Blood Chapter 16

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“So…” Savina sat across from Erkan, “What first?”

Erkan shrugged, “I’m not sure. How about magic? I mean, I’m sure that’s a big topic to cover, but magic is real, I guess.”

Savina nodded slowly, “It is. There are a number of different methods. The only kind I really know is…” she turned her eyes away, “… blood magic.”

Erkan nodded, “Seems useful. It doesn’t… uh… sound great, but you saved my life with it so I’m happy it exists.”

“Yeah it’s not um…” she scratched at her cheek with one finger, “It’s not exactly… popular. It has a lot of potential for… misuse. Blood has power, and it’s used up to fuel spells… so people sometimes try to get… more. But there’s nothing wrong with blood magic itself!” She slapped her palm onto the table.

“Right… umm, what about other types?”

“They get their power from different sources, and are more suited for different applications… but I really don’t know much about the other kinds.”

“What about Rosa’s magic?”

“Hmm, that’s a sort of innate magic. She gets power from… well, maybe you can have her explain it herself. Any other questions?”

“Umm… are vampires real?”

“Yes, but… they don’t have to drink human blood or anything. They just don’t produce blood of their own. They can get by with pigs blood or whatever.” Savina explained, “They don’t burst into flame in the sun either, but it’s not good for… them.”

“Yeah, that’s about the limit of my knowledge on supernatural beings… I dunno, are there faeries? Angels? Demons?”

“Oof. Hard questions. There are a few sorts of people who can be considered faeries. Angels and demons… there are people with ‘angelic’ wings and those with horns and hooves and such, but they don’t come from heaven or hell.”

“There’s no heaven or hell…”

“I didn’t say that.”

“So heaven and hell are real?”

“I didn’t say that either. Umm…” Savina breathed out heavily, “There is disagreement whether or not either or both of those exist or not. The only thing I can say for sure is that if you meet any ‘angels’ or ‘demons’ they aren’t from heaven or hell. They’re also definitely not exclusively good or exclusively evil.”

“Right…” Erkan thought that made sense, though it also left him with an abundance of thoughts to sort out, “So how have humans not noticed? Are people always using magic or…?”

“Several things. Magic to avoid notice, very occasionally erasing memory… and most of the time everyone just looks normal. Lots of people mostly go out at night, if they’re worried. I guess the most relevant thing is… we aren’t that populous. There are at most five hundred vampires in San Francisco proper, and werewolves number about the same. Everyone else is… less populous. There are just about as many Native Americans… or people from almost any random country. Since most people don’t go around kidnapping or otherwise causing trouble for humans, it rarely comes up.”

“Oh.” Erkan blinked, “Sometimes I forget how many people are in a big city.”

“Yeah. Several times as many supernatural people live in the Shadowlands, but the total population isn’t anything huge.”

“The Shadowlands?”

“It’s a sort of… alternate dimension? It’s smaller in scope than Earth. I haven’t been there so I’m not too sure on all the details. It’s where most monsters and such come from, though they only rarely end up on Earth. That was true even before there were regulations set up to prevent it. It’s pretty dangerous, and where Justin went to get all of his good stuff.”

“Good stuff?” Erkan raised an eyebrow, “I doubt you mean bacon.”

“Oh, right. Well, Justin catered mostly to supernaturals so he had things like wyvern steaks and pegasus meat. Though to be honest most of it is strictly exotic and not really that tasty.”

“Oh. It could be kind of fun to try, though. Still no news on Justin, huh?”

“No. He disappeared after the incident. Right, you haven’t heard the details there. A few of Marconi’s thugs tried to take him out. Which was crazy, since they knew he wasn’t normal… they wouldn’t use silver bullets otherwise.”

“What do silver bullets do? I thought he wasn’t a werewolf…”

“Oh, silver is a good counter for most regenerative abilities. Werewolves are also highly allergic though. Just to be clear, it’s not a funny joke to try to touch a werewolf with anything silver, in case you meet any. It’s possibly they would attack you, and it would be legitimate self defense. Though killing someone for it would likely still end up being counted as excessive…” Savina shook her head, “Well, basically don’t do anything stupid until you learn better. The laws aren’t really any different. Don’t steal, don’t kill, et cetera.”

“Okay. Is silver bad for anyone else?”

“Besides the regeneration thing? Nah. I can touch it just fine. I just couldn’t regenerate wounds with silver bullets in them.”

“Hey, me neither!” Erkan smiled, “Wait, so you normally can? Is that something you can do with blood magic?” Erkan looked down at his bandaged arms, “Or… are you a… vampire.”

Savina lowered her head, “Yeah. I’m a vampire.”

“Okay. So do you get blood from blood banks, or are there volunteers…?” Erkan shrugged, “I know you definitely don’t hunt people down in the streets, because that would be stupid.”

“Oh, I’m a vegan.”

“I… don’t know what that means in context.”

“Ah, sorry. It’s just that’s there’s no good word… I don’t drink human blood. Justin provided blood of various sorts too. Mostly pig and cow, since that’s cheap.” Savina shrugged, “It’s not at all vegan in the normal usage.”

“Alright… why not drink human blood? Does it kill them?”

“Umm… finding volunteers isn’t exactly easy. Blood from blood banks… well, other people need that blood, and it’s not really useful if it isn’t mostly fresh, like a couple days. It’s just better to use blood that would otherwise probably get thrown out. Not that many people make blood sausage regularly.”

“A good point…” Erkan nodded. “I guess we should go deal with all of that… legal stuff?”

“Sure. You can always text me if you have specific questions… though you’ll also have access to databases to look stuff up. We’re not barbarians.”

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