Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day Four-Forty-Eight: Titles of Significance

Shit. Shit shit shit. We found June’s hut today.

It seems like ages since I’ve last seen June, but I remember all too well her weird ability to just… know things. She has spies that pass info back to her, of that I have no doubt, and figured if we found her she might have some intel on Libby. And… the other one. Y’know, that guy.

After yesterday’s fruitless search, two hunters, Doc’s assistant (he feels so familiar, for some reason, as though I should be pummelled in his presence - but in a good way!) and myself had a look at the foothills surrounding the camp, rather than the mountain itself. I reasoned that June might have moved her hut, what with the increase in population –

- and I was right. Despite being a healer, June apparently didn’t want anyone to find her door. It was shoved into the side of a huge rock, its wood weirdly conforming to the shape of the stone. It opened easily enough, but the sight boggled my mind.

The place was much as I’d seen it last: a jumble of scrolls, books, jars, potions and trinkets. But June was not home, nor was little Julius, and their absence set off alarms in my head. I wondered how long she’d been gone… and if Grayson had anything to do with it.

June’s hut isn’t that big, despite residing in some weird dimension of its own, so a search didn’t take long. She has way too much written material, so I ordered my searchers to bring me anything that looked a) recent read and b) like correspondence. We discovered an… interesting… assortment of documents, some obviously written by June, others not. I’ll list a few that caught my attention:

  • Modern Astrophysics: There’s More Than Just Stars O’er Yonder
  • The Planes: Stepping into Codespace
  • A Partial History of the Regulators
  • Tucked Away – this was notable mainly for its weird writing style, a bunch of loops and tiny pictures
  • Love Thine Platypus
  • How to Care for Children – wha?
  • Mechanics of the NPC: Study of a Librarian (gee, I wonder WHO)

A lot of interesting reading material, to be sure, but not very helpful in locating June, let alone Libby or Grayson.

I was contemplating outright stealing a few of the scrolls when Doc’s tall assistant, who’d contributed little thus far, shuffled up and poked my shoulder. Again, something oddly familiar in the gesture. When I turned to address him (I think it’s a him?) he handed me a piece of parchment.

“Oh.” I looked the parchment over. It was fairly new, not too yellowed, and the inky scrawls were bold and dark. Recent. “Thanks, uh… um… what’s your name?”

He shook his head and lowered his arm. He looked… mopey. Best way to describe it. I guess if I had to work for a guy like Doc I’d be mopey, too.

Starting at the top, I began reading the letter. It more or less went like this, as I didn’t have time to copy it down verbatim:

‘Child’s power – grows. Regulators gave more strength than anticipated. Tree leeching – unsuccessful. And not here, in any event. Need new way to deal with him. Need more power. White.

Dig is slowed substantially. Brat ruthlessly imaginative. Frustration mounting. There is something inside – can feel it, felt since arrival. Brat won’t say what it is. Must reach it before the Non get here. Must ascend. Must move beyond. What is beyond?

Save point prepped in case of failure – familiar will activate. But what do they mean?

Dig too slow. Not enough time. Must take chance. Will activate remotely via sigil. Hopefully…’

It was a short note, and ended there. The jagged letters and splashes of ink screamed impatience. I think June was exasperated when she wrote it. Nevertheless, it spoke to a fear I’d harboured since we got here: that I would find at least one of the missing persons in the room with the massive symbol. Inside the cave that nobody seems to be able to find. What other sigil could she mean, really?

I have to find it tomorrow. Don’t have a choice. Libby’s life could be on the line. I just don’t know.


Dragomir the Anxious

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