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For once, Lichtenstein isn't sitting with a book in hand.… 
4th-Dec-2011 06:16 pm
Contemplation of the Facts
For once, Lichtenstein isn't sitting with a book in hand. It's placed open on a table a little way from him, German shorthand scribbled across it. The doctor himself is standing a palm out in front of him, observing the flame he creates and extinguishes in an endless loop. Every so often he alters one of its characteristics. Shape, heat, light, how hungrily it burns, or how eagerly it sparks up. It's when he pauses to make a note about heat that he asks his question.

"How much would you risk to eradicate your greatest fear? Or how much would you offer to get your greatest wish?"
5th-Dec-2011 02:24 am (UTC)
As much as I have to and as little as possible. But it's very important to destroy your fears before they destroy you.
5th-Dec-2011 08:17 am (UTC)
"A vicious bargainer," Lichtenstein pauses his writing to grunt with amusement. "Presumably, if you destroy your greatest fear another will take its place. How many fears should you destroy?"
6th-Dec-2011 06:13 am (UTC)
I have a long time's experience dealing with vicious and deceptive bargainers.

Hopefully enough that my "greatest" fear by then is rather silly!
6th-Dec-2011 12:33 pm (UTC)
He gives a nod as if to say 'ah yes, of course'. Lichtenstein stands away from the table again and crooks an eyebrow at him. "And you would prefer a silly fear to a justified one?"
7th-Dec-2011 08:35 am (UTC)
Small and silly is preferable. Easier to laugh off your fear that way. If it's silly and surmountable it's more of a quirk than a fear, and I believe quirks make people interesting.

Edited at 2011-12-07 08:36 am (UTC)
7th-Dec-2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
"A fear is still a fear." Lichtenstein trades his frown for a crooked eyebrow and tries making the flame red. "Have you managed to eradicate your fears?"
15th-Dec-2011 03:35 am (UTC)
Most of them. But the older you get the more obvious it becomes that you can never be completely without fear. Not if you're marginally sane.
15th-Dec-2011 09:15 pm (UTC)
"Did you go far out of your way to deal with them?" He is listening, even if he seems distracted by the magic.
20th-Dec-2011 08:12 am (UTC)
Considering that I had so many people trying to take advantage of whatever fears I had so they could control me, yeah. I worked too hard to get free to let anyone own me again.
21st-Dec-2011 10:58 pm (UTC)
"I presume it was worth the time and effort."
23rd-Dec-2011 07:57 am (UTC)
Having more control of your life and fate always is. These days my efforts benefit myself and my partner, and we don't have to constantly watch our words or look over our shoulders.
23rd-Dec-2011 09:33 pm (UTC)
He takes this into consideration, then gives an approving nod. It's hard not to appreciate hearing his own reasons echoed in the replies of others. Not everyone is crazy, at least. Lichtenstein pauses to make a note before returning to his experimentation of different flames.

"Your partner. Do you also work on destroying his fears?"
24th-Dec-2011 05:10 am (UTC)
::Some people might not agree on that kind assessment of Schuldig's sanity, but Schuldig has always felt that telepaths shouldn't be judged on that by the same standards used for the mindblind.::

As much as he'll let me. As much as he'll admit to having any! But, ja, of course.

Except for the fears of his I find funny. Sometimes his arrogance needs to be knocked down a bit.
24th-Dec-2011 02:31 pm (UTC)
Lichtenstein doesn't tend to measure sanity the same way as most people. "I suppose you need some advantage. Maybe it will give him some incentive to be rid of them. I'd wonder whether your attempts might not give the expected results, but then perhaps your abilities help with that."
27th-Dec-2011 05:58 am (UTC)
The man sees into the future, and he doesn't always tell me things I'd want to know about it. I need every advantage I can get! He's not as easy to mindread as most people are either, something about how a precog's mind is structured somewhat differently, part of it occasionally reaching into the future.

Our caring for one another doesn't get rid of our urge to one-up each other.
28th-Dec-2011 02:37 am (UTC)
The flame barely holds as Lichtenstein considers how interesting it would be to study something like that. Would there be any physical effects, or just mental? Or spiritual? Molecular? It takes him a minute to remind himself that precog mind structures aren't what he's researching.

"Do you have any mythological creatures in your world?"
29th-Dec-2011 07:55 am (UTC)
Not that I know of, unless you want to count the demon-god-thing the Elders tried to bring into our world to take it over.
29th-Dec-2011 10:00 pm (UTC)
"Hm." Of course that leaves the idea that Schuldig simply doesn't know about them, but it would have been interesting to ask about a telepath's experience with the supernatural.

"How often do you use the fears of others to your advantage?"
30th-Dec-2011 06:16 am (UTC)
I'm psychic, and so are all of my past and present co-workers. A lot of people consider us supernatural.

I'm a telepath, so I'm constantly using the emotions of others to my advantage, and fear is one of the big ones. Any weapon I can use against enemies is a good one. Also, sometimes my client doesn't want someone dead, just really discouraged.

It gives you a rush of power being able to do that to people, you know?
30th-Dec-2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
"I wouldn't know." Which isn't exactly true, but a lie to look harmless is instinct by now. "Have any of your targets ever lacked emotion for one reason or another?"
31st-Dec-2011 05:06 am (UTC)

One or two, but even they weren't as impervious as they thought. Some people here, in the Nexus, I have to be really careful around though. You'd know what I mean if you were a telepath near a Time Lord's mind, though not from them not having emotion. Their minds are so different, and all the ones I've met have been hundreds of years old, with the memories to match.
31st-Dec-2011 04:16 pm (UTC)
"How much control do you have over your ability?"
6th-Dec-2011 05:29 am (UTC)
"Everything." It's said without any hesitation. "Seeing as they are one and the same, I would not offer any less to protect myself and my kinsmen."

Meanwhile, Eradan watches the fire with fascination. A sorcerer? No, this is not Elven magic, it more resembles the darker (or, in the worlds of others, perverted) arts of Goblins and the Enemy.
6th-Dec-2011 03:16 pm (UTC)
As far as Lichtenstein is concerned, these are primal arts (or so he calls them). Basic and fluent for most magic users, he suspects. After all, he wouldn't dare try anything dark. Not here. Not in the Nexus where anyone could walk by. Flaunting that would just be begging for trouble, and being so arrogant would definitely undermine the intellect he prides himself on.

The doctor thins the flame to a wobbling strand of light and heat while he talks. "That seems somewhat counterproductive. If you risk everything, you would certainly risk others. Unless you have no one or nothing at all to lose in which case you would only risk your own health."
6th-Dec-2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
Well, the flames does not have the same fell feeling as one conjured by the Enemy, even if it appears to be the same. Eradan ceases actively watching it, but still glances at it when it flashes or shifts suddenly.

"I would risk no one who does not wish to risk themselves. But among my kind, there are few indeed who would choose to stand aside as the Shadow overtakes us." And a pause. "If you speak of leaving others behind in my death, I am not afraid. I have been facing such dangers since I was a small boy. Never so great, perhaps, but the death of comrades is nothing new to me and my friends likely feel the same. Nothing less than everything we can muster will defeat that which threatens us."

6th-Dec-2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
"There are fates worse than death, and plenty of creatures who take advantage of the fact." He looks away from the flame to meet the man's eyes. "In my world, at least. Would you risk the safety, comfort or lives of others without their permission to get what you wanted?"
6th-Dec-2011 09:46 pm (UTC) - ugh, typo
"There are indeed fates worse than death, and being under Shadow while yet living is one of them." He looks down, that point being a little tender after he and his companions had been forced to strike down Kilarin. "And yet the only way to drive these threats back from those unprepared is to take the battle to them."

"As for the latter, you ask a broad question. Do you speak of my fellows or those we protect? While it is the role of all my kind to give a great deal in secret, taking nothing in return, the same cannot be said of the Shirefolk. But if a general answer must be given, safety and comfort I would forsake while lives I would not."
6th-Dec-2011 11:19 pm (UTC) - np
Lichtenstein's hand closes and the flame goes out while he considers this. It's intriguing that he shares a line of thought with someone who is so clearly aiming for a noble and just life, and yet...

"Hm." He stops staring into space and looks back to the man. "If you were able to get to your goal but the means were selfish, would you still do it?"
7th-Dec-2011 03:56 am (UTC)
"It would be difficult to say. I am not a captain, that is not my place. But were it so I would ask no more of others than I would be willing to give myself." For a moment, he seems to contemplate the designs carved into his gauntlets, looking deliberately away. "Is it possible to want a selfless goal so badly that it becomes selfish?"
7th-Dec-2011 05:50 pm (UTC)
"What might seem a selfish goal could have selfless effects," Lichtenstein suggested. "A task cannot be selfless unless it is intended to be, but that does not mean it can't be beneficial for others. If you felt it would have selfless effects, would you risk being deemed selfish?"
7th-Dec-2011 06:33 pm (UTC)
Eradan thinks for a moment-- for him, after all, this is somewhat of a bigger question. It would mean a mark upon not only himself, but of all his ancestors and potential descendents.

"Yes, I would. I would tarnish my name if it meant seeing things through to their end." He looks up, looking Lichtenstein square in the eyes as he speaks.

"And what of you? Few men ask such questions if they are not facing a heavy decision of their own."
7th-Dec-2011 09:00 pm (UTC)
He tilts his head up, considering the stranger with an edge of respect. At the question though, he purses his lips into a thin line. The fire starts up again.

"Life demands heavy decisions. I wanted to see the general consensus regarding these things, so I asked. It is always interesting to see how my views compare to another's."
13th-Dec-2011 07:54 am (UTC)
He cracks a bit of a grin. "Of course. And have I proved as insightful as you had hoped?"
13th-Dec-2011 10:12 am (UTC)
Lichtenstein watches the grin with a raised eyebrow. "Your answers were... interesting, yes. Perhaps more different than I should have expected. It's something to learn from."
11th-Jan-2012 06:34 am (UTC)
"I risked a lot. And she's been dead for years now." Simple and to the point, right?

"And I'm not sure what my greatest wish would be, so I really don't know how much I should offer to get it."
11th-Jan-2012 01:20 pm (UTC)
"And you don't regret it? Would you do it again if you needed to?"
11th-Jan-2012 10:10 pm (UTC)
Tilting her head back, staring up at what passes as sky here, she contemplates his question.

"You know, I used to wonder if there was something wrong with me. All that regret and would I do it over differently and all that stuff." She closes her eyes, shrugs, and lowers her head to blink open her eyes in his direction.

"But you know, when it comes to Raina? I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. Just to make sure she was dead and gone for real. And so would my friends and family, because they were the ones who finally ended her." Now there's a look in those blue eyes, something colder. "I only shot her, and not enough times as it turned out."
11th-Jan-2012 10:41 pm (UTC)
He watches quietly, then nods. "Are you prone to regretting your actions?"
13th-Jan-2012 01:49 am (UTC)
"Not very often." Comes her response. "There are times I regret more that I didn't do something when I had the chance, more than I ever regretted anything I did."

"But life is really short for a lot of regrets, isn't it? What about you? Do you regret the things you do, or the things you don't?"
13th-Jan-2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
"Do you think you would prefer to regret when you did act or when you didn't?" The flame he's experimenting with flickers gently and comes almost to a standstill as Lichtenstein thinks. "I wonder if I will come to regret not learning to live like others would prefer me to. For now, I don't live with many regrets. I'm good at doing things to the best of my ability."
14th-Jan-2012 07:29 am (UTC)
"Have to think about that one." She paused, looking into the flames. Wizard, he had to be. Finally she just shook her head. "I think I've regretted more when I didn't act. I mean, I know I'm impulsive, but there's generally a reason that something's gotta get done. Putting it off just makes the job or situation, the issue harder in the end if I don't do it."

"And why would you regret that? Shouldn't you celebrate living your life and your independence, rather than just bowing down for other peoples' sakes?"

14th-Jan-2012 01:09 pm (UTC)
"It must be harder to say that there was nothing you could do than you made a mistake. I expect that you channel your impulsiveness better than those who are not as aware of their rashness."

He nods and the flame splits, twisting into a douoble helix. "Yes, true. That's one of the reasons I don't give it much thought. It doesn't make things easy for my sister, though."
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