September 13th, 2013 | Published in Dragon Wars
By the time Matthias finished explaining what Jayden Emms had done Julie, had her head in hands and her shoulders were shaking. Lydia wasn’t at all sure if she was laughing or crying until she raised her head. She was laughing, but it was a bitter kind of laughter.
“I always did say your own cleverness was going to blow up in your own face spectacularly one day, Matthias,” she said. “But I never imagined it would be like this. You knew he was dangerous. What on earth possessed you to give him any authority?”
â€œI didn’t know he was that dangerous,” Matthias said. “How was I supposed to expect that?”
She stared at him for a moment. “No, I don’t suppose you could have,” she said finally.
“It’s no use worrying about it now,” Adrian said. “What we need to worry about is how to fix it.”
“Yes,” Julie agreed. She looked at him thoughtfully. “You’re Adrian, aren’t you? The last time I saw you, you were tiny.”
“I know. I’m afraid I don’t remember you,” he said. “And it seems wildly inappropriate to call you grandmother when you’re younger than me in this life.”
“It really does,â€ she said. â€œJust call me Julie.” She turned to look at Tara and Collette. “Aren’t you going to say anything, Tara?”
“I-I really don’t know what to say,” she said. “I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.”
“Fair enough, but at least introduce me to your daughter. She hadn’t even been born when I – um – didn’t exactly die.”
“Er… oh, right.” Tara looked flumoxed. “This is my daughter Collette…” she hesitated. “Col, this is Julie who – um – was my mother and er…”
“It’s okay, mum,” Collette said. “I get it. Agrona has told me about transition.” She smiled at Julie. â€œPleased to meet you.â€
â€œSo could you tell us what happened to you?â€ Tara said. â€œLyrrekka said you would have needed help.â€
â€œYes,â€ Julie said. â€œI did.â€ She scowled thoughtfully at the ceiling. â€œIf only I’d been a tiny bit quicker none of this might have happened. But then I wouldn’t have met Marema either.â€ She gave a heavy sigh. â€œYour father was holding the air together so we could breathe and fight but it was obvious the dragon was going to tear everything to pieces. So he suggested I jump, take resonant form and go back home to tell everyone what had happened. I threw myself through one of the rips in the fusilage, but the dragon caught me with an attack just as I transformed. The venom…â€ She shuddered. â€œSo I was a beam of light falling towards Earth, trying not to lose consciousness before I warned someone and knowing I wasn’t going to make it. Then this cold blue cloud wrapped around me and I heard a woman’s voice say that she didn’t know why she was helping me but she had a feeling I would be needed. And it felt like the cold reached into me and flung some sort of switch. That’s the last thing I remember before I was Julie.â€ She bit her lip. â€œWhoever helped me was familiar somehow.â€
â€œSo it was Alsia-ida who did it,â€ Lyrrekka said. â€œThat makes sense. She always watches hunters.â€
â€œIt certainly sounds like her, yes,â€ Ystelyan said.
â€œAlsia-ida?â€ Julie asked.
â€œShe’s a Kithreia,â€ Lyrrekka said. â€œShe spends a lot of her time making sure those who flee into exile actually get there.â€
â€œOh! That explains it,â€ Julie said. â€œI’d probably sensed her when I was in the void after that monster. Someone was certainly watching.â€ She looked as if she might say more but Ystelyan spoke first.
â€œElarian is just landing with Valeria. We should go and meet her.â€