Do people still start letters with ‘dear’? I wasn’t away from the world that long, but of all the things that changed letter writing seemed to be the most. I still can’t get the hang of email, and the format and formality has gotten all new rules and I can’t make sense of any of it. It never made the most sense anyway, now that I think about it. Is it in the old way where you call everyone dear, or are you saying whoever you’re writing the letter to is honestly dear to you. Not that you’re not, of course, but I put that on my letters to everyone. Aw hell, none of this makes any sense, I’m starting over. Computer, delete everything.
My Dearest Jess
…Computer, delete that too.
I know you think this isn’t the smartest idea. If it was, it wouldn’t have been us that had it. But its what I have to do. People keep telling us, everyone fromMs. Silver to TJ to your Sis, that we have the mark of destiny on us. When you got a thing like that hanging over your head, standing by while a power hungry interloper and an old madman seize power just isn’t in the cards. Hell, maybe they’re right, maybe we do have a destiny and we’ll pull this off. Certainly feels like I’ve been going in this direction, ever since the minute I got back from the hedge. Ambassador’s the only Lost to ever leave that city, and he was the first one of us I saw when I got back, just sitting there playing and waiting for me to run enough that I’d feel I’d gotten away enough to start thinkin. Guess he understood the feeling.
Anyway, this is something I gotta do. Tell John it ain’t his fault and I ain’t doing it for him, so no sense feeling bad about it if I don’t come back. And tell him if this new court does come to pass, don’t let Summer keep getting the shaft. Even if it means taking that limey bastard by the neck during the negotiations, don’t give up on the court. And speaking of Norman, don’t trust him. I’ve met his type before, he’ll put his ideals before people, because even though he’s given up on people he hasn’t quite given up on believin he’s right. If he sees an opportunity or he’s backed into a corner, he’ll strike, and he’ll be dangerous. Don’t trust the Reverend neither, I think he’s a good man, but he’s too caught up in his own past to be dealing with the real world. David’s a good guy in Autumn, but be careful aroundPeyton, for all his manners he carries himself more like a killer than a butler. Don’t know much about Ms. Post in Winter, and I don’t know who’s in Spring but not in Galt that it’d fall to. Could always be one of your family, and you don’t need me telling you about them, but if it is don’t be afraid to use that connection, for your own good and the Court’s.
I’m telling you all this because, if I don’t come back, the pledge falls. If the pledge falls, Coyote loses his crown and can’t contend for the new one. With him out and me gone, that means the Iron Crown is definitely going to fall to you, Jess, and its going to fall like a ton of bricks. If you can use it to save lives and protect us, then do it. But if the city looks like its going in Dusk’s direction, if you’re just bangin your head against a wall, don’t. You have friends and contacts all over the country and world, you could make a new life for yourself anywhere with your brains. Throw the crown in the dust, get as many of us out with you as you can, and never ever regret it.
If I can ask a favor, there’s a few things in the hollow I’m leaving behind that should go to people. First, there’s a photo album, with some pics of my motley, and some of us, mostly from that first night at yule and the few from chessboxing. Its yours. I want you to have it to remember me by, but I want you to finish it, too. Fill the rest of it with pictures of you and your motley, the court, the freehold, your man if you ever find one able to step out of my handsome and charming shadow. Remember me, but move on. Second, there’s a small lockbox under my bed. In it is about $1000 in cash I’ve saved up and a knife. The cash is going to Julianne Rakowski, she lives at 3289 Kemp Street on the west side of North Vegas. The knife is going to her son, its his birthright, but make sure to tell him it was never in anyone’s ass. Tell them Michael left these things for them before he died. Tell them he loved them very much. And call her husband a candy-assed accountant.
One more thing before I turn this thing off. Jess, you mean a lot to me. I don’t know if I mean the same to you, but I’m gonna be real pissed if I never get the chance to find out. But there’s something you should know. Only one soul has escaped this city before, and the way I see it, it might come down to one escaping again. You should know that if that happens, it isn’t going to be me. As much as you mean to me, and as much as I hate to think of you hurtin because I did something stupid, at least for now, they mean more. If there’s something I could burn to save Wren, Masa, or Ondrej, whether its me, or us, or anything I have in the world, its ashes. Hope you understand.
PS – If I come back from this, you’re going out with me on the Fourth of July, not taking no for an answer. I wanna show you what an elemental can do with a fireworks show