The Road

[V.O. Alastor] 29

He asked me if there was a day I could remember when I felt good about myself, no qualifiers, no bullshit. I said no then, but thinking about it now there was one. Just one.

The night I met Harpocrates.

And y’know what? That was something new, something different. Something I learned how to do, on my own, that doesn’t break nothin. When I walk the city, follow the thread, I’m not Adrian Giovanni the scumbag hitter anymore, I’m…somebody else. Somebody who’s a part of this city somewhere above the Lie, somewhere better. I can be the city’s protector, and who the fuck knows, maybe I won’t have to agree to whack anybody to do it.

Think I know how I’m gonna get Grim. He wants a phone call when I’m ready to talk about moving on Caesar. Get him to show up to a strategy meeting or some shit, then just…have a nice, quiet talk. Gonna have to be subtle about it, I doubt he’s had a single regret in his miserable piece of shit life, but what’s a Warlock for if not subtlety?

Funny thing about my daimon. Think he’s getting impatient. He deliberately kept me away from the monster last night, gave me a truckload of philosophical “it’s a part of you” crap he knew I wouldn’t buy. That’s the whole fuckin point of the Oneiros, asshole, everything in there is part of me. Morpheans like that beast are stronger in dreamspace when they’re closer to your conscious mind, not weaker, come on. Not exactly a beginner here. Anyway he kept me away from it on purpose, think he didn’t want me wasting my time on a fight he figured would be pointless. I dunno, could be he’s right, though writings of Mastigos masters indicate that if you do it at the right time and for the right reasons, fighting with your morpheans is one of the best ways to master your mind.

But maybe I was doing it for the wrong reasons. Fight em because you want to learn something from it, not just because they hate you. So, one step at a time, I guess.

Speaking of which, tried something new today. Learning some shit about myself made it easier to get into other people’s heads. One thing you learn being a telepath, most people ain’t so different from each other after you get past all the superficial trappings. Everybody’s got mental defense mechanisms, and there’s only so many ways they can work. Short story is, I figured out how to reach in and suppress parts of the mind. On Sleepers anyway, it’ll be harder to do to a mage. Still, if I can turn off some bastard’s resolve to screw us over, might be one less fight we gotta have. Best Doorwarden strategy I can have now. Don’t like the way it tastes in my mouth sometimes, doing it that way, you can’t learn control if you never test yourself, but it’s tactically sound and frankly there’s more important shit going down right now.

Wonder what else might be easier now. Think I’m gonna go hang around Times Square and find out.



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