Carlos led the group through the hot sun. At the bend was a large river outlet. The path up the mountain side was steep but doable. They just didn’t have much of a choice. The good thing was whatever they had seen did not seem interested in following. They would report back to command and let them handle that thing. That was if anyone even believed him.

All that changed in a second. Along the trail came human pilgrims who were making their way back down the trail towards the main campsite. Carlos ran ahead to inform them that there was grave danger if they go there. Plus, he didn’t want them interacting with the soldiers. “Who are you people and why are you coming this way?”

Reba and the other rebels stayed back not wanting to be recognized. Lorne moved ahead of the pack. “I have been informed that the Khad guard has been defeated back on the ridge.”

“That’s why we’re here to see what happened. Do you have any more information?”

“Yes, the Earth has sent a spaceship to us. They are the ones who destroyed the Khad forces.”

Carlos stared at him dazed. “That ship we saw last night, it was from the Earth?”

“That is why we are headed for the outlands this way.”

“The Khad campsite is still much too dangerous for your people. They don’t know about the Earth ship. You must go back.”

“No harm will come to us. Only the Khad are in danger. They have brought the wrath of God upon them.”

“You need to stop right here right now or I can’t guarantee your safety.” Carlos tried to convince them.

The soldiers realize that something was wrong. Then Ryman began to walk toward them thinking maybe it was these people who were hiding information about the missing unit.

Lorne tried to calm down the talk from behind him but soon hysteria began to build. The paranoia spread on both sides with many of the troops believing the pilgrims had somehow conspired with the hostiles and they turned their weapons on them.

Carlos stood his ground in front of Ryman. “I’m telling you this group is not the ones we are looking for. They are harmless.”

“Step aside.” Ryman continued toward them and signaled the soldiers to be ready.

Then Lorne ordered his people to keep moving forward. “Come people let us continue on our quest.

Now Carlos was pleading, “Just let them pass they mean us no harm.” But it’s too late when one of the soldiers opened fire. Carlos and his two human companions realize that they were the pilgrim’s only hope and they fired on the Khad killing several and forcing the other to flee. Because of his effort Ryman was caught in the cross fire and badly wounded.

“Oh my God, what have I done.” Lorne screamed.

“If you don’t get these people out of here you just signed their death warrants.” Carlos was now in charge and ordered the others to stop where they were.

“Help us over here.” Remy called out. Then he saw Gig on the ground.

He rushes to her side. “Gig, can you hear me?” He said holding her. She was unsure what to do next but she knew her leader was wrong.

“Don’t fret Carlos. Dying in battle is a good thing.”

“But not against your own people.”

“Oh no. You are my people. It’s not about blood it’s about belonging. We belong to each other. I especially enjoyed our many adventures but most of all I enjoyed, tea.” She died and Carlos wept openly for her. Carlos suddenly realized that they had a closer relationship then he ever realized.

Lorne was moved by the show of affection for another species and he knew he could trust Carlos. Someday he would find a way to make amends for the terrible thing he had done.

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