Chapters 0 and 1
Title is still a work in progress.
After in-depth studies of the bodies found two and four weeks ago, forensics has confirmed traces of an as-of-yet unknown virus. Preliminary observation seems to suggest a new, potent strain of rabies, though where the exact symptoms diverge from known strains remain an uncertainty.
On the ninth of May, Frederic Stevens (32) was found dead, mutilated to the point of being nearly unrecognizable. On April 25th the remains of Timothy Renn (19) were found in a similar state. The blood of both victims contained this virus and are the only known samples. The police now assumes that the killer also carries this virus and are looking for any additional samples.
Katharina looked up from the newspaper and into the empty bus. Having spent the afternoon at Harry’s place had been fun, but she didn’t like his mattress enough to actually sleep on it. It was getting dark and he lived on the other side of town, so she had taken the last bus home. It gave her an opportunity to catch up on reading her newspaper. She looked to the dark window next to her at her own reflection. She was happy no one else was in the bus. Her makeup was smeared all over her face, and there was no way she could pass it off as an alternative style. For a moment she wondered what the bus-driver thought when he saw her. She shook her head, turned the page of her paper began reading a new article.
Woman falls to death at construction site
Yesterday night, the remains of a woman were found at the bottom of the construction site on Park Avenue. The state of the body, as well as the location suggest she has fallen to her death from the twenty-five-storey high scaffolding. Police investigation is ongoing, and at this stage, neither murder nor suicide are ruled out.
Kath tossed the newspaper aside. Does anyone not die gruesome horrible deaths in this city, she wondered? She sighed and stared at the window again.
Suddenly, she heard a loud bang, coming from the roof of the bus. She looked up at the ceiling, then at the bus-driver, who seemed to have heard it as well and slowed the bus down to a stand-still. He waited a moment to see if he could hear anything again, then opened the door and got up.
Suddenly, the bus started to slowly tip over to the side. Kath thought she was imagining it at first, until the bus actually fell over and crashed against the road. The young woman tumbled downwards across the width of the bus, and smacked against the broken glass of the window previously opposite her.
Dazed for a moment, she could only barely notice the bus driver trying to get up, and something trying to climb through the open door that was now at the upper side of the bus. The driver noticed her and yelled “The ceiling hatches!” before running to the safety hatch closest to him. Kath saw there was one right above her and tried to get up. She noticed a rather large shard of the window’s glass was lodged in her leg, but barely felt any pain. In fact, she didn’t feel anything, beyond an overwhelming urge to get out of the bus before that… whatever it was got anywhere near her. She managed to fumble open the hatch and pushed the lid out of her way, before climbing through and falling out on the other side. She got up, the pain in her leg starting to pierce the numbness, and limped into a dark alley in front of her. There the pain became searing and she stumbled and fell on the ground. She dragged her way forward until she heard a scream. She looked behind her and saw the creature holding up the bus-driver by the collar of his uniform. Kath managed to drag herself behind a trash container, vaguely registering that the trail of blood would betray her location anyway, and peeked from behind it. The beast stood in the light of one of the street lamps and was clearly visible to her. Stretched to its full height, the creature reached close to a full three meters. It had what looked like the head of a wolf, growling a snarl of proportionally over-sized teeth, and was covered in dark-grey fur. Its legs seemed to have two knees each, or, as Kath noted, large, weirdly shaped foot. She was instantly reminded of the paws of dogs. Its arms looked normal in shape, if not incredibly long compared to the rest of its body. The hands had opposable thumbs and fingers that seemed to be made of long, dark bone claws. The driver was whimpering, his face soaked in tears, as he was begging for his life. Behind them loomed a pale, full moon, as if watching the grim scene.
Kath knew what would come next, but as the beast brought the driver close to its maw, and slowly tore at the man’s throat with its teeth, she had to do all she could to keep herself from yelping in dispair. The scream of agony that escaped the man’s wide-spread lips ended suddenly as his jugular flesh came loose and was gobbled up by the monster. His arms fell limp behind him as his head dangled unnaturally far back, blood spouting out and covering the ground beneath him.
The beast sniffed at the corpse, then with its nose high in the air, then towards where Kath was hiding. It growled with what Kath was convinced was a grin as it dropped the body and turned towards her. Even from her hiding place, Kath was certain it was staring her right in the eyes with its own bright gold ones…
With panic gripping her heart and the pain in her leg screaming at her, a dark mist started to descend over her eyes. As she slipped from consciousness the beast dropped to all fours and began walking towards her. The last she saw were those bright gold eyes, before everything turned pitch black.