They were nearly to the end of the tunnel when Kyle felt Darya’s mind open to him again. He stopped and reached along the bond.
Darya, where are you?
Darya ignored the question and instead said. Kyle, you mustn’t go. It’ll kill you like it killed your parents.
What? he asked, all question of Darya’s location lost in his confusion. He was dimly aware the others had stopped and that Karen was asking him something, but he was too focused on Darya to take it in. What are you talking about?
The Core! Darya said. It hates humans! A welter of images hit Kyle, making him stagger back. He shook his head, trying to make sense of them.
Is this what Julie told you?
Yes, and Rilletta as well. Darya rushed on before Kyle could ask who Rilletta was. And before you say she was lying, Aquia confirmed she was truthful and she’s a unicorn. It wants to destroy humanity. The only reason it hasn’t is because it needs the warriors to fight the dragons.
But what’s this got to do with my parents? The Lavernes killed them.
Yes, but it was the Core who told them.
Kyle stiffened and stared down the tunnel towards where he could feel the Core waiting for them. Why?
They found something out it didn’t want found. I don’t know what but it wasn’t just them.
Kyle mulled over this for a few moments before he started walking towards where he could sense the Core. A cold fury spread through him with every step. He was going to get to the bottom of this and if what Darya said was true the Core would pay.
Kyle had been talking to Darya; Karen was certain of that much. But she had no idea what the merman could have told him to cause the blast of cold anger she felt from him before he stormed past the rest of them towards the Core.
“I don’t like this,” Jason said. “I’ve never felt him spike like that before, except when…” he trailed off and glanced sideways at Sean, who was frowning and looking preoccupied. He’d obviously been listening, because after a moment he looked over and gave a weak smile.
“Except when it was aimed at me before Zil vouched for me?” he asked. “I have a bad feeling it’s not coincidence. I have a bad feeling about this whole place.” He hugged himself and sagged against the wall. Zilah nuzzled at him. “I really wasn’t expecting this here. I didn’t think it was yet. I can’t see any way out.”
“Expecting what?”Karen asked. “Did you have a precog?”
“Not me.” He shook his head. “Mum did when I was small. It showed her I was resonant-”
“Wait! You’re resonant?” Hannah interrupted.
“More importantly what were you doing in this precog?” Karen had a sinking feeling that she knew the answer.
Sean looked down and bit his lip. “Dying,” he said softly. “And at this point the only way out is through.” He looked up as another blast of rage hit them from Kyle’s direction and this time didn’t abate. “We’d better go and deal with that before he does something stupid like try and destroy the world.”