Episode 2: Festival!


Juliet and the gang search for kidnapped twin boys, whom Dr. Armitage believes may be intended as delicacies for some hideous vampire soiree. There are vampires aplenty roaming the streets, including wild, animalistic Gangrel who attack just outside Diligence Peaslee’s house. Juliet chases the last of them onto the Federal St. Bridge, where a pack of biker vamps throw him back to Juliet with a grin. The big one attacks and gets dusted, after which one of his two skinhead companions dives headfirst into the frozen river and escapes. The other gets staked.


A vampire driving a stolen pizza truck is questioned by Dr. Armitage and reveals that Count Orsi, a vampire aesthete from Europe, may well have taken the boys. Examining the scene of the boys’ abduction produces a white rose petal, which is unusual in December. Diligence suggests the Burying Ground, an old potter’s field now walled up by the city. Everyone heads over there, where they fight another vampire and help a man bleeding from the neck to the hospital. Juliet, Alex and Billy go inside the Burying Ground while Diligence heads home for more equipment.


Inside, Juliet meets the vampire Wilhelm, who mistakes her for one of them and takes her in to meet his master, Ekaterina. She is a very old vampire who hides her face behind a black silk veil; she’s not fooled, recognizing Juliet as the Slayer, but is confident they can reach an understanding. Yes, she says, she has the boys. She bought them from Count Orsi, and will return them to their parents, to grow up as her unwitting allies. In forty years, given extra vitality by her blood, they will be powerful members of the community, and she will return to demand a favor of them. It is something she has done all over the world, for decades, till now the first fruits of her kindness are beginning to flower. She has friends of this type in industry, government, science and the military, but she has to keep planting more seeds, because sooner or later humans age and die, even with the gift of the Dark Kiss.


Juliet listens to as much of this as she can stand, while Billy and Alex sneak down to rescue the boys. Billy sneaks out with one, but Alex can’t carry the other without attracting attention, so she lies quiet while Juliet and Wilhelm leave. Wilhelm says Ekaterina’s not a bad vampire, really, and that she could be useful to Juliet in her quest. There are many vampires whom Ekaterina would like to see dust, after all, and she could help Juliet find them.


Alexandra, meanwhile, is spotted by Ekaterina. Ekaterina will not drink her blood, she says – the blood of a mage is deadly poison to vampires. But it is also potent medicine, useful in many occult rituals, and hard to come by in this skeptical, materialist era. She thinks she’ll keep her.


Alex screams, of course, just as Wilhelm discovers Billy outside with one of the kidnapped boys. Wilhelm shouts an alarm and gets in a fight with Juliet, and Billy and Diligence (who has returned carrying an Indian firepump, an aluminum ladder, and other hardware) rush down below to save Alex. The three of them confront Ekaterina, who scatters them like ninepins but is forced to withdraw in the face of burning kerosene from Diligence’s pump, and Billy grabs the other of the boys. Juliet finishes Wilhelm and goes below to battle Ekaterina, in which Juliet gets scratched up by razored fingernails but proves immune to Ekaterina’s mesmeric powers.


The boys are returned to their home with none the wiser, and the gang head to the hospital to check on the man they sent there earlier. Unfortunately, he is the vampire Donal O’Connor, who pretended to be a victim in order to get close to them. O’Connor leaps off the morgue slab, produces a pistol, and shoots his way out of the hospital, finally being cornered and staked in the ambulance garage after Alexandra sets him on fire.


Billy remarks that at nine vamps dusted, this is their most productive day ever, and everyone goes up to intensive care.