The Road

[V.O. Alastor] 27

Lately, there’s only three things that make me feel like I’m not fucking something up. Hermes, Rhiannon, and walking the city. The night Harpocrates, or his ghost or his projection or whatever the fuck, came to talk to me was the first time since I worked for M that I felt…I dunno, like I was doing something right. Like I used to feel when I nailed a job and the family took me out for a drink. Yeah, I get what Pierpont was talking about when she said the Seers made her feel like she was worth it. Got it then, too, but I took it for granted then.

…yeah, you heard me, I didn’t break it off with Rhi after all. Not after she looked me in the eye, told me she loved me and said she couldn’t live with herself if she let me slog through the dark alone. Why doesn’t she get it? How come she doesn’t see how far above all this shit she is, how much she’d lose if she followed me into hell? What kind of hope could I possibly be giving her? Kinda reminds me of that prophecy. About how I’m supposed to be a light in the darkness. Still think Vates might’ve gotten his wires crossed, or else I screwed this up somewhere along the way. Either way though it doesn’t matter. After all that bullshit Artemis said, I gotta fix this. All of this. Put myself back on the path to destiny, listen to my daimon, figure out what went wrong somewhere in my head and beat the shit out of it until it straightens itself the fuck up. Jesus, imagine if I summoned a demon now. No fuckin way would I be walking away from that without some serious bloodshed, its or mine or both.

Just…dunno what else I’m supposed to do when somebody deserves justice and nobody else cares. I can’t leave Boston alone, that was a grade A douchebag move and these assholes need to be punished for it. It felt good when I shot that Charlatan bastard and not just because of the rush. It felt right, dammit, he had to pay up. But it also felt like there should’ve been some other way to do it, and I just couldn’t see it. Hell, I still can’t see it. I just feel it, like…some distant memory or something, like the Supernal trying to remind me, like…Medraut in Vates’ mind looking me in the eye. There’s supposed to be another way and I need to find it without letting these twisted fucks keep screwing the world over. But if I don’t play the same game this piece of shit Fallen World is playing, it’ll chew up everything I care about and spit it out. So where’s the line?

Speaking of…can’t believe I took the Tribune at his fuckin word. So goddamn obvious in retrospect. He knew I’d turn him down if he tried to recruit me outright so he made himself the enemy I’d have no choice but to turn to anyway. Some Mastigos, huh? They say you can’t lie to a Warlock who’s on top of his game, so I gotta start figuring out how to think a step ahead even without magic. Not sure what to think about what Hermes said. On the one hand he’s right, the opportunity to get a guy inside here is once-in-a-lifetime and hey, we let Grim do it to us, I got plenty of reason to do it right back. On the other, the girls’d have a fit and I’d pretty much have to ditch them to pull this off, at least until the tables got turned. But dammit, we need a way to get inside info without having to screw with Bel’s soul so we can stop this crazy world war shit that makes me just want to kick a guy right in the sack every time I think about it. I know I told Artemis I’d quit taking the fall for everybody but isn’t that better than ripping out a mage’s soul? Come on. It’s like a no-brainer when I put it like that. Ugh…guess I could see what Rhi thinks.

None of this is gonna matter though if we don’t survive this Abyssal manifestation. First thing we gotta do is extract Pierpont, the doppelganger’s got an easy hostage to leverage and that’s an advantage we need to neutralize before we do anything else. Couldn’t find jack shit on this “Valkyrja” thing, it’s no military group the internet knows about. My guess is Seers, who else would want Pierpont? And who else would the paradox clone deal with to fuck over Artemis’ reputation? We know Paternoster, at least, has ties to the military, and I’d be floored if the Praetorians didn’t. I hate the feeling of going in blind but we gotta deal with this right fuckin now, there’s no time for a week of careful research or whatever the fuck. Gonna have to improvise. Artemis needs to get her head on straight about these spiders so we don’t lose her in the middle of the action, gonna need her to shield us from Fate bullshit so the fake her doesn’t screw us over like Mercury can. Wonder if she’d mind me calming her down a little.

How the hell am I supposed to protect the cabal from the Abyss?



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