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Ianus stood by his father’s bedside. Ihy’s skin was now a morbid blue, and the
Raewyn luminescence cast a ghostly hue over his body and the room. Ianus picked up
his father’s hand. His skin was cold and clammy.
“Aashen and Tuun are working on the Valkyrie.” Ianus said quietly, “It is almost
ready for launch. You would be so pleased. As soon as it’s prepared they will come to
tell us.”
Ianus gently laid his father’s hand over his heart. Setting it back down, he began
to pace around the room.
“The doctors gave me a clean bill of health this morning,” Ianus continued, “They
said they would have liked to keep me in for observation for a few more days. But since
they had no legitimate reason to hold me, I was free to go. Well, they didn’t have to tell
me twice. I had my bags packed and sent down to the surface in fifteen minutes.”
Ianus glanced back at Ihy, smiling, expecting some kind of response. None came,
and Ianus’ grin quickly melted away.
“Why didn’t you ever tell me about the Vaticinars’ prophecy? Were you afraid of
my reaction, or were you just being sensible? After all the prophecy had been sealed so
that no interpretation could be rendered by any but the Vaticinars themselves. It was just
prudent. I can hear you now, ‘Why burden the boy with nonsense that can neither help
him, nor hurt him.’”
Ianus laughed, “It was probably for the best. If I had known I would have driven
myself mad. ‘You need to focus on your studies not some old prophecy,’ you would say.
I do tend to become obsessed with mysteries.
“But the Vaticinars called me a Red Dragon. My vision warned me that a Red
Dragon would kill you. But I didn’t kill you. I tried to save you. I wonder if I wasn’t the
only one. ‘Prophecy is a very fluid thing.’” He quoted Ihy with a tear in his eye, “How
many times did you say that? What was going through your mind when you said it?”
Ianus stopped pacing, and looked at his father, “Do you know a Camenae named
Selwyn Avrum? What was it you said about the Camenae? O yes, ‘The Camenae sing in
search of enlightenment.’ They are a strange bunch. I did some reading about them.
They tamed the Ubasti, turning them from their warrior ways. They are centered on Kur-
gal. Have you ever been there?” Ianus paused, he wasn’t waiting for a response, but he
thought it was the right thing to do.
“Of course you wouldn’t tell me if you had. ‘I have been to too many systems to
remember them all.’ Sometimes I wonder if you didn’t trust me. You kept so many
“It was for your own good,” Tuun said entering the room.