CLASSIFIED EYES ONLY
Personal File: Malik Geiger
Tick tack tick tack.
The old familiar click clack of computer keys was the only sound in the darkened, meticulously kept room that accompanied the dead silence that Malik Geiger had gotten used to over the last three decades. Originally he would have put on music or even a noise maker to make up for the lack of normal natural noise, but now he took comfort in the quiet.
All around Malik the room lay still, with everything in its place exactly as it should be. His entire home was this way; everything perfectly where it was supposed to be. He liked things in order. He strived for everything to be perfectly as he liked it.
All of a sudden a pulsing red icon came to life beside him on the desk. He blinked at the distraction, smiled at the thought that he still involuntarily did those things, then focused his attention from the bright LCD screen in front of him to the video phone desperately try to get his attention.
Sighing he reached over to take the incoming call. He knew immediately who it would be from. He also knew that she would not be happy with the latest set of perfectly ordered instructions he had sent her, but he was fond of her and took the call anyway.
“Geiger.” He said tersely into the speaker as the video screen blinked to life in front of him.
A beautiful brunette with deep green penetrating eyes stared back at him. The stiffness in her back and a small annoyed frown, slightly marring her perfect beauty, the only visible signs of her anger. Malik smiled oh so slightly at the sight of his companies CEO, knowing what probably was going through that beautifully intelligent head of hers.
“Don’t ‘Geiger’ me, you insufferable being” Penelope Black spat back. “You know exactly why I am calling, and wipe that grin off your face. I am not letting you off the hook. These instructions hardly make sense and are going to cause nightmares in our relations with the defense department. This is not what they originally signed up for.”
“Calm down Penelope. I know what I am doing and I know that they will give in to the request. You don’t worry about making sense of it right now; I will fill you in on it later.” This was partially true. Malik rarely did not tell his CEO at least a modicum of the truth. After all she did have to run one of the largest internet and software companies in the world.
“You had better,” she said relaxing slightly. “I have no idea how I am going to explain to them that this is still a part of the Xion project.”
“I trust that you will, as you always do. There is a reason I trust you and you alone to govern my company and look after my secrets.” Penelope’s frown disappeared with this last statement, replaced by the perfect smile Malik always loved.
“It is late, I am going home. Tomorrow is going to be a very taxing day. Try to not come up with any more ‘bright ideas’ before I get in tomorrow will you?” She pleaded into the camera.
“I will do my best. Good night.”
“Good night and safe hunting,” she replied with a worried look on her face.
With a small click the video screen went blank leaving Malik again alone in the darkness. Her last comment said she was worrying about him. He hadn’t left the confines of his apartment in a couple of days and he would have to soon to feed or face the possibility of becoming weak again to the beast within.
He shivered at the thought of what happened last time that happened. He had inadvertently killed and drained a talented software technician that had stayed late to work on a project. The cleanup had been a mess and he had almost gone mad again when he saw what he had done to his apartment in his rage.
But that had been many, many years ago and with his many contacts, and Penelope’s abilities in PR, they had kept the true nature of what had taken place a secret. Still he must take precautions from letting it happen again.
Sitting there staring at the screen full of command code in front of him a rush of memories invaded into his perfectly ordered mind. To think that only three decades of an endless life had passed by in what now seemed to him a small blip in time.
It had happened in his final semester of graduate school. He, a promising rising star in the early days of computing had already gotten his bachelor of science in electrical engineering two years early and was about to complete a masters degree in the new field of computer sciences. Many of his professors praised him for his insights into the burgeoning field of electronics and he was poised on the brink of a very bright future.
That June night he was making his way back to the research facilities to work on his thesis about shared information search algorithms. He was a natural night owl and had been through most of his graduate studies, preferring the quiet solitude of night to the bustling and often distracting daytime hours.
He had just reached the building entrance when a woman’s scream came from around the building in the direction of the University Hospital’s psychiatric clinic. Worried that a patient somehow had escaped he ran to see where the commotion was coming from.
Moments later he found himself in the darkened grounds between the two campus buildings. Here he came upon a clear area in the park like campus where a woman lay motionless and bleeding on the ground. Malik rushed to her in a panic.
Too late, he hadn’t noticed the man standing near her, almost standing over her. In the brief moment before realization of what was happening, the man’s eyes met Malik’s, then all at the same time the deranged looking man rushed him as madness engulfed his mind.
He couldn’t make sense of time or space, up or down. One minute he was being charged by a deranged lunatic and the next his mind on fire and his entrails laying next to him on the hard packed earth. The man that had looked out of his mind now pacing next to him, a look of grave concern on his face.
“Stay with me kid…” came his rasping voice one-second, and then, “ooh, this was a mistake.”
“Don’t leave me kid, just stay with me….what am I going to do. This wasn’t supposed to happen.”
Then just as Malik began to black out, “I have no choice, I must do it.” With that all sensation ceased and he was cast into a calm ocean of nothingness.
What seemed like an eternity passed as his mind wondered through the perfect blackness, the absolutely and perfectly ordered nothingness of what he assumed was death. The beauty of the perfection touched him in a way he could little comprehend let alone express. It fit him and completed him in a way his life had never been complete before. Then pain again shattered the perfectness.
The thin trickle of liquid that had pulled him from the brink of oblivion burned in him as if a star had been ignited inside. In that final moment before he crawled back into agonizing consciousness he knew he would never again rest till that perfectness was again his.
All at once the world came back into focus as the pain of regeneration and his rebirth ripped through his body, then the hunger took over completely. The beast that he would forever have to fight against echoed it’s pleasure and rage through his mind as the scent of blood filled him with a need to gorge himself far beyond anything he had felt before.
Without thinking Malik tore into the now cooling dead body of the woman he had minutes before come to save. Feeding on her until his hunger was sated.
Slowly he came back to his senses, the red haze lifting from his eyes to see the world in startling detail like he had never done before. He found that he could see despite that his glasses lay bent and broken halfway across the grassy clearing. Yet it was their imperfect nature that bothered him more than the fact he no longer needed them.
He sat staring at the blades of grass and the way the wind ruffled them. He amazed at how the sounds of night seemed more distinct around him, and how the scent of earth mixed, yet was so distinct from the smell of blood in the air.
Then Malik looked down. The revulsion of what he had just done hit him with the force of a hammer blow. The sickening thought of what he had just consumed and the depravities he had enacted on the poor women brought him to his knees again. How could he have done such a thing, and worse still why did it feel right and give him such pleasure? What was he becoming.
As he sat there in a near catatonic state a movement to the side of him brought the memory of the deranged man to the fore front of his disordered thoughts.
“I am glad you have survived,” said the man. “You were not meant to suffer like that, but you were also not meant to die either, only the girl.”
The way the man talked seemed to bizarrely calm him, despite what was being said. “What have I become,” replied Malik, the desperation of the situation quite evident in his voice.
“You are Kindred now. You are one of the powerful, and above all you are one that will be blessed with insights no others will know till it is too late for them.” The bizarre answer momentarily left Malik unable to respond as he attempted to reason through the twisted answer.
Finally he settled on finding out the most obvious of facts, “What do you mean by kindred? Kindred spirits, we are the same?”
“No, no. That is what we call ourselves, the Kindred. It creates less questions if over heard by the Kine, or mortals. You would know of us by the more common name of Vampires.”
The weight of these words struck Malik like a ton of bricks. How can this be? Vampires do not exist. They are myths, fairy tales told to scare children and entertain adults.
As if the man could read his mind he said, “Many things you have thought untrue do exist. We Kindred have kept ourselves hidden from the mortals of this world. It makes it easier to hunt you see. This is something you will quickly come to appreciate. We call this curtain we have pulled shut The Masquerade.”
“I don’t understand,” Malik mumbled. “How can this be…why…why me?”
“I do apologize for that, I intended to only feed off her and then erase her memory. But you interrupted my feeding and before I could control myself I had attacked you. I couldn’t let you die you see, so I embraced you.”
None of this was making sense to him. He was now an undead demon because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time? Before he could ask anymore questions however the man suddenly became more insistent.
“There is so much more I need to tell you, but there is so little time. First, you are a member of the great clan Mekhet. Remember this for when it is time you will be one who is blessed with great insight.”
By now the man was rambling fast and it was getting hard to keep up with what he was saying.
“Second, remember the Masquerade and do not violate it. We vampires must remain hidden and from our hiding places we shall be safe. Third, trust in your intuition, it will keep you safe and provide for you. Your intuition will be the source of your insight. Last, and this is where I am most sorry, you must leave.”
This last bit jerked Malik back to reality.
“Leave? What do you mean leave? I am this close,” he held two fingers a few centimeters apart, “from finishing my thesis and starting a career in computers.”
“No. That life is over now,” said the man, a little of the chaotic derangement from before shined from his eyes. “I am sorry, but I was not supposed to embrace you tonight and if the Prince gets wind of you, your life, and mine, are forfeit. You must run now. If you go now you can make it to the town over and hide for the day. From there go and find a city to survive in. Remember to present yourself to the ruling Prince, or you will find yourself in peril there as well.”
The absurdity of the situation was overwhelming, but the man’s insistence drove home the severity of the problem in Malik’s mind. “How do I find these Princes?”
“It might seem strange, but take this. It was given to me by my sire when I was embraced, and hopefully it will help you now.”
From a small pocket in the man’s dingy coat he pulled a small thin leather-bound writing journal. It was very worn from use and looked extremely old. It dawned on Malik that being immortal this man may be centuries old or older. He wondered how old this journal must be.
“Take care of this book and keep it safe and well hidden. In the wrong hands it could bring the whole Masquerade down, and that would not be good for anyone. Now I must go and neither of us should be here when the body is discovered. Please hurry and good luck.”
With that the man seemed to turn on the spot and disappear into thin air. The abruptness of the disappearance momentarily left Malik speechless. As the enormity of what had been laid in his lap washed over him, he began immediately calling for the man to come back.
No reply ever came back, and that was the last he had ever seen of his sire. Quickly though voices could be heard as near by individuals came to see what was the commotion. Malik didn’t know what to do. He started to run, but each way he ran seemed to bring him towards the sound of people coming.
At the last moment, in a near state of panic, a need to not be seen washed over him and as the first people stepped into the clearing Malik found he was ignored, as if he was not even there. Not knowing how, nor caring why it was possible, he quickly and quietly stole away from the scene.
He made his way back to his apartment, grabbed only those things he thought he might need and immediately took off, not knowing where he might end up. Only knowing that here his old life had ended and his knew one began.
Shaking himself out of his reverie Malik again reordered his mind, pushing the thoughts of his past to the back, bringing his well thought out and perfectly laid plans to the front. There was no time to contemplate the past now despite his promise to Penelope. He knew that only those who took control of their futures would make it in this world. Besides he couldn’t ignore those ‘bright ideas’ that just seemed to pop into his head.
With his mind firmly back on track and a small smile on his face at the thought of what she would say to him for not taking care of the hunt first, his long thin fingers began their familiar tick tack tick tack on the keyboard. His mind began to race again with the plans and ideas that constantly bombarded him.
“I wonder what the Pentagon is up to tonight?” He mused to himself and his fingers leapt to their duty, his curiosity peaked.