Lydia’s head was full of fog when her alarm went off at three in the morning. She groaned and went to hit the snooze button but Bennu flared up and landed on her arm.
“No, Lyd!” he said. “You have to get up now or you won’t have time to prepare before you have to leave.”
“Uh.” Lydia shook her head to clear it, and her stomach clenched as she remembered why she had set the alarm for this ungodly hour. “Damn, yes! Thanks, Bennu.” She turned towards Karen’s bed to see if she had woken in time to see her sister disappearing into the bathroom. “Don’t be too long, Kaz. We need to get moving.”
“I know,” Karen said. “But I’m not going anywhere without brushing my teeth.”
“No, me neither,” Lydia said. “Do you think we should have breakfast?”
Karen leaned back around the bathroom door, toothbrush in hand and shook her head. “The way my stomach is churning, I don’t think I could eat anything.”
“Precognitive churning?” Lydia asked quickly.
Karen shook her head again. “Just nerves I think. What about you?”
Lydia closed her eyes and considered the question. Her stomach was flipping nervously but it didn’t have the edge that it had had the day before. â€œThe same, I think. Now hurry up so we can check the others are awake.â€
Once they were both washed and dressed, Lydia and Karen headed to the next room which Andrew and Daniel were sharing. Even before Lydia could knock, Andrew snatched the door open and she could see he and Daniel were both dressed.
“Here you are!” Andrew said. “We were just coming to check you were awake.”
“Same,” Lydia said. “We need to set out soon, so could you two get Naria and Kelaria?”
“Yes, of course,” Andrew said.
“I’ll get Kyle and Julie,” Karen said before Lydia could ask her.
“Okay,” Lydia said. “Everyone meet in the lounge.” She turned and headed downstairs. She was surprised to find both her parents awake and sat in the lounge. “Mum, Dad, I thought you were staying here.”
“We are,” Sonia said. “Unless you call for backup. Backup is important in a situation like this. And how could we sleep knowing that you’re going into danger?”
“Ah! Thanks.” Lydia smiled nervously and sat down on the sofa. “The others should be down soon. Julie is going to jump us in and–” She broke as her father raised his hand to shush her.
“Yes,” he said. “You talked us through the plan several times. If we could come up with anything better we would have said.â€ He smiled reassuringly. â€œHave faith in yourself, Lyd.â€
â€œThanks,â€ she said. â€œI’m trying, but the stakes are so high.â€
â€œI know.â€ He turned and smiled at the others as they came in. â€œIt’ll be sunrise soon. Are you ready?â€
â€œAs we’ll ever be,â€ Andrew said.
â€œThen you should get going so you can get into position,â€ he said. â€œGood luck.â€