Book: The First - Part: Two - Chapter: 18 - Installment: iii

Details taken care of, Vala sat before the visual-radio and began working out the new world she had awoken in.  No dials to change the station.  The radio appeared to only show current events.  Nothing cultural.  No succession of programming, merely more of the same hour after hour.
Gradually the confusing picture of affairs began to show form.  If Germany had not lost the war outright, it had certainly failed to maintain the planned Reich.  The United States appeared to have an undue influence in the world, though perhaps that was merely from the perspective of their Northern neighbour.  Clearly the States were at war with someone – it seemed probably a Muslim nation, but it was unclear which… maybe even a new one she had never heard of. 
There was much that needed more investigation.  New jargon.  A ubiquitous term, “internet,” that was either a universal encyclopaedia or a massive telephone system; something similar called “the web” which may have had something to do with a world wide postage system called “the ‘E’ Mail” which in turn may have been related to “’I’ Phoning” which appeared to be separate from the internet… probably.  And apparently the Earth had moved closer to the sun (which could not be good for her) as evidenced by the resulting global warming.  Seven billion people… how could that have happened?  Clearly vampires weren’t culling the herd.  Though it helped explain how this little name on the map, “Vancouver,” could have become a metropolitan centre. 
So very much more to understand, it will take some time to sort it all out.
The big news was vampires.  Here.  In a hospital in the city.  Clearly they were nothing like her, but superficially there were similarities.  They feasted on blood, but propagated by their bite, not by siring.  They appeared to be new – or at least the world had been unaware of them before now.
Her imagination tumbled end over end as she considered the possibilities.
How fortunate for me to wake here, now.  Have other nosferatu known about this new breed?  Or has it sprung up in the knowledge of man and vampire simultaneously?  Are there even other nosferatu here?  Most likely, but have they the wit to capitalize on this?  Or what if this is part of someone’s larger plan?  Doubtlessly they couldn’t have planned for me.  Who am I to turn my back on a little chaos?


Getting herself back into the city was a simple affair.  Finding the hospital was somewhat more difficult, though the goodness of human nature worked in her favour as the night’s drunken revellers were friendly and keen to give a lost stranger directions.
As she had seen on the visual radio, the entrances were all blocked and well guarded my modern foot soldiers that didn’t in fact look terribly different from their predecessors from the mid 20th century.  Rifles and helmets remained the vogue.
Another thing that had not changed was the expectation that someone might scale an outside wall without aid or deliberation.  A dark corner was all she required for the first forty feet, beyond that – people rarely look up.
Inside, practically the entire population of the hospital remained in quarantine.  Vala could hide in plain sight among the staff and patients, and virtually none looked askance at her apparel.  Most were sleeping, but many still roamed the halls discussing their predicament, forming uninformed opinions of how long they might remain, or quietly wandering, losing sleep over the same questions.  From snatches of conversation, it didn’t take long to zero in on where the truly infected were being kept.
Stealthily she crept into the ward and with judicious application of broken necks and, where possible, the luxurious strength-building draining of an unwary attendant, the immediate guards and caretakers of the half-dozen or so freshly born vampires were dispatched.
Vala knew she wouldn’t have long before her invasion would be discovered, but it would not take long for her to recruit.
She lost several precious minutes working out the procedure for opening the sealed doors – an overly complicated system in her mind, when lock and key would have worked just as well… or as poorly as the case would be.
The door opened with a hiss.
Inside the room a man sat awake, strapped to his bed.
As she crossed the floor to him, he examined her face with appalled curiosity.
She found the clasp holding down his arm and whispered a promise to him.


Book: The First - Part: Two - Chapter: 18 - Installment: ii

        The child had escaped again.  Vala had been livid.
        If it wasn’t for that foolish father of hers putting up a fight. 
        It had not been a particularly effective fight, but it had been enough.  His meagre weapon had been ineffective offensively, but it provided him the slightest deterrent defence.  Being less than a day out of seventy-year torpor, Vala was not eager to return with an ad hoc stake lodged in her heart.
        She had been forced to wait for her moment, to wait for the father to commit, and then she struck with absolutely lethal intent.  It had taken, in total, less than a minute for her to dispatch the man, but her still weakened state seduced her to drink more deeply than she could afford to at the moment.  The combined delay gave the girl a big head start.  The fresh blood was saturating Vala’s senses, she couldn’t pick up on a scent among far too many other nearby human traces.  That curse of cities had not changed. 
        Vala ran down the smoothly paved street like a panther on the hunt, reaching an intersection and seeking any sign, visual, audible or olfactory, of the frail creature who had twice slipped away.  Nothing, and the trail was getting colder on the wind by the second.  It was futile.  She was gone.
        The father was still in their home.  His heart was no longer beating, but she was no purist.  The blood would still be warm, and she needed still to build her strength.  Vala drained him as thoroughly as possible, and then began inspecting the house.  It would provide, for the moment, a safe place to stay.
        Her own clothes were unwearable if she were to go out in public.  They were falling apart, and were decades out of style.  The girl’s clothes were too small.  There was apparently no mother, though there were coloured photographs of a woman, presumably the man’s wife, once healthy, then gradually wan and thin.  Tuberculosis perhaps.  The man’s clothes were oversized, but not troublesomely so.  Certainly wearing gentleman’s clothing would draw attention until she could find more feminine attire, but she would only be about in the dark.  Surely it would be less conspicuous than the foul half-rotten, half-charred garments she had – both to look at and to smell.
        Smell…. she had to bathe.  The bathing room and water closet were awkwardly combined in one room.  How can one be expected to cleanse in the presence of such a filthy construct?  And clearly the size of the bathtub has been sacrificed in order to accommodate space for the flush toilet.
        Being a pragmatic creature at her core, she suffered through a luxurious hot bath – the first heat of significance she had felt in nearly three quarters of a century.  The funk of those years was more deeply set than she expected.  Clearly a second or even third bath would be required to get out the deepest odours.
        The bed in the master bedroom looked fantastic.  The draperies were thick.  To retire here would be exquisite.  But before she could consider that, she would need to find a more secure place to rest until she could be certain that no-one else was likely to enter the house in the middle of the day.  A cluttered storage space in the subterranean level of the home would suffice for now.
Installment iii
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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.