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December 2006
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Rise Christmas Fiction: Tibor Gavrilov

Here's the second piece of fiction, featuring Tibor Gavrilov, a 36 point Neutral character. I wrote this piece- it's a flashback to a New Year's Eve when Tibor was alive, shortly after he moved to Manhattan.


Name: Tibor Gavrilov
Alignment: Neutral
Age: 27
Ethnicity/Nationality: Russian/American
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Hazel
Religious Affliation: Non-practicing Catholic

Mantle: Psionic
Defense Mode: Willpower
Resistance(s): Disturbance Resistance

IP: 65/65
MP: 60/60

DEF: 14
MDF: 19

ATK: 4
WIS: 16 (+3)
STA: 7
PRE: 12
DRK: 0

Reintegration: 0
Exorcism Resistance: 12
Finesse: 5
MAL: 2
BAL: 0

Points: 3/36

Basic Attack | Dispelling Tone: (+4 to attack, 4 DMG): Unleashes psionic malevolence in the form of a wavering harmonic minor chord.
[Property: Esoteric, Range: Mind]

Powers:
Psi-Sculpting 2
Dampening 2
Molecular Agitation 1

Adapts:

Onerous Cadenza: Using his powers of psychokinesis, Tibor can mentally attack the life energies of a target by using his emotions to guide the psychic energies of the target like a surgeon's scalpel. Target must be in the line of sight. Upon the initial useage, and for each round afterward that Tibor retains concentration and the target remains a valid target, the target loses IP. Can be maintained Base Level 1 [ARTS] (MUSIC), MP Cost (at base level): 2 MP. DMG: 10 DMG (applied each round), Property: Psionic, Range: Mind (while in line of sight), Base: Psi-Sculpting

Perplexing Gavotte: Like with Onerous Cadenza, only Tibor allows the conduit of music to directly redirect the victim's flow of psychic energies away from their spirit. Each round, it causes MP loss to a single target within line of sight, and continues to do so each round so long as Tibor maintains concentration and continues playing. Can be maintained. Base Level 1 [ARTS] (MUSIC),
MP Cost (at base level):
2 MP, DMG: 10 MP damage (applied each round) Property: Psionic, Range: Mind (while in line of sight), Base: Psi-Sculpting

Jading Bagatelle: Plays an eerie but quiet piece that has a crippling effect on it's listener, causing their vigor and fighting strength to be sealed temporarily. By playing and concentrating on a single target, Tibor can cut a person's attack power in half. The target recieves a -50% penalty to ATK. He does not need to keep playing to maintain this effect. It lasts for 1 minute for each point of the DMG Quotient. Base Level 2 [ARTS], MP Cost (at base level): 4 MP. DMG: 12 minutes, Property: None, Range: Mind (while in line of sight), Base: Dampening

Smoldering Scorn: Tibor's critical mind focuses on the physical form of a living being, causing them to ignite. Upon the initial combustion, they take WIS/2 damage. Each turn after that, they take half the damage of the previous round (rounded up) as the flames burn out. The fires are mundane, and can be put out by conventional means. Doing so ceases the smoldering process. Base Level 1 [ARTS], MP Cost (on base level): 2 MP, DMG: 8 damage on combustion, Property: None, Range: Long, Base: Molecular Agitation

Passives:
Master of His Craft
Unused Passive Slot

Details:
Tibor is a Russian-born immigrant who achieved international acclaim as a prodigy of the violin. Blessed with an almost supernatural command of the bow and strings, but cursed with a rare congenital heart condition, Tibor became fascinated with the ideal of gaining immortality through achieveming greatness within the realms of one's profession. He overcame the frailties of his body, and went on to become an up and coming star in the classical music world. Unfortunately, on the very night he was to perform a private concert at Carnegie Hall, he suffered a heart attack on stage during the last moments of the third movement of his piece, and died.

Now adrift in a world of nebulous meaning and shifted priorities, Tibor struggles with notions of a wasted life and the ideas of a higher purpose.

And here's the piece. Hope you like it.


December 31st, 7:35 PM, 2004

"Get out of here, Claude," Tibor grumbled, although less than when he had initially made the same demand a few minutes earlier. He slumped into his recliner while a tall, blond man rooted around in the violinist's refridgerator.

"Come on, T, you have to be doing something for New Year's. I refuse to let you sit around this apartment by yourself," the man responded. He turned around, holding an empty carton of milk.

"This carton is empty. It's also from October. How can you not have milk?"

Tibor shrugged. "I still have brandy, though, right?" Claude knelt down, and looked at the mini bar beside the fridge.

"Aye, Captain," he said as he stood back up, half full bottle of the dark rosy liquid in hand.

"Then why do you give a damn about my milk situation?" Tibor inquired dryly. The blond man just shrugged.

"I was gonna eat cereal."

Claude and Tibor had gone to school together, and they both were members of the Boston Symphonic. Claude was a second chair french horn player, but Tibor had always felt he could have been first chair if he applied himself a bit more.

Meanwhile, Claude thought Tibor had a stick up his ass. Despite these perceptions, both of the men managed to have a somewhat undeclared friendship, which was widely composed of Claude inviting himself over and attempting to get Tibor to loosen up, which Tibor would habitually meet with the utmost resistance. Perhaps the relationship reminded Tibor of the relationship he wished he could hold with his brother, or perhaps Claude just liked a challenge.

Claude, with a bottle of brandy in one hand, and a box of Cheerios in the other, walked into the living area and plopped down on the couch. He handed Tibor the flask, and began to munch absent-mindedly. "You know, why is it you don't have something to do tonight, Claude? Surely there are more interesting things to do than get a perennial Scrooge like myself to go and live my life, or whatever," Tibor asked, taking a swig straight from the bottle.

"I'm hoping to sell the film rights for tonight's events to Hallmark for some feel good holiday special," Claude replied, throwing a single bit of cereal at his friend. Tibor scowled in irritation as the little o bounced off his cheek. "Hey, let me have a drink!" the blond man demanded, extending his hand in the direction of the bottle.

"I already drank out of it. It would be like kissing me," Tibor commented, as he handed the bottle over. Claude shrugged, and took a large gulp.

"Hey, I spent a year at a liberal arts college in Seattle before I transferred to Juilliard. Do your worst, handsome."

"No, but seriously," Tibor asked, leaning back in his chair. "Why the hell are you bothering me?"

"Well... part of it could be because Laura went to spend the holidays with her family, so I'm sort of on my own. But, another part of it is that I'm not gonna let you be that one guy who doesn't ever do anything for the holidays," he said, taking another sip, and passing the bottle back to the violinist.

Tibor took a second drink. "I do things for the holidays. I spent Christmas Eve with the ambassador from Belgium and his family in their suite."

"T, that was work. They paid you to play their soiree. That's not the same thing."

"I thought I told you never to call me letters," Tibor snarled, before helping himself to another gulp. Claude chuckled a bit, and spread out on the couch.

"Even still, you never do normal things. I thought you liked your family. Why don't you visit them over the holidays?" Claude asked.

"Why don't you do the same? Tibor deflected. Claude's brow furrowed, and a frown flashed across his face.

"You can be such an asshole."

"I'm sorry," Tibor responded, feeling a little bit embarassed. Claude was an only child, and his parents were only children, as well. Even though they were a small family, they were close- at least up until both of his parents were killed in the World Trade Center disaster in 2001.

"Yeah, well, you should appreciate what you have," Claude retorted.

"I do... it's just... I don't know. I feel detached, somehow. I'll speak with family members and old friends from when I was growing up, and I just... it's like we are always catching up. Never really communicating. I just feel like I'm so many miles away from them all, no matter how close we actually are. It doesn't feel good."

"So your solution is to avoid them? Yeah, that sounds healthy," Claude replied, rolling his eyes, and tossing a Cheerio into his mouth. Tibor rose from his seat, and walked into the kitchen.

"Takeout?" Tibor asked. Claude didn't say a word, but merely put his hand into the air and gave a very animated thumbs up. Tibor picked up the phone, and ordered their dinner.

He walked slowly back into the living room, and fell back into his chair. "The guy said it would be an hour or so. They are pretty busy tonight."

"Hmmm," Claude sat up, and began to scratch his chin. "Well..." he said, reaching over and grabbing the brandy bottle, "we had better get busy, hadn't we?"

An hour passed, with more idle conversation passing between the two men- work, co-workers, music, current events, and any sort of boring topic you would expect to hear being bantered back and forth by two people with nothing to do and nothing to talk about. The conversation had rolled its way to foreign policy by the time the doorbell rang. "Holy shit, it's 9:15!" Claude exclaimed. "I hope to God you aren't gonna tip!"

Tibor stumbled to the door, nearly tripping on his sock. "Of course I'm going to tip, you simpleton. It's not like he spit in my food, he's merely late." He opened it, hoping he wasn't reeking of alcohol. As he did, he frowned.

"Sergei." Standing in the entrance was Tibor's brother, nose and ears reddened by the cold.

"Hey, bro." Just then, a fist crossed the threshold and struck Tibor squarely in the face, knocking him backwards, Claude attempted to leap to his feet, but got caught on the coffeetable midway- causing him to instead dive face first into the hardwood floor.

Tibor picked himself up, his upper lip throbbing. "You idiot, why did you do that?" Sergei walked into the apartment in a huff.

"Why the hell didn't you come home?" Claude separated himself from the furniture and floor, and stood up, intrigued.

"I told you, because I had other things to do."

"Other things?" Sergei shouted, and pointed at Claude. The blond man gave a weak little wave.

"Getting hammered with some... " Sergei looked Claude up and down, "I'm sorry, but who or what are you?"

"Um... It depends," Claude responded, taking a step back. "Which answer doesn't get me hit?"

"I'm not going to hit you, man, I just want to know who you are... and why you are spending New Year's Eve drunk and curled up on my brother's couch... in his dimly lit apartment..." Sergei continued to look about the room, taking in details as look caught between embarassment and dread crossed his face "And ... oh my God, please tell me that you didn't light candles!"

Tibor leapt on his brother from behind, tackling him and bringing him down to the floor with him. "You fool. For the last time... I'm not gay... I'm a violinist!" he cried, twisting Sergei's right earlobe in one hand, while he pulled his hair with the other.

"Ow, knock it off, Tibor! Godammit, quit it!"

"Or what, you'll call Mom?" Tibor taunted. Sergei growled, and flipped his brother off of him.

"Because God knows you won't!" he spat back. Just then, Claude crept by the two sparring siblings, back to the wall.

"Look... it's very clear you both have a lot of pent up Springer to get out of your system, so I'm just gonna go..." Claude said, heading towards the door.

"No, Claude, don't," Tibor said, standing up slowly, using the kitchen island to pull himself up. "You've already taken the time to invade on my personal space, eat my food, and irritate the hell out of me. You might as well stay." Tibor turned to his brother, who was still sprawled out on the kitchen tile, looking up at him. "As for you... go home."

"You ass, I drove all the way here from Boston to spend New Year's with you. I'm not leaving now."

"Ugh, and why in the hell would you DO something like that, Sergei?" Tibor groaned.

"Because Dad told me to. He and Mom were worried. You never call home anymore, and you didn't want to come for Christmas. They think you might be depressed," Sergei explained.

"Well, I'm not depressed. I'm just happier on my own, that's all."

Sergei sat up, and looked up at Claude. The two men shared in a knowing smile, and then began laughing. "Fuck, but that's a good one, T," Claude chuckled.

"No kidding!" Sergei added. Tibor let out a plaintiff sigh, and walked into the living room, away from both of them.

"Oh, what do either of you know?" he remarked bitterly under his breath. Just then, a quiet knock on the door interrupted the commotion.

"Oh snap, noodles!" Claude announced, and answered the door, happily greeted by a small Asian woman carrying a rather large bag full of takeout containers.

Two hours passed, and the three men situated themselves in the living room. The noodles were eaten quickly, and the brandy met it's end after a short but heated discussion between Claude and Sergei on the topic of Tibor and his hang-ups drove the violinist to finish it off. Sergei had discovered an old bag of microwave popcorn in a cupboard under the sink, and lacking anything else to drink, Tibor gave Claude permission to open up the his wine cabinet. After finishing off 3 bottles, the three of them busted open a bottle of '76 Merlot that Tibor had been saving.

"Damn... I don't think I've ever been so slashed on something that costs more than my car," Sergei remarked with a slight slur, leaning back across the floor.

"Aw, come on, Sergei, you drive a Geo. A '91 Geo. With a broken passenger's side window, no less. At this point, you could be getting drunk on mouthwash and it would still outclass your car," Tibor said, his accent coming more than a little through in his inebrious state.

Meanwhile, Claude was now hanging backwards off the couch, white-socked feet in the air. "God, T, I totally wanna walk on your ceiling," he said lazily.

Sergei sat up and looked at him as if he had just announced he wanted to kill the President. "You would fall," he said matter of factly.

"Nah, this apartment is too small for that," the blond replied, but then paused, as if in thought. "Well, I guess I could, but I doubt it would hurt much."

"Not with a half bottle of brandy and 6 glasses of wine in you," Tibor observed.

"I also used some Binaca in the elevator on the way up," Claude said with a lopsided grin.

"Planning to get lucky?" Tibor teased.

"Aw man, that's my brother you are talking about!" Sergei protested.

"Um, no, actually... he's not. I'm your brother, remember?" Tibor corrected him.

"Ah hell," Sergei said, looking confused. "Man, I'm really hammered." For a few moments, no one spoke.

"You know, I do miss you," Tibor stated, without warning. The statement seemed bizarre to Claude and Sergei, even in their current states. Tibor wasn't the type to be very forthright when it came to matters of his own emotions, and he very rarely initiated conversations of this manner.

"What?" Sergei asked, taken a little off guard.

"I miss you. Remember when we were younger? Remember when you wrote Santa Claus and asked him for a Glow Worm?"

"Yeah, and you wrote him to inform him that you didn't believe in him anymore," Sergei followed up, rolling his eyes a little.

"I just miss how we used to be, that's all," Tibor said, stretching a bit in his seat.

"Then why do you always push me away?" Sergei asked.

"I don't know... I guess you scare me."

"Scare you?"

"Yeah... you just... you live so freely. Sometimes I think I get a little jealous. You don't worry about accomplishing anything, or making a mark, or satisfying a standard... you just sort of do your thing. I don't understand it at all. But even still, I wish I did. I wish I could understand you, and be closer to you, like we were when we were younger."

"Yeah... well... you could try and show it better," Sergei replied, hanging his head.

"I know I could... I'm just... I don't know. Broken or something."

"Damn straight," Sergei laughed. Suddenly, a quiet sob interrupted them.

"Aw man, that's so fucking moving," Claude declared through a booze-laced whimper. Both brothers exchanged glances of awkward amusement.

"Hey, look... it's midnight," Tibor noted, catching the time out of the corner of his eye.

"Well... it's 2005. Any resolutions?" Sergei asked.

Tibor shook his head. "Not this year. This year, I'm going to try and let things happen as they happen. No planning. No goals."

"Yeah, me too," Claude chimed in.

"Not me... I think I'm gonna apply at NYU," Sergei said contemplatively.

"Hey, you could live with T and commute!" Claude blurted out.

"That's probably not a good idea," Sergei responded.

"Yeah..." Tibor said, looking out the window.

8:22 AM, January 1st, 2005.

Tibor woke up in his armchair. Across the room, Claude was breathing heavily, arms and legs slung out all over the couch like some sort of massive throw rug of notable Norweigan descent. Tibor climbed out of the chair, his head swimming a bit. As he stood, he stepped on a wine glass, breaking it. He swore under his breath- the glass from the stem had cut the sole of his foot. He hopped into the bathroom down the hall, and applied some Neosporin and a band-aid. It stung, but not nearly as bad as his headache.

As he limped back down the hall towards the kitchen to make some coffee, he saw his bedroom door open. Sergei was sprawled out in his bed, sleeping peacefully. Tibor smiled, and crept into the room. He sat on the bed, which disturbed Sergei just enough to wake him.

"Oh hey... sorry... I'll get up."

"It's alright. Keep sleeping," Tibor said. He flopped out next to his brother.

"You smell bad," Sergei said with a smile.

"Yeah, I know," Tibor said. "Anyway, hey... listen... about last night... you really want to apply to NYU?"

"Yeah, I've been thinking about it for a while," he answered.

"Ah, well... Do you need help looking for an apartment or something?"

"I guess... my current job doesn't pay me enough to live on my own, so I guess I'm gonna need to look into getting some financial aid for housing."

"I guess," Tibor said. "But you know... if you wanted to... you could live here, with me."

"Tibor... you don't have to do that."

"You're damn right, I don't," Tibor replied with an uncharacteristic grin. "But I want to do it. I... I'm afraid I'm letting myself get too far out of touch with people. I need someone around."

"So why not ask Claude to move in?"

"And have him leaving footprints all over my ceiling whenever he gets wasted? No thanks," Tibor chuckled. "Plus... he's not my brother."

"Yeah..." Sergei said absently. The two of them laid there silently for a couple of minutes. "But we won't have to like, share a bed or anything, will we?" Sergei asked, breaking the quiet.

"God I hope not," Tibor responded. "Speaking of which, get the hell out of my bed, and go make me coffee." Sergei shook his head and smiled, and climbed out from under the covers.

"Oh, and watch for broken glass on the floor!"