(Gregory forces a young couple into dark alley with a gun. He is wearing a gray hoodie and jeans. The couple are wearing a fancy clothes for a night out on the town, as well as warm coats for the cold.)
Gregory: Give me your purse and don't say a word.
Woman: Please just take it.
(The woman hands over her purse, before the mugger shoots the man first. He turns the gun on the woman.)
Woman: Please ... don't...
(The mugger pulls the trigger again, and rushes off)
(The mugger arrives at his apartment building and takes the stairs up to his room on the third floor. He feels something brush up against him, and looks around to find no one before continuing on. Arriving at his room he opens the door to his apartment and closes it behind him. Once inside he dumps the contents of his haul that night, and starts to sift through them.)
Reaper: Hello Gregory. My, my, that's much more than earlier this morning. Your earnings are improving.
(Pulling the gun out and pointing it at Reaper: who is in the form of a young white male dressed in average street clothes.)
Mugger: Who are you?
Reaper: I am someone you will make famous. Dodging the police will only add to the challenge of the kill, and I am so need of a challenge these days.
Mugger: Get the hell out of here or I'll kill you!
(Reaper laughs coldly.)
Reaper: Oh, I won't be the one dying tonight my friend. You have been a naughty boy Gregory. I can only imagine how sweet you'll taste.
(Mugger fires only to find no one in front of him, instead Reaper is now behind and whispers in his ear.)
Reaper: Did you get him?
(Reaper's hand bursts out of the mugger's stomach, spraying blood all over the carpet. Mugger collapses onto the floor. He tries to crawl away and makes it to the door before he turns around.)
Reaper: (Licks and sucks the blood off of his fingers) Ummm. I was right. You're just as sweet as I imagined.
(The mugger sees Reaper's fangs for the first time.)
Mugger: Oh God!
Reaper: I would think in your position, you might want to not end things on his bad side before you die, just a helpful suggestion.
Mugger: Please don't.
Reaper: Now that sounds familiar. Isn't that what your last victim said before she died?
(Reaper has an amused smirk on his face. His fingernails extend into claws inches from the mugger's face. Reaper uses them to slice open the mugger's throat in one quick movement. The mugger chokes on his own blood before Reaper's eyes. Dipping his fingers in the mugger's blood he writes "Reaper" on the wall. Reaper turns to the mugger's corpse)
Reaper: Thus shall the world come to know me by name, and from my works evildoers everywhere will learn to fear and remember that from me there is no safety.
(Sirens can be heard in the distance and Reaper withdraws.)
(Detective Ortez enters the crime scene and begins looking around. Police and crime scene photographers are milling around taking pictures and collecting evidence around the room. Ortez moves to the window to look down on the street, and sees the Chief's car pull up, and the Chief and someone else step out.)
(The Chief pulls in and parks, and he and Graves step out of the vehicle. Heading up the stairs past the news reporters outside, they both walk over to Ortez on the other side of the police tape in the room. )
Ortez: Detective Fernando Ortez. Welcome to our crime scene Mr...
Graves: Graves, just call me your local necromancer.
(Graves turns to the Chief.)
Graves: If the rest of your people have gathered all they need, then I'll need them to leave. Ortez here can remain. I can use him.
Chief: Alright the scene is yours. Tell me if you need anything, and thanks again for getting here so quickly.
(Graves and Chief shake hands.)
Graves: No problem Chief. I'll probably hold you to that.
(He smiles at the Chief, and the Chief smiles back. Chief exits the scene. A quizzical look appears on Ortez's face. He turns to Graves.)
Ortez: I'm sorry, but did you say necromancer?
Graves: This is a supernatural crime detective. You be surprised how normal my abilities are in such a setting.
Ortez: You're serious?
Graves: I'm very serious about what I do Detective Ortez.
Ortez: What am I supposed to call you? Mr. Necromancer, lord of the dead, or something else?
Graves: I have a pretty good sense of humor Fernando, but I don't like someone mocking my profession, especially when you haven't earned the right.
Ortez: It's detective sir.
(Graves looks him right in the eye.)
Graves: And it's Graves to you detective. Now let me make this abundantly clear for you detective: I'm offering you the opportunity to learn things you would normally not have access to. With this new knowledge you can be a credit to your department, and perhaps use it to make yourself invaluable, and rise up through the ranks. If you feel I have nothing to teach you, or you don't want to be involved, then turn around and get the hell out of my crime scene!
(Ortez takes a deep breath calming his anger.)
Ortez: Sorry Mr. Graves. Where would like to start?
(Graves crouches down next to the body, and looks it over.)
Graves: Just call me Graves, and come over here.
(Ortez comes over. Graves passes his hand over the body, but doesn't touch it. A focused look appears on his face.)
Ortez: Could I ask what exactly you are doing? Me being new at all this.
(Graves pauses over the puncture wounds on the body's neck. He offers Ortez his free hand.)
Graves: Take my hand and you'll find out.
(Ortez reluctantly takes his hand. After touching Graves' hand, he immediately let's go and jumps back, looking at the body.)
Ortez: What the hell was that?
Graves: What did you see?
(Ortez just stares at the body.)
Graves: Detective Ortez. I want you to take a deep breath and then answer my question: What did you see once you touched my hand?
(Ortez takes a deep breath and looks at Graves.)
Ortez: I saw a person with a large black aura around him, like a shadow. His eyes were the color of pitch black that seemed to go on forever. I saw him kill this man and draw something from him, some kind of red aura that he seemed to draw into himself with the blood.
Graves: What you saw was a Revenant: a vampire that possesses the bodies of the evil dead. I say evil, because that is what they hunt: criminals and those of evil intent. Judging by this man's file, this one was a mugger. Pick pocketing, escalating into armed robbery. Seems the mugger killed two other people before he himself was murdered. I imagine the vampire was watching him and that final act clinched it.
Ortez: Why criminals? They could hunt anyone else.
Graves: Actually they can't. They exist under different rules than most vamps. What will hurt other species, might not hurt them and vice versa. The innocent have a natural protection against them. Have you heard about wards?
Ortez: You mean like a cross?
Graves: Yeah, that'll do. Picture any innocent person with a big freaking cross on them. While crosses don't mean anything by themselves to Revenants, innocence does. If you are a good person, they can't hurt you.
Ortez: Why don't crosses work?
Graves: Revenant inhabit bodies, technically this changes the nature of what can hurt them. Holy water, and crosses don't mean shit. If you do something evil and they've made you, consider yourself screwed, so my advice to you would be to keep your nose clean and stay that way. Morally questionable is one thing, evil is something else. If you have to question it, don't do it.
Ortez: Sounds fair enough. Same concept as heaven and hell, or karma. What else should I know?
Graves: As you can see from the body, they are quite vicious by nature. This one has a particularly sadistic side. Most of them feed and don't take their time at it. This one drew things out before he even laid a finger on the guy. He wanted to feed on the victim's fear first. Not that the mugger didn't have this coming.
Ortez: You mentioned that he watched this guy before he killed him. Is there any significance of that? Can't he tell if you are evil or not?
Graves: He can sense it. The evil in such a person calls to him. Any Revenant could find this mugger blind folded.
Ortez: Then why would he watch him? I'm not doubting your leap of intuition, but in my experience you should question the why. What made you think that this particular Revenant would take the extra time to track him visually?
Graves: It's the impression I get. Most Revenant are opportunists, kinda like sharks. They smell blood in the water and come. This one picks his prey. I can feel that about him.
(Getting up Graves heads towards the police tape at the edge of the crime scene)
Graves: Follow me Detective. We'll come back after I check out this hunch.
(Graves ducks underneath the police tape)
Ortez: What's the rush? The bodies have been moved already.
(Follows him out)
Graves: Because that means their auras are dissipating. The stronger the presence, the clearer the images and feelings will be. Much of necromancy, at least when it comes to investigation is following hunches because time is of the essence.
(Graves is walking away from the scene in a hurry heads down the stairs to the street, Ortez tries to keep up. Cameras flash and reporters try to talk to them as they pass.)
(Graves leads them to the second scene. Once they are far enough away they begin talking again.)
Ortez: Sounds like being a detective. I guess I can understand that.
(They hurry and arrive at the second crime scene in no time, and Ortez flashes his credentials to the officer guarding the scene.)
Officer: Go on in sir.
(Ducking under the tape, they enter the second scene, and Graves looks around, his eyes stopping on a spot near where the bodies were marked. He points the spot out to Ortez.)
Graves: (Points to a rooftop and then at the couple's chalk lines on the pavement.) The vampire was there, and the couple along with the mugger were right here. It's clear that the vampire was standing here from the impressions left, when he jumped down and followed the mugger. This Revenant is a serial killer. He's picking the most tasty of morsels. My guess would be murders, and rapists, anyone who directly harms their victims.
Ortez: So they are more evil in his eyes?
Graves: It leaves a deeper stain on the soul. Think of it like a dessert or a feast when they can get it. This one is focusing only on the fillet mignon, or cream of the crop of the criminal world. That leads me to believe one of two things: either something in his past has caused this and it's revenge, or he's in it for the challenge. His reward when it's all over is that he eats like a king.
Ortez: It's unsettling to think that to him and creatures like him, we are just food. I can't get over that.
Graves: Just be glad that they are so highly selective, and you aren't on the menu.
Ortez: The more I see, the more I agree with you. I can feel a cold presence here, and I can hear equally heartless laughter, but I don't see anyone. This presence you are talking about ... it's like an echo right? Something we all leave behind?
(Graves has surprised look on his face as he looks at the detective.)
Graves: Yes ... actually that's exactly it. Necromancers can pick out the supernatural presences that others don't notice.
Ortez: You're training me to be like you.
(Graves smiles, and heads back to the street. He pauses at the inside of the tape. Graves quietly listens to sounds of the city not looking at Ortez for a short time. )
Graves: I was wondering when you would ask that question, then again you are having to deal with a lot the first night.
Ortez: So it is true.
Graves: We are a rarity you and I Detective. Most people can't sense what we do. The thing is, you could have gone the rest of your life and gone untapped. If you want we can stop here. Right now you are slightly aware of the supernatural, but you're not far enough in that you can't live a normal life if you quit now. I wouldn't think any less of you if you did.
Ortez: And exactly who else is going to volunteer for this kind of assignment?
Graves: The trouble is you might not be a cop anymore if you go through with this.
Ortez: What do you mean?
Graves: When I approached you for this, the brass had already given their ok. I felt it was necessary that they understood, and they figured it out on their own that you could handle it. Your record speaks for itself. In the past you have shown great potential in your use of your intuition.
Ortez: Enough beating around the bush! What did you talk to the brass about?
Graves: A necromancer is an outsider Detective Ortez. If you learn from me, you will no longer be an official part of the department, at least not in your current unit. Most likely you would be a local outside consultant.
Ortez: You mean I can't be a cop anymore?
(Graves' looks at him sadly.)
Ortez: I can't just walk away.
Graves: Are you sure about this? Once you make this choice, there is no turning back the clock. You can't undo this Fernando. After this moment you will work for me, but you'll get to keep your badge until this is all over, after that the brass decides if they want to keep you in any official capacity.
(Ortez looks at Graves indignantly.)
Graves: Why don't you just think about it?
(They head back to Ortez's car with Graves in the passenger seat. They fasten their safety belts and Ortez turns to Graves.)
Ortez: Where to boss?
(Reaper enters a sports bar and takes a seat at one of the tables. A local news station is playing on the T.V. behind the bar.)
Eddie: Hey Bill, can you change the channel. The game's on.
Bartender: Sure Eddie.
(The bartender heads over to change the channel. When he's almost there the latest news report comes on, and Reaper makes a simple gesture. The bartender stops in place, and stands there with a blank stare on his face. Reaper watches the television ignoring everyone else.)
Reporter: A mugger, who connected with multiple murders was killed himself last night. Police sources point to a situation gone bad between two accomplices, and that they are currently looking for the other individual connected to the crime.
(A scowl forms on Reaper's face, and he shakes with seething rage as he watches the screen. Taking a breath to calm himself he looks around the room. The bartender is released from his mental hold and immediately changes the channel. Reaper ignores him and focuses on a man on the far left side of the bar. The man gets up and walks into the bathroom. Reaper follows him in. The door closes behind Reaper.)
(Ortez and Graves park next to a collection of abandoned buildings. Both get out, and Ortez looks around.)
Ortez: What are we supposed to find here?
(Ortez's hand immediately goes to his gun.)
Graves: That won't help very much. Remember they are merely inhabiting their current bodies ... like a suit.
Ortez: So what happens when I shoot them?
Graves: Their body dies, and they become very inclined to kill you when they come back as someone else ... that is if they don't get the drop on you first, which is entirely possible.
(Ortez slowly takes his hand away from his gun.)
Ortez: Ok ... why are we here?
Graves: We need information on our murderer. It stands to reason that his own people would be the most likely people to know who he is.
Ortez: Alright. Where are they?
Revenant leader: All around you.
(Revenant leader and twenty more Revenant appear from the shadows, surrounding them.)
Graves: You are the leader here?
Revenant leader: Yes I am Necromancer. To what do I owe the pleasure?
Graves: One of your kind has started killing publicly.
Revenant leader: How many?
Graves: One victim so far.
Revenant leader: Why is this so important to the authorities? Criminals die everyday.
Graves: The death was quite gruesome.
Revenant leader: How gruesome?
Graves: He took his time. The killer even wrote "Reaper" in his victim's blood.
(Ortez notices a look of fear cross all of the Revenants' faces before it's gone.)
Graves: I take it you know him.
Revenant leader: We know him.
Graves: Then perhaps you could provide us with information.
Revenant leader: I would hesitate to do so: if he discovers who told you, I may be next. We do not have your protections against him.
Ortez: What do you mean?
(Graves keeps his eyes on the leader.)
Graves: He means that Revenant don't tend to be innocent.
Ortez: So they won't help because they are afraid of him?
(The leader growls at Ortez menacingly, and the other Revenant follow suit.)
Graves: Be careful in your choice of wording detective.
(Graves forces on a smile while looking at the leader.)
Graves: He meant no offense. Let's keep this as casual and bloodless as possible, we are not here to cause trouble for you and your kind, but we do need more information on our killer.
(The leader turns his gaze to Graves.)
Revenant leader: There is good cause to be cautious when dealing with Reaper. This is not the first time he has played games with law enforcement, but before now no one ever truly knew what he was. He was careful in hiding his true identity.
Graves: Why the change?
(The leader shrugs.)
Revenant leader: I imagine he's bored.
Ortez: Bored? He's killing people because he bored? Who is this guy?
Revenant leader: No one knows his true name, or least the one we are all born with. What is known is that he is very powerful for one so young. We are certain he is not among the oldest of us, but his exact age eludes us.
Graves: I imagine that's on purpose.
(The leader nods.)
Ortez: Great so what can you tell us?
Revenant leader: Only that if you don't play his game he will make you regret it.
Ortez: What's his game?
Graves: Fame ... he wants fame.
(The leader nods in agreement.)
Ortez: And if we hid the truth from the general public, and downplayed the killing tonight?
Revenant leader: That would be very bad.
Ortez: How bad?
Revenant leader: From what I've heard, I wouldn't put it past him to paint the city red overnight.
Graves: And how did you come to that conclusion?
Revenant leader: There are rumors that not long after he was first turned, that corrupt priests and knights captured him during the time of the Crusades. Even as young as he was, Reaper was powerful enough to bring horrors out of the night; the stuff of nightmares.
Dead men walked and slew even where Reaper himself could not walk. They were his avenging hands, and his fingers did not stop at merely the corrupt, but any who had done enough evil to warrant his attention. Drunk with death he was marked by the local Revenant Leader, and our kind sought to hunt him down, much to our folly. Our own began to die as we discovered the extent of his power, and not one of us does not curse the day Reaper was made or the sire who created him.
Graves: Have you sought out this sire?
Revenant leader: If only we could. Some believe he died long ago, and others believe he watches from the shadows, glorifying in the monster he created. His name was Taris, and if you knew him then you would see a being who resembles his creation.
Graves: So the Reaper is merely a reflection of him...
(The Revenant leader shakes his head.)
Revenant leader: I knew Taris before he made Reaper. He was searching for someone who shared his love for killing; I believe he found that in Reaper: a vampire whose passion for death and destruction outweighed his own. In that arena Reaper has long since surpassed him, as much as an artist can surpass an amateur.
(Looking Ortez in the eye the Revenant leader speaks.)
Revenant leader: You think me afraid of Reaper. Very well, I will admit it. I am afraid, and if you possessed any measure of wisdom or self preservation, you would want him as far from you and your city as possible. He wants a challenge, and he will keep killing until he gets it. The more you block him, the more he will try to control you.
Ortez: That's what this is about? Control?
Graves: A Revenant on a power trip ... oh this won't end well.
(Looking at the Revenant Leader, Graves speaks.)
Graves: Thanks for the information.
Revenant leader: Don't come back here Necromancer. Neither you or your companion, not until Reaper is dead and gone. Until we have nothing more to fear from him, you will see none of us.
(Turning away, the Revenant leader and the other Revenant slip into the shadows and disappear from view.)
Ortez: I must be missing something: why would an entire race be afraid of one individual?
Graves: Look at the big picture detective. The reason is right in front of you: why would this Reaper character be upset that we are downplaying his killings?
Ortez: Because he is seeking fame.
Graves: And what would happen if human society found out about the Revenant because of him? What have Humans done to everything they are afraid of?
Ortez: Humans everywhere would do their best to hunt all Revenant down.
Graves: They would fail because the Revenant are far too good at staying in the shadows, but that is not the point. The Revenant would be forced deeper into hiding, and this change in behavior would affect human society negatively.
Ortez: How so?
Graves: Who do the Revenant hunt?
Ortez: They feed on...
(A mixture of shock and understanding shows on Ortez's face.)
Graves: Think of how many they kill: your evil ones, those that are a plague onto society. How many murders, rapists, arsonists, or any other types of criminal are stopped before they can do more damage? Unlike Reaper, these creatures do their part quietly. You'll never know how much impact they have on your daily life, how much worse things could be if they didn't hunt your streets anymore.
Graves: Now you know the stakes we face. No one else can know what we now know, or it will cause a panic one way or another. That is why I'm here, and that's why I need your help. We are playing this very deadly game of his by his rules, and that puts us at the disadvantage.
(Reaper is driving a white van with five other men armed with shotguns, disguised as the man he saw in the bar.)
Robber 1: Pull it in here Tommy, and keep the engine running
Reaper: Got it.
(The four armed bank robbers put on ski masks and head inside the bank. Gunfire can be heard, and one of the bank robbers heads out the front doors of the bank a few minutes later, carrying a large bag of money, only to find no one in the driver seat.)
Robber 2: Where the hell did Tommy go?
Reaper: He's right behind you.
(Before Robber 2 can even turn around, with a quick twist, Reaper snaps his neck.)
Reaper: No one ignores me.
(Stuffing the body into the van, Reaper takes his ski mask and gun and puts the mask on.)
(Walking into the bank Reaper finds hostages pressed face down on the floor with one gunman watching the customers while the other three are out of view. Robber 3 turns to Reaper and speaks.)
Robber 3: Took you long enough.
Reaper: Sorry man, problems with the driver.
Robber 3: Right, we'll talk about it later. They'll want you back in the safe again.
Reaper: Alright ... wait ... do you hear that?
(Reaper inclines his head as if he hears a far away sound. Robber turns to his right and copies him, listening.)
Robber 3: What?
(With his back facing Reaper, Reaper takes the butt of his shotgun and hits him in the back of the head, knocking him out. Looking at some of the hostages who peek their heads up, Reaper lifts a finger to his lips to keep them quiet. He walks to the nearest hostage and points the gun at him.)
Reaper: Either you and the others here leave quietly through the front doors, or I start killing you one by one until I run out of bullets. Now move!
(The hostages pass the word quietly and file out the front with as little noise as possible. Reaper walks back to the unconscious Robber 3 and stops, noticing the state flag in its stand near the front doors. Pulling it out, he aims it like a spear and impales Robber 3, killing him. Next Reaper aims his own shotgun at the ceiling and fires a round off, and then immediately lays face down, and plays dead. Robber 4 enters the lobby from the back offices and finds Reaper, Robber 3 and no hostages.)
Robber 4: Steve, George come quick! Something has happened!
(Bending over Reaper, Robber 4 sets down his gun and flips Reaper onto his back. Immediately Reaper's eyes pop open and he strikes, using his hand to penetrate Robber 4's chest and rip out his heart. Spitting up blood Robber 4's face is frozen in shock as he dies. Dropping the heart Reaper grabs the embedded flag and pulls it out before Robbers 1, 5 rush into view. Hurling the flag like a javelin Reaper watches as it strikes Robber 5 in the gut and knocks him down.)
Robber 1: You son of a...
(Robber 1 tries to shoot Reaper, but Reaper is faster and manages to blow off Robber 1's left leg. Robber 1 drops his gun and falls to the ground screaming.)
Robber 1: Aaaaah! You bastard! I'll kill you, I'll kill you!
Reaper: I find that very unlikely Stevie, but don't you go dying on me just yet, I have something special planned just for you.
(Bending down he takes the guns from both Robber 1 and 5 and sets them on a nearby desk, before taking off his mask.)
Robber 5: Tommy? Why?
Reaper: I'm afraid Tommy was killed earlier today. I'm acting as his stand in, but don't worry the three of us are going to get to know each other before the police arrive, after all I need something to pass the time.
(Reaper starts searching through the desk and its drawers for a letter opener.)
Reaper: Ah! Here it is.
(Reaper walks back to the two wounded Robbers holding the fake knife.)
Reaper: Now who do I choose first?
Robber 1: If you're going to kill us, then get it over with!
Reaper: But that's only half the fun. You see I call this game, "Who Really Wants To Die First?"
Robber 5: Couldn't you just let us go? We won't talk, I swear! You can keep the money.
Reaper: George, George ... I don't think you get the point of all this. That's my fault of course because I haven't explained it clearly. My name is Reaper and I'm looking to make a name for myself, but the police have decided to downplay my last murder. Now here I am with two victims to increase my chances. If that isn't good enough we also have built-in video cameras to record the whole thing. If it makes you feel any better I promise to eventually kill the both of you, and the good news is you get to convince me which one of you will get to die first.
Robber 1: You won't get away with this. They'll kill you if you spend too much time here. I think I can already hear the sirens.
Reaper: My dear boy, I want them to kill this body. To tell you the truth, it's all part of my plan. I would tell you the beauty of it in its entirety, but we are short on time, so we should get started and with that I think George will go first.
Robber 5: No! Wait!
(The scene cuts out with a picture of Reaper's shadow plunging the knife repeatedly into Robber 5's body and him screaming.)
(Ortez and Graves pull up at the crime scene with a young cop puking his guts out in the bushes.)
Ortez: That's not a good sign.
Graves: We both knew this was going to be bad.
Ortez: Yeah, but the question is how bad?
(Opening one of the front doors Ortez leads the way in. Cops clear the way and give them plenty of room, leaving them alone with the bodies. They find five bodies inside on the floor, and one of them is full of bullets with a sick smile on his face.)
Graves: That would be him.
Ortez: Why did he let the hostages go? I don't see any other bodies.
Graves: He probably didn't think he needed them to be here, besides look around.
(Graves points out the video camera.)
Ortez: Now it will be harder to hide the truth.
Graves: And that was his plan.
Ortez: It looks like he took his time killing both of them. Each was slowly tortured, but this doesn't make sense...
Ortez: I want our coroner to check the victims just to be sure. When do you think he'll show up again?
Graves: I don't know; when he's ready.
Ortez: That means we wait until the coroner can tell us more.
Graves: Give me a few minutes.
(Kneeling by each of the bodies Graves closes his eyes and focuses.)
Ortez: What do you see?
(After a minute or so Graves opens his eyes and gets up.)
Graves: He orchestrated the entire thing to perfection.
(Ortez looks around.)
Ortez: How so?
Graves: He comes in through the front door, carrying the traces of life from the first robber he killed outside, and then he kills the one nearest to the door, as he lays unconscious Reaper spears him with the state flag. Next he plays dead until another one enters to check on him and the one Reaper has already killed. Reaper kills the third robber with his own hands. After that I see him shooting one of the last two.
Ortez: The one on the left.
Graves: Yes, but that is after he hit the other one the state flag by hurling it at him.
Ortez: That must have taken some skill.
Graves: But it is possible.
Ortez: Are you sure on the order?
Graves: Definitely: each death from the door inward, I can picture the events in that order.
Ortez: Alright, we should get out of here. They'll need to bring these bodies to the morgue.
(Leaving the crime scene they head to the station.)
(Sitting at his desk, Ortez sees Graves come into the squad room, holding a cup of coffee.)
Ortez: I see you're making yourself at home.
Graves: I need the caffeine to stay awake.
Ortez: I would have thought with all your powers, you could've just done that on your own.
Graves: All humans need sleep detective, I am no exception.
Ortez: So you are human after all.
Graves: Interesting. By your former conclusion that would have made you not human either.
Ortez: (A thoughtful look on his face.) Huh.
(Graves smiles as Ortez seems to still be thinking about it.)
Graves: What have you found?
(Coming out of his own thought process Ortez responds quickly.)
Ortez: I checked our records on the bodies we found in the bank and in the van. All of them have worked together before. I submitted your report to the coroner and he has called for us while you were getting some coffee.
Graves: Then let's go.
(The body of one of the criminals is laying on a metal exam table as Graves and Ortez enters. The examiner is finishing her examination and removes her gloves before tossing them. She washes her hands as she directs most of her attention to Ortez.)
Examiner: Thanks for coming so quickly detective. I've just finished my exam. I think you'll be interested in what I've found.
Ortez: What have you got for me Diane?
(The examiner gestures towards the body, and Ortez and Graves move in to take a closer look.)
Examiner: I've never seen anything like it. The body shows clearly that the victim was still alive before the killer broke his neck.
(Pointing to a lit x-ray behind him the Examiner explained.)
Examiner: The x-ray is right over there.
(Turning around Ortez takes a look at the x-ray indicated.)
Ortez: How did I not see that? He must have positioned the body to hide it.
Graves: He's playing with you. Everything at the scene was carefully planned and orchestrated right down to the deaths of each of his "victims".
Examiners: I take it by your tone, that you have no pity for these men and the horribly way this particular one died.
Graves: Our killer murders other criminals. I've seen the rap sheet on every one of these men. The one laying in front of you has killed not only witnesses against the mob, but threatened, murdered, raped their family members as well, to convince others not to talk. Only mob lawyers kept him out of prison, and it seems he has a career in armed robbery in between his mob jobs, and those are just the crimes he went to trial for. In my opinion this man got what was coming to him, and while I'll look for his killer, don't expect any "pity" out of me on his behalf.
(Graves walks out, leaving the examiner and Ortez alone.)
Examiner: Where did this guy come from?
Ortez: He's our expert on the case. Without him we would have no idea who we were dealing with. Apparently this Reaper character has been doing this for awhile.
Examiner: And he's impossibly good. How did he keep him alive with all that blood loss? I asked for the crime scene photos to confirm my suspicions, and I found that three times the amount of blood that one human body can hold had bled out onto the bank floor. Medical science says that's impossible. If I didn't know any better I would say the killer gave him a blood transfusion and began stabbing the victim again, but how did he accomplish that? There was no other source of blood, save the victim's own in his system according to Crime Scene Investigation reports.
Ortez: Are they sure?
Examiner: They double checked all their findings.
Ortez: I'll ask our expert about it. Thanks again Diane.
(Ortez starts to leave.)
(Ortez stops and turns around.)
Examiner: Please be careful. I don't like the looks of this.
Ortez: Neither do I.
(Ortez heads out of the room leaving the Examiner with the body.)
(Ortez finds Graves back at his desk sitting in a chair.)
Ortez: I guess we know where you stand on that issue. Why are you doing this?
Graves: I would have thought that was obvious by now.
Ortez: I get that the Reaper must be stopped, but why are you doing this?
(Graves swivels his chair to look at Ortez.)
Graves: What are you talking about?
Ortez: While you might have been a Necromancer for some time, I've been a cop for a number of years now. Everyone has a motive Graves. We all do what we do, day in and day out because of habit or because of some defining purpose. I can accept you hunting down a criminal out of habit, but this one is no ordinary criminal.
Graves: You mean he shares my hatred of evil despite the fact he is evil himself. Do you believe I'm evil detective?
Ortez: No I don't, but it's obvious to me now that you are not doing this out of a sense of patriotism or sense of community.
Graves: I've been hunting vampires long before your nation celebrated its first birthday. I swore no allegiance to it, nor any other nation for that matter. I left behind such ties long ago. Now my only duty is to keep order. If someone threatens the paranormal population and they are dead or undead, they fall under my jurisdiction. I have never failed in bringing down my quarry, and I don't intend this one to get away either.
Ortez: So you are doing your duty, but are just serving a different master.
Graves: At present the Lord of the Night: A vampire who rules over everything that goes bump in the night.
Ortez: What can you tell me about him?
Graves: Only that you should be glad that I was sent instead of the other choice.
Ortez: Alright, now I'm curious. Why would you say that?
Graves: When someone threatens order outside of the normal jurisdiction they are hunted by me or by the Death Walkers.
Ortez: Who are they?
Graves: Vampires who act not only as his enforcers but his messengers. While few actually believe that the Lord of the Night cannot deal with a transgressor himself, the truth is far worse: wherever he goes his presence is felt. If our lord did appear, trust me ever paranormal creature would come scrambling out their hiding places, so they could get away.
Ortez: You can all sense him?
Graves: Like a bomb being dropped on the city. If he comes out, it won't be for one person, it would be to lay waste to entire armies within the space of a few moments if he were so inclined.
Ortez: So a guy like that hands the small jobs to people like you and the Death Walkers. What are they capable of?
Graves: Like me they can track and destroy just about anything.
Graves: But they are a broadsword, not a scalpel. My skills and methods allow me to investigate and hunt without making much of a commotion. Like our master, the Death Walkers don't need finesse when they show up, so they don't even bother.
Ortez: So if they showed up, this city would become a war zone.
Graves: Pretty much.
Ortez: Noted. Care to explain to me how the last victim was kept alive for so long without needing a blood transfusion?
Graves: He used necromancy to do it, and that's a disturbing thought.
Ortez: I'm not going to like this am I?
Graves: I wouldn't.
Ortez: Alright, hit me.
Graves: I've never met any Revenant that can do that. Other vampires can heal wounds for their servants, but the Revenant can't take living humans for servants. Not as true ones anyway.
Ortez: Well it looks like this guy doesn't want to follow any of the rules, and is making his own.
Graves: Alright, so he's making abundantly clear that he doesn't want to be put into a little box. That means he has an incredible ego.
Ortez: So he'll go for more high profile targets, looking for a bigger thrill.
Graves: Don't tell me you plan to warn anyone he plans to be going after next.
Ortez: I would if I knew who that was, but right now we don't have anything solid to go on.
Graves: So we are back to the waiting game. I'm going to get some sleep. Wake me up when he makes his next killing.