The cabal had returned a short while before from that fiasco in Los Angeles. One of the greatest cities in the world, very nearly wiped out, the responsibility for its salvation falling into the hands of… well, as improbable and potentially incompatible a group of people as she was likely to find anywhere outside of her own family.
While she knew that Steve and maybe some of the others credited her with the victory over the HIT Mark, she was still beating herself up over how she had nearly killed an ally by mistake shortly after that victory. She regretted her own paranoia and slowness to believe that the blond Technocrat had in fact been planted by Devin. Why hadn’t he let the cabal know about this? It would have prevented the woman from almost having her throat ripped out, and averted some vicious words and hurt feelings as well.
Worse yet, she and Steve had, thanks to a case of rampant paranoia and mistaken identity, actually killed two of the guardians of Four Winds Chantry the day before. Apparently she had a gift for putting the “friend” in friendly fire. Steve had gone out of his way to take all of the blame for that mistake and divert the heat from Linda, which made her feel even worse… especially given how antagonistic he had been to Devin and the Four Winds people over the issue.
Linda had other things to do, and she knew that she was using remorse over an honest mistake to distract herself from something else. That mission had been far, far too close a thing. She had too much to do yet before she could afford to allow herself to die. This would not do.
“You gotta stop puttin’ this thing off, Eel,” Linda scolded herself, pacing in her Spartan quarters in the dark. “At least get a message inna bottle out inta the world, ya stupid girl.” She paused and looked at her laptop, then clambered into bed to take up a cross-legged position there. One long spidery arm snaked out and scooped up the laptop, bringing it to her. She flipped the device open and brought it out of slumber, then paused and covered her face with her long-fingered hands, breathing heavily. “You c’n do this. You c’n do this. Then, if somethin’ happens to ya, then maybe that perfessor an’ his friends’ll know what t’look for,” she whispered to herself and took several deep breaths before removing her hands from her face and opening her eyes.
In a swift series of motions, she connected her headset and boom mic then activated the voice recording program. The glow of the monitor illuminated her pale face from below as she spoke.
“Mah name is Linda Lee, and through mah veins runs the blood’a murderers, madmen an’ monsters. It seemed best t’get this straight out there ‘fore Ah tell y’all anything else ‘bout mahself…”