This post is one of a series in the ongoing Juniper Campaign posts. If you’re new to the blog, you may want to consider starting from the beginning, or reading the summary to get caught up on events up to this point.
After Felix’s apparent brush with possession in the Shady Acres lobby and the subsequent discovery of Mary Louis’s presence in the coma ward upstairs, the group decides to keep investigating. Over the next several hours, they learn that there have been several odd deaths in the area, although none actually on the premises; that the Phoenician runes decorating the building apparently have something to do with eyesight; and that the place apparently used to be owned by mobsters.
Shannon also finds a relatively credible-seeming source that suggests there are spirits active in the area, even a few incidents similar to what happened to Felix. None of the activity is what one might expect from ancient spirits, and a neighbourhood haunted by little old ladies is starting to look entirely plausible. Felix, on the other hand, finds something entirely more dramatic: according to the sources he’s unearthed, Shady Acres is nothing more than a blood bank for vampires.
After all, Felix insists, the top floor is closed off by people “wanting their privacy,” while the fourth floor is restricted to comatose people with supposed immunodeficiencies–in other words, people who couldn’t object to being used as a midnight snack. John, of course, is a little concerned with the prospect that Shady Acres might be turning his grandmother into a bloodbag. Knowing more about vampires would be useful in any case, since if there really are vampires in Juniper we’re likely to run into them sooner or later.
The problem is, of course, that there’s a whole lot of (mis)information about vampires, and it’s hard to find any reliable sources on the topic. Much of what the group finds about vampires is “common” knowledge: they drink blood, they don’t care for sunlight, are more or less immortal, and are stronger and faster than humans. The group is still trying to separate any actual information from pop culture when there’s a sudden, sharp rap at the door.
“You wanna go sit in the bathroom or something?” John says in response to Felix’s alarmed look.
“Yeah,” Felix agrees. “Yeah, absolutely.” He disappears down the hallway, and John answers the door.
The woman waiting on the porch is tall, blonde, and wearing a navy jacket and badge that says FBI. “Hello. John Porter?”
The woman introduces herself–although John would have recognized her from the press conference in any case–as Leslie Greenwood. “May I come in?”
Greenwood steps inside and flips open a notebook. Shannon, in the next room, is making no attempt to hide her presence, but Greenwood either doesn’t notice or doesn’t care. She’s focused on John. “I’d like to ask you about one of your acquaintances, one Felix Chen. Do you know him?”
“Yeah, I’ve met him a few times.”
Greenwood’s questions seem pretty standard: how would John describe Felix, when and where John last saw him, whether Felix seemed concerned with anything in particular, what they talked about.
“It was really just small talk.”
“Such as?” Greenwood prompts. “Sports? Maybe he was talking about what he was planning on doing that afternoon?”
“We were talking about that murder nearby,” John says. “Which I guess is kind of dark to look back on now.”
“Interesting. Now then. Do you know anything about his interests, particularly strange things?”
“I was vaguely aware of his interest in, you know, magical runes, monster stories, that sort of thing.”
“And do you know how long ago that started?” Greenwood asks.
“Mhmm. Do you have anything else you’d like to add?”
“Well,” John says, “I don’t know if he had anything on his mind, but it couldn’t have been all that stuff. At least, it would surprise me a lot.”
“Well. Occult diagrams were found in his apartment, clothing taken from the bodies of the deceased was found in his apartment, he was spotted sniffing around the scene of the crime afterwards… It’s not looking too good for him.” She closes her notebook. “If you see him, I recommend that you have him give us a call. Better for him to come in on his own.”
“I’ll try to be diplomatic about it,” John remarks. “I’m sure you understand.”
“Of course, of course. But he’s very troubled, and we need to make sure that he gets the help he needs.” Greenwood hands John a card. “Be careful around him–he’s very dangerous. You wouldn’t want to go around protecting him; it could come back to bite you.” And with that none-too-subtle threat, she gives John a little nod and shows herself out.