Title: Theodore Pike: Blood Ties
Author: K.Riddle/NocturnalPoetry (One author with two names)
Author's website: www. RiddleSphere .com
Parts: 20 and a prologue and epilogue
Status: Completed and posted in parts.
Update: A new chapter will be posted every Tuesday – drop your e-mail to me if wanting to be informed when a new chapter is online.
Disclaimer: This story was written by K.Riddle/NocturnalPoetry, based on an original idea and with original characters created by K.Riddle/NocturnalPoetry. Any use of this story, its characters, situations or other parts of the story without proper permission is an infringement of K.Riddle/NocturnalPoetry 's copyright. This story may not be posted or used elsewhere without the expressed permission by the author.
Summary: A society resides beneath London, one that pre-dates the city it shelters below and is unknown to the people above – the Asylaum. Governed by its Council of Lords, the Asylaum is home to hundreds of Brethren. Theodore Pike is about to have his loyalty tested towards this society, which has sheltered him for over 300 years.
Theodore Pike: Blood Ties
"You know, this place is not as cosy as it used to be," he says. "It's lost its charm."
I take a sip from my glass and gaze over the crowded bar. At the far corner, a group of Reborns are arguing loudly over a pool game, next to them another young Reborn is practically sucking the face of an Elder, which is frowned upon no matter how you interpret the Guidance.
"You think?" I chuckle to Jackston.
"Yeah," he continues, "people used to have more respect for the Guidance."
"People didn't need guidance back then. Today it's all about a quick buzz and to hell with the Guidance," I sigh.
This is true. In the old days it was all about the Guidance – how to act when doing this, how to act when doing that, how not to act and so on. Today it is only the Council that gives a damn about the Guidance, and the Elders, supposedly. Perhaps I should remind the Elder back in the sofa of the Oath he once swore. Pitiful, old standards are barely remnants in our modern society.
"I hear they've removed the Oath at Rebirth as a test to keep up with modern standards," Jackston says.
"It would explain a lot," I reply. "What they should do, is replace the Oath with a good dusting."
"You'll never change, will you?" he laughs.
"I'd like to hope I won't," I grin.
Although change is perhaps a necessary mean of survival in this world, which seems to rebirth itself every fifth decade or so – it is painful to view. I am a powerless bystander in an existence warped by time.
"Powerless?" Jackston chuckles, "if that is how you see yourself, you should re-define the word 'powerless'."
"Jackston," I say. "Have I not told you—,"
He cuts me off with a narcissistic grin.
"Not to read you like an open book?" he grins.
"Not to, unwanted and uninvited, force yourself into my mind. For if you do, and trust me on this one; I shall not care how long we've known each other or how important the Council might find you – You will turn out like one of the humans you have seen in my most gruesome memories!" I promise.
I am not joking about this. Jackston might be a very old and good friend of mine, but no one owns the right to my thoughts but me. Unless Jackston will learn to respect this, the Council will lose one of their most precious Readers. Of course, this is not his first intrusion and therefore not the first promise of his grueseome death.
"Now, now. Let's not be like that. We're here to have a good time, remember?" he laughs.
"No, you're here to have I good time. I'm here simply because you dragged me out on my one night off, remember?"
"What's the difference?" he chuckles. "Here, let me buy you another drink."
I accept. Normally I am not into drinking – more than the required amount of survival of course – but it has been a rough week and relaxing my senses can only do me good. The bartender hands me a glass of sweet crimson liquid. It is delicious.
"This is great," I tell him. "What did you put in it?"
"The usual," he replies, "goat blood with a hint of cinnamon."
The new world appearently does not come only in a package of bad. Some good things seem to have originated from this modern point of view. No one would even dream of mixing cinnamon with blood before, and goat blood at that. Of course, no one would dream of a bar for blood-suckers before. Some things I cannot remember how I managed without.
"So what do you want to do tonight? Do you want to hang out here or do you—"
Jackston is cut off by a Reborn stumbling through the entrance. He is fresh, by the look of him he was reborn only a short while ago. The puncture marks on his neck have barely stopped bleeding. Part of him is still human; the blood of his Sire has not entirely devoured his human blood yet.
"Wow! This is great," he ejaculates. "The rush! Wow dude! I love this!"
He stumbles into the bar and falls flat on his nose on an empty table. Jackston studies him in amusement.
"Look at this," Jackston chortles.
"I see," I lie.
I am really studying the content of my glass, which to my surprise only contains half the amount of blood it did just a minute ago. I gave the kid a glance upon his graceful entrance. That is all he deserves. The disapperance of my blood is far more intriguing. Although, a crimson trail running down my chin gives me a small hint as to where it might have gone – I must have been thirsty. I smile pleased, as I whipe my chin.
The kid has turned himself over, lying on the table and laughing to himself. He attempts to stand up but ends up on the floor, shrieking in pain. His body is shaking so rapidly that a human eye would see it only as a big blur. His Sire's blood is eating up his system like fire would devour a cotton field. The Elder takes a brief pause in his face-sucking to witness the change. He states silently to himself the same thing I do; this is completely normal and will be over soon, but why did the kid have to have a seizure here, and not somewhere els? We are trying to enjoy our night off.
Five minutes later the kid manages to pull himself off the ground and sit down on a chair. The change is complete.
"Took him long enough," I sigh.
"It did actually," Jackston agrees with a serious undertone. "It must've been a weak Sire to make the Rebirth take so long. Normally it would've been over an hour ago. The Sire can't have been very old and thusly not have enough strength in his blood to perform a Rebirth."
I can see where he is going with this.
"Jackston, relax. It's Friday and the night is still somewhat young. You shouldn't be worrying about Council business now. We're here to have a good time, remember?" I say. "Besides, you know kids today – all too eager to have children of their own."
"This isn't a joke!" Jackston snaps. "It's serious business."
"Of course it is," I reply. "But it's no less serious tomorrow. Thus, it can wait."
He nods silently in agreement, but it does not take a Reader to see that this will trouble him for the rest of the night. He begins to spin his glass restlessly and constantly glances over his shoulder to check up on the kid.
"For the love of—" I sigh. "If it's that important to you, you might as well go over there and check up on him."
"I don't need to," he states and nods at the kid who has gotten out of his chair and is heading our way.
"Hiya guys," the kid smiles nervously, clearly far shyer now than minutes ago when the rush made him share his utter happiness with the rest of the bar.
I glance at him. He is a normal kid. He has got semi-long hair, wears a pair of jeans and a white shirt, and reeks of booze. I am not envious. I do, however, envy the Elder on the sofa who is currently about to leave the bar with his adoring fan. His company I do not envy, but the leaving-part sounds awfully tempting. Like every night with Jackston, I end up by his side while some other lucky guy gets to leave the bar with the drunken reborn kid hanging at the lounge with two other unfortunate blood-suckers.
"Hello, young man," Jackston replies, though not as 'Jackston my buddy', but as 'Jackston the serious Reader' representing the Council on official business. "My name is Miles Jackston, and this," he glances at me, "is Theodore Pike."
"What's up?" the kid asks, arrogant.
I believe that's an expression that nowadays passes as 'cool'. It is right up there with 'How's it hanging' and 'How you doing, bitch?' – two utterly stupid expressions. However, one of them would be far more amusing had it only existed a few centuries ago. It would have amused me greatly if someone would have come up to me during the 18th or 19th century during a hanging and asked;
"How's it hanging?"
"A bit too low and somewhat too much to the right. His death is likely to be long and horrific,"I would have replied before bursting into a cascade of laughter.
But that is just me – an old boy with a twisted sense of humour. Since this is not the case and it is about two centuries later I do not laugh – I sigh and stare blankly into my now empty glass.
"He's not too talkative," Jackston says with a fake smile. "But please, tell me about yourself, why don't you? Have a seat," he offers the kid a seat next to him at the lounge.
This is going to be a long night. I give a sign to the bartender and order a third drink while pondering how my second drink appears to have ceased to decorate my glass far too soon. Such a pity. I shall have to make this one last longer.
"Well. I used to live in California but my parents wanted to move to England," the kid begins and obviously intends to unravel the entire story of his twenty year old life.
Before thinking, I have swallowed my entire glass of cinnamon flavoured goat blood in an attempt to ease the boredom. It failed, and I am now one drink less rich.
Jackston nods frequently in an act of interest to the kid's story. The kid has only gotten as far as how he met his first girl in England and though Jackston is wearing his official facade of sincerity his entire body shrinks into nothing but a huge sigh. Clearly the kid is not sharing the relevant information that Jackston is looking for – such as how he became a vampire, who sired him and where to find his Sire.
Jackston is growing impatient but manages to keep calm as the kid seems to be headed for the parts of interest.
"...Then I met this girl with a banging body and the most beautiful eyes. I've seen a lot of chicks in my life, trust me, but this one, this one was one of a kind. She had the palest blue eyes that seemed to pierce through your very soul. She gave me one look and I knew that we were meant to be together for an eternity. I—I think I was in love," the kid stutters.
"It figures," I sigh.
The kid appears slapped out of his daydreaming by my voice. This girl has truly pushed his mind to the limit. This is not a normal crush. She has made him worship the very ground she walks on.
"A Succubus," I say.
Jackston agrees with a nod before pondering heavily over his half-full glass.
"This is serious," he finally says after minutes of silence. "No Succubuses are registred in this area at the moment. It shouldn't be possible."
"She must've snuck in," I state with a shrug.
"That can't happen. The Council would've sensed her presence," Jackston replies.
"True," I agree. "Not a Succubus then?"
"What else?" he asks perplexed.
He is right. Only a Succubus could have caused this vast damage on the kid's mind.
I recall my first encounter with a Succubus. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, naturally. However, after learning how to resist their seductive charm I see Succubuses for what they really are – stunning vampires with no equals in this realm of existence. I almost envy the kid for having met one of them. They are a rare breed. Few vampires have the power in their blood to create a Succubus, and not only does it require the power from the Sire – it requires the proper personality, blood and history from the human they sire. Some go as far as to saying that those turned into Succubuses are turned due to their destiny. I frown upon these theories. For to them to be true I would have to admit the existence of such thing as 'destiny'.
It is a strange thing that the kid has bumped into a Succubus of all breeds he could have run into. Not only are Succubuses rare, they are utterly picky when it comes to their offsprings. No human is allowed rebirth until proven themselves worthy through extensive trials. I doubt that this kid would even remotely interest a Succubus – far less be found worthy in the eyes of one.
"We should get going," I say, yearning for my bed. "Let's leave this mystery to the Council."
"Indeed. Let's drop him off at the Asylaum on our way back," Jackston agrees.
This was not exactly my intentions. I had hoped that we would head home and leave the kid to find his own way – my bad. How could I have forgotten Jackston's great sense of responsibility?
I pay the tab and moment later we are out the front door in the alley outside The Bloody Thirst with our vampire package. Morning dawns; in a few hours night will have given way to day. We should get going.
"Where are you taking me?" the kid worries.
"Somewhere safe," Jackston replies.
"Oh, I don't know about that," I whisper to Jackston.
He shoves a friendly elbow into my lower ribs to tell me not to share my personal opinions in front of the newly reborn. We move a few blocks in silence, knowing that there is little to be said. As we are crossing an abandoned street the kid manages to stumble on the sidewalk.
"Are you okay?" Jackston asks worriedly.
"Yeah, I'm fi—"
Without another word uttered he falls to the ground in frantic spasms, similar to those when being reborn. He shrieks in pain as his nails shoots through his fingers, creating lethal claws.
When the seizure has stopped he is lying on the ground panting with blood pouring from open wounds on his fingers and cheeks after having clawed himself in despair. Jackston and I are frozen in surprise, watching the kid go from kid to monster in a more literal way than any vampire would describe Rebirth.
After having caught his breath on the ground the kid gets up and looks at us for the first time after the siezure. His eyes are blurry white – blank, as if life itself has left and made him nothing but a shell. Jackston and I take a few cautious steps back.
"You", the kid hisses with a claw-like finger pointing my way.
I stare into his blank eyes. There is not a mere part of humanity left in him. It would seem as if his inner monster has devoured him.
"Yes, me," I state.
He blinks, looks away, as if waking up from a nightmare. Then he flinches. He screams as if someone shoved a sharp object through his brain. When looking at me again, blood is pouring from his misty eyes. He is half hunched when he points at me again.
"Death," he hisses and throws himself in an arch toward me.
He is fast – but not nearly fast enough. No fresh vampire is close to the strength and speed of an Elder. I step to the right as I pull a stake from my coat. It plunges into his back just as he is about to hit the ground. Where a monster would stand, ash is soaring. Jackston did not move as far away as I did – he is covered in the remains.
"Might want to wash that," I say, referring to his dark green coat.
"That was superfluous," he says, dusting himself off. "You didn't have to kill him."
"True," I say. "We could've invited him over for a cup of tea. He seemed like such a likeable fellow."
"Jerk," he replies with a hint of a smile.
The rest of our journey is spent in silent. Both of us are thinking about the kid and what he turned into. We split roads upon reaching the intersection. Jackston is the first to break the silence.
"The Council will have your arse for killing him."
"I thought the Council had had enough of my arse already," I chuckle.
Jackston is not amused.
"I'm serious. You'll have to explain yourself thouroughly to them. This is a grave matter."
"What was I supposed to do?" I ask. "You were there. He attacked me! There was nothing else to do."
He sighs and glances over his shoulder to make sure that no one has followed us.
"I won't tell if you won't," I say to him.
He looks at me as if I had asked him to kill his mother. After a minute of pondering he agrees.
"Fine – I won't tell. But they'll find out sooner or later anyway. These things have a way to get out quite fast."
Even though no one else was there to witness the attack, I am aware that people will find out. If nothing else there are people from the bar to confirm the existence of the kid.
"I know," I sigh. "Good night, Jackston. It's been fun, let's do it again sometime."
Jackston forces a smile.
"Grow up," he says.
We part ways and I walk home with a heavy burden on my shoulders. Who was that kid? What happened to him? And what did he want with me? Too many questions since there currently are no answers. How I long for a good day's sleep. The shadow I see lurking on my porch shatters my hopes for the latter.
Wearing the offical black uniform of the Asylaum, the man walks up to me with a sincere expression.
"Elder Pike," he says coldly, "your immediate presence is required by the Council."
There is no need to argue. The Council always has it their way. Although I would have hoped that it would have taken them somewhat longer to find out about this.
"Of course it is," I say, forcing a smile.
To be continued.