Kimball was pacing the room, he was trying to keep his temper under control, but I knew it was hard for him. When he had found out that my plane had crashed, he had been desperate to go after me, but he couldn’t leave Capital City, so he had to settle with sending some of his men, but they couldn’t get close to me, and that didn’t help ease Kimball’s worries. I was lucky and nothing more happened to me during my stay up north, and I had been able to hide how bad I was hurt thanks to Yoweri and Ivan. The fact that Inger was in a worse shape than I was had helped keep the focus off of me, she was too afraid to use her powers, getting paranoid about getting a headache.
“So Yoweri tried to rape you?” Kimball asked, his fury barely contained.
“I’m sure that was his intention, at first, but once he lived through my memories, he was traumatized by the pain and act like that can cause, so I doubt he will try to do something like that again. He felt so guilty for what he almost did to me that he spent all his time protecting me and attoning for a crime he didn’t even commit.”
“I’m surprised you are so calm about this, not that it’s something bad, but I thought it would hit you harder.”
“To be honest, I was more concerned about being vulnerable in front of Ivan, than I was about Yoweri. I was wrong about him, he is a truly good person that was influenced by some very bad people.”
“I don’t know much about him, but I have noticed that his power’s manifestation is a defense mechanism.”
“His parents were abusive, they beat and punished him in some truly brutal ways, just because he existed. I think that there was a point where he couldn’t take it anymore and when he was feeling too much, so he turned his power to protect him, by making people leave him alone, until the people just stopped noticing he existed at all. I think he truly wants human contact, a relationship, he wants someone to notice him and care for him. Faakhir noticed and used his vulnerability to take advantage of him. He made him think that he was doing the right thing, but now that he realizes just how bad he was, he feels really guilty about it. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone, he wants to help people.”
“I guess that you are one of the few people who have really seen him, right? And now he is going to get attached to you.”
“It seems that he connected to my pain, he feels like I understand him because we share a difficult past, he knows what I had to survive and endure, and he respects me for it. I think Yoweri is a good person, and he will be a great ally.”
“If you think you can trust him, go ahead. But be careful, you don’t want Faakhir getting him to his side again.” Kimball stopped pacing and sat next to me, taking my hands into his. “I’m glad you’re safe, with me. If something had happened to you…”
“It’s not my time to die,” I interrupted his thought, “we still have time together.”
“Sometimes I think you take this too lightly. You were lucky, if you had been trapped with a different person or things had gone differently, you could have been seriously hurt.”
“Do you think I don’t know that? I was there, and believe me, I spent a lot of time going through the worst case scenarios. But I was lucky and nothing happened. Now, I want to take this time off to rest and plan for our next move.”
“I’m just terrified of losing you, I don’t know if I could live without you. You are very important to me. Now,” he said, changing from concerned husband to doctor, “the analysis don’t show anything wrong, but you are still exhausted and need some time off to build your strength back up. Not even Faakhir can deny you need some time off.”
“He won’t, in fact I already requested a week off and he gave it to me. I think it would be a good opportunity for us to go to Aquarium.”
“I say that you needed to rest, not to work.”
“There is a good chance that thanks to the last attack, I could be able to shape Faakhir’s future decisions. After the last problems we got into after they ignored my warnings, I think I can start influencing Faakhir’s decisions. With Yoweri’s and Thalia’s help, I will be able to get more information on Faakhir’s control network and find all his contacts in the different countries and regions of the Dominion. The sooner I can find all the key elements of his control, the sooner I will be able to take the steps to stop them.”
“Speaking of that, my men were able to find the rebellion, and even save a few, but I don’t think they will be able to trust us,” Kimball said. In all the places we had gone, we tried to find a few key elements that could be useful for us in the future, but it wasn’t easy, no one trusted us. “But they found something else. It appears that there are several contracts on your life. Some people and groups of people, had put a huge amount of money on your head. The person who manages to kill you, will receive a big prize.”
“It’s not the first time someone puts a price on my head, but at least we know that they take me seriously if they are willing to pay huge amounts of money for my life. I would be very disappointed if they weren’t willing to pay what I’m worth.”
“Again, you are treating this as a joke. With the amounts they are speaking of, many groups of rebels and the best hired assassins will be after you.”
“If what you say is true, they have been after me for a while now, and they haven’t been able to kill me yet. I have noticed an increase in attacks against me during the last few confrontations, but none of them could get to me. Trust me and my powers.”
“I think we need to increase security around you. We need to have someone around to have your back. You can’t trust most of the people you work with, you know that the people in the elite forces are against you, with only a few exceptions. Most of them won’t hesitate to stab you in the back if given the chance.”
“Until now my visions and gut feelings had been able to keep me safe. But if you feel better sending some bodyguards, then we will find someone willing to follow me around and keep me safe.”
I could feel Kimball’s worry, it was so strong that I had to actively block it with my empathy so I didn’t feel it. It wasn’t that I didn’t worry about the situation, but I was used to it. For years I had been fighting against people trying to kill me. More times that I could count, I had been forced to fight for my life, sometimes thinking that it maybe that time I wouldn’t be able to survive, but every time I had come out the victor. Each battle made me stronger, taught me new lessons, helped me become a better warrior. Maybe that was what I needed to keep my senses honed. I was sure that my new situation would force me to be on guard.
There were many ways of facing the same situation, one was simply to deal with the assassins as they came, facing them one by one. Another, the one I was sure Kimball would prefer, was to find the people offering money to have me killed and deal with them. That option was way more complicated, but it was also safer. It wasn’t the one I would choose, but I was sure that Kimball had already started looking for them, even if I wasn’t interested in that option. It didn’t bother me, as long as he didn’t ask for my help or got in my way he could do what he wanted.
My way of dealing with problems was different than his, and I knew he didn’t like my attitude with the threat on my life, and I understood that he was worried, but I couldn’t change who I was or how I thought, the most I could do was try to understand where he was coming from and accept his help. Also, I couldn’t keep depending on him, one of the things that had become clear to me during the last mission, was that I depended too much on him, and I had to change that. I couldn’t count on him always being there to catch me if I fell, and I couldn’t start depending on other people, I needed to be able to protect myself. Ivan and Yoweri had helped me during my moment of weakness, but past experiences had shown me that even people like them could change, and that even the people closest to you could betray you. I needed to be careful with them, and I couldn’t allow them to see me in a position of weakness again, or they could get the wrong ideas.
I went to my room and went through the gifts Kimball had given me in the years we had been together. The one I liked the most was the necklace I never took off, it was a gadget that could disable most power suppressors, Kimball said that it could disable any suppressor given time, but I knew that nothing was infallible and I couldn’t put all my trust on it working. The other gift that I always had with me was my cape, the gift I liked to call Armory, and was my favorite weapon. It wasn’t the same cape he had first given me, he had modified it several times, always making it better, stronger. The rest of the gadgets had different and specific uses, and there were so many that I couldn’t take them with me all the time, each morning I had to decide which one to take with me. I needed to find a way to carry more of them, or a way to use my powers to help me chose weapons that would be more useful to me that day. Despite what Kimball could think, I didn’t take the threats lightly, I was determined not to let anyone get the better of me, I was going to emerge victorious of every fight that I was forced to face.