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This was a strange place for a student to be asked to wait in, though Toller’s was an extremely unusual situation for a school of royal distinction. After all, he’d used something from the Princess, some kind of unique signature in thirteen words that was given to a specific recognition program. She was probably still officially missing, the Princess herself, and this newly-teenage boy their best clue. Prince Cristobal should be safe, while slightly more knowledgeable.

The security escort had taken him away from the schoolroom’s building entirely, then set him up in this room in a dingy hotel where he was told that someone would get to him soon and they would go somewhere more official. No topics in question were discussed. He had examined the guard’s equipment and movements, but there hadn’t been an opening for the motivation to escape. The scuffle wouldn’t have worked out. Now here he was, alone in a weird room that was sort of comfortable. He was calculating the right times to test other potential exits, assuming there were forms of observation present. He listened to anything he could hear. It had been nearly two hours.

There was some activity happening in nearby rooms. Some mumbles. The approach of sets of feet at an excited pace. From where he sat in his chair, he faced the door. Seemed like something was going down. Someone actually started working his door, then they were granted official access.

The door swung inward. A military-looking man in crisp civilian clothes walked in toward him, beckoning. Behind him was Derringer, and a mustache man in a bowler hat. “Derringer?” asked Toller, amazed.

“Hey!” Derringer barked in surprise at the sight of his young shipmate in one of these rooms. Draig paused, looking between them.

Chip Soleil ducked inside, shutting the door quickly, and dispelled her glammer. Toller startled but smiled, while the other two wriggled a little. “Toller. Toller. Come with us. Later we can decide, but right now, come with us.” She put her glammer back on, and the portly Chip reopened the door.

“Come with us,” said Draig, accepting Princess Soleil’s verdict. “We don’t have long till other security personnel returns.”

“Come with us,” said Derringer, supporting and vouching for the new guy’s opinion.

“Yeah… okay,” Toller responded. He went out with them through the door, which they left hanging open. Most of the doors were hanging open now, just a few still closed. One person could be seen making themselves scarce around a corner.

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