“It’s time to move on, we need to go.” Spike was listening from the other room, but I could feel his anxiety. “We need to choose where to go.”
“I’ll go wherever you go.” Kimball said without taking time to think about it.
“I’ll tell you the truth, I want to go back to the Empire, but I’m afraid, I don’t want to go there, be discovered and lose my freedom.”
“As long as I’m with you, no one will hurt you.”
“You can’t fight the whole Empire.”
“I can try.”
“I’ve been trying to find the right path, but my visions are not clear enough. I see paths where we are in the Empire, and others where we are in a place I can’t recognize, maybe your land, I don’t know.”
“I don’t want to take you there, my country is at war, and I don’t want you to be fighting. I already lost a family because of that war, I don’t want to lose another.”
“Don’t worry about that, I’m not easy to kill, you should have realized that already. And no matter where we go, we will have to fight our way there. In the Empire I will be forever a target, especially when my visions are discovered, everyone will think I’m too weak and too vulnerable because of them to protect myself. Every person there will be looking for a moment of weakness to take my throne away.” The visions weren’t clear, in the paths that took me back home, I could see both freedom and futures so horrible that I couldn’t even force myself to think about them.
“And what if you go back, but not as the Empress, maybe if your brother stays in the throne and you stay as a General you won’t be a target.”
“No, it would be the same, people looking for a place as a General will target me, there’s always someone trying to get just a step closer to the Emperor. Besides, that’s not the only problem we have to solve before leaving.”
“What other problem do we have?”
“Spike. We can’t take him back to the Empire and I don’t think it would be a good idea to take him to your territory.” Spike couldn’t stay away anymore, and I couldn’t blame him, we were discussing him.
“You are not going to leave me here, are you? If I stay Alkaia will kill me.” Spike was trying to act cool, but I could feel his fear.
“No, we won’t leave you behind. Thanks to my visions, and a few rumors I have heard, I know that there are people looking for you. Some people from your Clan escaped and formed a Resistance against the Amazons, some of the Clans that were allied with your father are helping them, even those that are under the Amazons’ control. They know you are your father’s heir and they want you.”
“But if I go with them, they will become a target for the Amazons.”
“Not if Alkaia doesn’t know you are with them.”
“Why don’t you stay with me? If you are not sure where to go, stay with me.”
“I can’t. Your people hate me, and it doesn’t matter how strong we are, we can change the past, they will never forgive me for helping the Amazons. It’s different with you, you are a Military, the son and heir of Ace. You are a symbol. They will want to use you, and if you are smart you will be able to use them.”
We kept talking about our different options until late, each one had their own ideas, and despite Kimball’s assurance that he was going to go wherever I went, I needed to take his own needs and desires into account. I also needed to talk to Molpadia, I knew she wouldn’t be happy, but she needed to know I was planning on leaving soon. Molpadia was important to me and I needed her to be ok, and be ready for whatever her cousin could try against her.
It was time to go, I knew I had to move on, but I would miss my time with the Amazons, because despite the problems I had with them, they offered me a time of peace and security. I was safe with them, I had the time and help I needed while I was pregnant, not once, but twice. I knew that I would never find that peace again, in the Empire or Kimball’s territory, I would be in danger. I couldn’t see a clear path to my future, but what I could see clearly was the danger I would face in every path. Each had dangers, each rewards, but none was calling to me, I wasn’t sure what path to take.
After a sleepless night I finally decided what to do, I wasn’t going to choose a path, I was going to let Destiny choose for me. I needed a test to help me know if I was going to survive, I needed a fight. The test would let me see if I was capable of defending myself, and the best option I had was Kimball. If I was unable to defeat him now that he knew me and my tricks, then there was no way I was going to be able to fight those who knew me since I was a child.
Kimball wasn’t happy with my plan, but I was able to convince him that it was the best way to find the right path. I made him promise that he would attack with all his strength, he had to fight me as if his life depended on it, because, in a way, it did. If we went to the Empire and I was forced to the Seer’s way of life, then Kimball would be likely killed.
“Are you sure about this?” Kimball asked for the hundredth time once we arrived to the place we had selected for our fight. I had selected a place away from the main settlement, but that still was full of rubble and old buildings.
“This is the only solution I could come up with. If I want to go back, I need to find if I will be able to defeat them if I need. If I can’t defeat you now, that you know what I’m capable of, then I won’t have a chance against my family.”
“I still think that this is a bad idea. I think that if you go to your family and tell them about your problem, they will help you. Just tell them to ignore the fact that you are a Seeress.”
“You don’t get it!” I was getting frustrated. “My enemies will use my visions as an excuse to say that I’m not capable of ruling over them, and they will use my condition as a weapon to control me. My friends will do the same, although they will say they are protecting me. Everyone in the Empire knows how valuable Seers are, we are taught that they are vulnerable and weak, just their minds are valuable. Only the most powerful among the Seers can travel from the caves to the Palace, and not even he can go outside the Palace.”
“And are you sure this will help us?”
“If I can defeat you, I think I will be able to fight my family too. And also, I need to see how strong you are, I need to be sure you will be able to protect me against my family if we go back. I need to test you and myself. I need to be convinced that we can do this.”
“Ok, if this is what you want, I’m ready.”
It took me a minute to gather my energy and prepare my powers. First, I prepared my psychic wall, I needed my shield. Once I was ready I told Kimball, he didn’t waste time attacking me, he didn’t even give me time to react, but he hit my wall first, and I was able to dodge his attack in time. I used my powers to collapse the ground under Kimball, he lost his balance and I took the opportunity to kick him and make him fall. I tried to open the ground and bury him, but he moved too fast and I couldn’t finish. He attacked again, he hit the wall and broke it, he pushed me against one of the buildings. I used my powers to protect myself from the impact, but the hit knocked the air out of me and I fell while trying to get air back into my lungs. Experience had taught me to never stay still, so I moved, and just in time, as Kimball kicked the spot I had been lying in.
The main danger with Kimball was his velocity, I needed to stop him if I wanted to win. I grabbed him with my mind and lifted him, but it was hard, he was struggling against me and it was difficult to hold him. He freed his hands and started to throw small pellets against me, they were hitting my wall, so I was ok, but the sound and the impacts were distracting, making it hard for me to concentrate. I kept lifting him, and his aim started to fail, the small projectiles started to fly past me. While fighting Kimball I needed to concentrate my power, so my wall wasn’t circular, it was projected in front of me, I needed to make it small so it would be stronger, and Kimball knew it. I saw him getting something out of his jacket and then throw it to the ground, then he did something that caused all the pellets he had thrown behind me fly toward the device. I was in the middle and the pellets hit me in the back, it felt as if I had been shot with a shotgun. The impact wasn’t strong enough to break skin, but I was going to have a nasty bruise. The hit made me lose concentration and let Kimball free. He fell, but managed to twist in the air and land without harming himself.
“Are you ok?” He asked.
“What kind of trick was that?” I was mad, at him for using that nasty trick, at me for not being able to see it coming.
“I don’t think that this is the time to be revealing tricks, I may need it again.” He said with a smile.
“You’re right, let’s continue.”
I knew that I couldn’t use a tornado against him, I had already used it once and I was sure he was prepared for it, so I tried something a little bit different. I created a small whirlwind and started to gather the debris around us and throwing it against Kimball. I was focusing my mind in the whirlwind and my psychic wall, I knew that I was leaving my body vulnerable to another attack like the last one, but I needed to keep him at a distance. Kimball took a rod from one of the buildings and started to bat away the debris I was sending at him. I soon realized that my new attack plan wasn’t going to work, we were evenly matched, it was going to depend on which one of us got tired first, and I was afraid I was going to get tired before him.
I dropped my wall and used that concentrated energy to hit Kimball and threw him against one of the buildings, the building started to collapse and Kimball hid in the dust that was forming around the falling building. While he was hidden I was preparing a new plan, I pushed him again when he emerged from the dust cloud, I needed a couple of minutes to prepare.
Using my mind, I prepared a hole underground, my plan was to force Kimball to fall into it and then bury him, I just needed to contain him for a couple of minutes until I could prove that I had won, then I would help him out. I needed to be very careful, the timing had to be just right, I needed to keep the surface covered until the last second, and then collapse it just in time to make him fall. I needed to make him believe that I was planning something different, so I started to lift with my mind more debris, as if I was going to continue my previous attack.
Kimball fell for my trap, I could see in his mind the decision to come at me with all his strength. He started to run, I could see that he was getting prepared to hit my wall at top speed, so he could break it and hit me, but instead of my wall he was going to hit the ground, after a short fall. To make sure he didn’t get out, I was going to let the debris fall on top of him.
Everything was going according to plan, he was running at me and was getting closer and closer to the place where the hole was hidden. I could see his face, his determination, his concentration, he was sure he was going to get me… then something changed, I was still seeing his face, but it was different, his face was frozen, only his eyes were expressing his emotions, the tears running down his face enhanced the pain, despair, and fear in his eyes. I took a better look at him and noticed he was no longer running, he was strapped to a chair, an IV in his arm. He wasn’t alright, but neither was I, I felt weird, as if under water. That weird feeling was what made it so hard for me to realize I was having a vision. Sometime in my future I was going to be drugged, and hurt, my arms hurt, my whole body was in pain, but it wasn’t a bad pain, the drugs were making the pain bearable. I wanted out of the vision, it was a horrible feeling, it was something I didn’t want to face, and with my mind dulled, I couldn’t even understand what was going on.
As fast as it came, the vision went away, but the confusion remained, the pain exploded, and I couldn’t see anything. At least my mind was working again, and I realized that I was trapped under a lot of debris. What had happened? Had I fell on my own trap? I didn’t think so, there was too much debris over me, but whatever had happened, it was bad, I knew that I had at least a couple of broken ribs and a few bruised ones, maybe internal bleeding. I started to check my body, using biokinesis to feel the damage, but before I could finish the task, I passed out.