‘Do you sense anything else?’ asked Chergoa.
‘Like what?’ said Shenado.
‘I don’t know. Where is my brother? I can’t find him or Hector.’
‘They probably just went to have a look around the city.’
The more she stared at the rifts and the more she listened, the more Emiliana began to feel a knot growing in her chest. ‘Chergoa,’ she finally said.
‘What?’ the reaper said privately.
‘There’s something in the room with us.’
The reaper paused. ‘What do you mean?’
‘I see something in here with us. I don’t think I’m hallucinating. You don’t sense anything?’
‘No, I don’t. What does it look like?’
‘It’s like... light is being bent. Distorted. They look like, just... weird lumps in empty space.’
‘They? You see more than one?’
‘I see four. And they’re moving. Chergoa, they’re moving like people move.’
The reapers didn’t respond, and Emiliana didn’t turn around to look at them again. She kept her eyes forward, staring through her mask at each of the rifts before her, waiting.
Then Ramira walked into her vision, headed for the door. “I want to see,” she said.
Emiliana’s one clawless hand shot out and grabbed her little sister by the arm. Ramira jumped at her touch, and Emiliana pulled her closer, realizing she’d scared her. “Sorry,” she said. “Not just yet. Let’s stay here.”
Ramira seemed hesitant. “Why?”
Emiliana reached into the big front pocket of her gray hoodie. She felt for the compact firearm there and found it. She pulled it free, using Ramira’s body to help keep it concealed, and pushed it hilt-first against the little girl’s stomach. “Trust me,” said Emiliana, looking past her sister’s head. “Don’t make a fuss, or there will be trouble. Understand?” She felt Ramira take the weapon.