“I see we’re wearing matching trackers.”
Duncan looked down. “The Pot-D pendant?” Yes, it was red and hanging around his neck as well. He hadn’t thought about it before.
“Except mine’s from Pan-Z, the other, newer organization that does those kind of things. More thoroughly, if you ask me. Much more.” Jeffrie Phillips was wondering how the *heck* Duncan was going beyond the mirror book via improvisation. He stared through him to the 3 trackers he knew dwelt within, one by one by one.
Then: “I of course know you’re in there… *girls*.” But Phillips knew not who he was dealing with (Ragdoll titters here). These were battle tested *women*, fighting for the core of Pot-D which they understood to be ultimate truth.
“We know about the treasure,” they admitted (Indigo). “We know about Big Baby Jane” (Ruby). “We know about *Audrey*” (Ragdoll). “Audrey,” she repeated through Duncan’s lips. He gestured toward the black and white, zig-zag patterned chairs they sat in. He pointed out the “teapot” between them. He indicated an owl decorating a fluttering national flag he rezzed out of his inventory, bought at the Snowlands infohub just before teleporting over here.
“‘The owls are not what they seem,’ I know.” Jeffrie paused. “So you’re just *handwriting* this in. To make, I don’t know, a more satisfying ending?”
“Yes,” they admitted as a collective.
“Is it working?”
“*Is* it working, Ruby?” asked Indigo to her left, sensing the fatigue. “We can’t go on much longer. The 12th (novel) awaits!”
“We *have* to continue onward,” implores young Ragdoll to Ruby’s right. “Duncan knows who Jeffrie Phillips is, and that the treasure guarded day and night by Big Baby Jane is a, um, red herring, a duplicate of the one near the Snowy Peak. Another decoy.”
“Can we compare the 2 treasures again, just to make sure?” Ruby knew they could. “Hold on,” she says. “We’re almost done!”
Yes. The same. “Well, that does it, I think,” Ruby then says, finally lifting pencil from paper. She shuts the book. “The treasure cannot be found here.” She puts it back on the shelf at the end of
graphic novels journals 1 through 10.
But they weren’t quite yet finished.