The EveryBook

After Gwen had completely regained herself, she looked around the room.  It was rather dark, owing to the lack of windows, but something about it seemed halfway cozy.  As cozy as one could really feel when on the run, she thought.

Archi, closely followed by Robyn, came further into the room and sat by Gwen on the floor.

"This just occurred to me," Robyn began.  "If you didn't follow us here, how did you find us?"

"Thank the awesomeness that is Enrique," Gwen replied.  "I managed to find him in the back alleys.  He saw you guys, then told me how to find you.  He also mentioned LitPol might be in the area (and really, when are they not?), so I ran like there was no tomorrow."

She turned to look at the two, noticing how Archi's dolorous eyes stayed locked on her.  Gwen sighed with a small smile.  Although she knew full well that Archi had tipped off the officers at the Tower, there was just something about the Chief Squid that resonated with the Irish Pianist.

"Long time no see, eh Archi?" Gwen began, punctuating the question with a nervous laugh.  Archi attempted to smile, but the heavy sorrow won out.  "Look, Archi, I know you let spill that I'd break into the Tower, but it's forgivable.  It sounds insane, I know, but who isn't insane at this point?  You were worn down, you'd kind of lost it, I could see that.  Partially I take some of the blame for it; I should've stayed, I could've talked you into coming with me, us.  You needed somebody, but nobody recognized it.  Geez, I think I'm rambling now..."

"No no," said Archi softly.  "Go on."

"The point is, if there's no hard feelings on your end, there certainly aren't any on mine.  And even if there are a few hard feelings, my 'hard feelings radar' is completely clear."  She offered her hand to the Chief Squid with a smile.  Archi considered the hand for a moment, smiled, and smacked it in a firm high five.  Gwen laughed with a bit of relief.  It felt good to really laugh, momentarily free from the weight of the world.

In a flurry Archi fled from the room, but returned before anyone could exchange confused glances.  She dropped something thin and roughly book-sized in Gwen's lap, still smiling.  Cautiously the redhead flipped it over.  After a moment's inspection she squealed in excitement.  "Archi!  Where in hell did you find this?!"

"What is it?" Robyn inquired.

"It's an EveryBook!  You can find any book, pamphlet, pretty much anything ever published in the entire history of literature with this thing!" Gwen explained breathlessly.  With another squeal she threw her arms around Archi.

Kai looked a bit perplexed.  "That's great, but how will this help us now?"

"I did mention that this has unmonitored access to every single scrap ever published, right?  Both Internet and print stuff, books and periodicals, from mainstream publishers to underground presses.  We've been on the run so long, we don't know who's still out there, what's being said about who; besides, we still have to consider we know nothing about these Rippers or this Bard guy.  There has to be at least one underground snippet-ee-doo-da about those guys, we should find something about them before heading back out into hell."

The End

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