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Los Angeles: Spring, 2005

All stores in the city were required by law to close by sundown. Most shopkeepers closed at least an hour before the curfew to allow enough time to get safely home. As the sun went down on a convenience store on 6th Street near Alvarado, three men inside shopped in the near darkness. Looters like these usually worked in groups of three. It was the most efficient way to get into and out of a store in a hurry. One person would hold a flashlight and an open duffle bag while another would pick the loot and drop it in. The third person had the double duty of carrying weapons and watching for VXU's, the heavily armed Vampire Extermination Units that still cared about protecting people's lives and property.

Mossette, the short, muscular man who headed up this band of thieves, took his time as he picked his poison from the liquor section. Cyclops, his one-eyed, patch-wearing friend who held the flashlight and the bag, was more concerned with his wristwatch and determining how much time they had left before the sun completely set. The beam from the flashlight bounced repeatedly from floor to ceiling making it difficult for Mossette to read.

"Hold that damn light still, Cy," Mossette said abruptly.

"Hey, man, it's time to go," Cyclops replied.

"Just hang on. We'll be outta here in a minute."



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