I don’t care whether I live or die. It’s as difficult for me to die as it is to reconstitute a vampire from ashes, so I have the luxury of entertaining nihilism. I’ve never cared for philosophies or exotic belief systems, but I do think that the symbolism of a vampire taking refuge in a church in the heartland of modern-day Romania would not be lost on someone like Nietzsche.

The cults of the world are thriving. They are not content with merely spreading their ideologies to the far reaches of the world and absorbing the shadowy souls of those who are inclined to imbibe their sugary poison. Alina Florea was one such young woman. She told me of her penchant for death and how she had fantasized about her own demise since the age of fourteen. The part she seemed to be disheartened about was that her passing would not be in the manner of her choosing. She had lost important documents that she had been transporting for the Morninglight – one of those sophisticated religious organizations that pushes the boundaries of what constitutes domestic terrorism. She was most at home in a morgue, she told me, not out here in the backwoods of the Romanian countryside. Her solution was to return to a filing cabinet in a freezer, but on her terms.

This would be the static counterpart to the issue of mortality which cults across the world typically resolve by offering their true believers and most zealous proselytizers the gift of immortality. The Morninglight offers it via Light Levels, of which there are a countless number, each requiring ever larger financial commitments and thicker skin to prove one’s loyalty. The Atenists inherit theirs from Akhenaten, the Black Pharaoh. It makes sense if you don’t think about it. Out here in the Shadowy Forest, the Romany access their immortality by way of Vlad Dracula, whom they revere and admire. They call themselves the Drăculeşti and are bound by prophecy to succeed in battle against the strigoi and return to their rightful places as…well, I forgot that part. I just assumed that they would get to live forever. I started daydreaming when Milos launched into his epic tales about The Chosen People and when I snapped back to reality I found myself staring at Emilia in her cloyingly cute pink dress.


It stands to reason that a time traveler could conquer entire civilizations by planting the seeds of prophecy and returning a couple centuries later to turn the faucet of mythology back on. The only thing I can do is shrug my shoulders and try to find something that can actually kill me.


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