I Promised You Forever
by Tammy J Morrison
circa July 1997

Toronto, Ontario
Knight Family Mansion
June 24th, 2132

"Mr. Knight, we've managed to remove the anomylous genetic material from
the cells we'll use to clone yourself and you wife. Now it's just a matter
of forced growth, and reading the brain tapes you had made into the
clones." The scientist remarked to Nic
over the secured vidphone line.

"Good, and you've recieved the gratuity that I sent you, in order to keep
this all hush, hush." Nick asked straightening the line of his expensive
real silk suit.

"Of course, the money you've provided for research has more than covered
the necessary secrecy of you and your wife's disease." The man on the
other end smiled. Nick actually trusted this one, and that was amazing in
the world that had come to be in the years since he had met Natalie.

"Then proceed with the next phase of the project, Mr. Lasher", Nick bade
the man farewell and disconnected.

He turned from the phone to find Natalie standing behind him, idley
drinking crimson nectar from a cut crystal wine glass. She stood staring
at him then she broke the silence before it crushed them both, "So it's
finally happened. They've managed to remove the vampire from the clone
cells." Nick nodded. "I suppose I should be happy, I mean it's the start
of a new life for us, isn't it?"

"You know it, Natalie. You should be proud of what he's accomplished. If
it wasn't for your early work, we wouldn't have this cure." Nick strode
towards the bar and filled a glass with donated human blood. He traced
the wood grain patterns in the expensive teak the bar was made of. Their
house was one of the few self contained mansions left in Toronto, since it
had become a megopolis, and was filled to the brim with luxuries few
others could afford. Nick's bank account continued to brim over with
money and in a world where monetary might made right, there was little to
contain the two vampires save their own code of ethics. No one in this
world would ever question them, they could go on a killing spree if they
wanted and never have to worry about being brought to justice. Enforcers
were no longer even necessary, the community hid itself well amoungst the
body sculpted humans that pretended to be them.

Natalie watched Nick, her heart sinking into a pit of it's own despair.
Since this scheme had become Nick's grail, they had slowly been drifting
apart. "Since when did you stop calling me Nat, Nick?" Natalie's voice
whispered. She knew Nick heard her with his vampiric hearing, but he
didn't answer. Natalie continued to watch Nick drink his meal, and
thought about all that had happened.

She had continued to look for a cure after Nick had brought her across but
with technology changing too quickly and the need for her to stay hidden
as a vampire, she had quickly lost pace and had to give up. Nick hadn't
accused her, in fact he had comforted her when she had broken down into
tears, emotionally pummelling herself for failing him.. them. As time
wore on things changed to the point where Nick's money could be used
without arrousing suspicions and he funded a private laboratory at McGill
to find a cure. They had no success until young Dr. Lasher had come on
board and had suggested using cloning and brain tape technology to
recreate Nick and Natalie, as humans. Nick had grabbed hold of the idea,
like a rat to a piece of wood from a sinking ship. Natalie however had
her doubts, but had remained silent and went along with the plan. Now
however she couldn't bare the thought of what Nick wanted them to do and
she meant to make him understand.

"This isn't a cure, Nick", Natalie stated forcefully.

"Yes, it is. We've been all through this. We'll be human", Nick responded

"IT WON'T BE US", Natalie's calm facade had broken and she screamed at
Nick. "Those clones aren't us, Nick. They're copies of us. No matter
what you say they aren't us."

Nick stared at Natalie impassively.

"I won't kill myself when they're brought out, Nick. I can't." Natalie
brought herself under control and as calmly as possible stated her case,
"How do you think they'll feel knowing, they... we died by our own hands?
I can't do that to them."

"They won't know, Natalie, if that's what you're worried about. I had
faked memories implanted into the brain tapes that you finally found a
cure and the knowledge that we were going to kill ourselves erased.
They'll never know they aren't us."

Natalie shook her head, ruby tears streaming down her face and ran from
the room. Nick stood uncomprehending.

Toronto, Ontario
McGill University Genetics Laboratory
July 24th, 2132

One month later, Natalie and Nick made the trip to the lab.

"As per your instructions, the forced growth was stopped at age 35 in both
clones", Dr. Lasher commented, "We've scanned them for the additional DNA
your disease adds into your genetic structures and the both test clean.

"Thank you", Nick replied as he and Natalie observed their clones floating
in the growth tanks before them. The clone 'Natalie' was as beautiful as
he had remembered Nat as a human. The clone of himself had none of the
scars from battles as a crusader but otherwise was perfect in every

"If you'd care to move to the observatory, we'll transfer the brain taped
memories into them and then they'll be released to continue with your
lives. Then you can..." The doctor looked a little perplexed at what to
say next. "It's been a pleasure knowing you both."

Nick nodded and put his arm around Natalie's waist as they moved up to the
observatory. They sat in the form fitting seats, waiting patiently
watching. Then the techs began to drain the fluid from the tanks, opened
the front panel, and waited. 'Nick' opened his eyes first and stepped
down from the pedestal. A familiar boyish grin swept over his face as he
watched 'Natalie' open her eyes and gaze lovingly into his. He swept her
into his arms and they were escorted out of the laboratory.

"That's that then", Nick stood up and looked to where Natalie sat watching
the laboratory, "Are you ready Nat?"

"Finally, you call me that after so long", Natalie turned to face her
husband, her truest love, "No Nick, I'm not ready. I'm not going with
you. I can't kill myself." Blood tears left pale pink streaks down her
face as she gazed at him. "You promised me forever, but I release you
from that oath, Nicholas. I know that living as a vampire is hell for
you, but I can't blindly follow you this time. I just can't."

Nick stood in silent shock, "But Nat... We are together. Down there."

"No Nick, that's not us", Natalie smiled forelornly, "I wish it was. They
look like us, think like us but they aren't us."

Natalie turned from him and picked up her coat moving to the door. She
turned back forcing a smile.

"Besides someone needs to stay and keep LaCroix from 'destroying' them.
Maybe if I stay, he'll leave them to live in peace. I'll watch over our
'children', Nick. Our mortal lines will never falter."

A single ruby tear escaped his eyes.

"When we started this, I never imagined it would end like this", Natalie
shook her head and walked back to Nick wrapping her arms around him and
pulling his lips to hers, "I will love you forever, Nick Knight. Goodbye
for now.."

She walked from the room leaving Nick to his fate.

Victoria, BC
Moonlight Bay
July 30th, 2132

A few days later Natalie Lambert Knight and Lucius LaCroix stood on a
cliff, overlooking the starlit beach where two eerily familiar figures

"An interesting solution", LaCroix noted.

"Not the one I would have chosen, but I have to live with it", Natalie's
back stiffened as anguish washed over her. Niether her nor LaCroix had
felt anything from Nick since early yesterday morning. There was only one
assumption they could make, that he had carried through with his plan of
self immoliation, in the sun's rays.

LaCroix's arms gently wrapped around Natalie's body, "I know, mon chere.
I grieve with you." Natalie was wracked with uncontrollable sobs as she
turned in LaCroix's grasp and buried her head against his shoulder.
Bloody tears soaked the elder vampire's
shoulder as her body quaked with emotion.

Then there was an imperceptable flicker in the back of his mind, one so
small that in Natalie's current state of emotional upheaval she wouldn't
have noticed but he did.

"I promised you forever, Nat", a familiar voice whispered from behind, "I
guess I meant it more than I knew." Natalie's head came up like a shot
and there was Nick. "I love you, Nat, I don't need to be human if I have
you. I didn't realize that until you left me. We'll watch them grow old
together, and we'll protect our children." He held open his arms, which
Natalie rushed into after breaking from LaCroix's grasp. LaCroix turned
his attention back to the figures on the beach, 'An interesting solution,
indeed', the thought echoed in his mind.

The End