Chapter 6

"My father will come for you," the voice on the radio promises. "His ship is swift, his navigation sure. He studies the motions of the Light, and that Light travels even to you."

There is not enough Ether. They all agree that the hatchlings should get their full supply. Everyone else receives a thin trickle.

But still, they die.

Namrask clings to the voice on the radio; he makes the others listen. "She is as young as some of you," he says one day. "Not much more than a hatchling."

"My father will return for you," the voice says.

It is idiotic to reply, but he does. "Who is your father? How can he study the Light, when the Light is denied to us?"

She does not answer for a long time, but perhaps this is not her fault. The receiver is damaged, so he stitches a patch for it from superconducting threads.

When she answers, she sounds annoyed. "I am Eido, daughter of Misraaks, Kell of the House of Light. He is close to the Light because he is close to the Lightbearers. My father walks beside the Guardians of the Traveler."

Namrask kneels, frozen in horror. He tears the patch from the radio and stalks away. "I cannot go with them!" he snarls.

Oeriks calls after him, but Namrask is too full of rage and fear. The Guardians surely will recognize him if he stands beneath the Traveler.