The wind was indeed cold as the night loomed over the that heavily wooded area north of Orillia and away from the heart of the testing facility used by the Banister's Corporation: an independent drug company that is in the race to finding a vaccine and cure to the vampire virus that now haunts the world. Banister is a leading export that has been making their money for the past five years advising task forces, policy makers, and other researchers on what vampires are, and how to deal with them. They had been doing research for the last ten years in vampirism as they race with other corporations in finding that miracle cure or vaccine that could soon cause vampirism to be a problem no more.
Much of Banister's research involves taking strains of the virus that the military black ops had made, studying how it interacts with cells and what genetic coding is used to make the person a vampire. This is done through sequencing, tests in petri dishes involving single cell organisms, and tests on rats and monkeys, watching what happens to them when experimental treatments are given to them.
Or so it says on paper anyways.
This my friend Amanda Sanders would learn the hard way. It is how she would end up in those woods north of the testing facility that day.
She lived in the small town of Orilla located in northern Ontario. She was a pious young woman, newly married to the love of her life and nursing a infant child. She was an avid church-goer who believed in the myth that vampires were the devil's children and had to be killed. Her church advocated the killing of these so-called hell-spawns, while claiming that their existence was proof that God is real and he is punishing us.
She was the poster-girl for Jesus' freaks, if you pardon my contempt for a second. Oh my how her world gets hauled on its head literally overnight!
You see, she made the simple mistake of being outside past the mandatory curfew. I think she needed diapers for the young one in her house and it couldn't wait until morning. Her original plan was that she was going to a neighbour's house to see if they had some spares she could use. Well, that was the plan, which didn't happen.
Now, here is the sad part: it wasn't because she got her ass hauled away by the OPP* for being out past curfew, or even because some lucky vampire got their fangs into her neck. No, her original plan never took because enforcers hired by Banister's Corporation took notice of her, nabbed her off the street, and stuffed her in an unmarked van destined for their testing facility north of Orillia.
There she was thrown into what best resembled a prison in a place that she noted was marked “Block C” - just like prison (dam these people in Banister's Corporation are creative). There Amanda could see others, just as scared as her. Some where crying and others where having fits of rage. She sat in the corner of her cell and went through the rosary in her mind until guards with guns and scientists in white came for her.
The guards roughly escorted her, while following the scientist, to another room where they forced her into a modified dentist's chair, complete with straps and restraints. After tying her down the chair the scientist started by drawing her blood and running it through a computer of sorts. “What are you doing?” Amanda asked the scientist, another woman whom stood at the computer terminal awaiting results. The scientist stood as through Amanda said nothing at all. “What are you doing?” Amanda spoke even louder, thinking the scientist refused to answer because she wasn't speaking loudly enough and not out of ignorance.
“Subject does not have any trace of the rotolamia virus,” the white jacketed scientist simply spoke in a drool, monotone voice, likely speaking to a recording device more than to Amanda, “Subject will be inoculated with experimental serum C.”
Serum C, whatever that was. It was likely that the scientist administering the serum didn't know what that sludge was either for the experiment was being done double-blind*. Whatever serum C was it was being loaded into a syringe and injected into Amanda's arm. “What is that?” Amanda called in a panicked voice, “What is that?” The needless repetition being ignored by the scientist as the guard unstrapped Amanda from the chair and dragged her back to her cell.
Amanda didn't feel any different, other than that feeling of violation that one receives when in such a circumstance as she was in now she still felt like Amanda Sanders. She took notice of the others whom were assigned to the same block. From what she could gather from the crazy chatter that was about everyone was given this serum C, and the scientist didn't talk to them.
The next two days of captivity went like this:
- 08:00 food was given to the inmates in the cellblock
- 10:00 they were being passed books through the bars by the orderlies for inmates to read to reduce bordem
- 12:00 more food
- 14:00 the inmates were one by one taken to a scientist, who ran a few tests on their blood and checked their vitals
- 18:00 more food
- 20:00 the guards went in to do a bed check
- 22:00 all the lights in the cell block went out with the exception of a search light
Those two days, with the exception of chatter among the inmates, were boring and tedious. The third day seemed deceptively like the second day until the 14:00 med check. At this point, after the bloodwork was drawn and checked the scientist merely said “Subject will now be given serum E.”
“What!?” Amanda screamed when she heard that. Whatever serum C was teasing her imagination enough, but now more shit was being pumped into her? She struggled against the straps on the chair she as in as the syringe pierced her skin. Whatever fight she could muster was to no effect and the toxin that was serum E was in her veins.
She sat in her cell feeling a combination of anger and fear. She felt violated again and just when she figured it would be no different than before when she was injected with serum C, where that was all she felt, 18:00 feeding time came around. When she bite into the nutrient-gruel-stuff she shook her head at first, for the food that tasted the same for the past three days now didn't taste the same. Did they do something to her food now? What was going on?
Apparently, she wasn't the only one with these sentiments, for a braver soul in the cellblock screamed out “Are you trying to poison us? Putting chemicals in our food, as if that serum C and E shit wasn't enough!” The guards ran to this man and had him sedated with tranquillizers to silence him.
That night she could not get a wink of sleep either. It wasn't from fear as it was from the nights before. No, it was something else entirely. She sat up and prayed the rosary to her memory and asking God to save her from that place. However, she didn't feel right anymore. It wasn't so much as sick but not quite healthy. She somehow felt changed, like she was Amanda Sanders no more. She could feel something brewing inside of her, and her fear began to mount in ways that made it harder and harder for words that used to comfort her so now fail in their usefulness.
The morning of the fourth day arrived and she was more miserable than she was scared, which is something considering her circumstances. Again, her breakfast at 8:00 tasted funny, and again others in the block noticed this. She also started shivering for the building must have suddenly gotten cold. Maybe the heating went out, I mean, it was October in Northern Ontario, but the guards appeared unbothered by it.
Still, braver and ballsier inmates started to vent their crankiness to the guards with predicted results. Many a “What's with the food,” and “Why is it cold in here?” cry out was met with an angry guard shooting someone up with tranquillizers. Many were just pissed that, like Amanda, where being held against their will in what was basically a prison.
During the 12:00 meal a guard passing by made the mistake of standing too close to the bars of one really ballsy fellow's cell. The desperate bloke quickly made a grab for the guard and bit the guard hard enough to draw blood. Nevermind tranquillizers this time: the guard merely unloaded his weapon into the unruly and unwilling inmate. Much fear and dismay came over the cellblock as frightened inmates and guards alike gasped, screamed and gawked in horror. The guard that was bit appeared to be crying while cursing inaudibly.
“Hail Mary, full of grace, the lord is with thee,” Amanda repeated to herself outloud as a overly-gowned cleanup crew came for the bullet-ridden corpse in the soon to be vacant cell, “Blessed is thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit in thy womb, Jesus.” The crew dragged the body onto girdie, and out while heavy bleach was being poured onto the floor and walls of the cell. “Holy Mary, mother of God,” Amanda kept on going as the corpse of the late whomever passed her cell, “pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
What exactly was happening to the inmates, and most importantly Amanda, became more apparent at the 14:00 med check. When it was Amanda's turn she was escorted by three guards, all looking tense with fear as they forced her into that examination room that she had became familiar with for the past few days. By this point she had stopped feeling like herself and was feeling more like someone else, like someone else had taken her body and soul. She didn't resist being placed into the examination chair this time, opting to merely let the scientist do whatever she had to do, mostly so Amanda could find out what they had done to her.
Course, it was off the routine that was established from until that point. This time she noticed that there was more guard in the examination room, and instead of there being one scientist there was two. One drew Amanda's blood and had it analyzed while the other oversaw. There was a cold silence that came over the room, a hesitation that was never there prior to that day.
The scientist that normally did the test breathed deeply and spoke into the recording device that she was likely using up to this point. “Subject's bloodwork had confirmed the presence of the rotolamia virus. Subject is now a vampire,” the scientist's voice was shaky and showed the presence of fear.
“What?” Amanda stirred as she struggled in her restraints, “WHAT?” her fear in the unknown gave way to anger of her new state of being. She saw fear in the eyes of the one scientist while the second appeared more stoic and unaffected. “What have you done to me!?” Amanda screamed, still wrestling with the restraints in the chair, but to no effect.
“We're sorry...” the usual scientist quietly trailed before the other scientist grabbed her by the arm and pressed his finger to his lips. The usual scientist, clearly a younger less experienced lab tech turned to the computer terminal and signed heavily. “It failed,” she whispered, “The trail had to have failed.”
“Let's get the next subject in here, subject one twenty...” the other, older and clearly senior scientist drolled unemotionally before being cut off with the more emotional “Why? Its obvious the trail failed! This is the twelfth person... er, subject, that we have tested from group C, and they all have contracted the rotolamia virus! Is there a point to...”
“Enough!” the older scientist jumped in, “Get a hold of yourself! We have to check all the subjects in the cell block before we can conclude that, now, get your emotions in check!” The younger lab tech took a deep breath. “Now, I'll finish the rest of them,” he went on, “I would like you to examine the guard that got attack by one of the subjects. I trust that a guard will fight their new nature a little longer than a subject will.
“Between you and me though,” he went on, “I hate it too when a trail fails, it means that we still don't have a means to vaccinate the unturned. Though our findings will still bring us closer to finding such a vaccine, or even a cure.”
In her cell she didn't even bother to touch her food when the 18:00 feeding time came around. Many of the people around her seemed understandably upset. Amanda merely stewed in her tears as she tried to figure out what this meant to her. She believed that the vampires came to Earth to punish the humans for their ways that drip in sin. She wanted to know what she had done or said to get her here and to become a vampire. Wasn't she not a good wife? A good mother? A good Christen? She did everything the church had her do, and she lived as God wanted her to live.
“Glory be to the father, and to the son, and to the holy spirit,” she struggled to say through the sobs as the lights went out at 22:00, “As it was in the beginning, as now and ever shall be, a world without end, amen.”
In the woods north of that testing facility the events of those four day ran through her mind as she awaited twilight to turn into dawn.
Now, we go to the story of how she got there in the first place.
*Ontario Provincial Police
*A double-blind trial is when neither test subjects, experimenters, or administrators of the experiment know what the test was about or what the chemicals being tested are.