"Just relax," he says, comfortingly. "I know you'll do just fine."
I smile back, and watch the studio around me all melt a little.
"I know I will," I say.
I'm not leaving anything to chance, you see. I've got no intention of talking to these people and just letting them decide for themselves. Oh no. Now isn't the time for people to start making those kind of decisions. I'm going to make sure they form the right opinions, the opinions I need them to have.
Outside the world is blowing up again. London is finished, I think. At the end of this evening, I'm going to leave here, and start looking for a smaller town, somewhere I can begin again. I'll find a local shop and stock it with useless 'True Blood', which I'll devotedly buy and pour down the sink. I'll be a member of the local WI and explain to them all that vampires are just like normal people, really, and I'll rip the throats out of any Sabbat who try and mess with my home.
London is finished.
The cameras are beginning to turn, and I learn forward towards my interviewer, holding his eye. My tone is earnest, but light.
"You know, most vampire myths are just that," I say "Myths. Most of us are really just people, like you. We do have problems with our diet, which is why so many myths have grown up, and why so many people are afraid of us. But underneath it all, we're not very different from humans."
A wave of gentleness and concern washes out from me. Everyone who listens to me knows that I'm sincere, that I care, that I want what is best for them
Like I said, I'm not leaving anything to chance. No one is having an emotional response that I don't want them to have. That's what the powers of my blood do.
Maybe London is finished, but I'm not. I'm only just beginning...
This is in part for adze who asked a while back for a story of Rudi's past, asking how he came by his reputation.
After a little research, the idea collided with the recent apocalyptic events and became this. I would love to take the time to explore some of the details. I also hope that ST types don't mind the scale of what I am claiming to have been responsible for! (mind you, it doesn't necessarily have to be entirely down to him...)
Anyway, enough preamble, on to the
( story )
"Dear Mr Gregory, I can keep the items in stock for a while; do feel absolutely free to get back to me in happier times. In faith..."
"No, I quite understand; there are limits to what one can offer to an individual when ... yes. Yes, as you say. I'll arrange for the balance to be credited back to you, less the deposit."
"Dear sir; I can arrange that. I'll need a few days to ensure we have enough information, of course, and I can give you a costing. Please give me a number on which I can contact you for emergencies. In faith..."
"I had heard, yes. It's a terrible tragedy. If I can suggest that we consider offering a variety of reinforcements; we can supply things that others don't have the resources for currently."
"Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that. Please, do let me send you the necklace anyway; I'd be honoured to supply it at no further cost in time for the close. I can only offer my sympathy at this time, and I do very much hope that there was no pain for her."
I've had more cancelled orders in the last two days than I've ever had before put together. And then, there are the four or five requests for 'all my money, in a portable and discreet set of jewellery that will keep its value' which almost get enough money to make up for it. And then there are the professional requests - there are a number of people interested in ensuring that rivals are 'caught up in the rioting'. It's thrown the power balance out both among kine and Kindred. Is there any other way in which we can use this to further the primary objective?
(Is the world actually ending? Rumours of Antediluvians rising are going around. If we act as if it is not and prepare for if it is, we won't be surprised, at least...)
One was liquidating her entire property portfolio, as none of it was safe to use as a haven anymore. Slightly vexingly, it appears jez thinks that in the current market this means Firinne has just lost around £1 million pounds, which makes me very sad. However, at least she has a new house.
And it also got me thinking about how really changing haven, for anyone, and even more for a rather controlling vampire, isn't really just a practical move. It's also a quite emotionally difficult act in itself. And lo! This story practically wrote itself
( Firinne moving house )
( The first of a thousand lovers )