Disclaimer- Mine mine mine all mine. Hehehe. For some reason HTML won't show up, so words in *these* are meant to be italic. There will probably be longish gaps between updating, as I have very limited time on the computer.

*Fifth Floor- Maximum Security. Dangerous Vampires within. Authorised personnel only.*

Ben stepped out of the lift, directing a silent curse at that mindless, artificial female voice. He knew it was 'fifth floor maximum security authorised personnel only', you'd have to be pretty stupid if you didn't. The only people who got up here were those who were supposed to be here. Sure, the rules for this type of prison said that there had to be no doubt in anyone's mind as to what was contained here, but *really*. "Benjamin Sinclair?" asked the man behind the desk, name-tagged Frank Tennet. "Yes, it is." Ben answered, pushing his glasses back up to the bridge of his nose. "I've been told to remind you of your assignment. I'm aware that you already know full well why you're here, but lets just do it by the book, shall we?" Ben sighed. "Yes, if we must. But please be quick, I'm looking forward to this assignment." He pulled gently on his hair, a nervous habit picked up from a lifetime working with vampires.

Frank straightened in his chair. "As you come from elsewhere, you are required to take a test assignment to prove that you are qualified to work in this country. We have a new captive, a female vampire nicknamed Kitten. You are to, in any way you see fit excepting by causing danger to yourself or others, extract enough information from her to increase our knowledge of vampires, and about herself in general to be added to our files."

Ben mouthed the formula lines along with him. He himself had written them, they were always used in this type of situation. Being forced to take this 'test' still rankled, but they had made it clear that he would have to, in order to work in the largest and most sophisticated 'vampire holding institute' in the world.

He was in his mid 40s, tall and gangly, with greying blond hair and small grey eyes. The glasses which always slipped down his nose were rectangular and silver framed, and on most occasions, like this one, he dressed smartly.

Frank led him into an adjoining room, filled with the usual safety gear. "Sorry, Benjamin," he said sheepishly, " But I've got to explain the features of all the items. The usual procedure, you'll understand."

Ben nodded his acceptance, peered at the racks of helmets, and picked one out. The helmets covered the whole head and neck, ending at the shoulders, with small slits at the back for air. "Anti telepathy helmet. The visor protects from the vampire gaze, the earpieces from aural mesmerism." Frank recited.

Next came a pair of gloves attached to long sleeves, which had Velcro to join them to the helmet. "Gloves cover the vulnerable places of the wrists, inside the elbows, and the backs of the hands."

Lastly came bags that slipped over the shoes and fastened at the knee. "Shoes can be dangerous if wielded with vampire strength and speed. The bags make sure they don't come off."

Frank grinned and lost his formal air. "Alright mate, you're all kitted out." He opened the door that led into the corridor, with the cells on either side. They walked down in silence, until they reached a door midway. "Oh, one more thing." Frank said, laying his hand on one of the locks. "She's got a necklace. We can't take it away from her; she screams and attacks us if we try to take it away. The chain is very thin, we doubt it's capable so strangling someone, but don't take chances." He opened most of the locks. "Ready?" Ben straightened. "When you are." The door opened a short way, and Ben walked in. He was in a very small room in between the cell and the corridor, with a door that led into the main cell. Both doors were fitted with a mechanism that made sure they couldn't both be open at the same time. He typed his pass-number into the console, and the cell door opened.

The cell was pristinely white. It had no bed, just a mattress half sunk into concrete. The only furniture was a light, flimsy desk and a swivel chair, its wheels also sunk in concrete. And in the chair.

Ben blinked with surprise. He didn't know what he was expecting, but it certainly wasn't this. He regarded vampirism as a curse, and the ultimate evil was to force it on someone unwilling. Or someone. physically unsuited.

Kitten was obviously very old. Centuries old. Her skin was white and smooth. She wore something that looked like a baby's jumpsuit- a full body covering, leaving only the face and neck exposed. Her light brown hair was very long, almost resting in her lap, and her huge eyes were luminous blue.

Her physical age, the age she had been when she was made a vampire, was approximately twelve.

They stared at each other for a few seconds, then Ben coughed, and introduced himself. "I know." Kitten said. Her voice had that unearthly softness and resonance that had almost captured Ben's soul the first time he'd heard it, in his long-ago teens, and the high pitch confirmed her physical youth. "They explained to me that I am your. assignment, it that right?" Ben nodded. "What else has been explained?" He kept his ears open and studied her room, gathering small details. "They told me about you. About your reputation and experience. I'm impressed. You have done a such a lot in so short a time." Ben mentally pounced on that comment, and added it to his growing list of information gleamed from her cell, appearance, and mannerisms. He knew that the wrong opening line could put her out of his reach forever, so he had to be careful not to give offence. "Why Kitten as a nickname?" Kitten paused, then answered "The one who made me gave it to me. I was not yet old enough to warrant 'Cat', and over the years it stuck." "Do you mind if I make some observations? Say aloud some pieces of information I've gathered? I don't want you thinking I've learnt everything from books." "Go right along. I'd be interested to see what you think you know."

Ben purposely kept his voice bland and polite, and noted that Kitten did the same, sizing him up. He closed his eyes, and mentally reviewed his list. He started to speak slowly and hesitatingly, but his voice grew stronger as he progressed.

"You are very, very old. Six, six hundred and fifty years, absolute minimum. Your accent places you in England, or you spent a lot of time there. You are telekinetic." "How'd you work that out?" Kitten interrupted. Ben waved his hand around the cell. "I wrote the guidelines for imprisoning telekinetics. There is nothing here that can smother or stab, and the desk is too flimsy to inflict any real damage." Kitten nodded. "Yes, that's right." Then she smiled, and sighed theatrically. "I tried. I really did. But not even broken pieces of desk are sharp enough to pierce skin." "Aren't I glad." Ben muttered. "I heard that." "You came from a rich family. Your hair is very long, and your hands are covered, which indicates long fingernails." Ben thought for a second, then decided to get straight to the point. "Kitten, will you co-operate? Will you give your information so I can do my assignment?"

Kitten stretched, arching her back and letting her head fall backwards. "No. I don't think so. Why should I?" Ben had a comeback ready. "Because if you do, they might give you real blood instead of raw meat." Kitten stopped in mid-stretch. "That's tempting. but still no." She settled back into her chair. "Offer me something else, something worthwhile. Come back later." She spun the chair around, and no matter where he moved to, she swivelled it so she always had her back to him. He left the cell quickly after he discovered she wouldn't say anything else. The helmet was starting to feel a bit suffocating, though that might have been because the air holes where at the back. Ben hung the helmet back up, then removed the sleeves. Not bothering about the footbags, he sat and quickly wrote down all that had happened in the cell. As he wrote, he gave silent thanks to the people who'd invented the helmet. He had a suspicion that if he hadn't been wearing it, he'd probably be dead. Some vampire's main power was in their mesmerism, like that Kitten. Her imperious manner gave the impression she expected to be obeyed, and fast. Ben smiled to himself. He couldn't wait to find out which one of them broke down first.

A/N Hope it was good enough. This is my first serious story. Reviews make me very happy, hint-hint.