Daedalus Corp. 'Site Corinth', 1000 Hours
Dr. Lanel took a sip from a mug of lukewarm coffee, willing his tired eyes to focus on the documents in front of him. He glanced up at the pane of bulletproof glass that formed the wall behind his desk, and past it, into the padded 'sparring chamber' beyond. The girl in the orange jumpsuit curled up on the floor inside and shuddering, in his opinion, represented a gross indulgence on the part of Daedalus's R&D division. They had always been prone to flights of fancy, but 'Project Ichor' was a new low in the company's tendency to put efforts before aims. Sure, by all means, the subject was a remarkable success - but when one had a vampire, what did one do with it?
That was his job to find out - his supervisors had told him to find some way to make the procedure marketable by the time it was perfected, and that's what he was going to do. To that end, the test of the day, and the reason he was here in this combat observation pit instead of his nice, heated office. In the past, denying sustenance to subjects of Project Ichor had resulted in them entering panicked 'starving' states of high-adrenaline and aggression: he was here to see how far that went. It had been three days since TR-781 had been fed, and in a moment, he'd release the company's own personal attack drone to see what she could or would do. The Ronin was under specific instructions not to harm her permanently, just to gauge the starving vampire's threat level and attempt to subdue it.
Dr. Lanel sighed and pressed the button on his microphone. "Alright, send him in."
Elsewhere in the facility, a young, plump woman in a clean white labcoat carried a tray down a hall, humming a pop song. She paused in front of one of the doors, labeled 'EP1138', and cleared her throat before reaching up to knock with one hand. "Iris," she said cheerily, "Breakfast time! Open up!"
Most of the test subjects (those who weren't under constant lock and key) at Site Corinth were expected to get their meals in the prisoner cafeteria. There were a few exceptions, of course, for those who were particularly hazardous, antisocial, or, as in the case of Iris, kept under tighter control for the purpose of... information restriction. The discrepancy had been explained to her as being for her safety, as many of the test subjects were dangerous inmates with criminal records, the sort she shouldn't be spending much time with - it was unclear if she ever bought that excuse, though. The tray had Iris's usual breakfast fare of biscuit, cereal and milk, and a cup of orange juice - bland, but nicer than a lot of inmates got. Unbeknownst to the woman carrying the tray, there was something extra today - a waterproof plastic tablet sat at the bottom of the cereal bowl, containing a USB drive. On the side were two words written in pen: 'The Truth'.
The woman paused before knocking again, checking down to glance at her phone and smiling. 631-D was attempting to escape again, and since it'd been four days since the subject had gotten out of the Vault after last time, she won half the pot. A song in her voice, she knocked again. "I-ris! Open up! Remember, you've got to meet Dr. Chauncey down at his office in thirty minutes!"
The cord of muscle hit the guard on the helmet like a concrete brick, wrapping around his head and pulling him off his feet.
Immediately, the cafeteria exploded into chaos. Prisoners and test subjects hit the floor and crawled under tables on instinct, while the remaining fourteen guards advanced with tasers drawn, encircling the attacker. "On the ground, 631-D!"
Emmeline looked around, her eyes wild, yanking the cord back into her arm with a flick of the wrist and trying to keep as many of the guards in view as possible. "That's not my name!" she shouted, "Call me by my name-"
Six tasers hit the woman at once, and she spasmed and collapsed to the floor. One of the guards moved to pin her down and handcuff her arms behind her back, while another pulled out his radio and began muttering into it. Two more went to go help the guard she'd knocked to the ground to his feet, and the others turned to scan the room for further signs of rebellion. "Back to chowtime, people," one of them barked, holstering his taser. "Twenty more minutes." Mealtimes in the cafeteria were always carefully controlled - half-hour blocks, only a percentage of the inmates eating at the same time, with the groups and times changed every week so that the crowds were always different. Even so, there was always the occasional incident like this - especially when 631-D was involved.
Among the crowd watching was a woman, Sam Hell, covered head to toe in tattoos and looking up from her plate of gruel. The ink on her arms flared up, almost imperceptibly, at the action, as though her body was ready to go into fight or flight mode. Not far from her was Kieran Smith, his mind buzzing with voices and feelings not his own. Moments before it had happened, one of the voices had cut out, clear and simple - I won't let these bastards keep me here.
The security in the Dog's room was state-of-art.
Security cameras, motion sensors, reinforced doors, and an armed guard outside of no less than twenty men carrying riot shields was only the tip of the iceberg; the real piece de resistance was the piping, capable of flooding the room in less than two minutes and draining it in three, while remaining too tight for the shapeshifter to squeeze through. The Dog sat in the middle of it, in his own world as always, slate resting on his table. It would have been very, very difficult to get anything out of that room without Daedalus knowing it, and just as hard to get something in. There was always a way, though.
The ceiling opened up - not unusual. The hole in the ceiling was where the food came from - today was no different, as a body flopped down from the darkness and landed on the ground with a thud. It was an older man, brown-skinned and dark-haired, dressed in the orange jumpsuit of an inmate. Also not unusual - the Dog was a popular choice when a body needed to be disposed of, especially a failed test subject that might still be dangerous. There were a few foreign objects within the meat - two bullets in the back of the skull, for a start. Not unusual. What was unusual was what was inside, stitched into a pocket in the cadaver's torso - a pair of plastic, noise canceling earbuds.