“Mum!” Ian came careening into the sitting room with Pensura in tow. He had his tablet in one hand. “Turn on the news! We have to do something!”
Lydia grabbed the remote and turned on the BBC news. Sonia, in the meantime, put a hand on her nephew’s shoulder. She must have been calming him because he stopped shaking though he still looked upset.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
He just pointed to the television where the centre of Birmingham was gripped in what appeared to be an ice storm.
“But it’s the middle of summer.” Lydia stared at the television as the screen showed an aerial photograph and she realised just how small the area covered by the storm was. No more than a few streets. She tilted her head. “Is… is this one of the affected embers surging?”
“It looks like it,” Sonia said. She studied the screen for a moment. “Ice aside, I think they have an air affinity like me. The odd weather system is resisting the prevailing winds and the ice is because they are dragging the air down, not because they are forming it.” She made a tutting sound and rose to her feet. â€œLyd come with me.” She looked over at Sarah. “Can I borrow Lucas as well?”
“Of course you can.” Sarah snorted. “Technically you don’t need to ask, Sonia. You were always supposed to be the Keefe family head, not me.”
“You okay with coming with me, Lucas?” Sonia asked.
He nodded slowly. “I think I am, but you’d better tell me what you intend to do first.”
“We’re going to jump in there and grab whoever is doing this before the authorities realise what the cause is,” Sonia replied. “With any luck, we can leave them thinking that this is another weirdness event. The longer we can prevent them realising what’s happening the better.”
“Well it will certainly give us time to plan but I don’t know if it’s possible,” Sarah said.
“I think we can do it,” Lydia said. “This time, anyway. But it will difficult and dangerous, mum.” She cocked her head. “You want me to warm the ice while you block the cold air?”
“That’s the plan. In the meantime, Lucas find the focus and knocks them out.”
“We should take a healer as well. People will be hurt â€“ by the rioters if not by the ice storm,” Lydia said.
“That’s a point,” Sarah said. “I’d come but I’m still worried about this infection – I don’t want to infect anyone. Lucas, call a couple of the cousins to help and have them jump here. I don’t want to mind touch anyone until I know it’s safe.” She tutted to herself. “And you should possibly take Matt or Daniel – they can conceal us from the authorities.”
“Take Dan,” Matthias said. “Ebona can help with the healing. I have some ideas of my own to stall the authorities.”
Sonia closed her eyes then nodded. “I’ve called him. He and Ebona are on their way from the stables.” She paused and nodded to the middle aged man and woman who popped in. Both bore enough of a resemblance to her mother that Lydia would have known them for kin even if Sarah hadn’t called them cousins. “Tallie, George, good to see you again!”
“Sonia!” Both of them embraced her.
“Is everyone here?” Tallie asked as she hefted a bag. “Lucas told us your plan and we have to move fast. We’ve brought our first aid kits so we can deal with minor injuries without wasting energy and save our power for the worst cases.”
“We do,” Sonia said. “We’re just waiting for my son. He’s going to conceal us and his heart friend is a unicorn, so she’ll be helping you with the healing.”
“And when you get back, we’ll have Collette on standby to kill off any infection. The toxin is slow enough that we should be able to stop you getting a dangerous dose if we act quickly enough.” Sarah said. “Lucas did warn you about that, right?”
George nodded. “What a horrible thing. But we can’t sit down and let this happen just because it’s dangerous. We’ll find a way to counter this.”
“I know we will.” Sonia turned. “Dan and Ebona are at the front door. We should collect them and get moving. We don’t have much time.”
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