Shadow Born: Book 1 of the Shadow-Borne Chronicles (8 page)

BOOK: Shadow Born: Book 1 of the Shadow-Borne Chronicles
3.56Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“I’m sorry Alec,” Marc said.
“It’s the truth.”

Alec shook his head mutely.
This had to be a trick of some sort.
He blinked his eyes again and suddenly both men were gone.
A hand gently tapped his back causing him to jump around.
Silas and Marc both were standing there.
How the hell were they doing this?
Was he losing it?
What the hell is going on?
his mind screamed.

“Alec, please come back and sit down.
There’s more we need to tell you.
And it won’t be easy to hear.
Please,” Marc said motioning to the couches.
Alec found himself walking forward and dropping into the seat where he’d sat before.
He wasn’t sure what was going on anymore.
Silas walked over to a box on the wall, pressed a button and spoke.
Then he came back around the couch and sat down as before.

“Alec, we are vampires.
We are real.
But we aren’t the monsters that most think we are,” Silas said in that rich voice of his.
Alec couldn’t help but listen.

“Are you okay?
Here.” Silas filled his glass with scotch and handed it to him.
“Drink it all.
It will help.”
Alec complied and felt the liquid again burn its way down his throat and settle warmly.
It helped some.
The sensation was real, something he could hold on to and grasp like a lifeline.

“What happened to you was an unfortunate accident, Alec,” Silas said looking at him.

“What do you mean?” Alec asked quietly.

“This is the other part that will be hard for you to accept, but Clarissa was one of us.”

Alec felt like someone had punched him in the gut.

He blinked several times, trying to make sense of what he was hearing.
Clarissa Wight, the woman who had abducted him and tortured him had been a vampire.
A small part of Alec’s mind said ‘It kind of makes sense with all the bloodletting and drinking doesn’t it?’
He shrugged it away and sat with his mouth open, unsure what to ask first.

“Alec, what we are sharing with you tonight is not common knowledge to humans and some vampires.”
Silas looked at Alec to make sure he understood.

“Clarissa was… special.”

“That’s putting it mildly,” Marcus said.

“Many centuries ago Clarissa’s mother was forcefully turned against her will.
Things were done much differently back then.
Her mother had always been very protective of Clarissa and had always considered her… special.
After she was turned, she realized that there was no one to watch over Clarissa, or take care of her.
Seeing how being made into a vampire had visibly reduced the signs and effects of aging, her mother came up with a plan.
She spoke with the vampire that turned her and had Clarissa turned as well, hoping it might somehow heal her daughter of her mental issues and make her better.
It didn’t.
It took what was inside of Clarissa and amplified it.”
Silas sighed and put his hands together in his lap.
“Eventually Clarissa ended up resenting her mother and fought with her, which ended in Veronica’s accidental death.
Due to her special circumstances, Clarissa was kept where she could be watched. The council decided it was the best way to deal with the situation.”

“Council?” Alec asked confused.

“Yes Alec, we have a vampire council that rules over us.
We control our numbers, who can sire, and we mete out punishment when needed.
Overall it’s what keeps our kind in check with humans.”

“So, what happened?” Alec asked quietly.

“She escaped.
We looked for her and couldn’t find her.
She had approached the council asking permission to sire, or create other vampires, in order to form a Lineage of her own.
She was told no.
She did not like that answer so she orchestrated an escape and disappeared.
When young homeless men started disappearing we knew what she was trying to do and a Kill Order was handed down.
When we found her, it was the night you were undergoing the Change.”

“Wait…so men were sent to kill her for creating illegal vampires?”

“Yes, well there was more to it than just that.
She was out of control and defying our orders.”

“When they arrived and saw that I was still alive, why didn’t they help me?” Alec was a little pissed off at this point and his question came out as accusatory.

“You were too far into the Change for them to save you Alec.
Technically when Clarissa was killed, you should have died.
If you weren’t fully Turned and her strain died as she did, it should have killed you instantly.
There is nothing that could have been done to save you.
We honestly don’t know how you survived,” he took a moment to let this sink in.
“When we heard that there was a survivor I sent Doctor Schubert in as a specialist to examine you.
Once he tested your blood he found some abnormalities that should have been impossible.”
Silas shrugged. “So I had you investigated and found out you were going to college and I enrolled Marcus in one of your night classes and had him get close to you and watch for anything strange.”

Alec narrowed his eyes at Marcus.
Of course.
Marcus hadn’t really wanted to be Alec’s friend.
He had been ordered to be.
Alec knew it had been too good to be true. No one wanted to really be his friend.
This was just another way that the Universe spit in his face.

The double doors at the far side of the room opened and Doctor Schubert walked in.
He was wearing some sort of white lab coat.
He crossed the room and stood with his hands behind his back.
“Alec, good to see you again.
I take it you are here with some questions.”

Silas nodded.
“We were just explaining to Alec what happened the night he was abducted.”

Schubert made an ‘Ahhhhh’ kind of look and said, “How may I be of service?”

Silas thought for a moment and then seemed to make up his mind.
“I want you to explain to Alec the basics of how vampires are made and what the process of the Change is like.
He needs to understand how unusual his situation is.”

Alec had this insane moment where he thought Schubert was going to say ‘When a mommy vampire and a daddy vampire love each other a lot…’
He really was losing it.

Schubert nodded and collected his thoughts.
“To create a vampire, one must first drain the human to where they are almost dead.
Then, the vampire feeds the human their blood.
It takes quite a bit of it.
It’s the tricky part of the process and most vampires don’t know how much to drain or how much to feed their victim.
Once the human has ingested the vampire’s blood, they go through what we call the Change.”
He started pacing back and forth slowly as he talked.

“The vampire blood goes into the human’s system and starts changing them on the inside.
Some organs are moved, while others are created or destroyed.
The organs that aren’t needed are dissolved and forced out of the body.”

“The black fluid,” Alec said remembering.

“Yes,” Schubert answered.
“The blood forces the body to create the
, which takes the place of the heart and stomach and is what forces blood through a vampire’s body once it’s ingested.
Once the reservoir is created and starts working, the heart is dissolved and expelled.
That’s why we are called the undead because we have no heartbeat.
You, however, still have a heart.
The blood also causes the muscles and bones in the body to become stronger and this gives us exceptional strength, agility and speed.
It also allows us to heal at an accelerated rate as well.
That’s why you felt like you were being ripped apart inside.
Technically, you were.
It’s a lot more complicated than that, but you get the basic idea.”
He looked at Alec to make sure he was following.

Alec was staring at the floor absorbing all this new information.
To create a vampire you had to drink vampire blood.
That wasn’t really surprising.
He wasn’t aware that the organs inside a person changed and altered though.
He thought you died and then arose as a vampire.

“Once the Change subsides, the newly made vampire needs to feed.
Once they ingest blood, the changes that have taken place are locked into the new order, and the body begins healing any injuries or defects that are left over.”

At this point in the conversation Silas took over again.
“Clarissa being who she was didn’t quite grasp the complexities of creation so she just started draining men and then feeding them her blood.
She killed several of the men that way.
From what we gathered, the first couple of men she either bled too much and killed them outright or didn’t drain them enough and the vampire blood and human blood didn’t mix well and their bodies couldn’t take the shock.
After that, she figured out how to get the Change to start, but she didn’t feed them human blood to lock the process into place and their bodies burned out.”

“Wait, don’t vampires have fangs and actually drink the blood directly from their victims?” Alec asked confused.

Silas nodded.

“Then why did she use a dagger on me and collect my blood in a cup?
And what was up with the Latin mumbo jumbo?”

Silas sighed.
“We can only assume that Clarissa thought there was some sort of ritual or spell involved.
She thought she needed some sort of magic to create a vampire.”

Alec shook his head.
“Then how did I survive?”

Silas shrugged.
“That we don’t know.
We also aren’t sure how much you’ve changed or why you can walk in the daylight.
There are some things you should know about vampires.
Not all of what you’ve heard is true.
Sunlight does burn us and can destroy us, and silver weakens and hurts us.
We are much stronger, faster and more agile than humans, but we are not dead, or undead.
We have a sort of strain of virus for lack of a better word that gives us abilities and changes us.
Holy symbols, crosses, Bibles and holy water do not hurt us. Silver, however, does.
We do have fangs and drink blood to prolong our lives, and we are immortal for the most part, and hard to kill.”

Alec was trying to digest all this information.
He felt like he was living in some sort of nightmare world where all the rules were different.

“Why did she want to sire her own vampires anyway?” Alec asked confused.

“Well,” Silas began carefully, “when you sire vampires, you gain certain…strengths and abilities.
She wanted to be stronger.”

Alec thought that Silas was glossing over quite a bit of information but didn’t really care at this point.

“Alec, the older a vampire gets, the stronger and faster they get.
Siring vampires adds to that,” Schubert explained.

All three vampires looked at Alec to see if he was following.
“So, what do we do now?” Alec asked.

“We run a series of tests to find out what we can and determine what sort of changes you’ve gone through,” Schubert answered.

“Will it hurt?”

Schubert smiled warmly.
“We just need to draw some blood and do a few X-rays.
Nothing too invasive.
If you’ll follow me we can get things started and work on getting you some answers,” Schubert said and headed towards the double doors.

Silas said, “You go on, I’ll check on you in a few minutes, Marcus and I need to talk for a moment.”

Schubert led Alec through the doors and to a hallway on the right.
They zigzagged back and forth before they came to Schubert’s lab.
Alec realized that with everything else going on, he’d forgotten to ask about the attack in the park.

“Alec, when I was at the hospital to see you, I collected a sample of your blood.
It showed some very unusual properties.”
Doctor Schubert flipped open a file that was sitting on his desk and rummaged through it. “You also said that Clarissa had slit your wrists to bleed you but when you arrived, you only had a couple of scratches.
Your accelerated healing had already started.
That’s when I suspected you might have been turned and somehow you survived.
I compelled one of the nurses to keep an eye on you the next day.
I made sure the window in your room had extra protection to keep out the sun just in case, but I had her open the blinds a bit to see if there was any reaction.
There was nothing.
This baffled me.”

BOOK: Shadow Born: Book 1 of the Shadow-Borne Chronicles
3.56Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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