Riwenne finds herself in another dream of destruction, but this time, it’s different. She’s at the site of the ruined Crystal Temple in Olona. It was destroyed in a terrorist attack over a year before. Why is she seeing it now?
We didn’t find the answers to all our questions that day. By the time we wrapped up all of our separate tasks, it was late. Janera brought food from a neighboring restaurant and we had a late dinner before collapsing into bed.
I was so grateful to see my pillow again. All I wanted to do was curl up and sleep.
The world tilted to one side. My head jerked up, and suddenly I was in the scene of destruction again. Buildings crumbled on the streets around me as people ran screaming for their lives. I felt hopeless to save them.
“You again?” Fairuza’s voice sneered behind me.
I whirled to face her. The planetary warriors were all there in their black disguises, their hands raised to fight me. The horrible feeling of deja vu washed over me.
But something about this was different. Namburo’s left arm hung limp at his side, bound in a torn piece of cloth. Ixi had chopped off most of her hair in a fierce style.
“What do you mean, again?” I said.
Fairuza folded her arms. “Don’t play dumb with me. You tried to stop us in Riqar, but we brought the city down. Now you’re trying to save Olona. These people don’t deserve your help!”
I looked up and realized that the city was different. Looming before us was a huge structure of broken glass and smoke poured up from somewhere underground. Across the street, there was an enormous theater where an airship had crashed.
The others rushed forward while I was distracted. Mano pinned my arms behind my back while Ixi and Namburo flanked me on either side, hands raised in an attack position. Fairuza grabbed my hair and yanked my head to face her.
“How did you get here?” she demanded. “We checked and you were all hiding in your ocean lair. There is no way you could have flown here in time to stop us. Is this some new power that your disgusting goddess has given you?”
Instead of fighting back, I held myself still and stared back at her. “Please listen to me,” I begged. “Killing these people will only make the sun goddess stronger. You have to stop destroying their cities.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Fairuza said, her eyes narrowing. “The fewer worshippers that she has, the weaker she will be.”
“Think about it. She eats souls. You’re just delivering more lives to her on a silver platter—”
Namburo slapped me with his open right hand. “She ate my sister’s soul!” he growled. “And you sat there and watched her do it. You left the evil priestesses alive, and now, everything that they’re doing is all your fault.”