It was the eyes. Everything he thought he hid, safe behind stone walls of that poker face, was revealed through those eyes.
If you looked long enough.
Only ever a flicker, a brief shift from cold glass to molten crystal, but it was there.
Maybe he did know about that one weakness, he certainly made every effort to draw attention away from them, the clothing, the stance, everything done to either avoid attention, or distract to the point where you werent looking at him to see, but only to react.
Those eyes were a better barometer than attempting to read his body language. Hed learnt long ago how to control those, easily transforming and faking reactions, underlining threats, and suggestions with the right focus. It was easy to get drawn off track to what he wanted you to see, rather than what he actually felt.
Threat and counter-threat. Attack and parry. Reaction and response.
Even after years of experience looking for the out of place, the mistakes made, the clues, the evidence; its hard to see the real thoughts behind the mask.
But I didnt make it this far up in the federal food chain without learning some things.
I can read him. Sometimes. When the happenstance is moving too fast for him to think. When the events are shifting, sliding, merging, reacting too quickly for a proper response. When he falls back on ingrained instinct to solve problems, to manipulate the situation as best for his ideals as possible. That is when I can read him the best. When theres a fraction of a second of forethought. When he does not control the situation from the very start.
Thats been happening far too often recently. Maybe for the best.
Its obvious he doesnt believe entirely in either side. He knows what will be the result if the other wins, and the Truth? Too narrow a definition for the problem presented. Even I can see that. Nothing good will come from learning the Truth. It will present more questions than answers, which is why I never got onto that crusade, but tried to cushion the inevitable fall.
He will always choose what is best for him. That much is obvious. There havent been many in his life that would alter that perspective. Not enough influence to shift his worldview to more than the self. Most of those that could have are probably dead, by his hand, all the more to be able to control him.
Pity that control is eroding. Hes waking up to the problem, or perhaps he knew of the problem already, and was just biding his time before stepping out. Thats more likely. Hes the type to prepare well beforehand for any incident, planning out back doors and escape routes, backup plans for backup plans. Solutions to problems that may never happen, but wont catch him by surprise if they do.
After all, if you have no-one to fall back on, the only person you can depend for help when the chips are down, is you.
I have to admire that, yet, I also pity him for having to live like that. Always looking back over his shoulder, always having to plan for every contingency. Never having the luxury to stop and rest. Always moving, always changing, hiding, stealing away in the middle of the night.
He has to do things he dislikes, purely for the tactical advantages it gives him. Honour and integrity have never been hurdles hes had difficulty clearing, he only has to depend on himself to get through alive, and into a position of power where he can manipulate events to the best scenario for him. Yet that dislike that flashes every now and again, the slight and almost completely unnoticeable hesitation, shows he does have some level of those virtues, hes just trapped in a maze that prevents him from taking proper action to pay sufficient homage to his conscience.
all a product of what we live in. Some, more than others. Him, one of the more
thorough examples of the lot.
Back to index