All eyes turned toward Linsora. Everyone knew Harda had been the first to meet her and had spent some time in conference with her following her presentation of the books. During the first week she was on Tokorel, in fact, she had not been seen by anyone. Whispers in dark corners of many rooms had questioned what she and Harda had been up to.
“It’s not true,” Linsora said. “It can’t be. He...”
Talla was at her side, applying gentle pressure to her elbow, steering her toward the door. Linsora allowed herself to be maneuvered through the now silent room and the burning stares. She stopped at the door.
“I want you to know I had nothing to do with this, at least not purposefully. I trusted Harda yesterday and I trust him now.” Talla squeezed her arm. A declaration of loyalty to someone just accused of treason might not be wise. Linsora knew that. She also knew that Harda was not the traitor. Her sense of outrage clouded her very fragile sense of diplomacy. “Sense my emotions, all of you, if you’d like.”
She felt nothing, no prickling of testing minds, no wash of tastes. The assembled gathering of socially correct high brows stood like farm animals unaware of their impending slaughter. Mouths open, eyes wide at the gate open to freedom, choosing their comfortable certainty over whatever might lay beyond the confines of their comfort. Choosing to offer one of their own for sacrifice. Hoping that one would save them all. Not wanting to believe they would all suffer the same fate. All ready to trust whatever the authorities told them without question.
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