Chapter 1: Johana Joestar

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He strikes late at night. His target, a pretty young woman with brown curls, is walking home from class. He chuckles to himself as he thinks about what he's about to do. Quickly, he moves from the bushes, drawing his knife and lunging at the woman.

She runs, screaming as loud as she can. He doesn't mind; he expected her to run. She dashes for the nearest building, hoping to get away. That's when she steps into his trap.

Her foot falls into a slipknot made thin string, so thin that she can barely make it out. She falls to the ground and feels a creature crawling on her back, creating more string and binding her limbs. Suddenly, she feels very, very tired. As she slips from consciousness she looks at her back, at the creature tying her up, and sees nothing.

He walks over to his trap and smiles. The creature abandons the woman and returns to its master, taking its place on his shoulder.

+++

Our story begins in the summer of 2011, in the City of London, on a swelteringly hot day. A young university freshman sits in the stuffy office of one of her professors, a small windowless room filled with bookshelves overflowing with old tomes. She wipes a few drops of sweat from her brow and regrets her decision to wear black. She's been sitting in the office for ten minutes now, watching as her professor silently flips through an old history book. Then she notices it, an ice cold can of soda sitting on her professor's desk next to a tuna sandwich. Beads of condensation drip down from the can and plop on the professor's wooden desk.

The student glances at her professor, who is still enthralled by his book. Slowly, she reaches for the can of soda. The ruler moves faster than the eye can see, bursting through the air and striking the student in the hand the moment her finger touches the can. The student glances up at the man holding the ruler, her professor with an angry look on his face. "I do not recall giving you permission to touch my belongings, Miss Jonestar," he says. "In fact, I recall instructing you to sit here quietly while I finished reading this passage, an instruction you seem incapable of following."

"Joestar," the student mutters.

"Excuse, me, I didn't catch that," the professor says. "Speak louder when you're spoken to."

"My name is Joestar, sir," she says.

The professor rolls his eyes. "Oh, I'm so sorry," he says, voice full of sarcasm. "Please forgive me for misremembering the stupid name of one of my countless students."

The professor, an old man named Dr. Dre, is a tall, chubby man with horn-rimmed glasses. He wears a tweed jacket and a tie covered in the logo of his favorite soda brand. He has been a history teacher for thirty years now, a position he adores because it gives him a microcosm of power, a power that he enjoys abusing as much as possible, much to the dismay of his students.

He pulls the ruler back and discovers that Miss Joestar's finger hasn't moved from the soda can. She stares at him for a moment before slowly pulling her hand back. The professor rolls his eyes.

"You made me lose my place in my book, young lady," the professor says with a scowl.

"I'm sorry," Miss Joestar mutters.

"Now then, what was it that was so urgent that you felt the need to bother me during my lunch break?"

"Mr. Dre-"

"Dr. Dre."

"Dr. Dre, I was hoping to talk to you about the recent exam."

Dr. Dre scoffs. "Of course you are," he says. "Every hour another one of my students comes here to complain about receiving a bad grade. It isn't my fault that you children decided against showing up."

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