Like an angel sent from heaven to bring light into my life deep within this stone fortress, Agent Simpson glided into the lab holding three cups of coffee.
‘I thought you could both do with a break,’ she said.
We both extended our eternal gratitude but the soldier standing guard in the corner was put out. ‘Hey, what about me?’ he protested.
‘Get your own,’ we all said in unison. A brief silent pause was quickly filled with laughter at the guard’s expense, who started to look less menacing and headed for the door.
‘Screw you guys, I’m going for a break,’ he announced and shouted to a colleague down the corridor as he opened the door, ‘Hey Steve, keep an eye on this lot in here for a minute.’
With that, the three of us were left without a chaperone.
‘So how are you two doing?’ Agent Simpson asked.
‘Pretty good,’ I said, ‘the doc was just filling me in on a few more details. There’s one thing I don’t really understand though.’
‘Why is all of this happening now? If vampires and humans have been at each other’s throats, no pun intended, for the whole of eternity, why have things started to get out of hand now?’
Doctor Owen piped up. ‘We reached a critical stage in the development of the treatment.’
‘Primary or secondary?’ I asked.
‘I thought you weren’t working on it.’
‘Of course we are. The primary treatment is what we’re paid to work on but we kept working on the secondary treatment in the background.’
‘How do you keep working on both at the same time?’
‘The Brotherhood believe whatever we tell them. We are the scientific experts. About a year ago, we told Captain Stein that the next phase would take twelve months to complete, but we were only a couple of months away from completion. That bought us the time we needed to develop the secondary treatment on the side. If we hadn’t, you’d be in a lot of trouble.’
‘Well I thank you for that,’ I said, contemplating the choices that could have made the difference between my death and the state of delayed death that I found myself in. ‘So where are you up to with the primary treatment?’
‘The primary treatment is nearing completion. We have successfully developed a compound that breaks down infected blood much quicker than silver. The problem that faces us in the next phase is to find an application for the compound that is easily distributed so The Brotherhood don’t have to kill every vampire one by one.’
‘The same problem you have with the secondary treatment.’
‘Exactly. Our plan was to bring development of the secondary treatment to the same level as the primary then switch the compounds before distribution so the vampires will be cured rather than killed, but we’ve run into more problems with the secondary treatment.’
‘It only works for a limited time.’
‘Correct. At the moment, it’s only a treatment, not a cure. It’s going to become more and more difficult to work towards a cure with The Brotherhood breathing down our necks here.’
We all looked at each other with the same thoughts in mind but chose not to voice them. For now.
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