“Are you sure he should be out of his room?” Sarah asked flatly as Sonia, Karen and Lydia lead Anthony into Selene’s room. “What if he loses control and attacks someone again?.”
“It’s fine, Sal,” Sonia said. “I wouldn’t have let him come here if weren’t sure he’ll keep control this time â€“ and that I can lock him down on the off chance I’m wrong about that. He was worried about Selene so I brought him here to let him see that she’s okay.”
“Humph, you’re still too soft,” Sarah said. “I’d have let him stew about it a while.”
“Oh sure, make him even more tense,” Sonia said. “That would really help his self-control.”
“How is she?” Anthony interrupted. “Please, Sal. She is okay, right?”
Sarah scowled at him for a long moment before nodding. “Of course she is. She’s sleeping now but I’ve stabilised her and rechannelled the excess energy. She’s going to be a very strong cryokinetic once she’s trained.”
“Thank you.” He closed his eyes. “Is there any news about that dragon I attacked? Will she be okay?”
“Apparently yes, though you nearly killed her – and I think Andrew would have killed you if you had. He’s bonded with her.” Sarah said flatly.
“He’s what?!” he exclaimed. “How the hell did that happen?”
“When Emms had them both prisoner,” Karen said quietly. “She was relaying information out for him and they kind of ended up tangled together.”
“Ah.” He sat down on the edge of the bed. “Yes, I can see how that might happen. I really didn’t mean to attack her.”
“I know but you did,” Sarah said. “Why the hell did you lose control like that?”
“I don’t know.” He stared at his hands then whispered. “But to be honest, it’s not the first time recently.”
“What?!” Sarah stared at him. “You attacked someone else without meaning to?”
“No! Of course not.” He shook his head without looking up. “I would have called if anything that drastic happened. But this last couple of weeks I can’t seem to suppress my emotions like I should and and when they spike…” He trailed off and flushed. “Well let’s just say I’ve been feeling like an out of control teenager. I had to teach Em how to nudge me. But even volatile teens don’t generally attack people. I’ve really no idea why that happened.”
Sarah made an angry hissing noise. “Why didn’t you call me? That could be a symptom of something serious and you know it . Any headaches?”
“No, nothing like that…” he hesitated. “Well maybe one or two but nothing excessive.”
“Hmm.” Sarah scowled at him thoughtfully then stood up and grabbed his hand. “Come on! I want to check you over. Make sure there’s nothing neurological going on.” She pulled him towards the door.
“Wait, you really think there could be?” he asked. “I thought I was just stressed.”
Sarah shook her head. “One or two explosions might be a combination of stress and carelessness but an escalating pattern suggests something more organic. She tugged him towards the door again. “Let me see if I can find out what.”
Sarah was frowning even more deeply when she emerged from Anthony’s room and joined them in the living room. She had a small bottle containing a tiny amount of an oily looking black liquid. She sank down into one of the chairs and looked over at Kadoran who was sitting by Sonia. “Ah good! I need to talk to one of you. What do you make of this?” She tossed the bottle to him.
He caught it and examined it with a frown, his aura flaring around him as he extended his psychic senses into it. After a moment he gave a sharp gasp.
“Void! What is this?”
“You’ve never seen anything like it before?” she asked.
“No…” he hesitated. “Well obviously I’ve seen essence venom before â€“ though this one is not one I know â€“ and I know what microbes are. But I have no idea how anyone could make microbes produce their venom. I mean it’s life-weaving obviously but I still don’t see how. What does the venom do and where did you get it?”
“From Anthony’s brain. It seems to be acting as a sort of targeted neurotoxin. It was eating away at the brain centers to do do with emotional and psychic control.” She swore viciously. “He would have exploded eventually. Someone was trying to turn him into a bomb. We’re bloody lucky he exploded early. I’ve never seen a draconic venom act so specifically before and he swears blind that he hasn’t seen any dragons in years until today. I’m sure he’s not lying.”
“No, this venom is designed,” Kadoran frowned. “The ability to alter the effects of your own venom is extremely rare but not unknown. But neurotoxic effects would need copious amounts of life-weaving and lightning and maybe some mind.” He scowled to himself. “Who’s got the right affinity spread? I can’t think of anyone with enough power.”
“What?” Kadoran and Sarah both turned to find Draylian standing in the door with Matthias behind him.
“I’m sorry, we were in the hall and I couldn’t help overhearing,” Draylian continued. “And I recognised the toxin you were describing. Xantaria uses it against her enemies because it’s so subtle they don’t realise until it’s too late and they usually take out various other enemies when they lose control.”
“And she’s Kithreia which explains why he was unaware of having been around a dragon,” Kadoran said. “Because he hadn’t been. Still, the microbe vector…”
“Is new,” Draylian said. “As least I’ve never seen it before. It wouldn’t work on Kithra. I think it would only work on Earth.” He bit his lip. “You ought to check yourselves as well. It’s probably contagious if I know my former ida.”
“Well, Colette can kill the microbes and I can fix the damage but we need to get an antidote for the toxin as well or that’s pointless,” Sarah said. “I’ll send a message to Lyrrekka.” She paused and paled. “Damn! No, you send the message, Matt. I think Selene’s infected and that’s why she was flaring so badly when they got here. I noticed some damage but I assumed it was the excess energy. I need to go and check.”