This is a fan fiction and does not intend to infringe on the copyrights of Hideyuki Kikuchi (Asashi Sonorama), the Vampire Hunter D Production Committee, Urban Vision, Jaleco, or anybody else. Valerian Rokes is my original character but D, of course, is not. This fanfic is based on the original script of the first Vampire Hunter D movie (as translated by Dayton Animation Club), the video game, what little I know of the second movie, and my own experiences, superstitions, and research. Darkpaws firstname.lastname@example.org Jaded Valerian Rokes was born into a rich family. She never wanted for anything, never had to fear the monsters, and was protected like a precious commodity. She was more than a little spoiled, but was still kindhearted by nature. Life for her now was filled with what should have been lazy days but she was a nervous wreck. She wouldn't dare tell anyone, she had to seem perfect "for the honor of the family" her father would say. By now the lonely tears were gone but the pain was still there. She had been isolated from anyone outside her family and their political allies for most of her life, and she could never keep friends for very long when she was finally sent away to school. She could still hear the other students laughing and making fun of her because she didn't know how to act around normal people, and she never got a chance to learn. She was back home now and lonelier than ever. Her brief taste of real life had left her hungry for more, hungry to learn how to truly live, but her parents had snatched her away before she could do anything about it. Valerian sat on her velvet chair in her decadent bedroom lavished with all the finery she had grown up with. She was brushing her long, ashen blond hair in front of a gold framed mirror that was on top of a mahogany vanity. *Today is my Twenty-second birthday and what do I have to show for it? Most of the other people at school had been working on farms since they were old enough to hold a shovel or drive a mule but I am almost never let out of the manor, what kind of life is this?!* Then she stood up in front of the mirror and examined her frilly white dress covered in lace, beadwork, and ribbons. Disgust started to well up inside her and in an almost snarling tone she muttered, "This is ridiculous!" She spun around and made her way downstairs to the huge kitchen where her mother was barking out orders to the kitchen staff. "No! I won't stand for it, don't you dare tell me pomegranates are out of season, just get them for me!" yelled Valerian's mother to the head cook. The old woman was the spirit and image of El Greco's satirical paintings of royalty, like a twisted and glorified caricature. Valerian tugged on her mother's sleeve and said, "Is there anything that I could do to help?" Her mother just laughed and told her, "Kitchen work is for low class commoners whose lives are going nowhere!" She said this in front of the head cook not caring if he or anyone else but Valerian heard her. That was like a knife in Valerian's heart, and for the first time she gave her mother an angry look, but before she could see it she had already looked away. She wanted to say something, she wanted to tell her mother how much that had hurt her and make her understand, but she was interrupted before she could think of what to say. Valerian's mother started to walk away and said, "Why don't you go out to the main hall and join the party, you don't want to embarrass your father by making a bad impression, think of all the trouble we're going to for your birthday party." ***************************************************** Valerian had been taught well how be diplomatic and fake friendliness to all the important people. Someone would say something to her and she would repeat the appropriate pre-rehearsed response. It was all a blur to her and she didn't even have to think about what she was doing, she had done it so many times before. That's why the stranger's voice caught her off guard. "My, you look out of place." said the strange man. Startled, she let out a brief gasp and clutched her hands to her chest as she locked eyes with the source of the voice. There was something different about this man, something that made her feel uneasy. She also felt like there was a cold void of which he was the source. He was so pale, like an albino, but his hair was black as sackcloth. He wore all black and a leather car coat over which rested an long black cape with red lining. He had the look in his eyes of a hungry cur. After staring at her for a moment, and getting no response, he said, "My name is Lamech." Valerian shuddered at his words. His voice was scratchy and backed by an ever present hate of nothing in particular. He continued coldly, "Tell me where to find the lord of this manor." "My father..." she said, and she turned to lead this stranger to him, not wanting to see this wraith-like figure anymore. He followed her like a predator would follow its prey and that's exactly how she felt. *Surely my father will make this frightening man leave* Lamech could hear her thoughts, she had the ability to speak with her mind but she did not know it yet. *Don't count on it* Valerian could just barely hear his ethereal response but she dismissed it as if it was just her imagination. Her father thanked her and she fled to a far corner of the room, thankful to be released from Lamech's attention. She started shaking a from her unstable nerves and thusly withdrew into the shadows to compose herself. When she had calmed herself, out of curiosity, she turned her attention to her father and Lamech's conversation. She could not hear a word, she was too far away, but she could tell that something was wrong. She had never seen her father so frightened, she could see it in his eyes even from this distance and he was playing with his mustache nervously. Her mother had joined them and her smiling, bemused facade was replaced by a look of worry. "Who IS this man!" she thought uneasily. The group retreated into a spare room they hadn't used in months and came back out about thirty minutes later. Lamech headed straight for the door and her parents resumed their mingling and socializing. Valerian timidly followed her parents' lead and soon fell back into her familiar routine of greetings and diplomatic complements. **************************************************** Later that night, in her room, Valerian gladly shed her luxuriantly decorated dress and put on the plainest sleeping gown she owned. She turned out the lights and settled under the comforter and sheets on her soft bed feeling somewhat safer in her own private territory as Somnus took her from waking life. **************************************************** Suddenly, she was standing outside in the moonless night wearing a plain, white dress in the middle of a gypsy-style camp. On one side was a campfire circled by mutants, some sitting and some standing, and on the other side of her was a house-like covered wagon. One of the mutants stood up and came towards her. He was dressed in rags and his dark hair was in dreadlocks but she could not make out his shadowy face. "My, now look what you've done you murderer! Aren't you ashamed!" Valerian was scared of him but she mustered up the courage to speak. "What do you mean?" she asked in a timid voice. "Just look at yourself!" he shouted. She looked down and to her horror her formerly white dress was now soaked with fresh blood. She screamed and started to run but the mutant caught her by the arm and restrained her. He growlingly whispered in her ear, "Oh, you'll have to be punished now, yes!" She tried to struggle free but the mutant applied an excruciatingly painful nerve pinch to her back. Awake now, she writhed in the pain of her back spasm. She had them every now and then due to her nervous tenseness. Soon the pain faded and she relaxed as much as she could ready to doze off again, especially since she felt so weak, as if the energy was being drained out of her body. Then she gasped in horror at what she saw before her and an unusually strong and cold hand closed around her neck to silence her. It was Lamech. He was looming over her, straddling her body. Her heart was beating as fast as a bird's and she tried to scream for help but the hand just tightened its grip until she could barely breathe. Then Lamech spoke in more of a growl than a voice, "You father's vanity shall cost his family dearly. Tell him that his days of ruling this land are over, I am his master now!" Then he opened his drooling mouth to reveal two gleaming white fangs and turned Valerian's head sideways to access her neck. She was in a panic now and was starting to hyperventilate and Lamech's iron grip wasn't helping. With a growl he dove for her neck and sank his fangs in. The pain was terrible and she couldn't bear it on top of all that had already happened, so with a final strained gasp she passed out. **************************************************** The next morning started out in a blur. Her mother was the first to find out and shortly thereafter five nurses were flitting about the room. The wound was not severe and would have required only minor first aid that only one nurse could have done, but that didn't stop Lady Rokes. Valerian was weak from the blood loss and wasn't very responsive as her wound was dressed. One thing she did notice was the strange pile of herbs on her bedside table. She didn't feel like telling anybody about them (her mother had already made her feel like the incident last night was her fault) so she swept them into a small wooden jewelry box that she never used. Then she returned to bed and slept all day, her food was brought to her room by servants. It didn't take long for Lord Rokes to find out and soon all of his pages were sent out to find the best vampire hunter that money could buy. It took them three days to find him. Those three days felt like an eternity to her. She was even more closely guarded than ever and the newly installed security barriers around her door and over the windows made her feel like a trapped animal. Her nerves were only soothed when the sun set and she could feel safer in the darkness of her room. Whenever she was overburdened by prying eyes and the never-ending scrutiny she retreated into the relative safety of her darkened room. Eventually, the darkness started to feel almost warm (despite whatever temperature it may be) and not unlike an old friend that she knew would never criticize her. When the lights were out, she was safe. The morning of the third day, while she was pacing due to lack of anything else to do, she was summoned out of her room. She was accompanied by her mother and two rough looking guards, one with an eyepatch, who were dressed in fine clothing. They looked like two chimps in tuxedos and Valerian jokingly wondered to herself if they weren't really mutants. She was led downstairs to the waiting room and as soon as she entered she was awestruck. There, standing across from the old man that was her father, was the most beautiful man she had ever seen. His pallid face was delicate and nearly expressionless showing just hint of a sadness that seemed as much a part of him as anything else. Underneath a cowboy style hat he had long, very light blond hair and hypnotically beautiful blue eyes, just like the blue quartz pendant that she had received a few days before her birthday. A darker blue pendant was hanging around his neck on a golden chain. His sable cape was pulled back to reveal all black clothing with strong muscles visible underneath. There was a belt around his waist with a enameled skull shaped belt buckle on it and an ornate dagger attached at his side. A long sword with matching enameled skulls on each side of the hilt was hung on his back. His hands were covered by dark brown gloves and a faded but formerly brightly colored scarf around his neck provided a little contrast to the otherwise dark apparel. She was stopped in her tracks by the sight of his strong and lean form. Lady Rokes had to lead her by the arm to the exquisite hunter and the closer she got to him the stranger she felt, kind of like she had been hanging upside down and all the blood had rushed to her head. The petite young lady was dwarfed by this incredibly tall man. He looked down at the young lady and said, "I am D." He spoke in a monotone voice. Then her mother said, "Go ahead now, show him." Valerian pulled her long hair back from the wound and the hunter's gloved hand reached out to touch it. She felt her heart flutter and her whole body lit up when he delicately touched her and then missed the all too brief contact when he withdrew his hand. She stared longingly into the hunter's eyes before he turned his gaze back to Lord Rokes. "I will visit the castle now, it shouldn't take too long." he said and turned to make his way to the door. Lady Rokes puffed up and said bitterly, "I certainly hope not!" Valerian's heart dropped like a rock to her feet. *How could she talk to him like that! * She was surprised to see absolutely no reaction from D, but inwardly he was just as surprised to hear her speak with her mind and a little touched that she cared. With the cape now shrouding his body he disappeared down the hallway with Valerian watching him until she couldn't see his cloaked figure anymore. ****************************************************** D's dark DL4 cyborg horse with its metal parts gleaming in the morning sun was waiting for him outside by the water fountain, taking a much needed drink from the rippling water. He mounted it and rode through the cast iron gate with electronic barriers and down the road to Lamech's castle. After some distance his left hand spoke up. "My, that was an interesting young lady. Hee, hee! She doesn't seem to know she can speak with her mind and she seems to like you, this could get even more interesting." "You know I can't," D replied. It snapped back, "Really? You didn't HAVE to touch her neck, but you did! Or were you just feeling a little hungry?" D let out a disgusted groan and clenched his left hand into a tight fist. After a few muffled objections the symbiot was quiet. ****************************************************** Valerian slipped away while the Lord and Lady were giving the guards orders. The exit to the manor was not too far away from the waiting room and she was there in no time. There was no one else around, just an empty hallway behind her. She was a bit disappointed, she was hoping to see the hunter again. She then leaned against the wall and stared at the door longingly. *Maybe after he finishes this job I can pay him to take me away from here* Then she sighed, knowing pretty soon her parents would notice her absence and scold her while taking her straight back to her room. Still, she kept her post, hoping that he would perhaps forget something and come back through that door, seeing her first. Maybe they would talk a little, despite his cold appearance he did seem like a good man to her. Suddenly, she heard a knock at the door and her heart sang. *He DID come back after all! * Without hesitation she rushed to the door to unlock it. Her hands were shaking but she calmed down enough to undo every lock and swung open the door to reveal something very unexpected. It was a werepuma. He was standing upright, digitgrade on his hind legs. Retractable claws were sheathed on his paw-like hands which were hanging by his sides. The black tip of his long tail was twitching in anticipation. His fur was a light reddish-brown which lightened to a white underbelly. The backs of his ears were black and so were the markings on each side of his short muzzle. His cruel looking eyes were yellow. Valerian screamed and tried to run, but the werepuma was too quick and he caught her easily. She screamed for help and struggled but she got no answer. The werepuma then unsheathed his claws from his furry fingertips and pressed the sharp points against her skin just hard enough to get his point across and then said in a strained feline voice, "Stop fighting me." She stopped struggling but was shaking from the helplessness she had been feeling not only then but all her life. He held her there until the two guards appeared. "Help me!" she pleaded to them. The one with an eyepatch spoke to the werepuma, "I took care of them, Steelclaw." The one with the eyepatch grinned, revealing a set of jagged and sharp looking teeth, and then drooled a little. The one standing behind eyepatched mutant (who resembled him greatly) let out a roar revealing equally menacing teeth and two long tongues! *Oh god, they ARE mutants!* she thought. Steelclaw slung Valerian over his shoulder and ran out the door with the two mutants following closely. They went to the horse stables, which were locked, to steal a ride. Steelclaw broke open the door with one powerful swipe of his forepaw and the mutants took one cyborg horse each. The werepuma then handed Valerian to the eyepatched mutant and dropped down on all fours. The mutants rode the backwoods way to Lamech's castle with Steelclaw running behind them. ****************************************************** D walked up to the doors of the castle and pushed on them to see if they were unlocked. They opened easily. He stepped inside the dark interior and pushed the doors closed behind him. The darkness was more his element than the harsh sunlight outside and his eyes adjusted quickly. The castle was just as old and worn on the inside as it was on the outside. There were still woven tapestries hanging on the walls but they were so worn and torn that the scenes they once portrayed could no longer be distinguished from the dirt and water damage. There was furniture, but most of it was broken and in ruins on the floor. D could sense Lamech's foul aura in a distant part of the castle so he made his way through the stale smelling halls and rooms with his target now in sight. Eventually he found his way into an unusually new and well lit room. He could still smell the wallpaper paste and there was no furniture. This odd scene made him nervous and he tried to hurry through the room, hoping what he suspected wasn't true for once. He didn't make it to the other door. The second he reached the middle of the room, metal doors slid down over both exits. There were no windows or air vents so he took off his glove and held his left hand up, ready to make his own exit. His left hand scoffed at him first, "D, why must you always walk into traps!" then it blasted the wall at full force. All that did was burn away the wallpaper to reveal a metal wall. "That's a pretty strong alloy, I'd say." said the hand as it was lowered back to D's side. Suddenly, a panel in the middle of the ceiling slid back and a powerfully bright sun lamp was behind it. D dropped to the ground, wailing in pain as his own darkness was overpowered. After some squirming and twitching D was quiet and passed out. ****************************************************** Valerian was dropped in front of Lamech's throne and he rose and came towards her. She had fallen to her knees and Lamech crouched over her, roughly grabbing her downcast face and pointing it at his own. "You're mine now!" he growled. "What happened to my parents?!" she pleaded. He sneered at her before responding, "They're dead if the Twins followed orders." She was silent in shock. The eye patch mutant's response pushed her over the edge, "They're dead all right, weren't too tasty though." "YOU BASTARD!!!" she screamed as she lunged at Lamech, scratching and slashing at his face with her long fingernails. Lamech just laughed and hit her so hard she fell to the ground unconscious. ****************************************************** Dreaming once again, she was on a dirt road surrounded by desert that was strewn with freshly ruined buildings and chain-link fences. It was like the world was after the Final War. It was day, but cloudy. She looked around her and saw three newly sired vampires in black trench coats. One was carrying a metal pipe and another had a black wooden police club. The last one had a crowbar. They all swung at her at once but she ducked and dropped down on all fours. She ran this way trying to stand up but couldn't seem to run upright. She caught sight of some green foliage in the distance and made her way there, leaving the vampires behind. She finally touched soft green grass and it felt good under her, especially after that rocky dirt road. She pushed through some hedge bushes and came upon a stream. Her thirst got to her and she looked down, but her reflection showed something unexpected. Staring back at her was the rippling image of a grey animal with dark eyes. Her hands had become large paws and instead of gasping from surprise she let out a small, short whine. She cocked her head to the side in interest and waited for the rippling to stop and the reflection to clear. *A wolf! * she thought. Tentatively, she lowered her muzzle to the clear water and lapped up the cool liquid. Refreshed, she turned her attention the rather steep bank in front of her. She had the urge to climb the bank so she leaped the rest of the way across the stream and started up the steep incline. It was an easier climb for her as wolf than as a human. She was almost to the top when the ground in front of her started to raise up. Out of the dirt rose three skeletal piebald horses with their skin draped over them like odd brown and white patches of leather. Curiously, she didn't run and wasn't afraid. They were equipped with very primitive bridles and bits and were decorated with feathers and worn, ragged blankets. They were unshod. All of them were rearing up on their hind legs but made no sound. They seemed to be trying to tell Valerian something but they were unable to make a sound... ****************************************************** Valerian groggily awoke in a dark room lit only by a soft blue light that was near her. She stirred a little and moaned from her head pain. "Are you okay?" said a soft, monotone voice. The familiarity of the voice shook her to full alertness. She looked up and happily exclaimed, "D!" She sat up too quickly and grabbed her head in dizziness and pain. She started to teeter over but D caught her by the shoulders. Still holding her head she said, "Lamech hit me really hard and I guess I passed out" "Let me see." D said. Valerian took her hand off her head and D reached up and parted her hair in a few places. She noticed his hands were very cold. "There's some bruising." he said. Valerian was feeling a lot better because of all of the attention that D was giving her. She looked around but the light that she noticed was coming from D's pendant wasn't all that bright, she couldn't see too far. "Where are we D?" she asked. "We're trapped in a armored room. Could I see your eyes for a second?" said D. Valerian looked into D's eyes and saw a shining reflection in them, like that of a cat or some other nocturnal animal. "D... Your eyes?" He looked away, embarrassed, and said, "Didn't your parents tell you that I'm a dhampire?" That struck a little fear in her, but she still felt attracted to him. Nervously, she put her hand on his shoulder and said, "No, but I still trust you." Her unexpected touch made him want to withdraw, he wasn't used to human contact like this and he was afraid of where it might go. He stood up and faced away from her and then realized he had left her in the dark. He took off his pendant and held it out to her. "Here, you could probably use this more than I could right now." he said. She took it without a word, his withdrawal from her touch had hurt and confused her, but this token of caring made her feel a little better. *He must think I'm afraid of the dark* she thought. "I didn't mean to be offensive, being... what I am... allows me to see a lot better in the dark than... most people." said D carefully. "I'm sorry, I didn't think that I was saying that out loud." she responded. "You didn't." D stated as he looked around at the features of the room that were shrouded from Valerian's view by the darkness. "What do you mean?" she asked. D looked straight at her again and said, "I guess you haven't realized it yet but you have an unusual gift. You can speak with your mind. You can also hear other people with the same gift as you if you listen. Vampires can do it and some mutants and werecreatures can do it. It's a bit unusual for a human to have that gift. It would do you good to master it." Valerian blushed and was flattered and embarrassed at the same time. "Thank you for telling me." she said. D then stood in the middle of the room, took off his glove, and held his left hand up. "I'm going to try to blast a way out of here, it may get a little bright." he warned her. She turned her head away and D began blasting away at the ceiling. It didn't take long for him to break through, but the final blast was too strong and it shattered the glass sun lamp. Glass shards flew everywhere. D rushed to where Valerian was standing and shielded her and himself with his wing-like cape. She was a little aroused at how close D was and took the opportunity to put her arms around him and hold him. His body was cold compared to hers but since she knew he was a dhampire she wasn't scared or surprised by his frigid temperature. D was overcome by the loneliness he had been feeling far too long and embraced her tiny warm body gently. He rested the side of his head on hers and let himself get lost in the moment for a little while. The sound of the metal doors screeching open interrupted their quiet moment. D sensed a strong presence coming from the door he had come in and immediately stood and drew his sword. It was Steelclaw, the werepuma. Steelclaw leapt at D, but D was too quick and he slashed the werecat's stomach, spilling his guts. Valerian shrieked in horror and hid her eyes. The cat was down but still alive until D held out his left hand and absorbed the rest of his life force. Then D spun around and pushed the girl behind him as he sensed the presence of the man himself coming from the opposite door. D gave him an intimidating stare and said, "Lamech, I presume." A red glow began to shine in his eyes and he snarled, "Right." He then bared his fangs and D leapt at Lamech, his sword raised high. Lamech kept dodging as D knew he would. D was trying to drive the vampire away from Valerian. Once they were a few rooms away they stood facing each other. Lamech then said, "I was hoping you would quench you thirst a little, dhampire, that's why I put that human girl in there with you. I was going to dispose of her anyway, she's useless now. I was doing you a favor and this is how you repay me? By trying to escape and killing one of my servants!" D replied, "You can't bribe me like one of your greedy lackeys, I'm going to send you back to the darkness that you came from." "Twins!" Lamech shouted, "You won't let him talk about you like that, will you?" The two mutants appeared and laughed when the saw D. "This is the guy who killed Steelclaw? This sissy-boy?" said the eyepatch mutant. "Don't underestimate him." said Lamech. They just laughed again and started circling D, and he stood still, waiting for them to make the first move. The one that never spoke went first, shooting his long, sharp tongues at D. D dodged and sliced the lengthy tongues off close to the mutant's mouth. He had cut the major veins and the mutant dropped to his knees, screaming in pain and bleeding profusely. The smell of all that blood overcame D and he dropped his sword as his fangs grew long and his eyes glowed brightly. He roared as he looked at the other mutant and in a flash he had reached the other mutant and had sunk his fangs deep into his neck. The mutant screamed in pain and D drank his fill and snapped his neck. With both mutants dead D picked his sword up again. D was brimming with his true power and strength, a force too dangerous to let out too often. Lamech could sense D's incredible power and for the first time he feared the hunter. "My god who are you!?" Lamech said feebly. D said nothing and as quick as lightning ran his sword through the vampire's heart, all the way to the hilt. ****************************************************** Valerian was sitting on the floor, shaking and trying not to look at the gory scene of the dead werepuma. D returned to the room, having cleaned himself off a bit. He definitely didn't want her seeing him covered in blood. His hunger satiated for now he held her again feeling that he was safer for now. She felt better now that he was holding her and she stopped shaking. After a little while he picked her up and carried her outside. It was evening now and the sun was starting to set. D set her in front of him in the saddle and they rode quietly back to the manor. The closer the got, the more they could see a strange glow where the manor was. After a while D said to Valerian, "I'm afraid I smell smoke." After a pause Valerian said, "The mutants told me that they killed my parents." The rest of the ride they were silent. Eventually they came upon the iron gate to the manor. It was night now but the sky was bright with fire and the stars were obscured by smoke. The entire manor was engulfed in flames. "It's strangely beautiful, in a way." she said. Tears came to Valerian's eyes and she started shaking again. Thinking she was cold, D wrapped his cape around her. *I don't have anywhere to go now* she thought. D thought back to her as he directed his horse down the road, *Don't worry, I won't let you be alone.* She stopped shaking and leaned back against D.