I Have A Little Book...

Saffron opens herself to the contact with a small smile. "Hi, sweetheart. I found some interesting books… but I'm not really in the library anymore. You didn't look too long, did you?"

Skye makes a face and holds out her hand. "The shifter were still in the Infirmary where he was supposed to be. Bring me through and I'll tell you the rest."

"That good, huh?" Saffron answers wryly. She takes the Ranger's hand and obediently brings her through. "Did you check on Mom?"

"I did," Skye says as she looks around with a raised eyebrow. "She is awake. She asked me to stay and talk for a little while. Gerard says she can't be moved while her internal organs heal. She said it had only been a few hours since she fell with Brand."

Saffron huffs a little. "We'll move the couch, then. I'm glad she's feeling better." She looks around at the chests full of books in the room. "I found some interesting things in here. Apparently this is where old books go when they leave the library - or at least some of them…"

"Really?" Skye asks mildly. "Find anything good? Oh. Before I forget. Your mother wants me to go find her axe when we are next in Shadow, and she thinks we should tell Random about us so he doesn't try and marry one of us off. Gerard had already told her about us. Which was not his place to do, but it is done." She frowns. "Not that he could have possibly been doing more than speculating."

Saffron crosses her arms. "Our uncles seem to have a bad case of 'psychic' this week," she observes, sounding irritated. "I'd fully expect Random to just nod and say, 'I know,' if we were to try and tell him. I found some of Benedict's diaries, and one by a person who is apparently his sister Alais. Also, a cryptic card, that Gerard writes boring journal entries, and that the lady called Maryam whose painting we found was apparently a Lady of Chaos and possibly Benedict's nanny." She takes a deep breath and adds, "Uh… how did Mom take it? I don't think I ever really got around to telling her I like girls…"

Skye blinks as she process all that. Then she smiles. "She doesn't mind. She just wants you happy. And speaking of Random, " Skye scowls. "He apparently knew to come because there was an eavesdropper. But Deirdre didn't know if it was on the room or the call."

Some of the tension in Saffron's shoulders eases. "Oh, good. I was hoping… well, you know." She huffs a little. "Figures there'd be an eavesdropper. I'll have to pay attention next time we make a call…"

"Why would Benedict's nanny rate a portrait?"

She shrugs. "Artists will paint anyone. But I'm not entirely sure yet if she's just a nanny. She's of the House of Barimen, apparently… and Finndo and Benedict seem to have been quite angry at the way in which she was retired when Benedict came of age. And here, look at this." She picks up a diary from an untidy pile by her feet. "Uncle Ben's. He doesn't talk about Grandfather as 'Dad' in here like he does now; he calls him by name."

"That's interesting," Skye observes as she reaches down for another of Benedict's diaries. "Maybe Benedict's not Oberon's." She smiles slyly. "Maybe he's Finndo's and Maryum's."

Saffron nods. "I thought about that, and it was considerably more creepy before I found the book that had her titles in it. I can't find an old enough family tree to find out, though. Maybe he was fostered out in Chaos?"

Her girlfriend snorts in amusement. "Maybe. It's interesting for a topic of speculation, but I am not sure it's important enough to pursue right now. I'm more interested in what we saw behind that door. What's this card you found of Gerard's? Does it do anything?"

"No, it's just interesting," the sorceress answers. "The topic and the card both, really. Here…" She picks up another diary and extracts a card from the front."

The right size for a Trump, the picture is not very good - childish, almost - and there's no coolness, but the face is very definitely the one on the hidden picture.

On the back of the card is a code. F5-3W-2LC-3B.

"Ah, our mysterious nanny." Skye gives it a skeptical look before flipping it over. "Is this a code?" she asks, intrigued. "Did you find anything like a key to it?"

"Only if the trade details of a particular Shadow are of interest," Saffron answers. "It didn't look like a line-and-page key, so I left the journal in the library."

"It looks like a location code," Skye frowns thoughtfully. "Of course, it could be anything, but if F stands for Floor…" She quirks an eyebrow at Saffron. "Want to go check the fifth floor?"

"Sure. Let me put some of these away first…" Saffron picks up two more diaries, tucking them under her arm with the one she's holding. "This one's some sort of mage journal," she explains, "and this other one has a drawing of the person that might be Benedict's sister." She stacks the rest of the books she'd pulled out neatly and sets them back inside the nearest chest. "I thought we could read them later."

"Huh. Are any of my Father's in here?" Skye inquires curiously.

"Not that I noticed - but I wasn't really looking. Why don't we go check out the fifth floor and then come back and check out the rest of the books later?" Saffron suggests. "I'd be curious to see if any of Mom's are here, too, but they're books. I don't think they're going anywhere."

It doesn't take either of them long to determine that - if the F stands for Floor, then, given the orientation of the castle, the W probably stands for West. Possibly as a direction from the main stairway.

Seeing as they're on the fifth floor, they need only determine whether they're in the correct room. A quick jaunt outside by Skye determines that - if their code-breaking is correct - this room is indeed the correct one.

Skye steps back in the room with a frown. “If I’m reading this right, we are already in the right room. Have you rearranged anything since you got here?”

Saffron looks around. "I don't think so. Nothing other than the contents of the boxes, anyway. There didn't seem much point in moving them when I was after what was inside."

"OK. 2LC… 2nd left of center? 2nd Left Chest?" Skye frowns fiercely at the writing on the card, as if forcing it to give up its secrets. "Then 3 B."

Saffron laughs. "That's very cute, sweetheart. Why don't you try the 2nd left of center and I'll try the second left chest, and then we'll both try the second line of chests. Maybe 3B is third book?"

Skye wrinkles her nose at Saffron then moves over to find the 2nd left of center to see how the books inside were arranged. As with all the chests and crates seen so far, the books are laid flat making anywhere from 10 to 15 layers deep, and usually 3 rows of 5 columns.

Skye gives the books a dark look. "This was going to be easier when it was an actual location. LC could mean anything. and 3B can't be 3rd Book. Which layer? Unless L stands for Layer, but then what does the C stand for? Bah."

"See, this is why I always hated treasure hunts as a child," Saffron observes. "I guess let's check the third books in each stack and see if there's anything interesting."

“Right,” Skye says as she eyes the layout and looks back at the code while standing by the door to the hall. “And is it from the hallway door or the library door, do you think?”

The sorceress looks back and forth between the two doors. The Library door is barely visible. "I had assumed the hallway door," she answers. "Since the rest of the directions were to that door. There really weren't other options for the library door on this floor."

"We could always just look through all the chests," Saffron suggest dubiously. "There can't be that many options for what '3B' and '2LC' mean."

With the prospect of a day and a night - or more - searching through chests and crates, another look at the code and the set up gives them a couple of options.

LC could be 'left of center', or even 'left center', though the number seemed to indicate the first. Either of which would likely mean the center 'column' on the left.

The 3B might mean not a location within a chest, but the location of a chest, using an array, which would seem to indicate that the chest three rows back in the middle of the left side might well be what's indicated.

The books within that chest are all associated with Caine, Julian and Gerard.

Skye grins. “Excellent. I call Julian’s.”

Saffron laughs. "Okay, I'll take Caine's, but you have to split Gerard's with me. If the one I already found is any sample, it's going to take both of us to get through them."

“How do you want to move this?” Skye asks as she sits down on one of the other chests. “Because I’m pretty sure someone will give us grief if we go carting this back to my room through the halls. Because that is just how things are going.”

Saffron blinks at her. "Move it? Why don't we just look at it here? I mean, I assume that whatever it is we're going to find, it's hidden for a reason, right?"

Skye grins as she picks up the first of Julian’s books “Alright. But if I find anything racy, it’s coming with us.”

"I know, I know," Saffron answers good-naturedly as she picks up the first of Caine's.

The majority of Julian's seem devoted to Arden. This is clearly before he became the Warden, but just as clearly, he loved the place. Almost every book is full of small maps and information on the animals and plants within those areas.

There's also a diary that goes in-depth about a project that - to Skye's practiced eye - clearly led to Morgenstern, involving the breeding and cross-breeding of at least six breeds through four or more Shadows.

Caine's journals show a curious dichotomy. On the one hand, there's enough erotic poetry to describe much more than half the daughters of noble houses in and around Amber. On the other, there is clearly a strong strategic mind, as he details some of the 'pirate' raids he engaged in under Oberon's orders.

It's pretty clear that most of these books are here not due to being banished for forbidden information, but just because there are so many of them.

There are, by contrast, roughly twelve books written by Gerard, but all of them are very thick, and a quick glance at one of them shows a fine, almost cramped, hand wrote tightly compacted sentences throughout.

Skye snorts as she finishes Julian's. "That man is obsessed. If ever we wanted to get his attention, we would need to turn into dryads. However, the breeding program that led to Morgenstern is all right here." She leafs through the first of Gerard's. "I never would have thought Gerard would have this kind of handwriting. For one, it's legible, and you can never read a doctor's handwriting." She continues paging through. "Now, what was so important you had to put in a code? You know, sweetie, I shall be eternally ticked off if the code was just to remind him where the rest of his books were."

Saffron laughs. "Ohhhh, that would be annoying. Maybe we should bring some of Caine's home with us, though." With a smirk, she flips to the raciest of the poems and hands it to Skye. "I didn't know he liked poetry so much." She picks up the next of Gerard's journals and opens it with an audible sigh. "This better be more interesting than the last one. And it had better not be a medical textbook either, or I'm going to throw something at him the next time I see him."

Skye looks at Caine's work and one eyebrow shoots towards her hairline. "Wow. Who knew? We should take some home. Compile them in a book." She smirks and sets the journal down to deal with Gerard's. "I may need glasses after this," she mutters.

It's Saffron who first notices it, though Skye, when it's brought to her attention, can follow it as well.

Gerard's books are exceedingly dull. Trade and history - and none of the good stuff - dominate. One gets the impression that reading it aloud would dry up the ocean.

Except. Except for Saffron's discovery. On each page, buried within the text, is a sentence that doesn't make sense with the surrounding text. But it makes sense with the text on the prior page, and the page after.

Those sentences, far from being boring, show incisive, well-considered opinions regarding events current at the time, and an immense understanding of psychology.

There's no evidence that Gerard ever shared his thoughts with others, at least nothing written indicates it.

But all that pales when Skye pulls out yet another of Gerard's books. At first glimpse, it looks like all the others. Then, as she gets to the middle of the book, several pages seem stuck together. It's common enough in older books kept in poor conditions, and with the nominal subject matter - farming practices in a far off Shadow - it's unlikely anyone would care.

The fact that the coded sentences were discussing Benedict and the old issues with Finndo and Osric makes it somewhat more of a concern. Except that the codes continue without a break on the other side of the clump of pages.

It takes a bit, but between them, Skye and Saffron figure out how to unpry the pages without ripping them, mostly by figuring out that only at one point can they really be pulled apart. Doing so reveals a cavity cut out of the pages, and within the cavity a small book.

Written on the cover of the book, in Gerard's hand, is the title 'Lost Genealogy of Amber'.

"Tabiti's robes," Skye exclaims quietly. "Maybe all this climbing about in abandoned areas won't be a total bust after all. I think we should take it somewhere else to read though. If he's gone to all this trouble to hide it, we probably shouldn't read it in the open."

"FINALLY," Saffron answers excitedly. "I knew there had to be something like this around here somewhere!" She peers at the other woman in amusement. "Sweetie, we're on a disused floor in a room that the only reason we knew to look for it was because of the code on the card. Is it really in the open? Besides, I'm curious." She opens the book.

The inside front cover of the book, oddly enough, has a disclaimer of sorts. It reads 'Information gathered from numerous sources. Estimated accuracy roughly 88%'.

The next page lists the contents. There are, apparently, six sections. They are: Barimen; Dworkin in Chaos; Dworkin elsewhere; Oberon in Chaos; Oberon in Amber; Amber Royal Family (known to date).

The first section lists three or four generations. The names mean nothing to either, but one thing is clear - the Barimen clan is solidly linked to the House of Sawall, and from what notes are there, not as a minor or sept clan, but - at the time, at least - in the line of succession.

The next section, Dworkin in Chaos, shows Dworkin Barimen married to a minimum of eight women - some of the dates indicate that at least some of the marriages were bigamous or polygamous - but only shows three children. Two are listed as dead. One has no name, indicating that the child was stillborn. The other, listed as dead at fifteen, is a daughter, by a woman named Hellaya. The daughter's name was Dalla.

The surviving child is also a daughter - Maryam, listed as the daughter of Dworkin and Perala.

Dworkin Elsewhere shows Dworkin's - relationship - with the Unicorn (though there is a note indicating that Gerard, at least, doesn't believe it, but has found no evidence to name their actual grandmother). Said relationship has one child, Oberon. Looking back, the dates given for Oberon's birth would normally seem to place him within Dworkin's Chaos family. There are no notes indicating why Gerard chose to separate them, however.

From the data provided, Dworkin, at least, seems not to have been very fertile.

Skye looks over at Saffron with a bemused expression. "Well, we have found who Maryam was; Oberon's half sister. Finndo's Aunt. A bit more then just Benedict's nanny. Which is why she rates a portrait." She quirks a half smile. "Of course, this doesn't mean Finndo didn't have a thing with his Aunt and give us the Benedict we all know and love. Maybe we can find that out in the next section."

Saffron shakes her head, looking bemused. "I really hope our family tree doesn't have that many knots in it. It wouldn't surprise me, but I hope." She leans her cheek against Skye's shoulder and turns the page.

The next section, titled 'Oberon in Chaos', lists Oberon as having three wives. The first, Ryla, shows no children. The second, Tana, lists Finndo as their child. The third, Cymnea, lists Osric as a child, with Benedict written in below Osric, his name marked. The note for the mark states that Benedict was formally - if quietly - adopted, and placed below Osric in the line of succession.

The next section, 'Oberon in Amber', is considerably longer, but - by and large - seems to fit what most of you know. His first wife in Amber is Faiella, who bore, in order, Eric, Deirdre and Corwin. Then Clarissa, who bore Fiona, Bleys and Brand. Moins, who bore Llewella, then Rilga, who bore Caine, Julian and Gerard. Then comes a surprise. A wife named Harla, who's not named in the official record, nor are her children, Delwin and Sand.

Following that anomaly, it returns to established order, with Dybele, and her daughter Florimel, followed finally by Paulette, with son Random and daughter Mirelle.

Skye jabs a finger at the passage concerning Benedict's adoption. "Ha!" she exclaims triumphantly. "Busted."

"Well, he isn't Oberon's," Skye points out. "And he's inserted behind Osric. Which is where he would be in the succession after Oberon as the son of Finndo or Osric. I'm still pulling for Finndo."

"I know, but 'Oberon lied to us all' is so passé," Saffron answers, smiling. "Where do you think Alais is in all this?" She indicates the journal she had brought up from the library. "According to her diary, she should be about the same age as Osric and Finndo and a bit older than Benedict."

"Oberon did lie. Often." Skye scowls briefly. "But that is a good question about Alais. Perhaps she is behind that door we found. Perhaps that is where Maryam is as well. Who knows? That's alive to tell us, that is. What does it say about the Royal Family to date?"

"Oh, right." Saffron flips back to that section instead. "But I want to go back to this section with Osric and Finndo when we're done with this one."

The first page of the next section clears up some, and adds more. The first page shows Finndo's marriages and children. A marriage is shown to Kitali Berayne (the Beraynes are not high level nobles, at least now, but they're still known), with no children. A relationship is shown - clearly not a marriage - with Maryam Barimen, producing two children. Alais and Benedict.

Saffron shakes her head. "I'm beginning to think we should look outside the family for that. We don't need babies with three arms." She gives the Ranger a wry smile. "I don't think we're to Gideon yet, are we?"

Continuing on, there are no children listed for Osric at all. The only relationship noted for him at all is with someone named Michel.

Benedict is next. Showing that the author of the document has updated things fairly recently, it shows Lucas as his son, though the mother's name is currently unlisted. It also shows Dara's lineage - which is hardly news to family, with all the gossip.

Eric's name comes next, with Skye the only name listed, along with her mother's. Then comes Deirdre, with Saffron as her only listed child.

Corwin seems one of the more fecund, having two names connected to his under Dara - Merlin and Jurt - then Morgan, from Moire of Rebma, and a child named Andrew, whose mother is not listed.

Clarissa's brood seems to be similar to most, in having only one child. With the exception of Brand's son Rinaldo, the other parent is shown only as question marks. Fiona's child is listed as Marka, and Bleys' as Betagne.

Llewella is not shown to have a child, nor is she shown to have had any significant relationships.

Of Rilga's get, Caine is the head stud, as it were, with three children, all from unnamed parents. Gwyll being the eldest, Gideon listed next, and finally a daughter named Leila.

Julian has no children listed. The only relationship of any significance listed occurred a very long time ago, and the name is listed as Tereza, Countess of Mellen*.

Flora, for all her apparent willingness to date, is currently listed as childless.

Random, of course, lists Martin as his child.

There is a note at the bottom, indicating that the children listed are those who have been brought, or came, to Amber and walked the Pattern, and thus wound up in the Family Trump deck. It further states that there a number of rumours - both about known progeny and unknown, as well as relationships - but that such must be taken with a great deal of skepticism. The writing is as one would write to one's self as a reminder.

Skye hums thoughtfully. “I wonder what happened to the ones listed we don’t know? They obviously weren’t rounded up with the rest of us for safekeeping during the war.”

"I don't know," Saffron answers. "I'd say 'maybe they were too stubborn to be rounded up,' but I suspect some of our esteemed relations would probably have just hit them over the head and brought them anyway. So that leaves… what? Death, imprisonment, or really, really lost." She frowns at the other woman thoughtfully.

“Probably a bit of both,” Skye hazards. “Let’s hang on to that and get out of here. All this crawling around has me feeling I need a bath, and we already have a few errands to see to. Plus, you need to go visit your mother, and we should probably go come out to Random. Even though I’m sure he already knows."

Saffron looks thoughtfully at the book. "Maybe we should find some paper and copy it out. Look, this is fairly recent, right? While I think it's unlikely that we're going to have unexpected family showing up in the next day or two, we may want to leave it here…"

“Why?” asks Skye curiously. “You think Gerard will come looking for it for an update?”

"Unlikely, but possible," Saffron answers. "I'd rather not deal with it if it happens. Oh! Did I mention the woman I saw outside the library? She looked a bit like Gerard."

“Who is not showing as having any children,” Skye says, pointing to the book.

Saffron nods. "I know, I see it. She could not be his. It was just a resemblance…"

“Must be Caine’s,” the Ranger muses. “She would have the paternal family resemblance to Gerard. Alright, so, do you have paper and pen stashed on your person to copy these dirty little secrets?”

Saffron pats her pockets absently. "Umm… did I pick up any this morning? If not, then… well… no. But if we can find some blank pages to tear out somewhere, I could probably fake it." She wiggles her fingers, smiling. "I'm not pissed off right now; I should have enough control to just burn the text into the paper and not set it on fire."

In the book she's holding, there isn't much in the way of blank pages. In fact, following the final section of the genealogy is a section of tight writing. The first thing noted on that page is the word Rumour. Followed by the phrase 'Llewella and Fiona are lovers.'

Skye blinks at this information, then bursts into a fit of the giggles. “There go those cold fish rumors.”

Saffron tries valiantly for a moment to keep a straight face before she, too, starts giggling. "Oh, that's bad," she answers. "And now I'm going to spend the next week wondering if it's true… I wonder what other juicy bits are in here…"

The next several rumours immediately visible on the page run the gamut from outlandish to perfectly reasonable. There are no marks or other statements indicating whether the writer thought them true or false.

Bloody Andy's is a front for one of the royals, probably Caine.

Bleys is really a woman.

King Eric still lives, and bides his time.

A great and secret treasure lies beneath the castle.

Corwin still lies dead - the returned Corwin was a double put forward by Random.

Lord Benedict is too great a warrior to lose even an arm - the one we see must be an imposter.

The blood of enemies makes up the mortar of the castle's walls.

The blood of slaves is what makes the mortar of the castle's walls.

The blood of Oberon's ex-wives has permanently stained the floor of his chambers.

None of the Royals are truly Oberon's get.

Oberon was a catamite.

Amber was once much larger - as Oberon diminished, so too did the land.

There are easily ten or fifteen pages of further rumours. It's clear that the writer transcribed every rumour heard, without any concern for validity or even reasonableness.

Leaning against Saffron, Skye is giggling helplessly at the ridiculousness on the pages before them. “Oh, come on, Saff. We have to nip out to Shadow and photocopy this thing. These rumors are fabulous. Aunt Bleys…”

Saffron is laughing too hard to answer for a few moments. "No, no, we should leave it here in case the plague of Psychic is still going on. I'll try and copy some of this, too." She snickers. "'A great and secret treasure lies under the castle'? That sounds like someone's pick-up line to get girls into the caverns."
The next page contains a number of other whoppers, mixed in with some that seem more plausible.

Llewella is the real power in Rebma.

Tir'na Nog'th is a bridge to another world.

Julian fathered Morganstern in a secret mystical ritual.

Florimel is a powerful sorceress.

The Headmistress of the College is a hidden Royal.

Oberon left an heir hidden away - Random's reign will be short.

A ghost wanders the south docks of the city.

Two islands off the coast of Amber refused Oberon and Random successfully and remain free of Amber's power.

The Black Road was a hoax perpetrated by Random as a way to get the throne.

There is another Realm connected to Amber, just like Rebma and Tir'na Nog'th.

Corwin of old wielded a silver sword. When he returned, the sword was in control.

There is a house in the city, hidden to all but true seekers. Within is a Goddess who will grant to all who find her the power of the Family.

Skye snorts and shakes her head. “This set isn’t as amusing, but you know what? If we were to find out Flora was a powerful sorceress, I would not be at all surprised.”

"This set is more interesting," Saffron agrees. "But I think I would have noticed if she was. But look at this one." She taps the headmistress one. "It's almost plausible too. And as for ghosts on the docks… well, if there's only one."

“Seriously,” Skye agrees. “That last one’s wishful thinking, I’d guess. But see: this other Realm connected to Amber? Maybe that’s what is through that door?”

"Possible. But it could just be a random Shadow too," Saffron counters. "And seriously? The Black Road as a hoax?"

“Clearly Random is more clever then we give him credit for,” drawls Skye sardonically. “Next page, please.”

Saffron snorts a laugh and turns the page.

The next page shows perhaps two-thirds full. It is likely to be the last.

Julian wrote the music and lyrics to a great many popular songs.

Julian cannot tell a lie.

Gerard is only strong in sunlight. Under moonlight, his power wanes.

Eric was actually the best swordsman and general in Amber. Benedict is the best propagandist.

Certain songs, sung in the right place, will transport the singer to another world.

There is a land older than Amber, older than Chaos.

Hiding inside Corwin's Tomb at midnight on a new moon will send you somewhere else.

Deep inside Arden, guarded by dozens of Rangers, is a golden road.

The Lighthouse at Cabra has a hidden door, leading to a staircase that leads down into the earth.

When the full moon rises purple, Tir'na Nog'th will become real and remain forever.

Bleys has cuckolded Oberon.

Skye snorts and starts giggling again. The ones they had read about her father could likely be true as far as she was concerned. “Aunt Bleys has big brass ones if he was tupping one of Oberon’s wives. And I think Julian is as capable of lying as the rest of us. He just gets a wild hair once in awhile and speaks his mind plainly. And if the full moon ever rises purple, I will start checking the water supply.”

Saffron chuckles. "As will I. I'm wondering why the heck anyone would want to be in Corwin's tomb in the first place. And I think you would have mentioned the golden road!"

"I would like to think I would know if there was such a thing," Skye replies. "And, yes, I would have mentioned it if I saw it. But Arden is very large, and I have not seen much of it by comparison. I'm actually surprised to see one about Gerard in his notes. That's the only thing we've seen of him in the whole book beyond where's his place in the tree."

Saffron shrugs. "Maybe he's just that boring? Or just hasn't made time for all the things the others have gotten up to? I mean, even for *us*, this book is something of an epic labor."

The rest of the pages in the book are, indeed, blank. Though Skye can detect a faint odor of something about the pages. Maybe chemical, maybe not. But it's definitely not the musty odor one associates with books.

“Let me see that,” Skye says with a frown. She takes the book from Saffron and holds it up to sniff at it suspiciously. “It doesn’t smell like a book usually smells,” she says as she rubs the corner of one of the blank pages between thumb and forefinger. She opens the book so one page is free of obstruction and holds it up so the light source is shining from behind the page.

Saffron watches her with curiosity. "You think it's been treated with something?"

“Possibly… Most of the men in this family fancy themselves James Bond.”

The sorceress can't help but laugh at that. "Invisible ink, you think?"

If invisible ink it is, then it's not a kind Skye is familiar with, meaning it will take some time to figure out how to make it visible. Not the work of even a day or two, but more likely a week or two - unless she gets lucky. Skye frowns as nothing shows up under the light. She sets it back in her lap and presses her palm against the paper to see if it needs body heat. When that doesn't work, she goes looking for a candle to try. That's the traditional method for bringing food and vegetable based inks into the visible spectrum. There's the off chance that it glows in the dark, so she tries that too before handing it over to Saffron to try her mage sight on..

After a few moments, Skye's initial impressions are upheld - it's not any invisible ink she's familiar with, and will likely take several days to uncover, at least.

Saffron, too, finds nothing to work with.

“See? We have to take it with us,” Skye says with a clear note of irritation. “And while we’re photocopying it, we can have someone in a lab look at those blank pages.”

"I still think it's a bad idea to take it," Saffron sighs. "At least after the kind of day today has been." She snakes an arm around the Ranger and smiles at her. "Isn't getting irrationally annoyed at inanimate objects my job?"

“Well, yes,” Skye concedes cheerfully. “But I was trying to expand my range.”

Saffron laughs. "I like it better when you pout. Here, let's put that book back in the one it was hiding in, and we'll take those and this one," she picks up Alais's journal, "and go get some big heavy books from the library to hide them between. Medical books, maybe?"

Skye pouts fetchingly and pulls a stylus out of her boot. “Fine. Don’t we still need to copy it though?”

Both women simultaneously feel a wrongness in the air - a kind of almost scream in the fabric of reality. Saffron gets a bead on it - it's in the gardens - and gets something of the nature of it, a sense that the world is being torn or cut.

TOC - They're All Mad Here

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License