I am Herodion Nicostratus, of House Nicostratus. I am the son of Lucan Nicostratus, celebrated militant and planetary governor of Caerus Ekho. I am a brilliant and canny socialite. And my life is in absolute shambles. Completely and utterly. Destroyed beyond recognition. I am writing this entry from the brig of the Collateral Damage. The brig. I’ve signed away my life to another, one of the few people I considered a friend on this ship rendered my face a swollen mass of purple and blue and very nearly tried to kill me, and I haven’t slept properly in days due to lash wounds. Another memento of one of Draque’s lessons. I don’t know how many more of them I can take, Diary. I’m not sure how many more I can survive. But I will not bend. I must not break. I would sooner die than give that man the satisfaction.
No, as Kavik is so fond of reminding me, I am his. Now both Lord and Seneschal of House Draque. If he is going to make the mistake of giving me that power and responsibility, without truly understanding the magnitude of its weight, well then I intend to use it to my full advantage. And why not? Ostensibly, in the grandest scheme of things, what benefits me will benefit him. And, goodness knows, nothing I’ve done to this point has been to my own advantage since I set foot on this miserable ship. No, if I’ve learned one thing from my father, it’s that the true sign of an effective leader is one for whom his subjects believe it was their own idea to follow. Kavik reads like an open book. It should be an easy game. And when I have made this house great, when I have comfortably ensconced myself in all the power, luxury, glory, and riches to which I ought be accustomed, only then will he be made to realize that without me his empire is nothing.
Politics on this ship is not so different as politics at home, Diary. It is all a game—and I mean to win.