There was a knock at the door, and Medri stood to his feet, crossing to open it. He straightened his uniform as he did so, and ran a hand through his curls. He took a breath at the door and opened it in a smooth motion. An older man stood at the door, dressed in the same Alathorian uniform, with snow white hair, cropped close to his head. He had a grim look on his face, and dripped with the cold rain of the night outside.
“General Radan, I–”
“I have news, Medri, may I come in a moment?”
Medri stood to one side and held the door open as the general entered, closing it behind him. The living room of the small Meriden apartment was dimly lit, but immaculately kept.
“There was…there was an attack in Redcrest this evening,” Radan said, “at the theatre.”
“An attack? Who? What happened? Was there any casualties?” said Medri, a concerned look on the man’s face.
“Your…there…Isra and your family were there, Medri. I’m afraid…”
The general trailed off as Medri turned, leaning his weight on a table nearby. The sentence didn’t need finished.
“I am sorry, my friend, I came as soon as I heard,” the general said.
Medri turned, his eyes red and welling. “They’re…all of them?”
Radan nodded, and Medri let out a sob, leaning his back against the wall and sliding slowly to the floor. The general eased himself down alongside him. He said nothing, but took his friend’s hand in his. They sat in the silence for a few moments.
After a while, Medri spoke again. His voice was cold. “Who did this?”
“It was…a targeted attack. An assassin. Estrath, perhaps. We do not know,” said Radan, holding eye contact with Medri. He squeezed his hand. “But we will find out. And we will not let them have this.”
“Estrath?! But this is a time of peace! Why would they do this? Why my family? Why not me?” Medri’s voice broke, and he held his head in his hands as he wept.
“I do not know. We cannot yet be sure it was them. But our best men are already on it,” Radan said.
Medri looked up. “And if they find it was them?”
Radan held his eye contact.