I was almost sure that I was going to be safe from Einar and Jacob while Faakhir was in trance, inside my mind, they usually waited until Faakhir had the chance to abuse his victims, he was always the first to take them. Despite knowing that, I still didn’t want to turn both my mind to the inside, I felt like I needed to keep an eye on them to make sure they didn’t try something against me. I was already too weak because of the electric attacks, and I needed to be alert and at least be aware of whatever else they tried.
Not many people knew about my double mind, and even among those who knew about, few understood exactly how it worked. None of them were among the group, so they were unaware that I was hearing and watching them.
“I can’t wait for my turn,” Einar said, “every time I watched that haughty bitch, walking around feeling so sure of herself, I felt this overwhelming need of teaching her her what her place really is.”
“Faakhir will be the one who teaches Kaiserin her place, we just will have to wait until he gets bored with her before we can take our turns,” Jacob reminded him.
“If Faakhir doesn’t know about it…” Einar said, grabbing my hair and pulling my head back, until my neck hurt because of the awkward angle, I felt his smelling my hair, while his hand started touching my side.
“Cut it out, if Faakhir gets out of his trance and catches you touching her, he will be mad. Just be a little patient and you will have your turn.”
“You know I’m not very patient.”
“I also know that Faakhir is not very forgiving, like you can see from the situation we’re in.”
“You’re a killjoy,” Einar complained, but he let me go and moved away.
“I get you, I do, there’s nothing better than the forbidden fruit, and Kaiserin, always so untouchable became irresistible, but we will have our turn, and from all of Faakhir’s men, we will be the first ones to get to have the new and improved Kaiserin, once Faakhir is done with her.”
“I don’t get why it’s only the two of us, if it had been me, I would have chosen a bigger audience for her fall from grace.”
“Faakhir suspects that she has a few allies among us,” Jacob said, and that caught my attention because I thought that my allies were safe from Faakhir’s attention, but maybe I was wrong. “There’s no proof, just a hunch, but he couldn’t risk anyone trying to help her. No one suspects anything yet, and that makes it easier for us to make her disappear before someone notices she is gone.”
“No matter what she is hiding from him, she will pay her betrayal.”
They were so sure about it, and the fact that Faakhir had gone so far to stop me was making me unease, but I had to trust that I had an advantage over them, they thought I was alone and had no help, but I had the necklace that Kimball had given me, and I was sure it would save me. I trusted the necklace to do its job and free me from the powers suppressor, and once I was free, I would be able to fight back.
I had time to think about everything this attack would mean, and how nothing would be the same again. After what he had done, he couldn’t stay alive, I couldn’t forgive his humiliation, and he would pay for putting his hands on me and taking my powers again, the only problem was that it would cause me a lot of trouble.
It was only a matter of time, of holding on for long enough. Things were going well, Jacob and Einar had moved away, and were talking to each other about nothing important, and I felt safer while they had their attention elsewhere. It was bad enough to fight the memories after the electric attacks and being naked and vulnerable, but when Jacob decided to go check the Suite and left me alone with Einar, I knew things would only get worse for me.
“Faakhir told us about you, you know? About who you used to be, who you will be again,” he whispered in my ear, before licking my cheek. “I can’t wait to have you on your knees, just thinking about it,” he pressed his body to mine, and I could feel exactly what thinking about it was doing to his body. “Always so haughty, so untouchable, and all this time you were nothing but a whore.”
He grabbed my hair again, pulling my head back until my neck hurt. I kept my eyes half closed, still pretending to be in a trance, and I could see his face moving closer to mine and I wasn’t sure what to do, how to act, it I should let him kiss me or try to push him away.
Just as his lips were about to touch mine and I was running out of time and out of ideas, I heard a metallic sound and I felt my powers getting back. I let him kiss me, and I used the connection to connect with him, and I started stealing his energy. I felt him trying to pull away, but I wasn’t going to let him, not until I had my fill. He was going to pay for touching me with his energy, and eventually with his life.
“What the hell are you doing?” Jacob asked, pulling Einar away from me. “Faakhir will be furious if he learns about this,” he said, but once he pulled him away, he noticed that something was wrong. He let him go and took a step back, making the mistake of putting his hand on my shoulder, making the connection I needed to drain his energy.
Einar was too weak to be a threat, and I was connected to Jacob, he was reaching the same point fast. I decided to completely drain Jacob, and then take care of Einar. At the same time, I was dealing with Faakhir inside my mind. I attacked him and pushed his mind outside mine, his cry of agony after receiving my attack echoed in the room. I finished with Jacob and used my newly acquired energy to break free of my bindings, then I took control of all metal in the room and started building a tree of pain for Faakhir. I started with a spear through his stomach, then it started to branch out, going through his vital organs, touching his nervous terminals to maximize the pain. I moved closer, touching him so I could connect with him and made sure I could do the maximum damage without going over the top and making him pass out or die faster. I even heated the metal so it would cauterize the wounds and slow his bleeding. Another branch went through his vocal cords, to shut him out to avoid his screams to alert the rest of the soldiers. By the time I finished, Faakhir was in a world of pain, his agony so strong I could almost touch it, I knew it was enough to drive anyone crazy.
“What’s going on here?” I heard someone asking from the door. I felt the intention to attack and I threw an energy wave, before even registering who was there. The guard recovered fast, and she was drawing a gun by the time I turned, but I used my powers to grab the gun and then I used it to kill her.
Jacob was already dead, but Einar was still breathing, I put a metal spear through him to make sure he wouldn’t get away, it was only a matter of time before he died, and he was so little energy left that it wasn’t worth it to take it.
I was watching what I had done in there, when I felt another group heading in my direction. I wasn’t sure how many there were, but I was sure it was more than four. I used my mind to grab my cape and put it between me and the group, they started shooting at me, but the cape stopped all the bullets and gave me the time I needed to connect to their weapons and disable them. Once they stopped shooting I took the cape and put it around me to hide my naked body, and faced the group.
Without the cape in the way they finally got a good look at the scene, one of them looked like he was going to get sick. I felt nothing but contempt for them, they were weak and couldn’t even face what had happened there.
I felt the room getting colder and I felt another change in the room that I couldn’t identify, but before they could start their attacks, I took the gun I had taken from the other guard and shoot them. One of them managed to dodge my attacks and I knew he was going to attack me, so I let him get to me, and as soon as he made contact with me I started taking his energy for me.
The battle lasted less than a minute, and it ended with every one of them dead, only Faakhir and Einar were still alive. I felt tired, the energy I had taken already burning away. My body was feeling every ache and pain caused by the electric attacks, and I found that I couldn’t move without pain. I knew my mind was also at its limits, so I decided to take a moment to rest, I grabbed the chair I had been tied to and moved it until it was facing Faakhir, then I sat down. I was sure that the pain was bad enough that it was affecting his ability to use his powers, but he was still aware enough to know what was going on around him, he could see his dead soldiers, and he could see me, still alive. I felt his fear amidst his pain, and I felt his desperation and hopelessness, knowing he had lost. Just like all my past enemies, I needed Faakhir to realize the situation he was in, and to know it was his own fault that he had ended like that. If he had left Mzansi alone, if he hadn’t tried to control me and worse, if he hadn’t tried to rape me or taken my powers away, if he had acted differently, then he wouldn’t be dying.
His eyes were moving around frantically, for moments they even looked clear, and I noticed the moment he saw the person walking inside the room, a person capable of moving undetected, and his hope of salvation.
“Are you ok?” Yoweri asked, taking in the scene around us.
“I’ve been better,” I said, exhausted, but feeling a little bit better knowing that I had an ally with me.
“Did he hurt you?” I knew what he was really asking, he knew me well since the day he had been trapped in my memory and had experienced my past, he knew exactly what could break me.
“He tried, but as you can see, he failed.”
“One of the maids warned us about Faakhir’s plans. I’m sorry I couldn’t get here faster, but we needed to make sure her intel was good, and then plan accordingly, we thought a frontal attack could be dangerous and counterproductive,” he said, and I heard the apology in his words.
“It’s ok, I understand. Who else knows about this?”
“Ludomir and Mamadou were the first ones to be informed, they contacted Thalia and I was with her. By now Ivan and Fatima should have been contacted, at least, but we are getting as many people as we can, we guessed that after Faakhir made his move, you would want to counter and start your mission of taking over.”
“You did well, and your actions saved me a lot of time. We need to move fast to minimize damages. Pass me my jacket,” I asked him, pointing to a bunch of rags that used to be my clothes, and where my secure phone must be, I needed it if I wanted to establish a safe channel to the Mzansiers.
My plan depended on their army, at least a big part of it, and I needed a safe way to contact other groups that had agreed to join us when the time came, people from all over the Dominion. It all depended on how well we could coordinate the forces, Faakhir was going to die, and we would need to face the consequences of his death, the only way we could face the problems that would be generated by his death, was by staying one step ahead of everyone.
Yoweri gave me the phone, but my hands were shaking. I hated being weak, and even if I knew I could trust him, and knowing it wasn’t the first time he had seen me like that, it still felt awful to be vulnerable in front of anyone.
“I can help you with that, you need to rest and get your strength back,” Yoweri suggested, and I had no other choice but to accept his help. I unblocked the screen and gave him the phone.
“Kimball must be busy, we can’t get him out of there without alerting others. Call Mbali, she has all the information and contacts that we need and she will be able to call the generals of the army of Mzansi. We will need to talk to Kgosi, but maybe once everything is ready.
“Understood,” Yoweri said, calling Mbali and then holding the phone close to me so I could talk to her directly.
I didn’t want to waste time explaining everything, so the call was short and to the point. First of all I needed clothes, preferable something that had no connection to the Dominion. I was sure that Mbali could contact the army, and get my the right clothes. Yoweri suggested moving to one of the conference rooms in the lower levels, he said the others were already gathering there, but it wasn’t the right place, I needed to stay there until Faakhir took his last breath. I knew he was in a lot of pain and his body wouldn’t hold much longer, but as long as he was alive, my place was there, so I decided it was best if the others moved up. Besides, I couldn’t think of a better place to plan their end, that in their own rooms.
Yoweri went to look for the rest of my people as soon as we finished with the calls. By then Einar was already dead, his energy too low for him to last long, and only Faakhir and I were left. I touched my necklace, I knew that I should activate it as a suppressor to help with the headache that I felt building, that way my power would be fresh and whole by the time I needed it to face Emily, but my body was too weak after the electric attacks, and after what had happened I didn’t want to be in a situation where I couldn’t defend myself. I knew that I needed my powers if I were to face another of Faakhir’s elite guards, and there was always the danger that one of them would come looking for him and found out what I had done.
I knew it was the virus fault’s, being sick for so long and losing my focus had allowed Faakhir to have access to memories he should have never been able to see, and it had weakened me. My carefully built plans were falling apart and the next few hours would be critical for our future. I felt like I had already failed, if only because I was breaking some of my promises, I had promised Sofia and Willian that they could be with me when I took Emily and her husband down, but Faakhir was already dying and there was not enough time to bring them in before I would be forced to face Emily. Emily was crazy, and unstable, but there was one person she loved as much as herself, and that was Faakhir, the one dying, the one whose death was on my hands. I knew that as soon as she found out what I had done, she would lose her mind.
What I really needed was Kimball, but I knew that I couldn’t call him, I had to focus on the tasks at hand, stop wondering what could have happened, be thankful that the necklace has worked as it was intended to, and that I had been able to neutralize Faakhir without compromising the mission. Things were moving faster than I wanted or expected, but maybe it was the way it was supposed to happen, maybe I needed the motivation to set my plans in motion, to stop planning and start executing. A new world was waiting to emerge, and I just hoped I could make it a better world.