...and the Darkness consumes us...

***part 3***

(As the scene opens up, we see the living room of the Nightmare's extensive mansion. In the great room, there are 3 good-sized black leather couches, a couple of black leather recliners, and a few end tables. Also populating the room are various pieces of artwork; elaborately designed sculptures and rather carefully constructed paintings. The artwork subjects are one extreme to the other. Some are based on winged angels, beautiful in their magnificent splendor and power, sounding the heavenly trumpets or unsheathing their swords, readying themselves for battle. Other pieces of art contain hideous demons, monsters, and devils, their wickedness shining through in their appearance alone, if not through their deeds. The demons in these works are depicted slaughtering innocent people, angels, and sacrificing their victims to their Dark Gods. The mere thought of these artworks, which contain the fierce enemies of the spiritual realm, even residing in the same room as each other is just horrid to even bring to mind.

The battle that silently rages on within the walls is set aside as we see the Nightmare and Minion, seated in one of the recliners and on one of the couches, respectively. Bright sunlight pours in through the few windows that are located in the walls of this room. The two friends, the accomplices in evil, sit now, waiting for dusk, when their vampiric friends will awaken. Minion glances up at the wall clock, which is constructed magnificently out of what appears to be the front half of a skull, whether it is human or animal is hard to tell. The time is 3:24 pm. Minion lets out a sigh of impatience, ready for nature to make it dark outside.)

NIGHTMARE: You know, Minion, since you're going with them tonight, you should probably try and get some sleep too.

MINION: No good. I'm not used to sleeping in the day, and I'm not the least bit tired, so it wouldn't work. I'll just have to stay awake extra late tonight. (After a few moments of silence.) Damn it! Why can't the sun go down any faster?!

NIGHTMARE: Patience, Minion, patience. The time will come.

MINION: Yeah, I know...but I'm ready to go! I want to meet this all-impressive Vampire Lestat.

NIGHTMARE: Lestat...I've read about him in the books. I was never for sure whether he was real or just made up. I guess I know the truth now, don't I? I wish I were able to meet him. But then I'd have to be a part of the Clan, right?

MINION: Well, I'm sure that Damien could arrange a meeting with him if you really wanted. Or....

NIGHTMARE: Or what?

MINION: You know, vampire Clans really do need more humans to help them...You know, be their daywalkers and such.

NIGHTMARE: As interesting as that sounds, I think I'll stay out of the Clan...for now, at least.

(The Nightmare and Minion go on conversing for a while, passing the time until Minion glances out the window to see the sun setting.)

MINION: Finally. Now we can get the party started!

(Upstairs, in the second room to the right, Damien and Raven instinctively awake from their slumber. Both open their eyes to find the other laying beside them, Raven's arms wrapped tightly around Damien's shirtless torso. He looks into her eyes, those violet, seemingly innocent eyes, those hell-filled eyes that he loves so much.)

DAMIEN: I love you, baby.

RAVEN: I love you too.

(They kiss, and then Damien throws back the covers. They arise from the bed, Raven slipping into her miniskirt as her fiance grabs his long-sleeved black Gothic ruffle shirt and puts it on. They exit the room, heading towards the bathroom where Damien gets his gel and begins to spike up his blood-red hair.

On the other end of the house, Lobo's eyelids flutter open the exact second that the sun finishes setting. He looks around him, his vampiric vision helping him see in the pitch-black room. He gets out of the bed and flicks on the light switch, squinting his eyes as his pupils quickly shrink, so-as to let in the least amount of light possible. After his eyes adjust to the radical change in light, Lobo opens the bedroom door, where Damien and Raven stand waiting.)

LOBO: Hey...good evening. That's really weird how we wake up when the sun sets. I assume the sun just went down, right...?

(Damien nods his head, affirming the young vampire's thought.)

DAMIEN: Well, are you ready then? If so, it's time to join the Clan.

LOBO: I'm as ready as possible! Let's go!

(The three walk down the long, curved staircase, arriving at the bottom just as Minion and the Nightmare enter the foyer to greet them.)

MINION: Well, how was your beauty nap?

DAMIEN: I don't know...do I look pretty to you? (Damien asks with a smirk.)

MINION: Ummm...I'll just leave that question unanswered and pretend you didn't ask me that.

(Damien laughs under his breath and turns to the Nightmare as they all begin walking towards the garage.)

DAMIEN: So, is my car still in pristine condition?

NIGHTMARE: Of course. No one drives it but you. How could it get messed up?

DAMIEN: I don't know. Just checking.

LOBO: You mean we're not taking the van?

DAMIEN: No, my boy, that's just for daytime, so we can keep out of the sun. It's night. Now we ride in style.

(The Nightmare opens the door to the garage and flips the light switch. Damien's perfect-condition black-&-red Lambourghini Diablo sits in the massive 6-car garage, next to the Nightmare's black Humvee. The vehicles sit alone in the big space, making the garage seem even larger. The Diablo's custom flame paint on the hood and fenders gleams bright red as the light shines on it. Lobo stands in awe of the magnificent piece of machinery. Damien notices his facination while he gets the keys from the Nightmare.)

DAMIEN: You like it?

LOBO: (Nodding his head) Uh-huh. But, how are we all going to fit in there?

(Damien opens the passenger door and pulls up the front seat, revealing the back seats, which are quite spacious for a 2-door car. He motions for the passengers to take their seats. Lobo and Minion climb in the backseat, Damien adjusting the front seat, putting it in it's normal position after they get in. He waits as Raven sits down in the passenger seat and closes the door. After patting the Nightmare on the shoulder and telling him bye, he climbs in the driver's seat and closes the door. As he puts the key in the ignition and turns it, the machine comes to life, it massive engine revving up. Damien grabs a cd from his cd case in the floor, the "Queen of the Damned" soundtrack, to be exact, and inserts it in the cd player. "Not For Me" by Wayne Static blasts over the car's speakers as Damien backs the Diablo out of the garage, the Nightmare shutting the door behind them. Lobo almost has to shout to be heard above the loud music.)

LOBO: Does the Clan know we're coming?

DAMIEN: Yeah, I let the higher ranking vampires know ahead of time so they could spread the word among the Clan members. That's usually the only way you can get them all together at one time.

LOBO: So where is this place, the meeting grounds or whatever?

DAMIEN: About as far away from the city as we are now, except on the other side. We meet at this old abandoned steel factory. We just put up an "Under Construction" sign outside, covered up the windows and there you go. No one bothers it. It's actually quite nice, we took out all of that factory crap and pretty much just fixed it up into a vampire's sanctuary. We just call it "The Coven". It's got a lot of rooms, and we even have a library-type room dedicated to Vampire history. I think you'll find yourself right at home.

LOBO: Cool. Can't wait to get there.

(The passengers settle back as Damien guns the engine even more, shooting the car down the street. After a while of driving in silence, aside from the music, Damien speaks up.)

DAMIEN: It's not much farther now. Just a few more minutes...

(Lobo and Minion look out to see the city lights fading behind them. The Diablo's headlights cut through the blackness of the night, beacons on the otherwise dark street. After a few more miles, Damien slows the car and turns off onto a side road. Lobo glances out the window to see signs that read "Dead End" and "Under Construction: No Admittance". He laughs to himself.)

LOBO: "Dead End"...good sign for a place full of vampires.

DAMIEN: Yeah, I always thought that it was a little ironic.

(He drives the Diablo up to a closed 15-foot tall chain link fence. In the headlights of the car, Lobo and Minion see that there is barbed wire fastened around the top of the fence, and there are two men guarding the door, which is closed. One of the guards has a katana at his side, sheathed. The other carries MP5 submachine gun. Minion and Lobo look at the weapons, and then at each other. Minion nudges Damien on the shoulder as the guard with the MP5 approaches the car.)

MINION: Man, you guys are serious about all of this security and privacy stuff...

DAMIEN: Well, we've got to keep out the rif-raff. Can't have anyone trespassing and discovering our history, now can we?

MINION: I guess not. So are you saying that these guys are on guard all of the time?

DAMIEN: Well, of course we can't have them on guard during the day...these guys are vampires. But we have hired some human loyalists to guard in the daytime. And they get paid a substantial amount of money, just to make sure they stick around. I mean, we could kill them the moment they tried to leave, but do you know how hard it is to find a human who will stay with us?

MINION: Well, you got me.

DAMIEN: Yeah, but you're our daywalker. I'm not going to reduce you to a lowly guard. That's too demeaning for you. Besides then you wouldn't get to have any fun with us when we hunt.

MINION: But the guards get paid a substantial amount of money, as you said. Do I get paid?

DAMIEN: Originally, no, but if it's money you want, I'll supply you with all that you need.

(The guard taps on the tinted window, signalling him to roll it down. He does, and the guard looks upon the face of Damien.)

GUARD: Good evening, Damien. You're cleared to enter, of course.

DAMIEN: Damn, you'd think that you all would be able to recognize my car by now.

GUARD: I did. But I had to make sure that it was you inside. You know the policy.

DAMIEN: I know, I know. I'm just giving you a hard time. Have fun out here.

GUARD: Right. Have fun standing watch while you all have some important meeting.

(Damien rolls up his window as the second guard opens the fence's door. Damien drives through and heads towards the Coven's parking garage, which was originally constructed for the factory's employees to use. He pulls the car into one of the first spots, reserved for him. You can tell it is his, because drawn on the wall directly in front of it, in blood, is his vampire symbol, which he has tattooed on his left shoulder. The symbol is an intricately designed Gothic vampiric cross:

Damien shuts the car off, the absence of the blaring music making the garage utterly silent. He and the others get out and stand in the parking garage, stretching their legs out. Damien puts his arm around Raven's shoulders, pulling her close to him, and they lead the way to the Coven, Minion and Lobo eagerly following. As they near the building, Lobo gives it a quick look-over. The Coven is a very large building, obvious from the fact that used to be a factory. The outside walls have a deep gray hue to them, covered with graffiti from the time before the vampires moved in. The windows and doors, all except the front door, are boarded up or securely covered in some fashion, so-as to make sure that no sunlight enters the building during daylight hours. Damien and Raven walk up to the double-door entrance, and Damien opens the door, allowing the other three to enter. He follows them inside, returning to Raven's side as Minion and Lobo stare with wide eyes at the splendor and magnificence that is the Coven. Completely contrasting the outside appearance, the inner workings of the Coven are something to be envied by some of the richest billionaires on the planet. The lobby alone, if you can call it a lobby, is full of very expensive-looking artworks, similar to that of the Nightmare's living room, and only material items of the highest radience and cost reside in the building. The walls, ceilings, and floors of every room are made of polished black onyx, the darkness of the stone welcoming the vampires in. The walls of the lobby are about 15 feet high, giving the entry-room an important feel to it, because of its size alone. A few vampires are standing near the wall, conversing about their latest kills, about which one was better. As Damien, Raven, Lobo, and Minion walk through the lobby and into the wide hallway ahead of them, there are three choices on where to go next. At the end of the hall, there is a doorway to the right, a doorway to the left, or straight ahead of them, there are two big 10 foot-tall black onyx doors, obviously hiding something important.

Damien decides to give the new recruits a little tour. He and Raven choose to take the doorway on the left. They enter a short hallway which opens up into another great-sized room. This seems to be a sort of lounge and refreshment area, where the vampires of the Ravnos Clan are kicking back in the comfortable, and expensive, as everything here seems to be, sofas and chairs that are scattered about the room. Provided for their convenience is a bar-type area, where a vampiric bartender serves chilled human's blood or human beverages to the Clan members, all for free. Or, if desired, they can savor the delicate tastes of human cooking, which, although unneeded by the vampires, does provide a bit of nostolgia as they partake of the foods they so heartily enjoyed before they were reborn to Darkness.)

LOBO: Shit. You guys don't do anything cheaply around here. I mean, look at all of this setup. It must cost a fortune!

DAMIEN: Well, when you're immortal and you live until the end of time, you get bored sometimes. So, we spared no expense in fixing up this place for any accepted vampires to come and fellowship. After all, it's not like we earn the money or anything. The majority of our income is taken from the countless victims we happen across......Minion, Lobo, if you'd like anything to eat or drink, feel free to do so. Minion, I assume you won't be taking up the offer on the drinks, correct?

MINION: Well, back in the cult, I have drank goat's blood, and that was only for a ritual...but never human blood.

DAMIEN: Oh, you don't know what you're missing! But hey, I guess you'd have to be one of us to understand the pleasure of it. Anyway, either of you, anything to satisfy the appetite?

LOBO: Well, why not?

(Minion agrees and the two get some food and drink...Well, only food for Minion. Damien looks at his fiancee.)

DAMIEN: Do you want anything, babe? I'll get it for you if so...

RAVEN: No, I'm fine right now, but after the meeting, if it's done before dawn, I'd like to go get some fresh blood. Preferably some little drugged-up street corner slut. Blood that's laced with drugs...ahhh, I can't begin to describe the pleasure of that. Of course, it's not as pleasurable as other things...(She adds the last statement with a seductive smile.)

DAMIEN: Whatever you want...it's all yours.

RAVEN: Ah, you're so sweet. You're almost too good to me. I love you.

DAMIEN: I love you too.

(He looks up as Minion and Lobo return with their food.)

DAMIEN: Well, shall we continue with the tour?

LOBO: Lead the way.

(Damien spins on his heel, turning towards the opposite end of the room, opposite from the way they came. He leads the group through a doorway, much like the one they entered through, until they arrive in what appears to be the great library that Damien was speaking of earlier. The ceiling of the massive room looks down to the floor from 30 feet above. The shelves that line the walls are filled with books, countless volumes of various subjects, mostly revolving around vampirism or demons or the occult. Minion and Lobo turn their heads, taking in the thousands and thousands of books around them.)

LOBO: There must be thousands of books here...what are they all about?

DAMIEN: Folklore, mostly...vampire folklore. That seems to be the most abundant subject here. Stories, written by humans, who know nothing about us. They, with their so-called "truths" about us creatures of the night, although no human really knows the truth...no human except one.

(Damien walks over to the back wall, and in the middle, offset from the others, resides a shelf all alone. It contains the set of books dubbed "The Vampire Chronicles", written by Anne Rice. Damien brushes his finger up against them, and then pulls out the 1st of the Chronicles, "Interview With The Vampire".)

DAMIEN: If you want truth, though, this is where you look. "The Vampire Chronicles" are the only human-written books that contain truth about us.

LOBO: But how? Anne Rice is a human. How could she know the truth, and still be alive? Surely the vampires would want her dead for revealing this.

DAMIEN: How she knows, how she continues to survive, I don't know. All I know is that it is true, and that's all I care to know.

(He walks over to the left side of the room, to an enormous black bookcase, near a large, covered-up window. The bookcase's shelves are removed, except for one, in the center. It contains only one book, a very large volume.)

DAMIEN: This, though, is the complete history, the vampiric laws, everything we need to know. This is the Vampire's Bible. This--

(He is interrupted as a voice comes on over the intercom system.)

VOICE: Halt all activities...the meeting is about to commence.

DAMIEN: Well, sorry to cut the tour short, but it looks like your big moment is here, Lobo. Same for you, Minion. If you would follow me...

(Damien leads the group back the way they came, exiting the library, passing through the lounge, and arriving back at the hallway intersection. Throughout this walk, they notice that the halls and rooms are empty, void of any vampires. They get back to the 10-foot double onyx doors. Damien opens the doors, allowing the others to enter. They gaze upon a gigantic room, bigger than any other room in the Coven. The walls are reaching heights of 45-50 feet. Inside the rooms, placed on the floors are many rows of black-colored wooden pews, all leading up to an enormous alter and a sort of platform in front, where there are 8 black seats; 4 on one side of the platform, 4 on the other. In the middle are two larger, more elaborate chairs, almost thrones, side by side. Seated in the pews are the vampires of the Ravnos Clan, assembled for the meeting. The 8 chairs on the platform are occupied by the officers of the Clan, the higher-ranking vampires. Behind each chair hangs a banner with the vampire's symbol on it. Behind the two larger center chairs hang two slightly larger banners. The one on the right is the symbol we have seen before: the gothic cross belonging to Damien. That chair, along with the other center chair, are empty. Damien leads the group down the center isleway, the turning heads of the seated vampires following them. He whispers to Lobo and Minion as they walk.)

DAMIEN: Just a little heads-up...Once we get to the platform, Raven's going to sit down in the front pew, and I'll take my place on the chair up there. When you get to the platform, walk in front of the center chairs, and then kneel. Got it?

(They nod as they near the platform. Raven breaks away from the group, taking her reserved seat on the front pew. Damien ascends the platform, seating himself in his chair, his position of the second-hightest ranking vampire in the Clan becoming known. Lobo and Minion step up onstage, and then kneel before the two center chairs. The double doors in the back then open. The vampires all turn their heads to see the entering figure. They all stand and turn in respect, facing the figure, as he walks down the isle. On the platform, Lobo and Minion remain kneeling. The entering figure is none other than the Ravnos leader, Lestat. He is dressed in black pants, black boots, and a loose, ruffled, deep-red shirt. A black cord necklace hangs around his neck, a pendant of his vampire symbol hanging from it. His long blond hair is tied back in a ponytail, and the power in his dark, almost black eyes pierces the eyes of every other vampire. Lestat moves down the isle, the vampire eyes following him, until he steps up onto the platform and stands in front of his chair, beside Damien. He sits down, and the rest of the vampires do the same. Lestat looks upon the two kneeling newcomers in front of him.)

LESTAT: You may rise.

(Lobo and Minion stand up, looking upon the face of the vampire they had heard so much about, but only dreamed of meeting. Lestat stares at them, a slight smile becoming visible. It then vanishes as he speaks.)

LESTAT: So, who do we have here?

DAMIEN: Well, Lestat, these are the two that I mentioned to you before. On the right is Lobo. After cafeful consideration, and weeks of stalking him and watching him when he was human, I decided that he is worthy of becoming a vampire, and furthermore, worthy, with your approval, of becoming a part of the Ravnos Clan.

LESTAT: Well, Damien, you know that I trust your judgement...you've never steered me wrong before. Lobo, welcome to the Clan. I trust that Damien will teach you our ways, correct.

(Both Lobo and Damien nod in agreement. Lestat shifts his eyes to Minion.)

LESTAT: And who is this one?

DAMIEN: This is Minion, Raven's brother. I have not turned him into a vampire, but he is very willing to become one of our daywalkers. You know that we need more of those.

LESTAT: Is he trustworthy?

DAMIEN: Absolutely. He is my future brother-in-law.

LESTAT: Is this, by chance, the same Minion who slaughtered his parents without a second thought when his Satanic Cult ordered it?

(Minion swallows in nervousness as Damien answers.)

DAMIEN: Umm, yes...is that a problem?

LESTAT: No, that just proves how loyal he is to his group. As long as he is that loyal to us, then he's in as well. But, Minion, if you double-cross us in any way, be sure that I will personally rip your throat out...understand?

MINION: Yes, sir.

LESTAT: Good boy. Everyone, these are the newest Clan memers. I trust that you will treat them as equals. Now, if there are no other orders of business, the meeting is adjourned!

(The vampires then dismiss, some grumbling about the insignificance of the meeting, most eager to get out and kill. Damien pulls Lestat aside as Minion and Lobo celebrate their induction. Raven walks up and talks with Lobo and Minion.)

DAMIEN: Umm, Lestat, I've heard a rumor that Louis is back. Now, I know that he won't do any physical harm to us, but if he were to infiltrate the Coven, he could let out many secrets.

LESTAT: Louis! Ahh, the times we used to have together. But, this is only a rumor, correct?

DAMIEN: As of now, yes.

LESTAT: Well, keep me posted if anything new comes up.

DAMIEN: Of course.

LESTAT: Now, I know you're hungry by now, so go take your fiancee and your friends and have some fun.

DAMIEN: No arguing there.

(Lestat smiles as Damien turns and meets up with the other three. They exit the building and return to Damien's Lambourghini Diablo. They all get in, Damien turning the car on.)

RAVEN: So, where to now?

DAMIEN: Well, after we get some food, we're headed back to the BLOOD arena. CrazyCaleb called me earlier on my cell phone. He said something about Prez Rahl giving up the presidency. He said that, for some reason, Rahl gave me the title of Prez.

MINION: That's awesome! You're all powerful!

RAVEN: Yeah, that's great!

DAMIEN: You're telling me! Now I rule the fed!

(They talk about the new development as the Diablo speeds off, the occupants in search of an unknowing victim...)