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Friday, 18 July 2008

The Rising - Chapter 8: Final Test

Doctor Forrest stepped out of his lab and walked across the stone floor of the corridor to the metal door that held his test subject in solitary confinement. He stood at the door for a long time, admiring his handiwork.

The doctor had expected his guinea pig to turn within an hour. His predictions were accurate. Now the naked man was lying in the corner of the brightly lit room among the splinters of the chair he had been sitting on, crying out in agony for help from the emotionless face that was looking down on him.

A bite from even the most powerful vampire takes a matter of hours to take hold on the weakest human, but I have developed something much more powerful. More potent than anything God himself could ever have created.

The rising vampire army had been in dire need of the missing link in their plan. Something that would allow them to increase their numbers at such a rate the human community could never comprehend. Something the humans couldn’t hope to resist, even if they were to find out about it before it’s too late.

The human race had expanded rapidly since great leaps forward had been made in the field of medical research, but the terms of the treaty that was signed five hundred years ago refused to allow the vampire numbers to grow at the same rate. The size of the vampire community was secretly growing but their numbers were still small. The Brotherhood and the World Health Organisation always found a way to curb the growth.

But now that we can multiply quicker than ever before, there will be no stopping us, Doctor Forrest thought to himself. It is written that we will rise to take our rightful place as the dominant force in the world. The Rising is inevitable. This treatment is the catalyst.

The sound of footsteps echoed around the stone walls. Doctor Forrest looked down the corridor and saw the imposing figure of Roxy limping towards him. As ever, she was dressed in black combat gear and her awkward movement coupled with the flaming torches on the walls lighting her way made her look meaner than ever.

‘How is he doing?’ she asked.

The doctor pulled his stopwatch out of his pocket and showed it to her. ‘Fifty-three minutes.’

‘Excellent,’ she said, ‘Any side effects?’

‘None that I can see. I’m about to prepare the treatment for your operation. How many syringes do you need?’

‘At least two hundred, but make up as many as you can.’

‘When are you going ahead with the plan?’

‘We’re moving ahead earlier than we originally planned. Tonight, just after midnight.’

The doctor turned to his guinea pig.

‘Unless you’ve got any use for him, there’s only one more test to do.’

Roxy looked through the window in the door. The pitiful figure in the corner was curled in the foetal position with his hand reaching out to her. She heard a voice in her head.

Help me, please!

She turned to Doctor Forrest. ‘Do it.’

The doctor flicked a switch on the wall and the lights inside the room went out. He then flicked another switch and they both stepped back as a second set of spotlights lit up the room. He restarted the timer on his stopwatch.

Ultraviolet light filled the prisoner’s cell, the purple glow illuminating the faces of his audience but the sealed doorway ensured the man in the room only felt the ill effects.

His arms and legs started to twitch. His movements became more aggressive. Within seconds, his body was convulsing violently. Blisters were beginning to form on his skin, which was quickly turning an angrier and angrier shade of red. One by one, the blisters burst and more and more began to form in their place. As they burst and pus oozed down his limbs, wisps of smoke left his skin and small flecks of dust fell to the floor.

He crouched on all fours, screaming in unimaginable pain as his skin turned to flakes of dust. The reactions in his body cut through his arms and they gave way, splitting at the elbows and throwing him face down onto the floor. He stopped moving. He lay still on the floor until every cell in his body that had been human just on hour earlier settled into a pile of ash among the splintered chair.

Doctor Forrest stopped the timer and turned the lights out.

‘Just over sixty seconds,’ he said.

‘Thank you for your hard work, Doctor Forrest. I guess we can’t expect miracles.’

‘Not yet,’ the doctor replied, ‘but anything may be possible if I have time to complete my work.’

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