‘You’re with them?’ Captain Stein shouted at Private Skinner, but the soldier and everyone else in the lab ignored him.
‘Have they been reborn?’ asked Agent Simpson.
‘Yes,’ said Private Skinner, ‘they’ve just woken up and they’ve already fed on one of the men. A squad is holding them back down the hall but they’ll be on top of us very soon.’
Skinner looked at me, seeing something in me that the doctor and Agent Simpson hadn’t mentioned. ‘My God, you look terrible. Are you okay?’
‘I’ve felt better,’ I said.
‘You’re really starting to turn. We have to get you out of here before you’re completely consumed.’
‘Wait,’ said the doctor, ‘we need to take the samples with us.’
I yanked Captain Stein’s rifle out of his hands and pointed it at him. Doctor Owen removed the scalpel from his neck and started to work with Agent Simpson to put as many samples as possible into the steel boxes.
Private Skinner was standing at the opening to the lab where the door used to be. A squad of soldiers ran down the corridor to meet him.
‘What’s going on?’ one of them asked him.
‘Vampires in the morgue,’ said Private Skinner, ‘they sneaked in and now they’ve woken up.’
The soldier spotted me pointing the gun at Captain Stein and the tone of his voice changed. ‘What’s going on in here?’
‘The Captain is one of them. He smuggled the vampires into the base with the dead bodies from the attack on Hartley House. We’ve arrested him.’
I was sure the soldier didn’t buy it but more gunfire distracted his attention and he led the men down the corridor.
‘Have you got everything?’ Skinner asked.
‘We’ve got enough,’ said the doctor, ‘let’s get out of here.’
I took a step outside the lab and immediately saw the flashes of gunfire from the end of the corridor. Private Skinner led everyone away from the commotion. I saw the limp, bloody body of a soldier fly through the air, hit the wall and land in a heap on the floor, followed by another flash of gunfire.
A vampire soldier ran round the corner towards me. I looked closer and saw one of his arms was burning, leaving a trail of ash on the floor behind him. He was still running towards me as the burning took hold of his entire body. I raised my gun to shoot but his body had completely disappeared before I could pull the trigger and a cloud of ash hit me in the face.
A soldier appeared at the end of the corridor. ‘Where did he go?’
‘You got him. He’s dead,’ I shouted.
‘Thanks.’ He noticed the Captain being marched down the corridor by Doctor Owen. ‘Hey, what’s going on there? Where are you taking the Captain?’
‘He’s being arrested,’ I said, trying to look convincing again, ‘don’t worry about it.’
‘What do you mean, he’s being arrested? For what?’ He started to walk towards me.
‘He’s one of them. He’s the reason we’ve got vampires in the base.’
‘I don’t believe you. What’s going on?’ He pointed his rifle at me.
‘Look, we’ve got all this in hand. We’ll take care of the Captain and you take care of the vampires.’
Trying to give an order to a soldier isn’t a good idea at the best of times but it’s definitely not recommended if his squad mates are being taken apart by a team of invading vampires.
‘Don’t you talk to me like that, you little rat. Who the hell are you to be giving me orders? I want to talk to the Captain.’ He spoke into his radio. ‘Colonel, get another squad down here, the Captain has been captured by the cop. Something funny’s going on.’
‘We’re on our way,’ was the reply from his radio.
Private Skinner tried to back me up. ‘He’s right. Captain Stein has been showing the signs of becoming a vampire.’
All this time, Captain Stein was keeping his mouth shut. Either he was resigned to helping us get out of the base, or, which I thought was the more likely option, he had something else up his sleeve. After all, this was only one soldier against four of us.
I pointed my rifle at the soldier. ‘Get back to work, soldier.’
‘Don’t point that at me, you…’ I didn’t give him chance to finish his sentence before pulling the trigger and blasting his body with silver bullets.
‘Oh my God, Tom. What are you doing?’ said Agent Simpson.
I didn’t say a word. I’d killed three soldiers without thinking twice about it. I’d have no problems killing more of them if they stood between us and freedom. Doctor Owen had told me the future of the human race depended on both of us staying alive, and I believed him.
We have to survive. Whatever it takes.
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