I received an urgent summons from Kira, that she had been bitten by a nefarious Cato Quan. I packed my medicine bag with two of the aether-dart guns I had used in New Babbage and all the Reanimation Serum I had synthesized following the my peace agreement with Aleister. While en route by ornithopter, I remotely reprogrammed one of the flying drones I had built to scoop up the bloodwine cask Aleister had prepared and left at the appointed area. Had he been there waiting for the drone I am sure he would have wondered why it changed course for Illyria instead of towards the tavern in Laudanum.
By the time I reached the Duchess Kira on her island, the vampirism had taken hold. She was clearly struggling with her bloodlust, and her will was starting to crumble. I suggested she use her shapeshifting skills to turn into "something not undead."
A dangerous move in retrospect. Her first shift was into a Blood Doll form. Without a circulatory system the innoculation gun was useless on her. I pleaded with her to change into something else. In desperation I summoned the new Regent. The light she emmanated gave me a clearer view of this island of eternal night and it sent Kira screaming to the cover of a tree. From there I saw her shadow enlarge into something far more dangerous.
I fired an entire "clip" of aether-darts at the Bast dragon. Her scales only dispersed the aether waves, dissapating the serum into a harmless mist. I adjusted my transmitter to the Baron's frequency and called for backup. As I waited for his dirigible to arrive I could tell by the sudden change in wind currents that Kira was preparing a sandstorm blast. To protect Lumina, I ran out of the range of her protective aura. I barely had time to slip my pilot's mask back on before the sand tore at my clothing and sent me tumbling end over end.
As I struggled to my feet I felt the monstrous tail slap against my midsection. I felt my ribs crack, and passed out momentarily. I woke at the sound of the Baron yelling "Red Fire!" My memories immediately afterwards are hazy, but I do rmember the Baron armed with a crossbow and armored for heavy combat. We heard the drone overhead and watched as the barrel of bloodwine floated down by parachute to the ground.
She turned back into neko form, sniffing the cask dubiously. I slipped the Baron my spare innoculator as we tried to reason with her. She let down her guard as I explained how I was very nearly able to cure Koen's vampirism, and that I had now perfected the therapy. The Baron took the opportunity to fire an entire load of serum into Kira. As she struggled to maintain her balance, I fired another full dose at point-blank range.
The Baron and I monitored her carefully as her undead physiology collapsed and her tissues resumed the work of living organisms. This had been a very risky venture. But the fact that we arrived immediately after her bite meant that her body was still ready to resume living again.
Considering how close we were to Aleister's hidden lair I could not help but wonder if he was involved in this crisis. True, the cask was at the appointed time and place. But did the vampire lure Cato to his lair? Or was that foolish Minion trying to steal the cask for his own profit and ran into the former Regent, or even a rogue Doll that survived the fall from the Midas?
Koen, I am sure, will have another chat with him. In the meantime we must all be on guard against Cato, and find out who else he may have bitten. We must check up on Miss Alter and Cato's gumbo kitchen in Taloo.
UPDATES: Cato has apparently sought forgiveness for his attack on the Duchess and received it. He claims the lady who Embraced him was not in Winterfell. Further, Aleister has sent a letter vehemently denying any involvement in this matter:
"I am not the only hidden noble in the Realm of Eternal Night."