Kaya Chondra-Li has come home to Raeth! Barely a few weeks ago she was just another suburban teenager looking forward to a long summer vacation. Now she’s in another universe and discovered the truth about her royal lineage and the horrors surrounding the murder of her family. She has also found a brother she never knew existed, but the reunion will have to be short. The maniacal despot who killed her parents and older brother knows Kaya is back on Raeth.
Now the last two survivors of the royal family must separate again, and Kaya will once more venture through the untamed wilds of Raeth. Only this time, it’s to draw the enemy away from her brother while she scours the towns and villages for any allies willing to join the fight against the self-proclaimed Imperator and his fanatical army.
But on Raeth, monsters do exist. Her only hope is to find those still loyal to the Chondra-Li, and learn the importance of her family name and the awesome powers awakening within her. But can she master control of her new abilities in time to save everyone she loves, as well as the budding rebellion forming around her.
“Listen,” she explained, “from the moment I left Kwili Yachunne, it was with the goal of finding you, and that was it! To me, nothing else mattered. Yeah, there was this underlying mission of finding the lost ‘Raptor Battalion.’” She emphasized the last with air-finger quotes. “But through it all, I never dreamed I’d have to be part of some revolution, nor did I expect I’d be put in that position based solely on my name.”
She sighed and tapped her hand on the table. “To you all, the name Chondra-Li is revered, almost worshipped. It means something here. And I get that, big time. But until recently I knew nothing about my family, my history, nor my name. I was just a face in a very large crowd, and the name Chondra-Li was just something at the end of my driver’s license.”
She stood again and looked at her friends before turning back to the table of confused ministers and continuing.
“And to be honest, until recently, I also had every intention of returning to Earth after I’d found my brother.”
At this, the table exploded in low murmurs as the ministers all begin whispering and talking over each other.
“Please!” She implored them to be quiet. “Let me finish!”
Everyone calmed down, looking at her. Kaya walked back to Halian and Tagreth, taking up a position between them and facing the table.
“A friend recently made me realize that there is no escaping who I am, nor what has happened.” She paused and bit her lower lip. “Nor what is coming. He, and you”—she pointed at Tolyn— “also helped me start to realize what it means to be a Chondra-Li and the incredible power that name carries with it. Whether it’s deserved or not, I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure that out on my own. But I can tell you, for the first time since coming—since returning to Raeth, I’m prepared to bear the awesome responsibility that comes with who and what I am.”
“Then why your resistance to remaining here, where we can protect you?” Tolyn asked.
“Because I don’t like someone else making decisions about my life! I don’t like being told what I’m going to do.”
Kaya smirked and added, “And because there’d be too many eggs in one basket.”
Everyone at the table looked at someone else for help with her idiom. Even Tolyn looked at her like she’d spoken a foreign language.
“I mean,” she explained, quickly glancing at Tagreth, “that all hell is about to break loose, and having the two of us in the same place is both reckless and dangerous.”
She walked back up to the table and motioned at them all. “To the rest of the planet, you are still a rumor, just stories people tell each other to keep hope alive. But I’m in a different boat. Cyn knows damn well I’m here. The attack by those gargoyles you call Drac proved that. He will be coming for me, wherever I’m at. We cannot afford the last two surviving Chondra-Li being caught in the same place.”