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of someone from... somewhere. Welcomed us here, said his- employer?-was curious about mages. Asked why do I do what I do? What do I want? I gave him the standard line about-Hold on a minute.

The message ended. Elric sighed, waiting for another. In a minute, it came.

Stiff competition here. Where-yes, I gave him some standard lines about knowing all that can be known, creating awe and wonder-the Circle would have been proud of me-but he didn't seem satisfied, I remember. Asked me again, what do I want? I can't remember exactly how the conversation went, but I ended up saying I wanted all hypocrites to have their sins broadcast on ISN and then be questioned in their underwear by a journalist. He was unamused. In fact, I think I actually upset him. That's it.

Now to put these rapscallions in their place.

The message ended.

Elric was becoming more and more concerned. Someone had come into their convocation, questioned them, observed them, and to what end? Morden had somehow gotten the Rook to lend his name and authority to the enterprise, though the questions Morden asked had not been for the Rook. His answers had been delivered elsewhere.

Elric retrieved the note from the Rook, grateful that instinct had made him keep it. On the envelope, his sensors isolated a Human thumbprint. It was not his own. Elric linked to Earth's databases, searched for any record of Morden. Luckily, it wasn't a common name. In the current taxpayer records, banking records, retirement account records, he found only 1,211 Mordens. Of those, 591 were male, 73 within the twenty-eight to thirty-eight age range, and only 19 with Morden's coloring, height, and weight. None of them matched the thumbprint or the face.

Elric decided to search farther back, looking at births within the likely
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