Hector rubbed his face, trying to clear his head again. He wasn’t sure where all these thoughts were coming from. Maybe it was just the Rainlords’ presence. He envied the bond they all shared. Even after nearly killing each other, they were still trying to work through everything together.
At length, Garovel rounded on him, wrapped in the echo of privacy. ‘How ya doin’, buddy? You’ve been staring out the window for a while now.’
‘Oh, I’m fine,’ he said. Ramira had ceded the window seat to him. Now she was sitting perpendicular to him, adjacent her sister against the side of the limousine. ‘I was just, uh... er, lost in thought, I guess.’
‘About what?’ said Garovel. ‘Ibai?’
That wasn’t the correct answer, of course, but now that Garovel had brought it up, it seemed like a much more interesting subject for discussion. ‘What do you think of him?’ Hector asked.
‘Oh, I have no fucking idea,’ said Garovel.
‘You were awfully friendly with him back there...’
‘We’re not here to make enemies, Hector.’
Hector’s expression hardened. ‘We are if they’re going to kill innocent people.’
‘Ha.’ Garovel returned that hollow stare of his. ‘Allow me to put it another way, then. If Ibai is our enemy, it’s better that he believes he’s our friend.’
Hector looked out the window again. ‘Hmm...’
‘And if he’s NOT our enemy, then he could be a very valuable ally. A power like his? Can you imagine how helpful that could be?’
Hector could. ‘A good aberration... I’d like to believe it.’
‘I think most of us would.’
‘The trouble is knowing so.’
‘It’s impossible to know. Even if he weren’t an aberration, it would be impossible. Anyone could betray us, under the right circumstances.’
‘Yeah, but you know what I mean. It’s not the same.’
‘Maybe it is the same. There are plenty of normal people out there who are complete lunatics, too, y’know. And all things considered, we really don’t know very much about aberrations.’
‘I realize that. And I realize that Ibai might help us learn more about them. But that doesn’t mean I’m in a hurry to trust him.’
‘Mm. Well, there’s no use worrying about it right now. And you look gloomy as hell in your little corner here. Let’s talk about something lighter.’
‘Like how much fun that fight against Darktide was!’
Hector gave the reaper a look. ‘Fun?’
‘Yeah. Y’know. Fun in a pants-shittingly-terrifying kind of way.’