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Daniel and his mother and their group jumped inside the security perimeter of the large house where the cabinet was supposed to be meeting. Sonia must have scanned the area well because she had positioned them in a small clearing within a mass of rhododendrons but he could spot the house through the branches.
Let’s be careful here, Sonia said. I know the Prime Minister was telling the truth but we can’t assume that no-one else was listening. We’d best be ready for an attack.
Very wise, mum, he agreed. He felt around with his mind. I don’t sense anyone other than the guards I’d expect.
Me neither, she said. But let’s keep looking.
And let’s stay here for now, a young woman whose name he hadn’t caught in the rush to leave said. If Matthias’s group succeeds, we won’t need to do anything.
That’s the plan, Lucy, Sonia said. No fights unless we have to.
Good. I’m sure I can knock this thing out of the sky if I need to but I don’t like actual fighting. She hesitated for a moment. Especially not against non-astrals. It’s too easy to do permanent damage to them.
Sonia put a hand on her shoulder and smiled at her. I don’t blame you. I feel the same.
Lucy smiled feebly at her. I thought you’d think I was weak.
Not at all, Sonia said. Now let me see if I can sense Matt at this distance. I want to see if I can find out what’s happening.
Lydia swallowed as they appeared in the hangar. Her father had asked her to scry it out and find somewhere within the hangar where the enemy wouldn’t spot them but they could observe and the reporters could record and broadcast what was happening. She thought she’d got it right, but what if she was wrong? Her anxiety must have been leaking because her father grinned at her.
No, you did just fine, Lyd, he said. Look.
She looked around. They were behind another drone, which would hide them unless the men clustered around the one being prepared for flight actually looked for them.
And even then, they won’t see us now I have concealment up. Matthias looked over at the female reporter. Are you ready?
Uh, my head aches, the female reporter said. Is that the telepathy?
Yes. I’m sorry about that, Matthias said. Telepathy is hard on non-telepaths but it’s the best way to handle this. They’ll hear us if we speak aloud.
She nodded. I can see that. I’ll deal. Anyway do you want us to start broadcasting straight away?
Not immediately, he said. That will warn them. Just record them. We need them to say something incriminating before we send it.
Good plan, she agreed and waved her companion to start filming.
I don’t think it’ll be too long before they say something incriminating enough, Matthias said. They’re talking about it as it is. Listen.
â€œHe already called those bloody people?â€ One of the men was speaking to a young man who had just run in and saluted moments earlier. â€œI wasn’t expecting that. I don’t suppose we’ve got a transcript?â€
â€œNo, sir,â€ the messenger said. â€œI’m afraid not. He used some sort of scrambler we don’t have the key to on his end and something stopped them hearing it on the enemy’s end. Probably however they stopped us blocking the broadcast.â€
â€œDamn!â€ he said. â€œAre the cabinet still meeting?â€
â€œWe think so. He’s certainly called them and cars have left their residences heading to the right place…â€ He trailed off.
â€œBut something isn’t right,â€ the messenger said. â€œHe’s being very secretive with most of his staff suddenly, including our agents.â€
â€œHmm… we’ll wait until we know they’re there for certain. If he is on to us and trying to trick us into showing our hand, it complicates things because we’ll have to use more than one drone to kill them all. If only our man hadn’t been shunted back to the back benches. He could have told us if they’d been told not to go.â€
That’s it! Matthias said. Start broadcasting. Ian, if they do try to fire more than one, can you stop them?
Not in flight, Ian said. But I can do them one by one on the ground.
Get on it. I doubt we have long before they find out we’re here now. Lyd, can you put us a screen up as soon as they do? Body armor is nice enough but I’d rather the bullets didn’t get near–â€ He broke off as the door burst open and another messenger burst in.
â€œSir! They’re here!â€
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