We have important appearance announcements for you this afternoon, so if you want the next part of the story, you have to come back tonight to the main site.
Maud stared at the display projecting from her personal unit. The medic didn’t answer, which wasn’t unusual. Medics often ignored direct calls because they were occupied, and Arland’s handiwork on the lawn guaranteed the medical staff would be busy. But after calling him directly, Maud had tried the medward and hadn’t received an answer either. That didn’t happen. There was always someone in the medward.
She had to find some way to get Arland to the medward. Leaving him alone wasn’t an option. He was sedated and had to be under observation. Besides, his injuries needed to be treated. They weren’t life threating, but they were urgent.
She tried the medward again.
No answer. What the hell?
She could try Soren. Arland was ducking his uncle, but given that he was peacefully sleeping, Soren couldn’t exactly bug him with whatever duties Arland had been avoiding. She tried Lord Soren.
A cold heavy weight landed in her stomach and rolled around. Something was wrong. Something bad happened or was happening.
Maud snapped a brisk order. “Helen, priority override.” The parental override would pierce through whatever Helen was doing. It would interrupt a video, or another call, and it would supersede a silence setting.
Panic hit her in an icy rush. She used logic to surf the wave of fear, keeping on top of it. Either nobody was answering her calls, or her personal unit had been jammed. If someone was jamming her calls, it meant only one thing. An attack was coming.
A door chime, normally soothing, lashed her senses. Maud unsheathed her sword, priming it. The blood blade screeched.
“Show me,” she ordered.
A screen ignited above the door, showing the hallway and Karat, alone. Karat’s face was paler than usual, her expression tight, her eyes focused. Only House Krahr had enough power and resources to jam her unit. She was on their communication grid. The other vampire houses didn’t have access to this part of the castle, and they didn’t have the capabilities to penetrate the House communication network and isolate her, specifically.
She and Karat were friendly. If House Krahr had turned on her, that’s exactly who they would send.
“Audio,” Maud said. The audio icon flashed in the corner of the screen. “Yes?”
“Open the door,” Karat said.
“I’m indisposed at the moment. Can it wait?”
“It’s an emergency.”
Sure it is. “What sort of emergency?”
“Maud, we don’t have time for this.” Karat put her hand against the door. “Command override.”
The door slid open. Maud backed away, putting herself between Karat and Arland, giving herself room to work.
“Put that away!” Karat waved her hand. “You have to come with me. Something bad happened to Helen.”
“She’s been poisoned.”