It’s been a couple of weeks since that extraordinary conversation with Mariah. And despite what she said, despite my decision, despite the training since then…I still can’t entirely believe it. I certainly don’t *feel* like a heroine. Indeed, how *can* I consider myself one, when I’ve yet to truly best Dr. Obolensky? (Except, perhaps, at the ball in May.) Isn’t a heroine supposed to rescue townsfolk, not the other way around?
And isn’t a heroine supposed to make things better? Mariah has been bringing me the news and rumors of the feud involving the Underbys, the Melniks, Dr. Berithos, Miss Lia, Miss Stargirl, and…well, a host of others. I desperately want to step in and end this *somehow.* But that’s not the role of the Militia. Unless, or until, someone is murdered–and not necessarily even then–I can’t interfere without at least one of the parties coming to us for assistance. And given the lot involved, that’s not going to happen. I can only hope that when the explosion–whether metaphorical or actual, only time will tell–comes, it won’t damage too much of the city.
Despite my doubts, though, I’m continuing my training, though its nature has changed. While there is still physical training, with fighting and marksmanship, Mariah is teaching me…other things. She’s started with what engineering she knows–which, she’s admitted, isn’t much. But she’s gotten in touch with an old shipmate and asked him to come and visit for a while, and teach me what he knows. As she said, Dr. Obolensky’s métier is in mechanics, so I’d best know at least the basics of how his creations work.
But Mariah’s also been teaching me…well, etiquette, for lack of a better term. The ways I can expect him, as a “Traditional” Villain, to act–the monologues, the posturing, the maniacal laughter, and the traps. Especially the traps. And she’s also teaching me how I, as a “Traditional” Heroine, should act and react in turn. Which, apparently, I’d already been doing to an extent. Mariah keeps teasing me by saying that my mother must have been reading penny dreadfuls while she was pregnant with me. It’s a strange thing to be studying, though–and the more we do so, the *less* natural it feels. I wonder if it’ll be like my unarmed combat practice, and at some point, it’ll snap back from unnatural to natural.
All in all, though, the whole thing still seems strange. We’ll just have to see what happens when Dr. Obolensky and I cross paths again.