Karilya crawled up to her mother and hugged her and the egg. She was weeping quietly but after a moment she stopped and frowned at the egg. “Mummy! I can still feel daddy…” She stroked her finger over the shell. “Should I be able to?”
“Wha–” Lyrrekka also stared at the egg. “You’re right. But he can’t still be self-aware in the shell…” She looked up at Estara. “Can he?”
“It does happen, but Tarian shouldn’t be strong enough… hell, even most idri aren’t strong enough.” Estara knelt down and touched the egg. After a moment her eyes blazed. “He is! Damn! What did he do?”
“Tarian?” Lyrrekka asked.
“No, Gerian,” Estara said. “It seems Tarian is a lot stronger than he should be. He’s asleep in there of course and immature now but he’s semi-aware and he feels like a high alran. He’s strong enough to retain his memory in shell, which means that his natural mature state is stronger than Likadrian…” She glanced at the brown egg sitting near Sarah. “Because he isn’t. That means Tarian must have had his energy trimmed to stop him going mad â€“ but he was a kedan, not an alran, which means they took way too much… I refuse to believe that was an accident.”
“You think Gerian deliberately trimmed too much? But why?” Lyrrekka stared at the egg.
“I’d say to avoid a threat to his power but that makes no sense; reducing him to a high alran would have done that,” she said. “I have a bad feeling he was being petty. Blaming Tarian for being a danger to him and punishing him.”
“Does this mean daddy will remember me when he hatches?” Karilya asked hopefully.
“Quite possibly.” Estara ruffled her hair. “And because he’s used to being a kedan, we won’t even have to stop him trying to overreach himself which is normally a problem in these cases.” She tilted her head at the egg again. “And it looks like Darlrydian’s theory is right, as well. I can feel his subconscious searching for a compatible heart friend. We might want to nudge that so he doesn’t end up with a partner who hates him for being a dragon.”
“We can do that?” Lyrrekka said.
“I can’t,” Estara said. “But it’s doable. Before the exile, some families used to nudge forming heart bonds to ensure they stayed in the family, as it were. I think mother knows how to do it even though she was happy to let the bond fall where it wanted.”
“I do,” Fellaria said. “Well for an infant in utero at least – I imagine it’ll be the same for a transitioning kid in the egg. I’ll need a target though. I’ll have a word with Al unless Est has a suggestion.”
â€œI can’t think of anyone in my court who is expecting an offspring of the correct affinity,â€ Estara said. â€œBut we have some time so that’s not too much of a worry.â€
â€œThank you.â€ Lyrrekka hugged the egg again and rose to her feet. â€œIf the kids are okay here and we’re sure there’s no risk of the military finding this place, we should get back to Brierthorne and see what’s happening.â€
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