Breakfast next morning was a quiet affair. No one seemed inclined to talk much, not even to rehash battle plans. The silence was oppressive and Lydia stared at her scrambled eggs and chewed her lip.
â€œSomething isn’t right here,â€ she said finally. â€œWe’re never this quiet and I feel so apprehensive but I’m not sensing anything. Is someone blocking us again?â€
â€œI thought of that and checked first thing this morning.â€ Sonia shook her head. â€œIt’s worse than that. There’s nothing concrete to pick up because the future is on a knife edge. We sense the most likely future when we have premonitions and right now there’s such a mess of impressions we can’t make sense of it. That always makes precogs go quiet and feel apprehensive. The others are just picking up on our mood.â€
â€œI don’t like the future being in flux just before an important battle,â€ Karen said sourly.
â€œThere’s no time it’s more likely to be in flux,â€ Matthias said. â€œAnd on the upside, it means losing isn’t so likely that the future is screaming warnings at us.â€
â€œThere is that, I guess,â€ Karen said.
â€œI’ll take it,â€ Lydia said. â€œIt’s better than the alternative.â€ Somewhat relieved by the explanation, she tucked into her eggs.
â€œThat it is,â€ Matthias said. â€œAs soon as we’ve eaten I’ll drop Lydia, Bennu, Drew, Kimi and Naria off at the dark sanctuary and then the rest of us will go to the staging point for the battle.â€
â€œWith things so finely poised, the slightest thing could shift the balance,â€ Sonia added. â€œSo if you do have a premonition while you’re there, tell He who was Indarian and he’ll pass it straight to Matt.â€
â€œI still wish we didn’t have to wait out this fight,â€ Andrew said as he settled on to one of the piles of cushions that had appeared from somewhere since their previous visit to the dark sanctuary.
Yes, I expect you do. He who was Indarian sounded vaguely amused. It’s frustrating knowing other people have gone into battle and you can’t.
â€œYou can say that again,â€ Andrew said.
â€œGuardian, can I ask you something?â€ Naria said.
You wish to know why I didn’t tell Matt as soon as I realised that not all dragons are evil?
â€œPretty much,â€ she said. â€œYou must have realised.â€
I’m not El, he said. I’ve always been more stubborn and I had worse experiences. It took me a long time to accept what I was sensing. I did try to tell Matt once I did but he wasn’t ready to listen and I was still learning to communicate in my new form.
â€œOh, of course,â€ she said.
I’m sorry my failure caused you so much trouble, Naria-alra.
â€œIt could have been worse,â€ she said. â€œAt lest I got to meet Drew.â€
â€œSpeaking of dragons,â€ Lydia said. â€œDo you mind if I take my dragon form and take a nap?â€ She decided not to mention she was a little hungry; she didn’t want to bother anyone at such a difficult time. But Naria obviously had other ideas.
â€œYou didn’t feed this morning, did you? And at this point you should be still be feeding daily.â€
â€œI didn’t think anyone could spare it just before a fight,â€ she said. â€œAnd I only just sarted feeling it.â€
Oh for heaven’s sake! He who was Indarian said. Come here and I’ll feed you before your nap.