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A succubus has been summoned from hell to our realm by a fool using an ancient text called "demonic pacts for dummies". The ritual goes horribly wrong due to incorrect information and resulted in the summoner's death. The succubus is now free to roam our realm unsupervised and begins terrorizing the populace by leaving a string of bodies in her wake. A succubus has a number of advantages over a human, including increased strength, speed, resistance to harm, and telepathic powers. It has the ability to hypnotize its victims, putting them into a deep trance. A pleasant, euphoric haze descends on the victim who is under her spell, making them very open to suggestion. This ability only works on men, and uses a large amount of energy (mana) from a succubus to use. The creature can also use polymorphization to slightly adjust and tweak its features, changing its appearance as needed, but always in the form of a human woman. It needs to hunt to recharge its mana reserves, or it will waste away and become weaker.

The creature feeds by preying on humans that it seduces. It absorbs the mana from their souls, leaving them desiccated, dried up husks that are later disposed off. Sex with a succubus is far more enjoyable than with a mortal human, which it uses to release the energy from the victim. After the soul is eaten, the creature gains the memories and abilities of the person. The strength of its abilities continues to grow as it feeds off of more prey. At some point, it can completely "dominate" its victims, enslaving them to its will. A human under its spell at that point would do anything they are told to do by her, including murder, steal, or die. Hypnotization only works on one person at a time while the succubus is weak. As it grows in strength, it can extend it to multiple victims, but can use up its mana more quickly.

I'm trying to stay away from the sexy, fetishized interpretation of this creature, such as in the show "Lost Girl", and return it to its roots as a dangerous predator with the pathology of a serial killer. Based on these parameters, can the succubus survive long term in a modern setting, feeding on its food source, without bringing too much attention to itself?

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    $\begingroup$ @EnigmaMaitreya The title should be a clear summary of the question. I don't see a problem with what is here. Can you be more specific as to what you're suggesting it should be changed to and why? $\endgroup$ – Tim B May 18 '17 at 13:34
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    $\begingroup$ In a large city with a somewhat mobile population, your Succuba (if any Latin word needs the feminine ending, this is it), basically needs just a cellphone with Tinder or similar -- for months of low-risk feeding. Then move to another big city. Rinse and repeat.... $\endgroup$ – Catalyst May 18 '17 at 14:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Catalyst, a male is an incubus $\endgroup$ – Separatrix May 18 '17 at 14:28
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    $\begingroup$ If it feeds on sex it'll have to expose itself quite a lot. Wakka wakka wakka! $\endgroup$ – Schwern May 21 '17 at 18:15
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    $\begingroup$ Does she have to kill? Is it an option for her to drain a man enough to say, shave ten or twenty years off his life, without actually killing him? I'm not suggesting a temporary drain that can be recovered, but a permanent weakening that is not immediately lethal. $\endgroup$ – Xavon_Wrentaile Sep 30 '17 at 15:37

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If in feeding it can voluntarily not-kill its victims, then it's quite possible for one to survive in most urban areas (though perhaps "underground") by simply becoming a sex worker: Seduce the victim, drain mana but not to the point of killing, and leave the victim with a memory of fantastic sex and perhaps wanting to come back for more in the future. If a not-drained victim can recover and replenish their mana stores over time, it becomes possible for your succubus to become a high-end and highly-demanded "escort", possibly with a good-sized set of regular customers.

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    $\begingroup$ You may want to revise your threshold from a Dead vs Not Dead threshold to an Functional but exhausted state. $\endgroup$ – Enigma Maitreya May 18 '17 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ @EnigmaMaitreya - Yes, that would be a more accurate "read" on what I was getting at. Hyfnae, in xir answer, also brings up a valid point regarding 'enthralled' victims; I more-or-less discounted that ability in my thoughts. $\endgroup$ – Jeff Zeitlin May 18 '17 at 13:34
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    $\begingroup$ There is a Really quite good Vampire movie from probably the 90's where the Female Vampire feeds only on criminals. Making it more unlikely that any serious investigation into a missing person or corpse is going to happen. Another normal way is to "feed" on people with low esteem, low will power etc. Keeping them alive as your suggesting. By the way, the Female Vampires Motto is "Never play with your food" $\endgroup$ – Enigma Maitreya May 18 '17 at 13:37
  • $\begingroup$ @EnigmaMaitreya imdb.com/title/tt0104511 from 1992. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz May 18 '17 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ @JDługosz Yup, that is it and it is a good movie :) $\endgroup$ – Enigma Maitreya May 18 '17 at 19:42
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Living in a modern setting would be very advantageous to a succubus...

  • By choosing wealthy victims to enthrall, the demon can acquire the funds needed to travel the world, spreading out its kills and making their "serial" nature less obvious.
  • With her ability to enthrall her lesser victims and her ability to change facial appearance, none of our current border defenses or in-country people tracking technologies will pose a real problem.
  • And with the world to roam, finding environments to explain away a few desiccated husks should be easy. Have her feast on a bunch of fertilizer factory workers, then enthrall a few others to cause a chemical spill which explains away the state of the corpses.

Between the modern world's disbelief in demons and modern law enforcement's disbelief in female serial killers, she should have a pretty easy time staying off police radar.

And don't rule out the opportunity of her aligning herself with the modern world's equivalent of the prince of darkness... There are probably quite a few corporations and political officials who would love to have a face-shifting provocateur assassin on staff. ...and if she got herself even one well connected sponsor, her survival in the modern world is guaranteed.

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  • $\begingroup$ Or she could get a "Sugar Daddy" and never feed on him. BUT as you say Travel the World and dilute the kills that way, while enjoying the protection, status and perks of her .... arrangement. $\endgroup$ – Enigma Maitreya May 18 '17 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ Regarding your 2nd bullet point, it seems that the ability to change appearance would be problematic when crossing borders because of the passport photo. If that doesn't match her appearance, she could easily get stopped. (Other than that, good answer!) $\endgroup$ – BrettFromLA May 18 '17 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ @BrettFromLA, When crossing borders in a different face, she would need to choose the inspection lane where the border guards are all male. $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor May 18 '17 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ @HenryTaylor Oh right! That makes sense. I missed the phrase "enthrall her lesser victims". $\endgroup$ – BrettFromLA May 18 '17 at 22:24
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    $\begingroup$ @BrettFromLA - unless she only uses her "passport face" when crossing borders... They will know she travels around a lot but never link her to a crime... $\endgroup$ – colmde May 19 '17 at 7:21
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We live in a world of young, isolated, single people, a long way from home and seeking even fleeting human contact.

A pretty succubus on Tinder, no problem at all finding targets.

As long as she makes sure they're single, and possibly unemployed, it's going to be some time before anyone notices they're missing. Flatmates are used to not seeing each other for days or weeks at a time as schedules misalign. Strange smell coming under the door? He never washed enough anyway, time to move out.

Probably best not to stay in one place for too long once the bodies start stacking up, but there are plenty more cities, plenty more people living far from home looking for comfort. All in all, the modern world is a fairly comfortable place for a succubus to be.

You're perfectly safe, as long as you swipe left on the demon.

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The vampire-type succubus has been done to death; sneaking around the clubs, life in the shadows, vampire sex worker etc etc. Etc.

A sophisticated and savvy demon, weak and in need of resources, would seek out a warlord, sorcerer or equivalently powerful person, ideally one that understands beings like herself exist. Then openly offer this person her services: not sexual services but services as a powerful supernatural henchman / underling. In exchange for services the powerful patron keeps the succubus supplied with food.

Probably this process (for the succubus) would start in the environs of summoner, the succubus assuming that the deceased summoner was working on behalf of a powerful person desiring a demonic servant or was himself such a person. Otherwise why would you want something like a succubus?

This offers great writing opportunity: the succubus might be tempted to push limits set for her but would be too smart to mess up the good arrangement she has. Other henchmen, themselves also powerful, would compete with the succubus on equal footing, knowing more or less what she is. As with any demonic henchman she might get too powerful and try a power grab for herself. The sexpot doofus vampire babe is boring. Write her as a full on demon: scheming, intelligent and serially underestimated by those around her because of what she appears to be. Great stuff.

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I infer from the hypnotic control over "victims" that victims are not necessarily killed, since death would prevent them from providing services.

That said, the solution to the problem is simple: As an earlier response noted, Tinder (or bars) allow the succubus to find her male victims, but she only needs to kill half of them: Victim #1 is a single older male, she has sex with him and hypnotizes him. First she has him convert all his property into cash, and give it to her. The she finds victim #2, another single male, chosen for mmaximum mana: She first reserves a pint of his blood, then drains him of mana, killing him, leaving a dessicated corpse. Then she instructs victim #1 to run the corpse through a wood chipper, douse with accelerant and burn. He is then to smear himself with the reserved pint of blood, and confess to the police that he murdered his Tinder boyfriend in a fit of rage. He shows them the body, gives all ID of the dead man, tells them the blood he is wearing is his boyfriend's blood.

Once he is in prison, he is to commit suicide on the nigh before his trial, by any means possible.

Live on the money, that few hundred thousand of net worth; visit another State or Country, and repeat. Every death has an explanation, and every murder is closed.

To make this slightly more complex: The hypnotized person could confess to several murders, so the succubus can feed on a dozen people and have one guy confess to all 12 murders.

Of course, she should choose her confessor carefully: single, older, preferably no kids or close family, even friendless. All that to ensure a minimal amount of agitation for investigation, nobody saying "my Dad [or brother, or father] was not a homosexual!"

Some reasonable value of assets to take; at least a home, maybe some retirement savings. Of course she can get those in other ways, but why complicate matters? the confessor will be dead soon enough.

Added: I would also note that she can simply dispose of the bodies herself: Take them ten miles out to sea on a huge yacht for sex (with victims under hypno control or not), have sex, drain them of mana and feed the leftovers to the sharks. Return to some other port. Where'd Jim go? "Jim? We had a bit of a fling but it was just sex, I dropped him off in Miami..."

Also Added: Unlike past centuries, in modern countries nymphomania and extra-marital affairs are legal and women can be open about them. A woman that wants to have sex ten times a day with a new partner every time is free to say so and let the world know so. In the event sex always kills and the hypno only works pre-sex, the hypno can be a cover: Make many men say they had sex with her, when they did not, so the few that disappear are lost in the noise.

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  • $\begingroup$ Cashing out retirement/liquidating property would leave a paper trail that would cause a good investigator to ask questions... As well as the IRS and FBI... Something to consider at least. $\endgroup$ – CaM Nov 14 '17 at 15:01
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    $\begingroup$ @CaM you are mistaken, the IRS does not investigate any crime other than tax evasion. The solution is simple: Pay all the taxes required. They do not investigate things just because they are curious, it is none of their business what you DO with your money after you pay taxes on it. The FBI will stop investigating if they have no evidence of a crime. In the modern world, going overseas and never coming back is entirely legal, the FBI won't investigate it. No jurisdiction! Especially if the hypnotized person somehow makes it clear they left of their own free will. Disappearing is not a crime. $\endgroup$ – Amadeus-Reinstate-Monica Nov 14 '17 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ But if he dies immediately after transferring all goods... it will look suspicious and will raise warning flags. Yes, paying the taxes will reduce that risk, that's true. But the murder investigation will look REALLY HARD at at that money trail. It may lead nowhere. But it will be a clue they'll at least consider. $\endgroup$ – CaM Nov 14 '17 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ @CaM He can be hypnotized, indefinitely. She can have him liquidate his assets, and spend a year somewhere living on a pittance until she kills him. ALSO, if he travels overseas, is shown to spend some money in a few hotels there for a week, and drops out of sight: There IS NO MURDER INVESTIGATION. She doesn't have to leave a body, she can have her servants put the body through a meat grinder and feed the chum to sharks. She chooses people with no family ties. If they disappear this does not automatically trigger any investigation, much less a murder investigation. $\endgroup$ – Amadeus-Reinstate-Monica Nov 14 '17 at 17:39
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Get a job as a trucker

Not to be all stereotypical, but it's a sad fact that a lot of people disappear along highways in the Americas. Several high-profile serial killers have used interstate highways to find and dump their victims, and been very successful at it. A stretch of highway in Canada is known as "The Highway of Tears", a place where maybe more than 40 women have disappeared, with only one murder ever being solved.

Truck stops are frequent haunts of prostitutes; these unfortunate women would be easy pickings for a succubus. There are also roadside bars and cafes where she would be able to pick up men of her choice (biologically speaking, men are a lot easier to seduce than women). The naturally nomadic lifestyle of a long-distance driver lends itself horrifyingly well to a serial killing life. If the heat in one region gets too bad, they can always just drive elsewhere and keep on keeping on.

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    $\begingroup$ A succubus is female and looking for male victims, she could hang out in truck stops and pick up truckers but trucks are much harder to hide than bodies. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix May 18 '17 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ There is a theory that there is or was a Serial Killer, of over 1,000 people, that is best answered as being as person that takes long trips crossing much of the US. Truck Drivers, Salesmen (as a type) etc. are models. $\endgroup$ – Enigma Maitreya May 18 '17 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Separatrix It wasn't clear from the question if the succubus was strictly hunting male victims, or if a mix of genders would be acceptable. However, it's not difficult for an attractive woman to get a male to come back to the truck with her - I've edited to include that. $\endgroup$ – Werrf May 18 '17 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ @EnigmaMaitreya Exactly what came to my mind, too. It's a rather scary thought. $\endgroup$ – Werrf May 18 '17 at 14:26
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    $\begingroup$ @WhatRoughBeast The hypnosis ability only works on men. Nothing in the question that I can see says that the succubus can only drain energy from men. But as I said, this would work fine even if the succubus was only hunting men. $\endgroup$ – Werrf May 18 '17 at 17:13
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I think all the key points have already been hit, but I have one additional idea.

If she is having trouble with being found out she could always travel to a third world country that has less means of tracking her and generally don't have the coordinated police force to identify her if she keeps moving slightly.

In fact I imagine certain parts of Africa, the ones facing the worst of the AIDS epidemic and have many myths and misinformation about AIDS in addition to poor economy/police force, would be great haunts. Much of the misinformation tied to AIDS could help her, such as the belief that sex with a virgin can cure someone who has aids (if she can make herself look young enough to be believable as a virgin). She could target those already Ill and people may not bat an eye at their dying. In any case as long as she keeps moving in a third world country it's unlikely they will have sufficient communication/orginization to recognize the pattern.

I imagine she could travel to a third world country to build up strength, then come back the the a first world country once she is stronger to enslave/control important people (mostly because I expect the writer of the story would prefer to have much of the story happen in a country they are familiar with).

In fact having retreating to a third world country as a fallback option for her could be an interesting plot point. When people are on to her and starting to thwart her she tries to fly to the parts of Africa that blame the US for inventing AIDS, where she's confident no one would ever listen to some crazy US official claiming that succubus will kill you if you have sex. Your protagonist(s) may realize they have to thwart her before she gets away or she will be able to disappear and grow stronger before coming back and trying it all over again; putting a time limit, tension, and otherwise a buildup to a climax (err..no succubus pun intended) for your story.

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Kinda...

The simplest form of this answers is that it entirely depends on the degree of self-control the succubus has. More victims, be it dead or enthralled will risk exposure. Picking her target is definitely an important factor as well. She gains the abilities and knowledge of the person she enthralls, making intelligent people or people with exceptional physical capabilities the most valued and desired targets for the succubus to enhance her capabilities and facilitate her needs. However, these persons usually have a high profile and their surroundings will notice change in them, even minor. Think about being physically drained while you're a top athlete or your mind is dulled while you're a prestigious researchers in your respective field.

It all depends on risk assessment on the succubus' behalf, the reaction from the victim's environment and the capabilities of the authorities in your world to deal with a threat like a succubus and the modus operandi you describe.

You'll have to fill in these blanks yourself since it's your world and you determine how the characters affected and their social circle react to the chances a relationship with a succubus incur.

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I am assuming that we are dealing with one (or very few) creatures. Also I'm assuming that this is the only supernatural element in your world - otherwise this question is way too broad.

It should be noted that you have not described a crime here. Absorbing the mana from ones soul is not something that people would really pay attention to in the real world. I don't know what this means exactly, but a number of people are ("often willingly") slaves to other people. This can lead to a trial, but very often it doesn't.

The most important thing is self-control. If your creature is leading a weird cult that murders people (or breaks other laws), it might get caught pretty soon. A trial might expose the creature, avoid it! If it can restrain itself a bit, maybe has a couple of those slaves (I'm talking about not founding another Manson family), maybe is active in certain sex subcultures - maybe even sell its services - it can go unnoticed forever. Your creature should not have much of an ego, hunger for power or recognition. If it plays it cool, it wins. If it loses its temper or tries to achieve great hellish things, it will have a much harder time.

Long story short: Keep the law and everything will be fine.

But I think this is very opinion-based, do whatever you want ...

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It is simple to hide in a big city and feed (if she's not picky about her food). Homeless aren't tracked by many people. In a large city, she can feed for a long time. If she is on the east coast, there are a large number of large cities near each other. She can move from city to city easily to spread out her kills.

If the corpses are desiccated, they will burn easily or mulch easily. So, hypnotizing someone who runs a crematorium or someone who owns a wood chipper will hide her kills. Maybe even bypass the mind control and make deals with such people in each city for services rendered. A mob boss will want people taken out every once in a while. Having to have someone dump bodies into a wood chipper is not much cost to that type of person.

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Related to ShadoCat's answer:

Criminals. I mean the ones who live a life of crime, not embezzlers and the like.

Kill them and make sure the body is destroyed. When a criminal vanishes what is the first thought going to be? Hiding from the law or enemies! Even if in time it becomes apparent that they're dead everyone is going to be looking at enemies, not her.

So long as she spreads her kills out enough that nobody notices a pattern of the victims being seen with her she should be able to do it forever. She doesn't have to limit herself to the low class ones, either--plenty of mob & cartel bosses to feast on. She would be doing the world a favor with such a diet.

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There's one suggestion no one had given: a sex shop or place that is a constant orgy. Think about the gay baths, but this could be one where either gender comes to have sex. With so many people coming and going she could get a little bit off of everyone. There is one power that I would include: the inability to be recorded. Any electronic devices would fail to capture her on film (or digitally)

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Urban settings are your friend, humans in cities tend to lack tight-knit connections which means people can go missing without the alarm being sounded time and again. The U.S. alone is thought to be home to half a dozen or so serial killers active at any given time who are never suspected of killing anyone, their victims are listed as missing persons not murder victims. Countries that are more urbanised and less straight-laced, like Holland or Germany, would make even better hunting grounds with more "vulnerable" individuals.

That's the body disposal/people noticing bit they generally won't in a city as long as you're careful about prey selection. As for a good hunting ground, hooker, and stripper are okay jobs for a succubus but can potentially be dicey since you could never be really sure who your clients were and who was "safe" prey. Drug dealing and running flophouses are probably the idle gateway occupations to find large numbers of targets that won't be missed. Addicts die and disappear constantly in most large cities around the world without anyone batting an eye; if they are suddenly dying happy it will only make a difference to them, not to anyone else.

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Well, doesn't she sound like a modern feminist! Anyway.

After the soul is eaten, the creature gains the memories and abilities of the person.

In other words, she can read minds, but this costs the victim's life. Most spy agencies in the world would pay top dollar for this kind of "interrogation" skills, and would gladly provide people for the succubus to "interrogate".

However, she would end up knowing too much, which would be dangerous.

If she can enthrall people, she can simply instruct them to reveal all they know, without learning about their secrets herself. This would be a much safer job, and many spy or criminal organizations would no doubt offer to pay her with cash and untraceable victims...

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Start small...

The first few weeks or months might be a bit touch and go for your succubus. She may have to do some quick-and-dirty feeding of people chosen more or less at random to get her energy levels up and while she scopes out the land and learns how people move and operate in this world.

For this messy period, she'll be leaving evidence. Messy, messy, evidence. But she'll quickly learn to dispose of the bodies and move far and fast. Today's society is so easily mobile that she can easily vanish without a trace by stealing someone's ID and using her abilities to look like that person...

Find a quiet area a few hours away from a major city...

Once she figures out her way around modern society, she needs to find a quiet rancher in Texas or Colorado or somewhere in that part of the US (not sure where an equivalent place might be in any other countries). She can either enthrall him and stop or enthrall then murder him, doesn't really matter.

She mostly needs to take ownership of his land and property. Have him sell her property to her for some undisclosed dollar amount so she can have a large base of operations. From there, she can travel as needed to some nearby city for quick "meals" as she scouts people for the next phase:

Found a cult.

Enthrall loners from other towns. Don't feed from the locals. Get people from out of town and draw them in. Have them sell all they own and relocate to the ranch. From there, she can instruct them to withdraw, slowly, from any kind of family or friends on the outside.

Cults like the Branch Davidians, the Jim Jones cult, etc. provide working templates from which to build up this cult. This will require patience and time. But she can draw in people great and small. The sale of their worldly goods will be sufficient income to maintain her ranch and feed her newly enthralled "cattle."

Self control will be the key. If she can keep each new cult member alive for a year or two before draining them dry, then no one will know they're dead. Until that time, they work to distance themselves from their old life and people. Sever ties, and make it clear they don't want to be contacted. The ranch will need a large fireplace or fire pit to burn the desiccated remains. But that's easy.

Once established, she can feed constantly without killing. Then have a killing snack from time to time as well.

Quick snacks

During this build-up of the cult, she'll need to feed. Her best targets will be people traveling. She can hit bus stops, airports, major tourist meccas like Disney parks, and cruise ships. In each of these places, people are away from their homes. They're temporarily disconnected from the majority of people who know them. They're vulnerable. She can dispose of the body and move on, knowing it'll be some time before anyone can figure out where they vanished.

Airports are great, because if someone misses their flight, it could be days before authorities figure out where they vanished from/to. Consume them in-flight in the plane's restroom and flush the remains (if possible). No one will know what happened. They boarded the flight, then... who knows!

Cruise ships are especially golden. People get on a ship, they hit the bar where she can enthrall them, then they go ashore in a foreign country. She follows them off the boat, feeds, then returns to the ship. The ship sails away, thinking they missed the boat. It would take days, possibly weeks, to figure out what really happened. By which time, she's vanished off to some other location.

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