Pedro: A family heirloom.
Stan: What kind of heirloom?
Pedro (hesitating) : It’s a pendant. It’s believe to have been in the family for centuries.
Charlie: What happened to it?
Pedro: It disappeared sometime in the 16th century.
Pedro (hesitating): I am also searching for something…
Charlie: Oh? What kind of something?
Pedro: Now, it seems one original map has been found.
Charlie: Did he tell you where?
Stan: And, how do they know it’s authentic?
Pedro: I asked him that, and again he did not answer.
Charlie: So, where does that leave us?
Pedro: Exactly. I asked him, why tell me all of this? He replied that someone else needed to know about these maps, and I should be the one to tell that person.
Stan: Did he say who that person was?
Pedro (motioning to Charlie): Yes, you.
Pedro: He hesitated again and finally said that strong evidence has recently surfaced about a set of complete maps.
Stan: I’m still not sure about the significance of all of this…
Pedro: Over the centuries, maps have been copied and passed on. It is believed that some lairs, where shipments were sometimes kept between pickups, may have been dropped in the copying process and forgotten.
Charlie: Ahhhh….I think I’m starting to understand…
Pedro: He asked me if I had ever seen a complete map of a network. I said no, as far as I knew, they did not exist. He smiled.
Charlie: Then what?
Pedro: He came to speak, then stopped. So I asked him why was he so interested in the map. He replied he was not the only one who was interested. I asked him who else would be in this old map? He smiled again.
Pedro: Yes. So again I asked him who? He asked me if somebody else had approached me about the map. I said no.
Charlie: Not exactly forthcoming with information, was he?
Pedro: No. So I asked him point blank: Is there a full map I should be aware of? And if so, why were so many people interested in it?
Stan: What did he say?
Chef Ludwig: That sounds like the guy that was here before you showed up.
Stan: Really? Pedro, did he introduce himself?
Pedro: I did ask his name, but he just said “a friend”.
Charlie: What did he say about the map?
Pedro: He started by asking me what I knew about it. So I told him what I told you.
Charlie: When did he tell you about the complete map?
Pedro: Well, he didn’t exactly come out and say that…
Stan: What did he say, then?
Pedro: I mean, I’ve been told that a complete map exists somewhere, but not who has it.
Stan: Who told you?
Pedro: A man I met yesterday in the market.
Charlie: He just approached you and told you this?
Pedro: Sort of. I was sitting having a coffee and looking at the alpha map. He stopped by and asked if I would be interested in knowing more about it. I said sure. So he pulled up a chair and sat down.
Stan: You did not ask his name?
Charlie: What did he look like?
Pedro: He was tall and thin. And despite the heat, was wearing a long black coat and a black fedora.
Chef Ludwig looks up from his stove.
Pedro: Maps were designed to show only part of a network. Each map had a designated owner, and showed just enough so that the owner, or courier, knew where to go.
Charlie: So, each route had any couriers?
Pedro: Yes. They were basically laid out as a relay race.
Stan: So, how did the courier know there was a new cargo to be transported?
Pedro: It was part of their routine. Pick up, travel, deliver, come back to the starting point. Sometimes they would carry something back, sometimes not.
Charlie: Did someone know the full route, or owned a complete map of the route?
Pedro: Until now, it was always thought there were no complete maps in existence.
Stan: Until now?