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Lichtenstein has a cigarette in hand, for a change. A very rare… 
3rd-Apr-2012 11:22 pm
Coping Mechanism
Lichtenstein has a cigarette in hand, for a change. A very rare indulgence, but one he is enjoying thoroughly. He takes some time to enjoy it by himself before he even considers talking to people. Eventually he taps his cigarette on the ashtray, exhales slowly, gets momentarily distracted by the diffusion of smoke, and then goes to ask his question. "Do people have a compulsive need to openly pry into a person's life?"

A heartbeat passes before he adds, "And do you find it necessary to trust someone you're working with?"
Comments 
4th-Apr-2012 02:43 am (UTC)
"It depends on how interesting the other person's life is," the young queen retorts with a wide grin.

"...but I don't tend to trust anyone who is trying to find out things I didn't feel like sharing"
4th-Apr-2012 02:54 pm (UTC)
"Would it depend on how willing the person is to tell you?"

"How much of that is because you're suspicious about their reasons for prying, and how much is because you know what they might find?"
4th-Apr-2012 07:21 am (UTC)
::People smoking nearby always make Schuldig want to smoke. It's a telepath thing.::

People do. I sure as hell do. It's entertaining, and sometimes it makes you feel better about how your own life is going.

If you're working with someone you need to be able to trust in at least a few things about them. In some cases it's that you can trust them not to have your back or not to stay with you in hard times. It's always better to know things like that in advance.
4th-Apr-2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
Lichtenstein will feel free to look at Schuldig like he's mad. Admittedly, he looks at a lot of people that way, but less in the Nexus. "Which part is entertaining? Trying to get them to give in, or actually listening to them talk about their life?"

Here, Schuldig makes a good point. Lichtenstein nods and absently taps his bottom lip. "You need to trust in your understanding of them, then, but not necessarily in them being kind? That... sounds like a sensible way of doing things."
4th-Apr-2012 07:13 pm (UTC)
Always the first, sometimes the second. Gossip and sadism are inescapable parts of human nature and human society.

Yeah. In some situations you need help or backup but can't find a... classically trustworthy person for it, so you take what you can get.

Edited at 2012-04-04 07:13 pm (UTC)
4th-Apr-2012 08:01 pm (UTC)
"Then when did people stop talking behind each other's backs and start pestering them head on? I thought people found it fun because they thought they were being secretive. Terribly badly, but... trying."

"That is a very good way of dealing with it." Lichtenstein pauses, then adds, "Though I suppose you're speaking from experience, so you'd know what you're talking about."
4th-Apr-2012 08:07 pm (UTC)
Some people enjoy confrontations and causing drama. ::"Some people," Schu?:: Others like to prove their moral superiority, especially if it makes the inferior miserable.

About two and a half decades of experience, ja.
4th-Apr-2012 08:19 pm (UTC)
He considers this for a minute, then shakes his head. "People need better hobbies. All the time and energy wasted on something so... unproductive."

A frown. "Have you ever done anything else?"
4th-Apr-2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
::smile:: It's a sign of an advanced society that people have time for unproductive things.

Not really. The organization that trained me sent me out on jobs when I was still in my teens. For the most part, now that I'm free of them, I enjoy the work. Besides, I have fun hobbies.
4th-Apr-2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
He laughs, "Then clearly they aren't aware of what an 'advanced society' is."

Lichtenstein's frown deepens, but that's as far as he shows his disapproval of the whole idea of teenage hitmen. In the end, he's simply a critical observer and Schuldig has likely heard it all before. "How exactly do you go about getting 'fun hobbies' when you're distracting yourself from... a job like yours?"
5th-Apr-2012 12:00 am (UTC)
It beats having to hunt and gather your food and constantly fight off predators.

I actually prefer the assassination and espionage work to playing bodyguard. When you're a bodyguard you're constantly waiting for people to attack you, with everything happening on your enemies' schedule. It feels too passive to me.

I'm not On 24/7, so I have some time. Plus, I'm traveling a lot, and I enjoy new scenery and cuisines. I sometimes hunt down fun souvenirs for a friend of mine.
8th-Apr-2012 12:44 am (UTC)
Lichtenstein's brow shoots up in amusement. "Putting it like that I'm nearly surprised at how many places don't qualify."

"At least you have the benefit of being both so that you know how your opponents think." A smirk then. "Always hunting. Is it easy becoming a tourist when you're bound to make an enemy in the place you're staying?"
8th-Apr-2012 02:08 am (UTC)
Another fact of human nature. Those places I only visit, and only for really good pay.

My talent gives me a really jaundiced view of people, so I have no problem with that. I read what people are thinking, unedited. Every dark thought and emotion, including all the things they'd never think to say because they aren't socially acceptable. It affects the way I behave in all situations, not just in areas where I work.
8th-Apr-2012 11:13 pm (UTC)
"People tend to do their own killing in places like that."

Lichtenstein takes the talk of 'dark thoughts' as a cue to nudge his cigarette butt. The stall is purely for himself, to give himself a chance to think 'don't think of anything, don'tthinkofanything,don'tthinkofanything'. "Do people still surprise you? Normally, I mean, not during work."
9th-Apr-2012 01:44 am (UTC)
Or the environment does. Civilization helps me make a living!

::That is so cute.:: Keep in mind that I've been able to read minds since I was about 12 or 13. People surprise me most often when they've surprised themselves.
9th-Apr-2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
"Civilisation helps everyone who can't farm."

Trying to think about nothing... He should have swapped his cigarette for a strong drink. "It must be tiring dealing with thoughts. I have enough trouble with runaway mouths, someone else's thoughts would certainly try my patience."
9th-Apr-2012 08:17 pm (UTC)
Farming is hard, smelly work, and thus not my thing.

::Strong drink often makes thoughts more leaky, not less.:: Shields are a very good thing, but shields rarely keep out everything. Besides, you get so used to being in the middle of thought tornadoes that total quiet can be really unsettling. Once I tried a drug that turned off my telepathy and I nearly had a breakdown from the quiet and from how nobody seemed seemed real to me anymore.
9th-Apr-2012 11:17 pm (UTC)
"Not many people's thing."

There is a far higher chance of being able to make the idea of telepathy than there is of getting Lichtenstein not to think of more than one thing at a time. "Hm. There are poisons that prevent mages from using magic." Something that's often in the back of his mind, when he'd dealing with shady types, anyway. There must be poisons for everything. "Still, having magic is... quieter. Usually. I imagine it's much harder to catch a quiet moment. Presuming you ever look for one."
10th-Apr-2012 03:38 am (UTC)
Quiet is unnatural to me. Just ask my team leader. ::angelic smile::
11th-Apr-2012 01:08 am (UTC)
"Mm, I believe it, and pity him. It must be a task in itself hoping noise and commotion won't follow you."
11th-Apr-2012 03:38 am (UTC)
He'd like people to think so. I just believe in giving others a taste of how I experience the world.
12th-Apr-2012 01:20 am (UTC)
"Why?"
12th-Apr-2012 06:12 am (UTC)
Because people judge me out of ignorance, so I'm gonna bust their ignorance and make it cry. Besides, I'm talkative, and talking to people is more fun than talking to myself.

I have fun annoying people too.
12th-Apr-2012 12:19 pm (UTC)
"People judge everyone out of ignorance..." He can't say he doesn't like this talk of 'busting' ignorance, though. "If you annoy people, isn't it hard to continue talking to them?"
12th-Apr-2012 08:36 pm (UTC)
I find ways. It hones my skills! My profession isn't all about physicality and brute force.
12th-Apr-2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
"Because annoying people just enough so that they don't hit you has to be one of a hitman's primary skills." Just a tad skeptical sounding, yes.
13th-Apr-2012 03:35 am (UTC)
I'm not just a hitman. You ever heard of "psy ops"? Mind games against the enemy.
13th-Apr-2012 12:38 pm (UTC)
"It's the first time I've ever heard the term. Do people offer contracts just for that?"
14th-Apr-2012 05:16 am (UTC)
Some of them. Death may take care of some problems but can sometimes cause a lot of unpredictable disarray. If you take out the head of an organization, a lot of someones are going to want to take over. That kind of chaos could work for you or against you. If the candidates are fairly equal, then that's a long drawn out war and it's great. If somebody replaces the head quickly, it's not so good, and the person who replaces the target may turn out to be even worse, which means you have to take out a contract on the new guy, which means more money for me but the client might not appreciate how costly this can get. By contrast, demoralize the current head guy or mess with his head and he can be a lot less of a threat.

Well, as long as the demoralization isn't so obvious that he comes off as too soft and a really powerful and ambitious underling tries to replace him. These matters require careful analysis... which is something not all clients want to be bothered with. ::smiles:: I'm just a hired hand, taking the money and getting the stated job done.

On the other hand, some clients want their enemies to suffer before they die, so there's that.
15th-Apr-2012 01:06 am (UTC)
"Mm, I can see your point." It's tricky in that while Lichtenstein completely disapproves of the whole business, he's in not really in a place to protest. It's not like practicing necromancy is much better than 'making enemies suffer'. Still, it bothers him that he doesn't feel like he could criticise if he wanted to.

"Are there enough clients and enough work to keep a steady, well paying job with it?"
15th-Apr-2012 02:28 am (UTC)
::Hitmen rarely get hired by decent human beings.::

Ja. We work globally, so we travel where the work is. We've also made such a big reputation for ourselves that we don't come cheap. Brad has invested our money well too.
16th-Apr-2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
"What about competition then? I hear it can get pretty fierce between traders. I can imagine it would be a little different for you. Unless your reputation is completely unrivalled."
17th-Apr-2012 05:00 am (UTC)
We get upstarts trying to take us out now and then, but we're used to people trying to kill us. Brad thinks it keeps us sharp. ::smile::

If they're really good, they might even survive the attempt to kill us. Doesn't happen often.
17th-Apr-2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
"Do your clients ever hire you along with someone else? Make you make a collaborative effort?"
18th-Apr-2012 12:06 am (UTC)
Sometimes, but rarely. You yourself brought up how competitors might want to get rid of us. Most clients prefer to have their employees working together toward his goal instead of trying to take each other out.

Also, Brad can be a stickler for things happening a certain way, which outside agents might not want to follow.
20th-Apr-2012 12:26 am (UTC)
"I don't blame him." Lichtenstein thinks for a moment before starting up again. "Do people pry into your life?"
20th-Apr-2012 02:04 am (UTC)
Sometimes. People get curious about how we do the things we can do; we don't go into detail with anyone about being psychic or just how psychic we are. Fortunately, most people wouldn't believe us even if we told them. But almost everyone wants to know how the magic happens and capture it for themselves. Some people, including some clients, resent how much money we make.

Brad is fairly regimented and schedule-oriented, while I'm eccentric. It seems to be frustrating to some pry-ers.
22nd-Apr-2012 10:52 pm (UTC)
"Doesn't it get troublesome and frustrating? Or is it easily dealt with?"
23rd-Apr-2012 12:02 am (UTC)
It's troublesome and frustrating, but it's the price of being the best. Some are easily dealt with, others not so much.
23rd-Apr-2012 12:04 am (UTC)
"Is there are way you deter people from prying?" Yes, he does sound a little bit hopeful there.
23rd-Apr-2012 01:54 am (UTC)
Give them more important things to wonder and worry about. Sometimes, I use telepathy, but in a very precise and careful way. ::And, sometimes, kill them.:: People trying to dig out our secrets generally do it in an effort to hurt or kill us.
24th-Apr-2012 10:55 pm (UTC)
Hm. Good advice. Lichtenstein takes a moment to think how this might apply to dangerously curious townsfolk before returning his attention to Schuldig. "Thank you, that might actually be useful. Even if it does involve wasting some time on rather unimportant things... It will help the future."
25th-Apr-2012 02:17 am (UTC)
I have to say that sometimes unimportant things and small decisions can be important than you realize. Glad I could help.
25th-Apr-2012 11:33 pm (UTC)
"Mm. It's a job and a half spotting them for what they really are."

He takes a deep breath and then stands. "I should return home. The inquisitive mob will get suspicious otherwise."
26th-Apr-2012 02:25 am (UTC)
True. Good luck with the mob!
26th-Apr-2012 10:59 pm (UTC)
He gives a sceptical grunt and waves his goodbye.
14th-Apr-2012 06:18 pm (UTC)
"In answer to your first question. I do not believe so. In answer to your second, yes. You should be sure they're not going to shoot you in the back.

Getting shot there is not enjoyable."




Edited at 2012-04-14 06:21 pm (UTC)
16th-Apr-2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
"Are you certain? People do a good job of suggesting otherwise."

"What do you do if the only suitable partner isn't fully trustworthy?"
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