Chapter 9: Day 6: The Move
Andre was lying beside Rio, trying very hard to hide his anger at the betrayal by his uncle, Kieran. How could Kieran do this to him, to his family and to the boy’s family? Last night when the boy came down to donate, Andre read his memories and found that Hamelburg or Delacourt or whoever he was to the boy had killed Tomas’s family because he expressed the desire go home. Then he saw images of Kieran in his memory. Andre searched out images of Tomas’s family, and it turned out that his parents were Andre’s cousins.
Andre wanted to kill Kieran. He arranged this debacle, had forced Andre to feed on his cousin. Feeling a world’s worth of guilt, Andre accepted some responsibility for not being there for the family. And he took responsibility for feeding on his cousin.
He was half tempted to contact his father, but this was personal, and he would deal with it in the old way. He would take over his uncle’s family by destroying the betrayer. He looked at the memories again and was astonished by what he saw. Kieran had touched the boy affectionately, stroking his hair, placing a small loving kiss on his head. He told him that things would get better, he just had to be patient.
Andre looked closer at the memories of Kieran’s eyes when he found out that the boy was his grandson, they had hardened and then softened again. He was angry that his grandson was in a cell. Was there was another explanation for Kieran being there? Andre would wait to seek vengeance for this betrayal. It could be that Kieran was being used like the doctor was.
“I don’t think he’s being used like the doctor is. I remember seeing him once on my way to the infirmary. He was looking at Delacourt with disdain, and Michael either ignored it or couldn’t see it. I got the impression that this Kieran hates what he’s doing, but he’s looking to get something specific from Delacourt. There’s determination to what he’s doing.”
“This man is my uncle and the boy—Tomas is my cousin. Do you think Delacourt knows he’s my cousin? I should have been there for him, to help him become accustomed to our world.”
“Sweetheart, you couldn’t stop them from grabbing you. What makes you think you could have stopped the boy from running away?”
“I don’t know, but I could have tried a little harder.”
“What’s important is that you do it now. Tomas is going with us to the cottage, we can help him better there.”
Before he could respond, he heard the tapping of Delacourt’s shoes.
“Get up and get ready to move. Make one wrong move, and this boy will die before you can move from the bed,” Delacourt said, holding Tomas’s fear-stricken face inches from the electrified bars.
When Andre and Rio moved to the other side of the minuscule cell, Michael tapped his wrist, and the electricity stopped buzzing along the iron bars. The lock released and the door opened.
“Now, one at a time move out, nice and slow. And before you think to attack me, keep in mind the guard on the tier above you will shoot the kid in the head,” he said as a red dot appeared on Tomas’s forehead.
Tomas whimpered, and Andre could see Delacourt squeeze his neck harder.
“What did I tell you about that shit? If you make one more sound, I’ll snap your neck you little fucker.”
Tomas went quiet, barely breathing for fear of setting Michael off. Andre could see his pulse rate increase and his scarcely visible perspiration became a venerable sheen of sweat. He kept his eye on Michael, the marksman’s dot, and Tomas, all the while shielding Rio from Michael. When they were in the aisle, another guard secured a collar around Andre’s neck.
“That’s an explosive collar, any wrong move will result in his head being separated from his body. Then I will have to start this exercise all over again. Now everyone is going to move nice and easy out to the waiting golf cart. Your new home awaits.”
Minutes later they were standing in the living room of what Delacourt called a cottage. A two-story gray stone effaced Colonial containing a master bedroom and three guest rooms, two and a half baths, the kitchen and a formal dining room, along with a basement. They were just beginning the tour of the kitchen when the doctor came around the corner with a guard holding a Colt .45 to his head.
“He was a little reluctant to come, I used the most effective means necessary.”
“I wasn’t reluctant to come, I needed the final dose of hormones, which he practically destroyed.”
Michael was so angry that the guard had almost ruined this part of the plan, that he motioned for the doctor to move beside Rio. He pulled out his weapon and shot the guard in the head, dead center between the eyes. Tomas flinched and turned into Andre’s shoulder, stifling the cry that almost escaped.
Mr. D. warned him what crying would get him, so he worked hard at not doing so. Rio paled and turned into Andre’s other shoulder, while the doctor stood over the dead man.
“Give her the last dose before I leave, and yes doctor, you will be staying here for the next nine months, or your family will be dead before you step out the door. Now, everyone, please make yourselves at home and remember you have two weeks to knock her up or you won’t have to worry about it.
“I’m a little shy about taking a woman with cameras.”
“There aren’t any cameras or audio here,” Michael lied. Rio knew it was a lie, but let it go, “the electrified retractable fence will keep all of you in line. Food is delivered once every other day. The backyard is fifteen hundred square feet, use it well. Now, enjoy your new home folks. I have a dinner meeting to get to. Good night.”
“What about the body?” Andre asked.
“You’re the vampire, you clean it up. Use some of that super speed. Oh Joseph, the final dose if you will.”
The doctor gave Rio the last dose of the hormone mixture. His hands shook with nervousness as he did so.
“Thank you, doctor, now I suggest you all choose what room you want, but as they’re the only couple here, you might want to leave the master for them. Remember Andre, two weeks, you’re on the clock beginning now.” Delacourt laughed, walking out the front door.
“What does he mean by that?” Tomas asked.
“If I don’t get Rio pregnant within two weeks, I’ll be subjected to some type of stimulation, and he will inseminate her against her will.”
“So, he’ll rape the both of you?”
“And what about you Doc, where do you play into this?”
“I’ll be the instrument of that rape. Michael will use you against all three of us.”
“What if I wasn’t here, the electrified fence would be enough to do it right?”
“You’ll do no such thing. You’ll stay put in this house if I get any hint you’re attempting suicide. I’ll know, I can pick up on your thoughts if I need to,” Andre informed him, “now, I’m going to get rid of the body.”
“I’m going to get something started for dinner. You know Andre, I never asked if you eat food?” Rio asked.
“Absolutely, my favorite is beef tenderloin lightly grilled and as bloody as possible. However, you guys probably don’t eat it like that.”
“Well, I’m learning to eat it that way. It must be the hormones and the DNA change,” Rio said looking at the doctor.
“I’m sorry Rio, I didn’t want to do it, he has my family,” Joseph told her, a sad look entering in his eyes.
“I know, it’ll work out,” she said, patting him on the shoulder.
“What’s today?” Tomas asked.
“Today is October 31st, why Tomas?” Joseph told him.
“Oh no, the 31st, you’re sure?” he asked, tears forming in his eyes as Andre moved back into the house.
“Today was my d-dad’s birthday. It’s our favorite holiday. We used to dress up and go trick or treating and get all the best candy. We’d always go as twins or something cool. One time he went as Gomez Addams, and I went as Fester,” he said, turning into Andre’s shoulder when he pulled him into a gentle hug.
“I’m sorry about your parents Tomas. I wish I could have stopped that. I have something to share with you. I read your memories of the other day. You met a man in your cell, he disabled the cameras.” Tomas confirmed it with a nod, “that man is my uncle, his name is Kieran, and he’s your grandfather. Your father was his son. I don’t know what he has to do with this, but I know he’ll take care of you. If anything happens to him, you’ll go to your great uncle, my father, and he will decide where you will live. You’re not alone,” Andre whispered into his ear. He assumed that Michael lied about the audio and visual surveillance.
“So, is he really going to make you guys have sex? Not that it’s really any of my business, but why?” Tomas asked like Andre had never spoken.
“He’s looking for the ultimate biological weapon, a creature that can infiltrate and destroy without the mass destruction of an IED. Michael’s wants a weapon that can’t be bought or sold without his approval. Until he killed the other subjects, I was under the impression that he was looking for a different type of paranormal from every line. Vampire, werebear, cat, wolf, witch, and so on. Then he killed them, my son-in-law among them, the werebear—Cory. I have his daughter—my granddaughter.
A human hunter murdered my daughter—Lily, he shot her as she was trying to save Cory. Cory dropped Maisy at our home and went into the wild, and we never saw him again. Now, I must tell her that her father is dead too. On top of that, she’s a shifter, and Delacourt knows it. I have no idea how to help her when the time is right.
Yisa, my wife, is sick and Maisy knows her grandmother won’t last the year. When Yisa’s gone, if I’m not home, Maisy will be all alone, she’s only nine. And I’m not getting any younger. Once I’m dead who is she going to go to? Cory’s family didn’t want anything to do with Maisy after Cory left. They didn’t want a part shifter part human child. What they don’t know is that Maisy is all bear, her father turned Lily before Maisy was conceived,” Joseph said, a definite depression setting in.
“Doctor Joseph, I’d be happy to take care of her, but I think I have to grow up a little. I could be a big brother as soon as I know where I’m gonna be living. If I’m gonna be living.”
“Tomas, you’re going to live. Now, Rio has dinner made, let’s go eat,” Andre said.
“Um, Andre, I’m not all that hungry,” Tomas said, not wanting to tell him the reason—Delacourt had injected him with something, swearing it wasn’t a drug. Tomas was afraid Delacourt would follow through on his threat to kill everyone and Joseph’s family if he said anything to anyone, including the doctor.
“Tomas, you have to eat. I’m not going to let you perish. Now please try to eat a little bit,” Andre implored.
“Okay, I’ll try.”
An hour later they were finished with dinner. Surprisingly, Tomas ate twice what they thought he would.
“I’m kind of tired, I think I’m going to go lay down. Is that okay?” Tomas asked.
“Sure, go ahead, I’ll take care of the dishes,” Rio said as Andre and Joseph began to clear the table.
They started working on the dishes, discussing that until they knew for sure that the audio was not enabled, that everything would have to be spoken quietly. Suddenly, Andre sped off. When he returned, he was carrying Tomas down the stairs to the living room. “Joseph, Tomas needs help,” Andre called, laying him on the couch.
Joseph checked Tomas out, realizing he was paler than he should have been. “I don’t understand, there isn’t anything wrong with him. He was fine after dinner,” he said in a hushed tone.
“He’s sick, something’s wrong with him. I don’t know what it is, but it has to do with something Michael did before he brought him to the cells,” Andre confirmed.
“Oh, God. No, he didn’t, please tell me he didn’t do that. Tomas, did Michael give you an injection? Come on Tomas, answer me,” Joseph insisted.
“Not supposed to say anything. Mr. D. will hurt your granddaughter, he said so,” Tomas replied weakly.
“Joseph, what is it?” Andre asked.
“We had a boy that Delacourt tried to change before Tomas. That boy didn’t survive the change. We had a small amount of the serum left, he must have used it on him. It could kill him.”
“What does it do?”
“It’s the first serum we had. We modified it when Delacourt wanted us to give it Rio. If he gave Tomas the initial serum and not the modified one, it’s going to kill him.”
“What can we do to help him?”
“The one thing that will probably kill him. You’ll have to convert him.”
“I’ll do it if it’ll save him,” Andre said quietly.
“How does it work?” Joseph asked.
“I have taken his blood before. I’ll give him mine, and it will create a bond with him. If his grandfather is innocent, then I’ll turn him over to Kieran for training. If not, then I’ll take him. I’ll turn him over to my father for a short time because I’ll need that time to take care of something else,” Andre said, staring directly at Rio.
“Take care of what?” Rio asked.
“It’ll be hard to train him and take care of you and a newborn and being newly married.”
“Say what?” she asked.
“You heard me,” he said, then moved to the couch.
“Tomas, can you hear me?” Andre asked.
“Andre, I’m not feeling so good. I got sick a little bit ago, and I hurt a lot too.”
“I know. I can make it better. You’re old enough to make the decision. I can convert you and make you as I am, but only if you want me to.”
“Does it hurt a lot?”
“No, you won’t feel a thing.”
“Okay, but my stomach is beginning to feel funny again, I have to throw up.”
Rio produced a bucket just as Tomas got the words out. Handing it to Joseph while Andre turned him on his side. As Tomas convulsed, racked with dry heaves from being injected with the serum, Andre held him in strong, safe arms.
“Tomas, let me do this for you. You won’t feel anything, and when I’m done, you’ll sleep. Okay?”
All he could do was nod his agreement. Andre didn’t give his body a chance to convulse again. He gently sank his teeth into the soft tissue of Thomas’s neck and pulled just enough of the tainted blood into his own system so it would be preserved. He closed the wound and turned Tomas to lay on his back; his head supported by Andre’s legs.
“Rio, I need a vial or something to spill this blood into. That way we can analyze it in case Gnome Nose has tried to do this to anyone else.”
“Joseph, do you have any empty vials that we can use? Something that we can store some of Tomas’s blood in?” Rio whispered, working very hard to keep the shiver out of her voice.
“No, but is there a clean container in the kitchen, or a plastic bag? That will work, then store the blood in the refrigerator. If you can store it in a container and then in the bag that would work the best.”
Rio made for the kitchen to get what they needed. Returning within minutes, she handed the container to Andre who deposited the blood into it then allowed Joseph to put it in the bag. Rio returned the bag to the refrigerator.
By the time she returned, Andre was removing Tomas from his throat. When his eyes fluttered open, they seemed clear of the pain he experienced only a short time before and were the most interesting shade of emerald. His natural color had paled but was coming back. The inky black color of his hair leeched out to become a vibrant auburn with deep red highlights. His chest and shoulders filled out before their eyes, his waist tucked in a bit, and his legs thickened, becoming sturdy columns. His face, hands, and feet became more defined as the bones hardened.
“Tomas, you need to rest okay? When you wake, we’ll talk about what’s expected of you now that you’re a vampire. You’re still young, so you’ll need a mentor and a guardian. Now I want you to rest,” Andre said, holding Tomas’s head on his lap, stroking his hair.
“Joseph would you please open the basement door? I moved some mattresses down there for all of us. If we’re together, it will be easier to protect you and Tomas,” he explained, looking at Rio.
They moved to the basement where Andre had placed all the mattresses but one. He had stored extra blankets and water downstairs. He wanted an advantage if it came down to it, He knew he could take any of the guards, so long as they didn’t have control of the electrogenic signals.
Placing Tomas on one of the mattresses and covering him, Andre turned to Joseph, “is there a way to disable the electrogenic chips that were implanted?”
“I don’t know, I was told no.”
Suddenly, Joseph tensed, and Rio looked scared to death. Turning slowly, Andre found himself staring into his father’s stern eyes.
“Andre, it’s good to see you, son. Remind me to kill your uncle for this mess he has placed you in, especially without my knowledge.”
“Is Kieran all right? I have a bone to pick with him.”
“He is being held a prisoner in that compound you were in a little while ago. We are waiting until the guards are neutralized. He told me about his human grandson being held here. I’ve checked, and Aleksander and Miranda are alive and in hiding. I have told them that their son is being held captive and that we are working on his release. They are worried, but they will defer to Kieran or me for now. Is this the doctor he interviewed?”
“Yes, this is Joseph Schlichman.”
“And the young vampire over there?”
“This is Kieran’s grandson.”
“That’s Tomas? What happened to him? Kieran said he’s human. The boy isn’t human, he’s a vampire.”
“Joseph thinks Delacourt gave him an undiluted version of the vampire blood serum they had. It would have killed him, so, I converted him to save his life.”
Nodding his understanding, Kelan looked beyond Andre, “this must be Rio. It’s nice to meet you, my dear. I’m sorry that it isn’t under more pleasant circumstances.”
“Hello,” she said, moving in front of Joseph as if to protect him.
“I know Joseph is being blackmailed. We have his family safely ensconced in one of our safe houses. Now, what is this I hear about electrogenic microchips that transmit an electrical charge powerful enough to put you on your ass?”
“Delacourt implanted chips to keep us compliant. It will make it easier to kill us when we are no longer useful. We need to help Kieran, there’s no telling what Delacourt is doing to him.”
“I am in touch with your uncle, he remains unharmed. No one knows that I’m here so this is where I will stay. Now allow me to disable those chips for you.”
“How? Delacourt said there wasn’t a way to do that.”
Sighing, “doctor, I have been around for a very long time, and if my son had thought to use his brain, he would have realized that the chip is a piece of electronic equipment and it can be disabled. All he had to do was overload the circuits with the electrical pulses that come from it. Like overloading your cell phone battery.”
“Yeah, but cell phone batteries explode,” Rio quipped.
“Rio, allow me to disable that chip for you. It will be uncomfortable but not painful. And in case my son forgot to tell you, my name is Kelan, and his uncle Kieran and I are twins. Now come and let me take care of that nasty chip for you,” he offered with a smile.
Forty minutes later they were sitting on the sofa that Andre moved over from against the wall, “Father, Rio and I need to…” Andre began.
“I understand son. I am going to keep Joseph here company. You two go and take care of what you need to. There isn’t anything we can do this night. Besides, we need to make sure that Joseph and the young one over there are safe first. What is the young one’s name?”
Before Andre could respond, Joseph said, “you both go, I’ll fill Kelan in on the operation. It’ll help keep my mind off my family.”