The unrest was already starting to get to me by the time I finished my report. I had been in Aphter for almost twenty-four hours, going over the details with Dad at his place.
"I have to tell you, Simon," Inuichuk said, "I feel as though too much has been shared with too many during this ordeal. We weaken ourselves when we are too open outside of our order."
I looked around the round table at those in the room, one of the smaller meeting rooms in Knight's Hall. Dad was sitting to my right and Inuichuk across from me. To my left was Sheriff Wayne and beside him was Al Hall, the Detective killed by the Fates at Il Forno. Inuichuk had invited Al to join and allowed him to be here even though he had not yet accepted the invitation because these matters involved both him and his father. Sheriff Wayne was still pretty drained from his long ghosting, but the week since his return had already restored him enough to join us.
"I assure you, Lord, that I shared only with people I felt I could trust and I shared no more than was necessary."
Inuichuk stared down at the table in silence, wearing his dissatisfaction in the lines of his forehead. "So," he said finally, "the Dread k'mek is still at large. His cohorts, both the Fates and the humans, are gone, though I cannot imagine to where the Fates have gone. I've never known of a Fate Rest. David?"
"No," Dad said. "But, who knows?"
"We should have captures and held that Dread," Inuichuk said, glancing at me. "We cannot know what Joseph may have told him."
"I'm sorry," I said. "When I awoke from the daze of the song, the Dread was gone."
At this Inuichuk exhaled deeply and looked up at this ceiling. "I do not like this song," he said. "It sounds powerful and dangerous."
"Well, it seems only to affect Fates," I said.
"It rendered you helpless and dazed, did it not?" he asked, frowning.
"For a moment, yes."
"That is powerful," he said.
"Well, he's easily distracted," Dad teased. "I'm sure it wouldn't affect a normal person."
Inuichuk was not amused. "I want you to keep an eye on this girl, Simon," he said. "When she is older, convince her to join us. I don't like that kind of power unless it's on our side."
"I intend to keep in touch with her," I said. "I'm pretty sure none of the other Fates know about her, but, if they find out, she'll never have peace."
"And you will convince her to join us?" he asked, not being deflected.
"I can try, when she's older," I said.
"Fair enough," he clapped his hands. "Now," he said, "what about your legal troubles? Do you need legal council? Do you expect to be charged with a crime?"
"I don't know," I said. "I think I'm okay for now, but I'll take a phone number for a lawyer if you've got one. This Sergeant Morris is no dummy. She knows I'm not telling her everything."
"Betty's a bulldog," Al said. "She won't be easy to fool with some cover story. I'd be as truthful with her as you can."
"Well, they found Romeo's prints on the gun," I said, looking at Al. "Still, I can't explain the coma thing. The cops want someone to prosecute."
"Police Officers," Sheriff Wayne snapped.
"Detectives, actually," Al said, smiling at his dad. "But that's okay."
"For now, I'm not supposed to leave town," I said. "So, I should get back soon."
"Yes," Inuichuk said. "We don't need any more attention. Let things die down and stay low for a while."
"Gladly," I answered.
Suddenly, there was a loud crash somewhere nearby in Knight's Hall. Dad, Inuichuk and I jumped to our feet.
"What the hell?" Dad said, and he ran to the door and pulled it open. Knights were running down the hallway. "What happened?" Dad yelled after them.
"Dark Angel!" one yelled back. "Heading for the Block!"
"What did he say?" Inuichuk asked, reaching the door.
"Ravens!" Dad answered. "In the Block! Simon, come on!"
"What's happening?" Al asked as I ran to follow Dad and Inuichuk into the hall.
"Intruders!" I yelled back, but I didn't stick around to explain. Al stayed behind with his dad. I ran down to the room I knew was the entry to Block, arriving with a small group of Knights. Together we followed Dad and Inuichuk down the stairs. Having already been without rest for almost a day, the physical effort was draining, and there was no adrenaline reaction to help out. When we reached the bottom of the stairs, I could hear Dad cursing.
"Damn Ravens!" he said. "We have our fucking rights!" He cursed and raged in front of the empty third cell in the block. The ceiling of the cell was broken in, and shattered chunks of stone rubble lay all around. There were also black feathers scattered on the floor of the cell.
"What happened?" I asked Inuichuk. Ignoring the question, he took a small, round stone from his pocket and touched it to the bars of the cell. The bars slid, with a grating noise, down into the stone of the floor. I followed Inuichuk into the cell and, scrambling over the debris, looked up through the hole in the ceiling. It went through s couple more layers of stone and, way up above, through the outside wall of Knight's Hall. You could see the sky above and the light of the Lightstone streaming in.
"A Dark Angel has come and taken our prisoner," Inuichuk said. "But why?"
I looked at the destruction. I had never seen a Raven in Dark Angel form, but I'd heard about them. Looking at the hole in the thick stone above, I realized that all the stories were true. "You mean Joseph?" I asked Inuichuk? "They took Joseph?"
"Yes," he said.
"Lord," came a female voice from among the Knights in the room. Turning, I saw a tall, dark-skinned woman with a long spear. I did not know her name. "I saw the Raven, Lord. It was Sama."
Inuichuk stared at her. "You are sure, Akisha?"
"I know it, Lord. It was Sama."
I looked at Dad, who had come into the cell to peer up through the gaping hole. He shook his head. "Sama? But why?" he said. "Why?"