October 8, 2009

Remebering why we left home

November 27th

We had all relocated into Maury's domain. The first night I stepped foot down there, helping with the moving, I approached him and asked what was going on. I knew he had something to do with my lost memories. But he looked at me very seriously and told me that he would explain everything when we became settled. And that had to be good enough for now. I certainly couldn't force him to tell me.

So tonight was that night. Roughly an hour after sunset he summoned us to dinner. There was a table set for us all in his library. The walls were lined with what looked like personal journals. Thousands of them. Each setting had a plated dinner and wine, with the exception of him and myself. Our plates were empty. It was a nice gesture, and very unexpected. He had done his best to cook for those of us who still ate food. We could tell that he was rather rusty (its completely possible he had not cooked in centuries) and all the food had originally been one type of canned good or another. But it was appreciated, and no one was rude enough to make any negative comment about the dinner.

When we were all seated Maury began the conversation.

"Please, converse... feel free to discuss anything you wish, except what brought you here. That will be discussed soon. For now, let us have a pleasant evening."

Too bad that's all I could think about. I fought to find something else to talk about to avoid sitting in silence and brooding darkly. I owed him that much.

"Why do you live down here? How long have you been here?"
Maury inclined his head, formulating his answer. I had started to notice the older ones did that more, picking and choosing every word carefully..
"I have been down here for many decades, I would have to consult my journals to give you an exact date. I relocated down here because I became tired of the politics of the kindred world. I have no use for them. I would have been the Prince of the City had I desired it, but I did not."

I made a disgusted noise. "I feel the same way."
Maury regarded me, disbelieving. "Really? Your design to pit Scratch and Rowan seems rather clever. What exactly would you call that if not politicking?"

I stiffened. "And how did you know about that?"
Maury made a dismissive gesture. "The number of people who know about that can be counted on a single hand. You should not worry. But the feat is impressive, though I imagine it is to be expected, considering your sire."

"I'm more concerned with who those few people are, rather than the actual number..." I grumbled.
Giovanni cut in. "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. C'mon Harper, you know it has to be a challenge if its going to impress Giuseppe."
I glared at him. "I never said I was trying to impress Giuseppe."
He just grinned that ingratiating grin. "You didn't have too."
Maury answered in my place. "I do believe that in this case, It is less the apple falling from the tree, and more accurately that the first apple sought out another that had already fallen in a similar fashion to itself. Isn't that right, Miss O'shea?"

I smirked and nodded. "You know, there was a time I would have argued that point. Seems rather pointless now." and it was true. Giuseppe had chosen me because in many ways, I reminded him of himself. Scary thought. If someone had suggested we were similar before my embrace I very well might have taken a swing at them. Now it was something of a point of pride. He was, after all, exceptionally effective.

"I have no issue with accommodating Rowan. We have an agreement, she is down here often. However, I will not allow Scratch," he said his name as though it was a curse. "in my domain, or anywhere close to it."
I nodded slowly. "I understand."
"No. No you do not." He said vehemently.
I blinked. Well damn. he seemed to hate Scratch more than most people. And Scratch didn't seem to be a very well liked vampire as it was.

Gio cut in before the moment became too awkward. "Do you know anything about the living dead?"

Maury looked at him like he was an idiot. "You work with one on a daily basis do you not?"

Gio frowned and muttered to himself, "Surely it can't be that simple..."
"What is it that you are seeking?"
"I am trying to make a homunculus, like Yousef had, and one of the materials I need is 'the blood of the living dead'. I suspected it was more complicated than just the blood of a normal vampire, seeing as the other materials were pretty damn hard to come by."
Maury stood and walked over to a section of bookcase and after a moment of searching pulled out one of the journals. He flipped it to a page and handed it to Giovanni.

'We passed by the river, and a homeless man stood there holding a sign that read 'Injured in Vietnam'

I might have believed him if I had not seen him holding a similar sign after the first world war.'

He sat back down at the head of the table. He turned his attention to Nadi, who had been silent up until this point. "I hear you have been doing some very interesting research. Can you explain to us what you have been pursuing?"

Her look was questioning and she spoke cautiously. "Polish immigrants, specifically ones who came over after being held in concentration camps. Those who also spent time in Cook County Asylum."

She hadn't mentioned anything like that before...

"Is there a specific person you were following?" Maury asked, rather pointedly.

"A traveler...one who supposedly died in Auschwitz, but then there is record of his crossing to this city."

Something was scratching at the back of my head. There was something about that...

"Yes... and what was his name?" His inflection was more of an order, and less of a question.

Nadi nodded understanding while she spoke. "His name was Joseph Traveler..."

And everything went nuts. Everyone but Nadi and Maury experienced a small seizure. I saw hundreds of images flash over my vision, jumbled, nonsensical, and felt a wash of emotions all at once to go along with them. Frustration, fear, embarrassment, intense gratefulness, sadness and most of all, outrage. I don't know how long I was out while my mind pieced together my stolen memories and played them back to me like a movie.

The pandoran jumped out the window and dashed down the street. Nobody followed it out the window, running high on adrenaline. Nadi, Icegalos and I followed. I was still in the throws of a controlled frenzy, so I would've gone after the thing with or without them. Nobody tracked it into the sewers, and the three of us followed, Icegalos remained on the surface.

Then we lost the creature. Neither Nobody or I could track it down there. We moved through the darkness, Nobody wore night vision goggles, and I could see in the dark. God knows how Nadi was finding her way. We went only a few hundred yards when we heard footsteps and humming.

The humming got closer. I remembered tensing as a figure holding a light came down the tunnel. But it wasn't the pandoran. It was a man wearing an old, dirty straight jacket with the sleeves untied and pushed up to his elbows, and dirty bare feet making soft noises on the concrete as he approached. I vaguely recall him touching Nobody's shoulder and the changeling sinking against the wall, eyes wide, pupils dilated. The he said something to me, and kissed my forehead. I instantly dropped from my frenzied state, long enough to make eye contact, then my flight instinct kicked in and I took off running down the tunnel.

I don't know how far I went before I came back to myself. I fucking hated fox frenzies... always made me feel like a little bitch. I was alone in the tunnel, but I could hear voices coming from behind me. No screams.. or sounds of a fight.. though Nadi's voice sounded thready with fear, which was alarming. Like I said before- her poker face is usually ridiculous.

I took off at a run back down the tunnel. I came across Nobody slumped against the wall staring at nothing. I slapped him once (though to be honest he seemed to be snapping out of it already. I just try not to waste my opportunities).

"You okay?" I asked belatedly.
"Yeah.. I think so.. where is Nadi?"
"I'm over here." her quiet voice echoed from a few yards away.

I helped him up and we walked down the tunnel until we saw her sitting with her back to the wall, she seemed wound tight. "It's us." I didn't want her to freak out when I touched her shoulder. I helped her up and we started walking back to the exit ladder. "What the hell happened?"

"That guy, he touched everyone, Nobody went catatonic, you took off, and I felt claustrophobic. I followed him. He was barefoot and he looked like he was wearing one of those old fashioned straight jackets. He said he had given us his blessing, 'What he feeds off of, what she seeks to understand, and what you fear' was what he said, but didn't elaborate. He said he was a traveler..."

I turned the riddle over in my head.. Nobody fed off strong emotion, I sought to understand the beast, and I didn't have a damn clue what Nadi was afraid of. The straight jacket made me think of Cook County Asylum, which led my train of thought to the coffin we had found, the one Prince Maxwell had been so eager to get his hands on... the one that led us to the name Malcov...

When we reached the surface Icegalos was arguing with someone familiar. It was the man from my vision. The one who had rescued the lizard statue from the burning house. The large man turned and stormed off. Icegalos didn't look happy.

"What was that about?" I asked.
"The creature was his creation. I told him he was foolish to leave it in such a vulnerable place. He had not been aware of Al- Makkour's passing or else he might have retrieved the statue.." Icegalos explained, staring after the departing man.

We all walked back to the shop. Rebecca and Gio questioned us when we got back, so we explained. I stepped outside and dialed Prince Maxwell's number. One of the benefit of being considered a hero of the city, the Prince's personal number. (Even if Norris picked it up half the time anyway).

"It's Harper. I ran into an interesting character tonight that reminded me of that casket that we found in the lake. I saw him down in the sewer. He was wearing an old timey straight jacket.. said he was a traveler. I don't recall a lot of it..I wasn't.. completely in control of myself. But I know he kissed my forehead, and it freaked the beast out.."
Maxwell cursed vehemently, to my surprise. "He touched you?"
Suspicion suddenyl colored my voice. I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. "Yeah. Why?"
"Lock yourself up tight. Don't go out."
What the fuck? "Why?" I demanded.
"You might be infected."
"Infected with what?" What was he going on about? Kindred couldn't get diseases..
I could hear him grit his teeth as he fought the urge to scream at me.
"Lock. yourself. up. Dont. go. out."
And he hung up the phone.

I didn't understand. I was nervous, but moreso, I was annoyed. I didn't feel any different. His reaction made me glad that I hadn't mentioned the others had been with me. When I walked back inside I got a little more nervous. I watched Nobody and Nadi, more specifically, I watched their auras. I didn't like what I saw.

The auras were different. I watched as chaos disrupted the normal swirl of colors. Random color flashes and patterns, never in sync with each other, it almost made my eyes hurt to watch it. There were vague similarities to Nobody's normal aura, but still different, like Nobody's normal aura had a higher likelihood than Nadi's of looking like this on its own some day. I had never seen the aura of a crazy person before, but I had the feeling that's what this was.. madness. When I examined my own aura I saw the same. That was the answer to the riddle. The thing Nobody fed from - unfettered, uncontrolled emotion.. sometimes considered madness in certain forms... what I sought to understand- my beast, the raging monster, the madness of it all.. and what Nadi feared.. not being in control of her mind.. being mad..

But none of us felt any different. My nervousness increased, turned to fear, anger, panic.. I shared what I saw with the others, but not my feelings about it. They were wondering why I was staring at them anyway... I went to go wash off the smell of sewer. Rowan was coming by soon.

After Rowan left and I was able to take out a little frustration on the changeling, there was a knock at the door. I figured it was Mona. Boy was I wrong.

I went with Gio to answer the door and my blood froze in my veins. Prince Maxwell stood on the doorstep, looking quite pissed. But the one that scared me was behind him. He looked like he was no older than 20, both in looks and dress. Hands shoved in his pockets, he seemed relaxed and non threatening. The Prince's hound, Loki, looked extremely non threatening. But I knew better.

My mind started going a mile a minute. Why would Maxwell show up with his hound? This can't be good. Gio noticed my change in posture but I don't think he understood why. He invited them inside, and we went into the sitting area. I was on my guard, my eyes never left Loki. Maxwell sat, Loki stood, and I sat across from them both in a chair from the kitchen, as far away as I could without seeming disrespectful. Nadi sensed the tension and made a discreet hand gesture. I felt a familiar subtle power creep around us.

Maxwell's aura was unsettling. Anger, fear, and a large amount of regret. The regret bothered me the most. "Tell me what happened." He said without pretext.

I reiterated the story to him, I told him we had all been down there, but I only mentioned that he touched me. Nadi started to interrupt and I quickly jumped inside her head.

DON'T tell him you were touched. Just let me handle it.

I could sense, rather than hear, her displeasure. Next time, how about telling me this before the Prince of the City shows up?

I'll be sure to do that beforehand the next time the Prince of the City shows up completely unexpectedly and totally unannounced. Oh wait, that's right, I'm not a fate mage like some people in the room. I shot back sarcastically.

She fell silent.

Loki was looking uninterested, and biting at his thumb.
"So he touched you." Loki didn't look at me while he spoke.
"That's what I said." I replied, annoyed.
"Well.. that sucks." And he lunged at me.

He was abnormally fast (like me), I jumped up, knocking the chair over as he came at me. I made the mistake of locking eyes for a split second with the Prince, to see if he had moved. He hadn't. When he had my gaze he just said "STOP." and my muscles froze. I could no longer move. But Loki didn't attack, he smeared his thumb across my forehead and I could feel the vitae leave a streak. I felt that subtle power Nadi had wrought shatter. Cruac. This all happened in a split second.

Loki was once against next to the Prince, I stood, unable to move, and the others now stood as well, confused, but at the ready. Gio broke the silence, as always.

"What the fuck is going on." He demanded angrily.

Maxwell steepled his hands together, regret flared in his aura.
"She has been infected with Malkavia. It is a madness. A contagious madness that I cannot allow to be let lose upon this city."

Everyone glanced around at each other, except me. My eyes were on Loki.
Gio persisted. "And so you come here to do what, then?"
"She must be destroyed." Maxwell said quietly.
Confusion, fear, and utterly black RAGE welled up inside of me. I fought back the red that threatened to overwhelm my vision. A number of surprised and pissed off exclamations went up from the others.

Nadi glared at the Prince. "You want to kill her because she might be crazy? There are treatments for shit like that."
The Prince glared right back. "I do not want this, and this is not a normal mental illness. It is a mystical, contagious, incurable illness. She can spread it through feeding, using her abilities on people, or just by touching others. This is the only way to keep it from spreading like wildfire through my city."

No one actually moved closer to me, but it seemed that way. Nobody and Gio spoke at practically the same moment. Gio- "We can't let you do this." Nobody- "Yeah right, fucker." Both had hands on their weapons. Nadi and Rebecca nodded agreement. I felt a surge of gratitude. They were about to get themselves slaughtered to save me. Even Nobody. I knew in an instant that I would've done the same.

Maxwell's frowned deepened. "This is not a debate. I do not want to make this more of an incident than it already is."

Gio gave him a look and leveled his sawed off shotgun at the seated Ventrue. "Well looks like you're going to have too."

There was another knock on the door. I didn't move, my eyes were glued to Loki. He didn't seem to notice. Maxwell did not so much as blink. Gio backed out of the room. "I'll get that."

I scowled, "Gio what the fuck are you doing?" I heard him mutter in a very low voice, "Buying us more time.."

Two more vampires walked into the room. Fantastic! Now we didn't even have the advantage of numbers. I was going to murder Gio if we survived this.

I recognized the two new kindred, but couldn't remember their names. One was Maxwell's other hound. The other was a young looking women who belonged to the Lancea Sanctum. I remembered hearing talk at court that Thebean Sorcery was like second nature to her, she was very gifted. Fucking Perfect.

Four experienced vampires against 5 neonate supernaturals, and two of which where practically human. This was going to be a slaughter.

Nobody spoke up. "If shes so contagious then why are you risking getting so close?"
The woman spoke in a sweet and apologetic voice, like she was very, VERY sorry for spilling a drink in my lap, instead of coming here to kill me. "We have taken precautions. We highly regret that it must be this way."

I spoke through clenched jaw, my voice measured and quiet. I didn't want to lose it. "It's nice to see how the kindred of Chicago treat their heroes."

Maxwell's voice was just as full of suppressed rage as mine, but I hardly felt his was as justified. "I do not want this. But I will not risk my entire city going mad, even if it means sacrificing someone of your accomplishments."

Sylvia Raines (her name finally came to me) continued to look oh-so apologetic. "It is because you are a hero to this city that we are doing it in this matter. If you were not the respected member of the community that you were, we would have not offered the courtesy of this visit."

I latched onto the anger, because the only other option was fear. I was pretty certain I was about to die, and was scared shitless, but I'd be damned if I was going to let them see it. "Kiss my ass. Courtesy? You come in here and tell me you have to destroy me, to contain something that you aren't even sure I HAVE, and that you are prepared to go through my friends to do it when I have done nothing but obey your laws, support your power base and fucking help you and this city at every opportunity!" My voice had started soft and became progressively louder, and angrier, I practically screamed the last few words.

Maxwell's voice remained quiet. "I regret that this is what must be done."

I wasn't about to feel sorry for this asshole. I kept myself from screaming this time at least. "You claim there's no cure, but you don't really know that. This is just what you do. Track it down and 'destroy' it. How many times have you actually tried to find a cure in recent history? No, this is the way its always been done. Can't change it now, can you? God forbid vampires try something fucking different!"

When I said that I realized who wasn't here. Norris. The Prince's right hand man, the man who knew everything that went on in this city, wasn't here. The only member of the inner circle who was Ordo Dracul.. wasn't here. It made sense. He would be the one who would be more likely to encourage a new course of action. I wondered how they had kept it from him. I wondered if he would agree with me.

Tension was rising. I was aching for the moment when someone broke. We might go down, but I sure as hell planned on making them work for it. We might all die tonight, but not before I unleashed all I had right at the Prince. God help me, I'd take him out with me.

Maxwell began to respond but stopped short. His aura flared with anger as he looked past us, towards the stairs that led to the basement.

I smelled old books and brandy, but dared not take my eyes from Loki.

All the other vampires became focused on the basement stairs, an uncertain silence fell. I was itching to see what had everyone so rapt.. but didn't want to give Loki the oppurtunity to catch me unawares.

Finally, The other hound started yelling and pointing at the doorway. "No! No way! He doesn't have any authori-.." He didn't finish. Just stopped talking mid-sentence, turned, and walked out like a robot.

I finally dared to glance over, and Maxwell Maury stood in that doorway. That.. was unexpected. He looked over at Sylvia. "Will you please excuse us?"
She nodded deeply (practically a bow) and also turned and left the shop.

Maury walked up to Prince Maxwell, who remained seated, looking very unhappy. Loki looked between them nervously.
"Loki... leave us." The prince said gruffly.
"Oh thank God." Loki practically ran out of the room.

I slowly started to relax...

Maxwell glared at Maury. "You know what this means."
Maury gave a casual nod. "Of course. She will not leave my domain. I will claim responsibility."
"The Traveler is lose in the sewers..." Maxwell started.
But Maury cut him off. "He is in my home, I will take care of it."
"She has two days to get down there. After that, if we see her up top..."
He didn't wait for Maury to respond to the unsaid threat, he stood and walked out. His aura read more fear and anger, he was afraid of Maury..and a few times I thought I saw a hint of relief.

I waited until I knew he was gone, then slammed my fist into the wall. The plaster cracked. i heard wood splinter beneath it. I gritted my teeth and fought to calm down. I focused on the pain of my broken knucles and took a few deep breaths, expelling as much tensions and rage as I could with each exhale. Finally, when I trusted my voice not to come out as a strangled snarl, I looked up at Maury.

"Thank you." I said quietly.


When the seizure ended, I was standing, my chair over turned, and fists clenched so hard I would have been drawing blood if I were human. It was tough, but I fought down the rage. Maury watched me closely. "You understand why I had to do what I did. I could not allow any of you to act rashly and cause any... unfortunate events by pursuing any of your would be killers." I gritted my teeth and struggled to focus on the gratitude I felt for Maury for saving us, not the anger I felt for him fucking with my head.

I inhaled slowly and willed the anger to abate with the exhale, as I had before. It took me several more breaths, and about as many minutes before I picked up my over turned chair and returned to the table.
"Do not judge Prince Maxwell too harshly. He fears what he does not understand." Maury said.
"You don't seem to fear it. Do you understand it better?" I asked bitterly.
"I do not, but I am not one to be ruled by fear."
I crossed my arms and scowled.
"So what does this mean? We're going to go crazy now?" I spat.

Maury regarded me silently a moment in a way that made me feel about 10 years old.
"What do you believe that means, Miss O'Shea? To be mad?"
I shrugged and crossed my arms. "To not be in control on your actions, to now know whats real and whats not."
"Did the Traveler seem to be either of these things?"
I frowned harder. "Not as far as I can tell."
"Then what, exactly, does it mean to be mad? Or do you think he is even mad at all?" Maury prodded.
"I don't fucking know. I didn't even know this 'disease' existed until now. If it being crazy doesn't mean those things, what does it mean? Why else would they be so damn afraid of it?" I threw up my hands in frustration.
"Perhaps you should research Bethlehem Hospital." Maury suggested.
"Bedlam? That's going to help me figure out what it means to be crazy?"
"Perhaps not, but it will give you a better understanding of why he acted as he did." Maury replied calmly.
I just scowled. Some part of me understood. But most of me couldn't forgive the prince for not even trying to find another way.

Now that the cat was out of the bag, Nadi told us all what she had discovered in her research. Maury hadn't taken her memories, so she had gone to the library to dig up information on the traveler. His name was Joseph Traveler. He was a polish immigrant who, by one account, died in Auschwitz, by another, escaped and fled to the US. He was a textile worker and came into the limelight when he went on trial for murder. It was in self defense, but the outcome had been particularly gruesome. After he killed the attackers, he had put them into the textile machines (or that's how he killed them, its unsure). That was in the 40s

He got off on an insanity plea when the DA came to his defense, which struck us as an odd occurrence. When reading through the court proceedings the DA's name jumped out at me. Norris Kleinspagel. Well well.. Looks like I would definitely need to give Norris a call very soon.

Nadi also dug up a story from a few years later. Norris was captured and subsequently escaped from the hands of a crime family (not the Santores). He had been tortured. Volkas had told her that it was rumored he'd had help from the local supernatural community, but that wasn't common knowledge. She had photocopied a picture showing Norris sitting on the curb, hand and arm swathed in bandages, looking pissed and exhausted. I did a double take. There were two men in the background of the photo. One of them was Giuseppe. According to Nobody, the other was Frost, late leader of the Winter Court.

Joseph was later taken into Cook County Asylum. There was a photo of him staring straight at the camera with a very unsettling look on his face. It was creepy. Nadi had dug up reports from the Asylum for the time period he was there. Patients screaming about the glorious gospel of the eater of words, outbreaks of typhus where the only casualties were those that died from anemia. A report concerning a problem with the boiler room and when the technicians went down there they found a heavy duty blast door- locked, from the inside. Then a report of an escape. There were sketches of the patients who escaped. One of Joseph Traveler, two were people I did not recognize, and I froze when I saw the third.

I had never seen Giuseppe without hair before. I stood and walked out of the room, into the one room in the place set up for cell reception and internet access. I texted Giuseppe.

'August 12, 1952. What the Fuck?'

I only had to wait about 30 seconds before I received his response.

'Sometimes, to escape, one must be caught. The other escape is far more useful.'

'We met the traveler 3 nights ago. What do you know?'

'More than is healthy, less than is satisfying.'

'I've been feeling too healthy anyway..'

I waited a good five minutes for a response to the last message, but he wasn't going to tell me. I walked back into the room and just shook my head at all the expectant expressions.

"Maury, I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but why are you helping us?" I asked finally.

"I owe Joseph a debt. He has requested that I assist you in your time of need."

We looked at each other, once again perplexed.
I frowned. "He created the time of need."
Maury lifted an eyebrow. "This? This is not the time of need Joseph Traveler speaks of."
"Then what?" Nobody asked.
"I do not know."

Nadi changed the subject on us. "The door in the basement. The anemic patients..You?"
Maury nodded. "Yes. We needed a secure way in and out. They were a safe source of sustenance. This, however, was before it was contagious."
Nadi seemed slightly incensed at the idea. "The deaths?"
Maury was unrepentant. "Accidents happen, isn't that right Miss O'Shea?"
I shifted uncomfortably. "It can be difficult." Though truth be told, I had only killed while feeding once, right at the beginning.

Maury stood to leave. "Joseph enjoys those tunnels the most." He gestured to a sealed metal door to the right and walked out of the room.

We were left at the table, I stood and started pacing.
"I can't fucking believe this. Mystical contagious crazy. Fantastic." I scowled.
Nobody laughed at me. "Cry more about it."
I slammed a hand on the table hard enough to make the plates jump and the cups rattle. "Am I the only one who's upset about this? The only one concerned that all three of us might be going fucking nuts in some random way we know nothing about?!" I practically screamed.

Nobody stood and got up in my face. "Of course I'm pissed! Do you have any idea how hard it is for a changeling to stay sane?"
"No. No I don't." I spat sarcastically.
"Really fucking hard! Its fucking hard to tell whats real and whats not. I don't need any help!"
I turned away from him and kept pacing. I was pissed, worried, upset.. because apparently I was going to start going crazy.
Gio was giving me a weird look.
"Isn't your little group thing supposed to be all about change and new things and shit?"
I stopped pacing and regarded him with narrowed eyes.

"Isn't this a prime example?" He asked honestly, then adopted his patented arrogant smirk. "The real question is..... why are you afraid of it?"

That brought me up short. Was I really afraid of this new possibility? Yes. I was scared. I was fucking terrified. I didn't want to be crazy. I had thoughts of losing control, babbling like a madman, and other unfavorable symptoms... but on the other hand, it was certainly a new experience. As far as I knew, I couldn't make it go away. Fuck, I didn't even know yet if I wanted too. I've found use out of strange and dire seeming circumstances before...what if this was no different?

I withdrew from the table, leaned against the far wall and actually considered the situation objectively for the first time. Maybe I should learn more before I automatically assumed this was something to be afraid of. I couldn't very well accuse Prince Maxwell of acting like a fucking coward if I was following suit. I needed to find Joseph, try to better understand what he had done to us.

Gio watched me with a smug smile.

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