Linda (Of a still horribly nameless work)

August 27, 2008

Linda worked her way through the files steadily, each filed into a specific slot when done. Authentic, not authentic or requires more information. Phone calls happened the next day and any additional arrangements were handled then.

Everything was going smoothly until she hit a particularly thin file. It was a puzzle bocks, believed to be Chinese in origin. It was exquisitly crafted from precious metals inlade with jade. The phoenix featured in the inlays, along with the materials were certainly from the right area. The lack of information was what made it strange. Attempts to test it hadn’t gotten very far. Something about it seemed to defy most technological tests, giving different results and strange output. They also couldn’t open it.

Linda picked up the set of photos and laid them out in a row on the desk. She picked up the magnifying glass she kept on hand and closely examined the photos. Very faint text was etched around the jade inlays. Not that most would recognize it. It was a tongue that would make Sanskrit look young. The language of angels. Not some created knock off made to sell books, either. The thing a lot of people didn’t realize, is that it also made it the language of the fallen.

Linda set aside the magnifying glass and crossed the room. She opened a small antique wicker stand in one corner, revealing the very modern safe inside. It required a key along with a code to open. She fished the key out of her pocket and punched in the number. The loud thunk of bolts pulling back was a testament to how solid they were. Inside were three old, leather bound books, a chalice, and a very wicked and utilitarian dagger. She carefully pulled one of the books out, then re-locked the safe.

She crossed back to her desk and slid the picture up to make room for the book, but still keeping them close to hand. She began carefully flipping through the pages, occasionally stopping to compare sketches or skim a passage.

It took time to dig through the book, especially since she had to be carefull of the ancient pages. They were well preserved, but a few patched pages testified to the fact that it wasn’t aging with complete grace. FInally she stopped on a very rough sketch. She frowned and picked up the photos again, looking for anything else to make sure she was right. Deciphering the script would be too time-consuming and difficult without having the box in person. She returned her attention to the book and settled in to read the accompanying passage.

By the time she finished she was trembling slightly. If she was right, it was not the greatest news ever. She pushed herself up and hurried off to grab the phone. She brought it back with her and flipped through the folder to find a number. She punched in the numbers then took a slow steadying breath while the phone rang. It only took three rings for someone to answer.

“Hello?” said a crisp, efficient sounding man.

“Yes. This is LInda. I was just examening the file you had sent over for me to look at on the puzzle box. It looks like an interesting piece, I’d love to examine it more closely. Perhaps we can arrange something?”

There was a moment of muffled silence, then the man’s voice returned. “This would be good. We will arrange for your travel. Expect a car to be around to pick you up tomorrow morning around eight.:

Linda paused, a little suprised how quickly they jumped on it. Maybe they were more aware of what they had then she thoughts. Still, she had to know for certain. “Yes, that sounds fine. I will talk with you tomorrow then.”

There was no further pleasentries from the other end of the line, just a click. Linda set aside the phone and looked at the pictures again. If she was right, this wasn’t just a toy to entertain an emperor, it was a prison. One built to torment its captive forever. If they were aware and still trying to open it, that could be a serious dent in her preferred life style. Linda closed the book and gathered the file and hurried off to start preparing for the trip.



  1. I love this so much, you need to get this named and of course write MORE!

  2. I’m totally open for suggestions for titles :P

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