March 10th, 2014 | Published in Dragon Wars
Indaturan listened thoughtfully to what Sarah had found in her observation of Naria and Draylian’s minds before turning to Ystelyan.
“Your alra Talira’s family are here, aren’t they? Do you think her mother might allow Sarah-alra to look at her mind and confirm her suspicions about this?”
“That’s not a bad thought,” Ystelyan said. “We can only ask. Talira-alra, attend me.”
The dark skinned dragon appeared a moment later and dropped to one knee. “My mirian?”
“Is your mother free?” Ystelyan said. “Could you request her presence for me?”
“I think she’s down at the pool with my brothers and sisters,” Talira said. “I’ll go and fetch her.”
“Thank you,” Ystelyan said.
Talira inclined her head to him before vanishing again.
“You know, if you’re right, Sarah-alra, you’ll have learned more about what causes our hunger than anyone in the last several millenia,” Ystelyan said.
“No one else really had any opportunity to do a full comparison did they?” she asked.
“Alaryia did,” Idaturan said. “What with that husband of hers, but it probably never occurred to her. She’s as curious as any of us about why we always feel hungry but she’s not experimentally minded. Then again, it never occurred to me or Dar either.”
“No,” Sarah said. “She’s very political but not very scientific from what I can tell. I don’t suppose she would have thought of it. But I’m surprised it never occurred to anyone else. Do you suppose someone didn’t want you to think of it?”
“They’d have to be very strong,” Indaturan said doubtfully. “So I think not.” He narrowed his eyes thoughtfully. “More likely we stopped ourselves, after a fashion.”
“He means that draconic hunger sometimes seems to have a mind of its own,” Ystelyan said.
“Ah! A subconscious dimension.” Sarah nodded. “A cure would likely change you again and on some level you don’t want that.”
“I’d imagine not,” Lydia said. “It has to be wearing.”
Indaturan looked thoughtful again. “You know, you’re right. It probably would change us again. That’s something to consider. If we’re changing again we need to be sure it won’t be into something even more dangerous.”
Sarah flipped her hand dismissively. “Danger itself is not the issue, really. Lots of people are dangerous; as long as they have morals and self-control, what does it matter? What we don’t want is to turn you into something with even less control or to accidentally destroy your consciences…” She trailed off. “And that’s the danger isn’t it? Your moral compasses seem particularly fragile.” She hesitated. “Ours as well. I used to think that was the problem hunters had with us.” She glanced over at Adrian.
He shook his head. “Not really. My ancestors didn’t know about descent. They would probably have used it as an excuse if they did.”
“Descent is a thing that can be avoided… Well, mostly avoided,” Indaturan added. “You just have to learn to recognise the symptoms. Plus it’s not always undesirable. It saved you and the entire city at Caerdu.”
Sarah shuddered violently and looked away. “You know about that? And yes it saved my life – but at what cost?” She shuddered again and hugged herself. “I tore those people apart to find out how that damned disease–” She broke off with a sob.
“That’s my point exactly.” Indaturan reached across the table and squeezed her hands. “You couldn’t have saved the city from Mitakrian’s plague without doing that and you wouldn’t have been able to if you weren’t in descent.” He looked up as Talira returned with her mother. “Ah, excellent. We have a favour to ask you.”