(For those of you not familiar with my character Bridget O'Brien, perhaps a bit of introduction is needed. Bridget was an Irish tavern girl who became a vampire in the 16th Century.
I've kept some of the vampire mythos, and changed some. The major change I made is that my vampires (Bridget, Robert, Ling, Thorfinn, Dominic, et. al.) are not automatically "evil" because of what they are. Like all other humans, living or undead, they have free will. They remain the same people they were as mortals, the same loves and hates and desires. A long discussion of my ideas can be found in my story "Bridget's Nights", especially Chapter One. Suffice it to say that Bridget considers herself as basically a "good" person and tries to act accordingly.
One other thing. The Stasi mentioned by Wilhelm was the notorious East German Secret Police, who would, of course, have had a file on a CIA agent who was also a vampire.)
How DO I end up in what seems to be the same predicament time and time again? Yes, I know that when you're over 400 years old some patterns are bound to repeat themselves. Yes, I know that if I wasn't such a party girl I wouldn't drink so much, chase so many guys and girls, ingest a variety of strange substances and therefore wake up in the damndest places. My current situation was just the latest example.
I gathered my thoughts. I had made one of my periodic trips to Ireland. Instead of returning to the US, I had decided to swing through Europe. I hadn't really spent any time there since the beginning of the Cold War. I had been in Berlin when the Wall was going up, working frantically to extract certain people from East Germany. Me being me, I had helped a number of people not covered by my orders from the Company, ordinary people who had wanted nothing more than to flee from the Iron Curtain descending over Eastern Europe. I got in a sticky situation while assisting a family to escape. I had been forced to get well, violent, when confronted by a group of NKVD men. There wasn't enough time to hide the bodies very well and the resulting uproar had forced me to leave for the States. Not long after that I had accepted a return assignment to Asia where I would remain for years, until I was literally blasted out of Vietnam.
I visited Paris, always a favorite city of mine, and of most vampires. I then swung down through Italy, visited Greece and Austria and wound up in Germany. I really had no business visiting Berlin, still a divided city at this time. I had even less business "painting the town red", but when you've has been around for four centuries you tend to think, arrogantly perhaps, that you're always in control of any situation.
It was my fourth, or maybe fifth, gausthaus. I was about three quarters drunk on good German beer and had been dancing with several different guys. One of them had come on really strong and I had decided on him. Once again, I let my desires overtake my common sense. He was tall and blonde and well built and when we had been dancing close I had felt a nice big hardon throbbing against my body. So I had all but drug him down the hallway and outside into a dark alleyway.
I let him push me against the wall, his mouth seeking mine, his hands roaming over my body. I let him take the lead, allowing him to think he was the one in charge. His six foot plus muscular body non-withstanding, I was tremendously stronger than him but I was enjoying his ravishment of me and saw no reason to change things.
I managed to release his cock about the same time that he pulled my blouse open and pushed it down my arms. It was a good thing I hadn't bothered with a bra. It allowed him to reach under my skirt and grasp my ass, lifting me until his mouth could fasten on my breast. I had kicked my shoes off, hiked my legs up and proceeded to use my toes to shove his open slacks down his legs until they pooled at his ankles.
His cock head rubbed along the inside of my thigh. That wasn't where I wanted it. His teeth had hold of my nipple and freeing it from them caused me some rather delicious pain. And marks too, which amused me, after all, generally I left the marks of my teeth on my lovers. Okay, my fangs. But I persevered and managed to guide his shaft up inside me as I dropped down onto him. I had not worn panties either.
He must have enjoyed the feeling as much as I did when he buried his cock up my wet pussy. I could tell by the way he slammed me up against the wall and began to fuck me as though he intended to drive me through the bricks. The rough scraping against my ass and back drove me wild and I clenched him with my legs until I had to relax for fear I would snap him in two.
He was mumbling endearments in German as he thrust furiously into and against me. Words like "slut" and "whore" were about all I could pick up from his gasping. I stiffened suddenly as I picked out "Fucking American Bitch" just as his cock swelled and then emptied its load into me. I stiffened partially because I myself was cumming, but at the same time an alarm bell was ringing wildly in my mind.
I had learned to speak German, Hochdeutsch or High German, in the 17th Century. I had kept up with it, a talent for languages being one of my gifts. According to those who knew, my accent was that of Northern Germany. How did he know I was an American?
I tried to push what's-his-name away but was hampered by my alcohol slowed reflexes and the fact that I was in the middle of an orgasm. Its like trying to sneeze with your eyes open. Not that vampires sneeze, but you just can't do it. Nor can you stop an orgasm dead in its tracks. I may have been nearing 450 years old, but it was hardly something I was practiced at for heaven's sake.
Regardless of reasons, I was just slow enough that I was still encumbered by the guy I was somewhat impaled by when another shape rose up beside us and drove a needle into my neck. I had just enough time to appreciate the irony of being stuck in my jugular when the world got very dizzy. I did manage to shed my partner by throwing him against the far wall and staggered about six steps towards the back door when the world went black.
Okay. That was what had happened before. So where was I and what was happening now? I wanted to peek, but thought I should lay here for a minute or two. I felt very weak, weaker than I could recall being in a very long time. And, I was hungry. I had planned on feeding sometime during the night but would not have been distressed if I had not been able. Myths to the contrary, a vampire doesn't need blood every night, any more than the amount needed to sustain "life" is every drop in a mortal human's body. Granted, bodily damage requires more blood to heal and, damn it, human blood IS what sustains us, but I shouldn't be this hungry. I felt as if I was starving.
"Wake upppp, Bridget O'Brien." The voice was male, almost sing-song. The voice changed. "She should be awake by now, shouldn't she?"
"Its hard to tell," came another male voice. "We don't really know that much about her kind and its reaction to drugs. The usual tell-tales; the monitors we use to measure heart rate, respiration, skin temperature simply don't work on a vampire." There was a pause. "However, the involuntary movements we have observed over the last 12 hours seem to have ceased, indication that her conscious mind is back in control."
"Well then, quit laying slug-a-bed and get up Bridget. Daylight's wasting, to coin a phrase you might appreciate." Oh great, a humorist.
I sat up and looked left and right. I was in a large room, probably 20 by 20 with a ten foot ceiling. The walls were metal, steel probably, pierced by one door, also steel, that looked like it came out of a bank. The hinges were on the other side, naturally, and there was just enough room around the seal to spy the locking lugs. Those seemed to be about 2 inches in diameter, beyond even my strength to force open.
"Over here, Bridget," the first voice called to me. Loudly. I winced. I had such a headache. I often wonder about that. Headaches, I mean. Why would I have them? Its not like the blood pressure in my brain becomes excessive or anything like that. And what the hell was I doing wondering about things like that now?
I stood on wobbly legs and turned around. The wall that had been behind me held a window. It seemed to be about six feet wide by four feet tall. I could see a bank of machinery behind the two men who were examining me through the window. One was short and rather heavy set. The other one was a complete opposite. He was tall, and so slender he appeared emaciated. His black hair hung in tangles around his ears, in contrast to the neatly trimmed Van Dyke he wore. I suspected the way he was stroking the beard with his left hand was a constant habit.
I walked over to the window and tapped on it. Plexi-glass. Looked too thick for me to break through. I slammed the base of my fist against it anyway. The short man jumped. The other one didn't.
"I'm sorry," said the tall man, sounding anything but sorry. "I had this window specially constructed for you. Its not glass, obviously, but plexi-glass, thick enough to withstand your strength, or the strength of any vampire for that matter."
I settled down. No point in acting until an opportunity presented itself. He knew I was a vampire. I didn't know anything about him. Though I was then, as I have always been, Irish to the core of my soul and therefore prone to acting on impulse, I had learned patience over the centuries. I had also learned that the more information one had, the better the chances of things going the way that one wanted them to go. Right now I had basically squat.
"You seem to have me at a disadvantage." I looked around the room. "In more ways than one."
The tall man laughed. "Of course I do. That's the entire point of this." He pulled up a chair and sat in it, steepling his fingers as he regarded me.
"You can call me Wilhelm. I am a genius, interested in many fields, many things, most of which would be meaningless to such a one as you, uneducated and a hedonist. One of the many things I find fascinating has to do with creatures like you."
I let his boasting run off my back. I had learned long ago that allowing an opponent to underestimate you didn't cost anything but a bit of pride, and the dividends could be priceless. I thought I'd help his low opinion get lower. Besides, I doubted he'd even figure out I was making fun of him.
"Like me? You mean Irish?" I gave him my best wide-eyed look. I thought I'd overdone it for a second but his inflated ego bought it.
"No, you simpleton. A vampire."
"Oh," I observed.
He rose and began to pace back and forth, his hands now clasped behind his back. "I am a student of human nature. One portion of that nature that interests me is the supposed 'moral' nature that people claim to have and how they cling to it when it has no real basis. Ever since I first discovered the startling reality of your kind I have been fascinated, and often dismayed, by the failure of you and yours to accept what you are."
He glanced at me and shook his head. "What a waste. You have the potential of so much power, of being a GODDESS and indulging every whim. Yet, you cling to some out-modeled code of behavior so you can think of yourself as 'good'. Not only is it foolishness, but you are wrong. If I had such power..." he cut himself off. Oh great, was he a vampire wannabe? I had encountered the type before and it was never good.
He glared at me for a moment and then relaxed. "You in particular have interested me. The Stasi has quite a file on you. You seem to feel that you are some reincarnation of the cavalry of the American West, riding to the rescue of the innocent. I am quite sure that when pushed to the wall, you will show a different side."
He turned and waved his hand at the other man in the room. "Johann, introduce our other guest." The shorter man bowed and left, returning shortly. Accompanying him was a uniformed guard of some kind, who held a little girl of about six or seven. She was blonde, as beautiful as only a child can be, and showed the signs of having wept until she was exhausted.
"Let me introduce you to Lillian. Lillian's family suffered an accident and she alone was left alive." He put his hand on her head in a gesture that nearly caused my fangs to drop. It was a gesture of ownership, not comfort.
"Lillian is going to assist me in proving the central point of my theory." Wilhelm pointed to the door and the guard bowed and left with the little girl. Looking back at me, he took a couple of steps to the wall of instruments.
"Let me call your attention to this button. You will notice that it is the traditional red color assigned to the very important buttons. You will also notice that this clear plastic cover protects it from accidental use." He lifted the cover and rested his thumb on the button. "If I press this, a quantity of nerve gas will be pumped in through the vents. It will be sufficient to kill almost instantly anyone in that room you occupy." He smiled sardonically. "I realize that you will not be affected by this. However, any human in the room will die."
"I tell you this because the door will be opening in a minute and you will be tempted to use your inhuman speed and strength to break out. If you do, the gas will kill Lillian, who is being held right at the doorway by masked guards. You may think of trying to take them hostage. I, unlike you, have no silly scruples. No matter how fast you are, one or the other will shoot her, or she will fall victim to the gas. So move against the wall to my left, away from the door, and face the wall."
I did as I was told. Tempted though I was, I was certain he wasn't bluffing. Whoever Wilhelm was, he had researched me enough to know that I would not sacrifice a child for pretty much anything in the world, including my own life. This made me even more nervous and therefore more determined to remain calm. I heard the door swing open, then close with a loud clang and the locking bars click back into place.
"Now you may turn around."
I did, and I couldn't decide if my heart was going to break as I took in the scared, silent little girl now standing in the room with me, or if my anger was going to make me try to claw my way through the walls at the man who had put her there. My heart won out. I darted across the room and gathered her into my arms. Her arms went around me and she started to cry again.
I did nothing but rock her, letting her release her emotions again and give her a chance to hold me. Finally she wound down, and I began to whisper little phrases to her. Just things like, "Its all right." and "Don't be afraid, I won't let anyone hurt you". Things that long, long ago I heard from my parents and from my big brothers.
"Oh Bravo!" I was really beginning to hate that voice and swore to myself that I was going to do something extraordinarily nasty to him.
I glared at him. "What the hell do you think you are doing?"
"Proving what? That you and a handful of goons can frighten a little girl? You're a big man for proving THAT alright."
"No, you stupid bitch." Good, I had made him lose his temper. People who are too much in control worry me. I prefer them to be emotional. Then they make mistakes. Heaven knows I do it all the time.
He laughed. Well, he certainly had that "Snidley Whiplash" laugh mastered. "Here is what is going to happen. From us in here, nothing. Nothing whatever. We will watch and ensure Lillian has plenty to eat and drink. You, on the other hand, will have to get your own food."
His last remark chilled me. Now I was scared. "You wouldn't!"
"Me? I won't do anything. You will." He stood by the window again. "Day by day, hour by hour, you will feel yourself slip farther and farther from the guise of humanity you have adopted. You will resist, of course, but the moment will finally come that you will not be able to suppress your true nature any more. Eventually you will feed from her. And the longer you wait, the more likely you will drain her in one long draught."
"Never!" I screamed, so loudly and forcefully that Lillian began to cry again.
"Oh yes you will," he hissed. "The hunger will triumph over your so-called goodness. The instinct for self-preservation is the most powerful motivator of all. The THIRST will be stronger than anything else."
"Oh God," was all I could think. Could he be right? I didn't know how long I had been unconscious, but I had not fed for several days before the night of my capture. I had been planning on feeding then. My vampiric senses already detected the beat of Lillian's heart, felt the heat of her blood calling.
I shook my head angrily. I was stronger than that. Defiantly, I cradled Lillian in my arms. Eventually sleep overcame her. I held her while she slept, her head resting on my shoulder, my arm around her.
Time passed. I had no real idea of how much. I tried to judge by the number of times they fed Lillian. Three times and then there would be a break I assumed was night. During those times, Wilhelm and Johann were usually gone, leaving only a guard in the room beyond the glass, that I mentally labeled "The Control Room".
I tried my best to keep Lillian from knowing the situation. She was a wonderful, sweet child, who had been snatched from the collective farm she and he family lived on. Those circumstances gave me a bit of hope. If even in East German, where I now was sure we were, Wilhelm had to kidnap his subject, well, then perhaps this wasn't a government sanctioned experiment. It wasn't much, but it was something to hold on to.
All else I had was the spoon I managed to steal one meal time. The food for Lillian came to us by a sliding compartment that was something like a drive-through teller's apparatus. It was so small I couldn't think of a way I could get even Lillian through it. Her meals came on a wooden tray or bowl, with wooden utensils. Just once, somehow, there were two spoons and I concealed one in my clothing.
That same drawer brought a steel bucket for Lillian to use when she had to go to the bathroom. I always stood or knelt to shield her when she had to use it. Then we would pass it back into the drawer. Since my body wasn't receiving anything, I didn't need to use the honey pot.