It would all be a lot easier if Red Bank was a haunted ruin that vomited forth gore-maddened nightmares to cavort and rend under the pitiless gaze of the moon. Morgan had expected that, and had fully intended to give the place a wide berth, devils or no. But the intelligence he had gathered in Middletown provided a more complicated, if still bloody, picture.
“They call themselves civilized bloodsuckers,” one informant told him. Morgan had decided to go the traditional route and get his intelligence in a bar, via the equally traditional method of free beer. It worked well, as long as he kept cycling informants in and out. And didn’t over-sample the interrogation methods himself.
This one informant had worked a Middletown-Red Bank caravan a few times, but gave it up. “I didn’t trust ‘em. They got this ‘tax’ thing going. You want to trade in Red Bank, everybody in your caravan’s gotta give up a pint. You want to live in Red Bank, you get taxed a pint every month unless you’re a kid or about to fall over dead. They tried to make it all normal and shit when they took their ‘tax,’ sure. You sat at a table, it goes into the bag, and here’s your receipt, sir. Civilized,” the informant repeated, sourly.