I moved to the basins and washed, then rubbed my face vigorously with the towel. I sampled from the plate of fruit and travel bread lightly spiced; it was delicious. "Rider, will you have some? Or a drink of juice to refresh you?" 
"No." She had not moved in her chair.   
  "The Progenitor is alive." 
"Why do you tell me?"   
  "Because you brought her out." 
"I brought her out because I could not perform my task with her still inside the rock."   
  "I cannot rouse her. I have tried everything I can think of and nothing brings any change. She seems to be in a coma, though the readings are not standard." 
  A sudden thought filled me with hope. "Rider, will you come to look at her?" 
Ince merely stared at me as if she had not understood the words. 
    "Will you assist me? Let me show you what I've found. Examine her. There might be something." 
  "But there might be something you'll recognize or something you can suggest that I know nothing of because I was not there, not inside the rock nor with the lines." 
"I will not assist her."   
    "You have never let a being die." 
"None of them have been the Progenitor."   
  "Will you let her die?" 
"I have nothing to do with it. She will live or die as she must."   
  "You were ever a caring, compassionate rider. You sometimes berated yourself for it but you were. Have you changed so much?" 
  "Rider, help me to do my job correctly. Come with me and help me with my patient." 
By the sharp light in her eyes I knew that I had plucked at her. I had hoped, had believed, that she was still a rider who could not refuse a plea like that. 
Ince stood. She sketched a gesture with 1 hand motioning me to proceed her.