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Monday, 1 December 2008

The Rising - Chapter 66: Revelations

Becky Clarkson had gone on ahead so Jane and Doctor Owen were left to find their own way to Abbey Tower.

The address Becky had given them could be found in one of the less desirable areas of the city, outside the centre but not far enough away from the hustle and bustle to be considered suburbia. Jane stopped the car next to a concrete park where children that should have been in school were playing football.

What should we do about the samples in the back?’ Doctor Owen asked as he got out of the car. He looked at the bullet holes in the bodywork and wondered how much of their treasure had survived the attack.

Just leave it locked away for now,’ Jane said, ‘We’ll find out what she wants and come back for everything. It would look pretty suspicious walking into a place like this with armfuls of medical equipment.’

They approached Abbey Tower. It was a twenty-storey apartment block, run-down and imposing, but Jane suspected it didn’t look much worse now than it did the day it was built. Smashed windows peppered the high walls and many of them that weren’t smashed had nationalist flags hanging outside. Graffiti adorned every free patch of wall space at the entrance as far up the building as the artists could reach, telling any would-be invaders that they wouldn’t be welcome, although why anyone would want to invade this place was anyone’s guess.

The door to the entrance hall was locked, with a keypad on the wall next to it. Jane entered the apartment number Becky had given them and hit the ‘call’ button. A few seconds later, a mechanical buzz told them the door was open and they ventured inside.

Jane hit the button to call the elevator, trying not to inhale too much of the rank stench of urine that hung in the air. The elevator arrived and took them up to the eleventh floor. As the doors opened and the aroma of an unmaintained building that housed hundreds of people hit them in the face, Jane and the doctor looked at each other.

What the hell are we doing here?

They found apartment one-one-two but before Jane could knock on the door, Becky had opened it from the inside. ‘Get in, quick,’ she said and they followed her order.

Sorry for the rather unpleasant surroundings,’ Becky said, ‘I’ve been out of work for two years. You need to make the savings last, you know?’

She took them through the barely furnished apartment, the cleanliness of which was a stark contrast to the rest of the building, and sat them down at the kitchen table. The kettle was already boiling and she offered her visitors a cup of coffee, which they both accepted.

Becky sat down at the table and took a sip. ‘You must forgive me for our dramatic introduction,’ she began, ‘but I know the capabilities of The Brotherhood. I also know what they are protecting and the lengths they will go to stop anyone interfering with their plans.’

You mean the primary treatment?’ Jane asked knowingly.

No. Forget what you think you know. Development of the treatment to rid the world of vampires may appear to be the main motivation of The Brotherhood but that is far from the truth. In fact, it is the exact opposite.

The primary treatment is an unofficial project launched by the leader of The Brotherhood, General Graham. On the record he goes along with his orders from the World Health Organisation but off the record he was actively sponsoring the work Doctor Forrest and Doctor Owen were doing.’

Why was it off the record?’ Doctor Owen asked, ‘Everything we’ve seen from The Brotherhood has indicated that the primary treatment was their only priority.’

That’s because it’s the only work they’ve been doing off their own backs. Without overseeing your research, their only role would have been to act as the military arm of the World Health Organisation. General Graham knew he couldn’t stand by and take no action. He had to do everything he could to develop a weapon to use against the vampires.’

Why did all of this have to go on under the radar?’ Jane asked.

Simple. Because of the treaty.’

But the treaty just lays down the rules between vampires and humans and restricts their actions. It defines the rules which the communities have to live by.’

That’s what you’re meant to think and to a point, it does. But what you don’t know, and only a few key people know this, is that it lays down the plans for ongoing co-existence of the communities. This includes a schedule for balancing out the population levels.’

No no no,’ Jane said, shaking her head, ‘You’re talking about the Rising, aren’t you?’


But that’s just a myth, a conspiracy theory.’

No, Agent Simpson. It’s a fact. Everything I’ve seen and heard over the last two years tells me it’s due to start soon, and it’s going to start here.’

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