The pack tried to get a fresh lead on Troy and decided to investigate the women’s shelter to see what effect he was having there. Bentley managed to spook the desk clerk with his forwardness and found himself speaking with a police detective, who escorted him from the premises and mentioned that he should tell Aleister to show up a few minutes early to his next work shift. He ran into Philip, who offered him some possible work in the near future with an associate.
Aleister encountered the spirit Local-Trade, visible in the Shadow as a rippling pool of water full of many varied images. Local-Trade offered to find Troy in exchange for payment in memories, telling him he had recently done business with Walt. Aleister asked how they could go about finding him and Local-Trade told him they would need to better understand Troy’s nature, especially how he managed to inspire addiction in others.
Bentley went scanning for access to the Shadow to try that angle and came upon a couple of Latino gangbangers getting aggressive with a young lady. Not understanding the specifics—they were speaking Spanish—he still understood their intentions were not pleasant. After confronting them nonchalantly, one of them drew a gun. Bentley waited for the woman to run and tore them apart in his gauru form, before taking off into the woods and hopping a nearby bus.
The pack reconvened at a strip club and went out to follow up their leads. Some of Troy’s crowd were hanging out at a jazz bar, with Troy, Mary, and another girl named Lacey among them. Tonight, he was sporting Celtic tattoos of life and fertility about his neck region. Bentley and Aleister approached him, talking about how to get Bentley’s bar off the ground. He told them he would be interested in having a place where he could draw a crowd and have free reign to share his drug of choice, which he described as all-natural. He also called Aleister and Bentley out for having followed him the previous night. They agreed to back off until they had a place to set up their planned bar. After giving Bentley his card, Troy went to the bathroom with Mary and the pack left. Walt split off from the pack and soon returned, telling them they needed to see something.
They followed him in the Shadow to a nearby highrise and found his apartment, where Aleister saw him drinking the blood of Lacey. He licked the wound that he caused and it vanished before the vision faded from Aleister’s sight. Troy was a vampire. The pack debated what to do about this. Neither Walt nor Bright-Eyes had ever seen anything like this before.
They met altogether with Local-Trade and, after some deliberation, Aleister offered to trade a favored memory of watching a daytime drama (Judging Amy) with his mother in exchange for a useful location that could be used to meet with Troy the following night. They then called Troy and set up a meeting with him for 10 P.M. the following night.
When morning came, Aleister met with the police detective Scott Byrne and was taken to the station where he was asked to view some photos of people he had freed from the Shadow. He asked a few probing questions about Aleister’s time in the service, his gun collection, his recent injuries, and his acquaintance with certain individuals. He played dumb, and was told that his uncle Cyrus was officially listed as missing for four days. Byrne also requested that he call him if he were to hear anything or leave town.
That afternoon, Bentley and Aleister were each attacked in their respective homes by shotgun and uzi-wielding Latino men. Both managed to kill their quarries and escape into nearby woods. Aleister turned their guns on them and killed them in dalu form, while Bentley took on gauru form and crushed the van in which they were chasing him and then beat them to death. Before his last attacker lost consciousness, Bentley managed to pry from him the name of the person who had sent them: Reina Araña.