Previous Chapter - Chapter 7: The Rivals Make No Mistakes
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In Firo Prochainezo's casino, Ladd Russo offers to recompense Firo for the damage inflicted upon the premises so that the Martillo Family can avoid owing the Runorata Family. Nervous about the earlier gunshots, Jacuzzi Splot reminds everyone that the police will arrive any moment now. Maiza Avaro disagrees; at FIro's confusion, Maiza explains that he heard on the radio that seaplanes are currently "attacking all over Manhattan" so the police have their hands full at the moment.
Elsewhere in Manhattan, Carol shrieks at the sight of a seaplane flying low at the end of the street. She clings to Gustav St. Germain's leg in a panic, but he calmly points out that the planes are shooting blanks.
In the office basement of the Coraggioso, Keith Gandor and Berga Gandor play poker with other members of the Gandor Family while Tick Jefferson and Maria Barcelito investigate the sound of gunfire on the street above. When they return to the office, they inform the poker players that a lot of airplanes are flying at very low altitudes in-between buildings.
Keith draws a card, and his face noticeably clouds when he sees that it is a seven. When Berga comments on his expression (normally most of the cards are jokers), Keith looks at the other sevens on the table and feels a strange uneasiness in his chest. He stands and heads for the outside, his body filled with a premonition that the Gandors are being drawn into 'something.' He resolves to destroy whatever that 'something' is.
In the investigation quarters of Victor Talbot, Victor slams his fist onto his desk at the sound of seaplane gunfire and invokes Huey Laforet's name with the assumption that he has finally made his move. He curses the police officers gawking up at the sky, since the seaplanes are shooting blanks and therefore an obvious diversion. While Manhattan's law enforcement are distracted, Huey will surely execute whatever plan he is preparing for.
He is mostly correct. The seaplanes are a diversion, but not for a future plan - they are meant to distract the officers from a plan taking place at that very moment. Victor is actually missing quite a few facts, including how it is actually Melvi Dormentaire who dreamed up the seaplanes (so that the police wouldn't interrupt his meeting with Firo). For another, the seaplanes ultimately have nothing to do with Huey's plan. And finally, the seaplanes are only a few of Time's planes that Huey is using on the Atlantic Ocean.
Elsewhere in New York, Mark Wilmans asks Raz Smith if they will be all right, considering the amount of gunfire he can hear. Raz replies that from the gunfire, he can tell that the noise is just from blanks so there is nothing to be concerned about. He informs Mark that Graham Specter and Ladd should be arriving shortly, and remarks upon Ladd's connection with insanity. A nearby plane drowns out the rest of his sentence, and he insults the pilots for have "no sense for aesthetics."
In Chané Laforet's secret apartment, one of Huey's followers gives him a report. He then informs Chané that his spy Hilton has apparently found an old 'friend' of hers. She wonders if it is Spike, and then is shocked when Huey identifies the friend as Nader Schasschule, a former traitor Lemure whose hand Chané once severed. Chané realizes that she must really be losing her touch since she didn't finish Nader off, and she decides that in order to rediscover her coldheartedness she will kill Nader once and for all.
Somewhere else in New York, Nader looks up at the seaplanes flying above him and wonders if he's dreaming. Tears well up in his eyes when he remembers the childhood promise he made to Sonja Bake, and he inwardly pleads for someone to tell him what to do. He wonders how someone becomes a hero in the first place, and how could someone like him become a hero. So thinking, he hurries down the streets with the casino money bundled in his jacket.
Meanwhile, Isaac and Miria are on their way to receive a job from Molsa Martillo when they spot a seaplane weaving between buildings at an incredibly low altitude before it flies upward toward the night sky. Isaac remarks that they've never robbed a plane before, and Miria asks how one steals an airplane anyway. According to Isaac, you steal the thing it values the most. What is that? Isaac's answer is more of a question: "The sky?" Miria agres that the sky is what is most important to a plane, since it can't fly without the sky. But where does the sky begin and end? Where the planes fly, of course! -- Says Isaac, but Miria points out that the plane earlier was incredibly low.
Well, that means that the two of them must be in the sky and that New York is the capital of the sky. Isaac is awed that they can feel the sky because of airplanes, and he announces that since they ought to be grateful to airplanes they won't wrong the planes at all. He is glad he and Miria have left their wrong, thieving ways behind them. The two run down the street with elation, waving at the planes.
Later that night, Melvi enters his bedroom in a Runorata-owned villa, turns out all the lights, and lies down on the bed. From behind or near the curtains, a voice comments on Melvi's dramatic performance and compliments Melvi's "incredible" bodyguard. The voice informs Melvi that [it] is about to set its plans in motion, and warns him that [its] plans might conflict with Melvi's movements. So it would be nice if Melvi didn't hate him too much.
Melvi points out that the speaker is his 'Master', and that he only listens to the speaker's orders. If his master told him to die, he would. His Master replies that he only wants Melvi to use his current position to make a mess of things, however he deems fit. He adds that he would prefer it if Melvi called him anything else besides 'master'. Melvi declines; he prefers to call the speaker 'master' and will continue doing so. The speaker calls him a "spiteful bastard" before leaving through the window.
After Melvi is sure his master is gone, the false smile he has worn for the entire day disappears and he falls into a deep sleep.
Around this time, Isaac and Miria finally arrive at Fred's Clinic (they had gotten lost due to chasing after the seaplanes). Miria notes that the clinic is closed, but Isaac reminds her that Molsa said they could just walk in. On the other side of the glass door, Who spots them and identifies them as the two that the owner of The Alveare had sent him. He wonders if he's met them before (he has), dismisses the thought, and then assures them that they won't actually be treating any patients after giving them his name.
Who spots his co-worker standing behind them and greets him. Isaac and Miria turn around and happily introduce themselves to their new colleague. The newcomer compliments them on their politeness and explains that he is also indebted to Doctor Fred. He begins to introduce himself, and stumbles twice over the syllable "Le." After a pointed pause, he smiles and introduces himself as Lebreau Fermet Viralesque. Who doesn't remember that as his name, but Fermet confidently asserts that he definitely gave that as his name before.