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So, who wants to hear a story?
never gonna give you up


23:27] Scrib: tell me a story

[23:27] Scrib: ~3~
[23:27] me  : a happy story or a sad story?
[23:28] Scrib: a dramatic love story
[23:28] Scrib: ~w~
[23:30] me: Once upon a time, there were vampires.
[23:30] Scrib: ooo, a vampire story
[23:30] Scrib: /curls up on the ground with a big comfy blanky






Edited for cutfail. I'm sorry, guys!





Once upon a time, there were vampires.


Vampires were, at this point, the dominant political system of Europe. Each one ruled a kingdom ranging from a few miles wide to the entire of France. Each was different in powers, style, desires. Each one would, on occasion, take from their subjects.

Thomas hated them all.


Thomas wasn't his real name, of course. Names had power; even the most ignorant fool about magic knew that. He'd dropped his name when he'd woken up, brushed the ice off his chest and discovered that what he thought were fatal bullet wounds weren't and that his teeth were a great deal sharper than he remembered them.

He had, through what little he knew of political machinations and what lot he knew about how to design rocket engines and who to tell about it, found a place for himself on a small island country just south of Italy. It was too hot and too wet and too achingly humid and despite the coldness of death, sometimes he would find his lab coats sticky with sweat and shrug them off, grimacing at his pale, pudgy flesh. As a subordinate to the Master of the house, he didn't have to go out and find prey for his master, and he never really liked mucking around with exercise anyway when he had gears and engines to play with.

And sometimes when he was working on a security system of the house, he would find his hair sticking to his head and it bothered him--he had spent so many years in Siberia, evading frozen death with scraps of bread and soup, that this overabundance of *warm* made it difficult to concentrate.

Fucking Italy.

Either way, it bothered him. And even when he brought in air conditioning, strapped ice packs to the oily spikes he called hair, and tried moving the entire lab into a refrigerated room, he still couldn’t escape the heat. And eventually, it was enough that he decided to ask his Master for a favor.

His Master, who was somewhere in the 800s and looked about half that, was in his chair. He was always in the damn chair, which was twice Thomas's size and probably cost more than he'd made in his living days, eyes closed and murmuring. As a telepath who wired messages from Dubai to London and back again, most of his attention was spent on business and not what his little apprentices needed for help. Thomas had to wait until late at night to go see him.

"What?" The Master looked up, milky eyes staring at a point just below Thomas's chin.

"I need an assistant!" If Thomas had a table to slam his hands against, he would, but since he doesn't his eye twitches instead. "If I could have someone who's magic could cool things down, or at least be able to make the air conditioning work--"
The Master raises a raisin-wrinkled hand. "I've brought you assistants before."

"No offense, sir, but they were crap assistants. I want to pick them out. I'll use my private allowance to pay and everything. Just give me a week to find them."

The Master considers this, then nods. "You have it. I'll have your head if you're late."

 Thomas shivers. That was literal. "I understand, sir."

When he's allowed to, he packs. He doesn't own much clothing: slacks, collared shirts, lab coats, one tuxedo he still doesn't fit into. He takes a few of the first three and lets the fourth continue to rot in the dust. A few notebooks for note taking, in case he gets good ideas or spies something juicy. His basic engineering kit (yes that welder counts fuckdammit). His card for checking into blood banks; he didn't want to commit a foux pas of eating someone else's people while on business and blood banks were cheap enough, anyway, even if the blood was tasteless. And his lucky set of goggles, just in case.

He picks up a dollar thriller about elves at the airport and spends the flight making notes on how unrealistic it was. Conservation of mass didn't work that way, even if princess Serenity Moonshine needed to transform into something large enough to smash Ebony Darkness Sundeath. He would never understand what good people saw in fiction.

Thomas arrived at the airport in San Francisco around noon, hailed a taxi and settled down in the rat's nest called a hotel. He could have spent more for a decent room and perhaps nubile virgins for breakfast, but he needed all the money he could for his new assistant and he wasn't into virgins anyway. He hadn't been into anything except his own machines for some time.

He got a room with a window. Firstly, to avoid suspicion--most vampires avoided sunlight because it dulled their powers, but the one power he had wasn't so great anyway. Secondly, to make sure no one would sneak up on him.

 And then he goes searching.

The job market for new talent in Silicon Valley was huge, booming, bursting at the seams, and that was why the new science market was formed. A giant building filled with people vending their talents, showing off what they did with a power converter and half a laptop, all waiting for someone to hire them.

Thomas searched for three days. Thomas found nothing for three days.

Thomas decided, after spending a little too long wondering if he could metabolize a Barbie’s head because he needed something to bite off, he needed a break, rented a car and drove into the wilderness.

He ditched the car after a few hours. The seal on it would keep it safe...probably. Most likely. There were magic-hackers around, but he was deep enough in the winding valley of trees that anyone that skilled wouldn't find it.

Thomas wandered. There were a few small towns here and there, and he stopped to sample wine at one. He preferred vodka, frankly, but he needed the pick-me-up and the alcohol was strong enough to burn out the ashen flavor of grapes on his mouth. He buys steak at another town, rare as it can be please, and it's hot and seared and bleeding and beautiful.