After the Nightmare

After the Nightmare

Book Three of the Celestial Serenade

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Two Civilizations fight together for survival.
One rift could divide them.

Humans and Caltarans have formed a tentative alliance. If nurtured, it could raise both civilizations back to greatness. But secrets and a series of self-serving agendas threaten to sever the fledging partnership before it can blossom.

On the eve of the battle to free Earth from the oppressive dragon all parties are restless. Liam fears the dragon will ravage Earth’s surface beyond salvage. Salis secretly hopes for an impossible outcome. Anten struggles to keep the fraying alliance from shattering.

And Gaia dreams that history is doomed to repeat itself – unless she can find some way to change the future’s course.

A Caltaran soul sleeps within the dragon.

The human-Caltaran alliance hopes that awakening this tortured soul will convince him to flip sides. But he has spent decades decimating both civilizations. No one knows how much the sleeping soldier will remember or how he will cope with the truth once it’s revealed.

Assuming a soul that has slept for 10,000 years can even be coaxed awake.

The battle’s outcome balances on a knife’s edge…
“I’m sorry.” Gaia’s voice startled Salis. She had set her lips close to his ear, and she offered him an apologetic look as she drew back. “I know it sounds silly but… I had a dream.”

A cold chill of dread rose from the pit of Salis’s stomach. Alrayia used to sound exactly like this when she was young and still spoke of her dreams. “What kind of dream?”

“I’ve hijacked a Ruvalli communications channel,” Maribel declared, and Salis took a moment to marvel at how fast her fingers moved across the keypad of her console. “Hopefully, that will make the computer more likely to accept our codes.”

“Uplink establishing,” the alien scientist, Crir, added a moment later, his mouth tentacles swaying as he worked.

“It was terrible,” Gaia admitted. “The dragon somehow got into your space city. I was trying to get to the Council Chamber so I could warn everyone…”

“I have command access!” Maribel announced triumphantly, causing a small cheer to ripple across the bridge.

“First sequence initiating,” Crir added.

Gaia took a deep breath, leaned closer and continued. “The first time I ran through the courtyard, I saw you kneeling at the base of the statue.” She didn’t have to say which one. “You held your hand out to me, and I came closer. That’s when the statue came to life. It raised its great sword and cleaved the dragon out of the sky.”

Salis’s heartbeat quickened. “The first time?” he asked, finding her choice of words strange.

“We just lost another ship,” Anten growled. “Maribel, status?”

“I’m not sure,” Maribel admitted, sounding frustrated. “It will take a few minutes to cycle through the possible command sequences. We have to test after each one for a positive response.”

Gaia squeezed Salis’s hand again. “I haven’t worked it all out yet. I think the dream may have repeated, but it ended differently the second time. When I ran through the courtyard again, it was empty. You weren’t there. And when the statue came to life, it attacked me instead of the dragon.”

Salis’s heart leapt into his throat. It couldn’t be a coincidence that Gaia had dreamed such a powerful dream on the eve of their attack against the dragon, on the eve of their attempt to rescue the captive soldier hidden within. Anyone else might have been mad that she summoned him here in the middle of a battle to talk about her mind’s conjurations, but Salis believed in the power of his sister’s Sight. And if she had it, Gaia must have it too.

“We can’t hold out much longer,” Anten snapped as another large explosion lit the viewscreens on one side of the bridge.

“I know!” Maribel replied. “I don’t understand! We keep getting confirmations that our commands were successful. The pilot should be awake, but he’s not responding.”

“It’s coming straight for us!” one of the bridge technicians cried in horror.