Blood and Oil

Reflections Of A City Hidden

From the Journal of Melchior Hessian: Entry 2

Things aren’t supposed to change this fast in our society. We are very static creatures by nature, beings that play chess games that span decades, and yet the balance of power in this town has shifted in mere nights. And wonder of wonders, it was I and my coterie that changed such things. None more surprised than yours truly, to be sure. Well, my brothers and sisters in the Society just as much, but that’s for rather different reasons, I think.

Jeremy remains a bit of a puzzle, I frankly confess it. He is part of the Movement, but I find myself wondering more and more why he affiliates with the Carthians at all. He doesn’t seem to… believe anything, as far as I can tell. But he has entrenched himself deeply and inextricably into the politics of Kindred and Kine alike. Why?

My sire, it seems, has successfully brokered an agreement with Marcus Gerard, effectively bypassing Jack by sacrificing Cassandra Kaine. A bold plan, and one that I am at once thrilled and terrified at being part of its inception. My standing in the Movement has increased accordingly; they say I will be named Myrmidon soon. A post I am not entirely disappointed to hold. An honor.

But this all turns on an illusion, the illusion of security that can be so easily shattered by so few. The Man in the High Castle is one of them. But some of his lieutenants have suffered the Final Death, or have disappeared. Perhaps the Snitch feels the ground shaking under the Renaissance Center. Nothing would please me more. His artifacts belong in museums or in the hands of the Kindred of this city. They are weapons with which we could break this stranglehold, but how to get to them? And once got, how to use them? Questions I don’t yet have answers to.

My other coterie member has had greatness thrust upon him, as the saying goes. Connor is not a political animal, but his assistance in throwing off the Kine hunters was invaluable. And in a scrap, well, it’s wise for every gunman to have a swordsman at his back. A fine ally, and one more critical then others realize. He is not stupid. He is ignorant, but learning quickly.

And finally, my new cousin. He is… strangely capable. Flaky, immature, and a diablerist. But useful. I can’t figure out how much he really knows and how much is him faking knowledge, but sometimes the latter skill is just as important. Jeremy finds him insufferable, and I’m often inclined to agree. I’d be lying, though, if I said I felt no grudging affection towards him. You almost take pity on him for his earnest self-centeredness, like the little hipsters that drift through Liz’s shop. Where he goes from here… I could not say.

I’ve taken, of late, to playing chess in the mirror more and more. Something about it attracts me, and not just from the bargain I struck with old John Rabe. I cannot shake the feeling that it holds all the answers to my questions, if I just stare long enough. The reflection of a city’s secrets, the solutions to its riddles writ bloody and backwards. Is this madness?

And the answer comes back, with smoked spectacles and bloody red velvet.

Yes.

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