The Perspectives of the Elder seldom match that of Youth.

The Perspectives of Age

February 2069

Wrapup

Saturday, the 28th

It's been a long few weeks. Two of them infact, since I wrote in this book. In that time, Weeko dropped her load, Hitomi had to reload, Alex and Lilith had a blow out just after I asked if I could deposit a load and then I had to unload all over Kassandra. It's been a messy time. Messy. I just don't have it in me to write more about it.

I've found some measure of peace with Kassandra. She, nor anyone beyond Alexander, has any idea of the crush and confusion in me, but I think I've managed to subsume what I have in to something else.

Homes and the Homeless

Friday, the 13th

I talked to Simmons today and, with a bit of cash under the counter, got an apartment secured in a corporate account I keep for such eventualities. He set up a place in the McAffry for Hitomi. I told the kid I was going to get her a place that wasn't in the sprawl, a place she could call home that was not at risk for such enjoyable social and geographic distractions like, for example, infectious fatal diseases.

She is refreshing in a way. She has no clue what she's involved with, and for the next decade or so I need to keep it that way. Her psychological matrix isn't solid enough yet to accept what we are working for and she's still got some years of fairly innocent fun ahead of her. Theres no reason to yank those away with reality. She reminds me in some ways of Alicia, if Alicia had made it to her age. Driven and bright, but with an edge of innocence that makes you smile.

She thinks I had a Leonization. It's not an unreasonable connection to make and she knows I'm wealthy… so it's a good story for now. Mind you, I'm not in any leonization clinic's books, but then, she knows I have enough identities to be anyone. It's as good a story as anything else.

Anyway, she's ensconsed now at the McAffry, her fathers 'taken care of' in so much as you can take care of a yakuza affiliated corporate executive. But she says not to kill her father. So I don't.

I probably should do it anyway.

Questions Redux

Thursday, the 12th

1: What would you do if the Mission were over tomorrow?
The Mission. I hate it, I love it, but I, for better or worse, define myself by it. I don't have the perspective yet to honestly answer this question. I mean, at the very least, the mission is going to last the next few hundred years. I've not yet lived even one hundred yet. If the mission ended, magically, tomorrow… I'd retire. I have the money socked away to live very comfortably, while slowly investing, occasionally working for amusement. I could do whatever I wanted. Go to school, become a painter. Climb the Andes. Study the fundamental nature of magic.

I could stop being a weapon. I could stop being an Asset.

2: What IS the Mission?
The Mission is nothing less than the preparation and defense of humanity from the beings of magic and the foolishness of man we have yet to comprehend. The Ghost Dance, the Blood Magic Gestalt, the folly of Winternight, many things like this exist in our world. We are children playing with fire. ON the inverse, there are those who have been here before. The Tir's are proof of this, and the Mission involves protecting humanity from them, as well.

The ultimate goal of the Mission is to keep the Scourge, that being the arrival of extra-planar beings much like a plague of locusts, but sentient, magically powerful and more numerous than we can conceive, from happening or to prepare humanity for the arrival and ensure our survival.

3: If you had to choose, do you live here or with the Red Plains People. Why?
Simple answer. Here. For all the experiences I have with the Red Plains People, I am a creature of this world. I am a creature of the real. The Red Plains People… do not exist. People like them may have once existed, and may exist again, but they as I know them, are nothing more than speculation.

4: Lenny wants to pet your little bunnies. But he's a special needs kid and he's crazy strong and he doesn't know it. So he pets their little heads in and he's laughing his crazy head off. He doesn't know he's hurting them. What do you do?

I kill Lenny. He's only going to get worse as he ages. He will move from kittens to people. He will be used by others for ill.

5: We all have fears. I myself am terrified by the sounds of a panicked horse. Pick one thing that frightens you and explain why.

I fear, honestly, that I will never be able to touch, and be touched, by someone, as an equal. Eternity is a long time and I'm not exactly an easy person to deal with. I also know I'm prone to killing people I think are security risks.

It makes dating difficult.

A game of Questions…

Wednesday, the 11th

1: Riddle me this - if you could be any Batman villain, which would you aspire to?

After some thought, I think I'm best suited to being the Condiment King. I'm a bag of many tricks, many flavors, and you never know quite what to expect or if to take me seriously.

2: Boxers or Karate kicks?

I'm a boxer-briefs man. I appreciate the overall coverage of a good pair of boxers, but when active I prefer boxer-briefs because of the support and comfort.

3: Do you have any religious beliefs or affections, even if not, do you ever blame things on God?

Interesting question. For as long as I can remember, I've been a Roman Catholic. There's something in the feeling of belonging, the history and ritual. THe fact that the church has stood for 2,000 years is inspiring in itself. As to if I blame god for things… I once heard a priest say, that once upon a time he wanted to ask God, why he allowed evil and misery and pain to exist in the world. Now, the priest does not. When I Asked him about this, why he changed his mind, he said that he was worried God may ask him the same question. This may be a world of the Almighty's creation, but we are its keepers and responsible for its content.

4: Have you ever tried something and then discovered you was really bad at it?

God yes. I'm a horrible house keeper. I can't keep a house straight to save my life. I'm meticulous in detail when it comes to keeping my gear in order, but I can't dust, I hate doing dishes, ect. I've always hired a house keeper. Also, I can't write poetry for shit.

5: Under what circumstances did you first decide that it was ok to kill another human being?

My first human kill was self defense. I was infiltrating a compound that I can't name in a country I can't mention. Sufficed to say, I was young, I was stupid and I took a risk I would not take today. I was spotted and I had the split second choice; Kill this man or scrub the mission. When I realized that this man had placed himself, willingly, in the path of my success, he put his hat in the ring. I killed him, but did not enjoy it. I will try to avoid killing, but if there is no alternative, I will do it without hesitation.

6: Is there anything that is absolutely off limits to you?

I will not knowingly act in a manner I believe to have evil ends. I will do evil in the service of what I consider to be the greater good, but I will not commit evil for evils sake.

7: Who are you?
I am… complex. Who a man is, is often defined by his actions, his family, he behaviors and his past. This is not so easy for me. I have multiple sets of overlapping memories of actions, family and past. I could tell you that I am Samuel Thayer, Architect and Security Consultant, but that wouldn't be accurate. I could tell you that I am Johan Von Deiter, lifetime Covert Operations Asset for the Company, but that would be just as inaccurate. I could tell you I am Viktor Rodenko, a muscle-man and cleaner for the St. Petersburg Vory, but again, it would be inarticulate.

I suppose, if I was to say I was anyone, I am… Samuel. I am my own man, a conglomeration of ideals and ideas, of implanted memories, all each as real as the next, of personally lived experiences, of love, of hate, of beauty and uglyness. Warts and all, I am a broken psyche that has found a way to function within new perimeters. I am fiercely defendant of my family, chosen though it is. I am brutal when put to a task. I am heartless, I am remorseless, when I must be. I am merciful when I am allowed to be. I am more than the sum of my parts.

8: Who do you work for?

Who I work for is just as complex as who I am. I think the best way to phrase it, is I work for you. I work for humanity. I work for the Red White and Blue. A storm is on the horizon, and it threats to bring with it a dark age like humanity cannot contemplate. The Scourge, a time when the deep meta-planes can touch the aura of the material world, will be here far sooner than I would like. When that happens, the Enemy, a breed of astral creatures foul and ravenous, will be unleashed on the world.

I and a small group of others know its coming. All the Immortals know. A small coterie of mortals know. We are trying to stall the arrival of that time and arm humanity in the mean time. Hopefully, that won't be for another thousand years. So in summation, I work for your great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grand kids. Assuming a 20 year generational cycle.

And on the 7th Day…

February 10th, 2069

I slept. A lot.

Engage Traveling Dot

February 6-9th, 2069

travelmapcopy.jpg

My grandfather, the one who read Pinnochio to me, once told me to never trust a man who kicks his dog, beats his wife or sells cars for a living. You just can't trust anything they do, because they kick their best friend, they beat their partner and they lie through their teeth while smiling.

It was a good lesson, and one I've not forgotten as I grow older. Wiser. My meetings with Kassandra in the last few days have shown me whats underneath her cool, calm exterior. She's frightened, terrified. Something in her past broke her on a fundamental level and she bolted like a horse the moment she had the chance. She's running desperately from something and I just can't and won't stand for people I care about looking over thier shoulders.

I did some basic digging and was able to trace her as far back as Santa Fe, but before that, she's a ghost. I cast a wider net and got a hit on someone fitting her physical stats working in the Desert Wars, with a unit called the Grave Diggers. The grave diggers were an infantry unit and Kass seems to have worked for them doing some procurement and intelligence. The Grave Diggers got wiped out, as happens to most small merc outfits eventually, and absorbed in to a larger unit, McConnal's Marauder. Never trust a man who glorifies himself by naming the unit of people who are probably going to die, after himself.

Anyway, this asshole 'major' that was in command, he made very clear to the new guys that they were fodder with no career prospects. I think Kass set him up to go down, and hard. Can't say I blame her. The entire unit of nearly 600 men were wiped out in a gurilla engagement. Of the 112 survivors, there were only 3 survivors who live in North America. It should be noted that Kassandra is -not- listed among the survivors.

I flew to New York to meet the Major. By the time my coffee cup was refilled, I was mentally reminding myself that New Yorkers, while jaded, react poorly to the removal of a mans spine through his mouth, at least while the sun is up.

I left the man and moved on to one of the only two survivors of the entire unit. The man I found was not what I expected. He lost a leg and wasn't able to replace it becuase he was just a grunt. No one ever fixes grunts, not in a world where a knee costs as much as anyone elses yearly salary. The guy plays music down in the 'Quarter of NOLA. Nice guy. I left the meeting wishing I could spare him the cash to fix his knee. AS it was, I dropped his wife a 5,000 nuyen tip. That should help them out.

He told me though, that Kassandra had come from 'the Padadsha', a big wheeler and dealer in the middle east. I was able to cross reference that with the leads I had on procurement specialists in the Middle east, to find that it was a big one. The Padasha, Fadil Azad, was small time when Silk left him, but now he's one of the biggest slavers, drug peddlers and gun runners in the eastern med. The dossiers I got from the Company and the Heebs was as thick as Alexanders hide.

Thats pretty thick.

I did some more indexing and information management and was able to find that Kalila, as she was known then, was a fixer working for the Padasha. I found a retired runner who goes by Windsong who was willing to meet in the ruins of Tehran, Iran. Luckily I was already on my way to the Theater as I knew this would be field work. The travel expenses were racking up, but I really don't count the cash. Money comes and goes. Family is as forever as it gets.

I put on an Arab face and told him I was looking for Kalila or her family so I could repay an honor debt, and promised him by Allah that I would not bring harm to him or his family. Windsong then told me that she, Kalila, had been sold to the Padasha in payment for a debt, by a middle eastern man named Fakhouri. Fakhouri had her for some time and dearly prized her. He did not wish to let her go, but the Padasha desired her and Fakhouri owed a debt.

I did an infosearch on that, and found that Fakhouri was dead. Damn, I can't kill the man. However, and this slaked my blood thirst for the moment (I -dearly- hate slavers…), I found that his two under bosses managed the enterprise in Fakhouri's absence. Akhil Bahjat and Umar Hassani maintain an uneasy truce, most of the time, as they manage the greater share of the slavery in the middle east.

They run a tight ship, moving locations every few months, hopping jurisdictions and paying off local law enforcement. They stay a step ahead of most legal ramifications while reaping a great reward off the innocent. People like Kassandra. Kassandra could have been… she could have been anything. A beautiful flower and they turned her in to someone so stunted that she's clinging desperately to the first person able to slide under her shields and not hurt her, not use her.

It's glorious to watch, but painful at the same time.

I traveled from Iran to Iraq, hitting Bagdad running and moving for a meeting with the weaker of the partners. When you have to engage an unknown enemy and you have a selection, always take the one with something to prove. He's going to fight harder and longer for your business and you can always get a concession by being willing to move up the ladder.

I hit Karbala running, using the Armando identity. It worked well, as it presented a man who has the money to buy a woman, and the reasons to want one. I met with Umar Hassani in his office and after a breif meeting, he explained he could not provide me a girl like I requested, for she was one of a kind and he would dearly like to have her back. She had no family, an orphan who had been taken by them to raise.

I decided to kill him. And his family. And his men. And the other slaver. And all his men. And his family. I drew the line at the people who owed him money. Thats just mean. And while I am brutal, implacable and unwavering… I'm not mean.

But how… the trick when you have multiple factions, is they will have more money than you. More guns than you. And its almost impossible to fight them all at once. The timing will be off and one will escape, one will jump behind the couch and you'll have to shoot him for 10 fucking hours until he dies. It's just annoying.

The easiest way, is to get them to do the work for you. With criminals, its easier than you might think. They are paranoid. Very paranoid. ANd just because they are paranoid, does not mean they are not out to get you. So I did some digging, intent on creating a little drama.

Only, I didn't have to create it. These two partners had come to blows in the past, but had been fairly evenly matched. But in the last few months, the balance of power had shifted. Ahkil had been making some powerful deals and Umar was falling behind. More, Akhil was paying off Fadil in Turkey and getting preferential treatment. He was importing guns and men.

He was getting ready to strike at Umar. So how could I use this to my advantage? Well, I called my friend, Jeremy Faloon and he contacted the Mossad on my behalf. They gave me a list of shadowrunners I could count on to kill the fuck out of some Arabs. I didn't tell them what I Was doing or why, but they took Jeremys word that it was in the interests of the Lions of Judah.

So I shelled out for a team of runners that I passed off as my security team. I braced Umar with my data, playing the offended one. The angry one. The one who wanted to know if he thought I was stupid. He was taken entirely by surprise. I pushed then, showing him my data, not even doctored data. The real deal.

He was crushed. He was despondent. But I built him back up. I revealed, that as a rich, powerful European, that I had a security detail with me… and I would loan it to him, to take down Akhil. He asked me what I wanted. I said I wanted to be his European Distributor of fine flesh products.

He saw nothing but dollar signs as he contemplated taking over the ENTIRE trade… and expanding in to Europe. Greedy men are easy to fuck with. I suggested, because my men were not local, that perhaps, I should embed them with his men. You know, my superior trained and armed security with his men, we would be unbeatable.

And we were. In the course of 2 hours, we took Akhil's forces by surprise. Overwhelmed them, and killed them all. When I got the confirmation that Ahkil was dead, I gave the Omega Order and my runners turned on Umar's men.

I won't forget the look in his eyes, terrified, as I choked the life out of him. The last thing he ever heard in this life was 'Never trust a man who sells people'.

I had a few hours of sleep on the plane ride back to the FRFZ… the Mossad cleaned shit up for me. But I'm dog tired.

Next week; Fadil.

Burning Crosses

February 6th, 2069

I am a racist.

Racism, by its simplest definition, is discrimination based on the racial groups to which people belong. People with racist beliefs might hate certain groups of people according to their racial groups. When my father was a boy (Yes, all of them), racism was a matter of skin tone. A matter of hair color and geographic ancestry. We had a constitution that enshrined that all men were created equal and that no man was inherently superior to any other.

The 6th world turned that on it's head. Threw it right out the window. Racism is no longer about skin tone so much as genetic template. Sapiens, Nobilis, Robustus, Ingentis and Pumilionis have clear and present differences. You cannot stand a troll next to an elf and say 'these are equal creations'.

They simply are not. From lifespan to genetic predisposition for intelligence to more mundane aspects such as reinforced furniture and the height of your lightswitches, these variants of humanity are -not- equal.

AS a younger man, human, I was middle of the road. Not as fast as elves, certainly not as charismatic. Not as strong as an troll or as resistant to damage as an ork or as long lived as a dwarf. It never really bothered me until I got older, more in touch with the world around me.

I had a coworker in the Company who was Nobilis. We entered the Company around the same time, had the same qualifications. I watched this person, over 20 years, climb higher and faster than I could. This was acerbated as I approached the cutoff for active fieldwork (45, in the CIA). He was going strong. I was older, a little slower, but rapidly slowing down. But Steve? He was, physically speaking, exactly as he was the day we started. It was amazing. He had all the experiance I did, on a body 20 years younger. That old question of 'if I only knew then what I know now'… he was living it.

And it made me hate him. Hate him so very much. I was growing wrinkles, but he would live for an estimated 500 more years. I suppose that wasn't the worst of it, but his sense of smug superiority. He would goad me in to physical contests as I aged, trying to prove, in that friendly-rivalry-concealing-a-professional-rivalry way, his dominance. Can you imagine what that was like, to be galled by that? To be talked down to by someone who was technically your equal, your peer?

It was very galling.

But I felt better about it after I drowned him in the Potomac River.

Who the inferior one now, eh Steve?

It was my first real… personal kill. It also nearly cost me my job, but I pulled in a few favors and it was quietly dropped. A lot of the old guard understood and closed ranks. The Intelligence community is like that. A bunch of old white guys who dislike young guys telling them they know better.

Anyway. My distaste for Nobilis in specific only grew as I aged, got slower, left my prime. Every sag in the skin, ever extra joule of energy I had to put in to staying fit, felt like a slap. Genetic lotto, and I lost. To be fair, I wasn't a troll. If I was, at 43, I'd be geriatric instead of middle aged. Probably dead.

But that didn't matter. I only saw the downsides. Pretty, quick, immortal. A lifespan five times that of a human in the BEST condition. With leonization or longevity treatments, they could possibly reach a thousand years. And they had so much time to play with. I was scrambling to make sure Alicia had a college fund and my condo was paid off, but people like Steve had -centuries- of earnable income in front of them. That alone, leads to a form of economic stratification.

Lets fast forward to now, some 15 years later. I don't dislike Nobilis anymore. Not because I had some amazing personal Epiphany where I transcended such base and barbaric ideologies, because I haven't. I don't dislike Nobilis anymore because I'm like them. Only better. And that is -weird- because I find myself, now, attracted to Nobilis.

Its their lifespan. I can actually make something of -worth- with a Nobilis. I can form, were I allowed, a relationship that would last for decades, without watching them grow old and die while I continue to enjoy the fruits of youth?

And what does that say about the nature of humanity, when racism is, at its core, really about honest, justifiable differences? Does that make it a bad thing? Can I really justify keeping a troll in school until it's 18, even though its physically mature at 9 and middle aged by 24? What gain does that give the troll?

Can I justify welfare payments to an Orkish Mother who gives birth to 3-5 children twice a year? Can I justify an Elf paying in to Social Security despite the elf being likely to outlive the nation he's paying the taxes too?

It's an odd conundrum. And one the 6th world will have to answer.

Memories and Wooden Joints

February 6th, 2069
My grand father used to read to me, back in Portland.

I was a young boy, maybe 4. This was before the big blow and he loved to read to me. Every night, in my room while my dad was at work and my mother got some sleep. He used to read to me about pinnochio, the little puppet boy who wanted to be human. I loved the story and he'd read it from cover to cover over the course of a week. He loved the time and I'd drift off to sleep as a child, with that story in my mind.

My father used to beat me, back in Corpus Christi. I was nine, and my mother had died the previous year from VITAS. He blamed me, because I got sick before she did, but I lived. He would get drunk, which really amounted to him having a beer so he could feel like he wasn't really in control, and then he'd find something I did 'wrong' to take exception too. If I spoke, I sassed him. If I remained silent, I was ignoring him. He beat me until I was bloody, until I screamed, until I made him feel powerful. When I was 12, I stopped screaming. I stopped making noise. I think that made him angrier, but it was my power, and all I had.

When I was 15, I lost my virginity to Olga, in the back of an abandoned van on the outskirts of Moscow. When I was 16, I lost my virginity to a New Orleans prostitute. When I was 18, I lost my virginity to a fellow refugee who relocated to upstate New York with me and my family. When I was 12, I was sodomized by a go-gang outside of Chicago and still am a virgin, unable to get an erection.

I was 18 when I killed my first man, in the shadows of Saint Petersburg, working for the Vory. When I was on deployment for the CAS Marine Corps, I had to kill an Azzie at the age of 17. When I was 32, working for the CIA, I blew up a bus of civilians in Essen to kill one man.

Lets go back to my grandfather. My grandfather would read to me, back in Portland. This is a real memory, something I hold to my core. But unfortunately, so are all those other things I said. Each of them are real, visceral and truthful.

I feel a lot like pinnochio, trying desperately to be a real boy, the sort of man I need to be. But Pinnochio had the love and support of Gepetto, who really thought Pinnochio was a good and honest child, who moved mountains to come rescue his boy.

I'm 56 years old, but I only have a clear narrative of life, uncluttered by conflicting memories, for 14 of those years. Before that, I have so many mnemonic overlays it makes it impossible to determine who -I- am.

I hold the handle of the sword that is identity and I do my best to forge going forward, who I want to be, and reinforce it with action. THe further I get away from Zeropoint, the stronger that identity is.

I am left with doubts though, constant and nagging. I chose the Samuel Thayer thread of memories to be paramount, to hold as the primary, but it gets harder and harder as I move farther away, to keep them distinct. It's why I work so hard to identify with the now and the future. The past… is dangerous.

Mission Control

February 4rd, 2069
So here I am. Top of the world! Everything is going my way, right?

I'm wealthy. I drive fast cars, I've got real estate in most major cities, I have money to spend on the nicer things in life, and I do. I'm respected. When I put a word in someones ear, I can do a lot of things and when I speak, people listen. I'm motivated, with a clear goal, a clear idea, even if its what you could qualify as 'long term'. I'm decent looking,m aI'm in the best health of my life and that health will last until I do something stupid. I've got everything an immortal human male can ever want in life, save for of course, other immortal people.

Yes, I know, they exist. But they are somewhat rare and I don't have the ears or magical talent to join their club. As immortals go, I'm a freak, and the new kid on the block.

But, frankly speaking, I get to dedicate the next two thousand years… to a single minded goal that requires me to subvert my humanity, cut myself off from all that I know and watch, pretty much, the entire world die over and over and over. If history is any guide, I'll be lucky to make it to the Scourgeline. I don't have any reliable data how many immortals survived the fall of Thera to enter the fifth world, and only a limited data on how many survive today. Dracoforms aside, maybe 20.. and all of them are elves.

So here I am. The only human. Alex sort of has it harder, to a degree, but he forms bonds and relationships so fast, it's hard to feel sorry for him. He hasn't started to contemplate what eternity is like. He wasn't quite yet facing the end of his effective lifespan when he got hit with Lazarus. He also doesn't have a lifetime in the intelligence industry. I love the man. I spent 20 virtual seeming years inside a fucking machine with him, but he's simply too damn here and now to understand the enormity of the task we've been handed.

I stare at the future. At watching everyone I know, everything I am, crumble and die. I look back at the last 2,000 years and I think about the Roman Empire, the massive sweeping changes that have come to society and technology, to the fundamentals of understanding. The rise of the church and fall of rationalism, the fall of the church and rise of rationalism, the rise of the Islamic church and the fall of rationalism… it's a cycle and I look to the future with abject fear.

It's not a fear I can show anyone else though. Because I've got to be mister fucking hard ass. Got to slap away the people I could care about, got to watch as the ones I could care about find happiness with others and take my joy in that. An emotional fucking vampire.

If I knew this was eternity, I would have just gotten a leonization.

Fuck me, I sound like a whining hippy.

What's a man to do?

Slapped

February 3rd, 2069
Yesterday, I met with Aladriel and she asked me a question I thought most queer. She wondered what to get Kassandra for Valentine’s day. I thought this rather odd. One does not normally get presents for ones team mates on minor holidays. Given that I thought Lilith and Ally were an ‘item’, it didn’t concern me overmuch. I gave her some advice on what I would give Kassandra were it appropriate (Which it is not. Valentines day comes loaded with to many romantic bells and whistles for proper or professional leadership.) . Something money cannot buy.

An experience or an introduction. A sensation. Something non solid, something transitory. Something I would want to be given.

Today, Kassandra came to me and Alex and told me she and Ally were seeing each other. I pride myself on being a man of rationality. I sent Benedicte back to Europe and sent Viviana to live with her. This face, this identity… it’s too hot. I need to kill it. I’m going to lose my house, my daughter, pretty much everything I’ve built over the last 15 years because the Mission calls for it and it clears the slate. The slates got to many things on it.

The mission. The mission is nothing less than daunting. I should write about that later.

But, again, I pride myself on rationality. The news that Kassandra was ‘seeing’ Ally in a romantic fashion just hit me in the gut. It was unexpected. Uninvited. I am not often surprised. This surprised me. And it hurt. Deeper and harder than it should, and I know thats related to the issues with the upcoming lifeburn and possibly to the effect the womans pheromones have on me. The filters don't block it all. Anyway, I was hit square in the jaw with a clue-by-four. I didn’t show it, which makes me thank god for the training, and I didn’t react by doing anything so dramatic as to immediately make an excuse to leave the room or make weepy pronouncements.

Instead, I made Alex and Kassandra breakfast (Bacon and Eggs for Alex and a meatless Scramble for Kassandra. She dislikes meat, and as an Arab, she may have cultural hangups on pork.) and made small talk before I left about a half hour later. I congratulated her, before I left. I am glad she is happy, with my mind, but reeling in my heart.

I’m doing what I know is right. Alex is fucking a team member. He’s emotionally entangled with the assets. I can’t afford to be tangled with the assets. I need to be able to view the situation rationally and make the calls that need be made, even if it involves ordering one of them to certain death or injury. If I need to make Kassandra hate me so that any minor attraction I feel for her is blunted, by her distaste, then so be it. I need to keep my objectivity. It's handling basics.

I cannot afford to be involved, in any capacity, with my team. I cannot afford, to be involved, in any capacity, with someone OUTSIDE my team. It’s a catch-22 I’m presented with. The struggles and security issues of the Janie and May situation prove the difficulties of keeping secrets, while the documented and clear difficulties of sleeping with team members is obvious. As a result, I don't get to have those soft moments, these tenderness's, these humanities. I get to kill people, I get to treat people like tools and I get to be the hated one.

Alex gets to be the teddy bear.

I get to be Count-fucking-killjoy.

And the best part?

It’s forever.


January 2069


Alone

January 10th, 2069

She's gone. I told my wife today, not to come back. After five years of strangling on what once was, after four years of security worries, I sent her back to Europe. I want to say I don't love her anymore, but it's not true. What is true, is I am no longer the best thing for my daughter. She will grow older, and I will not. It's best to end it now, and be a distant father who dies in a tragic accident in her young teen years, than this bullshit.

I'd rather she live safely, than in danger from people like Starks. And my enemies will do nothing but multiply as we continue the Mission.

Confusing

January 4th, 2069

I killed Joey Luciano today. Only not. But I did. But I didn't. Then the Don called, and things got weird.

The fucking end.

November 2068


Perspective

Nov 21st, 2068
Perspective is an odd thing.

I mean, we spend our lives looking for it. We spend our pitifully short mortal lives scrambling for it, clutching it to us, trying to see over the top of the next hill to what lies beyond, because that is our only true measure of immortality.

And yet, I possess what I feel is perspective. And by all that is holy, I do not want it. I wish I could unlearn what I know, cast it from my mind and never think on it again. I could live out my days, unrepentant in my ignorance and blissful in my myopia. To not know, to have no perspective, is the desire of most men who actually come to possess it.

Five times I was a boy. And in each of those iterations, I possessed no perspective. Once, I played in the mud with toy cars and watched the nation around me dissolve, with no appreciation for what it meant save that I had to move and we lost track of my friends. Once, I had the ignorance, the innocence of youth. I didn’t care beyond the next moment, if I was hungry I went to eat, If I was dirty, I went to clean and if I was tired, I went to sleep, for tomorrow was a new day full of new possibilities.

I want to eat dirt again, laughing the entire time.

Instead, I find myself in the role of organizer. I know what comes next. I lie awake at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering if the mass murderer that my police contacts tell me about is just a man with a mental problem or if he’s being inspired by something no one else sees. I watch my daughter playing on the swings and I feel profound joy, yet tinged with sadness. With anger. With the unmitigated rage of a man who knows that people are doing things of monumental stupidity, because they think they are competent enough to handle the outcome. Those are the people who infuriate me. Their perspective is so very small.

No matter our best efforts, the casualties are going to be massive. People will not be ready, people will hasten the coming of the storm, people will dismiss the truth, they will fiddle while Rome burns.

But all will not be lost. Many will be saved who otherwise might not be. Thousands, Millions even. We have the technology this time, we have the understanding of what must be done. We know whats happening, even if we must move in secret to avoid a willfully ignorant population. We hold our swords tightly, we hold our heads high, even as we wade through blood. We will do horrible things in the name of good things, but in the end, that is the role of the protector. The warrior. The leader. Because they have perspective.

Be careful what you wish for. You may get it.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License