Ili slithered in behind a pallet of blocks, flattening himself as small as he could get. He clamped his mouth shut even though he wanted desperately to yell.
“Amitza! Go after them! Jorasa, get the Coronet out of here, I’ll cover you!” Ilesias Mahid was backed up to cover the crack where Ili had hidden and he had to step forward to let Jorasa by. She had him by the arm and half way around the rim before he realized. Ilesias had his Sereniteer whistle in his mouth, his dart-tube out and his head swiveling scanning for any threat to Ili.
An answering whistle sounded from the Avenue of Statuary and from the Plaza, and as far away as the Boardwalk.
“I can run faster if you let me go!”
“No, here, in here.” She wrenched the door of a stalled express chair open, pulled the startled man out of it one handed and pushed Ili in. “Get down onto the floor!” It was right on the edge of the Plaza and Sereniteers were converging from all directions, in answer to Ilesias’s whistle.
“Into the Steel Gate as fast as you can!” She snapped at the chair bearers and they hurtled across the pavement, zig zagged wildly up the grand staircase and into the Gate, frantically being pulled open by the guard, leaving Jorasa backing up, her darts in her hands, covering his back.
“Holy Lane... a rogue Mahid... Amitzas Mahid, and his bodyguard Captain, are going after him.” Ilesias, his face grim waved toward the Temple construction site where a lot of shouting was still going on, an enormous ‘BOOM’ shook the ground.
“The Coronet is secure,” Jorasa broke in.
“Get inside with him.” Ilesias ran toward the lakeside end of Holy Lane, though it didn’t go through all the way to the boardwalk. There was a detour actually through one of the University buildings.
Matthas stretched himself as thin as he could in the tiny service niche for one of the cooling trees, the glass pipes pressing close all around him, chilling his sweating flesh. He couldn’t quite get the door closed and the vertical crack was a hot, bright bar across the side of his face, blinding in his staring, bloodshot eye.
He'd never realized that there even was a tiny space at the base of every cooling tree dotted around the city, until he'd been shown by another okas.
He couldn’t even turn his head but he heard the feet and the wheels of the Sereniteers all around the tree and pass on toward the lake, whistles fading.
The sweat was icy on him and he struggled to not gasp or shake. ...my great...humble...working God. The boy recognized me. He recognized me. As Mahid. I’ve sinned. I’ve sinned by attempting to learn Journeyman stonemason. I’ve failed by forgetting that I’m Mahid. Gods, Gods...the boy’s scream. Matthas Mahid. Not Borfilas Fimas, okas. But I’m better as Borfilas.
He closed his eyes and suppressed the wave of cold itches running over his body with his chilling sweat. I... can give it up. I’m failed. I’m alone. I’m exposed. I'm not real anymore. I tried being the Unomas, the one, but I couldn't. My senior is dead. My family is dead, except for that...Imperator. And that boy.
My humble working God save me. I renounce being Mahid, I renounce being Aitzas. Help me, save me.