Palazzo Contarini dal Zaffo, Venice 
Late Summer, 1634 
 

Alvise Contarini stood at the open window as the welcome breeze stirred his sweat-damp hair, releasing some of the long day's tension and driving the heat away. Lost in his thoughts, he let a few moments slip by before he became aware of a rattle of knuckles on the door, followed shortly by a creak of hinges and a familiar pattern of footsteps.

"What news, dottore?" He asked the question without turning.

"It was arranged as you asked,

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- The Grantville Gazette Staff