A long way from home, ensconced in an isolated farmhouse overlooking a bitterly frozen moor, Mortimer Catchpole sprinkled a metallic powder onto a fire that burned in a small bowl set on a sill. The flame crackled and glowed with an intense orange hue, smoke rising to fog the window glass. He gripped the photograph with a pair of tongs and held it in the heat. The image bubbled and the paper burned. At that very moment of its destruction, but remote from the event, Piccolo screamed as she knocked over a bottle of black ink.