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"We must find out who Toltec is and retrieve the Belt before he causes any damage. What I would like to know is how the heck he infiltrated the palace! He could not have come from the air. We're protected. Everything is protected. Do you have any ideas, Madison?"

"I'm as puzzled as you are. We'll need to do some thorough investigating to figure this one out."

Just then the Captain of the Guard walked in. Overhearing Madison and Bronson's conversation, he informed them of news concerning it.

"Mr. Randolf, sir, I may have the answer to your questions. An area of the grounds near the East Garden has collapsed. It appears there is a tunnel leading from the coast to the base of the palace. However, there are no signs of how the intruder entered the palace."

"I see. Thank you, Captain Thatcher. This information is most helpful."

"You are welcome, sir. By your leave."

The Captain then bowed and was on his way. Soon Madison and Bronson were at the sight of the cave-in.

"It extends all the way to the sea. This is one thing we never thought of, Madison. We must find some way to prevent from this from happening again."

"I'll get on it right away. So you think you should notify the other Key holders?"

"Yes, I should. I don't know where to get in touch with Iffley, but I am sure I can get hold of Adena. I'll do that right away."

With that, Madison was on his way to the defense analysts to come up with an idea to prevent future infiltrations from below the ground. Bronson went to the communications center and was soon in touch with Furanose.

"Enchantress, Mr. Bronson Randolf wishes to speak to you."

"Is he here?"

"No, he is not. He is in contact with our communications center."

"He is probably wondering about the Belt of Excho."

"Yes, he is. How did you know?"

"Woman's intuition. Besides, I have just seen it in Eve's possession."

Moments later she was sitting before the visual monitor in the communications room.

"Mr. Randolf, my communications officer informed me that you are calling about the Belt of Excho."

"Yes, Enchantress. It has been stolen by a man calling himself "Toltec," and I thought I should..."

"Toltec! I'll have you know Toltec has been at a ball in my palace all evening! He did not steal your Belt!"

"But the man identified himself as..."

"I don't care! It was not Toltec!"

"I apologize. All I know is that is the name which was given to me. Someone may be trying to put the blame on Toltec. I don't know. All I know is the name which was given to me, and I was trying to do you a favor by warning you that someone is stealing Keys. It was brought to my attention that the Tiara was stolen as well!"

"Yes, I know. You seem to have done all kinds of 'favors' lately."

"I am sorry if you are not pleased with the reconstruction of Furanose, but it cannot be changed now."

"Well, as the old saying goes, 'c'est la vie'."

"I apologize for flying off the handle. Please just don't cut me off yet."

"I'll consider it."

"Okay. All I would like to know is if Toltec is not doing this, do you have any idea who is? Richard possibly?"

"No. I don't think so. Tonight I caught Eve with my crown. She says she got it from Iffley, who was trying to steal it. She also had on the Belt."

"She what? How did she get it? It was definitely a man that took the Belt."

"I was getting to that. Iffley left the party for a period of time, about the time the Belt disappeared I would guess. He also does not care for Toltec too much and he has been acting strange lately."

"Then it could have been Iffley. That would explain the mysterious entry. I thank you for your help, Enchantress. I do hope we can get get on better terms than we are at present. I do not cherish the thought of another enemy and me without a Key."

"We'll see. Adieu, Mr. Randolf."

"Good evening, Enchantress."

Madison had silently entered the room during Bronson's conversation.

"Bronson, I have good news."

"What is it, Madison?"

"Our defense analysts say that a system for prevention of underground intrusion is very feasible. They will get to work on plans right away."

"Thank you, Madison. It has been a long day. I think I'll be going to bed. Do not let me sleep past 10:00 tomorrow. I have things to take care of tomorrow but I must get some rest."

"Okay. Good night."

"Good night."

With that, Bronson proceeded to bed. He could not sleep, however. The week's events, plans for defense, the movie, and only the Lord-knows-what-else passed through his mind as he lay there. This had surely been a week to forget.

 © 1985, 

K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, A. Mann, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft

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