Chasra: The Homecoming (an excerpt):
“Mac? Mac, can you hear me?” Vareeda’s voice was distant.
The swirling sensation in his body slowed as he listened to Vareeda’s soothing voice.
“I can hear you,” he finally said. “What happened?”
“You passed out. Dr. Dintar is running tests to learn why.”
Mac didn’t open his eyes. He remembered being in the dining room and feeling strange.
“Can you open your eyes?”
Mac opened his right eye first. When he was sure the room wasn’t spinning, he opened his left eye. He was in the medical clinic.
“How do you feel?”
“Trapped.” He reached up and rubbed his collarbone.
“The chip.” Vareeda turned to the doctor, concern on her face.
Dr. Dintar reached out and pulled his hand back. “I must speak to Don.”
“About what?” Mac tried to get up, but searing heat shot through every nerve in his body. He fell back onto the bed, balling the sheet in his fists, his back arched. Mac clenched his teeth, a cry escaping his lips.
“Try to relax, Mac,” Vareeda said.
To keep from lashing out at Vareeda, Mac kept his mouth shut. He wanted someone to tell him what this meant and why it was happening. He closed his eyes, and flames danced in his mind. Contorted faces screamed his name in anguish, reaching out to him. He recognized some of the people—those who were on his ship and the rest of the Tribal Council.
“Vareeda, go to central command. You are needed,” Dr. Dintar said.
“What about Mac?”
Mac opened his eyes and sat up. The pain was gone.
“Mac, I need to take the chip from your body. We are going to change course and move away from Chasra until I am able to extract it.”
“It’s too late. They know we’re here.”
A siren sounded, and flashing red emergency lights replaced the normally bright lights.
Mac got off the table and walked toward central command. The ship rocked back and forth, but his feet were steady underneath him.
“Opening another communication line,” Nabat shouted.
Mac stood in the middle of central command. Everyone had gathered in the room and hung onto the arms of their chairs. Freya tried desperately to calm her children, and her husband rushed over and did his best to help.
“I’ve lost control.” Romas held his hands in the air.
“Me too.” Lilja frantically pushed buttons.
“Lilja, stop,” Mac said. “We’re being drawn to Chasra by their power.”
The large screen that displayed the time left until they got home turned to gray static. Mac watched it until a fuzzy image appeared. Soon, they clearly saw three men with long hair and long beards and one woman with her hair in a large bun on top of her head, all dressed in crimson and navy blue robes with gold sashes. They seemed human in appearance except for the fact that they had no whites in their slanted eyes. Instead, their eyes were black, like pictures Mac had seen of aliens.
“The Great Council,” Don gasped.
“I am Wosul,” the oldest man said. Mac noticed a large black, oval stone around his neck.
“You have three ships that belong to us. The weapons have been neutralized, and you’re locked into our power so you can’t escape.”
“We don’t want to escape. We’ve come home.”
“Home?” another man said.
“Kinru, hush.” Wosul reprimanded the middle-aged man who had an orange stone around his neck. “These ships were abandoned on another planet many terms ago.”
“Yes, and on board are descendants from those who survived,” Mac said.
The woman with a brown stone and the man with a green stone whispered with Kinru.
“We’ll be in touch again in a moment.” Wosul looked at his colleagues, and the screen went blank.
“If those stones mean anything,” Zola said excitedly, “Wosul is in charge. It’s like martial arts. The black belt is highest, brown belt is lower, green is lower, and orange is lower. It’s not in exact order, but I’m betting that’s what the stones signify.”
“There should be five members of the Great Council,” Jiban whispered. “Mac, you know what that means, right?”
The ship started moving, so Mac looked out the window at a bright speck of light. As they got closer, Mac saw it was a planet, much smaller than Earth and almost completely green, with some wisps of yellow, tan, and orange. The ship landed on a flat plain of what appeared to be grass. There were no buildings or people.
They sat in silence and waited, anticipation and excitement on everyone’s face. This was it, the moment they’d dreamed of for so long. They were bringing the last ancestor of the gods to Chasra and fulfilling the destiny of universal peace.
Mac scanned the landscape for danger. He didn’t sense anything, so he relaxed his clenched fists and took a deep breath. A dense and heavy darkness settled around them, and soon they were engulfed in black so dark Mac couldn’t see his hand when he held it an inch from his face.
A shrill noise and flashing white lights sent everyone to the ground except Mac. Their faces contorted, just like he envisaged. The ship was sucked downward, and when it stopped, the noises and the lights stopped as well. A dim yellow light shone into the ship, and everyone was lying still.
Mac looked around for the source of the voice and the Great Council stood before him. Some other Chasramians dressed in black swept into the room and picked up all the bodies.
“Come,” Wosul commanded Mac.