‘Answer me, Captain,’ screamed Commander North as the soldiers grabbed the guns from our hands, ‘what’s going on? Why are there vampires in my base?’ His voice echoed around the massive stone hangar.
‘The vampires are casualties from the attack on Hartley House,’ said Captain Stein, ‘They were brought to the base by a vampire who had infiltrated the ranks.’
Commander North moved towards us but didn’t lower the volume of his voice. ‘And where are you going in such a hurry? Why aren’t you armed?’
‘The doctor, the detective and Private Skinner want to leave the base,’ Captain Stein answered.
‘The guinea pig? Not a chance.’ Commander North walked up to me and looked my directly in the eye. ‘Do you know how much pain we’ve been through to get to this point? Do you know how long we’ve waited for the doctor to complete his work?
‘There’s never been anyone like you, someone we can learn so much from so don’t think you’re ever going to get out of here. The contents of your body are more important than your life. The doctor is going to cut you up into as many tiny little pieces as it takes to find a way to kill these fuckers.’
The doctor stepped forward. ‘I’ll do no such thing.’
The commander moved over to stand toe-to-toe with the doctor. ‘Yes you will, because if you don’t, you’ll end up just like your lab assistant.’
I immediately knew what he meant by that comment. We had been completely wrong about who had killed Danny Johnson and destroyed the lab at Mantek.
‘It was you!’ I exclaimed. ‘You blew up the lab! Why?’
‘The secondary treatment, Detective. It was a pointless diversion that was wasting our time and money. We had to take extreme measures to get the doctor’s work back on track.’ Commander North talked about killing the innocent lab assistant like it was nothing. Just the means to an end.
I was starting to feel intense heat flowing all over my body. More than anger at the methods of The Brotherhood, I could feel something unnatural happening inside me. I was terrified that I would turn into a full-blown vampire in front of the Commander. Even though he wanted the doctor to experiment on me, I was convinced he wouldn’t think twice about turning me into ash if I became unable to control my urges as a vampire.
‘But why kill my assistant?’ the doctor asked.
‘An acceptable loss. Your work on the secondary treatment had to be destroyed to refocus your efforts. He happened to be there. It was unfortunate but necessary to cover our tracks.’
‘You’re crazy,’ said Agent Simpson, ‘this is not what The Brotherhood stands for. Doctor Owen’s work has shown that we can find a vaccine that will allow us to co-exist. That must be the primary treatment. The Brotherhood was formed by the need for the two species to co-exist.’
‘That is no longer the view of The Brotherhood and you know that, Agent Simpson. The directives come from the top.’
‘But you’re a Commander,’ she pleaded, ‘You have influence over the decision makers. Tell them what we are working on and once they see what we have learned and achieved so far, they will allow us to continue.’
‘I can’t do that, ‘ said Commander North, ‘it is the widely held view that the primary treatment can be developed a lot quicker and it will be more effective. I don’t even know why I’m arguing with you. You’re staying here and that’s the end of it.’
When it felt like all was lost, I felt a new sensation surge through my body. It was the warm feeling of belonging and it was getting stronger. I looked at the door that led down to the lab. Just as it was about to finish closing, five bodies flew through the gap.
My vampire brothers are here to help me.
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