25.12.2011, 1950 HOURS - Facility: Detroit, MI
Subject #: Yamano MakotoEdit
"Good evening, Mr. Yamano, and thank you for your cooperation. We would like you to--"
"Questions, yes. Please look into the camera when you speak, Mr. Yamano." Note: the subject fidgets before complying. Suspect use of 'vitae'; he spots all three camera. Possible signifance: he addresses the one closest to the observation window. "--That will do. May I begin?"
"Please state for the record your current existential status."
Subject seems confused by the request. "...is that some kind of joke?"
"Of course not. To explain: you exist, but you do not register as 'human' in several tests. Please explain your 'status.'"
"...ah. I see. Well, the short answer is that I'm a ghost possessing my... corpse, I guess. I think. The term for people like us is kuei-jin. Nobody's sure if we have our own souls or if we're the ghosts of some fallen clan who knows how old." Subject shows signs of agitation. "...most of the 'elders' were as lost as I am. Part of the reason I left Japan-- but I guess we'll be getting to that?"
"Please leave the order of questions to us, Mr. Yamano. Next: briefly describe your life as a human. Did you have family or friends?"
"Not much to tell. Guess I was always in the 'supernatural' business... I was part of a group of demon hunters, pretty new. We found traces of a group and moved in... got into a fight that I didn't get out of until I came back from the dead. I was... 23 or 24, it was a little over a year ago. As for family... well, I cut ties with them. Shouldn't have to explain why. And if I had any friends that made it out of that fight, I lost track of 'em. Most of the people I know these days are other wan kuei, but I wouldn't call them 'friends.' Heh."
"I see. In that case, is there anyone who misses you, or who will be actively looking for you?"
"Maybe my old friends in the Hunters? Wouldn't that be ironic...."
"Next question, regarding philosophical outlook. Do you have a religious faith or an equivalent life belief system? Has this changed since becoming a... kuei-jin?"
"I'm about as religious as most Japanese people these days. Maybe my ancestors are watching, maybe not, but it doesn't hurt anybody to do the rites, so why not? Now... well, maybe I should've taken them more seriously. But that's all I can say about that. I didn't believe in much before because I didn't care, and now... well, now I just don't know."
"Maintaining personal interests, what are your hobbies, likes, and dislikes?"
"Um... dancing and kareoke?" Subject pauses- has he forgotten the flippancy rule? "Games, too, I guess. Mahjong? Shogi? ...always liked the night life, even back when the sun and I still got along. I can't think of much else-- not a lot of free time between school and... 'hunting.'" Subject pauses again, and must be reminded to finish the question. "Right, yes, that's quite a list. Uh... I don't like Coke, teriyaki sauce, sandals, blondes, water, and the woods are just--"
"Thank you, Mr. Yamano, that's enough for now. Next question, if you could be more... succinct? What is your greatest regret? Fear? Triumph? Dream?"
Despite all evidence to the contrary, the subject does think carefully about the answer and does not seem to be flippant. "...hm, OK. 'Dying,' 'dying,' 'dying,' and 'dying.' Well, except for number four I want to go to a better place next time... but yeah."
"Better. Regarding your current state, then: do you have any goals or plans? Do you have anything you greatly wish to accomplish?"
"I know that whatever it is I really am, it's not 'natural.' There's something else in here that's fighting back, and... I don't know, whatever it is I want it to end. But only when I'm sure it'll be 'right.' So... I guess my only goal is to live long enough to find out what I'm supposed to do so I can die 'right' next time. I don't... don't want to keep going the way things are now."
What do you miss most about being alive?
"Easy-- sushi. I just don't have much of an appetite anymore."
"Do you have any personal belongings that mean something particularly important to you?"
"Yeah, I have a talisman and some omamori that are supposed to be magical. Can't prove that, but they make me feel better, anyway. And if they're not magic, well, they were there during some pretty wild coincidences."
"This is an important question. Have you ever lost control to 'The Beast'? If so, what caused it and what was the result?"
"I... must make a note of that... Have you ever committed any crimes, during those times or any other?"
"Absolutely. Just to start with, your guys caught me (REDACTED). Besides, isn't this kind of a dumb question when any time a vampire feeds, that's an assault, right?"
"I'll take that as a 'yes,' then. ...what do you consider to be the worst possible thing one person can do to another?"
"If you'd asked me last year, I would've said 'murder.' Easy one, right? Once you're dead, that's it. But now... no, now I think the worst is to ruin someone's life-- beyond recovery, you know, constant pain, all that-- and then leave them alive. To do all that, then not show mercy-- that's the worst."
"What do you know about the Camarilla? The Sabbat? What are your feelings on them? What about the independent vampire clans?"
"The who now? Sabbat? Is that a band?"
"How... odd. Nothing at all? ...I see. Moving on, have you ever encountered a non-vampiric supernatural? If so, what was the encounter like?"
"I could hear... things before I... changed. Stuff I couldn't explain. Sometimes I can still hear them, and when I do, I can try to look for them. I've seen some ghosts out there, even tried talking to a few once I got their attention, but... well, that's about it."
"Please stand and approach the camera. Please answer immediately: do you have any verbal or physical tics, quirks, or mannerisms?"
"Thank you, you may be seated. For reference, what are your usual hunting tactics?"
"Just a trick my old sifu showed me. If you hit a human just right, you can disrupt the flow of energy in their bodies-- one or two good hits and you can knock someone out. At that point you can open a major vessel and drink the blood. A lot of older wan kuei just killed their marks... that always seemed dumb. I prefer to take about half the safe amount of blood and then use a bit of it to heal them-- fixes the wound right up."
"'Safe amount?' How do you determine that?"
"Well, ever since I 'came back' my senses are a bit better. The first time I had to 'drink' I accidentally triggered something with my eyes and I could see the guy's health getting worse the more blood I drank. So, I stopped there. You... you get used to it."
"Interesting. We'll have to run a few tests later. But on the subject of blood, please describe your Embrace. What was it like, who did it, and what was your initial reaction to learning of your change?"
"'Embrace,' huh? I don't think I went through anything like that... I just woke up where my body was laying a few days later. Can't imagine what I looked like. A little bit after that I got found by some wan kuei, told me about what happened and about how bad the sun was now and all that. I already knew a little about vampires, so... I mean, it was a shock, but probably not as bad as most people."
"I take it, then, that you also don't have a 'Sire'?"
"No, just some old vampires who gave me some advice and then kicked me out when I didn't see things their way. I started looking for another group but one of the few guys on my side told me they were going to try to kill me... so that's why I came to America. I figure now that I'm out of the 'Middle Kingdom' that's the end of it... but who knows?"
"Where were you before you were arranged to take part in this Experiment? What were you doing? Is there anything important you were hoping to accomplish before you were brought here?"
"I was just trying to survive. And trying to figure out how vampires are supposed to be so successful when we can't move around during the day. The only job I could think of was doing translating online, and you know how that pays? If I wasn't stealing Internet access I couldn't keep that job either!"
"We may be able to help you with that matter as well. Final question: what do you want from this Experiment? What do you want to explore, either in the world or in a more personal sense? Is there anything that we should be made aware of before we begin?"
"I just want to learn everything about what I am now... just like you do."