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from Sasha's Journey by Sheri Conaway

Copyright © 2014–2020 Sheri Conaway

Chapter 33

Tess’s whiskers drooped and her eyes grew dark, the lids hanging low to hide the dismal thoughts whirling behind them. In her mind she saw Sebastian’s office filled with ancient Council members who’d already proven how ill-fit they were to deal with a world that had leapt far ahead while they allowed themselves to be mislead into a false sense of security.

In her heart, Tess knew the information she was bringing to the Council had little chance of making the ultra-conservative group do more than maintain their position of wait and see. Most were unwilling to recognize the anomalies Phil and his team had managed to unearth as justification for reversing previous decisions. This group of old codgers had spent centuries preparing for a battle that never came. They’d come to depend on information passed down for generations. They didn’t look past the old log books and ledgers to see how much the world had changed. Surveillance methods alone could nearly duplicate the Star Guides’ telepathic gifts now.

Breaking them loose from the trenches in which they’d mired themselves would likely require a direct attack of volcanic proportions before they’d be willing to launch an investigation, much less take direct action. Knowing this, she opened a link between herself and the instructors. Once they heard the decision they expected from the Council they would implement Plan B. 

In some ways, taking the Council out of the mix might be an advantage. If the Council had indeed been infiltrated, their unseen enemy would expect their decision to be final. The last thing they’d expect would be a rogue contingent of Star Guides operating outside the Council’s purview. That they were unaware Phil and his team had been doing so for decades was another nail in the current regime’s coffin as far as Tess was concerned. Without them, the activities in Adamsville would be proceeding according to plan with no one the wiser.

Since the communication blocks had mysteriously weakened over the last few days, she had no doubt those responsible were familiar with the Star Guides’ history of following their Council’s guidance. It might even be in everyone’s best interests if she downplayed what they’d learned so far to ensure the Council’s rejection of any immediate action. Years of training and her innate sense of responsibility wouldn’t allow her to stack the deck so blatantly. Subtly, however…

The receptionist stood to indicate they were ready for her. Walking into Sebastian’s office, she nodded to a couple of  people before jumping onto a chair in front of Sebastian’s desk. Facing the assembled group, she curled her tail around her feet and waited for the usual murmurs of greeting to die down. Sebastian said a few opening words before turning the meeting over to Tess.

“First of all,” Tess began “I want to assure you all of our people are safe and well. We have reason to believe Phil, Karl, Barbara, Anita, and about 10 others have been using this temporary period of incarceration to learn as much as they can about their captors. In spite of limited communication in and out of their prison, there have been brief exchanges of information.” 

Scanning the room, Tess noticed a few faces who had not been part of the earlier meeting. Forcing the hairs on the back of her neck to lay flat, she mentally edited what she would share with the group until she could determine beyond a reasonable doubt the trustworthiness of the new additions. Those who had been included in the group were entrusted with the safety and governance of the Star Guides, but more importantly, with the safety and training of ...

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