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AE files:Subject 1 - interview session

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Subject 1 - interview session06:26

Subject 1 - interview session

A taped interview between Dr. Warren Vidic and "Subject 1" (name unknown) recorded at some point between late 1981 and early 1982.

  • Vidic: February 12, 1981. Qualitative Personal Interview with Subject One, on ancestral research regarding Aveline de Grand Pre [sic]. How are you feeling? Any side effects?
  • Subject 1: Not really, aside from the headaches. They've been worse since I started staying in longer. But... I don't want to stop. I like her. I want to know what she does next.
  • Vidic: What it's [sic] like, reliving her memories?
  • Subject 1: So different. The Animus, I mean. The past. At first it was confusing. Distracting. Like New Orleans. The stench. I wasn't expecting all the smells.
  • Vidic: Smell is the sense most directly linked to memory.
  • Subject 1: When I'm in her memories, it's like I can smell more than I usually can.
  • Vidic: In general, women have a more acute sense of smell than men do. I had wondered how that would translate. Anything else?
  • Subject 1: Yeah. She's smaller than me. But it's like her body could do more.
  • Vidic: Did that surprise you?
  • Subject 1: At first, yeah. The ERA people might hate me for this, or whatever, but I don't usually think of girls that way– climbing things. My mom. My sisters. The animal feeling of Aveline sinking to her hidden blade into the throat of–
  • Vidic: Go on.
  • Subject 1: It doesn't feel... feminine. What I think of as feminine. But then at the same time it does. Her center of gravity is way lower. That was a surprise– how easy it is to land. How steady I am on her– her feet... Sorry. This is hard to talk about.
  • Vidic: No. It's fascinating. This is what we need. Pure experience, in your own words.
  • Subject 1: OK.
  • Vidic: Can you tell me about Gérald Blanc?
  • Subject 1: What about him?
  • Vidic: He and Aveline were close, but we haven't been able to ascertain if he might be your missing ancestor. Do her memories suggest anything to you?
  • Subject 1: Er...
  • Vidic: Does this make you feel uncomfortable? Remember, these are HER memories. You're just playing them back. It's not even acting. You're a researcher.
  • Subject 1: Like you say, I haven't experienced her... consummating... anything. That would be... Anyway, I think maybe she was confused.
  • Vidic: Oh?
  • Subject 1: Well, um, first of all, I don't really know for sure, OK. I mean... guys think about sex more than girls, right? That's a fact?
  • Vidic: As a researcher, what did you observe?
  • Subject 1: Does it mean she's more... like a guy... if she thinks about... Is that why she's able to assassinate– well OK, here's the thing. I don't know her thoughts. But from what's in her memories, physically– the fidgeting. Some hesitation. What she looked at. Who she looked away from. The things she didn't say when I expected her to... If I had to GUESS what it meant, I would think she was thinking about... sex. But I'm a guy so I would think that, right? So what does it mean for women to act that way? It has to mean something else, right?
  • Vidic: As a subject, you're able to observe more finely than I am in review. What about unwanted attention from men?
  • Subject 1: I thought that would be the hardest thing to deal with. I am NOT into that, for the record. Not at all.
  • Vidic: Yes, I know.
  • Subject 1: But the way she dealt with it– it happened so often, it's like you stop noticing everything she does to avoid it. Crossing the street. Eyes in the back of her head. She knows how to handle herself. When she was "charming" it felt kind of similar to... killing. Or the build-up to killing. I– Can we take a break, Mr. Vidic?
  • Vidic: Of course.

[Recording pauses]

  • Vidic: Ready to go on?
  • Subject 1: Yes.
  • Vidic: Aveline was black.
  • Subject 1: And white. On her father's side.
  • Vidic: You're sensitive to that.
  • Subject 1: I guess. I mean, I'm white. Aveline looks black, so that's different. But you get used to it, like with the girl thing. Until someone makes you not used to it.
  • Vidic: What do you mean?
  • Subject 1: I don't think I've ever had to think so much about what I'm wearing, or how I'm walking. But Aveline, it's like, she goes through her whole life in these... uniforms.
  • Vidic: People expect her to behave in a certain way.
  • Subject 1: Definitely. Sometimes I worry I'll slip up and play it too relaxed at the warehouse, and I don't know... Blow her cover.
  • Vidic: You can't blow her cover.
  • Subject 1: I know, I know, I'm just replaying the memories. I can't change them. I know. But I see it, right? It's a risk. It's...
  • Vidic: Stressful?
  • Subject 1: Yes. It's best when she goes out as an Assassin. On the roofs or in the Bayou. I think she was more relaxed that way? Can you image? You're only relaxed when you're going to kill someone?
  • Vidic: Let's stick to memories rather than imagination. What about the slaves?
  • Subject 1: They're kind of just... everywhere. That sounds bad. Slavery is bad. But no one is acting like slavery is bad. It's fun when she frees slaves. Is it supposed to be fun?
  • Vidic: We're not looking for "supposed to." Focus on what it is.

[Heavy static]

  • Subject 1: Everything about this is hard to talk about.

[Audio ends, cutting to static]

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