Hiroshi lore #2

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The following text deals with delicate topics, such as physical and psychological violence, explicit descriptions of gory scenes and body horror.
Including these topics in the narrative is not the same as glorifying them. The narrator instead aims to address certain topics and explore them critically, and use these delicate themes to develop various characters.
Attention: Writers, translators, players and all other professionals who participated in the creation of this content do not share or identify with the violence described. It is used solely as narrative and dramatic content.

Japanese version

chinese version

Scene 1

Detroit, current day

Family | Mansion Lasombra, Detroit, USA, 2013

“My lady…. she would not have done it first to extract
confirmation of her doubt through Domination?”

It wouldn’t have been Elegant.”

In the room, a single predominant noise. It echoes between the walls, the frantic and irritated click of buttons on a joystick. The PlayStation screen is practically the only source of harsh lighting in the room, dimmed by the suspended smoke of a cigarette; the other lights seem tired, distant.
“Looking past that pathetic attempt to kill me, can we talk about why you insist on bullshitting me?”
An inhuman gurgling, a zombie, finds its end.
Hiroshi smokes, feeding the fog highlighted by the screen light.
“I don’t say bullshit.”
“And I’m a fairy.”
Hiroshi looks at her for a few seconds, perplexed. “They do not exist.”
Adine seasoned the answer with a veiled smile on her face. “You would be surprised by the truth there, but that is beyond the point. Do you know what doesn’t exist? Morality.”
For a few seconds, the only sound you hear in the room is that of the video game. Hiroshi stares at Joel, killing the infected. “Technical-…” the woman reaches out her right hand; from the sleeve of the jacket, a tentacle turns to gag her son to prevent more bullshit.
In-game, having only one hand, she limits herself to slaloming between the various enemies while aping her son’s tones answering, “Technically killing is wrong, the real is rational, and the rational is real blah BLAH!”.
She notes a slight discouragement in Hiroshi and removes the gag of shadows.
In response, he remains silent and resumes smoking, as if an inability to smoke was more upsetting than an inability to speak.
The woman continues, “Morality is relative; it is like time. Time technically does not exist. There is no large and imposing clock at the center of the known universe, and unknown to mark the seconds, time is relative according to place and speed, but is that not the point… Morality is more subjective, let’s say, related to the individual’s point of view in a given situation, to his analysis, to the place he grew up, and to the personal historical period.

The interest that has sparked in Hiroshi’s eyes when time was mentioned is extinguished when he discovers that it was just a trivial example. “I find the effort you put into trying to justify the monster you are… commendable yet, at the same time, useless.
I believe life is already shitty enough without counting the interference deriving from interactions with third parties, which inevitably worsens it exponentially. And it is precisely the unpredictability of people to create that discomfort, depending on the subject, that can often manifest certain panic episodes, that actively contributes in creating discomfort in an otherwise logical and healthy planning of life. Why is it that someone with delusions of grandeur must arrive, one who only seems to want to vent some sadistic instinct” the ashes of the cigarette fall on the ground, but Hiroshi doesn’t care at all. “Not that I have issues with certain things, psychology has not recognized them as deviations…in most cases… but generally, they foresee an agreement between the two parties. Otherwise, we can classify them as abuse or badgering… yes, I think those are the correct terms” the ash then falls onto the shirt, but the boy does not even avoid it, he seems to not even realize it.
Adine, after a pause of silence, without taking her eyes off the monitor, replies: “Are you hoping that walking the path of martyrdom, dedicated to calm non-violence, is the best choice? Do you want to call the helpline for domestic abuse? Who the fuck are you: the Gandhi of the Cainites?
Are you trying to put yourself in a position of superiority through non-violence and preponderant rationality?” The woman bursts out laughing “Why don’t you clearly express how much you hate me? Or have you always tried to kill people in your pastime? Until proven otherwise you tried to do so with me, albeit with a maneuver comparable to a 5-year-old boy running with a water gun attempting to kill the queen of England …”, she shakes her head, then rests it on her clenched fist. “Anyway, how is this monstrous behavior of yourself justified by your rationality?”, she asks before returning to play.
Hiroshi moves his eyes from her to the screen, looking at Sophia giving Joel a watch, joking that she sold drugs in order to buy it “Hate is an irrational thing, feedback from our brain to a harmful person”, he says throwing a glance at her, “So we can say that it is your fault if I tried to kill you.”

Adine pauses the game; now she is the one who turns her gaze towards him.
A smug look, having the expression of Anatoly Karpov when, at the end of a game, he finds himself clenching his lips to pronounce the much-adored
“Really? Fascinating, and tell me… When Sp@wn died, what were you thinking?
About the right way to offer your dear friend a worthy burial, or about saving your ass?”

The cigarette remains suspended near the boy’s lips for a time that seems endless.
Hiroshi would like to breathe, but his mind is completely stuck on solving a mortal loop.
His fingers barely tremble, the cigarette’s filter seems to have become a tenuous hold for his reason.

“You…”
Adine smiles.
She smiles extremely pleased, as she crosses her arms satisfied.
On her lips the sweetest smile, of the sweetest of the mothers.

“YOU…”
The filter crumples between the boy’s fingers.
The woman gets up and stands in front of him.
She is tall and she looks at him from top to bottom, as if to crush him.
“Me, me… I was right? Is that so hard to say?” Her tongue almost seems to hiss between her teeth.
“I find it unimaginable, the disappointment you have to feel realizing that you too are a monster who thinks about saving his ass night after night.”
The room has suddenly become darker, the shadows weigh and the only thing that does not seem to give in to that darkness are those icy eyes, that almost reverberate mockery in the dark.
“How did you feel as you manifested your superiority over that lousy worm? it was exciting, wasn’t it?” another smile, a terrifying smile “You enjoyed it, didn’t you?… who knows, maybe you even tried to jerk off afterwards: a conditioned reflex…”
An inhuman scream releases from the boy’s throat.
Hiroshi throws himself at Adine as if he wanted to tear her heart out with his bare hands.
He squeezes her neck, baring his canines, while the woman laughs.
She lets him do it, while the shadows seem to get even blacker.
The boy sinks his teeth into the tender flesh of her neck and insults her ferociously, while blood leaks from his eyes like tears, coloring his face.

Scene 1b

The Day Before

Hiroshi opens his eyes. The room is dark, the windows are closed.
He is immersed in silence.
The alarm clock strikes 19:35.
“Even yesterday I woke up at 19:35, maybe a few seconds later” he reaches out and immediately lights a cigarette, nodding as if to merely complete a thought with himself.

The boy’s eyes look around, leaning lazily on the silhouettes of objects in the dim light.
“Taking into account this small difference, it is likely that I wake up some time after sunset, not always at the same time” a cloud of smoke is released in the air, followed by a sigh “It has more sense than a fixed time”.
Speaking aloud helps him to put his thoughts in order, as if he were talking to someone.

He lazily sits up, propping his elbows on his knees.
“But some of my own generation, like Layla, have a different waking time … There must be other factors that I am not considering” the next cloud of smoke is accompanied by a cough.
A hand runs through his hair, an automatic gesture made in an attempt to physically put histhoughts in order.

His hair is long, too long to be bearable, but he has had to deal with this for a few days already: vampires wake up every night in the same condition they were in at the time of the embrace. Of course, his proverbial luck meant that Hiroshi had long hair and an unkempt beard that evening.

A sense of nausea catches him suddenly.
<>
No, it’s not sudden, it just took a while to realize it.

It’s that unwell feeling that makes your mouth salivate.
<>
It is that feeling of well-being, which makes your mouth water.
<< No, NO WRONG >>
Malaise, malaise.

For a moment he seems to imagine a solution … but that image escapes the moment he gets up and ties his hair.
Idly he puts on his shoes.
He’s been alive again for about 4 days, but he feels heavy, bored, nothing really stimulates him. All his emotions seem hidden beneath the surface of an icy lake or beyond a very high wall.
Maybe you just need a strong enough emotional stimulus.

Scene 2

Detroit, current day

The Beast pursues him.

How dare this bitch make fun of you?
What does she know?

Hiroshi bites, drinking his mother’s blood.
He wants to consume it, he wants to kill it, eliminate it, erase it.

She was behind everything that happened, that’s how she knows!
She must be punished for this!

He longs for the end of her, the end of all his deadly problems.
Pluck out the weeds at the root.
She is the root.

The woman laughs, her laughter echoing all through the halls of the Mansion.
Hiroshi, guided by his uncontrollable fury, sinks his teeth until he tears off part of her neck and chews it quickly while screaming.

“YOU MUST DIE!”
He then continues drinking his mother’s Vitae. Believing that she had enough fun, she stops laughing and moves the internal shadows of her body, making them flow together with her Vitae into Hiroshi’s canines, making them dilate.
The compression and decompression forces are such that it literally explodes on the child’s face. Hiroshi staggers back, just a few steps, enough to notice that the woman has already healed the wounds inflicted.
The boy glares at her furiously, but his understanding of shadows is nowhere near comparable to that of Adine, now capable of squeezing sections of pure Abyss into the black filaments of shadows she manipulates.

“Has all your rage been released? Have you realized what you are?”

Hiroshi is out of control; he has lost his canines but not his anger.
Pain doesn’t calm him either…

That is, if he can still feel it, the pain.
His hand goes frantically searching for a pen.
His pen.
His black Bic.
He wields his favorite weapon and forcefully pierces the chest of his mother, who vanishes in shadow form, avoiding the blow and reappearing behind him to watch him fall clumsily to the floor.

“Yes, like this, this is the Beast. Feed it. TAME IT!!!”

Another scream that has nothing human about it comes out of the young man’s mouth as he stands up.
Without realizing it, he uses the Power of his blood to strike the woman’s face who, arms still crossed, grabs his arm in midair with a hell-black tentacle.
The resistance placed by Adine is so strong that Hiroshi falls forward, his arm still hanging from his mother’s shadow appendages.
The Elegant throws her son’s arm away in the direction of the door, the same tentacle shadow grabbing him by the nape, as cats usually do with their kittens.
She holds him suspended in the air, bringing him close to face her “Do you understand now?” In response, more inhuman screams escape from the infant’s mouth as he charges another fist with his left arm.
Adine remains motionless, taking the blow to her face head-on.
Hiroshi’s ulna and radius escape from his elbow, blood splashing across the screen, giving the light a reddish glare that spills across the room.
“Okay, now you get it.”

He puts his son on the sofa and puts her jacket on his shoulders, then calmly sits down and takes up the joystick again.
“Amalie, fix his mouth and help him smoke”
The sleeves of the coat twist and take the shape of arms, palms, fingers.
The apparently normal jacket reveals itself for what it really is: another Vampire, belonging to the Clan of Flesh Sculptors, the Tzimisce.
The newly formed hands are directed towards Hiroshi’s mouth, granting him the ability to speak once more.
Despite this, the boy remains silent, he watches those limbs move as if they were his own, as they slip into the pockets and take the pack of cigarettes, but he doesn’t truly see them.
His thoughts are elsewhere.
He is suddenly devoid of any impulse, heavy and far from the anger he was feeling before.
He looks at her for a while: What was he thinking?
To kill her?
But he was never a violent person …
Or had it been and he had never noticed it?
After all, he had only begun to take revenge on what he had endured in life after he woke up like that, so things had to be connected.
The metallic noise of the lighter brings his thoughts back to the cigarette.
The flame burns the paper, then the tobacco.
The boy’s lips close around the filter, moreso from muscle memory than by any conscious intention.
A puff of smoke, the pain coming from the wounds is still strong.
The boy looks at the screen with interest and, after a while, he finally speaks: “I think vampires are no different from these zombies: creatures infected with some disease, who can’t help but behave in a certain way. This strange disease modifies the physiology of the infected and makes them hematophagous, so technically we are not predators, but parasites”

Adine slays a clicker “So are we abandoning the bad monster theory for the zombie’s one? It doesn’t seem like progress to me, these so-called people could never desire a sandwich”
The boy nods thoughtfully “Maybe instead of a fungus it is a virus. It integrates into our genetic heritage and changes our physiology without using our body, acting like intensive farming … yes, the virus seems a more coherent hypothesis. Too bad, fungi were far more interesting”
“Can’t you just consider us a different kind of animal instead of looking into these odd theories?”
Hiroshi shakes his head “No, it would not justify the method of transmission and the acquired monstrosity”
Adine sighs “Following the theory of an evolved species with respect to the human root, the monstrosity conflicts with the analysis of humanity itself. Humans raise animals for the sole purpose of feeding on them. They kill other birds or quadrupeds often even for sport or vanity, not even for the survival instinct. All you do now, including the desire for revenge against those who have wronged you in life, is just your humanity rotting. You must know that vampires are all the more monstrous the more they try to stay human, because they try to abide by rules that no longer suit them. Any Kindred who manages to live with the Beast for more than a century or so, having seen all the people he knew while human die, or having simply lost all connection with his mortal past; If he can survive the abandonment of humanity, it often coincides with embracing a Road.” The woman shrugs “On a theoretical level this practice is adopted more by the exponents of the Sabbat, but I can guarantee you that even the Prince of Berlin during the Second World War, jumping from roof to roof to feed himself on Jews, among the gunfire of the Germans, he had very little humanity… Let’s say that, summing up very briefly, the Roads are moral systems, different from humanity and better adapted to what we are”
“Mh … Roads?”

“You can also call them commandments, philosophies of life, but Roads is cooler, though I can’t even tell you who was the first to give them a name. If you have the Kink to discover the origin of the names of things, study this, it is certainly more interesting and instructive than continuing to look for a rationality on the Vampiric condition. But oh well … passing over the rhetoric, you didn’t know anything about it? Did you really think that all vampires behaved like dumbed automatons following their thirst? ”
Hiroshi nods, he has always been a sincere person.
Adine instead begins to think that he is stupid “Tell me you’re taking the piss …”
The progeny shakes his head “We wake up after dark, we feed on blood, we do horrible things … we have to be like the ruthless monsters of legends, right?”
“We created those legends, asshole, to defend ourselves from humans and make them believe that we are just fictional stories, as a consequence of the mess made by them during the inquisition. And what’s the matter with waking up after sunset? ”

“It is scientifically nonsensical.”
“As a matter of fact, it has no scientific correlation with our nature at all. It is an effect from the curse of Cain. I’ll make it short: Cain killed his brother and quarreled with God,
God got pissed off and told him You know how God likes to do things, right? Like how birth is incredibly painful and all that other bullshit.”
“I do not believe in the existence of God. Or rather, it is quite absurd to believe that a new species of parasitic individuals was generated by a quarrel with a hypothetical superior entity that refused a sacrifice”
“And how do you explain the characteristic traits of each clan?”
“To begin with, if we are all the same species, it makes no sense to divide us into clans. The various diversifications are probably a kind of breeding, as in the case of dogs or pigs, but they can still reproduce among themselves, which makes them part of the same species ”
“Though, when vampires have sex, they won’t get pregnant… you don’t need a mommy and a daddy to hold hands to make a new dickhead”

“Mh … but if we take the example of the Caitiff, it makes sense, they have no psychological influences, so they can be everything or nothing. The logic of the discourse remains!”

Adine smiles.
Again, that smile: the smile expected from Checkmate.
“And what about Nosferatu? They are born abominably ugly even as orphans “.
Hiroshi’s hand moves in the usual smoking gesture, making him notice that his arms are back in place, functioning.
Amalie’s hand passes the cigarette as if she were to pass over the baton, before dragging herself back onto Adine’s shoulders, who spreads her arms to facilitate her dressing.
The boy remains silent for a long moment, he seems concentrated on the small glowing coals of his cigarette, now nearing its end.
He cannot admit his defeat like this, but silence is already a fairly clear sign.
Adine saves the game, then reloads it from another save “See, the bottles don’t even know we exist, how can they imagine how we work? Not even their science is able to give an explanation, and I assure you that in modern nights they are trying…”.

“Science can discover everything,” Hiroshi replies proudly.
The woman smiles and starts to play again, the end of the loading screen marking a dry, cold response.
“Science can only be discovered if the scientist knows what and where to search.”

Scene 2b

The day before

And where should it go?

All Hiroshi is looking for is an emotional stimulus strong enough to overcome that wall that seems to surround him on all sides.

An emotional stimulus …

It seems impossible.

An aura of apathy stagnates on the figure of the boy who leaves the room and begins to walk thoughtfully through the corridors of the Mansion, dragging his steps in the darkness that permeates those rooms.

He knows he should call it home, but he feels like a stranger there… well, everywhere really.

He is not alone, of course, but all the other people present, or monsters in his opinion, look at him with hostility.

Adine explained to him that they feel envious of the immense power of his blood, but Hiroshi does not feel particularly powerful; on the contrary, he feels weak. He feels different… out of place.

Those looks seem useless, empty and meaningless.

He should call them brothers, but the more correct term would be Cainites: the specimens of the new species to which he now belongs…

But is he really part of it?

Who cares?

After all, he feels an unhealthy sense of satisfaction at being able to finally define himself as superior to others. He could have laughed, if only he had remembered how.

<< Error? >>

What if he wasn’t up to it? What if the expectations were too high?

He would like to cry … if only he was still able to.

<< Error…? >>

He is afraid, this fucking fear infuriates him. He could smash the head of the first unlucky person who set eyes upon him!

<>

<< Reboot. >>

The sudden noise of the lighter falling on the parquet brings him back to himself.

He had remained motionless, alienated.

He bends down to pick it up.

He has lost his train of thought; his eyes remain on the ashes of the cigarette that burns and is consumed.

Slowly

He seems to want to metaphorize the slow and inexorable consumption of his humanity: he feels it is fading, however he tries to hold onto it desperately, to keep that faint heat retained for a while … just a little.

Noises interrupt his reflection.

“And you should have seen what he looked like when Alyson pulled her mother’s head out of her backpack and said HAHAHAHAHAHAHA”

Three … three Brothers, Cainites … no.

Three monsters screaming coarsely as they hold a blonde in their arms. They look cheerful, celebrating something.

Their steps, albeit unintentionally, seem to move in the direction of Hiroshi, who prefers to walk away. He decides to enter a random room to avoid having to feign interest in having a conversation that, in truth, he doesn’t give a damn about.

<>

Discomfort, four interlocutors.

Stressful Situation.

Resolution: Escape.

The door opens with just a slight push of the hand.

The room is huge and looks like a vast herd of humans, cared for in order to supply blood to the water system that supplies the entire Mansion, allowing both permanent tenants and guests to feed comfortably and without any wastage, also creating a kind of bond between them, like an extended Vaulderie for a Sabbat Pack.

Hiroshi stops immediately beyond the door, observing that imposing creation reflecting on what he has understood about it: the plant includes a fascinating system of pipes that alternate the flow of hot and cold blood.

The main ducts are similar to arteries and have the task, apart from an obvious role in transport, to keep the Vitae unflawed. For this reason, they meet the bodies of several walled-up Cainites in Torpor along their course, these cainites acting as a converter and keeping the Vitae properties of blood active, qualities which would be lost within seconds otherwise. In addition, to maintain the function of Blood Bonding and to be used as a nourishment system, the blood donated by the tenants is mixed and added into the system, together with that squeezed from the mortals present in the farm…

<>

A retching of vomit runs through his trachea as a conditioned reflex.

He almost feels the acid in his mouth because of that terrible vision.

Bloody.

Insane!

This vision could shake even the most resistant stomach …

The most grotesque serial killer …

He is about to throw up.

He has to throw up!

<>

Something that could shake even the most resistant stomach, but that motion of sensation seems to have faded, like a small voice trying to make itself heard beyond a concrete wall.

Again…

Where are his emotions? Why don’t they react as they should?

Has he really become an irrational monster like the shadows that walk around him?

<>

A laugh interrupts that whirlwind of thoughts: it is masculine and sadistic, amused by that macabre spectacle. The smoke from a cigarette hangs in the air, making that brief moment completely surreal, like an episode of Hannibal Lecter freezing due to the connection being too slow.

Hiroshi looks towards the Cainite, waiting for the smoke to clear; he’d never seen him before.

The boy’s gaze stops momentarily on Cainite’s clothes, but he doesn’t really care, the only hint of color in his clothes is the red tie.

A vivid point in the middle of black.

He would have liked to see his emotions explode in the same way, and yet, now even the red of that piece of cloth seems less vivid than it should.

The cigarette was on his lips again as his eyes return to the farm.

The man’s laugh is also muffled, he could definitely try to start a conversation, but what good would that be? Does he really want to, after all?

His hands search frantically in his pockets, frantic but lazy.

Where is the lighter? Why can’t I find it? If he sees me fumbling in my pocket all this time, what will he think of me?

Maybe he thinks I came to masturbate while watching the humans on the farm?

It’s only been 3 seconds since Hiroshi put his hand in his pocket to take the lighter, yet it seems like an eternity to him.

There it is! Finally.

He lights a cigarette, with the hope that he will not be forced by circumstance to have a conversation with the stranger.

Has he always been here? Has he seen me all this time? Is he one of those that hide? Was he following me?

The man stares Hiroshi in the eyes.

A gesture of defiance? He is looking for a comparison but why here, why now and why with me.

<>

In this case, the conversation is useful: speak until the interlocutor gets tired; if he talked fast enough, he could take less than 38 seconds, his current record.

<>

“The Suidae are the family to which the pigs belong, divided into sixteen species and in turn classified into five genres. Their great evolutionary success from very primitive forms of artiodactyls appeared about 33 million years ago, in Europe. They evolved in Europe, spawning numerous larger species with different characteristics that soon invaded Africa and Asia. They can survive in any Habitat and can feed on anything. I like to think of humans and their derivations as Cainochoerinae for Europe, Hyotheriinae if of the Antarctic basin, Listriodontinae if Pacific islanders, Suinae if American, Tetraconodontinae if African and, Asians would be incertae sedis. Oink Oink.”

Had he managed to tire him enough?

He exhales smoke, which passes through the bars and wraps the body of a human hanging upside down.

The man smiles, widening more and more, and at the last line he bursts out laughing “Oink Oink!” he repeats amused.

Scene 3

Detroit, current day

“Science can be discovered only if the scientist knows what and where to search… And if you stop wasting time we could at least start to search.”

Hiroshi moves his arms, he is calm at the moment, certainly amazed (without showing it) at how the coat has healed such damage in such a short time.

He would like to deepen the matter, but his mother is of another opinion. She even goes as far as to pause the game to interrupt his reflections with a new question, with the hope of gaining further attention from her son. Instead, his focus is drawn to the inexplicable methods of Vicissitude.

“What is a Lasombra for you?”

There are so many little rustles in the room, apart from the two of them, it should have been empty.

“Irrational monsters” the boy says promptly, but the woman shakes her head “You didn’t understand shit about what I said.”

The Elegant looks at her nails, before returning with her eyes on his son “We are Keepers, we are not like everyone else” Hiroshi looks at her apathetically, however he replies quickly, as if he had been preparing the answer for quite some time, just to use it at the right moment “We don’t reflect on the walls of reality, so we’re not real.”

Adine covers her face in disappointment. Even her coat would like to rip his head off, but she remains in rigorous rigor mortis.

“That’s a consequence of the Blood we descend from… like the Malkavian with their deranged minds, the Nosferatus’ inability to win any beauty competitions, the Ventrue, unable to go to dinner at other people’s homes because they only eat weird stuff… and so on… Focus. I’m not talking about our Defect so to speak … I’m talking about Our Importance! ” The woman lights a cigarette and starts talking again “Now, why are we really called Keepers?” She doesn’t wait for an answer, probably because she has had enough of his bullshit, so she tries to limit the damage and continues “Do you remember when I told you about Cain? He first killed his brother, then he washed his hands before God and said: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”.

Hiroshi nods, puffing smoke into the air.

“I remember the story. However, I believe that it lays imaginative and irrational foundations, in a transcription comparable to a novel today, simply designed to externalize some human stereotype of the time. No, not fiction, it has a scientific nature, like research… a sort of treatise by a primordial psychoanalyst who analyzed the difference between farmers and shepherds. The former, by work stereotype or personal attitude, are more selfish and narcissistic, while the latter are more responsible and attentive to the care of their work, both in the workplace and in the social field. People tend to change their attitudes, even today, based on the work they do, working an average of 8 hours a day. Approximately 40 hours in total per week.”

Adine could almost be surprised every now and then at how he managed to say all that in one breath.

“In those years when there was literally only work, full time, it is obvious to deduce that their social reflection was perfectly in tune with their work attitude. In any case, as I said Abel was identified as a shepherd, Cain a farmer. It is just bullshit written to externalize a stereotype of those years gone by with the extreme gesture of one brother killing the other. However, I believe that yours was just a premise, so my reflections are out of place and tedious, hindering the continuation of your conversation, so I will just tell you “.

Adine is undecided: to try to talk again or to beat him for a straight week.
Her coat has clear ideas, however she has to hold back his instincts, so The Elegant then continues “ … Yes”, starting with a questioning tone, “If he was his Brother’s Keeper, he refused responsibility. We do not. We are the Keepers. Keepers of our actions, and before God, we are the Keepers even of the actions of Cain. ”
Hiroshi stares at the screen in pause, as if to rationalize it.
Shortly after he breaks the silence “So we are breeders?”
“What an asshole! We do not look away from our darkness. We don’t justify ourselves for who we are. It is this greater awareness that makes us superior. We are not vassals who exercise the power delegated by a superior. We have been subjugating and manipulating the human race ever since the concept of fiefdom was born. In ancient times, as a consequence of the development of agriculture, the human race began to understand the concept of settlement. With the passage of time, they became cities, and consequently the mechanism of taxes was started or, to be more chronologically accurate, the collection of tributes. Shortly thereafter, the history books narrate how human greed and the insatiable thirst for power generated figures … Kings comparable to demigods …Considering that a Human can be easily killed by a simple stone well thrown on his head, how can your rationality explain those demigods living amongst us, and how they were able to accumulate so much power without being ousted by anyone for so long? They were clearly other Kindreds like us, and their responsibilities are still ours. Thanks to us, human society has evolved, and my aim is to extend and continue a binary evolution on the part of our race. ”

Something caught the young man’s attention; however, he decided to answer without putting the evidence on the point of his greatest interest, instead allowing his attention to waver elsewhere “In all honesty I had never analyzed and reported the extreme power of to the condition of a mere mortal. I suppose it is the basis of indoctrination and wanting us to believe that things had gone this way due to greed, concentrating on the power of the exchange method, be it money, favors or services … ”
Adine slaps him with a tentacle “We had already talked about how inventing myths and legends or false testimonies was a specialty of our race. That our stories have played an important role in Human indoctrination to keep it under control, don’t bullshit me.
Be honest. You start to understand, come on … ”
“I find your attempt focused on a concept of additional evolution fascinating; above all I think it could be a starting point to deepen my research with the aim of shedding light on our irrational nature.”
Another tentacle hit Hiroshi: “And …?”
“And I admit that I begin to glimpse a glimmer of logic in your thesis… but… Returning to the definition of our Clan, it almost seems that we represent a species apart from humans. We completely separate ourselves from them as… differently living beings. The fact that a Lasombra feels the need to take care of others would make Lasombra a kind of preferential progenitor for others, because of that there would be an inherent protective instinct. This means that the victims must already have the traits of interest, but these traits are not as widespread in the human population. ”

The woman nods and shakes her head with a partially perplexed expression.
In the meantime, she picks up the joystick and un-pauses the game, as if reassured that the more complex part of the dialogue was gone, she finally replies “Yes and no. Normally vampires choose a progeny based on the fact that they already have certain qualities, but we carefully breed them, our own progeny.”
“Ha-ha! So, we are breeders. I had imagined it. “
The woman is surprised by what she hoped was Hiroshi’s rare sarcasm, then continues to play and talk …
“It is not relevant if, at that moment we need a Scientist, and that chosen one, for whatever reason, was oriented towards the faculty of literature. We build our fortune. “
The boy visibly increases his interest as the conversation develops “So it is a long-term psychological manipulation …”
The woman nods “Let’s say the qualities we are most interested in are determination and a strong survival instinct, then there are several ways to assess whether the candidate has what interests us. The shortest way is to take someone, transform them and then bury them together with a dozen other people. When everyone wakes up in a frenzy of hunger, if you are the last one left, you could probably have something useful, but that’s not necessarily the case. Instinct is not the only thing that interests us, it’s easy enough to make the beast act in our place and then void ourselves of any responsibility.”
Hiroshi nods interested “What about the other way?”
The woman’s lips part in a sadistic smile as she turns to him “In your opinion?”
Hiroshi shrugs “All Hematophagous hold their progenies in high regard, so it is likely that we Homo Hematophagous also have to BREED the generated progenies for a fair amount of time before they are ready to be used for our purposes.”

Adine sneers in amusement as, due to her distraction, she is dead in the game. She instinctively reloads the game, however, and pays no mind to her distraction “Oh look, the dumbass faculty member studied! The characteristics that interest us Lasombra are a sense of revenge, retaliation, and the ability to adapt and survive. Many Lasombra nurse future progeny for years before finally embracing them; they destroy their lives one little piece at a time, then make them see the power, the possibility of revenge and being part of something bigger. These potential chosen ones do not feel part of society, and yet they still wish to change or destroy it. Little dickheads who are little more than ants on their knees, posing as lions.”

The joystick is abandoned for a moment on the armrest of the settee as the game is paused again.
First Adine got killed by a clicker, now she immediately paused, a clear sign of the increased mutual interest in the conversation.
“First you destroy what the victim holds most dear, then you move on to the next thing, take it all away, one little piece at a time.”
The woman approaches him, she is tall.
She looks down at him.
Those eyes would make anyone feel like nothing.
But Hiroshi stares at her, apathetic.
“Together with these things it is as if many pieces of the heart were slowly destroyed”
The shadows are dense, terrifying.
They seem to tighten around him like a net around a small fish.
“I knew it was someone’s fault.”
Adine smiles “In fact, I chose you for your beauty” a laugh echoes from the woman, a mixture of amusement and sadism.
To Hiroshi she seems simply too convinced of what she is saying: if he hadn’t been the one to pay the consequences, he would have considered her as if she were possessed by fanaticism.
I don’t think so, not that it interests me,” the woman laughs at this statement from her son “I certainly didn’t do it because of your sense of humor, and besides, it’s not like all babies know that it was their Sire who messed up their lives.”
“You’re just taking the Keeper concept to an extreme by telling me it was you, as if to incentivize my thesis that you are possessed by fanaticism…”
He averts his gaze from his mother as he stands up to stare at the floor, where some of the previously fallen ash is deposited, taking out a new cigarette from his pocket with a half-mouthed “…fuck you…”

Adine gives him a light and moves a couple of steps to get to his side, turning her eyes toward the darkness of the room.
“Do not fall into ridicule by being offended.
We have so much to do, you and I.”

Scene 3b

The day before

“Oink Oink… Oink, Oink!” He repeats between a laugh and another. His laugh is so annoying “Now I understand why they call you Adine’s dumb son”
“Adine’s son? I’m not her son,” the boy says, adjusting his glasses, while having a moment of courage “And I’m not dumb” he takes a pause, as if evaluating whether it would be useful to go on or not “Besides… My mother is from Fukuoka, her name was Midori, uhm … is it? I think … Maybe I should tell her that her love for pork ramen might kill her, not that it’s of any relevance at the moment.” not even the memory of his mother struck him, her face seemed faded in his head, far away.
What voice did his mother have?
Where had his affection gone?
Has he ever felt any?
Yes.
No.
Mommy, please come and save me…
<>
What [was] [is] the face [of the] [of my] mother?
<<404 - MEMORY NOT FOUND>>

The man also smokes, again; when he puffs, the smoke ends up on Hiroshi’s face, still intent on watching the pigs. His face is particularly dull, and the relative warmth of the smoke seems to rouse him from his downward spiral of thoughts.
“Nice here, um?” He continues insistently when he notices that Hiroshi does not react much, he turns his head towards the cage, pointing to the herd of beings dragging themselves around… “I like it too, though I don’t really give a shit about anything you said-…” He freezes, hesitant, probably wanting to add more, but having second thoughts at the last.
His face is suddenly serious, but surely it is not because of the regret he feels toward Hiroshi’s failed plan, which he hoped to get rid of very quickly.
“Anyway …” His tone is suddenly serious and his body follows contrasting movements when compared to those of a few seconds earlier, Hiroshi is intrigued, but his annoyance from forced sociality far outweighs his desire to give attention to the world around him “… Why did you come here?”.

Hiroshi looks at him, he does not know how to judge him “… I am here because …” evidently the interlocutor does not have adequate knowledge in the field of genetics. Turning to him, he estimated that for a suitable conversation he let too much time go by, he has to resume the dialogue “…I came to discuss pig genomes with good interlocutors, obviously.”
The irony perhaps resisted… or perhaps the sarcasm…
DISRESPECT

This time it is Hiroshi who puffs smoke in the other’s face; he wants to evaluate him, but he does not have much hope about the outcome of the analysis, especially since that individual does not look away, instead seeming to study him in turn. His eyes point to the figure of the young boy, this time without laughing, rather… he stretched out an arm casting a long shadow in the enclosure, from which extended eerie blades of darkness that pierce the people present causing terrifying but not excessive bleeding.

Of course! They had explained to him how the Farm worked, but then why couldn’t he react at that moment?
Why couldn’t he feel that gut-wrenching pain at knowing that human beings were being treated this way?
Where were his emotions? Where?!
Screams bring Hiroshi back to reality, a reality whose rawness seems unable to reach him.
In his head there is a small door to enter a black room, he would like to open it to go out, but the door does not open.

“Pig genomes, human blood … various DNA …” the man’s voice shakes the boy with pangs of puissant disrespect. Hiroshi can now remember who this guy is, they call him like The Farmer, “Do you know the importance of blood to who you’ve become?” The man speaks as if he had a stupid child in front of him, staring down at confused eyes, lacking any understanding of the point the man was trying to get across.
Hiroshi, however, does not feel guilty, he knows very well the importance of blood as much as he knows that this farm feeds an irrigation system which supplies all the rooms of the Mansion …
The man distracts him again “You talk about blood as if it were a beverage, as if you were comparing brand-name coke and sub-brand coke, attributing DNA values to it, how many times have you fed yourself, without someone protruding a vein because they saw you thirsty? Eh, Adine’s baby?”
Hiroshi looks at him, unsure whether to think he is just a random idiot in the house, or a good person, deserving of some attention.
<>
Of course, he carries out an important task, he makes sure that all the bottles are squeezed in the right way to avoid waste or shortages …
<>
It is just an idiotic task given to him precisely because he is incapable of doing anything else.
<>

“Come to think of it, I’ve never fed on anyone.”
No one? Yes, upon awakening…
No, I have never fed.
Never? You not only drank blood; you also bit its flesh.
No, I haven’t.
Yup.
Ok, I did. Meh. Whatever.

The interlocutor does not utter a word, and continues to scrutinize him earnestly.
Hiroshi loses himself a few more moments in this memory … Feeding himself, chewing meat …And yet, no: it comes back to him that when he had woken up, he had bitten something, maybe people, not just sucking blood, he had actually bitten them, chewed them… it’s true.

Disgusting, I feel remorse …
<>
Mhhh … what is this pleasure … a-am I maybe getting an erection?
<>
He puts his hand in his pocket, like a child exploring his body’s reactions: he wants to check … Negative, nothing of what he imagined.
All he finds is a chewing gum and a black Bic pen.
Hiroshi takes a piece of gum and after a brief analysis begins to chew it. Only after a long moment does he make up his mind and answer.
“Do you have any idea why we drink blood?” his hand goes back into his pocket and grips the pen tightly.
“I do.”
Hiroshi’s hand points to his heart.
It pierces it.

Scene 4

Detroit, current day

“Do not fall into ridicule by being offended.
We have so much to do, you and I.”

Hiroshi lights yet another cigarette making himself comfortable “I’m not offended. If you have chosen me, you must have a reason. It could almost seem that you need me or that I have some utility in one of your projects. The only negative note is represented by your ego, which probably has some structural flaws.
Maybe you really need my linearity and clarity because you are crazy “.
Adine, emulating a stretching of her legs before crossing them again, adds in an extremely relaxed tone, “Yes, definitely. I have spent several centuries fighting concepts and entities that you define as non-existent. I have seen, with my own eyes, nightmares forgotten even by members of our race. I definitely need one of my kind, who does not accept the existence of vampires, to help me cure the madness…”
Hiroshi inhales a copious amount of smoke from his mouth and then replies by exhaling “I’m sure they have a scientific explanation.”
“Yes, of course, your obstinacy must also have a scientific explanation.”
“Obstinacy has a negative meaning, I would call it accuracy”
“I think something went wrong with you. You have also experienced it firsthand, you cannot deny it”
“A subjective experience is not a statistic”
“The statistical datum I gave you” Adine picks up the joystick again, at the moment her son seems to be back to a brick that someone is trying to teach to write a poem “I find it too paradoxical to justify by your scientific rationale but… If you think you can live with it, keep fighting stubbornly by pandering to your inner beast that cares so much about being right, just like everyone else in our clan, just like your dear Mother and all your dear Brothers and Sisters.”

Hiroshi is thrilled by this new Checkmate
‘That theory is as credibly to science as the zodiacs”

Adine laughs heartily “Go tell that to you first Diablerie”.
“You see, no matter how much you want to stubbornly deny it, any denial will confirm my being right, which is why Lasombra can only be raised in two ways: as the artwork of a lifetime or as the worst piece of mud you can find”
Hiroshi remains thoughtful for a moment “So by raising them, like all Hematophagous, or by abandoning the eggs like insects do, I remember. Following the K selection or the r selection to make sure you have really extreme boundary conditions ”

Adine confirms “That’s good, you even took notes. And what do you think this is for?”
“To ensure the survival of at least one Progeny in both cases”
“More or less, it also serves to tame that ferocity that we carry within, when the beast becomes your normal, then your nature can ascend. Those who fail to do so are thrown away, or rather dropped, if their hands are not strong enough to allow them to climb. That is why our role is that of Keepers. That is why we are the only ones who can take this responsibility.”

Adine walks away again and the boy goes back to his cigarette
“Wouldn’t it be easier to build the future Progeny through hypnosis?”
Adine rolls her eyes “What’s wrong with you? It is not hypnosis, it is called Domination, it’s a Discipline, it is not just any thing that even bottles can do, it’s one of the blood powers you have now, in fact, we are also among the best at using it”

“It is more correct to call it Hypnosis, but by accepting a different name the question remains, it would be quicker to use it, this Domination” a tentacle of shadow suddenly slaps the young man’s cheek before grabbing his glasses on the fly and putting them back on his nose.

“Please, use your brain while I speak, a Progeny generated through Domination is no more useful than this joystick” she says waving the object in front of him. “We don’t need knick-knacks; we need survivors, we need fanatics. Generally, only one-fifth of all the Lasombra newborns outlive their first year of non-living, and even then they are still far from being useful. Domination helps, of course, but it must be used with Elegance, the desperation must be real, as must be the desire for revenge. These are what feed your inner beast and make you survive night after night, for eternity.”
Adine looks him in the eye, deadly serious “Our Beast is our True Nature.”

Scene 4b

The day before

The quills vanish.
The shadows fade.
Everything seems to return to normal in the room.
The man is frozen in Torpor, hanging onto Hiroshi’s pen, which sinks into his heart.
No human would have been able to pierce flesh and cloth so easily, proving that Hiroshi is no longer human.
He looks at his hands, they are trembling. He is repentant for what he has done…
<>
His throat is quivering, it almost seems to throb, a feeling of lust and hunger gripping his insides and almost seems to make him salivate.
The shadows in the room barely flicker, the atmosphere is heavy, suffocating, yet Hiroshi does not seem to sense the world around him, tightened in its downward spiral of confusion and anger.
An urge that is too hard to be tamed, like a beast clutching his chest to be released, forces him to eat.
Hiroshi does not want to. He absolutely does not want to succumb, but the thoughts are like a flooding river, unstoppable.
Untamable.
Muskeg

“There, then it’s true. Just hitting the heart with an object that can pierce the skin is enough to stop one of these Kindred Bastards. Irrational and unreal beings. Out of logic. Irrational like me. My hypothalamus has left more room for the cerebral cortex? I think I’m going nuts. I love the smell of blood. It is an artificial thing, I like to drive sharp things into the hearts of these Kindred. I’d love nothing more than a bistoury right now, to take it and tear their skin flaps one by one. Is it a scientific impulse? Yes, of course it is. No, I like it. Simply because I like to discover, and these Kindred are a mystery to solve. Why do I like the idea of ​​feeding on him even more? What did I want to achieve? I’m not a dumb baby, I’m not a stupid idiot. Bastard. How long have you been a Vampire? Fuck, fuck. You’re just a puppet… fuck this shit, let’s try this Diablerie!”

Hiroshi barely touches the canines with the tip of his tongue, they are elongating, like those of a snake.
He can distinctly feel their movement, they are sharp against his tongue.
He cuts himself, but feels no pain.
It is as if the canine can directly sense the presence of blood, of his blood.
The smell, the consistency.
It should hurt, but all he feels is a deep jolt of pleasure.
Maybe it is just a memory about that.
His hands tremble, his nails seem to grow.
He rips off the man’s clothes and leans over him, straddling him.
He gasps, but it sounds more like a sobbing cry.
Scratches his skin, the Beast inside him overrides his stomach as Hiroshi’s face twitches. Je wants to fight it, but it goes up his throat.
He trembles as his nostrils flare.
Is he an irrational monster?
Where is his humanity?
His control, his rationality …
His fingers grip the man’s cheek, he feels his nails, now claws sinking into the flesh with ease, the blood makes his strength and humanity begin to trade with one another.
He wants to tear the flesh away, there is a sick instinct telling him to.
He would like to cry, but the Beast has another plan for him.
The Beast is hungry.
Hiroshi pounces on the man’s neck and bites, forcefully sinking his teeth into the flesh and gorging himself on it.
He screams with pleasure… or maybe he just screams.
This is not the simple pleasure of the bite, no …
Is this his true nature freed from the chains of rationality?
No…
He can’t believe it.
Is that perhaps laughter he hears?
A laugh or despair?
He runs a hand over the crotch of his pants.
He feels nothing and is not excited, just confused.
Was it a memory?
A memory of an orgasm?
He tries to barely move his hand, but he doesn’t feel anything.
Obviously.
He moves his hand away and stares at it: it’s disgusting… the elongated fingernails, filthy with blood.
“Hiroshi, you are ridiculous.” he doesn’t know what else to say “To take pleasure in such a vile gesture… you are revolting” his brain is desperately looking for something to hold onto, anything other than focusing on what he just did “You’re disgusting, get up immediately!” the boy gets on his feet, hesitates for a moment, then answers himself “This sudden impulse stems only from my desire for blood, mixed with my predisposition to reciprocate any insults”.
Only silence answers him, for a full five minutes.
But somehow, he must respond.
He stares at the vampire lying on the ground, stares him in the eye.

“You are conscious. I like that. I wonder if vampires scream during a vivisection. ”
Is it really his voice that says such things?
“Why feed on you if I can study you instead, know what you’re like inside… rip your skin off. The Beast would like to eat you, that filthy and disgusting thing we carry inside. It likes the smell of your blood, it would like to chew you slowly, piece by piece”.
Hiroshi approaches The Farmer and brings a finger to his mouth to feel the canines.

He is curious, but he freezes again. That stream of thoughts does not want to be silent, it torments him.
“You must not be guided by visceral feelings. They are not feelings. Besides, if they were real, you’d still be feeling them. Why don’t I feel them? I want to cry. Or do I want to laugh instead? No… Nothing. Can i really be that interested in such senseless murder? Why did I attack him? Do I really care about what she says? It’s true, I am nothing compared to them, but she chose me. She chose me because I am intelligent and I can help her in the research, therefore I will not feed on you, but I’ll study you. Stop, stop being a victim of your frustrations. ”

Yet that little wheel breaks again, a tiny click in Hiroshi’s brain that almost seems to open a huge dam: “I want to fuck. I want to fuck. No, I want to see him suffer like I suffered. I want to see you all suffer! ”
And once again the shadows return, along with that voice.
That voice is so sweet, impossible to resist …
“Why should I waste time analyzing you when I can feed on you instead? The Beast, that filthy thing that we carry, and my Beast can smell your blood: it groans, it wants to chew you piece by piece, slowly…Slowly.”
Again, that completely foreign but feverish desire to tear the flesh from his bones, this time starting with his mouth.
That voice laughs and that laugh almost gives him chills.
“It took you long enough to figure out what the fuck to do. Why are you wasting time then?”
And Hiroshi sinks his hands into the victim’s mouth, on the verge of frenzy.
Yet, he doesn’t realize it, it’s like watching a movie in POV.
He tugs at his jaw, not wanting to do it, but longing to do it.
His lower teeth prick his fingers.
“I’m not crazy” he doesn’t even know who he is responding to, but he feels the need to make this clear “You are just the voice of the Beast, you are a neuronal pathway from some piece of my brain” he shakes his head “You want me to kill him? Okay, I’ll do it. But doing it won’t give me any pleasure; I don’t feel it anymore. I am not an irrational being”.
The voice becomes deafening, booming in his head. It is filled with anger and mockery
“YOU ARE WASTING TIME! YOU ARE WASTING TIME! YOU ARE WASTING TIME! YOU ARE WASTING TIME!”
The room is suffocating, filled with shadows. In that unending blackness Hiroshi thinks he sees Adine’s icy eyes right in front of him.
Hiroshi shakes his head: it must be a hallucination … just a hallucination.
“YOU ARE”
A hallucination …
“WASTING”
Just a hallucination.
“TIME!”
This phrase keeps ringing in Hiroshi’s ears.
In his head.
Louder and louder.
Until finally, Hiroshi’s first Diablerie is accomplished.

Did he really? Did he really do it?

The shadows thicken around Hiroshi.
He really did it …
Is he a monster?
An irrational monster …
So, he is not real!
But if it’s not real, why does reality hurt so much?

He would like to throw up right now …
Screams seem to bring him momentarily out of his destructive loop of thoughts.
Humans … shadows are killing them.
No…
They are not just any shadows; they are his own shadows.
Why can’t he control them?
Because they don’t exist.
What is happening cannot be true.

Hiroshi tries to stop them with his bare hands, tries to grab those bodies made of pure darkness, which seem to turn against him as they begin to hit him, tightening around his neck.
The screams become less intense; humans lack the resilience of vampires.
It takes so little to kill them.
Hiroshi almost seems to cry; his face is stained with blood.
“Get over it.”
Her again? AGAIN!!!
Adine looks at him “And get off the ground, what the fuck are you? A dog?”.
The boy can only obey, finding himself confronted with the disaster he has made … and even in front of such a thing he cannot feel the proper remorse.

He watches his mother pull The Farmer up again as well, thanking him and calling him by name: Adam … he feels mocked, his pride hurts.
“Why are you doing this to me?” he is disgusted, still clutching his pen, trembling, but unwilling to give in again.
The woman smiles “I have to make you grow some balls, somehow…”
Hiroshi looks first at her, then at his pen.
He wants to stab her, to rid the world of that crazy fanatical bastard who drove him to suicide.
He hardly has time to move as Adine dissolves into shadows, reappearing again in front of him.
She slaps him. One of the very few times she slapped him with her bare hands and not with a tentacle.
“It is a necessary evil, so that you can ascend to the greatness that I have designed for you, a greatness from which you will then be able to derive your own projects, one day… I selected you: in the midst of so many human wastes that I could have chosen, you were definitely the most difficult to work with. That’s why I do what I do, I’m giving you greatness. You know, right? K and r, natural selections and so on and so forth…a language you understand better, in theory. “

Hiroshi looks at her.
That damned checkmate.

Scene 5

4 days earlier

Hiroshi is sitting in front of the mirror, a makeshift mirror, not even so clean; next to him on a shelf there are various bistouries and some syringes.
A stereo is playing Last Night Good Bye by Vocaloid.
His heart is tired, between excessive weight and a completely wrong diet his heart disease has worsened and now only surgery to close the heart wall can save his life.
He planned everything: local anesthesia, bistoury, possible adrenaline and his favorite music, Hatsune Miku’s voice.
It was all well planned …
Everything was perfect…
But nothing is ever perfect and, as Hiroshi feels the tactile sensitivity slowly diminishing, the blood from his desperately beating heart begins to fall short of his brain.
Panic grows, but he can’t move.
The shadows in the room seem particularly black, Miku’s voice is distant.
He is afraid.
Is he dying?
Two cold hands rest on his chest, something drips on his lips and flows slowly towards his throat.
It is cold, his insides are beginning to chill.
Two ice-colored eyes look at him.
But … that woman …she is not reflected in the mirror …
Hiroshi closes his eyes.
[…]
[The day before]
“Our Beast is our True Nature.”

Adine becomes suddenly serious, looking at him straight into his eyes as she takes his face into her hand.
“… Do you remember that night?” Hiroshi’s pupils dilate, of course he remembers.
“I want to be sure that you were trying to save your life that night, not to kill yourself”
She leaves his face, but continues to look at him.
“That’s why I chose you”

Hiroshi remains frozen.
The cigarette falls to the ground, but he doesn’t seem to notice.

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