Swamped Chapter 13 Page 5

You think on what you know of codes. Mostly you know their historical use; cryptography isn’t really one of your core interests.

But you do recall a system used by rebels under the Aedran Empire. One where they arranged cards in a deck to spell a message, then passed the deck off to a contact.

You don’t have cards on you, of course, but you’ve got a few tricks. You start writing, but intentionally make some letters look noticeably off. Shrike’s got a shaky hand, so this shouldn’t draw suspicion by itself.

The marked letters won’t spell anything apparent; that’s because only every other letter is part of your message. And those letters are spelled out in the card code, anyhow. On top of that, you’ve used the old Aedran notation.

It’s a bit excessive for an improvised system, but Lisa or Grey should be able to work it out quickly, once they know you’re the sender.

That leaves you with one problem. How are you going to make it clear this letter is from you, without arousing suspicion on this side?

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extol at length about the interesting, if fictitious, behaviour you saw of some kind of swamp fauna – not anything dangerous like the Fenguin, something innocuous like a swamphen.

Mention an inside joke.

Reference a book that you let Lisa borrow.