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Warriors' Providence (Cadi Warriors Book 2)(8)

By´╝ÜStephanie West

"Zer!" Cila's mohawk stood on end, a clear indication of her agitation, as her voice rose to a shrill level. "Providence do not misunderstand, I have no animosity towards your people. I want to see you flourish, as our people have, and the other species we have assisted. But I think it is harsh bureaucrats, as you've said, who decided that we are to assist the colony then die out without a trace, leaving the new world to your kind. I don't understand why we cannot grow side by side."

Zer wrapped his long arms around his agitated mate.

"I agree. I'm sure we could learn a lot from each other. What keeps you from starting a new family?"

"I was altered." Zer stated grimly.

Providence shook her head. An hour ago she had been debating the merits of fighting tooth and nail to get free of this spaceship. Now she wanted to hug the alien missionaries that were as much a victim of circumstance as she was.

"Don't do this. Let me go. You have a choice in this." Providence entreated.

"I am sorry but we are being monitored by the council. If we went against protocol, it would bring shame and dishonor to our offspring back home." Zer shook his head while Cila stared sadly at Providence. "We will be heading into orbit while it's still dark if you'd like to watch."

Providence nodded mutely, her eyes misting as she turned to the screen.

The moon grew larger and larger as they rose in the atmosphere leaving Earth behind. Providence watched as Cila monitored the instrument panel while Zer tapped at it occasionally to adjust their course. Providence didn't understand any of the indicators though she was certain if given time she could figure them out. The problem was she didn't really have time. They were already in orbit. Earth was a blue and green orb hovering in the darkness of space.

The scene made Providence feel incredibly small and insignificant. It was like the first time she'd been on a boat miles out in the ocean, surrounded by nothing but water on all four sides. She wasn't afraid. Death and danger never really bothered her, not that she welcomed it either. It was just a surreal emotion that overwhelmed her in these oh so rare instances. Every part of her, from her head to her toes amounted to nothing more than a handful of atoms in the vastness of creation. If she floated off into nothing, life would go on without her.

Providence sat staring at her blue planet as it grew ever smaller, wondering if she'd had an effect on those around her back home. She'd been driven her entire life by the desperate desire to make the world a better place to be. But had her efforts been enough?

Providence awoke with a start. She quickly looked around to find herself sitting in the same chair on the spaceship bridge. Providence did her best to not panic as her new bizarre reality set in again. It hadn't been just a nightmare after all. She sucked in a deep breath and blew it out slowly as she willed her heart to ease back from the frantic cadence it was pounding out in her chest.

"Are you hungry?" Cila trilled looking concerned.

"No thank you."

"I am sorry if I frightened you with my outburst earlier." Cila's hairless brow creased as she made her apology.

"Cila don't apologize. If anything you made me feel less alone in all this craziness." Providence attempted to smile.

Zer walked in carrying a platter with three steaming bowls.

"Ah, you are awake." Zer commented as he handed Cila a bowl.

"Thank you, Providence is not hungry."

"You should try to eat. I am sorry that the fare is not what you are accustomed to, but it is nothing that will harm you." Zer handed Providence a warm bowl.

Providence looked down to see what looked like pink spaghetti. She watched as Cila used a small pair of tongs to scoop the spaghetti into her mouth. Providence wasn't really hungry, but she needed to eat. She sniffed the contents in the bowl. It didn't smell unappealing. Thank god the mass didn't wriggle like some sort of alien worms. She certainly wasn't about to ask what it was.

Providence gripped the little tongs and snared several slippery strings. She poked a mouthful in then paused as the unusual flavor burst on her tongue. The dish reminded Providence of spaghetti squash with a slightly lemony herb sauce. Encouraged she chewed and swallowed, then spooned in another mouthful. Cila nodded at her looking pleased.

"How is it I can understand you so well?" Providence asked between bites.

"We have language implants. Your language is one of the primary dialects that many humans seem to speak." Zer explained.

Providence nodded. That made sense since the Miran Sona would be helping her people adjust to a new planet. She turned to the display screen. There were thousands if not millions of stars twinkling before her eyes. Off to the left was a hazy swirl with a bright spot at the center.