Chapter 1

2112, London, England, Planet Earth, the Milky Way, the Universe…

The car engine coughed and spluttered before it conked out and the rolling wheels slowed to a stop. A tall man got out of the car and kicked the tyre with his expensive black shoes. He pulled up the bonnet of the car and thick steam clouded his vision. The carbonator was hissing furiously. The man touched it tentatively and it burnt his skin.

"Damn it," Cursed the man as her slammed the bonnet shut and leaned against the red car, surveying the area that they had broken down in.

It wasn't good.

"Can you fix it?" asked a female voice. A pretty blond woman leaned out the window, her dark eyes imploring. She didn't want to be stuck in this part of the city anymore than the man did.

"No. I'm going to have to walk and find a garage," Said the man regretfully, "How are the kids?"

He leaned in through the window to look at his precious children. His baby son was sucking on his dummy in his car seat and the little girl with blond hair was sleeping soundly.

"There fine," said the woman, "What about your mobile?"

The man could see the fear glinting in his wife's eyes. She didn't want him to go off on his own in a place like this. She knew as well as he did that it wasn't safe. It would never be safe.

"The battery is dead. I don't have any other choice unless you want to spend the night here?"

The woman shook her head fiercely, tears glittering in her eyes. When the sun went down things would get a whole lot worse. Her husband handed her the car keys through the window.

"Lock the doors and keep your head down. If I'm not back by morning get out of here," the man said. He kissed his wife swiftly and glanced at his peaceful children. The little girl was just starting to stir and she was mumbling for her mummy.

The man set off down the street. He didn't look back at the car. If he did he would probably loose his nerve but luckily there was still time. The sun had only just begun to sink in the sky, the light blue had darkened to dark blue and there was no sign of cloud. It was going to a clear and cool night.

The streets were empty. The windows in the abandoned houses were black and desolate, all usual signs of inhabitancy missing. This whole estate was dark and dingy, it was a world of filth and the man knew he was imposing upon their territory but he had taken a chance, he had foolishly risked his family's life for a short cut. But it wasn't his fault completely. His car had been in perfect condition when they had pulled out of the drive that morning. So much for money solving all your problems.

The man's footsteps echoed in the expanse of loneliness. It was strange being alone, knowing that no one could see you, or help you…or hear you scream. The blaring of the regulation warning alarms made the man jump a foot off the ground. He glanced up at the sky and felt a chill sweep through his body when he saw glittering stars.

The night was here.

"Well look here," said a snide voice. The man gasped and whirled on the spot, his eyes trying to penetrate the choking darkness. The owner of the voice was invisible or hiding.

Was it possible he could have imagined it?

No, not in this terrible place.

"Up here," came the voice again. Something grazed the man's cheek and a sharp pebble landed at his feet.

They were here!

The man tilted his head back, resisting the powerful urge to close his eyes. Evil eyes stared down at him with superiority.

The creature in the tree was human shaped but it was something else. The smooth skin was many shades to pale for human skin, the body was lean and quick and the pointed fingernails were like glass. The eyes that had at first been black transformed to an unearthly silver and the male features became cruller as the monster smiled to reveal its fangs.

The man gaped in horror at the beast. There was no need for premonition, no need for the vampire to boast about what he was going to do; the man could see everything in the vampire's stare. He was living on borrowed time.

With one simple movement the vampire jumped down from the high tree and landed on his feet as sturdy as a cat would. His silver eyes swirled with hunger and his fangs had grown longer.

"Please," begged the man as he backed away, "I have a wife and two children…"

The vampire advanced, his face mocking.

"I'll be sure to eat them to," he said with a wicked grin that revealed more of his sharp teeth.

The man made to run, where he had no idea, all rational thought had disappeared with the sun. He started, focusing on the boulevard but let out a sharp cry of pain as he was jerked back. The vampire had his arm in his deadly grasp.

The man didn't have time to take a breath before the vampire darted forwards and sank his fangs into the man's throat. The pain was incredible, the burning in his veins was unimaginable and the man gave into death.

His last thoughts before sinking into darkness forever were of his family.

Please let them be alright…please let them live…please let them be safe…

And then he died.