The water system of the town was *barely* serviceable — toilets slow to flush, water flow weak overall — but *someone* kept up all this infrastructure to a degree. She wondered about the 10! on the door of the stall she just exited, and how it could be connected to this 102 group she was assigned to investigate, linkable through 101 (10! > 101 > 102). Or perhaps the exclamation point stands for 2 somehow instead of 1, bypassing the needed link. She’d heard things in the middle of the night, scurrying from below, from the other side of the walls, even from above. Although the place appeared totally empty and deserted, someone was here. Her witch training gave her more clues. A *soul* was present: intelligent, secretive, perhaps ultraly so, and, finally, *powerful*. It could be Mid-Hazel disguising herself for one of those lessons, Esmerelda pondered here for not the first time. That might fit — why she can’t penetrate the soul further and read its thoughts, etc.
She was also told 102 represents a missing letter, which she’d narrowed down, again using her witchy powers, to either S, E, or W. If W, we’re all in a heap full of trouble. But I, the omniscient author in the moment, happen to know it’s S. Esmerelda would find out the same day before tomorrow before tomorrow.