Okay, so i swear its the unlucky 13 that got me stuck this time! So so so so sorry that it has been so so so long since my last update. I hope people are still reading it but i understand and apologise if you can't remember what the hell is going on...
Gift of Grace
Chapter 13: Home Grown Miracles
A whole month went to pass by the two in the Ori Galaxy. Grace was even starting to get used to life here, as strange as that was to her. But she had already been uprooted so many times in her life, what was one more?
Cam on the other hand, was not coping that well. He had made friends with some of the villagers, which Grace was happy about, but she could also see that his heart wasn't in it. He was still desperately searching for a way back and no matter how much Grace tried to talk to him about it, he refused to listen. He was stubborn. But so was she. They just seemed to exist in a permanent stalemate in their beliefs and it frustrated them both to no end.
They had become less temporary in Asellina's cosy home. A room had been made for them away from other patients and moving into this room, Cam became even more closed off than before. She knew that Cam and the healer did not get along that well but was confused by the amount of distance she found between themselves since she had last looked. She tried so hard to get back closer with him but even so, he only let her in to an extent, and left the rest to himself.
She had almost given up hope of ever becoming close friends again until one day while she was helping Asellina clean up the house and Cam burst in through the door, panting and looking very agitated about something. Instantly concerned, Grace hurried to his side.
Cam looked from herself to the healer and back again, his eyes wild with anxiety.
"The priors are here..." He managed to get out from between sharp breaths. Grace wasn't sure if the shallow breathing was from his long run or the panic.
Asellina, however, was too excited about this new revelation to pay much attention to the fact that Cam was still trying to get more out. She bolted through the open door towards the main square where Grace could now see other villagers heading as well.
Grace turned back to Cam only to see him collapse into the chair, still breathing hard and clearly in shock.
"Camy?" The use of her old nickname for him caught his attention. His bright blue eyes connected with hers and the fear she saw there scared her. "What happened?"
"I can't help it." Grace knelt down beside him, placing a comforting hand on his thigh to urge him to go on. His voice was soft with awe. "I think I just witnessed a miracle."
"But you don't believe in miracles," Grace reminded him and Cam's only response was a blink. She could almost see the wheels turning in his mind as he thought this whole thing through.
"The prior..." His eyes flickered around as he tried to comprehend the situation and put it into words. "He healed Tomin. He raised his hands over him and suddenly he can walk normally." He locked gazes with Grace once again, a sense of urgency making itself apparent now. "How does he do it? He didn't even touch him, just told him to walk and he did! There is no other word for it than miraculous."
Grace slipped into the chair next to him, the shock now transferring to her consciousness. But there was something else there that she couldn't let go of – there must have been a reason.
"Camy," She spoke, shaking her head of the veil of shock that had laid over her mind. Cam looked up at her, but otherwise was expressionless. "Did they say anything else? What happened after he was healed?"
"They... they..." Cam started, trying to work through the thoughts that Grace could see storming in his eyes. Then she saw them become steel and he looked her directly in the eyes. "It was meant as a recruitment drive." His face was burning as the implications hit them both. "They are recruiting able men, and that includes Tomin now!"
Grace had spoken to Tomin a few times since her first walk around the town. At least while he wasn't huddled up in his house, alone and afraid of the outside world. He was kind and loyal, but emotionally damaged by years of repression. That would be different now. Grace knew him and knew that he would feel forced to join the campaign in gratefulness for the deed they had just delivered him.
But there was another dreadful thought that entered her mind, one much closer to home and her heart. She stood up, making to leave their abode when he reached out and touched her hand. The knowing look he gave her made her think that maybe they hadn't grown so distant in the past few months, she still felt him looking right through her to her innermost workings.
"They are starting to come true, again." She fills in. "The nightmares."
Cam looked confused and when he retreated back to his thoughts, Grace took the moment to leave. She didn't want to explain any further. She didn't want to explain that she had seen her best friend and companion forced into service. She didn't want to explain that she had seen him fight for the wrong side, for something neither of them believed in. And most of all she didn't want to explain that she had seen his doom, seen him perish on the battlefields of space.
But before she left, she called back to him. "We have to leave. Soon."
"Have you figured out a way to escape the city, yet?" She asks of Cam as she packs the last of her clothing into her roughly constructed backpack.
Cam walked over to her, much more calmly than Grace expected and took out the messily packed articles, refolded them, and replaced them within the bag. "We will go while the others are at prostration."
Grace could tell he had thought this plan through by the way he deliberately and calmly spoke to her. In his own way, he was trying to keep her, and himself, from the edge of panic. It was working and the teenager was so thankful in that moment that he was with her.
She took a deep breath and settled her gaze on him as he placed a hand comfortingly on her upper arm. "We will leave through the back alley, head towards the cliffs and with any luck, no one will even know we were gone."
Grace could hear her heart pounding in her ears. Whether it was because of the adrenaline pumping through her veins from the risk of being caught escaping or of the fact they had been running for a good ten minutes now as fast as their feet could take them, she wasn't sure. It didn't matter. She was just happy they were leaving and they would be safe. That Cam would be safe.
Cam was slowing in front of her now, easing their pace as the last of the sun had finally peaked out from behind the horizon. Most of the city were behind them now, with only a few of the larger buildings visible. The cliffs ahead were in sight and as they slowed to a walk, she realised that she had no idea what they were going to do once they got there, her only thoughts before now being of escaping at any cost.
She needn't have worried, however. For as soon as they both reached the cliffs, the sight held before them was stunning. It was not stunning for its landscape or any other natural occurance, but for what was there when they stood at the edge.
Far below, hidden from the view of any wandering villager, were three massive Ori ships with one more already in the making.
Grace's breathing suddenly sharpened, her mind going into overload with yet another vision flashing before her eyes. Cam saw the signs of another fainting spell and took hold of her just as her knees buckled under her. She collapsed into him as he slowly lowered them both to the ground. It was obvious to her that he was in shock as he was not demanding an explanation as he usually would have at the act of another episode.
As they both sat there, looking down at the valley below, Grace just kept shaking her head in awe. Between bouts of repeating the same word, 'no', over and over, Grace whispered, "it's all coming true."
Her words caught Cam's attention, who had been silent for as long as they had been there.
"Grace." The simple act of saying her name was enough to snap her out of her inner turmoil. She turned to him, resolute and with steel in her eyes.
"There has to be a way to destroy the ships."