[Cecily]Thirty-Three: "Passing Notes"







       The note was tucked under the latest (and depressing) summary of our military growth. It was written in the same hand as the last, and was just as incomprehensible as the last one. If someone's trying to tell me something important, I wish they'd be a bit more blunt about it. I have more than enough vexing puzzles on my hands right now as it is.
       I dredged up what I could remember from my college poetry course, looking for some theme in imagery or symbolism. That only made it worse.
       I tucked both of the cryptic missives into the book I'd been reading for later pondering. The stack of reports to review was getting precariously large, Harry was in a snit about the trade agreements with the recent arrivals, and I still had to check in with Stark about Aiden, Luke and Shen gallavanting in the Tir, and Griffin was still missing.
       I had hoped trying to work with the Jewel would distract me a bit, which it did. Too well. After a useless, if entertaining, discussion with Random on the virtues of vice, I realized I was on my own with this whole attunement thing until Dworkin deigns to show his face again.
       This is not a good thing.
       After another disasterous attempt to figure the danm thing out, I was awoken hours later by Fletcher and Luke. I escaped a scolding from Fletcher, fortunately, though Luke's deep sigh make me feel like a wayward two-year-old.
       Then the page appeared to announce Griffin's return.
       He had brought with him Roth's Pattern blade, a woman named Lucia, and our stool pigeon, Rook, who proceeded to explain, on peril of being left to Fletcher's tender mercies, that his previous story had been an elaborate fabrication.
       His true tale (if it is more true than his last) added yet another wrinkle, albeit a small and for the moment, dismissable one. Something about Chaos doubles and how he is Griffin's and how killing him would be bad for Griffin. Which made sense, until a quick consultation of the history books revealed that killing a Chaos double makes the Amberite double stronger. I think Rook might have realized his worth was now quite different than what he'd portrayed.
       It took a bit more prodding (this time with the Pattern sword) to get him to admit his master's name. I'll admit that when he said Caine I was surprised. If the elders are trying to get themselves involved in Amber's affairs, I doubt it can bode well for us.

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05/01/01