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"The Secret of the Symbol": After their experience of the previous night, Olice Silverlock and Pomeline Fritch are sure that the thing they saw in the North Hall was not the ghost of [[Millie Jane Cobblepot (Prime Earth)|Mi


Quote1 We need to act fast. That weird symbol you found? It's in the diary and Hammer-Head's office. Quote2
Olive Silverlock



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Synopsis for "The Secret of the Symbol"

After their experience of the previous night, Olice Silverlock and Pomeline Fritch are sure that the thing they saw in the North Hall was not the ghost of Millie Jane Cobblepot. And when they ran out in horror, they made the mistake of leaving the door of the hall open, alerting the administration to their break in - which means they will not have an easy time of getting back inside to investigate. Too shaken to participate in their Gym class, their coach urges Pomeline to get into it, and warns Olive that the Headmaster wants to see her right away.

While waiting outside the Headmaster's office, Olive spots a symbol she recognizes over one of the windows in the hallway. While she takes a closer look at it, she overhears a conversation outside the window between Ms. MacPherson and Bruce Wayne. Wary of Bruce Wayne, Olive tries to listen in further, but the Headmaster catches her, warning that the keystone above the window is loose, and she could be hurt. He adds that the North Hall is similarly dangerous, and warns her to be careful - never outwardly conceding that he knows it was she who broke in.

As she makes her way from the Headmaster's office, Olive flips through her annotated copy of the Diary of Millie Jane Cobblepot, and discovers a note with the very same symbol she'd seen above the window on it. In her surprise, she fails to notice the staris beneath her feet, and loses her footing. Fortunately, she is caught by the handsome blonde boy she'd been seeing around. He admits that this isn't the first time he's caught her, but she doesn't remember it. He won't answer her questions about it, and it frustrates and embarrasses her. Worse, Kyle Mizoguchi, her ex-boyfriend, saw all of it.

After getting changed out of her gym clothes, Oliver interrupts her friend Maps in her art class to talk about what she learned. She believes the Headmaster is on to them, and that he is somehow linked to the symbol they'd seen in the North Hall, and that she'd found in two other places today. While Maps has a look at the book, Olive tries to explain that she decided to call it off with Kyle, Maps' brother, but Maps ignores her to explain that the page the image is on seems to show a floor plan of an academy building. Olive recalls that they'd seen a boy in the cafeteria draw the symbol in his sketchbook the other day, and they decide to interrogate him, given that he is also in Maps' art class.

His name is Eric, and he is embarrassed and anxious when the girls approach him, complimenting his painting. Maps tries to jog his memory about the symbol by drawing it on his painting, and he is horrified by her actions, warning her not to do it. Overcome, he grabs up all of his papers and runs away. Olive picks up a few sheets he dropped and discovers that they are script pages from the play Macbeth.

Olive and Maps follow up that lead by going to the school's auditorium, where they expect to find Eric working on the play. Unfortunately, he's not in the cast on stage. Maps supposes that he might be part of the crew instead, but she is interrupted in saying so by Mr. Trent, the drama teacher, who emphatically recites a few lines from the play before bemoaning the fact that Olive refrained from joining the play as his Lady Macbeth. Maps notices the ornate craftsmanship of the prop swords being used in the play, and Mr. Trent explains that they're made by a rather intense young student, whom Olive and Maps suppose must be Eric.

They find him in the prop room, and corner him there, promising to leave him alone as soon as he tells them where he saw the symbol. To encourage him, Olive shows him her copy of Millie Jane's diary. He is taken by it, and comments that he's seen symbols everywhere, like in the old chapel, the library, and the girls' dorm. Incredulously, Olive wonders what he was doing in the girls' dorm. Nervously, he blurts out that he didn't move any of them - a puzzling outburst.

That night, as Olive and Maps prepare to go exploring in their dorm, Maps is suddenly startled by the sight of a ghostly visage at the window. Unwilling to let the ghost out of her sight, Olive rushes over and smashes the window to grab it, proving - as she suspected - that the ghost was a fake. She leaves Maps to finish their preparations, and marches off to confront the person behind the ghost sightings. On the roof, she discovers Pomeline's boyfriend Heathcliffe with another girl, controlling the ghost like a puppet. Angrily, Olive demands to know why he would do this to Pomeline, who actually believes in ghosts.

He begs her not to tell Pomeline, explaining that because she was so obsessed with summoning the ghost of Millie Jane, he thought that if he made her think she'd succeeded, he might make her happy. Reluctantly, Olive offers to keep it between them, so long as he stops playing ghost-puppeteer. As a sign of trust, she returns a pin of his that she found on the ground. Before letting him go, though, she asks him to tell her what he can about the blonde boy she's seen around. He identifies the boy as Tristian Grey - an exchange student.

On her way back to her room, Olive spots the symbol in the stairs down from the roof. Remembering what the headmaster had said about loose stones, she pushes on it, and is surprised when it opens the way to a passage. Without Maps as backup, Olive follows the passage until she hears the sound of Pomeline's voice. She discovers that she has a vantage point into Pomeline's room, where she is on the phone with Heathcliffe, reaffirming her intent to establish contact with Millie Jane's ghost. Smirking, Olive consults her copy of the diary, and realizes that the floor plan drawn inside it is actually a map of these passages. She uses the map to find her way to Maps' room, where she surprises her friend by calling to her through the wall.

Moving on, without Maps, Olive passes by another girl's room and overhears her own roommate Lucy complaining that she wishes she could change rooms. Sadly, Olive supposes that it wasn't a great idea to come through here alone. Soon, though, her flashlight's beam falls on a wider space, where she discovers signs that someone had been spending time behind her dorm room wall. On that wall, she discovers photos and notes pinned, and among them is a photo of her with her mother. Suddenly, a thudding sound alerts her to the presence of someone else, and Olive whirls around to find Killer Croc standing over her. Though she is initially startled, she senses that he is just looking for a safe place to hide after escaping from Arkham Asylum. Softening, she promises not to tell anyone he's there - but she wonders if he can tell her about her mother, since they must have known each other.



Notes

  • This book was first published on January 28, 2015.
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