Myrtle was digging through the rubble of the temple when she found a small wax figure that had been brought back from the island. She spent a lot of time picking through the rubble, expecting to find her life amid the ruined laboratory. She hated how it made her feel powerless.

Her efforts to understand and work with Arturo and the other outsider had been an utter failure, and she felt more alone than ever before. Never mind how many years she’d worked for the temple alongside priests who didn’t bother to learn her name. Never mind the lazy and dull-witted scribes assigned to assist her. She took both in stride before Arturo appeared.

He had shown a flagrant disregard for the way things were supposed to work. She walked right into the temple, right to her laboratory, her sanctuary, and questioned her like she was no different from the common townsfolk outside the temple doors.

She thought about how she had come to know his name at all. He had made a pastime of haranguing her and her assistants. She hated the man. But even more than the annoyance he caused her, she hated him for the hope he had given her.

She had allowed herself to believe, even momentarily, that there was something she could do about the temple fire. She considered thoughts of revenge against those who were responsible, and fantasized that Arturo would help her find them and hold them ultimately responsible. Foolishness.

She turned the figure over in her hands. She smirked at once when she considered that the figure, despite being made of wax, had survived the fire. The felt an odd connection with it, when she thought of how her own way of life had been so fragile, and yet she still lived in spite of the devastation. But she realized, that as the figure softened in her hands, there was no way for it to survive the inferno. It should have melted.

She studied the figure carefully and began to feel a certain wrongness about it. She remembered cataloging the figure when it arrived, but there was something unfamiliar about it. Something different. The figure had once covered its mouth with its hands, and now its hands were turned aside, as though offering to whisper secrets to her.

On a whim, she held the wax figure to her ear, and listened intently. For a moment, there was nothing. Then, in a very tiny voice, the figure began to speak to her.