Interview With a Vampire (attn: Drew)
Kem shuffled the papers in front of him in a businesslike manner, doing his best not to look nervous. He wasn't nervous. He conducted interviews all the time. Totally. Besides, this was a formality really. The intern in question had been working for Meridian for quite some time and had recently applied for a promotion to a full time position in the archives. HR had pretty much given the go-ahead but formalities were formalities. Kem was technically supposed to interview the guy himself.
Beside, there were a few red flags on this one. The applicant in question had some questionable connections - questionable if you were a vampire on the lookout for potential werewolves. As an intern he'd had limited (read: almost no) access to anything sensitive, and honestly as an archivist his access would be only marginally greater; anything relevant to their race was certainly not kept out in the open for any visiting official to "stumble" across.
Kem had the ultimate "yes" or "no" on this one but on paper, HR said it was okay and MARI knew what to look for, where to limit him. These sorts of identifications were on every badge of every Meridian employee. There were plenty of people working there who they were to be cautious around; it wasn't a vampire play zone.
Kem had mixed opinions on the topic of having a potential werewolf on his staff. But he was also a firm believer that you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer. In this regard, it appealed to him to have someone around who he could deliberately feed bad information to if it came down to it. It would be a matter of who played who better, and while Kem wasn't an actor, he hadn't survived well over a thousand years without learning to play a role.
So he sat there at Qwerty with his cappuccino in a quiet corner and waited for Drew to show up. He'd met the young man once or twice, but had never really had a chance to talk to him.
If nothing else, he had an interesting resume.
He'd debated the idea back and forth with The Old Guys for a while now and had managed to convince them both that he was learning things out here. He'd learned some by watching Xeph, it wasn't like they had a mentor mentee relationship but he was still learning. Hell, he'd learned things from Nikhila and even from Reign. Not to mention this work with Meridian was -huge- on his resume. If he could land this full time gig, he might even be able to save enough to go for his PhD.
In short, he -really- wanted the job. So much so, he'd let Reign help dress him and talk him into wearing a tie. Apparently, it wouldn't hurt if he looked a bit less like a kid, but the tie was irritating. At least he hadn't been forced into a jacket. Even so, he felt over dressed as he walked into the Qwerty.
Crap, he was here already. Was he late? Drew slid his cell phone out of his pocket and checked the time. Nope he wasn't late. Remember the mess at the museum though, he did make double sure it was muted not even on vibrate. It was one thing to fumble through that with a girl, and quite another in a job interview.
Stilling the last of his nervous energy, he walked over to the table and grinned.
"Evening Mr. Raaisu. I appreciate you taking the time to see me."Â?
He offered a firm warm handshake doing his best to look a little older. Not that Raaisu looked ancient or anything, but he figured it couldn't hurt.
Clasping the offered hand he winced a little. "Just Kem," he said. He re-seated himself and gestured for Drew to do the same. Did everyone else in the archives call him Mr. Raaisu? He wasn't sure. He'd gotten a few "Dr's" over the years, which technically were the correct form of address, but he tried not to stand on ceremony in his little corner of Meridian. Now he was going to have to pay closer attention.
"So," he began pretty bluntly, "how'd you like your internship?"
It seemed like a stupid question but it was a great gauge, he'd discovered over the years. No one liked being an intern. Unless they had a ten mile wide masochistic streak. Unpaid, overworked, and not allowed to really get their hands on any 'fun' stuff, any intern at any company would answer this question in a variety of ways. Kem was curious to see which route Drew would take.
Wow, way to cut right to the chase. Drew grinned a little sheepishly and scratched the back of his head while he thought how to answer that. It didn't take long for him to decide to go the honest route.
"Not exactly the glamorous job you day dream about, but defiantly a good experience. I learned a lot. Especially about filing and making coffee."Â?
Here's hoping a little humor didn't kill his chances. Most of the folks he'd worked with had been decent sorts and not above a little joking. He just had to be careful he didn't go over board.
"And I liked it enough to want to stick around longer."Â?
"The coffeemaking tutorial doesn't stop at internship," he warned. Kem took coffee seriously. And the number of visitors to the staff room coffee pot was a testament to his skill at the one item he actually cooked well. He hoped, anyhow. "You've only just begun."
Definitely an interesting turn to the conversation. Kem didn't mind though; he'd rather get a feel for Drew just by talking to him. he knew the guy was qualified.
"So, if you have a major in archaeology and Native American studies, how come you're looking to work in an archive?" He arched his brows at Drew. It id have him curious. He, too, had double degrees in different fields, neither one of which dealt with running an archive - that had been something he'd fallen into naturally, given his role with his Clan over the years. Couldn't explain that to Drew though.
"Your ability to work closely with archaeological artifacts will be somewhat limited," he said.
Kem was known to have a great deal to do with things like that, particularly Egyptian artifacts, but that was a special case somewhat outside of his job description because he had a reputation in that area. He didn't want to mislead Drew into thinking that would be a huge part of the job. Particularly because, spy though he might be, Drew obviously had an interest here.
Drew asked hopefully. He had no issues making coffee all day, every day if that would get him in full time.
He'd anticipated that question, he really wasn't quite what you'd be looking for in an archive. Not bad, he'd defiantly give most people a rune for their money but he was just a hair off of 'perfect'.
"A couple of reasons actually."Â?
Without even thinking about it, Drew's body language was completely relaxed and totally open. He really didn't have anything to hide, he wanted this job.
"I'm looking at maybe starting a PhD attempt but before I do that I'd like to try something just a little different. You spend enough time in libraries and archives and museums researching thing and you start wondering a little bit about the workings behind the scenes. And so far my experience has been very positive, I can't shake the fact that I might have more to learn here."Â?
Even though he was naturally open with people, he didn't often talk too much about home. Especially in a situation like this it could sound like a pity plea or, worse yet, an affirmative action threat. He hated that. If you wanted to hire him, do so on his merits.
"And this is something I'd not ever get to do at home. You have to take advantage of every opportunity after all, they don't all last long."Â?
Okay, Drew was pretty likable. Kem's interactions with him had been limited to a few hellos and goodbyes and maybe some errand running. That was about it. Having him as an entry-level archivist, though, meant spending a good deal more time with him. All the better to keep an eye on him.
Kem wasn't about to go into the annoying and mundane questions; HR had covered those when Drew had first been accepted as an intern. Which reminded him, though, he hadn't had a chance to see a lot of Drew's work.
"Did you work on any specific projects while you were interning?" He probably should have known that already, but he had been almost unreasonably busy in the past year and a half or so.
Drew's internship wasn't entirely errands - no doubt he'd had a chance to use some of his skills.
If he'd been shifted, his tail would have been wagging. 'Like me give me something to do.' It was hard to suppress his eagerness. Hey, if he could get in and learn something near his own fields -and- learn something useful for The Chief... yeah this would be great.
Projects? Time to make himself sound useful.
"I did help out a bit with the Xylander restoration. I'm not qualified to really man handle things, that is to say I didn't to the actual remounting and reinforcing, but I was there from the second day on."Â?
It had been damned fascinating though. He'd never really thought too much about preserving papers and sketches. However, seeing the process through from beginning to end had installed a newfound appreciation for the process.
The whole collection was an acquisition from a private collector in Greece, and it has been a massive collection. It had been a bit bewildering at first but he'd found his land legs fast enough.
"I was able to help with logging things in and a little bit of cataloging though."Â?
In fact, he'd put in more than a few long days/nights and more than a couple double shifts on the work, and that was before this opportunity came up. He didn't say anything thought. Either Kem would know or he wouldn't. If he did great, if he didn't saying anything now would only be desperate bragging.
"I remember now," he said. "You did decent work."
He placed the papers that contained Drew's resume face down on the table and relaxed back in his chair. He pondered the situation for a moment. There was no question of Drew's qualifications. He certainly had a leg up on several of the other applicants.
And if Xephier was truly determined to have someone working on the inside, he would have taken steps to assure that person's origins were untraceable. No, this was something far more obvious. As if he had expected the Evenhet to find out about Drew. If that's what Drew was, and it seemed likely.
The question, then, was if Kem wanted to deal with this young man, or another unknown entity. At least if Drew worked in the Archives, not only could Kem keep an eye on him but his access to anything sensitive would be limited and virtually impossible to access.
"What else are you hoping to learn from working at Meridian?"
The question was, again, open-ended, but it gave Kem time to ponder his position and Drew something else to think about. There were a lot of interesting things going on at Meridian. if he was what he said he was, he'd have a hard time deciding. And Kem didn't see why he couldn't be a little bit of both.
That was a damned fine question wasn't it? Drew wasn't about to get all soul searching on Kem but it did require a few seconds thought. Fortunately, he was confidant enough not to obsess over a few seconds silence while he thought.
"I'm not sure I could pick just one thing really. The restoration work was more interesting than I thought and I'd like to learn more along those lines. Sticking my nose into acquisitions would rock. I'd even think about potentially working with the collections at some point, I've got a bit of experience there."Â?
Just a bit, he'd helped to curate some small exhibits the university had put on. It was probably where he needed, even wanted to be, Drew just preferred to take the scenic route to get there was all.
"So far it's seemed like every time I've turned around there has been something new and some if it is things I'd never really considered. Too much time in a class room I suppose."Â?
He shrugged with good-natured self-deprecation. Drew had, after all, done all his schooling, right up through his masters, almost non-stop. You did miss things that actually happened in the real world that way.
He was back to square one which was: take the danger you know, or the danger you don't? Clearly Xephier was fishing for information. Not knowing what he already knew about vampires in general or the Evenhet in particular, Kem was pretty sure he wouldn't get too much more information.
Xephier's methods were baffling though. Why was he being so obvious? It made Kem suspicious, which made him hesitate to take this bait.
While it all went through his head he continued to wear his Archivist hat. "We might be able for you to arrange to do some collections work too. I split time between both departments on occasion, and I might be able to see about your helping with some of their work as well."
He shrugged his shoulders. "There are so many subfields to explore, it's no wonder you'd have a hard time choosing one."
Even as he said it he realized he'd pretty much made up his mind. He wouldn't have been pondering options for Drew if not. It was an interesting position. Drew was a spy, for lack of a better term. Kem was pretty sure of that and Xephier knew Kem would be sure of that. Any information Drew took back with him, if any (it was pretty unlikely, given MARI's capabilities and the fact that Meridian was a working business, not a den of vampire gossip) would be highly suspect.
Kem almost felt sorry for Drew. Who had he pissed off?
"You know the position is as a night worker, right?"
He pinned Drew with his pale, unsettling gaze. There was no hiding the truth in his eyes. If Drew was what he thought, he would be missing some work on occasion. Say, once a month.
Both working with collections and maybe getting to work a bit closer with Kem. That was part of the gig here. It was a nice coincidence this job coming open and The Chief needing some eyes inside.
Overall, he had to give himself props for handling this so well. When was the last time he, or anyone in his family, had dealt with a vampire in generations. He wasn't sure how he felt about it, so for now he was simply -not- thinking about it. Right now, he was just begging for a job.
Now that was a good look, but it didn't faze Drew. Kem had obviously never met his grandfather, that was a look.
The night thing was a bit of a bear, but else could you expect from a vampire? Besides he'd managed for years, he could manage again now. It would only be three days a month and some of those days were bound to be weekends. He half wondered if Kem had an idea what he was, who his people were. Well he'd just have to be careful. Damned if he was going to disappoint on his first assignment.
So, he didn't dwell on the night thing.
"Yup. No worries I've never been a morning person any way."Â?
And with any luck, he could swap some shifts and/or be sick or take vacation time. He had a month to figure it out, if he got the job. And he -had- to get the job.
Was he really doing this? How did he end up in this position? Kem wasn't really thrilled about it. he'd felt massively unprepared to be in any kind of position of authority from the outset, and this was way beyond his qualifications. Nothing to do though, but figure it out one day at a time. Aishe was already irritable with him for not letting someone else handle things directly, but what else was he supposed to do? This was clearly his responsibility as a Meridian employee... not as an Evenhet.
"Neither am I," he responded to Drew amiably. "It's pretty quiet at Meridian at night though. It won't be as interesting as it is during the day."
He tucked Drew's resume away. He'd known his mind was made up from the moment he'd heard about this from HR. It was too good an opportunity to pass up.
"I think it's safe to say we'll see you on Monday then? I'll have HR contact you and go over your salary and benefits. You start at 8 pm sharp."
The words came out much more easily than he'd expected they would. May as well dive right in, he figured. If Xephier wanted to plant this kid, Kem could work with it.
Standing, he held his hand out to Drew once more. "I'll see you then."
"Nothing wrong with quiet, let's you get to know people better and is good for the concentration."Â?
Of course, he'd only wind up getting to know those five or six people who worked nights, unless he was resourceful. On the other hand, though, the night workers would probably be the most interesting.
"Sounds like a great plan to me. I'll be there."Â?
Hey... he was going to get a paycheck for this too. Not too shabby. He'd forgotten that.
That was his cue to leave and Drew took it. With another handshake, at least as professional as the first, he nodded.
"I'm looking forward to it. Thanks and have a great night."Â?
That said he left, barley making it out the door before pulling off his tie. Now... did he write a report about this or did he wait till after his first day at work. He was going to have to work on that protocol apparently.
((OOC... Drew out))
It was impossible to know the future, sadly. In the wide array of vampiric abilities their kind experienced, he'd never heard of anyone with any sort of precognition. Right now he'd have given his left arm for a clue.
But at least they did what they could. Kem leaned back in his chair, sipped at his coffee, and looked at the ceiling.
"What do you think?" he asked out loud to apparently no one in particular.
She shrugged, knowing he'd hear the gesture in her voice. "He was hiding something, of course," she said. "It was a job interview though - who isn't hiding something there?"
Empathy had taught her some important lessons about people, be they humans or vampires. Everyone lied. While empathy didn't make her a lie detector, it did give her an edge and an ability to tell when someone was being less than honest, but the reasons for those lies and the magnitude of them were so widely varied as to be nearly impossible to determine cause or function.
"For all intents and purposes he is exactly what he says."
((ooc: Empathy with permission))
[So you think he's innocent?]
Kem wasn't so sure, but then again Aishe trusted far more easily then he did, and she probably had the better skills to back it up. He was just a cynic.
[I didn't say that.]
She organized her thoughts for a moment before continuing on. [I think you did the right thing. If he's more than what he claims to be, we can keep a close eye on him.]
She imagined Kiamhaat would have thought of this next point already, but she added, [Why would Xephier send someone so obvious though? If he really wanted it to be under the radar, his address should have been elsewhere than the Academy grounds.]
[Yeah. I don't know,] he answered Aishe. [All I can say is, double your lookout. maybe the kid is a distraction for someone else to come in. That's not acceptable.]
If that was the plan, it was bound to fail. Evenhet's security measures were second to none. If anyone got into their Clan grounds, it was because, as in Drew's case, they were being allowed with full knowledge.
But he was being thorough; he had to be. It was his job. Aishe didn't take umbrage at Kiamhaat's direction.
There wasn't much more to say on the topic though, not here. Aishe closed the laptop and tucked it under her arm, standing and looking around for the clock.
[It's early yet. Want to go for a walk?]
She waited for his affirmative, and headed out toward the cafe door.
[Waterfront in ten. I'll be waiting on the pier. I'll be in a dark trench coat wearing a rubber ducky inner tube. Come alone; don't be late.]
((ooc: Aishe out))
Her parting words sent coffee up the wrong set of tubes and he found himself doing his best not to inhale as he choked on lukewarm cappuccino.
[Not nice. You'd better run,] he sent to her.
He waited a few moments and then gathered up his empty laptop bag and headed out as well, taking a different route to the waterfront than Aishe had.
((ooc: Kem out))