“No argument there,” Karen said. “Keeping the government panicking more than it already is needs to be one of our primary objectives.”
“Well said, Kaz,” Matthias said. “Or failing that, we need to keep their panic aimed in the right direction. Which makes me like Naria’s plan even more.” He smiled at the dragon girl. “You have a good head on your shoulders. Can I put you in charge of this?”
Naria gave a warm smile. “Your trust honours me.”
“You’ve earned it.” He turned back to Sophie, who was smiling oddly at him. “You don’t like the plan?”
“I think it’s an excellent plan as long as it doesn’t go wrong.”
“The same could be said of most plans,” he said.
The dark-skinned woman laughed and nodded. “True enough. It’s a fair plan. It shouldn’t go wrong if the young lady prepares well.”
What plan? Emily asked.
“They’re planning to rescue those kids you found and make it look like the E.D.E’s you’ve been sensing are behind it.”
Oh. Emily looked thoughtful at that. That’s clever, since those people do have an interest in those kids. Though I think they are trying to stir up conflict between these old families and the government. She gave a half smile. Of course the government doesn’t know that. But you’d better make it look like those kids didn’t leave willingly.
“A kidnap rather than a rescue?” Naria asked. “Yes, I see what you mean. You’re worried that the government will think the kids are allied with the enemy. It’s a good thought.”
Emily nodded. Exactly.
“I like her,” Naria said. “She’s bright. That hadn’t even occurred to me. I’ll have to factor it in. We want them to think that these kids are victims not enemies or they may become more aggressive.”
“How long do you think it will take you to come up with something workable?” Matthias asked.
Naria hummed to herself. “I need as much intelligence as possible before I can even start.” She turned back to Emily. “Will you show me what you saw?”
Of course, Emily said.
“Good, then once Sonia and Lydia give me their impressions as well I’ll see what I can come up with.”
â€œExcellent.â€ Matthias looked over at Edwin and Sophie again. â€œIs there anything else you think we should know?â€
Edwin and Sophie looked at each other, obviously communing telepathically, before he shook his head.
“Nothing we can think of,” he said. “Except, do you have any idea why no one died in Caredale?”
“No,” Matthias said. “We’re looking into it.”
“Soph is as well,” Edwin said. “Made easier by the fact she lives there.” He hesitated. “Oddly I have family there as well. I’m trying to get the government let me move there to find out why.”
“That town is important somehow,” Matthias said. “Especially since we didn’t even know that town existed until recently. Someone has been hiding it from us.”
“It certainly seems to be,” Sophie agreed. “I wonder why?” She glanced at her watch. “But we need to get going – Seraphina and Michael will be wondering where I am.” She caught Matthias’s questioning frown and smiled. â€œMy children.â€