“Have you figured out anything yet?” asked Arturo.

Alquis was poring over a scroll, and he looked up, a little annoyed and confused. “You’re all quite mad, you know?”

“Happens to everyone, I’d wager.”

“I’m sorry?”

“What were we talking about?”

The two men stared at each other for a moment, and Alquis nearly went back to reading when Arturo spoke up again. “So, did you find anything?

“These caves are ancient. They were being used by another cult before Pan’s cult moved in, but that’s no surprise. The author, here, was clearly unstable. I mean, these notes are useful, but at times it’s like the writer was…”

“Mad?” suggested Artuto.

“To put it gently, I suppose, yes. Quite mad.” He stopped for a moment to rub his eyes. “Through his ramblings, I’m afraid a bit of it’s going to rub off on me.”

Artuto stared at Alquis, as though waiting for something else. He shuffled his feet, and then shifted his weight. Alquis almost went back to reading, but then stopped himself.

“Was there something else you needed?”

“No, just that Nicyes is a little testy right now and I don’t want to give him the bad news just yet.”

“What news?”

“That you haven’t found anything yet.”

Alquis sighed, waited for a moment, then went back to his reading. It took some effort, but he ignored Arturo’s fidgeting and periodic whimpering for several minutes. It took a thinly-veiled threat of violence to chase Arturo off. Then Alquis knew peace again, however temporary.