Under the Steel Web

A cascade of duels

Time and Place for Everything

After Valentine kicks them all out of the lair because he needs to make it spider safe, they journey to their homes and think on what they have seen. In the morning, they rendezvous for food, although Valentine is not there, sending a message that he must secure his place. They discuss plans for what to do about the spider cult: meeting the girl Mari is certain, but what to do with her? And the others? Perhaps to take drawings of all the Found. Across the radio comes an announcement of riots in Spider Central, which change all plans, and everyone agrees to look into matters and confer again in the evening.
Outside the Hawkwoods race by, striking at passerby. Viktor draws and cuts a tire quite suddenly, and a Hawkwood tumbles. He rises, angry, and is confronted by a Li Halan who challenges him. It is Ishi, whose brother has been abandoned by the Hawkwood, who is being married into the al Malik. This has caused the tension between the Decados and the al Malik, for the Decados are concerned that the other house is moving closer to the main body of government. But before a duel can start, Viktor forbids it. The Hawkwood angrily challenges him to a fight, but Viktor again denies the duel: it is Church territory, and dueling is not tolerated there. But perhaps at the Soft Palace. Jabari has been fixing the slashed tire, but Viktor now shoots the bike’s engine, and the Hawkwood storms away.
A reporter closes on Viktor and interviews him briefly. He makes the news that night.
In the interval, much information is gathered about various alliances and disagreements, and about the old Eskatonic who is harboring strange visitors, perhaps the escapees from the Warrens, who are perhaps the murderers of the technicians who have died of late.
They get back together and share their information. Viktor has discovered he may have to go into Spider Central to back the Civic Police. Shula and Gray go to meet with Saffiya. She makes a call that she assures them will delay the entry into Spider Central. The Muster gather to scoop up slaves there. Sook meets with his Order, and the old man who was his mentor speaks disparagingly to him about coddling technology, and about the need to kill guild members, and then leaves without asking permission. The rest of the Order does not leave.
The bells to call the Brothers Battle to be ready start to ring…


vanheejason vanheejason

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