Nothing was going the way it was supposed to, no one was where they were supposed to be. If she couldn’t find Arturo and the other outsiders, they must have gone to the island and failed to return. She’d only picked up fragments while listening to the wax figure, but they should have been back by now. Anything could have happened.

The recent conversations she’d overheard had led her to suspect Simona knew something more about the figures than she let on, but she hadn’t been at her shop any of the times Myrtle went to see her. She’d waited, each and every visit, and had left frustrated when Simona was unavailable. It was only this morning Myrtle had been frustrated enough to barge in without calling out or waiting.

Dozens of the tiny wax figures littered a dark corner of Simona’s shop, along with the tools and the materials to make more. The only rational conclusion was that Simona must have figured out how to copy the design before she turned the item in to be studied by the temple of Hestia. Myrtle had initially been overwhelmed by the many possible uses for instantaneous, cross-town communication devices.

Uses such as spying and quickly coordinating attacks as far as across town.

She tried to remember how long the figure had been sitting in her lab, how much Simona might have overheard while Myrtle had been oblivious to the nature of the thing. Come to think of it, she might well have organized the burning of the temple with the intent to incriminate the outsiders. If Simona had overheard Arturo’s conversations in the lab, she would know what Myrtle knew.

Myrtle examined the wax figure she carried with her. She concluded, through careful experimentation, that the configuration of the hands played a part in how the figures were used, though the design concept was flawed. Covering the figure’s ears with its hands prevented it from hearing, while moving its hands to cup its ears enhanced its ability to “hear.” It was easily reconfigured if one knew what they were doing.

Simona was intelligent and capable, and Myrtle had no trouble imagining her duplicating the wax figures for others and making a tidy profit from such a transaction. But if she had taken any part in the destruction of Hestia’s temple — and Myrtle’s lab — her actions were inexcusable. Something had to be done.