March 1, 2009
Prof. Gumb knocked on the door lightly. It was probably the coldest winter of London and certainly wasn’t a night to stay outdoors. He held the brown envelope closely to his chest, hiding it from the eyes that peered through the noir shadows. He couldn’t wait to share the contents with his brethren inside.
Jacobson opened the door and ushered him in. The four were seated around the mahogany table with the fireplace at its full fury- The doctors Aiken and Pendleton, the banker Faraday and inventing genius, Moore. They wore anxious looks on their faces as they were joined by Jacobson and Prof. Gumb. They had braved the cold winds to come from all parts of the city as soon as they received a letter from Gumb. “A startling discovery” was all that was mentioned. They knew the routine and the secret meeting place.
After pleasantries were exchanged, Prof Gumb stood up for the announcement.
“Dear friends, it has been a harsh winter and a tiresome time for our kind. It has been months since we presumably hunted down the last locorn in East London. However we know that they still exist amongst us, gone into hiding and have known to strike innocent children and womenfolk under cover of the night. But what I have here tonight will change all that.”
He then proceeded to open the large envelope. As an old parchment fell out on the table, everyone around it stood up, aghast. Each one of the hunters recognized the AP insignia on the document.
ASHTON PINLEY. That’s what it stood for and amongst the hunters, it was no strange name. This name was associated with the oldest folklore passed on for generations in the hunter hierarchy. It was hard to believe that it was true. Ashton Pinley was perhaps the greatest locorn hunters that strode the earth. He was the responsible for t single handedly bringing down the Wirchen castle army, which were perhaps the most fierce locorn warriors the earth had ever seen. He wrote a number of books that documented the locorn secrets, which also included various ways to kill these dastardly entities. These documents however perished in the great fire and very few remained scattered throughout the world.
Gumb finally broke the awestruck silence “Yes gentlemen, what you stare at now is the very document that has eluded us for years. The very savior of mankind. This book will finally help us to have a clear understanding of how the locorn behave, how they live, how they procreate, their rituals and all other things which we will use to deal a final assault on these demons.”
The six hunters had been yearning for this manuscript since ages. The locorns were increasing getting resistant to silver. Even the two scientists amongst them, Dr Aiken and Dr Pendleton were striving hard to come up with newer ways of killing locorns. This manuscript changed all that.
Gumb stated “I shall now read aloud each chapter slowly for all of us to hear. It may take us all night. Stop me whenever you find something incomprehensible.” With that, the renowned Prof Gumb started reading the manuscript.
It went on for hours together exploring every aspect of the locorns’ way of life. How they were first brought from the vile dimension by the great sorcerer Marduk and have stayed on to hunt mankind on a quest for domination, how they had certain rituals to induct their newborn, how they concocted potions for shape shifting, flying and super strength to augment their already strong frames. It was even suggested that human blood and organs were used in these potions. These beings were also susceptible to various chemicals and gases which were quite common but never thought of as harmful.
The six hunters were fixed in rapt attention as Prof Gumb tirelessly read every page. Jacobson occasionally got up to stoke the fire and refill the wine. And with every passing page and completed chapter, the hunters grew confident. Dr Aiken was already trying to think on a vaccine that would repel a locorns attack from the very first bite. Moore the inventor was contemplating on a time controlled device that would emit a strong sleeping gas made out of those now known to be dangerous to locorns. All this created a sense of euphoria in the small chamber of locorn hunters.
Prof Gumb finally closed the tome after the last chapter and looked exhilarated. He raised his glass and proclaimed, “To the locorns hunters of London, let there be light”
Moore was the first to go as he fell with a hard plop on the table. Dr Aiken merely felt a choking sensation in his throat and just sat still. Pendleton and Faraday however writhed in agony on the floor. It all happened simultaneously and no one had the time to react to the other’s disposition. Prof Gumb sat in shock. Whether it was the shock that killed him or the poison, it was difficult to say. It did not matter for Jacobson though as he calmly removed the manuscript from the stiff fingers of Gumb. He took one look at it and calmly tossed it into the fire.
Grabbing his hat and coat, Jacobson walked out of the room and closed the door softly. He couldn’t shape shift yet as he was far away from his hideout. And Jacobson (or Brimstone) the fifteenth descendant of the locornese dynasty walked out into the cold winter night.