Author Topic: The Informant  (Read 4344 times)

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Offline realworldweirdo

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Re: The Informant
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2012, 05:26:27 PM »
"Apprentices need less pay than older vampires and demons," Conner pointed out, somewhat redundantly. They were on the same track though, and Conner heard Ben out. It was, he had to concede, a good idea.

"Haven Crest has space for meetings and presentations in the basement," he said slowly, chewing on his thoughts as he spoke. "We've got office suites rented that we're not using that could be used for individual training...." he grabbed what appeared to be a spreadsheet on the payroll expenditures of the City Ward and flipped it over. A pen shot out of from under a pile of papers, seemingly of its own accord, and landed in his hand as he started writing furiously in Latin. At Ben's last question, though, he halted, and started twiddling the pen back and forth in his hand.

"You mean my Clan, without being a Tremere? I'm honestly not sure," he admitted thoughtfully. "The principles should be the same, but it may be a matter of.... predisposition. The Clans of the Sabbat and Camarilla select progeny based on shared talents or inclinations." His tone had gone informative. "Although that's not all there is to it. Malkavians always go mad when they're sired, although to differing degrees and types. Ventrues only draw sustenance from certain types of blood. Every clan has something that seems to be part of the blood, and part that seems to be from the person turned. So, while my Tremere heritage," there was an odd twist on the word heritage that made it sound like a mockery "may give me an advantage, I think others could learn."

Blinking, he seemed to realize he'd been rambling. "So, in short, um, yes? I think."

Offline Satyr

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Re: The Informant
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2012, 08:13:59 PM »
Ben was intrigued and lowered his foot so that both were firmly planted on the floor, leaning forward in his chair to pay Conner closer attention.

"You know, I was reading a book on that before my Austrian trip.  There's not a lot on the subject of the blood clans, not available to those outside the clan, at least," he guessed, for it made no sense not to write things down.  He was sure that the Tremere had their own tomes, though it was unlikely Digital would be reading any books without wanting to burn them.  "Some of the stuff overlaps, like Celerity and Dominance, for uh... can't remember who gets them, but it sounds like the clan vampires don't get a lot in order to specialise to the nines for the stuff they do.  I have to admit, I prefer not having clan blood, because it's too... restrictive.  I won't say limiting, because I investigated some of the powers - Jake's powers, actually - and there's nothing limiting on the stuff he can do, or will be able to do.  But... I like being able to tap into a little bit of everything.  I like being able to... dabble."  He gave Conner a very intense look as he tried to deduce what he would be like as a teacher.  "If you led a class, I'll be there," he promised.

They were jumping around topics in an insane amount of time.  Ben was reminded of Murphy, momentarily, when they'd just talk about random things and say whatever fanciful thing entered their minds.  This was like that, but at the opposite poles.  There was nothing random about this - it was all purposeful, important stuff, and there was a lot to cover.  How much time was Conner prepared to give him?  Ben would be happy to spend the rest of the night here and leave with enough time to get home by morning.

Offline realworldweirdo

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Re: The Informant
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2012, 11:32:45 PM »
"If I led a class?" Conner had to deal with the last thing he heard first, trying to work his mind around the concept, a startled half-smirk on his face. Sharing the secrets of the Tremere, of the Camarilla even, was forbidden on pain of.... well, now that he thought about it from the outside, on pain of whatever your judge felt like doing to you. He knew from personal experience how creative they could be. The question was, how much more creative could they get?

He settled in his chair contemplatively, thinking, considering, weighing the benefits for the city and for all those young supernaturals against the risk of retribution of the Tremere. Hesiod was still alive, he knew that much; once in a long while, he could still feel the distant presence of his blood bond to his sire. When he'd broken ranks before, he'd been punished, exiled, his mind and spirit violated and turned against him. It was only in the last decade that he'd overcome it.

Conner's mouth fell open as he rose to his feet, a look of awe on his face. The realization broke over him like the sunrise he would never see again. The command, the exile, hadn't vanished; he could still feel it in the back of his head, always screaming at him, always telling him to run. The banishment had ended, but not their punishment. He'd overcome the compulsion.... and they didn't know. He'd won. He'd taken the secrets of the Tremere and the supernatural from Hesiod, and he'd been set free. His original goal as a human had been achieved, and it had taken him more than ten years to realize it.

Now was the time for revenge.

"Do you have a job?" he asked, turning to face Ben with a feral gleam in his eye. "If not, do you want to put this together?" He looked troubled for a moment. "I'll need to write a textbook."

Whatever Ben had been saying while he was lost in his thoughts had been ignored. Now he had a goal, and the madness that had hounded his mind seemed to be pushed back. Freedom pushed it back, the freedom of realizing he'd won by his own strengths. He'd share it with others now, protect them from the pain he'd had to go through to get it.

Offline Satyr

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Re: The Informant
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2012, 07:28:45 AM »
Ben was perceptive enough not to speak while Conner's expression transformed repeatedly.  It went through subtle changes, but Ben recognised thinking face when he saw it.  He'd just made a big declaraction, and something he'd said was turning the wheels in Conner's mind.  He wasn't quite sure what it was but it didn't matter - he assumed he would be spoken to when Conner finished with his thought.  Ben hadn't ever really thought about Conner while enjoying the life at the penthouse; he'd buried himself in the library instead, and it could've been quite the folly (except he was glad he had, now that he knew the library had a timestamp of availability on it).  There were other resources to tap into that he hadn't utilised, like knowledge from other vampires (like Conner).  By the time he'd discovered the clan vampires, he'd been a vampire himself for some years, so it wasn't as important to him.  He'd obsessed about his own potential skills and abilities instead, but now - after mentioning the idea to Conner - he realised that there was nothing stopping him from investigating the Clan specialties.  Why couldn't he do the stuff they did?  All it took was practise, right?  Look at Lazarus, two thousand years old and no powers to speak of, because he hadn't worked at it (and Ben recalled something the blonde had said flippantly around him, not knowing that Ben's memory had been wiped - that he hadn't liked the idea of someone mucking around in his head).  What a fucking waste.  Ben couldn't respect someone like that.

The question about a job made Ben smile slightly, and it held when another question came his way.  The comment about the textbook came next, before Ben answered, and he knew that there would be classes after all.  Most excellent.

"I'll help you out where I can," Ben said, thinking it was more 'where I want to', "but I don't know what you expect me to put together.  I don't know anything about your clan powers.  I can write down the way I train and what techniques work for me, and what worked for Ichabod.  And Owen, once I spend more time training with him."  He had no idea that Owen was interested in working for the Ward himself.  He wouldn't know if Conner had seen Owen's CV, or if they'd even met.  "Beyond that..." Ben didn't finish his sentence, he simply shrugged.

Offline realworldweirdo

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Re: The Informant
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2012, 11:03:47 PM »
Conner listened, but his mind was a storm of ideas. A flapping hand dismissed the train of thought as unworthy of pursuit, his eyes half-closing in a hungry squint.

"Not just Clan abilities," he muttered, still easily audible to vampire ears. He began pacing, drumming his hand on his chin, then going to his pocket a producing his new Zippo, which he flicked open and shut rhythmically. "Demon species. Shifter powers. Lycanthropic behavior patterns. Supernatural energy types. All of it," his free hand gestured in a chaotic loop, as though indicating something both grand in scale and variety. "Why stop with one thing? What is it that changed humanity from the feeble, Iron Age society I was human in to the Information Age society you were human in?"

He didn't give Ben a chance to answer as he flung himself into his chair, a good three feet away from his current position, with supernatural dexterity, spinning twice before catching himself with a foot and facing across the blanket of papers covering his desk. Several fluttered slightly at the breeze his hop had created, and the chair creaked a weak protest. "General education!" he announced fiercely. "Every human in the developed world goes through a basic education, everything from literacy to basic physics, right?" That was a genuine question, but his rambled on anyway, that gleam still in his now wide-open eyes and growing stronger. "They're getting ahead of us. We can't have that, but we're too stuck in the past. Apprenticeships, yes they would work.... but an academy, now that's a project worth undertaking. Worth devoting resources to. Worth tuition and staff."

He grinned madly, telekinetically summoning his pen from the far side of the desk where he'd discarded it before and gesturing forcefully at Ben's face with it from across the desk. "The Kerr Galvin Supernatural Academy!" he announced dramatically, before suddenly realizing he'd gotten entirely swept away by his train of thought and withdrawing into a doubtful posture, cradling the pen in his hands and staring at it as though it had said something of interest. "Do you think he'd approve?"

Offline Satyr

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Re: The Informant
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2012, 08:08:18 AM »
Ben was half smiling as he was flapped at, but the smile gave way to an expression of interest as Conner had his brainwave out loud for Ben to hear.  Speaking about learning different species and their powers in a classroom environment was both thrilling and intimidating.  He'd been alright in school though, but it had been a very long time since he'd learned that way.  He'd left at sixteen because he'd left home, and had to become a full time employee just so he wouldn't end up on the streets.  He'd been lucky that he'd not walked out of his house into homelessness, but education for him had always been on his own terms after that - and the personal research he'd done, even as a little kid - had been about vampires, vampires and more vampires.  It had all worked out okay in the end, because they'd ended up being real (like he'd hoped) instead of a pipedream (like he'd believed).

He found Conner's idea of the human species launching themselves into the future due to mass education one that was strikingly obvious (in hindsight).  He'd never thought about it that way, he'd just assumed that as time marched on, so too did the next inventions and the learned skills that had to come with them.    He'd always known that in the last hundred years technology had done a crazy leap forward, but he'd never thought about why.  How peculiar, that an advocate of learning, education and research, would never question the reason behind the advances humankind had made.

It was also interesting that Conner said 'they' and 'us' about humans and vampires.  Perhaps Ben was still too new a vampire, because he still considered himself people.  Yes, he had to get it into his head that he was a different species.  A shark among fish - but that was the wrong metaphor to use, because a shark was still a fish.  Even though he was thinking to himself, and letting his mind cycle around history and learning, he hadn't lost track of Conner's spoken process either, and he returned his intense focus to the other when he made his announcment.

The Kerr Galvin Supernatural Academy.  Why yes, he would approve.  Not only that, but an Academy was exactly Ben's kind of thing, and putting Kerr's name on it would bind them together one last time.

"Yeh," he said, and in his chest he felt like he'd been hit hard in the heart, but there were no tears (even though he associated that chest-pain with tears, usually), and an odd kind of electric current rippling through him that could've been mortal shivers, except they felt rather different in his vampiric body.  It was a good sensation though; kind of like pride and happiness, but like a lazier more toned-down version of them.  "Yeh, it's just right," he said again, also nodding, in case Conner didn't read his reaction correctly, because outwardly it was quite muted.  "You'll have to start small, right?  So the Academy can fund itself in the long run.  How are you going to attract students?  Through Risk?  Venture, I mean?  And advertising in the papers?  What if you get other kinds of students, like fae and stuff?"

Not that Ben could imagine too many fae would be interested in learning.  As far as he'd ever seen, they had their own lifestyles and rarely deviated from them.

"And teachers?" he asked.  "You'll have more credibility if the teachers are the species they're teaching about.  A lot of them might not want to share their secrets."  Ben's gaze dropped to his hands as he said the next part, because he was the one who'd fucked up on this particular topic.  "Like how to summon them."

Offline realworldweirdo

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Re: The Informant
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2012, 11:57:31 PM »
"Good points," he replied, looking up from the pen and beginning to fiddle with it. He started writing again, crossing out what he'd written in Latin before and switching to English. Ideas, nothing solid, but ideas. They would need teachers, and funding, as well as supplies such as books. Would there be classes in specialized fields? That would probably draw students. He noted the possibility on the back of the recycled report.

"I've got an appointment in ten minutes," he realized aloud, glancing up. "We should meet some other time to go into further detail on this. Was Digital the only thing you came to tell me about?"

Offline Satyr

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Re: The Informant
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2012, 09:55:13 AM »
"Oh," Ben said, unable to hide his disappointment that Conner had an appointment.  Of course he had an appointment, he was the Director of the City Ward.  Speaking of pipedreams, Ben's fantasy of speaking with Conner about many different topics until the threat of sunrise hastened them apart was obviously a very silly one.  He nodded agreement when Conner mentioned meeting again, and the last question caused Ben to feel silly once again.  "Yeh, sorry," he said, wondering why he'd thought he was going to be delivering groundbreaking news to the ex-head of fucking spies.  "I'll make an appointment after I find out from Kerr's lawyers how much I um, how much I have," he said, stumbling over the thought of Kerr's will.  "Where would I find the Ward's phone number?" he asked, not wanting to call Conner personally just to arrange a time if he had minions for that.  He stood up as he asked it, also, aware that he should offer his hand for a shake before leaving, to make polite.