Chapter 1 – Change Comes Fast.

"Oh, what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day…" Marty's voice drifted through the halls of the basement as he sat up in his coffin. With a contented sigh, he smiled to himself. "Full moon never looked so good!" Leaping out of his coffin, he sauntered down the empty halls. The others obviously weren't awake yet, and he relished the silence, but not without a small pang of solitude. Vampires, he knew, were a solitary race by nature, but as he watched Essie, Karl, Drew and Merrill getting closer to each other, he often felt lonely. He rapped on the lids of the coffins, proclaiming loudly,

"Wakey wakey, rise and shine! The moon is up and the blood is fresh!"

"Marty, a word of advice." Karl's voice came up through his coffin, sounding sleepy. "Shut the hell up, I'm sleeping here!" Marty rolled his eyes and made his way to the hall.

When everyone had met in the hall Dr Murdoch came down looking particularly serious.

"I have an announcement to make, students. We have a new arrival coming, and I want you to make her welcome." Essie, who had been doing her hair, looked at Murdoch sceptically.

"A newbie? Why wasn't she put on the scheme before?"

"She has proven herself to be… elusive. She managed to evade all further attempts at contact, but the Elders found her maker. He will be bringing her here anytime… well, anytime now." As is on cue, there came a flash on the CCTV screen. There was a youthful looking man, clutching at the wrist of a flailing blonde. She was scratching, biting, kicking and hitting the man, and Murdoch hastened to his study. The other vampires followed suit, intrigued by this new arrival. Who was she, and why had it taken so long to find her?

"Calm yourself child!" The man struck the girl across the face, drawing blood. She gasped and slumped onto a chair looking defeated. "You are so stupid! Can you not see the opportunity being presented to you? Are you that ignorant?? Did I raise you so badly?" The girl remained silent as he shouted at her, and he was only quietened when Murdoch put a hand on his shoulder.

"I think that is enough, Lestat. She knows what you think." The man nodded, and slunk away into a corner. "Now then, who do we have here?" Murdoch gently pushed back the curtain of blonde curls, and smiled as the other vampires gasped.

She was the most beautiful female Marty had ever seen. Her features were brilliant and bright, in a stark contrast to her pale skin. Her green eyes shone with a dark fire, disturbing yet alluring, and her blood red lips were set in a seductive pout. Her ears were pierced three times, and once in the cartilage, and a small ruby stud was set in her nose. As her hand moved up to her face, tucking the hair behind her ear, there was a flash of black ink on her wrist.

A tattoo? Karl had never thought about the possibility of a vampire getting a tattoo. It seemed strange that she should do something like that, now that her body was technically dead and all. Perhaps she had got it done before she was made… He let his mind wander over the possibilities, and let his eyes wander over her body. A large black cloak was draped over her shoulders, and she gently slid it off at Murdoch's request, revealing a black silk dress with a tight bodice. Her chest was gently heaving from her exertions, and Karl noticed how pale she still was, even at her throat. There was no rosy flush visible anywhere on her body, just the ivory white skin, with the marblesque finish. She stood up to go and hang the cloak on a peg, and Karl witnessed her most devastating weapon – her smile.

Drew could've sworn that he'd melted there and then. Even with Sherry's death still so close to his heart, one look at that smile and his world crumbled around him. She moved gracefully across the floor, her feet seeming to barely move under the floor-length gown she was wearing. He noticed how slim she was, and how well she carried off the willowy frame she had been given. If there was one thing that put him off a girl, it had to be gauntness. The receding flesh look never had done anything for him.

As Merrill read the girl's mind, she was frightened by the power and intelligence that the pretty little face secretly harboured. But there was terror there too; memories of fire, the scents of scorched flesh and burnt hair, the psychological imprint of a blood-curdling scream. The farther Merrill delved, the more she felt she should stop; yet she could not or would not allow herself to. She felt a certain pride in being the only one of her peers to know these dark secrets, and she hungered for more.

Paris! That dress simply had to have come from Paris! Essie silently fumed. Dr Murdoch never let her buy such pretty things, and he always said that she was not allowed to order things from other countries. Mansfield Academy just wasn't rich enough to do such things, and questions would be asked if he did start ordering dresses and skirts and blouses – he could be fired, and then where would the vampires go? She went through his old spiel in her mind, sorely tempted to roll her eyes, but she stopped herself. They looked about the same size… perhaps if she befriended this new girl, she could borrow the clothes! As she watched the vampire walk back over to the chair she had been seated in, Essie smiled to herself. Yes, that's what she would do. Make nice with the newbie. It couldn't be all that hard after all…

"So, tell us about yourself." Murdoch smiled at the young woman in front of him as he eased himself in to the chair behind his desk. She looked up at him, and he saw the sadness in her eyes, behind the anger and pride. His heart bled for her.

"My name is Alyssa. I was made into what I am in November 1963, by that monster." She pointed at the vampire called Lestat, her hand shaking slightly, and he shrugged nonchalantly. They both spoke with the same French accent, and he said sweetly,

"Are you saying I should regret what I did to you, cherie? Have I not given you everything you could ever desire? Have you forgotten it was I who saved you from that wretched existence you called a life?" He strolled over to her, and stroked her cheek, smiling slightly as she turned from him.

"What do you mean?" Murdoch's forehead creased with confusion, and Alyssa took a breath. With that, she began.