Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Chapter 52: Plans

Doctor Owen and I were left alone in the medical room to talk about his plans for me.

His plans for me

Last time I had checked, I was a cop with a job that ran my life but I knew that any day I could just quit, go home and never set foot in a police station again.

Now I had to come to terms with the fact that I was going to be a guinea pig for different types of experimental medical treatment. I was going to be the right hand man to the scientist who would produce a vaccine that would rid the world of vampires forever. I can’t say I wasn’t a little excited about the whole thing. At this moment in time I was the most important human being in the world. The key to unlocking the secret of the vampires.

‘Don’t go getting delusions of grandeur,’ said Doctor Owen jovially with a knowing smile on his face, immediately bursting my balloon, ‘there have been people like you before. They all got a bit carried away with their place in the world and thought they were invincible. They took risks they shouldn’t have and we were back to square one.

‘The top priority in your life is to keep both of us alive. If you die then we’re back to square one again, and if I die, you die.’

Now who’s getting delusions of grandeur?

‘You may think of me as arrogant but they are the facts, Detective. It’s an unfortunate situation that you find yourself in but we must make the most of it. Okay?’

I nodded in agreement and that was it, my new life had begun. First thing in the morning I would call into work and quit. Just like that. One day a cop, the next day a scientific sample. My thoughts immediately turned to how I would pay the bills from now on.

‘You don’t need to worry about the bare necessities, The Brotherhood will take care of everything for you,’ he said, as if he was reading my mind. It seemed to me that he had answered all of these questions a thousand times before and knew exactly what I was going to ask before I opened my mouth.

It made me uneasy. How many guinea pigs have there been before and why aren’t they here any more?

The doctor continued. ‘They’ll give you a bed and three meals a day. If you rent your home, call your landlord and cancel the payments. If you own your home, put it up for sale.’

‘Okay Doc, what do you need from me?’

‘I need to take blood samples from you on the hour every hour until further notice. That means right through the night and all day tomorrow. During this time we have to gather as many samples as we can. It’s going to be hard work.’

‘Don’t worry, I’m used to sacrificing sleep for work.’ I tried my best to sound committed to the cause. If we were going to work together for the rest of my life, we’d better start off in the right way.

‘Good,’ he said and smiled sympathetically. The look on his face told me he was thinking he wouldn’t trade places with me for all the tea in China.

Time to ask the hard questions. ‘What’s going to happen to me? How will I know if I’m turning into a vampire?’

‘That’s a good question. We’ve never been able to identify all of the symptoms because the previous subjects have turned too quickly to allow them to tell us what’s happening to them. At the very least I hope the treatment can delay or slow down the virus so we can have time to see what it does to your body.’

‘That’s not very comforting, Doc.’

‘I’m not here to hold your hand and tell you everything’s going to be okay, Detective. I’m here to tell you the way it is. No bullshit.’ He was right, but it didn’t make the situation any better.

I looked at the television in the corner again, which was still showing clips of the damage inflicted on the tactical aid unit by my new hosts. I asked the doctor to turn up the volume so I could hear the reporter.

‘We’ve just had confirmation from the hospital,’ the female reporter began ominously, ‘that the only member of the tactical aid unit to survive this afternoon’s attack has just passed away. Other than varying eye witness accounts, the only law enforcer to see today’s events first-hand was Detective Tom Ryder, who is unavailable for comment.’

That’s an understatement
, I thought.

‘However, we managed to speak to Captain Nash of the police department early today.’

Among the scrolling headlines and weather report icons, Captain Nash appeared, standing on the front steps of police headquarters. ‘The attack this afternoon was a targeted attempt to remove the capabilities of the police, who were just about to arrest the perpetrators.’

A number of reporters all asked if Nash knew who the attackers were. His reply was only ‘I’m sorry, I can’t comment on that.’

The news broadcast then returned to the reporter. ‘If the police know anything, they are keeping their cards very close to their chest. It seems to me that an investigation is underway and the police have their suspicions of who committed this terrible attack. After the lives lost and the damage caused on the freeway today, you have to ask yourself a question. Do the police have the firepower to counter another attack like this?’

‘Nash knows a hell of a lot more than that,’ I said, ‘why didn’t they mention the missing doctors?’

‘You have a lot to learn,’ said Doctor Owen, ‘Even though you’ve only just found out the truth, there are already many out there that know everything and work for The Brotherhood.’

‘What? You’re saying that my boss knows about all this?’

‘It’s likely he knows something. You can never know for sure. Only a few select people have access to the records.’

‘The records?’

‘The Brotherhood maintain a list of allies and their positions within society. The police, government, everywhere. This is a tactic also employed by the vampires though, so when you meet someone, you can never really tell which side they’re on or if they’re just a regular Joe.’

‘But what about the press? Not every journalist can be on your side.’

‘That’s right. Sometimes reports get through in the early editions or if the editor hasn’t spoken to the reporter on TV before they go on air. Those mistakes are few and far between and the network always manages to change its tune before anyone notices.

There was no time to let this sink in before Captain Stein burst into the medical room. ‘Pack all that crap away;’ he bellowed, ‘we’re pulling out in five minutes.’ He left as quickly as he had arrived, slamming the door behind him.

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