Neko is a promising portable/tiny/fast VM which Haxe, a C/C++/C# like language, uses. Neko is plenty fast already but the next version will make it even faster with a builtin JIT. Neko uses a C-like language as well as an XML-based language for intermediate language format. For Ruby-fans, there is an ongoing ruby-to-neko compiler project.
Current expectation is that Neko with JIT will be even faster than LuaJIT which, along with Lua 5.1, is resparking interest in Lua.