Major Story Arcs
God and the Devil
Captains Alfonse Kierch and Zebra Herriman are top assistants to Pellon Cross, the notorious leader of C.O.P. (Confederacy of Police) during the era of Innocent XLII. They are both intelligent and effective detectives. Kierch has a small mohawk and glasses.
Pellon is employed by the Church to find the new Grendel, and also eventually to persecute Orion Assante. Zebra and Kierch help him in these goals. They are also all wary of Innocent's real motives. Kierch figures out that Grendel is a tech genius, and starts a search through school records.
Later, when Cross decides to steal some plutonium for Innocent, he is stuck, half-dead, in the desert. Kierch and Zebra find him and rescue him and the plutonium.
Cross is later turned into a vampire by Innocent. Cross escapes into the sewers. Zebra and Kierch, not knowing what's going on, interrogate some of Innocent's flunkies, trying to find him, since he has been missing for several days. They don't get any good answers and search for him themselves. When they finally find him, Cross attacks them both and turns them into vampires as well.
He leaves before they wake up, so when they come to, they don't know what's going on. They killed some homeless people and drank their blood, then wandered the streets. The ran into some more C.O.P.s and turned them into vampires too. They went inside the precinct and did the same to many others. Cross finally found them and they all joined together, creating a huge vampire army. They marched on the Church's Tower, angry at Innocent, who they felt had been wrongly hoarding the delight of bloodlust which they now enjoyed. (Innocent had previously turned very few people into vampires.)
They attacked the Tower, which was in the midst of Easter celebrations. However, Eppy Thatcher had sabotaged the celebrations, putting the Grendel drug in the air, turning all the people in the congregation into hyper-violent madmen. The vampires and congregation clashed. Zebra and Kierch kill two corporate workers who have been chasing a rat throughout the arc. Finally the Tower collapsed under attack from a small army of Orion's, and it fell on the vampires. Amazingly, many of them survived, including Cross, Kierch, and Zebra. They leave to start planning a new way of life in the world.
Kierch and the other vampires, led by Cross, congregate in the System of VEGAS. At first they just hide out and prey on the weak. Cross now makes others do all his hunting for him, and is clearly luxuriating in his leadership position. However, he is also making thoughtful plans. The casinos do a blood test to see if you're a vampire; vampires can't bleed. But Cross sets up a special hemophiliac vampire to get past the test. Then she turns everyone inside into a vampire, and they take over. They rename it Grendel's Palace and it is their new base. For a while, it is a secret.
However, the new government, run by Orion Assante, finds out and turns it into an internment camp; they are locked inside and given fake blood to survive. For a while it's a chic location and humans come in to mix with the risk of being near vampires. Eventually the humans are kept out and the casino dwellers becomes more desperate. The vampires are immortal, and face a future where they are stuck in there forever.
Cross attempts to make allies on the outside world; Kierch helps him with a meeting with an official from Great Japan, but the official turns them down and Cross kills him. Despite this and other failures, Kierch remains a stalwart supporter of Cross, who is now called the "First One." Kierch is captured and tortured by the guards at one point, but does not give them any information, even when they use a sun lamp.
Cross manages to get the vampires to cause a riot and many of them, including the inner circle, break out of the casino. They start a camp in the mountains. Cross discovers that he can make himself bleed by gorging on enormous amounts of blood, and that if he shares that blood with other vampires, they can acquire the same ability. He now takes on the role of a vampire Christ, using his blood to liberate the vampires. Kierch is a true believer in Cross' new station, but his old friend Zebra think Cross is getting too full of himself, and tension rises between them. Kierch buries himself in carrying out the details of Cross' plans, and coordinates the efforts of Sergeant Edwards, a vampire plant among the guards. Cross' big gambit works, and the vampires manage to convert their casino guards into vampires, as well as the whole town. Kierch is thrilled, but Zebra thinks it will call too much attention to themselves.
Zebra keeps trying to tell the others about what's going on in the outside world: that Assante left the government for a while, that he has made himself pregnant, that he recreated Innocent's Sun Gun. But Kierch and Cross ignore him, focused on their own self-involved plans. Zebra goes off to kill Orion on his own, but is captured. This event ironically reminds Orion about the vampires, who he had otherwise ignored for decades. He sends a fleet to destroy VEGAS. Kierch, finally paying attention to the world, hears that they're coming, and tries to get Cross to evacuate. Cross, however, is nearly insane from drinking too much blood for too long. Kierch has to take over and coordinate everything himself. Many vampires are killed, but Kierch brings Cross and others with him into the wilderness. Even knowing that Cross is insane, Kierch is still a true believer.
Years later, Orion dies and his wife, Laurel Kennedy takes over as Regent. Orion's son, Jupiter, is too young. However, Kennedy schemes to keep him from every gaining the throne. Grendel Prime, a cyborg created by Orion, takes Jupiter from Kennedy to protect him. However, vampires kidnap Jupiter from Grendel Prime in turn, and bring him to Siberia, their new base of operations.
The vampires live in an abandoned nuclear missile silo, and are led by Kierch, himself acting as a sort of regent in place of Pellon Cross, who is now bloated and still insane from too much blood. Kierch tries to sacrifice Jupiter to Cross, but Grendel Prime and his group of rebels intervene, killing Cross and the other vampires. Kierch is shot in the head and killed by Azif A Barouk.
Kierch has the standard powers of a vampire in the Grendel universe. He has increased strength, speed, and durability. He has fangs and claws. His totem (the animal he can transform into) is a large black cat of some kind, perhaps a panther. He can presumably turn into mist like Zebra and Cross. He does not age. Vampire abilities vary, often depending on how close the vampire is in its lineage to Pellon Cross, the most powerful of the vampires created after Innocent. As the first vampires that Cross created, Zebra and Kierch are presumably among the strongest of the breed. He is tough enough to survive the collapse of Innocent's Vatican Ouest Tower.
He also possesses a vampire's weaknesses. Water and sunlight cause them pain, and fire can destroy them. However, the inner circle are affected by water less than normal vampires; Kierch retains a strong antipathy to sunlight.
Kierch was an excellent C.O.P., possesses high-level detective skills.