Inspired by the Underworld setting where vampires slept in steampunk-styled sarcophagi, slowly deteriorating until they were woken and fed, I wrote a story about vampires as aliens who crash-landed on Earth in the twelfth century, holed up in the hills of Eastern Europe, and somehow survived.
In the opening of the story, the protagonist is sent to interview one of the prominent vampires by someone in the American government. It seems that world governments have known of the vampires for some time, and have had some interaction with them, but need "a full report" by the protagonist, who is an exo-biologist.
So he goes, and he sits down and does the interview. There's a little interspersing of the POV MC looking around the room, observing others, asking the occasional question, etc., but for the most part it's ~5500 words of one character telling the other character a history.
What are some ways I can make such a story "work" without it being a complete infodump? Also, one criticism of the story, in which a man interviews someone potentially dangerous, gets away without anything bad happening to him, writes his report, and turns it in, is that "nothing happens". I don't understand what to do with that.
Baird sat quietly waiting while death itself settled into the chair across from him. A servant delivered a snifter of brandy, which Baird took gratefully. He rolled the amber liquid around in the globe, watching the light from the fireplace as it flared in the glass, stalling for a moment lest he appear nervous as he poured the much-needed nerve fortifier down his throat. As he drank, a grim smile appeared on the lips of his companion. A voice, heavy with an accent that seemed as ancient as the hills, did its best to sound soothing. “I assure you, Mr. Baird, you have nothing to fear from me.”
Baird peered back at his host. Slowly lowering the glass from his lips, he held it in his lap momentarily, then set it on the stand next to his chair and picked up his notepad. “Thank you, sir, for that reassurance.I apologize if I seem… uncomfortable.”
“It is to be expected. You might be surprised to hear that I feel a certain bit of trepidation myself with regard to this… interview. Not for my own safety, which is not in question. It is because I have not told our story to anyone from the outside world. Well, at least not for a very, very long time..."