As soon as I entered the throne room my attention went to the woman next to Faakhir. There was something in her that made me feel unease. I wasn’t sure what the problem was, I just knew that I wanted to stay away from her.
“Welcome Kaiserin. If you are back, I assume that your last mission is done, right?” Emily asked.
“Right. I took the liberty of letting the body of my last victim hanging from the government plaza, I wanted everyone in that country to know what happens to those who try to take you down.”
“Splendid!” Faakhir exclaimed. “That was a great idea. Didn’t I tell you how brilliant she is?” He asked the woman next to him. “By the way Kaiserin, let me introduce you to my dear sister Nysa. Your next mission will be to help her capture an elusive young lady that my sister thinks will be another great addition to our forces.”
“After all the problems she had caused, and how she had managed to stay a step ahead of our people, yes, I think that with the proper training she will be a good addition to our forces.”
“Nysa is the one who knows her better, and she knows everything you will need to know about her whereabouts and her usual hiding spots. She will go with you to this mission,” Emily said.
“I’ve been working without stop to find and eliminate all the people you assigned to me, I was expecting to take some time off and go to Mzansi now that my missions are done. I haven’t been able to check on the country since I gave the control back to those guys, and I need to check on them. I don’t want them alone for so long, they could forget who owns them, who they owe their lives to. I need to remind them who is really in charge.”
“I hope you are not forgetting who is in charge here,” Emily said, clearly upset. “If we say you need to go with Nysa, then you go with her, no matter what your plans were.”
“As you have already made your minds, I will go. Just let me remind you that I have plans of my own, and after this I will take some time off to go to Mzansi. I think I deserve some time for myself, and I expect to stay in Mzansi for a while.”
“You have done an excellent job so far Kaiserin, and you are right, you deserve some time off,” Faakhir agreed, although it was clear he didn’t like the idea.
“Thanks for being so understanding. When are we starting our next mission?” I asked Nysa.
“Tomorrow, I guess. Be prepared to leave in the morning. I will call for you as soon as I’m ready.” There was something in the way Nysa talked, that let me know that she was playing games, and that would let me waiting most of the day.
After spending all day waiting for Nysa I wasn’t sure if I should be glad I had read her right, or mad because she thought she could play me. I wasn’t willing to let her waste my time with her games. I waited the first day, I had other things to keep me occupied, like training in my room, and organizing the information I had gathered during my missions.
The next day, however, I left my room early and went to the kitchen. I knew Nysa was having breakfast in the dining room, but I walked past it and went directly to the kitchen. People there didn’t appreciate others invading their domain, but they were too afraid of me to ask me leave.
I knew that it would have been cruel to stay there to eat, they would have been too afraid to move, so I took the food and left the kitchen, thinking that it was the perfect morning to eat in the gardens. When I was walking past the dining room Nysa left the room and blocked my way.
“I thought I told you to wait in your room”
“I really hope you understand that this is not a game. I have a deal with your brother, and it doesn’t include letting you waste my time. I was able to get some rest yesterday, but I don’t have anything else to do here now, I have better things to do elsewhere. I will see you at the airport in two hours. ”
“You don’t get to decide when to do things,” she was getting angry.
“And you don’t get to decide what I do. I will be leaving in two hours. If I see you in two hours we can do what you need me to do and go after that person you’re looking for, but if you’re not there, then I will go to Mzansi and get in contact with you once I finish my business there, but I don’t know how long it will be. It could take a long time.”
“If I didn’t know better I would think you were trying to threaten me, or tell me what to do.”
“Then maybe I wasn’t clear enough. My agreement is with your brother, not you. I don’t follow your orders and I don’t have to play whatever games you want me to play. If you want my help, you will have to start treating me with respect.”
I was suddenly overcome with terror, the need to run away was almost too strong to control, but I managed to suppress it. My empathy allowed me better control over my emotions, and allowed me to know when someone was pushing foreign emotions to me. Nysa was an Empath, and she was trying to use her powers to force me into obedience. But she had no idea who she was dealing with, no one would push me.
“It would be so much easier for you if you just do what you’re told to do,” Nysa said, convinced that the fear she was pushing to me wouldn’t allow me to contradict her.
“It would be so much easier if you stopped trying to manipulate me. You are lucky I have so much control over my instincts, or you would be dead by now. I don’t respond to fear by cowering, I respond by destroying whatever I fear. I know that killing Faakhir’s sister wouldn’t be a good idea, but I know other ways of dealing with my enemies, and none of them would be pleasant to you.”
“I think you don’t understand. I’m the King’s sister, a Queen of her own territory. If you mess with me, you mess with my family and my kingdom.”
“And if you mess with me, you mess with someone who won’t hesitate to kill you to stop you from bothering me. I’m only giving you a chance our of respect for your brother. Two hours. Either you meet me at the airport, or you look for someone else to do your dirty job.” I didn’t give her a chance to respond, I left her and went to the garden to enjoy my breakfast and some clean air before going back to grab my things and head for the airport.
Just as I expected, Nysa was already at the airport waiting for me when I arrived. I could feel her anger, but I knew that she has already talked to Faakhir, and he had warned her not to push me. I knew that he didn’t want to abuse his mind control over me by forcing me to obey his sister, and there was no way he could convince me to play along with only words, since there was nothing he could use to convince me to obey Nysa, they had to show more respect so I wouldn’t fight them.
During the travel, Nysa got me up to date with our new target. It had started when she had heard some rumors of a girl that was reading the future. People from all over her country was traveling to the capital looking for her, trying to get her to let them know what their future was. For some it was harmless information, things like how long the drought was going to last, or when they were going to meet the love of their lives. But Nysa had gotten interested in her when people started to go to her looking for information that could help them plan a rebellion. From what she told me I could see that the problem in her country wasn’t just the Dominion, but Nysa as well. It wasn’t hard to imagine how bad things could get with someone like her, so similar to Faakhir, ruling the country. I was sure it was a reign of terror, with people too afraid to raise their voices against the injustice thrown their way.
I was able to see how she surrounded herself with an aura that made people around her feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Her powers made people around her to be afraid of her. I could feel it too, the need to stay away from her, to keep her happy, it was strong and hard to resist, the longer we were together, but I was determined not to let her see it could affect me. As the feeling grew stronger, I decided to use my own powers to teach her a lesson. Knowing she enjoyed using fear as her tool, I sent her a double dose of pain and insecurity. After she realized what I was doing, we reached an unspoken truce. She dialed back her powers, and I stopped using mine. Something I was sure of, was that I would never get along with her. It was hard enough for me to follow Faakhir’s and Emily’s orders, I knew that it would be impossible to extend my fake obedience to Nysa, who was even worse than her brother.
Once we arrived, Nysa introduced me to a group of warriors that had been trying to get a hold on the young Seeress, without success. She wanted me to go to look for her right away, but I told her that I was tired and that I would take the rest of the day off to rest, before demanding her to give me a room.
The room I was given was very plain, no doubt she intended the place to be an insult, but it was nothing new to me, I didn’t care about luxury the way Nysa cared, I was perfectly fine with my surroundings, and I wasn’t bothered by them, if I only had to stay there for a couple of days.
I asked for all the information they had gathered on our target, and once I was sure no one was spying on me, by using some of the gadgets Kimball had given me, I took a walk into the fog. I needed to have an idea of what I would be facing, but since there was another Seer involved, the paths before me were not defined and the paths kept changing, so I knew it would be a waste of time to stay there and went back to the present to prepare for my mission.
I knew it would be very dangerous to give the Dominion another Seeress, someone who could see what I planned to do and make my job harder. For a while I wondered if I would have to kill the girl once I found her, but I knew that before making a decision like that I needed to meet her and see where her loyalties were. If the Seeress was against the Dominion, which was a good possibility, then I couldn’t kill her, she was just a victim of Nysa’s greed, and I couldn’t condemn her just because she could be a nuisance to me. If Nysa was as good as her brother at recruiting, then she would have no choice, she would be part of the Dominion even if she didn’t want to. I felt bad for her, her powers had made her a target, and her life was about to change drastically because of that.
Just like I expected, Nysa had no intention of going with me and getting her hands dirty. She told her men to take me to the last place our target had been seen.
“This is the building she was last working from. She changes her location constantly, and she is always gone by the time we arrive,” the man who was in charge of the search told me.
“We have to go and investigate anyway, maybe she left some clues as to where to find her.”
“Do you really think we haven’t tried that before? You’re not doing anything we haven’t done before.”
“And yet I will succeed where all of you have failed. This is the way it works, if you don’t want to come with me, I can go by myself, I don’t need anyone else to help me.”
Without waiting for them, I got out of the vehicle, Nysa’s men got out of the car and moved after me. I wasn’t sure if they were there to protect me or spy on me, I was betting it was the second choice.
It was an old building, but it was clear that it had been a great one in the old days. I was sure that it had been lost because of the greed of their rulers. The place was empty, but I could see light from a room the other side of the building. It was candle light, creating dancing shadows in the place. As I walked closer I had a feeling something was odd, so I let my instincts guide me. I moved with care, listening to my hunches, until I arrived to the room. I started to hear screams and shouts, people hurt or protesting, the rest of the group falling for traps around the room. I knew that those traps would delay the rest of my group, but I was confident no one would get seriously hurt. They were designed to give the girl enough time to run, but she wasn’t running, she was there, waiting for me, seated on a bunch of pillows.
“Welcome,” she greeted me with a smile. Her unfocused eyes a clear sign that she wasn’t with me, she was in a trance. For a moment a thought of asking her what she was seeing, even if I knew that she wouldn’t be able to hear me, but she surprised me by speaking. “I’m in the future, I needed to make sure that no one would arrive here, no one but you,” her eyes changed, focusing on me. “For I long time I have known they were after me, but I couldn’t let them find me. Now that you’re here everything is different. You are the key for my freedom, and the freedom of my people. My name is Fatima, and it’s a pleasure to finally meet you.”
“I guess you have already seen what the future has to offer to us.”
“As have you. We both share the gift of precognition. I usually see things that are going to happen short term, but I have seen the future, years ahead of us, and I know you will be an important piece of the future. It’s my duty, my job, to be by your side and help you in whatever way I can, because if you succeed, I too will achieve my goals.”
“What are you talking about? You want an alliance? You help me if I help you?”
“Helping you guaranties that my future becomes a reality. An alliance with you will give me a life and eventually my freedom. I have been waiting for you for a long time. Your arrival is the beginning of my new life.”
“I must confess this is not what I was expecting when I came here. For a long time you have been running away from these people, and now you are offering to come with me without resistance.”
“You know how this works. I have seen my future, I know that if I had let them get me before this, I would have been in Nysa’s hands. But now that you are involved in this, Faakhir and Emily know about me, and they won’t let Nysa hurt me or use me for her gain. They don’t trust you, and they will need me to confirm whatever you tell them. But don’t worry, my words will always confirm yours.”
“If you are sure about this, it’s time to go. Unfortunatelywe will have to go to Nysa first, but I won’t try not to let you in her hands for long. As soon as I can, I will convince the King and Queen to call you to their court.”
“I know you will. I’m not worried.”
My image was only improved by the way Fatima came with me so easily, it also helped to make the rest of their forces hate me even more. Nysa’s people had been after her for a long time, and Fatima had made fools of them over and over again. All I had to do was walk inside the building and I had completed my mission. Every day I gained more enemies, but also, I was gaining allies, not as fast, but at least they were there.