Set in the current century, "Issla" is a world of vampires, intrigue, and sexual congress. There are two species in the vampire race. 'True Bloods', or born vampires, can procreate and are born with natural powers that strengthen with age. Mortals that have been 'Turned', or 'Undead', are sterile and generally only have a few abilities.
Issla is an Egyptian Vampire of a royal family who hasn't left her pyramid in over 50 years. Due to the depredations of vampire hunters her Clan is almost extinct and Issla fears that the last three vampires of her clan may be the last of their race.
Awakening to find her Grandfather dying and afraid for her life, she flees to Beverly Hills in California. Knowing her time may be short, Issla begins to build her defenses.
Her grandfather’s murderer is frantically searching for her and the family relic she is in possession of. The 'Medallion Of Annubis' allows its wearer to travel to the world of the dead and leave with anyone they choose, forever changing history.
With the aid of her accountant, she is able to contact 'The Order Of The Serf' who are indentured mortal servants to the Vampire race. Through them she is sent a companion with whom she enters into a 'Blood Pact', making them a vampire.
Strategically enlisting all the help she can from the USA through Europe, she races to recruit allies for the inevitable showdown with her grandfather's powerful murderer.
The First Blood Pact
She cradled her dying grandfather in her arms as blood poured from the wound in his chest. No longer able to regenerate his wounds as the stake, the instrument of his demise, had nicked the lower portion of his heart. In this tomb, many hundreds of levels below an ancient pyramid, where they had called their ancestral home for many millenniums, she realized she would be the last of her kind. Her species was damned and not permitted the mortal gift of procreation without another of her kind. No matter how many mortals she turned into vampires, none of them could be her mate. Issla was alone for the first time in her three thousand years of life. For the past five hundred years all of her family had been hunted and murdered for just being what they were. In those past years grandfather and Issla had lived on the blood of animals and rats rather than the mortals that inhabited the lands.
As the last of the precious blood left her grandfather, he turned to dust before her eyes. She wept as she had done so many times before as her family had been killed off by the hunters. Fueled by the madness of the Church and fiction writers who told stories of horror, her clan had been hunted to the brink of extinction.
Was she the last one left? How could she be? she wondered. She hadn't left the confines of the tomb in nearly fifty years. Her grandfather went out last night and returned before sunrise in this deadly condition. He came into the tomb as he usually did, in the form of a blue mist and when he took form again he started to die. There had to be others of her kind somewhere and she decided she'd leave the tomb and never come back. She would leave her beloved Egypt and journey to the Americas where superstition and the fear of someone who looked different wouldn't matter. The last time she was in England it was 1951 and people of all forms were moving to the United States of America to get a fresh start. Her family was extremely wealthy and had many accounts in Switzerland and the Bank of England. The current year was 2001 and many things had changed. She would need a knowledgeable servant and companion to get to the places she wanted to see.
After placing her grandfather's ashes in an ancestral urn next to her father's, she gathered up the items she'd need to start her new life. The medallion he'd always worn around his neck she placed in a secret compartment in the tomb, where it would be safe for thousands of years. Opening an American fashion magazine for women, she flipped through the pages until she found something she liked and that would be comfortable to travel in. Through the use of some very basic magic that was innate to her species, she conjured up a pair of jeans, a long sleeve top, black leather boots, jacket, and a purse to match. Next came the proper undergarments. She excitedly dressed and looked at herself in a full length mirror. She laughed as she recalled the vampire novels she'd read that said the vampires cast no reflection. These and other myths about her kind were inside jokes, so to speak and really had no accuracy to them. The truths were that sunlight robbed them of their superior strength, magic and most of their innate abilities, but it didn't destroy them. The only things that could destroy one of her kind were the severing of the head or a stake through the heart. They appeared exactly like a human with brunette hair and pale blue eyes that darkened when the sun went down. They could eat any food, but only received nourishment from fresh blood, animal or human. Their bodies aged one year for every hundred and Issla had just turned thirty in human years. She was very beautiful by all standards and stood five feet ten inches tall and weighted 125lbs. In darkness she had the strength of ten men, could shape-shift into any bipedal or animal form and had a vast repertoire of illusionary spells, hypnosis and telekinesis. They were gifted with a power of instant regeneration of all parts of the body except the severed head and the heart.
Issla gathered up her Swiss passport and all the banknotes she and her grandfather possessed at the tomb. It totaled about sixty thousand pounds and she stuffed it in her jacket pockets. Turning herself into mist, she floated through the cracks in the pyramid and outside into the night air. She rode the air currents to the Egyptian airport and materialized in a rent-a-car store, ladies room. She left the bathroom and walked over to the ticket counter and bought a first class passage to Los Angeles, California.
After a long flight she touched down in LAX at ten-thirty in the morning, Pacific Standard Time. After converting her British Pounds into American Dollars, she observed the woman who had sat across from her hailing a cab and once the woman left, Issla did the exact same thing.
"Where to?" asked the cabby.
"Please take me to the finest hotel in the city," replied Issla.
"Well, there's the Ambassador here in Los Angeles or if you want the best, there's The Palms in Beverly Hills," said the cabby.
"The Palms it is, my friend. Let's get going," said Issla.
The trip lasted thirty minutes and they arrived at the hotel. Issla paid the fare and gave the cabby a twenty dollar tip. Issla walked over to the desk and asked for a room on the penthouse floor. The receptionist stated that there was only a VIP suite left and it was three thousand five hundred dollars per night. Issla said she'd need it for about five nights and paid her seventeen thousand, five hundred dollars cash in advance and told the woman she'd bill her meals and other items to the room.
"Do you have any luggage to carry up to your room?" asked the receptionist.
"No, not this trip, it was sort of sudden. Could you please have one of your bellmen show me up to my room now?" asked Issla.
The receptionist hit the bell and a good looking young man in a uniform came up to the desk.
"Henry, please show Ms. St. Claire up to penthouse five."
Henry bowed to Issla and said, "Please follow me Ms. St. Claire, it's the last elevator to the right." He took the keycards and led Issla to the elevator. After inserting the green elevator key, the doors opened and they stepped inside. He again inserted the green key into a slot below the floor numbers and the doors shut and the elevator rapidly ascended. When they arrived at the top floor, the doors opened and Issla stepped out followed by Henry. They walked down a long corridor to the last room and Henry inserted a white card key and the doors opened electronically.
The suite was huge to say the least. At a quick guess it was about three thousand square feet with a huge master bedroom and a large guest apartment. Looking out the windows you could see the entire city. She gave Henry a hundred dollar tip and told him that she would call if she needed anything. He bowed and left the room.
Issla looked around the room and was quite impressed with the furnishings and comfort of her temporary residence. The next thing she needed to do was take a shower and get to a local business bank. Thirty minutes later she left her penthouse and took the elevator down to the lobby and went out the front doors to hail a cab.
A man rushed up to her from the hotel and said,
"You have full privileges of the hotel limousine service, Ms. St Claire. Please allow me to call one for you. My name is Deven James, I'm the concierge here at the hotel and I can arrange anything, you only need to call from your room."
"Thank you, Deven, I'm kind of new to all this. I haven't left my chalet in Switzerland for a long time."
He smiled as the limo pulled in front of them. Issla gave Deven a hundred dollar tip and smiled as the chauffer opened the door for her and closed it.
"I'm Jonathon, your chauffer, Ms. St. Claire. Where may I drive you today?" he asked.
"Which is the largest business bank in town and the closest to the hotel?" she asked.
"That would be Wells Fargo Bank on Camden Drive, my lady," he replied.
Issla smiled and said, "Well, that will be the first stop, then." They drove for about ten minutes and parked the limousine in front of the bank.
"Would you like an escort, Lady St. Claire?" he asked.
"Yes, Jonathon and please arrange for me to meet the Vice President when we get in."
"Consider it done, my lady," he replied.
They walked up the stairs together, Jonathon opened the doors for Issla and asked her to wait on the couch at the reception area. Within moments Jonathon returned with a very well dressed female bank executive.
"Good afternoon, Lady St. Claire, my name is Julie Fontaine and I'm the Executive Vice President of the bank. How may we assist you today?"
Issla stood and held out her hand and said, "I'm Issla St. Claire. I've just arrived here from Egypt and I am looking to set up residence in your fine city. First I need to set up an account here and wire transfer a large sum from my Swiss bank into it. Can you help me with that? Oh, and if possible, I'd like you to arrange a personal account executive to represent me."
Ms. Fontaine shook her hand and said, "I can get you set up right now if you'll follow me to my office."
"Jonathon, thank you for your help. Please wait in the car for my return," said Issla.
Jonathon bowed and went to the car.
Issla followed Julie to her office and sat down. She pulled out ninety thousand in one thousand dollar bills and handed it to Julie who counted out the funds. She took out a large form and asked Issla for her passport.
"You are Swiss, Ms. St. Claire, I was expecting you to give me an Egyptian passport," said Julie.
"I was there for my father's funeral. I live in Switzerland, but I'm thinking about settling down here. Maybe you can show me the ropes," replied Issla, smiling.
"I'd be honored. You might want to visit the Swiss consulate in the next day or so and see about an immigration visa. Meanwhile, let's get your banking done," said Julie.
After filling out a bunch of forms the accounts were opened, a savings account with ten thousand in it and a checking account with eighty thousand. After using Julie's telephone to call her family attorney in Switzerland, Issla asked him to arrange a transfer of ten million dollars into her new savings account in Beverly Hills. The wire transfer would be completed as soon as the bank opened in Switzerland. Julie handed Issla a new checkbook, savings passbook and two ATM-VISA cards, each having a daily limit of five thousand dollars each per day to withdraw. After the money transfer was received, the cards would be made to withdraw up to fifty thousand dollars per day and both accounts would be linked to cover any transaction.
"Because of the amounts of your accounts, I'm going to be your personal account manager. If you need anything, don't hesitate to call me on my personal line. My home phone number is also included on this business card," said Julie, handing the card to Issla.
"Thank you Julie, please notify me at penthouse number five at The Palms, as soon as the money has arrived," replied Issla as she stood up to leave.
Julie and Issla shook hands and Issla departed for the limousine.
Seeing her approaching, Jonathon got out of the limo and ran around to open the car door for his patron.
"I hope everything transpired to your expectations, Lady St. Claire," he asked.
"Quite well, Jonathon, thank you for your valued assistance. Now I'd like to do some clothes shopping. Where are the finest stores in Beverly Hills located?" replied Issla.
"That would be Rodeo Drive, My Lady, shall we go?" he asked.
"Sounds like fun, let's start at the beginning of the street and work our way up," giggled Issla, like a child.