Chapter I: Future Plans
"Finally. Finally, the day of resurrection has come!"
The voice did not echo against the paneled oak walls of the luxurious conference room, and yet the power in its tone gave the impression of a dramatic reverberation. "For thousands upon thousands of years, our kind has waited for this day – the day when we would all unite and reclaim what has forever been ours. This… this is our greatest purpose. Our destiny."
There was a silence as the force of the speech filtered into the air, creating an atmosphere almost tangible in its complete and utter solemnity.
Seated around a polished ebony table was a circle of twelve figures, all reclining in handcrafted leather armchairs in spotless business suits with a portfolio resting on the table in front of each of them. To the inexperienced observer, it would seem as though a business meeting like any other business meeting were taking place.
But not even an inexperienced observer would fail to notice that none of the beings in the conference room were completely human.
Some appeared to be human; but that only lasted until they turned toward a mirror and a reflection failed to appear. On the other hand, others were quite obviously unique; such as the figure in the third seat from the left, whose scaly, obsidian skin glittered dimly under the bright ceiling lights.
"This is not the first time a plan such as ours has been attempted. But, granted that we succeed, it will be the final attempt, and the beginning of a completely new era; the dawn of a new day, so to speak."
"That is, if we succeed." The voice, quiet and smooth, belonged to a demon with handsome, clear-cut features who might almost have passed for a human – unless one noticed his eyes, which were continually melting from one color to the other with the shifting of his gaze.
The speaker paused, and a smile formed on his face. "Ah, yes… If. There always seems to be an if, does there not? Well, we shall have to cross that bridge if we ever come to it, Mr. Hannigan. In the meanwhile…"
The speaker gestured towards the handsome leather portfolios lying on the table. "In each file, you shall find your assignments. In order for our main plan to be set in motion, we must first set up the basics of our operations – and for this to succeed, I must ask you to accept your various duties and execute them with the flawlessness I know you are capable of. No questions, no hesitations - and absolutely no mistakes."
"And if something goes wrong?"
All eyes turned on the speaker rather than the demon who had posed the question. The smile did not move from his face, and his dark eyes glittered at the silent collection of demonic elite. His answer was simple. "Nothing shall go wrong… and no one shall stand in our way."
"You were very convincing in there, Leonard… Your performance so far has pleased me greatly."
The vampire addressed as Leonard inclined his head in a gesture of thankfulness to his master, pleased with the praise of his elder. He had been sired by the one he now served, and named by him; 'Leonard' after a character in a French play who had brought demise and destruction to his own people after betraying them to the enemy, and who had then watched them being slaughtered ruthlessly on the streets by enemy soldiers.
Leonard would have loved to see that play. Unfortunately for him, it had played in the Parisian Royal Theatre sometime during the 1720's – and he had only been sired two years ago.
In comparison to his master – who was over seven hundred years old and counting - Leonard was but a simple novice; a child, almost. Most of the vampire community would have forced him to serve them as a servant or a laborer, simply because his age gave them enough ground to control him on.
And yet here he was, put second-in-command of the greatest feat that the demon race would ever accomplish: the Bloody Revolution; the day that demons would finally destroy all traces of the pathetic humans who wandered the planet which was rightfully theirs, and gain control of it to rule as they pleased. Once they were through with the revolution, the only human survivors would be the ones kept alive so that the vampires could enjoy the sport of the hunt now and then – but those humans who did survive would live in constant fear of the demons who watched them always, hungering constantly for blood and bloodshed. They would literally be living on the edge of death, and every day would bring them one step closer.
It thrilled the young vampire just to think about it.
But there wasn't much time for reveries; a quiet knock on the majestic chamber door distracted both Leonard and his master. Leonard smoothly and silently crossed to the door, paused to listen, and then eased it open, fully ready to attack whoever stood on the other side.
It was a child. The young girl looked barely older than twelve, her delicate, pretty features enhanced by the paleness of her skin, the darkness of her raven curls, and the piercing, cold gray of her eyes. Those eyes turned on Leonard with a look almost completely void of expression, passive and emotionless, like her ivory face. Leonard stood back and let the girl in.
"Diana, I called for you nearly an hour ago," his master reminded her, in his cold, calm voice. The child did not respond, her gaze fixed now on the face of the vampire who spoke to her. It was as though she were still waiting for something to respond to.
Lucius Drake sighed and took the girl by the hand, surveying her; the white silk gown she wore barely even outlined her delicate form, and her lips looked chapped and dry. "When was the last time you fed?" Lucius asked, in a tone almost reminiscent of fatherly disapproval.
Diana shrugged almost imperceptively, her gaze slipping to the heavy dark drapes that covered the chamber windows. "I'm not hungry," she whispered, in the frail tone of someone hanging over death by a single thread.
"But you promised me you'd feed," Lucius reminded her, stroking her cold cheek with his forefinger. Diana watched him silently and did not even react when the vampire placed a kiss on her forehead. Lucius sighed again and would have grown worried, had his cold heart still have been fully capable of the emotion. Yet he had to admit that he would have to start taking better care of his childe.
"Very well then. I'll find someone to bring you an evening meal – but you must drain all of it this time."
Diana started to shake her head, but the movement slowly faded off into stillness. She dropped her gaze to the floor and a barely audible sigh like a wisp of smoke escaped her lips.
"Good girl. You wouldn't want to displease me, now would you?"
"No, father," the girl answered passively. Lucius had long ago trained her out of calling him 'sire'.
"Return to your chambers until I call for you again. I have some very special business to take care of."
After Diana left, Lucius smiled to himself as he turned to face Leonard. 'Special' did not really go far enough to describe what he was planning.
'No…' Lucius thought, his smile growing to reveal his fangs, 'this is going to be something absolutely… apocalyptical.'