You grab a knife that you keep hidden in the plaster walls of the room you share with your crew, a bunch of hungry Unregistereds like you. You grab a knapsack and creep outside.
You lift up a manhole cover and climb down into the tunnel. Though you’ve got a candle and a precious pack of matches, you don’t bother with light—candles are expensive and scarce and you’ve run this route hundreds of times. You don’t want to use the most expensive thing you own for no reason.
You keep one hand on the wall, tracing to keep track of how many tunnels you’ve passed so you know when to turn. Each time the wall drops away under your hand, your heart beats a little faster. But the tunnel always returns. Wall. Air. Wall. Air. Wall. Air. Wa—
That’s not wall. It’s slimy and gritty and warm. You slide your hand down and feel . . . fingers. It’s a hand. It’s a Mole Man.
The hand closes over your wrist and you hear a breath, hot and self-satisfied. You imagine you can see a mouth, pale and snaggle-toothed. The hand pulls you into a body, and it smells like earth and you can’t pull away.
But then the hand is gone. You hear noises—scuffs, grunts . . . Where is your candle? You fumble with the matches, strike, light—
The noises have stopped. Your hand shakes as you raise your candle. A pale body is on the ground, twisted and broken. Above it stands a figure all in black, his face hidden by a hood. He stands still for a moment and then moves, faster than a human could. You press yourself to the wall, but he runs past you, and the wind of his movement blows out the candle.
A vampire. Why would a vampire save you, then leave you alone?