Hector and Garovel had discussed the subject of Chergoa already and come to the difficult conclusion that there wasn’t anything they could do to help her right now. Garovel didn’t show it much, but Hector was pretty sure that he was extremely worried about her. The telling trait was how closely Garovel followed everything that Zeff was up to, because if anyone was going to find Emiliana and Chergoa, it was Zeff.
‘Hold on,’ said Garovel. ‘So you would’ve invited the Rainlords to Warrenhold even if I’d told you not to?’
‘Here I am, trying to be cautious and think through all the possible consequences of our actions, and you’re just jumping in headfirst, not even giving a shit.’
‘I gave a shit. I was thinking, maybe... I mean, maybe they could help us rebuild Warrenhold. If they want.’
‘Yeah, maybe. Or bringing so many people there at once will become total chaos. Or the Queen will get upset at us for not consulting her first.’
‘...Should we try and call her?’
‘Hell no. What if she tells us not to do it?’
It didn’t take much longer to finish loading up the Moabani family’s truck. They’d only needed help with the big things, and they didn’t seem to own very much in the first place.
Hector didn’t think that was a coincidence. Sure, they weren’t much older than he was, but at this point in the evacuation, there weren’t many people left in Moaban, and he’d begun to notice a trend among many of those who remained.
They all bore a distinctive mark on their left cheek.
At first, he didn’t think much of it. Maybe it was some kind of popular tattoo--maybe like Asad. But then he saw the way other people were looking at them. Avoiding. It wasn’t a tattoo. It was a brand. And it was intended to humiliate them.