83

Queen Ascendant Charlotte stood facing the green-haired researcher in a chamber to themselves.

83

“Thank you for being willing to speak with me so directly, Your Grace.”

“Not at all. My priorities are clear, as parent and Ascendant. So, tell me about the surprise findings. I am up to date on the rest of the information regarding the Photuris Anomaly.”

Hydraia nodded. “I first noticed it while idly searching the shadow visual classifications. Patterns or formations will pop out variously, as this did. It struck me as both eerie and timely. I even sent it to Loramer for a second opinion, and they agreed. It looks like a picture of your daughter.”

The news had already been broken to the elder woman, so she took it well, reaching out to accept a copy of the data report. A pieced together image played above it: Soleil, looking over her shoulder.

The Queen Ascendant breathed deeply, looking intensely at the woman. “I realize your waking hours may be fully occupied, but I have need of some of them.”

Arcta acknowledged this with a nod. “I sent the matter to your attention thinking you might act on it.”

“My intentions are already forming, but I will need some dedicated, available guidance.”

“There is currently no one who can fill my role on Alphas 1 and 2 in the Photuris Sector. But I can be interrupted under prominent need.”

“Then I shall supply you with a communication line. I will not aim to make any interruptions. Just for burning questions.”

“Your Grace, I extend my correct sympathy, and I wish to offer as much of my time as you require.”

“You’ve already given us our first real discovery in the matter. We have four days before you are to enact a collapse interruption, right?” Queen Ascendant Charlotte finally offered her visitor a seat.

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