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  #46  
Old 09-07-2019, 07:01 PM
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Natalia is quick to grab both her sword and the small piece broken off from the end, if it can be repaired she intends to do so. She's gotten this far with it and isn't about to leave it behind. When the spell completes she feels much like the sword, bent and broken, but it fades quickly enough once she's able to have a look around. "Nice place," she manages as her eyes adjust to the light, the woman pulling the night vision goggles off of her forehead and setting them on a table along with her sword. She pulls the hood off as well, pale blonde hair tumbling out from beneath it before likewise removing the gas mask and setting it with her other things. "I figure answering a bunch of questions isn't really your area of expertise and I'm guessing you have better things to do tan watch over me, so if you have someone better suited, tat'd be fine," she answers. She still can't believe she's here, apparently in Cairo, talking to what sounds like some sort of mega corporation of vampires. What a strange world. And she barely has any idea.
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:17 PM
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"I appreciate your consideration," Joanna replies, turning to Quentin. "Bring Clarissa and Robert; I must return." With a nod to you, she turns and slips out the door. Quentin looks at you and raises an eyebrow as he reaches into his pocket. "You will be surprised by the answers," he promises in heavily accented English, before moving items from the wooden side table and beginning to draw a symbol on it, more quickly than Joanna, and he too lights a match, though the surface remains unburnt. He looks back to you as the last of the smoke dissipates into the room. "Two minutes. Something to drink?"

OoC: HoF closes in three days... tick tock...
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Do no harm, take no guff.

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Old 09-07-2019, 11:07 PM
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"I tink I am all out of surprises for one day, but I am sure I'll be proven wrong," Natalia answers. It was as honest as she could be right now, while she couldn't imagine anything more shocking, she was quite sure there were a number of things she just couldn't imagine. "And just some water, obrigado," she says to Quentin. She's pretty sure he meant alcohol but it wouldn't do any good anyway, a side effect of her own powers was that it destroyed anything harmful in her blood, like a super immune system. Which unfortunately included alcohol. She really wishes she could turn it off but has never figured out how, it would be worth catching the flu now and then in trade at times like this.

OOC: Haven't forgotten, will be up tomorrow. Barely been home these past few days, ugh.
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:47 AM
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Quentin walks over to a small refrigerator and pulls out a bottle, tossing it in your direction before closing it and sitting on the top.

There's a knock on the door and Quentin starts, peering through the peephole before opening it. "Clarissa, Robert," he greets, showing in a diminutive woman and a smiling boy, before closing the door behind them.

"Hello," the young boy greets with a friendly wave. "I am Robert, this is Clarissa. I promise we're better company than Quentin and Joanna."
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:59 AM
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There's a nod of thanks for the water, Natalia cracking the top open and downing about half of it in one go. When the pair step inside she's immediately proven correct, there are still surprises left today. She eyes the two of them for a moment, taking another sip of water before turning to Robert. "Olá, but aren't you a bit young for... right... vampires. You are probably hundreds of years old, no? I have seen tat movie. So tey have you talk to people wit questions because you seem non-treatening, right? Makes sense," she shrugs, having a seat on the bed. That alone brought up other questions, but they weren't important ones right now. It does little to dissuade her though, in her experience children can still be very dangerous. "I suppose te first ting to do is separate te stories from te reality. About you tat is. What is a vampire?" she asks, getting straight to the point. Best to separate fact from fiction straight away so she's not using The Lost Boys as her primary reference.
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:15 PM
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Clarissa nods. "Quite right. I was born on the second of August, 1665, in what is now Kazakhstan."
"January 2nd, 1774, Boston," Robert supplies with a smile. "There are several types, but really only one main kind. A vampire is a human that has been converted by another vampire. Recent research leads us to believe it is similar to a viral infection; in any event, it is not so simple as a single bite, but requires a large blood transfusion over at least several hours, followed by several days of metamorphosis. The original vampire was- is, our king, Dracula, who is several thousand years old by now. Other original vampires have arisen, such as the historical 'Dracul' Vlad Tepes, who was never bitten, and Nosferatu, who was created by magic to destroy Dracula, but only Nosferatu remains alive. So, of the one million vampires living and six million in hibernation, only one is not blood-linked to Dracula."

Clarissa raises her hand to silence your questions. "The need for secrecy has led to issues with the blood supply; a hibernating vampire requires less blood than an active one, hence the large number in hibernation."

"Right!" Robert agrees. "Vampires can only survive on reasonably fresh human blood, though there's this weird bread stuff a hotshot scientist cooked up for the Council that's been going around. We can eat normal food like steak and cake and candy, but it doesn't do much for us. Our senses are better, and if we're fed, we're generally stronger, faster, and more agile than most humans. We don't need to sleep, technically, obviously we don't biologically age, and generally we're pretty good with magic, and the only way we can reproduce is converting humans. An awful lot of the myths about us are horse pucky, but we really don't show up in mirrors or cameras."

"There are one million of us living among the humans," Clarissa says. "We have jobs, neighbors, friends, even vampire families. All in hopes that one day we can come out without being slaughtered... and that day may be very soon."
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Is hard being hero? Yes. But someone must wear soap.
Do no harm, take no guff.
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  #52  
Old 09-08-2019, 03:40 PM
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The answers are strangely what Natalia was expecting, though naturally there are a few things she wouldn't have guessed. She would have assumed Blad Tepes and Dracula were the same person, apparently not. And there are some pointed omissions and seeming contradictions in what she's been told, best to get to those before they're forgotten. "So you say most of te lore is 'horse pucky' but ten tell me you don't show up in mirror or on cameras. And te bit about drinking blood and turning humans into vampires seems pretty accurate. So what about te sun? Garlic? A cross held by te truly devout? I know you die if you're stabbed in te heart wit a wooden stake, but carbon steel works too. And to be fair, I tink about anyone would die if you stab tem in te heart, so tat doesn't count," she answers, reading off some of the more common vampire myths. Another question comes to mind as well, one she's quick to ask before the diminutive pair can get to answering. "And you say you have been living among humans. Folklore mentioned tat too, and has many stories about vampires hunting, killing, and feeding on people in te night. People tey saw as... cattle, fit only to feed tem. Is tis a part of your history as well?" she asks. It might not be the most polite or diplomatic question to ask in light of things, but the answer was an important one.
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:35 PM
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"The sun is annoying but it's not as if we shrivel up and die," Robert replies. "We have better senses, so a clove of garlic is also annoying, but it's not as if we're allergic." He looks to Clarissa.

"Certain holy objects bear trace elements of purifying magic," the woman explains. "We're beings founded on magic, and direct contact with such is as a consequence rather painful. And you are correct about the hearts; I believe Robert referred to the myths about running water, counting grains of rice, requiring an invitation into residences, being resurrected corpses, and the like."

Robert nods. "Yes, certainly there have been instances where vampires abducted people; but come now, folklore also mentions that these people were primarily virgin females, correct?" He smiles easily. "I imagine quite a few men would slander anyone who robbed them of their romantic interests, and you would be surprised at the number of women, and men too, who prefer the promise of eternal youth and companionship undimmed by age when made by a sophisticated, clean-smelling, comely individual of means, to the impassioned plea of a filthy boorish sot to grow old and infirm together, the likes of which they hear many times a day, or to the arranged marriage by a dreaded father to a loathsome mate. Not all, of course, but many of those approached had been chosen as likely willing weeks or months before the offer is made. And virgin's blood tastes no different than that of the most experienced harlot, barring exceptions for diet and some diseases."

He shrugs. "And then there are those like myself, who were in a difficult situation and were saved by a vampire. This body is no more than that of a ten or eleven year old boy, but 18th century medicine could not have hoped to save me from injuries beneath the ox-cart, nor Clarissa from her barbarous father."

"And back before the modern firearm and electric lantern, even the most hardened soldiers are liable to tell amazing tales of the battle prowess," Clarissa adds. "Hand to hand combat with an experienced vampire soldier is a fearful experience, particularly in the dark, and the keeping of prisoners of war is as old as battle itself. Abducting humans, and hunting to kill, has been strictly prohibited for as long as I can recall, the more usual methods are as Robert described, or in times of need, a slight application of pressure to a neck's vein and a minute's slumber before they wake up with two pinpricks above an artery. But the Red Cross has been a wonderful tool, and we haven't had to resort to even those en masse in over one hundred and thirty years."
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Do no harm, take no guff.

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Old 09-08-2019, 05:36 PM
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That was exactly the answer Natalia expected, but not the one she hoped for. A lot of talking around the issue, no straight answer, just a lot of doublespeak and denial. Disappointing, really, but more or less the standard PR spin. Maybe they really were a corporation. "Now see, I am much more likely to trust someone who admits teir faults instead of insisting tey have none. I have seen far too often how terrible people can treat teir own, let alone te ones tey consider weaker tan temselves. To say your own has never done tis, never preyed upon te weak, especially when you say it was prohibited for 'as long as you can recall', and not 'forever'? I have a hard time believing tat. I asked if it was a part of your history, not one you were proud of. But I hear a lot of glossing over tat, waving it away as if it were notting. So as someone who isn't a tourist looking for a pamphlet, what are te bad tings you and yours have done?" she asks rather pointedly. Any kind of admission of guilt or imperfection would be welcome, right now it feels like she's hearing a sales pitch, and for something she has no interest in. They clearly see her as a potential asset of some sort, if they want her to have any sort of association with them, there's going to have to be some sort of disclosure. Honeyed words are a dime a dozen where she's from, and those are just from humans.
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:19 PM
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"Well, as long as I can recall is almost 500 years," Clarissa replies, sounding somewhat miffed.

Robert thinks for a moment. "Using 'we' generally, as of course this was before my time, it is my understanding that the Abbasid Caliphate once posed an existential threat to us and was soon to act on it. Beginning in the fall of 1257, we stemmed their rivers, their livestock fell ill -not our doing, but a consequence-, and opened the way for the Mongol hordes to sack Baghdad, as the problem lay with the entire government rather than any one or two or three men. That is perhaps the showiest we have been, but apart from that, you could say that we toppled several crusader kings and queens -Inquisitions really are a pest-, through means direct and indirect, and we have left nations to their wars and their quarrels when we could have stepped in and stopped them."

He shrugs again. "Of course, the eldest vampire living -apart from Dracula- is not yet 17 centuries old. There are some 2000 plus years where Dracula was alone, and I can't speak to anything he may have done then. And with as many of us as there are, we can't claim to know how many crimes individuals have committed, though we could likely correlate the number of unexplained vampire disappearances to it. Certainly lower than folklore, and I would be shocked to learn that the vampires have a disproportionately high number of serial killers compared to humans, to say nothing of rapists."

"If you are expecting us to reveal that we are, for example, responsible for the Black Death, or the World Wars, or restraining mankind's advancement, or any of a number of ethnic cleansings carried out by humans, rest assured that we have not done so," Clarissa replies. "Our actions have been primarily defensive, with the stratagem of a pre-emptive strike employed from time to time, and the occasional enabling of a convenient action intended by man and stopped by circumstance. King Dracula and the Council have historically preferred leaving mankind to itself, for better or for worse, unless some king or country takes actions to directly threaten our existence. I am sure you have read stories of the intrigue surrounding medieval Europe; we are simply better at it than the humans."

She leans back thoughtfully. "So, Wither, that is the 'bad things' we have done. What 'bad things' can we expect other countries to attempt to prosecute you for, if you are given citizenship? Murder, theft, arson? Perhaps a kidnapping, manslaughter, or a suspicious death?"
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Is hard being hero? Yes. But someone must wear soap.
Do no harm, take no guff.

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Old 09-08-2019, 07:39 PM
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Natalia leans back on the bed and sips her water as the confessions come, hint of a smirk on her face. Not completely what she was hoping to hear, but it'll do. It's certainly more than they would tell a potential investor, were this a company's business meeting. "See, now tat is all I wanted to hear - tat you are no better or worse tan us, just different. Tat most of you just want to live your lives, but tat yes, you have some who are scum. And from what Joana told me, you have little tolerance for tose scum. I am not politician, but if you are wanting to reveal yourself to te world, tat might be someting to keep in mind," she answers as she finishes off the water.

Their next question produces a scowl, though it isn't directed towards them. "I am from Rio de Janeiro, if tey cared about prosecuting anyone, none of tis would have ever happened," she says in a low tone, clearly not wanting to get into the details. Even after this time it's not something she wants to discuss, especially with relative strangers. Being vampires doesn't help either. "I have killed many - pushers, pimps, killers... scum. Te polícia do not care, unless tey were on payroll. People die in Brazil all te time. Many deserve it, too many do not. But unless tey were rich or important, nobody is going to care," she answers with no small bit of disdain. "And I have been a ghost, an urban legend at best. I would not worry. I suppose tere are also te vampire bodies I have left in Central and Sout America, members of tis 'cult of famine', but Joana tells me tey will not be missed, especially not by you," she answers. Her words bear an unfortunate truth, her victims have all been criminals, the sort that just get lost amidst all the other bodies. And even if someone did decide to look into it, they'd have nothing to go on. Just a story of someone dressed in black carrying a machete, but where she's from, not even that is very distinctive. Even in the case of a competent forensics team looking into things, her own power would eradicate any evidence she may have left behind. It's like she was made for this sort of thing, she thinks with a sense of disgust.

"Speaking of which, Joana tells me tey wanted to turn me into a servant of teir god. I have never heard of a god named 'Famine', I tought tat was just a ting. What do you know of tis? I only know of one god, and he brought famine, and plague, and locusts, but I do not tink tat is who tey meant. And why me?" she asks, a question they may not be able to answer, but one she wants to know anyway.
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:55 PM
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Clarissa nods understandingly. "Your vigilante activities aside, it is nice to be prepared for attacks if they come."

Robert listens closely. "In short, Famine is our god," he says frankly. "I mean, Famine is the name the Christians gave to him through their influence in popular culture, but it is the same entity. We believe that he created Dracula, and thus we are Famine's offspring, in essence. Some are more fanatical about this than others, with your cult being one extreme, but most are content to speak his name in reverent tones and to ascribe small acts of fortune to his providence." He nods, thinking for a moment. "The 'one god' you speak of is the Christian god, which is an entirely different being. As I understand it, Famine is one of several god-like beings who have some form of concern for the earth, but can't actually intervene directly, so they need a sort of proxy to do it. Many of the other beings have selected theirs in recent months, Famine just recently, so I imagine they had hoped to propel you into the spotlight and gain recognition for doing so.."

He spreads his hands and shrugs as if to say 'who knows'. "I can't read their minds, but I imagine that a vigilante who lives in shadow and exerts the power of decay could very well look like the ideal candidate to an obsessed mind."
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:48 PM
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"I never said I would be moving, I just wanted to see for myself. And get some questions answered. Rio may be a crime-ridden cesspool most of te time, but... it's home. And I would be missing Carnival," Natalia clarifies, it seemed Clarissa was assuming the relocation was a done deal, which it wasn't as far as she was concerned. Best to make sure there weren't any misunderstandings.

"Technically I was raised Catholic but I was never any kind of devout. Tat would be my mother. So like... te four horsemen of te apocalypse Famine? And he wanted me to be his... avatar, basically? As if I didn't have enough reason to hate tese powers. Wonder why he changed his mind.? And do you know where tey came from? Tese powers? I take it I'm not alone. I've seen videos and all on YouTube, I guess most people tought tem fake but I always knew. Or is tat someting else you have no idea of?" she asks, finally having someone she could ask, even if they might not know._
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:05 AM
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Clarissa looks to Robert. "It... varies," she replies at last. "As vampires, most of our powers come from magic, and centuries of practice; Joanna can render herself totally invisible, yet retain her sight. I myself have practiced pyromancy, Robert on improving his body, but we're both mere apprentices. As for your powers, I could not tell you; Dzu, the leader of our military, has a talent that may be able to distinguish it, but we cannot hope to call upon him freely. One of his apprentices may be able to help."

"But, sometimes, it's because you have an angel or a demon way, WAY back in your family line," Robert adds. "Or a fae, that happens too. Or sometimes, it happens by fluke. There is no one prescribed way that one's powers work. As for yours, without intending offense, I would guess that some succubus, or more likely incubus, seduced an ancestor of yours. Perhaps five generations ago, ten, twenty, fifty; it is almost impossible to say."
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Is hard being hero? Yes. But someone must wear soap.
Do no harm, take no guff.

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Old 09-09-2019, 06:09 AM
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"You mean demons, devils, and angels are real too?" Natalia asks, somewhat surprised. Not that there's any particular reason she should be, it seems everything else is real. The theories presented give her much to think about in this light, she had always considered her abilities an occasionally-useful curse, but hadn't thought it might be literal. "I barely knew my father. He left after my younger sister was born, and she only a year and a half younger tan me. My mother does not speak much of him, only tat he was a bad man who led her astray. And my older brother said he remembered him being angry, and a drunk, and often wit men tat mother hinted were wit a cartel. I tink it good tat he left, I never did miss him. If tese powers are te work of demons, I would not be surprised if tey are closer even tan five generations," she surmises, many of the tales her mother told her coming to mind. It would explain a lot, but would also somewhat let him off the hook, so Natalia felt torn.

"But my mother is very devout, and has said tat in spite of her mistakes, her children were te greatest blessings she ever received. And God in te old testament would use plagues and famine to strike te wicked, so maybe tese powers are from an angel far in my past instead? Or it is both, and I am some abomination wit te powers of both? I probably shouldn't tink about it too much," she sighs, resigned to quickly following her own advice.

"You say tere are other gods? And tis... Famine, does he have priests? Do you pray to him, does he answer?" she asks the pair. While they may be strange questions, even in light of recent conversation, this is an area she has no idea of and no idea what even to ask. The idea that there were gods of a mythological nature in the world, or at least watching over it, was just starting to sink in, as were the ramifications.

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