I wish to thank Top Cow for such great characters and give them kudos for showing the development of a lesbian relationship in mainstream comics.
From earlier comments I realise that some things in a story like this may disturb some. I do not feel that it's particularly unreadable but for those who don't like too much blood. Skip the parts between the 2 lines of ++++++++++++++++++++.
You won't miss any of the story it just introduces a bad guy who is known as the rogue. He's also described as a soldier.
The Priest had always told Patrick Gleason that the soul was in the heart. But his sister went to a different church with her husband and she told him that the chaplain there had stated that the soul was in the brain because the universe had been formed by God and He was all-knowing and knowledge came from the mind.
They were both wrong. Gleason understood now the soul is connected to all existence. And the holy fire was cleansing his, it was burning all of him. He knew now that there was no life left for him. Redemption of his soul came at a price; the death of his body.
The last thing he felt was the flare of heat, a scorching flare that ripped through his skull burning his brain. Then he felt nothing and there was only peace.
He stood before a throne,. At first there was no body occupying it, but slowly a shadowy figure semi-solidified there and in it was a woman. She was gorgeous but she was not human, she smiled at him an his knees felt weak at the sight.
She looked like the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Except her skin was red and she had a very small pair of black horns. “Greetings my daughter,” and he recalled that he had been made a she. But he had been redeemed, why was he still a woman?
The red woman spoke again, “My name is Satanna and I have been called the first vampire. Unfortunately my father is the big bad that all of Patrick Gleason's priests warned him about. Fortunately, my mother was human. So I don't only have a legacy that I'm ashamed of but one that I am proud of. Although my father would preferred me to follow him into the family business he is satisfied with what I do as long as I don't get in his way.
So I have told you that I was the first vampire. You should also know that I was the first vampire hunter. My children stand at a crossroads, they have a chance to be free of the taint of the Darkness. They also stand on a precipice of a cliff., one incorrect step and they will fall.
Now you must understand that anything to do with the idea of a soul falling is abhorrent to me. While my father seems perfectly happy with that status of being a fallen angel, I am not. I care for my children and unlike the Hollywood portrayals of vampires, they have their souls intact.
However if what is coming, comes to pass I fear that Hollywood portrayals of the damage will only be the tip of the ice- berg. They will be lost beyond redemption and it would take something incredibly powerful to help them rise as a civilisation again.
I need a representative on Earth, actually on all realms to do as I wish. Come to me and I shall make you my daughter in truth. As she held her, her new daughter felt her mother's power seeping into her body changing her.
“ You took the name Vampirella for yourself in your last incarnation. Vampirella is a title given to newborn vampire women. It means 'Torch of the vampire', Ella means 'torch' or 'light'. As my daughter your title is Vampirella. However, I name you Ella.”
Satanna never gave birth to me but she felt like my mother, god knows how that works but the bond between us must have been genetic she felt like my mother and I already Loved her but I was really not looking forward to meeting my grandfather.
Pulling me forward she kissed me on the cheeks and bid me farewell. She held my face looking into my eyes as if willing me to be safe and not to forget her.
* * *
“Finch, what have you done!?” The words slowly penetrated her sluggish brain as she held onto the smouldering woman. Her mind cleared and and she saw what had happened she let the woman go and stumbled back.
Terak was insensate with anger. “You are the new Angelus that now who commands decisions. It doesn't seem that way to me. Either you planned this or you are no longer in command and control.”
I had no reply. No excuse for Finch's behaviour. Finch herself seemed distressed and couldn't explain what happened except that she lost control of her body and emotions.
I knew that she was telling the truth and I couldn't explain what had happened. No one had ever suborned one of my soldiers before, I was too powerful for that to happen. I tried telling This to Terak, but I don't think he believed me. When Vampirella's skin began to turn red, I began to suspect more was going on then an attack on the Light.
I looked at Finch and told her to return to the Realm and to tell the warriors to arm themselves, as I suspected what was about to happen could be very good, or not good at all.
* * *
Finch returned as Vampirella began to show signs of regaining consciousness. She was shaken up and burst into tears at her return in the Hall. The other warriors had never had a sister with a human soul and so were unsure what to do.
However over the past few weeks Finch had made an impact on all of them and they could sense her hurt and shame. Unsen, the most masculine of the guard was the most interested in the lives of humans. He had seen what humans did to comfort each other and as this information passed among those of the Hall of Light, and for the first time in their existence the Angelus warriors expressed their caring for their newest sister in a group hug.
Preparing for a possible battle in the Realm of Light also involves gathering weapons, but unlike most armies the weapons weren't stored in an armoury. What happened was that a banner of Light was unfurled and when activated by the Angelus, the armies of Light would take the sunshine from the banner and forge their own weapons.
* * *
Jackie Estacado had finally discovered what the Darkness had been hiding from him. A vampire, he had created a vampire. Now why couldn't he hold on to her? He had, had her subdued so something must have gone wrong. He just decided he would have to create more. Only then did the Darkness decide to speak to him.
It showed him all about vampires, how it had been unable to control them. The Darkness told him it was a waste of time trying to hold them, unless Jackie was able to find a method to have better control over them then their hunger.
Estacado knew something the Darkness had overlooked. It seemed vampires held down jobs to do more than eat. They would be well paid to work for him and now he just had to find them.
* * *
Ella slowly but surely regained consciousness. She opened her eyes and looked at everyone staring at her. Taking stock of her body, she discovered she liked what she saw. It seemed that remainder of the male parts that were Patrick Gleason had disappeared. She had red skin like her mother but was missing the horns. Her fangs were out but she slowly retracted them. Doing this brought her extreme satisfaction that bordered on the sensual.
She would look in a mirror later. She no longer felt any shame there.
She wasn't sorry about the change. She was happy to be a woman with a loving mother who accepted her and needed her help. She had even inherited what many would call a queenship. She wondered how anyone would believe that she was now leader of the vampire nation.
She stood and saw the Angelus and a message from her mother flashed through her mind. She looked at Dani and said, “My mother apologises for what she did to your consort, it was neccesary to burn away the leftover toxins that were in my body as a result of the meddling. And this is one of the first times you've been vulnerable enough for her to reach the Realm of Light.
The Angelus knew Satanna and considered her a sometime ally, if a troublesome one. But Dani was fuming, how dare she, how dare she take away a person's free will. Finches laugh came back to her from that Other Place. “As the Angelus you've done it to her once or twice. Don't worry, she did it for a decent reason. Anyway she'll feel good about herself and that will add to her goodwill.
As Dani approached her so she could ask Vampirella about her meeting, the vampire burst into flame but she did not burn. All the other vampires in the room began muttering about a prophecy and bowed before her.
Terak was the one who spoke first, “All hail the new Vampirella, what do you will?”
Ella replied, “We are at a point in our history when we have a chance to shed the imbalances caused by the Darkness to our race. The first task we have is to work with the Angelus and her warriors. She continued, “I wish to call a meeting of all night and daywalkers at this club, at this we will formalise the running of our government and begin to have both races work together.”
Dani decided she needed to speak before things became too political, “We came here not only for you Vampirella. There have been reports of a rogue”.
Ella just looked at her and wondered how she found out about that so quickly. “That's true” she said. “We'll talk about it at the meeting.”
Terak could see a whole lot of flaws in what the new queen had suggested. Vampire society would not submit to the structure of government. She was still to focused on doing thing the ways humans did them.
He felt sorry for her. Her new life wasn't intended to be easy. But then again, he'd never heard of a vampire who could easily accept their changed nature. He sighed, “Oh well, it seems I've got the job as advisor whether I wanted it or not.”
* * *
He stalked the streets at night the thirst drove him. He craved it the warm tang of blood running down his throat. He'd lived so long that he didn't even remember his name. He knew that once he had been a soldier. He had been a good soldier that followed orders well.
He had never been given a command of his own but this didn't bother him. It gave him time to do what he loved doing … killing the enemy. If he couldn't kill in a legal way he wouldn't be able to keep himself from killing and he realised he'd end up in prison or on the execution block. If that happened he'd be kept from his hobby, that would upset him. So he chose to join the emperors own.
He loved torture, craved listening to the screams of his victims. He enjoyed his work so much that he often overdid it and killed the prisoner by mistake. He was taken away from that position that he liked so much and was sent to the border to protect his country, he so wanted to protect it that he snuck into the neighbouring country and killed their entire garrison. It didn't matter that they weren't at war.
During the dark times when the emperor battled to put down the slave rebellion, he had bee the first human volunteer for the blood experiment. If it worked he would be a saviour of the nation. And would probably get any post that he wanted. The wizards had been experimenting on enemy soldiers in the hope of creating the ultimate human weapon.
He was really pissed off that he wasn't the first, even if the other were experiments. The wizards told him that it was okay because after he had been turned into the weapon he would never be pissed off again.
He went into a glass chamber and had all these tubes attached to him and needles were inserted in to his body. He was then sealed into the chamber. The wizards started talking as if he weren't there.
“So this imbecile was actually looking forward to the procedure?”
“Reports indicate that he's a psychopath and was used in the killing squads. He was becoming too much of a problem and they thought that they were going to have to eliminate him but when they were told this procedure eliminates emotion they knew that they had the ideal candidate.
“Before his superiors could finish telling this soldier what it entailed, he jumped for it.”
“So,” the other wizard said “If he didn't go through with this the emperor would have had him executed?' The other agreed, “Precisely.”
The soldier wasn't stupid, he knew what he was but the knowledge that the emperor wanted to kill him after he'd done so much for his country really, really bothered him. He decided to kill all of his past officer as revenge for what they might have done.
All that he cared about now was his thirst. A slave was throw into his chamber as the needles, clips and tubes disconnected from his body. The slave tasted good. His blood was even better. The soldier wanted more but was refused. He contented himself with slashing the bloodless corpse.
Now the experiment was over and he didn't really care about what he felt when he found out that his superiors had wanted to kill him, but he'd heard that the emperor was a descendent of God and he wanted to taste God's blood as it would definitely taste far superior to an ordinary person's.
The emperor's windows were open at night to let in the breeze. There were no bars on his window. As he was safe. No one was able to climb up a 50 foot sheer wall, why bother with bars?
The soldier just jumped and he got into the man's chamber. The emperor's blood tasted no different to any other person's blood. But the man's fear was intoxicating.
* * *
Estacado arrived at the the run down tenement that was the home of the high- mage of the Black Mage Order. Both men were given sharp sterilised knives with which they cut themselves and squeezed several drops of blood in to empty glass bowls. That was the payment, the blood of the Darkness host and his closest lieutenant.
A dark magician came toward Jackie and bowed “Follow me my Lord and I will take you to His Eminence.” Jackie found it funny how these people treated him like The Avatar of their God inside the building but but when he called the to his residence they treated him as if he were scum.
The blood that Butch had give was not keep in the same vessel they kept the blood of the Darknesses host. Butch's offering was used as a key to transport them to the castle in the dimension that the black mage really lived in. Butch and Jackie walked into what might have been called an audience hall in this castle.
The wizard was there to meet them, he seemed to be an excitable man who looked like someone's favourite uncle, he did not look like the sort of person you would expect to practise dark magic.
“I do not think I need to tell how pleased I am to have you here M'lord” he gushed. Jackie hated dealing with these 'shadow mumbo's' as he thought of them.
This time he could see the fat magician wanted something and bargaining was something no one could beat him at. He looked the man in the eye and said, “What do you want from me?”
The man paled, “Why nothing my Lord”. The Darkness gave him the ability to see lies and the man knew it. Obviously the man didn't lie but he wasn't telling him everything.
“Then what aren't you telling me?”
The mage replied, I will tell you in exchange for a darking to charge my evening ritual.”
This surprised Jackie, “that's some heavy duty power you need for your ritual.
“My terms,” he stated, “you tell me everything that has been hidden from me since the Angelus arrived in New York as well as answering my original question.” The man nodded vigorously and a blood exchange sealed the bargain.
This is how Estacado leant about Sonnetine, who now went by the name of Sonny Darko. He learned about all the plans that Sonnetine had for him. He learned about a rise in vampiric activity and that the Angelus was having dealings with the vampires.
Normally he would have been ecstatic about getting so much information for so little, the man was even telling him things that Jackie was sure that he would have charged more for if he knew they were what Jackie was after.
“Now for my question, Where would I find and how do I recruit a vampire to work for me?”
“You can't. Vampires abhor the Darkness, the only one who might possibly serve you would be insane or mad. My advice is find the rogue vampire that has surfaced.” He dipped a stick in a vial of blood an wrote an address down.
Jackie took the address and was about to walk away when he paused. “why did you give me so much. The deal never said tell me about Sonnetine's past.
The man looked at the avatar, “The Darkness is chaos. You, I trust to hold it. Sonnetine may be powerful but he doesn't have your will and if the darkness doesn't kill him, it will surely drive him mad. I may love chaos, that doesn't mean I want it to destroy all life on Earth. You are good for business Jackie, if you die Sonnetine will make sure that all mages not loyal to him perish.
Estacado and Butch found themselves back in the run down tenement again. “That was interesting.” he said to Butch.
* * *
Stephanie Roux liked Dani but she knew that there were things Dani wasn't saying, that was alright by her as everyone has a right to their own secrets. God knows I've got enough of my own she thought. Although she had noticed some strange things about the girl who was supposedly transitioning.
Like the fact that a woman who was transitioning would never be able to speak in the voice Dani used without years of practice. But it didn't seem as if the girl was even trying to make her tone and pitch change. Her voice sounded natural and she seemed comfortable talking with it.
She even noticed that Dani's figure had slightly altered since she started working there and she knew that Dani didn't wear padding. After all they went shopping together and modelled clothes for each other.
She just felt extra curious now. She had waited outside the mall for an hour after it had been evacuated but Dani hadn't shown up. The next morning she hadn't shown up for work either, her mother acted as if nothing was wrong but when she thought she was alone Steph saw that the woman looked worried.
There was something going on and she didn't know what, but hoped that she didn't get too inquisitive, she didn't want a repeat of what happened the last time she couldn't contain her Inquisitive Nature.