Mark and I told Rhea about the incident with Tamas and Rebeka, when, as we suspected, Tamas wanted to feed on her. Apparently, it was more than a suspicion; Mark said that Tamas confessed to him of wanting to do just that, although Mark thinks he won’t try it again. Rhea, however, got quite concerned when she heard the news. She was the one who ghouled Rebeka, after all.
I used the opportunity to ask Mark about the topic of his conversation with Tamas. No, i’m not being suspicious. I just thought that maybe Mark had an interesting plan to… Ok, fine, I was totally suspicious; sometimes I surprise even myself with the amounts of distrust I have towards a person who has done so much for me. Mark told us he wanted Tamas to join Ordo Dracul, which seemed like a creative way to make Tamas obey him… I wonder, if he agrees to join, is Mark going to interrogate him right away? Oh yes, that really sounds like Mark.
Also, I brought up the questions of wanting to get some lab equipment. Rhea asked for a list of items I needed, Mark added some things to the list as well, and Rhea told us she’d ask around. Not only can this equipment be useful for the clinic, I might even use it for my research in Ordo Dracul.
Rhea elaborated on the deal with her mafia, erm, friends, saying that they would use some of the facility for their needs, not all of which might be legal. But when you really think about it, is anything we vampires do legal? Sure, keeping the masquerade around mortals will be a bit trickier, but then again, they’ll have their secrets, we’ll have ours, so I’m sure both parties will appreciate the mind-your-own-business policy. Rhea assured us that such a policy was automatically implied, so all we needed to figure out was how prevent any accidental discoveries, a solution to which could be locking our part of the building.
Mark invited us to see Tamas and once again we found him without Arshad. It’s like the two of them have different agendas. Or one of them is a decoy, while the other is, well, doing whatever they came here to do. Tamas had the Latin book with him and he asked us if we could help him study. Mark and I agreed and we spent some time tutoring our Indian friend. It reminded me of the times when I was studying Latin with Evelina. Or the times I was doing homework with Kate back in highschool. There’s something about studying with someone. It’s fun, useful, but not only that; it can be personal, intimate – a special form of bonding. Until now I only shared this experience with the closest of friends. And now it’s Tamas. It’s just… It feels a little weird. I know we need to befriend him, but teaching Tamas Latin felt like he was invading my privacy.
After the “lesson” Rhea asked Tamas to tell us something about his clan. I asked Tamas what the name of their clan meant, but he said he didn’t know. Maybe it is of Semitic origin after all…
Today we finally did what we should have a month ago – we familiarized Rebeka with all the vampires in the kiddie pool (or at least the ones we managed to find). Rhea obfuscated Rebeka so that we wouldn’t attract too much attention. During our “tour”, just when I started wondering where Albert had gone to, we saw him walking with Tina. Figures.
The other thing that caught my eye was Barbara talking to Arshad. He didn’t strike me as a chatty type, so he had to be there for a reason…
Tamas came to the clinic for another Latin lesson and I once again assisted Mark. After the lesson he informed Mark that he had decided to join Ordo Dracul. Looks like Mark’s little pyramid scheme is increasing. Rhea invited Tamas for another friendly spar, and Mark and I watched them fight.
After the fight, Rhea asked more questions about his clan. He described the powers of the clan, one of which was rather curious. The ability to see into the future, he said. That can’t be possible, but then again I’ve seen a lot of impossible things happen in my brief unlife. There’s only one way to find out, I guess. We just need a DeLorean and we’re good to go. If only mom had gotten one instead of that Challenger, who knows how my life would have turned? Speaking seriously though, we don’t know how that power works. Maybe they see one of the possible futures and not a definite one. And for all we knew, he could’ve lied. What if his real power is extraordinary deception skills? Rhea was comparing his powers to her own and she told him about Obfuscate. He found the power to be quite useful (obviously) and they agreed to teach each other in the future.
I like walking around the city, it helps me think about things, helps me relax. I used to treat myself to a hot bath with bath salts and oils to do just that, but now that it’s out of the question, I have to do with walking. While contemplating my existence, I heard a scream, which was coming from a house nearby. I looked through the window and saw a woman kneeling on the floor, all beaten up. I saw the abuser standing near her. Then he walked towards the fridge and took out a beer. I knocked on the window to get his attention and when he noticed me, I made him believe he was afraid of me so much he didn’t want to disobey me. I told him to let me inside the house, but I didn’t really think that one through. I wanted to say something really smart and meaningful, but I just told him never to do what he did again. Yes, he was scared, but he sure deserved the scare. Besides, a little spook won’t hurt him, plus who know? Maybe being in a position of a victim might make him a bit more humble.
Mark, Rhea and I were encountered by Katerina. We hadn’t spoken in a while, so it was really nice to see her. She told us she was accepted into the Circle and wanted to invite us to her initiation party. I thought it was the kind of distraction our coterie needed, plus she told us there would be people from the circle, so I might see some familiar faces.
Tamas visited us once again, this time accompanied by Arshad. I had a hunch they weren’t there for a Latin lesson. They told us they wanted to take the diner away from Daniel and they could use our help. An opportunity to fight Daniel was something I couldn’t just turn down. I hate his pseudo noble attitude against mental powers like dominate, when in reality he himself was nothing but a bully. Plus such alliance would strengthen our ties with Tamas and Arshad, which was necessary to succeed in the task Edmund had given us. The problem was Mark. He had a vinculum for that bastard; I wondered how all that would affect him. He reassured us that he was fine, although I suspected it wasn’t necessarily true. Arshad said he wanted to fight Daniel and Emersonas, and Mark volunteered to take care of Jenny and Kendal leaving Rhea and me with Zacharajus. Rhea and Arshad chose a place for an ambush and it seemed we were all set.
That evening I felt like visiting Felix. I found him in the usual place. I told Felix about Katerina’s party and he said that I was celebrating my friend’s “loss of freedom”. Although I agreed with him, I told him that I respected my friend’s choice and I was happy for her. What I didn’t tell him was that I myself had joined a covenant. I didn’t know how he’d react to the news, and I didn’t want to ruin his already poor opinion of me (judging from our previous conversations he must think I’m completely stupid by now).
He told me he was unaligned, which didn’t really surprise me. I asked him which covenant he hated the most and he named Lancea et Sanctum and Ordo Dracul. Oh. I asked him why he hated Ordo and he said it was because they experimented on people. Mark didn’t mention that… I wonder what else he decided to conveniently leave out. A part of me didn’t want to believe it (plus, who knows, maybe Felix just heard some rumors spread by fanatics like the Sanctified), but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to me. I said that maybe only some of the Dragons were doing that, although the answer came to me before he even said it. Why would they risk their own unlife? was Felix’s reply. And he was right – why would they? There aren’t many kindred that I know who genuinely care about the wellbeing of humans.
Despite the soundness of such reasoning, there was a part of me that (for some reason) wanted to defend the covenant (although I suspect it might have been due to a very human trait of not wanting to admit to having made a bad decision). Ordo Dracul (at least as I see it) is about research and self-betterment, yet now it seems that the said self-betterment comes with a price…
I talked to Rhea about the equipment once again. She made a call and told me that it would be really expensive. I told her the equipment could wait until we got the clinic running.
I went to see Felix again this week and he remarked that my visits had become rather frequent. I told him I liked his company and he said that it was the first time he heard someone say that. I know he’s grumpy and reserved, but surely that couldn’t be right. I asked why and he told me that not many want to talk to the monster who lived in a river. I told him I was a monster who lived in a dungeon, hoping that it would make him at least smile. I know I’m the one to talk (when my own coterie haven’t seen me smile), but for some reason I want to see him happy. My “dungeon confession” got his interest and I told him about the clinic – how Rhea and I took it away from a maniac (and possible cannibal) who chopped people to pieces, and made it our home (which doesn’t sound very homely when I put it that way). He said that the maniac wasn’t very different from us (oh, so he’s better that Ordo, but not better than a sadistic cannibal? Make up your mind, damn you!). I tried to argue that vampires weren’t necessarily violent, but then he brought up the beast and I realized how little control we sometimes have over our own actions… I guess deep down I agreed with him, just didn’t want to admit it.
I decided to change the topic, so I told him that I used to live in a crypt. I asked him where he used to live with his old coterie, and he told me they had a place, but then one of his friends (and I quote) “fucked him over”. I asked him if that was the reason why he was so skeptical of friendship, and he said yes. Ever since we had that first talk about broken up coteries I was worried (almost to the point of paranoia) that my friends will leave me the moment we become citizens, and this story didn’t help either. I asked him if he still kept in touch with the other friend and he said she didn’t care about him. I know it sounds really cheesy, but I care about him. Perhaps too much than I should.
Another evening, another feeding. I really hate doing this and hate myself even more for enjoying it. It makes no sense when I say it like that, but then again, my life makes no sense. I find a man near a house. He was probably going home from work. I do the usual – create an illusion, scare him towards me, grab him and… This time I was careless. I didn’t notice that the front door was open, and I was so encapsulated by the blood that I almost missed the scream. When I stopped the man was already unconscious. I saw Rhea by the door, motioning me to get in. Then she took the man and dragged him inside. There was a girl sitting on the floor and crying. A family member… a witness. Rhea put the man on the couch and asked me if I could do anything about the girl. I didn’t have much time to think. I made her believe it was all just a dream, no, a nightmare. I remember being quite specific. Rhea bit her and drank her to unconsciousness and then we brought her upstairs. Rhea suggested dressing her into a nightgown, so hopefully, when she woke up the next day, it would all seem like a bad dream.
It wasn’t the first time I hurt someone while feeding, but this time I felt really bad about it. It was like a wave of remorse hit me in the face. A most unpleasant sensation. Oh, no no, unpleasant is having to listen to your grandmother criticize your mother at the dinner table. This? This was devastating.