Prologue: Lorin

The woman sat limply in the chair, an I.V in her arm. Her eyes were closed, mouth slightly agape, and her thick blonde hair spilled over the edge of the chair like a golden waterfall. She appeared to be in a peaceful nap. That wasn’t too far from the truth. A slim brunette dressed in pink scrubs attached the needle to the IV and studied the patient for any signs of consciousness. Finding none, she began to fill the needle with her blood. The needle was filled in no time, and she inserted the next vial.

When the procedure was done, another woman with a white lab coat introduced a stimulant into the patient’s system through the IV to wake her up. The blonde blinked and smiled. The doctor told her the generic human things you tell a patient with cancer: “The chemo is going well, are you feeling any side effects?” That sort of thing. At that point the brunette nurse left. In the freezer room, she took the first vial of this woman’s blood and inserted the needle into a vein behind her knuckle, breathing deeply. Carefully, she deposited the other vials of blood in specified containers, each marked with the name of one of her superiors. Then she sat down, and let the blood spread throughout her system, that sustenance from humans taken under the guise of medical procedures. The young woman leaned her head against the wall and remembered something that had happened earlier that day.

She and “Doctor” Ecton, her Superior, entered Room 23, where a patient lay under the heavy grip of a sleeping compound they had synthesized in the lab earlier in the day.

“Look at him, Inferior Lorin.” Ecton began, gesturing at the bed. “Look at that pathetic human, sleeping there, unknowingly sustaining our race, giving us life from his own body.” Lorin obeyed. “You and I, Lorin; we hold this man’s life in our hands. If I wanted to, I could remove every ounce of blood in this man’s body and have enough to live on for weeks, maybe even months.” Lorin looked at the man; balding, layers of fat practically spilling out of his checkered hospital gown, emitting a grunting from his nose that some humans did while asleep. She was struck with how helpless he seemed, lying there, and felt a sort of delirious joy she did not understand.

“Why don’t you?”

“Because this way, not only do we have a basically endless supply of blood, the vapid creatures actually thank us every time they leave. Some have even bought flowers or invited us to partake in their puny little lives. Of course, we do cure them of their pathetic little illnesses some of the time, it is necessary, but they remain unknowingly under our thumb, sending their children to us, and their children’s children, and the cycle of ignorant trust keeps us alive.”

She laughed then, a high, clear sound like the clank of metal against metal. Laughing was something they had not experienced before; it was a uniquely human way of showing amusement by repetitively expelling air and sound from the diaphragm. Truthfully, it took a while to get used to. However, like all other human behaviors, they imitated these “emotions” as they are called, in order to blend in seamlessly with this alien race. And it worked flawlessly; Lorin and her kind walked into cafes and along city streets without the slightest fear of being found out. It was a marvelously intricate deception that was intended to continue indefinitely. It is a beautiful and satisfying life that we have built for ourselves, Lorin thought. Of course, not all of the Essentials agree.

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