"I'm telling you, this is the wrong course of action! The longer we wait, the further we allow this situation to deteriorate, the worse the damage becomes. If we don't act soon, the Masquerade will be shattered and we will face the possibility of an Inquisition even more vicious than the last!" Veldana slammed her fist against the table, looking around the conference room at her fellow council members. It was clear her words had reached a few of them. Bernhardt and Rizzolo seemed particularly unnerved; unlike many of the others present, they had not only lived during the first Inquisition, they had endured it. They had no desire to try their luck a second time.
However, the remainder of the council remained unimpressed. Morentz raised a gloved hand and assumed the floor, a calm, reassuring expression on his pale, gaunt face. "Lady Deschaine, I promise you, your fears are groundless. The situation is hardly 'deteriorating'; it is in fact completely within our control. The Bolsheviks' power continues to grow, thanks to Grigori's manipulations behind the scenes. And the German Nationalist Party is perfectly safe under our thumb. That upstart, Hitler, has the potential to become a thorn in our side, yes, but we have already pointed him to the direction of the Thule Society. Once he is initiated into their little club, he will be fed enough misinformation to eliminate any danger he may have posed. We have the Kine precisely where we want them: tottering on the brink of war. They will be so busy killing one another, how could they possibly manage a Second Inquisition?"
Veldana shook her head, her eyes on the table in front of her. "I warn you, Radu. You underestimate the Kine greatly; they grow smarter with every generation. Our goal should be to encourage them to grow fat, weak and complacent, yet you seem to insist on making them stronger. And they will grow stronger, Radu; already they breed like rodents, and their technology gains by leaps and bounds. At this rate, they will learn of our existence within a century, two at the most."
"All the more reason to cull their numbers now! And this time, we shall not be as sloppy as we were 300 years ago. We have no need of plagues or pestilence; the Kine will do the work for us. And even better, we have cultivated their faith in science and reason to such a degree that the very idea of vampires is now dismissed as ridiculous superstition. How, or why, should they even suspect our existence, let alone our involvement? No, Lady Deschaine. Our most effective option is to steer the world into a second Great War, one that we shall orchestrate. It shall be a symphony of death, and it shall ring for thousand years!"
A smattering of applause broke out among the court, and Veldana cradled her head in her hands. "You fools," she whispered. "You'll destroy us all..."