I am the one who dares ask, “Why exactly are they our enemies?” No one else seems capable of speech.
Horin gets to his feet and places his hands on the table, leaning onto them, causing the burgeoning muscles in his shoulders to bulge. “They are slavers.”
Well, truth is, always we have lived under the yoke of slavery in some form and, yes, this makes slave masters our enemies, but I have the distinct feeling Horin is on about something far greater than our understanding of the concept.
“Explain that,” Siri murmurs quietly, moving forward to lay a gentle hand on Horin’s arm.
He smiles at her, although it isn’t so much appreciation for her support as it is a gesture filled with sadness. I glance at Lyra, to see her watching her ‘brother’ as if she is already grieving his loss.
“The Glonu are world-builders. This means they go out there to find empty worlds and prepare them for habitation … and sale. When ready, those worlds are auctioned to the highest bidders, and there are many governments and councils willing to pay. World-building requires much labour, though, and such cost is crippling, even if the future pay-out is astronomical. Slaves, therefore, and they are taken in the most diabolical ways you can imagine. Those slaves remain bound into eternity; for death transforms them in working ghosts, and those go on to lure the living.”
“So the Ilfin decided to put a stop to them?” I ask.
“Not only the Ilfin; many races, many worlds.”
“Are the Glonu world-building here?” Kay demands.
Horin lifts his hands from the table to spread them. “They have already succeeded. They are now everywhere. Many others came after the first influx, and more arrived after the last ceasefire.” He gazes then directly at me. “Damin, do you know why they tested for the talents in Porlese?”
I close my eyes. “They were searching for Ilfin.”
“Ilfin were searching for Ilfin. Anyone without talent is either a Glonu or already a slave to them and deserves only death. That was why they were throwing people from the cliffs.”