My lord English,
Many a day has passed since the last congregation here at the General’s manor, so I write to you in haste with what I believe to be the final decision of Her Imperious Condescension. The empress has been losing her harsh grip on the reigns of society, as expected, due to the actions of the Wild Cards rebels; she has tolerated it so far, but the last straw has been placed and I do believe the camel’s back is now broken beyond repair. She is beginning to take extreme actions now, and she’s plotting something most interesting.
Do you know of clockwork beings, my Lord? Machines and contraptions working on nothing but the turning and twisting of gears, and the careful placement of both springs and cogs; they need no fuel or sustenance. Her Condescension is now striving to create a society where these clockwork beings, which she has lovingly named ‘Imperial Drones’ in one of her brief lapses of humor, lurk in the dark or walk in the open and dispose of those who do not fancy her rule. They would exist simply to rid the world of rebels and the unfavorable—this a hindrance to your future plans of acquiring the throne for yourself, is it not? I am ready to interfere with these plans if necessary.
The goings-on around me are the same, I must report. Mr. Makara, the son of the second General (I’m sure you know of the Grand Highblood, for the second General is he), has been visiting Dualscar’s brother at the most critical of times. Mr. Ampora and Dualscar both think he is just interested in Imperial affairs as he should be, albeit much more passively than what is deemed the norm. This is not the case I’m sure, as I’ve seen Mr. Makara furtively writing letters in the parlor after speaking with Mr. Ampora and Dualscar. He always gives his messages to my sister to deliver, but I’ve often relieved her of transporting these messages to see its contents for myself.
Karkat Vantas is his name; the one on the receiving end of these messages, and a member of the Wild Cards no doubt. The messages contain nearly the same information I have been providing for you, explaining the happenings at the various houses of high-ranking officials, and even going in depth on soldier schedules and planned culling raids. This leads me to believe that Mr. Makara has been a member of the Wild Cards for quite some time, especially with the informal phrases he use frequently when referring to this man.
Along with one of the other parlor maids here at Dualscar’s manor (Roxy Lalonde if you have forgotten since our last exchange of messages), Mr. Makara makes it two spies for the Wild Cards in the bosom of the Imperials. They must believe they are ahead of themselves, but I fear that is definitely not the case. For, you see, my Lord…
I have located a traitor within the rebel group.
They will prove to be a problem for the Wild Cards and may inflict a wound that would surely take months to mend. I do hope the rebels are able to weed the traitor our before that problem comes, or their efforts to stop Her Condescension will be hindered greatly. It may even be too late.
Alas, worrying about the future is not something I’ve time to do. The General must be catered to, and it’s high time I emerged from my quarters. Until next time, my Lord.
Your loving maid,
“Bao-yu,” the voice is almost too quiet to pick up, but the Handmaid, with her finely tuned hearing, is able to pick it up with ease. She looks up—it’s her younger sister Aradia, of course; only she knew of her actual name besides the General. She stands at the door to their shared quarters with her hands held behind her back and a knowing look in her eyes, with the ghost of a smile on her face.
“Are you writing another letter to Sir English?” She asked. Lord English was a man Bao-yu wrote to frequently under the guise of secretive courtship, and Aradia found it awfully romantic, if not a bit dangerous. Parlor maids were not allowed to be courted, and if Dualscar ever found out… The Handmaid nods, setting the quill in her hand down on the table. Aradia takes this silence as an okay to continue speaking, “the General is requesting you; he says he wishes for the parlor to be cleaned. General Highblood and Mr. Makara will be arriving soon.” She rocks easily on her heels before taking a step back. “I’m going to the kitchen to prepare some tea now. Yī huĭr jiàn.” With a bow and a turn, Aradia leaves the room.
If General Highblood was arriving, then they’d surely be going over more military plans. That meant that Mr. Makara would be writing another letter to that Vantas stranger, and that the Handmaid would probably have to include another page in her letter before she sent it to her Lord. That was okay, though; this happened often enough for her to get used to it. More information just meant an easier way to obtain the throne for her Lord, anyway.
With a small quirk of her lips, and a brief flutter of lashes, Bao-yu rises from her seat. It was time for a bit more reconnaissance, it seems.