Inside the manor’s medical lab, Charlie stands by one of the tables as Alan and Vernon enter the room with Dmitri leaning against a wall in full gear. The necklace and the ripped piece of cloth lie on the table in the centre of the room.
“What have you found so far.” Alan asked. He was curious to know exactly how the two pieces were connected as he himself had no clue.
“Nothing from the cloth themselves. Generic materials, but the symbol is the same as the one on this locket and from this.” Charlie said
Charlie indicates the base of the staff that was propped up against the wall next to Dmitri, the engraved hand still visible after the past few months, that was found in the deserts of the east.
“So, they have connections to the crazy man. Great. What about the locket?” Alan said, whilst he had not personally seen the person who inhabited those ruins, he knew that he must crazy indeed to try and take on Rhazien single handed, like he had been. Alan thought, remembering his death wish. Charlie nodded before turning and picking up the necklace, that also had a hand inscribed into the silver.
“This is a different matter. Pretty valuable piece.” Charlie said looking at Dmitri and wondering how the thing had not been stolen or sold for all the time that he had been in the slums.
“If that's true I should have sold it years ago.” Dmitri said, confirming Charlie thoughts, before she looks at him sternly before getting back on track.
“I cannot determine its full composition however.” Charlie said putting the necklace back down on the table with slightly more care than was necessary.
“What do you mean?” Alan said, as far as he could tell, it was just an ordinary necklace, nothing special about it all. It sat on the table now looking innocently up at the four of them. With its engraved side face up.
“There's an element that makes up this piece that keeps coming up as unknown. But that isn't all.” Charlie said, she had been surprised when the equipment she had here failed to identify what it was made of. She had thought it was silver however that had been proved wrong when the unknown element diagnostic had come up on the screen.
“What else?” Dmitri said, whilst he never been able to open it up, he had as a child wondered what was inside and had spent hours trying to open it, that was until he was kidnapped, and the curiosity had gone out of him.
“X-rays have shown that there is something inside. But it's so small we can't tell what it is unless we open it up.” Charlie said, she was however concerned about what could happen if they opened it, for all they knew it could be booby-trapped. Or they could damage what was inside by prying it open.
“Open it.” Alan said, the thought process that had gone through Charlie’s mind had also gone through his. But the desire to find out what was inside was much greater. Charlie walks over to a shelf and brings back a small vile of acid and begins applying it to the outside rim of the locket. When it opens it reveals a small diamond. Alan walks over to look at the diamond inadvertently giving it light. When the light hit the diamond, the light went through and on the opposite wall was revealed a map.
“What the fuck is that?” Dmitri said looking at the new light-show on the wall of the lab.
“It's a map of The Imperial City, you idiot.” Charlie said, sarcastically, taking the piss out of Dmitri was fast becoming one of her favourite past times, even if the gruff soldier didn’t find it at all amusing. “But what part of it, I don’t know.” Charlie finished in a much more serious tone, whilst she used to think she had known a good deal about the city geography, this was certainly stumping her, there were none of the building that she recognised on this part of the map. Vernon to stares at the map for a second and then leaves.
“I shall be back in second.” Vernon said as he retreated out of the room, he thought he had recognised the location, but he wanted to be sure.
“I know it's a map.” Dmitri said, replying to Charlie’s previous comment, he knew that his lateness in retorting may make him look slow, but he had not wanted to interrupt Vernon, despite his initial feeling for him, he had grown to respect the old butler wisdom over time.
Vernon returns with an old looking sheet and places it on the wall so that the map on the sheet and the map from the diamond is a match.
“It is a map of the old Metropolis. Specifically, the old logistics centre.” Vernon said, pointing at what was now clear to be warehouses. Hundreds of them, all lined up for miles along the river.
“How old?” Alan said, he had never seen the city like this before in his life.
“Oh, at least three-hundred years, there are very few parts of the old city left. Most of it was bulldozed fifty years ago to make way for what is now the slums.” Vernon said. “And a pity to, I might add, all that dwarven architecture reduced to rubble so The Mayor could dump anyone who displeased him into a dump.” Vernon finished. He had seen the city when he had first arrived as a boy, seeking his fortune. But the way it looked now, he sometimes wondered why he had bothered.
“What's that red dot?” Charlie said, she had just noticed a very faint red marking on the map, slap bang in the middle of one of the warehouses. When the map had first been illuminated, she had thought it was just a piece of dirt from the wall but putting her hand in front of the section revealed it to be part of the map itself.
“More importantly where’s that red dot now?” Dmitri asked, he vaguely recognised it but couldn’t for the moment at least place where he had seen it.
An hour had passed since the meeting in the lab and Alan found Dmitri down in the cave continuing his work on the manor’s defence systems.
“Any luck.” Alan said, but he wasn’t hopeful, as before no fuel source was powerful enough to cover the manor and the grounds for any length of time.
“None.” Dmitri sighed resting back up against the chair and sighing, he knew that this was most likely an impossible task, but so had everything he had ever tried to do, and most of the time there had been a solution.
“Damn it.” Alan said. “On better news though we’ve found the location.” He finished and laid down a map of the city on a nearby table, Dmitri walks over to look at it.
“How?” Dmitri asked looking at the map. “Everything’s changed.” Dmitri finished. He knew that Osmund, he refused to call him Mayor. Had bulldozed so much in what the fat lump had called ‘progress’, that the old city was nothing but a distant memory. With all that remained being the area directly surrounding his own city residences.
“The buildings have. The Mayor has seen to that completely, but the river remains the same though.” Alan finished gesturing at the long winding body of water that cuts through the city and was indeed present on both the old and new maps. “It seems the gem is pinpointing a location due south of the old slums.” Alan said pointing at the location, a couple of meters away from the riverbank.
“It's an old transport hub. Been deserted for years though.” Dmitri said, finally remembering, him and a few friends had played there as children, but had always been chased off, by the crazy old coot who also inhabited the hub. But he was sure that wasn’t the only time he had been there. Although he couldn’t remember.
“We need you to take some BOT's and reconnoitre it, see if anyone's at home.” Alan said.
“Just reconnoitre.” Dmitri said, if there was something going on then surely, they should do something about it
“Yes, we don't know what's is there.” Alan said. “That’s an order as well.” He finished before leaving Dmitri to prepare.
“Very well.” Dmitri murmured to Alan’s retreating back. He would recon the area for sure but if something happened then he would do something about it.