January 13th, 2012 | Published in Dragon Wars
Chapter Twenty One
Lydia was trying to persuade Alex Clitheroe to eat. She wasn’t having much luck, even with her mother’s soup. They both looked up when Kyle, Lyrrekka and Carl came in, and Alex leapt to his feet.
“Hannah? Do you know if Hannah made it?” he asked. Genuine worry for his daughter was dripping off him.
“She’s fine,” Kyle told him. “Well, maybe not fine. She’s very upset, of course, but she’s safe. We just received a message from the other world and she got there okay.”
“Oh, thank God!” Alex sat down again. “I knew something was wrong the last couple of months but I never imagined…” he hesitated and shook his head. “I should have. There’s too much overlap for it to be coincidence.”
“No one realised,” Carl said. “From what Sarah told me last night, even they never realised because they tended to hide it from each other as well.”
“No one realised,” Kyle agreed. “I certainly didn’t know until I hit my own maturity.” He paused and frowned as he realised something. “I think that Sean may have. He certainly didn’t seem surprised when I hit my maturity two years ago.” He sat down by Professor Clitheroe. “Hannah has sent a message asking after you. She’s worried.”
Alex gave him a sad smile. “I’m about as well as can be expected. Feeling incredibly lucky and guilty at the same time for being delayed. I should be dead too.” His shoulders started to shake again as he buried his face in his hands. Lyrrekka swept past them and sat down beside him, hugging him.
“Shhh, Alex,” she said. “None of this is your fault.”
“It really isn’t,” Carl agreed. “It’s ours. We should have reigned Marian in sixteen years ago.” He glanced at Lyrrekka. “When she – um – killed you for being angry about your husband.”
“Yes,” she agreed. “Killing people was bad enough, but expecting other people to be happy you killed their family is terrible. Though to be fair, I think she knew about me but couldn’t prove it. I understand she’s stopped even trying to find proof now.”
“And we still didn’t rein her in.” Carl was examining his shoes in minute detail. “Because we were afraid of her. The only family members who did ended up dead.” He frowned at that. “I really don’t think she’s well.”
“Last night you said she broke when your parents died and insinuated she thought Resonants were responsible somehow,” Lyrrekka said.
He nodded. “She never had much evidence for that. But it probably wasn’t an accident. No one in the family saw it at all and we have enough precogs that it has to mean someone was blocking us. Afterwards Marian spent weeks trying to break the block and get a retrocognitive look at what happened… She never did share what she eventually saw, but it tipped her over the edge.”
“That’s strange,” Lyrrekka said. “Because I’m fairly certain no resonants were involved.”
Carl shrugged. “I have no idea. After what it did to Marian I’ve been scared to look.”
“I can’t say as I blame you,” Lyrrekka said. “But I think we need to find out. It may help stop her before she destroys your family completely.”
“And there is something else you can help us with.” Matthias was standing in the doorway looking serious.
“Anything,” Carl said.
“How are you at your family’s ability for focussing other people’s visions?”
“I-” He frowned. “I can do it, but I’m not an expert. Why?”
“Sonia and Sarah have both been having the same rather dramatic precognitive vision, but we can’t clarify it.”
“Hmm…” Carl tapped his fingers against his left leg. “What’s the vision?” There was a sudden tension in his voice.
“They describe it as the sky cracking and tearing,” Matthias said.
“Damn! I was afraid you’d say that. Collette and Tara’s adoptee toddler have both been having the same thing. I’ll try and help, but not even our best clarifiers could make sense of it.” He tutted to himself. “Then again, having more than one person helps. We should get all four together and have Tara look. She’s much better at that sort of thing than me.”
“I’ll see what I can arrange when I send the imp back,” Kyle said. “But just Collette and the toddler?”
Carl nodded. “Why?”
“Sean used to have them as well, and from what Ystelyan said in his imp the adoptee kid is one of us as well. Sean’s replacement…” he trailed off. Lyrrekka gave him a sharp look.
“Replacement, is it?” she asked. Lydia got the sense that she was asking something else, but she wasn’t sure what. Kyle, however, seemed to understand it.
“Yes, replacement,” he said. “You know how these things are.”
“I do indeed,” she said. “But I’m surprised Tara Laverne did.”
Carl frowned between the two of them. “She found Martin via a vision. Is that important?”
“It may be,” Lyrrekka said. “But let’s get back to this vision of the sky tearing. If only resonants are having it, that suggests someone or something is blocking non-resonants from seeing it, which is a serious matter.”
“Indeed,” he agreed. “But I doubt they’ll be able to stop Tara clarifying it with enough subjects to work with.”
“Indeed not,” Kyle agreed and formed an imp to send to Ystelyan.
Quick note: I’m shifting the audio version updates to Sunday and Thursday – so the one that was due up today will go up then. The text version will continue to go up on Monday’s and Friday’s. 🙂