The Black God (Chapter Five, page 1 of 17)

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"I need good news. Tasha. Stu." Jonny watched over the shoulder of the hacker named Stuart at his workstation in the operations center in the basement of his Oregon headquarters. The vamp's shoulders were hunched, a sign of his discomfort at having the Black God and his charged energy so close, and his fingers flew over the keyboard.

"I might have some," replied the female vamp, his third in command.

Easing back, Jonny went to Tasha's adjacent workstation. "The talisman is working?" he asked. The slender, stone like tool they'd recovered from the phone Brandon had sat on top of her laptop.

"Sort of," replied the blonde vamp.

"What does that mean?"

"It's working. But it's not."

"We need a dataset to focus it," Stuart supplied. "It can't just find anyone. It has to have a point of reference. Some sort of historical data or individual signature for it to track."

"It's a simple form of artificial intelligence. Or I guess, magic," Tasha added. "But in order to learn, it has to have a starting point."

Jonny listened. It wasn't the greatest news ever, but it was better than nothing.

"Did it work?" Charles asked from behind him. The vamp smelled of fire and blood from his long night and day in Idaho and had returned to Jonny's side immediately upon returning, as usual. The Traveler with him winked out of existence, leaving a singed Charles.

"I'm not sure yet," Jonny replied.

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