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3 Days Until Alliances And the Uncertain End
Heia stood, looking out in the control room alone. Everyone else was asleep. The night shift was busy, getting final preparations under way. She saw the copious reports of inventory, and wondered if anyone would notice if she reviewed over them. All of the files that they had brought up were in the room, in stacks and filed away in cabinets. The Yasloughve project blinked on the screen before her, running calculations.
Heia leafed through the papers with light fingers.
“You will have days to read them.” Estashia’s voice startled Heia. No one was supposed to be awake. Heia had snuck out, away from Kim’s arms, to read more, and to get better prepared.
Heia looked back at her, nearly dropping the papers as she did. “What?”
“I know that you are trying to out maneuver me. You are a few steps behind, my dear.”
Heia grimaced. “Why tell me?”
“Because I don’t believe that the system we have now is the right one.” The woman said walked to a chair and sat down unceremoniously. Her hair was long and free. She held a cup of coffee that she was not delicate with drinking. The woman had on slippers and looked far less put together than Heia had ever seen her. “Sit.”
Heia did so, sitting across from the woman, placing the file down, unsure she’d even get to read it. If Estashia wished to stop her, Heia knew there was no stopping her. However staring at the woman, Heia realized that she was bigger than Estashia. She was taller, more muscular, and while Estashia embodied the presence of a thousand suns, she looked withdrawn and weak,
“What we have in place worked, but that did not mean it worked for all,” Estashia went on.
“No. It didn’t.”
“Changing hearts and minds is not so easy as taking over. It takes time.” Estashia sipped at her coffee.
Heia knew that. It was why she was doing everything in her power to prepare before hand. She needed to get ahead, but as Estashia said, she was still too far behind.
“It also requires allies,” Estashia said. “Allies who have power that believe in what you believe in.”
Heia watched the woman, realization dawning on her slowly. “You?”
“Perhaps. Perhaps my daughter. Regardless, you will need our help. Zeydar will not be enough.”
Heia had never expected for Zeydar to be the end all. She had all of EverDanger on her side. That was far more than just Zeydar, but as Heia thought of it, if Estashia pulled the strings she could get Heia’s family to bend. They were playing a game of tightrope and Heia could not chicken out first.
Heia sat silently.
“I don’t want to make a world in the image that you believe is correct,” She finally said.
“No, but there are years of wisdom that I can give you, that by rejecting me completely, that you will not have access to. People like you, Heia, but you are not reliable to the general masses,” Estashia explained.
The words stung. Heia bit her lip and tried to avoid the dragon’s eyes that had leveled on her. Estashia’s bite had return in full power. Once more she was larger than life sitting in her chair, holding all the power.
“I know you have a group of people who will assist you, but trust me. I am not your enemy.” Estashia said with a chuckle, breaking her power over Heia.
As the woman laughed, Heia knew what Estashia had done. Heia could not hope to replicate it. Not yet, but maybe one day. Maybe that power would be her’s. Only… Heia did not want to rule in fear.
“I won’t let the Circles rule.”
“Circles? Stars? Xs? It all has to end. We are all humans. Some are mages and some are not. That does not mean that the mages are superior to others. We can not allow for that mindset ever again, but that is going to take time.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to give you a lecture.” The woman laughed, genuine. Heia perked up at the sound. “I came here to see what almost killed us all. Sometimes I can not believe it.”
Heia looked over to the planet in the distance outside the window. When she looked at Estashia, she saw tears in the woman’s eyes. She too missed their home.
“You should get to Kim. She doesn’t sleep well in silence.”
Heia knew that there was little else she could do when Estashia was breathing down her neck, and she was tired.
“Come back tomorrow and I can walk you through everything.”
Heia nodded. “And you?”
“Maverin hasn’t slept next to me for years. He can do without me for a few hours.” Estashia said drinking her coffee. As she fell silent, Heia knew it as her turn to go. Graciously, she walked out of the room.
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