Mark was summoned by his mentor, Bertramas Sarkejus.
“Good evening” said Bertramas upon seeing his pupil. “How are the nights treating you?”
“Well, I can’t complain too much. We have our own lands, feeding place and they haven’t requested too much from us”
“And what about your studies?” he asked.
“I try to interact with spirits, met quite few of them. Also I learnt that werewolves would teach me more about them, but they asked for something in return, I yet to find that thing. Besides that, I was told about Loa, the beings to whom spirits serve. Kristoferis’ new childe knows about them much more, but I needed to pass the Crone’s trial in order to be tough by her, which I did.”
“Taught by them? They’ll stuff your head with nonsense, lies and false beliefs. You should not taint your knowledge with that. “ he answered concerned for his pupil.
“You mean the werewolves or the Circle??”
“Both, in fact. I thought you’re a Dragon, one led by evidence and truth. Not by gossip and false beliefs.”
“Sir, I am just observing and I found that they don’t fully understand the what they are dealing with. But I noticed that several of the Crone’s ritual places are highly attuned with spiritual energy and I want to investigate them. To do that I need them to trust me. As for the werewolves, they intrigue me as a supernatural species.”
“Be careful with them, they will try to get you out of your own path.”
“Oh yea, they tried, but I refused their offer and said that only information about spirits and werewolves will be exchanged between us. I talked too much about my self, why have you summoned me, is there anything I can help you with?”
“Well, your studies are what concerns me. And what about the Acolytes? There’s little they can offer you. After all, with every single true thing, there will be a line of faith tainted bullshit to go through. You could spend as much effort actually researching spirits, and that’s why I called you.”
“The thing is, I am a very young vampire and I need to make allies, that is a fact. Even if the Acolytes are misguided they still could be powerful allies. I am not trying to understand their religions or be affected by them… Through my observations of the vampire society I made a conclusion that social vampires have an advantage over loners. If you think that the time I spend with other vampires can be used more efficiently I will gladly devote myself to that task”
“There’s a difference between spending your time with other vampires and gaining allies, and allowing your mind and your studies to be tainted by lies. There’s plenty of vampire’s who’ll gladly make friends among Invictus and the Carthians. Regardless… about your studies. I think there’s something you should investigate and report back to me. My ghoul found something interesting… however it’s too risky for him to look into, so that’s why I want you to take a look.”
“If you will see me stray from the Dragon’s path, I will cut my ties with the Circle, but at the moment I mainly socialize with Kristoferis, he is family after all. I will gladly investigate it, just tell me where it is”
“Go to the morgue. My ghoul will show you the path. Hopefully the knowledge there will allow us to get new gains upon Coil of Augur.”
“Ok, I will go there. Where is this ghoul now?”
“He’ll be waiting for you there.”
Mark nods “I will go there then and report my findings. Have a good evening” Mark goes to morgue.
When Mark reached the morgue, there was a small rain. He entered the place, which was seemingly empty, but within minutes, a man came out through one of the doors. Mark recognized the man… it was Linas Margallow. The man Mark left to fend for himself back when he worked in here.
“Good evening, Mr. Skarkejus sent me here, there is something I need to see?”
“Is that all you have to say to me?” he looked disappointed and angry “This way.” he said turning around.
“Sorry, I was focused on the task… How are you Linas? What’s new?”
“What’s new? Fuck you, Mark.” he said walking down to one of the refrigerators.
Mark sighs and doesn’t try to small talk just waits till Linas shows where the spirits are located.
He opens one of the morgue drawers. “Get in.”
Mark goes in.
Linas closed the drawer.
Mark looks around goes in deeper. However, there is no deeper. He can barely fit in the drawer.
“Linas, why did you put me here?”
“Just sit in there.” he answered.
Mark waits as for max 2 hours. Two hours pass and nothing happens.
“Linas is this truly the place or you are making a joke?”
There was no response.
Mark tries to open the drawer.
He needs to use a little force, but the drawer pushes outside. He sees the morgue. And he sees a figure standing by the door.
Mark leaves the drawer, cleans himself a bit and makes a few glances towards the figure.
The figure slowly turns around, that man is wearing the thing, in which corpses are placed… his head strangely blury.
“Hello, who might you be?”
“Surm.” he responded silently, with his voice filled with sorrow.
“What are you doing here?”
He turned his head a little. “You should leave.” he said, ignoring Mark’s question.
“The King and the Queen might find you. And they’ll eat you.” he answered.
Mark looks for a newspaper or a book in the morgue.
However, without the slab, the drawers and Surm the morgue is empty.
Mark goes back to the spirit. It’s standing there looking at him.
“Will they come here?”
“Maybe they will.”
Mark takes out his notebook and waits for the spirits to come. He is just looking and reading through it until someone comes. Hours pass but nothing comes.
“by the way,who are they?” Mark asked without lifting his head up
“The rulers of the hospital.”
“What are the rules of the hospital?”
“Rules? The King has a few. I’m not really sure what they are.”
Mark looks up “I meant who are the King and the Queen”
“Tellimus and Shitala”
“And who are you? And what are you doing here?”
“I’ve already told you.”
“What do you know of the werewolves?”
“You don’t know what werewolves are?”
“Who are they?”
“I have read about them in my books. But the most basic explanation would be, shapeshifters, who keep balance and they know a great deal about spirits”
“Okay.” he said with a sad voice.
“Why are you so grim?”
“Why are you waiting for them?”
“So why are you here?”
“Where else should I be?”
He turned his head. “Shadow realm?”
“Don’t you know nothing about your kind?”
Mark looks down and continues reading his notes sitting in the morgue. He’ll wait till 1 hour before sunrise.`Time drags on, but nothing changes. Surm is standing as still as ever.
1 hours before sunrise Mark stands up and goes home. He steps through the morgue’s doors and turns left towards the exit, but notices that the corridor is much, much longer. Mark still goes through the corridor. He walks down the corridor, step after step, before he realizes that he can barely see the end of it. He could see a ton of other rooms, and other corridors and even stairs connecting to other floors. Mark stops, looks around.
He sees several branching off corridors. Several closed doors. He can hear something to his right, down one that corridor. So Mark goes to check it.
Several corridors down, he reaches a flight of stairs going upwards. The sound is definitely coming from there. Mark looks who or what is inside.
He climbs the stairs, and after opening the door, he sees a hall open before his eyes. And to his surprise he sees a fight. There’s these strange nurses, with gas masks on fighting little boogie monsters. Seeing that, Mark just stands there doing nothing.
The creatures are fighting each other. There are much more of the boogie monsters than there are nurses, but they are holding their ground, fighting pretty equally.
Mark tries to uses Nightmare 2 on the boogie monster, but he realizes that those things are worse looking than he is and he starts going back to Surm, looking for the way. However, the corridors all look similar, and it’s hard for him to find his way back. But… The path was simple, it was just turn right, and then left… why the hell it’s not here.
Mark walks around, looking around, maybe he’ll hear or see something.
He hears steps down one of the corridors. Mark goes to that corridor and looks who is coming down. Down there he sees a woman, going down step by step.
The woman going down the corridor
After Mark notices her, she turns his head and looks directly at him.
“Hello” – said Mark
“Hello. Who are you?”
“I guess this is shadow realm, that makes me a very unlucky person”
“This is a hospital. Are you sick?”
“I don’t I am, but you can still help me”
“Alright. Let’s go.”
Mark follows. The woman leads him down the corridors for quite a long time. After a time, he sees more nurses, pushing carts and strange creatures within them. However, seeing them they just stop, allowing them to pass. There’s quite a lot of them around. They went upstairs several floors and they were in a small corridor with doors. One of them had the plate of “The King” on it.
“Sit here” she mentioned towards one of the chairs. “To one of the passing nurses with the gas mask she told, there’s an appointment for Tellimus”. She entered the door.
Mark sat down. The door opened soon and the nurse came out. “The doctor is ready for the appointment” she said.
Mark goes in. The cabinet was all empty besides, the table chair and some strange trophies on the walls. A man was sitting behind the table. Strangely, he looked more like a soldier than a doctor.
“Good evening, I am Mark”
“Good Evening, Mark. I’m Tellimus, The King of Order. We’ll Do Great Things Together Now That You Have Reported In For Duty!”
“What do you have in mind?”
“Of Course. You’re New Around Here. You Will Help Me Destroy The Queen.”
“Why do you want to destroy her if I may ask?”
“What?! There Will Be No Dissent Among My Ranks!”
“Before you judge me, may I explain my self?”
“You Are Not Being Judged. But If You Have A Suggestion Of How To Achieve Victory – You May Speak.”
“Why not offer her truce and attack her from the shadows?”
“Truce? Those Insane Creatures Neither Understand Truce Nor They Deserve One. They Must Be Wiped Out.”
“I mean trick her into thinking that you want that, but secretly you attack her there where she is out”
“Trick Her? Does It Look Like The Superior Forces Of Medicine Need Trickery? Are You Her Spy, Trying To Trick Me?!” he said.
“To tell you the truth, I am not even from the hospital. I got here by mistake. I have never saw The Queen in my life”
“And How Does That Change Things?” he asked.
“I am not her spy obviously and I just offered you a strategy how to get rid of her.”
“Your Strategy Is Wrong, Based On False Assumptions.”
“I worked in this morgue, I studied biology, I have knowledge about the medicine. Tell me your strategy”
“Cure The Disease. That Is As Much As A Recruit Like You Needs To Know”
“ok, but you don’t just send soldiers to battle field with orders “be there” you explain them what to do, could you explain me as well?”
“You Will Be Reporting In With Pesuto Ishi. With Him You Will Go To The Third Hall Of Research Where You Will Contain The Breach.”
“Ok. Can someone lead me there?? Also, I am not a spirtit, you know that, right?”
“NURSE!” He shouted. Pretty quickly one entered through the door. “Lead Him To Pesuto Ishi. You Are Dismissed”
Mark follows the Nurse. She leads him from corridor to corridor, until they find a small operating room. In the room, there’s many more nurses standing and in front of them there’s the spirit known as Pesuto Ishi.
He was silently telling them the plan in a language Mark could not understand.
“I was ordered by the King to meet you”
He turned his beak. “Are you a new recruit?” he asked in English.
“I guess I was made into one. I am from the world of the living, I am not a spirit and I would rather go home, because there is little to none nourishment for me here” Said Mark with sad voice “But if i must help you do something, so be it”
“But you are not of the living…” he answered plainly.
“I am a vampire, I need living beings to survive… That depends, I consider my self alive, but maybe you don’t hold me alive. Never the less, I am not from this world”
“I will not be the one to disobey the King’s orders. You’ll have to go with us.”
“Ok… I will go with you. But after the mission, lead me to the morgue”
“Yes. The Morgue is probably the best place for the dead. We wouldn’t want you to spread the infection.”
“Could you lead me there then?”
“After the mission, as I said, I won’t be allowing disobedience into the ranks.”
“Ok, where are we going?”
“To the Hall of Research. We will flank them and we will cure them.” he then returned to saying a few more sentences in the language Mark couldn’t understand, before all the nurses turned and started walking towards the door.
Mark follows the nurses. They are walking down corridor by corridor, going down to the first floor. Pesuto Ishi giving a few commands to his nurses. They were going around and then turning to his left, down the corridor he saw the morgue.
Mark is following the nurses because leaving them is a suicide.
Going down the corridors after several turns they went upstairs again, to see the fighting scene Mark witnessed before hand.
Mark looks what the rest are doing.
They are standing in a tight formation, preparing to charge into the flank.
After they charge, Mark goes after them. He is looking for the most outnumbered boogie monster and attacks him. After a short fight, the nurse aided by Mark manages to make the boogie monster run away.
After which, they joined up the other nurses and within minutes, most of the boogie monsters were routed and running away, while those who were unable to escape suffered a grisly demise exploding into a explosion of pus and ugliness.
Pesuto Ishi came to him “Go now, before you become the source of an outbreak.”
“Can you show me to the morgue?”
“We cannot spare the resources for that. You’ll have to find your own way.”
“Can you tell me the way?”
“We went past it when going down the floor. Just trace the path back and look for the morgue.”
Mark TRIES to do that. However, he once again fails. He looked for the path for an hour or so, and when he finally thought he knows where he is, he saw several of the boogie monsters.
Mark uses Nightmare to create a hallucination to make him look as a big monster and then he scared them intimidating them.
The little spirits ran away and Mark following them a little saw the doors to the morgue.
Mark goes into the morgue. He finds it as he left it. Surm seemingly didn’t move from his spot.
“Well, I met the King” said while going to the same drawer.
“Alright.” he says
“Could you close the drawer I go inside?”
He says nothing.
Mark lies down into the drawer.
Surm closes the drawer.
Mark stays there for an hour and tries to open the drawer. He sees the empty morgue. The real morgue. After which he returned to his haven with lots of thoughts in his head.