"It took me a while to shake that feeling," I tell her.
She looks at me, her eyes slits, her body shaking slightly. "What feeling?"
I give her a minute while I check my surroundings. My cart was where I had left it, my few possessions safely hidden beneath the ragged grey blanket draped over its top. Satisfied that it is all there, I reply, "The feeling that the whole world is shaking. It isn't, that's you."
"I-I saw Cyrus! How'd he find us?" She asks. "Oh my God, the Russian..."
"Can take care of himself," I finish her sentence. I half expect him to pop into the room at any moment, but I do not tell her that.
"So what do we do now? I can't hide down here forever." She says, taking a seat amongst the same pile of crates she had before.
"And I can't hide you forever..." I stall, debating the options available to her, us. "We could protect you until you're not 'newly fallen,'" I suggest, but I know how hollow my words were as I say them.
"And how long will that take?" she asks.
"I don't know," I stall again. "Wait... no, that won't work."
"No..." I shake my head, putting the thought out of my mind.
"Fine," she sighs. "Why now? I mean, I get that I'm 'newly fallen' or whatever, but there must be tons of new homeless all the time."
I have not had long enough to think about it, so I dig in my cart, pulling out a half used cigarette and used another power of the Sphere to light it.
"How'd you..." She begins.
"It'll start any fire I want it to," I tell her, and leave it at that, my thoughts returning to her previous questions. "I think he just finally has the support that he needs. Before, the Princes kept each other in check, no one wanting the others to become too powerful... maybe he's made some deals."
"Is there any way we could check that?" She asks.
"The only reliable way I can think of involves us talking to each of the Princes..."
"Well, I've met three of them already, and I've barely been homeless a month." A sharp intake of breath before she begins to sob.
I give her time. "Is that the first time you've admitted it?"
She nods, reaching into her pocket and pulling out the crumpled napkin from earlier. The yellow paper with my sigil on it slips out, falling to the floor. She does not seem to notice as she blows her nose.
I approach and pick up the paper, noting the fear in her eyes as I come close. "Why don't you tell me what happened?" I offer, unfolding the note and reading it.