Riwenne and her friends get a surprise visit from Fairuza, who wants to get an update on their investigation. But they haven’t uncovered enough evidence yet. Can Riwenne find a way to stall for time?
A Surprise Visit
“Knock, knock,” a sultry voice called from the airship’s entrance.
I almost jumped out of my skin. What was Fairuza doing here again?
Janera leaped to her feet, wielding a cooking spoon, but Kyra was even faster to summon her bow. She fired a bolt of energy at the doorway and only Fairuza’s quick dodge kept it from hitting her directly in the face.
“Whoa, hold on.” I threw up my hands to stop the onslaught. “No magic, remember?”
Fairuza stepped into the room with her empty hands raised. She wore casual street clothing with no visible weapons. “Relax, I’m just here to talk.” She glanced at me. “Your fearless leader told me you would have an update today.”
Kyra let her bow disappear again as she turned to look at me, too. “You’ve been talking to her?”
Maybe it hadn’t been a good idea to keep our little meeting secret. “She cornered me at the show last night,” I admitted, my gaze darting around to look at the rest of my friends. Everyone was looking at me with wary distrust. “She wanted an update, so I told her you guys were getting a public tour of the SEA today.” I gestured vaguely at the notebooks.
Fairuza folded her arms and looked down on the engineers’ notes. “And what did you learn?”
Nexita dropped her gaze to the floor and Deryt was quick to snap his book shut, hiding his sketches. But Illari glared back at Fairuza.
“We learned that the SEA is already damaged and leaking energy,” Illari said. She jutted her chin at the other girl accusingly. “Is that your team’s handiwork?”
Fairuza shook her head. “If we had attacked the apparatus, we wouldn’t just give it a little crack. But it’s not surprising that a machine over three hundred years old is showing its age. All the floating cities must be feeling the strain these days.”
I sat up straighter. Were all the cities doomed to fall, even if Fairuza and the others didn’t destroy them? I couldn’t bear to see that happen all over again. So much death. So much destruction.
Fairuza turned her clear blue eyes on me again. “What else did you learn?”
Kyra pressed her hand on my arm. “We saw the priestesses take energy from the school students at the graduation ceremony, but no one else. There is no proof to support your accusation that they’re hurting children on the mainland.”
“Then you need to look harder,” Fairuza said coldly.
I cleared my throat. “Maybe if you told us how you learned about the SEA’s energy source, then it would save us some time.”
Fairuza’s lips curled upward in a smirk. “You’re always pushing for us to work together. Fine.” She raised her hand and clenched it into a fist.
With the curtains drawn on the windows, there was no way for anyone to see the signal outside the airship. But I felt a silent pulse of energy emanating from Fairuza. She was contacting the other planetary warriors without a radio or any other mechanical device.
Kyra pushed to her feet, standing between Fairuza and me. “What did you just do?”