Prologue

"Have you seen this child?"
- Milk carton.

Samuel Franklin lay upon the cool metal bench, feeling the warm fleshy feeling of the bands that kept him restrained. His eyes darted from left to right as the bright light shone from all directions. He tried to close his eyes. He strained muscles behind his eyelids that not even he was aware of but still his eyes would not close. The fibrous material that kept them set open had been placed awhile ago and every time he had widened his eyes it had held them in that position.

Samuel tried to remember how he had arrived in this predicament, but the only thing he could remember before waking was driving along the country road on his way to Reno, as Maxwell, his primogen, had requested. Reno, where he was meant to act as emissary, offering a deal for his fellow Tremere of that city.

But that had been earlier. How much earlier he could not say.

Shadows moved in the light, blurry outlines of small childlike shapes. Samuel cursed at them to no response. Out of the light came a multi-jointed arm, bearing a strange device and several needles. It moved its way around his body, coming to rest just above his abdomen.

"Stay calm," said a voice inside his head.

The needles punctured his skin and he felt substances oozing between his muscles and flesh, while other needles drained liquids from him. He tried to move his head up to watch it but the strange webbing still held him in place. He screamed.


this is unusual
what is?
this lifeform's readings
what of them?
they don't register....the equipment is functioning properly but this lifeform is not
.........interesting
what shall we do?
.......continue testing this lifeform......report details in full later.....


The shadows moved closer to Samuel. He could now make out the details of the faces around him. He screamed again.

"This isn't possible!!" he yelled, "They can't exist!! They don't exist!!!"
The testing continued.


the pain suppressants have no effect on this subject
this lifeform is meant to be non functional
it shows no signs of changing
continue to the next stage
proceed with installation of the chip


From behind the metal behind Samuel's head came another arm with two functions. One held a tiny chip, which would link into his spinal column and collect data about him, his reactions, his environment, what he saw, what he heard, what he felt. The other was the cutting device that would be used to make the incision into which the chip would be inserted. A small humming noise was heard and harsh beam of light hit the back of his throat. At the same time the light beam continued out of the front of his neck. Within the time that the laser normally took to cut it's way across the back of a human neck, Samuel's entire body had burst into flame.


well..... we know not to do that again


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(The Demise of Samuel)