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Condition Report: Market Precinct PDF Print Email
From: Daguerros, Acting Commander, Market Precinct
To: Leonika, Captain, HQ
Re: Condition Report

The situation here is no better than last week. Over my objection, the bazaar merchants have been openly recruiting for thugs to watch their stalls. They reply that since we cannot put enough feet on the street to keep them safe, they are forced to look elsewhere. I can't argue. But they're just as likely to be shaken down as saved by the seedy lot I see hanging around the shops these days. Besides, our peddlers here have had it surprisingly good. Even with the city gone crazy, people are surprisingly content to buy and sell as though nothing has happened. Sure, we have had a few tense moments—a couple of women nearly ripped each other's head off over a second-hand fez yesterday—but things are still quiet, for the most part.

Even the rationing center has been more peaceful than I expected. Maybe more folks had food stashed away than I realized, or maybe the campaign to keep the public kitchens and bakeries stocked has helped keep the ration lines short. (My wife says it keeps things feeling more normal.) Or maybe folks just aren't desperate enough to come for their handouts yet.

No, the real problem is still the street war brewing right under my nose. As though anyone could give a ratty llama hide about having a "noble house." Here! In Mal Nassrin! I swear, they must think we're living 400 years ago.

And I don't know which is worse—Carasia, for being generally horrible and grasping, or Archelus, for suffering her as long as he has and letting her become a real threat. Things have gotten ugly, fast. In just the past few months the Vlastos and Pakourianus have gone from petty sabotage to fighting in broad daylight! They used to come to us complaining that the other poisoned a dog or stole away a mural painter. Now, we find bodies. Something is going to have to be done about these two houses, but both are better armed than our precinct even when it was at full strength.

This was my final report, Captain. I told you that our numbers were too small to maintain discipline and readiness, and I meant it. Had you sent me the extra men I requested, or even the extra ration chits, I might have held things together. But with half the squad dead on Wasteland Day, and the other half slowly but surely drifting away to spend more time with their families in case this really is The End, I find less and less reason to put on your colors every morning.

The strongbox delivered with this letter contains half of the precinct's remaining cash on hand, minus the messenger fee. Consider the remainder my hazard pay.

Lahan's bounty to you,