I heard voices but I couldn’t understand what they were saying, I got a few words, but not the whole meaning. I was confused and in pain, something bad had happened and I needed to know what. My head was feeling heavy and weird, I knew that I was at my limit and the psychic headache was coming soon, but even if it caused the pain to come faster I needed to be safe, so I put a psychic wall around me while I searched my mind for answers. I remembered the vision, it had come to me while I was fighting Kimball… Kimball! I opened my eyes and started to look around, I knew that as long as Kimball was near I was safe.
“Kai?” Kimball noticed I was awake and moved closer to me. I dropped my wall so he could get closer and tried to move so I could touch him, but he stopped me. “Take it easy, don’t move. Spike will be here with my backpack soon, I will take a look at your injuries then, and we’ll see how bad there are. After that we will decide what to do.”
“I’m fine,” I said as I used my powers to take a look at my injuries. I felt some superficial injuries, scratches and a few bruises, my ribs were the problem, two of them were broken and a few more were bruised. “A couple of broken ribs and a few bruised ones, nothing to worry about. And we already decided what to do, after taking Spike to his people, we will go with yours.”
“Really?” Asked the man that had been in my house looking for Kimball just a few days before. I hadn’t even noticed him before and wondered what he was doing there.
“I thought I was clear when I told you I didn’t want to see you again.”
“I’m only trying to help.” He was putting a brave front, but I could see that he was a little afraid of me. Good.
“He offered to help bring some medical equipment so I could assess your condition. I’m afraid that after you got caught in your vision, we fell into one of the buildings and it collapsed on us. You were injured and passed out. I was afraid.”
“Well, I’m thankful for his help, but we don’t need it, I can assess my own condition and I have nothing worse than a pair of broken ribs.”
“Please Kaiserin, I get that we had a bad start, but I want us to be friends, especially if you are going to be part of our Clan.”
“We haven’t decided yet if we are going.” Kimball said.
“We have. This exercise was meant to give us an answer as to what to do, and it’s clear that my fears are justified, imagine what would happen if something like this happened during a fight with someone from the Empire? This is exactly the reason why Seers are not allowed in the battlefields. I thought I was safe because most of my visions happen at night, I just thought I was going to be safe, but this proved that I can get outed as a Seeress any moment. If we go to the Empire, I’m going to lose my freedom, and I can’t let that happen, especially because if I lose my freedom I lose you too, and I can’t let that happen.”
“I don’t want you to make a decision that you will regret later, it’s your real home we’re talking about, there’s got to be a way for you to go back. Maybe if you talk to your family…”
“No! You don’t get it, that’s the last thing I can do. If I tell them why I left they won’t care what I want, they will do what they think it’s the best for me, they will ‘protect me’ from myself. I need to go away.”
“Pitonisa!” Spike voice reached us. “Are you ok?” He was running towards us, he was carrying the backpack he had left with the rest of our supplies when we were getting ready to go away.
“I could be better, but there’s nothing to worry about.” I tried to smile, but the pain in my chest and my headache were getting worst.
“We are among friends, there’s no need to act tough.” Kimball said.
“I’m not acting, you are making this something bigger than it really is. I’m fine. I just need a bandage to hold my ribs and we can leave. We need to get to the refuge before nightfall.”
“We need to clean and dress your wounds and then do something about your ribs. Let me handle this, I’m the doctor, remember?”
“Ok, if it makes you feel better.” Sometimes I hated when Kimball was so overprotective, and sometimes it made me feel loved. “But you have to go,” I told the man from Kimball’s Clan, “I know that sooner or later we will be traveling together, but for now I don’t want to see you.”
“With all due respect…”
“Am I not being clear?” I interrupted him. “I want you to go. I need at least a day to recover and then we have something to do before going to your Clan, after that we will join you.”
“I think it will be best that you leave, Mavuto. We will meet you in a week in the Atlantic base. From there we will go wherever you need us to go.”
“If that is what you want.” He was mad, but I couldn’t let him stay close to me while I was hurt. My mind was at its breaking point, the headache I knew was coming was already starting. I couldn’t let myself be vulnerable with someone I didn’t trust.
The man started to walk away, and Spike didn’t take his eyes off of him until he couldn’t see him anymore. Kimball was already tending to my wounds. I knew he was overreacting, none of my wounds were really bad, and even with my headache I was sure I could use my biokinesis to make sure my ribs didn’t move and hurt any other organs. I needed him to stop fussing over me and move, I had a bad feeling, I knew we needed to move away or something was going to happen.
With Kimball’s and Spike’s help we got to the refuge just a few hours later. It was the same place I had gone when I had Malkia, the place had many good memories for me, and it was a place where I felt safe.
Once we were there I did a little astral surveillance, I found that some Amazons were looking for us. That surprised me because both Alkaia and Molpadia knew I was leaving, they didn’t know exactly when I was planning on leaving, but they knew I was, so I didn’t undertand why they would feel the need to look for me. I decided not to worry about that and instead I tried to take some rest.
The vision I had was still bothering me, the way I had felt, the things I had seen. From Kimball’s expression in the vision I knew it was something very bad, but I didn’t know when or how it was going to happen. I knew that I needed to explore, but I was afraid of what I would find, I had a feeling that nothing I could do would change that outcome. It was bad enough knowing something terrible was in my future, I didn’t need more details, it would only make me worry more.
I spent my time looking for the best way of finding those in the Resistance. I had time to waste while I recovered from my fall into that building, and exploring Spike’s future was the best choice.
We ended up spending two days in the refuge, despite feeling much better the next morning, Kimball was worried about me and convinced me to rest for another day, but at the third I didn’t let them convince me to stay, I knew we needed to move and continue our journey.
The vehicle I had was small, but neither Spike, nor Kimball complained about it, Spike knew that he would be with us for a short time, Kimball didn’t care for the close space. I was going to miss the boy, he was smart, responsible and I was sure he would do what he believed to be the best for his people. I was worried about the people he would be with, worried they would be able to manipulate or use him for their advantage, but I had to trust Spike to make the right decisions. Despite the years under his father’s tutelage, he had grown to see that not all of his father’s teachings were right, he was capable of thinking for himself. I just hoped that his time among the Amazons had been enough to change the way he looked at the world and its dynamics.
We finally arrived to the clearing that I knew the people from the Resistance was traveling through, it was the right spot to leave Spike. I knew what I had to do, but I was sad to do it. Leaving Spike behind was almost as hard as leaving Molpadia.
“This is as far as we go, you will be on your own from here forward.” I told Spike.
“Thanks for everything you have done for me. At first I was mad at you and I know I was very difficult, but now I understand why you acted like you did, and I know that I would be dead if it wasn’t for you.”
“You were difficult, but that was expected, I would have been disappointed otherwise. You fought for your freedom and for what you considered right, and that’s something to be proud of. I know that if everything goes right, you will be a great leader for your people, you have all you need to do right by them. It won’t be easy, but I know you can do it.” Spike didn’t say anything, he was trying very hard not to show anything, he didn’t want to appear weak, but I could feel his grief.
“I know you will do a great job kid, just remember everything you have learnt and don’t forget: you can listen to others, but at the end, you are responsible for your own decisions, don’t let anyone tell you what to do.” Kimball smiled at the kid, I knew he would miss him too.
“I don’t know how to show you how much I appreciate everything you did for me. I hope I can see you again, sometime. And I promise, that once I recover my Clan, you will be able to count on it, if you ever need help, or need a place to hide, my Clan will have your backs.”
“Thanks.” I knew he meant it, and I knew he would get his Clan back, but it wouldn’t be the same old Clan. I trusted Spike to change the misogynist and abusive Clan, that the Miliataries used to be, into a strong, just Clan.
“I think it’s time now. Where do I have to go?”
“Not yet, there’s still one last thing to do.” Kimball said.
“You can go to them looking like that.” I told him. Spike looked down on him, trying to see what the problem was. “How do you think they will react if you tell them that the woman that enslaved you decided to let you go?”
“I think it will be easier to accept you if you told them that you escaped captivity,” Kimball explained, “but it would be hard to accept that if you go there without even a scratch on you.” I saw the moment Spike understood what we were trying to tell him, when Kimball moved to punch him he didn’t even move.
“Defensive wounds are very important in this exercise, you have to fight back.”
“And don’t hold back like you usually do while fighting the Amazons. Show us what you are capable of. Think of this as your last lesson.”
Spike realized that Kimball was serious, and he decided to fight back. The spikes on his hands appeared and his nails grew sharper. I wanted to be the one to have that last fight with him, but I needed to be careful, I couldn’t risk another accident like with Kimball.
I knew that it was very unlikely that I would have a vision during a fight so soon after the last. Before my fight with Kimball that had only happened once, when the murderers my half-brother had sent after me, found me in the Palace. I was starting to think that it wasn’t a coincidence that it had happened like that, maybe it had been a sign that I couldn’t go back to my Clan.
I wasn’t surprised that Spike’s style was different, Kimball and I had always suspected that he was holding back during his sparring with the Amazons, it was expected, that was training and he needed to keep a few tricks hidden in case he needed to fight them for real. The main difference was this speed and accuracy, all his movements were carefully planned and nothing was wasted. If it had been a different fight I would have bet on Spike winning, but his opponent was Kimball and there was no way he could win against him.
After a while it was obvious that Spike was tired and couldn’t keep going, but he kept pushing himself. Kimball had talked to him during the fight, coaching and giving advice. He was trying to teach him as much as he could in that short time, until he decided it was enough.
Spike didn’t complain when Kimball ended the fight. He stood there tall and proud, like the wounds he had received were nothing. I knew that they looked worse than they were, but I felt bad by looking at him.
“I would suggest you to stay here for the rest of the day and tonight, give your wounds some time to heal. Tomorrow a convoy will travel through here, it will be your chance to find the Resistance. Spike, I have faith in you, I know you will succeed in your objectives.” Once I said what I needed I turned and left. I was ending another stage in my life, it was the last time I was going to be Pitonisa, I was leaving her behind too, and I wondered, who I was going to be next.