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It had been four weeks since the Collector began training Vidalia as his apprentice, and she was getting used to her surroundings. Necropolis, so it is said, was originally built by seven 'Lich-Kings' and many of the building showed this, looking like giant crypt-towers rather than office buildings. Still, other than this and the constantly cloudy sky, it was a rather fine city, as far as Vidalia was concerned. There was even a pub near her, known as 'The Lion' because the founders were originally English and had no originality, that served cheap food and decent beer, and lied between her place of work and her current accommodation.

One friday afternoon, Vidalia was on the way to that same den of desolutes, when she saw someone struggling to carry a large crate into their house. Vidalia called out "Yo, you uh... need any help with that?" A female voice from behind the crate said "No, thank you, I'm quite alright!" The voice, while most certainly having an oxford dialect, had a slight german inflection to it. Vidalia was about to leave the crate-carrier to it, but she fell over and dropped her crate, revealing herself.

She was quite short, looking no older than eighteen at most, with light blonde hair. She wore almost exclusively black, save for a pair of black and white striped stockings and a fingerless lace glove on her right hand of the same patern. Her left hand, and most of the forearm below the elbow, was replaced by a mechanical prosthetic. Her face, while certainly beautiful, was dominated by a large scar that reached from her forehead to her chin. And what really stood out about her was her icy blue eyes.

Vidalia sighed, walked over to the girl, and held out her hand, offering to help her up. The girl smiled in thanks, and grabbed Vidalia... with her metal hand. Vidalia was startled by this, but pulled her up nontheless. Vidalia then picked up the crate, and asked "So, where d'you want it?" The girl answered "Oh, just the front room, please." Vidalia entered the girl's home, trying not to stumble on any of the drapery that decorated much of the house, and set the crate down in the front room. "This good?" Vidalia asked, praying to God that it was. "Yes thank you." Vidalia nodded her head, and left the house. "Wait!" The girl called after her. "Look, that one was gratitude," Vidalia began "So don't expect-" But the girl interuppted her, saying "Actually, I was going to repay you." Vidalia held up her hand "That's real swell of ya, but like I said, that one was gratitude." But the girl protested "Well, I have to repay you somehow!" Vidalia thought for a second. "Well, I was on my way to the Lion, so I guess you could buy me a drink... uh..." "Jill" the girl interjected "My name's Jill." Vidalia took her hand and shook it. "Great to meetcha, Jill, I'm Vidalia." And so they set off to the Lion.

But the path would be obstructed, for they took a shortcut down a dark alleyway. They were accosted by a large alley-dwelling lowlife, whose intentions for Jill and Vidalia were... less than moral. "Ooh, two fer th'price o'one." He slavered to himself. Vidalia knew, sadly from experience, that if she didn't act fast, this brute would likely cause them a lot of grief, so she whispered "Jill, you get outta here, I'll-" but before she could finish, Jill thrust her hands towards the lowlife, summon a flurry of bats from seemingly nowhere, causing him to thrash about and scream incoherently. She lept upon the attempted molester, screeching like a wild beast and clawing at his flesh. "Ger'em off me!" the lowlife howled  But then, Jill sunk her teeth into the neck of the assailant, and he howled in immense agony.

Then he stopped. His eyes became glassy and vacant, and his limbs became limp and he fell to the floor. Then Jill climbed of the mountain of muscle, and spoke to him. She said "You have felt my kiss."

The lowlife responded, rather lifelessly "I have felt your kiss."

Jill said "You will do my my bidding."

The lowlife responded "I will do your bidding."

Jill then paused, and commanded "You will turn yourself in at the nearest police station.

The lowlife did not initially respond.

Jill crossed her arms, furrowed her brow, and shouted "I SAID-"

The lowlife then quickly said "I will turn myself in at the nearest police station." He then got up, and plodded of to turn himself in.

Vidalia looked at Jill, mouth agape. "I'll explain at the pub." Jill said.

Vidalia, after taking a swig of bitter, asked Jill "Alright, what the hell was that in the alley?" "Well," Jill began to explain, sipping her screwdriver "The answer's quite simple, really; I'm a vampire." Vidalia began laughing loudly, until she saw the look in Jill's face, and realised she was being serious. "Wait, you're not kidding?" She asked quite innocently. "Of course not!" Jill said "Who would joke about something like that?" Vidalia said "Alright let's get something straight; I didn't even know vampires existed." Jill raised her eyebrow, completely unconvinced. "Hey, I didn't! Let's just say that I'm 'new here', if you catch my cold." Jill was dumbfounded for a second, but then quickly realised what Vidalia meant. "I see." She gasped "So, you're from Mund- I mean, Earth?" Vidalia shrugged "Pretty much. So, you're a vampire then?" She asked. Jill answered "A Tristatu, specifically." Vidalia's face became one of puzzlement. "Allow me to explain." Jill began.

"You see, there are three main strains of vampirism; Sangeratu, Nosferatu, and Tristatu. The Sangeratu are the strongest strain, the Nosferatu the most magically adept, and we Tristatu, if I say so myself, are the most elegant. I mean, certainly, our strength does not match that of the Sangeratu, and we pale in comparison to the Nosferatu's level of magical ability, but we are the swiftest, and we are not nearly as... well, shall we say 'Identifiable' as the other strains. The Sangeratu are as pale as corpses, and the Nosferatu bear a great resemblance to bats, but the only way you can really identify a Tristatu is in the eyes." Vidalia then noticed that Jill's eyes were now a very deep crimson.  Jill continued to explain "In natural sunlight, our eyes are icy blue, and in other lighting conditions, they're- well, you can see. We also don't need nearly as much suncream as the other strains, though garlic and religious iconography still poses a mild problem."

Vidalia, how was listening quite intently, then remembered that Jill bit the lowlife that attempted to molest them, and asked "Wait, that creep in the alley, you bit him. Is he gonna..?" Jill then let out a hearty chuckle, and exclaimed "Oh, goodness, no! No, Tristatu bites only turn virgins into more Tristatu. On non-virgins, it induces a temporary state of hypnosis, like what you saw with that rapey fellow earlier."

Jill then asked Vidalia "So how'd you get here, then? D'you stumble upon us by accident?" Vidalia chuckled. "More like it stumbled upon me. I tried to rob this old guy in an alley, but it turned out I had some kind of heart problem, and he accidently caused me to have a heart attack or somethin'. Next thing I know, he pays for my operation, offers me a job, we go graverobbing, and now I work at his shop." Jill remarked "That sounds a bit like my dad. Speak of the devil, here he comes."

Vidalia looked at the enterance of the pub, expecting to see some older vampire with a goatee or something, but all she could see was her boss. "I don't see him," She said "Is he behind the Collector, or..." Jill laughed "He IS the Collector!" She then waved at the Collector who waved back at them both. "You're dad's the Collector?" Vidalia asked Jill in a hushed tone. Jill responded "Yes, he is. Oh, you must be that new apprentice of his!"

The Collector went over to them to say hello. He said to the Alnamiri bartender "Imperial stout, if you could." He then turned to the girls and said to Vidalia "I see you've met my youngest." Vidalia answered "I didn't know you had kids. Why'd you never tell me?" The Collector shrugged and said "Never came up." He then turned to his daughter and asked "So, written any new songs?" Jill looked down in shame "I'm really not in 'that place' right now, dad. Y'know since... since 'Dark Rooms'." She then became agitated, and said "I-I'm sorry, I have to go now. Vidalia, it was nice meeting you."

And then she ran out of the pub, not even finishing her screwdriver. The Collector had barely raised his hand to stop her, and then he looked shamefully into his beer. Vidalia asked "What was that all about?" The Collector explained "Jill used to be a singer and songwriter, and a damn good one, too. Hell, she's been in showbusiness most of her life. She was Court Jester to the High King and Queen at sixteen years old!" Vidalia asked "Wait, High King and Queen?" The Collector waved his hand and said "They're not around at the moment. But enough about them." The Collector sipped his beer, and continued "She was always overflowing with talent, and quite outgoing, too. That was, until Dark Rooms."

Vidalia asked, sheepishly "Dark Rooms?" The Collector nodded "It was to bee her magnum opus, her greatest work." Vidalia paid for another beer and asked "So what happened?" The Collector hesitated, but finally said "That damn album drove her over the edge. She put so much pressure on herself, and did immense amounts of narcotics for 'inspiration' and some days she never left her studio." Vidalia said "Oh, so like what happened to Brian Wilson?" The Collector, somewhat bewildered that Vidalia knew who Brian Wilson was, answered "Oh, Gods, no. It was much worse than that. Wilson went crazy, sure, but my Jill... she regressed." Vidalia could see the pain in his eyes as he explained this. "Y'know, Mr C, you don't gotta talk about this if you don't want to." The Collector rubbed his eyes, and said "No, it's good that I can talk to someone who doesn't see my youngest as a washed-up has-been." He then downed his beer, and patted Vidalia on the back. "See you later, V." Vidalia raised her drink towards the Collector and said "See ya."

The Collector walked home from the bar. As he passed by his daughter's home, he swore he could hear singing.