There is also a reclusive spider mage. He is ill and distrustful. And taciturn. He is performing experiments and breeding his lovely spiders. He wants nothing to do with government snooping.
Was the cheerful, pseudo-portly civil servant named Charles? Let's pretend it was. Charles is about to be immobilized and brought into the experiment. He'll be wrapped in spider webbing.
The spiders spin webs that interfere with the transmission of magic/information. Charles won't be thinking too well when the webs wrap around his head. The webbing also prevents information entering or leaving the warehouse, so no way to call for help.
Sums will be more useful taking readings and auditing the flow of the various magics in the experiments. So she is unwrapped and nominally at large. Since there is no known exit, though, she's not going anywhere.
Oh, and the smell of dog food and fruit? Apparently you can't support a breeding colony of spiders unless you have a breeding colony of flies.
Oh, and the way that Sums convinces Mr. Spiderdaddy (I think his name is Kjeldahl. possibly Lars Kjeldahl. Or Sven. It's in my notes.) to let them go? . . . I do actually have a way, I'm just not sure how to get there. All three of the characters are hiding things, personal things, family related things. They actually do have one or two things in common, but they don't trust each other at all. It's going to be hard to get the dance between them right.
And Sums has an idea, but they'd all have to work together and it would require a lot of balancing and coordination. Can she convince the dour Mr. K that it would work, that it would be in his best interest? And can she convince Charles? Can she convince K that she can convince Charles? And with Charles babbling, will he say the wrong thing at the wrong time?
The idea, by the way is . . . two words.