Book: The First - Part: Two - Chapter: 5 - Installment: ii

        The Lazarus had acquired much scattered real estate for their purposes, amongst the properties was an old bank building, complete with two separate functional vaults. They had arranged to have one of Lancaster’s companies – a property management company to display ‘For Lease’ signs as an ongoing cover, yet keeping the terms of lease far out of range of what was remotely reasonable for the property. 
        As they drove up it occurred to Marcel that it had been years since he had last been to this location and that the unreasonable lease ruse was likely getting stale.
        They used the vaults as cells for holding n-positive recruits until they could be disposed of. They had long since dispensed with the notion that they might ever need to hold a true Class One for any reason. But now, after years of fulfilled expectation, they were in fact imprisoning a true nosferatu.
        Sylvette, Jacob and the latest successful recruit, Simon, stood in front of the cell. Echoing within the confines of the second vault would be the strained gurgle of an insane n-positive, inaudible behind the closed door, and locked away from the world of light for the brief remainder of his wretched life. Salim, the night guard on duty in the holding block, also stood nearby. He was taking no chances. Despite the presence of two agents, he had armed himself with a flame-thrower, and wore the thick plasteel armor that he would wear if handling an n-positive.
        Little had been done to the vault to convert it onto a cell. Three holes had been sunk into the concrete floor outside the door, all in one line extending at an acute angle from the hinge. Each hole had a solid metal bar that fit snugly into it together the three would prevent the vault door from opening more than a sliver. The narrow slit was the only way to access the cell directly – either to sedate n-positives for transport or, more often, to provide them with nourishment.
        There were cameras sunk into the upper corners of each vault, beyond access, but there was no way to communicate to an inmate without opening the doors. There had once been speakers and microphones, but with the paucity of communicating prisoners they had not been deemed necessary to maintain. For the first time this was seeming to be a poor decision.
        There was no furniture in the vault. N-positives were too insane to care, and only destroyed anything that was left for them in any case.
        Marcel stood before the crack in the door at a close distance so as to give him the greatest degree of angle of vision. It was still a narrow field, as the door was not open wide enough for an arm to pass beyond the wrist.
        The nos’ stood nobly in the centre of the room. His clothes, while refined were torn from his evident dust-up with Sylvette.
        It had been many years since Marcel had personally been in the presence of a class one. This one looked very much like a man – they all did under normal circumstances – paler, certainly, but with the teeth retracted there was little reason to suspect that he had left his humanity behind, lord knew how long ago.
        Instinctive revulsion welled up within Marcel. He wanted nothing greater in the world than to rid it of the nosferatu. If it were not for his curiosity and the hope that this unprecedented surrender might actually provide his organization with some unexpected advantage, he would have ordered the infernal thing executed on the spot. But he had the presence of mind to set his hatred aside for the moment, and do his best to play gracious host.
        “I apologize for the limited accommodations.” Marcel opened.
        “I’m of no illusions. I didn’t expect to be treated as a royal guest. Certainly not at first.”
        “You think we shall come around?”
        “I have time to wait upon your gratitude. It took you quite some time to find me. I’ve been trying to get your attention for a very long while. But then again, your existence is merely rumour, for all I knew I was merely screaming down a dead connection. Cette numero n’y as pas de service.” The nosferatu smiled.
        “We notice, of course. We are aware when those of our own kind come to an end, when they disappear. But you are very good. You cover your tracks remarkably well. You are the bogeyman… or…” He paused and shifted his gaze down the narrow slit of the opening to look past Marcel at Sylvette, “she is. The bogey woman. We tell the childer about the one nearly as strong as ourselves – stronger than many. The Stalker. Well, now I have a name. Sylvette.”
        “I am surprised, but pleased.” Said Marcel, stepping between his daughter and the demon. “I assumed that our existence would be more than conjecture. You realize there is no way we would allow you to take this confirmation back to your own kind?”
        “I am well aware. But I was once human. I look human. I breathe, I eat, I sleep, I fuck like a human. I still have morals. Do not underestimate my capacity for compassion-”
        “What are you driving at, vampire?” Marcel cut him off.
        “Must we make what I am an epithet? If I were black, would you call me ‘nigger?’ You spit it like an insult. I am not what I am by choice, nor love. It is merely what I am. You know my name. Let us advance towards respect, shall we? It will be both easier, and serve both of our needs better.”
Sylvette spoke up above her father’s drawing breath. “Can we dispense with the ‘arch’? What are your needs, Nikolai?”
        The nosferatu snickered, and smiled with an air of recognition. “Hmmmm. There is a certain insufferable need to fit into a role, isn’t there?” He paused, choosing his words. “I am unhappy. Many of us – most of us – are. Not so much unlike you, are we? The self-loathing, the hatred of what we’ve become. No end to the horror of our drive, no will to end it. I doubt there is one of us who doesn’t – or at least hasn’t at some time – considered our loathsome needs without disgust, but we carry on. We justify it. Blah blah blah food-chain. The arguments are all obvious and hoaried. We kill as we must to feed, just as you do. But does a cow talk back? Are there any great works of literature penned by a chicken? Do sheep make you laugh with their pithy wit?”
        “Your point?”
        “I am weary. I love you, my former brethren. To ‘arch?’” He cocked an amused eyebrow at Sylvette, then with exaggerated melodrama clenched his fists and shouted skyward. “There has got to be another way!”
        Sylvette scowled for the class one’s benefit and muttered to Marcel. “It’s nearly sunrise. I say we chain him to the roof.”
        Marcel’s instincts drove him towards a similar place. He would not rest until he lived in a world without nosferatu, but the unique nature of the situation weighed heavily upon him.
        No doubt the nos’ has an agenda – an angle. But just because his intent is to use us doesn’t mean we cannot use him in return. If keeping him alive means the chance of destroying countless more of them….
        “No. Not yet, in any case. He isn’t harming anyone where he is.”
Nikolai spoke up again. “I merely want to find a way we can all live together without all this subterfuge and sin. I want to eliminate the fear of my kind and the slaughter of yours – I can’t carry on living in the figurative shadows, though I will never leave the literal ones. Together we can let the world know that my kind are here.”
        “You yourself called us a rumour. We are not here in the eye of the world ourselves. We have no influence.”
        “We can find a way.” Pleaded the vampire desperately, “How hard can it be to demonstrate? Nosferatu are not the myth we are thought to be. It could be a brutal awakening – my kind will not allow it to happen easily – but you aren’t the suspicious and superstitious people of the past. When hiding became a necessity for us, it was simple to cast doubt upon our existence through reason. Now, in this modern information age, reason can be your ally. Our ally.”
        “What do you really want Nikolai?”
        The vampire swept to the door and pressed his face close to the opening in the vault, where only half of his face could been seen as he hissed his words through the gap, “I am telling you the truth. God knows why I expected you to trust me. Look, I know things that you can’t. I can help you carry on as you are – tell you things that will help you do it better. We can formulate a strategy for disclosure to the world. Believe me. The equilibrium is not where the nosferatu wish things to be. They want dominion, and if you do not act, they will win. I am not evil. I’m not. I can’t continue living this way. So, use me or kill me, and then live with the consequences.”
        For the first time in the conversation, Nikolai let his words hang. He had clearly spoken his piece. He back away from the door staring Marcel in the eye as the Lazarus leader poured over the widening view of the vampire’s face – looking for some sign, some indication of body language that might betray its purpose.
        “I will consider.” He said, and nodded to Salim who stepped to the vault door and leaned into it.
        As the door picked up speed and the gap closed, Nikolai called after them. “Make your decision soon. I’ll be worth more to you out in the world. If you keep me long, my absence will be noticed – in both our worlds-”
        The words were cut off with a soft clang as the door found it’s seat, cutting off all sound from within the vault as completely as if the occupant were not there at all.


        “No one is to go in there without my express permission.” Marcel spoke directly to Salim. “Treble our guard presence in the outer-block, yet no one but the six of us is to know what we have in there.”
        “What about Li?” The guard asked, referring to his superior, the head-guard of the holding block.
        “For the moment, no. I’ll speak to him, send him on mandatory leave. For the time being, you are in charge here. Password protect all surveillance to that cell. Only yourself and I are to have access.”
        They had retired into the guard’s room, a former office in the bank. Two closed-circuit screens sat on the desk beside a cable fed television used primarily for keeping the duty guard occupied during lengthy shifts. It murmled away on the desktop, still tuned to the Canadian News Network, which Salim had been watching when Jacob, Simon and Sylvette arrived with their unlikely prisoner.
        “You are going to let him live?” Henri.
        “Until I make a decision. I expect he is right. No matter what I decide we won’t be keeping him in there for long.”
        Marcel turned to the television.
        “And no distractions for now. That will have to be removed.”
        All eyes turned to follow his finger as on the screen a developing news story unfolded, drawing their attention. They all listened as the young reporter on screen outlined details of a scary incident unfolding at Vancouver General Hospital – a crazed patient had been shot to death after going on a bloody rampage from the Disease Control ward through an entire wing. The entire hospital was now under quarantine, as the man had been feared to be infected with a mysterious disease that had been reported in scattered cases over the past weeks. It had been temporarily classified, as Cannibalistic Porphyria, but the horror of the latest incident had prompted the News Network to emblazon the banner-line with the headline “Vampire Virus Outbreak.”
        Henri was the first to speak up.
        “Does this concern us?”
        “Pray not.” Answered Jacob.
        “We can’t afford to assume it doesn’t.” Marcel firmly responded. “This is going to be a long day.”

     Chapter 6


lia abbott said...

Just a minor correction in this paragraph..."He had clearly spoken his peace. He back away from the door staring Marcel in the eye as the Lazarus leader poured over the widening view of the vampire’s face – looking for some sign, some indication of body language that might betray its purpose."

I believe he had spoken his piece not peace....and he backed away from the door not back away...

I am enjoying the story so far. I am no editor by any means but i am usually good for noticing spelling corrections.

Jedi School Drop Out said...

You are absolutely correct Lia.
It has been a very busy month (and a bit) it has taken me this long just to get back and correct it!

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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.