City Lights at Night

Intrigue and Inebriation

in which the motley attends the Yule Ball

Scribbled hastily into a brand-new journal, Ondrej’s present to Wren:

This is the biggest party I’ve ever been to.

Things are still in motion, so I en’t gonna tell all, but I don’t want to forget what I’ve learned so far.

For starters, I need to write Mr. Steiger a thank-you note for this eminently fine costume I’m wearin’, the finest set of clothes I’ve ever owned. I also need to write notes to Ondrej for this journal (gettin’ some use much sooner than anticipated), to Masa for the watch, Red for the piece I’m wearin’ in my hair, and Jim for the book (Candide). All that aside, the matter at hand’s a tricky one.

I was on my way over to chat with the Ambassador when I was intercepted by Mr. Peyton and Ms. Silver. She asked for a favor—to show the Ambassador a good time, and share any information he might let slip with her. I’m a little worried ‘bout that, to be honest. I intended to talk to him anyway, as I’ve got somethin’ of a schoolgirl crush on the man (and who’d blame me, the man’s as musically skilled as they come, and has a voice could… charm the birds from the trees, so t’ speak)—but if he finds out what Ms. Silver asked me to do, that might ruin any chance I had of gettin’ to know him. I was tryin’ hard to ignore how lonely I’ve been, but the bartender at the market pointed out that it’s still there… maybe it’s time to pay a little more attention to that, and what better time than now? I’m goin’ to have to be very, very careful.

I did ask him about a little bit of freehold history; he says that in the ‘80s the Satrapy of Pearls started makin’ waves. (I’ve heard the name before, they were connected to the Morse problem.) He also mentioned that he’s been all over the country, and the wolves seem to have a bigger thing goin’ than most think. All politics, so I might change the subject in search of somethin’ happier— it is, after all, Yule.

I’ll give a better description of other goin’s on later, in the meantime Mr. DelRay has asked for a dance, and how could I refuse?

“Oh, I stepped from plane to plane

So slow and cautiously

With all the stars about my head, now

Below my feet the sea

I said, you need to be with me

Oh I said, you need to be with me…" (ST)




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