“Mum! Dad!” Daniel rose to his feet as Arran led his parents and Sarah Tyler. “You came! What about the meeting?”
“You’re more important than the meeting, Dan,” Sonia said. “We were worried.”
“We wouldn’t have detained them,” the woman said. “We just wanted to know what’s going on.” She held out a plate piled high with burgers. “Please join us. I am Faith Silver, these are my brothers Arran and Edward.” She nodded to Arran and then to the man cooking at the barbecue. “I think you may have my nephew Logan and his foster sister Alison before.”
“Matt and I have briefly,” Sarah said. “But Sonia hasn’t.” She tilted her head at Alison. “You seem less aggressive than when I sent you back.”
Alison shuffled her feet and looked at the ground. “I-I really didn’t want to come back to Earth. I thought Shalriya would come after me again if father wasn’t there to protect me.” She hugged herself. “I couldn’t go through that again, but I guess you hid us well.”
“We did our best,” Matthias said. “What were you discussing when we arrived?”
“Your son had just finished telling us about the situation that led to that.” Faith pointed to the crack in the sky. “And they were about to tell us about the people who tried to kill us when we were teenagers and what it has to do with all this.”
“Ah,” Matthias said. “Yes, that might be a good thing to explain.” He picked up one of the burgers. “You must have noticed that unusual ability you have even for our kind.”
“Hmm?” Arran looked puzzled for a moment. “Oh! You mean the energy form thing. That’s why they tried to kill us? Why?”
Matthias opened his mouth clearly intending to explain but Sarah held up a hand.
“Let me.” She pulled a block from her pocket. “This will explain. You know what it is, right?”
“It looks like one of the psychometric memory things mum used to make,” Edward said. “Is it?”
“We call them history blocks,” Sarah said. “But it sounds like the same thing.”
“Then yes, we know how to use them and it will make things faster.” He held out his hand for it and she handed it to him. “Thank you.” He closed his eyes then gave a little gasp. When he finished with it he was frowning but he didn’t say anything as he handed it to Faith.
She gave him a curious look before absorbing it herself. After a moment she gave a startled cry and dropped it.
“Faith?” Arran put a hand on her shoulder. “What is it?”
“I…” She swallowed and visibly composed herself before picking it up and handing it to him. “See for yourself.”
“Okay.” He closed his eyes and a scowl spread over his face. “Idiocy!”
“I quite agree,” Matthias said. “But you see how it relates now?”
Arran nodded. “Are we still in danger?”
“Somewhat,” Julie said. “I think Adrian will shut his family down soon enough but there are some zealots who may act alone. Did Sarah’s block tell you about Adrian?”
“It did,” Faith said. “A brave young man. It told us about you as well.”
Julie nodded. “I thought it might. You should let Alison and Logan see it as well.”
“That’s a good idea.” Arran tossed the block to his nephew. “Be warned, it’s a bit shocking.”
They waited while the two teens accessed it. Logan looked as shocked as the rest of his family but Alison started to laugh.
“Oh my, Julie!” she said. “Father told me about you, but I never imagined anything like that.”
“You still think of Gerian as your father?” Sarah asked gently. “I know he saved your life but he was using you, you know.”
Alison shook her head. “You don’t understand,” she said. “I know he was using us but he really is my father. That’s how he knew I was in danger.”