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The Creation of the Founders was considered one of the greatest achievements of mankind thus far and they helped humanity avoid its mistakes and finally find peace. This was commonly referred to as the Reign of the Founders as although there was no government the Founders had a Council that looked out for humanity. For years humanity lived in a society where there was no crime, no discrimination, and no war. But just because humanity was living one way does not mean that everyone thought the same way.
One paranoid young man named Vedius Moroi was one such person that thought that the Founders were just another form of government and he formulated that they did not bring humanity to peace but rather blinded them to the fact that the Founders were taking over; on top of that he claimed that the Founders were taking away humanity's choice by forcing them to follow one future. He also claimed that the Founders were just molding humanity to their will this way. Vedius was able to convince his friends that he was right and he slowly began to gather believers in his cause. He wanted to take down the Founders but who was to replace them. Vedius claimed that he had a plan for a form of government that would surpass all others, give it a structure that would avoid corruption, spread the responsibility and avoid giving all power to one super council. Vedius' ideas gathered more and more followers and then finally Vedius Moroi and his group, who had taken on his name as theirs, began speaking out against the Founders. They protested, held demonstrations, and refused to follow the leadership of the Founder Council.
After a few years humanity began to lose faith in the Founders and only eight years after Vedius began his campaign a new government came to power with Vedius Moroi at its core. According to him the oppression of the Founders was over and true peace through the true future would come about. The Founders however knew what would come of humanity if Vedius was not stopped, violence and death. They placed an agent at the heart of Vedius' new government and when the time was right this agent, Makus Shifs, was assigned to deliver to the members of the Moroi a disease that was to make it impossible for them to function in daylight. But something went wrong and the theories are somewhat mixed.
It is speculated that the Moroi got wind of what the Founders were up to and tried to create an anti-virus for this disease. But the Moroi were off in their calculations of what genes the Founders disease was going to alter. It is also speculated that perhaps the disease was contaminated with something unknown between the lab and its delivery. Two things are known for sure though. First of all, the disease killed Makus Shifs as he delivered it as it was an airborne disease that would decay after an hour. This suggests that the disease was modified before it was delivered and not some anti-virus as Shifs was a Founder genetically and it proved toxic to him. Second, the effects that this disease had on the Moroi were so radical that they weren't even considered human anymore afterwards and were almost considered dead for a few weeks after they were infected.
After their bodies readapted and adjusted, though, they came back stronger then ever. Boasting powers far beyond what the Founders task force could handle and the Moroi were able to force the Founders into hiding. This was the beginning of the end for the Founders as the Moroi now declared war on them, claiming that they intended to kill all humanity for no longer following their leadership.
"Pull back! There are too many of them!" shouted the task force commander as five more of his men fell to Moroi footmen.
"They're blocking all of our exits!" one of his men shouted back.
"Shifs, take your men and try to punch a hole at the back exit to this building," replied the commander. "We'll try and hold the front. If you get out of the building contact Ark and get us out of here! I can't get a clear signal!"
"Yes sir," said Shifs as he signaled to his men to head to the rear entrance of the building. Jacyb Shifs was a decent enough leader but with so many Moroi around his vision of what was to come was clouded. For the first time in a year Jacyb couldn't see what was going to happen in the next few minutes. He quickly followed his men towards the back of the building but as they rounded the last corner they suddenly found Moroi footmen blocking their way. "Load your pulse guns!" shouted Jacyb as he loaded his own. As was the way of the Founders their weapons would not kill their enemy but rather just knock them out with a sub-sonic blast of energy.
As the Moroi footmen rushed his men Jacyb struggled to give orders and keep up with the fast paced Moroi at the same time. They were too fast and somehow something was blocking their ability to see the future, so they couldn't tell where the Moroi were going. Jacyb had his men pull into a tight group with their backs to each other and slowly start to progress to the exit. As Moroi attacked his men Jacyb ordered them to focus only on the Moroi still attacking and not the ones pulling one of Jacyb's fallen men away. No distractions or they might not make it. They were losing men but making progress.
Suddenly, though, a Moroi appeared in front of Jacyb as if from thin air and before Jacyb could stop him the Moroi plunged a knife into his side.
"Damn it! The Lieutenant is down!" shouted one of his men who saw that Jacyb had been stabbed. "I'll take lead, keep moving!"
As much as Jacyb hated it his men continued with the plan that he had told them to carry out, leave the fallen behind. Jacyb slid to the ground as Moroi poured over him like insects. Jacyb landed in such a way that he watched his men struggle to make it to the door but after a few minutes every single one of them ended up as dinner for one of the Moroi footmen. Jacyb lay there silently crying as he watched the color drain from his men's faces as the blood was sucked out of them. He was sure that someone should probably have been feeding on him but he was grateful that someone wasn't; they had left him to bleed to death in peace.
"Well, well, well, what have we here?" Jacyb heard someone say behind him. He felt someone reach down and grab his arm to move him onto his back and as he was turned to lay flat Jacyb gasped. It was a tall, middle aged looking man with brown hair; he didn't look like anyone special but Jacyb instantly knew who it was. The man, that was now looking down at him grinning, was none other then Vedius Moroi himself; the leader of the Moroi.
"Well I see you know who I am," chuckled Vedius. "I'm afraid I don't know who you are though young man. Would you care to introduce yourself?"
"M...my name is Jacyb," stuttered Jacyb both from shock and pain.
"What's your last name Jacyb?" asked Vedius as one of his men brought him a chair to sit on. "You look very familiar." Vedius sat down and began taking his gloves off, "My men just love when I come with them on their raids, I can block your ability to see the future with the extra that I have. But you know my men must be getting sloppy if they missed you, you look like you'd make a good snack. So what's the last name boy?"
Jacyb knew he was going to die one way or another but considering who is father had been he wasn't sure telling Vedius Moroi his last name was a good idea so he remained quiet.
"Hmm? What's that, not going to tell me?" said Vedius. "Well then I have a guess. The man that stabbed you told me that he heard your commander refer to you as Shifs, which of course is why I'm bothering to talk to you and why he kept you alive. Was he right? Hmmm, that scared look you've got tells me he WAS right, you're the son of Makus Shifs aren't you? Well I'd say it's so very nice to meet you but I'd be lying. Your father did this to us and as my luck would have it here I have his son serving in the Founder Task Force. I must say though, I don't recognize that uniform; your uniforms are normally red and black not gray and black." Vedius leaned over and looked at the patch on Jacyb's shoulder and read, "The Founder Council Archive Task Force? ATF? Well that's a new division; do you want to tell me about this new division?"
Jacyb looked up at Vedius, "What are you going to do to me?"
"Side stepping my question? We'll come back to it then," replied Vedius as he took out his pipe and lit it. Vedius took a few puffs before continuing. "I'm not really sure young Shifs; I'm thinking revenge but taken out on you since your father died to make us this way. But it seems you'll have more to tell me first so I can't have you die." Vedius turned to one of his men, "Get me one of the human doctors, then I want you to get this boy fixed up and completely healed. I expect him to be brought back to the compound untouched and with no bite marks or there will be hell to pay. I want him in good shape before I start on him." Vedius looked back at Jacyb, "I must take my leave of you for the moment young Shifs but I assure you we will be seeing more of each other."
At that point Vedius handed his pipe to one of his men and then picked up a two by four block of wood; he smiled at Jacyb with a wicked smile and then brought it down on Jacyb's head.
Jacyb came to his senses and slowly opened his eyes. He was alive but did he want to be was the question. He quickly found that he couldn't move so he lifted his head and looked around. He had been strapped down to what looked like a surgical table and he was in nothing but his underwear. The wound that he received from the knife that had been in his side was stitched up and other then his head hurting a little Jacyb was okay. The room wasn't that big, it had mirrored glass for one of its walls and the other three where blank white except for the door, which was made of steel. Jacyb was about to close his eyes and see if he could find out what was happening when suddenly he heard the door open. Jacyb looked over to see Vedius Moroi walk in with one of his personal guards.
Vedius came over, looked down at Jacyb and then smiled an evil smile, "I'm glad to see that you're finally awake, I've been waiting. I've so wanted to continue our conversation." Vedius snapped his fingers and his guard quickly got Vedius a stool to sit on. He quickly took a seat and then looked down at Jacyb again surveying the boy completely. "Now young Shifs, Jacyb I think you said your name was, let's talk about you a little first." Vedius took something out of his coat pocket and showed it to Jacyb "If you don't answer a question that I ask though then I've got this lower voltage Taser here to give you some motivation; so it would be in your best interest to tell me what I want to know. So again, let's start with you, what's your full name?"
Jacyb eyed the Taser and then responded, "My name is Jacyb Davin Shifs."
"Good," grinned Vedius. "That's a good start. Now for age and rank."
"I'm fifteen years old," Jacyb said softly. "I'm a First Lieutenant in the Founder Archive Task Force, commission number 82764."
"Oh that's fantastic, I love when people answer without a fight but..." replied Vedius as he took the Taser and shocked Jacyb with it.
Jacyb screamed, it wasn't a low voltage Taser at all. Vedius held it against Jacyb for a few seconds and then released the button and smiled.
"I thought you said that...that if I answered your questions you wouldn't do that," moaned Jacyb as he struggled in his bonds.
"So I lied," said Vedius with a sickeningly sweet smile. "Just wanted to make sure you were aware of what lying to me felt like. Now, on to the harder questions, let's start with what is this Founder Archive that they have a task force for."
Jacyb didn't reply but rather shook his head no. Vedius responded by once again shocking Jacyb for far longer then he did the first time. When he finally released he asked again, "What is the Founder Archive?"
"It's a historical archive for information," replied Jacyb as he winced in pain.
"Good, now where is this 'archive' located?" asked Vedius.
"Only the Council knows its location," said Jacyb.
Vedius frowned and then shocked Jacyb again, this time for about twenty second, "I'll ask again, where is it located?"
"I don't know!" Jacyb cried in pain. "I told you, only the Council knows!"
"Hmmm, I suppose they wouldn't trust a soldier with that kind of information," Vedius thought out loud. "I think those are the only question I've got for you then. But I'm far from done with you." Vedius leaned in closer to Jacyb, "I want you to close those pretty little purple eyes of yours and look into the future a few minutes. Tell me, what do you see?"
Jacyb studied Vedius for a few seconds before he did as he was told and closed his eyes. Jacyb quickly took himself to where his mind indexed time events and then jumped ahead a few minutes. Jacyb gasped at what he saw and as his eyes shot back open he started to try and get out of his bonds. "NO! Please no!" shouted Jacyb. "Just kill me; please don't make me a Moroi!"
Vedius smiled, "Oh come now, turning you into one of us isn't that bad, well unless you're a Founder...oh that's right, you are a Founder. I'm hoping this works, I have more that I want to do to you after. But no one has ever turned a Founder so lets see how this turns out," Vedius signaled to his guard to leave the room. As the guard left, Vedius got up from his stool and leaned over Jacyb, "Consider this repayment for your father's sins and for the sins of your people. We shall have the last laugh. As I watch, what you made us, tear you apart, remember, you did this to yourself."
Jacyb began to cry harder, "Death and destruction is fitting to who you are, as is deemed by the Council."
"Your faith in your Council is your downfall," replied Vedius as he lunged for Jacyb's neck. Jacyb let out a blood curdling scream as he felt Vedius begin to drain him of his blood and as he began to fade Jacyb wished he was dead.
Cris watched through the mirrored glass as his father finished with the boy strapped to the bed inside. He watched his father clean himself up and then leave the room. Cris stared at the now almost dead boy lying lifeless on the bed.
"Oh I didn't know you had come down to watch," said Vedius as he came into the observation room. "So what do you think?"
"Why didn't you just kill him dad?" Cris asked as he continued to watch the boy.
"That boy," said Vedius as he came over and laid a hand on his son's shoulder. "Is the son of Makus Shifs, he deserves much worse."
Cris shook his head, "I don't like that, if that's the case then I deserve whatever hell awaits you."
Vedius removed his hand, "What exactly is that supposed to mean?"
Cris turned and looked at his father, "Makus Shifs was a good man. And you know as well as I do that we're not helping the people, the Founders were doing a far better job then..."
"That's enough!" Vedius said sharply. "You will not go about spreading things like that, be proud of who and what you are."
"Dad, the only thing I've watched you do since you took power has been to kill everyone that has a different opinion then you do," said Cris.
"Maybe, but I wouldn't have to if the Founders never attacked us to begin with," replied Vedius. "I don't expect you to understand all my reasons, son, but just know that I act in our best interest."
"In OUR best interest? You mean YOUR best interest," said Cris coldly. "The only thing I've ever gotten from you was a cold shoulder and lies about how the Founders were crushing us."
"They were forcing us to conform to their idea of what the future should be!" shouted Vedius. "They were using their skills as seers to make the world follow the path that turned out best for them. Well we don't need them; we'll make our own future! I don't see why I have to go over this time and time again, especially with my own son."
"So what are you going to do to this boy then?" said Cris, hinting at Jacyb Shifs. "You're making him one of us for what reason? What purpose could that serve?"
Vedius grinned, "Come back in about four weeks and you'll see what I have in store for the son of Makus Shifs. I have a very special thing in mind for him."
"And then what?" asked Cris.
"I'm not sure, maybe I'll let you figure that out," replied Vedius as he headed towards the door. "I have and will have a world to run. After revenge then he doesn't serve a purpose anymore, although I doubt he'll want anything but death by that point." Vedius laughed and then left the room.
Cris looked back through the glass at Jacyb and shook his head, "Please forgive me for my father's mistakes and let his sins not pass unto me."
Jacyb awoke with a start and quickly tried to get up. He found that he was still bound to the table; he lay there for a minute remembering what to him had just happened. Jacyb could feel the difference in his body though, he was now one of the forsaken, the cursed. Jacyb began to cry as he lay there, unable to focus and unable to move. A few minutes later Jacyb, still crying, started to think; he had to get up, he had to get out. He knew that Moroi were strong and he didn't want to stay on this table. So Jacyb pulled with all his might at one of his arms and surprisingly enough it came free, the strap broke. Jacyb reached over and undid his other arm and then quickly freed his feet. But just as he was getting off of the table he suddenly doubled over in pain, his stomach felt like it was caving in on itself. As he tried to get back up he heard the door open. Jacyb managed to get up, stumble over to the wall farthest from the door and then turn around. Standing in the door way was his murderer, Vedius Moroi.
Vedius grinned, "Well, finally. Welcome to the land of the undead." Vedius came into the room followed by his personal guard, "I see you managed to get up, I'm impressed that you can even move. I was afraid you weren't going to make it actually but it seems that even Founders can be turned, it just takes a little longer. You've been out for four and a half weeks and since you'll need to hmmm, how should I say it, eat every four weeks well I was afraid I'd miss this. But now that you're up and, from the looks of it, hungry I'm going to enjoy this." Vedius snapped his fingers and two more guards brought in a young woman no older then twenty. Vedius smiled and signaled for them to leave and as he and his personal guard left Vedius broke into a laugh, "Happy dinning."
As Vedius left Jacyb suddenly knew what he meant by 'eat'. The Moroi fed on humans. Jacyb looked over at the young woman, she looked like she had been crying, she looked paranoid, she looked scared. She had reason to be because Jacyb realized that he could suddenly smell her, and not her bodily scent, but rather her blood. Jacyb then knew what Vedius wanted; he wanted Jacyb to kill her while he watched from behind his mirrored glass.
"I can't do it!" Jacyb cried at the glass. "I'm a Founder; I can't take a human life! I won't eat!"
There came no reply and another hungry pain hit him. As Jacyb gasped and fell to the ground he saw that the girl now looked even more frightened and was pinned back against the wall, afraid to get to close to Jacyb.
"I have to know," Jacyb said to himself as he closed his eyes. Jacyb was afraid to but he had to know if his hungry would get the best of him. He quickly indexed the next few minutes and then screamed. He opened his eyes and started to look around the room in panic. He had to get out or find a way to kill himself or he was going to kill the girl that they left for him to eat. But as he started to look for a way to prevent her death he started to have trouble focusing on his task; all he kept thinking about was the girl in the room and how hungry he was and what pain it caused him to resist. He started to think about where and how he would attack when he suddenly realized what he was thinking. Jacyb screamed again and then threw himself against the wall in an attempt to keep his thoughts on what he was trying to do. But his thoughts kept going back to how she smelt and then, in a blinding flash and blur Jacyb found himself on top of the girl with his teeth in her neck drinking as fast as he could. He couldn't stop no matter how much she screamed.
A few minutes later the girl lay dead in his arms and Jacyb was once again in control of his sense. He looked down at the girl's lifeless body and he realized what he had done. He had just killed her, he murdered her. Founders were forbidden to kill, for any reason and here he was clutching her dead body. Jacyb broke down crying uncontrollably.
"You sick bastard," Cris said to his father as they watched Jacyb crying. "You did all this just to break him?"
"Sure," replied Vedius as he sat there smelling a bowl of popcorn. "I really wish I could eat this while watching all of this but oh well. But yes, all I wanted was to once see a Founder, an almighty Founder, have no control and kill. And who better then the son of Makus Shifs, I may not be able to kill Makus for what he did but it sure felt good to turn his son. And it felt ten times better then that to watch him take the life of an innocent human. To take life for a Founder means..."
"The loss of self," spat Cris. "You really are sick. That poor boy isn't his father, and he didn't choose to be a Founder. Just like I didn't choose to be a Moroi, or to be YOUR son. You just destroyed that boy's entire psyche just for your own pleasure."
Vedius shifted in his chair and glared at his son, "You watch your mouth, I will NOT have my own son disrespecting me."
Cris ignored his father, "So what are you going to do with him now?"
"Why does it matter to you?" asked Vedius as he turned back to the glass to continued watching Jacyb. "What, do you want him or something?"
"Yes," Cris replied flatly.
"What do you want with a broken Founder Moroi?" muttered Vedius as he took another whiff of popcorn.
"Does it matter? You don't seem to need a reason, do I?" Cris said coldly.
Vedius once again turned to face his son, "You've got some mouth on you today. If I didn't have so much to do I'd..." Cris watched his father for a moment without saying anything before his father continued, "Fine, you can have him but on one condition. Every month when he needs to feed, I want to watch."
No matter how much he hated his father Cris wasn't going to pass up something he wanted, "Deal."