Unusually enough, I find myself torn between intemperate behavior,
and a sense of calm so cold it makes me wonder if Fiona isn't playing with
my mind.

	Part of the issue is, of course, the obscurity of my quarry.  I
suspect that my temper would run closer to the surface if Dara appeared
before me and a reckoning was at hand.  But then, look at what I did to
the assassin she sent.  Hardly kind.  Distinctly malicious, with a twist
of humor of the sort that Vetch finds amusing.  Perhaps even face to face
some unseen force is working on my subconscious, diminishing the
viciousness I usually feel toward my enemies.

	On the other hand, viciousness can be cold as well.  If I get the
chance to meet with Vetch, I hope to expend moneys in amounts that will
make Dara somewhat less effective.  I also hope to explain to Vetch that I
can make it worth his while to back me in this matter.  It may be that
Ariana is right, and he can be trusted, at least if I engage his
interests, and his talents are what I need right now.

	As Crown Prince, I can no longer afford to play fast and loose the
way I once did.  Montrose offers one of my favorite quotes:

He either fears his fate too much
Or his deserts are small
Who dares not put it to the touch
To win or lose it all

but my deserts have grown large indeed, and my entire family - and to some
degree my nation - are now targets.  I can afford to risk my own life to
prove a point of moral principle, but my child and my people have never
made that deal.  If I have to give up my peace of mind for the good of the
realm, I shall.

	Accordingly, I hope to make it clear that if anyone does get to my
family, they will be dead.  I'll declare war against House Vetch and kill
them ALL if I have to, to get whoever manages to kill my wife or child. 
And I think Vetch knows me well enough to realize I mean it.  I can't back
it up, but I can sure as hell try.

	And if they get Oberon, I can make the odds even worse.  I am no
match for Oberon as a player, but I have numerous assets.  I can probably
convince Gramble that he has more to gain by finding Oberon's killer, than
suffering the attentions of every relative I can dedicate to the project.

	More to the point, he has no reason to try real hard.  He'll find
someone who was good enough and who lacks a good patron, tell me that guy
did it, and have him killed.  Which sounds like a good deal for the
killer, except that...

	Every other assassin in Chaos is going to be playing Russian
roulette.  Guilty or not, they'll die if Gramble picks them.  The only
exceptions are the ones with really good political connections - and most
of them don't need a high-risk job like Oberon.  The rest had better
police their own numbers.  It's bad for all assassins if anyone gets my
grandfather.  And I intend to try to convince Vetch of it.

	Oberon is subtle.  I'm not, and may never be.  If I take the
throne, I'll use Caine for subtle.  Maybe Eric, too.  But Oberon took the
long view.  He'd let things go if pursuing them was bad for the realm in
the long run.  I'll try to be the same way.  It's the way a King needs to
act.  But anyone in Chaos who thinks I'll be a weak king had better think
twice.  I'm mean, and I'm a little crazy, and I'll have one fuck of a
power base.

	I wonder if I can put "Zero Tolerance" on the flag?

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