Chapter 3
      The sentry’s eyes narrowed. “Is that so?  You wanna see Gara, do you Aleph man?” He huffed out a laugh. “We’ll see about that.” Still laughing he turned his back and entered the large cavern. 

      Kal tried to puzzle out what was so funny but failed.  He considered flicking the charge lever on his sword and pistol to prepare them for instant use, but no, best not to seem overly aggressive just yet.  All the same, he arranged his coat so his sword and pistol were plainly visible.

      He closed his eyes and listened with Syrithis.  He could hear men moving about inside the cave, slow shuffling footsteps, heavy breathing of exertion, deep thumps as heavy objects were stacked in place.  Eleven, twelve, thirteen men all told.  In the back of the cavern he could hear another group of people separate from the working men.  There were no sounds of movement from them, just slow ragged breathing.  Surely, these were the prisoners.  He felt a surge of hope.  Maybe Obrin was among them.

      Kal remained in place but shifted his focus to the sentry.  He listened as the sentry walked to the middle of the cavern, stopped and explained Kal’s presence to someone else in a low whisper.  Kal flushed.  That scruffy sentry didn’t need to use so many insults.  A new voice spoke instructing the sentry to show Kal in.  Whoever the new speaker was, he wasn’t Gara.  Kal was sure of it.  Troubling.  Where was the man?  The entire rescue, his plan, it had all been devised with his knowledge of Gara in mind.

     The sentry began heading back, muttering curses under his breath.  Kal stopped listening.  Enhanced perception was useful, but he might need some of his other tricks.  It was time to sever his attunement to Syrithis.

      Each of the nine suns was unique, each required its own set of memories and emotions to attune.  In turn, each granted a different set of powers and abilities.  Few attunweiyld had the understanding and life experiences needed to attune all nine suns.  Kal himself could reliably attune only three of them, one more with the help of arcane tools.  It was possible to attune more than one sun at once, but he didn’t have the experience for that yet.  He needed to clear the slate, sever his attunement and be ready for anything.