I shrugged. "What was odd, during the journey---"
        "1 of the odd things," Vettra interjected.
        "---was that I never saw them. I was told they resided in the cube I was given due to some aversion to mount materials but the cube, which was clear, appeared completely empty to me. My acquaintance claimed to have communicated with them regularly but they never responded to me in any way I could detect."
        "How well do you know this acquaintance?" Pennbaston asked. "Would she have tricked you or played you with a joke?"
        "I speculated about that repeatedly on my way here. I would not have thought so. At the time I thought her sincere in her request. However, we gambled frequently and she is wily, complex, very quick. I think she might attempt to hoodwink me in order to enjoy the rich relish after I had discovered how I had been bested but with the Septa I could not think why. Why would she? There was no point, nothing to be gained or lost. That I could see."
        "And now?" Gallett asked. "Have you changed your mind about that?"
        I moved my hands. "I don't know. Now, I don't know. I still can make no sense of an occult motive on Sem Partoldi's part."
        "That is her name? Sem Partoldi?" Gallett was considering it.
        "Yes. She is a Sem among the Eoeun."
        "They are out beyond Gamedon's last beacon?" Pennbaston asked. "Where you were? Among Eoeun?"
        "Yes. Have you heard of them?"
        "No, I don't think so."
        "No 1 has," Vettra declared.