The Artifacinorous

“Nephew, I’ve come to you with this because you’re family and I can trust you, but more pertinently, from what I’ve heard, you’re an outstanding government agent and I need your expertise on something important.”
“Well, then, lets not beat around the bush with pleasantries.”
“Right, as you may know from holidays, I work as the manager to this museum for our people’s artifacts and treasures, what you may not know-”
“You’ve recently had a theft.”
“Right, but more than that, the thief left more here than the one object he left with, a tattered old cloth containing two rectangular lenses. This purple one, and this clear one. We’re not sure of his motives yet, but-”
“The stones. The most valuable things in here, not just by our people, but any one in the world. They’re a complete enigma.” I grab the purple lens of his desk, and go to the old false fireplace mantle with the five ancient multi-colored translucent stones. I hold the lens up to my eye, peering through at the stones.
“Dammit, nothing.”
“Be careful with that, it’s still RCMP evidence. Besides, we’ve already tried that.”
“Any luck?”
“None.”
“Then let me do my job. Pass me the other lens.” I look at each stone individually; on the final one, I notice a reflection on the lens, behind me. I turn around and look out the bay windows, but see nothing. I look again, checking amongst all the stones, only the last one offers the reflection.
“I’m going outside to investigate,” I hand him back the lenses, “these are safe here for now.”
“What did you see?”
“Nothing, I just have a hunch.”

Outside, I walk the path of the reflection, and before long, I arrive at a flattened clearing of snow, nothing around it. Getting a closer look, my foot catches a hidden patch of ice, and I slide into the clearing, breaking through and falling 10 feet onto cold, hard dirt.

When I awaken, I’m tied down by my hands, kneeling, buried up to my neck in snow. Luckily whoever did this didn’t bother to search me at all. My combat knife is still in my belt-holster behind me. I cut my bindings, and dig my way out. Unluckily, it’s night now, which means the lenses are no longer safe.

I think back to the security footage I saw earlier of the robbery, this thief wasn’t nimble, but they got in and out mostly undetected, until the alarm went off at the display for the stones. What they took was seemingly worthless, but I wonder… Taking out my flashlight, I see see handmade desks, with scattered parchments, mortars, pestles, retorts, calcinators, and alembics.

“Alchemy.”

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3 Responses to “The Artifacinorous”

  1. So, what exactly is an artifacinorous?

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