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Chapter 12

Leo watched Ava as she didn’t sketch a single expression when talking about something so important. He couldn’t move for a few seconds and every thought he had was returning to the line they read.

“What will happen now?” He asked his eyes still wide and innocent for someone who should have been more prepared mentally.

Ava raised an eyebrow, her brown eyes empty of any type of emotion. It was peculiar to see someone that looked as tired of human interaction as she seemed. Leo was sure she was a person that had some problems in socializing; maybe not as heavy as others, since she was a psychologist, but she still had them.

“Aren’t you an officer? You should express your worry out loudly if you believe it will ease the responsibility that’s been pushed on our shoulders.” She spoke, the tone she used sounding almost annoyed.

Leo looked down at the table, his eyes traveling over every leather envelope with the same intriguing seal adorning them.

“So much work for so many details that people will never even see. They didn’t kill and don’t seem like they will in the near future but that doesn’t mean someone won’t get hurt. What will happen then?” The blond Italian officer asked her, knowing she might not exactly answer in the way he wanted her to.

Truthfully, she was not going to lie and say that Anonymous is a group that doesn’t know in and out what kind of society they are taunting; they knew and they researched it thoroughly which was only making them more dangerous.

“We have to read the rest and see what exactly their message is.” Ava started, grabbing the next letter and opening it quite harshly before Leo’s widened eye.

We have been informed that up to this point, the Interpol has not found any concrete evidence that Anonymous is a threat to International Safety. Unfortunately, we have heard that the Interpol cannot fight against this notorious group and has asked for reinforcement from all over Europe. As it seems-

“How the heck did they find out so fast?”

Ruben frowned and leaned against the desk, completely unaffected by the news even though he did turn the telly off.

“That’s their job. Now, it’s time for us to do the same. It seems that we have found new evidence from the letters we found at the scenes.” Ruben started, surprising the whole room such that it became incredibly silent, “I am both glad and worried to inform you that we have found what Anonymous await from us.”

“They are terrorists-”

“No.” Ruben interrupted quickly, throwing a strict look at the officer, “They want to tell us something but we didn’t listen. It’s time for us to do that and respond in the same way.”

The silence filled the room in such a way that felt like you could cut through it with a knife. The Interpol officers from all over Europe were watching with wide eyes and shut mouths.

“Does that mean that the explosions will stop?”

“No.” Ruben started again, “Two more cities will be targeted but we already have someone to look into that.”

“You mean that ginger that’s been excitedly running around, bossing everyone as if this is his personal space?”

Ruben sighed, liking it as much as his usual officers. Taking a long look at the crowded cubicles, he could see why everyone was so grim all the time: one cubicle was small for one person but with the Anonymous case, three officers were forced to use one desk and so it quirked conflicts.

“The ginger knows the therapist that came in from London. Does that mean the recent murder is connected to Anonymous?”

Ruben turned with a frown to the blond that he personally sent after Ava. He didn’t look like a police officer moreover a detective but his mind was precious, his ability to memorize long paragraphs more exactly.

“It probably is. If what Dr. Atkins said is right, Johnson was part of Anonymous and supplied them with old ink and parchment.” Ruben informed his subordinates before giving another heavy sigh, “We need to find the rest of the bombs.”

“Have they already planted them?” A new officer from Russia asked, his thick eyebrows furrowing at his superior.

For the third time in what felt like five minutes, Ruben rubbed his eyes tiredly and sighed.

“We have to find that out, as well.”

The noise of paper being ripped apart had never sounded so loud as it did in that moment for Leo. Ava was silent for the whole process of breaking what was precious evidence but her face was always contorted into the same blank expression.

“Are you tired? Should we take a break?” Leo asked, leaning over the letter found in Slovakia.

Ava didn’t even move her eyes off the paper; instead she leaned in and read out-loud,

“Ché quello imperador che là sù regna,

perch’ i’ fu’ ribellante a la sua legge,

non vuol che ’n sua città per me si vegna.”

Ava finished, only then looking up at Leo.

“Because that Emperor, who reigns above,

In that I was rebellious to his law,

Wills that through me none come into his city.”

The dirty blond haired detective translated slowly, as he has done for the past fifteen minutes.

“All of them are quotes from the Prologue. We haven’t entered Hell just yet. Is that a good sign?” Leo asked, feeling fidgety under her seemingly judgmental sight.

“Maybe.” She answered in her most common way.

Ava was a woman of few words so it was very difficult for Leo to understand what she was thinking about or what her intentions were. The Italian officer was very curious what exactly Ava’s role in the case was, especially having an acquaintance directly involved with Anonymous.

“I’m not deceiving you, detective.” She started her brown eyes moving on to the last letter, the one from London. “If anything, I have been deceived by my colleague. He planned everything meticulously and probably wanted to get me involved by taking care of his patients.” She added, remembering what Charlie told her a while ago.

“Johnson wants you to come too. He has something he wants to tell you.”

“I heard that you will get them. It’s been already decided but Big Boss wants to go out and drink for free.”

“Idiot,” She mumbled to herself, finally realizing the hints have always been there but she didn’t listen.

“The letters from Prague, Slovakia, Finland and Naples are here. The last one is from London, the first one that begun this whole mess.” Leo informed Ava as if she didn’t know already, “What do you think it says?”

The brunette licked her lips, her hands pulling the envelope closer to her slowly, making Leo anxious for some reason.

“Men like you are not fit to be police officers.” She said bluntly, silence filling the room.

Leo’s eyes widened as he looked at her with innocence and naivety. She only threw a short glance at him before she returned to the letter. The officer opened his mouth and exhaled before getting ready to answer to her rude statement.

“This is not Inferno.” She answered, signing him to come closer.

Leo frowned and read the parchment. It did not have anything hidden inside and it was written differently than the others.

“The writing doesn’t match and it’s written in 21st Century ink, with a pen.” Leo commented out loud, feeling curious and confused at the same time. “What is this anyway?”

“English literature.” Ava answered, grabbing the parchment from the wide eyed blond,

“I pray you all, give your audience,

And hear this matter with reverence,

By figure of a moral play.

The Summoning of Everyman called it is.” She quoted, having read that particular piece when she was in high school.

“What is that exactly? God calling people to…?”

“This one is different but it has the same pretext to what followed. Naples was the beginning and London was the foretelling, the prologue to what they want from us.” The brunette explained coldly, not an ounce of sympathy in her tone.

“And what do they want from us? Wasn’t it to listen to their demands?” The Italian officer asked, growing confused with each passing minute.

Ava chuckled and rubbed her neck tiredly, leaning against the table in order to keep her balance. She was so overwhelmed by all the factors that were pushing her towards this case and that specific group. From the very beginning, from that damn khrismon, the universe complotted so that she would get, directly or indirectly, involved.

“They want us to choose: it’s either Everyman or Inferno. It’s up to us and I believe the world has already chosen.”

“Wh-why do you think so?” The officer asked but she couldn’t voice out an answer.

The interference came from the door towards the little hall towards the elevator. Whoever slammed it open was in a hurry to give out some precious information.

“Hallstatt, Austria.” The unknown face informed Ava and Leo.

“How do you know for sure the next explosion will be in Hallstatt? Isn’t that a bit too exact?” Leo asked, walking around the table while at the same time pulling his gloves off.

The officer was new to these kinds of situations so he stuttered before Ava finally answered in his place.

“Hallstatt is a touristic place, loved not only because of his pitoresque views but because of the celtic stories.” She explained what she thought was the reason.

“That may be but-” The unnamed officer gulped before giving the worst part of his news, “It happened already. The entrance into a mine exploded while the tourists were still inside. Thankfully, none were harmed but they got scared.”

Leo turned quickly towards Ava but she only shrugged before returning to the letter from London. He couldn’t believe she was so indifferent to the scare that human beings have experienced into a mine, out of any possible place.

The Italian officer was ready to go out when she shouted after him, startling him with her bluntness.

“The envelope should be somewhere visible even if it may not be the exact sight of the explosion. Try searching the tourists too.” She finished before giving her full attention to the five messages on the table.

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