Apologies for the long absence folks. Real life and being an adult have gotten in the way, but I’m back and ready to fill your eyeholes with my words again!
Sometimes, when you float up to Five Fingers you do it blind. Depending on the time of day, the season, the weather and whether or not the Gods, or the Ascendants, or whoever it is that decides these things, hate you or love someone else at that particular moment, then the whole approach is hidden by this thick blanket of fog and mist.
On such a day, it takes a skilled captain to guide a boat in without incident, especially one this big. But if there was an incident, I don’t remember…
These last two years or so, I’ve been having these ‘episodes’. My mind turns to sludge, my body burns to the touch with fever, and my muscles turn to jelly. Sometimes, the days leading up to the onset of the episode get lost in the fog too.
What I do remember is going to retrieve the package, the parts needed for the cortex upgrade, and being beaten to it, by an at-the-time-unidentified someone. I remember planting a boot on a man’s back, holding a pistol to his head while he shat himself. And I remember meeting with Captain Hurley, telling him his crew had been compromised.
I remember his warning… “Aye, I know who you are. Baird won’t be much pleased if he gets word you’re here.”
After that… after that, it’s a blur.
Fever dreams about a lost best friend. About a bound man with an iron mask and a Menofix chained to his chest trying to flay the skin from my bones. About fighting to the last in mud up to my knees. About the night Baird told me he’d have me dragged behind a horse by my cock if he ever saw me again. A smiling Trollblood pulling me out of a river. Clara, as a baby, proudly presented to me to dote on, by her beaming father.
I was out for a couple of days. Feysan stayed by my side, as far as I can glean from him, the whole time. Elise took over while I was out, and from what I can tell she did an admirable job.
The culprit behind the snatching of the package from under our noses was a man by the name of Hartnett. A gunmage. With a fancy gun that Sergei is simultaneously terrified of and enamoured with.
Elise had found him, flirted with him at a high society party. She seemed confident that she had gotten a read on him. Working with a guy by the name of Waernuk. I only know him by reputation. Mean bastard, a penchant for doing grizzly things, or so I hear.
When I spoke with her about it all I was impressed at the work she’d done. I decided to let her take the lead on planning the follow up. Tried my best to make it seem pragmatic and like I was proud of her, but in reality I was still tired, and honey traps were never my area of expertise. She arranged a meet in an inn, something romantic but low profile, befitting a highborn lady’s desire for discretion.
It didn’t go entirely according to plan. He was disinterested in Elise’s advances, for professional or personal reasons, I don’t know, doesn’t matter, and eventually, almost inevitably, bullets started to fly. A destroyed inn room, a broken window and a heavy fall onto the cobbles of the alley below later, and he was down.
I need him alive to get the location of the package out of him.There’s more going on here than I had assumed, and this smirking bastard might be the key to understanding it.
Sometimes, when you float into Five Fingers you do it blind. But if you’re clever, you’ll get those eyes wide open right sharpish.