LIAB Epilogue 12:1/Text

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Maggie's mind had once been something like a library. Each thought and memory, each idea and intention had retained its proper place. Thinking was largely the work of indexing, cross-referencing, and organizing these thoughts into hierarchies. Her mind had elegant procedures when information was required, to retrieve what was pertinent, arrange it logically, primp it up with a touch of style, and present it with professional grace.

By the afternoon of this particular day, Maggie's mind was still very like a library, if that library had been the scene of a recent, explosive battle. No thought was where she remembered leaving it.

Her call to Lord Stanley had been her first attempt to prioritize matters. The Overlord had been cut off from anyone he could yell at or chastise, and was likely feeling dangerously lonely. One did not leave Lord Stanley to his own devices for long. He needed...activities. This would be an ongoing problem.

Headmaster Isaac graciously scrambled the call for her, choosing a frequency that Charlie was less likely to monitor. He then led her inside the Temple to think before the Great Minds, who were already arrayed on their couches, cots, and sofas.

Maggie elected to stand while the Great Minds filled her in. They wanted to get their story straight.

"The Warlord is bound to Language," Pamelor was sending, "but perhaps to a more limited symbol set than that. As a non-caster, he will only be concerned with specific capabilities. We agree that it will be sufficient to describe Charlie's activities as battlefield advantages, as long as we fully disclose them."

The Great Minds pinged assent. This had been their decision for some time.

Maggie only glanced around the piles of torn books and papers of her mind. Hopeless, it was. She could make the case in perhaps a week of dogged argument, but she had only a few minutes before Lord Parson would arrive to be briefed.

"Disagree," she sent anyway. "He should be told everything we know."

"He would not comprehend," sent Jintao.

"He would," insisted Maggie. "In a limited way, perhaps, but it would register. It would inform his planning. A superficial explanation of what we are up against is insufficient. His mind needs all available true information in order to perform."

"The decision is made," sent Roger.

"It can be revisited," sent Isaac.

"Yes, But for now, it is settled," replied Roger. "No discussion of Grandiocosmic strings. We explain our predicament from a strategic perspective only. On metaphysical matters, we simply do not know."

More pings of assent. Maggie stood there.