Plaguebringer, Are You There? It’s Me, Safe…

Safe was worried.

She had to be. She was a mother. She was always worried. Had been since the day the Plaguebringer appeared before her and apologized. She wished the deity was here now, if only to let Safe know of her existence.

Tomorrow was the big day. She and Zone would have another nest. Hopefully Betes and Losis would have more siblings.

Hopefully none of them would die…

Leth and Lymph would take the second nest in three days. They looked ready. Leth was so excited. Lymph was too, if only in the silent, masked manner that the Skydancer displayed his emotions in. Safe wished Lymph was more emotive, like Leth was.

It was Winse and Betes that had her more concerned.

Yes, she had seen the signs. The subtle ways Winse had been courting Betes. The way Betes looked at him when she thought nobody was watching. Betes was head-over-tail for him. Winse certainly was interested, not as deeply as Betes was but there was definitely affection in his violet eyes, in his smile.

That was the perk of having four eyes. You saw things others didn’t. Or couldn’t. Or wouldn’t.

Or didn’t want to.

Safe was scared, scared for her daughter. Betes was young, too young for children. She was a child herself.

Plaguebringer above, she and Zone had practically been children when they had their first nest! But that had been out of loneliness, a desire to have company. It had been necessary.

Maybe she was being too controlling…but this was her only daughter. Winse was trouble, dangerous even. Could he really care for Betes the way Zone had cared for Safe?

His scars spoke volumes to the Mirror. They made her scared.

Betes was proud, headstrong, determined. She wouldn’t listen to her mother, Safe predicted. Betes was going to go ahead with this, have a nest with Winse in six days, and try to be independent. Nothing Safe said would change the young Guardian’s mind. There was too much desire there for logic to work through, too much blind love.

Losis was the opposite. He was loyal and blindly followed his parents. That was just as frightening. Losis showed no interest in love or nesting.

Maybe that would change if there were more females in the lair.

Losis was excited at the prospect of his parents having more kids. He’d been racing around the lair all day, chirping in joy. “More babies, more babies, more babies!” He couldn’t wait to no longer be the youngest.

He didn’t seem to get that there would be eggs first and then babies. Losis had convinced himself that there would be hatchlings tomorrow. Nobody could change his mind.

Safe found that amusing…and relieving. Between Betes’ defiance and Losis’ obedience, she had a relatively balanced family.

She pondered about what kind of personality Cad would have had. Or Fluen, Kanker, and Pox. She thought about them a lot, far more than was maybe healthy.

Her attention was attracted to Winse crossing the lair, carrying bones and rot in his jaws from outside. He had started setting up a third nest in the nesting grounds, preparing for his and Betes’ eggs. There was no permission asked or given. He just did it on his own.

Safe prayed her adopted son knew what he was doing. She prayed Betes would be happy with her choice.

She looked to the skies and prayed, hardest of all, that no more hatchlings would perish in the coming weeks.


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