A loud explosion woke me up. The windows shattered and we were thrown from the bed. I tried to get up, but my legs felt unstable and strong nausea stopped me for a moment. I took a moment to see what was wrong with me, and the suspicion that I had for a few days wasn’t just a suspicion anymore, something was going on with my body.
“What’s going on?” Kimball was already on his feet and dressing himself. I wanted to answer, but I knew that I needed to keep my mouth closed and my breathing even if I wanted to keep the nausea at bay. “Kaiserin?” I waved Kimball away, he needed to go and see what the problem was, they needed him more than I.
He hesitated for a moment and then left. I managed to crawl to the bathroom. After a few minutes Kimball was back.
“It’s everything alright?” I asked, but a new explosion hit us then.
“Under control, the missiles are hitting the barrier. What about you?”
“I’ll be fine in a moment, just morning sickness, nothing to worry about.” I got up, feeling better already. “I think this only confirms what I’ve been thinking,” just to be sure I did a quick biokinetic search, and found the differences in my body. “I’m pregnant.” Kimball was speechless, just staring at me.
“Are you sure?” He asked, not the reaction I was hoping for. “This is not the right moment for that, it’s not safe enough for you to have a healthy pregnancy.”
“You worry too much, I’ll be fine. Just give me a minute to change and we can go back to the command center to figure out what’s going on.”
“Shouldn’t you stay here and rest?”
“Of course not, I’m feeling okay now. I just needed a moment for my body to settle down.” I could see that Kimball wasn’t convinced. “Stop worrying, this is my third pregnancy, I know what to expect and how I’m suppose to feel, I will know if I need some rest. Everything is alright.”
“You’re right, it’s just I was surprised you weren’t feeling okay, that’s not something I’m used to.”
Kimball went back to the command center and after changing my clothes I met him there. An enemy group was attacking us with missiles, but our defenses were strong and no real damage was done, yet. By the force of the attack it was clear that the enemy wasn’t expecting any survivors.
“We found the place where the missiles are being launched from.” One of the technicians said.
“Perfect. Prepare our own missiles, let’s give them a taste of their own medicine.”
“This is too easy,” I said, “I think the attack might be a distraction. We need to review other possibilities, we can’t waste our fire power in something that may not be our biggest threat.” No one said anything, not even to acknowledging my words, but they turned to Kimball, waiting to see his reaction. Usually his support was immediate, but he didn’t say anything and that angered me.
“We must look all possibilities, but our first priority is to stop the attack. So far none of our structures have been damaged, but that could change fast, we can’t defend ourselves forever, we need to attack.” After his words, everyone got back to their tasks and started to plan the attack, ignoring me. “Where are you going?” Asked Kimball when I decided to leave the place and headed for the door.
“You don’t need me here, I’ll go and think of other possibilities.” I knew Kimball was going to say something, and I all but ran outside, not giving him the option. Once I reached our room, I started to meditate, I knew that visiting the fog of the future was worth the risk.
After what felt like a few minutes, but could have been hours in the fog I found what I needed. By the time I got out the fog the planned attack against the people with the missiles was finished, but it had taken most of our resources to stop it, just like the enemy had planned. Even if I was too late to stop them from wasting our weapons, at least I knew what was coming next. The enemy was hidden, waiting until our weapons were spent to start another attack, stronger than the last one, luckily his plan depended mostly on the element of surprise, and I was able to foil it. I gave the information I had gathered to the Mzansiers and we were able to stop the second attack.
After that we moved from one point to another, visiting most of the bases on the border, the ones that had been under attack the most. Soon our days found a routine; first thing in the morning Kimball got up and brought me something to eat and ease the nausea. He insisted that I needed to take some time for me, so he left for the command center before I got out of bed. Soon the time I spent with Kimball in the command center was less and less every day. Unlike with previous pregnancies, I was tired most of the time, so when Kimball suggested that I needed I nap, I didn’t fight him much. Like with previous pregnancies, my visions increased, and I started to get a lot of information, so I spent a lot of time meditating or visiting the fog of the future to clarify my visions and find something useful.
Every day the enemy’s attacks grew in strength and frequency, they were getting desperate. I was sure that without my visions, the fight would have been lost already. I felt like the information I was gathering was making a difference in the war, but at the same time I felt like I was being pushed to a secondary position. The feeling of being pushed away increased the day I entered the command center and found Kimball having a video conference with Kgosi, Zola and Frederik. At first I wanted to believe that it was a last minute thing, an emergency meeting that I wasn’t called for because they were too busy to tell me about it, but as the meeting progressed, I realized that it was neither a last minute thing or a new thing, it was a weekly meeting that I knew nothing about. I had been there for some meeting in the past, but apparently they decided I was no longer needed.
“If I had known that we had a meeting I would have come earlier.” I told Kimball once the meeting was over.
“It was nothing important, you have more important things to do.” Kimball said.
“You need to take care of yourself and our baby. I know that your first trimester was tough on you, you need time to rest and recover, I don’t want to add more stress.”
“I spent the first months of my first pregnancy leading the most powerful Clan of the Empire, fighting every one who dared to question me or suggested that I didn’t deserve the position. My last months were among some of the deathliest women in the worlds, in a hostile environment, where everyone was waiting for me to make a mistake so they could get rid of me. Nothing here even compares to that, and since I survived that, I don’t see why you have to treat me like this now. I’m capable of helping with this war, nothing here will affect me or my pregnancy.”
“I’m sorry, you’re right, I was just trying to make things easier for you, I didn’t think you would be mad at my actions. You know that all I want is for you to be okay.” I felt better, maybe I had misinterpreted his actions, or overreacted. “Did you want to see me for a particular reason? Did you have a new vision?”
“No, nothing relevant, it’s just that I’ve been having a bad feeling, I think we need to be on alert, something big is going to happen. I wouldn’t be surprised if before the day is over we have to fight.”
“Don’t worry about it, my men are patrolling the area and our defense systems are on high alert. We won’t be taken by surprise, we have everything under control.”
“Good to know.”
“Why don’t we go grab something to eat? We have to take advantage now that everything is under control. We can come back to work after we eat.” It sounded good, but I had the feeling that after we ate, he would suggest that I should take a nap.
We ate and talked a little. I was expecting Kimball to take us back to the command center of suggest a nap when we saw a young warrior running towards us, well, towards Kimball.
“Sir, we just received a report that one of the neighbor base is under siege. President Frederik is there. They need you at the command center right away.” Kimball didn’t wait, he ran back to the command center.
By the time I arrived to the command center the place was full of images of a brutal battle, the images showed the place where the base was, but it was hard to see anything with all the bombs hitting the shields. All around the place a huge army was ready to attack the moment the shields collapsed,
“How could that many people move without us noticing?” I asked to anyone willing to answer.
“That’s what I would like to know, they shouldn’t be able to move that close. We are the ones closer to them, my men are already getting ready to move, we have to go help them, another two bases are also moving their men.” Kimball was working on the computer in front of him, he wasn’t even looking at me, focused on his work. “We don’t know how this happened, but we have to stop them. Kaiserin, you will stay here with a few of my men, we need people to protect the base.” I knew that it was just an excuse to keep me out of trouble, and normally I would fight him over it, but the feeling that had been with me all day made me bite my tongue and accept his words, I knew something was going to happen at the base, and I couldn’t leave it alone.
“Don’t worry, go and do what you need to do, I’ll wait here.” Kimball smiled at me, relieved that I had accepted. He hugged me and kissed me before storming out of the place, ready to go to battle.
The number of people who stayed behind was minimal, and I knew something was coming. I risked a quick visit to the fog of the future, and saw that something was going to happen, I couldn’t risk trying to find the details and getting lost, so I returned and started preparing for the enemy’s arrival. I started by creating a plan, covering the different scenarios that I knew could take place. I wanted to leave nothing to chance.
It was almost midnight when the enemy arrived. Despite our precautions they had managed to contain our sentries and infiltrate the base. Luckily I had remained in the command center and was there to notice the change in the camera feed, I knew someone had tampered with the cameras. It wasn’t an obvious change, but enough to raise alarm and let me know that the enemy was already inside.
I had already warned the warriors of what could happen, so when I reached them and let them know that the enemy was there, they were ready to act. Our warriors were able to move and neutralize part of the enemy’s forces, the ones tasked with setting bombs that would destroy the place once they finished their business. Another group was heading to the command center, their goal was to gather all the information they could.
Our first mistake was expecting the enemy to enter the command center by the door, I already had a group of five gathered around the room with their weapons directed at the door, waiting for them to enter, but when the door opened, it was because an explosion that threw the door at one of the men, another explosion on the side opened a hole big enough for the enemy to enter, weapons firing.
The first soldiers were fast enough to take a few Mzansiers by surprise, I saw them kill one of them and shot the other before they started to return fire. I was slow to respond because all my focus was on the psychic wall protecting me, when I could, I tried to grab the enemy’s weapons, but I couldn’t find their essences, it was something that I haven’t felt before, I had to resort to using my sight to grab them. Taking their arms tipped the fight in our favor, without their arms they lost focus. I was going to push them against the wall, hoping to knock them out, but I never had the chance.
I found myself sitting at a table, eating breakfast with a group of people, I couldn’t see their faces, but I knew that it was people I knew. I moved my hand and took a glass, when I drank from it, I knew something was wrong, as my sight started fading I saw the person in front of me smiling in triumph.
I returned from the vision to pain, my side was hurting. I looked at it and saw a blood stain growing at my side. I looked up and saw that one of our enemies had recovered his gun and had fired at me. The rest of the Mzansiers were on the floor, no help there. The man turned his gun to me, and prepared to fire again. I used my mind to take his gun away and then lifted him on the air, letting him drop on a piece of wall with enough force to break his spine. The noise of breaking bones echoed in the room, but I didn’t know if he was dead, at least he wouldn’t be bothering me again for a while. The rest of his people were searching the computers and the cabinets for information to take, but when they noticed what I had done they tried to attack me. Taking the gun I have stolen from the man I used my mind to hold them still long enough to put a bullet in each of their brains.
Once I was done with them, I sat in one of the few chairs that had survived the explosion. I tried to take deep breaths, I needed to calm down and look at the damage I had received, but I had lost too much blood, and as much as I wanted to fight it, it didn’t take long before I passed out.