I had come up town to see the man they called the Roman.
He was there, but wouldn’t be answering any of my questions. Engine Company 205 was pulling his remains out of the smoldering wreckage when I got here: ash and soot masquerading as a man.
You know the Romans – the real ones – used to sacrifice to the old gods with fire. It’s where we get the word immolation. Animals and barley cakes, mostly; never men.
But that’s what this was. A sacrifice. An immolation. I just had to figure out which gods they were trying to please.