“Have you brought her up to date?” said Anna to Matt, gesturing at Spook. He shrugged.
“Didn’t need to,” he explained. “She can read their language. Languages, even. Plural, evidently.” Spook nodded self-consciously.
“I taught myself during pointless lessons. Like Latin, for example.” She smiled. It was almost legendary how much she hated Latin, among her friends, family and enemies alike.
“I suppose that probably was a better use of the time,” Anna agreed, and pushed Delorfinde forwards gently. “I don’t suppose you can read it, can you?” she said.
“No, but I can read it via Spook’s mind.” She grinned. “Quite useful, really. I can see exactly how to translate it, so I could if I wanted, but why should I? She’s done it all for me.” Spook scowled. It sucked sometimes, having a friend who can read minds.
“I heard that!” Delorfinde said. “And it’s two of us, now. Anna can, too.” Anna jumped at the sound of her own name, but when she understood the context she laughed.
“Yes, I can. Sorry. You’ll just have to put up with it.” Matt and Spook looked at each other with a mutual understanding. This was going to be a pain.
“So, we know their plan. We know all the nitty gritty little details, but what the hell are we going to do about it?!” exclaimed Anna, looking back at the screen. The relaxed, friendly atmosphere vanished, to be replaced instantly with one of tension and intense concentration.
“Well, for a start, we can’t do this alone,” said Delorfinde. They all turned to look at her, Matt with surprise. He had immediately taken her for a quite, withdrawn type, who would just agree with what everyone else said, instead of making any suggestions herself. He revised his mental idea. Obviously, she was not what she appeared at first sight.
“You’re right. We need more allies.” Anna’s voice was firm, decisive. She was not bowed by the enormity of the task; not defeated by the idea of searching for more allies against an army of alien creatures that no one believed in.
“But who will help us?” said Matt. He hadn’t got Anna’s faith; didn’t believe in hopes and dreams. His only dream was that one day he’d live in peace. And with Anna. Bizarre though it was, he knew that he could never be in peace when he wasn’t with her. He knew that he loved her, and always would. That was a breakthrough moment for Matt.
“The Protagonists,” said Spook. “They’ll help us, I know. I’ll send out a message, they’ll come, I know they will!” Her face was lit up - the hope inside her clear to see. “I know it, I swear. They will come. Maybe not all of them, but some of them. We’ve got powers, Matt, Anna! We can help you!”
Anna got up from her seat and hugged Spook. She had never expected to meet her like this, but inside she was glad. It wouldn’t have worked out so well if they had met in any other circumstance.
“Do it now,” she told Spook, who opened a window on the computer and started to type feverishly. Peering over her shoulder, Anna glanced at the e-mail address and almost laughed, but held it in.
Life was confusing enough, without her bringing her own private jokes into it all.