A Ruby for Victor
Ronald C. Tobin
PROFILE: PLAZ SESCHNI
LITERAL TRANSLATION: Order of the Red Suns
COMMON NAME: Order Ruby
FOUNDER: Dr. Nestri Vas Juliuan
RESEARCH FUNDING BY: Vas Tiniklin Consortium, Naza Ewalina PPA
HISTORICAL OVERVIEW: Upon our arrival on Terra, third planet in the Sol system and Mars, fourth planet in this system, we discovered remains of settlements and defenses that had been left behind
by another space faring race. Our research teams proved via DNA samples that this race was not indigenous to Terra. From what we have surmised, their bases and settlements on Terra were overwhelmed by a suicide attack staged by a ‘defeated’ foe. The assault was so devastating that they
abandoned this system within twenty standard years of its occurrence.
In a testament to how well their facilities were constructed, five largely intact research stations were found, by our exploratory teams. This was roughly five thousand Terran years after this race abandoned the system. One was
found near Olympus Mons on Mars, two were found on the landmass now commonly referred to as Asia, one in what is now North America and one on the landmass we settled, Khaznotornii, now commonly referred to as Atlantis. [Archival Note: It is still a mystery as to the why of that. It’s
certainly not terribly imaginative to name a sunken landmass after an ocean.] The one on Khaznotornii was so intact, when the teams were able to get through the seals the interior was still pristine. This was the facility where we found the ancient revenants that led to the research
that brought Plaz Seschni into being.
The discovery of the two revenants was made in rather dramatic fashion. According to Squad Leader Tessina Na Plitkna: “We had been having a rather uneventful walk down a corridor. Doors slid open showing offices and research labs.
Air inside was stale but breathable. We reached a door that had a keypad and words that looked like a warning. [Archival Note: It was a warning. After we translated the Muavian script, we learned what it said. Basically, ‘keep out – active revenants inside.’] Point took out the
hand held and it figured out the entry code in a couple minutes. Once the door slid open, we heard a sudden moan and a long hiss. Point stepped into the room and then, seconds later, came flying out in pieces. Suddenly these two vaguely humanoid creatures appeared at the door. We opened
fire and destroyed them both, determined to not lose additional personnel. We did not know at the time that we had slain the two remaining living Muavian revenants. We didn’t much care either, as it was either us or them.”
Fortunately the facility contained several well preserved deceased revenants. When we deciphered the Muavian language (not difficult as they used an archaic version of what is generally called Galactic Standard) we discovered that
their research consisted entirely of trying to find a way to reverse the change. That is, make revenants normal again. In about five standard years, our research teams concluded that the change was irreversible.
Our research scientists sifted through other projects, setting up our own stations and leaving only caretaker crews in the Muavian facilities. This state of affairs continued for seventy standard years until two of the PPA
consortiums (the military arm of Fleet) took a renewed interest into the case of the revenants. What they saw was the potential for a very powerful weapon. The records showed that the revenants possessed incredible strength and, in spite of the mindless rage, exhibited interesting
psychic potential. Also of note was that they could regenerate limbs and, save for direct sunlight, were very difficult to kill.
Thus our research began. The initial goal was to stop the mindless rage upon transformation. If this could not be done, the revenants would not have practical use. We did not need terror weapons, which is all they would have been.
As expected, the first experiments were disastrous. Sadly, to determine the correct chemical matrix, live subjects had to be used. For this, computer simulations were completely worthless. That was because it was not possible to simulate the effects of the chemicals on a human body in a
meaningful fashion. The cost of success was a staggering body count, one that made all but two partners pull out. As such, they are the only two that share the credit.
After nearly twenty five standard years of research there was a breakthrough, the one that led to the establishment of Plaz Seschni. Dr. Nestri Vas Juliuan developed what had been called Serum XVF-1065-VB-9099. After a series of
near successful experiments, Dr. Vas Juliuan was certain he had the right combination. So certain, in fact, that he made himself the subject for that critical experiment. Suffice it to say it worked, and Order Ruby came into being at that moment.
After becoming a vampire, Dr. Vas Juliuan continued his research for another 1125 Terran years, hoping to perfect the serum and overcome what he regarded as shortcomings of the transformation. Ultimately he despaired of the
effort. Never liking the notion of having to drink blood and not being able to walk unprotected in the daylight, he ended his days by walking out of a spaceship airlock without a suit.
So, what was accomplished by this research? A Plaz Seschni vampire has these characteristics:
Approximate strength of ten to fifteen strong men within a week of transformation. This slowly increases over time.
Enhanced psychic abilities. This is not limited to telepathy and telekinesis. Over time, these grow far more powerful. These are considered by many to be the most valuable assets to a vampire. Strength can be negated, but not
Immunity to disease. This appears universal, on Terra and on other known planets. There has been speculation about a disease vector that could harm a vampire, but if it does exist we have yet to run across it.
End of bodily aging. This has led to speculation that vampires are immortal. It is clear that the span of existence is increased indefinitely by the transformation; however it is clear that vampires are very much living
creatures and thus cannot be truly immortal. However, there has not been a recorded case of one dying from natural causes…
Blood thirst. This factor bothered Dr. Vas Juliuan the most. He noted how it lessened over time, but he regarded the matter as somehow ‘shameful.’ For the first few years it is known to take a liter of blood (roughly a bit
over two pints) per day to slake the thirst. This swiftly drops off to a half liter a day and slowly continues to decline. It is never necessary to kill to feed. The young are taught to hit two or more marks a night.
Sensitivity to direct sunlight. This, too, gradually tapers off over time, something that Dr. Vas Juliuan did notice but he thought it was too slow. A mere twenty Terran years after his demise, an ointment was developed that
gave protection to those wishing to go outside in daylight in an atmosphere. It has to be direct sunlight to be harmful. A few people found that out the hard way when they bounced sunlight off of a mirror.
Thus was the first Plaz of vampires created. Had egos and governments not interfered, Ruby would be the only Order. The military did get their weapon, although many vampires choose scholarly pursuits and find
fulfillment in other fields of endeavor. Music appeals to some, as does archaeology, space exploration, even bookkeeping for some unknown reason…
PROFILE COMPLETE – ARCHIVE