So there we were, combing through 5,000 rods to bloody our fingertips on a single needle.
And all the while there is fear. Horrible, oppressive, heart squeezing fear. Fear that there are no other vampires like you. Fear that you're beneath their notice. Fear that they're all vampires, and you're the only one who isn't in on the joke. But mostly, there's the fear of irrelevance, that your actions, no matter how magical and strange, have no meaning because you're the only one who thinks they do. That's where solipsism comes into the Black Year, because after going through the entire pile twice, you might decide you don't care if it's real, and that's a very dangerous place to be for someone flammable.
You bring your fingers to your lips in horror. They taste of blood.
Sheer, f-ing panic. Was that a glint in the crowd? Did the pile shift? And meanwhile, the other vampire watching you is thinking, "Stop flapping around, you idiot. You're going to give us away." You take a breath, remember you own the night, and start to dance. I think that might be a glorious moment, if you can shut out the thought you're dancing alone.
Sometimes, I think the Agency was founded to fill out vampires' dance cards, and the monster hunting just a happy coincidence.