July 9th, 2012 | Published in Dragon Wars
Kadoran and Sarah both looked weary when they returned to the dining room for lunch.
Karen poured tea for both of them as they sat down. “What did you find out?”
“It was what I thought,” Kadoran said. “He must be completely incompetent and not understand the difference between – what did you call them – embers and nulls?”
“Er?” Karen said. “You don’t mean embers having some ability, do you?”
“He means why they do. Nulls lack both the energy and the pathways to use powers like ours,” Sarah explained. “Latents lack only one of them. It seems he treated her like a null: he kicked up her energy levels and also created that growth to tear open the pathways – but she already has them. It widened them a bit at first, but now it’s tearing her brain up instead.”
Karen shuddered. “That sounds painful. No wonder the poor woman had such terrible headaches.”
“Very,” Kadoran agreed. “But it’s fixable. It’ll take some time but the young lady will be okay – and quite strong, I think. We’ve stopped it growing for now and we’re going to deal with it properly once we’ve dealt with Likadrian himself.” He cocked his head. “It’s an interesting thing, though, that thing he created. It’s not the traditional way of opening blocked pathways. I wonder how adaptable it is, because I think it might have some other uses.”
“Hmm?” Sonia looked at him curiously.
“Well, I think it might be able to bridge broken pathways rather than just opening blocked ones.”
“That would be interesting,” Lyrrekka said. “No one’s ever managed to find a way to do that and lots of us have tried.”
Karen frowned at that. “Why… Oh, they want to cure your hunger problem?”
“Yes,” she said. “Though it’s not clear that the broken pathway that makes us psychevores is why we never feel satiated so fixing the pathway may not do that.”
“No,” Sarah said thoughtfully. “It shouldn’t, should it? I can’t think of anything that should cause that by breaking.” Her eyes lit up with curiosity. “It sounds more like that whole area is damaged. Once we’ve rescued Andrew we’ll have to look into it.”
Lydia was pacing in a circle, clenching and unclenching her fists as they waited for Matthias to open a gate to the Morgan house.
“Are you okay, Lydia?” Bennu landed on her shoulder.
She stopped pacing and reached up to stroke his feathers. “No! We should be searching for Drew now that we have a plan, not messing about moving again. And I don’t know if I’m up to meeting more relatives at the moment.”
“It’ll be fine, Lyd.” Matthias laid a hand on her free shoulder. “Everyone’s eager to meet you and we need the extra bodies if we’re to try your plan later today. There are still enough Lavernes out there to be dangerous and Adrian is almost as fanatical as his mother – not to mention that he’ll want to rescue her. We need to put her and the others where we have people to guard them, and we need people to watch our backs while we’re out trying to triangulate on Drew.” He squeezed gently. “Okay?”
Lydia swallowed and forced herself to consider his points, then nodded. “Okay.”
“Good.” He gave her a smile before moving to the centre of the room to open the gate.
Lydia gasped and jumped backwards as the air rippled, twisted, then tore open into a tunnel – through which she could just make out a group of people waiting in another room. She had assumed it would look just like opening a gate to the other world, but that wasn’t nearly so violent.
Matthias chuckled at her shock. “Don’t worry, Lyd, it’s supposed to do that. Earth resists spatial manipulation more than the Speaker’s world. Come on, if we’re to jump out the groups to look for Drew we need to get going.”
“Coming, Dad.” Lydia lifted her bag and followed through the portal.