My live couldn’t be more perfect. My relationship with Kimball was stronger than ever, and I had a strong and smart kid with a hunger for knowledge that kept me occupied. Also the people in Acuarium were happy, and they respected me and admired me, never questioning my orders. Everything was so good that I shouldn’t have been surprised knowing it couldn’t last. For almost five years I had the perfect life, it was time to wake up.
I knew my world was about to crumble one afternoon while I was playing with Ethan. I had been training him since he started to walk, according to the customs of my people, and with his ability to learn and adapt, he had turned to be an impressive warrior. His size and age were the only things holding him back. That afternoon, while we were sparring, we were interrupted. The vision arrived without warning, taking me to a place full of fighting and destruction, leaving me immobile and confuse. The ability I had learnt from Melchizedek’s friends allowed me to take some defensive actions while having a vision, and when the vision where I saw Ethan dying lifted, I saw him on the floor. He hadn’t realized that I was having a vision and tried to attack me, only to be pushed away by my protections, sending him crashing against the wall.
“Ethan! Are you okay?” I ran to him, and even if my vision had showed me his death being the consequence of us being attacked by enemy forces and he being shot by them, seeing him lying still on the floor filled me with fear. I was shaking in fear while I checked his body for injuries.
“Mommy, you’re tickling me,” Ethan said while giggling.
“Are you hurt?” I felt better hearing him laughing, but I was still shaken by the vision.
“No, but you weren’t supposed to use your powers to attack,” he said angrily. “You need to teach me something new.”
In my world we weren’t taught to use our abilities until we were older and already knew the basics of fighting, but I had started to teach Ethan the use of his powers as soon as they manifested. Even if his main power was empathy, his curiosity had helped me teach him how to use basic telepathy and telekinesis. Since he was eager to learn as much as possible, I had made rules to limit what I taught him. He could only learn one ability at the time and we couldn’t move on to the next until he had mastered the previous one. But I had broken the rules of the fight, I was supposed to use my powers to protect myself from his attacks, not to attack him, and by breaking the rule I had to pay him by teaching him something new.
“I’m sorry, I broke the rules. Why don’t we go meet your father so he can check you and then we see what new ability I will teach you?”
“I’m fine! And I want to learn how to fly!”
“I’m afraid that’s something I can’t teach you, flying it’s not possible,” I tried to explain while I took his hand and walked with him back to our apartment.
“But you can fly, I’ve seen you when you fight with daddy.”
“What I do is not exactly flying, and it involves many different abilities, like wind manipulation.”
“Then I want to learn how to control wind.”
“We’ll see, for now let’s make sure you are okay, remember you still have training with your father this afternoon.”
“Alright, but I won’t forget that you owe me an ability.”
While Ethan started reciting the abilities he would like to learn, I was doing my best to discourage the most dangerous ones, I knew that teaching a five year old kid pirokinesis was not a good idea. At the same time I was thinking about the vision, analyzing what I had seen so I could tell Kimball all about it, and he could help me find a way to make sure it wouldn’t become reality, I couldn’t let anything happen to my son.
We arrived at the apartment, but Kimball wasn’t there. With Ethan by my side, I went to the control room, knowing it would be easier to find him if I used their resources.
“Good morning,” one of the guards greeted me.
“I’m looking for my husband, do you know where he is?” Another one of the guards started typing on his computer and with a few commands he called the security logs.
“He entered the hydroponic gardens half an hour ago, there is no log of him coming out, so he should still be there.”
“Thank you.” Taking Ethan’s hand again we made our way to the gardens.
Several people stopped us on our way to greet us, some to ask questions or make petitions, so it took us a while to get to the gardens, and at first I was afraid we had missed him, but then I spotted him talking to the workers.
“Daddy!” Ethan yelled when he saw him, just before letting go of my hand and running to his father.
“How are you? Shouldn’t you be working on your powers?” Kimball took Ethan in his arms and started questioning him, as he searched for me.
“Mommy threw me against a wall and wanted for you to check me,” Ethan said. Kimball didn’t say anything, but his eyes asked the question he couldn’t ask out loud.
“I had a vision and my protection acted against him,” I explained.
“But you rarely have a vision while awake, you usually have them in your dreams,” Kimball said.
“Not this time Kimball. Our vacation is over, Emily is looking for us.
“Then I have to warn Kgosi. We are safe in here, we don’t have to worry, they will never find us.”
“They will, it’s not safe to be here. If we want his place to stay a secret and be safe, then we need to go. Emily and her husband know we are hidding somewhere, they won’t rest until they find us. If we give them an alternative, they won’t even suspect this place exists. Leaving is the only way we can keep this place safe.”
“We took every precaution while building this place, we can stay here and help the country from here. We don’t need to expose ourselves or put anyone at risk,” he said while he looked at Ethan. But he was the reason we needed to act. The image of Ethan being killed was stuck in my head.
“Why don’t we go back to our room? I would feel better if you check Ethan, I think he’s fine, but…” After my vision I needed to be sure he was alright.
“He seems fine. How do you feel, champ?”
“My arm hurts, but I think I would feel better if I eat some cookies,” Ethan said, with all the seriousness that a five year old was capable of. Kimball’s laugh made me smile. That was what I wanted, what I craved, an opportunity to be with the people I loved, with no fights and schemes to be worried about.
“Then we better go search for some cookies,” I said, walking back to our room with my two men behind me.
It took Kimball just a few minutes to check Ethan, by then I had the cookies ready for my son. I felt guilty for throwing him, that’s why I was playing along with him, that and I was worried I had really hurt him. I knew how strong and resilient he was, he rarely complained and sometimes he would even downplay his hurt trying to act tough, like the time he had hurt his ankle, but had hidden his injury because he didn’t want to complain in front of his older cousins, he had endured the pain all day until his father had noticed his swollen ankle.
Once Ethan was calm and distracted with the cookies, I went to Kimball, he opened his arms without asking anything and let me snuggle against him. I was seated beside him on the couch, but my head was resting on his chest. Even without knowing what was bothering me, Kimball was there to support me.
“What did you see? Whatever it was, it really affected you.”
“I saw this place being destroyed, but worse, I saw Ethan… There were explosions everywhere, the place was falling apart and Ethan was falling and there was so much blood. I’m sure he was dead. We can’t let that happen. Promise me that you won’t allow that to happen.” I had the feeling that the vision wasn’t set in stone, we could change it, it was a vision I couldn’t let become reality. I had seen Ethan as an adult, I knew that there was a way to avoid his death.
“Of course we won’t allow it to happen. What I don’t understand is how are they going to find this place? No one here can communicate with the rest of the world, and no one who knows of this place would betray us.”
“There are many ways of finding a person. What I’m worried about is that we are the ones they are looking for. If we stay here, we are putting their lives in danger. We need to go away.”
“If you think it will help I will start looking for other accommodations immediately. One of the family’s Villas should be available.”
“We won’t be able to explain how we managed to hide in a public house for so long. We need something else.”
“Don’t worry about it, let me worry about our hiding place, you worry about finding the best way of defeating them.”
“I will need to take a trip in the fog. I haven’t been there in a while, so it will take some time.”
“I don’t think you need to do that just yet. Why don’t you help me with dinner? After that we can discuss your vision and our options.”
“I think that’s a good plan.”
Helping him cook usually meant watching him while he worked, sometimes passing him the ingredients, sometimes chopping a few things, but Kimball was the one doing the real work, he liked cooking alone. For me cooking was a necessity, something you did to avoid starving. In my world only slaves could waste time cooking, warriors had more important things to do. Even if I had left years before, some things were not easily forgotten, and the feeling that some tasks were wasteful was one of them. It was hard for me to understand how Kimball, one of the most powerful warriors I had ever met could cook so well, and that was nothing compared to some of his other abilities that had nothing to do with cooking.
The last few years I had started to enjoy the domestic aspect of my life, I had started to forget all I had learned in my home. For us, nothing mattered but fighting. In the Empire scheming was the daily activity and power the only thing worth pursuing. At first my motivation for being strong was my mother, to be accepted and recognized, for her to be proud of me. After that I had been motivated by revenge, I wanted to make everyone that had hurt me pay. But my revenge was over, I had destroyed the man that had made my life a living hell and tried to kill me. After that I had changed, and my new motivation was very different, it was love and fear that drove me away from my Clan. Love for the daughter I had created with Vasuman, and fear of being hurt again.
Once again, it was love that was guiding my actions. Love for my son, my husband and the new family I had gained by marrying Kimball. The peace I had experienced in Acuarium was about to disappear. I had been preparing for that moment, and still I wasn’t ready. I haven’t spent enough time in the fog of the future. There was a new threat over my son’s live, and I had to go back to being the demon the King and Queen feared so much. I had a new mission, one I couldn’t fail. No matter what it cost me, I had to end Emily’s and Faakhir’s reign of terror. My son would be free, I wouldn’t let him suffer how I had suffered in my life.