8 - Blood Rights
§ Story (Parts 1 - 4) :
Susanna Collier, a reporter for a sub-culture magazine, waits in an isolated inn near the English coast for her latest interviewee in her series on haematophiliacs and other drinkers of blood. Eva is the most captivating person she has ever met and behaves as if she is indeed a real vampire, spinning tales of her supposedly ancient life and describing in detail how she is forever apart from Humanity, when in reality she is only another of the many people who are in one way or another experiencing a level of disassociation from society in general because its increasing fragmentation offers them nothing. Nevertheless captivated by the stories she is being told, Susannah realises to her surprise she is being seduced, and not being adverse to new experiences agrees to the liaison, as she feels safe with Eva who clearly demonstrated her high level of skill in such encounters.
Arriving at Eva’s home, which is full of priceless artefacts, Susanna willingly succumbs to Eva’s attentions and they spend the night together, but when Susannah awakens the following morning she is shocked to discover the full depth of Eva’s delusions, and wonders if her life is truly at risk.
Now apart from Eva and with a new life of her own, Susie awaits the arrival of a potential blood-donor as part of what he assumes will just be an unusual form of sex-play. Once the meeting has been deemed safe and they have retired to temporary rooms, she bleeds him and in response to their intermittent conversations recalls two key events in her past: the first time she had to kill someone in self-defence and against her will, and the last time she was involved with a group of military hunters who had been trained to kill her.
In a final effort to end the undeclared war upon their species which has back-fired and resulted in the decimation of Humanity, a delegation of Vampires arrive at a fortified country mansion to meet Human representatives of the civil and military governments for mainland Europe, whilst similar meetings are taking place in most other empires. The talks are continually diverted by various Humans trying to imply Vampires are what Humans think they are rather than being what they truly are, with digressions into the realms of morality and ethics serving as reminders of how different are the attitudes of each species. Only with the release of Vampire prisoners and the failure of a Human attack on the facility is there any hope of a full peace accord, but that will have to be confirmed later.
Two hunters, one Human and the other Vampire, have to work within an uneasy alliance and set aside their differing backgrounds as they seek to identify and remove the threat of total annihilation, which goal is deemed by some to be preferable to living in a world over which they no longer have full control. A short trail of leads is followed to its planned conclusion, where another alliance is uncovered and destroyed so that both species have a future together, and the world has a chance for survival.
A small colony of Vampires and Humans travels through space in a craft that carries within its spinning cylinder a miniature habitat for some of the many creatures they are taking with them as they speed towards a planet they hope will harbour them, based on the results from earlier probes; far behind, other groups from both species work together to repair the damaged Earth and secure a future, for two chances at survival in different environments are better than one, and the new generations have none of the fears and prejudices of the old. One of the Human workers and his daughter encounter a vampire who was present at the second European meeting that took place after the failed talks in 2099, and the agreement for their own space-faring project is revealed to him.