Evolution is real. Sometimes it’s the smallest mutation that makes the biggest difference in the evolution of a species. The longevity of human beings, as we are today, has been the subject of debate for decades. The two time periods that have been generally accepted are between thousands of years and the millions. However, one thing about humans cannot be disputed– mutation. From the deformed offspring of radiation to the natural selection process; mutation can be evolutionary. A natural selection mutation occurred thousands of years ago, in a distant land, when civilization was young. In that mutation sparked the essence of legends.
In the ancient land of Mesopotamia, humans began civilization as we know it. The elderly told wild and imaginative stories to entertain and scare the children. A favorite among the teenagers to scare the children at night were about human parasites, humans who drank the blood of other humans to live. They told stories of creatures with superhuman strength, animal-like agility and who were just plain bloodthirsty. The teenagers and to an extent the adults thought of it as a competition. Whoever could make up the scariest story, to scare the most kids, would be declared the winner. Sometimes, though, life imitates art.
Early records state that mutation was not uncommon in the old times. Some mutations, or birth defects, were visible early on: Cyclopia, spina bifida, Muscular dystrophy. However, because in the old days there was no science to do blood tests, many diseases went by unnoticed: Sickle Cell Anemia, Cystic fibrosis and even the unnamed mutation that caused human parasites.
The human parasites that the elders entertained about emerged in small villages on the outskirts. Unlike the stories, where the results would be a few children scared of the dark, these incidents ended in massacres. The human parasites began their bloodlust at young ages, primarily before puberty. They would attack slaves or weary grandparents, easy targets to harness their blood. It was clear to the ancient people that these children, and the few teenagers that would live in the wilderness, needed blood for survival.
Due to their bloody needs their reputation grew sour in their own communities, sometimes causing a massacre of the children, even with only one having the mutation. Stories of young children of the night having strength like oxen spread from village to village, and grown men flying like a bird in darkness were strong among the elders in the cities. Stories once used for entertainment and contests of wit turned into cautionary tales. Fear, resentment, anger and confusion were the emotions associated with these mutants; so they named these mutants Nosferatu. For decades no one had any idea how to handle them.
During the day they hid away, as if the sun was their one weakness and were let loose at night with an uncontrollable hunger of blood and flesh. Although the mutation was genetic it was also passed to those were lucky enough to survive an attack by the Nosferatu, but many weren’t so lucky. The young Nosferatu tore at the flesh, to cause more blood to spill and even ate some of the hanging flesh, even as monsters they were prone to their childish dining ways. It was the adults who didn’t indulge in the cannibalism, just the survival need of blood. The older they were, the more precise their consumption was. Some governments saw the potential in the creatures.
Though they were feared by all who knew about them, some empires, such as ancient Assyria and Ur, used them during war time as a secret weapon, by letting them feast on their enemies. The cities let the Nosferatu live peacefully in darkness, as long as they drank the blood of their enemies. However, civil unrest took hold of Ur, as fear stemmed from the thought that the Nosferatu could not truly be controlled, that they were too strong. In response to his public and the fact that Ur had no known enemies at the time, he ordered all Nosferatu to death.
Still being weak parasites, only a few were able to escape to other villages, the rest of their kindred were slaughtered like cattle at the altar. Many headed west to Europe and fewer went farther east, settling in the mountains of Asia.
Slowly, though the progressing centuries, the Nosferatu became stronger, faster and eventually even extraordinarily durable. They were strong, even before they feasted on blood. They mastered what their predecessors couldn’t. Quite simply, they were hunters!
Only when they have been starved for long periods of time did they appear to weaken. Some eyewitness accounts from survivors, the starved Nosferatu swayed and weren’t as agile as if they were full. Yet they were still very strong and durable. Was it starvation or just another hunting tool? Their ears could pick up sounds from a mile away, their eyes could see just as far and their skins were so sensitive they were able to trace any marking. Many believed them to be invincible. Yet they had a strange fear of the sunlight. That lone fear birthed legends of them being unholy, or even demonic.
As the modern centuries came to pass, the game of hunting became popular. Elephants, lions, gorillas and alligators were one prize; the biggest prize was to have the head of the newly renamed vampires. Many big game hunters, as well as small time poachers vied for such a prize, but most never came back. Only a few hunters were able to find their weakness: If you take one of their heightened senses away, they are no longer invincible, much in the design of a Domino effect. Their mutation is the key to their power. If one blinds them, render them deaf, ruin their sense of smell or even make them go numb then the vampires can longer defend themselves.
Renown German hunter and nobleman Baron Rayner von Kantor is perhaps the most famous to exploit those weaknesses in the 14th Century. Legend tells of his many tales of hunting big game, as the much sought after vampires. In those vampiric legends, he found the lair in which his prey slept in during the day. Von Kantor would wait in the lair at night while the vampire was gone feasting and growing stronger. As a big game hunter and narcissistic nobleman, he loved a daring challenge. He and his assistants would then destroy the lair, giving the sun more opportunities to break in.
The vampire would return to rest just before dawn would break. That is when von Kantor would startle them and begin a fight to stimulate their heightened senses. Luckily he never traveled alone and one of his assistants would then open up the lair and let the breaking dawn sunlight in, causing the vampire to go blind from the intense light. In their weakened state he’d easily kill them by driving an iron stake through their chest to cause massive blood loss. Afterwards he’d burn the bodies, which led to the assumption that the sun burnt vampires.
But how can vampires be the pinnacle of evolution if they can’t even emerge into the daylight? Evolution took course once more. The vampires learned to suppress their heightened senses during the daylight, to be like their prey. Once when the sun goes down, they became fully powerful beings. Evolution has blessed this once weak and mutated race into a race of superior hunters. Stalking their prey during the day, while blending in like Déjà Vu, and once when the prey turns to rest, they strike.
They adapted into the industrial world perfectly. Perhaps so perfectly that the industrialist society, with its night life just as active as its day time, was engineered by them, as the ultimate hunting tool: a bio dome for their prey
Vampires are real.