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Chapter 14

It was loud but at the same time, silent. Stones of every shape were spread around the ground and glass shattered in between dust and furniture. It was a disaster.

People. Ava didn’t see anyone under the rocks nor blood. As she approached Galileo Hotel, she started to hear pleads of help from under the ruin. At least five people were inside and needed medical care.

But Ava walked past them. She blocked their pleads and walked forward to the ruin that was Johnson’s former apartment building. At first, Ava was curious how someone could crash a zeppelin on a building that most definitely had people inside. It wasn’t just Johnson living there but other people as well. But when she arrived there, she realized that was not the case.

Johnson was living in an old house with great risk to break at the first earthquake. He was the only resident; he was the only man crazy enough to risk his life because really, it was slipping already through his fingers.

There was nothing else destroyed but Johnson’s building. The zeppelin was a few meters aside, blocking the way further down the street. Nothing was as damaged as those two buildings which led Ava to believe they were the targets and no collateral damage done.

She stood there and stared at the zeppelin for a while. She could hear sirens approaching the sight and even more people talking at once. Reporters. By dawn, everyone in the whole world will know what happened in Prague.

With her eyes still on the zeppelin, Ava approached the front door that was a big hole now. She stepped inside, scanning the hall before entering the living room. Everything inside was spread all over the place but even without such a mess, Ava knew Johnson and he was a neat person. He would never leave something important on his desk except on occasions when it would help his patients. Was that why the zeppelin crushed there? Was it planned especially after he died?

Ava entered the ruin and took a long look around. There really was nothing she could pick from the scene except dust, mess and paper. There was a lot of paper everywhere because the library in the living fell over his work desk. It looked like even from far away, Johnson was still interested what happens to his former patients.

“Books. Everything comes from books.” She mumbled, eye catching sight of a small thick red book: The Divine Comedy.

Ava picked it up carefully and opened it at the beginning of Inferno. Her eyes widened when she found an envelope made from the same material as the ones found by the Interpol. Ava took a deep breath before she opened it and found a normal piece of paper and a picture. Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion at the miniature copy of Botticelli’s Mappa del Inferno before she unfolded the letter and read it.

Whoever is smart enough and gets their hands on this letter, I hope you will understand.

This is a testament of sorts. Everything I have will become evidence, I am very much aware of my position, even after my death. I want you, the reader, to know that Anonymous is not an act of evil but a movement in the favor of humans. It’s time we do something and act against the blind that do not want to see, the deaf that do not want to hear, the mindless that do not want to think and the mute that do not want to speak.

For we are His creation made after His image and we should finally show our gratitude to Him, but also to each other.

Ava sighed heavily, feeling a knot form inside her stomach. Her former colleague has been planning his death for quite a while if he had enough time to write and hide such a letter.

An hour passed and Lanchester was most probably lost. Leo was growing impatient with the elder and he wanted to know what they were supposed to search for.

“We’re nowhere close to the sight or people for that matter. What are we doing here?”

“It’s silent, isn’t it? So, so silent. I can finally hear my own thoughts.” Lanchester answered looking extremely pleased.

But Leo couldn’t hear those thoughts or understand the ginger. The dirty haired blond spun around a few times, seeing nothing but buildings. Prague was beautiful and he really wished he could come and visit it when times were better. The architecture was amazing; he could literally hear the past squirming in those walls.

“You’re starting to listen, aren’t you?”Lanchester asked, noticing the smile widening on Leo’s face, “You can hear it whispering to you in the wind. If you let your mind wander, you can hear a lot.”

“But we’re too far. What can we pick up from here?”

Lanchester puckered his lips childishly and shrugged. Leo raised an eyebrow and crossed his arms in front of his chest, bemused and intrigued.

“What do you hear, detective?”

The sly glint in his eyes made Leo take a step back in thinking Lanchester was an obeying newcomer in the Interpol. It was only a team created for Anonymous but still, Leo wondered if Lanchester’s boss didn’t send him away for Scotland Yard’s gain rather than his.

“Right now, there is a crowd forming around the sight: curious citizens, family members of the victims and reporters. These are the most important factors in this case. They speak to each other, to others and to those who didn’t get the chance to see it with their own eyes.”

“But when we will get there, the sight will be cleared. Even if we work with the Interpol, I’m not sure Ruben will let us see it all.”

“Leonardo, I’m sure you have worked well under your chief in Italy but this is different. You don’t need to be submissive in cases like this. I told you, Anonymous is not a criminal group. They have something to say and you have to listen.”

Leo frowned, finally having some idea where Lanchester was hinting with all the listening advice.

“Media. You want to use the media in order to listen. But they won’t say anything if the Interpol refuses cooperation.” Leo added, worried how Lanchester will turn his words around.

“True. Ruben is headstrong against leaking information to the press. I guess we’ll have to do that ourselves,”

Lanchester sighed and closed his eyes before pointing in a random direction. He started to walk the way he had chosen when Leo registered his words. His blue eyes widened in astonishment at the foolish ginger and his insane ideas.

“Quest’uomo sta scavando la fossa da solo,” Leo mumbled yet still followed the ginger down the alley.

Indeed the police was approaching the sight incredibly fast compared to what Ava remembered. She knew she had to leave and avoid speaking of the evidence she impolitely disrupted but she had to find another way out. The brunette walked out of the apartment as carefully as possible, not moving any piece of furniture or stepping over something that could hint she has been there.

Maybe it was granted to her sneaky attitude back when she was a child, a skill she mastered when checking for escape routes back in the day but Ava slipped out and continued down the alley towards the next intersection. She was one or two blocks away when she stopped and looked down at the red thick book she was still holding tightly.

“Did he plan everything or did he just offer supplies for the group?” She wondered out loud, feeling the knot in her stomach become tighter.

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