Naelia’s bare feet were burned and pealing and her stomach ached from not eating. She looked toward the horizon and decided that she must have traveled at least forty miles today. That thought made her immensely happy because it was even better than her average of thirty per day. Naelia felt a light breeze and thanked Ewmjir, the god of strength, the sun was setting.
The setting sun was a blessing and also a curse. The blessing was that the temperature would drop and her feet wouldn’t get any more burned today. It also meant that wild animals would come out to hunt and if she was lucky she might get a chance to eat.
It was bad because she didn’t have proper covering for the cool night, and it was three times more likely the battalion of reptilian nearby might spot her. She needed to find a way back under ground. Back to her people hiding deep beneath the crust of the earth in the extensive lava tubes that ran under the Sahara desert. She knew if she could just find an access tunnel she’d be home free.
She’s been trapped topside for six long and painful months. She came to the surface with several other Venusians from her colony. The only came topside to harvest regatta leaves. Regatta is a vegetable that grew natively on Aquarii the Venusians home planet. The vegetable has amazing healing qualities and is essential in daily Venusians life. Sadly, while the lava tubes provide nearly everything the Venusians race needs to survive, the lack of sunlight prevents the regatta from growing underground. For that reason Venusians are forced to come topside on a regular basis and collected it.
Collectors are always chosen by lottery. Naelia and the other chosen Venusians were attacked and scattered across the desert. Most of the other collectors that came topside with her have already been caught by the Reptilians or Termaritans. So far, Naelia has managed to stay under the radar.
Still, it hasn’t been easy. Venusians are a close nit race. They are never alone if possible. Yet one so young as Naelia has survived and traveled alone, defenceless, without food and water by foot towards the mountains where she hopes to find an underground passage that will take her home. If not for her dreams, she would have probably given up and died months ago. But for some reason, her broken and fragile mind created a sanctuary. A life and a dream lifemate for her.
She doesn’t really care how or why it happened, all she knows is that she’s grateful. Because, when Naelia goes to sleep at night Archon her Earthling lifemate comes to her and together they share the life that she wished she could share with him during day. Some days when Naelia's really hungry and really tired of traveling, she tells Archon the truth.
She tells him what happens to her when she’s awake. She tells him of her grief and pain. She begs him to help her leave this world. Archon refuses and instead demands she push on and come back to him the next night. So for that reason alone Naelia keeps herself alive. She fights the darkness and she breathes every day just so she can dream about him again.
Naelia heard a twig snap to her left and she knew she’d just become the hunted. She slowed down and slowly made her way to a little overgrown brush. She crawled under it and took in her surroundings. She watched with trepidation as six Termaritans crept slowly toward her.
Termaritans while highly aggressive are thankfully not the brightest bulbs. They also have poor senses compared to the other races that now inhabit earth. They have no sense of smell, and their eyesight at night is fair to poor. Naelia snuggled deeper into the sand and did her best to bury herself. She made a mental note of her position and wrapped as much sand as possible around herself. She briefly thought that it was possible the temperature could drop enough that she might freeze to death.
Venusians like Naelia are sulfur-based lifeform and thrive in the heat but become lethargic in cooler temperatures. The Sahara desert was the perfect temperature during the day for everything but Naelia’s bare uncovered feet but the cool night air was brutal without proper protection. Despite knowing that however, Naelia had no other options so she let the sand wrap itself around her and within moments she drifted off into a deep and dangerous sleep.