The Child of the Moon and the Russian Winter

Part 1

Vlad enters the holodeck, he locks the door and pulls out his PADD. He selects a custom simulation from his pad and it loads on the holodeck. The scene before him is a medium sized Victorian era house, something for a nobleman short on money. Vlad knows however who’s house this is supposed to be. He had spent many weeks getting the program to look just right and though he was not very artistic he was able to select from the templates those that offered the closest match. Now all he had to do was select the abilities and behaviour that closely match Joseph Moonchild the leader of the group he used to be in.

Funny guy Joe was, the closest parallel he could find has one Sherlock Holmes. Both were eccentric genius detectives that worked for Scotland Yard and both saw their work as reprieve from boredom. The main difference is that Joe was very much real and Sherlock a fictional character. That and Joe was a thaumaturge, a legal mage of Britain. Knowing this, Joe’s experience with firearms and his sociopathic tendencies Vlad knew this assassination would be a hard one. He wondered whether the computer will do a good job of simulating Joe’s thought process and skill. After all Joe’s biggest weakness was his physical frailty.

He has the computer equip him with four single action revolvers and his Spencer 1867 carbine rifle. So he began walking around the house trying to find the best way to enter the home unnoticed. Using the some nearby bushes to hide himself he inspects the premises. It’s a normal looking (to him) house with one door and one window in the front, two windows on each side and one backdoor. On the second floor it’s much the same except it has two windows in the front and back. Vlad had to be stealthy which, considering his size, was going to prove difficult. The next best thing however would be a distraction. Something to throw Joe off for just enough to get the jump on him.

Fortunately thaumaturgists did not have psychic powers or the force to aid their senses. All he needed was to setup some kind of expectation and attack Joe from an unexpected angle. He didn’t know which floor Joe was in and that would make it difficult to draw him out, if he was even stupid enough to be baited. Vlad opts to enter the front door for now. He goes to the door and tries to lockpick it. He wasn’t a thief and it showed it took him half an hour to pick the door, by the time he had Joe was waiting for him with a shotgun. Fail.

With a sigh Vlad reloaded the program from the beginning and tries again, this time he went for the windows. Nailed shut on the first floor, the damn program was giving him no breaks. So he tried his hand at the door, with any luck the lock would be similar in configuration to the last one. He tries it, no dice but it did become slightly easier to pick it. Remembering what happened last time Vlad opted to fire through the door in the hopes of hitting Joe. He fired two shots with his Spencer 1867 and kicked the door open but Joe was nowhere in sight.

Vlad swept the area carbine ready. Nothing not a trace, with this he slowly made his way up to the second floor ready for an attack at any moment. Too busy expecting an ambush at the stairs he did not notice the trap that was set up, when he stepped on the fifth step from the top a loud pop could be heard, a firecracker, and a bullet burst from the wall to his left. Another failure.