Vampire Breed, page 18part #4 of Kiera Hudson Series One Series
I had seen enough. I closed the door and made my way deeper into the deserted police station. The florescent lights overhead flickered and buzzed, and I guessed that the station was now running on its emergency energy source. How long it would last before I was plunged into total darkness, I didn’t know. My stomach was beginning to feel like I’d swallowed broken glass, and I wished that I hadn’t eaten those peach slices. Sweat dripped from my forehead and stung my eyes.
At the end of the corridor, I found a set of stairs. Slowly, I climbed them and at the top, I came across a small landing with a door set into the far wall. Written across it were the words:
Authorised Personnel Only
I doubted if the warning still held any relevance, and technically I had never been dismissed from the Force, so I pushed the door open and stepped inside. The room was circular in shape and in the middle, there was a series of control panels and computer screens. Radio headsets and microphones lay littered across the desks, entangled around the arms of the dead staff that had once worked in there.
Again the room smelled ripe of decomposing flesh, but I tried to block it from my mind. I walked around the central control panel, mindful not to step on any of the bodies that lay sprawled at my feet.
I looked at one of the computer screens and a message flashed on and off in green letters. It read:
…all mobile phone lines down. No formal lines of communication open. Internet has gone off line…
The next screen read:
. . . the clouds seem to be alive. They are coming out of the clouds…
And the last screen flashed:
…they’re animals. It’s the wolves…and they are talking…
I felt something brush up against my leg and I looked down to see Nik standing beside me.
“What are you doing here?” I gasped with surprise.
“Watching your back,” he woofed, and he glanced at the message about the talking wolves.
“Why?” I asked him, still startled by his sudden appearance.
Then, staring at me with his crazy yellow eyes, he barked, “Like I said, Kiera, it’s all about redemption. ”
Breaking his stare, I picked up one of the radio handsets, which was attached to the array of control panels.
“What are you doing?” Nik asked.
“Calling for help!”
“Look, there are dead police officers in here,” I cut in, “And they only died in the last few days, which might mean that they were able to tell the rest of the world that exists on the other side of these goddamn mountains, what’s been going on here. ” Then, turning my back on him, I pressed the talk button on the handset and spoke into it.
“Help! Somebody help us! If anyone is receiving this please come back to me!” I released the talk button and waited – no prayed - for a response.
Nothing, only static.
“If anyone can hear this, please help us!” I said again into the handset and again there was only silence.
There was a dial attached to the control panel so I turned it from left to right, hoping that I would tune into another signal – one that had a voice at the other end of it.
I pressed the talk button again and this time I said, “My name is Kiera Hudson and I’ve been locked up in a zoo…I’m in a town called Wasp Water set amongst the Cumbria mountains. There are dead people here – hundreds of them…please…”
Then suddenly, I heard a snapping sound and I looked round to see Nik chewing through the wire that led from the handset and into the control panel.
“What are you doing!” I screeched in disbelief. “Don’t you want me to be rescued?”
“And that’s exactly why I’ve bitten through the wire,” he barked.
“What are you talking about?” I cried.
“Because those who come to save you might not be your friends,” he said.
I was speechless and just shook my head in disbelief as Nik continued. “Doctor Hunt told me that one of your friends is a traitor- that they are working for this invisible man…”
“Look you’ve already told me this and…”
“Your friend Murphy was reluctant to believe what Doctor Hunt said and it cost him his life,” Nik stared at me, his eyes wide and fiery.
“Look, Hunt got it wrong. None of my friends are working for this. . . invisible man,” I snapped at him. “I trust them – all of them!”
“And so did your friend, Murphy,” Nik said.
To hear those words made me realise that Nik was right. He was right because in my heart I knew that Murphy had come to suspect that one of us was a traitor. I could remember the conversation that I’d heard between Murphy and Potter in the signal box next to the disused railway line. Potter had been mad at Murphy as he believed that he suspected him of being the traitor. But knowing this, I still glared back at Nik, and said, “You’re wrong about my friends and so was Doctor Hunt – none of them are traitors. I trust all of them with my life. ”
Nik shook his giant head and said, “Why don’t you do what you believe is best, Kiera?”
“Sounds like a plan to me,” I snapped and then threw the radio set onto the floor.
I stormed past Nik and left the control room.
“Where are you going?” he called out.
“To find a safe place for me and my friends to sleep!” I hollered angrily back over my shoulder. It was then that my head began to feel light and weightless. I started to retrace my steps back down the stairs, but halfway down, my stomach knotted and a searing bolt of pain cut through me. Gripping the handrail, I staggered down another two steps or so. The handrail felt ice cold against the burning skin of my hand. The world turned black, then came back into focus again and I could hear the sound of running in the distance. I glanced behind me and back up at the stairs. Nik stood at the top and silently looked down at me. I held out my hand towards him, as the sound of approaching feet grew louder. Everything swayed before me, and my whole body seemed to lock and go rigid as the cravings for blood consumed me.
With my hands outstretched before me in a feeble attempt to fight off whoever or whatever it was running loose in the police station, I lurched down the last few stairs. In the corridor, a figure loomed up in front of me and grabbed me by the arms. Too weak to fight them off, I collapsed against them, and as the lights went out inside my mind, the last thing I heard was someone whisper in my ear, “Take it easy, tiger!”
I woke to find the door to my cell open. The wire mesh was hanging from the hole in the concrete ceiling just like I’d left it, before making my escape.
But what was I doing back in my cell? Had I been recaptured?
My head hurt, and it felt as if my skull was being crushed in a vice. There was a dull thud behind my eyes, my throat was burning raw, and my stomach felt as if my intestines were being strangled by an invisible pair of hands.
Praying that no one would hear me, I crept towards the open door and out into the corridor on the other side. It was then that I noticed I was wearing the clothes that I’d taken from the store.
The sound of barking rebounded off the walls all around me. It made my heart beat so fast with fear that it felt as if it were trying to punch its way out of my chest. I tiptoed around a bend in the corridor. I stopped immediately and jumped back in the direction which I had come and pressed myself flat against the wall.
There was a wolf down there! And it was Sparky. How did I know that? I just did. I waited several seconds just to make sure that I hadn’t been hallucinating and peeked around the edge of the wall. Sparky was still there, but now he was pacing back and forth outside an open door further down the corridor.
“I don’t know how the doctor could have escaped,” he whined.
With my head pressed flat against the wall, I watched from my hiding
I tried to stare at him, but his face seemed to be cast in shadow. But that couldn’t be right? There were no shadows in this brightly-lit corridor. So how was it that I couldn’t see his face? His upper body was naked, and I could see that it was taught with muscle. His legs were covered in a black pair of combat trousers, and his feet hidden by thick boots.
“I have hunters looking for him, but -” Sparky started.
“I don’t want to hear excuses!’ the man snapped. Sparky flinched backwards, his claws clacking on the tiled floor.
“They’re not excuses, my -”
Before Sparky had a chance to finish, the man with the long, black wings and the face masked in shadow gripped him by the throat. “Close this place down. The half-breeds are no good to me in this state. We’ll move our work to The Hollows. ”
“But what about the half-breeds we’ve been breeding?” Sparky asked, and it sounded somewhere between a bark and grunt, unable to speak properly with the man gripping him by the throat.
“Turn off their life supports like we did with the half-breeds at the facility,” the man said, releasing his grip on Sparky.
What facility? I wondered. Was that the place where I’d been operated on?
“But what about the virus?” Sparky asked.
“Once we have Ravenwood again, we’ll have the cure,” the man said, and his voice was low, almost a whisper again.
“What about Hudson and the others?”
Hearing Sparky mention my name, I slid round the edge of the wall, not because I feared that I might be seen, it was the thumping of my heart that I hoped they wouldn’t hear.
“They couldn’t have gotten far, not in their conditions,” the man said, and the tips of his wings made a whispering sound as they brushed against the ground. “Don’t concern yourselves with them, I’ll worry about Kiera and her friends. ”
“What about us?” Sparky chipped in nervously.
“What do you mean us?”