Book: The First - Part: Two - Chapter: 19 - Installment: i

        The escape was revealed shortly after three A.M. this morning when a security guard failed to check in on time during his rounds.  The massacre on the CDC ward was discovered minutes later and security authorities report that the missing quarantined patients could not have been missing long at the time of discovery.  The security schedule was simply too precise to allow for a large gap.
        The police and military have closed traffic on all bridges and tunnels and set-up a secure perimeter within Vancouver City limits.  Members of the public are recommended to stay off the streets and keep as secure as possible within their homes.
        For Canadian News Net, I am Bev Williams.


        “Shit.”  Pamela Guerin drew out the epithet like a slow leak.
        The department heads were a mixed group, bleary-eyed and still waking up, showing the effects of burning the midnight oil and in some cases piped in by video-chat.
        “I need to know all new information you have uncovered.”
        “I’ve forwarded everything I have to you already.  Mostly it's been the news as it has unfolded from VGH.  The media has done the standard digging and profiling of the major players.  Patient Zero at the hospital, Detective Shale, was not in fact patient zero.  He contracted the disease from a woman in an investigation he and his partner were conducting.  The woman’s husband, Jeremy Meyers, attacked a jogger.  It's assumed that the husband was infected too.  Shale’s partner is the missing patient – the original missing patient.  The minor he escaped with was the Meyers’ daughter.  There is no known victim before Jeremy Meyers.  And nothing in my research contradicts the press on that, but it's early in my research….”
        “Alright.  Abner?”  Marcel turned to his victamortologist. 
“Not much that I can add.  I received a copy of the autopsies of both Meyers.  Mr. Meyers’ died of uncertain causes, possibly a defensive assault from his victim or possibly the disease.  The wife was shot by Lieutenant Edmond – the officer who is missing with the Meyers’ girl.  But – and this is the strange part – both of the Meyers as well as Shale…”
        “Carry on.”
        “It's damned strange.  They – their bodies - degenerated quickly.  First into a gelatinous mess, then liquid, then they evaporated.  Bloody un-natural.”
        “Un-natural?  You are aware we fight vampires, aren’t you?”  Clayton Savage, head of a department known as Interface, whose primary duties included covering the tracks of the Lazarus group where it interfered with the appearances of a “normal” society.
        “Any information whatsoever on the decomposition?”
        “No.  In none of the initial cases were the authorities in charge of the cadavers prepared for what happened.  Apparently the gaseous final stage was pretty noxious, but that’s all we have.  Since then there has been some co-ordination.  The bleak assumption was that when the first of the quarantined victims reached that stage the CDC would be ready for it, but now… who knows where they will be when they die.”
        Marcel cast his gaze over the other department heads.  Business, and Acquisitions were both administrative and only in on the conversation as a courtesy.  Systems, Harm Reduction, T & S, Clandestine Ops and Interface were in the loop, but their purviews wouldn’t be relevant until if and when a decision on action was made. 
        The General Science department was a unique entity.  Virtually the entire department, apart from its head was made up of either outsourced advisors, or researchers who worked under other companies in the Lancaster group umbrella.  In all cases those subordinates were entirely unaware of the Lazarus’ actual purpose.  The head of General Science, Caitlyn Stone, had a tremendous capacity for sourcing the expertise needed as it was required.  Practically by definition, she was out of her depth in this circumstance.  Her responsibility was to advise on the vast array of possible known science, with the exclusion of that which was strictly known by the select few people in the world who studied the science of vampires – the Victamortology department.
        “This is an unusual situation, Marcel.  Normally Abner and my domains are only related at the fringe and by the scientific method.  But on this count it seems that the cutting edge of widely known science intersects with what you have his team working on.  As a result, for the moment our information is for all practical purposes the same.”
        “So be it.  Pamela?”
        “There is very little I’ve uncovered that the authorities are keeping a lid on.  They really have no idea where Lieutenant Edmond is.  His last known location was a bank machine a few blocks from his apartment.  That was two days ago.  He is still officially on BOLO, but the tenor at VPD is that he has slipped the net.  If they are fortunate he and the Meyers girl, Carly, may have gone to ground within city limits and may come up in the upgraded search they have for the new escapees.”
        “And what do we know about them?”
        “Not much.  We’ve got personal details on each of them, but you can be certain that the police will have their personal domains staked out tighter than our numbers could.  If we are going to find them first, we have to find a short-cut.  An alternate route.  And we have to do it fast before the disease progresses to its final stage.”
        “And they literally evaporate.”  Filled in Marcel.
        “Any chance that happened to Edmond and the girl.”
        “Can’t be ruled out entirely.”
        “You doubt it.”
        “I do.”
        “Knowing their fate could be useful.”
        “So could knowing what they know.” The head of Intelligence added.
        “While we are playing hunches…”  Henri spoke up from behind Marcel.
        “I think we may have a resource that could track Edmond and the girl down.”

Installment ii

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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.