Friday, October 28, 2011

How To Become A Higher Vampire – The Examination

Zoe_Lionheart_100 Last time you’ve learned the basics a newly transformed Vampire needs to know. I also told you that, in order to join the Vampire aristocracy, you’d have to prepare yourself for the Examination. You came back, so you’re willing to do the next step. Good, but I have to warn you – this Examination is not meant to be fun, at least not for the applicant.

You’ve never heard of the Examination? Well, it’s supposed to be a secret, and before you’re granted access you have to agree not to tell anything to anybody. Which means that I’m taking a significant personal risk to tell you these things. Luckily Tamara approved publication, and she’ll be able to stand the heat, too.

Let’s get down to business.

What’s the Examination about? Vampires are a quite traditional folk. You already know that Vampires can un-live for centuries – but they only grow that old because they stick to their rules. Rebellious young Vampires perish like snowflakes in the sun. (Pun intended.)

Have you ever seen a Vampire shrieking or running around in panic? No, probably not. They’re supposed to keep the proverbial stiff upper lip, whatever happens. Vampire aristocrats have to maintain the appearance of the powerful immortal being that they in fact are, they have to show a certain level of dignity. In fact, showing anger or lust may be acceptable, but showing fear or pain never is. In order to join their ranks, you’ll have to prove you can adhere to their standards.

That should already give you an idea of what to expect, doesn’t it?

Once you apply to the Examination – which is done through your guide, the Vampire who transformed you – you will be told when and where to show up. You will not be late, there will be no excuses, no second chance. Failing to appear is like failing the Examination.

There are only three things you can do in preparation.

First, see that you’ve sucked some fresh blood. You should be as strong and un-healthy as you can.

Second, re-read the Vampire 101 I’ve presented last month. All the rules apply, and surely there will be many Old Vampires attending the Examination.

Third, undress. Yes, undress. You’re not allowed to bring clothes or jewelry to the Examination, not even up to the doorstep. You should also remove earrings and such.

This is how the Examination will work:

1. There will be a chairperson, usually the oldest Vampire present. That’s the one who’s got the last say on you, so stay on his or her good side.

2. You will be all nude in front of the assembly. You keep your hands to your side, you won’t try to shamefully hide anything. Remember, this is about dignity, you must look as if nudeness doesn’t bother you, even if the entire audience gives you lecherous looks. Of course, exhibitionists have an advantage here, and yes, showing a hard-on is acceptable.

3. You will have to answer any question by anyone truthfully, even the most intimate ones. Don’t appear as if you’d try to hold anything back, this might make things uncomfortable. By the way, you will be very well advised to unveil your vulnerabilities, as only those that you tell will be observed.

4. You will obey any order given to you, even if it sounds weird. Don’t talk back, don’t argue, just do it. Unless it’s causing you pain, try to be entertaining – and maintain your dignity.

5. Everyone may look at you, everyone may touch you everywhere. You want to appear helpful. Show off.

6. Everyone may have sex with you. If I would reassure you that it only happens occasionally – as the audience usually isn’t sexually starved – that would mislead you. Better assume that you’re so good-looking that everyone would want to have sex with you, any kind of. This means, if you see a cock near your face, give it the suck of your unlife. Remember, showing lust is appropriate, so enjoy! This will also reduce the chance that anybody wants to check the next point.

7. Everyone may test your pain tolerance level by almost any means – whips, bonebreakers, knives, heated iron etc. Again, this test shall prove that you can maintain your countenance, that you’re strong enough that you still could fight back, and that your self-control allows you to not fight back when it’s inappropriate, when you shouldn’t give away that you’re a Vampire. (It’s okay if you show little signs of pain here and there, you won’t fail because of that – but it may also entice your torturer to continue.)

8. If you have a foe in the assembly, for example an Older Vampire you’ve annoyed before, be prepared for the worst tortures mankind has ever invented performed on you, and unlike a mortal, you can’t escape by premature death. Neither can you run or hope for help by your friend – who is bound by the same rules that brought you to the Examination. Time is no issue, if it takes nights or even weeks, you’re stuck with it. So you better have no foe.

9. If you thought such endless pain is the worst that could happen to you, you’re wrong. You might find yourself ordered to take a mortal’s blood, all of it. No excuses – if you don’t follow all orders, you failed the Examination. Now think – what if you know the victim?

10. If you’re faced with contradicting orders or demands, there is only one thing you’re allowed to do. You may give the chairperson a questioning glance. He or she will then tell you how to proceed. However, this may annoy the Vampire who has to step back. It would be much better if you would show good judgment and at least try to fulfill the conflicting demands partially. Want an example? Well, if two Vampires want to have sex with you, do a threesome.

After you’ve read all this, you might think, why do it at all? There are good reasons.

1. All wounds will heal, all bones will mend eventually – the more mortal blood you drink, the quicker and easier, that’s why you should have sucked some blood in preparation. You don’t have to fear permanent damage, not even scars.

2. There will be no wooden stakes, no sunlight, and no one may bite you. No one may kill you.

3. You will not be given orders that are impossible to follow. However, an order that requires you to dislocate a joint is not considered impossible.

4. If you perform well, you may make friends at the Examination, or at least gain some goodwill. Make sure the chairperson gets a good view on your assets. Make sure they rather test your skills in sex than your pain tolerance, so be inventive! For obvious reasons, there is a sequence in the tests.

5. Once you’re approved, you belong to the Vampire aristocracy. Unexamined Vampires, even if much older than you, may no longer give you orders.

6. You may join other Examinations as part of the audience and have some fun there.

7. You’ve shown that you want to belong. This gives you some kind of family, and the older members might help you here and there, at least show you some tricks.

8. If you stay around for some centuries, you may have a chance to change the rules and make the Examination more comfortable. However, it’s easier to not change the rules, walk in to all the Examinations and have sex with the applicant until the would-be-torturers have lost interest, which also makes it more comfortable for everyone.

What will happen, you might ask, if you fail the Examination? If you try to chicken out or don’t obey an order? Nothing you’d like – you will be sentenced to death by starvation while resting inside a heated iron maiden, and that may take painful ages.

Eventually, a while after your wounds are healed and you got acquainted with some of the Older Vampires, you might hear of Beasts. Or you simply read my next installment.

No superpowers, no impressive looks. Just her determination makes the difference. Don’t cross Angry April.

The discovery of a doomsday device in the heart of Denver has clearly told Zoe and April that they’re running out of time. They may have only days left to save mankind from annihilation, and they still have to locate their enemy. There’s no choice but to try something new, which may alienate Zoe from April’s side. Are the two women prepared to pay that price? And is mankind willing to let itself be saved? Or would that just be a pact with a different kind of evil?


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