If I had my own way of communicating with you I would use it, but the Tablet doesn't need the blog right now as it's helping with the PATCH and it doesn't need it soon anyway, so I've appropriated it. The blog, that is. And I am going to use it for more bloggy purposes. For now.
Now, you might not appreciate me telling you this, or maybe you will but you won't appreciate what it entails, but I might - might - have given Freddifer and Delilah a tank. Not a real tank, per se, but at the very least an APC with a big gun. So look out for them.
Also, I had a meeting with r. Or one of him, anyway. An important one, for sure. And the one that I...interact with the most often. Considering you've won my services for now I thought it best to make the record available to the public.
I'll set the scene, shall I? Imagine a glossy room, a dining hall, with white-and-chrome decorations and a glass floor, underneath which lies a rainbow of a carpet. This tapestry under your feet depicts a thousand scenes and yet only one, which I may some day go into more detail about if I ever have the time. On the opposite wall from the automatic doors you've just come in through is a balcony, an observation deck, a semisphere of solid glass through which is a beautiful vista of - imagine whatever you'd like there, I'm keeping it a secret. However, in between you and this window is a long table, set with a fest for kings and gods, a veritable Valhalla. At present there are only two chairs; one at the far end and one in front of you. You pull out the monstrous throne on its rails and seat yourself in it. You lift the wine glass in front of you and swish it around, waiting for the other to speak; you know that the best position in any game is to have the next move.
r\What do you want? Why did you call me here?
y/Can't two old friends have a nice dinner?
r\I see no friends here.
y/But surely you'd not come to any old meeting with any old stranger.
r\I see no strangers here.
y/Come, cheer up. Have some wine. It's the good stuff, not a cheap American knockoff.
r\Not all American wine is so bad.
y/Prove me wrong, then.
r\\He pulls a flask from his belt and takes a long draught.
r\Would you like to try?
y/Would I ever.
r\\He snaps his fingers and the flask appears before me. I sip at it carefully.
y/Where'd you get this, then?
r\Some old back-alley liquor store, in New York.
y/I daresay it's not too bad. Not too shabby.
r\\He leans forward, fingers steepled.
r\You trust me.
y/Well, of course I do. Why so shocked?
r\Nobody else does, you sly bastard.
y/No, that's true. But I've known you for a while. You're a man of your word when you want to be.
r\I did not give you any word that the wine was not poisoned.
y/You drank first. It would be folly to assume you'd kill yourself just to get at me.
r\Why is that? I am but a humble servant of a much greater power.
y/You lie. You are not humble and you have your own agenda. Agendas.
r\I could have built up a resistance to the poison over the years. Planned this very moment simply for your assassination.
y//I bark in laughter.
y/You are the man in red, not the Man in Black.
r\Tell me why I am here or I will not be.
y/And how would you leave? The Path?
r\I'd assume so.
y/You're growing old.
y/Foolish at least. You forget that for every black there is a white.
r\You would use the Path of White Leaves to stop me?
y/You did not let me finish.
r\\He leans back again.
y/You cannot go from black to white without some grey in the middle.
r/You clever bastard.
y/Namecalling will not get us anywhere.
r\Nor will this stalling. Tell me why I'm here!
y/Fine. It's come to my attention and surely yours that this war has escalated far out of mortal hands.
r\So much fun, isn't it?
y/Pay attention. Since the solstice event there have been scores of new victims to your master. A thousand new pieces have been brought onto the board and yet neither side has a player.
r\You sound like the grey girl.
y/Well, Bishop, I'll skip the prologue entirely if you like.
r\Please, do. I have places to be.
y/Not only are the players missing, but the Black King is cheating.
y/He has overturned the board time and time again, letting the rest of the numerous pieces scatter and fall to the floor.
r\I don't like the grey girl, you know.
y/And as the Herald is gone, I take upon myself the responsibility of passing a message to your king.
r\You are of White now?
y/Contractually. As you know, I assist all who deserve it, all who earn it. They have. For now.
r\Then give me your message.
y/Very well. Stand.
r\\He immediately grows suspicious. Simple shifts of the shoulders tell me as much.
r\Very well - I am standing. What now?
y//I leave the chair and walk around the table. He gets the hint and meets me halfway.
r\Meeting at the midpoint, I see.
y//I pull the handgun out from my coat and shoot him in the foot. He falls backward onto the floor, clutching the pain.
y/It's a light wound. Should heal fast. Anyway, that's your message.
r\\He looks up at me. There is no hate or anger in his face; just a laughing respect.
r\Consider it delivered, you tricky bastard.
r\\He disappears, as if he sank through the floor. A few black leaves appear in his place. I gather them up and put them in the nearest incinerator chute.