Collette was silent for a long time. Every few minutes she would put down the block she was holding then scout around the table again before picking another one. Her face grew grimmer and angrier by the moment as she absorbed whatever history the blocks were showing her and Karen could feel the girl’s rage darkening the air around them.
When Collette picked up the penultimate block, Tara got to her feet.
“I’m going to make some tea; from the look on her face and the vibes she’s giving off, she’s going to need it,” she whispered.
“Good idea,” Sarah said equally quietly. “I get the feeling we all will.”
Tara had just returned and placed the tray on the table when Collette dropped the final block to the table and opened her eyes. She didn’t speak immediately but was clearly still furious and trying to control it. Agrona put one hand on her shoulder.
“What’s wrong, Col?” she asked softly.
Collette stiffened and gasped in a breath. “They bloody knew! I can’t believe it… all this killing, all this time and they bloody knew!”
“Uh…” Matthias said. “Your ancestors knew Resonants weren’t evil?”
“That too,” she said. “Which would have been bad enough.” She dragged in a breath and wiped angry tears from her eyes. “But they knew that their bloody pogrom was what would cause the bloody disaster they were supposedly trying to avoid.”
“What?” Tara stared at Collette blankly. “Then why…”
“Because they wanted it to happen.” She scowled at the blocks. “They wanted the dragons to exist – supposedly to combat something worse.” Her expression sobered. â€œI don’t think the ends justify the means especially since I’m not sure they didn’t cause that as well – albeit not deliberately.” She shook her head. “No, I suppose it would have happened anyway but why did they… I don’t get it.”
“Here.” Tara poured a cup of tea and handed it to Collette. “Take a moment and collect your thoughts. We’re not following very well at the moment. What would have happened anyway?”
“Thanks, mum.” Collette sipped the tea then stared into its depths as if looking for inspiration. After a moment she gave a sigh.
“They knew that Likadrian – that’s that Emms guy’s real name right? They knew he’d eventually escape and try again. They tried to warn one of the resonants involved in the mop up but she wouldn’t listen.”
“Xantaria?” Matthias asked.
“That’s the name, yes,” Collette said.
“I guess she listened better than they thought since she was expecting this. But why would they think that killing most of the resonants and forcing the dragons to exist would help?”
“Their visions said so.” Collette shrugged helplessly. “It makes no sense and if a vision makes no sense you question it, but apparently they didn’t do that. So either I’m missing something or they did.” She paused. “They knew at least some of the dragons would turn out bad as well. The lock isn’t just to prevent non-resonants and non-family members from reading them. It’ll also make a value judgement on if it’s a good idea to unlock for a resonant family memory.” Her expression became grimmer. “And that may be the worst news of all, mum.”
“What?” Tara asked.
“Because there’s a sort of simple response system in them. It says another family member tried to access them a couple of months ago and they blocked him only because he was working with a dragon who fitted their refusal criteria.”
“Uh?” Tara’s eyes widened. “Adrian! So he is resonant?”
“Seems so,” Collette said. “It certainly wasn’t Martin. I couldn’t get any more details and I suppose it could be another of the cousins but Adrian seems the most likely. We’ll have to do something about him.”