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Nym sat silently in her small room at the Meiville Archive. She felt disheartened looking at her table with no new leads and nothing to follow. Her attempt to connect with Amos DeVile, a pirate who had come dangerously close to the Celestial Heliograph several days ago, had left her drained and uncertain. The Council continued to refuse her requests to enter Dr. Ghostraven’s Devices and Sundry and somehow she knew that the answers, or at least more leads, could be found there. All the while the Pull continued to take hold of her world and the sense of dread it created in her was becoming unbearable.
“Doctor,” she said out loud to no one, “why have you left so little information?”
“He wasn’t a doctor.” A deep voice said from the doorway behind her.
Nym jumped, startled by the intrusion.
Turning, she was surprised to see a freshly washed, cleanly shaven Amos Devile standing and appearing almost sheepish. Nym was unsure how to address him. Her initial gut feeling was to send him away, remembering his lude behavior and threats. However, there was something about the look of him now, the tone of his voice, the simple fact that he was here – that made her curious.
“What?”she partly stammered, “Of course he was, by every account he was a physician – of some sort…” She turned back to her papers and shifted them.
Amos stepped into the room, gaining confidence, “Where did he go to school then? Doctors go to medical school.”
Nym felt embarrassed and ashamed, in the weeks she had researched Marcel Ghostraven she had found nothing of his education and hadn’t thought it important to seek it out. She felt a deep red burn into her cheeks.
“You don’t know because he wasn’t a doctor,” Amos said, then, noticing her discomfort he felt he needed to soften the statement. “It’s okay, Peach. Half of what you know about Marcel isn’t true and wouldn’t be even with the most reliable of sources. You can’t find it because he made sure it couldn’t be found.”
Nym looked at Amos quizzically. “You talk as if you knew him.”
Amos smiled. “I suppose I did, in way. Although you should know, even those closest to the Captain would tell you that they knew little of who he was.” He picked up one of the Council requests for entry into the Devices and Sundry, made a scoffing noise, tossing it back into the center of the table.
“I know,” Nym said sadly. “I can’t seem to get even the simplest cooperation. I know that there are answers there…”
“There?” Amos laughed. “Not even a clue, Peach. It’s a front. You wont find anything in that building but spiderwebs and dirt. If you want to see Marcel’s shop, you ain’t gonna need the help of any council.” Amos puffed up a little, some of his earlier bravado returning.
“A front?” She searched through a ledger, “No. there are tax…”
“Look,” Amos smirked, “Do you want to go or not? Cuz we can stand here shifting papers all day but there ain’t nothing on that table gonna help you find the Captain. His place is like the island of Tortuga, you can’t get there less you know where it is. And, as it would happen, I know where it is.”
“You do? Wait, Captain?” Nym’s heart lept at the chance, completely ignoring her brain which reminded her of the events of the last week. She was worried that Amos might be telling her a tale or that he might actually take her to the Island of Tortuga. But then noticing the impatient and irritated look upon his face at her trepidation, she realized that he might change his mind. She was out of leads, the world was ending and this man was the only person willing to help. Even if it were her undoing, she had to follow him. Nym sighed and began stuffing her papers into her satchel.
Hurrying to the end of the hall of the Meiville Archive, Nym began making a list aloud of things they should look for at the Shoppe. Absently she rattled the trolly times for the trip into the Inventor’s District, expecting that they could be there by the early evening.
Amos laughed, “Settle down, Peach. Where we’re going you ain’t gonna need no trolley.”
The doors of the Archive opened into a bright spring morning and directly in front of Nym hung a rope ladder climbing into the sky a crisp blue sky. She turned her eyes upward to see a neatly docked and suspiciously painted airship.
Amos offered her the ladder, “Ladies first?”
Nym raised an eyebrow, “And have you looking up my skirts? Please. You first.” Nym felt her heart racing in her chest with apprehension. She had never been aboard a flying vessel and something told her that the drunk pirate that had sailed himself into a hurricane might not be the best person to show her the way.
She was also bursting with excitement at seeing the world from above on her way to find Marcel Ghostraven.
Amos smiled, appearing almost charming, hooked his knee boot into the first rung of the ladder and began climbing.
Despite herself, Nym smiled back and followed.