I was wiping down the bar when he walked in. I had not seen Mr. Bradshaw since I unceremoniously dumped him out of my pub and told him never to come back unless on Silver Shield’s business. He had honored that and now that he was walking in I knew something was up in the realm of our job fighting the bad guys. He walked cautiously to the bar and also true to my wishes he came alone. No goons were escorting him.
“Well, Mr. Bradshaw, it is good to see you again. I assume that you have some business to discuss.”
“Yes, the kind that requires a drink. I would like two glasses of your best theology and keep the bottle on the bar.”
I pulled out some of my best and poured out two glasses.
Mr. Bradshaw motioned for me to pick up the second glass.
“To a new era.”
I drank with him. It was only polite since he was buying.
Mr. Bradshaw picked up the bottle and poured a glass for himself and then made a motion that asked if I would like another. I declined with a raised hand.
“Yes, we found a cure to vampirism.”
I must have looked skeptical.
“I knew you wouldn’t believe me so I brought one of your friends.”
When he motioned toward the door Campeche walked in wearing her red robes with her hood over her face. She approached the bar and when she got near Bradshaw she pulled her hood back revealing the half elven features.
“Barkeep it is true. We solved the problem of the magical side of vampirism. The mystic team created a spell that can attach to the virus and adapts as it does.”
“A cure. How is it delivered.”
“That’s the problem. It is a two-part delivery system and it has to be administered one after the other with only a few seconds in between.”
“Is there a way to localize the spell to make it easier to deliver?”
Mr. Bradshaw took over, “That’s why we came to you.”
“As far as we know you are the only one to turn theology and philosophy into substances that resemble other things – namely alcohol and caffeine. We think if you understand the cure you might be able to do the same with the cure.”
“Find yourself another alchemist. My process does not work quite like what you’re looking for.”
“We think it can be adapted if Campeche is right.”
I looked at Campeche.
“If I can teach you the spell you might be able to transfer it.”
“Because the spell involves theology.”
“Theology, how did you come up with that?”
“Actually, it was your visit to my apartment that got me thinking. We were trying to overcome the problem with raw magic, no one had ever thought that faith-based magic might be useful. It turns out it is. Looks like the cross having and effect on vampires is actually true, in a round about way.”
I reached over and grabbed the bottle of theology I had given Mr. Bradshaw. I poured myself another glass and downed it in a single motion.
“Barkeep, if we can do this. Think of the untold death and suffering we could reverse. It would diminish Mr. Lies’ power. If we can liquefy the cure it would be not only a cure but a vaccine. your visit to my apartment might have been the single greatest moment of inspiration for magic in a long time.”
I fell back onto my bar stool. Campeche was right. This was turning point of epic proportions in the war against vampires. No more broken families, no more blood sucking evil, no more vampires period if we fought the war successfully to it logical conclusion.
“All right, I’ll do it.”
Mr. Bradshaw smiled. I knew something else must be said.
“One condition, this research is my property. I don’t want a single Silver Shields bureaucrat near this.”
“I mean it. Send me whatever resources I request but no agents near this thing. This project needs more secrecy and the best way to do that is have the least people involved as possible.”
“I am already involved.”
“Yeah, I might be starting to like you Mr. Bradshaw but this is still my pub and it is my process. The last thing I want is somebody looking at this as means to power. Mu process is secret and I intend to keep it that way. This is about ending this war for good not exploiting it for profit. The best way to do that is to keep the people involved to a minimum.”
Mr. Bradshaw reluctantly nodded.
“Ok, Campeche, let’s go downstairs and see if you can teach me the spell.”
Welcome to All Things Rabyd, your friendly neighborhood ‘clothing optional’ theology pub. I, the Rabyd Theologian and your bartender, thank you for stopping by. Please drink your theology responsibly or have a designated driver to get you home. Please tip your waitress and they might give you a kiss on the cheek. Just remember life is short so enjoy it. Blessings and Cheers!