Three hours into the prison takeover, the nine humans left alive pondered their fate locked up in guard pod three with no way to escape. Steve, Cara and Kathy all sat at the control panel filling the only seats with the rest resting on the floor with their backs to the walls. From their vantage point they couldn’t see the bodies and blood on the commons floor, it was a blessing considering the mess.
“How long till it starts to smell?” Paula Borodin asked. She was a fifty something woman who dragged her husband to the zoo as a getaway trip for the both of them.
“Depends on the temperature,” Ted, her husband replied. “But I’d say two days.”
“Oh my God, that’s going to wreak!” Paula snapped back.
“This was your idea, not mine,” Ted replied. He was pissed. He didn’t want to go on the trip in the first place.
“Yeah, well at least I tried to do something, that’s more than you would have.”
“No, I wanted to go to Kansas City, but no, you wanted to see the vampires. Fuck these vampires, I didn’t give a shit about them now, and now they want to kill us,” Ted said.
Kathy said, “Can you two stop bickering? We have to figure out how to get out of here and you’re bitching doesn’t help.”
Paula barked back, “Who are you anyway?”
“I’m the warden,” Kathy replied.
“Great, then you should know how to get us out.”
“It’s not that easy, there are lots of safety precautions put in place at the prison. It was designed so people can’t get out, including us.”
“So how long do we have to wait before someone gets us out?”
“I don’t know, could be a long wait,” Kathy replied.
“What do you mean by long? Five hours?”
“Could be five days, or longer. You do realize there are forty six vampires loose in this prison. It could take days to capture them all.”
Kent Parker, a large man of few words spoke up, “Capture? Why capture them, why not kill them all?”
Kathy replied. “I don’t know what they’ll do. They might just kill them all, that’s up to the governor.”
“Has anyone tried contacting the authorities?”
“Yes,” Kathy replied. “My boss at the state corrections knows as much as we do. They’re working on it.”
“Fucking fantastic,” Kent said, and looked away to stew.
Ted stood up and walked over to the control panel next to Steve who was watching the television monitor. “What are you seeing?” Ted asked.
“I see a lot of pissed off vampires,” Steve replied. “I think they’re starting to organize around pod one.”
Paula spoke up, “What? Organize? What do you mean?”
“I can see about twenty of them at pod one and they are trickling in quickly.”
Bohdan leaned over and looked at the monitor. “That’s not good, do you see that?” Bohdan asked.
“What?” Steve asked.
“Look who’s in charge.”
Kathy looked at the monitor and saw that Rancid, the skinhead who had tried to recruit Bohdan as their new leader was speaking to a large group of vampires. “What’s going on? They usually split into groups.”
“Yeah, but this is different,” Bohdan said. “Now there are no guards and they need a single leader. Looks like Rancid volunteered for the job.”
“How long will that last?” Kathy asked. “It won’t be long before they split off into their separate groups again.”
Ted said, “How do you know what’s going on anyway, you can’t hear them.”
Steve poked a button on the console and replied, “Now you can.”
From the speakers in the pod, the sound of Rancid’s voice filled the room, along with the sounds of the rumbles of the rest of the vampires near pod one. Everyone in pod three quieted down as they listened to what Rancid said and watched the monitor. Steve zoomed in the camera so they could get a good look at him as he spoke.
“We need to work together,” Rancid said. His voice was amazingly clear over the speakers. “If we don’t, we won’t last a week.”
“Why should we listen to you?” another vampire asked. “I don’t need a skinhead to tell me what to do!”
“It’s simple, together we’re strong, and apart we’re weak. The National Guard is probably on their way here now. If we want to stand a chance, we have to put up a united front! We’ve already made a huge mistake that will cost us and we can’t go off halfcocked and make more.”
“What mistake?” a voice called out from the crowd.
“We killed all the humans! Once the food in the prison is gone, we can’t survive!”
“We didn’t kill all of them, there are some locked up in pod three.”
“How many?” Rancid asked.
“Four or five,” the voice called back.
“We need to get them if we are to survive. Five humans won’t last long, but we can use them as bargaining chips.”
“How? They are locked up behind steel and bullet proof glass.”
“We have time to figure that out, for now that is our main priority. We need food to survive and hostages to keep the governor from killing us all. Right now we need to concentrate on securing the prison, and to clean up the fucking mess you all made. When those bodies start to rot, this place will fill with disease. Disease that won’t kill us, but will make us sick enough that we won’t be able to defend ourselves. We need to collect all the bodies and bring them out to the yard and burn them.”
Steve turned down the sound when he saw the vampires disperse. He knew they would be returning to the commons to collect the bodies like Rancid told them to do. Seems Rancid was a good leader, he had good ideas and was able to get the group organized.
Bohdan spoke up, “He’s right, if they don’t get the bodies out, they’ll bring disease.”
Paula said, “You sound like you like this guy.”
“I hate skinheads,” Bohdan replied. “He tried to recruit me as their new leader. I refused.”
It wasn’t long before vampires entered the commons area and started removing the bodies. One by one they would drag them out of the room and down the hall. The distance from the commons to the yard was about fifty yards with the yard in the center of the rectangle shaped prison building. It was the only open air space they could get to.
Two hours later smoke could be seen rising into the air from the window, the only window they could see from the pod. Steve clicked on the monitors and brought up the image of a stack of bodies burning in the center of the yard. Surrounding the bodies were six vampires who were tending to the fire, tossing on paper and wood to keep the flames burning. They found it wasn’t easy to burn something made up mostly of water.
Cindy Lewis stood up and walked to the monitor and looked over Steve’s shoulder. She hadn’t said anything the whole time she’d been in the pod, and everyone knew she looked more upset than the rest, or at least she gave that impression because she was so quiet. Then she went manic. “How the fuck did this happen in the first place? I want to know God damit! You’re fucking in charge of this place, and now my sister’s burning in a pile of bodies!” Cindy snapped at Kathy. “Talk to me bitch! How did you let this happen?”
“I didn’t do this,” Kathy snapped back. “I had nothing to do with it. Ask Steve, or Cara!”
“What?” Cindy asked.
Kent walked over and grabbed Steve by the shoulder, “What’s she talking about, are you responsible for what’s going on?”
Steve spun around and looked up at Kent who was towering above him. He didn’t want to say anything but had to defend himself. “It’s was Cara’s idea,” Steve said hoping Kent wouldn’t take a swing at him.
“Cara?” Kathy asked.
Steve replied, “She has an obsession with Bohdan, she wanted him set free. This was all her plan!”
“Is that right Cara?” Kathy asked.
Cara grinned and nodded her head. She knew eventually everyone would figure out she was the mastermind behind the plan. And she knew she’d have to suffer the consequences. Her only backup was the wish that Bohdan would defend her. “Yes, it was my idea.”
Bohdan didn’t want to say anything, and sat stoic waiting for the humans to tear her apart.
Steve said, “She had the plan and recruited me to help. I wasn’t going to help until I got demoted.” Steve looked at Kathy and snapped, “If you would have left me alone, none of this would have happened.”
“You’re blaming me?” Kathy barked back. “If you did your job correctly, you would have kept it. Punishing me just killed forty people.”
“It wasn’t forty, it was less than that,” Steve said.
“Fine, does that make you feel better?” Kathy asked.
“Why are you targeting me anyway? It was Cara that did this, I just helped.”
“Ever hear the term accessory?” Kathy asked.
“It’s too late now, placing blame won’t help.”
Cara moved over close to Bohdan, like he was her personal guard dog. “If you do anything to me, Bohdan will protect me.”
Bohdan didn’t share the same lust that Cara did for him, but at this point he wasn’t going to argue. He was the only vampire in the pod and being a vampire right now wasn’t a very popular thing to be. He was best to hide under the radar.
Kent said, “So you have your own personal bodyguard, nice.”
Cara replied, “Bohdan and I were meant to be together, and now we are.”
“Is that right Bohdan?” Kathy asked. “Are you two together?”
Bohdan nodded. Not because he felt anything for Cara, but because it seemed the right thing to do at the time. He could always change his mind, he was almost immortal.
Kathy asked, “What is it you see in her? She’s a killer.”
Bohdan replied, “She didn’t kill, the vampires did.”
“Are we splitting hairs Bohdan? If it weren’t for her this never would have happened. You’re both still locked up in this prison, what has this got you? Do you prefer being locked up in this pod to your cell? At least your cell was private, and larger than this place.”
“I was lonely and I hated the trams. I hated being on display. For once I feel normal,” Bohdan replied. “As normal as I have ever felt.”
Kathy looked over at Cindy who was back sitting on the floor sobbing. She was still manic, but now she channeled her mania into tears. “You call this normal? Look at her, her sister is dead because of what your lover did.”
“She’s not my lover, and I don’t take responsibility for what she’s done. Don’t try to pin this on me,” Bohdan said.
Cara moved in closer to Bohdan and pressed against him looking for comfort and protection. She felt the hostility in the room and knew they could turn on her anytime.
“You must have had an exit plan,” Kathy said.
Cara replied, “My plan was to live here.”
“Yes,” Cara replied.
“You’re as stupid as you are tenacious,” Kathy said. “There is no way you could sustain any kind of life here. The state would have taken you down in days.”
“You’re wrong, if my plan would have worked, and the vampires not let out, I could have lived here forever.”
“You - are - insane,” Kathy said.
“If it hadn’t of worked out, at least I’d of lived my life with Bohdan, the way I wanted to. Any time we have together is worth it.”
“Worth the lives you took?”
“Yes, and I’d do it all again,” Cara said.
Kathy could smell the smoke from the fire through the vents and gagged a little. She turned away and sat down on the one empty chair. “God save us all,” she mumbled.