The night's battle with insurgents is over, but for Tyna the war is just beginning.
~ * ~
Tyna’s first coherent thought as she woke was escape. The wagons—with the city devastated, the Talents exhausted—she could escape. Once on the road she could hide from any mental trackers, control what other minds saw. It is hard to hide a caravan. They could bypass the cities and large villages where all Talents dwelled. It was the best option; only Kedriq and Dovel knew her. She peeked out the small window.
The other two wagons, all the oxen, and Jebe, were gone. A gasp of awareness left her breathless. Tears prickled her eyes as the betrayal stabbed her heart. Then she fell back against the wagon’s side, laughing helplessly. In trance, her attention inside the city, she had missed everything that had happened around her. She wrapped her arms around her body.
She had noticed Jebe’s growing fear. He avoided her, held only the briefest conversations with her. He had guessed why all the Talents visited, and afraid, had fled. Could she blame him? She stepped to the back of her wagon, sank onto the bottom step and waited.
Sometime later Sussi and Tam arrived, somehow already privy to Jebe’s desertion. Tyna stepped away from the wagon, already sensing approaching Talents. She knew she had only a few minutes left.
Sussi hugged her. Tyna ran fingers over her face to wipe away her tears.