“We still need to check that we can sense Drew,” Lydia said. “And there’s no reason we can’t do that now.” She closed her eyes and visualised Andrew. The four of them had always been able to sense each other –
Sure enough, when she focused intently on her brother she could catch the edges of his presence. He was further away than she’d ever sensed him and he seemed to be surrounded by a psychic fog, but he was there and definitely to the north. Gathering her mental fire, she tried to melt the fog to get clearer coordinates – though she needed to be careful or its creator might sense her.
The fog faded slightly and she felt Andrew notice and reach towards her. Their minds touched for a brief moment and she got the impression of an old farm, woodland and mountains before the fog swirled between them again.
She opened her eyes and the thread of his presence vanished immediately. All the same, she pointed confidently to the north.
“That way,” she said. “But he’s pretty well hidden. I can only sense him when I really concentrate. He’s in an old farmhouse and I sensed a lot of trees and some nearby mountains.”
“You got more than me, then,” Karen said. “All I sensed was that he was quite a way north of here and I think that he could sense us trying to reach him.”
“You’ve never been more than adequate at most clairvoyance, Karen,” Sarah said mildly. “I think that your sister has a knack for it.” She looked at Daniel. “How about you?”
“I’m the same as Kaz,” he said. “I can get a direction but no detail – and I lose him when I’m not concentrating.”
“Having to concentrate so completely is going to be complicated for my plan, isn’t it?” Lydia asked.
“Well it’s not ideal,” Sonia said. “But we can work with it. At least we know that you can sense the direction. That’s the most important thing.”
“What’s her plan?” Carl asked.
“The kids have a pretty intense bond,” Sonia said. “They can’t pinpoint Drew but they can get a general direction from it. She wants to use that to triangulate his position.”
“Hmm.” Carl looked thoughtful. “That might well work, but if you don’t deal with Marian tonight she’ll sense you’re apart and try to pick you off. Still, I don’t see that you have much option. From what’s been said, getting your son away from him is critical.”
Emms hadn’t returned from wherever he had gone to and Laxmi had disappeared somewhere with Simon as soon as he’d finished healing her, so Andrew was alone with Kimi. He considered asking Naria to come and talk to him again but he wasn’t sure when his captors would return and didn’t want to risk it. He did, however reach out to her and ask if she knew what had happened with the fight. There was a long pause and he had the sense that she was talking to Ystelyan. After a moment, her mental presence returned with a cheerful bounce.
They’re all right, she said. They managed to ward the Core and release the Heart. Your mother got into a fight with Mitakrian and re-opened the wounds in her essence, but they’ve fixed her up and she’s fine. She gave a mental tut. She shouldn’t have been involved in a fight with such an opponent so soon after her healing. The only reason that this didn’t happen at Waldhafen was she was only fighting a kedan and she’s strong enough to do that without pulling on her essence too much.
Andrew’s stomach knotted anxiously. Are you sure she’ll be okay?
Of course, Drew, she said soothingly. Sonia-ida is strong. She just needs time. She gave a mental snort. My mirian and Alaryia-miria are discussing names for the six of you, you know.
Oh yes, idri without names in our tongue… well let’s just say it’s improper. Your mother especially is going to need one if she’s to challenge Mitakrian.
She’s strong enough and like Shalriya, Mitakrian needs removing. He could sense her smiling through their link. You could challenge Gerian, you know. Though you’ll need training first.
We need to get out of this mess first, he said, uncertain what else to say. I can’t challenge any- He broke off as he sensed someone trying to sneak through the foglike wards that surrounded him. Wha- Lydia? It was, he was sure of that. He concentrated a moment and realised that he could sense Karen and Daniel as well, though less clearly. They’re looking for me!
Of course they are, silly. Naria sounded amused. You should help them. Push everything you know about this place at them.
You’ve seen more of it than me, he said. You’ve seen it from above… help me?
Of course. She showed him the old battered farmhouse from above and the nearby forests and mountains.
He gathered them into a single image and pushed towards Lydia since he could sense her best. Their minds touched momentarily before the fog pushed them apart but he was sure she’d got his message. He waited for any sign Emms or Laxmi had sensed them, but none came and he sighed with relief.
I’m sure Lyd heard me, he said. I hope they find us soon.
My mirian says they have a plan, Naria said. He thinks they will.
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