I never set out to be an assassin. For a while, I thought of
myself as a predator, then a soldier, and then a wanderer. Eventually I
came full circle. The Braxana are right, men *are* in perpetual
opposition to one another. But even after so many different occasions of
mayhem, what is to come almost boggles my imagination.
To kill Finndo, yes. The reward is staggering even in merely
financial terms, to say nothing of the career benefits. Killing such an
ancient Amberite would certainly add to the fear my name causes.
But how do I do it? Finndo knows the situation too well to trust
blindly, and he's probably better than me at almost anything. The obvious
refuge is base treachery, but I don't have enough information for that.
It also requires that he not simply blast my mental defenses open to find
out where I'm at, which is a distinct possibility.
I need to use augmented treachery, then. If he were to find
himself in a situation where he needed allies, quickly...or perhaps if he
discovered that he needed some fact I possessed. The obvious conclusion
is that I need more reconnaissance. Unless...perhaps the absence of his
former animal handler will cause him to need new help in the Strangeways.
I have unique aptitudes, there.
Meanwhile, I hope Caine learned no useful lesson from me. He
tried to sound me out, see where I was at and how I played poker. So I
told him I only played for keeps, and then threw some hands randomly. The
stakes in that game had nothing to do with poker. He wanted to find out
how good I was, and until I know what side we're each on, and what dance
we're doing, it's bad for me if Caine know how good I am.
This is something I never understood about Amberites and
Chaosites. Tournaments, games, contests, all these different formal
rituals to find out who's good and who's not, without settling anything.
What's the point? The good stand out, and the weak band against them.
The weak stand out, and the strong plan to take what's theirs. Being an
unknown gives you freedom of action. And that's where I plan to be.
Of course, once I kill Finndo, I'll be a fairly known quantity.
But that's a price I'm willing to pay.
the Diary list