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Deal 1246: Stabbed.

Dead. How can I be dead?

When did this happen? Why? How?

There I was, simply minding my own business. At sea, of course. WHere else would I be?

Don’t answer that. I was at sea. And the seas can certainly be fickle and changeable. But the fish were biting, all was well.

Then, thunk.

Something had stabbed me through. Something had flown in out of a clear blue sky and calm waters and stabbed me in the back.

Thunk.

It was as if the sky and water had found a way to cooperate and kill me. A sea creature, flying.

Thunk.

I’ll never forget that hollow, echoing sound. The sudden appearance of a spike from my chest. The weight at my back pulling be over.

Splash.

And now, here I am. Dead. Sunk to the bottom. Apparently doomed to walk the seafloor. haunting this bit of anchor chain. Nothing for company but the occasional deep whale. Or starfish.

Darkness.

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Deal 1207: Pleasant dreams

Walking in the fresh air and avoiding tea houses for a few days seemed to have stopped the visions. At least for a time.

Then they returned with a vengeance, almost as if their source was aware that I had attempted to shut them off. The fact that I had done just that ate at me, and likely fueled their attack once it came. But then, I seem to be central to this tale, so perhaps that is just what must be.

The alternative is to be just a puppet dancing on the strings of an unseen puppeteer. As if I were nothing more than a character in someone else’s story. Worse, perhaps even designed with reactions calculated to advance the plot. But if that is the truth, it is unthinkable. So it cannot possibly be true.

I am not a puppet. I have free will, and freedom of action. My intentions will carry on past my own demise. I’ve seen to that.

When the letters I’ve left scattered to the winds are gathered together, the truth will be evident.

Of course, actually doing the heavy lifting myself to bring the bright light of justice on those that set me on my current path sounds like hard work, and I don’t have the patience for that any more.

So I leave it to the world to work out the details.

I’ll be here.

Here, battling the visions from the deeps. Deep time. Deep space. Deep water. Deep and dark places where men fear to tread. Places occupied by things better left in the dark. Things that want out. Things that want to step off the page and settle in other minds.

Things that might have found a new home, if my trap has worked.

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Deal 1155: Pandora’s mine?

A diamond mine is in many ways just an industrialized version of hope. Workers sweat in the darkness for the chance at surviving another day or two with a few spare dollars in their pockets. From their toil, the reward is the occasional sparkly prize. But even that doesn’t look like much more than occasionally shiny gravel until it has been cleaned, graded, cut, and polished.

At the end of the day, the product has value because it is rare and hard to find.

A value that the cartels reinforce through campaigns of intimidation against any who would find markets for the stones outside of their control.

The mine might as well be Pandora’s box. Wars break out over it. Men fight tooth and nail to control it. Lives are spent with abandon in its depths.

And yet, there is always hope.

At least until the mine is worked out.