“So,” Sonia said as she poured tea for their guest. “Please tell us why you are here.”
Sophie smiled and tooked the offered cup, sipping before she spoke. “You won’t be able to hide what is happening for long, you know. Whatever is leaking through that-” She nodded at the glowing tear in the sky visible through the conservatory roof. “Will affect too many people in the end. And the way it’s happening, so fast, with so little control: people will panic. They already are but it will make it worse. And the government is going to panic too.”
“Well they’re already bringing in travel restrictions,” James said. “And a curfew.”
“Yes, they want to stop the riots,” Sophie said. “They need to get things to calm down..” She looked to one side. “My husband is a lorry driver and he hasn’t been able to deliver anything since this happened. People are starting to run out of food which is only making the rioting worse. That’s one of the reasons for the curfew. They want most people inside so the cleanup can commence and emergency food convoys can get through.” She sighed heavily. “I don’t think things are going to calm down though.”
“No,” Matthias agreed. “Neither do I, not unless more is done.”
Tell her about the neurotoxin. Lydia said. She needs to know why the ones who are developing powers have no control and the danger of mind-touching them.
That’s risky, Matthias said. But I think you’re right. He frowned for a moment before speaking aloud. “There’s something you should know about why the embers who are emerging can’t control their powers at all. Someone has been taking advantage of the situation by using a neurotoxin-secreting microbe – one that is spread by strong telepathic contact.”
“What!” She stared at him. “That’s… that is… I didn’t know but it explains a lot. I’ll have to tell my boss about this. Do you know who is doing it?”
“Would you believe it the prelude to an extradimensional invasion?” he asked.
She cocked an eyebrow at the torn sky again and gave a half smile. “Right now I’d believe anything. Is it?”
“We believe so, yes.”
“I’ll have to tell my boss that as well,” she said. “The people who caused that?”
“No, that was someone else. We stopped him but not quite in time. These people are just taking advantage of what he did.”
“Do you have a cure for this microbe?”
“You need a healer or better yet someone with a death affinity to kill the microbe,” Sarah said. “But we do have an antidote for the toxin. We can give you the recipe but I’m not sure how much you’ll understand. It’s new to us as well.”
“We have healers. Give the recipe to me and I’ll contact you if I need help,” Sophie replied. “I’m a quick learner. But we’d better get back to business. You can’t hide what’s happening and once my employers realise it, they are likely to do something repressive. I don’t know what but I’ve an uncomfortable feeling it won’t be good for the kids who emerge. I want to make sure they don’t find out about you and your families and rescue as many of those kids as possible. Will you help me?”