Tara waited patiently at the door until Siandyha looked up. "It's time to go," she said, trying to smile. Ever since they had landed on the Lazloi home world, there had been constant reminders of decay and loss. Instead of the fabulous wonders she had imagined, they had encountered a culture at war with itself, consumed by foreboding and madness. It was a gloom that hung over all of them.
"Go?" Siandyha blinked and cast around the room. "Where are we going?"
"The Lazloi are summoning us to a meeting, the Council of Clan Mothers."
Siandyha met Tara's gaze and frowned. "My mother warned me of this."
"Alisandra, she warned you of what?"
"I think we're in danger, all of us." Siandyha stood up and paced the room, as though looking for a way to escape.
"I thought the Gathering of Ravens was on our side," said Tara helpfully, "I thought they were trying to help us."
Siandyha shook her head. "One thing we can be sure about is that the Lazloi are only on their own side. The only difference between the Songbirds and the Ravens is their approach to the same objective, the survival of their race."
"But the Songbirds tried to kill us!"
"They didn't want us to fall into the hands of the Ravens, that's all." Siandyha shrugged. "Had the tables been the other way, I think the Ravens might well have done the same."
"But now that we're with the Ravens, aren't the rest of us expendable, Cyana, Jaimila, Cecila?" Tara looked around, as though they might be overhead.
"Not yet. If I'm as valuable to them as I think, they might try and use you as bargaining chips against me." Siandyha gestured behind Tara at the approaching Lazloi escorts. "Looks like it's time to leave."
Once again, the cocoon of Lazloi surrounded them, but this time Tara felt like a prisoner. Under the urgent coaxing of their guards, the crew of the Thunderbolt were taken out into the fields surrounding the settlement and the waiting courier ship. As they made the short walk to the pale blue craft, the mad gardener who had welcomed them a few days ago waved a cheery goodbye, resuming her irrational path amongst the wild grasses of the plain.
V4 figure in the Psyche outfit. Space craft is an original model created in Cinema 4D.
Scene assembly and final rendering in Cinema 4D R14 Visualise. Post processed in Photoshop CS2