Author Topic: A Minor Academic Pursuit  (Read 4281 times)

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Offline Satyr

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A Minor Academic Pursuit
« on: August 08, 2013, 07:55:30 PM »
reserved for Idrial

BEN HAD FINISHED PACKING UP his notepad and pen well before the other few students in the class, but he dawdled in order to speak with the lecturer.

Sam was one of the few who'd volunteered to lead a class.  So far there were only six classes, and Sam's was one of the later ones, beginning at midnight and ending at two.  This was very good for the younger vampires in her class (like Ben), who needed to go out and feed first in order to properly concentrate on what she was trying to teach.  So far it was all theory, but Ben knew there were a few exercises coming up, because he'd studied her prepared curriculum.

Sam's class was one of the few that seriously interested him.  There was another that he found a great deal more tedious but not something he'd skip; new city politics.  One of Connor's people was leading this class, and for what he lacked in exuberance, he made up for with bundles of information.  Ben thought it would be smart to understand the new layout.  He no longer had the protective sphere he'd had when Kerr was Luminary.

That class, and this one, were the two he wouldn't miss.  The others he'd already skipped because he was busy trying to expand the Academy into a bigger home, with more students.  This was a temporary location, he and Connor had decided, because there were more interested students than teachers.  It had been surprising how many applications they'd received - and a lot of them weren't just from vampires, either.  Ben wasn't trying to start a inter-species war, so it was good to have subjects (like 'City Politics') that anybody could come along to.  Murphy was in that class, but not this one.  Ichabod had yet to show up to the same class Ben was in, though he'd heard that his fledge brother had come by and looked around.  Whether that was bad information or not was difficult to know - everyone here seemed to want to please him.  It was weird.

"Sam, hello.  I liked your lesson," he started speaking as he approached the front of the class.  She'd already organised herself to leave but obviously noticed he'd hung back to speak with her.  They were alone now.  He gave her a brittle smile, because it was still hard for Ben to smile easily these days.  He could turn up the wattage if he really needed to, but right now he didn't want to fake it.

Online Idrial

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Re: A Minor Academic Pursuit
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2013, 04:17:43 PM »
"Alright class that's it for today. Tomorrow we will be discussing what happened after Caine left the Land of Nod and entered the first city called Enoch. If you have any questions about today's lesson please feel free to ask."

The flurry of chairs scrapping across the floor was a sign no one had any questions tonight. Sam watched as her young students left, giving them a friendly smile or nod as they walked out of the classroom.

She rose from her desk shuffling her papers in a neat pile on her desk as she stayed back a few minutes. It was a routine she had tried to get herself into, whether her students had a question or not. She was just straightening up her desk when Ben had walked up, she made eye contact with him. She was glad to see him smiling more, even if it was just a tiny one.

"Why thank you Ben, that means a lot coming from you. I hope it wasn't to confusing," giving him a small smile.
 
"I know the whole story of Caine with his journey of being embraced and the creation of our bloodlines can be hard to grasp at times. But it seems you're all catching on well. Did you have any questions from tonight's lesson?" She said in a helpful tone.

Sam was always willing to help someone. She always wanted to make sure her students got the help they needed. She would never turn anyone away and didn't think any question was stupid. It was all part of the learning curve and she wanted to make her students feel as comfortable in the classroom as possible.

 

Offline Satyr

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Re: A Minor Academic Pursuit
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 07:54:28 PM »
Ben, who'd been more interested in working on the bloodline skills than the history, had found something else to chew on when delivered the theory of how vampirism had begun.

"It's not hard to understand," he said, watchful of Sam's demeanour and wanting to see if it changed as he asked her his questions.  "But, do you believe it?  I mean, what's the difference between this story about the creation of vampires and that story about the creation of humankind?  Do I have to believe it, in order to succeed in tapping into the bloodline skills?"


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Re: A Minor Academic Pursuit
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2013, 04:54:24 PM »
The right corner of her mouth twitched upwards as he asked his question, this was the part of the job that she enjoyed. She liked a challenge and this was somewhat a challenging question.

"No Ben you you don't have to believe in Caine to tap into our bloodline powers." Her voice was soft and inviting. "However, I guess the difference between Caine's creation and human kinds creation was Caine was dubbed as a murderer and was cast out. Humans were still the flock of God but Caine made an empire all on his own." She didn't want to get into to much detail as that question somewhat crossed with tomorrows lesson. The first city called Enoch.

"As for me well I'm not sure what to believe," her smile fading just a little. "I guess my faith long time ago was shaken real hard." Referring to the death of her family. "But I guess maybe in time I could come to believe in Caine. I just believe more in the history than anything."

It was true but she knew Jake didn't like hearing that but he never pushed it on Sam. He knew of her history now and she was glad he did, it made things so much simpler between the two. 

Offline Satyr

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Re: A Minor Academic Pursuit
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2013, 06:58:11 AM »
Ben was intrigued that she would 'eventually' come to believe the story.  It was like she really wanted to, that she felt obligated to.  Was it because of her sire?  Was it because of something she felt in her bloodline?  Did she have a bloodline echo all the way back to the ancients?  Was that what Kerr had felt when he felt the need to supplicate himself to vampires much older than himself?  He would never be able to ask.

He wanted to ask her about Jake.  He wanted to ask her if that was what Jake believed, and could she feel the truth in her system?  He wanted to ask if she would be punished for not believing it yet.  He knew none of these things were his place, and the fade of her smile warned him that there was something else behind her answer.  It was better to stay away, so he went down a different track instead.

"I think vampires are part of human evolution.  I mean, it's a mutation, of a kind.  But it's also possible vampires came from a different world, and all the history you're talking about was from that world, and the first vampire somehow made their way through here using the leylines as a guide, and then found out how to reproduce, you know?"  He looked at her as she looked at him, and added half-heartedly.  "I never did believe in God, and now it's harder to."

Kerr believed in God, he remembered.

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Re: A Minor Academic Pursuit
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2013, 03:34:41 PM »
Sam listened with an open mind as Ben talked about vampires being apart of human evolution, a sort of mutation he called it. She never thought of it that way before as the story went with Caine he was cursed by God. Ben's logic did make sense after all, maybe the curse of Caine was a type of evolution or mutation. Even his mention of leylines was a fantastic point, it could explain how Caine found Lilith in the Land of Nod. She raised her hand to chin and stroked it gently, she met his gaze with bright eye's. 

"You know what Ben you make an excellent point. I've never thought about Caine's curse that way before, even your mention of leylines makes sense as to how Caine found Lilith in the Land of Nod." This kid was smart and she was happy to have him in her class.

Ben then mentioned he didn't believe in God, it made sense after all he did lose his Sire, lover and friend. She felt inclined to share something personal with him, maybe it would make feel better and not so alone. No one should have to lose someone they love but the hard cold truth was it happened whether people like it or not.

"I don't believe in God either," she added no longer stroking her chin. "When I was eighteen my dad, mom and little sister were killed by a drunk driver. I felt as if why would God allow such good people to die? Ya know." Her tone was a little sad and went quieter than normal.

"So I started to believe in myself, if I'm a good person and do harm to none then who needs God and those commandments. I know Caine is no longer apart of God but I like believing in myself." Her voice went back to it's normal bubbly tone. Jake believed in Caine with all his being but somehow she wasn't quite ready to believe in something else yet.     

Offline Satyr

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Re: A Minor Academic Pursuit
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2013, 07:25:30 AM »
"I'm sorry to hear that," he told her when she spoke about her family dying.  He decided to leave it alone at that.  He didn't like people saying some stupid fake thing to him about Kerr, and figured Sam had already gone through much of that already, because she'd suffered her loss years ago.  Losing Kerr wasn't why his faith had been shaken.  He'd never had faith at all.  It had never made sense to him, and now, knowing what he knew about this world and all of the supernaturals in it - it made sense that the idea of God had been misinterpreted.  Technically, he supposed he believed that the existence of Gods were possible, but a single entity responsible for creation was not.

He was taking too long to respond, but he was nodding along with her words.  He was flummoxed by what to say, so turned the conversation back to the thing he was going to talk to her about in the first place.

"I wasn't expecting so much history about your bloodline.  Are all of them the same?  I mean, you're Ventrue, so do the... uh, Tremere have the same history?  And the others?  Malkavians, too?"  These were the only ones he remembered because he knew people who were of the bloodlines - Connor was a Tremere, and Digital a Malkavian.  He forgot the other ones, but was pretty sure Ash Rivers had been something else.  Kerr had told him, once.  He wish he'd listened to him more when he'd had the chance.

Online Idrial

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Re: A Minor Academic Pursuit
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 11:05:43 AM »
Giving him a small nod while turning her eyes downwards for a moment, his silence afterwards is what brought her gaze upwards from the floor. It had been more than a decade and yet it still felt like it hadn't happened so long ago. How does one simply get over the guilt she had deep down inside? She didn't know, it had been her fault hadn't it? She was serving the man in the bar when she refused to serve him anymore, due to him being heavily intoxicated. He fled and long story short hit her family while driving drunk while they were going to an event, coincidence? She didn't think so and in turn it created no closure for Sam.

She snapped out of her own inward reflection she was having, it seemed as if several moments passed between the two. She was not surprised that he knew a few of the clan names, he knew Conner but she had no idea where he picked up the name of the Malkavian clan.

"In the beginning of Caines creation of an empire," not trying to give to much information. "It was the same but after Caine sired his own childer, which was shortly after. His three children went on to make there own paths, each of his children were blessed with certain disciplines which Caine learned from Lilith as we discussed tonight." Although she didn't say what disciplines belonged to what clan, that would be covered later on.

"So I guess as of now our history is different from one clan to the next clan. Our values, strengths, weaknesses and political views are all different.  At the same time all of our histories and disciplines sort of intertwine or overlap with each other at one point or another, some more than others." She had grown to love her clan even after her incident. If she might add being a Ventrue they were very anal about their history as well as the history of others. Jake had said long ago ,"The pen is mightier than the sword, and the Ventrue are that pen."         

Offline Satyr

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Re: A Minor Academic Pursuit
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2013, 09:07:22 PM »
Her explanation confused him a little, but he didn't want to admit it for fear of appearing foolish.  He didn't get a direct answer, but it could be that there might not be one.  Perhaps he could have phrased his question better - specifying he meant the origin of the Masquerade clans species, but now it was too late.

"Did you automatically have your disciplines available to you?  I mean, I was told as a mortal that I would probably have a strong telepathic ability, because my thoughts projected even then.  I didn't have to study it to be able to do it.  I had to learn how to stop doing it, actually.  I uh... pissed off a few vampires with my errant fledgling thoughts," he admitted, the memory bringing a smile to his face because it was associated with Kerr, though essentially it had been a frightening time.  "I know you have to practise to advance your skills to a higher, uh, level.  But do you just have them available to you at the start because of your bloodline?  The basic abilities?"

He was getting away from the political structures of the clans, which was why he was here, but he hadn't had the chance to quiz a Masquerade vampire on their bloodline before.  Old habits die hard.

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Re: A Minor Academic Pursuit
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2013, 03:37:37 PM »
Sam could sense that there was something that Ben didn't understand, she wanted him to be able to act on something when he was confused. But when he didn't press the matter she let it slide, he would learn soon enough that no question or confusion was to small for Sam. It was also never to later to bring up something that had been since discussed, it was always good to go back and reexamine the past through fresh eyes.

"Yes I did Ben but I couldn't use all of them right away," noticing the switch in conversation. "Fortitude, Presence and Dominance are the main disciplines of my clan. Within each discipline contains I guess you could say abilities you could obtain through practicing different exercises." Stopping to see if he was following along which he was beautifully.

"Jake taught me all of the exercises to advance myself farther but as of right now I can't use Dominance properly yet, it's really hard. Jake says maybe another six months I'll be able to use it decently. I guess I'm just too young and my mind isn't strong enough to withstand the mental drainage although I do still practice the exercises for Dominance," she started to ramble off a little she thought.

"Jake says that Fortitude is my strongest discipline so far. Presence is sorta in the middle. " She ended her sentence getting back on track of what Ben wanted answered. Not sure what he was going to ask next she patiently waited for his next question.

Offline Satyr

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Re: A Minor Academic Pursuit
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2013, 09:21:48 AM »
Dominance was something Ben only had an inkling for currently.  He'd been three years a vampire when he'd started using it.  He was older than Sam though, and was already struggling to remember how long he'd been transformed to his new species.  Living a mortal life felt like it hadn't even been him, like he'd read it in a book, or watched it on TV.  Plus there were those three years he couldn't remember thanks to Jack.  It had been a peculiar beginning for him.

"Presence is charming someone, right?" he asked, remembering a brief conversation with Ash.  He was pretty sure the ex-Hollywood actor had mentioned something along those lines, and Kerr had expanded on it.  Ben recalled that there was something further to that power - that it wasn't only charming someone, but it had to do with influence.  "Ash is a Toreador, he had it too," he supplied, and he wondered if Sam would ask about Ash, considering Ben had thrown out that name.  Maybe they even knew each other, but they were different bloodlines, so maybe not.

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Re: A Minor Academic Pursuit
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2013, 01:29:32 PM »
"I know a Toreador or two myself," she said with a grin thinking of Scott and Bryant. Well Bryant was half Toreador but one none the less, the name Ash didn't ring a bell for Sam. Mind you she was better with faces than with names any day, visualization was always easier. Ben at least had an idea of the clans that belonged to the Camarilla faction, he has a head start in this class.

She tapped her fingers in a friendly motion on the desk, Presence was much more than just a little influence. "Well it's a little more complicated then just charming someone," trying to think of a good way to describe Presence as she paused for a few seconds. Her fingers still tapping the desk.

"Unlike Dominance which overpowers the mind by force of will, whether it be thinking or acting. Presence is the subtle art of emotional manipulation, having control over one's emotions not their judgement or reason. Think of it as an extension of your alluring personality or a natural aspect of it. While Dominance you have to make eye contact Presence you don't need too, you just need a clear sight of the person or group you intend to influence." Her explanation seemed a little long but she was teaching a student after all.

"It's much more subtle than Dominance and it's much harder to detect when it's being used. Plus it's different and kind of neat. Although it's a common discipline that is shared among many clans in the Camarilla faction." Sam had used it with Jake when he had given her certain scenario's, she was getting better and had to use it a few times on her own. Usually against a bite junkie that just wanted a quick fix, she could instill fear in someone easily with Presence. It was the alluring part that was a littler harder to do but she was getting better with Jake's help.               

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Re: A Minor Academic Pursuit
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2013, 03:12:48 PM »
Ben nodded, and her reply about knowing Toreadors caused him to wonder if the clan vampires mixed clans often, or if there were some they wanted nothing to do with.

Her explanation of Presence was a fascinating one - he'd never considered toying with someone's emotions on a separate level.  Could they make people fall in love?  When Sam spoke about needing eye contact, he was curious about this fact.  Ben didn't need eye contact to plant the idea for someone to approach or help him.  Perhaps he was crossing over into the Presence skill set naturally.  He really needed to learn more about what separated the two skills - Dominance, and Presence.

"Is it your favourite skill?" Ben asked as soon as it was clear Sam had finished her explanation.

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Re: A Minor Academic Pursuit
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2013, 04:21:31 PM »
Sam stopped tapping her fingers on the desk as she thought about Ben's question. She was only a little over three years old and had only begun figuring out the extent of her disciplines. She had only heard of stories from Jake about the more advance abilities within a discipline, she'd never really seen them in action.

"Well... I'm not sure if favorite is the right word to use," her hand covering her upper lip as she stroked the lower corner of her lip with her index finger. Her eye's gazed downwards for a moment, she'd never really been asked that question. The question normally was, are you good at it?

"Actually the word I would use is interesting," her gaze returning to Ben. "I've only begun to master some of the basics and there is so much you can do with Presence I've only began to scratch the surface. Same with Fortitude, it's an interesting discipline too that I'm more naturally attuned too. It's a physical based discipline rather than a mental based one." Removing her hand from her face she leaned on the desk with her hip.

"I recall correctly only a small handful of clans can use Fortitude." Yes... the Gangrel, Ravnos, Salubri, and of course the Ventrue clan were capable using Fortitude. Ben would learn that later on as they went further into the history, the homework load would be tedious too.   

Offline Satyr

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Re: A Minor Academic Pursuit
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2013, 09:07:51 PM »
Ben watched her for a moment, noting her careful and thoughtful body language and unsure if it was artificial or if she was naturally so poised.  Women were a bit of a mystery to him, though Sam was about as sincere as they came.  He liked talking with females usually - there wasn't the kind of tension with them that he felt when speaking with males - but maybe it wasn't just Sam's genuine nature that had him so comfortable around her.  Perhaps it was the fact he was an older vampire than her and therefore more powerful in manner of skills, or perhaps it was because he was more powerful than her in terms of employment, because he was the founder of the Academy.  He'd liked Sam right away though, in spite of her connection to Jake - someone who still intimidated Ben and made him feel two inches tall.

"Are you glad that you're... uh, Ventrue," Ben said, the word sitting awkwardly in his mouth and usually coming out wrong - 'venture', but he didn't make the mistake this time.