57.1 \ 239

“I’ve been holding it as a good idea not to know too much,” said the private investigator to his disguised royal charge, “but where are you taking us?”

A man of similar age and reasonably comfortable stature looked over at Derringer from between a bowler hat and mustache. He had an appropriate-sounding voice, but it was really Princess Soleil, Magus Ascendant, under her chosen illusion as a respected and regular mid-clearance official in an office suit. “You may not like it,” she warned him.

They were on a serpentine walk from block to block between capital districts, with Soleil leading. She had a purpose – getting the lay and timing of the area before staging some form of infiltration, while collating all her relevant knowledge into the correct moment of approach. In other words, she was figuring it out as she went along, but as if she knew what she was doing. Derringer understood this, he knows about this. He was beginning to get a sense of where they were and might be going, along with the satisfying feeling that what he wanted was similar to what everyone wanted.

Soleil-as-Dalib-or-call-him-Chip made a conversational stop outside a residential front garden gate. “Okay. I’m nervous. I want to tell you what I’m trying to accomplish, because now I believe you should be informed.”

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