John the Baptist's head on a platterThe “mourning a death in the family” is about the murder of John the Baptist (Matthew 14). When Josh gets the news, he tries to go somewhere quiet to be alone. Unfortunately, he is a Famous Celebrity, and even before the invention of paparazzi or the internet, that means he doesn’t get any privacy.

Jerusalem is the one place I didn’t even try to obscure/colloquialize the name of. Although I was severely tempted to call it the Big Olive.

All the gears in Josh’s head are ticking hard, here. Poor María is simultaneously vibing on his exact wavelength, and two steps behind.

Josh: It would be nice to get a break. The way things are now, I can’t even go off alone to mourn a death in the family without a crowd of fans showing up. But people are counting on me. The guys left their jobs to follow me! They need my fans to keep caring enough to feed and shelter us. And I need to keep learning, keep leveling up.

Saxon: You don’t! It’s amazing that you can help sick people, but it’s not your responsibility to heal everyone.

Josh: Isn’t it? Besides, it’s definitely my responsibility to help you. I made you! I need to do whatever I can to treat you fairly. . . . Whatever I can.

María: You’ve been looking for more information about Unshaped Beings in the temples of the towns you visit, right? Maybe the big one in the capitol would have something in its archives that the small-town ones don’t. I could make a visit on your behalf, copy out anything I find . . .

Josh: There’s an idea! I could go to the capitol!

María: I don’t think you should go yourself! It’ll make the Empire nervous.

Josh: All right, I’ll do it!

María: But —

Josh: Pack your saddlebags and round up the guys. We’re all going on a road trip to Jerusalem!