It began with the movement of pawns.
Chess; it was the game the two played. Thinking ahead, trying to predict the moves of the opponent and planning each move carefully: it was like a war. There would be periods of peaceful lulls followed by grand schemes in battle where pieces of the game were sacrificed in order to achieve victory. In the end one king shall fall, followed by those who remain as they are brought back to where they are stored. And the game ends.
But another would start again, as the chess pieces are brought back into a board for a new game. So it began anew, with one player moving his pawn.
And the second player, in response, moves his pawn.
-The Vampire, Noir-
This is the story of my life—the university dropout turned private investigator slash odd jobs man. Here I am standing in front of a mirror, wearing a black vest and tight leather pants; because someone had asked me to do so. Somewhere out there, a young girl is waiting for my rescue, lost in the big city. Let me rephrase that, a young girl is waiting for my rescue, lost in a big, very dangerous city.
They say a lot of things about Babel City. It was, after all, the phoenix that rose from the ashes of New York, which had become a plague-ridden ruin after the great war. Steam, coal, oil-- every type of resource was used to sustain life in Babel, but none greater than nuclear energy. Magic was the cornerstone of society, but nuclear power kept the city alive.
Babel had opened its doors to everyone—the underground societies, the refugees, every obscure cult you could think of—even the mutants. And of course, I can't forget to mention the vampires: they were the reason for my current clothing.
I'm just another human, trying to scrape a living with the skills I know. I did study magic after all, with the sole proof resting in my eyes. The side effect of a botched spell, part of the reason why I dropped out, my eye color changed according to mood. It was predominantly grey, and I have no idea what mood it represents. Through bad luck and personal experience, red meant horny.
I entered the bar quietly, making sure that I attract as little attention as possible. This was the lion's den: a medium sized bar located somewhere near the city harbor. This was vampire territory, I thought, seeing as almost all the people were said creature. It's not hard to distinguish a vampire: the younger ones wear a lot of black, the majority of their fashion sense linked to the culture of punk rock and metal; sometimes gothic. The older ones were harder to spot, since they mostly stay out of sight or blend in with the crowd. Pale skin and fangs weren't exactly limited to vampires in Babel's general population.
Upon entering I made my way to the counter, making sure nobody takes his time for a clear look on my face. You do this in the right speed—not too slow or not too fast, since doing either made you look like you were up to something. I sit myself on a bar stool, ordering a tequila, taking the time to observe my surroundings.
I wore shades to cover my eye malfunction, but it was pretty clear that the bar was dimly lit. Tables were scattered around the bar, while a billiards table was laid out in the center. The bar was still virtually empty; after all, the sun had just set an hour ago.
The tequila I order is placed in front of me in a matter of seconds. I drink up, letting the drink enter my stomach uninterrupted, which makes me feel a little better. After all, only a vampire could wear this type of clothing I'm wearing during the cold season without any effect. I let the drink settle in before I order another one.
Three more drinks later my target arrives. Two people, most likely followed him silently, walking to the farthest end of the bar. I could only catch a glimpse of him—mostly his face. Blonde, blue eyed, and a face so pale and impassive that I could be the prime example of a young vampire ready to take on anything without the hint of emotion. The two guards were pretty plain looking; men in suits who had crew cuts and wore shades. Guns were most definitely hidden somewhere.
The blue-eyed vampire had it. It was intuition combined with a slight bit of drunkenness, but he gave a certain presence. Hidden underneath that emotionless face and cold blue eyes, was something that would do anything for its ambition, and killing wasn't even at the top of its list. I had the talent in spotting it, after all.
The party had begun.