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The Graveyard Game Book 4 : A Novel of the Company
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The Graveyard Game Book 4 : A Novel of the Company
They make a junket to the north of England. They spend time in the country of "The Innocents", an imagined novel combining elements of Animal Farm and Watership Down. This novel and its loony fans are among the catalysts for the growing animal-rights movement which will eventually ban meat consumption in many countries. They stay at a house run by two of the more extreme fans, but Joseph has other motives. He has finally decoded some information Budu forced on him, and he means to act on it.
Under cover of another storm, Joseph sneaks out of the house, with Lewis tailing him. They uncover a secret installation in a hillside, containing many cyborgs suspended in tanks of fluid. Are Mendoza and Budu in places like this? Lewis' Company conditioning, intended to keep cyborgs out of forbidden places, causes him to re-experience his suppressed memories of being disabled and kidnapped in medieval Ireland. He begins to understand why the Company left him in South America for years, until the events recorded in Sky Coyote.
Lewis is still researching Edward when he can. He learns that Nennius, another cyborg, was monitoring or guiding Edward, even being the headmaster of his school. Joseph seeks out Suleyman, a former Barbary Coast pirate who has built up an independent power base in Fez, Morocco. Suleyman has also found means of frustrating the Company monitoring. Suleyman reveals that he himself is working secretly against other factions, some of whom seem to be creating new diseases to wipe out humans.
He implicates Budu in this, to Joseph's consternation. Joseph and Lewis meet again in London. Joseph now has one of Suleyman's masking devices. Lewis tells him all he knows about Edward. Edward was working for people who wanted to gain possession of Santa Catalina island, off the California coast.
Joseph has a meeting with Victor, who reveals that he did bring Budu down, a few hours before the San Francisco earthquake in , and tells Joseph where to find him. Lewis is working in a library. Finding his cover blown by a strange little man, Lewis drops out of sight and heads to Spain for another meeting with Joseph. On the way he encounters more of the strange men , and is injured with some kind of disrupter that partially disables his hand.
This is not supposed to be possible, as the cyborgs have self-repair mechanisms. Told to take a vacation, he accompanies Joseph on a tour of the local archeological sites— the places where Joseph was raised, 20, years previously, before checking into a Company base for repairs. Lewis has an "accidental" encounter with Nennius aboard a cruise ship, and Nennius feeds him a story about Edward. Lewis contacts Joseph, and they proceed to Santa Catalina where Lewis believes the key to the mystery is hidden.
It is a trap. Lewis is taken, and Joseph severely injured. Rolling off a cliff and into the sea, he eventually washes up onshore and is able to reach one of Suleyman's mosques, from where he is taken to Suleyman himself. When he recovers, his implant has been removed. He is a free agent, but also a fugitive. If the Company ever discovers he is still alive, there will be Hell to pay.
Suleyman gives him the same message as Porfirio did: go, and don't come back. Joseph follows Victor's instructions and locates Budu, buried by the San Francisco earthquake. He takes the remains to one of the Company's storage facilities under Mount Tamalpais and starts the process of revivification, with help from the cyborg Abdiel, whose entire life consists of journeying between these facilities, maintaining them. Joseph settles down to wait for Budu to re-activate, and tells his recovering corpse his story.
He likens himself to Hamlet, for delaying too long in taking action, resulting in the deaths of all around him. But he still has 74 years until Facilitator Joseph is a major character in this novel, as he is in most of the Company stories. At the end of the previous installment, Sky Coyote , his first-person narrative concluded with him expressing a certain ill-defined unease at his life, which by then had moved from Spain to Old California to Hollywood.
For the first time in his thousands of years of life he was questioning his own motives as a Company operative. Lewis's news of Mendoza's appearance in , coupled with the discovery that her disappearance in had been connected with the identical twin of the man who ruined her in Elizabethan England, begins his estrangement from the organization he has served since prehistory. He finally decodes the information given to him by his own father, Budu, which reveals to him the hidden Company graveyards where damaged and inconvenient immortals sleep. The novel ends with him turned into a demon of sorts, a malevolent free spirit determined to bring doom on those who have abused him and his loved ones for so long.
Literature Specialist Lewis was introduced in Sky Coyote as a mild mannered Company flunky with no skeletons in his closet. In this novel his tragic background, both as a victim of the mysterious little men and as a man doomed to love an unattainable woman, come to the fore.
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Unfortunately he is soon out of his depth. As a Preserver, his ability to carry out clandestine operations is practically nonexistent. Even Joseph, normally the lead man in any deception, cannot help him when the party being deceived is the all-knowing Dr. Security Tech Porfirio is, in some ways, a more extreme version of Joseph. Like Joseph, he has formed a deep attachment to others, in his case the descendants of his brother.