Relief seemed to be the primary feeling on the news when they got back to Earth. The commentators weren’t sure that it would have an effect on the emergences and similar but apparently they all felt that the sky returning to normal was a good sign. What did catch Lydia by surprise was that they were aware its closure wasn’t spontaneous. Apparently the energy Darylyan had poured into the sky had been visible, even though he’d done it in a remote spot. Someone had captured it on their mobile phone and the various channels were playing it over and speculating what had happened and who had done it.
Her father had headed to find James as soon as they got back, so Lydia turned to Sonia. â€œDidn’t we tell the authorities we were going to try and close the tear?â€
â€œWe did,â€ Sonia said. â€œAnd they agreed not to release anything until we reported back, but then we rather got side-tracked by what happened with Mitakrian. Matt and I will call them as soon as we’ve talked to James and Terry about Celeste and asked him about his impression of the reaction so far.â€
â€œI see.â€ Lydia sat on one of the sofas and closed her eyes, feeling the air. â€œI can tell it worked,â€ she said after a moment. â€œThe air isn’t prickling my skin like it had been.â€
â€œYes, it feels normal again.â€ Sonia looked around as Matthias returned with James and Theresa. From the way the two of them were talking fiercely with Matthias, he’d already told them his news.
â€œYou can’t go and see her,â€ Matthias was saying. â€œNot until she comes home. We don’t have one of the devices that will stop you collapsing.â€
â€œWell ask for devices for two for us,â€ Theresa said. â€œWe want to see James’ daughter. Dammit, I knew Kezia was lying about Celeste not being James’ kid… well, I suspected anyway.â€
â€œKezia will be bringing Celeste back once Asra is rested,â€ Julie said. â€œIn a few hours, probably. Certainly before our allies could get you a pendant.â€
â€œCaroline is probably right, Terry,â€ James said. â€œAnd we need to tell them what’s been happening here.â€
â€œI suppose,â€ Theresa said. â€œThe government has issued a statement confirming they knew that we were doing something today and are waiting for us to contact them before saying anything else.â€
â€œThe general reaction is positive as the crack was the most obvious sign of the fact something was wrong and its vanishing gives hope that thing might return to normal,â€ James added. â€œAnd a surprising number of people have noticed that something feels different. Not just embers but nulls. Should nulls be able to sense it?â€
â€œPossibly,â€ Matthias said. â€œIt would have pushed nulls into emerging in the end and the lines between astral, ember and null aren’t hard and fast, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised some of them can sense the change as well.â€
â€œAnything worrying?â€ Sonia asked.
â€œNot that we’ve seen,â€ James said.
Matthias nodded. â€œSonia and I will go and call the Prime Minister then, and tomorrow we move back home to get ready for the new school year.â€