She thought she was the last vampire.
The Last Vampire - Christopher Pike
1994, 193 pages
Alisa Perne - older than you, stronger than you, smarter, faster, better than you, and she's seen waaay cooler stuff
Yaksha - born of a demon
PI Mike Riley - a detective investigating Alisa
Ray Riley - Mike's son
Seymour Dorsten - school nerd with a secret
Krishna - yeah, that Krishna
Alisa was born in 3000 BCE. She was originally called Sita, but she uses a crapload of aliases in the book, so I'm sticking with Alisa because... that's what I'm gonna do. When Alisa was 7, a disease, pretty much swine flu times a million, infected her village. Her best friend Amba, who was 14 years old and 8 months pregnant, died of the disease - along with lots and lots of other people.
A dark priest shows up with an idea. Everyone is in a panic, so they listen to his shit even though they woulda ran his ass outta town straightaway under normal circumstances. His hypothesis is that a demon brought the disease & they have to get rid of the demon.
They decide to use Amba's body for their ceremony. She wakes up, except she's a hideous demon with a ridiculously long tongue, which she uses to lick the skin off of the priest's face.
After she lays back down dead, her stomach is still moving. The gathered townspeople have different ideas about what to do. Like, it's a baby. But it's probably evil. Except what if it's not, how would you feel then, murderer? Anyways, they take the baby out and it's a boy! Alisa names him Yaksha.
Years pass, and Alisa is now 15. Yaksha is 8, but he's the same size and intelligence as she is. Actually, he's the most beautiful, generous, and smart person in the village - and only 8 years old!
Suddenly, the townspeople who were there when Yaksha was born start to disappear, one by one. There were 5 nobodies, Alisa's dad, and Alisa, who had snuck/sneaked into the ceremony. When Alisa's dad was the last man left, he asked Yaksha to please leave town. He was creeping people out. Soon after, both Pops and Yaksha went missing.
So, time passes. Alisa grows up and meets a guy, Rama. They get married and have a baby, Lalita. It's all good until one night when Yaksha shows up. He pretty much immediately makes it clear that he's not only a violent creep, he's evil too.
He gives Alisa two choices: 1) Join him and become like him, or 2) Watch her family die, and then be killed as well.
So, Yaksha is a jackass and she hates him, but clearly she's gonna have to go with him. He performs a blood-mixing, which gives Alisa a crazy orgasmic reaction, as well as turning her into a vampire. It's like Yaksha is her god now. Sorry, Vishnu, you're like totally forsaken.
You know the catch though. Alisa needs blood to survive. And she doesn't wanna go there. She becomes weak and tortured, until Yaksha brings her a half-dead boy whose veins are already open. It's too easy, and she succumbs.
Another 50 years pass and the vampire colony starts hearing a lot of rumours about a guy, Krishna, who can slay demons and grant bliss. The whole "slay demons" thing puts off most of the vampires, but Yaksha is still young and cocky and he wants to check Krishna out.
The vampires march toward Krishna's 'hood. Nearly there, a brutal bow & arrow attack takes out most of the vampires, but the survivors keep moving. They meet Krishna's #1 babe, Radha, in the woods and take her hostage. Yaksha threatens to kill her unless Krishna will go one-on-one with him. Krishna agrees, but he wants to choose the type of combat.
Krishna challenges Yaksha to a flute duel. Yeah, the woodwind. They have to play for control of a pit of snakes. Like, keep them away from yourself and make them attack your opponent. The deal is that if Krishna wins then Radha lives and Yaksha must take a vow of Krishna's choosing. If Yaksha wins, he gets to keep Radha for whatever purposes he pleases.
So they play. Yaksha is good, but Krishna is magical. He wins. He has private words with Yaksha, and then speaks to Alisa. He promises her his protection and grace if she never makes another vampire. And remember, where there is love, there is grace.
It becomes clear pretty quickly that Yaksha's vow had to do with killing all of the vampires he'd made. Alisa flees, and lives a fun and colourful life throughout many times and places in history. Until the present.
Shit gets stirred up when a private investigator, Mike Riley, calls her to his office. He wants to know what her deal is. She's one of the richest people in the world. She's only, like, 18 years old but she's got deals and investments going back decades. She owns property all over the world. What gives?
Alisa kind of freaks out when Mike won't say who hired him to investigate her and totally kills the guy. You know, she's got the reflexes of the mother of all cats. Which is the goofiest description since Rela said her smile was a bar of white chocolate. Just before Mike took his final breath, he told Alisa that a man named Slim hired him. Seriously though, he was under extreme duress. Not only was his chest crushed and he was about to die, Alisa was threatening a picture of his son.
After setting up a new ID, Alisa poses as a transfer student and goes to all of Riley Jr.'s classes. He may have info she can use, plus that picture of him was pretty cute. She meets him in history class. Hey, did you know that Alisa was in France during the Revolution when Marie Antoinette was guillotined? But Alisa's been shot, hanged, and even crucified on four separate occasions. God, I didn't know she was a one-upper. Marie Antoinette died! I think you can let her win this one.
In gym class, Alisa makes the acquaintance of Seymour Dorsten. That's a lame name, but I could accept it... until I read that he wears that style of glasses that makes it look like you've got humongous freaking elephant eyes. It shoulda been Seymour Dorksten. Hahaha. Alisa suggests changing his name to "Marlboro", or "Slade", or "Bubba". Because these are all cool. (?)
Seymour gives Alisa deja vu. They're connected somehow. She can sense that his blood is sick and that he doesn't have long to live. She guesses it's AIDS.
Next Alisa has biology with Ray Riley. She asks him if he will help her move her furniture into her new place tonight. He doesn't really want to, but eventually agrees. Alisa notices that he has the same spirit in his eyes as Rama, her beloved husband.
Ray shows up at 10 PM to help with the furniture. Alisa gets an idea to seduce him in the hot tub. God, Christopher Pike was into that waaayy before Blind Date made it popular. "Many men and women have swooned just from the brush of my lips", so Alisa doesn't expect to have any problems getting into Ray's drawers.
But wait! First, hey, Ray, don't you think you should call your dad and tell him where you are? This is a different tactic. I guess Ray's dad is "out of town" on a case, but he hasn't called in a few days. Hmmm, wonder what's up with that. Yo, Alisa, any ideas?
Alisa suggests that they go to his dad's office to check his computer and see what cases he's working on, and then maybe Ray can figure out where he is. Ray's down with the idea, so they go. In the office, "the computer is equipped with a mouse." Oy. Ray boots up the system. When Alisa spots the file with her name on it, she fakes fright at a nonexistent noise and sends Ray to go check on it.
She jams the door and copies the files onto floppy disks before erasing most of the contents of the Alisa Perne file. After she lets Ray back in, he looks at the computer files for a few minutes, then Alisa plays tired and asks to be taken home.
Alone at home, Alisa reads the file. Riley's contact was called Slim, but only a Swiss fax number is included. There's no other info about him. She writes him a fax offering to meet somewhere. They arrange to meet at the pier... tonight... alone.
At the pier, Alisa waits until a man and woman approach her. Armed creeps surround the pier. Slim wants to take Alisa for a drive. From his behaviour she figures he must not know she's a vampire, so she decides to go along with stuff until she can meet Slim's superior.
The captors are pretty tough, but stupid. Alisa tricks them with the old "I have to pee... and I have my PERIOD!!!!" lie, and then kills a bunch of them when they stop at a gas station. She lets Slim live just until he describes his boss... it's Yaksha!
After disposing of Slim, Alisa calls Seymour Dorsten. At her request, he brings a change of clothes to her and then drops her off at her home.
Alisa thinks that Yaksha may try to get to her through Ray, so she gets him and brings him back to her place. They finish what they started earlier in the hot tub and it's awesome. It's almost dawn, and Ray sleeps all day. Alisa has a gun, but knows that it won't stop Yaksha.
When Ray wakes, Alisa tries to send him away for his own safety. He's better off away from her. He won't leave, so she tells him that she killed his father. And that she's a 5000 year old vampire. And that she knew Krishna. Krishna is protecting her, but also devastating her by making her lose Ray. Ray isn't protected, and should totally leave before shit gets ugly.
But it's too late. Yaksha shows up outside, playing the flute. Alisa approaches him. He explains that he is tired and wants to die. And to die with Krishna's grace, he must kill all the vampires. But if Krishna is protecting Alisa, she's going to have to break her word to him and make a vampire so Yaksha is justified in killing her.
Alisa isn't going for it, but Yaksha wasn't making a suggestion. He plays a note on his flute that shatters the window Ray is standing next to in the house. Ray topples out and falls 60 feet to the cement driveway. His head is crushed and his back is twisted, but he's still alive. Alisa has only one way to save him: mix their blood and make him a vampire.
While Ray rests, Alisa visits Seymour. She tells him all about herself. And that Yaksha will be coming back at dawn to kill her and Ray. Seymour has an idea to make it look like they will all die together, but actually she and Ray will survive. Alisa runs with it and concocts a dynamite plan to coordinate 2 separate explosions: the first to throw herself and Ray clear of the second, killer blast to take out Yaksha.
Seymour tells Alisa that he got AIDS from a tainted transfusion after an accident. Alisa mixes a portion of her blood with his, hoping it will heal him without turning him into a vampire. Or killing him. That would suck, too. Suck. Vampire. Well, I liked it.
Alisa spends the night preparing her plot. Ray is like a "vampire on acid", all mesmerized with his newly sharp senses. When Yaksha arrives, Alisa shows him the explosives. Yaksha is down with all of them getting blown up at once. The fuse has a 3-minute timer. Like Boggle. While they wait for it to burn down, Yaksha turns on Alisa and says that he knows what she's up to. Alisa begs Yaksha to let Ray live. He's so young.
Yaksha realizes that Alisa loves Ray, and that the only reason she agreed to go with him so many years ago was because of her love for Rama and Lalita. Where there is love, there is Krishna's grace, so Yaksha shoos them out of the house before the detonation.
But - whoa, dude - a piece of shrapnel from the explosion pierces Alisa through the heart as she flees. Ray tries to pull it out. Alisa feels so much pain and love, and maybe she'll die. But maybe she won't.
So, what's up? I liked this book better than I remembered. One thing I don't like is my long weekend being all rainy and cold. People who live in civilized climates have no idea how awesome they have it. In other words, brrrrrrr. But anyway, I believe I promised many Last Vampires in rapid succession, so I'm outta here.