Lydia paced as she waited for her father to come back from leading Lucas to help treat Simon.
“Calm down, Lydia,” James said. “It’ll be fine. There’s plenty to organise before you can go out and start your hunt, anyway. Let’s work on that, so you can be ready to go as soon as he’s finished. If Matt’s right, this young man may be able to help us narrow your search area down. That’d be helpful.”
Lydia stopped pacing and looked at him. “You’re right. What do we need to do?”
“Organising guards for you would be the most important thing,” he said. “There’s a lot of people after you and you’re not going to be able to protect yourselves while you’re concentrating, from what Matt said.”
“No, Emms is concealing him so it takes all our concentration to get even a vague directional fix,” she said.
“Hmm, and we’re splitting into three groups.” He tutted to himself. “Obviously Matt will go with one of you and Lyr with another, but I don’t think Sonia’s quite well enough yet and I don’t think we can wait another day or so. Sarah and Lucas are liable to be tied up treating Marian… I really don’t know who’s strong enough to send to coordinate the third group.”
Lydia cocked her head at him. “Is there some reason you can’t send Nephele?”
“Neph-” he began then slapped his forehead with the heel of is hand. “Of course! Sonia’s heart friend. I wasn’t even considering the heart friends in my calculations. I’m not used to having them around like this.” He paused thoughtfully. “And apart from Lyr I wasn’t considering the dragons, either. I should. Sonia’s dragon is going to be busy helping Nerrezza but I’d better go and talk to Lyr about her three. I have no idea how strong they are.”
“Okay, so what do you need me to do?” Lydia asked.
“I’m not sure,” he said. “There’s a lot to organise but I’m not sure what you can help with. You don’t know the people we need to pull in to help contact them and a lot of the other stuff is fairly esoteric. I doubt you have the training for it.”
“Okay, so I’ll come with you to talk to Lyrrekka then… if you don’t mind.”
Lyrrekka was in a comfortable sitting room when they found her. Karilya, Kyle and Mia were with her and she was talking to a couple who looked to be in their sixties. The woman had Karilya sat on her lap and was hugging her. Lyrrekka looked around at James and smiled.
“Hi! I was just catching up with Mum and Dad. They’d just come in from the holiday house when they heard.”
“I think we’re taking it better than she expected,” the old woman said.
“Well I am a dragon,” Lyrrekka said. “And so’s Kari.”
“You’re our daughter, sugarplum,” Lyrrekka’s father said. “And no one could object to having this little button for a granddaughter. She’s so cute and innocent she could be a poster girl for a ‘not all dragons are evil’ campaign.” He ruffled Karilya’s hair and looked over at James. “We’ve come to help.”
“Good, we need all the help we can get. Has Lyr filled you in on the situation?”
“She has,” Lyrrekka’s mother said. “We’re neither of us combat specialists, as you know, but I’m sure we’ll be able to come up with some way to help.”
“Life-weavers are always useful in a fight, Mary,” James said. “Especially since he seems to be keeping Andrew in a forest.” He looked back at Lyrrekka. “I need to talk to you about your dragons and how best to fit them into this plan.”
“Not a bad idea,” Lyrrekka said. “Tarian’s helping Tara and Carl chase down what really happened to their parents. I’ll talk to the other two and-’ She broke off as Sarah stuck her head around the door.
“Simon’s awake and his memory is fine. He wants to talk to us all.”