In a decrepit mansion, after the fall of many things including the night, a necromancer regarded his latest result with resignation.

"Another failure," he said to nobody in particular. It had been decades since he had last had a servant, but habits did not easily die.

The resurrected corpse rose to his full height, arrogant despite the bits of dust raining from his limbs. "I would think not."

The necromancer breathed deeply. He felt his fangs not tempted to unfurl. "No, I'm quite sure I failed."

The corpse, once what had passed for noble in his society, attacked the necromancer, only to be sent against a far wall with the push of one hand and a centuries old, not at all magical curse.

The necromancer closed his eyes in weariness. "Look, I'm sorry. I'm sure you are at the moment glad to be undead. I was impolite. I'm just tired. And hungry. And really sorry. Please go, but if you decide you prefer death, I'll be here."

The corpse raised himself from the floor and, after a puzzled shrug and a nod, left the mansion and its obviously dejected and emaciated owner.

Outside, the only sounds among the foggy ruins of San Francisco were the furtive steps of animals and the increasingly deranged whispers of vampires who, after centuries preying on mankind, had at last tried and failed to save it from itself.