Taryn Sullivan looked up from the map and stretched her hands over her head trying, unsuccessfully, to work the knots out of her neck. She realized with a start that night had fallen while she had been studying the currents marked out on the ancient sea chart. Looking around the room, Taryn spotted Benton Roxlaw bent over his own set of maps. "Any luck?" Taryn asked softly trying not to startle Benton. Benton let out a heavy sigh as he considered his answer and looked at the charts scattered about the room. It seemed they had been hunched over papers and maps and potions for months. Everything was beginning to blur together and he had begun to find himself seeing pictures of cats, dogs and dragons in the lines on the charts. "If there's luck here to be found, " Benton said heavily, "it's all bad so far. We know where the contamination was released. We can chart the currents and know where it's going if our containment measures fail. I simply don't see a way to stop it for good if we can't even unravel it's nature. It would help greatly if the madman would be a bit more forthcoming." Taryn scowled at her clenched fists as she remembered the most recent parchment received from Dacil Dalgrin. Dacil had spent hours interrogating the pirate Barbossa and had come away with nothing more than a newly formed belief that perhaps locking Barbossa in the depths of a dungeon and forgetting him for a century or two would not be such a bad idea after all. Dacil had been quite eloquent in describing some of his beliefs on exactly what might be a fitting new abode for Barbossa. "We'll get no help from that quarter I'm afraid," Taryn said grimly. "Even the monks in the abbey and your scientists here have made little headway in figuring out how to stop the damage. They have never seen anything like the strange brew we recovered from Barbossa's so called lab nor the effects it has on any creature that comes in contact with it." Taryn continued thoughtfully, "According to the scientists, unless they know the exact components used, they have little hope of effecting any counter measures. I'm afraid that, unless we get a break soon, the damage will spread beyond anything we can hope to deal with. So far it's been isolated and the currents in the area it was released are, fortunately, not spreading it out to open waters. However, Donal fears that as the seasons change, the currents will change as well and all will be lost." Both sat lost in their own dark thoughts for a time, until a loud knock sounded at the door. Benton roused himself and went to see who was coming to pay such a late visit. With curiosity written plainly on his face, Benton handed a sealed letter to Taryn. Taryn unfolded the parchment and read quickly. "It's from Donal," she said as she handed the missive to Benton. "We may have found the break we were looking for. But this could prove tricky." ____________________________________________ Please meet Taryn Sullivan and Benton Roxlaw Saturday, January 22nd at the Sons of the Sea Guildhall in Trinsic at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST to discuss the contents of the letter they received from Donal.