I walked to where the King and Queen were waiting for me, I could see they weren’t happy with me, but Emily wasn’t even trying to disguise her anger at the disappearing act I had done for the last week.
“I’m glad you finally decided to allow us the pleasure of your presence. Did you enjoy your vacations?” Emily asked, sarcastically.
“I wish I had gone on vacations, but I have to say I was pretty busy, at least I’m glad to say that my time away was really productive.”
“For a woman that claims to have no interest in her family, you seemed really worried about your father in law and your son,” Faakhir accused me.
“I’m not worried about them getting hurt, what bothers me is that someone attacked them trying to get to me, I don’t like that kind of disrespect. His sickness wasn’t natural, someone infected them on purpose, and I can’t ignore that kind of attack.”
“I don’t care if someone is going around killing mzansiers,” Emily said, “I just care about my people being available to do their jobs, and I had a job for you and you weren’t here to fulfill it.”
“Believe me, the time I was away, I was working. What happened to Makgatho and then Ethan weren’t isolated issues, I found that a group of people is working to eliminate us, using a virus to do it. They use genetic markers to infect a person, and then modify it for the next person, getting closer and closer to their true target. Infecting Makgatho was just a step to their real objective, Kimball. He managed to gain immunity before he could be infected. Ethan was the next step, and their purpose was to use his relationship with me to find a way of creating a virus for me.”
“Did you capture the person responsible for the attacks?” Faakhir asked.
“We captured one of the persons responsible, and we are working on finding the rest. If you give me time and resources I will be able to stop the whole group in a matter of days.”
“You already wasted too much time with that, you better forget about it and start paying attention to your other assignments,” Emily said.
“I’m afraid that I have to agree with my wife. You need to let the mzansiers deal with this issue.”
“The group I’m talking about is not only working on Mzansi, their influence extends to many countries and their objectives cover many important people in the Dominion,” I could see they weren’t interested in the problem, they weren’t taking it seriously.
“Let others take care of that, I have another job for you,” Emily said, ignoring the warning I was trying to give them.
“You were very clever, getting rid of all your family, with the way these people work, it will be very hard for them to find a way to get to you, since there is no one close to you to test the virus. Faakhir on the other side is not so lucky,” I could see they weren’t getting what I was trying to say, I needed to speak clearly if I wanted them to take the situation seriously. “When was the last time you spoke to your sister?” I asked Faakhir, and I could see that I finally had his attention.
“I haven’t heard from Nysa in a long time. Why do you ask?”
“I have reasons to believe that the same people who attacked Makgatho to get to Kimball and eventually me, will go after Nysa as a way to target you. For all I know they could already have infected her and getting ready to target you.”
“Nonsense, no one would be so stupid to attack Nysa or to try something against us,” Emily said, her arrogance making her believe her words, but Faakhir wasn’t buying it, he was getting worried.
“I also think is not very likely someone would attack us, but we can’t just dismiss her concern, not when it’s something easy to confirm. I will just call Nysa and make sure she is ok. I’ll be back in a moment.”
Faakhir walked out of the room, looking for some privacy before calling his sister. I knew he wouldn’t find her, and even if he did, it was already too late. A part of me was glad that Nysa was as good as dead, with her out of the way it would be easier to take control of the Dominion once we stopped Faakhir and Emily. As Faakhir’s sister, Nysa could have tried to take control, but with her out of the picture and no one from Emily’s side, it would be easier to fill the power void. It was in part because I wanted her gone that I didn’t press the issue and treated her infection like a possibility, if I had alerted them earlier, it was possible that they would have found a way to force Kimball to save her like he saved his father.
“Tell me, do you really think Nysa is in danger?” Emily asked.
“I don’t know for sure, but since Faakhir is one of their targets, is logical to assume that they are going after Nysa first. I also got the impression that the people behind the attacks are trying to kill people in power, and Nysa certainly is one of those.” Nysa was trying to appear affected by the knowledge that Nysa was in danger, but I could feel her happiness at getting rid of her.
As always Emily started to complain about everything and I pretended to pay attention, while we both waited for Faakhir to return to the room, which luckily didn’t take long.
“I couldn’t get a hold of my sister. They say that she was tired and decided to take a vacation to deal with the stress, the place she went to it’s not easy to reach. As soon as they can, they will call me back,” Faakhir said, but unlike Emily he was worried about the situation while trying to appear unaffected.
“Being tired is one of the symptoms of the virus, but maybe she is just overwhelmed by her responsibilities and it’s just stress, but we shouldn’t ignore the possibility that she is infected, and if she is sick, then the virus worked and they are going to move to the next target, you,” I told Faakhir, who was getting more worried by the minute.
“What do you suggest?” Emily asked me.
“It would be a good idea if you let me pick a group of warriors so we can start looking for the people behind the attacks. I’m sure that with the proper resources and people we can stop them before they have the chance to attack again.”
“If that’s what you need, choose whomever you need, but first, you need to go and check on Nysa. I will order my people to start preparing the plane, in the meanwhile, get some of the medicine the mzansiers used in case my sister is infected.”
“I will do my best, but from what I heard, the medicine needs to be prepared for each patient, because there are modifications on each virus, they haven’t found something that works on everyone.”
“If you need to, take your husband with you, if my sister is infected, I want him to do everything in his power to help her. Understood?” Faakhir asked.
“Understood. If you allow me, I will go now and prepare for the trip.”
I knew what was waiting for us once we arrived, Nysa would be too sick to be saved, if not already dead. But that was perfect for my plans, Nysa was as bad as her brother, and even if she had been ok with playing to be the absolute ruler of her small piece of land, I knew that her hunger of power would have caused her to fill the void I was going to create once I got rid of Emily and Faakhir. I was expecting Kimball not to accept the order of going with me, but he accepted immediately, he needed more samples of the virus for his investigation, but still, we pretended he didn’t want to go to burn some more time. Kimball had already accepted that he wasn’t an expert in viruses, and most of his job had been done with the help of a group of scientists, he had even asked some people from Aquarium to help. In my short trip to the fog of the future to investigate about it, I had seen that the danger of an epidemic was very low, but no one wanted to risk it, and they were working on a way to fix or contain the problem. So far the virus wasn’t easy to transmit, but Kimball knew that it only took a few modifications for that to change.
During the flight Kimball and I spent most of the time fighting, those who knew my real relationship with Kimball knew it was just an act, part of the image we needed to show the rest of the world, but to the others, it was an interesting show. I was sure that the warriors would go directly to Faakhir and tell him all about our fights and my loyalty to the cause. The fact that Kimball was not happy about his part in the mission was an important part of his act. Everyone knew that Kimball liked to challenge Faakhir, and that I acted as an intermediary between the two of them most of the time. Most believed that part of the issue between them was because I was one of Faakhir’s lovers, they thought they were fighting over me.
For some reason Nysa had decided to leave the capital and was in one of her summer palaces, so we had to take a helicopter there from the capital. Not all of us could get into the helicopter, and since I wanted Kimball to go in the first flight in case Nysa needed his help, we had another discussion while we wasted more time. Finally, we got into the first flight and arrived at the palace in a short time. It was clear, as soon as we landed, that something was going on. When Nysa’s chief of security went to greet us, we found out that Faakhir had already warned them about our arrival, which made things easier for us, we were taken to Nysa’s room as soon as we arrived.
“Her Majesty is resting. She had been exhausted lately, but a doctor already came to check on her and said that it was just stress, nothing to worry about,” her chief of security said, as he opened the door so we could see her for ourselves.
I knew that the doctor that had misdiagnosed Nysa was going to be in trouble after her death, I hoped that he was smart and managed to escape in time, it wasn’t his fault that he couldn’t identify the virus, but I couldn’t worry about him, I needed to check Nysa first. When I checked her, I could still feel her pulse, but it was weak.
“Kimball? I can’t barely feel her pulse,” Kimball entered the room and started to work, checking Nysa’s vital signs.
“What’s going on?”
“I don’t know yet, give me a moment, so I can find out,” Kimball said, from his position next to Nysa.
“We think that Nysa was infected with a dangerous virus that can be lethal if it’s not detected on time,” I explained to Nysa’s man.
“But she is fine, just tired,” he said, not willing to believe Nysa was sick.
“That’s how it starts,” Kimball said. “We need to take her to the hospital to confirm her status, but I think we are too late. From what I can see, her body is already shutting down, her internal organs are failing. I need to say, it’s not a bad way to go, she went to sleep, and won’t even know what happened.”
“Faakhir won’t like this,” Rashida said, she was one of the warriors I had chosen to come with us, and she was extremely loyal to Faakhir. “I expect you to find a way to help her,” she told Kimball, and I could see she was threatening him.
“If the virus already destroyed her body, then there’s nothing that can be done. Truth is, I’m not even sure she will make it to the hospital,” Kimball said.
“You better make sure she does,” she threatened again.
“Enough,” I said. “Kimball will do everything in his power to help her, but he can’t work miracles. This isn’t his fault, or mine. Nysa should have called for help if she wasn’t feeling well.”
“She did,” the chief of security protested, “we called many doctors and healers, all of them said she just needed some rest.”
“Well, then it’s their fault. I will go with Kimball and Nysa to the hospital, and make sure they do everything they can to help her. We will try to establish when the infection happened and then we will go after the people behind this attack. Later, once I know what’s going to happen to Nysa, I will talk to Faakhir and wait for his orders.”
The Palace was bursting with activity as they found out what was going on. We took Nysa to the hospital, but as soon as we arrived she went into cardiac arrest. They tried to save her, working on her for a long time, but as Kimball had said, most of his organs were already damaged and they started to fail too. All of the healers in the city were called to work on her, but at the end there was nothing they could do to save her. Before the day ended, Nysa was dead.