Salva’s Taboo Exchanges III

This chapter contains references to violence, sex, medical conditions.


 

[Clipping from the Newspaper Il Guardiano]

15 KILLED IN BOMBING OUTSIDE ESTATE

22nd of the Aster’s Gloom, 2030 D.C.E.

PALLADI — Over a hundred young socialites gathering for a ball at the Previte estate were shocked out of their festive mood and hurried out the back and side gates of the villa as a series of explosions rocked the front gates late into the night of the 22nd.

Fifteen people were killed as a pair of trucks carrying explosives detonated in front of the main estate gate.

Among the dead are servants of the Previte family, and more tragically, the heirs of the Ciprean and Corsican noble families, who were just checking in at the gate, having been terribly delayed by engine troubles with their private car, when the attacks transpired.

Eyewitnesses claim to have seen the trucks speeding down an adjoining road in a collision course with the gate.

Authorities have not disclosed any possible suspects, but it is believed that this was not a suicide bombing and that the men responsible are at large. No remains were found in the vehicles, and it is possible that the trucks were rigged to crash and the drivers escaped safely beforehand.

The grizzly character of this attack, and its target, brings to mind the Ikrean massacre of the Dahlia’s Fall, where General Autricus, his family and his guests celebrating a birthday party for their adult son, were attacked with petrol bombs and explosive grenades, and tragically murdered.

The Ikrean attacks are widely believed to have been the work of a cell of Svechthan and Ayvartan terrorists.


TELEGRAM INTERCEPT RECORD, 17th BLACKSHIRT LEGION, 67mo Battaglione Di Segnales 

DATE: 22nd GLOOM 2030 0900H

TO: Carmela Sabbadin

FROM: Salvatrice Vittoria

TEXT: [WOULD LIKE TO ARRANGE PHONE CALL SOON. DOING WELL. LOOKING FORWARD TO INVESTING IN ANTIOCH. WOULD FEEL PROUD TO BE A SIGNIFICANT SHAREHOLDER.]

NO DANGEROUS MATERIAL DISCOVERED.

APPROVED BY LEGATUS TARKUS MARCEL.


PHONE CALL INTERCEPT RECORD, 17th BLACKSHIRT LEGION, 67mo Battaglione Di Segnales 

DATE: 22nd GLOOM 2030 1600H

TO: Antioch Fuels, Line 5

FROM: Pallas Messianic Academy, Line 42

TRANSCRIPT:

SLV: Afternoon.

CML: Hello! Good to hear your voice.

SLV: Indeed. How is business?

CML: Oh, a fine mess, both fine and a mess.

SLV: Sad to hear. I had hoped to call under better circumstances.

CML: Oh, it is fine, it is fine.

SLV: So, about those um, those shares.

CML: [Sighing (?)] I received your accounting information and unless you offer a bit more then I’m afraid we’re about done here. The Market’s the Market I’m afraid.

SLV: Oh, I’m sorry to hear. [Crying? Laughing?]

CML: Maybe if you put up more money next time.

SLV: There are limits to what I want to spend.

CML: That’s too bad then. Would’ve liked to have you.

SLV: Perhaps some other time. [Hang.]

“SLV” REBUFFED FROM SHAREHOLDER POSITION. SLV KNOWS CML FROM SOCIAL FUNCTIONS, DEVELOPED INTEREST IN BUSINESS TRANSACTION WITH HER.

SLV SUFFERS FROM SOCIAL ANXIETY, MILD DEPRESSION, OTHER ISSUES. TONE, VOCABULARY ANALYSIS INDICATES NOTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY FOR HER.

NO FURTHER INVESTIGATION REQUIRED.

NOTES: THIS IS BELIEVED TO BE A CONVERSATION BETWEEN SALVATRICE VITTORIA AND CARMELA SABBADIN. SEAL CLASSIFICATO,  PRIORITA ROSSA. DEBRIEF ALL LEGIONARIUS INVOLVED WITH THIS RECORD IN PROTOCOLS FOR ROYAL COMMUNICATIONS.

APPROVED BY LEGATUS TARKUS MARCEL


23rd of the Aster’s Gloom, 2030 D.C.E

Beloved Salva,

What an intolerable telegram, and what an intolerable phone conversation; I understand that we must maintain a low public profile, but Messiah defend that was so lifeless I wanted to cry and laugh at the same time. I hope the Blackshirt listening in dies of a brain aneurysm.

At least it ended my worries about you. You sounded good on the line.

So, let’s talk about things taboo.

Sylvano left quite an impression on me! I know you have no interest in men, so I must say, as one who does — you’ve somehow managed to be both the man of my dreams and the woman of my dreams! I am not even being figurative. I had a dream, in the cold uneasy sweat while I waited for news about the bombing and about your health, where I was with you, both of you (yous?). It was incredible. I woke the next morning soaked, in toe-curling, lip-biting shame.

We neared that heat in life, that night. But of course, something had to conspire.

I’m not sure if you know, or can know, at the Academy — but I discovered, tapping a friend of mine whose brother is a legionnaire, that the bombing was carried out by the Svechthan and Ayvartan terrorists also responsible for the Ikrean massacre. Truly dreadful people. And it appears the Legion are no closer to stopping them than they have been before. It’s frightening, they are definitely targeting the moneyed folk among us. Hopefully we shall be able to experience each other more fully before they blow us to bits someday.

Anyway. Enough about that. We saw it, we were scared, we ran, we survived, it’s done. I’m done with it. I’d rather focus on us. Oh I feel so naughty just thinking these thoughts, Salva. I hope your skin shivers reading my little fantasies as much as mine has shivered writing them.

Next time though, I want to see you in a dress. Let’s damn them all and hold hands woman to woman! I’m feeling daring, aren’t you? If you want I shall be your Knight, as you were mine!

Waiting longingly for our next rendezvous;

Carmela Sabbadin


POSTAL INTERCEPT RECORD, 17th BLACKSHIRT LEGION, 67mo Battaglione Di Segnales 

DATE: 23rd GLOOM 2030 0500H

TO: Pallas Messianic Academy, Room R-13

FROM: Pallas Endocrinology Research Institute

TYPE: PACKAGE, NOTE

CONTENTS: Bottle of “Estrarin” pills. Treatment for “Hormonal Imbalances” in women.

A handwritten note, reads: [Ms. Vittoria, thank you again for your patience. We have introduced new methods to extract the needed hormone that have allowed us to create more concentrated dosages that I believe may help to combat your symptoms. This breakthrough in production should allow us easily to restore you to a balanced state consistent with a woman your age, something the previous concentrations of the medicine could not do. Please keep in touch and report any abnormalities immediately — Dr. Alighieri.]

PACKAGE APPROVED AND ALLOWED TO ITS DESTINATION. TRANSACTION DETAILS NOW SEALED CLASSIFICATO Priorita Rossa AS PER ROYAL ORDER “SALVATRICE.”

THE INSTITUTE HAS ALREADY BEEN DEBRIEFED ON THE ROYAL ORDER.

APPROVED BY LEGATUS TARKUS MARCEL


 

24th of the Aster’s Gloom, 2030 D.C.E

Beloved Carmela

We must endure such phone calls and telegrams for our own safety, I’m afraid.

I apologize for leaving you so abruptly at the party. Were I to be caught and interview by a Legionnaire it would have been possible for them to notice that I was Salvatrice Vittoria with my breasts bound, my hair dyed; even without those things I already am fairly similar to Sylvano. My greatest defense in costume has been that Salvatrice Vittoria is a taboo person in general. Royalty and Bourgeois alike have learned that my blood is worth nothing, and my name not worth knowing. Though they will treat me otherwise to my face, I am an invisible thing in the end, one that confers no advantage. I take advantage of this whenever I can, but it has its limits.

I’m feeling a little more energetic lately, I feel. I’ve received new medicine for my moods and flashes and lethargy. I must admit it has brought with it its fair share of candid dreams as well. I’m fond of your suggestion to be my knight — I wonder how you would look in a suit.

Though I think you’ve a much more womanly figure than I, so it might be difficult to pull off!

But I want to encourage your good mood, so make your plans. I have trust in you.

I hope the Previte sisters are doing well after this terrible affair. They seem like darling people.

I have something a bit more serious to ask you in addition.

My interest in the war has grown. I’ve been meaning to read about socialism and Ayvartan history. I have started, but it is difficult. I might join the reading society here in the Academy, and maybe the debate society, and see what I can glean from them. Some of this I feel I need to have explained to me — because from the admittedly cursory glances I have had with the material, I do not see why Socialism would lead the Ayvartans and Svechthans into conflict with us. I do not see why it would spur us to war with them and them to terrorize us. I want to understand; one day, it is possible I may be Queen, despite all the obstacles against me, despite my mother’s current silence, despite the ambiguity of my birth. When that day comes I need to know why we are all fighting.

So, my request: there are books banned from the Academy, that I think you as a private, moneyed citizen could find ways to acquire. Find a way, through your friends or agents, to purchase these books. There will be a list attached. Then leave them somewhere hidden for my agent — a bit more meticulously than you hide these letters for him, if at all possible. I felt so helpless after the bombings at the estate — and I feel that this knowledge is the first step out of that trap.

Joining the shooter’s club is my second step.

Forever both your prince and princess;

Salvatrice Vittoria


SEGNALE D’ALLARME ROSSA

POSTAL INTERCEPT RECORD, 17th BLACKSHIRT LEGION, 67mo Battaglione Di Segnales 

DATE: 26th GLOOM 2030 1000H

TO: Salvatrice Vittoria

FROM: Clarissa Vittoria

TEXT: [Dearest sister, though I have known you not since the ambiguity of your birth, I plead to you now as my only hope for restoration. Travel to Ikrea within the month and the means to save me from this humiliating prison of robes and rods, where I am treated like a child without control of my own body, will become clear to you. However, should you decide to remain a stranger to me, I would not blame you, for I know our mother has manipulated us, one to disdain the other, and that her neglect of you has been far the worse. There is no just God anymore to whom I can pray — so I merely wish, then, that this arrives in your hands.]

CONTENT DEEMED INADMISSIBLE. STEPS TAKEN: LETTER PREVENTED FROM REACHING DESTINATION, REPORTED TO 17th LEGION COMMAND AND TO THE CONVENT OF SAINT ANASTASIA DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE AS PER ROYAL ORDER “CLARISSA.”

THE 34th BLACKSHIRT LEGION IN IKREA WAS ALSO NOTIFIED AND ALERTED.

THE INTERCEPTED LETTER CARRIER, PAOLO CORSAIRO, KNOWN FELON, RESISTED ARREST. LETHAL FORCE WAS AUTHORIZED AND EMPLOYED AS PER LEGION ORDER 8B.

APPROVED BY LEGATUS TARKUS MARCEL


 

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