(Picking up from the last excerpt here)
Scowling, Anita did as he suggested while the blue crescent fell away from their view.
“Enjoy the ride,” Nare said while finding the resonance. “You’re going to see our world. You can’t tell me you’re not curious.”
Anita said nothing and Nare allowed a smirk with the confidence that the woman was indeed curious.
Now for the task. The resonance, that perfect pitch of the Starfire’s energy activating, warmed through her. The home dimension of the entities opened, filling her with a sense of vastness encompassing all of space and beyond. It would have overwhelmed her if not for her training years ago. Sure, she hadn’t had a shard to practice with, but Saffir herself had taught her to listen and feel through the connection. The entities guided her now, as they had a couple nights ago, and a sense of curiosity and satisfaction flowed from them to her. Through the immensity of the universe, she focused on the sense of home and found Starfire Tower floating in the sky over the watery homeworld. Her whole being ached to be there again and the energy poured out to connect the two points in space through the overlapping dimensions.
In the forward view, a black ball formed to blot out the stars. Flashes of energy encircled it as it expanded and popped to form a vortex of infinite black. She focused the Starfire’s power on enlarging the portal surrounded by the energy discharge.
It grew wider, blotting out the view of all stars.
“A little more,” Daris said.
Nare let the entities, whose power came from the rip between dimensions, guide her, and lost herself in the freedom of oneness with no sense of her body. Their thoughts passed through her, merging and flowing in harmony.
At the distant awareness of his words, she focused on holding the portal. While she stood immersed in the resonance and the connection with the realm of the Starfire entities and their knowledge, where space was nonexistent and connected to everything, a moment passed in which she was aware of nothing but them.
In that moment, a familiar presence blossomed into gratitude so profound she would have caught her breath if she had a body.
In a blink, his essence darkened into a warning: Beware the phantoms.
Soriel’s image materialized in her mind. Blue hair and wings darker than her own coalesced from her memory. They are not what they appear. His warning passed through her and vanished.
Replaced by a scene, but not one of her own memories…
A bright light surrounded the view source. Beyond it loomed blackness. Steps echoed as if inside a large cavern.
["The Yulea were always a peaceful race,"] a woman said in Inari.
["Until the Resthit came to their world, Linnae,"] another woman corrected.
["But the Yulea rallied and defeated the invaders. No one has heard from them since."]
["True, but for more than a hundred of our years the Yulea have only grown more warlike."]
The two women stepped into the light. One of them gazed upon the view source with brown eyes matching the long hair pulled back from her face and cascading over her shoulders. She wore a delicate white blouse and red jacket with a high collar.
The other came into view with black hair and deep blue eyes matching the flightsuit she wore. A shadow moved behind her. ["And now they threaten our world?"] The voice belonged to the first speaker.
The woman with brown hair and sharp features cut by the glare of the light dropped her shoulders. ["We cannot allow this. This crystal can save us much trouble."]
["The Starfire? Heffin's Gate?"] The black-haired woman’s face moved closer. ["How will this protect us?"]
["It was not only for the sake of travel that Matres Heffin Sarees designed this machine, but also for the defense of this world, as you're aware."]
The other woman straightened and turned to her companion, her face contorting into disgust. ["You speak of murder!"]
["No, of preventing it, Linnae. You must convince the rest of the Council to stop the Yulea if they pursue this aggression."]
["I won't!"] The black-haired woman took a breath and recomposed herself. ["Please pardon my honesty, Lady Alisha, but they were our trading partners for four hundred years. There must be another way. This isn't like us. Once we cross that line, we become them. Where will it stop?"]
Brown wings shifted over a flowing red gown matching the red jacket. The lady pursed her lips briefly before relaxing. ["It is my duty to lead this world. We are not the aggressors. The Yulea come for us, for this—"] She turned to the view source and Linnae followed her eyes. ["Councilor, if we do nothing, our world will not survive. I can order the Starfire activated without the action of the full council, but I would prefer solidarity. We have not the resources to withstand an assault. This is our defense. With luck, once will be all that is needed to convince them to retreat."]
Both stared at the crystal for a long while, until Linnae frowned and her black wings sank behind her.
["Will you do it?"] Alisha asked.
Linnae swallowed and brushed black hair behind her ear, her lips pressed into a hard line. ["I will not oppose your decision, but neither do I approve."]
["Why did you bring me here?"]
A hint of a smile played on the lady’s lips. ["To test the reaction of the Starfire. The colors swirl at times and now they are calm."]
WE AGREED TO PROTECT. The approval not in words but in meaning from the entities startled Nare.
She blinked with her eyes and gasped as air filled her lungs.
Through the view ahead, blue sky spread around a trio of white towers in the sky connected by skywalks at every level.
Note: This is not a final version and may be subject to change before the book is released in September 2013.
If you like what you’re reading, Soriel (Starfire Angels: Revelations Book 1) and Deception (Starfire Angels: Revelations 1.5) are currently available from online retailers.