Vampires III: Cassandra
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Clarke Myers, Part IClarke Myers was wealthy. He was not one of the wealthiest men in the world, but he was pretty close. At age forty-six, his personal fortune was six billion dollars. That is not bad for a man who started out in the mean and tough streets of Brooklyn with nothing to his name but the clothes on his back. Clarke had worked hard, obsessed with wealth and power. Twenty-hour days and six-day workweeks were not unusual for him. Even now, with his personal fortune made and established, he still kept up the insane working pace. He would work for six or eight weeks, then take a week or two off. He had, in the past, predicted a number of energy crises before they took place, and was in a perfect position to take full advantage of them when they occurred. Most of his money came from his speculations in energy and minerals, and Clarke rarely missed with his predictions. The beauty of Clarke's position was even though he was one of the wealthiest men in the world, no one knew who he was. He had amassed his fortune and kept a low profile throughout his life. There were those, however, in the corporate and financial world that knew of him and kept his counsel. His advice was invaluable. And, of course, he always charged a fee. But the general public had no idea who the man was who showed up at Caribbean and South Florida ports in a luxury yacht, based in New York City. Clarke was now taking a very rare month-long vacation. He was in Aruba; his yacht anchored in the harbor, and had rented a luxury villa just outside of Oranjestad. He had been doing a bit of research, but not enough to interfere with his partying. And, for the past two weeks, he had really partied. Guests were invited to the villa, where a band would perform, and everyone had a good time. Then a select few of those guests would be invited to a party on board his one hundred ten foot yacht, "Chrysalis II." At these parties, for the select few, the finest foods, beverages, and alcohols would be served, all paid for by Clarke. In addition, there were ample supplies of very pure cocaine and some of the finest marijuana on hand for those who enjoyed those drugs. Clarke knew how to party. Now, at nine in the evening, Clarke sat in his study onboard his yacht. He looked out at the beautiful night sky, and thought. There had been a three-day riot on the yacht, with a great deal of drugs and sex on board. The yacht slept eight, so accommodating the cocaine-fueled sex of his parties was not a problem. Clarke never participated in either the drugs or the sex; he merely observed. This three-day jag had been a fabulous party, and he believed he had found a solution to his problem. Three women, all in their early twenties, had partied for the full three days. They had gone back to their hotel only to pick up changes of clothes. They danced on deck, first in their bikinis, then topless, and finally nude. Clarke was fairly sure that they had sampled each other's bodies during the partying. Then they asked Clarke when he was heading back to New York because they were all from Westchester County. They wanted to ride with him instead of traveling coach on Air Aruba. Clarke agreed. The girls checked out of their hotel, moved into the yacht, and waited for him to set sail. Clarke smiled. It appeared as though the solution to his problem had presented itself. Clarke, since age thirty-two, had developed an unusual hobby. He began researching the occult. The more he researched, the more he became convinced that it was real and not fantasy. He decided that he would try and live forever, and, if not forever, at least much, much longer than the normal human lifespan. He pointed his research in that direction. He had discovered some very, very interesting things, and, for the past few years, had been putting the pieces in place to realize his ambition. Clarke Myers had never married. Marriage, family, and children were never ambitions of his. Perhaps it was his mean and almost parentless childhood in Brooklyn, and perhaps he was just a very cold man. At any rate, women were not for loving and spending a lifetime with. They were eye candy, to enhance his view and enliven his parties. On occasion, he would use a woman for her body. He would have sex with her, usually involving some mild bondage, two or three times and then discard her. Although he was not aware of it, Clarke considered women little more than playthings for man's pleasure. A wife would get in the way of his ambition, and that could not be allowed. Now, he had three beautiful and shapely females staying on his yacht. One was black, and lovely; a cheerleader type. One was an athletic blonde. The brunette was very pretty, with Bohemian features, and had a figure like a dancer. He was pleased. He smiled at the night sky. These women would do nicely. Clarke had an unusual object in his study on the yacht. He kept it on his desk, even though it very large. The object was moved to his office in Manhattan and placed on a pedestal when he left the yacht. It was a crystal ball, slightly larger than a bowling ball, and absolutely clear except for what appeared to be a small black crystal in the very center. It was mounted on a teak base, and the base was carved with unusual shapes and runes. Clarke had found it and purchased it in the city of Mumbai on a business trip to India. Most visitors, upon viewing it, remarked on what an unusual conversation piece it was, and Clarke encouraged people to take that point of view. Now, he looked at the ball, smiled, and lit a cigarette. He stepped out of his small office and on to the deck, smoking and taking in the night air. He had work to do. Tomorrow the Captain would sail for New York City, but before the yacht departed, there was a need to be attended to. Clarke grinned. He knew exactly what had to be done.