|Volume||Honeysuckle & Pain|
|Starts||June 16, 2014 (23:35:05)|
|Ends||June 19, 2014 (22:05:09)|
|Previous chapter||in the middle of their street|
Chapter Quote Edit
"What's tragic is that the ardor of questioning is always being shattered by an answer that wants to be absolute." - Edmond Jabès
The chapter begins on Monday, June 16, 2014 at 23:35:05 in Los Angeles, California. Astair notices that the glass wolves statue is missing and wants to know where it is. She goes upstairs to bring all three girls down into the living room. As she's upstairs, Anwar realizes too that the statue is missing. As soon as they are in the living room, the twins begin crying. Astair demands an explanation. Xanther tells her sisters that it's okay. The twins nod and lead the family out to the garbage bins. When Astair opens the bins and looks inside of a brown paper bag, she finds the shattered pieces of the statue. She begins crying so Anwar sends the girls back inside.
Anwar is confused over why Astair is so upset. He assumes it must have something to do with Dov, since he was the one who gifted it to her. Once Anwar and Astair return inside, Freya claims that she and Shasti had nothing to do with the broken statue. Anwar notices the look on Shasti's face. She is unsure of what will happen next and she keeps waiting on Freya to say something. Freya then says that Xanther broke the statue. Xanther is shocked by this accusation.
Anwar thinks back to the Thursday morning when Xanther was nearly hit by a truck. When the driver and the passenger, a man and a woman, both exited the truck, they were distraught over almost hitting Xanther. Anwar heard the man refer to the woman as "Lupita." Xanther thought Lupita looked beautiful. When the two of them turned around to get back into the truck, Anwar also caught the name of the man: "Miz." Xanther became upset by the event and spent the rest of the day vomiting. Once it was over, Xanther felt great. Astair blamed epilepsy for the whole event but Anwar was unsure about this. Later, after Anwar ran over the squirrel, he expected Xanther to break into tears. Instead, she ran out of the car to check on the squirrel. This moment reminded Anwar of Dov again.
Anwar then remembers his work with Enzio. They accepted his Cataplyst-2 submission and paid him again. They then sent him another new build: Cataplyst-3. On June 11, Anwar received an email from Savannah Cambridge, an employee at Enzio. He is expected to once again fix the major bugs in the code and submit it again for payment. Anwar had spent days trying to fix Cataplyst-3 but nothing was working. He tried revisiting the first two Cataplyst builds again but that only increased his confusion. Anwar then began to wonder more about what was really going on. He wondered what Mefisto was doing while working for Enzio. He wondered if Mefisto knew about the Cataplysts. He wondered if Enzio knew that Anwar knew Mefisto. He wondered how Enzio even discovered Anwar in the first place. Anwar was beginning to feel paranoid, but then he remembered something that eased his nerves. Right after the Ibrahims first moved to Echo Park from East Los Angeles, Mefisto had visited them. When he visited, Astair and the girls were not home. Instead of visiting at night with alcohol as Mefisto usually would, he visited in the morning with coffee. Mefisto only stayed for a short time. Anwar felt that it was just a normal visit, but Mefisto looked worried. Still, he did not bring up anything serious with Anwar. The two merely talked and joked around. After Mefisto left, Anwar discovered a prank he pulled: he reprogrammed the security device on their front door to say "alert: open door!" in different languages.
Back on the morning on June 12 at 4:04am, Anwar and Astair woke up at the exact same time. Astair claimed that she was hearing a voice in her dreams. It was in a language she did not speak, but could still understand. The voice kept screaming "she'll die!" over and over again. Anwar could hear a voice too, but he thought it was Mefisto's voice. Language and vocabulary have always been important to Anwar, and he wanted it to be important to his family as well. This focus on language and vocabulary increased Anwar's paranoia with the Cataplyst software. There was nothing in the coding to indicate any sort of purpose with the software. Despite Enzio repeatedly telling Anwar that "Cataplyst" is a game they were working on, the game continued to feel too empty. There were no assets, or design, or much of anything else to convince Anwar to believe that it truly was a video game.
Anwar, Ehtisham, Glasgow, and Talbot all attended E3 over the weekend. Anwar was disappointed that he was not able to announce Paradise Open with the list of games being revealed. Among all of the games that were being revealed, Dead Rowboats had unveiled a game they were calling Category 9. Ehtisham told Anwar that they could start their own video game company if they had $50,000. He also mentioned that Blizzard offered him a job. EA and Riot Games both contacted Talbot. When Kozimo asked Glasgow if he would like to work for Dead Rowboats, Glasgow rejected the offer.
The flashback ends and Anwar tells Astair that he knows the statue had a lot of significance. On Tuesday, the household is mostly silent. Anwar uses the silence as an opportunity to catch up on work. On Wednesday, speech is slowly returning. Anwar is still puzzled over what really happened with the statue. After Freya accused Xanther of breaking it, Astair asked how and why she would do that. The twins attempt to give a story, though it is inconsistent. After they finish talking, Anwar and Astair both ask Xanther if their story is true. Xanther chose to remain silent.
On Wednesday night, Anwar and Astair are discussing the situation in their bedroom. Astair says Xanther needs to be punished. Anwar asks if this anger is really about the statue, or if it is about Dov. Astair leads Anwar out of the house and they take a walk around the neighborhood. Astair tells Anwar that the statue was worth roughly $80,000 and she was planning on selling it. Thoughts of all the things they could have done with that money quickly rush through Anwar's mind. He then admits that he does not want to punish Xanther for breaking the statue. He does, however, want to punish her for not telling the truth right away. As they continue walking, they try to come up with an appropriate punishment.
On Thursday, Anwar and Astair confront Xanther. Astair says she will be punished if she does not confess the truth. Xanther does not confess. She merely asks them what her punishment will be. Astair, in a fit of rage, threatens to take away the cat. Both Anwar and Xanther are shocked by this, but Xanther becomes angry upon hearing this. Astair calms down and tells Xanther that she will instead be grounded for only one day: the day she is supposed to go to Magic Mountain with her friends.
The chapter ends on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 22:05:09.