The title of Chapter 011 is "Thief Couple."
Official Blurb[edit | edit source]
Characters in order of Appearance[edit | edit source]
- Bill Sullivan
- Edward Noah
- Donald Brown
- Isaac & Miria
- Dallas Genoard, James, Scott, and their fourth companion
- Firo Prochainezo
- Keith Gandor
- Berga Gandor
- Luck Gandor
- Superintendent Veld
- Szilard Quates
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Bureau of Investigation [BOI] agents Bill Sullivan and Donald Brown brief Assistant Police Inspector Edward Noah on the the eccentric activities of two serial robbers whom the BOI has tracked to New York City. While the robbers have committed nearly a hundred robberies thus far, it was not until their robbery of the Genoard Family fortune one month ago (October 1930) that the BOI took a personal interest in their case. The only reason that the robbery has not yet reached the press – that Edward has not heard of it until now – is that the Genoards personally requested the incident not be made public.
Even if the robbers' previous targets had been harmless enough, Edward finds it hard to believe that the sheer number of robberies committed prior to October failed to warrant further attention. Bill and Donald are not so incredulous, as the mafia and swift rise of Alphonse Capone have been hogging the attention of the media and government alike, and the mention of Capone's meteoric rise reminds Edward of Firo Prochainezo – an associate of the Martillo Family Camorra due to become an executive soon.
The thought that Firo could potentially rise through the ranks as quickly as Capone has is anathema to Edward, and he vows to have Firo incarcerated before that can happen. No matter how much he dislikes Firo, Firo is young enough that he might still have a chance to lead an honest life. Edward is shaken out of his thoughts by Bill, who proceeds to show him photographs of the robbers' various costumes.
Elsewhere in the city, the very robbers in question – Isaac Dian and Miria Harvent – limp their way down a main street, mostly recovered from their recent experience as victims of a hit-and-run. Isaac vows to hit the offensive automobile the next time he sees it, which he soon revises to "hit the driver" and finally "spit on the automobile" upon Miria's advice. They turn the corner and enter an empty alley, where they reminisce on the wickedness of their past exploits and the worthiness of their most recent exploit - the theft of the Genoard fortune. Without a fortune to fight over, the Genoards will surely live peaceful, happy lives from here on out.
Isaac decides that their last caper should also consist of a 'good deed', and suggests to Miria that they steal the mafia's dirty money for said caper. Dallas Genoard and his three friends enter the alley while the two converse, and when Dallas accidentally bumps into Miria, she and Isaac chastise him for not being more careful. Dallas, already in a bad mood, snaps.
Over on the main street, Ennis – who is currently searching for Dallas and his friends – contemplates what she should do if the four men imbibed the Cure-All Elixir they stole from Barnes. The sounds of a struggle draw her to the alley, where she finds Scott physically restraining Miria while his three companions assault Isaac. This discovery is lucky and unlucky in equal measure: one the one hand, she needed to find Dallas' crew sooner rather than later; on the other, she is the driver who accidentally drove into Isaac and Miria. Should she come to the couple's rescue, they may recognize her face.
Ennis ultimately decides to come to their rescue despite the risk, as leaving the scene would pose the far more serious risk of the men ending up in police arrest. She proceeds to free Miria by knocking out Scott and, when Dallas hostilely asks who she is, demands that he tell her what he has done with the stolen liquor.
With the sun dipping toward the horizon, Firo's induction ritual is all but nigh. The Gandor brothers warmly greet him near The Alveare, having been personally invited for the occasion, and Luck Gandor makes a show of addressing Firo as 'Mister' as a sign of respect for a fellow executive. Firo demurs that he is technically not an executive until the ritual is over, and points out that he invited them as family - not as the Gandor bosses.
Berga Gandor grins and slaps him on the back, anticipating a hearty night of drinking in honor of the celebration. It occurs to him that he and his brothers ought to have brought the liquor on their table to the party, but Luck chidingly reminds him that they did not and do not know to whom the liquor belongs. Berga's reply that the liquor probably just belonged to 'those thugs' (Dallas' group) reminds Luck of the recent rumor (or news) that Firo might have ran into trouble with Dallas' gang, and he starts to ask Firo about the alleged incident before changing his mind – to do so would be gauche. He concludes that even if the liquor had belonged to thugs, nothing is more troublesome than something with unknown origins.
In the hideout of Szilard Quates and his elderly followers, Szilard is having dinner when Superintendent Veld asks him if it was wise to send Ennis to reclaim the Cure-All Elixir on her own. He offers to use his authority to mobilize the police on Szilard's behalf, but Szilard believes that Ennis is fully capable of handling mere street thugs; after all, Szilard gave her "knowledge of combat." Veld asks what he means by 'knowledge', to which Szilard replies that "nothing is more noble than knowledge" before dismissing Veld as incapable of understanding 'what he means'.
One of their colluders amicably remarks that such a response is fitting of a scholar, and then quips that perhaps he ought to have said 'alchemist' instead. Szilard silently condemns the man for speaking so familiarly about a subject he knows nothing about, and reflects on the very meaning of knowledge that he denied Veld:
In the beginning, alchemists sought 'perfect knowledge' in order to render the impossible 'possible'. An immortal body like that of Szilard's not only grasps devoured knowledge, it physically 'knows' it as well; as long as one has the knowledge, one could – for instance – ride horseback or dance perfectly on their very first try. As far as Szilard is concerned, having the requisite knowledge will allow one to do "literally anything," and as such - his ultimate desire is to have perfect knowledge at all costs.