by Rick Jones
Yeah, I was feeling good that night. Two scores, two nights in a row. Fenokee was feeding me well. These little towns are the best. No Prince, no rules, no problems.
So, I parked in the lot next to the club, and wandered up to the head of the line. And this fucking huge dog starts barking at me. His owner, a scruffy looking blind guy in green salvation army clothes pulls on the dog's collar, and says "Like, mister, could you spare some change? I'm, like, really hungry." The dog stops barking and looks at me soulfully, along with his master.
I laugh and say, "Hey, pal, we're _all_ hungry." I push his scrawny bodyto the ground, and he and the dog get all tangled up. I ignore them and head into the club.
The "blind" man looks at the vampire over his black sunglasses, and waits for him to go into the club. He then walks with the dog back to a blue and green van with the license plate "MR E" in the lot. He opens the side door and gets in. A soft red light illuminates the inside. A short, stocky woman with thick glasses and a bowl haircut smiles back and goes back to her typing at a computer console. The man in green smiles at her. "It's, like, solid." He pants the dog affectionately. "You found him good, didn't you, pal?" The great dane 'ruffs' back at him. "For that, you deserve a snack." He reaches into a box of dog treats, and pulls two out. He tossed one to the dog, who easily caught it in the air, and started chewing on one himself. "Are the others, like, in place?"
The woman in orange nodds, and stops typing. She picks up a small speaker attached to the computer and plugs it into a radio. The computer's tinny voice croaks out. "V. to D. The ball's on the court. We have a make." The woman pulls down her orange turtleneck and absent mindedly scratches at a scar that crosses her throat.
The man in green scratches the dog behind the ears, and says to it, "I, like, hate it when she's the bait. We're the best at it, aren't we?" The dog barks, as if to say, "Ruh-huh."
A pretty feminine voice replys over the radio, "D. to V. Affirmative. I'm picking up the ball."
So, I was scoping out the talent. And this incredibly cute redhead walked up to _me_. Usually I had to use the Whammy to get 'em to talk to me, I'm no Nosferatu, but I'm no pretty boy Toreador either. She couldn't barely be over 21. Thanks, Pa Frickle, for letting in minors. They're the freshest.
"Hi there. Buy a girl a drink?" she said. Man, she was hot. She wearing this purple outfit that clung in all the right places. And she came on to me heavily. She hung on every word I said, and didn't even notice that I didn't drink anything. That's the way I like 'em. Dumb.
Eventually, I decided to make my move. "So, you want to come back to my place?" She shrugged, and said sure. She dropped some cash on the table, and followed me out. I realized I didn't even know her name. We were out in the lot. Fortunately, there was no one around. I was intoxicated with her, and this little town. I was on top of the world. I was my own fucking Prince. So I pulled her close, and whispered in her ear. "What's yer name anyway, baby?"
"Daphne," she cooed, and leaned back against a car in the lot. I leaned forward to take a bite.
The headlights of a nearby van suddenly turned on behind me, and the horn blared at me. "What the-" I started to say, turning to face it, but then howled in pain. A big mother of a crossbow bolt rammed into my back and speared out the front. It was close to the heart, but didn't quite get it. Daphne was running away to the side. I started to follow, but slipped on an patch of oil on the ground she must have jumped over. I was jerked off my feet. The damn bolt was on a winch. I looked back to see this blond guy working a winch on the front of the van.
"I didn't get him, gang," he shouted. I started to scramble to my feet. I was going to tear Daphne and her boyfriend some new and interesting orifices. Out of the van piled the "blind" guy holding another crossbow and an ugly broad with one of those big water rifles. The dog followed the guy in green. It was snarling at me but didn't attack.
Setup. One big huge setup. Goddam Hunters. The blond guy and the skinny one both took aim with their crossbows. They hit but didn't get the heart. I was too fast for them. The winch kept dragging me off my feet. Then the ugly broad started squirting me with the gun. Wasn't Holy Water like I figured. It was gasoline.
I lost it. I went nuts, clawing and screaming. If I'd been smart, I would have used the Whammy to make 'em let me go. But no, I had to be the Tough Guy. The broad with the squirter kept soaking me with gasoline. Daphne pulled a small handgun from her purse, and shot me. Incindiary bullet. I went up like the goddam fourth of July.
The last thing that went through my head was, "And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for those pesky kids and that darn dog."
Stats: Well, I didn't write 'em down, but here's some brief sketches.
Fred: weapons man. Also has lots of mechanical skills, which he uses to design traps for Monsters. (Kindred and Werewolves) And has Leadership skills.
Daphne: Lots of social skills. Usually the lure for male vampires who have a weakness for pretty women. No real combat skills, but is very lucky. Also has a knack for stumbling over secret doors and pits and the like. ("Danger prone Daphne did it again.")
Velma: the most intelligent of the group. Is the best detective (though all of them are pretty good) of the team. Also has lots of knowledge/history and scientific skills.
Shaggy: the best "bait" of the team. Very athletic (though you wouldn't know from looking at him), and can outrun frenzied vampires and enraged werewolves. Lots of dodge as well. Has some disguise skills, and taunt skills to get Kindred to foolishly follow him into a trap.
Scooby Doo: a very smart, very cunning dog. Perhaps is the canine equivalent of Kinfolk. Has sharp tracking senses, and can smell out supernatural critters. Can run very fast and dodge well as well. He's not an attack dog, by any means, but he is strong and fast.
History: The "gang" have been together since childhood. Infatuated with solving mysteries since childhood, they pooled their money and bought a beat-up van (the Mystery Machine I), and traveled around the country, visiting friends and family. (They all have Contacts 5, and are constantly being called upon by friends to solve mysteries for them.) They became accomplished Ghost Breakers, exposing criminals who posed as ghosts/vampires/monsters to cover their crimes.
Then, "it" happened. A routine case turned out not to be so routine. Mister Fernwiler, the owner of the amusement park next to their friend's farm, turned out to be a real vampire. Velma's throat was nearly ripped out by Fernwiler, rendering her mute and almost killing her. Fernwiler started to flee as the sun was about to rise, and accidentally tripped and fell off the roller coaster, landing on a flagpole, staking himself. When dawn came he went up like a Roman Candle.
That night, everything changed. They were no longer kids out having fun solving goofy mysteries. They went from Ghost Breaker to Ghost Buster. The Mystery Machine was given a paint job, and the kids went undercover. They still keep their hand in Ghost Breaking, and Mystery Solving, but their primary mission is to Hunt.
What They Know: Not much, yet. They know there are different kinds of vampires. (Normal appearing ones, bestial looking ones (Gangrel with a few frenzy problems), and hideous ones (Nosferatu)). They quickly discovered some of the false weaknesses (crosses, running water), but know fire and sunlight work best. They have no idea that the Masquerade exists (though they do know that most vampires are very secretive about their existence).
Strangely enough, they're all immune to the delirium. All those years of fighting fake monsters has made them a bit blase about the real ones, and while they are by no means confident, they don't automatically panic either.
and Happy April Fools.