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#1: Rebirth - About - Go to Chapter 1

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Wednesday, 10 September 2008

The Rising - Chapter 31: 'Welcome To Our World'

The man who had greeted us at the front door entered a code into the keypad on the wall and I heard a clunk as the door was secured. The building we found ourselves in was as plain on the inside as it was on the outside.

Fluorescent tubes hung from the ceiling but none of them were turned on, leaving us in a dark corridor, only lit by the light coming from the adjoining rooms to our left and right. Paint was peeling off the walls and the carpet was so dirty that I couldn’t tell what colour it used to be. The dusty, sweaty smell in the air told me people had been cooped up in the building for a long time and no one ever opened the windows.

Just like The Brotherhood had to be able to evacuate their locations at a moment’s notice, I suspected the same was true for the vampires, yet another way in which their operations were similar.

My name’s Carl,’ he said, ‘I run the outpost here with Craig, but he’s out getting something to eat. We weren’t expecting anyone else to join us at this late hour so I hope there’s enough to go round.’

What are we doing here?’ I asked.

We have to hold you here during daylight hours. It’s too dangerous to move around during the day unless there’s an emergency. Since you’re a rebirth, I’ll get your details on the system. I’ll need to check you against the database as well.’

Of course,’ said Skinner, who seemed to know what he was talking about.

Come through,’ he said and led us up a set of stairs, along a short corridor and into a small office. The room was bare except for two chairs and a laptop computer that sat on a standard-issue office desk.

Carl sat down at the laptop and asked Skinner to sit next to him. He tapped away at the keyboard, then asked Skinner to swipe his finger over the fingerprint reader that was built into the computer. His action was followed by a reassuring beep.

Cool, you check out… Private Skinner,’ Carl said as he examined the details that had popped up on his screen. He then turned to me. ‘Now you.’

As I sat down, he opened the desk drawer and took out a pre-packaged syringe and a petri dish with a small piece of what looked like silver sitting in it.

Roll up your sleeve.’


I need to take a blood sample, just to prove that you’re one of us.’

I reluctantly rolled up my sleeve. Carl took my arm in his hand and tapped it to raise a vein. I thought he must have done this countless times because I barely felt it as he stuck the needle in my arm and drew blood.

Moment of truth,’ he said as he held the syringe over the petri dish and pushed the plunger. Just as Doctor Owen had tested for vampire infiltrators within The Brotherhood, the blood that came out of the syringe hit the silver in the bottom of the petri dish and turned to ash, sending a small wisp of smoke into the air.

Well, you’re definitely a vampire. That’s step one complete. Half way there.’

I’m definitely a vampire. His words rang in my ears, reminding me of what I was telling myself not to believe.

He tapped away at the computer again for a minute, then without looking up, asked ‘What’s your name?’

Thomas Ryder.’

Middle name?’


Okay, I’ve got three Thomas Ryders: a plumber, a student and a cop. Which one are you?’

I thought about pretending to be a plumber for a moment but realised that as soon as they asked me to fix a leaking tap, my cover would be blown.

Honesty is the best policy.

I’m the cop.’ That made him look up.


Well, not any more. Right?’

He chuckled and read something on the screen before answering. ‘That’s right… Detective.’

He tapped at the keyboard again then asked me to swipe my index finger over the fingerprint reader. He then hit the Enter key with a little more flair than was necessary and announced, ‘Detective Thomas Ryder, you are now dead. Welcome to our world.’

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