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|by Madrigal Costello
There's an old Vlad Dracula routine, on the flip side of the "2,000 Year-Old-Vampire," where the sire tells his disciple, "Listen to your victims, and your victims will tell you how to eat them." And when I first tell my sirees this, they look at me as if things have clearly begun to deteriorate. But it is as important a concept in hunting as it is in the undead life.
It means of course, that when you don't know what to do, when you don't know whether your victim would do this or that, you get quiet and try to hear that small voice inside. It will tell you what to do. The problem is that so many of us lost access to our victims when we were risen. When we listened to our intuition when we were young and then told the sires what we believed to be true, we were often corrected, ridiculed, or punished with fire or crucifixes. Hellmouth forbid you should have your own opinions or perceptions - better to have an Initiative chip in your head. If you asked innocently, "Why don't we just shoot people so they don't run away when we try to bite them?" you might be told, "They're not running away. They're just confused with excitement at being around a vampire." Or if you said, "Why can't I make my face change back and forth?" you might be told brightly, "Shut up or we'll douse you in holy water and mail you to the slayer's house." And you nodded, even though you knew these were lies, because it was important to stay on the sires' good side. There was no one else to take care of you, and if you questioned them too adamantly, you'd probably get sent to the Hellmouth without dinner, or they'd drive a stake through your ankles and leave you on the hillside above the Mobil station to wait for sunrise. So you may have gotten into the habit of doubting the voice that was telling you quite clearly what was going on. It is essential that you suck or break as many necks as it takes to get it back.
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