An old church outside the sleepy town of Snow Valley, Massachusetts. Once, this was a place of sanctuary. A place where grace was granted, confession heard, and faith offered to the glory of God. No longer. Once, this was considered holy ground, only the religion left this place a long time ago. But the congregation remains. Several townspeople gather in the church and worship at the altar. However, they are once-townspeople, taken in the night, they have become something more than just men or women – become servants – thralls – to a new religion... and a new master.
A pale-skinned woman enters another room within the church. Once, she used to pray. A prayer her mother taught her when she was a little girl: “Now I lay me down to sleep... I pray the Lord, my soul to keep... and if I die before I wake... I pray the Lord my soul to take”. '
My Lord?' the woman calls out nervously, reporting that it is sundown and nearly dark. A man in a long cape with high collar stands at the end of the room and in a strange voice replies that there is much to be done tonight, and no need to whisper. 'Your Lord, Dracula, is quite awake' he announces, turning to his subject.
The moon shines down over the Massachusetts Academy of Xavier's Gifted Youngsters. For one “gifted youngster” in particular, a restless night ahead, bringing bad dreams, for too long now. It feels like forever. He just wants to sleep. His name is Jonathan Starsmore a.k.a. Chamber, and he hears his voice echo through the night. 'Jonathan? Jonathan? Are you listening... Jonathan? Hear me...'
Jono gets out of bed and makes his way over to a chair in his room. He has learned to live without a lot of things – sleep being the least of them. When this young mutant started having the dreams, he dealt with them. Like he dealt with the hole in his chest and the psionic furnace that boils within. Like the loss of his smile and his face. Sometimes he listens to what the dreams have to say. He drifts off in the chair, and the voice wavers around him again: 'Look at you... so powerful... so beautiful... anything you want... should be yours'.
Jono opens his eyes, and someone calls out to him. 'Eh?' he utters psionically, as he finds Paige “Husk” Guthrie standing over him, her eyes strangely glowing. 'I'm right here, Jono...' she tells him, leaning over him. 'Anything at all...' the voice wafting around adds. 'Paige?' Jono asks psionically as he sits up.
Paige stands before Jono and asks 'What's the matter? Isn't this what you want, Jono? Don't you wwant me?' Jono responds by asking her what she is doing, and Paige tells him that she wants him to kiss her. 'Paige – don't' Jono replies. Paige sits on Jono's knees, 'Kiss me... kiss...' she utters, 'No – Paige! Oh, God...' Jono exclaims. Which is worse? Not being able to touch what you want, the way you want to touch it... or destroying what you love, just because you tried? '- me...' Paige pleads. 'NO!' Jono shouts, and suddenly, he wakes up in his bed. The dreams turn to sleepless nights. He pinches himself, wonders if he is really awake, and what is real. 'Paige?' he cries
Down the hallway, Jubilation Lee, or simply “Jubilee” carries some snacks and remarks that there is nothing like a little “Scooby-Snack” to get a growing mutant through the night. She has been told about eating food like this at this time of the night, and she has heard what it causes. 'Nightmares... yeah right' she mutters.
'PAIGE?' Jono's telepathic voice cries out. A blood-curdling psionic scream makes Jubilee think twice. 'Wha -?' she gasps. Good thing she is awake, and she drops her snacks and clutches her stomach. 'Holy mother of – that scared the bejeezus outta me. What kinda... Paige?' Jubilee asks, before knocking on Jonothan's door. 'Are you... alright?' she asks him as she enters his room. Jono looks over to her, he thinks she is a friend, someone concerned for his well-being. 'I was just – I mean... I heard -' Jubilee begins. But the voice in Chamber's dream belongs only to him. Not to her or anybody else. 'I...' Jubilee begins, biting her lip, she goes wide-eyed, she sees Chamber's eyes glow red. 'He is so powerful' it says. 'I gotta go' Jubilee utters as she closes the door. 'And he can have anything he wants' the voice adds, as Chamber's eyes are filled with darkness.
The kitchen, the next morning, where some of Generation X – the future of mutantkind, heirs to the struggle, are having breakfast. 'Hey!' Jubilee calls out as Angelo Espinoza a.k.a. Skin extends his fingers and grabs the box of cereal from her. 'What?' Skin mutters. Emma Frost a.k.a. The White Queen and headmistress of the Academy tapes a jack-o-lantern to a cupboard, 'Children... please' she calls out, while Synch a.k.a. Everett Thomas looks at Jubilee who exclaims to Skin 'Try “excuse me”. Didn't anybody ever tell you that's gross at the table?' she asks. 'And don't make that face at me' she warns Skin. Synch asks her what the matter is, 'Halloween got you on edge?' he enquires. 'What face?' Skin asks. Jubilee asks the guys if she can talk to them about something, which is kind of a secret. 'Sure' Synch tells her. 'What is it, chica?' Skin asks. Jubilee asks them if they have noticed anything weird going on with Jono lately, to which Skin asks her what she means. 'Well... last night I -' Jubilee begins, before Chamber's psionic voice tells Jubilee to mind her own business. 'Uh...' Jubilee utters, going wide-eyed. 'What are you looking at?' Chamber asks his teammates.
Synch asks Jono if he is okay, as he looks a little out of it. 'Maybe it's just the day, huh? Halloween's got him all... irregular' Skin suggests. Synch announces that they are going to the movies later - “Nosferatu”, the old vampire film is playing. 'You should come. I mean...if you feel ok' he tells Jono, who replies 'Maybe I will, Everett'. Synch asks Jubilee if she iis in, but Jubilee replies that she is going to stay here. 'How about Paige? What do you think, Jono? Think she'd like to go?' Jubilee asks. Emma Frost reports that Paige is out, she went to visit her brother, and that she is picking her up later. Emma turns to Jono and asks him if something is wrong, to which Chamber tells her that it is nothing he can't take care of. He then excuses himself, eyes glowing red and black.
Meanwhile, a stretch of rail along the Massachusetts countryside, a crisp day for All Hallow's Eve. But for another “gifted youngster”, something much less than a holiday. She had gone to visit her mother, an unexpected visit to her Kentucky home, but today, Paige “Husk” Guthrie is returning to school. 'I'm tired' she thinks to herself as she looks through a book while sitting in her seat on the train. She knows she should sleep, but then she can't study – she can't work that way. 'I don't need to sleep' she boasts. 'I...' she thinks as her eyes go heavy and her head drops forward. Suddenly, 'Paige?' a telepathic voice calls out. Paige looks up and sees Chamber sitting opposite her. 'Jono? What are you doing? Jono... what...' Paige begins, watching him silently, the young man she finds so attractive, despite his imperfections. Chamber stares back. “He is so beautiful” Paige thinks, before Jono removes the wrap that covers his lower face – revealing his mouth and face to her. 'But...how?' Paige goes wide-eyed. As she has so often done in her most private moments, Paige asks herself if this is real, when suddenly, Chamber opens his mouth revealing a set of dangerously sharp teeth... 'Tickets please!' a voice calls out, and Paige gasps – opening her eyes again. 'All tickets, Miss...' the ticket officer asks as he stands over her. 'or, am I only dreaming?' Paige wonders. 'Tickets. Right. Gotcha' she tells the ticket officer as the train rattles into a tunnel.
Dracula walks through the church backrooms. He has come seeking strength – drawn by power, so young and raw. For Dracula, Lord of all Vampires, it is like blood...and there is never enough. He'd come like the fog on this unsuspecting town – walked among the people, established himself with care and caution. With a bump from behind – or a quick, darting glance across a crowded room...contact was made – a link forged between him and the townsfolk taken to serve his whims. And the youngsters he stalks to sate his hunger. “How sweet, young love...” thinks the Lord of Vampires. Sweet moonlight touches him like a lover. It is All Hallow's Eve – and Dracula is going out. He raises his arms, and transforms into a bat.
Later that night, 'Jono...? Jono, what're you doing?' Skin asks inside the theatre, as Jono gets up from his seat during the screening of “Nosferatu”. 'Using the loo, Angelo' Jono replies. 'The -?' Angelo asks. 'The bathroom. The can' Jono explains. 'He is acting weird. Does he even use the bathroom?' Angelo asks as he leans into Sean “Banshee” Cassidy and Synch, who are seated next to him. Banshee shushes Angelo, who points out that there is no sound. 'Hey, Ev, where's the sound?' he asks. Everett hesitates, before pointing out that it is a silent film. 'Excuse me?' Angelo asks, confused. Banshee sighs and puts his hands over his face, while Angelo asks Everett 'Does she die?' Banshee sighs again and some popcorn falls to the floor.
Meanwhile, outside, a group of trick-or-treaters approaches the cinema ticket booth. 'Um, where are we go-' the youngster dressed up as a skeleton asks. 'I know what to do...just follow me' the child dressed as a ghost declares. The skeleton just sighs. It is a raw night. The kind that brings monsters out. Both would be masqueraders...and the most evil of their kind. 'Uh... trick... trick... trick...' the child dressed as the ghost stutters. 'Maybe we should just go' one of the others suggests. 'Trick... trick or...' the ghost continues. 'Uh... turn around, man' the child dressed as a green monster calls out as a shadow looms over them. 'Uh... maybe we should -' the ghost begins. 'You think?' the skeleton exclaims. But the tall shadow passes with its owner, cold and raw as the night itself. This is a night for monsters. The trick or treaters turn back to look into the booth, to find the ticket attendant slumped over on his chair – with no head and blood stains across his body. 'Was he... was he...?' one of the trick-or-treaters gasps. Heaven help the rest.
Moments later, something three days gone, but not quite dead, shuffles across the lobby, clutching a long scarf which trails behind them, towards destiny. In the bathroom, Chamber looks in the mirror, 'Well, here we are again, old chap. Just you and me on a monster's holiday' he remarks to himself.
Out on the edge of town, a mist hangs low, while spirits hang lower. The four young trick-or-treaters stand amongst some trees, and the one dressed as a cowboy mutters 'This blows, minus. It's like a ghost-town out here. The night's in full swing and I'm only at half-capacity!' the skeleton calls the cowboy Broeder and points out that Snow Valley's not exactly a teeming Metropolis, so if they want treats, instead of tricks, they will have to improvise. 'I got a rock' the ghost remarks. Broeder suggests they hit those ritzy houses on the outskirts of town, calling the skeleton Minus, he declares that they are sure to have some treats. 'Uh...two...three...four...' the ghost counts. 'Great idea, Broeder. This could well be the greatest Halloween in the history of -' Minus begins, while the green monster mutters 'Oh, good grief' and Broeder asks the ghost what he is doing. 'Five...six...uh...six, all I got was rocks. Six r-' he replies. 'You are a blockhead' one of the others declares.
Back in the cinema bathroom, Chamber is washing his hands, when he hears a creaking noise. 'Eh? S'odd...there's nobody' he tells himself, when suddenly, the follower of Dracula lunges at him. 'What -? What are you doing? Don't pull my -' Chamber calls out. 'Your “what”, mutant? Your “security blanket”?' the follower asks as he tears Chamber's mask off, causing energy to errupt into the bathroom. 'Not quite...' the follower utters as he then stalks away, leaving the scarf behind, a large red “D” printed onto the end of the scarf.
The Massachusetts Academy: the moon hangs low overhead as the mist rolls across in the witching hour. Paige is in her room, brushing her hair. 'Why can't Ah stop shaking?' she asks herself. 'It was just a dream. All right...a horrible, terrible dream, but still. Only a dream'. She hates to think it, and so much as she wants to deny it – a part of her, just a little bit, liked it. 'And ah can't stop shaking...' Paige tells herself as she continues to brush her hair, when suddenly, the doorbell rings. 'Door' Jubilee mutters as she sits in front of a television, large bow of popcorn on her lap. 'Door!' she calls out again, but no one responds. 'Oh, I'll get it' Jubilee mutters.
'Ring it again, Blockhead!' one of the trick-or-treaters tells the ghost. 'But -' Blockhead replies, one wide-eye seen through his costume. 'Do it!' another exclaims.
'I'm coming...' Jubilee mutters as she approaches the front door, which rings again. 'I said “I'm coming” Sheesh...' Jubilee exclaims, as she grabs a handful of candy from a nearby bowl. 'Come in. Moochers...' Jubilee calls out. 'What are you, deaf? I said come...in' Jubilee calls out as she opens the door. Have you ever said the right thing to the wrong person? No one is there, but a mist rolls through the open door.
'TRICK or TREAT!' the young trick-or-treaters exclaim.
'Mm. Precious' Jubilee remarks.
The trick-or-treaters hold out their jack-o-lantern candy carriers, and various sweets are thrown into them. 'I got a lollipop!' one of them exclaims. 'I got a stick of gum!' another declares. 'What about you -?' another asks the ghost, whose words appear jumbled.
Or is that, the wrong thing to the wrong person? It is more a question of perspective than anything. But for Jubilee, there is a lesson to be learned. No matter what time of day it is, what age they seem, or whatever holiday it might be...never, never say “come in” before you see who's at the door. She closes the door, and a voice calls out 'I opt for a trick'. 'Who -?' Jubilee gasps, turning around, the intruder raises his arms overhead. 'I am known by many names, child. The Wallach. The Dragon – the Devil himself. At times, I have been worshipped. All times, I have been feared. I am Nosferatu, Wampir – Lord of all Vampires!' he proclaims. 'What do you think, you're Dracula or something?' Jubilee asks unimpressed. It is a raw night. Dracula rises over Jubilee and tells her that she amuses him, but that now is not the time for laughing. He tells her to hush, as Jubilee asks 'What...what are you -?' He came in on the mist, a true creature of the night. He has an agenda. He will not be denied. His eyes glow, '...look into my eyes' Dracula instructs Jubilee. 'Get away from me!' Jubilee calls out as she resists Dracula's hypnotic stare, and in a desperate move, she unleashes a blast of her plasma “fireworks” powers – however they do little to assist her. 'BRAT!' Dracula exclaims. He looms over Jubilee and announces that he shall drink from her neck soon enough. He adds that mutant blood is ever so sweet. 'But first things first' he declares.
There is a knock at Paige's door and she turns from her mirror. 'Hmm? Jubilee? Helllooo? Jubilee, come... in' Husk calls out, and the door swings open, as Dracula stands before Husk. 'Thank you, my lady... such manners...' he remarks. 'Who -?' Paige asks, approaching the vampire, who tells her to be still, and adds that this won't take long. 'You mean a great deal to one who means a great deal to me. Paige, is it?' Dracula asks. 'Y-yes' Paige replies, nervously. Dracula tells her to relax, and come close to him. 'Uh -' Paige begins, before shredding her skin like paper, she resists. 'How disgusting' Dracula remarks, shocked as Paige rushes out of her room, she calls out to Jubilee, but no answer comes from downstairs. In this house of youth, power and education, it is as quiet as a tomb. Paige rushes to the stairs, she doesn't know what is going on, but decides that outside seems to be a better place to figure ir out right now. 'Do you think that running is truly an option, girl?' Dracula asks. Though hardly as still, this place is certainly not a “resting place” of the least sort. Stairs can be tricky in these sorts of movies. You should try and stay away from them. Paige screams as she trips on the stairs and falls. 'Young Starsmore would think you worth rescuing, would he not?' Dracula asks. 'What?' Paige asks. She tries to scream, but then forgets how, as Dracula looms over her.
A dark road, somewhere between downtown Snow Valley and the Massachusetts Academy. It is still the witching hour. 'Jono? Jono, lad... what happened?' Banshee asks as he drives the jeep. Chamber replies that he doesn't want to talk about it, to which Banshee tells him that sometimes it is too easy to forget that they are still flesh and blood, that they can be targets, victims then. 'Ugh – what – Paige?' Chamber calls out. His power is psionic in nature, and one day, possibly, he may take his place among the most powerful of that sort. Until then, however, he is but a servant to his power's whims...and a victim to its growth. 'Paige?' Banshee asks. 'Jono, what are you -?' he enquires, not taking his eyes off the road. Chamber declares that they have to get home. 'We're going, lad' Banshee points out. 'Now! We have to go now!' Chamber urges.
Back at the school, paranoia, violation and fear fill the air. Jubilee hides under the kitchen table, sobbing. 'I let Dracula in the house...' she utters. On the rawest of all nights, Banshee's jeep screeches to a halt outside. 'Now just hold on a -' Sean begins. 'Jono?' he calls out as Chamber gets out of the car, a strong wind rushing around them. 'Jono, wait, lad!' Banshee calls out as he and Skin exit the vehicle. 'Paige? 'Chamber calls out as the door creaks open. When he started having the dreams, he dealt with them. Like he dealt with everything else – privately. 'Where are you, gel? Paige?' Chamber calls out once again. But now his dreams are back to haunt him. 'Jono? Jono, calm down' Banshee declares as he and Skin follow Chamber inside. 'Talk to me, son' Banshee asks, but Chamber announces that there is nobody here – Paige is gone. He has no idea how to deal with that. 'Who...' Jubilee utters as she peers out of the kitchen. 'Where you at chica? What you doing in the dark like -' Skin begins as he, Banshee and Synch go over to her. Jubilee grabs Skin and gasps 'What.. .took... you... so... long?'
Chamber think that it is because of him that this evil has been brought into the house. Because of him, Husk is gone – taken God knows where and for what terrible purpose. All because of him. He reads what was left for him, and he understands what it is he must do, as he stares at the large, bloody “D” marked on the wall.
Soon, Banshee and the four teens are back in the jeep, and Chamber explains that he started having these dreams, and Dracula was calling him. Banshee replies that if it is Dracula, then the X-Men have faced him before, and from what he knows, they were lucky to survive. 'I just hope we're as lucky...for Paige's sake' Banshee adds, before asking Chamber why he didn't tell them this. 'We could've -' he begins, but Chamber explains that the dreams were embarassing. 'Uh, fellas...I think we found the place' Jubilee points out as they pass the old church, the large moon hanging terribly low over it.
Inside, Husk kneels before Dracula, who tells her that she is a lovely girl, and that it is no wonder Chamber would long for her so. 'The powerful, you see, have a right to whatever they want' he adds. 'You...you won't have Jono...he'll fight you...' Paige utters. She starts to shred her skin again, and again, until she appears in a silver form. 'Silver? Hah! I am not a werewolf. “Husk” all you want, girl. Inside, you still bleed' Dracula tells her as he grabs her by her neck, and tells her to be still, as she has struggled long enough. Suddenly, there is a loud SMASH, and Dracula turns like a predator, considering his options and survival all at once. Downstairs, the “cavalry” has arrived. 'That was your plan? Just kick in the front door?' Jubilee asks, unimpressed, as she, Banshee, Skin, Synch and Chamber rush in, where they are confronted by Dracula's followers. Jubilee starts to throw some plasma-blasts around, and Synch tells her that he will “synch” up to her and blow these suckers to pieces. But Banshee stops him, 'Look at them, lad! They're just people the vampire took from thye town. We can't hurt them, just – keep them at bay!' Banshee exclaims as he releases a sonic scream, taking Dracula's followers out. Again, something shuffles across the floor and on toward destiny. Chamber moves up the stairs, and Dracula calls out to him, telling him to enter of his own free will.
Chamber steps into the room, where a blank-faced Husk lies at Dracula's side. 'I don't know what you want with me, but this ends now!' Chamber exclaims, emitting some psionic energy. 'Look at you, child, so angry, so beautiful...so powerful' Dracula replies. 'You have desires, boy. I have read them. I want to give them to you'. Chamber notices Husk, 'I swear... if you've done something to her...' he begins, while outside the door to the room, Jubilee watches unseen. Then she remembers, and rushes into the room, 'Eat fire, blood-sucker!' she exclaims as she blasts several fireworks towards Dracula, who hisses at her and tells her to get away as he falls back, and drops the candles that he is holding, which land on the floor and start a fire. Jubilee remembers how helpless Dracula made her feel, and how she vowed never to feel that way again. It is a short-lived confrontation, as Jubilee falls to the ground, too. 'Ohhhh...' she moans as she hits the floor with a thud, landing near Paige.
'Let them go... all of them... please' Chamber calls out to Dracula. Dracula tells Chamber to come to him, as he can give him what he wants – what he needs. 'We both know what that is' Dracula adds. For a second, Chamber wonders if he is foolish, or noble. Both? 'Both of us...' Dracula declares as he reaches through the psionic energy blazing around Chamber and puts his hand on Chamber's face. 'Neither?' Chamber wonders, before going wide-eyed, '...my...face.' The fire starts to blaze behind Jubilee, who tries to pull Paige to her feet. 'Paige? Psst! Hayseed!' she calls out, before snapping her fingers and creating a small fireworks blast in front of Paige's eyes. 'Huh?' Paige asks as she comes to. Another second, and Chambers wonders if he is selfish, while Dracula removes the material around Chamber's face, to reveal a rebuilt lower face and mouth. 'Don't I deserve to be?' Chamber wonders. 'Come close to me, child. So beautiful...' Dracula utters as he opens his mouth and bares his fangs towards Chamber. 'Just this once?' Chamber wonders.
Back downstairs, Synch has powered-up alongside Banshee, and they both release sonic screams against Dracula's followers. 'That's it, lad! The right frequency can act like a wall' Banshee explains, while Synch asks him how he talks while doing this. Nearby, Skin has wrapped one of Dracula's followers up in his extended fingers, and calls out to Synch, asking him what he calls these guys. 'Thralls' Synch explains. 'Right. The Thralls...they're changing back into people!' Skin announces as the one he has wrapped up shifts back into a human form. Banshee, Skin and Synch regroup, and Skin announces that he didn't want ot say anything before, as he was kinda busy anyway, before asking Banshee and Synch if they smell smoke? 'This could only involve Generation X, couldn't it?' Synch mutters.
Upstairs, blood drips from Dracula's mouth, as Chamber lies back in front of Dracula, who declares
'Your will and strength and anger and life courses through your veins. In your blood I taste them and I know that mine was time well spent!' Dracula adds that they have both gotten what they wanted. 'Wouldn't you say?' Dracula asks, while Husk tells Jubilee that she husked into everything – stone, metal, none of it fazes him. 'But now I remember... there's only one way to deal with a vampire!' Husk exclaims, as she husks into a wooden form. Dracula sees her, 'Eh?' he calls out, while Husk rears back and shoves her spiked wooden fingers into his chest. 'I hope this hurts you sonofa-' Husk begins, while fire blazes around them, and Dracula tells her that the next time she tries to slay a vampire, make sure she hits the heart. The words rasp like bone on dead skin, discarded fingernails mixed with loosened teeth, and Dracula cracks Husk's arm as he pulls her from his chest and drops her to the ground. Chamber listens for what feels like forever. 'None of it's real... help...' Paige utters as she shifts back to her human form.
But that's not true. Plenty of this is real. 'What are you -?' Dracula begins, as Chamber rips a curtain from the railing – 'NO!' Dracula shouts. 'No... so... beautiful...' he utters as he raises his arms overhead and sunlight touches his body. All Hallow's Eve gives way to All Saints. Morning sunlight pierces, burns like cleansing fire. '...you could have...anything...' Dracula utters as his body splinters apart. Once, this was a place of sanctuary. No longer. Flames rise through the church, and the floor collapses like the lies the day has built itself upon. Energy explodes around Chamber's face once more. To all things, an ending. 'Jono? We have to go now, lad!' Banshee calls out.
Moments later, everyone gathers outside the remains of the church. 'Jono? It wasn't real, Jono. None of it ewas real' Paige calls out. They take a moment to sift through the rubble. They could spend hours, days, they would still find nothing. A scarf with a blood-red “D” on it hangs from a piece of wood, blowing in the breeze. 'I know, gel. I know it wasn't' Chamber replies. Jonothan has learned to leave without a lot of things. Sleep being the least of him. Two bite marks have pierced his arm. He notices them...quite possibly, not the end?