WEDNESDAY MORNING - 10:26am 12/17/86 Red Oak Rd.

Joey keeps his focus on the figure with the rifle off to the left.

“One person. Automatic weapon. M16? I can’t make out any details, but he’s moving really smoothly through that terrain.”

The figure walks up to the road then starts to move toward their position. The weapon is slung across his back now.

“I’m not going to harm you. I’ve been waiting for you, Jacob Laberman. You and your friends are safe here.”

The voice is clear and steady. A man’s voice. Deep enough and smooth. Comforting?

Steve is lying in the snow to the right of Jacob’s position. He has his 30/30 Winchester trained on his target. The man moves preternaturally, covering the distance between them in half the time of normal movement. Joey whispers.

“I’ve seen him around. The restaurant maybe? He doesn’t look like a dan’jarass. Something I can trust him.

“You can trust me, Arborass, Child of Dragons. Huj agraas p'aas”

Joey gets up on his feet. Jacob tries to pull him back down, but he stands his ground.

“Joey...what the hell? Stay down!”

“It’s okay, Jacob. This man is definitely not a threat. He knows my Cóng Manii name and my birth calling: Together we are strong.

As the man gets within ten feet from their position, Steve calls out.

“That’s enough, motherfucker! I will spray the snow with your brains!!”

The stranger starts to laugh.

“Hello, Steven. I’ve shared similar memories of your other self, Höryntheus. Quite a colorful disposition.”

Mike stands.

“So, you know who we are. Who the hell are you?”

The man smiles and opens his arms.

“I’m the handyman at the Covenstead. My name’s Eddie. Eddie Haoa.”

He offers his hand toward Jacob.

“Such a pleasure to finally meet you all. Aunty Tara has told me so much about you.”

He turns and looks directly at Anthony.

“She’s going to be so happy to meet you.”

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