“He does have some ideas about that,” Adrian said. “They never managed to find a cure for the Lost Ones.” He glanced at Laxmi, who had accompanied them, in a way that indicated that he knew what she was. “But he did manage to find a way to stop the transformation if it hadn’t completed yet and he’s sure he could have found a cure if he’d been allowed. He’s willing to share the information so you prevent any being created this time.”
“Well that would certainly be a good start,” Matthias agreed. “We’ll need to meet him on neutral territory to discuss it.”
“I’ll send him a message,” Adrian said. “But we really need to figure out how we’re going to deal with the rest of this mess. If we could close the crack we might weather this and hope to pass it off as something else once it had passed but he says they never even came close to finding a way last time. We’ll have to wait for it to close on its own.”
“Yes, Fellaria says the same,” Lydia said.
Adrian gave her a sharp look but didn’t otherwise comment, instead he turned back to Matthias. “Anyway, if we can’t close the crack, we’ll not be able to even try and put the paranormal cat back in the bag so we’re down to damage limitation and trying to hide our families, at least at first.” He hesitated. “And he’s baffled about why the embers are emerging so explosively out of control. He says that that didn’t happen last time.”
â€œNo, it wouldn’t have,â€ Sarah said. â€œThat’s Xantaria’s doing.â€
Adrian made a hissing sound. â€œI’ve heard of her,â€ he said. â€œIndaturan-mirian hates her.â€
â€œI’m not surprised,â€ Sarah said and told him what they had learned about Xantaria’s plans and her neurotoxin. He listened in silence, chewing on his lip.
â€œWell, at least we have the antidote,â€ he said when she finished. â€œBut damn it! What does she hope to gain from this?â€ His voice shook slightly. â€œIs Alaryia-miria willing to turn her infrastructure to making the antidote in bulk for us?â€
â€œShe is,â€ Matthias said.
â€œHmmm….â€ Adrian paced around the room scowling thoughtfully. â€œAntidotes aren’t toxic so what if we introduced it to the water supply? It’d be diluted but it should take the edge off until we can get to the victims and fix the infection. We have enough teleporters and concealors between the families that we should be able to pull it off.â€
“That’s an interesting idea,” Matthias said. “But we’d need to put a hell of a lot of antidote into the water to get the dosage high enough. It might be detectable and the logistics of transporting that much antidote would be interesting to say the least.”
“Actually to just take the edge off the effect wouldn’t require as much as you might think,” Tarian said.
“No,” Lyrrekka said. “It’s really not feasible. It might not need as much as Matt thinks but it would need a lot. And if we got caught…” she trailed off meaningfully.
Adrian scowled again then nodded. “You’re right, of course. It would only work on a local scale. So it might still work if we can pin down serious cases like that one last night before they happen.”
“Yes, that might work,” Matthias said. “Though if we’ve pinned them down we’ll hopefully be able to get close enough to dose them without going to such lengths. But we’ll discuss this once the meeting starts properly. Other people might have ideas. For now you’d better go and see to getting your family settled in and sending a message to Indaturan.”
“A good idea.” Adrian bowed gracefully. “Thank you for accepting my truce.”