Mariana’s expression softened. “Don’t apologize, mijara. You didn’t do anything wrong. Is Octavia there right now?”
“Let me speak with her.”
<“Ah...”> Her voice was shaking. <“My power manifested. I’m a mutation user...”>
Mariana stopped to digest that information as she looked around the cabin. The sloped windows all around her offered a full view of rolling hills among the flooded lowlands. Aguarey stood high to the south, appearing to almost float above the waves.
“You will have great need of that power, Emiliana,” said Mariana. “I know you may not want it now, but one day, it will save you and those you care about. Remember that, mijara.”
Emiliana didn’t respond.
Mariana had to press her onward. “We’ll talk more when I see you again. Put Octavia on the phone, please.”
There came a brief rustling, and then, <“Lady Elroy, hello.”> The old woman’s airy voice was familiar and welcome. <“I am glad to know you are alive.”>
“Not as glad as I am to know you have my daughter,” said Mariana. House Redwater was one of the few she was inclined to trust. Of all the Rainlord families in both Sair and Intar, the Redwaters were probably the proudest and definitely the most famous. They were troublemakers, historically, not given to taking orders from anyone other than themselves.
<“Is your husband with you?”>
“No. I don’t know where he is. I fear the worst.”
<“I see. I have already sent word out to look for him. I will let you know as soon as I hear anything.”>
“Unfortunately, I have a problem which takes precedence even over finding Zeff.”
<“Not having a very good day, are you?”>
Mariana nodded tiredly to herself. “My son Marcos is dead.”
<“Ah... I am so sorry.”>
“I require a suitable reaper for him. I was wondering if you might know of one.”
Octavia was slow to answer. <“That will be difficult. I have a network of contacts, as I’m sure you do as well, but any reaper without a servant is also without a means of getting in contact with them.”>