No one went outside at night. No one but Vesper. Spectres roamed the streets after sunset, deadly to all who came into contact with them. Vesper liked the night and the ghosts had ruined it for him. Since they had risen from the river, there was nothing to do; no bars opened and people dared not open their doors past dusk.
Vesper stalked the apparitions from the rooftops, following their purposeless tracks around the city. Their outlines were humanoid, but they seemed incapable of communication. Twice, they had followed him up staircases, but ladders were beyond them and when he had leapt from the roof of one building to the next, they had fallen, leaving a shimmering, fibrous mass on the pavement.
By sunrise, most returned to the river, melting into its depths. Some oozed into the storm drains. Vesper set traps, blocking their exits from alleyways and watching them burst into tendrils of smoke when the sunlight sliced through them. It had given him the idea for the Sunblade, a device more impressive by name than by appearance, simply a metal bar with two strips of ultra-violet light running down its length. However, its efficiency as a deterrent to the spectres couldn’t be disputed; one touch from the Sunblade and they were smoke.
He jumped onto the moss-covered roof of a warehouse which dominated the docks, abandoned since the spectres arose, but a good place to hunt them. A group of the creatures caught his attention, drifting in and out of the building through a crack in the door, their forms merging and dividing. The roof below Vesper’s feet gave an unearthly creak, sending them into a frenzy, their smoky outlines obscuring the walls as they searched for a way to reach him. He stepped away from the edge, the creak turning into a crack. A vibration beneath his feet made him jump but too late as the panel he was standing on shattered, sending him crashing into the trusses below.