Are you sure you’re ready to continue?
Yes, I’m sure.
Okay, Jaisa. But if you need a break, please say so. You’ve been through so much….
I want to get it out. I want to finish. I….
I need to finish, sooner than later. Then I can just forget about it and be done. I want to be able to move on.
Okay. I understand. Go on.
Mm…. Well…. I was saying… I think I was saying that my genitor….
Oh. Yeah, m-my genitor. My genitor pressured me to join them. And I did. I was too scared not to. Which— I feel…. I feel bad. About not speaking up. Not saying no. But….
You didn’t want to die.
I didn’t want to die.
That is more than reasonable, sweet blue one.
Nobody is judging you, Jaisa.
I… I know.
It’s just hard.
My genitor was a high-ranking member of the cult. Apparently they… they funded a lot of it.
Some through their pocket, but mostly through stealing from work.
But… that’s not really…. Well, I guess it is the point. Kind of.
It’s the only reason I’m still alive, so…. I don’t know.
They knew I didn’t want to be there. And I knew they knew. I could feel the people they sent to keep an eye on me watching me at every turn. Like prison guards.
They didn’t make me do anything… death related. Thank the gods. I don’t think I could have handled it, that soon after everything. Though— Though they didn’t let me be useless.
I think I’ve learnt how to wash blood out of just about any fabric.
And I learnt more about their sick magic than I ever wanted to learn, just by being there. And I don’t think I’m going to be able to forget it anytime soon…. I wish I could. I wish I could flip a switch in my brain, and just forget the past… I think it’s been a year? Oh, gods. It must have been, at least….
Oh, fuck me.
Take a breath, Jaisa. That’s it. Breathe.
Hm. I’m okay.
I guess some good came out of it, though. I know what they’re doing.
I know what they want.
What do they want?
They want to take over. Night Magic. The farms. More, if they can. Probably— They’ll probably go for the Nurlak Islands. They’re small. And if they get New Fallen Cloud… well….
Well. I suppose… I should tell you… about Nahrow.
Yeah. Nahrow. He—
I’m not sure where to start, with him.
He was a little like me. His sib dragged him into things. He wasn’t really interested in what the necromancers were doing. He didn’t practice their magic. Though, he wasn’t really opposed to it, either.
He was green.
A dark, dark deep-dweller green. With a face almost like an incarah— And he’d wag his tail like one, too, if you got him excited.
He thought I was cute, with my no-glow freckles…. He…. He used to…. He used to put his spots out to match mine, then make me giggle. And then when I lit up, he’d light up too and match me.
I think he kept me sane, through all of it. I don’t know how I would have survived if he hadn’t been there.
We met in the washroom. He helped me clean.
I don’t know how, but… I loved him.
I really, really loved him. Like I hadn’t loved anyone before.
Even though— Even though we disagreed.
Disagreed on what, Q?
Most things, I guess?
He thought the necromancers were noble.
Thought that they were bringing people back who didn’t deserve to die.
And I’d argue; if they were doing that, why’d they kill people?
And he’d pause. And he’d look away. And he’d sigh. And then he’d say he didn’t know.
At least he agreed that part wasn’t good.
Though, I don’t think I ever changed his mind much. He still thought the necromancers was doing more good than harm. But, he never pushed me to think the same. Not like everyone else was trying to.
I guess that’s part of what made me feel safe. I could disagree with him, even on big things, and he didn’t get angry or upset.
I know it’s not much of a bar to step over, but….
But it was what you needed from him.
That’s exactly it.
And… I got the impression….
I think he felt as stuck as I did. And I think that’s why he argued.
He didn’t want to believe he was stuck. So he tried, desperately, to make it a good thing. Something that he chose.
Yes, I know.
I don’t know.
He was good to me. And… he’d take me aside, to his room, where nobody would follow. And I’d feel safe, and soft. And he’d be kind. And….
And I loved him.
We’d spend the nights together.
Feeling just… just a little bit more like people, then we did during the day.
I wanted him to run away with me. I tried to convince him to try and escape. But he…. I think he was scared.
I might be wrong.
He might have just… actually wanted to be there.
I hope that wasn’t it.
I really hope that I’m right.
And that he really was good, on the inside.
But… either way, I didn’t want to leave him behind. Especially not….
I…. I thought….
I thought if I left they might blame him. And hurt him. And I got even more scared. And it got even harder to try and get away.
Is that stupid?
Was I stupid to stay?
It’s not stupid. You’re not stupid.
You were scared.
And in love.
And nobody could ever fault you for that.
Thank you for….
Do not cry, sweet one.
Take my hand, honey.
I just need—
Deep…. Deep breaths. Right.
We were…. We were coping. We were coping with everything.
But then…. Then…. The worst. The worst thing happened.
I got pregnant. And then— It went wrong.
It went so, so wrong….
There was blood, and— And I got horrible cramps. And it was too soon. Far, far too soon.
And they died…. Our baby died.
Oh, blue one.
Nahrow didn’t deal with it well. He—
No, no Jaisa. Don’t be sorry.
You have done no wrong.
Don’t be sorry.
Take a breath.
Squeeze my hand.
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