Ri — Eye of the Ocean Book One 193
“Nexus Change,” Sarkalt breathed, instinctively reaching for Ri-pattern, a
quiet reach with a minimal interface, but from the understanding look on his
face, Quin'tat knew. “Nexus Change,” he said again, but to himself, not feeling
anything in Ri-pattern that would account for what happened earlier.
But Quin'tat spoke softly, shaking his head. “The results are inconclusive.”
He gestured to the people around them. “Do they know?”
“Is there something to know?”
“Why did South Bay run a diagnostics?” He started walking, fighting against
the mental dulling and reaching for meaning in this as he had reached for
pattern. “Nobody there is of a level to feel early Change.”
“An Acolyte at South Bay Temple. Apparently she started cycling during the
night and called for help…”
“Using the same Net pattern I used?”
“Yes. She died shortly afterwards.”
“Did anybody else die?”
“Nobody that stands out, not like that,” Quin'tat said, accessing Net as he
talked. “I've got staff tracking down though all the deaths that occurred during
the last day, starting with Palace and Ri. With luck, something will show up to
give a clue where else to look or even if it's significant.”
Only their people were at the private Gateway where Three Crescents Temple
ended and Riuni Temple in the Imperial Suite began. The much stronger unease
of the Guards gave definition to the feelings Sarkalt had picked up in the
Commons. It trailed after him as he passed, mixed with… was it fear? Sarkalt felt
as though he walked through spider silk of emotion. None of the guard followed,
the area they entered must be secure.
A final turn and they were near a green door opening into the corridor. A
Warder, with Quin'tat's signature worked into the cording on her overdress,
stood quietly, a recording crystal held between both hands. No guard, no
attendants from the Imperial House, only a woman with demonstrated resistance
to pattern energies.
“Where are the others?” Sarkalt asked.
Quin'tat spread his hands as though to ask 'who?' but only said, “Niv is still
unconscious. Do you want him moved?”
Sarkalt turned his back on the question and walked through the doorway.
Past the threshold, the ghosts were gone. The garden was filled with the sound
of running water and birds. Pine trees and grasses, a small lawn, a stone
pathway under their feet. Across a bridge—a half moon shape painted with red
lacquer—was a pavilion of yellow wood.
“Other side of the pavilion has a s