“Hmm… it’s a big house.” Daniel looked over the semi-detached Edwardian house. Julie had scryed out the location of Alison and Logan with Kyle and Darya and that had led them here.
“Yes, and a very big garden,” Julie looked thoughtful. “Interesting.”
“What is it?”
“Well a large house and big garden don’t necessarily mean anything. Lots of people have large homes but in the circumstances I find myself wondering if Logan is the only Astral in his family. Come on.” She grabbed Daniel’s hand and started pulling him towards an alley between two of the houses in the street. “We can’t see what’s happening from here. There’s fields around the back. I think we’ll get a better view from there. Once we find a good place to watch from, I’ll send Marema to scope out the place. Of course, we’re rather dependent on them coming into the garden.”
“It’s good weather, at least,” Daniel said. They emerged from the alley into green fields where a group of children were playing cricket and several people were walking dogs along well maintained paths. It was all oddly normal considering the deaths and riots that had been happening. Perhaps that was why it felt forced to him – like the people were trying to pretend things were okay. None of them so much as glanced at the two of them as they passed so he knew his concealment was working.
He pointed to a low hill covered with trees. “We should be able to see over the hedge from there.”
Julie smiled at him. “Exactly what I was thinking.”
It didn’t take them long to find a spot with a good view over the garden through the trees. Smoke was rising from a brick barbeque and Daniel could see several people in the garden. Beside him, Julie stiffened.
“That’s Alison.” She gestured to the girl carrying a large bowl of salad out from the kitchen. â€œI don’t see Logan yet.â€ She held out her arm and Marema flew down and landed on her arm. In her resting form, the Hercian bird resembled a large light-brown crow. “I need you to look around that garden there. Stay in your resting form and try not to be spotted.”
â€œI’ll be careful, Julie,â€ Marema said.
Julie watched her go then looked back at the garden. She was frowning again.
â€œWhat’s wrong?â€ Daniel asked.
Julie glanced at him. â€œThe guy who’s cooking: I feel like I should recognise him. He’s probably Logan’s father so it could be that â€“ except there’s not that much of a resemblance. Besides, the memory feels older. I’m trying to chase it down.â€
â€œBy older you mean from before you â€“ ah…â€ He hesitated.
She nodded. â€œBefore I sort of died? Yes, I think so. It makes me even more suspicious that he’s a Wild â€“ but even so… There aren’t many Wilds I would have known that we weren’t sponsoring.â€ She scowled back at the garden. â€œWho are you? Why do I know you? And why does that scare me?â€
â€œIt scares you?â€ Daniel asked.
â€œHe scares me,â€ she said. â€œThere aren’t many Wilds who wouldâ€“ Oh, sweet heaven! The Turners!â€
The name rang a bell but it took Daniel a moment to place it. â€œOh, Karen mentioned them. A hunter family who got wiped out. You think that guy is one of the people who turned the tables on them?â€
â€œWho slaughtered them, you mean â€“ albeit in self-defense,â€ she said. â€œYes. This complicates things awfully.â€