Center of the Sun.01
The man was sick with a terminal illness, homeless wandering the streets. His life in ruins and no one to turn to, no resources left, he remembered one thing a friend had told him. At a particular street in the city there was a manhole where a person who knows death is coming, and has no hope, can wait nearby for one full day and someone will come to them and offer them some sort of deal that will allow them to live and to have a new life. But the specifics were not clear. It may just be a legend. But he was out of options, and it is amazing how willing a person is to believe when stared down by death. So as his friend told him, he waited nearby the manhole continuously for a full 24 hours. He did not notice if anyone saw him or was watching him. As the end of the 24 hours elapsed he was met by a man who told him to return to the manhole and someone will meet him there and give him instruction. So he did. That morning a man indeed showed up and told him they should remove the cover and go down together. They climbed down the ladder into the dark drain below and suddenly the man pulled out a gun and shot him two or three times.
You’re as good as dead already otherwise you wouldn’t be here.
Listen good, over there is a letter. You have to read it and make a decision. If you decide to go through with it, ring the doorbell, and a woman will appear.
So he crawled over to the letter. It was only half a page saying that if he was willing to give up his blood, in exchange he could live forever. But that was all. He looked at the doorbell and with nothing to lose, rang it. Indeed a woman opened the door soon thereafter. She looked like a medical practitioner of some sort. She bade him come in and took him to a workshop where she explained to him he should now slit his wrists and let the blood flow into a container. She demonstrated for him by slitting her own wrists, letting the blood flow. So he did it and let the blood flow into the container. Soon a man showed up, sharply dressed like a businessman with his jacket off, and bearing only a vest. He handed him contract to sign. The contract explained, that by offering his blood he has made clear his intention to live forever as a vampire. If he chooses to escape death and become a vampire, he will become the property of Mr V’s organization that will train him on how to be a vampire while being a part of regular society. He will be given skills that allow him to get a new lease on life. He will be trained on how to conceal what he really is. In effect, he will be given a second life, one that does not end, as long as he plays by their rules. If he does not follow the rules, than his life will be forfeit. He signed the papers since he knew he was very close to death as it were. Immediately and ferociously, Mr V attacked his throat like a wild animal. And then he fell asleep. When he awoke, he realized to his surprise, that he was alive, and that his new life had just begun as promised. He felt grateful and wanted to follow Mr V. But it hadn’t sunk in what he was now.
He learned in time that Mr V had created a vast network of vampires that assisted those who were dying and were willing to accept being a vampire as long as they followed Mr V’s rules. They were beneficial rules overall. They gave the vampire something to do, something constructive, it taught them how to avoid detection. They could live in harmony, more or less with the human world while still being a vampire. But of course there was another group of vampires who thought that humans should be made to live in harmony with vampire ways and, as one might imagine, their goal was controlling the humans rather than living in harmony with them. They thought it shameful to hide what they really were and wanted to force the humans to live in the vampire world rather than the other way around. Naturally this approach was bound to lead to a lot of bloodshed and conflict which is what Mr V wanted to avoid.
There is an urban legend that says if a person knows the time of death is near, there is a manhole in a secret part of New York City where you can go to escape death. The legend says that the dying person most find the location of this manhole cover on their own but no indication is given on how to accomplish this.
Nevertheless, if a person is able to ascertain the whereabouts of said manhole cover somewhere in New York City, they are to visit it and wait within eye shot of the cover for a full twenty four hours without leaving for any reason. The one account of a person who was dying, found it’s location, and waited for the full twenty four hours describes how the scene unfolded. Supposedly the man was dying of an incurable disease, and being a very sensitive person, he sensed his time was very near, perhaps too near for him to even make it through the ordeal of going to this place and waiting alone for something to happen. One might think it would make more sense to expend energy on experimental treatments or perhaps some other medium of salvation from death aside from the customary tale of eternal life after death. But who knows, this approach is as much of a tale as anything else so it may just depend on the instinctual proclivities of the person in question. At any rate, so the story goes, the man waited for twenty four hours within eye shot of the manhole and after twenty four hours had elapsed, someone he had never seen approached him and handed him a note and then left. The note read ‘we see you have been waiting by the manhole for twenty four hours so you must be seeking salvation from death. If this is the case. Come back early in the morning when there are very few people around, remove the manhole cover and climb down. Someone will be there waiting for you. He will take you to the next step of your quest.
So the next morning he went to the manhole and pried it open. Fortunately it was in an dilapidated industrial area of the city, so there was no one around at that early hour. He pried open the manhole cover and climbed down the ladder to the sewers beneath. From this point on the details are hazy, and it is unclear how anyone would have pieced together the events that unfolded, but the story goes that he was met by an armed man who, without saying a word, shot him twice with the pistol and then told him, ‘you and I both know you are going to die anyway. This act frees you of all hope which is the first step in your quest to be free of death. Do not worry because pain will not matter if you are able to make it to the next step. You are now bleeding profusely in your leg, and your neck. You do not have much time and there is no going back. Then he carried the man to a doorway with a little buzzer. He rang the buzzer and a woman dressed as a nurse or some sort of scientist or medical technician perhaps, opened the door. They entered and she told the dying man, ‘lay down in this coffin. As your blood drains from your body it will be collected in this coffin. This is the price you have to pay for your desire. You must sacrifice your blood to gain eternal life as many human myths have declared, but of course, this is a more literal version of these tales don’t you think?” She laughed heartlessly as if it were all a game. As the blood flowed out of the wounds in his body into the coffin he could hear the blood being sucked out by some mechanical system. And it was then that a man appeared above him as he lay in the coffin holding a scroll. He declared to him. You have come here seeking freedom from death. Death is upon you. You have paid in blood for what we offer. Before you can be free of death, you must agree to the following rules and sign in blood. If you agree to be free of death understand that you will never die. But once you have passed from life to eternal death, you must agree to always be under our protection for the gift we grant you is not free, and comes with great responsibility.
At this point the man was fading in and out and barely aware of what was going on. He couldn’t understand how anyone can put a person through this, and demands vows, and sacrifices while he was in such a weakened, state. Still, after being read the ‘rules’ he signed in blood. It was then that the man ferociously tore into his throat blood spewing forth while the nurse stood by smiling and then he blacked out.
He was not sure how long it had been when he woke again, but it was much like going under anesthesia where one does not remember anything about being unconscious as if no time had passed at all really. When he woke he felt completely refreshed as if he’d slept like a child for a full twelve hours. He felt completely rejuvenated and refreshed as if he was in his prime again. When he rose from the coffin, he was greeted by the man who had torn into his neck and the nurse who had collected his blood.
Welcome to your new ‘life’. From now on you will be under our protection. We will teach you all you need to know about your new life.
He was puzzled? What had just happened?
You are now a member of V Incorporated. Our firm handles the training, and acclimation of vampires into human society.
Wait you mean I’m a vampire now?
That’s right. You are a vampire. I turned you into one yesterday. But you signed a contract which states that you will be under our protection. We do not let new vampires into human society until they have received a full course in training on how to live in human society harmoniously.
Harmoniously? But don’t vampires kill humans for for food?
Well yes in a manner of speaking, sometimes. But that is one of the issues we will address. Vampires have instincts just like humans, but like humans we can control our instincts to some degree. Just like humans controlling the instincts is necessary to get along well with others.
So according to the story, this many who was dying followed an urban legend without really knowing what would happen but figured his options were completely limited. And he ended up a vampire under the care and tutelage of some underground corporation that trained vampires to live harmoniously in the human world. But like all new beginnings, he was like a child who knew little. As time passed he would learn much and discover that V Inc was not the only Vampire Organization in existence. There was at least one other significant organization that had completely different goals and views on how vampires should exist in the world. Naturally Mr V preferred to keep his new students ignorant of this other school for as long as possible until his students were strong enough to resist the temptation of the anarchist school of vampiricism.