Chapter 1 – Pressing Matters

Night. We feed in it. We hunt in it. We are one with it. We are the dominant race on this planet, whatever you petty creatures may think. They say that wherever you stand, you are always 10m from a rat. Well we aren't rats but we are closer to you than rats are! We walk in your streets. We eat your vile "food." The people you have known for years may be one with us. How do you fancy your chances?

New York City - January 2003

I am Mike "Voltage" Benson. I like to think that I'm an action hero sent down from the stars to save the human race. Yeah. I know. Stupid, isn't it. Why would someone as bland and boring as me be a super hero? I have short, black hair, I'm single and I work as a computer programmer for a small company. But I can dream can't I? My best friend (Olly "Orin" Seldon) is another Computer programmer for the same company, we share an office. To say that he's a bit rowdy would be an understatement. He drives flashy sports cars, he has black hair halfway down his back and he goes clubbing on Fridays while I sit around a dinner table playing Dungeons and Dragons with other mates. How could people so different get along do you ask? I've often wondered the same thing. Perhaps it's fate. At the moment it's Friday and I am facing a horde of Vampires armed only with my trusty mace. It's 10 o'clock and we are all getting a bit bored. Conversation has been whittled down to the news.

"Hey guys!" Says Brian, an excited note in his voice. At the sound of excitement everybody seems to perk up a bit. "You'll never guess what was on the news!?" We all shook our heads, just the way Brian wanted us to. "Well, they've uncovered an ancient burial ground underneath the city!" Everybody visibly slumped. "Not only has it got dead people in it but it's got live people in it too!" Everyone looked gobsmacked. I was first to speak.

"What do you mean alive? How can they be alive? Did some kids fall down there or something?"

"Nope! The real deal, five policemen saw it come out, plain as life itself! It stood up and it just stood there. After it started laughing at some unknown joke. Y'know in those movies when the bad guy stands there laughing at the good guys in that creepy laugh that gets into your head. Just like that." A chill crept over my body and suddenly Brian's living room didn't seem so safe. I looked at the time. It was 10:15.

"I gotta go, it's getting late…" Brian looked shocked.

"Are you gonna go without listening to the rest of my story?"

"No. I s'pose it's not that late."

"Well, now's the weird bit. Everybody was staring straight at it and it got away! It just ran straight into an alley, by the time the police officers had got to the alley entrance it was gone. They say that it was faster than the fastest runner on the police force."

"Is that the end?" I asked.

"Well, yeah." Said Brian.

"I've gotta go, see ya later, OK?" I gathered my raincoat and set out into the street. Rain dribbled out of gutters and dripped onto my shoulders. As I walked I couldn't help but feel that eyes watched me.