Dr Methen relaxed slightly. He was still twitchy. Too many dangers outside not to be.
He was a tall skeletal figure probably somewhere in his sixties by the young reporter's reckoning. Short cropped white hair and a face with skin pulled so tight across the bones of his skull that it almost looked transparant.
In a raspy voice he beckoned her inside. He closed the door behind them dead bolting it shut again and placed the shotgun which he had been holding just out of sight of Sophie onto a small wooden dresser.
"Please forgive my threatening behaviour Miss Hudson but in this part of town everyone is who they want you to be and not one of them can be trusted."
What suprised Sophie more than anything was that the room she had just walked into was plush. Nothing like the chaos and ruin she had just battled through to get here.
She stood on a velvety red carpet, antiques sat on polished wooden shelves and a fire crackled warmly in what was apparantly a hearth of real marble. This man was obviously very wealthy or she was standing in a time warp.
He offered her a high backed leather chair before pouring himself a brandy from a real crystal decanter. Passing her a glass.
"It keeps the chill outside with the death. Now you are probably wondering why I called you to such a horrendous place so late at night?"
She lifted her vail relaxing slightly. Her sky blue eyes betrayed her confusion.
"I am. I'm also curious as to why you aren't living in Central Vancouver, judging by all this you could easily afford any apartment there, and how all this hasn't been destroyed is a miracle."
He smiled with the sort of knowing smile a grandparent would give their favourite grand daughter.
"All in due time. But first I must explain why I have brought you here, the rest will probably fall into place."
He took a seat in an armchair a little to her left and taking a sip from his glass continued.
"We all know about the zombie threat but nobody knows where they came from. Not really."
"Of course we do. It's an illness, we all know that. You catch it. You die but you just don't."
The doctor smiled
"Well actually that isn't the case my dear and I feel that this might make the root of a fantastic story. I called you because you are young. None of your older counterparts would have come any where near this part of town. But let me give you the tour."
"Sophie's curiosity was definately peaked and this man, as long as he didn't have a gun in his hand, didn't seem much of a threat to anyone."
The doctor stood and beckoned her to a door. As he opened it he smiled mischeviously. Behind was no room but an elevator. Getting in he gestured for her to follow. Something that she more than reluctantly did.
The elevator descended into darkness. The doctor stood like a statue apparantly enjoying the suspence he was creating and after several long moments it became apparant why.
As the doors of the elevator opened Sophie was able to estimate they had probably arrived in some sub level of the building. And the doctor ushered her straight out into a lab.
Her knees turned to jelly as the first thing she saw was a zombie strapped to a vertically raised table. It had apparantly been autopsied but sitting in its chest cavity was a large spherical ball. The zombie was very definately dead. This thing inside it wasn't. It was strapped in place with leather and nailed into the bones of the zombie's ribcage with rivets. It was moving.
She felt panic rising.