The feeling passed as if dismissed by her swear. Nearby, Samira stumbled, and Sebastian yelled, “I can’t keep both of them down at once!”

Her and Samira. He was only attacking those with power, and he couldn’t do both. Samira must have acted every time Lydia went down. Mamet was still fighting weakly, trying to hold off the rest, and several more Galeans had been hurled into the grass. If Lydia could distract Sebastian, that would give Samira a chance to end this fight. She left Fajir and hurled herself in Sebastian’s direction.

Dizziness crippled her, but her momentum propelled her forward. She could barely see Sebastian through the vertigo, and he sidestepped her easily.

Someone shrieked, “The baby!”

Lydia’s senses came back as Sebastian whirled around. He was thrown in the air by an invisible shove before Lydia could try to tackle him. She made it upright in time to see everyone standing still.

“The fighting will now cease,” Fajir said in the sudden quiet. She knelt behind the woman who held the squirming baby against her chest. Fajir had one arm locked around the woman’s throat. “Surrender, or I will kill this woman, and perhaps her falling body will kill the babe. Perhaps not.”

The Galeans shuddered as if someone had thrown cold water on them. Only Sebastian could have stopped her in time, and he lay still at the foot of a nearby boulder. Lydia didn’t know whether to be chilled or relieved as Samira and Mamet went to stand behind Fajir.

Lydia hurried over and held out her arms. “Give the baby to me.”

The woman glared, then grunted as Fajir tightened her grip. She passed the child over.

Fajir smirked. “The baby is leverage, Nemesis.”

“No, it isn’t,” Lydia whispered back. She turned and pointed at the micro cradling his nose. “You, fix her.” She nodded toward Mamet.

He glared, but he must have thought she was as heartless as Fajir because he did as instructed. He could only make Mamet well enough to stand again, not heal her as Horace or Simon could. For the moment, it was enough.

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