Aimee Agyeman: Demonic Adventurer: Origin

Drawing by Caio Corsini

Aimee Agyeman was a pioneer who explored all the corners of the earth and then some. Her bravery and passion for discovery ensured that she left no stone on this world unturned, and helped future generations learn the truth about so many hidden aspects of our history, as well as uncover secret threats to humanity.

Incredibly enough however, none of this happened when she was alive, technically. It was only after her untimely passing that Aimee realised her full potential. Like Professor Fang and Carlene before her. Aimee was able to take what was the darkest curse ever placed on this planet. Vampirism, and use it to make a positive difference in the world. Of course she didn’t do it alone. Had it not been for her friends and companions and ironically one major enemy. Aimee most likely would have ended up as just another monster like the rest of them.

Still it was her own thirst for discovery and journeying into the unknown that ultimately united this strange band of heroes as we will soon see when we examine the history of Miss Agyeman. One of the greatest Demonic adventurers of all time.

Aimee Agyeman was born in the year 1983 to a middle class family. She was of both middle eastern and Latino descent. Even as a child she enjoyed exploring. Often playing far away from home in local parks or wandering through the woods just outside the small village she grew up in. Much to her parents distress. She was a very imaginative child who loved pretending that the large, foreboding (at least to her) woods really were strange, magical worlds filled with creatures and monsters lurking round every corner.

Aimee’s imagination would be further enhanced with the deluge of sci fi and fantasy television series, films and books that she watched when she was younger too. Star Trek was unquestionably her favourite, and began not just a love for the genre, but of science too, which would later lead to her becoming a Doctor in her twenties, though there was obviously more behind her chosen profession than just a love of Star Trek. Aimee had always been a very caring and empathetic person. She would always be the one her friends would come to with their problems, though at the same time she could also be quite distant when it came sharing her own problems and by her own admission she had some trouble forming strong long term relationships. Aimee was just one of these people who preferred to cope by burying herself in her work and interests. Whether that was long walks through the woods, doing her sister up as a Ferenghi for a party, or studying for her exams. The medical profession seemed to be the best fit for her in this respect as she could help people, but not have to get to know them as much.

Aimee would go on to have a very successful career for up to ten years as a Doctor working at St Paloma’s. Sadly however it among other things would all come to an end one night when her hospital took in the wrong patient, Professor Victor Cushing, a member of the prestigious Cushing family.

For generations the Cushings had been the greatest vampire killers in all of Europe. Their family tree is believed to stretch right back to the Roman empire, with the first Cushing on record playing a part in the infamous Trajan wars against the vampire and the werewolf alliance, though some have specu their history of vampire hunting may go back even further than that. Whilst their speciality was always primarily the vampire, they were experts on the supernatural in general and by the 17th century the Cushing dynasty had the greatest library on the occult ever written and had established cells of trained vampire and demon killers all over Europe, connected via their stronghold in England. The Cushings expertise in the paranormal would lead to them becoming a major power in Europe and later the British empire throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries after the fall of the vandals, soul sucking Demons who controlled much of Europe from behind the scenes throughout the 12th-16th centuries. The Cushings it is also believed played a large role in ending their reign.

Sadly however the Cushing’s dominance would come to an end, just after the first World War, which had already depleted a lot of their influence and power. They came into conflict with a very powerful vampire king named Malaxios, whose forces, built up over the war from soldiers lost in No Man’s Land, launched a full attack on the Cushings stronghold. Nobody in the stronghold survived the vampires attack and worse the vampires were able to use the information in the stronghold to target and wipe out the Cushing’s remaining cells. Only a very few Cushings in general survived, all of whom were forced to scatter around the world to escape both the vampires and their other enemies. Some of the Cushings held onto their surname proudly and attempted to rebuild their family’s reputation and prestige, whilst others kept hidden.

Professor Victor Cushing meanwhile was a special case for many reasons. He had always stood out from the other members of his family due to the fact that he approached the study of supernatural creatures in a scientific way. Victor firmly believed that since the paranormal still had to interact with our world, understanding that relationship was far more important than simply learning each individual species weaknesses and strengths.

What really caused the split between Victor and the rest of the Cushings however was the fact that he was not above utilising the powers and abilities of the demons he studied and experimented on for his and others benefits. He believed that it could be possible to isolate the aspects of demons anatomy that granted them supernatural strength, immortality and endurance and splice them onto humans, without turning them into demons. Through these kinds of experiments, the professor claimed he could secure the British empire’s power, cure diseases and even create supermen. One of his most successful experiments did manage to grant Victor immortality, though sadly the results could not be replicated, always instead creating hideous demon/human hybrids. It is believed that Victor only survived due to his family’s greater exposure to the dark arts which gave them a slightly greater immunity, and even then Victor himself, decades later would also begin to mutate too. For splicing himself with Demon blood however, Victor would not only be cast out, but effectively wiped from the Cushings family records (being one of only two to suffer that fate.) Ironically however this ultimately saved his life as it not only meant he was away from the Cushing’s strong hold when the vampires attacked, but that they couldn’t track him down either like they did so most of the others.

The professor would continue his experiments for many decades afterwards, including helping the American government create demonic soldiers during World War 2 and the Cold War. Some of these experiments would prove successful in helping against not only America’s adversaries, but other paranormal threats. However at the same time Victor was also responsible for many disasters too. The infamous Batutut incident in Vietnam, where a platoon of US soldiers were slaughtered by hideous ape creatures was down to one of Victors botched experiments. The Batutut were normally placid, gentle hominid creatures, but Cushing’s experiments to utilise and increase their strength with black magic instead mutated them into hideous demonic apes that after escaping their confines became a threat to both sides of the war.

By the 2010s, Victor had finally begun to transform into more of a demon physically as a result of his Demon blood, though he never changed completely. His personality and morality were not at all affected by the change either, though that undoubtedly says more about Victor than anything else.

Still the US government did not trust him anymore, and soon attempted to neutralise Victor, but he managed to escape from America and later set up his own base of operations in England.

Determined to rectify his past mistakes, Victor would use magics he had gathered, not just from his family, but all his work with the US to keep his facility secret for years. He would also use a glamour spell to allow himself to assume a more human appearance and identity to the world at large too. In secret he continued to capture both Demons and humans for his experiments. He generally preferred to go after criminals and low lives. However if no other option presented itself, he was certainly not above kidnapping any random civilian for his experiments.

The Professor did achieve a few breakthroughs during his time in England, including finding a way to render humans immune to many forms of demonic possession, though sadly his test subject was left crippled by enduring so many possessions. She would spend most of the rest of her life in an asylum. Still the chemical he created would help billions more humans resist the the influence of thousands of different Demon species afterwards, even to the age of Tairos. His work would also bring about the extinction of the sadistic race of Demons known as the Tyraskere, who until the early 21st century were among the strongest of all Demon breeds. Cushing was finally able to discover a rare mixture of chemicals that could destroy them. Within a year of his discovery, their forces would be depleted in Europe. Cushing would make his experiments known to freelance Demon and vampire killers that he trusted, hoping they could spread his work throughout the world.

Eventually however in the year 2017 his new cover would start to unravel. One of his test subjects, a young woman named Alana managed to escape from his lab, thanks to an alteration between the Professor and a demon hunter who wanted to use one of his inventions but couldn’t afford it. The hunter went as far at to release several of the Professors prisoners in the hopes of stealing his equipment. He failed however and ended up as one of Cushing’s test subjects thanks to Alana betraying him. Whilst Victor generally liked to think himself above such petty emotions. He did display a sadistic side in dealing with the hunter, by splicing his DNA with the very demon species he despised. Alana meanwhile was no better than Victor. She had regularly lured people to a local pack of vampires to feed on in the hopes that they would turn her eventually. She had even offered up her own sister to the bloodsuckers, having always viewed her sister as a burden she had to care for.

Alana’s pack of vampires were able to track the professor down with her and burn his house to the ground. Fleeing out into the streets, Victor was then jumped by the pack who beat him so viciously he would have surely died had it not been for his more demonic constitution.

Fortunately before they could finish the job, a group of police men were able to chase the vampires off, though not through their own efficiency, but simply because the vampires didn’t want to draw attention to themselves too much. Rushed to St Paloma’s, Cushing would be treated by Aimee herself who was immediately aghast at his blood readings, which the glamour couldn’t conceal. She kept the results hidden however, on Cushing’s urging. He went as far as to reveal his true form to her. He did so not to scare Aimee. He could sense that she was a kind, or in his mind, a gullable person, that he would be better trying a more soft approach with rather than trying to intimidate. Cushing begged her not give him away to stating that the government would capture and dissect him if they found out where he was (which was not completely untrue, it was just the US government rather than the British one.) Aimee reluctantly agreed to keep his secret for now. In truth Cushing hoped to simply flee in the night and take the sample with him. Whilst he may have been looking out for himself, Victor was also genuinely terrified at the thought of the authorities discovering the existence of the paranormal. As amoral and selfish as he may have been, even he would not risk the consequences of that.

The pack of vamps meanwhile would later that night sneak their way into Cushing’s ward and attempt to abduct him. Following his unique demonic scent with their heightened senses. Fortunately however, Cushing’s own unique demonic body had already allowed him to heal and he was able to fight them off. Aimee however would be drawn by commotion of the vampires fighting the Professor and she did her best to try and protect him. Sadly fighting was not among her many talents and in fact one of vampires even toyed with her for a while before sinking its fangs into Aimee’s neck. Still Aimee’s feeble attempts at fighting did at least distract two of the vampires long enough for Cushing to escape their clutches and slay the beasts. Having only got the better of him the previous times due to surprise, Cushing was then able to slay the remaining three vampires. Sadly Victor knew Aimee had been infected even without his demonic abilities. The members of his family had all learned to recognise the signs of vampiric infection greater in its earliest stages. Rather than simply kill Aimee who had kept her promise not to expose him. In a rare act of kindness, Victor instead decided to help Aimee. Unfortunately in his mind that meant abducting her to his lab, and experimenting on her with no one knowing what became of her.

The professors motives weren’t completely altruistic. He was at least just as motivated by the opportunity to examine the curse of vampirism like never before. Still he was in all fairness taking a huge risk by helping Aimee. Whilst all of the vampires who knew his identity were dusted, Alana had managed to flee again and would warn vampire communities in other cities throughout the UK of the presence of a Cushing in the country, and as a result Victor would be forced to up his magical security to a far greater degree in order to protect his lab.

It would have been much safer and wiser of him to simply flee and start again, but unfortunately in the time it would take Victor to set up a new lab, Aimee would have turned into a vampire and he needed to examine the process as she turned if he had any hope of combating it. For the first time in a long while, the Professor was not simply thinking of himself.

Aimee was in fact the first vampire that he had ever experimented on. Victor had previously shunned using vampires in any of his experiments as he felt that they were far too toxic to be cured or utilised. The curse of vampirism was after all created by Khastran, the single most powerful and evil Demon ever to exist. Still rather than try and either cure it, which was a complete impossibility, or try and splice vampire DNA onto a healthy human, which no matter how small the sample would always instantly spread and turn the person into a vampire. The Professor instead thought about trying to find a way to supress the killer instincts of a vampire using Aimee as his test subject.

Aimee had been infected by what is known as a soul vampire. There are literally hundreds of different breeds of vampire, but they can all broadly be grouped together into four categories. Soul vampires, pure vampires, savage vampires and born vampires. The differences between these four super categories are caused by how the vampire is created. In all but born vampires, a vampire is created when a piece of another vampires demonic energy is placed inside a human, either through bites, the vampire feeding the human their own blood, a combination of both methods, or sometimes other more elaborate and obscure measures. Sometimes the human can be alive when the change happens as was the case with Aimee, sometimes they have to be dead, but either way it always starts the same. How the demonic energy changes the human after infection has begun however is where the differences begin.

With pure vampires of all kinds, the demonic energy will twist a persons soul, transforming it completely into a demons soul. All humanity is purged both physically and metaphysically. Pure vampires who represent about 98 percent of the vampires on earth are incapable of emotions such as love, remorse, or compassion. They are driven solely to hunt, kill and torture. Their personalities are made up of any negative qualities the person may have had in life, amplified without any guilt, and any positive qualities that remain become twisted and perverted. Pure vampires are still technically the same people they were as humans, but they represent a twisted demonic caricature of their former selves.

With savage vampires meanwhile the energy grows into a separate demon that will eject the soul from the body. (Assuming the soul hasn’t already left if the person is dead.) This demon will then take complete control of the body, as our soul is where everything we are comes from. The mind, consciousness, memories and so on. Savage vampires are therefore not people at all, and as a result they are the most feral and vicious, as well as the strongest (apart from born vampires.) Almost all savage vampires are as single minded as animals.

With soul vampires meanwhile the energy grows into a Demon that revives the body, however it does not take over the body like with savage vampires. The human soul remains, but the Demon, not only adds a killer instinct and bloodlust. It represses any of the human hosts positive qualities such as love, remorse and compassion and heightens all of their negative qualities. Still as these emotions are repressed rather than purged completely. It is theoretically possible for a human to resist the demons bloodthirsty urges and regain their humanity. This is exceedingly rare however. Throughout all of recorded history, only two soul vampires have ever been able to do this consistently. Professor Fang and Carlene, both of whom used their vampiric powers to become heroes. There have been other instances of hero vampires throughout history, but that has entirely been down to magic or outside factors supressing their bloodlust which could not be replicated in more than one vampire.

Finally born vampires, as their name would suggest are those who are born to two vampires. Only a very few breeds (all pure vampires) are capable of having children however and even then birth rates are exceedingly low. Born vampires are the most powerful and evil of all, and generally tend to serve as the leaders of the vampire world. Malaxios was a born vampire for instance.

Despite her good hearted nature. Victor knew that Aimee would never be able to repress the demon’s influence and bloodlust on her own. It’s not even known why the Professor and Carlene are with many believing there to be an outside force rather than just their sheer will.

Unlike all of his other test subjects. Victor made sure that Aimee suffered no pain during his experiments and performed them whilst she was under an anesthetic.

He may have been ruthless, but Victor like all members of his family always acknowledged the debt he owed someone.

The experience was still most distressing for Aimee however as she was locked up for over 6 months. Cushing made her as comfortable as he could, and explained everything that happened, but it didn’t make any sense to her. The most frightening part of it all however were the new bloodthirsty urges she couldn’t understand or control.

Fortunately however Victors work would pay off after 6 months. He was able to supress the demon’s influence over Aimee by pinpointing where the demon would attack her soul and then place magical implants in her brain which constantly fought back against the demon, preventing it from being able to suppress her human qualities such as empathy and compassion.

In spite of this however Victor could not remove the demon’s bloodthirst. In fact in some ways the professor had given Aimee the worst of both worlds. The desire for destruction and suffering, but the capacity to feel remorse for it. Aimee would remain in Victors lab for the next two years on her own choosing. She was terrified of not being able to control her thirst and even contemplated ending her own life at certain points. The Professor continued to make sure she was as comfortable as could be, though he also did his best to cover up his other more unsavoury experiments from her. His security system made sure that none of his test subjects could see each other due to a magical cloak, with Aimee not even being aware that he had more than one test subject.

Eventually however the Professor would pressure Aimee to go outside and begin interacting with people again. This was more for the sake of his experiments than anything else, as he wanted to see if his implants could truly limit Aimee’s bloodlust. At the same time he also forbade her from going back to her family or old life as it would raise too many questions. Sadly she soon saw that he was right as she didn’t want to drag the people she loved into this world of monsters and demons, and the lab continued to be her home.

Aimee’s desire to help others however would eventually resurface in the form of using her new supernatural powers to battle evil throughout her city. Once again Victor tried to dissuade her out of fear of drawing attention to his experiments, but she didn’t listen and soon left the lab, taking to the streets. She regularly fought with her own kind and other demons and monsters. She saved many lives, and helped make her home city a safer place for a year or so. During this time she also found out the truth about the Professors experiments when another one of his patients escaped, thanks to the more unstable magics he had used to conceal his lab, which now began to break down. The patient was a young woman named Sam who had suffered from drug addiction for most of her adult life. Aimee had even treated her a few years back. Sadly however her addictions got the better of her and she had ended up on the streets. Cushing had nabbed her just a few months back to test the effects of splicing an advanced demon healing factor to a human body. She suffered more than any of his other test subjects, though at the very least the demonic healing factor did manage to clean all of the drugs out of her system. Still she wanted to make Cushing pay, and after barely managing to escape, she alerted Aimee to the truth about what was going on.

Aimee and Sam would work together to try and shut down Cushing’s experiments. The Professor not wanting to destroy arguably his two greatest successes in the last few years would hold back when fighting them at first.

Meanwhile the appearance of a new vampire superhero in a city where the legendary Victor Cushing was still suspected of operating, as well as the two ladies attempts to expose him, drew the attention of the wider vampire community throughout the United Kingdom. Many began to fear that Cushing had found a way to make vampires docile and they soon launched an attack on the city, led by an ancient soul vampire named St James.

James was of the same breed as Aimee. Her breed were among the least powerful and lowest of all the soul vampires. Their abilities were very basic. Super strength, immortality, speed, endurance, advanced healing and senses. They could also appear human, but had to assume a more monstrous face when feeding, but other than that they had no extra supernatural abilities. At least not at first. The older Aimee’s breed became, the stronger they became, with the oldest even gaining new powers and abilities. St James was the oldest member of his kind on the planet. In fact he was among the oldest vampires in general having been around since the Roman empire. He had ironically been a Christian who fought against the Emperor Nero’s persecution of Christians, but had been turned into a vampire by the crazed Emperor himself. (Who contrary to what the historical records state was not executed after being overthrown. He took the offer of a former vampire gladiator and became one of the undead in order to escape his execution. He would continue to operate for many centuries afterwards at least, though there are no records of him after the 17th century.)

Unlike other master vampires. St James did not care about advancing the vampire race, or in bringing back their father, Khastran. His kind, along with the other soul vampires were either persecuted or used as disposable foot soldiers and slaves by pure and born vampires. Just as he had done as a man. St James did not accept his people’s persecution and refused to bow to the other breeds. Unfortunately however he was not able to rally a large rebellion against the other breeds, as vampires were such treacherous and cowardly creatures by nature.

Instead St James would come to value simply living a comfortable life through any means necessary. In contrast to his principled human self, as a vampire he was happy to work with and betray anyone to get ahead. His own kind, hunters, vandals, demons, all the various empires and powerful groups and heirarchies that could come and go throughout his thousand year life time. He worked with and stabbed them all in the back at various points in order to accumulate power for himself.

In the modern age, whilst he may have preached a brotherhood of the vampires act to convince them to follow him. In truth he no longer cared about his people. Still it was a good marketing ploy.

St James sent Alana, who was able to earn Aimee and Samantha’s trust with her knowledge of Cushing’s lab. Alan would then, just as she had done many times to many others before, lure Aimee and Sam into a trap.

St James would then capture both of Aimee’s parents and threaten them unless they helped him sneak into Cushing’s lab. With no choice, both women reluctantly agreed. Aimee and Sam pretended to allow Victor to capture them again.

Little did Victor know Aimee had a spell hidden inside her body which broke down Victors security, allowing St James and his vampires to enter.

Rather than simply kill Cushing, Aimee, Sam and the other test subjects. St James would make have his fun with all of them. He forced Cushing into a room with several of his creations and he forced Aimee and Samantha to fight it out with each. If Aimee won her parents would be allowed to go free, whilst if Samantha won he would spare both her and Aimee.

Apparently the Emperor Nero had forced St James into a similar duel with his brother almost two thousand years ago, when they were both men.

Not wanting to die, Samantha fought hard and actually managed to best Aimee. She only did so by cheating however. She pretended to accidentally impale herself on one of her claws, which Aimee initially believed was fatal, only to then strike Aimee when she was unaware. Tragically St James was a man of his word and in response killed both of Aimee’s parents before her. He tore out her fathers heart and literally ripped her mother in two.

Aimee and Samantha would then be imprisoned. Unlike Victors other test subjects St James wanted to examine them. He wanted to find out how Aimee had been made docile, to make sure it couldn’t be replicated on other vampires, whilst with Samantha he wanted to see how far he could push her into doing other horrible things to spare her life. Like all vampires St James was a sadist and loved breaking people down to his level.

Fortunately however Victor was able to escape from his own creations, Aimee and soo conjured up a powerful, but somewhat unstable spell that could fight off the vampires and destroy his lab from within. It essentially caused the dark magics that had previously protected the lab, which St James had only created a tiny hole within, to devour the entire lab. Only Victor himself would be rendered immune to its effects for a short while (though even then after a certain point the magic would destroy him if he did not escape.) As the lab began to vanish into a storm of black magic and the vampires were caught up in it, Victor rather than simply flee, again helped both Aimee and Samantha escape, simply because they were among the only experiments he had left.

Not only had the vampires slaughtered his other lab specimens, but he also didn’t have time to even attempt to rescue the decades worth of research and spells that would be consumed along with the vampires. In fact in some cases there were spells and enchantments that he had saved from his family, which had been built up by his ancestors over centuries.

Still sadly it was better for it all to be lost forever than fall into the hands of the bloodsuckers. Of the vampires who attacked the base. Only St James was able to escape and was so severely wounded he was forced to go into hiding for a while.

Once they had escaped, Aimee instantly attempted to kill Cushing. Whether it was the demon heightening her rage, or if she still would have attempted to break his neck regardless, who knows? Aimee was a gentle soul by nature, but the Professor had certainly pushed that to breaking point.

Fortunately Samantha was able to hold her back. Aimee wasn’t exactly thrilled with Samantha either, but she at least understood why she did what she did. Neither Aimee or Samantha wanted much to do with each other after the ordeal, but both would stick together out of necessity. Aimee only didn’t kill the Professor however, not so much because of Samantha, but just because she didn’t want to let him take something else away from her. The fact that he still had some humanity in him, meant that she didn’t just view Victor as a Demon, but in hindsight it was a mistake not just her sake, not finish the professor there and then. In fact it was probably the biggest mistake she ever made.

Aimee and Samantha would subsequently be forced to go on the run for the next few years from St James and his vampire minions.

On their time on the road together, Aimee and Samantha would continue to fight against vampires and demons and other supernatural creatures. They became notorious among not just St James followers, but the wider supernatural community in Britain in general. They never became friends however. They couldn’t after what St James had put them through. Neither ever blamed the other for it, as they were both just fighting to protect themselves, or their loved ones. Still at the same time neither could get it out of their minds and as a result, in spite of everything they went through together in the next few years. Their relationship always remained cold and professional.

In time however they would also pick up two new companions. One was another member of the Cushing family. Marcus Cushing who was born in the year 1920, just before the fall of their families power. Marcus’ parents however at first changed their surname and attempted to hide from the family’s many enemies.

It actually worked for them. At least at first, but only because they had been among the more unremarkable Cushings. Combined they had only managed to slay 20 or so vampires, all minions, and all from lower breeds. Their son Marcus meanwhile was always a more theatrical, sensitive soul who was only too happy to abandon a life of monster hunting and pursue his dream of becoming a director.

Unfortunately however when he later got a chance to work with his idol. The legendary film maker Christopher Irving, Marcus would discover that he was a vampire.

Irving unlike a lot of vampires actually had a genuine passion for the arts, and over the centuries he had actually gone by many different identities as separate film makers and artists and producers, always working from behind the scenes to protect his identity.

Unfortunately for him however, Marcus recognised the signs almost as soon as he worked with his former idol and was eventually able to expose him for the murder of a young actress. Irving however would later murder Marcus’ parents in revenge, forcing him to go on the run. For the next two decades, Cushing and Irving would battle it out all across Europe, with Marcus honing his skills and taking down many other powerful vampire kings in the process.

Marcus would also track down other members of his family and even some of the vampires who had destroyed the original Cushing stronghold to gather any information they may have held onto from the vaults. Over the years this would give him a greater knowledge than the other scattered members of his family and allow Marcus Cushing to become one of the greatest vampire killers of the entire 20th century.

By the 1960s, Marcus had come to settle in the town of Darrow, a hotspot for vampiric activity. It had in fact been founded by vampires originally, who were overthrown by their human victims. Whilst in Darrow, Marcus would become a private detective and later end up working with Carlene, at the very beginning of her time as a vampire. Cushing was just as skeptical as anyone at the idea of a reformed vampire, but in time he and Carlene became close allies and eventually friends.

In the 1970s, after Carlene had left Darrow, Cushing would come to work with a later version of her, who by that point from her perspective was travelling with the Circus Family, a team of reformed demons, aliens and people from throughout history who travelled through time and space in a magic circus battling evil.

Delighted to see his old friend again. Marcus would help the Circus Family deal with the crisis they had arrived for, but unfortunately they would abduct him soon afterwards. They didn’t have a choice. It was to protect the timeline which not only said that he vanished in the 70s, but also said that he would do important things in the 2010s.

After a few adventures with the Circus Family, Cushing was dropped back off in the 2010s. His friendship with Carlene understandably somewhat strained.

He drifted for a while until the 2020, when he would meet Aimee and Samantha when all three were hunting a particularly dangerous Demon. Ironically Aimee was more distrustful of Marcus at first than he was of her due to his lineage.

In time however they both came to trust each other and developed a similar bond to Marcus’ former friendship with Carlene. In some ways Aimee was actually easier for Marcus to deal with as she was a lot more openly friendly and enthusiastic, than Carlene (though that wouldn’t be difficult.) On the other however she struggled somewhat with her thirst to a greater extent than Carlene ever did.

Marcus would also have a positive relationship with Samantha too, being able to relate to her struggles as he had spent many years on living on the run from Irving, and had even turned to alcohol for a long while to cope with the murder of his parents. Often Marcus acted as a buffer between the two women.

Finally the group would pick up its fourth member in the form of Eric Summers, a Kresnik. These creatures were the natural predators of vampires. They were created before recorded history began using the book of Khastran itself, which created all vampire breeds. Ironically the witch that created the Kresniks had a similar attitude to Victor Cushing of wanting to harness the power of demons and the paranormal for the good of humanity. Whilst much like Cushing she unintentionally created many monsters from the book, some of which still walk the earth today such as the heinous Shadow Demons. The Kresniks were by and large a success.

They were still mostly human. Certainly in terms of morality. They also possessed some supernatural abilities including a greater life span than a human, the ability to sense any supernatural creature, and the ability to transform into a large bear like creature, though they could only do this when they had drank enough vampire blood. They didn’t need to feed on it, but it made them stronger. They possessed no superhuman strength in their human form however, unless they had recently drank vampire blood. What made them such effective vampire killers however was the fact that any serious wound they inflicted on vampires, using any weapon could be potentially fatal. For instance if a Kresnik stabbed a vampire in the stomach with an ordinary sword then it could kill it just as easily as it would a human.

Kresniks reproduced through mating rather than infection and they could have children with ordinary human beings too. Eric meanwhile had been abandoned by his mother who felt that he would get in the way of her hunting. She simply left him on the doorsteps of an orphanage before vanishing into the night. Eric had a decent life at the orphanage for until he as ten years old, when a vampire that worked at the orphanage (which was the perfect cover for the bloodsucker.) Noticed that he was a Kresnik. After a botched attempt at killing the boy, Eric was forced to flee and live on the streets, where he eventually fell in with a gang of youths who were being terrorised by vampires. Recognising them as being the same monsters who chased him from the orphanage, Eric would mould the group of youths into fighting back against the vampires. For five years he and his gang protected the streets, until they drew the attention of St James. The Kresniks were a rare breed as the vampires had hunted them so extensively. They had managed to build a stronghold in Croatia, but in the UK they were virtually extinct. The presence of just one was a threat to St James empire and he would personally send his more organised vampires in to attack Eric’s gang. They launched a surprise attack during the day time and burned Eric’s base to the ground. Only a small handful escaped, including Eric himself who was forced to go on the run.

Eventually Eric would be forced to go to Aimee, Samantha and Marcus Cushing for help. Working together all four of them would fight back against the vampires and even managed to put a dent in St James blood soaked empire, forcing him to regroup.

Soon after Aimee and Samantha would soon face another old adversary. Victor Cushing. Having fled to Europe after his lab was destroyed. Victor had continued to work in secret with various organisations and even some Demons to finance his various experiments. He soon discovered however an old rival had stolen an old project of his. A kind of magical aircraft, which Victor had hoped to use during world war 2 as a potential weapon against the Nazis, but had abandoned believing that even he would never find a way to work.

The ship was not actually Victors creation. It came from a period long before recorded history had began. Not long after discovering tools and basic agriculture, early man would soon turn his attention to the most basic forms of magic and over the course of many centuries. Humanity would eventually master many more advanced spells and enchantments until they were able to build great cities and civilisations out of nothing but magic. Sadly this golden age for humanity would come to an end during Khastran’s second visit to the earth. All traces of this once thriving magical civilisation would be wiped from the earth, barring a few small traces.

This ship was just one of many thousands that fought against Khastran when the demon began its slaughter. Buried under ground for thousands of years. The vehicle was constructed entirely with, and powered by magic. Sadly for Victor however he couldn’t find a way to power it, but decades on, his rival. A Demon named Osteriath would. Much like Cushing, Osteriath was something of an anomaly among his kind as he also relied on science, believing he could spread more chaos by understanding the world around him. Osteriath had been responsible for the influenza epidemic just after the first World War which killed over 50 million people, and he had also played a role in many of the Nazi’s most horrific experiments. He also later went on to work for both the British and the American governments in the 50s and the 60s, developing weapons that both countries would use against their enemies such as Malaysia and Vietnam. He even worked for the Khmer Rouge at one point. The demon was happy to work with anyone that would fund his twisted experiments and give him a chance to spread as much chaos and destruction as he possibly could. Sadly all the major powers of the earth were willing to work with him if it suited their interests.

During his time with the British government, Osteriath would learn about the ship and would work on it in secret. Like Cushing he had trouble finding any modern ritual or wizard to power the device, but he was soon able to find a way of channelling the magic from thousands of witches and warlocks all over Europe into the ship. Victor had actually stumbled upon this formula back in World War 2, but even he was not willing to go that far. Not only would the spell kill all of the witches and warlocks whose power was drained. (It would literally be ripped from their bodies.) The magical upheavel and instability that it created would cause the deaths of many more and lead to other magical mutations and deaths throughout Europe.

The effect happened gradually and as more and more witches and warlocks began to die over Europe, Victor, much to his horror realised what was really going on. Low on resources and with virtually no allies left. Victor was forced to go to his former creations for help.

Naturally Aimee and Samantha were reluctant to listen to their former captor, but fortunately Marcus was able to convince them that what his cousin was saying was true. Marcus had also had dealings with Victor and he knew just as much as the two women how callous and ruthless he was. The fact that however that Victor seemed genuinely terrified at what this experiment might unleash was something even Marcus had never seen before.

Unfortunately however this team of unlike allies, two Cushing and a Kresnik working with a vampire and a demon, were unable to stop Osteriath’s experiments. His lab, so to speak was located underneath an old abandoned English castle.

His experiments with magic had already caused many of the locals in the nearby town as well as the animals in the surrounding area to mutate into hideous creatures.

These monstrosities had in fact overrun the Osteriath’s lab, killing most of his workers in the process, but the demon still pressed on. He was even able to take control of one of his mutations, which he used to fight off the other mutants from destroying his craft.

Osteriath’s loyal mutant had actually originally been one of his most loyal scientists named, Martin, who was among the very first to be infected by the magical upheaval. Martin begged Osteriath to end his suffering as soon as his body began to twist into something more than human. Osteriath of course kept him alive, both for his own amusement and to see to what extent he would mutate. Over the course of several weeks, Martin eventually mutated into a twenty foot tall abomination, with rock hard grey skin and body twisted beyond recognition. He grew an extra pair of arms with both sets growing far longer than in proportion to the rest of his body. Each arm also now ended in a hand with just three fingers, all of which in turn had massive, steel claws.

His head meanwhile was even more twisted. One of his eyes was now placed on the right hand side of his forehead, whilst his left eye was placed on the left hand side of his chin. Both were yellow with no pupil, and could fire yellow rays which will not killing their victims, would trap them in a state of perpetual agony. His nose had broken in two and was on either side of his face, whilst the middle of his face where his nose once was, instead was a hole from which blood and mucus constantly poured out of. He was also capable of spraying an acidic yellow slime from this hole which would not only paralyse its victims, but slowly and painfully eat through them over the course of several days. His mouth much like his arms was bigger in proportion to the rest of his face and was filled with dozens of long razor sharp teeth too big to fit into his mouth. Tuffs of his hair meanwhile, that had turned grey popped out of numerous different parts of his body and were electric to the touch. None of the other mutants were able to transform into such a hideous creature, due to the fact that they had mostly killed each other before then. Furthermore, Osteriath also performed other experiments on Martin whilst he held him in captivity.

In spite of its horrific and awkward appearance, Martin proved effective at protecting its master from all other threats. Including sadly even his former rival Victor and his new, unlikely allies.

Aimee, Marcus, Samantha, Eric and even Victor all fought their way through the monsters bravely, but Martin was just too powerful and Osteriath was able to put the finale part of his project into action.

In an instant over 30 thousand people were killed all over Europe when the magic was ripped from their bodies (with over six thousand having been killed before in the early stages of Osteriath’s experiments.)

Their magic soon powered the craft, which would never run down as once it had started it would be able to recycle its own magic supply forever. (The only reason it had run down before was because it had been damaged in the fight with Khastran and the magic had leaked out.)

On the outside the craft looked like nothing more than a gigantic gold blimp, whilst its inside would change itself to match its new owners personality.

The blimp contained unbelievable power and had it fallen in Osteraith’s hands there is no telling what devastation he could have inflicted on humanity with it, but fortunately the Demon has miscalculated in terms of the amount of magic he needed to power it, and the excess magical energy ended up consuming his entire lab.

With no other hope of escape, Aimee, Marcus, Samantha and Eric were forced to take refuge in the blimp itself. Victor meanwhile, determined not to let his old rival escape, stayed behind to try and destroy him once and for all. As far as Aimee and the others were aware at that point, neither had escaped in time.

The ship due to its magical nature had developed a limited sentience, and selected Aimee to be its new owner. For the most part it only did so because it had no choice. It needed an owner to pilot it to safety. Still even out of those there, it could sense Aimee’s passion for discovery and yearning for adventure and felt she would be the best person to take it across this world.

After making a connection with her, Aimee, through her mind alone was able to command the ship to leave the lab, just before it exploded. The ship however was still badly damaged in the blast, limiting its once great power and destroying nearly all of its devastating weaponry.

It would still be capable of travelling faster than any ordinary craft however, could withstand the strongest, even magical attacks and above all else maintained its link with Aimee.

For the next few years, Aimee, Marcus, Eric and Samantha would travel in this craft together across the world, not only cleaning up Osteriath’s mess and mutants, but battling other demonic, supernatural and even extraterrestrial threats to the world.

Aimee would take over as the leader of the team, due to her connection with the ship, which would never, ever follow anyone else’s instructions unless it was the most extreme emergency. It also would never abandon Aimee under any circumstances, no matter what.

Still all of the team would contribute just as much in their own way to the battle against evil and also the discovery of lost cities, races and worlds.

The collective denial about the existence of the paranormal in the early 21st century had brought our world to the brink of armaggedon. It had allowed some of the darkest and most powerful monsters and creatures to slowly grow in strength over the centuries.

Aimee and her friends discoveries would prove vital in uncovering these threats, as we will see over the course of this series where we will examine their adventures around the world in the gold blimp in greater detail.

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