Ess certainly didn't look forward to spring. She and Uly would stay in the United States, but separated as they went out on Originator business. While it was a relief to learn that the blood link in the communication plates created from crystal dust allowed their grandparents to use them, in a way she was disappointed. She wanted an excuse to send either her or Uly on the Golden Nile to keep an eye on their grandparents. She still had occasional bad dreams where she went to Matilda's workroom or Ernest's office, and found the rooms empty, no sign that anyone had ever used them.
However, she had made a promise to her friend, Phoebe Stryker, to find Phoebe's three sisters, whom their treacherous uncle had hidden away. He used the safety of her sisters to keep control over Phoebe and use her to spy in Sanctuary, while he went about the country, disguised as Mr. Judson of the Pinkertons, to further his plans. The details of those plans were still being uncovered. The last Ess had heard from Allistair Fitch, who had the unpleasant task of uncovering Stryker/Judson's activities, he had found two more false identities. The ire of the Pinkerton Agency and their determination to make all things right gave Ess only minimal comfort. She feared that somehow, Allistair might yet uncover the truth of the Originators, and then what would they do if the Pinkertons decided they were a threat to national security?
"She's nattering again," Matilda said, as their delegation entered the lounge and finally began to divest themselves of their winter cloaks and coats and hats and gloves.
"No, Ess is pondering some devious trick or dire punishment for whatever blockade currently resists her," Ford announced, with a grand bow to Ess that earned a chuckle from his wife Athena.
"It's a good thing that rotter, Stryker, is..." Dr. Lockhart chuckled and sank down into the wingback chair that had become his province on board the airship. He settled his mechanical leg and looked around the room. "Well, to be delicate, rotting."