Title: The Return of the Ancients
Author: Sherry Derr-Wille
Genre: Futuristic Romance
Book Heat Level: 1
BLURB: The Return of the Ancients
Nina is devastated when she realizes she must leave Plantas along with the man who is to become her mate, Ragnar, and her best friend, Tarena. When Nina arrives on Earth at the Nazca plains in Peru, she is greeted by a young archaeology student, Rand Jacobson. Even though she is attracted to Rand, she is still grieving the loss of Ragnar.
Ragnar is surprised when, after being greeted as a god on the planet Seros, the military opens fire on his family. After being taken prisoner, he is treated like a lab rat until a scientist, Geni, comes to his rescue. At her estate, he learns the physicians who work with her have saved the lives of his family and friends.
EXCERPT: The Return of the Ancients
The day of departure came faster than any of them hoped. Nina was saddened by the fact Ragnar would be going to Seros while she was destined to go to Earth. Even worse, her best friend, Tarena, as well as the man she was to marry, Gardo, were destined to go to Nalo.
“How can we all be going in different directions?” Tarena questioned as they gathered at the launching pad. “I’ll never see either of you again.”
“Don’t think about it that way,” Ragnar said consolingly. “Think of all the new people you’ll be meeting. This is an adventure and that’s how we have to look at it. We’re all young and when we get ready to go out on our own, we’ll find partners other than the ones we thought we’d be with during our youth. The same goes for friendships. None of us will ever forget about the others, but eventually we would have gone our separate ways. I’ve seen it happen with my siblings and it’s inevitable.”
“I know you’re right,” Nina agreed. “It’s just hard to say goodbye to my lifelong friends.”
Tarena continued to cry uncontrollably until her parents finally came to coax her to get into the ship that would be launched into the unknown. “Oh, Daddy, I don’t want to leave Nina and Ragnar behind.”
“We’ve been over this before, Daughter. This is not your decision to make. The elders have told us who will go where, and you will follow their decree.”
Tarena’s sobs subsided as she embraced first Ragnar before turning to Nina. “We’ve been best friends forever and I’ll never forget either of you. Thank the One God that Grato will be going to Nalo with me, even if he won’t be on the same ship.”
“You know we won’t forget you. It doesn’t matter how many light-years separate us, we will never be further away from each other than our memories.”
Nina wished she meant the words she spoke. She’d done her crying in the privacy of her room in her parents’ home. Last night she promised herself she wouldn’t make a spectacle of herself on the day of departure.
She and Ragnar waved to Tarena as she got into the ship her family would be using on their journey. The rockets fired and the ships destined to leave from this destination took off into space. She knew other ships were being launched from launching pads around the planet for Nalo.
“One down,” Ragnar declared, as he pulled Nina into a tight embrace. “I know we’ll both miss Tarena, but she’s starting out on an adventure of a lifetime, just like we are.”
Nina bit her lip to keep the tears at bay. “She will be with the man she wants to marry once they land on Nalo. You and I will be separated for the remainder of our lives. How can you be so accepting of this? I don’t know if I’ll ever be as certain about our journey as you are. There is a possibility none of us could ever make it to where we are going. What happens if we are met with hostilities or something goes wrong during the flight?”
“You can’t think that way, Nina. I told you my brother has traveled to Seros in the past and it was perfectly safe. Didn’t your father tell you the same things about the expeditions we’ve sent to Earth?”
“He did, but Nalo is the unknown. I haven’t heard of any flights going there. Have you?”
Ragnar shook his head. “I asked my father about that and he knows nothing about Nalo either. I think the people in Tarena’s group are very close-mouthed about everything. It could be Nalo is as much a paradise as either Seros or Earth. I’ve tried to ask others these same questions and no one wants to talk about it. I worry about that part of the exploratory group going to Nalo, but I can’t dwell on it. I’m excited and you should be too.”
Nina nodded. “I am starting to get excited about the trip we’re about to make. I just hate leaving our home as well as my friends, but the unknown does intrigue me.”
Before Ragnar could answer, his father called him to board the ship that would be taking him far away from her. With a quick but loving kiss, he turned from her and went to join his family on the second ship to be launched into the unknown.
The sound of the rockets firing off was deafening, but once the ships carrying Ragnar and his family disappeared into the stratosphere, Nina looked around her world. It suddenly seemed terribly empty and dead. Knowing the eventual fate of the world in which she’d lived her entire life made her anxious to find the ship where her parents and other members of their party were already waiting for her.
~ * ~
Nina looked up from the navigational computer. Just yesterday she’d seen planet Earth appear on the screen. At the beginning of the journey, she’d been heartbroken at the thought of leaving Ragnar, the man she always hoped she’d marry, as well as her best friend, Tarena, behind. The very thought of them going to the other ends of the Galaxy was devastating, but messages Ragnar continued to send through their communications officers told her he was excited about the journey. Yesterday morning she’d received a message they were about to arrive on Seros. He was certain his family and the remainder of his party would be welcomed and revered.
It bothered her to know there had been no communication from the first delegation to leave their planet. It was entirely possible Tarena and all the people with her had not survived the journey to get to Nalo.
Nina prayed Earth would bring the same results for them as Ragnar expected to find on Seros. Even the translators her father insisted be implanted didn’t mean their arrival would be heralded in the same way. She had apprehensions about the inhabitants of Earth.
In the histories of the ancients, she’d read about the backward peoples who populated the planet. Her ancestors educated them at various places around the globe. The modern names seemed alien to her. Egypt, Turkey, England, Europe, Thailand, China and their destination of Peru.
On the day she left with her family and other people from their planet for Peru, six other ships departed for the various places where they once brought the people the knowledge of medicine, language, architecture and mathematics. They’d traveled through the time warp together and now were getting ready to descend to the face of the planet en masse.
“You look worried, Daughter,” Dragger said.
He placed his hand on her shoulder and studied the navigational screen.
“What if we are not considered Gods when we arrive on Earth? What if we are seen as enemies rather than friends? I read in the more recent histories of how a ship from another planet landed in a place the Earthlings called New Mexico and the occupants were killed. What if the people we meet want to kill us in the same manner?”
“The time was not right. These people have become more enlightened. They are expecting our return. We will not be seen as Gods as were our ancestors, but with this new generation, they will be accepting us as we are. We are but mortal men and women with advanced intelligence who helped to shape their world thousands of years ago. You will see, the times have changed and so have the humans we helped to mold into what they are today.
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