Case brought his newest Deputy Marshal to family dinner tonight. It would seem Nick did well in training, as we figured he would and Case had already requested he be assigned to the Seattle Office. It really must be good to be the Seattle Regional Assistant Chief Deputy.
Now that the team is all here it's time to start planning, and that requires a long talk with my brothers since the enemy is focused on them.
I thought it was a rather straight forward question. I mean the people from ATZ we'd dealt with before had a grudge against the boys and let's face it the universe kind of took care of them. So-are these new people that they managed to tick off or did they piece things together from what happened ten years ago?
Judging by the boys' reaction, you'd think I'd accused them of setting us up.
Now, my paranoid side is thinking that there has to be a reason they assumed that was what I was getting at.
I could care less. Let's face it ten years ago they set me up as their wild card. It's what they do. Although setting Bri up is something else entirely.
I just want to know who we're up against and why and I'm pretty sure Alan and Matt know a lot more than they're telling.
I finally got the information I needed 'Miller Style' which is to say amid much yelling and squabbling.
Alan, in his winning quest to destroy everything blood-magic related had stepped on a lot of toes, a lot of which were better not tread upon. This led to a bunch of unsavory executive mage types spending a lot of money trying to learn more about him and his 'team'
From the looks of things it kinda avalanched from there. At least he finally broke down and gave Case some names. Some of those names should prove very interesting to Knight Errant-should we decide to include them.
I guess it all depends on how many friends we need on our side. I'm guessing a lot knowing my brother.
One of the first things my brothers should have learned a long time ago is "just because someone says who they are doesn't mean that they're telling the truth." Let's face it, in their line of business it should be second nature, unless you really believe there are that many 'Mr. Smiths' in the world.
This is where having friends and family in the UCAS Marshal Service comes in quite handy. Names, finger prints, facial recognitionů they have people for that and they're very good at their jobs.
What we've found is a very interesting array of misdirection, false leads and plain red herrings, although one of them might have been fuchsia. We are up against a very well plotted, multi tiered hall of mirrors.
Too bad they've built it on a house of cards.
Well, we've gone from no suspects to an entire collection of potential baddies to check into. Odds are most of them were hired blind, the Johnson of a Johnson of a Johnson. The key is going to be tracing it back to the originating Johnson, but at least we have a starting point, and even that is juicy.
One of the people involved in hiring the boys that put them in Knight Errant's sights was the president of an Ares subsidiary supposedly 'Tiger Testing' a satellite office. That might have been where the boys noticed that the fun and games had begun, but I just know it goes further back than that.
It's those concentric circles. They don't just get there-someone has to paint them and those are the people we're looking for.
As I review Case's findings one thing keeps bothering me-how did these particular circles find the boys? Were they targeted because of a job they accepted or was it something more personal?
Every bit of information seems to point towards the later. I have a few suspicions about Matt's wife, and I've passed those on to Case. I'm hoping I'm wrong because I know how it will hit my brother if I'm right.
Case wasn't entirely surprised when I asked him to check into it, but he also admitted that he hoped I was wrong. I hate thinking like this, but when you factor in the amount of planning involved and the information they had to have on the boys-that points to an inside job and let's face it, they didn't even let me into their inner circle until now.
Thinking about it, it isn't so much them letting me into their circle but rather my circle going ameba on them and simply absorbing them.
How is it that the most idealistic of the four of us turns out to be the most paranoid and realistic? I'd love to figure that one out.
There are times when being right is not only the last thing you want-it's the last thing anyone wants. I'm still trying to understand it myself but it goes back to what I've learned about the people we're up against and their beliefs.
For them power is in the shedding of blood and the taking of a life, be it that of an opponent or a true believerů it carries a great deal of power.
I'm laying odds that not only did my sister-in-law set Matt up, she timed things out so that their child would be born during the 'nameless times'
Matt didn't want to hear it, he couldn't. Alan was in denial and being the closest person decided to try and take it out on me. He called me a liar and even went as far as saying that next I was going to tell him that Andy had been working for the other side as well.
I wasn't going to, but now that he's mentioned it, it's time to check into all three of them and see what everyone has on everyone else.
It's the sad thing about trust: once it's compromised, you start rethinking your trusts with everyone you know.
Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker