Imrama Sometime later, in the sub-basement of the Pagoda of Justice and Order, where the surviving Black Suns are being held by the Solarian authorities. On a wide table are arrayed the recovered weapons and fragments thereof used in the attack. Imrama is examining one of the crystaline devices when the Leader of Free Lookshy is shown inside by one of the guards.
Imrama "Greetings, Chumyo Linwei. Thank you for joining us."
KaralLinwei arrives, today dressed in a conservatively cut, tightly fit formal dress uniform rather than her commander's armor, a weary look -- as normal -- upon her face. "As with most of our conversations, I wish it were in better circumstances," she says.
Lucent "I have been waiting for almost a thousand years. Those never come by."
KaralLinwei nods in sad appreciation of Lucent's wisdom and looks to the table. "These are the weapons collected by from the attackers, I take it."
Lucent "Indeed. Our question at this point is obvious, I imagine."
KaralLinwei "It is," she says. "Let me take a look."
KaralLinwei Meanwhile, Imrama pores through the gathered weapons, searching for identifying marks and texts. On much of the gathered detritus it is fruitless -- many of the weapons gathered here are not identified in any way -- but after some searching Imrama slowly but surely begins to gather a pile of items which have been identified in one way or another.
KaralLinwei looks at the weapons as Imrama sorts through them. "Hmmmm."
Lucent "DID they come from your stockpiles, after all?"
KaralLinwei "There are things here that I recognize," she says, pointing at a few devices. "These Essence grenades, and these jade discs," she says, pointing to some of the obvious Shogunate weapons. "But quite a bit of this I've never seen before."
Lucent "Does that mean they did not come from Lookshy's stockpiles? After all, it is not like you could have seen all weapons under your purview, and from what I understand you were dealing with ancient vaults and arsenals you had not cleared in their entirety yet?"
KaralLinwei As Imrama starts to pick through the individual items, he begins to translate out what specific markings they bear. On a number, Imrama sees the historical names of Shogunate legions -- some corresponding to Lookshy, some not.
KaralLinwei On others, he sees regional identifying marks -- symbols representing the Gem region, or the Eastern trade cities of the Haslanti league.
KaralLinwei Those with the oldest markings, however, are the late First Age pieces -- and though they all carry different family seals, by far the most common is one Imrama might not have expected: ZHAN.
Imrama selects one of the Zhan artifacts, and one of Haslanti provenance. Consulting the evidence manifest, he calls to the guard at the door to bring in the prisoners associated with the two weapons.
KaralLinwei After a moment, two Broken Suns are brought in, a man and a woman. Karal watches them with a look of deep and cynical -- though not contemptuous -- pity.
KaralLinwei "Some of this almost certainly came from our stocks," she says, looking at one of the devices with a seal indicating a Lookshy-associated Legion, "but much of this couldn't possibly be. The Lookshy stockpiles were not fully inventoried, but some individuals had made at least broad attempts at categorizing their contents..."
KaralLinwei "None of these" -- she holds up one of the strange crystalline bracelets, like Luc's attackers wore -- "were ever in our armories."
Imrama pulls up chairs for each of the prisoners. He wraps himself in layer upon layer of Essence, donning the cloth of a much beloved friend, a confidant of umimpeachable virtue. He takes a long moment to light his pipe and take a long drag of simple fieldweed - the smoke of the common man. Then he leans down to one of the captives and holds up the Zhanian device. "Peschal, I need to know: how is...
Imrama ...it that you came by this thing?"
KaralLinwei The man shudders for a moment, and sits in silence for a moment longer than that, before responding, quietly, to Imrama's question.
KaralLinwei Peschal: "... Eseth brought it to us," he says. "He was assigned to arm our group. There was an excavation in the Northeast, somewhere, and he joined the crew... spirited off as many of the findings as he could. I... think his dreams told him where to go."
Imrama "Thank you." Imrama holds up the Haslanti armament to the female captive. "Orthes: this thing I am holding. Please tell me how it came to be in your possession."
KaralLinwei She looks at it with a bit more sternness than her fellow prisoner. "I made a deal with a merchant," she says. "Someone dealing in spoils of war from Haslanti's involvement in the Red Lily conflict. He took unmarked jade and didn't ask questions."
Lucent ::The North.::
Imrama ::We have other devices here that are clearly from the South. The weapons seem to have been assembled piecemeal. I see no pattern emerging as yet, other than that our adversary is extremely cagey and capable, and gifted in the art of covering tracks.::
Imrama "Whence came the jade?"
KaralLinwei Orthes: "I followed a dream to a small cave in the mountains, south of the Sunlands," she says. "It was stacked neatly on a flat rock within."