Book: The First - Part: Two - Chapter: 17 - Installment: i

        For as long as they had been friends – from before the formal creation of the Lazarus – Henri had always had a greater weakness for sleep than Marcel.  It no longer surprised him that he couldn’t keep up with his friend.  He had reached an age where getting sleep was a natural issue.  He couldn’t make it through the night without needing to use the bathroom.  But he wore out more easily now, and they had always burned the candle at both ends.  He would cat-nap when he could, but polyphasic sleep had never been a skill he had truly mastered. 
        It had been a long day and a half since the capture of Nikolai, and the organization had been monitoring the situation at the hospital all day.  They had always been busy – always – but this was a truly unusual level of immediate concerns.
        He had only just settled in for a few hours of desperately needed rest when he had received the call about that fool new recruit.  Yet another issue that couldn’t be left un-attended.  Simon had returned to the training complex in the early morning with a young woman.  He had brought her through security as if there was no reason to have security.  If this were a job, Simon would have been unceremoniously fired.  But that wasn’t an option.  It simply wasn’t the way things worked or even could work for the Lazarus.  A certain level of trust was a necessity, in theory made stronger by recruiting only people who had no remaining ties and whose drive for the cause would be considerable.  But there was no antidote for stupid.
        Henri gave Simon a verbal dressing down in two languages, only one of which Simon spoke, but the fury that launched Henri into French did more than the words themselves could achieve.  A hale adult in his prime, girded by the transformation wouldn’t normally feel threatened by a frail old man like Henri, but his anger combined with the certain knowledge that he was only saying what Marcel, or Sylvette, or the massed collective of the Lazarus would have expressed was quite intimidating.  He was behaving like a rogue agent.  That could not be tolerated in their circumstances, it was simply too risky with such a wealth of secrecy behind them. Though he didn’t out right say so, Henri made sure that Simon would feel as though he would not be given a second chance, and that should he step outside the operational boundaries of the Lazarus again that the consequence would be dire.  The more complicated discussion would follow; the one with the girl.


        “I hope you will forgive us.  We don’t mean to be inhospitable locking you in like this.”
        Sarah had only checked the doors to the lounge out of curiosity.  She had not even been surprised that she was effectively a prisoner.  The room itself was comfortable.  She had tried to watch some television – catch up on the news of what was going on downtown, keep her mind off her past two nights.  Mostly it was re-caps of what had happened so far.  Families were getting angry and concerned about their loved ones quarantined inside the hospital, and had set up vigils outside the cordoned-off perimeter.  Nothing dramatic enough to keep her exhausted body awake.  The couch was soft and warm and seemed to nearly devour her slim form whole.  She was content to slip into a deep rest for as long as she might be allowed.
        She couldn’t tell how long she had been asleep – a few hours at most – when the knob turned and the elderly man stepped in.  She couldn’t help herself from wondering if he might be a wizard or something.  Hell, there are vampires.  Why not wizards?  But he didn’t dress the way she would have expected an urban wizard to dress.  He would have fit in better on The West Wing in his suit than on The Dresden Files or Buffy.
        “We are...” Sarah guessed from his accent that he was pausing to find the right words in English. “...very busy.”  Or maybe not. “Your appearance here tonight is an extra complication which we are somewhat under-manned for.  Do not feel as though there is any threat.”  By which Sarah took to mean that there was indeed some kind of threat.
        “My name is Henri.”
        “Are you in charge of the Lazarus Group?”  She could tell from the look on his face that he was not prepared for her to know their name.  She had shown a card.  That may not have been a good move.
        “I am trusted to make decisions on behalf of those few above me in the organization.  And now we must decide what to do with you.”
        Definitely a sense of threat.
        “Well, let me try to help, ‘cause I am running out of options.  Your man outside confirmed what I suspected, so I’m confident you aren’t going to think, or feign that you think, I am nuts.”
        “Last night a vampire killed my father.  The night before, the same vampire killed my boy-friend.  The night before that, I thought vampires were nothing but either myths or larpers.  This particular blood-sucker may be after me personally.  Either that or it’s a huge coincidence that she got both my boyfriend – and a half dozen of his friends, I might add – and my father.  It may seem like I’m not as scared as I ought to be, but I’ve been staring death in the face for as long as I’ve been alive, so really I’m mostly adjusting to the fact that there are vampires and that one just fucking killed the only two men in my life.  I don’t know what to do or who to turn to, and I haven’t really got much else.  I don’t even really know what you people do – for all I know you are allied with the vampires – but I have little left to lose.  This is kind of my hail-Mary pass... if that’s appropriate.”
        So much for keeping cards hidden, that was just about all she had.
        Henri sucked his teeth in contemplation.
        “This is a very unique week.”  He sat in a well-padded arm-chair opposite Sarah.  “The Lazarus is made up of individuals who have nothing left to lose.  People who have come to that point to a large part because of vampires.  We make a habit of finding them.  No one has ever found us before.  This is very interesting, but it is also gravely concerning.  I can’t tell you how we will proceed – this is too unique a situation for me to determine without consulting our leader.  Nor can I promise that it will be fast or that it won’t be unpleasant.  But if what you say is true and you are so clever that you found us of your own devices, then you are absolutely in the right place.

Chapter 18

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is harder than it looks

     I was doing so well!
     I can't promise that I'm going to do much better than I am now for a while, but rest assured, this is not over.
     Perhaps I should loan this a bit more context...
     So, blah, blah, still learning how to be an effective part-time stay at home Dad... but I do think that in the past few weeks I've truly started to find my feet, so to speak.  Still amazed at the sheer amount of time my regular pay-cheque job is sucking out of my life between hours worked and commuting time.  Oh my god, the commuting time!  But I've managed to unload one shift at the regularish job and replaced it with a one-day-a-week video-editing contract which begins to bleed some flexibility, sanity and breathing space into my schedule.  (And as I can do it from home, the commute is about 18 paces.)
     So there is hope.  I am gettting writing done slowly but surely.  I've actually had a chapter finished for over a week now (will be posting it after this note), it has simply been difficult to find a time to get around to posting it.  My various other creative projects (most of which align more directly with what I consider to be my vocation) all get priority when I have windows of time to work.  The number of opportunities I have to dedicate to Necropolis has severely diminished. 
     But last week Jodie kicked me in the pants... figuratively.  With all the hammering my schedule has taken in the past six months or so, the one thing I've made a point of not allowing to slip is my time for her and I.  For the most part that has meant that we spent some time virtually every evening watching the shows we love the most.  Really, that's just a few TV shows.  Dexter, and Being Erica* are the perennial favourites, with Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother bering close seconds.  We've given up on nearly everything we've started watching new this season.  Up All Night (which could not possibly be aimed more directly at us as a demographic) and Pan-Am are both hanging on by their ragged nails to our viewing schedule.  ....I am getting WAY off topic.
     Anyhow...  Jodie said last week that really we should be able to do all our TV watching in two nights, still have one night a week for movie night, one night for whatever comes up - including, god forbid, going out and having a life - and then I could use a few hours three nights a week for working on my myriad projects.
     And that is where I am at now.  This is my third night for working on projects.  I used the first two for reviewing footage for a documentary I am working on (more details on that when it becomes relevant) and tonight I am first doing Necropolis catch-up, then getting my bearings on at least one of the screenplays I've got mouldering in my brain.

     My intention is that I'll still be able to give at least half of one night a week to Necropolis, maybe more.  Which should mean that I can get a few posts a month out.  That is nowhere near the pace I need to keep up if I am ever going to finish this tale before I'm collecting my pension (I am exaggerating,) but at least I'll be moving forward.... and maybe I can actually find a way to make better time than that.

     Only time will tell.

*For non-Canadians, I highly recommend that you go out of your way to see this show.  It is frikking awesome.  Yeah it kind of sounds a little girly and it took a bit of work to get me to try it on for size, but it only took one episode once I tried it.  I'm not going to spoil it at all.  Just see it.  The show is really easy to see in Canada as it's a CBC created show, but it has done really well in other markets, so it ought not be that hard to track down.  There are both British and American versions in the making (which, frankly is a bit insulting), but you ought to be able to find the real deal easy enough, and it is in the same language for both Brits and Yanks.  Oh and... the lead is played by a girl I went to theatre school with... though I was in fourth year when she was in first year and I admit I don't actually remember her from then - but she is fantastic.
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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.