“I don’t quite understand this. Could you draw it again, but put us in the picture as circles?” You draw one in the air with your finger. “And maybe an X for Carma – the big lady. Where do we fit in?”
The kid draws another picture. The lower half of it is another mass of triangles, with three circles and an X above it.
“The city’s below us?” Ash says, glancing over your shoulder. “That doesn’t make sense. Carma specifically tried to avoid cities when setting our course. Didn’t want to draw attention, whether from the Master or anyone else.”
As he says that, you realize there’s a significant gap in your knowledge.
“Hold on. Where were you even headed?”
“I’m not entirely sure. Apparently she was trying to transport us somewhere else, but the kid jumped in at the last minute and we ended up on this airship instead. So I know we’re headed for our original destination, but she never explained exactly where that was.”
“You don’t think that might be a city? Maybe we’ve arrived?”
“She said to expect three days of travel,” Ash says. “I mean, if your guess about a sudden transport is right, then I suppose that could shorten the trip, but there’s a lot that it wouldn’t explain. For one, how would it even happen?”
You think back.
“There’s a storage room the kid was poking around in. I was hiding there and Carma yelled at him. Do you know what was in there?”
“No idea. I’m not that much in the loop, and there’s a lot Carma is magically prevented from explaining directly. What are you thinking?”
“I’m wondering if maybe this kid was trying to be helpful and was looking for something in storage that could make a shortcut.” You glance at the kid. “Is that what you were doing?”
The kid seems hesitant.
“Did someone tell you to look for something in there?” Ash asks. “Nod your head, like this, if the answer is yes. And shake it, like this, if the answer is no.”
The kid pauses a little longer, then nods.
“All right, now it makes a bit more sense,” Ash says. “Someone’s been giving this kid orders remotely. We knew that already, but Carma was confident she could keep him obedient as long as she was nearby. Should’ve pressed her harder on that point, I suppose. Because I think this kid has brought us somewhere on behalf of his boss.”
“Doesn’t explain why this hallway’s fine and that one’s a mess, though,” you muse. “Or what’s down over that way.”
“No. So we still don’t have a plan.”
Well. Maybe you’ve got enough information to make one now.
Let’s go see what’s in the storage room. We’ll go back the other way.