The Price of Independence - Rough - Day 14

Altman found himself nodding. “I have to admit I’d never thought of it in that light, uncle, never gave much thought to what the Conclave’s discoveries might be capable of doing out in the world.”

“Few do, and that’s the problem. Most lack the imagination, though even the imagination would do precious little good without knowledge of what the Conclave holds back. But enough of that, I didn’t call you here to argue Conclave politics. I’ve shown you the electrite, but that’s only half of it.”

Altman’s brows rose; Tremaine slowly got to his feet once more, selecting a book with a well-worn leather cover from a shelf of similar tomes. It was a small book, and thin, but he carried it as though the secrets of the ages were contained therein.

“This,” he said, laying the book down next to the box on the table, “contains all I’ve been able to record of my knowledge of electrite and its properties and effects.” Altman’s eyes widened. “I brought you here, nephew, in the hopes that you would continue my work.”


The next morning was filled with a quiet awkwardness for Altman as he found his mind brimming with thoughts about the electrite and the secrets at his fingertips, uncertainty about what to reveal to his friends, and hovering over it all, sadness at the prospect of losing this incredible uncle he’d just discovered. It was a lot to take in over hot cereal, eggs and fruit.

“Alt, you’ve barely touched your food! You’re going to make your poor uncle think you don’t appreciate his culinary efforts, you ungrateful lout,” Deman observed, stuffing his own face with egg and toast. Kaylene ate impassively.

“Hmmm?” Altman offered, finally eating some of the cereal he’d done little more than stir till then.

“If you’re not going to eat, at least let us in on the big mystery. What was it that brought us all the way out here?”