The snow is falling in long and lazy spirals. Before I left for work my housemate Gant made me a cup of hot chocolate. I’m really not a morning person so these early starts are just awful. Tomaz is manning the reception desk, he is on the phone but nods me through and presses the button under his desk that opens the main doors. I mouth the words ‘Thank you’ and bump the door open with my hip, Tomaz smiles and blows me a kiss.

Lydia is waiting in my office with a new batch of reports. “Sorry Doctor Conner I didn’t get a chance to read through all of last nights reports, most of the findings are the same.” She smiles. I tell her to go home. She has been here since 3am.

As I am reading through the files, Angus pops his had around the door. “Got a minute?” I wave him in, as he sits he takes a pencil out of his packet and twiddles it through his fingers. We have worked together for almost two years so I know this a sign he is worried about something. “What’s wrong?” He glances at me very briefly. “Major Smith has ordered that all the test subjects be terminated.” Smith is a bastard. Unfeeling and has no idea of the time and effort we have put into any of this. I close my eyes for a second. “Have you spoken to the Minister, the PM? Anyone?” Angus stares at the floor. “They won’t take our calls. Smith said he is coming her this afternoon and we are to hand over all research material to his officers.”

Angus looks like he is about to start crying. He has always called the subjects by their given names, even the ones that can’t speak English.He is quite brilliant, outstanding in his field but even from the beginning, I thought that one day his sentimental attachments would effect the study. “When Smith arrives have him brought to my office. And thank you Angus. We all appreciate everything you have done here.”

When I am alone I take the memory stick from my wall safe and plug it into the USB port. After I enter the code it fries the mainframe and every terminal attached. It takes nearly twenty minutes to shred every document about the project. Tomaz knocks on my door. “Doctor Conner? All the computers are down. Are you effected down here too?” I point under my desk. “I think there is a problem with my tower.” As he bends over to look, I smash the lamp over the back of his head.

I have full security clearance so opening the cells only takes a moment.  I think Lisa would have killed me if David hadn’t held her back. I have a can of pressurised silver nitrate. I open my hand and put it down. “They are coming to shut us down and kill you all.” I look David in the eye. “I can’t protect you anymore. I gave them false data for the last eight months.” David says something in their language and they move towards the exits. David grabs me by the arm. I think he may kill me. “Come with us.” I can’t help but stare into his eyes. “I can’t. After everything I have done to you, your people? They would kill me.”

“You were bitten less than two days ago. Holborn didn’t mean to but he is young and he was scared. You must already be feeling the change. I know you didn’t tell anyone. I know that you never meant for any of this. I have every reason to hate you but you are one of us now. We don’t kill or abandon our own. Come.”

I never signed on for any of this. When we found the first one we thought he must be aberration of nature. During the last years of the study, we found more and more of them. They live in social groups, have a language, a religion, they self regulate so that no human deaths occur.  They have lived amongst us as long as there has been a human society. And now I am one of them. David, Colin, Mason, Louise and me live in a very remote part of Yorkshire. It is the the night before the full moon. My blood feels like it is on fire. David is beside me and puts his hand in mine. “Ready?” He says. “Ready.” I reply. I love this man and trust him with my life. As the moon rises we run off under the stars.

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