The news filtered out across the city that the attempt to capture 'The Colour of Magick' had been unsuccessful. The Times did its best to cover the story sympathetically especially in the light of Constable Lumwinkle's loss but some of the other rags were far more critical. However, there was light at the end of the tunnel or perhaps there was a tunnel at the end of the light because as morning broke, the racing certainty was on its way to the University.
Otto hammered on the enormous doors of Unseen University suddenly realising that Lily, as a woman, wasn't going to be allowed inside, "Ve might haff a problem," he said before explaining the entrance policy.
"Well if they're not willing to compromise for the sake of their own city blowing up then perhaps we should leave them to it. Or they…they...they can bloody well talk outside!" She bristled.
The door opened a crack, Wizards were not well-known as early risers but their staff* were. Spotting Lily, the elderly cleaner jerked a thumb towards the tradesmen's entrance. Begrudgingly they dashed as quickly as they could round the back and were met by a bleary-eyed Ponder who was loathe to let them in that way either.
*Not the ones with a knob on the end**
**Well, probably not
"But your cleaner is a woman!" Lily argued, incredulous.
"Mrs Mutch? Well I suppose but she doesn't really count…"
"Why? Because she's old? Because she's staff?"
"If you could tell zer faculty zat it is a matter of great urgency, perhaps they could convene at our shop in zer next hour?" Otto suggested as a compromise. He turned to Lily, "Ve get Villiam and zer Vatch on zer vay back and ve can kill zer sheep viz zer vun boulder."
She shrugged but agreed.
"Is there um... any chance there'll be breakfast?" Ponder asked hopefully.
"Of course!" Lily returned, deliberately misunderstanding, "I'm sure everybody will be grateful for you bringing it. Such a kind offer!"
"That's not what I…"
But they were already leaving, "Scrambled, crispy bacon and zer fried slice for me!" the vampire cheekily called back over his shoulder.
The Wizards were the last to arrive but true to their mistaken word they had brought breakfast and the goblins set about distributing bacon butties, eggs; scrambled, fried, boiled and poached and a seemingly endless supply of hot buttered toast. There was nearly an endless supply of hungry mouths to feed as well, as the little shop was already filled with the Times, the Watch and of course Team Pictsie.
Otto and Lily stood behind the shop counter and began to explain how they were going to save the city from certain destruction.
"Are you avare of how zer spectrum vorks?" Otto began, the Wizards all nodded and hurumphed but for the benefit of everyone else, "Zere are zer seven colours you see in zer rainbow. At vun end zere is infra-black vhich you only see under certain circumstances," the Bursar cringed, "and at zer ozzer end zere is Octarine vhich is zer colour of magic."
"But," Lily continued, "all of those colours are to be found within normal natural light. White light contains them all."
"Nah…" Nobby disagreed, "Don't see it myself."
'The Turning of the Cogs' produced a glass prism and placed it on the counter, "Pointy hats, please be shifting it!" She waved the Wizards away from the window so that a beam of day light hit the Prism, split and prettily created a rainbow in front of them. "Only the Pointy hats can see the Octarine, but it there!" The pointy hats nodded in agreement.
"White light won't kill you," Lily explained.
"Speak for yourself," Otto muttered wrily.
"Sorry," she smiled apologetically, "but large amounts of Octarine will and in a most unpleasant way I should think. So, what we need to do is this," she pointed at the rainbow, leading her finger back to the white light. "If we can add all the other colours to the Octarine as it is released from the book we can potentially neutralise it."
"But how are we supposed to do that?" Vimes asked hoping they had an answer.
"Filters!" 'Moon under the Mountain' waved them in front of his eyes giving him momentary kaleidoscopic vision. He waved her away with a scowl.
"Filters and salamanders," Otto elucidated, "due to a little accident vhich now perhaps is serendipitous ve have a very large amount of salamanders in zer store room." Lily blushed, remembering the little accident very well. The salamanders had bred like rabbits.
"We need to enlarge the filters we have," she continued, "perhaps the University could help with that? Then set off the salamanders to send the seven colours to the book to neutralise the Octarine. The beams could be directed by the mirrored golems you used?"
"It's…genius!" Ridcully announced around his bacon sandwich. Ponder agreed but there was a problem, "We still don't know where or when the book will appear."
"We does actually," 'The Dust on the Sideboard' lay out a series of iconographs of what was very clearly Sator Square. In each picture there was Dulling and the book. Vimes squinted, "This Saturday at noon."
"How do you know?" Ridcully boomed.
"Market stalls. Market day is Saturday and see there?" He pointed to the clock tower, both hands on the twelve.
"Will it work this time?" William de Worde asked.
"It has to. For all our sakes." Lily said plainly, "and if there's a chance to save Mr Dulling too," she bit her lip, her voice quavering slightly, "then we had all better make it happen."
Meanwhile Neville Flach had had an epiphany. He also had a first class ticket to Ankh-Morpork. As the train pulled out he hoped he might actually have the courage to do the right thing for once. He also hoped the copious amounts of garlic he'd secreted about his person would help him avoid Larry's fate.