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The Savior Stone

Sera’s breath caught at the beauty of the ever-changing skyscape in front of her. After traveling on the Starship Provenance for almost a year, the view still filled her with wonder. Even though taking this pilgrimage from their home planet, Dionysus, meant leaving everything and everyone she knew, Sera felt lucky to have been chosen to make the trip.

Red def-con warning lights jerked Sera from her reverie just as a man stumbled into the mess deck. She moved with efficiency toward the limping man, breaking his fall as he went down.

“Commander! What happened?”

The commander grabbed her arm, muttering something again and again. Sera leaned toward his face, trying to understand. A tingle of nerves ran down both arms when she made out the words he repeated, “They’re coming. Run.”

A screech of metal on metal split the deafening silence that had settled around them. The commander couldn’t stand. Sera grabbed him by the arms and dragged him a few feet.

“Run!” His words fought to come out, “that’s an order.”

Though she didn’t want to leave him, she wouldn’t disobey either. Sera ran. She darted into a hold and slid down the ladder. Hoping they wouldn’t find her, she suspected they would.

The sharp smell of hot metal closed in on her. She huddled against the wall, blaster aimed at the door.

Sera’s clenched jaw ached. Her chin lifted at the metallic life-form battering through the door. The hulking being, gleaming silver, seemed to fill the entire hold. Each of its four arms ended in a different weapon, and each of them pointed at her. Face to face with this alien, she gathered her courage and aimed her blaster.

A hot weight lay against her neck and a flash of memory lodged itself in Sera’s mind. As if transported in time, she stood before her mother, reliving their last conversation.

“I had a dream last night, Sera.”

Sera listened, her mother’s dreams were often visions of the future.

“You were fighting,” she searched for words, “something. And you were wearing this.”

Her mother pressed a pendant into Sera’s hands. Sera recognized it as the one her mother had worn for as long as she could remember.

“Wear this. I don’t know why or how, but this is a key, the key, to your survival. When you face great danger, this pendant will aid you.”

Sera slipped the pendant around her neck, “I’ll never take it off.”

Her mother’s words resonated in her head as Sera’s blaster made little difference to the alien staring her down.

When the strange being moved towards her, she dropped her blaster and grabbed the pendant which lay heavy around her neck. She concentrated on each bump and indentation of the pendant, the smooth blue stone growing hotter. Feeling the intricate pattern of the filigree juxtaposed against the smoothness of the stone, she spoke, “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, but I need help. Help me. Please help me.”

Repeating her plea for help, a wave of heat enveloped Sera. A white pulse rippled from her, lifting the alien midstride. Awestruck, she watched the alien crumble to ash. She sunk to the floor, relief and confusion spreading through her. Red lights still flashed throughout the ship.

“What just happened?” Sera’s voice echoed.

Her mind echoed again with the distant conversation with her mother. She wasn’t sure why or how, but this pendant just saved her life. Saved them all.

Footsteps ran through the open doorway. Dazed from her encounter, Sera reached for her blaster before realizing her roommate, Nia, along with others, stood before her.

“Sera, are you okay? What happened?”

“I’m okay. That thing . . . what was it?”

Nia shook her head, “No one knows what they were.”

“They? There were more?”

“Yes, but something happened to them. They just disintegrated.”

Sera averted her eyes and tucked the pendant into her shirt, saying nothing. She couldn’t talk about what happened. Until she processed the day’s events, she wouldn’t mention her pendant, or its powers, to anyone.

She turned on her heel and walked with purpose to her quarters. Sera leaned her back against the closed door and allowed the fear and confusion and relief of the day to consume her. Sobbing into her hands, she slid down the face of the door until she bumped onto the floor. As tears flowed, the pendant began to glow. Its calming warmth spread across her chest and through her extremities.

Sera grabbed the pendant in her fist, “What is this power I’ve unleashed?”

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