Being Human

I finally got to chat with Sophia this morning. I was just popping over to the tavern for my usual stock-taking when I found her knocking on the door of the downstairs apartment.  She was looking for me, but clearly I need to improve my directions, since she was knocking on that door rather than mine.  I invited her up, apologising for the clutter, which, to be honest, was only a pile of notebooks on the table. She laughed at that and claimed her apartment in Richmond was far more cluttered. I agreed she was probably right, explaining that I had so few possessions when I arrived here, and little opportunity to acquire more, aside from books.

I offered coffee, but she declined, claiming a loss of appetite since learning what her ‘medicine’ was.  That I could understand; without the feeding pleasure, I can’t imagine the idea of drinking blood being very appealing.  I explained briefly how it was for us and she made some comment about how sometimes Lucy and her mother would bring a victim back to the house and how it sometimes sounded like she was living in a brothel.  I could not comment, never having been privy to Tory’s or Lucy’s feeding habits.  I’m not sure I am better off knowing about that now.

I had already briefly explained to her, after the luncheon, about the effects of coming off the vitae, but I went through it again with her, in a bit more detail.  This allowed me to confirm that she hadn’t been taking it very long, so she wasn’t going to be subjected to accelerated aging. She asked what powers she might be losing, which question I was less prepared for, knowing little of the powers of Tory’s bloodline.  I had totally forgotten to ask Brigitte, and even if I had remembered, it would have been difficult to phrase the question in a way that would avoid suspicion. I confessed my ignorance, explaining briefly the nature of my embrace, and suggested such powers as I had heard were experienced by our kind, such as strength, speed, healing etc.  She did ask if speed-reading was a likely power, which I could not answer.  She was relieved that she would not revert to the state she had been in when Tory rescued her.  That, I think, had been preying on her mind.

I did advise her that there might be withdrawal symptoms, since she was debating whether to taper off or to just go “cold turkey”, as she put it.  I advised tapering off, since we did not know fully what the symptoms of a sudden withdrawal would be. I also offered, should things go badly, my own vitae, but, unlike her mother, I would do so giving her full knowledge of the consequences.  I know that would get me into trouble with Brigitte, but I would not see Sophia suffer.  I am not sure what Brigitte could do, there being so few of us, and no real hierarchy, but, on the other hand, I have been on the wrong end of her irrational anger before, so who knows what might pass.  Sophia declined my offer for now, but thanked me for the thought. I suspect she wants to find out what it is like to be human again.  And, if things get too bad, we at least have an answer to that, albeit a risky one.

That, I imagine, had given her plenty to think about, and she got up to leave, claiming hunger for the first time, and thinking she might get a meat pie from the bakery.  I told her that the quality of food there had apparently improved greatly since Mitternacht took over.  Not that I would know from personal experience, of course, and wished her a good day.  Then, for me, it was back to the books.



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