The Black Mantis´Journal

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From the journals of the Black Mantis, notes on the Century Club:

... but to truly know oneself, one must subject one´s mind to the merciless scalpel, peeling away layer after layer of assumption until the truth is laid bare before ones eyes. It is a grim task, but I feel richer for it; after all, how could I hold myself to a lesser standard than what I expect of others? Lies, comfortable little lies, are everywhere. Peddlers in the temple of the mind. I will cast them out, then, by subjecting myself to analysis every night - to prune my mind of lies and excess sentimentality - to stay pure of heart and intent. I must never rest.

Tonight, the Century Club.

It would be a disservice to start off with anyone but the Vox. Straddling two cultures and drawing strength from both, he is a remarkable man. Instead of allowing the mysticism of his mentor´s culture to infect his mind with magical thinking, he manages to use it as a strength - to apply its´ superscientific principles to scientific thought. As much as I can grant my trust completely to any man, he has it.

Antonius, Prince of Mars - ha! Full of color and boast, this character - undoubtedly a hero, but definitely one that could do with slowing down and taking a long, hard look at the necessities of life. He constantly derides me for taking things too seriously. How little he knows. There is more to him than that, though; much like myself, he knows loss and the focus to be gained by harnessing it. His might is useful - and age might grant him the discipline that he lacks today.

Professor Excelsior is a scientist and a gentleman. No one can doubt his brilliance, though I am personally of two minds about the inventor. A brilliant mind can be the spawning ground for great danger, and one such as his should be watched at all times. Then, how does one watch someone who is able to grasp concepts beyond your reach? I will have to wait and see. As he stands today, he is a force of enlightenment. I very much hope that he will remain as such; he´s an invaluable resource and a well-meaning enough man.

Next in line is the graceful la Maupin. Competent, independent and utterly fearless - is she a woman or a force of nature? She certainly seems to transcend the mores of this age as well as her own - and it is no mean feat to be able to match blades with the Martian. A woman of supreme integrity, she is a credit to the Club. If anything, I find it hard... but I digress. There is more to be said, and one needs to rein oneself in - poetry is the vestige of a muddled mind and will get you nowhere.

I would be hard pressed not to express my views on the so-called Spring-Heel Jack, for the young Mister Whydon is both intriguing and infuriating. He has great potential, but tarnishes it with the base ambitions of a criminal. In his way, he is the final retort to people who say that I strive to uphold the law, not justice - if this were true, young Jack would not be among us. As I said, the boy has potential, but he needs to be watched. He thinks that I hate him, and perhaps this assumption is for the best for the time being.