Victorian Days & Nights
Luna opened her eyes and looked about the dark room, already a week had passed since she returned to England. Although the room was dark, she could tell the sun was still in the sky. Vampires didn’t really sleep; it was more of a meditation state to save energy but only when they felt safe. Positive that someone had been in her room, Luna hesitantly opened the door.
“Do you wish anything from us, Mistress?” At the end of the hallway stood the two red headed chambermaids.
“Were you just in my room?”
“Our duties require…cleaning all of the rooms…including yours.”
“I see.” The Vampire was not very pleased with the two girls in her room while she lay helpless. She began to close the door then stopped. “Is my husband supposed to be back tonight?” Luna had been surprised to find that Michael no longer required sleep. She had been in his house for several weeks and they had only spoken twice. The Vampire was under no illusion that whatever relationship she had with Michael was gone. However, something kept driving her to look at him again to hear his voice, to once again to feel his touch. What she didn’t want to do was to see Erin.
“We do not…know Lord Kinsley’s…plans.”
Luna nodded, Erin seemed to appear every morning but catching her husband was proving difficult. “Will you pass a message to him? I would like to speak to him please.”
“If you tell…us…why you are here.”
The two chambermaids did not repeat their question.
“I asked for his protection.”
“Why does a Vampire need protection?”
Luna was surprised that the one called Macha spoke without her sister’s help.
“The ones that killed Menenius were after me.”
“Why are they after you Lelia?” The one called Nemain asked.
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t…know?” The two asked together.
“No.” The two asked once more.
“No.” The Vampire growled and slammed the door. Sliding down with her back to the door, she drew her feet to her chest. “Why didn’t you kill me Michael?” She whispered into the darkness.
Deep under Chapel of St Mary inside Westminster Palace, Lady Kinsley curtsied deeply as she backed out of the meeting room. She had spent most of the afternoon discussing the events that had taken place in the last week with the head of her order.
“So how is his Excellency?”
“Quite an unhappy man at the moment. “ Erin gave her friend Osgar a half smile before the two began to move down the hallway. The catacombs underneath St Mary’s were ancient, dating back centuries built by King Edward I in 1297. “He had the pleasure to meet with the Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister last night. Thankfully Princess Louise spoke with her brother before the two of them met with our good Prime Minister.”
“I have always been fond of the Duchess of Argyll.”
Princess Louise, before her marriage, had been an active member of the Society. Although she was much more of an artist than a sorceress, her organization skills were always appreciated. Beyond her love for the Society, as a vocal advocate for the common person, she was outraged that public safety was willing to be compromised over a copper or two.
Erin smiled. “The Prince was infuriated to think that a Royal Charter could simply be dismissed.” The Society’s Charter ran back to Queen Elizabeth granted in 1584.”Gladstone was of course insistent that this was just a simple misunderstanding. Last week’s ‘presentation’ was supposed to make us aware of new technology. He did insist that in the future if such experiments continued to be successful then perhaps our ‘Old Fashioned’ methods should be reevaluated.”
“His Excellency must have been overjoyed to hear that.”
“Quite, thankfully the Prince was also not impressed with Mr. Gladstone’s explanation. Though I’m not sure how much of it was because the Queen is not terribly fond of our good Prime Minister.”
“Her Majesty still blames him for Gordon’s death at Khartoum.” The Sergeant opened a small black door, the entrance to an elevator that would take the pair to the surface.
“You know Sergeant as much as I’m fond of a number of the Prime Minister’s liberal ideas, his viewpoints on the ‘Society’ border on the absurd.”
“In what way?”
“According to him, we are actually part of the problem. Hysterical beliefs, although he did admit sometimes justified, of the supernatural fly in the face of the new religion we call science. If we could just categorize and departmentalize the world around us in a rational manner then many of these so-called supernatural occurrences could be simply explained. “
The conversation immediately turned to the mundane as the pair exited the elevator to the more public parts of the Chapel. Slipping past a number of dignitaries, the two crossed a wide courtyard to an awaiting carriage.
“Jacob, I can see by your unhappy face that your investigation has not been totally successful.” Erin smiled at her old friend as she sat back in the carriage.
“Yes, I’ll tell you about my meeting but I wish to hear what you have discovered first.”
Jacob nodded; he quit being surprised when Lady Kinsley seemed to read his mind. “From the outside, the Transaccendo Corporation seems no different from the dozens of other companies that have started up in the last decade. Good standing with the Chemical Society of London; recently the owners made a great deal of money with the discovery of a compound that’s used in part in iron and steel production.”
“I imagine that they would hesitate to allow us to study some of that compound. Speak with your sister, Jack. Perhaps Emma’s husband can acquire some of that material. “
Jack nodded, his sister married into a particular wealthy family of industrialists.
“Was that the green powder they poured over the corpses?” The Sergeant asked.
“No, I’m afraid that compound only reacts in a high heat environment. Still, I would not be surprised it was included in the powder used during the demonstration.” Jack said.
“Why was everything green?”
“Barium nitrate perhaps” Lady Kinsley said while looking out the window. “It’s very reactive but it’s most likely also used as stabilizer.” She looked back at Jack and smiled. “Sorry, go on.”
“Yes, well unfortunately as of yet we are not able to obtain a sample of that compound either.” Jack looked less than pleased. Returning to the warehouse later that night, his team discovered all of the floorboards replaced and the warehouse thoroughly scrubbed down.
“That’s unfortunate although not totally unexpected. They knew that we would be interested in analyzing that compound. I am not totally convinced that there are no alchemic compounds being used either.” Erin bit her lip she felt something when the bodies were burning, an old memory.
Osgar looked at his Ladyship with concern for a moment and then asked. “What about that Sir Henry chap; he seemed pretty friendly with our new competitors?
“I spoke with my brother; he is going to see what he can make of it. Although according to Richard, Sir Henry is well known as the voice of business, so it didn’t seem out of the ordinary that he would be involved.”
Before the carriage reached the Club, as promised, Lady Kinsley discussed her meeting with the head of their Order. Black Jack didn’t appear particularly amused with its outcome. “They seem to have plenty of friends in high places.”
“And don’t forget lots of money.”
Erin nodded in understanding. “A very dangerous combination indeed.”
Authors Notes: A special thanks to djkauf for a little elvish editing. If you like the story please leave a Kudos, if you have the time I would love to hear from you. Thanks to all for reading! - Elsbeth
PS Sorry for the length and it taking a while to get out, me and my Muse are currently discussing where this story will go...and she is winning :) so not to worry VM will be back.
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