I could have asked the local cops for background information about the locality, but that would have aroused their unwanted suspicions. Instead I searched the internet for satellite photos of the area. As I suspected, it was a largely abandoned, run-down, warehousing district.
I waited until dusk, because somehow that seemed appropriate. I parked a couple of blocks away, despite being fearful that my car would not survive unscathed in such a derelict area. Still, it had state-of-the-art protection, so anyone trying to break in would set off a hell of a racket, and at the end of the day it was owned by the department and replaceable. Although it was unmarked, the license plate had the unpublicized code which would warn the local cops not to interfere with it.
I had walked about a block and a half towards my destination when a large black man stepped out of a doorway and blocked my path. Two more men, both white, came up behind me. They thought they had trapped me by surprise, but I had been aware of them well before they made their move. I breathed heavily, priming my muscles with oxygen in case I needed to react quickly. If couldn't defuse the situation without violence, the whole scenario would be a bust.
"Well, what do we have here?" said the black man with a condescending sneer. "Does your daddy know where you go at night?"
Being slim with ultra-fast reflexes was a necessity of the job, and I was often taken for much younger than my actual age. "Hey guys," I said, "I don't want any trouble. Let's all go our separate ways in peace, no harm done."
"I don't think so," said the black man. "We own these streets and it's only right you should pay us a gratuity for the privilege of walking them in safety." This time the voice was much more cultured, perhaps even well-educated.
Very slowly and deliberately I took out my ID and let them all peruse it. "You know," I said, "you look like vampires to me. I reckon I should shoot first and ask questions later. What do you think?"
"Hell, Gus, I ain't no vampire," sniveled one of the white men, revealing an IQ significantly smaller than his shoe size.
The black man, presumably Gus and clearly the leader of the group, thought for a few seconds before speaking, "Hell, fella, we were only messing with you. Go in peace."
Gus made a gesture, and almost magically the three men melted away back into the shadows. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. They didn't seem to be combat-trained, so even if they had guns my ultra-fast reflexes meant I would have triumphed in a firefight, but killing uninfected citizens was not tolerated and would have resulted in my enduring a long penance of hard-labor at Uncle Sam's pleasure. Uncertainty was not an acceptable excuse.
I walked the rest of the way slowly, allowing my breathing to calm and my adrenaline rush to die away.
I found the alley and turned into it, the narrowness between two tall buildings somewhat daunting. Abandoned wooden packing crates, pools of suspicious looking fluids and various dumpsters made it an unprepossessing thoroughfare, but the entrance I was looking for was reportedly about halfway along.
Keeping my eyes and ears peeled and my hand in ready reach of my gun, I edged my way along the alley, trying to avoid the most suspiciously-colored pools. I could have heard a pin drop above the eerie silence. At last I came to the door I had been told to look for - a rickety looking wooden door with a small black 'X' chalked on it, bottom left. I could tell from the stout, shiny hinges that appearances were deceptive, and the rickety wooden shell was just a cover for something substantially more solid. To my surprise I couldn't see any security cameras.
Knock. Knock knock. Knock knock knock. Knock knock. Knock.
After I had made the signal, a security panel opened and the face of a black man peered out. "Yes?" he said.
"Joao sent me."
The security panel slid closed again, then came the sound of heavy bolts being unfastened. The door swung open, and the black man looked out, making sure I was alone. Satisfied, he beckoned me in then slammed and bolted the door behind us.
He indicated I should take the only possible route, down a drab, dimly-lit, featureless corridor to another door. This time there was no mistaking the reinforced steel, and there was an abundance of security cameras. The door clicked unlocked as I approached. I opened it and entered another world.
I was in some sort of reception area, well lit and tastefully furnished. A woman was sitting behind a large desk with several computer or video monitors on it. Two men in professional looking uniforms, were sitting off to either side, presumably where they could trap unwanted visitors in a crossfire.
"Hi, Joao sent me," I said when the woman behind the desk looked up. She was a slightly chubby dyed-blonde in her early twenties, and from her demeanor I deduced she was just a receptionist.
One of the uniformed men was mixed race, toned and muscular. The other man was white, slim and wiry like myself. There was a stillness about them both which suggested advanced martial arts training.
The blonde smiled back. "Hi, you're new, aren't you? Could you fill out a registration form." She took a form from the desk draw and held it in my direction. As I made to take it from her, I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye. Although I could easily have killed all three without significant risk to myself, I willed myself to remain calm. The white security guard pulled out a shotgun and pointed it at me.
"Best call Marie," he said, "we've got a problem."
The blonde pressed a button under her desk, then all four of us stayed in place. After a couple of minutes, an attractive, slim brunette in her mid-thirties came through a door and entered reception. She had the air of authority of one in charge.
"What's going on?" she asked.
"I recognize this fella," said the security guard. "He was on the news last week, busted a nest of vampires upstate."
"George," called out Marie, pressing a button on the reception desk, presumably activating an intercom to the man on door duty, "check this guy wasn't followed."
"All clear, Miss," came the tinny reply a few seconds later.
Marie turned to me. "Okay, explain yourself. What are you doing here?"
For the second time that night I very carefully pulled out my ID and waved it in Marie's direction... "You've got a good one there," I indicated the wiry white man with the shotgun. "I am indeed a Department of Health vampire slayer. But I'm not here on business, I'm here for research and pleasure."
"How do I know we can trust you? You might have a squad pulling up even as we speak."
"True. All I can do is give you my word, and ask you to check with Joao. He knows me well." I gave her my name.
"How do you know Joao?"
"He's my best friend from college. We've known each other for fifteen years."
"Fifteen years? You don't look old enough."
"Thank you." I smiled. That simple act was enough to substantially lower the tension in the room.
"Take a seat while I check," said Marie. "And you two, shoot him if he moves a wrong muscle." She pressed the intercom button again, "George, no more clients until I say so."
I sat down, and Marie disappeared back through the door she had emerged from. Both men were now training shotguns on me. Crude but effective.
It was nearly twenty minutes before Marie came back.
"Okay guys, you can lower your weapons," she told the security guards. Then she turned to me. "I've just had a very interesting conversation with Joao. I still don't trust you completely, but Joao vouched for you and he's never been wrong before. In fact, he suggested that this might be to the considerable advantage of our little establishment. But first, I want you to tell me what you're here for."
"I want to try a girl, a vampire girl," I admitted.
"Excellent, I have just the girl for you."
"This one's on the house. It's not often we have such an esteemed visitor. You can keep her all night if you want. Follow me."
"Miss, he hasn't registered yet," protested the blonde.
"Don't worry Linzi, we don't need a registration form for this one." Marie pressed the intercom button again, "Okay George, we're open for business again."
"Very good, Miss."
Marie led the way through the door into the back and I followed. We entered a plush hallway which would have put most five-star hotels to shame. There was a series of numbered rooms on either side, all with inspection hatches and keypad-operated security locks. Despite the plush decor, it felt rather like a mental institution.
We walked almost to the very end before Marie stopped at one of the doors, bearing the number 14, and opened the inspection hatch. She indicated I should take a look. There was a slim blonde inside, dressed in a pale blue robe, lying on a king-size bed. She looked to be late teens or possibly early twenties, although since the vampire virus stopped all signs of aging she could have been much older.
"You approve?" asked Marie.
"Nice." Yes, I did approve. And so did my cock.
"Let's go in for a closer look."
Marie typed a number on the keypad and the door unlocked. She opened the door and we both went in. The door clicked shut after us, but I noticed another keypad on the inside.
.... There is more of this story ...