|Location:||Toronto (at present)|
|Relationships:||Javier Vachon (friend)|
|Other:|| - prefers rat's blood to human|
- speaks an idiosyncratic argot in a Cockney accent
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Screed is a fictional character that is a recurring role in the third season of the television series, Forever Knight. The part was played by Greg Kramer. Screed is not a regular vampire, but a carouche: a vampire that preferentially drinks animal blood—rat's blood, in Screed's case. As such, he is viewed with distaste by normal vampires like Nick Knight and LaCroix.
Screed lives in a cellar, which offers easy access to the sewers and alleys where he hunts the rats that are his preferred prey. He not only has a Cockney accent, but speaks an idiolectal mixture of Nadsat and Cockney rhyming slang that sometimes makes him hard to understand.
Screed is introduced in the second episode of Season Three, "Black Buddha, Part Two", as a friend of Javier Vachon. Like Urs, he is one of a group of vampires who have travelled with Vachon for years. Although no longer together (at least in theory), the bond between Vachon and Screed remains strong; and, when he is being pursued by the Inca, it is to Screed that Vachon turns for refuge.
Screed is transparently eager to either avoid or keep on the good side of those who are more powerful than he is. He is fond of money; and, in "Black Buddha", he takes the risky job of hunting bombs planted in the service tunnels since Nick pays him for each one he brings in. As well, in "Blind Faith", he sells Nick the location of another carouche for a hundred dollars. According to Vachon, whenever Screed accumulates a sufficient amount, he heads off to Las Vegas to gamble.
Little is known of Screed's life before coming across. However, based on both his Cockney accent and a few clues from the episode "Fever", it would appear that he was an English sailor, and became a carouche about 450 years ago. Fans often assume that he was brought across by Vachon; but this is not canon, and there is also fan fiction in which the two are unrelated.
Although fans resented the forced cast changes required by the USA Network when it acquired the rights to Season Three, this dislike did not extend to the new vampire characters, who were seen as an opportunity for new insights into the vampire community. Screed is, on the face of it, unprepossessing in the extreme; but he immediately attracted a small but devoted following.
One ardent Screed fan, Libby Singleton, is often referred to by the nickname "Libratsie" in his honour.
There are a handful of groups within Forever Knight fandom who focus their interest on Screed more than the other characters. These factions interact on mailing lists and groups, write fan fiction about Screed, and play as groups in Forever Knight Wars.
Fans who consider themselves affiliated with Screed call their faction the RatPack, with the individual members being known as "RatPackers". (The capitalization of the medial "p" is highly variable.) Since their establishment, RatPackers have been active in the Forever Knight Wars, though the faction is a small one. They are closely affiliated with the Mercenaries.
Many RatPackers like to assume a version of Screed's speech patterns in posts to the FORKNI-L mailing list, especially when the character or their faction is the subject of the post. As few are really familiar with either Nadsat, rhyming slang, or Cockney pronunciation, the result is hardly an authentic version of the way Screed speaks. It is, however, an immediately recognizable marker of membership in the faction.
Screed's interest in women is canonical, since he and his friends drain a group of prostitutes in the flashback to the episode "My Boyfriend is a Vampire". However, his appearance and habits make him a most unlikely romantic object. Couple factions involving Screed do appear on long faction lists. It should be noted, though, that these faction names are really only used to identify fiction that includes pairings involving Screed. These are small secondary factions that do not participate in other fan activities.
The Rat Patrol pairs Screed with Tracy; and is largely an amusement of the Dark Perkulators. Not all their Rat Patrol stories are romantic, however: many of them simply involve an encounter between the two characters.
Screed was killed off in the episode "Fever", after becoming infected with an experimental AIDS cure that he caught by drinking the blood of an escaped lab rat. From Screed, the disease passed to Vachon, and then to others in the vampire community. Although a cure was eventually discovered by Dr. Lambert, it was too late for Screed. He died in Vachon's arms, and was later buried down by the waterfront.
Fans largely ignore this.