The girl looked much as she had in the premonition as she walked out of the door. Her eyes were open but glazed and her movements were jerky as she walked towards the soldiers. Daniel concentrated and tried to spread his concealment wards around her but it was it was obvious from the way they swung towards the door that his efforts had failed.
“Miss, go back inside, please,” one of them said. “The situation is under control and curfew doesn’t end for an hour.”
The girl didn’t respond but kept walking. The soldier didn’t raise his gun but instead tilted his head.
“Sir, I think she’s sleepwalking,” he said. “What should we do?”
That’s interesting, Julie said. That didn’t happen in the vision.
We already knocked the vision off course. It’s a different patrol than the one in that, Karen said then paused as the soldier who was speaking paused and rubbed the back of his neck before looking around with a deepening frown. Gah, he’s an ember with a mind affinity. He’s eventually going to be affected by this as well and I have no idea how we’ll extract him when it does. And we’d best be as mentally quiet as possible or he’ll sense us.
â€œTry to turn her around,â€ the patrol’s leader said. â€œLet’s not wake her if we can avoid it.â€ He frowned at the door as the older woman from the vision poked her head out and looked at the soldiers nervously. â€œAre you her mother, ma’am?â€ The woman nodded and he gestured for her to come out. â€œTake her back inside, please.â€
â€œThank you.â€ She gently took hold of the girl’s elbow and tried to turn her gently towards the door. â€œCome on, Jenny.â€
Jenny however resisted, seemingly intent on wherever it was she was going in her trance. A sound like the nails on a chalkboard filled the air around her, making her mother and the soldiers clamp their hands to their ears.
We should have brought Jason with us, Karen said. I think they’ve realised what’s happening and that she’s the source.
Indeed the patrol’s leader had unclamped his hands from his ears as the burst of sound faded and pulled a radio from his belt. â€œWe’ve got a live one here,â€ he said into it before turning to the woman who was shaking Jenny and telling her to wake up. â€œMa’am I’m afraid you and Jenny will need to come with us before she hurts someone.â€
The woman looked at him blankly. â€œWhat? Why? She hasn’t hurt anyone.â€
â€œNo, but she might if we don’t get her away from here and sedate her until the initial surge passes. We can’t risk a repeat of what happened in Manchester.â€
The woman stared at him distrustfully and shook her head. â€œJenny won’t hurt anyone. I’ll make sure of that.â€ She started trying to pull the girl back into the building, then froze as he aimed his gun at her.
â€œDon’t make this hard,â€ he said. â€œWe’ve been told to bring anyone like Jenny in. It’s as much for her protection as everyone else’s. After Manchester, how do you think people are going to react to her?â€
Kaz, go! Lydia said.
Close your eyes. Karen raced past the soldiers and let out a blinding pulse of light that knocked Daniel back, even with his eyes closed. Now!
They raced to join her and grabbed Jenny and her mother, hustling them through the gate Julie opened before the soldiers could recover.