Dear Boss,

That saying about Dead Men's Boots is being played out with alarming speed down here in Alameda. I was assigned to this chantry in May of last year and was barely one step up from the bottom of the totem pole. Now I'm the clan whip and second-in-command! Not bad progress for eight months - although it's meant bad news for our clan as our numbers are half what they were when I joined.

Amongst other advantages, I'm now the keeper of the chantry library, so I no longer have any problems with access to research materials. My latest batch of notes will be sent via the usual route and should be substantial enough to keep you happy for a while.

I wish I could say that pure research has been tying up my time, but that's not the case. This area is a cauldron of supernatural activity - which makes me wonder what Sacramento is thinking by reassigning my chantrymates all over the landscape. The current count includes demons, werewolves, Asian vampires (known as Cathayans), mages, hunters, a mystical barrier that none of us can name, let alone breach and let's not forget the dragon in San Francisco. And that's just what I've heard about. No doubt there's plenty more I haven't heard of.

And there's four, count us, four Tremere available to deal with all this. Naturally, the court is expecting us to have solutions to every magickal problem up our sleeve and get highly pissy with us when we explain that lasting solutions take time to accomplish. And do they remember us when it's all done? Like hell they do. Saving the world on a regular basis is apparently part of my job description now.

It's having an affect on me, Boss. You know me, I'm a follower - a superior gives orders, I take 'em. I have a purpose and direction, and I'm happy. But lately I've been bitten by the worm of ambition. Oh, all vampires have some ambition, of course but I've always been happy as the second banana - until now. I blame the rapid promotion through the ranks - at this rate, I'll either be chantry leader or dead by the first anniversary of my arrival. I won an increase in my clan status for something I considered a blatant failure, so god only knows what's going to happen when I actually pull off something impressive - not that that's an easy task.

Of course, I don't want to displace Merette, but I can't help but wonder why he's in this relatively podunk territory (so sayeth the Crown Princess of Podunk Chantries). Sure, there's the demons, dragons, et cetera, now, but they weren't here - or weren't detected, I should say - as of a year ago, and assigning someone of Merrette's stature to this territory reeks of overkill. I suppose he'll want to stay now that there's the chance of glory to be had.

So, if you're in a gambling mood, you had better put your money down on your favorite protégé being dust by May. Especially given the fact that there were at least two hunters (now deceased) infiltrating the court last night... And guess who gave one of them far too much information? If the elders get wind of that, I might not have a chance to enjoy my new status - although the bastard had the aura and manners of a vampire...

Sorry for the depressive bitchery, but current events haven't given me much to be cheerful about - just greedy. I wonder if ambition is the opposite of contentment? I really enjoyed our situation in Yakima - just the two of us doing our work and dealing with the occasional life-threatening crisis. I didn't want to leave the station, nor be promoted above you. Not to embarass you, but those years really were the best of my life, so far. Now I'm here in a full-blown court and I immediately start clawing for prestige and worrying about potential competitors.

I'm just growing up, aren't I? I'm sure the other neonates are riddled with ambition and paranoia as soon as they are Embraced, but I'm not going to resent my arrested development - if that's what I have. So I guess I had better quit looking back over my shoulder and get on with more important things. Wow, even when you're not with me, talking to you helps me see things clearly.

On other related topics, the Ventrue clan might finally become a force to be reckoned with - and, more importantly, an ally worth our clan's time. A new Primogen, Murdoch, was sent from Chicago and word has it that he started laying down the law with a very firm hand the moment he walked into court. Naturally, the elders love him - as opposed to his neonate predecessor who was elected to the post - and most of the neonates are cautiously optimistic. What can I say, we like firm leadership. Murdoch strikes me as an intelligent man and, if he can keep control of his new charges, I think the Tremere will be working with him in the future. The burgeoning Toreador presence has to be countered somehow.

Duty calls, as usual. I might be able to get some time to myself in the middle of February, I don't suppose you could haul yourself away from the outpost and meet me in Seattle?

Take care,
        Rebecca.

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