Sara's Awakening Ch. 02byHelenofTroy©
(Author's note: not sure how the first chapter ended up in Nonhuman, but as a quick note this is a non-erotic series. No vampire sex here :) Sorry.)
She sat, covered in drying blood, and tried to make sense of things. It was less than an hour since she woke up, alone and without her memories, in a room that was a strange combination between prison and hospital. It was less than ten minutes since she'd discovered a thirst that seemed only possible in fiction: blood. Someone had been feeding it to her in small amounts, presumably to keep her alive but unconscious. She'd torn open the bag and drunk it to the last drop.
Tentatively, she put her tongue to a rust patch of dried blood on her arm and recoiled in disgust. Cold and coagulated, it tasted like blood again.
"This can't be real."
Unsteadily, she got to her feet. She was feeling much better after having... eaten something, but her legs were still unsure of themselves after who knows how long in captivity. She approached the door again. It was the same old door.
"Dammit." She slapped it with the flat of her hand, still frustratingly trapped.
The door groaned and buckled under the force, its surface crumpling inward with an approximation of her hand print. She stared down at her hands in shock. Had she done that? This time she pressed both palms to the door. Gathering strength in her shoulders, she pressed against it. It groaned... twisted... gave way!
"Yes!" With a victory hop, she discarded the broken remains of her captivity and strode forward, naked and covered in blood, into the hallway beyond.
It was long and had the same white walls as the interior of her room. The walls were studded with doors similar to hers. Thoughtfully, she grabbed another one and tore it off. The room beyond was empty. It also contained an inverted bed bolted into the ceiling.
Where was the former occupant?
Sighing, she headed in the direction that looked like out. As she walked, she noticed security cameras studding the walls near the ceiling. She didn't bother concealing herself. In fact, she looked straight at one, giving it a blood-stained smile. If someone was watching, maybe they would come down and explain things to her?
Like who she was. Or even what her name was...
Fighting back against the despair that threatened to rise up at the thought of how much she couldn't remember, she kept walking. The hallway ran about 100 feet, then turned off to another similar corridor with similar doors. A random sampling of doors, performed by tearing them off their hinges, showed that these rooms were empty too.
How many? Dozens... dozens of rooms like hers. All empty.
Too many questions, not nearly enough answers.
At the next corner the hallway changed. At the end she could see what looked like an elevator. How could she remember what an elevator looked like if she couldn't even remember her own name? The doors in this stretch were different, too.
On the left was a string of doors with barred windows at eye level. She glanced in one, and the interior looked more like a cell. Still white all over, but with an obvious toilet and a right-side-up cot. Who were these for?
She wasn't sure if she envied them or not... they simple prisoners. There was no medical equipment in these rooms. Nothing to suggest they'd gone through the same thing she had... whatever that was.
On the right was a floor to ceiling plate glass window, which looked into a room that resembled... a morgue. Rows of operating tables were laid out, each with a white sheet thrown on top of a human-shaped lump. She shivered... something about the scene made her think of zombies.
The other difference in this hall was the smell. Down the other corridors was the reek of chemicals and disinfectant, but this... there was a sharp, sickly sweet odour here. It was not an improvement. At least it was different.
Trying not to breathe through her nose, she walked halfway down the hall to the door to the morgue. Unlike the other doors, it wasn't locked, so she didn't have to tear it apart to get through.
She did so anyway.
Then she used its twisted frame to smash the window on her right. It took two tries. Twenty feet of glass cracked and then shattered into thousands of small pieces. With a smug grin, she dropped the door and moved into the morgue.
When she twitched back the first sheet, a corpse greeted her. She'd expected as much. Even still, she couldn't help a small shriek as dead eyes stared up at her from the table. The body's skin was a pale blue, and its features were sunken far into its head like it had... dried up on the table. Or before the table.
Like her, its hair was buzzed down to fine stubble, and checking the back of its arm she could see the marks where it would have been clipped to those same wires that caused her so much pain before she tore them out.
Whoever it was, she didn't recognize them.
She closed the corpses eyes, disgusted that whoever was in charge hadn't done it, then pulled the sheet back over the body's head.
The next table was the same, another shrunken corpse with similar signs of mistreatment and no clues. So was the next.
Then she pulled a sheet back and a flash of recognition, tantalizing and insistent and brief, went off behind her eyes. Gareth. This was Gareth. How did she know him? Why could she remember his name and not her own?
"Dammit, who are you?" She leaned in close. The corpse gave no further information. It had been mistreated the same as the others, and it was dead like the others. No breath fluttered behind its lips, no light flickered in its eyes, no blood ran in its veins.
She bit the tip of her thumb, trying to break skin. At first she didn't succeed. Then her incisors stretched out into fine points and pressed into her flesh with no resistance. Careful not to go too deep, she opened a gash on the end of her thumb and poised it over the corpse's lips. Gareth's lips.
To be helpful, she opened his mouth with her other hand, then let the drops of blood fall into it.
Drip, drip, drip... nothing.
The wound closed quickly, sealing up and leaving no evidence of its existence within seconds. The corpse... Gareth... didn't react.
"Well." She considered the corpse and its now ruby lips. "Shit."
She pulled the sheet back over his head, then continued on.
There were too many corpses for her to look at each individually, but the few around Gareth brought back quick flashes of remembrance. Names, voices, laughter... it swam into her mind's eye and disappeared, too quickly to pin down. Chelsea, Brad, Jorg, Selene, David... who were these people? She knew them, yet she didn't.
Were they vampires, too?
Was she even a vampire? She'd been thinking of herself that way. What did it mean? Wasn't she supposed to be undead? Because she felt way too alive... her heartbeat thrummed in her veins, her breath was becoming faster the longer she stayed in this creepy place, and if it weren't for the fangs she would have a hard time believing what was happening.
It could still all be a dream ...
Shaking her head, she stopped looking at the bodies and left the morgue. If there was anyone still around down here, they would have to have noticed her escape by now and be coming. Right?
"Sara? Sara! It's actually you!"
She walked right by an occupied cell, too lost in thought to notice the voice at first.
"Sara? Hey... Sara?" Hands poked themselves out of the barred window, and swiveled towards her. A plaintive voice kept calling a name. Her name? It didn't ring any bells... shouldn't her name be recognizable? "Come on, Sara, where are you going?"
She walked back to the door and peeked into the window. In the cell beyond was a well-dressed man. Well, he'd once been well-dressed. His suit and trousers were rumpled, dirty and torn. On the bed lay a broken cane. He was standing fine, so it seemed ornamental. She could smell the rancid stench of the chamber pot from here; no one had checked on him in a while.
"Who are you?"
"What? It's me, Merton... okay, actually, that's fair. We didn't know each other so well... but come on! This is not a social visit."
"No... am I... is Sara my name?"
"Yes, of course it... is... oh, shit." Merton backed up a step, pulling his hands back away from the bars. "Hey, Sara? Did you know that you're covered in blood?"
"And naked? Yes. I'd noticed."
"Is that... does that mean?" Merton backed up all the way to the other side of his cell. "You changed? Shit! You changed."
"Listen." She pressed her hand against the edges of the door and looked in, trying to stare him down. He twisted his gaze away and refused to meet her eyes. "I don't remember anything."
"Of course you don't... haha." He actually said the words, 'ha' and 'ha', with a nervous pitch to them. "One of." His voice cracked. "Ahem. One of the side effects is memory loss. So I'm told."
"So you're told?"
"Look, not the time. Are you... you're not... hungry?"
"I had some blood back in my room."
"Oh, haha, yes I see." He relaxed, even took a step forward. "Can you... get me out?"
"Sure. Just let me..." She backed away from the door and wrapped her hands around two of the bars in the window. Flexing her fingers to make sure she had a firm grip, she pulled backwards with all of her newfound force.
With a hideous screech... the two bars came right out of the door, leaving jagged paths and a firmly locked door behind them.
"Woah! Damn... can you try actually opening it this time?"
"Laugh it up." She moved her hands down, pressing them against the actual door. Before she could put her force of will toward tearing yet another heavy steel door out of its frame, the elevator roared to life. To her, it roared... Merton looked like he couldn't even hear it. "Shit! The elevator."
"What? The elevator? Shit! You'd better hide!"
"No, I have to get you out." Right now, he was the only person in the world who knew who she was. Her captors might know as well, but given that behind her were over two hundred bodies of people she'd known, she didn't think they were the sharing type.
"Go! Hide! Come back after the men with guns leave."
The sound of the elevator was getting louder. More insistent. Shaking her head, she turned and ran back into the morgue.
"I'll come back for you."
The world became a blur as she ran three rows into the morgue and two over, then skidded to her knees behind one of the operating tables. From the sound of Merton muttering "damn, she's fast", it might be literally true that the world blurred around her. Disconcerted once again by these abilities of hers, she focused on not being seen.
The elevator 'ding'ed, and the doors slid open. She peeked around the edge of her table and saw two men in Kevlar, carrying sub machine guns and looking grim, exited the elevator and started walking down the hall she'd just been in. Good timing... a few seconds later and they would have seen her.
The two men swept down the hall, covering each other and looking like they knew what they were doing. The movements were familiar, like she could remember doing them. Had she been a soldier?
Merton had to know... he had to.
"Damn, is that a stink!" One of the men stopped at Merton's door and waved a hand in front of his face theatrically. "Someone better come down and clean that out."
"Or shoot him."
"Funny, you two." Merton's grumble was audible to Sara. She imagined that might be part of her newfound strangeness. Was it newfound? Merton made it seem so.
As she watched the two soldiers, she felt around a shelf under the table, looking for something she could use... there! A scalpel.
It seemed woefully inadequate compared to automatic weaponry.
One of the soldiers walked into the morgue while the other covered the hallway from beside Merton's cell.
"Hey, why are you two down here anyway?"
"Cameras picked something up... the last subject got out."
"Cut the shit. You didn't rip those bars out. You know she's out here."
"What are you going to do when you find her?" Merton kept the innocent tone in his voice, raising the volume subtly to make it easier for Sara to hear the conversation.
"Kill her. Or whatever. We're rolling out soon; whatever the boss wanted with these freaks he's finished now." The second soldier was making his way through the morgue, systematically looking behind each table with his gun ready. There was no way he would miss Sara's presence.
"Rolling out... where are we going?"
"You're not going anywhere, my soon-to-be-starving-to-death friend."
"Ha. Haha... funny."
Sara tightened her grip on the scalpel as the man came closer. Table by table. Closing the noose. She gritted her teeth as fear wrapped its icy claws around her insides. Another two tables and he would see her...
"Really, though, that's not nice... when are you leaving?"
"Not soon enough. Hey, got anything over there!?" The man talking with Merton raised his voice. With the silence gripping the morgue, he needn't have bothered.
"No, I haven't seen anything!" The one sweeping towards Sara stopped to look back as he shouted it.
The table she was hiding behind groaned in protest and shifted as she used it to launch herself towards the soldier. She flew through the air, easily clearing the table, and stabbed viciously downward with the scalpel.
Fast... she moved so fast! She was not ready for the speed with which she rocketed across the morgue towards her prey. He was less ready.
With a scream he stumbled back, the scalpel lodged so deep in his neck that it couldn't be seen. He dropped the uzi to claw at it, trying to get purchase. He couldn't. Blood, hot and bright, fountained out around the metal implement. Her aim was true: she'd hit him right in the carotid.
She intended to go onto the next soldier, but the smell and the splash of blood caught her attention. Unbidden, she felt herself salivating and her teeth growing longer...
Without realizing it, she was at the man's throat. Her hands pinned his arms viciously behind his back when he tried to fight. His shoulders popped audibly; she dislocated them both. Her mouth was clamped over the hole in his neck, and she gulped blood from the wound.
It was so much better than before!
The blood in the bag was thick and lukewarm, barely enough to sate her. This burned her mouth with its heat, and set her senses alight with its intensity. It flowed in rivers over her tongue and down her throat, and she heard herself whimpering in joy. The man's screams grew in intensity as moments passed and his life blood pumped itself into Sara's throat.
Finally, she had to come up for air. With a gasp she pulled her mouth away from the wound and sucked lungfuls of oxygen. With her no longer there to drink it, his blood spurted from the hole in wild arcs, covering several white sheets with a spray of blood. Her skin, already covered in drying blood from before, was painted red with the man's death.
"Connor! You bitch!" The other soldier, shocked at the sight before him, squeezed off several rounds in Sara's direction.
She still had a death grip on the man who was apparently Connor, and he acted as a shield for her now. His body jerked as the bullets struck him in the back, then his every muscle went stiff as Sara put her mouth on his neck and sucked more blood.
It was coming more slowly now; she had to apply suction to get even a mouthful... reluctantly, she let Connor drop to the floor and turned her attention to the other man. She could feel blood running down her mouth and chest, pooling in crevices and then streaming down slopes. Greedily, she licked some of Connor's blood from her lips.
"You... what the Hell!?" The living soldier pointed his gun at her and opened fire again.
Sated from the blood, she moved too slowly this time. Bullets, hot and full of fire, tore through the high of her feast and brought with them pain. She screamed and threw herself onto the ground, clutching her arms around her stomach as half a dozen slugs of burning lead pierced her skin.
"What are you doing!? You're invincible! Get him!" For the first time since the fighting started, Merton spoke. Yelled, actually.
"Shut up! I got her... I shot that bitch dead. Like I'm gonna do to you if you're not quiet." The soldier banged against the door, shouting.
"Better than starving."
Sara could not follow their conversation; she was huddling behind a table, cradling herself against the pain and trying not to whimper. If he believed she was dead... well, wasn't she? There was no medical help here, and at least half a dozen of those rounds went into her abdomen. She knew what gut wounds did to a person...
She didn't know how she knew that. One more mystery... never to be solved.
"Alright, honey... if you're still alive, why don't you tell me where you are?" The man walked into the morgue; she could hear his footsteps. "You looked like a real pretty girl, you know? Maybe if you play nice we can get you fixed up... bring you with us." His voice was patronizing; an attempt at soothing when she knew he wanted to shoot her.
"She's not going to listen!"
"What did I say about shooting you if you don't shut up!?"
"I just might!"
Sara heard the soldier shift his weight as he turned to point at Merton. Surprised he would make the same ridiculous mistake his partner did, Sara summoned her strength and lunged to her feet. She ran as hard as she could, pushing through the pain of the bullets and the knowledge of death, to get him before he shot Merton. She owed him that much, right?
With her bare feet, she was almost silent as she ran. The distracted soldier didn't notice until she was only a few steps away.
He whirled and opened fire, moments before she could reach him.
She screamed as point-blank gunfire met her naked body. The momentum of her charge took her up to the soldier, where she lashed out with a punch at his head. With all of the pain she was in, it felt like she would not even stun him. Instead, his skull caved in.
His helmet crumpled like it wasn't there, then his flesh and bone. He collapsed.
Sara fell to her knees.
"Finally!" Merton shouted from behind the door, and poked his head between the bars to look at her. "They're gone and you can help me out..."
Sara groaned and leaned forward until her forehead was pressed against the floor. Pain blossomed and coursed through her body, wracking her. She shuddered and gasped and a scream ripped itself from her abused throat.
"Really?" Merton sighed in exasperation and his head disappeared from the window. "Let me know when you're ready..."
Ready? She was dying!
"I'm dying!" She managed to drag the words out; ended up yelling them so loud that the door and the whole hallway vibrated with the power of it. Was she imagining that?
"You're a drama queen!" She heard Merton sit down on his cot, hard. "You'll be fine soon enough. Drink that second guy if it'll help."
Sara glanced over at him. He wasn't moving.
"He's dead." She fought against the gag reflex which asserted itself when she thought of drinking the dead man's blood.
"Don't aim for the head next time."
"You know, you could be nicer to me." The words were coming out more easily... Sara wondered if she was getting used to the pain. "I'm going to... die soon?" She realized that the pain was subsiding.
She glanced down at her stomach. Where dozens of ragged bullet holes should have been, there was angry red skin fading to pink. "... the Hell?"
"They sure hurt like H... ugh!" Nausea hit her, quick and violent, and she choked back the desire to vomit. "They... hurt like Hell... agh!" The second time, she couldn't stop it.