“What do you mean? Who is she, Lianne?” Adrian had gone pale at the girl’s words.
“You know what I mean,” Lianne replied sympathetically. “Or you wouldn’t have gone that colour. This woman wasn’t just pretending to love you. She isn’t Kay. I know Kay and that’s not her mind I’m feeling.”
â€œAre you sure?” Hannah had pushed her way through the gathering to stare at her. “I mean she’s been in a box…”
“I understand that but… for heaven’s sake, she’s your sister and she can’t have been in that box for more than a couple of years, Han! Look for yourself.”
Hannah stared at Lianne for a few moments longer then turned towards Kayleigh, a look of intense concentration on her face. After a moment she gasped and flinched back. “She’s right… but how the hell–” She broke off as the ice holding the faux-Kayleigh exploded in a storm of energy. When it cleared a red-eyed, dark olive skinned woman with wings of scarlet quartz and spikes of the same material instead of hair was hovering over the shattered ice.
â€œDialdra-alra!â€ Lyrrekka sucked in a hissing breath. â€œXantaria’s first lieutenant and chief spy. She’s one of the few Kithreia strong enough to survive indefinitely on Earth â€“ albeit in a weakened state. Don’t let her get away!â€
“Not a chance,” Adrian said. “I want to know where Kay is, and imagine Hannah and her father do as well.” Even as he spoke he sent another wave of white ice at Dialdra and sent her slamming into the wall. A moment later a second layer of red ice joined it. He turned and looked at Andrew in surprise.
“She broke your last restraints,” Andrew said blandly. “Reinforcement seemed in order.”
Dialdra struggled against the ice for a few moments before stopping abruptly as her eyes began to glow. “If you want to see your pretty little Kay alive again you’d best let my alra go, boy,” she said in an echoing voice. “And have your friends return that piece of my property they stole.”
“You must be Xantaria,” Adrian said blandly. “I’d say it was a pleasure but it really isn’t.” He walked over and levitated up to meet her eyes. “So Kay’s alive?”
“For now, but I don’t need the wretched girl any more now that Dialdra’s cover’s been blown, so I guess I’ll just dispose of her piece by piece… unless you do as I say. Think about it. I’ll be in touch.” The glow in Dialdra’s eyes faded and she gave a groan and slumped down unconscious.
â€œWell that was instructive,â€ Adrian said. â€œDo you mind if I ask Indaturan-mirian to hold her for us? We don’t have anywhere strong enough I think.â€ He looked over at Hannah who still seemed frozen in shock. â€œAre you okay, Han?â€
â€œI-I- I think so. Kayleigh didn’t betray me?â€
â€œI can’t say for sure, because we don’t know when they pulled the switch,â€ he said. â€œWe’ll find out when we rescue Kay.â€
â€œWe don’t know where she is,â€ Lyrrekka pointed out and he smirked.
â€œNo, but Xantaria told us more than she meant to, including how to find Kay. She needed her to maintain Dialdra’s cover which means there must be a scryable link between them.