15 - Twisted Logic

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December 29, 1476

Monteriggioni, Italy

Catherine was pacing. She'd started the moment she'd stepped into Mario's office, and she hadn't stopped. It was impossible to—not after what had happened last night. No, there was no calming down. She couldn't talk about it, though. Not yet. She needed Mario first. She needed him here, and she needed him now. She let out a sound of frustration at how long it was taking for the servant to grab the man from the Barracks, even if it was still a while before their training began. She always woke early to go jog and get ready, but she wasn't jogging today. Something had happened last night, and her agitation only grew worse with each passing moment.

She paused only when she heard footsteps and stared expectantly at the hallway entrance. As soon as she saw the older man's face, she whipped the Clock from her pocket and charged towards him.

"Catherine, what is—"

"It activated! It worked!" she shouted as she shoved the artifact at him. He looked back at her, eyes wide, but didn't touch it. She threw her hands up. "I don't know how, but it activated—while I was dreaming!"

"While you dreamed?" he inquired, and though his skepticism was not unfounded, she still scowled and waved her arms.

"No, not dreamed—not really. It was different. I was... I could see myself and I can never do that in a dream and it was like when I was brought here. I was kind of in this dark space, but then there were suddenly lights and images and sounds, too! It was—it was crazy, but I saw so much! God, Mario, it activated, and I saw—shit! It's still kind of blurry, but it was important, so I need to remember it right and—and—."

"Catherine!" Mario shouted, and she finally ended her fervid speech to stare at him. He sighed as he held up his hands for peace. "Catherine, calm down. You are making no sense. Find your words, and tell me what happened last night."

The redhead took in a deep breath of air, glancing down at her Clock, and began, "I was studying up late like I usually did and then I went to bed. Normally I know when I'm dreaming and it doesn't take me long to get there, but last night... I woke up, and I mean really woke up. I know how it feels when I'm dreaming, and this wasn't it... but I wasn't completely awake, either. It was like watching a movie—er... a play. I saw things—images, lights, and sounds. I swore it... it was important... I saw... I saw... it... it was... Oh my God—it was Giovanni. I saw Giovanni! And the others—Claudia, Federico, Petruccio, Maria, and Annetta! I saw them!"

"Wait—you saw my brother? What did you see?" Mario inquired, coming over to grasp her arms tightly. She had never seen him to have great love for his brother, but here it showed. He was concerned, just as she was. "What happened?"

"I... I saw... there... there were guards! I saw guards—in red. They were different from the ones in orange that were there when I was. They attacked them. They hit Giovanni and beat him and Federico and Petruccio. They beat them badly and then—Jesus, Maria. They hurt her, too. I didn't see all of it, but they hit her and there was screaming, and then the guards took Giovanni and the boys away. They left the women alone. I don't know where, though—the dream cut off when they were taken. Jesus—Mario... Giovanni has been captured! And Petruccio and Federico! They're in danger! The guards may know who he is—we have to help them!"

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