Rebuilding (part 1)
Zeydar sat in front of the council sick with dread. He had not been this sick with agony and anxiety since he had come back from the destruction of Arcadia and they had interviewed him. That had been his statement on murdering millions, this was on his birthright. Could they strip it from him? Was it possible that he’d become the only Class 1 ever to not become a Superior?
“How long have you known?” This voice. The head of the Council was that old man. What was his name? Why couldn’t he remember it.
“Known about the Sweet Dreams.”
“I knew I was being drugged at fifteen. I knew it was Sweet Dreams at Twenty.” Evester. Evester had shown him. “I tried to get myself off of it for years but every time you noticed you changed the distribution method.”
Why were they asking him about Sweet Dreams? Didn’t they already know about his addiction? Didn’t they already know that he knew?
“And now you are addicted to it?”
It sounded like an accusation that the man couldn’t believe after they had been drugging since he got his mark of being a star if not before. As if it were his fault. “Yes.”
“After the destruction of Arcadia?”
“Yes.” Were they trying to use it as a way to strip him of his birthright?
“And your magic?”
“Goes off when I don’t have it. It’s what happened in the Tower.” He hissed knowing full well that they would want to burry that story, so why were they bringing it up now?
“And how long have you been self medicating?” The man asked as if Zeydar was a sick patient with a disease outside of the PTSD that the addiction remedied. He spoke as if this was the first time this knowledge was being spoken about aloud, as if they didn’t already know. This was their route of denying him. Again. It was a condition they had placed him within, a condition they found to be dangerous.
“Since the Tower was destroyed. I just wanted it to go away.” Zeydar answered, letting the words out for the first time.
“What to go away?” It was Majorie’s voice.
“Death.” Zeydar answered.
There were whispers amongst the Superiors as they spoke to one another. As they spoke amongst each other, Zedyar raced to think of a solution to them denying him.
“And why?” Majorie continued. “Should we allow you to become a Superior knowing that?”
“You shouldn’t.” Zeydar glared at her. At them all. They had been pushing it off because he was a lose canon. They had been pushing it off because they couldn’t control him. So how could he convince them to… Then he had the only option left, and the only way to strong arm them into it. “You should kill me.”
“Zeydar.” The old man laughed. “That is a bit extreme no?”
“Then you give it to me.” Zeydar shrugged. “I’ve been on Sweet Dreams since I was a child, and that’s your fault. It’s my fault I’m addicted now, but if someone had just told me, perhaps Arcadia wouldn’t have fallen.” He looked over all of them. “You test me. Not because it is my birthright. But because I have the right to know. To know the magic that you have kept from me because you were afraid of my instability and power. I have the right to see what my true class is. I have the right to try to have the full control over myself and my abilities in a way that you never allowed me. I have the right to try a different way to control this power rather than drugs.”
“And you think you can?” Another asked.
The answer was no, but he needed to be better than that answer. “I think that I studied my ass off for eighteen years just to try to graduate as the youngest Superior ever. Only you declined the offer because I wasn’t ready. I think I was ready by Ninteen, yet you said I was too young. At Twenty you had Tyler take me on a world tour to ‘expand my horizons’. At Twenty-one you rigged the tests so I wouldn’t pass. I would have passed that rigging at Twenty-two, but who knows? The Catastrophe came before I could test. At Twenty-three I was considered an unstable mess. And now I will be twenty-four. We all know there is nothing more that you can teach me without dipping into the Superior only archives, and you have run out of excuses outside of things you didn’t already know. You get to decide. Kill me or let me try and pass your stupid tests that I’ve been more than ready for, for the last five years.”
The Superiors were silent. Did they know I knew it all? Did they know how much of a Superior Zeydar already was. Or were they truly going to kill him. Would that be so bad?
Zeydar decided to press on instead. “Yes? Then my tests begin the day of my birthday and my Superior promotion ceremony will be the day I pass.”
“If you pass.” A Superior corrected him.
“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that I can’t pass.” Zeydar would pass without blinking. He could pass if he were detoxing. He could pass if he were having a panic attack. He could pass in his sleep. He could pass if he were dead. He would pass.
And then he’d have the magic to put the memories in his mind to rest for good and he’d never need Sweet Dreams again. Zeydar would then be able to get off of the drug, and use his magic the way he’d always been born to.
It was the only hope he held on to.