Magantus talks for a long time, with occasional comments from Lola and Tox. Venen is mysteriously silent; I wonder if Tox told her I know about their brother.

He explains about the reccent attack- Goblins. So now I know what the weird thing is sitting in front of me. A goblin whose name is Xorn, apparently the only one to convert from the Dark Forces. 

They explain about other things- Portens, or the piglike people, like the one that attacked me. Gorn, which are dark versions of Spatiums but their only markers are strangling trees.

Sometimes I pay attention to their various strategies, now that they have me, and explanations, because their prize must know what's going on. But mostly I just try to count the sparkles falling from Lola's tunic. Despite my brief happiness in meeting Renegade my mood is now riddled with doubt and uncertainty. 

I finally catch several important sounding phrases and I pay attention, leaving the shower of silver. 

"I don't think most of them are evil or good, exactly," Lola explains. "Just someone with bad intentions took charge and now everyone's confused and lashing out."

Renegade appears in the kitchen in time to hear Lola's statement. He bursts out laughing. "Confused? These freaks attack under decrees of their 'Lord and Master.' They know exactly what they're doing," he spats as he makes himself coffee.

The Goblin mutters under his breath. "Freaks, says the half breed."

Without turning around, Renegade sets his Marker on him- dark, thin trees not unlike what's described as the Gorns'. Except instead of strangling Xorn, loud rock music seems to come from the branches. It doesn't bother me but all the nonhumans, -that is to say, everyone except Renegade, Magnatus and I- are covering their ears and shrieking.

He gives a self satisfied smile. "Lethal to fullblood magical people," he says. He knocks back his coffee. "Better escape while I can." In a lower tone, he whispers to me. "If you can't stand being their star a second longer, feel free to seek me out. I was their saviour once too, and look how well that worked."

Renegade walks from the room and his trees follow. Portable rock music, I think with a snicker. I'm wondering if he can programme them to play different songs when I notice there's a considerably scraped patch of floor where he'd exited. His Marker. But nobody else's did that... except mine. 

Before I can point this out everyone is re-seated and talking again. I sigh. So many questions, just not the ones they want to hear...

The End

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