Ess Fremont and the Blue Lotus Society know the Originators have been infiltrated by Revisionists. The treachery has reached even to their headquarters, Sanctuary, an underground complex near San Francisco.
Problem: The Society can't contact Sanctuary, or risk putting power into the enemy's hands. Yet Ess must go there to claim her heritage and learn how and why her grandparents vanished seven years ago.
Solution: Ask her family lawyers to "turn her in," and on the train ride cross-country, begin her education.
The journey launches revelations that threaten everything Ess knows as truth. As she uncovers schemes within lies within treachery, the fulfillment of her family's destiny rests heavy on her shoulders.
Who can she trust when her own grandparents blocked her memories, and the means of saving -- or destroying -- them all are hidden in the vaults of her mind?
"May I ask what the Society does? Gathering clothes and funds for war widows and orphans?" Mr. Peterkin's smile seemed to freeze, just a little bit, and his gaze went over her shoulder.
Ess guessed that someone had come down the hallway from the back offices. She pretended not to notice, even though she could almost feel the eyes focused on the nape of her neck. She clenched her fist to resist the urge to stroke the hairs back up into place, which had been tugged loose by the wind off the lake, and make sure the blue lotus tattoo at the nape of her neck was clear to be seen. The entire purpose of wearing this dress was because the low collar would expose the tattoo and catch the right sort of attention.
"Goodness, no." Ess settled on the spindle-backed bench nearest the reception desk. "We are historians and archeologists, specializing in ancient civilizations. While our name might indicate we focus on Ancient Egypt, we divide our efforts equally among Egypt, Rome, Greece, and the South American empires."
"Do tell," a raspy baritone voice said, from over her shoulder. "Archeologists, you say?"
Mr. Stanton Lewis, the youngest of the three partners, stepped around the end of the bench and faced her, his hands clasped behind his back. He tipped his head slightly to one side and regarded her through narrowed eyes. His pursed lips were barely visible under his full moustache -- which, Ess was slightly dismayed to note, had silver threads of hair woven through it. She held still as Peterkin handed Lewis her business card.
"Pinkertons?" Lewis raised his left eyebrow. "I think we need to talk, Miss Peabody. Peterkin... when MacDonald returns from lunch, hopefully soon, could you ask him to join me in my chambers immediately?" He held out his hand to Ess. She complied, and let him raise her to her feet.
"Sir, you have an appointment in--" Peterkin began.
"Cancel it." He tugged Ess’s hand into the curve of his arm and kept a tight grip on it. "I have to deal with this conniving little fraud who has invaded our office."