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Chapter 3: Michael Delacourt/Mr. Hamelburg

He was livid. How could his investigators miss something as crucial as an allergy on a selected subject? He made for his office to verify the file that he kept under lock and key. How could he have missed something as important as that?

Michael retrieved the file on Rio, and when he looked at her medical information slammed his fist into the computer screen. Listed under known allergies and in large red block letters. “ALLERGIC TO ALL OPIOIDS AND DERIVATIVES OF OPIOIDS—HEALTH ASSESSMENT RECOMMENDATION—DECLINE CANDIDATE.”

Damn it to hell in a handbasket, what am I supposed to do now? He couldn’t let her go, the memory wipe drug was still years from being completed. If his investors found out about this, he would be sitting in a cell in the middle of the Arctic Circle until his nuts froze off.

Picking up the phone he called Schlichman, “get to my office now!” he yelled, slamming it down with more force than was necessary. The phone broke into several small sections, scattering across the putrid green flecked linoleum. Minutes later he heard a hesitant knock.

“Come!” Michael bellowed.

“You wanted to s-see me?” the doctor asked, afraid that his granddaughter was now in jeopardy.

“The medical chart on Rio says that she’s allergic to all opioids and their derivatives, is there a drug cocktail that will be effective on her without killing her?”

“We will have to do some investigating, but for now we can use high levels of Acetaminophen. If the pain becomes too great, we can always sedate her until the worst of it passes. And if that doesn’t work, we can give her small amounts of marijuana mixed in with her foods. We can inject it into the meat that she eats. By the time she realizes that her food is drugged in such a manner, she might be in too much pain to really care,” he replied, forcing himself to keep his head up. He had Maisy and Yisa to think about.

“Even with the changes? Good. Get to work on a drug cocktail for her. I want it ready in a week. They’ll be moving to the cottage at that time. We must make sure this project works at all costs. I have millions in research and development invested, and my investors are not the forgiving types. Well, what are you waiting for?” Michael finished by yelling at the top of his lungs sending the doctor scurrying like a rat abandoning a sinking ship.

Now to set the ball in motion between Rio and Andre, he thought as he grabbed his gym bag from the closet. He had a lot of nervous energy to work off, and Mui Tai was just what he needed to expel it. Then he would worry about Rio’s lack of cooperation and Bloodworth’s upcoming visit the following day.

Michael began his workout thinking about his first major setback, his inability to acquire a female vampire. That alone pissed him off. He assumed that paranormal human females would work just as well. He had three years to prove that a vampire child would be the perfect military killing machine.
Who knew female vampires were rare? It wasn’t like they put ads in the local singles section for God’s sake. When Bloodworth came to him and told him that the investors had moved up the timeline from five to three years, he had to step up his plans. The damn consortium, if they weren’t making his life miserable someone else was.

He was the founding father of military genetic siphoning of paranormal beings. Para-Gen was his company; started when he was in college. It was no secret that paranormals existed alongside humans for centuries and that humans were none the wiser.

When he first began this endeavor, he thought finding a female vampire would be easy. When that failed, he tried to make one of his own. That experiment ended with disastrous consequences. The consortium almost pulled out at that point. Keeping this project going was an uphill battle he’d barely won, and installing the incinerator was his best idea, until Rio.

He searched paranormal sites that offered discussion boards for subscribers to communicate with each other. He set up his profile to indicate that he was interested in vampires and animal shifters. While shifters were harder to find, he knew at some point one would become evident, and he would capture him or her and use them as well. But then he found Rio and discovered that she would be going to that ridiculous convention in Rosedale.

He arranged to meet her there. His investigators did a complete background check on her and found that she ate fish of all kinds but four-legged animals she wouldn’t touch. That would change once she was pregnant.

He began dating her, making sure that he plied her with gifts and small tokens of affection, just like a real boyfriend would. To ensure that he always knew where she was, he assigned a detail to her. They went out once a week on a Friday or Saturday but always after dinner time. After six months of nauseating and mind-numbing dating without even the benefit of sex, he finally decided to put an end to the charade.

The restaurant was one of his holdings, so to get it emptied for the night was no problem. He figured that she would be so enamored with the décor that she wouldn’t question why the restaurant was empty. He ordered the surf and turf for them both, but she refused to eat the steak that was cooked to the proper medium rare tenderness. He got angry at her holier than thou attitude, and he knew he had blown his cover when she put the fork down politely beside the plate and stood up.

If Cooper hadn’t been there to inject her with the sedative, she might have used her abilities on them all. Now he was really pissed off. Not only had he missed the allergy part but now it looked like he had been wrong about her having abilities in the first place.

Maybe, she really doesn’t have paranormal abilities, and this has been an exercise in futility. Michael thought.

He wasn’t ready to let the issue go just yet. The minor success he’d achieved in nearly converting the homeless teen was promising. They just needed a little more time.

I should use the remaining serum on Rio and see if it works. Or, I could extract some blood from Andre and use that. His blood is connected to the source. What we used on the teen was a synthetic derived from a sample acquired forty or fifty years ago. I could try that after the birth of the child. That’s assuming Rio lives through the childbirth. Of course, that means keeping Andre alive a bit longer than I really wanted to, but I can live with it.

Michael didn’t realize that he had completed his entire workout while working on his most recent problems. Giving the bag one more good kick, he headed for the showers. He had a basic plan worked out by the time he was done. They’d start by moving up the timetable on the project, beginning with the introduction of the fertility drugs designed for Rio. And she’d take them, or she’d spend the next two weeks tied to the bed until he was sure her levels were high enough that just a look from a man would impregnate her.

Once he gave the order to the medical staff to start the treatments, he would see to Andre. Michael knew he couldn’t slip anything into Andre’s rations or into the subjects he would drink from. No, with Andre he would have to just count on good old-fashioned male testosterone and the elevated levels of hormones in Rio.

Making his way to the cells, he asked the doctor to join him. He’d try doing things the nice way. They had implanted the electrogenic devices in both subjects, but if they used it on Rio again, it could kill her. So, he would use her to keep Andre in check and Andre to keep her in check.

“At least you know to stay back,” Michael looked at Andre reproachfully, “I’m going to explain this to you once. I’m going to kill her if you don’t do as I tell you. Don’t feel bad, she’s getting the same instructions. In a week, the two of you will be living together in a larger location. I want you to observe what happens in there, it will eventually have a large impact on you both. Now be a good boy and stand there.”

Michael stepped into the cell where Rio sat on the cot.

“What do you want?”

“Your cooperation. If you’re a good girl, I won’t kill the vampire in the cell across the way. If you’re not, I’ll hit him enough electricity to light up the entire western seaboard. Now lie down and lift your shirt. You’re about to become an essential part of my little science project.”

Fearing that he would do precisely what he said, Rio lay down on the cot and lifted her shirt. Dr. Schlichman entered carrying a tray bearing two syringes. Palpating her abdomen, he injected Rio with both and then left, a sad look in his old brown eyes. It was lucky for him that Michael didn’t see it or there would have been reprisals.

“Good girl, now, you do what you’re supposed to, and we’ll all get along fine,” he sneered.

“What was that? If you’re going to use me as a genuine pig, then I should at least know what kind of toxic chemicals you’re injecting into me,” she snapped.

“Oh, those aren’t toxic chemicals Rio, they’re hormones, enough to make you fertile in about six days. You’ll get two shots a day for the next six days. Then you and lover boy over there will be moved to another location. So, you might want to get to know him a little. You’ll eventually carry his child, willing or unwilling, the choice is up to the two of you. If your response is unwilling, I only need get his sperm and impregnate you artificially. Then I don’t need him. Keep that in mind,” Michael said, with a haughty laugh as he exited the cell. Once he was out of the vault like a door, the automatic lighting system went off plunging the corridor into darkness.

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