Interview about a vampire

Dr. Watson's office, London University

The office of Dr. Sean Watson is almost stereotypical of what one would find in the office of an active archaeologist. Bookshelves line the walls of the office where there is no window, and where there is the one view outside, there are low-slung shelves. Not only books adorn the shelving, however. With each sectional, it can be discerned what specialty the shelves contain. There are small statuettes of random Egyptian figures of history, a couple of skulls that look very much like the mummified remains of some poor soul who lived a couple of thousand years ago filling the shelves behind his desk and chair, pottery, examples of textiles of the Middle East on the 'far shelving', and the nod to MezoAmerica under the window.

A desk sits on the side, papers piled along the front and on top of the blotter that also acts as a calendar. Pictures are hung on the walls in the spare spots, devoid of shelving, which is only on the wall nearest the door. There, Dr. Watson's degrees are hung, as well as a couple commendations from the archaeological community at large.

Just beside the door, a tall, cherrywood hatrack stands with a jacket draped upon it


Characters

Wade.jpg Messy_ms.jpg
Wade Sean

Just post dinner hour on a Monday evening. The temperature has dropped slightly outside, and while it was a sunny day, the clarity of the skies simply make the night air all that chillier. Full course load for Dr. Sean Watson means he keeps odd hours at the university. He's got TAs he has to supervise, exams coming up for the end of term (he never gives the same exam twice; the explanation is that his lectures are never the same twice!), and a final class to teach. First year non-western civilization history class. It's a topic he enjoys immensely, but it's all he can do to keep the dates back in virtual pre-history to these kids from causing their eyes to glaze over. Being English and having a long history back helps a little as everyone has stories about family dating back to the 13th century at least, but when faced with BCE? That's a bit tougher— and add to that that it's not European history?

Certain. Death.

Lamps are lit in the archaeology office, and Sean is seated behind his desk. He's got file folders on the corners of his desk, and one old looking tome is set in front of him. Wearing white cotton researcher gloves, he turns the page gingerly, blue eyes set to the information on the page. To look at the words, it's not English, or even Middle English…

Comparatively Wade probably doesn't have a whole lot to do. His usual afternoons are spent either cutting up dead people or writing about cut up dead people, and today is no different. However, with nothing to keep him through the evening he's decided to go out and make a few calls. The first to Dr. Watson was over the phone as a warning.

Then about an hour later is a knock at the door. Wade is there, and he's brought a gift. The man has a cylindrical Tupperware container pinched between his fingers, the insides rattling around as he makes his way into the room. "I hope I'm not interrupting."

Finger is on the line of the book, and lips are moving soundlessly as he reads, his hand moving carefully right to left. The door, when it opens, is ignored briefly for the concentration on the page, and it's only after a few moments does he come to a place where he can lift his head. Brows rise, his mouth hangs slightly open as he focuses on the person now through the office door.

"Ah.. hello." A smile of recognition, though the question is still easily read in his eyes. "Friend of Alex, right?" Sean shakes his head in prelude to answering the question posed, "Interrupting? Nah.." He pulls the cotton gloves as he rises to his feet.

"Come in.. sit down.." He makes a gesture in the air, a sideways wave, "If you could close the door behind you, though.. I don't want anyone walking in.."

"Close enough," The man agrees. He shuffles in with slow steps, taking a few quick glimpses across the office. It takes a moment, but once it passes whatever inspection criteria the technician has he nudges the door shut and drops down into a seat, leans to set his Tupperware down on an unoccupied edge if he can find one.

"Pretzels," He mentions, a short arc of fingers at the offering. "It's a late-night snack." A somber nod with that, and then fingers settle at his waist. "Thank you for seeing me. Alexandra said you'd be a good source of knowledge on things that aren't quite dead. My expertise usually falls squarely into dead, and not not-quite-dead, so I thought you might enlighten me."

Sean does a rapid headshake in declining the offer of a pretzel, just in case there was one. "Okay.." He studies the younger man now seated and closes the book on his desk by using the gloves picked up in one hand to do so. "I wouldn't call my expertise the not-quite-so dead, dead.. though I do know something about them." He offers a hint of a smile, "Not that they particularly like being known.." He, of course, is assuming the 'not quite dead' is vampire, though he takes a moment and has to ask.. just in case.

"You are talking about vampires, right? Not… zombies.. frankenstein monsters.. or any of that sort?" Not that there actually exists Frankenstein's monsters, mind…

Those last two aren't on my list, no. Zombies I'm more familiar with, and as something close to a mortician my first instinct when I see a body is put it out during thunderstorms and see if it comes to life. No luck, but still trying." A dry smile touches Wade's lips, fingers making a short wag of dismissal.

"What I don't know terribly much about are vampires, yes. I've read a few files, but there's a lot of paperwork and clearance levels and other things I don't like involved with that. Personal experience is few and far between. At the moment I'm focusing on relevant things. Specifically, how much of the myths are true."

Fingers begin to tick off. "Sunlight and a stake through the heart, for instance, seem the most popular ways to kill one. But will garlic? Running water? A virgin's blood? Is the source of their power contained in the dirt they were buried in?" Pause. "Do they sparkle?"

A smile creeps across Sean's face at the admission of the urge to put a dead body out during a thunderstorm. "What you may not have added to your equation is a willing soul. That life force that animates us all. Whether you believe in it or not, there is a lifeforce there. So.." He pauses, his tones friendly and helpful in the professorial tenor, "see if you can't find someone who can find you a ghost." And should this succeed, he'd be extremely interested in reading the reports..

"Vampires." Sean exhales slowly, watching the fingers as they aid in enumerating the requests. "First.. no, they don't sparkle." God, no.. please. "I almost think they'd be offended. No self respecting demon in human skin would be caught.. dead sparkling. Which, in turn, means they cannot go out in sunlight. Like the mythos, they do "sleep" during the day. It's more an.. un-animation rather than sleep. It's when they're truly dead." Kinda creepy, actually, and for the necromancer? That's saying something.

"So sunlight, yes. Stake through the heart, yes." The words are drawn out slowly, blue eyes studying the younger man. He holds up his answers for a question of his own. "You're not planning on going vampire hunting, are you?"

"I know a few ghosts," Wade admits. "We don't talk too often, but they were one of the first denizens of the supernatural world I met. It comes with the territory." A nod. "All the bodies. And I do believe in the soul, or something similar to it." As if that wasn't clear enough.

"Hunting? No. What I've found is that a good place to start leaning about things is what kills them. Especially dangerous things." The pretzel container is plucked up again, moved to the man's lap. "How much do you know about their biology? The way they make more? I'm assuming the biting works like everyone says it does."

"Well, theory on vampires is fine.. because there aren't many who can actually get close enough. They do have more than a few defenses. Strength, speed, and the ability to charm a person." Sean raises his hand to wave it on the side of his head, "Mind control. I don't know of many who can actually resist it. Like everything, the older the vampire, the better he is.. at some things."

Dropping his hand once again, he sets his forearms before him so he can lean in, his tones still conversational if not on the pedagogical side. He is, after all, a professor of history.. and things dusty. "Biting works like everyone says it does. That's how they make more. As for the other things you asked about? It.. really depends. You see, the mind does play a huge part in everyone's life. I have a theory that the reason some of rumours and legends persist is because the vampires actually believe them. If you believe that you can't cross water, you can't. Same with the dirt thing. If you look back in their history, the strictures actually change with the centuries. Some have no issue with crossing water, and there seems to be a cut-off stage.. where a good number cannot. Those, of course, were created after the legend began. So, in terms of, say, Stoker.. if you are dealing with a century old vampire, he may believe in the garlic wards and so is harried by it. Others, however, simply find it offensive and either get mad or laugh." He puts a finger in the air, certain to add, "But.. the invitation holds. A vampire must be invited into a private residence. By their owner."

"I don't like to get close to dangerous things. Just make sure they can't get close to me." His container is rattled, as if in emphasis. "But I'll keep it in mind."

Lips draw into a small, thoughtful line at the rest of the explanation. A nod comes, slowly and surely enough. "I'm not sure I like that. Belief always muddles things up, I'd prefer if they'd all just organize themselves into something that makes sense." Another beat. "But I suppose that's par for the course."

With that he stands, offering a small smile. "Well. I didn't want to stay too long, and you look busy. But another time, certainly. Thank you, and I'll give your regards."

"Yes, well.. that's where it becomes dangerous, as if they weren't enough. Like us, they're all individuals, each with their own.. animator. As they get farther away from their humanity, they tend to get a little more.. homogeneous. Predictable, if you will. The trick is knowing when.. and in what ways."

Sean rises to his feet as Wade does, and offers a hand; meant in greeting and in farewell. "It's okay. Any time. Please tell Alex I'm not dead, and that I'll eventually make it 'round." Regards is pretty much perfect. Alex will understand. "A pleasure.. and stay safe. There are more of them than usual, I think, and they're … restive."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License