Sacrificial Lambs


This can’t be happening
Not again
All this time building back up
Only to be torn down once more
From within

Glendan’s shock at the news nearly floored him. He was speechless for a few minutes before finally voicing his incredulity. It seemed apparent that the war they once fought – one that cost more than any could imagine, and that many naively thought would never happen again – would now get a sequel. How did this happen? Could it be stopped? If it couldn’t be stopped, could it be won?

And making things worse was that two of Seattle’s most powerful individuals, Tayli and Janifer, had turned against them and were as active as Geryman in preparing for a war against them. After the initial shock wore off, Glendan and Carenf sat and tried to piece together the motives of their former allies. It did not take long, for the motives of those with power are generally self-evident: they want more of it. Haiti Poe ran a small packaging plant and a few restaurants. Nothing too spectacular, but they were establishments that would fit nicely into Tayli’s expanding portfolio. Add in the bonus that Tayli regained the use of her legs and it looked to be a pretty good deal for her.

Janifer’s sacrifice of Micah Arun, however, was somewhat more complicated. Micah was the brother of Hanci, leader of Seattle’s largest drug syndicate by territory controlled. They oversaw relatively weak neighborhoods, however, and were not nearly as profitable as Janifer’s budding opium empire. That said, the neighborhoods she controlled were ripe for development (or rather destruction, given the product). Micah was one of Hanci’s many, many siblings and he played a fairly minor role within the organization. His death was meant to hurt Hanci, but it was also an act of symbolism, of cleansing, rebirth. Years ago, Janifer and Urissa fought over the affections of Micah Arun as children. That competition actually brought the two young women together, forging a friendship that would last until Urissa’s death. By bringing Micah to Geryman (the man responsible for Urissa’s demise), Janifer had shed that old life, those relationships. She was becoming someone much more powerful.

By absorbing these two sacrificial lives, Geryman had displayed a level of energy-transfer power they did not know was possible. Carenf and Glendan thought of their son. Aricame would be safe in Los Angeles, for now. They would contact him soon enough. First they needed to call Victor Strife.

Motives, at their core, are seldom complicated
Whatever the currency or rationalizations
Incentives are predictable; actions predetermined
Profit and loss provide the justifications