"Everett Wen is not his true name, first and foremost," Armstrong sighed as he lowered himself onto the metallic couch. It barely rippled beneath him - the tension in his body kept him hovering to the point of just touching it. "He has had many names, and no man can ever say that he knows the real one. None who are still alive, anyway.
"I met him a long time ago during my stay in Paris - the same place I met your great-grandmother. It was a think tank, if i recall - the same sort that led to the creation of N.E.M.E.S.I.S. But the motive was a different story altogether. Wen - though, in that time he went by another name - wanted power, and he wanted as much of it as possible. The man was obsessed by the idea that a single figure could rule an entire planet. In short, he wanted to become a god." The Contessa shifted a little - he could see the slight pursing of the lips and the twitch in the normally pristine face.
A sign of distress.
He remembered exactly how he had ended up this way. He remembered that night when, after learning of the plots to come, he confronted Everett Wen and looked upon death.
He remembered how, as he was about to breathe his last, the Contessa had managed to spirit him away - some old castle in Germany, cold and decrepit, but safe from prying eyes.
He remembered how, just 100 years before this day, he had never believed in lycanthropes and vampires.
"Wait - hold on a minute," Esme blurted. "You're 100 years old? A 100 year old mortal doesn't look like that..." He smiled wearily and nodded to the Contessa.
"Sherrinford Aloysius Armstrong is the latest pseudonym of a man who had lived 127 years - a trick to avoid being noticed for too long. Though due to his recent habitation in Tibet, I doubt I will have any trouble after all this is over. Everett Wen has lived at least 2000 - if anything, he is the very purpose N.E.M.E.S.I.S. even exists." The Contessa rose now, and moved to check the wounds on his left hand - deep, and still dense with the rich, thick, black blood...
"You get five minutes," he said, and turned to Esme as the Contessa raised his hand to her lips and began to drink deeply. "Any more questions, Esmerelda?"
"How did you survive then? What's your secret?"