Side Story Three
Two Years Ago
The Trap Twelve
Karen knew she couldn’t this up much longer. She doubted that Zillah was doing any better but she couldn’t spare the energy to check. They’d managed to stabilise the boy but that wouldn’t last if they stopped. She gritted her teeth and continued pouring energy into him, even though spots were starting to appear before her eyes.
“Hey.” A gentle hand touched her shoulder and she looked up to see a pair of male wood haltia standing there. “Good job, we’ll take over now.”
“Oh, thank God!” Karen said as one of them knelt down and began to take up the slack. “I couldn’t have held out much longer.”
“So, I see.” He smiled at her. “You should go back to your rooms and rest. Things seem to be calming down now. I expect the others will be back soon.”
Hannah and Ema were already back when Alban helped Karen back into the house. Karen looked at the two of them as she sank into a chair. “Where are the others? I heard Sean saying something about dragons but I was too busy concentrating on the kid to listen properly.
“He thinks that the outlander attack was engineered by them to ensure that we were too distracted to defend the core gate. They headed to intercept them,” Ema said. She sounded tired and Hannah looked exhausted as well.
“I see,” Karen said quietly. “Are you two okay?”
“A bit tired.” Hannah pinched the bridge of her nose. “We had to patch up the wall. It wasn’t easy… though not as hard as what the two of you had to do.” She sighed. “I hope they’re okay but I can barely reach beyond the end of my nose at the moment. Why is fighting easier than doing something constructive?”
“I don’t know,” Karen said. “Because fights don’t tend to last as-” She broke off as Sean and Darya came in, carrying Kyle between them. “Kyle!” She leapt to her feet. “What happened to him?”
“He’s okay,” Sean said reassuringly. “He hit his maturity just after we finished the fight. Fortunately we were able to handle things without him. Jason and Cao should be here soon with the ones we captured.” He and Darya placed Kyle on one of the couches. “Did you save that kid?”
“He’ll be okay. They got help to us in time.” Karen said. “The plan worked, then?”
“Yes! We captured four â€“ well three of them and killed two dragons,” he said. “Should be good enough for bait for the others.”
“One of them got away?” Hannah asked.
He shook his head. “No, the grey-haired girl Julie surrendered to Kyle while the fight was going on. She’d apparently skipped out on them a while back and couldn’t find a way back to Earth.”
“Well that’s useful,” Ema said. “She might be able to tell us what the dragons are up to.”
“Yeah, and that Alison girl bites so I think we may need some way to restrain the other three once they wake up,” Sean added. He gave the bite on his arm a wry look. “I’ll just fix this up and go and help Cao and Jason. Even with Julie helping, getting three unconscious people back is going to be awkward.”