Kiera's Moon (Chapter Eight, page 1 of 18)


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God, her body hurt! Crashing into the planet left the left side of her torso black and bruised. If not for the painkillers Mansr gave her as soon as she awoke and her newest discovery to distract her from the lingering pain, she'd be too miserable to move.

She made grass grow. The realization made her want to laugh and cringe at the same time.

Who the hell could make grass grow?

She planted her hand on the red ground and counted to ten, until she felt the tickle of blades of grass beneath her hand. Astonished, she leaned back and watched it rise, thick and plush, to a height of several inches.

"Leyon?" She turned to find him staring at her from across the dwelling. She motioned to the small patch of grass. "Can you do this, too?"

"Only the nishani," he said. He looked at her the way she looked at the six-legged cat that awoke her that morning.

"Only I can …" She trailed off, recalling her last conversation with A'Ran. She'd never thought he meant she'd literally help revive the planet. She'd thought her role more spiritual or symbolic. "This is good, right?"

"Yes, nishani."

He thought her crazy. She rolled her eyes and finished her breakfast. The dwelling was warm already in the midmorning, and she wondered how she'd survive another day of heat like yesterday's. Drained despite her long night of rest, she didn't look forward to anything this day.

"Do you want to talk to the dhjan?"

She rose quickly in response from her place kneeling at the small table. He led her into the hot morning. The battle still raged in the distance, the colors duller against the morning sky. Several fighter ships lifted off from the valley as they neared another of the buildings beside the meeting hall.

It was packed with warriors facing a screen with A'Ran's calm, hard image displayed. Her heart quickened at the sight of him. She couldn't hear the quiet discussions but saw Mansr at the front, speaking to A'Ran. Leyon waited with her at the doorway as the war discussions continued. Kiera pulled her hair into a ponytail, the back of her neck already damp with sweat. Grass tickled her feet as she stayed in place too long.

Agitated, she glanced down, then back-- kneeling to pull a handful of it free. She placed it in her pocket, ignoring Leyon's look. The warriors moved and shifted as one, and she backpedaled quickly out of their paths as they exited the dwelling. Mansr and another older man remained. He motioned her in, and she approached somewhat anxiously.

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