It’s a familar scene — an old mansion, a mysterious figure in black, blood red eyes, and an exotic accent. However DS Tom McIntyre’s first encounter with a vampire was in A & E where he was undergoing an emergency procedure after a heart attack. But when the power inextricably failed, the tough sergeant found himself face to face with a vampire, trying desperately to save his life. “I nearly had another heart attack on the table.”
Born in Glasgow, 1960, Tom McIntyre was raised in the east end of Glasgow in the Gorbals and joined the police force in 1978 because as he put it over the phone, “if you couldn’t beat them you joined them.” Rising through the ranks to the level of Detective Sergeant, he had a colourful but successful career that was nearly cut short when he suffered a major heart attack twelve months ago at the age of 53. Whilst the medical staff were trying to revive him for the second time there was a power failure but the emergency generator failed to kick in, forcing the doctor to cut him open and pump his heart by hand. He came to and found himself face to face with a vampire. DS McIntyre is now a close friend of Dr. MacGregor. A few days ago I caught up with him at the home of Tabitha McLean. He only agreed to the interview on the proviso that he check the final draft before it went online. This is the edited version.
How have your perceptions of vampires changed in the last twelve months?
Tom: Quite dramatically. For a start I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they do exist and that took a bit of convincing even after I saw her teeth. It was only when she did that self healing trick with a scalpel that I came to believe. I would have to say though that having spent many hours with Cat that I’ve come to believe that the vampires I’ve met are law abiding citizens, to the best of their ability. Cat is one of my closest pals and through her I’ve met others who are also good friends, I’ve also got a vampire working under me. So it’s fair to say I’ve had a sea change when it comes to my opinion of vampires in general.
I had the opportunity to interview Sean recently. Were you surprised he was a vampire?
Tom: At first I was mildly surprised to be blunt. He seemed to be a polite young man, he did seem a little more mature than guys his age but I put that down to the fact he was from Australia and perhaps had a wider and more mature world view so to speak. When Cat mentioned it to me in passing I just wanted to know if he was trustworthy. She assured me he was and I trust Cat with my life and when I confronted Sean with my information he didn’t bat an eyelid.
How do you find working with Sean?
Tom: It’s interesting. He’s actually older than me by about ten years so our opinions of life, the world and everything else in general are pretty similar. We both saw the Moon Landing on television, listened to the same music, for the most part and both of us vote Labour. As a detective he’s very good and has what I call gut instinct, which is rarely wrong. There are two kinds of detectives, those who were born to it and those who learned it. Good detectives observe everything and file it away for further use and his time in Vietnam may have honed that ability to record minor details. I go over to his place at least once a week for dinner and a couple of drinks, he always has a way of settling his boss down.
You also apparently go over to Cat’s place on a regular basis for dinner.
Tom: I do and I look forward to my dinners. She’s quite a good cook, far better than me. I live with my sister and she does most of the cooking, but when I’m on my own I cook to survive or eat out. I have a real soft spot for Cat because like Sean, she has a way of settling me down. She’s seen so much of history that I suppose it would either drive you crazy or make you more grounded. Cat has also reignited my interest in history. I used to be part of an historical re-enactment group in my twenties. I had to drop all that after my first marriage broke up but I’ve always been interested in history and Cat can really bring history to life with her stories.
So you’re completely reconciled to the idea that vampires can be productive members of society.
Tom: Absolutely and I know there are rogue vampires out there but that doesn’t mean the entire vampire race should be quarantined. I’m a cop, I’ve met some real sick bastards in my time but by logical extension I would never think that all humans are bad, just some. Admittedly I did have to get past some inbuilt prejudices about vampires, but once I accepted the fact that the vampires on television and in books aren’t the real thing it was relatively easy. I would compare it to my opinion on people born in Pakistan or of Pakistani origin. When I was a bairn, my parents and grandparents were forever telling me to stay away from they darkies, as they called them. But once I got into the police force and met the people I was warned about, I had to put aside my prejudices and get on with the job; underneath they’re the same as you. Both Cat and Sean are human beings first and foremost, the only difference between them and me, apart from their teeth and their need for blood, is the fact that they don’t age and won’t die, apart from that they’re basically the same as me, more or less.
Do you think there will ever be a time when they can come out to the world in general?
Tom: I certainly hope so but I’m not sure it’s possible without a radical change in society. For a start they’ve been living under the radar for thousands of years, changing identities and swapping houses right under our noses. One of the main problems as I see it is their legal status. You’d have a whole lot of tax departments all over the world wanting revenue or lost revenue. Forgiving debt is not something the tax man does and then you have the problem of the Frat boys. There’s a war raging between them and the vampires, people have died on both sides and there are any amount of lawyers who might think there’s a buck to made prosecuting vampires. You also have the broader issue of their superhuman powers and the security of the human race. Let’s not forget that the concept of the vampire as a monster has been a part of popular mythology ever since Stoker’s Dracula. There are powerful people out there who might stoke those fears in an attempt to control or manipulate them simply because vampires have lived through history, one thing spin doctors hate are people who can see through their lies.
I’m thinking hypothetically, but if that happened and there was a massive crackdown on vampires. How would you react?
Tom: Probably make sure the vampires I knew made it to safety. Whether or not I’d still be a cop is another matter. We’re duty bound to obey the government of the day but I’m not about to haul a vampire into custody just for being a vampire. Many a society has descended into barbarism and outright brutality because people like me just followed orders. Yes we follow orders, but there’s a point where even cops and the military have a right to refuse to follow an order that goes against their conscience. Who knows? I might even become one myself.
Would you, ever consider it?
Tom: Becoming a vampire? We’ve talked about it. My heart condition is a problem although Cat says she’s seen people with worse conditions go through a successful turning. Let’s not forget that when you’re turned your heart actually stops. If I did go through with it then it would have to be sooner rather than later, but for me I’d have the problem of disappearing from public view. I would be forced to leave the country and basically vanish until such time as my family and friends were dead and I’m not prepared to do that. I’ve got children and grandchildren from two marriages. It might be fifty or a hundred years before I could set foot in Glasgow without being recognised. I suppose if the vampires did come out and were accepted by the world at large then I would consider it but we’re not there yet.
What precautions do you take when dealing with vampires?
Tom: What do you mean by that?
I mean how do you avoid the potential to accidentally expose them?
Tom: I’ll be introduced to them by another vampire and given their name and occupation. I stick to the script. The woman who cut my hair is Tabitha and she owns a few hair salons in the Central Belt. I know her real name and real age but as far as you’re concerned she’s Tabitha McLean and if you want a good haircut and a hot shave, you can’t go past Tabitha. Keep it simple, remember the things you’re supposed to remember and forget the rest.
Anything you’d like people to take away from this interview?
Tom: Not that I can think of, to be honest I’ve met vampires and survived to tell the tale. I’ve had a vampire put an open razor to my face and shave me, afterwards she’ll give me a cup of tea and we’ll have a wee blether. Vampires are just normal people with extra ordinary powers and some great stories. I consider myself a fortunate man to have met the real vampires, they’ve certainly put some life back into the old dog and that’s got to be a good thing for me and a bad thing for the bad guys out there.
Tom McIntyre is a Detective Sergeant with Glasgow CID. He lives with his widowed sister, Emily in the West End of Glasgow and has four children to two ex wives. He is a frequent visitor to Cat’s place and they try to dine out at least once a month. One of their favourite haunts is Hootenany on the corner of Howard and Dixon Streets.
When my stepmom’s plane went down a part of me died, Cat was my world. In her place she left us to her friends, the Grey Ravens. Over the years I slowly came to realise her death was a mere facade. When we were reunited I learned the truth about Clan Grey Raven and her remarkable history. Some people will always love. Some people never lose hope. Some people never die…Smashwords Amazon.com Amazon UK