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Friday, 3 April 2009

The Rising - Chapter 119: Bad Feeling

Everything had moved so fast in the past few hours that I had almost lost track of what was going on. Jane and the doc were handing over all they had on the primary treatment in exchange for Emily and Doctor Forrest. Once we were done here I hoped to God we could go back to wherever they had been hiding out all night so Doctor Owen could continue his tests and work out what the hell was happening to me.

I hadn’t been hit by the hunger for almost twenty-four hours. Not since I’d lost control at the outpost. I wondered how long it would take to come back, and what had happened to my body in the time since my last dose of the doc’s treatment.

How long does it take for my body to become beyond repair?

Will I ever be human again?

I thought of the joy of flying I had experienced and questioned whether I could ever go back to being fully human.

It doesn’t feel right in here,’ Dave said.

I know what you mean,’ I said. Ever since we had walked through the entrance, I’d had a strange feeling nagging in my mind. It was a feeling of belonging but also danger at the same time. I’d felt the same way at the hotel in Blackchapel. I knew vampires were nearby, but we couldn’t know whether they were just part of the crowd or had other intentions.

Tom!’ I heard the shout from behind us.

I looked round and saw the two people I didn’t expect to see in the mall at five in the morning. Jonnie was running towards us, carrying his daughter in his arms.

Tom, I’m so glad we found you.’ He sounded exhausted.

Jonnie, what are you doing here? What happened after the crash?’

I don’t know. We just woke up now.’

What, here?’

In the back of a truck in the car park downstairs.’

A terrible thought entered my mind.

Were all the other passengers with you?’

Before he said ‘Yes’, I had already worked out what was going on. There were hundreds of shoppers in the department store. They were so focused on grabbing the latest bargains that most of them didn’t notice the metal shutters start to drop on the entrance to the store. A handful of them noticed and got out before it closed.

Oh shit. Why the hell didn’t we work it out? The best way for them to rapidly increase their numbers is to lock the infected bodies in with a large number of people and let nature take its course.’

What do you mean?’ Jonnie asked. I realised I hadn’t given him the whole story on the plane.

You know the infection they injected into everyone on the plane?’

Yes, what was it?’

It was vampire blood.’

Jonnie stared at me blankly. ‘Vampire blood? You mean I’m going to turn into a vampire? I don’t believe you!’

Well you should believe me. I know it’s hard to take in but it’s true. You’re not going to turn right away. The treatment I gave you should hold it off for the rest of the day. We’ll get you more. You’ll be okay. I’m sorry I couldn’t stop them from injecting you, but I made sure they didn’t touch your daughter.’

As he thanked me, we heard screams from behind the metal shutters.

Come on,’ I said and led the way towards the south entrance to the mall, where I hoped everything was fine and we could get out of here before the vampires that were about to enjoy their first feed worked out how to get through the metal shutters.

We ran down the mall as fast as we could and met Jane and Doctor Owen running towards us.

What happened?’ Jane asked.

The department store has been locked down. There must be two or three hundred people trapped in there with about a hundred and fifty vampires.’

We all looked around us. All the entrances were reinforced with metal shutters. All windows were covered. Not one speck of sunlight was allowed in the mall.

Where’s Becky?’ I asked.

She’s been captured. The Brotherhood found her and forced her to go with them. I overheard them on the earpiece.’

Well, can you still hear them?’


Maybe they can hear you.’

Good point,’ she said and started to address whoever may be listening to her voice, ‘Hey, if anyone is out there, you have to come in here. There are hundreds of people trapped in the department store. They’re in danger.’

Agent Simpson. This is Captain Sayers of The Brotherhood. I have been ordered not to let anyone in or out of the mall until further notice. You may like to know that Agent Clarkson and the member of our team that was helping her out have been apprehended. It’s doubtful you’ll see them again.’

What are you going to do with them?’

It’s not what’s going to happen to them that you should be worried about.’

Jane hung her head in despair.

We’re fucked, aren’t we?’ I asked.

Jane nodded.

The people who had ducked under the shutters before they sealed the entrance of the department store were frantic. They didn’t know what to do. They were watching their friends inside getting ripped apart by creatures of the night they never thought existed in the real world. Blood sprayed on the inside of the tall, thin windows next to the shutters, which rattled as the bodies of the victims were slammed against them.

With The Brotherhood outside and their rifles trained on every possible exit, and a population of vampires inside that was set to double, or even treble as soon as they’d finished carving through the shoppers in the department store, we all knew there was only one outcome of this situation.

We’re fucked.

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