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Monday, 20 October 2008

The Rising - Chapter 48: Picked Up

Almost as soon as the racket outside had started, the dogs stopped barking.

Skinner and I moved towards the door, in a futile attempt to obscure the bodies on the floor behind us from whoever had just arrived. A strange sense of realisation struck me, knowing there was one man standing behind the door.

The keypad by the door beeped and a clunk announced that it was unlocked. Very slowly, the door creaked open to reveal a tall, wide man standing in the doorway, sheltering from the rain and sunlight.

He was holding a pistol but tucked it in his belt when he saw that we were no immediate threat. He stepped inside and looked us up and down. Skinner was about to talk but the man pointed at him and told him not to say anything.

The man moved in closer and went toe-to-toe with Skinner, looking deep within his eyes. After a few seconds, he took a step to his right and did the same with me. He then looked over my shoulder at the bodies on the floor. He didn’t bat an eyelid, like he already knew they were there. He stepped round me and knelt down to take a closer look at the injured vampires on the floor.

They’re not dead,’ Skinner said.

The man looked up at us and narrowed his eyes. ‘I know,’ he said and got to his feet. He looked at me and said, ‘You’re the rebirth, aren’t you?’

Yes, I am.’

He pointed at the door of the cell we had been held in. ‘There’s a body in there. Was that your first feed?’


He cast his eyes around the room and knelt down next to the vampires again. His footsteps squelched in the wide pool of blood that had gathered around the bodies. He turned Carl’s body over and found a leather holster attached to his belt. Carl’s gun was still clipped into it.

He’s still got his gun,’ the man said as he got to his feet, wiping his bloody hands on his jacket, ‘Your story checks out.’

Our story checks out? We never told you anything,’ I said.

I got all I needed to know from your eyes. I can tell we’ve all got the same blood flowing through our veins and I believe I can call you brothers. My name is Jackson.’

Skinner and I did our best to breathe a sigh of relief without looking like we were worried and introduced ourselves.

Roxy said you had a box,’ Jackson said.

Yes,’ I said and made my way into the office, ‘It’s through here. It’s…’

Whoa, I don’t want to know what’s in it,’ Jackson said, ‘I’ve only got orders to take it back with us. Just bring it with you. We’re leaving.’

Where are we going?’ I asked.

I’m taking you home. Roxy is very anxious to talk to you.’

I picked the box up from the office and followed Jackson to the door. He escorted us outside into the pouring rain and shepherded the dogs inside the building before closing the door behind us.

I take it you’re both photo-sensitive?’ he asked.

I am,’ Skinner said, then pointed to me, ‘Not sure about him yet though.’

It’s not far to the car and with this cloud cover you won’t get a massive dose of UV before we get there.’ Jackson pointed his keys at the car and pressed a button. The lights flashed to tell us the car was unlocked.

Ready?’ Jackson asked.

We nodded, then I ran for the car like my life depended on it.

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