I was looking at Sklave’s memories of Ethan, surprised by how much he had grown up. It was my favorite activity, watching him grow through Skalve’s memories, but sometimes it wasn’t enough. I wanted to see it all, not just fragments, but I knew Kimball was out there, and I refused to touch the memories that I knew he was in, and they were many.
Something was wrong that day, something bad was happening to Sklave, I could feel her mind looking for ways to access her powers, her memories in disarray. I hadn’t put the same pain locks in her part of the mind as my father had done, but I had a few mechanism to keep her from using her powers, so Kimball wouldn’t keep the suppressor on her all the time. That Sklave was so desperate to access those powers, was a clear sign that something was going on, something with Ethan, because I knew she would never risk it for herself.
For a little while I tried to ignore the signs, but after a while I couldn’t keep ignoring it, something was going on and I needed to help my son, I couldn’t let anything happen to him. Little by little I let the most recent memories out, I needed to know what was going on with Sklave.
I saw memories of Sklave feeding Ethan, as usual, when the first explosion occurred. Kimball had ran into the bedroom and taken both Sklave and Ethan to a secret passage, telling her to run, but she couldn’t escape, the passage had collapsed and there was no way out. I wasn’t worried about Kimball or Sklave, but I couldn’t let anything happen to Ethan.
I tried to think of a different option, but I knew the only choice was to go back. I had already worked a way to reclaim my mind, I had everything ready to tear apart the divisions in my mind. Like an overflowing river new memories flooded my mind, letting me retake control of my body. The first thing I heard was Ethan’s crying, the first sight I saw was Kimball’s body blocking the door, being hit with an endless rain of bullets. He was wearing his armor, but I knew that even that couldn’t withstand the attack for long. The room we had taken refuge in was big, but had nowhere to hide, in the middle I could see a blackened door, I was sure they had blasted it up trying to gain access to the room. Kimball had managed to keep them out, trying to protect us, buying time until reinforcements arrived.
I extended my senses, so I could know what was going on outside of the room. An enemy squad, about a dozen warriors were outside the room. I heard screaming and a new explosion, my new memories let me know that we were underground and we could end being buried, we needed to get out. As I was trying to come up with a plan to get out of there one of the enemies found a weak spot in Kimball’s armor and shoot him through the neck. Kimball fell, trying to stop the blood from spilling with one hand, and taking a grenade with the other.
“Go to the other side of the room, use your cape to protect you,” Kimball ordered, his voice barely audible, just loud enough for me to hear and to know that although he was injured, it wasn’t so bad if he could still talk.
I saw him throw the grenade, but he was weak and the toss didn’t have enough strength behind it, so I used my powers to help it. Our enemies knew what he was doing, and managed to get to cover, and just a few seconds after the explosion they were moving towards us. The first warrior to arrive used the butt of his rifle to knock Kimball out.
“He’s still alive, we can take him with us for interrogation,” the man that had knocked him said, “if he doesn’t bleed out before,” he added with a laugh.
“Is she the one he was trying so hard to protect?” Another man asked, the first one to notice me. “Take her, even if she doesn’t know anything, we can use her to make the General cooperate, and if not, we can use her for entertainment.”
A couple of warriors took Kimball by his feet and dragged him out of the room, while another couple advanced towards me, one of them keeping his rifle on me. Sklave’s memories told me that the cape I was wearing was a combination of kevlar, metal and nanobots, designed to protect me, even from bullets. Using my powers I made a connection with the material and I was surprised by how fluid and manageable it was, even if it looked pretty solid. It was like working with water, but it was more powerful, I could use it for defense, but also to attack.
When the two warriors were halfway to me, I used my powers to bash their head together, leaving them disoriented for a moment, at the same time I used the cape to protect Ethan and move him to my back, where he would be out of harms way and would let me use my arms to fight, and move more freely. Modifying the cape even more I managed to move the material into an armor to protect my most vulnerable parts, and I was even able to use part of it to form a sword, using the metal in the fabric to make a lethal weapon.
“You will regret this,” one of the men said, his voice low and menacing, he started walking towards me, his intentions clear.
I moved the sword in front of me in a defensive stand, and the other warrior pointed his weapon at me, I could tell by the way he was holding it that his intention was only to injure, not to kill, he wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be able to fight them. I extended my senses, so I could feel his finger on the trigger, when I felt him starting to squeeze it, I used my mind to grab the other warrior and moved him so he would be between the bullet and me. I heard the shot and then I saw the warrior’s head exploding, I was fast enough to lift my psychic wall in time to stop the blood and brain matter from reaching me. His partner wasn’t so lucky as I was, his clothes splattered with blood. His face was full of horror and he realized what had just happened, and then it morphed into one of rage, he lifted his weapon again, no longer looking to injure me, but to kill me.
“You damned bitch, you will pay for this!” He screamed at me before trying to shoot me, but I used my powers to grab the weapon and move it just enough to affect the trajectory of the bullets so they wouldn’t hit me.
The rest of the squad had realized the fight wasn’t going in his favor, and they had their weapons pointed at me, but they weren’t risking firing, for fear I would repeat the trick and make them shoot their partner. Once the bullets ran out the man grabbed the rifle as a club and tried to hit me with it, but I could fend the hit using the sword. For a minute we fought each other, but despite his strength and speed I was able to hold my own using my powers to help me. I finally found an open, and with a quick slash I was able to cut his throat, his hot blood hit me and drenched me. I knew the gun didn’t have any ammo left, but I grabbed it anyway trying to connect to it so I could learn its feel and working mechanisms.
“What are you waiting for?” A woman, part of the enemy squad asked. “Fire at her!” But her order was late, I had already connected to their weapons and disabled them, the triggers not longer working.
“Attack!” Someone else said after noticing their weapons weren’t working, a second later I felt someone hit my psychic wall, a speedster that had ran at me at full speed.
Using my sword I tried to hit him, but he moved out of my range before I could, he was too fast for me to adapt. Another warrior reached me and tried to punch me, he hit my wall with so much force that I felt it crumbling. Two warriors were dead, another two had left with Kimball, that left with eight of them for me to fight. Using my powers I threw one of them against his partners, but the strong one hit my wall again and broke it down, another warrior took that opportunity to hit me. I felt the punch to my stomach and wanted to bend over, but I knew that Ethan was at my back and I needed to keep him out of harms way, I couldn’t allow them access to him. The man tried to grab me and throw me against the wall, but I fought him, I couldn’t let him push me or Ethan would be hurt. While I was wrestling him I felt a grenade on his belt and managed to grab it, he tried to take it back, but using my mind, I used an energy wave to throw all of them away so I could move freely.
I used my powers to connect to the grenade, then I extended my senses to feel all of the grenades, most of the warriors were carrying one in their belts. I took the pin out and threw the grenade, one of them managed to hit it and send it outside, but they didn’t know that I had activated all of the grenades at the same time. Using my mind, I grabbed the door that was lying in the middle of the room and put it in front of me, then I rebuilt my psychic wall in front of me, that and my cape had to be enough to protect me from the explosion. The noise had been very loud, and the silence that followed was eery. I let the door drop and moved to see the results of the attack, the room was full of blood and body parts, it was hard to know that they had been people just a few minutes before.
I felt Ethan move and realized he wasn’t crying anymore, I was scared his silence could mean that he was hurt so I used my powers to bring him back to my arms and started going over him, making sure he was unharmed, I knew I had nothing to worry about when he started laughing at me, as if my hands checking him were meant to tickle him. As I saw his smile I realized it was the first time that I had really been with him, I was seeing him by myself, not through the eyes of someone else, and it was a wonderful feeling. As I watched him, being happy and carefree I heard steps coming our way and realized that we were still in danger, I needed to keep him safe. I put the cape around him again and fastened him to me so I could fight.
The two warriors that had taken Kimball away were back, they got inside and when they saw what had happened in the place they were horrified, one of them, the younger one, started throwing up, overwhelmed by the smell of blood and the sight of body parts. The other warrior scanned the place and saw me, he knew exactly who to blame, he got his assault rifle up and tried to shoot me, but I had already disabled his weapon. He got a different weapon out, a gun, one I didn’t know, so I used my powers to take it away and push him against the wall. When I did that I lost my sight, the world around me turned black, then I noticed my hearing was also gone, my other senses affected. I reinforced my psychic wall and my cape, knowing I was going to be attacked soon, and I was, I felt the hit to my wall and then I felt someone grabbing me. I didn’t fight him, I used the connection to search for his energy as I moved my psychic shield to the surface of my skin, enough to keep me safe from his hits while I started getting his energy. In just a few seconds the hits stopped and my attacker tried to let go of me, but I kept holding him. I regained my sight and hearing and saw him trying to get free of me, but I wouldn’t let him, I used my powers to grab his head and twist it until his neck broke.
I heard a scream and realized I had forgotten about my other enemy, the young man was on the other side of the room, next to the door, when he disappeared, I was expecting him to attack, but after extending my senses I realized that he was running away. Once again, I checked that Ethan was alright and started my way out of that place. The young warrior had a good start on me, and he was fast, so by the time I got out he and the rest of his people was already waiting for me. Around twenty warriors were outside, a few of them were guarding a group of Mzansiers, but most of them were waiting for me, their weapons ready to fire at me as soon as I crossed the door to the outside. I used my powers to connect to the ground under my feet and caused the floor under them to shake, enough to break their balance. After that I took control of their weapons and fired them at their owners. Using the energy I had taken from the warrior I grabbed a few of them and lifted them in the air, just to drop them again over their partners, once they were all gathered together, I called a whirlwind to trap them all. The strong winds tossed them around, causing a few of them to die and the rest to be injured. Only one of them got away, the young man that had teleportation powers, making it hard to hold him down.
Once the energy was consumed and I couldn’t keep the whirlwind going anymore, I grabbed a gun and went to execute the ones that were still alive. I heard a helicopter and saw the young warrior aboard, I thought he was going to use the weapons on the helicopter to attack, but he just ran away. Once all the enemies were dead I went to where the Mzansiers were being held, I realized that most were servants, not warriors. I recognized Mbali, she was kneeling next to Kimball, who was lying down, still unconscious, Tau was next to them. I took a knife and cut the ropes holding the servants, Mbali was looking at me, but she didn’t say anything, not until I finally reached her and set her free.
“Kaiserin?” She asked, a little insecure and maybe with a little fear.
“I need to wash off the blood,” I said, “I’ll go to my room. Don’t worry about Ethan, I will take care of him.” Without further words I went back to the Palace, using Skalve’s memories to find my way back to my room. I had a lot to think about, a lot to make sense of now that my memories were all together again.