“Well, I’ll be….” Smith knelt beside a dull blue stone. “This would never have caught my eye, either.” He directed his scancom at it. “Sapphire. This is pure sapphire! And look at the size of it! And there; that’s got to be ruby… and emerald over there.” He rocked back on his heels. “No samples yet, men. Let’s explore a little.”
The two Alari, sized down to the size of bees, watched from a nearby bush. “Better call Angari.” Almost instantaneously he was beside them.
“Thanks, Dysis.” Angari watched the humans walking through the meadow, pointing their instruments at the stones. The ship had been observed flying low over both hemispheres and its resting place noted within the Barrier Wood. “I’m afraid the nature of our stones has become apparent to the humans.” Angari carefully sent a mind probe toward the aliens and picked up conversation as well as their inner thoughts.
He saw the pile of gemstones on the captain’s table. Seeing through the eyes of Dobrowski, who could not take his thoughts off the gems, he knew the secret of Windfallow was now revealed. He settled into each of the other humans individually to see what their reactions were to the truth.
Captain Smith, also driven by greed, was the leader of the group. Brasker alone was looking at the gemstone with pure astonishment not mixed with greed. I was right, thought the alari; this one has the Maker’s Spirit within him. I must not let him see one of us or he will give away our presence to the others.
Then, he probed the mind of Kiota. Here was a very different aura. He saw great fear as well as greed and a faintly familiar mindset. Where had he felt that before? His mind ranged back over the centuries to that long-ago time when the Jackal… That’s it! This human is under the influence of a demon! I must call a council immediately!”