Lonan braced his hands on both sides of the nearest hollow, staring into it with all his determination. Porous rock stabbed his palms. The blackness ahead shimmered with sound. Garbled nothing-lyrics vibrated below his ear and jaw. All around him, Lonan was surrounded by the rushing Ream.
A goat screamed above. The smell of blood and urine rolled down the stairs. Cyprus and Shay clung to the net and each other, shaking.
The pirates still in the street—excluding the man who’d taken the swords, with the blacksmith and the Rune-reader dead at his feet—bristled towards the newcomers. One of them seized Lonan by the upper arms and hauled him against the wall with everyone else.
The runners bolted at the signal. Their feet pounded the rock, all Serafina’s teenagers galloping through the crevasses. Jeanie with the leg she’d broken summers ago lagged, but her torch was the first to find kindling. The long fronds of a fescue patch ignited.
They were indoors. The crowd was spread, but it was still a crowd, and in unpredictable motion. Umi switched from the hilt of his Major to the hilt of his Minor.