Excerpt Airion ~ Return to Zire
Kimi saw a tiny blue light flicker from the direction Rick had gone. That was the signal.
She checked her surroundings carefully then slowly ventured out into the open waters. Watching carefully and holding the orb firmly under her body, she used her powerful legs to propel herself through the water. Suddenly, something flashed across the edge of her vision. It was far off but swiftly coming towards her. She kicked faster, the scaly fins on her legs helping to propel her rapidly through the water’s current.
The creature’s size grew larger as it came closer to her. Heart pounding, and gills flushing rapidly, Kimi forced her legs to kick harder. She could now see the outline of Rick’s body peeking out from behind another large boulder; his hand on his sword hilt.
When she got close enough, he reached out and pulled her behind him. “Thanks,” she said breathlessly. Rick said nothing. His eyes were on the dark shadow that had threatened to intercept Kimi. A Great White. It had not changed course, nor did it seem to notice them behind the rock. Killing a Great White Shark was a semi-easy feat for Rick, but the commotion and the smell of blood could attract some very unwanted attention. They waited quietly for it to pass.
“I’ll scout ahead again an—” Rick cut off sharply at the sound of voices and they quickly ducked into the shadows.
“So what’s this thing we’re searching for?” said one of the men. His deep voice buzzed like the sound of a great whale.
“Not sure,” came another voice, this one smooth. In any other circumstance, Kimi would have wondered if he was attractive. “Leader Topian just said to kill the carriers, and bring it back.”
“Well, did he at least tell you what it looked like?” said a third voice, deep and with all the calm ferocity of the dark ocean depths.
Their dialect wasn’t of Kimi and Rick’s home colony, Zire. These three men were from Cella—a clan that had long been the enemy of Zire and the mastermind behind destroying the orb.
“He said even the Zirian informant didn’t know,” said the second voice. “Just that it was being escorted by a man and a woman carrying somethings big enough for both.”
Kimi and Rick exchanged glances but did nothing. When the men had passed, Kimi opened her mouth to speak but Rick put a finger to her lips.
“Later,” he mouthed, looking both ways. Discussion could come after they reached shore and safety.
The three men swam in the direction Rick and Kimi had aimed to go. Rick thought for a moment. They could wait there until the men went back in the other direction or they could try to go around them and take a different path to the shore.
Rick moved out slowly, motioning Kimi to stay close. His hand firmly on his broad sword’s hilt, he headed in the direction of the three men, stopping every moment or so to listen. The shore was not far now. Once out, the orb would be safe. Rick spotted another boulder and headed for it, Kimi close at his heels.
They could see the ocean’s sandy floor and the ripples of the surface grow closer together. They were almost there, just a bit more.
“Now did you really think we wouldn’t notice you?” said the smooth voice from behind them. Before Kimi could react, a blade touched her neck. “I believe you have something our Leader wants. Maybe if you hand it over quietly, you won’t get hurt.”
“Shark’s blood! You’re ordered to kill us anyway and you know it,” said Rick, glancing around, bracing for a two on one battle. “Sorry, but I’d rather go out fighting.”
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