the solution is within your reach [story part 43]
November 20, 2012 § 9 Comments
So here we are. The third part of the revealing of the vampire secret.
Anything you need? Nature provides.
The belief that anything mystical and supernatural goes in the vampire world is just that, a belief. Nothing more, nothing less. Based on things that we do not understand.
“BUT I LIKE MY NAME!”
I was shouting as I was trying to keep up with her.
“Where we’re going, you cannot be who you are. You cannot leave the country with me, with that name, not where we’re going. Not for this.”
Whatever. I thought… I’ll just… not use it. Boy was I wrong.
I’ve left you last time where Regina was asking for my help, mine – to get to Sigismund. Little did I know at the time that this, the fact that Sigismund might be alive, meant way too much for the kinship to be left out in the open. Nobody could know, not even Viktoria. Nobody should even hear that Regina was trying to do such a thing, because that would have meant she had suspicions that it is true – and that alone is enough to make a few drastic changes.
As in turns out, the only person who she could go to was me. Because I was not part of the kinship, and yet I knew enough to be able to assist. Anything else up to this point was just out of pure pleasure, just because she wanted to let me see this and that, just because she wanted this and that, nothing was REQUIRED. I was not needed, I was just there because she wanted me to. But now, now things had changed. This search was a search for both of us, but it had deep, deep implications in the kinship that I didn’t really fathom until much later.
Sigismund being alive would have changed everything. For starters, Regina would stop being the oldest of them – and with that – the status that she enjoyed, because the fact that she was a queen came from her bloodline. As soon as someone older, from whom she herself is a descendant of, comes into play, as soon as that happens, she stops being the top bloodline and everything falls apart, because most of it is built on worship, respect, fear and a combination of the three. Something along the lines of “I don’t believe in god, but I fear him.”
Given, finding Sigismund was as much as a personal quest for her, as it was for me – the bottom point was following the necklace trail, remembering where it came from, why – and which was its connection with the Black Eyed Children. Understanding, basically, who they are and what do they have to do with vampires first and humanity as a whole second.
But to get there, to follow what she might have found, for that she needed help. Where we were going there were no other people, there were no stops, there was just pure walking and walking through nothingness, until eventually arriving. I was as much as a help, a companion as I was a blood-bag.
More on that in a second. First, this:
“Can I pick a name?”
“Sure. How about Alex?”
“Well just think of something and we’ll see about it.”
We were going to the only place in town where the ultimate proof of me ever being born was found. We were going to the archives in the town hall, which were not digitized at the moment (still aren’t I guess, paper archives are always safer than electronic ones apparently, they think). We were going for my birth certificate. Not to make it disappear, not to change it. No. Just to create a new one.
That, in my mind, was a feat that not even she could achieve. Being nice only goes that far.
As soon as we stepped into the town hall, which if you looked at past photos know it’s this way too huge building, looking like a castle, overseeing the whole town, as soon as we did that, I once again saw that which I call influence. It’s not what you see in the movies, it’s not hypnosis. It’s just a very, very careful art of talking, observing and manipulating a person into swaying his or her opinion to your favor. It’s nothing that a human cannot achieve, but when given the charm that she had, the knowledge that she had and a few centuries of training, you end up with something that for 99% of the people seems un-natural. For me incldued, at the time, seemed something that came out of the movie, and for that very reason I followed a psychology communication science, with focus on manipulation, persuasion and social influence. I can now understand it, identify it and to a certain level, also do it, but I’m nowhere near anything that Regina was. For that I need another century to do this. In any case, what did come next was as un-natural for me as it could.
Using all the strength that she had, she found out who was responsible for accessing the archive, extracting the data from there, or adding new data. This information isn’t public, and for good reasons.
“Go down the corridor, to the left, and ask for Maria. She could help you.”
And so we did, Regina in front, I followed.
“Have you figured your name yet?” She asked in a “We’re going to need that answer soon enough” tone.
I doubted that Maria, whoever she was, would just allow Regina to waltz in there and modify anything. No matter how convincing or scary, Maria was there for a reason. Call security at any sign of trouble. I’m sure Regina was not the first, nor the last, to attempt changing records.
“Hi. My name is Regina, he’s…..”
I said my “new” chosen name. Regina smiled.
Maria was this 40 something woman, a bit chunky with glasses larger than it should be allowed, medium-sized hair, dyed too ostentatiously in a what was supposed to be chestnut but it turned out more carrot like than it should, she was also looking at us rather irritated and started arranging her clothes as soon as we got close, straightening herself out and adopting a defensive position, hands crossed , looking from above kind of stance. I didn’t know at the time, but usually when someone does that, you’re going to have a lot of trouble in convincing that person of anything.
Maria also seemed more interested in Regina’s shoes than at what she was saying, looking up and down, analyzing both Regina and me as well.
“We’d love if you could help us find a lost birth certificate…” And as she was saying that, Regina pulled out a powdering kit, the kind with a mirror and a small powdering fluffy thing whatever it’s called, and started powdering her face in a rather aggressive way, so much so that the powder was all around the air between her and Maria. I wanted to get close to take a good look at what the hell is actually happening (she never powdered?) but Regina urged me with a flick of a right hand, without turning towards me or breaking eye contact with Maria, to stay back.
I complied. I always did, because I never knew what she was intending to do, and more than often it involved her needing space. This was and wasn’t the case in the same time. I was expecting violence, yes, again, but instead received a healthy dose of total compliance.
By the time she finished saying that, I expected Maria to have a rather aggressive tone, like all Romanian public workers, and just rudely say that we need this and that and that AND that and it’s not possible whatever we do. Instead, she said almost nothing except mumbling something that I didn’t understand and had an empty stare, past Regina, past me, looking at… nothing really.
Wait – what? This couldn’t be happening. Vampires can’t – don’t – have that hypnotism thing the movies talk about. Do they?
“Maria… why don’t you show us inside… you want to, right?”
“Mmmphh…” she mumbled and started heading for the door.
I was purely, utterly, 100% shocked. This shocked me more than anything I had ever seen up to this point. EVERYTHING that I had seen had an explanation, but this didn’t. This was either staged or supernatural – in my mind, there was no other explanation.
Maria went on her way and when we got inside Regina closed the door, sat Maria down and turned on the lights. In that order.
“Maria… do you want to go get us a new birth certificate and a pen? We can’t seem to find the one we’re looking for. You know you want to, you really do, so why don’t you?”
She stood up, Maria, and just left by herself wandering the corridors.
“Regina, what in the world is going on?” I asked, still a bit freaked out by what I was experiencing.
“Why?” She responded smiling.
“You… she… You hypnotized her! She’s a zombie! Look at her! What’s going on?!? You told me that’s bullshit! You with your own words told me that’s complete bullshit!”
“Well you asked me if I can hypnotize people.”
“Yes, I did… and you said no!”
“And that’s true! I can’t! Now relax.”
“Then what the fuck do you call this? And don’t tell me you’re just being good at convincing people, because this isn’t…” and I was interrupted by Maria which had just returned with a brand new birth certificate, stamped, not filled in, and with a nice pen.
Regina gave me both the paper and the pen.
I literally filled in my own birth certificate, and dated it with one year prior to my actual birth year. Here it is.
The birth certificates don’t need to look old, and actually most of them are brand new because a lot of people are exchanging their old ones which have “The Socialist Republic of Romania” as you can see from my old birth certificate with newer ones (as you can see above), issued after ’89 which aren’t marked like that anymore, for obvious reasons. Even if this wouldn’t have been the case, it still doesn’t need to look old. You can exchange your old certificate for a new one whenever you want, if you fear it is deteriorated, plus, what we really wanted was the original to remain as a record, which can be checked, and a copy – which doesn’t need (obviously) to be old – just legitimate.
By the time I was done, Regina was convincing Maria that she (Maria) really needs to go home and take a nap because she really wants to go home and take a nap… circular logic, yeah, that always works, because fuck logic, right?
Maria stood up, actually called my name and said goodbye, and left. I was left with mouth open, eyes wide open, speechless. Regina was almost laughing.
We put the original where it should be, in the appropriate section, year and letter, shut the lights off and closed the door.
After that we went straight up to the initial person (Iuliana was her name) that we spoke with, I went there, as instructed, told the lady that nobody can be found to help me with a copy of my birth certificate. An original copy that is, which isn’t a photo-copy, but a hand written, second piece of paper, copied directly from the original birth certificate. This is what records are for.
Everyone has his own birth certificate at home – which generally if you lose, means a lot of trouble – but not the end of the world, because the records are there, hard to access (apparently) but can provide you with a new birth certificate.
The lady went down by herself, saw that Maria is missing, and after 10 minutes of searching she decided to go in by herself, extract the birth certificate, make a copy and then, with a really pissed off look that I made her do all that work, handed me a new birth certificate, urging me to never, ever lose my birth certificate again, and nicely asking me to pay the fee.
I did, I said thank you, and I left.
I now had two birth years, two names, two sets of parents. I was legitimately, verifiable, two persons.
How we managed – how she managed – to do this, was yet to be explained.
She did, promptly as we returned home. And that will be the vampire secret that this whole series of posts is all about.
How they really make you do something you have no idea of.
This might be just the most important thing I’ve ever said in this blog, and it’s funny, because it’s such a natural and a human thing, and so obvious, and yet we call it supernatural and make movies about it….