Wiping the rain out of his eyes, Adar blinked and looked around. His senses were heightened to a level that they hadn’t been before. Kura had done a good job of getting Lars to calm down. Lars was no longer screaming at the top of his lungs, but the boy was still fussy.
So much for hoping to catch Tere unaware, Adar thought.
The street looked much like any other, there weren’t as many dead, but there were a great number of homes that had been leveled by the Hunwei bombs. He supposed that most of the occupants of this street had been caught in the wreckage. At some point, search parties needed to be organized so that those who were still alive could be rescued.
With the governor’s mansion destroyed, Adar hoped there would be somebody else who would take charge of the city and see all of that was done, assuming, of course, the Hunwei didn’t come back to finish the job. Adar didn’t know enough about the political structure here to venture a guess as to who that would be. Hopefully, it wouldn’t be Isak. Adar hadn’t met the man, but he sounded like a fool.
Smoke curled up from the wreckage of the nearest home, but it hadn’t caught fire. That was a small mercy. The streets weren’t as wide here, and the homes were closer together. If a fire were to start, it would be hard to keep from spreading.
When Adar realized that things were too quiet, he looked back at Kura and saw she had Lars’ head tucked under her coat. The babe’s eyes were open and looked out at the bleak world. The kid was old enough he might be able to walk and was probably just on the verge of learning to mimic words. Jorad had been a lot of fun at that age.
Adar made eye contact with Kura who gave him a tight smile. He nodded back. They made their way down the rest of the street in silence.
A scream came from up ahead, and Adar darted forward around a corner, blaster at the ready. He lowered his weapon when he saw it came from a woman who was hunched over the body of a man. Her hair and dress were drenched, her legs covered in mud. She probably started the day wearing two sandals, but she was missing one. It was difficult for Adar to determine her hair color as it was dirty, but by her face, he wouldn’t have thought her much older than twenty-five.
The scene made him think of Nelion’s last moments, and his mind went to his own son when he noticed several small children with the woman. The rain didn’t seem to bother her, but her children were shivering. The oldest child was red-eyed and wailing. The younger didn’t look like she was old enough to understand what was going on. She tugged on the pant leg of the dead man saying “Dadda” over and over again.
For a moment, Adar was no longer running through the rain down a street in Zecarani. Instead, he found himself in the Rarbon palace, kneeling over the body of his wife.