Bonus 6

News about Faakhir’s death and the public execution of Emily traveled across the Dominion in a short time.  A few of those knew about Kaiserin’s plans, but even among those who had alliances with her, her true goals and long term plans weren’t known.

For most of the people in the Dominion, that first night was one of fear and trepidation.  Most people went to bed not knowing what they would find the next day.  The majority of the citizens of the Dominion were afraid things would only get worse under the control of Mzansi’s Demoness, the woman responsible for countless of death in all parts of the Dominion.  While most were afraid, a few ended the day resigned, and thinking that, since they had nothing more to lose, it didn’t really matter what happened next.

Things were different in the fringes of Capital City, a few hours after news of the deaths of their rulers, trucks loaded with warriors arrived, and started to gather the people and take them out of their homes.  Most thought their time had finally come, and that they were being led to their execution.  Most of them were too weak to fight back, hungry and hopeless, they resigned to their fate and moved to what they thought were their deaths, thinking that death was a better choice to the lives they had been living, but they were pleasantly surprised to find not a firing squad, but a feast waiting for them.

Once they made sure the food was for them, and that they could eat as much as they wanted, they were informed that they were participating in the celebrations for their new Queen.  Most of them didn’t trust the gift, and weren’t sure about the circumstances, but their empty stomachs did the thinking for them, and they decided to eat and drink as much as they could.  They didn’t care if it was a trap or a bribe, all they could think of at the moment was that they were hungry and there was food, they didn’t know when they would get their hands on food again, and they had to make the best of the situation.

While the people on the fringes of Capital City enjoyed their first true meal in months, the people from the Towers were oblivious to the act.  They were worried about their future and the decisions they had to make, they were thinking the pros and cons of recognizing the new government, and accepting a woman like Kaiserin as their new Queen.  Most of them quickly understood that they really had no choice, if they wanted to survive, they needed to accept their new tyrant.  They thought they were jumping from the frying pan into the fire, and wanted a way out, but they all arrived at the same conclusions, if they wanted to stay alive, they needed to accept Kaiserin and just do whatever she wanted, at least for the moment.

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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.

 

Chapter 52

It was a long day, followed by an even longer night.  I hadn’t been able to sleep, in part because I was afraid that as soon as lowered my guard and fell asleep, the nightmares would attack, after everything I had gone through during the day, I knew I couldn’t let myself vulnerable to my own mind.  But I also stayed awake because there was a lot of work to be done, I needed to supervise all the activities that my men were doing all around the Dominion.  The army, working under my command, thanks to a few well positioned contacts, was in control of all the important government locations around the Dominion, and in some parts, they had also taken some of the most important streets, making sure there were no one able to protest or fight me.  The rebellions we had contacted during the last years had agreed to stay quiet, and let us take control, they would only act if we did something to affect their people of if the situation got out of control.  So far, people had been either too surprised or too afraid to do anything against me.

I had an important meeting early next morning.  I had chosen that time to give the other two time to rest, but as soon as I saw Fatima and then Sofia through the video conference, I knew neither of them had been able to sleep.

“Good morning Sofia,” I greeted the old Queen, once we established communication with Aquarium.  Without Emily and Faakhir we had felt comfortable enough to relax some of the security protocols around Aquarium, and Kimball had agreed to open all communications between us.

“Good morning Kaiserin, it’s a pleasure to be able to talk to you again,” Sofia said, but I couldn’t be sure if she was as sincere as she seemed.  It was the first chance I had to directly talk to her since I had killed her daughter.  I had been able to send her a message telling her what had happened and asking her to have a meeting with me, but I haven’t been able to explain.

“I’m so sorry about everything, I know this is not how things were supposed to happen,” I sincerely told her, “I feel guilty for not being able to keep my promise, you were supposed to be with me when I faced Emily, and I couldn’t wait for you, I had to act before you were able to arrive.”

“Don’t worry Kaiserin, I understand.  I know you wouldn’t have done it if there was another way.  A part of me regrets not having a last chance to talk to my daughter and try to make her understand, to change her mind, but another part of me knows just how pointless it would have been, and that maybe it was better this way.  I even prefer it, maybe I’m being a coward, but I’m glad my daughter didn’t have another chance to hurt me like she did so many times before.”

“Even so, I’m sorry for your loss, I know this is not how you wanted it to end.  I would like to tell you that you lost your daughter to Faakhir’s manipulations, and that it was his mind control that changed her, but I know that you wouldn’t believe me.  He did give help her become the woman she was, but it was something that would have happened with or without him.”

“I know that, and that’s why I don’t want you to feel guilty about what happened.  I always knew she would end like this, no matter how much I wished for a different ending,” she said, and I felt a weight I didn’t realize I was carrying, lifting from my shoulders.

“Now that we cleared things up, I think it’s time to discuss our next steps.”  I still was having trouble with the fog of the future, that’s why I needed them.  I did my best not to let them know how worried I was, but I knew that if anyone would be able to help, it was them.  They were both experienced Seeress, and they had proper training behind them.  “First of all, I need to confess that the reason I was taken by surprise by Emily and Faakhir was that my powers are not working properly, I haven’t been able to read the future in a while.  The last few times I even tried the paths were changing so fast that I couldn’t see a thing, and it was almost impossible to move in there.”

“We are approaching a critical moment in our history.  It’s not the first time something like this happens, every time the world is reaching a turning point, the future becomes hard to read.  Right now you can’t go into the fog alone, you need a guide or a helper if you want any chance of walking the paths,” Sofia explained.  Her words reminded me of another time I had been unable to read the future on my own, only that time I had assumed it was because I was inexperienced, and since Melchizedek had been there for me, I hadn’t realized the two situations were the same.

“I can still see the near future,” Fatima said, “but it’s not as clear as usual.  I think that for now, we should just let Kaiserin to keep going, to take over the Dominion and act as always.  I think we should keep Sofia and William out of the spotlight for a little longer.  They are safe, as long as they stay in Aquarium.  Once Kaiserin takes control, officially, a lot of things can go wrong, it’s better if we keep best cards hidden.

Fatima’s words made sense, I knew we still had a lot of enemies hidden in the shadows, and it was the perfect chance to bring them out in the open.  It was in our best interest to keep their targets contained, so when they decided to attack, their focus would be on me.  It would be also good to not let them know just how many allies I really had.

“I agree with Fatima,” Sofia said.  “I think that for the moment we should wait.  I know I’m asking too much of you, but if you could keep pretending to be that person, and take over my daughter’s position, I would be grateful.  I hope you can start working on healing all the damage Emily did, I know you are the only one who can do it.”

“I will do my best to keep things in order, and to get rid of our enemies, but remember, the plan has always been for you to take back the power, you are supposed to be the savior, not me.  Sooner or later you and William will have to take back your rightful positions.”

“Kaiserin, you were born to rule, just like me, maybe even more.  Your place is at the top, you are supposed to rule, either the Empire, or the Dominion, and you are here right now.”

We kept talking for a while, we still had some things to define, actions that would have to be taken the next days, but there was something very important that I had to do that day, and soon the time to officially take control of the Dominion was approaching.

My meeting with the Representatives and Ambassadors was approaching fast, I had to see them at noon, that meant that I didn’t have much time to prepare before I had to face them.  I didn’t want to go to war with any of them, and I hoped that all of them would recognize me.  I knew that their words that day wouldn’t guarantee that they wouldn’t fight me in the future, but it would give me time to try and fix things before they had the chance to attack.

Before facing them, there was something else I had to do.  I called Connor, the guard in charge of the school.  I had been able to communicate with Ethan using my powers, so I knew he was ok, but I needed to know how the rest of the kids were before I spoke to their parents.

“Connor, report.” I asked, as soon as he answered my call.

“Some of the parents of the kids tried to get them out of the school yesterday, but as you asked me, I made sure no one left the building.”

“Good job.  How are the kids?” I asked, I needed to know if the situation had affected them and how.

“All of them are ok, some of them are scared and most of them are worried, but in good health.  Most of them are familiar with the hostage procedure and know what is expected of them.  They are more worried about their parents than their own well being.”

“That’s the problem with war kids, they lose their innocence too soon, and learn to face the cruel side of life,” Kimball said, I hadn’t noticed he was there and that he was listening to my call, but I was glad to have him there, I always appreciated his support.  “Those kids are smart enough to know that if they are being held it’s because something is required of their parents, and they are being used as to force their parents to do something they don’t want to do, and they feel guilty because of that.”

“It’s a necessary evil,” I said, “if we can convince their parents of accepting me as the new leader of the Dominion and swear their loyalty to me, we will be saving a lot of lives that would be lost in a war.  They all think I’m a monster, a demon incapable of showing mercy.  They think I could kill their kids without a second thought about it, and that will help me keep control, at least for now.  Soon their parents will recognize me, and then we will be able to let the kids go back to their lives.  In the meantime, I trust you to keep them under control, Connor.”

“I won’t fail you, you have nothing to worry about,” Connor said.  “I will be waiting your new orders.”

I left the room, and Kimball followed me as I made my way to the Congress.  Once we arrived at the public part of the palace, Kimball moved away from me so he could pretend that we were enemies and that he didn’t want to be by my side.  I knew that it was just part of the act and that it was in our best interest to pretend we weren’t in good terms.  The idea behind the act was that Kimball could become the bridge between me and the rest of the Dominion, a friendly face they could trust.

I took the same path I had taken the previous day, and I arrived at the same place where I had faced Emily, and was glad to see that it was full, it looked like they were all there.  In a monitor I could see the faces of some of the leaders of different countries around the Dominion.  For the next few hours I heard the Representatives and Leaders of the different countries pledge their loyalty to me and my new government.  They were all there, and I was glad to see that things were going according to plan.

I was reminded of previous occasions when I had been in the same or similar situation, it reminded me especially for the day I had taken my place as Empress of the Dark Empire.  That had been a day that had filled me with pride and satisfaction.  Having the Dominion under my command didn’t feel as good as that, for some reason I didn’t feel as happy.  I was glad I had been able to do my part, and I couldn’t deny that I was glad to be back at the top, but I felt like I still had a long way to go.