Joshua dies. I tell this particular part of the story to illustrate that justice in the city is as swift as it can be brutal.
How do you break out of a well guarded city when there’s an angel at the center of the city who can see everything as it happens? Joshua didn’t speak of his plans to anyone knowing that once the plans were given words they’d be knowable by the Angel. The plan would have to be written down but disguised enough to obscure it. Also those taking part in the escape would have to be unaware they were taking part in an escape.
Joshua communicated his plan by writing a series of stories for children on parchment. The first story concerned a snake trapped in a pit that burrowed his way through the earth. The second story was about a bright red fish that couldn’t remember anything. The third story concerned how a troop of monkeys observed humans floating their dead by wrapping them in muslin and floating them down the river and started copying them. The final story was about a small mouse that slept for a few days and awoke in a new land. The stories were illustrated, bound and sold by merchants across the city.
Joshua was able to talk in half understood conversations with his small group of conspirators. Evie’s mother understood enough of her conversation with Joshua to know she needed to pack lightly.
Joshua had prepared a second group of conspirators, these were the forgetful red fish. They were ready to spread out across the city and engage in activity. Busy group forming activities. Joshua had a notion that this would busy the Recording Angel and the small group of conspirators would float out of the city unnoticed.
No one knows if The Process noticed first or the Recording Angel picked up a stray conversation. There were armed guards were waiting as each drugged sleeping escapee floated on a small reed raft under the walls & out of the city.
A court was hastily convened. Pleas were heard, confessions extracted by The Process. Evie was taken away from her mother & was locked in a circular room somewhere in the tall tower.
Joshua was made an example of. Citizens would not quickly forget this attempt to subvert The Process. His death didn’t weigh heavily on an immortal angel or the clockwork children of The Process.