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Contagion - Book Two

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Chapter Two.

Christine senior was now feeling her age; the recent turmoil had greatly disturbed her. She knew also that if it became public knowledge that a research institute connected to her name, had been secretly conducting cross human genetic experiments, and which had brought about the flu Pandemic, then it was an almost certain probability, that knowledge could destroy her.

The financial compensation claims alone would wipe out overnight the Institutes vast financial reserves and leave it vulnerable to bankruptcy or worst still a hostile takeover. As it was the scientific world had been unable to find the source of the flu outbreak, and as long as this remained, then Christine knew her family and their vast empire was secure.

Christine Louis, Peter’s sister, through her University had been granted permission to excavate just north of the vast Bream Downhill fort in Somerset England. It was common knowledge that the area was steeped in local history with many finds of Bronze Age jewellery and pottery. This had caused an air of excitement among her graduate students, as they knew the importance of this site and of what knowledge could be gained. It was also rumoured that in the early 1920s a local historian had unearthed a beautiful Roman mosaic floor while out on a field trip.

Realising the importance of this find, he had re-covered the site and having kept it secret from the general public, knowing he had saved it for future generations. Now if the area concerned was still there and intact, it would be one of the major finds of this century.

Fortunately, the local residence and the parish council had learnt of the site and managed to keep the area closed to the public, thus preserving any future possible artefacts loss, until that was, such a time as they could be scientifically recorded and preserved.

“It’s going to be a vast excavation; do you think we will find John Moors mosaic floor?”

Christine smiled. “That general area received heavy bombing during the Second World War, it would be a near miracle if it actually had managed to have avoided any damage.”

Catherine had first met Christine some five years earlier; although there was some ten years’ difference in their age; they had instantly found emotional warmth developing between them. Two years later they took to sharing a flat and, in every way, other than by law, they were a married couple.

The flu outbreak had passed its peak and those who survived were trying to rebuild their lives, incredibly The Portland Institute of genetic research UK, had been given a governmental grant into finding a way to combat this particular strain of the flu virus, and any future possible mutations.

Elaine had used whatever influence she could muster in gaining this research grant, her vaccine developed by Peter’s team had been made openly available to all those in government weeks before it had been gifted to the nation.

Within days the world governments had been knocking on her door, and begging permission to develop the vaccine under licence. This was refused, however due to the facilities available at the Portland Institute, Christine was able to manufacture enough vaccine to meet the demand, thus adverting annihilation of the human race.

This however was done with the strict contractual understanding, and binding by law that due to the emergency and haste required in developing the vaccine, that any side effects could not legally be held against the company or any individual.

What was unknown at that point in time, even to Peter, was that there was another side effect from those that were infected by the mutated flu virus. As the virus came from one of the crossbred humans, and had infected its original host, it had attacked the reproductive areas, and affecting the manufacturing of male sperm, and reducing their effective production by over 72%.

Unknown to the human race, it was now in imminent danger of extinction; should the virus mutate even further without an effective vaccine, and then there would be no telling the foreseeable consequences.

That night Christine senior was feeling unwell; she could sense the concern coming from her grandson, and of how this entire episode had affected him. He was becoming weaker, and at times even unable to form verbal words; even though he had identified the reasons for his illness, he had been unable to correct its destruction upon his own body.

Christine smiled at the irony, a thought flickered in her mind at how Peter had idolised and looked up to the memory of Professor Steven Hawkins, and how he had been using him as an early role model.

Now sadly he was rapidly becoming an almost carbon copy of the very man that’s example had guided and inspired him in his early years through college and university.

After having handed the business over to Elaine, she had decided to allow her children to build their own lives and had instructed her faithful and loyal staff, to ensure they did all that they could, to guarantee that her children succeeded.

Christine Louise was herself at that moment thinking about her brother, it had occurred to her that he was suffering and because of her direct telepathic connection, she understood more than most, just how much this whole incident had affected him. It was Catherine who guided her thoughts away to other more immediate needs.

“Relax; I don’t like seeing you so tensed as this.” Catherine had straddled herself over Christine’s back, and was massaging her shoulders.

“Your muscles are all knotted,”

Her fingers burrowed deeply into her skin. Christine could feel herself relaxing and moved her neck as Catherine’s hand manipulated the neck muscles; and she could feel the tension within her starting to relax.

Robert had planned well; the unexpected flu outbreak had given him the added advantage that he had needed in securing a quick exit from the confines of the research institute. His heightened intelligence gave him the further advantage of quickly securing employment within a financial investment bank; and his physical appearance ensured that those in a right frame of mind would have preferred to avoid any form of conflict.

It was just as well; as the genetic enhancements had gifted him with incredible strength and speed; although an unpleasant side effect was the desire for a very heavy meat diet.

They had settled into a secluded cattle ranch that had at one time thousands of acres and heads of steers. Now sadly the owner had fallen into Bankruptcy, and the bank had foreclosed on the property.

It was Robert’s contacts from a private source, and those within the bank that had enabled him to raise the money which he had needed to purchase the property. Juliet his wife had already given birth to triplets, all healthy, and in every visible way they were normal healthy human babies. What had really excited them was the first child that was born from the fertility clinics, it had already telepathically communicated with them.

The new parents had no way of knowing what had lain within their home, it was only three weeks after its birth that the family awoke to find their child missing. It had taken Robert that long to find its location, that very evening; his family had grown to four. Within a further eight months another seventeen babies had been born to human parents, and the FBI were unable to explain why these babies had been targeted and not others.

This had given Robert a footing on which to build his family, his advantage was the knowledge that the children will have developed into full adulthood within five years. This in turn would quickly divert any attention from the authorities as to why he and Juliet had so many babies living at their ranch.

They had re-instated the cattle back to the ranch, but on a greatly reduced scale, basically the cattle provided the vast meat supplement that they needed just to survive. Eleven further babies were taken to the ranch, seven were female, this gave them a bases for further breeding stock, however they were fully aware that to enable survival they would have to eventually breed with human stock.

The seclusion of the area along with some seven hundred acres and their own land including a water supply, had been part of the reason for Robert and Juliet purchasing this particular ranch. There was however another more sinister reason, as bordering onto the southerly most section of the land, was a deep wooded area under the control of the Forestry commission, and this area held a wealth of wild life and was also an area frequented by tourists.

It was not unknown across the land for the occasional wild animal attack or of a lone tourist failing to report in and sadly to never be found again. Juliet had gained or acquired a taste for human flesh, and at times the desire within her was such that she was unable to contain the craving and would actively seek out a victim.

Robert was aware that such behaviour held a certain risk of exposure, however he was intelligent, and knew the risk would be vastly reduced if his partner’s desires were controlled and catered for in such a way, as to divert attention from her to that of a wild animal.

For now, it was more important to put into place the third part of his plan. He needed a basic element of staff to run the ranch, as it was Juliet was particularly adept at man management, and her skills of administration enabled her to oversee the ranch. Robert liked his position within the Bank and had used his vastly heightened intelligence to study law, progressing upwards to a position of Assistant CEO.

He knew it would greatly improve their chances of survival, and if he could secure three or more of his new family into positions within the local town’s police force. He also wanted a further two within the courts department, and at least three to be employed within the media and communications section of the town.

Each baby that had been born had inherited the said knowledge of both Robert and Juliet at that given point in time. Having all been abducted and further educated within the confines of the ranch, had meant and prevented their crimes from ever been uncovered.

It was then only a matter of time in preparing the rapidly growing children into their pride. Within three years the children would easily pass as been in their late Teenage years, some even looked like any normal adult human, even at this early stage in their development.

Robert and Juliet had observed their family, knowing whom among them that would be responsible enough to mix with humans, and to be able to find positions of employment.

It was not that difficult in obtaining false identification for the right price, anything can be purchased, and it sickened Robert the way the human race so easily turned on each other. Robert was proud of his genetic connections with Lions; they were by very nature family oriented and even within the wild took care of their wounded and weaker members of their pride.

For humans they turned on each other placing their sick and ailing parents into the care of Institutions, while washing their hands of those who had given them life itself.

Three of the young men were found positions within the police, and also one of the females. One female was employed within the local newspaper, and another within the County Court. It was felt the remaining members of the family, were at that point in time, not yet fully ready to mix within the confines of a human environment. As the discipline required in controlling their emotional responses, was such that even a small slip up could have unthinkable consequences and bring about attention from those within the positions of power, which would have the means of bringing their family to an untimely end.

Peter had been troubled by the disappearance of Robert and Juliet, and he had not foreseen or realised the extent of his lack of foresight. It was only when the FBI had spoken to him that he realised just what they had been secretly doing.

The FBI had discovered that all the babies abducted, had a connection to the clinic. What had been Peter’s saving grace; was the fact that some two hundred or more babies born from the institute’s work in fertilisation had not been abducted.

After consultations with the family Alex included, it was decided to pass this information to the staff. Alex had commented that at times he had briefly experienced a mental contact with a form of unexplained intelligence, and one with the same imprint to that of Robert and Juliet, yet he could sense it was in some way different and distant as if immature, and not yet fully controlled.

It was then that three other members of the team openly expressed their feelings. Explaining to Peter that they had not been actually aware of Robert’s ambitions, but had suspected or sensed a change in their behaviour, also that they had wanted and felt a desire to procreate and form a family of their own.

This revelation had taken Peter off guard; he was not horrified nor frightened by the idea, amazingly it was simply the thought had never occurred to him.

Looking over to Alex, he could see from within his eyes that even he, his faithful friend and loyal servant did himself want a companion.

“Woo” said Peter.

“This has taken the wind from my sails; I guess we need to talk.”

The group from within the room could sense the sincerity of his statement and were relaxed by the love, which they knew that he held for each and every one of them.

“You do realise, to have a family will bring enormous problems to overcome,”

There was a moment of stillness, as if the air within the room had somehow magically silenced every living and mechanical thing.

“However, I will state now for the record before any discussion takes place, that if this is what any of you truly want and that you feel you can somehow overcome these barriers, which will undoubtedly be placed before you. Then I will give you the full support from myself and this institute, in doing everything within our power to ensure we can bring this to life.”

His words although telepathically spoken, were genuine and from the heart, however, he also realised the importance of keeping his team together and by taking this action, he knew it would bond them even closer to him, and to the work that they were involved in.

He also felt hurt, as had he genuinely of known of Robert’s desires, then he would have done everything within his power to aid him. Now as it was, and that he had been forced to take this course of action, he thought that Robert and Juliet had endangered the very foundation by involving the FBI in their work.

As it was, he felt sure there was a strong possibility that he could Fob off the FBI, and if necessary, use his contacts through his mother. By calling in favours, and in having the investigation moved away on the excuse that it was affecting the research into further vaccine’s, to combat any possible further mutant flue outbreaks.

Yet he was confident within him, that there would be no avenue of investigation, other than the basic coincidental connection, that the babies had a generic correlation with the institute.

It was a cold day, but the view across the Bristol Channel was breath-taking. Christine sat quietly on one of the walls belonging to the visitor’s centre, which had been build and funded by Sedgemoor council, and with an aim to enable funded groups to visit the old wartime fort, which had dominated this vast rocky outcrop and jutted proudly into the Bristol Channel.

The area was steeped in history and among the many finds from over the years, was an unidentified selection of bones, carbon dated as been from the Jurassic period. It was in fact this find that had instigated initial interest in the sight. Yet this in itself was not enough to raise the funds needed to excavate the site. Sedgemoor council only agreed to the university’s request, if it would include a team to excavate and search out the John Moors site.

They knew such a find would, and if handled correctly, bring in revenue from the public interest; and in turn create a market for their visitor’s centre. There was only one other similar find in the UK, and that had generated an income of over One hundred and Forty Thousand per annum. They had the added advantage of a visitor’s centre, offering accommodation and even work assisted packages, where people actually paid to have the privilege of a working holiday, on the various funded excavation sites.

The university had insisted on three full training weekends before any person regardless of their financial position was undertaken, and before they could assist even in the more mundane manual work in the excavation sites. Understandably Sedgemoor council held no objection as this simply increased their revenue.

Catherine quietly sat next to Christine, carefully ensuring she never spilt the coffee in the mugs that she was carrying. “It’s so beautiful isn’t it?”

Christine reached across and took one of the mugs of coffee.

“I can see why the local residence fought so hard to keep this area secure and free from mass tourism, I feel if the council don’t carefully control this, then the area could so easily become destroyed.”

There was almost an air of sensual excitement brought on by the surrounding area. As the morning sun warmed the air, the mist lifted revealing a magnificent view across to the welsh coastline. In the distance they could see a loan fishing boat and two people fishing from the rocks at the head of the point.

“It looks so inviting here almost as if the sea is calling to you”.

Christine looked across to her friend; knowing that she was unaware of her mother’s childhood, and of the memories of the almost super-natural incident with Adam and of her grandfather. It was something that Christine had preferred to keep it personal, and quietly thinking, she spoke to herself. “Anyway, who would believe me that my mother’s best friend at that time, was actually an apparition, and that somewhere out there in the vastness of the sea and areas of sinking sand lay the undead, and buried body of Adam.

Catherine had no idea of Christine’s thoughts, thinking only that she was lost in the beauty of the area.

Elaine Christine’s mother had never kept secret what had happened, and of how Adam had ruined her childhood, and taken from her the one person that as a child she had loved more than anyone else. Christine in turn had grown up with the full knowledge and memories of her mother. To her it was as if Adam had violated her and knowing in great detail every emotion and fears that her mother had suffered.

As a child she had suffered many a nightmare, brought on by these impregnated memories of her mother’s childhood fears and dreams. Now an adult in her own right, she was in the very area where Peter her grandfather had been killed, and she knew that Adam lay somewhere, buried within the shifting quick sands of Bream beach.

Peter sensed her thoughts and unease and knowing himself of the very fear she had grown up with, been himself telepathically linked from birth and also born with the full knowledge and memories of his mother. Although physically unable to comfort her, he quietly spoke from within her mind, reassuring her from the vast distance across the seas.

Christine came to with a jolt and realising that Catherine had been talking to her and that she had not heard a single word. Sorry, sorry I was lost in thought and never heard what you were saying.”

Catherine walked behind her and had embraced her, resting her head onto one of her shoulders.

“I was saying I’ve never felt so relaxed and at ease since I met you, you have become an integral part of my life and I cannot imagine ever living without you.”

Christine reached up taking a gentle hold of Catherine’s hand and moved it across to her lips, kissing it gently then hugging it closely to her breast. Unknown to them Adams body lay less than a mile from where they were staying, and he was far from dead, and had been suffering the eternal torment of been entombed within the confines of his prison, and held firm by the unrelenting grip of thousands of tons of wet sand that gripped his body, and stubbornly refusing to let go of its much coveted prize.

Peter’s words had haunted his every thought, that he would be trapped there for an eternity; and unable to die while the demon that had possessed him still inhabited his body. Every second of every day worm’s crabs and fish would eat their way into him, and his lungs would fill with the bitter taste of salt water, while grit would grind away at his eyes. Yet each and every morning he would awake to face another day, his body miraculously healed and kept alive by its unwanted demonic host.

For the demon this was a thousand times better than the confines of hell, and unless it could find a new host it had no intention of relinquishing its saviour from the eternal torment of the inferno. How many times Adam had plotted within his mind, seeking revenge for been entrapped here and for the untold pain and torment that he now suffered.

Yet he had no way in knowing just how close to him, sat the very offspring of his tormentor. Over the years he had formulated a plan that should by some miracle he eventually finds freedom from this living hell; that he would seek out and destroy all that Elaine held dear and close to her heart, making her suffer a slow and agonising death.

Incredibly it was only to be a matter of days, before in part he was to realise his wish. It was during the evening of the fourth day, that the team from the university had started working on one of the designated sites. It had been a blistering hot day with temperatures reaching high into the 80’s; Loraine one of the researchers had decided to go swimming with one of her fellow students.

It was just gone 01.hrs in the morning. The moon although not quite full, gave an almost romantic light enabling the students to easily see where they were going.

Many times, in the past Adam had heard the noises of passing boats or of the sound of people’s voices been carried on the wind. But this time he felt an excitement whelm up from within him, as he realised for the very first time since his entrapment that a person was approaching where he lay.

The water was high obscuring him from view; as one of the students swam only feet above; a foot had accidentally touched his head and kicking him violently as she swam.

Having not realised what it was that she had touched or awaken, she continued enjoying the water’s pleasures, although Adam was himself unable to escape from his tomb. The demon within him had seen an opportunity of release and had in that split few seconds of contact left Adam’s body and taken residence within a new host.

At first the torment within Adam drove him mad with rage, until the thought dawned within him that now finally this eternal living torment would come to an end. Within minutes his lifeless body finally rested, as his lungs been full of salt water were unable to supply the air that he needed to keep himself alive.

Robert’s family had quietly established themselves within their newly adapted community, there heightened senses had enabled them to realise when difficulties were developing, and to draw them out before an issue arose that would bring attention to them. Incredibly by been so openly involved within the community, yet keeping a distance, they merged in with incredible ease.

It was only a matter of time before they were in key positions controlling the very basic infrastructure of the town, almost like a well-managed zoo, where the animals were in-fact humans. Who were contentedly living their lives and unknown to them of the superior forces that manipulated their very environment, and growing more and more dependent on those in charge of their welfare?

Charlene who had secured a position within the police force had found herself a companion and had formed an intimate relationship. At first, she had been unsure just how to play the situation, finding herself having to be evasive and careful to not give away her true identity. However, as the relationship grew, she realised he was an honest and trustworthy man; it was his compassion yet strength of character that had first attracted her to him.

For months she had repeatedly gone over within her mind, just how she was going to explain to him, what she was; it was actually Adrian himself who brought up the subject.

Their shift roster had placed them together on a Friday night, which usually meant the inevitable occasion of some group from the forestry lumber camp, coming into town to let off steam and have a good time. In general, the incidents were never what could be deemed as serious, with the exception of this one time.

Three of the camp employees had taken it in their minds to bring into town a loaded shotgun and two long handled axes. As the evening had developed, they had become more and more rowdy, and had eventually left the bar with an aim to cut down the town’s flagpole.

Fortunately, it was situated on the outskirts of the town some six minutes’ drive from any major populated area; and it was only by chance that officers Charlene and Adrian were passing, when they saw the three men walking over to the flagpole with an aim to cutting it down.

Basically, a situation arose and two of the men turned on Adrian, before he had an opportunity to defend himself, and it was then Adrian had witnessed an unexplainable transformation within his partner. It was her eyes that had firstly caught his attention. Then just as one of the crewmen swung the axe at him, he was sure that he saw her leap some five metres from the car, and before he could gain his thoughts both men lay dead on the floor.

Their necks had literally been pulled apart from the top spine. The third man had lifted his gun but had been unable to fire more than one round before Charlene was upon him with the ferocity of a lioness protecting her cubs and pride.

If Adrian had not stepped in, he was sure she would have killed him, yet he knew without a shadow of doubt, that if it had not of been for her quick thinking and actions, that he would without question, have been killed.

They had spoken briefly about the incident and after consultation with the family, had within a few days managed to have the men cremated without an autopsy. The survivor had been so intoxicated that in truth he was unsure if what he had seen was a dream or what had actually happened.

As it was, he was quickly buried deep in the town’s correctional system, and sentenced to ten years’ hard labour, for the attempted murder of a police officer.

The next week on the evening shift their roster had again placed them together; both Adrian and Charlene had sat quietly in their patrol car. It had been an exceptionally quite evening and had given them the first real opportunity of been alone long enough to reflect over just what had happened.

Adrian turned to face his partner, “I will understand if you would rather, I didn’t talk about the incident”, as they called it.

“But I feel I must, as my feelings for you are such that I can’t let it build any sort of barrier between us”,

Charlene could sense the strained tension within his voice, Adrian continued before she had an opportunity to answer.

“I can’t explain what I saw, heaven knows I’ve tried, I have gone over and over again in my mind”.

He paused for a second and then continued.

“What I saw, or at least what I think I saw. Yet I keep coming back to the same conclusion, and in truth before you speak, I have to tell you now, I don’t care. I don’t care if you are some sort of alien from another world, or just something that I simply can’t explain. What matters to me is that I love you, and I know you in turn, love me.”

Charlene remained silent. Robert had spoken to her explaining and clearly instructing her that if for one moment she felt the family threatened, then she was to find a way of killing Adrian. The very thought had haunted her every sleeping moment, and now she knew she had to make a decision.

“Charlene, did you hear me, I just asked you if you would marry me.”

Reality had brought her thoughts back with a thunderous jolt.

“I love you and I can’t ever imagine living my life without you. I can’t…I can’t explain just what powers you have, and in truth I really don’t care. You saved my life that day, and if it had not been for these unexplainable powers, then I am sure without a question of a doubt, that neither of us would be alive now.”

It took Charlene some seconds to regain her thoughts and composure “Could he really love me enough to overlook who and what I am. She thought to herself, praying secretly that it was true and not some fairy tale daydream.

Quietly she moved her body side ward’s and faced him full on,

Did you just ask me to marry you…or was I just hearing things in my imagination.”

Adrian was slightly taken aback by her reaction and question. “Oh…Yes…yes I did.”

Charlene continued thinking, “Gad I know I love him, so much that I could not bear thinking of those men even injuring him, let alone trying to kill the two of us.”

Adrian waited with paused breath, the passing seconds to him seeming like an eternity.

“Yes, yes I will marry you.” Came her reply.

For a brief moment neither moved, and a million or more thoughts were flashing through their minds. That was three days ago, now Adrian sat quietly before Robert and Juliet, Charlene had decided if their relationship or marriage was to work then she felt he had a right to be told the truth.

She also knew it was the greatest gamble of her life at that point in time. Had he, Adrian, reacted in a negative manner, and have shown any indication of weakness or danger in exposing the family; then she would have had to kill him. If she failed, she knew Robert or Juliet would have stepped in, and within an instant they would have been far less merciful.

As it was Adrian had proven to be far stronger willed than she had first thought, and had accepted, knowing within himself that there had to have been something different within her that had given her the speed, agility and strength that she had shown.

Both Robert and Juliet had inherited an almost telepathic ability that a wild animal has when it knows it can sense fear. Within Adrian they could see nor sense even the smallest amount of fear.

Adrian had shown a remarkable character and had the strength and faith in Charlene that she would never have placed him in a position of danger. As it was his bloodline was much needed if the family was to survive, they knew that they needed to breed outside of the family or initial pride, to have any form of genetic chance of survival, and both Robert and Juliet knew that their children needed human partners, until now it had been a concern that such a fate was beyond them, yet Adrian had proved different and had given them a new surge of hope.

For Adrian, it had taken only a brief time to grasp the reality of what lay before him. He had already analysed his thoughts and knew Charlene to be different. In one way he was relieved as he had half thought there was the possibility that she had somehow arrived here from some distant planet. As it was, he had, like most people heard the rumours, of the possible connection of genetic research, and of the various cross breeding programs.

However, it had never occurred to him that there really was secret organisations privately financing cross human genetic research, and that he would ever actually meet one of them, let alone a whole family.

Once he had accepted the possibility, it had not been so hard to look upon Charlene as anything other than human, only with the gift of extra abilities, basically an enhanced person. He was also no fool, he had realised the very moment that he had entertained such thoughts, that if by any remote chance, Charlene proved to be anything other than a normal human. That his very life would be on the line, yet his love was such that he had resolved within himself to confront her and bring his thoughts out into the open.

Robert interrupted his line of thought, “Do you feel comfortable with coming to live in the ranch?” Adrian had already talked everything over with Charlene, so he had come prepared.

“Yes, Charlene and I have agreed under the present situation that would be best, but I must point out now; that we intend to build a home of our own. She tells me you have some spare land not far from the eastern sector of the ranch and that there is a spot of land there that she loves.”

Robert and Juliet were slightly taken back by the strength of character and strong will in confronting them as an equal, Adrian continued talking, “On all account it overlooks part of the forestry land and would offer an ideal place for bringing up our children.”

It was that word children, that had taken Robert and Juliet by total surprise.

“Woo, now, don’t go jumping to any idea’s we haven’t actually started a family yet, in case that’s what you were thinking.”

It was almost as if he somehow magically had read their minds and body language.

“No sir, it’s just, well we sort of talked things over and have both agreed that it would be rather nice to have a family.”

As it was the evening had gone better than Adrian had envisaged, and in truth he was not sure just what he had imagined, or thought would, or might have happened. For now, he was content to lie quietly on the blanket looking up at the night time sky.

Charlene lay silently beside him, a length of wheat moved gently as it hung from the side of her mouth, and a hat lay over her eyes. It was Adrian who broke her trail of thoughts as he turned his body sideward, resting an arm across her breasts. “Now let’s talk at how we are going to go about preparing for our family.”

The moment of freedom had been unexpected yet taken with the ferocity of a bit bull-terrier on heat, and with a septic and agonising toothache. Release from Adams body had mercifully ended his apparently eternal torment, yet for the demon it needed to regain its strength. Keeping Adam alive had forced the creature to feed off the life force of any passing fish, crabs and the occasional eel. What it now craved was the regeneration, and only found from within the human life form.

Loraine called over to her companion, beckoning him further into the water. Her flirtatious behaviour had excited him; he could feel his heart pounding as her hands gently slid over his body. Together they embraced and then played in the water, and that was before she brutally yet calmly forced his head beneath the waves, with the strength of ten men.

Later that day as she frantically explained to the local police, that they had been enjoying an early morning swim until Alexandria had somehow found himself in trouble, by the time she had swam out to him he was already dead.

His lifeless body laid face down floating with a bobbing motion, as the waves moved the body like a lifeless rag doll. Already her strength was drained; those countless lost years had taken far more from within her than realised. The demon knew to gain its optimal strength, that it would mean feeding on at least three more victims, then no less than a minimum of one every two or three weeks.

The next day a local farmer had reported five of his cattle were mutilated beyond recognition, and another resident had found a vagrant dead in one of the caravan parks. When Loraine awoke, she felt refreshed and full of life, and completely unaware of the events that had taken place only those few hours before.

The demon had not gained full control of its new host, its priority had been one of survival, and like any wild beast when it was hungry, it cared not who or what its victim was, only that it would give it the vital food source it needs, and in this instance it was only found within the very essence of the human soul.

Now in the quiet of sleep it had explored the mind of its new host, fortunately Loraine had been unaware of Christine’s past or childhood. As a result, she had been unable to pass on the vital information that would have immediately of sealed Christine’s fate.

Christine was herself unaware of the imminent danger, or of the demon that now stalked the rooms and corridors of the visitor’s centre. The next day Loraine herself pursued her normal duties with the excitement and vigour of any student, however what concerned the police was her lack of emotion, almost as if she was unaware of her friend’s death. The doctors had put it down to denial, a safety mechanism, and where the mind shuts out the reality of the horror before her and prevents an emotional breakdown.

Had they known the truth, then they themselves would have gone into denial. As it was, the new host was already seeking out a new partner; unconscious to her she was been manipulated in preparation for supplying a new victim. Michael was a fellow student who had previously shown an interest, but had been rejected for Alexandria, it was Loraine who walked over to where Michael was sitting and pulled over a chair and sat next to him.

“Is there room enough for me?”

Michael like any full-blooded young male responded to her body language; her whole mannerism was exciting and inviting. Unknown to either Michael or Loraine, her body was oozing an unseen, cent like that from the musk of a deer, but tailored to Michael’s own body chemistry.

“I heard about Alexandria; I really was sorry.”

Loraine never responded her mind was deep in thought. Michael decided it wiser to not mention the subject again.

“I’m going for a swim tonight; would you like to come with me?” asked Loraine.

Michael been taken back by the suddenness of the events and had thought it wiser to decline her offer; there was something within him that seemed to warn him of an unnatural presence. Yet he was unable to put his thoughts into words or even explain why; he only knew that in the past when he had felt like this, that he had over a period of time learnt to obey and react without question. It had served him well in the past and he had no intention of changing now, not even for a quick date, or a meaningful relationship.

His rejection had annoyed Loraine; and in an uncontrollable outburst she lifted the table from the floor as she stood up, and sending the table and contents flying across the room. With a single blow she had slapped Michael across the face, breaking the jaw in five pieces, and then stormed out of the room in a torrent of tears.

The students sat stunned within the room, not fully knowing just what had happened, but had later decided to put Loraine’s behaviour down to a delayed reaction from the death of her friend.

Michael’s injury was such that he was forced to delay his work at the excavation site and was to be away for some months. He had no way of knowing just how close he had come to having the very life force from within him brutally snatched away and ending his life.

As for Loraine she was suspended from all University duties until an investigation had been carried out, mercifully for the students at the excavation site, her suspension had also saved their lives.

Loraine had returned home to Bradford in West Yorkshire, and for the immediate moment the demon had lain dormant from within her, resting and regaining its strength, and waiting patiently until it needed to feed once again. Unknown to Loraine it was already now in full control of her emotions and thoughts and had used its time in seeking out new victims.


“That is fine Miss Munford; your references have checked out and are more than satisfactory, we look forward to your starting your employment with us, could you start by next Monday?” Loraine paused for a few seconds before she answered.

“Yes, yes that will be fine with me, so it’s Mrs Wilson and a Mr Armstrong-Jones that I shall be caring for.”

As she placed the ’Phone back into its holder, she could already taste the essence of life, that left a lingering flavour on the back of her throat. Her primal desires had been aroused, the excitement had triggered a reaction that in time she was going to have to learn to control, or risk her secret becoming openly exposed, and placing herself in danger of losing her life.

For now, she needed to satisfy her desire for pleasure, the urge was growing so strong from within her that it did not matter with whom, only that it was satisfied. Like any female predator, the very act in itself was so energy draining, that she already knew whomsoever her victim turned out to be, that it would also serve to replenish her lost energy and badly needed life force.

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