The Thassos Project
Prologue: The Perfect Weapon
"The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted. She knew that now."
- Stephen King, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
They were being taken for years and nobody noticed. The nomads were the easiest because they wouldn't be missed. They traveled in bands of two or three, if they were social, but most traveled alone. They stayed just outside of the cities; it made for a quick swoop in when they were thirsty. It also made it effortless to pick the nomads off. A well programmed newborn could grab at least two in a matter of minutes, oftentimes more.
In the beginning, when The Directorate was still learning, they tried to keep the vampires alive. But the myths people believed paled in comparison to what the vampires really were. They were strong, nearly indestructible. Many people died.
The humans learned their weaknesses fast, however. Fire was one, but it was impossible to get close enough to burn them. They could be torn to pieces, but there was that same problem – all that strength in one single body. It didn't help that vampire's bodies, after the tearing of a limb, can reassemble. That was really something to watch. There were other weaknesses, and it took years to find them.
Governments changed, passed the project down. It was called MK-ULTRA in the beginning. In the fifties people involved started calling it The Thassos Project, naming it after the white marble vampire skin resembled, and the name stuck.
The summer of 1962 was an important one, perhaps the most important in The Directorate's history. During routine reconnaissance, a group of four men and one woman witnessed the attack of a human girl through surveillance set up on a particularly active section of the Appalachian Trail. She was sixteen and alone, separated from her family. The vampire took her quickly; impatient or perhaps just very thirsty, paying no attention to how close it was to the trail.
It was interrupted midway through by a large group of backpackers. The Directorate did not know why the vampire fled, the large numbers most likely, but it did. The hikers, unfortunately for the girl, did not notice her bleeding out a couple of yards away in some heavy overgrowth.
Three days later, the girl stood up so fast her figure on the tape merely blurred. She was faster than any previous land speed time on record for a vampire. The Directorate called her the Newborn, some dubbed her Eve.
They tried to find her and succeeded, only to have the field agents murdered moments after their first capture attempt. The newborn was strong, stronger than any vampire they'd encountered.
In the late 60's, The Directorate captured its first vampire. They starved him in a stone cell for months until the man was weakened and blind with thirst.
The early attempts at changing a human were clumsy, resulting more often than not in death. They used the young man, but it proved to be very problematic. Scientists had to starve him enough to weaken him, but not enough that they couldn't remove a human before he or she was drained. After enough failure, they began using mass graves.
In 1968, they changed a 25 year old homeless man and found the vampires biggest weakness. A newborn vampire has little to no memory of its human life. In later tests, scientists found that if one kept the To Be Changed isolated long enough, their memory was wiped clean during the changing process.
And Newborns were stronger than vampires even a few years older. They were also bloodthirsty and easily influenced. The Newborn Vampire was the perfect weapon and by 1977, the U.S. government had itself an army.
In June of 1984, The Directorate used their crop of newborns to come after existing vampires, the ones that could not be controlled. They called it cleansing. The vampires called it genocide.
A well indoctrinated newborn was stronger, faster, and had one mission – to kill. It began with the nomads. In 2005, they began targeting the others.
Word spread among the vampires, but they had one more weakness – the rule of absolute secrecy. The penalty was death for any that showed himself for who they were with no exception. Most chose their speed, escaping to other cities, the forests, rural towns. Some fought, they died. The public in these cases believed what they were told. Of course, some conspiracy theorists shouted stories from the rooftops. But no one guessed the truth. With so many myths of the vampire, most created by the vampire, they choked on their own veil of secrecy. Vampires out during the day? Holding down jobs and attending church? Impossible.
But The Thassos Project overlooked one thing. There were others. There was more to the world than vampires. Was everything true? No, but the fairy tales and the monsters had their sources.
Salvation came in the form of someone not nearly as romantic or heroic as a fairy tale character.
Bella Swan was just one woman. One woman with a very big secret.
Author's Note: New story! If you're wondering about Gone Baby Gone, I have some news about that on my profile.
This is my very first vampire AU, so I'm really excited. Chapter One will be posted on Thursday and I'll put pictures up on my homepage (link in profile) in the next day or so.
Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it.