I decided to write this attributed to the series of books, ''Morganville Vampires'' written by Rachel Caine. Initially I wrote it for fanfiction, but... Because it's not Myrnin/Claire, I don't believe it's gotten any real spotlight. So I'd like to put it up here, and see how it goes.
This story is about an MC. It's MC/Myrnin because he's amazing, and it's fun to make things up about his past. He seemed like a little bit of a ho. Rated T that will eventually turn to M.
Summary: Nyx is new to Morganville, and has more knowledge and ability than Claire could ever dream of having. She's come as Myrnin's apprentice, and very much like Ada, she takes an interest in him. Only, Nyx is a different kind of vampire. A stranger, older kind. Stronger. Will that all bode well for Myrnin…? Or will he come crashing down again?
Name: Nyx Craine. (Nyx's real surname was lost through the centuries.)
Appearance: Black hair, dark blue eyes, pale skin with a small height. She looks about 20.
Backround info: Nyx is an old, old vampire, perhaps made before Amelie or Myrnin. She is named after the Greek Goddess of Night. She's from Greece, the ancient Greece (the times of Titans and Gods), and has mastered many other languages among her own. Nyx is a very unusual, mysterious vampire but everyone seems to respect her - especially Myrnin, when he sees her. She's said to be Nyx herself, the actual Goddess on Earth, but she has never said this to be true, nor has she denied it. She likes silk, velvet, shadows and mystery crimes.
Chapter One - Welcome to Morganville.
She had heard tell-tales of this town - of Morganville - so many years ago, though to believe such a thing was a fantasy. But here she stood, at the sun-faded edges of it, bathed in the silvery moonlight. She glanced around her and saw nothing but dusty desert for miles around. A wise choice; landlocked. Nyx felt tremors run through her entire body, ones of nervousness and excitement. Nervousness because many of the vampires that had come to inhabit Morganville were enemies she'd tried to kill - or that had tried to kill her - and excitement, because there would be actual vampires. So long she'd lived among humans, to have to act like one of them and talk like one of them and look like one of them - but not now.
Nyx's long, onyx-dark hair was catching on torrents of wind, and gently sweeping around her in long, glittering, silky tendrils. It brushed into her midnight-blue eyes, eyes that caught the gleam of the moonlight and threw it back. Her pale, cold skin was exposed in acres because of her clothing. She wore straight-leg black pants with a gentle crease along the middle, and tall, high-heeled boots that enhanced her height further. She wore a sleeveless black silken shirt with ruffles and cascading-like reflections that enhanced her voluptuous curves. Over her arm she carried her long, black coat made of the finest silk and satin, layered with thick velvet. She looked dark and dangerous, and very, very tempting.
This was it.
Nyx's booted foot stepped over the border of the town, and she felt something surge through her whole body and burst with different emotions. Emotions she had learned so long ago to keep chained and locked up within her own mind. She cautiously gathered a slow, steady pace, walking along the dusty road, watching the town rise up from minute specks of concrete. She watched impassively as then, the city of hopes unravelled right before her eyes. It was maybe 10 pm, yet the town was swelling and heaving with activity. Mostly vampiric activity, Nyx guessed, seeing as humans were so terrified of her race. And she was correct - just as she weaved into a more central part of the town, humans looking tired, harassed and frightened drove their cars just at the speed limit, in a hurry to get home. Nyx sniggered. Their terror never failed to amuse her.
Nyx frowned a moment, looking at the scattered buildings surrounding her. Where was she? Nyx's hand slipped into one of her pants pockets, and she pulled a delicate piece of parchment out and unfolded it, square by square, until it was open in a perfect yet small rectangle. Nyx's body slowly relaxed as the worried tension drained from her aching muscles, and she began walking again, following the map.
Morganville, she had to admit, wasn't too impressive. It was small and ugly, with sun-faded wooden shops and battered concrete pavements, and dirty, dusty roads. Nyx found it hard to believe that vampires of such high status would agree to live here. Would not object to live here. Nyx's lips twisted into a gentle scowl. She would keep her judgement silent, she knew, but still. The town that she'd imagined held so much life looked rather dead and abandoned.
And then, she turned the corner into Founder's Square.
Nyx's dark eyes widened slightly. Dust turned to glitter, and concrete turned to polished marble - in the middle of the square was a beautiful fountain carved from fine, white marble with a steady, gentle flow of clear water spilling along the smooth surface creating a crystal effect. Lights blazed through the square, and shop windows were lit and busy, just as the cafés and restaurants were. Nyx passed countless jewellery stores with glistening, seductive gems on display and bright, fashionable clothing stores. All looked silly and too over the top to her eyes. Still, this was not her town and she didn't say what went and what didn't. Silent judgement. That's what she promised herself.
The marble continued all along the square, even the Elder's Council building was made from the same, expensive material. Impressive, she thought grudgingly, but way too fitting for kings and queens. She said nothing as two guards approached her just as she finished ascending the steps to the main doors. They looked at her a moment, then the taller blonde one said, ''Name?'' Nyx blinked. He had a Texan accent, which both confused and amused her.
''Nyx. I'm expected,'' she replied, and saw them both stiffen, shock crossing each of their expressions. The blonde one nodded. ''Of course, Miss, beg your pardon.''
Nyx's head bobbed slightly, as they opened the doors and waved her in. The second she was inside, the scent of roses and wine hit her in an intoxicating wave. She inhaled it softly through her nose, and closed her eyes. It reminded her… Of… She blinked, and stopped inhaling. She let out the unneeded breaths with discontent, and looked around.
A tall, sharp-faced male vampire dressed similarly to her stood by a white stone pillar looking far from amused, and a light shone in his eye slightly as his eyes grazed along her figure in a cool, assessing way. Something common for vampires to do to one another. He then bowed to her deeply, a sign of respect Nyx had not seen for so long. Clearly, he was an old vampire - manners like that would have gone amiss near the seventeenth century.
''Miss Nyx Craine, a pleasure to finally meet you,'' he said. Nyx was slightly surprised to hear the English accent in his voice. It was strangely familiar, though Nyx couldn't place his face with that voice. Maybe she didn't know him. She shook it from her mind, and curtseyed slightly in his direction, returning the mannerly greeting. It was only polite. ''May I ask your name, sir?'' she said, tilting her head softly at the inquisition.
She noticed how his eyes flickered a moment - shock, or he was simply startled. God, was there something off about her voice today? He replied, though, in a generally pleased tone, ''You may call me Oliver. Come, I'll bring you to Amelie.''
He pushed off of the pillar, and began to walk down a hallway towards the left. She followed in quick pursuit, though his pace wasn't a challenge, even if it had been vampire quick. He turned his head slightly to look at her and say, ''I haven't heard an accent like that in quite a while. Greek?'' he asked, and oh. Oh. She realised everyone's surprise when she'd spoken.
''You are fluent in more.''
''Of course. Latin, Irish, English, French, the list continues. Greece is my homeland, though.''
She paused. When had she said so much before? To a stranger? No. He wasn't a stranger, though she couldn't place his face, and it would annoy her until she discovered and unmasked the secret. Oliver said no more as they walked and walked, finally coming to a standstill outside a pair of double doors, carved from beautiful mahogany with gleaming golden handles. Oliver took hold of them and pushed the doors open, and stepped in, Nyx following him, sweeping through with a vibe of energy pulsating around her like an aura at all times.
There were quite a few people - vampires and humans - sitting at an oval-shaped table, made of the same wood as the door. Each and every one of them stood, just as Oliver closed the doors. The only one who did not stand, though, was Amelie.
Nyx examined Amelie, just as she knew the ice queen was doing to her, too. Where Nyx was dark, Amelie was light - dressed in an immaculate white tailored suit with her pale hair piled into a crown on top of her head, and a delicate necklace of pearls decorated her throat. Nyx took note of how the suit was only a shade darker than her skin. Creepy, but in a beautiful kind of way. Nyx bowed her head formally to the Founder, just as the smaller woman mimicked, only it seemed stiffer, somehow. Nyx knew her body was more liquid, more fluid. She was more like a roaming panther, whereas Amelie was more of a tiger. Maybe a lioness. She blinked and Amelie put her elbows on the table, resting her delicate chin on her clasped fingers.
''Welcome to Morganville, Nyx.''
''Thank you most graciously for the invitation, Amelie.''
Someone took in a sharp breath. Did no one call her Amelie? Or was it just odd for an outsider to use her name? She pondered these things silently at the back of her mind.
''You understand,'' she spoke in a cool, calculated tone, ''that it was not simply a generous gesture. I require your assistance.''
''I was aware that this wasn't a kind offer. What is it you so desperately need me to do?'' asked Nyx, and couldn't manage to keep the venom from her voice. She had crossed paths with Amelie one too many times over the years, some encounters less pleasant than others, of course. Still, she liked the woman less and less. She'd only come out of curiosity, then again - curiosity killed the cat, did it not? She bit the inside of her cheek absently, waiting for her reply.
''It is not desperation I am acting out of. I simply need the assistance of your widely-appreciated mind and skills to help that of Myrnin's.''
''Who is Myrnin?'' Nyx asked, quite sure she knew the name from somewhere. Myrnin… An old name. Definitely, but the face to match was long forgotten by Nyx's mind by now, her memories faded. Amelie simply gave her a look, a long, cold one with ice-like grey eyes. ''Myrnin was once a great scholar. I am surprised by your lack of attention through your long life, Nyx.''
''You know what they say,'' said Nyx through gritted teeth, ''when you get old, the mind is the first thing to go.''
That earned a quickly stifled laugh flutter through the room. Nyx felt a cold power wash over her, and her mind bristled at the feel of it, her skin taking on a slight heat. Compulsion. How… Quaint. Nyx let out a small laugh that sounded like rattling on tin-foil. ''Dear Amelie, you needn't try any of your little tricks to get me to obey. I will do it.''
The cold, sickening wave of what Amelie was trying to do receded quickly, and Nyx's teeth threatened to bear themselves in a snarl. A snarl which was growling in the back of her throat encased within a soft hum. ''Good,'' said the ice queen, her pale eyebrows risen slightly in what could have been surprise, or anger, distracting Nyx from her blazing fury, ''then I shall get someone to escort you to Myrnin's laboratory. Claire, Detective Hess, please,'' she said, and a small, fragile-looking human stood with what Nyx realised was a police officer. Claire weaved her way to the doors, and smiled very briefly at Nyx, while the detective waved her ahead of him. How odd, to have human escorts. She could hear the pounding of the young girl's heart, and the steady, relaxed thrum of the detective's. She could smell the blood that rushed through their veins and anxiety was thick in the air. She grinned, only slightly. It was amusing to say the least.
Claire led them from the building and out of Founder's Square to the main road where they bundled up into the back of a parked cruiser. The detective slid into the driver's seat, and the young girl into the passenger seat while Nyx eased herself onto the bench in the back of the car - the smell of coffee and blood was almost suffocating - and settled into her seat with tensed muscles.
''Buckle up, ladies.''
Nyx didn't bother - how likely was it she'd be killed in a car accident? - and simply resorted to staring out the window at the Morganville that was beyond the heavy tinting. Seemed it was custom to all cars; they passed multiple sedans with the same darkly-clouded windows.
''So, Claire, how are you these days?'' asked the detective. Nyx was aware the girl was nervous, and apparently, Hess could sense it too. ''Fine,'' she replied but her voice quaked. ''Kinda freaked to be seeing Myrnin again, to be honest.''
''Oh yeah? Why's that?''
''Well, I haven't seen him in a while. Looking forward to see what he's created in his spare time.'' The sarcasm was thick in her voice, which almost enticed a snort from Nyx. But only almost. ''Sir, may I ask what time it is?'' asked Nyx, leaning forward in her seat, feeling her words roll off of her tongue. Huh. Maybe her accent was thicker now in the company of Texans. ''Uh - it's 10.40 pm,'' replied Hess, which Nyx nodded to. Good. Normally, she'd have been falling into bed at this time, keeping with human hours, but she did feel a little stronger now, more alert and awake. She couldn't guarantee it, but maybe Morganville would improve on her health. Her sleeping hours, anyway.
''Miss Craine, we're here,'' said the little girl, and bailed from the car with awkward human moves. Nyx observed, watching carefully. How had a girl like this survived in Morganville, a town of vampires, for years? Or did she grow up here? Nyx made a mental note to ask later, and followed Claire down an alleyway between houses on a friendly-looking street. Hess stayed in the car.
''Um, Myrnin's kind of… Well, crazy. I'm supposed to warn you.''
Nyx blinked, paused in her tracks for a moment, then laughed. It was a real, genuine laugh that made her inhale a breath. It was brief, but her mood instantly improved, and she was still smiling when she said, ''And you know this how?''
''I was his apprentice,'' she said quietly, and dug in her pocket for keys as they entered a rotting wooden shack with a door, padlocked shut, at the end of it. ''Well, kinda still am. Amelie said she'd observe how much you two can get done - if I'm needed anymore, she'll continue our agreement. If not…''
The young girl didn't finish, and Nyx felt a twinge of guilt. ''I am sorry. If had not come, you would still be learning from him?''
''Well, yeah. I love it, but sometimes he's so…'' Claire threw up her hands in a gesture of speechlessness. Nyx carefully took note of how the Americans spoke - it was foreign to her, the use of the English language by people who weren't of Brittan origins. It fascinated her. ''But it makes more sense. You're more intelligent, you understand what he's teaching, and you're stronger.''
''Myrnin has… Moods. Kind of threatening moods, sometimes, and well, I'm not exactly built to match him. Y'know?'' she said, as she unlocked the titanium door and opened it. They descended down a flight of steps, old concrete gradually turning into solid marble, and then, as they landed into the body of the lab itself, a cold, tiled floor; suitable for working with chemicals and the like. The lab, though, was chaos.
Nyx examined each stack of teetering, hazardous books piled everywhere and anywhere; countless bookshelves overflowing with thick volumes, a few marble-topped lab tables with steam-punk designed objects on them, looking lonely, lost and abandoned, and countless lights - oil lamps, modern electricity-fuelled ones, and candles, all blazing atop every surface. And then, a man.
He stood tall and kind of lanky, with a graceful take to his body, no sign of jerky, uncontrolled movements of an insane vampire; long, glossy black hair full of waves, pale skin that shone ever so slightly with a pretty faint golden colour, and wide, dark eyes streaked with gold and brown. And when his face came out of a book, Nyx was thrown by his astonishing looks. He'd probably been changed when he was in his mid-twenties, perhaps younger. Still, his face just did not click, and that began to prod at the back of her mind restlessly. Sheknew him from somewhere.
''Ah, Claire! Excellent timing. Did you bring coffee? I like coffee. I need you to - ''
And his eyes fell upon Nyx's waiting form, and he suddenly stopped. Just froze, his eyes wide and unblinking while she remained cool and relaxed. She felt Claire stiffen, and move back a step. ''Myrnin, this is Nyx, your new assistant for the time being. Amelie invited her to come.''
''Amelie invited you, child?''
''Yes,'' she replied, a slender, perfectly plucked eyebrow risen at the 'child' comment. Did she look that young? Perhaps not - perhaps he just hadn't seen much beyond these four walls for some time. ''I understand you teach the terms of Alchemy and Physics.''
''I - well - yes.'' He stuttered over his words, placing the book down on the table without much regard for it, even though its state was ragged and likely to fall apart at any time. ''I have been teaching Claire here the basics for nearly two years now.''
''Yes, I have been enlightened to this,'' she said, speaking to him more like a business partner than a higher-in-command, ''I am aware of what you're trying to do.''
Myrnin looked startled just as Claire cleared her throat. ''My ride's waiting outside. I guess I better, um, go. Bye.'' She turned and fled the lab, obviously relieved to be out. Nyx herself was beginning to feel slightly claustrophobic, but she honestly couldn't figure out why. She'd been accustomed to small spaces all her life - after all, for nearly twenty years, she was confined to the same small room, and when the services were over… The room seemed even smaller. She nipped the inside of her cheek, scolding herself. At least she'd been a vampire then. Still. Those days haunted her every waking thought.
''Which would be?'' asked Myrnin, pulling her back into the real world. He strode to a thread-bare couch, knocked books to the floor to make space and sprawled himself out onto it. It wasn't so much a sprawl, she realised, he was just extremely tall. She blinked, a frown curving her lips very slightly. She relaxed her stance, but only barely. ''What?'' she asked, causing him to breathe an impatient sigh.
''What are we trying to do that Amelie's made you aware of?''
''Several things. One being the fact that this generations' vampires are weaker than what they used to be. Than what they should be. And it's disturbingly worrying.''
Silence. Tense, uneasiness spread through the room and it rung in Nyx's ears like a butler bell. She was gnawing the inside of her cheek at this stage, fretting the answer he'd come out with, but he simple sat there, his body almost coiled like a cobra, deciphering whether to attack or not. Then, after a few long, torturous seconds he nodded. ''Wise of her to tell you that. But she knows not what is causing this sudden decline in strength, and neither do I. Which means no one will. So, really, your arrival here was not necessary. Sorry to inform you so harshly of the matter, but you really must be on your way. Goodbye, Miss Nyx. Lovely to make your acquaintance.''
He rose from his seat and made his way towards her, but Nyx didn't move. She just stood there like a statue when suddenly, as his hands reached out, a voice said, ''Myrnin, do remember your manners around guests.'' His hands stopped reaching towards her, and then her arm was in a firm grip by his hand. His skin was much warmer than hers. She was colder. Odd. ''Amelie, I will not stand by and watch you work this woman to death just because you require answers you will never have!'' said Myrnin fiercely, a crimson light burning like hellfire in his eyes for a moment. But only a moment. And then, Amelie stepped out of the stairwell, and she looked so perfect, like a beacon of light among all the filth and untidiness around her. She clasped her hands very gently in front of her, her face a cool, remote void of expression. ''Think carefully about that statement, Myrnin, and the next one.''
''You know we cannot provide the answers. All forms of science and mythology in the world will not help. It is a lost cause.''
He sounded drained of hope and energy, and Nyx wrenched herself from his grip, suddenly outraged to be in someone else's grip; to be at someone else's mercy. She felt his fingers slide from her perfect skin, his nails suddenly catching and ripping it open. Soft yet jagged lines of bright, rosy blood marred the perfection. Nyx frowned at the irrelevant wound, and willed it to close instantly. Her blood, sadly, couldn't be returned to her veins once lost. When she looked up, she saw both Myrnin's and Amelie's gaze fixated on the spilled blood. She felt a shiver run along her spine, and scowled at them both. ''Please. You two look like children who have just spotted a stray kitten.''
''I was never fond of cats,'' piped up Myrnin, grudgingly snapping out of his trance-like state.
''Oh, does it matter?'' she sighed, then put on the coat she'd been holding since she arrived. It hugged her figure and swept around her, light yet heavy and absolutely wickedly beautiful. It was like her baby - velvet from the 12th century was extremely rare and priceless. She sighed softly, happily, glad to be in its embrace, and leaned a hip against the side of a lab table. ''Anyway, the point is why I accepted to come to Morganville when you stated what was happening.''
''Which is?'' they both asked in sync, Myrnin teetering over hysterically excited and dead solemn, and Amelie - remote yet distantly eager. Nyx smiled, a humorous quirk of her lips. ''I can assist the growing issue of young vampires being inexcusably weak.''
''You have not explained why you so graciously accepted the invite,'' snapped Amelie, showing how low her tolerance for playing was. Nyx simply rose an eyebrow, the smile still firmly in place.
''I know what's happening to the vampires - and even better; I know why.''