TKC 265 and 266
Iniri is with Damin when Gennerin and I return. The two stand together in the centre of the cleared space and it concerns me. Yes, there is camouflage tenting hiding them, but everyone inside Arc is ever exposed.
They speak intensely; that kind of intensity is bound to cause rumours.
“Are you ready for the mission to the Spire?” I ask the commander, mostly to distract him.
He gives me a look, but answers willingly enough, perhaps prepared to be distracted. “A shuttle will land in the meadow opposite as the sun sets. The men are gathering the gear as we speak.”
“Excellent. Gather for Damin also; he will not have time to think about it now,” I say grimly. I glance at the soldier. “If what he discovered affects the Ilfin situation here, I will inform you. If it is a matter of family feuds, allow me to deal with it.”
“Of course, Lord Makar.” The commander moves off.
“Wait. Prepare for Iniri and myself also. We will be on the night’s mission.”
Commader Gennerin swivels to me. “That is not the best idea.”
“It may be the worst idea and yet it will be so.”
The man blinks. “Why?”
“Instinct.” I offer him a shrug and head to Iniri and Damin.
“… for my father’s sake,” Iniri is saying as I close in.
“And I will tell you, but wait for …” Damin pauses as he sees me. “And he is here; now I will tell you.”
“You are too exposed here,” I snap.
Iniri looks up at the tenting. “I do not care. Here we can see them coming.”
“The traitors in the sky and those among us.” She lowers her gaze to glare at me. “Enris, what is going on?”
“Damin knows, but I prefer more privacy.”
“I do not. In fact, we need to gather the Arc team together for this. We trust them and we already know they are survivors.”
“Are you suggesting we cut the Ilfin soldiers out of even this night’s little errand?” My eyes narrow as I look at her.
“Why?” I now echo Gennerin, understanding the man’s confusion.
“The Makar must win this.” She glances at Damin. “I believe Damin will confirm.”
“I do,” Damin mutters.
For long moments I am quiet, pondering the underlying reasons. Perhaps the millennia of separation between us and our father have emboldened the nay sayers back home. If that is so, then my sister is correct. To maintain the status quo, the Makar must again be seen as stronger.
“Very well.” I turn to where Kay lurks with Siri in the shadows near the perimeter, and gesture them in.
Damin meanwhile lifts a finger to Joseph and Hal, and those two call to Hanna and Marian.
As they approach, I ask, “Where is Mirlin?”
“Behind you. Prince,” the westerner drawls. “I read the signs. We are about to break ranks, and mere hours after joining. I wonder why that is?”
“Keep it down, will you?” I whisper.
Grinning, Mirlin steps into the forming circle. “We need Artur also.”
Damin agrees and heads of to find the big man, returning soon with him in reluctantly in tow.
Iniri sucks at her teeth. “Too exposed. You were right, Enris.”
“And now it is too late,” I growl back. “This obvious huddle cannot now be hidden, but deafen them, will you?”
Snorting, she lifts a hand. Blue light leaks from her fingertips to surround us. Damin sees it and so does Mirlin, but the others merely see her gesture.
The stage is set. It is time for Damin to tell us about our father.