Rumors were rampant: the al Malik and the Decados are having a falling out; duels between the Li Halan and the Hawkwoods; strange dreams of aliens; dying Archbishops. Some were true. Some were false. And one was investigated, of a man who was looking for his missing sister. He did not use a real name (Mr. Jones, instead), he did not offer many details. He said she had been taken by the spiders to Spider Central, and that there she stayed. For a week. But he offered a large reward, and they were intrigued though they suspect he is lying, he is setting them up, he is an agent of evil powers. But still they agreed to scout out the matter and see what they could see. But what was scouting? In the end, it was Gray and Jabari and Shula skulking through the streets, and hearing strange conversations mutedly from hidden rooms, and seeing sketches of those labelled “The Missing” and seeing a figure, maybe a woman, in a heavy robe walk to one of the Anchors, meet a spider, and be carried aloft.
They retreated, regrouped, and decided if they were to continue, to do so with the missing Father Sook, because so many of the inhabitants of Central are Pancreator fanatics. And so it is.