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Akasha

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We are home. We live everywhere and anywhere we choose. The world is our garden.
~ Akasha to her new groom, Lestat.
Join me or die.
~ Akasha

Queen Akasha (simply known as Akasha) is the very first vampire ever born. She is the main antagonist of the novel series The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice and its 2002 film adaptation Queen of the Damned. According to the novel series The Vampire Chronicles, Akasha is one of the two lost-long ancient vampires alongside her husband and king, Enkil who are called Those Who Must Be Kept.

She was portrayed by the late recording artist/dancer/actress/model Aaliyah whose memory the movie itself was dedicated to upon 6 months of its premiere release after her death.

History

As told in the novel, Akasha was originally from Uruk, or modern-day Iraq. She rose to become a Queen in Kemet, the land that would eventually become Egypt; she and her husband King Enkil wanted their people to turn away from their cannibalistic ways and encourage the eating of grains. Queen Akasha was described as a lovely young woman who was "almost too pretty to be truly beautiful, for her prettiness overcame any sense of majesty or deep mystery." Underneath her physical beauty, Akasha is a fundamentally dark, empty, nihilistic person with no sense of morality, ethics, or human compassion; her actions are almost always based on her insatiable need to fill her own inner emptiness.

Akasha eventually becomes fascinated by the spirits of the supernatural, forcibly bringing the red-haired witch sisters Maharet and Mekare to her court to commune with these spirits. Against their advice, Akasha forces the witch sisters to seek answers from the spirits to countless shallow questions she asks, but the ensuing answers, some in the form of obscene gestures, ultimately enrage the Queen by confirming her inner emptiness -- "She had asked questions of the supernatural, a very foolish thing to do, and she had received answers which she could neither accept nor refute." One spirit in particular, a bloodthirsty, aggressive entity called Amel, threatens Akasha and ultimately stages a weak but demonstrative attack against her. Akasha, in turn, has Mekare and Maharet publicly raped by her reluctant servant Khayman for their "witchcraft", and banishes them from Kemet.

One year later, the twin witches are recalled to the kingdom by Khayman, where they learn that Amel had kept his presence in the kingdom and that, when the King and Queen were coincidentally assassinated by supporters of cannibalism one night, the spirit of Amel joined with Akasha's soul as it rose from her body, re-entering her body through her wounds and fusing with her heart and brain to create an entirely new being: the vampire. Amel's deadly lust for human blood thus passed to Akasha. Akasha then took her king Enkil and passed the "Dark Gift" onto him, transforming Enkil into a vampire, and then made Khayman, who then passed it on to Mekare and Maharet. It was Mekare who tells the Queen what kind of being she has become, as well as explaining her newfound sensitivity to sunlight and thirst for blood.

As her progeny proliferate, Akasha's need for blood diminishes. Eventually she (along with Enkil) becomes a living statue, kept safe for centuries by guardians who know that she is the source of their existence and immortality. After one of these guardians tires of the task, he places Akasha and Enkil in the sun; vampires worldwide are burned or destroyed as a result of all being linked by the spirit of Amel that still resides in Akasha.

Akasha draws the vampire Marius to her and urges him to take her and Enkil out of Egypt. Marius does so and protects them for nearly 2000 years. At one point, Maharet stabs the statue of Akasha in the heart; as Maharet feels the energy leave her own body, it confirms the legend that to kill Akasha is to annihilate all vampires.

In 1985, the vampire Lestat wakes Akasha from her trance with his music. She rises and becomes a relentless destroyer, killing most of her vampire progeny worldwide while simultaneously kidnapping Lestat, who becomes her lover and cohort. She spares at least 17 (Maharet, Mekare, Khayman, Louis, Jesse, Gabrielle, Armand, Daniel, Marius, Mael, Santino, Pandora, Eric, Vittorio, Thorne and the coven that made Quinn Blackwood, Manfred Blackwood, Petronia, and one from ancient Greece) vampires from her slaughter—either ancient vampires she cannot easily destroy, or Lestat's loved ones—and demands that they join with her in her plan for a new world order: to kill 99% of the world's men and to set up a new "Eden" in which women, with Akasha as their Goddess, reign. A heated philosophical discussion ensues; while Akasha insists that her plan is for the benefit of humanity in the long run and will usher in a new era of peace, Maharet boldly defies her and points out the underlying truth: that Akasha simply wants to dominate and be worshipped, to once again subject everyone to her will, and to once again create a new system of religious dogma to fill her inner emptiness, with absolutely no regard for the lives at stake.

Aaliyah

Akasha after being drained of blood by Maharet.

The surviving vampires all refuse to join with Akasha, but before she can destroy them, the vampire Mekare arrives at the scene and shoves her into a glass wall. The broken shards decapitate Akasha. Maharet and Mekare then immediately grab Akasha's heart and brain. Mekare eats the brain and then the heart, and thereby the soul of Akasha; as Mekare does so, she takes into herself the source of the spiritual fusion with Amel and becomes the new life force of the vampires, while Akasha's ancient body finally disintegrates into black dust.

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