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(no subject) [Apr. 15th, 2007|12:00 am]
Preston Vasquez
It takes them some time to approach the place where Preston had his encounter - long enough, at least, for everyone to get thoroughly filled in on matters as they stand.

And the advantage of traveling with wolves: zombies are easy to avoid.

"So here's where I managed to get enough ahead of him," Preston says, conversationally, as they reach the fence he'd wriggled through, "that I'm not, you know, dead now. 's where he met up with the others."
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(no subject) [Mar. 25th, 2007|09:43 pm]
Preston Vasquez
It's easy to track Russ if you've got the nose for it - and, as it happens, Preston does. Even in human form, which is the form he's currently in. He prefers it, and in any case it's easier to communicate; to explain why he's leading the leader of the vampires straight towards the alpha, if any of the Pack wolves come across them and decide to question his motives. (He doesn't think they've reached the point of attacking without questions yet. At least, he hopes not.)

He's very aware of the vampire behind him. And by the time they're approaching Russ at Millenium Park, he's equally aware of the alpha in front of him.

This is going to be a fun meeting.

But, he thinks, it has to be done.
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(no subject) [Mar. 17th, 2007|05:36 pm]
Preston Vasquez
The city's quiet tonight.

Unusually so, Preston would think, if he were Preston at the moment; but he's wolf, now, and he notices what there is instead of what there isn't. Smells of blood. (More than usual.) Smells of strong emotion. (Anger, fear, things the wolf hasn't got a word for but recognizes all the same) Wolf, vamp, occasional human - scents he knows, but rarer. Not so much zombie. That's something.

He's been wolf since he left Anna. He figures vaguely that he'll change back soon. Not yet, though.
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Preston: Meta! [Jan. 20th, 2007|01:51 am]
Preston Vasquez
How did I come up with Preston?

Well, originally Preston was going to be a ridiculously pretentious intellectual type with the face of Macauley Culkin. Yeah, seriously.

And then I stumbled across Freddy Diaz, and my whooole image of the character got revamped. In part because - I really wanted to play a character from a slightly different background and culture. There aren't enough of them. I wanted him to be an intellectual, still, but his interests and worldview became very different. (I am still worried, occasionally, about turning him or his family members into a stereotype. I trust someone to thwap me if I do.) I also wanted to give him a happy family, because that's something that has been relatively rare with my RP characters, as well.

I also think that once I decided to make him a bassist, a lot of him got stolen from Oz from Buffy. But with bonus idealism.

Speaking of which: worldview!

Preston, as we all know, is an idealist. He believes in the basic decency of human nature, in the basic benefits of civilization, in democracy and freedom and all that jazz. He believes in reason; that thinking about things rationally is always better than thinking about them emotionally, and that it will get you somewhere better, in the end. He was fascinated by philosophy, by sociology; probably would have majored in one or the other of them if that wouldn't have trapped him in the academic track after graduating, and he wanted to have the chance to influence the world more directly. He wasn't blind to the flaws that existed in society as it was, but he wanted to change them. He really thought that maybe he could.

If the world hadn't changed, he probably would have ended up as the aide to a diplomat somewhere - doing small acts of decency, maybe, and influencing things in small ways. Respected. Very uncomfortable with the larger problems, though; either he would have kept trying, and felt obscurely guilty for participating, or stopped trying, and felt obscurely guilty for giving up. Not guilty in a haunts-him-forever kind of way. Preston's good at coping with things. But guilty, all the same.

As it is . . . he really does think the world will get better. He wishes he knew how to speed it along, but practical planning is so not his strong point.

The fact that he belives in humanity brings him a lot of trouble. He wants to be a human. Embracing the wolf goes against pretty much everything he believes in, and he keeps as tight a leash on the whole emotional understate as he can. Ironically, this stops him from getting anywhere near as involved in fixing things as he'd like to be, though he doesn't realize it; because he keeps himself at a very low key, trying not to get passionate about things, he lets himself slide by on a sort of vague optimism without doing a great deal to facilitate change.

He might be beginning to realize this a little, though. Starting up at the Wasteland was exciting enough as a musician, and enough of a step for civilization, to keep him happy for a long time, but he feels like the next should be happening, and he doesn't know how to make it.

Interpersonal stuff

Gwen and Salla are his best friends, obviously. He doesn't think about it this way, but I think that one of the main reasons for this - on Preston's side, at least - is that they're both people who are changed and have chosen to live as humans, rather than as a sort of new species. They understand, to a certain degree.

This is a good part of the underlying reason that Gwen/Russ makes him uncomfortable. Wolves are pack animals. Preston doesn't want to acknowledge it, but it's true. If Gwen joins the Pack, that leaves Preston as a lone wolf, and it's not . . . a comfortable feeling. (There's Jenny and Shay, but Shay has the puppies and Jenny has the vampires. It's not quite the same. Besides, neither of them is alpha like Gwen.)

Also, he's younger than Salla and Gwen both, and he never remembers it except as a joke until he does. He doesn't feel younger than them, but he is. He's fairly sure they don't forget it as often as he does.

He's got a crush on Karla. This isn't news. He is absolutely determined that Karla's not going to find out about it. This is not because of shyness or insecurity; pre-wolf Preston got dates fairly easily, and had had one or two reasonnable-length relationships (quite apart from Journey). A large part of this is the wolf thing - he doesn't know all the restrictions, he doesn't have it anywhere near as under control as he would like to, and he doesn't think it's fair to make anyone else deal with that. He is also worried about making her uncomfortable, because, let's face it, large things with teeth are threatening. The part that he doesn't acknowledge, so much, is the fact that Karla is about the age of the oldest of his younger sisters, or only a very little older. Rationally, he knows it doesn't make much difference, and that the age difference between them is pretty negligible. He feels guilty about it anyways - like he'd be abusing his position as an older, trusted male to make any kind of move, especially since he's so used to playing the brotherly role with younger girls.

Speaking of which: Jenny and Vanessa. Preston feels totally brotherly about them. He misses his sisters. He's trying not to make Jenny and Vanessa into substitutes for them. He wants to watch out for both of them anyways - without, of course, impeding their freedom of choice, because Preston doesn't Do That.

He's glad Vanessa isn't scared of him. If she was, it would make him a lot sadder.

Shay is a bandmate, and that pretty much sums up her relation to Preston as far as he's concerned. He likes her, feels comfortable about her, can joke with her easily; he's not protective about her like he is with Jenny and Vanessa, but he does want to help her out where he can, 'cause, you know, that's what you do. He sort of feels the same way about Armand, even though he isn't really a bandmate yet - with of course the added slight awkwardness of Pack tensions, or rather, of trying almost too hard to make sure there won't be any Pack tensions.

He does the same with Russ. He likes Russ, pretty much, as a person. But he doesn't trust him or the Pack lifestyle in any way; essentially he thinks it's dangerous and irresponsible and a glorification of gang life, that it plays into negative stereotypes. (Nevermind that there hasn't been much time to build up stereotypes yet - worrying about negative stereotypes is something Preston spent a lot of time doing, in college, and old habits.) He's pretty sure it's a hindrance to rebuilding civilization, and to any kind of intermutational tolerance.

Although he gets along with Russ more easily most of the time, he probably has more respect for Claire, and her way of running things, than for Russ. Her views on the way things ought to be in a civilized society are a lot closer to his. The ribbon system . . . disgusts him, but he also sees the sense in it, and he wishes he couldn't.

If Preston wasn't as much of an idealist (and was a better planner), he might be a lot more like Claire. He knows this. He feels sorry for Claire for not having that idealism, and he tries to make his conversations with her as unaffected by political considerations as possible.

He also feels sorry for Helen. He'd like to help her feel more comfortable, if he can.

Daniel and Anna are friends, he would say; he likes talking to them, but he wouldn't exactly come to them with his personal problems. That being said, he knows Daniel better than Anna, and respects his views a lot.

Father McKinley Preston finds very interesting to talk to. He also thinks that as a priest McKinley could wield great influence on the slowly re-emerging society, and watches him a little closely for that reason. Preston doesn't think that people should rely on religion - he's very much a reason-over-faith kind of guy - but he's a little conflicted, because he feels like religion could also be a great positive influence for people who have lost hope. It is, in a sense, an ethical dilemma for him.

As for Les - Preston thinks Les is a great, nice, useful guy, and tends to forget he exists a lot of the time. This is because Les is a techie. As a musician, Preston trusts that he'll be there to set stuff up, and then wanders off to play.

Random notes

Preston reads nonfiction about 80% of the time, often political history and biographies. (This is the part of Preston that I probably least identify with.) If he's going to read fiction, he likes critically acclaimed books with lots of character exploration and deep moral and ethical concepts. Alternately, he likes stuff that will make him laugh.

He has, however, seen a lot of movies. Alma loved romantic comedies and anything with crazy impressive special effects, Kit really liked old movies, and Elena was still in the Disney years - between all of that, it's fair to say that he's seen at least bits and pieces of a ridiculous array of films that he probably would not have chosen for himself. Some of them far too many times to count.

Musically, his tastes are pretty broad, and he probably knows a lot more than I do. He likes classic rock a lot - anything well-known he's probably heard, but he's especially fascinated by all the anti-war music of the sixties. He also likes rap. He thinks it's an interesting expression of our culture. Yes, he really does.

Also, a brief note on Preston's family: his mother died when he was about three years old. All of his sisters are half-sisters. He always got along very well with his stepmother.
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OOC: Wasteland meme! [Jan. 14th, 2007|01:22 am]
Preston Vasquez
Ask Preston anything/tell me something I don't know about him.
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(no subject) [Sep. 15th, 2006|03:07 pm]
Preston Vasquez
His name was Peter Vasily; they'd been next-door neighbors freshman year, suitemates the year after that. When they were drunk they'd call each other P-Vas 1 and 2.

Neither of them was drunk now.

"Look, man -"

Preston took a step forward; Peter took a hasty step back, maintaining the distance between them, eyeing the door warily.

In disgust: "What, you think I'm gonna bite you? For Christ's sake -"

"I know you wouldn't mean to, man," said Peter, miserably. "You wouldn't be able to help yourself, maybe."

"Fucking hell, Pete, I'm not a goddamn zombie -"

He saw Peter flinch; got his voice back under control, with an effort.

"Man - there's wolves and vamps everywhere these days, you can't just refuse to see anyone who's infected. What're you gonna do, barricade yourself in like those idiots in the chem lab? Tell me if I'm misquoting, but you were the one who said they were fucking morons who'd starve themselves out."

"No," Peter said, low. "I'm going to try to make it to Canada. There's a rumor going around they weren't badly hit. Mark's going with me. We thought someone should tell you, say goodbye -"

"With a big friendly Not Welcome on the Voyage, right?" Preston took a step back, holding up his hands, palms flat. "No, it's okay, I get it. I might eat you in your sleep or something."

"Pres -"

"It's okay," Preston repeated. "I wish you luck, amigo. Honestly. Hope you find your unmutated Canadian paradise."

He could feel his bones starting to creak.

"You'll be okay, man." Peter couldn't seem to decide whether to avoid his eyes, or meet them square; his gaze jerked around, door to Preston to feet and back. "I mean - you've got the weapons and all, vamps aren't gonna drink from you - you'll be okay."

"Yeah," Preston said, and shifted position. "Sure."

He tried his hardest to eliminate the sarcasm from his voice; told himself that Peter's wild-goose-chase was going to be hard enough without a guilt complex, too. If he wanted to think of Preston wandering around the campus all King of the Jungle, then so be it.

"You might," he added, his voice a little strained, "wanna go now, though."

They'd all learned to recognize the signs, by this point.

Peter nodded; gave Preston one last, unhappy glance.

"Mark's gonna leave you the dorm keys. We'll hang them on on your whiteboard," he said - one final offering - and then he backed out the door, and was gone.
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(no subject) [Sep. 11th, 2006|10:24 pm]
Preston Vasquez
Ain't it a usual day?
Trapped among concrete and gray -
And ordinary skies.
So how is it I fly
Above when I
Look into her eyes?

Oh, everything is weirder when
With Anna
Anna makes your 'ead so strange!
When the day is gray
And ordinary
Anna makes it go deranged!

Oh, oddity is bloomin'
All around 'er
The vampire chick is smilin'
At the were
When Anna 'olds your 'and
It 'its your glands
Your 'eart starts beatin'
Like a big brass band
Oh, everything is weirder when with Anna
I shouldn't 'ave to feel this, it's not fair!

Now then what'd be nice
We'll start with raspberry ice
And then some cakes and tea
But please no alcohol
Cause then I'll bawl
It's complimentary

Oh, everything is stranger when
With you, Gwen.
Werewolf girls like you are few
Though you're just a canine
In the rough, Gwen
Underneath your heart is true!

You'd never think of pressing
Your advantage
Forbearance is the hallmark
Of your creed
Yet still a lady fears
When you are near;
This feeling's anything but crystal clear!
Oh, everything is weirder when with you, Gwen,
It's gay unnerving oddity with you!
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(no subject) [Sep. 10th, 2006|10:26 pm]
Preston Vasquez
Normally, Preston doesn't hang around outside for long periods of time. It's not the most survivalist tack.

But it's a nice day - probably one of the last, now that fall's approaching - and there don't seem to be any zombies outside. So he's leaning back against a wall, idly kicking an empty beer can around.
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The Last Phone Call [Sep. 2nd, 2006|08:34 pm]
Preston Vasquez
6:02 PM, Sunday, August 4.

"Hey, Dad."

"Tonito. You're two minutes late; what happened, you overslept?"

Preston laughs politely, as he's supposed to; doesn't wince at 'Tonito', as he usually would, and the laugh doesn't last as long as it should either. "How's Connie?"

"The doctors say she's doing better." The answer comes too quickly to be true. They both know it. "She'll be home any day - Kit and Elena are there with her now. Alma's here, though, if you want to talk to her -"

"Sure, put her on."

"Not so fast, mi chavito. I've got you for a few minutes first. How's your class?"

"Teacher's still out sick. The TA's a grad student, but he's trying." He doesn't say that a significant portion the class is sick, too, more people falling ill each day; for one thing, a good half of the sick ones keep showing up until they drop, despite the protests of their roommates and the campus doctors. UChicago students are what some might call unhealthily dedicated, and the ones who stick around to take extra classes during the summer session even more so.

"Well, I don't want you slacking off just because the teacher's out, you hear? I'm still paying for that session."

"No slacking, got it."

"Your sister's standing here making faces. You want him, Alma? Oh, now she's shooing me out of the room, what have you got to say to your brother that I can't hear? Okay, Preston, here's Alma -"


"Mocosco. What're you doing here, aren't you supposed to be at the hospital with your mom?"

"We're taking turns now. I had a date, but it got cancelled."

Preston wonders if it's the bad connection that makes her sound as if she's losing her voice. Hopes it is. "Tell Tomas that if he stands you up again, your big scary brother's gonna beat him up when he gets home, no joke."

"He didn't stand me up, he's sick. Anyways, it's not like that'd work, Preston, he's seen you."

"Ha ha. Listen, Alma, you feeling all right?"

"I'm fine." It's the weary tone of someone who's been asked that question more than once in the past twenty-four hours. "You're just like Dad, stop worrying. Speaking of, he wants the phone back -"

"- Preston, it's Dad again."

"Really, 'cause if you hadn't told me, I'd never have been able to tell you from Alma. Look - is she okay?"

A pause. "Why wouldn't she be okay?"

"Dad, I'm serious. If something's wrong, you tell me, all right?"

"Si, anything happens, you'll hear. Go concentrate on your studies. We're all going to be fine."

"Right," Preston says; tries to make it sound like he believes it. "Give my love to Connie and Kit and 'Lena."

"Will do." It's quiet for a moment; he's about to hang up, when he hears his father again, sounding tired all of a sudden, sounding old: "Don't wait until next Sunday to call, all right?"

"I won't. Love you, Dad."

"Love you, Tonito."

He hears the click of the call ending, and stands, holding his cell phone, for a long time. He'll call Wednesday, or maybe Tuesday; if he calls tomorrow, his father will just tell him not to worry, to go back to his studies.

Maybe he'll call Tuesday.

On Tuesday, August 6, the phone lines go down. They don't go back up.
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