PART FOUR: WORLD'S END
"Wil is dead," said Meg softly. They were about nine hours out to sea when she made the pronouncement. The sun was midway between its zenith and the horizon. Day was retreating in the face of night.
"How can you be sure?" asked Lea.
"Because I can see again. The wound has been repaired. Sor and Wil are joined in death."
"It can't be," said Lea, suddenly panicked. Frantically, she thought of her father, tried to summon him. She concentrated on his face as she had done when buried under the rubble of Vorti's palace, but it was to no avail. He did not come. Meg spoke the truth.
Lea was crying again. To her, it felt like she had shed more tears today than in the entirety of the rest of her life. "What about the quatics?" she asked.
"I cannot say," said Meg. "Neither vision nor intuition informs me of their fate. It was Wil's intention to sacrifice himself in an effort to destroy Grundig, but I am unable to divine whether he succeeded."
Lea was faced with a dilemma. If Wil had destroyed the quatic leader, this journey, fraught as it was with peril, might be unnecessary. Without Grundig, the enemy army would be dangerous, but no longer the unstoppable killing force it had been. At a minimum, co-existence would be possible. If that was the situation, the ships could return to Devforth. On the other hand, if Grundig had survived Wil's attack and she ships returned, they would sail to their doom. The Apath could strike at them from shore, killing them all. She had a vision of a firestorm from the sky engulfing the fleet.
"We go on," she said, as much to herself as to Meg. She retreated to her cabin to mourn one last time. Even with Sor and Mika aboard, Lea felt alone.
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