The Road

[V.O. Alastor] 25

God, I never thought I’d get to the point where the Princeps sounded like a guy with the right fuckin idea. But damn, the thought of watching the world burn and being the one to throw more gas on the fire is starting to sound pretty god damn appealing.

Can’t decide whether I love or hate the sanctum Rhi found. It’s amazing, just like her. Looking at it like a normal fuckin person I should have no complaints. But every time I walk in that door and I look out the window, it reminds me just how far from the sunrise we are. And everything I do only pushes us further away. After we got back from the future I thought, Adrian, you just found out what destiny wanted out of you, go do it, it’ll fix everything. But what do I got to show for that, huh? For all I know Vates is out of his fuckin mind and invented all this Road shit just cuz he wanted it so bad. It’s not tough for the mind to create solutions to unsolvable problems by taking an impossible desire and making it seem real. Hell, I’m pretty sure I could figure out how to force it with magic, because in the end that’s all the Mind arcanum is. Playing off shit the mind already does, just making it happen when and how you want. I could waltz into somebody’s Oneiros and screw around with the symbolism until their subconscious decided to believe whatever I felt like, and they’d think it was their own idea. I could drive people insane. I could fuck with somebody’s emotions so bad they’d think I was Jesus fucking Christ himself without a single god damned miracle.

Yeah, I could do all this shit, and I haven’t out of some sense of propriety or whatever. But who fuckin cares? Living with one foot in the darkness and one in the light’s not only gotten me nowhere, it’s made everything worse. If I’d just shot Grim when I had the chance, the Seers’d be one step further from destroying my city. If I’d given M the Cipher, he could’ve figured out Caesar was a nutjob right then and fixed all this before it went to hell. And what, all because some Acanthus with a couple magic cards said I should let the girls change me? Maybe it’s time the Mastigos started doing what Mastigos do best. Rhi doesn’t need to know. None of em need to know. What are you, Adrian, a mage or a Sleeper? This power’s yours for a reason. Why do you think you’re failing at everything you do? Maybe it’s cuz you won’t do what’s necessary. Take control of something in this piece of shit world. Silver Ladder Warlock, letting everybody and God walk all over him? You really are a pathetic excuse for a willworker. What would Dahhak think of you? Stop being such a fuckin wet blanket and start listening to M for once, huh?

…guess I almost did today. Pretty sure I was gearing up for goodbye with all that bullshit apologizing. Ten more seconds and I would’ve told Ma she could take her soulstone and shove it up the demon’s ass. I mean…one Sleeper could never save this world from itself. One Sleeper could never find the Road, or bring us closer to the Supernal. My personal feelings shouldn’t get in the way of that either. I gotta be able to let go for the greater good. Isn’t that what M always told you? Leave the past in the past where it belongs, it’s getting in your way.

…could always just turn the feelings off. Stop putting Rhi on a fuckin pedestal and it’d be a lot easier to lie to her. Not hard to change your own mind and you know it. Reach in there and flip a couple switches, same way you can with everybody else. You could convince her you’re still into her, easy. Could even flip the switches back on when you needed to. Something just don’t seem right about that though. Are you even a person, doing that all the time, or just some…vessel for power and thought? Where does control cross the line and make you a…a fuckin machine? Pretty sure my daimon wouldn’t like it. …holy shit. Think I just figured out how the Princeps’ Oneiros got to be such a fuckin mess. Of course, if you fuck with your own head enough the shit in there stops having the kind of meaning sane people can follow. That beach had some significance to the Princeps I can’t get because my mind still works right, but he was deranged. He must’ve followed this thought process all the way down when shit got bad enough. Can’t believe I’m starting to understand him, jesus. Doesn’t bode too well, does it?

Whatever, I don’t got time for all this. There’s only one thing that’s important and that’s the job. Just get it done. Charlatan first, then the Road and Caesar. Destiny only wants one thing outta you, you better get going before somebody puts a bullet in your back.

Hate to say it but I’m looking forward to meeting this Charlatan asshole. Could really use the excuse. Ha, Flare was right. Too eager for my own good. But what she don’t know is pretty soon, if it’s not him it’s gonna be somebody else who deserves it less, and I don’t want that.



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