from the Lounge contacts her on her walkie-talkie.

"Um, we seem to have a problem down here with. . .aaah. . .another dead body."

"I'll be right there." Hudspeth is paying her to keep her cool and keep quiet about the dead bodies. The dead bodies thing was even in her contract. But this is getting ridiculous. She'd better be getting a sizable bonus after this. She composes herself and heads to the Lounge.

Abi, Turbochica, TygerSan, Ms. Mango, and Daniel are clearly not happy with one another, and talking over each other, but go momentarily quiet as Ms. Amtram gives them the evil eye. She doesn't even bother to speak to them, but goes directly into the Game Room.

"Da**it, I thought I told Abi to be careful about the candles!" she thinks to herself. His dive across the table knocked them all over - clearly the others had jumped to extinguish the flames before anything got out of hand, but there's burns in the carpet, as well as melted wax and a b***load of salt. “That's never going to come out. Carpet's gonna have to be replaced.”

Then she makes her way farther into the room and sees amberwillow's staked body lying in a still-spreading pool of blood.

"Definitely going to have to replace the carpet."

She calls Dr. Smith to come get the body, and notifies Sophie that the Game Room needs special attention.

She walks back out and confronts the group. "I hope you at least got what you wanted, because that room is going to be locked for the rest of the trip."
__________
Most of what needed to be said has been said, and our passengers retreat to distance themselves from the drama and emotion. Turbochica sits down and has a coffee to focus her thoughts. Silivrentoliel enters and reminds everyone that sick sarek is no fun, and she’d love to know what’s going on, but all she gets is the briefest recap from Abi: “We held a seance. Got Fuzzy's ghost. Asked her to spell out the name of her killer in some spilt salt. All we got was an "a", so I killed Amber. My bad.”
Abi sits at the bar and orders a scotch. TygerSan comes and sits next to him joins him for a Scotch of her own.

“Rough day, eh? Weird how many of our fellow employees here are actually more than meets the eye. You know, you're kinda stronger than you should be. I wonder if Amber really did kill Fuzzy? After all, Lunacie tried to kill me. After all this drama, I'm not really sure that my first priority is keeping my job. Honestly I'm more interested in wth our boss is up to and why he (or HR) seems so interested in the supernatural.”

“Dr. Smith said Fuzzy was drained of blood. Werewolves don't drink blood. Maybe Ms. Amtram killed Fuzzy. Or the "a" could have been Fuzzy's ghost messing with us. Or we could have misinterpreted it. What else looks like an "a"?”

“You know who I suspect, and why,” TygerSan whispers.

“Look, we can’t really talk here. When you get back to your room, check your phone.”

They switch to more casual conversation, and when TygerSan finishes her drink, she says goodnight to everyone and heads to her room. The message light on her phone is already flashing, but she realizes this is from the day before, when she was hiding in Daniel’s office – Abi asking where she was. How sweet that he was concerned, and she had been gone for so little time!

She texts: I was sure that I was going to get staked by the mob. Ask Daniel. He let me stay hidden in his back room while the mess I started by screaming at an inopportune time, allowing Luna to cast suspicion on me.

I ate the cake, didn't I? I don't remember Mango doing so.
I liked you before we went on this cruise together, and your actions so far have not changed that.

Your actions in the game room were brash, but understandable given the circumstances.

If anyone understands why you did what you did, it's me. I spent most of yesterday locked in a small office, afraid of being targeted by the rest of you, all because, despite the fact I was not compelled to scream when Lunacie had me by the throat, once she released me, I screamed anyway, allowing her to easily accuse me of initiating the attack. Sometimes there is no rational.

In short, I am still your ally.

And while I do wonder if the crew are innocent in all of this, I still strongly suspect Mango, due to the convo I overheard on the first night. Seemed bizarre at the outset, but given all that's gone down, I'd be inclined to reconsider the evidence. If she is a Vampire, and tries to attack me, I will be protected. If she isn't, and she attacks me, I think I will be dead.

Yours,
Tyger
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Amtram
12-14-13, 06:51 PM
DAY THREE TURNS TO NIGHT THREE

Someothertime is in his cabin, wrapped up in his book again, since nobody was terribly forthcoming when he asked what had happened. He’s roused from his reverie a bit later by a knock on his door. It’s Abi, drink in hand, as usual. “May I come in?”

“Yo! Hello there, Mr. Abi , Sir! Indeed you may !

“I wasn't certain you remembered me. I think it's time we sat down and had a chat about the - supernatural - things that have been going on here. And other things of mutual interest.I suppose we could talk here, now, if you aren't busy...”

“I'd love a chat... it's been mighty secretive of late... would be nice to learn a late more about my fellow travellers...”

Abi lifts his drink and asks if someothertime would like something. “I will have a JaegerBomb, thank you sir,” he requests. Abi buzzes the bar from the room intercom, and it arrives in a minute or so. As Abi accepts the drink from the waiter, he sprinkles some of the vervain he always carries into the glass, swirls it around to mix it, but in a way that looks like a flourish as he hands it to someothertime.

“So, Ms. San, our receptionist - I'm sure you're familiar with her - suggested something of interest... there's a helluva lot of supernaturals on Hudspeth's payroll... Vampires... a Werewolf. That girl Fuzzy was some sort of Witch or Medium or something... we used a book found in her room to summon her spirit... that did not work out too well.

“Anyway, you have a lot of technical acumen and access, yes? Are you able to shed any light on any of this? Any thoughts?”

“Well, that Turbochica has always been quite of a Demon in the office... I've always had my suspicions about her... Not exactly sure what her story is...Ms San is a very switched on lass... she seems to always have her finger on the pulse... I'd be inclined to heed her observations...

“I've been keeping to myself since I detected the some funny business... Supernatural explains a hell of a lot... I was beginning to thing I had joined the love boat. I also have my suspicions if we are the only ones on the ship... There is something out of place... Almost like there is an invisible force undertaking deeds that is undetectable.

“I've run the numbers and there is nothing on the manifests... I do know how to resample video to detect supernatural presence... If only I could get my hands on that security footage...”

“Perhaps I can arrange that. I assume you would also need Daniel's laptop? How's your drink? Oh.. and there's one other matter. Might you be the one I was told to - make contact - with?”

Someothertime appears confused. “Yes, I will need the Daniel’s laptop... this will give me the opportunity to finally prove my suspicions. As for me being your contact... perhaps you have me mistaken for someone else? Right now I'm in the dark...Perhaps I can assist you in locating this "contact"... they may hold the key?”

“Okay, how about full disclosure? There's no contact. I was bull****ting you. What I do know is that person or persons unknown (and unknown to each other) on this ship are working to undermine Hudspeth Corp - steal clients, data, hell knows what else. I thought it might be you, and I was trying to manipulate you into thinking that I too was a traitor. Your turn. Full disclosure?”

“Well, then... thank you for your honesty...” someothertime answers. “I'll do whatever it takes to protect my data. Perhaps we can devise some sort of trap... a "honey pot" for these sinister infiltrators...Anything come to mind?”

Abi throws his glass to the floor, where it shatters into a million pieces, then charges someothertime, and holds a stake to his neck.

“Tell me EVERYTHING you know, or I will END you.”

Someothertime quivers with open eyes...”I know nothing of who is evil... as yet...Tho i'm working on it... when I do find something I will tell you.... and not because you threaten me...Because I will do anything to protect my data.”

Abi releases someothertime, who slumps nearly to the floor with relief.

“So . . .you must be a Hunter? I'm a Witch. That's all I know.”

“Sorry man, had to get it out of you. I'm not the Hunter, though I'd sure as hell like to find him/her. I'm human. I'm a Sales Exec with significant influence over the ship’s crew. Also a botanist. And someone who’s hard to kill.

“Okay, so I assume you've been doing rituals to find out who are Vampires? Who have you cleared?”

“Holy ****! You one not to be messed with mofo of a human. Can I join your gym? Yeah... wanting to resurrect someone, but takes three nights to learn the spell. AndI 'm not sure I can yet. Cleared Siliv... that is all so far.”

“Excellent. You see why sometimes the violence is necessary? So... I cleared Tyger and Turbo - they ate the vervain cake. You cleared Siliv. And you and I are not Vamps. That leaves only Mango and Sarek.
__________

After Abi leaves, someothertime decides to throw caution to the wind and attempt to learn a resurrection spell to bring back Lunacie. It's complex, and he’s going to need something that belonged to her, and a ton of salt. For now, he practices the incantation. Maybe it's his imagination, but he feels a chill in the room as he recites it. . .
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Amtram
12-14-13, 06:58 PM
DAY FOUR

In the morning, Abi and TygerSan meet in the Restaurant for breakfast. They take their coffee and head towards the rail of the deck, where they can talk undisturbed but not arouse suspicion.

“Here's the thing,” Abi begins, “You're a bit *too* annoyed at the fact that Luna keeps saying she was trying to turn you. And though you ate the vervain cake yesterday, it may not have affected you because you were in transition.”

He pulls out a sachet of sugar from pocket, and opens it, hands it to Tyger. “It’s spiked with a significant quantity of vervain. Eat it. All of it.”

She pours it into her coffee, stirs, and takes a giant swig. Doesn't even blink. “I am human. Hope you have more of that. I fear we're going to need it. Your turn?”

He smiles, pulls out another packet, and does the same.

TygerSan smiles with relief. “BTW, I am not kidding when I say that at present, it seems as though no vampire can touch me. The only name Lunacie did not mention when discussing who to "turn" the first night was Mango. That leaves her (and possibly the crew )as suspects...unless she wanted me to overhear.”

“Speaking of overhearing, how about we take this conversation to your cabin? I think we have a lot to discuss.”

So as not to arouse suspicion, they leave separately and meet in Abi’s cabin. Even though they’re alone, Abi speaks in muted tones. “I have good reason to believe that someothertime and siliv are clear, as are you and I. That leaves Mango, Sarek and Turbo. If Turbo is a Vamp she was turned last so there is still another Vamp. Assuming it's not a crewmember, it's either Mango or Sarek.

“I'm still puzzled by Fuzzy's "a". As I mentioned before, could Ms. Amtram be a Vamp? Or Dr. Smith... isn't his first name Arthur or something?”

“Yeah. I'm puzzled by the seance results, too. Maybe we weren't great at summoning. It's possible that we weren't dealing with Fuzzy at all. Or that the connection was weak. Or, as you say, it could be Arthur or Amtram.” Tygersan considers for a moment. “It is clear that Hudspeth was expecting a bloodbath of sorts, as Ms. Amtram seems a bit too blasé about cleaning up the bodies. Is it possible that Fuzzy was turned, and then killed by Amber?”

Recounting his conversation with Dr. Smith, Abi explains, “She was clearly human, and she died of exsanguination from a Vampire bite. There was no sign of her having been mauled. Assuming Ms. Amtram and the crew are not Vampires, or at least not Original Vampires, either Sarek or Mango MUST be a Vamp.”

He lifts up his mattress and removes two plastic bank packets filled with powders. He pockets one, opens the other and empties half of it into another, empty packet and gives the latter to TygerSan.

“It’s vervain. Enough to knock out, or at least cause significant discomfort to two Vamps. Don’t take any yourself today or tonight - the stuff you had just now is good for 24 hours.”
She pockets the vervain. “Come to think of it, we should talk to siliv. Either Sarek is on his deathbed, or something isn't quite right.”

After they go their separate ways, TygerSan stops in at Daniel’s office to ask a few questions. After a few pleasant formalities, she comes right out and says, “How much do you know about Dr. Smith and Ms. Amtram?”

“I know them both on a professional level, a little about their personal lives, but not much. Why do you ask?”

TygerSan shrugs, not sure of what exactly she thought he would volunteer. “Do you have any ideas about what ghost fuzzy was trying to communicate? Is there some sort of symbol?”

“I think that those were definitely "wild card" symbols, those asterisks on either side of the "a." The "a" was the middle letter of a three-letter word, but I can't think of what it might be.”

Curious. What could it possibly have meant? “I hear there is surveillance footage of Fuzzy just after she left the lounge. Is there any footage of the lounge itself?”

“No, the cameras are only in the halls outside the cabins. We don't usually have security issues here,” he replies.

“Do you know who made the vervain cake?”

Daniel considers a moment before answering, because he has professional obligations to consider despite his feelings for TygerSan.

“Well, it wasn't someone on the kitchen staff who spiked it. The head chef let a passenger in, and since the incident, the kitchen's on lockdown. He suspects that the passenger was the one who put vervain in the cake while his back was turned.”

Finally, TygerSan lets him know of the conversation she overheard the first night, and why she suspects Ms. Mango of being more than she appears.

Daniel looks concerned. “You said you heard the other voice, but didn't see the other face, but if you're certain, I trust you. I'll do whatever you want to help you stop this Vampire scourge.”

TygerSan tries to absorb this information. So the reason why it was even *possible* for Abi and me to subdue Lunacie was due to the quick-thinking action of the guest who spiked the cake. I would like to test Ms. Mango with the same substance. It will not, however, be easy, I fear. It is also possible that she may have some immunity or protection against it. She’s not certain what’s possible and what’s not, or whether a rational decision can even be made in a case like this.

"I know that Abi acted ....brashly back in the game room (though I can hardly blame him... And Amber wasn't exactly human, either), but he does seem to have some expertise in the field. I think I trust him to help us out.

“It is curious that he invited Mango to be part of the seance...you wouldn't happen to have any idea why, would you?" she asks Daniel.

“Well, you know what they say – keep your friends close and your enemies closer!”
__________

Tables in the Restaurant get set up so you all can sit nice and cozy, with a midafternoon meal of Turkey and gravy and stuffing and mashed potatoes, the works.

You can all sit together and chat. Maybe sarek will show up. No guarantees. Ms. Amtram joins you, as well as Daniel and Dr. Smith, and as everyone is saying what they're thankful for, Dr. Smith says "no more dead bodies."

Oh, dear. Not terribly festive, that one. . .
After the meal is done, someothertime heads to his room, saying he's got something he's working on and wants to get back to.

Dr. Smith asks silivrentoliel about sarek, and, finding out that he's still sick and hasn't eaten anything, gets up and leaves the table. When he returns, he informs silivrentoliel that he's taking sarek to the infirmary so he can start an IV to rehydrate him. He asks Turbochica to come to his office to sign the release forms as a company representative.

He has brought a gurney to sarek's cabin, and transfers sarek to it from the bed. sarek's protests are weak. . .and ineffective. He's strapped safely down, and Dr. Smith pushes him down the hall towards the infirmary.

Silivrentoliel sits silently, staring at her plate. TygerSan changes seats and sits next to her. “Happy thanksgiving? Sorry this hasn't turned out to be quite what you expected. Normally we're a friendlier bunch, but I think everything that's gone on of late has subdued just about everyone.”

“Yeah... I understand.” She sighs and looks up at TygerSan. “At least I can't complain about boredom. And the sunrises and sunsets are stunningly beautiful. . .”

Abi joins them, complaining of being tired.

“Yeah,” TygerSan agrees. “I'm not sure whether to go grab a coffee or four and stay up all night to avoid being a target, or to grab a whiskey or four and pass out in my locked cabin after dinner.”

While silivrentoliel agrees that the napping sounds appealing, she decides to join TygerSan in a cup of coffee, while Abi opts for a scotch and soda.

When the drinks arrive, Abi pulls out sugar packets from his shirt pocket and gives one to each of them. “Vervain,” he whispers, “it’ll keep you safe tonight.”
__________

Silivrentoliel makes an excuse to stop in her cabin, makes sure all the secret information about Hudspeth is where it should be, assuming sarek still has his cell phone, which he always guarded carefully.

“If he perks up, which I doubt, obviously he can deliver his stuff like he's supposed to... Otherwise, I am going to prepare to deliver it myself by making sure I know where it all is, can grab it quickly, and not get caught.” She thinks to herself.

She has to plan how to deal with his change in circumstances without things looking suspicious. “I'm going to still play the quiet girlfriend who occasionally checks on sarek - but since I've made a few acquaintances, I'm not going to be a total hermit.” She’s already made a habit of hanging out on the deck watching the ocean, because much as she might care for sarek, the room has the overwhelming stench of sick. If she had actually been just his girlfriend, she might have asked for a room of her own.

For now, she calls housekeeping to clean up and rejoins the group in the Lounge.
__________

Turbochica follows Dr. Smith and sarek down to the infirmary, and signs paperwork while the doctor gets sarek into a gown and hooked up to an IV. There is not a lot of medical monitoring equipment, since this is an infirmary, not a hospital. Good. No loud alarms to let anyone know anything is wrong.

Dr. Smith comes out with sarek’s clothes in a plastic bag and hands them to Turbochica. “I trust you can get these locked away until he needs them again. I’ll just sleep in the infirmary tonight to keep an eye on him.”

“Of course you will,” Turbochica replies, looking him straight in the eyes. “And you will remember me leaving here right away and not doing anything else. . .you will fall asleep, and when you wake and find sarek dead, the signs will be clear that his heart failed.”

Dr. Smith’s eyes are staring blankly as he repeats, “You left right away. I fell asleep. Sarek died of heart failure. . .”

“Good. Why don’t you just lie down right now?”

He obeys mindlessly. Sarek is so weak and tired that he barely struggles and makes only a whimpering sound as Turbochica drains the last bit of life from him. Not the best meal she’s ever had, but it’s better than nothing, and she was starving!

Rather than taking sarek’s belongings to Daniel’s office for safekeeping, she brings them to her cabin. Well, well. What a surprise. A satellite cell phone in a pants pocket, and the contacts list is filled with big names at Cirrus. Oh, and some texts about delivering the information after the ship docked back at home. Very interesting. She had always thought he was too smart to be selling coffee and snacks – seems she had underestimated him even more than she’d realized.
__________

In the meantime, someothertime is attempting to resurrect Lunacie, aware of the potential danger, but confident nonetheless that he can handle it. After all, he hasn’t gotten the physical components to complete the spell, so he’s only practicing the incantation.

As he gets to the end, he feels the familiar chill, and he just knows he’s getting it right. But in the very next moment, he realizes how wrong he was. Without the materials for focusing the spell, he’s opened the gate between life and death, and it opens with a crash and a roar and bright, hot flashes of light. Demonic hands reach out from the gate and wrap around him, then wrench his soul from his body. It seems to take forever, but it’s over in a moment, leaving nothing but a sulfurous stench and someothertime’s lifeless corpse with a look of horror frozen on its face.
__________

As everyone is relaxing post-dinner, there is suddenly a tremendous roar, followed by a bang that shakes the entire ship. The lights flicker, and then everything's back to normal, or so it seems. There's a smell that's sort of like rotten eggs coming from the cabin area, but the captain reports to Ms. Amtram over the walkie-talkies that whatever it was had nothing to do with the ship - everything is working fine, and the water's clear for miles.

Abi, silivrentoliel, Turbochica and TygerSan head towards the smell – smoke is seeping out from under the door of someothertime’s cabin. Turbochica breaks the glass that contains the fire extinguisher and axe, and hands the axe to TygerSan, then runs to get help. A few strong whacks, and the door is open. TygerSan belatedly worries whether opening the door was all that good an idea, but it’s too late for that.
Everyone in the hall is fine after the door opens, but someothertime is looking pretty disturbingly dead. His face is frozen in a grimace of pain and fear, and his body is twisted unnaturally, as if someone had yanked something out of his core and dropped him on the floor like a rag doll.

The smoke and smell dissipate quickly after the door is opened, and there is an old, raggedy book on the floor, open and surrounded by candles that are now extinguished and toppled over.

Closer inspection reveals that the book is a grimoire - a recipe book of spells - and it was open to a spell to resurrect a dead soul. Apparently, someothertime wasn't quite prepared for something this complex, and paid the ultimate price.

Ms. Amtram followed the group, but without the same sense of urgency. At this point, she knows it's utterly pointless to try to stop any of these lunatics from doing whatever it is they want to do. She sees what's inside someothertime's cabin, and simply sighs. From the hall, she tries to call Dr. Smith to let him know he needs to put another body in cold storage.

She gets no answer. That's odd, because he should be awake at this early hour, and he has a patient, too.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," she announces, "I need to find Dr. Smith so we can document the evidence in this room and remove poor someothertime. I think he'd prefer not to be remembered like this." She looks back into the room so she can take a mental inventory of what is where. "Of course, I know it's pointless to ask, but please don't disturb anything."

She walks down the hall towards the infirmary, leaving the party gathered at the scene.

Daniel had followed as well, and his first concern is TygerSan. "You were pretty impressive with that axe. . .but are you OK? This is a pretty grotesque scene. . ."

TygerSan whispers in Daniel’s ear, and they leave together. Silivrentoliel is reminded that she should get housekeeping to get the smell out of her room. Abi, frustrated that nobody is on board with him to go kill Ms. Mango right then and there, announces that he’s off to the lounge to resume his drinking, but instead tries to follow TygerSan and Daniel to see where they’re going. However, TygerSan stops before going far, and invites Abi and silivrentoliel to join them to discuss a staking party. . .
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Amtram
12-14-13, 07:02 PM
NIGHT FOUR

Ms. Amtram returns to the room with a gurney and one of the crew members from the bridge. They take away someothertime's body after shooting photos of the scene, and pull what's left of the door closed after exiting the room.

The group of passengers have already left, so she is grateful for small favors. They won’t know tonight that she found Dr. Smith sleeping like a log and sarek dead, and that Dr. Smith insisted that sarek had died of heart failure the moment she awakened him, without even having examined his body. Dr. Smith being in no condition to lift his own body, much less someothertime’s, was left behind, and Ms. Amtram took matters into her own hands. She can share the news about sarek tomorrow morning.
__________

Turbochica elects to go to her room to escape the horror of it all. Abi, TygerSan, silivrentoliel, and Daniel sit down in the Lounge. They make their plan to stake Ms. Mango. When they arrive at her door, TygerSan is prepared to hack it open with her axe, when Abi decides that they’ve made enough noise that even if she were inside, she’d be ready for them now. He tells Tyger and Daniel to grab someothertime’s grimoire, and takes silivrentoliel to get Fuzzy’s book – he expects to find something between the two tomes on banishing evil spirits, because it seems everyone is getting a sense that Lunacie is back, haunting them. While in his room, Abi slips a meat cleaver into his jacket pocket and gives silivrentoliel a stake.

Hearing the group disperse, Ms. Mango gets a very clever idea on how to escape. . .or at least it seems clever at the time. . .she quietly and carefully removes the tarp from one of the lifeboats, jumps in, and presses the button that lowers the boat down the side. Not only had she not considered how she would survive on a lifeboat with no provisions in the middle of the ocean, but she also gave no thought to how loud the motor that lowered the lifeboat would be. By the time the noise can be heard and the vibrations can be felt from inside the ship, she's too far down to reach the button to turn it off. . .
__________

Daniel recognizes the sound of a lifeboat being lowered, and knows exactly where to go. He and Tyger arrive seconds before the boat hits the water, and Daniel stops the motor and puts it into reverse. The lifeboat begins to rise, and TygerSan pulls out one of the sugar packets of vervain, preparing to give Ms. Mango an opportunity to prove her innocence. Ms. Mango readily eats up the vervain, showing no ill effects.
__________

Abi and silivrentoliel arrive at Ms. Mango’s door, waiting for TygerSan and Daniel. It seems to be taking a long time, so they start thumbing through Fuzzy’s book on contacting the dead. It is filled with stuff like automatic writing, teaching yourself to be a spirit medium, ouija boards, scrying, pendulums, recording EVPs, as well as the section on seances that Abi already read. It has warnings about accidentally connecting with evil spirits and demons and has hints about how to call specific spirits, which are different depending on which method you're using.

Finally, they decide to see if they can follow the noise and end up on the deck by the lifeboat in time to see that Ms. Mango has been vindicated by vervain. Abi suggests they stick together. . .but when silivrentoliel says she wants to check on sarek, he lets them know he’s going to follow her alone while they wait.
__________

Turbochica gets a sudden thought. "You know, if I were Lunacie, I would copy all the contacts and the text messages from sarek's phone and forward them to Mr. Hudspeth's private email as well as my own. Hmm. And then I would remove the sim card, put the phone back into the pocket it came from, and get the bag locked up in Daniel's safe!"

Of course, she can't get the bag to Daniel's safe at this hour, but she can drop it off in his office.

After finishing with the phone, she drifts off to sleep, and Lunacie appears in her dream, gesturing for her to follow. She stops at sarek and silivrentoliel's door, points at it, and says "find the rest. Find the rest. Find the rest." and then fades to smoke.

This jolts her awake. She goes to search sarek’s room while the hallway seems clear. They didn't lock the door when they took sarek out, which makes it much easier to sneak into the room.

Turbochica knows that some of the wall panels are removable for access to electric and plumbing, so in addition to drawers and under and behind things, she checks for removable panels. She finds a laptop, and two notebooks hidden in the panels. What's written in them seems like gibberish, but if they didn't mean something, they wouldn't have been hidden.

Everything goes into her gym bag, which she takes to the fitness room.
An hour or so on the treadmill always seems to make it easier to fall asleep.

After her workout and shower, yes, sleep comes much more easily.
__________

Silivrentoliel reaches the infirmary, and not only is sarek not there, but it’s so neat that it’s almost like he never was there. Dr. Smith is deep asleep in a chair in the corner. She quietly looks around, assessing the situation, and does it for long enough that Abi gives up being secretive about following her and enters the room. He holds his finger up to his lips and whispers to her, "Maybe we should wake him?"

It occurs to him that silivrentoliel is not, and has not, been acting like much of a girlfriend. She was much more interested in joining the group to hunt down Ms. Mango, and now that she’s finally gotten down to the infirmary to find that sarek’s gone, she doesn’t seem upset or even interested in finding out what happened to him.

He suggests that she wake the doctor and ask him what happened to her “boyfriend,” in a tone that clearly indicates his doubt that he actually was that to her.

After Abi leaves, silivrentoliel tries to awaken Dr. Smith. He is just becoming conscious when Abi returns with Turbochica in tow. With some additional prodding from Abi, Dr. Smith wakes up, but is still groggy. He looks around at silivrentoliel, Abi, and Turbochica, and for no apparent reason, says, "Heart failure. Massive dehydration. Down with the others."
Silivrentoliel looks shocked and really upset at the same time, her lips moving but nothing is coming out. . .

Abi brusquely addresses silivrentoliel. “ Siliv, cut the act, why don't you?”

Hurt, she replies, “what act? he's dead, Abi!”

He then descends on the doctor. “Did you examine the body? Was he human? No dental abnormalities?”

"What? Yes, of course. Why wouldn't he. . .oh, right. Crazyboat. Human. Yes." Silivrentoliel asks about sarek’s belongings, and Dr. Smith confirms, “Ms. Turbochica signed the paperwork, and took Mr. Sarek's belongings to be locked in the safe in the Concierge Office." He cracks his neck, stiff from sleeping sitting up. "Now, if you don't mind, unless one of you is in need of medical treatment, I'd like to go back to sleep - in a bed."

Turbochica offers to escort the doctor to his quarters and get him some hot milk if he thinks he might have trouble sleeping. The moment they’re out of the room, Abi whispers to silivrentoliel, “Do you work for Cirrus? Or do you secretly work for us?”

Before getting an answer, he sees Turbochica head towards the kitchen, and tries to follow her. He can’t get close enough to see without being seen, but he hears her ring a bell outside the door and request the milk and cookies be sent to the Doctor. (Since the kitchen now has a sign that reads “Employees Only,” and is locked up, she can’t simply walk in and speak to the staff directly.) He rushes back to the infirmary only to find that silivrentoliel has left already, and heads directly to her cabin to bang on her door and continue his inquiry.

Silivrentoliel, however, is not there. She has no particular interest in being found, and so has chosen to wander the ship instead.
___________

TygerSan, Ms. Mango, and Daniel elect not to go into someothertime’s room while all this is going on, but rather make their way to the Concierge Front Office.

Daniel sees the bag of sarek’s personal belongings with a note from Turbochica, and locks it in the safe in the back office, then offers to make coffee for TygerSan and Ms. Mango.

Ms. Mango leans back in a chair and sighs. “How about I find Abi and shoot him?” she wonders.

“Don't shoot him yet...” TygerSan replies with a chuckle. “This is going to sound absolutely insane, but please slap me and try to strangle me. Stupid, I know, but I need to know if something I experienced was real or just a dream.”

“Snap out of it! What's going on? You seem to have been in a dream state.” Ms. Mango slaps TygerSan, hard. “In any case, you seem to know something I don't. I was happy to win this vacation (ha, how stupid was that in retrospect), but it's been difficult to get to know people. Even though we all work for the same company, I just don't get you people from Corporate.” She adds that she left her gun at home anyway. . .
TygerSan was hoping that her necklace would reveal she was under attack by a supernatural, but this was not enough to provoke it. . .
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Amtram
12-14-13, 07:15 PM
DAY FIVE

Turbochica had asked Abi to tell the others when he found them to meet in the Lounge, but it seems to have been quite some time, so she helps herself to some cookies, which the kitchen has now delivered.

Silivrentoliel’s wanderings have brought her to the Lounge at last. Turbochica beckons her over, gives her a hug, and they sit at the table. She makes her a plate of the prettiest cookies and sets it in front of her.

Abi didn’t find the others or tell them, because his next order of business after not finding silivrentoliel was to get someothertime’s grimoire. He finds it where it was left, and picks it up. He takes it to his room.

He realises that a banishment spell is too dangerous, given that he’s not even a witch, but he would like to find a simple spell that provides protection against Vampire ghosts. One specific Vampire Ghost if such a spell exists and is easier. And he only wants to use it on himself.

F*** the rest of them.

He finds nothing that fits the bill, and realizes that there’s really nothing in the grimoire that can be done by someone who isn’t a witch.

However, looking at the spell that someothertime was trying to cast, he sees that it required some material components that he clearly didn't have when he was attempting the resurrection spell, most importantly items that belonged to the person being resurrected that would prevent other spirits and demons from crossing the veil while the one you're resurrecting becomes corporeal.

So. . .if Lunacie is the only one wandering the ship, that’s a stroke of good fortune.

There are more suggestions for protection from the dead in Fuzzy's book - but they can’t be counted on to be effective. A lot of her book is just mainstream mysticism with lots of misguided speculation.
_________

Lunacie is already aware that she is now actually present on the ship. She is free to go anywhere. She can even appear as a ghostly figure. She can see and hear everything as if she were still alive, but is not constrained by doors or walls – or people not saying things they’d repress if they knew she was there.

She tries reading minds, and fails. She tries to speak aloud, but the best she can do is create a chill, a sense of unease, a whisper like a breeze.

Before the spell, she knew she could send cryptic messages to Turbochica while she was dreaming. She wonders if this power has expanded or increased since she’s crossed over to the mortal plain, but nobody has slept yet for her to try it. . .
__________

Abi enters the lounge, rubs his eyes, and sits down with Turbochica and silivrentoliel. “Sorry, needed a bit of shuteye.” He reaches over, takes silivrentoliel's coffee and offers it to Turbochica. “Drink,” he orders.

Turbochica looks at the coffee then up curiously at Abi. She picks up the cup and takes a long sip. “Ahhhhhhhh.....so good! The Barista made this Caramel Macchiato from her special grind. Can't let coffee that special go to waste . . .or to just anyones waist. . .” she laughs.

Silivrentoliel glares at Abi. “You took my coffee, why?? For a top salesman, you are awfully rude.”

Turbochica assures her that the Barista will make a special one just for her to replace it.

“Siliv,” Abi interjects, “Turbo is too fond of offering and giving people coffee. And sarek died of causes yet unknown. I was potentially saving your life.” The looks he gets from the two women appear somewhat less than grateful. He adds, “With 5 of our shipmates dead, and vampires, werewolves, spies and vampire-ghosts rolling around the ship, I think the time for politeness is long past...”

He orders a Southern Comfort, and excuses himself to go off in search of TygerSan.

Ms. Amtram and Dr. Smith enter the Lounge, and seeing Turbochica and silivrentoliel alone, Ms. Amtram asks if they might join them after they get their breakfasts from the buffet.
__________

Abi enters Daniel’s office and asks to speak with TygerSan in private. Tyger tells him she has to have a moment alone with Daniel first. Ms. Mango decides this is probably a good time to head to the Lounge for breakfast anyway.

“Daniel, now that I'm alone, I need to make sure that Mango is not a vampire. In order to do that, I *need* her to attack me. Like seriously attack me. Could you let her know that you suspect me of being something more than I appear, and not in a good way?

“If she is, my charm should protect me, and I should be able to stake her. If not, I'll need some serious help to get outta the mess, but at least we know she's safe.”

“But. . .I'm worried that if you try to do that alone, and she is the vampire, she'll get away. I understand that it takes four normal humans to overcome a vampire who isn't disabled by vervain. She didn't have any trouble with the vervain you gave her, so she's either not a vampire. . .or a vampire who's dosed herself with vervain long enough to develop a tolerance for it.” Daniel thinks he’s covered the possibilities. . .

“Oh, and one more question, if you don't mind. I'd like to have at least one more ally in all of this. Do you trust Abi enough to have him play along with us, or should I just let him know that I'm afraid Mango might do something brash? In any case, I'm going to walk to Abi's room for a bit and then grab some coffee with Mango in the lounge.”

“I’m not certain about trusting Mr. Abi, but without numbers, you just might have to.”

TygerSan arrives at Abi's door and knocks.
__________

Abi, in the meantime, is waiting for TygerSan not in his room, but in the alcove at the end of the hall, stake and meat cleaver at the ready. When he determines that she does not seem prepared to attack him the moment he opens the door, he comes out and greets her. “Can’t be too careful,” he explains.

“Sure,” she agrees. Once they’re in his room, she explains what she wants to try to do. “I'm going to need you to do something. Daniel refuses because he's afraid I'll get killed if I'm right, and he does have a point, it is really dangerous. I have a protector. This protector is one who will come out of hiding if I am attacked by a supernatural creature.

“I think that mango is our vamp, but I think she's dosed herself slowly with vervain and is resistant. If I'm right, then if she is somehow persuaded to attack me, my protector will awaken, and hold her off. I will then need quite a few people to help me stake her. If I'm wrong, then I'll need rescue after the attack.

“Problem is, I'm not nearly as good a salesperson as you are.”

Abi replies, keeping his voice down, “I've come to the same conclusion. All of us have passed the vervain test. I don't think Mango is the Vamp. I think it's Turbo. The rest of us have all been cleared independantly of vervain.

“Me because I killed Luna. You because Luna attacked you, and you helped me kill Luna. Siliv because Somo told me that he used his witchy powers to investigate her, and she wasn't a Vamp. And Mango because she tried to escape in a ******* LIFEBOAT. A Vampire has the stamina to just jump into the ocean and swim however many miles she needs to get to shore.

“Your thoughts?”

“Turbo may well have been turned, but my money is still on Mango. Think about the seance: Fuzzy's message was *a*, which could be interpreted as there being an a in the middle of the name. Turbo was mentioned by Luna as a possible target the first night, as was Sarek. Luna could've been the killer, I suppose, but I would still like to put mango to the test.”

“Okay,” Abi agrees, “I have a bad history with Siliv and Turbo, and you have a bad history with Mango. So you get S and T on board, and I'll get M on board. My Turbo hypothesis is reasonable enough to convince her that Turbo is the target. Where do you want this to go down?”
He then suggests, “Okay... Tyger, you get Siliv and Turbo to the Lounge. Bring your stake. I'll get Mango - I'll tell her that Turbo is the target. Tell Siliv to confirm to Mango that Turbo is the target, in case Mango asks. Tell Turbo to tell Mango that Siliv is the target, if Mango asks.”

They leave, Abi holds back a bit so it doesn’t look like they were coming in together, and fills a plate from the buffet before asking Ms. Mango if he may join her. "We haven't had much time to talk. I'm awfully sorry about that lynch mob thing. This Vampire sh** has got us all on edge..."
He offers her tea, and she accepts, but admits that she likes hers with a bit of bourbon, which she helps herself to from the bar.

Under the table, he scribbles his email on a napkin and slides it over to Ms. Mango and says they need to talk. She suggests they can talk now. Abi exits the Lounge, Ms. Mango finishes her tea, and leaves as if she’s not following Abi at all.
__________

It looks like everyone is in the Lounge except TygerSan and Daniel.

TygerSan knows she promised to talk to silivrentoliel, but she finds herself in no rush to leave. Daniel has been nothing but polite with her, a perfect gentleman, and has maintained his professionalism in the face of some challenging situations, but something about his posture, his demeanor, shows that the atmosphere has changed now that they’re alone.

“Tyger,” he begins nervously, “I am being honest with you when I say that I have never felt this way about anyone before. You are beautiful inside and out – the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met. I told you that I’ve done a lot of traveling, but there’s still so much more of the world I have yet to see. . .and I know I want to see it with you.”

He comes a little closer and tentatively reaches out for her hand. When she doesn’t resist, he takes it and tenderly kisses each of her fingertips.

“I have enough saved to get a nice boat of my own, maybe big enough to take passengers sometimes to earn some money. Would you consider giving up everything to share that life with me? Please say you will.”

TygerSan’s answer is a smile and a nod, and she and Daniel fall into a joyful embrace. His kiss makes her feel like she’s the most precious treasure on the face of the earth. But the moment can last only so long when there are urgent matters awaiting.

“That boat sounds an awful lot better than going back to work for someone who seems to be sending us to the far reaches of beyond. Come to think of it, do *you* know where our final destination is?”

“Oh, yes, we're heading right back to the dock we departed from. We never really had a destination, it was just a cruise to nowhere,” Daniel tells her.

TygerSan is relieved, just knowing home is only a couple of days away, but she’s still consumed with exposing the danger she feels Ms. Mango poses.

“Daniel, if you won't help me get Mango to attack, then will you help me escape the aftermath?”

“I'm not a violent man, but I'll do anything to make you happy.”
_________

Dr. Smith is not particularly talkative, and politely takes his leave as soon as he's done eating.

Ms. Amtram chit-chats for a while with Turbochica and Silivrentoliel, and mentions almost casually how eventful this trip has been, and how since they're on their return leg and will be arriving home on DAY SEVEN, she has some paperwork to complete for Mr. Hudspeth.

She also mentions that tonight, the Restaurant will be set up for dancing and partying, with a DJ and mood lighting, so she has to get the crew to work preparing for that as well. She asks Turbochica and silivrentoliel to spread the word. They'll also have a fireworks display at midnight, and there's nothing lovelier than fireworks over the ocean. . .

Turbochica is obviously thrilled with the idea of a formal dance, and spends several minutes entertaining silivrentoliel with her grandiose plans until they are alone in the Lounge. She reaches over and takes silivrentoliel’s hands into her own, smiles, and looks deep into her eyes.

“I know you’re so sad about losing sarek,” Turbochica says.
Silivrentoliel realizes, too late, that she is no longer in control of her own mind.

“Maybe if you go to some nice secluded spot by the rail on the lower deck, the fresh air will make you feel better.”

“Yes, the fresh air on the lower deck will make me feel better,” silivrentoliel agrees without a thought of her own.

“You just stand there and wait for me. You’re going to be very quiet and not make a sound,” Turbochica commands.

“I’ll wait for you. I won’t make a sound.”

“Now put on a smile and go, sweetheart.”

Silivrentoliel smiles, and walks out of the Lounge as if she were doing it of her own volition. Turbochica finishes the last few sips of her coffee, and notices one of the waiters clearing up Abi and Ms. Mango’s table. She greets him, and the moment he looks at her, he’s caught up in her compulsion.

“Ms. Silivrentoliel is so broken up about the death of Mr. sarek. It’s so sad. I hope she doesn’t do anything rash.”

The waiter replies blankly, “She’s so sad. I hope she doesn’t do anything rash.” The moment Turbochica releases him, he wonders why that thought would have occurred to him, but Turbochica doesn’t give him time to think about it. She yawns and stretches dramatically and tells him, “Well, I’ll get out of your way. I need some beauty sleep before this party tonight!”

She heads towards her cabin, but detours down the stairs towards the lower deck, where she finds silivrentoliel alone, and nobody in sight. She tenderly puts her right hand on silivrentoliel’s cheek and turns her face towards her. With her left, she puts a finger to her lips and says, “Shhh. . .”

It takes mere moments for her to drain silivrentoliel of blood. So much more satisfying than sarek, and now she won’t be hungry again until after they dock. Perfect. She lifts silivrentoliel’s limp body with ease and tosses her over the side.

“Oh, such a beautiful love. How tragic that she couldn’t live without him. . .” She cleans the blood off her face with a disposable wet napkin from her pocket and heads to her cabin to enjoy a nice nap on a full stomach.
__________

“Hey, what’s up?” Ms. Mango asks as soon as she encounters Abi.

“Mango, we need to go to your room and talk, NOW!”

“So, what's on your mind? I'd prefer we find some out of the way spot rather than going back to my cabin. I hardly know you and there's been too many incidents on this cruise.”

“Seriously, I'm NOT the one you should be worried about.” Abi removes a stake from his coat and hands it to Ms. Mango. “Your room, please?”

“My, my, my said the spider to the fly, jump right into my web. Fine. Just so you know, I'm armed. In addition to your stake--which, btw, will be quite useful to me.”

“Okay, we talk here. What's your job at Hudspeth? Did he hire you to uncover a conspiracy to undermine the company? Are you a Vampire? I don't really care right now, I prefer keeping my job.” Abi speaks quietly, but the questions come in rapid fire. “Or, more likely, are you perhaps the Hunter?”

“I'm in the Shipping/Receiving department of our Omaha warehouse. I was awarded this cruise for being voted ‘Top Performer’ this year.

“Some reward. This cruise sucks. Between the motion sickness and being attacked by people who think I'm a vampire, I can't wait to get off this tub. Just between you and me, it's crazy that anyone would think I'm a vampire. I hate vampires.

“Now that you've gotten your answers from me I have a few questions for you. What the hell do you do for Hudspeth? Really, and don't give me any crap,” she says, turning the stake around in her hands.

“I still think you are either the Hunter or working for Hudspeth to out spies/conspiracies. Me - I am really the VP of Sales. I have strong relationships with many people here because I have used my influence to get them raises and promotions. I am rich and have travelled extensively and therefore have knowledge of the supernatural and substances such as vervain, which I have been supplying people with / spiking people with. I don't see you as a Vampire. A Vampire doesnt escape in a LIFEBOAT. They just jump in and swim to shore, they have the stamina.” Abi eyes her defiantly, certain he’s got her number. “Vampires also dont walk around with weapons. Hunters, however, do.

“I really don't have time to continue this. If you want to talk more, email me." He slowly backs away from Mango, with his hands in the air, before turning around and running down the corridor.

“Ok, fair enough. “ Mango’s fury matches Abi’s. “Well, you've certainly spent a lot of time and effort getting everyone their tea, so you must know something I don't. What might that be? If you're legit you have to know there isn't much time to get this matter resolved. Who hasn't had your special tea?”

He hears her and turns around. “EVERYONE. THEY’VE ALL HAD THE TEA. The remaining Original Vampire is IMMUNE.” Scornfully, he adds, “Have your Hunter investigations cleared anyone?”
__________

Turbochica drifts off to sleep with ease, but as she slips into dreaming, she feels as if the dream is happening in real life.

Lunacie appears and shows her a vision of Abi plotting with TygerSan and Daniel - then having a group of four corner her and stake her. “Abi thought he was so smart figuring out that I was a vampire, but I actually had a momentary lapse and gave myself away. He sure hasn't been smart enough to figure out who my buddy is, eh? Of course, your immunity to vervain threw him off at first. Well done on that!”

She is enjoying the dream, but the yelling in the hallway becomes so heated that she begins to awaken. It’s definitely Abi, the male voice, and she thinks the female voice sounds like Ms. Mango – it’s definitely not TygerSan, at least. She catches a few words, then more as the volume rises and she becomes conscious. . .but the thing she definitely hears is Abi saying “Have your Hunter investigations cleared anyone?”

Well, that’s interesting. She’ll have to cross Ms. Mango off her “to-do” list. What’s even more curious is that this particular Hunter doesn’t seem terribly interested in hunting Vampires. There’s probably a fascinating story behind that. . .
__________

TygerSan and Daniel have very little trouble locating Abi and Ms. Mango as their discussion becomes louder and louder.

Their timing is impeccable. They enter the far end of the hallway just in time to see Abi turn around and storm back in Ms. Mango's direction. “EVERYONE. THEY’VE ALL HAD THE TEA. The remaining Original Vampire is IMMUNE.”

Even from a distance, TygerSan can see the look of scorn on his face. “Have your Hunter investigations cleared anyone?”

TygerSan needs to think quickly. If Mango's the Hunter and not the Vampire, she's still a supernatural threat. If she provokes her, and she's ticked off enough now that it probably wouldn't take much, she would attack TygerSan and her protector would emerge from the necklace and save her.

But. . .does she want to save a Vampire Hunter who's done nothing to hunt the Vampires? She never even met her before this trip, her or silivrentoliel, but has worked for years with Abi and Turbochica. Who should be trusted, and who should be feared?

At this point, Abi realizes that TygerSan and Daniel have heard at least some part of his heated exchange with Ms. Mango, because he sees them come around the corner behind Ms. Mango, and the look of shock on both their faces is apparent.

Ms. Mango, seeing Abi's sudden change in demeanor, and the direction of his stare, turns to look at what's behind her, and immediately realizes the same thing Abi probably did - some of their secrets are not so secret anymore.

Abi quickly regains his composure, feigns nonchalance, and says breezily, “So, Ms. Mango, see you at the party tonight, yes?” He waves to Tyger and Daniel, announces that he’s off to the Lounge, and hurries away.

TygerSan grabs Ms. Mango by the shoulders and spins her around. “Immune, you say? How would you know that? And how do we know that you're NOT the immune vampire?” She sees the opportunity to goad Ms. Mango enough to cause her ghost protector to provide the answer. She calls out for Abi and silivrentoliel to come help her stake this Vampire, but nobody comes to her aid.
__________

Abi makes a quick escape, checks to see that the Lounge is empty, grabs a quick Gin and Tonic, and knocks at Ms. Amtram’s office door.

Distractedly, Ms. Amtram says "Come in," but barely looks up from her stack of paperwork to acknowledge you when he does.

“ Ms. Amtram, we need to discuss something of importance.”

"If you can make it quick, please. Mr. Hudspeth wants all of this completed and organized and signed and bound before we dock."

"I have heard rumours of a plan to undermine Hudspeth Corp. Ms. Chica also confirmed this and suggested the presence of spies. That Vampire woman Luna was, I believe, looking into this. Do you have any knowledge of this? You can be assured of my loyalty to the company... it WAS me who poached all those clients from Cirrus Corp. afterall.”

Ms. Amtram sighs deeply. "I know what Mr. Hudspeth tells me I need to know. As you can see by this enormous stack of paper, generated by only five days of travel, he is a very thorough man, and very attentive to details. My contract for this journey is very specific as to what I am expected to notice and what I am expected to ignore. It is almost as thick as this stack on my desk.” She waves her hand over the stack as demonstration.

“Our jobs are at stake. . .with Vampires and Werewolves and potential saboteurs around, so are OUR LIVES. You've clearly been instructed by Hudspeth to ignore anything supernatural seeming And any unusal deaths I dont know what Hudspeths game is, but Ms. Amtram, what I do know is we need to work together if we are are going to come out of this alive and with our jobs intact. Please, tell me what you know.”

Ms. Amtram chuckles and shakes her head. "'Ignore' is a rather judgmental word, don't you think? I have ignored nothing. I observe and report, and act according to my contract. And according to my contract, I am not to interfere except where it concerns this ship and its crew. Mr. Hudspeth carefully chose the passengers for this trip - I am not privy to his reasons, nor do I care to be. Whatever the outcome, it is his concern, not mine."

“Have you considered that he may have "very carefully" chosen the staff here as well? In which case the outcome should be very much your concern Ms. Amtram.”

"I was instrumental in hiring, so I'm well aware of the staff selection process. And that is another piece of information that I am contractually obligated to keep confidential. In fact, I would suggest that you do something else to occupy yourself before tonight's festivities, because I have work to do for that as well. There is nothing else we can speak about. I'm sure you can let yourself out. . ."

“*****. . .” he mutters as he leaves.
__________

Unbeknownst to the others, Lunacie’s ghost has been very attentively following the proceedings. Besides wanting to pass on her observations to Turbochica in dreams, she’s also enjoying the chaos. There are some people whose failure or death would please her immensely, but regardless, it’s all entertainment to someone who’s already dead.

TygerSan has been pressing Ms. Mango to get angry and attack, but Ms. Mango seems disinclined towards physical violence against her. Whether she’s Vampire or Hunter, this behavior of hers is very odd, indeed.

After a short time, they’re interrupted by Abi. "STOP!! EVERYONE STOP!!!" He pulls out a meat cleaver and makes a modest cut on his left hand. It bleeds. “It does not heal, see?” A Vampire, of course, would heal in moments, and he presents this as evidence that he’s human. “Now you, Mango. Hold out your hand.”

Ms. Mango looks at him disdainfully. “I like my blood on the inside where it will do me the most good. You already know vervain has no effect on me, and I doubt the vampire is immune to vervain. Are you quite sure *everyone* has had your vervain spiked tea? What about staff--some of them are people too.

“I want to rid us of the vampire as much as, if not more than, the rest of the mortals on this ship of fools;“ she shows Abi's stake for emphasis, “ I just can't afford to make another, oops, I mean a mistake. Neither can any of you.”

This is not good enough for Abi. “Ms. Mango, your hand?”

“You really think everyone is going to agree to let you go all RONCO chop-o-matic on them so they can prove they aren't a vampire?”
He can’t play this game anymore. He swings the cleaver in the direction of Ms. Mango’s face – it connects, but he doesn’t wait to see what might happen next. He only hopes she doesn’t heal before he can get away and hide.

Ms. Mango collapses in pain. She can’t see, and she’s bleeding profusely.

“Well damn!” TygerSan thinks to herself. She kneels down by Mango and tries her best to staunch the bleeding. “Daniel, can you be a dear and radio Dr. Smith?” she asks, and Daniel is calling him on his walkie-talkie before she even finishes asking and tells Dr. Smith that there's a laceration that may need stitches.

“Damn damn damn. If only you hadn't been so averse to violence,” she mutters to Ms. Mango.

“Thank you. I've been so afraid to make a mistake like last time. Now I'm paralyzed by fear. And blinded by that maniac!” Ms. Mango, like this, seems so unlike the brash, confident woman who only moments ago was standing up to Abi and his meat cleaver. . .

Dr. Smith arrives and cleans Ms. Mango up, and tells her that if he's going to do anything to fix her face, they're going to have to go to the infirmary. . .but he won't be able to save her right eye.

Strangely, he asks no questions about how it happened, nor does Daniel volunteer any information.

With the situation in hand, TygerSan tells Daniel she needs to eat before she passes out – but first she wants to clean up the blood. She leans over and whispers in his ear, “I am so over this crazy shyte. Luna set me and Mango up from the beginning. I'm starting to wonder if Abi is the mystery vamp, and if so, I'm done. Just take me as far away from this crazy company and strange employees as possible.” She heads towards her room, and Daniel helps Dr. Smith carry Ms. Mango to the infirmary.
__________

Abi first runs towards Daniel’s office, then realizes this is not the best spot to hide. It occurs to him that someothertime’s room, behind the bed, out of sight of the door, would be a better place – nobody will look for him in a dead guy’s cabin. He takes out his phone, emails his stock broker and requests that all his Hudspeth Corporation shares be sold. . .
He sets an alarm on his phone so he won’t miss the party, and falls asleep, meat cleaver in hand.
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Amtram
12-14-13, 07:19 PM
NIGHT FIVE

Turbochica has taken care of the paperwork regarding Dr. Smith's care of Ms. Mango, tried to assure her that the company will take care of all her medical needs, and offered whatever help she can.

Ms. Mango is cleaned up and stitched neatly, and a bandage covers the cut over her left eye and her now useless right eye. She's been dosed with painkillers. Dr. Smith advises that she skip the festivities, but who knows with Ms. Mango?

TygerSan has had a chance to clean up, have lunch with Daniel, and even slip in a few hours of shuteye.

Abi has not been seen - but to my knowledge, nobody was looking for him.

silivrentoliel, as well, has been absent, but with so much else going on, nobody's gone looking for her, either, so she could be anywhere.

Even though there are so few passengers, the crew has gone all out with decorations in the Restaurant; the dance floor has been laid down, a mirror ball hangs above it, a DJ station has been set up, and there are rotating colored lights and strobes to provide the right atmosphere for dancing.

The amount and variety of food at the buffet table far exceeds what our remaining passengers could ever eat, and a waiter stands ready at the end with champagne glasses and an excessive amount of very fine chilled champagne.

The waitstaff is behaving as if nothing out of the ordinary has happened this entire time, and they're there to serve a group of happy people celebrating. Dr. Smith has opted to stay in the infirmary - with or without Ms. Mango - and Daniel will arrive with TygerSan, escorting her in gentlemanly fashion. Edward is handling the serving staff, leaving Ms. Amtram free to mingle with the passengers and perhaps even enjoy the party - if there's anything to enjoy.
__________
Abi heads to the infirmary, and a quick peek in the narrow glass panel in the door lets him catch a glimpse of Ms. Mango sitting up and chatting with Dr. Smith. A dozen plans run through his head, but each has an insurmountable problem to overcome. Ms. Mango will not cooperate, and he won’t be able to get any help from Dr. Smith, either. With both of them there, he can’t enlist, persuade, or overpower either of them. He heads down the hallway, then feels a sudden chill and what sounds like Lunacie's disembodied voice whispering in his ear, "Kill none."
__________
Ms. Mango, on high alert even though she’s in pain, sees the briefest movement outside the door. There is a long period of silence, but she’s waiting. Then she hears what she was waiting for – footsteps heading away from the door, not past it. Someone was outside the door, just standing there. She did not see that it was Abi, but she’s certain it was him. Whether or not she’s right, it feeds the anger she feels towards him. He’s going down tonight.
__________
Abi tries to communicate with Lunacie, but she’s given him all she’s going to. He heads to the Restaurant to see if anyone else has arrived. Everything is there for a party except guests. He orders a bourbon, sips it for a bit, then decides that if nobody’s here now, he’s going to find out where they are.
__________
Ms. Mango waits only until she hears the footsteps leaving the hall. She wants to talk to TygerSan, sensing she will be an ally if only they can have a complete conversation. She decides to check in Daniel’s office before heading to TygerSan’s cabin, since it’s obviously likely that she will be there as anywhere else, and it’s in the same hall as the infirmary.
She strides in without knocking, and sure enough, TygerSan is there, dressed and made up, and just about to leave with Daniel for the party.

Ms. Mango wastes no time. “Tyger, I need your help!”

TygerSan is too surprised to come up with anything more than “What's up?”

Ms. Mango is filling TygerSan in with her plans, her history, the reasons for her actions, when her ears perk up. Footsteps coming down the hall, towards the office. She has a feeling she knows who’s coming.
Conversation stops, she holds a finger to her lips to let TygerSan and Daniel to act like she’s not there, and she presses herself against the wall by the door where she won’t be seen until the door closes. She pulls out the stake that Abi gave her, although she has plenty of her own, wanting this event to be deliberately ironic.

Sure enough, it’s Abi who enters the room, calling out for Daniel and TygerSan as he does. He is looking at them as the door closes, and doesn’t even have time to realize that anyone else is in the room before he feels a sudden, intense pain, and looks down to see the point of a sharpened wooden belaying pin protruding from his chest.

Her expected outcome guaranteed, Ms. Mango takes a moment to savor her victory. Still holding the stake from behind, she wraps her free arm around Abi’s neck, pulls him closer, and sneers into his ear, “I’d rather kill you than a Vampire any day. . .” A twist of the wrist and another thrust, and Abi is gone.

Daniel shows no emotion as he performs his professional duty and calls Dr. Smith to pick up Abi’s body. He helps him load Abi on the gurney after he arrives, trying not to get blood on his nice suit as he does so.

“So, Daniel, would you happen to know how far away from shore we are?” TygerSan begs, “I'm so itching to escape this madhouse!”

"Not to worry, dear. Once the party's cleaned up, we can head to shore at full speed and dock almost a full day early. I understand that the Captain already has orders to do so. . ."
___________
Ms. Amtram hands Turbochica a message that came to the ship for her. It explains that he is aware that Ms. Mango is a Hunter, but she has been given orders not to kill her, which she will obey without question. He asks you to leave TygerSan alone, as it seems his nephew Daniel seems to have plans for a future with her.

He goes on that the Captain has been given orders to go full speed after the party is over in order to reach home a day early, and he will have a limousine sent to each of you - and a security detail to collect the items you found and do an additional search of the ship in case there is anything else to recover.

He congratulates you and advises you to enjoy the company of Mango and Tyger and have some cocktails and lie about in the sun relaxing.
__________


Ms. Mango received word that Turbochica had collected the spy's materials and dealt with both him and his bodyguard, and to please not kill Turbochica on the last day. Just enjoy, take in some sun, have some cocktails, and you'll be picked up in a limo when you dock.

As it turns out, Mr. Hudspeth actually kind of has a fondness for Vampires. He's found that they are extremely willing to take on a challenge and stick to it, even if people are going to get hurt. He knew that someone was spying and stealing information and wanted to include both his suspects and people he knew would "stick to it and get the job done." In fact, he was just as concerned that one of his apparently loyal employees could be stealing secrets as one of the quieter ones, and wanted to make sure that there was one person aboard who would be able to deal death to anyone, but who would have the patience to wait.

Mr. Hudspeth knew that Lunacie was a Vampire. He had his suspicions about Turbochica, but sent her because out of everyone in the company, he trusts her the most. Someothertime was chosen because if anyone was turned, a witch might be able to make a daylight talisman, not because he was suspicious. Everyone else was suspect to some degree, and he expected this trip to play out with the spy defeated and his most trustworthy and efficient employees returning at the end.

Ms. Mango was chosen because if Lunacie or Turbochica turned out to be betraying him, they could be killed - same for anyone they might have turned instead of eaten. She was his ace in the hole. But there was a good deal of negotiation that went on beforehand, because he knew that it would be nearly impossible for her to resist her natural urge to kill Vampires. Her job was to lay low and stay out of the way as much as possible unless it became clear that the spy was a Vampire. As someone from outside of headquarters, she came in with no bias.
__________
Fireworks are lovely. TygerSan and Daniel hold hands as they watch, and Ms. Mango and Turbochica exchange knowing grins. Under different circumstances, TygerSan might have been the only one alive. With Ms. Mango’s promotion and transfer to headquarters a done deal, she and Turbochica will have a number of supernatural challenges to overcome, but there is a good deal of motivation to do so – financial and otherwise.

They are finally able to disclose the last few secrets – sarek was the spy, and silivrentoliel was not his girlfriend, but his bodyguard. Turbochica was able to make a meal out of each of them and make it look like there was some other cause of death, and gathered up his laptop and notebooks, so the threat of Cirrus getting inside information is gone. Security will also be doing a refit of the whole ship just in case something else is hidden.

Ms. Mango was there to kill only Vampires that turned out to be spying for Cirrus – whether that was Lunacie or Turbochica, or someone they turned by mistake. Until she got word from Mr. Hudspeth, she had to lay low, but now she feels so liberated that she can even pal around with Turbochica for the last leg of their trip.

TygerSan reveals that her ancestry contains witches – one of whom is held inside her necklace and protects her from supernatural attacks. Ms. Mango sees why Tyger was trying to provoke her – to see if she was supernatural. She suggests that maybe she should take someothertime’s grimoire and see if she inherited anything else witchy from her family. While she agrees during the conversation, inside she’s not certain whether she will do anything with the grimoire other than burn it or throw it overboard, but there’s no point in antagonizing Ms. Mango anymore.

Daniel’s secret, though, was the most closely guarded. Before revealing it, he asks TygerSan for assurances that nothing has changed – that they will spend their lives together exploring the world – then tells her that Roger Hudpseth is his Uncle. He’s not wealthy himself, but he’s avoided friendships and romance in which there was any possibility that people would know about his connection, because he wants someone who cares for him no matter what.

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