Living Water

Early in her second year as a lay student with the alchemists, and six months before she drops out for the first time.

“How can you not believe in something, and you a mathematician?” They’re smoking shitty cigarettes over shitty beers in a windowless students’ bar and arguing about faith. Markfeet is five years older than the journeymen and has nearly a decade on her fellow apprentices, so none of it is especially revelatory.

“How d’you mean?”

“Y’put your hand on the wellspring of the world, man! You’ve been hip deep in the machinery of life, how can you see all that spinning work and not believe?”

She’d learned the basics from watching the hoodoo work in her days fighting back and forth across Maplewood, and of course from working with Forensics, so that puts her up on a lot of the tiny chicks she hangs with, but all of that’s practical knowledge, not theory.

“Hell, I believe in plenty. I believe there’s a rule and an order to life, and that it’s only time and hard work that keeps us from knowin’ it. Don’t know as I need to follow a creed to believe in that. Don’t know as what I’d do with that sort of believin’.”

She’s more interested in the how than the why, and that’s maybe the difference between the real scholastics and her, but it’s all smoke and endless conversation to her. Her throat burns with tobacco and her stomach aches with weak beer. She dreams of blood in the streets and the clean logic of murder.