Alkaia’s daughter hit every target I had prepared for her. After she finished, she just looked at me waiting for further instructions.
“Let’s try with some mobile targets.” Using my mind, I sent some targets to the air, moving them in an irregular pattern to make things a little more difficult for her. She managed to hit every target, she was getting better at that too. “Good job,” I congratulated her, she just smiled at me, “you have improved a lot, and I’m sure that in a couple of weeks you will be at the same level as your mother’s guards.”
“Thanks,” she answered in a whisper. I had tried to make her talk normally, use a higher tone of voice, but she was always whispering, it was almost as if she was afraid to talk. Having her using a normal voice was the equivalent of making her scream, and it was frustrating.
“I can’t hear you, what did you say?” I kept pressing to get her to talk normally.
“Thanks,” she repeated, barely higher.
“I think that’s enough fire practice for today, I want you to spend the afternoon in the gym, follow the same exercises I told you about last week, I’ll go rest now, I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”
She didn’t say anything, just bowed and left the place. I waited until she was gone to stand up, that simple task was difficult because of my nine month pregnancy. I was aware that my daughter was due at any moment and it was something that scared me. I haven’t yet decided how I would get her away from the Clan, because I wasn’t ready to let her stay with the Amazons, despite the fact that our relationship had improved during the last few weeks. I had managed to get my own place outside Alkaia’s palace, and my escort was reduced to just one or two guards, they still had me under surveillance, but it wasn’t as bad as before. I was actually enjoying living with the Amazons, but I didn’t share all of her beliefs, and I didn’t want my daughter to grow with the same views as the Amazons, I needed to get her to the Empire. The Amazons thought that I was going to have a son, and I wasn’t sure what they were expecting me to do. With the Amazons, the boys were taken aside from birth and trained to be servants; girls lived with their mothers, but were educated by the community. I wasn’t sure what they were thinking, if they intended to make decisions about my child or if they were going to give me a choice, but I wasn’t sure if it was a risk I was willing to take.
The truth is that I was afraid, afraid that my sacrifices were going to be for nothing, that I could still lose my daughter to a situation that I didn’t like, that they were going to take control of her life. I needed to make a decision and I needed to do it fast. I had options, I could stay and wait for my daughter to be born and then accept when the Amazons declared her one of their own. I knew that if that happened my child would be educated and trained with the Amazon’s values. I liked the idea of having my child with me the first few months, and I would have time to find the way to take her away once I decided to leave them, I wasn’t planning on staying with the Amazons forever. My other option was to leave before she was born, I could take her to one of the Empire’s schools once she was born, that way she would be educated by my Clan and would have the opportunity to be recruited by the Imperial Clan or one of the Allied Clans once she was old enough. With that option she would be able to be part of my Clan even if something happened to me.
As the day passed, the feeling that I had to make a decision was getting stronger, I knew that my daughter’s birth was getting closer. I was in the place they had designated as my home, waiting for the warrior that was going to deliver my dinner when the world around me shifted, I was trapped in a vision, I was having my child. When the vision ended, I entered the fogs, I needed to see the path that would take me to that future and the alternatives that I had. I had seen the best option for my daughter, and even if it was riskier, I had to try, it was what was best for her.
I prepared a backpack with some provisions and under the protection of the night I escaped the place I called home. I had already prepared an escape plan in case I needed to leave, so I had a place already picked to spend the first night. It was hard to get there, it wasn’t as easy to move with my pregnancy, I wasn’t as fast. I used my powers to help my travel, to ease my path and help me to advance, but still it took me hours to get to my shelter. I was grateful that I had thought of preparing the place beforehand, I had a bed where I collapsed once I was sure the place was safe. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the exercise, but the first contractions had already started and I needed to lay down and take a little rest, I didn’t have much time because my water broke. It was a long night, I used my powers as much as I could to help me, I had never used my biokinesis as much as that day, I was constantly checking that everything was fine with me, that my daughter was safe.
The experience was exhausting, I didn’t know that giving birth would be such a hard work, but once I had my daughter in my arms everything was worth it, everything was perfect. I had never seen a newborn baby before my time with the Amazons, once there I tried to spend as much time as I could with the midwives and the new mothers and their babies, I took my time to learn everything I could about childbirth and babies. As Alkaia promised she told her generals and advisers who I was, but the rest of the people didn’t know where I came from and accepted me as one of them, most were even friendly. I accompanied one of the midwives in a couple of deliveries, I learned as much as I could about how to make sure both the baby and the mother were ok, that had helped me a lot with my own delivery. I made sure that my daughter was fine, and after cleaning her, I breastfed her for the first time. It was like a dream, something I never thought I would have. Finally, after staring at my child for a long time I fell asleep for a couple of hours.
I spent the first day in the shelter, enjoying my daughter, trying to commit to memory everything about her, from her tiny toes to her hair. She had titian hair, it would get dark with time, but right now it was bright and light, that was what would have got her killed in the Palace, the Royal Families would have taken it as a sign of impurity and weakness, but I knew that despite her common blood, she was destined to be stronger than any of the royals. Her eyes were harder to define, but I knew, because of my visions, that she wouldn’t have my red eyes. It was hard to see her future, but I knew that at one moment in time, and despite the fact that she would inherit a lot of her father’s characteristics, she would look a lot like me, there would be a time that just by looking at her people would know that she was my daughter. I was hoping that by that time she would be strong enough to stand on her own and be safe from the dangers that she would face just by being mine.
The second day I was ready to continue my travel. I had a vehicle ready and with enough food and supplies to get me to the Fortress, a place where I could leave my little Malkia to be raised as a member of the Empire. I wanted to be with her, but just after a day I realized that the more time I spent with her the more difficult it would be to let her go. Once I was sure I had everything I needed and that Malkia was ready for the travel I got her into the vehicle and started the travel.
First day of travel went without difficulties, but the night wasn’t so easy. After setting camp and making sure that we were secure I used my powers to look around and found a group of enemies near our position. After that I spent some extra time covering our tracks and then used my powers to lift some natural barriers around us to hide us. I spent most of the time scouting to see where our enemies where, lucky for me my body could rest while I was in the astral planes, but still the amount of energy I spent protecting and hiding us left me tired.
The next day I had to change my route twice to avoid my enemies. I needed to be on high alert to make sure we wouldn’t encounter any enemies, but also I needed to take care of my baby. I had to feed her, change her, and take care of her. I enjoyed those tasks, but they also made my journey more difficult. That night I had to convince a pack of wolves to go search for other preys. That night I only had to worry about animal predators, but still I took my time hiding the camp with rock walls and shifting some trees.
The third day I woke up with a feeling of unease. I felt something was going to happen, something bad. A quick astral trip didn’t help to ease my feelings. I thought about staying there for the rest of the day, but that didn’t help to change my feelings so I decided to continue my journey. I tried to be extra careful, using my powers to scout the surrounding area in search of any dangers. My constant vigilance was worth it, I discovered some mines in the road, those were designed to blow when a vehicle tried to pass certain road. I got out of the vehicle and using my mind, I managed to disable all of the mines, but someone saw me, because when I finished I felt a large group moving to us. I used my powers to try and lose them, but I realized that it wouldn’t be so easy, I needed to face them. I still had a little advantage over them, so I stopped and prepared an ambush for them. I set a fake camp as decoy and waited for them. The group didn’t take long to find it, six soldiers moved into the camp, by the way they were acting I guessed they were inexperienced warriors. I had my feet in the earth, using that connection I kept track of their movements, once they were in the camp, I lifted stakes all over the camp, I needed them dead, I couldn’t risk one of them alerting more people or harming my baby. The first attack killed three of them and got another one hurt. One of them tried to come at me, but I used a tree to block his way. Another one was helping the injured one, I moved and using my gun I shot both of them. I felt something bad was going to happen, I strengthened my psychic wall and held my daughter closer to me. A hand grenade exploded just a second later, my wall protected me from the shrapnel, but not from the shockwave and I fell to the floor. I used my body to protect little Malkia from the fall, and once I was sure she was fine, I searched for the one responsible for the attack. The soldier was about to throw another hand grenade when I saw him, using my mind, I forced the grenade back to him when he tossed it, he tried to move away, but I held him in place using my mind. I saw him blow in pieces, they were all dead, but the feeling didn’t go away. I astral projected and found the problem, a group of Scavengers heard the explosions and were coming my way to investigate. I ran to my vehicle and tried to run, but the Scavengers’ vehicles found us and attacked us.
From the relative security of my vehicle I used my mind to cause one of their vehicles to flip over and land over the vehicle behind it. The energy I used for that left me almost drained, my mind was pulsating with pain. Four warriors got out of the third vehicle, two of them went to help the survivors of the crash, the other two fired at the tires of my vehicle halting my escape. They ran towards me with their guns ready to shoot me. The car wasn’t moving, I was trapped.
“Get out of there and we may let you live,” one of them told me. But I knew who they were and what they did. Coming from them the chance of living was more a threat than a reward.
Instead of answering back, I used my powers to take their guns out of their hands and then pushed them away from me, to where their vehicles were. Using a blanket I secured Malkia to my body, the shadow’s people’s way, that way I could keep her close to me but keep my hands free. I grabbed my backpack and a gun and got out of the vehicle, trying to escape, but two soldiers were waiting for me. Using my mind, I grabbed them and tossed them upside, I shot them before they hit the ground. I heard yelling and saw the rest of the Scavengers getting out of the vehicles, they were looking at me, and I knew they were going to attack me. I started shooting at them, and I made them move back, trying to take cover behind the vehicles. Using my powers I focused on the vehicles, trying to increase the temperature around the tanks. My head was about to explode, I had abused my powers too much, but I needed to keep going, if I didn’t finish them they would enslave me and my daughter. Just as I expected the heat and the shooting caused one vehicle to blow up, the other followed a moment later. The shockwave threw me against a tree, forcing the air out of me.
I fell to the ground and realized that I couldn’t move, darkness was crawling around me. I could hear Malkia crying, but I couldn’t do anything about it, I was out of energy. I prayed the gods that my enemies were dead and moved so I could offer some protection to Malkia. That was all I could do before I lost consciousness.