Date:    97-03-30 19:01:22 EST
From:    ScFiMarci
To:    Knightwave

Here it is, with all my comments, which I think should be included:
You're gonna hate me or love me...

I haven't done this sort of thing in a while, and it's the sort of thing I'm highly likely to do, so here goes...

Nick would like to, ahem, speak to the Dark Knighties: (WARNING: This is the Nick Knight who lives in a particular alternate FK universe that exists in my mind. Hope you recognize him, my Dark Nick!)

Note: I do see Nick as potentially being a lot more Dark than this. This is just the most realistic Dark Nick I can forge out of the show, post- "Ashes to Ashes". This Nick, though accepting of his nature, is a lot more Light than some of us like, but hence going to be a lot more palatable to the masses out there, and hence show them that Nick remaining a vampire isn't all bad!

(Personally, I'd prefer Nick to leave the cop job, become a serious artist, work with LaCroix to develop his controls to where he can successfully sip again, and of course be on a diet of only Good Stuff. Maybe even move in with LaCroix (but that's another loop) or go looking for Janette in earnest.)

Oh, do tell me if his "voice" comes across as I hope it does...

"An Open Letter to the Dark Knighties"
Copyright 1997
written out of the imagination of Marcia Tucker to represent what Nick Knight, having set aside the quest for mortality, might tell his Dark Knightie supporters about what's going on with him now, 1997. (Apologies to the Diviants.)
Note: This alternate FK universe considers that the events in "Last Knight" were no more than a bad dream of LaCroix's after indulging in the blood of an ambulance-chasing lawyer...

Hello, Dark Knighties...

So, this is the group who is interested in my vampire side... and keeping me there...

<g> Well, well. Oh, I'm there all right. And apparently for good, which I've finally accepted. Took me long enough, didn't it? LaCroix has been nice enough not to rub my nose in my own folly, well, not now he doesn't, at least. Oh, I'm still a cop, still riding around in the Caddy with Tracy, although I've seriously been thinking I should tell her that I'm a vampire. It might save her life, the knowledge. (More on Tracy later.)

But enough about Tracy Vetter. <weg> Marcia informs me that you've been discussing what might have changed my mind about mortality. Well, basically I'm facing reality, my Dark friends, and finally acting on what I'd realized after my near-death experience - that I have to live with the decision I made 769 years ago. I still want to atone, but I know this atonement isn't something I can fulfill in a few years, like winning a rubber stamp of approval or as Nat puts it, "dry cleaning my soul". I was a killer for at least 650 years, so why not take at least that much longer not killing and atoning?

How did I come to this decision? It was somehow wrapped up with my killing LaCroix's master and realizing that the evil condition of a vampire is not inherent to being a vampire. Divia was evil... and seeing her cold, amoral evil against what I had once thought of as evil in my own master, LaCroix, I got a rude wakeup call about the true nature of vampires... *not* evil, not if the "evil" isn't there already. (And LaCroix is *not* evil.) There is plenty of evil in the mortal world as well, something I'd conveniently ignored.

Ah... I conveniently ignored a lot of things. Fearing that drinking human blood would lure me back to killing, I ignored basic physiology and needlessly endangered all around me by drinking only cow blood. Without any human blood in my system, I was not only weakened, but the hunger for human blood had sharpened. I do drink it now, though still in moderation, even to mixing it with the other (a practice that LaCroix thinks is revolting, but he's not complaining a whole lot about my acceptance, you might know). And adding that to my diet has lessened that hunger - hence I am less dangerous around my mortal colleagues.

I have a confession to make in this regard. I'm apparently a rather good actor, because it was not apparent how really hungry for the blood of those around me I was. Natalie Lambert will never know how close she came to be bitten so many, many times. It was why I desperately had to keep her at arm's length, a fact that I still wish she could accept and just get over. Schanke's saving grace was his obsession with garlic, you might know! No, really, all the blood around me was a constant pounding at my senses, and weakened me overall. It's much better now. I don't even automatically look at Tracy's neck anymore. (A very bad reflex that I was careful to never let
her see.)

Don't get me wrong - I revere mortal life greatly, which is why I'm now amazed that I risked mortals around me by allowing myself to be that hungry all the time just for a little moral squeamishness about drinking human blood. I've been able to assure myself that the source I use now relies entirely on rejected blood donations - and fortunately in this day of concerns about the HIV virus and hepatitis, at least 60% of donations are rejected, luckily for us.

I want to be a good person - I guess I wouldn't be me if I didn't want that. But I accept now that I can do that as a vampire. My control is better now that my "diet" is more balanced (and no more starving or polluting my system with weird concoctions like Nat used to make me). I can use my powers for good - a terrific, creative challenge, in fact. LaCroix of course wonders why I bother, and I just smile and tease him, reminding him that challenge is the only thing that makes eternity bearable, that change is not just good, but utterly essential.

He's warming up, that LaCroix, ever so slowly. The Divia thing affected him profoundly, and I suspect that it will take him years to discover it all. We've settled into an old camaraderie that I'd frankly missed. There was a time a very, very long while ago in which he and I were even close, harmonious, and I hope we can finally go back to some of that eventually. One thing that I think might draw us closer - we both miss Janette a great deal, though we haven't talked about her at all since she left. I can feel LaCroix's loss - not just of Divia - but I think he misses Janette, too.

Okay, I can feel the questions - how are things between me and Natalie Lambert? I have great respect and affection toward Nat, but things are as they are. I have no business even contemplating a relationship with any mortal unless I seriously want to bring them across and I do not want to bring Nat across. I know her too well - she does not want it either even if it would let her be with me. The memory of Richard is quite fresh, and frankly there are a few signs I've seen in her that she might not end up much differently than her brother. It's a hard, cold reality that the transformation often transforms more than the physical self. I've seen it happen too many times in those I've made, which is why I don't think I can ever bring someone across again, not unless I can be more certain of the result. (Although paradoxically my one success was also a huge mistake, crossed signals having produced my daughter Serena who is fairly well-adjusted as a vampire, though still unhappy. I hope she can find some meaning in our life someday.)

I've had to lay down the law with Nat. She took it well on the surface like the trooper she is, but I know this has hurt her. I remind myself that hurt is inevitable like rain... there's just no way to avoid it, utterly no way. At the same time, I've been careful to remain friendly with her, and am attempting to use humor to take some of the sting off for her. (Although - and LaCroix will be the first one to tell you this - I don't actually do humor well, a mortal thing that often eludes me. But I try.) I think Nat is relieved that I'm not giving up my job and just tearing off to vamp my way across Ontario or something, and I've worked hard to maintain things - at least on the surface - as they have been. She only comes over to the loft rarely, and at those times I am careful to not drink blood around her. I do treasure her friendship and as for what she once wanted for us... it was never a possibility, and she needs to realize this. I think she's coming around. Myself... I know that whatever I might have once thought I wanted in that regard was no more than mortal fantasy, a state of denial that I was foolish to indulge.

I think about Janette... a lot. And hope to be reunited with her one day. For now, I don't want to be involved with anyone until I've had a long chance to just settle back into myself, like a couple decades. Although LaCroix has asked me to move on with him, I don't feel that it's necessary, and told him I wanted to stay. Surprisingly, he stayed as well, relocating the Raven to a new building so that the memories don't haunt him so much. The new location seems to actually be better, and business has been booming again. He's still broadcasting his Nightcrawler program from the new Raven, and his on-the-air philosophy is as realistic and as brutal as ever. Tracy still changes the radio station as soon as she gets in my car, however.

Vachon, as I'd expected, did regenerate, at least he's been spotted. Has Tracy seen him yet? Good question. Although LaCroix did, ah, block her memory, I have a feeling that seeing Vachon alive could jar that. He's apparently still around here, so he may be planning to see her when he's fully restored, if he's not already. I might have something to say to him about getting involved with her again, however. Tracy still knows about vampires, which is why I'm thinking about telling her about me. LaCroix, being his enigmatic self, merely says that it's my decision. Knowing him, that could mean anything! But I remember how well Tracy kept my secret about Janette, and I'm thinking she can be trusted. Not a decision to make likely.

As for other vampires, a couple of the older ones who perished with the retro-virus disease have already returned, and I think Screed may have as well. Urs... I don't know. It's possible she could regenerate yet.

LaCroix and I, of course, are the elders of the Community here in Toronto. At least by age. He's given a very wide berth here, although of course the Enforcers keep vigil on our secret. There's something of an... agreement apparently between LaCroix and the Enforcers, and I suspect that it included something concerning me in the past. Nevertheless, they've been quiet. My own reputation is slowly recovering though I'm well aware that my age and parentage had seen me a long way in recent years. Still, the looks of derision have stopped.

I still feel some questions - how am I, really? And how do I feel now? All right... I feel relieved, relaxed (more than I've been for a very long time), and content in small measure. I cannot indulge in achieving a true peace of mind because that would mean relaxing my vigil over myself and my hungers, and a vampire can never do that, not and survive. I've chosen to refrain from killing and physical violence against mortals, and hence my task is to bring this choice in line with my reality, who I am - a vampire. I feel... good, even powerful, but my resolve is that I use my powers to help others, not to take advantage of. Don't get me wrong - I use power where I deem it to be necessary, and that necessity is likely to be something that some mortals might argue against. I do not take advantage of a mortal for my own pleasure or use, but only where a higher purpose may be served, such as solving a crime or ensuring the safety of others. I've never been shy about using my powers in this way, only before now I was being a total hypocrite about it, at least by the mortal standards I was aspiring to follow.

The guilt... yes, I've set it aside at last. As long as I keep my perspective, keep my resolve to atone, I can let the crushing guilt go. There is utterly nothing I can do to change the past. Dwelling on it to obsession as I was, was harmful and dangerous. But that doesn't mean I don't take my responsibilities very, very seriously. I just don't dwell on what I can't go back and change.

I do still find life exciting... <g>

Ah, thanks for the support.

Yours, Nick

P.S. Marcia just reminded me about that, ah, female vampire that I, um, met when possessed by the demon. Have I made it up to her? <weg> Oh, yeah...

Marcia Tucker / / DKLoopmaster
The Original Dark Knightie / UFBEAR / Immortal Beloved
"And what about that vampire I was, um, choking that one time?" - Nick
"What about her?" - Marcia, grinning
"Okay, okay, I'll make it up to her." - Nick, grinning