Niara’s people inhabit a village within a walled enclosure on an alien planet. To carve out a future for humanity, she must disobey their alien benefactors and venture beyond the wall. She joins forces with Wendi, tribal queen of the eastern village. The two women forge a bond stronger than blood as they uncover the secrets of their buried history and incite the wrath of an advanced alien force.
Woman, you see. The sensi. It’s a funny thing.
Niara inhaled just the right amount of the mystic herb and her brain went straight to mush. It sent her whooshing and spinning down some deep, dark dimensional hole. She saw things. Things that weren’t there. Things that happened. Things that hadn’t happened yet. Things that might have happened centuries before she was born. Hordes of okapi running circles around her. The slow procession of villagers ushering her into the priesthood. The rush of white water carrying her across a wild river. Falling from a place far beyond the sky.
Amid the whirlwind, she remembered. She was a hunter. She was hunting. So, she fought to focus, to tune the madness out. She heard a rumble. Indistinct at first but it grew louder and louder until she was floundering amid the thundering hooves of an okapi herd. Their black bellies glistened and their white-banded thighs blazed in the firelight. Her nostrils flared, filled with their furtive, animal scent. The frantic okapi ran circles around her like mad children on a merry-go-round. The herd shifted. The spectral beasts scattered, scampering one by one, west-south-west and into the dark. Her arm went up, pointed in the direction of the invisible animal trail.
“There,” she heard herself say. “That way.”
But the sensi, you see. It was a funny thing. It wasn’t done with her.