“Stay out of this Pitonisa, this is something you don’t understand, Amazons don’t have sons.” I could feel Alkaia’s anger, but I couldn’t let her kill Spike, as soon as I saw him I knew he was someone important for the future.
“I think you are not thinking clearly, you are so focused on hurting Ace that you’re not seeing the full picture.”
“This is war, and deaths are part of it. You know that if the things were different he would do the same. Why should I spare him?”
“I know what he would do, I saw him, but he wouldn’t have killed his daughter, he had something even worse prepared for both of you. I also saw that you wouldn’t have let your daughter suffer that destiny, you would have killed her before letting them make her a slave, because you know that there are worse fates than death.” She dropped her arm, thinking about my words.
“Mother? What’s going on? I don’t understand.” Molpadia moved closer, stopping between Alkaia and Ace. It was impossible not to see the similarities between the three of them.
“Pitonisa, what do you suggest?” She was ignoring her daughter.
“I don’t like to give my enemies an easy way out. I know that there are things worse than death, death is easy. I think that each crime must have a different punishment. I never let my enemies go easy, I make them suffer before letting them go.”
“I think I know what you mean,” Qanik’s partner said, “you are a cruel woman, aren’t you?”
“Pitonisa?” Alkaia was waiting for me to explain my point.
“Give me Spike, I want him as my slave,” I said. “Think about it, what would hurt Ace more? Watching you kill his son in front of him, or knowing that he would have a long life as a slave, his fate in the hands of the women he hates so much?”
“You already have Kimball.”
“But Kimball is not my slave, you know that. I need someone younger, easier to break.”
Most of the people in the room were focused on our conversation, I had revealed secrets that both Clans had kept hidden for years, and everyone was thinking about the significance of that knowledge. Their focus was on me and Alkaia, and because of that no one noticed what was going on with Ace. He managed to free his hand, he pushed the Ice man away and stole the Amazons’ weapon. I knew what was going on, but I decided to let him attack, Alkaia needed the fight.
Ace pointed the weapon to Alkaia, but she used her power to slow him down as she dodged him, he tried to adjust before firing it, but he was too slow. When Alkaia attacked him, he couldn’t react fast enough to dodge or block. The first kick sent him to the ground, where he couldn’t protect himself from the flurry of hits, Alkaia kept hitting him again and again and there was nothing he could do. Spike was trying to get free, but the soldiers holding him weren’t going to make the same mistake, there was no way he could go and help his father. He wasn’t the only one trying to help Ace, but we had taken all the precautions to keep them contained. Most of them were injured, tired, and despondent after losing to the Amazons’ army. Ace tried to get away from Alkaia, and her next hit was followed by the sound of broken bones and a muffled scream.
“I think you’re right,” Alkaia accepted once he stopped moving, “he hates the idea of his son becoming a slave more than the idea of me killing him. Spike is yours if you want him. Take the prisoners away, and kept them under surveillance at all times. We will capture the two missing generals and then kill them all together, in front of their Clan.”
“Alkaia?” Thona asked. “Is Spike really your son? Who’s Molpadia’s father?”
“The Amazons don’t have sons,” Alkaia’s eyes were shooting daggers at me, “but I delivered Ace’s son. It was part of our agreement, the reason we were allies. It was the New World Clan’s idea, to bind us together through an heir. The idea was to be together once and let destiny decide who was getting the heir, but Ace didn’t like the idea, he decided he wanted me to be part of his harem. He soon discovered that an Amazon doesn’t take orders from men, but I ended up giving him his heir.”
“I think it’s time to go, to cool down a little bit before moving to the fun part, dividing the booty.” Everyone accepted my suggestion, they knew that Alkaia was about to lose it, she was mad at me for revealing her connection to the Militaries, and she was mad at Ace everything he had done.
Spike was still trying to get free, fighting to go to his father’s aid. I used my powers to take him from the guards and dragged him to where I was standing. He just glared at me.
“Do you want me to carry him?” Kimball asked.
“Please.” Kimball understood what I was doing, as always, he knew my intentions even without words, he knew I was just trying to protect the kid, I had no intention to hurt him.
“I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, Pitonisa, but I don’t like it.” Alkaia told me. “You can have him, just keep him away from me.”
“Pitonisa? Can you explain what just happened here?” Molpadia was standing next to her brother, totally ignoring him, as if he was just another piece of furniture. I looked at them, standing next to each other it was easier to see the similitudes between the siblings.
“I think that this is something you have to discuss with your mother. Although I know you are an smart woman, you must already have pieced together what happened.”
“I have some theories, but I want the facts.” She said.
“Then go talk to your mother.” Molpadia nodded and went looking for her mother, while Kimball and I headed to our room. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with Spike, but I could see that Kimball had him under control. I was distracted with Molpadia for just a second, but that was enough for Kimball to make him stop struggling.
I entered the room Kimball and I shared, he was just behind me. He put Spike on the bed, the boy was unconscious. I wanted to know how Kimball had managed that, a split second, that was all he had needed.
“What are you going to do with him?” Kimball asked.
“I’m not sure, for now I’m just keeping him alive, beyond that I guess I will see in time.”
“Did you know he was Alkaia’s son?”
“I found out a while ago. Alkaia thinks of him sometimes, when thinking about Ace. She resents him, he’s the reminder of the once time she was weak, of her humiliation. No one likes a constant reminder of one of the worst moments of her life. I have to make sure she doesn’t see him, the Amazons don’t love their sons, and she feels like she has reasons to hate hers. Alkaia is one of the few Amazons that really has a reason to hate men.”
“She doesn’t have a problem loving Molpadia, she was planned, the boy wasn’t.” That wasn’t a question, he knew.
“That’s right, Spike was just Ace’s whim, Alkaia didn’t have an option about it. That’s why the relation between them was so difficult. Alkaia hated what Ace did to her and Ace hated that he couldn’t have her as part of his harem. He actually hated her for being strong enough to escape him.”
“That’s so crazy. I would never have guessed that Ace and Alkaia had a child together, even less two of them.” Kimball started to laugh. “This is a soap opera material, you can’t write stuff like that.”
“Soap opera? What’s that?”
“Something people from my world watch to entertain themselves. Stories people used to watch to escape their boring lives.”
“You live in a weird world.” Once in a while Kimball would talk about his home, not much, just enough to feed my curiosity, but not enough for me to get a whole picture.
“That’s what people from the old continent think about your world. But let’s get back on track,” he changed the subject, “we need to worry about the kid, he will recover in a few minutes. What do you know of his power? What do we need to contain him?”
“I’m not really sure, I barely got a few glimpses of him on my visions, not enough to learn about his power. Let’s just tie him up for the moment. Just make sure he’s comfortable.”
“What about you? How are you? You revealed some heavy stuff today, I guess Alkaia won’t be happy with you. What are your plans now that the war is over?”
“This is not over Kimball. Sure, we have Ace and his capital, but there are two generals still at large, they could cause trouble. There are still a few settlements that we need to control. We have the victory, but there’s still a lot of work to do for us to consider this over with.”
“Can we do that easily?”
“As long as we have Ace’s sons under our control, we can control most of the Militaries. Maybe I can even convince Alkaia to keep them under our control so we can use the Clan instead of erasing it. I came to realize that the existence of the Amazons and Militaries helps keep a balance of sorts. One without the other can cause a disequilibrium among all the Clans.”
“That’s why you’re keeping the boy, to keep the balance.”
“I need Molpadia to understand that people can’t be judge based on their sex. I need her to help me raise a new generation with a more objective take on a person’s value.”
“You are a great person, is a shame that you had to step down from your position as Empress, you are a good leader.”
“I am who I am, no matter where I am. I couldn’t stay there, trapped by the limitations all the seers suffer. I need to be free, good or bad I need to be able to make my own decisions. I would go mad without my freedom, I would die without it.”
“Since you can be with your Clan, you help them whatever way you can from afar.”
“I try, but I don’t know what I will do next, my time with the Amazons is coming to the end. Alkaia doesn’t need me anymore, and she will realize that soon. I was her ally, but soon she will see me as a threat, not because of my power, but because of Molpadia’s closeness to me. I don’t doubt that once she realizes how much she idolizes me she will think I’m trying to steal her daughter.” In that moment, as if I had invoked her I felt Molpadia’s presence on the other side of the door just before she knocked. I used my mind to open the door and she took it as an invitation and stepped inside my room.
“Greetings Pitonisa. I wanted to talk to you, if that’s ok.” She looked calm and composed, but I could feel the turmoil inside of her.
“Were you able to speak with your mother?”
“Kind of, she was really mad… She is angry that you took Spike, mad because she had to face Ace. She really hates him, she told me she hates everything about him and everything that reminds her of him,” Molpadia moved until she could see her reflection in the polished surface of an ornamental shield on the wall. “I look like him.”
“But your mother doesn’t have you. When the Amazons and Militaries decided to look for an alliance and decided to put the heir condition your mother accepted because she wanted you,” Molpadia glanced at me, not quite meeting my eyes, afraid I was lying to her. I moved closer and grabbed her chin, forcing her to look at me and see the truth in my words. “Your mother knew that to have a strong daughter she needed a strong man. She sacrificed a night with Ace because she was looking for you.” I noticed that Spike was awake, but doing a good job of faking it. “You are what she was expecting out of their exchange. Spike was the result of Ace not respecting his end of the bargain. Ace became obsessed with your mother, she is a strong woman and he couldn’t stand that, he wanted to break her, to keep her as part of his harem and force her to breed him strong heirs. Your mother was too strong for him, and with your grandmother help they showed him not to mess with the Amazons. But he got Spike, despite your mother’s wished. They both represent a loss and a humiliation to each other. You are your mother’s victory, her reward.”
“Thanks Pitonisa, I needed to hear that.” I felt Molpadia’s doubts and fears being lifted. She trusted me, she never even questioned my words, I could have been lying and she wouldn’t even suspected me. “My mother decided to wait until the rest of her allies arrive before discussing what to do with the Militaries. Right now she is working on how to capture the rest of the generals and the other settlements. She told me to tell you that she will see into the matter herself and that she will call for you if she needs your help. She wants you to be free to enjoy your new slave.”
“Thanks for the message Molpadia. I will see you later, at dinner.” I waited until she was out of the room before turning to Kimball. “Did you see? Alkaia is already pushing me away, she already realized that she doesn’t need me anymore.”
“Maybe Alkaia doesn’t, but Molpadia still needs you,” Kimball said, “and she is by far more important than Alkaia, she is the future.”