Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bloodline - Chapter 4 - "Lost Luggage Is No Nightmare"

Lost Luggage Is No Nightmare

Lost luggage isn't a problem for only humans. Not these days.

Some vampires, like my friend Opie who is currently getting more and more flustered at a girl behind the Customer Service desk here at Prague Airport who can't seem to locate his luggage, are becoming increasingly likely to fall victim to this and other problems which, up until very recently, were exclusively human problems on this planet.

Opie will tell me at times that I'm living in dark ages where vampires are a superior race to humans and that we need to live amongst them to fit in but I say quite the opposite. I don't feel superior to these people busying themselves around me but I do feel different. We are not these people. We are a different creature.

I didn't pack luggage because I don't need anything beyond what I have on my person, so I don't have any to lose. It's not that I don't have possessions. I have a home I live in with items of interest and things I like, but I don't need any of them. If I have to up and leave tomorrow, or if I have to stay in Prague, or if a random arsonist sets all my stuff on fire while I'm gone - it's no big deal. It's just stuff! the real important stuff is me, my body, my self. And I have the glorious advantage that I am wherever I go. Every step I take I bring me with me.

Of course, all these suits walking around. The mother's scrambling to make sure their children haven't dropped their Game Boy. The people desperately making sure they packed every last little thing they "need" before getting on the plane, they could all say the same, if they wanted. Humans don't need any of that crap either but they are unfortunately born human and as humans are brought up in human society which now, more than ever before (at least as far as I can recall), is designed to make you grow up as a consumer and a possessor of things, rather than an individual whose contributions to society and whose benefits from society are within themselves.

All you need is the air that you breathe. And I don't even need that.

Sadly Opie has failed so far in realizing that Vampires need these things even less. They're not even our things! What could be in that luggage that Opie needs so desperately? Looking over at him, brushing back his hair and adjusting his glasses furiously, I think that it's possible he enjoys the frustration. Is there some basic instinct people have to just get tense and angry all the time? It would certainly explain a few little absurdities about the world.

Well, I'm sure Opie will grow out of it. He has the time.

"She can't tell me where it is!", Opie says exasperated as he strides over to me. "Can you believe that?"

"Yes."

He doesn't seem to really have the time right now to understand my nonchalance about the situation.

"Well, I guess we should just move on. They have my number if it shows up.", he sighs

"I'm sure you'll survive.", a phrase that always seems so sarcastic that I think people forget to think of it entirely literally. "Where are we going?"

"There's a friend, Ladislav, who lives in the center of the city. He keeps a lot of old records about the region."

"A librarian?"

"Kind of. There's a lot of history in this place. Back when we used to be run by Princes and 'High Councils', a lot of the most powerful ones lived in Eastern Europe."

Princes were basically the leaders of any given city or region back in 'the day'. The way legends talk of them make it seem like they were rulers of the land, both vampire and human. I imagine Princes themselves were real, it doesn't ever seem too unbelievable to think that a vampire might decide to crown himself and put himself in charge, but I doubt they were as open about their status as blood-suckers as the legends seem. Again, we Vampires aren't immune to attack and making everyone aware of your presence wouldn't be the smartest move. These same stories that revolve around the times when vampires basically ruled most of Europe also talk of Werewolves (Who they refer to as Lycans) and Magi. I don't know why we give credence to such stories when it's pretty obvious that there aren't any Wolf Men or witches gallivanting around. Vampires are pretty much alone as far as 'Mythical' creatures go.

Like most things mystical or legendary, however they are based on some facts. It's just a matter of digging through the 'facts' that someone wrote down, either from eye witness reports or their own deluded imagination, to work out what was really going on. Which is why I don't see trips to meet people like this Ladislav guy as a complete waste of time.

Hell, it might be interesting finding out a little something about the Mythology of this place and it's supposed mystical past including this "Cross Of Caine" we're supposed to be looking for.

I keep meaning to ask Opie what the deal with that is anyway.

"Opie...", I finally ask him while we're taxiing to the middle of Prague.