Jan shook herself. "I'm sorry," she said. "Tantrum over. What's the situation?"
"Fifteen told us you're investigating this vampire business, for Dr. Lee. Do you know what's going on?"
She shook her head. "Not yet."
"Well, it's becoming quite an issue. There have been a few unexplained incidents, and people have seen Åsa on her midnight prowls. Some people are really getting alarmed, and the whole thing is turning into a fad among some of the younger folks, which doesn't help. We'd like to issue a statement, saying that you're looking into it, but you're sure it isn't vampires."
"But that's not true. I can't rule out vampires until I know what really is going on."
Jack laughed as Doc said, "Wait a minute. You think there may really be vampires?" She laughed. "You don't believe in God, but you think there are vampires?"
"That's two different things," Jan said seriously. "I've thought and read about the question of god, and I've concluded that it's a lot of hooey. Until yesterday, I'd never thought about vampires at all."
"Hang on," Jack said, leaning back against the dresser. "Aren't vampires supposed to be damned in some way? If there's no God, how can anybody be damned?"
Jan turned to Ray. "You're the expert on sensational literature. Are vampire myths always religiously based?"
He drew deeply on his cigarette. "Definitely not. First of all, many vampire stories don't deal with the question at all. Vampires are made by older vampires, but there's often no mention of a First Cause. In other stories, it's a form of blood disease, not supernatural at all. In some stories, in fact, a vampire is created by a curse (which doesn't require belief in a deity, after all, only a belief in magic), and then cured by science. So, it's a bit of a hodge-podge. And, of course, real vampires, if there are any, are not obliged to follow the rules set down for fictional ones."
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