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by Rob
Rated: 13+ · Serial · Action/Adventure · #1440722
Compendium C of the third and final part of this take on Vampires and Werewolves.
Patient Ø - File 3

Compendium C

I’d never been shot before. I wasn’t prepared for the amount of pain it would cause, or the amount of damage it would do to my body. After Lieutenant Fiord had shot me the initial adrenaline surge had allowed me to make a get away, it had dulled the pain and added speed to my movements. It didn’t last. I think I had just left the side of the city the vampires called their own when a searing, stabbing pain flared up in my side. I remember collapsing and taking a long time to regain my feet, other than that the pain filled my mind, not allowing me to think. Ever since infection my body has had amazing regenerative capabilities but with the bullet still lodged inside of me there was little it could do. I was bleeding to death.

I don’t know how long it took me, nor how many people had stared at me with horror as I passed them, but the first rays of sunlight were appearing and the city was starting to stir back to life by the time I reached the apartment block that was den and home to the werewolves of the city. As I stumbled into the courtyard in the center of the building my strength finally gave out and I collapsed for a final time.

Blood still leaked steadily from my side and I was panting heavily as I lay on the cold stone floor with my vision beginning to dim. They found me, the wolves. By that point I could no longer understand what they were saying nor even comprehend what was happening, I gave up and let them do with my body what they would.

I’ve been told I was still conscious when Brant brought his doctor to fix me up. Apparently I struggled weakly when he took out a needle to sedate me, not that I was able to put up much of a fight in that condition. The operation was successful, ‘the easiest I’ve ever performed’ according to the surgeon who performed it. Once the bullet was out my body was able to start mending itself using whatever resources I had left. I’d lost a lot of blood and unfortunately I couldn’t accept transfusions, after all there wasn’t another person alive that had the same blood as me, even Lieutenant Fiord would have a more ‘vampire-orientated’ blood type.

Through my bond with Susan she knew I was hurt badly, and she knew where I was. Through that same bond I knew she was coming back to me, I had no way of contacting her to tell her not to come, nor would she have listened.

I was unconscious for six days. Brant had his doctors treat me well during that time and my body burned its resources at an increased rate, I healed VERY quickly.

Once I had awoken and my appetite had returned in full force he came to see me.
“They say at this rate you’ll be up and about and fully healed in another 2 days or so,” Brant said as blew into the room like gale, “just maybe a little thinner ey.”

I laughed along with him but he wasn’t wrong, I’d lost a lot of weight during as my body’s metabolism burned at such an increased rate, a fair amount of that had been muscle.

“So what happened Zero?” Brant folded up into a chair by the bed I was lying in. I suddenly noticed rings under his bloodshot eyes; he was even more unkempt than normal. “We’ve all heard stories of you, they may just be rumor and urban legend but those stories peg you as damn near unbeatable. And yet you limp back to us beaten and dying. What happened? What happened to Charlie?”

I swallowed hard. “It wasn’t the vampires.”

Brants’ expression lightened for a moment and then darkened just as quickly. “That’s good to know. For the past week tensions have been running high, we’ve been close to war with them, and if it had turned out to be them I’d have been the first to draw blood.” He narrowed his eyes as he stared at me. “But if the vampires didn’t do this to you then who the hell did? Who could?”

So I told him. I told him everything I knew but left out what I suspected. He sat there as if turned to stone and just listened and when I finished he just stared off into space for a long period of time. Eventually he snapped his attention back to me and spoke. “So what do we do?”

I wasn’t prepared for the question. It suddenly dawned on me that I’d been expecting Brant to take charge and give out orders, much like General Bramby used to do. I expected him to think of a plan. Instead he had shifted the responsibility over to me, In a wolf pack he’d done no less than hand me the reigns of the Alpha, even if only for a short time.

I had been silent for too long, contemplating what had just occurred so Brant spoke again. “We’re used to dealing with vampires here, not… creatures like yourself. How do we deal with her?”

“You don’t.” I said realizing at last that I would have to take control of the situation. There would be no General to give me orders this time, no Alpha wolfwere to step in and save me. Brant had never had to deal with anything like this before and so he was deferring control to the stronger, more experienced wolf. “I’ll take care of her. What I need you to do is find out where she and her ‘enhanced humans’ are based.”
“I’ll look into it.” Brant stood up with vigor, given purpose his confidence returned.
“The doc says I’ll be good as new in two days.” I said as I climbed out of the bed and started to move my muscles. “Find them in two days Brant, and be careful.”

I had waited until Brant had left until I winced at the pain in my side and caught at a nearby table edge to steady myself. The doc had sounded confident in his recovery schedule; I did not share his confidence.

I ate like a horse over the next two days; actually I think I ate more like two horses. The rest of my time was spent either sleeping, or exercising, as the doc would allow. But he knew his stuff and was obviously used to dealing with wolf patients, he was also obviously used to dealing with people as stubborn as myself and kept me to a strict regime. True to his prediction I was up and about after just two days. It took time to rebuild the muscle I had lost during those days I spent recovering in bed but back then time I did not have. The doc didn’t even try to suggest I spend more time rebuilding the body mass I had spent to recover so fast, by that point I think he realized I wouldn’t have listened to him.

Brant came back on the third day with good news, he had found Lieutenant Fiord operating out of a large warehouse only 5 miles from where she had attacked me. It was deep within the vampire territory of the city.

“Are they going to cause a problem? Last time I was in that part of the city it didn’t take the vampires long to notice me.” Brant and I were trying to come up with a plan to assault the warehouse.

Brant shook his head. “I spoke to the vampire elders. They won’t cause us trouble, won’t get in our way. But they refuse to help us either, said they have their own plans to deal with them should we fail.”

The vampires actions were predictable and amused me, I knew they were hoping Brant would commit most of his pack to a frontal attack and both sides would end up wiping each other out. Vampires had the gift of time and would always tend towards using it in situations as this one, preferring to wait and see how things played out rather than take action.

“That’s fine.” I said to Brant as I quickly weighed up my options and decided on a strategy. “It’ll actually be easier without them getting in the way. I’m going to need a small team, five of your best wolves.”

“Only five?” Brant sounded incredulous as he stared at me. “Zero you realize the full moon is two weeks away, we will not be able to go in there in our wolf forms.”
“I know. Don’t worry about it.”

Brant just stared at me for a while, I could tell he was trying to decide whether to trust me or not. After a long time he spoke. “Then you’ll have four of my best, and myself by your side. But by now they know you’re still alive, they’re going to expect you to be coming after them.”

I grinned as I cemented my own plan in my head. “It doesn’t matter if they know we’re coming, thankfully for us they have no idea what I’m capable of.”

There we stood, surveying the warehouse that housed our enemies. True to fashion the building was kept under the name of a legitimate company, but I would have wagered everything I’d ever owned that inside was a mix of soldiers barracks and scientific laboratory. Memories of the Chimera installation surfaced in my mind, just as the Alpha wolfwere had sent werewolves to attack the Chimera installation so I was about to do to this place, the thought brought a grim smile to my face.

There were no patrols, no external guard stations, and no checkpoints, only a legion of security cameras covering almost every square inch of the grounds. This was a much smaller operation than the Chimera installation; it made sense, the less people the less chance of history repeating itself.

“So what’s the plan?” Said the female voice of one of Brants werewolves behind me.
I remember being able to sense the fear and anticipation emanating from the werewolves stood behind me, I’d never gone to battle with other wolves before, there was a nervous ferocity surrounding our small party, it was exhilarating. I was grinning ear to ear as I stood up and started walking towards the warehouse. “We’re going to go knock on the front door and ask if they can come out to play.” The wolves followed me obediently with Brant walking close by my side.

By the time we were within 20 yards of the building multiple cameras were following our every move.

“They know we’re here.” Brant said as gave a re-assuring nod to his wolves. “The soldiers will be gearing up for a fight by now. I’d say we have a minute at most.” He looked at me. “Time for you to put that plan of yours in motion.”

I spent a moment collecting myself before I spoke. “Remember, leave the female Lieutenant to me, kill the others.” Then I drew in a deep breath. And howled. It was a human howl formed from human vocal chords but with all the ferocity and impact of a wolf howl. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look of surprise on Brants face as he started to transform. I didn’t have the control over my abilities that the Alpha wolfwere had; it took as much concentration as I could spare to keep five werewolves in their transformed states, the Alpha wolfwere could impose that same transformation upon an entire city.

It didn’t take long for all five werewolves to fully transform, as I suspected Brant was far larger than the others, there was no question as to why he was Alpha of his pack. I gave the signal to attack and immediately the werewolves assaulted the building crashing through windows and tearing the front door from its hinges. I followed more slowly, the Lieutenant would be looking for me, and I was not going to let her get the drop on me again.

Sounds of wolves, gunfire and combat echoed around the warehouse but I saw none of it. I was looking for the laboratory, and if I were correct it would be underground. I found the Lieutenant in the mess hall, she was sat on one of the benches playing with a combat knife, the body of a werewolf lay only a few feet away. She grinned at me as I entered the room.

“That was impressive.” She said as she pointed her knife at me. “He didn’t know you could do this.” She motioned to the dead werewolf on the floor.

“It’s Tinny isn’t it.” I said knowing with certainty that it was. “He’s calling the shots now isn’t he?”

Lieutenant Fiord nodded. “After the fiasco with the Chimera installation the board almost gave up. Doctor Tinney pioneered the screening process that found me, after that they gave him full control of the project, no General to interfere this time.”

My vampire infected counterpart sat there calm and relaxed more than willing to divulge information knowing she could beat me, and she was right. In a straight fight I had no doubt she would win. I always fought as if in a brawl, she had the combat training that would give her an edge. I knew right then that unless she made a mistake I would lose, calm people don’t make mistakes, I had to make her angry.

I grinned. “Now it all makes sense. Last week when you ambushed me you made things personal and I couldn’t understand why. You’re Tinney’s new toy, his new obsession. You like it don’t you, like being the center of attention, but the only problem is me. Now his old toy, his old obsession is back and you’re worried you might lose your spot as his favourite?”

It was working; I could see her muscles tense and her jaw clench. I could smell her heightened anxiety. “Do you know what Patient Zero means Lieutenant Fiord? It means I am the original carrier of the virus, it means I was the first…”

“It means you were the first one to be discovered with it. We were both born with the same potential. They just found you first.” She had interrupted me with such venom in her voice; her vampire side was showing all to clearly to me. The Lieutenant drove her knife into the table she sat on and stood up. “It doesn’t really matter who was first Adell Fiord or Jared Caine. What matters is that I am the one who is truly fulfilling the potential of the gift we’ve been given. I am what you should have been, I have all the vampiritic strengths without the weaknesses of UV allergy or incomplete blood cells.”

“Really?” I knew I had found the true chink in her armour before she did. “So you don’t suffer from the thirst?”

The Lieutenant advanced towards me, she had left all her weapons on the table, she was unarmed. “My body can create its own hemoglobin, I have no need to drink blood.”

“Maybe, but that wasn’t what I asked. I tried to deny it for a long time but I have the instincts of a wolf, the viruses we carry may be advanced but they aren’t perfect. So tell me this Lieutenant; are you sure you don’t thirst for blood? You may not need to drink it but sometimes don’t your instincts to bite into a vein and drink your fill just drive you crazy with desire?”

I had done enough. The Lieutenant flushed red and attacked. Just as I had expected she was as fast as I was but unlike myself she was trained for this type of combat, there was no wasted movement to her attacks and after just a short space of time the Lieutenant had landed easily twice as many blows as myself.

“Do you see yet WOLF? Do you understand that I am the future not you!” The Lieutenant gloated just after ducking a wild swing from myself and delivering a nasty two-punch combo to my gut. I suddenly leapt forward and sent her flying with a punch to the jaw just as she was finishing speaking. Lieutenant Fiord crashed into the tables and benches behind her but quickly recovered, if anything my punch seemed to anger her more than hurt her.

The Lieutenants anger was starting to get the better of her; she charged me and caught me in the mid section. After a moments struggle we both surged back to our feet and this time the exchange of blows went both ways with both of us taking heavy hits. We were quite evenly matched, I was perhaps a little stronger but after my time spent recovering from the bullet wound I certainly didn’t feel it.

I dodged a kick from the Lieutenant and dropped to execute a leg sweep. She deftly jumped the sweep and a twist in mid air sent me skidding backwards along the floor with a powerful roundhouse. A calm person would have waited for me to regain my feet. Lieutenant Fiord was anything but calm. As soon as her feet touched the floor she charged me again.

This was the chance I had created for myself. Rolling quickly to my right I grabbed hold of the long benches by its end and with the strength that my altered muscles gave me swung it at the Lieutenant as hard as I possibly could. So intent on getting to me Lieutenant Fiord had not expected me to use a full bench as a weapon, she had no chance to move and the bench exploded in a hail of splinters as it connected with the left side of her torso.

I dropped the half bench that I had just used as a weapon and advanced towards the Lieutenant. The blow had sent her flying and she now lay against the wall of the mess hall. Her arm was bloodied and she was obviously struggling to regain her bearings. As ‘super human’ as the viruses had made us I knew a hit like that would have broken her left arm and maybe done some damage to her ribs as well. This fight was over.

After quickly plucking Lieutenant Fiords own knife from the table in which she had left it I advanced upon her and grabbed her broken left arm as she lay dazed against the wall. I remember she screamed in tremendous pain as I lifted her arm and thrust the knife through her hand pinning her to the wall behind her.

As I backed off a few meters and sat down on one of the tables left intact the Lieutenant let out a sob, she feebly tried to reach up to the knife with her right hand but hadn’t yet regained the sense to get to her feet first.

“Where is he? Where’s Tinny?” I asked.

Lieutenant Fiord looked up at me and some of the confusion cleared from her face. “He was right. You don’t fight fair.”

I laughed. “Of course you shooting me while I was unarmed was completely fair. WHERE IS HE?”

She was regaining her composure. “The door to the lab is in the corridor behind me. It’ll be unlocked for you no doubt. So you going to kill me now Zero?”

I had been thinking about it. I slowly dismounted the table and walked towards her. “Why would I kill you? You’re the only other one like me in the world. You’re like the little sister I never had.”

Her face contorted in confusion just as I delivered the punch that rendered the Lieutenant unconscious. I pulled the knife from the wall and turned to find Brant standing in the entrance to the mess hall. He was still in his werewolf form and blood dripped from his jaws. Brants eyes focused on the unconscious form of the Lieutenant and he began to advance, a snarl forming on his wolf face.

“Gather your surviving wolves and head back to your den Brant.” I said positioning myself between Brant and my vampire counterpart. His gaze flicked quickly between myself and the Lieutenant. Brant was the Alpha of his pack and wasn’t used to taking orders but he had already succeeded authority to me once, he would do so again. Eventually he obeyed and slowly turned and left the room.

It didn’t take long to find the laboratory entrance; a large double door leading to a stairwell that descended into darkness. Just as Lieutenant Fiord had said the door unlocked itself as I approached it, a large clicking sound and the red light above the door flicking to green signaled my presence was expected. The laboratory itself was not located far underground, 10feet at most. This was not a facility on the scale of the Chimera installation; it seemed to be more of a temporary base. The lab itself consisted of 5 holding cells, a whole host of different machines and equipment and a large centrally located work area, there was also a security console at the back of the lab with multiple camera screens, this was where the facility was managed and operations were run from.

Dr. Jonathon Tinney was stood in the center of the laboratory with his head bent over a microscope, he looked no different from the last time I had seen him and even as I entered the lab he didn’t acknowledge my presence; as it had always been with Tinney his current line of work would come before any other concerns. I approached and stopped on the opposite side of the workbench, and then I waited for him.
After several minutes Tinney glanced up at me for a second and then went back to staring down the microscope, he didn’t even look at me as he spoke. “I knew you’d win you know Zero.”

“Still working on a way to replicate my condition Tinney?” I asked quietly.

“Adell is very good. Exactly what you should have been really.” Tinney ignored my question and continued on his train of thought. “The PXB virus made her a lot more controllable than you were with your QVB virus. But her greatest strength was her military training. We tried to train you when we first found you, do you remember? Anyway, she has discipline and is superb in combat but,” the Doctor looked up at me, “she misses something you always had, that instinct to use whatever opportunities present themselves.” He walked around the bench and approached me. “I can’t be sure if its her military training or the something to do with the vampire virus infection but she would never have thought of using a bench as a weapon.”

“Still working on a way to replicate my condition Tinney?” I repeated just as quietly.
This time the Doctor stopped and looked at me. “No. Well yes and no. That area of research was taken over by another team; they have a much larger complex to help them. No, I’m working on the ‘enhanced humans’ now. Trying to find a way to stabilize the effects the infected blood has upon them. If I could just…”

“I came here to kill you Doctor.” I interrupted him in mid flow.

Then Tinney Laughed at me and turning his back started to walk away. “I’m sure that’s what you intended Zero but what would it accomplish? After the Chimera installation the research was split into multiple groups and multiple facilities to prevent such a thing happening again. I run a very small operation here, killing me probably won’t even slow down the research anymore.”

I was still holding the Lieutenants knife in my right hand. “It’s not about the research Tinney.”

Tinney stopped in his tracks and turned to face me. “That’s’ where you’re wrong Zero, it’s always about the research.”

When I eventually arrived back at the werewolf den I found that only Brant and one other werewolf had survived. I had long since released them from the transformation and found Brant pacing back and forth in the courtyard of the apartment block apparently waiting for me to arrive. As soon as he saw me he came striding up to me and clapped me hard on the shoulder. There were hints of both awe and fear in his eyes as he stared at me, obviously my ability to force his transformation had made quite an impact.

“When we turned back into our human states I almost thought that you had died Zero.” Brant said with a fierce grin lighting his features. “But she assured us you were still alive.”

I didn’t need to ask Brant who ‘she’ was. I had known Susan was here before he had, she was in fact the only reason I had come back to the werewolf den at all. I quickly thanked Brant and he led me to where Susan was waiting. She was in one of the common areas surrounded by people. Brants pack had apparently taken to her very well, it seemed odd to me, so many times we had been treated with nervous apprehension and distrust but now… they were almost treating Susan as one of their own.

As soon as I entered the room Susan noticed me and she soon made her way over. “Is it over?” She asked as she embraced me.

I didn’t say anything, I simply held her tight and nodded. Eventually she spoke again. “The Alpha of this pack, Brant, told me an interesting story.” Susan stepped back out of my embrace and looked at me. “Said you forced him and some other werewolves to transform. Do you, know what that means?”

I did. “It means I’m an Alpha without a pack.”

Then Susan smiled, the smile I hadn’t seen since she had been infected so long ago. “Then maybe its time we started our own pack.”

She was different somehow. Something Susan had found had allowed her to finally accept and become comfortable with what she know was. At that point it finally dawned on me that I had changed as well. Brants pack was not my own, yet I had so easily stepped into the role as Alpha male and it had felt… natural.

My head was reeling and I suddenly realized I had been staring at nothing for too long. I re-focused my eyes on Susan’s patiently waiting form. “But my virus isn’t contagious.”

Susan stepped forward and embraced me once more and spoke softly. “Mine is.”

Arrogance. For the longest time arrogance convinced scientists that we were special. Scientists who told the world what was truth and what was fiction. They told the world animals had no feelings, that they were just organisms that could only act on their basic instincts; to eat, to sleep, to mate. What their arrogance blinded them to was that we, humans, are no different.

An average day for most people consists of waking up, eating, going to work, eating, working some more, going home, eating, mating, sleeping. Humans believe that working makes them different; it is no different from hunting. You work to earn money to eat and to show off to a potential mate.

So what makes humans different? Feelings? No. The arrogance that makes us believe we are the only ones with feelings, that animals cannot feel.
But as scientist point out, there is no way to test if animals have feelings, no way to prove beyond doubt… or is there.

What if it were possible to cross breed humans with animals? Or to ‘splice’ human and animal DNA together as scientists would say. What if it had already been done? Not by natural breeding, scientists would be the first to point out that a natural crossbreed is not possible. Not by genetic splicing, scientists would be the first to point out that the technology for such an operation does not yet exist. So how could it possibly happen?

A retrovirus. Scientists describe a retrovirus, as a virus that re-encodes, re-writes the DNA of the affected individual. It is now known, although not to the general public, that some retroviruses have been born in certain animals, and when these animals have bitten a human, that human may take on certain aspects of those animals and also pass on the retrovirus to other humans. It is now folklore in some villages that half-human, half-wolf creatures stalk the landscape during the days of full moons. Coroners in some cities are baffled by the victims with 2 bit marks in their neck and a complete drain of all blood from the victim’s body.

While it is now accepted, even by some scientists, that these infected humans exist; little is know about either those infected, or the viruses themselves. This is because the infected humans are notoriously hard to find and even harder to catch.
One more thing should be noted. The majority of humans, the general public, are blissfully unaware of the existence of these viruses. I personally believe this to be for the best. Whoever and whatever these infected humans are, they have a right to live and to live how they see fit.

Please feel free to rate and review and the like. And this is the last in the series about Patient Ø, I promise.
© Copyright 2008 Rob (x2008 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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