After the registration, the other doors to the subway train contained some new clothing and food, which all four of us enjoyed. We sat down upon a picnic table set up within the pit in front of the train and talked.
We were underground for three days. The artificial light would often go out for hours. There was no heat and summer would end in two months. For being trapped inside a prison populated with angry super creatures, the station was stocked very well. The Network, the runners that worked within the Network, were very skilled at their jobs. Inside the station there was no pressure to do anything but the funny thing about milling around aimlessly… eventually, you look for something to do, if your not an alcoholic.
Both the twins found work as enforcers. Rebecca worked as a vendor. She was 14 and reminded me a lot of my late daughter. I was never sure if I stuck around her because she reminded me of family or she tolerated me for her own issues but I would sit nearby and drink. I would disappear. After a day of terror and then three days of quiet I slipped back into my routine of quietly committing suicide.
That was until I was awoken by several sharp kicks to the side. I’ll tell you this pain does wake you from a drunken slumber but it’s not guaranteed you will be functional and I wasn’t. My eyelids weighed 200 pounds and my legs an additional 100. Rebecca was relentless and shoved me several more times. I managed to open my eyes to see her standing above me. Her face was twisted with emotion but she was also frightened. I knew that face. I had seen it a hundred times.
I jolted awake and asked the problem and she told me that we had to leave the station now. The station guards were after her. Without question, I stood. I was sick but I lumbered after her. We made our way through the subway tunnel, our eyes had by this time adjusted mostly to the darkness. Fear of anything was far from my mind as we approached an unmarked steel door. Rebecca opened the door and we stepped inside. A set of stairs led us up and to an exit. At the exit I stopped and asked, “what the hell are we doing?”
The guilt bled from her pores. She began to cry, small tears and finally told me.
”I’m sorry, I fed on someone.”
“Fed on someone, what do you mean you fed on someone? Like cooked them and ate them… is that the strange meat you served at your shop.”
”No, stupid,” she shot back. “I’m a vampire. I drew blood from someone. I was incredibly thirsty. I couldn’t stop.”
I was in a state of absolute shock. I hadn’t picked up any clue that she was a vampire. Her hair was a thick red. Her face was thin but not gaunt and unnaturally stretched. Her teeth, I never saw them up to this point.
She showed me her teeth and they were unnaturally long but fit into her mouth with ease.
“I don’t know why I woke you from your drunken sleep,” she said. “I’m sorry, I should of left you. You don’t need my trouble. I should just go.”
She attempted to open the door but I stopped her.
“You will wake them up with that noisy door. Stay put.” I said.
“I am a walking ball of suicidal tendencies who drinks to forget he is still alive. I walk around in a stupor wondering what the hell I’m alive for but then meet those crazy twins and you. You allow me to drink for however many days it’s been. I don’t even know how I paid for it and then you kick the shit out of me and drag me to this door. I’m surprised you cared enough to wake me.”
“Apparently, I need someone to watch out for me because I can’t control my impulses and neither can you. What was your plan? Did you have a plan?”
“Run away with a drunk was your plan then? Open that door and run away hoping they don’t tear your apart?”
“I’ve seen the Crawlers. Have you? They are broken vampire, did you know that?”
”We need a plan.”
”I have a grandmother that still lives downtown. She has a house. We can hide out there.”
”Sure, we can do that. Your grandmother will be dead, I’m sure.. no disrespect intended but we could but we need food and supplies. The Network has runners all over the city. They will find us. I don’t think running is the smartest plan.”
”Are you sure the guards are after you. Maybe it was a misunderstanding.”
Rebecca laughed. I caught a glimpse of the teeth for a moment.
”You can’t misunderstand a murder.”
”Right,” I agreed, “but maybe we can find you help. A vampire trainer?”
”Sure, let’s do that. That makes a lot of sense.” She replied. “Maybe we can look in the phone book.”
”I’m not that old,” I said being 30 at the time phone books were before my time.
”Maybe we can Goggle it.”
”Goggle it,” I replied with my own laugh. “We could Google it but the internet has been dead for years.”
”What do you suggest?” She asked.
“I say we go back and make a deal.”