Sunday, 5 June 2011

Will The Real Lord Kingsteignton Please Step Forward?

The little vampire put his head coyly to one side and looked up at Roland through strangely thick, dark lashes.

‘Well, as you know De Cazalrenoux, it’s a brutal world if you are one of the movers and shakers of the Old Kingdom. Vampires are vain creatures, and will usually only sire offspring on fit, good looking humans, but my sire was a perverse creature. He came across a strange looking human child, and thought it would be funny to create a vampire from this unpromising clay. Of course, what he didn’t know was that although the child had physical peculiarities, it was also uniquely intelligent and a cruel, merciless sociopath. The change into a vampire only boosted both the intelligence and the cruelty. As I came into my own as a vampire leader, I decided that I needed to match my mental acuity and leadership skills, with a handsome, attractive outer shell. I commissioned some of the finest artisans of their time to build the outer body that you can see sitting at the table, creating the features and physique that I wanted. Unlike, the Antonescu substitute, my outer persona is far more intricately linked with me. I actually spend most of my time lying in my coffin as I can fully inhabit my shell, see through his eyes, feel the sensations of his body and even taste the blood! The shell also has the advantage of being able to operate in the daylight hours if I want it to, although I have to be careful about not encountering anyone I know, don’t want the whole world to know my secret!’

‘But how?’ asked Vlad, looking confused and revolted at the same time.

‘You really don’t think that I am going to tell you that’ tittered Kingsteignton ‘And if you are thinking that I am vulnerable when I am in my coffin, and that you can attack me there, trust me you will never find it, and if you ever did you would never get to me!’

Roland raised an aristocratic eyebrow.

‘A bit paranoid Kingsteignton, why would we want to attack you? Don’t judge us all by your standards. All I want is to know what you have done with my pack member Kea, and Vladimirescu here, for some reason, just wants the smelly human back. You can keep the Antonescu thing with both our blessings’
‘As I said, still obsessed by irrelevancies De Cazalrenoux, what does one little werewolf matter, when the entire fate of the Old Kingdom hangs in the balance!’

‘Why are you always so dramatic Kingsteignton? The only threat to the Old Kingdom that I can currently see is you; you have a very strange enthusiasm for destroying your own kind and you could easily pull some strings to take the heat off your Romanian cousins. Quite frankly, the welfare of my pack comes first with me, and if one of my clan is lost, I will find them!’

‘I agree that the internal politics of us vampires is none of your concern, De Cazalrenoux, but I assure you that something bigger than all of our petty concerns is stirring, and it threatens not only the Old Kingdom, but the human world which you seem to cherish so much for some unaccountable reason!’

‘Proof, Kingsteignton, proof!’ jeered Roland ‘You’re beginning to sound like a broken record. Strangely enough I don’t trust you, and I already feel that I have been manipulated enough!’

Kingsteignton sighed heavily.

‘Do you remember that time back at the Club when my shell lost the plot, and started behaving in a manner totally unbecoming to the persona that I wish to project to the world? Well for the first time ever I had lost control. Much as it humiliates me to say so, I could no longer see through my eyes on the world and did not have a clue what was going on. Something or someone had interfered and had cut the connection. I used the inbuilt tracking device to follow the shell back to Vladimirescu’s house and retrieved it. Sorry about the gas and the manhandling Vladimirescu, but I knew that you would not have been reasonable about giving the shell back’.

Vlad snorted at this jibe.

‘But when I got the shell back and viewed the memory cells, I unfortunately became aware of exactly who had taken over the shell and my worst suspicions were confirmed. What little blood I have ran even colder and even the basic cells of the shell were terrified, for chrissakes! There have been rumours from the Romanian caves for some time, and the signs have been growing, he is rising, Gentlemen, he is rising and we must stop him, or it will be the end of us all!’

And a hollow laugh echoed through the deepest caves of the Carpathian Mountains. Stalagmites thousands of years old shuddered and cracked, one of which speared Corporal Michael Morrison through the leg, pinning him to the floor of the cave and halting his vampire companions in their tracks in horror.

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