Things were surprisingly quiet when the group returned to Brierthorne. Alexandra looked around as they emerged from the portal and frowned at the egg in Lyrrekka’s arms.
“That doesn’t look good,” she said. “Things went wrong?”
“Actually, other than Tarian getting shot as were were leaving, it went pretty well,” Matthias said. “We got the kids out and we’re secure. Though the latter is mostly because Lydia realised something was wrong. I’ll tell you all the details later. How are things here?”
“Tense,” Alexandra said. “We turned back their first assault with no problems but they are regrouping for a second attack right now. They’re wary though because they realise we could have hurt them when we drove them back. Sonia and Lucas are still talking to the Brigadier and we’ve also got people talking to the reporters. They’re having to be careful so the military don’t notice.”
“Hmm,” Matthias said. “Are the reporters proving receptive?”
“They seem to be,” Alexandra said. “Clare says they don’t feel like they’re lying. They are worried they won’t be allowed to broadcast our side of the story. She says they are very frightened and angry at the government for making them frightened.”
“I can’t say that I blame them,” Matthias said. “So much for the free press. Can Clare persuade them to risk it?”
“She thinks so, but she suspects their bosses may block their broadcast if they try to deviate from the script,” Alexandra said. “They are considering how to work around it. It looks like they’d have to avoid mainstream channels and go straight to the net.”
“That would work,” Karen said. “You know how the web is nowadays.”
“Yes, and people do suspect the government is up to something,” Matthias said. “So they wouldn’t be surprised. I think this could work.â€
â€œI hope so,â€ Alexandra said.
â€œNow what about our Kithreian friend? Has he explained what he’s doing in the army?â€
â€œYes,â€ she said. â€œApparently he was a human Wild who was abducted and forced to change into a Kithreian by one of our enemies but his strength surprised them and he managed to flee and joined up with the rebel Kithreiri. They found it expedient to ward him from being scryed out and return him to his human life, since he hadn’t been gone too long and was strong enough to survive here. He was just a teenager at the time, barely past maturity, and he just got on with his life and joined the army as he had always intended.â€
â€œAnd the unicorn has confirmed this?â€ Matthias asked.
â€œShe did,â€ Alexandra said.
â€œThat’s quite a story,â€ Matthias said. â€œSo he has a heart friend?â€
â€œHe must but he’s never met them. He’d like to.â€
â€œHe escaped?â€ Lyrrekka exclaimed. â€œHe must be a tricky one to manage that. I tried to get away from Kithra several times while I was there. They watch new Kithreiri really closely.â€
â€œHe wouldn’t be the first to get away,â€ Fellaria said. â€œBut I can’t think of anyone in the last few decades who made it out.”
â€œHe’s told Sonia that he’s pretty sure they think they killed him but his strength let him survive.â€
â€œOh!â€ Fellaria tilted her head. â€œYes, that’s possible.â€
Matt, are you back? Sonia’s voice sounded in his head. Can you come here? Our new friend wishes to speak with you.
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