Lyonene stood before the Egyptian officials, her right hand caressing the small Sekhmet coin that she had carried since her admittance to the priestesshood.

“So you see, Rand, we need your help and that of the LAW ladies. They’re the only ones who can get into various facilities without being looked at in askance,” the Egyptian ambassador to the United States explained.

“Mr. Ambassador,” Nikita interjected before Rand opened his mouth. “I’m wondering what makes you think someone outside of the Embassy stole Sekhmet’s amphor?”

“None of our people are followers of Sekhmet.”

Nik’s brow rose. “That you know of. You have a policy of low tolerance to those who aren’t Islamic, sir.” She raised a hand before the ambassador could object. “What I mean to say is this– religion beliefs are not required to attain a job here with the embassy. That means someone might be Islamic on the outside but practice the beliefs of their ancestors, which predate Islam by many centuries. As it is, from the brief tour we had, I can tell you right now that there was inside help.”

“No! That’s not possible.”

Rand laid his hand on Nikita’s arm and hissed “Lyonene, back down. Please,” in an undertone so that only she heard. “Ambassador, not only is it possible, it’s probable. Your security is too tight for a stranger to have done it spur of the moment. They had to know the guard schedules and know how to deactivate the alarms.” Rand squeezed Nik’s arm and she realized that he had known all along what she had figured out and had been trying to play the ambassador in a nice way. “The LAW ladies have abilities that can help discern information. May Lyonene bring one or two of her people in to help?”

“I suppose so, though I doubt that they’ll find anything more than we know.”

Nikita smiled broadly. “Oh, I wouldn’t know about that. There were two energy signatures where the amphor once was. One was a trained Sekhmet follower, the other had an ancient link to Sekhmet. That is more than what your people knew when they found the amphor gone.”

Lyonene stood before the Egyptian officials, her right hand caressing the small Sekhmet coin that she had carried since her admittance to the priestesshood.

“So you see, Rand, we need your help and that of the LAW ladies. They’re the only ones who can get into various facilities without being looked at in askance,” the Egyptian ambassador to the United States explained. (more…)