If these inspire you to a story, in or out of the fest, please do write away! The more, the merrier!
Think over some FK history questions with us? :-)
1) Why London during the Blitz? Why all 3 together?In the flashbacks of "Father Figure" (1941), we find Nick, Janette, and Lacroix in London during the Blitz. Presumably, they could have made their way almost anywhere else in the world, including, for example, a Canadian or US city which, while not exactly at peace, was at least not under siege. Did they choose not to? Or were they stuck for some reason?
- We know from "Unreality TV" (1861-1862), "Night in Question" (1853) and "Can't Run, Can't Hide" (1971), among others, that Lacroix quite likes battlefields for the blood, fear, and death. Is that why he chose to stay in London?
- We know from "Outside the Lines" (1942) (though I personally do so despair of those flashbacks; how could you possibly not know better, Nick?!) that Nick later involves himself in the fighting — specifically for free France, against the Nazis and Vichy. Is that why Nick chose to stay in Europe?
- What about Janette? I suppose, in times of such turmoil, she may be safer with Nick and Lacroix than alone... though if that's the reason, apparently it all goes to pot after the Daniel incident. And if Nick goes from London to Lyon, and Lacroix follows him, where does Janette go?
Prudent FK vampires would surely shelter from air raids just like anyone else. Bombs could burn vampires to death, as well as blow off their heads, or drive wood through their hearts. What is it like to be an FK vampire in a city of blackout curtains and curfews?
2) How did Nick and Janette each feel about the time Lacroix ordered Nick to abandon Janette to hunters?In the flashbacks of "Hunters" (1840), as Nick, Janette, and Lacroix flee — on horseback, in daylight, trailing smoke — from armed humans hunting vampires, Lacroix orders Nick to "Leave her!" (meaning Janette) when she can't keep up.
That's, uh, not the most caring thing Lacroix ever says about Janette.
(Note that I'm positing that Lacroix means what he says here. If you'd like to posit that he didn't mean it, that's a different proposition.)
By 1840, it can be no surprise to either Nick or Janette that Lacroix's values, preferences, and practices are what they are. But that's not a common sentiment, a usual directive, expressed in so many words. After the incident ended, when they'd gotten safely away from the hunters and had a good days' sleep... how did Nick and Janette each feel about that order from Lacroix? Devalued? Bound together against him? Shrug it off, from knowing — even sharing — Lacroix's worldview, in which the weak should be eliminated for the sake of the strong? (Those philosophies only sound appealing when you're certain you're secure among the strong, I suspect. What happens when you suddenly feel your own vulnerabilities?)
3) When, and why, did Nick, Janette, and Lacroix stop regularly posing as nobility and begin living usually middle-class lives?Obviously, until a middle class as we know it came into existence, this wasn't really an option. While there have almost always been merchants and crafters and professions, it wasn't always the same thing as what we today consider middle class. So, for a parameter, let's posit that this just wasn't an available option pretty much anywhere until the latter 18th century, and in some places not until much later. Before that, at least in Europe, where our main vampire characters mostly hung out, people were rich or poor, nobility or not, and Nick, Janette, and Lacroix usually chose to be among the rich and comfortable.
But at some point, that changed. They — even Lacroix, apparently last of all — got jobs. They didn't seek the rich and powerful (and famous! is that significant?) anymore. Were there specific turning points for each of them as individuals? Or was it just the way of the world, turning around them, without any specific decisions? Or was it something decreed or recommended in some manner, perhaps by Aristotle or Larry Merlin or the Enforcers?
Nick was still palling around with royalty as late as the flashbacks of "Strings" (1916). But then, and for many centuries before, he almost indiscriminately let people call him by his first name, which would have been quite an intimacy and sign of solidarity in most of those times and places.
When, in "Cherry Blossoms," Janette teases Nick about how rich he is and how much his loft doesn't show it, he replies as if instructing her about how to be an inconspicuous middle-class person. Does he really think she doesn't know? Or is he weighting it on the police officer side, which of course she actually wouldn't know? What about Lacroix's job at CERK — is it his first employment, as such?
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