Lucien’s personal journals
To Whom It May
I leave this document behind in the hopes that no one but myself will
ever read it. For if this is found and I am not here, then I am most likely
dead, and all has been lost.
Enough with the melodramatics. On with the story.
Let’s start with me. I was born twelve thousand years ago, give or take
a century, in a cave in the Carpathian Mountains, the offspring of a virgin girl
and the demon to whom she was offered in an effort to placate the angry gods. I
had three half-brothers, each born to different mothers. We are not vampires,
but we birthed that entire race through exchange of blood. May I take this
moment to apologize on behalf of the four of us?
After all, the gods, unplacated by our births, continued to be angry, and
the vampire race has not yet been much of a boon to the planet.
They might be, though, someday. That’s where the rest of the story
Four and a half thousand years ago, I died. More or less. It was the
Flood, the big Black Sea flood the Sumerians wrote about. The Hebrews did, too,
if I remember right. There was torrential water and mud, and I didn’t get out
Neither did my half-brother, Aanu. We drowned and were lost in the mud
for a century or two. And we dreamed.
Eventually, we clawed our way out. When we compared notes, we discovered
we’d dreamed the same dreams. Or overlapping dreams, something of that nature.
In any case, when we started writing them down, they fit together. So we
compiled them and gave them a fancy name—The Book of Changing Blood.
We weren’t sure what they all meant. Prophecies, maybe. But over four
thousand years passed before they started coming true.
Okay, here’s the part where you need to start paying attention. Because
if the unthinkable happens and we have lost and Ialdaboth has won, the only way
to salvage anything might be to reconstruct the sequence of events. Otherwise
there will be no shoveling us back out of the darkness.
It started with an old Indian shaman—some variety of Sioux, I think,
but I’m not sure—and some herbs given to his tribe by an unnamed vampire
back in the mists of time. His people safeguarded the herbs until, one day, the
vampire Julian washed up on the banks of their favorite fishing river. With the
aid of these herbs, Julian abstained from human blood for over two centuries.
Abstaining changed him. He became less sensitive to daylight and able to
consume some forms of solid food. His transformation was kicked into high gear
when he fed from two other vampires, then from the Senior of the New York City
vampire enclave. Normally, this should have killed him—instead it killed them.
I never knew the Senior’s name. It’s not important. He was old. Very old.
Old as dirt, even, but not quite as old as me.
The interaction of the different blood within Julian’s body changed him
yet again. But he needed one more catalyst, which he found in the blood of one
Lorelei Fletcher, coincidentally or, actually, probably not—the woman he met
and fell ass-over-fangs in love with.
When he took her blood, he became something else. Something no longer a
vampire. He no longer fed on blood but on human energy. I do that, as well, but
when I take energy, it depletes the person from whom I feed. Julian’s feeding
amplifies the energy of the fed-upon. It’s a strange and rather miraculous
process, with implications which have yet to be fully explored.
There’s a Dr. Greene here with us, in the enclave, who’s
experimenting with different blood combinations, isolating catalysts, things
like that. He was able to use Julian’s blood, combined with blood from another
vampire named Nicholas, to cure cancer. That should give you some idea of where
all this could be headed.
Much of this, I’ve discovered, is outlined in the Book of Changing
Blood, or what remains of it. Because a good deal of it was destroyed by my
two brothers, Ialdaboth and Ruha, and their followers, who believe vampires
should not change, that we and our Blood-Born progeny are demons and will always
be demons, and we should just deal with it. I don’t believe that is true. I
don’t believe the vampire race was created to drag the world into hell. I
believe we and our Children have the potential to save the world, or at least
part of it.
So some of our work has involved reconstructing the Book. And the
rest has been figuring out what the hell is going on as the shit hits the fan
around us. For instance, Julian got Lorelei pregnant. We have no idea what
that’s going to mean. Vampires are sterile—but he’s not so much a vampire
anymore, is he? So we’re waiting to see what happens, waiting to see what kind
of progeny she produces. Then there are the Children—vampires who were Changed
before they reached puberty. Julian has Dr. Greene working on a way to return
their mortality. If it works for them, could it work for other vampires?
The biggest obstacle right now, though, is Ialdaboth. He’s determined
to stop us, and if you find this place in ruins, with my bones decorating the
office and slaughtered vampires strewn about in the halls, he’s done just
that. He tried to finish off Julian, kidnapping Lorelei as bait, but his former
minion Lilith got in his way and stopped it. She was dead for about five minutes
until Julian got to her. Ialdaboth blasted the living hell out of her, and
Julian brought her back to life. Brought her back to life. I can’t
stress that enough. We’re not sure where her loyalties lie, but we are sure
that Ialdaboth will try again. And if he does, we have to stop him.
Have to. Because if we don’t, everything we’ve found is lost,
I am dead, and you are reading this.
Let’s just hope to God no one ever reads this.
We strive for a world in which there are choices. The choice to be
vampire or mortal. The choice to be a child—to live the life that was taken.
Does immortality become a gift I can bestow, without the curse of
vampirism? Can I also give mortality to those who desire it?
What is my vision for the community of vampires? Not only those whose
enclave I now guide, but all of them, everywhere, throughout the world.
Do we become a force for good, or do we become a catalyst for evil?
My touch, my blood, can perform miracles, can give life where there was
none, can restore mortality where there was only the curse of undeath.
What have I become? What has Lorelei become? And what of the child she
carries? Children—twins. Will they be human or vampire? Or something else
Then there is the matter of Ialdaboth. We defeated him once, Lucien and
I, but only temporarily. I have doubts about whether we can do it again. We need
more. More power, more knowledge.
I should know more than I do. The Senior knew things I do not, but I
can’t access all his memories. I should be able to, but there are barriers.
Perhaps I have to go through all of the Senior’s life, his time, his powers,
and his loves, to find what I need.
I don’t look forward to the process. There are places in there I really
don’t want to go. So I fill my time with other concerns, gathering what
information I can.
Lilith must know something. She was with Ialdaboth’s enclave for a long
time. Could she be the key? I wonder whenever I visit her, watching her as she
lies in her hospital bed, a pale, beautiful thing. She looks as if she is made
of white wax, or marble. What knowledge lies behind those quiescent
. . . likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth,
more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
It is impossible for those who were once enlightened . . . if they shall
fall away, to renew them again into repentance.
If they want to come, let them come. I’m not turning anyone away.
Email—Julian to Lucien
Blessed be the Children of the Dark, for they may return to the Light,
and thus be saved.
The Book of Changing Blood
Lilith hurt everywhere, deep, pervasive pain that filled every inch of
her. She could barely move without it shifting, growing and receding and always
moving, as if some bizarre form of life had taken root just beneath her skin.
She supposed she shouldn’t complain, though. Not that long ago, she’d
It was hard to judge the passage of time, but she thought it had been
about three days since Julian, Lucien, and Lorelei had brought her here. Her
sworn enemies, up until that time. Until Julian had brought her back to life.
Here, in this part of the vampire Underground, there was no real day or
night, but the pull of the daytime Sleep still claimed her at appropriate
intervals. Here they fed her on harvested blood and kept her carefully alive in
spite of the role she’d recently played in Lorelei’s kidnapping.
If she’d returned to her own people, she would be dead by now. Instead
she’d passed into the realm of the enemy and remained alive.
She blinked at the pale green ceiling of what she supposed could most
accurately be called a hospital room. It still amazed her that they were leaving
her alone. She could have yanked out her IV and slipped away, feeling her
way—somehow—out of the convoluted turnings of the corridors and tunnels of
the Underground. But she had no desire to go anywhere. Once or twice Julian had
come in and said hello to her, held up his end of a short, inane conversation
while his dark eyes had studied her with discomfiting intensity. Lucien had done
the same, though he hadn’t bothered to talk. He’d just looked at her. She
had no doubt that they both could read every thought that meandered through her
head. So they knew where she stood. They knew she was, at least for the moment,
conflicted enough to be considered safe.
The door to her room squeaked, and she looked up to see Dr. Greene enter.
He came every day at about this time to check on her.
He smiled. “Good evening. How are you doing?”
He took her chart from the table by the door and looked at it. She
wondered why. He couldn’t have that many patients, not here. Surely he could
remember what her problems were.
“Like shit,” she answered.
He nodded soberly. “I’ve been running some cultures in the lab. My
prediction is that the pain will start to decrease in about twelve hours.”
“That’s a relief.”
He checked her IV drip, where rich, garnet blood had begun to enter her
system minutes after she’d returned from the Sleep. “Are you hungry at
“No. Not really.”
“It’s not quite the same, is it?”
“No. Not quite.”
Her system’s dissatisfaction with the stale blood was secondary,
though, to the consuming pain. Still, the doctor’s understanding surprised
her. He was a mortal, after all, full of live, pulsing blood. He would have made
a damned fine breakfast.
Seemingly unconcerned by his status as possible food item, the doctor
checked her IV again, adjusted the timer, looked at the machine that blinked
with her vital signs. “You’ll be all right.”
“Yeah.” She doubted that. She’d made some very dangerous enemies by
protecting Lorelei and her unborn child. Ialdaboth wanted her dead. Sooner or
later, she knew he would get what he wanted.
Dr. Jarod Greene closed the door behind him and leaned on it, gathering
his thoughts. Lilith was improving rapidly. No surprise there. Vampires healed
with predictable rapidity when given half a chance. That Lilith had been
technically dead for a time didn’t seem to have affected her recovery rate.
Yes, physically, she was recovering nicely. But he was still concerned
about her mental and emotional states. Especially since he knew Julian and
Lucien would be all over her with questions as soon as he declared her healthy.
And so went his dilemma as a doctor. The information Julian wanted from
Lilith was important, but Jarod didn’t want to risk her health. Nor did he
want to endanger Julian’s plans to move against Ialdaboth’s forces. He had
to make the right call, and he wasn’t sure yet what that was.
In any case, Julian was expecting him—again—right now. These daily
meetings were starting to get tedious.
As usual, Julian and Lucien were waiting for him in his office. Jarod had
asked them repeatedly not to touch anything in there—he had a number of
projects and experiments underway. Still, as he entered, Lucien snatched his
hands away from a shelf and hid them behind his back. Julian gave Lucien a wry
“You can talk to her tomorrow,” said Jarod. He hoped giving them an
answer up front might gain him some privacy.
No such luck.
Julian settled onto the edge of the desk. “What’s your opinion of
“My opinion?” Jarod shrugged. “I think she’ll be well enough for
you to talk to her in twelve hours.”
“I mean as a person.”
He rarely got any but medical questions from his patients. He liked it
that way. It made everything less personal and helped him forget he was the
go-to medical guy for a colony of vampires.
“She’s not a person,” he said, not really thinking. “She’s a
His lack of tact registered when Julian narrowed his eyes, his mouth
“All right then,” Julian said, his tone clipped. “What do you think
of her as a vampire?”
“I’m not sure what you’re getting at.”
“He wants to know if you think she can be trusted,” Lucien put in.
“Look, guys. I’m a doctor. I’m not a psychiatrist or a counselor or
even a very good judge of character. I look at blood cells all day.”
“You’ve spent more time with her than any of the rest of us,”
Jarod lifted his hands in a gesture of helplessness. “She’s . . .
confused. I think she’s afraid you might kill her.”
“Do you think she would go back to Ialdaboth?”
“I don’t know. He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would
forgive and forget, based on what you’ve told me.”
“But she hasn’t said anything to you about him?”
“We don’t really chat.”
Silence fell. Julian and Lucien regarded each other, seeming to pass
messages through their eyes.
“I think we can trust her,” Lucien finally said.
Julian didn’t look happy, but he nodded. “We may have to.” He slid
off the desk and headed for the door.
“Trust her with what?” Jarod asked.
Julian looked at him, and Jarod saw the age in his eyes, age tempered
with long-standing pain. “With the future,” he said. “With everything.”
With nothing remaining to be said, he and Lucien left.
Jarod tried to settle down to some serious work. He’d been toiling on a
project for Julian for the past week, and some aspects of his experimentation
were finally coming together.
He’d lived in the vampire Underground for nearly ten years, and he had
to admit, he’d never seen the kind of weirdness he’d seen since last
Halloween. Julian’s blood cells coming back to life, Nicholas’s convoluted
cancer cure, Lorelei’s unprecedented pregnancy, Julian’s latest project to
save the Children, and now Lilith. Oh, and Lucien, but everything about that guy
was weird. Jarod longed for the good old days, when he just sat in his lab
inventing blood replacements, like Vivian’s plasma drinks.
Which reminded him—he hadn’t picked up her empties yet this week.
Looking again at the cultures from the two Children he was working with,
he made a few notes, then put his notebooks away. The walk to Vivian’s would
do him good.
It was a long walk, and a weird one for those not used to it. Vivian’s
house was technically above ground, but it somehow adjoined the Underground. He
was the only mortal he knew of who could make the trip unaccompanied. It had
taken him five years to acquire the skill, and he still didn’t understand how
it worked. The doors and corridors and hallways changed every time, but he
somehow always knew the way.
Ten years among vampires could change a man.
He picked up the collection of empty bottles next to Vivian’s
refrigerator and settled them into the canvas bag he’d crafted for the
purpose. The house was quiet with approaching daylight. Time was when he could
spend a few hours by himself during the day, before grabbing some sleep. These
days Julian and Lucien popped in at any hour of the day or night. Maybe they
didn’t need sleep, but he did. Luckily, they generally honored the “Do Not
Disturb” sign he’d made for his bedroom door.
As he returned to the hospital wing, he thought about Lilith. He wondered
exactly what Julian had in mind for her, though he suspected. With her knowledge
of the enemy—the Dark Children, Lucien called them—she could be an
In the lab, he set the bottles in the sanitizer, then went again to
Lilith’s room. She lay still as a corpse in the daylight Sleep, her straight,
white hair spread against the pink pillowcase. Vampires didn’t breathe in the
Sleep, and she looked eerily dead.
Though he hadn’t talked with her a great deal, he’d gotten the
impression she was deeply conflicted. As if she couldn’t decide which side she
should be on and wasn’t prepared to make the choice. But she was afraid, as
well, and seemed less afraid when he was with her.
He would have to come back an hour or two before sunset to hook up her IV
blood drip. No point in letting her wake up hungry. But he didn’t have to
worry about her until nightfall. In the meantime, he could head off to bed.
Still, he stood, looking at her, at her silent face, like marble
statuary. Her features were gracefully put together, the clean lines striking in
their frame of platinum hair.
He was, he decided, fairly sure he could
Leaving her to her recuperative quasi-coma, he turned off the light and
headed for his room.