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That's when Erin brings something out from under her collar. She cups it in her hand to show me.
First off I think it's an animal cos these long tentacles, thin as fishing wire, are waving about where it was clasped around her neck, and they just disappear into the rest of it like when you touch the stalks on a snail. It ain't much bigger than a chestnut shell, but it's an odd shape, a sort of knot with bulges and stalks and creases. And it's glowing with the faintest of lights7mdash;a shimmer of faraway blue and green, with hairline streaks of cream drawn across its surface in patterns, like the grain of bleached wood. Except it's much finer than that—all the detail is sharp and layered and sunk down deep inside. And as I gaze at it, I could swear them patterns are moving about, very slowly shifting and mixing. It's the most weirdest, most standout beautiful thing I've ever clapped my eyes on.
"What in the world is that?"
"It's a flinder," says Peyto. "I don't know if this is what the Vlads are looking for, but Erin's got one, I've got one, and...well, one of them is lost. Here. In this city."