The Road

[V.O. Alastor] 31

I can feel it. Killer’s instinct. Shoot first. Only way to make sure you win. Pounding in my chest, screaming in my head. That guy might’ve been there when they killed Nidhogg, he’s a twisted son of a bitch, and something inside me wants his blood on my hands right the fuck now. I know I should be controlling this, but without magic what the hell am I supposed to do? God, I hate this feeling, like being stuck inside a tiny box inside my head. Just like before. Only now it’s not just me I gotta make sure gets out of this alive.

Just calm down, Adrian. Breathe. Focus. You’re in charge here. Losing the magic doesn’t change that. You’re still a Mastigos, act like one. Just…think. Alright, say Medraut wasn’t Medraut, wasn’t an aeon. Because frankly that never made much sense in the first place. He’d still have to be somebody who could screw around with my Oneiros, interfere with a mind probe and vanish without apparent spells, and do some of that from a distance. So it sounds like we’re dealing with another Mastigos, and not just some master. I doubt even M could’ve pulled off yanking the girls into my mind with no warning, or doing all that sympathetic casting without tipping me off. So we got an archmaster on our hands, and we already know the Seers’ve got one of those who likes to interfere personally.

Say I’m right and it’s Weyland. Why do all this? Vates – and probably Castle – both went out of their way not to interfere with whatever I was supposed to be doing, because I was already on track to find the Road on my own. And as far as we know, they’re not allied with Paternoster. But taking the fight to our enemies meant stopping their war, so getting us out of the way would be beneficial to them. Maybe he picked up on this destiny and didn’t give a shit about it, just used it as a convenient excuse to get rid of us. I know he’s a Fate practitioner, it’s possible.

…and if one Minister is parading around as one aeon, maybe Jimenez’ “Dahaka” is another one. Gotta find out who Panopticon’s Minister is.

Now the storm on the other hand…jesus christ, this storm. Whoever wrote that note didn’t need to fuckin remind me what’s happening to the city right now. Can’t believe I’m stuck holed up in a shitty apartment building that barely exists while Manhattan gets ripped to shreds. At least the thread hasn’t gone anywhere. I can still feel it, still connected. It helps. I’m not completely trapped up here alone. Plus it seems like Artemis’ witchy soccer mom taught her how to give people Fate Sight without casting, and this is some weird shit. Not much resonance around to see, though. The rain’s killing everything.

Focus, come on. The storm’s archmaster material, too, I’d say Obrimos. Prime to kill all the magic, Forces to give it shape. We’ve seen the Eye of Panopticon, but at the time it just looked like a big fuckin moon, so that doesn’t tell me much. Panopticon doesn’t make much sense here anyway, though, doesn’t seem like their style and the Minister shouldn’t know about the Road. If he does I guess Vates is fucked. Seems more likely that somebody else – maybe the Praetorian Minister, helping Paternoster out – sent the storm to make us vulnerable, and the Knights are taking advantage of it. Send the Hunters, they’re expendable, scry them from a distance so you don’t get caught in the storm yourself. Get them on our trail, then when we’re out of the storm, teleport to our location while we’re still weak and out of mana. And since it sounded like Vates was taking advice from so-called Medraut, doesn’t seem too out of whack to think we’re all being played.

…don’t get me wrong. I don’t think the Seers orchestrated my destiny. I mean, I guess an archmaster probably could do that, but I dunno. That seems like a hell of a lot of trouble to go to just to get one person out of your way. Still, I’m getting the same vibe now that my daimon was getting before, in the future – with all the archmasters lurking around keeping watch over stuff, their Pax Arcana, who’s gonna let things come this far? If one or two archmasters broke the treaty, you’d think the others’d do something about it. …unless they’re dead, I guess. Jesus christ, talk about a sobering thought. I wonder if Hermes has got any way of contacting Harpocrates. Not to farm our problems out, but we need more information, and we need it pronto. Y’know, after we survive.

Though if Vates wants to follow these assholes to the Road, they won’t kill us. At least, not yet. That’s a big “if” though, and god knows Jimenez wasn’t half that sane. So for now the question I gotta focus on is just whether or not I should put a bullet in that Hunter’s skull before he has a chance to find the girls.

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