Andrew couldn’t explain why the Morgan house felt like home, given that the last time he had been here he’d been two years old. He’d been looking forward to being back in his own room but his stuff was already in this room and it did feel like his. It felt safe – possibly even safer than home would.
“Your Uncle James took the liberty of picking up everyone’s stuff from the house,” Sonia said. “And it feels like home because it is your home. Even with Emms gone we’re probably safer here. There’s other dangers to consider.”
“Like that Marian woman’s son?”
“Yes, like Adrian, but there are other things as well. From what James is telling Matt, things are going to hell out there.” Her eyes slid sideways and he knew she was listening again. “I think as soon as you’re settled we should go down and join the others. We have a lot of planning to do.”
“I feel settled already,” he said. “Where’s Nari?”
“With Lyrrekka,” she said. “We’re trying to work out if it’s safe for her to be here.”
“Because she’s a dragon, you mean?” he asked.
“After a fashion. There’s no one to stop her frenzying if something happens to her. Lyr doesn’t think it will be an issue but it’s not a comfortable thought.”
“I’m sure there is a solution,” Andrew said. “I like having her around and we need to decide if we want to keep this bond thing.”
“It’s not a thing to rush into a decision about,” she said. “And as long as it lasts we’ll have trouble keeping her away.”
“Well I’m not letting her be collared again to stay here,” he said.
“Of course not,” Sonia agreed. “Your father wouldn’t do that to her. I promise.”
“Good.” He considered the problem for a few moments. “Could Ystelyan lend her to me or Lyrrekka the way Estara lent that dragon to Dan? That would allow us to stop her frenzying, right?”
“I…” His mother hesitated. “I do think that’s possible from what Kelaria said to Daniel. We’ll ask Lyr.”
“Thank you,” he said. “Bond or no bond she’s a good friend.”
“So I’ve noticed,” Sonia said. “I’m glad that we finally learned that not all dragons are evil.”
Andrew smiled at her. “Nari’s better than not evil, mum.”
“I noticed that as well. Shall we go down?”
The others they were watching one of the news channels on a large TV in the lounge with somber expressions. Lydia was hugging her knees, Karen looked like she’d been crying and Daniel was slumped forward covering his face with hands. Andrew looked around and spotted Naria sitting next to Lyrrekka and her family. She smiled at him and pointed to the to empty seat next to her. He sat down and absently took her hand before looking at the television. It took him a few moments to take in what he was seeing on the screen.
“How many?” he exclaimed.
“They haven’t got a complete total yet,” Matthias said quietly. “But it looks like nearly half a million people in Britain alone and that’s without the casualties caused by – um â€“ collateral damage from the initial deaths.”
“A-are we sure it’s connected?” Andrew realised what a stupid question that was as soon as it left his lips.
“I’m afraid so.” His father gave a heavy sigh. “Even without what Lydia’s mentor told her the fact it happened at the exact moment that the pulse of energy tore the sky open would be too much of a coincidence.”
“Laxmi did say people died last time as well,” Andrew said. “She said they were the lucky ones, but I had no idea it would be so many.” He shuddered as he tried to even grasp hold of the number and found he couldn’t. “What do we do?”
“Well, first we call a meeting,” Sarah said. “If I am understanding what is happening here, this is only the start.”
“More people are going to die?” he asked.
“Possibly, but I think Laxmi was right that there is worse to come. We need to be ready to see a lot of people in a similar state to what Catherine was in. Fortunately I’ve learned to deal with it now but we are going to have to train a lot of people very quickly. So we need all the families on our side. Shall I call them?”
Matthias hesitated. “I want Anthony there, so not the Merryweathers. But everyone else, yes.”
“No,” she said. “I don’t imagine they would contribute much to the meeting and having Anthony in the same room as his family would be disruptive. I’ll go and make the calls.”