Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: in your bedroom
Nick sighed and shook his head. How, in God's name, did he get himself into these
It always seemed like he had some long-forgotten enemy lurking in the shadows, waiting for
the perfect moment to make his life miserable. But he never dreamed that things would get
this ugly. He had remained kneeling by the dead boy's body. It seemed completely beyond his
comprehension. Who would go through all this trouble?
He knew the answer would come to him soon enough. And he was right.
"Well, well, well. What have we here?" a familiar voice remarked sardonically. "I'll be
damned... Nicolas De Brabant. Long time, no see."
Nick whirled around, and found himself face to face with one of his oldest enemies.
Natalie had sighed in relief when LaCroix had vanished. Now as the import of the old
General's words hit her once again, she groaned as she flopped onto the couch. She couldn't
believe it. No, she could. She should have seen it coming!
That cold-hearted bastard! How dare he! He had manipulated her! Her pregnancy had now
altered from a time of celebration into a time to barter with the young life within her. She
shook with rage. That snake! That cold, calculating monster!
The baby kicked again, and she rubbed her tummy as if to reassure the baby that everything
would eventually work out. She began to calm down; if she could just find Nick, and stay
away from LaCroix, everything would work out fine. She could easily imagine Nick's reaction
when she'd tell him of LaCroix's ultimatum. He'd be *furious*!
Natalie grinned maliciously. Nick would probably run LaCroix through with a stake for the
second time in almost five years. *That* would learn 'im!
She knew that Nick had, for at least 300 years, carried on a love/hate relationship with his
vampire master. She honestly had no idea how deep their relationship went, but she did know
that over the centuries, LaCroix had hurt Nick pretty badly. She felt sorry for Nick; how
difficult it must have been to be chained down for so long, and to be allowed freedom only
if your master willed it. She knew that it was in Nick's nature to be a gregarious, free
spirit. In Nick's case, you would have a hold on him only if you were willing to let him go.
Without people, without life around him, without the ebb and flow of human contact, Nick
would feel suffocated. To be sure, there were times when he wanted to be alone. Alone but
never lonely. He needed that balance between human contact and solitude. After such a long
association with him, she knew better than to disturb him when he needed to be alone. When
he wanted company, he would fling open his door and invite those in his inner circle into
his home. To have a being, who wanted only the freedom to come and go as he pleased,
constantly chained to someone's side was nothing short of mental cruelty.
A part of her wondered if something in Nick *wanted* those chains because he had forgotten
that another way of life was possible. Another part of her identified with his struggle.
Her life -- particularly her childhood -- hadn't been all that much better than his life.
For so long, she too had been chained down. Chained down by her fears. By the abuse she had
suffered. She felt tears beginning to form in her eyes. No, she mustn't get caught in that
loop of thought. She should not focus on the past, for the future was waiting. And her
future was beginning with this child; the hope of a new life, a new generation.
"Well done, Lucius. We knew you'd see things *our* way," a disembodied feminine voice
remarked calmly. "Your errant child must be controlled. His association with the mortals is
"But his mortal love has assisted us in the past," LaCroix replied miserably. "She has
concealed our mistakes, cured our ill, and coddled our fledglings."
"For that, she shall be rewarded," the voice answered.
"By threatening the life of her child?"
"The whelp is an abomination. This child is a result of a consummation that has tainted the
"What utter nonsense," Lucien replied scornfully.
"Can you not feel it, General? The potential, the power that your son has? If he is not
carefully trained, he will destroy us."
"He would never do that."
"In the unlikely event he becomes a mortal again, our Community would die out."
The General's eyebrow went up. "How so?"
"Because we would all die with him."
Child of darkness, child of night
Bring forth a child of light
From the womb of a woman of light
Her love banishes the night
From the heart of the child of darkness
His power and her love unparalleled
He from darkness comes to light
Their love banishes the night
Darkness no more, light shines
Unbounded by the hands of time
From their love, earth's joy springs
From their joy, peace forth brings
The love of a woman of light
Saves the soul of the child of night
His vision and power changes all
And even the greatest cities shall fall
Their child holds a lotus and a dove
Bound together by eternal love
Hope in every life's heart springs
And unending joy the new life brings
Those of dark fear the new child
Their fear, unchecked, grows wild
The child of darkness must suffer
To save the life of child and lover
But hope springs eternal in the heart
And their true love shall never part
"What do you suppose it means, George?" the historian's colleague asked, peering at the
ancient manuscript. It had taken the two of them more than ten years to properly translate
the scroll, and still the meaning was not clear.
"Maybe it's talking about the Second Coming?" George was a Christian who felt very deeply
that the manuscript referred to Jesus' return.
"I don't think so, George. I mean, if it was Jesus, it would have called the 'new child'
the 'Child of God', instead. And look, the father is referred to as 'Child of Darkness' and
'Child Of Night'."
"And the mother is referred to as the 'Woman of Light', Andrew. Call me crazy, but that
makes whoever she is sound like the Bless'd Virgin." George then made the sign of the cross.
Andrew, a staunch non-religious deist, rolled his eyes at what he considered unnecessary
dramatics. "Well, obviously the father is somebody altogether different from God. I mean,
think about it. 'Child of Darkness'? Come on!" He paused, and pointed at another key passage
of the manuscript. "'The child of darkness must suffer to save the life of child and lover'?
Come on, already, George! Obviously, from that line, she ain't no virgin!"
George frowned at Andrew. "Whether or not she is technically a virgin is a moot point."
But Andrew wasn't finished. "And if the kid *is* Jesus, why is his daddy doing all the work?
I mean, isn't Jesus supposed to have the power that 'changes all', and not his earthly
daddy? And what's all this about the 'woman of light saves the soul of the child of night'?"
George just shrugged. Those were questions he didn't have the answers to.
"Daddy Dearest could be a certain big red guy with horns, for all you know," Andrew mocked.
"That's not funny," George replied, more than a little miffed. "I doubt the father of such
a child is Satan!"
"Hey, maybe Mary saved Beezlebub's soul!" Andrew added, laughing.
"Stop it! That *really* isn't funny!"
"Lucifer was a fallen angel, right? Well maybe the Bless'd Virgin herself changed his mind
about the whole making-people-suffer thing? It isn't entirely out of the question. If you
look at it objectively."
George snorted, peeved with his colleague for poking fun at his beliefs.
"Hear me out, George. I mean, the big bad Devil *was* one of the good guys, once. But I
doubt it refers to the Biblical stuff anyway. I mean, this scroll is much older than the
Bible. Or the Koran, for that matter." A pause. "Oh well. We'll eventually get this thing
solved. Or we'll see which one of us is right. Whichever comes first." With that, Andrew
carefully rolled the scroll back up and placed it back in the container that had been
created to preserve it.
"After all, George, it's only a matter of time."