Book: The First - Part: One - Chapter: 13 - Installment: ii

        He had become so accustomed to the ever present guard that the big man had virtually become invisible to Simon. The last time he even abstractly recalled his escort being there had been at the old butcher’s shop – the ritual. He had been led to the room where his fellow recruits had met their fate… the next thing he recalled he awoke in a bed in an hospital he did not know existed – probably didn’t exist… or at the very least an obscure clinic, the wing of which did not exist.
        He was growing accustomed to the complex and clandestine organization of the Lazarus. Many different facilities scattered throughout the region. Each functional and each aligned with a front of some sort. Some were legitimate operating companies. Others were buildings perpetually available for alleged lease, he assumed by a property manager that was part of the Lazarus Group’s holdings.
It hadn’t even occurred to him to test the length of his leash. He had spent the last few days on the farm where the lion’s share of his preliminary training had occurred. He had taken the tunnels from building to building, but had not taken one step outside. He had come habituated during his pre-ritual indoctrination to not even consider trying.
I wonder if they’ll stop me now?
The lock audibly disengaged with an automatic click as he approached. He gave a friendly wave to the security camera though he had no idea who watched from the other side, he just knew that before the transformation the door only clicked when he was chaperoned by an established representative of the Lazarus.
He stepped across the threshold and was outside.
Even with cloud cover, the daylight was bright. Far brighter than the muted glow that lit the entirety of the interior of the farm. He had got used to the dim light and he’d been down there for days. It was no wonder he was sensitive. In fact, it was beyond irritating. Painful.
He’d have to find some sunglasses at his first opportunity, but first he’d have to figure out how to find his way into town.
He wasn’t even sure where exactly he was. Somewhere up the valley, hopefully still within the regional transit system, otherwise the undoubtedly long walk he had ahead of him would be even worse.

Chapter 14


Book: The First - Part: One - Chapter: 13 - Installment: i

“How do I know?”
“Everything else slows down. It is that apparent.”
“What if I’m alone?”
“Everything. Slows down. The air around you, the currents. You feel them do you not?”
“Yes, a little.”
“You will get better. You have to think of yourself as being like a newborn. You are still learning how to interpret the sensory information you are getting. After that you learn to crawl before you walk and then run.” Sylvette reached out and touched him – ran her fingers down his cheek. It helped make her point.
Simon felt the hand on his face. It would have aroused him as he had been mere days before. Now it was beyond his understanding. Exhilarating by any standard, yet more than any mere touch he’d known before his transformation. Comparing it to sex would be too base. It was sexual, but not ‘better than sex,’ though it was so different that ‘better’ was the inappropriate part… and this was merely a touch on the cheek.
Sylvette could see that her point was made. It amused her. Her own transformation had been so long ago that all of this seemed normal to her. It was totally assimilated into her being. His pleasure was quaint. Sylvette recognized the feeling. She continued to find ecstasy in another persons’ touch – these last days in Simon’s touch – but, the wonder that she saw in his eyes was long become a pale memory to her.
“Someday you will know the geography of a room by the way the air moves through it.”
“How long?”
“Soon. It doesn’t take long with someone to guide you. Soon you will be on the front lines. And there is nothing like the hunt.”
“I thought I was trained.”
“You don’t even know how to interpret these new sensations. How could we possibly teach you how to use them when you didn’t even know there was such a thing?”
“I don’t know that I could have imagined. Everything is so different. The sex – it’s amazing. You are amazing… or is it just the new feelings?”
Sylvette cocked an eyebrow.
“I… uh, my basis for comparison has been destroyed.”
“I know. I am amazing.”
Simon smiled.
“But you shouldn’t take my word for it. You should see for yourself. Take a test drive.”
“Get yourself dressed up and head out into the world. You aren’t under escort anymore. You can come and go as you please. You have clearance at any of our facilities – any that you already know of. And everywhere in between is fair game.”
“No one ever said…”
“Go out, experience life with your new eyes. Eat. Drink. Be. Find a woman. Make love to her. Fuck her. See for yourself how good I am.”
“I didn’t mean to…”
“You didn’t mean to and you did not. Bubble bursting time… You are an attractive man.”
“But you aren’t exclusive.”
“That is a juvenile viewpoint. But yes, that is the essence. You cannot think of your life in your old terms. The scope has changed too much. You will experience everything at their extremes, and you do not know how long it will last. It would be a shame to reach the end and feel you never took advantage of it. I take advantage of it every chance I can.”
“You aren’t just seeing if I will?”
“I will. I suggest you do, so you don’t feel cheated when I do. You will get used to the idea, if you live long enough.”
Simon recognized the frankness of the words, but the callousness did not make a dent in his feelings. The pragmatism of it all made utter sense to him.
Previously he had thought himself a sensitive man, but he felt more empathy for the harsh truth in Sylvette’s words than compassion for anyone who should be in his path if he were to live by those words.

Installment ii


Book: The First - Part: One - Chapter: 12 - Installment: ii

When Edmond hollered Tanya Meyers was virtually already on him so it was an equal surprise when she stopped eye-on to his S&W. She stared at his hands, the left firmly wrapped around the stock, the other awkwardly lending support as it also carried the evidence bag that in his rush Edmond had never bothered to pocket or drop.
Shale spoke up behind her, letting her know she was outnumbered and he had the drop on her.
“Step away from Lieutenant Edmond Mrs. Meyers.”
Tanya Meyers turned at the sound of Shale’s voice. Snapped her head around and leapt in one motion. Before either officer could react she was past the muzzle of Shale’s 9mm and bowling him into the hallway.
Carly shrieked in the on-suite as Edmond ran for the bedroom door. Tanya and Shale were in the hallway. His gun had been knocked out of his grip and he was ineffectually beating at her with his hands. He easily outweighed her and had an easy reach advantage, but sprawled out in the narrow hall with her crazed flailing it seemed that all his physical advantage was at waste.
Shale tried to scramble backwards away from the harpy as she gnashed at him with her teeth and was having some success until he hit the stairs. He planted an arm firmly in mid-air where he expected more floor and over balanced himself, tumbling away from his attacker down the six steps to the next level.
Edmond rushed to grab Tanya Meyers’ arms behind her, but fell short as she leapt the entire flight of stairs and landed hands first like a cat, or feral monkey, on Shale, knocking the wind out of him. Before her feet had landed, Tanya Meyers sunk her teeth into Shale’s neck, cutting deeply.
At the sight of Shale’s blood Scott Edmond’s world moved into slow motion.
This is it. He thought. I’ve never pulled the trigger on another person. But she’s unstoppable. She’s injured Shale. Never thought the first time would be a house-wife.
He aimed in the direction of the pair of them.
“Get away from him or I shoot.” He heard himself say as if he were watching it all on television.
He wasn’t surprised by now when there was no reaction from Tanya. He took aim. Her legs were well clear of any of Shale’s vitals. And squeezed the trigger.
The impact of the bullet from a few mere feet pulled her half off of Shale. She paused a moment as if confused by the sudden realignment of her body, and then seemingly oblivious of the bullet she lunged back at Shale.
Oblivious as she seemed to being shot, she was slowed by the injury. Where her previous moves had been uncannily swift, her motion was no longer superior to Edmond’s reaction. He fired three more times and her filthy body slid to the floor between Shale and the wall.
Holy Christ. I just killed someone. I killed her. Tanya Meyers. A house wife. A mother.
Scott…” Shale was bleeding. Badly.
“I’ll be right back, partner.”
Holstering his gun, Edmond took three quick steps back down the hall and met Carly Meyers in the doorway of the master bedroom. He scooped her up in his arms and planted her on the bed.
“Carly. You need to stay right here.”
God. I just shot her mother to death. I could be a little less abrupt. She’s Janne’s age, she’s got no way of understanding this. Christ, I don’t understand it.
He ran into the bathroom. There were towels hanging from the shower rail. He could clearly see dots of blood.
Everything in this house could be infected. Hell, I could have whatever it is already.
He threw open a bi-fold door and found more towels. They had to be the cleanest thing he could find in short order.
Closing the bathroom door. He stopped again in the bedroom for a moment. He didn’t want Carly to see her Mother in the state she was in. He didn’t want to see Carly’s Mother in the state she was in, but he didn’t have the option. He wished he could take the nightmare sight of her dead brother away from her.
“Carly. I’m going to close the door. I should only be a few minutes, but no matter how long it takes you need to stay here until I come back and get you. I may not have a real police man’s uniform, but you still need to do what I say, okay?”
The little girl nodded her head.
“Good girl.”
As he returned down the hall he traded the evidence bag still in his hand for his cell phone and called for assistance.

Chapter 13


Book: The First - Part: One - Chapter: 12 - Installment: i

Lieutenant Edmond thought he heard a noise as he mounted the steps to the Meyers home. He turned to Shale and raised an eyebrow.
“You hear something?”
Shale’s eyes flicked skyward as if like perked dogs ears he’d hear better with them up. After a brief hesitation he shook his head.
Edmond knocked on the door.
“Let me see that chain.” He said to Shale.
Shale produced the glassine bag and handed it to Edmond. Edmond rolled it over in one hand as he knocked again more insistently. He inspected the way the links were seated tightly together.
No doubt about it. Definitely designed as men’s jewelry.
Still no response from inside. Edmond knocked one more time, this time calling out to Tanya Meyers, identifying himself by name and as ‘the police.’ In the ensuing silence Shale spoke up behind him.
“Do we have due cause?”
“We could argue that there is a potentially ill family in need of assistance…”
“What if it’s catching?”
“We’ve already been exposed.”
“If someone wanted to get cranky about a warrant, we wouldn’t be around for the IA inquiry.”
“That’s ugly.” He muttered in response.
Edmond knocked – pounded – on the door one more time and drew his gun.
“Police! We are coming in!”
Edmond looked at Shale and directed, “Count of…”
Shale kicked the door square above the knob with the heel of his boot. The jamb splintered and the door creaked open.
“…none, I guess.”
Then from inside the house a faint sound. Definitely the sound Edmond had heard before. This time they both heard it. A meek weeping sound from upstairs.
Shale’s eyes widened slightly and Edmond beckoned him to follow with a slight twitch of the head.
Edmond lightly stepped through the door. He put his childhood familiarity with the house’s layout to work, knowing Shale was covering his back he threw caution to the wind and charged right down the short hall to the stairs and up to the top floor.
He heard it again – end of the hallway.
Master bedroom.
Edmond moved as fast as he could without making any noise. As he got to the open door of the master bedroom he saw Shale top the stairs behind him.
Edmond could see nothing in the room, but he could hear a combination of sounds coming from the on-suite. A child’s suppressed cry that had carried down to the front door and a noise that sounded perhaps like a rabid animal.
Edmond met Shale’s eye just long enough to confirm that his ‘partner’ was with him and then side stepped into the bedroom facing the on-suite. As the wedge of the bathroom which he could see opened wider his eyes fell upon Carly Meyers. She was huddled under the sink, arms wrapped around it’s pedestal.
Carly’s terrorized face was intent upon something out of Edmond’s view. He fixed his gaze on her. There is something psychically compelling about the human face, and something irresistible about the power of the stare. Surely after a moment she would feel his attention on her.
Come on Carly. Look over here. He willed her to see him.
After the tiniest eternity Carly’s eyes flicked to Edmond. He saw her instinct to call out to him and he quickly raised his finger to his lips. The bag with the chain still in his hand blocked half his face, but his intention was firm. The seven year-old didn’t utter a sound.
The dog, or whatever had her cornered, continued its sickly gnarr. Edmond stepped slowly to his left, opening more and more of the bathroom to his field of view. From the corner of his eye he saw Shale standing at the door backing him up. 
Another step sideways and he saw the lower half of a small limp blood flecked body on the floor.
Goddamn. Little Christopher.
The child’s body was being agitated by the animal apparently feeding on his tiny dead form. Edmond wasted no more time and stepped broadly to where he expected to see the beast that had killed the young boy.
He steadied his gun with both hands as the feral beast came into view. He stopped dead when he saw the hunched form of a person licking the bloodied corpse of the little boy. Edmond felt the bile rise in his throat. He’d seen some revolting things in his years as a cop, but this ranked near the top. A homeless crack addict from the look of things. The clothes were filthy and wet and torn. The sweaty invader’s hair was sticky with blood and clung to their face and neck, and a sharp pungency hung in the air. Tonguing a deep wound in Christopher’s clavicle. Christopher was pale, the broad tear in his shoulder and neck had hit an artery, the child must have bled out in practically no time at all.
“Police! Don’t move!”
With a reluctant hesitation the licking stopped and the cannibalistic addict lifted its head slowly. Edmond saw the two clean slick streaks of skin below each eye and realized the killer was weeping. A flicker of recognition in the eyes and Edmond realized that he was looking at Tanya Meyers hunched over her dead son.
“I… caaa-” She forced the sound out.
“Stand up Tanya.”
Edmond registered the perplexed look on Shale’s face. Shale couldn’t see what Lieutenant Edmond could and this was clearly as unexpected a development for him as it had been for Edmond.
“Caaa… haaap.”  Cried Tanya Meyers.
Tanya, we have to get you to a doctor. You’re ill. Whatever Jeremy had…”
Suddenly Tanya was standing and running. It seemed that she was practically on top of him before he realized she was moving.
“Stop!” He shouted at her. Carly Meyers began wailing from under the basin.

Installment ii


NEWS: Fixes, Updates and Help

Just a quick note to the few of you who are reading along as I go.

First up, just this morning I updated the page where I am amalgamating all links to the existing chapters of Book: the First.  This should make it easier for people - yourself and people who you might recommend Necropolis to - to 'catch up' and generally navigate where they are in the story.
I've also tweaked the archive list for the same purpose - almost to the point of making the Page version redundant.  I shall continue to keep adding links to the bottom of each post to the next chapter (or installment of the ongoing chapter) as they become available so as to make it easier to read continuously.
If anyone has any suggestions as to how I might make it easier still to read, please let me know in the appropriate comments section.  (Note that I won't be putting together a PDF version until I have completed at least the entire first part, possibly as much as the whole of Book: the First.

As I was going through I noticed a number of formatting errors that need addressing.  I fixed some of them, but others seem to be rather pernicious and resistant to being changed by the formatting tools in Blogger.  Which means I need to address them in the HTML.  I am far too close to being illiterate in HTML.  I can solve this by learning about it - I'm pretty good at the self-tutelage... but it is going to take quite some time before I get around to it.
Alternatively, if there is someone willing to look at the issues with Chapters 6,7,10 and 11. Let's talk.  I could let you get into the HTML and just fix the issues for me, but in the spirit of "teach a man to fish" if you can look at the issues and tell me what to go and looks for and what the likely solutions would be, then I shall walk away all the more powerful will be better able to 'fish for myself' in the future.  If you do decide to take this on, I can direct you more specifically to the formatting issues - some are not quite as obvious as others.

Lastly, if you do use the Book: the First page mentioned at the top of this post, you'll notice that I have blank chapters placeholders for all the way to chapter 17. Yes. Chapter 17. I have finished Part One. There are seventeen chapters. I figure that at my current rate of posting that should last until mid-April.  Yes, I could post them all at once and "catch up."  But then I would be in danger of having a big gap in posting.  I Between Christmas and last week I had a bit of a dry-spell.  In part I had to untangle a BIG logical error in what I had written, but also in part I simply had a bit of a string of writer's block.  Even when you have a fairly robust idea of where you are going, writer's block can come and nip you on the ass.  Anyhow, I am into Part Two now and I've solved my narrative issues (for the moment) and am excited to keep the momentum that I've restablished going.  I still have a lot to discover in this story and the section I am currently in is one of the sections where I have the most left to fill in.  Hence my narrative logic problems and my concern that I need a buffer should that happen again.

Thanks greatly to those of you who are reading - I know you are there, I see it in the stats.  Keep it up!  I promise I'll keep posting until the story is complete. 

One of the biggest plot turns in the entire series is coming at the end of Part One.  If  you can do one thing for me today, try and think of one friend who would appreciate what you have read so far.  It could be some one who loves science-fiction/horror (I think of this as more the former than the latter), or who is curious about the new directions publishing is taking, and direct them to either the first chapter of Necropolis or the RSS feed - you DO use the RSS feed, don't you?  (Some of you are.)

The first part of Chapter 12 will be posted tomorrow.


Book: The First - Part: One - Chapter: 11 - Installment: i

Detective Francis Shale set a paper cup of hot coffee down in front of Scott Edmond. Edmond lifted his head from his left over paperwork from the night before.
“Hey ‘Partner.’” Smiled Shale.
“Oh, get that away from me.”
“No liquid alarm-clock?”
“Stuff is evil. I had too much last night. I was still awake when the sun rose.”
“That was, like an hour ago.”
“Sorry Scott. So, what do we know?”
“Coroner is still stymied. They’re threatening to box the whole thing. But they’re just frustrated.”
“I can’t blame them for that. I can relate.”
“I think that secretly they love the mystery.”
“Well it’s your homicide. You tell me: what’s next?”
“Footwork on trace.”
“What do we have?”
“Drainage rock. It wasn’t indigenous to where we found him. We check some suppliers, see if we can’t figure out where the specific sample has been used in the area.”
“Oh ‘whee.’  This isn’t the kind of stuff that makes good TV.”
“Yeah, it’s not why I signed up either.”


Two hours of tag-team phone-calls produced a handful of results. They had a list of outlets that sold the type and grade of drainage rock, and emails of the past decade of sales orders were on their way.
Meyers had attacked Moira Chan three kilometers from where he had jumped out of his wife's car. By Noon they had sorted through the sales orders and prioritized according to proximity to this three-kilometer corridor.
Shale and Edmond looked at the dishearteningly long list.
“There’s got to be another way we can narrow this down.”
“I wish there was. What I’m afraid of is that we aren’t searching far enough afield. In six days he could wander much further than this strip.” answered Edmond.
“Yes, but what are the chances that multiple samples of drainage rock would stay stuck in his tread that long?”
“There we go.”
“The chances of the rock remaining is the inverse of the time and therefore the distance he could have traveled. We work outwards from the attack site, weighting our search in the direction of where he left Tanya’s car.”
“Bingo. This is still going to suck. We should dress-down. This could be messy.”


They scoured three gardens quickly. A schoolyard proved more difficult as there was no apparent place that the drainage rock had been used. Ultimately they had given up on it under the assumption that if the rock wasn’t in an obvious location that it probably wasn’t the place they were looking for, and if they struck-out everywhere else, they could always return. 
The fifth place was also a bit confounding – a low-rise apartment with no yard to speak of. The building manager directed them to the roof. There was no way to access the roof except through the building itself – and the access was pad-locked. A cursory search of the roof provided no appreciable result – which satisfied them both.
With hunger growing in their stomachs, they agreed on one more stop before they ate. A drainage ditch at Kits beach extended from the roadway to the breakwater. As the ditch was not wide the two of them were able to cover ground quickly until they got to the downhill end of the ditch where it entered a culvert. The culvert was only slightly wider than a man’s shoulders. A person could certainly climb in. It wouldn’t be pleasant, but they couldn’t afford to discount it. Meyers could have crawled through the space, so one of them would have to do the same… just in case.
“Flip you for it?”
“It’s not a Missing Persons anymore. It’s your homicide.”
“Right. It’s my case. I’m in charge.”
Shale looked Edmond in the eyes to try to assess how serious he was. Edmond didn’t crack.
“You’re an asshole. You’re buying lunch.”
“That’s fair.”
“No. It isn’t.” Shale grumbled as he got down on his knees in front of the opening. He pulled out his Mitylite, flicked it on and crawled forward into the culvert.
Shale inched forward over the next few minutes. Edmond knew well what was proceeding at his foot level. Shale would be surveying over the scum-covered rocks, looking for places that had been disturbed. It would be obvious quickly if nothing had been moved – it took time for the algae to build up and it smeared easily. Shale’s absence lasted long enough that Edmond knew that he had found something – whether it meant anything or not was irrelevant. If it couldn’t be discounted, it needed to be pursued. Unlike the school ground, it wasn’t going to be easily followed up upon. If Shale was any sort of investigator he would be thorough while he was in there both despite and because of how unpleasant it undoubtedly was.
After nearly ten minutes Edmond heard scraping coming from within the culvert.  Shale was backing up. A minute later his feet appeared.
“Something.” Shale answered as his head cleared the open end. His pants and jacket were smeared with greenish mud. He reached in his pocket and withdrew a standard plastic evidence bag.
Well done. Thought Edmond. I can’t count the number of times I haven’t had a bag handy.
Shale extended his hand. In the bag was a silver neck chain.
Edmond smiled. It was something.
"Let's grab lunch and run it over to Tanya Meyers.  See if she recognizes it."


Shale ate falafel and Edmond shawarma. They both washed their meals down with ethnic soda variants that qualified as experiments to their palates.
“I love this Chick.” Shale nodded at the television.
Edmond looked up. Bev Williams.
“She’s alright.”
“Are you kidding? She’s smart. Sexy smart. Librarian hot. And she asks wicked questions.”
“She approached me the other day.”
“Get out.”
“No, really.”
“What’d she want?”
“I’m still trying to figure that out.”
Shale stood up and turned up the volume on the report.
“…CDC officials insist that the unidentified virus is does not appear to spread easily and that there are less than two known cases in North America.”
The feed cut to a pre-taped interview. A suited Indian woman appeared. A super, beneath her read ‘Dr. Niyati Mayur Vihar – Associate Director, Canadian Centre for Disease Control.’
“There is no cause for public alarm, but we recommend that anyone experiencing any combination of fever, photo-sensitivity – that is sensitivity to bright light – or irreconcilable hunger report immediately to the CDC so as to help us maintain a public safety level below ‘outbreak.’”
Bev's voice interrupted from off camera. "Don't you expect people to be scared due to the absolute mortality of the virus?"
“That is not confirmed. We do not know that all hosts have died. Once we have more information, we can identify the strain and treat the disease properly, this will lower the danger to individual hosts.”
“So you can confirm what family of pathogen this is?”
“I can’t answer to that.”
“So you do not actually know.”
“I can’t confirm that. But we do recommend that anyone coming in contact with a suspected carrier contact their physician.”
Shale turned to Edmond. “What were those symptoms again?"
"Jesus H. Christ.”

Chapter 12
Creative Commons License
Necropolis by Kennedy Goodkey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at necropolisnovels.blogspot.com.