Binary

1 or 0. Yes or No. Black or White.

The world isn’t binary there are so many shades of grey between white and black, so many infinitesimal numbers between one and zero.  There are no cut and dry anything in this world except when you talk about computers which I don’t.  Sure I can operate my smart phone and my laptop but they are just tools.

The Venatori are much like binary.  There is nothing in between for them. I know I go on and on about how it sucks. But hey this is my head you are poking into so get used to it. I can hear you saying, well do something about it.

I ask you what should I do?

Should I challenge the leader of the Venatori, kill him (or die trying) and become leader and totally and completely annihilate the Venatori in my wake?

Should I stand up and say my piece? Become a voice for the supernatural creatures we harm? People have tried this.  The Venatori’s concession was to create mandatory classes for all Venatori to take discussing supernatural cultures outside the Venatori. So I add my voice to the massive din and I get lost in the chaos.

No, I do the only thing I can do.  I hunt.  I do my job, but instead of outright killing my marks I bring them in for a trial.  I did my best. Now the Venatori have to spend more time and effort on the creatures case.  They can’t not have a trial, the other supernatural creatures would balk at that.

It may not be a fair trial, but I’m not a lawyer. I wouldn’t even know where to begin with that aspect of the unfairness of it all.

The world is so not binary.

Time

Time is one of those things that is relative to the person standing in that moment.  My time in the Academy felt like forever.  My time out in the field, these past ten years has gone by in a flash.  I’m never in the same place long, unless it’s down time and then I spend it at my mother’s old home – now mine, sorta.

Time drags when I’m not on a hunt.  Margo has helped me realize it’s due to loneliness.  I was never a lone in the Academy yet it dragged for me in hindsight.  I was always waiting to be done with things.  I wanted out of there so bad.  Now, the only thing I wish for is to be back there – not in school but back in New York – where people I know are.

I’ve been part of the Boulder HQ for about 10 years and I’ve made no friends short of Michaela.  And she’s not a great friend – an acquaintance I’ve had fun with.  And sadly not someone I’ve slept with either – she thinks I’m gay.  Her idea of someone bi is that they just can’t make up their minds.  She could be right in my case but I doubt it.  I enjoy sex I don’t care where it comes from.

It makes me wonder if I’m bored and time goes slow what does that mean for the longer living races. the Aeternus, or vampires.  Even the were’s have longer than human lives

Yearly Outings

Every year as a child and teenager we took a trip upstate New York to the woods and learned how to survive in the wilderness.  It was a two week long trip at every level. When we were but wee ones they would start us learning how to make fires, hunt for berries and things.  As we grew older we started learning how to hunt and how to track in nature.

It was probably one of the best times I remember in school.  I didn’t have many but this is what a hunter does most of their life and that I loved.  We were learning to be hunters.

By our last four years of school they started doing survival nights and days.  The first year we spent 1 day and 1 night dropped of in the middle of no where and had to survive that day without injury etc.   It was a boring day really.  I remember catching a rabbit, but I used my ability which I hadn’t been able to before.  I got away with a lot more when I was alone in those woods.  Jace got caught smoking weed his first year alone.

The second year they put you out in the middle of no where blindfolded so you didn’t know where you were without GPS and only your wits, a map and a compass and whatever supplies you were given for the day and you had to hike back to camp.  It was supposed to be no more than a day’s trek.  But some kids got lost and were alone in the woods for like three days.  They were a little worse for wear but they had found water and survived easily.

The third year they do the same thing except you dropped in a spot with a two day hike ahead of you to find camp.  I knew one kid who tried to do the whole thing in one day and failed miserably.  He was so close but he dropped from pure exhaustion and lack of nourishment about three miles south of camp.

The last year is your final test in survival.  They drop you in the woods in pairs and you are supposed to survive for the whole two weeks you are out on the trip.  You are graded on how much you move around, what you did etc.  It’s so much more than camping for two weeks and living off the land.  You are required to track and find another group.  I got stuck with Ross, one of my roommates.  He’s a decent guy when he’s alone with me, but put him with anyone else especially Aaron (another roommate of ours) then he’s a royal dick.

Ross came from a long line of hunters so he was in hog heaven.  We found all 7 other groups, we killed a mountain lion that was trying to steal the deer we’d shot the day before and were in the process of gutting.  But our biggest accomplishment didn’t have anything to do at all with the class – we didn’t fight once.  We had a few disagreements about things but that’s normal when you get to know-it-alls together and think they know best.

Blurred Lines

The actual name of the file uploaded was blurred_lines.  Yes it’s blurred but not exactly lines at least not that I see.  I started out thinking I would write about patterns here – how I see the world.  But the name of the file made me think of something else – how many blurred lines are in my life.

I am neither Venatori nor Human.  I am neither straight nor gay.  I knew neither my mother nor my father.  I could probably go on, but you get the idea.  I have never been one to conform to the things that I should.  I’m not a straight A student because I like studying – it was forced upon me.  It was either you get an A or you don’t practice magic.  What can I say I was a sucker for my “god-given” talent of bending the four elements.

It has become such a part of my life that I can’t imagine a world without it.  There are so many things that are unknown about what we do – or what I do.  Cesari are rare.  There are Venatori Scrin who’s sole focus is studying Cesari.  That’s how much is unknown.  Everything I do comes from a blurred line.  A rule I don’t follow exactly.  A statement that isn’t quite true.

I mean I can’t even tell people what I do for real.  I’m an exterminator.  I’m a consultant.  What am I really?  I am a monster hunter.  But even that is far from the truth, I don’t hunt monsters I hunt the criminal elements of the supernatural races and I bring them to justice – Venatori justice but justice none-the-less.

 

 

Women

The greatest influences in my life have been women.  Despite my feelings about my mother she greatly influenced the man I became today.  If she hadn’t done what she did I don’t know where I’d be, probably dead without training.  I wonder what life would be like if I hadn’t sparked, without my magic I’m a normal person.  I could easily fly under the human radar would my mother have even known I was special?  What would life be like not being Cesari.  I’m not sure I want to know, life as a human is hard.  Pretending to be one makes it harder.

Dae’lin Rivera is the strongest most stubborn woman I know.  When she got me I was broken.  I’m still broken, but I’m not in pieces anymore, but when I was six I had been beaten and abused for a year without a day of rest.  I never told anyone.  Not even Margo, the third women who has influenced me greatly.  Both Dae’lin and Margo have helped me heal.  Dae’lin taking on the role of my mentor and Margo my guide.  Without either I would still be broken.

They taught me how to cope, how to handle being me how to get through a day without wanting to cry or worse things.  I still speak to Margo on a weekly basis – Monday at 9:30 am every week.  And I speak with Dae’lin whenever I need to.  Both are only a phone call away.

I don’t think I’d ever tell Dae’lin that she means a lot to me.  She isn’t the sappy type, at least not with me.  But I tell Margo all the time.  Margo is the closest thing I have to a mother – a real mother – the one who cares for you and guides you and loves you unconditionally.  I don’t know if the latter is true of Margo, but it’s the closest thing I’ve got.

Touring Boulder Headquarters

As per usual I was up at 4am sweating bullets and panting from the nightmares that are my life.  Even a beer hadn’t calmed them – I don’t know why I thought today might be any different.  My second night away from the Academy hasn’t proven much different than every other night.

I had breakfast which consisted of the last protein bars I’d squirreled away until I learned where things were around here.  Thankfully Michael had promised to do just that today. I went for a run and hit the area they called a gym that no one was using at that hour of the day.  It felt good to be alone for once.  Things in NYC were always so busy – everyone was always on the go, and there was always someone awake at any hour of the day.

That is the main difference to NYC HQ and Boulder HQ, shit closes around here.  At 8 am I was standing outside the main building of the HQ compound and no one was there yet.  The woman who opened the door smiled at me and let me inside.  I sat down and waited another 30 minutes for Michaela to show up.  I was not impressed, but when she came in with a happy smile on her face I said nothing.  I bit my tongue.  Literally bit my tongue from saying something to offend my new handler on day one.  Go me!

However it didn’t last long as Michaela took me from area to area inside the main building.  It housed the offices, the small holding cells and the small stores that held gear, limited supplies for heading out and a few vending machines.  I was highly disappointed.

Michaela gave me a tour of the residences which had all our living quarters, pretty much a gloried hotel.  Single rooms with a restroom and a few common areas which as per the main building had vending machine and a small commissary story full of junk food and of course the dinky gym and a laundry room.  All of which were still empty at this time of day.

Our last stop was of course the gym.  Michaela decided she wanted to check out my style and my strength.  She remembered my display last night and told me I couldn’t do that.  I  was straight with her, no deal.  I’m not going to limit myself because she thought it was unfair.  Unless she fought like a human too I wasn’t going to fight her.  She attacked me anyway and I won the match.  She thought it was a good match, I didn’t tell her I was holding back.  I let her hit me.  I didn’t end it before it started.  I was no longer bound by the niceties of the competition but I held to them anyway.  I wouldn’t do that in the field.

We ate lunch and chatted about what to expect until my list was completed.  I worked for her.  Yay, another bossy woman in my life.  I would be given a file with given information to start off with and I’d have to figure out where and how to proceed, with her advice of course.  And we couldn’t do anything unless she signed off on it.  In her words, “no cowboy stuff.”

Michaela asked if I had any questions and I did but not what she expected.  I asked about grocery stores and what other things there were to do around town if I was expected to have a life here I needed details.  So Michaela did one better and showed me around Boulder itself.  Showed me a few clubs and bars she liked and informed me of the local hangouts of weres and vamps.  She sounded a little more than disgusted by them.  She must never have been around either for any period of time.  Supernatural creatures weren’t inherently evil, even vampires.

Tonight is my last free night as Michaela put it.  Tomorrow I start my first hunt.