Stepping from the oppressive silence of the Matriarch's chambers back into the real-world felt like stepping out into a front-line camp. The mansion was heaving with people rushing around. Minerva quietly stopped a girl that was gathering up plates and dishes.
"What is going on?"
The girl looked at her quizzically and then spotted the new pips on Minerva's collar and changed the look to wide-eyed horror.
"M'm'ma'am!" She tried to curtsey and hold onto her plates. "The Matriarch has issued orders to evacuate the city ma'am!"
"What? The whole city?"
"Yes ma'am! Everyone is to leave!"