Cambridge at night is a study in contrasts. Brick buildings dating to the Revolution stand cheek-and-jown with three-deckers from the 19th century. MIT's odd buildings rear their rococo heads along the banks of the river Charles. There is a feeling of energy and youth mixed with quietness and decay.
Along Sumner Road, on the eastern marches of Harvard University, a small ancient building sits. The thronging crowds of college students pass it by with nary a glance. It doesn't invite strangers with its iron fence topped with Victorian spear finials. and darkened smoked glass windows.
Despite its formidible appearance, the building is part of the sprawl of Harvard. Two words are carved in the granite above the old-fashioned door, saying only 'Phillips Archives'.
The Drifter leaned on a bus shelter diagonally across from the building. He had been looking for this spot for a long time, or so it seemed, even to one who had seen much in his supernaturally-extended span.
Boston was a lively town to The Drifter's eyes, so much youth, so much vitae. Even in early September there was a feeling of autumn about the trees planted along the road. He had traveled this strange chimerical country since the rise of the Third Reich had made it difficult to remain hidden in Europe. Some Kindred throve in war, The Drifter had always tried to avoid it. Cambridge, this collegate addendum to Boston, reminded him somewhat of Europe, the brick buildings, the air of tradition.
The Drifter's flat grey eyes scanned the door lazily, a hand-rolled cigarette dangling from thin red lips. He had donned the guise of a homeless man tonight, something easy enough for one of his blood to accomplish. He had found over the centuries that the name might change, but the reaction never did. Few wanted to even acknowlege his presence, and that was just the way he wanted it. It didn't hurt that he was using a supernatural talent to enhance his anonymity.
Patiently, he waited. The ebb and flow of humanity passed him by, but none showed the sign of being Kindred. No one approached the Phillips Archives.