What’s worse than a zombie apocalypse?
Past Arc ⑭
When Foddway opened his eyes, he was looking up at a ceiling he didn’t recognise. The darkened lighting equipment in the ceiling was not one that he was familiar with. Although he felt languid and had a craving in his throat, the more time passed the more he regained his sense of awareness. Together with that, he began to remember as well. The suffering captain, who was unwell. That captain, who had suddenly attacked him. After being struck with intense pain, his memories were cut off there.
Foddway wasn’t able to understand just what the heck had happened. The captain was someone who even Foddway trusted. For such a man to betray Foddway in such a sloppy fashion, was rather unbelievable.
Somehow, Foddway was able to calm down his still chaotic thoughts, but after understanding what had happened to him he became shaken once again. His body was lying down on a bed. That much was fine. However, Foddway’s body was strapped down by thick belts. A lot of them as well.
「What the hell?」
Foddway was so surprised that he couldn’t help speaking out unconsciously. Foddway was generally acknowledged to be a bigwig in the financial world. A key figure in other words, and the sort of person where it would be absolutely inconceivable for them to be restrained like this. Just what kind of situation would it have to be for someone like him to be restrained in such a manner? The first word that came to Foddway’s mind was “kidnapping”.
However, as soon as that word came to Foddway, he dismissed it. Even if the Captain had betrayed Foddway and kidnapped him, the situation was still too weird. Turning his head around, the only part of Foddway that could move freely, he checked his environment. What he saw, was medical equipment stationed around his bed. From them was an intravenous drip tube connected to Foddway’s arm. Seeing that, he guessed that it was a hospital or similar. That would be too weird for a kidnapping.
However, even on realising that, the existence of the restraints didn’t disappear. He would have to ask someone about that at least. Having decided that, Foddway yelled towards a door.
「Hey! Is anyone there!?」
Upon yelling he became more aware of the craving in his throat. After having reached a ripe old age, Foddway never felt such cravings in his throat anymore. Feeling such an intense craving in his throat after all this time, he fell into having a coughing fit. Perhaps on hearing the yell, the sound of some hurried footsteps came closer, and the door was vigorously opened. Dazzled by the light shining in from the corridor, Foddway squinted his eyes. At the same time, despite the room having been pitch dark, he only just realised that he had been able to see awfully clearly. Considering the craving in his throat, and considering his eyes being exceedingly used to the dark, Foddway guessed that he must have been unconscious for a considerable amount of time.
「Are you, awake?」
Then, on turning his attention to the person standing in the corridor, he was bewildered to see a different sort of person to his expectations. Foddway had expected doctors or nurses to rush in, but this person was dressed as a police officer.
「A police officer?」
The question flew out from his mouth. On hearing his voice the police officer was shocked. On seeing that over-reaction, Foddway’s irritation welled up. Finding himself restrained on waking up, he wanted to voice his complaints at the unreasonable treatment, so his manner of speaking became forceful.
「Just what is the meaning of this? Surely you are aware just who you are treating like this?」
In response to Foddway’s words, the police officer flinched noticeably. Presuming that this person was aware of just who he was, Foddway made a natural demand.
「Hurry up and release me.」
However, in response to his request to undo the restraints, the police officer did not comply.
「I, I’ll call someone!」
Shouting that, the police officer ran off before Foddway could respond.
「How many fingers can you see?」
Just how much time had passed since the police officer had ran off? Foddway didn’t have an accurate grasp of the time since there was no clock in the room, but with his body still being restrained, it was undeniable that he had had to wait a painful amount of time without being able to do anything. That’s just how much time passed. Then, when someone finally appeared, it wasn’t that police officer, but instead seven people crowding the room. One of them, who appeared to be a doctor, was giving Foddway a medical examination. While he was still restrained.
Despite being rather fed up, he responded to the fingers the doctor was holding up. At first, Foddway had demanded to be released from the restraints and be given an explanation of the situation, but the only answer he got was a somewhat vague “depending upon a safety evaluation the restraints can be released”. Foddway resented being treated as if he was some kind of dangerous person. However, the people surrounding Foddway had serious expressions including the doctor, bringing about a solemn atmosphere. Deciding that it would be wise to comply for now, Foddway swallowed his complaints, and obediently took the doctor’s examination.
「Excuse me. Then, could you open your mouth please?」
Foddway opened his mouth as asked. The doctor came closer to peer into Foddway’s mouth, but he had a strange sense that something was off. Normally, when a doctor would look into someone’s mouth, it would be to judge the state of the throat, right? However, what the doctor was looking at currently was something much closer, as if examining the teeth. On top of that, it wasn’t just the doctor who peered into his mouth. The other six also stared at Foddway’s mouth.
「Surely that’s enough?」
Feeling uneasy, Foddway closed his mouth.
The doctor responded evasively.
「So? Do you understand anything?」
Foddway asked that without concealing his frustration. The medical examination was simple enough. Rather than confirming his health, it seemed more like that they were checking his state of awareness. Although having only recently woken up, from the point of view of Foddway who was fully awake, it felt like their tests were making light of him.
「Mr Foddway, your reasoning ability is normal.」
「That much should be obvious.」
Foddway impatiently spat that out in annoyance.
「It is not obvious.」
However, a dissenting voice was heard in response to Foddway’s remark. Amongst the people who had gathered along with the doctor, it was from a man who appeared to have the highest standing amongst them.
「You are the solitary example of someone regaining their awareness, or rather, their normal awareness. Amongst those infected by a vampire, you are the only one to stay sane.」
The man declared that gravely.
Foddway couldn’t help making an atypically stupid sounding response.