By Owen Quinn author of the Time Warriors and Zombie Blues
Available now on Amazon. Get your copy by clicking on this link. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Time-Warriors-Venom-Owen-Quinn/dp/1478281863/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+time+warriors+venom&qid=1607764592&sr=8-1
One of my earliest memories is going to my uncle’s house late at night. They were watching one of the old Dracula black and white movies starring Bela Lugosi. I was terrified and they turned it off just for me.
However, scared as I was I couldn’t help but be lured back by these movies. The more I watched them the more questions I had about vampires. Barlow in Salem’s Lot absolutely terrified me as a kid and still does right up until this very day. But I wondered why he moved as he did. Why send Straker ahead to establish a foothold before consuming the entire town? It was clear he had travelled all over Europe repeating this behaviour. But to what Purpose? He had enough for an army of vampires to go forth and convert all humans but that wasn’t his plan. So what was his purpose? Why did Dracula always go after virgins? Did they have signs on their heads? Did vampires have a ‘I’ve not had sex ever’ radar? What was their purpose? Skulk about the world in secret feeding on the innocent didn’t seem to be a reason to be for any species so in those moments not only was the Time Warriors universe born but so was one of their biggest and deadliest foes; the Veldrox.
But while there have been many different vampires over the years with various drives, motives and appearances. For one, in Dracula 2000 we learned that Dracula was in fact Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. While not the greatest movie, it utilises the lore of the vampire to explain their aversion to silver and all things religious. But I had to come up with an unique angle that would deliver vampires we all know but give us a different and new dimensions that would fit only the Time Warriors universe but give us a base to build upon for future encounters. Enemies have to be unique as possible and avoid being carbon copies of other races already established in other sci fi shows eg the Klingons and Kazons in Star Trek. It’s not easy given the wide history of aliens in science fiction and fantasy.
The Veldrox make their debut in the full length novel, Venom. Following the events in Tempest, a newly reunited Michael and Rachel head off to the Irish seaside town of Ballybraken for some much needed time together. However it isn’t long before they discover the local monastery is harbouring a dark secret that threatens the safety of the entire planet. bally braken is more than just another family holiday destination. It is the launch pad for an deadly invasion.
The Veldrox are an ancient species scattered across space who drift from planet to planet in a crystalline cocoon they spin from their own bodies. Once they land on a planet they begin reaching out to those mentally vulnerable and recruit them to their cause. Those of us who feel isolated or suffering from the loss of loved one are easy prey for a Veldrox. It takes those feelings of depression and pain and give you a way out. It promises to stop the pain and before you know it you have fallen under its influence. It doesn’t want to outright kill anyone as the entire populace serves every facet of its plan. However that doesn’t mean it won’t kill anyone that gets in the way as the Time Warriors find out. In appearance they are broad muscled creatures with bat wings. Facially they are a cross between a wolf and a bat. Theri bite is enough to infect a victim with the venom that will change them into a subservient drone.
The monks are all in fact servants of the Veldrox who have kept their master hidden in the catacombs until they can release him onto the world. They can only do that by getting the crew of a nearby gas rig to dig something up that is buried in the seabed where they are drilling and sacrifice Rachel to their master. Her unique biology makes her the perfect vessel to restore the Veldrox.
With Rachel gone Michael, Varran, Tyran and Jacke must fight as the townspeople are bitten and become Veldrox drones as depicted on the book cover. But as I said, these are vampires with a difference. As the Time Warriors begin to fall and Varran finds his home is no longer his castle the Veldrox launch their attack. With only the head of the gas rig and mysterious lighthouse keeper as their only allies, Varran must face down a town of vampires and their Veldrox master before the rest of Earth falls.
The Veldrox are what I call ‘eloquent evil,’ a phrase I heard Clive Barker use to describe villains. They are master manipulators of the human mind twisting our very religions to convince us their way is the right path. Pain and loss and suffering can bring down the best of us to the point where we will do anything even reverse time to get back what we have lost. Unlike the vampires of 30 Days of Night the Veldrox have no interest in drinking your blood or ripping you from limb from limb; they are only interested in converting you to a drone that will infect as many other humans as possible. The destruction of Earth is not their goal; they are going to turn it into a food factory and bring the remaining Veldrox to Earth to restore the species. When they discover that Varran has in his possession a fully working time machine their plans seem set to succeed. Who are the Cult of Veldrox? Why are the legendary crystal skulls the most dangerous thing on the planet? What is the legacy of the Veldrox?
Their mythos deepens in the story The Skull when Jarvis Cochrane, a scheming millionaire’s son and ancient grave robber steals a crystal skull from Peru.He flees to Europe to Brussels where women begin disappearing. A serial killer is a t large in 1975.
Varran and the others are called to help transgender police detective Catalina find the killer. However when mysterious natives from the Peru arrive to find the skull themselves and Jacke disappears changing the original timeline, the race is on to stop the resurrection of the Veldrox.
There is still a lot more to learn about the origins of the Veldroxbut these two encounters have left a deep mental scar on the Time Warriors that they will carry for the rest of their lives.