Bonus

“I think it’s time to make it official,” Dendro told his partner Ivy.  “I will announce Malkia as Antrax’s partner.”

“I don’t see why you have to do that, there are women born and raised in this clan that are a better match for our son.  Women we know that will be able to give him heirs, we don’t know what the procedure could have done to Malkia, for all we know she could be sterile.”

“You know that our son only has eyes for Malkia, and that’s important.  Maybe she wasn’t born here, but that doesn’t mean she can’t be Antrax’s partner, she has proven herself a fearsome warrior.  Besides, you know the lineage she comes from, and it’s far better than that of any other woman you could push our son to.  And in the eventuality that she is unable to have children, well, there is time, if they can’t have children, then we will find him another partner in a few years.”

“You are not seeing reason.  She is not her mother, your obsession with Kaiserin is clouding your judgement.”

“I think the one who’s getting blinded by her obsession is you, your hate for Kaiserin is affecting how you see Malkia, enough that you can’t see what’s best for your son.  It’s clear that he has been interested in her since the beginning, and if you think that the accident that almost cost Malkia her life was an accident, then you are truly blind.”  Dendro saw something passing through his partner’s face, it was just a second, but it told him enough.  “You did know how close they were getting and say nothing.  Were you expecting our son to kill her?”

“Don’t you dare blame me for that, you are the one who did nothing to keep them apart, you encouraged them.  The only thing that surprises me is that you didn’t try to take her for yourself once she became immune to the family venom.”

“I would never do that to our son, he really wants her, he has fought for that chance.  It’s clear they belong together.”

“Is that what’s stopping you?  That your son claimed her first?  I know you would prefer that cheap copy by your side than me.”

“Don’t start with that again, you are the one who made this relationship harder than it had to be.  None of us had a choice in this union, we did it for our clan and its future, but now, Antrax has a real chance to be happy, and I don’t understand why you want to force him into a miserable relationship like ours.  I have done my best to respect you and give you your place, and I’m sorry if that wasn’t enough for you, but you knew what the deal was.”

“You never gave me the same kind of respect you give that woman who abandoned her clan and betrayed the Empire.  She can’t do anything wrong in your eyes, and you are still looking out for her, you are even taking care of her daughters.”

“It’s the least I can do for her, because despite your delusions and jealousy, you can’t deny that my people and I wouldn’t even be alive if it wasn’t for her.  I owe her a debt, and I won’t back out of it just because you can’t control yourself.  And I never planned or pushed for Antrax’s and Malkia’s relationship, that’s something that happened on its own.”

“I see that nothing I could say will change your mind, you are going to do whatever you want no matter how I feel or what I want,” Ivy knew that she didn’t stand a chance against Kaiserin’s daughters.  She had thought that Malkia’s poisoning was her chance to get rid of her, but she had survived, and even worse, thanks to the prisoner’s help, she was immune to Antrax’s venom, and that qualified her to be his partner.

“You are right about that, Antrax and Malkia will be official partners, and there’s nothing you can say to change my mind, and for your own good, and your son’s, I hope you can make your peace with that.  I will make the official announcement in a couple of hours during my meeting with the Generals.  It’s up to you if you want to stand by my side, or if you want to keep throwing your tantrum,” with those words, Dendro walked away, leaving a fuming Ivy behind.

Advertisements

Bonus 5

Ethan knew something bad had happened from the moment the soldiers started to arrive to school and they were called for a student assembly.  It was normal for students to stay late for extracurricular activities, but as the day progressed and they weren’t allowed to get out, most people started to get worried.  He wasn’t worried like the others, he could recognize that some of the soldiers were loyal to his mother, and that made him feel safe, unlike his friends or the rest of the students.

The announcement that they would have to stay there the night was received with surprise, but mostly with fear, so much that Ethan had to block his empathy because he was starting to feel sick by all that fear.  It only got worse when the rumor that both Faakhir and Emily were dead and that his mother was to blame for that.  Like it usually happened, most people started to get mad at him, blaming him for his mother’s actions.  Luckily for him, his friends stayed with him, acting as human shields against the rest of the school.

“What’s going to happen now?” Oliver asked.  “What do you think your mother is going to do?”

“Probably take over, which I guess she is already doing, after that, I’m really not sure,” Ethan said.  He wanted to say more, to explain that they were going to be safe, but he couldn’t do that and betray his mother’s secrets.  “I wouldn’t worry so much, I’m sure things are going to be better with her in charge, she is not a fan of killing indiscriminately like Emily, she is tough, but just.  Most of the horrible things she did, were because she was following orders, not because she enjoyed doing them.”

“I don’t think she will change that much now that she is in charge, I think she will get even worse now that there is no one to control her,” Dymtro said.

“Don’t be so pessimists, you may be surprised by her, besides, my father will be there to keep her in line,” Ethan said, thinking that a reminder of his father would help ease their minds, after all, they all liked and respected him after he had rescued them.

“Do you really think your father will be able to help?  He doesn’t seem to be able to control her that much,” Hye Ki said.

“I get why you would think that, but believe me, everything is going to be ok now that my mother is in charge.”

Bonus 4

“Sensei, we have received a call, Faakhir is dead and Kaiserin’s people are requesting our support to keep the people in our country calm after this notice.”

Since Kaiserin had defeated their father, Katsuo and Kazue had taken over his work as protectors of their people, and had worked hard to keep the rebellion alive.  They had a network that covered the whole country, and they even had contact with the people who was hidding their Emperor, protecting him from Emily’s wrath.  It was important for them to keep him alive long enough for him to reclaim his throne and help rebuild their country, and that day was getting closer and closer.

“We will keep a low profile for now, I trust Kimball to call and explain the situation better, after that we will determine the next steps to take.  Until we are able to talk to our father, we need to be cautious and follow Kaiserin’s orders,” Katsuo said to his people.

“Still, we need to be prepared and be sure that our people is ready to act, just in case something happens,” Kazue added.

“They also told me that they are opening communication to Aquarium and that you will be able to talk to Sensei Ueshiba directly,” the soldier said.

“Those are excellent news,” Kazue said.  In the years since her father had gone away, she had learned to accept Kaiserin, but she didn’t trust her, not completely, but her father was someone in whom she trusted blindly, and being able to talk to him and get his advice was truly important to her.

“The moment we have been waiting for is about to arrive.  Our people is tired of being abused by the Dominion, they want freedom and the chance to rebuild their lives.  Right now I don’t care how, all I care is that we get our freedom back.”

Bonus 3

“It’s finally happening,” Pierre told his wife.  Madeleine didn’t look like she used to look.  When she had been kidnapped by Faakhir, when he tried to make her one of his lovers, Pierre had thought he would never be able to see her again.  For a long time he mourned her death, he had been depressed for a time, and then he had gotten together with some people that loved her almost as much as he did, and worked towards making her killers pay.  It had been a miracle that she had returned to him.  She wasn’t the same physically, now she looked like a mzansier warrior, with beautiful dark skin and dark hair.  Most people thought she was a killer sent to punish him for trying to get Kaiserin killed, but that she had fallen in love with him and decided to stay by his side and protect him from the evil Kaiserin.

“We knew this time was coming,” Madeleine said, “but I thought they would let us know about it before i happened.”  Madeleine had been one of Aquarium refugees for a time, but then she realized her brother and husband were trying to kill Kaiserin and she had asked her to let her go back, she needed to make them understand that she was ok, because if she didn’t, she was afraid they would either succeed in their efforts to kill her savior, or Kaiserin would get tired and kill them.  It was a good thing that she could change her image and look completely different, that allowed her to hide in plain sight.  Many resented her husband for taking another woman, and especially a mzansier, but they didn’t care.  Just a few people knew the truth, but all of them were working with the resistance, and knew who Kaiserin really was, and what she was trying to do.  They were loyal both to Kaiserin and the cause, and they were committed to their people freedom.

“I’ll talk to your brother,” Pierre said, “I’m sure he will be able to convince the people in our government to support Kaiserin’s claim to the throne.  No matter what happens, the change is already starting, and it would be better if we can be part of it.  This will be our first step to take back our lives.”

“Things are definitely changing, and I’m sure it would be for the better.  The people in Aquarium love Kaiserin, they are few and live secluded, but they have everything they need and they are happy.  If Kaiserin can make the same happen in the Dominion,  it would be wonderful.”

“Things are already better now that Faakhir is dead.”

Bonus 2

“Can you believe it?  That woman is about to become the new Queen and head of the Dominion,” Representative Jeong said, incredulity and anger lacing his words.

“We should have seen it coming,” Representative Burgos said, “we should have expected her to want even more power.  I don’t know what it took her so long to kill them, but even they should have known that someone like her wouldn’t be second to anyone for long.”

“The problem is that there is nothing we can do against her now,” Representative Kozak said.  “She has control of the army, and she is extremely powerful on her own, not to mention the fact that she is a Seer and have other like her under her command.  Our best chance is to accept her and recognize her as our new leader.  We should also talk to our governments and push them to do the same.  She already did a lot of damage as Faakhir’s right hand and personal assassin, just imagine what she will be able to do now if we try to oppose her.”

“I know exactly what she is capable of, I still remember the day she killer my kid in cold blood, he just let him fall to his dead, didn’t even blink, we were never able to even recover his body.  She is a monster, and she should pay for her crimes, but not now, we have to wait for the right moment.  For the moment, we need to do what she says, and buy more time, we will have our justice, just now right now.”

“So, are we all in agreement?  Is this Commitee going to recognize Kaiserin as new Queen?”  Kozak asked.

“We will,” they all agreed.

They all agreed that they needed to follow her lead in order to survive, they would have to obey Kaiserin and hide their true feelings and intentions from her.  To go against her would be suicide, and they all had experimented her power in one way or another, they knew not to antagonize her.  Some of them have even tried to have her killed, but that had failed as well.  They haven’t been able to touch her while she was Faakhir’s protege, and now that she was the one in control it would be even more difficult to make her pay for her crimes, but they were willing to try.  None of them was willing to let her crimes go unpunished, they all knew it would be difficult, but they were willing to work harder in order to get rid of her.  It didn’t matter how long it took them, sooner or later Kaiserin would pay for killing their loved ones.

Bonus 1

Hello

The previous chapter was the last chapter of book 3.  I will take some time off before starting with the new book.  Right now I’m working on getting book 1 ready to be published as an e-book, and it will take me some time, but I will try to get back to regular posting as soon as possible.  In the meanwhile I will try to publish a few bonus stories, mostly about what happened the night that Faakhir and Emily died.

–  –  –

“I can’t understand how you can be so ok with all this,” William said.  “Kaiserin betrayed us, she took things under her own hands and took the Dominion for herself.  She broke her promises once, how can you be so sure she won’t do it again?”

“Kaiserin did what she did because she had no other choice.  And we are here for our safety,” Sofia said.

“I’m not so sure about that.  You can’t keep closing your eyes to what’s in front of you.  It’s just like before, Kaiserin took a taste of power and she doesn’t want to share it with anyone, just like my sister.”

“I think you are misjudging her, you are wrong about this.  You just need to give this some time, you will see, everything is going to be fine.”

William knew it was pointless to keep discussing with his mother, she trusted Kaiserin and nothing he could say would change her mind, but he wasn’t so sure that trust was placed in the right person.  Kaiserin had promised them that they would be part of her effort to take the Dominion back, but she had moved without them, leaving them out of the loop.  He couldn’t help but think she had done that to keep them out.

After living with his sister’s betrayal and all the pain he had to endure after that, William had trouble trusting people.  His power helped him know if a person was being truthful or not, all he had to do was ask a question and the person would be forced to tell him the truth.  Some people avoided him for that reason, but Kaiserin was different, even when he was using his power against her, he had the feeling she wasn’t telling him everything.  That, and the fact that she was avoiding him, told him that she had something to hide, and he wouldn’t be at peace until he knew what had really happened.  For the moment, all he knew was that he couldn’t trust her, but he had no choice but to stay there, because Kaiserin and his mother agreed that he needed to stay in Aquarium, like when he was a prisoner of his sister.

They all thought that Kaiserin was their savior, and that everything would be just fine, just because she was in charge, but he wasn’t sure about that.  But no matter what he thought, only time would show who was right, if him for not trusting Kaiserin, or his mother for trusting her.

 

Bonus

“Sir, you have a call,” one of his soldiers said.

“I will take it in my room.”  Kimball knew who was calling, and he didn’t need anyone hearing about Kaiserin.  So far he had convinced everyone that Kaiserin was in the Villa healing from the attack.  Everyone thought that she was there because she wanted, not because Kimball had forced her.

“Greeting General.”  Dalitso was nervous, so Kimball knew that something bad had happened.

“What wrong, Dalitso?  Did something happen to Kaiserin?”  Even while trying to convince himself that everything was alright, he wanted to run to Kaiserin and make sure everything was right.

“Yes, but I’m not sure what.”  Dalitso didn’t know how to explain, everything was fine one day and the next…

Every day Dalitso had called to report on Kaiserin’s day.  The first couple of days everything was okay, then she started to try to escape.  Dakarai was strong, fast and smart, and had frustrated every attempt, no matter what she tried, Dakarai was able to stop her without hurting her, despite her every attempt to kill him.

“Explain Dalitso.”  Kimball didn’t have time for riddles.

“Do you remember that yesterday I told you that I was afraid that Kaiserin seemed to be tired and that had spent most of the day in bed?  It was something else, I’m not sure what happened, at first I thought she was getting depressed, but it’s worse.”

“I don’t understand what your saying.”

“She’s catatonic, she doesn’t react to anything we try.  Dakarai thinks it’s a trick, but I’m not sure, it’s like her mind is not there…”

Kimball needed to see for himself what was happening to her.  He excused himself and told his people that Kaiserin’s health had taken a turn for the worst and he had to go.  He had reflected a lot about the decisions he had taken about Kaiserin.  He was sure he was doing the right thing, she never cared for her own safety, she seemed to think she was invincible, and although most of the time she was, Kimball had been there to save her when she wasn’t.  He couldn’t forget those ocassions he had nursed her back to health.  She wasn’t alone anymore, the risks she was taking didn’t involve just her, his own son was at risk too and she just couldn’t be careful.

He arrived and ran directly to Kaiserin’s room, and found her just like Dalitso had told him, her mind just wasn’t there.  Dalitso was watching them, and he felt her disapproval, but all he had done was protect his family, whatever had happened wasn’t his fault, and once Kaiserin got better she would understand that he was only protecting them.  Kimball got in the bed and hugged Kaiserin, touching her face and her hair, trying to find the problem.

“Why don’t you react? What’s wrong my love?”  When Kaiserin started moving Kimball felt relieved, she was okay after all.

“You’re killing me.”  That’s all that she said before collapsing again.

Kimball thought back to everything he had done the past days, and then about the things she had told him about Agmong and Vasuman.  She sometimes defended Vasuman’s actions saying he had helped her, despite his abuse, but Kimball had thought that Vasuman wasn’t better than Agmong, both men using their power and rank to control and abuse her, was he doing the same thing?  Had he gone too far?  Kimball realized what the problem was, hadn’t Kaiserin tell him that if she went back to the Empire her family would destroy her while trying to protect her?  Kimball had made a mistake, one that he hoped he could fix.