They had reached a balance. After a few hundred years of blood and battles, the vampires and the human population had finally found a way to co-exist. It wasn’t like the rest of the world approved, and any vampires straying across the borders had to be incredibly careful to disguise themselves because almost universally the laws of the various lands meant a death penalty for any confimed vampire.
The major problem was that the only way for a vampire to feed was from an actual human, animal or chemical substitutes simply couldn’t sustain life, and when feeding from a human the victim never survived. Then, in one in ten, the victim rose again as another vampire to add to the plague.
Unchecked, the vampire population could quickly overrun any country they infested, and culled the humans to such a point where they themselves would be an endangered species and the vampires would either starve or have to move on to a new pasture. This had happened more than a few times, notably southern and eastern Europe, and Switzerland was even now very sparsely populated.
Wars had been fought over the centuries and there were many orders of vampire hunters which worked in coordination around the world, but still the threat could never be eradicated. Vampires existed as a very real and very immediate threat wherever they popped up, so when they did appear, the response was direct and heavy, sometimes burning of whole communities believed to be infected.
The breakthrough came in 1845 when Dr Blundell perfected blood transfusions, and from there on it snowballed, from being able to transfer blood from one human to another there was born the biggest corporate revolution of the last could of centuries, from blood being drawn there came the evolution of blood banks, and where the blood banks existed, so came the blood bankers.
The banking of blood, always at a sizable price, came the ability for a vampire to gain sustenance without having to take a victim and thence making a kill. The solution wasn’t perfect, but from there on the giving and taking of blood became a financial transaction rather than a physical one.
Vampiric attacks dropped dramatically as the blood banking took hold, and new laws were drafted in a handful of countries to deal with the new industry. A vampire feeding from a human was now legally classified as murder and could be dealt with by the police and the sentence was always capital, though each country could deal that sentence in whichever method they saw fit.
But for those vampires that fed only from blood legally purchased from a licensed blood bank they could claim legal residency and could come out into the open, if not the daylight.
Over the next century and a half, the blood bankers got richer, and with them the vampires that prospered were those who could and had amassed enough wealth to live openly in the public eye, and the public eye was almost always focussed on them.
The world was then divided into two types of country, those in which a vampire was an unwelcome parasite, and any sightings or evidence of vampirism was quickly investigated and eradicated. Then there were a growing number of nations that allowed the vampires to exist, as openly as they wanted to be, just so long as there were no killings. Norway was first to draw up new legislation to deal with the vampires, the first country to willingly name vampires as citizens being plagued as they were due to the longer darker days in the winter.
Then as the world saw the Norwegians prosper other countries followed suit, Sweden, Iceland and The United Kingdom were next, then Russia, and then the more southern states gained momentum with New Zealand and surprising to a lot of the world, a handful of central African countries adopted their own laws.
The rest of the world was adamantly unmoved. Vampires were a plague and would be treated as such. Stability was hard won, but eventually the global situation calmed down. What helped was that even the countries that outlawed vampirism were swayed by bankers and they money brought in by exporting the blood of their own citizens.
The rich vampires survived, some even formed their own banks and prospered, and communities started coagulating into vampire only groupings or clans, as they occasionally liked to be called. After time, the only vampires to live outside of these clans were the independently wealthy ones, those that could take homes in the penthouses of the cities and the larger manses in the countryside.
As the turn of the millennium crept up, the number of actual vampire attacks had dropped to its lowest level for centuries.
Morgan loved the midnight run, and New Years Eve was no exception. The job required not much in the way of qualifications beyond the ability to drive. There used to be two of them on this run, but there hadn’t been an attack on a bloodwagon for years.
The bloodwagon itself, which Morgan had affectionately nicknamed Deborah, was a two tonne armoured truck, with inch-thick plating all round, solid tyres and bulletproof glass. This model of mobile bloodbank had been brought in a decade ago, and attempts to steal or derail them had led to early and stern lessons, especially when it was discovered how large the guns on board were.
Morgan and Deborah had made three deliveries so far tonight, and was now heading for the final and largest drop-off of the year, but as it neared midnight he pulled over into a small lane in the forest, out of the way of the traffic, and out of sight of the road. He had been driving now for nearly six hours and he felt it was time for a break.
A brief snack later and the final task of thee night called him. It took three keys to get from the drivers cabin into the storage bay behind him, but since he was the only driver on this run, he had long ago been trusted with all the keys. Opening the cabin door he reached into his bag for the syringes he had brought with him, syringes that had taken him a great deal of time and effort to obtain.
In the refrigerated rear compartment the large bottles were stacked in cases of ten, six to a shelf, and two dozen shelves in total. He wasted no time grabbing cases at random and carefully emptying his needles into twelve of the bottles at random and then even more carefully covering the holes with just the tiniest of blobs of glue to reseal them.
The plan was years old, from it’s inception in a hospital in Austria with the discovery of a blood disease. The effects on a human subject were minor and similar to that of a heavy cold, contagious but not deadly, however the effects on the vampire physiognomy were incredible.
A vampire who drank from an infected victim was initially unaffected, but within a few days, they started to waste away but even more impressively the wasting led to a berserker like effect, where an insanity would take over and they would attack and feed off anything nearby, human, animal or other vampire.
The after effects were also impressive, in that the contagion leapt from one vampire to another virulently and violently. It was possible, if correctly handled, for one infected vampire to cause the death and eradication of any and all vampires around them in a storm of blood and teeth.
Morgan wasn’t in Austria when the disease was discovered, but he found his calling when the brotherhood handed him the opportunity through the backchannels. His only mission was to gain access to the blood supply routes and find an opportunity.
His size and abilities draw him to being a driver for the Blood Banks, and he did his deliveries with efficiency and grace enough so that it wasn’t long before he had his choice of routes and was able to take Deborah out on his own.
All in planning for tonight. Tonight was the largest delivery of the year, as it always was on New Years Eve, and he was on the run to the largest Vampire commune in the whole of the country, the central home of the Diamond Clan itself.
Tonight was the big party night, and they were being hosts to visitors from clans from across the continent. There would be dancing, partying and best of all, intermingling by hundreds of vampires. The timing couldn’t be more perfect.
He was even recognised and waved happily through the gates by a revelling vampire guard.
Morgan smiled and waved back.