Ess gripped the rail in front of her and tried not to grind her teeth as understanding crashed through her. Athena had been one of her mother's dearest friends, and it hadn't escaped her that they looked enough alike with their dark hair and wide cheekbones and dark eyes, to be mistaken for relatives, perhaps even mother and daughter. The irony of knowing that they thought alike and kept secrets, even from their allies, slapped her hard right this moment. She muffled a groan.
"You already thought of that problem, didn't you?"
"We did. I'm glad to see we are on the same page."
"The problem is figuring out who else is available to turn me over to higher authorities. Who has the power to--"
Ess caught her breath and pressed her lips flat as the answer burst into her mind. It was the perfect opportunity, the perfect tool, the perfect opening. Even more important, it would give her a chance to vent her ire at those who had helped her grandparents keep her in the dark about her heritage. She still found it a little disturbing that her grandparents -- actually, her family line for generations, on both side -- were leaders of a group of people descended from time travelers. Even more strange, they were engaged in a battle with another group of descendants of time travelers, which had lasted for centuries, trying to influence or corrupt or protect the fate of Humanity. The last seven years, entirely cut off from her heritage and friends and those who should have been supporting and training her, could have been avoided if she had been able to trust three specific gentlemen. They had, after all, been entrusted with her welfare while her grandparents were out of the country. If she had known who they were and what they could do, she never would have struck out on her own.
"All we need is a good excuse for running to them," Ess murmured, and turned to look out over the ocean again. "Some reason for a self-reliant, independent young woman to suddenly need advice and shelter and go running to the other side of the country."