“This is as far as we can go.” Aury said. We were in the coast, it was closer than the place they were originally going to leave me, and I was grateful for that. I had an ATV to help me navigate the terrain, I could be in Melchizedek’s village by the end of the day.
“It’s close enough.” I said. “Thank you for bringing me here.”
“How are you going to go back?” Brion asked. “We could be back in a couple of weeks if you want.”
“No, it’s ok. I’m not sure how long I will have to stay here. I will find my way back.”
“Good luck Pitonisa, be safe.” Aury said.
“I hope you find everything you need here.” Brion said.
I stayed there until they sailed away. Then I started my trip to Melchizedek’s village.
It was the middle of the night when I finally arrived, I shouldn’t have been surprised to find Melchizedek and Soturi waiting for me.
“You’re late,” Melchizedek said. “I was expecting you for supper.”
“But don’t worry, I saved something for you, I hope it’s still warm, I put in the oven.” Soturi moved closer and hugged me. “Mistral wanted to wait for you, but it’s late for her, she’s already asleep. Tomorrow morning she will all over you.”
“I can’t wait to see her, I missed her.” I felt like home, Melchizedek’s powers were already making me feel relaxed and happy.
“I’m sure you’re tired, let me feed you and then you can go to sleep.” Soturi went inside the house to prepare everything.
“I’m sure you have a good reason for being here, but I don’t want to discuss anything tonight, let’s wait until tomorrow.” Melchizedek put his arm around me and guided me inside the house.
The next morning I woke up with a little girl jumping on my bed.
“She’s awake!” Mistral yelled with glee, then she fell on top of me and hugged me. “I missed you so much Nina!”
“I missed you too, little one.”
“I’m not that little anymore, I’m a big girl now.” She announced proudly.
“Yes, I can see that, but you’re still smaller than me, so you’re still my little one.”
She looked at me for a few seconds, her brow furrowed in concentration. “Ok,” she finally accepted, after deciding that my arguments were valid. “Let’s go eat breakfast, I helped my mom cook.” She took my hand and dragged me to the kitchen.
They looked so happy, I liked seeing Mistral with her parents, I liked their version of a family. For a moment I imagined me with Kimball, and our little one, and knew that it would never be like that for us, and I felt a sadness that not even Melchizedek’s powers could keep away.
“You found happiness since the last time I saw you.” Melchizedek said.
“And I lost it again. Maybe you can help me see if I can find him again? My visions are not clear.”
“You have a decision to make. As you remember the roads to the future are many, you need to be sure what it is that you want to see, we can concentrate in you or the Amazons.” Melchizedek said.
“How do you know I’m here because of the Amazons? Forget it, dumb question.” Melchizedek always seemed to know everything. “I need to know about the war between the Amazons and Militaries. Last time I was here we saw what could happen if the Militaries win that war, but it’s been a long time and I can’t find a way to ensure the Amazon’s victory. But I need to know what happened to Kimball, I need to know if he is alive.”
“Maybe I can help you with that. He is alive. He is far away, and that makes it even harder to focus on him, but I know he will come back eventually, that’s why I know he is not dead.”
“So we will be together again?” I felt hope filling me, I felt happiness coming back to me.
“There are many roads…”
“Melchizedek, please, tell me, what do you know?”
“He will come back, but I’m not sure if you will find him in time. I’m sure you understand that there’s not much I can tell you, if I say everything I know, I can make things worse for you and for him. I’ trying to do my best to help you find your place. Please trust me.”
“I do trust you.” He was a pure soul, and I knew that anything he did would be with my best interest in mind. Ours was a weird friendship, but I could trust him to act selflessly. I felt safe with him, I knew he would never betray me or use me.
“Why don’t you take it easy for today, I’m sure Mistral is going to keep you busy. Tomorrow we will go into the fog and try to find the answers you’re looking for.”
Everything was easier in with them, they had such a simple life. I spent the first day following Mistral to the orchards, the crop fields, the workshops. Everyone had a job to do, and everyone did it happily. I wished I could stay there forever, but I had no job there, I was a warrior, a leader, an advisor. I had to take advantage of my time there, because I knew it would be short, I had a job to do and I needed to be on the other side of world to do it. As soon as Melchizedek helped me find the information I needed to tip the scale in the Amazons’ favor, I needed to go back.
I couldn’t keep up with Mistral, she was a bundle of energy and I was getting tired faster every day. It didn’t take long before I had to go back to Melchizedek’s house to rest. When I explained to her that I was pregnant and needed to rest she decided to play nurse. Anything I needed she fetched for me. I could have easily got used to that, but reality was waiting for me.
For the next week I spent my mornings with little Mistral and my afternoons in the fog with Melchizedek. It was hard to concentrate in what I needed to find, my thoughts kept drifting to Kimball, but Melchizedek helped me keep on track.
The war between the Amazons and Militaries was going to affect not only the Rebel Clans, the Empire was going to suffer if the Militaries won, but if I could help the Amazons win then I was sure that the Empire would be safe. The Empire would survive any outcome, but I didn’t want it to go into war, there would be enough deaths in the Rebel Clans, I didn’t want my people dying too.
I started feeling pain during my second week there. I tried to ignore it because it wasn’t time yet. I still had two more months to go. When my water broke I couldn’t stay in denial anymore; I was in labor. I was scared, it wasn’t time. Soturi found out what was going on, and she took charge.
“It’s going to be alright.” Soturi said once again. “You and your baby are in good hands.” Soturi had called some of her friends, there were at least four women there, one of them old enough to be my grandmother, but at least they seemed to know what they were doing.
I don’t remember much of what happened after that, I just know that I was scared, angry, and sad. They assured me that it was going to be alright, but I knew what was going to happen, a premature baby was a weak baby; a weak baby was a dead baby. I remember hearing my baby crying, and at first, I didn’t want to hold her, I was too scared of loving her just to lose her.
“Are you sure you were only seven months pregnant?” Soturi asked.
“Of course, I know when I conceived her, she’s here too early.” Soturi tried to give me the baby, but I resisted.
“Babies are not too early or too late, they arrive when they are supposed to.” The old lady said. “She is strong enough to face the world, she wanted to meet her mother, and her mother should want to meet her.”
Soturi forced the baby to my arms, and I felt a little hand holding mine. I finally saw her, she was tiny, but not as much as I feared, she was as big as Malkia when she was born, she didn’t look weak, she looked perfect. Once she was tired of crying, she started to look for my breast.
“She’s hungry, that’s good, she needs to eat,” the old lady said. “You need to rest, it wasn’t an easy delivery for you, your body wasn’t ready, you weren’t ready. You need time to bond with your baby and to let go of your fears.”
“She is going to be ok, and so will you.” Soturi stayed with me, making my baby and I were fine.
I was tired and I think I fell asleep, next I remember Mistral was in the bed, next to me, looking at my baby. It took me a few days to restore my strength and accept that my little Greca was a strong baby despite being premature. I realized that it was going to be even harder to give Greca to the Fortress than it was with Malkia. I had spent hours afraid that she wasn’t going to be strong enough to survive the night, much less years of training, I wanted to keep her safe, protected, even when I knew that she was as strong as any other baby, I was still reluctant to give her up.
I was ready to change my plans again in an effort to keep her with me forever, but as always the visions arrived to change everything. I saw two girls, training together, they were my daughters; Malkia and Greca, and I knew that they would be stronger together than apart. I couldn’t keep Greca with me if that was going to affect Malkia. And I still had to help the Amazons.
“It’s time,” Melchizedek said, “you need to go back. You know I would love for you to stay here, but it wouldn’t be fair. You have responsibilities in your world, and your old Clan is coming for you, you need to leave in the next couple of days if you wish to avoid them.”
Trajan was still looking for me, and it wasn’t fair for Melchizedek and his people to face his anger if he found me there. He would never understand my need to leave the Clan, I needed to go, I had to take little Greca to the Fortress and then go back to the Amazons and help them win the war.