The Artists church was in a state of chaos, tables overturned, boxes emptied. Piles of clothes, books, utensils and miscellaneous machine parts littered the floor. The artworks had been wrenched from the walls and lay in pieces on the floor. In the middle of this was a sack, making a strange high-pitched noise.
The doors swung open violently and Miss Henderson burst in, followed by Morag and Sir John, who was very out of breath.
“We’re too late,” said Morag. “They’ve ransacked the place.”
“Where… are… the… vampires?” said Sir John, bent over and gasping for air.
“Well, one is here,” said Morag sniffing at the bag.
Miss Henderson went over and opened the sack. Phlebotomous crawled out and made a mewling sound.
“What is it?” said Miss Henderson. “Are you alright?”
“Osvold,” wailed Phlebotomus. “They took Osvold.”
“Where did they go?” said Morag. “Did they say?”
Phlebotomous held out his hand. He was gripping a piece of paper. Miss Henderson took it and read it.
“I think they took the key parts too,” said Sir John, looking amongst the rubble.
“They did,” said Miss Henderson, still reading. “And they want the fourth, in exchange for Osvold,”
Sir John came over and looked at the sheet.
“Oh dear,” he said.
“Give it to them,” said Phlebotomous. “We have to get Osvold back.”
“It’s not as simple as that, Phlebotmous,” said Sir John. “I know he’s your… friend, but we would be giving them the weapon.”
“We have to do something,” said Phlebotmous.
“We will, we shall,” said Sir John. “We’ll figure something out.”
“We don’t have a whole lot of time,” said Morag. “The exchange is tomorrow.”
“It’s a trap,’” said Miss Henderson. “They’ll steal the key piece then kill us all.”
“I suspect your right,” said Sir John. “And they’re rather keeping us on our toes so we can’t think.”
“They’ve played us from the start,” said Miss Henderson as a dark look crossed her face.
“Well, first we need to find somewhere safe,” said Sir John. “Obviously not here.”
“Emile’s apartment?” said Morag.
“They’ll know about that too,” said Miss Henderson. “I bet… I bet…”
“Good God!” said Sir John. “They killed him!”
“Nowhere we have been is safe,” said Miss Henderson. “Nowhere.”
“There may be one place,” said Phlebotmous. “The catacombs.”
“They sound nice,” said Morag. “Why are they safe?”
“Oh,” said Phlebotomous. “They’re full of vampires.”
There was a pause.
“Phlebotomous old chap,” said Sir John. “I don’t wish to seem ungrateful, or prejudiced, but wouldn’t we be somewhat at risk. I know you’re… vegetarian, but I doubt they all are.”
“I know where the vegetarian vampires are, though,” said Phlebotmous.
“You’ve been there?” said Sir John.
“Not, been there as such, just heard about it,” said Phlebotmous, from Osvold. Anyway, I can talk to them and explain that we’re on their side.”
“We are?” said Morag.
“The vegetarian ones at least,” said Phlebotomous.
“Well,” said Sir John. “Beggars can’t be choosers, and hopefully not starters, either.”