Created (Book 1 of the Created) (10 page)

BOOK: Created (Book 1 of the Created)
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I stared at Darby hoping for her guidance, but she was too
distracted by the escalating ordeal beside us to notice. My head began to pound
then red and blue splotches danced before my eyes.

To get her attention, I touched her face. Darby looked down
at me and smiled.

A loud feminine scream was heard nearby as the world went black.
 

Chapter 13
 

I awoke to find myself sitting in a chair in a semi-circle
facing a solitary red leather chair surrounded by other 'people'. On either
side of me was Darby and Veronica; Veronica was no worse for wear.

Both were well dressed. Veronica wore a much more restrained
mix of attire than her earlier black leather and red corset. This time around
she was wearing jeans and beige shoes. Her top was a loose fitting navy and
white diagonal striped silk top accented by dark brown hair with auburn
highlights. Veronica was strikingly lovely as she sat in a very feminine,
reserved pose.

Darby was her usual perky self with an outfit that bespoke
her contagious personality: a striped navy bubble dress with a corvette red
belt. I looked at her hand to find it healed.

Neither acknowledged my new state of being awake as their
attentions were devoted to watching the door on the far side of a small, old
banquet hall. Including myself there was a total of twelve people, most
appeared to be between the ages of fourteen and early twenties. Everybody was
shifting and fidgeting in his or her seat. Talking did not seem to be
forbidden, but no one spoke. Even Darby was silent as she sat with a wide smile
upon her face.

The room had been well kept, but could have used new
carpeting to replace the worn low, brown shag on the floor. The walls had been
recently painted a sandy brown that bordered on yellow. Few items cluttered the
room other than the people and the mixed assortment of steel and wooden chairs
in which they sat. The dining room tables were part of a busted mess stacked
against the back wall of the room. The few windows that had not been recently
replaced with the modern self-tinting type were covered with black tar paper.

The sounds of hammering and sawing permeated through the
thin walls. It was evident the room was undergoing a transformation.

Inspecting myself, I realized my clothes had been changed. I
was wearing fresh jeans, hemp loafers and a light blue t-shirt. The earlier
broken bones, nicks, scratches and lacerations were repaired. My body felt
electric and magnificent. Nothing of the morning's episode was present. The
attention toward the doorway never wavered.

Rubbing my arm, I felt the cool almost cold and soft to the
touch skin to which I had transformed. The flesh was marginally paler than
before. Underneath, I could feel the blood flowing, hear my own heart beating.

Veronica turned to me and winked seconds before the door to
the makeshift conference room was opened slowly.

Two humans in black military fatigues brandishing
semi-automatic M4A1s rifles stepped into the room, positioning themselves on
opposite sides of the door. I was ready for a huge reveal, but the event was
anticlimactic. Anticipating another surprise had given me hope that finally my
new life would be explained.

The guards still stood on alert with guns at the ready. No
one followed and the other vampires ignored the entrance.

There was cautiousness about the pair though they also
seemed relaxed. Both were human because the smell of the blood was different
than my new kindred. The vampires in the room had blood that had an odor that
was almost sickly sweet whereas the human fluid contained a coppery hint. There
was an urge to feed though it was not uncontrollable.

The intrigue with the guards ended as the stoic pair
maintained the same boring posture as when they first entered.

My roommates were just as lame and mind numbing. There was
hardly any movement and no interaction between the vampires. The majority were
in a daze with empty expressions on their face except for Darby who was staring
down the darkened hallway that had been exposed to us when the humans had
entered.

Straining to see what the fuss was about, I became locked in
the same obsession as the others. The hall was only moderately dark when I
peered into it. The blackness wasn't absolute due to a single bulb hanging
above another door at the far end. Loose wiring and cracked ceiling surrounded
the light source.

I was absorbed in thought as the bulb appeared so close one
second and so far away another. If I concentrated hard enough, I came to reason
that what I had thought was a trick of light was actually a reflexive action I
was controlling with my mind. Like a kid with a new toy, I played with the
gift. Occasionally, I would laugh out loud when the light bulb was altered in
my perception to be a couple inches from my face. The other vampires did not
concern themselves with the short, abbreviated outburst. They continued doing
as they were.

My concentration was disturbed when the door opened causing
the vampires to grow antsy.

A stressed man dressed in a faded blue oxford dress shirt
which was in desperate need of a pressing, loose black pants and scuffed black
wing tips slowly progressed down the narrow hallway, clipboard in hand. His
blood was less coppery and had a higher salt percentage with a consistency of
recently consumed cheap alcohol.

The guards snapped to full attention when the man crossed
the threshold.

"At ease," he barked before taking at seat in the
single leather chair.

"Good evening GV16s. For our new guest, I am Mr. Walter
Luke. Moving us along, I hope you all are prepared to take the next step which
I will be explaining in an expedient manner as possible. Questions are
unnecessary because the laws dictate your acceptable conduct when dealing with
humans. This is an honor and a privilege to be the first generation of your
kind to have been created for the sole purpose of complete interaction. Any violation
of the laws can result in death."

The disposition of the room took on a decidedly different
tone as the vampires sprang to life. The thousand mile stares were gone having
been replaced with directed intent listening on the edge of their seats. There
was an electric buzz; an excitement. The mood was infectious.

Personally, I was perplexed, but that had been my burden
since awakening in the forest in the middle of the night.

Walter continued, "Johns and
Avas
,
I know each group has names that you go by here in the Town. You will be
allowed to maintain those identities off the facility for the duration of our
extended operation. We will be adding a last name to be paired with your chosen
name. Listen up."

Darby was brimming with nervous energy. Her right leg
bounced up and down in a blur. The smile had grown wider if possible.

Consulting his clipboard, Walter read off the vampire names
with the added surnames Chadron had selected in no particular order,
"Avery Archer, Veronica
Stace
, Noah Acworth,
Logan Andrews, Liam Mansfield, Natalie Child, Chloe Garrett, Sophie Lovell,
Gavin Seymour, Darby, and
Brayden
Lynde
.

Darby blurted out as she placed her hand on my thigh,
"You forgot the newest member of the GV16s sir."

Flipping back and forth through the pages in his hand,
Walter stopped on a page buried deep within the stack. "Yes. Our newest
guest has not had time to select a name. The protocol for such a situation
dictates the first auxiliary name on the list becomes the name of any GV16
without an appropriate title. So the name we will use for our John16 is Ethan
Castel.

Finally, I had a name. However, admittedly, elation was
minimized by the constant standard of confusion under which I was presented by
my circumstances.

Folding his hands over the clipboard in his lap, Walter
crossed his legs, sucked on a tooth briefly then spoke, "Tomorrow at seven
in the morning every one of you will need to be in front of your house dressed
appropriately for being a high school student. Remember the instruction we have
been providing to you over the past few months. That is especially true for you
Veronica."

Everybody snickered a little including me. I wasn't sure
about the totality of the inside joke, but if the previous evening's attire was
any indication then the muffled snickering was warranted.

She never deviated from her indifferent expression.

Undeterred by the snickering, the instructions resumed.
"Two buses from the base will arrive and carry you to your assignments.
The trip will take approximately thirty minutes to forty minutes to get to the
high schools to which you have been assigned. The twelve of you will be split
into two teams. The team listings, your class schedules, and needed books are
in your house along with details of your cover stories in your personal
portfolios. The advance team members from each group have accumulated enough
data to provide intelligence on danger areas. Those individual GV16s will be
the leaders. Also the leaders should, while in route to the schools, cover the
basic ins and outs of what it is like to be a high school student."

He paused to check our understanding, looked around the
group then restarted. "The overview scenario is as what we have discussed
during the previous instructional sessions. At all costs, except eliminating
humans from your site, you are to maintain cover of being the children of the
military and corporate professionals who make the base their home while
insuring blood desire integrity in order to learn to become integrated with
society and further our study.
Any questions?"

The request for questions was about finality and not a true
attempt to cover all of his bases which was demonstrated when he did not wait
for anyone to ask one. He quickly rose from his chair and headed toward the
exit.

Before I realized it was me speaking a statement and less of
a question, I shouted out at the departing Walter. "I have never been
trained and have no idea what is going on. I am sorry, but I need to know what
the hell is happening."

Walter stopped dead in his tracks, huffed and spun around.
"Ethan, you need to know our teams are based on six GV16s working in
cohort to insure safety of their identities and the overall safety of the
humans. We were short one field operative so we had an opportunity to create
another one with the right rare materials, but the afterlife change takes
several lengthy, complicated steps, and we were unable to get you processed in
time for your life adjustment training. The plans have been in place for years.
The world outside our fence and security does not know the new reality we have
invented here. To merge the two has cost millions and a delay is out of the
question, so unfortunately for you Ethan, you are on your own with you
teams."

I was as confused now as I had been, plus I could feel the eyes
of the others staring at me.

Embarrassed as I was, I made another effort to find out
more. "Sir..."

He interrupted me. "Veronica, you took him from the
test zone screwing up early preliminaries we're running. He is now your
responsibility so if he fucks up and blows his cover then it is your head as
well as his that will grace the stakes in the yellow feed pen. Be sure of
it."

Veronica remained expressionless and calm. Her only reaction
was to adjust the shoulder strap on her top.

Shaking my head at the threat from this stranger, I scanned
the room to find the other GV16s looking away to avoid eye contact.

Walter, satisfied with his own answer, disappeared through
the door followed cautiously by the guards who backed out, the last one
shutting the door behind him.

Chapter 14
 

The lot of the vampires I had met so far was not especially
friendly or the most talkative bunch. The group had disappeared wordlessly soon
after Walter had left leaving me alone with Darby and Veronica. No
acknowledgement, no hello, just cold shoulders and blank stares.

So much for making a guy feel welcomed, I
lamented.

When the door shut after a rather permanently pissed off
acting female GV16 named Chloe left, I turned to Darby. "Do you mind
excusing us I think there are some things Veronica and I must discuss before
tomorrow morning?"

She looked hurt that I asked to be alone with her friend,
but she didn't hesitate to make it happen. Leaving her chair swiftly, Darby
bolted through the door, slamming it hard enough to crack the surrounding
wooden frame.

"Safe to say she is upset," Veronica quietly
stated.

Standing, I repositioned the chair in which I was sitting to
be in front of Veronica.

I spun it around so I could straddle the chair. "That
could be an understatement."

Veronica uncrossed her legs. "Listen, I know your head
must be spinning and there has to be ten millions questions you would love to
ask. Before you ask any of those I do need to explain some of the basics which
should help erase at least part of your questions."

Inside there was a longing to let the questions flow, but I
bit my lower lip to keep me from opening my mouth and waited.

She seemed to sense I was ready to hear the whole truth.
"No interruptions?"

"Go ahead. I will not promise there will be no interruptions,
but I will try to restrain them to as few as possible." The attempt at
humor was missed.

The darkly sexy vampire was comfortable in who she was, but
could use some real work on her people skills.

Leaning into my personal space, Veronica began. "Part
of this information is rumor and part is truth. Many of the older generations
are ignorant of the world outside the fences choosing instead to believe this
is the entire world. The humans they encounter are either food or our loyal
overly protective servants. Other generations know, but pretend theirs is a
kingdom in order to lord over the lesser beings within their dominions. All are
content in the roles within the framework that has been built over the many
years."

BOOK: Created (Book 1 of the Created)
9.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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