Friday, July 15, 2011

Sam Simeon, Vampire Hunter

It is dark days in Gorilla City. Though the Great Usurper Grodd has been thwarted and banished from the city, his shadow of domination still looms large. When Grodd wrested control of that fabled lost city of super-intelligent apes from its rightful King Solovar, he did so through fear, intimidation, and mental domination. It's still unknown how deeply Grodd's mental tinkerings went - some post-hypnotic suggestions go deep and even the best and brightest of Gorilla City's Thought Police can't dig them all out.

Those who were closest to the Court of the Usurper, whether by choice or not, are now pariahs. Those that sided willingly have avoided Grodd's fate of exile, but are condemned to wear the crimson collars of submission, reduced to the lowest rungs of society. Even those who were dominated into assisting Grodd have felt their fortunes falter. Such a gorilla cannot be trusted in any position of power or authority because who knows if or when something will trigger a dormant command.

Such is the fate of Esamuel, son of Nnamdi, grandson of Solovar. Before the Usurper, Esamuel was a rising star of Gorilla City's police force. Though the son of royalty and, in theory, a possible heir to the throne, Esamuel proved his worth stopping the illegal export of gorilla technology to the world beyond the Obfuscation Field. Unfortunately, no good deed goes unpunished, so when Grodd took the throne he used his potent mental control abilities to twist Esamuel into becoming his Chief of Police. Though he has willingly submitted to multiple mind scans, Esamuel's career as a policegorilla is over. His mind is tainted by Grodd's past presence, he can't be trusted, no matter who his grandfather is.

Disgraced but unbowed, Esamuel set up shop as a private detective in Gorilla City. Grodd helped reveal the cracks in gorilla society and now crime is on the rise. Publicly, the restored Solovar administration will not admit it, but they need help. So Esamuel tackles those cases too dicey, to politically sensitive for the fragile government to take on. Weird stuff, because Grodd dealt in the weird.

It is on one of these cases that Esamuel discovers Grodd's last curse upon Gorilla City. Knowing he would be exiled and forever denied access to his homeland, Grodd committed an unspeakable act: he allowed contagion to seep into the city, the contagion known as vampirism. As it turns out, Gorilla City is the perfect haven for vampires - the Obfuscation Field blocks that element of the sun's light that is harmful to vampires. Sudden changes of behavior can be written off as after effects of Grodd's post-hypnotic suggestions. And those that go missing? Well, Grodd had many loyal followers, perhaps they're finding ways to rejoin their lord in exile?

Esamuel knows the truth of the matter, but the government will not listen. Admitting to another internal threat so soon after the Usurper would be the end of the city. Besides, how can they trust the word of Grodd's Chief of Police? No matter how many times Esamuel proves his mental fortitude, that doubt will always remain.

So it is up to Esamuel to fight a one gorilla war against the creatures of the night in Sam Simeon, Vampire Hunter (#39/54 - Half way there! Edit: So excited, I never added it to the title list!). Somewhere hidden in Gorilla City is the Master Vampire, but who is it? Though gorilla technology and mental powers are advanced, they have yet to find a reliable way to root them out. Even the Auspex herself, the chief mentalist of the city, cannot identify a vampire by peering into its mind. The disciplines taught to gorillas at a young age, those skills that give them strict control over their own mental powers, work just as well when it comes to keeping one's vampiric nature in check. Combine that with the increased strength, resilience, and other abilities of a vampire, and you have a formidable opponent.

The truths Esamuel discovers about how deep the vampiric infection goes will shake Gorilla City to its core. Plus, can you imagine a host of gorilla vampires? I sure can. That's going to be awesome. And we haven't even got to the gorwolves yet.

Esamuel's adventure will eventually lead him from Gorilla City and out into the wider world. Seeking atonement for his actions committed while under Grodd's control, Sam (as his partner/sidekick ex-Cape Town police woman Awa Eto'o call him) will travel the world hunting the creatures of the night.

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