Why I’m Writing this Journal
My name is Samuel Johnson and I’m a vampire. I’m writing this for
fellow vampires so they should already know this about me. The
facilitators at our rehabilitation center in Colorado told me to write
this as if I were writing it for humans because the mistakes I made in
my last assignment hurt them. Stupid humans. I mean that in the positive
sense of the word. I’ll let you determine which one.
I’m really an all right vampire. Okay, I'd be better if I didn’t
have to write this damned journal and live through this rehabilitation
that I’m currently going through. But I guess that’s the point of
this journal. To help me deal with my sins against human and vampire
kind. Despite what the writing of this journal implies, I am a civilized
vampire who deals with other civilized vampires as well as humankind and
werewolves. Werewolves and I don’t get along, but that might be said
of all vampires. Regardless, the reason I came here is because of my
mishandling of an assignment for VATE, or Vampires Against the Evil.
That's what we (or, for the time being, they) do. Fight and destroy Evil
Ones and aliens.
Bungling my assignment was a bad thing. Not that it was as bad as the
other vampires’ reasons for being here. Many went on a rampage and
killed, then drank the blood of humans. Only Evil Ones do that. We
don’t. Some of my companions killed other vampires. A definite bad
thing. In the bad old days, we other vampires simply would have killed
them. But in the twenty-first century, rehabilitation is the preferred
method. In comparison to either of these deeds, mine might be thought of
as nothing. All right, I could have killed fewer humans. I had
extenuating circumstances, I did, despite what others might say.
It might be helpful for the less informed reader if I share a bit about
myself (although those supervising me at this Aspen Retreat Center know
all about me so writing this is a bit nonsensical — but I do want to
eventually leave this place — and they say one requirement for my
leaving is the writing of this journal to the humans whom I hurt). For
you humans reading this (ha!), I don’t have the classic vampire look,
that is, my skin isn’t always pale, my incisors aren’t any longer
than usual (except during a rampage, an act that is frowned upon), and I
don't wear a black tuxedo or cape. I am about six feet tall and thin,
the look of many vampires, although there are those among us who are
short and chubby. We tall types look down on them and sneer. I have
black hair in a buzz cut, dark green eyes, a long and narrow nose, and
high cheekbones. My fingers are long and thin; if I had eight per hand,
my hands could easily be compared to a spider. When I was back in the
Des Moines, Iowa, metropolitan area and working at the various financial
institutions where I hunted and killed aliens, I wore business casual,
that is, for a man, a button-down shirt, nice slacks and shoes not of
the athletic variety. As I write this journal today, I sit around in a
set of dark blue sweats and I’m barefoot.
I am fifty years old, although I appear to be in my thirties due to the
slow vampire metabolism. Not old for a vampire and perhaps a little bit
young. I grew up in the heartland of the country where my parents raised
me to be a respectable and civilized vampire. (Yes, despite popular
legend, we vampires are born like our human kindred; our metabolism is
different, so for our sustenance we require blood rather than the food
humans eat. In the bad old days, we feared we were an aberration, if not
an abomination, compared to humans; in more recent times, we’ve
concluded we, similar to werewolves, are a genetic mutation of
humanity.) My parents fed me raw meat while young, taught me the ways of
VATE (both parents were agents and both were killed in the line of
duty), and the proper use of my powers. Ah, yes, my powers. As with any
vampire, I have super strength, super speed, and night vision. I have
the ability to transform into a bat and into mist. (So human legends of
us turning into bats is correct.) When I was young, I liked to do that
often. Unfortunately, I lost my clothes in the transformation process;
thus, when I transformed back into my humanoid form, I was naked.
Embarrassing. My parents punished me for these indiscretions.
Regardless, VATE sessions taught me to stay fully clothed both when I
turned into mist and when I became a bat, so resumption of human form
was no longer a time of shame. I also have the ability to get into human
minds to plant, destroy or modify ideas. Also (and this is useful in
this modern age), I have the ability to short out or modify electronic
devices or their data. Much to vampire kind’s surprise, the
manipulation of electronic devices (and their data) proved in some ways
to be similar to human mind control. Perhaps as humans created
electricity we vampires evolved to handle it as well as electricity’s
creators. Between us vampires, we can also exchange psychic energy. If
one of us is weak and helpless, we can give that vampire a “psychic
jolt,” so to speak.
Based on vampire protocol, I only use my powers when necessary.
Actually, if I’d used one or two of them more wisely in my last
assignment I wouldn’t be at this center, nor writing this damned
As I mentioned, I was a member of VATE. Similar to humans, we vampires
like to organize ourselves into organizations and groups. VATE is
probably one of the largest. An organization of equal dimensions (of at
least being in as many geographical locations as VATE) is the Watchers
of Vampire Affairs and Cleansers of Others’ Messes or WOVACOM. This
organization is specifically designed for those times when our presence
(that is, vampire kind’s) becomes obvious to the humans at large. Such
occurrences are bungled assignments (like mine) or Evil Ones rampaging
through a metropolitan area or human vampire hunters developing
organizations of their own. WOVACOM’s job is obvious. They ensure
certain humans don’t figure out that we vampires are behind certain
murders, and, if there are times when we, Evil Ones, or aliens get out
of control and cause a great deal of damage, WOVACOM does the damage
control necessary so humankind remains oblivious. An organization both
of ours respect is the Vampire Watchers of the World, or VWW, an
organization that utilizes the technology of the modern world to track
down aliens (a task it does quite well — it locates their workplace or
homes so we of VATE can hunt and kill them) or nests of Evil Ones. The
latter it does less well than the former. After all, the Evil Ones are
just like us, only evil, so it has difficulty discerning between the two
of us. There’s also the High Ruling Council (HRC) and its more local
branches. Each continent tends to have one of these, while VATE,
WOVACOM, and VWW are more confined to the United States and Western
Europe. Not to say that vampires of my ilk aren’t hunting down and
killing Evil Ones and aliens in the developing world. They just aren’t
as technologically advanced.
(I will get to the story of the reason for my stay here in time.
However, if I must assume that stupid humans are reading this, I must
educate them as to who and what we are. And my defense of our civility
— as well as the incivility of both Evil Ones and aliens — is
When we vampires first discovered that we were different, perhaps a few
thousand years ago (our historians haven’t yet determined if we arose
before or after historical humanity appeared), we were all Evil Ones. We
rampaged through humanity's communities, killing and drinking the blood
of any humans who were foolish enough to be our prey. Obviously,
humanity didn’t take kindly to this treatment of them, so they replied
in the only logical way. By trying to wipe us out as a species.
Some intelligent vampires gathered, decided genocide was not a good
solution and determined that, as vampires, we needed to develop less
dangerous ways to survive. And we did (at least those of us who aren’t
evil). Up until about the twentieth century, vampires maintained their
own farms and livestock ranches to feed themselves. For much of
humanity's history, we stayed away from large cities so we could live
and prosper in our own communities. In time, we also provided for city
dwellers who received a goat, sheep or cow once or twice a month. The
city dweller sucked all the blood from one of these animals in one
sitting. The best way for a vampire to live is to get a pint or two of
blood a day, but drinking two or three gallons in one sitting can
satisfy even the most ravenous vampire for a few weeks. There’s much
more to our history of finding human-free ways of getting blood, but
that’s not the reason for this journal.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century and the advent of blood
banks, our food supply problem has disappeared, at least in the United
States and Western Europe. In developing countries and some parts of
Eastern Europe, the old “drink the blood of livestock every month”
still applies to many vampires, although they also use blood banks in
large cities. We vampires have our own to which humans readily give
blood with the belief that one of their fellow humans will use it in a
time of need. Although that is incorrect, the very fact that we drink
that human blood rather than killing humans for their blood could be
said to be beneficial to the human race at large. The Vampire Blood
Supply, or VBS, is run by vampires for vampires, and at least the
vampires I knew in the Des Moines area received their monthly blood
supply at the chapter meetings of VATE. Not only did we receive useful
instruction concerning our jobs and our lives, we also received that
life-blood (pun intended) we needed to live. But more on these chapter
And, because we get our blood through civilized means (and we always
have animal blood, yucky though it may be, available), I say that we are
Because of our abilities and our knowledge that not all vampires are
civilized, we feel responsible to humans to protect them, if possible,
from our less civilized kindred. The Evil Ones. Many Evil Ones act like
we civilized vampires. They live in apartments, townhomes and houses
like their human counterparts, go to work, raise kids and appear to be
your average next-door neighbors. Except for the fact they may visit
you, kill you and suck out all of your blood. These Evil Ones are the
most difficult to find and kill because they are so much like us other
vampires and humankind. When we first began to hunt and kill them, these
Evil Ones were also the most dangerous because we couldn't tell them
from anyone else in the crowd.
Not that all Evil Ones are this way. We’ve occasionally caught one of
these types of Evil Ones and learned they also have organizations that
mirror ours. Where ours try to do good, theirs try to do evil.
But there are the other Evil Ones. They are most aptly described as
feral vampires. They live in nests of five to a dozen, lose all aspects
of civility and exist merely to hunt and eat. These types of Evil Ones
live in deserted buildings, among the homeless or out in the wilderness.
As classic vampire legend says, they sleep during the day then hunt and
kill at night, except for those times after they have feasted upon so
much human blood they sleep for days or weeks. While I was in Des
Moines, I aided in the destruction of such a nest.
A word about werewolves: We vampires are cold, calculating and very
methodical in our ways (well, except for the feral Evil Ones). We tend
to be withdrawn from humanity at large and keep to ourselves.
Werewolves, at least in their humanoid form, are wild and crazy people
without inhibitions and known for their partying and wild sex lives.
It's the wolf in them. Because of our personality differences, we tend
to not get along. But enough of them since they have no relevance to the
narrative I must write.
And aliens — the reason for my downfall and the real reason for being
in this rehabilitation center. Although the exact time is unknown to
vampire kind, sometime at the dawn of civilization, an alien vessel
crashed upon our planet.
During the earliest of civilized times, we vampires were largely
concerned with our own well-being and working out feeding methods that
didn’t involve killing humans. Once enough of us figured this out, we
could again become productive members of society and protect humanity
from our evil and feral kindred. Being vampires and having the ability
to shape human minds, it was only logical that at some point a vampire
would rise to power. The specifics are irrelevant, but those of us good
vampires were able to trace patterns of human murders and determine that
one of our evil brethren was this great leader and his closest
associates were as well. We had to wipe them out. After that, groups of
vampires formed to keep watch for such happenings in the political
structure of humankind, and, if such discrepancies were discovered, put
an end to them as quickly and quietly as possible. (Or sometimes it was
better to involve so many humans that when the Evil One died there was
too much confusion and too many corpses that when a particular person
simply disappeared nobody noticed.) These groups also noticed that
sometimes the Evil Ones simply wanted to destroy the human institutions
rather than merely kill the humans. Such kindred had to be stopped as
In such a venture, as the vampires descended upon the cadre of what they
believed to be Evil Ones, they discovered their enemies weren’t
vampires at all. With a twist of the head, a crack of the neck, green
ooze poured forth from these enemies’ bodies. They were less human
than we were. In one such encounter, these beings revealed that they
came from another planet, colonized ours and, if they didn’t seek
world domination, sought to destroy as many human institutions as
possible. Such was as unacceptable to us as our evil kindred wanting to
use humanity as a source of food.
These aliens were humanoid but not naturally human. Many years ago a
VATE group came upon a pod of aliens, aliens still in their original
green, slimy form. Humanoid, yes. Human, no. We aren’t exactly certain
about their transformation process, whether they transform into only one
human in a lifetime or can transform into many human forms. If we ever
find a pod and can keep an alien alive, I'm sure these questions will be
For us in VATE, it’s crucial to know the best way to kill our enemies.
For Evil Ones, it's decapitation. Wooden stakes through the heart can
incapacitate us vampires, but the loss of the head causes us to melt
into ash. (We civilized types prefer to die of old age.) The best method
for an alien is to break its neck and watch the green ooze pour out.
It’s also best done by surprise.
For that is the job of VATE. To protect humans and their institutions.
And to do this VATE gives us carte blanche authority, granted,
preferably without the use of too many of our powers. But, if a few
humans die, that’s okay. As long as the majority and their
institutions survive. Of course, if too many humans die, it’s frowned
upon. (And I know this well.) But, before my bungled assignment, I
believed that we could do almost anything to succeed in our mission. A
limitless policy, so to speak.
Excerpted from "A Limitless Policy: A Samuel the Vampire Novel" by James T Carpenter. Copyright © 2014 by James T Carpenter. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.