Lydia ran up to Daniel and Adrian as soon as they landed.
“That went well!” she said. “Everyone’s really pleased.”
“You were watching?” Daniel asked.
Lydia nodded enthusiastically. “Yes, well Alexandra was and she broadcast it to the rest of us. It couldn’t have gone any better. She’s checking to see if it’s got the army to withdraw or not, but I thought someone should be here to greet you on your return.” She headed back into the main building. “Come on.”
Daniel and Adrian looked at each other before following her. Alexandra looked up as they came in.
“Ah, welcome back!” she said. “Do you want the good news or the bad news?”
“Huh. The good news?” Adrian said. ” Assuming it’s not just that everything went according to plan.”
“Not just that,” she said. “That Brigadier wants to withdraw; he suspects that the ‘aliens’ as he’s calling the Kithreiri are trying to divide and conquer. He wants to try talking to us.” She hesitated. “I think he also suspects we were behind revealing Robert as one, but he’s not saying that out loud.”
“Ah, that is good news,” Adrian said. “So what’s the bad news?”
“That civil servant we saw earlier turned up surprisingly quickly and apparently has the authority to overrule him,” she said.
“Or thinks he does,” Karen said. “They are arguing fiercely about it. I don’t like this guy. There’s something creepy about him and how did he arrive so fast? I don’t think they called for him.”
“I’m sure they didn’t,” Alexandra said. “It’s almost as if he was expecting this. It’s worrying, especially since we don’t have time to find out why.” She tilted her head. â€œHe’s calling someone now. Probably someone who is able to overrule the Brigadier.â€ She paused, obviously watching some more, then sighed heavily. â€œYes, it looks like that and he is not happy about it. So it looks like we’re still in for a fight. His men aren’t happy.â€
â€œInteresting,â€ Matthias said. â€œAdrian, when Naria and Andrew go to put the attackers to sleep you go with them. I want you to check out this overly aggressive civil servant. See if he is Kithreian as well. I doubt he’s usurped someone’s identity like those two but we know they can disguise themselves as humans.â€
â€œThat’s a good point,â€ Adrian said. â€œAnd it should be possible to tell. But forcing him to reveal himself will be harder if he is using his own human form. It’s more natural to him.â€
â€œCan you do it?â€ he asked.
â€œI think so,â€ he said. â€œIt depends how strong he is.â€
â€œIf Adrian-alran can’t I can.â€
Daniel wasn’t the only one who whirled towards the door in response to the unknown voice. A woman with silver eyes and wings of silver fire and who bore a more than passing resemblance to Alaryia was standing there. Daniel realised who she must be even before Lydia exploded and ran over to her.
â€œMy ilsra!â€ Fellaria held her hands out to her. â€œIt is good to see you at last.â€ She turned to look at the others, her wings disappearing as she did. â€œMy daughter told me what was happening and I came to offer my help. I thought it would be with your little false flag operation but I can help with this as well. If you’ll accept my help, of course.â€
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