Sola sat across him. His foster father’s head bowed in thought after he had brought the news. Sara placed her hand over Arturion’s. It was a habit of hers to make physical contact with those near her. As a child, he had sought for his mother and her small gestures had helped him feel that he was not quite alone in the world. He began to treat her as he would his mother as time passed.
“Are you certain that your plan worked?” Sola’s eyes bore into him.
“Yes. Reno and his Black Guards helped cover the trail.”
“The Others. Your encounter with one of Them. This is the flaw in your plan. How would you deceive them when they have sent Theirs directly? Usually, Their humans do the dirty work. Rarely do They involve Themselves.”
“My encounter turned out to be a defective prototype – a drone someone released. Reno has imprisoned it in a concealed location until the Galactic Federation sends one of their representatives to transfer it to a more secure area.”
“They are still at war with the Cabal.”
The Galactic Federation (GF) is a large collective of beings from different parts of the galaxies and universes formed with the sole purpose of achieving a harmonious existence or universal peace.
The Cabal is another organization responsible for numerous atrocities in the world. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in Japan, the year 1945, were suspected to be a part of the Cabal’s machinations. The nuclear bombing had caused a chain of events in the universe and reminded everyone of the devastation that occurred after Atlantis engaged in a nuclear war. The last incident, the March 11, 2011 tsunami and nuclear terror attack in Japan, had been the turning point, which caused the GF to engage the Cabal while keeping mankind ignorant of the ongoing war.
The Federation has been watching activities on Earth closely to prevent another incident from happening and to ensure the long-awaited evolution of the planet and its inhabitants comes to fruition.
“They are neutralizing most of the fear and chaos the Cabal has been organizing. As for the Others, they have lost the advantage. They will not touch Kris –Karina’s sister and friends when they believe her…dead.”
“True, unless she comes back from her supposed death,” Sola acknowledged. “The immediate danger has been averted. We have to thank Reno and his people for their efforts.”
“Karina’s life is still in danger,” Sara said softly.
The two men looked to the high priestess for an explanation.
“You may have forgotten the dangers of her transition.”
“I brought her here heeding the prophecy.” Arturion frowned.
“The prediction refers to the Zertans.” At the mention of the name, Sola started to protest but the high priestess held up her hand. “Hush, my son. It will not do to turn your superstitions on me. I have lived far too long to know that superstitions gain strength with belief. They can be as human as they wish to be for all I care. Their lust for power – control and domination – knows no bounds, but they are gradually and steadily losing their hold on Karina’s world no sooner than the Cabals. They cannot follow the dimensional shift. They are simply stuck in the lower dimensions for as long as they hold negativity at the very core of their beings.
“Our human friends, on the other hand, are a very young race. They are fickle by nature but they are redeemable. Their small acts of kindness have proven that they are not entirely a lost cause. Some of them will remain in the same dimension with the Zertans, while others – certain others, who want a change for the better, will be taken along by Mother Earth’s ascension; choose to accept assistance from Arturion and his fellow Gate Keepers; or, simply be reborn. They always have choices. Karina has made hers.” Sara leveled her gaze at him.
“I compelled her.” For all his grand words in Karina’s living room, Arturion felt that he had decided for her. He dropped his gaze to his tea, which had gone cold.
“Have you spoken with her yet?” By the tone of her voice, she already knew the answer. “You must speak to her. It will benefit you both to clear the air between you.”
“What of the danger to Karina?” Sola reminded.
“She will survive?” Arturion asked.
“The future is not set in stone. She may or may not survive. It will depend on her choosing. She chose to trust you; thus, she chose to survive. It is important that she receives support from a friend. To abandon her now would weaken her determination to live.”
Sara refilled their cups and sipped her tea deliberately. She had said her piece and let her words hang in the deepening silence.
Blue light flashed in Sola’s left sleeve. He withdrew an oval mirror from a hidden pocket in his robes. He looked into it for a moment and passed the object to his foster son.
Instead of seeing his own reflection, another person’s face was displayed on the mirror.
“Do they know?” Reno’s voice spoke in his mind.
“Then, you can share this news with them later. The Black Guards are investigating on the people who have made contact with Karina. It will take time to gather all the data we need.”
The Order of the Black Guard is well known for bending the ethical standards of their world when it suited their purposes. They were formed as a countermeasure against the Zertans and the Cabal and regularly monitored both parties’ activities. Reno had been taken aback when their records failed to show any connection of the Zertan’s knowledge of Karina’s existence. As Commander of the Black Guard, he took his Order’s shortcoming as a personal blow and decided to deal with the matter directly.
“No mind reading,” Arturion said. He wouldn’t put it past them to employ Senka’s skills to look into an individual’s memories.
Reno glared at him. His mouth set into a thin line. The man was clearly unhappy that a Gate Keeper would apply himself in the Black Guard Order’s methods.
“At least not to Aly, Mindy, Nica and Liza,” he added to appease his friend. “Karina would never allow it.”
“If it would ease our honored guest, so be it.”
The sarcasm was not lost on him. Reno has been his friend even before his mother’s death. His best friend knew him enough to know that the request was more for his peace of mind than Karina’s sake.
“At ease, brother. I shall try my best to keep my overenthusiastic Guards on a tight leash.” A dark bushy brow arched upward. “In the meantime, try not to get yourself into trouble. Your brush with a Zertan drone was dangerous enough.”
“What is the general status of the situation?”
“Thanks to our time traveler, Vito, the official and unofficial report within the Zertan’s organization is that Karina is truly dead. We will continue to monitor their movements.”
“How is her sister?”
“I thought we agreed to keep this objective.”
“If I speak with Karina, she would ask,” Arturion reasoned.
“You’re right. You can tell her that the woman is still grieving, but she is holding up well,” Reno said in annoyance.
Arturion’s mouth twitched. Reno had attended the funeral posing as Karina’s former colleague. He had unwittingly seated himself beside Aly, who would not cease from crying. It was an uncomfortable position for the Commander, unused to seeing so many tears shed by one woman, let alone a tiny one. He had tried to comfort her as best he could, which turned out to be a serious mistake. The river of tears became a dam that had broken loose. In a matter of seconds, a number of the visitors shared their sympathies with Aly.
“Don’t you dare laugh at me, Gate Keeper,” Reno said sternly. “It was hard enough to approach an attractive woman when I am not as pretty as you are. Never have I dreamt that a Black Guard’s nightmare turn into reality as all those eyes turned on us.”
“It could have been worse.”
“Yes. There is, however, a tall, thin young man who seemed to be asking too many questions. From what I’ve gathered, his presence was not entirely welcome.”
“Yes. Mindy was making dagger eyes at him. There might be something behind it. We’re doing a background check on him just to be on the safe side.”
A crash erupted in the background. Reno’s head swiveled to the source of the commotion. “I have to go. My apprentice has a habit of breaking my mirrors at the Comms station,” he said drily. “I’ll keep you posted if there are changes.”
The image in the mirror swirled and in its place, his reflection stared back at him. When he looked up, Sola had already gone to attend to a local issue.
He relayed Reno’s message to Sara hoping she would manage to speak to his foster-father within the day.
She joined him outside the perimeter of the temple and quietly viewed the magnificent tree at its center. Some of the people who passed them by greeted or exchanged a few words with the high priestess at his side.
It was still early in the morning and every tree branch and leaf were moist with dew. The sweet and earthy smell gave him comfort. Every time he came back from a mission, the scenery waiting for him always took his breath away. He had started wondering if he had made a mistake in his choice of career. Sola had given him a year to think it over.
Two years had gone by and he was still undecided. The scenery lost some of its allure now. In his subconscious, he knew that it remained unaltered and it was him who had changed.
“Arturion,” Sara called, breaking his reverie. “If you wish to speak with Karina, she’s staying in Cara’s house.”
Wattpad code: 58366003
©MC Babasa 2014
A/N: Feel free to post your feedback as this is the first book. Your comments and suggestions may influence the story as it progresses up to the second book.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.