August 9th, 2013 | Published in Dragon Wars
“You what?” Carl said before Hannah could respond. “Is anyone actually bloody dead?”
“Yes,” Lyrrekka said in a flat bitter tone that made him flinch back. â€œMy husband for one.â€
“Sorry.” He looked down. “That was thoughtless, but you know what I mean.” He looked pointedly not only at her, Kyle and Sonia, but also – to Hannah’s puzzlement – at Martin, who was asleep in Tara’s lap. Tara gave an amused snort in response.
“Ah, you worked that out.”
“What–” Hannah began but broke off as it all came crashing down on her. Tara stumbling verbally when she told her Martin would be Sean’s successor, Ystelyan telling Tara she was lucky to have found Martin, the bizarre similarity between Sean and Martin’s mental touch, the large brown egg that was never far from Sarah’s side at the moment… “Oh.” She looked around and was relieved to see she wasn’t the only one staring at Martin in shock. Karen had gone pale and Jason, who had been leaning against the wall, had sunk down into a squat and was staring blankly into space. Indeed everyone seemed at least slightly startled except the dragons, Kyle and every Laverne in the room.
“Well that took long enough,” Kyle muttered. “I figured it out straight away. Except I don’t know how he got back to Earth. Forming an egg without help in the middle of a precocious maturity is just about possible, but getting across the boundary should have been impossible.”
“Actually, Indaturan managed to catch him and then sent the egg back with me,” Adrian said. “That was a hairy few months, hiding the thing until he hatched then arranging for Aunt Tara to find him.” He caught the looks the others were giving him. “What? I like Sean. When I realised he’d been summoned I asked my mirian to keep an eye on him. He went one better and saved him when that whole mess with the Core blew up.”
“Adrian, as soon as I’ve put him down for his afternoon nap I’m going to hug you, okay?” Tara said.
He gave her a slight smile. “Okay.”
“But see what I mean?” Carl shook his head. “You people are really hard to kill. I shouldn’t be as baffled as I am. We knew this sort of thing happened – well not the turning into dragons thing – but we knew resonants we thought we’d killed sometimes turned up again – though not often.” He laid his head on his arms and sighed. “But mum wasn’t resonant; she’d just trained herself to do something she shouldn’t have been able to. Could she really have done that?” He pointed to Jayden Emm’s egg poking out of Sarah’s bag.
“It’s possible but she would have needed help, of that much I’m certain,” Lyrrekka said. “But I don’t know much about tasariri and the only expert I know, we can’t ask.”
“Why not?” Matthias asked.
She sighed. “Because it’s Gerian. Everything I know about them comes from what little he told me. I wouldn’t even consider it possible â€“ who would have helped her? â€“ but I can’t help thinking the timing is too coincidental.”
She sighed again. “From what Gerian told me, only a handful of tasariri before the exile managed to make an egg that hatched and only one of them made it through their transition to maturity. Even he was deathly ill and only survived because he had the best healers. Their bodies rejected the change, apparently.”
Sarah narrowed her eyes. “Change? So they became fully resonant? Presumably without a heart friend?”
“No, they had heart friends from what he told us.” It was Tarian who answered. “They developed the bond in shell. A few made it to egg but failed to form a bond. Those ones never hatched.”
“That’s interesting.” Sarah tutted thoughtfully. “I’m going to go out on a limb here: you’re thinking about that dragon knight who had obviously had some sort of auto-immune disease, aren’t you? What was her name?”
“Julie,” Lyrrekka said. “And yes, that’s why Gerian explained about them to us. Because he recognised the symptoms. I think that’s why he was so furious when she skipped out – because he’d saved her life. Though he did concede that she owed someone a bigger debt for actually getting her into egg form in the first place.”
“Not that he told her any of it,” Tarian added.
“It is an awfully big coincidence,” Sarah said. “But isn’t she a little old?”
“Julie’s younger than she looks,” Lyrrekka said. “I think she’s about the same age as Matt and Sonia’s kids.”
“That is about right, isn’t it,” Matthias said. “Which means she should be through maturity now. I wish we could find her and ask her.”
“We can,” Kyle said. “She went home on her own but before she left, Ystelyan gave her a bracelet like the one Fellaria gave Lydia to help her hide from Gerian. We’ve not heard from her since but he can get a message to her. Should I ask him?”
“Please do,” Matthias said, He turned back to Adrian. “And we should get back to business. If Indaturan wants to come back to Earth he needs to prove he’s not an enemy.”