Riwenne has to convince the planetary warriors to stop destroying the floating cities. She’s chased them down and crashed their airship, but she knows they won’t give up that easily. How can she make them understand that killing people is only making things worse?
They Won’t Back Down
The ground rushed up to meet me, but I landed easily on my feet. The other ship was sprawled on one side ahead of me, smoke still seeping from the remaining engine and the envelope slowly deflating. I ran towards it, scanning the damaged ship for any access doors.
But when I got close, Namburo jumped out to block my path, holding a gun pointing at me. “Stop there,” he warned in a deep growl.
I checked him over but didn’t see signs of the injury he had in my dream. Maybe that was a good sign that I’d changed events before they could happen. “I just want to help,” I said, holding up my hands to show I was unarmed. “Is anyone hurt?”
Fairuza climbed out of a broken window, her usual poise destroyed. Her hair hung wildly and her leather armor was covered in dirt. “We don’t need your help. You’ve already ruined our plans.”
My gaze narrowed at her. “Your plans to destroy Olona and murder thousands of people? That’s a horrible mistake. You’re only making the sun goddess stronger.”
Fairuza staggered up to stand beside Namburo. Sweeping her bedraggled hair out of her face, she fixed me with a fierce glare. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. The fewer worshippers that she has, the weaker she will be.”
“Except that she’s eating their souls,” I snapped. It was frustrating to have this argument for the second time, even if I was the only one who remembered it. I saw Mano trying to sneak up behind me to pin my arms and sidestepped his reach.
Namburo’s gun wavered as he tried to follow my dodge. “She ate my sister’s soul!”
“So don’t let it happen to anyone else,” I interrupted him, knocking the gun from his hand. I looked at Fairuza. “Think about it. Did you see how powerful those imperial warships are? That’s from the extra strength they’ve gotten from the sun goddess.”
Fairuza folded her arms. “We would have gotten past them if you hadn’t alerted the whole fleet—”
The sound of more engines grew closer. I looked over my shoulder and saw imperial ships flying toward the crash site.
“Your ship is ruined,” I pointed out, gesturing at the wreckage. “Get out while you still can. And don’t attack any more cities.”
Namburo and Mano started to edge away, looking up at the sky nervously, but Fairuza stood her ground.
“We won’t back down,” Fairuza said stubbornly. “I swore an oath that I would destroy every single Synthetic Ethereal Apparatus in the Empire. It’s not my fault that the cities can’t survive without them. The SEA is evil, and we can’t stop until they stop harming people. If you really cared about saving the innocent, you would be destroying them with us.”