REBIRTH



AUTHOR: bronic@verizon.net

CHALLENGE: #1 REBIRTH

MINI SYNOPSIS: Bronic becomes Kindred

RATING: PG

1916, Washington, D.C.

The elevator to the bottom floor of the secret military lab seemed to take forever. Captain Bronic Brannaugh stood still and watched the numbers on the bronze dial drop lower and lower as the lift descended deeper into the earth. He checked his watch but it was just for something to do to waste time until he finally came to a stop. Glancing up, he saw that he was fourteen floors below street level.

Exiting the small lift, the captain was met by a handful of white coated lab assistants who carried clipboards and wore forced smiles. The senior member, who fittingly was losing his hair, stepped from the ranks and extended his hand. Bronic took it and felt the clamminess as he shook the wet palm. He couldn't help but think that these men were nervous. Getting a tepid welcome that was supposed to instill a feeling of security, Bronic was led away amid a chorus of lab techs who congratulated him for volunteering for the Top Secret assignment.

Walking down a corridor that seemed forever long, Bronic was detoured into a small room in which was only a gurney. I.V. bags hung from metal rods and they were filled with what Bronic assumed was blood. Before leaving, a tech asked the captain to remove his clothes and wait for them on the table. Alone with the sterile white walls, Bronic disrobed and waited on the crisp white sheets for someone to come and tell him what was going on. Out in the hall, he heard voices. One seemed louder and very agitated. Several times, he said that it was not only dangerous but that it was criminal and the captain should be told about the risks.

Minutes later, the door opened and the senior doctor walked in, again, armed with a clipboard and a smile. Bronic looked at the doctor and said, "Anything you need to tell me, doctor?"

"I've been reminded by one of my more timid colleagues that there are risks to this procedure", said the doctor as he pushed his glasses up on his nose.

"Aren't there always risks, doctor?"

"Yes, Captain Brannaugh, there are."

"I'm ready to accept those risks for my country, doctor. I want to help and do my part."

"Well then, captain, lets get to it, shall we?", said the doctor as he put down the board.

Laying down, Bronic was then surrounded by a small army of lab techs who stuck him with needles and wire leads that led to mechanical read outs in what were primitive computers. The young, would be lawyer felt the sedatives begin to take effect and his eyes get heavy. Before closing his eyes, he saw his blood flowing from a clear tube and into a glass beaker. And from the bag of blood already there when he came in, he saw it flow in to take the place of his blood. Drifting off to sleep, he thought...It must be a special serum to strengthen me...I'll be a better soldier...


****sometime later****

His eyes snapped open and his mouth was set in a silent scream. With his whole body feeling like it was on fire, Bronic Brannaugh tried to sit up but found that his body had been restrained. Olive drab straps were criss-crossed across his body in more places than he could have guessed. With another spasm wracked his body, the straps flexed and strained against the now pale white skin of Bronic Brannaugh. With a tear and a pop, the  captain's arm shot free and grabbed the nearest tech. With his hand around the terrified assistants throat, Bronic tossed the small man against the far wall there to slide to the floor. Huge soldiers jumped atop the wildly thrashing Brannaugh to restrain him. It cost one of them a broken arm and another a nose that would never work properly again.

As the soldiers were tossed off or jumped away in terror, one of them could take the horror before him no longer. Drawing his service sidearm, he fired the revolver point blank into the chest of the bound captain. With his eyes glowing a hellish red, Brannaugh stared down at the holes in his chest and raged. Dimly, he wondered why he wouldn't die. Flexing with a strength that he had never felt before, Bronic tore his other arm free and was about to free himself when several techs rushed forward and injected full syringes into the wildly thrashing form of the captain. Growing groggy, Bronic collapsed back against the gurney and still snarling, passed out cold...

Bronic came to...he had no way to know how long he had been out. Leaping to his feet in less time than it took for him to think about it, the snarling Brannaugh sought a way out of the steel cage he found himself in. Solid metal walls greeted him, with no windows and a door that had less than a fraction of an inch between the wall and the frame. High overhead, a speaker crackled to life...

"Captain Brannaugh......."

Whirling, Bronic screamed to the air, "What have you done to me?!"

Calmly, the voice told him, "The experiment was a success, captain. You are a success."

Again, he screamed, "What have you done to me?!"

"Bronic...an experimental serum was introduced into your blood stream and you've been...changed."

"What am I....?"

The tinny exclamation that came from the speaker was not what Bronic wanted to hear..."This is your rebirth, captain. You're a vampire...a vampire."

The soul wrenching scream that issued from the cell didn't require a speaker to hear all over the facility.

During the following days, the medical team made attempts to feed him. Bags of blood, the still warm bodies of small animals, live animals...they even threw in "unwanted" war criminals. Bronic refused. Eventually, the new vampire grew weak, lethargic. Days went by and eventually the terrified meds went in to what they thought was a dead Bronic. Taking the opportunity to affect his escape, the former captain used the last of his failing strength to flee the underground facility...


New York City, 2005

With a scream that sounds much like the one issued from a secret lab many years ago, Bronic Brannaugh wakes in his high rise condo. With eyes wide and wild, the Noblesse lawyer searches the room still seeing the ghosts of ages past. Reaching over to the night stand beside his bed, the shaking vampire grabs a small vial of softly glowing green liquid. Unstopping the container, he quickly swallows the mixture and without a thought, crushes the vial in his trembling hand.    Standing, he knows that only one thing with calm him in this state. Going down the hall, Bronic opens a solid oak door and enters it. On a stand at the far end of the room rests an ancient Bible. The vampire kneels before the text and silently reads from the book of Psalms...

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