Ghia dropped into Anala, the essence of the woman, with a splash, and almost sank below, crushed by the tumultuous sea of personality she found within. Using a bit of her wasted strength, she bobbed to the surface and looked for what she needed.
It was dark and murky, and the healer had trouble concentrating. She fell into a memory, long-buried, brought to the surface recently. It felt fresh in Anala’s mind.
Rain. Gray skies. A mountain looming up in front.
She’d been out in the inclement weather for hours. Her uniform and her hair were plastered to her skin. She was soaked through and could only silently thank the Goddess for no-rust mail.
The beach was long and stretched, black sand dull and glimmering simultaneously. Their boats waited in the harbour, as they had for tredicems. They still had not gained any ground. The troops that were alive were exhausted and wanted to go home.
Truth be told, so did she.
“Anala!” A voice called out from down the beach. Red hair stood out above the uniform as the lithe figure of Yarrow jogged up to her.
She turned and saluted her superior. Yarrow was just as soaked, which made Anala feel better, oddly enough.
“Love the weather,” Yarrow said flippantly. “Maybe next time we can ask Lord Exsil Vis for sunshine; this is hardly the way to treat guests.” She smiled at Anala, a gesture the bellica gratefully returned.
“What’d da news be?” Anala asked.
Yarrow’s face turned serious. “Reconnaissance found a way in. West of Clifton are caves and lava tubes. They’re used as an escape from the palace.”
Anala raised her eyebrows. Secret entrances meant infiltration and infiltration possibly meant victory. “Who’d be going then?”
Yarrow’s eyes gleamed. “We are.”
Frantically Ghia backpedaled out of Anala’s memory. It was interesting, to be sure, to see history as it happened. She didn’t have the energy.
Quickly she sifted through the crowded mind, which was rife with turmoil. Searching, she found the bodymind connection and looked for the source of Anala’s apparent illness.
She had no idea what was happening in the room, but she hoped her gasp hadn’t been out loud. Rosa, she called as she double-checked her findings. I don’t think I’m the only one.
The magea’s presence was there instantly. Ghia suspected she’d been hovering the whole time. She looked at Anala quickly and quietly.
I think you’re right.
Anala’s part Magi?
So it would seem, said Rosa, sounding weary. She’s leaving tomorrow for Mt. Voco. Give her a glamoury in case her eyes turn, and an energy store. It’ll keep her safe until she returns.
Ghia nodded mentally; as Rosa left, she completed her assigned tasks as well as her own treatment.
Withdrawing from Anala, she fell backwards and was barely aware of Jules’ arms encircling her.
“You’re okay. Just fatigue. I’ll check you again when you’re back from Mt. Voco.” It took the rest of her energy to say that before she dropped into darkness.