The characters of the Southern Vampire Mysteries belong to Miss Charlaine Harris. No infringement on my part is intended. The characters on True Blood belong to Mr. Alan Ball. No infringement on my part is intended.
I have no BETA, editor, or other such charming person. All mistakes are my own.
This story is rated M.
Chapter 16 The Piggy Bank
Samuel was looking over his figures.
“No Eric,” he looked up from his laptop. “I know where all the money is and has been. I do not see Act’s. That does not mean that Act does not have a gold mine somewhere and is siphoning off that. But even that would come back to me in the commodities exchanges. But Act…no…he does not invest or bank his money.
That also explains why Godric never amassed a great amount of wealth. He was comfortable and had his job working for the Old World that paid him. But all that money is in his account. So he was not giving it to Act. Act supports himself, he is self-sufficient and self-contained.”
Eric was digesting all of that, along with a small sip of mead that was still snuggling in on his tongue. “Make sure Molly gets Godric’s money, will you please,” Eric asked. “Working for The Authority, they did not pay her much.”
“I will, but…” Samuel hesitated. “I think I will transfer that amount from my account into hers and leave Godric’s there for awhile.”
Eric was now intrigued. “Why? No one can access your accounts.”
“Correct. But I just have a funny feeling that Act knows how much is in Godric’s account and will send someone around asking for it. And I am always truthful in my transactions. When I inform them this is Godric’s money, there will be no lies involved. And Act is not going to just let that money sit there and default to me. I will get notified of a will stating that Godric has left that money, to the penny, to probably a cooperate account for the enrichment of vampires or some such charitable organization.
Once I have established a money trail, then I can track it.”
Samuel explained to Molly about her inheritance. “It is only fifty-five million, Molly, a paltry sum by vampire standards, especially one as old as Godric. He banked his money only and did not invest it. So it grew only by very modest sums. Your maker did not live lavishly nor did he squander great amounts. And Eric has never given him money or possessions.”
“No,” Eric shook his head. “He would not take them. He lived within his means and banked everything else. I believe he did this so he would not have to give it to Act.”
“So what do we do?” Sookie asked.
“Wait to be contacted. They have seven days to claim the account. If I have not been notified by then, it defaults to me. It will probably happen about the fifth day. Not to soon in the process and not the last minute.”
Samuel was, of course, correct. It was the fifth day. His office received a letter via registered mail along with a phone call and an-e-mail. Later that day a lawyer arrived, bearing the same documentation. Godric, being without heirs, had left all his belongings to The Global Initiative for Advancing the Understanding of Falling Space Debris. Samuel said nothing as he read through the materials that had been faxed to him. “They have an observatory and a telescope outside of Taos, New Mexico, in the Sangre de Christi mountain chain.”
Eric laughed out loud. “Falling debris is right.”
Passing the materials around the table, everyone read through it.
“Most good,” Samuel smiled at his friends. “The fun begins.”
It was three days after the files had arrived and Samuel was looking at his figures and the map of New Mexico. “The money dead ends,” he kept repeating as he traced through reams of printed-paper at vamp speed. “You can see it, here,” he pointed with his finger, “here and here. Since the money is from my firm, I know it cannot do that. It is somewhere in this area,” he pushed the map to the middle of the table, a circle drawn around Autumn New Mexico, New Mexico. “Shocker, I know,” he chuckled. “I have been looking. There is in the area an abandoned copper mine and a ghost town that has made a comeback. A small ski resort attached to Autumn New Mexico and a casino that pays out to the players. There is a huge festival there every season, right at the time of all the equinoxes and other moon driven events. They cater to women. Spas, jewelry stores, clothes. They even boast that they have male escorts to see the ladies safely back to their hotels if the alcohol flows to freely and they worry for their safety. Zero crime rate for the out of towners and those that abide within the town limits, as well.”
“That makes sense,” Sookie had pulled up the web site and was flashing through photos of blue skies, nail salons, hot springs and massage envy specials. “Act is looking for a blood-born female. This small town in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range would be perfect.”
“Complete with an underground bunker built in,” Samuel added. “At one time, they did mine copper there.”
“So, he does what, laundries his money through the town?” Sookie asked.
“Yes, only more so. Let’s say he has a cache of gold and jewels. The jewelry is made on site from his raw materials. So you can sell it at a reduced price. Bring the ladies in let them ow-w-w and ah-h-h over nice things that they can afford to purchase. Then, with about ninety-nine percent profit, you can purchase other buildings and open businesses and offer haute couture at greatly marked down prices. A lovely meal out. Tea in the afternoon. You still charge a bit for the rooms but comp those that come back and bring friends and sponsor girl weekends and events. Have chocolates and champagne waiting in everyone’s room. This gives you easy accessibility, especially when you drug the drinks. Act can pick and choose and then return them at the end of the night. Or, they disappear on a kayaking trip or are eaten by a mountain lion while hiking or someone commits suicide because of a break up.”
“Funny you should say that,” Sookie looked up from what she was reading on line. ”The have what they call an x-lovers leap. Several women have gone there with a bottle of something, left a note and jumped.”
“I feel a killing rage coming on,” Eric smiled and batted his eyelashes. “It is time to meet Godric’s maker. I do so hope he enjoys his final days.”
For the past week they had all been practicing. Eric would share his super charged blood with the boys and then the games would commence. Their super powers seemed to last for just a bit past three hours.
Cedric was the one that finally asked the question. “So Eric, while we are manifesting the blood-born, could we successfully mate with a blood-born female? Have a child?”
Everyone had stopped what they were doing and all eyes watched Eric’s every move.
“Come on,” Eric’s voice held a hint of sadness, closed his eyes and shook his head. Looking at all his friends he shrugged and replied, “How the fuck would I know that? This has strictly been a learn as we go for Sookie and I. Nor,” he had stressed, “do I know how to spot a blood-born. For Sookie and I it was a natural attraction.”
“But Act did say there were females there for Godric…” Ian added.
“To experiment on?” Eric hissed. “Well yes. He has a herd of them I believe he said. So Godric could just keep pushing his will at one of them until her heart started beating, again. Until then, just stack the dead bodies over there in the corner until the weres come in to eat them and leave the scattered remains for the mountain lions.” Eric looked around at his friends, all of them wanting more now that they knew it existed. As in a family. The one they had been denied when they had been turned.
Eric looked at each one of them, his voice stern. “Throwing something at the speed of light down the road and then catching it at the other end is fun…but get Vette to start by pushing your will and then we’ll see about being successful mating with a blood-born,” had been his parting shot on the subject. “Samuel…” he nodded towards his friend.
Samuel turned on the laptop. “We are landing in Taos. I have purchased a home, there. This will be our base of operations. Slowly and carefully we will check out Autumn. We are in no rush. Keep in mind, the entire town is wired.”
“Yes,” Molly added, pushing out a new slide. “You can see the cameras here, here and here as well. Inside all the shops and the streets.
The entire area is human accessible. Parking lots, everywhere. You can tour everything. The mine, the observatory and even take a cooking class with their chef in the afternoon. Also sign up for a chocolate tasting, whiskey and wine at their distillery. There is always some winning at the casino. The machines are rigged in small amounts for the humans. And maybe once a month, not such a small amount. This place is geared for the best possible experience for humans and someone is watching all of them.”
“Creepy,” Sookie replied as Molly started the video of Main Street.
“The good news is I don’t see night optics stuff anywhere. But the right low level light cameras are good and allows you to see. I would bet they have the correct light source to camera ratios all worked out.”
“So we are driving in,” Eric picked up where Molly left out. “They would note if someone just vamped in.”
Sookie was watching Vlad. He had actually been the most successful at sweet talking Vette. When he rose every evening he ate and then began his rigid power of concentration. Of all of them, he seemed the most determined. She thought maybe that was because he had lived with Mina and had loved her with his total being. Did she think there was another out there for him like that…perhaps not. But then, all bets were off because reincarnation did happen. But if not Mina for this time and place, perhaps he could maybe come close.
Cedric was deep in conversation with Ian about something. Closing her eyes, she could hear snatches of conversation. If there was a blood-born one of them could woo, they were willing to share. And a child, they would share that responsibility as well. Ian wanted to be called Poppa, Cedric wanted to be called Daddy. They did not care which of them got the job done, or if it took both.
Siggy was the only one who did not seem interested. Sookie considered that. He truly preferred the company of cats. Well, just fine then. There had been one or two days after Gran had died that Sookie had as well.
“Why,” Sookie turned to Samuel, “why is this place not better advertised? I would think that would give him a larger base to draw from.”
“They get a lot of foot traffic from Taos. Folks are just there for the day and have a good time and stay into the evening hours. If they like it, they book a room for the next time they come back. The casino is a big draw for that. Remember, Act is not in this to make money and he has the time. So, he does not feel the need to expand,” Samuel offered. “The resort is small. The rooms are always full and the shops do a nice business. This is not designed to be a major resort stop. This is to draw in the fly to the spider’s web. Ladies looking to have a good time and can be safe doing so. Always think small and intimate where he can watch the tapes for a few hours in the evening and get the jest of what is going on and sample what he finds desirable.
He has seen to it that this area is not ever going to expand. The observatory owns the mountain it sits on, this mountain where the resort is located and several around it. No one is building anything else in this particular area because of the light pollution interfering with the telescope. That is actually a most excellent cover. I wonder just exactly where that mine tunnel goes and how many bolt holes Act has.”
“Everywhere,” Vlad nodded. “And there is probably one that takes him right to the casino and to the hotel as well. And probably to the club, The Howling Mad Saloon.”
“Which I am sure he is,” Cedric was thoughtful, “howling mad. Knowing what he pissed away. Apparently he misses it. Because he has gone to a lot of trouble to attempt to recreate Act’yed. And now with Godric gone…he has to find a male descendent, as well.”
Everyone became quiet and looked at Eric.
Eric just grinned and winked back.
Molly smiled at her brother. “I have been looking at the demographics of the folk that come here,” she said. “Middle class to comfortable middle class. Not the rich and famous. So there is going to be a mix of foot traffic and autos. As you can see here in the casino parking lot, we have pickup trucks, some new, some not. American made sedans and imports. Harleys and an assortment of other bikes. Nothing parked there at the moment over a hundred-thousand.”
“Yes,” Sookie nodded. “A high profile person goes missing and it is flashed around the world in seconds. But a marriage gone wrong, a bottle of champagne, a box of half eaten chocolates and a suicide…sad, tragic, but it is a lovely area and if I was gonna breathe my last, I guess here would be the place with a bottle of bubbly to keep me company,” she was flashing through the information that was posted on line. There were thousands of reviews and photos taken by very happy and satisfied tourists.
“Do you think other vampires hang out here?” Sookie asked. “Are we gonna be obvious?”
“That is a very good question,” Samuel smiled at her.
“In Vegas, you can’t shake a stake without hitting a vamp,” Eric added. “Here, I just don’t know. And since their system is self contained, Molly cannot hack into it.”
“Correct,” she nodded. “They have cut the wire to the outside world. Whatever they have on their internal servers, it stays in house. I can watch what they see on their cameras in town, but that is it.”
“I think we are as prepared as we are going to be,” Samuel said and they all nodded in agreement. “We need to be boots on the ground.”
“Best believe Act will have jamming capability,” Molly looked up from her laptop.
“If we loose radio contact,” Eric arched his eyebrow, “we all haul ass. Samuel’s human that will be escorting each of us will get the car out of the area. I think that is all for the evening. See you sundown, tomorrow. Be prepared to travel an hour after rising.”
Godric stood watching the activity of the angelic around him. The good guys played by the rules. The evil ones did not. Which was fine, because humans did dream and there was no rule about influencing dreams. Through Sookie, his family had found where Act lived. And his Eric could and did influence nature. Well, he was here to help his child along that path. It could get tricky when you lived in the mountains. Eric and his Miss Sookie were prepared.
Godric smiled down on the two of them while they slept and he kissed each on the forehead. There was an overflowing amount of love and trust that lived in his child. That he shared what he knew with his friends, this was unheard of, in not only the realm of the vampire, but the human as well. Under Sookie’s porch slept five true and trusted warriors who would give their all for Eric, just as Eric would march through Hell to rescue them.
And across the cemetery, Godric shifted his focus, slept two that were from the depths of Hell, itself. “Those two contained in that house, give meaning to the term Hell-on-earth,” he chuckled as he started in that direction. It was time to poke around in their dreams. It would not be pleasant for them. Compton should have opted for anywhere but here. Lorena was well past the fresh dead stage and was most certainly bat shit crazy. She would take Bill with her into those troubling depths.
Fresh deads…they were an interesting lot as they traveled the highways in Hell, each touting the same line, “This is a mistake!” And he also enjoyed when they stopped the trash truck to give the not so fresh deads a ride. “Any fresh deads in the back? I could eat.”
The trash route was a bit addictive, he laughed to himself. He loved it when Gabriel had to make up time!
Sookie had never ridden on a plane. The helicopter ride had been fun, but this, this was like walking into Samuel’s house. The Lear jet was not great big but it would sleep a small army of vampires comfortably. And looking around her, she thought maybe she was standing in the midst of a small army of vampires.
The plan was simple for the first several days. The five would all be super charged as long as they were gone from home base. It was an hour’s drive to the resort. An hour in town. Then an hour back. They would all appear on the monitors as human normal.
This early into the recon, Eric was their major concern that he would be recognized. Molly was wiring everyone and Eric would be watching and running the comms from outside of town with his sister. Sookie figured her guy would be good with that for about three days. Not any longer than that. Eric was not one to sit around and watch. And he liked to stir the pot. And her beloved had come to be bait. He was going entice Act and get him to haul his ass off to his secret lair.
FYI: Gabriel explaining about the Fresh Deads and the on going good times for Compton, William T.
There are benefits to being fresh dead in Hell. For instance, you remember things. Things about your human life, things about others’ lives. And you believe that there is still hope, when you are fresh dead. That you have options, because this is all a mistake and you are not suppose to be here. That life can once more be yours. You see the injustice and you want to be compensated for the awful and horrific things that are being done to you. That was done to you as human!
A fresh dead still has their mind intact and can ask and reason.
Sometimes on the roads to Hell, the not so fresh deads can be seen out walking. Their minds sometimes no longer register who they are or what is going on around them. They can have brief glimpses of what their human life once was and that makes them scream even louder for the nightmare that surrounds them as they walk a road to what they think is going to be a better section of Hell. You know, the grass is always greener…yadda, yadda, yadda…
As a rule, we only send the fresh deads back as haunts and then to a specific location for a specific purpose. Compton, William T., comes to mind. And to keep him company is his not so fresh dead maker. She has started to morph into what her human actions have shaped her spirit to look like. Her brain seldom functions with rational thought. She has slipped into her primal brain and animal survival instincts are just about all that she has left. She stopped firing on all human synapsis when she was turned vampire. Her humanity had always been a curse to her and she used vampire as an excuse to rid herself from the rest of it. Pretending to care about anything that was not centered around her was a tiresome job she did not enjoy. Her maker did a fine job of picking that one to be vampire. Because if she had died as human, she would have been toasting in the pits of Hell long before Eric ripped her head from her and sent her on into the sludge pit.
So we have a very special treat in store for Mr. Compton. He will live with the insanity that is his maker. One moment rational, the next, raving as her mind attempts to deal with the reality that she is presently abiding in.
Hear ye! Hear ye! Let it be known that you cannot beat the fucking system. Many have tried and one in particular has just decided to continue on in that back of my trash truck. His brain still works. How so, you may ask?
Judas has no problem admitting to his wrongdoings. Yes, I did X,Y, and Z. Would I have done things differently, no.
He looks at himself and does not back away from the evil that he would like to be. Yes, his ambition is to rule in Hell. (Rolls eyes…shakes head and rolls them, again. Oy vey…)
For him, there are no lies to try on that would strangle out the truth. Yes, you can see where this is going. You keep lying to yourself after death…the lies attempt to suppress the truth and your grasp on reality begins to slip. Because that is the one thing about the truth….
It is an honest reality all based in fact that you can not corrupt. Distort to your satisfaction, yes, and that is where things start to get tricky with the old brain.
And in the Compton house, you will not be finding any truth…so the sludge pit has moved in. Lorena will continue to ride his ass and Bill will let her because it is easier to blame someone else than to take responsibility for your own decisions. Bill is an expert in that field. “Not my fault,” he blubbers every time the sun comes up and takes one step closer to living full time in that dead, junk car lot.