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4.

To: Detective Lilah Bay and her staff

From: Photios Patriarchos

Re: Current and future needs

 

Dear Detective Bay:

 

Greetings. It is my privilege as a founding member of the Violet Council to engage with you and to congratulate you on assembling an excellent team. I understand that you have made an excellent beginning.

 

Given the burgeoning complexities of the current cosmos, the swift expansion in applications of penton flux, and the multiplication of elaborations caused by the use of plane and time travel, you must find yourself racing to keep up. The practitioners of magical force, moment by moment, seem to come up with new developments and schemes, and have already far exceeded the bounds of any ordinary, even wizardly, application of legal principles. The cosmos is folded and folded again, and it will take an indefatigable investigatorial team to come anywhere near keeping up with this on-rushing equivocation.

 

My friend Dr. Marius assures me, and the rest of the Council, that you are the best choice possible for the task of maintaining some sort of vigilance over this rolling complexity. And we have every confidence in you and your people, as we have every confidence in Dr. Marius. We will offer every support we possibly can, and we look forward to discussing your office’s needs soon, and at any time.

 

However, it seems clear that much more is needed. Further resources will have to be allocated, in a cosmos in which the sheer number of histories and universes appears to be doubling and doubling again. And as we foresee assigning more and more resources to the task, we also foresee a need for more and stronger points of contact amongst the Council and yourself and other resources in the field. A close communication amongst those of us engaged in this labor, for it is a labor and we are all engaged in it, regardless of our precise roles, seems to be what is required. Also required, clearly, in this complex environment, is a restraint on action that is not coordinated with the goals of the larger whole.

 

One example of such restraint and such communication relates to the matter at hand in the case you and your team have so successfully brought to a conclusion. It may seem to you that the case has not ended. But exactly what to do next is far from certain. Thus, on behalf of the Council, I would humbly request that you hold back from further moves in this matter until the Council has had the opportunity to take stock of what must be done next.

 

Thus I congratulate you on the excellent start you have made, and I advise you, out of great respect for your character and intelligence and great friendship with your aims, to be reserved in your approach to whatever challenge may appear around the next corner of your road.

 

With humble appreciation of the work you have done and of the great things ahead of you,

 

Photios Patriarchos

Member, The Violet Council

 

 

Lilah furrowed her brow even further than it had been furrowed already while reading. She turned to look up at Marius, whose brow was also furrowed. She spent a free moment considering a secondary issue, and then, having resolved it, she raised her eyebrows and handed the parchment to Zinnia Rose. Zinnia and George immediately began studying it as if it were the record of a long-lost artifact. Lilah kept looking at Marius.

When he didn’t say anything still, she said, in a low voice, “He wants us to restrain ourselves.”

“Lilah,” said Marius, “perhaps we should discuss the ramifications, uh, in the room back there where we just were—?”

“No,” said Lilah. “I mean,” she added more quietly, “who here are we keeping things from? Henry? We can put him in that room back there. Andre?”

“Perhaps,” said Marius. “But I take your point. Guf thuk tev jin,” he uttered, waving his serviceable little wand at the middle of the front room. The sofa appeared, this time with two comfy chairs. “My friends, we have matters to discuss.”

“I agree,” said George, handing the parchment on to Annelise so she and Rob could scrutinize it. “And I think you owe us dinner and some decent wine.”

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