The night spent in comfort and safety helped to lift the mood of Antares. He looked forward to the challenges of the day more confidently. Kian suggested that they should meet the angry uncle and sort out the misunderstanding. After a brief breakfast, the two young men turned to the Council Room. The stern Night Flyer was an important leader of the community. His name was Eron.
They found him running through the guarding schedule of his team. He turned to them with evident displeasure.
-You have some nerves, the two of you, to come here again after all the havoc you created! Your actions and all those things you’ve said shattered the respect the community had for Sagitarius and now he’s not leaving his room and he refuses to talk to any of us. He was a good and responsible leader who took care for the community long before any of you were born!
-I’m sorry to hear that, Commander Eron. I never intended to challenge his authority; I hope he’d agree to talk to me at least. We still have things to share. I was born before him but I never knew about the horrors happening during my lifetime.
Kian kept a calm and assertive behavior, trying to ease the tension that filled the room. Antares was deadly quiet; he threw a furtive look to his uncle but then turned away. He was waiting for the elder member of his family to speak to him first. Eron himself was uneasy about their encounter. He cared for his nephew and worried about the commitment he has made to this stranger. But Kian was totally unaware of the depth of the problem; he could sense the tension but he couldn’t point out the problem. He decided to leave the two Night Flyers alone for a while.
-Commander! Allow me to meet Sagitarius. Ask him, please to accept a short visit. I promise I won’t disappoint you!
Reluctantly but relieved at the same the commander let the Angel in to the personal quarters of Sagitarius. Kian gave a short encouraging smile to his friend and left. Antares was all alone now in this confrontation. A deep silence filled the room as the two men fretted over the starting of the discussion.
-What was in your mind when you did this?!-the question almost exploded in the air.
-He was dying and I was alone!!!! I couldn’t let him fade away! I wanted to save him!
Antares was hurt and desperate. He was scared of the consequences, he was well aware of the possible result and he knew that he did the right thing. He was even more afraid to speak with his friend about it. He needed some comfort and nobody seemed keen to offer it.
Eron sighed; the youth was right. He was brave and generous; he jeopardized his whole future to save a total stranger. It was them, the elders who indirectly pushed Antares into action; they were about to kill an innocent stranger because they were too afraid to face him. The commander turned and embraced the young man.
-We’ll sort this out somehow; you’re my child and I’ll be here for you. But you have to come out clean to your friend. He doesn’t know, does he?
-No…-he whispered. He doesn’t know…I’ll tell him tonight.
The door opened and Kian came in along with the old Ruler. They both looked hopeful. The sudden change took Eron by surprise but he felt relieved. The people of the Night Flyers still needed their ruler.
-Commander Eron!-said the old man. Please call in the members of the Council for an extraordinary session; I have news to share. Kian and I, we agreed on certain things that have to be done on the planet. We allow the humans to build a base here and they will give us the necessary support to restart our lives…on the surface from now on. We don’t have to live in fear anymore!
They parted in good spirit; only Antares looked troubled and gloomy. He barely spoke on the road back to the starship. He just listened to Kian’s account of the talking with Sagitarius. Sheera was more than happy about the news; she asked a lot about the perspectives of a new life here. She looked radiant and excited; Antares watched and felt even more miserable about his secret. He left the room silently; he found a spot on the shades outside and sat there, lost in thoughts. A small, light hand touched him softly.
-You’re sad and troubled; you’ve been like this from the moment I saw you. Tell me what’s bothering you; I’d like to help.
Sheera sat next to him.
-Kian is worried to about you-she added. He knows that you’re hiding something in your heart but he doesn’t want to push you. He’s afraid that you might have sacrificed something much too important to save him…
Antares’ shoulders sunk and he buried his face in his palms.
-He was so fragile and hopeless; he had fever and he wasn’t eating for days…The…the ritual…the mating ritual was the only one I knew that allowed me to share energy with him. I was scared but I didn’t want him to die! He has done nothing wrong and he only wanted to help us! By swapping energies, we committed to each other…at least this is the way we, as Night Flyers do it. I…I am so sorry! I’ve messed everything up!!!
Antares burst into tears; Sheera embraced him and squeezed him until the youth regained his balance.
-You’re so wonderful-he whispered. I never meant to hurt anybody…Kian kept on talking about you all the time…
-Don’t worry, Antares. I’m not hurt; I care for both of you. You’re so much like my younger brother I left on Deneb…Let me ask you something: are you in love with Kian?
-No! No, I’m not! But I care for him a lot; he’s like an older brother I never had. I’ve learned so much from him…and he saved my life each time I was in danger!
Sheera ruffled the spiky black strands lovingly.
-Then there’s nothing to worry about. You’re even. You have protected each other in moments of need and danger. Both of you are free to pursue your own life from now on. You are one…in a very special way: on Earth they say you’re blood-brothers. Cheer up!
-You might be right-sighed the youth. But there is one more thing bothering me; ever since we’ve…exchanged energies, I feel…different. What…what if…I’m pregnant?