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"The New Vampires" by Ken McConnell

"The New Vampires" by Ken McConnell

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Published by Ken McConnell
A vampire story.
A vampire story.

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Published by: Ken McConnell on Jun 03, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/14/2013

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THE NEW VAMPIRES by Ken McConnell“My name is Miko and I’m a vampire.”The girl looked all of seventeen. Her powder-blue skin and shinning black hair were the very image of  preternatural youth.“Welcome Miko, we’re glad to have you here,” the therapist said, with practiced sincerity. “We’ll begin byasking you when and where you were turned?”Miko blinked, a learned trait for the dead. She shifted her position on the thinly padded folding chair  before beginning, “I was turned in the winter of ninety six, on the island of Honshu, Japan.”This drew some raised eyebrows among the other participants in the room, though not because of her advanced age. The average age of the vampires present was well over two hundred years. It was the locationthat intrigued them. So few immortals were known to be living in the Far East at the close of the TwentiethCentury.Miko noticed the eyes of her peers focusing more intently on her. Despite the fact this was a closedmeeting, she still felt vulnerable in telling even one human about her true nature.“Can you please tell us who turned you, Miko?”Miko’s small, rounded nose caught a whiff of the human’s musk scent, but she could not perceive theother two vampires present. She scanned them carefully with her pearl-black eyes before answering, “I amdaughter of Nacer, the son of Valone, daughter of Egan.”The therapist looked up from his PDA and studied her closer. Then he cast a skeptical eye at the other twovampires. The enigmatic society of vampires was still largely uncharted by those who were aware of their existence. But even the most casual follower of their exploits, had heard of the legendary Egan clan. With blood lines stretching back to Roman times and even earlier by some accounts, the Egan clan was known asthe grand old family of the living dead. Although he was presumed to still be walking the earth, no mortalhad laid eyes on Egan, and lived to tell about it, for the past hundred years.Little was known of the Egan clan, after the creation of his daughter, Valone at the end of the 17thCentury. She was known to have created only three kin and Nacer was the only one of those to survive. BothValone and Nacer were considered powerful and elusive vampires. The Institute was very fortunate to havelured in a relatively recent sibling in this ancient clan.“Why have you chosen to come out for us, tonight?” the therapist asked. His cool-blue eyes peeringthrough oval-shaped wire rim glasses.
 
“I heard that your scientists had created a blood substitute. I wanted to know if it really worked,” sheglanced hesitantly at the other vampires. There were two of them seated in a circle with her and the human.Their pale faces were lit from the dim light bulb hanging above their heads. The low lighting was for her  benefit and Miko occupied the seat farthest from it’s warm glow.Both of the other vampires were of the new breed of post-modern dead. They had come to the undergroundInstitute in secrecy years ago and participated in the genetic testing that promised them an alternative to the blood they craved. Primarily the Institute funded the research and most of the money was used in designingtheir cure. The remaining funds were used to run the front for the operation, a genetic food bank.For the first time in their long and violent heritage, they were free of the blood curse. A synthetic plasmahad curbed their desire to hunt and weaned them off the blood. Of course, this did not come without a price.Their vampiric abilities were diminished and in some cases totally rescinded. But to these new vampires, itwas well worth doing, because it enabled them to rejoin the human society. No longer would they have tolive in the shadows, preying on their unsuspecting cousins.Miko had known that they were no longer like her when she first encountered these new vampires. Their scents were stale, almost sterile, and they moved so methodically slow, like humans. It was as if they were pale shadows of their former selves.“Why do you want this treatment?” Said one of the new vampires. He was thin faced and wore light brownhair, cropped short. His name was Leni. “Do you have an ethical problem with hunting?”Miko bit her lower lip with tiny fangs, and thought about a vampire that Nacer had known who did have a problem with the killing. She was one of Valone’s children and that was about all Miko had known abouther. Nacer never spoke much about her and Miko could hardly believe what he did say. It was too bad shehad lived seventy years too soon for this treatment.“No. I accept the hunt. The victim gives his life so that I may live forever. He is to be respected andadmired.”One of the new vampires sneered at Miko’s statement. She was a young blonde woman with a Frenchaccent, named Claire. “She can’t be treated, she’s a Traditionalist. This is a waste of time.”The human therapist motioned for Claire to be quiet. Then he nodded for Miko to continue.“I want to re-enter human society. I want to walk among them and no longer fear their persecution. I’mtired of having to change my natural appearance whenever I’m around humans. I want to fit in with secular society.”Miko saw the approval in some of their eyes. She implored her desires to them telepathically but was metwith an unyielding wall of opposition. Not all of their vampiric abilities were softened... especially Claire.“How do we know she’s not deceiving us with her sincerity? The Egan clan has had more than its share of egoists,” Claire said, as she motioned to Miko with disdain.Leni nodded in agreement and looked to Miko for an answer. Miko bowed her head for a moment beforeshe spoke. The human leaned forward in his seat, trying to see her better in the shadows, wondering if therewas something wrong with her.“I was created to serve the longings of my master, Nacer. He wanted to learn my language and its culture.He could have had anyone, but he chose me. Because he said I reminded him of his creator Valone. There
 
was no love for me behind his affection for me. He stayed with me in the orient for only ten years, a mere blink of an eye for an immortal. I assisted him in his quest for knowledge and then he moved on. He left me,without notice, and I haven’t encountered him in over sixty years.”“I’ve done my best to abide by the veiled code of the underworld without his guidance. But I’ve grownweary of the vampire lifestyle. I’m tired of being a parasite on humanity. Tired of living in the shadows,watching life pass by in an endless succession of years. I want to rejoin the human community and participatein the new unity of life on this planet.”The room was silent. Finally, Claire stood and spoke, “Do you promise to help us find the old ones andconvert them?”“Yes.”“Even if it means destroying those who are closest to you? Nacer and Valone?”“I have never met Valone or Egan, but I know I could never destroy Nacer,” Miko admitted. “I fell in lovewith him on the very night he turned me and I can’t betray that love.”“How touching,” Claire quipped.The human got up from his chair and put a hand on Claire’s shoulder. She took her seat again and regainedher composure. The therapist knelt before Miko and looked into the slight canthic fold of her dark eyes. Itwas very brave of him. Knowing as he did that she could snap his neck before he even noticed that she hadmoved. It was like swimming with a shark.“The treatment is still in the experimental stages. There is still so much we don’t know about your kind.Before I was brought onto this project, I didn’t even believe in vampires. That is why it’s not very easy for these converts to assimilate themselves into our society. We’ve made up all kinds of technical and medicalexplanations to describe their condition to the general public. But it might not be enough.”He stopped for a moment to find the right words.“In short Miko, we can’t make you any promises.”“What are the effects of the treatment?” Miko asked, having already guessed at some of them.The therapist read the list from the soft glow of his PDA. “A substantial reduction in the desire to kill. It blocks the synaptic connections to the brain that gives you the ‘high’ associated with consumption of the blood. Where there is no desire, there is no intent.”“Wait a minute,” Miko said, stopping the human from continuing. “I’ve always associated that feelingwith the primal desire of sexual orgasm.”“The nerve endings are the same, yes.”“Does this mean I can have sex again?”The other vampires laughed at her exuberance. Miko became embarrassed, she grinned shyly at herself.Vampires didn’t blush. The therapist shook his balding head and grinned himself. “The others have reportedheightened feelings during intercourse. But your reproductive organs remain sterile.”

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