Gods, All I need right now is a major dose of Disappointment, nostalgia, and homesickness. Check. The responsibility for the destruction of a bank has been laid at my feet. My mother is missing under even more mysterious circumstances than first thought and all I can think about is sitting in Mother’s rocker stroking that damned cat. Alas, time to get to it. Mr. Laverty is waiting.
Shower. Infant soap doesn’t burn so much. Rinse. Air dry. Styptic ointment. BURN! Vomit. Brush teeth. Maintenance spells, and erase the astral traces. Drawers, socks, under tunic. Hair, warrior’s braid, just so. Short daggers in forearm sheaths, check.
It’s time to become the boogeyman again.
It nearly looks harmless hanging limp on the rack. It’s just fabric and silver, nothing horrible. It’s mostly a dark charcoal, the color that the eye actually perceives as black. The same color that elicits a deep seated fear of the dark.
We are the unknown in the dark, and we are not in your imagination.
First the breeches. Unadorned except for the finger’s width bloodstripe down the outer seam. Literally the color of arterial blood. High waisted, slim cut and fitted at the knee. Second button on the right knee, cyanide capsule, check.
Now the jackboots. Polished to a high gloss shine. Yes, they are steel toed. Yes, that have heel and sole irons. No, they are not hobnailed. No, they are not made from the flesh of puppies and small children. Puppy and child leathers would never be rugged enough to make a working boot like the jack. Ceramic stilettos in the inner brace, check.
Double check the Tunic. Branch and rank collar medals, polished and aligned. Ribbons, strait and in proper order. Shoulder heraldry on the right, up to regulation 5 years ago. The Crimson Aiguillette on the left untangled and hanging correctly. Left arm, right arm, raise it up and settle it on my shoulders. Check line and length. Nanowire garrote sewn into the collar, check. Lockpicks and tension tool sewn in left sleeve and aligned with cuff piping, check. Hand mirror in inner pocket, check. Button, clasp, pull, straighten. Check line and length.
Black parade belt at the waist. Cross belt over right shoulder. Holster and chromed sidearm on the right hip. Sword hanger on the left. Heraldic gorget, my sustaining focus, at the neck worn tight just below the tunic collar. Mirror shades with image link and ear bud, check.
Now I look like a monster, a captain in the Corp Intelligence Division. The Boogeyman. What I see in the mirror is what populates the nightmares of Garda personnel and politicos throughout the Tir. Void grey and crimson. Emotionless, pitiless, relentless. However, there are predators worse than CID operatives.
The vestiments of the Battlemagi, my vestiments. The outer shell is the same void grey as the rest of the uniform, the liner is arterial red silk and embroidered with silver thread in a unique and personal representation of the Battlemagus. No two are alike. The cloak is split into three sections. Two fall to the front on either side of midline. The third, falls to the ground the width of the shoulders. This leaves both arms, sword and sidearm of the magus free. The cowl is worn folded flat against the shoulders while indoors and is deep enough to impersonate Death itself while in the field. The full dress of a battlemagus represents one constant fact. They are weapons.
Now a battlemagus from CID is staring at me through the mirror. It is time to meet Mr. Laverty.
Once more onto the breach dear friends.