Selie woke to the heavy knocking on the door of her cell, “Rise and shine girl! It’s time for yer first class. Move yer ass, captain ain’t got all day!” Said a gruff voice on the other side of the door.
She could only see the outline of the man through the bars and gauze of the door. Selie got up following the guard’s urging and moved to the wash basin opposite the bed to wash her face and her mouth. She subconsciously looked at her reflection in the mirror above the basin, recalling how she came to be in this new cell.
After she’d spoken with Mynas, he’d assured her she wouldn’t be executed because she was an Obsidian, and a very rare one. She would be rehabilitated starting from here and then she’d be transferred to headquarters the following week when their new shipments arrived, on the return trip to Green Base.
Selie had been silent the whole time. When he was done, the woman who brought her down returned and this time, blindfolded her before bringing her here.
She felt a bit relieved, since she didn’t have to share a cell with that thing anymore, but she didn’t know what awaited her or what this so-called “Rehabilitation” meant.
Selie was scared and angry. Scared of the unknown, of the future that awaited her, and angry at herself for being caught and, for not knowing how to use ability well. Working for the Empire was the last thing she would ever do, but she didn’t want to die, dying would do her no good.
Where there’s life, there’s always hope she told herself as she left the cell and was led to a small courtyard. The cool fresh air hit her and she stopped for a second to take a huge breath.
The day was darker than it should be, dark clouds covered the sky, it was drizzling. There were already three people in the courtyard. One was sitting on a large Bronze chair, the rest were standing, facing the chair. As they got closer, she saw the person sitting in the chair, Mynas. Selie shivered. When Mynas saw her, he smiled and then waved for the guard to leave. The man bowed and then walked away.
“Welcome Ms Selie, I trust you are enjoying your new accommodations?” Mynas asked as Selie joined the other man and woman standing before Mynas. Selie only nodded, then took a glance at the man on her left and the woman on her right. They both looked haggard and starved as she did, but also much older than her. They glanced at her and then looked forward. Mynas was the one who did the introduction.
“Mr Phose, Ms Fera meet Ms Selie, she’ll be joining us starting today.” He said with a smile. “Now you two have been here longer than she has, and I expect you to caution her, incase she may have some…ideas. I’ll still go over the details though, for the sake of it. So Selie, your rehabilitation begins today.
There is no No in this class, only Yes.
Don’t try to commit suicide you won’t succeed and you’ll only suffer for it.
Don’t try to use your abilities except when in this courtyard. If you do, you’ll only suffer for it.
There’s Shade in your system. We’ve been feeding it to you in small doses since you got here. That means you can’t use the full extent of your abilities till your rehabilitation is successful.”
“So my advice to you is, accept this as your new life. From here on, you are the blade and the Empire is the hand. It’ll make your life easier, trust me.”
Then he finally stood from his chair and walked straight to Selie, smiling so devilishly.
He pointed up and said, “I’ve never seen a new Obsidian so powerful that they passively affect the weather just by being in the vicinity. I mean if you were a veteran like the Generals or members of the council that would be understandable, but you became an Obsidian three weeks ago right Selie? And you can already do this? Headquarters would be thrilled to have you.”
He then put his hand on his jaw, as if thinking about something and said,
“Today, I will begin by teaching you why the Empire should be served and why we need to devote ourselves to it. Phose and Fera you already know this, but it will do no harm to remind you.”
Phose and Fera were looking at Selie with pity. After hearing Mynas, they could tell this young girl’s life as she knew it was completely over.
Meribel crossed the gate of the base for the third time. Her informant was supposed to be here an hour ago, yet there was no one. She was irritated and wet and angry. Meribel left Pautt with Shani back at the Inn to avoid suspicion. She decided to wait one more hour and after that, she’d go back and inform the Lady about the current situation.
While she was standing, she saw three officers ride to the front of the gate with an unconscious prisoner tied to a horse. The prisoner’s face happened to be facing her and when she saw it. She was surprised. This was the Obsidian that had followed them last night, the one they’d been unable to capture. There was no way these officers who weren’t Obsidians managed to capture him. He has to be pretending, Meribel told herself.
All of a sudden, she had a very bad feeling about this mission.
Could this Obsidian know their target? Was that the reason he managed to identify them and was tailing them to take them out?
Meribel didn’t like this turn of events one bit. As the officers rode into the base, another officer rode out and rode past her, a paper dropped as he rode by. Meribel pretended to drop her kerchief, then bent to pick it and the paper. There were just two words on the paper;
Seventh Hour, Dockside.
Meribel immediately left the vicinity. On her way back to Dockside, she couldn’t help thinking about the Obsidian. She had to inform the Lady as soon as she got back.
When Meribel walked into the Inn, she knew immediately that something was wrong.
There were too many people gathered in the common room and it was quiet, it was unnatural. As she slowly walked towards the cluster of people to see what the commotion was about, a hand grabbed her. Instinctively, she slipped the poison tipped dagger in her sleeve and was about to stab the assailant when Pautt’s voice stopped her.
“It’s me Meribel. We have to leave this place now!”
The urgency in his voice shocked her. What could have happened? Pautt sounded frightened. She was about to ask why when he motioned for her to follow him and so she did. When they were finally out and some distance away from the Inn, Pautt stopped and turned to her, his expression was dark.
“This whole mission is a trap Meribel, we were purposely lured here.”
As soon as Meribel heard the words her feeling of foreboding increased.
“What do you mean? Also where’s Shani?” She asked.
Pautt shook visibly when she mentioned the girl’s name.
Meribel began frowning, she already assumed the girl was dead. But what Pautt said next turned the world upside down.
“Shani…… She almost killed me, in fact I should be a dead man right now if not for the person that came to take her away. But she told me we’d meet again tonight and that I wouldn’t get away then.”
“What!!!” Meribel couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
“H-how is that possible?”
“She had us all deceived Meribel. We should leave now. If we are still here by tonight, they’ll find our bodies in the sea tomorrow. We can’t take her Meribel. She’ll kill us both and that’s without the help of the other person.”
Meribel couldn’t believe his words. What the hell was going on?