Daniel McKee

Just who are the Scarlet Order vampires? I thought it might be fun to introduce them over the next few weeks. To mix things up and keep it interesting, I’m going to introduce the vampires in the order I created them. Daniel McKee was first introduced as the protagonist of the short story “Vampire in the City of Crosses” published in 2001. That short story along with two others were reworked into chapters of the novel Vampires of the Scarlet Order published in 2004. Here is a montage of Daniel as imagined by artist Steven Gilberts:

Yesterday was Astronomy Day, which is another reason it seems appropriate to start with Daniel. When we meet him, he’s operating telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory. In fact, he’s been a night assistant, helping astronomers, for nearly a century. His first job was assisting Percival Lowell observe the canals on Mars near the end of the eighteenth century. One night at the observatory, he was attacked by a vampire and left for dead. In the struggle, Daniel consumed some of his attacker’s blood and became a vampire himself. Being a creature of the night and a loner from the beginning, Daniel adapted easily to his life as a vampire.

The Scarlet Order vampires are all shapeshifters. In Vampires of the Scarlet Order we see Daniel prepare to hunt:

    Most of the astronomers who operate telescopes walk to Kitt Peak’s cafeteria and eat a stale, prepared meal. Fresher fare was on my menu. I left the building and looked around to see that I was alone; then looking up at the clear, crisp Arizona night, I stretched out my arms. I felt bone and skin lighten and become more leathery. My hearing improved and my sight went gray. I was a bat, able to glide on the air.

Daniel’s life was largely routine until he moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico to run a small observatory. On a hunting trip downtown, he ponders the City of Crosses:

    I found Las Cruces to be a charming town with one exception. There were, in fact, far too many crosses in the city. In the northeast, there is a neighborhood called ‘three crosses.’ Three metal crosses overlooked the main street. In the center of the city, in front of the downtown plaza, lay three concrete cross-shaped flowerbeds.

Soon afterward, he meets Mercy Rodriguez and learns just why vampires fear crosses. We’ll learn more about Mercy in the next post.

Vampires of the Scarlet Order is available in the following formats:


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