Matthias tutted thoughtfully to himself. “Yes,” he said finally. “I think that’s doable. It will take some thinking about but we can probably come up with a way to do it.”
“But how?” Edwin said. “Could you really pull off pretending to be a whole other species?”
“Well they do, apparently,” Matthias said. “So we should be able to. We can conceal ourselves and disguising ourselves as something else is only a matter of degree.”
“Especially since our opponents in this case can’t sense us psychically.” Sonia hesitated. “Can they?”
“Emily didn’t detect any psychics among the guards,” Edwin said. “So unless they are concealing themselves the same way, I wouldn’t think so.”
“We’re supposed to be the psychic project,” Sophie added. “But given that they don’t trust us and they were able to set up alternative arrangements for these kids so quickly, I would proceed cautiously in this situation.”
“Proceeding cautiously is always wise,” Sonia agreed. “If you can show us where Emily found them I’ll do some scrying myself. See if I can find out more.”
“Get Lydia to help,” Karen said. “She needs that talent honing and you might as well kill two birds with one stone.”
“That’s an excellent idea,” Sonia said. “She is very gifted–” She paused as Matthias tilted his head. “What?”
“It seems Emily is trying to sneak past the anti-scrying wards again. She actually managed to get part way through before triggering them this time.” He tilted his head. “I think I’ll let her through.”
“Make sure she knows you did,” Edwin said. “She needs to learn she’s not as good as she thinks she is.”
â€œI think we can all do with learning that occasionally,â€ Matthias said. â€œAnd since I just closed the wards behind her, she already does. Can she manifest her psychic projection?â€
â€œSort of,â€ Sophie said. â€œThough she hasn’t had much practice at that so she’s a bit indistinct.â€
â€œThey usually are,â€ Sonia said. â€œIt’s not easy. Make sure she knows you’ll bounce her again if she doesn’t manifest when you let her through, Matt.â€
â€œI will.â€ He closed his eyes and a moment later there was a startled mental squeak and the semi-transparent, ghostlike form of a young woman about Karen’s age appeared in the corner. The girl was blonde, pale and almost fashion magazine model slim – and pretty enough that Karen felt an uncharacteristic pang of envy. She must have broadcast it without meaning to because Sophie winked at her.
Emily’s a little vain, she said. She’s actually a little plumper than that and her hair is not that light. I mean she is attractive but her psychic projection is as airbrushed as one of those models you’re comparing her to.
Karen looked around quickly and saw that no one else had heard that. She raised an eyebrow at Sophie then looked back at Emily as she spoke.
I’m sorry for intruding, Emily said. I was curious.
â€œI’ll let you off this time,â€ Matthias said. â€œWe wanted to meet you anyway. But you should be cautious trying to slide past people’s wards like that. Some of the other families have far harsher wards that would have blasted you rather than just bouncing you. Ours would have had you been hostile.â€
Emily’s projection bit her lip in a way that suggested she was doing it physically as well. I’ll remember that. Why did you want to meet me?