Cassandra stared into hermilky tea and realisedwith aching certainty
that this had to end. It had to stop.
had to be stopped.
‘I mean, look at how much better off we’d be, the
She’d always known about her sister’s ideals, her whole life she’d
believed this... wanted this...
with all her heart –
Cassandra realised now, but back then had paid little heed. She’d just
had to keep an eye on her baby sister to ensure it never got out of
hand, that those visions of hers never became a reality. That way,
they’d both be safe. It was no longer simply her safety that she was
concerned about. She took a sip of the tea.
‘We’re going to save everyone! We will be free of all this bloodshed!
Isn’t that what you want?’
There was a part of her that had always feared this day. The
lukewarm liquid trickled down her throat attempting to fill the void
inside her to no avail. Bright explosions lit up the sky like stars,
littering the city below her. From here, the screams of her people
were nothing more than wisps of the wind but that didn’t change
the hollow pain she felt with each cry for help. It was true that
Cassandra wanted nothing more than to see the end of this violence.
She’d spent her life watching her people die, innocent people whose
lives didn’t need to be cut short by this desperate conflict. But this,
what she was proposing, wasn’t a solution. It was barely even humane.
‘I’m building a brighter future, don’t you see Cass?’
Her sister’s words, that smile laced with excitement, those wide
eyes; it all reverberated in her skull, crashing around noisily in the
now silent night. How could she think this was the answer? With
shaking hands she set down her tea. Another explosion bathed the
room in neon green, twisting the shadows into horrific malformed
spirits. They grasped outward at Cassandra, their knife like claws
clinging to her gown and lunging at her golden circlet, as if begging
her to prevent any more from joining their haunted ranks. They
knew she was the only one who could.
Beckoned by their call, she walked over to the symbol of her rule
over this blood-soaked nation as the Sovereign, examining it in the
fading light. It swirled in a perfect smooth arc, a ribbon crystalized
around her vermillion hair, adorned with gems that burst into
bloom with all the radiance of spring, each one a gift in the
unification of their land – the day when nine kingdoms became one.
Once, this beautiful artefact was a symbol of all-encompassing