A/N: Argh! Sorry this is late guys. I was so tired after work yesterday I completely forgot it was Monday. *facepalm*
â€œMay I come with you?â€ Malisia asked. â€œI’m kind of curious about this as well, even though it doesn’t really effect me. I’m always surprised Savira didn’t experiment on goblins. The ways that we differ from both speakers and dragons might have been relevent.â€ She hesitated. â€œOn the other hand, I’m glad it didn’t occur to her.â€
â€œOf course you may,â€ Sonia said as they walked together towards the throne room. â€œWhat differences do you think might have been relevant?â€
â€œWell, we don’t have heart friends,â€ Malisia said. â€œAnd not just because we’re born here. Mother says the two sides of our ancestry balance each other out so it’s almost like we’re our own heart friends.â€
â€œCan you take resonant form?â€ Daniel asked. â€œI mean, you’re shapeshifters too, aren’t you?â€
â€œWe are,â€ she agreed. â€œAnd not precisely, but we can…â€ She hesitated. â€œIt’s easier to show you.â€ She paused and held out one hand. After a moment, it shimmered as if made of water then reformed as a birdlike claw. The water-like shimmer moved up her arm leaving the birdlike form behind it.
â€œAh! So you can only transform part of your body at a time?â€ Sonia asked.
â€œUsually.â€ Malisia shook her arm and the process reversed so fast Daniel couldn’t follow it. â€œVoid! But it’s weird doing that slow enough for someone to see it. Normally the wave passes through us almost instantly.â€
â€œUsually,â€ Daniel asked as they started again.
â€œIf we end up in the void for some reason, we’re forced into full resonant form but even there we can’t hold it for long. If we can’t get somewhere safe and retake our material form within a few minutes, our energy dissipates into the void and we die.â€ She gave a wry smile. â€œNeedless to say we avoid the void if at all possible.â€
â€œI can imagine,â€ Daniel said.
â€œAre you sure that the reason you don’t have heart friends is that you don’t need them?â€ Sonia asked. â€œHow do you know it’s not geographical, like it is for dragons?â€
â€œWell for one we’re not unstable at higher power levels like both Speakers and Dragons are without one, and for another, the first goblins were human-speaker hybrids, not dragon speaker hybrids, and many were born on Taloa. None of them ever had a heart friend.â€
â€œHuman-Speaker hybrids? Now that’s a strange thought,â€ Sonia said. â€œI’ve never really thought about how you worked before. You breed true, don’t you? What happens if you have a child with a speaker or a dragon?â€
â€œMostly; we occasionally have speaker or dragon children even with each other,â€ Malisia said. â€œIt’s even more common if the other partner isn’t a goblin. Father’s mother was a human-haltia hybrid, apparently.â€
â€œReally,â€ Sonia paused in front of the throne room doors. â€œThat’s interesting. Thank you for indulging my curiosity.â€
â€œYou’re welcome,â€ Malisia said. â€œIt is an interesting subject. I expect your sister will be interested as well.â€
â€œOh, no doubt.â€ Sonia laughed. â€œLydia as well. They’re both curious as hell.â€ She smiled at Malisia again and pushed the doors open.
Daniel had been about to ask something else but it was knocked out of his head when Lydia barrelled into him.
â€œDan!â€ She hugged him hard. â€œYou’re okay! I was so worried.â€
â€œYeah, you gave us all a scare there, Dan.â€ Karen said. She and Andrew had come over while Lydia was speaking.
â€œI’m fine,â€ he said. He looked over to where Savira was sitting. She was chained but seemingly uncowed as she met his eyes.
â€œYou’re a pretty good fighter,â€ she said. â€œI shouldn’t have got angry with you for that.â€
â€œNo, you shouldn’t,â€ Daniel said blandly before looking over at his father, who was talking with a pair on nymphs who seemed on good terms with him and who both had infants with them. â€œAre these the two mum mentioned?â€
â€œThey are,â€ Matthias said. â€œHave you called for Kelaria?â€
â€œI have,â€ he said. â€œI’m sure she’ll be here soon.â€