I knew the moment Faakhir communicated with his men that I was working for them. Their faces relaxed, some of them smirked at me, they were sure that Faakhir had me under his control and that I was one of them.
“You!” One of them called. “Follow me, I will take you to the King.” He was already walking away, but when I didn’t move he turned and came back to where I was. “Did you hear me?”
“I don’t follow your orders. Faakhir asked me to go to him, and I will, when I want to.” I knew my actions were petty, but I needed to establish our relationship, I couldn’t let them boss me around.
“I’m Faakhir’s right hand, when he wants something, I make sure he gets it. I’m his voice, and if I tell you to come, you do it.” The man walked closer to me, and activated one of the mines I had set around me, he was able to escape with nothing but minor injuries, a few scratches and cuts, but I knew that his pride was severely injured.
“I don’t follow orders well. Besides, I needed time to dismantle the mines that I set, but since you already notices them, I think it would be faster to let them blow.” All around me the mines exploded, it wasn’t a big explosion, but several craters formed around me. Once the dust settled, I got up and walked to where I guessed Faakhir was waiting.
My enemies, because I couldn’t think of them as partners, walked around me. I knew Faakhir was close, even a strong telepath, like him, needed to be close to be able to attack, and to do what he did, he also needed to be able to see me. It didn’t take me long to find him, he had a couple of guards on either side of him, protecting him from harm while he was talking to me.
“So, we have a deal?” Faakhir asked, but I could see in his face that he had no doubt what my answer was. I hated the fact that I would have to be under his command, it wasn’t the path that I would have liked, but it was the one that I needed to take.
“We have a deal. I will help you take control of Mzansi, and in exchange you will give it to me.” I needed to say it out loud, I needed to make sure he wouldn’t use his mental tricks to try to cheat me from the deal. The country’s future depended on Faakhir letting me be in charge.
“Perfect!” He said happily. “We have our troops ready, we just need to know where the leaders are hiding, as soon as we have the information ready we will kill them and take over the country.”
“That’s not the deal, I don’t want them dead,” I pretended to be mad, “I want them under my control. They think they’re better than me, I will prove them wrong.”
“If we let Kgosi and the old people live, they could give us trouble later,” one of the guards said.
“I can take care of them, as long as I have the Dominion support.”
“You count with me, together no one will be able to stop us,” Faakhir said. I could feel his need for power.
“I need some time, I have to go back and prepare everything, also I need to convince Kimball to give me the information that I need, and right now he won’t be happy with me, not after killing his son. I may have to give him another to substitute the one I took.” I needed to pretend that Ethan was dead, and that I didn’t care about it. A couple of Faakhir’s men looked at me with disgust, another few with admiration, but most didn’t care either way.
“Is he really dead?” Faakhir asked.
“I think so, but he may be inherited some of his father regeneration, I’m not sure. To be truthful, I don’t pay enough attention to know that. Kimball is the one who knows him better, that’s why I don’t think he will be happy with me.”
“If he gives you trouble, just get rid of him,” Faakhir suggested.
“No, Kimball is mine and I will keep him with me as long as I want him, but don’t think you can use him against me. I already tried to kill him once, and if it’s in my best interest to get rid of him I will try again. I just prefer him alive and with me.”
“I learned my lesson,” Faakhir said, with a smile that would make most people tremble in fear. “I just hope you don’t try anything against me, or I will take care of you personally. I already showed you that even with your impressive defenses I can get into your mind and leave you at the mercy of my men.” I smiled at his threat, because even if he was able to break into my mind, I had even stronger defenses in the inside, no one I knew was able to withstand the power of the pain chest hidden in my mind, not even my father that had created it was able to face it. Besides, even with him inside my mind, I had my double mind and I wouldn’t be defenseless.
“And I hope you know that if you betray me and break your promise to me, then I will crush you.” Even if he tried to hide it, I could feel his fear. For just a moment, Faakhir considered that he was making a mistake, but his pride wouldn’t let him change his mind or forget his deal. His desire to have me, was stronger than his common sense.
“No matter what you think, I am a man of my word, you have nothing to worry about.”
“Do I need to remind you that I am a Seeress? If you try to betray me, I will know before you can act.” The warriors around me started to act more cautious and I noticed that we were close to the Villa. The few Mzansi soldiers that we had were positioned around the perimeter, trying to protect the place from Faakhir’s forces.
I could see the destruction that the fight between the mzansiers and Faakhir’s forces had left behind. Some of Faakhir’s ships were on fire, and I could see dead bodies lying on the battlefield between the Villa and the marina. One of the survivors of Faakhir’s forces approached us, while looking at me with mistrust.
“Sir, we are waiting for your orders. All the prisoners escaped and are now hidden inside the Villa. We are ready to bomb the place if you wish.”
“That won’t be necessary,” I said before Faakhir could agree. “I will take care of everything. How can I contact you once everything is ready?”
“Using this,” the man that had claimed to be Faakhir’s right hand gave me a phone. “This phone is loaded with all the information you need, you can use it to call me, and I will let the King know what you find.”
“Is your contact also here?” I asked Faakhir. “I will deal directly with you, I don’t want to deal with your minions.”
“I don’t know who you think you are, but things are done a certain way…” the man started complaining.
“All my information should be there, and I don’t have a problem with you calling me directly.” Faakhir interrupted the man, trying to stop us from fighting.
I felt more unease with the arrangement every minute, Faakhir was a dangerous man that was clearly obsessed with me, but I needed to stay close to him if I wanted to make things work, also, I needed to establish a clear position from the start. If I allowed one of them to start bossing me around, they would think that it was okay. If I wanted to keep my sanity I needed to be able to stay above them.
“I will have the information you want very soon, for now I have to get to work.”
I walked to the Villa and notices that the soldiers were looking at me funny. Mbali and Tau came out to meet me, but I could see they weren’t there to greet me, they were mad, and they had a right to be, they didn’t know why I had acted that way. Before I reached them a few soldiers cut my way. I didn’t need to turn to know that Faakhir and his men were watching me and our exchange, I just hoped he didn’t try to intervene, I needed the confrontation to prove my loyalty to Faakhir and start the lie that I would be living for the next months… or years.
“What did you do?” Mbali was really angry. “How could you?”
“You should know better than anyone that nothing limits me. If Ethan became a tool to be used against me, then I needed to get rid of him. He was mine, I gave him life, it was my right to take it away too.”
“He is not dead!” Mbali angrily screamed. I started to think that we would have problems, and I didn’t want to fight her or hurt one of the mzansiers. “Kimball is working on him right now, and despite the damage I trust Kimball to save him.”
“If that’s true, then I don’t see why you are angry,” despite knowing that the damage to Ethan wasn’t mortal, I still feared that something could have gone wrong, and Mbali’s confirmation that he was alright made me feel better. “I need to talk to Kimball, as soon as he finishes with Ethan, tell him I want to see him.”
Our voices were loud enough for Faakhir and his men to hear us, I hoped that my apparent lack of care for Ethan and Mbali’s aggressivity would be enough to convince him that he couldn’t use other people to get to me. I needed to make sure that no one in my family would suffer because of me.
For a moment I thought that the mzansiers wouldn’t let me go into the Villa, but then they moved, preferring to get between Faakhir and his men and the Villa. Faakhir was satisfied that he had gotten what he wanted and was already heading back to the marina, where he was going to board the boats still working and go back to his place.
When I entered the Villa I came face to face with Victoria, who wasn’t happy with me. She came at me and I only managed to avoid the attack because I had my psychic wall active, even if the psychic headache was growing worse by the minute. I knew that I couldn’t keep going for long, I needed to make her understand that I wasn’t her enemy, but I knew it would be hard. She had a hard time forgiving me for almost killing Kimball, and attacking Ethan, a defenseless child, was an even worse sin.
“How could you!? What kind of mother are you?” Victoria was hitting my psychic wall with increasing strength while screaming at me. Both the screaming and the hits were having a really bad effect on my headache and I was about to let my psychic wall go, but I knew that a hit by Victoria would be very bad, especially with my weaken state after all the fighting I had done.
“I am a mother that doesn’t want her son used against her. A mother that did her best to ensure that no one would hurt him in the future while trying to hurt her. Ethan will be fine.” Victoria stopped her attack and I could see her, Mbali and Tau staring at me. Makgatho had moved closer to his wife and was trying to contain her. “Ethan was never in real danger. It’s true that I hurt him, but his injuries, no matter how bad they looked were not mortal. I think is best to hurt him now, than allowing the Kings to use him in the future, doing even worse things to him in an effort to control me.”
“Did you see that in your visions?” Mbali asked.
“I knew that I needed something drastic to throw them off him. Now Ethan is no longer useful to them, and they won’t even bother with him again.”
“I’m sorry… I thought…” Victoria started, but I didn’t need her explanation or apology. If they believed that I had hurt Ethan, then Faakhir had to believe it too, and that’s all I needed.”