Chapter 19 Anger of His Heart
“Yes” The prophet sighs. “It gets worse. Eva thinks that Kallitris is using the Faith Star to protect him enough to be able to take the energy. She does not understand how can anyone approach a quasar so closely, but the old sheirer is up to no good. The hope for us is that the Faith Star appears to have no limits in its power. I need you to access it right now.”
Easy enough. I walk away from the generals, who by now are screaming at each other, unable to decide on the course of action, and imagine the dark room with the Star in it.
I’m there. The Star is hanging in its regular place, emanating soft light. I take a breath, and stretch my hand.
Sada is watching me intently.
My hand touches the invisible wall, but the wall does not disappear. Annoyed, I hit it with my shoulder. Nothing happens. I can’t move any further. The star is right here, but it’s out of reach.
“No! We’re not going for a preemptive strike! It’s a suicide!” Kimaaris bangs his fist on the table and all the generals fall silent at once.
This startles me enough to fly out of the imaginary room back to the stuffy hall and the squabble. Only now I notice that it’s dark outside and the candles on the table flutter with every draft of air.
“I can’t get through.” I mumble, and my words sound hollow, lifeless. As if we’re already dead.
Sada was so counting on me being able to take the Star. It is our only salvation. Now what? She closes her eyes, trying to conceal her panic.
“Most of the troops are already within an hour’s walk from the city walls. We may have one more night, and we may all be killed before dawn.” The prophet looks at the king, and her gaze wonders across the hall, and studies the faces of the generals, and servants that come in with the first plates of dinner.
“I still have ten thousand warriors right outside the city walls.” Kimaaris shrugs, and begins to eat some fish on the plate in front of him.
“Have you ever seen a caterpillar trying to defend itself against an army of ants?” Sada says quietly.
“Ha-ha! We’ll squish them like a caterpillar!” Answers the general in the black jacket with a smirk.
“No. We are the caterpillar.”Answers Sada, and walks out of the room.
I think of how I can help Sada, and come to a simple conclusion – if I can’t take the Star alone, I can always do it together with Kallitris. All I need to do is ask. Seems like a good idea.
The night is restless. King’s palace never goes to sleep. People frantically run past our room, preparing for the worst. Iris embraces me, and I can see the outline of his dreamy, almost angelic face. His father, Baron Leo, was a son of Triana, a crew member from Ari’s ship.
Iris is of Karistal strain, less powerful than mine, Estelian. That never stopped him from trying to make himself better in every possible way. Frankly, he did a much better job than me, becoming a beautiful, loving human being, as well as strong, but compassionate warrior.
I, on the other hand, was always endowed. I found copper deposits in the North. I started my own business of ore enrichment at seventeen, and due to lack of competition, became very rich at the age of twenty… I never cared to be a better person.
“I love you, Demi.” He says, high-spirited despite of horror that is waiting for us in the morning.
“I’m sorry about Kallitris.” I answer, and kiss my sweet and dedicated husband.
He is very good at not showing his jealousy, but there is no harmony between us. Something needs to be done about the painful love triangle we’re stuck in.
I fall asleep in Iris’s caring arms. My dreams are smoldering ruins. I walk through them, and want to know as to why such devastation happened. I walk past yet another half-destroyed strange building and get startled to see Eva.
She stands motionless over the ruins.
“I’ve given you this dream as a caution, so you could see what will happen if you invite sheirer into a conflict.”
Suddenly I see small spaceships in the sky. They shoot fire, awful lot of it, and the balls of fire with thunderlike noise, hit the weird structures, the creatures running around. I see Kallitris inside of one of those ships.
His un-human face that I grew to love and cherish so much is distorted with hellish expression of hatred. He pushes buttons of the dashboard, and more fire flies out of his spacecraft, laying destruction to everything below.
Eva is right by me in an instant, and the threatening vision is gone.
“We are on Stesnik-2 of Coma Berenices Galaxy. Kallitris came here for tellurium. The population of the planet did not resist him. He killed everyone anyway.”
“Why?” I ask, stunned, smelling the heavy air, filled with dust and ashes.
“Because he has a lot of anger in his heart. If you invite him to help you to fight the invasion, he will only be happy to oblige. But he will lay waste to your land, killing both sides. He loves massacre. He does not care.” Eva is tense, hoping against hope to get through to me.
I feel lost and dizzy, and wake up to someone’s screaming.
It’s early morning, and the forest, seen from the window is misty and deceivingly peaceful. Iris is dressed and is polishing his sword. He looks outside to find out who screamed and why, when a whole bunch of servants runs down the hall, frightened and disorganized.
One of the servants, a young man, almost a boy, bursts into our room.
“It started! It started!” He is out of breath, and his eyes are wide with fear. “I saw them from the city wall…They are a sea of heads… Swords shining… Fierce guys!”
It’s unbearable to see his panic. We haven’t had a war in almost hundred years. The soldiers fighting on the field right now are poorly trained and unprepared. The troubled times could not have found us in the worse shape.
“Let’s go.” says Baron Leo, grabs me by the hand, and we run to the southern city wall. The streets are filled with terrified people, some running, some hiding in their houses, some just standing there, transfixed. The sounds of battle are barely heard from here, but it won’t be long before our troops are overrun.
We climb to the wall, filled with bewildered, unarmed citizens, watching down in horror. In fact, the wall is supposed to be filled with more warriors, ready to deflect the new attacks, but lack of soldiers and lack of belief that this will ever happen at all prevented the city to be prepared as it should have been.
Down below is a massacre that started in the wee hours of the morning. There are many soldiers – scattered, disoriented, with broken weapons, walking on shaky legs. These are mostly our people, distinguished by blue uniforms with a big light-green petal flower on the back, reaching over their shoulders with its two out of seven petals.
The green flower is the symbol of the ruling family, now splattered with blood which could not have been avoided even if Kimaaris listened to Henessada earlier. By the way, where is she?
The foreign warriors do not seem to have a uniform, they are dressed differently, mostly in dark clothes and leather, and they sure know their way around swords and bows.
It starts to rain. I have a heavy feeling of a terrible loss. I personally don’t care about much. I never did. I could die today without a second thought. But I let down my dear friend and the only prophet this country has ever produced, along with Midlandori, the man I care about.
The freezing autumn rain makes people on the wall look even more miserable. I can’t help but envision the flaming destruction I can bring upon the enemy if I only ask for it. Like, right now. In desperation I get ready to call for Kallitris, despite a thousand warnings, when a miraculous thing happens. A field of fighting warriors stops smashing each other with swords, knives, and arrows, and most of them look up in utmost shock.
There is a spacecraft in the sky, slowly moving from under the low, torn grey clouds. All the people on the field can see is a big black mass hovering in the air. I can’t see much more either, due to clouds. I’m mortified to see it to be Kallitris’s ship.
Yes, I wanted him to be on my side, but I can’t bear to pay the price of everyone dying. And I haven’t called him yet. So it can’t be him. Please, let it not be my menacing and scary friend with the heart full of anger…