Panel 1:

Agent Avery, dressed as a server but still wearing his secret agent sunglasses and with a visible gun holster, serves a small meal of fries to Julia and Melissa, and coffee to all three of them. Melissa is trying to act very serious as Julia’s professional attitude breaks.

Melissa: It’s very tempting to jump ahead and-

Julia (interrupting): Tell me about the monster.

Melissa: Let’s start with the artifacts themselves, then we’d like to actually record an interview later, if that’d be okay?

Kas (off-panel): Sounds good to me.

Panel 2:

Julia’s hand taps at a photograph of the fake return address on the package. The fake Greek letters are circled (σ.κ.υ.τ.ά.λ.η).

Julia: The artifact. It’s a sk… sky-tail?

Kas (off-panel): Scytale.

Panel 3:

Kas indicates to a photograph of the disks stacked together.

Kas: The symbols on the box are the secret, the disks are the key. When they’re set in the right order, the jumbled lines from the box cover coil around it and start to line up.

Melissa (off-panel): Into what? Is that a language?

Kas: Almost.

Panel 4:

Kas looks a little worried about what he is revealing.

Kas: I continued Professor McCallun’s research and compared the symbols to every ancient syllabary I could find… I didn’t have any success until I realized it wasn’t spelling out a language, exactly. More a code, something scientific.

Julia (off-panel): Okay, but what does it mean? What does it say?

Kas: I couldn’t figure it out until your SIU friends stopped me at the airport in their hazmat suits.

Panel 5:

The plate of food is mostly empty now and the girl’s drinks finished, Kas has been talking for a while. Kas’s coffee hasn’t been touched.

Kas: See, it’s a code but it describes something, like a composition. It’s similar to a few obscure methods of alchemy you can see in Umail al-Tamimi’s ‘Ḥall ar-Rumūz’.

When I told the agents everything I knew, they mentioned, well…

Panel 6:

Julia looks surprised.

Kas (off-panel): I hear they have a door they can’t seem to open.