Dear Boss,

The Tremere couriers have the worst sense of timing... It's not that I'm not glad to hear from you, but your letter arrived at the > worst time.

The last few days have been a bit rough. An egomaniacal Mage - the self-styled Dr. Chaos - managed to round up the neonates (myself included, dammit) and held us hostage until an item that had been taken from him was returned. The details aren't relevant, but his threat to destroy everyone was valid (take a look at the copy of the Oakland Magus Report I sent you a couple of months ago) and it took some serious scrambling to placate him.

Of course, no-one was happy to hear that the Ventrue had been sitting on the device for nearly six months, while this Dr. Chaos raised merry hell in the area with his demands. He was far more of a threat to Masquerade than the greenest neonate in court. He's dead now, and some of the culpable Ventrue might not be too far behind him - I can hope.

The clan didn't cover itself with glory. In fact, it's my opinion that we came out of it looking like fools. There was nothing we could to to combat Chaos' magicks and, somehow, one of our own clan members went missing during the fray.

As you might imagine, Merette is on the warpath.

And then your letter showed up, and what a cheerful little missive it was, too.

Dammit, boss, I'm moving as fast as I can on those matters you want researched but the materials you want are restricted. Down here, that means more than being kept in a locked case... I have to wait until the librarian is feeling frazzled and is willing to let me relieve her for a few hours. Once I've circumvented any alarms on the shelves - physical, magical and bureaucratic - then I can start opening books and taking notes for you.

Merrete's already noticed, and I think it's only because he's got far more important things to worry about that he's even listened to my excuse of curiosity. Curiosity about nature sprites is one things - I'm studying Spirit Magic with him, off and on - but curiosity about demons is entirely other. If he seriously pushes me, he's going to learn the truth.

And why do you need me do all this? Why can't you do an inter-chantry requisition and get it legitimately? And don't tell me it's simply 'intellectual curiosity, that's not going to hold any more water with me than it will with Merette. If you were just passing curious about demonic pacts and practices, you wouldn't be pushing me to dig up a copy of Maleficus Malfarium or those half-dozen other epics of Bad Advice...

Wait, scratch that. I don't want to know why you're on this kick. It's probably best if I don't know. But damn it, I worry about you, and I can't help wondering what you're hoping to gain from this research.

The least you can do is help me cook up a better story for Merrete, rather than bitching at me about my apparent lack of progress. If Merrete decides I'm dabbling in things Kindred Are Not Meant To Know, he'll lock those materials up in his private chambers, and there's no way I would be able to get hold of them after that - and don't you even dare suggest how I could. The last thing I need is a slew of ethics charges levelled against me...

I'm sorry, I'm taking my anger at the local mess out on you, I shouldn't do that.

I'll keep working, but I don't think I'm going to be able to make it my highest priority until we find out what's happened to the missing chantry mate...

Look after yourself, you coldhearted bastard.


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